February 2011

Sinclair Broadcasting's FOX 17 (KDSM-TV Des Moines) has applied to double its power from 500kW to 1000kW, the maximum power allowed for digital TV stations. It would be the only 1,000kW station in the market. The upgrade would add a few miles to KDSM's coverage area and intensify the signal closer in. The current and proposed coverage areas are compared on page 7 of this document. (2/28/2011)

KKAQ/1460 (Thief River Falls) is now running Classic Rock, dropping a longtime simulcast with KKDQ/99.3. KKDQ continues its Country format. The logo for KKAQ shown on the stations' website is that of Citadel's Classic Rock format. Though Rock is an unusual genre to find on the AM band these days, KKAQ is actually the fourth station in genre regionally: KRWB/1410 (Roseau) carries Classic Rock, KGFK/1590 (East Grand Forks) carries mainstream Rock, and KQDJ/1400 (Jamestown, ND) carries Classic Hits -- though KGFK and KQDJ are rebroadcast on FM translators. (2/27/2011)

Iowa: The FCC has approved the transfer of translator K227BL/93.3 (Anamosa) to Sellers Broadcasting, which plans to use it to relay KMRY/1450 once it's moved to Marion.
Minnesota: Minnesota Public Radio translator W293AV/106.5 (Hinckley) is back on the air, once again carrying MPR's News network. The FCC recently approved the sale of W293AV and K283AN/104.5 (Hinckley) to Blue Wing, Inc.
South Dakota: The FCC granted a 15kW UHF translator for KOTA-TV/3.1 (Rapid City, RF2) on channel 18.
Wisconsin: The FCC granted a construction permit for W203AV/88.5 (Oshkosh) to move to North Fond du Lac. (2/27/2011)

In a rare case, the FCC says Connoisseur Media can have its bid money back after a failed attempt to sign on a new FM station in the Omaha market, but says it can't award Connoisseur additional money it had sought for "lost opportunity costs." Connoisseur won a 2004 auction for a new station on 107.7 licensed to Pacific Junction, Iowa, with a $4,397,250 bid. It later learned that FAA concerns about interference to aircraft navigation and communication systems would prevent the station from ever going on the air. It was also determined that no other frequency was available to be alloted to Pacific Junction and the allotment was deleted. The FCC says Connoisseur can seek a refund of the winning bid from the commission's Office of Managing Director, but says it lacks legal authority to grant additional money beyond the winning bid. (2/25/2011)

Educational Media Foundation has signed on KLSB/91.7 (Norfolk) carrying the Adult Contemporary Christian "K-Love" network. The new station uses 1.7kW/120m. (2/24/2011)

Christian broadcaster VCY America is buying translator W208AX/89.5 (Prairie du Chien) from Life of the Way Communications for $14,000 and plans to use it to relay WVCX/98.9 (Tomah). The 19-Watt translator actually transmits from across the river in McGregor, Iowa. (2/24/2011)

Northwestern College is buying translator K245AZ/96.9 (Dubuque) from Horizon Christian Fellowship for $10,000. Northwestern plans to use it to relay the Contemporary Christian format of "Life 101.9" (KNWS-FM Waterloo). The translator is currently off the air. (2/23/2011)

Christian broadcaster WRVM, Inc. is buying two FM translators from Horizon Christian Fellowship for $1. W254BP/98.7 (Wisconsin Rapids) and W266BA/101.1 (Nekoosa) will relay WRVM/102.7 (Suring). Both translators are currently off the air but are licensed to transmit from Lake Wazeecha, just east of Wisconsin Rapids. (2/23/2011)

Three new non-commercial stations have recently signed on along the South Dakota/Nebraska border, with one more coming soon:

  • Indian Country Today reports KDKO/89.5 (Lake Andes) recently signed on with limited programming from an MP3 player at the transmitter site, but hopes to begin regular programming soon. The station will carry the "Dakota Talk Radio" programming that's been heard online for four years.
  • The Lakota Country Times reports KOYA/88.1 (Rosebud) will sign on this Thursday, Feb. 24, just one day before the construction permit would expire. It's owned by the Rosebud Sioux Tribe.
  • DX-midAMerica reports KCFD/88.1 (Craword, NE) and KVKR/88.3 (Pine Ridge, SD) are on the air simulcasting Classic Rock. They're owned by Southern Cultural Foundation. (2/22/2011)

    West Central Michigan Media Ministries is buying the construction permit for WUMI/90.3 (Newberry) from Korkee, Inc. for $2,500. The buyer owns one station in the lower peninsula and has a CP for another. The WUMI CP expires this May 16, but the buyer will be able to ask for an 18-month extension from the FCC. The current CP calls for 70kW/62m from the WNBY/1450 tower. (2/18/2011)

    Midwest Communications is buying the construction permit for a new station on 98.9 licensed to Two Rivers from Tri-County Radio for $200,000. Tri-County won the CP in an FCC auction last year with a $49,000 bid, more than a decade after it and three other groups applied for the frequency. The current CP calls for 6kW/68m (class A) from a tower just south of Manitowoc, with the main coverage area reaching to the northern edge of Sheboygan. Midwest also owns four stations in the Sheboygan market and eight stations in the Appleton and Green Bay markets. (2/14/2011)

    Sturgeon Bay SDA Church is donating the construction permit for WQQA/91.7 (Forestville) to Radio 74 Internationale. There is no written agreement and no money will be exchanged. The CP is for 4kW/72m from a tower near Algoma. (2/14/2011)

    Northwestern College is buying K245AZ/96.9 (Dubuque) from Horizon Christian Fellowship for $10,000. Nortwestern plans to use the translator to relay KNWS-FM/101.9 (Waterloo). (2/14/2011)

    Golden West Broadcasting has applied to increase the power of its "Ignite 107" (CFEQ-FM/107.1 Winnipeg) from 920W to a full 100kW. The station would move its transmitter from downtown Winnipeg to the CBC tower in Starbuck and increase antenna height from 92m to 223m (class A to C1). CFEQ says the target audience of its licensed format, Christian alternative rock, is extremely narrow and says its current signal is unable to provide consistent or adequate service to its target audience. Golden West says the economic losses have mounted since it bought CFEQ in 2008, and says the station cannot successfully operate under the current technical parameters for the long-term. Here's a comparison of the current and proposed coverage areas. (2/14/2011)

    Educational Media Foundation is buying KXGM-FM/89.1 (Hiawatha-Cedar Rapids) and plans to flip the station to its Air-1 Christian Hits network, according to the station's website. EMF will pay Extreme Grace Media $265,000 for KXGM-FM and its translators in Iowa City, Waterloo, Waverly, Marshalltown, Dyersville, and Mount Vernon. The deal does not include KXGM/850 (Waterloo), which went silent in late 2009 after losing its transmitter site and could lose its license if it can't return to the air this month. (2/9/2011)

    Two AM-on-FM translators are coming to northeastern South Dakota. Armada Media is buying translator K296FW/107.1 (Aberdeen) to use as a translator of "ESPN 1420" (KGIM Aberdeen), and K255BP/98.9 (Milbank) to use as a translator of Classic Hits KMSD/1510 (Milbank). It'll pay Horizon Christian Fellowship $9,000 for K296FW and $6,000 for K255BP. Both are licensed for 250 Watts, the maximum allowed for translators, but are currently off the air. (2/7/2011)

    Home Field Communications, LLC is buying KOLB/93.7 (Firth), which has the potential to be upgraded to serve the Lincoln market. The buyer will pay VSS Catholic Communications $250,000 for the station. Home Field Communications is headed by James Keck of Lincoln, who owns 40 percent of the company; Ronald Romero of Lincoln owns the other 60 percent. VSS originally intended KOLB to be its Lincoln-area signal but no longer needed it after buying the former KBZR/102.7 (Lincoln) and converting it to KVSS/102.7 (Papillion-Omaha), which also serves Lincoln. KOLB currently transmits from near Firth with 310 Watts but has a construction permit to move its transmitter closer to Lincoln with 6kW, giving it rimshot coverage of the capital city.

    Meanwhile, VSS says it's halfway through fundraising for projects in central and northeastern Nebraska. It needs a total of $280,000 to sign on a new station at 88.3 in Hartington, and $160,000 to upgrade KBTK/91.5 (Grand Island) to reach Hastings and Kearney. To make way for the latter upgrade, VSS paid the University of Nebraska $10,000 to move KLPR/91.3 (Kearney) to 91.1 late last year. (2/7/2011)

    The FCC has granted Results Broadcasting a construction permit for a new AM station in Shawano. The new station will broadcast on 1460, sharing the WTCH/960 tower site, using 1kW day and 620W night with the same directional antenna pattern day and night. Results Broadcasting owns WTCH, WOWN/99.3, and WTCH translator W243CM/96.5, as well as AM-FM combos in Clintonville and Antigo. (2/6/2011)

    What was slated to be a new Jamestown-area commercial FM station may turn out to be a Valley City-area station instead. Michael Greene has applied to move the construction permit for a new station on 99.1 about 70 miles east, changing from the current 100kW/153m CP tower site near Medina to a tower near Valley City using 90kW/67m. The CP, which does not yet have a callsign, would change its community of license from Gackle to Tower City. The application says Greene has been unable to secure a tower site that can provide city-grade service to Gackle. (2/3/2011)

    All Access reports the new 107.7 (Hay Springs-Chadron) will carry a Rock format with the pending callsign of KBPY. Kathleen R. Brown's Chadrad Communications, which also owns KCSR/610 (Chadron), bought the construction permit from Big Cat Broadcasting last year for $85,000. The current CP is for 100kW/150m (class C1) from a tower south of Chadron, but the station has applied for 50kW/144m (class C2) from a tower near Hay Springs. (2/2/2011)

    Darby Advertising has applied to move the construction permit for WUPN/94.7 (Paradise) into the Sault Ste. Marie market. The station would move to 95.1 and use 25kW/73m (class C3) from a tower along Whitefish Bay midway between Paradise and Sault Ste. Marie. The current CP calls for 25kW/2m from a tower near Whitefish Point.

    The proposed facility is short-spaced with a vacant allotment for a new class C (100kW/600m) station on 95.5 in Sault Ste. Marie, ON, but WUPN contends the application should be approved because any interference to the possible future Canadian station would be in a small area on the U.S. side of the border. WUPN would also use a directional antenna to protect a vacant class C allotment on 95.1 in Chapleau, ON.

    Darby Advertising is headed by Kent Smith and also owns a station in the lower peninsula. Smith also owns Newberry Radio, LLC, which operates four stations owned by Radioactive, LLC elsewhere in the upper peninsula. Smith's father, David Smith, is the licensee of WMJT/96.7 (McMillan-Newberry). Four of the stations carry broad Classic Hits formats branded as "The Eagle."

    The Twin Soos currently have six stations on the U.S. side of the border owned by Sovereign Communications and two on the Canadian side owned by Rogers Broadcasting. Another station, WIHC/97.9 (Newberry), went silent last year citing the poor economy after owner Northern Star Broadcasting sold its other stations to Sovereign. (2/2/2011)

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