SIOUX CITY | A South Dakota radio group with stations in North Iowa is suing a southern Minnesota broadcaster for use of the KORN station call sign.
The federal civil complaint filed by Riverfront Broadcasting of Yankton, South Dakota, accuses Main Street Broadcasting of Owatonna, Minnesota, and broadcaster Lynn Ketelsen of false designation, dilution, cybersquatting and unfair competition.
The South Dakota radio group claims Main Street is illegally using the KORN designation to promote and identify one of its stations, KORN Country 92.1, of Owatonna.
Riverfront, which also operates North Iowa radio stations in Algona and Humboldt, owns the rights to the KORN station call sign and has used it for 1490 KORN AM in Mitchell, South Dakota, since 1950, according to the complaint.
Although KORN Country 92.1's call sign for the Federal Communications Commission is KKOR, the Minnesota station is billed on air and online as KORN Country 92.1, the complaint states.
The signal for KORN Country 92.1 reaches the Iowa-Minnesota border and two of Main Street's stations, KOWZ FM and KRUE 1170 AM, have coverage in North Iowa, according to the station website.
Riverfront asked the court to order KORN Country 92.1 to stop using the KORN designation, turn over its website domain, korn92.com, and pay damages. It also asked that Main Street be forced to turn over profits it gained from the alleged unlawful use of the KORN designation.
When reached by phone Monday afternoon, Lynn Ketelsen of Main Street Broadcasting said he didn't know anything about the lawsuit.
Representatives for Riverfront Broadcasting could not immediately be reached for comment Monday afternoon.