Beat Radio has cut back its schedule to only Friday and Saturday nights. (They had aired every night on WWTC/1280 and other former "Aahs" stations.) The Catholic Radio Network is expected to take over in the near future, and that will bump Beat Radio from WWTC for good. (9/29/98 11:45am)
Smooth Jazz 104.1 is no longer. The station, under new ownership from CBS, became "104-1 The Point" Thursday at just after 4 p.m. All Access says the first song played was "The Way" by Fastball.
The new format, Modern Adult Contemporary, is positioned as "Today's Music Alternative." Basically, Modern AC is Top 40 without rap or dance and a few adult hits. Announcers were added to the nonstop set of music Friday. Here's a sampler of the station. KMJZ's webcast is still available here, although it will probably not last since CBS has a policy against webcasting.
KMJZ staff had no idea the change was coming. CBS took over operation of KMJZ and KSGS/950 about a month ago, and just a few weeks ago told KMJZ staff there would be no changes. An announcer meeting was held on Wednesday to make plans for the Fall ratings period. KMJZ was sponsoring a production at the Orpheum that doesn't open until October 7. According to media reports (below), three announcers and the program director were fired at 2 p.m. The sales staff was informed about the change just before it happened.
How were KMJZ's ratings before the format change? The latest Arbitrends posted at All Access showed an increase from 3.2 to 3.4 (12+). The Star Tribune says KMJZ had a 3.8 share in the more important 25-54 category in the last full book. The new format will compete primarily with Disney's Zone 105 and Hubbard's KS95, and will probably also affect Chancellor's KDWB. Meanwhile, KSMM/1530 will have less competition with its new Smooth Jazz/Talk format.
The change has gotten some media coverage in the Star Tribune and on WCCO-TV (click on the names to see it). (9/26/98 2:30am, originally posted 9/24 6:30p)
The latest Radio & Records has an update on Children's Broadcasting Company versus ABC here. (9/25/98 9am)
Will the format of WVAL/800 (Sauk Rapids-St. Cloud) be Classic Country? (9/23/98 9pm)
The Star Tribune reports that Ruth Koscielak's new show will be heard via the "North Star Network," and affiliates will include WEZU/1220 (Stillwater), KSMM/1530 (Shakopee), KYMN/1080 (Northfield), KDWA/1460 (Hastings), and KRWC/1360 (Buffalo). The show will air from 1 to 4 p.m., beginning Thursday, October 1. (9/22/98 7pm)
WJON/1240 (St. Cloud) will be another outlet carrying Ruth Koscielak's show. (9/23/98 9pm)
KQRS Program Director Dave Hamilton has been named PD of the Year in the major market Mainstream Rock category in the Billboard/Monitor Awards. (9/22/98 7pm)
KAGR's (26 Bemidji) application to change power was a typo on the FCC's part, as suspected. They've actually applied to lower power from 5,000kW to 14.1kW -- less powerful than the KVRR translator that currently occupies that channel. (9/21/98 11am)
The sale of WKLJ/1290 and WCOW/97.1 (Sparta) to Family Radio is expected to close anytime. One of our "reliable sources" says the deal will close by October 1. Family Radio owns four stations in nearby La Crosse: WKTY/580, WIZM/1410, Z93, and 95.7 The Rock. WKLJ and WCOW will join the other stations in La Crosse studios once the sale is complete. Many changes are expected, and some have already happened. First and foremost, 95.7 dropped Country for Rock in April. The company presumably made the change since WCOW is also a Country station. COW is expected to remain the same, still using the slogan "COW 97." Many COW 97 announcers have already moved to Z93: Jen Howlen became Jen O'Brien and now does middays, Bruce Cannon is doing afternoons, and Jade is working part-time. Kelly Wilde, who worked has worked for both Z93 and 95.7 in the past, will become Program Director and morning host at COW 97. Longtime WKTY announcer Pete Shrier may also show up at COW. WKLJ, which currently broadcasts Headline News, may begin to simulcast WIZM. Finally, WCOW may drop Packers football games since WKTY is also a Packers affiliate. The estimated cost for WKLJ/WCOW is $3.5 million. (9/19/98 1am)
The fall TV season is underway. Check out the Syndicated TV Shows page if you want to see what stations have which weekday shows, and when they are on. Here are some general observations:
You may have seen mentions in other places that KRBR/102.5 "The Bear" (Duluth) has dropped Modern Rock in favor of Active-leaning AOR. This is an exaggeration: the station has added a few new tracks, but is still predominately Modern Rock. (9/18/98 2:45pm)
Two KCLD personalites are leaving the station next week. Cheryl West will leave for Rockford, IL, on September 24. She is Music Director and did middays at KCLD. The next day will be Tammy Moore's last day co-hosting the morning show with Steve Hunter. Moore is returning to Fargo to be with her fiance. (originally posted 9/12/98, updated 9/15 6:30pm)
KKCM/1530 (Shakopee) has changed to KSMM and began a Smooth Jazz/Talk format. The station uses Jones Radio Networks for music and USA for news. Here's an ID, available in both RealAudio ® and .WAV format, thanks to a Twin Citian who visits this page. When former WCCO personality Ruth Koscielak launches a statewide talk show on October 1, it will be added to KSMM's lineup. (There will be about 30 affiliates, and the show will run from 1 to 4 p.m.) 1530 had recently broadcast a Christian talk format, but KKMS/980 began using that format as well a few years ago, and WWTC/1280 will soon be one of the affiliates of the Catholic Radio Network. (originally posted 9/11/98, updated 9/12 4pm)
DX Mid-America reports that KXKK/92.5 (Park Rapids) is on the air, broadcasting Jones Radio Network's "CD Country" format. This is the same format KPRM/870 (Park Rapids) uses. The stations aren't co-owned, but the owner of KXKK (Bernie Schumaker) is the daugher of the owner of KPRM/KDKK (E.P. DeLaHunt). (9/11/1998 11am)
The Construction Permit for channel 26 in Bemidji is now known as KAGR, and the owner (Media Properties) has applied to increase power to 13,804kW. This may be a typo on the FCC's part, because I've always thought the maximum power for a UHF station was supposed to be 5,000kW. Anyway, they've also applied for a waiver of the main studio rule. This basically means there will be no studio in Bemidji, pretty much leading to the assumption that the station will be a satellite (satellite- a full-power TV station that rebroadcasts another full-power TV station). Bemidji is in the northern part of the massive Twin Cities TV market, and lacks broadcast coverage of NBC. CBS and PBS are on full-power VHF stations, while ABC, FOX, and KMSP are currently receivable via UHF translators. However, one or two of the translators will be knocked off the dial by the new station. KVRR (FOX, Fargo) has a translator on channel 26, and has already applied to move to channel 34. Hubbard Broadcasting's KSAX (ABC, Alexandria) has a translator on channel 28. Hubbard has not filed an application change the channel of the translator, but that change may not be necessary. (9/11/1998 11am)
All Access confirms that Rick Church is coming back to KQDS/94.9 (Duluth) as Program Director. (9/10/1998 4pm)
Chris Conangla will not be leaving KSTP-TV, as the Pioneer Press reports. And the Star Tribune will publish this article on Sunday about the changes. (9/4/1998 Noon)
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