Indiana RadioWatch: March 6, 2004

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Just compiling what you see in the blog ( - More soon, including a story (and photos) of a southeast Indiana radio station transmitter stick that was struck in a lightning storm.



WBNI Off The Air -- High Winds Cause New Damage to Station's Transmission Line

"WBNI was taken off the air Sunday afternoon as high winds weakened repairs made last fall to the station's transmission line. The resulting new leaks have caused a loss of line pressure that forced the station to turn its transmitter off. New transmission line will be brought in from Chicago on Monday to replace the damaged sections. It is NIPR's goal to restore service as quickly as possible. All of us at NIPR appreciate your support and patience and apologize for the inconvenience."

IRW listened to W204BF (88.7fm, Fort Wayne), the translator of WBNI's sister station WBOI (91.3fm, Orland). Within 15 minutes, it was mentioned several times that WBNI was off the air, and they were hoping to be back on the air sometime tomorrow (Tuesday 9 March.)

We're sorry to have to report the passing (1/27) of Charlie Willer, who spent most of his time in Fort Wayne radio. In Fort Wayne, he worked at carrier current station WITB (based at the Indiana Institute of Technology, more commonly known now as Indiana Tech), and as "Charlie Franklin" at WPTH (now WAJI), WAFX (now WLYV), and WZRQ (now WSHI). Outside of Fort Wayne, he had stops in Lafayette and Archbold, Ohio. Beyond radio announcing, he owned his production company (Charles Willer Productions; he was "Audio Architect"). Charlie also composed classical music - Someone commented to IRW that he was with Charlie when they were visiting Indiana University - Bloomington. While inside a building, Charlie spotted a piano, and immediately sat down and started to play, making up a tune in his head that sounded beautiful.

Outside of radio, he was active in Jugglers Anonymous and was highly regarded for his knowledge of railroad trains.

Willer influenced many just starting in broadcasting to further their careers - perhaps most notably the Chairman and Publisher of Radio Ink - B. Eric Rhodes. Yesterday, Rhodes spoke with IRW: "Charlie Willer was responsible for getting me into radio. He has been my best friend since I was 14 years old. He was a creative genius who could have ended up in NY or LA, but he loved Indiana and wanted to stay there surrounded by the people he loved. I never met anyone in my life who has so many friends."

Tom Andrews, GM at WLKI in Angola, also worked with Charlie and commented to IRW "Charlie was one of those people who spread a sense of joy wherever he went."

On a more personal note, IRW knew Charlie as he e-mailed us often with stories and questions. IRW appreciated his wide knowledge and the education it provided us on historical radio in Fort Wayne and Northeast Indiana.

On Monday 2 February, WXKE (102.9fm, Huntington) dropped its simulcast with Alternative/WXTW (102.3fm, Auburn) and changed format to standards as "The River."

Artistic Media Partners' Market Manager Linda Bradley exits. She was responsible for Fort Wayne stations Country/WBTU (93.3fm, Kendallville) and Lite AC/WSHI (106.3fm, Columbia City). She arrived in July 2003 from Director of Sales for Clear Channel's Poughkeepsie, New York stations.

Rock/WBYR (98.9fm, Van Wert, Ohio) midday lady Cristi Cantle exits after just over a month at "The Bear" for mornings at WXZZ in Lexington, Kentucky.

Lite AC/WSHI (106.3fm, Columbia City) drops syndicated morning duo Bob and Sheri and returns Kenny Edwards in mornings. Edwards did mornings until the station changed formats from Standards to Lite AC at the end of 2003.

Davin and Ana Friendly, the husband and wife morning duo at CHR/WNHT (96.3fm, Churubusco) move to mornings at sister Hot AC/WYLT (103.9fm, Fort Wayne). Replacing The Friendly's are Goose (who moves from nights to mornings) and Van (really Brian VanBokkelen, last at WLHR in Panama City, Florida). Goose and Van team up as "The Hits Morning Madhouse." Goose's former night slot now remains unfilled, but we hear OM/PD "Big" Dave Eubanks is actively looking...


Meteorologist Larry Mowry exits WSBT-TV (Channel 22, South Bend [CBS]) for the Windy City. Mowry joins ABC-owned WLS-TV (Channel 7, Chicago, Illinois) for Saturday morning weather forecasts during their new 6am-7am newsblock. According to The Chicago Sun-Times' media guru Robert Feder, he had worked at WSBT since 2001.


The FCC has cleared an application by Educational Media Foundation (The K-LOVE folks) for a translator on 101.7fm, licensed to Richmond (primary station: WOKL [96.9fm, Troy, Ohio]). If no petitions to deny were filed last week, the FCC will grant a construction permit. IRW wonders if this will cause any "static" with second adjacent Hot AC/WFMG (101.3fm, Richmond)?


Hot AC/WZPL (99.5fm, Greenfield) PD Scott Sands adds OM duties, and is also now Director of Internet Development for parent company Mystar Communications Corp. Sands has been PD at WZPL since October 1999, joining from KFMB in (sunny) San Diego, California.


Religious/WSPV (90.5fm, Greencastle) changes call letters to WIKL (IRW presumes it stands for "Indy's K-Love").

Employment Opportunities

Looking for a new opportunity with a growing and diverse company? We have these immediate opportunities:

DOS - Indianapolis
TV Sales Mgr. - Indianapolis

Let us here from you! Send your resume to our VP of HR (sgolsch at radio-one dot com) or fax to 301.918.9274. Inquiries will be kept confidential.

Marketing Consultants

Start Date: Immediately
Employment Type: Full Time
Location: Fort Wayne, IN
Station Information: WBTU/WSHI
2100 Goshen Road
Fort Wayne, IN 46808

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Artistic Media Partners
2100 Goshen Road
Fort Wayne, IN 46808

Artistic Media Partners is an equal opportunity employer


Travis Broadcasting has 3 Senior Sales Executive positions available to sell its 6-station combo in Ft. Wayne. Great formats (N/T, Classic Rock, CHR, Hot AC & Rock), great lists with a growing company. Must have minimum of 2 years radio sales experience.

Email resume in MS Word format in complete confidence to: jobs at travisbroadcasting dot com

That's it for this issue. See you in a week!

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