|City of license||Campo, California|
|Broadcast area||Campo, California/San Diego, California|
|Slogan||"The Positive Alternative"|
|First air date||1981 (in Imperial Valley) 3/9/2010 (in the San Diego market)|
|ERP||25,000 watts (main)
700 watts (booster)
|HAAT||31 meters (main)|
|Owner||CCR-Brawley IV, LLC (sale pending to Educational Media Foundation)|
KSIQ (96.1 FM, "Air 1") is a move-in FM radio station from Brawley to the San Diego, California area. The station has a main transmitter site near Lake Morena (just west of Campo, California), with a booster transmitter on Mount San Miguel. It airs a Christian pop/rock format, carrying the Air 1 network.
In early 1981 it was called "SI-96" (pronounced "SEE-96"), using the middle letters of its call sign. "SI" stood for the Spanish word meaning "yes." This was meant to attract the large Hispanic audience and to have them interpret the name as "Yes-96."
In 1983, this changed to the simpler name "Q-96". This name caught on much better. KSIQ became a popular FM station in multiple markets including Imperial Valley, California, Yuma, Arizona, and internationally in Mexicali. Before the move it was the highest rated station in the Imperial Valley. The station played a Contemporary Hit Radio format that was unique to the county at that time, as most stations in the area played country or Mexican music.
In early 2010 KSIQ, seeking a larger market, announced that it was moving to San Diego. The only on-air talents who moved with the station were morning DJ Tony Driskill and afternoon DJ Stacy Lynn. KSIQ began broadcasting to the San Diego area from its new main transmitter and booster on March 17, 2010.
After a brief stint on KSIQ, Stacy Lynn became the afternoon host for KRLT in Lake Tahoe, California while doing mid-mornings at KHKR-FM in Helena, Montana and Tony Driskill became the general manager at KRLT while operating KSIQ from Lake Tahoe.
This is an aircheck of KSIQ from the year 2000 with various disc jockeys when the station was broadcasting in Brawley.
- Kurt Leptich (1982-1984)
- Tony Driskill (1984–1993)
- Dan Watson (1993–1996)
- Tony Driskill (1996–2003)
- Vincent "Toby" Salgado (2003–2008)
- Tony Driskill (2008–2010)
- Alejandra Torres(2010-2013)
- Kurt Leptich (1981–1984)
- Stodelle Broadcasting (1984–1999)
- Commonwealth Communications, LLC (1999–2003)
- Cherry Creek Radio, LLC (2003–present)
The main transmitter is located east of Lake Morena, just west of Campo. The booster station is located atop Mount San Miguel along with several other transmitters, including those of television stations KUSI and KNSD.
The main transmitter has 25,000 watts ERP, down from 50,000 ERP watts at its Brawley site, and the booster is licensed for 700 watts ERP. Aside from Campo, the station primarily serves San Diego south of Interstate 8 and Northern Baja California.
Booster site problems
The booster site went through a long period of non-operation and problems from late October 2010 through July 2011. On early morning October 22, 2010 the booster transmitter went silent, transmitting a dead carrier. Cheery Creek Radio, the owners of KSIQ, applied to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for a Silent STA: A "special temporary authority" to retain their license despite not being on the air. The application stated that the T1 link to the booster transmitter failed, that troubleshooting was underway, and that they intended to return to the air as soon as possible.
On Tuesday, November 16, 2010, KSIQ was heard in San Diego again. But on January 24, 2011 the San Diego Radio blog reported that KSIQ's relay on Mount San Miguel was not operating, and the signal from the main transmitter in Campo was not reaching San Diego.
On March 31, 2011, the station's management requested a Special Temporary Authority (STA) to operate the booster transmitter with temporary facilities from an alternate site. The site proposed was just west of Sweetwater Reservoir, about four miles west of the Mount San Miguel location. The STA request also included a significant increase in transmitter power for the booster, from 700 watts ERP to 5000 watts ERP, but also noted that the new site would be at just 137 meters above sea level (compared to 785 meters for the booster site on Mount San Miguel) and that the new antenna's height would be nine meters below the average terrain. This request was granted on April 5.
The station intended to file an application for permanent use of the new site if it proved successful. However, the new site and increased power did not improve reception. The old booster site on Mount San Miguel resumed operation in July 2011 with 700 watts ERP.
On May 24, 2012, KSIQ's booster went off the air yet again. This was simultaneous with KPBS-FM's report that their transmitter, also on San Miguel, had lost power, apparently due to a brush fire that affected the incoming lines. However KPBS's signal was restored the next day, while KSIQ's booster was not back on the air until July 11, 2012, almost two months later.
Format change and sale
On November 1, 2013, it was announced that Cherry Creek Radio intended to sell KSIQ to the Educational Media Foundation, operator of the K-LOVE and Air 1 radio networks. On November 6, at 6:00 pm, after approximately fifteen minutes of silence, KSIQ began airing programming from Air 1.
- Furguson, Chris (2010-01-17). "Q96 Radio Moves To San Diego This Weekend". Tribune Weekly Chronicle. Retrieved 2011-12-16.
- Sutton, Kaylene (2010-06-17). "While metro radio thrives, rural radio suffers in the Imperial Valley". Borderzine: Journalism Across Fronteras. Retrieved 2012-07-25.
- Carmichael, Chris (2010-10-25). "Media Bytes for Monday, October 25, 2010". Retrieved 2010-10-25. "KSIQ-FM at 96.1 is off the air, except the booster station on Mount San Miguel remains on. Just the carrier is broadcasting in stereo. The situation has happened since the last rain storm [...]. It is believed the main transmitter in Campo is off the air."
- "All Access Music Group". 2010-10-29. Retrieved 2010-10-29. "The licensee says that the booster, which serves the heart of the population core in SAN DIEGO, went silent when the T1 link failed on OCTOBER 22nd, and that the station's personnel "are troubleshooting to determine the cause of this problem and to restore KSIQ-FM1's service as soon as possible.""
- Carmichael, Chris (2010-11-17). "Media Bytes for Wednesday, November 17, 2010". Retrieved 2010-11-18. "KSIQ-FM is back on the air. It is not known if the station is at full strength; but it was heard in Poway, Mira Mesa, and points east on I-8 freeway."
- Carmichael, Chris (2011-01-24). "Media Bytes for Monday, january 24, 2011". Retrieved 2011-01-29.
- Federal Communications Commission (2011-04-05). "FCC license database, FM Query Results for KSIQ". Retrieved 2011-05-07.
- Federal Communications Commission (2011-04-05). "Letter to counsel for CCR-Brawley IV, LLC, KSQIQ-FM1(FB)". Retrieved 2011-05-07.
- "KSIQ booster silent". Radio-Info.com Discussion Boards. Radio-Info.com. 2012-07-12. Retrieved 2012-07-19.
- "EMF BUYS IN SAN DIEGO & SWAPS IN COLORADO". RadioInsight. RadioBB Networks. 2013-11-01. Retrieved 2013-11-06.
- Cherry Creek Radio
- Query the FCC's FM station database for KSIQ
- Radio-Locator information on KSIQ
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for KSIQ