December 2004

The FCC has granted WEXT/104.7 (Sturtevant-Milwaukee) a license to cover its new facility, rejecting an objection from WTKM-FM/104.9 (Hartford). The new WEXT facility gives the station a good signal in Milwaukee, and prevents some listeners from hearing WTKM-FM. Although the distance between the two stations' transmitter sites does not meet the FCC's minimum distance separation, a construction permit was granted because both stations operate below the limits for their class. (12/30/2004)

100W WGHF-LP/93.7 (Superior) is on the air in "test mode" carrying the Three Angels Broadcasting Network. It's the first, and possibly only, low-power FM station in the Twin Ports. (12/30/2004)

KLCX/107.7 (St. Charles-Rochester) dropped Oldies for Classic Hits on December 26. The station had carried Classic Hits when it signed on in 1998, and flipped to Oldies in 2000. The change back to Classic Hits follows KLCX's sale to Cumulus Media, which also bought Oldies-formatted KVGO/104.3 (Spring Valley-Rochester). (12/28/2004)

100W WYSG-LP/96.3 (Hinckley) has signed on. 12/30 update: WYSG-LP plans to carry the Lifetalk Network, not 3ABN as reported earlier. The station is airing its own music for now. (12/28/2004)

KYMN/1080 (Northfield) has added the Ed Schultz show from 2-5p, but continues to carry Soft Oldies at other times. (12/28/2004)

The FCC has granted Community Broadcasting an FM translator in Omaha, rejecting petitions to deny from Journal Broadcasting and Clear Channel. The 92-Watt K229BI/93.7 will provide a strong signal to most of Omaha and Council Bluffs. 93.7 is expected to carry the Bott Radio Network by relaying KLCV/88.5 (Lincoln). (12/28/2004)

In case you missed it, the Board of Regents has directed Iowa's three public universities to move forward with a plan to merge their stations into Iowa Public Radio. There will be three networks:

  • An "FM Information Network" will consist of KUNI/90.9 (Cedar Falls-Waterloo-Cedar Rapids), KUNY/91.5 (Mason City), KTPR/91.1 (Fort Dodge), KWOI/90.7 (Carroll), KIIC/97.9 (Lamoni), KDMR/88.9 (Mitchellville), KDUB/90.1 (Dubuque), and translators or future stations in Des Moines, Davenport, and Ottumwa. Though it will lack a full-fledged signal in the capital city, this will be considered the "primary" network. It will carry Morning Edition and All Things Considered, as well as music programming in the evening and overnight hours, similar to KUNI's current schedule.
  • "The Classic Network" consisting of WOI-FM/90.1 (Ames-Des Moines), KSUI/91.7 (Iowa City-Cedar Rapids), KHKE/89.5 (Cedar Falls-Waterloo), and translators in Davenport, Dubuque, and Mason City will also carry a few hours of Morning Edition and All Things Considered, but will fill most of its schedule with Classical Music.
  • An "AM Information Network" consisting of WOI/640 (Ames-Des Moines), WSUI/910 (Iowa City-Cedar Rapids), and KRNI/1010 (Mason City) will carry talk and information programming focused on Iowa issues.

    The consultant's report also recommended adding stations in Sioux City and Council Bluffs in the future. Here is the full report, which was endorsed by the Regents. (12/25/2004)

    Translators of WDIO/10 (ABC, Duluth) in Aitkin and Brainerd have left the air. The licenses for K27EV Aitkin and K57BJ Brainerd have been returned to the FCC. Both areas are outside of the Duluth market. (12/25/2004)

    Edgewater Broadcasting and Radio Assist Ministry are doing some translator trading with WRVM/102.7 (Suring), which could provide a way for Edgewater and Radio Assist Ministry to deliver programming to its dozens of new translators.

    WRVM's 88.1 Medford and 93.7 Rothschild will go to Edgewater, and 98.7 Merrill will go to Radio Assist Ministry. In return, WRVM will get translator construction permits for 92.9 Bessemer MI, 95.3 Howards Grove, 92.5 Ironwood MI, 100.7 Manitowoc, 102.5 Medford, 102.3 Mosinee, 101.5 Omro, 95.1 Park Falls, 102.5 Port Washington, and 94.3 Stevens Point.

    88.1 Medford is key, because it could act as a feeder station for the region. FCC rules allow translators in the noncommercial portion of the band (88-92 MHz) to get their feed of the originating station via satellite, while translators in the commercial portion of the band (92-108 MHz) must receive their feed over the air. After the sale, Edgewater and Radio Assist Ministry will have construction permits for translators in 33 Wisconsin communities; all but 88.1 Medford are in the commercial band.

    Edgewater and Radio Assist Ministry are based in Twin Falls, Idaho, the home of the Calvary Satellite Network and the Effect Radio Network. (12/25/2004)

    Two new low-power (100W) stations have signed on in the Quad Cities in recent weeks. WGVV-LP/92.5 (Rock Island) carries Hip-Hop and R&B; KRQC-LP/107.9 (Davenport) carries the Three Angels Broadcasting Network. (12/1/2004)

    Minnesota Public Radio has announced its plans for WCAL/89.3 (Northfield-Twin Cities). They describe it as an "anti-format" "for listeners who have grown up in the digital generation." A press release says, "the audience can expect to hear musical artists ranging from local favorites such as Mason Jennings, The Replacements, Olympic Hopefuls and The Jayhawks to modern icons such as The Postal Service, Lucinda Williams, Alejandro Escovedo, Joni Mitchell, U2 and the Arcade Fire. Artists such as Chet Baker, Johnny Cash and Ella Fitzgerald will creep in periodically." The format will debut in early 2005, and will also be heard on KMSE/88.7 (Rochester). 89.3's legendary WCAL callsign will be dropped in favor of KCMP. "The Morning Show" with Dale Connelly and Jim Ed Poole will also be a part of the new KCMP/KMSE. The Morning Show will continue to be heard on MPR's Classical stations outside of the Twin Cities, but KSJN/99.5 (Minneapolis) will carry Classical music during morning drive. (12/17/2004)

    The FCC has approved the sale of Duluth CBS affiliate KDLH/3, rejecting protests by other stations in the market. KDLH is being sold to Malara Broadcasting, which has agreements with Granit Broadcasting, owner of NBC affiliate KBJR/6. KBJR will run most of the day-to-day operations of the station, including advertising sales. WDIO/10 and KQDS-TV/21 argued that the sale would give KBJR de facto control of KDLH, but FCC staff found that the stations failed to show that the sale would not be in the public interest. WDIO and KQDS are still considering whether to appeal the decision to the full Commission. (12/16/2004)

    When considering one proposed new allotment for Grand Portage, why not consider three? The FCC is now considering two additional proposals for new allotments for the small North Shore town. The new proposals are for class C (100kW/600m) allotments on 92.7 and 102.7. The FCC had already been considering a proposed allotment for class C0 (100kW/450m) on 96.9. There are no site restrictions for any of the allotments, which could pontentially provide good signals to Thunder Bay, ON, if the terrain is right. Canadian regulators would also have to concur with the new allotments. If the new allotments are made, they would likely be open for bidding in a future auction. (12/13/2004)

    Massive changes to the Aberdeen-Redfield radio dial took place Wednesday, December 1, following recent ownership changes, according to the Aberdeen American News:

  • KSDN/930 drops "Fan" Sports for News/Talk/Sports
  • KQKD/1380 drops a rebroadcast of KGIM/1420 for Family Radio
  • KGIM/1420 adds Rush Limbaugh from 11a-2p and Ed Schultz from 2-5p
  • KQAA/1560 drops News/Talk for Family Radio
  • KSDN-FM/94.1 retains its Classic Rock format, but will drop ABC's format
  • KQAA/94.9 (Aberdeen) drops Oldies for either "K-Love" or "Air-1"
  • KNBZ/97.7 drops Hot AC for Oldies as "Kool 97.7"
  • KGIM-FM/103.7 remains Country
  • KBFO/106.7 retains its Hot AC format, but will drop Jones' format (12/2/2004)

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