MURROW AWARDS ANNOUNCED:
KARE/11 (Minneapolis), WISC/3 (Madison), and South Dakota Public Radio are the big winners of the regional RTDNA Murrow Awards announced Tuesday, having won six awards apiece. Winners for overall excellence include KFGO/790 (Fargo), WCCO/830 (Minneapolis), WDIO-TV/10 (Duluth), and WISN-TV/12 (Milwaukee). The complete list of winners for the region including Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the Dakotas can be found here, while winners for the region including Iowa and Nebraska can be found here. (4/22/2014)
Cumulus Media's Des Moines FM talker, KWQW/98.3 (Boone-Des Moines) has rebranded as "The Torch," dropping "Wow FM." With the slogan change, KWQW added a new local morning show hosted by Robert Rees, who's followed by Glenn Beck from 9 to 11 and Dennis Miller from 11 to 2. ABC News, Michael Savage, Mark Levin, John Batchelor, and Red Eye Radio continue. (4/21/2014)
Chesterman Communications' KSJB/600 (Jamestown) has switched its network news affiliation from ABC to CBS. KSJB carries a Classic Country format and blankets most of North Dakota and parts of surrounding states and provinces with a 5kW signal. (4/19/2014)
KSIB (Creston) got national attention Thursday when the Associated Press ran an item about a new Hank Williams release based on a program that aired on KSIB in 1950, but ironically, it turns out the station dropped its decades-old Country format this month. The Creston News-Advertiser reports KSIB-FM/101.3 dropped Country music that had aired in the afternoon, evening, and overnight hours for syndicated talk shows. (KSIB/1520 already carried a sports format.) The newspaper reports KSIB-FM continues to carry local news, information, and farm programming in the morning, while syndicated shows later in the day include Dennis Miller, Herman Cain, Clark Howard, and Jim Bohannon. The Omnivore Recordings release, "The Garden Spot Programs, 1950," comes out May 20. (4/17/2014)
WMZK/104.1 (Merrill-Wausau) has dropped its longtime Rock identity in favor of Hot Adult Contemporary as "Magic 104." The station's website hasn't been updated to reflect the change, but the new format can be streamed through the old website. "Magic" has no direct competitor in the market, which lacks an Adult Contemporary outlet, and competes primarily with the Contemporary Hits formats of Midwest's WIFC/95.5 (Wausau) and NRG Media's "Hot 96.7" (WHTQ Whiting). WMZK's change comes as Michael Enfelt's Radio One Communications, LLC awaits FCC approval to buy WMZK and WJMT/730 (Merrill) from Quicksilver Broadcasting/Barracuda Broadcasting for $595,000, a deal which includes a time brokerage agreement allowing Radio One to run the stations before the sale is complete. WMZK's switch comes just a couple of months after "Z104" moved from Active Rock to Classic Rock. WMZK is rebroadcast on translator W256AG/99.1 (Wausau). (4/17/2014)
Flood Broadcasting has applied to move new translator K236BY/95.1 (Nebraska City) closer to Plattsmouth, where it would relay KNCY/1600 (Nebraska City) in conjunction with K288GS/105.5 (Nebraska City). K236BY would use 250 Watts from a water tower east of Murray, delivering a rimshot signal to Plattsmouth. KNCY and K288GS recently launched an information-heavy Classic Hits format with mentions of Plattsmouth the imaging. (4/15/2014)
Leighton Enterprises' KZLT/104.3 (East Grand Forks) has repositioned its Adult Contemporary format as "104-3 Cities FM," dropping the "Lite Rock 104.3" slogan. KZLT had also used the "Cities" slogan for a brief time around the turn of the century. (4/11/2014)
Thunder Bay's local afternoon CBC Radio program will be among the casualties of cuts at the CBC announced Thursday, which include 657 jobs nationwide. CBC-Thunder Bay Tweeted that two jobs will be cut in the city and afternoon programming on CBC Radio stations in northwestern Ontario will now come out of Sudbury. Thunder Bay will retain its morning CBC Radio show. (4/11/2014)
With one upgrade approved, Pine to Prairie Broadcasting's KKEQ/107.1 (Fosston) has applied for even more Wattage: The Contemporary Christian station is now seeking to use 100kW/191m (class C1). It's currently licensed for 50kW/147m (C2) and already has a construction permit to move to a nearby tower with 64kW/194m (C1). The upgrade would improve KKEQ's signal to Bemidji. (4/11/2014)
WTJK/1380 (South Beloit, IL) has announced that it'll drop daytime ESPN programming starting Monday (4/14) in favor of regional and local talk programming following the station's sale to Big Radio. "The Big AM 1380" will simulcast new sister station WEKZ-FM/93.7 (Monroe) in morning and afternoon drive, carrying Scott Thompson (the company's owner) from 5 to 9 a.m. and John "Sly" Sylvester from 3 to 6 p.m. WTJK's existing "Jock Talk" will move to 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and other hosts will include Glenn Smith from 9 to 11 a.m. and Tony Huml from 1 to 3 p.m. WTJK will continue to carry ESPN Radio in the evening, overnight, and weekend hours. (4/10/2014)
First Ventures Capital Partners is seeking a waiver to move the transmitter of K259AT/99.7 from Boone to Perry, where it would relay Coon Valley Communications' KDLS/1310 with 250 Watts. The translator would remain licensed to Boone. A waiver would be needed because the move is farther than would normally be allowed in one translator "hop." The translator recently applied for the license to cover the construction permit for its move from 88.9, where it was licensed as K205EZ. KDLS carries a Soft Oldies format. (4/10/2014)
Magnum Broadcasting has applied to move translator W237CJ/95.3 (Reedsburg) to Tomah, where it would relay WBOG/1460 with 250 Watts. The move is farther than would normally be allowed for translators and Magnum is seeking a waiver. WBOG runs an Oldies format. (4/10/2014)
Hearst Television stations returned to DISH Network Wednesday after a brief outage due to a retransmission consent dispute. CBS affiliate KCCI/8 (Des Moines) and ABC affiliates WISN-TV/12 (Milwaukee) and KETV/7 (Omaha) were among those that left DISH Tuesday evening. The outage ended up lasting about a half-day. (4/9/2014)
Four years after launching as "Streetz FM," CIUR-FM/104.7 (Winnipeg) has added more classic tracks to its Hip-Hop/R&B format and changed its slogan to "Rhythm 104-7." The station is owned by Native Communications, which also runs the Country-formatted NCI-FM network heard on CICY/105.5 (Selkirk-Winnipeg). (4/8/2014)
NORTH DAKOTA/SOUTH DAKOTA:
Two low-power TV stations whose licenses were cancelled by the FCC last month have now applied for license renewal. The FCC sent G.I.G. Inc. letters in January saying that KVNJ-LP/2 (Fargo) and KCPO-LP/26 (Sioux Falls) had failed to apply for license renewal by the deadline and that they would be cancelled if renewal applications were not filed within 30 days; the licenses were cancelled in March. Applications to renew both licenses were filed on April 4. The applications do not mention the license cancellations or provide an explanation for the late filing but say both stations are currently on the air. KCPO had operated as an independent station while KVNJ served as a translator for G.I.G. My Network TV affiliate KCPM/27 (Grand Forks). (4/8/2014)
A full-power TV license is no guarantee of success, even in a medium market: Stratus Communications has surrendered the license for KWWF/22 (Waterloo). The station had gone off the air last summer citing financial difficulties. William M. Smith originally signed on KWWF in 2002 with Christian programming. Equity Broadcasting bought the station in 2004 and converted it to a UPN affiliate, and then used it as a beta tester for the Retro Television Network after UPN went off the air. KWWF was then silent from mid-2009 to mid-2010, when Stratus predecessor Fusion Communications returned it to the air with Untamed Sports TV. (4/8/2014)
WQPM/1300 (Princeton) has dropped Classic Country for a broad Oldies format as "The Big Q." The Oldies mix had originally shown up on the HD4 signal of sister station KLCI/106.1 (Elk River) late last year; KLCI-HD4 continues to carry a different version of "The Big Q." WQPM is also listed as the station to be rebroadcast on Educational Media Foundation's K277AS/103.3 after it moves its transmitter from Monticello to Princeton, but K277AS was still carrying EMF's "Air1" network as of Sunday. (4/7/2014)
KNCY/1600 (Nebraska City) has launched a new format following the addition of new FM translator K288GS/105.5. It's carrying a mix of local information and Classic Hits as "Big Apple News Radio" with a lineup including ABC Information Network news, the Rural Radio Network, Husker Sports, and the syndicated "Sports Nightly." KNCY had previously carried Classic Country and temporarily simulcast with sister Country station "B103" (KBIE/103.1 Auburn-Nebraska City) until K288GS was ready to launch. KNCY's change, and 103.1's slogan change to "B103," came after Flood Broadcasting purchased the stations from Riverfront Broadcasting. (4/7/2014)
CONSTRUCTION PERMITS FOR NEW LOW-POWER FM (100-wATT) STATIONS:Decorah, IA: 104.1, Community Radio of Decorah, Postville and Northeast Iowa
Moorhead, MN: 101.5, Bible Truth Radio
St. Paul, MN: 104.7, Dayton's Bluff District Four Community Council (4/7/2014)
The FCC has approved a new low-power FM (100-Watt) station on 104.7 in St. Paul for Dayton's Bluff District Four Community Council. The group said that its station will carry community programming in several languages, including Hmong, Spanish, Karen, Vietnamese, Ethiopian, and English.
In other Twin Cities-area LPFM action, the FCC has dismissed two applications for stations on 94.1 and one for 97.7. The regulator said Flow Hype Diversity's proposed facility in northeast Minneapolis and MG Community Broadcasting's proposed facility in Maple Grove were both too close to KXXR/93.7 and KSTP-FM/94.5. While MG Community Broadcasting did seek a waiver, the FCC said its application failed to provide sufficient documentation that no actual interference would occur. At least seven other applications for LPFM's on 94.1 in the metro area remain pending. On 97.7, the FCC dismissed the University of Northwestern-St. Paul's application, saying the proposed facility is too close to translator K249ED/97.7, which transmits from Maple Grove.
There has been no new FCC action on four proposed LPFM stations on 98.9 since the FCC reinstated three applications from The Main Street Project, The Organizing Apprenticeship Project, and Pillsbury United Communities for the frequency in Minneapolis. South Minniapolis (sic) Community Radio's application for 98.9 in St. Paul remains in "dismissed" mode; the FCC had originally dismissed all four applications due to an erroneous listing of a radio reading service being carried by KSJN/99.5. Several other applications for LPFM's on 94.9, 97.9, and 107.5 remain pending.
Elsewhere, Park Public Radio is preparing for the sign-on of KUOL-LP/97.5 (St. Louis Park), which will also reach parts of Minneapolis and parts of other western suburbs with a 50-Watt signal. The station's Facebook page says a community format is planned. (4/7/2014)
NORTH DAKOTA/SOUTH DAKOTA/NEBRASKA:
A plan to create a virtual duopoly involving the NBC and FOX affiliates in the Bismarck market has apparently fallen apart amid increased FCC scrutiny of such deals.
Prime Cities Broadcasting has withdrawn its application to transfer the licenses of FOX affiliate KNDX/26.1 (Bismarck) and its satellite, KXND/24.1 (Minot), to Excalibur Broadcasting, which would've entered into a shared services agreement for Gray TV to operate KNDX. Gray is in the process of buying NBC affiliate KFYR-TV/5.1 (Bismarck) and its three satellites from Hoak Media and acknowledged the withdrawal of the Prime Cities deal in a press release about the Hoak purchase receiving approval.
Besides the KFYR-TV deal, the FCC also approved Gray's purchase of NBC affiliate KVLY-TV/11.1 (Fargo), NBC/FOX affiliate KNOP/2.1 (North Platte), ABC affiliate KSFY/13.1 (Sioux Falls), and KSFY's two satellites from Hoak, as well as Gray's purchase of FOX affiliate KEVN/7.1 (Rapid City) and its satellite from Mission TV.
However, the FCC has not acted on Excalibur Broadcasting's proposed purchase of Hoak NBC affiliate KHAS-TV/5.1 (Hastings-Lincoln) or Parker Broadcasting CBS affiliate KXJB/4.1 (Valley City-Fargo); Gray would operate both stations under shared services agreements and said it has restructured the proposed deals to remove put options and financing from Gray.
The change came after the FCC said last month that it would give extra scrutiny to deals that include a combination of shared services agreements and option agreements. Separately, the FCC said this week that any deal involving one station selling more than 15 percent of the advertising on another station must be modified or unwound within two years unless a waiver is approved. (4/4/2014)
KBEK/95.5 (Mora) has gone silent. In a message to advertisers and listeners, Owner and General Manager Colleen McKinney said the station went silent March 31 while it undergoes a review of its finances and organizational structure. McKinney had originally announced plans to take the station silent at the end of 2011 but decided to continue on, saying it would be easier to find a buyer for the station if it remained on the air, but no sale has happened. KBEK signed on in 1995 with a locally-intensive format featuring hourly news updates for east-central Minnesota and a mix of Oldies and Classic Hits. The station is "under the umbrella" of major Twin Cities stations but is located just outside the geographic boundaries of the market. (4/1/2014)
The FCC has approved the sale of ABC affiliate KOTA-TV/3.1 (Rapid City) to Schurz Communications but will require two radio stations to be divested. Schurz, which already owns six radio stations in the market using the New Rushmore Radio name, is buying KOTA-TV from Duhamel Broadcasting for $10 million. In approving the sale, the FCC denied a request for a waiver allowing Schurz to keep all six radio stations and ordered that two radio stations be divested within sixty days. Schurz hasn't announced which stations will be divested; its holdings include Farm/Country KBHB/810 (Sturgis), Classic Hits KKLS/920 (Rapid City), Contemporary Hits KRCS/93.1 (Sturgis), Adult Contemporary KKMK/93.9 (Rapid City), Country KOUT/98.7 (Rapid City), and Classic Rock KFXS/100.3 (Rapid City). The deal to purchase KOTA-TV includes satellites KDUH/4.1 (Scottsbluff, NE), KHSD/11.1 (Lead, SD), and KSGW/12.1 (Sheridan, WY). The stations carry Me-TV on their .2 channels and ThisTV on .3. KOTA-TV reported that Schurz will take over the station on April 28. (4/1/2014)
Midwest Communications' KTCO/98.9 (Duluth) has reverted to its original "Kat Country" slogan. KTCO had launched as "Kat Country" in 1994 but abandoned that slogan several years ago in favor of the KTCO call letters positioned as "Your Country." It primarily competes with Townsquare Media's "B105" (KKCB Duluth). (4/1/2014)
Salem Radio's KGBI/100.7 (Omaha) has adopted the "Fish" slogan used by other Salem Contemporary Christian stations. (3/31/2014)
FCC LIMITS TV JOINT SALES AGREEMENTS:
The FCC has adopted a Report & Order limiting the usage of joint sales agreements between TV stations, which could have an impact on several Upper Midwest markets.
The R&O says that agreements which allow one station to sell more than 15 percent of the advertising on another station will be considered attributable ownership. The order will apply to all agreements that allow advertising sales whether or not they are specifically called a JSA. Unless stations receive a waiver, such agreements will have to be unwound within two years. Existing JSA's will not be grandfathered.
It's not immediately clear exactly which stations might be affected since the FCC has not kept data on the amount of advertising sold under JSA's and other agreements, but stations in Cedar Rapids, Omaha, Lincoln/Tri Cities, Sioux City, Rochester, Duluth, and Fargo have agreements that may include joint sales. Several proposed station sales in the Upper Midwest were already facing extra scrutiny under a previous FCC announcement.
Commissioner Mignon Clyburn cast Monday's deciding vote, siding with Chairman Tom Wheeler and Jessica Rosenworcel in the 3-2 decision. Clyburn said the review of JSA's and Shared Service Agreements had uncovered "glaring abuses," while Commissioner Ajit Pai said the R&O ignores public interest benefts from JSA's.
In a press conference following the vote, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said suggestions that the Commission is putting pressure on broadcasters because of an upcoming incentive auction are "baloney." (3/31/2014)
Clear Channel is now offering two '80s Hits formats in the Twin Cities: The HD2 signal of KQQL/107.9 has switched from "Kool 1-0-80's" to iHeartRadio's "My 80s." "Kool 1-0-80's" has resurfaced on the HD2 signal of KTCZ/97.1, replacing the iHeartRadio New Music Channel. It's the fourth format KTCZ-HD2 has carried in the last two years. However, it's not clear how long KTCZ-HD2 will be carrying "Kool 1-0-80's" since the format is still ID'ing as KQQL despite its current location on KTCZ. (3/30/2014)
Acadia Broadcasting's CKTG-FM/105.3 (Thunder Bay) has flipped to "Country 105," dropping a "Giant" mix of Classic Hits. The changeover happened Friday, according to the station's Facebook page. 105.3 had carried a Country format as "Kixx 105" (CJLB) until switching to Contemporary Hits in 2002 and then Classic Rock as "The Giant" in 2005. 100kW "Country 105" competes head-on with Dougall Media's "The Thunder" simulcast on 10-Watt CKED-FM/103.5 (Shuniah) and 50-Watt CFQK/104.5 (Kaministiquia/Oliver Paipoonge). The surplus of Country formats is a switch from the mid-2000's when the format was absent from the market. There are only five commercial formats serving the city of more than 100,000 people; Acadia also owns Contemporary Hits "Magic 99.9" (CJUK-FM) while Dougall also owns Adult Contemporary CKPR-FM/91.5 and "Rock 94" (CJSD-FM/94.3). Several potential commercial FM stations are poised to launch from just over the border in Grand Portage, MN. (3/30/2014)
The saying in the radio industry is that a frequency that changes format every year or two is cursed, and now a Winnipeg radio station wants to get away from the curse by changing frequency. Dufferin Commications has applied to move CFJL-FM/100.7 to 100.5, telling the CRTC that the station has been through a half-dozen formats since 2002 and "the frequency itself has become stigmatized as 'a station no one listens to.'" CFJL relaunched its Adult Contemporary format as "The Jewel" last December but says listeners continue call the station a "loser" and advertisers call it "last in the market." The owners believe moving CFJL one notch down on the dial will help the station shed some of its negative baggage. CFJL would also increase from 80kW to 100kW, which would increase the signal's intensity within Winnipeg but not add much population to the overall coverage area. (3/30/2014)
There are several pending FM translator moves in the Milwaukee area. Here's the latest:
Cornerstone Community Radio's W284CI/104.7 (Milwaukee) has applied to move to 93.9, using 250 Watts from a site in Wauwatosa. The facility would cover much of the metro area, a far cry from the currently-permitted facility that would only reach a tiny area of northern Milwaukee.
The FCC recently approved the sale of W250BN/97.9 (West Allis) to El Sol Broadcasting, the owner of Latin Adult Contemporary WZTI/1460 (West Allis), and the new owners have applied for another facilty change. W250BN, which Radio Power, Inc. moved in from Beloit, is currently licensed to transmit from near Muskego and has a construction permit to move to the WJTI tower in West Allis. El Sol has now applied to move W250BN to downtown Milwaukee with 250 Watts.
You may recall an earlier item saying that Kevin J. Youngers had applied to move W289CB/105.7 (Milwaukee) to 105.1 from a site in Bayside, where it would relay Entercom Sports station WSSP/1250 with 10 Watts. Youngers has since modified the application to keep the translator on 105.7 from the Milwaukee antenna farm but upgrade to 200 Watts, which would cover most of the metro area. WSSP is still specified as the primary station.
As previously reported, Milwaukee Radio Alliance is buying translator W262CJ/100.3 (Milwaukee) from Mary Medicus and plans to use it to relay "Martini Radio" (WZTI/1290 Greenfield). No application has been filed to change the originally permitted facility, which calls for 12 Watts from far northern Milwaukee. (3/30/2014)
CBS 2 (KGAN Cedar Rapids) plans to make its move from RF channel 51 to RF channel 29 in the early morning hours of Saturday, April 5, according to announcements running on the station and its website. The Sinclair Broadcast Group station will contine to remap to channel 2.1 after the change, but over-the-air viewers will have to rescan their TV's to receive the new station. KGAN will continue to use 850kW at 585m from a tower midway between Cedar Rapids and Waterloo. It's leaving channel 51 because the FCC auctioned off channels 52 to 69 for wireless use but failed to leave a buffer between TV channel 51 and the new wireless frequencies. (3/28/2014)
LOW-POWER TV/TRANSLATOR LICENSES DELETED:
The FCC has been cleaning house, so to speak, in its TV database: It's deleted more than a dozen low-power TV/translator stations that failed to apply for license renewal. Among those deleted:
Sioux Falls Independent oulet KCPO-LP/26: The G.I.G., Inc. station had originally launched as a UPN affiliate and continued as an independent after the affiliation went to KELO-DT2. Though the FCC informed KCPO its license was being deleted, the station's fate is unclear because Midcontinent Cable still has program listings for KCPO on cable channel 2. Also deleted is G.I.G.'s KVNJ-LP/2 (Fargo), which acted as a translator of co-owned KCPM/27 (Grand Forks).
Three translators and one LPTV in Ottumwa, Iowa: K23CI, K25DE, and K27CV had been owned by the Ottumwa Area Translator System and were last reported to be carrying KCCI-CBS, WHO-NBC, and KYOU-FOX. Also deleted was New Moon Communications' KUMK-LP/42, a former TBN station that New Moon had once touted as a future NBC affiliate.
Translator systems in North Dakota: K07EZ and K09EZ were owned by the Beulah Chamber of Commerce while K07JA, K09JR, and K11QD were owned by the City of Hazen.
Others deleted: K26IY (Ames, IA); K46EY (Ames, IA); K29EA (Des Moines, IA); K45FR (Olivia, MN); K50IZ (Duluth, MN); K42FY (Dickinson, ND); K44HR (Willison, ND); K06OA (Eau Claire, WI) (3/26/2014)
WWJC/850 (Duluth) has begun carrying VCY America, a Milwaukee-based Christian network, under the new callsign WQRM, ending a local Christian format that had aired on WWJC for more than a half-century. VCY bought the station from WWJC, Inc. in a $400,000 deal that received FCC approval last week. WQRM uses 10kW nondirectional daytime but has no nighttime authorization. (3/25/2014)
The owner of KROS/1340 (Clinton) is buying an FM translator that already has a construction permit to move to the KROS tower. KROS Broadcasting will pay First Ventures Capital Partners $23,250 for W290AW/105.9 (Savanna, IL). W290AW is currently licensed for 10 Watts from a site midway between Savanna and Clinton and has a CP to broadcast with 250 Watts from Clinton. KROS carries a News/Talk/Sports format. (3/24/2014)
The operator of KOAQ/690 (Terrytown-Scottsbluff) is buying an FM translator to relay the station. Armada Media is buying K269DO/101.7 (Scottsbluff) from My Bridge Radio for $12,500. My Bridge Radio no longer needs the translator after upgradinging KPNY/102.3 (Alliance) to provide a stronger signal to Scottsbluff. KOAQ, which is owned by Legacy Communications and operated by Armada, carries a Regional Mexican format. (3/24/2014)
A station in the Green Bay market will apparently be divested as part of a national media merger announced Friday morning. Media General, the owner of ABC affiliate WBAY-TV/2 (Green Bay), is merging with LIN Media, the owner of FOX 11 (WLUK Green Bay) and CW 14 (WCWF Suring-Green Bay). The press release announcing the $1.6 billion deal mentioned that some stations would be divested but didn't say which ones. Ownership rules prohibit one company from owning more than one of the top four stations in a market. Media General also owns NBC affiliate KWQC/6.1 (Davenport) and CBS affiliates KELO-TV/11.1 (Sioux Falls) and KCLO/15.1 (Rapid City), while LIN also owns CBS affiliate KIMT/3.1 (Mason City). (Media General had owned KIMT until selling it in 2006 to New Vision Television, which sold it to LIN last year.) The combined company would be called Media General and would have 74 stations in 46 markets if the deal is approved by the FCC. (3/21/2014)
Midwest Communications is buying the construction permit for translator W221DA/92.1 (Howard-Green Bay) from David M. Stout for $65,000. Midwest's WNFL/1440 (Green Bay) was already listed as the primary station for W221DA, which is permitted for a 250-Watt signal covering Green Bay. (3/17/2014)
O-Town Communications is buying the construction permit for translator K299BA/107.7 (Ottumwa) from First Ventures Capital Partners for $25,000. The application to transfer the license says K299BA will relay KLEE/1480 (Ottumwa), which O-Town is buying from FMC Broadcasting. K299BA's CP calls for 50 Watts from downtown Ottumwa. (3/17/2014)
New station WHOH/96.5 (Rhinelander) has signed on as "Sports Radio 96.5" carrying CBS Sports Radio, nationally-syndicated Dan Patrick from 8-11, and regionally-syndicated Bill Michaels from 11-2. The station's website also lists affiliations with the Brewers and Badgers. WHOH is owned by Bruce Grassman's Results Broadcasting, which also owns Country station "Coyote 93.7" (WCYE Three Lakes-Rhinelander) and was the winning bidder for new FM stations licensed to Crandon and Tomahawk in an FCC auction last year. WHOH uses 6.8kW/193m (class C3) from the WJFW-TV tower. The sign-on forced Radio 74 Internationale's W244BU/96.7 off the air; it has applied to move to 98.7. (3/15/2014)
As expected after KTFJ/1250 (Dakota City, NE-Sioux City) changed format, an FCC application has been filed to transfer the license from the Estate of Donald Swanson to Cup O' Dirt, LLC. The buyer will pay $12,500 for the station, which changed its callsign to KZOI after adopting the "Sunny" '80s Hits format also heard on Cup O'Dirt's KZOY/1520 (Sioux Falls, SD) and FM translator K221FO/92.1 (Sioux Falls). Cup O' Dirt is owned by John and Heidi Small of Sioux Falls. KTFJ had carried Christian formats since it signed on in 1990; it uses 500 Watts daytime and 700 Watts nighttime from a site east of Sioux City, using different day and night antenna patterns. (3/15/2014)
Nexstar Broadcasting announced Thursday that the new news operation at CBS affiliate WJMN-TV/3.1 (Escanaba-Marquette) will launch sometime in April. "Local 3" will carry newscasts at 6 and 11 p.m. weekdays originating from a new facility west of Marquette, replacing simulcasts of newscasts from sister station WFRV/5.1 (Green Bay, WI). Cynthia Thompson, a veteran of both of the other TV newsrooms in the market, is the news director. The station has numerous newsroom jobs posted on its website. (3/13/2014)
CKPR-DT/2 (Thunder Bay) has again asked Canadian regulators for permission to disaffiliate from CBC-TV and operate as an independent station. The Dougall Media station had made a similar request in 2010 but then reached a new deal with the CBC in 2011, which is due to expire this year. CKPR is asking the CRTC for permission to end its CBC affiliation on Aug. 31, but would like the option of continuing the affiliation until 2016 if it can't find other programming. The station says it has not reached an agreement with any other program provider. It would continue its current amount of newscasts if the disaffiliation is granted. CKPR is operated alongside CHFD/4, which switched from CTV to Global in 2011. There are no other commercial TV stations in the city. (3/13/2014)
The sales of several Upper Midwest TV stations will apparently face more scrutiny under a new FCC policy detailed in a Public Notice released Wednesday. The new policy calls for extra scrutiny of deals that include a combination of shared services agreements and option agreements. Pending transactions that apparently fit the criteria include the sales of CBS affiliate KDLH/3.1 (Duluth) from Malara Broadcast Group to SagamoreHill Broadcasting, CBS affiliate KXJB-TV/4.1 (Valley City-Fargo) from Parker Broadcasting to Excalibur Broadcasting, NBC affiliate KHAS-TV/5.1 (Hastings) from Hoak Media to Excalibur Broadcasting, and FOX affiliate KNDX/26.1 (Bismarck) from Prime Cities Broadcasting to Excalibur Broadcasting. Quincy Newspapers would run KDLH alongside NBC affiliate KBJR/6.1 (Superior-Duluth), which it is buying from Granite Broadcasting, and would have an option to buy KDLH. Gray TV would run KHAS alongside its existing CBS affiliate KOLN/10.1 (Lincoln), KNDX alongside NBC affiliate KFYR-TV/5.1 (Bismarck), and KXJB alongside NBC affiliate KVLY-TV/11.1 (Fargo), with the latter two NBC affiliates being purchased from Hoak Media. Gray would have options to buy all three Excalibur stations. The Public Notice says the commission is concerned that companies in such situations "may obtain a degree of operational and financial influence that deprives the licensee of the second station of its economic incentive to control programming." It said companies proposing to transfer licenses will have the burden of showing that the proposed transfer is "consistent with the public interest, convenience, and necessity." (3/12/2014, added additional stations 3/13)
Former Radio Disney affiliate WKSH/1640 (Sussex-Milwaukee) is being sold to a Christian broadcaster, but not the one originally indicated in an FCC filing: Starboard Media is buying WKSH from Disney for $725,000. Starboard operates the "Relevant Radio" Catholic network, which is also heard in the Milwaukee area on WPJP/100.1 (Port Washington). Wilkins Radio Network was once poised to buy the station, according to an application to transfer the license of a Virginia station to Wilkins filed last November, but an application to transfer WKSH to Wilkins was never filed. WKSH stopped carrying Radio Disney and went silent last September but briefly returned to the air on a few separate occasions until the FCC granted its request for special temporary authority to remain silent. WKSH is licensed for 10kW daytime and 1kW nighttime, non-directional. (3/12/2014)
Jomast Corporation, the ownwer of Oskaloosa's two radio stations, is buying an FM translator in Oskaloosa. Jomast will pay First Ventures Capital Partners $25,000 for K258BG/99.5; the deal was signed last August but not filed with the FCC until this week. Jomast's KBOE/740 was already specified as the station to be rebroadcast under a construction permit to relocate 99-Watt K258BG to the KBOE tower. 740 currently simulcasts a Country format with KBOE-FM/104.9. (3/12/2014)
KBRY/92.3 (Sargent) could be on the air this summer and will have its studio in Broken Bow, according to a job posting on the Nebraska Broadcaster's Assocation's website. Mid Nebraska Broadcasting, LLC is looking for a general manager, sales manager, news and sports director, and other on-air positions to be filled by June 1. KBRY is currently licensed on 92.1 for just 110 Watts but has a construction permit to upgrade to 100kW on 92.3, delivering a strong signal to Broken Bow and Ord. Mid Nebraska Broadcasting is headed by Mark G. Jensen, who also owns KNLV/1060 and KNLV-FM/103.9 (Ord) through MWB Broadcasting II, LLC. KBRY will compete with Custer County Broadcasting's KCNI/1280 and KBBN/95.3 (Broken Bow). (3/10/2014)
Midwest Communications' WGEE/970 (Superior-Duluth) has dropped Nostalgia for CBS Sports Radio and continues to carry NASCAR programming. WGEE had carried ESPN from the early 2000's until switching to the "Music of Your Life" network in 2008. It competes with Townsquare Media's "ESPN 560" (WEBC Duluth) and Red Rock Radio's "FAN 1490" (KQDS Duluth), the latter of which carries the regional FAN Network and FOX Sports Radio. (3/7/2014)
The FCC has reinstated applications for three low-power FM (100-Watt) stations in Minneapolis that had originally been dismissed because of an error on an FCC list. The Main Street Project, The Organizing Apprenticeship Project, and Pillsbury United Communities all applied for LPFM stations on 98.9 but the FCC dismissed them, saying they were too close on the dial to a radio reading service supposedly carried on an analog subcarrier of Minnesota Public Radio's KSJN/99.5. The FCC has now reinstated the applications after the stations submitted documentation showing that KSJN does not actually carry the service, which is actually on MPR's KNOW-FM/91.1.
South Minniapolis (sic) Community Radio also had its application for an LPFM station on 98.9 licensed to St. Paul dismissed because of the incorrect subcarrier listing. It separately filed a petition for reconsideration arguing that the proposed signal would not be strong enough to interfere with a radio reading service but doesn't mention that the service doesn't actually exist on KSJN. Its application status remains "dismissed" in the FCC database as of Friday.
Meanwhile, the FCC has dismissed a petition for reconsideration stemming from a similar error in Rochester. The FCC says Rochester Civic Media was four days too late in filing its petition regarding a proposed LPFM station on 88.1. The FCC had dismissed that application based on a mistaken listing showing the radio reading service was carried on MPR's KMSE/88.7 (Rochester). (3/7/2014)
The FCC recently granted upgrades that will allow to FM stations to improve their signals to Bemidji. Country-formatted KKCQ-FM/96.7 (Bagley) will upgrade from 25kW/100m (C3) to 25kW/176m (C2), while Contemporary Christian outlet KKEQ/107.1 (Fosston) upgrades from 50kW/147m (C2) to 64kW/194m (C1). Both stations are owned by Pine to Prairie Broadcasting. KKEQ's signal is also relayed on a number of translators owned by Shine the Light, Inc. (3/7/2014)
The company that's been programming a Hmong-language format on KFXN/690 (Minneapolis) for the past several years is buying the station outright. Asian American Broadcasting, LLC will buy the station for $225,000 from MMTC Broadcasting LLC, which received it as a donation from Clear Channel in 2010. Asian American Broadcasting is owned by Kongsue Xiong and Xeng Xiong of St. Paul. KFXN is licensed for 500 Watts daytime and 4 Watts nighttime, with full metro coverage during the day. (3/6/2014)
A company headed by the former president of Waitt Media is buying R&R Broadcasting's group of three radio stations northwest of Omaha. Walnut Radio LLC, headed by Steve Seline, will pay $1.25 million for "Mix 105.5" (KFMT-FM Fremont), KHUB/1340 (Fremont), and "Country 97.3" (KBLR-FM Blair). The buyer has been operating the stations under a local marketing agreement since March 1. Seline, who is also the current chairman of the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, was president of Waitt when it owned the stations in the early 2000's. Walnut Radio will be the fourth company to own the group in the past two years: In 2012, NRG Media sold the stations to Community First Media of Nebraska, which then sold them to Rick Siebert's R&R Broadcasting last fall. (3/6/2014)
KTFJ/1250 (Dakota City, NE-Sioux City) has ended its decades-old Christian format and is now running a 30-minute promotional loop of "Sunny Radio," and `80s format based at KZOY/1520 and K221FO/92.1 (Sioux Falls). Announcements say the station will soon begin carrying the format on a regular basis with a callsign change to KZOI planned. The Sioux Falls "Sunny" is run by John Small's Cup O' Dirt, LLC. KTFJ is owned by the Estate of Donald Swanson and had been simulcasting the Bott Radio Network with KTFG/103.3 (Sioux City), which Community Broadcasting bought from the Estate following Swanson's death. Swanson signed on AM 1250 in 1990. It uses 500 Watts daytime and 700 Watts nighttime from a site east of Sioux City, using different day and night antenna patterns. (3/5/2014)
Saga Broadcasting is buying an FM translator that's poised to move to Des Moines. Saga will pay First Ventures Capital Partners $87,500 for K230AT/93.9 (Winterset), which has a construction permit to move its transmitter to Des Moines on 93.7 as K229CC. The application to transfer the license says the translator will relay Clear Channel's WHO/1040, which would seem to be an unusual situation since Saga and Clear Channel are competitors. WHO had also been specified as the primary station on the application to move the transmitter to Des Moines. (3/5/2014)
The FCC has granted Bott Communications, which operates the Christian-formatted Bott Radio Network, a huge new AM daytime signal in western South Dakota. The new station on 860 will be licensed to Black Hawk and use 50kW daytime and 350 Watts nighttime, using different day and night antenna patterns from a four-tower array southeast of Rapid City. The daytime signal could be strong enough to reach parts of a half-dozen states; the nighttime signal won't be as impressive but should still provide interference-free service to Rapid City. Bott applied for the new station ten years ago and found itself in competition with Jet Fuel Broadcasting's application for a new station on the same frequency in Orchard Homes, MT. Last month, the FCC upheld its 2007 decision that essentially said Bott's application is preferential because Black Hawk is more independent from Rapid City than Orchard Homes is from Missoula. (3/4/2014)
The FCC has approved the sale of W250BN/97.9 (West Allis-Milwaukee) from Radio Power Inc. to El Sol Broadcasting, which plans to use it to relay its Latin Adult Contemporary-formattted WJTI/1460 (West Allis-Milwaukee). W250BN is currently licensed to transmit from Muskego and has a construction permit to move its transmitter to West Allis with 250 Watts; the community of license will change from West Allis to Milwaukee as part of the move. The FCC had held up approval of the move over questions about how Radio Power moved the translator from Beloit to Milwaukee, which the regulator eventually dropped. (3/4/2014)
One less AM, one more FM: The FCC recently granted a construction permit for a new FM station for the Clintonville/Shawano area while deleting the CP for an unbuilt AM station. The new station is Multicultural Diversity Radio's WAUT/106.9 (Tigerton), which will use 3.5kW/132m (class A) and have Clintonville in its main coverage area. MCDR is in the process of selling a CP for a new FM station in Rhinelander to Results Broadcasting, which also owns two stations in Clintonville, but no deal regarding the Tigerton CP has been announced. Meanwhile, the FCC recently cancelled Results Broadcasting's CP for a new station on AM 1460 in Shawano, where Results also has two stations, after the CP reached the three-year deadline. 1460 would've used 1kW daytime and 620 Watts nighttime with a directional antenna pattern. (3/4/2014)
Red Rock Radio has named Shawn Skramstad its new president. Skramstad has worked in radio for 39 years and has led Red Rock's Duluth group, which includes heritage Classic Rocker KQDS-FM/94.9, for 15 years. He replaces Ro Grignon, who owns 15 percent of the company and retired from the leadership role at the end of 2013. Red Rock Radio owns 25 stations in northeastern and north-central Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin. It's a sister company to Red River Broadcast Co. and KQDS Acquisition Corp., which own TV stationsin the Duluth, Fargo, and Sioux Falls markets. (3/4/2014)
Saga Broadcasting's KMYR/104.1 (Ames-Des Moines) has dropped its longtime "Lite 104.1" branding in favor of "More 104," coinciding with a brightening-up of the station's Adult Contemporary playlist. A change was expected since the station changed its callsign from KLTI-FM to KMYR last month. Saga also owns Hot AC-formatted "Star 102.5" (KSTZ Des Moines). (3/3/2014)
DX-midAMerica reports that WUPG/96.7 (Republic) has dropped Classic Hits in favor of Classic Country as "Yooper Country." WUPG, owned by Radioactive, LLC, rimshots Marquette with a 50kW signal from Champion and has a construction permit for a 250-Watt booster (on-frequency rebroadcaster) in Marquette. (3/3/2014)
CONSTRUCTION PERMITS FOR NEW LOW-POWER FM (100-WATT) STATIONS:Madison, WI: 102.9, First Unitarian Society of Madison
St. Cloud, MN: 97.5, St. Cloud State University. SCSU already operates KVSC/88.1 and says the new LPFM will be student-run, while KVSC will continue to be run by paid employees.
St. Cloud, MN: 105.1, St. Cloud Area Somali Salvation Organization
St. Louis Park, MN (suburban Minneapolis): 97.5, Park Public Radio (3/3/2014)
AM-ON-FM TRANSLATOR MOVES RECEIVING FCC APPROVAL:Algona, IA: David M. Stout will move K253BJ/98.5 from Humboldt to Algona, relaying KLGA/1600 with 250 Watts.
Wabasha, MN: Faith Sound will move W206BA/89.1 (Alma) to Wabasha on 99.7 as W259CG, relaying WBHA/1190 with 150 Watts. The translator currently relays Faith Sound's KFSI/92.9 (Rochester).
Wausau, WI: First Ventures Capital Partners will move W290AZ/105.9 (Marshfield) to Wausau on 95.1 as W236CO, relaying Midwest Communications' WSAU/550 with 250 Watts. The community of license will remain Marshfield. (3/3/2014)
Educational Media Foundation has applied to move K279BX/103.7 (Knoxville) to Des Moines, where Clear Channel's KPTL/106.3 (Ankeny-Des Moines) is specified as the primary station. K279BX is still in the construction permit stage and is not yet on the air; the current CP already calls for a site midway between Knoxville and Des Moines. The permit is actually held by Edgewater Broadcasting but is in the process of being tranferred to EMF, which filed the application. (3/3/2014)
Entercom's WSSP/1250 (Milwaukee) could be getting a suburban FM translator: Kevin J. Youngers holds a construction permit for W289CB/105.7 (Milwaukee) and has specified WSSP as the primary station in a facility change application. The current CP calls for 10 Watts from the Milwaukee antenna farm; Youngers has applied to move it north to a cell tower in Bayside and change frequency to 105.1, remaining 10 Watts. The Bayside facility would reach only a portion of the Milwaukee metro area. The translator is limited by WLVE/105.3 (Mukwonago-Milwaukee) and other existing stations. (3/3/2014)
Taconite Broadcasting's WMQT-FM/107.7 (Ishpeming-Marquette) tells the FCC it's operating at a fraction of its normal 98kW. The station says in a request for special temporary authority that its transmitter, antenna and/or feed line suffered damage in a January winter storm. The station initially used 750 Watts from a backup transmitter and is now using 2kW from the licensed site. The filing says tower crews were not able to resolve the antenna issue during an initial attempt and replacement parts are on order. (3/3/2014)
KCII-FM/106.1 (Washington) has applied for an upgrade that would add Iowa City to its main coverage area. The Home Broadcasting station, which currently uses 3kW/91m (class A), would upgrade to 48kW/140m (class C2) from a tower midway between Washington and Iowa City. KCII-FM currently simulcasts an Adult Gold/Oldies format heavy on local news and information with KCII/1380. Sister company M&H Broadcasting has a construction permit to move translator K273CC/102.5 (Mount Pleasant) to Washington to relay the AM station. (3/1/2014)
Quicksilver Broadcasting/Barracuda Broadcasting is selling its two Merrill/Wausau stations to Michael Enfelt's Radio One Communications, LLC for $595,000. The stations include Classic Rocker "Z104" (WMZK/104.1 Merrill-Wausau), WMZK translator W256AG/99.1 (Wausau), and Classic Country WJMT/730 (Merrill). Radio One will take over operations of the stations through a time brokerage agreement, which was signed around the same time WMZK tweaked its format from Active Rock to Classic Rock. The buyer also owns WRPN/1600 (Ripon). (2/28/2014)
Milwaukee's "Martini Radio" (WZTI/1290 Greenfield) is poised to get an FM translator. WZTI owner Milwaukee Radio Alliance is buying the construction permit for W262CJ/100.3 (Milwaukee) from Mary Medicus for $140,000, and the application states W262CJ will relay WZTI. The current CP for W262CJ calls for 12 Watts from far northern Milwaukee, with a main coverage area including Brown Deer and Glendale. (2/26/2014)
The price for Quincy Newspapers' and SagamoreHill Broadcasting's purchase of nine stations in four markets, including Duluth, from Granite Broadcasting and Malara Broadcast Group is $190 million, according to documents filed with the FCC. Duluth-market stations included in the deal are Granite NBC/MNT affiliate KBJR/6.1 (Superior), KBJR satellite KRII/11 (Chisholm), and Malara CBS/CW affiliate KDLH/3.1 (Duluth). Though ownership caps ultimately prohibit Quincy from buying all of the stations outright, the sales are all included in one asset purchase agreement because Granite will first exercise an option to buy four stations, including KDLH, from Malara and then immediately sell all of the stations to either Quincy or SagamoreHill. A side letter agreement places the value of KDLH at $2.916 million, but the prices for KBJR and KRII are not broken out individually. (2/24/2014)
CONSTRUCTION PERMITS FOR NEW LOW-POWER FM (100-WATT) STATIONS:Marshalltown, IA: 101.5, K. of C. Building, Inc.
Lincoln, NE: 95.7, Good Shepard Community Radio
Sioux Falls, SD: 92.9, Words of Hope Media
Monona, WI: 103.7, Madison Christian Low Power FM
Silver Lake, WI: 101.5, Lakes Community Broadcasting (2/24/2014)
Forum Communications ABC affiliate KBMY/17.1 (Bismarck) is simulcasting a new 5:30 p.m. Sunday newscast from sister station WDAY-TV/6.1 (Fargo), which began Feb. 23. The move marks the first time KBMY, which has no news department, will carry news from WDAY. The newscast will also be simulcast on WDAZ/8.1 (Devils Lake-Grand Forks), which already relays other WDAY weekend and morning newscasts. KBMY is rebroadcast on satellite KMCY/14.1 (Minot) and subchannels of other stations in Dickinson and Williston, giving the Sunday 5:30 broadcast statewide coverage. (2/23/2014)
Active Rocker "K-Sky" (KSQY/95.1 Deadwood-Rapid City) tells the FCC it's operating at reduced power due to antenna damage from a storm around Feb. 12. KSQY normally uses 100kW/521m from a tower on Terry Peak but is temporarily using 19.73kW. The station says tells the FCC in a request for special temporary authority that it anticipates having the damage repaired within 45 days. Listeners in Rapid City may not notice a difference because KSQY operates a 17kW on-frequency booster in the city. (2/22/2014)
Jan Charles Gray's Mount Rushmore Broadcasting tells the FCC its four stations on the southern end of the Black Hills have gone silent again. Filings indicate KFCR/1490 (Custer), KAWK/105.1 (Custer), KZMX/580 (Hot Springs), and KZMX-FM/96.7 (Hot Springs) went silent Feb. 13 after "personnel quit...without advance notice." The stations have all had repeated special temporary authorities to remain silent over the past decade for staffing and technical reasons. (2/22/2014)
Three Angels Broadcasting Network's K25MM-D (channel 25, Omaha) has gone off the air. 3ABN tells the FCC the station's transmitter failed and it doesn't intend to return it to the air until rules for the spectrum repacking are released. The repacking of TV bands could force some low-power TV stations to leave the air. (2/22/2014)
An alleged lack of a main studio and public file violation at KOMJ/1490 (Omaha) has netted Cochise Broadcasting a proposed $17,000 fine from the FCC. The Notice of Apparent Liability stems from an FCC agent's unsuccessful attempts to inspect KOMJ's main studio and public file last August. Cochise contended KOMJ's main studio is at Journal Broadcasting's facility on Mockingbird Drive and said it had paid rent to Journal, but the FCC says the facility does not qualify as a main studio because Cochise has no staff or equipment at the location. The NAL gives Cochise 30 days to establish a main studio and tell the FCC how it is equipped and staffed. The company also has 30 days to either pay the fine or seek a reduction or cancellation. KOMJ, which carries a Soft Oldies format, is Cochise's only station in the market. Cochise recently withdrew an application to transfer the license to Kona Coast Radio, LLC, for $450,000, a deal that was signed two days before the FCC's original Notice of Violation resulting from the August inspection attempt. (2/20/2014)
The FCC has issued two $20,000 forfeiture orders against KM LPTV for alleged public file and reporting violations at WMKE-CA/7 (Milwaukee) and WOCK-CD/13.1 (Chicago). The stations transmit at the same levels as low-power TV stations but are licensed as Class A, meaning they get some of the same protections as full-power TV stations in exchange for additional requirements, including the public file. The FCC alleges both stations repeatedly failed to place issues and program lists in their public file, failed to upload children's television reports to the FCC website, and failed to report these problems on their license renewal applications. The FCC did leave KM LPTV one option to skip paying the fines: Revert each station to low-power status, which means they would not be protected in upcoming incentive auctions that could displace LPTV stations. (2/20/2014)
The FCC has approved an FM translator's move to Des Moines, where it's expected to relay Clear Channel News/Talker WHO/1040. K230AT/93.9 (Winterset) now has a construction permit to move its transmitter to a tower owned by WHO-TV in downtown Des Moines as K229CC/93.7. It will use the maximum translator power of 250 Watts, delivering a strong signal to most of the Des Moines area. First Ventures Capital Partners owns the translator and listed WHO as the station to be rebroadcast on its application. (2/20/2014)
Saga Broadcasting's "Lite 104.1" (KLTI-FM Ames-Des Moines) officially changed its callsign to KMYR on Monday (2/17), according to the FCC database. The station continues its longrunning Adult Contemporary format with the "Lite" name. (Callsign nerd note: The KLTI callsign continues on 1560 in Macon, MO, which is unrelated to the former KLTI-FM and has used the callsign for decades.) (2/20/2014)
A belated note that True Oldies Channel affiliate WDGY/740 (Hudson, WI-St. Paul-Minneapolis) has upgraded its daytime power from 2.5kW to 5kW, improving the signal across the Twin Cities metro area. WDGY transmits from a site just east of Hudson and remains daytime-only, but continues programming online after sign-off. The station also recently upgraded to HD Radio. (2/19/2014)
Barracuda Broadcasting's "Z104" (WMZK/104.1 Merrill-Wausau) has shifted to Classic Rock, bring the station back to where it was before a transition to Active Rock in the mid-2000's. "Z104" primarily competes with NRG Media Classic Rocker WGLX/103.3 (Wisconsin Rapids-Wausau) and Midwest Communications' "Rock 94.7" (WOZZ Mosinee-Wausau). (2/19/2014)
Wisconsin Public Radio station KUWS/91.3 (Superior) is operating at reduced power due to an antenna system failure. The station tells the FCC in a request for special temporary authority that it's using 10 percent of the 83kW normally used and seeks up to six months to make repairs. KUWS transmits from the Duluth hillside and carries WPR's Ideas Network with local news inserts and UW-Superior student Jazz and Alternative programming in the evening. (2/19/2014)
Midwest Communications' KDAL-FM/95.7 (Duluth) has reverted to Adult Contemporary, the format the station carried from its sign-on in the 1980s until 2006, dropping the "96 Rock On" format that had run for several years. KDAL-FM is going simply by "FM 95.7" rather than the "Lite" and "Magic" monikers that had been used in the previous incarnations of the format. The switch back to AC restores a format that hadn't been heard in the Twin Ports since 2010, when WWAX/92.1 (Hermantown-Duluth) ended a short-lived "Lite" format in favor of Hot AC as "Nu92." Townsquare Media Classic Hits station "Kool 101.7" (KLDJ Duluth) has also been playing much of the gold normally heard on an AC outlet. 95.7's switch to AC marks the end of 17 years of efforts by Midwest and its predecessors to take out Red Rock Radio's heritage Classic Rock outlet KQDS-FM/94.9 (Duluth), with efforts first on KRBR/102.5 (Superior-Duluth, now KDWZ) and then KDAL-FM. (2/18/2014)
CONSTRUCTION PERMITS FOR NEW LOW-POWER FM (100-WATT) STATIONS:Grimes, IA: 102.9, Des Moines Metro Adventist Radio Co.
Fairmont, MN: 90.1, Fairmont Area Catholic Radio
Perham, MN: 100.3, Stanislaus Communications
Sioux Falls, SD: 96.9, Women On Fire Radio of Sioux Falls
Sioux Falls, SD: 104.3, Juan Diego Radio of Sioux Falls
Franklin, WI: 101.7, City of Franklin
La Crosse, WI: 89.9, UW System Board of Regents on behalf of UW-La Crosse
Stevens Point, WI: 105.9, City of Stevens Point (2/17/2014)
Another applicant for a low-power FM station says the FCC rejected its application based on incorrect information. The FCC denied Rochester Civic Media's application for an LPFM station on 88.1 in Rochester in December, saying it was too close to a radio reading service supposedly carried on an analog subcarrier of Minnesota Public Radio's KMSE/88.7 (Rochester). However, Rochester Civic Media submitted a copy of an email from an MPR official saying the service is actually carried on KLSE/91.7 (Rochester). A similar error happened in the Twin Cities, where four groups are seeking to get their applications for 98.9 reinstated. (2/13/2014)
A simple error has cost Carroll University the chance to upgrade its radio station, for now. Carroll operates 10-Watt WCCX/104.5 (Waukesha), which has a grandfathered class D license. It had applied to replace WCCX with a 100-Watt low-power FM station on the same frequency, but the FCC dismissed it last week because of an error in coordinates for the proposed station. The transmitter site was indicated with an eastern hemisphere longitude, which would have put the transmitter in China. In dismissing the application, the FCC said the defect was too great to be corrected with a minor amendment. (2/13/2014)
VCY America station WVCN/104.3 (Baraga) tells the FCC it's operating at reduced power of 1.82kW due to transmitter failure. The station says in a request for special temporary authority that a new transmitter is on order and hopes to return to full power of 100kW ERP within 90 days. (2/13/2014)
The FCC has proposed a $6,000 fine against Lake Superior Community Broadcasting for alleged public inspection file violations at ABC affiliate WBUP/10.1 (Ishpeming-Marquette) and CW+ affiliate WBKP/5.1 (Calumet). According to the FCC, the stations admitted to multiple late filings of children's television reports on their license renewal applications. Lake Superior Community Broadcasting has 30 days to either pay the fine or seek a reduction or cancellation. (2/12/2014)
NET Radio's translator in Columbus has returned to the air after moving to 89.7 as K209FS. The 39-Watt translator had been bumped off 90.3 by the sign-on of KGKD/90.5 (Columbus). (2/12/2014)
The CRTC has approved a rebroadcasting transmitter in Beardmore for CFNO-FM/93.1 (Marathon), which will be the station's seventh rebroadcaster in the region. CFNO-FM-3 will use 260 Watts on 107.1 and, according to the application, will reach an estimated 246 people at a construction cost of $22,500. (2/12/2014)
Youngers Colorado Broadcasting is buying the construction permit for translator K295CB/106.9 (Des Moines) from Starboard Media Foundation for $5,000. The application lists Educational Media Foundation's KLOV-FM as the station to be rebroadcast. K295CB's CP calls for 115 Watts serving the northeastern part of Des Moines, but it's right next door to on the dial to KNWI/107.1 (Osceola-Des Moines) and would be subject to interference complaints from KNWI listeners. (2/12/2014)
Quincy Newspapers is expanding to another Upper Midwest market with the purchase of NBC affiliate KBJR/6.1 (Superior-Duluth) and satellite KRII/11 (Chisholm) from Granite Broadcasting. KBJR also operates CBS affiliate KDLH/3.1 (Duluth), which will be sold from Malara Broadcasting to SagamoreHill Broadcasting and continue to be operated by KBJR through a shared services agreement. Sale prices were not immediately announced but will likely be revealed when documents are filed with the FCC. The stations also carry MyNetworkTV and CW+ on subchannels. Quincy is also buying Granite stations in Peoria, IL and Binghamton, NY and a Malara station in Fort Wayne, IN; Granite is also in the process of selling its Detroit and Buffalo stations to Scripps and its Fort Wayne station to SagamoreHill, leaving it with stations in San Francisco and Syracuse, NY. Quincy will have operations in 14 TV markets when the deal closes, including Quincy, Cedar Rapids-Waterloo, Sioux City, Rochester (MN), La Crosse-Eau Claire, Wausau, Madison, and Rockford. (2/11/2014)
The FCC has proposed a $6,000 fine against Capital Communications for alleged public inspection file violations at ABC affiliate WOI-DT/5 (Ames-Des Moines). The station was allegedly late in uploading four quarterly children's television reports to the FCC website and allegedly failed to report the late filings on its license renewal application. Capital has 30 days to either pay the fine or seek a reduction or cancellation. The company is awaiting FCC approval to sell WOI-DT and two other stations to Nexstar; the FCC approved WOI-DT's license renewal Monday. (2/10/2014)
The sale price for WTJK/1380 (South Beloit-Rockford, IL) and WWHG/105.9 (Evansville, WI) is $1.45 million, according to an asset purchase agreement filed with the FCC. As earlier reported, Scott Thompson's Big Radio is buying "1380AM ESPN" and Classic Rocker "105.9 The Hog" from Good Karma Broadcasting and has been operating the stations under a local marketing agreement since Feb. 1. (2/10/2014)
CONSTRUCTION PERMITS FOR NEW LOW-POWER FM (100-WATT) STATIONS:Carroll, IA: 102.1, Carroll Impact Educational Association
Cedar Rapids, IA: 97.5, Calvary Chapel Iowa
Muscatine, IA: 92.5, Muscatine Seventh-Day Adventist Church
Ottumwa, IA: 106.3, Ottumwa Seventh-Day Adventist Church
Oskaloosa, IA: 95.7, My Father's House, Inc.
Waterloo, IA: 97.1, Humanity's Hope Foundation
Stephenson, MI: 102.1, AMDG Radio
Alexandria, MN: 98.5, Alexandria Community Radio Educational Organization
St. Cloud, MN: 96.1, The Rock FM Communications
Two Harbors, MN: 99.5, Two Harbors Community Radio
Alliance, NE: 99.9, Adventist Learning Center of Alliance
Arapahoe, NE: 92.1, The Evangelical Lutheran Trinity Congress of Arapahoe
Bridgeport, NE: 99.9, Adventist Learning Center of Bridgeport
Central City, NE: 95.1, Central City Baptist Church
Ogallala, NE: 97.7, Adventist Learning Center of Ogallala
Sidney, NE: 89.5, Adventist Learning Center of Sidney
South Sioux City, NE: 98.9, White Stone, Inc. dba Calvary Chapel South Sioux City
Belcourt, ND: 98.9, Two Hearts Radio
Grand Forks, ND: 88.3, Grand Forks Bible Study Group
Minot, ND: 95.9, Calvary Chapel Minot
Fort Thompson, SD: 96.5, Crow Creek Sioux Tribe
Hot Springs, SD: 92.7, Joy Community Fellowship SBC
Pierre, SD: 107.9, Central South Dakota Community Radio
Black Earth, WI: 92.5, Mazomanie Music Conservancy Limited
Hager City, WI (Red Wing, MN): 104.7, Red Wing Broadcasting Association
Mount Morris, WI: 105.1, Mt. Morris/Waushara Preservation Group
Portage, WI: 93.5, Portage Educational Broadcasting
Wisconsin Rapids, WI: 92.5, Calvary Chapel of Wisconsin Rapids (2/10/2014)
CONSTRUCTION PERMITS FOR NEW FM TRANSLATORS:Millman/Des Moines, IA: K243CA/96.5, 190W, Clear Channel
Iowa City, IA: K247CA/97.3, 250W, E-String Wireless
Ladysmith, WI: W272DJ/102.3, 38W, David M. Stout (2/10/2014)
Wayne Radio Works has moved the longtime information-based Country format of KTCH/1590 (Wayne) to the former KCTY/104.9 (Emerson-Wayne), displacing a broad mix of music that had aired on the FM station. 104.9's new "Big Red Country" format includes local news, agricultural information, and CBS News on the hour. 1590 is now carrying Hot Adult Contemporary with plans to add an FM translator (K255CK/98.9) pending FCC approval to move the translator from West Point. The changes happened Feb. 1. The station cites increased interference on AM and 1590's weak 47-Watt nighttime signal as the reason for the switch. 104.9 had received FCC approval to move into the Sioux City, Iowa, market in 2010 but told the FCC last year it had decided not to make the move due to financial considerations; it kept its existing facilities but changed its community of license from Wayne to Emerson. The stations' former owner, NRG Media, moved the KCTY callsign in Wayne in 2007 after dropping it in Omaha. (2/9/2014)
KKSD/104.3 (Milbank-Watertown) tells the FCC it's operating at reduced power due to antenna damage. In a request for special temporary authority, KKSD says it's using 30kW instead of the 100kW it normally uses. The station is owned by Three Eagles Broadcasting and carries "Hippie Radio." (2/6/2014)
Wisconsin Public Radio has upgraded its two stations in Sister Bay. NPR News & Classical Music network station WHND/89.7 now uses 22kW/163m while Ideas Network station WHDI/91.9 uses 11kW/166m. Both stations changed from class C3 to C2. The upgrades improve the stations' signals to Marinette and far northeastern Wisconsin, where WPR has no other stations. (2/5/2014)
ESPN Radio affiliate WJJQ/810 (Tomahawk) has added FM translator W264CH/100.7, which WJJQ owner Albert Broadcasting recently bought from Christian broadcaster WRVM, Inc. The translator moved from 100.9 and upgraded to 250 Watts, but has applied to move to 96.9, remaining 250 Watts, because a future Results Broadcasting station on 100.9 (Tomahawk) will displace the translator. Meanwhile, WJJQ-FM/92.5 recently completed an upgrade from 25kW/79m (class C3) to 19kW/136m (C2), improving its signal to Rhinelander and Merrill. WJJQ-FM carries a mix of News, Adult Contemporary, Oldies, and Country. (2/5/2014)
The sale of Omaha's KOMJ/1490 may be off: KOMJ's current owner, Cochise Broadcasting LLC, has filed a motion to withdraw the FCC application to assign the license to Kona Coast Radio, LLC, which is also building an FM station in the region. No other information on the withdrawal is available in the FCC database. Last summer, Kona Coast Radio had reached a deal to buy KOMJ, which carries a Soft Oldies format, from Cochise for $450,000. Two days after the parties signed an asset purchase agreement, the FCC issued Notice of Violation asking Cochise to explain why an agent could not locate KOMJ's main studio on an inspection attempt. Kona Coast Radio is in the process of building KIMI/107.7 (Sidney, IA), which applied for a downgrade last month after determining that air navigation interference concerns would prevent KIMI from being operated as originally planned. (2/4/2014)
CONSTRUCTION PERMITS FOR NEW LOW-POWER FM (100-WATT) STATIONS:Cedar Falls, IA: 92.9, College Hill Community Radio
Decorah, IA: 96.9, Luther College
Dubuque, IA: 98.3, St. Columbkille Church
Kensett, IA: 97.1, Elk Creek Lutheran Church
Marquette, MI: 103.9, Claves Regni Ministries dba Northern Apostle Radio
Quinnesec, MI: 88.7, Kingsford Community Radio
Dodge Center, MN: 95.1, One Day Church Project
Alliance, NE: 103.9, St. Maximillian Kolbe Catholic Radio of Alliance
Blair, NE: 94.7, Blair Healing Rooms
Creighton, NE: 95.9, St. Ludgerus Catholic Church
Gering, NE: 95.1, Christ the King Catholic Church of Gering and Scottsbluff
Holdrege, NE: 106.5, St. John Bosco Catholic Radio of Holdrege
Sidney, NE: 107.5, St. James Catholic Radio of Sidney
Valentine, NE: 105.7, St. John of God Catholic Radio of Valentine
York, NE: 102.7, St. Mary Catholic Radio of York
Bismarck, ND: 102.5, Dakota Media Access
Dodge, ND: 100.3, The Prairie Center Broadcasting
Fargo, ND: 88.1, The People's Press Project
Fort Yates, ND: 104.1, Catholic Indian Mission of Fort Yates
Jamestown, ND: 99.7, Hope and Truth Radio
Pine Ridge, SD: 92.9, Restoration Radio Ministries
Fond du Lac, WI: 105.1, Fond du Lac Christian Broadcasting
Hudson, WI: 93.1, Capital FM Radio Limited
Janesville, WI: 103.5, UAA
Oconto Falls, WI: 92.9, St. Padre Pio Radio
Rice Lake, WI: 105.5, Law Enforcement Foundation of Barron County
Stanley-Boyd-Cadott, WI: 96.5, All Saints Catholic Parish
Madison, WI: 95.5, Lussier Community Education Center
Sun Prairie, WI: 103.5, Sun Prairie Community Foundation dba Friends of Kids-4
Waterloo, WI: 96.9, Waterloo Christian Radio Corp
Waupaca, WI: 96.3, City of Waupaca (2/3/2014)
The FCC has granted Decorah's Luther College a new low-power FM station on 96.9 to take over the student-run programming currently heard on KWLC/1240. Besides the move to FM, the change will also allow Luther to have a full-time radio station since KWLC is in a rare shared-time arrangement with commercial station KDEC, one of the last such arrangements in the country. KWLC broadcasts 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. weekdays and all weekend. Luther has pledged to divest itself of the AM station, which has been on the air since 1926. divestiture could mean selling the AM license or returning it to the FCC. KWLC carries a broad variety of Rock, R&B, Hip-Hop, Classical, Christian music, and news and sports programming. (2/3/2014)
Two FM translators in the eastern Twin Cities metro area are apparently for sale. William Cornwall, who owns the two translators, is also president of Capital FM Radio Limited, which was recently granted a construction permit for a new low-power FM station in Hudson. On the application for the LPFM station, Cornwall pledged to divest himself of the translators before the LPFM station goes on the air. Neither translator is currently on the air -- W244CS/96.7 was originally licensed on 95.7 in Hudson as a translator of Easy Listening-formatted KNXR/97.5 (Rochester), but was forced off that frequency by the sign-on of WDMO/95.7 (Baldwin). W244CS is currently licensed to transmit from Woodbury but is off the air; it has a construction permit to move to a tower in West St. Paul. The move would give W244CS a strong signal to parts of St. Paul. Meanwhile, Cornwall was recently granted a CP for new translator K288GR/105.5 (Bayport), which would reach Stillwater and Hudson. (2/3/2014)
WLWB/1530 (New Holstein), which had just returned to the air in August from newly constructed facilities, is off the air due to damage to its ground system. Owner Mark Heller says a tow truck travelling to an adjacent field damaged about 34 of the station's 120 ground radials. WLWB had been carrying Spanish-language programming but is expected to carry a different format once it returns. Meanwhile, sister station WGBW/1590 (Denmark-Green Bay) has been operating on a limited schedule due to staffing. (2/3/2014)
Duluth's oldest Christian radio station, WWJC/850, is being sold to Milwaukee-based Christian broadcaster VCY America for $400,000. WWJC has carried Christian programming since its 1959 sign-on and is operated by WWJC, Inc. on a non-profit basis, though the station is commercially licensed. VCY plans to convert the license to non-commercial status. WWJC uses 10kW nondirectional daytime but has no nighttime authorization. VCY owns 21 other radio stations, including WEGZ/105.9 (Washburn, WI), which has a fringe signal to Duluth. WWJC, Inc. is headed by president Albert Elm. (1/31/2014)
The Janesville Gazette reports that Scott Thompson's Big Radio is buying WTJK/1380 (South Beloit, IL) and WWHG/105.9 (Evansville, WI) from Good Karma Broadcasting and will take over the stations Saturday. The purchase price was not disclosed but will likely be revealed once documents are filed with the FCC. Big Radio owns five stations with locally-intensive formats in Monroe, WI and Freeport, IL; Thompson tells the paper WWHG's "Hog" Classic Rock format won't change but WTJK is likely to have "less ESPN and more local news." (1/30/2014, corrected WWHG callsign 2/1)
The former WDKM/106.1 (Adams) launched an Adult Contemporary format as "Wisconsin 106" at 1:06 p.m. Wednesday (1/29) with the new callsign WCWI. Click here to listen to the launch. The change follows the station's sale to Casper Communications, owned by Joseph C. Deschler, Jr. of Spring Grove, MN. Mornings are hosted by regional radio veteran Bob Goff and Joe Casper will host afternoons. The station also plans to carry local news, farm programming, and Adams-Friendship high school sports. (1/29/2014)
WNLI/88.5 and WPFF/90.5 (Sturgeon) have switched to national networks while their sale to the Educational Media Foundation awaits final FCC approval. WNLI is now carrying EMF's Christian Rock "Air-1" network while WPFF carries the Christian Adult Contemporary "K-Love" network. The changeover came last Friday night (1/24). EMF is in the process of buing the stations from Bethesda Christian Broadcasting, which has owned them since 2007, for $825,000. The deal also included two translators in Sheboygan and one apiece in Appleton, WI and Escanaba, Iron Mountain, Ishpeming, and Marquette, MI. (1/29/2014)
A possible future AM station in Nebraska is the only one to be included in a closed auction of 22 construction permits to be conducted by the FCC beginning May 6. Christian broadcaster Bott Communications applied for a new station on 1130 in Ravenna, which would use 12kW daytime and 600 Watts nighttime from a tower site west of Grand Island. The station would use a directional antenna pattern shooting east and west, delivering a strong signal to Grand Island and Kearney with fringe coverage as far as Omaha. The nighttime signal would theoretically provide interference-free service to Grand Island. Bott's application is in competition with one from Advanced Modulation Broadcasting for the same frequency in Eaton, CO. Only Bott and Advanced Modulation Broadcasting will be allowed to compete in the bidding during Auction No. 84; the FCC has set a $3,500 minimum bid. (1/28/2014)
Minnesota Public Radio's WIRR/90.9 (Virginia-Hibbing) tells the FCC its operating at about 15 percent of normal power due to a transmitter failure. The station, which carries Classical MPR, normally uses 21kW/168m (class C2). Its request for special temporary authority says parts have been ordered and repairs will be made as soon as possible. (1/28/2014)
Three applicants for new low-power FM stations on 98.9 in the Twin Cities have asked the FCC to reinstate their applications, saying the FCC incorrectly dismissed them for being too close on the dial to a radio reading service. The FCC dismissed the applications from The Main Street Project, The Organizing Apprenticeship Project, and Pillsbury United Communities on the grounds that the proposed facilities were too close to a radio reading service supposedly carried on an analog subcarrier of Minnesota Public Radio's KSJN/99.5 (Minneapolis). However, the groups jointly submitted a petition for reconsideration containing an email from MPR's chief engineer stating that KSJN doesn't carry the service -- it's instead on KNOW/91.1 (Minneapolis-St. Paul). (1/27/2014, corrected 3/2 to remove South Minniapolis Community Radio, whose petition was filed separately)
CONSTRUCTION PERMITS FOR NEW LOW-POWER FM STATIONS GRANTED:Keosauqua, IA: 103.5, St. Mary Radio dba Radio Apostolate for the Heartland
The following are the first low-power FM stations granted from last year's round of applications. The stations will operate on a non-commercial basis with 100 Watts or less:
Brunswick, MN: 103.5, Lakes Media Foundation
Detroit Lakes, MN: 88.1, Christian Media, Inc.
Clay Center, NE: 93.9, Wildcat Broadcasting
Crete, NE: 105.7, Crete Progressive Educational Broadcasting Corp.
Crete, NE: 107.9, Greater Crete Commercial Free Radio Corp.
Edgar, NE: 90.5, Central Nebraska Community Broadcasting
Edgar, NE: 107.1, Williams Life Radio
Hastings, NE: 100.7, Educational Voice of Hastings
Hastings, NE: 98.3, Hope Radio Hastings
Kearney, NE: 100.9, Kearney SDA Radio
Grand Forks, ND: 99.7, North Valley Arts Council
Kenosha, WI: 101.5, UW Board of Regents on behalf of UW-Parkside
Brookfield, WI: 104.3, The Word for Life
Milwaukee, WI: 99.7, Academy of Excellence
Port Washington, WI: 101.5, Port Washington Community Broadcasting
Waupaca, WI: 99.1, Waupaca Area Community Radio (1/27/2014)
CONSTRUCTION PERMITS FOR NEW FM TRANSLATORS GRANTED:Mason City, IA: K244FA/96.7, 250W, David M. Stout.
Shenandoah, IA: K286CF/105.1, 250W, KMA Broadcasting.
Waterloo, IA: K295CF/106.9, 250W, E-String Wireless.
Rochester, MN: K241CC/96.1, 250W, E-String Wireless, Ltd.
Lincoln, NE: K255CS/98.9, 115W, CSN International.
Milwaukee, WI: W289CB/105.7, 10W, Kevin J. Youngers. (1/27/2014)
Flood Broadcasting is buying a second translator in Nebraska City, with applications indicating both will relay KNCY/1600. Flood will pay VSS Catholic Communications $20,000 for K236BY/95.1, which has a construction permit for a 250-Watt signal. As reported earlier, Flood is also in the process of buying the CP for K288GS/105.5 from Community Broadcasting for $5,000. (1/24/2014)
The FCC has reversed its earlier decision denying an application from Truth Broadcasting's KTIA-FM/99.3 (Boone) to move closer to Des Moines.
In December, commission staff rejected KTIA's application to change its community of license to Huxley and transmit from a tower near Sheldahl, using 5.3kW/95m (class A), on the stance that the station could theoretically then apply for a facility covering more than half of the Ames Urbanized Area. That would've run afoul of rules intended to preserve rural radio service.
However, KTIA, a Christian Talk station, pointed out that the FCC failed to consider that any future change to KTIA would have to protect adjacent-channel KDAO-FM/99.5 (Eldora-Marshalltown). The FCC agreed it had erred and reinstated the application to pending status.
This is KTIA's second attempt to move closer to Des Moines. The original application would've changed the community of license to Johnston and given the station city-grade coverage of most of the capital city, but it was rejected due to the rural radio rules.
KTIA's move would require KPUL-FM/99.5 (Winterset) to move to 101.7 which, in turn, would displace Iowa Public Radio translator K269EJ/101.7 (Des Moines). The translator already has a construction permit to move to 97.7. (1/23/2014)
NRG Media's WLKD/1570 (Minocqua) has reverted to its previous Soft Oldies format as "The Lake," a little less than two years after flipping to News/Talk. The change back to "The Lake" was first reported by DX-midAMerica. Nine hours of the station's previous Talk lineup had consisted of the now-defunct America's Radio News Network, along with Jerry Doyle, Rustie Humphries, and Phil Hendrie. (1/22/2014)
The FCC has proposed a $10,000 fine against the owner of KZMX/580 (Hot Springs) for alleged violations of tower lighting rules. The FCC says KZMX's tower lights were out on several occasions in early 2013 and that proper FAA notification was not initially made. KZMX owner Jan Charles Gray has 30 days to either pay the fine or seek a reduction or cancellation. The FCC had also proposed a $21,500 fine against Gray's Mount Rushmore Broadcasting in 2012 for numerous alleged violations at KZMX and KZMX-FM/96.7, including "failing to maintain a management or staff presence at the Stations' main studio." Filings indicate KZMX and KZMX-FM have been mostly off the air since 2011, with filings first citing technical issues and then staffing problems. KZMX's most recent special temporary authority to remain silent expired on Jan. 14. Gray also owns two stations in Custer, which filings indicate have been off the air for most of the past several years. (1/22/2014)
Leighton Enterprises is buying the construction permit for K226CA/93.1 (Detroit Lakes) from Shine the Light, Inc. for $12,520. The translator will be used to relay Leighton's KDLM/1340, which had already been indicated as the primary station in a recent application to move K226CA to KDLM's tower. Shine the Light operates a number of translators relaying the Contemporary Christian format of KKEQ/107.1 (Fosston). (1/22/2014)
The owner of a new FM station once poised to provide a rimshot signal to Omaha has asked the FCC for a downgrade following concerns over interference to airplane communications systems.
Kona Coast Radio's KIMI/107.7 (Sidney) has a construction permit for 50kW/124m (class C2) from a tower south of Glenwood, Iowa. However, the FAA asked KIMI to halt program tests because of intermodulation interference to a frequency used at Offutt Air Force Base. (The situation doesn't come as a surprise to those who recall Connoisseur Media's failed attempt to launch a similar station licensed to Pacific Junction, Iowa, in the mid-2000's, which ended with the FCC refunding Connoisseur money it had spent at auction and deleting the allotment after hearing FAA concerns.)
Now, KIMI has applied to drop power to 13kW and change its community of license to Malvern, Iowa, since the station would not provide Sidney a city-grade signal at the lower wattage. The 13kW signal would still reach some, but not all, listeners in Omaha. Kona Coast Radio, headed by Victor Michael, is asking the FCC not to consider the proposal a move into an urbanized area because the airplane interference concerns would prevent the station from upgrading to reach any more of Omaha.
KIMI was originally constructed at Humboldt, NE, and remains licensed there, though filings indicate it was only on the air in Humboldt for a few days and cannot return to the air there because the original facility has already been dismantled. (1/21/2014)
NEW FM TRANSLATORS GRANTED:Des Moines, IA: K283CC/104.5, 250W, Saga Communications.
Pipestone, MN: K257FP/99.3, 200W, Refuge Media Group.
Nebraska City, NE: K236BY/95.1, 250W, VSS Catholic Communications.
Rapid City, SD: K272FH/102.3, 10W, Horizon Christian Fellowship. (1/20/2014)
The FCC has granted KNCY-FM/103.1 (Auburn-Nebraska City) an upgrade from 14kW to 50kW, with a slight reduction in antenna height from 133m to 124m above average terrain. The station's class will upgrade from C3 to C2 with the change. KNCY-FM and KNCY/1600 (Nebraska City) were recently sold to Flood Broadcasting; the FM side carries a Country format while the AM carries Classic Country and is in the process of launching an FM translator. (1/20/2014)
Duluth's FOX 21 (KQDS-TV) began broadcasting its newscasts in HD on Sunday (1/19), upgrading from 4:3 SD. The other stations in the market have been offering their newscasts in widescreen SD for several years. (1/20/2014)
CBS and CW affiliate KDLH/3.1 (Duluth) returned to the air Saturday (1/18) after a six-day outage due to transmitter problems. CBS programming had been carried on channel 6.3 of NBC affiliate KBJR (Superior-Duluth), which manages KDLH through a shared services agreement, since Wednesday and continued as of Sunday. DirecTV and DISH Network customers also lost KDLH programming for the first several days of the outage, but the satellite providers restored service from 6.3 when it became available. KDLH programming was uninterrupted on KRII/11 (Chisholm), which relays 3.1 (CBS) on 11.3 and 3.2 (CW) on 11.2. KBJR was also off the air for much of the day Sunday (1/12) due to a separate transmitter issue. (1/14/2014, updated 1/19)
Contemporary Christian "Life 97.3" (KDNW Duluth) has returned to full power. Station Manager says Scott Michaels says KDNW, a University of Northwestern-St. Paul station, returned to 72kW Saturday (1/11). A request for special temporary authority filed with the FCC just a few days earlier said KDNW's transmission line was damaged in a Nov. 29 ice storm and it had dropped to 475 Watts. (1/13/2014)
NEW FM TRANSLATORS GRANTED:Bettendorf, IA: K247BW/97.3, 40W, Illinois Bible Institute.
Moorhead, MN: W247CC/97.3, 1W, Horizon Christian Fellowship. Community of license misspelled as "Moorehead" in FCC database.
Omaha, NE: K235CD/94.9, 50W, Calvary Chapel of Omaha. Will relay the chapel's KHLW/89.3 (Tabor, IA).
Omaha, NE: K277CP/103.3, 99W, Community Broadcasting (Bott Radio Network).
Appleton, WI: W249CX/97.7, 80W, VCY America.
Beloit, WI: W239CD/95.7, 250W, Sister Grace, Inc.
Madison/Waunakee, WI: W258CM/99.5, 120W, Sister Grace, Inc.
Wrightstown/Green Bay, WI: W223CD/92.5, 99W, Woodward Communications. (1/13/2014)
Educational Media Foundation, operator of the "K-Love" and "Air-1" Christian music networks, is getting construction permits for five translators in Iowa and Wisconsin as part of deals with Radio Assist Ministry and Edgewater Broadcasting. EMF will get a total of 14 translators nationwide from RAM and Edgwater in exchange for settling a $462,834.67 debt. The translators going to EMF include K250BC/97.9 (Ames), K238BM/95.5 (Des Moines), K279BX/103.7 (Knoxville), W291CM/106.1 (Appleton), and W287BZ/105.3 (Oshkosh). Applications to transfer the CP's indicate all five translators will carry "K-Love" stations. (1/13/2014)
A non-commercial Classic Country network is buying a second station in Nebraska. Whiplash Radio, which runs the "Cat Country" network, is buying KNIT/90.1 (Humboldt) from Cedar Cove Broadcasting for $500. KNIT is licensed for 6.1kW/63m. It received its license in June 2013, but had earlier informed the commission that it had gone silent in December 2012. The FCC denied a request to extend special temporary authority to remain silent last month. According to the asset purchase agreement, the sale only includes the license, antenna, and transmission line - not a transmitter or studio equipment. Victor Michael heads Cedar Cove and Kona Coast Radio; Cedar Cove established KNIT as Kona Coast sought to move KIMI from Humboldt to Sidney, IA (the FCC generally doesn't allow stations to move if they leave a community without a radio license). Whiplash was already in the process of buying KVAM/88.3 (Kimball) from Cedar Cove for $3,500 and also has stations in Colorado, Kansas, and Oklahoma. The network's website says KVAM and KNIT will begin carrying its programming later this year. (1/8/2014)
Clear Channel's KTCN/1130 (Minneapolis) has changed its callsign to KTLK after a sister station in Los Angeles dropped the callsign. The official Minneapolis changeover apparently came Monday (1/6). 1130's News/Talk format had been KTLK-FM prior to the move to AM in 2011, which required a callsign change because the LA station was already using KTLK. Though 1130 was identified as "Twin Cities News/Talk," many people continued to refer to it as "K-Talk" after the move to AM and the Star Tribune has listed an incorrect callsign for the station for the past two years. (1/6/2014)
ABC affiliate KLKN/8 (Lincoln) returned to DirecTV at the start of the new year after the satellite company and KLKN's owner, Citadel Communications, reached a new agreement. KLKN had been off DirecTV since October. The provider didn't lose ABC programming because the market has two ABC affiliates, and KHGI/13 (Kearney) was still carried. (1/5/2014)
A belated mention that the newscasts from ABC affiliate WDAZ/8 (Devils Lake-Grand Forks) are now in HD. The station's news had been in widescreen SD prior to the Oct. 15 switch. (1/5/2014)
Another Canadian AM signal went silent for good at midnight Friday night (1/3) as CBC/Radio-Canada completed the move of Première Chaîne Manitoba flagship CKSB from its 10kW facility at AM 1050 (St. Boniface) to its new 100kW facility at 88.1 FM (Winnipeg). CKSB-10-FM/90.5 (Winnipeg), which had rebroadcast 1050's programming with 2.8kW, also went silent. It's unclear what 88.1's new callsign will be since CKSB-FM is already used for the Espace musique station at 89.9. The sign-on of a major new station at 88.1 was possible because CBC-TV station CBWT/6 moved to channel 27 with the digital transition (it remaps to channel 6.1 on receivers).
According to the Canadian Communications Foundation, CKSB signed on at 1250 in 1946 as an independently-owned French-language station. It moved to 1050 in the 1960's and ownership was transferred to CBC/Radio-Canada in 1973.
In the past decade, a half-dozen other AM stations in Manitoba and northwestern Ontario have gone off the air, replaced by FM frequencies. Only four AM signals remain on the air in Winnipeg, including CBC Radio One's CBW/990, which is rebroadcast on 89.3 FM. (1/3/2014)
Iowa Public Radio's KNSH/91.1 (Fort Dodge) has changed its callsign to KNSK, allowing Cumulus Media to pick up the KNSH callsign. Cumulus operates a number of Country stations using the "Nash" moniker and has, for now, parked the callsign on an AM station in Texas. (WNSH is used for the format's New York outlet and was briefly parked in Minnesota in late 2012.) The Fort Dodge change took place Dec. 24. The station had been KTPR until changing to a KNS_ callsign along with several other IPR News/Talk/Adult Alternative stations in 2012. (1/3/2014)
MINNESOTA/NEBRASKA/WISCONSIN:Detroit Lakes, MN: Shine the Light's K226CA/93.1 will relay Leighton Broadcasting's KDLM/1340 following a move to KDLM's tower and an upgrade to 250 Watts.
West Point, NE: Wayne Radio Works is seeking a waiver to move K255CK/98.9 (West Point) to Wayne to relay KTCH/1590. It would transmit with 238W from the KTCH tower.
Wausau, WI: First Ventures Capital Partners is seeking a waiver to move W290AZ from 105.9 in Marshfield to 95.1 in Wausau, where it would relay Midwest Communications' WSAU/550. The translator would remain licensed to Marshfield after the move. It would use 250 Watts from the WRIG/1390 tower. (1/2/2014)
The following AM-on-FM translators are planned, according to recent applications:
Salem Communications is buying the construction permit for translator K233CO/94.5 (Omaha) from Edgewater Broadcasting for $225,000. The deal was expected since K233CO's previous application had listed Salem's KCRO/660 (Omaha) as the station to be rebroadcast. K233CO will use 250 Watts with a main coverage area including most of Omaha and Council Bluffs. (1/2/2014)
A few months after tweaking its format to a more Light Adult Contemporary direction, CFJL-FM/100.7 (Winnipeg) has changed its slogan to "Jewel 101." The station was known as "The Breeze" before the format tweak but had been known simply as "100.7 Lite & Refreshing" since the change, and continues to use "Lite & Refreshing" as a positioner. CFJL owner Evanov Communications uses the "Jewel" slogan in several markets. (1/1/2014)
KCWV/27 (Duluth) has changed its network affiliation to AMG TV, the third network it's carried since signing on in 2009. KCWV first carried My Family TV and later switched to Legacy TV, which became The Walk TV. The switchover to AMG, which carries a mixture of family-friendly shows and Christian programming, happened sometime late last year. The station is owned by George S. Flinn III of Memphis and carries no local advertising. (1/1/2014)
NBC affiliate WMTV (Madison) switched its 15.2 subchannel from the AccuWeather Channel to WeatherNationTV at the start of the new year. WeatherNation TV's programming originates in suburban Minneapolis, with opportunities for affiliates to insert local forecasts. (1/1/2014)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: WDJT-TV (Channel 58) adds a Madison bureau (4/22)
St. Paul Pioneer Press: Radio personality Tom Barnard adding to podcast network (4/18)
Star Tribune: MPR studios feel the bad vibes from light-rail tracks (4/18)
Eau Claire Leader-Telegram: Patrow replaced at WQOW (4/16)
Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier: News director Schillinger to leave KWWL (4/16)
The Forum: Ben and Jim rejoin forces for new radio morning show (4/15)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Carl Zimmermann, 96, was silver-haired dean of Milwaukee broadcast news (4/11)
Star Tribune: Minnesota man suing WCCO for defamation in Cold Spring's cop killing case (4/9)
Star Tribune: MPR now stands for millennial public radio (4/6)
St. Paul Pioneer Press: KARE's Jonathan Malat wins national news photo award (4/4)
Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier: Ron Steele marks 40 years at KWWL (3/30)
Star Tribune: Rez Radio: 4 tribal stations thriving in northern Minnesota (3/30)
Sioux Falls Argus Leader: Whatever Happened To: 'Harley Worthit' now a bit quieter (3/16)
St. Paul Pioneer Press: Love is ON the air: KDWB morning cohost will marry KFAN morning personality (3/20)
St. Paul Pioneer Press: Former Fox 9 anchor Matheson will return to WCCO-TV (3/19)
St. Paul Pioneer Press: WCCO-TV has new Saturday morning anchor (3/19)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Second-generation TV, radio broadcasters share fathers' lessons (3/19)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Journal Broadcast radio personnel get different, more duties (3/19)
Star Tribune: CBS and WCCO morning shows are ratings gold in Twin Cities (3/17)
Quad City Times: Ottier glad to be back on morning shift as KWQC anchor (3/17)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Tom Shanahan dies; had one of longest-running radio shows in Wisconsin (3/12)
The Forum: WDAZ anchor resigns, email said it was 'effective immediately' (2/12)
Star Tribune: KSTP’s Jay Kolls sues over driver’s license snooping (2/12)
Star Tribune: Obituary: Mary Davies Orfield, TV’s carmen the Nurse (2/11)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: New WTMJ-TV VP, GM from Journal Green Bay stations (2/10)
Des Moines Register: KCCI anchor Amanda Lewis to join Des Moines school district staff (2/4)
St. Paul Pioneer Press: KSTP-TV reporter Rusty Gatenby let go (2/3)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: WTMJ-TV (Channel 4) news director Bill Berra steps down (2/3)
Janesville Gazette: Monroe man buying Janesville radio stations (1/30)
MinnPost: Broadcasting pioneer Stan Hubbard impressed with Gov. Christie at weekend meet-and-greet (1/22)
City Pages: 89.3 the Current: An oral history (1/22)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Journal Broadcast Group announces reorganization (1/22)
Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier: Natasha Chughtai no longer with KWWL (1/8)
Lincoln Journal Star: Jeff Korbelik: KFRX a ratings winner, but not its parent company (1/20)
OnMilwaukee: Steve Kabelowsky's Blogs: WTMJ-TV Ch. 4 launches 4:30 a.m. newscast (1/18)
Pioneer Press: Jeff Dubay let go from ESPN in 'cost cutting measure' (1/13)
Pioneer Press: WCCO's cold weather reports bring cool national exposure (1/10)
Pioneer Press: KSTP-TV meteorologist Patrick Hammer is off the air (1/10)
Lincoln Journal Star: Broadcast icon Don Gill died Friday (1/4)
Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal: After 52 years, radio show host signs off (1/3)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: 2013 Year in Review: TV & Radio (12/27)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Gordon Hinkley dies; was radio personality at WTMJ (12/26)
Duluth News Tribune: Duluth TV personality Jack McKenna dies at age 91 (12/9)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Badgers' shift from WTMJ to Clear Channel part of bigger game for all players (12/9)
St. Paul Pioneer Press: Fox 9 meteorologist Ian Leonard returning to work after concussion (12/6)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Jim Hall, Jon Byman leaving Milwaukee broadcast jobs (12/5)
WCCO: Longtime WCCO Radio Newsman Retiring (12/5)
Waukon Standard: KNEI's Chuck "Allen" retiring after 40-year career on the local radio airwaves (12/4)
St. Paul Pioneer Press: Fox 9 has new evening news anchor (12/4)
TVNewsCheck: Hubbard Jumps From Petry To CoxReps (12/4)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Milwaukee radio ratings for November: WMIL is champ, WTMJ strong (12/3)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Time Warner Cable lost subscribers during WTMJ blackout (12/3)
St. Paul Pioneer Press: KSTP-TV's Davis will retire in May (12/2)
Broadcasting & Cable: Burgundy Goes to Bismarck: ‘We’re Not Sure Why He Chose Us’ (12/2)
Milwaukee Business Journal: Wisconsin Badgers games move to AM 920, Oldies 95.7 (12/2)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Contested Internet television service Aereo setting up in Wisconsin (11/30)
MPR: Somali language radio station applies to take to the air in St. Cloud (11/26)
WPR: Chippewa Valley Radio DJ To Sign Off After 60 Years On The Air (11/28)
St. Paul Pioneer Press: KSTP-TV morning anchor and meteorologist will be gone in 6 months (11/27)
St. Paul Pioneer Press: A comeback for color-coded forecasts (11/27)
The Forum (Fargo): Former KFGO radio personality Larry Ristvedt dies (11/26)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: WISN-TV anchor-reporter Jason Newton goes to Baltimore (11/26)
Star Tribune: Fired 5 years ago, Al Malmberg returning to WCCO Radio (11/25)
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: After 86 years, WTMJ-AM to end Wisconsin Badgers broadcasts (11/22)
OnMilwaukee: Sports talker Bill Michaels nurtures his own radio show network (11/13)
Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service: WNOV expands talk radio show geared to black audience (11/14)
WISN-TV: Steve 'The Homer' True critically hurt in crash (11/13)
Grand Forks Herald: WDAZ-TV reporter attacked at Spirit Lake (11/13)
WCCO: WCCO Radio Newsman Attacked, Robbed On Way To Work (11/12)
The Gazette: Iowa Public Radio hires new leader (11/5)
Pioneer Press: Independent radio station KDWA marks 50 years on air (10/29)
Pierce County Herald: KDWA celebrates 50 years on the air (11/1)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: No trick: Martini Radio switches to all-Christmas format on Halloween (10/31)
Star Tribune: Suit claims MPR was bilked out of $315,000 (10/25)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Will Christmas music on Milwaukee radio start next week? (10/24)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: WTMJ-TV's Jim Cullen remembered for his strong opinions, and his heart (10/17)
Pioneer Press: KARE's Boyd Huppert tells a story like few can (10/12)
Omaha World Herald: Sale means Gateway co-founder Norman Waitt out of broadcast business (10/15)
Argus Leader (Sioux Falls): WNAX: An adapting 'Voice' (10/4)
Pioneer Press: Joy Lim Nakrin leaving KSTP-TV for Boston (10/3)
The Gazette: Iowa Public Radio settles suits with former regent (10/1)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: WTMJ apologizes, issues retraction for alleging MPD officer misconduct (10/2)
Des Moines Register: Meteorologist Arielle Nixon leaving WHO-TV (10/1)
The Forum (Fargo): KVRR Fox News unveils first new look since launch; high-def newscast eyed in 'near future' (10/1)