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KWQW logo.png
City of license Boone, Iowa
Broadcast area Des Moines, Iowa
Branding 98.3 The Torch
Slogan Common Sense Radio
Frequency 98.3 MHz
First air date 1975 (as KWBG-FM)
Format Talk
ERP 41,000 watts
HAAT 165 meters (541 ft)
Class C2
Facility ID 30116
Transmitter coordinates 41°49′51.0″N 93°43′54.0″W / 41.830833°N 93.731667°W / 41.830833; -93.731667
Callsign meaning WoW (previous branding)
Former callsigns KWBG-FM (1975-1991)
KIAB (1991-1993)
KRUU (1993-1996)
KRKQ (1996-2003)
KBGG-FM (2003-2004)
Affiliations ABC, Talk Shows USA, Cumulus Media Networks
Owner Cumulus Media
Sister stations KBGG, KGGO, KHKI, KJJY
Webcast Listen Live

KWQW (98.3 FM, "The Torch") is an American radio station broadcasting a talk radio format. Licensed to Boone, Iowa, the station serves the Des Moines area. The station is currently owned by Cumulus Media. KWQW's studios are in Urbandale, Iowa, along with Cumulus' other stations: KGGO, KJJY, KHKI, and KBGG.


The station began as KWBG-FM in 1975, a local Boone, Iowa radio station.[1] In 1991, the station started to target the Des Moines, Iowa area with a country music format with call letters KIAB "K98" from 1991 to 1993. The station then became KRUU known as "The Rooster" from 1993–1996, also with a country music format before becoming KRKQ in 1996.

As KRKQ the station took on the nickname of "98 Rock," featuring a classic rock format that competed with longtime ratings leader KGGO as well as the Bob & Tom Show. In 2000 the station's format was tweaked to classic hits as "Magic 98.3" after owner Barnstable Communications acquired KGGO. A short time later, the format was changed to adult contemporary as "98.3 the River."

Barnstable sold all of its Des Moines stations to Wilks Broadcasting in 2001; the stations were sold to Citadel Broadcasting in 2003. On November 11 of that year, Citadel changed KRKQ's format to talk radio as "WOW-FM, the Capital's Big Talker." The Bob & Tom Show was the only program that carried over to the new format. The station's call letters were changed to KBGG-FM shortly afterwards. On December 28, 2004, the call letters became KWQW.

Citadel merged with Cumulus Media on September 16, 2011.[2]

On April 21, 2014 KWQW rebranded as "98.3 The Torch".[3]


Most of KWQW's programming is syndicated. The Bob & Tom Show aired on the station from October 31, 1996 to December 30, 2011, when it was moved to 95 KGGO. In 2005, Paul Harvey became part of the station's lineup after WHO dropped the show.

KWQW primarily carries Cumulus Media Networks' in-house offerings, including Dennis Miller, The Savage Nation, The Mark Levin Show, John Batchelor, and Red Eye Radio, all in their live time slots. (The station does not carry Imus in the Morning or Herman Cain.) A local morning show, The Morning Drive, airs (as its name indicates) in morning drive time, and the station also carries the last two hours of the Glenn Beck Program live (WHO, whose sister company Premiere Networks owns Beck's rights, does not carry Beck).

Among the programs carried on weekends are Larry Kudlow, Cigar Dave, The Tech Guy, The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show, Free Talk Live and Bill Cunningham.


  1. ^ "Des Moines Station Timeline". 
  2. ^ "Cumulus now owns Citadel Broadcasting". Atlanta Business Journal. September 16, 2011. Retrieved September 16, 2011. 
  3. ^ Cumulus to Torch Des Moines

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