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For the station that held this callsign between 1962 and 1979, see KOKZ.
City of license Waterloo, Iowa
Broadcast area Waterloo/Cedar Rapids
Branding KXEL News/Talk 1540
Slogan "Iowa's News & Talk Station."
Frequency 1540 kHz
First air date July 14, 1942
Format News/Talk
Power 50,000 watts
Class A (clear channel)
Facility ID 35950
Callsign meaning K EXcEL
Affiliations Fox News
UNI Sports Network
Owner NRG Radio, LLC
(NRG License Sub, LLC)
Sister stations KFMW, KOKZ, KWLO
Website kxel.com

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 AM frequency 1540 kHz and is under ownership of NRG Radio, LLC. KXEL is also the flagship station of the University of Northern Iowa Sports Network.


KXEL was first created by Don E. Kassner, who worked for Joe Dumond. This station began their broadcasts 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.


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.[1]

Television station try[edit]

In the early 1950s, KXEL filed for the channel 7 television license in Waterloo. However, Waterloo's other powerhouse radio station, KWWL (now KWLO, 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.

Program schedule[edit]




  1. ^ "KXEL-FM Starts" (PDF). Broadcasting. November 24, 1947. Retrieved 24 October 2014. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°10′46″N 92°18′15″W / 42.17944°N 92.30417°W / 42.17944; -92.30417