Indiana RadioWatch: July 3, 2017

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From the Reading Pile - Women in Radio programming getting new boost from Nielsen.

From the Reading Pile - Across the United States, NPR is reorganizing its member stations around regional hubs.


The circle drive in front of the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum will be renamed Bob Chase Way. Mr. Chase spent 63 years in broadcasting providing play by play for the Fort Wayne Komets games and working for WOWO (1190am, Fort Wayne). Mr. Chase passed away on Thanksgiving 2016 at age 91.


Adams Radio Group sells their Oldies/WAKE (1500am, Valparaiso) for $26,000 to Marion Williams. Williams owns Rhythmic CHR/WSMK (99.1fm, Buchanan, Michigan) and Urban Talk/WLTH (1370am, Gary) along with radio stations in other states.

Chris Locken exits as Operations Director/Production Director at Brothers Broadcasting (Lafayette area and Rensselaer).

Mid-America Radio Group's Country/WHZR (103.7fm, Royal Center) adds hourly programs from Hoosier Ag Today, along with feature programs produced by area FFA students (“The Farming Underground”).


Veteran Indianapolis broadcaster Harlow Hickenlooper passed away late last month. His real name was Hal Fryar. From 1960 until 1972, Hickenlooper hosted The Three Stooges Show on what was then WFBM (Channel 6, Indianapolis). Mr. Hickenlooper was one of several local hosts that were cast as villains in The Stooges' movie The Outlaws is Coming. You can read more about Hickenlooper at his website.

Also, William "Bill" Kirtley, Jr. recently passed away. Mr. Kirtley began his broadcasting career as an announcer at what was then WAIV-FM (105.7fm, Indianapolis), which had studios in the Dearborn Hotel and was the home of the Fine Arts Society of Indianapolis. Mr. Kirtley attended college at Rose Polytechnic Institute in Terre Haute, and co-founded their carrier-current AM student-run radio station: WRTR 1550am (Rose Tech Radio). Mr. Kirtley built studios and provided programming. One highlight each year: Parking a raft in the middle of the campus pond, erecting a Christmas tree on the raft, and programming the lights to Christmas music via a big waterproof cable, a McIntosh 250-watt stereo tube amplifier, big outdoor weather-proof P.A. speakers, and several Ampex tape recorders during the evening hours. Later on in his broadcasting career, Mr. Kirtley programmed what was then Universal Broadcasting's WSYW (107.1fm, Danville) "Symphony 107".


Where Are They Now? On July 5, former Evansville DJ (WDKS, WKRI, WLFW, WSTO) Josh Strickland will join Smile FM as their Director of Localism (along with morning show apperances). Smile FM is a non-commercial network of contemporary Christian radio stations, based near Lansing, Michigan

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.

July 2: In 1989, 102.3fm in New Carlisle flips format from Country ("Cat 102") to religion. Today, it's WYET.

July 3: In 2009, WOWO meteorologist Earl Finckle dies. Age 82. Mr. Finckle also owned Central Weather Service, which provided weather forecasts throughout the country.

July 4: In 1929, Main Auto Supply has a tragic fire, which forced its WOWO off the air for about two days. WOWO moved across the street for several months during reconstruction. In 1948, 990am in Jasper signs on and remains WITZ to this day. In 1981, 97.1fm in Shelbyville became WENS.

July 5: In 2009, Emmis/Indianapolis Market Manager Tom Severino dies. Age 58.

July 6: In 1968, the now silent 1520am in Hardinsburg, Kentucky debuts as WHIC, owned by Breckinridge Broadcasting Co. In 2013, Kevin Riecke dies. Age 52. Mr. Riecke worked for Cromwell Radio Group and WKDQ among other stops.

July 7: In 2002, former WWKI (100.5fm, Kokomo) morning man Dick Bronson dies. Age 61. In 2005, former WKBV (1490am, Richmond) afternoon host Rick Beers dies. Age 47. In 2014, after an ownership change, WLYV (1450am, Fort Wayne) flips format to talk ("1450 The Patriot").

July 8: In 2001, former WLYV (1450am, Fort Wayne) President/GM Herbert Weber passes away. Age 75. In 2002, WXLW (950am, Indianapolis) flips formats from religion to sports.

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.