February 2015

WISCONSIN:
ESPN Radio has returned to the Wausau market with a schedule spread across two stations. "Sports Fan 100.5" (WDTX Rothschild-Wausau) is carrying Mike and Mike from 5 to 9 a.m., while sister station WXCO/1230 (Wausau) carries the rest of the ESPN lineup after a local morning show. WXCO had previously carried a Soft Oldies/Nostalgia format as "Sunny 1230." WDTX dropped ESPN for NBC Sports Radio in January, saying at the time that it was unable to reach an agreement with ESPN. WXCO had also carried ESPN Radio prior to WDTX's signon in 2010. (2/28/2015)

IOWA:
Powell Broadcasting News/Talker KSCJ/1360 (Sioux City) has signed on FM translator K235CA/94.9 (Sioux City). The translator's 250-Watt signal is enough to cover the immediate metro area. KSCJ's lineup includes local programming from 6 to 11 a.m. and syndicated talkers including Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. (2/25/2015)

MINNESOTA:
Several weeks after its longtime Easy Listening format came to an end, KNXR/97.5 (Rochester) has returned to the air as "Pulse FM" under the ownership of Gregory Jensen's Hometown Broadcasting of Rochester. The official launch came Tuesday afternoon (2/24) after stunting with a variety of music. The new Hot Adult Contemporary format will feature the "Med City Morning Show" with Tom Garrett, the former longtime morning host at Townsquare Media's "Y105" (KYBA/105.3 Stewartville-Rochester). ("Pulse" and the morning show names are apparently references to Rochester's most famous institution, the Mayo Clinic.) "Pulse FM" falls formatically between two Townsquare stations, the Adult Contemporary format on "Y105" and Contemporary Hits on KROC-FM/106.9 (Rochester). KNXR's 100kW/317m signal is the strongest in Rochester and is also easy to receive in Austin/Albert Lea, where Jensen owns two other stations. It also has fringe coverage to the southern Twin Cities suburbs, Eau Claire, La Crosse, and Mason City. (2/24/2015)

NEBRASKA:
The Nebraska Rural Radio Association has announced plans to buy another pair of stations, KAWL/1370 and KTMX/104.9 (York). The price for the purchase from Mark Jensen's MWB Broadcasting was not immediately announced. The NRRA, owned by farmers and ranchers, has seven existing stations known for local programming. KAWL carries a Classic Hits format, while KTMX carries Adult Contemporary. (2/23/2015)

MINNESOTA:
A much belated note that Red Rock Radio shifted two formats in the Brainerd area last year, moving its News/Talk format from WWWI/1270 (Baxter-Brainerd) to KLKS/100.1 (Pequot Lakes-Brainerd), which now goes by the slogan "Talk 100." WWWI/1270 is now carrying NBC Sports Radio under the "Red Zone Sports Radio" banner used by other Red Rock stations. It appears the change happened around Labor Day, a month before WWWI-FM/95.9 (Pillager-Brainerd) dropped a satellite-fed Classic Rock format in favor of a rebroadcast of Red Rock Classic Rock outlet KQDS-FM/94.9 (Duluth). The News/Talk format on KLKS displaces a satellite-fed Classic Hits format that had aired for about a year following Red Rock's purchase of the station from a noncommercial broadcaster. WWWI-FM had also once carried a News/Talk format in tandem with the AM station. (2/23/2015)

NEBRASKA/NORTH DAKOTA:
Legacy Broadcasting tells the FCC its newly-acquired stations in Nebraska and North Dakota aren't yet ready to come back on the air. KNHL/5 (Hastings, NE; formerly KHAS-TV), KNDB/26 (Bismarck, ND; formerly KNDX), and KNDM/24 (Minot, ND; formerly KXND) went silent last June after Gray TV moved their former affiliations to its own stations. Legacy then bought the licenses. The new owners tell the FCC in requests for special temporary authority to remain silent that "equipment that Legacy acquired was insufficient for immediate resumption of broadcast operations" and that it expects to return the stations to the air in advance of the statutory one-year deadline for the licenses to remain valid.

Incidentally, it is worth noting that Legacy shares ownership with Commonwealth Broadcasting Group, which operates the Mississippi stations seen in the truTV docu-comedy "Breaking Greenville." The series portrays two stations as full competitors, when, in fact, Commonwealth owns one of the stations and operates the other through a shared services agreement. (2/20/2015)

MINNESOTA:
Red Rock Radio has set Monday, March 2, as the launch date for Duluth's first FM sports outlet. WWAX/92.1 (Hermantown-Duluth) will become "92.1 The Fan," simulcasting the Sports talk format already heard on KQDS/1490 (Duluth). The lineup will include FAN network programming from KFXN-FM/100.3 (Minneapolis) from 5:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldog men's hockey and football, Minnesota Wild hockey, and high school sports. "The Fan" competes with Townsquare Media's "ESPN 560" (WEBC Duluth) and Midwest Communications' CBS Sports Radio affiliate WGEE/970 (Superior-Duluth). 92.1's flip displaces a Hot Adult Contemporary format called "Nu 92," leaving pop music in the Twin Ports to Townsquare's "Mix 108" (KBMX/107.7 Proctor-Duluth) and Midwest's KDWZ/102.5 (Superior-Duluth). "Nu 92" had launched in 2010, three days after KDWZ's Contemporary Hits format. 92.1 has carried several different variations of AC and Contemporary Hits over its 19-year history. (2/19/2015)

WISCONSIN:
The National Association of Broadcasters released a study Wednesday showing that at least half of the UHF stations in the Milwaukee market would have to be voluntarily relinquished in order for the FCC to recover 120 MHz of spectrum in next year's reverse auction. The NAB's study, based on data from FCC simulations released last year, found that between 7 and 11 of the Milwaukee market's 13 UHF full-power and Class A stations would have to go off the air. The study says Milwaukee is the only Upper Midwest market that would definitely have to lose a UHF station in order for the auction to work, though the loss of at least one UHF station may be needed in some other markets in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa depending on which stations choose to participate. Stations that voluntarily relinquish their UHF spectrum could move to VHF, agree to share a channel with another station, or go off the air completely. Most digital TV stations broadcast on UHF, which is easier to receive with an indoor antenna. Many remap to their former VHF broadcast channel numbers on receivers. (2/18/2015)

IOWA:
Iowa State University, one of the parent groups of Iowa Public Radio, has surrendered the permit for a new station in the Sioux City area. KNSX/97.1 (Moville) had faced a Jan. 31 construction deadline and was to have used 5.2kW/109m, which would have provided a rimshot signal to eastern Sioux City. The FCC denied an upgrade for the would-be station in 2013 over a legal technicality of how the frequency was reserved for non-commercial use. IPR also once had a CP for KHGM/88.9 (Sioux City), which it sold to a group that didn't get it on the air by the CP deadline. The network's only coverage of far western Iowa is the fringe daytime signal of WOI/640 (Ames). Sioux City has one existing public radio station, Western Iowa Tech Community College's KWIT/90.3. (2/18/2015)

MINNESOTA:
The University of Northwestern-St. Paul's "Faith Radio" (KTIS/900) is now available on FM in the Twin Cities on translator K214DF/90.7, which formerly carried the "K-Love" network.

The switchover came on Friday, Feb. 6, as "K-Love" translator K260BA/99.9 upgraded to cover more of the metro area. K214DF and K260BA, along with "Air1" station W225AP/92.9, are now all transmitting from the Wells Fargo building in Minneapolis, with K260BA using 250 Watts and the other two using 99 Watts. K260BA moved its transmitter from Plymouth, and W225AP moved from St. Paul. All are owned by "K-Love/Air-1" parent Educational Media Foundation.

"We at Faith Radio deeply appreciate the kindness of the EMF board and trustees," Faith Radio’s Senior Vice President for Media, Dr. Paul Virts, said in a press release. "This 99-watt translator will have a potential audience of 1.5 million people and give Faith Radio listeners an opportunity to listen to a FM quality signal in the Twin Cities, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week." KTIS/900 broadcasts with 50kW during the day, but its 500-Watt nighttime signal is limited to a portion of the east metro. "Faith Radio," which features Christian talk and preaching, is also relayed on the HD2 signal of KTIS-FM/98.5.

Meanwhile, W225AP's move to Minneapolis to carry "Air1" opens the door for future changes at K273BH/102.5, which also carries "Air1." K273BH transmits from the IDS Center along with two other translators programmed by iHeartMedia, W227BF/93.3 and K278BP/103.5. (2/16/2015)

MINNESOTA:
NBC affiliate KTTC (Rochester) is promoting a March 1 launch for Heroes & Icons network on channel 10.3. The relatively new network from Weigel Broadcasting carries mostly classic westerns and crime dramas and has also found affiliates in Minneapolis, Des Moines, Milwaukee, and Wausau. KTTC also carries CW+ on channel 10.2. (2/16/2015)

NEBRASKA:
New low-power FM station KNIL-LP/95.9 (Creighton) is on the air carrying Catholic and community programming. The 100-Watt station is owned by St. Ludgerus Catholic Church. (2/16/2015)

SOUTH DAKOTA:
Christian Heritage Broadcasting is donating K261CH/100.1 (Carpenter) to the Moody Bible Institute. K261CH will carry Moody Radio via K213CL/90.5 (Huron). (2/16/2015)

MANITOBA:
Winnipeg pop radio listeners could be forgiven for being a bit confused Friday as two stations changed their names three hours apart. At 9 a.m., Rogers Hot Adult Contemporary outlet CKY-FM/102.3 changed its name from "Clear FM" to "Kiss FM," matching the brand used by numerous other Rogers stations. Then at Noon, Corus Entertainment's CJGV-FM/99.1 tweaked its name from "Fresh FM" to "Fresh Radio" with an Alternative-leaning Hot AC mix. The Corus change came as part of a national rebranding of "Fresh" stations. (2/13/2015)

MINNESOTA:
"Go 96.3" (KTWN-FM Edina-Minneapolis) has hired two bona fide Alternative radio veterans for its new format. Barb Abney, whose recent firing from Minnesota Public Radio's "The Current" sparked listener backlash, will join "Go" for the 8 a.m. to Noon shift. Meanwhile, "REV 105" and "Current" veteran Thorn will co-host the 4 to 8 p.m. shift with local musician Linnea Mohn. All three start at the station Monday, joining Brian "BT" Turner and Jason Nagel. "Go 96.3" is owned by the Pohlad family's Northern Lights Broadcasting and is the flagship of the Minnesota Twins. (2/12/2015)

IOWA:
In an unusual situation, the owner of now-deleted translator K238AN/95.5 (Ames) is asking the FCC to give back its license. The FCC sent K238AN licensee Fourthstream Media a letter in November indicating that the translator's license would be deleted since records indicated it had been off the air since 2012. After the formal cancellation last month, Fourthstream filed a petition for reconsideration, stating that K238AN had never actually been off the air and the misinformation resulted from an error on a 2012 application. Fourthstream is also separately seeking special temporary authority to keep the translator on the air. K238AN was last known to rebroadcast the "Pulse 99.5" Christian Hits format of KPUL (Winterset-Des Moines). (2/11/2015)

IOWA:
NRG Media is buying an FM translator to relay ESPN Radio affiliate KWLO/1330 (Waterloo). NRG will pay E-String Wireless, Ltd. $50,635 for the construction permit for K295CF/106.9 (Waterloo). The current CP calls for 250 Watts from a tower just outside the eastern Waterloo city limits. (2/11/2015)

NEBRASKA:
University of Nebraska Cornhuskers broadcasts in the Omaha market are moving from iHeartMedia's KFAB/1110 to Journal Broadcasting's KXSP/590 this summer, the team and distributor IMG announced Tuesday. KXSP, an ESPN affiliate, will carry Huskers football, men's and women's basketball, volleyball, and baseball games, in addition to the Monday-Friday "Sports Nightly" program. Journal's "Z92" (KEZO/92.3) will simulcast football games, and "CD105.9" (KKCD) will carry any women's basketball, volleyball, or baseball games that conflict with other games on KXSP. KXSP is currently an affiliate of the Iowa Hawkeyes network and it's not immediately clear what will become of that deal. KFAB and KXSP have similar daytime coverage areas, but KFAB also enjoys extensive nighttime skywave service across the Upper Midwest. (2/10/2015)

WISCONSIN:
WBKV/1470 (West Bend) has dropped syndicated Talk from its lineup, replacing it with Classic Hits, following the station's sale to Magnum Broadcasting. Magnum recently made a similar move at WRJN/1400 (Racine), dropping Talk for Adult Contemporary. Both stations provide a heavy dose of local news and information for their exurban Milwaukee coverage areas. Meanwhile, Magnum's WBWI-FM/92.5 (West Bend) has rebranded its format as "Buzz Country." 92.5 provides a rimshot signal to the northern part of the Milwaukee metro area, while Magnum's recently-launched "Q92" (WMKQ/92.1 Racine) covers the southern Milwaukee metro. (2/9/2015)

NORTH DAKOTA:
Former CBS affiliate KRDK-TV/4 (Valley City-Fargo) is apparently going with a multicast strategy under its new owner, Ravi Kapur's Major Market Broadcasting. KRDK continues to carry the previously-reported infomercials on channel 4.1 and has also added Cozi TV on 4.2, Grit on 4.5, and Escape on 4.6. Movies! Network is also listing KRDK as a future affiliate on either 4.2 or 4.4. The most recent reports indicate channels 4.3 and 4.4 are blank for now. (2/6/2015)

WISCONSIN:
WMKE-CA (Milwaukee), which formerly broadcast in analog on channel 7, as activated its new digital facility on channel 21. The station is now the northernmost affiliate of the Soul of the South Network, a channel serving the African American community. Owner KM LPTV of Milwaukee has FCC approval to sell WMKE-CD to Locuspoint, but the sale has not been consummated. (2/5/2015)

WISCONSIN:
The FCC has deleted the license of WZRK/1550 (Lake Geneva) at the request of its new owner, WGLB LLC. The move is not a surprise since WGLB/1560 (Elm Grove-Milwaukee) applied for an upgrade in November and stated at that time that WZRK would either move or turn in its license to make way for WGLB's expanded coverage area. In a Jan. 26 letter to the FCC, WGLB LLC said it had deemed it "economically undesirable to operate a station at Lake Geneva" and asked that the license be canceled. WZRK has had a rocky recent history, starting with a period of silence in 2001. Starboard Broadcasting purchased the station and returned it to the air with Catholic programming in 2003. Five years later, Starboard transferred WZRK to Sovereign City Radio Services, which used it as an affiliate of its "Avenue" Swing/Standards/Jazz format. WZRK obtained a construction permit to move into the Chicago network in 2010, but the CP was never built and the station went silent in 2013. WGLB LLC bought the license last year for $100,000. (2/4/2015)

IOWA:
The FCC has deleted the license of K238AN/95.5 (Ames), which at one time rebroadcast the "Pulse 99.5" Christian Hits format of KPUL (Winterset-Des Moines). A website set up for the translator indicated it would go off the air in 2012 unless fundraising goals were met, and FCC records indicate K238AN went off the air that year. (2/3/2015)


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