Indiana RadioWatch: January 12, 2012

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While we are only twelve days into 2012, IRW's thinks that the most popular radio movie of the year in Indiana will be "Naptown Rock Radio Wars."

From their description: "It was a fight to the bitter end, definitely a war ... the kind of battle that would change not only the listening habits of hundreds of thousands of Hoosiers but also change the entire culture of Indiana's capital city. And Nap town would never be the same! Two brilliant and fierce broadcasting competitors - Richard Fairbanks, who owned WIBC-AM 1070, the 50,000 watt radio behemoth, versus Don Burden, the young upstart broadcasting impresario who swaggered into town and launched the glitzy, promotion-oriented, though relatively low-powered, WIFE-AM 1310. Fairbanks' company was getting its brains beaten out, but it would have a secret weapon on the FM band - WNAP. How was the war fought? What were the strategies? Who were the personalities both in the limelight and behind the scenes? And who, in the end, would win the Naptown Rock Radio Wars? Stay tuned."

IRW can't attend Saturday night's debut, but tickets are on sale for the 10:00PM performance this Saturday 14 January at the IMAX Theater on the grounds of the Indiana State Museum in downtown Indianapolis.

In addition, one of our readers asked, "Do you know anyone who has any of the WIFE or WNAP PAMS jingles, or the WNDE shotgun?" If you do, please let us know.

Here's part two of the 2011 recap, by region.


Northeast Indiana Public Radio's Talk-Jazz/WBOI (89.1fm, Fort Wayne) and Classical/WBNI (94.1fm, Roanoke) OM/PD Andrew Anderson will soon exit. Please see below, under "Employment Opportunities" for the employment advertisement. Finally, their "Saturday Fade" show will end its run this weekend.

At the end of 2011, morning co-hosts Austin and Alana exit Oasis' Rhythmic CHR/WJFX (107.9fm, New Haven) after two years.

Jane Bartsch dies at age 61. Ms. Bartsch managed WOWO (under Price Communications ownership) and after she left WOWO, she moved to cities such as Denver (Tribune), Long Island (Barnstable) and Wilmington, Delaware (Beasley).

After thirty-five years at Taylor University's Religious/WBCL (90.3fm, Fort Wayne), Char Binkley retires.

FCC Auction 93 is now open for applications, which includes an auction of a Class A CP on 98.3fm. Minimum bid: $35,000.

Oasis' Talk/WJOE (106.3fm, Columbia City) flips format at 6pm on Monday 26 September to Urban, as "" and later adds J. Hall in middays (9am until 3pm) and "Ice" in afternoons (3pm until 9pm).

Federated Media's Country/WQHK (105.1fm, Decatur) morning co-hostess Lori Mae exits. After a brief time in middays at KNDE in College Station, Texas, she returned to Hoosier state; where she now is on weekends and fill in "93.5 The Wolf" (WLFW)

Andrew Logsdon joins as weekend meteorologist at Nexstar's WFFT (Channel 55, Fort Wayne). He arrives in the Summit City from KEZI-TV in Eugene, Oregon.

Federated Media's N-T/WOWO (1190am, Fort Wayne) APD/News Director Andy Ober exits. Mike Wilson took over Mr. Ober's News Director, until the lure of Merlin Media's Chicago all-news radio station tempts Mr. Wilson away from WOWO. The new APD at WOWO is Brian LaMartina while WOWO's News Director is Dave Wheaton.

Malara Broadcasting's ABC affiliate WPTA (Channel 21, Fort Wayne) makes a major on-air change as 2012 begins: Tommy Schoegler becomes Sports Director while Dean Pantazi becomes the weekend sports anchor and weekday sports reporter. Mr. Pantazi was Sports Director since August 1994 (and, to keep this radio related, Mr. Pantazi hosted "Sports Talk" with Art Saltsberg on WOWO (1190am, Fort Wayne) from 1985 through 2001.)

Oasis' Rhythmic CHR/WJFX (107.9fm, New Haven) adds Caden in nights. Caden last worked as PD and afternoons at WBIZ in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

Nancy L. DeVincent passed away. Sam and Nancy DeVincent found and earned their fame on WOWO (1190am, Fort Wayne) as the musical group "Nancy Lee and the Hilltoppers." In addition, Mr. and Mrs. DeVincent were a large part of the "Little Red Barn" program. Mr. DeVincent died in 1997.

Northeast Indiana Broadcasting's MOR/WAWK (1140am, Kendallville) and translator W238BH (95.5fm, Kendallville) PD/Promotions Director Dale Christopher exits. Replacing Mr. Christopher is John O'Rourke (who will continue teaching at Huntington University).

Where Are They Now? Former then-WKJG-TV News Director Bob Rockstroh is now News Director at WLNE-TV in Providence, Rhode Island.

Where Are They Now? Former then-WKJG-TV weatherperson Betsy Kling is now Chief Meteorologist at WKYC-TV in Cleveland, Ohio.

Where Are They Now? Former then-WCKZ (102.3fm, Auburn) PD/midday jock Brian Michel exits Salt Lake City's Simmons Media Group (their four radio stations) for OM at Clear Channel Atlanta (their five radio stations) along with PD stripes at WUBL and interim PD at WGST. Mr. Michel started in Atlanta on 5 January 2012.


Longtime Country/WWKI (100.5fm, Kokomo) PD Dave Broman will soon exit the station, after Cumulus acquired "100.5 'KI" in 2011 from Citadel in a $2.4 billion, 225 radio station deal.

Weigel Broadcasting's MyNetworkTV affiliate WMYS-LP (Channel 69, South Bend) moves to Channel 34. Only over-the-air viewers notice the change and scramble to reprogram their DTV boxes.

Friends of Christian Radio, Inc. sells its W241AD (96.1fm, South Bend) to Schurz Communications.

Mid-America Radio sells WARU/WARU-FM (1600am, Peru; 101.9fm, Roann) and WJOT/WJOT-FM (1510am, 105.9fm, both Wabash) to Wade Weaver's Dream Weaver Marketing LLC for $1 million.

Paul Emmick is the new Chief Meteorologist at Schurz Communications' CBS-affiliate WSBT-TV (Channel 22, South Bend), moving up from the evening meteorologist at Louisville, Kentucky's WDRB-TV.


John Records Landecker turns his afternoon talk show into "The John Landecker Music Experience" at Gerard Media's Talk/WIMS (1420am, Michigan City).

Richland Towers buys the Northwest Indiana Public Broadcasting's PBS affiliate WYIN-TV (Channel 56, Gary) tower in Crown Point.

Where Are They Now? Former WSHW OM/PD John Flint is now morning co-host at KSON in San Diego, California.


After ten years as an ESPN Radio affiliate, Backyard Broadcasting's Sports/WXFN (1340am, Muncie) transitioned on June 6 to FOX Sports Radio. In a press release, WXFN OM Steve Lindell said, "FOX Sports Radio offers us the flexibility to provide Muncie and Delaware County with play-by-play and sports talk shows of local interest." There's an FM component here also, as Educational Media Foundation sells its translator W275AJ (102.9fm, Muncie) to Backyard Broadcasting for $45,000, and the translator now simulcasts WXFN.

Shane Goad exits as PD/morning co-host at Cumulus' Country/WMDH-FM (102.5fm, New Castle) for Grand Rapids, Michigan. There, he is PD/afternoon duties at Cumulus sister station WTNR. Chris Chase replaces Mr. Goad as PD.

Vox's Talk/WBAT (1400am, Marion) adds The Gary Snyder show weekdays from 3pm until 6pm.


Bourbonnais, Illinois-based Olivet Nazarene University buys Religious/WHZN (88.3fm, New Whiteland) from Horizon Christian Fellowship of Indianapolis for $1.2 million. The station now simulcasts Olivet's religious "Shine FM" format, however former WHZN host Kurt Wallace now handles mornings for the Shine FM network.

Mark Hamlin is the new PD and afternoon host at Cumulus' Country/WFMS (95.5fm, Fishers). Before WFMS, Mr. Hamlin was PD/middays at KUDL in Kansas City, Kansas (now KMBZ-FM).

There's a pair of new PD's at Radio One/Indianapolis: First, Karen Vaughn replaces Brian Wallace in the PD chair at Urban AC/WTLC-FM (106.7fm, Greenwood). Ms. Vaughn arrives in Indianapolis from APD/MD/middays at Radio One sister WZAK in Cleveland, Ohio. Ms. Vaughn was MD/midday host on WTLC-FM back in the early 2000s. Second, Leo Baldwin is now PD at both Rhythmic CHR/WHHH (96.3fm, Indianapolis) and CHR/WNOU (100.9fm, Speedway). Mr. Baldwin replaces Tim Rainey (at WNOU) and Brian Wallace (at WHHH) and joins after leaving the PD chair at WRWD in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The man responsible for NPR radio in Indianapolis passed away in October. Arthur "Art" Van Allen Brought NPR to Indianapolis, in his role as GM at WIAN; today's WFYI-FM. Mr. Allen was GM for WIAN from fall 1958 until late 1986. Among Mr. Allen's accomplishments: In 1963, he expanded the on-air presence by extending the broadcast day and adding general interest programming. In 1980, the station moved to a new building at 931 Fletcher Avenue. On September 1, 1971, WIAN began broadcasting NPR programming. Mr. Allen took early retirement after the 1986 sale of WIAN to Indianapolis Public TV, and after that sale, 90.1FM's call letters became WFYI-FM.

Dispatch Broadcasting's NBC affiliate WTHR (Channel 13, Indianapolis) adds Weigel Broadcasting's Me-TV on January 1, 2012, on its 13.3 subchannel (along with cable carriage, etc.)

After longtime afternoon host Mark Patrick exited Clear Channel's Sports/WNDE (1260am, Indianapolis), the station retooled its PM drive time lineup with Derek Schultz and Jake Query. Mr. Schultz moves across town from Creative Data Management's Sports/WXLW (950am, Indianapolis), while Mr. Query is an IMS Radio Network announcer and served as morning host at Emmis' WIBC (93.1fm, Indianapolis).

At the end of 2011, E.W. Scripps (Scripps TV Station Group) closed on its $212 million acquisition of nine TV stations from McGraw-Hill Broadcasting. Included in that sale is Indianapolis ABC affiliate WRTV-TV (Channel 6, Indianapolis).

LIN-owned CBS Affiliate WISH-TV (Channel 8, Indianapolis) investigative reporter Brad Edwards exits after only a year at the Meridian Street studios. Mr. Edwards tells TVSpy, "My dismissal is as mundane as money," but WISH GM Jeff White tells the Indianapolis Business Journal's Anthony Schoettle, "I can confirm that Brad was let go, but it wasn't done for financial reasons." Mr. White also tells Mr. Schoettle that WISH will add two new reporter positions along with replacing Mr. Edwards.

Also at WISH-TV, reporter/anchor Phil Sanchez exits for morning co-anchor at WNCN in Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina.

Ray Steele is a new news anchor and reporter at Emmis N-T/WIBC (93.1fm, Indianapolis).

The FCC fines MSD of Wayne Township's Hot AC/WBDG (90.9fm, Indianapolis) $9000 for not following the FCC public file rules.

Where Are They Now? Former WFNI PD Kent Sterling started in June as PD at WXOS in St. Louis, Missouri.

Where Are They Now? Former WXIN-TV/WTTV-TV VP/GM Rick Rogala is now SVP of Sales for Nexstar Broadcasting Group, Inc.


Nexstar drops its FOX affiliation in Terre Haute, where it owns WFXW (Channel 38). On 1 September, Nexstar replaced FOX with ABC and flipped the call letters to WAWV ("ABC for the Wabash Valley"). Nexstar also operates Terre Haute NBC affiliate WTWO (Channel 2).

In Terre Haute, Kyle West moves from Midwest Communications' CHR/WMGI (100.7fm, Terre Haute) to Crossroads Communications' WBOW-FM (102.7fm, Terre Haute). He's also weekender "Tank" on Radio One's CHR/WNOU (100.9fm, Speedway).

Emmis' Country/WTHI (99.9fm, Terre Haute) adds Jeff Reynolds in nights, replacing Doc Long. Mr. Reynolds was last with Backyard Broadcasting's WERK/WURK simulcast in Muncie and worked at WMDH in New Castle.

If you listened to Terre Haute's WZZQ (then 107.5fm) in the 1990s, you knew the name and voice of Debbie Hunter. Ms. Hunter (Debra Meeker) passed away at age 47 on 7 August. While at WZZQ, she was APD and MD in addition to her time behind the microphone.


Cumulus sells Sports/WQKC (1450am, Jeffersonville) to Ed Ryan's Ryan Media for $265,000. This sale means WQKC returns to the air after going silent in November 2010. WQKC airs Yahoo! Sports and Dan Patrick.

New Albany Broadcasting's Oldies/WNDA (1570am, New Albany) flips format in September to News/Talk, as "News Talk 1570" and now air programming including Clark Howard.

In mid-December, WAY Media's Urban/WWPW (104.3fm, Charlestown) fell silent. Radio-Multi-Media, Inc. leased the station since March 2010.

Educational Media Foundation sells W284AD (104.7fm, New Albany) and a Louisville, Kentucky translator for $90,000 to Russ Jones and Peter Davidson's Anchor Broadcasting.

Cox's Classic Rock/WSFR (107.7fm, Corydon) flips format on October 28 at 8:30am to Classic Hits as "107.7 The Eagle."


Mark down WGPI as the call letters for The Gabriel Project's CP on 93.5fm, licensed to Columbus. The CP states a transmitter site southwest of Columbus, off IN-58, south of IN-46 and west of I-65.

Jim Ingalls passed away. The 57-year-old Ingalls worked for a variety of radio stations (News Director at WBIW, Newsperson at WGCL, PD at WFLQ, et al).


Let's try this again: Henson Media's Classic Hits/WSON (860am, Henderson, Kentucky) purchased a newly relocated FM translator, W297BE (107.3, Madisonville, Kentucky), and later, Ed Henson received FCC approval to move the translator up the dial, where it's now W243CU (96.5fm, Sebree, Kentucky).

Nexstar dropped its FOX affiliation on their WTVW (Channel 7, Evansville) and FOX moved to Comcorp's WEVV (Channel 44, Evansville) on 1 July. WTVW becomes an independent station, branded as "Local 7."

After fifty years of Gilmore Broadcasting ownership, they sell WEHT (Channel 25, Evansville) to Nexstar. Nexstar also sold its WTVW (Channel 7, Evansville) to Mission Broadcasting. Both sales closed and Mission executed a Shared Services Agreement, which means WTVW and WEHT now operate from WEHT's studios in Henderson, Kentucky. Over 40 people lost their jobs after the sale.

Under a proposal to the FCC, South Central's Country/WLFW (93.5fm, Chandler) wants to raise the transmitter about fifty feet on its current site (from 446 feet to 509 feet) and drop power (3200 watts to 2550 watts). Also at WLFW, they shift the on air lineup. New to mornings is syndicated "The Big D and Bubba Show" (which debuted 28 October). Tommy Mason shifts from mornings to 9am until 2pm while Rusty James is now on from 2pm until 6pm.

Ed Lander's B.L.S. Entertainment-owned Urban AC/WEOA (1400am, Evansville) will add a translator after Edgewater Broadcasting sells its W254BO (98.7fm, Princeton) for $20,000. The translator isn't yet simulcasting WEOA.

Jon Prell becomes OM for Townsquare Media's cluster in Evansville and Owensboro (WGBF, WGBF-FM, WOMI, WBKR, WKDQ, WJLT and WDKS). Mr. Prell remains morning show co-host at Country/WKDQ (99.5fm, Henderson, Kentucky).

Evansville Low Power Partnership's WTSN-LD (Channel 36, Evansville) changes network affiliation from America One to Weigel Broadcasting's Me-TV.

Thomas S. Land passed away. The 91 year old Land founded News-Talk/WFIW and Soft AC/WFIW-FM (1390am and 104.9fm, both Fairfield, Illinois) and Country/WOKZ (105.9fm, Fairfield, Illinois). Mr. Land was active in the day-to-day operations of the radio stations until his death on 22 October.

The co-founder of radio's Thy Word Network, Shirley Chagle, died in September at age 81. Along with her husband Don, they started the radio network (WBGW) in their basement in 1990. The network now includes three radio stations (WBGW 101.5fm, Fort Branch; WBHW 88.7fm, Loogootee; WBJW 91.7fm, Albion, Illinois and WBGW translator W293AT 106.5fm, Owensboro, Kentucky).

BBN (Bible Broadcasting Network) receives FCC approval to move its translator W211AT (90.1fm, Washington) to 89.7fm as W209CL. In addition, the transmitter site will move from a shared site (with DLC Media's W240CE), off W. National Highway to a new site, east of IN-57 on CR375S. Once complete, the new W209CL will retain its 120 watts.

Speaking of W240CE, DLC Media moves W240CE to a tower site on County Road 375 South, near Washington.

The FCC dismisses Indiana Community Radio Corporation's December application to change the city of license on its silent WYER (88.5fm, Carmi, Illinois) to Albion, Illinois, and move frequencies to 90.5fm. However, a new application was filed last week. Regarding the denied application, in a December 21 letter to Indiana Community Radio Corporation, the FCC cites the fact that the application failed to meet FCC rules requiring proposed facilities to be mutually exclusive from existing ones, therefore rendering the application defective and unacceptable for filing. The proposed move also drew an informal objection and a request from Withers Broadcasting's W. Russell Withers, Jr., asking the FCC to revoke WYER's authorization. The FCC did not address either the objection or Withers' request for WYER's license revocation. In the application, ICRC points out that WYER went silent after a 4 August 2011 FAA directive because of aviation radio band interference.

Paul Knies' WJTS-LD (Channel 18, Jasper) is now a Class A TV station (15kW) with new call letters WJTS-CD. It's an America One affiliate.

Trinity Educational Radio's Religious/WIMM-LP (107.7fm, Owensboro, Kentucky) moves frequencies to 107.9fm after a new tower went up on the existing tower site, east of US-231 in Owensboro.

Where Are They Now? Former WEHT News Director is now VP of Content for the Belo Corp. TV stations. Mr. Valentine's last gig was News Director for WFAA-TV in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas.

Employment Opportunities

Northeast Indiana Public Radio in Fort Wayne is looking for its next Program Director. We operate an NPR news/jazz station, and an all-classical station. Looking for someone who is creative, eclectic, disciplined, positive, with a passion for community-based radio. Duties include audio production, programming of automation system, on-air hosting, program producing, representing the station to internal and external constituencies, supervising volunteers, and other duties as assigned. Candidate should demonstrate familiarity with AudioVault, Allegiance, Audacity, Pro Tools, and standard office word processing software. Familiarity with CMS a plus. Bachelor's degree required, master's preferred, with experience in public broadcasting. A journalism background is a plus. We are hoping to recruit and hire the right person quickly. Please send a resume, demo, cover letter, and references by January 13th to: manager at nipr dot fm. EEO.

WLFI-TV seeks a News Videographer who can shoot compelling video and sound, edit on non-linear equipment, operate a microwave live truck and post video to web. Applicants must demonstrate ability to handle DV cameras with hard drive, non-linear editing software, laptop computer, mics, cables, microwave truck, fiber link and any other equipment needed to perform the daily duties of news gathering for a multiple news platforms. You must be prepared to perform multiple tasks and be able to work under deadline pressure. Good driving record and valid driver's license are mandatory. College degree in broadcast news and internship at a commercial TV station required. We are in a Big 10 University town with a variety of stories to shoot. Send resume and DVD or video link to: Jeff Smith, News Director, WLFI-TV, 2605 Yeager Road, West Lafayette, IN 47906. EOE/MF.

That's all for this issue. Thank you for your continued support.

=============== Indiana RadioWatch ===============

(c) 2012, Blaine E. Thompson

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Finally, we thank you for your continued support.

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