Magnum Communications' WBKV/1470 (West Bend) has switched its callsign to WIBD simultaneous with the launch of new FM translator W267CL/101.3. The station, located northwest of Milwaukee, carries a Classic Hits format. The new FM signal, which was moved in from Reedsburg under the FCC's AM revitalization window, uses 190 Watts from a tower in West Bend. The AM signal signed on in 1950 as WBKV. (10/31/2016)
Mid-West Management is buying two FM translators from WRVM, Inc. with plans to relocate them to relay two of the company's Madison AM stations. The $72,000 deal includes W236AS/95.1 (Park Falls, WI) and W225AV/92.9 (Bessemer, MI), the latter of which currently relays WHRY/1450 (Hurley, WI). W225AV has applied to move to Madison on 94.5 to relay WLMV, transmitting with 250 Watts from WLMV's tower site. W236AS has applied to relay WOZN on 96.7, transmitting from a site in Oregon with 230 Watts. (WOZN is also rebroadcast on the rimshot signal of WOZN-FM/106.7 Mount Horeb.) The AM revitalization window allowing FM translators to move up to 250 miles closes Monday (10/31). Mid-West already has a construction permit for an FM translator to relay its WHIT/1550. (10/30/2016, updated with application details 10/31)
There's one more application to move a signal into the Twin Cities metro area as the FCC's window for FM translators to move to relay AM stations nears an end. Hubbard Broadcasting has applied to move a translator from Bemidji to Minneapolis, where it would relay "1500 ESPN" (KSTP St. Paul) on 94.1 from the IDS Center. The frequency is already in use in part of the metro by WFNU-LP/94.1 (St. Paul), so the proposed translator would use a highly directional 10-Watt signal to avoid overlap with WFNU. The proposed facility would provide a good signal to most of Minneapolis and parts of several first-ring suburbs. (10/30/2016)
AM REVITALIZATION APPROVALS:
Besides the WREY St. Paul translator (see below), two other new FM translator signals were approved last week under the FCC's AM revitalization window:
See the 2016 AM Revitalization Translators, Round 1 and Round 2 pages for a full rundown of all of the translator filings under the windows for 250-mile moves this year. (10/30/2016)
KOWZ/1170 (Waseca) tells the FCC that it's operating at reduced power due to September flooding. The station says in a request for special temporary authority that its transmitter is damaged and it's using 1kW daytime; the station normally uses 2.5kW daytime and 1kW during critical hours. The filing says the station hopes to restore full power within 60 to 120 days. As previously reported, its two FM sister stations are also operating at reduced power due to flood damage. (10/30/2016)
The FCC has granted another FM translator signal in the Twin Cities after one competing low-power FM station moved to a different frequency and another would-be low-power FM operator dropped its application.
The new signal on 94.9, W235CT, was granted to Greg Borgen's 630 Radio, Inc., on Wednesday (10/26). It will transmit from the Wells Fargo Center in downtown St. Paul with 250 Watts, providing a good signal to the east metro. W235CT will relay Spanish-language WREY/630 (St. Paul). The translator permit is being moved in from southern Minnesota under the FCC's AM revitalization filing window.
The approval of W235CT came one day after the FCC dismissed an application for a new low-power FM station on 94.9 in Minneapolis. The regulator had recently reinstated the application by North Minneapolis Community Radio, but the group's attorney told the FCC that it was no longer pursuing the station.
The FCC also recently approved a move of the Victoria Theater Project's future WVIC-LP (St. Paul) from 94.9 to 99.1 to make way for the new WREY translator. WVIC-LP will transmit with 100 Watts from the same site in the Dayton's Bluff neighborhood used by WEQY-LP/104.7 (St. Paul). 99.1 became available after an FM translator permit was moved out of the metro under the AM revitalization window.
Visit the Twin Cities Class D/LPFM Stations page for a complete listing of the FM translators and LPFM stations in the metro area. (10/26/2016)
Christian broadcaster WRVM, Inc. is buying two longtime commercial radio stations in central Wisconsin. Quicksilver Broadcasting is selling WMZK/104.1 (Merrill-Wausau) and WJMT/730 (Merrill) to WRVM for $260,000. WMZK currently carries a Classic Rock format as "Z104" while WJMT carries Classic Country. The application to transfer the licenses states that WRVM will seek to have them converted to non-commercial status. WJMT will be the first AM station for WRVM, which currently owns five full-power FM stations and a few dozen FM translators in northeastern Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula. One of those stations is WHJL/88.1 (Merrill). (10/25/2016)
Duluth's FOX 21 (KQDS-TV) is in the process of converting seven of its owned-and-operated translators from analog to digital. The station reports that translators in International Falls and Virginia have already been converted to digital, while conversions are pending in Hibbing, Grand Rapids, Ashland, Hayward, and Ironwood. (The station's Aitkin translator, which lies outside the boundaries of the Duluth-Superior TV market, is not on the list.) Besides upgrading FOX to HD, the conversion also means that KQDS-TV's Antenna TV subchannel is now also available in the communities. The translators were the last analog signals still on the air in the Duluth market. KQDS is operated by Red River Broadcast Co. (10/23/2016)
An Iron Range FM station is transmitting at greatly reduced power due to transmitter damage. WEVE/97.9 (Eveleth) tells that FCC, in a request for special temporary authority, that it is currently transmitting with just two percent of its usual 100kW. The filing says a lighting strike on Sept. 26 damaged the transmitter, which is located about 18 miles northeast of Eveleth, and that a replacement transmitter has been ordered. WEVE carries an Adult Contemporary format. Red Rock Radio is in the process of selling WEVE to Midwest Communications as part of a four-station deal. (10/23/2016)
The FCC has approved a move of a translator from Virginia to Pine City to relay WCMP/1350 under the AM revitalization filing window. The new signal will transmit on 106.5 with 250 Watts from the WCMP-FM tower in Beroun. Q Media Properties, which is in the process of buying WCMP AM-FM from Red Rock Radio, is buying the translator (currently W264CX) from Refuge Media for $40,000. (10/23/2016)
The FCC has approved a move of a translator from Reedsburg to West Bend to relay WBKV/1470 under the AM revitalization filing window. The new signal will transmit from a tower in West Bend on 101.3 with 190 Watts. WBKV owner Magnum Communications already owned the translator. (10/23/2016, corrected frequency 10/31)
Following up to an earlier report, W272DJ (Ladysmith) has applied to move to Hayward on 96.9 with 250 Watts, where it would relay WHSM/910. WHSM owner Zoe Communications is buying the translator from David M. Stout. (10/23/2016)
Educational Media Foundation's KLFG/89.5 (Fort Dodge) has received a construction permit for an upgrade to cover more of north-central Iowa. Currently using 17kW/111m (class C3), the station will move to the KTIN-TV tower near Bradgate and transmit with 30kW/287m (class C1). KLFG carries EMF's "K-Love" Contemporary Christian network. (9/20/2016, updated with approval 10/23)
Two southern Minnesota radio stations are operating at reduced power due to flood damage. KOWZ-FM/100.9 (Blooming Prairie-Owatonna) and KRUE/92.1 (Waseca-Owatonna) tell the FCC, in requests for special temporary authority, that their transmitters suffered damage during flooding on Sept. 22. The filings indicate KOWZ-FM is operating at about half of its normal power and KRUE is operating at about one-quarter of its normal power. The stations say their goal is to return to full power within 90 to 180 days. KOWZ-FM carries an Adult Contemporary format and KRUE carries Country. (10/18/2016)
Scripps Broadcasting has received a construction permit to move an FM translator from Schuyler to Omaha under the AM revitalization filing window to relay KXSP/590. The application was originally filed for 96.5, but changed to 95.3 after an informal objection from KSOM/96.5 (Audubon, IA). The new signal on 95.3 will transmit with 99 Watts from the Crown Point antenna farm but will use a directional antenna limiting the signal towards the southeast to protect KCSI/95.3 (Villisca, IA), leaving parts of Omaha and Council Bluffs outside of the translator's main coverage area. Two other AM-on-FM translators have already signed on this year in Omaha, and a third has been granted. One of them, K281CJ/104.1 relaying KOMJ/1490, recently upgraded from 99 to 250 Watts. (10/16/2016)
Two Refuge Media Group FM translators on Minnesota's Iron Range have applied to move south under the AM revitalization filing window as Refuge buys a full-power station on the Range (KMFG/102.9 Nashwauk). The current Virginia translator applied to move to Pine City on 106.5 with 250 Watts to relay Q Media Group's WCMP/1350. Meanwhile, the current Chisholm translator - which was acquired from Heartland Christian Broadcasters earlier this year - has applied to move to Marshall on 101.7 with 250 Watts to relay the Linder family's KMHL/1400. 101.7 would transmit with 250 Watts from the KRWF-TV tower, serving an area east of Marshall; KMHL is already relayed on the Marshall rimshot signal of K277AI/103.3 (Russell). (10/16/2016)
Forum Communications has applied to move an FM translator from Rolla to Fargo under the AM revitalization filing window to relay WDAY/970 on 101.3 with 115 Watts. Forum is buying K261BA (Rolla) from Down East Communications/CDC/Center for the Performing Arts for $30,000. However, the decision to move WDAY's transmitter to a site near Barnesville, MN, several years ago is limiting its FM potential: FM translators must be within 25 miles of the AM transmitter site, and the 25-mile line cuts right through the middle of Fargo-Moorhead. The translator application specifies a site on the south side of Fargo using a directional antenna pattern to precisely keep the translator's main signal within the 25-mile limit. Three other Fargo AM stations have already received construction permits for FM translators this year.
See the 2016 AM Revitalization Translators, Round 1 and Round 2 pages for a full rundown of all of the translator filings under the windows for 250-mile moves this year. (10/16/2016, updated 10/17 to add sale information)
Green Bay-based Catholic broadcaster Relevant Radio, which owns several full-power stations in Minnesota and Wisconsin, is merging with California-based Immaculate Heart Media in a deal that will give the combined organization a national footprint. The new organization will be known as Immaculate Heart Media d/b/a Relevant Radio and will have stations in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Relevant's owned-and-operated stations include WLOL/1330 (Minneapolis), WSJP/1640 (Sussex-Milwaukee), WSJP-FM/100.1 (Port Washington-Milwaukee), WHFA/1240 (Poynette-Madison), WJOK/1050 (Kaukana-Green Bay), WYNW/92.9 (Birnamwood-Wausau), WMMA/93.9 (Nekoosa-Wisconsin Rapids), WKBH/1570 (Holmen-La Crosse), and WDVM/1050 (Eau Claire). (10/15/2016)
A company headed by Michael Flood is buying another Nebraska low power TV station. Flood Communications of Omaha will pay Three Angels Broadcasting Network $140,000 for K26JQ-D (Lincoln). 3ABN will retain the rights to program one digital subchannel on K26JQ for up to seven years, similar to a recent deal in Omaha which will allow Daystar to continue programming one channel after its sells its station (KOHA-LD/48) to Flood. Flood's other companies own several low-power TV station running news and local events under the "News Channel Nebraska" name and radio stations in several Nebraska markets. (10/15/2016)
Midwest Communications' KELQ/107.9 (Flandreau-Sioux Falls) tells the FCC it's operating at reduced power due to storm damage. According to a request for special temporary authority, a recent storm damaged the transmitter and it is currently operating at 1.75kW ERP, far less than the licensed 21kW signal that rimshots Sioux Falls. The filing says KELQ hopes to return to normal power within 60 to 120 days. KELQ simulcasts the News/Talk format of KELO/1320 (Sioux Falls). (10/15/2016)
The Country Network has returned to the Twin Cities on channel 43.7 of DTV America's KMBD-LD (Minneapolis). The network, once known as Zuus Country, had previously been seen on channel 23.3 of Sinclair's WUCW (Minneapolis) but was dropped two years ago. (10/12/2016)
Zoe Communications has dropped Sports formats on two more of the radio stations it recently bought from Red Rock Radio.
WXCX/105.7 (Siren) is now carrying Classic Country from the 1990's and 2000's. The company's website says it will be called "Northwoods Country," though that identity is not yet being heard on the air. WXCX previously carried the Minneapolis-based FAN Network and NBC Sports Radio. It delivers the only city-grade FM signal to Siren and much of Burnett County, which is a popular cabin area for Twin Cities residents.
Meanwhile, WXCE/1260 (Amery) has switched to `60s-based Oldies, a format the station carried for much of the 2000's. WXCE had most recently been carrying NBC Sports Radio.
As reported earlier, Zoe also dropped a Sports format on WHSM/910 (Hayward) in favor of light pop hits from the 1960's to 1980's. The three stations are among five Zoe recently bought from Red Rock. (10/10/2016)
The only regional action on FM translators in the AM revitalization filing window last week was in Wisconsin.
La Crosse: Family Radio was granted a construction permit for a 250-Watt translator on 96.7 to relay Sports-formatted WKTY/580. The translator is being moved up from Decorah, Iowa, where it has relayed Family Radio's KQYB/98.3 (Spring Grove, MN) on 99.3 for 32 years.
West Bend: Magnum Communications applied for a 190-Watt translator on 95.3 to relay WBKV/1470. Magnum is seeking approval to move the translator from Reedsburg. (10/9/2016)
Iowa Public Radio's KICL/96.3 (Pleasantville), which has been operating at reduced power since earlier this year, has applied to move its transmitter farther to the east. The Classical station currently transmits from a tower just southeast of Pleasantville and is licensed for 6kW/78m (class A) but has been operating at about half-power since last spring due to an antenna problem, according to requests for special temporary authority. KICL has now applied to move to a tower in Knoxville, where it would use 6kW/96m, improving reception in Pella. Areas southeast of Des Moines where KICL's signal would be weaker are also served by Classical IPR station KICP/105.9 (Patterson). (10/8/2016)
One of Bott Radio Network's two frequencies in Omaha will be switching to a different Christian network. Bott parent Community Broadcasting is selling K224DJ/92.7 (La Vista-Omaha) to My Bridge radio network for $300,000 in a deal that also gives Community Broadcasting the right to use My Bridge's tower near Grand Island for KFKX/89.9 (Hastings) for 12 years. Bott Radio Network won't lose any coverage since its K229BI/93.7 (Omaha) transmits from a site six blocks away from K224DJ and has essentially the same coverage area. The application to transfer K224DJ's license states it will relay My Bridge's KRKR/95.1 (Waverly-Lincoln). (10/8/2016)
The parent company of the USA Radio Network is buying a future FM translator in the Quad Cities. Arizona-based Liftable Media will pay Edgewater Broadcasting $35,000 for K296GZ/107.1, which will be licensed to Muscatine but has a construction permit to transmit from Bettendorf with 250 Watts. The application to transfer the license states that K296GZ will relay iHeartMedia's WLLR-FM/103.7 (Davenport), though such statements are not binding. (10/5/2016)
Zoe Communications is buying an FM translator to relay its recently-purchased WHSM/910 (Hayward). Zoe will pay David M. Stout $30,000 for W272DJ (Ladysmith), which was granted in 2014 and has not yet signed on. The application to transfer the license states W272DJ will apply to move to Hayward to relay WHSM under the AM revitalization filing window. WHSM recently debuted a format of pop hits of the 1960's to 1980's. (10/4/2016)
K262AR/100.3 (Worthington) is now relaying KWOA/730. KWOA owner Absolute Communications II bought the translator from Refuge Media, which had used it to carry its Christian Hits network, and moved it to the KWOA site with 250 Watts. KWOA carries News/Talk and Soft Oldies. (10/2/2016)
Salem Media has signed on K293CJ/106.5 (Omaha), relaying Christian Talk KCRO/660 (Omaha). KCRO had previously been rebroadcast on K233CO/94.5, which switched to a relay of Salem's KOTK/1420 when KOTK debuted a Conservative Talk format earlier this year. K293CJ uses 60 Watts and was moved in from Kansas under the AM revitalization filing window. (10/2/2016)
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