KATY-FM files FCC petition against KRTH HD Radio interference



All-Pro Broadcasting, Inc., licensee of KATY-FM, 101.3 MHz, Idyllwild, California (Riverside-San Bernardino), is filing a Petition with the FCC seeking relief from ongoing and destructive interference caused by the HD Radio operations of KRTH, 101.1 MHz, Los Angeles.

An accompanying engineering analysis (click on the attachment box at the top right of this story) demonstrates that the interference is adversely affecting reception of Station KATY-FM over a substantial portion of the area within KATY-FM’s 60-dBμ signal contour. The analysis is partly based on measurements of the KRTH Upper Digital Sideband made in accordance with FCC rules.

All Pro is also supplying the FCC with a Compact Disc containing recordings of actual interference experienced by a factory-equipped car radio. The recordings were made while the vehicle was driven along several heavily travelled Southern California roads within station KATY-FM’s 60-dBμ contour.

To ensure that Station KATY-FM receives the protection to which it is entitled under the Communications Act, All Pro’s Petition urges the FCC staff to order CBS Radio East, Inc., the licensee of Station KRTH:
• to reduce KRTH’s Digital signal power; and
• to cooperate with All Pro so that the parties can promptly resolve the problem.

All Pro has previously and unsuccessfully tried to get CBS to address the matter. In light of CBS’s inaction, All Pro concluded that it had no choice but to seek redress at the FCC. Allison Mandara, CBS Radio spokesperson, tells RBR-TVBR that they are reviewing the Petition filed by All Pro Radio and “we will respond as necessary with the FCC.”

RBR-TVBR observation: Elliott Klein, consulting engineer for KATY, tells RBR-TVBR this is not one of the digital power hikes CBS Radio has instituted at some of its FMs so far. He says this has been going on since June of 2007. This is definitely a good example of the problem that will be occurring nationwide when more and more stations up their HD power – let the games begin!

Klein tells us all they are trying to do is get CBS Radio to come to the table to craft a solution. KRTH is a grandfathered superpower FM on top of Mt. Wilson, with an an analog ERP of 51kW, which is more than the equivalent altitude maximum Class C. The FCC allocated the initial IBOC power based on the grandfathered analog power. Klein says KRTH is interfereing with over 70% of the population residing inside KATY’s 60dBu protected contour. He is asking they also install a directional IBOC FM antenna to solve the problem.