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Thursday, March 8, 2018

Letters From Readers on XLNC1

By Joe Nelson

Thanks to reader Dave Siegler for his contribution regarding XLNC1. (Also- one more after Dave's letter from Paul Williams)

Hi Joe,

Thanks for your informative and interesting website.

With XLNC1 Radio at 104.9 FM dropping classical music,

for the first time in over 50 years, most San Diego County classical music

lovers do not have a terrestrial classical music radio station except for 2 hours per

week on Sunday nights when KPBS FM broadcasts the San Diego Symphony concerts

from 8-10 PM. Of course many listeners have multiple choices of classical music from

the Internet, (both radio stations in other cities and Music Services like Pandora). In San Diego,

people who buy an HD receiver can listen to KPBS HD-2 which provides a national

24/7 Classical Music Service with good announcers and a clear signal, at least from my

office near Old Town, but little connection to San Diego except a few pre-recorded local

announcements. You can buy a decent small radio receiver with HD-1, HD-2,

and HD-3 for under $50. Some of these HD receivers are far more expensive.

Brief History of San Diego Classical Music Radio

For 40 years from 1956-1996 KVOD FM at 94.1 had a very strong signal where they broadcast

classical music all day and night. During some of these years, KVOD also played some jazz music.

Beginning around early 1997, KVOD stopped playing classical music, changed their

call letters (today KMYI I think), and have provided various rock formats since then.

Starting in 1997 a series of smaller area stations started playing classical music, notably the

new KFSD with a much weaker signal from Escondido at 92.1 and XBACH from

Tijuana at 540 AM. After 2 or 3 years, these stations dropped classical music.

While the weak FM signal and the AM signal were not as pleasant as the

former strong classical music signal at 94.1 FM, at least most interested San Diegans could pick

up classical music on a regular home or car radio.

In 1998 XLNC1 started playing classical music, initially on the internet.

I think in the year 2000 XLNC1 started simulcasting this internet music with a strong

signal at 90.7. In 2008 XLNC, due to interference with a Los Angeles station

at the same 90.7 frequency, XLNC was forced to move its signal from 90.7 to 104.9

a signal from Rosarito, Mexico. The signal tended to be better in

the southern half of San Diego County, but reached much of the county with

the right receiver and antenna.

Due to financial losses, XLNC1 is now renting the frequency/station at 104.9

to a Mexican company playing a mixture of pop Mexican and American

music and some talk. Outside of the internet, San Diego classical music

supporters now have 2 radio choices: KUSC from Los Angeles at 91.5 FM reaches some radios in

the San Diego region, especially North County. The other option is to

purchase an HD radio receiver and listen to KPBS HD-2 All Classical Music. I don’t know if the
HD-2 Channel reaches all of San Diego County.

Many major cities have recently lost or will soon lose their primary classical music stations

including Miami, Houston, Salt Lake, Atlanta, and now San Diego.

Here’s hoping another terrestrial radio station brings back Classical Music to San Diego.


Dave Siegler


From Paul Williams:

Good Morning to you, Joe, Regarding XLNC1, what happened was they had to permanently discontinue broadcasting on the air at 104.9FM, because they couldn't financially afford to stay on the air. As a listener-supported station, they depended on donations and funds and sponsorships to keep it afloat, but from what I had first read, those donations and funds weren't enough to keep it going, so last week, they had to pull the plug on their FM broadcasts. Their last day on the air was supposed to have been last Thursday, the 1st, but after a brief, 2-day extension, they went off the air for good on Saturday. They are still, however, streaming their music online at their website,, plus they also have an app that you can download to your mobile phone, Android, or IPhone. Well, Joe, that is the straight skinny for you on XLNC1, as best as I can give it to you anyway. Thanks so much for letting me share this with you. Sincerely, PAUL WILLIAMS

Thanks Dave and Paul!



Chris Durso said...

It was KFSD-FM on 94.1 that broadcast classical music from its transmitter site on Mt. Soledad. The signal was the strongest in the San Diego market with a 19kW transmitter into a 10-bay antenna. The studios were located downtown in an old house at 6th and Cedar.

KFSD also did live broadcasts of the San Diego Symphony and San Diego Pops. The station was part of a group owned by Hal Rosenberg which included an AM property in LA (KWKW) and an FM in Las Vegas (KOMP). Hal passed away in 2000.

Chris Durso
Former Chief Engineer KFSD-FM

Paul Williams said...

Yes, Chris! I do remember KFSD, that was when I first started listening to classical music. I sure do miss them!