December 2007

New station KJBI/100.1 (Fort Pierre) has debuted a Classic Hits format as "The Eagle" after several weeks of Christmas music. The lineup includes Bob & Tom in the morning. (12/31/2007)

There are a few changes in La Crosse: Molly Fox has left evenings at WCOW/97.1 (Sparta), and Rob West is the new afternoon host at "KQ98" (KQYB Spring Grove). To the south, Ryan Mathews is the new afternoon host at Q94 (WQPC Prairie du Chien). (12/31/2007)

NRG Media's KLTQ/101.9 (Lincoln-Omaha) has emerged from a month of Christmas music with a new Classic Hits/Hot AC format as "The Big O." The station voice is John O'Hurley, who is also the voice of "The Arch" in the St. Louis market. KLTQ had been "Lite 101.9" with Adult Contemporary since 2002. The change leaves the Omaha market without a mainstream AC station. (12/28/2007)

With the 2008 Iowa Caucuses less than a week away, C-SPAN has been carrying excerpts of Iowa TV newscasts. Parts of a KCCI newscast were seen Thursday on C-SPAN and were also scheduled to air Friday at 7 p.m. CT. Check C-SPAN's schedule page for updates. (12/28/2007)

Mission Nebraska is buying two FM stations and thirteen translators in Nebraska, and one translator in Kansas, from Horizon Christian Fellowship for $900,000. The full-power stations are 100kW KHZY/99.3 (Overton-Lexington-Kearney), which recently signed on, and 100kW KHZZ/92.1 (Sargent), which has not yet signed on. The translators include K233AN/94.5 (Lincoln), which recently signed on relaying Mission Nebraska's KROA/95.7 (Grand Island). Mission Nebraska will program KHZY through a time brokerage agreement prior to closing, and may also program KHZZ if it signs on before closing. Mission Nebraska, a Christian broadcaster, owns two stations in Grand Island and one in Alliance. (12/27/2007)

Local TV, LLC, will be the new owner of WITI/FOX 6 (Milwaukee). It's buying WITI and FOX affiliates in Denver, Salt Lake City, Kansas City, St. Louis, Cleveland, High Point NC, and Birmingham AL from News Corp. for $1.1 billion. Local TV, LLC, owns nine other stations, including stations in the Des Moines and Quad Cities markets. (12/27/2007)

Hubbard Broadcasting's KSTC/45 (Minneapolis) has switched to a new logo, replacing the "Forty5" logo that had been used since the station launched as an Independent in 2000. (12/26/2007)


  • Alton, IA: 91.5, Refuge Media, 1.3kW/21m (A)
  • International Falls, MN: 88.3, Minnesota Public Radio, 5.75kW/41m (A)
  • St. James, MN: 89.1, Lighthouse Christian Fellowship, 4.7kW/86m (A)
  • Spring Valley, MN: 89.1, VCY America, 3.5kW/81m (A)
  • Valentine, NE: 89.3, American Family Association, 6kW/56m (A)
  • Aberdeen, SD: 90.1, Salt & Light Communications, 6kW/30m (A)
  • Tulare, SD: 91.7, Church Planters of America, 10kW/58.5m (C3)
  • Wentworth, WI: 88.1, American Family Association, 31kW/90m (C2). This station's main coverage area will theoretically include Superior, though topography and intermodulation will likely limit reception. (12/23/2007)

    Tribune Company and Local TV, LLC, which owns WHO-TV/13 (NBC-Des Moines) and WQAD/8 (ABC-Moline), have agreed to create a new broadcast management company to handle back-office services, administration, and other functions at the corporate level. The company will also create "specialized knowledge teams" to deal with issues at the station level, and will also look towards serving other ownership groups. The new company will be a subsidiary of Tribune and will be headed by Randy Michaels, Tribune Company's Interactive and Broadcasting CEO. Tribune has 23 stations, including WGN in Chicago. Local TV has nine stations. (12/22/2007)

    DX-midAMerica reports that Dakota Broadcasting's two new stations in the Aberdeen market have signed on. KMOM/105.5 (Roscoe) is 100kW/139m and carries Country. KABD/107.7 (Ipswich) is 51kW/108m and carries Classic Hits/Hot AC. Armada Media operates the other six commercial stations in the Aberdeen market. (12/22/2007)

    J. Scott Hennen's SMAHH Communications, LLC, is buying new station WZFN/1100 (Dilworth, MN-Fargo) from Brantley Broadcast Associates for $720,000. Hennen hosts a popular talk show on Forum Communications' WDAY/970 (Fargo) and has also served as a national fill-in host for Sean Hannity. WZFN applied for a license to cover its construction permit earlier this year but has not been heard with regular programming. WZFN is 50kW daytime, 5kW during critical hours (the hours after sunrise and before sunset), and 440W directional at night from two towers southeast of Moorhead. The Asset Purchase Agreement states that the seller will apply to increase WZFN's critical hours power to at least 22kW, and the seller will have to pay the buyer $150,000 if the application is not approved within a specified time period. (12/21/2007)

    KJBI/100.1 (Fort Pierre) has signed on with Christmas music. The new 51kW station is owned by the Estate of Robert E. Ingstad, which also owns three other stations in the Pierre market. KJBI's sign-on forces K261CF/100.1 (Pierre), which had rebroadcast KWYR-FM/93.7 (Winner), to leave the air. In other belated news, Lee O. Axdahl's KSQP/1450 (Pierre) left the air earlier this year and the FCC has dismissed its application for a license to cover. The station operated under program test authority for its entire three-year run. (12/21/2007)

    Pappas Telecasting Companies announced Wednesday (12/19) that it is considering selling some of its TV stations. CEO Harry J. Pappas said, "the time has come to simplify my life and spend more time with my family." The privately-held company owns 19 full-power stations, including KCWI/23 (CW- Ames-Des Moines), KDMI-DT/56 (My-Des Moines), KPTH/44 (FOX-Sioux City), KPTM/42 (FOX-Omaha), KHGI/13 (ABC-Kearney), KWNB/6 (ABC-Hayes Center), and WWAZ/68 (FamilyNet-Fond du Lac). It also operates KMEG/14 (CBS-Sioux City), KXVO/15 (CW-Omaha), KCWL/51 (CW-Lincoln), KSNB/4 (FOX-Superior, NE), and KTVG/17 (FOX-Grand Island) through local marketing agreements. (12/20/2007)

    The FCC has issued a notice of apparent liability of $10,000 to Steven A. Skalecki for operating an unlicensed station on 92.9 in Milwaukee. FCC agents tracked the signal to Skalecki's house in March 2006, but he denied having any broadcast equipment. Then in February 2007, WFAQ-LP/92.9 (Mukwonago) complained that it was receiving co-channel interference from an unlicensed station in Milwaukee, which an agent again tracked to Skalecki's house. Agents observed the station broadcasting on five occasions in 2006 and 2007. Skalecki has 30 days to either pay the fine or ask for a reduction or cancellation. [Ironically, WFAQ-LP's website acknowledges that it has roots in numerous pirate radio operations.] (12/19/2007)

    The FCC has denied an informal objection to renewing the license of KDLH/3 (Duluth). Media Access Project alleged that KDLH failed to serve the public interest based on the shared services agreement through which KBJR/6 (Superior) runs virtually all KDLH operations. The FCC found that MAP's objection did not make specific allegations that KDLH has failed to serve the public interest or is operating in violation of FCC rules, which allow joint operations through shared services agreements even in situations where rules prohibit outright co-ownership. KDLH's renewal application remains pending. (12/15/2007)

    Classic Hits KLNC/105.3 (Lincoln) has changed its name from "Linc FM" to "Wow FM." The new name may be a play on the heritage WOW callsign, which was used on 590 and 94.1 in nearby Omaha for decades. (12/15/2007)

    This week's ice storm affected several Iowa stations. KSUI/91.7 (Iowa City) was operating at 50% of normal power Tuesday (12/11) due to ice buildup on the antenna. KELR/105.3 (Chariton) and KNWI/107.1 (Osceola) were apparently either at reduced power or off the air. (12/11/2007)

    DirecTV has announced plans to add HD locals in the Cedar Rapids-Waterloo, Omaha, and Lincoln-Hastings-Kearney markets by mid-2008. The HD offerings will initially only include ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC affiliates, since must-carry rules do not yet apply to digital signals. DirecTV already offers HD locals in the Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Madison, and Green Bay markets. (12/7/2007)

    The CRTC has granted an upgrade for Winnipeg's 100.7 "Hank FM" (CHNK), which will increase from 1.3kW to 60.2kW. The regulators received no objections to the application. Newcap Radio plans to complete the upgrade by early spring. (12/7/2007)

    Gap Broadcasting is selling the four stations its buying from Clear Channel in the Burlington/Fort Madison market to John C. Pritchard and his father, John T. Pritchard, who owns four other stations in the market. John T. Pritchard's Pritchard Broadcasting will pay $900,000 for KBKB/1360 (Fort Madison) and KBUR/1490 (Burlington), while John C. Pritchard's Titan Broadcasting will pay $2.1 million for KBKB-FM/101.7 (Fort Madison) and KGRS/107.3 (Burlington). Pritchard Broadcasting owns four other FM's in the market, and the deals, if approved by the FCC, would give the Pritchard family control of eight of the nine commercial stations based in Burlington. The applications to transfer the licenses states that John C. Pritchard has worked for his father in the past, but the "employer-employee" relationship is being terminated, and the two do not have any common business interests. (12/4/2007)

    The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that CBS 58 (WDJT) will launch a half-hour 9 p.m. newscast on Independent sister station WMLW-CA/41 on January 1. The newscast will be anchored by CBS 58's 10 p.m. team. The only other 9 p.m. newscast in the market is on FOX 6 (WITI), and WDJT experimented with a 9 p.m. newscast on WMLW during the World Series when WITI's newscast was not on at its regular time. (12/4/2007)

    Minnesota's first statewide TV network is expected to launch in January 2008, according to a note on Pioneer Public Television's DTV page. The non-commercial "Minnesota Channel" launched on KTCI-DT2 (St. Paul) in 2005, and will add statewide coverage on digital subchannels of other PBS member stations, including KWCM-DT3 (Appleton) and KSMN-DT3 (Worthington). The "Minnesota Channel" carries programming from or about Minnesota and neighboring states. It will also carry live coverage of the Minnesota State Legislature, which has previously only been available on KTCI and a few cable systems outside the Twin Cities. The official Minnesota Channel website still has no mention of the statewide launch. (12/3/2007)

    WPIQ (Manistique) has moved from 99.9 to 92.7, but remains 6kW and continues with "Power" News/Talk. WPIQ, owned by Todd Stuart Noordyk, has applied for an upgrade on 92.7 from class A to C2 with 24.5kW/217m, which would give the station a rimshot signal to Escanaba. (12/1/2007)

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