October 1999

Al Shannon is coming back to I94 (Eau Claire) to do the Noon to 6 p.m. slot. He's been doing mornings at rival Z100 for about six months, and worked at I94 for about five years before that. (10/28/99)

AMFM, Inc. has named Mick Anselmo as the Market Vice President for the Twin Cities. This means that Anselmo, who's been GM/VP at K102/KFAN for several years, is now VP of AMFM's seven Twin Cities stations. AMFM is making appointments such as this in all of the major markets. The strategy is to allow each market group to operate more independently from AMFM, under the direction of the market VP. (10/25/99)

David Davis has become the anchor for the 5 and 6 p.m. weekday newscasts at WISN/12 (Milwaukee), not WITI/6 as was previously reported. (10/25/99, updated 10/28)

The call letters of Duluth's "New Point 107-7" have changed from KUSZ to WPNT (Proctor). WPNT was previously used by stations in Milwaukee and Chicago. (10/25/99)

The new antenna that will broadcast the DTV signals of KMSP/26 and KTCA/34 was bolted into place on KMSP's Shoreview tower on Saturday afternoon (10/23). The five-ton antenna is up about 1200 feet on the south side of the tower. KMSP has received it's DTV transmitter, but the transmission line for the antenna still needs to be installed. (10/24/99, updated 10/25)

KVRR's translator in Bemidji, which is on channel 26 and will be displaced when KFTC/26 signs on, will move to channel 34 as K34FC. Actually, this may have already taken place, since KFTC had planned to begin testing on 10/18. (10/23/99)

The American Family Association is buying the Construction Permit for KBPG/89.5 (Montevideo) from Southpoint Educational Media. (10/23/99)

Garbriel Communications is buying KKJM/92.9 (St. Joseph-St. Cloud) from De Novo Partners. (10/23/99)

North Central Christian Broadcasting (WNCB Duluth) has applied for new translator stations in Hutchinson and Clara City. The Clara City translator would return the Contemporary Christian format to the town, which used to hear it on KCGN's translator before KCGN went to a mainstream Christian format. (10/23/99)

All Access reports that KOTD-FM/106.9 (Plattsmouth) has debuted its Omaha-market format: Adult Alternative as "The City 106-9." The Nostalgia format, formerly on both KOTD AM and FM, continues on the AM side. (10/22/99)

WKFX/99.1 (Barron) began broadcasting today (10/21). "The Fox 99-1" has a Classic Hits format. Techically, the new 99.1 station was supposed to be WAQE-FM (Rice Lake), with WKFX Barron then signing on at WAQE's old 97.7 frequency. But WAQE-FM is still at 97.7, licensed to Rice Lake, with its Hot Adult Contemporary format as "Star 97.7." A call letter swap between the frequencies is easy to do, but I have seen no applications to the FCC for 99.1 to be licensed to Barron and 97.7 to continue to be licensed to Rice Lake. Perhaps there was a last-minute swap that hasn't made it into the FCC's notices yet. Tom Koser owns WKFX, WAQE-FM, and three other Rice Lake stations. (10/21/99)

The new reporter at WDJT/58 (Milwaukee) is Micaela Choo, coming from Halifax, Nova Scotia. Eh? (10/20/99)

Alan Quarnstrom is buying KGHS/KSDM (International Falls) from Communications International Associates. Quarnstrom owns stations in Cloquet, Moose Lake, Hibbing, Aitkin, and Hayward. (10/20/99)

The following are the results of the FCC's recent auction. The results were released on October 12th, but only just now did I find them on the FCC's site (blame it on the "organization" and legalese). Anyway, enough complaining:

LocationWhatWinnerWinning Bid
Atlantic, IA95.7 C3Meredith Communications$750,000
Parkersburg, IA98.9 AC.D. Broadcasting220,000
Manistique, MI99.9 ATood Stuart Noordyk196,000
Marquette, MITV 19Winstar Broadcasting320,000
Mahnomen, MN101.5 C3R&J Broadcasting117,000
Pequot Lakes, MN100.1 AMN Christian Broadcasters213,000
Sunburg, MN106.5 ALynn C. Ketelsen57,000
Blair, NE97.3 C3Mitchell Broadcasting530,000
Omaha, NELPTVPappas Communications118,000
Belle Fourche, SD102.1 C2MAS Communications16,000
Rapid City, SDTV 21Rapid Broadcasting1,412,000
Rapid City, SD92.3 CGregory D. Gentling1,045,000
Birnamwood, WI92.9 AResults Broadcasting16,000
Cornell, WI99.9 C3Lawrence A. Busse584,000
Mt. Horeb, WI106.7 ADavid & Lynn Magnumfe162,000
Mukwonago, WI105.3 AOutlook Communications1,684,000
Neillsville, WI92.7 AMargaret L. Grap150,000
Nekoosa, WI105.5 ATodd P. Robinson16,000
Spooner, WI106.3 ABetty Lutz414,000

A few notes:

  • Mukwanago is near Milwaukee, and the station will cover the west metro with its primary coverage area and will reach all of Milwaukee. Hence, the high bid.
  • There were nine applicants for the Rapid City TV station. Since Rapid City's NBC affiliate is an LPTV station, it's likely the new station will affiliate with NBC.
  • The Cornell station will likely target the Eau Claire market.
  • Betty Lutz, who is getting 106.3 A Spooner, WI, is Charles Lutz' wife. He is selling WCSW/WGMO in nearby Shell Lake. Perhaps 106.3 will be included in the sale, or perhaps the Lutz family isn't getting out of broadcasting after all. (10/20/99)

    Saga Broadcasting is buying KICD AM-FM/KIGL (Spencer) from Iowa Great Lakes Broadcasting. (10/19/99)

    Iowa City Broadcasting (Ingstad) is buying KKAQ/KKDQ (Theif River Falls) from Ault Marketing. (10/19/99)

    Big Stone Broadcasting is buying KMSD (Milbank) and KDIO/KPHR (Ortonville) from Pheasant Country Broadcasting (10/19/99)

    Lots of news to report involving Sioux Falls morning radio. First, Hot 104.7 has gotten rid of morning co-host Maxine Jones. Second, Kidd Callahan, half of the morning show at KRRO, has been let go. Desiree', normally on in the evenings, is now co-hosting with John C. Price on The Crow. And finally, Jeff Harkness will join the Ben and Patty show on Mix 97-3 on Monday 10/18. He was once KSFY's Sports Director and the morning host at KWSN/1230. (10/18/99)

    Hubbard Broadcasting has signed a purchase agreement to buy KVBM/45 (Minneapolis). Hubbard, of course, owns ABC affiliate KSTP-TV/5. This is the first TV duopoly in the Upper Midwest. KVBM currently carries the Shop at Home network, Christian programming, and infomercials. (10/14/99)

    KLCI/106.1 will be able to change its community of license from Princeton to Elk River. The FCC has amended the FM table of allotments to move the allocation to Elk River, which is on the far northwestern fringe of the Twin Cities. KLCI began as WQPM-FM on 106.3, with a local Country format, but upgraded to its current power and frequency in the early `90s and quietly began taking on more of a metro sound. They're currently known as "Bob 106." KLCI's antenna is on KPXM's tower near Big Lake and will apparently not move. (10/13/99)

    KXAC/100.5 (St. James) has asked the FCC to change its community of license to Fairmont. (10/13/99)

    Word is that KBKK/95.9 (Pillager-Brainerd) is testing its facilities last night (10/11), so we can expect this new station to be on the air sometime soon. (10/12/99)

    More word from the Brainerd area is that Minnesota Christian Broadcasters is getting the license for a new class A station on 100.1 in Pequot Lakes. You may recall that MCBI owns KTIG, which used to be on 100.1 before moving to 102.7 to be able to increase power. They plan a Contemporary Christian format for the new station. (10/12/99)

    KBAJ/105.5 (Deer River) is back on the air. Thanks to Bruce Elving for the news. (10/10/99)

    WHSM/910 (Hayward) has added AP's hourly newscast to its Nostalgia format. AP was once heard on WRLS/92.3 in Hayward, which now uses CNN. (10/10/99)

    Bryan Kennedy will return to the morning shift at KWSN/1230 (Sioux Falls) next week. He had moved to Rapid City earlier this summer for personal reasons. Greg Belfrage will move from mornings back to afternoons and Matt Staab, a former Sioux Falls city comissioner who was hired on a temporary basis, will leave the station. (10/8/99)

    Tom Hanson is returning home as primary anchor at KDLT/46 (Sioux Falls). (10/7/99)

    John Goeman is selling KJAM/1390 and KJAM-FM/103.1 (Madison) to Three Eagles. Goeman has been with the station since it signed on 40 years ago. (10/5/99)

    Bruce Elving sends word that KBFH/107.1 (Moose Lake) is back on the air, once again relaying WKLK-FM/96.5 (Cloquet). Meanwhile, KBAJ/105.5 (Deer River) is either off the air or at reduced power. (10/5/99)

    Cale Ramaker is joining KSTP-TV/5 as weekend co-anchor. (10/5/99)

    Just when you thought they couldn't get any bigger, Clear Channel is buying AMFM for $16.6 billion in stock. Clear Channel will own 830 radio stations in 187 U.S. markets, which is 8% of commercial radio licenses. That figure does not include about 125 radio stations that will be divested to avoid going over market ownership caps. The company will also own 19 TV stations. Here's how the scorecard stacks up in the Upper Midwest: (10/4/99)

    MarketAMFM, Inc.Clear ChannelCombined
    Ames*1 AM / 1 FM1 AM / 1 FM
    Bemidji1 TV1 TV
    Bismarck1 AM / 1 FM1 AM / 1 FM
    Cedar Rapids1 AM / 3 FM2 AM / 2 FM3 AM / 5 FM
    Des Moines*1 AM / 2 FM2 AM / 3 FM3 AM / 5 FM
    Fort Dodge*1 AM / 1 FM1 AM / 1 FM
    Lincoln4 FM4 FM
    Madison2 AM / 4 FM2 AM / 4 FM
    Milwaukee1 AM / 1 FM1 AM / 3 FM2 AM / 4 FM
    Minneapolis2 AM / 5 FM1 TV2 AM / 5 FM / 1 TV
    Omaha1 AM / 3 FM1 AM / 3 FM
    * Although the stations in Ames, Des Moines, and Fort Dodge target different markets, they have overlapping coverage areas, and some may need to be sold off.

    KSGS/950 (St. Louis Park-Minneapolis) dropped ABC's "Solid Gold Soul" format for their "The Touch" format today. Freddie Bell had been programming a blend of new and older music on his morning show, but the format was Urban Oldies the rest of the time. Now it's defined as Urban Adult Contemporary. "Solid Gold Soul" can now be heard on cable-only radio station WRNB, which used to use "The Touch." (10/4/99)

    According to their website, KMNS/620 (Sioux City) has dropped Real Country for a News/Talk/Sports format. Programming includes ESPN Radio and simulcasts of KTIV/4 news, with ABC news on the hour and Paul Harvey. (10/4/99)

    KDWB is celebrating 40 years on the air with a CD that you can pick up at Target stores in the Twin Cities. Try not to salivate in the aisle. (10/4/99)

    KMSP/9 is back at full power after the tower work that had kept it at reduced power since August. (10/4/99)

    Clear Channel is bringing the KLYF call letters back to the Des Moines market on 106.3 Ankeny-Des Moines, formerly KYSY. No word yet if "Sunny 106.3" will see any changes. (10/1/99)

    Michigan: WBUM/104.3 Baraga becomes WVCN following sale to VCY/America (WVCY, WCVX, KVCX)
    Minnesota: 93.3 Nisswa is assigned KBPQ
    Nebraska: KOTD-FM/106.9 Plattsmouth to become KCTY-FM...impending Omaha-targeted format?
    South Dakota: KBGV/107.1 Clear Lake becomes KDBX (10/1/99)

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