August 2013

CKMW/1570 (Morden) went silent for good on Friday (8/30), a little less than three months after the station moved to 88.9 FM with 100kW as "Country 88.9." The station posted video of the shutdown on YouTube. The move to FM makes CKMW more competitive in the southern Manitoba market but also eliminates AM fringe coverage to much of Manitoba, northeastern North Dakota, and northwestern Minnesota. The shutdown of the 10kW AM station was necessary for CKMW owner Golden West Broadcasting to get a new FM station in the area because Canadian rules limit ownership to three stations; it also owns CFAM/950 and CJEL-FM/93.5. (8/31/2013)

Townsquare Media is adding radio stations in a half-dozen Iowa and Minnesota markets as part of a national deal announced Friday with Cumulus Media and Peak II Holding LLC. Townsquare will take over Cumulus' stations in the Cedar Rapids, Dubuque, Quad Cities, Waterloo, Faribault-Owatonna, and Rochester (MN) markets; the Dubuque market is part of a station swap between the two companies while the other markets are among a dozen Townsquare is buying from Cumulus for $238 million. (Three stations will be divested, but the announcement did not specify which ones.) When the transactions are complete, Townsquare will have 326 stations in 66 markets, including Duluth, St. Cloud, Sioux Falls, and Bismarck. Cumulus announced its part of the deal simultaneously with plans to buy Dial Global, distributor of syndicated programming and numerous 24-hour formats, for $260 million.

Cumulus markets going to Townsquare include:
Cedar Rapids: KRNA/94.1, KHAK/98.1, KDAT/104.5, (KRQN/107.1 operated under LMA)
Dubuque: WDBQ/1490, KXGE/102.3, WJOD/103.3, KLYV/105.3, WDBQ-FM/107.5
Quad Cities: KJOC/1170, KQCS/93.5, WXLP/96.9, KBEA/99.7, KBOB/104.9
Waterloo: KOEL/950, KKHQ/92.3, KCRR/97.7, KOEL-FM/98.5
Faribault-Owatonna: KDHL/920, KRFO/1390, KQCL/95.9, KRFO-FM/104.9
Rochester: KFIL/1060*, KROC/1340, KOLM/1520, KWWK/96.5, KFIL-FM/103.1*, KDCZ/103.9, KVGO/104.3*, KYBA/105.3, KROC-FM/106.9, KDZZ/107.7* (*licensed outside of Arbitron-defined Rochester market) (8/30/2013)

As first reported by RadioInsight, CKX-FM/96.1 (Brandon) started Labour Day weekend by dropping "KX96" Classic Rock for Variety Hits as "Bob FM." The change follows Bell Media's purchase of the station from Astral Radio. Bell also operates the "Bob FM" in Winnipeg, CFWM-FM/99.9. (8/30/2013)

Cumulus Media is buying back its group of stations in the Green Bay market from Clear Channel, which Cumulus had continued to operate through a local programming and marketing agreement. Cumulus had transferred the five stations to Clear Channel in 2009 in exchange for two stations in Cincinnati. A put agreement signed at that time new requires Cumulus to pay Clear Channel $17,636,643 to buy back the stations, which include WDUZ/1400 (Green Bay), WQLH/98.5 (Green Bay), WOGB/103.1 (Kaukana-Green Bay), WPCK/104.9 (Denmark-Green Bay), and WDUZ-FM/107.5 (Brillion-Green Bay). Cumulus already owns WKRU/106.7 (Allouez-Green Bay), which had been placed into trust in 2009 but was later transferred back to Cumulus. (8/30/2013)

Callsign geeks can now breathe easier: The confusion in Fargo has been corrected. For a few days this week, FCC databases showed KQWB on two different FM frequencies after a recent format swap. Now, the FCC has erased previous changes and assigned KLTA-FM to "Big 98.7" (Moorhead-Fargo) and KQWB-FM to "Q105.1" (Breckenridge-Fargo). KQWB/1660 (West Fargo), which had shown up as KLTA for a few days, is now back to KQWB. The stations are licensed to James Ingstad's Radio Fargo-Moorhead, which does business as Radio F-M Media. (8/30/2013)

Sault Ste. Marie Adult Contemporary outlet CHAS-FM/100.5 has changed its name to "Kiss," dropping the "EZ Rock" branding. RadioInsight reports the change occurred simultaneously with three other Rogers Broadcasting stations elsewhere in Ontario. It comes a few months after sister station CJQM-FM/104.3 dropped its "Q104" slogan in favor of "Country 104.3" in coordination with other Rogers stations. "Kiss" is a little close to "Yes," the branding used by cross-border Adult Top 40 competitor WYSS/99.5. CHAS and CJQM are the only commercial stations on the more populous side of the Twin Soos, while WYSS is one of a half-dozen commercial stations on the U.S. side. (8/29/2013)

Flood Broadcasting is buying KNCY/1600 (Nebraska City) and KNCY-FM/103.1 (Auburn-Nebraska City) from Riverfront Broadcasting LLC for $810,000. Flood Broadcasting is headed by Michael J. Flood of Norfolk, who also heads a company that owns several stations in Norfolk. Riverfront also owns stations in several South Dakota markets. KNCY-FM/103.1 runs a Country format while KNCY/1600 runs Classic Country. Note: an earlier version of this story incorrectly stated ownership of the South Dakota stations. Your reporter apologizes for the error. (8/29/2013)

KWQC-TV (Davenport) has announced plans to add Cozi TV on channel 6.3 beginning Sept. 1. Cozi TV runs a mix of classic TV, classic movies, and first-run entertainment/lifestyle programming. KWQC carries NBC on 6.1 and weather on 6.2. (8/28/2013)

Ontario Provincial Police are investigating damage to a tower used by CKDR's relay station in Hudson. According to an OPP press release, someone struck the tower with a vehicle on Aug. 24 or 25, and the station's website says the transmitter is off the air. CKDR-3 operates on 1450 with 40 Watts. The primary station, CKDR-FM/92.7 (Dryden), carries an Adult Contemporary format. Hudson is a small, isolated community north of Sioux Loookout has only one other station, a CBC Radio One transmitter. (8/28/2013)

Richard Dudley, who grew Wausau's WSAU into a national company, has died at 89. According to the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, Dudley started at WSAU as a salesman in 1947 and rose through the ranks to build Forward Communications, which had broadcast outlets in seven states. He also served as president of the WBA in 1977-1978 and was well known for his philanthropy in Wausau. Services are set for Sept. 3 in Wausau. (8/27/2013)

Coloff Media's KHAM/103.1 (Britt) would serve the rural area between Mason City and Fort Dodge, with a rimshot signal to Forest City, under an application filed with the FCC. KHAM is currently licensed for 200 Watts and would upgrade to 19kW/115m (class C3) from a tower east of Kanawha. A coverage map is on page 7 of this document. Coloff's holdings include KIOW/107.3 (Forest City) and two stations in the Mason City market, plus stations in Charles City and Manchester. (8/23/2013)

CJNU-FM/107.9 (Winnipeg) is testing its new facility on 93.7 and says it'll begin full-time broadcasting there on Wednesday, Sept. 4. Not only does the move include an upgrade from 50 to 460 Watts, it will allow CJNU to stay on the air permanently. The 107.9 facility has been licensed as a special events station, requiring it to leave the air every 28 days with each broadcast period dedicated to a specific non-profit group. CJNU, owned by the non-profit Nostalgia Broadcasting Cooperative, carries a broad Nostalgia format. It's planning to kick off regular broadcasts on 93.7 with a live show from Assiniboine Links at 10 a.m. Sept. 4. (8/22/2013)

Former central Minnesota radio station owner Andy Hilger has died at 83. According to his obituary, Hilger started at WJON/1240 (St. Cloud) in 1958 and bought the station seven years later, adding several more before before selling most of them to Regent Communications (now Townsquare Media) in 1998. He delivered daily radio editorials for more than forty years and was named the city's most influential person in a late 1980's St. Cloud Times poll. Services will be held Friday (8/23) in St. Cloud. (8/20/2013)

Twin Cities Trinity Broadcasting Network affiliate K25IA-D (channels 25.1 to 25.5) has returned to the air. The station, owned by Regal Media, told the FCC it left the air June 28 due to equipment failure. (8/20/2013)

James Ingstad's new radio group in Fargo has essentially swapped formats on two of its stations. The long-running Active Rock format of KQWB-FM/98.7 (Moorhead-Fargo) moved to rimshot signal KLTA/105.1 (Breckenridge-Fargo) last week as "Q105.1," replacing a long-running Hot Adult Contemporary format on 105.1. 98.7 relaunched with an Adult Top 40 format as "Big 98-7" at 5 p.m. Monday (8/19). The format primarily targets Midwest Communications' "Y94" (WDAY-FM/93.7 Fargo), which Ingstad previously owned. "Big 98-7" features the "Jesse & Amanada with Pike" morning show that had previously been heard on Country-formatted "Froggy 99.9" (KVOX-FM Moorhead-Fargo). Ingstad transferred KVOX-FM to Midwest in exchange for the market's other major Country outlet, "Bob 95 FM" (KBVB Barnesville-Fargo). (8/19/2013)

Kona Coast Radio is buying "Magic 1490" (KOMJ Omaha) from Cochise Broadcasting for $450,000. Kona Coast Radio, headed by Victor Michael, also owns KIMI/107.7 (Sidney, IA-Omaha), which is not yet on the air permanently. Cochise has no other stations in the Omaha market but does own KHSK/100.9 (Allen, NE), which has been included in KOMJ's legal ID. (8/17/2013, updated 8/19)

DX-midAMerica reports that KIJV/1340 (Huron) has dropped Oldies for Hot Adult Contemporary. The station's website says "Tiger 95" is coming soon to KIJV, referencing FM translator K237EL/95.3. The translator has a construction permit to upgrade to 250 Watts and relay KIJV. KIJV is owned by Dakota Communications, which also owns KOKK/1210 and KZKK/105.1 (Huron). The company had previously operated a Hot AC format in the market before moving one of its FM stations into the Watertown market. (8/17/2013)

Q Media Group, LLC is buying an FM translator to use for one of its AM stations in southeastern Minnesota. It'll pay Faith Sound, Inc. $75,000 for W206BA/89.1 (Alma, WI), which has simultaneously applied to move to 99.7 in Wabasha, MN to rebroadcast Q Media's WBHA/1190. However, the application to transfer the license also states that the translator will be moved to Red Wing to relay Q Media's KCUE/1250. Both stations carry Country formats. W206BA has been on the air since 2000 relaying Christian-formatted KFSI/92.9 (Rochester, MN). (8/16/2013)

A new format is apparently coming to one of the radio stations in Oskaloosa. First Ventures Capital Partners translator K258BG/99.5 (Oskaloosa) has applied to move to the KBOE site north of town and specifies KBOE/740 as the station to be rebroadcast. The translator's power would remain 99 Watts. KBOE currently simulcasts a Country format with KBOE-FM/104.9, so one of the stations would presumably launch a new format if both have FM signals. (8/15/2013)

A belated note that Ottumwa FOX affiliate KYOU-TV/15 has returned to DISH Network after a nine-day outage due to a retransmission consent dispute. The station is owned by American Sprit Media but Raycom Media handled negotiations, according to a statement on KYOU's website. (8/15/2013)

Suburban Twin Cities Tropical station KQSP/1530 (Shakopee) has applied for an upgrade that would improve its daytime signal to most of the metro, though the station would be off the air at night. "La Picosa," owned by Yong W. Kim's Broadcast One, Inc., is currently licensed for 8.6kW day, 10 Watts night, and a variety of pre-sunrise and post-sunset power levels from a site in Chaska, which is the far southwest metro. The station has applied to move east to the Savage transmitter site used by WLOL/1330 (Minneapolis). KQSP would use 24kW day and 17kw during critical hours (after sunrise and before sunset) with a directional antenna pattern. The upgrade would expand KQSP's main coverage area to include St. Paul and the east metro, though the signal would still be weak in the far south metro. Coverage maps are on the last two pages of this document. 1330 has used the three-tower array in Savage, just south of Bloomington, since 1999. (8/14/2013)

Pandora Radio has fired back after ASCAP's petition to deny Pandora's purchase of "Hits 102.7" (KXMZ Box Elder-Rapid City). In a filing with the FCC this week, Pandora says ASCAP's petition is "a blatant attempt to draw the FCC into a private dispute regarding music performance royalties."

Pandora has stated from the outset that the purpose of purchasing KXMZ is to get lower royalty rates for its online streaming service. ASCAP alleged that Pandora failed to disclose its ownership and has no intention of operating KXMZ to serve the public interest.

In an 29-page opposition to the petition to deny, Pandora says ASCAP has failed to make the case that transfer of KXMZ's license is not in the public interest and says the ownership allegations are superficial and based on outdated data. Pandora also questions whether ASCAP has legal standing to involve itself in the situation.

Pandora says it plans to retain KXMZ's entire staff and expand its community service activities. Pandora says it is reviewing the listening habits of more than 42,000 people in the Rapid City area who have used its online service and can use that data to provide a playlist on KXMZ "that more accurately reflects the listening interests of local residents."

Pandora is already operating KXMZ through a local marketing agreement while it awaits FCC approval of the $600,000 purchase of the station from Connoisseur Media. (8/10/2013)

KLKS/100.1 (Pequot Lakes-Brainerd) has launched a Classic Hits/Oldies format as "The Wave" following Red Rock Radio's purchase of the station from Minnesota Christian Broadcasters, Inc. KLKS joins Red Rock's 101.5 "Sam FM" (KFGI Crosby-Brainerd), WWWI/1270 (Baxter-Brainerd), WWWI-FM/95.9 (Pillager-Brainerd), KKIN-FM/94.3 (Aitkin), and KKIN/930 (Aitkin) in the region. MCBI sold 100.1 after buying the former KLKS/104.3 (Breezy Point, now WZFJ) and moving 100.1's "Pulse" Contemporary Christian format there. MCBI also owns Christian teaching and preaching station KTIG/102.7 (Pequot Lakes). (8/9/2013)

Jim Ingstad's Radio F-M Media is poised to move the longtime "Q98" Active Rock format will move from KQWB-FM/98.7 (Moorhead-Fargo) to KLTA/105.1 (Breckenridge-Fargo) on Aug. 16, according to The Forum. The move will displace KLTA's long-running Adult Contemporary/Hot Adult Contemporary format. There's no official word about what's next on 98.7, which has a stronger signal in Fargo-Moorhead than 105.1. The changes follow Ingstad's purchase of the stations from L&L Radio, which bought them from Triad Broadcasting.

One other note in the ongoing Abbott & Costello routine that is Fargo radio ownership: Though the licensee name on file with the FCC for Ingstad's current group of stations is "Radio Fargo-Moorhead," his company is doing business as Radio F-M Media. Midwest Communications' group is using the name Midwest Radio Fargo-Moorhead. (8/9/2013)

KWWF/22 (Waterloo) has gone off the air "due to financial difficulties," according to a notification of suspension of operations filed with the FCC. KWWF, owned by Stratus Communications, had carried Untamed Sports TV. The ten-year-old station has a long history, having served as a UPN affiliate and a beta tester for Retro Television Network before going silent from mid-2009 to mid-2010. (8/9/2013)

Family Radio's translator in Ames is poised to return to the air after being forced off last year by the sign-on of KHOI/89.1 (Story City). The translator formerly operated on 89.1 as K206AW and now has a construction permit to move to 89.5 as K208FV. It'll downgrade from 250 Watts to 27 Watts in the process. FCC filings indicate the translator left the air on August 20, 2012 and federal law requires it to return to the air by this August 20 to keep its license. (8/8/2013)

Appleton rimshot WLWB/1530 (New Holstein) has returned to the air with a Regional Mexican format as "La Pegadora 1530." The format launched at 6 a.m. Wednesday (8/7) on the daytimer. Station owner Mark Heller said the format is being provided by Luis Bello, who has rented a subcarrier on WAPL/105.7 (Appleton) for the past seven years. Bello is expected to continue the format on the subcarrier in addition to WLWB. Heller took WLWB, formerly WMBE (Chilton), off the air due to tower problems after buying the station in 2011. The station is now broadcasting from a new tower five miles to the north and upgraded from 250 to 350 Watts in the process, but remains daytime-only. WLWB reaches areas not served by any other Spanish-language station. (8/7/2013)

KNDK, Inc. is buying an FM translator to use for its KNDK/1080 (Langon). It'll pay Edgewater Broadcasting $2,000 for the license for K234BO/94.7 (Langdon). The 10-Watt translator can relay KNDK from its presently-licensed site, but the sale does not include any equipment. (8/7/2013)

Shopping channel QVC is now available on broadcast TV in the Twin Cities and Milwaukee and may be coming to other major markets as well. ION owned-and-operated affiliates KPXM-DT/41 (St. Cloud-Minneapolis) and WPXE-DT/55 (Kenosha-Milwaukee) are now carrying QVC on their .5 channels. TitanTV listings also show QVC as being carried on the .5 channel of KPXR/48 (Cedar Rapids), KFPX/39 (Newton-Des Moines), and other ION O&O stations. ION O&O's also carry qubo on .2, ION Life on .3, and infomercials on .4. (8/6/2013)

North Platte listeners lost one of three Country outlets Monday (8/5) in favor of a second Adult Contemporary station. Armada Media flipped "Wild Country 93.5" (KZTL Paxton) to AC as "Sunny 93.5" after taking over operation of the station from Legacy Communications. Armada also owns Country-formatted "KX104" (KXNP/103.5 North Platte). KZTL's new format primarily compete's with Eagle Radio's KELN/97.1 (North Platte); Eagle Radio also owns "Q Country 107.3" (KNPQ Hershey-North Platte). KZTL and KNPQ are among four stations to enter the North Platte market in the last six years, doubling the number of stations in town. (8/6/2013)

In a followup to an item from several weeks ago, MTN Broadcasting is buying the FM translator that's poised to relay MTN's KDAO/1190 (Marshalltown). MTN will pay First Ventures Capitol Partnership $21,000 for K279AN/103.7, which had already specified KDAO as the primary station for its proposed upgrade to 250 Watts from the KDAO transmitter site. The station carries "The True Oldies Channel." (8/2/2013)

The Nebraska Rural Radio Association has launched an online Contemporary Hits format to go alongside its two terrestrial radio stations in Scottsbluff. "The Beet" can be heard online through, with plans to add streams on mobile devices in the near future. KNEB's AM and FM stations carry Farm-based Country formats. The market has no broadcast CHR outlet. (8/2/2013)

Ottumwa FOX affiliate KYOU-TV/15 was pulled from DISH Network Thursday amid a retransmission consent dispute. The American Sprit Media station is encouraging viewers to call DISH seeking a rebate for the missing channel. The small Ottumwa-Kirksville market includes four counties in south-central Iowa and has only one other in-market station, Barrington Broadcasting ABC/CBS affiliate KTVO (Kirksville, MO). (8/1/2013)

Upper Midwest Broadcasting: News/Main | IA | MN | NE | ND | SD | WI | MI