WUWM signed on the air in September 1964. Originally a student laboratory, it took on a more professional look with the formation of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. It was a charter member of NPR in 1971. However, its signal was spotty at best outside of Milwaukee's East Side. That changed in 1978, when WITI donated space on its tower, giving it a fairly decent signal throughout the Milwaukee area. Originally limited to 1,500 watts due to a glut of stations on the lower end of the FM dial in the Chicago-Milwaukee-Madison axis, a change in FCC regulations allowed it to eventually increase its power to 15,500 watts, giving it a signal comparable to the other major stations in Milwaukee.