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Northern Lights Broadcasting Acquires KNOF Minneapolis

PraiseFM 95.3 KNOF Minneapolis St. Paul Northern Lights Broadcasting Go 96.3 KTWNThe Pohlad Companies’ Northern Lights Broadcasting has acquired a second Twin Cities FM.

The owners of Alternative “Go 96.3” KTWN-FM Edina have purchased Christian “95.3 Praise-FM” KNOF St. Paul from Praise Broadcasting for $7.95 million. The Class A signal operates from the IDS Center in downtown Minneapolis with 900 watts horizontal/820 watts vertical at 258 meters (Coverage Map). KNOF joins KTWN-FM, the recently acquired BringMeTheNews news aggregator and the Minnesota Twins baseball team in the Pohlad’s holdings.

Not included in the purchase is the KNOF call letters or any of the intellectual property associated with the current “Praise-FM” format. Upon closing of the deal, Praise’s programming will continue to be heard in the Minneapolis mark on a to-be-launched HD2 subchannel of Northern Light’s 96.3 KTWN-FM for five years with two one year options to extend for $5,000 per year. Additionally as part of the deal, the Minnesota Twins will hold a “Faith Night” promotion from 2016-2020 and two Praise concerts in 2016 and 2017 at Target Field, a redesign of the station’s website, hospitality events at Target Field, and make arrangements to distribute Praise’s audio and video production to up to ten stations via purchase of a Barix Encoder and paying internet hosting fees.

Praise Broadcasting is based in Osakis, MN and operates three other stations in Minnesota. They began operating KNOF via Time Brokerage Agreement in June 2009 and purchased the station in July 2014 for $5 million.

Profile photo of Lance Venta
Lance Venta is the Owner and Publisher of RadioInsight.com and a consultant for RadioBB Networks specializing in integration of radio and the internet. Lance has two decades of experience tracking the audio industry and its use of digital platforms.

6 Comments

  1. Profile photo of ksradiogeek


    Well! What direction do you think the Pohlads will take it to?

    • Profile photo of Eric Jon Magnuson


      Even though it did cross my mind, a simulcast almost certainly wouldn’t work–as there appears to be way too much overlap between the two signals.

      The most-logical format for me–especially with the demise of The Ticket–would be Sports. Not only would it allow the Twins broadcasts to move, but it would allow the signal to be in mono full-time. That said, I was pretty much saying the same thing in the run-up to Go’s launch.

      Separately, has anyone in the core Twin Cities metro ever taken a look at WEVR-FM in River Falls, Wisc.? It definitely doesn’t cover most of the metro, but it likely would help signal-challenged outlets cover the eastern portion (even Washington Co., Minn.).

    • Profile photo of Lance Venta


      Considering the format hole is still wide open and Northern Lights only flipped 96.3 Now to KTWN due to needing a format more compatible with the Twins, I’d expect another shot at Rhythmic CHR.

      • Profile photo of only1moore


        For once I agree with Lance. The 95.3 signal is the perfect fit for the Rhythmic format. It would also give KDWB some real competition and slice off their younger demos.

  2. Profile photo of Eric Jon Magnuson


    A new story about the deal from Twin Cities Business (at http://tcbmag.com/News/Recent-News/2015/September/Northern-Lights-Buys-KNOF-Frequency-Ma) includes some comments by Praise FM’s executive director.

  3. Profile photo of Scholarm1111


    I would love to see chr/rhythmic, it would do far better than KTWN has the past several years, but considering that the Pohlad’s moved away from that format as soon as they bought the station, I doubt that is what the have had in mind.

    I think they might do a simulcast – “Go 96.3/95.3”. 96.3 is still weak in the East Metro but has good West Metro coverage. 95.3 is stronger in the East Metro. Neither signal itself is probably as strong as they would like for the baseball.

    Yes, I think it is ridiculous to have a baseball/modern rock format, but these guys have made a serious of bad moves since buying the station, putting 96.3 in the ratings dumpster.

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