Indiana RadioWatch: March 27, 2006

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

We received two e-mails that we can't answer, so we'll pitch them to you:

1. "My brother and I grew up in Nappanee, Indiana in the early 1950s, and listened to a children's radio program, which we think originated from Warsaw. We can't remember the name of the show, but there was always a "contest" to see who could get dressed the quickest - the boys or the girls. We think the program was sponsored by a cereal made there in Warsaw."

2. "A friend and I are going nuts trying to remember the name of a disc jockey in the late 1950's. He was on in the late evening - and I believe his theme music was "Night Train". He was who everyone listened to while "cruising" or on a date. He might have been on WFBM."

Any information provided would be most helpful. e-mail us.

Now, onto the news


Federated Media N-T/WOWO (1190am, Fort Wayne) and Sports/WKJG (1380am, Fort Wayne) welcome Andrew Ober as APD of WOWO and PD of WKJG. Ober was last afternoon news anchor at Lafayette's WASK/WKOA.

Wells County Radio's AC/WNUY (100.1fm, Bluffton) completes its move to a new transmitter site in Ossian on Baker Drive, just to the west of IN-1. WNUY's power has not changed - still 6000 watts at 299 feet (Class A).

Three people have recently left Summit City Radio Group: An IRW reader tells us that Director of Sales Dave Wisniewski exits. Also, Dave B. Goode, PD of Rhythmic CHR/WNHT (96.3fm, Churubusco) and Hot AC/WYLT (103.9fm, Fort Wayne) exits. Replacing him as PD on WNHT is afternoon guy "Mojo" and as PD of WYLT is morning man McConnell Adams ("Man at Large.") Finally, Alternative/WXTW (102.3fm, Auburn) PD/Afternoon guy Don Walker exits. As a result, Assistant Director of Programming JJ Fabini adds WXTW PD duties and Jason Lee (nights) moves to afternoons. Lee's night slot is filled by Creative Services Director Mathew Albro. But wait, there's more

Don Walker now handles afternoons (as of Monday 20 February) at crosstown Federated Media Hot AC/WMEE (97.3fm, Fort Wayne) replacing Dave Sharp who exited WMEE in early December.

Artistic Media's Country/WBTU PD/morning man Guy Forrest exits. WBTU afternoon guy Dale Christopher is now PD. More changes at WBTU are anticipated this week.

Where Are They Now? Former WFWI (92.3fm, Fort Wayne) midday guy Joel Navarro is now doing weekends at WSIX in Nashville, Tennessee.


Smooth Jazz/WUBU (106.3fm, South Bend) returns to an Urban AC format as "The New Mix 106." WUBU's almost three year experiment with Smooth Jazz came to an end on Monday 6 February with the return of the Tom Joyner morning show, which was on WUBU from 1994 until 1 March 2003, when WUBU became a Smooth Jazz station. WUBU OM Gene Walker tells the South Bend Tribune that there was "a lot of demand" for Joyner's morning show, after WUBU dropped it in 2003.

Artistic Media Partners' WHLY (1620am, South Bend) began simulcasting sister CHR/WNDV (1490am, 92.9fm; both South Bend) at Noon on Saturday 4 February 2006. This was a temporary move, as beginning in early March, 1490am began simulcasting sister Sports/WDND (1580am, South Bend). IRW notes that Artistic must silence either 1580am or 1620am within the next few months, per FCC rules on expanded band AM stations.

Beau Kennedy is new to mornings at AC/WLEG (102.7fm, Ligonier). Kennedy arrives from Max Radio of the Carolinas (Elizabeth City/Nags Head, North Carolina). At Max Radio, he was Production Director, APD, MD, and Afternoons on Max Radio's WCMS.

Artistic Media's CHR/WNDV (92.9fm, South Bend) morning guy Aaron Seller ("Goose") exits.

Country/WBYT (100.7fm, Elkhart) welcomes Christa Lee Van as Promotions Director.

Mark down WYBV as the new calls for Bible Broadcasting Network's station on 89.9fm, licensed to Wakarusa.


As WASK, Inc. closed on the acquisition of Classic Rock/WKHY (93.5fm, Lafayette) and CHR/WXXB (102.9fm, Delphi), the stations are now broadcasting from the WASK facilities on McCarty Lane, having moved from their old facility on Earl Street. The new WASK Radio Group now includes WASK, WKHY, WKOA, and WXXB. Also, WASK/WKOA afternoon news anchor Andrew Ober exits (see above).

After playing holiday music through the end of 2005, WIMS/WJOB (1420am, Michigan City; 1230am, Hammond) becomes a mostly-music station with an added local news emphasis and a companion website. Most of the former airstaff are now working on the stations' website, a local free weekly newspaper, or production. Also, WIMS/WJOB Co-owner Ric Federighi and Steve Glover have a local talk show "The Morning Stampede." Throughout the rest of the day, you'll hear oldies music, college sports play-by-play, or local sports play-by-play.


Radio One recently agreed to purchase Country/WIFE (100.3fm, Connersville) from Rodgers Broadcasting. Radio One will move the station to Cincinnati, Ohio as part of a FCC-approved plan. The approximately $18 million dollar sales price includes the assets of the station and the sale expects to close later this year. When the move is complete, WIFE's city of license will be Norwood, Ohio and sister Radio One station WIZF will move frequencies from 100.9fm to 101.1fm.

Back at Rodgers Broadcasting, WIFE-FM sister station WCNB (1580am, Connersville) becomes WIFE(AM).

In mid-December, Backyard Broadcasting (WLBC, WERK, WURK, WHTI, WHTY, WHBU, and WXFN) welcomed Brett Beshore as East Central Indiana VP/Market Manager. Beshore was last Director of Local Sales for Infinity Broadcasting in Philadelphia. Unaffected by Beshore's appointment, Steve Lindell remains VP/Station Manager and Elaine Merritt remains VP/Sales.

Mid-America's Standards/WGOM (860am, Marion) changed formats at the end of 2005 to talk. On February 14, the call letters changed to WMRI, complimenting sister WMRI-FM (106.9fm, Marion).


The Indianapolis Star reports that a lawsuit filed by BonnieJean Ventress against former Emmis CHR/WNOU (93.1fm, Indianapolis) morning co-host Dennis Grubbs ("Billy Breeze") and parent Emmis Communications has been recently settled. But what is Grubbs/Breeze up to now?

Until February 1, former Emmis CHR/WNOU (93.1fm, Indianapolis) morning man Dennis Grubbs ("Billy Breeze") was handling afternoons at Religious/WAYF in West Palm Beach, Florida, under the air name Randy Haze. The Palm Beach Post newspaper reports that WAYF GM Jim Marshall said he was fired as he violated company policy.

Congratulations to Ben Davis High School's WBDG (90.9fm, Indianapolis) which celebrated its 40th anniversary on February 14. John Tuohy's article in The Indianapolis Star mentions that in the late 1970's, WBDG was all-disco, and then went to a rock and roll format. Among the veterans of the station are Dave and Kevin Calabro (Dave is a sports anchor on WTHR-TV and Kevin is the voice of the Seattle Supersonics), Linda Allen (reporter for WRTV), Dana Webb, Bob and Tom's Kristi Lee, Kevin Gregory (Chief Meteorologist at WRTV), and Tiffany Thorpe (MD at WVFJ in Atlanta, Georgia).

Entercom AC/WNTR (107.9fm, Indianapolis) adds Tom Berg in middays. Berg was last both doing weekend duties at sister Hot AC/WZPL (99.5fm, Greenfield) and traffic for Metro Networks. This announcement brings an airstaff to "107.9 The Track":

Mornings: PD Tom Watson, JC Culver, and Kelli Jack (News)
Middays: Tom Berg
Afternoons: Willie B.

Emmis Country/WLHK (97.1fm, Shelbyville) adds broadcasting veteran Scott Roddy as APD/MD/PM Drive.

Emmis CHR/WNOU (93.1fm, Indianapolis) APD/MD/Night guy Dylan exits.

Entercom Hot AC/WZPL (99.5fm, Greenfield) welcomes Hunter as Imaging Director/Nights, starting March 20. He arrives from nights at KBEA in the Quad Cities, Illinois/Iowa.

Emmis Soft AC/WYXB (105.7fm, Indianapolis) News Director Jo Ann Klooz exits. An Emmis veteran (12 years), she joins Clarian Health Partners in their PR department. Replacing Klooz is former Entercom then-WTPI (107.9fm, Indianapolis) morning host Kelly Vaughn. Vaughn spent nearly twenty years at WTPI.

Congratulations to Emmis' Rick Cummings, as he wins election in District 10 to the NAB Radio Board.

Clear Channel Alternative/WRZX (103.3fm, Indianapolis) moves Alex B. from nights to afternoons and moves weekender "The Deuce" to nights.

The FCC has granted a new CP to Horizon Christian Fellowship of Indiana for a Class A station on 91.5fm licensed to Lebanon

IUPUI extends its deal with Raven Broadcasting's Sports/WXLW (950am, Indianapolis) for men's basketball broadcasts through the 2006-2007 season.

Emmis Country/WLHK (97.1fm, Shelbyville) names Ashley May as morning producer of the Wank and O'Brien show.

Salem Radio Networks' "Doug and Kim" morning show, SRN News, and selected other Salem programming debuted in December on Religious/WJCF (88.1fm, Morristown) and its many translators.

Several Indianapolis stations are announcing formats for HD Radio stations. Let's recap in alphabetical order:

WFBQ HD2 "Rock" (Known as "Q2," we're told it's "a deep tracks classic rock format with a few twists and turns.")
WLHK HD2 "Americana"
WNOU HD2 "Dance"
WNTR HD2 "Blues"
WYXB HD2 "Disco"
WZPL HD2 "Comedy"

We know of other stations who are testing HD radio feeds, but these are the stations that have actually made announcements.

A quick check of the TV file reveals that Gavin Maliska will join Tribune Broadcasting FOX affiliate WXIN-TV (Channel 59, Indianapolis) as News Director on March 20. He arrives from Assistant ND duties at FOX owned WJBK-TV in Detroit.

A three part Where Are They Now:

Part 1: Former Clear Channel Alternative/WRZX (103.3fm, Indianapolis) morning man Gonzo Greg is now handling mornings at KVGS in Las Vegas.

Part 2: Former Clear Channel Rock/WFBQ (94.7fm, Indianapolis) PD Mike Thomas was recently named PD at CBS' WZLX in Boston.

Part 3: Former WTHR-TV (Channel 13, Indianapolis) News Director John Butte was recently named GM of WEWS-TV in Cleveland, Ohio. A story on WEWS' website points out that WEWS has only had eight GM's in the station history. Butte was News Director at WEWS since August, 2004.


What's going on with Midwest Communications' WACF (98.5fm, Paris, Illinois)? Source tell us changes are in the works very soon.

AllAccess reports that Adam Michaels exits as PD/Mornings at Cromwell CHR/WCBH (104.3fm, Casey, Illinois) and returns to Midwest Communications' CHR/WMGI (100.7fm, Terre Haute) in afternoons.

Also at WMGI, MD/Morning guy Jamie Dawson adds APD responsibilities, while midday guy John Crumb exits the station.

Crossroads Communications' Country + Rock/WSDM (92.7fm, Brazil) adds Envison Radio's "American Biker Minute."

Key Broadcasting's AC/WCDQ (106.3fm, Crawfordsville) adds the Element One Network feature "Mr. Food."

Midwest Communications' CHR/WMGI (100.7fm, Terre Haute) adds Sam O'Neil for voiceover work.


Pieratt Communications opens new $1 million studios in Lawrenceburg which house Country/WSCH and Country/WXCH (99.3fm, Aurora; 103.1fm, Versailles). WSCH has morning man Eric Boulanger ("Bubba Bo") handles mornings for WSCH and Bill Reinberger is GM for the whole group (WSCH, WXCH, WIKI, WJCP, and WNVI).

M Street Journal reports that the FCC has granted a CP to Dubois County Broadcasting's Oldies/WXGO (1270am, Madison) which moves the city of license to Aurora, and moves WXGO's transmitter site to just west of Aurora on Lower Dillsboro Road. From there, WXGO will run 330 watts as a daytimer with six towers. Their signal will primarily be a narrow lobe over Cincinnati, Ohio.

Educational Media Foundations' Religious/WSOH (88.3fm, New Washington) becomes WARA, as it's now running K-Love's "Air 1" programming.

Cox Louisville Market Manager Rolf Pepple exits. Pepple was recently named VP/GM of NextMedia's stations in Jacksonville, North Carolina. Replacing Pepple is Todd Schumacher. Schumacher was last Director of Sales for Susquehanna/Indianapolis.

Cox Classic Rock/WSFR (107.7fm, Corydon) midday lady Pru Miller exits the station. Tom Dorsey's column in the Louisville Courier-Journal mentions that Miller had been with Cox Radio for the last ten years, and is a 24 year Louisville radio veteran.

Clear Channel Louisville adds Kellie Burton as Cluster Director of Promotions. In addition to supervising other promotion directors, she handles promotions for CHR/WZKF (98.9fm, Salem), WAMZ, and WLUE. Also, Ron Fisher handles promotions for Classic Rock/WQMF (95.7fm, Jeffersonville), WHAS, and WKJK.


Religious/WVNI (95.1fm, Nashville) adds Joey Krol in mornings. He arrives from MD/afternoons at KMMO in Marshall, Missouri.

N-T/WBIW (1340am, Bedford) morning news anchor Barb Spencer is now enjoying semi-retirement. Replacing Spencer in mornings is afternoon board operator Jim Ingalls. Part timer Jason P. Thompson (no relation to your editor) moves to board operator at WBIW.


Recently, the University of Evansville disclosed that it was entertaining potential buyers for its WUEV (91.5fm, Evansville). When U of E president Stephen Jennings saw the interest in WUEV expressed by students and faculty, as well as community members, Jennings pulled WUEV off the sales block. Jennings plans additional educational opportunities for the station along with soliciting financial support via a new "Friends of WUEV" operation and those monies will support WUEV's music programming.

South Central/Evansville CHR/WSTO (96.1fm, Owensboro, Kentucky) debuted from its new studios at 1:25pm on January 12. Also, PD Stan Priest exits (presumably not because of the new studios).

That's it for this issue. See you in a week!

Back to the Archive Index
All pages Copyright Blaine Thompson. Articles, photos, corrections, and other contributions should be e-mailed to the editors.