The station first signed on in 2000. Before then, Waco had been the largest market in the nation without an NPR station. In 2003, KWBU-FM was the first radio station in Waco to broadcast a high definition radio signal, also known as HD radio. When sister PBS member station KWBU-TV closed its doors in 2010 due to budget shortfalls, KWBU-FM remained in operation.
The station operates at only 2,750 watts from a tiny 492-foot tower near Hewitt--in both cases, fairly modest for a full NPR member on the FM band. This may be to protect KSSM in Copperas Cove, located at adjacent 103.1 FM. As a result, the station's signal doesn't make it too far out of McLennan County. In many surrounding cities, such as Temple and Killeen, the station is barely listenable.