Indiana RadioWatch: January 21, 2009

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We begin with multiple changes at Russ Oasis' Rhythmic CHR/WJFX (107.9fm, New Haven):

The station has a new pop rhythmic CHR feel. This is a shift away from their hip hop rhythmic CHR format they have had since early 1999. New station imaging is also done by Kelly Doherty, who replaces Eric Edwards. This format adjustment also separates them from competing Summit City Radio Group hip hop Rhythmic CHR/WNHT (96.3fm, Churubusco).

Afternoon DJ Randy Alomar exits after nine and a half years with "Hot 107.9." Alomar joined six months into the current "Hot 107.9" format and moniker.

Replacing Alomar is Chris Cruise, who shifts in from nights. New to nights - via voicetracking - is "Austin" who handles nights at Radio One's CHR/WNOU (100.9fm, Speedway). Finally, in mid-December, WJFX released an Apple iPhone application, so a listener may now hear "Hot 107.9" on their Apple iPhone.

At Federated Media's N-T/WOWO (1190am, Fort Wayne), morning news co-anchor Jeremy Lawrence exits. Replacing Lawrence is Matt Demczyk. Demczyk was last at News-Talk/KTRH in Houston, Texas, where he was a news anchor/reporter. Demczyk has regional ties; he is from Columbus, Ohio.

Northeast Indiana Public Radio's Jazz-Talk/WBOI (89.1fm, Fort Wayne) replaces the about-to-end "Weekend America" with American Public Media's food-themed show "The Splendid Table."

Where are they now? Jeff Moore, who worked at stations such as Country/WQHK-FM (105.1fm, Decatur) and the now-defunct WYSR (94.1fm), is now handling weekends on Sarkes Tarzian's Oldies/WLDE (101.7fm, Fort Wayne).


An interesting situation is going on with a Warsaw LPFM station. Blessed Beginnings' Oldies/WIOE-LP (98.3fm, Warsaw) now has a CP for an auxiliary transmitter site. This is probably the first time an LPFM has been granted an auxiliary transmitter site CP. WIOE-LP Engineer Brian Walsh is also working on adding an HD transmitter to the station. WIOE-LP has an STA to use 10 watts of digital power, instead of the single watt that an LPFM would typically only be allowed. When the HD signal is complete, the analog transmitter will move to the auxiliary transmitter site.

Morning man Beau Kennedy takes PD duties at Federated Media AC/WLEG (102.7fm, Ligonier), replacing Ron Stryker.


Northwest Indiana Public Broadcasting has closed on its $1.05 million purchase of WWLO (89.1fm, Lowell) from Don Wildmon's American Family Association. Brokers on this deal were Greg Guy (Patrick Communications) for AFA and Marc Hand (Public Radio Capital) for Northwest Indiana Public Broadcasting. WWLO, which will become WLPR, is starting to assemble the programming staff. Recently named were Len Clark (ex-WUEV) as PD and Leigh DeNoon (ex-WIBC) as News Director.

Matching its new format, EMF's WGLM (106.7fm, West Lafayette) is now WKHL. WKHL airs EMF's "K-Love" format. We found these calls an interesting choice, given that Schurz already has WKHY in Lafayette. Oh, and the WGLM calls now have a new home, on an AM/FM simulcast northeast of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

After last month's poor weather, Calvary Chapel (Costa Mesa) Religious/WTMK (88.5fm, Lowell) is back on the air as of early January, with programming from the Calvary Radio Network.


Sad to mention this death: Larry Bennett passed away back in October 2008. He hosted the "Saturday Morning Memories" show on WMDH-FM (102.5fm, New Castle). Bennett was only 47, and is survived by his father, two sons, two sisters, and a brother.


A long standing case between Emmis Communications and David Smith is now resolved. We wrote about Mr. Smith before (7 August 2004 IRW), but noticed he is back again. Smith also filed many complaints alleging indecency in the "Mancow" morning show. Those complaints were settled between Emmis and the FCC by a consent decree. Mr. Smith filed a petition for reconsideration in October 2007, alleging that Emmis broadcast "indecent language" and abused FCC processes. However, the FCC denied Mr. Smith's objection. The FCC found portions of "Mancow's" programming indecent, but the FCC also said, "the broadcasts that were the subject of the orders and of Smith's objection were aired before the effective date of the consent decree."

On 2 December, Bruce Elscott exited Cumulus' Adult Hits/WJJK (104.5fm, Noblesville). The new on-air lineup there is:

Mornings: Steve Cannon (5:00AM until 10:00 AM)
Middays: Nikki (10:00AM until 2:00PM)
Afternoons: Steve O'Brien (2:00PM until 7:00PM)
Nights: Robb Reel (7:00PM until 12:00AM)

A pair of new syndicated weekend features now in Indianapolis. First, Radio One CHR/WNOU (100.9fm, Speedway) began airing Dawson McAllister on Sunday 12 January from 10:00PM until 12:00AM. Second, Entercom Hot AC/WZPL (99.5fm, Greenfield) adds American Top 40 with Ryan Seacrest on Sunday from 10:00AM until 2:00PM.

IRW extends Get Well wishes to Radio One CHR/WNOU (100.9fm, Speedway) PD Tim Rainey, as he recovers from surgery on a torn ACL. Rainey was injured in a Radio One softball game last year. Rainey tells IRW: "Should be ready by the 2009 season. Let's hope I don't get traded."

We are late in noting the most untimely death of Indianapolis DJ Kevin Spencer. The 49 year old Spencer passed away back in late August 2008 at his home. He had worked at WFYI, WEWZ, WXLW, WGGR, WGLD, WENS, WXXP, WFMS, and last at Russ Oasis' WKLU (101.9fm, Brownsburg), where we met him first while he was handling middays at the Brownsburg studios, and again after WKLU had moved to its current studios on Knue Road in northeast Indianapolis.


Illinois Bible Institute's Contemporary Christian/WCRT (88.5fm, Terre Haute), a simulcast of Champaign, Illinois station WBGL, debuts a new morning co-host alongside Pam Peoples. Tim Sinclair joins Pam Peoples now in mornings (6:30AM until 10:00AM). Sinclair replaces Jeff Scott, who now focuses on his GM duties for the WBGL network of radio stations.


Sarkes Tarzian AAA/WTTS (92.3fm, Bloomington) shifts its Sunday evening schedule. Little Steven's Underground Garage now airs 7:00PM until 9:00PM, followed by eTown from 9:00PM until 10:00PM, and House of Blues from 10:00PM until 12:00AM.

After several months off the air, Calvary Chapel (Costa Mesa) Religious/WCJL (90.9fm, Morgantown) returns to the air last week with programming from the Calvary Radio Network.

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

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