|City of license||Indianapolis, Indiana|
|Broadcast area||Indianapolis, Indiana|
|Frequency||93.1 (MHz) (also on HD Radio)|
|Translator(s)||107.5 W298BB (Indianapolis, relays HD2)|
|First air date||1961|
HD2: Sports (WFNI simulcast)
|Former callsigns||WIBC-FM (1961–1968)
(Emmis Radio License, LLC)
WIBC (93.1 FM) is a radio station owned by Emmis Communications in Indianapolis, Indiana. The studios are located at 40 Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis. The transmitter and antenna are located, according to the FCC, near Post Road and Burk Road on the far east side of Indianapolis. The station currently airs a news/talk format.
For over sixty-nine years, WIBC broadcast on the AM radio frequency of 1070 kHz. On December 26, 2007, WIBC's call letters and news/talk programming moved to 93.1 FM, a station which has had various call letters and formats since its sign-on in 1961. Also on that date, the 1070 AM frequency assumed the call letters WFNI and the nickname "1070 The Fan".
1070 AM WIBC went on the air on October 30, 1938 as a 1-kilowatt daytimer station. The other heritage stations in Indianapolis were WFBM (now WNDE), WIRE (now WXNT), and WISH/WIFE (now WTLC). In its early days, it was the Indianapolis home of the Mutual Broadcasting System. WIBC would be considered one of the greatest MOR (middle of the road) format stations placing a huge emphasis on personalities both on the air and in the producing of the station promos: During the '70s and into the early '80s there was: Gary Todd (mornings 6am-9am) brought in from KOL Seattle, Jerry Baker (9am-11am) who was also the voice of Indiana Hoosier basketball), Paul Page who served as an award-winning newsman at WIBC in the early '70s then flew the first Indy traffic helicopter until a serious crash nearly killed him in 1977 (He became the Voice of the Indianapolis 500 an moved to network television). Orly Knutson (middays-Noon-2pm) brought in from Minneapolis), Chuck Riley (from WKYC Cleveland) afternoons 2pm-6pm before becoming a very successful v/o talent in L.A. Others personalities who were on the air at WIBC were Big John Gillis (traffic from the Helicopter 1070), Pete Sullivan (from WHAS Louisville), Bob Simpson (WSNY Columbus) and Jeff Pigeon (KSTP Minneapolis) who went on to do Mornings after Gary Todd retired. There were 3 major production voices responsible for most of the stations promos at one time or another during the '70s & '80s: Billy Moore (deceased) from WHAS Louisville, KY., John E. Douglas (brought in from WNOX Knoxville) and Reb Porter, long time Indy personality from WIFE-AM.
A longtime fixture was former News Director Fred Heckman, who began with WIBC in 1957, abruptly resigning in 1993 under a dispute with its then-owners. WIBC became a talk radio station in 1993. He returned in 1994 after the station was purchased by Emmis, and remained until his 2000 retirement. His daily "My Town Indy" radio essays, which ran for thirty years, were among the station's most enduring favorites.
93.1 FM history
The Indianapolis station at 93.1 FM began life, coincidentally enough, as WIBC-FM in 1961 under a classical music format. On July 1, 1968, WIBC-FM was re-launched as WNAP. It was the first FM station in the Indianapolis market to broadcast as a Album Oriented Rock/Top 40 a.k.a. Rock 40 format, and was in direct competition with WIFE-AM. Later, in the '70s and early '80s, the station was nicknamed as "Stereo 93 FM WNAP The Buzzard".
On March 4, 1986, the format changed to a more rock-driven adult contemporary sound, and the call letters became WEAG using the name "Eagle 93." The format changed to classic hits with the call letters WKLR on August 14, 1987. On April 1, 1988 (April Fools' Day), WKLR changed from classic hits to oldies. Among WKLR's disc jockeys was current WIBC newsman Steve Simpson.
WNAP returned at 5 p.m. on Friday September 9, 1994, when WKLR changed back to a classic hits station with a strong focus on the "greatest hits of the 70s." WNAP later moved in a more classic rock direction playing "classic rock that really rocks" with Howard Stern in the morning. Despite on-air boasts that WNAP was going to "kick (competitor) Q-95's ass," the classic rock format was a failure.
After weeks of stunting, WNAP changed to contemporary hits on March 28, 2000, at 6 AM, with the call letters WNOU and the name "Radio Now." Radio Now's first song was "The Rockafeller Skank" by Fatboy Slim. The station received some national notice in November 2004, when its morning show conducted the first interview with Indiana Pacers player Ron Artest following the Pacers–Pistons brawl.
In 2006, WNOU launched a HD2 subchannel, dubbed "Orbital 93.1," which offered a Dance music format with emphasis on current and classic Dance product 24/7, but in 2007 it was replaced for one day with WNOU's Top 40 format. Orbital was discontinued with the switch to WIBC.
- WIBC 93.1 HD 1 is a digital simulcast of the FM analog (traditional) signal.
- WIBC 93.1 HD 2 now simulcasts WFNI 1070 AM.
Upon the demise of "Radio Now" on 93.1 at Noon on Monday, October 8, 2007, Radio One purchased the intellectual property of the station from Emmis Communications. The "Radio Now" branding, format and logo were installed on the new WNOU (formerly WYJZ 100.9 FM). Local Radio One management claimed that they will offer the displaced staffers of WNOU the first chance of joining the station's lineup, and will use the same imaging as the former WNOU. Emmis also claimed that they would release displaced RadioNow staffers from their "non-compete" contracts.
During the interim period between the demise of the Radio Now format and the debut of WIBC on 93.1 FM, the frequency was known as WEXM and was programmed with the stunting format the "93 Days of Christmas", in which Christmas music was heard for nearly 3 months. (The original plan was to air 93 days of the format from October 8 to January 8; however, the move from WEXM to WIBC was made nearly two weeks earlier than originally stated, dropping the Christmas music the day after Christmas).
The WNAP calls are now used at a gospel-formatted AM station licensed in Norristown, PA serving the Philadelphia market area.
Local news and talk
As of 2013, WIBC broadcasts four daily local programs: The Morning News with Steve Simpson. The show features Simpson, Terri Stacey and former Indianapolis Colts player Joe Staysniak; Garrison, hosted by local lawyer Greg Garrison; "Chicks on the Right" in afternoons and "Abdul at Large" at 6PM..
Staysniak had moved to the morning show in October 2008. He replaced Jake Query, who in turn replaced longtime WIBC fixture Jeff Pigeon (referred to as "Pidge" by the staff and listeners), who left the station October 1, 2007. Pigeon had been WIBC's morning host since taking over for Gary Todd in 1988, and prior to that had hosted the 7:00 p.m.-midnight shift when WIBC was still a full-service/music station. (Pigeon later resurfaced at oldies station WKLU.)
Staysniak previously co-hosted in the afternoon with Dave "the King" Wilson, whose show launched in the mid-'90s but ended in March 2009 due to budgetary cutbacks. At that time, Simpson's show moved from 6–8 PM to 3–7 PM.
WIBC was the AM flagship station of the NFL's Indianapolis Colts, simulcasting the games with sister station WLHK. In addition, WIBC was the flagship for the NBA's Indiana Pacers and the WNBA's Indiana Fever, and for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network, carrying the Indianapolis 500 since the network's creation in 1952, and the NASCAR Brickyard 400 since that race's 1994 debut. WIBC also aired Indiana University football.
Most of WIBC-AM's sports properties remained at 1070 (WFNI) when WIBC moved to FM (with WLHK remaining the FM flagship for the Colts and for IndyCar); however, on June 22, 2010, the Pacers announced an extension of their broadcast agreement with Emmis Communications which included their games moving to FM and back to WIBC, beginning in the 2010–11 season.
Beginning with the 2011–12 basketball season, WIBC replaced WLHK as the Indianapolis broadcast home of Indiana University basketball; in case of a conflict, Pacers games move to WFNI for the night.
Additionally, WIBC still airs Butler University basketball, IndyCar races and high school championship events that are bumped from WFNI due to conflicts.
Upon the move to FM, Mike McConnell was added to the daily schedule (replacing the former WIBC Sports Talk program), while Paul Harvey, who had been heard on WIBC since 1995, was dropped. McConnell was replaced in February 2008 with Clark Howard; as of 2011, the slot is held by John Batchelor. The Rush Limbaugh Show and Coast to Coast AM also air on WIBC.
It was announced on April 13, 2015 that WIBC was dropping Rush Limbaugh. Charlie Morgan, an executive for Emmis, indicated that the decision to drop Limbaugh was about the "long-term direction of the station," but also acknowledged that there was a "business element to the decision."
- 93.1 WIBC FM – It's A New Day
- "Timeline of key developments". Indianapolis Star. October 8, 2007. Retrieved June 2, 2013.
- Montieth, Mark (November 24, 2004). "Artest sidelined? No way". Indianapolis Star. Retrieved June 2, 2013.
- Associated Press (November 24, 2004). "Artest mixes regret with CD self-promotion". espn.com. Retrieved June 2, 2013.
- Smith, Erika D. (October 11, 2007). "WNOU revived; Radio One buys site". Indianapolis Star. Archived from the original on October 12, 2007.
- RadioNow Returns To Indianapolis : RadioInsight
- "WIBC will drop Harvey". Indianapolis Star. December 20, 2007.
- Emmis And Premiere Networks End Partnership In Indianapolis WMBF News 13 April 2015
- WIBC official website
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WIBC
- Radio-Locator information on WIBC
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WIBC
- Query the FCC's FM station database for W298BB
- Radio-Locator information on W298BB
- WIBC-AM history
- Indiana Radio Archive, WIBC
- Jeff Pigeon Leaving WIBC