The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

KRUI at 40: Where are they now?

The university’s student-run radio station has put out many notable alumni and has recently celebrated 40 years.
Ethan McLaughlin
‘Blist Her’ performs during the KRUI 40 Mission Creek event in the Iowa Memorial Union Hawkeye Room in Iowa City on Saturday, April 6, 2024.

KRUI, the University of Iowa’s student-run radio station, celebrated its 40th anniversary this weekend with a self-titled “birthday bash.”

The two events featured an Iowa Memorial Union celebration in the afternoon and a concert in the evening in conjunction with the annual Mission Creek Festival.

KRUI’s 40-year run began in 1952 as a small broadcasting station known as KWAD, named after the torn down Quadrangle dorm. As KWAD grew, it was rebranded to KICR in 1968, and rebranded again to KRUI in 1976. On March 28, 1984, KRUI broadcasted on 89.7 FM for the first time, and the rest is history.

Kembrew McLeod, a professor of communication studies at the UI, has acted as the KRUI faculty advisor for 24 of the 40 years that KRUI has been on the air. McLeod wrote in an email to The Daily Iowan that he believes KRUI has endured because of the time, energy, and passion students have poured into it over the years.

Many of these passionate students have graduated and gone on to achieve great success. One notable alum, Scott Heiferman, attended the university from 1990-94 and co-founded the social network MeetUp in 2002.

John Barker, a former general manager for KRUI, worked for a company Heiferman started in the late 1990s and described him as “a legend in the dotcom era” in an email to the DI.

Max Tash, who graduated in the 1960s and was involved with KWAD, became a producer on the sitcom “WKRP in Cincinnati,” and went on to stay in the television industry.

Perhaps the most influential figure in KRUI’s history is Pete Koenig, who started cultivating the organization in 1981 and helped it see its FM debut in 1984.

Another well-known KRUI alum currently working in the entertainment industry is Brook Maurio, better known by her stage name Diablo Cody. Cody went on to find success as a writer and producer of film and stage, penning notable films such as “Juno,” “Jennifer’s Body,” and this year’s “Lisa Frankenstein.”

McLeod further stated that he believes the energy that the 40th-anniversary event has generated among the station staff has created momentum that will carry the organization into the future for years to come.

“KRUI will continue to evolve as students find new ways to reimagine what a radio station can be,” he wrote. “It will continue to be an important resource for fostering community on campus and in the surrounding area.”

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About the Contributor
Grant Darnell, Arts Reporter
Grant Darnell is a second year student at the University of Iowa double majoring in English and Creative Writing and Screenwriting Arts. He is currently an Arts Reporter for the Daily Iowan.