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Wendy Reuer, Published July 31 2013

Popular local morning radio show moving, but hosts won't say where

FARGO – The popular local morning radio show “Jesse and Amanda with Pike” will return to the metro airwaves despite its departure from Froggy 99.9 on Wednesday, but the hosts aren’t saying when or where they’ll return.

The only thing they are saying is that they will not head to rival country station Bob 95.1.

The trio – John Halvorson (Jesse James), Amanda Scheid (Amanda Lea) and Taylor Peterson (Pike) – are mum on details of the move.

But rumors began swirling among listeners and radio insiders after news of the trio’s departure broke via their social media sites.

On Facebook, the three are seen holding a sign that reads, “Big Changes Coming,” their mouths covered with tape. Listeners have posted speculation that the trio would venture into Bob territory.

“We’re not going over to Bob 95,” Amanda Lea said Wednesday.

“We will be on the airwaves in due time.”

Bob 95 already has a popular morning show with “Chris, John and Jane in the Morning.”

The show with hosts John Austin, Jane Alexander and Chris Hanson has repeatedly been voted best morning show in The Forum’s annual readers’ poll and has been a station staple since 2007.

Austin did not return a message left for him Wednesday.

Ownership changes

The timing of the show’s departure comes shortly before Froggy and Bob are set to officially change ownership.

James D. Ingstad is handing off Froggy 99 to Midwest Communications in exchange for Bob 95.

The swap was announced early this year after a flurry of radio station deals in late April.

At that time, Ingstad sold his six Radio Fargo-Moorhead stations, including Bob 95, to Midwest. He followed up that deal by buying Froggy 99 and five other stations from L&L Broadcasting. L&L Broadcasting had just bought the Fargo-Moorhead stations as part of a larger deal with Triad Broadcasting.

Ingstad and Midwest Communications owner Duke Wright said at that time that listeners would not see big formatting and staffing changes.

Attempts to reach Ingstad on Wednesday were unsuccessful. A message left for Froggy 99’s top manager was not returned.

According to the most recent Arbitron ratings, Bob 95 and Froggy 99 are the top-rated country music stations in the metro, both ranking in the top five stations.

The highest rated music station was pop music Y-94, which is home to the “Y-94 Morning Playhouse.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Wendy Reuer at (701) 241-5530