CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – University of Northern Iowa Athletics and its multimedia rightsholder, Panther Sports Properties, announced today that News/Talk 1540 AM KXEL will continue to be the radio home for Panther programming when college sports resumes.
Concurrent with the 2020-21 collegiate athletics season, KXEL will bring Panther fans high-quality game broadcasts for football, men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball over the next three years. In addition, the station will carry the seasonal, one-hour coaches’ shows for football and men’s basketball.
“All of us at NRG Media are proud and excited to continue an honored tradition of bringing Panther Sports to UNI fans in the Cedar Valley and beyond. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Gary Rima as the voice of the Panthers,” said Mary Quass, UNI alumna and President and CEO of NRG Media LLC, which owns KXEL.
The relationship between UNI Athletics and KXEL dates back nearly 80 years, from the first-ever radio broadcast of Iowa State Teachers College football shortly after the station went on the air in 1942. KXEL has been the flagship station for the Panthers consistently since 1999.
The extended agreement between UNI Athletics and NRG Media LLC was secured by Panther Sports Properties – the local Learfield IMG College team which manages all aspects of the Panther Radio Network as part of the overall rights relationship.
“KXEL has proven to be an outstanding radio flagship for the Panthers, and we’re elated they’ve chosen to partner with us again, through the 2022-23 athletics season,” said UNI Director of Athletics David Harris. “Without question, it’s a challenging time for intercollegiate athletics, as with every other industry. It can’t be overstated how much our student-athletes and coaches will be ready to resume as soon as we are able, and we appreciate the support of everyone at NRG Media and KXEL for bringing our programming to fans when we get the official word to begin competing again.”
“When evaluating our broadcast partner moving forward, it was clear that NRG Media was the right choice for delivering quality programming, and to keep Panther content on the same radio home fans have known for over 20 years,” said Panther Sports Properties General Manager Brian Gabel.
NRG Media, LLC is dedicated to providing Great Local Radio and is committed to being an active and integral part of the communities in which it serves. NRG Media, LLC consists of 45 radio stations throughout four states in the Midwest – Iowa, Nebraska, Wisconsin, and Illinois. The company is headquartered in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and led by President/CEO Mary Quass.
Learfield IMG College unlocks the value of college sports for brands and fans through an omnichannel platform. The company’s extensive content and commerce solutions create unique opportunities for fan engagement. The Learfield IMG College suite of services includes licensing and multimedia sponsorship management; publishing, broadcasting, digital and social media; ticketing, ticket sales and professional concessions expertise; branding; campus-wide business and sponsorship development; and venue technology systems. Headquartered in Plano, Texas, the company has long had the privilege of being an advocate for intercollegiate athletics and the student-athlete experience. Since 2008, it has served as title sponsor for the acclaimed Learfield IMG College Directors’ Cup, supporting athletic departments across all divisions.