An unsuccesful attempt to file a license renewal application for KPVL/89.1 (Postville) electronically may not save the Postville Chamber of Commerce from an FCC fine. The FCC has fined the Chamber $7,000 for the late filing and continuing to operate the station after its license expired. The Chamber says it thought it had filed the application electronically, but did not realize the application had not gone through until it received a cancellation notice from the FCC more than sixteen months after the license expired. At that time KPVL sought and was granted a special temporary authority to continue broadcasting. The FCC says though the Chamber's failure to file the application was inadvertent, "licensees are obligated to fully comply with the Rules." The Chamber has thirty days to either pay the fine or request a reduction or cancellation. (11/30/2007)
The FCC has fined Western Translators $1,500 for failing to file license renewal applications for three FM translators and apparently keeping the translators on the air for more than two years after their licenses had expired. No special temporary authority was sought to continue broadcasting. The stations are K221CU/92.1 (Chappell), K224AY/92.7 (Imperial), and K221CJ/92.1 (North Platte). Western Translators has thirty days to either pay the fine or request a reduction or cancellation. (11/30/2007)
All Access reports that new station KXFT/99.7 (Manson-Fort Dodge) has signed on with Contemporary Hits as "99X." The station transmits with 25kW/87m (class C3) from a site between Manson and Fort Dodge. Three Eagles owns KXFT and six other commercial stations in the Fort Dodge market. (11/29/2007)
After just over eight months with an Adult Contemporary format, and less than two weeks with All-Christmas, KMXW/104.7 (Hope-Fargo) has flipped to "Mojo 104" with a broad Classic Hits format. The station had flipped from Country to "Mix" Adult Contemporary in March after being purchased by James Ingstad. "Mojo" is the fourth format for 104.7 since it signed on in 2002 with Alternative. (11/29/2007)
LOW-POWER FM UPDATE:
The FCC is recommending to Congress that it remove a ban on low-power FM stations on third-adjacent channels (.6 MHz from local stations), which could allow LPFM stations in major metro areas where they would not previously fit. However, since the initial filing period for LPFM stations, some of the third-adjacent channels, such as 97.7 in the northwest Twin Cities metro, have been filled by translators, which have looser restrictions. The FCC's Order also "Clarifies that repetitious, automated programming does not meet the local origination requirement." That may affect the Iowa Department of Transportation's LPFM stations, which carry an automated loop of public service announcements and road construction reports. (11/28/2007)
Todd P. Robertston is selling WUSP/105.5 (Nekoosa-Wisconsin Rapids) to Donald Seehafer for $270,000. Seehafer owns six other stations in Wisconsin, including WFHR/1320 (Wisconsin Rapids). (11/28/2007)
The FCC has granted KALA/88.5 (Davenport) a construction permit to increase from its current 100W/34m to 10kW/99m. The station, owned by St. Ambrose University, will use a directional antenna from far northwest Davenport, leaving the far southeastern Quad Cities outside of KALA's main coverage area. KALA also operates a translator on 105.5 in Rock Island, IL (licensed to Bettendorf, IA). (11/27/2007)
After a weekend of stunting, Clear Channel's KHUS/93.3 (Bennington-Omaha) relaunched with a twist on its old format: instead of Classic Country, 93.3 is now New Country "The Twister." The market has only one other Country station, "The Kat" (KXKT/103.7 Glenwood), also owned by Clear Channel. (11/20/2007)
The Green Bay Press-Gazette reports that Music That Matters, Inc. is buying WOVM/91.1 (Appleton), which will drop Relevant Radio on Friday (11/23) for all-Christmas. An application to transfer WOVM's license has not yet been filed with the FCC. Beginning in January, WOVM will beta test a new syndicated Adult Contemporary format being developed by Sovereign City Radio Services, a sister company to Music That Matters. The new format will be offered nationwide to commercial stations beginning April 2, 2008. Relevant Radio will continue in the area on WJOK/1050 (Kaukana). (11/19/2007)
Winnipeg's "Flava FM 107.9" (CJWV-FM) has now been broadcasting open carrier for a month. The 200-Watt Hip-Hop/R&B station, owned by Harmony Broadcasting, had only been expected to be off for a few days as it moved to a new location. (11/19/2007)
Omaha's "US93.3" is apparently dead. The Clear Channel station (KHUS Bennington) stopped playing Classic Country music Friday afternoon and is stunting, and its former online streaming page says "a new station is coming soon!" Clear Channel also owns the market's other Country station, 103.7 "The Kat" (KXKT Glenwood). (11/16/2007)
Friday (11/16) was a big day for Christmas conversions, with flips at "Lite 104.1" (KLTI Ames-Des Moines), "Mix 98.1" (WISM Altoona-Eau Claire), WOLX/94.9 (Baraboo-Madison), and "Lite 96.7" (WLJY Whiting-Wausau). Follow the flips here. (11/16/2007)
102.9 Lite FM (WLTE) is again the first station to go All-Christmas in Minneapolis this year. WLTE made the switch around 5 p.m. Wednesday (11/14), according to Yes.com. Follow the flips here. (11/15/2007)
As previously announced, KYTC/102.7 (Northwood-Mason City) flipped from "Eagle Country" to Hard Rock as "The Blaze" on Monday (11/12). 102.7 has a good signal to Mason City, Austin, and Albert Lea. The station also streams online. The change follows KYTC owner Three Eagles' purchase of Mason City's "Country Moose" KIAI/93.9, and Coloff Media's flip of KSMA-FM/98.7 (Osage) from Contemporary Hits to Country. (11/12/2007)
NEW NON-COMMERCIAL FM APPLICATIONS:
During last month's filing window for new stations in the non-commercial portion of the FM band (88-92 MHz), about 340 applications were filed in the Upper Midwest. Here's a list of the applications. A few dozen have no competition and will likely be granted construction permits after a 30-day comment period, while the FCC is accepting modifications or settlement agreements for competing applications. Here is a look at some of the applications:
IOWA: Iowa Public Radio's parent universities applied for new stations in Atlantic, Keokuk, Mason City, Rockwell City, Shenandoah, Sioux City, and Storm Lake, but all face competing applications.
IOWA: Several Christian groups filed competing applications for 88.3 and 89.1 in the greater Ames area. KURE/88.5 also applied to move to 89.1.
MICHIGAN: Northern Michigan University, which operates a station in Marquette, applied for new stations in Houghton, Iron Mountain, and Marquette, though all face competition.
MINNESOTA: Minnesota Public Radio has no competition for new stations in Ely, International Falls, and Redwood Falls, and also applied for new stations in Blue Earth, Grand Rapids, Hinckley, Jackson, Mankato, Olivia, and Park Rapids.
MINNESOTA: Several applications were filed in the Twin Cities area, including Refuge Media for 91.9 Robbinsdale (TL: IDS), Pensacola Christian College for 88.1 Rosemount, and Smooth Tones Radio for 88.1 St. Paul Park.
MINNESOTA: The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe (Cass Lake), Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa (Cloquet), White Earth Land Recovery Project (Naytahwaush and White Earth), and the Bois Forte Tribal Council (Nett Lake) all applied for new stations, and the Nett Lake application has no competition.
NEBRASKA: A half-dozen Christian groups applied competing applications for new stations on 89.5-89.9 in Kearney/Grand Island.
NORTH DAKOTA: Prairie Public Broadcasting has no competition for a new station in Devils Lake and also applied for stations in Minnewaukan and Williston. Meanwhile, the University of North Dakota has no competition for a new station in Grand Forks.
SOUTH DAKOTA: The parent organization of SDPB appears likely to receive a new station in Spearfish and also applied for a station in Watertown.
SOUTH DAKOTA: Five groups filed competing applications for 91.3 Rapid City.
WISCONSIN: As previously reported, Wisconsin Public Radio's parent organizations applied for new stations in Adams, Ashland, Niagra, Park Falls, Port Washington, Rice Lake, Rhinelander, and Webster, but all face competition.
WISCONSIN: Numerous organizations filed competing applications for new stations on 88.5 north and south of Milwaukee, including WPR, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and The WBEZ Alliance.
REFUGE MEDIA, which operates WJRF/89.5 (Duluth) and a number of translators across the region, appears poised to receive construction permits for new stations in Alton IA, Grand Rapids MN, and Watertown SD, and also applied for stations in Algona IA, Spirit Lake IA, Belle Plaine MN, Glenwood MN, Marshall MN, Robbinsdale MN, and Arlington SD. (11/9/2007)
Michael J. Mesic has applied to move the construction permit for WLGE/106.9 from Ephraim to the unincorporated Town of Baileys Harbor. The station would remain 6kW (class A), with its coverage area moving slightly to the south. Though the change would leave Ephraim without a radio license, the FCC typically allows such moves when the station has not yet signed on. (11/9/2007)
"Star 104.5" (KSRZ) is Omaha's surprise first All-Christmas station of the year. While four Omaha market stations have gone All-Christmas the past several years, Star hasn't previously been among them. Elsewhere, Green Bay's 104.3 "The Breeze" (WECB Seymour) flipped on Monday. Track the stations promoting pending flips here. (11/8/2007)
The CRTC has put out a call for applications for new commercial radio stations in Winnipeg after receiving one application. The call for applications does not necessarily mean the CRTC will grant a new station, though there appears to be room for a 100kW station on 106.3 in Winnipeg. (11/8/2007)
Siouxland Television, LLC, is buying CBS affiliate KMEG/14 (Sioux City) from Waitt Broadcasting, though Pappas Telecasting's KPTH/FOX 44 (Sioux City) will continue to operate KMEG through a shared services agreement as it has since 2005. The sole member of Siouxland Television is Alex J. Aretakis, a Fresno, CA attorney who has represented Pappas CEO Harry J. Pappas in the past. FCC rules prohibit one company from owning outright more than one of the top four TV stations in a market. (11/7/2007)
Rogers Media has agreed to sell OMNI.11 (CIIT-TV/35 Winnipeg) to S-VOX, along with a station in Vancouver, for an undisclosed price. Rogers had to sell the stations after buying the Citytv stations, including CHMI-TV/13 (Portage la Prairie-Winnipeg). S-VOX operates several Christian cable channels. OMNI.11 carries faith-based programming in the morning and early afternoon, followed by secular reruns, and will continue to do so under the new ownership. (11/7/2007)
WOGB/103.1 (Kaukana-Green Bay) is one of 19 stations nationwide that Cumulus Media is transferring to Stratus Radio, LLC, which will seek a buyer for the stations. They are being spun off to comply with market-based ownership caps which replaced the old contour-based system for rated markets in 2004. Stratus Radio is owned by Scott Knoblauch of Greenville, SC. (11/7/2007)
Winnipeg's CJGV-FM/99.1 (formerly CJZZ "Cool FM") has repositioned as "Groove FM" under new owner Corus Entertainment, with a mix of Smooth Jazz and Adult Contemporary. The new format is streaming at CJGV's website. (11/5/2007)
New station KDEZ/100.1 (Brandon-Sioux Falls) has signed on with Adult Contemporary as "Easy and Fun 100.1." Cumulus Media owns the station, which broadcasts with 2.15kW at 170m (class A) from the KELO tower near Rowena. KDEZ's sign-on displaces a translator of Cumulus' KIKN-FM/100.5 (Salem) on 100.1 in Sioux Falls. (11/5/2007)
A longtime staple of Minnesota coffee tables is gone: the Star Tribune is no longer publishing "TV Week." The Oct. 28-Nov. 3 edition was the last. The Duluth News Tribune also announced that its "Select TV" insert will end after the current Nov. 4-10 edition, though daily listings will continue. (11/5/2007)
KNOF/95.3 (St. Paul) has gone 24 hours following its transfer to North Central University, and is carrying "Praise FM" from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. "Praise FM" originates at KBHL/103.9 (Osakis) and is also heard on KBHZ/91.9 (Willmar) and KCGN-FM/101.5 (Ortonville). (11/4/2007)
Three Eagles' KYTC/102.7 (Northwood-Mason City) is promoting a flip from Country to Active Rock as "The Blaze" beginning next weekend, telling "Eagle Country" listeners to tune to KIAI/93.9 "The Country Moose." KIAI and KYTC came under common ownership after Three Eagles bought KIAI and KGLO/1300 from Clear Channel. The Country market became more crowded this fall when Coloff Media flipped former Clear Channel station KSMA-FM/98.7 (Osage) from Contemporary Hits to "Kiss Country." "Eagle Country" had launched on KRIB/1490 in 2004 and moved to KYTC in 2005. KYTC transmits from north of Mason City and also has a good signal to Albert Lea, MN, where Three Eagles has Adult Contemporary, Country, and Full Service formats. (11/3/2007)
Fargo's KXJB/4 (CBS) and KVLY/11 (NBC) will rebrand as "Valley News Live" beginning Monday, and will simulcast morning and 10 p.m. newscasts. General Manager Charley Johnson made the announcement at the end of KVLY's Friday 6 p.m. newscast as he announced he would be stepping down from the anchor desk. The stations have been operated jointly for more than four years and already shared one newsroom, with different anchors presenting similar content on each station. The new simulcast newscasts will feature a mix of personalities previously seen on KXJB and KVLY. Newscasts at Noon and 5:30 p.m. on KXJB and 5 and 6 p.m. on KVLY will continue. A simulcast of weekend newscasts began April. Hoak Media owns KVLY and runs KXJB through an agreement with Parker Broadcasting. (11/3/2007)
CJZZ-FM/99.1 (Winnipeg) changed to CKGV-FM on Nov. 1 following the station's sale to Corus Entertainment. An announcement concerning the station's future is expected Monday. For now, 99.1 continues with Smooth Jazz, though the name "Cool FM" has been replaced with "Smooth Jazz 99.1." (11/3/2007)
Fairfield's two commercial radio stations, KMCD/1570 and KIIK/95.9, have changed format following their sale to Good Radio.TV, LLC. KMCD dropped Talk for Classic Country and continues its local information emphasis, while KIIK flipped from "Hot 96" Hot Adult Contemporary to "Classic 96" Classic Rock. The changes took place October 1. (11/2/2007)
(Updated) Milwaukee is home to the Upper Midwest's first all-Christmas format this year. Clear Channel's "My 95-7" (WRIT) began spinning Christmas tunes around 7 a.m. Thursday (11/1), followed by Entercom's WMYX/99.1 at around 7:30. However, despite an announcer's assurance that it'd be Christmas through December 25 at "My 95-7," the station went back to its regular format at Noon, while WMYX continued with all-Christmas. You can track the Christmas flips again this year right here. (11/1/2007)
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