Council Bluffs/ Omaha
iHeartMedia has launched a Rock format on two recently-launched translators in Omaha after a couple of months stunting with Christmas music, but the way the translators are set up suggests another format may eventually be headed for one of them. K235CD/94.9 (Omaha) and K272FE/102.3 (Council Bluffs-Omaha) are now "Rock 94-9 and 102-3," with 94.9's programming originating on the HD2 channel of KISO/96.1 (Omaha) and 102.3 coming from the HD2 of KFFF/93.3 (Bennington-Omaha). The new format primarily competes with Journal Broadcasting's "Z92" (KEZO/92.3 Omaha). K235CD and K272FE carry separate iterations of the same playlist, with imaging mentioning "Rock 94-9 and 102-3" on both frequencies but separate top-of-the-hour ID's. Both transmit from a tower at the WOWT-TV building with virtually identical coverage areas, though K235CD's 110 Watts go slightly farther than K272FE's 99 Watts. The similar coverage areas and separate feeds for each translator suggest that "Rock" may not be the long-term plan for both. (12/27/2014)
Nexstar Broadcasting has announced plans to rebrand ABC affiliate WOI-DT/5 (Ames-Des Moines) as "Local 5 News" starting Jan. 5. The station will debut a new anchor team: Jack Miller, who once worked in Cedar Rapids, will anchor evening newscasts alongside station veteran Stephanie Angleson, who currently anchors the morning newscast. The new "Good Morning Iowa" will be anchored by Sabrina Ahmed and Elias Johnson. WOI is also gettig equipment upgrades and a refreshed news set. Nexstar recently bought the station, currently branded as "ABC5," from Citadel Communications, which failed to pull the station out of a decades-long ratings drought. Nexstar is also in the process of buying Pappas CW affiliate KCWI/23 (Ames-Des Moines), which does not have a full news department but does run a local morning show. (12/11/2014)
Santa's list got longer Monday (12/8) as Westwood One's syndicated Adult Standards format and the non-commercial Family Radio network both switched to all-Christmas formats. The Westwood One network, which has affiliates including KLBB/1220 (Stillwater-Minneapolis), WNAM/1280 (Neenah-Menasha-Appleton), and KRNT/1350 (Des Moines), had already been playing a significant amount of Christmas music since Thanksgiving along with some songs from its regular Soft Oldies playlist. Meanwhile, Family Radio has set aside most of its regular schedule of Christian teaching and preaching in favor of traditional Christmas music. Follow the full list of this year's flips here. (12/8/2014)
Classic TV network Antenna TV is coming to Omaha in January, according to an announcement on the network's Facebook page. Antenna TV will be carried on KMTV/3.2, replacing Live Well Network, which is leaving the air nationally. KMTV, owned by Journal Broadcasting, carries CBS on its main channel. (12/6/2014)
The Antenna TV affiliation in the Cedar Rapids market is moving from KWKB/20.2 (Iowa City) to KCRG-DT/9.3 (Cedar Rapids). The Gazette, which is co-owned with KCRG, reported in Monday's print edition that KCRG-DT3 will begin carrying the classic TV network on Jan. 19, 2015. 9.3 will carry news and weather updates from KCRG-TV9 News during Antenna TV programming. KCRG-DT3 currently carries Live Well Network, which is leaving the air nationally. (12/3/2014)
Saga Broadcasting has brought more "More" to Iowa: The former "Lite 104.9" (KLLT Spencer) is now "More 104.9," with a freshened-up version of Adult Contemporary. The move came Monday, a month after the FCC database says its callsign was changed to KMRR. Saga also runs "More 104" (KMYR/104.1 Ames-Des Moines). (12/3/2014)
The FCC has deleted what might've been a new rimshot FM station for the Waterloo market. Commission records indicate KCOO/103.9 (Dunkerton) had been off the air since at least Feb. 29, 2012, far longer than the one year maximum set by federal law. On Oct. 7, the FCC Media Bureau's Audio Division sent a letter to KCOO owner Magnolia Radio Corp. giving it 30 days to prove that KCOO had been on the air. The license was deleted on Nov. 21. It doesn't appear KCOO was ever on the air for anything other than testing. Ace Radio Corp. won the construction permit for the 6kW/95m station in 2006 with a $455,000 bid. Ace sold the CP to Magnolia as part of a nine-station deal in 2009; Magnolia applied for KCOO's license to cover in 2011, followed by a series of requests for special temporary authority to remain silent. A 2012 plan to sell the station to Matinee Media was never consummated. (12/1/2014)
At least eight Upper Midwest radio stations celebrated Thanksgiving by starting up the Christmas music. Flips to the all-Christmas format on Thursday morning included "B107.3" (KBBK Lincoln), "92.7 The Drive" (KZDR Kindred-Fargo), KRIB/1490 (Mason City), "Super Hits 106" (KIYX Sageville-Dubuque), and "Lake 98.1" (WLKN Cleveland-Sheboygan). Several other stations made the switch earlier in the week, bringing the total to at least 35 all-Christmas stations in the Upper Midwest by Thanksgiving morning. Follow the full list of this year's flips here. (11/27/2014)
Hearst CBS affiliate KCCI/8 (Des Moines) already carries "Me," and soon it'll be home to "My" as well. The station has announced plans to launch "My Des Moines" on channel 8.3 on Monday, Dec. 1, apparently carrying programming from MyNetworkTV and the Heroes & Icons network. H&I is a relatively new classic TV network launched by Weigel Broadcasting, operator of the classic Me-TV network already seen on KCCI/8.2. MyNetworkTV was previously seen in the market on Pappas' KDMI/19.1 (Des Moines), which continues to carry ThisTV. (11/26/2014)
The Friday before Thanksgiving has proven to be a big day for all-Christmas flips this year. Those making the flip include:
Journal's "Star 104.5" (KSRZ Omaha)
Saga's "More 104" (KMYR/104.1 Ames-Des Moines)
Saga Broadcasting's "More 104" (KMYR Ames-Des Moines) is promoting a Christmas preview weekend beginning Friday."Life 101.9" (KNWS-FM Waterloo-Cedar Rapids) will have two all-Christmas weekends before a full flip on Dec. 13. (11/13/2014)
Quincy Newspapers NBC affiliate KTIV/4.1 (Sioux City) is operating at reduced power due to a burnout in its transmission line. The station reports that the burnout happened early Friday morning, and that it returned to the air Sunday with about 20 percent of normal power from an antenna mounted about 700 feet up its 1,987-foot tower northeast of Sioux City. Nexstar ABC affiliate KCAU/9 (Sioux City) began temporarily carrying KTIV programming on channel 9.2, which normally carries Live Well Network, on Saturday. KTIV also carries CW+ on 4.2 and Me-TV on 4.3. (11/10/2014)
Sioux City &
iHeartMedia's "KG95" (KGLI/95.5 Sioux City) joined the all-Christmas list over the weekend. Meanwhile, Dubuque's "Super Hits 106" (KIYX/106.1 Sageville) are promoting pending flips... (11/9/2014)
Calvary Chapel Iowa has signed on new low-power FM station KEWR-LP/97.5 (Cedar Rapids), which is carrying the syndicated HeartSong Radio format. KEWR-LP transmits with 67 Watts from northeast Cedar Rapids and is apparently being rebroadcast on the larger signal of Edgewater Broadcasting's new K286BY/105.1, which is licensed to Iowa City but transmits from southwest Cedar Rapids with 250 Watts. (11/9/2014)
FM translator K225BZ/92.9 (Webster City) has signed on, relaying the Oldies/Classic Hits format of KQWC/1570. The station reports the 250-Watt translator signed on Oct. 31. Riverfront Broadcasting of Iowa, LLC is in the process of buying the KQWC, K225BZ, KQWC-FM/95.7, and stations in three other communities from NRG Media. (11/9/2014)
Christmas has come to the Quad Cities on iHeartMedia's "Mix 96" (KMXG Clinton). The flip happened at Midnight early Nov.5, which is several days earlier than last year. Prior to last year, "Mix 96" had run Christmas preview weekends until making the full transition later in the month. Follow the full list of this year's flips here. (11/5/2014)
Nexstar Broadcasting is forming an ABC/CW duopoly in the Des Moines market with the purchase of KCWI-TV/23 (Ames) from Pappas Telecasting for $3.5 million. Nexstar recently purchased WOI-TV/5 (Ames). The sale will split up a current duopoly of KCWI and My/This affiliate KDMI/19 (Des Moines), maintaining the FCC minimum of eight full-power ownership groups in the market. (11/4/2014)
KIMT-TV reports that new station KWGH-LP/97.1 (Kensett) will officially sign on Saturday, Nov. 1. The 28-Watt station is owned by Elk Creek Lutheran Church and transmits from a site west of Kensett near I-35. The TV report says KWGH will carry a variety of music and talk. (10/31/2014)
iHeartMedia has brought Christmas to Omaha at the earliest date on record: New FM translator K272FE/102.3 has become "Christmas 102.3." The translator signed on a few weeks ago and first relayed News/Talker KFAB/1110 before switching through several other iHeartMedia stations this week. RadioInsight reports the Christmas format is originating on the HD2 signal of KFFF/93.3 (Bennington-Omaha). K272FE is licensed to Council Bluffs and transmits from a tower at the WOWT-TV building in Omaha with 99 Watts. Let the speculation begin about what format will come to the frequency on Dec. 26. (10/31/2014)
DTV America Corporation is buying the construction permits for 18 low-power TV stations in the Upper Midwest in separate transactions. It'll pay Casey C. Jones $68,000 for CP's to serve Rochester, St. Cloud, Sioux City, Sioux Falls, and Rapid City for $68,000, and separately pay John D. Roehrs $16,000 for a CP in Wausau and three in Georgia. The transactions value each CP at $4,000. DTV America and DTV America II have 33 other CP's for new LPTV stations in the Upper Midwest and earlier this year announced plans to buy an existing Minneapolis LPTV station and convert it to a Telemundo affiliate. (10/28/2014)
KLEE/1480 (Ottumwa) has signed on 50-Watt FM translator K299BA/107.7, relaying its Oldies format. The station's Facebook page announced the translator launch on Oct. 21. KLEE is owned by O-Town Communications along with one other AM station and four FM stations in the market. (10/27/2014)
KWPC/860 (Muscatine) has switched from Oldies to Classic-based Country following the launch of FM translator K236CF/95.1. The station continues to run local news, sports, and other information programming. KWPC, along with "Vintage Sound 93.1" (KMCS Muscatine), is owned by Wayne W. Whalen's WPW Broadcasting. (10/22/2014)
NRG Media is selling six stations in central and north-central Iowa to Riverfront Broadcasting of Iowa, LLC for $3.5 million. The stations include KWBG/1590 (Boone), KQWC/1570 (Webster City), KQWC-FM/95.7 (Webster City), KHBT/97.7 (Humboldt), KLGZ/1600 (Algona) and its FM translator, and KLGA-FM/92.7 (Algona). The deal also includes a construction permit for an FM translator to relay KQWC, which NRG is in the process of buying from iHeartMedia. Riverfront Broadcasting, LLC is owned by Carolyn and Doyle Becker of Yankton, SD, and is the licensee of nine stations in South Dakota. Riverfront Broadcasting of Iowa, LLC is owned 60% by Riverfront Broadcasting, LLC and 40% by Fieldview Broadcasting, LLC, which is held by Danette and Kirk Graeve of Dallas Center, Iowa. (10/14/2014)
New subchannel Grit is coming to nine more Upper Midwest markets thanks to an agreement with Sinclair Broadcast Group. According to a post on the network's Facebook page, cities getting Grit include Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Madison, Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Sioux City, Omaha, Quincy, and Marquette. Currently, Grit is only available on stations in Lincoln and Ottumwa in the region. The network features war, western, and crime movies targetting men. Its sister network, Escape, carries movies and other programming aimed at women, but Sinclair has not agreed to carry that network. (10/9/2014)
Digity 3E Corp. is buying the construction permit for a new FM translator to relay KRIB/1490 (Mason City). Digity will pay David M. Stout $25,000 for K244FA/96.7, which is currently permitted for 250 Watts from a tower owned by the University of Northern Iowa near the North Iowa Area Community College. KRIB carries Westwood One's Adult Standards format. (9/25/2014)
After first denying the application, the FCC has now approved Truth Broadcasting's plan to move Christian Talker KTIA-FM/99.3 (Boone) closer to Des Moines.
KTIA will change its community of license to Huxley and transmit from a tower near Sheldahl, using 5.3kW/95m (class A). Its protected contour will include Ames and much of Des Moines. KTIA's current facility covers Boone and Ames.
Commission staff had first denied the application last December, saying that if the Huxley application was approved, KTIA could theoretically apply for a facility covering more than half of the Ames Urbanized Area. Such a move would go against rules intended to preserve rural radio service. The FCC has later conceded that it failed to consider the existence of KDAO-FM/99.5 (Eldora-Marshalltown), which would need to be protected, when looking at theoretical sites.
In approving the application, the FCC said it didn't agree with competitor Saga Broadcasting's assessment that the proposed Huxley facility would provide a city-grade (70 dbu) signal to 52 percent of the Ames Urbanized Area, 2 percentage points more than allowed under the rural radio rules. The FCC said its own calculation found the figure is 49 percent.
This is KTIA's second attempt to move closer to Des Moines. The original application would've changed the community of license to Johnston and given the station city-grade coverage of most of the capital city, but it was rejected due to the rural radio rules.
KTIA's move will require KPUL-FM/99.5 (Winterset) to move to 101.7, which, in turn, will displace Iowa Public Radio translator K269EJ/101.7 (Des Moines). The translator already has a construction permit to move to 97.7. Truth will have to pay KPUL's cost for changing frequency. (9/21/2014)
Three Eagles - DIGITY 3E LICENSE, LLC
Three Eagles is no more.
The sale to DIGITY 3E LICENSE, LLC has been finalized. (09/12/2014)
KARE, KMSP WIN EMMY AWARDS
TV journalists from across the Upper Midwest gathered at Target Field Saturday night for the 2014 Upper Midwest Regional Emmy Awards. KARE/11 (Minneapolis) took home the award for station excellence, while FOX 9 (KMSP Minneapolis) won the award for news excellence. Stations winning awards in best newcast categories included KMSP (2 awards), WCCO-TV/4 (Minneapolis), WDIO/10 (Duluth, 2 awards), KTIV/4 (Sioux City, 2 awards), KCCI/8 (Des Moines), WHO-TV/13 (Des Moines), KTTC/10 (Rochester), and KIMT/3 (Mason City). WDAZ/8 (Devils Lake-Grand Forks) took home its first-ever Emmy Award, winning in the team coverage category. The ceremony included Silver Circle honors for longtime KCCI anchor/reporters Kevin and Mollie Cooney as well as political reporters Pat Kessler of WCCO-TV and Tom Hauser of KSTP-TV/5 (St. Paul). A complete list of winners is available here. (9/14/2014)
Clear Channel is selling the construction permit for a new FM translator in Webster City to NRG Media, which owns the two full-power radio stations in the city. NRG will pay $15,000 for 250-Watt translator K225BZ/92.9, which had already specified NRG's KQWC/1570 as its primary station.(9/12/2014)
The FCC has proposed a $2,000 fine against Media General subsidiary Young Broadcasting for allegedly "failing to publicize the existence and location of the Station's Children’s Television Programming Reports" at NBC affiliate KWQC/6 (Davenport). Young has 90 days to either pay the fine or seek a reduction or cancellation. The regulator had also considered a fine over NBC's inadvertent inclusion of a website URL in the closing credits for a children's TV show that aired on KWQC, but it was ultimately decided to leave the punishment at an admonishment. (9/10/2014)