April 2004

Journal Communications is buying Green Bay NBC affiliate WGBA/26 from Aries Telecommunications for $43.25 million. The deal also includes the local marketing agreement under which WGBA runs UPN affiliate WACY/32, and Journal has reached an agreement to purchase WACY, if FCC regulations are changed to allow such common ownership. Journal is based in Milwaukee, where it owns the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, NBC affiliate WTMJ/4, and two radio stations. (4/30/2004)

Another day, another new market for DISH Network. Their La Crosse-Eau Claire package has been launched, carrying WXOW-ABC, WKBT-CBS, WLAX-FOX, WEAU-NBC, and WPT-PBS. The package may be available to residents of 14 counties: Buffalo, Chippewa, Clark, Crawford, Eau Claire, Houston (MN), Jackson, La Crosse, Monroe, Pepin, Rusk, Trempeleau, Vernon, and Winona (MN). (4/29/2004)

Fargo-Moorhead is the latest market to get a local station package from DISH Network. The package does not yet include an ABC affiliate, but KXJB-CBS, KVRR-FOX, KVLY-NBC, and PPT-PBS are available. The Fargo locals are available in 35 counties: in Minnesota, Becker, Clay, Clearwater, Kittson, Lake of the Woods, Mahnomen, Marshall, Norman, Otter Tail, Pennington, Polk, Red Lake, Roseau, and Wilkin counties, and in North Dakota, Barnes, Benson, Cass Cavalier, Dickey, Eddy, Foster, Grand Forks, Griggs, La Moure, Nelson, Pembina, Ramsey, Ransom, Richland, Sargent, Steele, Stutsman, Towner, Traill, and Walsh counties. DirecTV plans to add a Fargo package by the end of June 2004. (4/28/2004)

Duluth CBS affiliate KDLH/3 has been sold for the third time in two years, and a combination of some services with NBC affiliate KBJR/6 will follow the sale. New Vision TV will sell KDLH to Malara Communications for a reported $10.8 million. Malara has already reached an agreement with KBJR owner Granite Broadcasting to provide "advertising sales, promotion and administrative services, and selected programming" to KDLH. There's no word yet on whether that will include any combination of the two stations' news operations. Granite cannot buy KDLH outright, since FCC regulations prohibit one company from owning more than one of the top four stations in a market. (4/26/2004)

Palmetto Radio Group has received a construction permit for a new AM station to serve the Fargo area. The station on 1100 will be licensed to Dilworth, MN, with a transmitter near Sabin, MN, and should provide a strong signal to Fargo-Moorhead 24 hours per day. It will operate with 50kW nondirectional daytime, 4.4kW nondirectional during critical hours (two hours after sunrise and two hours before sunset), and 1kW directional at night. Palmetto Radio Group is owned by Andrew Guest, Edward Seeger, and James Fort of South Carolina. The three hold interests in 13 radio stations in other parts of the country. (4/26/2004)

DISH Network is now offering a Duluth locals package, including WDIO-ABC, KDLH-CBS, KQDS-FOX, KBJR-NBC, and WDSE-PBS. The package is available in 12 counties: Ashland WI, Bayfield WI, Carlton MN, Cook MN, Douglas WI, Gogebic MI, Iron WI, Itasca MN, Koochiching MN, Lake MN, St. Louis MN, and Sawyer WI. DirecTV plans to add a Duluth package by the end of June, but it may not be available in all of the counties in the market. (4/22/2004)

KFAN/1130 (Minneapolis) lost 4 of its 9 towers due to Sunday's storm. Two towers came down in the storm, and another two had to be taken down for safety reasons. The station is currently operating non-directional at low power. Normally, KFAN uses 50kW day and 25kW night with highly directional antenna patterns. (4/21/2004, corrected number of towers 4/22)

The St. Cloud Times and the Star Tribune report that former U.S. Senator Rod Grams is buying Little Falls' three radio stations, KLTF/960, WYRQ/92.1, and KFML/94.1. No purchase price was announced, and the asset purchase agreement is not yet available from the FCC. The stations are currently owned by Jack Hanson and Steve and Heidel Van Slooten. (4/21/2004)

Trinity Broadcasting Network station K58BS (Minneapolis) has received a construction permit to move to channel 25 as K25IA, using 148kW. (4/21/2004)

An area of northwestern Ontario that currently has no commercial FM stations will soon have two. Last week, the CRTC granted an application from CJRL/1220 (Kenora) to move to the FM band, and an application from Norwesto Broadcasting for a new station to be heard on three transmitters.

  • Fawcett Broadcasting's CJRL-FM/89.5 will operate with 40kW at 105m (class B), carrying an Adult Contemporary format. AM1220 will simulcast with the new FM station for three months, and then leave the air. Fawcett told the CRTC that it also plans to convert its CKDR/800 (Dryden) to FM.
  • Norwesto Broadcasting's new CKQV-FM will originate in Vermillion Bay, and will be heard over three transmitters: 103.3 Vermillion Bay (1.6kW/153m), 104.5 Dryden (1.8kW/78m), and 104.5 Kenora (1.7kW/105m). CKQV-FM plans a Hot Adult Contemporary format with national newscasts from Broadcast News, in addition to local news. (4/17/2004)

    The Herald-Journal newspaper reports that KWOM/1600 (Watertown) left the air on Wednesday (4/14) following the station's sale to WM Broadcasting. (4/16/2004)

    16 stations in 6 small markets will change hands under agreements between Sorenson Broadcasting, Waitt Radio, and Three Eagles Broadcasting. First, Waitt and Sorenson will trade stations: 9 Sorenson stations will go to Waitt, and 7 Waitt stations will go to Sorenson. Then, Waitt will sell the 9 former Sorenson stations to Three Eagles Broadcasting for $9.45 million. Three Eagles will take over operation of the stations almost immediately through a programming rights assignment; Waitt will continue to program the stations transferred to Sorenson under a programming agreement.

  • Stations that will go to Three Eagles: KVFD/1400 (Fort Dodge), KUEL/92.1 (Fort Dodge), KJJQ/910 (Volga-Brookings), KKQQ/102.3 (Volga-Brookings), KDBX/107.1 (Clear Lake-Brookings), KWAT/950 (Watertown), KIXX/96.1 (Watertown), KDLO/96.9 (Watertown), and KKSD/104.3 (Milbank-Watertown)
  • Stations that will go to Sorenson: KUQQ/102.1 (Milford-Okoboji), KUOO/103.9 (Spirit Lake-Okoboji), KIHK/106.9 (Rock Valley-Sioux Center), KSOU/1090 (Sioux Center), KSOU-FM/93.9 (Sioux Center), KAYL/990 (Storm Lake), and KAYL-FM/101.7 (Storm Lake)

    Three Eagles already owns two stations in the Fort Dodge market, all but one of the other stations in the Watertown market, and all of the other stations in the Brookings market. (4/16/2004)

    Tower Broadcasting is adding a second Brainerd-market station with the purchase of KBKK/95.9 (Pillager) from DJ Broadcasting for $360,000. Tower, which is owned by James and Mary Pryor, already owns WWWI/1270 (Baxter). DJ Broadcasting is owned by Edward De La Hunt and his son, David De La Hunt. (4/16/2004)

    KIYX/106.1 (Sageville-Dubuque) has dropped WestwoodOne's Soft AC format in favor of locally-originated `60s-`80s Hits as "Super Hits 106." Delilah continues to air from 7 p.m. - Midnight. (4/15/2004)

    The FCC is considering whether to reserve a Minot-area FM allotment for non-commercial use. Starboard Media requested non-commercial status for the class C (100kW) allotment of 100.7 Berthold. In order for the 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 the petitions through June 7. (4/14/2004)

    The FCC has ordered Beresford Cablevision to begin carrying CBS affiliate KMEG/14 (Sioux City) on its system, which serves Beresford in Union County, by June 13. The county is in the Sioux City market; commercial stations can invoke "must carry" status with any system in their market. Beresford Cablevision currently carries Sioux City's other three commercial stations, as well as all of the full-power stations from Sioux Falls. (4/14/2004)

    CHUM Limited is buying out Craig Media, the owner of the "A Channel" system, for $265 million. In Manitoba, Craig's holdings include A Channel station CHMI/13 (Portage la Prairie-Winnipeg) and CBC affiliate CKX-TV/5 (Brandon). The purchase will put CHUM on a more even playing field with the CBC, CTV, and Global networks, by adding stations in Alberta and Manitoba. CHUM operates "New Net" and "Citytv" stations, and much of the programming on the A Channel stations already comes from CHUM. CHUM also owns a group of three radio stations in Winnipeg. (4/13/2004)

    William M. Smith is selling KWWF/22 (Waterloo) and a station in Ithaca, New York, to a subsidiary of Equity Broadcasting for $5 million. KWWF is a UPN affiliate. (4/12/2004)

    IA-Quad Cities: The Hard Rock format of KORB/93.5 was moved to WXLP/96.9
    IA-Quad Cities: 93.5 became Hot AC as KQCS
    IA-Sioux City: KKMA/99.5 dropped Oldies for Classic Rock
    MN-Brainerd: The Country format and callsign of KFGI/103.5 moved to 101.5
    MN-Brainerd: The Oldies format and callsign of KUAL/101.5 moved to 103.5
    MN-Duluth: KQDS/1490 dropped News for News/Talk
    NE-Grand Island: KRGY/97.3 dropped Classic Country for Hot AC
    NE-Lincoln: The Hard Rock format and callsign of KIBZ/106.3 moved to 104.1
    NE-Lincoln: KIBZ/106.3 became KLMY with AC
    NE-Omaha: KRQC/93.3 dropped Hard Rock for Classic Country as KHUS
    NE-Omaha: KQKQ/98.5 dropped CHR for Modern AC
    NE-Omaha: KCTY-FM/106.9 dropped Adult Alternative for `80s Oldies
    ND-Bismarck: KKCT/97.5 dropped Country for CHR
    WI-Eau Claire: WECL/92.9 dropped Oldies for Classic Rock
    WI-Wausau: WYCO/107.9 dropped Hot AC for Classic Hits as to WLRK (4/11/2004)


  • Algona, IA: 97.3, 75W, Radio Assist Ministry
  • Dubuque, IA: 96.5, 140W, Radio Assist Ministry
  • Redwood Falls, MN: 101.9, 92W, Radio Assist Ministry
  • Thief River Falls, MN: 107.9, 115W, Radio Assist Ministry
  • Manitowoc, WI: 93.9, 170W, Cornerstone Community Radio (WLWR)
  • New London, WI: 97.3, 250W, Cornerstone Community Radio (WLWR)
  • Sheboygan, WI: 99.9, 120W, Cornerstone Community Radio (WLWR) (4/11/2004)

    Northwestern College's new central Iowa stations are due to begin their regular format on Monday morning (4/12), which will include a local morning show. KJJC/107.1 (Osceola-Des Moines) and KLRX/96.1 (Madrid-Ames) aired 40 days and 40 nights of music during Lent. (4/11/2004)

    Pembina Valley Development Corporation has received authorization for three low-power stations to carry recorded tourist information messages. The stations will be on 107.3 in Morden, 103.7 in Morris, and 101.3 in Winkler. All will broadcast with 27.5 Watts. (4/11/2004)

    The CRTC has authorized Native Communications to add a transmitter for its NCI-FM network in Snow Lake. The station will be on 96.3 with 24.7 Watts. (4/11/2004)

    The construction permit for a new full-power analog station on channel 51 in Lincoln is changing hands. CFM Communications, LLC, is buying Lincoln Broadcasting, which holds the CP, from World Investments for $300,000. Carol F. Miller of Omaha is the sole member of CFM Communications. (4/11/2004)

    Cumulus Media debuted "Star 93.5" to the Quad Cities with a Hot Adult Contemporary format on Thursday, according to the Quad City Times. 93.5's previous Hard Rock format was moved to the more powerful facility of WXLP/96.9, which formerly carried Classic Rock. 96.9 will retain the heritage WXLP callsign, while the new call for 93.5 is KQCS. (4/9/2004)

    The Calvary Satellite Network has received a construction permit for a station to serve the Scottsbluff and Alliance areas. The station will be on 89.5, licensed to Mitchell, and transmit with 100kW at 138m from a tower near Bridgeport. (4/7/2004)

    Steckline Communications will receive $4.75 million for the previously reported sale of four stations in Grand Island and one in Kimball. The new owner is Legacy Communications, LLC, owned by Grand Island Mayor Jay Vavricek. Legacy has already taken over the stations under a Time Brokerage Agreement, and, as reported earlier, has changed the format of one of the stations. (4/7/2004)

    Another syndicated talk show is coming to WMNN/1330 (Minneapolis) for the month or so until the station's sale to Starboard Media is finalized. The Minnesota Production Network is buying time to air the Ed Schultz show, which originates in Fargo. It will air from 2-5 p.m., following Al Franken, and followed by MPN's "The High Ground," which moves to a later time slot. Meanwhile, WJON/1240 (St. Cloud) has dropped High Ground in favor of Clark Howard. (4/7/2004)

    KRGY/97.3 (Aurora-Grand Island) has dropped Classic Country for Hot Adult Contemporary as "Star 97.3." Both the old and new formats come from Jones Radio Networks. The format change follows a sale to G.I. Family Radio, headed by the mayor of Grand Island. (4/6/2004)

    KKMA/99.5 (Le Mars-Sioux City) dropped Oldies for Classic Rock last Thursday (4/1), as "Rock's Koolest Hits." The Powell Broadcasting station competes with Clear Channel's "Z98." (4/5/2004)

    Former WOI-TV/5 meteorologist Pam Daale has died of breast cancer at the age of 40. Daale left WOI in 1993 to work at KMGH/ABC7 (Denver), which has set up a tribute on its website. (4/5/2004)

    The amount of "Que Buena" programming on KBGY/107.5 (Faribault) has expanded, as the station continues to test the advertising waters of the format. Spanish-language programming now airs from 5 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays and from 5 a.m.-6 p.m. Sundays on KBGY, in addition to the "Que Buena" nightly simulcast with KLCI/106.1 (Elk River) from late evening until 5 a.m. Between the simulcasts and separate programming, "Que Buena" is on at least one station in the region for 80 of the 168 hours in a week. Meanwhile, WLKX/95.9 (Forest Lake) continues to simulcast some Contemporary Christian programming with KBGY, but continues to carry Contemporary Christian when KBGY is "Que Buena." (4/5/2004)

    Waterloo, IA: 99.7, 170W, Florida Public Radio (KSKB)
    Houghton, MI: 94.7, 10W, Family Educational Brd. of Door Co. (WPFF)
    Houghton, MI: 100.7, 10W, Family Educational Brd. of Door Co. (WRGX)
    Madison, MN: 100.5, 250W, Refuge Media Group (WNCB)
    Redwood Falls, MN: 96.1, 250W, Refuge Media Group (WNCB)
    Sioux Falls, SD: 105.1, 99W, Refuge Media Group (WNCB)
    Ellison Bay, WI: 103.1, 80W, WRVM Inc.
    Green Bay, WI: 102.3, 250W, WRVM Inc.
    Sheboygan, WI: 96.9, 38W, Family Educational Brd. of Door Co. (WRGX) (4/4/2004)

    In La Crosse TV, Mike Thompson is moving from his weekend anchor position at WXOW/19 to the weekday Noon anchor at WKBT/8. He is married to WKBT morning anchor Jennifer Livingston. (4/4/2004)

    The formats and callsigns of KUAL-FM/101.5 and KFGI/103.5 in the Brainerd area have been swapped, following BL Broadcasting's takeover of the former Kommerstad Communications stations. BL had owned 101.5, along with two other stations, but had divest one station as part of the Kommerstad purchase, and sold 101.5 to Quarnstrom Media. 101.5's "Kool" Oldies format has been moved over to BL's 103.5, while the "Froggy" Country format has moved from 103.5 to 101.5. (4/2/2004)

    The Quad City Times reports that the Hard Rock format of KORB/93.5 is being moved over to the more powerful facility of WXLP/96.9. The two Cumulus stations are currently simulcasting, with a new format on 93.5, using the heritage WXLP callsign, expected next week. (4/1/2004)

    WWAX/92.1 (Hermantown-Duluth) has a new name: "The Beat." The format remains Adult Hits. 92.1 had dropped "Kiss" last year after Clear Channel, which has a trademark on the name, bought a group of stations in the market. The station had used only its positioner and frequency since then. (4/1/2004)

    DISH Network launched its Lincoln-Hastings-Kearney market package today, which includes KLKN/ABC (Lincoln), KOLN/CBS (Lincoln), KHAS/NBC (Hastings), and Nebraska ETV/PBS. The package will be offered at a $1 discount until FOX is added. ABC affiliate KHGI (Kearney) is also in the market, but the law says that DSS providers must only carry one affiliate of each network. The package is available in 52 counties: Adams, Antelope, Boone, Boyd, Brown, Buffalo, Butler, Chase, Clay, Custer, Dawson, Fillmore, Franklin, Frontier, Furnas, Gage, Garfield, Gosper, Greeley, Hall, Hamilton, Harlan, Hayes, Hitchcock, Holt, Howard, Jefferson, Jewell (KS), Kearney, Keya Paha, Lancaster, Loup, Merrick, Nance, Nuckolls, Pawnee, Perkins, Phelps, Phillips (KS), Polk, Red Willow, Republic (KS), Rock, Saline, Seward, Sherman, Smith (KS), Thayer, Valley, Webster, Wheeler, and York. Meanwhile, DirecTV has announced plans to add a Lincoln-Hastings-Kearney package sometime this year. (4/1/2004)

    DISH Network has also launched its Green Bay-Appleton package, including WBAY/ABC, WFRV/CBS, WLUK/FOX, WGBA/NBC, WPNE/PBS, WACY/UPN, and WIWB/WB. The package is available in 15 counties: Brown, Calumet, Door, Fond Du Lac, Green Lake, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Marinette, Menominee (MI), Oconto, Outagamie, Shawano, Waupaca, Waushara, and Winnebago. DirecTV already serves the market. (4/1/2004)

    La Crosse market veteran Kelly Wilde returned to the airwaves on "Eagle 102.7" (KQEG), hosting the station's new local morning show. The station continues to air ABC's Oldies Radio format at other hours. Ironically, the new local show displaces ABC's Jay Fox, who got his start in La Crosse. (4/1/2004)

    Upper Midwest Broadcasting: News/Main | IA | MN | NE | ND | SD | WI | MI