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MINNESOTA:
DISH Network has added Telemundo affiliate KJNK-LD/25 to its Minneapolis locals package. KJNK is the first Spanish-language station, and the first low-power TV station, to be carried by a satellite provider in the market. The station is owned by HC2 Broadcasting and operated by Hispanic Television Broadcasting of Minnesota. (7/19/2018)

MINNESOTA/WISCONSIN:
A new digital subchannel network called "Start TV" is scheduled to launch on September 3 with charter affiliates in Minneapolis and Milwaukee. The network, a partnership between Weigel Broadcasting and CBS, will target women with a lineup of procedural dramas including "The Closer," "Medium," "The Good Wife," "Crossing Jordan," and "Cold Case." A
press release says programs will be shown at the same time seven days a week with multi-hour blocks for headliner programs. "Start TV" will be carried from launch on CBS owned-and-operated stations including WCCO-TV (Minneapolis) and several Weigel stations, including an unspecified channel in Milwaukee. TVNewsCheck reports that Start TV will displace Decades, another Weigel/CBS network, on some CBS stations, but it was not clear if WCCO would be one of them. Weigel tells TVNewsCheck that it's committed to the Decades network and has already found other affiliates in several markets. Weigel also runs MeTV, H&I, and Movies! Network. (7/18/2018)

MINNESOTA:
The Educational Media Foundation is working to move its main Twin Cities "Air 1" signal back to Minneapolis. W225AP/92.9 had been transmitting from the Wells Fargo Center in Minneapolis with 99 Watts, but was forced to leave that facility after interference complaints from KKJM/92.9 (St. Joseph-St. Cloud). W225AP has been transmitting from St. Paul with 250 Watts since last summer. Now, it's applied to move back to Minneapolis with 250 Watts using a directional antenna to limit the signal to the northwest, protecting KKJM. "Air 1," which carries a Christian Rock format, is also heard on K249ED/97.7 in the far northwest metro. (7/17/2018)

IOWA:
Educational Media Foundation "K-Love" station KLFG/89.5 (Fort Dodge) has completed an upgrade that expands its coverage area to include more of north-central Iowa. KLFG now transmits with 34kW/257m (class C1) from the Iowa Public Television tower near Bradgade. The station had previously transmitted from a tower closer to Fort Dodge with 17kW/111m (class C3). (7/17/2018)

ONTARIO:
Christian broadcaster CJOA-FM/95.1 (Thunder Bay) is asking regulators for permission to add a secondary transmitter in Nipigon, saying residents of the community have asked for the coverage. The 50-Watt station would transmit on 92.5 from the roof of a hardware store. CJOA is owned by United Christian Broadcasters Media Canada. Nipigon is also served by a secondary transmitter of a commercial station based in Marathon, CBC and Radio-Canada transmitters, and rimshot signals from several Thunder Bay stations. (7/17/2018)

WISCONSIN:
Christian broadcaster WRVM, Inc. has applied to move its new central Wisconsin signal to Wausau. WXVM/104.1 (Merrill) is currently licensed for 7.4kW/188m (class C2) from a tower near Merrill and has applied to move its transmitter to Wausau with 8.3kW/144m (class C3). The move would improve reception in Wausau but cut 104.1's signal to the north. However, that area is already served by WRVM's WHJL/88.1 (Merrill), which transmits from a tower north of Merrill. (7/17/2018)

MINNESOTA:
The FCC has approved construction permits that will move two AM stations away from a longtime western Twin Cities transmission site. Salem Media's WWTC/1280 and KDIZ/1570 currently transmit from a site in St. Louis Park that WWTC has used since the 1960's. The CP's call for WWTC to co-locate with sister KKMS/980 at its site in Eagan, while KDIZ will co-locate with sister KYCR/1440 at its site in Golden Valley. WWTC currently transmits with 5kW, nondirectional daytime and directional nighttime, and will upgrade to 10kW day and 15kW night from Eagan, with different day and night directional patterns. KDIZ will make a small change from 3.8kW day and 230 Watts night, nondirectional, to 4kW day and 220 Watts night, nondirectional. (7/16/2018)

MINNESOTA:
Townsquare Media's KDHL/920 (Faribault) plans to drop four towers from its seven-tower array, which is in a high-profile spot along I-35. KDHL is currently licensed for 5kW with different daytime and nighttime directional patterns using four towers during the day and six at night. However, the station has been operating at reduced power since 2014 due to damage to the antenna system. It's now filed an application with the FCC to use 3.3kW day and 1kW night with different day and night patterns from the three towers that would remain. Despite the power reduction, KDHL's daytime coverage would be similar to its former facility (see page 12 of this document). "The Mighty 920" carries a farm-focused Classic Country format covering much of south-central Minnesota and has a rimshot signal to the Twin Cities. (7/16/2018)

NEW FM SIGNALS ON THE AIR:

  • Iowa City, IA: KICI-LP/105.3, carrying a Community/Variety format
  • Hutchinson, MN: K243CQ/96.5, relaying news, farm, and music programming from KDUZ/1260
  • Omaha, NE: K268DI/101.5 (Council Bluffs), relaying the Christian format of KLNG/1560.
  • Overton, NE: K224FL/92.7, relaying Classic Country from KAMI/1580 (Cozad). (The translator is actually licensed to Cozad but transmits from near Overton.)
  • Merrill, WI: W242CZ/96.3, relaying the News/Oldies format of WJMT/730 with the updated slogan of "Bluejay 96.3" (7/15/2018)

MINNESOTA/WISCONSIN:
The FCC has approved Quincy Media's purchase of a second full-power station in the Duluth market. As previously detailed here, Quincy owns NBC/CBS affiliate KBJR-TV/6 (Superior-Duluth) and is buying CW affiliate KDLH/3 (Duluth) from SagamoreHill Broadcasting for $792,577, subject to adjustment. KDLH has been located in KBJR's building since 2005, but Quincy has not been able to sell ads on KDLH since its 2016 purchase of KBJR due to FCC rules that were in place at that time. KDLH's longtime CBS affiliation was moved to KBJR-DT2 in 2016, and KBJR-DT2 assumed KDLH's channel 3 position on cable and satellite systems. Now, outright co-ownership of KBJR and KDLH is being allowed because KDLH has fallen to fifth in the ratings since the 2016 affiliation switch. No programming changes have been announced, but there is no rule preventing Quincy from moving the CBS affiliation, branded as "CBS3," back to KDLH. A similar Quincy purchase in Fort Wayne, Indiana, also received FCC approval. (7/15/2018)

NEBRASKA:
The Nebraska Rural Radio Association has launched a Classic Country format in Scottsbluff. "The Trail" is heard on K269DO/101.7 and originates on the HD2 signal of the NRRA's KNEB-FM/94.1, which carries a mainstream Country format on its primary channel. Online, "The Trail" replaces a web-only Contemporary Hits format called "The Beet" that had streamed through KNEB's website. The NRRA also operates Farm/Talker KNEB/960 (Scottsbluff), which is relayed on K262CU/100.3. K269DO had previously been owned by Armada Media and relayed KOAQ/690 (Terrytown-Scottsbluff) when Armada ran that station; KOAQ is now running a competing Classic Country format under Legacy Broadcasting's management. The KNEB stations also compete with two other FM Country stations in the panhandle. (7/12/2018)

WISCONSIN/MINNESOTA:
Eastern Twin Cities metro signal W279DD/103.7 (Hudson, WI) has returned to the air after receiving special temporary authority from the FCC to transmit at reduced power. As previously reported here, the translator of WDGY/740's Oldies format was forced to leave the air last month after the FCC determined that interference complaints from listeners of WWIB/103.7 (Hallie-Eau Claire) had not been resolved. W279DD had been using 250 Watts but is now using 100 Watts while it tries to resolve the complaints, and has also applied to implement the use of a directional antenna to limit the signal towards WWIB. (7/11/2018)

MINNESOTA/WISCONSIN (UPDATED):
CBS Sports Radio has returned to Midwest Communications' WDUL/970 (Superior-Duluth). The station had been rebroadcasting the Conservative Talk format of sister station WDSM/710 (Superior-Duluth) since early June but returned to the Sports format within days of a report here about the simulcast. WDUL's 1kW coverage area is contained within WDSM's 10kW coverage area. WDUL is the only one of Midwest's three Twin Ports AM stations without an FM translator. (7/9/2018, updated 7/11)

MINNESOTA:
Twin Cities Catholic TV station K14RB-D (St. Paul), formerly K16HY-D, has returned from the air. The low-power station owned by St. Michael Broadcasting had been bumped off the air in late May when KPXM-TV/41.1 completed its spectrum repack RF channel change from 40 to 16. K14RB-D returned to the air Monday, July 9, after a new antenna was installed on the IDS Center and continues to transmit with 15kW, the maximum for LPTV stations. It carries a bulletin board on 14.1, EWTN on 14.2, and other Catholic programming on 14.3. (7/10/2018)

NEBRASKA/SOUTH DAKOTA/WISCONSIN:
The following RF channel changes have recently occurred due to the national TV band repack:

  • Columbus, NE: NCN/Telemudo station KMJF-LD moved from channel 48 to 16.
  • Aberdeen, SD: KTTW-FOX translator K39CZ-D moved to channel 36 as K36NW-D.
  • Lead, SD: KNBN-NBC translator K40GS-D moved to channel 35 as K35MW-D, and also upgraded to 15kW.
  • Pringle, SD: SDPB-PBS translator K39LT-D moved to channel 36 as K36NX-D.
  • Coloma, WI: WPT-PBS translator W48DB-D moved to channel 29 as W29ET-D.
  • Fence, WI: WPT-PBS translator W45CD-D moved to channel 30 as W30DZ-D.
  • Green Bay, WI: NBC affiliate WGBA/26.1 moved from channel 41 to 14.
  • Green Bay, WI: WPT-PBS station WPNE/38.1 moved from channel 42 to 25.
  • Sayner, WI: WSAW-CBS/FOX translator W42DH-D moved to channel 21 as W21DS-D. (7/10/2018)

MINNESOTA:
KFMC/106.5 (Fairmont) has dropped Classic Rock for Classic Hits as "106.5 Lakes FM." The new format launched with Prince's "1999" on Monday, July 9, at Noon after a weekend of stunting with a loop of "Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport." The change comes a month after City of Lakes Media, headed by Matthew Ketelsen, completed its purchase of KFMC and KSUM/1370 from Woodward Broadcasting. The Classic Rock format had run since 2003. (7/9/2018)

NEW FM TRANSLATORS GRANTED (6/18-7/6):
The FCC has recently granted the following new FM translators as a result of the AM Revitalization filing windows:

  • Waterloo, IA: KXEL/1540, K263BZ/100.5, 250W
  • Williston, ND: KEYZ/660, K277DR/103.3, 250W
  • Mobridge, SD: KOLY/1300, K270CU/101.9, 250W
  • Fort Atkinson, WI: WFAW/940, W277DV/103.3, 250W
  • Green Bay, WI: WGBW/1590, W250CV/97.9, 250W
  • Madison, WI: WTTN/1580 (Columbus), W224EG/92.7, 75W
  • Milwaukee, WI: WJTI/1460 (West Allis), W273DQ/102.5, 75W
  • Minocqua, WI: WLKD/1570, W289CT/105.7, 250W

One application was dismissed:

  • Sauk Rapids, MN: WBHR/660, 95.7, 250W (FCC letter)

Meanwhile, several new FM translators are due to be granted as a result of FCC Auction No. 83:

  • Dubuque, IA: University of Northwestern-St. Paul won 104.3 with a $16,000 bid in the 17th round.
  • Menominee, MI: Sister Grace won 98.9 with a $5,500 bid in the ninth round.
  • Gladstone, MI: Sister Grace was the only bidder for 103.9 and won with a $750 bid.
  • La Crosse, WI: Sister Grace was the only bidder for 107.3 and won with a $2,500 bid.
  • Oshkosh, WI: Sister Grace won 95.5 with a $12,000 bid in the 11th round.

The applicants must pay their winning bids by July 30, and construction permits won't be issued until the payments have been made. (7/6/2018)

MINNESOTA:
A tiny west suburban Twin Cities FM station has quietly shut down: St. Louis Park Public Schools has returned the license for KDXL/106.5. The 8-Watt station had operated during school hours, carrying programming from St. Louis Park High School. The school district did not give a reason for the shutdown in a letter to the FCC. The school board held a special meeting about the station in February, but minutes from subsequent meetings don't contain any mention of KDXL.

KDXL first signed on at 91.7 in 1978 and later moved to 106.7, which it later had to vacate when a translator began using the same frequency in the east metro. It was one of the last of the now-discontinued class D educational stations still on the air.

For the past 15 years, KDXL had been in a rare time-share agreement with the University of Minnesota's KUOM-FM/106.5. KDXL had the right to use the frequency from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on school days, and KUOM-FM used the frequency at other times. KUOM-FM has now applied to use the frequency full-time. 106.5 was the first foray into FM broadcasting for KUOM/770's "Radio K" format, which is now heard on larger translator signals on 104.5 in Minneapolis and 100.7 in Falcon Heights. (7/5/2018)

ILLINOIS/IOWA:
A western Illinois station recently completed its move closer to the Quad Cities. On June 25, WQUD (Erie, IL) moved from 105.5 to 107.7 and began transmitting with 6kW/97m (class A) from a tower between Moline and Geneseo, giving the station a strong signal to most of the Quad Cities area. To allow for the move, WLLT (Polo, IL) moved from 107.7 to 94.3 and WSSQ (Sterling, IL) moved from 94.3 to 105.5. Both WLLT and WSSQ retained their former coverage areas. WQUD is owned by JMRW LLC and carries a broad mix of Rock and Country from the 1960's to today. (7/5/2018)

IOWA:
Jonathan A. Mason's JAM Media Solutions is buying a set of radio stations in Muscatine from WPW Broadcasting for $965,000. The stations, Classic Rocker KMCS/93.1 and a Classic Country format on KWPC/860 and K236CF/95.1, serve an area just west of the Quad Cities. (7/3/2018)

MINNESOTA:
Longtime Twin Cities radio host John Hines has announced plans to partially retire later this year. WCCO Radio announced Hines' decision Friday, saying he will move into a part-time/fill-in role after the State Fair. Hines has been with WCCO since 2009, but may be better known as the co-host of popular morning shows on KSTP/1500 in the late 1970's, the defunct WLOL-FM/99.5 in the 1980's, and K102 (KEEY-FM) in the 1990's and early 2000's. The announcement quotes Hines as saying he is thankful to his listeners and to WCCO for allowing him to extend his career. (6/29/2018)

IOWA:
Saga Broadcasting has launched a new signal and a new format in Spencer. K273DD/102.5 has signed on relaying the News/Talk format of KICD/1240, which had previously been relayed on K252EX/98.3. K252EX is now carrying Saga's "Pure Oldies" format, which originates on the HD2 signal of KMRR/104.9. K273DD was granted as part of the FCC's AM Revitalization effort and is required to relay KICD, while K252EX was obtained earlier without a waiver and can relay any station. (6/29/2018)

IOWA:
iHeartMedia has signed on new translator K254DL/98.7 (Sioux City), relaying "La Preciosa" from KWSL/1470. The new 250-Watt FM signal was granted as a result of the FCC's AM Revitalization effort. "La Preciosa" is the second Spanish-language format on FM in Sioux City, competing with the "Fiesta" on K246CJ/97.1 (Sioux City) and KZOI/1250 (Dakota City, NE). Nielsen Audio says the market is about 18 percent Hispanic. (6/29/2018)

MINNESOTA:
K39GG (Aitkin), which had relayed FOX affiliate KQDS-TV/21 (Duluth) and was one of the last analog TV signals still on the air in Minnesota, has gone off the air. K39GG would have been required to move to a lower channel due to the spectrum auction repack but did not apply for a change during a recent filing window. Owner Red River Broadcast Corp. told the FCC in a notification of suspension of operations that it decided to take the translator off the air because Aitkin is outside of the Duluth market. At one time, all of the Duluth commercial stations had translators in Aitkin, but the others left the air more than a decade ago, leaving Aitkin with only a few distant signals.

Down the road in Brainerd, KSAX-ABC translator K16BQ recently converted from analog to digital. The lineup includes KSTP-ABC on 16.1, KSTC-45TV on 16.2, and KSTC-MeTV on 16.3. (6/28/2018)

IOWA/MISSOURI:
The Ottumwa Courier reports that new NBC affiliate KYOU-DT2/15.2 will launch a 10 p.m. newscast on July 16. KYOU has carried a 9 p.m. newscast on its primary FOX channel for the past several years, and the station's news director tells the paper that NBC required it to add the 10:00 newscast after adding the network earlier this year. KYOU is owned by American Spirit Media and operated by Raycom. It will apparently be the first 10:00 news competitor for Sinclair ABC affiliate KTVO-TV/3.1 (Kirksville-Ottumwa) in its 63-year history. (6/27/2018)

WISCONSIN/MINNESOTA:
An eastern Twin Cities metro FM signal is seeking permission from the FCC to return to the air at reduced power after an interference complaint from another station forced it to go silent. W279DD/103.7 (Hudson, WI) had signed on in 2016, relaying the Oldies format of WDGY/740 with
250 Watts from WDGY's tower site east of Hudson. Christian broadcaster WWIB/103.7 (Hallie-Eau Claire) filed an interference complaint last year, citing reports of reception problems from ten listeners in areas between the two stations' primary contours. After much back and forth between the two sides, FCC Audio Division Senior Deputy Chief James Bradshaw issued a letter on June 11 determining that W279DD had not resolved eight of the complaints and ordering the translator to leave the air immediately. W279DD has now requested special temporary authority to return to the air at 100 Watts or less to see if the interference can be eliminated. The STA request also says W279DD intends to apply for use of a directional antenna that would limit coverage to the east. WDGY's programming is also carried on W221BS/92.1 (St. Paul), which is unaffected by the dispute. (6/27/2018)

NORTH DAKOTA:
The company that's been operating a new FM station along the North Dakota/South Dakota border for the past year is buying its license. Jeff Hallen's HiRange Media Corp. will pay Midnation Media $65,000 for KZRN/102.3 (Hettinger), which carries a mix of Country and Classic Rock as "The Range." KZRN is the only strong commercial FM signal in the town of about 1,200 people and competes with a longtime local AM station, Schweitzer Media's KNDC/1490. (6/26/2018)

IOWA:
The price for the previously-reported sale of two Keokuk radio stations is $245,000, according to an asset purchase agreement filed with the FCC. Keokuk Broadcasting, owned by Leah Jones and Michael Greenwald, is buying KOKX/1310 (Keokuk) and WCEZ/93.9 (Carthage, IL-Keokuk) from Riverfront Broadcasting. Longtime station employee Jones teamed up with city councilor Greenwald to buy the stations after Riverfront laid off staff and put the stations up for sale earlier this year. The buyers began operating the stations under a programming agreement on June 1. (6/26/2018)

NATIONAL TV MERGER:
Gray TV has announced plans to merge with Raycom Media in a $3.6 billion deal that will create the nation's third-largest broadcast TV group. The combined company will own stations in 92 markets reaching 24 percent of U.S. households, with a Gray/Raycom station ranked first or second in the vast majority of those markets. Gray owns stations in more than a dozen Upper Midwest markets; Raycom's only regional operation is FOX/NBC affiliate KYOU (Ottumwa), which is licensed to American Spirit Media. (Raycom formerly owned several other stations in the Upper Midwest, two of which are now already owned by Gray.) Gray and Raycom have overlap in nine markets outside of the Upper Midwest, and the companies say they will divest one station in each of those markets rather than go through the FCC's new waiver process to allow top-four combinations (though Gray may be able to retain the network affiliations of the divested stations on subchannels and/or low-power stations, as it has done in other markets). A newspaper group owned by Raycom will be spun off. (6/25/2018)

IOWA:
Phil Falcone's HC2 Broadcasting is buying KWKB/20.1 (Iowa City-Cedar Rapids) from KM Communications for $1.85 million. George W. Kimball of Kozacko Media Services served as exclusive broker for the deal. HC2 owns several other full-power stations in other parts of the country has been assembling a group of hundreds of low-power TV stations. KWKB transmits with 1,000kW from its own 1,345-foot tower in West Branch, giving it coverage of both Cedar Rapids and the Quad Cities. The Bae family started KWKB in 1999 and retains ownership of WOCK-CD (Chicago). KWKB was originally a WB affiliate and later a CW affiliate and currently carries ThisTV and Light TV. (6/21/2018)

NEW FM TRANSLATORS GRANTED (6/8-6/15):
After dismissing an informal objection to nearly 1,000 applications for new FM translators nationwide, the FCC has acted quickly to approve applications filed during the most recent AM Revitalization filing window. Most proposed facilities in the Upper Midwest have now been granted construction permits. (470 applications were granted nationwide on June 8 alone, representing nearly half of all pending FM translator applications at that time.)

The most recent grants include two new signals for the Twin Cities metro area: News/Talker KQSP/1530 (Shakopee) will be relayed on a 250-Watt translator on 99.1 broadcasting from the WLOL/1330 tower in the southwestern suburb of Savage, and WLOL's Catholic format will be rebroadcast on a 100-Watt translator on 105.3 in the western suburb of Minnetonka. The new translators will reach only a portion of the metro since the Twin Cities FM dial has already been filled by other translators and low-power FM stations.

Here are the new translators granted between June 8 and 15:

  • Emmetsburg, IA: KLGZ/1600 (Algona), K267CS/101.3, 250W
  • Boone, IA: KWBG/1590, K268DS/101.5, 250W
  • Cedar Rapids, IA: KGYM/1600, K272GB/102.3, 250W
  • Davenport, IA: KBOB/1170, K281DB/104.1, 250W
  • Des Moines, IA: KBGG/1700, K300DO/107.9, 99W
  • Granger, IA: KDLS/1310 (Perry), K232FX/94.3, 250W
  • Keokuk, IA: KOKX/1310, K227DO/93.3, 250W
  • Mount Pleasant, IA: KILJ/1130, K253CN/98.5, 250W
  • Sioux City, IA: KWSL/1470, K254DL/98.7, 250W
  • Escanaba, MI: WDBC/680, W233CT/94.5, 250W
  • Austin, MN: KQAQ/970, K232FY/94.3, 250W
  • Bemidji, MN: KPMI/1300, W232DS/94.3, 250W
  • Bemidji, MN: WBKK/820 (Wilton), K254DJ/98.7, 250W
  • Bemidji, MN: KKBJ/1360, K292HK/106.3, 250W
  • Benson, MN: KSCR/1290, K278CX/103.5, 250W
  • Grand Rapids, MN: KOZY/1320, K226CV/93.1, 250W
  • Mankato, MN: KFSP/1230, K292HI/106.3, 250W
  • Minnetonka, MN: WLOL/1330 (Minneapolis), K287CH/105.3, 100W
  • Rochester, MN: KFAN/1270, K228FY/93.5, 250W
  • Sauk Rapids, MN: WMIN/1010, W266DT/101.1, 250W
  • Sauk Rapids, MN: WVAL/800, W272EG/102.3, 250W
  • Shakopee, MN: KQSP/1530, W256DT/99.1, 250W
  • Walker, MN: KAKK/1570, K229DJ/93.7, 250W
  • Gurley, NE: KSID/1340 (Sidney), K224FP/92.7, 250W
  • North Platte, NE: KOOQ/1410, K251CP/98.1, 250W
  • Bismarck, ND: KBMR/1130, K281DC/104.1, 250W
  • Fargo, ND: KVXR/1280 (Moorhead), K252GC/98.3, 250W
  • Hettinger, ND: KNDC/1490, K294DG/106.7, 250W
  • Jamestown, ND: KSJB/600, K261FC/100.1, 250W
  • Oakes, ND: KDDR/1220, K262DH/100.3, 250W
  • Hot Springs, SD: KZMX/580, K252GD/98.3, 250W
  • Huron, SD: KOKK/1210, K286CU/105.1, 250W
  • Lemmon, SD: KBJM/1400, K285HH/104.9, 250W
  • Baraboo, WI: WRPQ/740, W249EA/97.7, 250W
  • Eau Claire, WI: WAYY/790, W228EG/93.5, 250W
  • Green Bay, WI: WJOK/1050 (Kaukauna), 103.7, 170W
  • La Crosse, WI: WIZM/1410, W294CU/106.7, 250W
  • Marshfield, WI: WDLB/140, W254DL/98.7, 250W
  • Pewaukee, WI: WSJP/1640 (Sussex), W260DP/99.9, 250W
  • Plymouth, WI: WGXI/1420, W253CW/98.5, 250W
  • Ripon, WI: WRPN/1600, W226CQ/93.1, 250W
  • Waukesha, WI: WAUK/540 (Jackson), W266DR/101.1, 104W
  • Wisconsin Rapids, WI: WFHR/1320, W248DE/97.5, 250W

Meanwhile, one application was dismissed: WTTN/1580 (Columbus) had applied for a 75-Watt translator on 92.7 in Madison, but the FCC said it had prohibited overlap with WMBZ/92.5 (West Bend). The application was reinstated a few days later after the station modified its application and filed a petition for reconsideration.

Full summaries of the new translators proposed and granted during the four AM Revitalization filing windows are linked on the left side of this page under "More Information." (6/15/2018, updated Madison item 6/19)

MINNESOTA/NEBRASKA/WISCONSIN:
Several new FM translators have recently filed for licenses to cover, meaning they are now on the air or will be soon:

  • International Falls, MN: R&J Broadcasting's W237EX/95.3, granted as part of the AM revitalization filing window and relaying Classic Hits-formatted KGHS/1230.
  • West Point, NE: The Nebraska Rural Radio Association's K252EG/98.3, relaying the Farm/Country format of KTIC/840. The translator was moved from Norfolk to West Point over a number of years.
  • Hurley, WI: Baroka Broadcasting's W275CR/102.9 is on the air relaying the Oldies format of WHRY/1450 (Hurley-Ironwood, MI). The translator was granted as part of the AM revitalization filing window. Your reporter has already DX'ed the new signal from across Lake Superior at Tettegouche State Park in Minnesota! (6/14/2018)

MINNESOTA:
For the fourth time in six years, Cumulus Media has "parked" an out-of-market callsign in Minnesota. "Parking" is the practice of holding onto a callsign by putting it on a small station where it won't get much attention. In the latest move, Cumulus has parked heritage Chicago callsign WLUP on the former WRXP/105.3 (Cambridge), which is one of three signals in the Twin Cities-area "Vibe 105" Classic Hip-Hop simulcast. FCC records say the change was official June 12. The WRXP callsign, once used in New York, had been parked in Cambridge since 2013. Before that, the frequency hosted the WNSH callsign before Cumulus moved it to New York to launch "Nash FM." Another "Vibe 105" station, WWWM-FM/105.7 (Eden Prairie-Minneapolis), has hosted a callsign parked from the Toledo market since 2016. (6/12/2018)

WISCONSIN:
Woodward Communications is adding a simulcast of its "Razor 94.7" (WZOR Mishicot-Green Bay) on a station with rimshot coverage of Oshkosh: social media posts say WBJZ/104.7 (Berlin) will begin simulcasting the Hard Rock format on Tuesday, June 12, at 3 p.m. Woodward is in the process of buying WBJZ from Caxambas Corporation and has been stunting with 1,047 hours of commercial-free Rock.

WBJZ formerly carried a Hot Adult Contemporary format programmed by Martini Broadcasting. As previously reported here, Martini filed a petition to deny the transfer of the station's license to Woodward, saying it had first right to purchase the station. Caxambas responded by saying that Martini's right to buy the station expired in 2013 and that Martini lacks standing to file the petition, which prompted a response from Martini asserting that it does have standing and saying that subsequent dealings gave it the right to buy the station. The FCC has not yet acted on the petition or the application to transfer the license. (6/11/2018)

IOWA:
The FCC has denied efforts to resurrect a south-central Iowa FM license.

The FCC's Audio Division deleted KMYQ/97.1 (North English) in December, saying the license was considered expired because owner Justin McLuckie had allegedly failed to prove that KMYQ was on the air between 2013 and 2016. McLuckie's counsel filed a petition for reconsideration in January alleging that the FCC did not give McLuckie due process or adequate time to present evidence, as well as a motion for stay.

The latest letter from Audio Division Chief Albert Shuldiner says McLuckie failed to show a material error by the FCC or raise facts not previously known. Specifically, the FCC says it still did not receive adequate documentation showing that KMYQ was on the air for several years prior to an effort to return the station to the air in late September 2017. The letter also says McLuckie had been granted an additional 30 days to respond. (6/11/2018)

SOUTH DAKOTA:
The FCC has issued a public notice extending the deadline for petitions to deny Gray TV's proposed combination of the ABC and NBC affiliates in Sioux Falls to July 9. As previously reported here, Gray owns ABC affiliate KSFY/13.1 is seeking a waiver of the "top four" rule to allow it to buy NBC affiliate KDLT/46.1 from Red River Broadcast Corp. for $32.5 million. KSFY ranks second in the market, and KDLT ranks third. Rules normally forbid a company that owns one top-four station from buying another top-four station, but the FCC said last year that it would consider waivers of the rule (see the earlier story for Gray's argument about why a waiver should be granted). The Sioux Falls proposal is one of the first tests of the new waiver process nationwide. (6/9/2018)

MINNESOTA:
The post-spectrum repack channel lineup for the Twin Cities may be solidifying after some displaced low-power TV stations modified their plans. All stations transmitting on RF channels above 36, as well as some LPTV stations displaced by full-power stations changing channels, have to move. There had been competing applications for channels 18 and 20 in the Twin Cities, but those conflicts were resolved last week when one applicant from each channel instead applied to VHF. Telemundo affiliate KJNK-LD would move from 25 to 8, while KTCJ-LD would move from 50 to 13. VHF DTV signals have proven more difficult to pick up, but the stations could benefit from lower channel numbers if they are allowed to use their RF channels as their PSIP virtual channels.

If all applications are approved, the Twin Cities RF DTV lineup would be:
8 KJNK-LD (moving from 25)
9 KMSP-TV (9.9)
11 KARE
13 KTCJ-LD (moving from 50)
14 K16HY-D (moving from 16)
15 KWJM-LD
16 KPXM-TV (41.1) (moved from 40)
18 KHVM-LD (moving from 48)
19 KKTW-LD
20 KMBD-LD (moving from 43)
21 WUMN-LD (moving from 17)
22 WUCW (23.1)
23 KTCI-TV (2.3)
29 WFTC (9.1)
30 KSTC-TV (5.2) (moving from 45)
31 WDMI-LD
32 WCCO-TV (4.1)
33 K33LN-D
34 KTCA-TV (2.1)
35 KSTP-TV (5.1)
36 KMQV-LD (moving from 49)

Some of the LPTV stations are not currently on the air. (6/6/2018)

IOWA/ILLINOIS:
A Keokuk city councilor has teamed up with a longtime Radio Keokuk employee to buy the two local radio stations, KOKX/1310 (Keokuk) and WCEZ/93.9 (Carthage-Keokuk). Mike Greenwald and Leah Jones announced their purchase on Facebook last Friday, June 1. The deal has not yet appeared in the FCC database. KOKX/WCEZ owner Riverfront Broadcasting had laid off the stations' employees in April and announced it was looking for a buyer. KOKX carries Country and WCEZ carries Classic Hits as "Z93." (6/5/2018)

WISCONSIN:
New FM translator W224DN/92.7 (Shell Lake) has signed on carrying Hard Rock as "Ink 92.7," originating on WXNK/940 (Shell Lake). WXNK was formerly Conservative Talker WCSW and changed its callsign Friday, June 1. The stations are owned by Zoe Communications, which was granted W224DN as part of the AM Revitalization filing windows. The 250-Watt signal has a strong signal to Shell Lake and fringe coverage of Rice Lake, Spooner, and Siren. (6/3/2018)

IOWA:
Nexstar ABC affiliate KCAU/9 (Sioux City) was temporarily hosted on a competitor's subchannel when storm damage forced it off the air. The station reports that it went off the air during a thunderstorm Friday night and returned by TUesday. KCAU's main ABC channel was temporarily carried on channel 4.3 of Quincy's KTIV, displacing MeTV. The move returns a favor KCAU paid to KTIV when KTIV experienced transmission problems in 2014 - at that time, KTIV's main NBC channel was made available on a KCAU subchannel. KCAU-ABC also remained in its usual cable and satellite channel positions during the broadcast outage. (6/3/2018, updated 6/7)

MINNESOTA:
ION's KPXM-TV/41.1 (St. Cloud-Minneapolis) has completed an RF channel change that also included a move from its longtime transmitter site near Big Lake. KPXM was bumped off its RF channel 40 position by the spectrum auction repack and relocated to RF 16. As previously reported here, the station also moved its transmitter 15 miles east to the KQQL/107.9 site in Nowthen after failing to come to an agreement with the owner of the Big Lake tower. With the move and channel change, KPXM reduced power from 1,000kW to 470kW, though coverage maps show the signal strength to the Twin Cities metro should be about the same as it was before (see page 5).

KPXM's channel change forced Catholic station K16HY-D (St. Paul) to leave the air. The station has applied to move to channel 14 and says on its website that it hopes to return to the air around June 20. (6/1/2018)

SOUTH DAKOTA:
Ownership of two Black Hills stations is changing as Steven E. Duffy sells his interests in stations that are already operated by the buyer. New Generation Broadcasting LLC is buying KZLK/106.3 (Rapid City) from Duffy for $497,775. Separately, Duffy is redeeming his 20.59 percent equity in Western South Dakota Broadcasting LLC, licensee of KZZI/95.9 (Belle Fourche-Rapid City), $240,000. The numerous other members of Western South Dakota Broadcasting include members of the Duhamel and Duffy families, and others. Duhamel Broadcasting already operates both stations, as well as another owned by New Generation Broadcasting, as part of a five-station group. (6/1/2018)

News archive...

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Star Tribune: Al Austin, a pioneer in Twin Cities investigative journalism, dies at 83 (4/10)
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Older articles...