Broadcast areaMadison metropolitan area
Frequency1310 kHz
BrandingNews/Talk 1310 WIBA
FormatConservative talk
AffiliationsFox News Radio
Compass Media Networks
Premiere Networks
Westwood One
Packers Radio Network
First air date
April 2, 1925 (1925-04-02)
Call sign meaning
"WIsconsin" and "BAdger Broadcasting" (former owner)
Technical information
Facility ID17384
Power5,000 watts
Transmitter coordinates
42°59′58″N 89°25′47″W / 42.99944°N 89.42972°W / 42.99944; -89.42972
WebcastListen Live

WIBA (1310 kHz) is a commercial AM radio station licensed to Madison, Wisconsin. Owned by iHeartMedia, the station airs a Conservative Talk format, under the slogan "Madison's News/Talk Station."

WIBA operates at 5,000 watts around the clock. By day, the station is non-directional but at night it uses a directional antenna to protect other stations on 1310 AM. The studios, offices and transmitter are located off South Fish Hatchery Road at Lacy Road in Fitchburg, Wisconsin.[1]


WIBA broadcasts mainly syndicated conservative talk shows. Most of the syndicated programming comes from Premiere Networks, a subsidiary of iHeartMedia, along with other programming from sister station WISN (1130) in Milwaukee. The first local show on weekdays is Madison in The Morning with Robin Colbert and Shawn Prebil. WISN's Dan O'Donnell follows, then Clay Travis & Buck Sexton, and local talk with Vicki McKenna (although sister WISN simulcasts her first hour) from 2 to 5 p.m. The remainder of the weekday schedule includes Sean Hannity, a best-of program featuring content from Madison in the Morning, then Mark Levin, Coast to Coast AM with George Noory and This Morning, America's First News with Gordon Deal.

Weekends feature shows on money, health and law, including syndicated shows from Dave Ramsey, Bill Handel, Somewhere in Time with Art Bell, Bill Cunningham, as well as repeats of weekday shows. Some paid brokered programming also airs.


WIBA serves as the flagship station for the Wisconsin Badgers radio network. It is also the Madison outlet for Green Bay Packers football broadcasts.


WIBA is one of the oldest radio stations in Wisconsin, first licensed on March 24, 1925 to the Capital Times Studio.[2] It signed on the air on April 2, 1925. It was owned by the Capital Times newspaper.

WIBA had its studios at 111 King Street. It eventually became an NBC Red Network affiliate.

Following the establishment of the Federal Radio Commission (FRC), stations were initially issued a series of temporary authorizations starting on May 3, 1927.[3] In addition, they were informed that if they wanted to continue operating, they needed to file a formal license application by January 15, 1928, as the first step in determining whether they met the new "public interest, convenience, or necessity" standard.[4] On May 25, 1928, the FRC issued General Order 32, which notified 164 stations, including WIBA, that "From an examination of your application for future license it does not find that public interest, convenience, or necessity would be served by granting it."[5] However, the station successfully convinced the commission that it should remain licensed.

On November 11, 1928, the FRC made a major reallocation of station transmitting frequencies, as part of a reorganization resulting from its implementation of General Order 40. WIBA was assigned to 1210 kHz.[6]

On October 8, 1935, the Federal Communications Commission authorized WIBA to increase its power to 5,000 watts (daytime) and 1,000 watts (nights).[7] On March 29, 1941, the station moved from 1280 kHz to 1310 kHz, its location ever since, as part of the implementation of the North American Regional Broadcasting Agreement.

In 1969, it added WIBA-FM at 101.5. At first, the FM station simulcast AM 1310. It eventually broke away, to start a free form rock format.

WIBA logo until March 2020
WIBA logo until March 2020

Throughout WIBA's history the station has gradually pivoted from a local news and sports outlet to primarily an outlet for syndicated conservative political programming with the morning news show the only remaining local programming aside from Badgers play by play. The station also retains Packers and Brewers play by play.[8]

Willard Waterman, who later gained fame playing the title role on The Great Gildersleeve, was a member of a quartet at WIBA in his early years in radio. In 1963, he recalled, "[W]e sang musical interludes between programs."[9] Johnny Olson, known for his announcing work with Goodson-Todman game shows, had his first radio job at WIBA.[1]


  1. ^ Radio-Locator.com/WIBA-AM
  2. ^ "New Stations", Radio Service Bulletin, April 1, 1925, page 4.
  3. ^ "List of broadcasting stations issued temporary permits", Radio Service Bulletin, April 30, 1927, pages 6-14.
  4. ^ "Extension of Broadcasting Station Licenses", Radio Service Bulletin, December 31, 1927, page 7.
  5. ^ "Appendix F (2): Letter to and list of stations included in General Order No. 32, issued May 25, 1928", Second Annual Report of the Federal Radio Commission for the Year Ended June 30, 1928, Together With Supplemental Report for the Period From July 1, 1928 to September 30, 1928, pages 146-149.
  6. ^ "Broadcasting Stations", Second Annual Report of the Federal Radio Commission (June 30, 1928), page 191.
  7. ^ "Actions of the Federal Communications Commission". Broadcasting. October 15, 1935. p. 61. Retrieved 14 April 2023.
  8. ^ "Mitch Henck: The latest casualty of corporate radio ownership".
  9. ^ Leadabrand, Russ (September 22, 1963). "A Pro in Evoking Stitches". Independent Star-News. p. 58. Retrieved June 13, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access