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St. Louis Park-based Children's Broadcasting Corporation, owner of the nationally distributed "Radio Aahs" Children's format, is filing suit against Disney. CBC claims that Disney has stolen their programming ideas. Disney subsidiary ABC had been involved in a marketing agreement with CBC, but then broke it off. A few weeks later, Disney announced they would begin their own nationally distibuted Children's format. CBC is also seeking new investors in order to expand distribution of its format.
Thomas F. Beshta has been granted a Construction permit to build a station on 104.9 in Balsam Lake, WI. The station will/would have a fringe area signal into the Northestern suburbs of St. Paul.
The Duluth News-Tribune reports that Tom Lijewski hopes to have WXXZ/95.3 (Grand Marais) on the air next spring. The station will have a satellite fed Adult Contemporary format and will be the first station in Cook County.
According to the FCC database, KEZZ/94.3 in Aitkin has changed calls to KKIN-FM. This probably means a format change (possibly to Classic Country, which KKIN(AM) has abandoned). The station has also increased power and relocated its transmitter closer to Brainerd.
Minneapolis-based Colfax Communications has sold all but a few of its stations to Texas-Based Chancellor Communications. When the sale is completed, Chancellor will own 2 AM and 5 FM stations in the Twin Cities. Two of the stations (WBOB-FM and KEEY) are currently head-on competitors in the Country format. It seems likely that BOB's format will be modified or changed, since it is the lower-rated of the two. After the sale is completed, Chancellor will also own KTCJ/KTCZ, KFAN, KDWB, and KQQL.
The Minnesota Broadcasters Association and several individual broadcasters have filed complaints with the FCC about "The Beat" (97.7), an unlicensed non-commercial Dance/Urban station that signed on in July in Minneapolis. The station is operating with 10 watts in the late afternoon, evening, and late night hours from an apartment near Loring Park. More information can be found at the station's website.
Minnesota Public Radio continues to add stations, this year bringing both networks to the Hibbing/Virginia and Appleton areas.
Public radio stations are rushing to cover the Chequamegon Bay area of Wisconsin, which includes Ashland, Bayfield, and Washburn. Since WBSZ/93.3 signed on a few years ago, listeners have had trouble picking up distant Public signals due to intermodulation with WJJH/96.7. WOJB/88.9 (Reserve/Hayward) has applied to build a station licensed to Ondanah on 91.9. Wisconsin Public Radio is undergoing a fundraising effort and hopes to have two class A facilities on the air by the Fall of 1998. Before the stations come on the air, temporary translators would be installed to rebroadcast the signals of KUWS/91.3 (Superior) and WHSA/89.9 (Brule).
Things that Twin Ports Broadcasters and Arbitron don't know:
* KQDS/1490 (Duluth) has been off the air since early July. 1490 was rebroadcasting KQDS-FM and had virtually no audience. Fant Broadcasting plans to program a Talk format on the station when it becomes its owner.
* KZIO/102.5 (Superior) transitioned from a Top 40 format to a Modern Rock/Hot Adult Contemporary station between Summer 1994 and the end of 1995.
KMOM/1070 (Monticello) has had its license cancelled by the FCC. The station was off the air after attempting to serve an area heavily served by other radio stations with a poor nighttime signal.
WWAX/92.1 (Hermantown-Duluth) is trying to get WELY-FM/92.1 (Ely) and WCMP-FM/92.1 (Pine City) to change frequency so WWAX can increase to 25,000 watts.
KXLT/47 (Rochester), owned by Lang Communications, is currently rebroadcasting KXLI as it has for its entire broadcast life, but this will stop when KXLI's sale goes through. The station is currently broadcasting with only 107kW, but has applied to increase to full-power. The Rochester-Austin-Albert Lea market has only three other commercial stations, and unless Lang wants to continue the mostly brokered format of KXLI/KXLT, KXLT will likely become FOX 47.
A trend has begun among UHF stations: power increases. More than a dozen stations in the tri-state area either have construction permits or have applied to increase power, most of them to full power of 5 million watts.
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