Simulcasts KDNW Duluth
Broadcast areaDuluth-Superior
Frequency89.5 MHz
BrandingLife 97.3
FormatContemporary Christian music
Duluth: KDNI, KDNW
Hibbing: KRFG (FM)
Former call signs
WNCB (1982–2004)
Call sign meaning
Jesus (is the) ReFuge (former branding)
Technical information
ClassA > C1(CP)
ERP1,650 watts > 40,000 watts (CP)
HAAT168>223(CP) meters

WJRF (89.5 FM) is a radio station in Duluth, Minnesota. The station currently simulcasts Contemporary Christian KDNW. Historically, it was its own station and the centerpiece of a regional Christian network prior to its donation to Northwestern Media in 2019.


The WJRF license was authorized in 1982 as WNCB. It was owned by North-Central Christian Broadcasting. WNCB moved from 89.1 to 89.3 MHz in 1992 and to 89.5 in 2002. In the early 1990s, it began to build out a translator network, including a short-lived venture into the Twin Cities that was forced off the air by a relocated full-power station.[1]

Shortly after the move to 89.5, North-Central Christian Broadcasting renamed itself Refuge Media Group. The WJRF call letters were adopted in 2004. In the early 2010s, several Refuge translators were sold off to commercial broadcasters to retransmit AM stations.

Former logo

On July 2, 2019, Refuge Media Group filed to donate the entire network of three main stations and 13 Refuge-owned translators to the University of Northwestern – St. Paul, which disbanded the network and used its frequencies (except WJRF) to broadcast other Northwestern stations in its Life and Faith networks. Refuge-operated translators owned by third parties, such as Minn-Iowa Christian Broadcasting, were not included in the transaction.[2]

In February 2020 WJRF was granted a construction permit by the FCC, to improve its signal from a class A station using 1,650 watts of power to a class C1 station using 40,000 watts of power.[3]


In operation, Refuge had 13 translators at the end of its life, as well as two full-power licenses outside of Duluth, KRGM in Marshall and KRFG in Nashwauk. These stations became full-power repeaters of Northwestern Media Life stations, and the translators were divided among Northwestern's existing Life and Faith stations.[4]

The following translators were not owned by Refuge Media Group and thus not part of the donation of the network. The Estherville translator repeats off-air a translator reassigned to a Northwestern station and is being donated to Northwestern as of February 2020.[5]

Call sign Frequency City of license ERP (W) HAAT Class FCC info
K257CH 99.3[note 1] FM Estherville, Iowa 80 53 m (174 ft) D FMQ
K218DK 91.5[note 2] FM Bloomington, Minnesota 216 49 m (161 ft) D FMQ
K293BA 106.5[note 3] FM Elko, Minnesota 196 83 m (272 ft) D FMQ
K212FM 90.3[note 4] FM Warroad, Minnesota 250 53 m (174 ft) D FMQ
  1. ^ Owned by Lakes Area Christian Radio. Received WJRF from K210CG, which now rebroadcasts KNWC-FM.
  2. ^ Owned by Minn-Iowa Christian Broadcasting
  3. ^ Owned by Minn-Iowa Christian Broadcasting. Received WJRF from K218DK.
  4. ^ Owned by Heartland Christian Broadcasters, Inc.


  1. ^ "Refuge Radio Goes Silent After 37 Years". Northpine. September 2, 2019. Retrieved September 8, 2019.
  2. ^ Venta, Lance (2019-07-05). "Station Sales Week Of 7/5". RadioInsight. Retrieved 2019-07-05.
  3. ^ "FCC Grants Upgrade for Duluth Station". Upper Midwest Broadcasting at NorthPine.com. Retrieved February 6, 2020.
  4. ^ Ellis, Jon (September 3, 2019). ""Life," "Faith" Networks Expand on Former Refuge Stations". Northpine. Retrieved September 3, 2019.
  5. ^ Venta, Lance (February 20, 2020). "Station Sales Week of 2/20". RadioInsight. Retrieved February 22, 2020.

46°47′20″N 92°07′08″W / 46.789°N 92.119°W / 46.789; -92.119