Indiana RadioWatch: March 17, 2010

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Three notes, before we begin:

First, this issue has one of the 119 words that Tribune forbids on its WGN Radio (with a tip of the IRW cap to Robert Feder). However, we aren't affiliated with Tribune!

Second, from the e-mail bag, a reader asks if Herb Hobbs (ex-WMDH/New Castle in the 1970's and 1980's) is still in radio, and his whereabouts. If you know, please drop us a line.

Third, in February, the FCC opened a window for applications on multiple FM non-commercial channels in the commercial part of the band. We will elaborate more on these CP's throughout this issue.

Now, onto the news.


Mark Osborn exits as Director of Sales for the Federated Media stations in Fort Wayne (WBYR, WFWI, WKJG, WMEE, WOWO, and WQHK-FM). Rising up through the ranks, Osborn had been Director of Sales for the past eight years, along with four years of added responsibility as Corporate Director of Sales for the entire Federated Media group of radio stations. Osborn started with Federated Media when he was working (under prior ownership) at Rock/WBYR (98.9fm, Woodburn), and Federated Media purchased the station in the mid 1990's.

A former WOWO DJ has passed away. James A. Ellenwood, Jr. passed away on Saturday 8 March. At WOWO, he was known as "Diamond Jim Brady." He was also an announcer for WPTA-TV (Channel 21, Fort Wayne), along with commercial television voiceover work for such Fort Wayne businesses as Sand Point Greenhouse ("4322 DeForest Avenue" is prominent in IRW's mind) and Stucky Brothers. Ellenwood is survived by his wife, three daughters, grandchildren, and a great grandson.

Wayne Reese's (of Munn-Reese engineering fame) Michiana Christian Broadcasters sells Religious/WCWB (90.1fm, Coldwater, Michigan) to Lowell Davey's Charlotte, North Carolina-based Bible Broadcasting Network, Inc. for $300,000. WCWB has an application filed with the FCC to upgrade from 250 watts at 62 feet (Class A) to 25,000 watts (Vertical Only) at 279 feet (Class B1). This upgrade would significantly enhance the coverage area of WCWB into the Angola and lakes areas of northeast Indiana.

Where Are They Now (Part 1)? Former then-WKJG-TV evening anchor/Assistant News Director Jim Flink is now VP of News Operations at the online company, which is based in Columbia, Missouri. Before Newsy, Flink was a News Anchor and Reporter at Hearst's ABC affiliate KMBC-TV in Kansas City, Missouri.

Where Are They Now (Part 2)? Former WDJB DJ Craig Russell (or, as he was known back then: "Craig Russell The Love Muscle") is now doing afternoons at WFGR in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Where Are They Now (Part 3)? Former WOWO newsperson Damon Bruce is now handling a sports talk show from Noon until 4:00PM on KTCT in the San Francisco, California area.


A pair of Michiana GSM's made news this week: First, at the Schurz/South Bend stations, GM Sally Brown has promoted Jim Roberts from OM to GSM for the WSBT Radio Group. Second, Dick O'Day exits as GSM at the Artistic Media Partners' stations in South Bend.


Tara Madison exits mornings at Artistic Media Partners' CHR/WAZY (96.5fm, Lafayette). Scott Fybush's NorthEast Radio Watch reports that Madison is now a morning co-host at WEZF in Burlington, Vermont.

The application by Lakeshore Public Broadcasting's News-Talk-NPR/WLPR (89.1fm, Lowell) is dismissed by the FCC, as it shows an overlap with a protected third adjacent WONU (89.7fm, Kankakee, Illinois). The application called for a gain in antenna height (from 253 feet to 886 feet), a power reduction (from 2400 watts to 600 watts) with a directional antenna, and they would have gained additional northern coverage. The application also claimed no interference at ground level (following an FCC precedent that's only applicable to translators, not to full power stations), and the application proposed exceeding the limits of how tight a directional FM antenna's nulls can be.

Variety/WBEW (89.5fm, Chesterton) promotes GM Wendy Turner to VP/Systems for parent Chicago Public Radio. Replacing Turner as GM at "Vocalo Radio" is Silvia Rivera, who was last GM at WRTE in Chicago, Illinois.

Indiana Community Radio Corporation's CP WCNB (91.5fm, Lebanon) receives FCC approval for a city of license change from Lebanon to Dayton (just east of I-65, on IN-38, near Lafayette).

We missed the return of John "Records" Landecker (one week after he left) to Gerard Media's Talk/WIMS (1420am, Michigan City). Landecker co-hosts a live, local talk show, with Paula Griffin, weekdays from 9:00AM until Noon. Landecker's syndicated show ("Into the 70's") airs on WIMS from 8:00PM until 1:00AM on Saturday evening.

The applications for CP's filed for 106.1fm, Fowler include applications from Harvest Chapel Attica, Inc. and Educational Broadband Corp.


Brewer Broadcasting's Country/WQLK (96.1fm, Richmond) adds Sandy Collins as PD and midday host (10:00AM until 2:00PM). Collins was last handling afternoons at the former AC/WRWM (93.9fm, Fishers), in its "Warm 93.9" days. Before Warm, she spent over twenty five years in Dayton, Ohio radio (between WLQT and WMMX).

Brewer Broadcasting's N-T/WHON (930am, Centerville) and Country/WQLK (96.1fm, Richmond) add Paula Kay King as GSM.

The CP for Hoosier Public Radio Corp's station on 88.5fm, licensed to Cole, has changed call letters from WVXI to WHUZ.


Very sad news from Indianapolis, as Jim Tellus has passed away. Tellus was the GM of Dispatch Broadcast Group's NBC affiliate WTHR (Channel 13, Indianapolis) and WALV-CA (Channel 50, Indianapolis). Tellus was found dead in a Columbus, Ohio hotel, where he was staying for Dispatch Broadcast's monthly board meetings. Tellus joined WTHR, as News Director, in December, 2006, and was promoted to GM in January, 2008. Before WTHR, he worked in Seattle, Washington (KOMO-TV), Norfolk, Virginia (WVEC-TV) and Wichita, Kansas (KSNW-TV). Tellus is survived by his wife Kathy, and their four children.

There is an air talent shift at Indianapolis' Monument Circle, which changes a few morning routines. First, Indianapolis Star sports columnist Bob Kravitz exits as co-host of the afternoon "Kravitz and Eddie" show on Emmis' Sports/WFNI (1070am, Indianapolis). White continues the show, solo, but will have several contributors, including Kravitz, on a part time basis. "Kravitz and Eddie" debuted when WFNI rolled out its sports format, in January 2008. Second, Emmis' Country/WLHK (97.1fm, Shelbyville) morning duo Ed Wank and Dave O'Brien are now split up. After 14 years together (on several Indianapolis stations), Ed shifts to afternoons at sister N-T/WIBC (93.1fm, Indianapolis), using his real name of Ed Wenck, while Dave O'Brien continues solo on mornings at "97.1 Hank FM." Wenck replaces former WIBC afternoon host Steve Simpson, who shifted (on Monday 15 March) to the WIBC morning news show. Third, Dan Dakich adds two hours to his WFNI talk show, as it now debuts at 10:00AM, instead of Noon. Fourth, Joe Staysniak, who is part of the WIBC morning show, will begin a two hour talk show on WFNI in April. The show expects to air between 10:00AM and Noon. When Staysniak's show begins, the Dan Dakich show will shift from Noon until 3:00PM (the latter two hours are now occupied by ESPN's Colin Cowherd). This will give "1070 The Fan" a local presence over one third of the broadcast day. Finally, on Monday 22 March, WIBC will add the locally hosted "Everything Money with Denny Smith" each evening, between 7:00PM and 9:00PM.

Jeff Andrews exits Cumulus' CHR/WRWM (93.9fm, Fishers) but stays inside the company, as he's now PD at WHHY in Montgomery, Alabama. Replacing Andrews is a fellow Cumulus Alabama PD: Joe Kelly, who arrives in the Circle City from OM/PD duties at WZYP in Huntsville, Alabama. Kelly is PD and handles afternoons on "i94."

More sad news from Indianapolis, as Mike Pruitt has passed away. Pruitt was the transmitter engineer for LIN Television's WISH-TV (Channel 8, Indianapolis). Pruitt passed away on 28 February 2010. Before WISH-TV, Pruitt worked for WTHR (Channel 13, Indianapolis) as a technician, and a transmitter site engineer for LeSea Broadcasting (1993 through 2004).

Finally, we note the passing of Donald Cripe. The 80 year old Cripe passed away on 6 March. He once worked at WFBM-TV and WFBM-FM as VP/GM. He was also the voice of Kokomo Wildkats basketball. He also freelanced at several other radio stations. Cripe is survived by his wife (of sixty years), a sister, three sons, and multiple grandchildren, and a great grandchild.

While RSE Broadcasting owned Adult Hits/WSVX (1520am, Shelbyville), it was hit with a $7000 fine for filing a late renewal application (six months late). RSE tried paying the fee, but the FCC electronic filing system wasn't working quite right. The FCC has now forgiven the fine, but a late fee of $187.50 still stands for RSE Broadcasting. RSE sold the station to Three Towers Broadcasting for $225,000 in 2007.


Midwest Communications' N-T/WIBQ (98.5fm, Paris, Illinois) adds Glenn Beck, who replaces Dave Ramsey during the week between 9:00AM and Noon. Before his weekly debut (Monday 8 March), Beck's show was heard on the weekends.

One of the most powerful signals up for grabs in the FCC CP auction is the former Mike Rice (Contemporary Media) station on 107.5fm, licensed to Terre Haute. Since the 4 October 2001 shutdown of Rice's stations, the frequency has shifted to non-commercial use. The many applicants who piled on for this Class B frequency are Indiana State University, Terre Haute Seventh-Day Adventist Church, The Light House Mission Ministries, Inc., Grace Public Radio, Indiana University, Illinois Bible Institute, Inc., Community Broadcasting, Inc., Hispanic Family Christian Network, Inc., Terre Haute Bible Baptist Church, Inc., Prairie Air, Inc., Word Power, Inc., and Indiana Educational Broadcast Corp.

The applications for CP's filed for 96.3fm, Farmersburg include applications from Community Broadcasting, Inc., Hispanic Family Christian Network, Inc., Serendipity Educational Broadcasting, Inc., Hope Broadcasting, Inc., and Prairie Air, Inc.

Where Are They Now? Former WMGI/Terre Haute PD/morning Beau Richards will be the new PD/morning co-host at KQID in Alexandria, Louisiana, when he debuts there in April.


The applications for CP's filed for 100.9fm, Madison include applications from Cornerstone Community Fellowship at Madison, Inc., Triangle Foundation, Inc., and Good Samaritan Educational Radio, Inc.


After nearly nine years as VP/GM with Artistic Media Partners in Bloomington, Sandy Zehr exits the station. AMP CEO Arthur Angotti is handling Zehr's duties.

Staying within the Artistic Media Partners' building on S. SR 446, after two and a half years in mornings at Artistic Media Partners' CHR/WBWB (96.7fm, Bloomington), Sam Alex exits and is now the morning show producer at WMZQ in Washington, DC, along with handling a weekend airshift.

The applications for CP's filed for 93.5fm, Columbus include applications from Christian Radio Family, Inc., Hispanic Family Christian Network, Inc., Triangle Foundation, Inc., Good Shepherd Radio, Inc., Indiana University, The Gabriel Project, Inc., and The Moody Bible Institute.

Job Opportunities

Entercom Indianapolis, WZPL-WNTR-WXNT radio stations are looking for a dynamic leader to direct our cluster sales effort. This position reports to the VP/Market Manager. Please send your resume to: salescareer at entercom dot com, if you have a minimum of 5 years management experience with a proven track record in the following areas: Maximizing revenues, Recruiting/developing top sales talent, Strategic/tactical planning and execution, and Experience in digital and business development. Entercom Indianapolis is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

No beaches. No mountains. No problem. Despite the lack of sandy beaches and panoramic mountains, ranks Fort Wayne, Indiana high among Best Places to Work and Live. Fort Wayne placed 13th in "Cost of Doing Business" and 10th in "Cost of Living." Additionally, Radio Ink Magazine has identified Federated Media as a radio company "worth working for". Federated Media, Fort Wayne, is welcoming applications for a GSM opening at legendary Hot AC 97.3 WMEE. WMEE consistently ranks among Fort Wayne's ratings and revenue leaders. This is not a fixer upper. Great sales team in place. Federated Media, Fort Wayne, provides a unique growth oriented environment focused on excellence, backing their sales teams with comprehensive resources and capabilities including the Center for Sales Strategy (CSS) Customer Focused Selling and Talent Focused Management. Federated Media is a family owned, Indiana based, privately held company primarily serving the Fort Wayne and South Bend metropolitan areas. Other advantages include: No corporate bureaucracy or hierarchy. Our company culture empowers people. We are a medium market group with large market resources. Our Fort Wayne cluster includes six stations. The market's best radio brands! Send resume to Mark DePrez at mdeprez at federatedmedia dot com. Confidentiality assured. Federated Media is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Are you sick of the big city rat race? It's time to get back into small market radio and remember why we all got into this career in the first place. Artistic Media Partners, Inc. seeks a hands-on small market manager with a track record of success, to run heritage stations in a stable radio market. Applicants must have an understanding of Hiring, Sales, Programming, Promotions, and successful General Management experience in small market radio. Applications may send qualified resumes to arthur at artisticradio dot com. Artistic Media Partners, Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Radio Spotlight

This week, we sit down with Cliff Ingram.
Name: Cliff Ingram
Job Title(s): News Director, Co-Host - Morning Road Show with Weed and Cliff.
Station(s): WRAY AM-FM
Market(s): Princeton, Gibson County.
Owner: Princeton Broadcasting Company.

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

When I was 12, I came to WRAY on a field trip with my 4-H group. I remember standing around Rich Lankford as he did a sportscast - this would have been about 1975 or so. That's where the 'bug' came from.

If you had such a thing as a "typical day," please tell us about yours?

I arrive at the station around 4:30 AM and check a couple computer health things and begin to do newsgathering stuff and go on the air not long after. Weed and Cliff are on until 9:00AM and during the show I will also update our website multiple times and interact with listeners via Facebook. After 9:00AM - it's lunchtime. And then I'll do a bit on computer maintenance (seeing as how I'm also responsible for both the automation systems and the office computers at the station). A bit more newsgathering and show prep for the next day and I'm out of the office by 12:30PM-1:00PM. I will usually spend a couple of hours a day involved with my photography business - either at my studio or at home editing photos at home. In the evenings I'm often here or there - either at local high school sporting events, or with the band boosters - or working in my role as President of a local community theatre group.

What makes your market unique?

Arbitron data collected in our county (Gibson) is NOT included in the Evansville Metro report, despite the fact that Gibson County lies immediately to the north, and thousands of people get up in Gibson County and drive to work in Evansville every day. Untold millions are also spent in Evansville by residents of our county annually.

What was your last radio gig?

This is and has been my only full-time radio gig. I have worked here off and on as a part-timer for a number of years. I did go off and gain a wealth of knowledge in other areas. I am a licensed pilot and aircraft mechanic. I did computer support for a number of years. I worked for Compaq in support and product development, and in the IT department at Enron (yes, that Enron).

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

Gerry House. Love the off-beat humor and the way he works with callers. We listen to him off the air frequently.

What's your favorite out-of-market radio station, and why?

I've spent a lot of time listening to WIVK in Knoxville TN - good morning team, local news, active in the community.

What's the most important issue in radio today?

I think it's the removal of the local aspect in radio. So many small market stations (well heck - not just small market stations) run some or all of their day via satellite. How many entry-level people cut their teeth and learned to love what they do working in the middle of the night. I operate my own business in off-hours from the radio station. I know about income and expenses - but at what cost to the industry are we doing what we do?

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

Don't categorize yourself; and don't be afraid to do anything. Bring lots of computer knowledge. I'm talking about more than just keyboarding and clicking. Background knowledge of how databases work, networking, how to pull an audio card out of a server in the middle of the night. Computers are here - keeping them at arm's length will keep you out.

What's your biggest pet peeve in radio?

"MORE MUSIC PER HOUR" People already have that; it's called an iPod. The people who want more music per hour are already getting it. The people who listen to Weed and Cliff enjoy our music, sure, but listen - and stay in the car listening - when they should be clocking in and starting work because of the original, local content we provide (at least that's what we tell everybody).

What has been your most memorable moment on the air?

Last year we welcomed our number 1 listener - a 93 year old woman who said she listened to our morning show every day. She spent about an hour in-studio with us - we never got her on the air but it was fairly obvious she was having a great time just watching in-person what we do every day. We heard after the first of the year that she'd had a stroke and wasn't doing very well. A couple of weeks ago her granddaughter called during the show and requested a specific song. There was some question as to the title and artist, so Weed called her back and verified what she wanted. She advised us that it wasn't going to be much longer for her grandmother, they were all gathered around her hospital bed, and yes - she insisted that the radio be on. She passed away about 90 minutes after we got off the air. It's being fortunate enough to spend time with people like that that makes what we do worthwhile.

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

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

(c) 2010, Blaine E. Thompson

Indiana RadioWatch may not be reproduced, transmitted, or distributed in any way, shape, or form without the permission of the copyright holder (Thompson, above)

Indiana RadioWatch is produced weekly. Subscriptions are free. To subscribe, send an e-mail to asking to be added. Indiana RadioWatch is archived after publication on the Indiana Radio Archive at Submissions of any nature are welcomed by e-mail, FAX, or postal mail. Employment opportunities are posted as is, so please proofread. Employment opportunities are only posted when received from a credible source (usually the owner, GM, or PD of a station).

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