Des Moines is about to lose a CHR outlet, but it will gain a full time Classical station and will not have to put up with commercials in the bargain. But underwriting announcements will likely provide a program interruption here and there when Iowa Public Radio takes over KZHZ-FM from seller Connoisseur Media.
KZHZ isn’t the only thing IPR is getting. The deal comes with KZHC-FM as well. KZHZ is the only one of the two that actually throws a signal over Des Moines, doing to with 15 kW off a 423’ HAAT antenna from Patterson IA. KZHC-FM is located to the east of Des Moines in Pleasantville IA and if it were broadcasting it would not make it particularly close to the city. As it stands, the 500 W 255’ 96.3 MHz facility is licensed but silent.
IPR is paying $1.75M for the stations. It expects the investment will pay off with an increased pool of underwriters and listener contributions.
“Upon the creation of IPR, the organization was challenged to integrate operations of the public radio groups licensed to Iowa’s public universities, reduce their financial dependency on university funding and manage growth to serve a statewide audience,” said Robert Donnelly, Executive Director for the Board of Regents. “It is clear that with the acquisition of the Des Moines stations in addition to newly constructed stations in Ottumwa and Bettendorf and their planned expansion next year in Sioux City that IPR is fulfilling a key tenet in their strategic plan to become a statewide network.”
IPR expects to have access to 400K listeners after it takes over the stations.