Inside WBUR

Station Highlights & History

Who We Are

WBUR, Boston’s NPR news station, is a public media leader committed to exceptional journalism on-air, online, on demand and on stage with virtual live events. Our mission is to serve the public, report the truth and enrich lives.

WBUR reaches 7 million listeners across the country each week with two national programs, On Point and Here & Now. A pioneering podcaster, The WBUR iLab produces critically acclaimed shows like Endless Thread, Anything For Selena, Circle Round, and Consider This, the first national-local daily news podcast. WBUR is home to Boston’s largest radio newsroom and reports original, local stories throughout the day, providing insight and cultural context to the community, helping to unite a diverse, complex and changing world.


You, Our Listeners:

WBUR is a non-profit affiliate of NPR and relies on funding from listener support, corporate underwriters, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and hundreds of volunteers. Every dollar raised is reinvested in WBUR, and our community, in the form of fair and objective journalism upon which more than 500,000 listeners depend.


Station Highlights

  • Produces more hours of national programming every week than any other public radio station in America
  • Reaches approximately 500,000 listeners weekly
  • Generates visual, text and audio for radio stories online — in addition to live streaming and podcasting

Program Highlights

  • Morning Edition (5 to 9 a.m. weekdays) with Bob Oakes is a morning staple for listeners across New England, as one of the top-rated news programs in all of Boston radio.
  • On Point (10 a.m. to 11 a.m. weekdays), hosted by Meghna Chakrabarti leads provocative conversations that help make sense of the world. Each show is a deeply researched, beautifully produced hour by WBUR in Boston, distributed by American Public Media.
  • Here & Now (noon to 2 p.m. weekdays) with Robin Young and Tonya Mosley reaches nearly 90% of the U.S. with compelling newsmagazine-style content, plus breaking news and great conversations.
  • Radio Boston (3 to 4 p.m. weekdays), hosted by Tiziana Dearing, features provocative stories and authentic voices, reflecting what is unique about this city, state and region.
  • All Things Considered (4 to 6:30 p.m. weekdays) with Lisa Mullins is the afternoon counterpart to Morning Edition, consisting of the biggest stories of the day, thoughtful commentaries and insightful features on arts, music and entertainment. It is one of the most listened-to afternoon drive-time news radio programs in the city.
  • Car Talk (11 a.m. to noon Saturday) a public radio staple since 1977 now features "The Best of Car Talk" and hosted by Ray Magliozzi.

Station History

John F. Kennedy, then a U.S. senator, in a 1951 interview with WBUR.
John F. Kennedy, then a U.S. senator, in a 1951 interview with WBUR.

WBUR-FM went on the air at 4 p.m. on March 1, 1950, as a 400-watt non-commercial educational station licensed to Boston University. In its early years, the WBUR staff comprised amateurs, professionals, volunteers and students.

Through the 1960s, more and more radio professionals joined WBUR and gradually transformed the station’s format. By 1971, WBUR had enough full-time employees to qualify for status as a public radio station and applied to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) for certification.

In 1980, the station began to receive programming from NPR via satellite. By 1982, WBUR had established its identity as a news station, with NPR's Morning Edition and All Things Considered broadcast each weekday and local news programming produced by a staff of young reporters.

These changes coincided with the significant recognition WBUR began to receive at the local and national levels. In 1984, the station won three Associated Press awards for news coverage. In May 1986, WBUR won the 1985 George Foster Peabody Award, the most prestigious national award for broadcasters, for "Liberation Remembered," a four-part series on the Holocaust. WBUR has won the Peabody Award twice more since then, including an award for Car Talk in 1993.

Bob Oakes has hosted WBUR’s Morning Edition since 1992.
Bob Oakes has hosted WBUR’s Morning Edition since 1992.

In March 1999, WBUR-FM was named "News Station of the Year" by the New England Associated Press, an award it has since received three times from both the Regional AP and the Radio Television Digital News Association.

Today, WBUR broadcasts with an effective radiated power of 60,000 watts. The station has continued to grow substantially in size and stature. WBUR now reaches 7 million listeners across the country each week with two national programs, On Point, hosted by Meghna Chakrabarti (10 a.m. to 11 a.m., Monday through Friday; rebroadcast 7 to 9 p.m.), and Here & Now, hosted by Robin Young and Tonya Mosley (12 noon to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday). A pioneering podcaster, The WBUR iLab produces critically acclaimed shows like Endless Thread, Anything For Selena, Circle Round, and Consider This, the first national-local daily news podcast. In addition to these award-winning programs is another daily offering, Radio Boston, hosted by Tiziana Dearing (3 to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday). Also broadcasted from WBUR studios on a weekly basis is the fêted Car Talk (Saturdays 11 a.m. to noon).

WBUR can also be heard outside Greater Boston on 89.1 FM Brewster, Cape Cod and 92.7 FM, Tisbury, Martha's Vineyard; as well as live streaming at wbur.org.

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