iHeartMedia's eighth FM signal is on the air in the Twin Cities, at least in a limited fashion: K244EQ/96.7 is now carrying the company's "Pride Radio" Dance format in the southeast metro. The format originates on the HD3 signal of KQQL/107.9 (Anoka). K244EQ, formerly W244CS, is broadcasting from a water tower in West St. Paul with 71 Watts, delivering a rimshot signal to St. Paul. iHeartMedia, which is buying K244EQ from William Cornwall's United Broadcasting System LLC for $300,000, has applied to move it to the IDS Center with 170 Watts. The company has the market cap of five full-power FM's and also programs two other translators. K244EQ originally launched on 95.7 in Hudson, WI, in 2007 relaying Easy Listening KNXR/97.5 (Rochester), but was forced to leave that frequency by the sign-on of WDMO/95.7 (Baldwin, WI) in 2012. (10/19/2014)
KNXR/97.5 (Rochester), one of the last true Easy Listening outlets in the country, is getting a new owner. Thomas Jones' United Audio Corporation is selling KNXR to Gregory Jensen's Hometown Broadcasting of Rochester. Jensen also owns KQAQ/970 (Austin) and KQPR/96.1 (Albert Lea). The purchase price is $1.1 million if the new owner becomes a member of Silver Creek Tall Tower Associates, a partnership between United Audio Corporation and Minnesota Public Radio, or $714,910 if the new owner opts to enter into a lease agreement for tower space. Last year, MPR sued Jones and United Audio over alleged misappopriation of funds; the case remains open. The sale document submitted to the FCC also indicates that Hometown Broadcasting will pay Jones $100,000 for one year of consulting services, with duties including programming, engineering, and selection of a new studio site. Jones also heads Rochester Public Radio, which owns non-commercial Classic Rock outlet KRPR/89.9 (Rochester). (10/16/2014)
NRG Media is selling six stations in central and north-central Iowa to Riverfront Broadcasting of Iowa, LLC for $3.5 million. The stations include KWBG/1590 (Boone), KQWC/1570 (Webster City), KQWC-FM/95.7 (Webster City), KHBT/97.7 (Humboldt), KLGZ/1600 (Algona) and its FM translator, and KLGA-FM/92.7 (Algona). The deal also includes a construction permit for an FM translator to relay KQWC, which NRG is in the process of buying from iHeartMedia. Riverfront Broadcasting, LLC is owned by Carolyn and Doyle Becker of Yankton, SD, and is the licensee of nine stations in South Dakota. Riverfront Broadcasting of Iowa, LLC is owned 60% by Riverfront Broadcasting, LLC and 40% by Fieldview Broadcasting, LLC, which is held by Danette and Kirk Graeve of Dallas Center, Iowa. (10/14/2014)
WNLI/88.5 (Sturgeon Bay) has gone off the air pending the station's sale to WRVM, Inc. The FCC recently approved the $240,000 purchase from the Educational Media Foundation, which had been running its "Air1" Christian Rock network on WNLI since purchasing the station and WPFF/90.5 (Sturgeon Bay) from Bethesda Christian Broadcasting. EMF retains ownership of WPFF, which carries "K-Love." WRVM operates a regional Christian network originating at 102.7 (Suring) and will get improved coverage of northern Door County with the addition of WNLI. (10/12/2014)
iHeartMedia's KLTC/1460 (Dickinson) has applied to permanently lower its nighttime power. KLTC is licensed for 5kW day and night with a directional pattern at night, but has been operating at no more than 1.25kW night since March 2013 due to "an out of tolerance condition" with its four-tower array. It's now applied to use 770 Watts at night with a directional pattern using just two of the towers, which would still deliver an interference-free signal across Dickinson. The Classic Country station would remain 5kW non-directional daytime. (10/12/2014)
Following news that iHeartMedia is buying translator W244CS/96.7 (Hudson, WI), the translator has applied to move its transmitter to Minneapolis. It would use 170 Watts from the IDS Center and change its community of license to Calhoun Beach, a neighborhood in Minneapolis. iHeartMedia is in the process of buying W244CS from William Cornwall's United Broadcasting System, LLC for $300,000. The translator is currently off the air and has a construction permit to move to a tower in West St. Paul, and the sale is contingent on the FCC granting a license to cover the West St. Paul facility. iHeartMedia, which owns the market cap of five full-power FM's in the market, currently operates two FM translators from the IDS Center and is expected to program a third translator owned by the Educational Media Foundation once it moves to IDS. (10/9/2014)
New subchannel Grit is coming to nine more Upper Midwest markets thanks to an agreement with Sinclair Broadcast Group. According to a post on the network's Facebook page, cities getting Grit include Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Madison, Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Sioux City, Omaha, Quincy, and Marquette. Currently, Grit is only available on stations in Lincoln and Ottumwa in the region. The network features war, western, and crime movies targetting men. Its sister network, Escape, carries movies and other programming aimed at women, but Sinclair has not agreed to carry that network. (10/9/2014)
CBS affiliate KDLH/3.1 and News/Talker KDAL/610 (Duluth) will begin a morning show simulcast on Monday, Oct. 13. From 6 to 7 a.m., KDLH will simulcast KDAL hosts Pat Cadigan and Pat Kelly, replacing AccuWeather programming in the timeslot on KDLH. Kelly is a former KDLH anchor, and the stations were once co-owned. Most network affiliates air local news in the 6 a.m. timeslot, but KDLH does not have a news department and instead gets afternoon and evening newscasts from shared-services partner KBJR/6.1, which has its own newscast in the timeslot. (10/9/2014)
It's no exaggeration to say that we have lost a person who influenced both broadcast and print journalism across northwestern Wisconsin and northeastern Minnesota for decades.
Mike Simonson, Wisconsin Public Radio's longtime Superior reporter, died over the weekend. His knowledge of regional issues ranging from mysterious barrels in Lake Superior to the Gogebic Taconite mine debate was broad and obvious to any listener. What listeners may not know is that Mike influenced newsrooms across the region by training dozens, perhaps hundreds, of journalists at UW-Superior and continuing to mentor them far beyond graduation.
A Duluth native, Mike worked first at KQDS-FM in an era when Rock stations still had news departments and even ran documentaries. He later moved to North Carolina but returned to the Twin Ports when WPR established a bureau at UW-Superior's KUWS in the early 1990s.
Students quickly learned that Mike's journalistic and ethical standards were high and they weren't going to skate by. Though he demanded excellence, the reward was a lifelong connection with a mentor. His influence will live on in virtually every newsroom in the Northland, but he will be impossible to replace.
As you might guess by this long posting, your reporter is one of the many fortunate to learn from Mike. His belief in journalistic and ethical standards did not waver despite the changing media landscape.
Besides reporting and teaching, Mike produced numerous documentaries and won an Edward R. Murrow Award for "Secret Suffering: HIV Discrimination in Northern Wisconsin" and a National Headliner Award for "Forever Ace: The Richard Bong Story." He also produced "Radio Superior," a long-running radio drama recreating what listeners might have heard on KUWS had it existed in the 1920s to 1950s with local broadcast icons as hosts.
Just ten days before his death, Mike met up with a dozen or so other area journalists for an informal gathering of the "Raleigh Street Press Club." Another meeting was planned for January, but no one in attendance expected that the meeting would be held without Mike.
Mike is survived by his wife Jennifer. A memorial service will be held this Saturday at 11 a.m. at Our Savior's Evangelical Lutheran Church, 4831 Grand Avenue, Duluth. A visitation will be held Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. at the church and again on Saturday from 10 to 11 a.m. (10/6/2014)
R&J Broadcasting is replacing a time brokerage agreement to run KKCQ/1480 (Fosston) and KKCQ-FM/96.7 (Bagley-Fosston) with a full purchase of the stations from Pine to Prairie Broadcasting. The purchase price was redacted from an asset purchase agreement filed with the FCC. R&J, which owns stations in Ada and Mahnomen, has been operating KKCQ AM-FM for two years. The AM station carries a News/Talk format and the FM side runs Country.
Pine to Prairie retains ownership of Contemporary Christian-formatted "Q FM" (KKEQ/107.1 Fosston). Both KKCQ-FM and KKEQ recently completed upgrades that improved both station's signals to Bemidji, using a tower north of Bagley. KKCQ-FM now uses 25kW/170m (class C2). KKEQ now uses 100kW/191m (class C1). KKEQ already had a rimshot signal to Bemidji, and the upgrade puts Bemidji within KKCQ-FM's protected contour for the first time. (10/3/2014)
Family Stations is selling Family Radio station KBFR/91.7 (Bismarck) to Real Presence Radio for $50,000. The Catholic network already has a station in the area, KPHA/91.3 (Mandan), but KPHA's signal is not as strong in Bismarck as KBFR. (10/2/2014)
FOX is now available in broadcast HD for the first time in north-central Minnesota. KMSP/WFTC says WFTC satellite KFTC (Bemidji) is now duplicating all three channels carried on WFTC's main signal: KMSP's "FOX 9" on 26.1, WFTC's "My 29" on 26.2, and Movies! on 26.3. KFTC had previously carried only "My 29." Two other analog KMSP translators, K48IF (Brainerd) and K49CU (walker-Hackensack), will be converted to digital with the same lineup as KFTC. Former analog KMSP translator K30DK (Bemidji) was already silent. Broadcast TV offerings in the region are few; NBC is not available in Bemidji and Brainerd and ABC translators in the two cities are still in analog. "My 29" had not previously been available in Brainerd or Walker. (10/1/2014)
iHeartMedia could be getting its ninth Twin Cities FM signal with the purchase of an east metro translator. Subsidiary AMFM Broadcasting will pay William Cornwall's United Broadcasting System, LLC $300,000 for W244CS/96.7 (Hudson, WI), which is currently off the air and has a construction permit to move to a tower in West St. Paul. The 170-Watt facility would cover St. Paul. The sale is contingent on the FCC granting a license to cover the new facility. (10/1/2014)
TitanTV listings indicate WMLW (Racine-Milwaukee) is now carrying Weigel Broadcasting's new "Heroes & Icons" TV network on channel 49.3. The Chicago Tribune first reported on the classic TV network's quiet Monday launch. H&I joins a crowded field of classic TV subchannels with a focus on crime, western, war, and superhero series, as well as two hours of Weigel's experimental "TouchVision" news product in the morning. The H&I lineup complements Weigel's Me-TV lineup of classic TV sitcoms and dramas, which has the largest affiliate base of the classic TV networks. (9/30/2014)
An Eastern Iowa TV station is accused of failing to repair a tower lighting problem that's been ongoing for more than six years. A Notice of Violation says that KM Communications, owner of CW affiliate KWKB/20.1 (Iowa City), told investigators from the FCC's Kansas City office that 10 of the 13 lights on the station's 1,385-foot tall tower near West Branch have been inoperable and that the lighting problems began in 2007. The company said it has experienced financial difficulties and that it had notified the FAA of the outage every two weeks. The FCC has asked KM to submit more information on the problem and what's being done to fix it. (9/26/2014)
The sale price for soon-to-be-former CBS affiliate KXJB-TV/4.1 (Valley City-Fargo) is $75,000, according to newly-filed documents with the FCC. Gray TV had already announced that it would exercise an option to buy KXJB from Parker Broadcasting and then divest it to Major Market Broadcasting. New FCC rules will not allow Gray's KVLY-TV/11.1 (Fargo) to continue running KXJB through a shared services agreement. Gray has said KXJB's programming will move to a KVLY subchannel, but the exact date has not yet been announced. Major Market Broadcasting, headed by Ravi Kapur, is based in San Francisco and runs Diya TV, a South Asian TV network, but no announcements have been made about KXJB's future programming. The station will also have to change its callsign. $75,000 was also the price for Gray's sale of a station in a similar situation in Nebraska. (9/26/2014)
Ownership of KNSG/94.7 (Springfield) is transferring from a company owned by Bruce Linder to a company headed by John Linder. KMHL Broadcasting Company will pay Bruce Linder's Springfield Broadcasting $55,000 for KNSG. KMHL Broadcasting Company owns four other stations in the Marshall area. (9/26/2014)
Digity 3E Corp. is buying the construction permit for a new FM translator to relay KRIB/1490 (Mason City). Digity will pay David M. Stout $25,000 for K244FA/96.7, which is currently permitted for 250 Watts from a tower owned by the University of Northern Iowa near the North Iowa Community College. KRIB carries Westwood One's Adult Standards format. (9/25/2014)
After three years of consideration, the FCC's Media Bureau has dismissed two informal objections to a Twin Cities FM translator upgrade and granted the application for what could become an eighth FM signal for iHeartMedia (formerly known as Clear Channel) in the market.
The Educational Media Foundation's K273BH/102.5 will move from the Wells Fargo Center to the IDS Center and increase from 41 Watts to 250 Watts at 236m. The upgrade will give K273BH a coverage area slightly larger than existing iHeartMedia translators W227BF/93.3 and K278BP/103.5, which both transmit from IDS with lower wattages. The application stated K273BH would relay an iHeartMedia station.
Lakeland Broadcasting had filed an informal objection to the application over potential interference to KQIC/102.5 (Willmar), but Media Bureau Deputy Chief James D. Bradshaw said Lakeland had failed to supply any complaints from KQIC listeners within K273BH's proposed coverage area. The bureau also dismissed an informal objection from low-power FM proponent Jeff Sibert, saying that rules intended to preserve LPFM opportunities do not prevent existing stations from seeking facility changes.
K273BH, which is actually licensed to Fridley but has always transmitted from Minneapolis, carries EMF's "Air-1" network as part of a chain of translators from St. Cloud to St. Paul. iHeartMedia's KTCZ/97.1 has already begun carrying "Air-1" on its HD2 channel to feed translators in the area when K273BH breaks the chain.
The FCC separately granted a construction permit for EMF "K-Love" translator K260BA/99.9 (Coon Rapids) to move from Plymouth, where it uses 170 Watts, to the Wells Fargo Center with 250 Watts. EMF's W225AP/92.9 (St. Paul) already has a construction permit to move to the Wells Fargo Center with 99 Watts. W225AP carries "K-Love" now, but the ID running on KTCZ-HD2's "Air-1" format is mentioning 92.9.
EMF also operates its original Twin Cities translator, "K-Love" station K214DF/90.7 (Golden Valley), from the Wells Fargo Center. This week, K214DF applied to upgrade from 10 Watts to 99 Watts from its current location, specifying University of Northwestern-St. Paul's KTIS-FM/98.5 as the station to be rebroadcast. (9/24/2014)
Our La Crosse-area tipster sends word that Jacklyn Daniels has left "Kicks 106.3" (WQCC La Crosse) for a job outside of radio. Daniels had been with the station since the 1990's, serving as the promotions director for the La Crosse Radio Group and morning co-host with John Stevenson. (9/24/2014)
Red Rock Radio is making a second attempt at expanding the "KQ" Classic Rock brand to the Brainerd Lakes area. The company announced Tuesday that WWWI-FM/95.9 (Pillager-Brainerd), which already carries a syndicated Classic Rock format as "Wings 95-9," will switch to "KQ96" with programming from KQDS-FM/94.9 (Duluth) on Monday, Oct. 6. "KQ" was heard on Red Rock's KFGI/101.5 (Crosby-Brainerd) beginning in 2007, but the station switched to the syndicated "Sam FM" Variety Hits format in 2011. KQDS-FM is also rebroadcast on stations in Deer River, Babbitt, and Grand Marais, all of which are within the greater Duluth media market. However, "KQ" will be only Duluth-based media outlet serving Brainerd, which receives TV programming from Minneapolis. "KQ" will compete with BL Broadcasting's heritage Classic Rocker, "The Power Loon" (KLIZ-FM/107.5 Brainerd). (9/23/2014)
Scott Thompson's Big Radio is adding a third station in the Beloit/Janesville area with the purchase of WGEZ/1490 (Beloit) from Alliance Communications for $150,000. Big Radio, known for an emphasis on local programming, recently bought WTJK/1380 (South Beloit, IL) and "105.9 The Hog" (WWHG Evansville), adding them to its existing five stations in the Monroe/Freeport area. WGEZ carries an Oldies format. (9/22/2014)
After first denying the application, the FCC has now approved Truth Broadcasting's plan to move Christian Talker KTIA-FM/99.3 (Boone) closer to Des Moines.
KTIA will change its community of license to Huxley and transmit from a tower near Sheldahl, using 5.3kW/95m (class A). Its protected contour will include Ames and much of Des Moines. KTIA's current facility covers Boone and Ames.
Commission staff had first denied the application last December, saying that if the Huxley application was approved, KTIA could theoretically apply for a facility covering more than half of the Ames Urbanized Area. Such a move would go against rules intended to preserve rural radio service. The FCC has later conceded that it failed to consider the existence of KDAO-FM/99.5 (Eldora-Marshalltown), which would need to be protected, when looking at theoretical sites.
In approving the application, the FCC said it didn't agree with competitor Saga Broadcasting's assessment that the proposed Huxley facility would provide a city-grade (70 dbu) signal to 52 percent of the Ames Urbanized Area, 2 percentage points more than allowed under the rural radio rules. The FCC said its own calculation found the figure is 49 percent.
This is KTIA's second attempt to move closer to Des Moines. The original application would've changed the community of license to Johnston and given the station city-grade coverage of most of the capital city, but it was rejected due to the rural radio rules.
KTIA's move will require KPUL-FM/99.5 (Winterset) to move to 101.7, which, in turn, will displace Iowa Public Radio translator K269EJ/101.7 (Des Moines). The translator already has a construction permit to move to 97.7. Truth will have to pay KPUL's cost for changing frequency. (9/21/2014)
James Ingstad's Radio Fargo-Moorhead is buying KSKK/94.7 (Staples) and has applied to move it into the Detroit Lakes market. The asset purchase agreement calls for Radio Fargo-Moorhead to pay Normin Broadcasting, which is owned by David De La Hunt, $900,000 for KSKK. The station has separately applied to change its community of license to Frazee and move to 94.5, using 11kW/150m (class C3) from a tower just outside Detroit Lakes. The sale is contingent on the move being approved. Ingstad has no other stations in Detroit Lakes, but the city is in the wider listening area of his six-station Fargo group, which does business as Radio F-M Media. (Ingstad's company is not to be confused with Midwest Communications' group, which does business as Midwest Radio Fargo Moorhead.) KSKK currently carries an Adult Contemporary format and is operated from a Wadena studio alongside KVKK/1070 (Verndale) as part of the De La Hunt's regional group of stations, which also includes facilities in Park Rapids, Walker, and Bemidji. (9/19/2014)
DTV America Corp. plans to launch a Telemundo affiliate in Minneapolis. DTV America is buying low-power station K43HB-D from Ventana Television for $125,000, and a graphic on DTV America's website is touting the Telemundo launch. K43HB-D transmits from the IDS Center with 15kW. It currently carries HSN2, having switched from the main version of Home Shopping Network after ION's KPXM-TV added HSN on channel 41.6. As a Telemundo affiliate, it'll join Media Vista's Univision affiliate WUMN-LD/17 and two religious TV subchannels in serving spanish-language audiences in the Twin Cities. DTV America has numerous unbuilt construction permits for low-power TV stations in rural areas of the Upper Midwest and has at least five stations on the air in the south. (9/18/2014)
KCWV/27 (Duluth) went silent Tuesday as it prepares for a tower replacement project. KCWV transmits from the former KDLH/3 tower on Observation Road, which was constructed in 1953 and still has a top-mounted channel 3 transmission antenna. KDLH now broadcasts from the KDLH-TV tower and KCWV owner George S. Flinn, III bought the tower from KDLH owner Malara Broadcast Group in 2010. In its request for special authority to remain silent, Flinn tells the FCC that KCWV may be off the air for several months. It has carried several small networks since signing on in 2009 and most recently carried AMG TV, but has never had any local advertising. (9/17/2014)
Several HD2 formats have changed on Clear Channel radio stations in the Twin Cities over the past several months.
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)
KARE, KMSP WIN EMMY AWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE:
TV journalists from across the Upper Midwest gathered at Target Field Saturday night for the 2014 Upper Midwest Regional Emmy Awards. KARE/11 (Minneapolis) took home the award for station excellence, while FOX 9 (KMSP Minneapolis) won the award for news excellence. Stations winning awards in best newcast categories included KMSP (2 awards), WCCO-TV/4 (Minneapolis), WDIO/10 (Duluth, 2 awards), KTIV/4 (Sioux City, 2 awards), KCCI/8 (Des Moines), WHO-TV/13 (Des Moines), KTTC/10 (Rochester), and KIMT/3 (Mason City). WDAZ/8 (Devils Lake-Grand Forks) took home its first-ever Emmy Award, winning in the team coverage category. The ceremony included Silver Circle honors for longtime KCCI anchor/reporters Kevin and Mollie Cooney as well as political reporters Pat Kessler of WCCO-TV and Tom Hauser of KSTP-TV/5 (St. Paul). A complete list of winners is available here. (9/14/2014)
The former CFRY-1-FM/93.1 (Portage la Prairie) has debuted a new Country format as CHPO-FM, breaking off a longtime rebroadcast of sister Traditional Country outlet CFRY/920. The changeover to "Country 93.1" happened on Wednesday (9/10). The 27kW FM signal was originally licensed as a secondary transmitter of the AM station (a practice that doesn't exist south of the border), so the switch required CRTC approval. CFRY owner Golden West Broadcasting had originally told the CRTC it planned to run a Classic Rock format on 93.1. The company also owns Adult Contemporary outlet "Mix 96.5" (CJPG-FM). (9/12/2014)
The sale price of now-silent former NBC affiliate KHAS-TV/5 (Hastings) is $75,000, according to a document filed with the FCC. Legacy Broadcasting, LLC, is buying the station from Hoak Media after Gray TV assigned its right to purchase the station to Legacy. Gray separately purchased KHAS-TV's programming, equipment, and other non-license assets and hired all of its staff, moving NBC programming to its KSNB/4.1 (Superior). Legacy's purchase only includes the license, a transmitter, and transmitting antenna; it will rent tower space from Gray and change KHAS-TV's callsign. Legacy Broadcasting is owned by Sherry Nelson and Sara Jane Ingram of Mississippi and Charles Harker of California. Harker also owns or operates all of the network affiliates in the Greensville, Mississippi, market where Nelson is VP and General Manager. Legacy Broadcasting is not related to the Nebraska radio company with a similar name. (9/12/2014)
Clear Channel is selling the construction permit for a new FM translator in Webster City to NRG Media, which owns the two full-power radio stations in the city. NRG will pay $15,000 for 250-Watt translator K225BZ/92.9, which had already specified NRG's KQWC/1570 as its primary station. (9/12/2014)
MINNESOTA/NORTH DAKOTA:Ryan and Shannon of Hubbard Broadcasting's KS95 (KSTP-FM/94.5 St. Paul) were named Large Market Personalities of the Year.
There were four Upper Midwest winners at the National Association of Broadcasters' Marconi Awards this year:
Dottie Ray of Clear Channel's KXIC/800 (Iowa City) was named Small Market Personality of the Year.
Journal Communications' WTMJ/620 (Milwaukee) was named Large Market Station of the Year.
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)
North Platte Bulletin: Sportscaster Joe Swift out of job (10/16)
Lincoln Journal Star: Gade returns to Lincoln radio as Digity GM (10/16)
Omaha World-Herald: Former Omaha, Des Moines announcer Hal Rodgers dies at 82 (10/13)
Star Tribune: Broadcaster Freddie Bell returns to metro airwaves on KMOJ
Quad City Times: 'AM Quad-Cities' gets WOC back to morning-show roots (10/11)
KNEB: Legendary Nebraska Broadcaster dies (10/6)
Quad City Times: Dave, Darren serve up 'Nacho Radio' online (10/4)
Star Tribune/C.J.: Ex- WCCO-TVer Edward Moody III is 'goin' to the lake' for now (10/1)
Grand Island Independent: Radio icon Brad Fossberg dies after battle with cancer (9/28)
Star Tribune/C.J.: In a way, this interview is "A Pat Miles Special" (9/28)
St. Paul Pioneer Press: Margery Punnett leaving myTalk radio (9/24)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: 25 years later, traffic reporter on cloud 9 over award (9/24)
Quad City Times: WOC radio parts ways with veteran morning-show host (9/24)
St. Paul Pioneer Press: Cheers! UMN'S Radio K turns 21 (9/18)
TVNewsCheck: WMLW Rebrands As ‘The M Means Milwaukee' (9/18)
Quad City Times: WOC radio legacy includes Ronald Reagan (9/14)
Quad City Times: Meteorologists have more than fair-weather friends (9/13)
Sioux Falls Argus Leader: Whatever Happened To: Radio DJ Dan Farris (9/13)
Kanabec County Times: New local radio delays launch; KBEK sees potential sale (9/13)
Indianapolis Business Journal: Former WIBC news anchor Simpson lands Minneapolis gig (9/11)
North Platte Telegraph: Television executives taking KNOP in new direction (9/10)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Bob Bach, one of the last 'big' voices in Milwaukee radio, is retiring (9/9)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: WMIL-FM is ratings leader in Milwaukee radio (9/7)
Lincoln Journal Star: KFRX tops Lincoln radio for ninth straight time (9/8)
Star Tribune: Blaine Harvey, better known as KOOL108's "Dan Donovan” (9/7)
Scottsbluff Star-Herald: KSTF to go off the air to build new tower (9/4)
Scottsbluff Star-Herald: KCMI broadcasts at low power (9/4)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Joyce Garbaciak new 5 p.m. co-anchor at WISN-TV (9/3)
Des Moines Register: Andy Fales leaving WHO's SoundOff, will be part of early newscast (9/2)
Ames Tribune: Boone radio show host killed in motorcycle accident near Ames (8/29)
KSTP-TV: Longtime KSTP-TV Photojournalist Russ Brown Dies after a Battle with Cancer (8/27)
Des Moines Register: Sports anchor Dave Zawilinski leaving WOI-TV (8/27)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: For sale: Downtown condo, great view, rock 'n' roll radio past (8/24)
St. Paul Pioneer Press: WCCO's Matt Brickman, Mike Augustyniak change places (8/20)
Northfield News: Local radio personality celebrates 50-year career on air (8/14)
CTV Winnipeg: Radio stations drop KISS after Simmons' depression comments (8/15)
St. Paul Pioneer Press: KARE11's Tim McNiff ready to move on (8/11)
Current.org: In Illinois, WTVP takes over TV broadcast operations for WQPT (8/11)
Quad City Times: KWQC adding weekend morning newscasts (8/11)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Movie channel moves down Milwaukee's over-the-air TV dial (8/5)
Lincoln Journal Star: KSNB replaces WOWT on Time Warner lineup (8/4)
St. Paul Pioneer Press: Radio host Jason Lewis quits show while on the air (7/31)
Quad City Times: More sitcoms filling local fall TV schedules (8/2)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: As airwaves lose personality, reunion celebrates Milwaukee rock radio's past (7/24)
St. Paul Pioneer Press: Radio host, civic leader Andy Driscoll dies at age 74 (7/21)
Grand Forks Herald: WDAY takes over 5 p.m. news in Grand Forks (7/15)
Star Tribune: 40 years on, Garrison Keillor takes an unsentimental journey (7/3)
Star Tribune: Former KARE reporter Brad Woodard found dead in his Houston home (7/3)