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Iowa Public Radio’s (IPR) Ames and Iowa City locations and Cedar Rapids’ WMT station celebrated a century of serving the public in 2022. In an email to the Corridor Business Journal, Myrna Johnson, executive director of IPR, said that WSUI and WOI started as experimental stations at the University of Iowa and Iowa State University respectively. “Both stations were among the first 100 stations granted licenses by the FCC in 1922,” she said. “Some of the earliest broadcasts were market reports, live music programs and book clubs. Over time, the stations evolved into what we know as public radio today, with news programming on both of the AM stations. The long and proud history of WSUI and WOI includes being charter members of National Public Radio, and airing the very first broadcast of All Things Considered.” All three of Iowa’s public universities—Iowa State University, University of Iowa and the University of Northern Iowa— added stations in recent years. IPR has managed those stations for the universities since 2006, Ms. Johnson said, and the universities transferred the licenses for all 26 stations to IPR in 2022, creating an independent public radio network. On-air talent Doug Wagner said WMT started as a small station designed to reach a small community, but it now stands as a reliable station for several states and is a lifeline in emergencies like the 2020 derecho. “No one was able to broadcast because people didn’t have power,” he said. “But people had radios and they had something to charge with, or they had their phones to use the iHeartRadio app. It is at a point where the City of Cedar Rapids in their most recent emergency action plan said if there was another emergency like the derecho they’re going to exclusively broadcast with us because they know they’ll be able to get the message out.” He said AM stations are alive and well, offering high quality news and shows while serving the public interest. IPR listeners celebrated the centennial at all its locations with birthday parties over the summer. WMT celebrated with various events over the year and some will continue into June 2023. Over the years, Ms. Johnson said Iowans have listened and called in regularly to keep programming interesting. “IPR has a long history of engaging our communities in public radio and serving the community will be [a] cornerstone of our work long into the future,” she said. Mr. Wagner agreed, saying callers are essential to WMT and its shows. Since his show, “The Morning Show with Doug Wagner,” is now on iHeartRadio he said listeners now call in from outside of Iowa. WMT’s goal remains, Mr. Wagner said, to have a local feel with personalities that showcase the community. “Our goal is always to provide relevant coverage and also remind listeners that we’re all interconnected,” he said. “If something happens to Cedar Rapids, it affects what happens in Davenport or Waterloo and vice versa … We have a much larger audience now than in the past and we will continue to work with them to give them the news, information, sports and entertainment they need for their day.” IPR is continuing to grow to better serve Iowans, offering podcasts and newsletters. The organization is committed to investing in even stronger journalism for Iowa, Ms. Johnson said. “IPR’s mission is to enrich the civic cultural life in the state. We have a 100 year history, and a commitment to serving Iowans long into the future."