Indiana RadioWatch: February 11, 2009

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You would think that there is some minor event in the TV world going on. Keeping track of all this stuff is rather tricky!

Let's recap the latest weather challenges and their effects on broadcast stations (This is not a complete list):

Not off the air due to weather (IRW, 7 January): WNUY (They were off the air for replacement of the entire red light assembly at the top of the tower. The work took longer due to the ice on the tower.)

Reduced power, due to ice on the antenna: WFRN-FM, WRSW, WRSW-FM, WSFR,

Temporarily off the air: WAWK, WBKE, WFRI, WFRR, WGL-FM, WMYQ

* On another matter: Next week's DTV switch.

There are only nine stations statewide that are turning off their analog service next week. By market:

Evansville: Nobody

Fort Wayne: Affiliates of ABC (WPTA), NBC (WISE), and PBS (WFWA).

Indianapolis: Trinity Broadcasting Network station WCLJ

South Bend: Affiliates of CBS (WSBT), FOX (WSJV), and NBC (WNDU).

Everyone else plans on keeping analog service until 12 June.

Now, onto the news.


Phil Shaull joins the news department at N-T/WBOI (89.1fm, Fort Wayne). Shaull worked eight years at WBCL (90.3fm, Fort Wayne) before working 10+ years for U.S. Senator Richard Lugar. But that isn't the big news out of WBOI and sister station WBNI...

In late January, WBOI owner Northeast Indiana Public Radio (NIPR) announced plans to sell three of its frequencies, which all simulcast classical music: WBNI (94.1fm, Roanoke), WCKZ (91.3fm, Orland) and translator W204BF (88.7fm, Fort Wayne). NIPR purchased the 94.1fm for $1.75 million in early 2007, while they built 91.3fm and 88.7fm. There is no buyer yet for the frequencies, and the ubiquitous "declining economic conditions" are cited for the reason behind the sale.

Grabbing the remote control and turning on the television, we notice a different news option will debut later this spring for Fort Wayne area viewers.

The newly named Fort Wayne TinCaps (a minor league baseball affiliate of the San Diego Padres) renews their agreement with Federated Media's Sports/WKJG (1380am, Fort Wayne) for broadcasting. The three year agreement begins this season. Dan Watson is the new play by play voice of the TinCaps. Last year, he was the broadcaster for the Harrisburg (Pennsylvania) Senators.


AllAccess notes that Dave Allen is the new PD at Federated Media Country/WBYT (100.7fm, Elkhart). Allen replaces Clint Marsh, who is now GM at Talking Stick/Warsaw stations WRSW and WAWC.


Lakeshore Public Radio's WLPR (89.1fm, Lowell) welcomes Ed Smaron as morning news anchor. Smaron arrives at WLPR from news/traffic reporter duties at Metro Networks/Shadow Broadcasting (heard on several Chicago AM stations). He was also a freelancer at the Gary Post-Tribune newspaper. Also, WLPR will add broadcasts of the Gary Southshore RailCats baseball games. This is a move for the RailCats from Michigan City FM Broadcasters' AC-Oldies/WEFM (95.9fm, Michigan City).


Looking for the DTV remote, we note two Indianapolis TV developments. First, Jim Tellus is now President/GM (upped from VP/GM) at Dispatch Broadcasting NBC affiliate WTHR-TV (Channel 13/DT46, Indianapolis). Second, Lee Rosenthal was named News Director for Tribune's FOX affiliate WXIN-TV (Channel 59/DT45, Indianapolis). Mr. Rosenthal comes from Columbus, Ohio where he was Nightside Executive Producer at WBNS-TV. Mr. Rosenthal replaces Gavin Maliska who left WXIN last year for Orlando's WOFL-TV (IRW, 3 December 2008).


Dominion Media's swaps the calls of its Channels 9 (Jeffersonville) and 45 (Clarksville). Channel 9 is now WJYL-CA while Channel 45 is now WNDA-CA. According to WNDA's website, they will move WNDA's programming to the WJYL digital allocation (Channel 16) on its 16.3 channel. WJYL 16.1 will be the TBN programming now seen on analog Channel 45, while WJYL 16.2 will be a simulcast of Religious/WTSZ (1600am, Eminence, Kentucky).


EMF Broadcasting closes on its $1.4 million purchase of WEZG (95.3fm, Morganfield, Kentucky) from J.B. Crawley's Union County Broadcasting. Ed Henson brokered the deal.

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

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All pages Copyright Blaine Thompson. Articles, photos, corrections, and other contributions should be e-mailed to the editors.