MapNews Archive

News Archive - September 1997

9/29/1997: Jim Young was given a paid two-day suspension (or long weekend, depending on how you look at it) from Kiss 92.1 (WWAX Hermantown-Duluth) for making a joke about the complexion of a local TV anchor. Young said something about KBJR's (6 Superior-Duluth, NBC) Barbara Reyelts needing a constant supply of Oil of Olay. He was suspended on Friday, September 26, and Monday, September 29, due to advertiser demand.

9/26/1997: Liz Brummond is leaving KDLH (3 Duluth, CBS) after two years there. She was an anchor of the 6 and 10 p.m. news for most of that time. Amy Rutledge will return to KDLH after a two year absence. Eric Olson, formerly of KARE 11 (Minneapolis, NBC), begins anchor duties on Monday, September 29.

9/25/1997: FCC approval of the sale of KCFB (91.5 St. Cloud) to Minnesota Christian Broadcasters (KTIG 102.7 Pequot Lakes and KBHW 99.5 International Falls) came through on September 23. KTIG General Manager Mike Heuberger and Program Director Joe Kimball will assume the same duties at KCFB. KTIG's Saturday evening program "Looking Up" will now originate from KCFB, but will continue to be heard on KTIG. No major format changes are planned for KCFB, and the staff is being retained.

9/25/1997: Rich Collins is the new Program Director and Music Director at WTBX (93.9 Hibbing).

9/25/1997: From the "did you know..." file: Chancellor's Cities 97 (KTCZ Minneapolis), Rock 100.3 (WRQC Minneapolis), and KDWB (101.3 Richfield-Minneapolis) do not accept advertising from local political candidates because there's too much legal paperwork involved. This information comes from City Pages.

9/24/1997: The stations formerly known as X105 (KXXP/105.1 Lakeville, KXXU/105.3 Cambridge, and KXXR/105.7 Eden Prairie) are now running an Adult Alternative format as "The Zone." Brian Oake does mornings, and the syndicated "Lovelines" is heard in the late evening. More to come...

9/24/1997: WBIZ-FM (100.7 Eau Claire) dumped its CHR format for Modern AC as "The Zone" on Monday, September 15, at 7 a.m. The change followed an all-80's weekend. WBIZ most likely evolved to the new format over a longer period of time.

9/24/1997: Mike Simonson, News Director at KUWS (91.3 Superior), received an Edward R. Murrow award last Wednesday at the Radio-Television News Directors Association Conference. The award was for his documentary "Secref Suffering: AIDS Discrimination in the Northland." Simonson is the northern correspondent for Wisconsin Public Radio and also teaches at UW-Superior.

9/24/1997: WNCB (89.3 Duluth) turned off its Minneapolis translator this weekend. The translator, K242AI/96.3, returned to the air in August and had been causing severe interference to KARP (96.3 Glencoe) (see the News Archive from August 1997 for more details on this). WNCB is clearly frustrated with the FCC over the amount of time it is taking for the FCC to act on WNCB's application to return to 97.7 Minneapolis. In a letter posted on WNCB's website, General Manager Jeff Stromquist says the FCC has blamed the lack of response on staff vacations, departures from the FCC, and death. In an on-air announcement, WNCB's Program Director said he felt that the FCC's delay is an attack on WNCB's right to spread the word. WNCB did legally have the right to turn 96.3 back on, but this wreaked havoc on 96.3 in the western metro area. However silly it may sound, WNCB infringed on KARP's rights to spread their own viewpoint.

9/22/1997: Someone has taken the domain name and is using it to rip on Disney/ABC! There's nothing Disney will be able to do about it either. The new 93X is indeed not the same as X105 was. They've gotten rid of the `80s hair bands in favor of Modern Rock. So, the new 93X is more of a direct hit on Rock 100.3...and X is now playing songs it had made fun of "Bob 100" for playing.

(this item was added on 10/2/1997, using information that was contained on a special page set up for the changes)

9/21/1997: FCC Daily Digest, 9/19/1997: LAKE CITY, MINNESOTA. Allocated Channel 235A (94.9) to Lake City, MN as its second broadcast service. The filing window opens November 3; Closes December 4. Dkt No.: MM-97-133. Action by Chief, Allocations Branch, Policy and Rules Division, Mass Media Bureau. Adopted: September 10, 1997. by R&O. (DA No. 97-1996). MMB (FCC Daily Digest items concerning allocations of frequencies in Minnesota and Western Wisconsin are now being included on the news page.)

9/19/1997: In the latest development in the Rock war between Disney/ABC and Chancellor in the Twin Cities, Disney moved its Hard Rock "X" format to its 100kW 93.7 on Thursday, September 18, 1997, just after 2 p.m. Previously, X had been heard on 105.1 and 105.7, two suburban class A stations, and 105.3, an out-of-market station with a fair to weak signal in the northern suburbs. X' main competitor, Chancellor's Rock 100.3 (WRQC), has 97kW from the Shoreview tower. 93.7 was previously occupied by The Edge, a 3 1/2-year old Modern Rock station. The day the change occurred was the first day of Arbitron's fall ratings period.

The Hard Rock format will be quadruplecast on 93.7 and the 105 stations for a week. Then, the 105 triad will debut an Adult Alternative format, which has been described by Disney executives as being similar to the old Cities 97 (KTCZ), before they began playing with the format several years ago. Americans for Radio Diversity's site says the new 105 may be known as "The Zone." It was rumored that Disney might raise the Rev 105 slogan from the grave, but Disney execs say this won't happen in a Star Tribune article.

The ironic part of this is that ABC is resurrecting a format it dumped in 1994. ABC ;bought 93.7 (then 93X) to destroy the format, because it was hurting ABC's KQRS. Also, 105 was bought by Disney earlier this year, supposedly to get rid of competition to The Edge from Rev 105. Now, they've killed The Edge, and a format kind of close to Modern Rock will return to 105.

The death of The Edge leaves the Twin Cities without a real (commercial) Modern Rock station. The format wasn't doing great in the ratings, but it had a larger audience than some existing stations. The new format on 105 will be targeted at adults. Could Chancellor jump into the Modern Rock hole? Cities 97 could be transitioned yet again into a Modern Rock format, although the Cities 97's image probably isn't young enough for it. Rock 100.3 is already softer than 93X. Could Chancellor decide to move 100.3 into a more Modern Rock direction?

People: Mike Dousette, Remy Maxwell, Bill Jones, and Weasel are the major DJ's at 93X. Brian Oake and Lovelines will be heard on the new 105. All Access says that Wade Linder will continue to be X' Program Director, and John Lassman will be the Program Director at 105.

(this item was added on 10/2/1997, using information that was contained on a special page set up for the changes)

9/19/1997: The Star Tribune reports that KSTP-TV (5 St. Paul, ABC) News Director Dean Bunting is leaving the station to become the General Manager at KIMT (3 Mason City, CBS).

9/17/1997: The rumors are true: Disney will move it's "X" format to 93.7 (KEGE Minneapolis) tomorrow afternoon (9/18)! 93.7 will once again be known as 93X. 93.7, 105.1 (KXXP Lakeville), 105.3 (KXXU Cambridge), and 105.7 (KXXR Eden Prairie) will quadruplecast the format for a week. Then, the 105 stations will debut an Adult Alternative format. Americans for Radio Diversity says that the new 105 will be known as The Zone. (Disney has said that the new 105 will not be known as Rev 105.) The Edge will be gone, leaving the Twin Cities without a Modern Rock station. For those who don't recall, 93.7 was 93X until early 1994, when ABC (now owned by Disney) purchased 93.7 and turned it into The Edge. The speculated readon that ABC got rid of 93X was that it was hurting KQRS (92.5 Golden Valley-Minneapolis). Times have changed.

The websites of both The Edge and X105 have already been erased and replaced with 93X logos. The X105 page was only a week or two old! The Star Tribune has a story that you can access from their front page.

9/17/1997: Steve Cannon will retire from WCCO (830 Minneapolis) this fall. His last show will be on October 3. Cannon has been with WCCO for 26 years.

9/17/1997: A rumor floating around in the Twin Cities says that Disney will swap the frequencies of its Modern Rock and Hard Rock formats, The Edge and X105, on Thursday morning, September 18 (the beginning of the Fall Arbitron ratings period). The would-be swap would give the "X" format a better signal for the war with Chancellor's Rock 100.3 (WRQC), but would move the only Modern Rock format in the market to a trio of inferior signals. The "X" format would be on both 93.7 and the current X105 signals for a week, and then Modern Rock would return on the 105 frequencies. This scenario doesn't seem likely to me, IMHO. If Disney were left weak on the Modern Rock front, Chancellor could re-position Cities 97 (KTCZ) into a Modern Rock format, hurting Disney even more. Another part of the rumor says that Disney wants to rename "The Edge" "Rev 105" to try to bring back the former REV listeners. Another rumor says that "The Edge" would be Modern AC on 105. (Originally posted 9/16/1997)

9/17/1997: Here's a rundown of some of the syndicated television show changes for the fall season in the region. More details are available at syndicat.htm. (Updated 9/19/1997 to include Grace Under Fire on KLGT-TV)

9/15/1997: Amelia Santaniello has been officially named the female anchor of the 6 and 10 p.m. news on WCCO-TV (4 Minneapolis, CBS). She replaces Colleen Needles.

9/15/1997: Stu Brown left Kiss 92.1 (WWAX Hermantown-Duluth) several weeks ago. He was only on in the mornings with Jim Young for a few days, so that was probably just a special thing. Kiss 92.1's morning show sounds terrible nowadays. Young is paired with someone whose name I forget. They'd be even worse if they didn't have a computer to do all of the on-air production for them. Brown may have gone to Eau Claire.

9/15/1997: Kiss 92.1 (WWAX Hermantown-Duluth) has dumped its Saturday night "party music" request show for a night of "Retro Kiss." The 7 p.m.-Midnight show is all `80s. The old Saturday night show was probably attracting the wrong type of audience (teenagers).

9/15/1997: KUWS (91.3 Superior) has added another night to its popular Urban Contemporary program, The Network. The show is now heard on Saturdays from 10 p.m. to Midnight, as well as the old slot on Mondays from 9:30 to Midnight. Between The Network and Friday night's dance show, The Beat, KUWS manages to get the urban and dance components of the Top 40 format on the air in the Duluth-Superior market. The station is limited in the amount of local programming it may have (up to 25%) by the operating agreement that runs the station.

9/10/1997: KBEM (88.5 Minneapolis) has applied to increase its power to 2.9kW, increase its antenna height to 146m, and move its transmitter to a new site, suspected to be KUOM's (770 Minneapolis) site in Falcon Heights. If the changes are made, KBEM will still be in class A. KBEM currently trasmits from the Minneapolis City Hall with a slightly lower power and slightly lower antenna height.

9/6/1997: WCCO-TV (4 Minneapolis, CBS) has put Moore on Sunday on hiatus due to Dave Moore's illness. Various hosts have filled in for Moore over the last several monthes. WCCO gave Moore the Sunday show after his retirement from the anchor desk in the early `90s.

9/6/1997: Four days ago I said that Duluth's wireless cable TV system operating on low-power UHF stations had left the air. Wouldn't you know it: right after I posted it, I turned on my TV and the channels were back.

9/2/1997: Shockley Communications did some budget-cutting (firing) at its Duluth stations last Friday. KTCO (98.9) DJ Sammy Stripes has been let go, and market heavyweight Tim Michaels has been moved into the 7-Midnight slot from mornings at KXTP (970 Superior). The "Googs and Fleisch" morning show on WDSM (710 Superior) was cancelled. Part-time newscasters Jim Nelson and Jon Pierson were let go. Outside of sports broadcasts, WDSM and KXTP are now completely satellite-delivered. (Originally written 8/30/1997)