WPKN was founded in 1963 as the college radio station of the University of Bridgeport, but became independent of the university in 1989. The call letters originally stood for "Purple Knights Network," named after a university sports team.
Over Memorial Day weekend 2010 non-commercial station WEER took over the Montauk repeater. WEER paid $60,000 for the signal and took over the $4,000/month rental for the Montauk tower.
Many stations below the 92 MHz FM band receive funds from commercial entities despite being part of the non-commercial radio band. This is thought by some to present the potential for conflicts of interest. WPKN only takes funds from private donors with no stipulations for their expenditure attached. This allows the music and news programmers complete freedom to produce their own shows with no outside pressure.