Indiana RadioWatch: May 22, 2017

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Federated Media's Active Rock/WBYR (98.9fm, Woodburn) night jock Barry Thickk exits. "98.9 The Bear" now airs Lou Brutus Hard Drive XL at night.


At the beginning of May, Carli Luca became News and Content Director for N-T/WRSW(AM) (1480am, Warsaw) and translator W259BJ (99.7fm, Warsaw) and News Director at Classic Rock/WRSW-FM (107.3fm, Warsaw) and Country/WAWC (103.5fm, Syracuse). Ms. Luca arrives in Warsaw from Lincoln, Nebraska where she anchored the morning news for NRG Media on KLIN.

Larry Langford's Classic Hits/WGTO (910am, Cassopolis, Michigan) also heard on W242CN (96.3fm, Cassopolis, Michigan) has a new website.


After just over three years, Mike Savage exits as GM at Purdue University's WBAA(AM)/W290CM (920am, West Lafayette; 105.9fm, Lafayette) and WBAA-FM (101.3fm; West Lafayette). Also exiting after about a year is OM David Baes.


Former Bomar Broadcasting president and then-WGOM/then-WMRI GM Mike Day passed away. Mr. Day was 78. Mr. Day was also past President of the Indiana Broadcasters Association. Here's the complete obituary.


DLC Media splits their True Oldies simulcast of WAXI (104.9fm, Rockville) and WFNB (92.7fm, Brazil) by flipping the format on WFNB to Soft AC as "Lite 92.7." OM Barry Kent launched the station just before 2pm on Friday May 12.


Country Radio Hall of Famer Moon Mullins passed away last Monday, following surgery. Mr. Mullins began his broadcasting career at KLLL (Lubbock, Texas) and had stops over a 50+ year career in Kansas City (KCKN and WDAF), Louisville, Kentucky, San Diego, California, New York City (WHN), Nashville (WSM), Wichita, Kansas (KFDI), and Tulsa, Oklahoma (KVOO). In 2005, Mr. Mullins joined as OM/Mornings at WBKR (92.5fm, Owensboro, Kentucky) and OM of sister WOMI (1490am, Owensboro, Kentucky). Mr. Mullins retired from WBKR in June 2014 and moved to Texas.

May 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.

May 1: In 1970, 89.7fm in Howe signs on as WHWE. WHWE signed off and returned their license to the FCC in 2010. In 1982, WSTO (96.1fm, Owensboro, Kentucky) flipped format from beautiful music to CHR. John Trout ("Paul Gregory") did mornings, while Greg Strassell ("Fast Eddie") did nights. In 1985, both WOWO/WGL Chief Engineer Bruce Ratts and legendary radio station owner Don Burden die. In 1988, Rex Schepp dies. He was the former GM of then-WIRE(AM). In 2007, 94.1fm, Roanoke became Classical WBNI, after the closing of a $1.75 million sale between Northeast Indiana Public Radio (purchaser) and Summit City Radio Group (seller).

May 5: In 2010, 90.5fm in Crown Point signs on as WRTW and remains so today.

May 6: In 1976, 103.9fm in Fort Wayne signs on as WXKE. Today, it's WWFW.

May 7: In 2010, the WAOR call letters moved from the 95.3fm, Niles, Michigan allocation to the 95.7fm, Nappanee allocation. In 2014, DLC Media GM Brad Deetz dies at age 46, after a motorcycle accident. Also in 2014, former WTRC(AM) radio host Bill Darwin (William Vilmure) dies at age 80.

May 8: In 1953, Channel 49 in Muncie signed on as WLBC-TV. Today, it's WIPB-TV.

May 9: In 1956, what's now WAWK (1140am, Kendallville) signed on as WKTL on 1570am. In 2016, WJCP(AM) (1460am, North Vernon) added a 97.7fm translator (W249DG).

May 11: In 1955, 860am in Marion signs on as WMRI. Later, 860am became WGOM before returning to the WMRI call letters in 2006. In 1965, 102.3fm in Logansport signed on as WSAL-FM. Today, it's WLHM-FM. In 1981, WIFE (1310am, Indianapolis) flipped formats from Soft AC ("W-I-F-E…The Station you grew up with is growing up with you.") to a simulcast of CNN Headline News. In 1993, 98.7fm, Battle Ground signs on as WIIZ-FM (Progressive Rock). Today, it's WASK-FM.

May 13: In 1987, 750am in Portage signs on as WNDZ, and remains so today.

May 14: In 1977, 103.9fm in Batesville signs on as WRBI, and remains so today.

May 15: In 1960, 98.1fm in Princeton signs on as WRAY-FM, and remains so today. In 1963, 810am in Indianapolis signs on as WIGO. Today, it's WSYW. In 1964, 103.3fm in Indianapolis signs on as WGEE-FM (sister station to WGEE(AM) 1590am). Today, it's WOLT.

May 16: In 1965, 96.7fm in Vincennes signs on as WAOV-FM. Today, it's WFML-FM. In 1966, 94.3fm in Greencastle signs on as WXTA-FM. Today, it's WREB.

May 17: In 2005, WGL (1250am, Fort Wayne) flipped formats from Sports to Standards ("The River").

May 18: In 2006, former WOWO PD Chris Rathaus passed away at age 63. Rathaus was PD starting in 1974. He later moved on to Tampa (WDAE), Miami (WQAM), West Palm Beach (WRMF/WJNO) and onto Sirius Satellite Radio.

May 19: In 1975, 100.9fm in Portland signs on as WPGW-FM, and remains so today. In 1995, WTLC(AM)/WTLC-FM air personality Collette M. Bates-Elkins ("Collette Vaughn") dies at age 44.

May 20: In 2012, WISH-TV GM (1954-1980) Robert B. McConnell dies (Age 91). Mr. McConnell also served as VP/GM of Universal Broadcasting (WHBU/Anderson, WANE/Fort Wayne), and President of Anderson Broadcasting Corp.

May 22: In 1964, 1550am in Corydon signs on as WPDF. Today, it's WOCC.

May 23: In 1958, 1300am in Terre Haute signs on as WMFT. In 2014, 1300am went silent, and the owners turned in the 1300am license to the FCC. In 2014, WXXR (X95.9) Terre Haute flips format and becomes Classic Country WDKE ("95.9 Duke FM")

May 24: In 1989, 102.9fm in Delphi signs on as WNJY. Today, it's WXXB. In 2006, 89.9fm, Wakarusa signs on as WYBV, and remains so today.

May 25: In 1957, 1300am in Huntington signs on as WHLT. Today, it's WBZQ.

May 26: In 2003, WKJG-TV (Channel 33, Fort Wayne) changed call letters to WISE-TV.

May 27: In 2005, at 3:00pm, WFJZ (106.7fm, Hicksville, Ohio) flipped formats to Hot AC as WFGA-FM ("Froggy Garrett Auburn") as "Froggy 106.7" (and our tape deck was there). In 2006, Indianapolis and Muncie broadcaster David Rudat ("Dave Koffee") died at age 62.

May 28: In 1967, 100.9fm in Lebanon signed on as WNON. Today, it's WNOU, and licensed to Speedway.

May 29: In 2003, WYBL (93.1fm, Clarksville) flips formats from country to jazz. In 2004, William Sites Fraser dies at age 81. Mr. Fraser started high school radio stations WJEF (91.9fm, Lafayette) and WJHS (91.5fm, Columbia City).

May 30: In 1949, Channel 6 in Indianapolis signs on as WFBM-TV. Today, it's ABC affiliate WRTV-TV ("RTV 6").

May 31: In 1991, 103.5fm in Syracuse signs on as WAWC, and remains so today.

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.