December 2013

The FCC has denied four applications for new low-power FM stations on 98.9 in Minneapolis and St. Paul over concerns about interference to a service for the blind. The reading service is carried on an analog subcarrier of KSJN/99.5 (Minneapolis), and minimum distance separations require that LPFM stations be at least 93km away from such services on third-adjacent frequencies. The applications had been filed by The Main Street Project, The Organizing Apprenticeship Project, Pillsbury United Communities, and South Minniapolis (sic) Community Radio. (12/31/2013)

WRVM, Inc. is buying the construction permit for a new non-commercial FM station in Minocqua from Lakeland Seventh-Day Adventist Church for $20,000. WQMN/88.7 will broadcast on 88.7 with 11.5kW/92m (class C3). WRVM, which operates a Christian radio network covering central and northern Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula, has an existing translator in Minocqua. (12/30/2013)

The FCC has set aside its concerns about a proposed Milwaukee FM translator move-in and granted the application.

Radio Power's W250BN/97.9 now has a construction permit to change its community of license from West Allis to Milwaukee and move its transmitter from Muskego to West Allis, using 250 Watts with a main coverage area including much of Milwaukee and some suburbs. This is the sixth relocation of the translator, which was originally licensed to Beloit.

The FCC had raised concerns about the application last year and asked Radio Power to provide documentation that it had permission to use each tower site, the precise length of time each facility was on the air, the stations that were rebroadcast from each facility, and proof that the originating stations had granted permission to be rebroadcast.

The questions came after a decision that a similar translator "hop" was an abuse of process. However, the commission now says it would be "harsh and unfair" to punish Radio Power since the FCC approved W250BN's first five moves before the other decision was released.

W250BN's application listed Wisconsin Public Radio's WHAD/90.7 (Delafield-Milwaukee) as the station to be rebroadcast, but the input station can be changed at any time without FCC approval. (12/30/2013)

Multi-Cultural Diversity Radio has given up an attempt to change the community of license for a future FM station from Tigerton to Caroline, but is sticking with plans to locate the transmitter near Clintonville. MCDR, headed by Samir Abumayyaleh of Minneapolis, won the class A (maximum 6kW/100m) station on 106.9 with a $16,000 bid in an FCC auction. Instead of Tigerton, MCDR applied to have the station licensed to Caroline in its application for its initial construction permit, but the FCC responded last month that the change would not be allowed because Caroline has a smaller population than Tigerton. MCDR is proposing a 3.5kW/132m facility west of Clintonville and amended its application with maps showing that most of Tigerton would still be within the facility's city-grade (70 dbu) contour. Clintonville would be outside of the city-grade contour but would still be within its protected (60 dbu) contour. Clintonville is home to two commercial stations owned by Results Broadcasting, which is buying a CP for a new station from MCDR in Rhinelander. No such deal has been announced in the Tigerton/Clintonville situation. (12/30/2013)

KPLO-FM/94.5 (Reliance-Pierre) has returned to full power nearly four years after the collapse of the KPLO-TV tower. KPLO-FM, owned by Janice Ingstad's James River Broadcasting, is now transmitting with 100kW/283m (class C1) from the new KPLO-TV tower, which is 6km to the southwest of the old one. KPLO-FM had been broadcasting with 18kW/227m from a temporary tower at the previous site; it had used 100kW/301m before the collapse. (12/30/2013)

Nexstar Broadcasting is planning to build a news department at CBS affiliate WJMN-TV/3.1 (Escanaba-Marquette) early next year, according to a job opening for a News Director/Anchor posted on its website. No other jobs are posted at this point, but the listing says the station will carry weekday evening newscasts beginning in early 2014. WJMN currently acts as a satellite of Nexstar's WFRV-TV/5.1 (Green Bay), relaying its newscasts with Upper Peninsula weather inserts. The Marquette market has only two other news-producing TV stations: NBC/FOX affiliate WLUC/6.1 (Marquette), which had the market's only local news presence for decades, and ABC affiliate WBUP/10.1 (Ishpeming). (12/27/2013)

Clear Channel has swapped the formats on two of its central Iowa stations, moving an Alternative format to a signal reaching more people. The former "New Rock 105.1" format of KCCQ (Ames) is now "Alt 106-3" on KPTL (Ankeny-Des Moines). Meanwhile, the former "Capital 106.3" Hot Adult Contemporary format has become "Now 105-1" on KCCQ. KPTL is a core Des Moines signal while KCCQ's main coverage area falls just shy of the capital city. The swap comes after 106.3 ran Christmas music for nearly two months. The "Capital" identity had originally launched in 2006 as Adult Alternative and later transitioned to Hot AC; KCCQ had debuted the Alternative format in the late `90s as "Channel Q" and later became "New Rock 105.1." (12/26/2013)

All of Ottumwa's radio stations will soon be owned by the same company: O-Town Communications is buying FMC Broadcasting's KLEE/1480 (Ottumwa) and KOTM/97.7 (Ottumwa) for $794,000. O-Town already owns KBIZ/1240 (Ottumwa), KTWA/92.7 (Ottumwa), KKSI/101.5 (Eddyville), and KRKN/104.3 (Eldon). None of the stations are direct competitors formatically. O-Town will take over the stations through a time brokerage agreement while the parties await FCC approval. The deal, dated Christmas Eve, includes a five-year non-compete clause for FMC owner Thomas Palen. O-Town Communications is owned by Bruce Linder (60%) and Greg List (40%). (12/26/2013)

Flood Broadcasting is buying an FM translator for its recently-acquired AM station in Nebraska City. Flood will pay Community Broadcasting $5,000 for K288GS/105.5 (Nebraska City), which the application says will relay KNCY/1600 (Nebraska City). The construction permit for K288GS calls for 250 Watts from a tower near the beltway going around town. Flood's purchase of KNCY and KNCY-FM/103.1 (Auburn-Nebraska City) from Riverfront Broadcasting LLC for $810,000 has FCC approval; the K288GS application indicates the consummation of the KNCY/KNCY-FM sale is scheduled for Dec. 31. (12/26/2013)

The construction permit for a new non-commercial FM station rimshotting Eau Claire is being transferred from one Christian group to another. Evangelical Broadcasting Corp. is selling the CP for 101.5 (Augusta) to LBN, Inc. for $10,000, which it says is the cost paid for engineering research and tower site negotiations. The CP calls for 25kW/100m from the WEAU-TV tower near Fairchild, with a main coverage area nipping the edge of Eau Claire. The new station, which does not yet have a callsign, faces an Aug. 4, 2014 construction deadline. (12/26/2013)

KLCI/106.1 (Elk River-Minneapolis) has added an HD4 signal with a broad Oldies format called "The Big Q." The new format sometimes includes a legal ID for sister station WQPM/1300 (Princeton) and Educational Media Foundation's K277AS/103.3 (Big Lake), both of which continued with their previous formats as of Wednesday. K277AS is currently licensed for 10 Watts from a transmitter site in Monticello and has a construction permit to move to Princeton with 150 Watts; it's currently part of a chain of translators relaying EMF's "Air-1" network from St. Cloud to Minneapolis. KLCI carries "Total Country Bob FM" on analog/HD1, Contemporary Christian "Hope" on HD2, and "Radio Asia" on HD3. (12/26/2013)

Hubbard Radio has moved the "1500 ESPN" (KSTP) simulcast from the HD2 signal of KTMY/107.1 to the more powerful HD2 signal of KSTP-FM/94.5. 107.1-HD2 is carrying a loop advising listeners of the move. "KS95" added an HD signal earlier this year. (12/26/2013)

Minnesota Public Radio has signed on new station WINH/91.9 (Hinckley), which is simulcasting MPR's News network with existing station WGRH/88.5 (Hinckley) for now. Announcements running on the stations indicate WGRH will begin carrying Classical MPR on Monday (12/30). WINH is the larger of the two stations, using 16kW/128m with a main coverage area including Pine City, Mora, Sandstone, and Grantsburg, WI. WGRH signed on just three years ago, and MPR also has several other translators in Hinckley and Pine City carrying its Classical and "Current" Adult Alternative services. (12/23/2013, updated 12/26)

"Strong Tower Radio" has signed on, or soon will, new station WUPJ/90.9 (Escanaba). WUPJ uses 100kW/80m (class C1) from a tower northwest of Escanaba. The Christian network launched in 2009 on a station in the lower peninsula, added another lower peninsula station and WIHC/97.9 (Newberry) last year, and plans to take over a former commercial station in the lower peninsula early next year. (12/23/2013)


  • Keokuk, IA: K248CF/97.5, 205W, Covenant Network.
  • Nebraska City, NE: K288GS/105.5, 250W, Community Broadcasting.
  • Beaver Dam, WI: W288CZ/105.5, 170W, Radio 74 Internationale.
  • Eau Claire, WI: W234CA/94.7, 250W, Clear Channel. (12/23/2013)

    At least 95 radio stations in the Upper Midwest and Manitoba flipped to all-Christmas formats this season. Des Moines has the highest number: Six Christmas formats heard on a total of nine frequencies, including two commercial FM's, one commercial AM, and several Christian-formatted stations, two of which limited music to religious, non-secular selections amid regular teaching and preaching programs. Minneapolis came in second with five Christmas formats, though one of them is on an HD2 channel. Surprisingly, no commercial FM's in Green Bay or Wausau adopted the format this year. Several unrated-market stations were new to the list this year. See the entire list here. (12/22/2013)

    The FCC has denied an FM station's second attempt to move closer to Des Moines.

    Truth Broadcasting's KTIA-FM/99.3 (Boone) had originally applied to change its community of license to Johnston with a transmitter in Saylorville, which the FCC rejected due to rules intended to prevent station moves from rural areas to urbanized areas. KTIA-FM then applied to change its community of license to Huxley with a transmitter near Sheldahl, not as close to Des Moines as the original proposal. The move would've kept Des Moines outside of KTIA-FM's city-grade (70 dbu) contour but would have tripled the number of people in its protected (60 dbu) contour.

    Saga Broadcasting objected to the application, which was followed by several more responses back and forth. Ultimately, the FCC rejected KTIA-FM's application after determining it would be theoretically possible for KTIA-FM move to a different tower site to cover more than half of the Ames Urbanized Area after its community of license was changed to Huxley. Thus, the application was considered a proposal to move from a rural area to an urbanized area and denied.

    KTIA's move would have required KPUL-FM/99.5 (Winterset) to move to 101.7 which, in turn, would have displaced Iowa Public Radio translator K269EJ/101.7 (Des Moines). The translator already has a construction permit to move to 97.7. KTIA-FM carries a Christian Talk format. (12/20/2013)

    FOX affiliate KTTW/7 (Sioux Falls) has returned to DISH Network after an absence of more than two months due to a retransmission consent dispute. KTTW, owned by Independent Communications, was restored to DISH customers last Friday (12/13). The Sioux Falls TV market covers the eastern half of South Dakota as well as portions of southwestern Minnesota, northwestern Iowa, and northern Nebraska.

    Elsewhere, a dispute continues between ABC affiliate Citadel Communications' KLKN/8 (Lincoln) and DirecTV, which hasn't carried KLKN since October. DirecTV still has ABC in the Lincoln market due to the quirk that the market has two ABC affiliates, the other being KHGI/13 (Kearney). (12/19/2013)

    FOX affiliate KTTW/7 (Sioux Falls) has converted four of its translators to digital: K50DG Brookings, K14IO Pierre, K32DK Watertown, and K22HJ Worthington, MN. KTTW's Aberdeen translator, K39CZ, is still in analog and has applied to switch to digital. Besides FOX, KTTW carries ThisTV on 7.2. (12/19/2013)

    Gray TV is continuing its Upper Midwest buying spree with the purchase of Rapid City FOX affiliate KEVN/7 and satellite KIVV/5 (Lead). Gray announced Wednesday it will pay Mission TV, which has owned the stations for 15 years, $7.75 million for the stations. Once this and other transactions are complete, Gray will own TV stations in every South Dakota, North Dakota, and Nebraska market. It recently bought stations in the Cheyenne/Scottsbluff market and is in the process of buying stations in the North Platte, Sioux Falls, Fargo, and Bismarck markets; it already owns stations in the Omaha and Lincoln markets. (12/18/2013)

    Salem Communications has launched "The Fish Twin Cities," a Contemporary Christian music stream matching the branding used by Salem in several other markets. The new music format streams at with promises of a mobile app coming soon. The stream's Facebook page was launched Nov. 20. Salem's Twin Cities stations include Christian-formatted KKMS/980 (Richfield), Conservative Talker WWTC/1280 (Minneapolis), and Business KYCR/1570 (Golden Valley). The Twin Cities already have several FM stations featuring Contemporary Christian music, including University of Northwestern-St. Paul's KTIS-FM/98.5 (Minneapolis), North Central University's KNOF/95.3 (St. Paul), and translators for the "K-Love," "Air-1," and "Refuge" networks. (12/18/2013)

    KGYM/1600 translator K298BM/107.5 (Cedar Rapids) is back on the air after a brief outage due to a transmitter move. The 250-Watt translator left the air Nov. 8 after the landlord ordered it to leave its tower on the southwest side of the city and recently returned to the air from a tower on the northeast side. K298BM carries KGYM, an ESPN affiliate, via the HD4 signal of sister station KZIA/102.9, a setup which allows the AM and FM signals to carry different sports play-by-play. KGYM also feeds a translator in Iowa City via KZIA-HD3. (12/18/2013)

    The FCC has given competing applicants for new low-power FM stations 60 days to come up with settlement agreements, time-share agreements, or technical changes to resolve the conflicts. In the Upper Midwest, most of the conflicts are in the Twin Cities area, where there are nine applicants for 94.1, six for 97.9, and three apiece for 98.9 and 104.7. (Strangely enough, there are a few Twin Cities frequencies with only one applicant.) Elsewhere, there are nine applications for 101.3 in the Milwaukee area, two for 97.5 in St. Cloud/Collegeville, two for 92.7 in Rapid City, and two for 105.1/105.3 in Iowa City. Omaha has four different groups: three applications for 101.3/101.5 and two apiece for 91.9, 95.7, and 99.3. Click here for a list of all low-power FM applications in the Upper Midwest, with the mutually-exclusive applicants indicated. (Community of license and applicant name are as listed on the FCC application.) (12/16/2013)

    My Bridge Radio has turned off two translators in the panhandle after the recent upgrade of KPNY/102.3 (Alliance). The group says in FCC filings that K269DO/101.7 (Scottsbluff) and K239BE/95.7 (Sidney) went off the air Nov. 27 and will remain silent as it considers the best use for the translators. (12/16/2013)

    VCY/AMerica translator K221DH/92.1 (Ripon) has gone off the air. VCY says in a request for special temporary authority to remain silent filed with the FCC that the 89-Watt translator lost its tower lease and left the air Dec. 9 while it seeks a new transmitter site. (12/16/2013)


  • Burlington, IA: K285GR/104.9, 50W, American Family Association.
  • Davenport, IA: K248CE/97.5, 41W, Radio Assist Ministry.
  • Iron Mountain, MI: W290CO/105.9, 10W, Sister Grace Inc. The community of license is incorrectly listed as being the nonexistent community of "Iron Mountain, WI" in FCC records.
  • Norway, MI: W287CJ/105.3, 250W, WRVM Inc.
  • Bayport, MN (eastern suburbs): K288GR/105.5, 27W, William Cornwall. Easy Listening KNXR/97.5 (Rochester) listed as primary station.
  • Detroit Lakes, MN: K226CA/93.1, 170W, Shine the Light Inc. KKEQ/107.1 (Fosston) listed as primary station.
  • Omaha, NE: K233CO/94.5, 250W, Edgewater Broadcasting. Salem's KCRO/660 listed as primary station.
  • Rapid City, SD: K268CN/101.5, 20W, Bethesda Christian Broadcasting.
  • Plymouth, WI: W286CR/105.1, 10W, WRVM Inc.
  • Sheboygan, WI: W287CI/105.3, 38W, WRVM Inc. (12/16/2013)

    The South Dakota Board of Directors for Educational Telecommunications is buying KCSD/90.9 (Sioux Falls) from the University of Sioux Falls for $420,000. KCSD already carries SDPB Radio. (12/16/2013)

    Great Lakes Radio is buying the construction permit for new translator W248BU/97.5 (Ishpeming) from Family Educational Broadcasting of Door County, Wis. in exchange for a $10,000 donation to Family Worship Center of Sturgeon Bay, Wis. The application states W248BU will relay WSHN/89.3 (Munising), which is not yet on the air; Great Lakes Radio also owns several commercial stations in the area. The traslator's current CP calls for 10 Watts from a Great Lakes Radio tower north of Ishpeming (also WSHN's site), with a coverage of rural areas north of Ishpeming and west of Marquette. (12/16/2013)

    CFAR/590 (Flin Flon) turned on its FM transmitter at 102.9 at 1:02 p.m. Thursday (12/12), according to a post on the station's Facebook page. Unlike many other AM-to-FM conversions in recent Canadian history, CFAR will actually be keeping its 10kW AM frequency as a secondary transmitter of the new 600-Watt FM facility. CFAR owner Arctic Radio has authorization to make similar additions at its stations in The Pas and Thompson. (12/12/2013)

    The FCC has granted an upgrade for suburban Twin Cities Tropical station KQSP/1530 (Shakopee). "La Picosa," owned by Yong W. Kim's Broadcast One, Inc., is currently licensed for 8.6kW day, 10 Watts night, and a variety of pre-sunrise and post-sunset power levels from a site in Chaska, which is the far southwest metro. KQSP's new construction permit calls for 24kW day and 17kw during critical hours (after sunrise and before sunset) with a directional antenna pattern from the WLOL/1330 site in Savage. The upgrade would expand KQSP's main coverage area to include St. Paul and the east metro, though the signal would still be weak in the far south metro. (12/11/2013)

    Casper Communications, the new owner of WDKM/106.1 (Adams), plans to change the station's callsign to WCWI, according to an FCC report. The station serves a portion of central Wisconsin. (12/11/2013)

    At least 73 Upper Midwest radio stations are now all-Christmas after several more stations joined the list over the past several days. Many stations were added Monday (12/9) when Westwood One's Adult Standards network completed its annual segue to Christmas hits, with affiliates including KLBB/1220 (Stillwater-Minneapolis), KRNT/1350 (Des Moines), and WNAM/1280 (Neenah-Menasha-Appleton). Another notable flip was University of Northwestern-St. Paul's KTIS-FM/98.5 (Minneapolis), which made the seasonal switch last Thursday (12/5) after one all-Christmas weekend. Des Moines is Santa's favorite city this year with four all-Christmas stations so far plus weekends on a fifth, Northwestern's "Life" simulcast of KNWI/107.1 (Osceola) and KNWM/96.1 (Madrid). See the complete list of Upper Midwest Christmas flips here and send any tips to (12/9/2013)


  • Council Bluffs, IA/Omaha, NE: K272FE/102.3, 99W, Clear Channel
  • Des Moines, IA: K295CB/106.9, 115W, Starbord Media Foundation
  • Dubuque, IA: K280FY/103.9, 19W, Edgewater Broadcasting
  • Grand Rapids, MN: W258CG/99.5, 19W, Refuge Media Group
  • Rochester, MN: K236BT/95.1, 99W, Clear Channel
  • Appleton, WI: W247BY/97.3, 55W, Cornerstone Community Radio
  • Milwaukee, WI: W284CI/104.7, 16W, Cornerstone Community Radio (no coverage map available). This translator would be co-channel with Bustos Media's WDDW/104.7 (Sturtevant-Milwaukee) but was grantable because the transmitter site, in far northern Milwaukee, is outside of WDDW's main coverage area. However, it would still be subject to interference complaints. Educational Media Foundation's WLVE/105.3 (Mukwonago-Milwaukee) is listed as the primary station.
  • Peshtigo/Marinette, WI: W247BX/97.3, 250W, Cornerstone Community Radio (12/9/2013)

    Nearly 17 years after the first application for a new station, WEMP/98.9 (Two Rivers-Howards Grove) signed on under program test authority Saturday night. The station is testing with Easy Listening/Oldies and vintage WEMP jingles and expects to be on the air until early Monday, according to an announcement from owner Mark Heller. The test broadcast can be heard via the webstream of Seehafer Broadcasting's WLKN/98.1 (Cleveland-Sheboygan-Manitowoc), which is allowing WEMP to use its facilities. WEMP transmits with 6kW/89m from the WLKN tower near Cleveland. Four groups had applied for the frequency in 1997 and the applications sat dormant until the FCC let them compete in an auction in 2010. Tri-County Radio won the construction permit and later sold it to Heller's Metro North Communications, which had to find a new tower site since a local government would not allow a tower to be built at the site of the first CP. The station faced a Dec. 16 deadline to sign on. (12/7/2013)

    Mid-West Family Broadcasting's WHIT/1550 (Madison) has dropped Citadel's "True Oldies Channel" in favor of Envision Radio Network's "Hank" Classic Country format. The changeover apparently happened Wednesday (12/4). WHIT is a 5kW daytimer. Mid-West also owns Country-formatted "Q106" (WWQM/106.3 Middleton-Madison). (12/6/2013)

    There's a large new FM signal on the air in Nebraska's panhandle. Last Wednesday (11/27), Christian-formatted KPNY/102.1 (Alliance) flipped the switch on a new tower 19 miles south of the old one, changing to 102.3 and upgrading to 100kW/412m (class C0). The upgrade gives KPNY the second-largest FM coverage area in the state (after Three Eagles' KZEN/100.3 Central City) and extends its main coverage area farther to the south. KPNY carries the "My Bridge Radio" network, which posted pictures of the new tower on its Facebook page. (12/3/2013)

    Wisconsin Public Radio has announced that longtime host Jim Fleming will retire at the end of January as host of "To the Best of Our Knowledge," though he will continue on "Chapter a Day." Fleming has hosted the nationally-syndicated "TTBOOK" since its inception 23 years ago. Anne Strainchamps will take over as host of the show and will give up her weekly show "45 North," which airs Fridays from 9 to 11 a.m. on the Ideas Network. "On Point," which already airs in the time slot Monday through Thursday, will take over the Friday time slot. (12/3/2013)

    Two dozen more Upper Midwest radio stations joined the all-Christmas list on the weekend following Thanksgiving, including Waterloo's "93-5 The Mix" (KCVM Hudson), Rochester's "Y105" (KYBA/105.3 Stewartville), St. Cloud's "Spirit 92.9" (KKJM St. Joseph), Fargo's "92-7 The Drive" (KZDR Kindred) and "Life 97.9" (KFNW-FM), Minot's "Mix 99.9" (KMXA-FM), Rapid City's "Power 107.1" (KSLT Spearfish), Sioux Falls' "Life 96.5" (KNWC-FM), and Sheboygan's "1420 The Breeze" (WJUB Plymouth). Meanwhile, Canada doesn't have the Thanksgiving kickoff to the Christmas season, since Canadian Thanksgiving is in mid-October, but Winnipeg's 102.3 "Clear FM" (CKY-FM) made the switch to all-Christmas on Saturday. See the complete list of all five dozen Upper Midwest flips here and send any tips to (12/2/2013)


  • Des Moines, IA: K284BZ/104.7, 10W, Educational Media Foundation.
  • Iron Mountain, MI: W240CQ/95.9, 15W, Family Educ. Broadcasting Corp. of Door Co.
  • Roseau, MN: K247BS/97.3, 225W, Minnesota Public Radio.
  • Howard/Green Bay, WI: W221DA/92.1, 250W, David M. Stout. Midwest's WNFL/1440 listed as primary station.
  • Madison, WI: W265CV/100.9, 250W, Clear Channel. (12/2/2013)

    It was "kind of a big deal" when a new anchor debuted on the 6 p.m. Saturday edition "KX News" on CBS affiliate KXMB/12 (Bismarck) and its satellites. Will Ferrell, in full character as Ron Burgundy, co-anchored the newscast with Amber Schatz as a promotion for "Anchorman 2," which opens Dec. 18. "Burgundy" was limited to reading a few light stories, including one about Santa visiting Mandan, and also introduced news packages on a two-shot with Schatz. The station said on its Facebook page that the newscast was pre-recorded for security reasons and because of a late-running football game. (12/1/2013)

    KXNet - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson

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