Wisconsin Public Radio's Superior bureau now has just the second regional manager in its quarter-century history. Longtime Bureau head John Munson is due to retire in a few weeks, and the network has hired Paul Damberg to take his spot. Damberg, who started Dec. 5, worked at the University of Minnesota Duluth's KUMD/103.3 for 17 years and was more recently at Lake Superior College. The bureau is located on the UW-Superior campus and is home to KUWS/91.3 and four other WPR stations in the region. Munson has done just about everything you can think of at the bureau, including training students, teaching classes, calling hockey games, hosting public affairs programs, working on community events, and serving as a statewide fill-in announcer for WPR's Ideas Network. One of his last major accomplishments was the construction of three new state-of-the-art studios at the bureau this year. Your reporter was fortunate to learn from Munson in the 1990's, and Munson was kind enough not to show your reporter the door when he pushed the limits several times. The unique college-public radio model that Munson helped create at KUWS helped launch numerous media careers and will likely continue to launch careers for years to come. (12/6/2016)
The FCC's Audio Division has rescinded its earlier grant of a new FM signal in Omaha. The new 99-Watt translator on 95.3 was to have relayed Scripps' KXSP/590. It was being moved from Schuyler, where it is currently licensed as K276FB, under the AM revitalization window. The translator originally applied to move to 96.5 on Omaha but changed its proposed frequency to 95.3 after an informal objection from the owner of KSOM/96.5 (Audubon, IA). After the construction permit was issued for 95.3, Hawkeye Communications --- owner of KCSI/95.3 (Villisca-Red Oak) -- filed a petition for reconsideration, presenting evidence that it had existing listeners within the translator's planned coverage area. The FCC granted KCSI's petition for reconsideration and rescinded the grant of the 95.3 translator in a letter last week. Flood Communications, the owner of the translator, had already received FCC approval to sell it to Scripps, but it's not clear if that deal will be consummated now that the translator can't make a one-step move to Omaha. The AM revitalization filing window is closed. (12/4/2016)
NEW FM TRANSLATORS ON THE AIR:
Many more new FM translator signals have signed on in the Upper Midwest, most of which were moved to their current location under the FCC's AM revitalization window. Some may have been on the air for a few months already:
- Burlington, IA: K257GC/99.3, 250W, News/Talk from KBUR/1490.
- Sioux Center, IA: K268CZ/101.5, 250W, Oldies from KSOU/1090.
- Iron Mountain, MI: W290CO/105.9, 70W, Christian from WRVM/102.7 (Suring).
- Grand Rapids, MN: K256CW/99.1, 70W, Christian Hits from "The Refuge" (WJRF/89.5 Duluth).
- Park Rapids, MN: K263BR/100.5, 250W, News/Talk and Classic Country from KPRM/870.
- Scottsbluff, NE: K262CU/100.3, 250W, News/Farm/Talk from KNEB/960.
- Fargo, ND: K224FD/92.7, 250W, Sports from "Bison 1660." (92.7 had been occupied for more than two decades by what is now KBMW-FM/92.7 [Breckenridge-Wahpeton] after its move out of the market.)
- Appleton, WI: W278AU/103.5, 250W, News/Talk from WHBY/1150.
- Clintonville, WI: W235CQ/94.9, 230W, Sports from WOTE/1380. (Remains licensed to Wausau.)
- La Crosse, WI: K244FM/96.7, 250W, Sports from WKTY/580.
- Middleton, WI: W247CI/97.3, 40W, Catholic from WHFA/1240 (Poynette). (12/4/2016)
The last remaining Canadian broadcast TV signal between Thunder Bay and Winnipeg, a distance of about 600km (375 miles) by air, is poised to sign off permanently. Last month, Shaw Communications withdrew its application to renew the license of CJBN-TV/13 (Kenora), saying that it intends to close the station. CJBN is an extremely small station, broadcasting only in analog with 178 Watts. Most of its programming is relayed from Global TV affiliate CKND-DT/9 (Winnipeg). Cartt.ca reports that a company spokesperson said three people would lose their jobs when the station signs off Jan. 27, and the two weekly programs that currently air on CJBN will continue to run on Shaw's local cable channel. Global network programming will still be available on cable from CKND. It's not likely that many people are still watching CJBN's broadcast signal since it's the only one left in Kenora after the CBC and TV Ontario shut down their local transmitters in 2012. Virtually all other northwestern Ontario communities outside of Thunder Bay lost all broadcast TV service at that time, except for the U.S. signals that can be received in Fort Frances. (12/2/2016)
An AM Oldies station will get an FM signal in St. Paul as a result of a translator trade. Educational Media Foundation's W221BS/92.1 (Waite-St. Paul) will be transferred to Gregory Borgen's 630 Radio Inc. in exchange for K288GR/105.5 (Bayport, MN-Hudson, WI). W221BS currently carries EMF's "Air 1" network, transmitting with 55 Watts from St. Paul, but is no longer needed to carry that network following the upgrade of W225AP/92.9 (St. Paul-Minneapolis), which also carries "Air 1." The applications to transfer the licenses state that W221BS will relay Borgen's Oldies-formatted WDGY/740 (Hudson-St. Paul) following the transfer, while K288GR will relay iHeartMedia's KFXN-FM/100.3 -- presumably the KFXN-FM-HD3 feed carrying EMF's "K-Love" network. K288GR had been relaying Borgen's WREY/630 (St. Paul), which recently got a better signal with the launch of W235CT/94.9 (St. Paul). The deal calls for K288GR to continue transmitting from WDGY's tower site east of Hudson.
Editor's note: If you're wondering "Where is Waite?" you're not alone. It does not appear there is any place called Waite, Minnesota, nor is there a neighborhood going by that name in St. Paul or Minneapolis. There is a City of Waite Park in central Minnesota, far outside of W221BS' coverage area, and a community center called the Waite House in Minneapolis, bit it's not clear if "Waite" refers to either one of those. There is no community of license showing for translators, meaning applicants don't have to prove that the proposed community of license exists or would be within the translator's coverage area. (12/2/2016)
Lamke Broadcasting is adding a second FM signal to its existing Grand Rapids AM-FM combo with the purchase of KBAJ/105.5 (Deer River) from Red Rock Radio. Lamke will pay $200,000 for KBAJ and will begin operating the station under a local marketing agreement on Jan. 1, 2017. Lamke also owns Oldies-formatted KOZY/1320 (Grand Rapids) and Adult Contemporary outlet KMFY/96.9 (Grand Rapids). KBAJ currently relays the Classic Rock format of KQDS-FM/94.9 (Duluth), which Red Rock is in the process of selling to Midwest Communications; the deal received FCC approval earlier this month. Red Rock still has an AM and two FM's in Duluth and an AM in Eveleth after a total of five sales this year, including KBAJ. (11/30/2016)
ALL-CHRISTMAS UPDATE (AGAIN!):
At least 69 Upper Midwest radio stations are now playing all-Christmas formats, which is a half-dozen more than had flipped by this time last year. Some of Santa's statistics:
See the 2016 All-Christmas Stations page for a complete list. (11/29/2016)
- Fargo and Omaha both have three major FM signals carrying all-Christmas formats. (Since the post here on Nov. 28, your reporter has been told of the third Christmas station in Omaha, which plays Country Christmas.)
- Bismarck is the only rated market in the Upper Midwest with no all-Christmas station. It's been several years since Bismarck had an all-Christmas format, and that was on a non-commercial outlet.
- The other rated markets with no commercial stations carrying Christmas formats this year include Green Bay, Wausau, Duluth, and Rapid City.
On the day before Thanksgiving, Christmas music is already over at one of the first stations in the region to adopt the format this season. iHeartMedia launched a 70's-based Classic Hits format as "Rewind 92.1" on WXXM (Sun Prairie-Madison) on Wednesday, ending a two-week stunt with Christmas music as "Best FM." "Rewind" will have a monopoly on the format for the next month since Entercom Classic Hits outlet WOLX/94.9 (Baraboo-Madison) is now in all-Christmas mode. Non-commercial Contemporary Christian station "Life 102.5" (WNWC-FM Madison) is also due to go all-Christmas on Thanksgiving Day at Noon. (11/23/2016)
On the Monday before Thanksgiving, at least 25 Upper Midwest radio stations are running all-Christmas formats, which is five more than this time last year. Flips over the weekend included iHeartMedia's "Kool 108" (KQQL/107.9 Anoka-Minneapolis) and a new entrant, WVBO/103.9 (Winneconne-Oshkosh), which had run Christmas music on the weekends in previous years but then gone back to its regular format during the week. Another ten stations are promoting flips later this week. See the 2016 All-Christmas Stations page for a complete list. (11/21/2016)
The FCC has granted another two FM signals for the Twin Cities area after two broadcasters resolved a frequency conflict. Salem Media and the University of Northwestern-St. Paul had both applied for translators on 107.5, relaying Salem's WWTC/1280 and Northwestern's KTIS/900.
Northwestern recently modified its application to 97.5, transmitting with 250 Watts from Wells Fargo Place in St. Paul, and the application was then granted. 97.5 will use a highly directional antenna pattern to limit the signal towards KPPS-LP/97.5 (St. Louis Park). KTIS is also relayed on K214DF/90.7, which transmits from downtown Minneapolis.
Meanwhile, Salem's application for 107.5 was also approved. That translator will broadcast with 250 Watts from WWTC's tower site in St. Louis Park.
There are now 35 licenses or construction permits for FM translators or low-power FM stations in the greater metro area; see the Twin Cities Class D/LPFM Stations page for a complete list. (11/20/2016)
Besides the two translators listed above, other new FM translators granted last week include:
See the 2016 AM Revitalization Translators, Round 1 and Round 2 pages for the status of all of the translator filings under the windows for 250-mile moves this year. (11/20/2016)
- Duluth, MN: WQRM/850, 99.7, 250W
- Madison, WI: WLMV/1480, 94.5, 250W
- Madison, WI: WOZN/1670, 96.7, 230W
Two longtime journalists have announced plans to retire from Duluth NBC/CBS affiliate KBJR-TV (Superior-Duluth). The station announced Friday during its annual Christmas City of the North Parade that anchor Michelle Lee will retire at the end of the year, and news director Barbara Reyelts will retire next year. Reyelts has been with the station since 1979, and Lee joined KBJR since 1990 and was at KDLH/3 for seven years prior to that. KBJR is owned by Quincy Media. (11/20/2016)
After years of legal wrangling, the FCC says Townsquare Media can become the licensee of several FM stations in the Waterloo market. KKHQ-FM/92.3 (Oelwein-Waterloo), KCRR/97.7 (Grundy Center-Waterloo), and KOEL-FM/98.5 (Cedar Falls-Waterloo) were placed into the Cedar Rapids Divestiture Trust when Townsquare bought the former Cumulus groups in the Waterloo and Cedar Rapids markets a few years ago. That's because the stations had been moved, on paper, to the Cedar Rapids market in 2012. Nielsen Audio later reassigned the stations to the Waterloo market, but the FCC said last year that the stations couldn't be sold back to Townsquare until May 2016 due to a rule that requires a two-year waiting period when market boundaries are changed. The applications to transfer the licenses were reinstated earlier this year, and approved last week. (11/20/2016)
The FCC has granted short-term license renewals for several southwestern South Dakota and Wyoming radio stations that have been silent for much of the past several years. The stations in question are Mount Rushmore Broadcasting's KZMX/580 (Hot Springs), KZMX-FM/96.7 (Hot Springs), and KFCR/1490 (Custer), as well as Wyoming stations KRAL/1240 (Rawlins) and KIQZ/92.7 (Rawlins). Letters from the FCC's Audio Division (KFCR/KZMX-FM/KIQZ letter, KZMX/KRAL letter) say the company's "conduct has fallen far short of that which would warrant routine license renewal." The letters noted that the company "faced a number of difficulties beyond its control and sought Commission authorization for each station's periods of silence" but said that the stations can't serve the public interest when they're not on the air. The stations' licenses, along with the licenses of two sister stations in Wyoming, were only renewed for two years rather than the usual eight. The letter noted that the FCC would be watching to make sure the stations are complying with federal law. A license renewal application for the company's KAWK/105.1 (Custer) remains pending. (11/20/2016)
Another new FM signal is on the air in the Twin Cities: W235CT/94.9 (St. Paul) relays the "Radio Rey" Regional Mexican format of WREY/630 (St. Paul). W235CT transmits from the Wells Fargo Center in downtown St. Paul with 250 Watts, providing a good signal to the east metro. It was moved into the metro under the FCC's AM revitalization window. WREY's primary competitor, "La Raza" KMNV/1400 (St. Paul), also has a construction permit for a new translator on 95.7.
Other recent FM translator sign-ons include:
- Mason City, IA: K244FA/96.7, relaying Soft Oldies from KRIB/1490
- Litchfield, MN: W240DD/95.9, carrying News and a variety of music from KLFD/1410
- Shawano, WI: W243CM/96.5, relaying ESPN Radio from WOTE/1380 (Clintonville)
- Madison, WI: W249DH/97.7, relaying Classic Country from WHIT/1550
- Racine/Kenosha, WI: W251BU/98.1 (Kenosha) and W260CV/99.9 (Racine), relaying News and Classic Hits from WRJN/1400 (Racine) (11/17/2016)
KQSP/1530 (Shakopee-Minneapolis) has gone off the air, citing financial problems in a notification of suspension of operations filed with the FCC. The station went silent on Oct. 26. The filing says KQSP has operated at a financial loss for the past several years and its owner, Yong W. Kim's Broadcast One, is pursuing "all possible avenues for KQSP to successfully resume operations." The station is currently licensed for 8.6kW daytime but just 10 Watts at night from a tower site in the southwestern suburb of Chanhassen. It has had a few construction permits to upgrade its daytime signal in recent years, but the current permit expires later this month. KQSP had carried a Tropical format called "La Picosa," which continues to stream online. The operators of that format say on their website that they will return "very soon" and mention the possibility of an FM signal. (11/17/2016)
`Tis the season for stations to begin going all-Christmas, but one station that's made the flip every year for a decade isn't feeling the holiday spirit this year. Townsquare Media Classic Hits outlet "Kool 101.7" (KLDJ Duluth) says in response to a listener question on its Facebook page that it won't go all-Christmas, but will sprinkle Christmas songs into its regular playlist and offer a Christmas web strem. Meanwhile, non-commercial Contemporary Christian outlet "Life 97.3" (KDNW Duluth) is promoting a flip to all-Christmas coinciding with the annual Christmas City of the North Parade this Friday (11/18). Elsewhere, Fargo's "Mix 101.9" (KRWK) flipped Sunday (11/13) and at least a half-dozen other Upper Midwest stations are promoting flips to take place over the next week; see the 2016 All-Christmas Stations page for a complete list. (11/14/2016)
WPCN/1010 (Stevens Point) and its FM translator, W221CN/92.1, have dropped Talk and Sports for Scott Shannon's "True Oldies Channel" network. The station continues to carry a local morning talk show. Its most recent lineup had included Jonathon Brandmeier, Clark Howard, and CBS Sports Radio in afternoons, nights, and weekends. Several years ago, WPCN had carried "True Oldies" in overnight and weekend timeslots. The network was also carried on sister Muzzy Broadcast Group station WSPT/97.9 (Stevens Point), which moved to Classic Hits a few years ago. (11/9/2016)
iHeartMedia's WXXM/92.1 (Sun Prairie-Madison) has dropped its 12-year-old Liberal Talk format, which had been called "The Mic," and is now running classic Christmas music as "Best FM." iHeart uses the "Best FM" brand with `80s Hits formats in a few other markets. Though the flip was almost simultaneous with an election that saw Democrats Hillary Clinton and Russ Feingold lose in Wisconsin, RadioInsight notes that the change had actually been in the works for weeks. The Liberal Talk format survived longer at WXXM than at most other stations, continuing after an aborted plan to flip to Sports in 2007 and the sign-off of Air America Radio in 2010.
WXXM is at least the third Upper Midwest station to go all-Christmas this season. Follow the 2016 All-Christmas Stations page for updates throughout the season. (11/9/2016)
Zoe Communications' WLMX-FM/104.9 (Balsam Lake) has switched from Variety Hits "Mix 105" to Classic Hits of the 1970s and 80s as "Max 104.9." The change follows Zoe's purchase of WLMX and four other stations from Red Rock Radio; WLMX is the fourth of the five to change format. WLMX had used the "Mix" slogan for most of its 19-year history, first with Adult Contemporary and later with Variety Hits. Its main coverage area extends from Rice Lake to St. Croix Falls. (11/7/2016)
SECOND AM REVITALIZATION WINDOW CLOSES:
The FCC's second AM revitalization window for 250-mile FM translator moves ended last week with a total of 41 applications in the Upper Midwest, 34 of which have been granted. The last regional application through the gate was from VCY America to move a translator permit from Appleton, WI, to Duluth to relay VCY's WQRM/850 on 99.7. Among the applications that remain pending are Salem Media and the University of Northwestern-St. Paul's duelling applications for 107.5 in the Twin Cities area. Meanwhile, the only application granted last week under the window was for a translator to move to Hayward, WI, to relay WHSM/910 on 96.9. See the 2016 AM Revitalization Translators, Round 1 and Round 2 pages for a full rundown of all of the translator filings under the windows for 250-mile moves this year. There will be more windows next year for AM stations to apply for new FM translator licenses, rather than move them. (11/6/2016)
Two Brainerd-area radio stations have changed format after R&J Broadcasting began operating the Red Rock Radio stations in the market. WWWI-FM/95.9 (Pillager) has dropped its rebroadcast of Classic Rocker KQDS-FM/94.9 (Duluth) in favor of Classic Country as "Cash 95." Meanwhile, WWWI/1270 (Baxter) has dropped NBC Sports Radio and is now rebroadcasting "Talk 100" (KLKS/100.1 Pequot Lakes). The KLKS lineup had been heard on WWWI prior to its flip to Sports. The stations apparently have no web or social media presence. They are among eight that R&J is buying from Red Rock from $1.185 million; R&J is operating the stations under a local programming marketing agreement while the deal awaits FCC approval. (11/6/2016)
Troy Paskvan's KPMI/1300 (Bemidji) has switched from Sports to Classic Country as "Legends 1300." The new format includes Imus in the Morning and news updates from FOX, ABC, and GoMN (formerly Bring Me the News). Roger Paskvan's WBJI/98.3 (Blackduck-Bemidji) had previously played some Classic Country but segued to more current songs as "Babe Country 98.3" (named for Paul Bunyan's blue ox) earlier this year. (11/6/2016)
The FCC is considering a proposal from the Red Lake Nation to allot 105.3 to Red Lake, northwest of Bemidji, for a future class C1 commercial station. Tribal priority is being sought for the allotment. The Nation had first applied for the frequency last year, proposing a 100kW/192m facility using from a new tower north of Clearbrook. It would deliver a city-grade signal to most of the Red Lake Reservation and a rimshot signal to both Bemidji and Thief River Falls. Comments on the proposed allotment are being taken until Dec. 26. (11/6/2016)
iHeartMedia's "Classic Country 1360" (KMJM Cedar Rapids) is apparently the first station in the Upper Midwest to go all-Christmas this year, at least partially. Since at least Tuesday (11/1), the station has been playing nothing but Christmas music except for three hours in morning drive. KMJM last went all-Christmas in 2013. Across town, Townsquare Media's KDAT/104.5 has gone all-Christmas every year since at least 2002 and has flipped on the Friday or Monday before Christmas every year since 2009.
Elsewhere in Iowa, iHeartMedia's "Mix 96" (KMXG/96.1 Clinton-Quad Cities) says on Facebook that it will be flipping to Christmas before Thanksgiving, and iHeartMedia's "KG95" (KGLI/95.5 Sioux City) has a Facebook post suggesting its flip will happen on Nov. 18. (11/2/2016)
The FCC has declined two commercial broadcasters' request to rescind the construction permit for new low-power FM station KCOD-LP/104.1 (Decorah) but has directed its Media Bureau to conduct "further investigative and enforcement proceedings" against the permittee, Community Radio of Decorah, Postville and Northeast Iowa. In a memorandum opinion and order, the Commission said it was concerned about the issues raised. The point of contention is that Community Radio's James Glesne was still listed as a member of the board of directors of the Postville Chamber of Commerce, the licensee of KPVL/89.1 (Postville), when the application for the Decorah LPFM station was filed, but Community Radio's application indicated that Glesne had no other broadcast interests. Glesne later indicated that he had resigned from the Chamber's board. The FCC now says that while it sees no reason to revoke the permit, the Media Bureau's admonishment of Community Radio for its handling of the situation was inadequate and that the Bureau should begin a "further letter of inquiry, designed to determine the appropriate enforcement proceedings." The FCC also directed the Media Bureau to end its unofficial practice of allowing construction permit deadlines for LPFM stations to be extended even when the original deadline has passed. (11/2/2016)
Magnum Communications' WBKV/1470 (West Bend) has switched its callsign to WIBD simultaneous with the launch of new FM translator W267CL/101.3. The station, located northwest of Milwaukee, carries a Classic Hits format. The new FM signal, which was moved in from Reedsburg under the FCC's AM revitalization window, uses 190 Watts from a tower in West Bend. The AM signal signed on in 1950 as WBKV. (10/31/2016)
Mid-West Management is buying two FM translators from WRVM, Inc. with plans to relocate them to relay two of the company's Madison AM stations. The $72,000 deal includes W236AS/95.1 (Park Falls, WI) and W225AV/92.9 (Bessemer, MI), the latter of which currently relays WHRY/1450 (Hurley, WI). W225AV has applied to move to Madison on 94.5 to relay WLMV, transmitting with 250 Watts from WLMV's tower site. W236AS has applied to relay WOZN on 96.7, transmitting from a site in Oregon with 230 Watts. (WOZN is also rebroadcast on the rimshot signal of WOZN-FM/106.7 Mount Horeb.) The AM revitalization window allowing FM translators to move up to 250 miles closes Monday (10/31). Mid-West already has a construction permit for an FM translator to relay its WHIT/1550. (10/30/2016, updated with application details 10/31)
There's one more application to move a signal into the Twin Cities metro area as the FCC's window for FM translators to move to relay AM stations nears an end. Hubbard Broadcasting has applied to move a translator from Bemidji to Minneapolis, where it would relay "1500 ESPN" (KSTP St. Paul) on 94.1 from the IDS Center. The frequency is already in use in part of the metro by WFNU-LP/94.1 (St. Paul), so the proposed translator would use a highly directional 10-Watt signal to avoid overlap with WFNU. The proposed facility would provide a good signal to most of Minneapolis and parts of several first-ring suburbs. (10/30/2016)
AM REVITALIZATION APPROVALS:
Besides the WREY St. Paul translator (see below), two other new FM translator signals were approved last week under the FCC's AM revitalization window:
- Marshall, MN: KMHL/1400, 101.7, 250W
- Fargo, ND: WDAY/970, 101.3, 115W (see 10/16 item below for more information)
See the 2016 AM Revitalization Translators, Round 1 and Round 2 pages for a full rundown of all of the translator filings under the windows for 250-mile moves this year. (10/30/2016)
KOWZ/1170 (Waseca) tells the FCC that it's operating at reduced power due to September flooding. The station says in a request for special temporary authority that its transmitter is damaged and it's using 1kW daytime; the station normally uses 2.5kW daytime and 1kW during critical hours. The filing says the station hopes to restore full power within 60 to 120 days. As previously reported, its two FM sister stations are also operating at reduced power due to flood damage. (10/30/2016)
The FCC has granted another FM translator signal in the Twin Cities after one competing low-power FM station moved to a different frequency and another would-be low-power FM operator dropped its application.
The new signal on 94.9, W235CT, was granted to Greg Borgen's 630 Radio, Inc., on Wednesday (10/26). It will transmit from the Wells Fargo Center in downtown St. Paul with 250 Watts, providing a good signal to the east metro. W235CT will relay Spanish-language WREY/630 (St. Paul). The translator permit is being moved in from southern Minnesota under the FCC's AM revitalization filing window.
The approval of W235CT came one day after the FCC dismissed an application for a new low-power FM station on 94.9 in Minneapolis. The regulator had recently reinstated the application by North Minneapolis Community Radio, but the group's attorney told the FCC that it was no longer pursuing the station.
The FCC also recently approved a move of the Victoria Theater Project's future WVIC-LP (St. Paul) from 94.9 to 99.1 to make way for the new WREY translator. WVIC-LP will transmit with 100 Watts from the same site in the Dayton's Bluff neighborhood used by WEQY-LP/104.7 (St. Paul). 99.1 became available after an FM translator permit was moved out of the metro under the AM revitalization window.
Visit the Twin Cities Class D/LPFM Stations page for a complete listing of the FM translators and LPFM stations in the metro area. (10/26/2016)
Christian broadcaster WRVM, Inc. is buying two longtime commercial radio stations in central Wisconsin. Quicksilver Broadcasting is selling WMZK/104.1 (Merrill-Wausau) and WJMT/730 (Merrill) to WRVM for $260,000. WMZK currently carries a Classic Rock format as "Z104" while WJMT carries Classic Country. The application to transfer the licenses states that WRVM will seek to have them converted to non-commercial status. WJMT will be the first AM station for WRVM, which currently owns five full-power FM stations and a few dozen FM translators in northeastern Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula. One of those stations is WHJL/88.1 (Merrill). (10/25/2016)
Duluth's FOX 21 (KQDS-TV) is in the process of converting seven of its owned-and-operated translators from analog to digital. The station reports that translators in International Falls and Virginia have already been converted to digital, while conversions are pending in Hibbing, Grand Rapids, Ashland, Hayward, and Ironwood. (The station's Aitkin translator, which lies outside the boundaries of the Duluth-Superior TV market, is not on the list.) Besides upgrading FOX to HD, the conversion also means that KQDS-TV's Antenna TV subchannel is now also available in the communities. The translators were the last analog signals still on the air in the Duluth market. KQDS is operated by Red River Broadcast Co. (10/23/2016)
An Iron Range FM station is transmitting at greatly reduced power due to transmitter damage. WEVE/97.9 (Eveleth) tells that FCC, in a request for special temporary authority, that it is currently transmitting with just two percent of its usual 100kW. The filing says a lighting strike on Sept. 26 damaged the transmitter, which is located about 18 miles northeast of Eveleth, and that a replacement transmitter has been ordered. WEVE carries an Adult Contemporary format. Red Rock Radio is in the process of selling WEVE to Midwest Communications as part of a four-station deal. (10/23/2016)
The FCC has approved a move of a translator from Virginia to Pine City to relay WCMP/1350 under the AM revitalization filing window. The new signal will transmit on 106.5 with 250 Watts from the WCMP-FM tower in Beroun. Q Media Properties, which is in the process of buying WCMP AM-FM from Red Rock Radio, is buying the translator (currently W264CX) from Refuge Media for $40,000. (10/23/2016)
The FCC has approved a move of a translator from Reedsburg to West Bend to relay WBKV/1470 under the AM revitalization filing window. The new signal will transmit from a tower in West Bend on 101.3 with 190 Watts. WBKV owner Magnum Communications already owned the translator. (10/23/2016, corrected frequency 10/31)
Following up to an earlier report, W272DJ (Ladysmith) has applied to move to Hayward on 96.9 with 250 Watts, where it would relay WHSM/910. WHSM owner Zoe Communications is buying the translator from David M. Stout. (10/23/2016)
Educational Media Foundation's KLFG/89.5 (Fort Dodge) has received a construction permit for an upgrade to cover more of north-central Iowa. Currently using 17kW/111m (class C3), the station will move to the KTIN-TV tower near Bradgate and transmit with 30kW/287m (class C1). KLFG carries EMF's "K-Love" Contemporary Christian network. (9/20/2016, updated with approval 10/23)
Two southern Minnesota radio stations are operating at reduced power due to flood damage. KOWZ-FM/100.9 (Blooming Prairie-Owatonna) and KRUE/92.1 (Waseca-Owatonna) tell the FCC, in requests for special temporary authority, that their transmitters suffered damage during flooding on Sept. 22. The filings indicate KOWZ-FM is operating at about half of its normal power and KRUE is operating at about one-quarter of its normal power. The stations say their goal is to return to full power within 90 to 180 days. KOWZ-FM carries an Adult Contemporary format and KRUE carries Country. (10/18/2016)
Scripps Broadcasting has received a construction permit to move an FM translator from Schuyler to Omaha under the AM revitalization filing window to relay KXSP/590. The application was originally filed for 96.5, but changed to 95.3 after an informal objection from KSOM/96.5 (Audubon, IA). The new signal on 95.3 will transmit with 99 Watts from the Crown Point antenna farm but will use a directional antenna limiting the signal towards the southeast to protect KCSI/95.3 (Villisca, IA), leaving parts of Omaha and Council Bluffs outside of the translator's main coverage area. Two other AM-on-FM translators have already signed on this year in Omaha, and a third has been granted. One of them, K281CJ/104.1 relaying KOMJ/1490, recently upgraded from 99 to 250 Watts. (10/16/2016)
Two Refuge Media Group FM translators on Minnesota's Iron Range have applied to move south under the AM revitalization filing window as Refuge buys a full-power station on the Range (KMFG/102.9 Nashwauk). The current Virginia translator applied to move to Pine City on 106.5 with 250 Watts to relay Q Media Group's WCMP/1350. Meanwhile, the current Chisholm translator - which was acquired from Heartland Christian Broadcasters earlier this year - has applied to move to Marshall on 101.7 with 250 Watts to relay the Linder family's KMHL/1400. 101.7 would transmit with 250 Watts from the KRWF-TV tower, serving an area east of Marshall; KMHL is already relayed on the Marshall rimshot signal of K277AI/103.3 (Russell). (10/16/2016)
Forum Communications has applied to move an FM translator from Rolla to Fargo under the AM revitalization filing window to relay WDAY/970 on 101.3 with 115 Watts. Forum is buying K261BA (Rolla) from Down East Communications/CDC/Center for the Performing Arts for $30,000. However, the decision to move WDAY's transmitter to a site near Barnesville, MN, several years ago is limiting its FM potential: FM translators must be within 25 miles of the AM transmitter site, and the 25-mile line cuts right through the middle of Fargo-Moorhead. The translator application specifies a site on the south side of Fargo using a directional antenna pattern to precisely keep the translator's main signal within the 25-mile limit. Three other Fargo AM stations have already received construction permits for FM translators this year.
See the 2016 AM Revitalization Translators, Round 1 and Round 2 pages for a full rundown of all of the translator filings under the windows for 250-mile moves this year. (10/16/2016, updated 10/17 to add sale information)
Green Bay-based Catholic broadcaster Relevant Radio, which owns several full-power stations in Minnesota and Wisconsin, is merging with California-based Immaculate Heart Media in a deal that will give the combined organization a national footprint. The new organization will be known as Immaculate Heart Media d/b/a Relevant Radio and will have stations in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Relevant's owned-and-operated stations include WLOL/1330 (Minneapolis), WSJP/1640 (Sussex-Milwaukee), WSJP-FM/100.1 (Port Washington-Milwaukee), WHFA/1240 (Poynette-Madison), WJOK/1050 (Kaukana-Green Bay), WYNW/92.9 (Birnamwood-Wausau), WMMA/93.9 (Nekoosa-Wisconsin Rapids), WKBH/1570 (Holmen-La Crosse), and WDVM/1050 (Eau Claire). (10/15/2016)
A company headed by Michael Flood is buying another Nebraska low power TV station. Flood Communications of Omaha will pay Three Angels Broadcasting Network $140,000 for K26JQ-D (Lincoln). 3ABN will retain the rights to program one digital subchannel on K26JQ for up to seven years, similar to a recent deal in Omaha which will allow Daystar to continue programming one channel after its sells its station (KOHA-LD/48) to Flood. Flood's other companies own several low-power TV station running news and local events under the "News Channel Nebraska" name and radio stations in several Nebraska markets. (10/15/2016)
Midwest Communications' KELQ/107.9 (Flandreau-Sioux Falls) tells the FCC it's operating at reduced power due to storm damage. According to a request for special temporary authority, a recent storm damaged the transmitter and it is currently operating at 1.75kW ERP, far less than the licensed 21kW signal that rimshots Sioux Falls. The filing says KELQ hopes to return to normal power within 60 to 120 days. KELQ simulcasts the News/Talk format of KELO/1320 (Sioux Falls). (10/15/2016)
The Country Network has returned to the Twin Cities on channel 43.7 of DTV America's KMBD-LD (Minneapolis). The network, once known as Zuus Country, had previously been seen on channel 23.3 of Sinclair's WUCW (Minneapolis) but was dropped two years ago. (10/12/2016)
Zoe Communications has dropped Sports formats on two more of the radio stations it recently bought from Red Rock Radio.
WXCX/105.7 (Siren) is now carrying Classic Country from the 1990's and 2000's. The company's website says it will be called "Northwoods Country," though that identity is not yet being heard on the air. WXCX previously carried the Minneapolis-based FAN Network and NBC Sports Radio. It delivers the only city-grade FM signal to Siren and much of Burnett County, which is a popular cabin area for Twin Cities residents.
Meanwhile, WXCE/1260 (Amery) has switched to `60s-based Oldies, a format the station carried for much of the 2000's. WXCE had most recently been carrying NBC Sports Radio.
As reported earlier, Zoe also dropped a Sports format on WHSM/910 (Hayward) in favor of light pop hits from the 1960's to 1980's. The three stations are among five Zoe recently bought from Red Rock. (10/10/2016)
The only regional action on FM translators in the AM revitalization filing window last week was in Wisconsin.
La Crosse: Family Radio was granted a construction permit for a 250-Watt translator on 96.7 to relay Sports-formatted WKTY/580. The translator is being moved up from Decorah, Iowa, where it has relayed Family Radio's KQYB/98.3 (Spring Grove, MN) on 99.3 for 32 years.
West Bend: Magnum Communications applied for a 190-Watt translator on 95.3 to relay WBKV/1470. Magnum is seeking approval to move the translator from Reedsburg. (10/9/2016)
Iowa Public Radio's KICL/96.3 (Pleasantville), which has been operating at reduced power since earlier this year, has applied to move its transmitter farther to the east. The Classical station currently transmits from a tower just southeast of Pleasantville and is licensed for 6kW/78m (class A) but has been operating at about half-power since last spring due to an antenna problem, according to requests for special temporary authority. KICL has now applied to move to a tower in Knoxville, where it would use 6kW/96m, improving reception in Pella. Areas southeast of Des Moines where KICL's signal would be weaker are also served by Classical IPR station KICP/105.9 (Patterson). (10/8/2016)
One of Bott Radio Network's two frequencies in Omaha will be switching to a different Christian network. Bott parent Community Broadcasting is selling K224DJ/92.7 (La Vista-Omaha) to My Bridge radio network for $300,000 in a deal that also gives Community Broadcasting the right to use My Bridge's tower near Grand Island for KFKX/89.9 (Hastings) for 12 years. Bott Radio Network won't lose any coverage since its K229BI/93.7 (Omaha) transmits from a site six blocks away from K224DJ and has essentially the same coverage area. The application to transfer K224DJ's license states it will relay My Bridge's KRKR/95.1 (Waverly-Lincoln). (10/8/2016)
The parent company of the USA Radio Network is buying a future FM translator in the Quad Cities. Arizona-based Liftable Media will pay Edgewater Broadcasting $35,000 for K296GZ/107.1, which will be licensed to Muscatine but has a construction permit to transmit from Bettendorf with 250 Watts. The application to transfer the license states that K296GZ will relay iHeartMedia's WLLR-FM/103.7 (Davenport), though such statements are not binding. (10/5/2016)
Zoe Communications is buying an FM translator to relay its recently-purchased WHSM/910 (Hayward). Zoe will pay David M. Stout $30,000 for W272DJ (Ladysmith), which was granted in 2014 and has not yet signed on. The application to transfer the license states W272DJ will apply to move to Hayward to relay WHSM under the AM revitalization filing window. WHSM recently debuted a format of pop hits of the 1960's to 1980's. (10/4/2016)
K262AR/100.3 (Worthington) is now relaying KWOA/730. KWOA owner Absolute Communications II bought the translator from Refuge Media, which had used it to carry its Christian Hits network, and moved it to the KWOA site with 250 Watts. KWOA carries News/Talk and Soft Oldies. (10/2/2016)
Salem Media has signed on K293CJ/106.5 (Omaha), relaying Christian Talk KCRO/660 (Omaha). KCRO had previously been rebroadcast on K233CO/94.5, which switched to a relay of Salem's KOTK/1420 when KOTK debuted a Conservative Talk format earlier this year. K293CJ uses 60 Watts and was moved in from Kansas under the AM revitalization filing window. (10/2/2016)
In a first for regional applications among the AM revitalization filing windows this year, the FCC has denied iHeartMedia's request to move an FM translator to Des Moines to relay KXNO/1460. It's the culmination of a series of filings this year: First, the translator construction permit was moved from Portland, Iowa, to Iowa City, Iowa, where it became K221GH/92.1 with plans of relaying KXIC/800. The permit had been due to expire on Feb. 18 but the FCC granted a six-month extension due to the AM revitalization effort. Shortly before the August deadline, iHeart asked for another extension, saying it had learned the Iowa City tower was too weak to immediately support the translator's antenna. It then applied to move the permit to Des Moines on 96.9 to relay KXNO. However, the FCC deleted K221GH's callsign on Aug. 18 and denied the application to move to Des Moines on Sept. 26. (It's among a half-dozen iHeart applications nationwide denied simultaneously.) iHeartMedia has already found another possible use for 96.9 in Des Moines, applying to move its K243CA/96.5 (Millman-Des Moines) to 96.9. The change, which received approval on Sept. 29, will allow the Country-formatted translator (originating on KDRB-HD2) to upgrade from 102 to 250 Watts. (9/27/2016, updated with K243CA approval 9/29)
Quincy's "My9" (KBJR-DT3 Superior-Duluth and KRII-DT3 Chisholm) is now carrying the Decades network 18 hours per day, replacing syndicated programming in the morning, afternoon, and overnight hours. "My9" continues to carry the My Network TV lineup from 7 to 9 p.m. followed by syndicated programming until midnight, as well as "The 700 Club" at 11 a.m. (Viewers aren't actually missing any Decades or My Network programming, since the networks only offer six and two hours of programming per day, respectively.) Quincy also carries Decades on several of its Wisconsin stations. KBJR carries NBC on 6.1 and CBS on 6.2, while "My9" is seen on 6.3 and is named for its cable position. The channel originally launched as the cable-only "UPN9" in 2002 and got broadcast carriage when KBJR-DT launched; it had also carried some PAX TV programming in its early years. (9/27/2016)
A new FCC filing indicates the price of R&J Broadcasting's previously-reported purchase of eight Red Rock Radio stations in the Brainerd, Aitkin, and International Falls area is $1.185 million. (See the 9/16 item for complete list of stations.) R&J, owned by Jimmy Birkemeyer of Ada, is already operating the stations under a local programming and marketing agreement. This is one of four Red Rock Radio sales in progress; the company is also awaiting FCC approval to sell five northeastern Minnesota stations to Midwest Communications for $5.625 million and two in Pine City to Q Media Group for $300,000, and has received FCC approval for the sale of five northwestern Wisconsin stations to Zoe Communications for $750,000. (9/26/2016)
NEW FM TRANSLATORS:
Catching up on developments in the world of FM translators, the following construction permits were granted last week under the current filing window for long-distance moves:
- Des Moines, IA: KRNT/1350, 102.1, 99W
- Beatrice, NE: KWBE/1450, 94.7, 250W
The following new application was filed last week:
- La Crosse, WI: WKTY/580, 96.7, 250W
The following translators are now on the air:
- Waverly, IA: KWAY/1470, 96.3, 250W
- Fosston, MN: KKCQ/1480, 99.7, 250W
- Princeton, MN: WQPM/1300, 107.5, 250W (having moved from 106.9 and 103.3)
- Waseca, MN: KOWZ/1170, 106.3, 250W
- Black River Falls, WI: WWIS/1260, 105.3, 250W
- Viroqua, WI: WVRQ/1360, 107.3, 250W
See the 2016 AM Revitalization Translators, Round 1 and Round 2 pages for a full rundown of all of the translator filings under the windows for 250-mile moves this year. (9/25/2016)
The purchase price for the previously-reported sale of Red Rock Radio's AM-FM combo in Pine City is $300,000, according to an asset purchase agreement filed with the FCC. The buyer, Alan Quarmstrom's Q Media group, is already operating WCMP/1350 and WCMP-FM/100.9 under a local programming and marketing agreement that took effect Sept. 14. Meanwhile, the previously-reported deal to sell eight Red Rock stations based in Brainerd, Aitkin, and International Falls to R&J Broadcasting had not yet been filed with the FCC as of Wednesday night. The sale of five northeastern Minnesota Red Rock stations to Midwest Communications is awaiting approval, while the sale of five northwestern Wisconsin Red Rock stations to Zoe Communications was approved last week. Red Rock has three stations in Duluth and one in Deer River remaining. (9/22/2016)
WHSM/910 (Hayward) has dropped Sports for light pop hits of the 1960's to 1980's. The change follows Zoe Communications' purchase of the station, and four others in northwestern Wisconsin, from Red Rock Radio. The new format may find fans among those who listened to the Soft Oldies format the station ran from 1999 to 2014. It had most recently been carrying the Minneapolis-based "Fan" network and NBC Sports Radio. Meanwhile, "Muskie 101" (WHSM-FM/101.1 Hayward) continues to carry a Country format, but it's now locally-originated instead of being satellite-fed. (9/20/2016)
As it awaits FCC approval of its purchase of KFKX/90.1 (Hastings) from Hastings College, Community Broadcasting is planning a bigger signal for the station. It has applied to move to 89.9 and use 16kW/99m (class C3) from a tower closer to Grand Island. Community Broadcasting operates the Bott Radio Network and has translators in Hastings and Grand Island, but reached a deal to sell the Hastings translator to Legacy Broadcasting. (9/20/2016)
Mississippi Valley Broadcasters' "Kicks 106.3" (WQCC La Crosse) is operating at about half power due to storm damage. According to a request for special temporary authority filed with the FCC, WQCC's transmitter site was struck by lightning on July 21. When the transmitter was fired up with a rebuilt tube, another part failed. The filing says WQCC is operating at about 50 percent of its normal power. The station is licensed for 18kW/118m (class C3). (9/20/2016)
Gray Television's WSAW/7 (Wausau) is asking the FCC to order satellite providers to extend its CBS and FOX channels into two northern Wisconsin counties that are part of the Duluth-Superior market.
The 379-page petition for special relief (part 1, part 2) indicates WSAW has already asked DirecTV and DISH Network to add its signal to customers in Ashland and Iron counties, but the providers have declined carriage based on concerns that the spotbeam carrying the Wausau-market stations is not strong enough in portions of the two counties.
WSAW is now asking the FCC to make a satellite market modification, as allowed by the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act Reauthorization (STELAR) Act of 2014. The provision allows stations' satellite markets to be expanded to include "orphan counties," which are counties that are part of out-of-state TV markets. However, it remains to be seen if WSAW's argument will be successful in this case since Duluth-Superior NBC/CBS affiliate KBJR-TV is licensed to Superior, Wisconsin, and already carries a significant amount of Wisconsin news, sports, and weather programming, as do the market's ABC and FOX affiliates. (For full disclosure, your reporter is employed by the ABC affiliate, WDIO.)
The issue is largely driven by the decades-old conflict between Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers telecasts that exists in thirteen Wisconsin counties covered by the Duluth-Superior and Minneapolis-St. Paul markets. This season, four of the 16 regular-season Packers games will not be seen on Duluth-Superior and Minneapolis-St. Paul stations because the games are at the same time as the Vikings. (The games are available through the $270 Sunday Ticket package.) However, it's not likely that WSAW's reach would be extended before the end of the current season because the FCC has 120 days to consider the petition. (9/19/2016)
R&J Broadcasting and Q Media Properties are buying a total of ten radio stations from Red Rock Radio, which already has pending deals to sell ten other stations. The latest deals were announced Friday by broker Kalil & Co.; purchase prices have not yet been disclosed.
R&J is buying eight Red Rock stations based in Brainerd, Aitkin, and International Falls. They include: Sports WWWI/1270 (Baxter-Brainerd), Classic Rocker WWWI-FM/95.9 (Pillager-Brainerd), "Talk 100" (KLKS/100.1 Pequot Lakes-Brainerd), Sports KKIN/930 (Aitkin), Classic Country KKIN-FM/94.3 (Aitkin), "101.5 Jack FM" (KFGI Crosby-Aitkin-Brainerd), Oldies KGHS/1230 (International Falls), and Country "KS104" (KSDM/104.1 International Falls). R&J owns four radio stations in northwestern Minnesota.
Meanwhile, Alan Quarnstrom's Q Media Properties is buying Soft Oldies WCMP/1350 (Pine City) and "Cool Country" WCMP-FM/100.9 (Pine City). Quarnstrom had owned the stations from 2001 until 2007, when he sold them to Red Rock. He currently owns four radio stations in southeastern Minnesota.
Red Rock is also in the process of selling five stations in northeastern Minnesota to Midwest Communications and five in northwestern Wisconsin to Zoe Communications, leaving the company with three stations in Duluth (KQDS/1490, WWAX/92.1 Hermantown, and KZIO/104.3 Two Harbors) and one in Deer River (KBAJ/105.5). It's a sister company to Red River Broadcast Co., which owns the FOX TV affiliates in Duluth and Fargo and the NBC TV affiliate in Sioux Falls. (9/16/2016)
Midwest Communications has quickly found a buyer for a station it needs to divest on the Iron Range. Refuge Media will pay $96,000 for KMFG/102.9 (Nashwauk-Hibbing), which Midwest needs to drop to make way for its purchase of KGPZ/96.1 (Coleraine-Grand Rapids). Midwest was already at the market cap of four FM stations serving the Hibbing area when it reached a deal to buy KGPZ and four other northeastern Minnesota stations from Red Rock Radio last month. Duluth-based Refuge Media operates the Christian Hits "Refuge Radio" network, which has two other full-power stations and numerous translators. KMFG currently carries a Classic Rock format. The sale includes the license and transmitter, but not any studio equipment. (9/16/2016)
After just a month with four 6 p.m. TV newscasts, Duluth is about to lose one. The city got a fourth 6 p.m. newscast when Quincy's KBJR-DT2 launched "CBS3 News at 6" in early August. Now, FOX 21 (KQDS-TV) is planning to move its 6 p.m. newscast to 5:30 on Monday, Sept. 19, according the station's Facebook page. FOX 21, owned by Red River Broadcast Co., has carried a newscast at 6 p.m. since 2010. The market had a 5:30 p.m. newscast on former CBS affiliate KDLH/3 from 2005 up until this past July. (9/13/2016)
Gray's WOWT (Omaha) has added Cozi TV on channel 6.2, replacing AccuWeather and news repeats. WOWT carries NBC on 6.1 and Antenna TV on 6.3. (9/12/2016)
The CW Television Network will move from full-power primary affiliations to subchannels of big-four network affiliates in Madison and Cedar Rapids-Waterloo on Monday, Sept. 12. In Madison, Gray NBC affiliate WMTV will add CW on 15.2, with WeatherNation programming moving from 15.2 to 15.4. Syndicated programming on CW 15.2 will include rerurns of American Dad, Last Man Standing, and Rules of Engagement. Previous CW affiliate WBUW/57.1 continues as an independent station, replacing the two hours of CW prime time with TMZ Live and Dr. Phil. Meanwhile, in eastern Iowa, Quincy NBC affiliate KWWL (Waterloo) will add the CW on 7.2. The channel will apparently replace current CW affiliate KWKB/20.1 (Iowa City) on DISH Network channel 20 but will be carried on DirecTV channel 8, according to listings on the station's website. Syndicated programming on CW 7.2 will include TMZ, Jerry Springer, and Steve Harvey. ThisTV, which is being dropped from KWWL-DT2, is being picked up as KWKB's new primary affiliation. (9/11/2016)
An FM translator is currently transmitting from a tree after its tower mysteriously vanished. Radio 74 Internationale tells the FCC that it discovered on Aug. 24 that someone had removed the tower for K263AP/100.5 (Mandan), which actually transmits from a rural area south of Bismarck-Mandan. In a request for special temporary authority, the station tells the FCC it's transmitting from an eight-meter tree with 50 Watts. "The situation could continue for yet several weeks or months until either we determine exactly who removed the tower, why, and can seek its return, or...install another tower," the filing says. K263AP carries Radio 74 Internationale by relaying KJIT-LP/106.7 (Bismarck). (9/10/2016)
KBMW-FM/92.7 (Breckenridge-Wahpeton), which is the former KZDR/92.7 (Kindred-Fargo), is now on the air with an Adult Contemporary format as "B92.7." Brooke Ingstad's Radio Wahpeton Breckenridge, LLC moved the station after purchasing it from the Robert J. Ingstad's Mediactive, LLC. It's unusual for a station to move out of a rated market, but the Ingstad family's companies own a number of other stations and translators in Fargo-Moorhead. Radio Wahpeton Breckenridge, LLC also owns Country-formatted KBMW/1450 (Breckenridge), KBMW translator K232FH/94.3 (Breckenridge), and Classic Hits "Eagle 106.9" (KEGK Wahpeton-Fargo). KEGK continues to target listeners in Fargo-Moorhead. (9/10/2016)
With 92.7 no longer in use as a full-power frequency in the Fargo market, it's one of several frequencies that will soon light up with new 250-Watt signals. The FCC recently granted the three new translators after correcting an earlier mistaken approval of two translators that, it turned out, were mutually exclusive. Two applications were amended to specify different frequencies, and all three were then approved. Radio F-M Media's KQWB/1660 will be relayed on 92.7, Midwest's KFGO/790 will be relayed on 94.1, and Midwest's KVOX/740 will be relayed on 107.3. KQWB and KVOX carry Sports formats, while KFGO carries News/Talk. (9/10/2016)
There have been two additional applications for FM translators in Des Moines since the original report last month about the second window opening for FM translator moves. iHeartMedia wants a 250-Watt translator for its KXNO/1460 on 96.9, while Saga Communications is seeking a 99-Watt translator for its KRNT/1350 on 102.1. Both stations currently carry Sports formats. (9/10/2016)
Besides the Fargo applications noted above, the only other FM translator move application granted in the last two weeks is in Rapid City. KOTA/1380 will be relayed on 100.7 with 250 Watts, making it the last Rapid City AM station to get an FM translator. See the 2016 AM Revitalization Translators, Round 1 and Round 2 pages for a full rundown of all of the translator filings under the windows for 250-mile moves this year. (9/10/2016)
Michael Flood is continuing to expand his broadcast holdings with the purchase of a low-power TV station in Omaha. Flood Communications of Omaha, LLC is buying KOHA-LD/48 (Omaha) from Word of God Fellowship/Daystar for $250,000. The agreement includes a provision allowing Daystar to continue running its programming on channel 48.3 at a rate of $1,000 per year. Flood Communications of Omaha also owns Spanish-language "Lobo 97.7" (KBBX-FM Nebraska City-Omaha). Flood's other companies own several low-power TV station running news and local events under the "News Channel Nebraska" name and radio stations in several other Nebraska markets. (9/9/2016)
The CRTC has approved a downgrade for the CBC Radio One station in Geraldton, joining a growing list of CBC transmitters that have cut power in recent years. The CBC says the transmitter at CBLG/89.1 is time-worn and needs to be replaced. It will drop from 11.9kW (class B) to 5.95kW (class B1), with the antenna height barely changing from 134m to 133m. The CRTC says it received no objections to the downgrade. (9/9/2016)
TV MARKET RANKINGS:
Des Moines is the Upper Midwest's big star of the new Nielsen Media TV market rankings, rising three spots to number 69 for the 2016-2017 season. The market gained more than 7,000 households, an increase of nearly two percent. Madison and Sioux Falls were the only other Upper Midwest TV markets to rise in the rankings, each moving up one spot. Meanwhile, the once-rising western North Dakota market, including the oil patch city of Williston, fell one spot. Other markets falling one spot include Fargo, La Crosse-Eau Claire, Duluth, Rapid City, and Cheyenne-Scottsbluff. Other Upper Midwest markets were unchanged. One bright spot for the TV business is that Nielsen says the decline in TV households has ended, with a national increase of just over one percent since last year. North Platte and Ottumwa-Kirksville are the only Upper Midwest markets to see a decline in TV households over the year. (9/7/2016)
Several changes are coming to the Fargo TV market on Monday, Sept. 12. The Forum reports that Gray TV's new CW affiliate will be seen on channel 30.2 of new low-power station KXJB-LD (Horace-Fargo), and that it will carry a 9 p.m. newscast produced by sister NBC/CBS affiliate KVLY-TV. It will apparently be rebroadcast on K28MA-D (Argusville) and K30LR-D (Grand Forks). Though no announcement can be found on KVLY's website or Facebook page, it appears that KXJB's main channel will carry the "KX4" CBS programming that has been seen on KVLY-DT2 for the past two years.
The CW affiliation is moving from longtime affiliate WDAY-DT2 (Fargo) and WDAZ-DT2 (Devils Lake-Grand Forks), which will move Justice Network from their DT4 to their DT2 channels after the CW leaves. TV listings indicate the station's "WDAY'Z Xtra" subchannel, seen on DT3, will begin operating more as an independent station on Sept. 12, dropping weather programming for syndicated shows in the late afternoon and evening hours. WDAY, a primary ABC affiliate owned by Forum Communications, also recently recently launched a 9 p.m. newscast on both "WDAY'Z Xtra" and Justice Network.
These changes come as Midcontinent Communications moves channels on its lineup. According to an email sent to subscribers, "KX4" will move from channel 4 to 9 so that Cozi TV affilaite KRDK-TV/4.1 (Valley City-Fargo) can be carried on cable channel 4. KXJB's CW programming will be carried on channel 17. WDAY-DT2 will continue to be carried on channel 7, except with Justice Network rather than CW. (9/7/2016)
Educational Medial Foundation is buying the construction permit for K248CE/97.5 (Davenport) from Benjamin Shafer for $32,000. Shafer bought K248CE last year for $40,000. The translator is not yet on the air and faces a Dec. 5 construction deadline. The application states it will carry EMF's "Air 1" Christian Hits network via KAIP/88.9 (Wapello); sister network "K-Love" is already carried on WLKU/98.9 (Rock Island). (9/5/2016)
Legacy Broadcasting is buying K260BK/99.9 (Hastings) from Community Broadcasting for $40,000. The application states Legacy will use K260BK as a fill-in translator for its KRGI-FM/96.5 (Grand Island), meaning it could relay an HD subchannel of that station. Community Broadcasting currently uses K260BK to carry its Bott Radio Network, but will no longer need the translator after its purchase of KFKX/90.1 (Hastings) is complete. (9/5/2016)
The FCC has approved a new tribal FM allotment in north-central South Dakota. 93.5 is alloted to Eagle Butte for a future class C1 station after a request from the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, which wants to build a station using 100kW/203m. The new station will serve a large area of tribal lands that have few other radio options. No comments were filed during a window for comment this summer. The tribe must still apply for and receive a construction permit before the new station can sign on. (9/3/2016)
NEW DTV SUBCHANNELS:
Here is a rundown of some of the new digital TV subchannels that have signed on as the new TV season begins:
Black Hills: Legacy Broadcasting's KHME (Rapid City) and KQME (Lead) added H&I TV on channels 23.2 and 5.2, replacing ThisTV.
Des Moines-Ames: Nexstar added Laff on WOI-DT/5.2, Escape on KCWI/23.2, and Bounce on KCWI/23.3. Meanwhile, Tribune's WHO-DT added ThisTV on 13.4.
Green Bay: Nexstar's WFRV added Bounce on 5.2.
La Crosse-Eau Claire: In an unusual situation, Nexstar added four subchannels, but they are split between two stations serving different ends of the market. WLAX (La Crosse) is carrying Laff on 25.3 and Grit on 25.4, while WEUX (Chippewa Falls-Eau Claire) is carrying Escape on 48.3 and Bounce on 48.4. The stations simulcast FOX and Me-TV on their other channels.
Quad Cities: Nexstar added Grit on WHBF/4.3, Escape on WHBF/4.4, Laff on KGCW/26.3, and Bounce on KGCW/26.4.
Sioux City: Nexstar's KCAU added Escape on 9.2, Laff on 9.3, and Bounce on 9.4.
Western North Dakota: Nexstar's KXMB/12 (Bismarck), KXMC/13 (Minot), KXMA/2 (Dickinson), and KXMD/11 (Williston) added Laff on their .3 channels and Escape on their .4 channels. (9/1/2016)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Dan O'Donnell to get his own show on WISN-AM (12/5)
Star Tribune: Twin Cities Public Television to launch new Kids Channel (11/23)
WCCO-TV: Tafoya & Barnard Proving To Be Electric Pairing For KQRS (11/21)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: WLDB-FM 1st Milwaukee Station to go all-Christmas (11/16)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Milwaukee PBS' '10thirtysix' to debut Friday (11/15)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Katrina Cravy joins WKLH morning crew (11/2)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Milwaukee Public TV changes name to Milwaukee PBS (11/1)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Amid staff changes, WKTI fills in on-air lineup (11/1)
The Isthmus: Broadcast, interrupted: The Mic 92.1 to end contract with Devil’s Advocate Radio early next month (10/26)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: WNOV back on the air (10/19)
St. Paul Pioneer Press: Is popularity of 'Cities 97 Sampler' waning? (10/14)
Eau Claire Leader Telegram: Murphy returns to the air (10/14)
Sioux Falls Argus Leader: Who's No. 1? Ratings return for local radio stations (10/12)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Charlie Sykes to leave WTMJ radio show in December (10/4)
Wausau Daily Herald: Local radio host 'Stevi' dies in cabin (10/3)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Broadcaster Hinshaw was invested in Milwaukee (10/3)
Star Tribune: KFAN host, singer Chris Hawkey among 20 who contracted Legionnaire's in Hopkins (9/29)
Star Tribune: Viral video hoax prompts social media blowback for KDWB's Dave Ryan (9/28)
Grand Forks Herald: Radio group pushed for NDSU media restrictions that led to Bresciani probe, emails show (9/24)
Grand Forks Herald: Scott Swygman, former voice of UND sports, dies (9/24)
KCCI: Longtime KCCI chief meteorologist John McLaughlin resigns (9/12)
MinnPost: With launch of Frogtown station, low power radio comes full circle in Twin Cities (8/11)
Iowa City Press-Citizen: KXIC legend Dottie Ray was a 'pioneer in broadcasting' (8/10)
Star Tribune: 'Here we go again': Barb Abney is out of a job at Go 96.3 (8/4)
Des Moines Register: Departing KCCI reporter: 'Racism in the state did not help my decision to stay' (8/2)
Lincoln Journal Star: KFOR releases morning show host (8/1)
St. Paul Pioneer Press: Obituary: Local radio personality Dick Driscoll rubbed elbows with likes of Elvis (7/19)
Lincoln Journal Star: Is Coby Mach returning to Lincoln radio? (7/18)
Star Tribune: DJ/music director/hype man Peter Parker 'lives and breathes hip-hop' at Go 95.3 (7/15)
Star Tribune: MPR reporter and news editor Toni Randolph dies at 53 (7/5)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Milwaukee Public TV drops 'InterChange,' 'I Remember' (6/27)
CBS Sunday Morning: Garrison Keillor signs off (6/26)
Cedar Rapids Gazette: Iowa broadcasting legend Bob Brooks dies at 89 (6/25)
Grand Island Independent: Hastings College radio station says ‘goodbye’ as art and media departments merge (6/24)
St. Cloud Times: Sauk Rapids station to play entire music library (6/24)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: 'Whad'Ya Know?' host gets ready to sign off, still looking for answers (6/23)
Star Tribune: Be well, Garrison, and keep in touch (6/17)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: WISN-TV adds Franklin native Lindsey Slater to weather team (6/8)
WGBA: Moravchik named News Director of NBC26 (6/1)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: WITI-TV leads overall, barely, in May sweeps (5/26)
Star Tribune: Is Chris Thile ready to replace Garrison Keillor on 'A Prairie Home Companion'? (5/20)
NetNewsCheck: In Green Bay, WLUK Tops Social Media (5/16)
Star Tribune: 'Rosen's Sports Sunday' heads into its final inning (5/15)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: WISN-TV, WTMJ-AM take top honors at Wisconsin Broadcasters Association awards (5/8)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Rob Haswell named chief meteorologist at WITI, will keep his day job (5/2)