WBKR was originally founded and operated by the Hager Family, who were also the owners of the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer daily newspaper. The station's original call letters were W) O)wensboro M)essenger I)nquirer; the same as its current sister AM station, WOMI AM, also a heritage station founded in the late 1930's by the Hager Family. The stations remained in the hands of the heirs of the original owners until 1993 when both were sold to Evansville, Indiana based Brill Media.
Brill Media operated WOMI AM and WBKR FM and also bought the cross-town competition and longtime rival stations, WVJS AM and WSTO FM. Brill Media declared bankruptcy in 2002, and the stations were placed in the hands of a chapter 11 bankruptcy trustee who sold them. WOMI AM and WBKR FM were acquired by Regent Broadcasting Corporation based in Covington, Kentucky (Cincinnati). WSTO FM was purchased by South Central Communications Corporation of Evansville, Indiana which also operates WIKY-FM 104.1 MHz. WVJS AM 1420 kHz was purchased by the Cromwell Group, Inc., of Nashville, Tennessee which also operates WBIO-FM 94.7 in Owensboro.
WBKR is also known for its annual Telephone Pioneers Christmas Wish. This program involves not just monetary donations to needy families (who might not otherwise have much of a Christmas), but also listeners can participate in a program where they pick a family to buy Christmas presents for. The WBKR morning team, known as the Waking Crew, consists of Program Director Moon Mullins, Promotions Director Chad Benefield, and Jaclyn Graves. The WBKR Midday Show is hosted by Production Director Steve Horn. The WBKR Afternoon Show, featuring the 5 O'Clock Stampede, is hosted by Music Director Dave Spencer. At other times, listeners can also hear on-air personalities Barb Birgy, Erin Grant, Teresa Cook, Emily Carter, and Derek Wayne.
Brill Media Co. Buy Puts Four Owensboro, Ky., Radio Stations Under One Roof.(Originated from Messenger-Inquirer, Owensboro, Ky.)
Jan 21, 1997; Jan. 21--Owensboro's four oldest radio stations will be operating under one roof by the end of this week. Engineers have been...