2002 - Radio Station

For over 50 years, 1450 AM has been a popular spot on the radio dial in the Cedar Rapids area.

Starting out in 1948 as KWCR, the frequency has seen several call signs and formats. KPIG replaced KWCR in 1952 and was the first radio job for 2001 Iowa Hall of Fame Inductee Sandy Shore. In 1962 it became KLWW owned by Blackhawk Broadcasting of Waterloo.

It was then that it became the first Cedar Rapids station to host a full time rock and roll format with personalities such as Bob Black, Fred Robbins, Rusty Gold and Wayne Johnson. Over the years, Dick Hogan, Lyle Muller and Rick Sampson were part of the news team that at times included eight full-time reporters; unheard of for a rock station. KLWW soared to the top of the ratings.

It was customary during the “good ole days” of the Top 40 stations to come up with various ways to promote oneself. Once instance that happened when a new “jock” came to town for KLWW was that personality ending up at the police station being questioned for handing out cash downtown. During the Energy Crisis, cars lined up for blocks when they offered free gasoline; it was followed up a few days later with a free “personal gas supply” as brown grocery bags with cans of baked beans were handed out.

In 1980 the call letters changed to KCDR and went “Country” for a while and then turned to an adult listening format. 1988 brought the call letters KMRY to the frequency and went from taped automated music to live announcers from the Satellite Music Network in Chicago and Dallas with names like Joe Lacina and Eddie Hubbard.

Rick Sellers bought KMRY in 1998. Since that change KMRY has continued to grow in popularity in the Cedar Rapids area. Rick Sellers and Rick Sampson have a live morning show, Wayne Johnson is featured afternoons, and Dick Hogan presents the “Remember When” Saturday Night Oldies Show with Jim Hanson; all bringing back much of the music from rock’s “glory years.”

The legendary Eastern Iowa sports announcer Bob Brooks is on the air in the afternoons. KMRY presents a pleasant mix from popular classics, oldies, and big band sounds to polkas on Sunday mornings. The station is involved in the community, promoting many high school and local college and civic events throughout the year.


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