The markets that dot the coast of California between San Francisco and Los Angeles (or, more specifically, between Monterey and Ventura) are an interesting bunch. The ruggedness of the coast means none of the cities and towns that dot the landscape go very far inland. It also means that signals don’t propagate in neat circles. And the sparseness of that population means there’s a lot of simulcasting going on to bring programming to areas that might not otherwise be able to sustain it on its own.
So this week, we have a batch of AM stations from Santa Barbara, some of which can be heard extremely clearly more than 150 miles down the coast in San Diego (so long as you stay near the water) – and a batch of noncommercial FMs, too, showing the on-air overlap between the San Luis Obispo market, 90 miles or so up the coast, and Santa Barbara.
(And just to add to the fun, the classical service that stretches all along the coast actually comes from Los Angeles, 90 miles or so southeast of Santa Barbara, where KUSC 91.5 is the parent to satellite signals as far afield as Morro Bay, near SLO, and Palm Springs. More on its upcoming changes in next week’s Toppy installment!)
You can see where some of these signals originate at Tower Site of the Week, in the first of three Santa Barbara installments. Check it out!