KWWL Radio

2009 - Radio Station

In June of 1947, the FCC granted a construction permit to Black Hawk Broadcasting Company for a radio station in Waterloo, Iowa .  Some 5 months later, Black Hawk President R. J. McElroy launched the radio station known then as KWWL-AM. The station began broadcasting on AM frequency 1320 at 1,000 watts of power.  Shortly after it began, KWWL-AM’s power was increased to 5,000 watts and the frequency was changed to 1330, at which it operates today. The studio was originally housed in the Russell Lamson Hotel in Waterloo.  In 1953, McElroy formed KWWL-TV and in 1968 he started KWWL-FM, which is known today as KFMW. In 1980, KWWL-AM became KWLO. In 1996, KWLO and KFMW were sold to Bahakel Communications from Park Broadcasting.

Throughout the 1950’s, 60’s, and 70’s, KWWL was the rock and roll station in Waterloo. KWLO has pretty much continued as a nostalgia format, featuring rock and roll music from several decades, primarily the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, and bills its format as the “timeless classics”.

Today, KWLO is a 5,000 watt AM radio station owned by the KXEL Broadcasting Company Incorporated in Waterloo.  KXEL Broadcasting is wholly owned by Bahakel Communications Ltd. of Charlotte, North Carolina, and has its studios on Jefferson Street in downtown Waterloo across from the Five Sullivan Brothers Convention Center.  The other 3 stations in this 4-station group are KXEL-AM, KFMW-FM, and KOKZ-FM.

The Iowa Rock 'n Roll Music Association Hall of Fame & Museum exists to preserve the legacy of rock and roll music in Iowa by honoring achievements, educating youth and inspiring artists. Established in 1997, we are a501(c)(3) non-profit statewide organization with many areas of service.

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