KWDM

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Station logo
88.7 KWDM The Point
City of license West Des Moines, Iowa
Branding 88.7 KWDM The Point
Slogan Des Moines' #1 Modern Rock Station
Frequency 88.7 (MHz)
First air date August 1, 1976
Format Modern Rock/Alternative
ERP 100 watts
Class A
Callsign meaning West Des Moines
Owner West Des Moines Community School District
Website 88.7 KWDM The Point

KWDM, "88.7 KWDM The Point," is a modern rock high school radio station serving the Des Moines, Iowa area on 88.7 FM. The radio station's studio is located at Valley High School in West Des Moines. It is owned and operated by the West Des Moines Community School District, though it is always operated by students at Valley. As a station run by high school students, it broadcasts all the time.

History[edit]

KWDM first began broadcasting in 1948 by George Webber under the frequency 1150 AM. He then sold the station to investors from 3M in 1959. 1150 AM's call letters changed to KWKY.

In 1964, Webber revived KWDM via the frequency 93.3 FM. The station consisted of block programming of music, usually ethnic music not heard elsewhere in Des Moines as well as a talk show by his wife and play-by-play sports. KWDM was never a top performer in the ratings, but it did have a loyal following. However, that following was not enough to keep it afloat and the station was in constant financial trouble.

In 1968, George Webber began selling KWDM on contract to The SEQ Corporation. On April 10, 1969, the owner of the tower and transmitter site shut down the station due to non-payment of rent. A month later, Webber regained control of the station, operating it at reduced hours until it shut down.

Current ownership[edit]

In 1976, the West Des Moines Community School District took control of the KWDM call letters on 88.9 FM. The school district has control of the station to this day.[when?]

In 1994, KWDM's frequency was migrated from 88.9 FM to 88.7 FM and its power increased from 10 watts ERP to 100 watts. The station is one of two high school radio station in Iowa, the other being KDPS operated by Des Moines Public Schools.

Programming[edit]

KWDM's student staff dictate what format the station will play. Students have the option to change the format at the beginning of any school year. In the late 1970s and through much of the 1980s, the station played a free-form format where the on-air jock played the music of their choice. In the early 1990s, the station was a strictly classic rock format. In 1993, the station began playing the popular Alternative or Modern Rock format. In 1999, KWDM began to experiment a switch to CHR/Top 40 music. The move was abandoned after Clear Channel owned KKDM switched from Alternative to Top 40 and re-branded itself as "Kiss 107FM." The station continues to play the Modern Rock format today.

Student management[edit]

One of KWDM's hallmarks is its student management. While a faculty advisor oversees operations and is responsible for regulatory and engineering issues, students are predominantly responsible for the station's programming and music selection. One student (In most cases) is selected each year through a competitive application process to serve as station manager.

KWDM alums in broadcasting[edit]

In the more than 30 years that the West Des Moines School District has owned KWDM, many of the station's alumni have gone on to careers in the radio and television industry.

School Year Student Station Manager(s) Faculty Advisor Station Identity
1976-1977: George Oliver Greg Franck 88.9 KWDM
1987-1988: Howie Hoffman Lil McDonald 88.9 KWDM
1988-1989: Rob Lettington Lil McDonald 88.9 KWDM
1989-1990: Ryan Burger Lil McDonald 88.9 KWDM "Tiger 89, the Hot FM"
1990-1991: N/A (Five Production Directors instead of one Station Manager) Lil McDonald 88.9 KWDM
1991-1992: Damond Fudge Lil McDonald 88.9 KWDM
1992-1993: Bryan Romig Brian Christensen "Power 89"
1993-1994: Chris Wulf Brian Christensen "Power 89"
1994-1995: T.G. Stouffer Brian Christensen 88.7 KWDM "Your Only Alternative"
1995-1996: Jeremy Bingaman Brian Christensen 88.7 KWDM "Des Moines' Only Alternative"
1996-1997: Brian Gongol Brian Christensen "New Rock 88.7"
1997-1998: Marianne Coppock Brian Christensen "New Rock 88.7" KWDM "The Source"
1998-1999: Justin Schoen Brian Christensen "New Rock 88.7" KWDM "The Source"
1999-2000: Jesse Hoffman Brian Christensen "88.7 KWDM The Point"
2000-2001: Tonya Garner Brian Christensen "88.7 KWDM The Point"
2001-2002: Nicole Faust Brian Christensen "88.7 KWDM The Point"
2002-2003: Joe Quinn/Jason Loe Brian Christensen "88.7 KWDM The Point"
2003-2004: MacKenzie Carey / Kate Maletta Brian Christensen "88.7 KWDM The Point"
2004-2005: Ryan Snider/Jeff Edwards Janell Mikels "88.7 KWDM The Point"
2005-2006: Hannah Korpela/Alex Salem Janell Mikels "88.7 KWDM The Point"
2006-2007: Lauren Mease/Cole Cheney Janell Mikels "88.7 KWDM The Point"
2007-2008: Joanna McNurlen Janell Mikels "88.7 KWDM The Point"
2008-2009: Ryan Mueksch/Jillian Shkolnick Janell Mikels "88.7 KWDM The Point"
2009-2010: Jillian Shkolnick/John Menken Janell Mikels "88.7 KWDM The Point"
2010-2011: Jacob Menken/Nailah Bakari Janell Mikels "88.7 KWDM The Point"
2012-2013 Dylan DeClerk/Joe Eilers Janell Mikels "88.7 KWDM The Point"
2013-2014 Taylor Mankle Janell Mikels "88.7 KWDM The Point"
2014-2015 Maren Tuttle/ Ben Swanson Janell Mikels "88.7 KWDM The Point"
Student Years on KWDM Current Station Position
Bill Oliver 1976–1977 Bryan Broadcasting, Bryan/College Station TX News Director
Joe Ditzel 1976–1978 VastMediaEmpire.com, Los Angeles, CA Owner/ CEO (formerly worked at NBC-TV)
Alan Kline 1977–1978 KCCI-TV, Des Moines, IA Engineer
Dave Smiley 1987–1990 WZPL-FM, Indianapolis, IN "The Smiley Morning Show"
Brian Allen 1987–1991 KSFY-TV, Sioux Falls, SD News Anchor
Jeremy Bingaman 1992–1996 KSTZ-FM, KLTI-FM, Des Moines, IA On Air Personality (Known as "Luke Matthews")
Chad Rufer 1992–1996 KZZO-CBS Radio, Sacramento, CA Program Director
Brian Gongol 1993–1997 WHO (AM), Des Moines, IA "The Brian Gongol Show," "WHO Radio Wise Guys"
Marianne Coppock 1994–1998 KSTZ-FM, Des Moines, IA On-Air Swing
Brian Stark 1994–1998 Starz Entertainment, Englewood, Colorado Media Systems Administrator
Leigh McNabb 1995–1999 WXSS-FM, Milwaukee, WI Midday Host, Music Director, Assistant Program Director
Ashley Hinson 1998–2001 KCRG-TV, Cedar Rapids, IA Morning and Midday News Anchor
Nicole Faust 1999–2002 Meredith Corporation, Des Moines, IA Director of Interactive Media
Joe Quinn 2000-2003 KXSP, Omaha, NE Co-Host, "The Drive"
Sarah Moritz 2001–2004 KAZR, Des Moines, IA Weekends, (known as Sarah Greene)
Nick Ratcliff 2003–2006 KSTZ-FM, Des Moines, IA Weekends (has since left station)

Current Shows and Information[edit]

Current broadcasts expected to change due to seniors leaving.

The Morning Show: News, Weather, Traffic and a great way to start any morning on the way to work or school.

The Mankle in the Morning Show: Daily sit down with the station manager Taylor Mankle full of interactive fan requests and music.

The Spread: A Variety Show of sorts as prominent voices of the point shine through in a more musical light as improve song are made on the spot along with covers for the enjoyment of listeners. Lead by Taylor Mankle, along with Jacob White, Henry Parizek, and Nick Cesario.

Tiger Talk: A group discussion before every Valley Football game with guest callers, predictions, stats and much more. Lead by Jack Rodgers, Jeff Goetz, Jake Goetz, Logan Bylie, and Ben Swanson.

Football Games: Most VHS football games are broadcast live on air with play-by-play announcer Taylor Mankle and color announcers Nick Cesario and Ben Swanson.

Basketball Games: All VHS basketball home games are broadcast live by play-by-play announcer Taylor Mankle.

Half Time Show: If booked, local bands perform live in the studio for both football and basketball half time shows.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°35′24″N 93°45′11″W / 41.590°N 93.753°W / 41.590; -93.753