Indiana RadioWatch: February 5, 2018

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Throughout the next few IRW's, I'll share Indiana broadcaster's 1978 blizzard memories. Let's start with Chuck Chapman:

"I was working for 97.3 FM (formerly WMEF-FM, now WMEE-FM) in early 1978 as FM Program Coordinator and morning-drive host and news announcer. The blizzard hit hard overnight Wednesday, January 25, 1978. I knew we were in trouble when I tried to open the storm door the morning of January 26 and found the snow half-way up the door. Because the roads were impassable, I could not get into work to do my shift until that following Saturday morning. This was after my wife and I trudged a couple of grueling blocks down our street the previous afternoon so that a four-wheel-drive vehicle could pick us up and take us to another road, where a man on a snowmobile took us to my dad's house, where we stayed overnight. My dad lived about a mile or so from the radio station. Since the roads had not yet been plowed because of the snow depth, I had to walk, er trudge, again, that mile, using a ski pole to prop myself up in case I fell. When I got to the station a little before 6 a.m., I called my wife to tell her I had made it (she was very relieved). Needless to say, that was not a beautiful way to get to work at a station whose motto was "Just Beautiful Music." I walked back to my dad's after my shift. The next day, Sunday, enough roads were plowed so that my dad could drive us home. The rest of that winter, a lot of people (including me) were more than a little gun-shy when there was a weather forecast calling for snow."


In June of 2010, WOWO (1190am, translator 107.5fm; both Fort Wayne) added The Mark Levin Show; weekday evenings from 9pm until Midnight. While Mr. Levin's show continues in syndication, WOWO decided to move in a different direction, by replacing Mr. Levin's show with the syndicated Buck Sexton Show.

Also, a former WOWO newsperson recently left Fort Wayne. Nearly six years ago, Krista Miller joined WOWO (then, graduated from Butler University). Ms. Miller left WOWO in 2014 and became a news anchor and reporter for Fort Wayne's NBC (WPTA 21.2, Fort Wayne). Ms. Miller left Fort Wayne's NBC last Friday and will move to Wichita, Kansas. There, she will join KAKE-TV as a weekend anchor and weekday reporter. Fort Wayne's NBC gave her yes a cake. (The cake says, "We know you like KAKE, but this is ridiculous! Good luck in Kansas!")

There are more WOWO and WPTA connections: WPTA-TV also has an ABC affiliation on its 21.1 main channel ("ABC21"). Last Friday, ABC21 morning show producer Kurt Deffenbaugh exited and will leave Fort Wayne to take a similar opportunity at WTVG-TV in Toledo, Ohio. Mr. Deffenbaugh arrived in Fort Wayne in 1998 and worked at WOWO for 9 years, both in news, and as their Farm Director.


Woof Boom Radio closes on their $608,000 purchase of WKHL (106.7fm, West Lafayette) from Educational Media Foundation. Their new call letters will be WLQQ, and their new format will debut tomorrow at 1:06PM. Educational Media Foundation's "K-Love" Christian format continues on WLXJ (88.9fm, Battle Ground). Jon Yinger of Broadcast Properties LLC served as the exclusive broker representing both buyer and seller.


We don't have many other details, but Country/WIFE-FM (94.3fm, Connersville) morning newsman Mike Peacock retires from "94.3 WIFE-FM Hometown Country" after over a half century in broadcasting.


Update, once again: 3 Towers Broadcasting earns translator W292FH (106.3fm/Shelbyville) for their CHR/WSVX (1520am, Shelbyville), extending coverage of "Giant FM" northward from its existing 96.5fm translator at the AM site on Morristown Road, on the north side of Shelbyville.

Julie Zoumbaris exits as Director of Sales for WRTV-TV (Channel 6, Indianapolis) and will become GM at WNEM-TV, in the Flint, Michigan area.

Urban One's Gospel/WTLC (1310am, Indianapolis) will pay Charles M. Anderson $200,000 for translator W224DI. W224DI will be moved from Kentucky and will be on 92.7fm, as a 250 watt translator. The translator antenna will be on the South Post Road tower of Entercom's WZPL (99.5fm, Greenfield) and several other FM translators.

In the midst of everything that happened over the holidays, we didn't note the new "Energy 93.9" website (WYRG, licensed to Lawrence).


Frank Rush recently joined as a newsperson for Dave Crooks' DLC Media radio stations in and around Terre Haute. Until late last year, Mr. Rush worked at PD across town at Midwest's N-T/WIBQ (1230am, Terre Haute) also heard on translator W260BZ (97.9fm, Terre Haute) and sister 1440am, Paris, Illinois, which is now WIBU.


The 2018 Medallas de Cortez Awards Finalists include WITZ in Jasper as "Station of the Year." The winner will be announced in mid-March at Radio Ink's Hispanic Radio Conference.

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

Blaine Thompson
Indiana RadioWatch

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