KZIA, known as "Z 102.9", is a radio station based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It has a Top 40 (CHR) format entirely staffed with local personalities, including morning DJs Eric Hanson, Clare, and David Schulte, known as “The Morning Scramble.” The station's transmitter is located in Hiawatha, Iowa, and its signal reaches most of eastern Iowa, including Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Waterloo, and the Quad Cities area. It also reaches Prairie du Chien, and Platteville, both in Wisconsin.[1]

CityCedar Rapids, Iowa
Broadcast areaCedar Rapids-Iowa City
BrandingZ 102.9
SloganToday's Hit Music
Frequency102.9 MHz (also on HD Radio)
Translator(s)95.1 K236AA (Cedar Rapids, relays HD2)
98.5 K253BE (Iowa City, relays HD2)
106.3 K292FZ (Iowa City, relays HD3)
107.5 K298BM (Cedar Rapids, relays HD4)
First air date1975 (as KQCR)
FormatTop 40 (CHR)
HD2: Adult hits/Classic rock "Smart-FM"
ERP100,000 watts
HAAT287 meters
Facility ID35556
Callsign meaningK Z 102.9 IowA
Former callsignsKQCR (1975-1995)
KXMX (1995-1998)
OwnerRob Norton & Elliot Keller
(KZIA, Inc.)
WebcastListen Live
Listen Live (HD2) (HD2)


KZIA was originally known as KQCR, which had a top 40 format as "Q103" for many years. In 1994, Rob Norton Jr. and Eliot Keller, owners of KRNA radio, purchased KQCR to create the Cedar Rapids market's first radio duopoly. On September 5, 1995, KQCR changed its format to country music and its call letters to KXMX, "Max 102.9". The country format lasted almost three years until Norton and Keller agreed to sell KRNA and KXMX to Texas-based Capstar Broadcasting. While the KRNA sale was successful, Capstar terminated the agreement to buy KXMX.[2] Norton and Keller kept the station, changing the format to top 40 and the call letters to KZIA on June 12, 1998.[3] Today KZIA is the only locally owned commercial FM station in the Cedar Rapids market, as most FMs in the area are owned by either Clear Channel Communications or Townsquare Media.[4]

On October 31, 2006, KZIA acquired the former KCRG radio (1600 AM) from Gazette Communications. KZIA renamed the station KGYM and moved its studios from downtown Cedar Rapids to the KZIA studios on the city's southwest side.[5]


The station airs an Adult Hits and Classic Rock format on HD2 titled "Smart-FM". Originally named ROBfm after Norton, it was renamed to Smart-FM after Norton's death on January 29, 2018 at the age of 69.[6] Smart-FM is also relayed over FM radio through FM translator stations; 95.1 K236AA in Cedar Rapids, and 98.5 K253BE in Iowa City. Despite each frequency limited to a low power of 250 Watts, the use of two translators allows coverage for both Linn and Johnson counties. The station can also be heard throughout other counties in eastern Iowa via the primary 102.9-HD2 signal, through an HD Radio receiver.

Smart-FM features three on-air personalities. “Just John,” Greg Runyon, and Ric Swan. All three personalities had been personalities on Z102.9 before, with the latter being the former co-host of KZIA's morning show.

HD Radio digital channels

On May 14, 2003, KZIA became the first Iowa radio station to broadcast in HD Radio.[7]

KZIA also airs two channels of sports programming on their HD Radio signal. Originally there was one channel of sports programming on HD3, which was just a simulcast of sister station 1600 KGYM, but now is split into two channels. HD3 and HD4. HD3 feeds a translator in Iowa City at 106.3, and HD4 feeds 107.5 in Cedar Rapids. This allows up to three different sports programs at once. You may hear a Cedar Rapids High School sports game on 107.5, with one from Iowa City on 106.3, and a game that is the most anticipated for both areas on the main 1600 station. To designate different frequencies, 106.3 is known as the "South Gym", 107.5 is the "North Gym", and 1600 is the "Main Gym".

The station's HD signal is multiplexed:[8]

Channel Name Format Programming FM/Translators[9]
102.9-1KZIA HD1Top 40Z 102.9 (Main Programming)KZIA 102.9 FM (Main KZIA signal)
102.9-2KZIA HD2Adult hits/ Classic rockSmart-FMK236AA 95.1 FM, Cedar Rapids
K253BE 98.5 FM, Iowa City
102.9-3KZIA HD3SportsKGYM/ESPN Radio/South GymK292FZ 106.3 FM, Iowa City
102.9-4KZIA HD4SportsKGYM/ESPN Radio/North GymK298BM 107.5 FM, Cedar Rapids


  1. "Predicted Coverage Area for KZIA 102.9 FM, Cedar Rapids, IA". Retrieved 2007-02-24.
  2. Ford, George C (1998-06-09). "KRNA buy OK'd after KXMX deal nixed". The Gazette. p. 8B.
  3. Federal Communications Commission. "Call Sign History". Retrieved 2007-02-24.
  4. Stein, Jeff (2004). Making Waves: The People and Places of Iowa Broadcasting. Cedar Rapids, Iowa: WDG Communications. p. 111. ISBN 0-9718323-1-5.
  5. Kenyon, John (2006-12-18). "Changing the station". Corridor Business Journal.
  7. Stein, 182.
  8. HD Radio Guide for Cedar Rapids
  9. RabbitEars TV Query for KZIA

This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.