Indiana RadioWatch: June 4, 2008

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Fallen Timbers' AC/WFGA (106.7fm, Hicksville, Ohio) promotes PD/morning co-host Bill "Woodrow" Zimmerman to the GM chair, replacing Leann Didier.

On May 27, Federated Media's Hot AC/WMEE (97.3fm, Fort Wayne) added the syndicated Westwood One "Billy Bush Show," weeknights from 8pm - 12am. Former night DJ Chris Cain shifts to overnights.

We note the death of a high school radio station founder. On 4 May, Robert D. Thomas, 68, passed away. In 1985, Thomas established WJHS (91.5fm, Columbia City) at Columbia City Joint High School (now Columbia City High School). Thomas was live on the air, broadcasting sporting events, along with county and 4-H related events.

Just over the Indiana/Ohio border, First Family Broadcasting adds Dave Roach as GM of its Standards/WERT (1220am, Van Wert, Ohio) and Oldies-Sports/WKSD (99.7fm, Paulding, Ohio). Before WERT/WKSD, Roach spent the last three years with Maverick Media in Delphos, Ohio.

A congratulatory tip of the IRW cap to Randy Schiffman, who was Sports Director and Sports Anchor at LIN-TV's CBS affiliate WANE-TV (Channel 15/DT31, Fort Wayne). Schiffman retired on 15 May from TV after more than twenty years. He began at WANE in 1987.

Where Are They Now? (Part 1) Former Summit City Radio Group President/CEO Lloyd Roach is now head of the Internet radio station - based near the Pennsylvania/Delaware boarder. According to the website, the station runs two very distinct blocks of programming: From 6AM - 6PM, they air "Contemporary Pop," while from 6PM - 6AM, they air classical music.

Where Are They Now? (Part 2) Former Sarkes Tarzian AC/WAJI (95.1fm, Fort Wayne) morning co-host Mike Kendall was recently promoted at the Catholic radio network Relevant Radio. Kendall is now Chief Programming Officer for the sixteen Relevant Radio owned and operated stations.


After ten years as the flagship of Notre Dame sports, the Artistic Media Partners stations in South Bend (WDND/WNDV-AM+FM/WPNT/WSMM/WZOW) will no longer originate Notre Dame sports. In a press release, AMP President Arthur Angotti states: "We have enjoyed the privilege of carrying Notre Dame Athletics on our radio stations the past ten years."

After just over two years as Soft AC "Love Songs," Artistic Media Partners' WWLV (1620am, South Bend) changes format at Noon on Memorial Day to all-news, mostly simulcasting the audio from CNN Headline News. The new call letters are WPNT ("Point"). Finally, Bob Henning is the new PD of "Real News Real Fast 1620."

A congratulatory tip of the IRW cap to Sally Brown, who is both VP/Radio - Indiana at Schurz Communications and VP/GM of the WSBT Radio Group in South Bend (WSBT/WNSN). Brown has been appointed to the Radio Board of the NAB. She begins her term in June. Brown has been with Schurz Communications since April 1989.

The FCC application submitted by Plymouth Broadcasting's Oldies/WZOC (94.3fm, Plymouth) is withdrawn. The application would have shifted WZOC's city of license to Walkerton. Since this application was withdrawn, a co-channel application from a Chicago radio station was approved.

Several of the NCE applications filed in last October's window are starting to become CP's. The CP for Electronic Applications Radio Service, Inc. on 88.1fm in Cole now has call letters WVXI. Those calls were last in the Hoosier State up until April, 2003 on 106.3fm in Crawfordsville (what is now WCDQ).

This summer will soon see a TV studio shuffle in South Bend. The city of South Bend recently announced a $1 million investment in the facade of the new building that Michiana Public Broadcasting's PBS affiliate WNIT-DT (34DT, South Bend) will occupy later this summer. The building (300 W. Jefferson St.) currently houses Schurz Communications radio and TV stations (WSBT and WSBT-TV). Both will move this summer to a new building on East Douglas Road in Mishawaka.

More on an unfortunate story from the "Radio with Pictures" file: Schurz Communications' CBS-affiliate WSBT-TV (Channel 22/DT30) News Anchor Debra Daniel was sentenced on 19 May on charges of driving while intoxicated and leaving the scene of an accident.

Those details:

* Driver's License suspended for 30 days.
* One year probation
* Ordered to attend a substance abuse program
* Ordered to attend a victim impact panel
* Pay a $160 fine

Daniel returned to the air at WSBT-TV on Tuesday 20 May.

Progressive Broadcasting System translator W287BL (105.3fm, Elkhart) changes its frequency from 105.1fm to 105.3fm and increases power to a directional 165 watts. This station is one of a very few nationwide that is will rebroadcast an AM signal - in this case, that signal is Southern Gospel/WFRN (1270am, Elkhart).

We belatedly note sad news from South Bend as retired longtime WNDU engineer Mel Dzialak passed away on April 18. Dzialak, 63, retired from WNDU in 2004 and since then, has worked for the South Bend stations of Artistic Media Partners. He also was a Ham operator, served as Secretary of the local SBE chapter, and was the area Frequency Coordinator.

Where Are They Now? Jack Swart, former Market Manager for Artistic Media Partners' stations in South Bend, is now Market Manager at the three station Connoisseur Media cluster in Bloomington, Illinois.


A local Lafayette radio station falls silent for the summer. Oldies/WJEF (91.9fm, Lafayette) will go silent all summer, due to construction at the Performing Arts Center.

Robert Feder reports in The Chicago Sun-Times that Veronica Carter joins Don Clark as morning co-host at at Radio One Communications' AC/WZVN (107.1fm, Lowell). On the weekends, Carter is a news anchor at Chicago's WGN Radio.

Several of the NCE applications filed in last October's window are starting to become CP's. The FCC has given a CP to The Helpline for a station on 90.9fm in Hebron.


With over a decade as a Country music station, WKPW (90.7fm, Knightstown) recently changed format to Classic Hits on Thursday 25 May.

After four years as GM and two years as Assistant GM, Jeff DuPont exits the Pendleton Heights High School station - AAA/WEEM-FM (91.7fm, Pendleton).

Brian Free is the new PD at Backyard Broadcasting simulcast Oldies/WERK & WURK (104.9fm, Muncie; 101.7fm, Elwood). Free is also the Production Director for the Backyard Broadcasting Daleville cluster. With Free now in the PD chair, "WERK Radio" repositions themselves (as of 7 May) as "Good Times and Great Oldies" with music from 1968-1979. Here is the new airstaff lineup:

6:00AM - 10:00AM Steve Brown ("Brownie in the Morning")
10:00AM - 3:00PM Lora Armstrong
3:00PM - 7:00PM PD Brian Free
7:00PM - 12:00AM Marty Thompson

Several of the NCE applications filed in last October's window are starting to become CP's. Connersville Apostolic now has a CP for a station on 89.7fm, licensed to Liberty. The transmitter will be along US-27, just a few miles north of Liberty.

Brewer Broadcasting's Talk/WHON (930am, Centerville) adds Wilbur Entertainment's syndicated feature "Little Known Facts"


Cumulus/Indianapolis (WFMS/WJJK/WRWM) Director of Programming David Wood exits after 12.5 years at Cumulus (and its predecessor: Susquehanna). Wood has been in radio for 27 years; 21 as PD or OM.

The Main Street Tattler also notes that Bob Richards adds OM duties for the entire cluster (WFMS/WJJK/WRWM). Richards also remains PD at Country/WFMS (95.5fm, Indianapolis).

A pair of new Indianapolis PD's: First, AllAccess reports that Cumulus AC/WRWM (93.9fm, Fishers) adds John Trout as PD/Mornings. Trout arrives in Indy from LSM duties at Artistic Media Partners' CHR/WBWB (96.7fm, Bloomington) under his real name (Paul Kenny). Trout also has programmed in Pittsburgh and Youngstown, Ohio.

Second, The Main Street Tattler notes Entercom's promotion of "Willie B." to PD (after just promoting him to APD) of Adult Hits/WNTR (107.9fm, Indianapolis). We have no word on whether Willie B. retains his PMD drive duties. WNTR also adds sister Hot AC/WZPL (99.5fm, Greenfield) morning host Dave Smiley as host of the nightly feature "80's at 8."

Sharon Alseth is now a News Anchor, Reporter and Producer at NPR affiliate WFYI-FM (90.1fm, Indianapolis). Susan Guyett mentions in her Indianapolis Star column that the former WIBC radio News Director recently joined the station, primarily working during NPR's "Morning Edition."

Several of the NCE applications filed in last October's window are starting to become CP's. The CP for Hoosier Public Radio Corp. on 90.9fm in Fairland now has call letters WABT.

Where Are They Now? A TV "WATN" here as veteran WTHR (Channel 13/DT46, Indianapolis) President/GM Richard Pegram joins ABC affiliate WFTS in Tampa, Florida as VP/GM. The 56 year old Pegram was president/GM at WTHR for 13 years.


Emmis' Country/WTHI-FM (99.9fm, Terre Haute) adds Doc Long in nights (7pm - 12am).


After three and a half years with a sports format, WWSZ (1570am, New Albany) flips format to talk, as "Indiana 1570" with new call letters WNDA. Their new website ( only mentions two programs: Glenn Beck (9am - 12pm) and Bill O'Reilly (12pm - 2pm), with a vague "Stay tuned for more" at the end. More on this in our next issue.


Will Murphy will become GM at Bloomington Community Radio's Variety/WFHB (91.3fm, Bloomington) on 1 June. Murphy replaces Markus Lowe, who resigned in March, but remains with the station. Before joining WFHB, Murphy was News Director for nearly eight years at crosstown IU's News-Classical/WFIU (103.7fm, Bloomington).

Replacing Murphy as News Director at WFIU is former WGN/Chicago reporter Stan Jastrzebski. Jastrzebski is also a graduate of DePauw University (where he was a reporter at WGRE).

David Burnett joins Southern Gospel/WYGS (91.1fm, Columbus) as Executive Director and Station Manager, as of 16 May.

Brantley Broadcast Associates' WXCH (103.1fm, Versailles) shifts to 102.9fm, now licensed to Hope, northeast of Columbus. The tower site (a fifty foot tower with a simple two bay antenna) is now just northwest of Hope, on County Road 670E in Bartholomew County. An IRW reader tells us the station is currently running a dead carrier (or, in IRW parlance: "The Best of Dead Air").

A congratulatory tip of the IRW cap to the staff of Sarkes Tarzian's AAA/WTTS (92.3fm, Bloomington), who recently released their "WTTS New Music Sampler" CD. WTTS PD Brad Holtz told IRW that they have released two CD's a year for at least ten years now.


After a year with a country format, DLC Media's WFML (96.7fm, Vincennes) flips format from the satellite-based Jones True County to Variety Hits ("Jones Variety Hits") with the new moniker "Max Knows Music - Maximum Variety."

Regent's CHR/WDKS (106.1fm, Newburgh) adds the syndicated Kidd Kraddick in morning drive.

Employment Opportunities

The flagship stations for Purdue Sports Broadcasting in Lafayette are looking for a Market Manager with a successful record of Sales Management experience and a passion for selling sports. Responsibilities include overall station management including but not limited to sales, marketing, promotions, hiring, training, managing cash flow and long term planning. We are an E.O.E. Qualified applicants may e-mail lafayetteradio at aol dot com.

Brothers Broadcasting, a family owned company is searching for an experienced Broadcast Sales Person. Candidate should be assertive, have an enthusiastic attitude and be self-motivated. Strong communication, negotiation, computer, math and writing skills required. Two years previous broadcast sales experience preferred. Interested individuals should send their resumes to John Balvich at johnb at 1560wrin dot com, or to Brothers Broadcasting, P.O. Box D, Rensselaer, IN 47978. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply; Brother Broadcasting is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

FM100 Talks (WNUY/100.1) is looking for part time weekend board operators. Previous experience a plus, or we will train the right person. Our studios are in Bluffton. To apply, please contact GM Dayle Mentzer at daylemantzer at wnuy dot com. WNUY and Independence Media are an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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.