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Top 5 Radio Stations in Wisconsin

Here's what you need to know...
  • Radio is a great way to catch up on news and current events
  • Most Americans tune into to at least one radio station every week
  • Driving safely should be a top priority for radio listeners

Most of us enjoy listening to something while driving. A long road trip can feel like an eternity without something to occupy the time.

That’s why most people choose to listen to the radio.

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Benefits of Listening to the Radio

adobestock_55566404-1600x1600Studies show that experienced drivers aren’t distracted from their driving responsibilities when listening to the radio. Some drivers are even more attentive when the radio is turned on.

For those who have a long commute, time is a luxury. Keeping up with the latest news and current events for these individuals is sometimes only possible by way of the radio. There are many options to get your news fix via the airwaves.

Many radio stations report the news before television networks since turn around time to produce a news piece is much shorter than that required to produce a television piece.

Radio only requires audio editing, but television requires both audio and visual editing.

In 2012, 90 percent of Americans tuned into at least one radio station on a weekly basis.

The average radio listener tuned in for two hours per day, which is similar to the average commute for those who live in a large urban city.

Most Americans consume 60 hours of media coverage per week. Of that figure, 14 hours — or nearly one-fourth — are attributed to radio time.

It’s amazing that such a huge portion of the American public still utilize a technology that has been around for decades.

The rise of radio apps for smartphones has expanded the radio audience exponentially. Apps like Pandora, Newsbeat, and Spotify are bringing a whole new generation into the radio listening fold.

Top 5 Radio Stations in Wisconsin

– #1: WMSE 91.7

adobestock_71234429-1600x1600WMSE is an extremely interesting radio station. It plays a wide variety of music. From Devo to The Taxi Squad, WMSE is the place to go for a unique playlist that you won’t hear anywhere else.

This radio station broadcasts from the downtown campus of the Milwaukee School of Engineering. Their vision is to provide listeners with a diverse and distinctive range of music options.

WMSE is also a platform for local artists. They allow artists to promote themselves over the air and perform their music for the local audience.

The goal of the station is to collaborate with community musicians to build up Milwaukee’s musical culture. This distinctive radio station is worth checking out!

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– #2: 88Nine Radio

88Nine (88.9) is an FM radio station known for playing the latest in music hits. While it doesn’t affect listeners directly, this radio station has one of the coolest studios ever! It speaks volumes about the type of station that 88Nine strives to be.

Innovation is at the heart of 88Nine. Their website is a great way to discover music from breakout artists, and they offer news stories from the music world, music videos, behind-the-scenes videos, and first looks.

88Nine is also very dialed into the Milwaukee music scene.

They promote local artists and highlight artists that are just breaking into the music business. They also have a great events page. It not only features local music events, but also interesting community events like film festivals and niche conferences.

– #3: WUWM 89.7 FM


Public radio junkies should beware. Once they start listening to WUWM, they won’t want to stop! WUWM is Milwaukee’s premiere NPR news station. It features some of the most popular nationally syndicated programs in the radio world.

Those who like to listen to content that engages their mind will love WUWM.

This American Life — arguably one of the best-syndicated radio programs in the world — is just one of the programs featured on the station. This show follows a new central theme each week and explores interesting stories about everyday people.

– #4: WORT 89.9 FM

The concept of community radio is quite interesting. WORT is a station driven by the idea that radio should be a democracy. This station is commercial free and listener sponsored. Their goal is to deliver diverse programming to their listeners.

Their programs feature both music and talk shows. Most programs are created by their more than 300 staff members. The programs that the station runs are fashioned based on the wants and desires of the listeners.

WORT offers an eclectic musical line-up, allowing artists to submit their music to be played on the station, which allows them to keep their playlists diverse. They prefer music that is out of the mainstream and on the indie side.

WORT’s Talk and News programs are extremely unique. It’s impressive that a staff consisting mostly of volunteers is able to develop and maintain a high-quality program list, but somehow WORT never fails to amaze.

– #5: Wisconsin Public Radio


Wisconsin Public Radio‘s coverage is much more broad than the previous stations. Rather than focusing on local or niche stories, Wisconsin Public Radio focuses on political and business related topics.

The station includes sections for news, weather, arts and culture, music, and events, but the primary focus of the station still seems to be political and business topics. Those who need their news fix may want to try this station.

WPR offers much broader coverage than the other stations, so listeners can hear about national news or the most recent current events happening around the country. WPR is 34 stations that are run by seven regional studios, which explains the broad coverage available to viewers!

Safe Driving While Listening to the Radio

Everyone should enjoy the variety of radio stations that are offered in Wisconsin, but no one should forget that driving safely while listening to the radio should be a top priority.

Individuals should only change the radio station when the vehicle is fully stopped. Obeying the posted speed limit is another important safety tip.

Drivers shouldn’t get so distracted that they don’t pay attention to all traffic signs and traffic lights and should turn the radio to a lower volume or turn it off during heavy traffic. Most drivers are more attentive when listening to the radio, but safety is never something to take lightly!

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