This is the story of a little station with big dreams.
OK, but seriously. This station has been a small one out in no man's land west of Tooele for the last 12 years. Back in September they were approved to move to the site east of Nelson Peak. From what Ken said previously I think that's Mount Vision. Anyway, assuming it gets built it will theoretically cover from well past Ogden to well past Provo. Since it's on RF Ch 3 (low band VHF) the actual coverage area might differ.
Can anyone out west of Tooele tell us what they currently see on Channel 3?
If they are licensed to Wendover, why do they want to move to the east side of the oquirrs? If it's to squeeze in a vhf channel in the Salt Lake Valley, aren't there a couple of channels on Farnsworth that are hanging (KSVN's spare channel, and I think there are a couple more on 9 and 12)?
It used to be licensed to Wendover (though the transmitter was actually a bit east of there) but the COL changed to Grantsville last summer. Wouldn't you rather be covering market 28 than serving almost nobody out in the middle of nowhere?
KSVN's other channel was supposed to be on RF 9 as K09ZY (formerly K39JS-D), but that was never built and expired. The only VHF stations along the Wasatch Front besides K03JD are KCBU RF 11 down near Payson and KUTA-LD on RF 13 up in Riverdale. There are a few low power stations out near Park City too. There's plenty of room on the VHF dial, though how well those frequencies will work in practice in a nearly totally UHF market remains to be seen.
Looking at the series of relocations that K03JD has made over the past 3 years the intent is pretty clear. That is, moving from way out in the west desert to serving the entire Salt Lake market. This isn't a unique case. Transmitter site hopping has been going on for a very long time; more than just this owner and DTV America. Apparently the FCC is trying to get more serious about it, but even with those actions the process of hopping really isn't hampered all that much. It seems like making a minimal effort at each transmitter site should work. According to whichever TV listing service TitanTV uses, K03JD is airing BizTV. Whether that's currently accurate I don't know, but throwing something they can air for free on the signal and keeping it there for a while would seem to be helpful in achieving their goal.
I do wonder whether the FCC is ever going to catch on the the rampant useless squatting of signals that KUTB and KSUD are doing. Those stations haven't been truly on the air for years and they've lied to the Commission about it, but that's another matter.
I was told that no one has seen a signal from K03JD ever. They are doing construction on Mt. Vision, though. Looks like they are being sold to Bridgenews/Newsnet. I have to wonder how well a low-power low-band VHF will be received off the mountain up there, with all that FM nearby, and everyone using "HDTV" antennas. Do they expect cable carriage?
I'm not surprised that nobody has seen the signal. That would be consistent with the site hopping. Put the station on the air long enough to establish that it's been built and is running, then shut it down.
Where did you hear they're selling to Bridge News? That doesn't make any sense. Bridge already has KSVN-CA 25 that covers pretty much the same area. (At least it does when they can keep the signal on the air, but that problem goes back many years before they bought it.)
The "HDTV" antennas that I'm familiar with are all rated for both the VHF and UHF bands. We'll have to see how well that works in the real world.
Whether they expect cable carriage I don't know, but I don't think they qualify for must carry on the system along the Wasatch Front. The rules are in 47 CFR 76.55.
KSVN had transmitter problems for years. Which channel did they sell off recently? They, somehow, wound up with two channels on Farnsworth after the DTV changeover, but could never keep more than one working at a time. They gave one up in the repack, but I think they turned in the license on the other. (Wish it was possible to get to the FCC files with this phone. It used to be so easy to check things out, before they changed things.) As for the RF channels, KBYU-FM is on Mt. Vision, where they want to put the K03JD transmitter. That's putting an LP digital right next to the strongest FM analog that's up there. The other issue is, most "Digital" TV antennas are optimized for UHF. They perform very differently on UHF than VHF high-band, and very strangely on low-band. Amplified antennas are not well recommended in a place like Salt Lake
KSVN-CD 25 was the station that was sold and is now NewsNet. The analog KSVN-CA was located at the Riverdale tower near Ogden. When they got a digital companion channel during the digital conversion they specified the transmitter site as Farnsworth Peak, so digitally it's always been there. The original analog signal was surrendered in 2011.
Their previous translator started out as K66FN from the site north of Ensign Peak. It moved to Farnsworth about 2004. It did a digital flash cut to channel 39 and became K39JS-D in 2010. They were the odd man out when the repack happened and were granted a construction permit to move to RF Ch 9 as K09ZY, but that never made it on the air and expired back in 2021.
K66FN was the channel that Willie Marshall won from the FCC lottery originally. He sold it to Azteca when he moved away. I remember when he first turned it on, operating from some shack out by Kennecott. His test source was an Atari video game, with the call sign and Willie's phone number, and "Prepare to Invade" across the bottom of the screen. Still never heard exactly why the FCC let Azteca keep two channels after moving to Farnsworth. They were two sections of the same transmitter, feeding the same antenna, and seemed to be a burden more than a help. Rarely had both channels up, usually with 39 running with only one or two amplifiers. 25 usually was barely working, and they had an air leak in the transmission line for years. I tried to convince Alex to have the whole thing rebuilt, and run on 25, with the two transmitters as a backup to each other. I think the Riverdale station was kept as the City of License for 39, and they kept a studio at Ogden and another in SLC. They made a few changes before Alex died, and got a couple of digital subchannels going. Later, his son decided not to pursue the the channel 9 thing.
As I'm sure you know, the FCC doesn't get involved with programming matters other than making sure the minimum basic requirements are met. There are, of course, multiple entities that have more than one station up at/near Farnsworth. 2 & 14, 4 & 30, 7 & 9, 13 & 16. Those all have separate programming on each station, but then there's the curious case of 20, 10 & 50. That one drives me nuts but it isn't against any rules I know of.
66/39 was never at Riverdale and has always had a COL of Salt Lake.