Indiana RadioWatch: May 5, 2010

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After a bit over thirteen years in afternoon drive, Pat White exits as afternoon talk host at Federated Media's N-T/WOWO (1190am, Fort Wayne). Replacing White is WOWO weekend talk show host Pat Miller, who took over White's 3:00PM until 6:00PM shift on Monday 26 April. Miller had recently hosted a Saturday morning (6:00AM until 9:00AM) talk show on WOWO.

On Monday 3 May, Bott Broadcasting's Religious/WFCV (1090am, Fort Wayne) added the new program "Family Talk with Dr. James Dobson" weekdays between 8:00AM and 8:30AM, and weekdays between 4:00PM and 4:30PM.

Mark down WRRO (89.9fm, Edon Ohio) as the call letters for the CP that Club 1915, Inc. holds. No word on when the station will sign onto the air.

Where Are They Now? Former Travis Broadcasting (then-WCKZ/WEXI/WGL/WWWD/WXTW/WYLT) owner Bob Travis is the new owner of WMNE(AM) near West Palm Beach, Florida.


Schurz Communications' CBS-affiliate WSBT-TV (Channel 22, South Bend) anchor Cindy Ward received the "Sagamore of the Wabash" award from Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels. The Sagamore is the highest honor an Indiana governor can bestow on a citizen, and is a tribute given for distinguished service to the state or to the Governor. Nominations of Ward included letters from U.S. Senator Evan Bayh, Indiana 2nd District Congressperson Joe Donnelley, Indiana Speaker of the House B. Pat Bauer, and the mayors of both South Bend (Steve Luecke) and Mishawaka (Jeff Rea). Before WSBT, Ward worked in Louisville (WAVE-TV), Lexington (WLEX-TV), and began her TV news career in Steubenville, Ohio.

Where Are They Now? Former WTRC(AM)/WYEZ-FM/WSJV-TV (Elkhart) newsperson Jack Neal will begin as GM of WEIU-FM/WEIU-TV in Charleston, Illinois on 1 June. Before Elkhart, Neal was the News Director at then-WAYT(AM) in Wabash.


Radio One Communications' News/WAKE (1500am, Valparaiso) flips format to C&W, with a hint of bluegrass and Southern Gospel. Radio One Communications' president Leigh Ellis tells IRW: "There is a huge demand for this music, and it's not just an older demographic." Also on the new WAKE, Len Ellis (who started WAKE in 1964) is doing weekday "Uncle Len's Legends," which is a broadcast series sharing his knowledge and stories of past country music stars.


Entercom's Adult Hits/WNTR (107.9fm, Indianapolis) adds Libby Farr as APD. Farr was last a PD with Russ Oasis' WKLU (101.9fm, Brownsburg), before Oasis sold WKLU last year.

Much of the national broadcast media has covered the "Emmis going private" story. The basics of the deal, as The Indianapolis Star reports, are a $2.40 per share offer, for all common stock, which would value the deal at "about $90 million"). We found no immediate impact (from the announcement) at the local stations level for either Emmis' Indianapolis or Terre Haute stations. Finally, there are no "grandfathered" station ownership limits in either city.

On Monday 3 May, Creative Data Management's Sports/WXLW (950am, Indianapolis) debuted a new lineup: First, Sporting News Radio's Todd Wright airs from 6:00AM until 10:00AM. Second, ESPN Radio's "The Herd" is heard between 10:00AM and 1:00PM. Finally, ESPN Radio's Scott Van Pelt is heard between 1:00PM and 3:00PM. The rest of the lineup appears the same.

Entercom Hot AC/WZPL (99.5fm, Greenfield) welcomes Will Pfaffenberger as producer of the (Dave) Smiley Morning Show. Before arriving at 9245 North Meridian Street, Pfaffenberger worked at Emmis' WLHK ("Wank and O'Brien" producer), and three years as an Assistant Producer/Writer for "The Bob and Tom Show."


On 26 April at Clear Channel CHR/WZKF (98.9fm, Salem), "Diaz" joined, in nights (6:00PM until Midnight). "Diaz" was the night host at Clear Channel sister station WJJS in Roanoke, Virginia. Finally, he also voicetracks nights for both WJJS and Clear Channel sister station WAKZ, in the Youngstown, Ohio market.


Keith Maddox is now the interim PD for Reising Radio's AC/WRZQ-FM (107.3fm, Greensburg), Classic Rock/WXCH (102.9fm, Hope), and Country/WYGB (100.3fm, Edinburgh).

The Tattler reports that Kevin "The Flyin' Hawaiian" joins Artistic Media Partners' CHR/WBWB (96.7fm, Bloomington) as PD. Kevin was last middays at WIXO in Peoria, Illinois. Kevin replaces Brandon Scott, who left WBWB last month.

A bit of tower shuffling, as Reising Radio's Country/WYGB (100.3fm, Edinburgh) moves tower sites to a tower at I-65 and State Road 252. Also, Reising Radio's Classic Rock/WXCH (102.9fm, Hope) is on the former WYGB tower, on the east side of I-65, south of IN-46.


As we (briefly) talked about the Emmis announcement above, there is little going on at the station level from Regent Communications (now Townsquare Media), except for the new name. At or near the "C-level" of the former Regent, both Bill Stakelin (CEO) and Anthony Vasconcellos (EVP/CFO) exit the company and are replaced by Steven Price (Chairman and CEO) and Stuart Rosenstein (EVP/CFO). In Evansville, Townsquare owns (alphabetically): WDKS, WGBF(AM), WGBF-FM, WJLT, and WKDQ.

Former WEHT (Channel 25, Evansville) news anchor (and in the late 1980's, News Director) Jon Esther passed away on Saturday 1 May, at his home in Owensboro, Kentucky. When Esther was at WEHT, he discovered evidence that lead to the conviction (for embezzlement) of the Evansville Fire Chief. Esther's career also took him to cities including Milwaukee (anchor/WISN-TV), Minneapolis (anchor-reporter/WCCO-TV), Chicago (reporter/WBBM-TV), Des Moines (anchor/WHO-TV), and Cincinnati (anchor/WCPO-TV). An Indianapolis native, the 72 year old Esther leaves behind a wife of 51 years (Dorothy), three sons, and two daughters. A memorial service was held in Owensboro, Kentucky yesterday.

Job Opportunities

Job Opportunities

Promotions Coordinator - Radio Disney, Indianapolis

Assisting Promotion Manager in the planning, staffing, coordination and execution of local Radio Disney events from concept through to completion.
Supervise and act as on site, on-microphone host of events when necessary, leading crowds in high energy performance environment with games, dances and other family targeted activities
Create recaps for sales promotions, handle listener prize fulfillment and organize, maintain and inventory prize closet.
Write and mail monthly client newsletter
Assist with local production as needed, including assistance in the scheduling and production of weekly Public Affairs show

Work Experience
Prior radio/on site promotion experience
Prior experience hosting or performing at family oriented events; must be comfortable performing in front of large crowds

Experience working with mobile DJ equipment and other sound equipment preferred
Radio production experience preferred

Skills & Abilities
Excellent time management and organizational skills
Ability to lead and direct large staff of part time employees
Excellent communication skills, verbal and written
Computer: Email, Word, Power Point, Excel
Valid driver's license and access to automobile
Weekend event work required

Bachelors degree or equivalent work experience

Job Location: Indianapolis, IN

Please send your resume to Laura Sanchez, Promotions Manager, Radio Disney Indianapolis, via e-mail at laura dot a dot sanchez at Disney dot com.

Radio Disney is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Entercom Indianapolis WZPL, WNTR and WXNT radio stations are accepting applications for openings in our media sales department. If you are a self-starter, motivated, creative and goal drive, why not consider joining our team! We've got the brands, tools, training and market heritage to put you on the road to success. Candidates must possess exceptional communication, presentation and negotiation skills. One year previous broadcast experience preferred. FAX resume/cover letter to Erica Will at 317.816.4030, or mail to 9245 North Meridian Street, Suite 300, Indianapolis, IN 46260. No telephone calls please. Entercom Indianapolis is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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 top-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.

Brothers Broadcasting Corporation, a private, family owned, regional broadcasting company, is looking for a morning show host for WRIN-AM in Rensselaer. The right candidate should be able to relate to their audience, be a positive part of the community, while having superior production skills. Interested individuals should send their materials to 977production at gmail dot com, or may mail their materials to: Morning Show Host Opening, PO Box D, Rensselaer, IN 47978.

Radio Spotlight

This week, we sit down with Vicki Murphy.
Names: Vicki Murphy
Job Title(s): PD/Mid-day talent
Station(s): WFMS
Market(s): Indianapolis
Owner: Cumulus Media Partners

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

I grew up listening to Gary Burbank on WLW. I loved music radio too, but Burbank always had so much fun on the radio. It made you feel good and laugh out loud. I was also a countdown show lover. I LOVED Casey Kasem and Rick Dees and taped them almost every week.

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

Once I get my daily dose of "little girls singing Radio Disney" I usually try to sample the market in between phone calls on my 30 minute drive to work. When I get into the office I quickly attack e-mails and fires that must be put out. I have daily 9am meetings followed by my air shift from 10-3. I'm constantly answering e-mails and updating the station's social networking while I'm on the air. At 3, I may go into another meeting or voice or produce a promo or commercial, but typically that's when I tweak the music logs and get everything set for the next day. I'm in the office and available all day which makes every day interesting and no day typical. Everyone has something they want to talk to you about! There are also artist/label visits and personal appearances that shake up the day.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

It's constantly moving. Don't get me wrong, I need a breather every once in awhile, but WFMS is a busy radio station with tons of moving parts and I enjoy the craziness. Cumulus VP of Programming Jan Jeffries likes to say that WFMS is a REAL radio station. By that I think he means that we're relevant. We successfully interact with listeners and clients constantly. We're not just a jukebox - and that keeps things very active all the time.

What makes Vicki Murphy unique on the air?

I really try to talk TO the WFMS listeners, not AT them. The worst thing a jock can do is assume that they're smarter or hipper than their listener. They really are just like you, your sister, or your friend, so treat them accordingly. It helps that I'm in the meat of the WFMS target demo, but the Golden Rule applies to radio too.

What has been your biggest career accomplishment?

I've worked at the same place since my sophomore year at Butler University - 17 years! In the past I resented being called lucky. I was that part-timer who showed up for every meeting and begged for feedback. So when the opportunity presented itself, I was prepared to move up. Opportunity + Preparation = Luck.

What makes your PD job unique?

It's becoming less unique but the fact that I carry a live air shift is somewhat rare. I'm really on the air live 5 hours a day - answering my own phones and running the board. As difficult as it is to balance PD duties with a long live air shift, it's very important to have that daily contact with the listeners. I understand that a small percentage of them actually call the station, but when a promotion is difficult to communicate or a song is getting a passionate response, I have first-hand experience and can try to make the necessary adjustments.

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

Learn EVERYTHING! You will not be able to be a jock - or even just a great jock. You may have to maintain the website, do production, set up a live broadcast and interview a multi-platinum singer all in the same afternoon. "That's not really my job" is something you really won't say anymore. Stations are doing more with less people. Making the station successful is everyone's job.

What's the most important issue in radio today?

The radio listener has so many other options these days. In the interest of full disclosure, I'm a Pandora junkie! I also catch myself listening to stations in other markets on my phone when I'm working out or driving. I'd like to say this is something that I do because it's my job, but I know I'm not horribly different than my listeners. If they bypass their other choices to spend time with your station, you'd better make it worth their while, because they can easily find another music or information source.

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

95.7 The Wolf in San Francisco. It really reminds me of my first station - 104.5 the Bear. We had so much fun on that station. It was a CHR country station that did very well in country music's heyday in the mid-late 90's. San Francisco's Wolf is high energy and just fun to listen to.

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

One of my dearest friends is Kelly McKay (who's now on mid-days at The Link in Charlotte). She's a master on the phones and so relatable to her listeners. I miss being able to hear her in Indy.

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

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

(c) 2010, Blaine E. Thompson

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