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88.5 KURE
KURE (88.5 FM) logo.jpg
CityAmes, Iowa
Broadcast areaAmes, Iowa
BrandingIowa State's Student-Run Radio Station
SloganAmes Alternative
Frequency88.5 MHz
FormatCollege Radio
ERP630 watts
HAAT22.0 meters
Facility ID55777
Transmitter coordinates42°1′47.00″N 93°38′51.00″W / 42.0297222°N 93.6475000°W / 42.0297222; -93.6475000
Former callsignsKMRA (1949-1950), KMRI (1950-1961), KISU (1961-1970), KPGY (1970-1983), KUSR (1983-1996)
AffiliationsIowa State University
OperatorAlexis Renderos
OwnerCommunity Media Broadcasting
(Community Media Broadcasting)
WebcastKURE Webcast
WebsiteOfficial website

KURE (88.5 FM) is a radio station licensed to Community Media Broadcasting in Ames, Iowa, United States. The station serves the Iowa State community, Ames, and surrounding areas. The broadcast license is currently owned by Community Media Broadcasting.[1] The station has been led by its general manager Miranda Cheers since spring 2017.[2]

The station features a variety of programming, including most genres of music, talk shows, and coverage of ISU sporting events. Hip-hop, electronica, rock, americana, classical, and jazz are just a few of the music genres played by KURE's constantly rotating staff of student DJ's. Music played at KURE is selected by DJs with some influence from a board of student music reviewers. Sections of non-primetime schedule that are not covered by a dedicated DJ are filled by an automated music system, which staff have nicknamed "Ottobot". The station also provides coverage of Iowa State University football, basketball, and wrestling.[3] Additionally, this station provides occasional news and talk style programming.


KURE annually produces Kaleidoquiz,[4] a 26-hour team competition that involves trivia questions read over the air every six minutes, scavenger hunts, traveling questions, and other contests interspersed throughout the 26 hours. Kaleidoquiz is conducted by KURE DJ's over the air waves and online. In recent years, the use of the internet has made this competition more accessible and the questions more difficult. In previous years, Kaleidoquiz has sent teams as far away as Toronto, Canada and required teams to do everything from pulling a bus to bringing "Your mom in a wedding dress" in as a scavenger hunt item.

In 2017, Kaleidoquiz celebrated its 50th year in existence by joking about doing 50 hours of Kaleidoquiz.[5]

KURE Fest[edit]

KURE annually hosts KURE Fest a free music festival bringing in touring and local artists to perform in the Memorial Union of Iowa State. It has brought artists such as Dan Deacon, Smallpools and Neon Indian to Iowa State previously.[6][7]


Previously using the call letters KMRA, KMRI, KISU, KPGY, and KUSR; KURE was established in the mid-1990s. In addition to being student-managed and student-produced, KURE is also funded by students at Iowa State University through the Student Government. KURE has always been staffed entirely by student volunteers.

According to the station's board of directors, KURE got its start as KMRA, broadcasting out of a Friley dorm room on 640 AM, on Oct. 17, 1949.[8] Friley residents Cedric Curin, Chuck Hawley and Maurice Voland founded the station with two turntables, a small transmitter and a public address system.

Powered by one quarter of a watt, the signal was only able to provide Friley Hall with entertainment. A boost to 50 watts and implementation of the carrier current method allowed the station to use local power lines as its broadcast antennas and make its programming audible across all of campus.

In 1950, KMRA became KMRI. In 1961, KMRI became KISU. KISU applied for new call letters and in 1970 was given them—KPGY.[9]

1969 brought the station to its current location in the basement of Friley, and the jump to the FM band was made in 1970. The initial frequency was 91.9 with a call of KPGY, "The Big Pig in the Sky". In the late 1970s the decision was made to increase power to 200 watts, move the transmitter from Friley to the north side of campus resulting in a frequency change to 91.5 to protect another station on a nearby frequency. KUSR suspended broadcast operations Nov. 1, 1995, due to complications with its license.[10]

The station now provides coverage to all of Ames as KURE 88.5 FM Ames Alternative.


  1. ^ "KURE Facility Record". United States Federal Communications Commission, audio division.
  2. ^ http://www.kure.stuorg.iastate.edu/contact/
  3. ^ http://www.kure.stuorg.iastate.edu/category/programming/sports/
  4. ^ "Kaleidoquiz! What is it? Register now! - Cyclone Life". www.cyclonelife.net. Retrieved 2017-05-02.
  5. ^ alison.boysen@iowastatedaily.com, Alison Boysen,. "Kaleidoquiz celebrates 50th year on ISU campus". Iowa State Daily. Retrieved 2017-05-02.
  6. ^ "PHOTOS: KURE Fest Day Two". Iowa State Daily. Retrieved 2017-05-02.
  7. ^ http://www.iowastatedaily.com/limelight/article_4e9a0a20-9f15-11e6-8146-2b8b384418ed.html
  8. ^ http://www.iowastatedaily.com/articles/2006/06/15/pulse/20060615-archive.txt
  9. ^ http://findingaids.lib.iastate.edu/spcl/arch/rgrp/22-9-5.html
  10. ^ http://www.iowastatedaily.com/articles/1995/11/08/import/19951108-archive0.txt

External links[edit]