|Broadcast area||Waterloo/Cedar Rapids|
|Branding||KXEL News/Talk 1540|
|Slogan||The Voice of Eastern Iowa|
UNI Panther Sports Network
|Owner||NRG Media |
(NRG License Sub, LLC)
|KFMW, KOKZ, KPTY|
First air date
|July 14, 1942|
Call sign meaning
|Class||A (clear channel)|
KXEL (branded as News/Talk 1540) is a Class A, Clear channel AM radio station serving the Waterloo and Cedar Rapids metropolitan areas with a News/Talk format. It broadcasts on 1540 kHz and is under ownership of NRG Radio, LLC. KXEL is also the flagship station of the University of Northern Iowa Panther Sports Network.
KXEL was first created by Don E. Kassner, who worked for Joe Dumond. The station began broadcasting on July 14, 1942 and was the first radio facility in the United States to be granted 50,000 watts of power with its original license. It began airing ABC programming from pop hits of the 1940s. KXEL also featured country music programming before switching to its current news/talk format. Dumond later sold KXEL to career broadcaster Egmont Sonderling, then on November 9, 1958, Sonderling signed the papers transferring KXEL's license to Cy N. Bahakel. Woodward Broadcasting owned the station between 2011 and December 2014 before selling it, and its sister stations, to current owner, Cedar Rapids-based NRG Media LLC.
On November 16, 1947, KXEL-FM began broadcasting in Waterloo on 105.7 MHz. It was licensed to Josh Higgins Broadcasting Company, which also held the license for KXEL.
Television station try
In the early 1950s, KXEL filed for the channel 7 television license in Waterloo. However, Waterloo's other powerhouse radio station, KWWL (now KPTY, a sister station to KXEL) wanted the license as well. KXEL and KWWL went to court and battled it out. In the meantime, KXEL built a radio/television studio. This studio was mainly useless because KWWL won the lawsuit and signed on KWWL-TV on Thanksgiving Day 1953.
- "KXEL-FM Starts" (PDF). Broadcasting. November 24, 1947. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
- KXEL News/Talk 1540 - Official Website
- KWWL-TV Channel 7 - Official Website
- KXEL in the FCC's AM station database
- KXEL on Radio-Locator
- KXEL in Nielsen Audio's AM station database