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CityLexington, Kentucky
Broadcast areaLexington-Fayette
BrandingNPR Rocks @ 91.3
Frequency91.3 MHz (also on HD Radio)
First air dateOctober 17, 1940
FormatAdult Album Alternative/NPR
ERP100,000 watts
HAAT237.4 meters
Callsign meaningUniversity of KentuckY
Former callsignsWBKY (1940-1989)
Kentucky Public Radio
OwnerUniversity of Kentucky

WUKY (91.3 FM) is the flagship National Public Radio station in Lexington, Kentucky. Owned by the University of Kentucky, it is an Adult Album Alternative station that airs more than 100 hours of music per week, in addition to programming from NPR, Public Radio International, the BBC, and American Public Media. Studios are located in McVey Hall on the UK campus.


The station's original home office, the former Beattyville Grade School

WUKY began broadcasting on October 17, 1940 as WBKY, a 100-watt "Apex band" station on 42.9 MHz in Beattyville.[1] However, the station soon ran into technical and financial problems, and suspended operations after June 27, 1941.[2] The original program director was Ruth Foxx Newborg, and from the beginning the station has been owned by University of Kentucky. In 1945 the station was reactivated as an FM station, still transmitting at 42.9 MHz, and the operation moved to its current home in McVey Hall at UK. The station helped create NPR, and was one of the 90 stations that carried the inaugural broadcast of All Things Considered when it debuted in 1971. On October 1, 1989; WBKY changed its call letters to WUKY to better reflect its affiliation with UK.[3]

Longtime All Things Considered host Noah Adams began his career at WBKY.

WUKY is supported by its listeners, who give regularly to the station. It also receives funding from UK, as well as the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and its underwriters. Its main competition is WEKU, owned by Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond. Lexington is one of the smallest markets with two competing full NPR member stations.

The station celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2015.

HD Programming[edit]

In 2006, WUKY built a new HD Radio-capable tower at Clays Ferry on the Kentucky River. It is the first HD Radio station in Lexington, and the first to multi-cast. It now streams three digital channels.

  • HD1 is a simulcast of the analog signal,
  • HD2 simulcasts the Jazz 24 all-jazz service from KNKX in Tacoma, Washington,[4]
  • HD3 airs BBC News


WUKY carries shows from NPR, including All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!. The station is well known for its eclectic music mix, "Rock & Roots," which airs from 9-4 weekdays.WUKY also airs other syndicated shows, and diverse, locally produced programs for fans of blues, female rock, Americana, and world music. The combination of news programming and indie rock is expressed in the station's slogan: "NPR Rocks @ 91.3."

The station reports its music airplay to Friday Morning Quarterback's Triple A panel and to TripleARadio.com.


  1. ^ "WBKY Goes On Air Waves For First Time" by Gerald Griffin, Louisville Courier-Journal, October 18, 1940, page 24.
  2. ^ "Educational Radio's First Rural Radio Station" Public Telecommunication Review, September–October 1979.
  3. ^ "History". WUKY. Retrieved July 24, 2012.
  4. ^ http://hdradio.com/station_guides/widget.php?id=100 HD Radio Guide for Lexington-Fayette, KY

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°52′44″N 84°19′34″W / 37.879°N 84.326°W / 37.879; -84.326