August 2008

CHUM Radio's CHIQ/94.3 (Winnipeg) has ditched its decades-old "Q94" slogan and Hot Adult Contemporary format in favor of Pop Alternative as "The Curve." The change on Friday (8/29) came just eight days after the CRTC denied applications from other companies for new stations in Winnipeg carrying Pop Alternative and Classic Alternative formats. CHUM says "Curve" is North America's first Pop Alternative format, merging the two genres with a playlist including Daft Punk, Nirvana, Pink, Coldplay, Kanye West, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Katy Perry, Pearl Jam, Jay-Z, Foo Fighters, Amy Winehouse, Notorious B.I.G., Weezer, No Doubt, and Hedley. CHUM describes the format as "cutting-edge contemporary music without the bubble gum pop or hard rock" targeting 25-40 year-olds. Andrew Long is Program Director of the new format. (8/30/2008)

WISCONSIN: reports that WMQA/95.9 (Minocqua) has dropped Adult Contemporary for Oldies, using Jones' "Good Time Oldies" format outside of mornings. (8/30/2008)

TV listings indicate KETV/7 (Omaha) will drop its 11:30 a.m. newscast on Monday, September 8. "The Bonnie Hunt Show" will be airing in the 11 a.m. hour. (8/27/2008)

Milwaukee Public Television is switching its lineup of digital channels effective September 1, adding digital simulcasts of its two analog stations and moving digital subchannels from WMVS-DT to WMVT-DT. MPTV HD will move to WMVS-DT/10.1 and will have the same lineup as the analog version of WMVS. WMVT-DT will carry eight channels: 36.1 WMVT simulcast, 36.2 V-me, 36.3 PBS World, 36.4 Create, 36.5 Classical music, 36.6 Jazz music, 36.7 NOAA Weather Radio, and 36.8 Traffic. PBS is discontinuing the PBS Kids channel, which currently airs on WMVS-DT4, and WMVS-TV/DT will carry nonstop kids programming from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. to help make up for the change. (8/27/2008)

New station WPPI/1010 (Sauk Rapids-St. Cloud) is on the air, temporarily carrying the "i101" Modern Rock format that had aired on a subcarrier of sister station of WHMH/101.7. The station's website indicates i101 will continue on 1010 through at least September. WPPI uses 1.7kW day and 240W night. It is one of two new stations Herbert Hoppe is putting on the air in Sauk Rapids, the other being WMIN/540. Besides WHMH, he also owns WBHR/660 and WVAL/800. M.W. Persons & Associates has posted detailed information about construction of the new station on its website. (8/26/2008)

A subtle change at WCCO/830: the CBS Radio station has switched its slogan from "News/Talk 8-3-0" to "Newsradio 8-3-0," though the station's format does not appear to have changed. CBS Radio operates a number of All News stations using "Newsradio" slogans. (8/26/2008)

WGBW/1590 (Two Rivers) has received a construction permit to move into the Green Bay market. WGBW will change its community of license to Denmark, broadcasting with 10kW day and 200W night from a four-tower array along I-43 south of Denmark. The daytime signal will be strong from Green Bay to Two Rivers. The station currently carries Dial Global's Kool Gold format. (8/26/2008)

The Quad City Times reports that Cumulus Media's KJOC/1170 (Davenport) dropped its News/Talk format for ABC's "True Oldies Channel" on Wednesday (8/20). The switch brings `60s and `70s rock and pop hits back to the frequency which made them popular in the Quad Cities area, as KSTT. That heritage callsign was abandoned with a flip to all-Sports in 1993, which was followed by the switch to Talk in 2003. 1170's main competitor in the Oldies arena is Clear Channel's KUUL/101.3 (East Moline), which has shifted more towards Classic Hits in recent years. (8/23/2008)

The CRTC has approved two new radio stations in Winnipeg:

  • Native Communications gets a 3kW station on 104.7 to carry a Pop, Rock, and Hip-Hop format targeting urban aboriginal youths age 18 to 30. Native Communications already operates the NCI-FM network, heard on CICY/105.5 (Selkirk-Winnipeg), which carries a mixture of Country and Classic Rock targeting older aboriginals.
  • Evanov Communications gets a new station mixing Adult Contemporary (35%) and New Easy Listening (65%). Evanov had applied for 104.7, but the CRTC will allow them to pick another frequency, likely to be 106.3.
    The CRTC denied two applications for 100kW stations on 106.3: YO Radio Management had proposed a Pop Alternative format, and Newcap had proposed a Classic Alternative format. The Commission noted that Evanov projected the highest expenditures on programming, committed to the highest level of Canadian content, and represented a new news voice for the market. (8/21/2008)

    The Lincoln Journal Star reports that KRKR/95.1 began simulcasting the "Breeze" Adult Contemporary format of sister station KBZR/102.7 on Monday (8/18), ending a short-lived Talk format on 95.1. The reason for the move is that KVSS/88.9 (Omaha) has purchased 102.7, which has a construction permit to add city-grade coverage of Omaha, and plans to move KVSS' Catholic format to 102.7. However, the "Breeze" may also be short-lived on 95.1, since it has a CP to move into the Omaha market on 94.9, licensed to Valley. Both stations are currently owned by Chapin Enterprises, which took them over as a qualified intermediary after former owner Three Eagles bought four other stations in the market and needed to divest two. (8/20/2008)

    KWOF/850 (Waterloo) and KWOF-FM/89.1 (Hiawatha-Cedar Rapids) have changed to KXGM and KXGM-FM, respectively, but continue to use the "Spirit" moniker. The new callsign reflects the stations' new owner, Extreme Grace Media. 850 is once again simulcasting with 89.1, no longer carrying "The Prodigal" Classic Christian Rock format, which continues online. (8/15/2008)

    Radio nostalgia fans can breathe easy: WMIN is back. Herbert Hoppe grabbed the historic callsign for his new station on 540 in Sauk Rapids twelve days after 740 in Hudson, WI, dropped it. The WMIN callsign dates back to 1936 when it was first used in St. Paul. The new 540 will use 250 Watts with strong coverage of St. Cloud, and a fringe signal to the northwest Twin Cities metro. (8/15/2008)

    Starboard Media, operator of the Catholic-formatted Relevant Radio network, is transferring another five radio stations to Sovereign City Radio Services, including WZRK/1550 (Lake Geneva, WI), three stations in Florida, and one in Pennsylvania. In exchange, SCRS will cancel a debt of more than $8 million owed to it by Starboard. Earlier this year, Starboard subsidiary Advance Acqusition transferred five construction permits for new stations to SCRS. (8/15/2008)

    Legacy Communications has signed on two new stations in the Scottsbluff market. KETT/99.3 (Mitchell) is "99-3 The Rock," carrying a Hard Rock format with Bob & Tom in the mornings. KHYY/106.9 (Minatare) is "Wild Country 106.9" with Big D & Bubba in the mornings. KETT is 950W/249m (class A) and KHYY is 25kW/28m (class C3). Legacy owns four other stations in the market, including Classic Rock and Adult Contemporary formats on FM and Oldies and News/Talk formats on AM. (8/13/2008)

    WLKX/95.9 (Forest Lake) is now simulcasting the "Bob FM" Country format of sister station KLCI/106.1 (Elk River-Twin Cities) in morning drive, evenings, and overnights. WLKX continues to carry brokered Christian programming during the day. (8/10/2008) 8/12 addendum: It has now been learned that the Bob FM morning show is no longer being simulcast on KBGY/107.5 (Faribault), though the station continues to promote the simulcast on its website.

    Fargo-Moorhead's new AM 1100 "The Flag" (WZFG Dilworth, MN) is set to officially launch Monday morning (8/11) with Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain scheduled to be the first guest. WZFG's lineup includes local talk from Paul Bougie and Shelley Knight (5-8a) and station owner Scott Hennen (8-11a). Syndicated programming includes FOX News, Rush Limbaugh (11a-2p), Sean Hannity (2-5p), Mark Levin (5-7p), Alan Colmes (9p-Mid), and Dr. Laura (Mid-3a). WZFG is a new station using 50kW daytime, 22kW in critical hours (after sunrise and before sunset), and 440 Watts at night. It's owned, along with KEGK/106.9 (Wahpeton-Fargo), by Scott Hennen's SMAAH Communications. (8/10/2008)

    Simmons Broadcasting, which operates KXPO/1340 and KAUJ/100.9 (Grafton) through a time brokerage agreement, is buying the stations outright. Simmons will pay Delhart Nygard's KGPC, Inc. $700,000 after assuming an option to purchase that the late Robert Ingstad's Two Rivers Broadcasting reached a decade ago. Simmons Broadcasting is owned by Robert and Dianne Simmons of Langdon, who own four other stations in the region. (8/7/2008)


  • KRBI/1310 (St. Peter, MN) has been reported silent by DX-midAMerica. The station was recently sold to Northern Lights Broadcasting.
  • WMSE/91.7 (Milwaukee) has been using only its exciter since Monday morning (8/4), reaching the immediate downtown area, and hopes to return to full power in a few days.
  • updated: WTTN/1580 (Watertown, WI) was noted off the air on Tuesday by Radio/DX Information from Wisconsin but was on the air Wednesday. The station has a construction permit to move to Columbus, but its unknown if this silence is related to the CP. The station is still ID'ing as Watertown.
  • WDLM/960 (East Moline, IL-Quad Cities) has been reported silent by DX-midAMerica. (8/6/2008)

    A callsign shuffle in the Twin Cities market has put one historic callsign with an appropriate format, but left another one homeless: On Friday, August 1, WDGY/630 (Hudson, WI) changed to WREY, matching its "Radio Rey" slogan, and WMIN/740 (Hudson) became WDGY, a callsign famous for Top 40 in the `50s, `60s, and `70s, matching 740's Oldies format. The WDGY callsign ("Dr. George Young") began on the station now known as KFAN/1130 in the 1920's, and was adopted by 630 in 1991 when 1130 dropped it. The WMIN callsign was first used on the present KMNV/1400 (St. Paul) in 1936. It was later adopted by 1010/1030 Maplewood and then moved to 740 in 1993. The WDGY callsign was also used with an Oldies format on 630 in 1997. (8/5/2008)

    Clear Channel intends to sell 54 stations placed in its "Aloha Trust," including KRRZ/1390 (Minot, ND) and WISM/98.1 (Altoona-Eau Claire, WI). The two stations were placed in the trust last year but it was unclear what would happen to them until the dust of the Clear Channel privatization cleared. In the case of the Eau Claire market, one station must be divested because Clear Channel assembled the group before current ownership rules were adopted. Ownership of WISM was originally allowed because its city-grade signal does not overlap with Clear Channel's WATQ/106.7 (Chetek-Eau Claire), but new rules go by market instead of coverage. However, the old contour-based rules still apply for unrated markets such as Minot. Two Clear Channel Bismarck AM stations have city-grade coverage overlapping with the two Clear Channel Minot AM stations, forcing Clear Channel to divest one AM station. (8/5/2008)

    Wisconsin Broadcasting and All Access report that WBJZ/104.7 (Berlin) has switched from Hot Adult Contemporary to Contemporary Hits as "B104," using Dial Global's new "Hits Now" format. 104.7 has a rimshot signal to Oshkosh and a fringe signal to Appleton. (8/5/2008)

    Robert Kennedy is now the news director at WTAQ/1360 (Green Bay). He replaces Danielle Bina, who is still at the station on a part-time basis as she becomes part of the faculty at UW-Green Bay. (8/5/2008)

    DISH Network removed Citadel Communications' four stations from its locals packages last week amid a retransmission dispute. Each side accuses the other of being unreasonable. The affected stations are WHBF/CBS (Rock Island-Davenport), WOI-TV/ABC (Ames-Des Moines), KCAU/ABC (Sioux City), and KLKN/ABC (Lincoln). (A separately-owned ABC affiliate, KHGI Kearney, is still carried in the Lincoln market, which is one of only a few in the country that has multiple affiliates of the same network that are not co-owned.) (8/3/2008)

    KSOO-FM/99.1 (Lennox-Sioux Falls) is on the air relaying the News/Talk format of sister Cumulus Media station KSOO/1140 (Sioux Falls). The new 25kW FM station delivers a strong signal to Sioux Falls and is Cumulus' eighth station in the market. (8/3/2008)

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