WNDE (1260 AM) is a sports formatted broadcast radio station licensed to Indianapolis, Indiana, serving the Indianapolis metropolitan area. The station, which began broadcasting in 1924, is owned and operated by iHeartMedia. The WNDE broadcast license is held by iHM Licenses, LLC.
|Broadcast area||Indianapolis metropolitan area|
|Branding||Fox Sports 1260|
|Affiliations||Fox Sports Radio|
(iHM Licenses, LLC)
|WFBQ, WOLT, WZRL, W248AW|
First air date
|October 23, 1924 (as WFBM at 1130)|
Former call signs
|1130 kHz (1924–27)|
1330 kHz (1927–28)
1090 kHz (1928–29)
1230 kHz (1929–41)
Call sign meaning
|NDE = "Indy"|
|Repeater(s)||94.7 WFBQ-HD2 (Indianapolis)|
WNDE began operation as WFBM on October 23, 1924, as the fifth radio station licensed in Indianapolis. It was started by the Merchants Heating & Light Co., later Indianapolis Power & Light. When WFBM went on the air, it was assigned a frequency of 1130 kilohertz. In 1927, it moved to 1330 kHz, then to 1090 kHz in 1928, and to 1230 kHz in 1929. It arrived at its current frequency after the "great frequency shift of 1941," when all stations in the United States at 1230 kHz were moved to 1260 kHz.
In 1949, WFBM-TV (now WRTV) went on the air in time to broadcast the 1949 Indianapolis 500 (May 30, 1949). The WFBM “family” grew on November 26, 1959, when WFBM-FM went on the air at 94.7 Mc. In 1957, the three WFBM stations were sold to Time-Life, Inc. McGraw-Hill bought the stations in 1972, and almost immediately put the radio stations on the market. The WFBM stations had been grandfathered when the FCC banned common ownership of television and radio stations, but lost that protection with the McGraw-Hill purchase. In 1973, WFBM became WNDE, followed by WFBM-FM becoming WFBQ in Spring 1974. The WNDE call letters were chosen as the letters "NDE" phonetically sound like "Indy".
WNDE is the oldest operating radio station in Indianapolis, and third oldest in the state of Indiana.
WNDE, which had at one time used a Top 40 format, competing with the original WIFE in the 1970s while using the identifier "Windy twelve sixty", has been a Fox Sports Radio affiliate since 2002. It had previously been an ESPN Radio affiliate on two occasions. In September 2012, the network switched from Fox Sports Radio to NBC Sports Radio in the 10 p.m.-5 a.m. weekday hours, remaining with FSR in other dayparts. Former hosts of the afternoon drive local show include former WISH-TV sports anchor and Hoosier Millionaire host Mark Patrick, the team of Tim Bragg & Bill Benner, Indiana Pacers announcer Mark Boyle, JMV (John Michael Vincent, currently with WFNI), IndyCar Radio announcer Jake Query, and Derek Schultz.
On July 7, 2015, WNDE added W248AW, an FM translator on 97.5 MHz. On July 22, 2019, the translator ended its simulcast. The next month, iHeart announced it was returning the translator originally owned by Christian radio company Educational Media Foundation back to that organization as part of a translator trade.
WNDE carries programming from the Fox Sports Radio network, which broadcasts a Sports/Talk radio format. The station is also the local affiliate for Premiere Networks' The Dan Patrick Show, and unusual for a sports radio station, The Rush Limbaugh Show in place of The Herd with Colin Cowherd. WNDE’s long-running local afternoon drive-time show, "Query & Schultz”, hosted by Jake Query and Derek Schultz, aired from 2011 to 2020. Query and Schultz were released from iHeartRadio in January 2020 as part of the company's reduction in force (RIF). The 2020 iHeartRadio RIF's impacted over 1,000 employees across the USA.
On July 6, 2015, WNDE became the Indianapolis outlet for Rush, which had been on WIBC for over two decades but whose carriage was ended for local programming. Coinciding with iHeart taking the show in-house to WNDE (the only choice it had locally due to incompatible music formats on iHeart's three other FM stations in the market), they also acquired translator station W248AW 97.5 FM from the Educational Media Foundation to simulcast WNDE. The surrounding sports-centric format has not changed; indeed, the change came the same day as the station rebranded as Fox Sports 97.5. That FM simulcast ended in 2019 and the station became Fox Sports 1260 (the AM frequency).
WNDE is the Indianapolis outlet for Purdue University football and men's basketball, sharing flagship status with Lafayette's WAZY. It also airs Westwood One's NFL and NCAA football and basketball coverage. After years of broadcasting Cincinnati Reds baseball, WNDE was briefly a part of the Chicago Cubs network in 2009 and 2010. In 2011, WNDE dropped NASCAR programming after many years, and began broadcasting Indianapolis Indians baseball.
- "WNDE Facility Record". United States Federal Communications Commission, audio division.
- "Call Letter Origins". Radio History on the Web.
- "You won't hear Indy Fox Sports radio on 97.5 FM anymore". Indianapolis Star. Retrieved 2019-07-23.
- WNDE Rebrands As Fox Sports 97.5 - Radio Insight
- Limbaugh show lands and new local iHeartMedia station. Indianapolis Business Journal, 2015-06-03.
- Official website
- Indiana Radio Archive: WNDE
- WNDE in the FCC AM station database
- WNDE on Radio-Locator
- WNDE in Nielsen Audio's AM station database