March 2013

WISCONSIN:
WMTV (Madison) has announced plans to add Antenna TV on channel 15.3 starting Monday, April 1. WMTV carries NBC on 15.1 and the AccuWeather Channel on 15.2. (3/29/2013)

MINNESOTA:
There's a delay in plans to upgrade a translator of Easy Listening-formatted KNXR/97.5 (Rochester) to cover St. Paul. W244CS/96.7 (Hudson, WI) is currently licensed to transmit from a residence in Woodbury but has been off the air since last April. It has a construction permit to move to a water tower in West St. Paul with 71 Watts as K244EQ, a move which will give it a good signal to much of St. Paul. However, the translator says in a filing with the FCC that it has encountered "unexpected bureaucratic delays in negotiating a lease agreement" for the new site. It says the tower at the currently licensed site has already been disassembled, so it's seeking special temporary authority to return to the air from the Woodbury site at lower power from a temporary tower. The move is needed because federal law says stations must lose their license if they're off the air for more than a year. W244CS/K244EQ is owned by William Cornwall's United Broadcasting System, LLC, while KNXR is owned by United Audio Corp, headed by Tom Jones of Rochester. (3/29/2013)

MINNESOTA:
Minnesota Public Radio has signed on KGRP/89.7 (Grand Rapids) carrying its News/Talk network. The new station uses 8.9kW/157m (class C3). MPR also has two translators in Grand Rapids carrying its News/Talk and Classical networks from Bemidji stations. (3/26/2013)

WISCONSIN:
New Wisconsin Public Radio station WHSF/89.9 (Rhinelander) will formally sign on April 1 carrying WPR's Ideas Network. WHSF uses 16.7kW/157m (class C2) from the WYOW-TV tower between Rhinelander and Eagle River, with a main coverage area extending from Crandon to Woodruff and fringe coverage of Tomahawk, Merrill, and Antigo. WPR has no other stations in Rhinelander, where independent public radio station WXPR/91.7 carries NPR's long-form news programming and a variety of music. The lineup on WPR's Ideas Network, which includes state and national talk shows and newscasts, has little overlap with WXPR. (In Wausau, WXPR satellite station WXPW/91.9 shares time with Ideas Network station WLBL-FM/91.9.) WHSF's sign-on forced WRVM translator W210BP/89.9 to leave the air, but the area is now served by WRVM satellite WHJL/88.1 (Merrill). (3/26/2013)

IOWA:
M&H Broadcasting is buying an FM translator to use for its AM station in Washington from First Ventures Capital Partners. The asset purchase agreement filed with the FCC states M&H will pay $22,500 for K274BT/102.7 (Mount Pleasant) on the condition that First Ventures obtains a construction permit to move K274BT to the KCII/1380 tower site. KCII currently simulcasts a News/Adult Gold format with KCII-FM/106.1. K274BT is currently licensed for a site northwest of Mount Pleasant and has a CP to move to 102.5 from a site midway between Mount Pleasant and Washington; at least one more move would be required to get it to the KCII site. As previously reported, M&H is in the process of buying an FM translator from First Ventures to use to relay its AM station in Knoxville. (3/26/2013)

WISCONSIN:
Magnum Broadcasting's WAUN/92.7 (Kewaunee-Green Bay) dropped its "Smooth Bays" format at 8 a.m. Monday (3/25) for Regional Mexican as "La Mas Grande" ("the largest"). WAUN is heard on translators at 96.9 in Green Bay and 98.9 in Sturgeon Bay; it had launched a Smooth Jazz format in 2006 and then transitioned to Smooth Jazz/Adult Contemporary in 2010. The only other Spanish-language programming in the region is on an subcarrier of WAPL/105.7 (Appleton). (3/25/2013)

NEBRASKA:
KNEB-FM/94.1 (Scottsbluff) is back at full power after recovering from an antenna failure. KNEB-FM is owned by the Nebraska Rural Radio Association and normally uses 100kW/207m, carrying a Farm/Country format, but had been reduced to 9kW since January. The station reports the repairs were completed at 11 a.m. Monday. (3/25/2013)

SOUTH DAKOTA:
KGFX/1060 (Pierre) is the latest AM station poised to get an FM translator, according to a recent application from K296FI/107.1 (Pierre). K296FI, owned by First Ventures Capital Partners, specified KGFX as the station to be rebroadcast in a recent application to upgrade to 250 Watts. KGFX is owned by Janice Ingstad's Dakota Radio Group and carries a mix if News, Talk, and Country. (3/22/2013)

MINNESOTA:
Red Rock Radio is adding a fourth station in the Brainerd Lakes area with the purchase of KLKS/100.1 (Pequot Lakes) from Minnesota Christian Broadcasters for $250,000. KLKS, formerly WZFJ, was taken silent by MCBI after it acquired the stronger signal of the former KLKS/104.3 (Breezy Point) and moved WZFJ's programming there. (100.1 has permission to remain off the air until June but there have been reports of it being back on the air with Christian music.) 100.1 has a rimshot signal to Brainerd. Red Rock also owns News/Talkers WWWI/1270 (Baxter-Brainerd) and WWWI-FM/95.9 (Pillager-Brainerd) and Variety Hits "Sam 101.5" (KFGI Crosby-Brainerd), as well as an AM-FM combo in nearby Aitkin. Red Rock owns a total of 24 radio stations in northern Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin and is a sister company to Red River Broadcast Co., which owns TV stations in the Duluth, Fargo, and Sioux Falls markets. (3/21/2013)

IOWA:
In a mixed decision, the FCC says KTVO/3.1 (Kirksville, MO-Ottumwa, IA) and two pay TV providers need to continue talking about a dispute over carriage of out-of-market TV stations. KTVO carries ABC on 3.1 and CBS on 3.2 and is trying to get network programming from KCCI/8 (CBS, Des Moines), KGAN/2.1 (CBS, Cedar Rapids), and KCRG/9 (ABC, Cedar Rapids) blacked out on Citizens Mutual Telephone Cooperative's system in Bloomfield and LISCO's system in Fairfield. (KCCI is carried on the Bloomfield system and KGAN and KCRG are carried on the Fairfield system.) The FCC agreed with KTVO's assertion that none of the stations still qualifies as "significantly viewed" among broadcast viewers in the two communities. However, the commission was stumped on the question of whether Citizens and LISCO are actually "cable systems" as defined by the law. If they are cable systems, they are small enough to be exempt from network non-duplication rules. The commission told the three parties to discuss the matter and file a complaint if they can't reach an agreement. (3/20/2013)

NEBRASKA:
Gray Television has announced plans to convert a translator in North Platte to a separately-identified CBS affiliate. KNPL-LD/25, formerly K25KA-D and K57CZ, has carried CBS as a translator of KGIN/11 (Grand Island) for several decades. Around Sept. 1, it'll be rebranded as "10/11 North Platte" with a separate 6:30 p.m. newscast for the city. North Platte's only full-power commercial station, Hoak Media's KNOP/2, is an NBC affiliate and carries FOX on a subchannel. Pappas Telecasting's KWNB/6 (Hayes Center), a satellite of KHGI/13 (Kearney), has a North Platte translator and serves as the ABC affiliate for the market, which Nielsen Media ranks as the second-smallest in the nation. (3/19/2013)

MINNESOTA:
Border Broadcasting is buying an FM translator that could be used to relay its AM Classic Rocker in Roseau, KRWB/1410. Border Broadcasting will pay Shine the Light, Inc. $16,000 for K275BB/102.9, which currently relays Contemporary Christian station KKEQ/107.1 (Fosston). The asset purchase agreement states that the buyer will remove the FM antenna the seller currently uses to receive KKEQ's programming. Shine the Light is a non-profit group that owns translators relaying KKEQ, a commercially-licened station owned by Pine to Prairie Broadcasting. (3/19/2013)

WISCONSIN:
Longtime Wisconsin sports announcer Larry McCarren is due to return to TV screens on NBC26 (WGBA Green Bay) April 1, owner Journal Broadcast Group announced Monday (3/18). McCarren, a former Packer who is also an analyst for the Packers Radio Network, resigned from CBS affiliate WFRV-TV/5.1 a year ago after more than two decades at the station. He has been blogging for WGBA's website since last year. (3/18/2013)

IOWA:
Cory Ford is the new morning host at Classic Hits KOKZ/105.7 (Waterloo). Ford took over the 6 to 10 a.m. shift on Monday (3/18). He replaces Paul Michaels, who's now announcing for sister stations ESPN 1330 (KWLO) and News/Talker KXEL/1540. (3/18/2013)

MANITOBA:
Canadian regulators have approved a move to FM for Première Chaîne station CKSB/1050 (St-Boniface-Winnipeg), which acts as the flagship station for the french-language network in Manitoba. CKSB will move to 88.1 with 100kW/223m, replacing both AM 1050 and a lower-power FM rebroadcaster at 90.5 in Winnipeg. The AM station may stay on the air for up to three months after 88.1 signs on. (CBC Radio One station CBW/990, which has a secondary transmitter on 89.3, has not applied for any changes.) (3/18/2013)

MINNESOTA:
Pine to Prairie Broadcasting has applied for upgrades to improve its two FM stations' signals to Bemidji. KKCQ-FM/96.7 (Bagley) would increase from 25kW/100m (class C3) to 25kW/176m (C2), while KKEQ/107.1 (Fosston) would increase from 50kW/147m (C2) to 64kW/194m (C1). The stations would also move their transmitter sites slightly to the east. KKCQ-FM carries a Country format while KKEQ carries a Contemporary Christian format that's rebroadcast on numerous translators owned by non-profit group Shine the Light, Inc. (3/15/2013)

IOWA:
M&H Broadcasting is buying translator K237DH/95.3 (Pella) from First Ventures Capital Partners for $22,500. The sale was expected since a recent application showed that K237DH would relay M&H's KNIA/1320 (Knoxville) after the translator is moved from Pella to Knoxville and upgraded to 250 Watts. The FCC recently approved the move. (3/15/2013)

WISCONSIN:
Bliss Communications' WBKV/1470 (West Bend), which serves Milwaukee's northwestern suburbs, dropped Classic Country for News/Talk on Monday (March 11), according to the station's Facebook page. The lineup is uknown since WBKV's website has not been updated except for a new logo. Its FM counterpart, WBWI/92.5, carries a Country format. (3/13/2013)

FM TRANSLATOR CHANGES APPROVED:

  • K237DH/95.3 (Pella, IA) transmitter move to Knoxville and upgrade to 250W to relay KNIA/1320 (Knoxville)
  • W220DO/91.9 (North Branch, MN) frequency change to 91.5 as W218CT to make way for WINH/91.9 (Hinckley)
  • W277AC/103.3 (Watertown, WI) transmitter move to Clyman to relay WBEV/1430 (Beaver Dam) (3/13/2013)

    MANITOBA:
    Canadian regulators have approved plans for the three commercial radio stations in northern Manitoba to add low-wattage FM transmitters but keep their current AM signals. Arctic Radio's CFAR/590 (Flin Flon), CHTM/610 (Thompson), and CJAR/1240 (The Pas) will all officially "move" to 102.9 FM with power levels between 190 and 250 Watts, but keep the AM transmitters on the air to serve rural areas. The stations carry information-based Adult Contemporary formats and compete only with the CBC, Radio-Canada, and the Country-formatted NCI-FM network. (3/12/2013)

    NORTH DAKOTA:
    Mediactive, LLC has officially notified the FCC that its KFNL/92.7 (Kindred-Fargo) has gone silent. As earlier reported, KFNL's year-old Rock format left the air at the end of February. Mediactive's filing does not cite financial, staffing, or technical reasons for KFNL's silence but says, "The licensee is reorganizing its programming and station operations and expects to be silent for at least 90 days." Radio Fargo-Moorhead had been selling ads on KFNL prior to the group's sale to Midwest Communications. (3/12/2013)

    MINNESOTA/WISCONSIN:
    Tom Hansen, the longtime sports director/anchor at KBJR/6.1 (Superior-Duluth), announced his departure from the station on Monday night's newscast (March 11). Hansen has been with the NBC affiliate since 1989. He will leave later this month to become a spokesperson for UW-Superior, but hopes to continue doing sports play-by-play. (3/11/2013)

    IOWA:
    The FCC has proposed a $14,000 fine against Latin Broadcasting Company for alleged lighting violations at the Dallas County tower site of KDLS-FM/105.5 (Perry-Des Moines) last year. The FCC alleges that the tower's top beacon and top set of side lamps were not working when a sheriff's deputy observed the tower on July 13 or when an FCC agent visited on July 19, and that it received conflicting reports from the tower owner when it inquired about the outage. Latin Broadcasting Company has thirty days to either pay the fine or ask for a reduction or cancellation. (3/11/2013)

    IOWA:
    Radioactive, LLC is seeking license renewal for two Iowa stations that have been on the air for a total of six days in the past five years. KYME/92.9 (Rockford) and KEWS/104.7 (Sac City) recently filed amendments to their license renewal applications explaining their broadcast histories. Both received their licenses in 2008 and have conducted annual one-day broadcasts, which begin before 10 a.m. and conclude after 10 p.m. to meet the minimum daily broadcast requirement. Filings indicate KYME was on the air March 7, 2008; March 2, 2009; Feb. 25, 2010; Feb. 22, 2011; Feb. 14, 2012, and Feb. 6, 2013, while KEWS was on the air March 5, 2008; Feb. 28, 2009; Feb. 23, 2010; Feb. 19, 2011; Feb. 15, 2012; and Feb. 7, 2013. Each one-day broadcast is followed by another request for special temporary authority to remain silent citing "inadequate long-term staffing and programming resources" and a statement that Radioactive, LLC is working on a long-term plan for the stations. Each station is currently licensed for 375W but KYME has the potential to be upgraded to serve Mason City while KEWS could reach Storm Lake. (3/11/2013)

    NORTH DAKOTA/MINNESOTA:
    WDAY/970 (Fargo) completed its move to a new tower site in Clay County, Minnesota on Thursday (March 7), according to co-owned newspaper The Forum. The station moved 25 miles out of town but increased from 5kW to 10kW. The move did not result in much change in WDAY's overall coverage area, as detailed on page 6 of this filing. A Memorial Day 2011 storm had damaged two of the three towers at WDAY's old Fargo site. The station is owned by Forum Communications and carries a News/Talk format, which, incidentally, switched the 8 to 11 a.m. timeslot from Glenn Beck to Geraldo Rivera a few months ago. (3/9/2013)

    LEGAL ID CRACKDOWN?
    Legal identification has long been mocked in online discussions as an unnecessary formality, but a recent action by the FCC suggests it's paying attention. The commission recently issued a Notice of Violation to Clear Channel's KBIG-FM/104.3 (Los Angeles) for allegedly failing to give a legal ID on Jan. 23. An agent monitored the station in response to a complaint and allegedly heard the station stating its frequency but not its call letters. The notice is not a fine, but Clear Channel must submit a written response explaining the situation and what it is doing to fix it. Broadcasters may wish to review the federal legal ID law. In short, a legal ID consists of the callsign immediately followed by community of license, with frequency or channel indicated in multi-station simulcasts, given as close to the top of the hour as possible at a natural break in program offerings. (3/8/2013)

    WISCONSIN:
    There's a new attempt to move an FM translator closer to Beaver Dam to relay WBEV/1430 (Beaver Dam). The FCC rejected the earlier application from John M. Torres' W277AC/103.3 (Watertown) to move to Clyman on 92.7, saying the move is too far because the new facility would not be mutually exclusive with the old one. Now, W277AC has amended the application to remain on 103.3 but still move to Clyman and relay WBEV. The translator would remain 250 Watts after the move. (3/7/2013)

    NORTH DAKOTA:
    Radio Insight reports KFNL/92.7 (Kindred-Fargo) went silent on Feb. 28, a year after it had returned to the air with a Rock format as "The Bone." KFNL's website has been taken down and its Facebook page deleted. The station has not yet made any filings with the FCC to explain its silence, but stations can be off the air for thirty days before making a filing. KFNL had launched the Rock format after being sold to Mediactive, LLC last year, and ads were sold by Radio Fargo-Moorhead. The Radio Fargo-Moorhead group was later sold to Midwest Communications. Mediactive is owned by Robert Ingstad, the nephew of former Radio Fargo-Moorhead owner James Ingstad. (3/6/2013)

    WISCONSIN:
    WPCN/1010 (Stevens Point) and FM translator W221CN/92.1 have added CBS Sports Radio on weekends, dropping the True Oldies Channel (which continues on sister station WSPT/97.9.) WPCN also recently dropped Oldies from overnights, adding the Wall Street Journal Wrap and Wall Street Journal This Morning, Michael Savage, and John Grayson's "Overnight America." (3/6/2013)

    MICHIGAN:
    WFXD/103.3 (Marquette) has dropped its "Xtreme Country" slogan and reverted to "103-FXD," continuing with Country. (3/6/2013)

    MINNESOTA:
    The FCC has granted a waiver and approved an application to resurrect a Family Radio translator in Duluth. W203AL/88.5 was forced off the air by the sign-on of Wisconsin Public Radio's WSSU/88.5 (Superior) last summer. The FCC has approved a move for the translator to 90.9 as W215CG, a move that's farther away on the dial than would normally be allowed. All the six frequencies adjacent to 88.5 either have existing stations on them or are too close to existing stations. (3/5/2013)

    IOWA/SOUTH DAKOTA:
    There are three more low-power TV stations to add to the list of those deleted by the FCC: KCDE-LP (Cedar Rapids), KHHH-LP (Cedar Rapids), and KWSF-LP (Sioux Falls). Just like the six other LPTV license cancellations reported here a few weeks ago, the stations were forced to leave the air at the end of 2011 by the discontinuation of channels 52-69 but lost their licenses for failing to return on new channels within a year. It does not appear KCDE-LP or KHHH-LP were ever on the air for a significant amount of time, though FCC rules apparently allow stations to remain licensed if the transmitter is turned on at least once every thirty days. (3/5/2013)

    NEBRASKA:
    The FCC has deleted the license of Dana College radio station KDCV-FM/91.1 (Blair) at the licensee's request. The 6-Watt class D station was already silent because the college closed in 2010. (3/5/2013)

    IOWA/ILLINOIS/MISSOURI/MICHIGAN:
    Sinclair Broadcasting is picking up stations in four Upper Midwest markets as part of a nationwide deal with Barrington Broadcasting. Sinclair will pay Barrington $370 million for 18 stations in 15 markets, and is also assuming operational or sales agreements with an additional six stations in markets where ownership caps will not allow a duopoly. The deal includes KTVO (ABC/CBS, Kirksville, MO-Ottumwa, IA), KHQA (CBS/ABC, Hannibal, MO-Quincy, IL), WLUC (NBC/FOX, Marquette, MI), WPBN (NBC, Traverse City, MI) and satellite WTOM (Cheboygan, MI), and WGTU (ABC, Traverse City, MI) and satellite WGTQ (Sault Ste. Marie, MI). (WGTU/WGTQ are owned by Tucker Broadcasting and operated by WPBN.) If this deal and another to buy Cox stations in other parts of the country is approved, Sinclair will own or operate 112 stations in 61 markets serving about 30 percent of U.S. households. (3/1/2013)

    WISCONSIN:
    The Milwaukee Radio Alliance's WMCS/1290 (Greenfield-Milwaukee) emerged from several days of all-Elvis stunting with a Lounge/Nostalgia format as "Martini Radio" under the new callsign WZTI. The music mix, which streams at 1290martiniradio.com, is positioned as "From the Rat Pack to the Brat Pack." It's the first time the genre has been heard in the market since WOKY/920 dropped the format six years ago. "Martini Radio" replaces a decades-old format targetting the African-American community. (3/1/2013)


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