At 4:00 in the afternoon on April 30, 1959, the Federal Communications Commission granted permission for a new radio station to begin broadcasting in Madison at 102.5 FM. About half an hour later the new station – WRVB – signed on the air.

The radio station was the fulfillment of a dream for a Christian Radio Ministry in Madison for local businessman Paul Stewart. Stewart and many others in the community prayed and worked and prayed some more before the station was finally a reality that April afternoon sixty years ago.

Operating out of Stewart’s office building on Madison’s east side, the new station had limited power and resources in those early days. Initially, broadcasting only about 10 hours a day, the station promised to increase hours as finances permitted. With the purchase of a new tape-recorder in 1960, the broadcast day increased to 9:30am – 10pm!

The signal area also grew in 1964, when the station moved to a taller tower on a hill south of Madison. The studios and offices also relocated to that hill, which soon was referred to as “Gospel Mountain.”

In 1972, station owner Paul Stewart felt called to a new ministry field. He received offers from many companies wanting to purchase the station, but Stewart desired for the station to continue its Christian programming. On January 22, 1973, the station’s call letters changed to WNWC and began operating as part of Northwestern College (now University of Northwestern). Started in 1949 by the school’s president at the time, the Rev. Billy Graham, Northwestern Media now operates over twenty stations and signals throughout the Midwest including Minneapolis/St Paul, Kansas City and Des Moines.

Today, Life 102.5 broadcasts 24 hours a day as a listener-supported Christian music station reaching Madison, Southern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois. Local announcers, broadcasting from studios on Madison’s west side seek to encourage and inspire believers in their faith and share God’s love with all who call this area their home.

WNWC in the news:



8 Responses to "Life 102.5 is 60 years old this year!"

  • Lisa Wenzel says:

    Can you post and email me a picture of the t-shirt you are giving away with some of the donations people are making? Thanks!

    1. Dave Conour says:

      Certainly, it’s featured on our home page!

  • Dennise Fisk says:

    I started listening to WNWC in 1982 when I gave my life to the lord and have not stopped. I moved to Northern Wisconsin in 2000. I started to listen on line as soon as I found out it was available. I still listen to the station on the radio when ever I am in the Madison area visiting Family and Friends. I now have been listing on line at work everyday also, working for a christian couple. My family still live in the Madison area. My now 12 year old granddaughter listens to WNWC and know Grandma does too! Thank You so much for all you do.

  • Sue says:

    I was listening back when Ann and Brian were the morning team.
    Back then they had the birthday bullseye and I won!!!!

  • Toni Busker says:

    Wow! I am 55. When I was 8 my dad remarried and we moved to Madison. We always listened to this station. If I remember correctly we went to church with Carl ?Ramsey? Maybe. Mom and dad always encouraged us to listen to his station. It was fun to put a face with the voice. I never quit listening. Thanking God for His faithfulness. Blessings yo you all for spreading His love and His Word!

  • Mark Croom says:

    Congratulations to the folks at WNWC for continuing the 60-year legacy of Christian radio for Madison and the surrounding area. The station still has a special place in my heart after graduating from High School in the area and waking up to the station most mornings. Ultimately I sensed a call toward ministry radio and spent over 30 years of my career in Christian radio, including 11 spent at the station as it became Life 102.5. I especially loved doing afternoons and splitting my time with the engineering needs of the stations. God bless you all!

  • Chris M Tuescher says:

    Tell me about a celebration i briefly heard about on air for 500.

    1. Candice Grey says:

      Hey Chris! The first 500 people who buy tickets to the 60th Celebration will get a t-shirt with their ticket, but many more people are welcome!
      You can buy tickets here:

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