On September 1, 1961, WIBW-FM signed on the air at 97.3 Mhz, and located with sister stations, WIBW-AM and WIBW-TV at 560 SW 6th Avenue in Topeka. Licensed by Stauffer Communications of Topeka, the FM station at first programmed classical music.
The FM station shares its history with WIBW-AM and TV. The call letters were purchased by Capper in 1927 from a portable field station in Logansport, Indiana. The Federal Radio Commission at the time approved the move of some portable stations to underserved areas. Now the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the agency assigns stations beginning with the letter W east of the Mississippi River, and K west of the Mississippi. WIBW-AM signed on the air in Topeka, Kansas, May 8, 1927, and converted to stationary operation on January 14, 1928, broadcasting from Jayhawk Theater in downtown Topeka. Capper later operated out of his former home on Topeka Boulevard. He later added the television property to his holdings. Stauffer Publications acquired the Capper properties in 1957, which included WIBW-AM, WIBW-TV, and the Topeka Daily Capital.
During the 1970s WIBW-FM switched to a Top 40 format to become “Rock 97,” and “The Rock of Kansas.” The station made a switch to a country music format in the 1990s. The station’s large, red remote truck, which looked like a boombox, was used for radio remotes.
WIBW-FM was among the properties sold by the Stauffer family to Morris Communications on July 7, 1994. Morris sold the television properties, and became the licensee of WIBW-AM and WIBW-FM and KGNC-AM/FM in Amarillo, Texas, in 1997. In 2000 WIBW-FM moved to 94.5 MHz and became Topeka Most and Best Country. The station is still owned and operated by Morris Communications.
Author: Kansas Historical Society
Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.
Date Created: July 2013
Date Modified: July 2014
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