After 25 years in Brawley, KSIQ FM, or Q96, is slated to leave the Imperial Valley for Santee this weekend, barring any changes. The move is scheduled to begin around January 9.
Due to the mountain region between Imperial and San Diego Counties, KSIQ’s signal will not reach far into Imperial County.
Expected to move to the area around Campo, California, the main tower’s signal will not reach Imperial County. A booster signal to be placed on Mt. San Miguel, was requested and approved through the FCC, which will help the station reach the El Cajon and Downtown San Diego areas.
The move also includes a reduction in power of the main tower from 50,000 watts to 25,000.
The move was requested by station owners Cheery Creek Radio Corp in 2005 in an attempt to increase potential revenue. Currently, the station is valued at $5 million but a move to San Diego could boost that to around $25 to $40 million in time.
The move was approved in by the FCC 2008, with a construction permit and change of license.
The local station, which topped Imperial Valley ratings for many years, played a Top 40 format that was unique to the county as most played country and Mexican music.
Currently the only on-air talents moving with the station are morning DJ Tony Driskill, who is also general manager of the station, and afternoon DJ Stacy Lynn.
The AM station, KROP 1300, will stay and continue to broadcast in Brawley with a mostly country music format.
Local reaction has been mixed, as many young listeners are looking towards stations from Riverside County for their music while older listeners have already changed station preferences.
Other radio stations are looking forward to a piece of Q96’s advertising revenue. KSIQ’ ratings were the highest of any radio station in the Imperial Valley, which lured businesses to advertise with them.