There's one less Rock station and one more Country station in McCook after Legacy Communications flipped KZMC/102.1 from Hard Rock to Classic Country. The switchover came at 3 p.m. Friday, according to a press release posted on the station's website. The change was followed by the expected outrage of former Rock listeners on KZMC's Facebook page. The new lineup includes the syndicated Big D and Bubba morning show and AgriTalk at 10 a.m. Legacy also owns "Coyote Country 105.3" (KIOD) and Contemporary Hits-formatted "93.9 The Zone" (KSWN). KZNC's flip leaves Armada Media Classic Rocker "103.9 The Hawk" (KQHK) as the only station in the Rock genre in the region; Armada also operates Country-formatted KFNF/101.1 (Oberlin-McCook) and two other stations in the market. (5/31/2014)
King Forward, Inc. is buying three low-power TV stations in Cedar Rapids and Des Moines from Tiger Eye Broadcasting for a total of $155,000. The asset purchase agreement values KRPG-LP/43 (Des Moines) at $75,000 and the Cedar Rapids stations, KRUB-LD/24 and KCDR-LD/45, at $40,000 apiece. It's not clear whether any of the stations are currently on the air. King Forward is also in the process of buying LPTV stations in Minneapolis, St. Louis, and Lincoln, NE. (5/29/2014)
DX'er Shawn Axelrod reports new station CJXR-FM/107.7 (Steinbach) is on the air testing with Country music. CJXR will use 30kW/117m (class B) and will be Golden West Broadcasting's third station in Steinbach. (5/29/2014)
Winnipeg radio listeners were apparently unimpressed by a format tweak and name change at what's now "Jewel 101" (CFJL-FM/100.7). The Light Adult Contemporary station, owned by Evanov Communications, launched its new identity after Christmas. BBM Spring (March 3 to April 27, 2014) 12+ ratings released Thursday show CFJL still ranks last among commercial stations with a 1.2 share, down 0.6 points from Fall 2013. Earlier this year, CFJL applied to move to 100.5, saying that after a half-dozen formats on 100.7 "the frequency itself has become stigmatized as 'a station no one listens to.'"
At the other end of the rankings, Corus Entertainment's CJOB/680 and CBC Radio One (CBW/990 and 89.3) are nearly tied with 12.0 and 11.7 shares, respectively. Jim Pattinson Group's Country-formatted QX104 (CFQX-FM Selkirk) is the top-ranked music station in the market with a 9.1 share. The full listings can be found on page 20 of this document. (5/29/2014)
FM translator W250BN/97.9 (Milwaukee) is on the air relaying WJTI/1460 (West Allis-Milwaukee), which rebranded as "97.9 La Caliente" following the launch of translator. "La Caliente" carries a mix of Regional Mexican, Latin Pop/Rock, and Tropical music with the syndicated "El Show del Mandril" in the morning. The stations are owned by El Sol Broadcasting, which bought W250BN from Radio Power, Inc. for $125,000. W250BN broadcasts with 250 Watts from downtown Milwaukee. (5/27/2014)
Clear Channel has launched a seventh analog FM format in the Twin Cities: W227BF/93.3 is carrying R&B hits from the 1970's to 2000's, originating on the HD2 signal of Clear Channel's KQQL/107.9 (Anoka). The new format, which apparently does not have a name or web presence, includes Minneapolis artists such as The Time and Prince. However, RadioInsight reports Clear Channel reserved the domain name 933theedge.com last week; the site was live Monday with a page description of "KQQL-HD is City's Best Music featuring ROCK ALTERNATIVE radio live from MINNEAPOLIS-MN." ("The Edge" was the name of a short-lived but well-remembered Modern Rock format on 93.7 in the mid-1990's.) The domain name began redirecting to the iHeartRadio main page on Tuesday.
W227BF is actually owned by the Educational Media Foundation and transmits from the IDS Center; it had been carrying EMF's "K-Love" format via the HD3 signal of Clear Channel's KFXN-FM/100.3 (Minneapolis) for the past year. Clear Channel has also operated translator K278BP/103.5, which it bought from EMF, from the IDS Center since 2010 simulcasting the formats of AM 1130 via KFXN-FM-HD2. EMF has several other translators in the metro area, many of which have applications or construction permits to build new facilities with Clear Channel stations specified as the stations to be rebroadcast. See the Twin Cities Class D FM's page for a complete list. (5/26/2014, updated 5/27)
Riverfront Broadcasting, LLC is buying one of Dakota Communications' four stations in the Huron area. Riverfront will pay $300,000 for KZKK/105.1 (Huron), which the application states will apply to move to 92.1 but essentually retain its current coverage area. Several years back, Dakota sold off its other Huron-licensed FM station, which became KXLG/99.1 (Milbank-Watertown), and moved 99.1's former Country format and callsign to 105.1 in the process. Dakota retains KOKK/1210 (Huron), KIJV/1340 (Huron), KJRV/93.3 (Wessington Springs-Huron), and a construction permit for translator K237EL/95.3 (Huron). Riverfront has existing groups of stations in the Pierre, Mitchell, and Yankton areas. (5/23/2014)
Midwest Communications is buying an FM translator with a construction permit to move to Wausau. Midwest subsidiary WRIG, Inc. will pay $39,000 for W290AZ/105.9 (Marshfield), which recently applied for a license to cover a move to 95.1 as W236CO. It has also applied to relocate its transmitter to Wausau on 95.1 to relay Midwest's WSAU. The asset purchase agreement was signed in December and filed this week. (5/23/2014)
The owner of KDLS/1310 (Perry) is buying an FM translator that was already slated to relay KDLS. M&M Broadcasting will pay First Ventures Capital Partners $31,500 for K259AT/99.7, which has a construction permit to move from Boone to Perry with 250 Watts to relay KDLS. The agreement was actually signed last September but not filed with the FCC until this week. (5/21/2014)
WKLK-FM/96.5 (Cloquet) is operating at reduced power due to a transmitter failure. According to a request for special temporary authority filed with the FCC, WKLK-FM's main transmitter failed on April 24 and it's been operating with a backup transmitter. The station normally uses 25kW and is at reduced power of 3.3kW; it also has an unrelated construction permit to upgrade to 36kW. The STA filing says it could take up to 18 weeks to repair the transmitter. WKLK-FM delivers a rimshot signal to Duluth-Superior but battles topography and intermodulation issues in the Twin Ports. (5/21/2014)
KDDG/105.5 (Albany-St. Cloud) is now simulcasting the Tropical/Regional Mexican format "La Neta" from sister station WLKX/95.9 (Forest Lake-Minneapolis) nightly from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. KDDG continues its "Bob FM" Country format during the day. The move marks the first time a Spanish-language format has been available in St. Cloud. (5/19/2014)
Minnesota Public Radio tells the FCC that Classical MPR station KRSW/89.3 (Worthington) is operating at reduced power due to antenna damage. According to a request for special temporary authority, KRSW is transmitting at about 8kW instead of its normal 100kW after high winds damaged two antenna bays. The request says parts have been ordered and repairs will be made as soon as possible. (5/15/2014)
King Forward, Inc. is buying low-power TV station K29GL (Lincoln) from Regal Media for $28,500. The station, which was formerly owned and operated by the Trinity Broadcasting Network, is currently off the air. King Forward is also in the process of buying LPTV stations in Minneapolis and St. Louis in separate transactions. (5/15/2014)
Bott Communications is the winner of an auction for a new AM station in the plains. The Christian broadcaster competed with Advanced Modulation Broadcasting in the bidding for AM 1130, which Bott wants to build at Ravenna, NE and Advanced Modulation wants to build at Eaton, CO. Bott won the Auction No. 84 bidding with a $4,700 bid. Preliminary plans for the new Ravenna station call for 12kW daytime, 3kW critical hours, and 600 Watts nighttime from a tower site west of Grand Island. The station will use a directional antenna pattern shooting east and west, delivering a strong signal to Grand Island and Kearney with fringe coverage as far as Omaha. The nighttime signal would theoretically provide interference-free service to Grand Island. Bott already has FM translators in Grand Island and Hastings and owns KAMI/1580 and KCVN/104.5 (Cozad), the FM side of which delivers a strong signal to Kearney and Lexington. (5/13/2014)
SOUTH DAKOTA: (UPDATED)
Schurz Communications is divesting KBHB/810 (Sturgis) and KKLS/920 (Rapid City) as part of its purchase of ABC affiliate KOTA-TV/3.1 (Rapid City). Schurz, through its Rushmore Media Company subsidiary, owns six radio stations in the Rapid City market and the FCC ordered it to sell two of them as part of the KOTA-TV purchase. Homeslice Media Group, LLC will pay $650,000 for KBHB, KKLS, and translator K284BA/104.7 (Rapid City). (KKLS is currently rebroadcast on K248BT/97.5, which is not included in the deal.) KBHB carries a Country format targetting farmers and ranchers in western South Dakota while KKLS carries a Classic Hits/Oldies format targetting Rapid City as "97.5 The Hills." The asset purchase agreement states that the buyer shall keep all of KBHB's current employees for at least a year, but there is no such clause for KKLS employees. Homeslice Media Group is owned by Michael M. Bruch. Mark P. Bruch, Dean Kinney, and Clint J. Brengle, all of Sturgis. (5/12/2014, corrected translator included in sale 5/14)
King Forward, Inc. is buying low-power TV station K25IA-D (Minneapolis) from Regal Media for $126,000. K25IA carries five channels of programming from the Trinity Broadcasting Network, which owned the station until selling it to Regal Media in 2012. (5/12/2014)
Christian broadcaster EICB-TV East, LLC is paying DTV America Corp. $100 apiece for several low-power TV construction permits. The deal includes Mason City stations K22LJ-D, K27MI-D, and K38OW-D and Duluth station K46MH-D. The Mason City CP's expire in November 2015 and the Duluth CP expires in August 2015. EICB-TV recently applied for licenses to cover two new LPTV stations in Duluth but immediately took them silent. (5/12/2014)
The FCC has reinstated MG Community Broadcasting's application for a new low-power FM station on 94.1 in Maple Grove. The regulator had dismissed the application in late March, saying the applicant had failed to provided adequate documentation showing that it would not interfere with KXXR/93.7 (Minneapolis) and KSTP-FM/94.5 (St. Paul). MG Community Broadcasting amended its application with an exhibit showing that the interference would only occur within 115 feet of the transmitter site, and nobody lives within that distance. The LPFM station would transmit from a Seventh-Day Adventist church near I-694 in southeastern Maple Grove and carry Christian programming. (5/8/2014)
Gray TV will pay $500,000 for two low-power TV stations in western North Dakota, according to an asset purchase agreement filed with the FCC. Gray is buying KNDX-LD/38 (Dickinson) and KXND-LP/38 (Williston) from Prime Cities Broadcasting and also has a local marketing agreement to run the translators and the full-power stations they rebroadcast, FOX affiliates KNDX/26 (Bismarck) and KXND/24 (Minot). The full-power stations will exit from the LMA when Gray closes on its purchase of NBC affiliate KFYR-TV/5.1 (Bismarck) and its satellites, but Gray will keep the translators. It's not clear what will happen to the FOX affiliation; Gray announced last week that it had acquired some of KNDX's non-license assets. (5/8/2014)
Q Media Group, LLC has signed on FM translator W259CG/99.7 (Wabasha) to relay its WBHA/1190. Q Media Group bought the former KFSI translator, previously licensed as W206BA/89.1, from Faith Sound, Inc. and moved it across the river from Alma, WI. Besides adding an FM signal, the translator allows WBHA to offer programming after sunset since AM 1190 is licensed for daytime-only broadcasting. (5/7/2014)
Leighton Enterprises has applied for a license to cover new translator K226CA/93.1 (Detroit Lakes), meaning it may be on the air. Filings have indicated the 250-Watt translator will relay Leighton's information-based KDLM/1340. (5/7/2014)
The FCC has approved an upgrade to 100kW/191m (class C1) for KKEQ/107.1 (Fosston), a change which will improve the Contemporary Christian station's signal to Bemidji. "Q107" currently uses 50kW/147m. Sister station KKCQ-FM/96.7 (Fosston), which carries a Country format, is also upgrading from 25kW/100m (C3) to 25kW/170m (C2). The stations are owned by Pine to Prairie Broadcasting. (5/7/2014)
The West Central Tribune reports new owners have adopted a locally-originated format at KSCR-FM/93.5 (Benson). The paper reports KSCR-FM has dropped a satellite-fed Classic Rock format in favor of a mix of Country, Rock, Oldies, and Pop, while KBMO/1290 continues to carry Soft Oldies. Headwaters Media, LLC bought the stations from Quest Broadcasting fir $275,000. (5/7/2014)
CBC-TV won't establish a new station in Thunder Bay to replace CKPR-DT/2 if the Dougall Media station moves forward with plans to go independent, according to a CBC/Thunder Bay radio report. Earlier this year, CKPR asked regulators for permission to drop CBC as early as Aug. 31. Fred Mattocks, CBC's General Manager Media Operations and Technology, told the radio station for a story that aired Tuesday morning that only two percent of the Thunder Bay population watches over-the-air TV. He said CBC's Toronto station, CBLT, would be available on cable and satellite. Listings indicate CBC-TV's Ottawa station is already available on Shaw Cable's digital tier in Thunder Bay and several versions of the network are available on satellite TV. CBC-TV shut down hundreds of transmitters in 2012 so Thunder Bay would be far from the first city to lose its affiliate, though Thunder Bay is far larger than other communities that have already lost their over-the-air CBC-TV signals. (5/6/2014)
THREE EAGLES SOLD:
Digity Media has announced plans to buy Lincoln-based Three Eagles Communications' 48 stations. The price was not disclosed but will likely be revealed in FCC filings. All of Three Eagles' stations are in the Upper Midwest, with groups in Lincoln, Columbus (NE), Fort Dodge, Mason City, Austin (MN), Albert Lea, Mankato, Redwood Falls, Luverne, Brookings, and Watertown (SD). Digity is headquartered in Florida and is owned by Dean Goodman and Garrison Investment Group. The company's existing holdings mostly result from its recent purchase of NextMedia and Goodman's GoodRadio.TV group. Digity will be a top five radio group owner once the purchase is complete, with existing holdings including stations in Fairfield (IA), Newton/Grinnell (IA), Kenosha (WI), and suburban Chicago. (5/5/2014)
ESPN Radio affiliate WFBZ/105.5 (Trempeleau-La Crosse) is back on the the air after an outage of several days due to technical difficulties. The station's Facebook page had advised listeners to try tuning into sister station WKLJ/1290 (Sparta) during the outage. (5/5/2014, updated 5/6)
NORTH DAKOTA (CORRECTED):
The Educational Media Foundation will get a station in Williston under a deal with the American Family Association. AFA will swap KNDW/91.7 (Williston) and a station in Florida for an EMF station in Georgia. EMF currently has a translator in Williston carrying its "K-Love" network. Note: An earlier version of this story identified the wrong North Dakota Christian network station on 91.7 as being sold. (5/5/2014)
NORTH DAKOTA (UPDATED):
After Gray TV's plans to operate FOX affiliate KNDX/26 (Bismarck) under a shared services agreement fell through, the company announced Thursday that it has instead acquired some of the station's non-license assets and the licenses for two translators.
Gray is in the process of buying NBC affiliate KFYR-TV/5.1 (Bismarck) and its satellites from Hoak Media and said it would operate KNDX and satellite KXND/24 (Minot) under a local marketing agreement until it completes the KFYR-TV acquisition, which already has FCC approval. Gray will also buy Prime Cities' translator stations in Dickinson and Williston, which changed their callsigns to KNDX-LD and KXND-LP on Friday. Low-power/translator stations do not count towards ownership caps.
Gray did not say if it would retain the FOX affiliation after the LMA ends.
Originally, Gray had announced that Excalibur Broadcasting would buy KNDX/KXND from Prime Cities and that Gray would operate the stations through a SSA, but Prime Cities withdrew the application to transfer the licenses after the FCC said it would conduct extra scrutiny of deals that include a put option and an SSA. (5/1/2014)
Townsquare Media's KJOC/1170 (Davenport) has flipped to ESPN Radio, dropping the True Oldies Channel. As the callsign suggests, KJOC had previously carried a Sports format but dropped it a decade ago. "ESPN 1170" competes mainly with Clear Channel FOX Sports affiliate WFXN/1230 (Moline), which flipped to Sports around the time KJOC dropped it. WFXN carries the Green Bay Packers and the Fighting Illini, while KJOC is promoting the Chicago Cubs and Iowa State athletics on its website. (5/1/2014)
The Quad Cities' "Jefa" has added an FM signal: The Regional Mexican/Tropical format of WKBF/1270 (Rock Island) is now being rebroadcast on translator K289BI/105.7 (Davenport). The 250-Watt translator is owned by First Ventures Capital Partners. (5/1/2014)
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