MapNews Archive

January 1999

The Wisconsin Educational Communications Board, one of the organizations that runs Wisconsin Public Radio, has proposed that 102.9A be allocated to Ashland, and 104.7A be allocated to Washburn, and that both be reserved for non-commercial use. Comments to the FCC are due on March 22. WPR is expected to turn on two Ashland translators using those frequencies within a few weeks. W275AF/102.9 will relay KUWS/91.3 (Superior), and W284AN/104.7 will relay WHSA/89.9 (Brule). It's all part of WPR's campaign to get a "Clear Signal" into the Chequamegon Bay area. (1/31/99)

All Access reports that Michael Knight left KDWB/101.3 Thursday (1/28). Corey Rhodes is temporarily filling the afternoon drive shift. Also at Chancellor and reported by All Access, Scott Struber is the new afternoon host at Rock 100.3/WRQC. (1/29/99)

KAGR/26 (Bemidji), which is not yet on the air, is being sold from Media Properties to Clear Channel. Clear Channel owns FOX29 WFTC, the FOX affiliate in the Minneapolis market. Bemidji is in the far northern reaches of the Minneapolis market, and receives WCCO-TV (CBS), KSTP-TV (ABC), and KMSP (UPN) via satellite stations and translators. The area is currently served by KVRR, Fargo's FOX affiliate, but this sale undoubtedly means that KAGR will be a WFTC satellite. KARE 11 (NBC) still lacks broadcast coverage in the Bemidji area. (1/29/99)

Eclectic Enterprises' Construction Permit for a new 25kW station in Crandon, Wisconsin has been cancelled. How does this pertain to our region? Eclectic also holds CP's for new stations in Grand Marais and Babbitt, while related entity Harbor Broadcasting has a CP in Deer River. The Grand Marais station was supposed to sign on a few times in the past few years. Eclectic also owns KZIO/104.3 (Two Harbors-Duluth), and Harbor owns WWAX/92.1 (Hermantown-Duluth). (1/29/99)

Shoptalk reports the following personnel notes at Twin Cities TV news operations: Kevin Howell joins WCCO-TV as Executive Producer, while Linda Kelsey joins the station as an arts and entertainment contributor; KSTP-TV welcomes new reporters Bridgette Bornstein and Coleen Harry. (1/29/99)

KOCL/96.7 (Arthur, ND) has also petitioned the FCC to reconsider the decision not to renew the station's license. (1/29/99)

KMSR/94.3 (Sauk Centre), KMGK/107.1 (Glenwood), and KSTQ/99.3 (Alexandria) have filed petitions to reconsider the FCC's decision not to renew their licenses. Branstock Communications owns all three stations. (1/25/99)

WJMC-FM's application to downgrade may lead to a full Twin Cities metro area signal for KARP. WJMC would move from 96.3 to 96.1, drop power from 100kW to 50kW (class C1 to C2), and move its transmitter to a site north of Rice Lake (from here to here). This would permit KARP to do one of the following:

Looking at precendence, the FCC would be wary of allowing KARP to change its city of license from Glencoe to a suburb. Allocating a new frequency in the current service area would make the change more FCC-friendly. The use of directional antennas may make this even easier. Also, if KARP did decide to apply for a move into the Twin Cities, they could make Bloomington the city of license. Bloomington is the third largest city in Minnesota and home to the Mall of America, but has no "aural services" (except for a translator, which doesn't count for things like this). We all know that, in reality, the station would not serve Bloomington any more than other parts of the Twin Cities, but the FCC still seems to be big on this city-of-license thing.

Downgrading KWWK/96.5 (Rochester) would open the window for even more possibilities, such as KARP transmitting with 100kW from a site east of Waconia.

Information on the distance between locations was obtained from the Broadcast Station Location Page at Minimum distance separations are available at the FCC website. (1/22/99)

WXCE/1260 (Amery) has been sold again, from Robert and Lois Johnson to Lake Country Broadcasting. The FCC has already approved the sale. (1/20/99)

Children's Broadcasting Corporation may not be getting that $20 million check from Disney/ABC after all, since a judge overturned his own ruling last Friday. Check out the Star Tribune article linked at the bottom of the page. (1/20/99)

The new sound at WNCB/89.3 (Duluth) was revealed last week. The format has been tightened, and about half of the songs in the music library have been dropped. The station voice has also changed. The changes are being made to bring back listeners who may have abandoned the station when it went heavy on the dance and rap several years back, although the new sound does include some dance and rap. WNCB is a little hotter in the evening to take advantage of the fact that there is no CHR station in Duluth. (1/18/99)

Catholic Family Radio (WWTC/1280 in the Twin Cities) uses Mutual News on the hour, with CFR spots in place of Mutual's. The network carries EWTN Radio at times. (1/18/99)

All Access: KFAN/1130 wants to bring Michael Jordan out of retirement. The station has offered a $1 million, one-year contract to host the 1-3 p.m. slot. (1/18/99)

Brian Whittemore is the new General Manager at WCCO/830. He's being transferred from KDKA Pittsburgh. (1/12/99)

In a rare move, WJMC-FM/96.3 (Rice Lake) is applying do downgrade from class C1 (100kW) to class C2 (50kW). The reason for the application is not known at this time, but I can speculate: the change would allow KARP/96.3 (Glencoe) to either upgrade from C2 to C1 at its current location, or move its transmitter closer to the Twin Cities. Either way, the net effect would be that KARP would have a rimshot signal to the western suburbs. Furthermore, WKLK-FM/96.5 (Cloquet) could move its transmitter from Cloquet to Duluth's antenna farm and upgrade from C3 to C2. (1/12/99)

Andrew Hilger is selling three of his four St. Cloud area stations to Regent Communications of Kentucky for $12.7 million. Included in the sale are WJON/1240 (Full Service), KMXK/94.9 (Oldies), and WWJO/98.1 (Country). Hilger will keep KKJM/92.9 (Contemporary Christian), but plans to donate it to "the community." Regent currently owns 34 radio stations in 11 small and medium markets, but none in the region. Nobody has been fired. (1/11/99)

WNXR/107.3 (Iron River) is now calling itself "Oldies 107.3". The station was originally Adult Contemporary when it signed on about five years ago, using the slogan "Superior Lite," but has transitioned to Oldies over the past few years. WNXR is automated with a local morning show. (1/11/99)

KCGN/101.5 (Ortonville) is being sold to Heritage Broadcasting, owner of "Praise FM" (KBHL/103.9 Osakis and KBHZ/91.9 Willmar). The station was taken over by the new management on January 1. The entire staff was released except for Valery Berg (middays), who will stay on to run the office, and Al Gilbertson (afternoon drive), who will do some contract engineering work part-time. Management plans to put a satellite uplink at their Osakis studios to link KCGN into the network. Until the uplink is installed in late January or early February, KCGN will run as many of the usual Praise FM programs as possible from the Milbank, SD studios. KCGN is rebroadcast on a number of translators in western Minnesota. (1/11/99)

Update: Ronnie Wells isn't leaving The New Kiss 92.1 (WWAX Hermantown-Duluth). She's moving from evenings to middays (9 a.m. to Noon) while she completes her degree at UW-Superior. (1/11/99)

WNCB/89.3 (Duluth) has finished the move to its new studios and offices in the KDLH/3 building on Superior Street. The last step was to move the satellite uplink, which feeds translators. The translators that use the satellite feed were off the air for about 28 hours during the transition, and came back on the air about 3 p.m. Friday. (1/11/99)

Full electrical power was restored to the studios and offices of KUWS/91.3 (Superior) and WHSA/89.9 (Brule) on Friday night (1/8). (1/9/99)

Michael Wilde has taken over the evening shift at The New Kiss 92.1 (WWAX Hermantown-Duluth), replacing Ronnie Wells. Wilde was the Program Director at KRBR/102.5 "The Bear" until a few weeks ago. Mike Langevin, current PD at KDAL-FM/95.7, is now also PD of KRBR. (1/8/99)

What's this "new sound" that WNCB/89.3 (Duluth) says is coming? (1/8/98)

The Construction Permit for KRWB-FM/103.5 (Roseau) has been cancelled. Robert Obie held the CP and owned KRWB/1410 at the time the CP was granted, but sold the AM station to KNDK, Inc. last year. KRWB-FM was to have been a 50kW station.(1/8/99)

The FCC has granted KQKK/101.9 (Walker) permission to change its power to 50kW at 119m. Since the transmitter will be located east of Walker, KQKK's coverage area will be rural, covering the area between Bemidji, Brainerd, and Grand Rapids. Carol DeLaHunt owns the station, which is not yet on the air. (1/6/99)

Wisconsin Public Radio stations KUWS/91.3 (Superior) and WHSA/89.9 (Brule) are suffering from a power outage at their studios and office in the Holden Fine Arts Building at UW-Superior. The problems began on Saturday night (1/2), when water leaked into the building's electrical transformer, destroying it. The stations are currently using a generator to power the studio-transmitter links and the equipment that inserts ID's into WPR network programming. The generator is not powerful enough to run the equipment necessary to do local programming. (1/5/99)

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