Free Radio San Diego

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Free Radio San Diego
Broadcast areaSan Diego, California
Frequency96.9 (MHz)
BrandingFree Radio San Diego
FormatFree Form
First air date
October 13, 2002
Technical information
ERP1,000 watts[citation needed]

Free Radio San Diego (96.9 FM) was an unlicensed radio station located in San Diego, California. The founders claim that its creation was a reaction to Federal Communications Commission restrictions on new radio licenses.[citation needed] They provided a commercial-free unlicensed broadcast beginning on October 13, 2002 — with occasional interruptions due to FCC raids and technical issues. The open-format music selection was chosen by DJ preference but was weighted towards punk rock. Also featured were syndicated news programs such as Democracy Now! and Free Speech Radio News.

FCC enforcement actions[edit]

On July 21, 2005, U.S. Marshals and the Federal Communications Commission carried out a raid against Free Radio San Diego, effectively seizing all of their broadcast equipment.[1][2][3] The station resumed broadcasting three months later from a new location.[4]

The station did not broadcast over-the-air from January to October 2007, as a result of a $10,000 Notice Of Apparent Liability (NAL) For Forfeiture,[5] which was later reduced to $750.[6] However, it continued to broadcast online, via Internet.[citation needed]

As of January 2021, Christian radio station KRTM, based in Murrieta, California, is using the 96.9 frequency for K245AI, a licensed broadcast translator of their main station. This translator on the same frequency is now used for Latin pop station KLQV, owned by Univision Communications.[7]


  1. ^ "Raided by the FCC". Archived from the original on 2007-07-06. Retrieved 2007-10-20.
  2. ^ Joe Hughes and Frank Green (2005-07-22). "Agents raid, shut down unlicensed Free Radio". San Diego Union Tribune. Union-Tribune Publishing Co. Archived from the original on August 29, 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-07.
  3. ^ Philipp, Sven (2005-07-22). "FCC Shuts Down 'Notorious' San Diego Pirate". All Business. Archived from the original on 2012-02-17. Retrieved 2008-09-08.
  4. ^ " November 2005 Broadcast Resumed". Archived from the original on 2011-07-27. Retrieved 2007-10-20.
  5. ^ FCC NAL 200732940002 12/28/2006
  6. ^ FCC NAL 200732940002 6/13/2007
  7. ^ "K245AI-FM 96.9 MHz". Radio Locator. Retrieved 10 December 2019.