May 2012

WBIZ/1400 (Eau Claire) is seeking special temporary authority to use a temporary antenna after strong winds knocked down its tower last week. The station proposes using a horizontal 160-foot wire antenna with 500 Watts, which is half of the station's regular power. The temporary facility may already be on the air. (5/31/2012)

The AccuWeather Channel will be coming to FOX-owned stations in Minneapolis and ten other markets, Broadcasting & Cable reports. FOX's Minneapolis stations are FOX 9 (KMSP) and My 29 (WFTC), which each currently carry a simulcast of the main station's programming on .2 channels. FOX is also in the process of launching the spanish-language MundoFOX network this August but has not announced any Twin Cities affiliate.

The AccuWeather Channel will actually be the third broadcast weather channel in the market. Twin Cities Public Television has offered weather programming for decades and currently carries it on KTCA/2.4. Gannett's KARE/11.2 has carried weather programming since the mid-2000's and switched to Paul Douglas' WeatherNation TV a few months ago. (5/29/2012)

A storm knocked down the tower of WBIZ/1400 (Eau Claire) on Thursday, also temporarily taking six sister Clear Channel stations off the air. WMEQ/880 (Menomonie), WMEQ-FM/92.1 (Menomonie), "B95" (WQRB/95.1 Bloomer), "Mix 98.1" (WISM-FM Altoona), "Z100" (WBIZ-FM/100.7 Eau Claire), and "Moose Country 106.7" (WATQ Chetek) all use the WBIZ tower for their studio-transmitter links. A video posted on B95's Facebook page said B95 and Z100 were back on the air about ninety minutes after the collapse, with plans to bring other stations back later in the day. All of the stations continue to stream online.

The WBIZ tower collapse comes fourteen months after the collapse of the WEAU-TV tower near Fairchild, which also affected Maverick Media's WAXX/104.5 (Eau Claire). The stations only recently returned to full power. (5/24/2012)

The FCC has proposed a $21,500 fine against Mt. Rushmore Broadcasting for alleged violations at KZMX/580 and KZMX-FM/96.7 (Hot Springs). A Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture details an FCC agent's alleged three-day attempt last year to inspect the station's main studio and get into contact with station management. The NAL says the agent found the station's main studio abandoned and locked and found the wrong type of FM broadcast antenna mounted at the transmitter site. The stations went off the air within days of the visit. Filings indicate they returned to the air last month but left again this month due to an inability to find qualified personnel. Mt. Rushmore Broadcasting is accused of "failing to maintain a management or staff presence at the Stations' main studio...failing to maintain a local telephone number in its community of license or a toll-free number for either station...failing to make the Stations available for inspection and...failing to operate Station KZMX-FM in accordance with the terms of the station's authorization." Mt. Rushmore Broadcasting has thirty days to either pay the fine or seek a reduction or cancellation. The company, owned by Jan Charles Gray, also owns the AM-FM combo in Custer and seven stations in Wyoming, all but two of which have reported being off the air in recent years. (5/21/2012, updated 5/22 with new silence)

There's a new attempt to bring a station on 107.7 into the Omaha market. Victor Michael's KIMI/107.7 has applied to use 50kW/124m (class C2) from a tower a few miles south of Pacific Junction, which would deliver a rimshot signal to Omaha and Council Bluffs.

The move comes a few years after Connoisseur Media's failed attempts to build KGGG/107.7 (Pacific Junction, IA), which was blocked from going on the air by complaints about interference to navigation equipment at Eppley Airfield and Offutt Air Force Base. The FCC took the rare step of deleting the allotment and refunding Connoisseur the money it spent at auction for the frequency.

In deleting the allotment, the FCC implied it would never be possible to put a station on 107.7 with a city-grade signal to Pacific Junction because of the FAA complaints. The proposed KIMI facility would deliver a city-grade signal to Pacific Junction, but it's not clear whether the FCC was wrong in its implication or if something else has changed. KIMI does not reference KGGG's previous troubles in its application.

KIMI is currently licensed to Humboldt, NE, on 107.9 and has a construction permit to change its community of license to Sidney, IA, on 107.7 with 3.8kW/134m (class C3); the latest application would modify the Sidney CP. Filings indicate the station has never been on the air for more than a few days. (5/16/2012)

A company headed by George Cooney, the CEO of TV and film producer EUE/Screen Gems, is buying three dozen low-power TV stations from Trinity Broadcasting Network, including five in the Upper Midwest. Regal Media will pay TBN $1,275,000 for the stations, which include K17ET (Cedar Rapids), K58CM (Duluth), K25IA-D (Minneapolis), K56HW (Rochester), and K29GL (Lincoln). It was not immediately clear what Regal has planned for the stations, but the application to transfer the licenses indicated Regal had permission to continue carrying TBN programming. The Duluth and Rochester stations are currently off the air but both have construction permits to return on new channels. The deal includes a 500-foot tower in Duluth's antenna farm, though a land lease agreement with the owner of KDLH/3.1 (Duluth) is being terminated. Last year, TBN donated dozens of other LPTV stations to the Minority Media Telecommunications Council, which sold most off to commercial broadcasters. (5/15/2012)

A new radio station in the Waterloo market is getting its third owner without ever having begun regular programming. Magnolia Radio Corp. is selling KCOO/103.9 (Dunkerton) to Matinee Media as part of a deal also including stations in California and Mississippi. The purchase price is relief of a $542,900 debt Magnolia owes to Matinee, which Magnolia assumed when it bought the stations from Ace Radio Corp. The FCC issued KCOO its license in March 2011 but it's filed subsequent applications for special temporary authority to remain silent, citing a lack of a programming source. KCOO is licensed for 6kW/95m (class A) from a tower near Readlyn, with a rimshot signal to Waterloo and Cedar Falls. Matinee Media, based in Nevada, is controlled by Bernay Box and Bonanza Capital Ltd. as joint receivers. (5/14/2012)

South Dakota Public Broadcasting will soon sign on new station KJSD/90.3 (Watertown), if it isn't on the air already. A press release from SDPB says May 17 is the target date for sign-on and it applied for a license to cover the construction permit on May 7. The new station uses 10.5kW/175m (class C2) from a tower near South Shore, with a main coverage area extending to Milbank. Until now, Watertown -- the state's fifth largest city -- has only received a fringe SDPB signal from KESD/88.3 (Brookings) and KDSD/90.9 (Pierpont-Aberdeen). SDPB says the station reaches about 85,000 people and cost about $175,000 to put on the air. SDPB radio stations carry NPR News programming, Classical music in the late morning, Jazz and the World Cafe in the evening, and the BBC World Service overnight. The HD2 channel carries Classical 24. (5/11/2012)

West Central Michigan Media Ministries is buying the construction permit for a new non-commercial FM in Escanaba from Clean Air Broadcasting for $23,000. The purchase price represents legal and engineering fees needed to obtain the permit, which calls for 100kW/66m on 90.9 from a tower near Faunus. The CP expires in December 2013. Both the buyer and seller are Christian broadcastsers. The buyer owns two radio stations in the eastern Upper Peninsula and two in the lower peninsula, as well as a low-power TV station in the lower peninsula. (5/10/2012)

The sale price for the group of three Cloquet-based radio stations is $368,500, according to documents recently filed with the FCC. The deal for the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa to buy WKLK/1230 (Cloquet), WKLK-FM/96.5 (Cloquet), and WMOZ/106.9 (Moose Lake) from longtime owners Alan and Linda Quarnstrom was first announced in December. The Quarnstroms agreed to a three-year non-compete clause as part of the deal. The Band recently signed on non-commercial WGZS/89.1 (Cloquet). Chairwoman Karen Diver told the Duluth News Tribune in December that the WKLK/WMOZ group would remain commercial. The setup is similar to that of the Bois Forte Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, which owns the Ely commercial AM-FM combo and a non-commercial station on the reservation. (5/10/2012)

KKOK-FM/95.7 (Morris) tells the FCC it's been experiencing transmitter problems and has had to imtermittently operate at reduced power. The station is looking for a replacement transmitter. KKOK is owned by Iowa City Broadcasting and runs a Country format. (5/9/2012)

"Mix 106.3" (WMXG Stephenson-Escanaba) has been off the air since April 25 and could be off for some time to come. The Classic Hits station tells the FCC it has been having significant trouble with its transmitter and is buying a replacement. No timetable was given for the replacement. WMXG is owned by the Estate of Lyle Evans. (5/8/2012)

LIN TV has announced a deal to buy all of New Vision Television's stations for $330.4 million plus the assumption of debt. New Vision's stations include CBS/My Network TV affiliate KIMT/3.1 (Mason City, IA-Rochester, MN) and NBC affiliate KSNK/8.1 (McCook, NE), which transmits from Kansas and relays KSNW/3.1 (Wichita). New Vision has a total of seventeen stations in eight markets. LIN currently has 32 stations in 15 markets, including the FOX and CW affiliates in Green Bay. (5/7/2012)

Victor A. Michael's Laramie Mountain Broadcasting, LLC is buying KIMB/1260 (Kimball) from Main Street Communications, LLC for $100,000. Michael has no other stations in Nebraska but does own ten radio stations or construction permits in neighboring states. Filings with the FCC indicate KIMB has been silent for much of the past several years and say the current transmitter site will not be available for broadcasting in the future. KIMB once had a construction permit to move to Ogallala, but it expired in 2008. No application for a facility change has been filed since then. The station is currently licensed for 1kW daytime and 112 Watts nighttime, non-directional. Laramie Mountain Broadcasting will be the station's fifth owner in just over ten years. David Young sold it to G&L Investments/Steckline Communications in 2002, which sold it to Legacy Communications in 2004. It was then sold to Main Street Communications in 2008. (5/7/2012)

Journal Broadcast Group is asking the FCC to convert its joint TV operation in the Green Bay-Appleton market to a fully-owned duopoly. NBC 26 (WGBA Green Bay) has operated My 32 (WACY-TV Appleton) through a local marketing agreement since 1994. Journal bought the operation in 2004 and now wants to buy WACY-TV's license outright from Ace TV Corp. The purchase price is $2,037,500, subject to adjustment, and assumption of liabilities. Since the market has fewer than eight TV voices, the deal would require the FCC to approve a failing station waiver. In this case, the "failure" of the station would be based in its performance prior to the 1994 LMA. Journal's move comes a year after LIN TV, which owns FOX 11 (WLUK-TV Green Bay), was allowed to by CW 14 (WCWF Suring) using a failing station waiver. (5/4/2012)

News/Talker KLIN/1400 (Lincoln) is now being rebroadcast on FM translator K233AN/94.5. As previously reported, KLIN owner NRG Media is in the process of buying the translator from Christian broadcaster Mission Nebraska for $17,000. K233AN has a construction permit to move to a more centrally-located site and upgraded to 250 Watts. (5/3/2012)

Newly-filed documents are revealing more about the recent history of KTGO/1090 (Tioga). Bakken Beacon Media, LLC, owned by Scott Hennen and Gary Emineth, has been operating the station recently with a Conservative News/Talk format and is buying KTGO from Gunn Enterprises. There is no cash involved in the deal, but the buyer agrees to give Gunn Enterprises president Dave Guttormson a one-third interest in Bakken Beacon Media and take over leases for the studio and transmitter site. The paperwork to transfer KTGO's license was actually filed before other paperwork for Bakken Beacon's purchase of WZFG/1100 (Dilworth, MN-Fargo), but for some reason it took ten days for the KTGO filing to show up in the FCC database. KTGO serves the fast-growing oil patch of western North Dakota with a lineup including Scott Hennen, Rush Limbaugh, and Jason Lewis. It's licensed for 1kW daytime-only but has recently been using 250W from a temporary antenna after the loss of its licensed site. The station plans to add nighttime service at 6 Watts and upgrade to 1.1kW daytime. (5/3/2012)

Longtime Duluth TV sportscaster Tom Hansen is adding radio duties at KDAL/610. Starting Monday, Hansen will co-host from 9 to 11 a.m. with Dave Strandberg, replacing Dave Walter, who recently left the station. The show will include some sports but won't be all-sports. Hansen continues his duties as evening sportscaster at the Northland's NewsCenter stations of KDLH/3 (CBS), KBJR/6 (NBC), and KDLH-DT2 (CW). (5/2/2012)

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