Disenfranchisement of the Rabbit-Eared

The FCC ruled last week that KSDS/"Jazz 88" can increase its signal from 3,000 to 22,000 watts of power. KSDS general manager Mark DeBoskey says that by March his straight-ahead jazz station will be heard in buildings and in cars that currently lose the signal in certain areas.

"It is a horrible mistake," says Richard Jones, general manager of XETV/Channel 6. "It will have a severe impact on our signal.... I really don't think our viewers want to hear jazz audio in the background." Channel 6 broadcasts to rabbit-eared televisions on 87.7 FM; KSDS uses 88.1.

"We don't know that any interference will be caused," says DeBoskey.

Jones says Channel 6 will continue the fight that's lasted years. "I can't tell you everything," he says. "There are a lot of legal proceedings going on."

KSDS, owned by the San Diego Community College District, has about 35 DJs who program music for their mainstream jazz, Dixieland, blues, and spoken-word shows.

"They were never supposed to go above 800 watts," says Channel 6's Jones. "They are a junior college radio station that is supposed to teach students how to use radio."

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