Aye, but a Good Run It Was

Any chances that San Diego's pirate radio station will sign on again appear to have been snuffed.

During its years of operation (2001--2006), Free Radio San Diego used the 96.9 FM frequency to broadcast its free-form music-and-talk format. In June, the Federal Communications Commission approved construction of a 25,000-watt transmitter on Palomar Mountain that will use the 96.9 frequency. The tower will broadcast KRTM's religious programming, which originates from Calvary Chapel Bible College in Temecula.

A spokeswoman for KRTM said the tower should be operational by the end of December and that the signal will reach most of San Diego County. KRTM splits its broadcast day up with religious talk, sermons, and music by Christian artists such as Jars of Clay.

Though a couple of years ago Congressman Bob Filner said Free Radio San Diego should be allowed to broadcast, the FCC fined a homeowner $10,000 last December for allowing the outlaw station to operate from his house on 33rd Street. (The fine was later reduced to $750.)

Jars of Clay to bump off Pirates

In March, Free Radio began using the 96.9 frequency again, this time broadcasting from a residence on Cuyamaca Avenue in Chula Vista. The FCC shut it down within the month. Sources say it has been off the air ever since.

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