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Wennes Communications' "Bluff Country 103.5" (KNEI-FM Waukon, IA) has applied to move closer to La Crosse. KNEI-FM currently uses
37kW/175m (class C2) from Waukon and has applied for 50kW/150m (also C2) from a site near the Iowa-Minnesota border. The move would put La Crosse within KNEI-FM's protected theoretical 60 dbu contour, but the river valley topography could limit actual reception. The move would also weaken the station's signal to Prairie du Chien, WI. (7/22/2014)

Analog WLUC translator W07DB (Marquette) has left the air. The station's engineering department says on Twitter that the translator will return to the air next month as digital translator W14EM-D, relaying both WLUC channels of NBC (6.1) and FOX (6.2). W07DB used just 25 Watts and W14EM-D will use 15kW, the maximum power allowed to translators, greatly expanding its coverage area. The translator is necessary because topography in Marquette limits TV reception. WLUC itself broadcasts on RF channel 33, remapping to channel 6, with 63kW from a site about 25 miles southwest of town. (7/21/2014)

The Christian broadcaster that's been operating KNOF/95.3 (St. Paul) for the past five years is now buying the station. Praise Broadcasting will pay Northcentral University's Selby Gospel Broadcast Corp. $5 million for the station. Praise Broadcasting is a sister organization to Christian Heritage Broadcasting, which owns three stations in western Minnesota that simulcast "Praise FM" programming with KNOF. Four of the seven principals of the organizations live in the Twin Cities area. KNOF is a core Twin Cities signal, transmitting with 900W/258m (class A) from the top of the IDS Center. (7/21/2014)

Iowa Public Radio is making changes to the weekend schedules on its three networks on July 19. Changes include:

  • Adding The Moth Radio Hour and the TED Radio Hour to the AM News and FM News/Studio One networks, and adding Ask Me Another to the FM schedule
  • Adding an hour to Backtracks with Bob Dorr on Saturday afternoon on the FM News/Studio One network
  • Dropping Fresh Air Weekend and On The Media from both News networks
  • Cutting an hour of Whad'Ya Know? and Weekend Edition Sunday from both News networks
  • Dropping Hearts of Space, Millennium of Music, and Pipedreams from the Classical network
    A complete rundown of the changes is available on IPR's website. (7/16/2014)

    The FCC has approved what appears to be the last stop on an FM translator hop to the Fargo market. North Dakota Free Airways, owned by James Ingstad, now has a construction permit to operate K233CY/94.5 with 250 Watts from a transmitter site in Moorhead. The translator was originally slated for Wahpeton and remains licensed there. The application stated the translator would relay non-commercial KDSU/91.9 (Fargo), but such statements are non-binding and the input station can be changed without FCC consent. Ingstad owns one AM and four FM stations in the market doing business as Radio F-M Media. (7/15/2014)

    An $11,000 fine against Latin Broadcasting Company for alleged lighting violations at the Dallas County tower site of KDLS-FM/105.5 (Perry-Des Moines) is now final. The FCC alleged that the tower's top beacon and top set of side lamps were not working when a sheriff's deputy observed the tower on July 13, 2012, and when an FCC agent visited on July 19, 2012, and that it received conflicting reports from the tower owner when it inquired about the outage. LBC was also accused of failing to update antenna structure ownership information after a company name change. The FCC had originally proposed a $14,000 fine but reduced it to $11,000 due to LBC's history of compliance. (7/15/2014)

    The construction permit for new station WXVM/102.3 (Laona) has been deleted from the FCC database at the request of the permittee, Christian broadcaster WRVM, Inc. The CP for a new 7kW/100m (class C3) station was due to expire on Aug. 29 and WRVM had applied for a downgrade to 1kW/100m (class A) in May. WRVM asked the FCC to cancel the CP last month, saying "circumstances are not favorable" for the downgrade to be approved. (7/15/2014)

    The FCC has granted a modification to a future FM station with potential rimshot coverage of Omaha. Kona Coast Radio, headed by Victor Michael, had originally constructed KIMI/107.7 (Sidney) to use 50kW/124m (class C2) from a tower south of Glenwood, Iowa, but had to stop program tests after interference complaints from Offutt Air Force Base. Now, the FCC has granted a downgrade for KIMI to 13kW/124m (class C3) from the same site and a change in community of license to Malvern, Iowa. The 13kW signal will still reach some, but not all, listeners in Omaha. KIMI was originally constructed at Humboldt, NE, and remains licensed there, though filings indicate it was only on the air in Humboldt for a few days and cannot return to the air there because the original facility has already been dismantled. (7/14/2014)

    Getting FCC approval for a new commercial FM station normally takes years, but the Keweanaw Bay Indian Community is hoping new tribal priorities will speed up the process of adding a third commercial FM station to its group in the western Upper Peninsula.

    The usual process is for the FCC to take months or years to decide whether to add a new allotment and then wait several more years before putting the allotment up for bids. Instead, the tribe is simultaneously proposing that 106.5 be alloted to Baraga as a class C1 station and filing an application for the new station.

    The new station would use 100kW/176m from the existing site of Rock-formatted WGLI/98.7 (Hancock), which is owned by the tribe along with Country-formatted WCUP/105.7 (L'Anse). The petition to add the new allotment states the new station would carry news for tribal members on the L'Anse Reservation and two hours of indigenous music on Saturday evening.

    The proposed new allotment is short-spaced to a vacant allotment for the same frequency in Thunder Bay, Ontario, but the tribe argues the short-spacing is acceptable because none of the theoretical interference would be on Canadian soil (it would be in part of Cook County, Minnesota, and a wide swath of Lake Superior). (7/11/2014)

    It turns out KFXL-TV/51 (Lincoln) won't be getting much of a power boost when it moves to a new channel. The FOX affiliate already had approval to move to channel 15, though it will likely continue to remap to channel 51.1 after the move since there's an existing channel 15.1 (KXVO Omaha) serving the region. KFXL currently uses 14kW and the initial construction permit for channel 15 called for 1,000kW, which would have rimshotted Omaha, but now the FCC has approved a modification to just 21.5kW. KFXL is owned by Lincoln Broadcasting, LLC and operated by Pappas Telecasting, which simulcasts KFXL programming on subchannels of two of its own stations in central and western Nebraska. (7/11/2014)

    The Quad City Times reports that Townsquare Media's KBOB-FM/104.9 (De Witt) will flip from "Rock 104.9" to "The Hawk" on Wednesday (7/9). The move comes a week after Townsquare parked the KBOB callsign on the former KJOC/1170 (Davenport), and RadioInsight reported over the weekend that Townsquare had already launched a Facebook page for the new format. "The Hawk" will compete directly with Clear Channel's WLLR/103.7 (Davenport), the market's heritage Country station, and the Times reports "The Hawk" will target younger females. The change means the end to the longtime "Dave and Darren" morning show. 104.9 had carried Country formats as "Bob," "Great Country 105," and "The River" before flipping to Rock in 2007. Both 1170 and Townsquare's KQCS/93.5 (Bettendorf) recently began carrying ESPN Radio, and the Times reported that 1170 would change to a new format this fall. (7/8/2014)

    Class A low-power station WMKE-CA/7 (Milwaukee) has gone off the air citing financial reasons. The station is owned by KM LPTV of Milwaukee. It operates in analog on channel 7 with 3kW and has a construction permit to operate digitally on channel 21 with 15kW, the maximum allowed for LPTV stations. (7/7/2014)

    The sale price for Bliss Communications' four radio stations in Racine and West Bend is $2.25 million, according to new paperwork filed with the FCC. Bliss announced last week that Magnum Broadcasting is buying WRJN/1400 and WEZY/92.1 (Racine) and WBKV/1470 and WBWI/92.5 (West Bend). (7/3/2014)

    Austin Hill is joining the University of Northwestern-St. Paul's Faith Radio network as morning host starting Monday, July 7 from 6 to 8 a.m. Hill has been heard nationwide on Fox Newstalk Radio and hosts a syndicated talk show about entrepreneurship and small business ownership. He replaces Ted and PK on Faith Radio Mornings. Faith Radio is heard on KTIS/900 (Minneapolis), WNWC/1190 (Sun Prairie-Madison), KNWS/1090 (Waterloo), KNWC/1270 (Sioux Falls), KFNW/1200 (West Fargo), and KDNI/90.5 (Duluth). (7/2/2014)

    K239BE/95.7 (Sidney) will relay KSID/1340 (Sidney), once KSID Radio, Inc. closes on its purchase of the translator from "My Bridge Radio." KSID is paying the Christian broadcaster $10,000 for the station. K239BE is currently silent and is licensed for 170 Watts from a site west of Sidney. (7/1/2014)

    The Stoughton Courier Hub reports that the Town of Rutland has again rejected a new tower that would allow WBKY/95.9 to deliver a rimshot signal to Madison. The Magnum Communications station has long had a construction permit to change its community of license from Portage to Stoughton, using 2.65kW/153m (class A), but the Town of Rutland denied construction of a new tower in 2011. Magnum reapplied after a state law change. The newspaper reports the town's latest denial is still subject to review by a Dane County committee. (6/28/2014)

    Hubbard Broadcasting ABC affiliate KAAL/6.1 (Austin-Rochester) has announced plans to build a new state-of-the-art studio facility with about 45 employees in Rochester. The new 9500-square-foot facility at TJ Maxx Plaza, 1300 16th St SW, will house the station's news department. The station currently has a smaller news bureau in Rochester with its main studio and newsroom in Austin; the Austin facility will stay in operation. KAAL hopes to move into the new facility in early 2015 and will also add a new weekday newscast at an undisclosed time. The Rochester-Austin-Mason City market is a classic "hyphenated" market where 1950's regulators cobbled together three small-town stations to form one set of network affiliates, but Rochester has grown to be much larger than other parts of the market. Many Twin Cities stations are also available on cable in Rochester, further adding to the competition. (6/27/2014)

    Kansas-based My Town Media is buying KMYQ/97.1 (North English) from Justin McLuckie for $50,000. KMYQ signed on in 2012 but filed for special temporary authority to remain silent the same day the final license was granted, and has received several more STA's since then. The station is licensed for 3.9kW/40m (class A) and covers a rural area southwest of Iowa City. My Town Media also owns nine radio stations in Kansas and Missouri and is buying a Missouri station from McLuckie in a separate transaction. (6/26/2014)

    Bliss Communications announced Wednesday that it's selling its AM-FM combos in Racine and West Bend to Magnum Broadcasting for an undisclosed price.

    The deal includes WRJN/1400 and WEZY/92.1 (Racine) and WBKV/1470 and WBWI/92.5 (West Bend), all of which deliver rimshot signals to Milwaukee. WRJN signed on in 1926, making it one of the nation's oldest stations, and has been owned by Bliss along with WEZY for 17 years; Bliss has owned the West Bend stations for 43 years.

    "We have enjoyed our relationship with the communities and all of our terrific employees," Bliss President Sidney H. "Skip" Bliss said in a press release. "However, this sale represented an opportunity for me to pass the ownership of these great radio stations on to another Wisconsin broadcasting family."

    Magnum, based in Tomah and headed by Dave Magnum, owns 12 other radio stations and three low-power/class A TV stations in Wisconsin. Bliss retains ownership of WCLO/1230 and WJVL/99.9 (Janesville), the Janesville Gazette, the Monroe Times, the Marinette EagleHerald, and several weekly and shopper newspapers. (6/25/2014)

    FOX Television Stations announced Wednesday that it's adding news at many of its stations, including FOX 9 (KMSP Minneapolis). KMSP will begin carrying a weeknight 6:00 newscast on Sept. 6, following the existing hour of news at 5:00. The station had carried 6:00 newscast specials during some previous election years. KMSP will also expand its Sunday 10 p.m. newscast to an hour and also add an hour Sundays at 10 a.m. beginning July 13. (6/25/2014)

    The two FCC commissioners who opposed the commission's moves to limit TV joint sales and shared services agreements are blaming the crackdown for causing three stations in Nebraska and North Dakota to go off the air.

    As previously reported, KHAS-TV/5 (Hastings), KNDX/26 (Bismarck), and KXND/24 (Minot) went silent June 13 after Gray TV hired their staff, purchased their programming and non-license assets, and moved the programming to stations Gray already owned. Gray made that move after deals fell through to sell the stations to Excalibur Broadcasting, which would've had Gray run them through shared services agreements.

    In a statement released Tuesday, Commissioners Ajit Pai and Michael O'Rielly say the move will actually result in Gray getting a higher share of the advertising revenue in the markets than it would've had under the SSA's. They asked, "Are these the victories for competition that critics of sharing agreements were hoping to see? Or has the real goal all along just been to drive television stations off the air?"

    Gray is working with the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council to find buyers for the three stations as well as KXJB/4 (Valley City-Fargo), which Gray has said will go silent after CBS programming is moved to a subchannel of Gray's KVLY-TV/11 (Fargo). (6/24/2014)

    Nine years after signing on with an Adult Contemporary format, Programmers Broadcasting's KWGO/102.9 (Burlington-Minot) has switched to Country. The new format directly takes on Clear Channel's longtime "97 Kicks FM" (KYYX/97.1 Minot); "WGO" says on its Facebook page that its format will have more local content and local announcers. Programmers also owns Classic Rock-formatted 94.9 "The Zoo" (KTZU Velva-Minot) and Country-formatted "Sunny 101.9" (KBTO Bottineau), the latter of which does not target Minot. (6/24/2014)

    Roger Utnehmer's WRKU/102.1 (Forestville-Sturgeon Bay) and WSBW/105.1 (Sister Bay) have launched Adult Contemporary formats as "More FM." The stations carry John Tesh in the evening and run the same playlist with separate imaging and commercials. WRKU had previously carried Classic Hits, while WSBW had run a Soft Oldies/Smooth Jazz format similar to Utnehmer's WBDK/96.7 (Algoma). WSBW has a construction permit to change its community of license to Ephraim but was still ID'ing as Sister Bay on Monday night. (6/24/2014)

    GetTV, a classic movie subchannel owned by Sony Pictures Television Networks, announced Monday that it's coming to Minneapolis and four other Upper Midwest markets as part of a 33-station deal with Sinclair Broadcast Group. New affiliates will include WUCW (Minneapolis), WVTV (Milwaukee), WMSN (Madison), KGAN (Cedar Rapids), and KDSM (Des Moines). Some of the stations also carry ZUUS Country on subchannels and have had extra room waiting since dropping The Cool TV a few years back. (6/23/2014)

    CKED-FM/103.5 (Shuniah-Thunder Bay) and CFQK-FM/104.5 (Kaministiquia-Oliver Paipoonge) have dropped Country for Hot Adult Contemporary as "Energy 103 & 104." Dougall Media operates the pair of small stations, which broadcast with 10 Watts and 50 Watts, respectively. The switch happened June 13 and comes three months after Acadia Broadcasting launched "Country 105" on 100kW CKTG-FM. Dougall also operates longtime Adult Contemporary station CKPR-FM/91.5 and "Rock 94" (CJSD-FM), while Acadia's "Magic 99.9" rounds out the market's five stations with a Contemporary Hits format. (6/23/2014)

    Following regulatory approval of its plans to drop the CBC, Dougall Media's CKPR-DT/2 (Thunder Bay) has announced plans to switch the station's affilation to CTV. The change will take place on Sept. 1. Dougall had carried CTV on CHFD/4 until dropping it for Global in 2010. The two are the only commercial TV stations in the city. (6/23/2014)

    Steinbach's "Country 107.7" (CJXR-FM) officially launched Thursday (6/19), according to the station's website. The new station uses 30kW/117m (class B) and is owned by Golden West Broadcasting, which also owns CHSM/1250 and "Mix 96.7" (CILT-FM) in Steinbach. The city of about 13,500 is "under the umbrella" of the major Winnipeg stations. (6/22/2014)

    Two Upper Peninsula stations have joined the "K-Love" network: DX-midAMerica reports that WCRR/88.9 (Manistique-Escanaba) and WSHN/89.3 (Munising-Marquette) have switched to "K-Love." had originally operated the stations with a Contemporary Christian format as "Ready FM." (6/22/2014)

    The FCC has proposed a $10,000 fine against Duhamel Broadcasting Enterprises for alleged lighting violations at the KOTA/1380 (Rapid City) tower site. Duhamel said it had intentionally turned the lights off 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 offially denied KOTA's request in 2005 and again after the FCC issued a Notice of Violation in 2013. Duhamel has 30 days to either pay the fine or request a reduction or cancellation. (6/22/2014)

    Powell Broadcasting is buying an FM translator to use for News/Talker KSCJ/1360. Powell will pay VSS Catholic Commucations $62,400 for K235CA/94.9, which is not yet on the air. The construction permit for K235CA calls for 250 Watts from a tower on the northwest side of town. (6/20/2014)

    FOX 9 (KMSP) and My 29 (WFTC) will consolidate their channels under then channel 9 banner next week, matching a strategy used by two other station groups in town. FOX will air on 9.1 and 9.9, My 29 will air on 9.2, Movies! will air on 9.3, and Bounce will air on 9.4. The change will take place Tuesday (6/24) at 10 a.m. It's not immediately clear which channels will come from which RF frequencies. Currently, 9.1 (FOX) and 29.2 (WFTC SD simulcast) originate on RF channel 9 while 9.2 (KMSP-SD), 29.1 (My), 29.3 (Bounce), and 29.4 (Movies!) originate on RF channel 29. Digital VHF signals have proven to be more difficult to receive with indoor antennas. KTCA/KTCI (channel 2) and KSTP-TV/KSTC-TV (channel 5) already use a similar setup of two stations both remapping to the same primary channel, though all four of those stations broadcast on UHF frequencies. (6/19/2014)

    Caballero Acquisition is buying WIWN-TV/68.1 (Fond du Lac-Milwaukee) from Pappas Telecasting for $1.8 million. WIWN, which is licensed to Fond du Lac but transmits from Milwaukee on RF channel 5, carries WeatherNation TV. Caballero Acquisition is owned by Randy Nonberg and Terence Crosby of Pacific Palisades, CA and is the licensee of a half-dozen class A (low-power) stations in California and Texas. (6/19/2014)

    Canadian regulators have approved a Thunder Bay TV station's plan to drop the CBC, but urged the station and the CBC to consider alternate ways of keeping the public broadcaster on the air in the city. Dougall Media's CKPR-DT/2 plans to drop the CBC and go independent as soon as Aug. 31; CKPR is operated alongside the city's only other commercial TV station, CHFD/4, which switched from CTV to Global several years ago. CKPR will continue to carry at least 14 hours per week of local programming per week. Though the CRTC received some interventions expressing concern about the loss of CBC programming, it approved the disaffiliation, saying private broadcasters can't be required to carry the CBC. In approving the application, the CRTC encouraged both sides to consider continued carriage of the CBC on a digital subchannel. CBC Radio reported in May that CBC-TV doesn't plan to establish a new station in Thunder Bay since only about two percent of the market uses over-the-air signal. (6/18/2014)

    Minnesota Public Radio's K231AT/94.1 (Pine City) has switched from Classical MPR to "The Current." The translator was no longer needed for the Classical service after WGRH/88.5 (Hinckley) began carrying the network. W226AY/93.1 (Hinckley) continues to carry Classical MPR; "The Current" is already heard on W248AS/97.5 (Hinckley) while MPR News is heard on WINH/91.9 (Hinckley). (6/18/2014)

    Results Broadcasting is buying W254AX/98.7 (Merrill) from WRVM, Inc., which has simultaneously applied to move the translator to Antigo to relay Results' WATK/900. Results is paying $22,500 for the translator. WRVM signed on the translator in 2011 around the same time it signed on WHJL/88.1 (Merrill). The translator is currently licensed for 99 Watts from Merrill and would use 250 Watts from the WATK tower if the move to Antigo is approved. WATK currently carries a Soft Oldies format. (6/18/2014)

    Riverfront Broadcasting has signed on new station KCCR-FM/104.5 (Blunt-Pierre), bringing a mainstream Rock format to the capital city. KCCR is the longtime callsign of the new station's sister at AM 1240, but on FM the callsign means "Capital City Rocker." KCCR-FM uses 100kW/158m from a tower shared with sister station "Country 95.3" (KLXS-FM) and officially signed on last Friday (6/13), according to its Facebook page. It's the fifth commercial FM station in the market, and its closest competition is the Classic Hits format on Ingstad Family Media's "100.1 The Eagle" (KJBI Fort Pierre). (6/16/2014)

    Townsquare Media says it'll bring ESPN Radio to FM in the Quad Cities on KQCS/93.5 (Bettendorf) starting Monday, displacing the longtime "Star 93.5" Hot Adult Contemporary format. Though ESPN just debuted on Townsquare's KJOC/1170 (Davenport) just last month, the Quad City Times reports KJOC will switch to a different format this fall. 93.5 will be the only one of the eight commercial FM stations in the market with a non-music format. (6/13/2014)

    After several weeks carrying a variety of music, Clear Channel debuted Alternative "Alt 93-3" on KQQL-HD2 and translator W227BF/93.3 (Shoreview-Minneapolis) Friday.

    The format competes with Minnesota Public Radio's "The Current" (KCMP/89.3 Northfield), Cumulus Media Hard Rocker "93X" (KXXR/93.7), and the University of Minnesota's "Radio K" (KUOM), but also comes close musically to sister Modern Adult Contemporary station "Cities 97" (KTCZ/97.1).

    W227BF transmits from the IDS Center with 99 Watts. It's owned by the Educational Media Foundation, which had originally signed on W227BF about a decade ago carrying its "K-Love" network from a tower in Arden Hills.

    "Alt 93-3" is Clear Channel's seventh FM signal in the Twin Cities and its debut marks the company's first attempt at a format on a translator in the market. Clear Channel also owns translator K278BP/103.5, which has simulcast AM 1130 from the IDS Center since 2010. (6/13/2014)

    The CBS-TV affiliation in Fargo will move to a subchannel, Gray TV announced Friday, matching moves made in two other markets.

    The announcement came as Gray closed on its purchase of NBC affiliate KVLY-TV/11.1 (Fargo), along with several other stations in the Dakotas and Nebraska, from Hoak Media. Gray said it would assume Hoak's agreement to operate Parker Broadcasting CBS affiliate KXJB/4.1 (Valley City-Fargo), but that the CBS affiliation would move to a KVLY subchannel within the next few months, pending network approval.

    KXJB will then go silent and Gray will work with the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council to find a minority-owned, female-owned, or non-profit organization to buy KXJB. The same applies to KHAS-TV/5.1 (Hastings), KNDX/26 (Bismarck), and KXND/24 (Minot), which all went silent Friday after their programming was moved to Gray stations (see earlier story below).

    Gray also confirmed that it bought almost all of the non-license assets of KHAS-TV from Hoak and hired KHAS-TV's employees; a similar announcement about buying the assets of KNDX/KXND had already been made.

    Gray had originally planned to operate the stations under shared services agreements with Excalibur Broadcasting, which was buying the stations, but the company said Friday the deals have been abandoned amid increased FCC scrutiny of joint sales and shared services agreements. (6/13/2014)

    With increased FCC scrutiny of deals that allow one TV station to run another, Gray TV is trying a different method to add major network affiliations in central Nebraska and western North Dakota: It's moving the affiliations to stations it already owns.

    In Nebraska, Hoak Media NBC affiliate KHAS-TV/5 (Hastings) announced Wednesday that beginning Friday, NBC and KHAS-TV newscasts will move to Gray's KSNB/4.1 (Superior). The programming will be simulcast on Gray's KOLN/10.2 (Lincoln) and KGIN/11.2 (Grand Island). KOLN/10.1 and KGIN/11.1 carry CBS.

    KSNB, KOLN-DT2, and KGIN-DT2 currently carry Me-TV and My Network TV, which will continue on KSNB-DT2/4.2 only. KHAS-TV's announcement said it expected cable and satellite providers would continue carrying NBC and the Me-TV/MNT affiliations on their current channel numbers.

    Meanwhile, in North Dakota, current FOX affiliates KNDX/26 (Bismarck) and KXND/24 (Minot) have announced that beginning Friday, the FOX lineup will move to KFYR/5.2 (Bismarck), KMOT/10.2 (Minot), KQCD/7.2 (Dickinson), and KUMV/8.2 (Williston). FOX will continue to be seen on KNDX-LD/38 (Dickinson) and KXND-LP/38 (Williston), which Gray bought from Prime Cities Broadcasting for $500,000.

    Gray is in the process of buying KFYR-TV, KMOT, KQCD, and KUMV from Hoak Media in a deal that already has FCC approval. The stations carry NBC on their .1 channels. KFYR-TV's website says Me-TV, which currently airs on the .2 channels, will move to .3 on Friday.

    The announcements did not say what would happen to KHAS-TV, KNDX, or KXND. KHAS-TV did say on its Facebook page that Cozi TV, currently seen on 5.2, would no longer be available, suggesting that channel 5 may go silent. (An earlier version of the announcement had said KHAS-TV would go silent.) KHAS-TV has been on the air since 1956 and the FCC just granted license renewal on Tuesday.

    Late last year, Gray TV had announced plans to operate KHAS-TV, KNDX, and KXND through shared services agreements after Excalibur Broadcasting purchased the stations from Hoak (KHAS-TV) and Prime Cities Broadcasting (KXND/KNDX). Several months later, the FCC announced it would give extra scrutiny to such deals. Prime Cities withdrew its application to transfer the KNDX/KXND licenses, while the application to transfer KHAS-TV from Hoak to Excalibur remains pending.

    Federal ownership rules do not allow a top-four TV station to directly buy another top-four station in the same market. Shared services agreements that allow one station to run another have become commonplace in small markets over the past decade, but the FCC has been cracking down on the practice both through increased scrutiny of sales and an order that companies end deals that allow one station to sell more than 15 percent of advertising on another. The moves have prompted a legal challenge from the National Association of Broadcasters.

    Gray is also in the process of buying Hoak NBC affiliate KVLY-TV/11.1 (Fargo), which already operates Parker Broadcasting CBS affiliate KXJB/4.1 (Valley City-Fargo). Gray has said it would operate KXJB after a sale to Excalibur is completed. The KVLY sale has received FCC approval but the KXJB sale has not; no announcements about Fargo-market programming had been made as of Wednesday night.

    The Nebraska move will mark the first time that an in-market NBC affiliate has been available over-the-air in Lincoln, where Omaha stations (first KMTV/3 and then WOWT/6) have served as the capital city's de facto NBC affiliates since the 1950's. WOWT is also owned by Gray. (6/11/2014)

    Digity Companies is buying an FM translator to use for KFOR/1240 (Lincoln). Digity is buying the construction permit for K277CA/103.3 from Calvary Chapel of Omaha for $250,000. The current CP for K277CA calls for 62 Watts from a site southeast of Lincoln but the translator has applied to use 250 Watts from the KFOR tower in Lincoln. (6/11/2014)

    Mid Nebraska Broadcasting's KBRY/92.3 (Sargent-Broken Bow) has signed on as "K-Bear Country 92.3". The station's Facebook page says Gov. Dave Heineman flipped a switch to turn the station on June 5. KBRY is essentially a new station for the region, though it did previously exist as an 110-Watt Christian station on 92.1 before its sale to Mid Nebraska Broadcasting. It now uses 100kW/254m (class C1) with a strong signal to Broken Bow and Ord. Mid Nebraska Broadcasting, LLC is headed by Mark G. Jensen, who also owns the two stations in Ord through MWB Broadcasting II, LLC. In Broken Bow, KBRY competes with Custer County Broadcasting's KCNI/1280 and KBBN/95.3 (Broken Bow). (6/9/2014)

    New translator K257FK/99.3 (Columbus) has signed on carrying VSS Catholic Communications' "Spirit Catholic Radio" network. K257FK uses 250 Watts. (6/9/2014)

    Canadian regulators have approved the sale, upgrade, and conversion to commercial status of CJOA-FM/95.1 (Thunder Bay), setting aside interventions from the city's two commercial broadcasters. United Christian Broadcasters Canada, a non-profit broadcaster which owns three stations in southern Ontario, is taking over operations of CJOA from Thunder Bay Christian Broadcasters. UCB Canada has pledged to add staff to produce local programming, but the station's musical format will still be limited to non-Classical religious selections. It will also upgrade from 50 Watts (low-power) to 250 Watts (class A1). Dougall Media and Acadia Broadcasting submitted interventions opposing the change, expressing concern about the impact on existing commercial stations and the manner by which CJOA is getting a class A1 license. (The latter is a familiar conflict in the city, where Dougall and CJUK-FM/99.9, now owned by Acadia, had a protracted battle over CJUK's upgrade from low-power to a protected class in the 2000's.) The CRTC found that CJOA's conversion to commercial would have little impact on the market since UCB said it expected most of its advertisers to be churches and other groups that don't currently advertise on the radio. (6/9/2014)

    As of Sunday afternoon, there was still no sign of permanence at Clear Channel's new Twin Cities HD2/translator combo of KQQL-HD2 and translator W227BF/93.3. However, the HD2 signal is now being identified as "Alt 93.3" on HD radio screens - a slogan used by Clear Channel stations in other markets that carry Alternative formats. The translator is owned by the Educational Media Foundation and had previously carried EMF's "K-Love" format. It switched to relaying KQQL-HD2 a few weeks ago with a nameless mix of classic R&B hits and has cycled through Country, Classic Rock, Contemporary Hits, and Adult Gold since then. W227BF transmits from the IDS Center after a move from Arden Hills last year. (6/8/2014)

    Nexstar Broadcasting is changing the partner it plans to work with in the Quad Cities, but would sell ads on three full-power stations if two proposed deals receive FCC approval.

    The company announced Friday that FOX 18 (KLJB Davenport) will be sold to minority-owned Marshall Broadcasting, along with FOX affiliates in Louisiana and Texas, for $58.5 million. Nexstar, which is still awaiting FCC approval to buy KLJB and CW affiliate KGCW/26 (Burlington) from Grant Media, will provide sales and other non-programming services to KLJB and Marshall will get 70 percent of the revenue.

    Nexstar closed on its purchase of CBS affiliate WHBF/4 (Rock Island) from Citadel Communications in March. The company had originally said that after the KLJB/KGCW deal closes, it would sell KLJB to Mission Broadcasting but continue to operate it under a local service agreement; such agreements came under increased FCC scrutiny earlier this year, leading to the new deal.

    Nexstar said Marshall would add 13.5 hours per week of local news and public affairs programming on KLJB, which currently airs a newscast produced by the market's NBC affiliate.

    Marshall Broadcasting is headed by Pluria Marshall, who owns a radio station in suburban Chicago and newspapers serving the African-American community in California and Texas. (6/6/2014)

    WSJP/1640 (Sussex-Milwaukee), formerly WKSH, has returned to the air carrying Relevant Radio, a Catholic network. Relative Radio parent Starboard Media bought the former Radio Disney station from Disney for $725,000. Starboard also owns Relevant Radio affiliate WSJP-FM/100.1 (Port Washington), which rimshots Milwaukee and simulcasts with 1640. The station announced that the addition of the AM signal brings another 2.6 million people into its listening area. WKSH had been silent since last fall except for a few brief broadcasts required to keep the license alive. (6/5/2014)

    KWPC/860 (Muscatine) is poised to get an FM translator: Kaskasia Broadcasting's K233BI/94.5 has applied to move to 95.1 with 250 Watts. The application specifies KWPC as the station to be rebroadcast. (6/5/2014)

    New station WGBT/91.3 (Tomahawk) has signed on carrying Christian programming from Radio 74 Internationale. WGBT is owned by Tomahawk Light Broadcasting and uses 22kW/25m (class C3) from a tower northwest of Tomahawk, delivering a rimshot signal to the city itself. (6/5/2014)

    "B103" (KBIE Auburn-Nebraska City) has upgraded from 14kW (class C3) to 50kW (C2), improving the station's signal to Nebraska City and Shenandoah, IA. KBIE carries a Country format and is owned by Flood Broadcasting. (6/4/2014)

    The Educational Media Foundation is buying KFAA/89.5 (Horace-Fargo), which already carries EMF's "Air-1" network. EMF will pay Selah Corporation $3,200, which the asset purchase agreement says is intended to cover the costs of the transaction. (6/4/2014)

    Ingstad Family Media's KQDJ/1400 (Jamestown) and FM translator K246AM/97.1 (Jamestown) have dropped the regional "Dakota Country" network in favor of ESPN Radio. The change, first reported by RadioInsight, comes just under two years after KQDJ dropped Classic Hits for Country. The station had carried FOX Sports prior to adopting the Classic Hits format in 2010. "Dakota Country" continues on KOVC/1490 (Valley City), KDAK/1600 (Carrington), and KDDR/1220 (Oakes). (6/2/2014)

    An isolated northwestern Ontario town is slated to get its first FM signal after action by Canadian regulators. The CRTC has approved a plan to convert the Ignace rebroadcaster of CKDR-FM/92.7 (Dryden) from AM 1340 to FM 97.5. The rebroadcaster uses 40 Watts on AM and will use 50 Watts on FM; it is officially be regarded as a rebroadcaster of CKDR-2-FM (Sioux Lookout). The only other local radio signal in the township of about 1,200 people along the Trans Canada Highway is CBC Radio One's CBES/690. (6/2/2014)

    So much for Iowa City: Home Broadcasting's KCII-FM/106.1 (Washington) has modified its upgrade application to remove Iowa City from the proposed main coverage area. The station currently uses 3kW/91m (class A) and earlier this year applied to upgrade to 48kW/140m (class C2) from a tower midway between Washington and Iowa City. Now, it's modified the application to remain at its current Washington site with 22kW/88m (class C3). KCII-FM simulcasts an information-heavy Adult Gold/Oldies format with KCII/1380. (6/2/2014) (6/5 update: The FCC has already approved the application.)

    Clear Channel's KXMR/710 (Bismarck) has reverted to "The Fan," dropping ESPN and bringing back FOX Sports Radio and "Fan" programming from KFXN-FM/100.3 (Minneapolis). The flip came at midnight June 1. The new lineup includes "Fan" Minneapolis programming from 6 a.m to Noon and 3 to 7 p.m., but FOX's Jay Mohr will air from Noon to 3 instead of Dan "The Common Man" Cole. After the daytime "Fan" lineup, KXMR carries TMZ Sports at 7 p.m. and FOX Sports Radio overnights and weekends. KXMR had dropped "The Fan" for ESPN in 2007 when Clear Channel put its Bismarck group (among others) up for sale, but the company ultimately kept the cluster. (6/1/2014)

    Corus Radio is debuting two new morning shows in Winnipeg on Monday. Following CJOB/680's recent parting of ways with market veteran Hal Anderson, CJOB will debut "Winnipeg's Morning News" hosted by Richard Cloutier and Kathy Kennedy with Kelly Moore on sports and Jeff Braun anchoring newscasts. Meanwhile, Sarah Christie will join existing morning host Matt Sutton on 99.1 "Fresh FM" (CJGV-FM). (6/1/2014)

    There's one less Rock station and one more Country station in McCook after Legacy Communications flipped KZMC/102.1 from Hard Rock to Classic Country. The switchover came at 3 p.m. Friday, according to a press release posted on the station's website. The change was followed by the expected outrage of former Rock listeners on KZMC's Facebook page. The new lineup includes the syndicated Big D and Bubba morning show and AgriTalk at 10 a.m. Legacy also owns "Coyote Country 105.3" (KIOD) and Contemporary Hits-formatted "93.9 The Zone" (KSWN). KZNC's flip leaves Armada Media Classic Rocker "103.9 The Hawk" (KQHK) as the only station in the Rock genre in the region; Armada also operates Country-formatted KFNF/101.1 (Oberlin-McCook) and two other stations in the market. (5/31/2014)

    King Forward, Inc. is buying three low-power TV stations in Cedar Rapids and Des Moines from Tiger Eye Broadcasting for a total of $155,000. The asset purchase agreement values KRPG-LP/43 (Des Moines) at $75,000 and the Cedar Rapids stations, KRUB-LD/24 and KCDR-LD/45, at $40,000 apiece. It's not clear whether any of the stations are currently on the air. King Forward is also in the process of buying LPTV stations in Minneapolis, St. Louis, and Lincoln, NE. (5/29/2014)

    DX'er Shawn Axelrod reports new station CJXR-FM/107.7 (Steinbach) is on the air testing with Country music. CJXR will use 30kW/117m (class B) and will be Golden West Broadcasting's third station in Steinbach. (5/29/2014)

    Winnipeg radio listeners were apparently unimpressed by a format tweak and name change at what's now "Jewel 101" (CFJL-FM/100.7). The Light Adult Contemporary station, owned by Evanov Communications, launched its new identity after Christmas. BBM Spring (March 3 to April 27, 2014) 12+ ratings released Thursday show CFJL still ranks last among commercial stations with a 1.2 share, down 0.6 points from Fall 2013. Earlier this year, CFJL applied to move to 100.5, saying that after a half-dozen formats on 100.7 "the frequency itself has become stigmatized as 'a station no one listens to.'"

    At the other end of the rankings, Corus Entertainment's CJOB/680 and CBC Radio One (CBW/990 and 89.3) are nearly tied with 12.0 and 11.7 shares, respectively. Jim Pattinson Group's Country-formatted QX104 (CFQX-FM Selkirk) is the top-ranked music station in the market with a 9.1 share. The full listings can be found on page 20 of this document. (5/29/2014)

    FM translator W250BN/97.9 (Milwaukee) is on the air relaying WJTI/1460 (West Allis-Milwaukee), which rebranded as "97.9 La Caliente" following the launch of translator. "La Caliente" carries a mix of Regional Mexican, Latin Pop/Rock, and Tropical music with the syndicated "El Show del Mandril" in the morning. The stations are owned by El Sol Broadcasting, which bought W250BN from Radio Power, Inc. for $125,000. W250BN broadcasts with 250 Watts from downtown Milwaukee. (5/27/2014)

    Clear Channel has launched a seventh analog FM format in the Twin Cities: W227BF/93.3 is carrying R&B hits from the 1970's to 2000's, originating on the HD2 signal of Clear Channel's KQQL/107.9 (Anoka). The new format, which apparently does not have a name or web presence, includes Minneapolis artists such as The Time and Prince. However, RadioInsight reports Clear Channel reserved the domain name last week; the site was live Monday with a page description of "KQQL-HD is City's Best Music featuring ROCK ALTERNATIVE radio live from MINNEAPOLIS-MN." ("The Edge" was the name of a short-lived but well-remembered Modern Rock format on 93.7 in the mid-1990's.) The domain name began redirecting to the iHeartRadio main page on Tuesday.

    W227BF is actually owned by the Educational Media Foundation and transmits from the IDS Center; it had been carrying EMF's "K-Love" format via the HD3 signal of Clear Channel's KFXN-FM/100.3 (Minneapolis) for the past year. Clear Channel has also operated translator K278BP/103.5, which it bought from EMF, from the IDS Center since 2010 simulcasting the formats of AM 1130 via KFXN-FM-HD2. EMF has several other translators in the metro area, many of which have applications or construction permits to build new facilities with Clear Channel stations specified as the stations to be rebroadcast. See the Twin Cities Class D FM's page for a complete list. (5/26/2014, updated 5/27)

    Riverfront Broadcasting, LLC is buying one of Dakota Communications' four stations in the Huron area. Riverfront will pay $300,000 for KZKK/105.1 (Huron), which the application states will apply to move to 92.1 but essentually retain its current coverage area. Several years back, Dakota sold off its other Huron-licensed FM station, which became KXLG/99.1 (Milbank-Watertown), and moved 99.1's former Country format and callsign to 105.1 in the process. Dakota retains KOKK/1210 (Huron), KIJV/1340 (Huron), KJRV/93.3 (Wessington Springs-Huron), and a construction permit for translator K237EL/95.3 (Huron). Riverfront has existing groups of stations in the Pierre, Mitchell, and Yankton areas. (5/23/2014)

    Midwest Communications is buying an FM translator with a construction permit to move to Wausau. Midwest subsidiary WRIG, Inc. will pay $39,000 for W290AZ/105.9 (Marshfield), which recently applied for a license to cover a move to 95.1 as W236CO. It has also applied to relocate its transmitter to Wausau on 95.1 to relay Midwest's WSAU. The asset purchase agreement was signed in December and filed this week. (5/23/2014)

    The owner of KDLS/1310 (Perry) is buying an FM translator that was already slated to relay KDLS. M&M Broadcasting will pay First Ventures Capital Partners $31,500 for K259AT/99.7, which has a construction permit to move from Boone to Perry with 250 Watts to relay KDLS. The agreement was actually signed last September but not filed with the FCC until this week. (5/21/2014)

    WKLK-FM/96.5 (Cloquet) is operating at reduced power due to a transmitter failure. According to a request for special temporary authority filed with the FCC, WKLK-FM's main transmitter failed on April 24 and it's been operating with a backup transmitter. The station normally uses 25kW and is at reduced power of 3.3kW; it also has an unrelated construction permit to upgrade to 36kW. The STA filing says it could take up to 18 weeks to repair the transmitter. WKLK-FM delivers a rimshot signal to Duluth-Superior but battles topography and intermodulation issues in the Twin Ports. (5/21/2014)

    KDDG/105.5 (Albany-St. Cloud) is now simulcasting the Tropical/Regional Mexican format "La Neta" from sister station WLKX/95.9 (Forest Lake-Minneapolis) nightly from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. KDDG continues its "Bob FM" Country format during the day. The move marks the first time a Spanish-language format has been available in St. Cloud. (5/19/2014)

    Minnesota Public Radio tells the FCC that Classical MPR station KRSW/89.3 (Worthington) is operating at reduced power due to antenna damage. According to a request for special temporary authority, KRSW is transmitting at about 8kW instead of its normal 100kW after high winds damaged two antenna bays. The request says parts have been ordered and repairs will be made as soon as possible. (5/15/2014)

    King Forward, Inc. is buying low-power TV station K29GL (Lincoln) from Regal Media for $28,500. The station, which was formerly owned and operated by the Trinity Broadcasting Network, is currently off the air. King Forward is also in the process of buying LPTV stations in Minneapolis and St. Louis in separate transactions. (5/15/2014)

    Bott Communications is the winner of an auction for a new AM station in the plains. The Christian broadcaster competed with Advanced Modulation Broadcasting in the bidding for AM 1130, which Bott wants to build at Ravenna, NE and Advanced Modulation wants to build at Eaton, CO. Bott won the Auction No. 84 bidding with a $4,700 bid. Preliminary plans for the new Ravenna station call for 12kW daytime, 3kW critical hours, and 600 Watts nighttime from a tower site west of Grand Island. The station will use a directional antenna pattern shooting east and west, delivering a strong signal to Grand Island and Kearney with fringe coverage as far as Omaha. The nighttime signal would theoretically provide interference-free service to Grand Island. Bott already has FM translators in Grand Island and Hastings and owns KAMI/1580 and KCVN/104.5 (Cozad), the FM side of which delivers a strong signal to Kearney and Lexington. (5/13/2014)

    Schurz Communications is divesting KBHB/810 (Sturgis) and KKLS/920 (Rapid City) as part of its purchase of ABC affiliate KOTA-TV/3.1 (Rapid City). Schurz, through its Rushmore Media Company subsidiary, owns six radio stations in the Rapid City market and the FCC ordered it to sell two of them as part of the KOTA-TV purchase. Homeslice Media Group, LLC will pay $650,000 for KBHB, KKLS, and translator K284BA/104.7 (Rapid City). (KKLS is currently rebroadcast on K248BT/97.5, which is not included in the deal.) KBHB carries a Country format targetting farmers and ranchers in western South Dakota while KKLS carries a Classic Hits/Oldies format targetting Rapid City as "97.5 The Hills." The asset purchase agreement states that the buyer shall keep all of KBHB's current employees for at least a year, but there is no such clause for KKLS employees. Homeslice Media Group is owned by Michael M. Bruch. Mark P. Bruch, Dean Kinney, and Clint J. Brengle, all of Sturgis. (5/12/2014, corrected translator included in sale 5/14)

    King Forward, Inc. is buying low-power TV station K25IA-D (Minneapolis) from Regal Media for $126,000. K25IA carries five channels of programming from the Trinity Broadcasting Network, which owned the station until selling it to Regal Media in 2012. (5/12/2014)

    Christian broadcaster EICB-TV East, LLC is paying DTV America Corp. $100 apiece for several low-power TV construction permits. The deal includes Mason City stations K22LJ-D, K27MI-D, and K38OW-D and Duluth station K46MH-D. The Mason City CP's expire in November 2015 and the Duluth CP expires in August 2015. EICB-TV recently applied for licenses to cover two new LPTV stations in Duluth but immediately took them silent. (5/12/2014)

    The FCC has reinstated MG Community Broadcasting's application for a new low-power FM station on 94.1 in Maple Grove. The regulator had dismissed the application in late March, saying the applicant had failed to provided adequate documentation showing that it would not interfere with KXXR/93.7 (Minneapolis) and KSTP-FM/94.5 (St. Paul). MG Community Broadcasting amended its application with an exhibit showing that the interference would only occur within 115 feet of the transmitter site, and nobody lives within that distance. The LPFM station would transmit from a Seventh-Day Adventist church near I-694 in southeastern Maple Grove and carry Christian programming. (5/8/2014)

    Gray TV will pay $500,000 for two low-power TV stations in western North Dakota, according to an asset purchase agreement filed with the FCC. Gray is buying KNDX-LD/38 (Dickinson) and KXND-LP/38 (Williston) from Prime Cities Broadcasting and also has a local marketing agreement to run the translators and the full-power stations they rebroadcast, FOX affiliates KNDX/26 (Bismarck) and KXND/24 (Minot). The full-power stations will exit from the LMA when Gray closes on its purchase of NBC affiliate KFYR-TV/5.1 (Bismarck) and its satellites, but Gray will keep the translators. It's not clear what will happen to the FOX affiliation; Gray announced last week that it had acquired some of KNDX's non-license assets. (5/8/2014)

    Q Media Group, LLC has signed on FM translator W259CG/99.7 (Wabasha) to relay its WBHA/1190. Q Media Group bought the former KFSI translator, previously licensed as W206BA/89.1, from Faith Sound, Inc. and moved it across the river from Alma, WI. Besides adding an FM signal, the translator allows WBHA to offer programming after sunset since AM 1190 is licensed for daytime-only broadcasting. (5/7/2014)

    Leighton Enterprises has applied for a license to cover new translator K226CA/93.1 (Detroit Lakes), meaning it may be on the air. Filings have indicated the 250-Watt translator will relay Leighton's information-based KDLM/1340. (5/7/2014)

    The FCC has approved an upgrade to 100kW/191m (class C1) for KKEQ/107.1 (Fosston), a change which will improve the Contemporary Christian station's signal to Bemidji. "Q107" currently uses 50kW/147m. Sister station KKCQ-FM/96.7 (Fosston), which carries a Country format, is also upgrading from 25kW/100m (C3) to 25kW/170m (C2). The stations are owned by Pine to Prairie Broadcasting. (5/7/2014)

    The West Central Tribune reports new owners have adopted a locally-originated format at KSCR-FM/93.5 (Benson). The paper reports KSCR-FM has dropped a satellite-fed Classic Rock format in favor of a mix of Country, Rock, Oldies, and Pop, while KBMO/1290 continues to carry Soft Oldies. Headwaters Media, LLC bought the stations from Quest Broadcasting fir $275,000. (5/7/2014)

    CBC-TV won't establish a new station in Thunder Bay to replace CKPR-DT/2 if the Dougall Media station moves forward with plans to go independent, according to a CBC/Thunder Bay radio report. Earlier this year, CKPR asked regulators for permission to drop CBC as early as Aug. 31. Fred Mattocks, CBC's General Manager Media Operations and Technology, told the radio station for a story that aired Tuesday morning that only two percent of the Thunder Bay population watches over-the-air TV. He said CBC's Toronto station, CBLT, would be available on cable and satellite. Listings indicate CBC-TV's Ottawa station is already available on Shaw Cable's digital tier in Thunder Bay and several versions of the network are available on satellite TV. CBC-TV shut down hundreds of transmitters in 2012 so Thunder Bay would be far from the first city to lose its affiliate, though Thunder Bay is far larger than other communities that have already lost their over-the-air CBC-TV signals. (5/6/2014)

    Digity Media has announced plans to buy Lincoln-based Three Eagles Communications' 48 stations. The price was not disclosed but will likely be revealed in FCC filings. All of Three Eagles' stations are in the Upper Midwest, with groups in Lincoln, Columbus (NE), Fort Dodge, Mason City, Austin (MN), Albert Lea, Mankato, Redwood Falls, Luverne, Brookings, and Watertown (SD). Digity is headquartered in Florida and is owned by Dean Goodman and Garrison Investment Group. The company's existing holdings mostly result from its recent purchase of NextMedia and Goodman's GoodRadio.TV group. Digity will be a top five radio group owner once the purchase is complete, with existing holdings including stations in Fairfield (IA), Newton/Grinnell (IA), Kenosha (WI), and suburban Chicago. (5/5/2014)

    ESPN Radio affiliate WFBZ/105.5 (Trempeleau-La Crosse) is back on the the air after an outage of several days due to technical difficulties. The station's Facebook page had advised listeners to try tuning into sister station WKLJ/1290 (Sparta) during the outage. (5/5/2014, updated 5/6)

    The Educational Media Foundation will get a station in Williston under a deal with the American Family Association. AFA will swap KNDW/91.7 (Williston) and a station in Florida for an EMF station in Georgia. EMF currently has a translator in Williston carrying its "K-Love" network. Note: An earlier version of this story identified the wrong North Dakota Christian network station on 91.7 as being sold. (5/5/2014)

    After Gray TV's plans to operate FOX affiliate KNDX/26 (Bismarck) under a shared services agreement fell through, the company announced Thursday that it has instead acquired some of the station's non-license assets and the licenses for two translators.

    Gray is in the process of buying NBC affiliate KFYR-TV/5.1 (Bismarck) and its satellites from Hoak Media and said it would operate KNDX and satellite KXND/24 (Minot) under a local marketing agreement until it completes the KFYR-TV acquisition, which already has FCC approval. Gray will also buy Prime Cities' translator stations in Dickinson and Williston, which changed their callsigns to KNDX-LD and KXND-LP on Friday. Low-power/translator stations do not count towards ownership caps.

    Gray did not say if it would retain the FOX affiliation after the LMA ends.

    Originally, Gray had announced that Excalibur Broadcasting would buy KNDX/KXND from Prime Cities and that Gray would operate the stations through a SSA, but Prime Cities withdrew the application to transfer the licenses after the FCC said it would conduct extra scrutiny of deals that include a put option and an SSA. (5/1/2014)

    Townsquare Media's KJOC/1170 (Davenport) has flipped to ESPN Radio, dropping the True Oldies Channel. As the callsign suggests, KJOC had previously carried a Sports format but dropped it a decade ago. "ESPN 1170" competes mainly with Clear Channel FOX Sports affiliate WFXN/1230 (Moline), which flipped to Sports around the time KJOC dropped it. WFXN carries the Green Bay Packers and the Fighting Illini, while KJOC is promoting the Chicago Cubs and Iowa State athletics on its website. (5/1/2014)

    The Quad Cities' "Jefa" has added an FM signal: The Regional Mexican/Tropical format of WKBF/1270 (Rock Island) is now being rebroadcast on translator K289BI/105.7 (Davenport). The 250-Watt translator is owned by First Ventures Capital Partners. (5/1/2014)

    The owners of the three commercial radio stations in Decorah have filed a petition for reconsideration of the recent grant of a new low-power FM station for Community Radio of Decorah, Postville, and Northeast Iowa. The new LPFM station will be licensed to Decorah and broadcast on 104.1 with 100 Watts. Wennes Communications and Decorah Broadcasting allege one member of the group is already involved with existing station KPVL/89.1 (Postville). The petition also says the group failed to attach its articles of incorporation and did not show that it is an educational organization. The group's application did state that it would interact with several educational institutions in the area to provide daily reports on school activities and offer the schools opportunities for programs highlighting their educational activities. One of the schools mentioned in the application, Luther College, is also getting its own LPFM station to replace its shared-time station, KWLC/1240. (4/30/2014)

    Mid-West Management has adjusted the formats on its two Eau Claire-market AM stations, dropping most Conservative Talk and adding Oldies. WAYY/790 (Eau Claire) continues an information-based local morning show from 6 to 10 but now carries Sports at other times, with a lineup including the regionally-syndicated Bill Michaels show from 10 to 2, Jim Rome from 2 to 5, and CBS Sports Radio evenings, overnights, and weekends. Meanwhile, WEAQ/1150 (Chippewa Falls-Eau Claire) has dropped ESPN Radio in favor of the True Oldies Channel as "Oldies 1150." The frequency had carried an Oldies format in the 1980's before launching a News/Talk format, which later moved to 790. The market has one other sports format, Clear Channel's WBIZ/1400 (Eau Claire), and two other News/Talk formats, Clear Channel's WMEQ/880 (Menomonie-Eau Claire) and Stewards of Sound's WOGO/680 (Hallie-Eau Claire). (4/27/2014)

    The director of Lakes Media Foundation tells the Kanabec County Times that KCIZ-LP/103.5 (Brunswick) will sign on in the coming months, attempting to fill the void in local programming that came when KBEK/95.5 (Mora) went silent at the end of March. Lakes Media Foundation is headed by local business owner Keith Thelen, who says KCIZ-LP will carry a mass-appeal music format presented by local personalities, including longime KBEK announcer "Rockin'" Robin Riley. The station will not carry any syndicated programming and is not seeking government funding or individual donations, but will seek sponsorships when sign-on is near. KCIZ-LP will broadcast with 77 Watts from a tower along Highway 65 south of Mora. (4/27/2014)

    KQWB/1660 (West Fargo) has dropped the True Oldies Channel in favor of Classic Country as "Willie." The format includes Country hits from the '60s to the '90s and NBC News on the hour. 1660's change was somewhat expected since KQWB's website redirected to the site of Classic Hits-formatted 92.7 "The Drive" (KZDR Kindred-Fargo) when the FM format launched last fall. "Willie" does not appear to have a website yet but does have a Facebook page. KQWB is owned by James Ingstad's Radio Fargo-Moorhead, doing business as Radio F-M Media. (4/25/2014)

    Entercom is buying future translator W289CB/105.7 (Milwaukee) from Kevin Youngers $250,000. Previous applications had said W289CB would relay Entercom's Sports-formatted WSSP/1250 but the application to transfer the license says it will actually relay the HD3 signal of Entercom's WXSS/103.7, which had not launched at last report. (WXSS-HD2 carries WSSP.) The current construction permit for W289CB calls for 200 Watts from the Milwaukee antenna farm and it's applied for 240 Watts from the area. (4/24/2014)

    KARE/11 (Minneapolis), WISC/3 (Madison), and South Dakota Public Radio are the big winners of the regional RTDNA Murrow Awards announced Tuesday, having won six awards apiece. Winners for overall excellence include KFGO/790 (Fargo), WCCO/830 (Minneapolis), WDIO-TV/10 (Duluth), and WISN-TV/12 (Milwaukee). The complete list of winners for the region including Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the Dakotas can be found here, while winners for the region including Iowa and Nebraska can be found here. (4/22/2014)

    Cumulus Media's Des Moines FM talker, KWQW/98.3 (Boone-Des Moines) has rebranded as "The Torch," dropping "Wow FM." With the slogan change, KWQW added a new local morning show hosted by Robert Rees, who's followed by Glenn Beck from 9 to 11 and Dennis Miller from 11 to 2. ABC News, Michael Savage, Mark Levin, John Batchelor, and Red Eye Radio continue. (4/21/2014)

    Chesterman Communications' KSJB/600 (Jamestown) has switched its network news affiliation from ABC to CBS. KSJB carries a Classic Country format and blankets most of North Dakota and parts of surrounding states and provinces with a 5kW signal. (4/19/2014)

    KSIB (Creston) got national attention Thursday when the Associated Press ran an item about a new Hank Williams release based on a program that aired on KSIB in 1950, but ironically, it turns out the station dropped its decades-old Country format this month. The Creston News-Advertiser reports KSIB-FM/101.3 dropped Country music that had aired in the afternoon, evening, and overnight hours for syndicated talk shows. (KSIB/1520 already carried a sports format.) The newspaper reports KSIB-FM continues to carry local news, information, and farm programming in the morning, while syndicated shows later in the day include Dennis Miller, Herman Cain, Clark Howard, and Jim Bohannon. The Omnivore Recordings release, "The Garden Spot Programs, 1950," comes out May 20. (4/17/2014)

    WMZK/104.1 (Merrill-Wausau) has dropped its longtime Rock identity in favor of Hot Adult Contemporary as "Magic 104." The station's website hasn't been updated to reflect the change, but the new format can be streamed through the old website. "Magic" has no direct competitor in the market, which lacks an Adult Contemporary outlet, and competes primarily with the Contemporary Hits formats of Midwest's WIFC/95.5 (Wausau) and NRG Media's "Hot 96.7" (WHTQ Whiting). WMZK's change comes as Michael Enfelt's Radio One Communications, LLC awaits FCC approval to buy WMZK and WJMT/730 (Merrill) from Quicksilver Broadcasting/Barracuda Broadcasting for $595,000, a deal which includes a time brokerage agreement allowing Radio One to run the stations before the sale is complete. WMZK's switch comes just a couple of months after "Z104" moved from Active Rock to Classic Rock. WMZK is rebroadcast on translator W256AG/99.1 (Wausau). (4/17/2014)

    Flood Broadcasting has applied to move new translator K236BY/95.1 (Nebraska City) closer to Plattsmouth, where it would relay KNCY/1600 (Nebraska City) in conjunction with K288GS/105.5 (Nebraska City). K236BY would use 250 Watts from a water tower east of Murray, delivering a rimshot signal to Plattsmouth. KNCY and K288GS recently launched an information-heavy Classic Hits format with mentions of Plattsmouth the imaging. (4/15/2014)

    Leighton Enterprises' KZLT/104.3 (East Grand Forks) has repositioned its Adult Contemporary format as "104-3 Cities FM," dropping the "Lite Rock 104.3" slogan. KZLT had also used the "Cities" slogan for a brief time around the turn of the century. (4/11/2014)

    Thunder Bay's local afternoon CBC Radio program will be among the casualties of cuts at the CBC announced Thursday, which include 657 jobs nationwide. CBC-Thunder Bay Tweeted that two jobs will be cut in the city and afternoon programming on CBC Radio stations in northwestern Ontario will now come out of Sudbury. Thunder Bay will retain its morning CBC Radio show. (4/11/2014)

    With one upgrade approved, Pine to Prairie Broadcasting's KKEQ/107.1 (Fosston) has applied for even more Wattage: The Contemporary Christian station is now seeking to use 100kW/191m (class C1). It's currently licensed for 50kW/147m (C2) and already has a construction permit to move to a nearby tower with 64kW/194m (C1). The upgrade would improve KKEQ's signal to Bemidji. (4/11/2014)

    WTJK/1380 (South Beloit, IL) has announced that it'll drop daytime ESPN programming starting Monday (4/14) in favor of regional and local talk programming following the station's sale to Big Radio. "The Big AM 1380" will simulcast new sister station WEKZ-FM/93.7 (Monroe) in morning and afternoon drive, carrying Scott Thompson (the company's owner) from 5 to 9 a.m. and John "Sly" Sylvester from 3 to 6 p.m. WTJK's existing "Jock Talk" will move to 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and other hosts will include Glenn Smith from 9 to 11 a.m. and Tony Huml from 1 to 3 p.m. WTJK will continue to carry ESPN Radio in the evening, overnight, and weekend hours. (4/10/2014)

    First Ventures Capital Partners is seeking a waiver to move the transmitter of K259AT/99.7 from Boone to Perry, where it would relay Coon Valley Communications' KDLS/1310 with 250 Watts. The translator would remain licensed to Boone. A waiver would be needed because the move is farther than would normally be allowed in one translator "hop." The translator recently applied for the license to cover the construction permit for its move from 88.9, where it was licensed as K205EZ. KDLS carries a Soft Oldies format. (4/10/2014)

    Magnum Broadcasting has applied to move translator W237CJ/95.3 (Reedsburg) to Tomah, where it would relay WBOG/1460 with 250 Watts. The move is farther than would normally be allowed for translators and Magnum is seeking a waiver. WBOG runs an Oldies format. (4/10/2014)

    Hearst Television stations returned to DISH Network Wednesday after a brief outage due to a retransmission consent dispute. CBS affiliate KCCI/8 (Des Moines) and ABC affiliates WISN-TV/12 (Milwaukee) and KETV/7 (Omaha) were among those that left DISH Tuesday evening. The outage ended up lasting about a half-day. (4/9/2014)

    Four years after launching as "Streetz FM," CIUR-FM/104.7 (Winnipeg) has added more classic tracks to its Hip-Hop/R&B format and changed its slogan to "Rhythm 104-7." The station is owned by Native Communications, which also runs the Country-formatted NCI-FM network heard on CICY/105.5 (Selkirk-Winnipeg). (4/8/2014)

    Two low-power TV stations whose licenses were cancelled by the FCC last month have now applied for license renewal. The FCC sent G.I.G. Inc. letters in January saying that KVNJ-LP/2 (Fargo) and KCPO-LP/26 (Sioux Falls) had failed to apply for license renewal by the deadline and that they would be cancelled if renewal applications were not filed within 30 days; the licenses were cancelled in March. Applications to renew both licenses were filed on April 4. The applications do not mention the license cancellations or provide an explanation for the late filing but say both stations are currently on the air. KCPO had operated as an independent station while KVNJ served as a translator for G.I.G. My Network TV affiliate KCPM/27 (Grand Forks). (4/8/2014)

    A full-power TV license is no guarantee of success, even in a medium market: Stratus Communications has surrendered the license for KWWF/22 (Waterloo). The station had gone off the air last summer citing financial difficulties. William M. Smith originally signed on KWWF in 2002 with Christian programming. Equity Broadcasting bought the station in 2004 and converted it to a UPN affiliate, and then used it as a beta tester for the Retro Television Network after UPN went off the air. KWWF was then silent from mid-2009 to mid-2010, when Stratus predecessor Fusion Communications returned it to the air with Untamed Sports TV. (4/8/2014)

    WQPM/1300 (Princeton) has dropped Classic Country for a broad Oldies format as "The Big Q." The Oldies mix had originally shown up on the HD4 signal of sister station KLCI/106.1 (Elk River) late last year; KLCI-HD4 continues to carry a different version of "The Big Q." WQPM is also listed as the station to be rebroadcast on Educational Media Foundation's K277AS/103.3 after it moves its transmitter from Monticello to Princeton, but K277AS was still carrying EMF's "Air1" network as of Sunday. (4/7/2014)

    KNCY/1600 (Nebraska City) has launched a new format following the addition of new FM translator K288GS/105.5. It's carrying a mix of local information and Classic Hits as "Big Apple News Radio" with a lineup including ABC Information Network news, the Rural Radio Network, Husker Sports, and the syndicated "Sports Nightly." KNCY had previously carried Classic Country and temporarily simulcast with sister Country station "B103" (KBIE/103.1 Auburn-Nebraska City) until K288GS was ready to launch. KNCY's change, and 103.1's slogan change to "B103," came after Flood Broadcasting purchased the stations from Riverfront Broadcasting. (4/7/2014)


  • Decorah, IA: 104.1, Community Radio of Decorah, Postville and Northeast Iowa
  • Moorhead, MN: 101.5, Bible Truth Radio
  • St. Paul, MN: 104.7, Dayton's Bluff District Four Community Council (4/7/2014)

    The FCC has approved a new low-power FM (100-Watt) station on 104.7 in St. Paul for Dayton's Bluff District Four Community Council. The group said that its station will carry community programming in several languages, including Hmong, Spanish, Karen, Vietnamese, Ethiopian, and English.

    In other Twin Cities-area LPFM action, the FCC has dismissed two applications for stations on 94.1 and one for 97.7. The regulator said Flow Hype Diversity's proposed facility in northeast Minneapolis and MG Community Broadcasting's proposed facility in Maple Grove were both too close to KXXR/93.7 and KSTP-FM/94.5. While MG Community Broadcasting did seek a waiver, the FCC said its application failed to provide sufficient documentation that no actual interference would occur. At least seven other applications for LPFM's on 94.1 in the metro area remain pending. On 97.7, the FCC dismissed the University of Northwestern-St. Paul's application, saying the proposed facility is too close to translator K249ED/97.7, which transmits from Maple Grove.

    There has been no new FCC action on four proposed LPFM stations on 98.9 since the FCC reinstated three applications from The Main Street Project, The Organizing Apprenticeship Project, and Pillsbury United Communities for the frequency in Minneapolis. South Minniapolis (sic) Community Radio's application for 98.9 in St. Paul remains in "dismissed" mode; the FCC had originally dismissed all four applications due to an erroneous listing of a radio reading service being carried by KSJN/99.5. Several other applications for LPFM's on 94.9, 97.9, and 107.5 remain pending.

    Elsewhere, Park Public Radio is preparing for the sign-on of KUOL-LP/97.5 (St. Louis Park), which will also reach parts of Minneapolis and parts of other western suburbs with a 50-Watt signal. The station's Facebook page says a community format is planned. (4/7/2014)

    A plan to create a virtual duopoly involving the NBC and FOX affiliates in the Bismarck market has apparently fallen apart amid increased FCC scrutiny of such deals.

    Prime Cities Broadcasting has withdrawn its application to transfer the licenses of FOX affiliate KNDX/26.1 (Bismarck) and its satellite, KXND/24.1 (Minot), to Excalibur Broadcasting, which would've entered into a shared services agreement for Gray TV to operate KNDX. Gray is in the process of buying NBC affiliate KFYR-TV/5.1 (Bismarck) and its three satellites from Hoak Media and acknowledged the withdrawal of the Prime Cities deal in a press release about the Hoak purchase receiving approval.

    Besides the KFYR-TV deal, the FCC also approved Gray's purchase of NBC affiliate KVLY-TV/11.1 (Fargo), NBC/FOX affiliate KNOP/2.1 (North Platte), ABC affiliate KSFY/13.1 (Sioux Falls), and KSFY's two satellites from Hoak, as well as Gray's purchase of FOX affiliate KEVN/7.1 (Rapid City) and its satellite from Mission TV.

    However, the FCC has not acted on Excalibur Broadcasting's proposed purchase of Hoak NBC affiliate KHAS-TV/5.1 (Hastings-Lincoln) or Parker Broadcasting CBS affiliate KXJB/4.1 (Valley City-Fargo); Gray would operate both stations under shared services agreements and said it has restructured the proposed deals to remove put options and financing from Gray.

    The change came after the FCC said last month that it would give extra scrutiny to deals that include a combination of shared services agreements and option agreements. Separately, the FCC said this week that any deal involving one station selling more than 15 percent of the advertising on another station must be modified or unwound within two years unless a waiver is approved. (4/4/2014)

    KBEK/95.5 (Mora) has gone silent. In a message to advertisers and listeners, Owner and General Manager Colleen McKinney said the station went silent March 31 while it undergoes a review of its finances and organizational structure. McKinney had originally announced plans to take the station silent at the end of 2011 but decided to continue on, saying it would be easier to find a buyer for the station if it remained on the air, but no sale has happened. KBEK signed on in 1995 with a locally-intensive format featuring hourly news updates for east-central Minnesota and a mix of Oldies and Classic Hits. The station is "under the umbrella" of major Twin Cities stations but is located just outside the geographic boundaries of the market. (4/1/2014)

    The FCC has approved the sale of ABC affiliate KOTA-TV/3.1 (Rapid City) to Schurz Communications but will require two radio stations to be divested. Schurz, which already owns six radio stations in the market using the New Rushmore Radio name, is buying KOTA-TV from Duhamel Broadcasting for $10 million. In approving the sale, the FCC denied a request for a waiver allowing Schurz to keep all six radio stations and ordered that two radio stations be divested within sixty days. Schurz hasn't announced which stations will be divested; its holdings include Farm/Country KBHB/810 (Sturgis), Classic Hits KKLS/920 (Rapid City), Contemporary Hits KRCS/93.1 (Sturgis), Adult Contemporary KKMK/93.9 (Rapid City), Country KOUT/98.7 (Rapid City), and Classic Rock KFXS/100.3 (Rapid City). The deal to purchase KOTA-TV includes satellites KDUH/4.1 (Scottsbluff, NE), KHSD/11.1 (Lead, SD), and KSGW/12.1 (Sheridan, WY). The stations carry Me-TV on their .2 channels and ThisTV on .3. KOTA-TV reported that Schurz will take over the station on April 28. (4/1/2014)

    Midwest Communications' KTCO/98.9 (Duluth) has reverted to its original "Kat Country" slogan. KTCO had launched as "Kat Country" in 1994 but abandoned that slogan several years ago in favor of the KTCO call letters positioned as "Your Country." It primarily competes with Townsquare Media's "B105" (KKCB Duluth). (4/1/2014)

    News archive...

    Newspaper/Web Articles

    St. Paul Pioneer Press: Radio host, civic leader Andy Driscoll dies at age 74 (7/21)
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    Star Tribune: Former KARE reporter Brad Woodard found dead in his Houston home (7/3)
    Wisconsin State Journal: Longtime WIBA-AM radio personality Mitch Henck laid off (6/24)
    Star Tribune: C.J.: KDWB ‘Booty Cruise’ turns into ‘Fight Night’ (6/18)
    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Local TV news: Which station focuses on what, by the numbers (6/17)
    Quad City Times: Longtime KWQC sports director Thom Cornelis announces retirement (6/17)
    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Ratings snapshot reveals Milwaukee radio trends, sort of (6/16)
    Star Tribune/C.J.: Mischke explains the art of never being employee of the month (6/14)
    Quad City Times: KLJB purchase a dream come true for owner (6/12)
    OnMilwaukee: WTMJ-AM 620 earns radio ratings crown (6/13)
    Quad City Times: FM station to flip to ESPN (6/13)
    Star Tribune: Obituary: Daniel T. 'Tom' Cousins put the State Fair on the air (6/10)
    Des Moines Register: Two WHO-TV reporters arrested for OWI (6/9)
    St. Paul Pioneer Press: KARE-TV says morning news anchor Tim McNiff leaving station (6/3)
    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Concert promoter planning a Milwaukee rock 'n' roll radio reunion (6/2)
    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: WISN wins May sweeps but audience down; WITI strong second (5/22)
    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: WITI anchor Anne State second post-May sweeps departure (5/21)
    WBAY-TV: Green Bay Police: Radio advertiser promised to bless money -- then stole it (5/20)
    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Angelo Farina, 57, made name for himself on air as Mort Snotlocker (5/19)
    St. Paul Pioneer Press: KARE weekend meteorologist Jerrid Sebesta leaving station next month (5/16)
    The Forum (Fargo): KVRR's Jim Shaw, 35-year veteran of area TV news, to step down (5/13)
    Winnipeg Free Press: CJOB pulls plug on Hal Anderson, two others (5/14)
    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Comparing Milwaukee TV's morning news shows (5/14)
    Washington Post: Sioux Falls Anchor lashes out at viewers complaining about TV shows interrupted for tornado coverage (5/13)
    Lake County (MN) News Chronicle: Community Radio Full Steam Ahead (5/9)
    Quad-City Times: New CBS4 anchor adjusts to 'living in the night' (5/12)
    West Central Tribune: Radio with roots: In Benson, the more things change on air, the more they stay the same (5/5)
    Quad-City Times: After 16 years away from mic, Perry back on 97X (5/3) Sports: Voice of the Bucks Ted Davis joins The Big 920 as afternoon co-host (4/21)
    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: WDJT-TV (Channel 58) adds a Madison bureau (4/22)
    St. Paul Pioneer Press: Radio personality Tom Barnard adding to podcast network (4/18)
    Star Tribune: MPR studios feel the bad vibes from light-rail tracks (4/18)
    Eau Claire Leader-Telegram: Patrow replaced at WQOW (4/16)
    Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier: News director Schillinger to leave KWWL (4/16)
    The Forum: Ben and Jim rejoin forces for new radio morning show (4/15)
    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Carl Zimmermann, 96, was silver-haired dean of Milwaukee broadcast news (4/11)
    Star Tribune: Minnesota man suing WCCO for defamation in Cold Spring's cop killing case (4/9)
    Star Tribune: MPR now stands for millennial public radio (4/6)
    St. Paul Pioneer Press: KARE's Jonathan Malat wins national news photo award (4/4)
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