Not many people know that Tracy has its own radio station … but it does!
Unfortunately, you won’t find it on the air right now. For the past several years, the residents of Tracy have been working diligently to obtain a broadcast signal that will serve southern San Joaquin County, but that hasn’t been easy.
Despite our best efforts, we have repeatedly come up short in our quest for a radio station in our community, which would also serve as the cornerstone for a media training center for young people in our area.
We did find one station, licensed to Tracy but not currently broadcasting, for which we thought we made a substantial bid … but again, we came up short.
Our quest for a radio station led to a perplexing question:
Why is Tracy’s radio station not on the air?
Radio stations are expensive. They are expensive to build. They are expensive to operate, and they are expensive to maintain. A radio station has a lot of moving parts – delicate and expensive moving parts. And the required license for a radio station is difficult to acquire.
About ten years ago, an FM frequency became available in Tracy — not a great dial location (89.5 FM), and the station would broadcast with low power (100 watts), just enough to squeeze its signal over the communities of Tracy and Mountain House. But the signal would be strong enough to be heard by the nearly 100,000 residents of our growing towns.
After a tough fight, the good people of the Peace & Justice Network of San Joaquin County (PJN) in Stockton were awarded the license for the station, which was set to go on the air in 2013 as KYNJ-FM.
On April 30, 2013, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in Washington DC issued a license to the Peace & Justice Network for the station to begin broadcasting from a transmitter location in the hills above Tracy, off of Corral Hollow Road.
However, on that very same day, PJN filed an application with the FCC for what is known as a Special Temporary Authorization (STA). Why did they need to apply for an STA? So they could legally keep KYNJ off the air.
That’s right: the Peace & Justice Network won the right to build and operate a radio station to serve Tracy. And on the same day they received approval to put KYNJ on the air, they immediately filed to keep the station off the air.