September 2008

KUEL/92.1 (Fort Dodge) has dropped Hot Adult Contemporary for Active Rock as "The Blaze." The change comes after KUEL owner Three Eagles Communications bought out Clear Channel's former Fort Dodge group, which includes Adult Contemporary-formatted KKEZ/94.5. Three Eagles also has "Blaze" stations in Mason City, Mankato, and Lincoln. (9/30/2008)

Hometown Broadcasting has returned the construction permit for a new station on AM 1100 in Albert Lea. Since the FCC originally granted the CP, Hometown bought the current KQAQ/970 (Austin) to operate alongside its KQPR/96.1 (Albert Lea). The 1100 facility would have required construction of seven towers southeast of Albert Lea. (9/30/2008)


  • Mason City, IA: KDVO/90.7, 14kW/90m vertical, 650W/90m horizontal (C3), University of Northern Iowa. Will displace an existing UNI translator carrying KHKE.
  • Grand Marais, Michigan: WQMI/91.7, 30kW/123m (C3), Korkee Inc.
  • Marquette, MI: 1430, 50kW/2kW U2, Powell Meredith Communications.
  • Ely, MN: 89.3, 19kW/103m (C3), Minnesota Public Radio. MPR has two existing translators in Ely, one of which will be displaced by the new station.
  • Cloquet, MN: 89.1, 25kW/134m vertical, 5.37kW/134m horizontal (C2), Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. Transmitter northwest of Cloquet; fringe signal to Duluth.
  • Cook, MN: 88.3, 1kW/70m (A), VCY America. Has already applied to move to 88.9 with 16kW/70m (C3), which could give it fringe coverage to parts of the Iron Range.
  • Hinckley, MN: 88.5, 5.3kW/107m (A), Minnesota Public Radio. Good signal to Pine City, Mora, and Sandstone, filling in a city-grade coverage gap between MPR's Twin Cities and Duluth stations; will mix with KBEM/88.5 in the far northern metro area.
  • Nett Lake, MN: 89.9, 100W/15m (A), Bois Forte Tribal Council. The station's main coverage area includes only the Nett Lake Reservation; the Tribal Council also owns commercially-operated WELY/1450 and WELY-FM/94.5 (Ely).
  • White Earth, MN: 89.9, 60kW/97m vertical, 600W/97m horizontal (C1), White Earth Land Recovery Project. Main coverage area includes Detroit Lakes and Park Rapids.
  • Broken Bow, NE: 91.3, 40kW/150m (C2), Dayspring Ministries of Concord Baptist Church. Main coverage includes North Platte and Lexington.
  • Hartington, NE: 88.3, 3kW/111m (A), VSS Catholic Communications.
  • Casselton, ND: 90.7, 100kW/82m (C1), Calvary Chapel Fargo. Transmitter west of Enderlin, fringe signal to Fargo.
  • Chamberlain, SD: 89.9, 21.4kW/310m (C1), The Praise Network. Fringe signal to Pierre.
  • Chamberlain, SD: 91.5, 100kW/184m (C1), Church Planters of America. Transmitter well south of Chamberlain.
  • Pierre, SD: 90.7, 6kW/59m (A), Radio 74 Internationale. Transmitter north of Pierre.
  • Wasta, SD: KVSD/88.9, 100kW/142m vertical (C1), VCY America. Fringe signal to Rapid City.
  • Owen, WI: 90.1, 50kW/40m (C2), Optima Enrichment. (9/28/2008)

    While the big four broadcast TV networks and PBS carried Friday night's first presidential debate live, the debate was largely limited to NPR member stations on radio. Commercial stations KTNF, KTLK, WISN, WIBA, KFAB, and KLIN also carried the debate, as well as Christian networks VCY/America and WHWL. Nebraska's NET Radio did not carry the debate, leaving many in central and western Nebraska without any local radio signal to hear the debate. Conflicts with play-by-play sports prevented debate coverage on many heritage news stations, including WCCO, KDAL, WMT, and KELO. WHO stuck with Dr. Laura. Another quirk: Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin Public Radio limited debate coverage to their News/Talk networks, though all simulcast Garrison Keillor's "A Prairie Home Companion" live on both of their networks. (9/27/2008)

    Two weeks after they dropped him, KDAL/610 (Duluth) has returned Joe Soucheray's syndicated show to its afternoon lineup. Soucheray dislaces Russ Stewart's two-week-old local show and cuts Rhonda Grussendorf's local show back to an hour. Also, Brad Bennet, whose show was moved from KDAL to WDSM/710 (Superior), is sometimes serving as a fill-in host for the second hour of Carinda Horton's new 10a-Noon show. (9/27/2008)

    Clear Channel's KTLK-FM/100.3 (Minneapolis) has added Laura Ingraham weeknights from 11-2. She had previously been heard on WWTC/1280, but was left homeless when WWTC owner Salem dropped her show nationwide. KTLK has dropped Mike McConnell and cut Dave Ramsey back to 2-4a. (9/26/2008)

    Minnesota Public Radio has been granted a construction permit for a new 13-Watt translator on 91.9 in Minneapolis. The station will transmit from the Kenwood area with a strong signal to several western Minneapolis neighborhoods. MPR's application stated the translator would relay KSJN/99.5 (Minneapolis) via satellite, but it could be used to relay any non-commercial FM station. (9/25/2008)


  • Marshalltown, IA: 98.1, 250W, Friendship Communications (being sold to Extreme Grace Media), KXGM-FM.
  • Waverly, IA: 100.9, 250W, Friendship Communications (being sold to Extreme Grace Media), KXGM-FM.
  • West Des Moines, IA: 95.3, 220W from west of West Des Moines, University of Northern Iowa, KUNI.
  • West Des Moines, IA: 103.7, 100W from Grimes, University of Northern Iowa, KUNI.
  • Green Bay, WI: 93.1, 250W, Midwest Communications, WOZZ.
  • Sheboygan, WI: 104.1, 7W, Lakeshore Communications, WORQ. (9/25/2008)

    The University of Sioux Falls' KCFS/94.5 has upgraded from 150W to 2kW. (9/24/2008)

    Todd Kaye has replaced Cori Waters in afternoons on KVIK/104.7 (Decorah). (9/24/2008)

    Chad Phelps has replaced Ryan Mathews in afternoons on WQPC/94.3 (Prairie du Chien). (9/24/2008)

    KDME-LP (Fort Madison) has moved from 99.9 to 98.3. The station carries a Catholic format. (9/23/2008)

    KPRM/870 (Park Rapids) has applied to upgrade its daytime signal from 25kW to 50kW. The upgrade would not dramatically add to KPRM's coverage area, but it would improve its signal to outlying communities such as Bemidji, Staples, Wadena, and Detroit Lakes. The station would remain non-direction during the day and continue to use 1kW directional at night. (9/23/2008)

    KSFY/13 (Sioux Falls) has rebranded its news as "ActionNews." (9/23/2008)

    KFFF/1260 and KFFF-FM/99.3 (Boone) are splitting up their longtime simulcast, with 1260 airing a Conservative Talk format as "Freedom 1260" and KFFF-FM airing a Christian teaching, talk, and music format as "Faith 99.3." 1260 has a good daytime signal to Des Moines, while 99.3 has a fringe signal to the capital city. Both stations have strong signals to Ames. (9/22/2008)

    KIOA/93.3 (Des Moines) has dropped its longtime "Oldies 93.3" slogan and is now simply "93.3 KIOA," positioned as "Iowa's Greatest Hits." (9/22/2008)

    The FCC has granted KMOJ/89.9 (Minneapolis) a significant upgrade. The station will move its transmitter from north Minneapolis to Shoreview, using 1.4kW at 273m (class C3), delivering a strong signal to the central and eastern Twin Cites metro area. The signal will remain weaker in the western and far southern suburbs. (9/22/2008)

    Two notes from Kimball:

  • KIMB/1260 left the air September 2. In a request for special temporary authority to remain silent, new owner Sterling Radio states the current site is "not available for broadcast operations" and intends to apply for a facility change. KIMB already has a construction permit to move to Ogallala which expires December 15, but a separate application from Kimball Radio, LLC's KYOY states that KIMB will remain licensed to Kimball.
  • KYOY/92.3, which recently moved from 100.1, has applied to move to Hillsdale, WY, east of Cheyenne. The Classic Hits station already targets Cheyenne, where it is heard on translators K234AH/94.7 and K296FZ/107.1. It currently uses 2.4kW/-7m from the former KIMB site and proposes moving to Hillsdale with 3.1kW/142m. (9/22/2008)

    KMAV/1520 (Mayville) has changed its callsign to KMSR following the sale of KMAV AM-FM to KMSR, Inc. 105.5 remains KMAV-FM. (9/22/2008)

    KZNC/99.1 (Huron) has applied to move to Milbank, upgrading from 3kW/56m (class A) to 37kW/172m (C2). The station would have a strong signal to Watertown, SD, and Ortonville, MN. KZNC owner Dakota Communications does not own any existing stations in the Milbank/Watertown area. (9/22/2008)

    WGEE/970 (Superior-Duluth) has dropped its "ESPN 970" Sports format and is now carrying the syndicated "Music of Your Life" (Nostalgia) format. It's the latest in a series of changes at Midwest Communications-owned stations in Duluth. 970 had carried a Nostalgia format as KXTP from 1982 to 1997, and has carried Country, Radio Disney, Hot Talk, and Sports formats since then. Midwest "parked" the WGEE callsign, formerly used on its WTAQ/1360 (Green Bay), on 970 in 2003. The "Music of Your Life" network had been heard on nearby WKLK/1230 (Cloquet) until earlier this year, when the network and Jones Radio Networks parted ways. WKLK now carries Jones' Standards format. (9/19/2008)

    The North Platte Bulletin reports that KHAQ/98.5 (Maxwell-North Platte), formerly KRKU/98.5 (McCook), signed on Wednesday (9/17) with an "official" launch set for Monday (9/22). KHAQ carries a Classic Rock format as "The Hawk" with Bob & Tom in the mornings. It's owned by Armada Media, which also owns KODY/1240 and KXNP/103.5. KHAQ's sign-on completes a doubling of the number of stations in the North Platte market from four to eight over the last year. (9/19/2008)

    A sign the Omaha market's newest station may be about to sign on: "107.9 The Bull" (KTIC-FM West Point) has applied for a license to cover its construction permit to move its transmitter to the west-northwest. The move clears the way for Connoisseur Media's KGGG/107.7 (Pacific Junction, IA) to come on the air with 50kW at 129m, blanketing the Omaha market. KTIC-FM's move strengthens the Country station's signal to Norfolk and Wayne. (9/19/2008)

    WKPO/105.9 (Soldiers Grove) has received a construction permit for 25kW/100m (class C3), which will give it a strong signal to Viroqua and a fringe signal to La Crosse. Advance Acquisition, a subsidiary of Starboard Media, signed the station on briefly earlier this year as WKAH with just 200 Watts before taking it off the air and selling it to Robinson Corporation, the owner of Viroqua's two existing stations. The WKPO callsign was previously used by the present WWHG/105.9 (Evansville). (9/19/2008)

    Clear Channel's WOKY/920 (Milwaukee) is dropping its "Mighty 92" Oldies format at 6 a.m. Thursday (9/18) for Classic Country as "The Wolf." The Oldies format had been launched in January 2007, replacing Adult Standards, in an effort to capitalize on the station's Top 40 heritage. Clear Channel also owns "FM 106" (WMIL/106.1 Waukesha-Milwaukee), which carries a mainstream Country format. (9/18/2008)

    Jeff Johnson's Northfield Media, Inc. is buying KYMN/1080 (Northfield) from Ingstad Brothers Broadcasting for $290,000. Johnson's company will take over the station through a local marketing agreement on October 1. KYMN carries a Soft Oldies format with Ed Schultz from 2-5 p.m. It is the only commercial radio station in the city of 19,000, and its daytime signal is also strong in the southern Twin Cities metro. (9/17/2008)

    Minnesota Public Radio is picking up another three translators from Horizon Christian Fellowship for $41,000. The translators are in Eveleth, Pine City, and New Ulm, and MPR states they will carry affiliates of its News and Information network. The Pine City translator received its license in July but has not been heard on numerous checks since then. MPR purchased another eight Horizon translators earlier this year, including K247BF/97.3 (Decorah), which reports is now on the air carrying the News and Information service. That network is also heard on KLNI/88.7 (Decorah), which has a smaller coverage area than the new translator. (9/16/2008)

    Powell Broadcasting's KSRZ/102.3 (Onawa-Sioux City) has changed its name from "Bob" to "Jack," continuing its Variety Hits format. (9/16/2008)

    KAYL/990 (Storm Lake) plans to drop ESPN Radio for Regional Mexican on Monday, September 15. The new format will come from Bustos Media's "La Gran D" network. Jose Duran, who has hosted a weekly spanish-language show on the station for years, has been hired full-time to oversee local content. Station manager Buzz Paterson noted that Hispanics now make up 20% of the population of Buena Vista County, and half of the students in Storm Lake schools are Hispanic. KAYL has carried ESPN since October 2005. Prior to that, it had carried a mix of local news and information, Big Band, and Standards since its sign-on in 1948. Local news has continued on KAYL-FM/101.7. (9/13/2008)

    KLOX/90.9 (Creston) has downgraded from 100kW to 4kW, with its transmitter remaining in Creston. (9/13/2008)

    NBC affiliate WLUC/6 (Marquette) has dropped its longtime rainbow logo in favor of a more modern look. (9/13/2008)

    The FCC has granted a daytime upgrade to 50kW for "La Picosa" (KQSP/1530 Shakopee-Minneapolis). The upgrade will extend KQSP's coverage area to the north and give it a strong signal to Minneapolis and all of the western metro, but still leave St. Paul and the eastern metro outside of its main coverage area. At night, the station will drop to 26 Watts, serving the immediate Chaska area. The station will add two towers to its existing two-tower array along Highway 212 in Chaska as part of the upgrade. KQSP is owned by Yong W. Kim's Broadcast One, Inc. and carries a Tropical format. (9/13/2008)

    Midwest Communications is shuffling the lineups at KDAL/610 (Duluth) and WDSM/710 (Superior), adding more local programming and leaving syndicated talkers Joe Soucheray, Tom Martino, Jim Bohannan, Doug Stephan, and Rustie Humphries homeless. Some of the changes took effect this week, but the transformation won't be complete until Monday, September 15. At KDAL, Rik Jordan returns to co-hosting mornings with Pat Cadigan. Paul Harvey has been added to the Noon news hour, followed by the returning Rhonda Grussendorf from 1-3 and former city councilor Russ Stewart from 3-5. KDAL's syndicated evening lineup now consists of Lou Dobbs from 5-8, followed by Larry King at 8 and Dave Ramsey from 9-Midnight. Coast to Coast AM moves from WDSM to KDAL for overnights. At WDSM, recently branded "The Patriot," Lew Latto moves to an earlier 7-9a slot, while Brad Bennett moves over from KDAL for 9-11a. New syndicated programming includes Bill Bennett from 5-7a, Mark Levin from 8-10p, Laura Ingraham from 10p-1a, Dr. Laura from 1-4a, and Mike Gallagher from 4-5a. WDSM continues to carry Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity live from 11a-5p. (9/12/2008)

    FOX 21 (KQDS-TV Duluth) has hired Karl Spring as Chief Meteorologist, replacing Todd Nelson, who is taking a job with Paul Douglas' WeatherNation. Nelson officially passed his weather clicker onto Spring during Thursday's 9 p.m. newscast. Spring has more than twenty years of on-air experience, including work in Minneapolis, Sioux Falls, and the Quad Cities, and most recently worked at NBC affiliate KBJR/6 (Superior-Duluth). It should be disclosed that your reporter, Jon Ellis, is the Assistant News Director at FOX 21. (9/12/2008)

    A pending application from Northern Lights Broadcasting would make "B96" (KTTB/96.3 Glencoe) a core signal in Twin Cities. Currently a rimshot transmitting from west of the metro, the Hip-Hop/R&B station would change its community of license to Edina, move its transmitter to the WWTC/KYCR(AM) site in St. Louis Park, and downgrade from class C1 (100kW/176m) to C3 (24kW/104m). The move would give B96
    city-grade coverage to 68% of the population of the Minneapolis-St. Paul Urbanized Area, with a strong, but not city-grade, signal to virtually the entire metro.

    Edina, the home of B96's studio since 2000, is the tenth largest city in Minnesota without a broadcast license. In order to change KTTB's community of license to Edina, Northern Lights has to show that Edina is a community independent of the larger metro area. In one part of its showing, Northern Lights states, "a local station is needed to provide an outlet for local needs and interests that are generally overlooked by media from Minneapolis." However, FCC rules would not actually require any change from KTTB's current programming, other than the legal ID.

    Since KTTB is the only station licensed to Glencoe and the FCC generally does not allow community of license changes that leave a city without a license, Northern Lights has applied to "backfill" by moving KRBI/1310 from St. Peter to Glencoe. (Several FM stations would remain licensed to St. Peter.) Northern Lights completed its purchase of KRBI on July 28 and took the station off the air on that date, telling the FCC it has already started to disassemble the station to get ready for the move. As a Glencoe station, 1310 would use 2.5kW day and 270W night with the same directional pattern day and night.

    If approved, KTTB's new transmitter location would be the station's fourth: KARP/96.1 first signed on in 1993 as a class C3 station with a transmitter north of Glencoe, then moved to 96.3 as class C2 from a site west of Glencoe in 1996, and then moved to its present site near Watertown in 2000 after paying the owners of WJMC-FM (Rice Lake, WI) to downgrade and move from 96.3 to 96.1. (9/9/2008)

    WDSM/710 (Superior-Duluth) has added the slogan "The Patriot" to its Conservative Talk format, but continues to use its callsign along with the slogan. (9/9/2008)

    Citadel Communications and DISH Network have reached a retransmission agreement after a month-long stalemate. The affected stations, WHBF/4 (CBS/Rock Island), WOI-TV/5 (ABC/Ames-Des Moines), KCAU/9 (ABC/Sioux City), and KLKN/8 (ABC/Lincoln), returned to DISH on Saturday, September 6 after a month-long absence. (9/7/2008)

    Catholic broadcaster Baraga Broadcasting is buying WIDG/940 (St. Ignace) from Northern Star Broadcasting for $100,000. WIDG has been off the air since a lightning strike on August 23 and has requested authority to remain off the air until the sale is completed. It had carried a Sports format as "The Fan." Baraga Broadcasting also operates WTCK/90.9 (Charlevoix) and two translators in the lower peninsula. (9/6/2008)

    KOTK/1420 (Omaha) has launched a Spanish Christian format called "La Luz" (The Light) after a few days of stunting. See below for more information. (9/4/2008)

    Salem Radio's KOTK/1420 (Omaha) has dropped its Conservative Talk format and is stunting with Spanish-language Christmas music, promising a "big surprise" on Thursday, September 4, with one liner saying (in spanish), "We are giving you a gift, a radio station that illuminates the heart of all mankind." 1420 was the original home of the market's first spanish-language station, KBBX. Once Journal Broadcasting moved KBBX to 97.7 (Nebraska City-Omaha) in 2002, 1420 became KHLP with an Advice Talk format, which continued until 2005, when Salem bought the station and converted it to Conservative Talk KOTK. If 1420 remains spanish-language, it will be the third spanish-language station in the Omaha market, the others being KBBX and NRG's KYDZ/1180 (Bellevue). (9/3/2008)

    WISCONSIN: reports that WISS/1100 (Berlin) has reverted to Classic Country, which it had dropped for Oldies last October. The "Big Red" slogan continues. WISS is also heard on FM translator W247AZ/97.3 (Berlin). (9/1/2008)

    A loss of just 1,450 TV households was enough to send Sioux City down six spots to market #149 on the new Nielsen Media market rankings for the 2008-2009 TV season. Other changes in the Upper Midwest were not so dramatic. Lincoln-Hastings-Kearney dropped two spots, while Cedar Rapids, the Quad Cities, Sioux Falls, Fargo, Wausau, Duluth, Rapid City, and Ottumwa each dropped one spot. Meanwhile, Milwaukee, Omaha, Traverse City-Sault Ste. Marie, Rochester-Austin-Mason City, and Marquette all went up one position, and Cheyenne-Scottsbluff went up two spots. Other markets in the region stayed put. Here's the complete list of rankings. (9/1/2008)

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