History of WEPS

  • former students at WEPS Radio Club WEPS is Illinois’ oldest operating non-commercial, educational radio station. After the Board of Education approved the radio station, WEPS received its Federal Communications Commission license in October of 1949. WEPS officially signed on the air Friday, January 13, 1950, with one-hour of programming. The station's call letters were derived from Elgin Public Schools, the name of the school district before being called School District U-46.

    WEPS has always provided educational and public radio programming. In the 1950's and 60's, the radio station directed most of the educational programming to the classroom and broadcast programs that could be used by the district's teachers. there were music appreciation programs and programs for the study of math, science and English. Students also created original programming of radio drama and live music programming featuring elementary through high school choirs, orchestras and bands. WEPS would also announce news, weather and sports. The station did live programming of Elgin High School football and basketball games and broadcast Larkin High School games after Larkin opened in 1964. Streamwood High School opened in 1978. Hundreds of high school students received credit for taking the radio broadcasting class and many participated in the “WEPS Radio Club” from 1950 until the late 80’s. 

    students at radio station holding a record In 2002, WEPS started a daily live morning show about school information, news, weather and school sports from 6 a.m. – 8 a.m. In September 2003, WEPS began broadcasting Bartlett High School football and basketball games.

    Another first for WEPS came on September 26,2005 when WEPS began broadcasting 24-hours, every day. WEPS is joined an agreement with Wisconsin Public Radio in 2005 and currently continues to broadcast WPR.

    In November 2013, the district re-launched WEPS 88.9 FM, and for the first time began airing content from the district's six high schools in both English and Spanish.