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KCCK History and Recognition

KCCK-FM is a membership-supported, full-time jazz station located on the campus of Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. We program over 100 hours of Jazz every week. You can also hear Blues, Worldbeat and Ambient music on weekends.


KCCK-FM began as a project of an electronics class at Kirkwood Community College back in 1972. The Electronics Communication class was looking for a project in which to gain practical experience in the world of electronics. One idea was to construct a 10-watt FM radio station.

A couple of students found an old FM transmitter that had been donated to the electronics program and discovered that it could be adapted to a 10-watt transmitter. The Kirkwood Board of Directors passed a resolution giving permission for the college to apply for an F.C.C. license. A construction permit was granted by the Federal Communications Commission and the class went to work on equipping the station.

KCCK-FM went on the air as a 10-watt station in September 1972. From that point until July 1, 1975, KCCK had a sporadic -- if not exciting -- history as a 10-watt FM radio station.

In 1974 it was decided that if KCCK was ever to be a viable radio station for the seven-county area served by Kirkwood, it needed to broadcast from a 400-foot tower with 10,000 watts of power.

KUNI at the University of Northern Iowa had recently obtained a new transmitter. KUNI agreed to give its old transmitter—first put on the air by WOI at Iowa State University in the 1943-46 period—to KCCK.

After overcoming several hurdles and cutting through plenty of bureaucratic red tape, KCCK signed on July 1, 1975, with more power and a taller tower. In those days, KCCK played mostly classical music.

Today, KCCK is Iowa's only full-time jazz station. KCCK also offers news and informational programming from American Public Media. In addition to jazz, KCCK provides 12 hours of blues and nine hours of new age/ambient, Native American and Celtic music every weekend.

KCCK received a major grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting for conversion equipment that allows us to broadcast using the next generation of over-the-air radio technology, digital HD Radio. HD Radio brings to FM and AM the same advantages that digital TV brings to the television world. Click here for answers to some of the most common questions people ask about digital radio.


Recognition

  • Named 2012 Small Market Station of the Year by JazzWeek Magazine
  • Bob Stewart named 2012 Small Market Programmer of the Year by JazzWeek
  • George Dorman wins First Place for In-Depth/Series in Iowa Broadcast News Association's 2013 News Awards Contest for Clean Up Your Act
  • George Dorman wins First Place for In-Depth/Series in Iowa Broadcast News Association's 2012 News Awards Contest for Clean Up Your Act
  • George Dorman wins First Place for In-Depth/Series in Iowa Broadcast News Association's 2011 News Awards Contest for Clean Up Your Act
  • Named 2011 Small Market Station of the Year by JazzWeek Magazine
  • Bob Stewart named 2011 Small Market Programmer of the Year by JazzWeek
  • Bob Stewart named 2010 Small Market Programmer of the Year by JazzWeek
  • 2009 Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance ICKY Award for Innovation and Excellence for "Educational Programming" for the elementary jazz education program Schoolhouse Jazz
  • Bob DeForest inducted into the Iowa Blues Hall of Fame - Sept. 2008
  • Bob Stewart named 2008 Small Market Programmer of the Year by JazzWeek
  • 2007 Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance ICKY Award for Innovation and Excellence for "Excellence and Innovation in Music Programming" for Jazz Under the Stars
  • Public Radio Programmers Association Award for Creative Excellence for 2005 Jazz Appreciation Month programming
  • Named 2004 Small Market Station of the Year by JazzWeek Magazine
  • Bob Stewart named 2004 Small Market Programmer of the Year by JazzWeek
  • First place by the Iowa Broadcast News Association for Spot News Coverage in the IBNA's annual news contest for expanded coverage of the events of Sept. 11, 2001. Click here to listen to the report..
  • Best Web Site by the Public Radio Development and Marketing Conference in 2001