|City||Des Moines, Iowa|
|Broadcast area||Des Moines, Iowa|
|Slogan||Des Moines' Sports Station|
|Frequency||1460 kHz (also on HD Radio)|
|First air date||1922|
|Callsign meaning||Football term X's aNd O's|
|Former callsigns||KSO (1925-1989)
(Capstar TX LLC)
KXNO is a sports radio station based in Des Moines, Iowa. It is located at 1460 on the AM band. KXNO is owned by iHeartMedia, Inc.. KXNO's studios are located in Des Moines, while its 3-tower transmitter array is located on Northeast Broadway Avenue near Capitol Heights.
KXNO's roots can be traced back to KSO ("Keep Serving Others"), a station that first broadcast from Clarinda, Iowa, on November 2, 1925. On June 26, 1931, the Cowles family, publishers of the Des Moines Register and Tribune, bought KSO; they moved the station to Des Moines on November 5, 1932, when it also became an NBC affiliate. At that time, the station broadcast on 1370 kHz with 250 W daytime and 100 W at night and had its studios in the newspaper's building.
After several frequency changes during the station's early years, KSO moved from 1320 to 1430 AM on March 17, 1935; KRNT radio took over KSO's old frequency, while KSO replaced the Cowles-owned KWCR in Cedar Rapids. KSO changed frequencies one last time as part of the North American Regional Broadcasting Agreement of 1941, moving from 1430 to 1460 AM. KSO and KRNT were both owned by the Cowles family until 1944, when they sold KSO after the FCC ruled that one company could not own two radio stations in the same market.
After several format changes, KSO had a successful country music format from 1974 until September 1, 1989. It then began simulcasting KGGO-FM's rock music format, taking on the KGGO call letters in the process. In 1994, the station became KDMI, broadcasting religious and Spanish language programming. Clear Channel Communications acquired KDMI in 2000. On January 1, 2001, KDMI became KXNO and adopted its current sports radio format. KXNO had two direct competitors — KXTK (now KPSZ, 940 AM) and KJJC (now KNWI, 107.1 FM) — when it became a sports station, but both of its competitors had changed formats by mid-2003. They now compete with 1700 The Champ in Des Moines, a CBS Sports affiliate.
In 2008, KXNO was nominated for a Marconi award as the "Sports Station of the Year," given annually by the National Association of Broadcasters.
Larry Cotlar and Marty Tirrell feud
During 2008 and 2009, a feud brewed between morning show host Larry Cotlar and afternoon drive host Marty Tirrell. Tirrell and his radio partner, Ken Miller, had been critical of Cotlar's perceived bias towards the Drake Bulldogs. They were also critical of Cotlar's interview style of "lobbing softball questions" to his guests.
On March 20, 2009, things boiled over in the KXNO studios as Tirrell initiated a verbal tirade that used harsh words that was heard briefly on the air, including the utterance of the "F" word a dozen times, mostly by Tirrell, who at times seemed to be on the verge of a nervous breakdown. The two were soon suspended for a week as a result, with The Dan Patrick Show temporarily taking its time slot.
On March 25, both men, as well as the board operator, Geoff Conn, were fired from their positions. FCC complaint reports were filed March 25 from an anonymous source. Tirell's weekly sports commentary for KCCI television, Mouth of the Midwest, was also cancelled. Cotlar later apologized to Clear Channel and the station's listeners for the incident.
Cotlar's morning slot was filled by Jon Miller, the sports director of sister station WHO, and Steve Deace, who hosted an afternoon talk show on WHO and previously hosted an afternoon show on KXNO. On April 20, a new show hosted by WHO-TV personalities Keith Murphy and Andy Fales debuted in the 2:00-4:00pm time slot. Tirrell and Cotlar later joined rival station 1700 The Champ.
- Davison, Jr., George F. (2002). "KRNT-KSO History". Retrieved 2006-01-16.
- "New Staff in Charge When KSO Joins NBC After Des Moines Move" (PDF). Broadcasting. November 15, 1932. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
- Miller, Bryce (2001-01-03). "Third D.M. station joins all-sports radio format". The Des Moines Register. p. 3C.
- Witosky, Tom (2003-07-28). "Another D.M. radio station to pull the plug on sports". The Des Moines Register. p. 1C.
- KCCI: "Foul-Mouthed Broadcaster Shocks Listeners -- Marty Tirrell Catching Heat After Tirade On Friday", 3/21/2009.
- KCCI: "Sports Radio Hosts Suspended Over Foul Language -- Behind-The-Scenes Argument Airs On KXNO Radio", 3/23/2009.
- Des Moines Register: "Employees fired at KXNO radio over on-air incident; Cotlar says 'I did not initiate' situation", 3/25/2009.
- Witosky, Tom (2009-04-13). "Steve Deace and Jon Miller debut morning sports show on KXNO". The Des Moines Register.
- Witosky, Tom (2009-04-17). "Radio news: KXNO fills afternoon sports-talk slot". The Des Moines Register.
- KXNO's website
- KSO historical artifacts from DesMoinesBroadcasting.com
- Query the FCC's AM station database for KXNO
- Radio-Locator Information on KXNO
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for KXNO
- FCC History Cards for KXNO