April 2008

WISCONSIN:
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that WRRD/1510 (Waukesha-Milwaukee) will begin carrying the spanish-language ESPN Radio Deportes network on Monday (5/5). Good Karma Broadcasting moved 1510's former callsign and ESPN Radio format to WAUK/540 (Jackson-Milwaukee) after purchasing the station earlier this year, and 1510 has simulcast with 540 since then. 1510 is a daytimer and Good Karma had purchased airtime on WMCS/1290 (Milwaukee) to air ESPN Radio at night; it's still not clear what the future holds for that arrangement. (4/30/2008)

CONSTRUCTION PERMITS FOR NEW FM STATIONS:

  • Webster, IA: 88.7, 18kW/57m directional (C3), Calvary Iowa City.
  • Blackduck, MN: 89.5, 800W/100m (A), We Have This Hope Christian Radio. Possible fringe signal in Bemidji.
  • Warroad, MN: 91.7, 45kW/73m (C2), We Have This Hope Christian Radio.
  • Franklin, NE: 90.1, 40kW/100m (C2), Union Valley Baptist Church. Transmitter near Smith Center, KS.
  • Kimball, NE: 88.3, 510W/86m (A), Ocean Side Broadcasting.
  • Williston, ND: KNDW/91.7, 6kW/36m (A), Salt & Light Communications.
  • Wishek, ND: 100.3, 100kW/306m (C0), Edward F. Magnus. Bismarck rimshot. (4/28/2008)

    WISCONSIN:
    WSPT/1010 (Stevens Point) is now carrying Dial Global's "America's Best Music" format (Soft Oldies) from 6 p.m. to 5 a.m. weekdays and most of the weekend, replacing ABC's True Oldies Channel, which moved to WSPT-FM/97.9 earlier this year. (4/26/2008)

    ILLINOIS/IOWA:
    WKBF/1270 (Rock Island) switched from Regional Mexican to Red de Radiodifusión Bíblica, a spanish-language Christian network, on April 23. Owner Quad Cities Media, LLC, headed by Randy Melchert, has put the station up for sale at an asking price of $680,000. Quad Cities Media bought the station in 2006 and flipped it to Christian Talk in 2007, followed later in the year by a switch to Regional Mexican. WKBF is the second-oldest radio station in the Quad Cities. (4/25/2008)

    NEBRASKA:
    KBZR/102.7 (Lincoln) has applied for a modification to its construction permit to move into the Omaha market. The current CP, which includes a community of license change to Papillion, calls for 100kW/299m from Omaha. Now KBZR has applied for 54.5kW/386m from a site south of Gretna, which would allow it to maintain a strong signal to Lincoln while still changing the community of license to Papillion and adding Omaha coverage. Meanwhile, VSS Catholic Communications continues its fundraising campaign to buy an unidentified station with a coverage area matching KBZR's proposed facility, as well as the current facility of KOOO/101.9 (Lincoln-Omaha). VSS, which owns KVSS/88.9 (Omaha), is trying to raise $3.5 million by May 26. (4/24/2008)

    WISCONSIN:
    Tim Cuprisin of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that WJJA/49 (Racine-Milwaukee) switched to Weigel Broadcasting's classic TV lineup known as "MeTV" on Monday (4/21). Weigel bought the station, which previously carried home shopping programming, from Joel Kinlow. It launched "MeTV" last month on WDJT-DT3, which continues to simulcast the programming. The addition of WJJA adds "MeTV" to some analog cable systems and will give Weigel the ability to get "MeTV" on satellite providers through must-carry rules. "MeTV" is Weigel's fourth channel in Milwaukee, on top of CBS58 (WDJT), Independent station WMLW-CA/41, and Telemundo affilate WYTU-LP/63. (4/23/2008)

    NORTH DAKOTA:
    Scott Hennen's SMAHH Communications, which already owns WZFN/1100 (Dilworth-Fargo), is buying "The Eagle" 106.9 (KEGK Wahpeton-Fargo). KEGK runs an Oldies/Classic Hits format, and in a video statement posted on his website, Hennen said, "It's a great radio station and we intend to keep it that way." The Forum reports that SMAHH will take over KEGK through a joint sales agreement on May 1, and is paying $2 million for the station. Triad Broadcasting has been running KEGK, which is owned by Guderian Broadcasting, through a JSA since 2002, but the FCC ordered Triad to give up the JSA because it exceeded the ownership cap for the market. Meanwhile, 1100 has been temporarily running Country music ahead of the launch of a News/Talk format featuring Hennen's show later this year. Hennen also announced this week that 1100's lineup will include Sean Hannity, who currently airs on WDAY/970 (Fargo). Hennen has served as a fill-in host for Hannity in the past. (4/18/2008)

    NORTH DAKOTA:
    DX-midAMerica reports that KXGT/98.3 (Carrington-Jamestown) has dropped Oldies for Soft Adult Contemporary as "Sunny 98.3". Delilah's website lists KXGT as an affiliate. The station is one of six in the area operated by the Ingstad family. (4/18/2008)

    WISCONSIN:
    DISH Network has added HD feeds of WTMJ-NBC, WITI-FOX, and WISN-ABC in the Milwaukee market. DirecTV had already offered the stations in HD. (4/18/2008)

    MINNESOTA:
    Northern Lights Broadcasting is expanding with the purchase of KRBI/1310 (St. Peter) from Three Eagles Communications for $350,000. Northern Lights, a subsidiary of a Pohlad family company, was formed last year to purchase "B96" (KTTB/96.3 Glencoe-Minneapolis) for $28 million. KRBI carries an Oldies format targeting St. Peter. Three Eagles retains KRBI-FM/105.5 "The Buzzard" and three other stations targeting the Mankato market. (4/14/2008)

    MINNESOTA:
    KQSP/1530 (Shakopee-Minneapolis) has applied to upgrade its daytime power from 8.6kW to 50kW, which would strengthen its signal to the western and central parts of the Twin Cities metro area. The station would add two towers to its existing two-tower array along U.S. Highway 212 in Chaska, and continue to shoot its signal north to prevent interference to KOLM/1520 (Rochester). The signal would still be relatively weak in the east metro, and its nighttime signal, upped from 10 to 26 Watts, would still be limited to the Chaska area. (4/14/2008)

    MINNESOTA (UPDATED):
    An April blizzard knocked some Duluth-Superior area stations off the air early Friday morning (4/11). WSCD/92.9 was off the air until Monday. WDSM/710 and WNXR/107.3 were also off the air for a time on Friday. On TV, KDLH and KBJR completely lost their signals in the early morning hours, but returned their analog broadcast signals to the air a few hours later, followed by cable and broadcast digital signals later in the day. WDIO also lost its cable feed for a brief time in the morning. (4/11/2008, updated 4/14)

    WISCONSIN:
    Some Wausau-Rhinelander market stations appear to have been affected by the storm as well. WJFW/12 (Rhinelander) and WFXS/55 (Wausau) went off the air Thursday night and had not returned as of 11 a.m. Friday, though WJFW's feed to DirecTV was restored Friday morning. DirecTV receives WJFW via its translator on channel 27 in Wausau. (4/11/2008)

    MINNESOTA (UPDATED):
    Clear Channel is selling KNFX/970 (Austin) to Hometown Broadcasting for $250,000. KNFX has been off the air since January and had previously carried Clear Channel's "La Preciosa" Regional Mexican network. Hometown Broadcasting also owns KQPR/96.1 (Albert Lea) and holds a construction permit for a new station on AM 1100 in Albert Lea. (4/10/2008)

    MICHIGAN:
    Radioactive, LLC has withdrawn an application to move the construction permit for WUPG/94.9 (Crystal Falls) into the Marquette market. Several other broadcasters filed objections to the proposed community of license change to Harvey. Earlier, Radioactive abandoned an effort to move its other Upper Peninsula CP, WUPZ/96.7 (Republic), into the Iron Mountain market. WUPZ's CP expires on April 26 and WUPG's expires on June 6. (4/9/2008)

    WISCONSIN:
    Robinson Corporation, owned by David and Jane Robinson of Viroqua, is buying WKAH/105.9 (Soldiers Grove) from Starboard Media for $250,000. The Robinsons also own two stations in Viroqua and two in Prairie du Chien. WKAH signed on earlier this year but left the air a short time later. The station is currently licensed for 200 Watts but can be upgraded to 6kW, which would cover Viroqua. Starboard Media, which won the station in FCC Auction No. 37 with a $231,000 bid, operates the Relevant Radio network of Catholic programming. (4/9/2008)

    MANITOBA:
    Four groups have responded to the CRTC's call for applications for new radio stations in Winnipeg:

  • YO Radio Management proposes a 100kW/223m station on 106.3 carrying a Pop Alternative format. (A website has been set up to seek support for the station.) YO is owned by David Asper, who is Executive Vice-President of Canwest Global Communications and Chairman of the National Post. The company will soon take over management of instructional campus station CJWV/107.9 (see below). Extensive information about the proposed station and Winnipeg market research is available in its application in ZIP format.
  • Newcap proposes a 100kW/223m station on 106.3 called "The Bridge" carrying an Alternative Rock format. Newcap owns two other stations in the market, CKJS/810 and CHNK/100.7. Here's the application.
  • Evanov Communications proposes a 10kW/206m station on 104.7 carrying a Contemporary Easy Listening format, which would be a combination of Adult Contemporary and Adult Standards. Evanov owns seven stations in Ontario. Here's the application.
  • Native Communications Inc. proposes a 3kW/122m station on 104.7. NCI, a non-profit, operates the NCI FM network, heard in the Winnipeg area on CICY/105.5 (Selkirk). NCI 2 would target a young urban aboriginal audience with Rock, Pop, and Hip-Hop. Here's the application.

    The applications will be discussed at a CRTC hearing in Winnipeg on June 3, as well as two other Manitoba items:

  • License renewal of CFAR/590 (Flin Flon). The CRTC is concerned that CFAR may not have complied with a requirement for broadcast of Canadian music and a minimum of two hours of Cree-language programming during the broadcast week of November 5-11, 2006.
  • The apparent failure of CJWV/107.9 to comply with certain conditions of its license as an instructional campus station. The CRTC is concerned that the station failed to submit correct logger tapes, that changes on the licensee's Board of Directors may constitute a change of control, and that it is not associated with a post-secondary institution. Here's more information. CJWV has been off the air since last October. (4/6/2008)

    MICHIGAN:
    The TV market that includes the three eastern counties of the Upper Peninsula will soon be down to just two groups running the four major network affiliates. The CBS affiliate (WWTV/9 Cadillac and WWUP/10 Sault Ste. Marie) has already run the FOX affiliate (WFQX/33 Cadillac and WFUP/45 Vanderbilt) since last year. Now, the NBC affiliate (WPBN/7 Traverse City and WTOM/4 Cheboygan) reports it's set to take over operations of the ABC affiliate (WGTU/29 Traverse City and WGTQ/8 Sault Ste. Marie) late this summer. WPBN will also assume the rights to sell advertising on the market's cable-only CW+ affiliate. (4/6/2008)

    SOUTH DAKOTA:
    Connoisseur Media's KXMZ/102.7 (Box Elder-Rapid City) has signed on as "Hits 102.7, Today's Best Hits Without The Rap." The station is streaming on its website and will run commercial-free for a few months. Connoisseur won the 50kW station in FCC Auction No. 37 with a $1.139 million bid. It has no other stations in the market. (4/4/2008)

    MINNESOTA:
    The Star Tribune reports that WCCO-TV has released meteorologist Paul Douglas amid a series of CBS cutbacks nationally, which also included WCCO anchor John Reger. Douglas began his Twin Cities career at KARE 11 in the 1980's, and joined WCCO in 1997 after a few years in Chicago. (4/4/2008)

    MINNESOTA:
    KHRS/105.9 (Winthrop-New Ulm) has signed on carrying ABC's Adult Contemporary format. The 23kW/105m station is the first licensed within Sibley County, though its studio and office are in New Ulm, which is in Brown County. KHRS is owned by Mathew Ketelson, who does not have any other broadcast interests. Lynn Ketelsen and his business partners, the Linder family, own a combined 16 stations in southern and western Minnesota. The ABC format now being carried on KHRS was heard on Bruce Linder's KNSG/94.7 (Springfield) from 2003 to 2006. (4/4/2008)

    MINNESOTA:
    Cumulus Media's KDZZ/107.7 (St. Charles-Rochester) has emerged from stunting as "Z Rock." The Hard Rock format could work in tandem with the Classic Hits format of Cumulus' KLCX/103.9 (Eyota-Rochester) to compete with Clear Channel's Classic Rock "Laser 101.7" (KRCH). (4/3/2008)

    IOWA/ILLINOIS/NEBRASKA:
    Citadel Communications has signed up to carry Equity Media's "Retro Television Network" on digital subchannels of WOI-DT (Ames-Des Moines), WHBF-DT (Rock Island), and KLKN-DT (Lincoln). Citadel also owns a station in Sioux City, but RTN already has an affiliate there (KTIV-DT). RTN now has carriage deals in 14 Upper Midwest markets. (4/3/2008)

    NEBRASKA:
    The Beatrice Daily Sun reports that NRG Media is selling KWBE/1450 (Beatrice) to Rick Siebert, who also owns KGMT/1310 and KUTT/99.5 in Fairbury, one county to the west. No purchase price was announced and an application to transfer the license is not yet available from the FCC. NRG purchased KWBE last year from Triad Broadcasting as part of a deal that also included four Lincoln-market stations. (4/2/2008)

    MINNESOTA:
    KDZZ/107.7 (St. Charles-Rochester), formerly KLCX, is stunting as "TV 107." The KLCX Classic Hits format and callsign was moved to new sign-on 103.9 (Eyota-Rochester). The new 103.9 displaces a translator in Rochester which had relayed KLCX. Both stations are owned by Cumulus Media and transmit from the same tower east of town, though 103.9's signal to Rochester is slightly better. (4/1/2008)


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