Stories » LA radio titan Saul Levine fires up HD-AM with 1260K-Surf / Radio & Television Business Report

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LA radio titan Saul Levine fires up HD-AM with 1260K-Surf / Radio & Television Business Report

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With swift approval, the FCC this week gave the green light to the voluntary transition to all-digital HD Radio transmissions for AM radio stations across the U.S. This may not lead many broadcasters to fully abandon their analog broadcasts, but it has prompted one radio station owner to move forward with a hybrid signal - a move that brings kHz-based HD Radio to greater Los Angeles.

On Thursday afternoon, Mt. Wilson FM Broadcasters' Oldies KSUR-AM 1260, licensed to Beverly Hills, fired up its digital hybrid signals full-time, after testing was conducted by the licensee owned by 93-year-old Saul Levine. KSUR is one of the few all-music AMs remaining in the U.S. today, and Levine tells RBR+TVBR, "When there is sufficient penetration of the L.A. market with HD capable radios KSUR will convert to all-digital, dropping the hybrid digital/analog combination."

As of today, Mt. Wilson finds that KSUR's transmissions using HD Radio are "significantly improved," with noise reduction and "a good stereo transmission."

Mt. Wilson's HD receiver monitor is a 2018 BMW, with OEM radio and communications services.

"The overall result is greatly superior to analog-only AM radio and should generate a large AM audience," he says.

While KSUR is known for its 1960s and 1970s hit records, nighttime hours starting November 13 will see the station take on the Classical programming found on KKGO-FM 105.1 HD4. It's tied to the introduction of an all-digital platform for "KMozart."

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