ABC affiliate KCRG-TV/9 (Cedar Rapids) has applied to boost its power from 30.4kW to 48kW. Though the power level is higher than would normally be allowed for its antenna height (607m), KCRG says it's allowed because the higher level is needed to match the coverage of another station in the market, KWWL/7 (Waterloo). KCRG obtained interference waivers from WILL-TV/9 (Urbana, IL) and KTTC/10 (Rochester, MN). (7/31/2011)
FOX 17 (KDSM Des Moines) has doubled its power from 500kW to 1000kW, adding a few miles to its coverage area and intensifying the signal closer in. The station broadcasts on channel 16 and remaps to 17. (7/31/2011)
The Christian VCY America network has signed on new station WVCS/90.1 (Owen). The 18kW/50m station serves rural areas between Eau Claire and Wausau. (7/31/2011)
The South Dakota Public Broadcasting FM translator in Lead has moved from 91.9 to 88.7 with the new callsign K204GC. The move comes after SDPB signed on new station KYSD/91.9 (Spearfish). (7/31/2011)
After nearly two months of stunting, new station CFJL-FM/106.1 (Winnipeg) debuted a Contemporary Hits format as "Energy 106" at Noon Friday (July 29). Canadian regulators had licensed the station with the intention that it would carry a New Easy Listening/Adult Contemporary format. The 40kW station is owned by Evanov Communications, which is awaiting regulatory approval to buy CKJS/810 and CHNK-FM/100.7 (Winnipeg) from Newcap. (7/29/2011)
Synergy Media North Dakota, LLC is buying two stations in rural western North Dakota for $65,000. The deal includes KHRU/97.9 (Beulah) and KCVD/95.7 (New England), which are currently silent. Todd Mohr, a member of Synergy Media North Dakota, is the majority owner of two stations in Michigan's lower peninsula. (7/29/2011)
Minnesota Public Radio has announced plans to switch formats on a dozen stations and translators in southern and western Minnesota next month, with the result of moving MPR's News network to stronger signals. It'll go down this way:
KTOE/1420 (Mankato) is poised to get an FM translator, K274AL/102.7. Refuge Media owns the 250-Watt translator, which carries its "Refuge" Christian Hits network, and indicates in an application to correct the translator's coordinates that it will begin carrying KTOE. The Linder station carries a mix of News, Talk, and Adult Contemporary music. (7/27/2011)
New station CJIE-FM/107.5 (Winnipeg Beach) has signed on, bringing the first local radio service to the Interlake area north of Winnipeg. "CJ107" carries a mix of Country, Pop, and Rock and streams online at cj107radio.com. It uses 1.62kW/59m, with a 195-Watt repeater (CJIE-FM-2) on 99.5 in Arborg. "CJ107" is co-owned with stations using the "CJ" moniker in Neepawa and Swan River. (7/24/2011)
It's been a big week for "Spirit Catholic Radio," which signed on one new station and upgraded another. KOLB/88.3 (Hartington) signed on at 2:30 p.m. on July 19. The new station uses 100kW/125m from a transmitter near Osmond, delivering a rimshot signal to Norfolk. Meanwhile, KJWM/91.5 (Grand Island) moved its transmitter to the KTVG-TV tower near Wood River on July 23, using 11.4kW/180m. The move expands KJWM's main coverage area to include Hastings, with fringe coverage of Kearney. The network paid the University of Nebraska $10,000 to move KLPR/91.3 (Kearney) to 91.1 to allow the upgrade. "Spirit Catholic Radio" originates at KVSS/102.7 (Papillion-Omaha-Lincoln). The network says it now reaches nearly 75 percent of Nebraska's population. (7/24/2011)
We're a little late in reporting this one, but for the record, KQZZ/96.7 (Devils Lake) flipped from Classic Rock to Hot Adult Contemporary as "Mix 96.7" in early April. The flip was recently reported by DX-midAMerica. (7/24/2011)
The FCC has moved quickly to approve a proposal from WEAU-TV (Eau Claire) to change its digital channel from 13 to 38. The station's tower near Fairchild collapsed in March, and WEAU proposed moving to UHF as part of the reconstruction because viewers had reported reception problems since WEAU moved digital broadcasts from channel 39 to 13 in 2009. WEAU must still apply for and receive a construction permit for the channel 38 facility. The FCC had already approved a 15kW translator for WEAU on channel 25 in Eau Claire and special temporary authority to broadcast on channel 13 from Eau Claire until the new tower is built. WEAU's NBC lineup has been seen on subchannels of other stations in the area, as well as cable and satellite, since the collapse. (7/24/2011)
The FCC has approved a community of license swap that will allow a new FM station to locate its studio in Appleton. WMBE/1530 (Chilton) will change its community of license to New Holstein, while WXMM/92.9 will be licensed to Chilton instead of New Holstein. Chilton is just close enough to Appleton to allow Woodward Communications to co-locate WXMM's main studio with its existing stations in Appleton. Woodward said earlier this year the station will likely have a Country format and sign on in August. (7/24/2011)
Truth Broadcasting's KTIA-FM/99.3 (Boone) is trying to convince the FCC its application to move closer to Des Moines doesn't conflict with a new policy to promote rural radio service. The commission now regards proposals to change a station's community of license to a community within an urbanized area as proposals to serve the entire urbanized area.
KTIA proposes to change its community of license to Johnston and move its transmitter to Saylorville, both of which are in the Des Moines Urbanized Area. However, Truth Broadcasting states Johnston is an independent community, saying Johnston has "distinctive features, needs and interests that set it apart from the Des Moines Urbanized Area as a whole and from Des Moines city in particular, and one that needs an outlet for local Johnston expression." It says that KTIA "is well-suited and ready to provide that outlet." However, the FCC does not have the authority to regulate programming and there would be no requirement that KTIA target its programming to Johnston if the change is approved. KTIA currently carries a Christian Talk format.
A statement from the engineer who prepared KTIA's application says the station's plan to serve Johnston leaves it "saddled" with the fact that it will also reach Des Moines.
To make way for KTIA's move, KPUL/99.5 (Winterset) would move to 101.7, and a KUNI translator on 101.7 would move to 97.7. The FCC has already approved the translator's move. (7/20/2011)
The former KTIA/1260 (Boone) is now KDLF with a spanish-language format as "La Reina" ("The Queen"). The change follows 1260's sale to Latin World Broadcasting, which paid Truth Broadcasting $240,000 for the station. The new format mixes Latin music genres and streams online at lareina1260.com. KDLF's 5kW daytime signal has rimshot coverage of Des Moines, but it loses coverage of the capital city at night when it drops to 33 Watts. The station, formerly KFGQ, has simulcast Christian and Conservative Talk programming with KTIA-FM/99.3 (Boone) for decades. KTIA-FM is still owned by Truth Broadcasting. (7/19/2011)
KBHW/99.5 (International Falls) is at greatly reduced power after its 650-foot tower near Loman, MN, collapsed early Sunday morning (July 17). "Psalm 99:5" General manager Bruce Christopherson says no one witnessed the incident, but says storms were moving through the area at the time and suspects they may have caused the collapse. The station normally broadcasts with 100kW, providing the only strong radio signal to much of Koochiching County, and is now using a temporary low-power transmitter at its studio near International Falls. Some translators which relay KBHW's programming are off the air because they cannot receive KBHW's signal. However, Christopherson said translators on the Iron Range receive their programming from KADU/90.1 (Hibbing) and remain on the air. He said the tower did not damage any other equipment when it collapsed, which is fortunate because the station recently rebuilt its transmitter. The non-commercial station is owned by Heartland Christian Broadcasters. (7/18/2011)
Cumulus Media's KROC-FM/106.9 (Rochester) is using 48 percent of its normal 100kW after a spring ice storm damaged its antenna. The station tells the FCC the antenna is so old that parts to repair it are not readily available. It plans to order a new antenna. KROC-FM transmits from the KTTC/10 tower near Ostrander, which is about 30 miles south of Rochester. (7/18/2011)
Analog translator KLKS-LP/14 (Breezy Point) has left the air. The station, owned by Lakes Broadcasting Group, had carried NBC programming from KARE/11 (Minneapolis) since 1995. Its sister radio station reports that KARE owner Gannett made the decision to end the relationship. The station would've eventually had to convert to digital. (7/18/2011)
Make that ten FM signals for Clear Channel in Minneapolis, potentially: another two suburban Educational Media Foundation translators have applied to move to Minneapolis, both specifying Clear Channel's KTLK-FM/100.3 to be rebroadcast. This comes weeks after EMF applied to move two other translators to Minneapolis to rebroadcast Clear Channel stations.
The latest two applications are for K249ED/97.7 to use 60 Watts and K260BA/99.9 to use 250 Watts from the IDS Center. K249ED is licensed to Albertville and currently transmits from Maple Grove carrying EMF's "Air-1" network. K260BA is licensed to Coon Rapids and currently transmits from Plymouth carrying EMF's "K-Love" network.
The previous two applications were prepared by a Clear Channel engineer, but the most recent two were prepared by an EMF engineer. No applications have been filed to transfer the actual licenses from EMF.
Clear Channel already has one FM translator, K278BP/103.5 (which it bought from EMF last year), in addition to its five full-power FM's in the market. K278BP carries KTLK-FM HD2, which relays KFAN/1130. In K278BP's case, the application to move to IDS was filed a month before an application to transfer the license.
EMF also has translators on 92.1 and 92.9 in St. Paul and 90.7 in Minneapolis, none of which had filed for any changes as of Friday's FCC database. One of the St. Paul translators receives its feed of "Air-1" via two of the translators that have applied to make changes.
Translators are not regulated by FCC ownership caps and can be used to rebroadcast AM or HD2/HD3 stations. (7/17/2011)
FM TRANSLATOR APPLICATIONS DISMISSED:
The FCC has tentatively decided to dismiss some eight-year-old applications for new FM translators in the Minneapolis and Milwaukee areas, saying the frequencies should be left available for possible future low-power FM stations.
The applications were mostly for translators on second-adjacent frequencies, those 0.4 MHz away from local full-power stations. Rules during the first LPFM filing window limited the 100-Watt stations to third-adjacent frequencies (0.6 MHz away) while translator rules allowed use of second-adjacent frequencies, sometimes at more than 100 Watts. A law signed this year by President Obama allows LPFM's to use second-adjacent frequencies. However, many of the second-adjacent channels, such as 92.1, 92.9, 93.3, 100.7, 102.5, and 104.5 in the Twin Cities area, were granted for translator use before the FCC put a freeze on the remaining applications.
While it's denying 11 translator applications in the Minneapolis area and 22 in the Milwaukee area, the FCC decided to accept remaining 2003 translator applications in the Appleton, Des Moines, Madison, Quad Cities, Omaha, and Sheboygan markets, concluding that there will still be room for future LPFM use in those markets even if the translators are granted.
The FCC is also considering a new filing window for LPFM stations by summer 2012 and says it will not accept applications for translators outside of the Minneapolis and Milwaukee market boundaries to move in until after the filing window. It's also considering allowing translators pending after May 1, 2009 to rebroadcast AM stations. Currently, AM rebroadcasts can only be done by translators with paperwork in the system before that date.
The FCC is accepting comments on the proposal for the next 30 days. More information is available in the full notice and Appendix A. (7/17/2011)
SILENT FM TRANSLATORS DELETED:
The FCC has deleted eight Horizon Chrisian Fellowship translators that were licensed but not on the air: K268BA Mason City, IA; K204FO Postville, IA; K254BK Appleton, MN; W284BH Grand Rapids, MN, W300BS Hibbing, MN; K230AV Ortonville, MN; K248AZ Devils Lake, ND; K208ES Sisseton, SD. (7/17/2011)
The FCC has approved a construction permit modification that potentially adds another FM station in the Sault Ste. Marie market. WUPN (Paradise) was originally permitted on 94.7 but is now on 95.1, using 25kW/71m from a tower midway between Paradise and Sault Ste. Marie. However, the CP was first issued in November 2008, so WUPN owner Darby Advertising has less than three months to get the new station on the air unless it sells it to someone else. (7/17/2011)
KDDR/1220 (Oakes) is at reduced power after a tornado downed its tower on July 10. The station tells the FCC it returned to the air on July 12 using a wire antenna, with 250 Watts day and night. KDDR normally uses 1kW/327W nondirectional. It simulcasts a "Dakota Country" format with KOVC/1490 (Valley City) and KDAK/1600 (Carrington). (7/17/2011)
New station KGRJ/89.9 (Chamberlain) is on the air carrying the "Good News Radio" Christian network originating at KGRD/105.3 (Orchard, NE). KGRJ uses 21.5kW/78m (class C3) and replaces a KGRD translator on 107.9. The network also has full-power stations in Loomis-Mitchell, SD and Norfolk, NE, and four translators in the region. (7/17/2011)
CJRL-FM/89.5 (Kenora) has shifted to "The Lake," mixing Classic Hits with Adult Contemporary. The station had carried an AC format as "The Mix" since moving to FM in 2004. Its only commercial competitor, "Q104" (CKQV-FM Vermilion Bay), carries a Hot AC format. (7/17/2011)
Broadcast TV viewers in Thunder Bay will lose the French-language Radio-Canada network at the end of August. CBC/Radio-Canada has decided it can't afford to convert dozens of smaller transmitters, including Thunder Bay's channel 12 (CBLFT-18), on the mandatory conversion date and plans to turn off the transmitters instead. It's telling Thunder Bay viewers to get cable or satellite to continue watching Radio-Canada.
The sign-off will leave Thunder Bay with three TV signals. CBC affiliate CKPR-TV/2 and Global affiliate CHFD/4, which are both operated by Dougall Media, plan to flash-cut to digital on their current channels on Aug. 1. TV Ontario, the provincial public broadcaster, plans to flash-cut Thunder Bay's channel 9 (CICO-TV-9) on Aug. 16.
No other stations in northwestern Ontario or Manitoba will go silent. Stations in rural areas outside Thunder Bay and Winnipeg are not included in the Aug. 31 conversion mandate and will remain in analog for time being. CBC/Radio-Canada has posted maps of its post-transition coverage on its website. (7/11/2011)
WEAU-TV/13 (Eau Claire) could return to the air within days. The NBC affiliate has been off the air since its tower near Fairchild collapsed in March, with programming temporarily seen on subchannels of other stations. This week, the FCC approved special temporary authority for WEAU to return to the air on channel 13 from a tower at its Eau Claire studio, using 32kW/279m. The station is waiting for official FCC paperwork to arrive before turning on the temporary facility, which could happen as soon as Monday. The FCC has also approved a 15kW translator for WEAU to operate on channel 25 from the Eau Claire tower. Meanwhile, WEAU has petitioned the FCC to move to channel 38 when it ultimately returns to the air from the Fairchild site, saying viewers have had trouble receiving the VHF digital signal. (7/8/2011)
New station KBFT/89.9 (Nett Lake) officially began broadcasting Friday evening (July 8). The station is owned by the Bois Forte Tribal Council and carries Native American music and has plans to add programming from Native Voice One. KBFT uses 1kW from an antenna on the Nett Lake water tower, with a main coverage area just barely leaving the Bois Forte Reservation. The Tribal Council also owns commercial stations WELY AM-FM (Ely). (7/8/2011)
As first reported by DX-midAMerica, Bismarck now has an AM-on-FM translator: Clear Channel's K259AF/99.7 recently begain relaying KFYR/550. The translator had previously been used as a fill-in for KQDY/94.5. However, the translator recently began experiencing problems and is temporarily off the air. It's licensed for 50 Watts but has applied to upgrade to 250 Watts. KFYR carries a News/Talk format, with some Oldies on the weekend. (7/8/2011)
As first reported by DX-midAMerica, KMFX/1190 (Wabasha) is back on the air. It's now WBHA and simulcasting the "Bluff Country" format of new sister station KCUE/1250 (Red Wing). KCUE owner Q Media Group, LLC bought 1190, a 1kW daytimer, from the Minority Media and Telecommunications Commission for $15,000; Clear Channel had donated the station to MMTC. The move extends the daytime coverage of "Bluff Country" farther down the Mississippi River valley. Q Media also owns KWNG/105.9 (Red Wing) and KLCH/94.9 (Lake City). (7/6/2011)
KCLH/94.7 (Caledonia, MN-La Crosse) has adjusted its Classic Hits format, adding more pop from the '60s, '70s, and '80s as "The New Classic Hits 94.7." With the change, former "Z93" (WIZM-FM/93.3 La Crosse) night jock Ballzer has moved to 94.7 for afternoons. Ken Cooper has moved to middays on 94.7, while Keith and Sam are still on in the morning. (7/6/2011)
Sale pending? Horizon Christian Fellowship tells the FCC it anticipates filing an application to transfer the license of KHRU/97.9 (Beulah) in the next two weeks. The statement comes in another request for special temporary authority to keep KHRU off the air due to financial reasons. The 6kW station covers an area northeast of Bismarck, but existing stations on 97.5 and 98.7 would make it difficult for KHRU to have a strong signal in the capital city. (7/6/2011)
KSNB-TV/4 (Superior) wants to move its transmitter closer to Lincoln. The Colins Broadcasting station left the air in Dec. 2009 when Pappas Telecasting's time brokerage agreement to operate KSNB ended. The station's former transmitter site, which is closer to Superior, is owned by Pappas. Now, KSNB has applied to move to the KTMX/104.9 (York) tower near Cordova and use 23.5kW/271m on channel 4, which would theoretically provide coverage to Lincoln, Hastings, and Grand Island. (Indoor reception of VHF DTV stations has proven difficult, but there are already DTV stations on channels 5, 8, 10, 11, and 12 in the region.) The station could invoke must-carry rights to get cable and satellite coverage across the sprawling Lincoln-Tri Cities market. Colins also owns two low-power stations in Lincoln, which also went silent. (7/5/2011)
KBJR-TV/6.4 (Superior-Duluth), which had carried the AccuWeather Channel as "Northland's NewsCenter WX Now," disappeared last week. However, 6.1 (NBC) and 6.2 ("My 9") are unaffected and normal "WX Now" programming is still being seen in the early morning hours on 6.2. Stay tuned. (7/5/2011)
New station KXSW/89.9 (Sisseton) is on the air carrying a mixture of Country, Rock, and Native American programming. It's owned by the Corporation for Native Broadcasting. The station was originally permitted as a class C2 facility (13kW/224m) but downgraded the permit to class A (1kW/-5m) before the signon. (7/5/2011)
"Oldies 101.9" (KFMH Belle Fourche-Rapid City) is operating at 50kW, half of its normal 100kW, after a late spring ice storm damaged its antenna. The station says in a June 24 filing it's making repairs to the antenna and hopes to return to full power within thirty days. KFMH transmits from Terry Peak near Lead, but listeners in Rapid City may not notice the power reduction since the station has a 1kW booster there. (7/5/2011)
The FCC has granted Extreme Grace Media a construction permit for a new station in the Mason City area. It'll be on 101.5 and licensed to Rudd, using 6kW/71m with a rimshot signal to Mason City. Extreme Grace Media sold its eastern Iowa stations to the Educational Media Foundation. (7/5/2011)
KRRZ/1390 (Minot) is asking the FCC for written permission to operate from a different location after floodwaters submerged its transmitter site. The Clear Channel station is asking for permission to use 1kW nondirectional day and night from the KCJB/910 site. We hear it's already using the new facility on verbal authority. KRRZ normally uses 5kW day and 1kW night, nondirectional. It carries a mixture of Classic Hits and Talk. (7/1/2011, updated 7/5)
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