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Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
Marshall Cohen—researcher and producer, CNN

Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


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RADIO DUBUQUE. In late 1999 Paul HEMMER was approached by two broadcasters with whom he was acquainted in "The International Broadcasters Idea Bank." Don Rabbitt and Tom Parsley, then of Worthington, Minnesota, agreed to purchase KGRR provided Hemmer convince WOODWARD COMMUNICATIONS, INC., the owners of KDTH and KATF-FM, to sell those properties so they could create a three station group to compete effectively with the stations in Dubuque owned by Cumulus Broadcasting. (WDBQ AM, KLYV-FM, WJOD-FM, KXGE-FM). (1)

In January 2000, Woodward Communications agreed to sell their stations to the new Radio Dubuque group with Parsley as President, Hemmer as VP, and Don Rabbitt as CFO. KGRR relocated from studios on JFK Road to the KDTH/KAT-FM building at 8th & Bluff in downtown Dubuque. (2)

In 2003 Radio Dubuque, the parent of 92.9 KAT-FM, 97.3 KGRR-FM, and 1370 KDTH-AM, launched a new country station WVRE-FM at a ceremony held at the DIAMOND JO CASINO. (3) Licensed from Dickeyville, Wisconsin, the station originated from the Bluff Street offices and added contemporary country to Radio Dubuque's mix of information, classic rock and adult contemporary. The station's biggest rating station, KAT-FM, recently at achieved 100,000 watts and double the coverage area when placed on top of a 1,000-foot tower constructed near Kieler. (4)

In 2009 Radio Dubuque made several announcements. Nativity Parish accepted an offer from Radio Dubuque to purchase part of the 1.8 acres for sale at the corner of University Avenue and Alta Vista Street. The deal hingeD on Radio Dubuque's request to rezone the property from two-family residential to office/service. Tom Parsley, the general manager, stated the relocation was due to space. When the company bought the building there were two radio stations and now there were four. (5) In April the company began streaming its radio stations online on each station's website signaling a change in the way people received radio broadcasts. (6)




1. Radio Dubuque, Wikipedia. Online: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio_Dubuque

2. Ibid.

3. Kittle, M. D. "Dubuque Flips Switch on Country," Telegraph Herald, February 9, 2003, p. 17. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=YwxeAAAAIBAJ&sjid=AmANAAAAIBAJ&pg=5299,2006040&dq=radio+in+dubuque&hl=en

4. Ibid.

5. Piper, Andy. "Radio Dubuque May Leave Downtown," Telegraph Herald, January 9, 2009, p. 3. Online: http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=DQ&p_theme=dq&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=1259B2D42F682778&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&s_trackval=GooglePM

6. "Radio Dubuque Stations Streaming," Telegraph Herald, April 18, 2009, p. 3. Online: http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=DQ&p_theme=dq&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=127AA55389D326E8&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&s_trackval=GooglePM