Indiana RadioWatch: April 5, 2010

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Starting off this issue, we spotted an interesting New York Times story about unpaid internships. This article in yesterday's Times points out that these internships may be illegal. You may read more here.

Now, onto the news.


It turns out that if you enjoyed a radio format on 102MHz in Fort Wayne, you might be disappointed tonight.

First, at the Summit City Radio Group, after three years and seven months of WGL-FM (102.9fm, Huntington) as a simulcast of sister Standards/WGL (1250am, Fort Wayne), the FM counterpart breaks off from its AM sister signal at Noon on 1 April 2010, and becomes "V-102.9" with a Soft AC format. The new WGL-FM switches from Dial Global's "Adult Standards" format (still heard on the AM) and now uses Waitt Radio Networks' "AC Pure" format. Also, the syndicated "Delilah" will air each night, between 7:00PM and 12:00AM. Handling the localization for Summit City Radio is OM JJ Fabini. The new website is The last song heard on the standards format was the 1964 hit "Goin' Out of My Head" by Little Anthony and the Imperials, which segued into the new (jingle/sung) WGL-FM ID, and a 24 year time warp, into Simply Red's 1986 hit "Holding Back the Years." An aside: "V" adds to the single letter alphabet that is the Fort Wayne FM radio dial, along with "K" (WQHK-FM), "B" (WGBJ), and "Q" (WMYQ).

The single letter Fort Wayne radio moniker list lost an entry late Saturday evening, as Rhythmic CHR/WGBJ (102.3fm, Auburn) "B102.3" flipped back to Regional Mexican, using the "Radio Unica" satellite format. The third entry in the "Rhythmic CHR stations in Fort Wayne battle" only lasted six months in that format. The former website still references "Power 102.3" (one slogan prior), and all of the links on the website seem to bring you back to the main webpage. Also, all the former talent (Mojo, Randy Alomar, Terry Tantrum) are gone.

The four Summit City Radio Group stations (WGL, WGL-FM, WNHT, and WXKE) are transferred to a new controlling ownership group. Fortress Investment Group LLC was overseeing the stations, and has now sold them for $100, plus the assumption of liabilities, to San Francisco, California-based Media Venture Partners. Media Venture Partners takes over the four stations (as "Summit City Licenses LLC"), and will package the stations for eventual sale.

A tip of the IRW cap, as Wednesday 31 March marked 85 years on the air for Federated Media's N-T/WOWO (1190am, Fort Wayne). The radio station has a separate website (unaffiliated with the radio station) at

Tomorrow evening (6 April), at the Kendallville City Council meeting, Kendallville's Mayor W. Suzanne Handshoe will flip the switch, which will an FM translator on the air for Don Moore's Northeast Indiana Broadcasting Oldies/WAWK (1140am, Kendallville). The new translator will be on 95.5fm, so the station will officially sign on at 7:09:55PM.

Where Are They Now (Part 1)? Former WISE-TV sports anchor (and then-Fort Wayne Wizards baseball PBP voice) Bryan Boes exits as Sports Director at Sinclair's WICS-TV in Springfield, Illinois.

Where Are They Now (Part 2)? Former Indiana's NewsCenter reporter Nicole Pence is now the morning co-anchor (5:00AM until 7:00AM) at Lexington Kentucky's NBC affiliate WLEX-TV.


After just under nine months in the PD chair, Mark Allen exits at Federated Media's Country/WBYT (100.7fm, Elkhart) on 15 March.

Last week Wednesday, Elkhart Mayor Dick Moore surprised longtime WTRC personalities Bill Darwin and Allen Strike by renaming the corner of Second Street and Marion Street as "Darwin-Strike Corner." The street corner is where the on air studios of the Federated Media-owned station are, and where Darwin and Strike spent a combined 85 years on the air. Both Darwin and Strike retired from Federated Media last August.

Where Are They Now? Former WSBT-TV Assistant News Director Todd Woolman is now the Executive Producer of "Good Day Chicago," the five hour morning news block on WFLD-TV in Chicago, Illinois.


Last Monday (29 March), Lakeshore Public Broadcasting's News-Talk-NPR/WLPR (89.1fm, Lowell) added a new one hour weekday talk show "Regionally Speaking with Chris Nolte" between 11:00AM and 12:00PM. Nolte, who hosts and produces the show, will discuss a specific topic each day, and will welcome special guests from area organizations.


Citadel's C&W/WMDH (1550am, New Castle) changes call letters to WLTI.


Emmis' Soft AC/WYXB (105.7fm, Indianapolis) adds the syndicated John Tesh in morning drive (5:00AM until 9:00AM), moving morning host Bernie Eagen to afternoons (4:00PM until 8:00PM).

The former WBKS call letters (what's now WTLC-FM at 106.7fm, licensed to Greenwood) have found their way just over the Indiana and Ohio border. In Lima, Ohio, Clear Channel's Rhythmic CHR/WLWD (93.9fm, Columbus Grove, Ohio) flips format to CHR, as "Kiss," and requests those WBKS call letters from the FCC.


WayFM Media Group has a sale in the works for its Contemporary Christian/WAYI (104.3fm, Charlestown). WayFM plans on selling the station to Rene Moore's Radio Multi-Media, Inc. The format and call letters of WAYI have already changed: The new format is Urban Contemporary ("104.3 The Beat"), and the new call letters are WWPW. The URL for the new WWPW is The new airstaff, under PD Chuck Atkins, consists of the syndicated Rickey Smiley show in mornings, Terry Fox in middays, Shawn Blaze in afternoons, and both "DJ Kaos" and "Silly Azz" at nights. As for the former WAYI, its programming is still heard on WayFM Media Group's WRVI (105.9fm, Valley Station, Kentucky), which has applied to the FCC to use the former WAYI call letters on its 105.9fm.

Fritz Moser exits as PD and mornings at Keith Reising's AC/WRZQ-FM (107.3fm, Greensburg). Brittany Gray (WRZQ News Director) is holding down mornings solo.


Electrical power surges take Artistic Media Partners' CHR/WBWB (96.7fm, Bloomington) off the air for twelve hours, on 26 March. Those power surges hit the on air board, and new equipment had to be brought in from Artistic's other stations in South Bend.

We missed a format change last December, that is worth mentioning. On 1 December, Traskom, LLC's Oldies/WSEZ (1560am, Paoli) began operation under a Time Brokerage Agreement with Destination Radio, LLC. The station added ABC Information Network news, Network Indiana news, and Inside Indiana Business. Also, Traskom installed a new BE transmitter, and Destination Radio added a new Vorsis processor. The new format and programming are aimed at visitors to nearby French Lick and West Baden Springs.

Sarkes Tarzian's AAA/WTTS (92.3fm, Bloomington) redesigns its website.


Eastlan Ratings adds Owensboro, Kentucky, as a measured market. This move (along with other announced new markets) keeps Eastlan in second place, in terms of markets rated, behind Arbitron (300 markets), but ahead of Nielsen (51 markets). The Eastlan Spring ratings period runs through 26 May.

The Arbitron Radio Advisory Council adds Craig Jacobus, President of South Central Media as a member of the council. South Central owns five radio stations in Evansville (WABX, WEJK, WIKY, WLFW, and WSTO), along with four stations in Knoxville, Tennessee, and two stations in Nashville, Tennessee.

Job Opportunities

WBYT in South Bend is looking for our next great Program Director. If you believe in the power of being live, local, and relevant, we want to hear from you. If you are passionate about creating great radio, we want to hear from you. If you believe content is king, if you can coach a full time airstaff, communicate the company vision and mission, help create great morning radio, work closely alongside the sales department, and develop and execute exciting promotions, we want to hear from you. If you want to work for a company that still believes in being live and local, still has promotions, and marketing budgets, still offers great pay and excellent benefits, retains the top consultants, helps employees advance their own careers, and gives you all the tools you'll need to win, we want to hear from you. Email your resume to bwilliams at federatedmedia dot com.

WMGI Radio 100.7 Mix-FM/Terre Haute is looking for a talented morning show personality to team up with our existing co-host, and understands that the job doesn't end with the air shift. We are looking for a great attitude, someone who is willing to be responsible for our street presence, do top-quality production, and great remotes. Imaging abilities are a plus! You will be working for a to-notch company, offering a very competitive salary, and benefits. If you are looking for a rewarding opportunity, please send your tape and resume package to Natalie Randall, Brand Manager, Midwest Communications, Inc., 824 South Third Street, Terre Haute, IN 47807 or email diva.natalie at mwcradio dot com.

Reising Radio Partners, Inc. is searching for a Program Director for 3 FM stations in Columbus, Indiana. The position includes Morning Drive Co-Host on QMIX 107.3 (Hot A/C). Strong production skills are very helpful. You must be organized and able to manage a small air-staff. T&R to Mike King via mking at qmix dot com.

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.

South Bend's WSBT Radio Group needs a dynamic person to be their next OM. You will be PD for WNSN-FM and oversee the programming strategy for the cluster. If you're a great leader, have successfully programmed top-rated radio stations, and are forward thinking about online opportunities, please send your resume to sbrown at wsbt dot com.

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 Mark Elliott.
Name: Mark Elliott
Job Title(s): Program Director/Afternoon Show Host.
Station(s): WIKY-FM
Market(s): Evansville.
Owner: South Central Media.

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

I delivered the newspaper to John Hill, the morning jock ("You've woken up on the Hill Side here at 1230 WCOL") when I was in seventh grade. The story about the day I met him can't be told on the air (or in a family publication) but it did influence me to get into radio.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

My favorite part is being on the air each day. Over the past few years here and in Traverse City (WFCX - The Fox FM), I really feel that I have hit my stride as an air personality.

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

Ok, let's admit first there is no such thing as a typical day. But most days I live a double life. I spend the first part as a manager/programmer/marketer/brand manager for two SCM stations, WIKY and WEJK (a syndicated Jack FM client station). Then I spend the afternoon as an on air personality on the most listened to station in the area. Many days those two roles can collide.

What has been your biggest career accomplishment?

I went into business successfully not once but twice (as a radio consultant and as a bed and breakfast operator in a resort area.) While both of those endeavors are now over, there is nothing more exhilarating exciting and scarier than being self employed.

What has been your most memorable moment on the air?

As a talk show host in Detroit (the now infamous WOW-FM, and that's a story in itself) I was interviewing candidates for mayor of Detroit in 1993 to replace Coleman Young, who was not running for re-election. Chuck Costa was one of them, a small business owner and local celeb who was way behind in the polls. I looked at him after the introduction and asked the question everyone was thinking - "What makes you think a white man can get elected mayor of Detroit?" Even the two African American bodyguards with him were snickering as he stammered and stuttered into a very bland non answer. I wish I could find the tape of that.

What makes your market unique?

Evansville is a big small city. I can't believe how many people I've gotten to know and how many friends I've made in such a short period of time. Of course, the double digit ratings of WIKY don't hurt, but I'm impressed at how this town will accept and embrace media people who didn't grow up here.

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

I've been listening a lot to The Current (KCMP 89.3FM) in (Northfield) Minnesota, and WFPK in Louisville. Both are public radio stations with adult alternative music formats. While the formatics of public radio are staid and boring the music on these two stations is very interesting. If they could match the music and the formatics, either or both could explode.

Where do you see the radio industry five years from now?

I hate to duck this question, but I have NO idea. I can see how important an over the air station like WIKY can affect and help the area in bad weather situations (re: last year's ice storms in the Tri-State). While there might be a de-emphasis on towers and more on streaming, there is nothing more effective in communicating during bad times than battery operated radios and radio stations with generators.

Who are your mentor(s)?

I learned more from Randy Michaels in the short period of time I got to work with him than anyone else. Recently, Charlie Ferguson in Traverse City taught me a lot about how sales and programming can work together.

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

I've got a few - Tony Kornheiser in DC. There is someone doing his show, his way, serving DC with a sports show that's not about sports. Colin Cowherd on ESPN Radio and Dan Patrick. All these guys have carved out their own on air personas and aren't doing radio - just being a bunch of guys hanging out and talking. You feel like you are part of the conversation, not part of the audience. I hope I can achieve the same thing.

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

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

(c) 2010, Blaine E. Thompson

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