MapNews Archive

December 1997

12/29/1997: KMJZ has moved to new studios and offices on France Avenue. The move took place at midnight December 21/22 (Sunday/Monday). KSGS/950 is still at the Eden Prairie studios and will move to the France Avenue site this week. The new mailing address is: KMJZ/KSGS, Suite 200, 7001 France Avenue Aouth, Minneapolis, 55435. The phone number is (612) 836-1041.

12/29/1997: Rumor: Chancellor Broadcasting will flip one of its Twin Cities stations to Modern Rock.

12/27/1997: Rock 100.3 (WRQC) has transitioned into a broader Rock format, more directly competing with KQRS. "Classic rock that really rocks" from artists such as The Doors, Ted Nugent, and George Thurogood has been added. A "classic" track is played several times an hour. Perhaps Chancellor is trying to take on KQRS from two fronts, with WRQC targeting KQ's younger listeners and Cities 97 targeting the older listeners.

12/25/1997: Unlicensed station "Magic 107.5" took to the air in Minneapolis on Christmas Day to broadcast Christmas music. The station appears to be operated by the same people who operated "Ballot Box Radio" on 95.7 during the week before the November elections. Also in the Twin Cities, WCCO, WWTC, KLBB/WLOL, KDIZ, KS95, Cities 97, WLTE, KMJZ, and Kool 108 preempted regular programming for Christmas music.

12/22/1997: Northland, LLC, is buying KCHK AM-FM in New Prague from Kingsley H. Murphy.

12/22/1997: Liz Brummond, who left KDLH last fall in a contract dispute, will start at WISN-TV Milwaukee in January as a reporter.

12/22/1997: Kool 108 (KQQL) has applied to move to a new tower near the current one in Nowthen and increase its antenna height to 338m.

12/20/1997: Harbor Broadcasting (Tom Lijewski and Cheryl Pfeiffer) has been granted a constrution permit for a 100kW station licensed to Deer River, MN, on 105.5. Lijewski and Pfeiffer own two stations in the Duluth market, and construction permits for stations in Grand Marais and Babbitt.

12/20/1997: KBEM has been given permission to move its antenna to KUOM's tower and slightly increase power.

12/20/1997: Low-power K13UT Minneapolis has been granted a construction permit to move to channel 33 as K33FB, with 24.6kW. The move will open up channel 13 for a new low-power station serving the downtown area.

12/20/1997: KXLI/41, Paxson's station in the Twin Cities market, will change to KPXM to go along PAXNet. The KXLI calls have been in use since the station signed on in 1982, standing for "41" in roman numerals.

12/19/1997: WNCB turned on a translator in Mankato on Wednesday, K274AL/102.7. K274AL broadcasts with 250 Watts from 78 meters.

12/19/1997: KBJR is still not running commercials following the fire, but they hope to have them ready to go in time for the football games this weekend. Meanwhile, they are running news promos during newscasts breaks, and a graphic with an audio announcement during other programs' local breaks. Otherwise, programming is also back to normal. News broadcasts are being broadcast out of a WDSE studio using the KBJR set, and "master control" is at the (now heated) transmitter building. NBC reception problems have been fixed. Business is also being handled from the transmitter building. It will be at least a year before staffers can return to the old building, if management decides to rebuild at that site. The building will have to be rebuilt inside the shell. New equipment is arriving daily.

12/18/1997: Rock 100.3's Marathon for Meals has apparently been over for a few days.

12/16/1997: KBJR plans to begin operation today from WDSE's studios following a fire Sunday night that destroyed the station's master control and left areas of the building that didn't burn littered with debris. KBJR's news department managed to get newscasts on the air Monday from the station's unheated transmitter building in Duluth's antenna farm. Handwritten tagboard signs were used as graphics during the morning, but were later replaced by graphics printed from someone's PC. No local commmercials aired, since the computer they were on is believed to have been destroyed, and viewers instead saw a graphic that said "Due to today's fire, some programming may air at different times" during local breaks. WDSE is also providing some office space.

12/15/1997: KBJR (NBC 6 Superior-Duluth) is crippled following a fire that began about 11:30 Sunday night above the newsroom. No one was injured, but the estimated loss is well over $3 million. The fire was helped by the fact that the building is old and has been remodeled many times. The cause is still unknown. KBJR is broadcasting from makeshift studios at its transmitter, using handwritten tagboard graphics and carrying NBC programming directly off the satellite. They plan regular newscasts.

12/15/1997: Roger Erickson will fully retire from WCCO on January 10, 1998. Erickson is better known as half of "Boone and Erickson," the team that woke Minnesotans up for decades on WCCO. They've both been partially retired for awhile, working the Saturday morning show, and Boone will continue on with Denny Long on Saturday mornings after Erickson retires.

12/15/1997: Rock 100.3 (WRQC) afternoon guy Chopper Harrison is camping out in an RV near the Target Center for the Marathon for Meals. He'll stay there until a 45-foot trailer is filled with food for the Emergency Food Shelf Network.

12/15/1997: KS95 changed its "Saturday Night at the `70s" show to "Retro Saturday Night" (70s and 80s) following the image adjustment last summer. Brian Zepp, the creator of the show, was recently fired. Rumor has it that he may be broadcasting `70s music on an unlicensed Minneapolis station.

12/15/1997: Minneapolis' "Beat Radio" is back on the air...kind of. "Beat Radio on KFAI" airs Monday mornings (late night Sundays) from 2 to 5 a.m. "Beat Radio" broadcast without a license on 97.7 in Minneapolis for several months in 1996, until the FCC shut the station down. "Beat" is currently in a court battle with the FCC against the rules that prevent low-power radio broadcasting and hopes to someday return to the air as an LPFM (low-power FM).

12/15/1997: Kevin Cole, formerly Program Director at Rev 105 and KJ104 in the Twin Cities, is moving to Cincinnatti to be WOXY's PD.

12/15/1997: Rock 100.3 (WRQC) will not be hiring ex-KQRS Morning Crew member Cabe. There's no need for Cabe's talents, since the station already has Howard Stern. (CJ in the Star Tribune)

12/15/1997: KKLS Sioux Falls, SD, has dumped Oldies in favor of Top 40 as "Hot 104.7."

12/9/1997: The rumor that Tom Lijewski and Carol Pfeiffer would buy another station in Duluth turned out to be a promotional stunt. What's up with KNLD/KQDS/KDDS is still unknown.

12/9/1997: Cabe, recently fired from KQRS (see news from 12/4), was interviewed last Friday on Howard Stern's show, which is heard in the Twin Cities on Rock 100.3 (WRQC). Stern said he would put in a word at WRQC for Cabe, who then had an interview there on Monday.

12/8/1997 7:30 p.m.: Rumor #1: Tom Lijewski and Carol Pfeiffer, the owners of "Kiss 92.1" (WWAX) and "Sunny 104-3" (KZIO) in the Duluth market, will buy another station in the market.
Rumor #2: Red River Broadcasting, which owns FOX TV affiliates in the Fargo market, is buying KNLD/21, the Duluth station that has been six months away from a full sign-on for three years.
Rumor #1 + Rumor #2 = Fant Broadcasting, overburdened in other markets, is getting rid of its Duluth properties (KNLD, KDDS/1490, and KQDS/94.9). Red River Broadcasting is buying KNLD, and Lijewski and Pfeiffer are buying KDDS/KQDS. Let's see if it happens. (Background information: Fant bought the construction permit for KNLD in 1994, intending to put it on the air right away. FOX would not affiliate with KNLD because it was only licensed to broadcast with 45kW. Fant bought KQDS AM-FM, intending to use KQDS' tower to broadcast KNLD. Fant also changed KQDS(AM) to KDDS, intending to begin an all-kids format on the station. KNLD's application to increase power awaits FCC approval.)

12/6/1997: From the FCC Daily Digest, December 5, 1997:
HAWTHORNE, WISCONSIN. Denied request to amend the FM Table of Allotments to allot Channel 293A (106.5) to Hawthorne, Wisconsin; terminated proceeding. Adopted: November 19, 1997. (This probably means that the FCC has chosen to instead allow WMFG-FM/106.3 to increase to 100kW)
DASSEL AND HUTCHINSON, MINNESOTA. Amended the FM Table of Allotments to substitute Channel 295C3 (106.9) for Channel 296A (107.1) at Hutchinson; modified license of KKJR(FM) accordingly; reallotted Channel 295C3 from Hutchinson to Dassel; terminated proceeding. Adopted: November 19, 1997. (This means that KKJR will be moving to 106.9 and increasing to 25kW, licensed to Dassell. The move will make room for WIXK-FM/107.1 in New Richmond, WI, to move its transmitter closer to the Twin Cities.)

12/4/1997: KQRS (92.5 Golden Valley-Minneapolis) is in hot water following a broadcast that they are now calling a hoax. KQ played a 20-minute tape on its morning show which implied that Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre had an affair in a Minneapolis hotel room. KQ says that Cabe, part of the KQ Morning Crew, admitted that the tape was not real. He was fired. (AP/Channel 4000 and the Star Tribune).

12/4/1997: Jonathan Elias is leaving WCCO-TV (4 Minneapolis, CBS). He's headed for Los Angeles.

12/4/1997: Just how much do listeners pledge to Christian radio? KTIS AM-FM (900/98.5 Minneapolis) raised $1,452,449 in its October "Sharathon," exceeding its goal of $1,275,000. 10,571 pledges were made, 2,212 of which were new supporters.