WUKY's Mission

WUKY is a community-supported service of the University of Kentucky which provides high-quality news, cultural and entertainment content through the use of existing and emerging media to create a more informed and engaged community.

Updated January 2014

WUKY has adopted the Public Media Code of Integrity.


Well, we're old. 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 that aired on WHAS Louisville. In 1939 radio studios were built in McVey Hall, where the station still resides. The programs produced there could now be heard on six Kentucky stations, including Lexington’s WLAP.

Then, on October 17, 1940 at 7:30pm, history was made when WBKY went on the air in Beattyville with a 100 watt transmitter, becoming the nation’s first university-owned NCE (“non-commercial educational”) broadcast station designated by the FCC. WBKY moved its operations to Lexington in 1945 and 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 was the first university-owned FM radio station in America and Kentucky's first public radio station. We came to life on October 17, 1940 as WBKY, operating with a mere 100 watts in Beattyville, KY. In 1945, WBKY came to Lexington. In 1989, WBKY changed its call letters to WUKY to better reflect its affiliation with the University of Kentucky.

WUKY helped create National Public Radio and was one of the first stations to carry NPR's "All Things Considered" when it debuted in 1971. We're licensed to the University of Kentucky and serve the Lexington and and central Kentucky area with 100,000 watts. In early 2007, we became the first Lexington radio station to broadcast in HD - high definition digital radio. We also debuted our first web-only radio show, "tonic," in early 2007.

We air a diverse schedule. Our news comes from NPR and our own newsroom. Our music is Triple A (also known as Rock & Roots). We report to Friday Morning Quarterback's non-commercial Triple A panel. Our specialty music shows encompass Women's Music, Americana, Blues, World, and more. There's humor, arts, and culture here, too.

WUKY is supported by its membership. We want to extend our thanks to listeners who regularly give their financial support to the station. We also thank our program underwriters, the University of Kentucky, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, who, with our members, keep listener-supported radio, 91.3 WUKY, on the air.

Listen to some voices from WUKY's past here.

WUKY on Wikipedia