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89.7 FM, Council Bluffs, IA

City of License: Council Bluffs, Iowa

First Air Date: November 23, 1981

Operating Power: 100,000 watts

Original Call Letters: KIWR

Format: Classical

Issued To: Iowa Western Community College

Through the Years

  • 1981

    November 23, 1981-  KIWR signs on programming classical music with some New Age Music.  Studios located at Iowa Western Community College, transmitter on the WOWT tower at 72nd & Crown Point, Omaha, with 100,000 watts direction eastward at 1013 feet.

  • 1983

    KIWR joins NPR, becoming the second affiliate in the Omaha metro.

  • 1990

    Station drops NPR, in a money-tightening move.  Joins APR as a secondary affiliate.

  • 1992

    With $62,000 in debt, the owners intend to silence the station by July while seeking a buyer.  However, a last minute fund drive brought in enough to keep the station on until the end of the year.

  • 1993

    A new March 15 deadline was set while again seeking a buyer.  Bidders fell short of requirements and the IWCC Board renews their commitment to the station for three years.   New program director Scott Hanley changes the station imaging from The Classical Station  to Heartland Public Radio,  brings back NPR and hires a news director.

  • 1995

    New Program Director Vicki Ratliff turns the station into a teaching station as part of a broadcast journalism program.  Tuitions supplement grants from the Corporation of Public Radio.   NPR is gone again, replaced by classical music mornings,  jazz afternoons, and New Age in the evenings.

  • 1996

    KIWR station format flips to contemporary mainstream pop-rock.  The staff is a mix of student announcers and local personalities from commercial environments.   Funding is supplemented by local businesses and retailers assisting with on-air auctions.  The money difficulties subside.  A $3 million bond issue is approved by the voters.

  • 1997

    Plans are approved for a 27-thousand square foot classroom to house the broadcast program and new studios.

  • 1998

    Program Director Bill Stewart shifts the music to Alternative Rock.

  • 1999

    Summer ratings put KIWR on top, beating the other non-religious non-commercial stations KVNO 90.7 and KIOS 91.5