William T. Evjue

William-T.-EvjueWilliam T. Evjue (1882-1970) is best known for political advocacy in Wisconsin as a leading Progressive of his time and for founding The Capital Times newspaper in 1917. But he also helped launch the first successful commercial radio station in Madison and is most certainly a seminal figure in Wisconsin broadcasting history.

The station, WIBA, signed on in 1925 and aired the World Series that year, as well as University of Wisconsin football games, speeches by politicians, and Evjue’s weekly Hello Wisconsin address, which was carried by other stations in the state. In 1928, WIBA began daily live broadcasts from The Capital Times newsroom. A year later, Evjue hired William E. Walker to manage WIBA; Walker would later be inducted, in 1990, as a member of the Wisconsin Broadcasters Hall of Fame. The station became an NBC affiliate in 1931 and enjoyed extraordinary success as the dominant radio station in the market for decades. Throughout his career, Evjue fostered innovative relationships between the station and the newspaper newsroom, and continued to serve as WIBA president until his death in 1970.

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