DTV America is buying MundoFOX affiliate WBWT-LP/38 (Milwaukee) and a low-power TV station in Utah from Adelante Media for $425,000. WBWT is the last analog channel on Milwaukee's TV dial and has a construction permit to flash-cut to digital. DTV America has CP's for 11 new LPTV stations in Eau Claire, La Crosse, and Wausau. Adelante retains ownership of Regional Mexican-formatted WDDW/104.7 (Sturtevant-Milwaukee). (3/31/2015)
Tuesday, April 7, is the scheduled date for a frequency shift of two FM stations in Des Moines. Iowa Public Radio Classical translator K269EJ/101.7 (Des Moines) will move to 97.7 as K249EJ, remaining 250 Watts. Then, "Pulse" Contemporary Christian station KPUL-FM/99.5 (Winterset) will move to 101.7, retaining its 6kW/100m facility. The moves make way for Truth Broadcasting's KTIA-FM/99.3 (Boone) to move its transmitter from Boone to a tower near Sheldahl with 5.3kW/95m, improving its signal to Des Moines and changing its community of license to Huxley in the process. KTIA-FM says it will make the move "shortly after" the IPR and KPUL moves. (3/31/2015)
The FCC has deleted the license of KIMB/1260 (Kimball), which had been off the air for a year and had limited operations for more than a decade.
Laramie Mountain Broadcasting owner Vic Michael emailed the FCC to inform them that KIMB went off the air March 21, 2014, due to technical difficulties and did not come back on the air within one year as required under federal law. FCC records show KIMB has had a series of special temporary authorities to remain silent dating back to 2002, but the station had come back on the air at least once per year to keep its license.
KIMB went through five owners in a ten-year period: David Young sold it to G&L Investments/Steckline Communications in 2002, followed by sales to Legacy Communications in 2004, Main Street Communications in 2008, and Laramie Mountain Broadcasting in 2012. At one point, Legacy obtained a construction permit to move KIMB to Ogallala with 50kW day and 110 Watts night, but it was never built.
Michael's Cedar Cove Broadcasting owns 510-Watt KVAM/88.3 (Kimball), while his Mountain Community Translators owns K296GQ/107.1 (Pine Springs-Kimball). KVAM is off the air after losing its tower site lease and has a construction permit to move to a new site, also changing frequency to 89.5 with 140 Watts.
Kimball is a community of about 2,500 people in the southwestern corner of Nebraska's panhandle. (3/30/2015)
The FCC has nixed Townsquare Media's proposal to pull three Waterloo-market radio stations out of trust, at least for now. Audio Division Chief Peter H. Doyle says Townsquare does not qualify for a waiver of a two-year waiting period required when a market's boundaries change.
KKHQ/92.3 (Oelwein-Waterloo), KCRR/97.7 (Grundy Center-Waterloo), and KOEL-FM/98.5 (Cedar Falls-Waterloo) were assigned to the Waterloo-Cedar Falls market until 2012, when the market was dissolved due to a lack of Arbitron subscribers. The stations were reassigned, at least on paper, to the nearby Cedar Rapids market, creating a problem when Townsquare wanted to buy the former Cumulus groups in the two cities. The Waterloo FM's were placed into the Cedar Rapids Divestiture Trust, headed by Allen Blum, while Townsquare asked Arbitron (now Nielsen Audio) to re-establish the Waterloo-Cedar Falls market.
Though the three stations were reassigned back to the Waterloo-Cedar Falls market in early 2014, the FCC says they'll have to remain in trust until at least early 2016.
It's worth noting that the three stations are all licensed outside of the Cedar Rapids market, target their programming to Waterloo, and don't deliver city-grade signals to Cedar Rapids (though KKHQ is listenable on car radios there). (3/27/2015)
The CRTC has approved an upgrade for one of Thunder Bay's tourist/information stations. Robert Seed's CKSI-FM/90.5 will get a boost from 50 to 250 Watts and an upgrade in class from LP to A1. CKSI is currently volunteer-run but hopes to have one full-time and two part-time positions after the upgrade. It carries a ten-minute loop of local information and weather forecasts as part of the "Information Radio" chain, which also has four stations in southern Ontario. The station said in its application that one of its frustrations is that the 50-Watt signal is unable to reach listeners on the edges of the city. Indeed, your reporter has observed that the station is nearly impossible to receive at some of the highway signs on the edge of the city advising visitors to tune to 90.5. CKSI competes with Dougall Media's CITB-FM/97.1 (Thunder Bay). (3/27/2015)
Grand View University has returned the license for KGVC-LP/94.1 (Des Moines). The station had gone off the air last fall, saying in an FCC filing that the private university was experiencing "major budget problems." KGVC-LP had shared 94.1 with Drake University's KDRA-LP, which can now use the frequency full-time. Grand View still has a radio outlet, since its students provide evening and weekend programming on Des Moines Public Schools' KDPS/88.1. (3/24/2015)
Calvary Chapel Minot has signed on new low-power FM station KFLK-LP/95.9 (Minot). "The Flock" carries a program by a Minot pastor and shows from other Calvary Chapels around the country. (3/24/2015)
A new low-power station at 104.3 in Sioux Falls is on the air carrying "The Lamb Catholic Radio." The FCC database does not show a callsign for the station, but the network lists it as KSTJ-LP. "The Lamb" also includes KSJP/88.9 (Ipswich-Aberdeen) and KSTJ/91.3 (Hartford), the latter of which provides a rimshot signal to Sioux Falls. The low-power station is owned by Juan Diego Radio of Sioux Falls and signed on in mid-February. (3/24/2015)
UW-Parkside has signed on new low-power FM station WIPZ-LP/101.5 (Kenosha). The station is a broadcast outlet for a student radio operation that's been around since 1991. (3/24/2015)
A frequency change for a future low-power FM station in the northwestern Twin Cities metro could clear the way for iHeartMedia to move another translator to the IDS Center.
MG Community Broadcasting has a construction permit for a new 40-Watt LPFM station in Maple Grove, which blocks iHeartMedia's application to move W244CS/96.7 from its present site in West St. Paul to IDS. Now, MG Community Broadcasting -- in an application prepared by an iHeartMedia engineer -- is seeking a move to 99.1, citing potential interference in Brooklyn Park, New Hope, and Plymouth from W244CS' existing facility if the new LPFM operates on 96.7.
The application does not mention that the frequency change could also allow W244CS to upgrade. W244CS is seeking to use 170 Watts from IDS, where iHeartMedia operates "Alt 93.3" (W227BF) and KTLK relayer K278BP/103.5.
W244CS, which is currently licensed to Hudson, WI, has operated from the West St. Paul site since last fall relaying the HD3 signal of KQQL/107.9 (Anoka-Minneapolis), which briefly carried iHeartMedia's "Pride Radio" format before switching to `80s Hits. It would change its community of license to Calhoun Beach, a Minneapolis neighborhood, if the application is approved.
Meanwhile, Refuge Radio is also seeking a translator on 99.1 in the northeast metro, which is apparently not in conflict with the Maple Grove application. MG Community Broadcasting plans a Christian format for its new station. (3/23/2015)
Updating last week's story about the "Drive" and "Duke" shuffle on the northeastern Wisconsin FM dial, it turns out "Duke" actually has four frequencies instead of the three originally announced. When WZDR/99.7 (Sturgeon Bay-Green Bay) became WDKF and began simulcasting "Duke FM" Classic Country with WGEE-FM/93.5 (New London-Appleton), former simulcast partner WYDR/94.3 (Neenah-Menasha-Appleton) had announced that translator W270AJ/101.9 (Green Bay) would continue to carry the "Drive" Classic Hits format. However, it turns out W270AJ is now carrying "Duke," along with original "Duke" translator W226BD/93.1 (Green Bay). Both translators broadcast from the same site, so it's not clear if this will continue in the long run. The stations are owned by Midwest Communications. (3/23/2015)
New network Decades recently launched on channel 4.2 of WCCO-TV (Minneapolis), along with subchannels of satellite stations KCCO/7 (Alexandria) and KCCW/12 (Walker). The stations are primary CBS owned-and-operated affiliates. Decades is currently in soft-launch mode carrying binge marathons, with regular programming scheduled to begin May 25. WCCO-TV is the last full-power station in the Twin Cities to add a second channel of programming. (3/21/2015)
Gray TV is buying a low-power TV station to add to its full-power station in Wausau. The deal calls for Gray to pay Spirit of Prayer Ministries $32,500 for the construction permit for a new LPTV station on channel 33. It'll use 5kW/299m from a tower in Wausau. Gray also owns WSAW/7, which carries CBS on 7.1, MyNetworkTV and syndicated programming on 7.2, and H&I TV on 7.3. (3/21/2015)
Midwest Communications' WGEE/970 (Superior-Duluth) has changed its callsign to WDUL but retains its CBS Sports Radio format. Midwest had parked WGEE, a heritage Green Bay-market callsign, in the Twin Ports more than a decade ago but recently brought the callsign back to northeastern Wisconsin on WGEE-FM/93.5 (New London). (3/21/2015)
Midwest Communications has doubled down on its "Duke" format in northeastern Wisconsin, flipping WZDR/99.7 (Sturgeon Bay-Green Bay) to a simulcast of the Classic Country format already heard on WGEE-FM/93.5 (New London-Appleton) and translator W226BD/93.1 (Green Bay). WZDR also changed its callsign to WDKF. Both 93.5 and 99.7 have rimshot signals to Green Bay, though 99.7's is slightly stronger. The switchover came at midnight Monday morning (3/16). WDKF had previously simulcast with WYDR/94.3 (Neenah-Menasha-Appleton), which continues a "Drive" Classic Hits format also heard on translator W270AJ/101.9 (Green Bay). 99.7 had carried a Country format as WGEE-FM for several years in the 1990's. (3/16/2015)
James Ingstad's Radio F-M Media has signed on "96.9 Hits FM" (W245CM Moorhead-Fargo), flanking sister Adult Top 40 station "Big 98-7" (KLTA-FM Moorhead) in its battle with Midwest Radio Fargo-Moorhead heritage Contemporary Hits outlet "Y94" (WDAY-FM/93.7 Fargo). W245CM transmits from Radio F-M Media's facility on 7th Ave. South with 250 Watts and has applied to move its transmitter to a taller tower downtown with the same wattage. Programming originates on KLTA-FM's HD2 channel. It's the second HD2-translator combo for Radio F-M Media, which also runs Adult Alternative "The City" on K233CY/94.5 (Wahpeton-Fargo) and the HD2 signal of KBVB/95.1 (Barnesville-Fargo). W245CM is owned by Brooke Ingstad and K233CY is owned by James Ingstad's North Dakota Free Airwaves. (3/16/2015)
The developer of a massive Sioux Falls pawn shop is paying $1.5 million for a radio station to put in the complex. Cup O'Dirt LLC filed the deal to sell KZOY/1520 and K221FO/92.1 (Sioux Falls) Badlands Airtime, LLC this week. Badlands Airtime, LLC is headed by Chuck Brennan, who is planning to build Badlands Pawn, Gold & Jewelry. The shop's website says "Badlands Radio" is scheduled to launch at 9 a.m. on Thanksgiving 2015 with DJ's broadcasting live from a studio in the pawn shop complex, which will also include a live performance stage, gun shooting range, tattoo parlor, and deli. The website says the shop intends to syndicate "Badlands Radio" to more than 30 stations across the Midwest. Meanwhile, Cup O'Dirt owner John Small will retain the "Sunny Radio" brand, an `80s Hits format that originally launched as a web-only station. Cup O'Dirt also owns KZOI/1250 (Dakota City, NE-Sioux City, IA) and is buying a Sioux City FM translator. (3/13/2015)
Low-power FM station KCRD-LP/98.3 (Dubuque) is on the air carrying Catholic programming. A report from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Dubuque states that KCRD-LP signed on Feb. 24 and is carrying Relevant Radio and EWTN Radio, with plans for some local programming in the future. The 98-Watt station is licensed to St. Columbkille Church and operated by Aquinas Communications. (3/12/2015)
The FCC has tentatively selected Canton (Illinois) Seventh-Day Adventist Church for a new non-commercial station in the Dubuque area. The new class A station on 98.7 will be licensed to Asbury, and the tentative selectee proposes a 3.5kW/133m station transmitting from southeast of Dubuque. In reserving the frequency for non-commercial use, the FCC required that whatever station uses the frequency provide the first or second non-commercial service to at least 10 percent of the population in its coverage area. The FCC said three other applicants -- Aquinas Communications, Family Life Broadcasting, and Grace Community Church of Amarillo -- failed to meet the 10 percent threshold. The losing applicants have 30 days to submit petitions to deny the construction permit to Canton Seventh-Day Adventist Church. The tentative selectee operates an existing station near Peoria.
Meanwhile, in southeastern Iowa, the FCC recently granted a CP to Fairfield Youth Advocacy for a new non-commercial station on 102.1 licensed to Keosauqua. It'll use 25kW/100m (class C3) from a tower between Keosauqua and Fairfield. The grant comes after St. Mary Radio dba Radio Apostolate for the Heartland withdrew its application for the frequency. St. Mary Radio recently signed on KHFR-LP/103.5 (Keosauqua). (3/10/2015)
The "Cruisin" Oldies format of KCFI/1250 (Cedar Falls-Waterloo) is now being relayed on K286CI/105.1, which recently began transmitting from a tower near Hudson. The 250-Watt FM signal remains licensed to Waverly provides rimshot coverage of Waterloo. (3/10/2015)
The owner of KZOI/1250 (Dakota City, NE-Sioux City) is buying an FM translator to use for the `80s Hits station. Cup O'Dirt Communications, LLC will pay First Ventures Capital Partners $50,000 for K248AY/97.5 (Sioux City). K248AY is currently licensed for 17 Watts from a tower in northwestern Sioux City and has applied to upgrade to 145 Watts from that site, rebroadcasting KZOI. (3/9/2015)
The price of the previously-announced sale of two York radio stations to the Nebraska Rural Radio Association is $1.335 million, according to a document filed with the FCC. The NRRA is buying KAWL/1370 and KTMX/104.9 (York) from Mark Jensen's MWB Broadcasting, which will retain ownership of the 1,000-foot tower southeast of York used by KTMX and Gray TV's KSNB-TV/4 (Superior). The buyer is a non-profit group owned by farmers and ranchers that owns seven other commercially-operated radio stations. (3/5/2015)
Onetime plans for a new non-commercial radio station to serve Cedar Rapids' New Bohemia neighborhood have been dropped. New Bohemia Group has returned the construction permit for KNBO/88.7 (Coggon), saying, "NBG's board has decided to direct time and resources elsewhere." KNBO would've actually only had a fringe signal to the neighborhood, with its city-grade coverage area ending north of Cedar Rapids.
The move could open the way for Plus Charities, a Cedar Rapids-based Catholic group, to be granted a construction permit for a new station. Plus Charities also applied for 88.7 in 2007 but its application was dismissed due to a typo; the FCC decided to reinstate the application late last year. Plus Charities proposes a 5kW/95m (class A) station licensed to Coggon, providing a city-grade signal to the Manchester area and possible fringe coverage of Cedar Rapids. (3/4/2015)
Two FM translators that have been on a chain-link move from Hinckley for a few years have received construction permits for what may be their final destination. W293CS/106.5 and W297BO/107.3 will move their transmitters to Sauk Rapids, where they will transmit with 250 Watts from the "Red House That Rocks," home of WHMH/101.7 (Sauk Rapids-St. Cloud) and four AM stations. WHMH-HD3, which relays the Classic Country format of WVAL/800 (Sauk Rapids-St. Cloud), is specified as the primary station for W293CS. WHMH-HD2, which relays the Classic Album Rock format of WXYG/540 (Sauk Rapids-St. Cloud), is specified as the primary station for W297BO. W297BO is owned by Herbert Hoppe, who is the majority owner of WHMH and the AM stations, while W293CS is headed by Mark Hoppe. They would actually be the second and third FM translators simulcasting AM programming in St. Cloud, since K277BS/103.3 has already been relaying the News/Talk format of Leighton Enterprises' KNSI/1450 (St. Cloud) for several years. (3/3/2015)
Riverfront Broadcasting has applied to move its newly-acquired Huron station into the Mitchell market. KZKK went silent after moving from 105.1 to 92.1 and has now applied to transmit from Mitchell with 100kW/80m, changing its community of license to Parkston in the process. By first moving KZKK to 92.1 and then applying to move the station to Parkston-Mitchell, Riverfront avoids the years-long allotment and auction process that's usually necessary to get a new commercial FM station. Riverfront also owns KORN/1490 (Mitchell) and KQRN/107.3 (Mitchell). (3/2/2015)
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