5/29/1998: Jacor and CBS have traded some stations, and KMJZ/KSGS will end up in the hands of CBS. That gives CBS five stations in the market: WCCO/830, KSGS/950, WLTE/102.9, KMJZ/104.1, and WCCO-TV/4. It also makes KSTP AM-FM the last major group of only two radio stations. (All Access)
5/29/1998: KDLT/5, the NBC affiliate in the Sioux Falls market, has been fined $10,000 for playing too many commercials during children's programming. (NewsPage)
5/29/1998: After 6 years of battle, Dale Arndt has been granted FCC permission to put a translator on the air in Rochester. K280EL/103.9 will rebroadcast KQYB/98.3 (Spring Grove) with 250W of power. Southern Minnesota Broadcasting and Olmstead County Broadcasting had filed objections to the application.
5/27/1998: Former WCCO-TV anchor Colleen Needles will join KSTP-TV on September 7. She will co-anchor the 6 and 10 p.m. news, and Kalley King, who asked for reduced hours in anticipation of her upcoming marriage, will probably continue anchor at 5 p.m. Needles left WCCO a year ago in the midst of a sexual discrimination lawsuit, which was later settled out of court. (Star Tribune, Pioneer Press)
5/27/1998: KCPI/94.9 (Albert Lea) changed from locally originated CHR to satellite delivered Hot Adult Contemporary sometime between the end of last December and this past weekend. The station still calls itelf "I95" and uses some of the same jingles.
5/23/1998: Julie Nelson will join KSTP-TV as an Anchor/Reporter on June 22. (Shoptalk)
5/23/1998: One small change at WQPM-FM: they're now ID'ing as "Princeton-Minneapolis-St. Paul." It used to be "Princeton-St. Cloud-The Twin Cities." They're also running 60 songs in a row. Do they care about making money right now?
5/23/1998: WQPC/94.3 (Prairie du Chein) is now positioning itself as "Great Country, Q94." The station has also added USA news on the hour. (e-mail)
5/23/1998: WDGY/630 is using the positioner "Hot Talk" in addition to "The SuperStation."
5/23/1998: An update on Galaxy IV-caused problems: the Beat Radio Network is now back on the air in all 10 cities, and MPR's WSCN/100.5 (Cloquet-Duluth) sounds like it's using two-line Comrex to get the network feed. In St. Peter, KNGA/91.5 is using a phone line, and KGAC/90.5 is back on with Classical.
5/22/1998: Barbara Carlson will return to KSTP(AM) on Monday, June 1. She will co-host the morning show (5-8 a.m.) with Greg Oxley, a lobbyist for the United Power Association. (Pioneer Press)
5/22/1998: Several regional media organizations are struggling after the loss of the Galaxy IV satellite:
5/22/1998: Another station upgrading: KYTC/102.7 (Northwood, IA) has applied to increase from 6kW to 25kW. The upgrade would improve the station's signal in its target market of Austin and Albert Lea, as well as Mason City. (FCC)
5/21/1998: WQPM-FM/106.1 (Princeton) will change call letters to KSLI. Does this mean a format change is coming, or is it just a change in the station's image? Nothing has happened yet. (FCC)
5/21/1998: KCFB/91.5 (St. Cloud) has lost PD Joe Kimbler, who is leaving the business to work in computers. Kimbler will continue to host the Saturday night "Looking Up" program. His change in career is not related to the Morningstar situation. (e-mail), updated 5/22/1998
5/21/1998: KLZZ/103.7 (Sauk Rapids-St. Cloud) is doing a major league overhaul. Gone is Roxanne Whip, the afternoon drive jock, to Kool 108. Her last shift will be Friday, May 22. Morning jocks Mitch and Bob are being disassembled. Bob will now work in sales, and Mitch in traffic. To top it off, Program Director Barry Collins is stepping down for unknown reasons. (e-mail)
5/21/1998: Ten Twin Cities radio stations and five TV stations were knocked off the air last Friday night when the power went out at KMSP's Shoreview tower. The outage was caused by what was believed to be a tornado near the tower site and lasted several hours. All of the radio stations except WRQC were able to return to the air from backup transmitter sites. A power failure at the site is almost unheard of as it is connected to two seperate NSP substations for redundancy. (e-mail)
5/21/1998: The FCC has assigned call letters to Construction Permits in the region: KBKK/95.9 Pillager, KQKK/101.9 Walker, KXKK/92.5 Park Rapids, KBFH/107.1 Moose Lake, KCML/99.9 St. Joseph, and KRKH/100.9 Harwood, ND. Some of the call letters are randomly assigned and will probably change before the stations go on the air.
5/21/1998: The low-power TV station on channel 2 in Fargo has changed calls to KVNJ-LP. (FCC)
5/20/1998: A rumor posted on the bulletin board says that WQPM-FM's new owners (Milestone Radio) may move the station closer to Minneapolis. The station would power down to 6kW (class A) and move to Rogers, a town in northwestern Hennepin county. The station would have a good signal into Minneapolis and the western and northern suburbs, and would probably reach more people than KZNR/105.1.
5/19/1998: Joan Steffend is leaving KARE 11 after 15 years with the station. She already works full-time on a show for Home and Gardens Television (HGTV), and is leaving KARE so she can spend the weekends with her family. (C.J., Star Tribune)
5/19/1998: The FCC has dismissed WMFG-FM/106.3 (Hibbing)'s application to increase to 100kW at the request of the station's owner, Alan Quarnstrom. So, WMFG-FM will remain at 25kW.
5/19/1998: The FCC has approved KKXL-FM/92.9 (Grand Forks)'s application to increase from 63kW to 100kW.
5/16/1998: KBJR/6 will become the secondary affiliate of FOX in the Duluth market next season, carrying the NFL, as well as some NHL and baseball games. KDLH was the secondary FOX affiliate for the last two seasons, WDIO was the secondary affiliate for two years before that, and KBJR was the secondary affiliate for a few years before that. KBJR hasn't said whether it will carry any FOX programming other than sports broadcasts. FOX prime time programming hasn't been seen since WDIO aired it in the 1995-96 season. Red River Broadcasting plans to have KNLD/21 on the air as a FOX affiliate by late next spring, so fans of The X-Files, Ally McBeal, The Simpsons, and other FOX prime time programming will have to wait another year before they can receive it without having cable (FOX is seen on cable channel 11 in the Twin Ports). (Duluth News-Tribune)
5/16/1998: Salem Media took over KYCR/1570 in a Local Marketing Agreement last Monday, May 11. Essentially, that means Salem is renting the station from Children's Broadcasting until the station's sale is finalized. KYCR is now being run out of the KKMS building in Eagan. The station broadcasts a network owned by Salem, the Morningstar Contemporary Christian format. (e-mail)
5/16/1998: In one of the quickest approvals I've ever seen from the FCC, Bernie Schumaker's new Park Rapids station at 92.5 has been granted a power upgrade from 6kW to 25kW. (FCC)
5/16/1998: KBJR is considering several sites for its new location, following the fire that gutted much of their Superior Street building last December. The forerunner is a site in Duluth's Canal Park. Other sites are being considered in Superior and Hermantown, or else they may rebuild inside the old building's shell. More will be known once their insurance company decides how much money the station will receive for the lost assets. KBJR's staff is currently spread across three Duluth locations (the transmitter, WDSE(TV), and the US Bank building). (Duluth News-Tribune)
5/10/1998: Marc Allen is the new Music Director/Image Director at Zone 105, coming from Milwaukee, where he worked for a group owning two AC stations and one Modern Rock station. He starts May 26. (All Access)
5/10/1998: KUMD/103.3 (Duluth) is now ID'ing WTIP/90.7 (Grand Marais), so it's safe to assume that WTIP is now on the air.
5/7/1998: KCFB/91.5 (St. Cloud) has been informed that it must stop carrying Morningstar's Christian Adult Contemporary format by early July, even though the station still has a year left on its contract. Morningstar told KCFB Program Director Joe Kimball that the contract had been sold to another station in the market. Rumors say this station is KKJM/92.9 (St. Joseph-St. Cloud). (Joe Kimball)
5/5/1998: WBJI/98.3 (Blackduck-Bemidji) was expected to drop it's Oldies format at 5 p.m. today. The station will be off the air for a few days, and will then sign back on as a "Real Country" affiliate. Local hosts will be absent from the schedule until they get to know Country music a little better. (e-mail)
5/4/1998: WTIP/90.7 (Grand Marais) is expected to sign on this week. The 25kW station will relay KUMD/103.3 (Duluth) full-time until a studio is set up for some local programming. The station will be the first ever on the air in Cook County (excluding translators).
5/4/1998: Children's Broadcasting Corporation announced last week that KYCR/1570 and the company's station in Houston will be sold to Salem Radio, which also owns KKMS/980 in the Twin Cities. The remaining station, in Detroit, was expected to be sold anyday to another company. (WWTC/1280 and the remaining nine CBC stations are being sold to the Catholic Radio Networks.)
5/4/1998: KVGO/104.3 (Spring Valley) has received a Construction Permit from the FCC to increase power to 10kW, from an antenna height of 156m (class C3).
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