Indiana RadioWatch: March 2, 2017

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Northeast

Adams Radio's new FM translator for Oldies/WLYV (1450am, Fort Wayne) now has call letters: W282CH (104.3fm, Fort Wayne).

Since Nexstar CBS affiliate/WANE-TV (Channel 15, Fort Wayne) weekend sports anchor/reporter Jessica Starbard exited over the weekend, Andy McDonnell succeeds Ms. Starbard. Mr. McDonnell last worked in Green Bay, Wisconsin as a sports reporter/anchor at WGBA-TV ("NBC26").

Northcentral

Elkhart Community Schools' NPR affiliate/WVPE (88.1fm, Elkhart) takes a lightning strike, which temporarily took their WVPE-HD2 ("News2") off the air.

Eastcentral

Yesterday afternoon, Randolph County Homeland Security and Emergency Management said that several Rodgers Broadcasting radio stations in Richmond were hacked, including AC/WZZY (98.3fm, Winchester). The hackers played audio which contained false emergency bulletins: An outbreak of disease lead to diseased bodies and zombies. Emergency tones apparently went out over the air. Here's a Facebook post from the Randolph County, Indiana Sheriff's Department

From: Randolph County, Indiana Sheriff's Department
To: Local Media Outlets
From: Charles Shaneyfelt, HSEM Director
Date: 03/01/2017

Winchester Randolph County Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM) investigates a reported hack of a local radio station and false emergency information being broadcast. Around 12:15 PM on March 1, 2017, the HSEM director was notified that local radio station WZZY, 98.3, was releasing emergency bulletins relating to a health emergency surrounding a disease outbreak, diseased bodies, and zombies. The emergency alert bulletin tones were used during this incident. The information received indicated that this bulletin was being replayed frequently.

The HSEM office contacted the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) to check and see if there was a planned training/exercise regarding this event; there was not. IDHS was informed of the incident and that further investigation was occurring.

The HSEM office contacted personnel from WZZY regarding the incident. It was confirmed that the radio station firewall was breached and a hack of the stations broadcasting system occurred. Similar alerts occurred on WZZYs sister stations. The stations were taken off the air to control the incident until the hack could be brought under control.

Details regarding the incident were forwarded to IDHS and various federal agency partners. No further information will be released regarding this incident unless warranted.

A tip of the IRW cap to Woof Boom Radio's Hot AC/WLBC-FM (104.1fm, Muncie) on their nomination as a 2017 NAB Crystal Radio Award finalist.

Wednesday night's storms took several Muncie radio stations off the air, including two FM stations and two translators.

Central

Continental Broadcast Group's Regional Mexican/WNTS (1590am, Beech Grove) files an extension of their STA. Last July, a lightning strike damaged their transmitter. "Exitos 1590" moved from 5000 watts (daytime) to 4000 watts (daytime). They're waiting on custom replacement parts from Harris.

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

Blaine Thompson
Indiana RadioWatch

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