Bethesda Christian Broadcasting stations KTPT/97.9 (Rapid City) and KSLT/107.3 (Spearfish) are at low power after a Jan. 16 ice storm caused damage to their antenna. The stations transmit from Terry Peak near Lead and normally use 100kW/579m, nearly the maximum power/antenna height combination allowed by the FCC. Filings with the FCC indicate KTPT is using 3 percent of normal power and KSLT is at 10 percent, and Bethesda is seeking special temporary authority to remain at low power for up to six months. The stations' on-frequency boosters in Rapid City remain on the air, but KSLT's outlying translators are off, according to its website. Bethesda's third Black Hills station, KLMP/88.3 (Rapid City), transmits from another antenna on the same tower and was unaffected. (1/31/2011)
Armada Media's "Pheasant Country 103" (KBWS-FM/102.9 Sisseton) is at low power and using a different tower after a storm damaged its antenna late last year. The station normally uses 100kW/140m, but is now using 1kW/193m from a tower closer to Sisseton. The licensed and temporary coverage areas are detailed in this document. (1/31/2011)
An FM translator appears to be headed towards Milwaukee. W252CI/98.3 (Como), owned by Radio Power, Inc., has applied to move to East Troy on 98.1. The translator was originally licensed on 99.5 in Beloit and has made three moves since Radio Power bought it from Edgewater Broadcasting last year for $42,000. The latest application lists Wisconsin Public Radio's WHAD/90.7 (Delafield) as the station to be rebroadcast, but the statement is not binding. (1/30/2011)
Union Valley Baptist Church of Stonewall, Oklahoma is buying the construction permit for KTUT/89.5 (Frankort) from 1 A Chord, Inc. for $10,000. The deadline to get KTUT on the air is March 13, and the buyer is asking the FCC for the 18-month extension that's usually allowed when CP's are sold. The CP is for 100kW/146m (class C1), with Watertown and Huron on the edge of the main coverage area. Union Valley Baptist Church also has construction permits for two new stations in Nebraska, one in Wyoming, and one in Arizona. (1/30/2011)
ABC affiliate KOTA-TV/3.1 (Rapid City) has applied for a UHF translator station to better serve homes using indoor antennas. KOTA-TV broadcasts on channel 2 and reception difficulties have been noted by numerous stations transmitting digitally on VHF, especially VHF Low (2-6). Besides helping indoor reception, KOTA-TV also says a UHF translator would allow it to add mobile DTV service in the future. It applied for a 15kW translator on channel 18. KOTA-TV carries ABC on 3.1 and RetroTV on 3.2. (1/24/2011)
Another FM translator wants to make a move closer to the Twin Cities: W239AM/95.7 (Hudson, WI) has applied to move its transmitter from Hudson to Woodbury and change frequency from 95.7 to 97.9. The translator would drop power from 250W to 170W, but would have a higher antenna height.
W239AM is owned by William Cornwall and currently relays KNXR/97.5 (Rochester), which continues to be listed as the primary station on the application.
Translator moves are usually only allowed in three-channel (0.6 MHz) increments, but W239AM is poised to be displaced by WDMO/95.7 (Baldwin, WI) after WDMO moves from 95.9 Durand, and W239AM says no first-, second-, or third-adjacent channel is available. The station's request for a waiver also states W239AM is in danger of losing its present transmitter site due to a property sale.
Commercial-band translators also exist on 92.1, 92.9, 93.3, 97.7, 99.9, 100.7, 102.5, 103.5, 104.5, and 106.7 in the metro area, and all but one of them came on the air within the last five years. Check out the Twin Cities Class D FM's page to see what they're up to. (1/24/2011)
St. Paul-based Hubbard Broadcasting is greatly expanding its radio holdings with the purchase of 17 stations from Bonneville International for $505 million. The stations are in the Chicago, St. Louis, Cincinnati, and Washington, DC markets. Hubbard currently employs 154 people at its four Twin Cities-area radio stations (KSTP AM-FM, KTMY, and WIXK) and will add 547 employees with the purchase. Hubbard also owns the Reelz Channel and TV stations in six markets, including WDIO/10 (Duluth), where your reporter is employed as assistant news director. (1/21/2011)
The Omaha World-Herald reports the markets's two all-Sports stations will swap affiliations on Feb. 1, with Journal Broadcasting's KXSP/590 picking up ESPN Radio and NRG Media's KOZN/1620 switching to FOX Sports. Both stations have strong signals throughout the metro area, though KXSP's low frequency gives it more regional coverage. (1/18/2011)
Thunder Bay's two local TV stations want to remain on their current VHF Low RF channels after the digital transition. Stations in Thunder Bay and other Canadian markets with more than one station must convert to digital-only by August 31. CKPR-TV/2 and CHFD/4, which are both part of Dougall Media, would each use 1.2kW. The CRTC had alloted UHF channels 49 and 46 for the stations, but staying on their current channels may allow the stations to modify their existing transmitters rather than install new transmitters and antennas. The stations estimate the digital facilities would reach 131,898 people, which is a loss of just 283 people from the current analog signals. However, a number of U.S. stations broadcasting digitally on VHF have reported reception problems, especially for viewers using indoor antennas. CHFD is a Global affiliate, while CKPR currently carries CBC but is slated to go independent later this year. (1/12/2011)
Americus Communications is buying translator W219DF/91.7 (Marshfield) from Edgewater Broadcasting for $20,000. Americus is owned by Rick Muzzy, who owns WSPT/1010 and WSPT-FM/97.9 (Stevens Point), though the application to transfer the license states it will relay WGNV/88.5 (Milladore). The translator would have to be moved ot 92.1 or higher to relay a commercial station. The deal does not include any equipment, just the license. (1/10/2011)
WISS/1100 (Berlin) has applied to ugpgrade to 50kW day and 20kW critical hours (the hours after sunrise and before sunset). The daytime-only station currently uses 2.5kW day and 1.6kW critical hours. The station would add a second tower and use a directional pattern limiting the signal to the southeast, but the signal strength to the Oshkosh and Appleton would increase. (1/9/2011)
Jeffrey G. Dress is giving translators K274BH/102.7 (Valley City, ND) and K263AW/100.5 (Pierre, SD) to Lance Knudson. An application to transfer the licenses states there is no written agreement and no consideration is being exchanged. K274BH relays KXGT/98.3 (Carrington) and K263AW relays KPLO/94.5 (Pierre). (1/10/2011)
Christian network My Bridge Radio is buying the construction permit for new station KSSH/91.3 (Shubert) from Ron Elmore Ministries for $2,800. The payment will be forgiveness of a 2008 payment agreed to by the two organizations. The station is in far southeastern Nebraska and will use 2kW/185m (class C3). (1/10/2011)
There's more activity from future station WLWB/92.9 (New Holstein): the station has applied to change its community of license to Chilton, which would allow Woodward Communications to operate WLWB from its Appleton facility. FCC rules require main studios to be within 25 miles of the community of license, and New Holstein is a few miles too far from Appleton.
To backfill, WMBE/1530 (Chilton) has applied to change its community of license to New Holstein. WLWB's present owner, Metro North Communications, will pay WMBE owner Maszka-Pacer Radio $10,000. WMBE will not make any physical changes to its 250-Watt daytime-only facility.
Woodward is in the process of buying WLWB from Metro North for $1.2 million. WLWB's community of license change is an amendment to an earlier application to move its transmitter to a site two miles east of Stockbridge using 6kW/95m. (1/9/2011)
WZMQ (Marquette) has switched channel 19.2 to Antenna TV, dropping a mix of reruns and My Network TV. The MNT primetime lineup that had aired from 8-10 p.m. on 19.2 now airs on 19.1, which continues to carry ThisTV at other times. The move means DirecTV and DISH Network customers can no longer see the MNT lineup since only 19.2 is carried for WZMQ's satellite feed. 19.1 is seen on analog cable, while 19.2 is on digital cable.
Antenna TV also airs on WITI/6.2 (Milwaukee) and is slated to be added on WHO-DT/13.3 (Des Moines) later this month. (1/9/2011)
Minnesota Public Radio is selling two of its translators in Hinckley, K283AN/104.5 and W293AV/106.5, to Blue Wing, Inc. for a total of $65,000. The St. Paul-based Blue Wing is headed by Mark Hoppe and does not have any other broadcast interests, but is involved in wireless communications design and consultation. The agreements allow Blue Wing to continue carrying MPR on the translators for up to eighteen months. The potential value of translators has increased in the last few years due to the new possibility of using them to relay AM or HD2 stations.
K283AN currently carries Classical MPR from KSJN/99.5 (Minneapolis), while W293AV was off the air as of Dec. 26 but had previously carried MPR News from KNOW-FM/91.1 (Minneapolis-St. Paul). MPR recently signed on WGRH/88.5 (Hinckley) carrying the News network and was recently granted a construction permit for a new station on 91.9, also licensed to Hinckley. It also has Hinckley translators W226AY/93.1, which carries MPR News from WSCN/100.5 (Cloquet), and W248AS/97.5, which carries "The Current" from KCMP/89.3 (Northfield). In addition, K231AT/94.1 (Pine City) carries Classical MPR from KSJN from a tower in Beroun. (1/5/2011)
KQMG/1220 (Independence) went off the air Dec. 20 due to a problem with the transmitter's power supply. The station said in a Dec. 30 FCC filing that it is waiting for the parts to be repaired and returned. The KM Communications station normally uses 250 Watts day and 134 Watts night and carries ESPN Radio. (1/4/2011)
Two Minneapolis stations have upgraded their coverage. KMOJ/89.9, which serves the African-American community, recently moved its transmitter from its longtime home in North Minneapolis to Arden Hills, where it upgraded to 6.2kW/116m. The move expands KMOJ's main coverage area to include all of St. Paul and more of the northern, eastern, and southern suburbs.
Meanwhile, University of Minnesota "Radio K" translator K283BG/104.5 expanded its coverage area by moving its transmitter from the U campus to the KUOM-FM/106.5 transmitter site farther west in Minneapolis. K283BG uses 99 Watts while KUOM-FM uses just 6 Watts. (KUOM-FM also carries "Radio K" but shares time with St. Louis Park High's KDXL/106.5.) 104.5's new main coverage area includes Minneapolis and several first-ring suburbs, and the signal is easily listenable on car radios farther out in the `burbs. The move eliminates coverage overlap with the other "Radio K" translator, W264BR/100.7 (Falcon Heights-St. Paul), which uses 10 Watts and has a construction permit to upgrade to 99 Watts. "Radio K" originates at 5kW daytimer KUOM/770, and FCC rules allow the FM translators to remain on the air even when the AM is off. (1/2/2011)
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