|City||Des Moines, Iowa|
|Broadcast area||Des Moines metropolitan area|
|Slogan||Des Moines Best Classic Rock|
|First air date||May 31, 1964 (as KFMG)|
|Callsign meaning||Go (previous format, see History)|
|Former callsigns||KFMG (1964-1975)|
(Radio License Holding CBC, LLC)
|Sister stations||KBGG, KHKI, KJJY, KWQW|
KGGO is a classic rock radio station based in Des Moines, Iowa. It is located at 94.9 on the FM band. The station's studios are in Urbandale, Iowa, with Cumulus Media's other Des Moines stations: KJJY, KHKI, KWQW, and KBGG. (Before 2001, KGGO's studios were located in Berwick, a small town north of Des Moines.)
The first radio station to occupy the 94.9 FM frequency in Des Moines was KNDR (New Directions Radio), which signed on in 1961, under the ownership of the Hopkins family, with studios in the Brown Hotel but left the air a year later due to financial problems.
On May 31, 1964, KFMG debuted on that frequency with a "fine arts" format with its studios in the Brown Hotel in downtown Des Moines. The transmitter and antenna were located atop the 11th floor of the hotel. The station was owned by Bill and Ruth Plymat who sold it in 1969 to the Woodland Corporation. The station started broadcasting in FM stereo in December 1969 with the Boston Symphony Orchestra concert. KFMG broadcast monaurally during most of the years of its classical format. Longtime KFMG announcer Ron Sorenson hosted a late night program of alternative rock music called the "Roc Show" during the Plymat era and convinced the new owners to go with that format on a full-time basis. On March 1, 1970, KFMG became a free-form music station that played a wide variety of music, including alternative rock. The first song at 6 a.m. that day was "Color My World," by Chicago with announcer John Krantz signing on. KFMG had some setbacks that year with the impending demolition of the Brown Hotel causing the owners to seek a new studio and location for their antenna and transmitter. Their new location atop the Teachout Building did not give KFMG the coverage that it previously had from atop the Brown Hotel. In 1971, the station was sold to the Stoner Corporation and became a sister station to KSO 1460 AM. When Stoner took over, KFMG's format was changed to top 40 music during the day which Sorenson protested. As a result, he signed off the station during his morning shift in protest and Stoner management soon found out that KFMG had a small but loyal listenership. Stoner then ran a full page ad in the "Des Moines Register" to appease disgruntled KFMG listeners and did return to a free-form alternative rock format for several years. KFMG became KGGO in 1975, and KGGO played Top 40 music for its first few years as "Go-95" before shifting to an album-oriented rock format on July 19, 1978. In the spring of 1984, KGGO became the first FM station in the Des Moines area to finish in first place in the local Arbitron ratings. KGGO remained the Des Moines area's highest-rated radio station throughout most of the late 1980s and 1990s.
KGGO's rock music format was simulcast on 1460 AM from 1989 to 1994 after the former KSO radio ended its country music format. The AM frequency adopted the KGGO call letters during that time period. The simulcast ended in 1994, when 1460's call letters became KDMI. By the end of the 1990s, KGGO had transitioned into a classic rock station.
KGGO's ownership has changed several times in recent years. Stoner owned KGGO until the mid-1990s, AMFM, Inc., owned the station in the late 1990s. In 2000, AMFM merged with Clear Channel Communications, but since Clear Channel already owned several stations in the Des Moines market, KGGO and sister station KHKI were sold to Barnstable Broadcasting. (Clear Channel kept KDMI, which later became KXNO.) In May 2001, Barnstable sold its Des Moines cluster of stations to Wilks Broadcasting; two years later, Wilks sold the stations to Citadel Broadcasting. Citadel merged with Cumulus Media on September 16, 2011.
On September 22, 2005, Citadel Broadcasting purchased the naming rights to the former Buccaneer Arena in Urbandale. The home of the Des Moines Buccaneers was then renamed 95KGGO Arena. In 2008, the name reverted to Buccaneer Arena.
- DesMoinesBroadcasting.com. "KFMG History". Retrieved 2007-03-11.
- Healey, Jim (1978-07-20). "KGGO turns it over; quits top-40 format for albums". The Des Moines Register. p. 7S.
- Rhein, Dave (1984-08-05). "KGGO rocks to top of radio ratings". The Des Moines Register. p. 3-TV.
- Stein, Jeff (2004). Making Waves: The People and Places of Iowa Broadcasting. Cedar Rapids, Iowa: WDG Communications. p. 113. ISBN 0-9718323-1-5.
- DesMoinesBroadcasting.com. "Des Moines Station Timeline". Retrieved 2007-03-11.
- NorthPine.com. "Broadcasting News-March 2000". Retrieved 2007-03-11.
- NorthPine.com. "Broadcasting News-May 2001". Retrieved 2007-03-11.
- NorthPine.com. "Broadcasting News-May 2003". Retrieved 2007-03-11.
- "Cumulus now owns Citadel Broadcasting". Atlanta Business Journal. September 16, 2011. Retrieved September 16, 2011.
- Des Moines Buccaneers (press release). "Citadel Broadcasting Co. and the Des Moines Buccaneers Score a Deal". Archived from the original on 2007-02-03. Retrieved 2007-03-11.
- KGGO website
- Query the FCC's FM station database for KGGO
- Radio-Locator information on KGGO
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for KGGO
- Des Moines Broadcasting History: KGGO