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Channel switch affects coverage

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By Paul Christian

pchristian@postbulletin.com

The big switch -- between KMSP-TV and WFTC-TV -- will take place on Sunday and, yes, it will affect Rochester-area cable viewers.

Here's why. KMSP will become Fox 9 and will assume all of the regular Fox programming, include NFL games. WFTC, which had been carrying Fox programs, will become WTFC UPN 29 and carry all UPN programs.

The two stations are making up one of the first major market TV network duopolies in the nation. They will share the same Eden Prairie facilities.

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WFTC UPN 29 will be seen locally on cable channel 9, replacing KMSP. Charter will no longer carry KMSP because Rochester has its own Fox station, KXLT-TV, or Fox 47.

KMSP also carries several Minnesota Wild games and the high school football, boys hockey and boys and girls state basketball tournament. Apparently, those tournaments will no longer be available here.

UPN 29 carried 20 Minnesota Timberwolves games last year.

The new alignment will not affect regular Fox programming, such as Major League Baseball and the NFL. All those programs will be seen on Fox 47.

Around the tube

KROC-AM program director Brent Ackerman had to decide whether to carry the Minnesota Twins and Oakland A's game or the University of Minnesota and Louisiana-Lafayette football game Saturday night. He picked the Twins.

"It was a tough call, I went back-and-forth, but the Twins are playing so well, and this could be a preview of the playoff series," Ackerman said. "Last week, we were in the same situation, and we picked the Gophers.''

Twins coverage will start with a 6:35 p.m. pregame show. The Gophers will be broadcast on tape delay following the baseball game.

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The Fan (1270) will be doing a Saturday morning high school football coaches show, from 9:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. featuring the four Rochester coaches, James Miller of Mayo, Jon Vik of Century, Jack Drews of Century and Marv Peters of Lourdes.

The coaches will be taped for Saturday's first show, according to sports director Greg Henn. But in the future he hopes to have them live in the studio. A similar show was dropped from the station a few years ago.

Don't forget, the start of Sunday's Oakland-Minnesota game has been moved to 7 p.m. It will be televised nationally on ESPN.

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