Only Radio Station in Iowa Under Ownership of the Chamber of Commerce

EMMETSBURG, Iowa- A few years back Emmetsburg’s longtime radio station moved out-of-town to nearby Spencer. That left the town without a voice for events, school athletic teams, and Senior Citizen events.

Former radio station owner, John Schad came forward with an idea. His company had developed radio automation systems for radio stations all over. He gave the community a “radio station in a box.” The town applied for an landed a low power radio station. The adopted the call letters of the station, which left town, KEMB-LP

Deb Hite, a former store owner in Emmetsburg was hired to run the Chamber of Commerce. That also included running the radio station.

“At first I have no concept, my second day on the job seven years ago, the radio station went completely down,” said Hite “I had no clue what I was doing in the Chamber, much less a radio station.”

The station subscribes to a syndicated music service, and runs announcements for school and senior citizen center events. The station also finds volunteers to do play by play of games.

KEMB-LP is the only station in Iowa owned by a chamber of commerce.

“I researched it online thru the FCC there’s one in Baton Rouge Louisiana, there’s one in California, and there’s one in Alaska, and us, so were one of the very few,” said Hite.

The station does sell sponsorships for various events. A big one upcoming is the St. Patricks Day Parade. The town is known for it’s annual celebration, and has an Irish Blarney Stone on the Courthouse lawn.

Hite is able to run the station with help of a part-timer, Jeremy Ward, who has a day job as Residence Director at Iowa Lakes Community College.

“I had a background in radio there were years ago are used to work at the radio station in Deborah Iowa 100.5,” said Ward. “Deb does a great job getting weather related stuff on, so people know when schools are out or things are canceled here in town.”