1/27/1997: KXTP/970 (Superior-Duluth) has adopted its new Classic Country format. "Kicks 970" uses the ABC/SMN "Real Country" satellite feed, but "Real Country" plays a mixture of Classic and New Country. Therefore, KXTP's positioner, "Real Country Classics," isn't exactly accurate. ABC News (either the Direction or Entertainment network) is carried on the hour. The new format began on the afternoon of Monday, January 27.
1/24/1997: The new owners of KQDS AM-FM 1490/94.9 (Duluth) have made a few changes: KQDS' musical format no longer includes Adult Modern Rock tracks, such as Alanis Morisette , and KQ is giving legal ID's at the top of every hour instead of burying them in spot breaks. (Updated 2/4/1997)
1/20/1997: 630 AM is once again occupied in the greater Twin Cities area after nearly three years of silence. WDGY resumed broadcasting last week using Jones Satellite Network's "Good Time Oldies" format. As said here before, WDGY's new signal is poor in the metro area in comparison to the old signal because the only suitable tower site to be found is east of Hudson. Also, WDGY's community of license is now Hudson.
1/20/1997: UPN's NewsScope has become Everday Living, reflecting a change from a News and Information format to an Information format. The hour-long show is produced at KMSP's Eden Prairie studios and is seen on UPN's six owned and operated stations in mid-afternoon.
1/19/1997: The Calvary Chapel of Twin Falls, Idaho, has received approval to build a translator for its KAWZ in Eden Prairie (suburban Minneapolis). The translator, K201DN, would operate on 88.1 with a power of 50 watts from a location on the border of Hennepin and Carver counties. If it goes on the air, the translator will probably interfere with reception of KVSC/88.1 (St. Cloud).
1/16/1997: KXTP/970 (Superior-Duluth) will be adopting a Classic Country format. The change follows the station's sale to the owners of KDAL/610, which had a broad-based Oldies format that competed with KXTP. KDAL has added some of what KXTP played to its format. KXTP was in tenth place with a 2.3 share in the Spring 1996 Arbitron ratings, but in a market the size of Duluth, tenth place doesn't cut it. Much of the advertiser support of KXTP was for sports broadcasts, which are moving to Shockley's other stations. KXTP began rebroadcasting KTCO on the afternoon of January 14. (Updated 1/19/1997)
1/15/1997: The FCC has approved WWAX/92.1 (Hermantown-Duluth)'s plan to increase power to 25,000 watts. WELY-FM/92.1 (Ely) will move to 94.5 and WCMP-FM/92.1 (Pine City) will move to 100.9. Both stations will continue to operate with Class A facilities. In addition, 105.7 was allocated to Siren, WI as a class A facility. If the Siren station ever goes on the air, it will be the first station in Burnett County, a popular cabin location for many Twin Cities residents.
1/15/1997: MPR's WIRN/92.5 (Buhl) has signed on. The station broadcasts MPR's News and Information Network. Sister station WIRR/90.9 (Virginia) is now all Classical.
1/13/1997: KNLD/21 (Duluth) has moved in with sister stations KQDS AM and FM. KNLD is currently planning to begin "real" broadcasting (rather than 10 hours a week of the Shop at Home Network) in the late spring or early summer. It has not yet been determined whether the station will be affiliated with FOX or WB - KNLD's owner, Fant Broadcasting, is aligned with The WB, but a startup with FOX would probably be more successful. My guess is that the KNLD will have a primary affiliation with FOX and a secondary affiliation with WB until Channel 27 comes on the air, which is several years down the road, if ever. Meanwhile, KNLD is still awaiting FCC authorization to increase power from 45kW to 550kW and move its antenna from KBJR/6's tower to KQDS-FM's tower.
1/9/1997: WDGY/630 (Hudson-St. Paul) may retun to the air by the end of the month, according to a posting to the rec.radio.broadcasting newsgroup. WDGY recently received FCC authorization to change its community of license to Hudson, WI, and operate with a power of 900 watts day and 130 watts night from a transmitter site east of Hudson (probably 740's old site - that would explain why the CP is being used so quickly). The posting
1/8/1997: KRBR/102.5 (Superior-Duluth) is now automated in some dayparts (possibly all but mornings).
1/8/1997: WRSR/104.3 (Two Harbors-Duluth) has indeed continued its "Smooth Jazz" format with a different satellite feed, but the station is still broadcasting in mono! On another WRSR note, the station has applied to build a 5 watt translator on 106.3 in Duluth, with the transmitter located at their Canal Park studios, 77 meters below average terrain! The translator would obviously be another excuse to say that they are really a Duluth station.
1/8/1997: To the best of my knowledge, less than 5 of Billboard's Top 10 Pop Singles of 1996 were played on commercial stations in the Duluth market. Some would say that the other songs (such as the "Macarena" and "Twisted") are too "urban" for a medium market like Duluth, but KCLD (St. Cloud), KROC-FM (Rochester), WIZM-FM (La Crosse), and WBIZ-FM (Eau Claire) played all of the top songs and are still going strong.
1/8/1997: WQPM-FM/106.1 (Princeton) was operating at low modulation for a few weeks, but the problem appears to have been fixed.
1/2/1997: KMJZ/104.1 (St. Louis Park-Minneapolis) is running a billboard campaign that has caught my attention: the ads have a clever positioning statement/insult against other stations, such as "Sick of Hootie? So are we." and "ZZ Top-less."
1/2/1997: Here's some network news affiliation changes: KRWC/1360 (Buffalo) changes from MBS to NBC, KCHK AM-FM 1350/95.5 (New Prague) from USA to MBS, and WMIN/740 (Hudson) adds NBC News.
1/2/1997: Here's a rundown of some of the more significant midseason changes taking place on regional TV stations (thanks to TV Guide Magazine):
1/2/1997: A recent article by Bryan Lambert in the Pioneer Press about Infared Chopper Wars reminds me that I never got around to writing about that event here. Basically, WCCO-TV and KSTP-TV are both airing promos touting their new infared cameras mounted in helicopters that allow them to show theives running from the police at night or other similar breaking news. In the article, the news depar
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