March 2004

It turns out Al Franken's new radio show will be heard in the Twin Cities, at least for a few weeks. WMNN/1330 will carry the show from 11a-2p until the station's sale to Starboard Broadcasting is finalized. (3/31/2004)

Changes are apparently in the works for KWOM/1600 (Watertown) following the station's sale to WM Broadcasting. The new owners have reserved the callsign KZGX for use on 1600. The station provides a good signal to the western part of the Twin Cities metro area. (3/30/2004)

The Grand Island Independent reports that Steckline Communications is selling its Nebraska stations, only two months after taking over four stations in Grand Island: KMMJ/750, KRGI/1430, KRGI-FM/96.5, and KRGY/97.3. Steckline is selling the stations, along with KIMB/1260 (Kimball), to G.I. Family Radio, which is run by the mayor of Grand Island and his son-in-law. The sale agreement has not yet made its way into the FCC database. (3/30/2004)


  • Norfolk, NE: 107.5, 62W, Radio Assist Ministry
  • Crete, NE: 106.9, 10W, Radio Assist Ministry
  • Watertown, SD: 105.7, 75W, Edgewater Broadcasting
  • Hudson, WI: 96.7, 5W vertical only, Calvary Chapel of Twin Falls
  • Darlington, WI: 104.7, 13W, Edgewater Broadcasting
  • Boscobel, WI: 104.7, 13W, Edgewater Broadcasting
  • Wautoma, WI: 107.3, 19W, WRVM Inc. (3/28/2004)


  • St. James, MN: K32GX, 100W, Cooperative TV Association of Southern MN
  • Norfolk, NE: K60GO, 10kW, Pappas Telecasting
  • Norfolk, NE: K62FZ, 10kW, Pappas Telecasting
  • North Platte, NE: K47IX, 5kW, Amanda Orrick
  • North Platte, NE: K52IY, 7kW, Trinity Broadcasting Network
  • Scottsbluff, NE: K44HG, 9.8kW, Trinity Broadcasting Network
  • Watertown, SD: K45ID, 11kW, Red River Broadcasting (KDLT)
  • Rhinelander, WI: W58DN, 10kW, Trinity Broadcasting Network
  • Wausau, WI: W06CA, 50W, Davis Television (WFXS) (3/28/2004)

    The FCC has is considering whether to reserve four unused FM allotments in Iowa for non-commercial use. Last fall, the FCC asked for petitions to reserve the allotments. Here are the proposals that the FCC has decided are worth consideration, and the petitioners:

  • Asbury (near Dubuque) 95.5 A: American Family Assn., Starboard Media
  • Keosaqua 102.3 C3: University of Iowa, Starboard Media
  • Moville (near Sioux City) 97.1 A: Starboard Media
  • Rudd (near Mason City) 101.5 A: American Family Association
    In order for a frequency to be reserved, there must be no available frequency in the noncommercial band (88-92 MHz), and the new station must provide the first or second non-commercial service to at least 10% of the population of the new station's primary contour. The FCC is accepting formal comments on these petitions through May 17. (3/27/2004)

    WSAU/550 (Wausau) has applied for a license to cover, which means it has or soon will complete its upgrade to 15kW day and 20kW night, from the present 5kW. Different directional patterns are used day and night. The upgrade gives WSAU a strong daytime signal to Stevens Point and Wisconsin Rapids, which are within the Wausau-Stevens Point market, and improves nighttime reception in Wisconsin Rapids. The upgrade also adds daytime fringe-area coverage of Madison and Minneapolis. (3/25/2004)

    KIBZ/106.3 (Lincoln) debuted an Adult Contemporary format as "My 106-3" this morning (3/24) at 10 a.m., according to The station's previous Hard Rock format was moved to sister Clear Channel station KSLI/104.1 (Crete), which gave up Contemporary Hits. (3/24/2004)

    Heartland Communications is buying WIKB/1230 and WIKB-FM/99.1 (Iron River) from Northland Advertising for $1.1 million. Chicago-based Heartland also owns two stations in Park Falls, WI; operates four stations in the Ashland, WI, area, which it is buying; and is selling six stations in the Hibbing, MN, area. (3/24/2004)

    KQPR/96.1 (Albert Lea) has upgraded from 6kW to 25kW (class A to C3), strengthening its signal in its target market of Albert Lea and Austin, improving its signal to Mason City, and adding fringe coverage to Rochester. (3/24/2004)

    100W Christian Rock station KADU/90.1 (Hibbing) recently returned to the air, after being sold from JPI Radio to SGM Radio for $2. JPI had already sold several translators across the Iron Range that used to rebroadcast KADU. (3/24/2004)

    Cumulus Media's KKCT/97.5 (Bismarck) has flipped from Country to Contemporary Hits as "Hot 97-5." The new format competes primarily with the Adult CHR format on Clear Channel's heritage "Y93" (KYYY/92.9). (3/23/2004)

    After a weekend of stunting, WLRK/107.9 (Wausau) became "Rock-It 107.9" Monday morning, playing "Rockin' Hits from the 70's, 80's, and 90's." (3/23/2004)

    The FCC has released information on thousands of applications for new AM stations and major modifications to existing stations filed during a window in late January. Five dozen new stations were applied for in the Upper Midwest, including frequencies that would serve the Twin Cities area and a number of smaller markets. Click here for the list of application for new AM stations. Here are the applications from existing stations:

  • KKMS/980 (Richfield, MN) applied to change its community of license to Eagan, its studio and transmitter location. The station's facilities would be unchanged.
  • KSMM/1530 (Shakopee, MN) applied to change its community of license to Hopkins. The station's transmitter would be moved from Chaska to Eden Prairie, using 9kW day and 900W night, directional.
  • KIMB/1260 (Kimball, NE) applied to change its community of license to Ogallala, using the 50kW directional daytime signal for with it already received a CP.
  • WMBE/1530 (Chilton, WI) applied to move to 840 with 20kW directional daytime, which could give the station a good signal to Green Bay and Appleton.
  • WDGY/630 (Hudson, WI) applied to change its community of license to St. Paul, MN, using the 1kW/2.5kW facility that it already has a CP for. 630 was licensed to St. Paul prior to a transmitter move in the 1990's.
  • WTRW/1590 (Two Rivers, WI) applied to change its community of license to Denmark, using 10kW day and 1kW night with different directional patterns.
  • WTTN/1580 (Watertown, WI) applied to change its community of license to Columbus, where owner Good Karma Broadcasting has other stations. WTTN would use 470W daytime only. (3/21/2004)

    A number of construction permits have recently been issued for new low-power TV stations:

  • Spencer, IA: K52IZ, 2.8kW, Pappas Telecasting
  • Storm Lake, IA: K57JL, 20kW, Pappas Telecasting
  • Geneva, MN: K44HE, 8kW, Three Angels Broadcasting Network
  • Mankato, MN: K47IV, 10kW, Michael John Sullivan
  • North Platte, NE: K30HV, 8kW, Trinity Broadcasting Network
  • Valentine, NE: K31HM, 20kW, Pappas Telecasting
  • Pierre, SD: K43IP, 8kW, Amanda Orrick
  • Arpin, WI: W57DR, 14kW, Davis Television (3/21/2004)

    The Storm Lake translator for KMEG/14 (CBS, Sioux City) has moved from channel 40 to 47, where it is now K47FZ. (3/21/2004)

    Del Reynolds received a construction permit for a translator on 98.9 in Sturgeon Bay, W255AQ. Reynolds also has a translator in Green Bay, which was rebroadcasting WAUN/92.7 (Kewaunee) at last report. (3/21/2004)

    Omaha's case of format change fever has spilled over to Lincoln. reports that Clear Channel moved its Hard Rock "The Blaze" format from KIBZ/106.3 to KSLI/104.1 at Noon on Friday. KSLI had dropped its "Kiss 104" Contemporary Hits format earlier in the week, in favor of a simulcast with KIBZ. 106.3 is now stunting, and is expected to debut a new format on Wednesday. (3/20/2004)

    WYCO/107.9 (Wausau) has abandoned its Hot AC format, and its stunting with a mix of all genres of pop and Country music, plus Polkas and some novelty songs. The FCC shows that 107.9's callsign was officially changed to WLRK on March 10, though the station is still using the WYCO calls. (3/20/2004)

    Ave Maria Radio of Grafton is the high bidder for KUND/1370 (Grand Forks), according to the Grand Forks Herald. Ave Maria Radio plans a Catholic format. UND opted to sell the station, which currently rebroadcasts KFJM/90.7, because a costly transmitter move is required in the near future. (3/20/2004)

    Omaha has seen its third format change in a week. reports that Clear Channel's KRQC/93.3 flipped from Hard Rock to Classic Country at 10 a.m. Thursday. Clear Channel also operates the market's only other FM Country station, Kat 103.7; Waitt Radio's KOIL/1020 also carries a Classic Country format. (3/19/2004)

    Midwest Communications is expanding northward with the purchase of six stations on the Iron Range. Midwest will purchase WMFG/1240, WTBX/93.9, and WMFG-FM/106.3 (Hibbing), WNMT/650 and KMFG/102.9 (Nashwauk), and WUSZ/99.9 (Virginia) from Heartland Communications for $5.7 million. Heartland operates WUSZ through a local marketing agreement with an option to purchase from Frank Befera's Virginia Broadcasting, and will exercise that option before the sale to Midwest is finalized. Midwest Communications also has a group of six stations in Duluth, in addition to groups in Wisconsin and Michigan. (3/18/2004)

    KELO-DT's UPN affiliate, "UTV," is being added to cable system lineups in the area on channel 10. UTV is already available on Sioux Falls cable, will launch March 22 on Aberdeen and Huron cable, and April 8 on Mitchell cable. Check for smaller communities. The station was previously only available to those who have digital TV receivers. (3/16/2004)

    Is a change coming to the Wausau market? The FCC database shows that the callsign of WYCO/107.9 was offically changed to WLRK on March 10, though the station was still using WYCO and sticking with its Hot Adult Contemporary format at last report. The Seehafer Broadasting station has been WYCO since 1984. (3/16/2004)

    Recent construction permits for low-power FM/100W stations:

  • 102.7 Davenport: Davenport Educational Association plans to carry local programming and EWTN radio.
  • 107.9 Davenport: Davenport Adventist Radio plans local programming and the Three Angels Broadcasting Network.
  • 99.1 Des Moines: The Hoyt Sherman Place Foundation will use its station to "involve and empower the community on a daily basis about the incredible historical and cultural opportunities" at the Hoyt Sherman Place.
  • 104.1 Minot, ND: True Light Broadcasting plans local programming and the Three Angels Broadcasting Network. (3/14/2004)

    The FCC has completed its analysis of competing low-power FM applications in Iowa, and three conflicts still remain after using the "point" system: 7 applicants for 94.1 in the Des Moines area, 2 applicants for 94.1 in Ames, and 2 applicants for 99.9 in Dubuque. The FCC has given the competing applicants 30 days to submit time-sharing agreements; an organization's station would have to be on the air for at least ten hours per week to participate. Meanwhile, the point system has selected only one applicant in a number of other cases: Cedar Valley Chinese Ministry Association is the tentative selectee for 93.5 Cedar Falls, and Des Moines Chinese Ministry Association is the tentative selectee for 95.7 Des Moines. (3/14/2004)

    Nextmedia's WEXT/104.7 (Sturtevant) has repositioned its Country format as "104.7 The Wolf," after completing a transmitter move which added city grade coverage of Milwaukee. The station had previously targeted Racine and Kenosha. It now transmits from Oak Creek, a Milwaukee suburb, using 4.2kW at 103m. (3/13/2004)

    Waitt Radio has changed the format of two Omaha stations: the heritage "Sweet 98.5" Contemporary Hits format on KQKQ has been replaced with a Modern Adult Contemporary format as "Q98.5, Modern Hit Music," and the Adult Alternative format of "106.9 The City" has been dropped in favor of '80s Hits as "Retro 106.9." reports that the format changes took place at 3 p.m. Friday. The two format changes come days after Waitt Omaha general manager Michael Payne was asked to step aside.

    KQKQ's departure from CHR leaves the market without a mainstream CHR format, with songs in the Top 40 now divided between Waitt's "Q98.5," the R&B/Hip-Hop format of Waitt's "Hot 107-7 and 97-3", and Journal's Rhythmic "Channel 94-1." Meanwhile, fans of "The City" can find a similar format on non-commercial "89.7 The River." (3/12/2004)

    Gerald James Hackman is selling Bay Broadcasting of Ashland to Heartland Communications Group for $2.4 million. Bay Broadcasting's stations include WATW/1400, WBSZ/93.3, and WJJH/96.7 (Ashland), and WNXR/107.3 (Iron River). Heartland, formerly Midwest Radio Network, has been operating the stations through a local marketing agreement for a few years. Heartland also owns WNBI/WCQM (Park Falls). (3/12/2004)

    DISH Network has returned Viacom-owned channels, including 16 CBS affiliates, to its lineup. WCCO Minneapolis, WFRV Green Bay, and KCNC Denver were among the stations affected by the two-day outage during talks between Viacom and DISH parent Echostar. (3/11/2004)

    DISH Network customers in the Denver, Green Bay, and Minneapolis-St. Paul markets were expected to lose CBS programming due the ongoing carriage dispute between DISH and Viacom. KCNC, WCCO, WFRV, and CBS owned-and-operated stations in 13 other markets were due to be cut off at 2 a.m. CT Tuesday, along with Viacom-owned cable/satellite networks. Customers who lose CBS programming will receive a $1 montly credit. Other CBS affiliates in the region will be unaffected. Customers who receive an out-of-market CBS affiliate as a "distant local" should also not be affected. (3/9/2004)

    WOWN/99.3 (Shawano-Green Bay) will carry the Green Bay Gamblers of the United States Hockey League. The station and team recently reached a two-year deal. (3/9/2004)

    Information reported several days ago on this site about the "Que Buena" spanish-language program was incomplete. The program launched in late January on KLCI/106.1 (Elk River-Minneapolis), running from 11p-5a, and was recently expanded to 9p-5a. It is now also being simulcast on KBGY/107.5 (Faribault) beginning at 10 p.m. (Midnight on Fridays), but that may only last for a few weeks, as the station tests listener and advertiser response. KBGY otherwise simulcasts a Contemporary Christian format with WLKX/95.9 (Forest Lake), which accidentally carried "Que Buena" last Saturday night due to a switching error. KBGY has also expanded its Christian-based spanish-language programming on Sunday morning, which now airs from 5a-Noon. KLCI, KBGY, and WLKX have related ownership. KLCI is still Country as "Bob 106" from 5a-9p. (3/5/2004)

    WECL/92.9 (Elk Mound-Eau Claire) has dropped Oldies for Classic Rock as "92.9 The River." The station is owned by Maverick Media, which also owns Hard Rock station "The Carp" (WDRK/99.9); both compete with Clear Channel's mainstream "Rock 92.1." The change returns Classic Rock to a strong signal in Eau Claire, but leaves the city without an Oldies station. (3/5/2004)

    The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that WMCS/1290 will drop the remaining R&B Oldies from its format on April 12 and go all-Talk, continuing to target the African-American community. (3/5/2004)

    Lakeland Public Television (KAWE/9 Bemidji and KAWB/22 Brainerd) is now available on satellite, making it easier for residents of the station's target area to receive the station and expanding its potential reach. The station is now being seen across the entire Minneapolis market on DirecTV, channel 22 or 906, and will soon launch on DISH Network, channel 22 or 8583. Though KAWE and KAWB are both in the Minneapolis market, the station has not been seen on satellite previously because its signal could not be received at the satellte providers' "points of presence" in the Twin Cities, where local stations are received and fed to uplink centers. KAWE/KAWB is now sending its signal to the POP's so the station can be included in the locals package. (3/4/2004)

    Wausau's 89Q (WCLQ/89.5) has completed its upgrade from 5kW to 90kW, changing from class C3 to C1. The upgrade improves the Christian Hits' station's signal to outlying communities including Stevens Point, Wisconsin Rapids, Marshfield, and Antigo. Also, the former WRVM translator on 101.3 in Rhinelander has been switched over to WCLQ programming. (3/2/2004)

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