11/26/1997: All Access reports these management changes at Chancellor's Twin Cities stations: K102 (KEEY/102.1 St. Paul) Program Director Greg Swedberg becomes Operations Manager for K102 and Cities 97 (KTCZ/97.1 Minneapolis), and KFAN (1130 Minneapolis) Sales Manager Steve Woodbury becomes the Station Manager.
11/21/1997: Paxson Communications will start the seventh general-entertainment English-language broadcast television network, to be known as PAX Net, on August 31, 1998. KXLI/41 (St. Cloud-Minneapolis) will be the only affiliate in the region. The new network will be programmed more like an independent station than a network, with syndicated shows being shown at the same time each weeknight. PAX Net will provide a 24-hour schedule of family-freindly, women-oriented programming. The network's mosts-touted programming will be off-network shows, such as Touched By an Angel, The Promised Land, and Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. Also included will be overnight Christian programming and weekend infomercials. The network will also be different in that most of the affiliates will be owned by the network, and that all commercials will be sold at the local level. Paxson claims that the network will have coverage of 4/5 of the households in this country at sign-on, but this number may be somewhat skewed: many of Paxson's stations are located outside of the metro areas of the markets they serve. Paxson's group of stations currently broadcasts infomercials and Christian programming as inTV.
11/20/1997: Global Broadcasting, which is buying the assets of St. Louis Park-based Children's Broadcasting Corporation, has announced that it will start up a new national radio network with the stations it is buying from CBC. Global will own WWTC/1280 and KYCR/1570 in the Twin Cities, but it is unclear if either of these stations will be affiliated with the new network. Also unclear is if CBC will continue to program "Aahs World Radio" on WWTC after it ceases national distibution of the format at the end of next January. Global's network will launch in February and will be targeted at 18 to 49-year-olds .
11/20/1997: WNCB (89.3 Duluth) turned on its seventh translator on Tuesday evening at 89.5 in Warroad. This does not include the Minneapolis translator at 97.7, which is expected to return to the air very soon following resolution of interference complaints from listeners to KNXR (97.5 Rochester).
11/19/1997: KLGT-WB23 (Minneapolis) is being sold to Sinclair Broadcast Group for $52.5 million in cash and assumed debt. Sinclair will buy all of the stock of KLGT's current owner, Lakeland Broadcast Group. Sinclair does not own anything else in the region, but owns/is buying/rents 36 TV stations and 58 radio stations. Lakeland was formed with funding from a Twin Cities-based Christian TV group to buy Channel 23 (then KTMA) out of bankruptcy earlier this decade. After the sale, KLGT initially offered "family" programming, but has been an affiliate of the WB network since it's first day in 1995.
11/19/1997: WNXR (107.3 Iron River) has transitioned from its AC/Oldies format to a 60s-70s Oldies format, although they are still using the slogan "Superior Lite."
11/19/1997: Beat Radio is fighting for a hearing on the FCC's regulations to be held in Minneapolis instead of Washington, D.C. A judge ruled in September that the hearing should take place in Washington, not Minneapolis. Beat challenges the FCC's regulations, which do not allow for "micro-power" broadcasters (stations with less than 100 watts). Also in the world of micro-power broadcasting, Americans for Radio Diversity is drafting a petition for rulemaking on Low-Power FM to be submitted to the FCC.
11/19/1997: KUWS (91.3 Superior) is broadcasting in mono following the failure of it's studio-to-transmitter-link's transmitter on Sunday evening. The station is using its marti unit (remote broadcast unit) to send its signal to the Duluth transmitter site and hopes to have the problems fixed by the end of the week.
11/19/1997: For those who don't know (which includes me), KNSG (94.7 Springfield) has been on the air since July 1995 as "The Country Hog."
11/16/1997: The Kansas City station that KDWB's (101.3 Richfield-Minneapolis) Tone E. Fly was talking to has found someone to fill the slot, and it isn't Fly. Go Twin Cities!
11/16/1997: FCC stuff from the last few weeks:
11/14/1997: Rich Davis is the new APD/MD at KDWB (101.3 Richfield-Minneapolis). He comes from Philadelphia and starts on Monday, November 17. His duties include a midday shift. Also at KDWB, All Access rumored a few weeks ago that Tone E. Fly is talking with a Kansas City station about doing mornings there.
11/14/1997: There's a spat brewing among noncommercial broadcasters in the greater Twin Ports area over who will get a station in the bottom portion of the FM band. The Esko School District applied for a 400-watt station on 88.7. Then, the American Family Assocation applied for a 8,000-watt station on 88.5, licensed to Wentworth, and transmitting from Four Corners. Wisconsin Public Radio wants to apply for a lower-powered station on 88.5, trasmitting from Duluth. Time will tell.
11/10/1997: WCCO-TV (4 Minneapolis, CBS) has announced that Paul Douglas will take Rebecca Koll's place as the meteorologist on WCCO's 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts. Douglas became a local celebrity as the meteorologist on KARE (11 Minneapolis, NBC). He left the station several years ago for WBBM-TV in Chicago, but returned to the Twin Cities earlier this year. KARE has released him from a five year noncompete clause. He'll begin at WCCO next January. Koll's last weathercast is the day before Thanksgiving, and Douglas will join Kolls for her last three days.
11/10/1997: Kim Jeffries, who left KS95 (KSTP-FM/94.5 St. Paul) last summer, is now contributing to the morning newscasts at WCCO-TV (4 Minneapolis, CBS).
11/10/1997: Duluth's eight low-power subscription TV stations have been off the air for more than a week. The service broadcast Sci-Fi on K15DU, CNN on K27EH, TBS on K30ED, USA on K32DQ, The Discovery Channel on K34DY, The Family Channel on K38DS, Showtime on K56FH, and Nickelodeon on K60EZ. Are they coming back this time?
11/7/1997: Here's one I missed: Tim Russell returned to WCCO (830 Minneapolis) on October 6. He's in his old 9-Noon timeslot. Russell left the station about five years ago when new management moved him to the graveyard shift, and worked at KJJO (now KMJZ) and KLBB during the time away from `CCO.
11/5/1997: Call changes following the swap of Disney formats in the Twin Cities: Zone 105 consists of KZNR/105.1 (Lakeville), KZNT/105.3 (Cambridge), and KZNZ/105.7 (Eden Prairie); the KXXR call letters move to 93X (93.7 Minneapolis). The changes took place late last week.
11/5/1997: Anchor/Reporter Heather Hill has left KDLH (3 Duluth, CBS). Also, Amy Rutledge returned to the station in late October. She co-anchors the 6 and 10 p.m. news with Eric Olson, who joined the station in September.
11/4/1997: St. Louis Park-based Children's Broadcasting Company has announced that it will cease national distribution of its "Aahs World Radio" at the end of January 1998. "Aahs" is heard on more than 30 stations nationwide, with flagship WWTC (1280) in Minneapolis. CBC has always been in the red, but the problems were worsened last year when ABC launched a competing network ("Radio Disney"). CBC has a lawsuit filed against ABC, claiming that ABC stole CBC's ideas. Last July, CBC sold its stations to Global Broadcasting, with the intent that Global's stations would continue to program "Aahs." It looks like WWTC will continue to broadcast the "Aahs" format after January, but I'm not sure of that. "Aahs" began as "Radio Aahs" on WWTC in 1989, and national distribution commenced in 1992. The network became "Aahs World Radio" last year and began aiming programming at the elementary-aged segment of the 2-12 audience, rather than the toddler segment.
11/3/1997: There's a new unlicensed station in Minneapolis: "Ballot Box Radio" is on the air at 95.7 for one week prior to the Minneapolis mayoral elections. The primary purpose for the station's existence is to provide candidate information to voters, but the only candidate to use the service is Barbara Carlson. The station airs a mixture of alternative-type music with political information. "Ballot Box Radio" pumps out 25 watts to uptown, downtown, and the campus area. Check out their website for more information. (Originally posted 11/2/1997)
11/3/1997: WDIO (10 Duluth, ABC) has followed the lead of KBJR (6 Superior-Duluth, NBC), and is now superimposing the station's logo over programming on the quarter hour.
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