WKAR is a National Public Radio member station in East Lansing, Michigan; broadcasting at 870 kHz. It is owned by Michigan State University, and carries news and talk shows from NPR. It is part of MSU's Broadcasting Services Division, and is a sister station to the FM radio and television stations with the same call letters. Its studios and offices are located in the Communication Arts and Sciences Building, at the southeast corner of Wilson and Red Cedar Roads on the MSU campus.
The station dates to experimental broadcasts at Michigan State, then known as Michigan Agricultural College, beginning in 1917. MAC was granted a full license on August 18, 1921. After a year of planning, WKAR went on the air for the first time on August 18, 1922; the call letters stand for K(C)ollege of AgricultuRe. It was the only radio station in the Lansing area until 1934.
Originally broadcasting at AM 1050, it moved to 1080 in 1928. It moved to 1040 in 1930 to alleviate interference with KRLD in Dallas, but had to move to its current home on 870 in 1939 (some sources say 1936) to protect WHO in Des Moines.
The station is one of the few NPR stations that does not operate 24 hours a day. It must sign off at sundown to protect WWL-AM in New Orleans. During the winter months, it generally signs off between 5 pm and 6 pm, returning to the air at 8 am. During the summer months, it generally signs off at 8 pm and returns to the air at 6 am. However, Lansing is still able to receive 24-hour NPR service because WUOM in Ann Arbor, the flagship of Michigan Radio, decently covers Lansing. The station also simulcasts many NPR shows with its FM sister.