WNAP-FM started the movement of young Circle City listeners to the FM dial when it aired in July 1968. Indianapolis-based Fairbanks Broadcasting (see Fairbanks Communications owned WNAP along with WIBC, and WNAP originally was designed to protect WIBC by taking listeners from the then-dominant AM station in the market, WIFE. WNAP offered an alternative to traditional Top-40 stations by playing an assortment of rock music seldom heard on AM radio. The station’s young air staff came from the Indiana University campus radio station in Bloomington. WNAP was particularly popular with college-age students, and one of its first promotional items was a black and white poster featuring a peace sign. The station became particularly visible in the 1970s, sponsoring an annual raft race on the White River north of Broad Ripple, and adopting the nickname “The Buzzard.” Each hour, the station would identify itself as “The Wrath of the Buzzard—WNAP, Indianapolis.”

With increased competition for young adult listeners on the FM dial in the early 1980s, the station declined in the ratings. In 1985, the WNAP call letters were replaced by WEAG, a new format, and a station moniker of “The Eagle.” The contemporary hits format accompanying the change was unsuccessful, though, and another change came in 1988 when the station adopted an oldies format and the new call letters WKLR. In addition, the station had been under the ownership of Sconnix Broadcasting since 1987.

On September 9, 1994, WKLR reverted to its WNAP call letters and transitioned to playing classic hits of the 1970s and classic rock to challenge WFBQ’s dominance throughout the 1990s.

*Note: This entry is from the original print edition of the Encyclopedia of Indianapolis (1994). We seek an individual with knowledge of this topic to update this entry.

Revised January 1994

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