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MINNESOTA:
The Minnesota Broadcasters Association has hired Stephen M. Usery as its interim executive director. Usery comes from a background in financial and operational management, including work with Oneworld Alliance, US Airways, Northwest Airlines, Sun Trust Banks, and Twin Cities PBS. The Association said in a news release that Usery's first priority will be to stabilize operations and work closely with the board, accounting, and legal advisors to create a budget, complete tax records, and provide updates to members. He will represent the MBA at the NAB State Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C., this Sunday. (2/22/2018)

SINCLAIR DIVESTITURE:
Sinclair Broadcast Group intends to sell a station in Des Moines, as well as WPIX (New York) and others, as part of a nationwide divestiture to gain regulatory approval of its acquisition of Tribune Media.

In a filing that appeared in the FCC database on Wednesday morning, Sinclair is seeking to transfer nearly two dozen full-power licenses to Sinclair Divestiture Trust, headed by Richard A. Foreman.

However, not all of the stations may be divested. For example, in Des Moines, Sinclair filed applications to place both NBC affiliate WHO/13.1 and FOX affiliate KDSM/17.1 into trust, but says it only actually intends to divest one of the stations but does not yet know which one will be sold.

Sinclair would retain all other current Sinclair and Tribune stations in the Upper Midwest.

Nationally, Sinclair seeks to divest a few other stations to comply with the national ownership cap, but different Sinclair filings submitted on the same day contain conflicting accounts of which stations will be spun off. Both filings say WPIX (New York) and KSWB-TV (San Diego) will be divested, while one also says WGN-TV (Chicago) will be divested. Read the documents here: 24-page document, 102-page document. (2/21/2018)

NORTH DAKOTA:
Four Ingstad family stations in North Dakota have shuffled, tweaked, or changed their formats as one FM simulcast begins and an AM trimulcast ends:

  • KXGT/98.3 (Carrington-Jamestown) is now simulcasting the "Farm News and Real Country" format of "Thunder 106-1" (KQLX-FM Lisbon-Fargo). Sister station "Big Dog 95.5" (KYNU Jamestown) also carries a Country format but is more music-intensive and focuses on New Country. (The 98.3 signal was actually KYNU's original home before a format swap in 2005.)
  • KXGT's former Classic Hits "Ted FM" format continues on K246AM/97.1 (Jamestown) and K274BH/102.7 (Valley City), originating on the HD2 signal of KRVX/103.1 (Wimbledon-Jamestown). K274BH had previously carried "Ted FM," while K246AM had relayed ESPN Radio from KQDJ/1400 (Jamestown); KQDJ has a construction permit for new FM translator K296HH/107.1 (Jamestown).
  • KDAK/1600 (Carrington) has dropped the ag-intensive "Dakota Country Radio" format that originates at KOVC/1490 (Valley City) and is now carrying Classic Hits as "The Cardinal." KDAK has a construction permit for new translator K261EW/100.1 (Carrington), but it appears it's not yet on the air.
  • KDDR/1220 (Oakes) has also dropped the "Dakota Country" simulcast but remains Country as "The Tornado" following the sign-on of translator K240CJ/95.9 (Oakes).

KOVC continues to carry an information-intensive Country format but appears to have dropped the "Dakota Country" slogan. It recently added FM translator K242CZ/96.3 (Valley City). (2/20/2018)

MINNESOTA:
iHeartMedia's "Hot 102.5" has transitioned from Classic Hip-Hop/R&B to a contemporary Hip-Hop/R&B format, retaining the "Hot" slogan. The change was first noted by RadioInsight and happened Feb. 12. "Hot 102.5" is heard on the Educational Media Foundation's K273BH/102.5 (Fridley-Minneapolis), which transmits from the IDS Center, and the HD3 channel iHeart's KTCZ/97.1 (Minneapolis).

The new format competes primarily with Northern Lights Broadcasting's two-year-old "Go 95-3" (KZGO St. Paul-Minneapolis). Non-commercial outlet KMOJ/89.9 (Minneapolis) has served the African American community for four decades and currently carries an Urban Adult Contemporary format on its main channel, with current Hip-Hop and R&B on HD2.

102.5's change ends the unusual situation of having two Classic Hip-Hop formats in the Twin Cities; Cumulus Media continues to carry the format on its "105 The Vibe" trimulcast. (2/18/2018)

MINNESOTA:
Salem Communications Conservative Talk station WWTC/1280 (Minneapolis) has applied to move from its longtime transmitter site in St. Louis Park to its studio site in Eagan, where it would be co-located with sister station KKMS/980.

WWTC currently transmits with 5kW using a non-directional pattern during the day and a directional pattern at night; it proposes using 10kW day and 15kW night from Eagan with slightly different daytime and nighttime directional patterns. (Various coverage maps are included in this engineering statement beginning on page 31.)

The move would improve WWTC's signal to St. Paul and the eastern and southern suburbs but slightly weaken its signal in the western suburbs.

The application did not specify a reason for the proposed move. Salem also recently moved the planned site for a WWTC translator on 107.5 FM from the St. Louis Park site to the KYCR/1440 site in Golden Valley, though Salem's KDIZ/1570 also transmits from the St. Louis Park site and has not applied to move.

WWTC is one of the oldest radio stations in Minnesota, having signed on in 1925 as WRHM, and has transmitted from St. Louis Park for more than 50 years, according to FCC history cards. (2/17/2018)

MINNESOTA/NORTH DAKOTA:
No double-dipping: The FCC has dismissed several Upper Midwest AM stations' applications for new FM translators because they had already applied for translators during a previous window. The FCC cited the earlier applications in dismissing proposed new FM translators for KMHL/1400 (Marshall, MN), KOWZ/1170 (Waseca, MN), and KHND/1470 (Harvey, ND). KMHL and KOWZ were both granted waivers to move translators during 2016 AM revitalization filing windows, and their new translators are both on the air. However, KHND's first application was dismissed for failure to file a required form by a deadline and the station was never granted a translator. (2/17/2018)

NORTH DAKOTA: (UPDATED)
Gray TV is buying a second full-power station in the Fargo-Grand Forks market, My Network TV station KCPM/27 (Grand Forks), from Charles Poppen's G.I.G. of North Dakota, LLC for $255,000. KCPM recently returned to the air after having been silent for much of the past year due to problems delivering programming to the transmitter.

Gray also owns NBC affiliate KVLY-TV/11.1 (Fargo) and low-power CBS affiliate KXJB-LD (Horace-Fargo), the latter of which is simulcast on KVLY-DT2 and rebroadcast on LPTV stations in the Grand Forks and Mayville areas. KCPM is currently licensed for an 11.1kW signal but a news story posted on KVLY's website says the new owners will upgrade KCPM to cover the entire Fargo market. The article says management is still considering programming options for KCPM, which will get a new callsign.

Gray says in its filing that the purchase of KCPM should be allowed because of a recent FCC change that simplified rules to only restrict ownership of top-four stations; previously, Gray would have had to seek a waiver because the sale would have left fewer than eight TV ownership voices in the market. (2/12/2018)

SOUTH DAKOTA:
NBC affiliate KNBN/21 (Rapid City) returned to DirecTV on Feb. 4, just in time for the Super Bowl and the Winter Olympics. A retransmission consent dispute had taken the station off the satellite provider on Jan. 1. The Rapid City market covers the western third of South Dakota as well as parts of Wyoming and Montana. (2/10/2018)

MINNESOTA:
With the News/Talk format of KNSI/1450 (St. Cloud) now being relayed on new translator K257GK/99.3 (St. Cloud), original KNSI translator K277BS/103.3 (St. Cloud) is slated to split off with a different format. As first reported by RadioInsight, a Facebook page is teasing a March 5 flip to "Z Rock," originating on the HD3 signal of KZPK/98.9 (Payesville-St. Cloud). The stations are owned by Leighton Enterprises. "Z Rock" would compete with the Hard Rock format of Tri-County Broadcasting's "Rockin' 101" (WHMH/101.7 Sauk Rapids-St. Cloud) and the Classic Rock format of Townsquare Media's "103.7 The Loon" (KLZZ Waite Park-St. Cloud), the latter of which used a "Z103" slogan in the `90s. St. Cloud also has fringe reception of Twin Cities Hard Rocker "93X" (KXXR/93.7 Minneapolis). (2/8/2018)

ONTARIO:
Canadian regulators have approved a move to FM for CBC Radio One in Ear Falls. The CBC's CBOI will move from a 40-Watt signal on AM 690 to a 50-Watt signal on FM 95.5. The CRTC says it received no interventions to the application. The only other radio signal receiveable in Ear Falls, except for nighttime AM skywave, is a 50-Watt rebroadcaster of commercial Adult Contemporary outlet CKDR-FM (Dryden) on 97.5. (2/6/2018)

MORE APPLICATIONS FOR NEW FM TRANSLATORS:
The FCC database is now listing applications for new FM translators that were filed during the most recent AM revitalization filing window, and 98 applications were filed in the Upper Midwest. Some of the applications conflict and will ultimately need to be resolved through amendments or an auction. As you might expect, the band is getting quite full after several rounds of translator and low-power FM applications, and many of the frequencies now being sought are more likely to receive interference complaints from existing stations (for example, five St. Cloud-area applications are one dial position away from Twin Cities signals). Many AM stations that already have translators have applied for new ones, presumably either allowing the original translator to be repurposed (to relay an HD2 channel, for example) or to cover a different area.

Several applications were filed in the Twin Cities area:

  • WCTS/1030 (Maplewood) seeks a 250-Watt translator on 97.9 in Plymouth (northwest metro), which is where WCTS' studio is located. It would use a directional antenna pointed to the west to avoid interence to LPFM stations in St. Paul and Lakeville. WCTS carries a non-commercial Christian format and is owned by Central Baptist Theological Seminary.
  • KLBB/1220 (Stillwater) seeks a 250-Watt translator on 107.5 from Stillwater, which is in the northeast metro. Salem's WWTC/1280 (Minneapolis) already has a construction permit for the same frequency in the west metro, and KBGY/107.5 (Faribault) can be heard in the south metro. KLBB is owned by Endurance Broadcasting and carries Soft Oldies and Talk.
  • WLOL/1330 (Minneapolis) seeks a 100-Watt translator on 105.3 in Minnetonka (west-central metro), which is on the same frequency as far north metro signal WRXP/105.3 (Cambridge). However, the new translator might not elicit complaints since WRXP's programming is in a simulcast with WWWM/105.7 (Eden Prairie-Minneapolis). WLOL carries the Catholic "Relevant Radio" network.
Visit the 2018 AM Revitalization Translator Applications page for a full list of the applications. (The 2017 and 2016 applications are also linked from the lefthand column of this page.) (2/5/2018)

NEBRASKA:
KHUB/1340 (Fremont) switched to Country as "The Big Dog" on Feb. 1 following the launch of K255DF/98.9 (Fremont). The new format includes gold from the `80s and `90s along with current Country and continues to include "Morning Fremont," local newscasts and sports play-by-play, and the statewide "Sports Nightly" show at 6 p.m. KHUB and "The Best Mix 105.5" (KFMT Fremont) are owned by the Seline family's Walnut Radio LLC and serve an area under the umbrella of the major Omaha stations, with fringe coverage of Omaha. (2/4/2018)

NEW FM TRANSLATORS GRANTED (1/29-2/2):
The FCC has granted the following applications for new FM translators filed under last year's AM revitalization window:

  • Indianola, IA: KXLQ/1490, K239CR/95.7, 99W [TL: Des Moines]
  • Sigourney, IA: KMZN/740 (Oskaloosa), K280GT/103.9, 250W
  • Jamestown, ND: KQDJ/1400, K296HH/107.1, 250W
  • Sheboygan, WI: WCLB/950, W297CK/107.3, 250W

Only 17 of the original 110 Upper Midwest applications filed during the window remain pending; 11 of those were part of mutually exclusive groups that may have resolved their conflicts through amendments. The full list of applications is posted on the 2017 AM Revitalization Translator Applications page. (2/3/2018)

SOUTH DAKOTA:
JF Broadcasting, the owner of KWSD/36.1 (Sioux Falls), will pay a $17,500 civil penalty as part of a consent decree settling allegations of late public file documents and incorrect statments on an application. The station allegedly failed to place required issues/program lists and reports on children's programming commercial time in its public file in a timely fashion for several years beginning in 2007. It then asserted that the filings had been made on its 2013 license renewal application. The consent decree will terminate the investigation, and the FCC has agreed to a two-year license renewal for KWSD.

KWSD had past affiliations with PAX TV, The WB, The CW, and Me-TV, but had been silent for much of the past two years due to transmitter problems. It returned to the air as an independent in November. No program listings are available online, but its most recent public file reports list Shepherd's Chapel Family Bible Study, Wild America, children's programming, and reruns of a 1950's cooking show. KWSD is licensed for 36.9kW but has applied to increase to 1,000kW. (1/31/2018)

IOWA:
KCRG-TV reports that a Monday night car crash killed longtime eastern Iowa radio station owner Rob Norton, along with another driver, 28-year-old Jennifer Koenighain of Cedar Rapids. Norton, a 69-year-old Iowa City resident, was the president of KZIA, Inc. and owned 30 percent of the company. KZIA owns KZIA/102.9 (Cedar Rapids), KGYM/1600 (Cedar Rapids), and four translators in Cedar Rapids and Iowa City that relay HD subchannels from KZIA. KZIA-HD2 and two of the translators carry a broad Classic Rock format called "Rob FM," named for Norton and harkening back to the music played on KRNA/93.9 (Iowa City) when Norton and Eliot Keller founded it in the 1970's. Services had not been announced as of Tuesday evening. (1/30/2018)

NEBRASKA/IOWA:
A second effort to establish a station on 107.7 in the Omaha market has apparently ended with the station returning to southeastern Nebraska. Last month, the FCC granted a license to cover for the Educational Media Foundation's KIMI/107.9 (Humboldt, NE). Previous owner Kona Coast Radio had attempted to move KIMI into the Omaha market, transmitting on 107.7 from a tower near Tabor, IA. However, complaints of interference to airplane navigation communications on an adjacent frequency at Offutt Air Force Base prevented KIMI's license from ever being granted. The station had special temporary authority to operate at reduced power from the Tabor site for several years. EMF has not applied for any new KIMI facility since the license to cover the Humboldt facility was granted on Dec. 28. Longtime readers will recall that before KIMI, Connoisseur Media attempted to activate KGGG/107.7 (Pacific Junction-Omaha) in the mid-2000's but was refunded its $4,397,250 FCC auction bid after similar complaints from Offutt. (KIMI and KGGG are not related to a translator that previously transmitted on 107.7 in Omaha.) (1/29/2018)

IOWA/MINNESOTA:
Several unrelated DTV subchannel announcements and updates:

Minneapolis: Tegna's KARE is adding Quest on channel 11.4. The adventure channel, which is a partnership of Tegna and Cooper Media, officially launches nationally on Monday (1/29) and has been showing a promo loop for a couple of weeks.

Rochester/Mason City: Tribune Broadcasting announced that Heartland Media's KIMT (Mason City-Rochester) will add Antenna TV. A post on the network's Facebook page said the addition will come in about 90 days, but Antenna TV's channel number on KIMT was not announced. KIMT currently carries CBS on 3.1, MyNetworkTV and syndicated programming on 3.2, and ION on 3.3.

Ottumwa: As previously reported, American Spirit Media's KYOU-TV added NBC on channel 15.2 on Jan. 24. Grit moved to 15.3 and Escape moved to 15.4, which is an update from KYOU's initial Facebook statement saying that Escape would be dropped. The new NBC channel does not carry local newscasts, instead filling traditional evening news timeslots with syndicated news/entertainment magazine shows. (1/28/2018)

NEW FM TRANSLATORS GRANTED (1/22-1/26):
The FCC has granted the following applications for new FM translators filed under last year's AM revitalization window:

  • Sheldon, IA: KIWA/1550, K264CW/100.7, 250W
  • Rochester, MN: KROC/1340, K245CX/96.9, 250W
  • St. Cloud, MN: WJON/1240, W237EU/95.3, 250W
  • Lincoln, NE: KLIN/1400, K257GN/99.3, 250W
  • Sioux Falls, SD: KSOO/1000, K272FZ/102.3, 250W
  • Sturgis, SD: KBHB/810, K288HB/105.5, 250W
  • Ashland, WI: WATW/1400, W267CS/101.3, 250W
  • Dodgeville, WI: WDMP/810, W245DE/96.9, 250W
  • Eagle River, WI: WERL/950, W285FS/104.9, 250W
  • Green Bay, WI: WDUZ/1400, W238DA/95.5, 250W
  • Merrill, WI: WJMT/730, W242CZ/96.3, 250W
  • Neillsville: WCCN/1370, W253CN/98.5, 250W
  • Seneca, WI: WPRE/980 (Prairie du Chien), W267CT/101.3, 250W

The full list of applications is posted on the 2017 AM Revitalization Translator Applications page. (1/27/2018)

WISCONSIN:
Big Radio's WGEZ/1490 (Beloit) has gone off the air due to transmitter failure. The station tells the FCC in a notification of suspension of operations that the transmitter failed on Jan. 20, and WGEZ will remain silent pending an investigation and equipment repair or replacement. WGEZ's Classic Country format continues on W270CW/101.9 (Beloit), which is seeking special temporary authority to continue carrying WGEZ's programming while WGEZ itself is off the air. (1/25/2018)

IOWA:
A southern Iowa station owner is appealing the FCC's decision to revoke his license.

In December, the FCC's Audio Division sent Justin McLuckie a letter informing him that his license for KMYQ/97.1 (North English) was considered expired because McLuckie had allegedly failed to prove that KMYQ was on the air between 2013 and 2016. The FCC's inquiry stemmed from an effort to return KMYQ to the air in late September and to sell it to a company related to the Oskaloosa radio stations.

Now, McLuckie's counsel has filed a petition for reconsideration alleging that the FCC did not give McLuckie due process or adequate time to present evidence.

The petition includes a declaration from an engineer saying that he had been providing services for KMYQ for about four years and though the station did have periods of silence, it was never off the air for more than one year during his involvement. It also contains an affadavit from the owner of a grain elevator saying that, "to the best of my knowledge and belief, KMYQ-FM commenced broadcasting from my facility in April of 2013 and did so until the equipment was removed several years later."

The petition also includes copies of numerous receipts resulting from the 2017 work to return the station to the air, including $25,000 for a tower, $5,557.93 for an antenna, and $29.94 for two dozen tacos to feed the construction crew.

McLuckie's counsel also filed a motion for stay requesting that the license revocation be put on hold while the petition is considered. (1/22/2018)

NEW FM TRANSLATORS GRANTED (1/16-1/19):
The FCC has granted the following applications for new FM translators filed under last year's AM revitalization window:

  • Elkader, IA: KADR/1400, K244FQ/96.7, 250W
  • Grundy Center, IA: KDAO/1190 (Marshalltown), K224FM/92.7, 250W
  • Independence, IA: KQMG/1220, K241CX/96.1, 250W
  • Iron River, MI: WFER/1230, W250CQ/97.9, 250W
  • Marquette, MI: WZAM/970 (Ishpeming), W295CX/106.9, 250W
  • Menominee, MI: WAGN/1340, W261DM/100.1, 250W
  • Munising, MI: WQXO/1400, W249DR/97.7, 250W
  • Duluth, MN: KJOQ/1490, W265DO/100.9, 250W (see earlier item)
  • Hutchinson, MN: KDUZ/1260, K243CQ/96.5, 250W
  • Morris, MN: KMRS/1230, K299BX/107.7, 250W
  • New Prague, MN: KCHK/1350, K294DF/106.7, 250W
  • New Ulm, MN: KNUJ/860, K247CU/97.3, 250W
  • Owatonna, MN: KRFO/1390, K234DB/94.7, 250W
  • Theif River Falls, MN: KTRF/1230, K227DF/93.3, 250W
  • Theif River Falls, MN: KKAQ/1460, K253CL/98.5, 250W
  • Willmar, MN: KDJS/1590, K289CO/105.7, 250W
  • Hastings, NE: KHAS/1230, K281CW/104.1, 250W
  • McCook, NE: KNGN/1360, K252FV/98.3, 250W
  • Langdon, ND: KNDK/1080, K254DC/98.7, 250W
  • Valley City, ND: KOVC/1490, K242CZ/96.3, 250W
  • Custer, SD: KFCR/1490, K256DD/99.1, 250W
  • Milbank, SD: KMSD/1510, K236CU/95.1, 250W
  • Baraboo, WI: WRDB/1400 (Reedsburg), W247CY/97.3, 250W
  • Durand, WI: WRDN/1430, W297CH/107.3, 250W
  • Hurley, WI: WHRY/1450, W275CR/102.9, 250W
  • Park Falls, WI: WPFP/980, W276DJ/103.1, 250W
  • Rice Lake, WI: WJMC/1240, W243ED/96.5, 250W
  • Rice Lake, WI: WAQE/1090, W299CQ/107.7, 250W

The full list of applications is posted on the 2017 AM Revitalization Translator Applications page. (1/20/2018)

MINNESOTA:
Twin Ports Radio LLC has signed on new FM translator W265DO/100.9 (Duluth), relaying NBC Sports Radio from KJOQ/1490. The 250-Watt translator received final approval Wednesday (1/17) and was on the air within a day. Twin Ports Radio, owned by Dan and Alana Hatfield, bought KJOQ and "92-1 The Fan" (WWAX Hermantown-Duluth) as part of the Red Rock Radio selloff last year. W265DO is the seventh FM translator to sign on in Duluth and the fifth to relay an AM station. (1/18/2018)

FM TRANSLATOR AUCTION SET:
Some applications for FM translators that have been gathering dust at the FCC for 15 years may finally be sorted out this spring. A June 21 auction has been set for competing applications that were filed in a 2003 window and never resolved. In the Upper Midwest, the competing applications are in Dubuque ($750 minimum opening bid); Gladstone, MI ($750); Menominee, MI ($1,500); La Crosse ($2,500); and Oshkosh ($3,500). (Here's the full national list.) Only those groups which applied in the 2003 window are eligible to participate, and it's not clear whether all are still interested -- some associated with the original filings have since passed away. FM translators are much more in demand now than they were in 2003 since they can now be used to relay AM and HD2 signals, though AM station owners have had several opportunities to procure translators in the past two years. (1/17/2018)

IOWA:
For the first time in television history, Ottumwa will finally have a full set of network affiliates with the launch of the market's first primary NBC channel. American Spirit Media's KYOU-TV has announced that it will begin carrying NBC on channel 15.2 sometime around Jan. 24, just in time for the Super Bowl and the Winter Olympics. NBC will be carried in HD, joining FOX on channel 15.1 (KYOU has been a FOX affiliate since its 1986 sign-on). Grit will move from 15.2 to 15.3 and Escape, currently on 15.3, will be dropped, according to the station's replies to comments on its Facebook page. KYOU will continue to carry a 9 p.m. newscast on its FOX channel and there was no mention of any local newscasts being carried on the NBC channel.

NBC has never had a primary affiliate in the Ottumwa-Kirksville area. KTVO/3 (Kirksville), which is the only other station in the market, had a secondary NBC affiliation in its first few decades on the air but dropped it in the 1970's. (It's now owned by Sinclair and carries ABC on 3.1 and CBS on 3.2.) Other NBC affiliates are too far away to be received over the air in Ottumwa, though NBC affiliate WHO-TV (Des Moines) was carried on the Ottumwa Area Translator System until the system left the air more than four years ago. Cable and satellite systems in the market carry either the Des Moines or Kansas City NBC affiliates; there was no initial mention of cable and satellite availability of KYOU's new NBC channel, though KYOU-DT2 is currently seen on Mediacom channel 103 in Ottumwa. (1/14/2018)

NEW FM TRANSLATORS GRANTED (1/8-1/12):
The FCC has granted the following applications for new FM translators filed under last year's AM revitalization window:

  • Creston, IA: KSIB/1520, K271CT/102.1, 250W
  • Decorah, IA: KDEC/1240, K235CT/94.9, 250W
  • Spencer, IA: KICD/1240, K273DD/102.5, 250W
  • Brainerd, MN: KVBR/1340, W236DF/95.1, 250W
  • Detroit Lakes, MN: KDLM/1340, K245CU/96.9, 250W
  • Eveleth, MN: KRBT/1340, W285FP/104.9, 250W
  • Minneapolis, MN: KSTP/1500 (St. Paul), K231BO/94.1, 2W directional (this was a remaining application from the 2016 window)
  • Ortonville, MN: KDIO/1350, K233DL/94.5, 250W
  • St. Cloud, MN: KNSI/1450, K257GK/99.3, 250W
  • St. Paul, MN: KFXN/690 (Minneapolis), K285CQ/104.9, 100W [TL: New Hope]
  • Staples, MN: KNSP/1430, K253CK/98.5, 250W
  • Winona, MN: KAGE/1380, K268DJ/101.5, 200W
  • Ainsworth, NE: KBRB/1400, K292HE/106.3, 250W
  • Cozad, NE: KAMI/1580, K224FL/92.7, 250W
  • Hastings, NE: KICS/1550, K224FK/92.7, 250W
  • Dickinson, ND: KDIX/1230, K264CV/100.7, 250W
  • Lisbon, ND: KQLX/890, K297BX/107.3, 250W
  • Mayville, ND: KMAV/1550, K255DG/98.9, 250W
  • Rugby, ND: KZZJ/1450, K221GN/92.1, 250W
  • De Forest, WI: WPDR/1350 (Portage), W255DE/98.9, 250W
  • Janesville, WI: WHA/970 (Madison), W262DD/100.3, 250W
  • Medford, WI: WIGM/1490, W296DL/107.1, 250W
  • Milwaukee, WI: WRRD/1510 (Waukesha), W269DL/101.7, 200W
  • Tomah, WI: WBOG/1460, W267CO/100.7, 250W

The full list of applications is posted on the 2017 AM Revitalization Translator Applications page. (1/13/2018)

WISCONSIN:
Sinclair Broadcast Group has opted to return the license for "My24" WCGV/24.1 (Milwaukee) following the spectrum auction.

Sinclair sold WCGV's spectrum on RF channel 25 in the auction for $84,317,523 and had originally indicated that it would retain WCGV's license by channel-sharing with sister CW affiliate WVTV/18. However, following this week's shutdown of the WCGV transmitter, Sinclair filed a cancellation application with the FCC, which was quickly granted. The move comes as Sinclair seeks approval to buy Tribune Broadcasting, which owns FOX 6 (WITI), and surrendering WCGV's license could help alleviate some regulatory concerns.

Returning WCGV's license means a loss of must-carry rights for its "My24" programming and presumably also means Sinclair will eventually have to stop using virtual channel 24.1. For now, the station's website indicates "My24" is being seen on virtual channels 18.2 and 24.1, both originating from WVTV's transmitter.

WCGV had been on the air since 1980 and became the market's first FOX affiliate in 1987, switching to UPN in 1995 after FOX went to WITI/6 and then to MyNetworkTV in 2006 when UPN ended its run.

Three other Milwaukee-market stations that surrendered their bandwidth in the auction have kept their licenses and continue to offer programming through channel-sharing agreements. (1/10/2018)

MINNESOTA:
CBS has returned the license of KCCO-TV/7 (Alexandria) following its shutdown last month. CBS sold the VHF bandwidth of KCCO, which was a satellite of WCCO-TV (Minneapolis), in the spectrum auction for $9,987,598 and the station left the air Dec. 30. WCCO has been added to a translator system in Alexandria, but KCCO's shutdown leaves some rural areas of western Minnesota without over-the-air access to CBS, joining NBC and FOX. The region is served by full-power ABC affiliate KSAX/42.1 (Alexandria) and PBS station KWCM/10.1 (Appleton). (1/10/2018)

MINNESOTA:
A company with ties to other southern Minnesota stations is buying Fairmont's longtime AM-FM combo, KSUM/1370 and KFMC/106.5. City of Lakes Media is buying the stations from Charles V. Woodward's Woodward Broadcasting for $800,000. Documents filed with the FCC indicate the deal also includes non-compete and consulting agreements for Woodward, who has owned the stations for several decades. 1kW KFMC carries a Farm/Country format and 100kW KFMC carries Classic Rock. City of Lakes Media is headed by Matt Ketelsen of Lakeville, who owns 25 percent of the company. Other owners include Lynn Ketelsen of Owatonna (25%), David Legault of West Concord (25%), and The JRL Revocable Trust of 2015 (25%). The Ketelsens and the Trust also hold interests in 18 other radio stations in southern Minnesota, including two in St. James and five in the Mankato market. An engineering statement shows that the combination complies with ownership caps. (1/8/2018)

NEW FM TRANSLATORS GRANTED (12/29-1/5):
The FCC has begun granting applications for new FM translators filed under last year's AM revitalization window. It appears tiny KTGO/1090 (Tioga, ND) was the first station in the nation to be granted an FM translator under this round -- a construction permit for K224FJ/92.7 (Tioga) was granted on Dec. 29. It appears no other applications from the window were approved until the new year.

Here are applications that had been granted as of Friday, Jan. 5:

  • Cherokee, IA: KCHE/1440, K234CX/94.7, 250W
  • Council Bluffs: KLNG/1560, K268DI/101.5, 175W (added 1/5)
  • Indianola, IA: KNIA/1320 (Knoxville), K232FR/94.3, 220W
  • Marshalltown, IA: KFJB/1230, K230CB/93.9, 250W (added 1/5)
  • Webster City, IA: KZWC/1570, K268DH/101.5, 250W
  • Escanaba, MI: WCHT/600, W228DQ/93.5, 250W
  • Hancock, MI: WMPL/920, W297CD/107.3, 250W
  • Manistique, MI: WTIQ/1490, W253CG/98.5, 250W
  • Bemidji, MN: KBUN/1450, K261EV/100.1, 250W
  • Blue Earth, MN: KBEW/1560, K237GT/95.3, 250W
  • Glenwood, MN: KXRA/1490 (Alexandria), K289CL/105.7, 250W (added 1/5)
  • Windom, MN: KDOM/1580, K276GN/103.1, 250W
  • Carrington, ND: KDAK/1600, K261EW/100.1, 250W (added 1/5)
  • Tioga, ND: KTGO/1090, K224FJ/92.7, 250W
  • Alliance, NE: KCOW/1400, K223CY/92.5, 250W (added 1/5)
  • Fremont, NE: KHUB/1340, K255DF/98.9, 250W
  • Kearney, NE: KXPN/1460, K221GM/92.1, 250W
  • Norfolk, NE: KTIC/840 (West Point), K254CX/98.7, 250W
  • Mitchell, SD: KORN/1490, 101.3, K267CN/250W (added 1/5)
  • Pierre, SD: KCCR/1240, K255DE/98.9, 250W
  • River Falls, WI: WEVR/1550, W226CK/93.1, 250W
  • Shell Lake, WI: WCSW/940, W224DN/92.7, 250W

The full list of applications is posted on the 2017 AM Revitalization Translator Applications page. (1/4/2018, updated 1/5)

MINNESOTA:
KFIL/1060 (Preston) has gone off the air due to transmitter problems. The station, a 1kW daytimer, tells the FCC that its transmitter failed on Dec. 2 and that replacement parts are on order. KFIL is owned by Townsquare Media and was last known to simulcast the "True Country" format of KFIL-FM/103.1 (Chatfield-Preston), occasionally breaking away for some syndicated talk shows. (1/2/2018)

SOUTH DAKOTA:
A retransmission consent dispute took NBC affiliate KNBN/21 (Rapid City) off DirecTV as of Jan. 1. KNBN is owned by Rapid Broadcasting and is the only locally-owned station in the Black Hills, as well as one of the last locally-owned network affiliates in the country. The Rapid City market covers the western third of South Dakota as well as parts of Wyoming and Montana. (1/2/2018)

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