Our old friend Lisa let it be known what she was listening to instead of the Trump Show yesterday:
This banged into my forehead, since once upon a time I had memorized the dial position of just about every commercial classical-music station in the nation, and KDFC, so far as I remembered, was at 102.1. (They’d had a crosstown rival, KKHI, at 95.7, but they died about 20 years ago.)
So what happened here? It didn’t take long to find the truth of the matter:
The KDFC-FM call sign and programming were previously assigned to 102.1 FM, from its inception in 1948 until January 2011, when the format and intellectual property moved to the former KUSF. The University of Southern California also acquired the 89.9 FM frequency in Angwin, California and its two translator signals in Eureka and Lakeport. The KDFC call sign was officially assigned to the Angwin station.
But that’s 89.9. This KDFC must therefore be — another translator! And so it is.
Historically, 104.9 has been the location of a lot of small-town signals that didn’t compete with the Big Boys; originally FM Class A was limited to 3,000 watts ERP at 100 meters, and only Class A stations were assigned to 104.9. This is no longer the case, and current Class A stations are allowed 6,000 watts. But KDFC isn’t the only classical station that got shunted off to 104.9; WCLV in Cleveland, formerly on a 30-kw stick at 95.5, not only moved down the dial but out of town, into the city of Lorain to the northwest. I remember dialing in from south of Cleveland and making a turn eastward to see if the new and unimproved signal could reach Severance Hall, on Cleveland’s east side. (Answer: barely, at least with the equipment I had.)