Skip to main content

KFKU, WIBW-TV, and WREN materials

Call Number: RH MS P759


This collection contains promotional materials for television station WIBW-TV, Topeka, Kansas, as well as materials from radio stations KFKU at the University of Kansas and WREN of Lawrence, Kansas.


  • Creation: between 1950 and 1977

Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

History of WIBW-TV

WIBW-TV is a CBS-affiliated television station located in Topeka, Kansas. The station first signed on the air on November 15, 1953. WIBW-TV was the first television station to sign on in the Topeka market, and the third such station in Kansas.

History of KFKU

KFKU, the official radio station for the University of Kansas, first aired on December 15, 1924 with a concert by the KU band and a speech by Chancellor Ernest Lindley. The station had been set up thanks to a $20,000 grant from the engineering faculty for a tower and transmitter. In 1927, it was paired with newly licensed Wren and broadcast on the same radio frequency until 1987. Shared time operation ended after more than 60 years when financial difficulties claimed WREN. When WREN returned to the air, KFKU remained silent, and in 1996 KFKU's license was canceled.

History of WREN

WREN came on air in 1927 named not only for the city of Lawrence, Kansas, but also for Jenny Wren flour, produced at Bowesock Mill in Lawrence. It shared radio frequency with KFKU, the radio station of the University of Kansas. WREN's transmitter was located in the storage room of the Bowersock Mills and Power Company, with the microphone sitting atop empty flour sacks.

In 1947, WREN moved to Topeka. The station also created the world's largest wren that topped the station's studios. Former Governor Alf Landon and his family bought WREN in 1952 amd maintained ownership of the station until 1982 before selling it to the Kassebaum Radio Group. WREN was forced to go silent on December 21, 1987 due to financial strain. It began broadcasting again on December 9, 1991 and is still on air today.


2 folders

Language of Materials


Physical Location

RH MS P759

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transfer, University Archives, 1999; transfer from printed materials, 2017.

Guide to the Northeast Kansas Radio and Television Stations Collection
KFKU, WIBW-TV, and WREN materials
Finding aid prepared by rh, 2007. Finding aid encoded by rh, 2007. Finding aid revised by bas, 2018.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in<language encodinganalog="language">English.</language>
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
KFKU, WIBW-TV, and WREN materials, Kansas Collection, RH MS P759, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States