May 2013

Commercials on public radio? Listeners will soon be hearing commercials on CBC Radio 2 and Espace musique after the CRTC approved a three-year test of commercials for the two music-based networks as part of their license renewals. They will be allowed to carry up to four minutes of commercials per hour in no more than two breaks. CBC/Radio-Canada's TV networks already carry commercials while CBC Radio One and La Première Chaîne will continue to be non-commercial. CBC Radio 2's stations include CBQ-FM/101.7 (Thunder Bay) and CBW-FM/98.3 (Winnipeg). French-language Espace musique is heard on CKSB-FM/89.9 (Winnipeg) but has no Thunder Bay transmitter. CBC Radio 2 originally concentrated on Classical and Jazz but shifted most of its schedule, outside of the midday hours, to a broad Adult Alternative mix in recent years. (5/28/2013)

Radio Plus is buying an FM translator it plans to use for its WFDL/1170 (Waupun) from John Torres for $46,000. W277AC/103.3 recently completed a move from Watertown to Clyman and has now applied to move to Waupun, where it would relay WFDL. The translator is requesting a waiver since the move is farther than would normally be allowed under FCC rules. The sale is contingent on the move being approved. (5/28/2013)

Oldies-formatted WHRY/1450 (Hurley-Ironwood) is poised to get an FM simulcast on W225AV/92.9 (Bessemer). The translator used to carry regional Christian station WRVM/102.7 (Suring) but has been off the air since last summer as it sought a new tower site. The FCC recently granted a construction permit to move W225AV's transmitter to Ironwood with 225 Watts, with WHRY listed as the station to be rebroadcast. The translator is owned by WRVM, Inc. (5/28/2013)

The FCC has approved an upgrade for WKLK-FM/96.5 (Cloquet). The Classic Rock station, owned by the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, will upgrade from 25kW to 36kW but keep its current transmitter site and antenna height of 96m. The upgrade should slightly improve WKLK-FM's signal to Duluth, which is hampered by hilly topography and intermodulation. (5/28/2013)

Cumulus Media has rebranded Country outlets in the Des Moines, Green Bay, and Appleton markets as "Nash FM," the branding it first rolled out in New York after Christmas last year. KHKI/97.3 (Des Moines), WPCK/104.9 (Denmark-Green Bay), and WPKR/99.5 (Omro-Oshkosh-Appleton), the latter two of which simulcast, began using the new branding Friday (5/24). The stations are also launching new Facebook pages for the new brands, since it's difficult to change a Facebook fan page name, forcing KHKI to give up more than 7,000 fans and WPCK to give up more than 2,000 fans. RadioInsight reports Cumulus also made the change in three other markets outside the Upper Midwest. (5/24/2013)

New digital subchannel Movies! launches at 7 a.m. Memorial Day (5/27), with affiliates including WFTC/29.4 (Minneapolis) and WMLW/49.3 (Milwaukee). The subchannel will operate in widescreen and will carry classic movies in their entirety, starting on the nearest 5-minute interval rather than being squeezed into two-hour windows. Movies! is a partnership between FOX Television Stations and Chicago-based Weigel Broadcasting, which also operates the Me-TV classic TV subchannel. (5/24/2013)

WRDB/1400 (Reedsburg) has added FM translator W237CJ/95.3. The Magnum Broadcasting station also recently switched from Lounge/Soft Oldies to `60s-`70s Oldies. (5/24/2013)

Another Christian radio station is on the way to Marquette: The FCC has approved a change to the construction permit for WSHN/89.3 (Munising) to allow it to cover the city. The CP now calls for 100kW at 313m (class C0) from a tower site northwest of Marquette. WSHN is owned by, run by the Noordyk family, which owns five commercial stations in the Upper Peninsula. The non-profit organization also owns WCRR/88.9 (Manistique), which is licensed for 24.5kW/217m (C2) but has applied for 44.8kW/217m (C1) to improve its signal to Escanaba. The stations' website says they will go by the name "Ready FM" and lists an address that is the same as the Noordyk family's commercial stations in the Marquette market. (5/23/2013)

An FM translator in Bemidji is being transferred from one non-commercial broadcaster to another. Northern Community Radio is selling K287AD/105.3 to the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, which plans to use it to relay KOJB/90.1 (Cass Lake). K287AD has relayed KAXE/91.7 (Grand Rapids) for fifteen years but is no longer needed since Northern Community Radio signed on KBXE/90.5 (Bagley-Bemidji). The sale price is $9,000, but the asset purchase agreement contains a provision saying that if the Leech Lake Band sells the translator for more than $9,000 in the next three years, Northern Community Radio shall receive 50 percent of the amount in excess of $9,000. (5/22/2013)

The FCC is giving hundreds of applicants for new FM translators a two-month window to reach agreements with competing applicants. Applicants have until July 22 to reach settlement agreements (one applicant pays another to withdraw) or modify their applications so they're no longer in competition. The applications have been in limbo since 2003 as the FCC considered whether the frequencies should be held back for low-power FM stations. The commission has identified 539 groups of mutually-exclusive applications, including dozens in the Upper Midwest. As detailed here over the past month, the FCC has already been granting applications that face no competition. (5/21/2013)

Taconite Broadcasting is buying an FM translator for its AM station in the Marquette market. Taconite will pay David M. Stout $40,000 for W227CJ/93.3; the application states it will relay WZAM/970 (Ishpeming). WZAM carries ESPN Radio. (5/21/2013)


  • Davenport, IA: K237FP/95.3, 99W, Covenant Network
  • Fort Madison, IA: K249EP/97.7, 250W, Covenant Network
  • Waverly, IA: K232EO/94.3, 250W, Starboard Media
  • Bismarck, ND: K237FQ/95.3, 250W, Radio 74 Internationale (5/20/2013)

    WXCO/1230 (Wausau) has dropped most of its Progressive Talk lineup and replaced it with Adult Standards as "Sunny 1230." Chad Holmes hosts a live morning show on the locally-originated format. Remaining syndicated talk shows include Doug Cunningham from 5 to 6 p.m., Dennis Miller from 10 to Midnight, and Phil Hendrie overnights. Saturday morning specialty programming includes a polka show and "The Sounds of Sinatra." (5/17/2013)

    Jim Pattinson Broadcast Group has announced plans to buy two Winnipeg radio stations as a spinoff from the proposed Bell-Astral Media merger. Pattinson, which owns 30 FM stations and three TV stations in British Columbia and Alberta, would buy Oldies "Fab 94.3" (CHIQ-FM) and Country "QX104" (CFQX-FM Selkirk) and a station in Alberta for an undisclosed price. The deal is contingent on the CRTC approving the Bell-Astral merger. The regulator rejected the merger last year but Bell and Astral, which both own radio and TV stations and national cable TV networks, have resubmitted the applications with more divestitures proposed this time. If approved, Bell-Astral's holdings in Winnipeg would include CTV affiliate CKY-TV/7, Variety Hits "99.9 Bob FM" (CFWM-FM), Contemporary Hits 103.1 "Virgin Radio" (CKMM-FM Selkirk), and Sports "TSN 1290" (CFRW). (5/16/2013)

    VCY America's WEGZ/105.9 (Washburn) is at reduced power after an April ice storm damaged its transmission line. The Christian station, which normally uses 100kW, says in a request for special temporary authority that it's using 2kW but hopes to return to full power within 90 days. Complicating matters, the storm also damaged the access road to the station's tower site. WEGZ normally has a fringe signal to the Duluth area but is noticably weaker. (5/15/2013)

    L&L Broadcasting has filed paperwork with the FCC for the previously-reported sale of its Fargo-Moorhead radio group to a company headed by Jim Ingstad. Radio Fargo-Moorhead will pay $9.5 million for the six stations and began operating the group under a local programming and marketing agreement on May 1. The documents reveal little new information other than that Brooke Ingstad owns 10.6 percent of the new Radio Fargo-Moorhead, with Jim Ingstad owning the rest. The documents do not mention plans reported by The Forum for Radio Fargo-Moorhead and Midwest Communications to swap Country stations, with "Froggy 99.9" going to Midwest and "Bob 95 FM" (KBVB Barnesville) going to the new Radio Fargo-Moorhead. Ingstad's new group also includes "True Oldies 1660" (KQWB West Fargo), Rock "Q98" (KQWB-FM/98.7 Moorhead), Adult Contemporary KLTA/105.1 (Breckenridge), Classic Rock 107.9 "The Fox" (KPFX), and News/Country KBMW/1450 (Wahpeton). To make a very long story short, Jim and Tom Ingstad sold the KQWB group to Triad in 1999 as they bought the KFGO group. They then sold the KFGO group to Clear Channel in 2000, and Jim Ingstad bought it back in 2007. Ingstad sold the KFGO group to Midwest this year and reached a deal to buy the KQWB group from L&L, which had just bought it from Triad. (5/14/2013)


  • Atlantic, IA: K224EA/92.7, 250W, VSS Catholic Communications
  • Bluegrass (Davenport), IA: K253BL/98.5, 170W, Educational Media Foundation
  • Burlington, IA: K265EQ/100.9, 80W, American Family Association
  • Clinton, IA: K282BG/104.3, 80W, American Family Association
  • Hiawatha (Cedar Rapids), IA: K281BS/104.1, 88W, Educational Media Foundation
  • Mount Pleasant, IA: K284BT/104.7, 250W, Starboard Media
  • Portland (Mason City), IA: K258CI/99.5, 140W, Clear Channel
  • Sioux City, IA: K235CA/94.9, 250W, VSS Catholic Communications
  • Spirit Lake, IA (Jackson, MN): K249EO/97.7, 250W, Kleven Broadcasting (KKOJ)
  • Blue Earth, MN: K237FO/95.3, 250W, Minnesota Public Radio
  • Pennock, MN: K277CC/103.3, 250W, Refuge Media Group
  • Beatrice, NE: K277CD/103.3, 250W, Community Broadcasting
  • Briggs (Omaha), NE: K255CJ/98.9, 99W, CSN International
  • Columbus, NE: K257FK/99.3, 250W, VSS Catholic Communications
  • West Point, NE: K255CK/98.9, 170W, VSS Catholic Communications
  • Eau Claire, WI: W292EG/106.3, 250W, Clear Channel
  • Fond du Lac, WI: W276CO/103.1, 250W, Sister Grace (5/13/2013)

    The owner of the AM-FM combo in Ord is buying nearby KHZZ/92.1 (Sargent). Mark G. Jensen's Mid-Nebraska Broadcasting, LLC will pay My Bridge Radio, a non-commercial Christian network, $43,000 for KHZZ. The area is covered by another My Bridge station, KHZY/99.3 (Overton). KHZZ is currently licensed for just 110 Watts but has a construction permit to move to 92.3 with 100kW, with a main coverage area including Broken Bow and Ord. Jensen's MWB Broadcasting II, LLC owns KNLV/1060 and KNLV-FM/103.9 (Ord), while his MWB Broadcasting, LLC owns KAWL/1370 and KTMX/104.9 (York). (5/13/2013)

    A much-belated note that KOAQ/690 (Terrytown-Scottsbluff) has dropped Oldies for Regional Mexican from "La Gran D" network. The Gering Courier reported on the change last December. KOAQ uses 1kW daytime and 65 Watts nighttime. It's among six Scottsbluff-market stations now being operated by Armada Media, which is buying the stations from Legacy Communications for an undisclosed price. (5/13/2013)

    The CRTC has approved moves to FM for two CBC Radio One stations in northwestern Ontario. CBOL/1450 (Armstrong) will move to 91.3 and CBLH/1010 (Hornepayne) will move to 92.3, each using 50 Watts. (They use 40 Watts on AM.) Each station relays CBQT-FM/88.3 (Thunder Bay). The AM stations will be allowed to stay on the air to simulcast the new FM signals for up to three months. (5/8/2013)

    In the latest twist on Fargo-Moorhead radio ownership, The Forum reports that the two groups that just went through ownership changes will swap their Country stations. Midwest Communications recently bought "Bob 95 FM" (KBVB Barnesville) and five other stations from Jim Ingstad, who is in the process of buying the former Triad group, including "Froggy 99.9" (KVOX-FM Moorhead). Ingstad gave the paper a statement saying that swapping the Country stations will make each group stronger. If nothing else, the swap will put the KVOX and KVOX-FM callsigns under the same roof once again. Incidentally, Ingstad's new group is now going by the name Radio Fargo-Moorhead, the name formerly used by what's now the Midwest group when it was under Ingstad ownership. (5/7/2013)

    The auction of three potential new Thunder Bay-market FM stations is over and to say the bids were low, given the potential market, is an understatement. The stations, on 92.7, 96.9, and 102.7, will be licensed to Grand Portage, MN and were included in FCC Auction No. 94, which closed Monday (5/6). Multi-Cultural Diversity Radio won 92.7 and 102.7 with bids of $1,400 each, while Resonance Media Group won 96.9 with a $750 bid, the minimum (and the lowest winning bid for any station in the auction). Resonance had submitted bids for all three frequencies but did not try to surpass Multi-Cultural's bids after round 20 of the 47-round auction. 92.7 and 102.7 are allotted as full class C (100kW/600m) stations and 96.9 is C0 (100kW/450m). If built to near maximum power, the stations could serve Thunder Bay, a city of more than 100,000 with five commercial radio stations -- only about a third of the number of stations found in similarly-sized U.S. markets. The U.S. side of the potential Grand Portage coverage area has only about 3,000 listeners and is already served by local programming from North Shore Community Radio. (5/7/2013)

    Results Broadcasting's holdings in the Rhinelander market are due to increase fourfold with the closing of FCC Auction No. 94. Results won 103.1 Crandon (class A, 6kW/100m) with a $25,000 bid and 100.9 Tomahawk (class C3, 25kW/100m) with a $10,000 bid. Results owns WCYE/93.7 (Three Lakes-Rhinelander) and is in the process of buying the construction permit for WHOH/96.5 (Rhinelander) from Multi-Cultural Diversity Radio. (5/7/2013)

    In addition to the five allotments listed in the previous two stories, the three frequencies below were also awarded in FCC Auction No. 94:

  • Edgemont, SD: 105.7 C1 (100kW/300m), Jackman Holding Company, LLC, $3,500.
  • Rosebud, SD: 99.3 C (100kW/600m), DJ Broadcasting, $2,500.
  • Tigerton, WI: 106.9 A (6kW/100m), Multi-Cultural Diversity Radio, $16,000. (5/7/2013)

    A format tweak is in the works for CFJL-FM/100.7 (Winnipeg). Station licensee Dufferin Communications, which is a subsidiary of Evanov Communications, is asking regulators to allow it to adjust CFJL's format to Light Adult Contemporary targetting listeners 45+. Dufferin says "The New Breeze" would have little musical overlap with other stations in Winnipeg. The station's format is largely Light AC already, but is limited to playing no more than 70 percent popular music. In its license renewal application, Dufferin is asking the CRTC to eliminate the limit on popular music and a requirement that CFJL carry a specialty music format, saying the current format is not economically viable. BBM ratings for the fall ratings period (September 3-October 28, 2012) found CFJL in last place among commercial stations with a 0.9 share. It's among the lowest-rated of the five formats the station has run since signing on in 2002. (5/6/2013)


  • Des Moines, IA: K225BP/92.9, 50W, CSN International
  • Fort Dodge, IA: K285GI/104.9, 250W, Starboard Media Foundation
  • Humboldt, IA: K253BJ/98.5, 250W, David M. Stout
  • Stocktown (Muscatine), IA: K250BD/97.9, 250W, Clear Channel
  • Blue Earth, MN: K247BO/97.3, 250W, Minnesota Public Radio
  • Blue Earth, MN: K300CJ/107.9, 99W, Minnesota Public Radio
  • Buhl (Chisholm), MN: W283BV/104.5, 27W, Northwestern College
  • East Grand Forks, MN: K253BK/98.5, 250W, Clear Channel
  • Hinckley, MN: W254BY/98.7, 19W, Minnesota Public Radio
  • Rochester, MN: K232EK/94.3, 115W, Northwestern College
  • Auburn, NE: K285GH/104.9, 170W, Community Broadcasting
  • Lincoln, NE: K277CA/103.3, 62W, Calvary Chapel of Omaha
  • North Platte, NE: K291BW/106.1, 250W, Mark A. Lemuth
  • Watertown, SD: K253BI/98.5, 99W, Horizon Christian Fellowship
  • Watertown, WI: W241BQ/96.1, 80W, Sister Grace (5/6/2013)

    The NET Radio translator in Columbus, forced off the air by the recent sign-on of new station KGKD/90.5, has applied for a frequency change so it can return. K212AV would move from 90.3 to 89.7 and remain 39W. (5/6/2013)

    Calvary Chapel of the Black Hills has applied to move KFND-LP/97.1 (Rapid City) to 98.3, citing interference from South Dakota Public Broadcasting's KPSD/97.1 (Faith) on its current frequency. KFND-LP would also slightly lower power from 13 Watts to 10 Watts but raise its antenna height slightly. The low-power station signed on in late 2006; KPSD has been on the air since 1973. (5/6/2013)

    Armada Media and Legacy Broadcasting are trading some stations in Nebraska, with two stations in Holdrege (KUVR/1380 and KMTY/97.7) going to Legacy and eight others in the Scottsbluff and North Platte markets going to Armada. Armada already owns three stations in the North Platte market and will add KZTL/93.5 (Paxton-North Platte) and KRNP/100.7 (Sutherland-North Platte) to the cluster. In the Scottsbluff market, the stations going to Armada include KOAQ/690 (Terrytown), KOLT/1320 (Scottsbluff), KMOR/93.3 (Gering), KETT/99.3 (Mitchell), KOZY-FM/101.3 (Bridgeport), KHYY/106.9 (Minatare). "This is a perfect fit for Armada, with the addition of two FM's to our cluster in North Platte we now have five stations in the market and gives us the dominate position we've been striving for," said Armada Media President and CEO Chris Bernier in a press release. "Also, we add a market we've been looking at for a long time in Scottsbluff; we believe there is tremendous growth potential in the market." Armada has already begun operating its new stations under a local marketing agreement. A purchase price was not announced. The deal gives Armada a total of 37 stations in seven Midwest markets. (5/3/2013)

    It turns out Jim Ingstad isn't done with Fargo radio yet: After completing the sale of one six-station group to Midwest Communications, Ingstad is buying the market's other six-station group. Ingstad sold his former Radio Fargo-Moorhead group to Midwest Communications for $25 million and is buying the former Triad group for $9.5 million, it was announced Wednesday. Ingstad is buying the former Triad group from L&L Broadcasting, which bought it as part of a five-market $21 million purchase, and will begin operating the group immediately. This is actually Ingstad's second return to the market; Jim and Tom Ingstad sold the group now owned by Midwest to Clear Channel for $46.3 million in 2000, and Jim Ingstad bought it back for $14 million in 2007. The Midwest group includes Sports KVOX/740, News/Talk KFGO/790, Contemporary Hits "Y94" (WDAY-FM/93.7), Country "Bob 95" (KBVB/95.1 Barnesville), News/Talk KRWK/101.9, and Adult Contemporary/Variety Hits 104.7 "Popster FM" (KMJO Hope). The new Ingstad group includes "True Oldies 1660" (KQWB West Fargo), Rock "Q98" (KQWB-FM/98.7 Moorhead), Country "Froggy 99.9" (KVOX-FM Moorhead), Adult Contemporary KLTA/105.1 (Breckenridge), Classic Rock 107.9 "The Fox" (KPFX), and News/Country KBMW/1450 (Wahpeton). Jim Ingstad's nephew, Robert J. Ingstad, owns KFNL/92.7 (Kindred), which had been operated by the KFGO group but went silent earlier this year. (5/1/2013)

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