|City||Battle Creek, Michigan|
|Branding||Family Life Radio|
|First air date||1926|
|Callsign meaning||Battle Creek's The Fan
|Former callsigns||WRCC (1/10/97-7/27/06)
WELL (c. 1930?-1964, 8/1/88-3/18/96)
|Affiliations||Family Life Radio|
|Owner||Family Life Broadcasting
(Family Life Broadcasting System)
AM 1400 is one of Michigan's oldest radio stations, signing on in the fall of 1926 as WKBP, broadcasting with 50 watts at 1420 kilohertz and owned by the Battle Creek Enquirer and News. By 1930, WKBP had changed its calls to WELL. WELL shifted from 1420 to its current dial position of 1400 kilohertz in 1941. An FM sister, WELL-FM (later WKFR-FM, originally at 96.5 but soon moving to 103.3), was added in June 1963.
In 1964, WELL became WKFR and switched its format from MOR musical fare to Top 40 as "Keener 14," inspired by the success of WKNR "Keener 13" in Detroit (now WDTW (AM)). After the Detroit station dropped the WKNR calls in 1972 in a sale and format change, WKFR became WKNR (however, its sister FM station did not change its calls and remained WKFR-FM). The Top 40 format at AM 1400 continued until about 1982, when it shifted to 103.3 WKFR-FM (which retains it to this day). WKNR-AM would feature an oldies format and also a simulcast of WKFR-FM's CHR format during the 1980s before reverting to the heritage WELL calls in 1988.
Prior to the current religious format, WBFN, known as "The Fan," had an all-sports schedule. The station previously carried the Music of Your Life adult standards format and was known as "Unforgettable 1400."
Clear Channel Communications agreed to transfer the license of WBFN to Cumulus Broadcasting as part of Clear Channel's private equity takeover, which required the new entity to conform to the FCC's market current ownership limits. Cumulus in turn agreed to donate the license for WBFN to Family Life Communications at it was also at the market ownership caps.. The FCC approved the transfer on December 20, 2007 , however the actual transfer was still contingent on the private equity takeover of Clear Channel, reportedly because the credit crunch was making its difficult for the private equity firms to raise the necessary funds.
WBFN signed on an FM translator in Battle Creek, W266CG 101.1 FM, in September 2014.
- "Peabody Awards for '46 Announced" (PDF). Broadcasting. April 21, 1947. Retrieved 26 September 2014.
- Query the FCC's AM station database for WBFN
- Radio-Locator Information on WBFN
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for WBFN