KTCZ-HD2 (97.1) is now carrying Educational Media Foundation's "Air-1" Christian Rock network, with a legal ID mentioning translators on 92.9 and 97.7 (but not 102.5, which continues to carry "Air-1" as well). EMF's "K-Love" is still heard on KFXN-FM-HD3 (100.3). KTCZ-HD2 had previously carried "Kool 1-0-80s," the iHeartRadio New Music Channel, "The Score," and "The Best of Studio C."
KDWB-HD2 (101.3) is now carrying an iHeartRadio Dance music format previously heard on WVKS-HD2 Toledo. KDWB-HD2 had previously carried Dance as "The Party Zone" before switching to "The Best of Studio C" and then the iHeartRadio New Music Channel.
KQQL-HD3 (107.9) has launched carrying a nameless mix of R&B hits from the past several decades, similar to what aired on KQQL-HD2 and W227BF/93.3 prior to the launch of "Alt 93.3." KQQL did not previously have an HD3 channel. (9/15/2014)
Midwest Communications' KFGO/790 (Fargo) was named Small Market Station of the Year.
The awards were announced Thursday night at the 25th annual NAB Marconi Radio Awards Dinner & Show held during the Radio Show in Indianapolis. (9/11/2014)
NEW TV MARKET RANKINGS:
Western North Dakota is the only growing part of the Upper Midwest when it comes to the number of homes with TV, according to new Local Television Market Universe Estimates released by The Nielsen Company and first linked by TVNewsCheck on Thursday. The market that includes Bismarck, Minot, and the fast-growing "oil patch" areas of Williston and Dickinson rose three positions to number 142 out of 210 markets for the 2014-2015 TV season. The market has risen 16 spots in the national rankings over the past six years. This year, it bucked a national trend of a declining number of TV homes, rising about two percent while the country as a whole fell about two percent. All other Upper Midwest markets showed a decline in the number of TV homes. Green Bay rose two spots in the rankings, while Madison, Sioux Falls, Wausau, Rapid City, and Ottumwa each rose one spot. Conversely, Sioux City fell two spots while Milwaukee and North Platte each fell one spot. The smallest market? Still Glendive, MT, a one-station market on the western side of the oil patch. (9/11/2014)
Gray TV is going in an unspecified "different direction" for NBC affiliate KNOP-TV/2 (North Platte) after its recent purchase of the station, according to the North Platte Telegraph. The newspaper reports that Gray has terminated KNOP general manager Lewys Carlini, who had worked at the station for his entire career. Meanwhile, Gray's KOLN/KGIN (Lincoln/Grand Island) posted a video on its Facebook page Wednesday touting its recent expansions in Nebraska and announcing that new NBC affiliate KSNB-TV/4 (Superior) would be rebranded as "NBC Nebraska." The video did not make any specific announcements about changes to the North Platte market, where KNOP is the only full-power commercial TV station. (9/10/2014)
The FCC has proposed a $2,000 fine against Media General subsidiary Young Broadcasting for allegedly "failing to publicize the existence and location of the Station's Children’s Television Programming Reports" at NBC affiliate KWQC/6 (Davenport). Young has 90 days to either pay the fine or seek a reduction or cancellation. The regulator had also considered a fine over NBC's inadvertent inclusion of a website URL in the closing credits for a children's TV show that aired on KWQC, but it was ultimately decided to leave the punishment at an admonishment. (9/10/2014)
Midwest Communications confirmed Wednesday that a Classic Country format called "Duke FM" will begin on what's now "93Rock" (WRQE/93.5 New London-Green Bay) on Friday, Sept. 12. The station will resurrect the WGEE-FM callsign, which was used with Country formats in the market from the 1970s to 1990s and has most recently been parked in Superior, with a playlist from the same era. "Duke" will work in tandem with the contemporary-leaning Country format on Midwest's "Y100" (WNCY/100.3 Neenah-Menasha-Appleton-Green Bay). 93.5 has carried Rock formats for two decades and is planning a goodbye party for Thursday. It's encouraging listeners to switch to the Classic Hits format heard in sister Midwest Communications station "The Drive" (WYDR/94.3 Neenah-Menasha-Appleton and WZDR/99.7 Sturgeon Bay-Green Bay). (9/8/2014, updated 9/11/2014)
It's now up to competing applicants for low-power FM (100-Watt) applicants in the Twin Cities and Milwaukee to come up with time-sharing agreements. Few groups were eliminated in the FCC's point-based system for scoring competing applicants, which rewards established local groups, standalone ownership, and pledges of local programming and main studio staffing. In the case of three frequencies in the Twin Cities and one in Milwaukee, multiple groups scored five points apiece. The groups now have 90 days to propose voluntary time-sharing agreements; the FCC will assign involuntary time-sharing arrangements to no more than three applicants per frequency if no agreements are made. Here's how it breaks down:
94.1 Twin Cities: The seven tentative selectees are the Somali American Community (Minneapolis), Minneapolis Believers in Christ (Minneapolis), Providence Academy (Plymouth), The Summit-University Planning Council (St. Paul), Victoria Theatre Project (St. Paul), Thomas Dale District (St. Paul), and the Center for Hmong Arts & Talent (St. Paul). MG Community Broadcasting (Maple Grove) scored fewer points since it did not pledge local programming and could not show that it was an established local group. In this group, there are enough tentative selectees that it's possible there could be two or three competing time-share proposals for the FCC to consider.
97.9 Twin Cities: The four tentative selectees are Upper Mississippi Academy (Fort Snelling), Rios de Agua Viva Church of God (Lakeville), African Community Senior Services (Minneapolis), and New Culture (St. Paul). Enlace Adventista (St. Paul) removed itself from the group by changing its proposed frequency to 98.1, where it has no competition.
98.9 Minneapolis: The three tentative selectees are Pillsbury United Communities, The Main Street Project, and The Organizing Apprenticeship Project. There were no remaining applicants for the frequency.
101.3 Milwaukee area: The four tentative selectees are Riverwest Artists Association (Milwaukee), Inner City Development Project (Milwaukee), Faith Community Development Corporation (Milwaukee), Souls Harbor Baptist Church (Milwaukee), and Kettle Moraine Community Radio (Mukwonago). Alive MKE (Milwaukee) scored one less point because the FCC said its documentation showing its established local presence was defective. Waukesha Media Arts Foundation also scored one less point because it did not document an established community presence. Whitefish Bay School District Board has an established local presence but didn't commit to offering local programming or staffing a main studio.
Already testing: One Twin Cities-area LPFM applicant that already won a construction permit tested its transmitter over the summer. Park Public Radio is building KUOL-LP/97.5 (St. Louis Park), which is expected to offer community programming beginning next year after a studio is built. (9/9/2014)
As promised when it flipped what's now KJOC/93.5 (Bettendorf-Quad Cities) to ESPN Radio in June, Townsquare Media has switched former ESPN affiliate KBOB/1170 (Davenport) to a new format: Country. KBOB is carrying Cumulus Media's Real Country network, which was heard in the market on WKBF/1270 (Rock Island) in the early 1990's; the KBOB callsign was used with Country formats on two FM frequencies in the market during the 1990's and 2000's. Real Country's classic-based mix plays along with the contemporary version of Country heard on sister station 104.9 "The Hawk" (KQCS De Witt-Quad Cities), which just flipped to the format two months ago. Both stations are taking on Clear Channel's heritage Country outlet, WLLR-FM/103.7 (Davenport). KBOB continues to carry high school sports and will also carry Cyclone football and Cubs baseball until next season. (9/8/2014)
CBS2/FOX28 (KGAN/KFXA Cedar Rapids) announced Monday that longtime Eastern Iowa meteorologist Terry Swails will join the Sinclair stations to deliver evening weather forecasts beginning Sept. 22. Swails, an Iowa City native, has been forecasting Iowa weather for 35 years with a resume including jobs in Dubuque, Waterloo, and the Quad Cities. (9/8/2014)
A belated note that the newest TV subchannel networks, Grit and Escape, have a few affiliates in the Upper Midwest. Katz Broadcasting launched both movie networks on Aug. 18, with Grit targetting men and Escape targetting women. Citadel Communications' KLKN (Lincoln) carries Grit on 8.2 and Escape on 8.3, while American Spirit Media's KYOU-TV (Ottumwa) carries Grit on 15.3. KLKN-DT2 had previously carried Live Well Network and, prior to that, Retro TV Network. KLKN is a primary ABC affiliate and KYOU is a primary FOX affiliate. Grit and Escape join a crowded field of broadcast movie networks that also includes This TV, Movies!, and getTV. (9/3/2014)
Services have been announced for Twin Cities radio legend Dan Donovan, who died following a heart attack Sunday, Aug. 31 at the age of 73. Donovan was a 2006 inductee into the Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame, which says he got his start in his home state of Pennsylvania. He worked at WFIL in Philadelphia for a decade before coming to Minnesota, where he worked at KS95 (KSTP-FM) starting in 1979 and KOOL 108 (KQQL) starting in 1991. Services for Donovan, whose real name was Blaine Harvey, will be held Saturday, Sept. 6, at 11 a.m. at the Washburn McReavy Edina Chapel. Here is an aircheck of "The Geezer" on KOOL 108 from Dec. 29, 1993; more airchecks are posted at radiotapes.com. (9/1/2014, updated 9/3)
Wisconsin radio station operator Donald Seehafer is exiting ownership in a deal that will ultimately transfer his company's seven stations to his son, Mark. Seehafer is gifting Seehafer Broadcasting to his four children and then Mark Seehafer is buying out his three sisters, paying them each $1.2 million in monthly payments of more than $8,300 spread out over the next fifteen years. The company's stations include WOMT/1240 (Manitowoc), WQTC/102.3 (Manitowoc), WLKN/98.1 (Cleveland), WFHR/1320 (Wisconsin Rapids), WLJY/105.5 (Nekoosa-Wisconsin Rapids), WLDB/1450 (Marshfield), and WOSQ/92.3 (Spencer-Marshfield). (8/29/2014)
Just two months after putting them up for sale, Gray TV has announced buyers for four TV stations in North Dakota and Nebraska. Hoak Media's KHAS-TV/5 (Hastings, NE) and Prime Cities Broadcasting's KNDX/26 (Bismarck, ND) and KXND/24 (Minot, ND) went silent in June after Gray purchased their programming and moved it to Gray-owned stations, and Parker Broadcasting's KXJB/4 (Valley City-Fargo, ND) is due to go silent at an unannounced date after its programming is moved to a Gray station. Gray had originally planned to operate the stations through shared services agreements but changed its plans after the FCC imposed new limits on such agreements. Working with the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council, Gray found buyers for the stations: Legacy Broadcasting, LLC will buy KHAS-TV, KNDX, and KXND, and Major Market Broadcasting will buy KXJB. Legacy Broadcasting owns no other stations and is not related to the Nebraska radio company with a similar name. Major Market Broadcasting owns low-power stations in Chicago and San Francisco that carry South Asian programming. Programming plans for the stations were not announced. (8/27/2014)
Thunder Bay Television will move some of its newscasts when CKPR-DT/2 switches its affiliation from CBC to CTV on Sept. 1, according to listings on the station's website. The half-hour "TB News: AM Edition" that currently airs at 7 a.m. on CKPR will instead air at 9 a.m. on Global affiliate CHFD/4. CKPR will continue its flagship "TB Newshour" at 6 p.m. In the late evening, "TB News: Late Edition" will swap timeslots on the two stations, airing first on CHFD at 11:00 and then repeating on CKPR at 11:30 after the CTV national news. CKPR and CHFD are the only local TV stations in Thunder Bay, which will no longer have over-the-air reception of CBC-TV. (8/27/2014)
As first mentioned here as a possibility last year, Townsquare Media is pulling three Waterloo-area radio stations out of trust after their market designations were reassigned to the Waterloo market. The problem arose when Townsquare bought numerous radio groups from Cumulus Media last year, including clusters in Waterloo and Cedar Rapids. "Q92.3" (KKHQ Oelwein-Waterloo), KCRR/97.7 (Grundy Center-Waterloo), and KOEL-FM/98.5 (Cedar Falls-Waterloo) had been switched on paper to the Cedar Rapids market in 2012, forcing Townsquare to transfer the licenses to the Cedar Rapids Divestiture Trust, headed by Allen N. Blum. With the three stations now removed from the Cedar Rapids market, the trust is asking the FCC to transfer the licenses to Townsquare Media Waterloo License, LLC. There is no purchase price other than Townsquare's assumption of the trust's liabilities. (8/26/2014)
NRG Media has launched Contemporary Hits "Red 94-5" on translator K233AN/94.5 (Lincoln), originating on the HD2 signal of KBBK/107.3. It appears to be NRG's first effort at an HD2-fed translator. The 250-Watt translator had previously carried KLIN/1400's News/Talk format. (8/26/2014)
Gray TV announced Monday that it has reached a new affiliation deal with CBS which includes KVLY-TV/11 (Fargo), signalling that the network has approved Gray's plans to move CBS to a KVLY subchannel. Gray had said its plans to move the Fargo CBS affiliation to the subchannel from KXJB/4 (Valley City-Fargo) were subject to approval by the network; a date for the change has not been announced. Gray is moving CBS to KVLY because new FCC rules will not allow it to operate KXJB through a shared services agreement as previous KVLY owners have done. KVLY carries NBC on its primary channel. (8/25/2014)
In a rare move, the FCC has rescinded its earlier grant of an application to transfer the licenses of two north-central Wisconsin radio stations over concerns about inadequate notice of the sale being provided to the public.
Radio One Communications, LLC is buying WMZK/104.1 (Merrill-Wausau) and WJMT/730 (Merrill) from Quicksilver Broadcasting/Barracuda Broadcasting for $595,000 and is already operating the stations under a time brokerage agreement. Commission staff had granted the license transfer on May 1, but Kurt Felt filed a petition for reconsideration on May 29 and the application was reverted to pending status on Aug. 20.
In a letter, Peter H. Doyle, Chief of the Media Bureau's Audio Division, said the stations had failed to comply with rules that set specific timelines for stations to run on-air announcements and place notices in newspapers about license transfers. Documentation provided by Barracuda/Quicksilver and Radio One showed the announcements and notices didn't run until weeks after the application had been approved.
With the application now back in pending status, the stations will get another chance to run the required notices.
The FCC denied a portion of Felt's petition that said the sale should be denied because he is still owed money by Quicksilver/Barracuda; the letter said the matter is a private controversy.
In a separate filing, Quicksilver tells the FCC that WMZK translator W256AG/99.1 (Wausau) was taken off the air "due to financial difficulties" on Aug. 20, the same day the FCC letter was sent. (8/25/2014)
KJRV/93.3 (Wessington Springs-Huron) is operating at significantly reduced power due to transmitter failure. KJRV normally uses 65kW/190m (class C1) and tells the FCC in a request for special temporary authority that it's only using 960 Watts until repairs can be made. The 960 Watts is just enough for the station to provide a rimshot signal to Huron. KJRV is owned by Dakota Communications and carries a Classic Rock format. (8/25/2014)
KRFH/88.7 (Marshalltown) tells the FCC it's gone off the air due to extensive lightning damage to its antenna and feedline. The station is owned by Marshalltown Education Plus and carries a Christian format. (8/25/2014)
Woodward Communications is selling its group of four Waterloo radio stations to NRG Media for just $50,000 more than it paid for the stations two and a half years ago. The sale price for the deal is $3.55 million, according to documents filed with the FCC. The stations include "ESPN 1330" (KWLO), News/Talker KXEL/1540, Classic Hits KOKZ/105.7, and "Rock 108" (KFMW/107.9). The latter three stations all have good signals to Cedar Rapids, where NRG is based. NRG does not have any other stations in eastern Iowa. Woodward also owns the Dubuque Telegraph Herald and a group of stations in northeastern Wisconsin. (8/22/2014)
Sinclair Broadcast Group is entering the Green Bay market to solve Media General's problem of having too many stations in Titletown. Media General, which owns ABC affiliate WBAY-TV/2, is merging with LIN TV, owner of FOX 11 (WLUK) and CW 14 (WCWF Suring). FCC rules prohibit the same company from owning both WBAY and WLUK. Sinclair announced Wednesday that it will buy WLUK and WCWF from LIN as part of a multiple-market deal involving four companies. Sinclair also has stations in the Milwaukee, Madison, and Marquette markets. (8/20/2014)
Cedar Rapids is the Upper Midwest's Contemporary Hit Radio capital with three or five stations now running the format, depending on how you count. Clear Channel is the latest entrant, having flipped KOSY-FM/95.7 (Anamosa-Cedar Rapids) to "Y95.7." The new format competes directly with locally-owned "Z102.9" (KZIA Cedar Rapids) and Townsquare Media's "i107.1" (KRQN Vinton-Cedar Rapids). Townsquare's Quad Cities and Waterloo-market CHR's, "B100" (KBEA/99.7 Muscatine) and "Q92.3" (KKHQ Oelwein), also deliver listenable signals to Cedar Rapids. "Y95.7" has the weakest signal of the three Cedar Rapids-based CHR's, with a 6kW rimshot signal from a tower just west of Anamosa. However, it has a construction permit to upgrade to 18kW/118m (class C3) from the WMT/600 tower north of Marion, which will greatly improve its signal to Cedar Rapids. 95.7 originally signed on with a Country format as KKSY in 2008 and then switched to a simulcast of WMT's News/Talk format in early 2012 after the KKSY Country format was moved to the more powerful signal of the former WMT-FM/96.5 (Cedar Rapids). (8/19/2014)
Canadian regulators have approved a Winnipeg station's plan to get away from what's commonly referred to as a "cursed frequency" in the radio business. Dufferin Commications will move CFJL-FM/100.7 to 100.5 and upgrade from 80kW to 100kW in the process. Dufferin said in its application that the change is needed because CFJL 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 said listeners continue call the station a "loser" and advertisers call it "last in the market." The CRTC received no opposition to the proposal and approved the application this week. (8/19/2014)
Michael Flood, who heads companies that own radio stations in two unrated Nebraska markets, is expanding into Omaha with the purchase of "Radio Lobo" (KBBX-FM/97.7 Nebraska City-Omaha). Flood Broadcasting of Omaha, LLC will pay Connoisseur Communications $4.7 million for KBBX. Connoisseur owns no other stations in the market. Flood's sister companies own two stations in the Norfolk area (KUSQ/92.7 Albion and KNEN/94.7 Norfolk), two stations in the Nebraska City area (KNCY/1600 Nebraska and KBIE/103.1 Auburn), and recently began running a third station in the Nebraska City area (KIMI/107.7 Malvern, IA) through a local marketing agreement.
In a strange twist, the purchase completes one-time plans to put 97.7 and 107.7 under common ownership. Connoisseur once had a construction permit for KGGG/107.7 (Pacific Junction, IA) and bought KBBX in 2006 while it was in the process of building KGGG; in a rare move, the FCC deleted the Pacific Junction allotment and refunded the auction purchase price after determining that concerns about interference to airplane navigation equipment at Offutt Air Force Base would never allow the station to go on the air. Vic Michaels' Kona Coast Radio, LLC then moved KIMI in from Humboldt, NE, but was also thwarted by the airplane navigation interference concerns. KIMI is currently using just 110 Watts from a tower south of Glenwood, IA, and indicated in a request for special temporary authority that it may seek to move to a new transmitter site. Flood Communications' LMA to run KIMI states that it doesn't have to provide any monetary consideration unless the signal is increased to 8kW or higher, though Flood pays electrical bills and regulatory and music licensing fees. (8/19/2014)
DX'er Shawn Axelrod reports that CJVM-FM/103.3 (Virden) is on the air testing with a loop of music and old time radio excerpts. The 3.44kW station will eventually carry a mix of Country, Pop, and Rock. (8/16/2014)
DX-midAMerica reports that W257CZ/99.3 (Houghton) is now on the air relaying WCCY/1400. WCCY carries Soft Oldies with Tigers, Lions, and Red Wings play-by-play. The stations are owned by Houghton Community Broadcasting. (8/16/2014)
Following the launch of translator W282BU/104.3, WPRE/980 (Prairie du Chien) has moved from Oldies to Classic Hits. The "Cruisin' 980" slogan is gone in favor of simply WPRE. (8/16/2014)
KJJY/92.5 (West Des Moines) has rebranded its Country format as "Nash Icon" with a lean towards Classic Country. RadioInsight first reported the change, which was part of a national rollout of the "Nash Icon" brand Friday. The new branding links KJJY to sister station KHKI/97.3 (Des Moines), which switched its name to "Nash FM" several months ago. (The link may be a surprise to some Country fans if they didn't realize that the one-time competitors are now owned by the same company.) (8/15/2014)
There's a new FM station on the air in the oil patch: KXWI/98.5 (Williston) is carrying a Country format. The 100kW station is owned by Stephen A. Marks' Glendive Broadcasting and is the fifth commercial FM station in the Williston area. Marks also owns Variety Hits-formatted KDSR/101.1 (Williston), which carried a Country format up until about eight years ago, along with Classic Rocker KGCX/93.1 (Sidney, MT) and numerous other stations in eastern Montana. KXWI competes head-on with Cherry Creek Broadcasting's KYYZ/96.1 (Williston). Cherry Creek also owns Hot AC-formatted KTHC/95.1 (Sidney-Williston) and News/Talker KEYZ/660 (Williston). (8/15/2014)
NRG Media has launched `80s-based Classic Rock format "The Keg" on KOOO-FM/101.9 (La Vista-Omaha), displacing "The Big O" Variety Hits format on the frequency. The new format falls musically in between Journal Broadcasting's "Z92" (KEZO/92.3) and "CD105.9" (KKCD). "The Big O" had been on the air since late 2007. (8/13/2014)
Broadcasting and Cable reports that Radio Disney is going off the air in Minneapolis and 22 other markets. B&C says the stations, including KDIZ/1440 (Golden Valley-Minneapolis), are expected to sign off Sept. 26 and are up for sale. Besides online streaming and satellite radio, Radio Disney will continue on one station in Los Angeles, a move which allows the service to keep lower music royalty rates than online-only services. KDIZ was one of the four original Radio Disney signals launched in 1996, competing head-on with "Radio Aahs" flagship WWTC/1280 (Minneapolis). "Aahs" owner Childrens Broadcasting Corporation had a marketing agreement with Disney and sued for breach of contract, but "Aahs" had already been off the air for four years by the time it won the case in 2002. (8/13/2014)
Zoe Communications is selling WIXK/1590 (New Richmond, WI) to Hmong Radio Broadcast for $125,000. Hmong Radio Broadcast LLC is headed by Mai Yia Vang and though the company itself has no other broadcast interests, the St. Paul address for Hmong Radio Broadcast listed on the application is the same as that of Asian American Broadcasting's KFXN/690 (Minneapolis). WIXK has fringe coverage of the eastern Twin Cities metro during the day with a 5kW signal, but its 95-Watt nighttime signal is limited to the immediate New Richmond area. Zoe Commnications had purchased WIXK, which carries a Classic Country format, from Hubbard Broadcasting for $10,000 in 2012. (8/13/2014)
The Nebraska Rural Radio Association is buying translator K252EG/98.3 (Norfolk) from Agnus Dei Communications for $25,000. The translator is currently licensed for 250 Watts from a site just east of Norfolk. The Nebraska Rural Radio Association owns an AM-FM combo just down the road in West Point, but the application to transfer the license states that K252EG will continue to relay KFHC/88.1 (Ponca) for now. (8/13/2014)
KIMI/107.7 (Malvern, IA) is now back on the air at lower power and is carrying the "Big Apple News Radio" format originating at Flood Broadcasting's KNCY/1600 (Nebraska City, NE). KIMI, which transmits from a tower south of Glenwood, IA, is using just 110 Watts to prevent interference to airplane navigation systems at Offutt Air Force Base. It has a construction permit to use 13kW/124m (class C3), which is less wattage than originally planned when KIMI owner Kona Coast Radio, LLC moved the station across the border from Humboldt, NE. The 13kW signal should provide rimshot coverage of Omaha. However, KIMI said in its request for special temporary authority to use 110 Watts that the 13kW facility can't be activated until a change is made to one of the frequencies used at Offutt. The filing also said KIMI may seem to move to a new transmitter site that would not require the change to be made at Offutt. (8/12/2014)
New non-commercial station WWJC/101.5 (Augusta) is on the air carrying the regional "Prayz Network." WWJC uses 1kW/466m (class C3) from the WEAU-TV tower near Fairchild, with Eau Claire just outside the station's main coverage area. WWJC is owned by LBN, Inc., which is headed by Larry Klenc. (8/12/2014)
The FCC has announced an upcoming filing window for a new non-commercial station in the Dubuque area. The allotment for a class A (6kW/100m) station on 98.7 licensed to Asbury is open for applications through Sept. 8. (Though the frequency is in the commercial portion of the band, it's been reserved for non-commercial use.) The winning applicant will be decided based on a comparasion which awards points for local applicants or state entities, statewide networks, new entrants, and other criteria. (8/11/2014)
Clear Channel is buying the construction permit for a new station in Omaha from Calvary Chapel of Omaha for $225,000. The CP for K235CD/94.9 calls from 50 Watts covering most of the metro area. Calvary Chapel of Omaha had intended to use the translator to relay its KHLW/89.3 (Tabor, IA), but the application to transfer the license indicates it will instead relay a Clear Channel station. (8/11/2014)
The FCC has rejected Magnum Broadcasting's attempt to move an FM translator from Reedsburg to Tomah. W237CJ/95.3 would've relayed WBOG/1460 after the move, but the journey is farther than normally allowed under FCC rules for FM translators. Magnum sought a "Mattoon waiver," named after a move in Illinois, but the FCC found W237CJ did not qualify for a waiver because the proposed facility is not mutually exclusive with the current one. The FCC did not agree with Magnum's contention that interference from WOLX/94.9 (Baraboo) at the current site is a substitution for the mutual exclusivity requirement. (8/6/2014)
New station WRAO/91.7 (Wisconsin Rapids) has signed on, though you won't likely hear it outside of town for now. WRAO is using 200 Watts and has applied to upgrade to 30kW/50m. The facility was previously permitted for 30kW, but the station downgraded to 200 Watts so it could meet an Aug. 3 deadline to begin broadcasting. It's owned by the Wisconsin Rapids Seventh-Day Adventist Church and carries Radio 74 Internationale. (8/6/2014)
New low-power FM station KPOG-LP/102.9 (Grimes) has signed on. The 58-Watt station covers the northwestern corner of the Des Moines metro. It's owned by Des Moines Metro Adventist Radio Co. (8/6/2014)
Clear Channel's "The Big 1070" (WTSO Madison) has added FM translator W265CV/100.9 (Madison). W265CV broadcasts with 250 Watts from the UW's "Madison Community Tower" candelabra structure west of town, providing a good signal to most of Madison for the Sports talker. The WTSO translator is right next door on the dial to Good Karma Broadcasting's "ESPN 100.5" (WTLX Monona); CBS Sports Radio is also heard on FM from the fringe signal of WOZN-FM/106.7 (Mount Horeb), which simulcasts with WOZN/1670 (Madison). (8/5/2014)
The Oldies format of WPRE/980 (Prairie du Chien) is now being relayed on FM translator W282BU/104.3. The translator was moved in from Boscobel and now uses 250 Watts from the WQPC/94.3 tower on the east side of town. (8/5/2014)
The last analog TV signal in the Twin Cities has left the air: Univision affiliate WUMN-LP has vacated its longtime analog home on channel 13 in favor of digital facilities on channel 17. WUMN-LD uses 15kW, the maximum allowed to low-power TV stations, from the Campbell Mithun Tower in downtown Minneapolis, delivering a signal to the full metro area. The station is owned by Media Vista Minneapolis. Channel 17 was formerly occupied by PBS station KTCI, which now broadcasts on RF channel 23 and remaps to 2.3 but is still carried on DirecTV and DISH Network channel 17. (8/4/2014)
Ownership of KBEK/95.5 (Mora) will stay local: Colleen McKinney has filed paperwork with the FCC to transfer the silent station's license to Genesis Technology Communication LLC of Braham, which is owned by Jay Mankie and Mary Lodin. The purchase price was not listed in the documents. KBEK went off the air at the end of March, with McKinney telling listeners the station would undergo a review of its finances and organizational structure. She had publicly put the station up for sale in 2011. McKinney founded the station with her husband, John Godfrey, in 1995 and kept up operations after his death in 2004. The 25kW station had carried a community-oriented format for the area north of the Twin Cities with hourly local newscasts and a mix of Pop and Rock hits from the '50s through today. (8/4/2014)
KMTY/97.7 has moved to the east, strengthening its signal to the Tri Cities with a change in community of license from Holdrege to Gibbon. "Big Country 97.7" had used 55kW/77m (class C1) from Holdrege and now uses 50kW/148m (class C2) from a tower south of Gibbon. The new signal is stronger in Kearney and Hastings than it is in Grand Island, where KMTY owner Legacy Communications owns heritage Country outlet KRGI-FM/96.5. KMTY is also still including Holdrege, which receives a rimshot signal from the new facility, in its legal ID. (8/4/2014)
Saga Communications has signed on new translator K283CC/104.5 (Des Moines), relaying "Praise 940" (KPSZ). K283CC uses 250 Watts from a tower near Altoona, east of Des Moines, with strong coverage of the eastern two-thirds of the metro area. Saga also operates translator K260AM/99.9 (Ames-Des Moines), which carries a Rhythmic Hits format from a subchannel of KIOA/93.3. (8/1/2014)
WGLB, Inc. is buying WZRK/1550 (Lake Geneva) from Sovereign City Radio Services for $100,000. WZRK is currently silent; it once had a construction permit to move into the Chicago market that has since expired. WGLB, headed by Joel J. Kinlow, also owns WGLB/1560 (Elm Grove-Milwaukee). (8/1/2014)
Four Red Rock Radio stations plan to flip to Sports formats next week. WXCE/1260 (Amery, WI), WHSM/910 (Hayward, WI), KKIN/930 (Aitkin, MN), and WCMP/1350 (Pine City, MN) are all promoting the flip in various ways. WXCE announced the flip on its website, saying "Red Zone Sports Radio" will carry NBC Sports Radio along with continued local news and sports coverage. WHSM also has the "Red Zone" logo on its website with the same launch date. Across the border, promos are running about the pending flip at KKIN and WCMP. All four stations currently carry Westwood One's Adult Standards network. WHSM had carried One-on-One Sports for several years before flipping to Nostalgia in 1999. WXCE carried some ESPN Radio programming in the 2000's. (7/30/2014, added WCMP 7/31)
Milwaukee-based Journal Communications, which owns several Upper Midwest network affiliates and Wisconsin's largest newspaper, has announced plans to merge with the E.W. Scripps Company and then split the two companies' broadcast and newspaper holdings into separate entities. The broadcast company will be headquartered in Cincinnati and use the Scripps name, running TV and radio stations in 27 markets. The newspaper company will keep the Journal name and its home base in Milwaukee. Journal's Upper Midwest broadcast holdings include NBC affiliates WTMJ/4.1 (Milwaukee) and WGBA/26.1 (Green Bay), My Network TV affiliate WACY/32.1 (Appleton-Green Bay), CBS affiliate KMTV/3.1 (Omaha), two radio stations in Milwaukee, and five in Omaha. Scripps does not have any holdings in the Upper Midwest but does own TV stations as close as Detroit, Indianapolis, and Kansas City. The deal ends a decades-long cross-ownership between the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and WTMJ radio and TV. (7/30/2014)
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that a total of three AM-on-FM translators are now on the air in the city. The sign-on of W250BN/97.9 relaying "La Caliente" from WJTI/1460 has already been reported here. "Sports Radio 1250" signed on translator W289CB/105.7 last week, while the Nostalgia/Lounge format of "Martini Radio" (WZTI/1290) lauched on translator W262CJ/100.3 Monday. An earlier attempt at an FM translator on 102.5 relaying WNOV/860 was thwarted by interference complaints from listeners of WNWC-FM/102.5 (Madison). (7/30/2014)
LocusPoint Networks, LLC is buying silent Milwaukee low-power TV station WMKE-CA/7 from KM Communications for $2.5 million. WMKE went off the air earlier this month for financial reasons; its most recent operations were analog but it has a construction permit for digital facilities on channel 21. Locus Point owns or is in the process of buying a dozen low-power TV stations and one full-power TV station, though its website describes it as an "early stage wireless communications company." (7/30/2014)
Quincy Newspapers' KTIV (Sioux City) has converted its Norfolk translator to digital, bringing 4.1 (NBC), 4.2 (CW+), and 4.3 (Me-TV) to the city. The former analog K48CH is now digital K24JG-D using 15kW, the maximum allowed to translator stations. The new facility apparently went online last week. Sinclair's KMEG/14 (CBS/Azteca) and KPTH/44 (FOX/My-This) also have digital translators in the city, and NET has a full-power station carrying two PBS channels and Create. (7/28/2014)
KSJB/600 (Jamestown) will be at reduced power later this year if the FCC approves plans for temporary facilities while new towers are built. The Chesterman Communications station blankets most of North Dakota and parts of surrounding states with a 5kW signal that operates with the same directional antenna pattern day and night. While the station's three towers are being replaced, KSJB proposes operating from the tower of sister station KSJZ/93.3 (Jamestown) with nondirectional facilities of 1.25kW day and 250 Watts or more at night. The project could begin on Aug. 25 and take up to four months to complete. (7/28/2014)
The FCC has dismissed the construction permit for new non-commercial station WRNC-FM/102.9 (Ashland) at the request of the permittee, Northland College. The college faced a deadline of Aug. 5 to begin broadcasts. It already operates WRNC-LP/97.7 (Ashland), which was to leave the air when WRNC-FM signed on. The CP for WRNC-FM called for 6kW/62m (class A) and Northland had applied to upgrade it to 6.1kW/62m, which would have bumped it up to class C3. The frequency is in the commercial portion of the band but is reserved for non-commercial use. (7/28/2014)
Just a couple of months after signing on, WGBT/91.3 (Tomahawk) has left the air citing technical problems with its studio-to-transmitter link. The station's application for special temporary authority remains silent indicates the internet-based system has suffered from cutouts and poor audio quality, and a microwave STL is not possible due to distance and the lack of tower height. WGBT is owned by Tomahawk Light Broadcasting and carried Radio 74 Internationale. (7/25/2014)
A Winnipeg man says his application for a new FM station "fulfills a life-long dream and passion for radio."
Baldev Gill heads Gill Broadcasting, which has applied for a new ethnic commercial station in Winnipeg. The proposed station would broadcast with 1.8kW/55m (class A) on 92.9, a frequency left vacant when Red River College/Cre-Comm Radio's CKIC-FM went silent in 2012.
Gill says the new station would serve a minimum of nine distinct cultural groups in a minimum of eleven different languages per week, with Punjabi/Hindi accounting for the largest amount at 70 hours. The morning show would be in English. The station would carry a minimum of 43 hours of spoken word programming per week, including local news, along with Adult Contemporary and World Beat music targetting adults 25-54. 37 hours per week would be brokered.
Gill, who was born in India and immigrated to Canada in 1969, owns taxi, communications, propane, and auto repair businesses in Winnipeg and says he has had a passion for radio since childhood.
The proposed station would compete primarily with Evanov Communications' CKJS/810. The CRTC is scheduled to consider the application at a meeting in Gatineau, Quebec on Sept. 25. (7/24/2014)
Regional Christian broadcaster WRVM, Inc. is buying WNLI/88.5 (Sturgeon Bay) from the Educational Media Foundation for $240,000. EMF recently completed its purchase of WNLI along with WPFF/90.5 (Sturgeon Bay) and seven translators from Bethesda Christian Broadcasting for $825,000. WNLI, which uses 50kW/158m, has been carrying EMF's "Air-1" network while WPFF carries "K-Love." WRVM's programming originates at WRVM/102.7 (Suring) and is relayed on three full-power stations and dozens of translators, including one in Sturgeon Bay. (7/24/2014)
Wennes Communications' "Bluff Country 103.5" (KNEI-FM Waukon, IA) has applied to move closer to La Crosse. KNEI-FM currently uses 37kW/175m (class C2) from Waukon and has applied for 50kW/150m (also C2) from a site near the Iowa-Minnesota border. The move would put La Crosse within KNEI-FM's protected theoretical 60 dbu contour, but the river valley topography could limit actual reception. The move would also weaken the station's signal to Prairie du Chien, WI. (7/22/2014)
Analog WLUC translator W07DB (Marquette) has left the air. The station's engineering department says on Twitter that the translator will return to the air next month as digital translator W14EM-D, relaying both WLUC channels of NBC (6.1) and FOX (6.2). W07DB used just 25 Watts and W14EM-D will use 15kW, the maximum power allowed to translators, greatly expanding its coverage area. The translator is necessary because topography in Marquette limits TV reception. WLUC itself broadcasts on RF channel 33, remapping to channel 6, with 63kW from a site about 25 miles southwest of town. (7/21/2014)
The Christian broadcaster that's been operating KNOF/95.3 (St. Paul) for the past five years is now buying the station. Praise Broadcasting will pay Northcentral University's Selby Gospel Broadcast Corp. $5 million for the station. Praise Broadcasting is a sister organization to Christian Heritage Broadcasting, which owns three stations in western Minnesota that simulcast "Praise FM" programming with KNOF. Four of the seven principals of the organizations live in the Twin Cities area. KNOF is a core Twin Cities signal, transmitting with 900W/258m (class A) from the top of the IDS Center. (7/21/2014)
Iowa Public Radio is making changes to the weekend schedules on its three networks on July 19. Changes include: