Indiana RadioWatch: September 30, 2009
After just over three years as a Regional Mexican station, Three Amigo's WGBJ (102.3fm, Auburn) flips format Monday (21 September 2009) at 6:00PM to CHR, as "Power 102-3" with new call letters WOPR. No word on who is programming the
station, but we unofficially hear that a former PD from a competing station is involved. The station is jockless and commercial-free, for now. Station promos advertise the start of the syndicated "Elvis Duran" morning show on Monday
5 October. One interesting side note about "Power" before we move on: Their STL frequency is very near to Russ Oasis' Rhythmic CHR/WJFX (107.9fm, New Haven). IRW has been listening to the new "Power," and on occasion, when their
carrier drops, audio from "Hot 107.9" is heard on 102.3fm.
After eleven years with NIPR; the last three as PD, Colleen Condron exits as PD of Talk-Jazz/WBOI (89.1fm, Fort Wayne) and Classical/WBNI (94.1fm, Roanoke) (also heard on sister stations' WCKZ [91.3fm, Orland] and Translator W204BF
(88.7fm, Fort Wayne.)
After over ten years there, Weasel exits as APD/MD/Afternoons at Oasis Radio Group's Rhythmic CHR/WJFX (107.9fm, Fort Wayne). Replacing him at "Hot 107.9" is Bryan LaRoche, now known as "Bus Boy Bryan," inbound from nights, as "Tiki
Bryan," at South Central Communications' Evansville CHR/WSTO (96.1fm, Owensboro, Kentucky).
The FCC fines Columbia City High School station WJHS (91.5fm, Columbia City) $7000 for a late license renewal application.
The woman accused of hitting the automobile driven by Federated Media Country/WQHK-FM (105.1fm, Decatur) and Hot AC/WMEE (97.3fm, Fort Wayne) Assistant OM and MD Dave Michaels has been sentenced. Chloe Bates admitted last month that
she ran a red light in a stolen Chrysler 300 vehicle, hit Michaels' car, and attempted to drive away, before fleeing on foot. On the Class D felony charge, and two other charges, Allen Superior Court Judge John Surbeck sentenced Bates
to two years house arrest, followed by a year of probation, along with regular substance abuse treatments, criminal intervention treatments, over $4000 in restitution, and Bates must remain employed.
Mary Collins Frank returned to morning co-anchor duties on Indiana's NewsCenter (WPTA and WISE-TV). She apologized to viewers, and that apology is on YouTube.
Also at Indiana's News Center, we discovered an interesting development with Meteorologist Jason Meyers. Meyers has been doing the weekend weather forecasts for Granite Broadcasting sister station WEEK-TV in Peoria, Illinois. This
was made possible, in part, by the new "hub" that Granite is operating out of the facilities of WISE-TV and WPTA-TV, whereby the hub controls WEEK-TV, along with other Granite Broadcasting stations (more Granite stations will be added
to the Fort Wayne operation later). However, Meyers is now off WEEK-TV weekend weather duty, as a grievance filed by WEEK-TV employees over "displacement of station personnel" was upheld by an arbitrator. Plus, as Steve Tarter pointed
out in his Peoria Journal Star story: "...technology can be a wonderful thing. Most of us rely on it now, but, as in the case of the Fort Wayne weather watch, just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should."
An LPTV window opened for stations far enough away from a Top 100 television market. Several applications were received for Fort Wayne. Montgomery, Alabama- based Equality Broadcasting Network has also filed for a LPTV station on
Channel 2. If granted, they would transmit from an American Towers' tower that also holds Trans Star's Home Shopping Network affiliate WFWC-CA (Channel 45, Fort Wayne) on Cass Street, just north of West State Boulevard. Also
submitting an application for Fort Wayne is Babylon, New York-based Spirit of Prayer Ministries for a LPTV station on Channel 50. If granted, they would also transmit from the same American Towers' tower on Cass Street.
Speaking of LPTV, reports are in that W26DH-D (Channel 26, Auburn) has signed on with a simulcast of WINM-TV (Channel 12, Angola). W26DH-D broadcasts from the same tower as the Moore Foundation's WGLL (1570am, Auburn) and W07CL
(Channel 7, Auburn).
Artistic Media Partners brings Dick O'Day back in a senior sales/management position for its South Bend stations.
Our condolences to the family and friends of George Williamson on his passing. Williamson, 76, passed away on 22 September 2009. For 38 years, Williamson was Chief Engineer for WASK AM and FM, retiring in 1998. He was also a
minority owner of Lafayette Broadcasting, Inc.
Connersville Apostolic Lighthouse, Inc. assigns the CP for WKWH (89.7fm, Liberty) to Hoosier Public Radio Corp. for no consideration.
Modern AC/WEEM (91.7fm, Pendleton) redesigns its website at http://www.917weem.org/. The website includes a small "Alumni and History" section, so if you worked there "back in the day," drop them an e-mail through the website to have
your name added to the roster.
Where Are They Now? Former Hot AC/WFMG (101.3fm, Richmond) PD Eric Butler is now the station manager at Richmond's Whitewater Community Television.
The Indianapolis GM shuffle continues: Jennifer Skjodt replaces Phil Hoover as the GM of Entercom's three station combo (WXNT, WNTR, WZPL) in Indianapolis. Before Entercom, she was GM at Russ Oasis' WKLU and spent awhile with
Susquehanna (and Cumulus) in Indianapolis. The local radio rumor mill is abuzz, with new GM's at Emmis (Morgan) and Entercom. Both new GM's once worked at Susquehanna, and the rumors we hear are about possible changes at Emmis and
Entercom which would target Cumulus' stations (WFMS, WJJK, WRWM).
After about six years in the role, David Edgar departs as Operations Director for Emmis' Indianapolis radio stations (WFNI, WIBC-FM, WLHK, and WYXB) and heads east on I-70 to Pittsburgh, where he will be OM for Clear Channel's six
station cluster, and also be PD for their WKST and WWSW. Replacing Edgar in Indianapolis is Bob Richards, who will be OM for all four Emmis stations. Richards started yesterday. Emmis VP/Market Manager Charlie Morgan tells
AllAccess: "Recognized as one of the leading programmers in the country, Bob's track record of success in the Indianapolis market is legendary. His product vision combined with his vast experience in the Indianapolis market makes him
a perfect complement to the talented programming team at Emmis/Indianapolis."
Vicki Murphy is the new PD for Cumulus' Country/WFMS (95.5fm, Indianapolis). Murphy drops the "acting" from her title, as she took on acting PD duties in March, after former PD Bob Richards departed the Shadeland Avenue studios.
Murphy also handles middays at WFMS.
After a lengthy signoff, including a farewell show, Russ Oasis' Oldies/WKLU (101.9fm, Brownsburg) signed off at 6:00PM on Tuesday 15 September 2009. New owner Educational Media Foundation changed the format to its Contemporary
Christian "K-Love." The farewell show was a one-on-one interview format between former WKLU PD Scott Roddy and both air personalities and support staff (starting with, of course, the secretary). When 6:00PM came around, the last song
played was "Thank You For Being a Friend" by Andrew Gold, followed by Porky Pig's famous signoff: "That's All Folks!"
Two other changes have been made as a result of the sale: First, Oasis Fort Wayne sister station Rhythmic CHR/WJFX (107.9fm, New Haven) morning show "Austin and Alana" had been doing their show from the studios of WKLU. They are now
based in Fort Wayne, and doing their show from Oasis' Goshen Road studios. Second, EMF's other Indianapolis area property WIKL (90.5fm, Greencastle) shifts its satellite programming from "K-Love" to "Air-1."
Radio One CHR/WNOU (100.9fm, Speedway) adds Mel McMahon for weekends. She was with the former WNOU when it was owned by Emmis and on 93.1fm. McMahon is also a host on Radio One's WDNI-CD (Channel 19, Indianapolis) which is "Indy's
A voice of Sunday morning radio is silenced, as Delores "Sugar" Poindexter passes away on Tuesday 15 September. Poindexter was on WTLC as early as 4:00AM on Sunday mornings for twenty four years (1972 until 1996), when it ended after
she suffered a pair of on-air strokes.
Tribune FOX affiliate WXIN-TV (DT Channel 45, Indianapolis) adds an hour-long 4:00PM weekday newscast, and a half hour of news at 4:30AM each weekday. One of the new morning anchors is Kent Erdahl; inbound from weekend anchoring
duties at ABC affiliate KSFY-TV in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The new 4:00PM weekday newscast is anchored by Bob Donaldson and Cheryl Parker.
The Main Street Tattler reports about a minor controversy caused when Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard (Republican) was featured in a on-air promotion for Entercom's Adult Hits/WNTR (107.9fm, Indianapolis), and the promotion ended with
the line "We've got all the politicians in our back pocket." As WNTR eliminated jobs when it flipped formats to Adult Hits, Ed Tracey, the chairperson of the Marion County Democratic Party, reacted to the tagline by saying: "Well,
obviously, if he's doing their free advertising, he must be in somebody's pocket." Entercom Director of Operations and Programming Scott Sands said: "Wow! We could not have paid for a better two minute spot during three (television)
An LPTV window opened for stations far enough away from a Top 100 television market. Submitting an application for Terre Haute is Babylon, New York-based Spirit of Prayer Ministries for a LPTV station on Channel 5. If granted, they
would also transmit from the former WZZQ-FM site on US-150 (which is now home to at least six broadcasters).
Where Are They Now? Former WTHI-TV News Director Genie Garner will soon become the News Director at KITV in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Clear Channel CHR/WZKF (98.9fm, Salem) earns a CP from the FCC to move transmitter sites from near Greenville, south of US-150 to the Kentucky side of the Ohio River. They will move from 50,000 watts at 492 feet (Class B) to 42,500
watts at 515 feet (Class C2). "Kiss 98.9" will be broadcasting from the east side of Louisville, on one of the four towers at sister station WKRD (790am, Louisville, Kentucky), on the west side of I-265. This will also result in a
City of License move from Salem to Prospect, Kentucky, and the new signal will be directional, with a slight null to the east to protect a pair of nearby Lexington, Kentucky signals.
On Friday 18 September, Indiana Community Radio Corp.'s W273AH (102.5fm, Edinburgh) moved up the dial to 91.7fm and becomes W219DO. The power also increased from 10 watts to 19 watts.
The WAY-FM Media Group signs on a new translator. W220DV (91.9fm, Henderson, Kentucky) relays WAYW from New Johnsonville, Tennessee. W220DV broadcasts with 10 watts of power from the same tower as CBS affiliate WEVV-TV (DT Channel
45, Evansville), and several other stations.
Adding to the LPTV applications for Evansville is Sunrise, Florida-based DTV America 1, LLC, which applies for LPTV stations on Channels 32 and 43 (proposing the use of the same tower that Trinity Broadcasting's W38BK is on, just north
of US-60, east of Henderson), Channel 31 (proposing the use of the same tower that Owensboro, Kentucky PBS affiliate WKOH is on, which is on US-60 between Owensboro and Henderson, Kentucky, Channels 15, 25, 26, 27 (proposing the use of
the same tower that WLFW-FM and WTVW-TV are on, which is on IN-261, northeast of Evansville), and Channel 24 (proposing the use of the same tower that Three Angels Network affiliate W23BV-D is on, which is north of IN-66, northwest of
That's all for this issue. Thank you for your continued support.
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