WBAA History

WBAA was licensed on April 4, 1922 as an AM station. Please take some time to browse through our long history. If you have additional details about our history, please email WBAA AM & FM.

Special thanks to Dave Samuelson and Aaron Fiddler who have assisted with the content of these pages.

New audio content was posted on November 30, 2012.

WBAA celebrates 90 years on the air

Apr 4, 2012

April 4, 1922 ~ WBAA AM is licensed by the U. S. Department of Commerce under Herbert Hoover. Ninety years later, the station is still going strong, along with companion stations 101.3 FM HD 1 and 2. Here is a video outlining the history of WBAA .

Read a new history of WBAA written by Jeanne Norberg, Voices of Purdue: Marking 90 Years of WBAA on Air , in the January/February 2012 issue of the Purdue Alumnus.

Before WBAA

Nov 17, 2011

The Purdue Exponent - Tuesday, September 7, 1920 Much Equipment Added to Station Radio Course to Be Opened Soon Experiments to Obtain Ideal Aerial for Radio Station Improve Results Much experimental work was carried on during the summer in an effort to secure the best possible type of aerial for the Purdue radio station. Because of the peculiar situation of the station, surrounded by tall buildings and trees, the problem which confronted Prof. R. V. Achatz, who is in charge of the station was...

April 4, 1922

Nov 17, 2011

WBAA received its license to operate on this date, April 4, 1922, however there was no notice in the news until later in the month. The Purdue Exponent - Tuesday, April 4, 1922 Conference Radio News Service to Suspend Operations Next Week The final test of the Western Conference Radio News Service will be made on next Monday evening. Atmospheric conditions are rapidly becoming worse, and the season for best radio operation is now over. In the test last night the Purdue station, 9YB, heard...

The Beginning of WBAA

Nov 17, 2011

The Purdue Exponent - Saturday, April 22, 1922 New License Issued Radio Station Here 9YB Classed as An Official Broadcasting Point and Designated W.B.A.A. W.B.A.A. is now the official call of the radio station at Purdue. Under the new radio laws, amateur transmitting stations have such restrictions placed upon them that the usefulness of the Purdue station was seriously endangered. To avoid these limitations, application was made and granted for a broadcasting license which permits the...

Broadcasting in the 1922-1923 School Year

Nov 17, 2011

The Purdue Exponent - Saturday, September 23, 1922 W.B.A.A. Broadcasts First Regular Program of Year - Modlin Chief Operator. The first regular scheduled broadcasting from the Purdue radio station was done last night at 8 oclock. The station was in charge of W. G. Modlin 23, chief operator of W. B. A. A. for the coming year. The program consisted of the reading of two-papers that are published at short intervals for broadcasting by radio. The papers are issued by the department of agriculture...

Broadcasting in the 1923-1924 School Year

Nov 17, 2011

The Purdue Exponent - Sunday, February 17, 1924 Purdue Union Will Broadcast Weekly Musical Programs Beginning About May 1, Campus Musical Organizations Will Be Invited to Furnish Programs. To Use Station WBAA. Room of New Union Building to Be Set Aside Permanently for Use as Broadcasting Station. Unless present plans miscarry, the Purdue Union will begin broadcasting weekly musical programs on about May 1, through the Purdue broadcasting station, WBAA. This announcement is made as the result...

WBAA Moves and Grows

Nov 17, 2011

October 2, 1928 WBAA is broadcasting at 1100 kHz with a power of 500 watts. The Federal Radio commission notified the station that effective November 11, 1928, WBAA would move to 1400 kHz. The station would share time on the same frequency with WKBF, Indianapolis, and WCMA, Culver, Indiana, both broadcasting with 500 watts...WBAA getting one-seventh of the time, WCMA two-sevenths, and WKBF four-sevenths. By now WBAA is in the new EE Building.

Broadcasting in the 1924-1925 School Year

Nov 17, 2011

The Purdue Exponent - Thursday, November 13, 1924 Agricultural Talks to Be Broadcasted Members of Agriculture and Extension Departments Will Speak Arrangements have been made to broadcast a series of talks on agricultural topics at the University radio station WBAA every Friday evening at 7:15 oclock. Most of the talks will be given by members of the agriculture extension departments. The first of these to be broadcasted tomorrow evening has for its subject, How to Make More Profits From...

Earliest License

Nov 17, 2011

July 31, 1930 This is the earliest station license in existence at WBAA. None of the earlier licenses survived.