"Maybe Mexican watts are different," said Diaz, laughing"
Victor Diaz, owner of XHLNC in Tijuana, quoted in the Los Angeles Times, August 25, 2000.
The XHLNC operation began in February of 2000. From the very first day of broadcasting, XHLNC has caused interference to KPFK in Los Angeles. It also violates the United States-Mexico Treaty of 1992 because it is located too close to KGB-FM in San Diego. The treaty makes clear the mileage separations between stations, and XHLNC was built at a location too close to the US border, and at an excessive height (over 400 feet higher than licensed). This would have been enough to violate the treaty, but the station also employs a highly directional antenna, which focuses the radio signal towards San Diego and Los Angeles, and amplifies the signal to well over 20 times the legal limit. Victor Diaz, who is the owner of XHLNC and other Tijuana based FM stations, is very fond of directional antennas and the revenue that the San Diego market provides for his radio empire. All of his stations employ directional antennas pointed at the United States, and the studios for all four stations are located in Chula Vista, on the US side of the border.
As of this writing (September, 2002), XHLNC continues to broadcast in violation of it's Mexican license, and in violation of the 1992 US-Mexico Treaty concerning radio and television broadcasting within 320 kilometers of the border area. It is unknown if the Mexican government knows about or cares about cross-border violations. We can only hope that diplomatic negotiations can resolve these gross violations of the treaty. There are clear photographs of the XHLNC antenna system here. It remains a mystery why such a humble 1000 watt station needs such a massive antenna system, and three inch diameter feedline. It seems that "Mexican Watts are different", as Victor Diaz says. Perhaps he forgot about the decimal point on the power statement in his license document.
In October of 2000, the studios of Califormula Inc. (which at the time included the operations of XHITZ (90.3 FM), XHLNC (90.7 FM), XHCR (99.3 FM) and XHLTN (104.5 FM) were visited by San Diego FCC field office officers. They found all four stations to be in violation of FCC Rules, which encompassed "Operating at variance with their old microwave license" (they had moved and did not file for the change), as well as forgetting to apply for a "permit to deliver programming to a foreign broadcaster". They were fined $10,000 for the first infraction (later reduced to $6000), but apparently never fined for the more serious infraction of cross-border program delivery.
They subsequently applied for and received a permit to deliver programming to XHITZ, XHCR and XHLTN, but no evidence can be found in the FCC database to prove that they applied for or received a permit to deliver programming for XHLNC.
A PDF copy of the notice of the grant of the application filed by Califormula for cross-border operation of XHITZ and XHCR (but not XHLNC)
A PDF copy of the notice of the acceptance for filing of the application filed by Califormula for cross-border operation of XHLTN. Even though the licensee is listed as "HBC", it is a Califormula operation, according to the Califormula Web site.
Subsequent to the FCC visit, Califormula entered into a programming arrangment with Clear Channel to provide transmitting facilities for Clear Channel to operate XHITZ and XHCR. XHLNC and XHLTN are being operated by Califormula. As of September, 2002, this is still true.
The following links take you to various letters between the United States and Mexico concerning the XHLNC operation. The originals are PDF files. You need a copy of Adobe Acrobat to view them.
November 6, 2000 Letter to Mexico from the FCC (english)
July 18, 2001 Letter to Mexico from the United States (english)
August 16, 2001 Letter to US from Mexico (original spanish)
March 2, 2001 Clear Channel Letter to the SCT, which attempts to absolve Victor Diaz from responsibility for violating the treaty
The notice of Violation and forfeiture, issued by the FCC for illegal operation of radio equipment at the Chula Vista Studio
The Memorandum Opinion and order to Califormula for illegal operation of radio equipment in Chula Vista
The original XHLNC License (original spanish)
A link to the LA Times article in summer of 2000
© 2002 Broadcast Engineering Services of Bonny Doon