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Me-TV affiliate KWSD/36.1 (Sioux Falls) is off the air due to transmitter problems, according to a
notification of suspension of operations filed with the FCC. The station says it has been off the air since Nov. 21 and hopes to resume operations in a timely fashion. KWSD is owned by James F. Simpson's JF Broadcasting, a sister company to the licensee of the Rapid City NBC affiliate. (12/17/2014)

The FCC has fined Cochise Broadcasting $7,000 for main studio violations at KOMJ/1490 (Omaha). The fine stems from an FCC agent's unsuccessful attempts to inspect KOMJ's main studio in August 2013. According to the forfeiture order, Cochise "accepts the finding that its former main studio was not fully staffed" and said it has made changes to come into compliance. The Commission's Enforcement Bureau had also proposed a $10,000 fine for alleged public file violations, but determined that Cochise did not actually violate public file rules. Cochise is in the process of selling KOMJ to Walnut Radio, LLC, a deal which received FCC approval last week. (12/16/2014)

The FCC has cleared the way for another big FM signal to sign on in the Black Hills, rejecting a competing application from an existing broadcaster which the FCC says still has a chance to upgrade. Alex Media won the new station on 94.3 licensed to Lead in a 2012 FCC auction with a $45,000 bid. 94.3 cannot be constructed to deliver a strong signal to Rapid City due to existing stations; the FCC Audio Division's action this month approves Alex Media's plan to construct the new station to 96.7, using 100kW/501m (class C) from an existing tower on Terry Peak, home to many other major Black Hills FM signals. To make way for the new station, Mount Rushmore Broadcasting's KZMX-FM/96.7 (Hot Springs) will be required to move to 96.3 but will keep its current power level and coverage area. KZMX-FM fought the change, saying the move would prevent it from upgrading in the future. The FCC found that KZMX-FM actually would still be able to apply for an upgrade on 96.3, and also questioned whether the station would've actually upgraded on 96.7 since it has been off the air for most of the past two years and has not taken advantage of the upgrade potential in the three decades the station has been licensed. Alex Media will have to pay for KZMX-FM's frequency change. FCC records indicate KZMX-FM is currently silent due to staffing reasons, along with sister stations KZMX/580 (Hot Springs) and KFCR/1490 and KAWK/105.1 (Custer). (12/16/2014)

D&K Distributors is buying the Todd County AM/FM combo of KEYL/1400 (Long Prairie) and KXDL/99.7 (Browerville) from Prairie Broadcasting in exchange for settling a debt of $123,058.32. D&K is owned by Doug Frauenholtz of Prior Lake, a Twin Cities suburb. (12/14/2014)

The E.W. Scripps Company will be allowed to keep a duopoly in the Green Bay market once it completes its merger with Journal Communications. In approving the merger, the FCC included a new failing station waiver for MyNetworkTV station WACY-TV/32.1 (Appleton-Green Bay). The Green Bay market has fewer than the eight voices required for TV duopolies, but Journal was able to purchase WACY to operate alongside its "NBC26" (WGBA Green Bay) in 2012 through a failing station waiver. The FCC agreed that WACY continues to meet the definition of a failing station because it still has low ratings, isn't desirable to buyers as a standalone station, and would have negative cash flow if it operated independently. Once the merger of Journal and Scripps is completed, the former Journal broadcast stations will be kept as part of Scripps and the two companies' newspapers, including the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, will be split off into a separate company called Journal Communications. Journal's other broadcast holdings in the Upper Midwest include two radio stations and NBC affiliate WTMJ/4.1 in Milwaukee and five radio stations and CBS affiliate KMTV/3.1 in Omaha. (12/14/2014)

World Radio Link is transferring two Wisconsin FM translators, two translators in Michigan, and the construction permit for a full-power FM station in Georgia to sister organization Edgewater Broadcasting for a total of $350,000. The Wisconsin translators are W242BB/96.3 (Medford) and W256BE/99.1 (Lancaster), the latter of which has a construction permit to move its transmitter to Dubuque, Iowa. W256BE is licensed for 10 Watts from Lancaster and has a construction permit to use 205 Watts from Dubuque. Clark Parrish of Twin Falls, Idaho, is the contact representative for both organizations. (12/14/2014)

King Forward, Inc. is selling K29GL (Lincoln) to DTV America for $30,000. Both companies are headed by John Kyle of Florida. (12/14/2014)

Nexstar Broadcasting has announced plans to rebrand ABC affiliate WOI-DT/5 (Ames-Des Moines) as "Local 5 News" starting Jan. 5. The station will debut a new anchor team: Jack Miller, who once worked in Cedar Rapids, will anchor evening newscasts alongside station veteran Stephanie Angleson, who currently anchors the morning newscast. The new "Good Morning Iowa" will be anchored by Sabrina Ahmed and Elias Johnson. WOI is also gettig equipment upgrades and a refreshed news set. Nexstar recently bought the station, currently branded as "ABC5," from Citadel Communications, which failed to pull the station out of a decades-long ratings drought. Nexstar is also in the process of buying Pappas CW affiliate KCWI/23 (Ames-Des Moines), which does not have a full news department but does run a local morning show. (12/11/2014)

CBC-TV has announced plans to change the news schedules at its stations around Canada next fall, including Winnipeg's CBWT/6. Instead of carrying a 90-minute block of news at 5 p.m., CBWT will carry a 60-minute 6 p.m. newscast. The change could leave the province without any 5 p.m. TV newscast unless one of the market's other TV stations chooses to enter the timeslot. CBC Manitoba's only other TV newscast is a 10-minute broadcast at 11 p.m. Meanwhile, CBWT will drop a simulcast of CBC News Network in the 6 a.m. hour in favor of a simulcast of CBC Radio One programming. The CBC announced the changes as part of a press release touting plans for new smartphone apps and more frequent website updates. (12/11/2014)

WRJN/1400 (Racine) has dropped several syndicated talk shows and replaced them with a mix of `50s to `80s hits, as well as Christmas music in the evening hours. Local information-based programming continues in morning and afternoon drive. The change coincides with the flip of FM sister station WEZY/92.1 (Racine) from Adult Contemporary to "Q92 Country" targetting Racine and the southern Milwaukee metro area. Magnum Broadcasting recently bought the stations from Bliss Communications. WRJN has been on the air since 1926, making it one of the oldest stations in the country. (12/9/2014)

Santa's list got longer Monday (12/8) as Westwood One's syndicated Adult Standards format and the non-commercial Family Radio network both switched to all-Christmas formats. The Westwood One network, which has affiliates including KLBB/1220 (Stillwater-Minneapolis), WNAM/1280 (Neenah-Menasha-Appleton), and KRNT/1350 (Des Moines), had already been playing a significant amount of Christmas music since Thanksgiving along with some songs from its regular Soft Oldies playlist. Meanwhile, Family Radio has set aside most of its regular schedule of Christian teaching and preaching in favor of traditional Christmas music. Follow the full list of this year's flips here. (12/8/2014)

New station WEMP/98.9 (Two Rivers) is on the air carrying an Easy Listening/Soft Oldies format. The official sign-on came Sunday (12/7) at 4 p.m., a year after the station first conducted testing. WEMP uses 6kW/89m from the WLKN/98.1 (Cleveland) tower south of Manitowoc, with a main coverage area extending as far south as Sheboygan. It's owned by Mark Heller's Metro North Communications. Heller plans to begin simulcasting WEMP's programming on WLWB/1530 (New Holstein) next week. He also owns Oldies-formatted WGBW/1590 (Denmark-Green Bay). (12/8/2014)

Classic TV network Antenna TV is coming to Omaha in January, according to an announcement on the network's Facebook page. Antenna TV will be carried on KMTV/3.2, replacing Live Well Network, which is leaving the air nationally. KMTV, owned by Journal Broadcasting, carries CBS on its main channel. (12/6/2014)

CBS-owned stations, including WCCO-TV/4 (Minneapolis), are back on DISH Network after a brief outage due to a retransmission consent dispute. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The dispute affected stations in 17 markets, as well as Showtime and some other CBS-owned national networks. The stations were off DISH Friday evening but returned by Saturday morning. (12/5/2014, updated 12/6)

Learfield Communications is now the owner of state news and farm networks in Minnesota and Michigan, adding to its existing networks serving Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, South Carolina, and Wisconsin. It bought the Minnesota News Network, Minnesota Farm Network, Michigan Radio Network, and Michigan Farm Radio Network from Saga Communications for an undisclosed price. Learfield Sports already has a presence in Minnesota, distributing Golden Gophers sports broadcasts. (12/4/2014)

The Antenna TV affiliation in the Cedar Rapids market is moving from KWKB/20.2 (Iowa City) to KCRG-DT/9.3 (Cedar Rapids). The Gazette, which is co-owned with KCRG, reported in Monday's print edition that KCRG-DT3 will begin carrying the classic TV network on Jan. 19, 2015. 9.3 will carry news and weather updates from KCRG-TV9 News during Antenna TV programming. KCRG-DT3 currently carries Live Well Network, which is leaving the air nationally. (12/3/2014)

Saga Broadcasting has brought more "More" to Iowa: The former "Lite 104.9" (KLLT Spencer) is now "More 104.9," with a freshened-up version of Adult Contemporary. The move came Monday, a month after the FCC database says its callsign was changed to KMRR. Saga also runs "More 104" (KMYR/104.1 Ames-Des Moines). (12/3/2014)

Longtime CBS affiliate KXJB-TV/4.1 (Valley City-Fargo) went silent Sunday night (Nov. 30) after its program lineup was moved to channel 11.2 of Gray TV NBC affiliate KVLY-TV (Fargo). Gray made the move after buying KVLY because new FCC rules limit shared services agreements like the one that had allowed KVLY to run KXJB for the past decade. Gray exercised an option to buy KXJB and then sold the station's license to Major Market Broadcasting for $75,000. Major Market Broadcasting, headed by Indian American journalist Ravi Kapur of San Francisco, will have to change the station's callsign and come up with new programming. KVLY ran a story about KXJB's 60-year history on its Sunday night newscast. Gray recently made similar moves in the Bismarck and Lincoln markets, but this move marks the first time a legacy "big three" network has been moved from a primary affiliation to a subchannel in the Upper Midwest. The addition of "KX4" on channel 11.2 moves Me-TV to 11.3. (12/2/2014)

WEZY/92.1 (Racine-South Milwaukee) has dropped its longtime Adult Contemporary format in favor of Country as "Q92" following Magnum Broadcasting's purchase of the station. Owner Dave Magnum said research found that Country music fans in the South Milwaukee/Racine area would like another radio option. The format launched early Tuesday morning after the installation of a new antenna and new audio processing system. Magnum plans to change the station's callsign to WMKQ. The company also recently bought Country-formatted WBWI/92.5 (West Bend), which serves the northern Milwaukee metro area, along with WRJN/1400 (Racine) and WBKV/1470 (West Bend), bringing its total to 16 radio stations and three low-power TV stations in Wisconsin. (12/2/2014)

KAMI/1580 (Cozad) is now carrying an all-Christmas format amid the Nebraska Rural Radio Association's purchase of the station. New sister station KRVN says KAMI will carry a Classic Country format beginning Dec. 29. As reported here last week, NRRA is buying KAMI from Community Broadcasting for $87,500 and is operating the station under a local marketing agreement. Community Broadcasting, operator of the Christian-formatted Bott Radio Network, will retain KCVN/104.5 (Cozad). (12/1/2014)

The FCC has deleted what might've been a new rimshot FM station for the Waterloo market. Commission records indicate KCOO/103.9 (Dunkerton) had been off the air since at least Feb. 29, 2012, far longer than the one year maximum set by federal law. On Oct. 7, the FCC Media Bureau's Audio Division sent a letter to KCOO owner Magnolia Radio Corp. giving it 30 days to prove that KCOO had been on the air. The license was deleted on Nov. 21. It doesn't appear KCOO was ever on the air for anything other than testing. Ace Radio Corp. won the construction permit for the 6kW/95m station in 2006 with a $455,000 bid. Ace sold the CP to Magnolia as part of a nine-station deal in 2009; Magnolia applied for KCOO's license to cover in 2011, followed by a series of requests for special temporary authority to remain silent. A 2012 plan to sell the station to Matinee Media was never consummated. (12/1/2014)

The former WNLI/88.5 (Sturgeon Bay) is back on the air as WPVM, relaying the Christian format WRVM/102.7 (Suring), but is operating at lower power than before. WRVM, Inc. says in a request for special temporary authority filed with the FCC that its purchase of WNLI from the Educational Media Foundation didn't include the station's former transmitter, which was more than 40 years old and had become unreliable. 88.5 had used 50kW/158m but is now using 15kW/158m. The station has applied to keep 15kW as its current facility, which will mean a downgrade from class C1 to C2. (12/1/2014)

The FCC has granted the sale of WMZK/104.1 (Merrill-Wausau) and WJMT/730 (Merrill) after rescinding its earlier approval of the deal due to a paperwork error. The FCC's Audio Division said in August that the stations had failed to provide adequate public notice of the sale from Quicksilver Broadcasting/Barracuda Broadcasting to Radio One Communications, LLC. The FCC has now approved the $595,000 deal after giving the stations a second chance to run on-air announcements and notices in the newspaper. The new owner has already been operating the stations under a time brokerage agreement. (12/1/2014)

Educational Media Foundation translator K273BH/102.5 has completed a move from the top of one Minneapolis skyscraper to another, but continues to carry the same programming. The translator, which is licensed to Fridley, formerly broadcast from the Wells Fargo Center with 41 Watts and is now using 250 Watts from the IDS Center. Previous applications had stated that K273BH would relay the HD2 signal of iHeartMedia's KDWB/101.3 once it moved to IDS, but the most recent application indicates they decided to stick with the HD2 signal of iHeartMedia's KTCZ/97.1 via a T1 feed. KTCZ-HD2 carries EMF's "Air1" Christian Rock network.

Regular readers will recall that EMF and iHeartMedia have partnered in the Twin Cities, as they have in other markets, with two iHeartMedia stations carrying EMF formats on HD subchannels and one EMF translator (W227BF/93.3) carrying an iHeartMedia commercial format, "Alt 93.3," via the HD2 signal of KQQL/107.9. A number of EMF translators have been making moves, and W225AP/92.9 (St. Paul) was off the air on Thursday but returned Friday. W225AP has a construction permit to move to the Wells Fargo site, which is EMF's base of operation. A full list of the translators can be found on the Twin Cities Class D FM's page. (11/28/2014)

Eastern Twin Cities metro area station WIXK/1590 (New Richmond, WI) has switched to a mix of Asian music following Hmong Radio Broadcast's purchase of the station, ending decades of Country formats on the frequency. Hmong Radio Broadcast is headed by Mai Yia Vang and though the company itself has no other broadcast interests, the company's St. Paul address is the same as that of Asian American Broadcasting's KFXN/690 (Minneapolis). The stations' programming is separate. WIXK covers the eastern half of the metro area during the day with a 5kW signal, but its 95-Watt nighttime signal is limited to the immediate New Richmond area. The greater Twin Cities area has a third Hmong-language station, KPNP/1600 (Watertown), which can be heard in the western half of the metro. (11/28/2014)

At least eight Upper Midwest radio stations celebrated Thanksgiving by starting up the Christmas music. Flips to the all-Christmas format on Thursday morning included "B107.3" (KBBK Lincoln), "92.7 The Drive" (KZDR Kindred-Fargo), KRIB/1490 (Mason City), "Super Hits 106" (KIYX Sageville-Dubuque), and "Lake 98.1" (WLKN Cleveland-Sheboygan). Several other stations made the switch earlier in the week, bringing the total to at least 35 all-Christmas stations in the Upper Midwest by Thanksgiving morning. Follow the full list of this year's flips here. (11/27/2014)

Hearst CBS affiliate KCCI/8 (Des Moines) already carries "Me," and soon it'll be home to "My" as well. The station has announced plans to launch "My Des Moines" on channel 8.3 on Monday, Dec. 1, apparently carrying programming from MyNetworkTV and the Heroes & Icons network. H&I is a relatively new classic TV network launched by Weigel Broadcasting, operator of the classic Me-TV network already seen on KCCI/8.2. MyNetworkTV was previously seen in the market on Pappas' KDMI/19.1 (Des Moines), which continues to carry ThisTV. (11/26/2014)

Midwest Communications has signed on translator W221DA/92.1 relaying the Sports format of WNFL/1440 (Green Bay). The 250-Watt translator is licensed to Howard but transmits from the WNFL site in Bellevue, a southeastern Green Bay suburb. WNFL posted pictures of tower work to add the FM signal on its website. The addition means all three Green Bay-licensed AM stations now have FM simulcasts; Midwest News/Talker WTAQ/1360 and Cumulus Sports outlet WDUZ/1400 are simulcast on full-power stations. (11/26/2014)

Spanish-language network Telemundo is now available on Minneapolis broadcast TV for the first time: Former TBN affiliate KJNK-LD is now carrying Telemundo on channel 25.1, along with DrTV on 25.2. The sale follows King Forward, Inc.'s purchase of the station from Regal Media, which had purchased it from longtime operator TBN a few years ago. King Forward is a sister company to DTV America, which recently bought former Home Shopping Network station K43HB-D from Ventana Television. A website set up at indicates "Telemundo Minnesota" is being operated by Santamaria Broadcasting, which also runs "La Raza" KMNV/1400 (St. Paul) and KMNQ/1470 (Brooklyn Park). Meanwhile, DTV America said in an FCC filing that channel 43, which has changed its callsign to KMBD-LD, is off the air while it prepares to construct a new facility. Telemundo is the second commercial spanish-language TV network to become available in Minneapolis; Univision has been available for nearly a decade on WUMN-LP, which recently began digital operations on channel 17. (11/26/2014)

The Nebraska Rural Radio Association is buying KAMI/1580 (Cozad), just up the road from its home base in Lexington. The non-profit, commercially-operated farm broadcaster will pay Community Broadcasting $87,500 for KAMI. Community Broadcasting, operator of the Christian-formatted Bott Radio Network, will retain KCVN/104.5 (Cozad). The Nebraska Rural Radio Association also owns KRVN/880 and KRVN-FM/93.1 (Lexington) and will begin operating KAMI under a local marketing agreement on Dec. 1. KAMI uses 1kW day and 17 Watts night. (11/26/2014)

Granite Broadcasting has modified its plan to sell Duluth NBC affiliate KBJR-TV/6.1 (Superior) and stations in three markets outside the Upper Midwest to Quincy Newspapers, removing some provisions that ran afoul of new FCC ownership rules limiting joint sales agreements.

KBJR currently operates CBS affiliate KDLH/3.1 (Duluth), owned by Malara Broadcast Group, and the original deal would have had SagamoreHill Broadcasting buy KDLH and enter a new agreement with Quincy to run the station. The new $189.7 million deal abandons the Malara station sales, keeping ownership with Malara while Quincy buys the Granite stations and assumes Granite's agreements to run the Malara stations.

Even if the new deal receives FCC approval, Quincy may still have to make changes by mid-2016, which is the FCC's deadline for an end to agreements that allow one station to sell more than 15 percent of the advertising on another.

Quincy is pledging to offer "simultaneous local newscasts competitive with each other" on KBJR and KDLH. Currently, the stations both carry content generated by the same news staff and only air duelling newscasts at 10 p.m., when KDLH airs a newscast recorded in advance. Quincy says it also plans $4.6 million in capital improvements in Duluth, including upgrades to master control, the weather system, and website.

The other stations included in the deal are KBJR satellite KRII/11 (Chisholm) and stations in the Peoria, Fort Wayne, and Binghamton markets. (11/25/2014)

Joel J. Kinlow's WGLB/1560 (Elm Grove-Milwaukee) has applied for an upgrade that would result in changes to an adjacent station. WGLB recently completed the $100,000 purchase of WZRK/1550 (Lake Geneva) from Sovereign City Radio Services and says in its upgrade application that WZRK "will either move to a non-conflicting location or turn in its license" so that WGLB can increase its daytime power. WGLB shares a six-tower site near I-894 in west Allis with El Sol Broadcasting's WJTI/1460 (West Allis) and currently broadcasts with 185 Watts day and 250 Watts night. It has applied to increase daytime power to 2.5kW, using a different directional pattern, but would keep the current nighttime facility. It would also have to drop to 700 Watts during critical hours (two hours after sunrise and two hours before sunset) and would operate non-directionally at this time. This unusual combination of antenna patterns gets the rare designation of U9 by the National Radio Club's standards. WGLB carries a Gospel format; WZRK is currently off the air. (11/25/2014)

The recent grant of a new low-power FM station could limit iHeartMedia's proposal to upgrade its newest Twin Cities translator. The FCC has granted MG Community Broadcasting a construction permit for a new 40-Watt station on 96.7 in Maple Grove, which will transmit from a Seventh-Day Adventist church near I-694 and carry Christian programming. iHeartMedia recently purchased W244CS/96.7, which transmits from West St. Paul, and applied to move it to the IDS Center in downtown Minneapolis. However, the proposed protected coverage area for W244CS would have significant overlap with the protected coverage area of the new LPFM station. MG Community Broadcasting had originally applied for 94.1 but modified its application to remove itself from competition with other applicants.

In addition to the station mentioned above, the FCC has also recently granted the following new LPFM stations in the metro area:

  • Lakeville: 97.9, Rios de Agua Viva Church of God
  • Minneapolis: 101.7, Somali American Community
  • Plymouth: 106.7, Providence Academy (11/24/2014)


  • Millard, NE: 99.3, Millard Public Schools
  • Omaha, NE: 91.9, Ministerio Principe de Paz Internacional
  • Omaha, NE: 95.7, Omaha Community Broadcasting
  • Omaha, NE: 99.5, Fresh New Media
  • Omaha, NE: 100.3, Gospel Music Omaha
  • Rapid City, SD: 92.7, Western Dakota Technical Institute
  • Rapid City, SD: 95.5, Diocese of Rapid City
  • Columbus, WI: 88.1, Wisconsin Academy
  • Milwaukee, WI: 92.9, Souls Harbor Baptist Church
  • Milwaukee, WI: 104.1, Riverwest Artists Association
  • Whitefish Bay, WI: 103.3, Whitefish Bay School District Board (11/24/2014)

    The FCC has deleted the license of translator K269FI/101.7 (Cavalier) at the request of its owner, the University of Northwestern-St. Paul. The translator had relayed "Life 97.9" (KFNW-FM Fargo) and went off the air in June due to transmitter problems. (11/24/2014)

    WOTE/1380 (Clintonville) has become "ESPN 1380," dropping Soft Oldies. WOTE is owned by Results Broadcasting along with "Frog Country 92.3" (WJMQ Clintonville). WOTE uses 3.9kW day and 1.8kW night, also delivering a good signal to Shawano, where Results owns a separate AM-FM combo. (11/24/2014)

    The Friday before Thanksgiving has proven to be a big day for all-Christmas flips this year. Those making the flip include:

  • iHeartMedia's "Kool 108" (KQQL/107.9 Anoka-Minneapolis)
  • Journal's "Star 104.5" (KSRZ Omaha)
  • Saga's "More 104" (KMYR/104.1 Ames-Des Moines)
  • Three Eagles' "105.5 The River" (KRBI St. Peter-Mankato)
  • Townsquare's "Kool 101.7" (KLDJ Duluth)
  • non-commercial "Life 97.3" (KDNW Duluth)
  • "Classic Hits-Mas 94.7" (KCLH Caledonia-La Crosse)

    Other flips earlier in the week included "104.3 Cities FM" (KZLT East Grand Forks), "Y105.5" (WLJY Nekoosa-Wisconsin Rapids), and iHeartMedia's "Mix 98.1" (WISM Altoona-Eau Claire). Entercom's WOLX/94.9 (Baraboo-Madison) is promoting a Nov. 25 flip. Follow the full list of this year's flips here. (11/21/2014)

    Pappas Liquidating Trust is seeking FCC approval to turn its local marketing agreement to run FOX affiliate KFXL-TV/51.1 (Lincoln) into full ownership. Pappas owns ABC affiliate KHGI/13 (Kearney), which simulcasts KFXL FOX programming on channel 13.2, and wants to buy KFXL Television LLC from Stanley Trapp for $300,000. Though the Lincoln-Tri Cities market is several ownership groups short of the FCC's minimum for duopolies, Pappas argues the KHGI/KFXL duopoly should be allowed because the two stations' coverage areas do not overlap. (Gray TV was able to form a duopoly in the market through a failing station waiver, which is not being sought in this case.) KFXL recently changed its RF channel from 51 to 15 and got a slight upgrade to 21.5kW, still far short of the 1,000kW potential maximum for UHF digital TV stations. (11/19/2014)

    A member of the Ingstad family is buying another translator in the Fargo market. Brooke Ingstad is buying the construction permit for W247CC/97.3 (Moorhead) from Horizon Christian Fellowship for $75,000. The sale includes no property. The translator has never been on the air, and the current CP calls for just 1 Watt covering a portion of Moorhead. The application to transfer the license states W247CC will carry the Ingstad family's "Willie at 1660" (KQWB West Fargo), which had previously been listed as the primary station on FCC paperwork for K233CY/94.5. K233CY ended up carrying an Adult Alternative format from an HD2 subchannel of another Ingstad station. The family's Radio F-M Media and Mediactive, LLC own five full-power FM stations in the market. (11/19/2014)

    Todd Stuart Noordyk's Great Lakes Radio has signed on a third FM translator format in the Marquette market. W291CJ/106.1 (Marquette) is now carrying Christmas music as "The Gift," originating on the HD4 signal of WKQS-FM/101.9 (Negaunee). The translator, which Great Lakes Radio is buying from the Educational Media Foundation, upgraded from 55 Watts to 250 Watts. The company also uses WKQS-HD2 to feed a Sports format to W286BC/105.1 (Marquette) and WKQS-HD3 to feed an Oldies format to W248BU/97.5 (Ishpeming-Marquette). (11/18/2014)

    Hubbard Broadcasting is buying 16 radio stations in north-central Minnesota from companies owned by Lou Buron for $8 million.

    The deal was first announced in a press release Thursday, and the sale price became available in an asset purchase agreement in the FCC database Friday. The stations currently owned by Paul Bunyan Broadcasting, BDI Broadcasting, BG Broadcasting, and BL Broadcasting employ about 100 people and are based in Alexandria, Bemidji, Brainerd, and Wadena, all within the viewing area of Hubbard ABC affiliate KSTP-TV/5 (St. Paul).

    "Hubbard Broadcasting is deeply committed to local radio and to Minnesota, and this is a great opportunity to expand the company's presence into some wonderful local communities," said Virginia (Ginny) Morris, chair and CEO of Hubbard Radio in a press release. "We have long admired Lou Buron and Mary Campbell, whose stations have been nationally recognized for both excellence in programming and commitment to local community service. We are committed to maintaining that dedication to excellence and community, and we look forward to welcoming all Omni employees to the Hubbard Broadcasting family."

    Hubbard said it expected no programming or personnel changes at the stations. Stations included in the deal are KULO/94.3 (Alexandria), KIKV/100.7 (Sauk Centre-Alexandria), KWAD/920 (Wadena), KKWS/105.9 (Wadena), KNSP/1430 (Staples), KVBR/1340 (Brainerd), KLIZ/1380 (Brainerd), KBLB/93.3 (Nisswa-Brainerd), KUAL/103.5 (Brainerd), WJJY/106.7 (Brainerd), KLIZ-FM/107.5 (Brainerd), KBUN/1450 (Bemidji), KKZY/95.5 (Bemidji), KLLZ/99.1 (Walker-Bemidji), KBHP/101.1 (Bemidji), and WQXJ/104.5 (Blackduck-Bemidji).

    Dan Seeman, Vice President and Market Manager for Hubbard Radio Minneapolis-St. Paul, will oversee all of the Minnesota radio stations.

    Hubbard's radio group owns stations in Minneapolis and six other major markets. These will be the company's only radio stations in unrated markets. (11/13/2014)

    iHeartMedia's "Oldies 95.7" (WRIT Milwaukee) made its annual transition to Christmas music at 7 a.m. Thursday (Nov. 13). The switch comes a little earlier than the past two years, but nearly two weeks after WZTI/1290 and its FM translator at 100.3 became "The Elf." Elsewhere, Saga Broadcasting's "More 104" (KMYR Ames-Des Moines) is promoting a Christmas preview weekend beginning Friday. And several University of Northwestern-St. Paul non-commercial stations are planning their seasonal switches: "Life 97.3" (KDNW Duluth) will flip on Nov. 21, the same day as Duluth's "Christmas City of the North Parade, while "Life 97.9" (KFNW-FM Fargo) will flip the day after Thanksgiving. "Life 101.9" (KNWS-FM Waterloo-Cedar Rapids) will have two all-Christmas weekends before a full flip on Dec. 13. Follow the full list of this year's flips here. (11/13/2014)

    Why have just one Christmas station when you can have two? iHeartMedia has signed on new 110-Watt translator K235CD/94.9 (Omaha) carrying "Christmas 94.9," just 12 days after launching "Christmas 102.3" on new translator K272FE/102.3 (Council Bluffs-Omaha). K235CD relays the HD2 channel of KISO/96.1 (Omaha) while K272FE relays the HD2 channel of KFFF/93.3 (Bennington-Omaha). Websites are set up at both and, both pointing to the same Facebook and Twitter accounts. KISO-HD2 had previously carried "The Brew," a format which was heard on 96.1's main channel until it flipped to "Kiss FM" two years ago. (11/12/2014)

    "Pride Radio" turned out to be short-lived on iHeartMedia's newest FM translator in the Twin Cities area. The translator at 96.7, which relays the HD3 signal of KQQL/107.9 (Anoka), began transmitting from West St. Paul in mid-October and had carried a voice-tracked version of iHeartMedia's "Pride Radio" format for its first couple of weeks on the air. Then KQQL-HD3 and the translator switched to "Kool 1-0-80s," a format that's had several other incarnations in the market. The FCC has granted the license to cover 96.7's new 71-Watt facility and is still listing its callsign as W244CS, not K244EQ as it had previously announced. iHeartMedia has applied to move the translator to the IDS Center with 170 Watts. (11/12/2014)

    Quincy Newspapers NBC affiliate KTIV/4.1 (Sioux City) is operating at reduced power due to a burnout in its transmission line. The station reports that the burnout happened early Friday morning, and that it returned to the air Sunday with about 20 percent of normal power from an antenna mounted about 700 feet up its 1,987-foot tower northeast of Sioux City. Nexstar ABC affiliate KCAU/9 (Sioux City) began temporarily carrying KTIV programming on channel 9.2, which normally carries Live Well Network, on Saturday. KTIV also carries CW+ on 4.2 and Me-TV on 4.3. (11/10/2014)

    It appears another new digital TV subchannel is coming to the Twin Cities: Justice Network has announced plans to launch in January on "virtually all" stations owned by Gannett Broadcasting. Gannett's holdings include Minneapolis NBC affiliate KARE/11, which also carries WeatherNation TV on 11.2. Many of the series on the new network's "true crime" lineup previously aired on the truTV cable channel. The Justice Network announcement comes a few weeks after CBS announced plans to launch new subchannel Decades on WCCO-TV/4 (Minneapolis) and other stations next spring. (11/10/2014)

    KCTY/1590 (Wayne) has signed on FM translator K255CK/98.9 (Wayne) carrying its Classic Hits format known as "The City." The lineup also includes several local newscasts per day as well as newscasts from ABC and the Nebraska Radio Network. KCTY owner Wayne Radio Works purchased K255CK from Spirit Catholic Radio and obtained a waiver to move it from West Point to Wayne. The company also owns Country-formatted KTCH/104.9, which had used the KCTY callsign until this past February when KTCH's format moved from AM to FM and the KCTY callsign went to AM. Wayne Radio Works is owned by veteran Nebraska broadcaster David Kelly. (11/10/2014)

    DTV America Corp. continues its buying spree with the purchase of five low-power TV stations in Nebraska and one in Minnesota. It's buying five LPTV construction permits licensed to Lincoln (K14NW-D, K15IU-D, K19JI-D, K24JK-D, and KQLD-LD/34) from Mid America DTV, LLC for $20,000. In a separate transaction, DTV America is buying the CP for K18KU-D (Duluth) from Randolph Lee Ridings for $4,000. Both deals were signed last year but not filed with the FCC until last week. DTV America is in the process of buying another 19 LPTV CP's in the Upper Midwest to go along with the 33 LPTV CP's it and DTV America II already hold in the region. (11/10/2014)

    iHeartMedia's "KG95" (KGLI/95.5 Sioux City) joined the all-Christmas list over the weekend. Meanwhile, Duluth's "Life 97.3" (KDNW) and Dubuque's "Super Hits 106" (KIYX/106.1 Sageville) are promoting pending flips. Follow the full list of this year's flips here. (11/9/2014)

    Calvary Chapel Iowa has signed on new low-power FM station KEWR-LP/97.5 (Cedar Rapids), which is carrying the syndicated HeartSong Radio format. KEWR-LP transmits with 67 Watts from northeast Cedar Rapids and is apparently being rebroadcast on the larger signal of Edgewater Broadcasting's new K286BY/105.1, which is licensed to Iowa City but transmits from southwest Cedar Rapids with 250 Watts. (11/9/2014)

    FM translator K225BZ/92.9 (Webster City) has signed on, relaying the Oldies/Classic Hits format of KQWC/1570. The station reports the 250-Watt translator signed on Oct. 31. Riverfront Broadcasting of Iowa, LLC is in the process of buying the KQWC, K225BZ, KQWC-FM/95.7, and stations in three other communities from NRG Media. (11/9/2014)

    New station KTRF-FM/94.1 (Red Lake Falls-Thief River Falls) has signed on simulcasting the News/Talk/Sports format of KTRF/1230 (Thief River Falls). KTRF-FM uses 50kW/57m (Class C2) from a tower southeast of town. The new station is the fourth for Tor Ingstad's Iowa City Broadcasting Company in the area; the others are Country-formatted KKDQ/99.3 (Thief River Falls) and Classic Rocker KKAQ/1460 (Thief River Falls). (11/9/2014)

    University of Northwestern-St. Paul's K288BF/105.5 (Grand Marais) is back on the air after brief transmitter troubles. The longtime translator, one of only a half-dozen FM signals reliably available in Grand Marais, relays the Contemporary Christian format of "Life 97.3" (KDNW Duluth). (11/9/2014)

    Salem Media has signed on translator K233CO/94.5 (Omaha), relaying the Christian format of KCRO/660. The translator uses 250 Watts from a tower in West Omaha. It signed on Wednesday, Nov. 5. (11/6/2014)

    Magnum Communications has closed on its purchase of four stations near Milwaukee. The Tomah-based company bought WRJN/1400 and WEZY/92.1 (Racine) and WBKV/1470 and WBWI/92.5 (West Bend) from Bliss Communications for $2.25 million. Bob Heymann, Director of the Chicago office of Media Services Group, Inc., was the exclusive broker for the transaction. (11/6/2014)

    KBEK/95.5 (Mora) is back on the air, testing with a mix of music. The station had gone silent at the end of March and was subsequently sold by Colleen McKinney to Genesis Technology Communication LLC, a deal which the FCC approved several weeks ago. The new owners have been building a new studio and website for the station. (11/6/2014)

    Christmas has come to the Quad Cities on iHeartMedia's "Mix 96" (KMXG Clinton). The flip happened at Midnight early Nov.5, which is several days earlier than last year. Prior to last year, "Mix 96" had run Christmas preview weekends until making the full transition later in the month. Follow the full list of this year's flips here. (11/5/2014)

    Nexstar Broadcasting is forming an ABC/CW duopoly in the Des Moines market with the purchase of KCWI-TV/23 (Ames) from Pappas Telecasting for $3.5 million. Nexstar recently purchased WOI-TV/5 (Ames). The sale will split up a current duopoly of KCWI and My/This affiliate KDMI/19 (Des Moines), maintaining the FCC minimum of eight full-power ownership groups in the market. (11/4/2014)

    Todd Stuart Noordyk's Great Lakes Radio, which recently launched two HD/translator formats in the Marquette area, is buying three translator stations from Educational Media Foundation for the token price of $1. The Noordyk family also holds, which owns two non-commercial stations in the Upper Peninsula that carry EMF's "K-Love" network. Translators included in the $1 transaction are W291CJ/106.1 (Marquette), W260AG/99.9 (Ishpeming), and W254AG/98.7 (Escanaba). On other translators, Great Lakes Radio carries "Good Time Oldies" on W248BU/97.5 (Ishpeming-Marquette) via the HD3 signal of WKQS/101.9 (Negaunee-Marquette) and "FOX Sports Marquette" on W286BC/105.1 (Marquette) via WKQS' HD2 signal. The "FOX Sports Marquette" website also lists 99.9. (11/2/2014)

    Milestone Radio's WQPM/1300 (Princeton) has added an FM simulcast on translator K277AS/103.3, which is now transmitting from the WQPM tower with 150 Watts. "The Big Q" carries a broad Oldies format. K277AS, which is owned by the Educational Media Foundation and remains licensed to Big Lake, had previously transmitted from Monticello as part of a chain of "Air 1" network translators from St. Cloud to the Twin Cities. The chain is no longer needed since "Air 1" is now being fed to metro area translators from the HD2 signal of iHeartMedia's KTCZ/97.1 (Minneapolis). (11/2/2014)

    The FCC has approved a move from South Dakota to Nebraska for a future FM station. The new station on 99.5, which does not yet have a callsign, was originally alloted to Rosebud, SD. The CP now calls for the station to be licensed to Kilgore, NE, with a transmitter just outside Valentine using 25kW/87m (class C3). The CP is held by DJ Broadcasting, which owns KSDZ/95.5 (Gordon, NE). KSDZ, which carries Country by day and Classic Hits by night, is relayed on a translator in Valentine owned by Duane Witte. (11/2/2014)

    Official paperwork has been filed with the FCC to complete the previously-reported sale of KNDX/26 (Bismarck) and KXND/24 (Minot) to Legacy Broadcasting LLC. Gray TV is exercising an option to buy the stations, former FOX affiliates, from Prime Cities Broadcasting and then spinning them off to Legacy for $75,000 because FCC rules will not allow Gray to buy the stations outright or operate them through a shared services agreement. Gray instead moved the FOX affiliation to a subchannel of its NBC affiliates in the market and kept the KNDX and KXND callsigns alive on low-power stations in the western part of the market. Legacy will be required to change the callsigns of the full-power stations. The sale price is the same as similar Gray transactions in the Fargo and Hastings-Lincoln markets; Legacy is also the buyer in the Hastings transaction. (11/2/2014)

    KLND/89.5 (Little Eagle) has been off the air for a month due to transmission line damage. The station says in a request to the FCC for special temporary authority to remain silent that its transmission line is cracked and that it had intended to return to the air by the end of the month, but replacement coaxial cable was delivered damaged. It says it expects to return to the air by the end of November. KLND is owned by Seventh Generation Media Services and serves the Standing Rock Reservation in north-central South Dakota with 100kW/207m, carrying Native American and public radio programming. (11/2/2014)

    New station WMNM-LP/105.1 (Mount Morris) is on the air carrying a mix of music including Oldies and County, along with short vignettes about the history of towns in the area. The station is asking for listener input on its permanent format. WMNM-LP is owned by the Mount Morris Waushara Preservation Group and uses 48W/43m. The coverage area is in central Wisconsin, west of Oshkosh and southeast of Stevens Point. (11/2/2014)

    Milwaukee Community Radio Alliance's WZTI/1290 (Greenfield-Milwaukee) and its FM translator, W262CJ/100.3 (Milwaukee), have dropped "Martini Radio" and are now running Christmas music as "The Elf." The switch happened at Noon on Nov. 1. A Christmas format that drops a station's regular brand often indicates a format adjustment is in the works for Dec. 26. "Martini Radio" first launched as a Nostalgia/Lounge format in March 2013 and later added more 70s and 80s light pop. (11/1/2014)

    News archive...

    Newspaper/Web Articles

    Jamestown Sun: KSJB regains full signal strength (12/13)
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    Star Tribune: Tom Barnard signs on for five more years at KQRS (12/4)
    Norfolk Daily News: Norfolk station switching sports affiliates (12/3)
    Star Tribune: Longtime Twin Cities TV exec announces retirement (11/19)
    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Riverwest Radio in Milwaukee receives coveted FCC license (11/17)
    Jamestown Sun: Longtime Fargo weatherman's goal to be useful, not perfect (11/17)
    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Rearranging on-air assignments at WTMJ-TV (11/13)
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