November 2006

50-Watt "special events" station CJNU/104.7 (Winnipeg) plans to be on the air for three weeks beginning December 2 from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. The non-profit station will have a Nostalgia format. A "special events" license prohibits broadcasts for longer than 28 days, and the Winnipeg Sun reports the station ultimately plans to broadcast for a period of two to four weeks each month. (11/28/2006)

James Ingstad is spinning off KFAB-FM/92.7 (Kindred-Fargo) to Northwestern College as part of his purchase of Clear Channel's Fargo group. Clear Channel had been "grandfathered" to own more stations than allowed under current rules. Ingstad's "Radio Fargo-Moorhead" will pay $14 million for the group, which also includes KFGO/790, KVOX/1280, WDAY-FM/93.7, KRVI/95.1, KKBX/101.9, and KDAM/104.7. Then, KFAB-FM will be transferred to Northwestern in exchange for a $500,000 credit on rent for WDAY-FM's use of Northwestern's KFNW-FM/97.9 tower near Amenia. Northwestern also owns KFNW/1200, and Fargo will be the only market where it owns three stations. (11/26/2006)

Bob Goff has joined "Mix 96.1" (WXYM Tomah) as morning host. The station continues to carry Jones Radio Networks' Adult Hit Radio format at other times. (11/26/2006)

Two pending applications will allow Connoisseur Media's new station on 107.7, licensed to Pacific Junction, IA, to provide a strong signal to the entire Omaha metro area. The current 107.7 CP calls for 3kW/142m (class A), which would leave parts of Omaha outside its main coverage area, but it's applied to upgrade to 50kW/129m (C2). In order for 107.7 to upgrade, Nebraska Rural Radio Association's KWPN/107.9 (West Point, NE) has applied to move its transmitter 19 miles to the northwest. The new facility would provide strong coverage to Norfolk but have a weaker signal to Fremont than the existing signal. Connoisseur will apparently pay NRRA for the move, but the sections relating to the payment were blanked out in an agreement filed with the FCC. The new Pacific Junction station will displace Omaha translator K299AK/107.7, which rebroadcasts NRG's KBLR/97.3 (Blair). (11/23/2006)

Iowa Public Radio will begin its first network broadcasts on January 1, 2007, with the launch of its News and Information service. IPR released schedules for the service on Monday (11/20). Because IPR eventually plans to create three services and some listeners may only receive one station, most stations will not carry the News service full-time:

  • WSUI/910 (Iowa City) will carry the service 24/7.
  • WOI/640 (Ames) and KRNI/1010 (Mason City) will carry the service at all times except for a simulcast of "Midday" from 11 to 1 and a delayed broadcast of "Fresh Air" at 3 p.m.
  • KUNI/90.9 (Cedar Falls), KDUB/89.7 (Dubuque), KUNY/91.5 (Mason City), KDMR/88.9 Mitchellville, and translators in Des Moines and Davenport will carry the service from Midnight to 7 p.m. KUNI will keep its "Night Music" programming in the evening, but will drop music programming on weekday overnights and weekend afternoons. The change also means "On Point," "Day to Day," and "To the Point" will be dropped from KUNI's midday schedule.
  • KTPR/91.1 (Fort Dodge), KWOI/90.7 (Carroll), and KOWI/97.9 (Lamoni) will carry the service from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m., and will rebroadcast music from WOI-FM/90.1 (Ames) overnight.
  • WOI-FM/90.1 (Ames) will carry the service from 5-8 a.m. and 4-7 p.m., but will continue Classical and Jazz music for most of its schedule.
    IPR also plans to launch a Classical/Cultural network in July 2007, likely consisting of WOI-FM, KSUI/91.7 (Iowa City), KHKE/89.5 (Cedar Falls), and translators in Dubuque and Mason City. A Triple A/Roots/Folk/Blues service is also planned. (11/21/2006)

    KGOR/99.9 (Omaha) and KLMY/106.3 (Lincoln)...see the complete list here. (11/20/2006)

    Eugene J. Halama, Jr., has purchased WHTL/102.3 (Whitehall) for $200,000, less liabilities of about $92,000. The purchase from Todd A. Harrington, Willard G. Kitchen, and Margeurite I. Jacqmin has already been approved by the FCC. (11/20/2006)

    New station KKAG/740 (Fargo) continues testing, and has been heard recently with Classic Country music. KKAG, owned by Jeffrey G. Dress, will use 50kW day, 7.5kW during critical hours (near sunrise/sunset), and 940W at night, with different day and night directional patterns from six towers between Glyndon and Felton, MN. (11/19/2006)

    Clear Channel is putting 448 stations in dozens of small and unrated markets across the country up for sale, as the company itself goes private with a $26.7 billion sale to Thomas H. Lee Partners, L.P. and Bain Capital Partners, LLC. The company has already sold its Fargo, ND, group, and on Thursday listed these markets as also being for sale in an SEC filing:

  • Burlington, IA: KBKB/1360, KBUR/1490, KBKB-FM/101.7, KGRS/107.3
  • Charles City, IA: KCHA/1580, KCZE/95.1, KCHA-FM/95.9 (part of CC's Mason City group)
  • Fort Dodge, IA: KWMT/540, KKEZ/94.5, CP-NEW/99.7
  • Mason City, IA: KGLO/1300, KIAI/93.9, KSMA-FM/98.7, KLKK/103.7
  • Sioux City, IA: KMNS/620, KWSL/1470, KGLI/95.5, KSEZ/97.9, KSFT-FM/107.1
  • Duluth, MN: WEBC/560, KLDJ/101.7, KKCB/105.1, KBMX/107.7
  • Mankato, MN: KYSM/1230, KXLP/93.1, KYSM-FM/103.5
  • Rochester, MN: KNFX/970, KMFX/1190, KWEB/1270, KRCH/101.7, KMFX-FM/102.5
  • Bismarck, ND: KFYR/550, KXMR/710, KBMR/1130, KYYY/92.9, KQDY/94.5, KSSS/101.5
  • Dickinson, ND: KLTC/1460, KZRX/92.1, KCAD/99.1
  • Grand Forks, ND: KKXL/1440, KKXL-FM/92.9, KQHT/96.1, KSNR/100.3, KJKJ/107.5
  • Minot, ND: KCJB/910, KRRZ/1390, KIZZ/93.7, KYYX/97.1, KMXA-FM/99.9, KZPR/105.3
  • Lincoln, NE: KTGL/92.9, KZKX/96.9, KIBZ/104.1, KLMY/106.3
  • Ogallala, NE: KOGA/930, KOGA-FM/99.7, KMCX/106.5
  • Eau Claire, WI: WMEQ/880, WBIZ/1400, WMEQ-FM/92.1, WQRB/95.1, WISM/98.1, WBIZ-FM/100.7, WATQ/106.7
    Clear Channel said the 448 stations for sale are profitable, but while they make up nearly 40% of the company's stations, they account for less than 10% of its profits. The company is also selling all of its 42 TV stations, none of which are in the Upper Midwest. (11/17/2006)

    All-Christmas formats have arrived at Milwaukee's 95.7 (WRIT), 102.9 Lite FM (WLTE) in Minneapolis, and Lite 101.9 (KLTQ Lincoln-Omaha). In the Twin Cities, Kool 108 (KQQL) is promoting a pending flip to all-Christmas, but so far is sticking to its regular format. In 2005, both WLTE and KQQL flipped on November 15. (11/17/2006)

    Armada Media is adding eight stations in Nebraska, Kansas, and Colorado with the purchase of McCook Radio Group from David and Connie Stout for $3.6 million. The deal includes KBRL/1300, KICX/96.1, and KRKU/98.5 (McCook, NE), KFNF/101.1 (Oberlin, KS), KADL/102.9 (Imperial, NE), KSTH/92.3 (Holyoke, CO), and KJBL/96.5 (Julesburg, CO), as well as a construction permit for a new 50kW station on 103.9 in McCook. KRKU has a construction permit to move into the North Platte, NE, market. McCook Radio Group also won a construction permit for KNAX/700 (McCook) in 2003, but the CP has now expired and KNAX is not included in the deal. Here's the asset purchase agreement. Armada Media, headed by Jim Coursolle, also has groups in Aberdeen, SD, Ironwood, MI, and Menominee, MI. See the ownership page for details. (11/13/2006)

    Clear Channel announced Friday (11/10) that WXXM/92.1 (Sun Prairie-Madison) will drop its Liberal Talk format at the end of the year in favor of FOX Sports Radio. The current format featuring Air America launched in September 2004. Clear Channel's five other Madison stations include ESPN 1070 (WTSO) and WIBA/1310, which carries a News/Talk/Sports format. The company says the switch at 92.1 will allow more local sports play-by-play and more live programming on ESPN 1070. FOX Sports is currently heard on Madison rimshot WTLX/100.5 (Columbus). (11/11/2006)

    American Family Radio station KBDC/88.5 (Mason City) has finished an upgrade that expands its main coverage area to include Austin and Albert Lea. KBDC moved to a tower 22 miles north of its old site and increased from 1.8kW/70m (class A) to 60kW/141m (C1). (11/9/2006)

    All-Christmas formats started Monday (11/6) on KDAT/104.5 (Cedar Rapids, IA) and "The Breeze" WECB/104.3 (Seymour-Green Bay, WI). KDAT and competitor "Mix 96.5" (WMT-FM) had also made the change on the first Monday of November 2005, but so far this year, Mix is sticking with its Hot Adult Contemporary format. Elsewhere, KELO-FM/92.5 (Sioux Falls, SD) is promoting a flip to Christmas music on Thanksgiving. In Lincoln, NE, KLMY/106.3 played Christmas music during the day on Saturday and Sunday but then returned to its AC format. Once again this year, you can track the all-Christmas stations right here. (11/6/2006)

    Northwestern College's "Life 97.9" (KFNW-FM Fargo) plans to switch to a backup site on Tuesday (11/7) for an antenna replacement project at its tower near Amenia. The station will be at reduced power for several weeks, and outlying translator stations may not be able to receive the signal. KFNW-FM has a construction permit to increase its antenna height from 305m to 485m. (11/6/2006)

    New station KKAG/740 (Fargo) has been noted testing with an open carrier and test tones by Manitoba DX'er Shawn Axelrod. KKAG will use 50kW day, 7.5kW during critical hours (near sunrise/sunset), and 940W at night, with different day and night directional patterns from six towers between Glyndon and Felton, MN. The station should have a strong signal to Fargo/Moorhead day and night. The signal will also be strong in Grand Forks and Jamestown during the day, with fringe daytime coverage extending into Manitoba and South Dakota. Some coverage maps were included in the initial application. KKAG is owned by Jeffrey G. Dress, who does not own any other stations in the area. (11/3/2006)

    North Dakota Public Radio has reverted to its previous name, Prairie Public, matching the name of its sister TV network. The change actually took place about a month ago. The radio network had been known as Prairie Public until 1999, when KDSU/91.9 (Fargo) and KUND/89.3 (Grand Forks) joined with the former Prairie Public stations to form NDPR. (11/1/2006)

    Wisconsin Public Radio has signed on W300BM/107.9 (Madison), adding a third signal for its Ideas Network in the capital city. 107.9 has a strong signal in central Madison, while existing translator W215AQ/90.9 is strong in the western metro. WHA/970 is the network's flagship but must drop from 5kW to 51W at night. W300BM relays WHAD/90.7 (Delafield-Milwaukee), while W215AQ simulcasts the programming of WHHI/91.3 (Highland) with its own ID's. (11/1/2006)

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