Indiana RadioWatch: March 27, 2017

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Heartland Media's FOX affiliate/WFFT-TV (Channel 55, Fort Wayne) rolls out a new website.


Michiana lost Jeff Jeffers yesterday morning. For over 40 years, Mr. Jeffers was the evening sports anchor for NBC affiliate WNDU-TV (Channel 16, South Bend). Mr. Jeffers was 64. Mr. Jeffers hosted "Countdown to Kickoff" for Notre Dame football games, and was in the press box and on the sidelines at over 400 Notre Dame football games. The Indiana Football Hall of Fame inducted Mr. Jeffers in 2008. Recently, medical issues had sidelined Mr. Jeffers from his usual seat in front of the TV camera. Here's two videos: Jeff's fortieth anniversary on WNDU-TV and an April 1987 newscast (Jeff's segment starts at 13:25).

If you have a remembrance of Jeff, please send me an e-mail.

Michiana broadcaster Tommie Lee remembers Jeff: "I worked with him on the radio side for two years, and found him not only incredibly smart, but never the tiniest bit smug about it. I was only a lowly weekender in the building and he treated me like a peer. He was that rare mix of great listener and person who dominates a room by walking into it. And he was incredibly funny. A huge loss."

After 18 months, Michiana Public Broadcasting's WNIT-TV (Channel 34, South Bend) Executive Producer and Production Manager Duilio Mariola exits and accepts a similar role at WUCF-TV in Orlando, Florida.

Phil Kuhn exits Lake City Media Group/Warsaw. Mr. Kuhn joins Warsaw Community Schools as their interim director of the Warsaw Community High School Performing Arts Center.


Heartland Media's CBS affiliate/WLFI-TV (Channel 18, Lafayette) rolls out a new website.

This Week in Indiana Radio History

Sign-on dates seem to be a prickly matter, subject to great debate, and mostly impossible to confirm. If there's something we need to add to the "calendar," please let us know. Please e-mail us if you have updated information.

March 27: In 1996, at Midnight, WQHK (1380am, Fort Wayne) flipped formats from Talk ("Hot Talk 1380") to Standards ("Radio Hollywood") and call letters to WHWD. In 2005, WFJZ (106.7fm, Hicksville, Ohio) flipped formats from Jazz ("Smooth Jazz 106.7") to AC "Froggy 106.7" as WFGA ("Froggy Garrett Auburn"), and here's how it sounded.

March 28: In 1948, 1450am in Fort Wayne signed on as WANE. Today, it's WLYV. In 2000, Indianapolis' Classic Rock/WNAP (93.1fm) flipped formats to CHR, and here's how it sounded. Today, it's WIBC.

March 29: In 1922, WOH radio signed on in Indianapolis, sharing time with WLK. Both stations signed off in 1923. In 2010, veteran WHBU (Anderson) broadcaster Bill Hecht dies. Age 93.

March 30: In 1987, IU beat Syracuse 74-73, on Keith Smart's winning shot (and, you probably heard it on the radio).

March 31: In 1925, 1320am in Fort Wayne signs on as WOWO with 500 watts. WOWO won't move to 1190am until 1941.

April 1: In 1947, 100.7fm in Elkhart signs on as WTRC-FM. Today, it's WBYT. In 1951, 91.5fm in Evansville signs on as WEVC ("EVansville College"). Today, it's WUEV. In 1965, 95.9fm in Wabash signs on as WKUZ, and still is. In 1980, former WTRC(AM) Chief Engineer Lester Zellmer dies. Age 75. In 1990, 89.5fm in Henderson, Kentucky signs on as WKPB-FM and still is. In 2004, WWEG (102.5fm, Orleans) became WNUF.

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

Blaine Thompson
Indiana RadioWatch

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