Indiana RadioWatch: August 4, 2005

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Thunderstorms that hit Fort Wayne last Tuesday (26 July) affected several radio stations, but the two suffering the most damage were Artistic Media's Country/WBTU (93.3fm, Kendallville) and CHR/WDDB (106.3fm, Columbia City). WBTU/WDDB GM Arthur Angotti reports that a lightning strike at their Goshen Road studios caused fatal damage to both on-air boards and took both stations off-air from 7:30pm Tuesday night through 2am Wednesday morning. Chief Engineer Bob Henning had to bring in replacement boards from Artistic's properties in South Bend. Also, Angotti reports that the stations' production facilities are still down while repairs are completed.

Is a northeast Indiana area radio station about to be sold? Sources close to the situation tell IRW Yes. Details soon - Stay tuned!

A pair of programming helm changes:

First, Mark Evans exits as OM/PD/Morning co-host at Federated Medias Hot AC/WMEE (97.3fm, Fort Wayne). Rob Kelley, OM/PD of sister Country/WQHK (105.1fm, Decatur) adds the same duties for WMEE. With Evans departure in mornings, Erika Taylor is paired up with Steve Brelsford (Steve Starbrelz) who is Production Director for all the stations. New OM Rob Kelley starts a search for a morning show, and IRW has heard on-air auditions.

Second, across town at Federateds Production Road building, Classic Rock/WFWI (92.3fm, Fort Wayne) PD Shannon VanRyn (Shannon Norris) exits. Replacing VanRyn is Billy Elvis, afternoon drive personality at 92.3 The Fort and well known from his long tenure as morning co-host at sister Rock/WBYR (98.9fm, Van Wert, Ohio).

Summit City Radio Group Rhythmic CHR/WNHT (96.3fm, Churubusco) welcomes Mojo to afternoons. Mojo arrives from sunny Florida where he was at CHR/WXKB in Fort Myers.


Classic Rock/WAOR (95.3fm, Niles, Michigan) welcomes Mike Ragozino as PD. Ragozino arrives from Elizabeth City/Nags Head, North Carolina where he programmed WOBR (95.3fm, Wanchese). Ragozino has also worked with Clear Channel, and Nassau Broadcasting in New Jersey. He's also on-air on WAOR, afternoons, as Mike Ragz.

Before we leave 95.3 WAOR, Dicksons (Jeff Dickson) morning show, The Morning Drive With Dickson adds Craig Williams as co-host/sidekick. He's also a bartender across the street from the WAOR studios. Dickson tells IRW: "He has a great personality, like most bartenders, and knows everything about sports."

Carol Kovach moves from GSM at Federated Medias Classic Rock/WFWI (92.3fm, Fort Wayne) to GSM of sister stations N-T/WTRC (1340am, Elkhart) and AC/WLEG (102.7fm, Ligonier). Kovach is no stranger to Michiana as she was LSM at FOX affiliate WSJV-TV (Channel 28, Elkhart) before joining Federated Media.

Schurz Communications/South Bend promotes Jim Roberts to OM at WNSN, WSBT, and WHFB-AM+FM.


Country/WKOA (105.3fm, Lafayette) overnighter Cole Thomas exits.

The FCC awards a tentative selection (their words) for Living Proof, Inc. to build a 50,000 watt (Class B) station on 91.3fm in North Judson. As proposed, they will broadcast from the WFRI-FM (100.1fm, Winamac) site west of Rochester and just south of IN-14.


The late Sam and Natalie Smulyan, parents of Emmis Communications Chairman Jeff Smulyan, have sold their last radio holding Southern Gospel/WNTS (1590am, Beech Grove.) Peter Davidsons Davidson Media acquires WNTS for $2 million. A bit of history: WNTS was a News-Talk station (Thats the N and T The S stood for Sports) before flipping to Religious/Southern Gospel in 1976. Also, Inside Radio reminds us that Dave Letterman used to work there. John Pierce and Company brokered the deal.

Earlier this year, Jonathan and David Byrd's Raven Broadcasting purchased WXLW (950am, Indianapolis) from Gene Hood's Pilgrim Communications. Recently, the Byrd's worked out an TBA with Hood's remaining Indianapolis station - Contemporary Christian/WIJY (95.9fm, Franklin). As "ESPN 950" grows its sports broadcasting operation, several sporting affiliations move around. "ESPN 950" and 95.9 WIJY will have Butler University basketball split between the two stations, Notre Dame Basketball (which will bounce - no pun intended - between both frequencies, subject to schedules), and High School Football/Basketball games of the week. WIJY 95.9fm will have Notre Dame football, IUPUI basketball, and Roncalli High School football. WIJY will retain its contemporary Christian programming around the sports broadcasts.

Emmis N-T/WIBC (1070am, Indianapolis) earns a nomination for the NAB Marconi Awards in the Legendary Station category.


The FCC approved a reallocation of Country/WMSK-FM (95.3fm, Morgantown, Kentucky) over objections by Morgantown area residents to the FCC. While the AM side (1550am) remains in Morgantown, the FM was approved to move to Corydon and upgrade its power to 25,000 watts at 269 feet (Class C3).


The FCC awards a tentative selection (their words) for Good Samaritan Educational Radio to build a 1500 watt (Class A) station on 90.3fm in Columbus. As proposed, they will broadcast from a site west of Columbus, just off IN-46.


Indiana Community Radio Corp.-owned Contemporary Christian/WRFM (90.1fm Wadesville) signs on the air with program test authority. Once the FCC grants the license, WRFM will run 4500 watts from the WYFX-FM (106.7fm, Mount Vernon) tower on Upton Road, northwest of Mount Vernon.

Employment Opportunities

WIKY-FM Evansville seeks a Sales Manager to lead the sales team of Americas top rated A/C station, WIKY. South Central Radio Group is a family-owned company with the resources and tools to win and grow your career skills. If you're up to the challenge, email jobs at sccradio dot com. EOE.

That's it for this issue. See you in a week!

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