WIBW AM/FM

WIBW AM/FM

donor plaque

Arthur Capper, founded a Topeka radio station in 1922, WJAP, to go along with his newspaper interests, including the Topeka Daily Capital. The early media mogul's radio station did not succeed, however, and eventually closed. In 1927, Capper again tried to enter the radio market and sponsored the move of a Logansport, Ind. station to Topeka. The first day on air for IBW was May 8, 1927.  The station was sold by Indiana Broadcast Works and Capper fixed a "W" on the front of those initials. Thus, the WIBW call letters were born. 

The station initially broadcast from the Jayhawk Theatre stage. In 1934, the studio was moved to Capper's old home and remained there for nearly 20 years. The station had live acts to perform and did not switch to recordings until the 1960s. News, sports and agricultural reports became a staple for the station. During the 1940s, WIBW maintained an airplane to quickly send reporters and sports announcers around the state. In 1949, the plane crashed during a storm and killed three employees. It broadcasted Kansas State University football beginning in 1969 and held exclusive rights to the Kansas City Royals' games between 1973 and 1997. 

In the 1960s, WIBW added an FM station, which started out playing classical music, then shifting to rock, pop and finally to country. That station started out as 97.3, but was moved to 94.5, where it remains today. 

In 1956, WIBW was sold to Stauffer Communications. In 1995, it was sold to Morris Communications. The WIBW 580 AM station maintains talk-only programming, along with sports and agriculture.

- "WIBW looks to the future while remembering its legacy of 75 pioneering years on the radio" Topeka Capital-Journal article by Chris Moon