NEWS

FCC Monitor: Competing FM App Resolved in Iowa

St. Gabriel Communications modified its application for a new non-commercial FM station in Mason City to specify 89.3, rather than 89.9, using 150 Watts at 68 meters. The change removes it from competition with Minn-Iowa Christian Broadcasting’s application for a new station on 89.7 in Osage.

Roseland Broadcasting submitted a license to cover application indicating that new low-power TV station K16NY-D (Elk Point, S.D.) has been constructed as authorized. The station transmits with 4.4kW from South Sioux City, Neb., covering Sioux City, Iowa. (01/18/2022)

KKOJ Tweaks Playlist to Classic Country

Two years after flipping to Traditional Country, KKOJ/1190 (Jackson, Minn.) and translator K249EO/97.7 have moved to Classic Country.

Jason Jacobs, KKOJ Program and Operations Director, said in an interview with the station’s “Morning Juice” that listeners enjoyed the Traditional Country format but said that they didn’t have a place to just here the older songs.

KKOJ had previously played Country songs from the `80s to today. The change gives more separation between KKOJ and sister station “Xtreme Country 105.7” (KUXX Jackson), with “Xtreme” focusing on newer songs and gold going back to the early 2000s and KKOJ now playing Classic Country hits from the `60s to the `90s.

The stations are owned by Community First Broadcasting.

No local staff was affected. KKOJ continues to air hourly newscasts from FOX, local news, weather, and sports, and ag markets. (01/11/2022)

FCC Monitor: Many New Low-Power TV Stations Built, Others Seek Tolling

Greg Wennes completed his exit from Wennes Communications Stations on Jan. 4, with an FCC filing indicating that the company is now known as LA Communications. The group includes KNEI-FM/103.5 (Waukon), KDHK/100.5 (Decorah), KVIK/104.7 (Decorah), KDEC/1240 (Decorah), KDEC translator K235CT/94.9 (Decorah), and KDHK-HD2 translator K256CS/99.1 (Waukon).

Beaver Broadcasting closed on its purchase of the Estherville radio stations from Jacobsen Broadcasting on Dec. 31. The stations include KILR-FM/95.9, KILR/1070, and KILR translator K247CJ/97.3.

Saga Communications informed the FCC that it has completed the move of K255CY/98.9 (Spirit Lake) to 98.5 as K253CV. The translator was last known to carry “Chuck FM” from the HD3 signal of KMRR/104.9 (Spencer); the station’s website still lists 98.9.

Grace Baptist Church amended its application for a new FM station in Glidden to specify 91.9 rather than 88.7, potentially removing it from competition with other applicants. The proposed 91.9 facility would use 600W/30m (class A).

Edge Spectrum requested tolling of the construction deadlines for K31LN-D (Rochester), K22LJ-D (Mason City), K27MI-D (Mason City), K35PA-D (Mason City), and K31PP-D (Sioux City), giving the same explanations as other Edge requests reported here in recent weeks. The permits, first issued a decade ago, are due to expire Jan. 10.

Gray TV told the FCC that new low-power TV stations K29OE-D (Racine), K30RA-D (Racine), and K33MW-D (Sherburn) have been constructed as authorized. K29OE-D and K30RA-D transmit with 1.55kW from a tower south of Rochester with a directional antenna pointed towards Rochester, where Gray owns KTTC and operates KXLT. K33MW-D transmits with 860 Watts from Gray’s KEYC tower near Lewisville with a directional antenna pointed southwest. Programming is unknown.

SagamoreHill of Minneapolis told the FCC that new low-power TV station K35PC-D (Rochester) has been constructed as authorized. The construction permit calls for 8.7kW from the tower used by SagamoreHill’s KXLT near Grand Meadow. Programming is unknown.

The FCC formally cancelled the construction permit for K41MP-D (Rochester), which had specified operation on a channel that has been discontinued. The station did not apply to relocate to another channel. (01/10/2022)

Gray Promotes Quad Cities News Director to Rochester GM Office

Gray TV’s news director in the Quad Cities is headed to the general manager’s office in Rochester, Minn.

The company says Stephanie Hedrick will become GM of NBC affiliate KTTC/10 (Rochester) on Jan. 10. KTTC also runs SagmoreHill FOX affiliate KXLT/47 (Rochester).

Previously, Hedrick led the newsroom at Gray CBS affiliate KOLN/10 (Lincoln) starting in 2013 and moved to NBC affiliate KWQC/6 (Davenport) in 2017.

“As our News Director at KWQC for the past four years, Stephanie has proven herself to be an outstanding leader,” Gray Senior Vice President Mike King said in a news release.

“Under her leadership, KWQC has continued to grow market share and cemented its “Everywhere” brand in the minds of the Quad Cities viewers. She is an energetic, strategic thinking team builder who will join an already high performing team in Rochester,” he said.

Hedrick replaces Bryce Caldwell, who recently moved to a larger market after Gray’s purchase of Meredith.

KTTC’s position of news director is also currently posted. KTTC is not alone in seeing management changes; Hubbard ABC affiliate KAAL/6 (Austin-Rochester) recently named a new general manager and a new news director, while Allen CBS affiliate KIMT/3 (Mason City-Rochester) has a news director opening. (01/04/2022)

FCC Monitor: FM Applicants Modify Plans, LPTV’s Seek New Extensions

The FCC approved the sale of KMRY/1450 (Cedar Rapids) and K226BO/93.1 (Cedar Rapids) from Sellers Broadcasting to Ecker Broadcasting.

Edge Spectrum requested a waiver to again extend the deadline for low-power TV station K20KF-D (Davenport) to resume broadcasting. The station’s former analog facility on channel 16 left the air in July 2020. Federal law says that stations forfeit their licenses if they are off the air for more than a year, but the FCC has narrow discretion to grant exceptions. Edge says it “has experienced significant and insurmountable challenges obtaining digital broadcasting equipment as a result of the global supply chain disruptions” and says it expects the transmitter for K20KF-D to ship on March 4, 2022. Filings say Edge and ARK Multicasting intend to construct K20KF-D as an ATSC 3.0 station.

Park Public Radio requested an amendment of its application for a new station on 88.1 in southeastern Minnesota to specify Blooming Prairie as its community of license, rather than Stewartville. The proposed 50kW/77m (class C2) facility is unchanged from the original application. The proposed amendment is under review. The application is part of mutually exclusive group 124. As noted here last week, an earlier proposal to amend the application to remove it from competition was denied. (1/2/2022)

“X1075” Brings Alternative to Cedar Rapids

KZIA Inc.’s K298BM/107.5 and KZIA-HD4 (Cedar Rapids) have launched an Alternative format as “X1075,” replacing a Comedy and Sports format that had been called “The Gym OT.”

Positioned as “Real Alternative for Cedar Rapids,” the new format includes the syndicated Dave & Mahoney morning show. Middays are hosted by KZIA VP of Programming Chris Jackson, who serves as the program director for “X1075” and worked for Dave & Mahoney in Las Vegas and Houston.

“X1075” has no direct competitor but is closest musically to the station that it’s also closest to on the dial, NRG Media’s “Rock 108” (KFMW/107.9 Waterloo-Cedar Rapids).

K298BM had been the original FM home of ESPN affiliate “The Gym,” which moved to K272GB/102.3 when it signed on in 2020 as a Revitalization translator for “Gym” flagship KGYM/1600. After then, “The Gym OT” carried other syndicated programming, including Dave & Mahoney, during the day and simulcast KGYM/K272GB overnight. Here’s an ID from mid-December:

Locally-owned KZIA carries a Contemporary Hits format as “Z102.9” on its main signal. It also originates an 80s Hits “Smart FM” format on HD2 feeding translators in Cedar Rapids and Iowa City and “The South Gym” on HD3 feeding an Iowa City translator. (1/2/2022)