|City||Earl Park, Indiana|
|Broadcast area||Lafayette, Indiana|
|Slogan||The True Oldies Channel|
|First air date||1983 (at 98.3)|
|Callsign meaning||W Iroquois Benton Newton|
|Former frequencies||98.3 MHz (1983-1988)|
|Owner||Brothers Broadcasting Corporation|
WIBN is an FM radio station licensed to the city of Earl Park, Indiana. The station operates on the FM radio frequency of 98.1 MHz, FM channel 251. The studios are located at 130 E. McConnell Street in Oxford, Indiana. The tower is located one mile east of Dunnington, Indiana, a small community in rural western Benton County.
WIBN signed on the air in 1983 at 98.3 on the FM dial originally built and owned by Frank and Sandra Hertel of Evansville, IN. The station originally broadcast at 3,000 watts and served specifically the communities of Earl Park, Fowler and Kentland. The studio and tower were both located in Earl Park. Initially, the format was a mix of country and Adult contemporary music. The station had stints doing each of the aforementioned formats exclusively throughout the 1980s.
By the mid-1980s, the station was purchased by Lafayette, Indiana radio pioneer Sidney Thompson. His company, known as IBN Broadcasting, began looking into ways to make the station more powerful as well as more profitable. The 98.3 frequency was very cluttered in northwestern Indiana at the time with three other stations occupying the frequency within a 100-mile radius of WIBN. In 1988, the FCC granted a request to move WIBN to 98.1 and strengthen its power from 3,000 watts to 25,000 watts. This power increase would also provide the station with primary coverage to larger Illinois towns such as Watseka and Hoopeston and secondary coverage to Greater Lafayette. Once the move to 98.1 was complete, WIBN became an Adult contemporary station with programming provided by Satellite Music Network's Starstation format.
In the mid-90s, Brothers Broadcasting Corporation, headed by John Balvich, purchased the station. The station maintained its affiliation with Starstation but renamed itself "Interstate 98" or "I-98" for short. As I-98, WIBN featured a mix of music, farm reports, and sports, both local and national.
In 2001, it was decided that a new direction was necessary for the station. It was widely speculated that WIBN would attempt to program toward the Lafayette market, especially as many former Lafayette radio personalities and managers were hired in to oversee operations. Format speculations ranged from alternative rock to hot AC. By the Spring, it was decided that WIBN would become Hot adult contemporary as B 98. However, the decision was pulled right before the launch when Lafayette's WNJY changed format and became B 102.9. The station remained I-98 and kept its affiliation with ABC Radio's Hits and Favorites format (formerly Starstation) until October 1, 2001 when the station flipped to Oldies as "98 Gold" utilizing ABC Radio Networks Pure Gold format.
Today, WIBN continues to program an oldies format and now uses Westwood One Networks Good Time Oldies. The station runs Brownfield farm reports and regional news. High school sports broadcasts run from Mid-August with one football game per week, including post-season action. Then from November thru March, high school basketball games feature Benton Central and other area teams.(WIBN carries both boys' and girls' basketball). WIBN also broadcasts from area 4-H county fairs.
In April 2010 WIBN's tower was knocked over by heavy farm equipment, which fell onto the building housing its transmitter, taking the station off the air. WIBN continued to stream online while the station was off the air. WIBN went back on the air at 8 pm on July 27, 2010.
In February 2014, Matt Wilson joined WIBN with Marvelous Matt in the Morning. Matt has fresh contests, plays some rare tracks and provides local sports score updates from 6am til 10am.
Matt left for about six months to pursue another interest in which time Charlie Harrigan came on to do mornings.
Matt returned in December 2015 to do afternoon drive.
Matt returned to mornings shortly thereafter and continues every weekday morning.
Maggie Brown was hired in 2016 to do afternoons as "Maggie B" on 98 Gold.
All Times Eastern
WIBN mainly plays pop hits from 1955-1979 with supplemental 80s tunes from popular 60s and 70s artists.
Weekday Mornings: Marvelous Matt. 6am - 11am EST. Weekday Afternoons: Maggie B. 3pm - 6pm
6am - 9am MK's American Hit List.
9am - 10:30am The Big Bargain Show.
8am-12Noon MK's Back to the 70's.
- WIBN Website
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WIBN
- Radio-Locator information on WIBN
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WIBN