In October 1963, Radio One Five Hundred Inc., a subsidiary of New York City-based brokerage firm Edwin Tornberg and Co., chose Indianapolis for its first radio station because it was a typical American market. The station, broadcasting from its studios at 4802 East 62nd Street, first aired as WNDY in January 1964, with a popular music format. Later in 1964, when local operators became delinquent on their agreement to fund the station, Tornberg and his associates Edward Wetter and Douglas D. Kahle bought and managed the station.

The new owners, representing three major faiths, changed the call letters to WBRI, “Wonderful Bible Radio of Indiana,” and adopted an all-religious program format, operating at 1500 AM and 96.7 FM. WBRI offers the oldest all-religious programming in Indiana, featuring nationally known religious leaders. Many programs, such as Back to the Bible, Chapel of the Air, Haven of Rest, and Heaven and Home Hour, are independently produced and nationally syndicated for the radio audience. Locally produced programs include the Challenge of Faith Hour, offered by the Faith Assembly of God in Beech Grove, and Gospel Light with Rev. Ray Hampton, both of which have aired for 30 years.

WBRI has maintained the same format for over 50 years. WBRI plays no music. Popular programming has included a national call-in program, Point of View, and a local talk show, Focus, that addressed social and religious issues affecting the evangelical community. In 2004, the Wilkins Radio Network, which owns 39 stations located nationwide, purchased WBRI and has maintained its following.

Between 1980 and 2003, WBRI added adult Christian contemporary music to its programming with the purchase of WXIR (98.3 FM). WXIR broadcast in stereo 24 hours daily.

For nearly 20 years WXIR, known as Love98, was one of the leading contemporary Christian music stations in the United States. In 2003, Walt Disney Company purchased its license.

Revised June 2021

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