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Public radio out of commission in Eastern Iowa

The hissing sound on 90.9 FM is getting a little too familiar. Since Monday, no All Things Considered, no Morning Edition, no earnest dispatches from the statehouse.

An Iowa Public Radio transmission line failed and KUNI is not broadcasting throughout Eastern and Central Iowa. It won’t be back on the air until Monday at the earliest, according to Wayne Jarvis, IPR’s Director of Network Operations.

From IPR’s website:

…90.9 FM, serving Eastern Iowa, repeater stations receiving their signal from 90.9 FM including 89.7 FM and 98.7 FM in Dubuque, 94.5 FM and 102.1 FM in the Quad Cities, and 88.9 FM and 101.7 FM serving Des Moines, are also currently off the air. Our engineers are currently assessing the situation and hope to know more soon. Thank you for your patience and understanding. The 90.9 FM programming stream continues to be available via our online stream.

The transmission line that runs up the 2,000 foot KCRG tower west of Walker failed, somewhere about 1,000 feet above the ground, Jarvis said.

“We’re not sure exactly why it failed,” he said.

He said the line was replaced last summer, after the station’s signal failed briefly a few times in December 2007 and January 2008. It’s possible weather damaged the new line, or something was wrong with the line, or it was installed improperly.

Jarvis likens the transmitter to a water spigot, the transmission line to a garden hose and the antenna at the 1,700 foot mark of the tower to a sprinkler that showers the signal on Eastern Iowa.

A crew from Minnesota will be here Thursday to climb the tower and fix the problem, weather-permitting.

“It takes a special crew to do this,” Jarvis said. “There are really only a few in the country that have the equipment and the bonding to work on really tall towers.

“They need two to three days of good weather,” he said. “We have to have winds below 15 mph, and of course no lightning.”

Filed under: Other,

10 Responses

  1. Sarah Shackelford says:

    Thanks for the update. I’m missing my NPR fix…

  2. Beth Malicki says:

    Thank you so much for the info Adam! I’ve been wondering about this.

  3. TBone says:

    Great! No liberal claptrap cluttering the airwaves in Podunkville and Hayseed village.

  4. fiddler says:

    you can also listen to NPR on 910AM in Eastern Iowa

  5. OtherOptions says:

    Try 910AM, the WSUI broadcast.

    Other IPR stations still broadcasting are:
    Ames/Des Moines
    WOI 90.1 FM
    WOI 640 AM

    KWOI 90.7 FM

    Cedar Falls/Waterloo
    KHKE 89.5 FM

    Cedar Rapids/Iowa City
    KSUI 91.7 FM
    WSUI 910 AM

    Clear Lake/Mason City
    KHKE 90.7 FM
    KUNY 91.5 FM
    KRNI 1010 AM


    Fort Dodge
    KTPR 91.1 FM

    KOWI 97.9 FM

    KDWI 89.1 FM
    KUNZ 91.1 FM

    Quad Cities

  6. Rebecca says:

    Just to let folks know, you can still listen to WSUI AM 910 out of Iowa City to get the same news that is on KUNI. 🙂

  7. Nikki says:

    KCCK is great but I need my KUNI very soon.

  8. Rebecca says:

    Ah, I love how people who have clearly never listened to NPR so love to bash it…

  9. polymath22 says:

    @tbone “liberal claptrap?”

    Do you listen to sean hannity or rush limbaugh or the midnight radio network?

    I do. But then, I guess I’m american enough to appreciate democracy and listen to opposing viewpoints.

    Conservatives, on the other hand, already know everything, and know they are “always right”, so-much-so that they won’t even listen to what other people have to say, and, as you demonstrated, would prefer to having opposing viewpoints silenced.

    How are we supposed to have a functional democracy when half the people “know” the earth is 6000 years old, in spite of EVERY branch of science saying otherwise?

    Arrogance and Ignorace go hand-in-hand, especially in the GOP.

  10. […] Since Monday, no All Things Considered, no Morning Edition, no earnest dispatches from the statehouse, says The Gazette’s Adam Belz in a recent blog entry […]

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