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Wendy Reuer, Published August 19 2013

Big 98.7 new home for 'Jesse and Amanda with Pike'

FARGO – They said it was going to be “big.”

And it was.

The radio dial marker 98.7, formerly known as Q98, unveiled its new name and format on Monday: Big 98.7 Today’s Hit Music (without all the rap).

Big 98.7 will be the new home of the popular morning show, "Jesse and Amanda with Pike."

The dial point was formerly home to Q98 Rocks, a hard rock, male-oriented staple of the Red River Valley that moved on the dial to 105.1 and changed its name slightly to Q105.1 Rocks on Friday.

Jesse and Amanda with Pike – John Halvorson (Jesse James), Amanda Scheid (Amanda Lea) and Taylor Peterson (Pike) – left their longtime home of Froggy 99.9 earlier this month.

The three stayed mostly silent about where they were headed, the only hints being dropped through social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. The cryptic messages only read, “Big changes are coming.”

On Monday, hundreds of clients and listeners attended the Big 98.7 launch party as the morning trio went live on air from The Venue at the Hub at 5 p.m.

The station’s first song, “Got a Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas, helped set the tone for a format of current hit songs minus any hard rock or rap.

“It’s just going to be all kinds of fun,” Halverson said. “When the music feels good, you feel good.”

Schied said the new Big 98.7 will have an adult feel that is fun but appropriate for people who have the kids in the car.

“We’re going to be mature enough for the adult audience,” Schied said.

Featured artists on the new Big 98.7 will include Bruno Mars, Justin Timberlake, Maroon 5 and Lady Gaga.

Although the Jesse and Amanda with Pike show will be followed by hosts Cori Jensen from 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Scotty Matthews in the afternoon and Alek on the radio at night, the station will be focused on playing continuous music, Halverson said.

“It’s going to be all about the music and all about the fun,” Halverson said.

To top the day off, Jesse and Amanda with Pike were named North Dakota’s best morning show and top community service team by the North Dakota Broadcasters Association.

Monday’s announcement bookended a storm of radio station changes earlier this year.

In late April, Jim Ingstad sold his six Radio Fargo-Moorhead stations, – including Bob 95 – to Midwest Communications.

Ingstad then bought Froggy 99 and five other stations from L&L Broadcasting, which had just bought those stations as part of a larger deal with Triad Broadcasting.

Then, on Aug. 5, Ingstad swapped Froggy 99.9 with Midwest Communications’ Bob 95.

On Monday, Radio FM Media Chief Operating Officer Nancy Odney said Monday’s announcement marks the end of big format changes for Radio FM Media, but the stations will have some upcoming promotions that are new.

Listeners just have to stay tuned, she said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Wendy Reuer at (701) 241-5530