January 2006

Davidson Media has returned KXLQ/1490 (Indianola-Des Moines) back to the air with a spanish-language format. The station had been off the air for about a year. It's the third spanish-language format in the Des Moines area. (1/31/2006)

Full-power analog TV stations have had digital channels for years, and now translators and low-power TV stations will be able to apply for secondary digital channels as well. However, the FCC is not guaranteeing that every translator/LPTV station will be able to get a separate digital channel. The FCC will accept the applications from April 3 to May 12. Translator/LPTV stations will not be required to apply for a digital channel; they can instead opt to switch their current analog channel to digital at some point in the future. So far K32GX (St. James, MN) is the only translator/LPTV station in the Upper Midwest to flip to digital. (1/28/2006)

A digital subchannel of WKBT/8 (CBS, La Crosse) will begin carrying UPN on Monday, according to the La Crosse Tribune. KQEG-CA/23 (La Crescent-La Crosse) dropped the network on Friday. 8.2 will carry a repeat of WKBT's 6 p.m. newscast at 9 p.m., and KQEG will repeat the 6 p.m. newscast from WXOW/19 (ABC) at 7 p.m. beginning Monday. Charter Cable is adding WKBT's 8.2 channel on channel 10, moving KQEG from channel 10 to channel 5. It's still not clear whether 8.2 will carry CW when the new network launches this fall. (1/28/2006)

Cumulus Media will begin operating KRQN/107.1 (Vinton-Cedar Rapids) on February 1 through a time brokerage agreement. The station is owned by George S. Flinn. It signed on last year with a Country format as KROJ, and the station is still using that callsign, though the FCC says it has been changed to KRQN. Cumulus also operates Rock KRNA/94.1, Country KHAK/98.1, and AC KDAT/104.5 in the Cedar Rapids market. General Manager Jim Worthington says they haven't decided whether to keep 107.1's current format. (1/27/2006)

The La Crosse Tribune reports that KQEG-CA/23 (La Crescent-La Crosse) will drop its UPN affiliation on Friday, after the network's owners announced UPN will leave the air this fall (see earlier coverage). UPN only fills the 7-9 p.m. time slot; KQEG is also affiliated with FamilyNet. (1/27/2006)

There's no more "UPN" in WFTC/29's logo. The day after the owners of UPN and The WB announced that the networks would leave the air, and FOX-owned UPN affiliates in the top three markets would not get the affiliation for a new network called The CW, FOX pulled UPN from the identity of WFTC and other FOX-owned UPN affiliates. The stations will continue to carry UPN's prime-time programming until the network leaves the air in September. (1/26/2006)

KDEC-FM/100.5 (Decorah) has shifted its format from Adult Contemporary into a more Adult Alternative direction, and has dropped the slogan "DC100.5." (1/26/2006)

After a year at WDAY/970 (Fargo), "Jack and Sandy" are moving back to KFGO/790. Clear Channel had dropped the longtime duo to make way for Ed Schultz's nationally-syndicated show, which originates at KFGO. Market manager Jeff Hoberg told the Fargo Forum that Clear Channel did a survey and found that listeners prefer live and local programming. There's no immediate word whether another station in the market will pick up Schultz's show. (1/26/2006)

The FCC has dismissed an application for a new station on 1290 in St. Paul Church at the request of the applicant, Cleo Broadcasting. St. Paul Church is a tiny unincorporated town west of Duluth. (1/25/2006)

Eleven years after UPN and WB signed on, CBS and Warner Brothers announced today that the two networks will cease operations in September, and programming from the two networks will be combined on a new network called The CW. CBS and WB will each own half of the new network. Tribune Broadcasting's WB affiliates and CBS's UPN affiliates have signed affiliation agreements with The CW, but there has been no announcement yet of which existing UPN and WB affiliates in the Upper Midwest will get the new affiliation. There are separately-owned UPN and WB affiliates in the Minneapolis, Green Bay, Madison, Omaha, Cedar Rapids, Davenport, and Sioux Falls markets. The CW will offer 30 hours of programming per week, following the format of WB's Sunday-Friday prime time schedule and adding a two-hour afternoon block and a five-hour Saturday morning animation block. (1/24/2006)

The Freeport Journal-Standard reports that the owners of WEKZ/1260 and WEKZ-FM/93.7 (Monroe, WI) and WQLF/102.1 (Lena, IL) are buying WFRL/1570 and WFPS/92.1 (Freeport, IL) from Maverick Media for $1.4 million. The paper reports that the new owners will take over on February 1, and co-owner Scott Thompson tells the paper WFPS' format will change. (1/20/2006)

Pappas Telecasting has added news on Omaha's WB (KXVO/15). The 10 p.m. daily newscast is the fourth in the market in that time slot. Pappas' FOX42 (KPTM) also airs news from 9-10 p.m. (1/18/2006)

The bidding has begun in FCC Auction No. 62 for construction permits for 171 new FM stations, and bids for new stations in the Fargo and Sioux Falls markets are among the highest in the first round of the auction. There's no way to know exactly how long the auction will last. To follow the bidding:

  • Go to https://auctionsignon.fcc.gov/signon/index.htm
  • Select "Auction 62" from the pull-down menu in the "Public Access" section.
  • A new window will open. Click "Results" at the top of the screen.
    Check this site's Unused FM Allotments page for more information on the frequencies up for bid. (1/13/2006)

    DX-midAMerica reports that WMKD/105.5 (Pickford-Sault Ste. Marie) has returned to the air as "Big Country 105.5." The station is now owned by Northern Star Broadcasting. Its new format competes mainly with Canadian-licensed CJQM/104.3. (1/12/2006)

    KAWK/105.1 (Custer) will be able to improve its signal to Rapid City as part of a massive allotment shift in South Dakota and Wyoming approved by the FCC. 105.1 will move to 104.9 and change its community of license to Ellsworth Air Force Base, upgrading from class C1 (maximum 100kW/300m) to class C (100kW/600m). However, a site restriction of 34 miles southwest of Ellsworth AFB will limit KAWK's signal to Rapid City. In addition:

  • The allotment for a future class C station in Wall (Rapid City market) moves from 105.5 to 107.7;
  • The construction permit for a new class A (6kW/100m) station in Murdo moves from 104.9 to 104.5, where it has already applied for an upgrade to 100kW/400m (class C0), which would put the station in the Pierre market;
  • A new allotment is added for a class C1 station on 105.7 in Edgemont.
    There are many more changes in Wyoming, detailed at hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-06-9A1.pdf. (1/10/2006)

    KDUB/89.7 (Dubuque) has signed on, relaying the public radio programming of KUNI/90.9 (Cedar Falls) full-time. The station says Dubuque translator K254AE/98.7 will remain on the air for the time being, since it may still be stronger in some parts of the city than the new 89.7. KDUB transmits with 2.6kW at 197m above average terrain from Sherill Mound, about ten miles northwest of town. The KDUB callsign was formerly used by what is now KFXB/40 in Dubuque. (1/7/2006)

    KDWD/100.1 (Emmetsburg-Spencer) has changed to KUYY, and DX-midAMerica reports that the new format is Hot Adult Contemporary as "Y100.1." (1/5/2006)

    DX-midAMerica reports that 50kW KOIL/1020 (Plattsmouth-Omaha) has dropped Classic Country for Radio Disney. Sister station KYDZ/1180 (Bellevue-Omaha) also continues to carry Radio Disney, but 1180 will eventually have to leave the air. 1180 was granted a move to 1620 when the AM band was expanded, but the FCC allowed stations that moved to the expanded band to continue broadcasting on their new and old frequencies for five years. KOZN/1620 will not be affected. (1/5/2006)

    Ears in the Fargo area are still hearing "Quick 104.7," despite Radio and Records' report that KDAM had flipped to Country. However, the Clear Channel website www.1047thewolf.net is already online. (1/5/2006)

    New Rock is now the old format at KDAM/104.7 (Hope-Fargo). Radio and Records reports the Clear Channel station has flipped to Country. "The Dam" wrapped up its New Rock format on Monday with "Laid to Rest" by Lamb Of God, "Nice to Know You" by Incubus, "Rock Is Dead" by Marilyn Manson, and "Killing in the Name" by Rage Against the Machine. In between formats, KDAM was "Quick 104.7," playing short snippets of songs, a return to the original stunting used when 104.7 signed on in 2002. Clear Channel also has another Country station in the market, "Outlaw Country 92.7" (KFAB-FM Kindred-Fargo). (1/4/2006)

    Clear Channel's KJZI/100.3 (Minneapolis) became KTLK-FM as announced on Monday, after a night of stunting with songs about talking. The new lineup includes Andrew Colton, Pat Kessler, Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck, Brian Lambert, Sarah Janacek, and FOX News. KTLK-FM is actually the third FM News/Talker in the Twin Cities: Hubbard Broadcasting's "FM107," targeting women, launched in 2002, and Minnesota Public Radio's non-commercial format has been around since 1991. It's 100.3's fifth format since becoming a commercial station in 1993. (1/2/2006)

    KDLS/1310 (Perry) has picked up ABC's Soft Oldies format, as Coon Valley Communications takes over day-to-day operations. Coon Valley also uses ABC formats on its other two stations in the region. (1/2/2006)

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