1/31/1998: "Aahs" is dead. The owned-and-operated stations are now running a broad mix of Top 40, Oldies, Classic Rock, and Adult Contemporary music. It's personality and sweeper-free, with a few PSA's and an ID on the hour. As of Saturday afternoon, the RealAudio feed of the network formerly known as "Aahs World Radio" is still up.
1/31/1998: KHTW "Hot 94.7" (Caledonia-La Crosse) Program Director Jeff Andrews leaves the station for Michigan. (All Access)
1/31/1998: David Black is the new night guy at KCLD/104.7 (St. Cloud). He last worked at KDWB. (All Access)
1/30/1998: The fire that destroyed KBJR last month started in an electrical circuit, according to an investigation by the Duluth Fire Department. The fire started in a light circuit in the southeast corner of the station's basement and spread through cable and ventilation ducts. KBJR is still broadcasting news from WDSE, with engineers and office staff working out of the KBJR's transmitter building. (KBJR)
1/29/1998: Legendary Twin Cities broadcaster Dave Moore died Wednesday at the age of 73. His death followed a six-month illness and a quadruple heart bypass last May. Moore joined WCCO-TV in 1950 and spent 34 years as an anchor there. During that time, he was known for "happy talk" with Bud Kraehling and comedy bits such as the "Bedtime Newz." He was also known for public service through the "Moore Report." He hosted Moore on Sunday until last year, when his illness prevented him from doing the show. A memorial scholarship fund has been set up. Contributions should be sent to: The University of Minnesota Foundation, Suite 200, 1300 S Second Street, Minneapolis, MN, 55454. (Channel 4000)
1/29/1998: Minneapolis-based Children's Broadcasting Company announced Tuesday that Global Broadcasting had not closed on it's deal to buy CBC's radio stations within the time period CBC and Global had agreed on, meaning that the deal may not go through. In a press release over the Business Newswire, CEO Christopher Dahl said, "We believe great interest exists in the stations and we will explore all options available to us including continued discussions with Global, which has expressed a strong desire to conclude this transaction. Other alternatives include a sale of all or some of the stations, entering into Local Marketing Agreements (LMAs) with all or some of the stations, and/or formatting some or all of the stations." Global was to have paid $72.5 million in cash for CBC's 14 owned-and-operated stations. CBC's "Aahs" stations are broadcasting it's children's format, Aahs World Radio, until CBC discontinues the format this Friday, January 30. Until then, you can listen to the Aahs World Radio network feed using RealAudio here. The Star Tribune says CBC plans to put satellite formats on the stations currently broadcasting Aahs after Friday. CBC owns WWTC/1280 (Aahs) and KYCR/1570 (Christian) in the Twin Cities.
1/29/1998: WKKQ has officially changed call letters to WNMT, but the station is still broadcasting a Country format as WKKQ, giving the WNMT ID on the hour. The station says that they are "trying to get the listeners familiar with the call letters" but no format change is planned as of now (yeah, right). (See the item from 1/27/1998)
1/28/1998: Brill Media's Duluth stations (WEBC/560, KLDJ/101.7, and KKCB/105.1) will move into the old "Total Bedroom" store on East Central Entrance in Duluth. The new location is only about half a mile from Shockley's new building. 560 and 105.1 have been located at the corner of 10th Avenue East and 9th Street since the late 1960s. 101.7 joined the two a few years ago. (1/31/1998 -- the building Brill is moving into actually used to be the "Color Tile" building. "Total Bedroom" rented a part of it)
1/28/1998: KTCJ/690 Minneapolis has changed to KXBR to reflect the station's slogan, "The Bear." (e-mail)
1/28/1998: WCCO-TV has hired Dennis Douda as a weekday anchor. He comes from WXIA Atlanta. (Don Fitzpatrick's "Shoptalk")
1/27/1998: KDOG Program Director Brian Garvin has died at 40 as a result of heart disease. Donations for his family can be mailed to Community Bank, The Brian Williams Children's Fund, Attn: Lynn, 951 Madison Avenue, Mankato, MN 56001. Brian was married and had three children. (All Access)
1/27/1998: The FCC has granted WKKQ/650 (Nashwauk-Hibbing) new call letters -- WNMT. Could this stand for "Northern Minnesota Talk"? WKKQ has had a Country format since it signed on in the 1970s, and has faced increased competition since KGPZ/96.1 (Coleraine) signed on in 1995 with ABC's "Real Country" format. "Real Country" is very similar to WKKQ's Country format. (FCC)
1/27/1998: The format of KFBN/88.7 Fargo, which recently signed on, currently consists mostly of automated music programming with some taped talk programs. The station hopes its programming will eventually be about half voice and half music. (e-mail)
1/27/1998: The Ingstad axe wasn't so big after all: two air positions have been eliminated in their Fargo group; one of them in an overnight slot. (e-mail)
1/22/1998: The Ingstads are dropping the axe at some of their Fargo stations, getting rid of some personalities and automating some dayparts. They own WDAY-FM/93.7, KPFX/107.9, KQWB/1550, KQWB-FM/98.7, KLTA/105.1, and LMA WDAY/970. (All Access NetTalk page)
1/22/1998: Cathy Wurzer will join WCCO-TV as a weekend anchor in February. She will leave KTCA's NewsNight Minnesota in a few weeks, but will continue to co-host Almanac. (Pioneer Press)
1/22/1998: WNCB signed on its 50-Watt Brainerd translator yesterday, W218AW/91.5. (WNCB)
1/20/1998: Red River Broadcasting's Curtis Squire is the new owner of Duluth's KNLD/21, KQDS/94.9, and KDDS/1490. The combo went for $5.5 million. (All Access, KQDS)
1/20/1998: Minneapolis-based Kandu Communications is opposing the sale of Nationwide's radio group to Jacor, saying that Nationwide should sell the stations to local interests. Kandu is the same group that opposed the sale of WLOL/99.5 to MPR in 1991. (e-mail)
1/20/1998: Ed Piette is the new General Manager at KSTP-TV, coming from WDAF-TV in Kansas City. (C.J., Star Tribune)
1/17/1998: 93X has followed the lead of Rock 100.3 and began a more classic-sounding Hard Rock format. What is strange about this change is that 93X' sister station, KQRS, is supposed to be the home for Classic Rock in Disney's Minneapolis house. Disney may believe the best way to knock down Rock 100.3 (so it doesn't knock down KQRS) is with a direct target on their format. With the adjustment, there are now four stations in the market playing Classic Rock tracks.
1/17/1998: KFBN/88.7 Fargo signed on recently, presumably broadcasting a Christian format. The 100kW station is owned by the Fargo Baptist Church. (FCC)
1/13/1998: Rumors and speculation continue to float around the Twin Cities about the next development in the "rock war" between Chancellor and Disney. The only real development is that Chancellor let Cities 97 MD Jane Fredericksen go last week after 14 years at the station. This may simply be because all of Chancellor's MD's hold airshifts, but Fredericksen did not. Her replacement, Mike Wolfe, also holds down a midday airshift. Rumors say that Cities 97 may go to Modern Rock as "The Planet." Other speculation involves what will happen with KMJZ/104.1 once Jacor takes over the station. Will Jacor sell or keep the station? If Jacor sells the station to Disney, rumor says Zone 105 will move to 104.1. This would leave the 105 "triad" open for yet another new identity. Another rumored suitor for KMJZ is the CBS Group, which owns WCCO, WCCO-TV, and WLTE. CBS cannot buy any more stations in the market without getting a waiver from the FCC, which it is seeking. Another (non-rock) rumor says that KDWB may soon face competition in the CHR format. If Jacor keeps KMJZ, could this be the new CHR? Jacor has several prestigious CHR's in other markets. Or could the new CHR be the 105 stations if Zone moves to 104.1? In other developments, Rock 100.3 is now doing "Two-for Tuesdays," saying that KQRS has been slacking off in their version of "two-for Tuesdays." (Source: e-mails, All Access, Bulletin Board, rec.radio.broadcasting)
1/13/1998: In mid-Minnesota notes, there have been some changes at Q102 (KQIC/102.5) in recent months: Keith Knight left his 7-midnight slot for a job in South Dakota and is replaced by former part-timer MaryEllin Macht...overnighter Bonnie left for a TV job and has been replaced by Mike Allen, fresh out of Brown. In Montevideo, the longtime morning announcer at KDMA left the station after Thomas Ingstad bought KDMA, KMGM/105.5, and KKRC/93.9 (Granite Falls). (Source: Scotty Hanson, Bulletin Board)
1/10/1998: A news item posted here earlier about KNLD has turned out to be false. I apologize for jumping the gun on what, to me, was exciting news. KNLD is not planning to sign on April 1 with a news department, and has not begun planning its schedule. The information was posted on this site's bulletin board, and I had not considered the possibility that it could be false. What is true about KNLD is that Red River Broadcasting is buying the station, and plans to make it a FOX affiliate.
1/3/1998: David Brauer has resigned his morning drive position at KSTP/1500 over "creative differences." Could these "differences" be the fact that Dr. Laura is now starting an hour earlier (at 8 a.m.), knocking an hour off the morning show? Sidekick Scott Korzenowski will host the morning show solo. Also at KSTP, the Star Tribune's James Lileks returns for a Saturday shift from Noon to 3.
1/3/1998: More rumors (that have been around for a while): Are Jacor and Disney talking about the possible sale of KMJZ/KSGS to Disney, and if this happens, will Disney move its "Zone" format to 104.1?
1/3/1998: Still more rumors: KLDJ (Duluth) will drop Oldies for CHR. This rumor follows KLDJ's hiring of Bobby Jackson, who last worked at CHR (or is it Hot AC?) KTXY in Columbia, Missouri. If KLDJ does indeed fill the CHR hole in Duluth, KUWS/91.3 (UW-Superior) will drop its pop-dance music show, "The Beat."
1/3/1998: KMJZ isn't the only station that recently moved. WLTE/Lite 103 has moved in with sister station WCCO at 625 Second Avenue South in Minneapolis.
1/3/1998: In a turnaround, Todd Ryan has decided NOT to leave 96Lite FM. He does afternoon "drive" and the Saturday night `70s show at the Duluth station.
1/3/1998: WNCB signed on translators W280AA/103.9 Silver Bay and K220BI/91.9 Grand Marais on Wednesday. The latest on WNCB's Minneapolis translator: WNCB installed filters in the radios of the 35 KNXR listeners who complained of interference from WNCB's translator, K249DF/97.7, with two weeks to spare. KNXR filed an objection 10 days later, saying that one of the 35 listeners also wanted a filter installed on his car radio. An engineer hired by KNXR showed up to observe this installation. It turned out that no filter could be installed because the listener's car radio could not be removed. WNCB filed another report and is awaiting FCC action. Read all about it at WNCB's website.
1/3/1998: Hot 94.7's evening jock Drew West has left the station. (All Access)
1/3/1998: The Wisconsin Educational Communications Board has applied for a Class A station on 88.5, licensed to Superior. The station would broadcast Wisconsin Public Radio's NPR News and Classical Music network from KBJR's tower in Duluth. The application is mutually exlusive with the American Family Assocation's application for 88.5 in Wentworth and Lincoln High School's application for 88.7 in Esko. ("Mutually exclusive" means that only one of the applications can be granted.) If approved, WPR's new station would be the eighth noncommercial FM station in Duluth-Superior and would duplicate some programming already heard on MPR's two stations. WPR wants the new station because Superior cannot receive a clear signal from WHSA/89.9, WPR's NPR/Classical station in Brule.
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