|Broadcast area||Indianapolis metropolitan area|
|Branding||Fox Sports 1260|
|Affiliations||Fox Sports Radio|
Purdue University Sports Network
|WFBQ, WOLT, WZRL, W248AW|
First air date
|October 23, 1924(as WFBM)|
Former call signs
|1130 kHz (1924–27)|
1330 kHz (1927–28)
1090 kHz (1928–29)
1230 kHz (1929–41)
Call sign meaning
|NDE = "Indy"|
|Repeater(s)||94.7 WFBQ-HD2 (Indianapolis)|
WNDE (1260 kHz) is a commercial AM radio station in Indianapolis, Indiana. It is owned by iHeartMedia with the broadcast license held by iHM Licenses, LLC. WNDE broadcasts a sports radio format, with some afternoon talk programs, including The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show.
WNDE is powered at 5,000 watts. By day, it uses a non-directional antenna. But at night, to protect other stations on 1260 AM from interference, it switches to a directional antenna with a three-tower array. The transmitter is off Fall Creek Road in Indianapolis. Programming is also heard on the HD Radio digital subchannel of co-owned WFBQ 94.7 FM.
The station signed on as WFBM on October 23, 1924. It is the oldest radio station still operating in Indianapolis, and third oldest in the state of Indiana. It was started by the Merchants Heating & Light Co., later Indianapolis Power & Light. In its early years, it broadcast on 1130 kilocycles. In 1927, it moved to 1330 kHz, then to 1090 kHz in 1928, and to 1230 kHz in 1929. It arrived at its current frequency after the enactment of the North American Regional Broadcasting Agreement (NARBA) in 1941, when all stations in the United States at 1230 kHz were moved to 1260 kHz.
In 1949, WFBM-TV (now WRTV) went on the air in time to broadcast the 1949 Indianapolis 500 (May 30, 1949). The WFBM "family" grew on November 26, 1959, when WFBM-FM went on the air at 94.7 MHz (now WFBQ). In 1957, WFBM-AM-FM-TV were sold to Time-Life, Inc. McGraw-Hill bought the stations in 1972, and almost immediately put the radio stations on the market. The WFBM stations had been grandfathered when the FCC banned common ownership of television and radio stations, but lost that protection with the McGraw-Hill purchase.
In 1973, WFBM became WNDE, followed by WFBM-FM becoming WFBQ in Spring 1974. The WNDE call letters were chosen as the letters "NDE" phonetically sound like "Indy".
Through much of the 1960s and 70s, WNDE had a Top 40 format, using the identifier "Windy Twelve Sixty." WNDE and 1310 WIFE (now WTLC) had a spirited competition for youthful Top 40 listeners. But in the 1980s, contemporary music listening switched to the FM dial. WNDE needed to find a new format and eventually it switched to Sports Radio.
WNDE has been a Fox Sports Radio network affiliate since 2002. It had previously been an ESPN Radio affiliate on two occasions. In September 2012, the network switched from Fox Sports Radio to NBC Sports Radio in the 10 p.m.-5 a.m. weekday hours, remaining with Fox in other dayparts. Former hosts of the afternoon drive local show include former WISH-TV sports anchor and Hoosier Millionaire host Mark Patrick, the team of Tim Bragg & Bill Benner, Indiana Pacers announcer Mark Boyle, JMV (John Michael Vincent, currently with WFNI), IndyCar Radio announcer Jake Query, and Derek Schultz.
On July 7, 2015, WNDE added W248AW, an FM translator on 97.5 MHz. On July 22, 2019, the translator ended its simulcast. The next month, iHeart announced it was returning the translator originally owned by Christian radio company Educational Media Foundation back to that organization as part of a translator trade.
Most programming comes from the Fox Sports Radio network. In late mornings, it carries Premiere Networks' The Dan Patrick Show. And unusual for a sports radio station, it carries The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show from noon to 3 p.m. weekdays. Travis & Sexton are followed by a two-hour financial talk show. Sports programming resumes at 5 p.m. on weekdays.
WNDE's long-running local afternoon drive time show, "Query & Schultz", hosted by Jake Query and Derek Schultz, aired from 2011 to 2020. Query and Schultz were released in January 2020 as part of iHeart's cut backs. The 2020 iHeartRadio reduction in force (RIF) impacted over 1,000 employees across the USA.
On July 6, 2015, WNDE became the Indianapolis outlet for The Rush Limbaugh Show, which had been on WIBC for over two decades but whose carriage was ended for local programming. Coinciding with iHeart taking the show in-house to WNDE (the only choice it had locally due to incompatible music formats on iHeart's three other FM stations in the market), the company also acquired FM translator station W248AW 97.5 FM from the Educational Media Foundation to simulcast WNDE. The surrounding sports format did not change. Limbaugh began airing on WNDE the same day as the station rebranded to "Fox Sports 97.5." That FM simulcast ended in 2019 and WNDE became "Fox Sports 1260" (named for the AM frequency). When Limbaugh died in 2020 and Travis & Sexton succeeded him in the time slot, WNDE continued carrying the replacement program.
WNDE is the Indianapolis outlet for Purdue University football and men's basketball, sharing flagship status with Lafayette's WAZY. It also airs Westwood One's NFL and NCAA football and basketball coverage. After years of broadcasting Cincinnati Reds baseball, WNDE was briefly a part of the Chicago Cubs network in 2009 and 2010. In 2011, WNDE dropped NASCAR programming after many years, and began broadcasting Indianapolis Indians baseball.