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The Bus 100.3.png
City Des Moines, Iowa
Broadcast area Des Moines, Iowa
Branding 100.3 The Bus
Slogan We Play Everything
Frequency 100.3 MHz (also on HD Radio)
100.3-2 FM KDRB-HD2 Country "96.9 The Bull" (HD Radio)
Translator(s) 96.9 K245CO (Millman, relays HD2)
First air date 1948 (as WHO-FM)
Format Adult Hits
ERP 100,000 watts
HAAT 547 meters
Class C
Facility ID 51332
Callsign meaning K Des Moines Radio Bus
Former callsigns WHO-FM (1948-1973)
KLYF (1973-1998)
KMXD (1998-2006)
Owner iHeartMedia, Inc.
(Citicasters Licenses, Inc.)
Webcast Listen Live
Listen Live (HD2)
Website thebusfm.iheart.com

KDRB, "100.3 The Bus," is an adult hits radio station similar to Jack FM serving the Des Moines, Iowa, area in the United States. It broadcasts at 100.3 FM. The station's studios are located at 2141 Grand Avenue in Des Moines along with iHeartMedia, Inc.'s other Des Moines stations (KDXA, KKDM, KXNO and WHO). Its transmitter is located near Alleman.


The Palmer years

In 1948, WHO-FM began transmissions at 100.3 FM as the third FM station to serve the Des Moines market, after KRNT-FM and KSO-FM. In its early years, it primarily simulcast its sister station, WHO. Studios were located at 1100 Walnut Street in downtown Des Moines and the station's tower and transmitter were located on top of the Equitable Building at 6th and Locust in Des Moines. In 1950, the transmitter was moved to a new tower at WHO's transmitter site in Mitchellville, Iowa. The old transmitter and tower on top of the Equitable Building was sold to KCBC for their new FM station KCBC-FM. In the mid-1960s, WHO-FM ceased simulcasting its AM sister and started programming easy listening and classical music.

In 1973, the station underwent some dramatic changes. The call letters were changed to KLYF and the station was reprogrammed with a beautiful music format in FM stereo. This was the first time that the station broadcast in multiplex stereo and became known by its nickname "K-Life". In 1981, the format evolved into an adult contemporary format and by the mid 1990s it was an adult top 40 station competing directly with KSTZ. The station's transmitter was eventually moved to the WOI Tower near Alleman, Iowa.

Buyout by Jacor and Clear Channel

In October 1997, Palmer Broadcasting sold its Des Moines radio stations to Jacor Broadcasting of Cincinnati, Ohio. Jacor immediately re-branded the station as "Mix 100.3", but left the format unchanged for the most part. On June 17, 1998, the call letters changed to KMXD. Over time the station continued to lose listeners at an alarming rate. Many things were done to try to counteract this, such as rebranding the station as "Mix 100" and trying an "80s and more" format. When this failed also, the format was changed again to a traditional adult contemporary format and the station was renamed "My 100". Under this namer, 100.3 saw its worst ratings ever, sinking into the basement of the Arbitron ratings.

New life as "The Bus"

On May 25, 2006, KMXD was rebranded to "The Bus", simulcasting KDRB. This was a short lived, transitional arrangement to get listeners of 106.3 used to "100.3 The Bus". The Bus had performed much better than anyone had expected and the decision was made to close the failing "Mix/My" formats and move "The Bus" to the much stronger signal at 100.3. On June 12, 2006, KMXD became KDRB and "The Bus" is now only heard on 100.3. The 106.3 frequency is now KDXA "Alt 106.3".


100.3 The Bus primarily has no DJs, except Jack Emerson in afternoon drive. However, most of the time, the "Bus Driver" is heard between every song and commercial break, mainly to identify the station.

KDRB has also been the flagship station for Iowa State University sports since the 2006-2007 season, taking over from sister station KXNO. Its longtime AM sister, WHO, airs the games of the rival University of Iowa.


KDRB has a 100,000 watt signal which allows it to be heard over most of Iowa, Possibly a small sliver of South Dakota (The Sioux City area), Up to Austin Minnesota, A small section of Wisconsin, Almost all of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois, A fairly large portion of Missouri, A decent sized portion of Kansas and Parts of Eastern Nebraska (Lincoln and Omaha included) which makes this stations listening area 8 states (Similar to WHO AM also located in Des Moines)[1]


  1. ^ http://www.radiodiscussions.com/showthread.php?695281-FM-Radio-signals-you-ve-received-in-the-Quad-Cities-plus-an-extra
  • DesMoinesBroadcasting.com. "Des Moines Station Timeline". Retrieved 2006-06-22. 
  • Munson, Kyle (2006-05-26). "Successful "Bus" Takes Over 100.3 Frequency". Des Moines Register. 
  • Iowa State University Media Relations (2006-06-01). "Cyclones Jump on "The Bus"". 

External links

  • The Bus' website
  • 100.3 the Bus at VarietyHits.com
  • Query the FCC's FM station database for KDRB
  • Radio-Locator information on KDRB
  • Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for KDRB
  • Query the FCC's FM station database for K245CO
  • Radio-Locator information on K245CO

Coordinates: 41°49′48″N 93°36′54″W / 41.830°N 93.615°W / 41.830; -93.615

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