Indiana RadioWatch: November 18, 1998

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Northeast

Pathfinder & Hicks vs. the FCC has wrapped up. Radio & Records reports that testimony began on October 20, and concluded on November 9. Both sides will submit statements on evidence presented in the trial to FCC Judge Joseph Chachkin by February 23, 1999. After that deadline, Judge Chachkin will make a decision.

FOX affiliate WFFT (Channel 55, Fort Wayne) is sold, along with WHAG in Hagerstown, Maryland and KSVI in Billings, Montana, to Midwest Holdings Partnership, L.P. Former owners Great Trails Broadcasting pockets $61.5 million, for all the stations.

We've already seen a reception report in the National Radio Club's DX News for WJVA (1620am, South Bend). This is the expanded band outlet for Standards/WHLY (1580am, South Bend). The station was heard as far away as Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Northcentral

Classic Rock/WAOR (95.3fm, Niles, Michigan) PD Dan Markus has been named PD of Country/WRKZ Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Shelly Morgan takes over as Interim PD, while retaining her Mid-Day airshift, and Promotion Director duties. We also welcome Dickson to the PM Drive slot. We missed hearing about his arrival, a month or two ago. Dickson last worked at Sports/WMVP in Chicago.

Northwest

Hot AC/WAZY (96.5fm, Lafayette) & Alternative/WGBD (95.7fm, Attica) OM Dan McClintock exits for the Cumulus group of stations in Rochester, Minnesota.

Central

A big sale to report: Talk/Sports WHBU(AM) (1240am, Anderson), AC/WAXT (96.7fm, Alexandria), Classic Hits/WWWO (93.5fm, Hartford City), Oldies/WLHN (101.7fm, Elwood), and Oldies/WERK (104.7fm, Muncie) are all sold to Indiana Radio Partners. New owner Michael Schwartz already owns several stations in Mississippi and Florida. Schwartz and his partners paid $5.45 million for all properities. I talked with Mr. Schwartz and he said that he plans on bringing all of his stations into a new facility, somewhere between Muncie and Anderson. Co-Owner Bill Burns will serve as GM for all 5 properties.

CHR/WZPL (99.5fm, Greenfield) welcomes Ted Striker. Striker arrives from KBKS, Seattle, Washington, where he was the morning show producer.

Country/WFMS, Oldies/WGLD & Country/WGRL move to new facilities on North Shadeland Avenue in Indianapolis.

Bob & Tom add Rock/WKLC Charleston, West Virginia and Classic Rock/KXGE Dubuque, Iowa.

From the world of Radio with pictures...more DTV news: CBS Affiliate WISH (Channel 8, Indianapolis) will transmit on Channel 9. ABC Affiliate WRTV (Channel 6, Indianapolis) will transmit on Channel 25.

An organization calling itself "Kids First" has applied for a station on 91.9fm. Sources tell us this is a group known as "City Radio". This application is the culmination of a 5 year effort to bring a community radio station to Indianapolis. 91.9fm would be licensed to nearby Zionsville. We'll hopefully have more on this station in our next issue.

Before we leave the capitol city, we note that AOR/WFBQ (94.7fm, Indianapolis) is now broadcasting at 58,000 watts.

CSN International applies for a new translator at 90.9fm in Morgantown.

Congrats to Indianapolis based Emmis Broadcasting. Their President/CEO Jeff Smulyan has been elected RAB Chairman, replacing the outgoing Skip Finley, CEO of the American Urban Radio Network.

Speaking of Jeff Smulyan, we noticed an FCC Filing for a station owned by Smulyan's father, Sam Smulyan. The elder Smulyan owned WNTS (1590am, Beech Grove). The FCC Filing authorized the transfer of the station to Jeff. Whether or not Jeff will run this station himself, or bring it under the umbrella of Emmis Communications is unknown.

Congrats also, to Oldies/WGLD (104.5fm, Indianapolis) GM Charlie Morgan. Radio & Records says he is now the President of the Radio Broadcasters of Indianapolis.

Westcentral

Emmis Broadcasting is granted a one-to-a-market-waiver in Terre Haute with its purchase of WTHI-TV, WTHI(AM) & FM, and WWVR-FM. They acquired the stations in late March of this year, for $90 million.

Also in Terre Haute, W217AS hits the airwaves at 91.3fm. Owner Pensacola Christian College recently earned its license to cover.

Southwest

CHR/WSTO (96.1fm, Owensboro, Kentucky) promotes weekender Cat Michaels to nights.

The Original Company, owners of AC/WZDM (92.1fm, Vincennes), Oldies/WUZR (105.7fm, Bicknell), and WREB (94.3fm, Greencastle) sign a letter of intent to purchase WBTO(AM) and WQTY-FM in Linton.

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

Blaine Thompson
Indiana RadioWatch

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