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ESPN Radio has returned to the Wausau market with a schedule spread across two stations. "Sports Fan 100.5" (WDTX Rothschild-Wausau) is carrying Mike and Mike from 5 to 9 a.m., while sister station WXCO/1230 (Wausau) carries the rest of the ESPN lineup after a local morning show. WXCO had previously carried a Soft Oldies/Nostalgia format as "Sunny 1230." WDTX dropped ESPN for NBC Sports Radio in January,
saying at the time that it was unable to reach an agreement with ESPN. WXCO had also carried ESPN Radio prior to WDTX's signon in 2010. (2/28/2015)

Powell Broadcasting News/Talker KSCJ/1360 (Sioux City) has signed on FM translator K235CA/94.9 (Sioux City). The translator's 250-Watt signal is enough to cover the immediate metro area. KSCJ's lineup includes local programming from 6 to 11 a.m. and syndicated talkers including Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. (2/25/2015)

Several weeks after its longtime Easy Listening format came to an end, KNXR/97.5 (Rochester) has returned to the air as "Pulse FM" under the ownership of Gregory Jensen's Hometown Broadcasting of Rochester. The official launch came Tuesday afternoon (2/24) after stunting with a variety of music. The new Hot Adult Contemporary format will feature the "Med City Morning Show" with Tom Garrett, the former longtime morning host at Townsquare Media's "Y105" (KYBA/105.3 Stewartville-Rochester). ("Pulse" and the morning show names are apparently references to Rochester's most famous institution, the Mayo Clinic.) "Pulse FM" falls formatically between two Townsquare stations, the Adult Contemporary format on "Y105" and Contemporary Hits on KROC-FM/106.9 (Rochester). KNXR's 100kW/317m signal is the strongest in Rochester and is also easy to receive in Austin/Albert Lea, where Jensen owns two other stations. It also has fringe coverage to the southern Twin Cities suburbs, Eau Claire, La Crosse, and Mason City. (2/24/2015)

The Nebraska Rural Radio Association has announced plans to buy another pair of stations, KAWL/1370 and KTMX/104.9 (York). The price for the purchase from Mark Jensen's MWB Broadcasting was not immediately announced. The NRRA, owned by farmers and ranchers, has seven existing stations known for local programming. KAWL carries a Classic Hits format, while KTMX carries Adult Contemporary. (2/23/2015)

A much belated note that Red Rock Radio shifted two formats in the Brainerd area last year, moving its News/Talk format from WWWI/1270 (Baxter-Brainerd) to KLKS/100.1 (Pequot Lakes-Brainerd), which now goes by the slogan "Talk 100." WWWI/1270 is now carrying NBC Sports Radio under the "Red Zone Sports Radio" banner used by other Red Rock stations. It appears the change happened around Labor Day, a month before WWWI-FM/95.9 (Pillager-Brainerd) dropped a satellite-fed Classic Rock format in favor of a rebroadcast of Red Rock Classic Rock outlet KQDS-FM/94.9 (Duluth). The News/Talk format on KLKS displaces a satellite-fed Classic Hits format that had aired for about a year following Red Rock's purchase of the station from a noncommercial broadcaster. WWWI-FM had also once carried a News/Talk format in tandem with the AM station. (2/23/2015)

Legacy Broadcasting tells the FCC its newly-acquired stations in Nebraska and North Dakota aren't yet ready to come back on the air. KNHL/5 (Hastings, NE; formerly KHAS-TV), KNDB/26 (Bismarck, ND; formerly KNDX), and KNDM/24 (Minot, ND; formerly KXND) went silent last June after Gray TV moved their former affiliations to its own stations. Legacy then bought the licenses. The new owners tell the FCC in requests for special temporary authority to remain silent that "equipment that Legacy acquired was insufficient for immediate resumption of broadcast operations" and that it expects to return the stations to the air in advance of the statutory one-year deadline for the licenses to remain valid.

Incidentally, it is worth noting that Legacy shares ownership with Commonwealth Broadcasting Group, which operates the Mississippi stations seen in the truTV docu-comedy "Breaking Greenville." The series portrays two stations as full competitors, when, in fact, Commonwealth owns one of the stations and operates the other through a shared services agreement. (2/20/2015)

Red Rock Radio has set Monday, March 2, as the launch date for Duluth's first FM sports outlet. WWAX/92.1 (Hermantown-Duluth) will become "92.1 The Fan," simulcasting the Sports talk format already heard on KQDS/1490 (Duluth). The lineup will include FAN network programming from KFXN-FM/100.3 (Minneapolis) from 5:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldog men's hockey and football, Minnesota Wild hockey, and high school sports. "The Fan" competes with Townsquare Media's "ESPN 560" (WEBC Duluth) and Midwest Communications' CBS Sports Radio affiliate WGEE/970 (Superior-Duluth). 92.1's flip displaces a Hot Adult Contemporary format called "Nu 92," leaving pop music in the Twin Ports to Townsquare's "Mix 108" (KBMX/107.7 Proctor-Duluth) and Midwest's KDWZ/102.5 (Superior-Duluth). "Nu 92" had launched in 2010, three days after KDWZ's Contemporary Hits format. 92.1 has carried several different variations of AC and Contemporary Hits over its 19-year history. (2/19/2015)

The National Association of Broadcasters released a study Wednesday showing that at least half of the UHF stations in the Milwaukee market would have to be voluntarily relinquished in order for the FCC to recover 120 MHz of spectrum in next year's reverse auction. The NAB's study, based on data from FCC simulations released last year, found that between 7 and 11 of the Milwaukee market's 13 UHF full-power and Class A stations would have to go off the air. The study says Milwaukee is the only Upper Midwest market that would definitely have to lose a UHF station in order for the auction to work, though the loss of at least one UHF station may be needed in some other markets in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa depending on which stations choose to participate. Stations that voluntarily relinquish their UHF spectrum could move to VHF, agree to share a channel with another station, or go off the air completely. Most digital TV stations broadcast on UHF, which is easier to receive with an indoor antenna. Many remap to their former VHF broadcast channel numbers on receivers. (2/18/2015)

Iowa State University, one of the parent groups of Iowa Public Radio, has surrendered the permit for a new station in the Sioux City area. KNSX/97.1 (Moville) had faced a Jan. 31 construction deadline and was to have used 5.2kW/109m, which would have provided a rimshot signal to eastern Sioux City. The FCC denied an upgrade for the would-be station in 2013 over a legal technicality of how the frequency was reserved for non-commercial use. IPR also once had a CP for KHGM/88.9 (Sioux City), which it sold to a group that didn't get it on the air by the CP deadline. The network's only coverage of far western Iowa is the fringe daytime signal of WOI/640 (Ames). Sioux City has one existing public radio station, Western Iowa Tech Community College's KWIT/90.3. (2/18/2015)

The University of Northwestern-St. Paul's "Faith Radio" (KTIS/900) is now available on FM in the Twin Cities on translator K214DF/90.7, which formerly carried the "K-Love" network.

The switchover came on Friday, Feb. 6, as "K-Love" translator K260BA/99.9 upgraded to cover more of the metro area. K214DF and K260BA, along with "Air1" station W225AP/92.9, are now all transmitting from the Wells Fargo building in Minneapolis, with K260BA using 250 Watts and the other two using 99 Watts. K260BA moved its transmitter from Plymouth, and W225AP moved from St. Paul. All are owned by "K-Love/Air-1" parent Educational Media Foundation.

"We at Faith Radio deeply appreciate the kindness of the EMF board and trustees," Faith Radio’s Senior Vice President for Media, Dr. Paul Virts, said in a press release. "This 99-watt translator will have a potential audience of 1.5 million people and give Faith Radio listeners an opportunity to listen to a FM quality signal in the Twin Cities, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week." KTIS/900 broadcasts with 50kW during the day, but its 500-Watt nighttime signal is limited to a portion of the east metro. "Faith Radio," which features Christian talk and preaching, is also relayed on the HD2 signal of KTIS-FM/98.5.

Meanwhile, W225AP's move to Minneapolis to carry "Air1" opens the door for future changes at K273BH/102.5, which also carries "Air1." K273BH transmits from the IDS Center along with two other translators programmed by iHeartMedia, W227BF/93.3 and K278BP/103.5. (2/16/2015)

NBC affiliate KTTC (Rochester) is promoting a March 1 launch for Heroes & Icons network on channel 10.3. The relatively new network from Weigel Broadcasting carries mostly classic westerns and crime dramas and has also found affiliates in Minneapolis, Des Moines, Milwaukee, and Wausau. KTTC also carries CW+ on channel 10.2. (2/16/2015)

New low-power FM station KNIL-LP/95.9 (Creighton) is on the air carrying Catholic and community programming. The 100-Watt station is owned by St. Ludgerus Catholic Church. (2/16/2015)

Christian Heritage Broadcasting is donating K261CH/100.1 (Carpenter) to the Moody Bible Institute. K261CH will carry Moody Radio via K213CL/90.5 (Huron). (2/16/2015)

Winnipeg pop radio listeners could be forgiven for being a bit confused Friday as two stations changed their names three hours apart. At 9 a.m., Rogers Hot Adult Contemporary outlet CKY-FM/102.3 changed its name from "Clear FM" to "Kiss FM," matching the brand used by numerous other Rogers stations. Then at Noon, Corus Entertainment's CJGV-FM/99.1 tweaked its name from "Fresh FM" to "Fresh Radio" with an Alternative-leaning Hot AC mix. The Corus change came as part of a national rebranding of "Fresh" stations. (2/13/2015)

"Go 96.3" (KTWN-FM Edina-Minneapolis) has hired two bona fide Alternative radio veterans for its new format. Barb Abney, whose recent firing from Minnesota Public Radio's "The Current" sparked listener backlash, will join "Go" for the 8 a.m. to Noon shift. Meanwhile, "REV 105" and "Current" veteran Thorn will co-host the 4 to 8 p.m. shift with local musician Linnea Mohn. All three start at the station Monday, joining Brian "BT" Turner and Jason Nagel. "Go 96.3" is owned by the Pohlad family's Northern Lights Broadcasting and is the flagship of the Minnesota Twins. (2/12/2015)

In an unusual situation, the owner of now-deleted translator K238AN/95.5 (Ames) is asking the FCC to give back its license. The FCC sent K238AN licensee Fourthstream Media a letter in November indicating that the translator's license would be deleted since records indicated it had been off the air since 2012. After the formal cancellation last month, Fourthstream filed a petition for reconsideration, stating that K238AN had never actually been off the air and the misinformation resulted from an error on a 2012 application. Fourthstream is also separately seeking special temporary authority to keep the translator on the air. K238AN was last known to rebroadcast the "Pulse 99.5" Christian Hits format of KPUL (Winterset-Des Moines). (2/11/2015)

NRG Media is buying an FM translator to relay ESPN Radio affiliate KWLO/1330 (Waterloo). NRG will pay E-String Wireless, Ltd. $50,635 for the construction permit for K295CF/106.9 (Waterloo). The current CP calls for 250 Watts from a tower just outside the eastern Waterloo city limits. (2/11/2015)

University of Nebraska Cornhuskers broadcasts in the Omaha market are moving from iHeartMedia's KFAB/1110 to Journal Broadcasting's KXSP/590 this summer, the team and distributor IMG announced Tuesday. KXSP, an ESPN affiliate, will carry Huskers football, men's and women's basketball, volleyball, and baseball games, in addition to the Monday-Friday "Sports Nightly" program. Journal's "Z92" (KEZO/92.3) will simulcast football games, and "CD105.9" (KKCD) will carry any women's basketball, volleyball, or baseball games that conflict with other games on KXSP. KXSP is currently an affiliate of the Iowa Hawkeyes network and it's not immediately clear what will become of that deal. KFAB and KXSP have similar daytime coverage areas, but KFAB also enjoys extensive nighttime skywave service across the Upper Midwest. (2/10/2015)

WBKV/1470 (West Bend) has dropped syndicated Talk from its lineup, replacing it with Classic Hits, following the station's sale to Magnum Broadcasting. Magnum recently made a similar move at WRJN/1400 (Racine), dropping Talk for Adult Contemporary. Both stations provide a heavy dose of local news and information for their exurban Milwaukee coverage areas. Meanwhile, Magnum's WBWI-FM/92.5 (West Bend) has rebranded its format as "Buzz Country." 92.5 provides a rimshot signal to the northern part of the Milwaukee metro area, while Magnum's recently-launched "Q92" (WMKQ/92.1 Racine) covers the southern Milwaukee metro. (2/9/2015)

Former CBS affiliate KRDK-TV/4 (Valley City-Fargo) is apparently going with a multicast strategy under its new owner, Ravi Kapur's Major Market Broadcasting. KRDK continues to carry the previously-reported infomercials on channel 4.1 and has also added Cozi TV on 4.2, Grit on 4.5, and Escape on 4.6. Movies! Network is also listing KRDK as a future affiliate on either 4.2 or 4.4. The most recent reports indicate channels 4.3 and 4.4 are blank for now. (2/6/2015)

WMKE-CA (Milwaukee), which formerly broadcast in analog on channel 7, as activated its new digital facility on channel 21. The station is now the northernmost affiliate of the Soul of the South Network, a channel serving the African American community. Owner KM LPTV of Milwaukee has FCC approval to sell WMKE-CD to Locuspoint, but the sale has not been consummated. (2/5/2015)

The FCC has deleted the license of WZRK/1550 (Lake Geneva) at the request of its new owner, WGLB LLC. The move is not a surprise since WGLB/1560 (Elm Grove-Milwaukee) applied for an upgrade in November and stated at that time that WZRK would either move or turn in its license to make way for WGLB's expanded coverage area. In a Jan. 26 letter to the FCC, WGLB LLC said it had deemed it "economically undesirable to operate a station at Lake Geneva" and asked that the license be canceled. WZRK has had a rocky recent history, starting with a period of silence in 2001. Starboard Broadcasting purchased the station and returned it to the air with Catholic programming in 2003. Five years later, Starboard transferred WZRK to Sovereign City Radio Services, which used it as an affiliate of its "Avenue" Swing/Standards/Jazz format. WZRK obtained a construction permit to move into the Chicago network in 2010, but the CP was never built and the station went silent in 2013. WGLB LLC bought the license last year for $100,000. (2/4/2015)

The FCC has deleted the license of K238AN/95.5 (Ames), which at one time rebroadcast the "Pulse 99.5" Christian Hits format of KPUL (Winterset-Des Moines). A website set up for the translator indicated it would go off the air in 2012 unless fundraising goals were met, and FCC records indicate K238AN went off the air that year. (2/3/2015)

ABC affiliate KAAL/6.1 (Austin-Rochester) will air the last newscast from its longtime Austin home on Friday night, followed by a new era of newscasts from Rochester starting Saturday. The Hubbard Broadcasting station is moving its studio and main newsroom to TJ Maxx Plaza, 1300 16th St SW, in Rochester, but the station's master control, office operations, and a news bureau will remain in Austin. The station is upgrading to HD with the move. It previously had a news bureau in Rochester, the largest city in the market created when 1950's regulators cobbled together three small-town stations to form one set of network affiliates. NBC affiliate KTTC/10 and FOX affiliate KXLT/47 are located in Rochester, while CBS affiliate KIMT/3 is in Mason City, Iowa. Many Twin Cities stations are also available on cable in Rochester, further adding to the competition. (1/30/2015)

Corus Entertainment has shifted CJKR-FM/97.5 (Winnipeg) from Active Rock to a broad Classic Rock mix, ending the 24-year-old "Power 97" identity in favor of "Big 97.5, Big Hits and Real Classic Rock." Despite its heritage, "Power 97" had fallen to 12th out of the 15 rated stations in the Numeris Fall (September 1–October 26, 2014) 12+ ratings. "Big 97.5" primarily competes with Rogers' "92 CITI FM," which carries a Classic-based Rock format and ranked fifth in the fall book. (1/30/2015)

Easy Listening stalwart KNXR/97.5 (Rochester) will go dark Saturday at 1 a.m., according to a post on its Facebook page. Thomas Jones' United Audio Corporation recently sold KNXR to Gregory Jensen's Hometown Broadcasting of Rochester. The deal included paying 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). Jensen also owns KQAQ/970 (Austin) and KQPR/96.1 (Albert Lea). (1/30/2015)

The FCC has recently granted seven construction permits for new low-power FM stations in the Twin Cities:

  • Minneapolis: 97.9, African Community Senior Services
  • Minneapolis: 98.9, Pillsbury United Communities. Applications from The Main Street Project and The Organizing Apprenticeship Project were dismissed at the applicants' requests. It appears the three groups agreed to work together, but there is no further information available through the FCC database.
  • St. Paul: 94.1, Center for Hmong Arts & Talent and Thomas Dale District 7 Planning Council (Frogtown Neighborhood Association). The two organizations will have separate licenses and callsigns, but a press release posted on Facebook says the stations will both have studios in Sunrise Plaza, 995 University Ave.
  • St. Paul: 94.9, Victoria Theater Project
  • St. Paul: 97.9, New Culture Center in the Midwest
  • St. Paul: 98.1, Enlace Adventista
    There were already several other LPFM stations granted in the metro, already reported here. To help you keep it all sorted out, LPFM stations have been added to the existing list of Twin Cities-area FM translators. (1/28/2015)

    New low-power FM station KOWN-LP/95.7 (Omaha) is on the air carrying Hip-Hop as "The Boss."

    Meanwhile, the FCC has granted Malcolm X Memorial Foundation and North Omaha Loves Jazz Cultural Arts and Humanities Complex construction permits for new low-power FM stations on 101.3. The stations will share time and both use the same transmitter site. (1/28/2015)

    The FCC has approved a time sharing agreement involving three low-power FM stations on 101.3 in the Milwaukee area. Inner City Development Project will use the frequency from 12 to 8 a.m., Kettle Moraine Community Radio will use it from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Faith Community Development Corporation will use it from 4 p.m. to Midnight. Kettle Moraine Community Radio's WFAQ-LP is already licensed to Mukwonago on 92.9, but its rural coverage area is far out of Mukwonago. WFAQ-LP's new coverage area will include Mukwonago. The other two stations will be licensed to Milwaukee. (1/28/2015)

    Wausau's "Sports Fan 100.5" (WDTX Rothschild) switched from ESPN Radio to NBC Sports Radio on Monday (1/26), saying the move was not its idea. A statement on the station's website says it wanted to continue the same agreement it had with ESPN, but that the network "decided go in another direction." "Sports Fan 100.5" carries a local sports talk show from Noon to 2 and Mike Heller, syndicated from Madison, from 2 to 5. (1/27/2015)

    ABC affiliate KABY/9 (Aberdeen), a satellite of KSFY/13 (Sioux Falls), has gone off the air due to unexpected tower problems. According to a notification of suspension of operations filed with the FCC, KABY went off the air Jan. 11 because its tower did not pass a recent inspection and had to be deconstructed. A notice posted on KSFY's website says, "We are assessing our options to determine when, if and how it may be possible to transmit the KABY signal in the future." The station has a long history in the area, having started in 1958 as NBC/ABC affiliate KXAB-TV before becoming a satellite of KSOO-TV, now KSFY. KABY continues to provide a feed to cable systems, while satellite TV viewers in the Aberdeen area receive KSFY. The stations are owned by Gray TV. (1/27/2015)

    Gopher Communications, owner of KROX/1260 (Crookston, MN), is buying an FM translator that could potentially be moved to Crookston. It's paying Horizon Christian Fellowship $40,000 for K291BT/106.1 (Grand Forks). K291BT is currently licensed for 99 Watts from Grand Forks. (1/27/2015)

    Southern Twin Cities metro translators K218DK/91.5 (Bloomington) and K293BA/106.5 (Elko) have switched to the "Kinship Christian Radio" format of KJLY/104.5 (Blue Earth) following their sale to KJLY owner Minn-Iowa Christian Broadcasting. The translators had previously carried the "Refuge Radio" Christian Hits format originating at WJRF/89.5 (Duluth), and K218DK had been one of WJRF's oldest translators. The duo represents the northernmost reach of the "Kinship" network, which includes eleven other translators and six full-power stations stretching into central Iowa. (1/26/2015)

    A belated note that WDLM/960 (East Moline-Quad Cities) switched to Spanish-language Christian programming from Radio Moody on Jan. 5. Sister station WDLM-FM/89.3 continues to carry English-language Christian programming from Moody Radio, which made a similar move with its AM station in Chicago three years ago. (1/26/2015)

    Canadian regulators have denied an application for a new ethnic commercial FM station in Winnipeg. Gill Broadcasting had applied for a 1.8kW/55m (class A) station on 92.9, a frequency left vacant when Red River College/Cre-Comm Radio's CKIC-FM went silent in 2012. The station would have carried a minimum of eleven different languages per week, with Punjabi/Hindi accounting for the largest amount at 70 hours. The CRTC found that the proposed station's format would overlap with Dufferin Communications' CKJS/810, and that the market would be "highly challenged" to sustain a second ethnic station. It also rejected one intervenor's request that the CRTC make call for applications for new radio stations, stating that 92.9 is not the last available frequency in Winnipeg. (1/22/2015)

    The FCC has upheld its decision to grant a construction permit for a new FM station in the Jamestown market to Christopher Falletti, throwing out a petition to deny from Two Rivers Broadcasting, which had competed with Falletti in a 2012 auction for the new station on 92.3 licensed to Medina. Two Rivers is owned by Janice Ingstad, whose companies own six stations in the Jamestown/Valley City area. Falletti's original application specified use of a tower owned by Ingstad, but Two Rivers says Falleti never had reasonable assurance that he would actually be able to use the tower. Falletti later amended his application to specify a different tower. The FCC says its rules do allow winning bidders for new stations to make curative amendments to their applications, meaning Falleti's original application was not fatally flawed. Falletti has until July 6 to build the new station, which will use 60kW/98m (class C1). It does not yet have a callsign. (1/22/2015)

    CBC/Radio-Canada is seeking permission for a large downgrade to its CBC Radio One station in Dryden. CBQH/100.9 currently uses 100kW/120m (class C1) and would drop to 1.3kW/105m (A). It would also relocate its transmitter from a site east of town to a TBayTel tower in town also used by Radio-Canada station CKSB-6-FM/102.7 and commercial station CKDR-FM/92.7. The downgrade would remove about 3,000 people from CBQH's total coverage area, representing about 20 percent of the current potential audience. CBC says the existing tower is deteriorating but did not explain why it's also seeking a downgrade, though it cited budget challenges as the reason for recent downgrades in Fort Frances. In recent years it has also cut staff in Thunder Bay and shut down the vast majority of its TV transmitters, including the one that had served Dryden. (1/22/2015)

    New low-power FM station WNOA-LP/103.9 (Marquette) is on the air carrying Catholic programming. The 100-Watt station is owned by Claves Regni Ministries, doing business as Northern Apostle Radio. (1/22/2015)

    In what is starting to seem like a daily occurrence, plans for a new national DTV subchannel network have been announced. FOX Television Stations will launch the new Buzzr network in all 17 of its markets, which include Minneapolis, this summer. Buzzr will carry classic game shows, a genre virtually ignored by the dozens of existing subchannel networks. FOX's owned and operated stations in Minneapolis are KMSP (RF 9) and WFTC (RF 29), which carry FOX on 9.1 and 9.9, MyNetworkTV on 9.2, Movies! on 9.3, and Bounce on 9.4. (1/20/2015)

    A new FCC filing clears up recent changes at a pair of north-central Wisconsin radio stations. Control of Barracuda Broadcasting/Quicksilver Broadcasting, licensee of WMZK/104.1 (Merrill-Wausau) and WJMT/730 (Merrill), has returned to its previous owners after a judge vacated a ruling appointing a receiver for the company. The court had appointed John Wirth to act as receiver on Nov. 25 and the FCC approved the transfer of control in December, but Wirth was removed as receiver in a Jan. 5 order. That means David Winters again has control of the companies. WMZK reverted to its previous "Z104" Classic Rock format days after the court order, dropping an eight-month old "Magic 104" Hot Adult Contemporary format that had been implemented by Michael Enfelt's Radio One Communications, LLC when it was operating the stations through a time brokerage agreement. (1/20/2015)

    FOX affiliate KYOU-TV/15 (Ottumwa) has added Grit on channel 15.2, with a slide saying sister subchannel network Escape is coming soon to 15.3.

    Meanwhile, KWKB (Iowa City-Cedar Rapids) has dropped channel 20.2 after the market's Antenna TV affiliation moved to KCRG-DT/9.3 (Cedar Rapids). KWKB carries CW on its main channel. (1/20/2015)

    Justice Network launches nationally on Tuesday evening with affiliates including channel 11.3 of KARE (Minneapolis). The new subchannel carries "true crime" programs with an initial lineup consisting almost entirely of shows which previously aired on the truTV cable channel. KARE carries NBC on 11.1 and WeatherNation TV on 11.2. (1/20/2015)

    Movies! Network is coming to former CBS affiliate KRDK-TV/4 (Valley City-Fargo), according to a press release reported by TVNewsCheck on Monday. It's not immediately clear whether KRDK will carry Movies! on its primary channel or a subchannel. As reported last week, the station formerly known as KXJB recently returned to the air as KRDK carrying infomercials on channel 4.1. Reception reports have indicated that the station is also broadcasting several subchannels with no programming at the moment. Ravi Kapur's Major Market Broadcasting bought the station from Parker Broadcasting last year as Gray TV moved KXJB's longtime CBS affiliation to KVLY-TV/11.2 (Fargo). (1/19/2015)

    The FCC has approved another duopoly in the Lincoln-Tri Cities market, allowing Pappas Liquidating Trust to buy FOX affiliate KFXL-TV/51.1 (Lincoln) from Stanley Trapp for $300,000. Pappas also owns ABC affiliate KHGI/13 (Kearney), which carries KFXL-branded FOX programming on channel 13.2, and has been operating KFXL through a local marketing agreement. Though the Lincoln-Tri Cities market is several ownership groups short of the federal minimum for duopolies, the FCC apparently agreed (no statement or letter was released) with Pappas' argument that the sale should be allowed because the two stations' coverage areas do not overlap. Gray TV, owner CBS affiliate KOLN/10 (Lincoln), was previously allowed to create a duopoly in the market through a failing station waiver and eventually converted the station it bought, KSNB/4 (Superior), into an NBC affiliate. KFXL does not carry KHGI's main channel of ABC programming. Lincoln has a separately-owned ABC affiliate, Citadel's KLKN/8, an unusual situation resulting from the market's large geographic size. The other commercial station in the market is Legacy Broadcasting's KNHL/5 (Hastings), a former NBC affiliate which is now silent. (1/19/2015)

    A retransmission consent dispute has taken ABC affiliate KCRG-TV/9 (Cedar Rapids) off DirecTV. The station says the original agreement expired Dec. 31, and the outage began on Thursday afternoon (1/15) after two extensions. (1/15/2015)

    Reception reports indicate KRDK-TV/4.1 (Valley City-Fargo), formerly KXJB, is back on the air and showing infomercials. Ravi Kapur's Major Market Broadcasting bought the station from Parker Broadcasting last year as Gray TV moved KXJB's longtime CBS affiliation to KVLY-TV/11.2 (Fargo). (1/15/2015)

    KZKK/105.1 (Huron) has gone silent as it prepares to move out of town. Riverfront Broadcasting, which owns stations in Huron and Pierre, bought KZKK from Dakota Communications and obtained a construction permit to move to 92.1, dropping from 6kW to 2kW. It then asked the FCC for special temporary authority to remain silent, stating that KZKK went off the air Dec. 23 after Riverfront completed construction of the 92.1 facility. The filing states that Riverfront plans to apply for a new transmitter site and community of license once the FCC grants a license to cover the frequency change. The Country format that Dakota Communications had run on KZKK had been moved there in 2009 from the former KZNC/99.1 (Huron), which was moved to the Watertown market. Dakota Communications still operates Country-formatted KOKK/1210 (Huron), Classic Rocker KJRV/93.3 (Wessington Springs-Huron), and Hot Adult Contemporary "Tiger 95.3" (KIJV/1340 Huron and translator K237EL/95.3 Huron). (1/15/2015)

    The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that new subchannel Decades will be carried on channel 58.4 of WDJT (Milwaukee) when the network begins its soft launch Thursday with a binge-watching marathon of its entire classic TV library. The new network, a partnership of CBS and Weigel Broadcasting, will offer a different theme each day with a different schedule of TV shows and movies when it formally launches in May. 58.4 had previously carried Weigel's experimental TouchVision service, which continues to air nationally for an hour in the morning on Weigel's Heroes & Icons Network, seen on channel 49.3 of WMLW (Racine-Milwaukee). Weigel owns both WMLW and WDJT, which carry a combined eight channels including CBS. (1/14/2015)

    Live Well Network will live longer, at least in Green Bay. WBAY-TV announced Tuesday that ABC, which runs LWN, has decided to keep the network on the air for "another couple of months," and that WBAY will contine to carry LWN on channel 2.3. Just four days earlier, WBAY had announced that new subchannel network Decades would replace LWN on Friday, Jan. 16. Decades' formal launch isn't until May, but the network is having a soft-launch on Jan. 16 with binge-watching marathons of every show in its library. WBAY also carries ABC on 2.1 and weather programming on 2.2. As previously reported, the Milwaukee and Minneapolis LWN affiliates are among those which have already switched to other networks. (1/14/2015)

    It turns out Sioux City will lose a channel due to the national end to Live Well Network. Former LWN affiliate KCAU writes on its Facebook page, "KCAU, at this current time, has no plans to put new programming on our 9.2 channel." 9.2 had carried LWN prior to November, when it began a simulcast if competing NBC affiliate KTIV/4 due to KTIV's transmission problems. The Nexstar station carries ABC on 9.1 and had carried weather programming on 9.2 prior to switching to LWN in 2012. (1/13/2015)

    WTMJ-TV (Milwaukee) has switched channel 4.3 to classic TV network Cozi TV, replacing the soon-to-be silent Live Well Network. WTMJ carries NBC on 4.1 and weather programming on 4.2.

    In another recent development, WIWN/68.1 (Fond du Lac), which transmits from Milwaukee, has dropped WeatherNation TV following its sale to Milwaukee Media, LLC. It's now carrying Sonlife Broadcasting Network on 68.1 and infomercials on 68.2. (1/13/2015)

    Gray TV is buying a low-power TV station in Rapid City, a move sure to spark speculation about the company's plans in the market. Gray, which operates two big-four affiliations in many small markets, bought FOX 7 (KEVN) last year and is now buying K23KK-D (Rapid City) from DTV America. The deal calls for a purchase price of $100 and a closing simultaneous with DTV America's purchase of a low-power station from Gray in West Virginia. The paperwork also says K23KK-D will apply for a facility change. It's currently licensed for 3kW with a directional antenna pattern and has a construction permit for 3kW non-directional, though the Black Hills limit the signal to the west. Gray also runs the ABC affiliate in Sioux Falls, the NBC and FOX affiliates in Bismarck, the CBS and NBC affiliates in both Fargo and Lincoln, and the CBS, FOX, and NBC affiliates in North Platte. (1/12/2015)

    Gray TV NBC affiliate WOWT/6 (Omaha) has returned to Cox Cable after a retransmission consent dispute took the station off Cox for about four days. Cox is the major cable provider for Omaha, Council Bluffs, and suburban areas. The dispute also affected Gray stations in Topeka and Wichita. (1/7/2015, updated 1/12)

    St. Cloud State University has signed on new low-power FM station KVEX-LP/97.5 (St. Cloud), which is carrying a student-run `90s Alternative format called "Radio X." SCSU also runs longtime Alternative outlet KVSC/88.1 (St. Cloud), which is simulcasting "Radio X" on its HD2 channel. KVSC-HD2 had already been running Alternative Classics. (1/12/2015)

    WMZK/104.1 (Merrill-Wausau) has reverted to its previous "Z104" slogan with a Classic Rock format, dropping a "Magic 104" Hot Adult Contemporary format after eight months. The change to Hot AC had come after Michael Enfelt's Radio One Communications, LLC began operating WMZK and WJMT/730 (Merrill) through a time brokerage agreement during the process of purchasing the stations from Barracuda Broadcasting/Quicksilver Broadcasting, but it's not immediately clear who's operating the stations now. In November, a judge appointed John Wirth to act as a receiver for Barracuda/Quicksilver. (1/12/2015)

    NBC affiliate KTIV/4 (Sioux City) says it's back at full power after a November transmission line failure. KTIV had been transmitting from a temporary antenna at a lower spot on its tower while new transmission line was installed. KTIV's main NBC channel has also been simulcast on channel 9.2 of competitor KCAU, which will end Monday. (9.2 had previously carried Live Well Network, which is leaving the air nationally -- there's no word yet what will appear next on 9.2.) KTIV also carries CW+ on 4.2 and MeTV on 4.3. (1/10/2015)

    The FCC has finalized a $8,000 fine against Duhamel Broadcasting Enterprises for alleged lighting violations at the KOTA/1380 (Rapid City) tower site. The FCC had proposed a $10,000 fine last year but agreed to reduce the amount based on Duhamel's history of compliance. Duhamel said it had intentionally turned the lights off on its center tower in 2005 based on an informal opinion from a Federal Aviation Administration representative that it would be OK to turn off the lights, but the FCC says the FAA officially denied KOTA's request in 2005 and again after the FCC issued a Notice of Violation in 2013. (1/10/2015)

    Manitoba has one less TV news operation after Citytv Winnipeg (CHMI/13 Portage la Prairie) canceled "Breakfast Television." Beginning Jan. 12, Citytv will partially simulcast 92.1 CITI-FM's "Wheeler In The Morning with Philly and Rena" from 6 to 9 a.m. Metro News reports that 14 people have been laid off and Citytv will no longer cover news events, but some Citytv employees have been retained to conduct interviews and host entertainment segments when the radio station is playing music. "Breakfast Television," which competed with local morning shows on CTV's CKY-TV/7 and Global's CKND/9, had been Citytv Winnipeg's only news production for years. (1/7/2015)

    KSTP-TV (St. Paul), a primary ABC affiliate, will begin carrying Heroes & Icons TV on channel 5.7 on Monday, Jan. 12. H&I replaces Live Well Network, which is leaving the air nationally. Sister station KSTC-TV carries H&I's companion network, Me-TV, on channel 5.3, as well as an independent lineup on 5.2, Antenna TV on 5.4, and This TV on 5.6. (1/6/2015)

    After more than four days of stunting, KTWN-FM/96.3 (Edina-Minneapolis) has debuted an Alternative format as "Go 96-3 FM." An introductory message at the format's 3 p.m. Monday debut promised that the new format would be local, diverse, and modern. "Go 96-3" competes primarily with iHeartMedia's "Alt 93.3" (KQQL-HD2 and W227BF) and Minnesota Public Radio's "The Current" (KCMP/89.3). The station had ditched its former "K-Twin" Adult Alternative/Classic Hits format on New Year's Day and stunted with a computerized voice reading random song lyrics and movie quotes. KTWN-FM, which will continue to carry Twins baseball, is a standalone station owned by the Pohlad family's Northern Lights Broadcasting. It has a weaker signal than the major Twin Cities FM stations, broadcasting with 19kW/77m (class C3) from New Hope. (1/5/2015)

    Christian broadcaster VCY America has applied to increase the daytime power of WQRM/850 (Duluth) to 50kW, but the station would remain daytime-only and would have to reduce its power to 14kW during critical hours (the hours after sunrise and before sunset). WQRM would keep its existing non-directional antenna site along the St. Louis River in the Gary-New Duluth neighborhood. The power boost would not add any large cities to WQRM's main coverage area, but it would improve fringe coverage of the Iron Range and other rural areas surrounding the Twin Ports. (1/5/2015)

    The University of Northwestern-St. Paul has signed on new translator K232EK/94.3 (Rochester), relaying the Contemporary Christian format of KTIS-FM/98.5 (Minneapolis). The 115-Watt translator broadcasts from a tower east of Rochester. (1/3/2015)

    A number of stations added or switched subchannels around the start of the year, many as part of a deal for Sinclair Broadcast Group stations to add Grit TV. The following changes are noted via reception reports or listings:

  • KFXA (Cedar Rapids) switched 28.2 to Grit TV, moving ZUUS Country to 28.3.
  • KDSM (Des Moines) switched 17.3 from ZUUS Country to Grit TV.
  • KMEG (Sioux City) switched 14.2 from Azteca to Grit TV. Azteca had been the only spanish-language channel in the market.
  • WUCW (Minneapolis) switched 23.3 from ZUUS Country to Grit TV.
  • KMTV (Omaha) switched 3.2 from Live Well to Antenna TV.
  • KXVO (Omaha) added 15.3 carrying Grit TV.
  • WMSN (Madison) switched 47.3 from ZUUS Country to Grit TV.
  • WCGV (Milwaukee) added 24.3 carrying Grit TV.
    More changes are expected at mid-month when Live Well Network ceases broadcasts nationally. (1/2/2015)

    KKLS/920 (Rapid City) and its FM translator, K284BA/104.7, emerged from the Christmas holiday with an `80s and `90s "Smash Hits" format. The change follows the station's sale to Homeslice Media Group, which bought KKLS and KBHB/810 (Sturgis) last year from Schurz Communications when Schurz needed to divest stations due to its purchase of a TV station in the market. Prior to the sale, KKLS had run a Classic Hits format as "The Hills," simulcast on K248BT/97.5 (Rapid City). Schurz retained K248BT and turned into a translator of another station. More recently, KKLS and K284BA had been running an Adult Contemporary format before going all-Christmas in November. (1/1/2015)

    96.3 "K-Twin" (KTWN-FM Edina-Minneapolis) has ditched its Adult Alternative/Classic Hits format and is stunting with a computerized voice reading random song lyrics and movie quotes. The voice promises that a new local radio station will debut Monday at 3 p.m. KTWN-FM, which also carries Twins baseball, is a standalone station owned by the Pohlad family's Northern Lights Broadcasting. It has a weaker signal than the major Twin Cities FM stations, broadcasting with 19kW/77m (class C3) from New Hope. The "K-Twin" identity has been in use for three years, but ratings have remained low despite playlist tweaks and a few key staffers recently exited the station. (1/1/2015)

    News archive...

    Newspaper/Web Articles

    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: WISN-TV leads in ratings at 5, 6 p.m.; WITI-TV leads at 10 p.m. (2/27)
    WCCO: Veteran WCCO Radio Broadcaster Dick Chapman Dies (2/27)
    The Forum: Earl Williams, longtime WDAY radio host, voice of the Bison, dead at 79 (2/25)
    Bloomberg Politics: These Radio Hosts Are Some of the Most Powerful Republicans You've Never Heard Of (2/24)
    St. Cloud Times: Boon or bust, HD Radio alters Minnesota airwaves (2/22)
    Twin Cities Business: Ginny Morris Making Waves In Radio (2/18)
    The Buffalo News: Raguse, Guggenmos latest leaving Ch.4 as they head to Minneapolis (2/20)
    Pioneer Press: WCCO-TV adds 'Midmorning' show (2/19)
    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: McGinnis leaving WDJT-TV; Green Bay native Burgoyne to be chief meteorologist (2/19)
    Pioneer Press: Donna Valentine joins myTalk 107.1 (2/18)
    Star Tribune: Jason Matheson leaves WCCO-TV for Fox 9 — again (2/18)
    Rochester Post-Bulletin: KNXR to return to the airwaves next week (2/16)
    MinnPost: In latest local radio battle, Go 96.3 goes after 89.3 The Current (2/11)
    Mason City Globe Gazette: Mason City radio personality to avoid deportation to Canada (2/10)
    Wisconsin State Journal: Public broadcasting braces for possible cuts under Scott Walker's budget plan (2/8)
    Des Moines Register: Radio Station KXNO shuffles lineup (2/6)
    Des Moines Register: 'Marty & Miller' has found a home on the radio dial (2/6)
    The Forum: Thornberg leaving KVRR to raise child (2/3)
    St. Paul Pioneer Press: Donna Valentine off the air after 20 years at K102 (2/2)
    KTTC-TV: 97.5 FM bids farewell to radio, founder reflects on nearly 50 years (1/30)
    Sioux Falls Argus Leader: Gene Hetland retiring from KSOO Radio (1/23)
    KELO-TV: Signing-Off On Retirement (1/30)
    Milwaukee Business Journal: Journal Communications-Scripps deal likely to close by mid-April (1/30)
    Red Wing Republican Eagle: Brooks, state Hall of Fame broadcaster, dies at 88 St. Paul Pioneer Press: Amy Hockert returning to local TV news with job at KMSP (1/28)
    Star Tribune: How 89.3 the Current can stay vital after a troubled week (1/29)
    St. Paul Pioneer Press: MPR loses some support over firing of Current DJ Barb Abney (1/28)
    St. Paul Pioneer Press: Barb Abney out as 89.3 The Current DJ (1/27)
    St. Paul Pioneer Press: 89.3 The Current celebrates 10 years on the air (1/13)
    St. Paul Pioneer Press: Patrick Hammer temporarily delivers weather on KARE-TV (1/12)
    Jamestown Sun: AM 600’s Bob Sands dies Thursday at 73 (1/10)
    The Forum: Veteran local broadcaster known as “Captain Jim” dies at 88 (1/7)
    Milwaukee Business Journal: WTMJ-AM back in the ag-news business (1/7)
    Duane Dudek: WKLH, WHQG owner Saga reaches agreement with Nielsen (1/7)
    KCCI-TV: KXNO radio host abruptly resigns (1/7)
    Older articles...