Spanish Broadcasting System reggaeton/hip-hop KXOL Los Angeles is in the process of relocating to a new tower site.


NASHVILLE -- Spanish Broadcasting System reggaeton/hip-hop KXOL Los Angeles is in the process of relocating to a new tower site.

The move is in response a lawsuit filed by Emmis Communications, from whom SBS was leasing tower space for KXOL, alleging that KXOL's new format on Latino 96.3 was competing with Emmis' rhythmic top 40 KPWR (Power 106) -- a violation of their lease agreement. As part of the suit, Emmis asked the court to order SBS to vacate the tower site by July 15. If all proceeds as planned, KXOL could be off Emmis' tower by that time.

Once construction is complete and Federal Communications Commission approval is granted, KXOL will move to a new tower site in Verdugo Hills, Calif., which is owned by Infinity. Latino 96.3 will gain about 700 feet in elevation at the new site.

At issue is the Emmis/SBS lease provision which requires SBS to provide 45 days' prior notice of any format change in order to give Emmis the opportunity to object -- and terminate the lease -- if the new format conflicts with any Emmis station formats. SBS contends that the move from one Spanish format to another was allowed under the terms of the lease.

Soon after the suit was filed, SBS sent a letter to the FCC complaining that Emmis was TK.

On Emmis' Q1 conference call on June 28, chairman/CEO Jeff Smulyan admitted that the reggaeton format has chipped away at part of Power 106's listenership, especially "assimilated Hispanics."

Additional reporting by Tony Sanders in Washington, D.C.