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  State population (2000 census)
  Population receiving a FM public radio signal
  (from both in and out-of-state stations)   
  Population in uncovered areas
  Stations in State FM stations
    FM booster stations
    FM translators
    AM stations
  1989 PTFP Study: Population receiving a
    FM public radio signal

Broadcast Coverage Maps

FM Stations - Detail         FM Stations - Printable

AM Stations - Detail         AM Stations - Printable


Public Radio Stations in State

Main stations in bold followed by associated repeaters
Translators are shown at the end of the narrative
Facilities in italics operated by out‑of‑state broadcasters
Location in ( ) - actual location of transmitting facilities
N - New facility since 1989 study     # - Station now meets study criteria

FM Stations
Ames KLCD1
Fort Dodge KLNI1 N
Carroll KSUI
Iowa City
Cedar Falls KPVL N
Mason City KWIT
Sioux City
Cedar Falls    KOJI N
Cedar Rapids KBBG
Council Bluffs
AM Stations
Mason City
Iowa City

1 Operated by Minnesota Public Radio, St. Paul, MN.

General Comments

Ten public broadcasters, seven university licensees and three community licensees, serve Iowa by operating 15 stations and eight translators across the state.  WOI Ames covers much of central Iowa with three stations.  KUNI Cedar Falls operates a dual program service through its second station, KHKE, and covers much of eastern Iowa.  Many communities in central and eastern Iowa receive multiple program services through FM stations and the state's three public AM stations.

FM Service

Four stations and six translators have been built in Iowa since the 1989 PTFP study.  The construction of KOJI Okoboji, KWOI Carroll and KPVL Postville provided coverage to areas identified as without service in the 1989 study. KLNI Decorah was built to complement the operation of KLCD and enhance service to the counties in the far northeast corner of Iowa on the Minnesota border. The translators extend and enhance the coverage of the operators and in some cases provide an additional service to the community.

KUNI is activating a repeater, KDMR 90.9 mHz in Mitchellville, 30 miles east of Des Moines. KDMR will bring a second service to over 7,000 residents.  KHKE has an application pending at the FCC to activate a repeater on 89.9 mHz station in Marion, Iowa, outside of Cedar Rapids.  This new station would bring second service to over 100,000 residents.  However, the application is currently mutually exclusive with another application pending at the FCC.

Two stations included in the previous study, KUCB Des Moines and KOJC Cedar Rapids, are no longer operating because their licenses were revoked for failing to maintain their broadcast operation.

Public broadcasters have increased the percentage of the population receiving a public radio signal from 85% in 1989 to 91.1% currently.  All major population centers across the state receive at least one and in many cases several public radio signals. The total number of unserved residents declined from 428,000 to 260,818.

AM Service

Iowa has three AM public radio stations. WOI 640 kHz is operated by Iowa State University and has been serving Iowa for over 80 years. At 5 kW daytime and 1 kW nighttime, the daytime signal covers most of Iowa as well as many counties in Minnesota, Nebraska, and Missouri. The night-time power significantly reduces the area covered. WSUI 910 kHz is operated by the University of Iowa with 5 kW daytime and 4 kW nighttime and covers eastern Iowa with a signal that also reaches many Illinois counties.  KUNI operates KRNI 1010 kHz in Mason City and repeats the service of KUNI(FM), Cedar Falls. At 760 watts daytime and 16 watts night, KRNI covers areas of Iowa and Minnesota during the day while the nighttime coverage is limited to a small area of Iowa.

Service from Adjacent States

Two out of state broadcasters operate three facilities in Decorah and Dubuque, Iowa.  Iowa's residents living along its borders receive public radio stations located in all six neighboring states: South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri and Nebraska.

Unserved Areas  

Iowa's relatively flat topography presents few signal propagation problems. Most of the areas lacking signal coverage especially, in southern and western Iowa, have a widely dispersed population. 

Region A

Three counties in northeast IowaMitchell, Howard and Floydlie between the contours of KUNY Mason City and the Decorah stations KLCD and KLNI.  This area includes about 10,000 residents without public radio service.  The area receives daytime public AM service from WRNI.

Region B

Over 50,000 residents in this region between the signals of WOI Ames, KWOI Carroll and KIWR Council Bluffs cannot receive a public FM radio signal.  This area receives daytime public AM Service from WOI(AM).

Region C

The counties along the Missouri border are the largest unserved area in Iowa and contain over 100,000 people who cannot receive public radio.  Two of these counties, Appanoose and Davis, do not receive any FM public radio signal.  Most of this area receives daytime service from WOI(AM) and WSUI(AM).

Both WOI and KUNI have proposed a number of construction projects in this region that are currently competing with mutually exclusive construction permit applications at the FCC filed from other broadcasters.

The KUNI projects included three proposed repeater stations, in Ottumwa, Oskaloosa, and Fairfield, Iowa.  WOI also has an application to activate a repeater station in Ottumwa, Iowa, but on a different frequency than the KUNI project.

As this study was being completed, WOI was negotiating for the acquisition of a bankrupt 50,000 watt commercial FM station near the Iowa-Missouri border 100 miles south of Des Moines that would provide first public radio service to nearly 45,000 persons. WOI would operate the station as a non-commercial facility.

Region D

This area has spotty coverage along the Mississippi River where the river valley has a shadowing effect for residents of river towns and farms.  The area receives some daytime service from WSUI(AM).  KUNI Cedar Falls is activating a repeater station, KDNI 90.1 Dubuque. The new repeater will bring the first public radio signal to Dubuque and the surrounding Mississippi Valley. When complete the repeater will replace translator K254AE in Dubuque.  KUNI also has a mutually exclusive application pending to activate a repeater station in Bettendorf, Iowa.   

Translators listed by operating station
Facilities in italics operated by out-of-state broadcasters
KUNI Cedar Falls, IA KCCK Cedar Rapids, IA
K233AA N
Davenport K295AC N
Iowa City
K269EJ N
Des Moines KSUI Iowa City, IA
Dubuque K269EK N
Eldridge WVIK Rock Island, IL
KHKE Cedar Falls, IA K239AB N
K214BA N
Mason City

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