In August of 2012, the static on the radio dial at 91.9 FM was replaced with the sounds of music, business insights, reporting, and current events for the community in and surrounding Clarke County, Iowa. KSOI – 91.9 became a beacon for radio listeners reaching far beyond Clarke County and into almost a dozen southern Iowa communities. And a decade later, the Clarke County Board of Supervisors decided to honor the station for all its hard work and recognize the continued value to the county, naming KSOI the “Official Radio Station of Clarke County, Iowa.”
“The work Joe Hynek and his family put in to building out that radio station, creating a truly unique information source for Clarke County, deserved the recognition,” said Dean Robins, Clarke County Supervisor for District 1.
The entertainment and news KSOI provides to the community has been a diamond on the FM radio dial for more than a decade, but that’s not where the story of KSOI started. In November of 2007, Joe Hynek started the process of applying for non-commercial broadcast licensing through the FCC. The process for simply getting the license was the first hurdle and Joe knew, through diligence and determination, the signal on 91.9 would eventually be there, but plenty of patience and fortitude would be needed.
“The permit alone took three years to obtain,” said Hynek. “With the FCC evaluating up- and down-dial content as well as other applications for the same FM spot, getting final approval was a long, long road.”
Then, securing building and construction permits for the station and tower took another couple of years. Through many hours, outside his normal workday as a Computer Engineer for Pioneer Seed in Johnston, Iowa, Joe worked through the qualification process, evaluating land and construction requirements for their 500’ tower as well as researching and creating efficiencies around the latest in automated broadcast technologies.
“The broadcast system we developed for KSOI provides a virtually hands-off daily process,” said Hynek. “With music and show content cued up ahead of time and underwriter or volunteer content providers digitally uploading their spots, the time needed to run the station is reduced to just a few hours.”
Finally, in 2011, Joe had the green light to build the station on land just south of Afton and west of Murray, Iowa. With financial support from the Clarke County Development Corporation, The Cities of Osceola and Murray, as well as private donations and support from community members, the build-out started in November of that year and was completed, ready to start broadcasting content in August of 2012.
Marry Ellen and Dr. Jim Kimball, long-time supporters, and content providers for KSOI, brought the idea of the resolution to the attention of the Clarke County Board of Supervisors. In recognition of the 10th anniversary of the station’s first broadcast, MaryEllen campaigned to get the county’s commitment to deem the station the county’s “Official Radio Station.”
“We’re just as proud as can be of Joe and his family for their hard work and dedication,” said Mrs. Kimball. “Not only does KSOI provide entertainment and information to listeners throughout south-central Iowa, but it also builds awareness of our county and all the great things happening here.”
When asked about the future of the station, with streaming and other entertainment and information resources being developed almost daily, Hynek was quick to point out that the FM broadcast required no data and no cell service, offering access to anyone and everyone within the 11-12 county broadcast area. Calls from listeners working in the field to commuters driving down I-35 and I-80 have raved about the community-focused content and dependability of KSOI 91.9 FM. Listeners can count on the signal from Murray, Iowa for the latest in music, news with local and regional and information, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.