Call Letters: WIBW
City of License: Topeka, KS
Owner: Morris Communications
ERP: 5kw/5kw DA-N
WIBW hands off to KKSU|
1927-current - WIBW - News/Talk/Sports/Public Affairs/Farm
WIBW has essentially been the news and public affairs voice for Northeast Kansas for the better part of the 20th century, and into the 21st. WIBW started as the venture of an Indiana man. The calls were originally assigned to an Indiana station (IBW = Indiana Broadcast Works). The FCC allowed the formerly mobile station to become fixed, provided it moved to an underserved area. The station and call letters migrated west of the Mississippi River to Topeka, Kansas. WIBW is one of the most westerly stations with a "W" call sign. Capper Publishing Co. bought the station soon after it moved to Topeka. WIBW started at 1300 kHz, then moved to 580 kHz in 1929. Stauffer Publishing bought WIBW in 1957, and Morris Communications bought WIBW in 1994.
WIBW wasn't the only station on 580 kHz. They shared time with KKSU, a public radio station in Manhattan, Kansas. The stations alternated broadcasts more frequently in the first few decades. KKSU's time decreased to 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in 1961. The time share agreement ended in December of 2002, and KKSU left the air for good.
WIBW used to air Kansas State University sports. After losing a bidding war with Mid America Ag Network, WIBW went to court, using a clause in their time-share agreement with KKSU to keep broadcasting football. Initially the courts agreed and awarded both entities the rights, but WIBW backed off before the first game. KU sports moved to WIBW in 2006. WIBW also served as the Kansas City Royals flagship station for a while. In 2011, WIBW airs news/talk programs during the morning and midday, and sports talk in the late afternoon.