Clear Channel may be about to get two more FM signals in Minneapolis, bringing its total to eight.
The new signals would be translators currently owned by Educational Media Foundation, which has already sold Clear Channel one Twin Cities translator. EMF recently filed applications to move W227BF/93.3 (Shoreview) and K273BH/102.5 (Fridley) to the IDS Center and indicated Clear Channel stations would be rebroadcast. The applications were prepared by a Clear Channel engineer.
W227BF currently transmits from Arden Hills with 10 Watts, carrying EMF's "K-Love" Christian Adult Contemporary network. It has applied to move to IDS with 99 Watts, relaying KTCZ/97.1. K273BH currently transmits from Minneapolis with 41 Watts, carrying EMF's "Air-1" Christian Rock network. It would use 250 Watts from IDS, relaying KDWB/101.3.
FCC rules would allow the translators to carry HD2 signals of KTCZ and KDWB. Clear Channel already does this with K278BP/103.5 (Cottage Grove), which transmits from IDS and relays KTLK-FM-HD2, which, in turn, rebroadcasts the Sports format of KFAN/1130. Clear Channel bought K278BP from EMF last year.
No applications have been filed for Clear Channel to purchase the other two translators, but in the K278BP case, the application to move to IDS was filed before the application to transfer the license. (6/28/2011)
It appears Ottumwa is poised to get an NBC-TV affiliate this fall. New Moon Communications says in a press release to All Access that it plans to convert low-power station KUMK-LP/42 (Ottumwa) to an NBC affiliate with local news. The move would give the Ottumwa-Kirksville market a complete set of all four major networks for the first time. New Moon is buying KUMK and three other LPTV stations outside the Upper Midwest from the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council, which received them as a donation from the Trinity Broadcasting Network. (6/27/2011)
The Des Moines radio market is about to get a lot bigger. Arbitron announced Monday it's adding eight counties to the existing four-county market, increasing its total population by 38 percent to 783,000 people. Arbitron estimates the addition will raise the market's rank from 91 to 72. The change is effective with the fall book. The newly-defined market will include Boone, Clarke, Dallas, Greene, Guthrie, Jasper, Lucas, Madison, Marion, Polk, Story, and Warren Counties. Communities of license included in the new market area are Boone, Newton, Knoxville, Chariton, Osceola, Winterset, Stuart, and Jefferson. The expansion could bring a half-dozen more stations into the Des Moines ratings, but could also make things tougher for smaller core-market signals that can't reach the new areas. (6/27/2011)
After nearly a year of testing, new station WXYG/540 (Sauk Rapids-St. Cloud) debuted its regular format on June 25: Album Rock as "The Goat." The 250-Watt station is streaming at 540wxyg.com. It's owned by Herbert Hoppe's Tri-County Broadcasting, which runs Sports, Classic Country, and Standards stations on the AM band and an Active Rocker on FM. (6/27/2011)
Translator K226BO/93.1 (Cedar Rapids) began testing over the weekend relaying the Soft Oldies format of KMRY/1450, though an official sign-on is not expected until later in the week. The translator uses 250 Watts at 100 meters above average terrain from a tower near Blairs Ferry Road and I-380 in northwest Cedar Rapids, with strong coverage of most of the city. KMRY owner Sellers Broadcasting bought the translator, sill officially K227BL, from Extreme Grace Media for $25,000 and moved the license from Anamosa to Cedar Rapids. (6/26/2011)
WFRV/5 (Green Bay) upgraded its local newscasts to HD on Thursday, June 23 and says it's the first station in the market to do so. The internal conversion took six months. (6/24/2011)
Iowa Public Radio has announced more changes at KTPR/91.1 (Fort Dodge), KWOI/90.7 (Carroll), and KOWI/97.9 (Lamoni). The stations had originally carried News/Talk programming during the day and Classical at night before switching to News/Talk 24 hours a day in January 2009. Beginning June 27, the stations will carry News/Talk programming during the day and IPR's "Studio One" Adult Alternative service in the evenings and overnight. IPR says the change is in response to audience requests and listening patterns. The change means IPR's News/Talk service will have no FM affiliates after 7 p.m.
Meanwhile, KRNI/1010 (Mason City) will begin carrying the News/Talk network 24 hours per day on June 27. It currently carries the News/Talk and Studio One services in a simulcast with KUNY/91.5 (Mason City). Switching KRNI to all-News/Talk was recommended in the initial consultant's report approved by the Board of Regents in 2004. (6/23/2011)
WTKM/1540 and WTKM-FM/104.9 (Hartford), known for maintaining a strong local on-air presence in the shadow of Milwaukee, are being sold to new local owners. Tomsum Media, LLC, owned by Dave and Connie Stout of West Bend, is buying the stations from Kettle Moraine Broadcasting for $1.8 million. Kettle Moraine Broadcasting is owned by Scott Lopas of Hartford, who will stay on as a consultant and operate WTKM Tours under the new name Kettle Moraine Tours. In a press release, Lopas says he wasn't positioning the stations for sale but says he knew the Stouts were the right people to continue the stations' legacy when they approached him. The Stouts got their start in radio in the area and owned the McCook Radio Group in Nebraska until 2007. WTKM is known as "Crusin' 1540" with an Oldies format, while WTKM-FM runs a unique mix of Polka, Classic Country, and Big Band. (6/23/2011)
The FCC has chosen tentative selectees for four new non-commercial FM stations in Wisconsin:
David Burke of the Quad City Times reports that NBC affiliate KWQC/6 (Davenport) will add a 4 p.m. newscast in September as part of a series of changes triggered by the end of the "Oprah Winfrey Show." KWQC's local talk show, "Paula Sands Live," will move from 4:30 to the first half of Oprah's 3:00 time slot. She'll be followed by year-old episodes of "Jeopardy!" at 3:30, the new 4:00 newscast, and current episodes of "Jeopardy!" at 4:30, moving from their current 4:00 timeslot. (6/21/2011)
WZMQ/19 (Marquette) has added Me-TV on channel 19.1, bumping a mixture of ThisTV and MyNetwork TV to 19.2 and Antenna TV to 19.3. Charter Cable carries 19.1 on its analog service and the other two channels on its digital service, while satellite providers carry only 19.2. (6/21/2011)
FOX 21 (KQDS-TV Duluth) has announced plans to expand its 9 p.m. newscast to an hour, beginning Sept. 12. The newscast has been 35 minutes since launching in 2007. (6/21/2011)
KQSP/1530 (Shakopee-Minneapolis) has dropped its Tropical "La Picosa" format for R&B as "Magic 1530." A message posted on the station's old website thanks all who were involved in the format, which lasted nearly five years. "La Picosa" had been one of three spanish-language radio stations in the Twin Cities metro area, though its Tropical format had little overlap with the mostly-Regional Mexican formats of its competitors.
1530's 8.6kW daytime signal is strong in the western half of the metro, but it must drop to 10 Watts at night, limiting coverage to the Chaska/Chanhassen area. It's owned by Yong W. Kim's Broadcast One, Inc.
Prior to "La Picosa," 1530 carried seven formats in an eight-year period. For the record, those formats were Smooth Jazz starting in September 1998, Variety starting in May 1999, Latin Variety starting in summer 2000, Spanish Catholic starting in July 2002, Catholic starting in May 2003, Liberal News/Talk starting in May 2004, and Contemporary Christian/AC/Oldies from October 2004 until September 2006. (6/18/2011)
In an unusual situation, the FCC has given WAXX/104.5 (Eau Claire) permission to turn on a second temporary transmitter in the wake of the Fairchild tower collapse that took the station's licensed 100kW facility off the air earlier this year. WAXX is already using a temporary 2.4kW/171m facility from Eau Claire. Now, it will turn on a second transmitter on 104.5 using 10kW/84m from the WOSQ/92.3 (Spencer) tower site, restoring service to the Marshfield area. Both temporary coverage areas are nestled within WAXX's licensed coverage area, though the station will still be missing coverage to the south. (6/16/2011, updated to reflect FCC action6/18)
A company headed by Henry G. Luken III, the CEO of the company that owns the "Retro TV" and "Tuff TV" networks, is buying seventeen low-power TV stations in the Upper Midwest. Digital Networks is paying the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council $390,000 for a total of 78 LPTV stations nationwide. The Trinity Broadcasting Network donated the stations to MMTC last year. The stations include:
Iowa: K61HD Davenport, K42HI Muscatine, K44FK Waterloo
Minnesota: K40JT Albert Lea, K42FH Bemidji, K19BG St. Cloud
North Dakota: K46DY Bismarck, K35KD Fargo, K21GQ Minot, K40DE Williston
Nebraska: K21HS Norfolk, K26CV Ogallala
South Dakota: K38CQ Huron, K33CO Rapid City, K56GF Sioux Falls
Wisconsin: K32GF Rhinelander, W36DH Waupaca
None of the stations has been converted to digital, and many are off the air. The deal does not include TBN stations in Ottumwa IA, Marquette MI, Escanaba MI, and Yankton SD that had been included in the transfer to MMTC. (6/13/2011)
A construction permit for a new non-commercial station in southeastern Nebraska is poised to get its third owner this year: Cedar Cove Broadcasting is buying the CP for KNHU/89.9 (Humboldt) from South Central Okhlahoma Christian Broadcasting for $35,000. The current owners bought the CP and two others from Union Valley Baptist Church for $10,000 earlier this year. (6/13/2011)
Cumulus Media's KSOO/1140 (Sioux Falls) is the latest on a growing list of stations using reduced power. The station says in an FCC filing a transformer fire damaged the transmitter on May 30. It's using 1kW nondirectional day and night, instead of the normal 10kW nondirectional daytime power and 5kW directional nighttime power. (6/13/2011)
WisconsinBroadcasting.com reports Cumulus Media's WPCK/104.9 (Denmark-Green Bay) and WPKR/99.5 (Omro-Oshkosh) are once again simulcasting their Country format as "The Wolf." The stations had simulcast Country years ago before breaking apart. Northeastern Wisconsin is a complicated region for media -- Green Bay and Appleton/Oshkosh are regarded as separate markets for radio ratings and have separate daily newspapers, but the areas are in the same TV market and some radio stations have strong signals to both areas. 99.5/104.9 is one of several FM simulcasts that have existed in the region over the past few decades. (6/13/2011)
KSWN/93.9 (McCook) has shifted from Hot Adult Contemporary as "US 93-9" to Contemporary Hits as "The Zone." The schedule still includes the "Sports Nightly" talk show from 6-9 p.m. KSWN is owned by Legacy Communications, which has two other stations in the market. (6/12/2011)
When NBC affiliate WEAU-TV/13 (Eau Claire) returns to the air from its reconstructed tower, it wants to be broadcasting on UHF channel 38 instead of VHF channel 13. WEAU is in the early stages of rebuilding the 2,000-foot tower near Fairchild which collapsed in March. It had broadcast on channel 39 prior to the 2009 digital transition, remapping to channel 13.1 on receivers, and moved digital broadcasts to channel 13 after the transition. WEAU and numerous other stations broadcasting digitally on VHF have reported numerous reception complaints from viewers. The FCC is now taking comments on WEAU's proposal to move to channel 38. Meanwhile, the Commission has approved WEAU's application for a 15kW translator on channel 25 in Eau Claire, but an application to return WEAU to the air on channel 13 from temporary facilities in Eau Claire remains pending. WEAU's programming is temporarily being broadcast on WQOW/18.3 (Eau Claire) and WLAX/25.2 (La Crosse). The collapsed tower was also used by WAXX/104.5 (Eau Claire), which is using temporary facilities in Eau Claire. (6/12/2011)
KZIA, Inc. is buying K292FZ/106.3 (Mount Vernon) from Educational Media Foundation for $35,000 and tells the FCC it plans to use the translator to relay KZIA/102.9 (Cedar Rapids). FCC rules would allow the translator to carry one of KZIA's HD subchannels, which carry Classic Rock and a simulcast of 1600 ESPN (KGYM). The translator's current main coverage area is south of Mt. Vernon, but it appears it could theoretically make a daisy chain move to Cedar Rapids in two or three steps. (6/9/2011)
New station CFJL-FM/106.1 (Winnipeg) is on the air stunting, saying it'll play a different type of music every week until it's ready to sign on permanently. The first format is Hip-Hop. The 40kW station's website says they haven't decided what to play, though Canadian regulators licensed the station with the intention that it would carry a New Easy Listening/Adult Contemporary format. CJFL owner Evanov Communications operates similar formats in other markets under the "Jewel" moniker. It has no other stations in Winnipeg. (6/9/2011)
KZRX/92.1 and KCAD/99.1 (Dickinson) are back on the air. The Clear Channel stations went off the air last week when their tower collapsed, which the stations told the Dickinson Press was caused by shifting ground on the butte where the tower is located. Now, the stations tell the FCC they're both back on the air using 10kW from the licensed site. KZRX is using a salvaged section of the tower, while KCAD is using a crank-up antenna. Both are at about 9 meters above ground level, or about 83m above average terrain. KZRX normally uses 10.5kW/150m and KCAD normally uses 100kW/242m. (6/9/2011)
New station WTPN/103.9 (Westby) is on the air with a non-commercial Christian format. The station is known as the "Prayz Network" and is also heard on translator W250AX/97.9 (La Crosse), with plans to sign on WEQS/88.3 (Sparta) as another station in the network. The stations are owned by the Salvation Poem Foundation. WTPN uses 2.75kW/151m (class A), with a main coverage area including Viroqua and areas southeast of La Crosse. (6/9/2011)
CTV Winnipeg (CKY-TV/7) announced Monday that longtime news anchor and weathercaster Sylvia Kuzyk will step down this fall. She's been at the station, which covers the entire province, for nearly 38 years. In a station press release, Kuzyk was quoted as saying, "The time has come...for me to embark on a new direction and take time for all of those things I have kept on the back burner for years." (6/7/2011)
The Dickinson Press reports KZRX/92.1 and KCAD/99.1 went off the air last Wednesday (June 1) due to a tower collapse. A Clear Channel executive tells the paper the collapse was caused by shifting ground on the butte where the tower was located. The stations, which carry Rock and Country formats, are two of just three commercial FM stations in southwestern North Dakota. (6/6/2011)
WDAY/970 (Fargo) is back on the air at reduced power after a Memorial Day storm destroyed two of its three towers. (Pictures are posted on the station's website. WDAY is licensed for 5kW non-directional during the day and 5kW directional at night, but unfortunately, the tower normally used for non-directional daytime use was one of those destroyed. The station is now using the remaining tower for daytime broadcasting at reduced power and hopes to get up to 65 percent of normal daytime power. It's also seeking FCC permission to use up to 1.25kW nondirectional at night while new towers are constructed. (6/6/2011)
The FCC has granted Tomahawk Light Broadcasting a construction permit for a new FM station in northern Wisconsin. The new station on 91.3 will be licensed to Tomahawk but transmit from near Tripoli, with fringe coverage of Merrill, Rhinelander, Minocqua, and Park Falls. It'll use 67kW/53m (class C1). (6/5/2011)
KBOT/104.1 (Pelican Rapids) has moved its transmitter north, improving its signal in Detroit Lakes but weakening its signal in Fergus Falls. The move follows last year's change from the longtime "Wild Country" format to Adult Contemporary as "The Wave." KBOT remains 50kW from its new site but lowered its antenna height from 150m to 139m above average terrain. (6/2/2011)
WYSS/99.5 (Sault Ste. Marie) and WMKD/105.5 (Pickford-Sault Ste. Marie) are at reduced power after high winds and a lightning strike damaged their transmitter site on May 12. Both stations normally use 100kW; WYSS is now using 16.2kW/44m and WMKD is using 7.5kW/35m. No timeline for repairs was indicated in filings with the FCC. (6/2/2011)
In case you missed it, All Access recently reported on more talk radio moves in the Red River Valley. Scott Hennen is again off "The Flag" (WZFG/1100 Dilworth-Fargo), replaced by Ed Schultz's national show in the 2-5 p.m. timeslot. Meanwhile, Hennen quickly resurfaced at KNOX/1310 (Grand Forks). (6/2/2011)
WDAY/970 (Fargo) remained off the air Wednesday, two days after a storm brought down some of the station's towers. The station continues to stream programming online and on TV subchannels WDAY-TV/6.3 (Fargo) and WDAZ/8.3 (Grand Forks). The station's blog hinted the station might soon return with temporary facilities. The storm and its ensuing power outage also knocked out power to the WDAY-TV master control for a time Tuesday, also taking WDAZ, KBMY/17 (Bismarck), and KMCY/14 (Minot) off the air. (6/1/2011)
DX-midAMerica reports WMBE/1530 (Chilton) has dropped Sports for Classic Country. (6/1/2011)
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