Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Denver Radio: Hackers Knock KBUD Off-Air

Denver’s first marijuana-themed radio station is fighting to stay on the airwaves, but not because of its controversial content.

Gary Ganja
CBS4 Denver reports computer hackers were able to knock KBUD 1550 AM / K231BQ Smokin’ 94.1 FM off the air Monday night. Station owner Marc Paskin, whose alter ego is drive time DJ Gary Ganja, says the hackers basically wiped out the radio station.

“They came in and hacked our computer. They took out all our music, imaging promos and comedy segments,” he said.

Paskin says the station lost two or three months of work developing content. Smokin’ 94.1 has only been on the air since June. By Tuesday afternoon the station was up and running again.

The hacking incident follows a complaint filed with the Federal Communications Commission from a competing radio station about radio tower signal strength. The complaint asks the FCC to take Smokin’ 94.1 off the air until a dispute over territory can be settled.

Meanwhile, Smokin’ 94.1 FM may have explaining to do.  They may have to explain alleged interference to iHM's RhythmicTop40 95.7 KPTT 95.7 FM The Party.

KBUD, owned by Marco Broadcasting Corp. is heard via translator K231BQ at 94.1, has applied to the FCC to move the translator. MBC principal Marc Paskin, a San Diego millionaire real estate developer.

iHM, which owns eight Denver stations, including a classic rocker that directly competes with KBUD, has asked the FCC to force MBC to prove its translator is operating at its licensed specs before it greenlights the change.  Inside Radio reports a filing with the FCC asks the agency to order MBC to shut down the translator or reduce its power from 250 watts to 12 watts. Though K231BQ is authorized to broadcast at 250 watts, iHeart claims the modified antenna system MBC installed for the translator would allow it to operate at just 12 watts to stay within its authorized signal contour.

K231BQ  94.1 FM (250 watts) Red=Local Coverage Area
The company claims “Smokin’ 94.1” interferes with its K231AA translator, which rebroadcasts KPTT.   Paskin, who hosts afternoons on the station as Gary Ganja, says the complaint is a signal of his station’s success.

“They’re trying to kill my momentum,” he tells the “Denver Post.”

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