Indiana RadioWatch: March 27, 2012

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Four important notes begin this issue:

First: April brings IRW's second visit to the NAB Show in Las Vegas. Will you or your colleagues be there? If so, please let IRW know and we'll meet up.

Second: now sits on a hosted server.

Third, a question: If your station airs CNN Radio News, what network news programming change will you make after CNN Radio News ends?

Last: Here's an interesting discussion which crossed IRW's desk. For those radio stations who have internships

This issue both covers some '2011 year in review' and more recent news.


On Wednesday at Noon, WOWO will add a simulcast on 92.3fm (WFWI), displacing Classic Rock "92.3 The Fort." This returns WOWO to the FM dial where it last was on what is now WGL-FM (102.9fm), though WOWO-FM occupied 103.1fm. Here's what else we know so far:

* After 17 years (and one of the initial two network affiliates), syndicated Indianapolis morning show Bob and Tom move to WBYR starting Thursday 29 March from 6:00AM until 10:00AM.

* Former "The Bear" morning show "TNT" splits up, with Turner moving into the 1pm until 4pm timeslot while Barry takes nights (7pm until 12am).

* "The Bear" APD/MD/nights Drew Cage exits.

More big changes at Federated Media: After 36 years (the last twelve as COO), Tony Richards exits as COO, and now owns a radio station in Tennessee. Federated Media CEO Alec Dille promotes Mark DePrez to COO of the Fort Wayne and Auburn radio stations, while Brad Williams becomes COO for the South Bend, Goshen and Warsaw stations. Also, Director of Integrated Media James Derby becomes Chief Strategy Officer. Mr. Richards remains with Federated Media in an advisory role. Replacing Mr. DePrez is new Fort Wayne market manager Jim Allgeier.

Marsha Bunker changed roles, so Ross McCampbell becomes the new Executive Director at Taylor University's WBCL Radio network. Ms. Bunker is now the finance and administration manager.

Debuting in March 2009, "Saturday Fade" ended its run on Saturday 14 January 2012 at WBOI. Nightflight Jazz (9pm until 10pm) and "Side Tracks" (10pm until 12am) replace Saturday Fade.

WLAB morning co-host Ace McKay exits. Scott and Sam are the new morning show there with producer Tyler Boss.

WBTU (93.3fm, Kendallville) morning duo A.J. McGuire and Teri Armstrong both exit. They are replaced by Dave B. Goode (who returns to Fort Wayne from Traverse City) and WBTU PD Charlotte Burke. No stranger to Fort Wayne, Goode was PD and on-air at Summit City Radio Group's crosstown WNHT in the mid-2000s.

As for Mr. McGuire, he resurfaces in mornings at WWKA in Orlando, Florida.

WMYQ signs on at 10:00AM on Friday 2 March as a Hot AC station, running ABC News Now at the top of each hour. Contractors are working on new studios in Columbia City.


1490am WPNT loses its FCC license, as owner Artistic Media Partners never found a new transmitter site. The WPNT transmitter site on the University of Notre Dame campus disappeared, after the campus needed the land for a new hockey arena. WPNT's ESPN format shifts to Artistic sister 1620am WDND.

Father Pettit Home Association is the new licensee of WRRP-CP (89.7fm, Peru).


John Records Landecker exits WIMS for nights at WLS-FM in Chicago, Illinois.


Crews removed the tower first used by then-WLBC-TV (now WIPB-TV), on the site of Backyard Broadcasting's East 29th Street facility in Muncie. You can read more about this project and see some nifty photos (taken by your editor) here.

Doug Zook exits mornings at WHBU.

Ron Kipfer passed away in December at age 62. Mr. Kipfer worked at Marion's WBAT and WCJC for 35 years, training and mentoring many broadcasters.


3 Towers Broadcasting's WSVX and translator W243CL (96.5fm, Shelbyville) co-owner, engineer and PD Doug Raab passed away. The 29 year old Raab died on June 7 in a car accident in rural Shelby County.

Indianapolis filmmaker David Fulton orchestrated a movie premier complete with a red carpet plus a before and after reception at Loughmiller's, a downtown pub and eatery, just a few blocks from the IMAX Theatre, where guests screened the documentary, "Naptown Rock Radio Wars," a story that traces the epic battle back between 1958 and 1979 involving WIBC-AM (1070), WIFE-AM (1310) and WNAP-FM (93.1). Also involved were WNDE-AM (1260) and WXLW-AM (950) and bootleg station Radio Free Naptown! Some of the VIP's on hand included: Al Stone, Buster Bodine, Cris Conner, Tom Cochrun, Bill Shirk, Ann Craig, Pam Carr, Mike O'Brien, Mike Griffen, Roger W. Morgan, Reb Porter, Tom Woody, Russ Dodge, Scott Shannon and Jeff Smulyan.

After seven years in mornings at WXNT, Abdul-Hakim Shabazz exits in August.

In July, "Deacon" slides into late nights (10pm until 2am) at WNOU.

Where Are They Now? Former WRTV News Director David Baer is now News Director at WXXA-TV in Albany, New York.


The Original Company files and receives a CP to move its W246CD (97.1fm, Algiers) translator of WVUB (91.1fm, Vincennes) from Algiers to Petersburg. Under the CP, the new tower site for W246CD will be the WBTO-FM's (102.3fm, Petersburg) tower site off IN-61, north of Petersburg. When complete, the translator's power will drop (250 watts to 38 watts), but the population coverage should remain the same.


An update: WAY Media's WWPW (104.3, Charlestown) returned from silence. Way Media inked a new LMA deal which Tom Taylor's Taylor on Radio-Info reported on. The new variety hits format ("Louie") once aired on then-WLUE (100.5fm, Louisville, Kentucky) between 2005 and 2009. Way Media also changed the call letters to WLUE.


G. Earl Metzger passes away. For many years, Mr. Metzger owned and managed WITZ and WITZ-FM along with WQKZ. Mr. Meetzger passed away at age 69 on 12 August (While on vacation, we visited WITZ the day before). Among Mr. Metzger's many accomplishments: He served for several decades on the IBA board and as its president. He is an Indiana Broadcast Pioneer and was a 2003 inductee into the Indiana Broadcasters Hall of Fame. Mr. Metzger was instrumental in the formation of the IBA statewide radio network. WITZ(AM) was started by the Metzger family in 1948 and the FM started in 1954.

At translator W240CE (95.9fm, Washington), a simulcast of WAMW, the FCC approves owner DLC Media's request to move the transmitter to County Road 375 South, near Washington. That moves the translater's site from the same tower as BBN's W211AT (on West National Road, in Washington) onto a different tower on County Road 375 South, east of IN-57 and south of Washington (W211AT also has a CP to relocate to this tower).

WYFX (106.7fm, Mount Vernon) adds "The Rodney Watson on Basketball" radio show, co-hosted by Univeristy of Southern Indiana men's basketball coach Rodney Watson and Dan Egierski. The show airs Monday evenings at 7:00PM.

Castle Rock, Colorado-based DTV Enterprises LLC has a CP for W40DH-D (Channel 40, Evansville). During 2011, they received FCC approval to increase ERP from 10kW to 15kW. The CP specifies the WSTO (96.1fm, Owensboro, Kentucky) tower site on Pleasant Hill Road, near Hebbardsville, Kentucky. Once on the air, we have no word on what programming W40DH-D will broadcast.

Radio Spotlight

This week, we sit down with Rick Duncan.

Name: Rick Duncan
Job Title(s): Director of Programming/Operations
Station(s): WFMG, WIFE-AM/FM, WKBV and WZZY
Market(s): Richmond, Connersville, Rushville, Winchester
Owner: Whitewater Broadcasting

Who were your early DJ or radio station influences? (Perhaps what lead you to "catch the radio bug."?)

I was a devoted listener to the Rick Dees Weekly Top 40. I never missed a weekend. I also grew up listening to Jammin' John Trout on WZPL. They both made it sound like so much fun.

Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without _________?

My phone. It took a lot for me to admit to that. I'm sending you my therapy bill, Thompson!

How did you first get started at Whitewater Broadcasting?

I was Music Director at WLBC in Muncie when I interviewed for the WFMG PD job. After about a year I was given the opportunity to program WKBV and then we purchased WZZY and added those duties. Now I oversee the programming at WIFE AM/FM as well.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I love that every day is different and I get paid to have a lot of fun. But the biggest thing is the people I work with. We're like one big (dysfunctional) family.

What has been your biggest career accomplishment?

The individual stuff is nice and quite a compliment but ultimately your job is to not only make yourself better but also the people around you. If you're the leading scorer on a basketball team with a losing record does it really matter?

What makes you a unique OM/PD?

I've worked for a lot of PD's that always had to have all of the answers whether they actually did or not. I think if there's one thing that makes me unique it's that I don't claim to know it all. I have a phenomenal staff with a lot of experience. If something isn't working I'll ask for their input. I'm in a very enviable position.

What makes the Richmond radio market unique?

Richmond sits nearly dead-center in the middle of Indy, Cincinnati and Dayton. When you're surrounded by big radio stations you've got to be on top of your game all of the time.

What's one thing that would surprise many people to learn about you?

Even though I've made a career of being on-air, my degree (Vincennes U '93) is in Broadcasting Sales.

What's the best advice you'd give to those wanting to get into radio?

Try to learn all of the aspects of the business: on air, promotions, sales. The more you know about what you're working with, the better off and the more utilized you'll be. Also, learning web design couldn't hurt.

What's the most important issue in radio today?

How to you keep your radio station relevant in today's world of instant access media.

What's your biggest pet peeve in radio?

Stations that suck the fun out of radio. It's what we do between the songs that differentiates us from iPods and Pandora. Creative and engaging content (humor, info, etc) is the lifeblood of radio. We are in the entertainment business. I hate to hear a station that forgets that.

What's your philosophy about radio ratings?

In a small market you either have to live and die by the ratings or tune them out and plow ahead. We've used Arbitron and Eastlan both in the past and we've learned some valuable things, but it's hard to judge the path of the radio station based on one book or one survey. There just isn't enough consistent data in a market our size to call all of the shots with them the way things are. Call me in 2037 when we finally get the PPM...maybe I'll have changed my mind.

Where do you see the radio industry five years from now?

Hopefully not still searching for it's identity as we are now. At the NAB in Chicago the overwhelming message was "what happens now?". Pandora, iPods, satellite's got all of us looking over our shoulder. But that's the thing to remember: we are looking back because we're still in the lead. Radio needs to continue to push local, relevant, entertaining content while still exploring new ways of content delivery to compliment our on-air product. I think "local" will be the key to success.

Who's your favorite air personality that isn't working for you?

I don't get a chance to listen regularly but I really like Dave Smiley on WZPL. He is very funny, entertaining and comes across as very real. I also love listening to Kim Morris at WLBC. Kim and I have been friends since I worked there. She's constantly prepping for her show. Plus she's got a great voice.

What book have you read that has taught you the most about the radio business?

The Mirror Test from Jeffery Hayzlett is really good. I don't get to read as much as I'd like to...unless you count comic books. I'm quite the comic geek.

Employment Opportunities

White River Broadcasting seeks someone who eats, sleeps and dreams news! We need an experienced News Director for our news/talk AM and 3 music-intensive FM's. YOU NEED TO BE INTERNET SAVY! You'll be responsible for the morning news duties, cover key meetings, work with our afternoon news editor to provide a contemporary news product for both on-air and on-line. Our news director will enjoy as competitive salary and a great benefits package including 401(k). Did I say YOU NEED TO BE INTERNET SAVVY? Send your news philosophy, resume and demos to John Foster, Director of Programming, P.O. Box 1789, Columbus, IN 47202-1789 or better yet, e-mail everything to jobs at wcsiradio dot com. White River Broadcasting is proud to be an equal opportunity employer.

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

=============== Indiana RadioWatch ===============

(c) 2012, Blaine E. Thompson

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