|City of license||Winterset, Iowa|
|Broadcast area||Des Moines area|
|First air date||June 1, 1992|
|Format||Christian CHR (Top 40)|
|Former callsigns||KTDG (1990-1992)
|Owner||Positive Impact Media, Inc.|
KPUL is a Christian CHR (Top 40) formatted radio station that broadcasts at 99.5 MHz licensed to Winterset, Iowa, with studios located in Waukee. It is notable for being one of a very few independent stations left in the Des Moines market. In 2010, the station announced a move to 101.7 MHz for later in that year and a rebranding to Pulse 101.7.
The FCC issued a construction permit for station KTDG on May 7, 1990. The station was not put on the air though until June 1, 1992 as KBBM. The station had no locally produced content and had 24-hour news feeds from CNN Headline News and CNNfn, positioning itself as "Des Moines Business Station". The format was never a ratings winner and would only last for a little over a year before being sold.
In March 1993 the station was purchased by Positive Impact Media Inc., a non profit group. The station's initial purpose was to rebroadcast the programming of a CCM station in the Quad Cities but within a few months found themselves in need of their own programming due to the failure of the Quad Cities station. Shortly after they changed the format to CCM (Christian CHR) and rebranded the station Q99.5 KZZQ, or "The Q". They were the first station to bring CCM to Des Moines, and were quite successful in attracting listeners and receiving support through donations and advertising throughout their first decade.
In 2004, they had competition for the first time as Northwestern College purchased two local stations, Life 107.1 and Life 96.1 and programmed them with CCM (Christian AC). Although they also suffer from weak signals, Life 107.1, coupled with Life 96.1 cover much of the market. This was something KZZQ struggles to do with its lower power (6,000 watts) and a transmitter located North of Winterset, Iowa Southwest of Des Moines. Due to increased competition from Life 107,other stations entering the market, and staff turnover, listenership continued to decline and it became apparent a change was required.
After several days of stunting in February 2008, the station was re-branded Pulse 99.5. The new format became an experimental mix of CCM and CHR–pop in an effort to reach more people through a hybrid format. The new format proved to be a more aggressive change than listeners in the area were ready for, and after a few short months under the new format, Pulse 99.5 adjusted to its current format, a mix of Christian CHR, Rock, and positive, faith-based mainstream hits.
On October 6, 2010, the station announced an "upgrade" involving changing frequencies to 101.7 FM and a rebranding to Pulse 101.7. These upgrades involve other area radio stations and are awaiting FCC action.
"Pulse 99.5" can now be heard at 99.5 FM in Des Moines and south Central Iowa, 95.5 FM in Ames (translator), and online at www.pulse995.com.
- "Your Pulse Upgrade", retrieved October 13, 2010.
- KPUL Official Website
- Query the FCC's FM station database for KPUL
- Radio-Locator information on KPUL
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for KPUL
- Online streaming
- Stunting audio sample (March 10, 2008)
- The last 8 minutes of KZZQ
- Callsign history
- 2008 Des Moines Ratings