New low-power FM station KXNB-LP/101.3 (Omaha) has signed on as "Mind and Soul 101.3," serving the African-American community with talk, news, and a playlist including Classic Hip-Hop, R&B, Funk, and Jazz. The 11-Watt station is owned by the Malcolm X Memorial Foundation and will share time and transmitter facilities with KJSO-LP, owned by the North Omaha Loves Jazz Cultural Arts and Humanities Complex. (12/18/2016)
Translator K274CV/102.7 (Ottumwa) is on the air relaying the News/Talk format of KBIZ/1240. The format includes more than five hours of daily local programming, Clark Howard, Dave Ramsey, and political talk at night. The translator was moved down from Eagle Grove under the FCC's AM revitalization window. KBIZ is part of the six-station O-Town Communications group, doing business as Ottumwa Radio. (12/18/2016)
The permittee of a new non-commercial FM station in eastern Iowa is seeking a waiver to add Cedar Rapids to its main coverage area. The current construction permit for Plus Charities' KMMK/88.7 (Coggon) calls for a 5kW/95m (class A) facility serving an area north of Cedar Rapids. KMMK is now seeking a "Raleigh waiver" to upgrade to 25kW/94m (class C3), adding most of Cedar Rapids to its 60 dbu contour. The upgrade would increase the population of KMMK's 60 dbu contour by 750 percent to 194,927 people. The waiver would be needed because KMMK is too close to KCCK-FM/88.3 (Cedar Rapids) and KXGM-FM/89.1 (Hiawatha-Cedar Rapids) to upgrade under normal circumstances. A "Raleigh waiver" allows such an upgrade for non-commercial FM stations when the actual interference to other non-commercial stations would be minimal. KMMK is not yet on the air and has a March 2018 construction deadline. (12/11/2016)
The FCC's Audio Division has rescinded its earlier grant of a new FM signal in Omaha. The new 99-Watt translator on 95.3 was to have relayed Scripps' KXSP/590. It was being moved from Schuyler, where it is currently licensed as K276FB, under the AM revitalization window. The translator originally applied to move to 96.5 on Omaha but changed its proposed frequency to 95.3 after an informal objection from the owner of KSOM/96.5 (Audubon, IA). After the construction permit was issued for 95.3, Hawkeye Communications --- owner of KCSI/95.3 (Villisca-Red Oak) -- filed a petition for reconsideration, presenting evidence that it had existing listeners within the translator's planned coverage area. The FCC granted KCSI's petition for reconsideration and rescinded the grant of the 95.3 translator in a letter last week. Flood Communications, the owner of the translator, had already received FCC approval to sell it to Scripps, but it's not clear if that deal will be consummated now that the translator can't make a one-step move to Omaha. The AM revitalization filing window is closed. (12/4/2016)
Many more new FM translator signals have signed on in the Upper Midwest, most of which were moved to their current location under the FCC's AM revitalization window. Some may have been on the air for a few months already (Iowa Locations Only):
Burlington, IA: K257GC/99.3, 250W, News/Talk from KBUR/1490.
Sioux Center, IA: K268CZ/101.5, 250W, Oldies from KSOU/1090. (12/4/2016)
Mason City/Clear Lake
KRIB/1490 & 96.7 have begun KRIB's "Old Fashioned Christmas" as expected Thanksgiving Morning. Christmas music can be heard locally on 1490 & 96.7 amd streaming online @kribam.com. (11/24/2016)
Oelwein/Waterloo/Cedar Falls/Grundy Center:
After years of legal wrangling, the FCC says Townsquare Media can become the licensee of 3 FM stations in the Waterloo market. KKHQ-FM/92.3 (Oelwein-Waterloo), KCRR/97.7 (Grundy Center-Waterloo), and KOEL-FM/98.5 (Cedar Falls-Waterloo) were placed into the Cedar Rapids Divestiture Trust when Townsquare bought the former Cumulus groups in the Waterloo and Cedar Rapids markets a few years ago. That's because the stations had been moved, on paper, to the Cedar Rapids market in 2012. Nielsen Audio later reassigned the stations to the Waterloo market, but the FCC said last year that the stations couldn't be sold back to Townsquare until May 2016 due to a rule that requires a two-year waiting period when market boundaries are changed. The applications to transfer the licenses were reinstated earlier this year, and approved last week. (11/20/2016)
Mason City/Clear Lake
Another new FM signal is on the air in
the Mason City Area as K244FA/96.7,
relaying Soft Oldies from KRIB/1490.
KRIB/1490 & 96.7 are set to begin KRIB'S
"Old Fashioned Christmas" on
Thanksgiving Day, November 24.
(11/17 & updated 11/19/2016)
Cedar Rapids/Quad Cities:
iHeartMedia's "Classic Country 1360" (KMJM Cedar Rapids) is apparently the first station in the Upper Midwest to go all-Christmas this year, at least partially. Since at least Tuesday (11/1), the station has been playing nothing but Christmas music except for three hours in morning drive. KMJM last went all-Christmas in 2013. Across town, Townsquare Media's KDAT/104.5 has gone all-Christmas every year since at least 2002 and has flipped on the Friday or Monday before Christmas every year since 2009.
Elsewhere in Iowa, iHeartMedia's "Mix 96" (KMXG/96.1 Clinton-Quad Cities) says on Facebook that it will be flipping to Christmas before Thanksgiving, and iHeartMedia's "KG95" (KGLI/95.5 Sioux City) has a Facebook post suggesting its flip will happen on Nov. 18. (11/2/2016)
The FCC has declined two commercial broadcasters' request to rescind the construction permit for new low-power FM station KCOD-LP/104.1 (Decorah) but has directed its Media Bureau to conduct "further investigative and enforcement proceedings" against the permittee, Community Radio of Decorah, Postville and Northeast Iowa. In a memorandum opinion and order, the Commission said it was concerned about the issues raised. The point of contention is that Community Radio's James Glesne was still listed as a member of the board of directors of the Postville Chamber of Commerce, the licensee of KPVL/89.1 (Postville), when the application for the Decorah LPFM station was filed, but Community Radio's application indicated that Glesne had no other broadcast interests. Glesne later indicated that he had resigned from the Chamber's board. The FCC now says that while it sees no reason to revoke the permit, the Media Bureau's admonishment of Community Radio for its handling of the situation was inadequate and that the Bureau should begin a "further letter of inquiry, designed to determine the appropriate enforcement proceedings." The FCC also directed the Media Bureau to end its unofficial practice of allowing construction permit deadlines for LPFM stations to be extended even when the original deadline has passed. (11/2/2016)
Educational Media Foundation's KLFG/89.5 (Fort Dodge) has received a construction permit for an upgrade to cover more of north-central Iowa. Currently using 17kW/111m (class C3), the station will move to the KTIN-TV tower near Bradgate and transmit with 30kW/287m (class C1). KLFG carries EMF's "K-Love" Contemporary Christian network. (9/20/2016, updated with approval 10/23)
Scripps Broadcasting has received a construction permit to move an FM translator from Schuyler to Omaha under the AM revitalization filing window to relay KXSP/590. The application was originally filed for 96.5, but changed to 95.3 after an informal objection from KSOM/96.5 (Audubon, IA). The new signal on 95.3 will transmit with 99 Watts from the Crown Point antenna farm but will use a directional antenna limiting the signal towards the southeast to protect KCSI/95.3 (Hawkeye, IA), leaving parts of Omaha and Council Bluffs outside of the translator's main coverage area. Two other AM-on-FM translators have already signed on this year in Omaha, and a third has been granted. One of them, K281CJ/104.1 relaying KOMJ/1490, recently upgraded from 99 to 250 Watts. (10/16/2016)
Iowa Public Radio's KICL/96.3 (Pleasantville), which has been operating at reduced power since earlier this year, has applied to move its transmitter farther to the east. The Classical station currently transmits from a tower just southeast of Pleasantville and is licensed for 6kW/78m (class A) but has been operating at about half-power since last spring due to an antenna problem, according to requests for special temporary authority. KICL has now applied to move to a tower in Knoxville, where it would use 6kW/96m, improving reception in Pella. Areas southeast of Des Moines where KICL's signal would be weaker are also served by Classical IPR station KICP/105.9 (Patterson). (10/8/2016)
The parent company of the USA Radio Network is buying a future FM translator in the Quad Cities. Arizona-based Liftable Media will pay Edgewater Broadcasting $35,000 for K296GZ/107.1, which will be licensed to Muscatine but has a construction permit to transmit from Bettendorf with 250 Watts. The application to transfer the license states that K296GZ will relay iHeartMedia's WLLR-FM/103.7 (Davenport), though such statements are not buying. (10/5/2016)
Salem Media has signed on K293CJ/106.5 (Omaha), relaying Christian Talk KCRO/660 (Omaha). KCRO had previously been rebroadcast on K233CO/94.5, which switched to a relay of Salem's KOTK/1420 when KOTK debuted a Conservative Talk format earlier this year. K293CJ uses 60 Watts and was moved in from Kansas under the AM revitalization filing window. (10/2/2016)