March 2006

Quincy Newspapers is buying KWWL/7 (Waterloo) from Raycom. The purchase price was not disclosed in a press release, but should become available in an FCC filing in a few days. Quincy owns a dozen TV stations, mostly in the Upper Midwest, including three in markets bordering the Cedar Rapids-Waterloo market. Earlier this week, Raycom sold a dozen other stations to Barrington Broadcasting. (3/31/2006)

Gray Television CBS affiliate WSAW/7 (Wausau) has signed on to carry MyNetworkTV on a secondary digital subchannel. (3/31/2006)

Another format flip preceded Clear Channel's two format moves in Sioux City this week (details below): NRG's KZSR/102.3 (Onawa) dropped its "Star" AC format for Classic Hits/Hot AC as "Bob FM." Half of the stations in the Sioux City market have changed format or made major tweaks within the last eight months. (3/30/2006)

Quincy Newspapers will launch a slew of new digital TV subchannels to carry the CW when the new network launches this fall. The network will air on subchannels of WQOW (Eau Claire), WXOW (La Crosse), WGEM (Quincy), KTTC (Rochester), KTIV (Sioux City), and WAOW (Wausau). The stations will have to mostly stick to the CW100+ schedule, which will include the 30 hours of CW programming plus syndicated programs to round out the clock, similar to the current WB100+ cable channel. In another deal announced Tuesday, current WB affiliate KGWB/26 (Burlington) has signed on with CW. KGWB is also seen on a subchannel of sister station KLJB (Davenport). There's still no announcement on CW affiliates in Minneapolis, Milwaukee, and Cedar Rapids. (3/29/2006)

Clear Channel has shifted formats in Sioux City. Longtime adult-leaning Contemporary Hits KGLI/95.5 (Sioux City) has moved to Adult Contemporary, but keeps its "KG95" slogan. Meanwhile, KSFT-FM/107.1 (South Sioux City) flipped from Light AC to Contemporary Hits as "Kiss 107." (3/29/2006)

Young Broadcasting's UTV, seen on KELO-DT2 (Sioux Falls) and satellites KDLO-DT2 (Watertown) and KPLO-DT2 (Reliance), will carry MyNetworkTV. (3/28/2006)

Barrington Broadcasting has reached a deal to buy stations in nine markets from Raycom, including KTVO/3 (Kirksville-Ottumwa), WLUC/6 (Marquette), WPBN/7 (Traverse City), and WTOM/4 (Cheboygan). The total purchase price is $262 million. Raycom's other stations, including KWWL/7 (Waterloo), are still up for sale. (3/28/2006)

All Access reports that WKQH/104.9 (Marathon-Wausau) has flipped from Rock to Country as "B104.9." The station is owned by Rick Muzzy's RLM Communications. (3/28/2006)

W231AS/94.1 (Antigo) has signed on rebroadcasting WGNV/88.5 (Milladore). The translator station is owned by Edgewater Broadcasting. (3/28/2006)

All Access and Radio and Records report that WBJZ/104.7 (Berlin) will drop its Smooth Jazz format for Hot AC on Monday, April 3, including the syndicated Kidd Kraddick morning show. (3/26/2006)

DirecTV has launched a Mankato local channels package. CBS affiliate KEYC is the only broadcast station in the market, and is joined by Minneapolis stations KSTP-ABC, KMSP-FOX, KARE-NBC, and WFTC-UPN, as well as WB from Miami and the national PBS feed. DISH Network does not serve the market. There are only three markets left in the Upper Midwest not served with a locals package by either provider: Kirksville-Ottumwa, Marquette, and North Platte. (3/24/2006)

WACY/32 (Appleton-Green Bay), KBJR-DT2 (Superior-Duluth), and KKRA-LP/24 (Rapid City) are the latest stations in the region added to the MyNetworkTV affiliate list. WACY and KBJR-DT2 are currently UPN affiliates, while KKRA-LP carries "i." (3/23/2006)

There's a push to allow stations that moved to the expanded portion of the AM band (1620-1700) to keep both their new and old frequencies. In an application for authority to remain off the air temporarily, KYDZ/1180 (Bellevue-Omaha) states: "At this date, a number of expanded band licensees (including Waittcorp Investments, LLC/Waitt Omaha, LLC) are preparing a joint motion for stay of the five-year expanded band license period and a petition for rule making that would extend the license period in return for certain public interest commitments. There is reason to believe that these filings, which should be submitted within a matter of days, will receive serious Commission consideration."

The FCC came up with the plan for stations to move to the expanded band in the early 1990's, before groups were allowed to own more than one AM station per market. Stations were chosen to move into the expanded band based on how much interference could be reduced by taking the old frequencies off the air. Stations that moved to the expanded band were given the new frequency for free and were allowed to use both frequencies for five years.

KYDZ left the air at the end of February, and its owners had originally intended to surrender the license before asking for the authority to suspend operations. Two Upper Midwest stations that got expanded band frequencies, KDNZ/1250 (Cedar Falls-Waterloo) and WLMV/1480 (Madison), remain on the air with Spanish-language formats. Meanwhile, a number of stations that moved to the expanded band have already surrendered their old frequencies, including 1390 Des Moines, 1560 Iowa City, 1550 West Fargo, and 1370 Sussex-Milwaukee. (3/22/2006)


  • WMIN/740 (Hudson, WI-St. Paul-Minneapolis) upgraded from 1.1kW to 2.5kW, improving the station's signal in the western Twin Cities metro. The station is still daytime-only and transmits from east of Hudson, on the far eastern side of the metro area.
  • WNWC/1190 (Sun Prairie-Madison, WI) upgraded from 1kW to 4.7kW, but remains daytime-only.
  • "River 92.7" (KGFX-FM Pierre, SD) upgraded from 3kW/82m to 50kW/149m. (3/21/2006)

    KMGO/98.7 (Centerville) has applied for an upgrade that could give the station a good signal to the southeastern half of the Des Moines metro area. KMGO is currently 100kW at 137m (class C1) from a site just north of Centerville, and has applied for 94kW at 458m (class C0) from a site between Albia and Chariton. Here's a coverage map. The station would remain licensed to Centerville, which is 70 miles southeast of Des Moines, and would retain all of its current coverage area. (3/20/2006)

    The FCC has alloted 100.9 to Tomahahawk for a future class C3 station. If operating at full power of 25kW at 100m, the future station will have to located its transmitter 8.5km WNW of Tomahawk to prevent short-spacing with WOBE/100.7 (Crystal Falls, MI). The FCC may put the frequency up for auction in the future. (3/20/2006)

    Pappas Telecasting has signed KXVO/15 (Omaha) and KPWB/23 (Ames-Des Moines) with the CW network. Also, Rapid Broadcasting's KWSD/36 (Sioux Falls) and KWBH-LP/27 (Rapid City) will carry CW, but they will have to mostly follow the CW 100+ network schedule, a 24/7 network that will carry syndicated programming when CW isn't on the air, similar to the current WB 100+ network. KXVO, KPWB, KWSD, and KWBH-LP are all currently WB affiliates. (3/17/2006)

    WBQD-LP/26 (Davenport), currently a UPN affiliate, has signed on with "My Network TV." The new network launches September 5. (3/16/2006)

    Sinclair Broadcasting has confirmed to the Baltimore Sun that it is ending the "News Central" newscast on WB18 (WVTV Milwaukee) at the end of March. The 9 p.m. newscast first launched in 2003 and was cut back to a half-hour last year. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has reported that Sinclair is in talks with other local stations to produce a newscast for WB18. (3/16/2006)

    WKSZ/95.9 (De Pere-Green Bay-Appleton) has reverted to its previous "Kiss" Contemporary Hits format, after several years as "Mix" with Hot Adult Contemporary. All Access reports that the Mix format ended with the same song it started with three years ago, and the Kiss format resumed with the last song played before the switch to Mix. The Woodward Communications station made the change weeks after Midwest's WLYD/99.7 (Sturgeon Bay-Green Bay) dropped Rhythmic Hits for Classic Hits/Hot AC as WZBY. (3/14/2006)

    Acme Communications' WIWB/14 (Suring-Green Bay) and WBUW/57 (Janesville-Madison) have reached affiliation agreements with The CW. Both are currently WB affiliates. You can track the affiliates of CW and "My Network TV" on this page. (3/10/2006)

    "My Network TV" has found two more affilates in Wisconsin: WISC-DT2 (Madison) and WKBT-DT2 (La Crosse-Eau Claire). Both stations, owned by the Evening Telegram Company, currently carry UPN. They're digital subchannels of their parent CBS affiliates, and are also seen on cable. Other "My" affiliates in the region are WCGV/24 (Milwaukee) and WFTC/29 (Minneapolis); there have been no announcements made about any CW affiliate agreements in the Upper Midwest. (3/9/2006)

    DX-midAMerica reports that KDMU/106.9 (Bloomfield-Ottumwa), formerly KOJY, has dropped Southern Gospel for Classic Hits. The station was recently sold to Mark and Karen McVey, who also own KMEM/100.5 (Memphis, MO). (3/9/2006)

    Longtime broadcast engineer and station owner Lyle Robert Evans has died. He had been involved in broadcasting for decades and still owned several stations and held applications for several others. Evans also helped Christian groups around the country file applications for low-power FM stations. Update: Services will be held Saturday at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral in Green Bay. Visitation begins at 9 a.m., and the funeral at 11 a.m. (3/7/2006, updated services 3/8)

    After only 4 1/2 months of Rhythmic Hits as "Wild," WOFM/94.7 (Mosinee-Wausau) has flipped to Classic Hits/Hot AC as "The Peak. Owner Midwest Communications recently made the same format switch on former "Wild" WLYD/99.7 (Sturgeon Bay-Green Bay), which is now WZBY. In central Wisconsin, Americus Communications' WSPT-FM/97.9 (Stevens Point) also carries a Classic Hits/Hot AC format, and Seehafer's "Rock-It 107.9" (WLRK Wausau) carries a broad Classic Hits/Classic Rock format. (3/7/2006)

    DISH Network has added high-definition feeds of local channels in the Minneapolis market. HD versions of KSTP-ABC, WCCO-CBS, KMSP-FOX, and KARE-NBC are available to customers with DISH HD receivers who subscribe to the Minneapolis locals package. (3/6/2006, added KARE 3/7)

    WRGX/88.5 (Sturgeon Bay) says it did not raise the $120,000 it needed to save the station's Christian Rock format, and the format will end as soon as a new one is ready. The current format will continue to stream at WRGX is owned by Family Educational Broadcasting of Door County, which also owns WPFF/90.5 (Sturgeon Bay). (3/6/2006)

    The "K-Love" network has signed on its first station in Wisconsin: WDKV/91.7 (Fond du Lac). The 20kW station transmits from a tower south of Fond du Lac. "K-Love" owner Educational Media Foundation also holds construction permits for new translators in Manitowoc, Sheboygan, and New London. (3/6/2006)

    The FCC has determined nine entities are eligible to bid in the upcoming auction for a full-power TV station on channel 27 in Duluth, including the Twin Ports-based Evening Telegram Company, which owns two TV stations in Wisconsin and three in Washington state. The other eligible bidders are Channel 20 TV Company, Doyon TV Partners, George S. Flinn III, Koplar Communications International, Marquee Broadcasting, Richland Reserve, Toby Cooper, and Tower Investment Trust. Davis Television, which had originally applied for the construction permit in 1997, did not seek to enter the bidding process. Auction No. 64 begins March 15. (3/4/2006)

    Sinclair Broadcasting has announced that its WCGV/24 (Milwaukee) will carry "My Network TV" when the new network launches this fall. WCGV is currently a UPN affiliate. Sinclair also owns WB affiliate WVTV/18. There's no deal yet for any Milwaukee station to carry the other new network, The CW. (3/3/2006)

    The deal between NRG Media and Donald Seehafer, reported below, also includes $3.7 million in cash not reported in the original posting. (3/3/2006)

    The purchase price for KMMJ/750 (Grand Island) is $825,000, according to a Purchase and Sale Agreement filed with the FCC. Mission Nebraska is buying the station from Legacy Communications and said the price was "undisclosed" in its announcement. The new owners will begin programming the station on March 15 through a local marketing agreement. (3/3/2006)

    DirecTV had planned to drop "i" stations owned by Paxson Communications from its locals packages, including KPXM/41 (St. Cloud-Minneapolis) and WPXE/55 (Kenosha-Milwaukee), but reached a last-minute deal to keep the stations on for now. DirecTV had already told some customers the stations would be dropped and pulled them from online listings. (3/3/2006)

    DISH Network has added out-of-market WB affiliates to its locals package in markets where there is no local affiliate. Three WB SuperStations were already available on DISH for an extra charge. Now, WBZL (Miami) is included in the locals package for the Duluth, Fargo, La Crosse, Lincoln, Bismarck, Quincy, Sioux City, and Wausau markets, and KSWB (San Diego) is included in the Cheyenne-Scottsbluff locals package. DirecTV already offers the channels in some of the markets. (3/2/2006)

    KRQN/107.1 (Vinton-Cedar Rapids) has ditched its Classic Country format in favor of `60s and `70s Oldies. The new format debuted at 9 a.m. Wednesday (3/1) with "Wild Thing" by The Troggs, after the station stunted overnight with a rotation of "Good Times Bad Times" by Led Zeppelin, "Good Times" by Chic, and the theme from the TV show "Good Times." Cumulus Media recently took over operations of 107.1, formerly KROJ, from owner George Flinn. Cumulus' other stations in the market are Rock KRNA/94.1, Country KHAK/98.1, and AC KDAT/104.5. Bahakel's "Cool 105.7" (KOKZ Waterloo) also targets listeners in Cedar Rapids with an Oldies format. (3/1/2006)

    Mission Nebraska, the owner of non-profit KROA/95.7 (Grand Island), is buying KMMJ/750 (Grand Island) from Legacy Communications and will begin programming the station March 15. Mission Nebraska did not disclose the purchase price in a press release, and the asset purchase agreement is not yet available on the FCC website. KMMJ's 10kW daytime signal reaches most of Nebraska. Mission Nebraska says KMMJ will carry "top quality Biblical teaching and family-oriented instruction," while 95.7 "The Bridge" will continue to carry Christian music and short features. Legacy retains ownership of its other stations. (3/1/2006)

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