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98.5 FM, Council Bluffs, IA (Omaha)

City of License: Council Bluffs, IA

First Air Date: 1969

Operating Power: 100,000 watts

Original Call Letters: KRCB

General Manager: James Lowenberg

Chief Engineer: James Droege

Date of FCC Issue: 1969

Issued To: KRCB Inc.

Through the Years

  • 1969

    May, 1969-  KRCB FM signs on.  The owner is KRCB, Inc (J.J. Conroy & R.E. Russell).  Transmitting from the KRCB AM 1560 tower on the South Omaha Bridge Road in Council Bluffs with tower height of 175 feet.  Studios are located at 546 Mynster Street in Council Bluffs.   Programming format simulcasts with KRCB AM.

    Station begins begins Progressive Rock to midnight after the the day-time only AM signs off at sunset.

  • 1970

    Station goes to a 24 hour operating schedule.

  • 1972

    Station is sold to KRCB-Michigan, Inc  (Detroit, MI) for $415,000, including KRCB AM.  Dick Freeman, 32% owner of the station becomes the General Manager.

  • 1973

    Station goes from mono to stereo, and separates its programming from the AM for a full time Progressive Rock format.

  • 1974

    Call letters are changed to KQKQ and begins “KQ98” moniker.

  • 1975

    John Mitchell, having a 40% ownership buys the full interest in the station for $379,000.

  • 1980

    Transmitter is moved to the old KMTV tower at 26114 Farnam Street, Omaha, with a tower height of 530 feet.

    February, 1980-  Format flips to Top 40

    June, 1980-  Bill Cunningham becomes General Manager.

    August, 1980- Format is launched under Sweet 98 moniker.  Morning show is named  “The Breakfast Flakes” with PD Mark Evans and Dick Warner.

  • 1981

    Supermouth air talent contest begins, and becomes an annual event for seven years, the most succesful of whom was “Hot Scott” O’Hanlon, who eventually dominated evenings for most of the late 1980’s.   Station is known for bigger than life promotional stunts,  Big Guy BingoStickificate bumper sticker contest, etc.   Morning show features a new Breakfast Flakes duo with Mark Evans and Cap’t Tony.


  • 1985

    Studios/offices move to the LeDoyt Landmark Building at 1001 Farnam in Omaha.   KQKQ studio features an elevator for the disc jockeys to stand on in a street level corner location.

  • 1986

    April, 1986- Bill Cunningham is out as General Manager.  He is replaced by John Ginzkey, Station Manager of Sales and Administration and PD Mark Evans assumes the Station Manager, Programming position.

    October, 1986-  Ralph Beaudin is hired as the new General Manager.

  • 1988

    The main transmitter is moved to the KMTV tower at Crown Point antenna farm at 72nd and Crown Point, at 1,085 feet.

    Breakfast Flakes Morning show features Steve Lundy, Cap’t Tony, and Chris Sackler doing traffic reports.

  • 1990

    Ralph Beaudin retires and General Sales Manager Marty Riemenschneider assumes the General Manager position.

  • 1992

    Station programming shakeup.  Breakfast Flakes morning show ends, with Steve Lundy transitioning to mornings on sister station KKAR.  G. Rockett Phillips takes over the morning show as Rockett in the Morning along with Tommy Zenner and Liz Adams.

  • 1995

    August 1995-Rockett leaves for KESY 104.1 FM and is replaced by “Johnny Danger”.

  • 1997

    January, 1997-  G. Rockett Phillips returns to the morning show.

  • 1998

    Sweetstock annual concerts at Westfair arena begin a five-year run.

    Rockett in the Morning show was replaced by “The Sweet Morning Zoo” with hosts, Wayne Coy and Max Baumgartner.

  • 2000

    Mitchell Broadcasting Co, Inc. enters into a Local Marketing Agreement with Waitt Radio for all of Mitchell’s stations in Omaha, Fremont, Hastings, Kearney and North Platte.

    November, 2000-  Stations are moved from 10th & Farnam to 5010 Capitol Avenue, Omaha, in the old Cox Cable Building.  Building undergoes a $3 million renovation and the stations join Waitt’s KCTY 106.9 FM which was previously located in that building.

  • 2001

    February, 2001-  General Manager Marty Riemenschneider retires, replaced by Mike Payne.

  • 2002

    Waitt Radio buys Mitchell’s 16-station group of $36.6 million.  The last Sweetstock  is held.

    April, 2002-  Sweet Morning Show is replaced by “Pat & JT” (Pat Safford, Jill Thomas).

  • 2004

    KQKQ’s format flips from hit music to Hot Adult Contemporary as Modern Hit Music Q98.5.

  • 2005

    Waitt Radio merges with New Radio Group forming NRG Media, Mary Quass, President, Chuck DuCoty, VP.

  • 2017

    May 26, 2017-  KQKQ is rebranded back to the “Sweet 98.5” name, while retaining the Hot AC format and current airstaff.

  • 2018

    October, 2018-  Morning show host Pat Safford and Jill Thomas were replaced by Matt Tompkins and Nikki Oswald.

  • 2020

    January, 2020- Matt Tompkins was moved to sister station KOOO to host mornings there and was replaced by Laura Blenkush, who had been hosting afternoons on KQKQ, with Oswald remaining as co-host.

  • 2021

    July, 2021- Laura Blenkush left the station and two months later, Jason Spicoli, formerly with KIWR, Council Bluffs, joined the morning show with Nikki Oswald.