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The Bus 100.3.png
City Des Moines, Iowa
Broadcast area Des Moines metropolitan area
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"
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 (1795 ft)
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
(Citicasters Licenses, Inc.)
Webcast FM/HD1: Listen Live
HD2: "The Bull" Listen Live
Website FM/HD1: TheBusfm.iheart.com
HD2: 969TheBullfm.iheart.com

KDRB (100.3 MHz "100.3 The Bus") is a commercial FM radio station in Des Moines, Iowa. It airs an adult hits radio format and is owned by iHeartMedia. It's slogan is "We Play Everything." KDRB is the flagship station for Iowa State University sports.

The station's studios are located at 2141 Grand Avenue in Des Moines along with iHeartMedia's other Des Moines stations (KDXA, KKDM, KXNO and WHO). KDRB's transmitter is located on NW 2nd Street, near Ankeny Boulevard in Alleman.[1] KDRB broadcasts in the HD Radio format. Its HD-2 subchannel airs country music, also heard on translator station 96.9 K245CO in Millman, using the moniker "96.9 The Bull."



In 1948, the station signed on as WHO-FM.[2] It was owned by the Central Broadcasting Company and was the third FM station in Des Moines, after KRNT-FM and KSO-FM. In its early years, it primarily simulcast its sister station, AM 1040 WHO. During the "Golden Age of Radio," WHO-AM-FM carried programming from the NBC Red Network, including comedies, dramas, news, sports, soap operas, game shows and big band broadcasts.

Studios were located at 1100 Walnut Street 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 were sold to KCBC for a new FM station KCBC-FM. In the mid-1960s, WHO-FM ceased simulcasting its AM sister and started programming easy listening and classical music.

Switch to KLYF

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." As the 1980s approached, KLYF added more vocals to its sound to attract younger listeners. In 1981, the format evolved into a soft adult contemporary sound.

By the mid 1990s, KLYF was a Hot AC station competing directly with 102.5 KSTZ. The station's transmitter was eventually moved to the WOI Tower near Alleman, Iowa.

Changes in Ownership

In December 1996, Palmer Broadcasting sold its Des Moines radio stations to Jacor Broadcasting of Cincinnati, Ohio.[3] Jacor immediately re-branded KLYF as "Mix 100.3," but left the format unchanged for the most part. On June 17, 1998, the call letters changed to KMXD to represent Mix and Des Moines. Over time the station saw its ratings decline.

Several steps were taken to try to counteract this, such as rebranding the station as "Mix 100" and trying an "80s and more" format. When these steps failed, the format was changed again to mainstream adult contemporary and the station was renamed "My 100." In 1999, Clear Channel Communications (the forerunner to current owner iHeartMedia) bought Jacor, bringing KLYF under its ownership. Clear Channel also made attempts at improving the station's ratings.

The Bus

On May 25, 2006, the AC format came to an end. KMXD was rebranded as "The Bus," simulcasting the adult hits format on 106.3, which at the time carried the KDRB call sign. This was a short lived, transitional arrangement to get listeners of 106.3 to switch their radios to 100.3. The adult hits format had performed better than expected and the decision was made to move "The Bus" to the 100,000 watt signal at 100.3.

On June 12, 2006, KMXD became KDRB "The Bus" on 100.3 FM. The 106.3 frequency switched to AAA KPTL "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 most songs and commercial breaks, mainly to identify the station. The Bus Driver is a pre-recorded voice, promoting the station and its image.

KDRB has been the flagship station for the Iowa State University Cyclones sports teams since the 2006-2007 season, taking over from sister station AM 1460 KXNO. Its longtime AM sister, WHO, airs the games of the rival University of Iowa.


KDRB has an effective radiated power of 100,000 watts, the maximum output for non-grandfathered FM stations. It broadcasts from a height above average terrain (HAAT) of 547 meters (1795 feet). That gives it one of the best FM signals in Iowa, allowing it to be heard over much of the state. With a good radio, it can sometimes be heard in small sections of Kansas, Illinois and Nebraska.[4] Co-owned AM 1040 WHO also has the largest coverage area of any AM station in the state of Iowa.[5]


  1. ^ Radio-Locator.com/KDRB
  2. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1950 page 148
  3. ^ Broadcasting & Cable Yearbook 1999 page D-162
  4. ^ Radio-Locator.com/KDRB
  5. ^ 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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