CityTopeka, Kansas
Broadcast areaTopeka metropolitan area
Frequency94.5 MHz
BrandingThe BIG 94.5 Country
OwnerAlpha Media
(Alpha Media Licensee LLC)
First air date
September 1, 1961 (at 97.3 MHz)
Former frequencies
97.3 MHz (1961-2002)
Call sign meaning
None, sequentially assigned to AM station
Technical information
Facility ID63174
ERP100,000 watts
HAAT351 meters (1152 ft)
WebcastListen Live

WIBW-FM (94.5 MHz) is a commercial FM radio station in Topeka, Kansas. It is owned by Alpha Media and airs a country radio format. The studios and offices are on SW Executive Drive in Topeka.[1] The transmitter is off Windy Hill Road in Maple Hill.[2] WIBW-FM broadcasts at the maximum power for non-grandfathered FM stations in the U.S., 100,000 watts.[3]

The station serves as the primary Emergency Alert System station for the state of Kansas along with sister station 106.9 KTPK. WIBW-FM, along with co-owned 580 WIBW and one-time sister station Channel 13 WIBW-TV are unusual in having call signs beginning with a "W", while all other stations in Kansas have "K" call signs. The reason is that the AM station was originally established in Indiana in 1925, a state in W territory. WIBW kept its call letters when it moved to Topeka, which it has kept to this day. And the Federal Communications Commission allows co-owned FM and TV stations to share the same call sign, even if the call letters do not conform to current policy for that state.


Rock and Top 40 days

On September 1, 1961, WIBW-FM signed on the air at 97.3 MHz.[4] It was owned by the Topeka Broadcasting Association, a subsidiary of Stauffer Publications. The company also owned AM 580 WIBW and Channel 13 WIBW-TV, along with a daily newspaper, The Topeka Capital-Journal. At first, WIBW-FM simulcast the AM station. But in the late 1960s, the FCC was encouraging AM-FM radio stations to offer different programming. WIBW-FM switched to an album rock sound known as "Rock 97 and "The Rock of Kansas."

Over time, the rock hits format moved in the direction of Top 40, promoted as 97fm.[5] The FM studio was across the hall from the control room which managed both the AM station and the Kansas City Royals radio network when WIBW held the baseball team's broadcast rights.[6]

Country Music

In 1990, WIBW-FM flipped to country music.[7] The station became known for a bright red remote truck which looked like a boombox.[8]

The WIBW-AM-FM-TV studios for decades were located at 5600 SW 6th in West Topeka. That building received heavy damage from fire January 5, 2012.[9]

Until 2002, WIBW-FM was located at 97.3 MHz. The station moved its frequency to 94.5 MHz to make way for a new move-in station in Kansas City, Kansas.

St. Jude's Hospital and other events

Each year, WIBW-FM holds a radiothon where all proceeds go to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. It is usually run on a Thursday and Friday in February, from 6 am to 7 pm, at a Hy-Vee supermarket at 29th and Wanamaker. DJs do there programs from the store. Interviews are conducted with "ambassador families" during the broadcast, telling how they benefited from the St. Jude's Hospital.

94.5 Country also sponsors the Country Stampede Music Festival held each year in Manhattan, Kansas, where all proceeds go to benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.[10]

See also


  1. ^ WIBWnewsnow.com/contact
  2. ^ Radio-Locator.com/WIBW-FM
  3. ^ FCC.gov/WIBW-FM
  4. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1961-1962 page B-67
  5. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1980 page C-87
  6. ^ WIBW-FM History
  7. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1991 page B-128
  8. ^ "WIBW-FM - Kansapedia - Kansas Historical Society". Kshs.org. Retrieved 2015-08-29.
  9. ^ WIBW stations old building receives heavy damage from January 2012 Fire
  10. ^ Big 94.5 Country to air St. Jude's Radiothon

Coordinates: 39°01′34″N 95°55′02″W / 39.0261°N 95.9172°W / 39.0261; -95.9172