It was 83 years ago this week: WUKY celebrates another birthday
October 17 is an important day in the history of WUKY. The station formerly known as WBKY signed on for the first time on October 17, 1940. In 2015 to mark the station's 75th anniversary, we produced a special edition of Saving Stories with Dr. Doug Boyd from the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History in the UK Libraries. By the way the Nunn Center is celebrating it's 50th anniversary in 2023.
A brief history of WBKY/WUKY:
The University of Kentucky began experimenting with radio as early as 1921 with station 9YC. By 1929 radio production on campus was in full swing, including a series of shows for “farmers & housewives across Kentucky” produced by the College of Agriculture and aired on WHAS in Louisville. In 1939 radio studios were built in McVey Hall, where the station remained for nearly 80 years, until our recent move to new facilities at 2640 Spurr Road.
Then, on October 17, 1940 at 7:30 pm, history was made when WBKY went on the air for the first time from Beattyville KY. Our state-of-the-art 100 watt transmitter made WBKY the nation’s first university-owned non-commercial educational radio station.
WBKY relocated to Lexington in 1945, at which time we began broadcasting on the brand new FM band. We changed our call letters to WUKY in 1989 to better reflect our connection to the University of Kentucky.
WUKY helped create National Public Radio and was one of the first stations to broadcast NPR's All Things Considered when it debuted in 1971. In 2007, we became the first Lexington radio station to broadcast in HD – high definition digital radio. Today we offer three distinct program services via HD, WUKY.org, and our free phone iPhone and Android apps.
WUKY is powered by YOU and over 3,000 other listener-members across the Central Kentucky region. Thank you for your financial support! Thanks also to our program sponsors, the University of Kentucky, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, who, with our members, keep listener-supported radio, 91.3 WUKY, on the air.