Today Is National Radio Day

(BEDFORD) – On August 20, we’ll be coming to you on all frequencies for National Radio Day.

Radio is far from dead and increasingly appreciated for its vintage and fantastic content.

 1340 AM WBIW, Super Oldies 105.5 WQRK, and Lite FM 102.5 WPHZ have been serving Lawrence and surrounding counties since 1948.

Though today radio is great for busting the daily commute blues, keeping us up on the news, and preventing us from drifting off during road trips, it was once life-changing technology.

Radio globally changed the way people interacted with the news, the government, and each other. From news anchors to FDR’s Fireside Chats that kept the nation going through rough times, radio has filled key gaps and done a lot of social good. Not to mention, it’s frequently used by the military and government to keep our country safe and for navigation. Radio has undeniably made its mark on the world.

Are you part of the 71% of people who listen to the radio in the car? We all know radio is not only what keeps you awake on a long road trip, but also what keeps you interested, learning new things, or singing along. We love radio because it helps us perfect our voices when we’re belting it out on the commute.

It’s where you heard your favorite song. Whether it was alternative, country, or classic rock, everyone has felt that pause when a great beat comes on the radio, and you just know it’s about to be your favorite song. Credit to the radio for helping us all experience new songs we might otherwise not have found.

Left to right Sarah Turpen, Sean Duncan, Jeremy Newbold 

We all have a favorite radio station. You know, that one that just knows when you need to hear a sad song? Shares your exact political views? Has the best up to date news. That telepathically plays the song you were JUST thinking about? Celebrate your station by giving them a boost on social media with the hashtag #NationalRadioDay. Last year, more than 200,000 tweets with that hashtag were sent out, and organizers are hoping to beat their record!

History of National Radio Day

Though we typically attribute the invention of the radio to Gugliemo Marconi in the 1890s, the process spanned decades, with many scientists making small but significant contributions to the understanding of electromagnetic induction, electric conduction, and radio waves. For example, Heinrich Rudolph Hertz discovered radio waves in the 1880s, which helped prove a theory of electromagnetism put forth by James Clerk Maxwell in 1873. 

It took quite a bit of time after the discovery of the radio for the technology to be used as communication – this was both because the inventors hadn’t yet realized the practical and life-changing applications of their development and because there were many more components needed to transmit and detect electrical waves. However, Marconi finally figured out a way to communicate with radio long-distance, and he takes the credit for the invention of what we think of as the radio today. 

Public radio broadcasting has its own inventor and that’s Lee de Forest. He transmitted the first public radio broadcast, which featured the voices of opera stars, in 1910. De Forest’s Radio Telephone Company went on to manufacture the first commercial radios which could pick up a signal from miles away. 

Obviously, radio was huge for music and changed the landscape of the industry immediately. News took to the radio, as well, and announcers could quickly hop on air to deliver the happenings of the day to a massive audience. The first radio news program was broadcast on August 31, 1920, out of Detroit – at a station that survives today as WWJ. In the early 20th century, radio also began to be used for broadcasting sports, aiding telephone services, and even navigating by airplane. 

With the digital revolution and the wireless era, radio changed and adapted. Today, though radio is used for a variety of functions, it no longer holds its former top slot in entertainment and news media. With television, the internet, and more, it’s hard for radio to compete in that space – but people still love it, and it doesn’t look like radio is going away anytime soon. In fact, we appreciate radio even more these days for its old-school vintage.

National Radio Day Timeline

Radio Online

The first online radio station, Radio HK, was born in 1995. At the time, it was on the cutting edge of technology.

FM who?

FM radio made its first appearance in 1939.

Halloween Hoax

When famous director Orson Welles broadcast a radio piece that read excerpts from H.G Wells’ “War of the Worlds,” unsuspecting listeners thought it was real news, and that the planet was being attacked by aliens.

Radio Enables the Fireside Chats

Proving it’s more than a medium to broadcast sporting events and news, radio served the United States as President Roosevelt held radio “Fireside Chats” to help lead the Nation through the Great Depression and World War II.

The Prototype

Nicola Tesla came up with an early design for a radio long before Marconi got his hands on the technology.

National Radio Day – Survey Results

Info gathered by one of the top Nashville PR Firms:

5 Fun Facts About Radio

  1. AM? Hm?AM stands for Amplitude Modulation and FM stands for Frequency Modulation – we learned something new today!
  2. W vs KDid you know that radio stations West of the Mississippi River use K as the first letter in their call signs, while those to the East use W?
  3. All Christmas, All YearIn case you like singing along to “Let it Snow” in July, tune in to, which is in its 12th year of broadcasting.
  4. Shopping & RadioFor 62% of shoppers, they’ve been listening to the radio just 14 minutes before heading in the store – what an advertising opportunity.
  5. Not Out of Style71% of people surveyed – that’s more than ⅔ – say they listen to the radio in their car. Do you?

After more than half a century, 1340 AM WBIW remains in touch with Lawrence and surrounding counties, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The Area News Leader

The Voice of the Hoosier Hills, 1340 AM WBIW, is the area news leader. Every weekday we take a look at the news and issues happening right here Lawrence County and throughout Southern and Central Indiana.

1340 AM WBIW also brings you national news on the hour, every hour, from our partners at Fox News Radio Network. State news is provided by our partners at Network Indiana.

And finally, 1340 AM WBIW partners with The Weather Channel to bring you the latest, up to date, weather forecast 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And when severe weather strikes, our coverage is second to none.

Bedford’s Place To Talk

1340 AM WBIW features the most popular talk shows every weekday including…

The Morning Update
Start your mornings with news, weather sports and more; featuring the biggest names in the radio industry.

Talk of the Town
Join us for conversations about the news people are talking about.

The Dave Ramsey Show
Dave offers life-changing financial advice

The Rush Limbaugh Show
Rush heads the nation’s leading talk show

Dr. Joy Browne
Dr. Joy Browne is America’s leading radio psychologist

The Jason Lewis Show
Jason takes on the day’s hottest topics, politics, sports and pop culture

The Jim Bohannon Show
Jim interviews topical guests and discusses current events during the late night hours

Coast to Coast AM
Coast to Coast AM is the right kind of talk for late at night.

All this and so much more.

Click here for more information on WBIW’s programming lineup!

South Central Indiana’s Sports Leader

1340 AM WBIW is South Central Indiana’s sports leader! Myron Rainey brings over three decades of play-by-play experience to Bedford North Lawrence Stars football and girls’ and boys’ basketball all season long.

1340 AM WBIW is also the home of Purdue University Football and Basketball, Indiana Pacers Basketball, Indianapolis Colts Football, The Indianapolis 500, The Brickyard 400, College Football, College Basketball, NFL Football and so much more!

Bob Lovall’s Indiana’s Sports Talk fills the airwaves Friday and Saturday nights each and every school year.

And finally, FOX Sports Radio covers professional and college sports from all perspectives.

Interested in learning more about how to make radio work for your business?  Our advertising consultants are here to help!  We offer free advertising consultations to share tips & guidance on increasing brand awareness and how to get the most out of your advertising budget.  Reach out to our advertising department & let’s get started.

Stop by at our stations at 424 Heltonville Road West in Bedford or call ​812-275-7555 or email Sarah Turpen – Advertising Manager at or Brandi Weyer – Senior Advertising Consultant at