"The Des Moines radio station that almost was"
KBIG 740 Khz

Radio Station Des Moines Inc. was the recipient of a construction permit from the Federal Communications Commission on November 13, 1947, to build and operate a new 250 watt AM broadcast station in Des Moines, Iowa. The station would have been permitted to operate only during daytime hours on 740 kilocycles (now called kilohertz).

Ownership of the new grantee included Myron J. Bennett, President, a local radio performer and Vice President of a new Sioux Falls, South Dakota FM station granted but not yet on the air, William B. Abramson, Treasurer, President of Abramson Motors Inc of Des Moines, Ray C. Fountain, Secretary, also associated with Abramson Motors. Mr. Bennett, known to listeners as "MJB" joined KRNT Des Moines in late 1945 as host of their early morning show. He formerly was an air personality in St. Louis, Missouri.

Call letters KUMB were assigned to the station, of which Myron J. Bennett was slated to be General Manager. The firm was also granted an FM station construction permit for Des Moines in the same year.

Offices of KUMB were located at the station's projected studio site, the Paramount Building in downtown Des Moines. KUMB's call letters were changed in late 1948 from KUMB to KBIG. No construction had been undertaken by 1949, with the owners showing concern over the probable financial success of the venture. A 250 watt daytime-only station would make a poor showing for Des Moines listeners against older, more powerful stations in Iowa's Capitol City.

It was decided in early 1950 that operation of KBIG would not be in the best interest of the principals involved, and on May 12, 1950, the station's permit was returned to the FCC for cancellation. Mr. Bennett moved in the early 50's to Los Angeles where he became the afternoon personality on 50KW station KFI.

On November 15, 1950, KBOE in Oskaloosa, Iowa was put on the air on 740 Khz with 250 watts of power daytime-only. In recent years, KBOE has been granted permission to operate at night with a power of 10 watts.


Research by Broadcast Pro-File

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