Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Dance Radio to Return to Los Angeles' Airwaves

The company behind New York's dance radio station Pulse 87 is prepping to launch a similar outlet here in Los Angeles.

Mega Media Group announced on Monday that it plans to lease frequencies from Venture Technologies in both L.A. and Chicago to turn Pulse 87 into a national radio brand.

That could be good news for dance fans, who have gone without a radio station in L.A. since "103.1 KDL" flipped to "Indie 103.1" at the end of 2003. (Past L.A. dance stations also include "Groove Radio 103.1," "B100.3" and the original incarnation of "Power 106.")

Here's the odd part of what Venture Technologies does: "Pulse 87" isn't officially a radio station -- and its station in L.A. won't be, either. Nope, Venture actually owns low-power TV stations that broadcast on Channel 6. The audio of Channel 6 broadcasts on the 87.75 FM frequency -- which happens to be available on most car radios.

That's why, up until a few years ago, L.A. motorists were able to listen to the audio of San Diego Fox affiliate XETV, Channel 6, on their car radios.

But then KSFV-CA ("Class A") Channel 6 launched in the San Fernando Valley in 2001, and that's what radio listeners tuning into 87.7 have heard since then. Venture currently leases the TV station to Hombre Nuevo, which utilizes the signal as a radio station, broadcasting Spanish-language Catholic religious programming (branded as "Guadalupe Radio").

The FCC allows such TV station-posing-as-radio station setups, as long as the stations still broadcast some sort of visuals along with audio. Arbitron won't recognize them as traditional radio stations -- but Mega Media has been ordering special ratings from Arbitron in order to have something to show advertisers.

The new deal with Mega Media, expected to be signed by the end of the month, means the Spanish religious programming will be replaced by dance music by June 1:

Commenting on the announcement, Alex Shvarts, CEO of Mega Media Group, stated, "Los Angeles and Chicago would be ideal for the expansion of Pulse 87 and make us a national radio brand covering the 3 top billing markets which generate in excess of $1.8 billion dollars of advertising revenue a year."

Other low-power Channel 6 TV stations that operate as radio stations include Kauai's 87.7 Coast FM and Anchorage's KOAN.

KSFV-CA transmits from Mt. Harvard in San Gabriel.

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