Location: Sheldon, Iowa
AM – Talk Radio
General Manager: Walt Pruiksma
KIWA (AM) Radio began providing local radio service to Northwest Iowa on October 26, 1961. The owner was E.C. “Red” Stangland of Sioux Falls, SD. Stangland wanted to someday own his own station and chose Sheldon, Iowa as that location.
Even though Sheldon at the time was smaller than any town in Iowa with a radio station, he recognized the need for such a service in the four Northwest Iowa “corner” counties. He counted on the strong agricultural base of the area to provide an economic climate, which would support a radio station.
The station began broadcasting from studios on the second floor of the Citizen’s State Bank building. In 1970, a lot was purchased on 9th Street and a new building was erected which serves today as the studios and offices for both KIWA-AM 1550 and KIWA-FM 105.3
KIWA-FM came on the air in 1971 with a power of 3,000 watts. To increase the area to be covered by the new FM station the KIWA tower was increased in height from 150 to 350 ft. in 1982, and the Federal Communications Commission approved an increase in power to 50,000 watts in 1992.
KIWA was managed for the first 24 years by Wally Stangland. Frank Luepke, who came to KIWA as an announcer, engineer and advertising salesman in 1962, was named Station Manager after Wally Stangland retired & served in that capacity until his own retirement in 2006. Walt Pruiksma, who had worked in the station’s advertising department since 1972 became the General Manager and continues in that position at this time.
“Red” Stangland passed away in 1995 but the standards he had set for local radio service to Northwest Iowa live on.
KIWA serves the community in a multitude of ways. They investigate and report the news in their 4 county area; follow, air, and report on local sports year round; and post and air obituaries for residents in our listening area.
KIWA hosts a Community Calendar Page on each of their websites. Followers can send information to be posted on the sites as well as mentioned on air throughout the day.
KIWA features a free call-in program for listeners to post items they would like to buy, sell, trade or give away every weekday morning.
With Zipwhip texting software, KIWA has made it possible for listeners to text in to the station to share sports scores, information and pictures they encounter from new, weather, accidents, or anything they want to share with the staff. This is also utilized heavily as a means for listeners to interact with the morning show hosts.
Rachel McDonald – Office Manager / Traffic Director
Justin Hellinga – Program & Music Director / Computer Tech
Larry “LA” Ahrens – Sports Director
Scott Van Aartsen – News Director
Mark Rector, Skip Tanner – Sales
Tom Traughber – News & Sales
Wayne Barahona & Aaron Alons – KIWA Morning Show Hosts