|City of license||Ankeny, Iowa|
|Broadcast area||Des Moines, Iowa|
|Frequency||106.3 MHz (also on HD Radio)
106.3-2 FM KPTL-HD2 Smooth Jazz (HD Radio)
|First air date||1978 (as KANY)|
|HAAT||100 meters (330 ft)|
|Callsign meaning||KaPiTaL for Des Moines' status as state capital of Iowa|
|Former callsigns||KDRB, KVJZ, KLYF, KYSY, KMXD|
KPTL (106.3 FM, "Alt 106.3") is an alternative rock radio station serving the Des Moines, Iowa, area. It is located at 106.3 on the FM dial. The station's studios are located at 2141 Grand Avenue in Des Moines along with Clear Channel Communications' other Des Moines stations (KDRB, KKDM, KXNO, and WHO).
KANY/KJJY: The First 106.3
The first station to occupy the 106.3 frequency was KANY, which signed on in 1978 with 3,000 watts of power. The station had a full service format and focused heavily on the Ankeny community. On May 2, 1981, the station was sold by the Ankeny Broadcasting company to Fuller-Jeffrey Broadcasting. After Fuller-Jeffrey acquired the station, the call letters were changed to KJJY and the format to country music.
As KJJY, the station slowly built a following taking on the market's current country giant KSO, which had been the market's country leader on the AM band since 1972. KJJY also fended off a challenge from KKXI in 1986, asserting its dominance in the FM country market. To further compete in the market, KJJY moved to 92.5 (MHz) in 1988 and received a power upgrade to 50,000 watts. The 106.3 frequency went silent at this time.
KMXD through KVJZ: The Revived 106.3
On May 17, 1991 106.3 signed back on as KMXD. This incarnation was owned by Van Oort Communications in Ankeny and was programmed with a beautiful music/easy listening format. The station was not a huge success, but it maintained a loyal following of listeners. On June 1, 1998, KMXD was acquired by Clear Channel Communications. Upon acquiring KMXD the call letters were moved to its new sister station KLYF, which was known at the time as "Mix 100". The 106.3 frequency received the new call letters KYSY, known as "Sunny 106" and was reprogrammed to follow an adult contemporary format.
Sunny 106 was never a top performer in the market, not once beating main rival KLTI-FM. On October 1, 1999, the calls changed to KLYF while keeping the adult contemporary format. The thought was to bring back a historic name to the market in hopes of turning around the station's fortunes. In the two years that the station was KLYF, it did quite a bit better than KYSY, but still never lived up to expectations.
After the failure of two AC formatted stations, Clear Channel decided to go in a totally different direction and bring the Des Moines market a format it had never had before, smooth jazz/new adult contemporary. The change was made on September 4, 2001. The new calls were KVJZ and the station was known as "Smooth Jazz, V106.3". Much like when the station was KMXD, this format never attracted huge numbers, but had a loyal following. In the end, though, that following was not enough to keep the station from changing formats again.
KDRB to KPTL
On October 31, 2003, the format was changed once again to rhythmic contemporary hits and the station became known as "106.3 The Beat" (KDRB). With the hip hop, R&B, and dance music played, this format became the most successful to grace the 106.3 frequency since KJJY. The only problem was that this format did not result in any new listeners for Clear Channel; it just took listeners from their other CHR station, KKDM. Due to this, on April 1, 2005, at 11 AM, after a six-hour stunt, the format was changed to an "iPod shuffle" format, similar to Jack FM, that was renamed "106.3 the Bus." It would be seven years before another outlet would take the Rhythmic Top 40 format as KZWF, which is located next door to the 106.3 signal (at 105.9) filled the void in March 2011.
This format did moderately well on the station, picking up a very loyal fanbase while also maintaining decent ratings. On May 25, 2006, sister station KMXD started simulcasting The Bus and became known as "100.3 and 106.3, The Bus". This arrangement was short-lived, and at noon on June 12, 2006, the KDRB calls and "The Bus" format migrated solely to 100.3, replacing KMXD. The 106.3 FM frequency became KPTL, "Capital 106.3", programmed with an adult album alternative format. KPTL became the first triple-A station in Des Moines since the demise of KFMG in 1996. (KFMG was resurrected on a low-power FM station at 99.1 FM that signed on February 26, 2007; it also has an adult album alternative format).
By 2011, KPTL shifted its direction from AAA to Modern AC (a variant of the Hot AC format), in an effort to compete with Hot AC rival KSTZ, although it continues to add several AAA songs. This move resulted in KPTL being moved from Mediabase's AAA panel to the Adult Top 40 panel. By 2012, KPTL shifted towards a full blown Hot AC station directly competing against KSTZ.
On November 1, 2013, the station did an early conversion to a Christmas music format for the remainder of the year as Capital Christmas 106.3. Following the holiday, it swapped formats with sister station KCCQ and was branded Alt 106.3.
-  FCC call sign history. Accessed June 22, 2006.
- DesMoinesBroadcasting.com. "Des Moines Station Timeline". Retrieved 2006-06-22.
- Munson, Kyle (2006-06-13). "New Station Mixes Mega Hits With Local Musicians". Des Moines Register.
- ALT 106.3's website
- Query the FCC's FM station database for KPTL
- Radio-Locator information on KPTL
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for KPTL
- V106.3 Jingles from DesMoinesBroadcasting.com