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Forum staff reports, Published May 07 2013

Country music stations Froggy and Bob to switch owners in latest F-M radio shakeup

FARGO – Fargo’s two most popular country music stations will be swapping owners, the latest wrinkle in a flurry of recent radio-station deal making.

Bob 95.1 will switch from Wisconsin-based Midwest Communications to Radio Fargo-Moorhead, owned by James D. Ingstad. Froggy 99.9 will switch from Ingstad’s company to Midwest. The deal is expected to be finalized in early summer following FCC approval.

Listeners likely will notice no changes to either station.

The station switch comes a week after Midwest Communications bought the six-station radio group owned by Ingstad, a mix that included Bob 95.1.

The next day, Ingstad bought a six-station package from L&L Broadcasting, which had earlier bought the six stations from Triad Broadcasting. That group of six stations, now called Radio Fargo-Moorhead, included Froggy 99.

“This swap makes both station groups stronger and will provide a basis for a highly competitive vibrant local market,” Ingstad said in a statement.

In that same joint statement, Midwest Communications owner Duke Wright agreed, stating, “We look forward to fierce competition and great local radio in Fargo.”

The latest move has radio industry insiders suggesting both ownership groups may have an agreement to raise ad rates or reduce marketing expenses, or both.

Wright said Tuesday that there is no agreement to raise ad rates or reduce marketing expenses.

Attempts to reach Ingstad for comment on the same question were unsuccessful. Also, a message left for a top manager who works for Ingstad was not returned.