WBKR was originally founded and operated by the Hager Family, who were also the owners of the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer daily newspaper. The station's original call letters were W) O)wensboro M)essenger I)nquirer; the same as its current sister AM station, WOMI AM, also a heritage station founded in the late 1930s by the Hager Family. The stations remained in the hands of the heirs of the original owners until 1993 when both were sold to Evansville, Indiana-based Brill Media.
Brill Media operated WOMI AM and WBKR FM and also bought the cross-town competition and longtime rival stations, WVJS AM and WSTO FM. Brill Media declared bankruptcy in 2002, and the stations were placed in the hands of a chapter 11 bankruptcy trustee who sold them. WOMI AM and WBKR FM were acquired by Regent Broadcasting Corporation (now Townsquare Media) based in Covington, Kentucky (Cincinnati). WSTO FM was purchased by South Central Communications Corporation of Evansville, Indiana, which also operates WIKY-FM 104.1 MHz. WVJS AM 1420 kHz was purchased by the Cromwell Group, Inc., of Nashville, Tennessee, which also operates WBIO-FM 94.7 in Owensboro.
WBKR is also known for its annual Telephone Pioneers Christmas Wish. This program involves not just monetary donations to needy families (who might not otherwise have much of a Christmas), but also listeners can participate in a program where they pick a family to buy Christmas presents for.
The WBKR morning team, known as the Waking Crew, consists of Program Director Moon Mullins, Promotions Director Chad Benefield. Moon Mullins was inducted into the Country Radio Hall of Fame in 2009.
The WBKR Midday Show is hosted by Jaclyn Graves, who is a local country singer as well. The WBKR Afternoon Show, featuring the High Five, is hosted by Music Director Dave Spencer. At other times, listeners can also hear on-air personalities Barb Birgy, Erin Grant, Jordan Winders, and Emily Carter.