WTLC made its debut on 105.7 FM in January 1968 when a group of Marion County Democrats organized the Indianapolis Radio Corporation and took over the FCC license of financially plagued Waiv.

A close up view of a man sitting at a desk with radio equipment surrounding him.
Popular WTLC and WXLW disc jockey, Ricky Clark, 1974 Credit: Indianapolis Recorder Collection, Indiana Historical Society View Source

The station became the first in Indianapolis to provide 24-hour radio programming for African Americans. It captured a sizable following initially, but the stockholders soon split over the station’s management style and level of community service. A group led by Dr. Frank P. Lloyd formed Community Media in 1973 and bought out the former partners, which made WTLC a predominately Black-owned station.

During the 1970s, WTLC continued to provide a wide range of “Black music,” including soul, rhythm and blues (R&B), gospel, and jazz but made significant changes in other areas. The station instituted full-service news coverage and began programs such as “Tell It Like It Is” and “Mornings with the Mayor” (hosted by activist, journalist, and broadcaster Amos C. Brown Iii) to raise community awareness. It also sponsored a variety of community service projects.

Amos Brown is wearing headphones and speaking into a microphone.
Amos Brown during his WTLC-AM (1310) radio show, “Afternoons with Amos,” 2007 Credit: Kelly Wilkinson, IndyStar View Source

Broadcast Enterprises National, Inc., a Philadelphia-based, Black-owned radio chain, bought WTLC in 1981 and made few changes to its operations. Throughout the 1980s, the station consistently ranked fourth among Indianapolis radio stations due to its ability to reach 90 percent of the African American listening audience.

In 1987, WTLC was purchased by Panache Broadcasting of Philadelphia. While economics forced the station out of the full-service news business in 1992, it maintained its strong community service programming. WTLC added sister station 1310 AM (formerly the frequency of Wife) in August 1992 to meet the listening preferences of older African Americans.

In 1997, Panache Broadcasting sold WTLC to Indianapolis-based Emmis Broadcasting Corporation. Four years later, in 2001, Emmis sold the station to Urban One (formerly known as Radio One), a Black-owned broadcasting company based in Silver Spring, Maryland. This deal also included the purchase of sister station WTlC (1310 am). WTLC AM adopted an “Urban Gospel” format.

WTLC switched frequencies from 105.7FM to 106.7FM shortly after its purchase by Urban One. Despite this change, the station has continued to play “Black music” (mostly old school and contemporary R&B). It also continues to serve Indianapolis’ Black community through news services and community events.

Revised July 2021

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