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Red Rock Sales Lead to Multiple Flips In Northern Minnesota

96.1 Duke-FM Z96.1 KGPZ 95 KQDS 105.5 J105 102.9 KMFG 106.3 WMFG Midwest Hibbing Grand RapidsWith the sale closings or LMA’s starting across the stations being sold by Red Rock Radio in multiple Minnesota markets, many stations have debuted new formats under their new ownership.

Midwest Communications’ purchase of Country “Z96.1” KGPZ Coleraine/Grand Rapids leads to a flip of the station to Classic Country “96.1 Duke-FM“. The new format takes KGPZ out of direct competition of new sister “99.9 Radio USA” WUSZ Virginia and instead turns it into a flanker.

Midwest was forced to divest Classic Rock 102.9 KMFG Nashwauk/Hibbing MN, which has now flipped to Christian AC “Refuge Radio” as part of new owner Refuge Media Group’s network based at 89.5 WJRF Duluth. Classic Rock remained in the Hibbing market as Midwest’s Classic Hits 106.3 WMFG-FM Hibbing flipped to a simulcast of Classic Rock “95 KQDS” 94.9 KQDS-FM Duluth.

The KQDS-FM simulcast had been heard in the Hibbing/Grand Rapids area on Red Rock’s 105.5 KBAJ Deer River. Under new owner Lamke Broadcasting, KBAJ is now producing a locally originating Classic Rock format branded as “J105 The Thunder“. KBAJ also adds the syndicated Bob & Tom for mornings.

Northpine.com also adds that R&J Radio’s newly acquired Variety Hits “101.5 Jack-FM” KFGI Crosby/Brainerd shifted to a locally produced format as “Skeeter 101.5” and a playlist spanning from the 1950s through 2000s earlier in December. That followed KQDS-FM simulcaster 95.9 WWWI Pillager flipping to Classic Country/Classic Hits as “Cash 95” in November.

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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.

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