September 2013

WISCONSIN:
Several sources report WKSH/1640 (Sussex-Milwaukee) has gone silent as owner ABC seeks a buyer for the station. It had carried Radio Disney for eleven years. (9/30/2013)

IOWA:
KCRG-TV (Cedar Rapids) has added Live Well Network on channel 9.3, replacing a locally-originated weather channel that had been on the air for two years. Live Well Network carries first-run lifestyle programming and five hours of infomercials daily. KCRG carries ABC on 9.1 and while 9.2 carries syndicated shows, local programming, and My Network TV in late night. (9/30/2013)

WISCONSIN:
Christian-formatted WPGR-LP/105.7 (Clear Lake) has applied to move to 105.9. The reason for the proposed change isn't stated in the application, but WPGR-LP faces co-channel interference from WCFW/105.7 (Chippewa Falls) and WXCX/105.7 (Siren) in its current frequency. On 105.9, it would only be battling with KWNG/105.9 (Red Wing, MN). WPGR-LP is owned by Clear Lake Christian Radio and carries LifeTalk Radio. (9/30/2013)

MINNESOTA:
Regal Media's K25IA-D (Minneapolis) has dropped its decades-old TBN affiliation and is now carring lectures from a former Congressional candidate as "Informed TV." The programming had already been seen on K21GN-D/21.3 (Alexandria) and a YouTube channel; videos posted earlier this month mentioned channel 25 and reception reports indicate the switch from TBN to "Informed TV" came in the last few days. The channel carries a loop of lectures from Alan Roebke, who ran for northwestern Minnesota's 7th Congressional District seat in 2008 as a Republican. K25IA, originally on analog channel 58, had been carrying five channels from TBN but is now only carrying one channel. K25IA was among several dozen stations Regal Media bought from Trinity Broadcasting Network last year. Regal Media is headed by George Cooney, the CEO of TV and film producer EUE/Screen Gems. (9/28/2013)

WISCONSIN:
Casper Communications, LLC is buying WDKM/106.1 (Adams) from DKS Communications for $235,000. Casper Communications is headed by Joseph Deschler, Jr. of Spring Grove, MN, who has no other broadcast interests. WDKM uses 6kW/100m, serving a rural area between Madison and Wausau. (9/26/2013)

SOUTH DAKOTA/MINNESOTA/IOWA/NEBRASKA:
FOX affiliate KTTW/7 (Sioux Falls) is off DISH Network amid a retransmission consent dispute. At midnight Tuesday night, DISH replaced KTTW with a slide saying that station owner Independent Communications is seeking a seven-fold rate increase. KTTW says on its website that it's seeking fair compensation to cover rising costs. The Sioux Falls TV market covers the eastern half of South Dakota as well as portions of southwestern Minnesota, northwestern Iowa, and northern Nebraska. (9/25/2013)

NORTH DAKOTA:
KNDK, Inc. is buying 10-Watt translator K234BO/94.7 (Langdon) from Edgewater Broadcasting for $2,000. No equipment is included in the transaction. The application to transfer the license says K234BO will relay KNDK/1080 (Langdon) following the sale. (9/25/2013)

IOWA:
Western Illinois University is buying K239AF/95.7 (Burlington) from World Radio Link for $25,000. The application to transfer the license states K239AF will relay the "Tri States Public Radio" format of WIUM/91.3 (Macomb, IL). K239AF is currently licensed for a coverage area north of Burlington and has a construction permit to move farther north. (9/24/2013)

NEBRASKA:
Cochise Media' KHSK/100.9 (Allen) has applied for new facilities four years after a tornado toppled its previous tower. College Creek Media originally built KHSK but took the station silent citing financial reasons the day after the FCC granted its broadcast license in 2008. In July 2009, a tornado struck its tower, and the station, which is licensed for 10kW, has had special temporary authority to use 10 Watts since then. Cochise Media bought KHSK after the tornado and said in a recent application to extend the STA that KHSK has no revenue and the third-party owner of the toppled tower "does not appear to be ready to rebuild." Now, it's applied to use 6kW/43m from a different tower in Allen, downgrading from class C3 to A. The only other sizable community in KHSK's proposed main coverage area would be Ponca, with possible fringe coverage of Sioux City, Iowa. KHSK's format is unknown but a legal ID for the station was being included in the ID of sister station KOMJ/1490 (Omaha) as of last year. Cochise is in the process of selling KOMJ to Kona Coast Radio; the FCC recently asked Cochise to explain why an agent could not locate the station's main studio on an inspection attempt. (9/23/2013)

MINNESOTA:
The FCC has granted an upgrade for Edward De La Hunt's KPRM/870 (Park Rapids). The station will increase its daytime power from 40kW to 50kW but will remain 1kW directional at night. Maps included in an engineering packet submitted with the application show the upgrade would only add a few miles to KPRM's coverage area, but it could slightly improve the station's fringe daytime signal to Bemidji, Brainerd, and Fargo. KPRM's lineup includes a local morning show simulcast on several stations in the area, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Classic Country. (9/23/2013)

WISCONSIN/NEBRASKA/IOWA:
Journal Broadcasting stations returned to Time Warner Cable Friday night after a retransmission consent dispute that lasted nearly two months. Affected stations included NBC affiliates WTMJ-TV/4 (Milwaukee) and WGBA/26 (Green Bay), My Network TV station WACY/32 (Appleton-Green Bay), CBS affiliate KMTV/3 (Omaha), and their subchannels. Though they're back on Time Warner, the co-owned Journal Sentinel reports TMJ4 is actually being carried on channel 2 in Milwaukee and channel 83 in Racine and Kenosha since Time Warner sold the rights to channel 4 to GSN during the dispute. WGBA also has new channel numbers. (9/19/2013)

MINNESOTA:
Hubbard Broadcasting's "KS95" (KSTP-FM/94.5 St. Paul) was named Large Market Station of the Year at the 2013 National Association of Broadcasters Marconi Radio Awards Thursday night. Competing finalists for the award had included crosstown WCCO/830 (Minneapolis). Hubbard's WTMX/101.9 (Skokie-Chicago) was also honored as AC Station of the Year. (9/19/2013)

MANITOBA:
CKSB has begun testing its new facility at 88.1 in Winnipeg, reports DX'er Shawn Axelrod. The 100kW station will replace CKSB's current pairing of 1050 AM (10kW) and 90.5 FM (2.8kW); CKSB is the flagship of the Radio-Canada Première network in Manitoba. The network does not broadcast in stereo since most of its programming is vocal. (9/19/2013)

IOWA:
Iowa's largest AM signal is poised to get an FM rebroadcast: Clear Channel News/Talker WHO/1040 (Des Moines) is listed as the station to be rebroadcast on K229CC/93.7 (Winterset) if an application to move to Des Moines is approved. The translator, owned by First Ventures Capital Partners, would remain licensed to Winterset but would move to a tower owned by WHO-TV in downtown Des Moines with the maximum translator power of 250 Watts. It's currently licensed as K230AT on 93.9 in Winterset and has a construction permit to move to 93.7 as K229CC from a tower midway between Winterset and Des Moines. (9/17/2013)

NORTH DAKOTA/MINNESOTA:
Just weeks after launching its new Adult Top 40 "Big 98.7" format, KLTA-FM (Moorhead-Fargo) is at reduced power due to a lightning strike. In an application for special temporary authority, the station tells the FCC that a Sept. 3 lightning strike destroyed its antenna. It's installed a temporary antenna the same height as the old one but is using 69kW instead of the normal 100kW. The filing says the new antenna may not be installed until spring. The station has received numerous reception complaints on its Facebook page. (9/17/2013)

IOWA/ILLINOIS:
Nexstar Broadcasting is buying Citadel Communications' three TV stations in Iowa for $88 million. The stations are ABC affiliate WOI-DT/5 (Ames-Des Moines), CBS affiliate WHBF-TV/4 (Rock Island, IL-Davenport), and ABC affiliate KCAU-TV/9 (Sioux City). Nexstar will begin operating the stations immediately under a Time Brokerage Agreement. The company has no other stations in Iowa but does own or operate six stations in Illinois and will have operations in 51 markets once this and other transactions are completed. Citadel Communications, which is not related to the former radio broadcaster, will retain ownership of ABC affiliate KLKN/8 (Lincoln, NE) and stations in Rhode Island and Florida. (9/16/2013)

WISCONSIN:
WLJY is back on central Wisconsin airwaves, albeit on a smaller signal than its previous two homes. As first reported by RadioInsight, Seehafer Broadcasting's WRCW/105.5 (Nekoosa-Wisconsin Rapids) has dropped Oldies in favor of Adult Contemporary as "Y105.5," resurrecting the heritage WLJY callsign. WLJY was first on 106.5 (Marshfield) and then on 96.7 (Whiting), both of which have strong signals to Wausau and Stevens Point. 105.5's main coverage is limited to the Wisconsin Rapids area, with a fringe signal to Stevens Point. (9/16/2013)

WISCONSIN:
Woodward Communications has dropped the two-year-old "92.9 Country" format on WXMM (Chilton-Appleton-Oshkosh) and replaced it with a simulcast of the `80s-`90s Hits format of "KZ104.3" (WKZG/104.3 Seymour-Green Bay) with the new callsign WKZY. The Country format, which WXMM had carried since the station's 2011 launch, faced strong competition from longtime Country outlets run by Midwest Communications and Cumulus Media. The "KZ" simulcast is the third FM/FM pairing in the region, joining Midwest's 94.3-99.7 and Cumulus' 99.5-104.9. (9/16/2013)

MINNESOTA:
A belated note that KJJK/1020 (Fergus Falls) has dropped Contemporary Christian for Sports as "The Game." The station's Facebook page indicates the change actually occurred several months ago. KJJK is one of five stations owned by Jerry Papenfuss in the Fergus Falls area. (9/16/2013)

NORTH DAKOTA/MINNESOTA:
The Forum reports that Rush Limbaugh is returning to AM 1100 "The Flag" (WZFG Dilworth-Fargo) after being dropped by KRWK/101.9 (Fargo) due to its abrupt shift from "Talk FM" back to "Rock 102." Rush had aired on WZFG prior to the launch of "Talk FM" last year. WZFG owner Scott Hennen tells the paper Rush will air live from 11 to 2, immediately following his local program. (9/14/2013)

WISCONSIN:
WEAU (Eau Claire) has added classic TV network Antenna TV on channel 13.3. The Gray Television station carries NBC on 13.1 and weather on 13.2. (9/14/2013)

IOWA:
The FCC has approved 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. KGAN, a Sinclair Broadcasting CBS affiliate, will continue to use 850kW at 585m and could continue remapping to channel 2.1. (9/13/2013)

MINNESOTA:
Family Radio has returned its Duluth translator to the air. W203AL/88.5 was displaced by the sign-on of WSSU/88.5 (Superior) last year. This week, it returned to the air on 90.9 as W215CG with 10 Watts. W215CG transmits from the Duluth antenna farm and is second-adjacent (0.4 MHz away) from two other stations also transmitting from the antenna farm. (9/12/2013)

NEBRASKA:
VSS Catholic Communications is buying translator K207BY/89.3 (Chadron) from Covenant Network for $20,000. (9/12/2013)

NEW TV MARKET RANKINGS:
The oil boom in western North Dakota apparently continues to fuel growth for the local TV market. New Local Television Market Universe Estimates released this month by Nielsen Media show the market, consisting of primary stations in Bismarck and Minot with satellites in Dickinson and Williston, added more than 8,000 TV households over the last year, a six percent boost. The increase raises Bismarck six slots in the national ranking to 145th among the nation's 210 TV markets, between Duluth (139) and Sioux City (147) among Upper Midwest markets. Over the past five years, the number of TV households in the Bismarck market has increased 17 percent, pushing it 13 notches up in the national rankings. The oil boom has not resulted in an immediate boom in the TV business, however: The market's CBS and NBC affiliates continue to be the only TV stations with local newscasts and no new full-power TV stations have launched since the FOX affiliate signed on in 1999.

Elsewhere in the Upper Midwest, most markets exceeded the national growth rate of one percent. North Platte showed the second-largest household growth nationally (25 percent), though it only moved up one notch in the market rankings, making it the third-smallest of the nation's TV markets. Madison rose two spots on the rankings, while all other Upper Midwest markets stayed within one position of their spot last year. The complete list is available here. (9/12/2013)

NORTH DAKOTA:
Fargo has its third new radio format in four days. After several days of stunting with all-Taylor Swift as "Taylor 92.7," KZDR (Kindred-Fargo) debuted Classic Hits format as "The Drive" on Wednesday (9/12). KZDR is owned by Mediactive, LLC, but is apparently being operated by James Ingstad's Radio FM Media, since the website for Ingstad's KQWB/1660 (West Fargo) was promoting "The Drive" on Wednesday night. The website URL was later redirected to 1660's Facebook page, which hasn't been updated since May. 1660 continues to carry the "True Oldies Channel" network while a listener report indicates KZDR is carrying separate programming. The page title for trueoldies1660.com was changed to "92-7 The Drive" on Wednesday before the URL began redirecting, suggesting that there may be a new format in the works for 1660. Mediactive, LLC is owned by Robert Ingstad, the nephew of James Ingstad; KZDR, formerly KFNL, had been operated by James Ingstad through his previous Fargo radio group prior to going silent earlier this year. 92.7 moved into the Fargo market two decades ago but has never held a format for more than five years, with formats including Contemporary Hits, Oldies, and different incarnations of Country and Christian music. (9/11/2013)

MINNESOTA:
Red Rock Radio has launched another new format in the Brainerd area, flipping WWWI-FM/95.9 (Pillager) from News/Talk to Classic Rock as "Wings 95.9" on Sept. 1. The "3WI" News/Talk format continues on WWWI/1270 (Baxter), which has run the format for a couple of decades and had simulcast some programming with WWWI-FM. With the change, Glenn Beck and Joe Soucheray moved to the AM station, pushing Ed Schultz and Jason Lewis into the evening hours. 95.9's new format targets the market's heritage Classic Rocker, BL Broadcasting's 107.5 "The Power Loon" (KLIZ-FM Brainerd). It also has some overlap with Red Rock Classic Hits/Oldies station 100.1 "The Wave" (KLKS Pequot Lakes), which launched last month, and Variety Hits 101.5 "Sam FM" (KFGI Crosby). (9/11/2013)

NORTH DAKOTA:
The near-daily changes on the Fargo radio dial continue with a format change at KMJO/104.7 (Hope-Fargo) from Classic Pop Hits "Popster" to Adult Contemporary as "Mix FM." The Forum reports the switch came at 4 p.m. Tuesday (9/10), exactly two days after a sister station changed format (below). 104.7 had briefly used the "Mix" moniker in 2007 under previous ownership; it's now owned by Midwest Communications, doing business as Midwest Radio Fargo Moorhead. 104.7's new format takes advantage of a hole in the market left by the recent departure of "FM 105," which had run Hot AC. The current incarnation of "Mix" is the sixth format 104.7 has carried since it signed on eleven years ago. (9/10/2013)

NORTH DAKOTA:
A Rock war has resumed in Fargo after Midwest Communications, doing business locally as Midwest Radio Fargo-Moorhead, flipped KRWK/101.9 back to "Rock 102" on Sunday afternoon (9/8). The change follows Jim Ingstad's recent move of Active Rocker KQWB-FM from its longtime home at 98.7 (Moorhead) to the rimshot signal of 105.1 (Breckenridge). Ingstad also owns Classic Rocker 107.9 "The Fox" (KPFX Fargo) while Midwest has no other Fargo stations in the Rock genre. Ingstad owned KRWK when it flipped from "Rock 102" to "Talk FM" in March 2012 and later sold the group to Midwest. The move yet again leaves Rush Limbaugh without an affiliate in Fargo; Rush has been on at least five stations in the market in the past fifteen years. A post on KRWK's old website says "Rock 102" will continue to air the Minnesota Vikings and NDSU Bison Football. (9/8/2013)

NORTH DAKOTA:
RadioInsight.com reports that KFNL/92.7 (Kindred-Fargo) is back on the air and stunting as "Taylor 92.7" with the new callsign KZDR. The callsign change was effective Tuesday (9/3). The station, owned by Robert Ingstad's Mediactive, LLC, had been off the air since February. For a year prior to that, it carried an Active Rock format operated by Robert Ingstad's uncle James Ingstad's group before that group was sold to Midwest Communications. James Ingstad now owns a different group of stations, doing business as Radio FM Media, but it's not immediately clear whether he's involved in the operation of 92.7. The station moved into the Fargo market two decades ago but has never held a format for more than five years, with formats including Contemporary Hits, Oldies, and different incarnations of Country and Christian music. (9/6/2013)

NEBRASKA:
North Platte got a second local TV news option this week with the launch of local newscasts on low-power CBS affiliate KNPL-LD/10.1 (RF 25), which began Tuesday, Sept. 2. The Gray Communications station airs a half-hour newscast at 6:30 p.m. and a ten-minute newscast at 10 p.m. "10/11 North Platte" is a rechristening of a KOLN/KGIN translator which had operated in North Platte for several decades. It continues to simulcast KOLN/KGIN's morning, Noon, 4 p.m., and 5 p.m. newscasts, though M*A*S*H is shown instead of KOLN's 6 p.m. newscast and syndicated programming is different in the two markets. The station says cable and satellite providers in North Platte are switching their feeds from KOLN to KNPL. The only other TV news operation in North Platte, one of the nation's smallest markets, is at longtime NBC affiliate KNOP/2. KNOP also carries FOX on a subchannel and a low-power TV station, while Kearney's KHGI/13 serves as the ABC affiliate via a local translator. (9/5/2013)

IOWA:
It turns out Waterloo is the home of the three radio stations to be divested as part of Townsquare Media's $260 million purchase of a dozen market groups from Cumulus Media. An application seeks to move KKHQ/92.3 (Oelwein-Waterloo), KCRR/97.7 (Grundy Center-Waterloo), and KOEL-FM/98.5 (Cedar Falls-Waterloo) into the Cedar Rapids Divestiture Trust, headed by Allen N. Blum. Though the stations are all licensed outside of the geographic boundaries of the Arbitron-defined Cedar Rapids market, a BIA Kelsey report submitted as part of the license transfer applications says their designated markets were changed to Cedar Rapids last year after the Waterloo market was dissolved. (Several larger Waterloo stations that have stronger signals to Cedar Rapids, owned by a different group, are not regarded as part of the Cedar Rapids market.) Townsquare intends to keep KOEL/950 (Oelwein), which has the same community of license as KKHQ but was not assigned to the Cedar Rapids market. In Cedar Rapids, Townsquare is buying KRNA/94.1 (Iowa City-Cedar Rapids), KHAK/98.1 (Cedar Rapids), and KDAT/104.5 (Cedar Rapids) and intends to assume a time brokerage agreement to operate KRQN/107.1 (Vinton-Cedar Rapids). Townsquare is also getting Cumulus' group in the Quad Cities as part of the transaction and Cumulus' Dubuque group in a related deal. (9/4/2013)

WISCONSIN:
Tomsun Media, LLC is buying translator W259AO/99.7 (Saukville) from Lakeshore Communications for $45,000. An attachment to the asset purchase agreement states that an application will be filed to move the translator to Hartford, where Tomsun owns WTKM/1540 and WTKM-FM/104.9. W259AO recently moved west to Saukville from Port Washington. (9/3/2013)

NEBRASKA:
The FCC has asked Cochise Broadcasting LLC to explain alleged violations of the main studio and public file rules at KOMJ/1490 (Omaha). The Notice of Violation stems from a failed attempt by an FCC agent to visit the station's main studio on Aug. 1. According to the Notice, the agent could not find a studio address on KOMJ's website but was told by the station's attorney that its main studio was located at 10714 Mockingbird Drive, which is the address of former KOMJ owner Journal Broadcast Group. The Notice says Journal staff at the address first told the agent that KOMJ's studio was not there and no one associated with the station worked at the address, but Journal staff later determined that Cochise rented space at the address. However, KOMJ's public file was allegedly not available for inspection at the address. The FCC's Notice, issued Aug. 15, alleges that Cochise may be violating the main studio rule and public file requirements and asks Cochise to explain the alleged violations and what is being done to correct them. Cochise is in the process of selling KOMJ, which runs a Nostalgia/Lounge format, to Kona Coast Radio. (9/2/2013)


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