Indiana RadioWatch: March 10, 1999

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This just in at presstime...The FCC and Pathfinder have reached a tentative settlement. Under the terms of the settlement, John Dille's Pathfinder Communications pays a $30,000 fine and David Hicks pays a $20,000 fine. Dille loses no radio stations. The original accusation was that Dille set up a front whereby he controlled WRBR-FM (103.9fm, South Bend) through his children in order to avoid any cross-ownership waiver, since he owns the local Elkhart Truth newspaper. FCC Judge Joseph Chachkin has not said when he'll release his decision on the settlement.

Northeast

CHR-Dance/WGL-FM (102.3fm, Auburn) moves its transmitter from the south side of Auburn to the west side of Garrett. Also, they increase power to 6kw in an attempt to blanket Fort Wayne.

Also at WGL-FM, Jo Valentine takes the night shift. Valentine arrives from CHR/WJET (102.3fm, Erie, Pennsylvania) where he did nights.

Northcentral

Standards/WHLY & Country/WJVA (1620am, 1580am; both South Bend) OM Mike Shannon departs. Also leaving are Deb Millard, Shannon's AM-Drive co-host (she was also GSM). According to our sources, this leaves the station staffed only by the Owner/GM and the Chief Engineer.

Northwest

Country/WLJE (105.5fm, Valparaiso) PD Kevin "Crash" Davis departs for the PD post at Radio One Networks "Go Country" format.

Eastcentral

Country/WQLK (96.1fm, Richmond) PD Buzz Cannon departs for Country/WRBT (94.9fm, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania). He'll be known there as "Buzz Carson".

Central

Classic Hits/WNAP (93.1fm, Indianapolis) switches to more of a 'metal-classic-rock' feel. Bands frequently heard include Van Halen, Def Leppard, and AC/DC. They're positioning themselves as "Classic Rock that Really Rocks". Sources compare this change to the old "Solid Rock 103.3" from 1992. It seems that once listeners were done with syndicated morning man Howard Stern's show, they vanished. From what we've heard, other than the station going jockless for the first week, the changes (musically) have been subtle.

Also, WNAP and AC/WENS (97.1fm, Shelbyville) will be voice tracking overnights. That means WENS overnight vet Tim Bonnell will exit.

Jazz/WIRE-FM (91.1fm, Lebanon) is fined $4,000 by the FCC because their antenna wasn't at the height they reported to the FCC. WIRE was originally fined $11,000 for also interfering with the signal of WEDM (91.1fm, Indianapolis), but that was eliminated on appeal, since the FCC could not determine whether the interference had any effect on WEDM's signal.

Country/WFMS (95.5fm, Indianapolis), Country/WGRL (93.9fm, Noblesville) and Oldies/WGLD (104.5fm, Indianapolis) News Director Larry Leggett has resigned. No replacement named.

Speaking of WFMS, Congrats to MD/PM-Drive guy J.D. Cannon, who celebrates 20 years with the station. The celebration included a "This Is Your Life" tribute, featuring calls from various country artists. In addition, Indiana Governor Frank O'Bannon designated native Iowan J.D. as "an official Hoosier" and Indianapolis Mayor Steven Goldsmith presented him with the city's highest community service award.

Congrats to AC/WENS (97.1fm, Shelbyville). They're one of the 40 finalists for the NAB's Crystal Radio Award.

The Bob & Tom Show add several new affiliates: AOR/KRRX (106.1fm, Redding, California), Oldies/KXFM (99.1fm, San Luis Obispo, California), Classic Rock/WWFX (100.1fm, Worcester, Massachusetts), and AOR/WXRX (104.9fm, Rockford, Illinois).

Westcentral

The Equity One stations in Terre Haute (WSDM(AM) & FM, WAXI, and WJSH) add news from local NBC affiliate WTWO-TV (Channel 2!).

Southeast

We recently ran into an impressive website covering the history of Country/WTRE (1330am, Greensburg) - Check out http://www.treecountry.com/history/.

Southwest

Country/WBNL(AM) & Standards/WBNL-FM (1540am & 107.1fm, both Boonville) are sold to CCM Ministries. According to our sources, CCM plans on a gospel format for the AM side and a contemporary Christian format on the FM side.

Sports/WGAB(AM) (1180, Newburgh) drops its sports format in favor of Adult Standards, utilizing JSN's "Music of Your Life" radio network.

Congrats to Country/WYNG (105.3fm, Evansville) on their second place showing in the Small-market category for the Promotion Awards given by the Country Radio Broadcasters.

CHR/WSTO (96.1fm, Owensboro, Kentucky) Night guy Cat Michaels exits.

That's it for this issue! See you in two weeks...

Blaine Thompson
Indiana RadioWatch

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