The silent KSNB-TV/4 (Superior) is up for sale and may have to move to a new transmitter site if it's ever to return. Colins Broadcasting owns the KSNB license, but the station's former transmitter site is owned by Pappas Telecasting of Central Nebraska. Pappas had operated the station as a satellite of FOX affiliate KTVG/17 (Grand Island) until a time brokerage agreement ended in Dec. 2009. In a recent FCC filing, Colins states the termination of the agreement came after "several years of litigation and disputes" and that it has been unable to reach an agreement with Pappas to use the licensed transmitter site. KSNB returned to the air with a temporary 225-Watt facility in November but is now silent again. If it returns to the air with its own programming, KSNB could invoke must-carry status on cable and satellite systems across the Lincoln-Tri Cities market. Colins also owns two low-power stations in Lincoln, which are also silent. (12/28/2010)
CHUM Radio's CHIQ-FM/94.3 (Winnipeg) has emerged from a month of Christmas music with a new format. Formerly Pop/Alternative "Curve 94.3," it's now `60s and `70s Oldies as "Fab 94.3." CHUM dropped a similar format on CFRW/1290 earlier this year in favor of Sports. The switch marks the end of a decades-long run of Contemporary music formats on CHIQ. (12/27/2010)
The FCC has asked Pappas Telecasting to modify part of its plan to move WWAZ-TV/68.1 (Fond du Lac) to Milwaukee. Pappas wants to move WWAZ's transmitter to Milwaukee and broadcast on channel 5, and had received construction permits for translators in Columbus and Ripon to fill in areas of WWAZ's former analog coverage area that would not be served by the new facility. (The application to move the actual station to Milwaukee remains pending.) However, WDJT Inc. pointed out that Pappas used 41 dbu contours when determining the coverage of the replacement translators when it really should have used 51 dbu contours. The FCC told Pappas to re-engineer the applications. WWAZ is currently off the air, having notified the FCC of suspension of operations three times in the last two years. (12/27/2010)
Sellers Broadcasting, owner of KMRY/1450 (Cedar Rapids), is buying translator K227BL/93.3 (Anamosa) from Extreme Grace Media for $25,000. An earlier application to move K227BL's transmitter to Marion revealed plans to use it to relay KMRY. The translator currently relays KXGM-FM/89.1 (Hiawatha). (12/27/2010)
Woodward Communications is adding another station to its Appleton/Oshkosh group with the purchase of WLWB/92.9 (New Holstein). FCC paperwork was filed Thursday for the $1.2 million cash purchase of the new station construction permit from Metro North Communications.
Metro North, owned by Donald Burcham, Thomas and Wendy Tomter, and Mark Heller, and three other companies first applied for the new station in 1996. The competing applicants never reached a settlement agreement, so the frequency went up for a closed auction earlier this year. Metro North was the only applicant to complete all the steps required for the auction and was awarded the CP.
The original CP calls for 6kW/100m (class A) from a new tower near Chilton, but last month, Metro North applied to move to a tower two miles east of Stockbridge using 6kW/95m. That facility would deliver a good signal to Appleton and Oshkosh.
Woodward owns six other radio stations in northeastern Wisconsin. Heller is the president of WGBW/1590 (Two Rivers). (12/23/2010)
ABC affiliate KCRG-TV/9 (Cedar Rapids) will move the start of its morning newscast up to 4:30 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 3. It will be the first station in Eastern Iowa to adopt the early-morning timeslot. (12/20/2010)
More than a year after analog broadcasting ended for full-power TV stations in the U.S., the digital broadcast era is just beginning in Manitoba. The Winnipeg Free Press reports Global affiliate CKND-TV/9 has signed on CKND-DT/40 last Thursday, Dec. 16 - the first HD signal on the air in the province. Stations in Winnipeg, Thunder Bay, and other markets with more than one station must convert to digital-only by August 31, 2011. There is no deadline set for stations in other areas, though they may convert to digital voluntarily. (12/20/2010)
Minnesota Public Radio translator W293AV/106.5 (Hinckley) is off the air. The translator had rebroadcast MPR's News network from KNOW/91.1 (Minneapolis), but the News network is heard on new station WGRH/88.5 (Hinckley). Translator W226AY/93.1 (Hinckley) is still on the air carrying the News netork from WSCN/100.5 (Cloquet-Duluth). (12/20/2010)
Nearly fourteen years after the original application was filed, the FCC has granted Tri-County Radio a construction permit for a new station on 98.9 licensed to Two Rivers. It'll use 6kW/68m (class A) from a tower south of Manitowoc. Tri-County Radio was one of four applicants for the frequency in 1997, but at that time, the FCC left it up to competing applicants to reach settlement agreements. No agreement was ever reached and the applications remained pending until the FCC allowed the applicants to bid in a closed auction last summer. Only two applicants made it to the auction, and Tri-County Radio won over Radio Plus with a $49,000 bid. Tri-County Radio once owned WKTT/98.1 (Cleveland, WI) and a related company, Watertown Radio, owned WTTN/1580 (Watertown, now Colubus), but both stations were sold off more than a decade ago. The company is owned by Charles P. Mills of Charlottesville, VA. (12/20/2010)
New FCC filings detail changes removing J. Scott Hennen's control of Great Plains Integrated Media, the owner of four stations in the Fargo market: WZFG/1100 (Dilworth, MN), KEGK/106.9 (Wahpeton, ND), KQLX/890 (Lisbon, ND), and KQLX-FM/106.1 (Lisbon). Hennen holds 14.1 percent equity in the company but held 51 percent voting power under a 2008 agreement. The company shareholders have now decided to rescind that agreement, giving each shareholder a voting power equal to his equity. Michael J. Hover, Kenneth L. Christianson, and Daniel J. Paulson each have 26 percent and Ryan D. Rogen has 7.9 percent. Hennen, a longtime talk show host in the market, left WZFG's airwaves in September and returned the next month as a self-syndicated program. (12/16/2010)
The plans have changed again for a new Chadron-area FM. Kathleen R. Brown's Chadrad Communications has a construction permit for a new 100kW (class C1) station on 107.7. It had applied to move to 99.9, remaining 100kW, so that a new tower site could be used. Now, it's changed the application to remain on 107.7 but drop to 50kW (class C2). (12/16/2010)
In case you missed it, the Twin Cities midday TV news race is about to get more crowded. KARE 11 recently announced plans to add "KARE 11 Today," an hourlong newscast at 11 a.m. beginning Jan. 10, 2011. It'll be anchored by station veterans Diana Pierce and Pat Evans, who also anchor KARE 11 News at 4. KARE will drop "Showcase Minnesota," a partly-sponsored local talk program that replaced a newscast in 2006, and move the fourth hour of NBC's "Today" up to 10 a.m. At 11 a.m., the NBC affiliate will go head-to-head with the longtime "Eyewitness News Midday" newscast on ABC affiliate KSTP-TV/5. CBS' WCCO-TV/4 has a Noon newscast; FOX 9 (KMSP) has no midday news. (12/15/2010)
In a rare move, Hearst ABC affiliate WISN-TV/12 (Milwaukee) will expand its 10 p.m. newscast to an hour effective Jan. 24, 2011, delaying the network's broadcast of "Nightline" by 25 minutes. WISN has carried an hourlong 10 p.m. newscast on Sundays since 2004 and says in a press release that it's historically been number one. WISN is one of just a few big-three affiliate in the country to make such a move since ABC, CBS, and NBC all provide late-night programming beginning at 10:35 CT. However, hourlong 10 p.m. newscasts are the standard on FOX and CW affiliates in the Eastern and Pacific time zones, where prime time begins an hour later and big-three stations air local news at 11. (12/14/2010)
The Minority Media Telecommunications Council has found a new operator for an Iowa low-power TV station being donated by TBN. It's selling K42AM (Ottumwa) and three other LPTV stations outside the Upper Midwest to Oklahoma-based New Moon Communications for $12,004. TBN agreed to donate 155 stations to MMTC earlier this year, but MMTC cautioned it would only accept the donations if it could find partners to operate the stations. A complete list of the donated stations in the Upper Midwest can be found in the September 2010 news archive. (12/14/2010)
KZMX/580 (Hot Springs) is off the air due to a water leak. In an FCC filing, the station says pipes froze and burst, damaging station equipment and forcing employees out of the building. It hopes to have the damage repaired within thirty days. KZMX-FM/96.7 had notified the FCC last month it was off the air due to technical problems. The stations are owned by Jan Charles Gray's Mount Rushmore Broadcasting. (12/14/2010)
KOLB/93.7 (Firth) has applied for an upgrade that would give it rimshot coverage of the southern half of Lincoln. The application is for 6kW/71m (class A) from a tower north of Firth. The station, owned by VSS Catholic Communications, was originally permitted for a similar facility, but VSS downgraded the construction permit to 310 Watts shortly before the deadline to get the station on the air. VSS is trying to sell KOLB; it was no longer necessary after KVSS/102.7 (Papillion) signed on reaching both Omaha and Lincoln. (12/13/2010)
New station KNDH/102.3 (Hettinger) wants its license, but says it can't afford to stay on the air. The station applied for the license to cover its construction permit in November, but before the FCC acted on the application, KNDH notified the FCC that it had suspended operations due to financial considerations. KNDH is owned by Midnation Media, LLC and uses 51kW/59m (class C1). The only other commercial station in the area is Michael J. Schweitzer's KNDC/1490 (Hettinger). (12/12/2010)
Prairie Public Television station KWSE/4.1 (Williston) has moved from RF channel 51 to channel 11. With the move, the station upgraded from 53.9kW, a relatively low power for UHF, to 84.9kW, essentially the maximum for VHF high. A move from UHF to VHF is rare since many digital VHF stations have reported indoor reception problems. However, VHF may reach more viewers in rural markets where many viewers have rooftop antennas. NBC affiliate KUMV/8 (Williston) also broadcasts on VHF. (12/12/2010)
New station KPHA/91.3 (Mandan-Bismarck) has signed on, simulcasting Catholic programming with KVXR/1280 (Moorhead-Fargo) and KWTL/1370 (Grand Forks). (12/12/2010)
New station KGRH/88.1 (Loomis-Mitchell) has signed on. It's owned by The Praise Network, which also operates two stations in Nebraska and several translators in the region. (12/12/2010)
Cumulus Media's 106.7 "The Zone" (WZNN Allouez-Green Bay) has flipped from Alternative to Adult Alternative as "The Kruze at 106-7" with the new callsign WKRU. The callsign change was effective Thursday, Dec. 9. The format is streaming at wkrufm.com. WKRU is owned by WI Radio, LLC and operated by Cumulus. (12/9/2010)
American Family Radio has signed on new station WWEN/88.1 (Wentworth, WI), providing a rimshot signal to Duluth/Superior. It's the Christian network's first station in Wisconsin. WWEN broadcasts from a tower near Pattison State Park south of Superior, using 850W/139m (class A). The signal is fairly stable on car radios in the Twin Ports, but may be hard to receive on portable radios due to intermodulation interference from other stations. It's the eighth Christian radio station that can be heard in the Twin Ports. (12/8/2010)
Hearst CBS affiliate KCCI/8 (Des Moines) is adding local news in the 5 a.m. hour on Saturdays and Sundays. The station already has local newscasts from 8-9 a.m. Saturday and 6-8 a.m. Sunday. KCCI's press release doesn't mention a start date for the 5 a.m. hour, but it doesn't show up in TV listings on the next two weekends. (12/7/2010)
Minnesota Public Radio says new 360-Watt station KRFI/88.1 (Redwood Falls) will sign on Wednesday, Dec. 8, carrying its News network. The News network was previously heard on two translators in Redwood Falls, 115-Watt K216FZ/91.1 and 250-Watt K245AK/96.9. MPR says K245AK will leave the air but K216FZ will stay on on carrying the News network. MPR's other two networks, Classical MPR and "The Current," do not currently have translators in Redwood Falls.
KRFI is the third new station signed on by MPR this year, joining WGRH/88.5 (Hinckley) and KITF/88.3 (International Falls). (12/7/2010)
The construction permit for a new non-commercial station in southwestern Wisconsin is being transferred, again. Horizon Christian Fellowship first won the CP for WDSW/103.9 (Westby) in FCC Auction No. 62. It then donated it to Calvary Chapel of Kansas City shortly before the CP was originally slated to expire in late 2009, and the FCC granted an extension until May 2011. Now, Calvary is selling the CP to Crossfire, Inc. for $25,000. Crossfire, a Christian broadcaster, also holds a CP for WEQS/89.3 (Sparta). WDSW's CP is for 2.5kW/145m (class A), while WEQS' CP is for 7.5kW/160m (class C3). (12/7/2010)
Milwaukee-based Christian broadcaster VCY America is picking up a new station in Illinois for free. Olney Voice of Christian Faith, Inc. recently decided to donate WPTH/88.1 (Olney) to VCY. Olney Voice of Christian Faith president and director Thomas Benson is also a vice president of VCY. The group owns 20 other FM stations, 8 FM translators, 1 TV station, and 1 low-power TV station, all in the Midwest. (12/7/2010)
Journal Broadcasting NBC affiliate WGBA (Green Bay) has added "TheCoolTV" on channel 26.2. Journal also carries the music video channel on its stations in Milwaukee and Omaha. (12/1/2010)
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