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

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 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."

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.

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.

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 o'clock. Most of the talks will be given by members of the agriculture extension departments.

Earliest License

Nov 17, 2011

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

Broadcasting in the 1925-1926 School Year

Nov 17, 2011

The Purdue Exponent - Thursday, October 15, 1925

WBAA to Broadcast Program Tomorrow

Concert to Feature Agricultural Talk and Selections By White's Dance Orchestra.

WBAA will broadcast the first evening program of the school year from the university radio station Friday night, beginning at 7:15 o'clock. The program will consist of an agricultural talk by some member of the faculty, followed by a concert of dance numbers by White's orchestra, and reading by Miss Olive Stallard.

Two Programs Each Week.

Broadcasting in the 1926-1927 School Year

Nov 17, 2011
Purdue Engineer

The Purdue Engineering Review, Vol. 22, No. 1, p. 11, November 1926

New Electrical Engineering Building - Local Institution Possesses Largest Building Devoted Exclusively to Instruction in Electrical Engineering, by M. M. Boyd, E. E. '28

Broadcasting in the 1927-1928 School Year

Nov 17, 2011

The Purdue Exponent - Friday, September 23, 1927

WBAA Announces Programs For October and November

273 Meter Wave Length, 500 Watts Will Be Used--To Broadcast Home Football Games.

Announcement of the October and November programs which will be broadcast from the University radio station WBAA, beginning Monday night, Sept. 26, has been made, and reveals that a number of interesting talks, entertaining musical and stunt programs, football games and weather and market reports will be placed on the air.

Broadcasting in the 1928-1929 School Year

Nov 17, 2011

The Purdue Exponent - Saturday, September 22, 1928

WBAA Reconstruction Nears Completion

Reconstruction work on WBAA is progressing rapidly and should put the University radio station back on the air in a short time. The rebuilding, under the direction of J. W. Stafford, was necessitated by a fire of several weeks ago which damaged much of the equipment.

Broadcasting in the 1929-1930 School Year

Nov 17, 2011

The Purdue Engineer, Vol. 25, No. 3, p. 98, December 1929

J. S. Stafford Attends Telephone Conference in Chicago

J. S. Stafford, of the E. E. Department, recently made a trip to Chicago where he met C. H. Bergmann of the Stromberg-Carlson Telephone Mfg. Co. Mr. Stafford, while he was there, also made tentative plans for a telephone conference with R. V. Achatz, arranged with Mr. Staterman, chairman, for telephone conference for next month.