No matter what sports you follow and what your favorite teams are, tuning into a radio station is one of the best ways of getting hold of the latest news.
Sports fans across Iowa can tune into a wide variety of sports radio stations that cover the local teams as well as national news.
The following are five options well worth checking out, which are sometimes also present in many of the state’s sports bars.
KGYM 1600 The Gym
The second-oldest radio station in Cedar Rapids is owned by the same company that operates the KZIA Station. KGYM has been around since the 1940s and has changed its focus several times in the decades since then. These days, it mainly focuses on ESPN Radio programs and has a good variety of local and national sports news for you to listen to, meaning that it’s got wide-ranging appeal.
One of the highlights of KGYM is their coverage of the Iowa State University teams, so Cyclones fans will find a lot that’s worth listening to. College basketball is a particular favorite of the station, but there’s also plenty here for those listeners who enjoy other sports. For example, they cover high school football and the NFL, as well as the likes of baseball and motorsports.
Fans of the Cedar Rapids Kernels should note that their games are no longer covered on KGYM, though, as the rights for these games are now with KMRY. Their talk shows are hosted by the likes of Scott Unash and Alex Kuhn. Spencer Wagen was added to the roster in 2022, with the Spencer on Sports program being added then.
If you live in Cedar Rapids, you can tune in at 102.3 MHz, under the call sign of K272GB. On the other hand, if you live in Iowa City, you can use a frequency of 106.3 MHz and the call sign in this case is K292FZ. A look at their programming just now shows that the ESPN Radio show runs from 2 pm to 4 pm, followed by an hour of Will Cain and then The Gym Class with Scott Unash and Mark Dukes between 5 pm and 6 pm. This is followed by The Todd Brommelkamp Show with Alex Kuhn at 6 pm.
Coming up on Thursday's #SOSonKGYM:
Iowa Men's & Women's Hoops resume Big Ten play
Bowl season rolls on, and the Hawkeyes continue prep for the Music City Bowl#TNF pits the Cowboys vs. the Titans tonight
— Spencer Wagen (@SWOnTheRadio) December 29, 2022
KCNZ 1650 The Fan
This station is based in Cedar Valley and it’s a solid choice for fans of a few of the leading sports teams that people in Iowa follow. That’s because 1650 The Fan is described as the home for anyone looking to follow the Chicago Cubs baseball team in this part of Iowa.
As well as this, you can catch all of the Iowa State Cyclones’ action from the different sports that the program representing Iowa State University competes in.
You can also keep up with the latest news and games from the Waterloo Black Hawks here too. This junior ice hockey team plays its home games at the Young Arena in Waterloo and is part of the Western Conference of the USHL. Finally, you’ll also get to hear the latest news on the Cedar Fall Tigers on this station.
The 1650 The Fan website confirms that their day starts at 5 am, with Clay Travis and Outkick the Coverage from Fox Sports Radio. During the rest of the day, you can listen to the likes of Mark Simpson, Dan Patrick, and Jim Rome. As well as local sports, you’ll also get to hear the latest news from sports teams across the state as well as nationally.
With a winter storm watch for central Iowa in effect from Wednesday evening through late Friday, Iowa State's Dec. 21 men's basketball game vs. Omaha and its Dec. 22 women's basketball game vs. Drake have been cancelled ⤵️🏀https://t.co/Qfh6okylZL
— 1650 – 102.3 The Fan (@1650KCNZ) December 20, 2022
KBGG 1700 The Champ
With the nickname of The Champ, it’s clear that KBGG has a strong focus on sports. Based in Des Moines, it’s got a wide mixture of sports programs that cover the main teams and sports that fans in Iowa tend to be interested in. One of their strong points is their coverage of the football and basketball teams from the University of Northern Iowa, making this one of the best stations for Panthers fans looking to stay up to date with their team.
KBGG also operates as the affiliate in Des Moines for the Kansas City Chiefs, while wider NFL coverage is given through The NFL on Westwood One Sports. If you enjoy listening to the experts chatting about sports on radio talk shows, then you might want to try the likes of Jim Rome, The D.A. Show, and The Drive with Wolfgang and Steen, among others. The Hawkeye Huddle is scheduled for 6 pm to 7 pm every Tuesday during the Iowa Hawkeyes football and basketball seasons.
Panthers fans can enjoy programs such as the UNI Coach’s Show: Panther Sports Talk and the UNI Panthers Football & Basketball Play x Play. As for fans of the Kansas City Chiefs, the Chiefs Kingdom Show is currently scheduled for Tuesdays at 6 pm. You can also catch the pro football games on their NFL Prime Time Live Play x Play programs.
Their programming schedule on weekdays begins with After Hours with Amy Lawrence starting at 1 am. After that, The D.A. Show with Damon Amendolara is broadcast from 5 am to 9 am, with sports news and discussion. Listeners can then follow that up with shows like Reiter Than You with Bill Reiter, The Zach Gelb Show, and The Jim Rome Show.
Their website and social media feeds give you access to the latest news and opinions on local sports too. This is where you can catch up with their podcasts as well, or check out some of their latest contests. Overall, it’s a varied collection of sports content that has enough of a local flavor to make it feel like a good place to keep informed on Iowa sports but without missing out on the wider, national context.
1700 The Champ (KBGG) Named New Des Moines Radio Home of Minnesota Twins Baseball – (https://t.co/5zwh4lf7g1) – #CumulusDesMoines #CumulusMedia #JackTaddeo #KBGGAM #TheChamp pic.twitter.com/fb90nZsuFV
— Radio Facts (@radiofactsmedia) March 16, 2019
Another good choice for sports fans in Iowa, KXNO is based in Des Moines and is owned by iHeartMedia. Their history goes back to the 1920s and the station was best known for country music and rock music in the past before turning to sports at the start of this century. The change was a success, although there have been a few issues in recent years with staff members being cut and then getting reinstated after protests.
They broadcast at 1460 MHz and also have a sister station in Ankeny that can be found at 106.3 KXNO-FM. Local sports shows tend to be featured during the mornings and afternoons on weekdays, while syndicated shows are broadcast at other times such as weekends and nights. The Fox Sports Radio Network programming is broadcast on KXNO, so you can catch that content at night or at the weekend.
This station is linked to the Iowa Wild hockey team, who play in the AHL, so expect to get their latest news and reports when you tune in. This sports radio station is also a good choice for fans of the St Louis Cardinals baseball team, as their games are broadcast here. Other sports are covered too, of course, but those teams mentioned are more prominent.
You can also listen to the NFL games featuring the Minnesota Vikings. Women’s basketball is covered too, with the Iowa State University’s games broadcast on KXNO.
Their website confirms that the day begins with The Morning Rush from 6 am to 8 am, followed by Dan Patrick from 8 am to 11 am and then Miller & Condon with a show running from 11 am through to 1 pm. You can also catch up with their podcasts on the site.
Today is the last day of the Soundoff Sandwich will be on the menu!! Be sure to go and get one for a late lunch or dinner tonight!!
Also “Big Announcement” from @Jethros_BBQ next week and to make sure to Follow the @Jethros_BBQ Facebook page for all info!! pic.twitter.com/Q4RR7IHnRJ
— KXnO 1460 AM and 106.3 FM! (@1460kxno) December 30, 2022
KRNT 1350 ESPN Des Moines
Another popular sports radio station based in Des Moines, KRNT 1350 broadcasts ESPN Radio programming as well as featuring shows that cover a range of sports teams. This is the station to tune into if you follow the Drake University teams in sports such as football and basketball. They also cover baseball, with their focus on the Chicago Cubs.
As you would expect given their ESPN tie-in, this is also somewhere to find out about the latest sports news on a national level. To find out what shows are coming up soon, you just need to check out the latest ESPN Radio programming, where you’ll find names like Fitz & Harry, Joe & Amber, and Greeny.
This mixture of local and national programming follows a similar line to the other stations we’ve looked at here, although the fact that it carries ESPN in its name might make you think that it’s less focused on Iowa teams than some of the rival stations.
This station moved to Des Moines and changed to its current name in the 1930s, having previously been based in Clarinda. It was an adult-standard radio station for a number of years before sports programming started to take up a greater share of the programming.
In 2015, KRNT became an affiliate of ESPN Radio and the music moved across to its sister channel at 104.5 FM. Moves were made in 2022 to try to get it back to the original call sign of KSO – representing the phrase Keep Serving Others – but this attempt was unsuccessful.
Who enjoys listening to @IASportsConnect as much as we do? We are proud to be the Flagship Station!
— 1350 KRNT Des Moines (@1350KRNT) February 4, 2012
Credits on Featured Image: Photo by Jean Balzan