89.7 FM, Council Bluffs, IA
First Air Date: November 23, 1981
Operating Power: 100,000 watts
Original Call Letters: KIWR
Issued To: Iowa Western Community College
Through the Years
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.
KIWR joins NPR, becoming the second affiliate in the Omaha metro.
Station drops NPR, in a money-tightening move. Joins APR as a secondary affiliate.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Plans are approved for a 27-thousand square foot classroom to house the broadcast program and new studios.
Program Director Bill Stewart shifts the music to Alternative Rock.
Summer ratings put KIWR on top, beating the other non-religious non-commercial stations KVNO 90.7 and KIOS 91.5