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KSTZ logo
City Des Moines, Iowa
Broadcast area Des Moines, Iowa
Branding Star 102.5
Slogan Today's Best Variety
Frequency 102.5 MHz (also on HD Radio)
Translator(s) 93.7 K229CC (Des Moines, relays HD2)
First air date 1970 (as KRNT-FM)
Format Hot Adult Contemporary
HD2: Country "93.7 The Outlaw"
ERP 92,000 watts
HAAT 384 meters
Class C
Facility ID 58541
Callsign meaning K STZ short for "Stars" as in "Superstars"
Former callsigns KRNT-FM (1970-1974)
KRNQ (1974-1993)
Owner Saga Communications
Webcast Listen Live
Website star1025.com
937theoutlaw.com (HD2)

KSTZ (102.5 FM, "Star 102.5") is an FM radio station based in Des Moines, Iowa. The station plays Hot Adult Contemporary music. KSTZ is part of Saga Communications' Des Moines Radio Group, along with KPSZ, KRNT, KAZR, KIOA, and KMYR.


The station signed on the air in 1970 as KRNT-FM under the ownership of the Cowles family, publishers of the Des Moines Register. During those early years, Drake-Chenault's Hit Parade format was aired. In 1974 the station became KRNQ ("Q-102");[1] that year, Cowles sold KRNQ and KRNT (AM) to Stauffer Communications of Topeka, Kansas. The two stations were sold to Saga Communications in August 1988. KRNQ was originally an automated Top 40 station, but in 1984, the station began using local personalities. By the end of the 1980s, KRNQ was at or near the top of the local Arbitron ratings.

In 1991, due to Saga's decision to reach older listeners, what was known as Q102 with a contemporary hit radio format changed to a Hot Adult Contemporary format and was known as "Q102/KRNQ Today's Hits and Yesterday's Favorites". Q102/KRNQ promised to play no rap (even though it was rarely played on the station after Saga's purchase in 1988) or hard rock, both of which were very much a part of popular music at the time. This format change left Des Moines with no contemporary hit radio for nine years, until KKDM's flip from Alternative to Top 40/CHR in 1999. KRNQ became KSTZ on June 25, 1993.[2] (The KRNQ call letters are now used for a station in Keokuk, Iowa.)

When the station reimaged itself to adult contemporary in 1993, the positioning statement the station used was "Superstars of the 70s 80s and 90s" (with the 'STZ' in the call letters forming an abbreviation for 'stars'). The station later switched to "The Best Variety of the 80s, 90s and Today". In 2001, the station began using the current positioning statement of "Today's Best Variety" with a Hot AC format. With KKDM becoming more of a factor since its 1999 debut, KSTZ has adjusted their playlist and adopted an Adult Top 40 direction by adding a limited amount of rhythmic and rap with artists such Rihanna and The Black Eyed Peas to the mix. In addition, KSTZ also has competition with KKDM's sister station KPTL, who has adjusted their direction from Adult Album Alternative to Modern AC.

On-air staff and programming[edit]

KSTZ's current morning show is the "Ken, Colleen, & Kurt" show with Ken Auge, Colleen Kelly, and "Producer" Kurt Van Auken.[3] Other current hosts (as of 2016) include Karess Carter,[4] Jimmy Wright,[5] and Luke Matthews.[6]

Ken, Colleen, & Kurt in the Morning[edit]

The Ken, Colleen, & Kurt show includes some regular segments that occur each week.

  • What's Trending - The show's hosts discuss the topical stories of the day.[7]
  • The Ladies Room - Each Thursday morning, Colleen asks a question of the female listeners who then call in to discuss it.[8]

Popular Contests[edit]

Pick Your Purse[edit]

Each Fall since 2005, the station has given away designer purses with their "Pick Your Purse" contest. Listeners enter on the station's website, then listen for their name to be read on the air. If it is read, the listener has 10 minutes to call the station to claim their prize. The winner is allowed to pick from a selection of purses available on the station's website.[9]

Secret Sounds of Summer[edit]

Listeners to the station compete to guess the identity of a specific sound aired on the station. Correct guesses are awarded a cash prize and generally qualify for an opportunity to win a car.[10]

Christmas Wish[edit]

One of the station's longest running promotions, listeners write in asking for whatever they would want for holidays. Selected winners are called by station personalities and awarded prizes.[11]

Brenda Schmitz Christmas Wish[edit]

In 2013, a Christmas Wish was received by the station from Brenda Schmitz. Brenda wrote the Christmas Wish in August 2011,[12] one month before she died from ovarian cancer at the age of 46. She asked her friend to send her wish to the radio station once her husband, David, had found a new partner to help take care of their four sons. The wish went viral around the world and was picked up by many news outlets including CNN,[13] Yahoo!,[14] The Huffington Post,[15] and Mashable,[16] among others. The wish was for David and his new wife to take their sons to Disney World in Florida as well as other gifts for the family.


  1. ^ Des Moines Station Timeline, DesMoinesBroadcasting.com, accessed February 11, 2006
  2. ^ Federal Communications Commission. "KSTZ Call Sign History". Retrieved 2006-10-15. 
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ [2]
  5. ^ [3]
  6. ^ [4]
  7. ^ Ken, Colleen, & Kurt in the Morning
  8. ^ The Ladies Room
  9. ^ [5]
  10. ^ [6]
  11. ^ [7]
  12. ^ [8]
  13. ^ [9]
  14. ^ [10]
  15. ^ [11]
  16. ^ [12]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°48′00″N 93°36′29″W / 41.800°N 93.608°W / 41.800; -93.608