Armada Media has applied for upgrades at its three stations along the Nebraska/Colorado border. KADL/102.9 (Imperial, NE) would upgrade from 300W to 100kW, KJBL/96.5 (Julesburg, CO) would upgrade from 265W to 55kW, and KSTH/92.3 (Holyoke, CO) would move to 92.1 and upgrade from 1kW to 100kW. The stations were all originally permitted for 100kW but signed on with lower power levels in the early 2000's. (4/29/2010)
Horizon Christian Fellowship is selling 27-Watt translator K247AR/97.3 (Algona) to Minn-Iowa Christian Broadcasting for $11,000. The application states plans to rebroadcast Minn-Iowa's KJLY/104.5 (Blue Earth, MN), which has had a weaker signal in the Algona area since moving its transmitter closer to Mankato last year. Horizon once had plans to establish a network of full-power and translator stations across the Upper Midwest but apparently ran out of money and has been selling off the stations piecemeal. (4/28/2010)
Northern Community Radio has announced plans to co-locate the studios for its new KBXE/90.5 (Bagley) with the Harmony Natural Foods Cooperative in its new home in Bemidji. However, the station says it still doesn't have a tower site selected - the construction permit calls for using a tower north of Bagley owned by Minnkota Power Cooperative. The current CP, which expires in March 2012, calls for 100kW/120m with a highly directional antenna pattern. Northern Community Radio also owns KAXE/91.7 (Grand Rapids), which has a translator in Bemidji. The frequency was originally granted to Headwaters Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, which sold it to Northern Community Radio for $30,000. (4/28/2010)
The FCC has tentatively selected Wisconsin Public Radio for a new station in Rhinelander, and WPR may have won because the other applicant failed to file a document.
WPR parent organization Wisconsin Educational Communications Board and Rhinelander Seventh-Day Adventist Church both applied for a new station on 89.9 in 2007. Competing non-commercial applications are decided by a point system. Each applicant claimed three points as an established local owner, while WPR also claimed two points for being a statewide network. The Church had claimed two points for diversity in ownership, meaning that it owns no other stations in the area, but the FCC rejected the claim because no documentation was filed to show that the Church had a commitment to maintain the diversity in ownership.
If the Church had filed the document, the applicants would have each had five points and the Church may have been selected instead, since the first tiebreaker question is which applicant has the fewest number of radio licenses.
The new WPR station would use 35kW/100m (class C2) from the WYOW-TV/34 (Eagle River) tower north of Rhinelander, delivering a good signal to Rhinelander, Eagle River, and Crandon. WPR has no other stations in the immediate Rhinelander area, which is home to independent public radio station WXPR/91.7. (4/27/2010)
Almost a year after full-power TV stations switched to digital-only, about 84 low-power/translator TV stations in Minnesota continue to broadcast in analog. Your reporter has personally observed 50 of the stations on the air this month, while another 14 are on the air according to their owner/operators and 20 were observed on the air in recent years and have not made any FCC filings indicating a change. Here's a complete list.
The FCC has not yet required LPTV/translator stations to convert to digital, though many have, including systems in Frost, Itasca County, Jackson, Koochiching County, Lake of the Woods County, Roseau, St. James, and Willmar. Some federal funding is available for the conversion. Meanwhile, translators have gone silent in recent years in Aitkin, Appleton, Deer River, Donnelly/Herman, Grand Marais, Grand Portage, Starbuck, and Windom. (4/26/2010)
New station KPCS/89.7 (Princeton) has signed on carrying the Rejoice Broadcast Network. The station transmits from the WQPM/1300 site in Princeton using 40kW/42m (class C2). The station's main coverage area includes Elk River and Cambridge, with fringe coverage of the northern Twin Cities metro. KPCS is the second full-power station for the Christian network, which originates at WPCS/89.5 (Pensacola, FL) and has numerous translators. (4/26/2010)
KJJQ/910 (Volga-Brookings) has flipped to a Country format as "The Ranch," dropping a mix of Talk and ESPN Radio. The flip happened on February 1, according to the station's Facebook page. (4/26/2010)
CFQK/104.5 (Kaministiquia) and its rebroadcaster, CKED/103.5 (Shuniah Township), have applied to increase their power from 50 and 10 Watts, respectively, to 250 Watts. The stations simulcast the region's only Country format as "103-5 The Thunder" from a studio in Thunder Bay.
The change would involve an upgrade in class from low-power to class A. The stations state the upgrade is justified by CRTC's recent approval of a similar upgrade for CJUK/99.9 (Thunder Bay) for similar reception problems. Ironically, CFQK/CKED owner H.F. Dougall had opposed CJUK's upgrade.
The applications state the power increase is needed to penetrate buildings within the stations' originally intended rural coverage areas but that Thunder Bay would remain outside their main coverage areas. However, CFQK's application also states, "The revenue potential from Kaministiquia is basically non-existent and will not support even a modest broadcasting operation. The economic history of Northwest Broadcasting supports the fact that the Thunder Bay retail trading zone is the only source of revenue that will sufficiently support this operation."
Dougall also owns two of the markets' four other commercial stations, which are all on FM. Though Canada's ownership cap is three stations with no more than two on AM or FM, the CRTC has allowed Dougall's ownership of three stations because it determined CFQK/CKED's impact on the market would be minimal, and the stations argue that would not change.
As part of 103.5's upgrade, the station proposes moving a vacant allotment for a class C (100kW/600m) station on 103.7 in Nipigon to 104.1. (4/24/2010)
The FCC has formally granted Religious Information Network a construction permit for a new station in the southeast Twin Cities metro, rejecting a petition to deny filed by St. Cloud State University. The CP is for a new station on 88.1, and SCSU was concerned about interference to its KVSC/88.1. Religious Information Network then filed an amendment showing the proposed station would not provide prohibited interference to KVSC, which has a fringe signal audible in parts of the metro area. The new station will be licensed to Newport and broadcast from Inver Grove Heights using 1.2kW/57m, with a main coverage area including Eagan, Rosemount, and South St. Paul. (4/23/2010)
Low-power Catholic TV station K19ER (St. Paul) has converted to digital. It's now broadcasting on channel 16 with five channels, all carrying EWTN for now. The station also upgraded to 15kW, the maximum power for LPTV stations, enough to theoretically reach the entire Twin Cities metro area. The station originally signed on in 1989 as K53CH and moved to channel 19 in 2003. It was originally owned by Catholic Views Broadcasts, Inc., which sold it to St. Michael Broadcasting for $250,000 last year. Channel 16 was previously occupied by the digital signal of KTCI (St. Paul), which moved to channel 23 earlier this year. (4/22/2010)
Vikings preseason games will move to KARE/11 this August. The two-year deal announced Monday also calls for KARE to air two 30-minute weekly shows, Vikings Weekly and Vikings GamePlan, which will expand from 17 to 27 weeks. The preseason games had prevously aired on KSTP-TV/5, and the weekly shows previously aired on KMSP/9. No announcement was made about markets outside of Minneapolis -- KSTP's sister Hubbard Broadcasting stations in Austin and Duluth had aired Vikings preseason games in the past. (4/20/2010)
Jason Murphy is the new morning host at "Hits 106" (KQKY/105.9 Kearney). Murphy left the radio business in 2005 after selling a station in northeast Colorado, but regretted the decision. "Murphy in the Morning" debuted March 8. (4/20/2010)
The FCC has granted KARE/11 (Minneapolis) an upgrade from 27.1kW to 45.3kW. The station moved digital operations from channel 35 to 11 last year. A number of VHF High DTV stations have reported reception problems, though KARE's application does not mention that issue. KMSP/9, the other Twin Cities station operating on VHF High, moved its 9.2 simulcast to a subchannel of sister station WFTC/29 several months ago. (4/19/2010)
Two Twin Cities stations have filed modified applications after the FCC rejected previous applications for minor technical problems. WDGY/740 (Hudson, WI) has applied to upgrade its daytime power from 2.5kW to 5kW. The station would continue to be daytime-only and transmit from east of Hudson. WDGY had previously applied for 5.5kW, but the FCC was concerned about daytime overlap with KVOX/740 (Fargo) and critical hours overlap with CHWO/740 (Toronto). Meanwhile, KMOJ/89.9 (Minneapolis) already has a construction permit to move its transmitter to Shoreview using 1.4kW/273m and has applied to instead use 4kW/171m from Shoreview. The last 4kW application was rejected due to problems with the directional antenna pattern. (4/19/2010)
Iowa Public Radio has apparently decided it doesn't need three stations in Ottumwa: The University of Northern Iowa is selling the construction permit for KUNE/88.3 (Ottumwa) to Sound in Spirit Broadcasting for $3,750. The new owners plan to carry programming from Moody Radio on the 500-Watt station. Sound in Spirit Broadcasting is run by Nancy Paxton of Oskaloosa and Robert and Donna Palmeter of Columbia, Mo. The CP expires June 20, though FCC rules may allow an 18-month extension.
UNI is one of three universities that participate in Iowa Public Radio. The network has already signed on KDWI/89.1, carrying News/Talk programming by day and Adult Alternative programming at night, and KUNZ/91.1, carrying Classical music. (4/16/2010)
The FCC has ordered Sean Murta to shut down an unlicensed transmitter broadcasting on AM 1640 from his home in Omaha. The transmitter is apparently part of the "Liberty Radio" microcaster network, which also has unlicensed transmitters in the Sioux Falls, Aberdeen, and Twin Cities areas. The network's website says the transmitters operate with 100 milliwatts and comply with FCC rules. However, the FCC says its field agents found the transmitter at Murta's residence was operating at levels far exceeding those allowed for unlicensed transmitters. (4/15/2010)
We now know how "Sunny Radio" will get its FM home: Owner Cup O'Dirt LLC is buying translator K217DU (Sioux Falls) from the Educational Media Association for $50,000 plus costs of moving the translator to 92.1, where it can be used commercially. The FCC recently approved Cup O'Dirt's purchase of KSQB/1520 (Sioux Falls), and the "Sunny Radio" web stream has been promoting a planned broadcast launch on April 30. "Sunny" is an `80s Hits format targeting Brandon. K217DU recently applied for a license to cover its move from 91.3 to 91.9 as K220JO, and has applied to move to 92.1. The translator had carried EMF's "K-Love" network. (4/15/2010)
NRG Media's WLJY/96.7 (Whiting-Stevens Point-Wausau) has rebranded its Adult Contemporary format as "Mix 96.7," with a new positioner of "80s, 90s, and Now." (4/14/2010)
WIIL/95.1 has changed its community of license from Kenosha to Union Grove, though the station's actual 50kW signal and "Will Rock" format remain unchanged. The change legally moves WIIL from the Chicago market to the Milwaukee-Racine market, helping owner Nextmedia comply with ownership caps. The company previously owned eleven stations in the Chicago market -- three more than allowed under current law. (4/13/2010)
Wisconsin Public Radio has applied to increase the power of its two Sister Bay stations, NPR News & Classical Music station WHND/89.7 and Ideas Network station WHDI/91.9. Both are currently 3.4kW; WHND would upgrade to 20kW while WHDI would upgrade to 13kW. The stations' antenna heights would remain unchanged at 164m and 145m, respectively, and their classes would change from C3 to C2. (4/13/2010)
Totally Amped, LLC is buying KDXN/105.7 (South Heart-Dickinson) from the bankrupt Western Edge Media for $40,400. The construction permit for the new 100kW station expires June 29, although the new owners may be able to get an 18-month extension from the FCC. The sale includes a transmitter, ten-bay antenna, and some studio and office equipment. Totally Amped, LLC is owned equally by Charles A. Rummel, Brian Rummel, Perry Boespflug, and Gregg R. Kovacs, all of Dickinson. They have no other broadcast interests. Western Edge Media had announced plans to sign on KDXN by fall 2008 with a Country format featuring "Wild Bill" Palanuk, who owned 37 percent of the company. The company began dissolution last year. (4/8/2010)
FOX 21 (KQDS-TV Duluth) will add a 6 p.m. Monday-Friday newscast on June 28. The station launched a 35-minute weekday 9 p.m. newscast in 2007 and later expanded to Saturdays and Sundays. At 6, FOX 21 will go head-to-head with established newscasts on KBJR/6 and WDIO/10. Your reporter is the station's Assistant News Director/Producer. (4/7/2010)
FOX 9 (KMSP Minneapolis) has moved the start of its morning newscast up to 4:30 a.m. KMSP is the first station in Minnesota to break the long-standing 5 a.m. barrier for the start of local news. The morning show continues until 10 a.m., and local news now makes up eight hours of FOX 9's weekday schedule. (4/6/2010)
The deadline to construct a new AM station in Bemidji is likely to be extended after a recent sale. The FCC has approved the transfer of the construction permit for a new station on 1300 from R.P. Broadcasting, Inc. (Roger Paskvan) to Paskvan Media, Inc. (Troy Paskvan) for $30,000. Troy is Roger's son. The CP is set to expire April 27, but the application indicated Paskvan Media plans to seek an 18-month extension based on a recent FCC rule change allowing extensions when CP's are transferred. The new station will use 2.5kW nondirectional during the day and 500W directional at night. Paskvan Media also owns WMIS-FM/92.1 (Blackduck-Bemidji); R.P. Broadcasting owns three stations in the market.
1300 is one of three new AM CP's in the Bemidji area. Advance Acquisition's CP for a new station on 1400 licensed to Bemidji is set to expire May 4. Meanwhile, the CP for De La Hunt Broadcasting's WBKK/820 (Wilton) doesn't expire until Feb. 29, 2011. (4/6/2010)
Iowa Public Radio station KOWI/97.9 (Lamoni) is operating at very low power due to a damaged piece of equipment at its transmitter site. The station is expected to return to full power by Tuesday, April 6. (4/3/2010)
DISH Network has added KCWV-DT/27 (Duluth) to its Duluth locals lineup. The station signed on late last year carrying MyFamilyTV. Federal "must-carry" rules will eventually get KCWV added to DirecTV and cable systems. (4/3/2010)
The FCC has deleted the license of K280EL/103.9 (Rochester). The 150-Watt translator owned by Dale Arndt was forced off the air in 2008 by the sign-on of KLCX/103.9 (Eyota, now KDCZ). K280EL had applied to move to 94.1, but the FCC deleted the license for failure to transmit over a twelve-month period. The translator had relayed KLCX/107.7 (St. Charles, now KDZZ) before leaving the air. (4/3/2010)
The morning team of Pat & AJ disappeared from "Z93.3" (WIZM-FM La Crosse) a few weeks ago, and has now resurfaced at "Y106.5" (WYTE Marshfield-Wausau). The two are married and have a three-year-old child. (4/3/2010)
The FCC has elimated two potential bidders for new stations on 92.9 in New Holstein and 98.9 in Two Rivers. The auction, beginning July 12, is limited to organizations which applied for the frequencies in 1996 and 1997 filing windows. However, Michael R. Walton, Jr. and KM Communications didn't file necessary paperwork to participate in the auction. Walton had applied for both stations and KM had applied for New Holstein. That leaves Evangel Ministries and Metro North Communications competing for the New Holstein station, and Evangel, Tri-County Radio, and Radio Plus, Inc. competing for the Two Rivers station. The minimum bid for New Holstein has been lowered from $25,000 to $15,000, while the minimum bid for Two Rivers remains $35,000. Both stations are alloted as class A (6kW/100m). The Two Rivers station has possible rimshot coverage of Sheboygan, while New Holstein has possible rimshot coverage of Appleton and Oshkosh. (4/1/2010)
New Wisconsin Public Radio station WHAA/89.1 (Adams) has signed on carrying WPR's Ideas Network on its analog and HD1 signals and WPR's 24-hour Classical service on HD2. The station uses 28.5kW/177m from a tower near Coloma, covering an area that had only fringe reception of Ideas Network AM stations during the day and no reception at night. WHAA has a rimshot signal to Wisconsin Rapids, Mauston, and Wisconsin Dells, with fringe coverage of Stevens Point. The Ideas Network features statewide talk shows and newscasts from WPR and NPR. Federal funding paid for 75 percent of the $431,000 cost of building the new station, with $55,000 in grants from the Mead Witter Foundation of Wisconsin Rapids and listener contributions covering the rest. (4/1/2010, added HD2 info 4/2)
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