Clear Channel has swapped the formats on two of its central Iowa stations, moving an Alternative format to a signal reaching more people. The former “New Rock 105.1” format of KCCQ (Ames) is now “Alt 106-3” on KPTL (Ankeny-Des Moines). Meanwhile, the former “Capital 106.3” Hot Adult Contemporary format has become “Now 105-1” on KCCQ. KPTL is a core Des Moines signal while KCCQ’s main coverage area falls just shy of the capital city. The swap comes after 106.3 ran Christmas music for nearly two months. The “Capital” identity had originally launched in 2006 as Adult Alternative and later transitioned to Hot AC; KCCQ had debuted the Alternative format in the late `90s as “Channel Q” and later became “New Rock 105.1.” (12/26/2013)

All of Ottumwa’s radio stations will soon be owned by the same company: O-Town Communications is buying FMC Broadcasting’s KLEE/1480 (Ottumwa) and KOTM/97.7 (Ottumwa) for $794,000. O-Town already owns KBIZ/1240 (Ottumwa), KTWA/92.7 (Ottumwa), KKSI/101.5 (Eddyville), and KRKN/104.3 (Eldon). None of the stations are direct competitors formatically. O-Town will take over the stations through a time brokerage agreement while the parties await FCC approval. The deal, dated Christmas Eve, includes a five-year non-compete clause for FMC owner Thomas Palen. O-Town Communications is owned by Bruce Linder (60%) and Greg List (40%). (12/26/2013)

The FCC has denied an FM station’s second attempt to move closer to Des Moines.

Truth Broadcasting’s KTIA-FM/99.3 (Boone) had originally applied to change its community of license to Johnston with a transmitter in Saylorville, which the FCC rejected due to rules intended to prevent station moves from rural areas to urbanized areas. KTIA-FM then applied to change its community of license to Huxley with a transmitter near Sheldahl, not as close to Des Moines as the original proposal. The move would’ve kept Des Moines outside of KTIA-FM’s city-grade (70 dbu) contour but would have tripled the number of people in its protected (60 dbu) contour.

Saga Broadcasting objected to the application, which was followed by several more responses back and forth. Ultimately, the FCC rejected KTIA-FM’s application after determining it would be theoretically possible for KTIA-FM move to a different tower site to cover more than half of the Ames Urbanized Area after its community of license was changed to Huxley. Thus, the application was considered a proposal to move from a rural area to an urbanized area and denied.

KTIA’s move would have required KPUL-FM/99.5 (Winterset) to move to 101.7 which, in turn, would have displaced Iowa Public Radio translator K269EJ/101.7 (Des Moines). The translator already has a construction permit to move to 97.7. KTIA-FM carries a Christian Talk format. (12/20/2013) 

KGYM/1600 translator K298BM/107.5 (Cedar Rapids) is apparently back on the air after a brief outage due to a transmitter move. The 250-Watt translator left the air Nov. 8 after the landlord ordered it to leave its tower on the southwest side of the city. It recently applied for a license to cover a move to a tower on the northeast side. K298BM carries KGYM, an ESPN affiliate, via the HD4 signal of sister station KZIA/102.9, a setup which allows the AM and FM signals to carry different sports play-by-play. KGYM also feeds a translator in Iowa City via KZIA-HD3. (12/18/2013)


Des Moines, IA: K284BZ/104.7, 10W, Educational Media Foundation. (12/2/2013)
Council Bluffs, IA/Omaha, NE: K272FE/102.3, 99W, Clear Channel (12/9/2013)
Des Moines, IA: K295CB/106.9, 115W, Starbord Media Foundation (12/9/2013)
Dubuque, IA: K280FY/103.9, 19W, Edgewater Broadcasting (12/9/2013)
Burlington, IA: K285GR/104.9, 50W, American Family Association (12/16/2013)
Davenport, IA: K248CE/97.5, 41W, Radio Assist Ministry. (12/16/2013)

The FCC has granted an upgrade for Fife Communications’ “Mix 93.5” (KCVM Hudson-Cedar Falls-Waterloo). KCVM will change its community of license to Evansdale and increase from its present 6kW/99m to 24.5kW/81m from a tower near Dunkerton, upgrading from class A to C3. Though the change will leave Hudson without a license, KCVM successfully argued that the move should be allowed because both Hudson and Evansdale are within the Waterloo/Cedar Falls Urbanized Area. (11/26/2013)

KGYM/1600 translator K298BM/107.5 (Cedar Rapids) is temporarily off the air pending a transmitter move. The 250-Watt translator, which signed on last year, tells the FCC it was forced to sign of Nov. 8 after the landlord ordered it to leave its tower on the southwest side of the city by. The FCC has granted a construction permit to move to a tower on the northeast side while remaining 250 Watts. K298BM carries KGYM, an ESPN affiliate, via the HD4 signal of sister station KZIA/102.9, a setup which allows the AM and FM signals to carry different sports play-by-play. KGYM also feeds a translator in Iowa City via KZIA-HD3. (11/25/2013)


  • Muscatine/Davenport, IA: K295CA/106.9, 250W, Radio Assist Ministry. Clear Channel’s WLLR listed as primary station.

The FCC has given Townsquare Media a deadline for spinning off three stations in the Waterloo area. The situation arose when Townsquare reached a deal to buy Cumulus Media’s groups in Waterloo and Cedar Rapids, among others. Trouble is, the market designation for three Waterloo-area stations (KKHQ/92.3 Oelwein, KCRR/97.7 Grundy Center, and KOEL-FM/98.5 Cedar Falls) was changed to Cedar Rapids last year after the Waterloo market was dissolved, putting Cumulus over the ownership cap for the market and requiring devistiture when the stations were sold. On Friday, the FCC announced that Townsquare’s divestiture trust will face a two-year deadline for spinning off the stations. It’s not yet clear if Townsquare can keep the stations simply by asking Nielsen Audio to remove their designations as Cedar Rapids-market stations, since all three are licensed to communities outside of the market. (11/9/2013)

Nexstar Broadcasting will run the CBS, FOX, and CW affiliates in the Quad Cities market after the purchase Grant Company’s TV stations. Nexstar will pay $87.5 million for Grant’s seven stations in four markets, including FOX affiliate KLJB/18.1 (Davenport), CW affiliate KCGW/26.1 (Burlington-Quad Cities), FOX affiliate WLAX/25.1 (La Crosse), and WLAX satellite WEUX/48.1 (Chippewa Falls-Eau Claire). Nexstar is already in the process of buying CBS affiliate WHBF/4.1 (Rock Island-Quad Cities) and will divest KLJB to Mission Broadcasting but continue to operate the station under a local service agreement. The transfer could mean yet another change for KLJB’s 9 p.m. newscast, which was produced by Independent News Network and then ABC affiliate WQAD before being switched to NBC affiliate KWQC at the beginning of the year. (11/6/2013)

James Coloff is buying most of Susan Coloff’s interest in Pilot Knob Broadcasting, the licensee of KIOW/107.3 (Forest City). The buyer will pay $343,000 for 49 percent interest in the company, with the seller retaining 1 percent. Anthony Coloff owns the other 50 percent of the company. Anthony and Susan are husband and wife and James is their son. The Coloffs also own several other radio stations in Iowa with different ownership structures. (11/1/2013)


  • Iowa City/Cedar Rapids, IA: K286BY/105.1, 250W, Edgewater Broadcasting. Clear Channel’s KKRQ/100.7 (Iowa City) listed as primary station.
  • Ishpeming, MI: W248BU/97.5, 10W, Family Educ. Broadcasting Corp. of Door County. WNLI/88.7 (Sturgeon Bay) listed as primary station.
  • Bloomer, WI: W269CQ/101.7, 200W, David M. Stout. Mid-West Management’s WAYY/790 (Eau Claire) listed as primary station.
  • Chippewa Falls/Eau Claire, WI: W272CY/102.3, 250W, David M. Stout. Mid-West Management’s WEAQ/1150 (Chippewa Falls) listed as primary station.
  • Milwaukee (north), WI: W262CJ/100.3, 12W, Mary Medicus. Educational Media Foundation’s WLVE/105.3 (Mukwonago) listed as primary station. (10/28/2013)

The purchase price for Cyrus Capital Partners’ purchase of controlling interest in NRG Media is $70 million, according to paperwork filed with the FCC. Waitt Media Holdings is selling its 79.74 percent stake in the Cedar Rapids-based company to funds held by Cyrus, which are ultimately owned by Stephen Freidheim of New York. The full ownership structure is detailed here. Quass Communications, LLC, James T. Smith, and Charles DuCoty maintain minority ownership in NRG Media, which owns seven stations in Illinois, six in Iowa, sixteen in Nebraska, and thirteen in Wisconsin. (10/22/2013)

Federal regulators are considering a change to aircraft communications that could allow a new FM station to sign on in the Omaha market. KIMI/107.7 (Sidney, IA) has been prevented from firing up its full 50kW ERP facility rimshotting Omaha due to concerns about interference to airplane communications (see below for more details). Now, the Kona Coast Radio station says in a new filing with the FCC that the Federal Aviation Administration is considering changing the Instrument Landing System frequency at Offut Air Force Base to avoid interference from KIMI. The station is seeking special temporary authority to remain silent until the changes are made. The day before the government shutdown, the FCC approved an STA for KIMI to broadcast with 500 Watts so it could return to the air before the Oct. 3 deadline to keep its license as a previous STA expired, but KIMI went silent again Oct. 8 at the FAA’s request. (10/21/2013)


  • Knoxville/suburban Des Moines, IA: K279BX/103.7, 250W, Edgewater Broadcasting. Clear Channel’s KDRB/100.3 (Des Moines) listed as primary station on application.
  • Escanaba, MI: W229BP/93.7, 27W, Family Educational Broadcasting Corp.
  • Bloomer/Eau Claire, WI: W276CP/103.1, 177W, Edgewater Broadcasting. Clear Channel’s WMEQ/880 (Menomonie-Eau Claire) listed as primary station on application. (10/21/2013)

In case you missed it, ownership of two radio groups with holdings in the Upper Midwest is changing in deals announced this week:

  • An affiliate of Digity, LLC, is buying NextMedia, which has a 33-station group including WLIP/1050 (Kenosha, WI) and WIIL/95.1 (Union Grove, WI). Digity is associated with Palm Beach Broadcasting LLC and GoodRadio.TV, which owns six stations in Iowa.
  • Waitt Company and McCarthy Capital are selling their interest in NRG Media to funds affiliated with Cyrus Capital Partners. NRG is based in Cedar Rapids and owns seven stations in Illinois, six in Iowa, sixteen in Nebraska, and thirteen in Wisconsin.
    Terms were not disclosed for either sale but will likely become available in FCC filings once the federal government reopens. (10/10/2013)

 The latest effort to put a full-power station on the air on 107.7 in the Omaha market has run into an old problem: Concerns about interference to air navigation equipment.

Longtime readers will recall that Connoisseur Media attempted to activate the frequency in the mid-2000’s but was refunded its $4,397,250 auction bid after determining that complaints about interference to navigation equipment at Eppley Airfield and Offutt Air Force Base would prevent the station from ever going on the air.

Now, Victor Michael’s Kona Coast Radio is encountering a similar problem as it attempts to activate KIMI/107.7 (Sidney, IA) from a tower near Tabor, which would deliver a rimshot signal to Omaha. In an application filed with the FCC shortly before the government shutdown, KIMI states that it was contacted by the Federal Aviation Administration about possible intermodulation interference to equipment at Offut after the 50kW ERP facility had already been constructed. (A picture of the tower submitted with the application appears at the right.)

KCRG-TV (Cedar Rapids) has added Live Well Network on channel 9.3, replacing a locally-originated weather channel that had been on the air for two years. Live Well Network carries first-run lifestyle programming and five hours of infomercials daily. KCRG carries ABC on 9.1 and while 9.2 carries syndicated shows, local programming, and My Network TV in late night. (9/30/2013)

FOX affiliate KTTW/7 (Sioux Falls) is off DISH Network amid a retransmission consent dispute. At midnight Tuesday night, DISH replaced KTTW with a slide saying that station owner Independent Communications is seeking a seven-fold rate increase. KTTW says on its website that it’s seeking fair compensation to cover rising costs. The Sioux Falls TV market covers the eastern half of South Dakota as well as portions of southwestern Minnesota, northwestern Iowa, and northern Nebraska. (9/25/2013)

Western Illinois University is buying K239AF/95.7 (Burlington) from World Radio Link for $25,000. The application to transfer the license states K239AF will relay the “Tri States Public Radio” format of WIUM/91.3 (Macomb, IL). K239AF is currently licensed for a coverage area north of Burlington and has a construction permit to move farther north. (9/24/2013)

Journal Broadcasting stations returned to Time Warner Cable Friday night after a retransmission consent dispute that lasted nearly two months. Affected stations included NBC affiliates WTMJ-TV/4 (Milwaukee) and WGBA/26 (Green Bay), My Network TV station WACY/32 (Appleton-Green Bay), CBS affiliate KMTV/3 (Omaha), and their subchannels. Though they’re back on Time Warner, the co-owned Journal Sentinel reports TMJ4 is actually being carried on channel 2 in Milwaukee and channel 83 in Racine and Kenosha since Time Warner sold the rights to channel 4 to GSN during the dispute. WGBA also has new channel numbers. (9/19/2013)

Des Moines, IOWA:
Iowa’s largest AM signal is poised to get an FM rebroadcast: Clear Channel News/Talker WHO/1040 (Des Moines) is listed as the station to be rebroadcast on K229CC/93.7 (Winterset) if an application to move to Des Moines is approved. The translator, owned by First Ventures Capital Partners, would remain licensed to Winterset but would move to a tower owned by WHO-TV in downtown Des Moines with the maximum translator power of 250 Watts. It’s currently licensed as K230AT on 93.9 in Winterset and has a construction permit to move to 93.7 as K229CC from a tower midway between Winterset and Des Moines. (9/17/2013)

Nexstar Broadcasting is buying Citadel Communications’ three TV stations in Iowa for $88 million. The stations are ABC affiliate WOI-DT/5 (Ames-Des Moines), CBS affiliate WHBF-TV/4 (Rock Island, IL-Davenport), and ABC affiliate KCAU-TV/9 (Sioux City). Nexstar will begin operating the stations immediately under a Time Brokerage Agreement. The company has no other stations in Iowa but does own or operate six stations in Illinois and will have operations in 51 markets once this and other transactions are completed. Citadel Communications, which is not related to the former radio broadcaster, will retain ownership of ABC affiliate KLKN/8 (Lincoln, NE) and stations in Rhode Island and Florida.

The FCC has approved a proposal to move the RF broadcast channel of KGAN/2.1 (Cedar Rapids) from 51 to 29. KGAN proposed the change because channel 51 is directly adjacent to spectrum King Street Wireless, L.P. bought after the FCC discontinued channels 52 to 69 for TV use. Regulators failed to leave a buffer between TV channel 51 and new wireless frequencies. KGAN, a Sinclair Broadcasting CBS affiliate, will continue to use 850kW at 585m and could continue remapping to channel 2.1. (9/13/2013)

It turns out Waterloo is the home of the three radio stations to be divested as part of Townsquare Media’s $260 million purchase of a dozen market groups from Cumulus Media. An application seeks to move KKHQ/92.3 (Oelwein-Waterloo), KCRR/97.7 (Grundy Center-Waterloo), and KOEL-FM/98.5 (Cedar Falls-Waterloo) into the Cedar Rapids Divestiture Trust, headed by Allen N. Blum. Though the stations are all licensed outside of the geographic boundaries of the Arbitron-defined Cedar Rapids market, a BIA Kelsey report submitted as part of the license transfer applications says their designated markets were changed to Cedar Rapids last year after the Waterloo market was dissolved. (Several larger Waterloo stations that have stronger signals to Cedar Rapids, owned by a different group, are not regarded as part of the Cedar Rapids market.) Townsquare intends to keep KOEL/950 (Oelwein), which has the same community of license as KKHQ but was not assigned to the Cedar Rapids market. In Cedar Rapids, Townsquare is buying KRNA/94.1 (Iowa City-Cedar Rapids), KHAK/98.1 (Cedar Rapids), and KDAT/104.5 (Cedar Rapids) and intends to assume a time brokerage agreement to operate KRQN/107.1 (Vinton-Cedar Rapids). Townsquare is also getting Cumulus’ group in the Quad Cities as part of the transaction and Cumulus’ Dubuque group in a related deal. (9/4/2013)

Townsquare Media is adding radio stations in a half-dozen Iowa and Minnesota markets as part of a national deal announced Friday with Cumulus Media and Peak II Holding LLC. Townsquare will take over Cumulus’ stations in the Cedar Rapids, Dubuque, Quad Cities, Waterloo, Faribault-Owatonna, and Rochester (MN) markets; the Dubuque market is part of a station swap between the two companies while the other markets are among a dozen Townsquare is buying from Cumulus for $238 million. (Three stations will be divested, but the announcement did not specify which ones.) When the transactions are complete, Townsquare will have 326 stations in 66 markets, including Duluth, St. Cloud, Sioux Falls, and Bismarck. Cumulus announced its part of the deal simultaneously with plans to buy Dial Global, distributor of syndicated programming and numerous 24-hour formats, for $260 million.

Cumulus markets going to Townsquare include:
Cedar Rapids: KRNA/94.1, KHAK/98.1, KDAT/104.5, (KRQN/107.1 operated under LMA)
Dubuque: WDBQ/1490, KXGE/102.3, WJOD/103.3, KLYV/105.3, WDBQ-FM/107.5
Quad Cities: KJOC/1170, KQCS/93.5, WXLP/96.9, KBEA/99.7, KBOB/104.9
Waterloo: KOEL/950, KKHQ/92.3, KCRR/97.7, KOEL-FM/98.5
Faribault-Owatonna: KDHL/920, KRFO/1390, KQCL/95.9, KRFO-FM/104.9
Rochester: KFIL/1060*, KROC/1340, KOLM/1520, KWWK/96.5, KFIL-FM/103.1*, KDCZ/103.9, KVGO/104.3*, KYBA/105.3, KROC-FM/106.9, KDZZ/107.7* (*licensed outside of Arbitron-defined Rochester market) (8/30/2013) 

KWQC-TV (Davenport) has announced plans to add Cozi TV on channel 6.3 beginning Sept. 1. Cozi TV runs a mix of classic TV, classic movies, and first-run entertainment/lifestyle programming. KWQC carries NBC on 6.1 and weather on 6.2. (8/28/2013)

Britt, IOWA:
Coloff Media’s KHAM/103.1 (Britt) would serve the rural area between Mason City and Fort Dodge, with a rimshot signal to Forest City, under an application filed with the FCC. KHAM is currently licensed for 200 Watts and would upgrade to 19kW/115m (class C3) from a tower east of Kanawha. A coverage map is on page 7 of this document. Coloff’s holdings include KIOW/107.3 (Forest City) and two stations in the Mason City market, plus stations in Charles City and Manchester. (8/23/2013)

Oskaloosa, IOWA:
A new format is apparently coming to one of the radio stations in Oskaloosa. First Ventures Capital Partners translator K258BG/99.5 (Oskaloosa) has applied to move to the KBOE site north of town and specifies KBOE/740 as the station to be rebroadcast. The translator’s power would remain 99 Watts. KBOE currently simulcasts a Country format with KBOE-FM/104.9, so one of the stations would presumably launch a new format if both have FM signals. (8/15/2013)

A belated note that Ottumwa FOX affiliate KYOU-TV/15 has returned to DISH Network after a nine-day outage due to a retransmission consent dispute. The station is owned by American Sprit Media but Raycom Media handled negotiations, according to a statement on KYOU’s website. (8/15/2013)

KWWF/22 (Waterloo) has gone off the air “due to financial difficulties,” according to a notification of suspension of operations filed with the FCC. KWWF, owned by Stratus Communications, had carried Untamed Sports TV. The ten-year-old station has a long history, having served as a UPN affiliate and a beta tester for Retro Television Network before going silent from mid-2009 to mid-2010. (8/9/2013)

Ames, IOWA:
Family Radio’s translator in Ames is poised to return to the air after being forced off last year by the sign-on of KHOI/89.1 (Story City). The translator formerly operated on 89.1 as K206AW and now has a construction permit to move to 89.5 as K208FV. It’ll downgrade from 250 Watts to 27 Watts in the process. FCC filings indicate the translator left the air on August 20, 2012 and federal law requires it to return to the air by this August 20 to keep its license. (8/8/2013)

Shopping channel QVC is now available on broadcast TV in the Twin Cities and Milwaukee and may be coming to other major markets as well. ION owned-and-operated affiliates KPXM-DT/41 (St. Cloud-Minneapolis) and WPXE-DT/55 (Kenosha-Milwaukee) are now carrying QVC on their .5 channels. TitanTV listings also show QVC as being carried on the .5 channel of KPXR/48 (Cedar Rapids), KFPX/39 (Newton-Des Moines), and other ION O&O stations. ION O&O’s also carry qubo on .2, ION Life on .3, and infomercials on .4. (8/6/2013)

Marshalltown, IOWA:
In a followup to an item from several weeks ago, MTN Broadcasting is buying the FM translator that’s poised to relay MTN’s KDAO/1190 (Marshalltown). MTN will pay First Ventures Capitol Partnership $21,000 for K279AN/103.7, which had already specified KDAO as the primary station for its proposed upgrade to 250 Watts from the KDAO transmitter site. The station carries “The True Oldies Channel.” (8/2/2013)


Ottumwa FOX affiliate KYOU-TV/15 was pulled from DISH Network Thursday amid a retransmission consent dispute. The American Sprit Media staiton is encouraging viewers to call DISH seeking a rebate for the missing channel. The small Ottumwa-Kirksville market includes four counties in south-central Iowa and has only one other in-market station, Raycom ABC/CBS affiliate KTVO (Kirksville, MO). (8/1/2013)

NRG Media is buying an FM translator to use for its Country-formatted KLGA/1600 (Algona). NRG will pay David M. Stout $17,000 for K253BJ/98.5 (Humboldt). The translator will need to be moved to Algona before it can begin to relay KLGA. (7/31/2013)


Journal Broadcasting’s stations are off Time Warner Cable amid a retransmission consent dispute. Affected stations include NBC affiliates WTMJ-TV/4 (Milwaukee) and WGBA/26 (Green Bay), My Network TV station WACY/32 (Appleton-Green Bay), and CBS affiliate KMTV/3 (Omaha). The stations left TWC on Thursday morning, following the end of the July ratings period. The outage includes subchannels such as Live Well Network in Milwaukee and Omaha, Me-TV in Green Bay, and a weather channel in Milwaukee. (7/25/2013)

Cedar Rapids, IOWA:
The FCC is considering a proposal to move the RF broadcast channel of KGAN/2.1 (Cedar Rapids) from 51 to 29. KGAN proposed the change because channel 51 is directly adjacent to spectrum King Street Wireless, L.P. bought after the FCC discontinued channels 52 to 69 for TV use. Regulators failed to leave a buffer between TV channel 51 and new wireless frequencies. A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued this week is the first step in changing TV allotments to specify channel 29 at Cedar Rapids in place of channel 51. KGAN, a Sinclair Broadcasting CBS affiliate, would continue to use 850kW at 585m and could continue remapping to channel 2.1. (7/18/2013)

Marshalltown, IOWA:
“True Oldies Channel” affiliate KDAO/1190 (Marshalltown) is poised to get an FM translator. K279AN/103.7 (Marshalltown), which is licensed for just 2.5 Watts, has applied to upgrade to 250 Watts and specified KDAO as the station to be rebroadcast. K279AN is owned by First Ventures Capital Partners; KDAO is owned by MTN Broadcasting. KDAO uses 250 Watts day and 21 Watts night. (7/8/2013)

The Tribune Corporation announced plans Monday to buy Local TV, LLC, which owns several stations in the Upper Midwest, for $2.725 billion. The stations include FOX 6 (WITI Milwaukee), NBC affiliate WHO-TV/13 (Des Moines), and ABC affiliate WQAD/8 (Moline-Davenport). The two companies had already shared some back-office functions and share facilities in the Denver and St. Louis markets. Tribune says after the deal is complete it will be the largest commercial TV station owner in the country with 42 stations, plus eight newspapers, the WGN America cable channel, and Tribune Studios. (7/1/2013)

A belated note that KZLW/90.1 (Gretna, NE) permanently signed on in May carrying Bible teaching and Christian music in a simulcast with KHLW/89.3 (Tabor, IA) as “Living Water Radio.” KZLW had originally signed on last year but went silent citing electrical problems at its transmitter site near Wahoo, NE. The stations are owned by Calvary Chapel of Omaha and operated by Maranatha Fellowship of Bellevue. KZLW uses 100kW/21m (class C1) with a rimshot signal to Gretna and fringe coverage of Omaha and Lincoln. KHLW, which signed on in early 2012, uses 50kW/116m (class C2) from a tower just over the border in Missouri with coverage of Nebraska City and Shenandoah. (6/29/2013)

“K-Love” translator K205DC/88.9 (Sioux City) has moved to 100.1 with the new callsign K261DY. The move included an upgrade from 50 Watts to 250 Watts and comes in preparation for the sign-on of Little Priest Tribal College’s KHGM/88.9 (Sioux City), which has until August 2014 to get on the air. (6/29/2013)

Iowa Public Radio and South Dakota Public Broadcasting will replace “Talk of the Nation,” cancelled by NPR, with “Here and Now,” the show NPR endorsed to replace it. The change in the 1 to 3 p.m. CT time slot takes effect July 1. As previously reported, Minnesota Public Radio is replacing TOTN with “The Takeaway” while Wisconsin Public Radio is revamping its schedule and will carry a statewide call-in show in the former TOTN timeslot. (6/27/2013)

Cedar Falls, IOWA:
Fife Communications is buying an FM translator for its Oldies-formatted KCFI/1250 (Cedar Falls-Waterloo). Fife will pay Starboard Media $12,500 for K232EO/94.3 (Waverly). The translator is currently licensed for a coverage area in Waverly and has not applied for a move towards Waterloo, but the application specifies KCFI as the station to be rebroadcast. (6/17/2013)

Davenport, IOWA:
The FCC has deleted the license of one-time UPN and My Network TV affiliate WBQD-LP/26 (Davenport). The Commission says in a letter to station licensee Four Seasons Peoria, LLC that its records indicate WBQD-LP has been silent since December 9, 2011. The station told the FCC that it went silent after losing its tower lease. Federal law says stations that are silent for more than a year will have their licenses deleted. WBQD-LP had signed on in 2002 and ID’d as “channel 16” based on its cable position; here are some screengrabs from its time on the air. At one time WBQD-LP was simulcast on WQAD/8.3 (Moline), which continues to carry My Network TV on its own and assumed WBQD’s slot on cable. (6/15/2013)

A former downtown Omaha train station will become a TV station: Hearst ABC affiliate KETV/7.1 announced plans last week to move to the historic Burlington Station. The station anticipates a 2015 move-in, more than forty years after the last train pulled out. KETV is currently located about two dozen blocks away on Douglas Street near I-480.

The day before the KETV announcement, NBC affiliate KWWL/7.1 (Waterloo) announced plans not to move. The Quincy Newspapers station says after an exhaustive review, it has decided to stay in the downtown Waterloo location it’s used since 1958 but extensively renovate the facility. The KWWL Building is also home to KBOL-LP/100.1. (6/10/2013)

Young Broadcasting, which owns several stations in the Upper Midwest, is merging with Media General in an all-stock transaction announced Thursday. Young’s stations include ABC affiliate WBAY/2.1 (Green Bay), NBC affiliate KWQC/6.1 (Davenport), CBS affiliate KELO-TV/11.1 (Sioux Falls), and CBS affiliate KCLO/15.1 (Rapid City). Media General’s holdings are mostly in the southeastern U.S. The combined company will have thirty network-affiliated TV stations in 27 markets representing 14 percent of U.S. TV households. (6/6/2013)

Sioux City, IOWA:
Puerto Rico-based Telecinco, Inc. is buying the construction permit for digital low-power TV station K14NV-D (Sioux City) from EICB-TV East for $40,000. Telecinco owns an Univision affiliate in Puerto Rico. EICB-TV also holds the construction permit for K45LM-D (Sioux City) and the agreement contains a provision calling on Telecinco to find a transmitter site that both stations can use. (6/4/2013)

Sioux City, IOWA:
The FCC has denied an application from future Iowa Public Radio station KNSX/97.1 (Moville) to provide a stronger signal to Sioux City. The current KNSX construction permit calls for 5.2kW/109m (class A) and the station applied to upgrade to 11.8kW/149m (class C3) from a site 8.5km closer to Sioux City. Even if the proposed facility meets technical requirements, it ran afoul of the rules by which the frequency was originally reserved for non-commercial use. The non-commercial reservation was made, in part, because more than ten percent of the people in the new station’s coverage area would be served by just one other non-commercial station. However, by widening KNSX’s coverage area, the percentage of listeners in the coverage area receiving only one other non-commercial station would have dropped below ten percent. In a letter informing ISU of the denial, the FCC says the facility specified in KNSX’s modification application would have been disqualified in the initial round of competing applications since it would not have met the ten-percent standard. It said ISU had failed “to present good cause for waiver” and “not shown sufficiently unique ‘special’ circumstances, i.e., rare and exceptional circumstances beyond its control to justify a waiver.” The deadline to build KNSX is January 31, 2015. IPR also once held the construction permit for KHGM/88.9 (Sioux City) but sold it to Little Priest Tribal College earlier this year. (5/28/2013)

Cumulus Media has rebranded Country outlets in the Des Moines, Green Bay, and Appleton markets as “Nash FM,” the branding it first rolled out in New York after Christmas last year. KHKI/97.3 (Des Moines), WPCK/104.9 (Denmark-Green Bay), and WPKR/99.5 (Omro-Oshkosh-Appleton), the latter two of which simulcast, began using the new branding Friday (5/24). The stations are also launching new Facebook pages for the new brands, since it’s difficult to change a Facebook fan page name, forcing KHKI to give up more than 7,000 fans and WPCK to give up more than 2,000 fans. RadioInsight reports Cumulus also made the change in three other markets outside the Upper Midwest. (5/24/2013)

NEW FM TRANSLATORS GRANTED:(Iowa translators in bold face)

  • Davenport, IA: K237FP/95.3, 99W, Covenant Network
  • Fort Madison, IA: K249EP/97.7, 250W, Covenant Network
  • Waverly, IA: K232EO/94.3, 250W, Starboard Media
  • Bismarck, ND: K237FQ/95.3,

250W, Radio 74 Internationale (5/20/2013)


NEW FM TRANSLATORS GRANTED: (Iowa translators in bold face)

Atlantic, IA: K224EA/92.7, 250W, VSS Catholic Communications

Bluegrass (Davenport), IA: K253BL/98.5,
170W, Educational Media Foundation

Burlington, IA: K265EQ/100.9,
80W, American Family Association

Clinton, IA: K282BG/104.3,
80W, American Family Association

Hiawatha (Cedar Rapids), IA: K281BS/104.1,
88W, Educational Media Foundation

Mount Pleasant, IA: K284BT/104.7,
250W, Starboard Media

Portland (Mason City), IA: K258CI/99.5,
140W, Clear Channel

Sioux City, IA: K235CA/94.9,
250W, VSS Catholic Communications

Spirit Lake, IA (Jackson, MN): K249EO/97.7,
250W, Kleven Broadcasting (KKOJ)

Blue Earth, MN: K237FO/95.3, 250W, Minnesota Public Radio

Pennock, MN: K277CC/103.3, 250W, Refuge Media Group

Beatrice, NE: K277CD/103.3, 250W, Community Broadcasting

Briggs (Omaha), NE: K255CJ/98.9, 99W, CSN International

Columbus, NE: K257FK/99.3, 250W, VSS Catholic Communications

West Point, NE: K255CK/98.9, 170W, VSS Catholic Communications

Eau Claire, WI: W292EG/106.3, 250W, Clear Channel

Fond du Lac, WI: W276CO/103.1, 250W, Sister Grace (5/13/2013)

A winter storm has knocked KUSQ/95.1 (Worthington) and KZTP/104.3 (Sibley-Worthington) off the air. The station posted a picture of a partially-toppled tower on its Facebook page. Two sister stations, KWOA/730 and KITN/93.5, remain on the air. (4/10/2013)

Bismarck and Sioux City are among seven new markets nationally getting classic TV network Me-TV. The network says Hoak Media’s KFYR-TV (Bismarck) will begin carrying Me-TV on 5.2 beginning May 1 and Quincy Newspapers’ KTIV (Sioux City) will begin carrying Me-TV on 4.3 on July 1. Both are primary NBC affiliates and KTIV also carries CW+ on 4.2. It’s not immediately clear whether Me-TV will also be seen on KFYR-TV’s three satellites/semi-satellites in western North Dakota. The latest affiliate additions bring Me-TV to 147 markets containing 89 percent of U.S. households. In the Upper Midwest, the only markets that still don’t have Me-TV affiliates are Lincoln-Tri Cities, North Platte, Mankato, Ottumwa, and Quincy, and the latter four markets only have one or two commercial stations. (4/5/2013)

Iowa City, IOWA:
The FCC has issued a $1,200 fine against Thomas Costa for allegedly operating an unlicensed radio station on 87.9 in Iowa City. FCC agents visited Iowa City on Sept. 19 and 20, 2012, in response to a complaint and inspected the operation at that time. Costa argued that he was not actually the operator of the station but had allowed others, whose names he said he did not have, to install and operate the transmitter in a room he rented. In its forfeiture order, the FCC said that even if Costa did not actually operate the transmitter, federal law says he was still responsible for the operation of the unlicensed station as the renter of the room where it was located. However, the FCC did agree to reduce the fine from $10,000 to $1,200 because of Costa’s inability to pay the higher amount. (4/4/2013)

Washington, IOWA:
M&H Broadcasting is buying an FM translator to use for its AM station in Washington from First Ventures Capital Partners. The asset purchase agreement filed with the FCC states M&H will pay $22,500 for K274BT/102.7 (Mount Pleasant) on the condition that First Ventures obtains a construction permit to move K274BT to the KCII/1380 tower site. KCII currently simulcasts a News/Adult Gold format with KCII-FM/106.1. K274BT is currently licensed for a site northwest of Mount Pleasant and has a CP to move to 102.5 from a site midway between Mount Pleasant and Washington; at least one more move would be required to get it to the KCII site. As previously reported, M&H is in the process of buying an FM translator from First Ventures to use to relay its AM station in Knoxville. (3/26/2013)

Ottumwa, IOWA:
In a mixed decision, the FCC says KTVO/3.1 (Kirksville, MO-Ottumwa, IA) and two pay TV providers need to continue talking about a dispute over carriage of out-of-market TV stations. KTVO carries ABC on 3.1 and CBS on 3.2 and is trying to get network programming from KCCI/8 (CBS, Des Moines), KGAN/2.1 (CBS, Cedar Rapids), and KCRG/9 (ABC, Cedar Rapids) blacked out on Citizens Mutual Telephone Cooperative’s system in Bloomfield and LISCO’s system in Fairfield. (KCCI is carried on the Bloomfield system and KGAN and KCRG are carried on the Fairfield system.) The FCC agreed with KTVO’s assertion that none of the stations still qualifies as “significantly viewed” among broadcast viewers in the two communities. However, the commission was stumped on the question of whether Citizens and LISCO are actually “cable systems” as defined by the law. If they are cable systems, they are small enough to be exempt from network non-duplication rules. The commission told the three parties to discuss the matter and file a complaint if they can’t reach an agreement. (3/20/2013)

Waterloo, IOWA:
Cory Ford is the new morning host at Classic Hits KOKZ/105.7 (Waterloo). Ford took over the 6 to 10 a.m. shift on Monday (3/18). He replaces Paul Michaels, who’s now announcing for sister stations ESPN 1330 (KWLO) and News/Talker KXEL/1540.

Knoxville, IOWA:
M&H Broadcasting is
buying translator K237DH/95.3 (Pella) from First Ventures Capital Partners for $22,500. The sale was expected since a recent application showed that K237DH would relay M&H’s KNIA/1320 (Knoxville) after the translator is moved from Pella to Knoxville and upgraded to 250 Watts. The FCC recently approved the move. (3/15/2013)


FM TRANSLATOR CHANGES APPROVED:K237DH/95.3 (Pella, IA) transmitter move to Knoxville and upgrade to 250W to relay KNIA/1320 (Knoxville)(3/13/2013)

Perry, IOWA:
The FCC has proposed a $14,000 fine against Latin Broadcasting Company for alleged lighting violations at the Dallas County tower site of KDLS-FM/105.5 (Perry-Des Moines) last year. The FCC alleges that the tower’s top beacon and top set of side lamps were not working when a sheriff’s deputy observed the tower on July 13 or when an FCC agent visited on July 19, and that it received conflicting reports from the tower owner when it inquired about the outage. Latin Broadcasting Company has thirty days to either pay the fine or ask for a reduction or cancellation. (3/11/2013)

Radioactive, LLC is seeking license renewal for two Iowa stations that have been on the air for a total of six days in the past five years. KYME/92.9 (Rockford) and KEWS/104.7 (Sac City) recently filed amendments to their license renewal applications explaining their broadcast histories. Both received their licenses in 2008 and have conducted annual one-day broadcasts, which begin before 10 a.m. and conclude after 10 p.m. to meet the minimum daily broadcast requirement. Filings indicate KYME was on the air March 7, 2008; March 2, 2009; Feb. 25, 2010; Feb. 22, 2011; Feb. 14, 2012, and Feb. 6, 2013, while KEWS was on the air March 5, 2008; Feb. 28, 2009; Feb. 23, 2010; Feb. 19, 2011; Feb. 15, 2012; and Feb. 7, 2013. Each one-day broadcast is followed by another request for special temporary authority to remain silent citing “inadequate long-term staffing and programming resources” and a statement that Radioactive, LLC is working on a long-term plan for the stations. Each station is currently licensed for 375W but KYME has the potential to be upgraded to serve Mason City while KEWS could reach Storm Lake. (3/11/2013)

There are three more low-power TV stations to add to the list of those deleted by the FCC: KCDE-LP (Cedar Rapids), KHHH-LP (Cedar Rapids), and KWSF-LP (Sioux Falls). Just like the six other LPTV license cancellations reported here a few weeks ago, the stations were forced to leave the air at the end of 2011 by the discontinuation of channels 52-69 but lost their licenses for failing to return on new channels within a year. It does not appear KCDE-LP or KHHH-LP were ever on the air for a significant amount of time, though FCC rules apparently allow stations to remain licensed if the transmitter is turned on at least once every thirty days. (3/4/2013)

Sinclair Broadcasting is picking up stations in four Upper Midwest markets as part of a nationwide deal with Barrington Broadcasting. Sinclair will pay Barrington $370 million for 18 stations in 15 markets, and is also assuming operational or sales agreements with an additional six stations in markets where ownership caps will not allow a duopoly. The deal includes KTVO (ABC/CBS, Kirksville, MO-Ottumwa, IA), KHQA (CBS/ABC, Hannibal, MO-Quincy, IL), WLUC (NBC/FOX, Marquette, MI), WPBN (NBC, Traverse City, MI) and satellite WTOM (Cheboygan, MI), and WGTU (ABC, Traverse City, MI) and satellite WGTQ (Sault Ste. Marie, MI). (WGTU/WGTQ are owned by Tucker Broadcasting and operated by WPBN.) If this deal and another to buy Cox stations in other parts of the country is approved, Sinclair will own or operate 112 stations in 61 markets serving about 30 percent of U.S. households. (3/1/2013)

KNIA/1320 (Knoxville) could get an FM translator if the FCC approves a waiver to move a translator from Pella to Knoxville. K237DH/95.3 is currently licensed to transmit with 10 Watts from a tower east of Pella and has applied to move to Knoxville with 250 Watts. The move is farther than would normally be allowed, but K237DH is seeking a waiver because the old and new facilities are mutually exclusive. K237DH is owned by First Ventures Capital Partners and KNIA, which carries a Country format, is owned by M&H Broadcasting. M&H also owns Adult Contemporary outlet KRLS/92.1 (Knoxville). (2/28/2013)

Grant Media’s stations in the Quad Cities and La Crosse-Eau Claire have returned to DISH Network after a weeklong outage amid a retransmission consent dispute. Quad Cities FOX affiliate KLJB/18 (Davenport) and CW affiliate KCGW/26 (Burlington) and La Crosse FOX affiliate WLAX/25 had been affected. (2/25/2013)

New Omaha rimshot KIMI/107.7 (Sidney, IA) is on the air testing with Classic Rock. Station owner Victor Michael posted a video on YouTube with audio of one of the test broadcasts as heard on a clock radio in Council Bluffs. KIMI uses 50kW/124m from a tower south of Pacific Junction, IA, delivering a good signal to Omaha and Council Bluffs. The station was originally licensed to Humboldt, NE on 107.9 but was never on the air there for more than a few days, according to FCC filings. It was able to move to 107.7 Sidney after the FCC’s unusual move to delete the allotment and construction permit for KGGG/107.7 (Pacific Junction), which was plagued by complaints about interference to navigation equipment at Eppley Airfield and Offutt Air Force Base. The FCC refunded Connoisseur Media the money it spent at auction for the frequency. (2/18/2012)

Quad Cities FOX affiliate KLJB/18 (Davenport) and CW affiliate KCGW/26 (Burlington) left DISH Network Saturday (Feb. 16) amid a retransmission consent dispute. KLJB says it has “no idea” why DISH removed its signal, saying they thought they had granted DISH an extension. DISH says KLJB and KGCW, operated by Grant Media, are seeking a three-fold increase in the amount of money it receives and says it had to pull the stations because its agreement to carry them expired. (2/18/2012) 

Community First Broadcasting is buying translator K207EV/89.3 (Storm Lake) to relay its KAYL/990 (Storm Lake). The buyer will pay Edgewater Broadcasting $25,000 for the license; no equipment is included in the sale. The sale is contingent upon the FCC approving a move for K207EV from 89.3 to 99.9, since the translator would not legally be allowed to relay a commercial station on 89.3. No waiver is needed for the move since 99.9 is an IF frequency in relation to 89.3. KAYL carries the syndicated “Juan” Spanish Variety Hits format. (2/15/2013)

Iowa Public Radio
says its new Classical station serving the Ames area, KICG/91.7 (Perry), is now on the air. Ames listeners without HD radios haven’t been able to receive Classical music over the air since IPR flipped WOI-FM/90.1 (Ames-Des Moines) to its News and Adult Alternative service in September. The new station uses 10kW/110m (class C3) from a tower near Boone, delivering a rimshot signal to Ames and fringe coverage of Fort Dodge, which also lacks Classical service. (2/1/2013)

KCRG-TV/9 (Cedar Rapids) has returned to DISH Network after a retransmission consent dispute that kept the ABC affiliate off the satellite TV provider for more than a month. KCRG returned to DISH on Friday (1/25). The station did not say whether its subchannel would be carried on DISH, which was one of the issues cited by the station last month. (1/27/2013)

Des Moines Register reports that KXLQ/1490 (Indianola) is now carrying ESPN Radio after former affiliate KBGG/1700 (Des Moines) switched to CBS Sports. KBGG is owned by Cumulus Media, which distributes CBS. KXLQ is owned by Birach Broadcasting and is being operated by longtime central Iowa sports broadcaster Marty Tirell, who relaunched “The Jock” format on the station last year with his own show and Yahoo! Sports Radio. The 1kW station has a rimshot signal to Des Moines but is somewhat difficult to hear in the capital city some nights since 1490 is a crowded frequency. (1/19/2013)

An FM station’s plan to move into the Sioux City market is apparently on hold. In 2010, the FCC granted KCTY/104.9 (Wayne) a construction permit to change its community of license to Emerson and move its transmitter to a site near Hubbard, giving it a strong signal
to Sioux City. The CP is due to expire in June and KCTY has now applied to remain at its current transmitter site but still change its community of license to Emerson, saying, “Due to financial restrictions, the authorized Construction Permit site location is no longer feasible.” The station could re-apply for the Sioux City move-in, assuming no other station in the region files a competing proposal. (1/18/2013)

KMCS/93.1 (Muscatine) dropped its “MaC FM” Variety Hits format for a broad Classic-based Rock format as “Vintage Sound 93.1” on Monday (1/14). The Quad City Times reports personalities include two alums of Contemporary Hits-formatted “B100” (KBEA/99.7 Muscatine-Quad Cities): Anthony “Tony Tone” Loconsole in the mornings and “Pippa” in the afternoons. The “MaC FM” format will continue on sister station KMCN/94.7 (Clinton), which launched it simultaneously with KMCS in 2005 (“MaC” standing for “Muscatine and Clinton). Both stations have fringe signals to the Quad Cities. (1/12/2013, updated 1/14)


The Quad Cities are poised to get a second Spanish-language FM signal as “La Jefa” (WKBF/1270 Rock Island) adds an FM translator. K289BI/105.7 Davenport, owned by First Ventures Capital Partners, says in an application with the FCC that it’ll carry WKBF if it gets permission to move its transmitter to the WKBF site in Moline and upgrade to 250 Watts. K289BI is currently licensed to transmit from northwest Davenport with 10 Watts. WKBF is owned by La Jefa Latino Broadcasting, LLC. The FM home of “La Jefa” would be right next door to another Spanish-language FM signal, K291BP/106.1 (Bettendorf). That station transmits with 250 Watts from Davenport and carries the non-commercial “Radio Bilingüe” network via the HD2 channel of KALA/88.5 (Davenport). (1/4/2013)


Three Eagles’ KTLB/105.9 (Twin Lakes-Fort Dodge) started the year with the launch of “Hippie Radio,” a `60s and `70s Rock format targetting baby boomers. The station dumped its brief-lived Oldies format a month ago for Christmas music and then stunted with loops of several songs between Christmas and New Year’s. Three Eagles also owns “Classic Hits 92.1 The Eagle” (KZLB Fort Dodge), which focuses mainly on `70s and `80s Rock hits. “The Eagle” was originally on 105.9 and moved to 92.1 when “The Blaze” was extinguished last year; 105.9 revived its previous “Beach” branding for what turned out to only be eight months. (1/1/2013)