KSCI, UHF digital channel 18, is an independent television station serving Los Angeles, California, United States. Currently referred to as "LA 18" the station is owned by NRJ TV, LLC. KSCI's studios are located on South Bundy Drive in West Los Angeles, and its transmitter is located atop Mount Harvard. The station's signal is relayed on low-power translator station KUAN-LP (channel 48) in Poway (which is part of the San Diego market).
The channel 18 allocation in Los Angeles was previously occupied by KCHU-TV, which was licensed to San Bernardino and signed on the air on August 1, 1962. The station was owned by the San Bernardino Sun-Telegram. KSCI signed on the air on June 30, 1977, operating from studios in West Los Angeles, although still licensed in San Bernardino. It became a non-profit owned by the Transcendental Meditation movement (the call letters stood for Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's theoretical "Science of Creative Intelligence"). The station broadcast news stories, prerecorded lectures and variety shows with TM celebrities. KSCI's goal was to report "only good news", sister stations were planned for San Francisco and Washington, D.C. The station manager was Mark Fleischer, son of Hollywood director Richard Fleischer.
In 1980, KSCI switched to a for-profit operation and earned $1 million on revenues of $8 million in 1985. In November 1985, the station loaned $350,000 to Maharishi International University in Iowa. By June 1986, the station's content began to consist of "a hodgepodge of programming" in 14 languages. In October 1986, the station was purchased by its general manager and an investor for $40.5 million.
In 1990, the station was sold to Intercontinental Television Group Inc., with programming being produced by Wahid Boctor of Arab American Television. In 1998, KSCI transferred its city of license from San Bernardino to Long Beach. In 2000, a Korean newspaper, The Hankook Ilbo, took over the International Media Group (IMG), which operated KSCI. IMG was re-launched as the AsianMedia Group, Inc., who purchased the station.
By 2005, the station was broadcasting seven English-language and three Spanish-language newscasts plus "local news programs in Vietnamese, Mandarin Chinese and Korean" to 2.5 million Asian-American viewers in Southern California. In early 2005, KSCI changed its on-air branding to "LA-18."
In October 2008, KSCI broadcast the Presidential debate along with translation in Mandarin and offered political analysis by their news staff. The broadcast was one of several that covered election events in Korean, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese and Tagalog languages.
On January 9, 2012, KSCI, Inc. filed a voluntary petition for reorganization under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. On March 27, 2012, KSCI was purchased by NRJ TV, LLC, a company which has acquired smaller television stations in various U.S. cities for the possibility of placing their spectrum for auction once the Federal Communications Commission rolls out a voluntary spectrum auction for use for non-broadcast purposes in 2014.
KSCI has subleased several of its digital subchannels to other broadcasters. Station management believes that six digital subchannels can fit into the spectrum, using statistical multiplexing. The station's digital channel is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|18.1||576i||16:9||LA18.1||Independent programming in various languages|
|18.2||LA18.2||United Television Broadcasting / NHK World (Japanese)|
|18.4||LA18.4||Christian Global Network TV (Korean religious)|
|18.6||LA18.6||AABC TV (Armenian)|
|18.7||LA18.7||Shant TV USA (Armenian)|
|18.8||LA18.8||LA 18.8 (Mandarin, Standard Cantonese and Taiwanese)|
|18.9||LA18.9||Horizon Armenian TV (Armenian)|
|18.11||LA18.11||MBC America (Korean Shopping)|
|18.12||LA18.12||AMGA TV (Armenian)|
KSCI shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 18, on June 12, 2009, as part of the federally mandated transition from analog to digital television. The station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 61, which was among the high band UHF channels (52-69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition, to its former analog-era UHF channel 18.