July 2013

Recently-filed applications are revealing more information about plans for new FM border blasters south of Thunder Bay. The stations will all be licensed to Grand Portage and were included in an FCC auction this spring; Multi-Cultural Diversity Radio won stations on 92.7 and 102.7 with bids of $1,400 each while Resonance Media Group won a station on 96.9 with a $750 bid.

MCDR is proposing the substitution of 98.1 instead of 102.7 due to an existing station on the frequency in Thunder Bay, Lakehead University's CILU-FM. The allotment change will require approval from Canadian regulators.

All three stations are proposing tower sites on Mount Maud west of Grand Portage: RMG's station would use 100kW/273m (class C1) from an existing tower that was originally constructed for now-silent TV translators; MCDR is proposing a new tower next door with both of its stations using 100kW/468m (class C). The tower site is on trust lands held by the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, and MCDR says it has reasonable assurance from Band representatives that the site will be available.

Coverage maps show 96.9's city-grade (70 dbu) contour ending just south of Thunder Bay and 92.7 and 98.1's city-grade contours just barely reaching the city. However, the stations will still be quite listenable in the city, which already has a mix of strong and weak signals. MCDR's stations would have larger coverage areas than any other Minnesota-licensed FM station.

Resonance Media Group is headed by Matthew Butler of Malakoff, TX. Multi-Cultural Diversity Radio is headed by Samir Abumayyaleh of Minneapolis and is in the process of selling a construction permit for a new station in Rhinelander, WI to a local commercial broadcaster. (7/31/2013)

NRG Media is buying an FM translator to use for its Country-formatted KLGA/1600 (Algona). NRG will pay David M. Stout $17,000 for K253BJ/98.5 (Humboldt). The translator will need to be moved to Algona before it can begin to relay KLGA. (7/31/2013)

Minnesota Public Radio's parent organization, American Public Media Group, has sold for-profit printing subsidiary Greenspring Media Group. Greenspring announced Monday that Detroit-based Hour Media has purchased the company for an undisclosed price. The press release says the sale "aligns [APMG's] resources around public media audiences." Besides MPR, APMG owns several stations in California and one in Florida. Greenspring's publications include Minnesota Monthly, which is distributed to people who donate at least $120 per year to MPR in addition to traditional subscriptions and newsstand sales. (7/30/2013)

The CRTC has deleted the license of tourist information station CFCD-FM/98.5 (Dryden) at the request of its owner, the Dryden District Chamber of Commerce. The station had been licensed for 27 Watts. (7/30/2013)

ASCAP is firing back against Pandora Radio's attempt to get lower music royalty rates by buying a terrestrial radio station, "Hits 102.7" (KXMZ Box Elder-Rapid City). In a petition to deny, ASCAP alleges "Pandora has failed to fully disclose its ownership, and to adequately demonstrate that it complies with the Commissionís foreign ownership rules." ASCAP also alleges that Pandora has no intention of operating KXMZ to serve the public interest, but is rather only interested in obtaining lower royalty rates. Pandora reached a deal to buy KXMZ from Connoisseur Media for $600,000 earlier this year and is already running the station through a local marketing agreement. Connoisseur has no other stations in the Rapid City market. (7/29/2013)

Journal Broadcasting's stations are off Time Warner Cable amid a retransmission consent dispute. Affected stations include NBC affiliates WTMJ-TV/4 (Milwaukee) and WGBA/26 (Green Bay), My Network TV station WACY/32 (Appleton-Green Bay), and CBS affiliate KMTV/3 (Omaha). The stations left TWC on Thursday morning, following the end of the July ratings period. The outage includes subchannels such as Live Well Network in Milwaukee and Omaha, Me-TV in Green Bay, and a weather channel in Milwaukee. (7/25/2013)

The FCC is considering a proposal to move the RF broadcast channel of KGAN/2.1 (Cedar Rapids) from 51 to 29. KGAN proposed the change because channel 51 is directly adjacent to spectrum King Street Wireless, L.P. bought after the FCC discontinued channels 52 to 69 for TV use. Regulators failed to leave a buffer between TV channel 51 and new wireless frequencies. A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued this week is the first step in changing TV allotments to specify channel 29 at Cedar Rapids in place of channel 51. KGAN, a Sinclair Broadcasting CBS affiliate, would continue to use 850kW at 585m and could continue remapping to channel 2.1. (7/18/2013)

The winning bidder for a future FM station that was to be licensed to Tigerton wants to build it closer to Clintonville instead. Multi-Cultural Diversity Radio, headed by Samir Abumayyaleh of Minneapolis, won the construction permit for a new station on 106.9 in FCC Auction No. 94 this spring with a $16,000 bid. The company has applied to change the future station's community of license to Caroline, an unincorporated community of 270 people that's farther to the east. The proposed facility would use 3.5kW/132m (class A) with a strong signal to Clintonville, with a directional antenna to prevent interference to WKRU/106.7 (Allouez-Green Bay). Multi-Cultural Diversity Radio is in the process of selling a CP for a new station in Rhinelander to Results Broadcasting, which also owns the two existing stations in Clintonville. (7/17/2013)

St. Paul-based Hubbard Radio is adding two more markets with the purchase of ten stations in Phoenix and Seattle from Sandusky Radio for $88.5 million, Hubbard announced Tuesday. The deal will give Hubbard Radio a total of thirty stations in seven markets, including Minneapolis. Hubbard Broadcasting also owns Reelz Channel and TV stations in six markets, including Minneapolis, Duluth, and Austin-Rochester. (7/16/2013)

Clear Channel has done more shuffling to its Twin Cities HD2 channels: The HD2 channel of KDWB/101.3 is now carrying the Acoustic "Best of Studio C" format that was previously been heard on the HD2 channel of KTCZ/97.1, which switched to "The Score" Sports format late last year. ("The Score" had been on two other frequencies prior to that.) KDWB-HD2 had previously carried Dance as "The Party Zone," which complemented the Contemporary Hits format on KDWB's main channel. "Studio C" is a live performance element of KTCZ's "Cities 97" format. Earlier this year, Clear Channel dropped Classic Rock from the HD3 signal of KFXN-FM/100.3 and replaced it with "K-Love." All of this comes as the Educational Media Foundation gathers construction permits to upgrade many of its Twin Cities translators with stated plans to rebroadcast Clear Channel stations. (7/16/2013)

Refuge Media Group is selling its translator in Milbank, K208FG/89.5, to the owner of KXLG/99.1 (Milbank-Watertown). TMRG Broadcasting, LLC will pay $20,000 for the translator, which as applied to move to 100.3 so it can relay KXLG. The translator would upgrade from 210 Watts to 250 Watts and move to a different site in Milbank. (7/16/2013)

Another filing with the FCC has revealed more information about storm damage to the antenna shared by nine major Twin Cities FM stations. Minnesota Public Radio's KSJN/99.5 says in a request for special temporary that the damage is to the upper half of the twelve-bay antenna, located 316 meters up the KMSP-TV tower in Shoreview. Northwestern College's KTIS-FM/98.5 had said in an earlier STA filing that the antenna was damaged in a June 21 storm and KTIS-FM was operating at half-power of 50kW. KSJN said gain of the antenna is reduced by about 50 percent and transmitter power output has been reduced by 60 percent, resulting in an ERP of about 30kW for KSJN. None of the seven commercial stations that uses the antenna had filed for an STA as of Friday, but stations have up to thirty days to make such filings. (7/15/2013)

Twin Cities Trinity Broadcasting Network affiliate K25IA-D (channels 25.1 to 25.5) tells the FCC it's off the air due to equipment failure. Station owner Regal Media says K25IA has been off the air since June 28 and and is seeking special temporary authority to remain silent for up to 180 days. (7/12/2013)

Armada Media is buying several stations, including K291BW/106.1 (North Platte), from Marc A. Lehmuth for $40,000. Paperwork filed with the FCC says K291BW will relay Armada News/Talker KODY/1240, which had already been specified as the primary station in the application for the translator. The other two translators in the deal are in Colorado and Kansas. (7/9/2013)

"True Oldies Channel" affiliate KDAO/1190 (Marshalltown) is poised to get an FM translator. K279AN/103.7 (Marshalltown), which is licensed for just 2.5 Watts, has applied to upgrade to 250 Watts and specified KDAO as the station to be rebroadcast. K279AN is owned by First Ventures Capital Partners; KDAO is owned by MTN Broadcasting. KDAO uses 250 Watts day and 21 Watts night. (7/8/2013)

Catholic network Real Presence Radio is adding a fifth full-power station with the purchase of the construction permit for a new station in the booming Bakken oil region. Real Presence Radio will pay L. Topaz Enterprises $175,000 for KZTW/104.1 (Tioga-Williston), which will presumably replace a Real Presence Radio translator in Williston. The network also has full-power stations in the Fargo, Grand Forks, Bismarck, and Dickinson markets and a translator in Minot. The current CP for KZTW, a class C1 station, is for 100kW/116m and the station has applied to instead use 100kW/172m. (7/3/2013)

The Tribune Corporation announced plans Monday to buy Local TV, LLC, which owns several stations in the Upper Midwest, for $2.725 billion. The stations include FOX 6 (WITI Milwaukee), NBC affiliate WHO-TV/13 (Des Moines), and ABC affiliate WQAD/8 (Moline-Davenport). The two companies had already shared some back-office functions and share facilities in the Denver and St. Louis markets. Tribune says after the deal is complete it will be the largest commercial TV station owner in the country with 42 stations, plus eight newspapers, the WGN America cable channel, and Tribune Studios. (7/1/2013)

Three years after outsourcing production of its newscast, FOX 42 (KPTM Omaha) is returning its newscasts to Omaha, according to a post on the Nebraska Broadcasters Association website. The Titan Broadcast Management station, which is being sold to Sinclair Broadcasting, turned over production of its 9 p.m. newscast to Independent News Network in 2010. A staff of Omaha reporters prepares reports to air during a newscast originating from Davenport, Iowa. The change means the newsroom managers, anchors, producers, and editors will once again be based in Omaha. (7/1/2013)

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