XETV, analog channel 6 and digital channel 23, is a television station licensed to Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, serving as the CW Television Network affiliate for the San Diego, Californiaarea across the international border in the United States. XETV's studios and offices are located in the Kearny Mesa section of San Diego, and its transmitter is located on Mount San Antonio in Tijuana.

XETV Tentantive CW Logo.png
Tijuana, Baja California -San Diego, California
Branding San Diego 6 (general)

San Diego 6 News (news) SD6 (abbreviated)

Slogan Your Station for Balanced News
Channels Analog: 6 (VHF)Digital: 23 (UHF)

Virtual: 6 (PSIP)

Affiliations The CW
Owner Grupo Televisa

(through Bay City Television) (Radio Televisión, S.A. de C.V.)

First air date January 5, 1953
Call letters' meaning XE (Mexican ITU prefix)TeleVision
Former affiliations Independent (1953-1956 and 1973-1986)ABC (1956-1973)

Fox (1986-2008)

Transmitter power 402 kW
Height 215 m
Transmitter coordinates 32°30′7.9″N117°2′26.8″W
Website www.sandiego6.com

The station is owned by Mexican media giant Grupo Televisa, and its programming and sales rights are held by Bay City Television, a California corporation owned by Televisa.[1] XETV is also carried on DirecTV as a distant CW affiliate.


Early years

XETV came into existence because of a technical quirk affecting stations in San Diego and Los Angeles. Even after the Federal Communications Commission's Sixth Report and Order lifted a four-year-long freeze on awarding television construction permits in 1952, signing on a third television station in San Diego proved difficult. While San Diego and Los Angeles are not close enough that one city's stations can be seen clearly over the air in the other, the unique southern California geography results in tropospheric propagation. This phenomenon makes co-channel interference a big enough problem that the two cities must share the VHF band.

By 1952, San Diego (awarded channels 8 and 10) and Los Angeles (assigned channels 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, and 13) already had all but three VHF channels covered. Channel 3 initially had been deemed unusable as a signal because KEYT-TV in Santa Barbara would travel in a straight line across the Pacific Ocean (it ultimately would be allocated to Tijuana Once TV outlet XHTJB-TV). San Diego's first two television stations, KFMB-TV (channel 8) and KFSD-TV (channel 10, now KGTV), were among the last construction permits issued before the FCC freeze went into effect. The UHF band was not seen as a viable option. Television set makers were not required to include UHF tuners until 1964. Additionally, several portions of San Diego County are very mountainous, and UHF signals do not carry very well across rugged terrain.

Complicating matters, the Mexican authorities had allocated two VHF channels to neighboring Tijuana—channels 6 and 12. Since these were the last two VHF channels left in the area, the FCC did not accept any new construction permits from San Diego as a courtesy to Mexican authorities. One of Tijuana's frequencies, channel 6, had originally been assigned to San Diego before the freeze; it was reassigned to Mexico as a result of the Sixth Report and Order.[2]

Although San Diego was large enough to support three television stations, it soon became obvious that the only way to get a third VHF station on the air would be to use one of Tijuana's allocations. The Azcarraga family, owners of Telesistema Mexicano, forerunner of Televisa, quickly snapped up the license for channel 6, and signed on XETV for the first time on January 6, 1953. It is the San Diego area's second-oldest TV station, following KFMB-TV which signed on the air on May 16, 1949.

At its launch, XETV was an independent station, broadcasting programs in both English and Spanish from its studio facilities in Tijuana.[3][4]Channel 6 also established a business office in San Diego, which handled sales accounts from north of the border. Tijuana did not get its own all-Spanish station until 1960, when the Azcarragas signed on sister station XEWT-TV on channel 12.[5] Even though XETV is licensed to Tijuana and owned by Mexican interests, for all intents and purposes it has been a San Diego station from the beginning.

In 1956, XETV became an ABC affiliate. ABC was carried part-time by KFMB-TV and KFSD-TV at the time, but ABC immediately made XETV its exclusive San Diego affiliate. Around this time (if not earlier), the Spanish programs disappeared from the schedule, and XETV has broadcast almost exclusively in English since then. However, the FCC did not allow American networks to transmit their signals to stations located outside the United States. As a result, ABC programs were recorded (on film, kinescope, and later videotape) from a location north of the border and then physically transported to channel 6's facilities in Tijuana, a practice known in the television industry as "bicycling". While this arrangement legally circumvented the station's inability to acquire a direct network feed, it left XETV unable to carry live network programming, such as breaking news events and some sports coverage.

During the late 1950s, the station was also briefly affiliated with the NTA Film Network.[6]


In 1968, ABC renewed its permit to provide programming to XETV with the FCC. Bass Broadcasting, a Texas-based firm which owned UHF independent station KCST-TV (channel 39, now KNSD), contested it and began a lengthy battle to take San Diego's ABC affiliation from XETV. KCST claimed that it was inappropriate for an American television network to affiliate with a Mexican-licensed station when there was a viable American station available.[7] In 1972, the FCC, siding with KCST, revoked channel 6's permission to carry ABC programming. The wording of the FCC decision forced ABC to move its programming to KCST, effective July 1, 1973. Dissatisfied with being forced onto a UHF station, ABC stayed with KCST for only four years until moving to KGTV in 1977.

XETV once again became an independent station, with a standard program schedule comprising syndicated offerings, off-network programs, movies, and children's shows. Also, because Mexican broadcast regulations did not limit commercial time[citation needed] (as FCC regulations did at the time[citation needed]) every Sunday, the station, in a forerunner to future changes in the U.S., became, in effect, the first station in North America to carry an infomercial,[citation needed] which consisted of a one-hour advertisement of listings of local houses for sale. As FCC regulations at that time limited television stations to 18 minutes of commercials in an hour,[citation needed] such a program could not have been run on U.S. television at that time.[citation needed]

In 1976 XETV settled into a new business office on Ronson Road in the Kearny Mesa neighborhood of San Diego, while the station's broadcast operations remained in Tijuana. Channel 6's Tijuana-based production and technical operations eventually moved from Mexico to an expanded wing of this facility.[8]

As a Fox affiliate

In 1986 XETV became one of the very first stations outside of the original group of six former Metromedia stations (which had been purchased by Fox's parent company, News Corporation, earlier that year) to join the newly-launched Fox Broadcasting Company as a charter affiliate. Similar to its earlier arrangement with ABC, channel 6 had to receive pre-recorded Fox programs on tape, transported physically across the international border to the station's Tijuana broadcast facilities. When Fox acquired the broadcast rights to the NFL's National Football Conference in 1994, the FCC soon granted a waiver of the rules and allowed Fox to transmit a direct network feed to XETV.

In November 1995, then-UPN affiliate KUSI-TV tried unsuccessfully to wrestle the Fox affiliation away from XETV by filing an appeal, as cited in the United States Court of Appeals case Channel 51 of San Diego, Inc. vs. FCC and Fox Television Stations, Inc.79 F.3d 1187 The permit was granted to Fox on behalf of XETV, and the case was settled on March 26, 1996. In that case XETV ran Fox Kids or Fox Children programming on weekdays and Saturday mornings.[9] [10]

During the 1993-1997 television seasons, XETV also aired PTEN programming (most notably Babylon 5), although due to the Fox franchise and logistical reasons, these programs were shown on tape-delay (often on Saturday afternoons) along with other syndicated programs.

San Diego 6

In March 2008 Tribune Broadcasting announced that its San Diego station, CW affiliate KSWB-TV, would be switching to Fox in August 2008. Fox cited concerns with airing on a Mexican station, even though XETV had been with Fox since the network's launch and had broadcast almost entirely in English for over half a century. Station officials did not know about the affiliation change until the switch announcement was made public.[11]

The fate of both XETV and the CW affiliation for the San Diego market remained unclear until July 2, 2008, when channel 6 announced that it would be joining the CW.[12] On July 19, 2008, the station began dropping references to Fox, referring to itself as "San Diego 6, your new home for the CW". The San Diego 6 logo incorporates a miniature CW logo in its top left corner for news programming; otherwise setting it off to the right in proportionate size. Instead of being the standard green color, the CW logo is colored a bright blue in non-news advertising to match the station logo's blue, gold and white color scheme.

XETV, upon switching networks, replaced KSWB-TV on DirecTV as Standard Definition only "CW-W" in markets without a CW affiliate on the system.

Special broadcast authority

Because XETV is licensed to Tijuana, it is not covered under the FCC's must-carry rules. This means that local cable providers are not required to carry XETV, even if the TV station requests to be carried under this provision. However, the station is carried by Cox Cable, Time Warner Cable, and AT&T u-verse in San Diego and by Cablemas in Tijuana.[13]

XETV has broadcast almost entirely in English since 1956, if not earlier. The only exceptions are station identifications, the compulsory playing of El Himno Nacional Mexicano (the Mexican national anthem), technical disclaimers, and public service announcements.

XETV broadcasts 24 hours a day. However, for legal sign-on purposes and as required by Mexican regulations (specifically Article 41 of Mexico's Law on the National Arms, Flag, and Anthem), its broadcast day begins at 5:00 a.m. Pacific time Monday through Saturday and 6:00 a.m. on Sundays; this begins with the playing of both El Himno Nacional Mexicano and The Star Spangled Banner (the national anthem of the United States), followed by the customary operational information and disclaimer, read in both English and Spanish.[14]

Since the middle 1990s, XETV's production operations have been based in the United States. The station's production, news and sales operations are owned by Televisa subsidiary Bay City Television, while Televisa itself owns the master control and transmitter facility on Mount San Antonio in Tijuana. Local programming is fed from San Diego to Mount San Antonio by way of microwave link, and network and syndicated shows via satellite. There is currently no local programming on XETV which originates from Tijuana.[15]

Certain Spanish-language programming airs only on the station's analog signal to meet the station's Mexican license requirements. These include PSAs which air throughout the day, as well as special addresses from the President of Mexico. These programs do not air on XETV's cable or digital services.[16] During the analog era, preemptions for mandatory presidential addresses were often a source of frustration on the American side of the border. They still draw complaints from the few viewers who still watch the station in analog, as well as cable viewers whose systems pick up XETV's analog signal.[17]

Because of its San Diego broadcast area, XETV also voluntarily complies with the FCC's policies on public service and children's E/Iprogramming.[5][18]

Digital programming

Channel Video Aspect Programming
6.1 1080i 16:9 Main XETV programming / The CW

In the early-2000s, XETV began transmitting a digital signal on channel 23, becoming the first San Diego area station to go digital. It was also the first digital station in Mexico because of its Tijuana transmitter; no other Mexican TV station had yet begun digital operations at that time. It maps on digital tuners in both countries as virtual channel 6.1 through PSIP technology.

While the United States completed its transition to full-power digital television in 2009, Mexico is transitioning over several years in stages by population areas, from the largest to the smallest, and is expected to be completed by 2021.[19] The Tijuana metropolitan area is not required to go all-digital until 2016, so XETV did not have to discontinue analog broadcasting when American full-power stations did.

When the original American transition date of February 17, 2009 came near, XETV had expressed intentions to follow other San Diego-area stations in going digital-only. While the US deadline of February 17 had been extended to June 12, 2009 and in any case only applied to American-licensed stations, plans announced were to voluntarily make "San Diego 6" programming digital-only, with the former analog signal re-purposed as a repeater for Mexico City's XEQ-TV.

Claims on XETV's website that the station was indeed going to be digital-only were rescinded on February 17, 2009[20] as the station decided to delay cutting off its analog signal until after it secured approval from the Mexican government.[21] The station's management has now claimed that XETV has decided to maintain its analog signal to benefit Mexican viewers.[22]

Three major stations in San Diego, KFMB-TV, KGTV and KSWB-TV, went all-digital as originally scheduled.

News operation

XETV launched a news operation in 1999, as part of its Fox affiliation agreement to broadcast local news. It had previously had a newscast from sign-on in 1953 until 1967 (Lionel Van Deerlin, later a San Diego congressman, was a news director in XETV's early years). A 10 p.m. newscast was started in 1999, and later that year, a local morning news show followed. The 10 p.m. news was initially a half-hour show, but expanded to an hour in 2002. The 10 p.m. broadcast was dropped back to 33 minutes in 2009. The station continued its news broadcasts under its CW affiliation.

XETV is currently the only CW affiliate with a late evening newscast in the traditional late news timeslot (which on the California side of the market, is at 11 p.m. Pacific Time), which was added after the affiliation switch (though the 11 p.m. newscast, titled "11 @ 11", is only 11 minutes in length, delaying programming by 11 minutes), as well as one of the very few CW affiliates with a weekend morning newscast.

On March 9, 2009, XETV shut down its sports department, and sports anchors C.S. Keys and Andrea Nakano and sports producer Mike Lamar were fired by the station's then vice president and general manager Richard Doutre Jones. Doutre Jones said in a statement, "This had nothing do with the people in the sports department; it had everything to do with return on investment... I think people depend on us for weather and news; I don’t think sports is what they think of." [23] Doutre Jones left the station in June 2010; a replacement has not yet been named.

On April 23, 2011, XETV became the sixth television station in the San Diego market to broadcast its local newscasts in high definition.

National attention

On September 5, 2006, XETV's news team gained national attention, when investigative reporter John Mattes was badly beaten by Sam Suleiman and Rosa Barraza, a husband-and-wife team accused of a real estate scam being investigated by the reporter. The incident was captured on tape and shown on many news programs throughout the nation.[24]

News/station presentation

Newscast titles

  • Channel 6 News Up to Date (1970s–1982)
  • Channel 6 News (1982–1986)
  • Fox 6 News (1999–2008)[25]
  • San Diego 6 News (2008–present)[26]

Station slogans

  • See the Difference! (1984–1987)
  • Local News. Fox Attitude. (1999–2002)
  • Your News at Ten / Your News in the Morning. (2002)
  • Fair. Balanced. (2002–2004; similar to "Fair and Balanced" slogan used by Fox News Channel)
  • The Team That Knows San Diego (2004–2006)
  • Your Station for Balanced News (2006–present)

On-air staff

Current on-air staff[27]


  • Marc Bailey - weekday mornings (5-9 a.m.) and San Diego Living at 9-10 a.m.
  • Courtney Dwyer - weekend mornings (8-10 a.m.)
  • Heather Myers - weekday mornings (5-9 a.m.)
  • Jim Patton - weeknights at 10 and 11 p.m.
  • Jeff Powers - weekends at 10 p.m.
  • Renee Kohn- weekdays San Diego Living at 9-10 a.m.
  • Kristen Mosteller- weekend mornings (8-10 a.m.)
  • Lynda Martin- weekday fill-in anchor

Weather team

  • Sabrina Fein (AMS Seal of Approval) - chief meteorologist; weeknights at 10 and 11 p.m.
  • Renee Kohn (AMS Seal of Approval) - meteorologist/traffic anchor; weekday mornings (5-9 a.m.)
  • Brooke Landau - weather anchor; weekend mornings (8-10 a.m.) and weekends at 10 p.m.
  • Amy Cabrera- fill-in


  • Amanda Burden- reporter
  • Mike Dinow - general assignment reporter
  • Carlos Delgado - general assignment reporter
  • Ruben Galvan - weekday morning reporter
  • Kelly Gillepsie- entertainment reporter
  • Sherri Palmeri - "Day Trippin' with Sherri" feature/travel reporter
  • Candice Nguyen- reporter
  • Susana Franco- reporter
  • Sharon Chen- reporter
  • Ken Stern- market watch reporter

Former on-air staff

  • John Mattes
  • Aloha Taylor - chief meteorologist (2006–2009) now at KSWB-TV
  • Maria Arcega-Dunn - Reporter (now at KCPQ)
  • Angie Austin- Weather Anchor now at KWGN
  • Brooke Beare - Anchor now at KPSP
  • Angela Chee- Anchor
  • Eric Collins- reporter
  • Elizabeth Espinosa- reporter now at KTLA
  • Amanda Grace- Anchor now at WHDH
  • Sandra Maas- Anchor now at KUSI
  • Chrissy Russo- weather anchor now at KSWB
  • Anita Lightfoot - Anchor and reporter
  • Elex Michaelson- Anchor and reporter now at KABC
  • Lynn Stuart- reporter and fill-in anchor
  • Jenny Hammel- reporter now at KSWB
  • Brian Christie- Anchor
  • Estha Trouw- Anchor
  • Antonio Castelan- reporter now at KNBC


"SD6 Rewards"

SD6 Rewards is XETV's viewer loyalty game that superseded a similar viewer game, "Couch Potato", in May 2010. Viewers simply watch channel 6 throughout the day for special SD6 Rewards codes (which only apply on the day given) and answers to trivia questions. If the viewer enters the code and answer the given trivia questions on the SD6 Rewards site, they can earn points to either win or buy prizes, or buy entries to certain sweepstakes. Membership is free.


XETV's audio signal can be heard on 87.7 MHz on the FM dial in San Diego, Tijuana and surrounding areas, though at a slightly lower volume than other FM stations due to TV modulation standards. According to its website, XETV will continue its FM service along with its analog TV signal until it converts to all-digital broadcasting.[28]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ McIntyre, Dave (1953-04-25). Afraid of Fortune Tellers?. Retrieved 2010-06-24.
  3. ^ SDRadio.net: "Media Bytes" for Monday, April 14, 2008
  4. ^ Moran, Kristin C., "The Development of Spanish-Language Television in San Diego: A Contemporary History". The Journal of San Diego History. Volume 50, Winter/Spring 2004, numbers 1 and 2. San Diego, CA: San Diego Historical Society, pp. 47-48,https://www.sandiegohistory.org/journal/v50-1/spanish_tv.pdf Accessed 11 December 2009.
  5. ^ a b Ibid., pg. 47.
  6. ^ "Require Prime Evening Time for NTA Films". Boxoffice: 13. November 10, 1956
  7. ^ Radio Televisión S.A. de C.V. and Bay City Television, Inc., v. Federal Communications Commission, U.S. Court of Appeals No. 96-1438
  8. ^ The Radio and TV Database Project: Tijuana/Tecate
  9. ^ http://bulk.resource.org/courts.gov/c/F3/79/79.F3d.1187.95-1128.html 79 F.3d 1187
  10. ^ http://www.fcc.gov/ogc/documents/opinions/1997/radiotv.html Radio Televisión v. FCC, No. 96-1438
  11. ^ "XETV, KSWB Battle For Fox Affiliation In San Diego".
  12. ^ http://www.fox6.com/news/local/story.aspx?content_id=7a4bac12-8df5-48e6-8f68-d8e355f50b95
  13. ^ "About Cable Reception", http://www.sandiego6.com/content/contacts/faq.aspx#systems, accessed 8 October 2009
  14. ^ (Flash Video) Youtube - XETV San Diego Sign-on 2007.08.20.
  15. ^ Fybush.com's Tower Site of the Week: XETV, Tijuana/San Diego (Feb. 13, 2009)
  16. ^ "About Other San Diego 6 Technical Questions", http://www.sandiego6.com/content/contacts/faq.aspx#systems, accessed 8 October 2009.
  17. ^ Fybush, Scott. Tower Site of the Week: XETV/XEWT, Tijuana/San Diego. 2009-02-13.
  18. ^ Contact XETV San Diego 6, http://www.sandiego6.com/content/contacts/default.aspx Accessed 11 December 2009.
  19. ^ SCT: Transicion a TDT (Transition to DTV) (Spanish)
  20. ^ From hdtv.forsandiego.com
  21. ^ Digital TV switch goes smoothly in San Diego, Alex Pham and Meg James, Associated Press, February 19, 2009
  22. ^ Few calls received on digital switch: 3 local stations opted for Tuesday change, Jonathan Sidener, San Diego Union-Tribune, February 19, 2009
  23. ^ http://www.broadcastingcable.com/blog/Station_to_Station/11514-XETV_Scraps_Sports.php
  24. ^ "Camera records attack on Fox 6 News reporter". 2006-09-07.
  25. ^ FOX 6 "News at Ten" generic open- (XETV - San Diego)
  26. ^ XETV-San Diego 6 News Montage
  27. ^ Anchors and Reporters
  28. ^ "About San Diego 6 Over The Air Reception", http://www.sandiego6.com/content/contacts/faq.aspx#shutdown, accessed 8 October 2009.

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