The station began operations in June 1963 as WELL-FM at 96.5 megahertz, duplicating the programming of then-sister WELL/1400 (now WBFN). In 1964 WELL-AM-FM became WKFR-AM-FM; the AM station became Top 40 rocker "Keener 14" while the FM station, which also moved to 103.3 Megahertz, programmed Beautiful Music. In 1972 WKFR changed its calls to WKNR after those calls were dropped by the former WKNR in Detroit, but the FM station remained WKFR-FM. By the end of the 1970s, WKFR-FM had evolved from "good music" to an adult contemporary format. In 1981 WKFR finally inherited the Top 40 format from WKNR and has had it ever since.