Indiana RadioWatch: September 2, 2009

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An IRW reader e-mailed this week asking the whereabouts of Shannon Driver. IRW met Driver once at WWKI, but has no idea where she is working now. Do you? If so, please drop us a line.


A northeast Indiana PD exits the ranks. We will have details, soon.

Craig and Sam join as the morning show at Upper Wabash Broadcasting's AC/WKUZ (95.9fm, Wabash). They are heard on "95.9 Kiss FM" between 5:30AM and 10AM.

A Fort Wayne morning television news anchor was arrested Monday and charged with OWI. Mary Collins Frank, 42, was preliminarily charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Frank posted bond and was released. She gave police officers multiple explanations for the Breathalyzer test of between 0.13 and 0.14 (blood alcohol level). Holly Abrams reports in The Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette that one of those explanations was "having just eaten Skittles and rum cake, and having fasted for medical tests." Collins was arrested Monday (31 August) morning, and was not in front of the camera co-anchoring on Indiana's NewsCenter (WPTA and WISE-TV) Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday.

With no buyer in sight, Northeast Indiana Public Radio retains a broker to handle the possible sale of three of its frequencies, which all air the same classical music format: WBNI (94.1fm, Roanoke), WCKZ (91.3fm, Orland) and translator W204BF (88.7fm, Fort Wayne). NIPR purchased the 94.1fm for $1.75 million in early 2007, while they built 91.3fm and 88.7fm. The asking price is $2.5 million, according to a press release from Media Service Group broker Bob Heymann. Must the three be sold together? Heymann tells trade publication Inside Radio "No."

The New Haven-based syndicated radio show "This Week in America" adds WSGA in Savannah, Georgia, WTGA in Columbus, Georgia, KFBX in Fairbanks, Alaska, and WVOX in White Plains, New York.

The sale of WNRL-LP (105.9fm, Ligonier) from the Indiana Historic Radio Museum to the West Noble Schools is complete. No word yet on any programming changes.

An LPTV window opened for stations far enough away from a Top 100 television market. Several applications were received for Fort Wayne. Indianapolis based Kingdom of God, Inc., which operations two LPTV's in Indianapolis (WKOG-LP) and Kokomo (WKGK-LP) has filed for a LPTV station on either Channel 34 or Channel 39. If either of these are accepted, they would transmit from the tower of Russ Oasis' Rhythmic CHR/WJFX (107.9fm, New Haven), on the southeast side of Fort Wayne. Waldorf, Maryland-based Alma Corp. has also filed for LPTV stations on Channels 14, 15, 19, 33, and 34. If any of these are granted, they would transmit from the tower of LIN-TV CBS affiliate WANE-TV, on West State Boulevard. Cedar Hill, Texas-based CrossTalk International has also filed for a LPTV station on Channel 20. If granted, they would transmit from an American Towers' tower that also holds Trans Star's Home Shopping Network affiliate WFWC-CA (Channel 45, Fort Wayne) on Cass Street, just north of West State Boulevard.

Where Are They Now? (Part 1 of 2) Former then-CHR/WCKZ (then 102.3fm, Auburn) APD/MD/Night guy Mike Thomas just added MD duties at NYC's legendary WHTZ ("Z-100"). Thomas (whose nom de plume is "Jagger") also holds down nights at WKTU in NYC.

Where Are They Now? (Part 2 of 2) Former then-CHR/WDJB (106.3fm, Columbia City) overnight DJ "Timmy V." is now MD/afternoons at Chicago's WKQX as Tim Virgin.


After nearly seven years as a talk formatted station, Federated Media's WTRC (1340am, Elkhart) switches format to Oldies, as "Hippie Radio 1340" under new PD Paul Weaver. The format launched on Friday 21 August at 6:00AM. Both Bill Darwin (host of "At Your Service") and Allen Strike (morning show co-host) have retired from WTRC after many years of service. WTRC News Director Gary Sieber will handle mornings, Bo Chase takes middays, PD Paul Weaver handles afternoons, and "The Night Rader" takes evenings.

Schurz Communications has used its option and walked away from a proposed deal to purchase three local low-power TV stations. The deal, announced in August of 2008, would have resulted in Schurz purchasing ABC affiliate WBND (Channel 57, South Bend), CW affiliate WCWW (Channel 25, South Bend), and MyNetworkTV affiliate WMYS (Channel 69, South Bend) from Weigel Broadcasting. As the FCC did not approve the deal within a year, both Schurz and Weigel walked away from the deal.

In late July, a 42 year old man climbed about four hundred feet up the tower that houses Schurz' CBS affiliate WSBT-TV (DT Channel 22, South Bend) and sister AC/WNSN-FM (101.5fm, South Bend). After a standoff with police (which started about 9AM and lasted several hours), he climbed down and was lead away from the scene in handcuffs. WSBT CE Eugene Hale points out that the man made it around fencing and barbed wire plus other security measures. Had the man climbed a few hundred feet higher, he would have reached the WNSN-FM antenna. WSBT-TV also learned that the same man also climbed the WSBT in August, 1989.

Speaking of WSBT, all of the Schurz stations (WSBT-TV, WSBT(AM), WNSN, and LMA WHFB-FM) held a public tour for their new Mishawaka facility on East Douglas Road. The Saturday 1 August tour attracted over 2,000 visitors. Also, several reporters from the Schurz-owned South Bend Tribune work at the facility.

Harold Camping's Sacramento, California-based Family Stations, Inc. sells their translator W209BC (89.7fm, Wakelee, Michigan) to Larry Langford, Jr. for $55,000. IRW noticed the proximity of W209BC to Langford's Oldies/WGTO (910am, Cassopolis, Michigan). Is a simulcast upcoming?

Where Are They Now? (Part 1 of 2) Former Federated Media Country/WBYT (100.7fm, Elkhart) PD Ralph Cherry just exited as OM of the Clear Channel stations' in Fort Smith, Arkansas.

Where Are They Now? (Part 2 of 2) Former Artistic Media Partners' CHR/WNDV (92.9fm, South Bend) MD/night host "Otis" adds afternoons at WNKS in Charlotte, North Carolina.


The FCC rejects another appeal from Newsweb's Ethnic/WNDZ (750am, Portage) which wanted to move its City of License to Calumet City, Illinois. No technical changes in this move, but the new City of License would have removed first local service from Portage, and the FCC said that's a no-no, over Newsweb's argument. That argument was a bit unusual in that Newsweb wanted to save the cost of operating a separate legal main studio for WNDZ. Had the move been approved, WNDZ would be within 25 miles of its existing studios on North Milwaukee Avenue in Chicago. The FCC found that argument "unpersuasive."

Mike Shamus replaces Mark Allen as morning co-host at Schurz' Country/WKOA (105.3fm, Lafayette). He will also be OM for the entire Schurz Lafayette cluster (WASK-AM & FM, WKHY, WKOA, and WXXB). Shamus arrives from Station Manager and morning host duties at Connoisseur Media's KXMZ in Rapid City, South Dakota. The new WKOA morning show with Shamus and APD Annie James debuted on 10 August. Mark Allen is now PD and afternoons at Federated Media's Country/WBYT (100.7fm, Elkhart).

The news-talk programming on Artistic Media Partners' WSHY (1410am, Lafayette) has gone away, with a simulcast of sister Adult Hits/WBPE (95.3fm, Brookston) taking over, for now. Top Dog Productions entered into a Local Marketing Agreement with Artistic Media Partners, and in September, 2008, replaced the programming on WSHY with a news-talk format, including syndicated programming from Don Imus, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity. The station also did a local "L-Town Hour" talk show each afternoon, and a Sunday afternoon sports talk show. Financial problems have bitten (pun intended) Top Dog Productions, yet they hope to return the news-talk format soon.

Mike Macintosh's Horizon Christian Fellowship sells its translator W285DQ (104.9fm, Frankfort) to Vernon Kaspar's Kaspar Broadcasting for $15,000. There is now a CP on file with the FCC to move W285DQ to 94.1fm (it would then become W231CB). Also, Kaspar has filed an STA with the FCC to rebroadcast Kaspar's Standards/WILO (1570am, Frankfort).

Todd Hauer, News Director at Northwest Indiana Public Broadcasting's WYIN-TV (Channel 17, Gary) exits. Hauer had been at the PBS affiliate for three years. He will become the Associate Director of Media Relations for Valparaiso University. (An advertisement for this job appears at the end of today's issue)

Antonio Cesear Guel's Hispanic Christian Community Network sells Spanish Religion/WUVI-LP (Channel 65, West Lafayette) and another LPTV in Virginia for $200,000 to Gaspar Cota's Hosanna Apostolic Ministries.

An LPTV window opened for stations far enough away from a Top 100 market. Several applications were received for Monticello. Waldorf, Maryland-based Alma Corp. has filed for LPTV stations on Channels 6, 8, 39, and 49. If any of these are granted, they would transmit from a Comcast owned tower on the northwest side of Monticello.


Backyard Broadcasting changes the call letters on their Classic Rock "Max" format. WHTY (93.5fm, Hartford City) is now WMXQ, while sister station WHTI (96.7fm, Alexandria) is now WMQX.

Indiana Community Radio Corp. has filed an application with the FCC to move their Contemporary Christian WJCF (88.1fm, Morristown) to 87.9fm, with 25,000 watts at 105 feet (an upgrade from a directional Class A to a nondirectional Class B1). This application also calls for a different transmitter site, along US-40, just east of IN-9 in Greenfield. The application states that WJCF is hampered in upgrade potential, as WJCF can only move "one channel down, or three channels up, unlike other stations, which can move three channels up or down."


A trio of GM moves. First, Charlie Morgan replaces the late Tom Severino as VP/GM at Emmis' Indianapolis cluster (WFNI/WIBC/WLHK/WYXB). Morgan was president and COO of IMS Productions, which is the broadcasting side of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Morgan was GM for many years at Susquehanna (now Cumulus)/Indianapolis (WFMS, WJJK, WRWM). Morgan begins his new duties at Emmis on Monday 14 September.

Second, Phil Hoover has announced his retirement as VP/Market Manager for Entercom's three Indianapolis radio stations (WNTR, WZPL, and WXNT). Hoover has been with Entercom Indianapolis since December, 2005. In addition to Indianapolis, he will be remembered as the VP/Market Manager of Entercom's New Orleans stations, when Hurricane Katrina struck. Hoover has also worked at stations in Illinois, Iowa, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

Finally, Bart Johnson exits Russ Oasis' Oldies/WKLU (101.9fm, Brownsburg) and is now the GM at Continental Broadcasting's Spanish/WSYW (810am, Indianapolis) and Regional Mexican/WEDJ (107.1fm, Danville). Replacing Johnson at WKLU is Amiee McGrath, upped from business and traffic manager.

Our condolences to the family of Jonathan Byrd, who was the owner of Raven Broadcasting, which owns Sports/WXLW (950am, Indianapolis) and controls the LMA'ed Talk/WFDM (95.9fm, Franklin). Byrd passed away Thursday evening 20 August at age 57. Byrd was also involved in businesses outside radio: KFC franchises, a cafeteria, banquet, and catering business, hotelier, television station owner, among other enterprises. He is survived by his wife, two sons, and seven grandchildren.

Entercom Adult Hits/WNTR (107.9fm, Indianapolis) goes commercial free on Monday through Saturday between 9AM and Noon, creating an on air lineup adjustment. Greg Browning (6AM until 9AM), Kelli Jack is now on between Noon and 6PM, while J.C. handles 6PM until Midnight.

A pair of broadcasters have joined forces in a new consulting venture. Former N-T/WIBC programmer Jon Quick and veteran air personality John Landecker have formed "The Q Consulting Guys." Quick has worked with stations in Minneapolis, Phoenix, Saint Louis, and Toronto. Landecker is an accomplished broadcaster and is featured in the radio exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.

A local IT firm has purchased the building that once housed WFYI radio and TV. The building, at 1401 North Meridian Street, was emptied last year, when WFYI moved to the former Indiana Gas building at 16th Street and Meridian Street. The former 1401 North Meridian Street facility also once housed WTHR-TV (Channel 13, Indianapolis), starting in 1958.

Checking the TV listings, we note that Ray Cortopassi is the new morning anchor (7:00AM until 9:00AM) for Tribune FOX affiliate WXIN-TV (DT Channel 45, Indianapolis). His duties alongside co-anchor Angela Ganote begin on 21 September. Cortopassi was an early evening anchor at McGraw-Hill Broadcasting's ABC affiliate WRTV (DT Channel 25, Indianapolis) until 2008. Since then, he has been a freelance anchor and reporter at Dispatch's NBC affiliate WTHR (DT Channel 13, Indianapolis). Finally, Cortopassi remains the executive director of the Zionsville Chamber of Commerce.

A former engineer with several Indianapolis radio stations has passed away. Richard (Dick) Hill, 84, passed away on Wednesday 12 August 2009. He was an engineer at WISH and WIRE radio, along with many other jobs, including working as a correspondent for the Indianapolis News.

The Indianapolis-based "The Weekly Pop 20" show adds KATF in Dubuque, Iowa to their affiliate roster.

Where Are They Now? Former Hoosier DJ Mike Carter ("Mike James") is now handling OM duties at WOAY-AM in the Beckley, West Virginia market.


Forcht Broadcasting's Oldies/WCVL (1550am, Crawfordsville) has an improved signal, after the removal of its four directional towers, and installation of a single ominidirectional tower. The new tower, at the WCVL studios, is part of a $50,000 upgrade that should improve reception and create a more consistent daytime signal.

Our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Crossroads' Country-Rock/WSDM-FM (92.7fm, Brazil) PD "Party" Marty Combs. Combs' ten year old son Josh passed away on Thursday 16 July in a tragic accident. We heard that many of Terre Haute's media gathered together in the days after the accident, and raised money for the Combs family.

Where Are They Now? Former Nexstar NBC affiliate WTWO-TV (Channel 2, Terre Haute) GM Duane Lammers is now COO of Granite Broadcasting's 23 television stations in 11 markets (including the Indiana's NewsCenter duo of WISE-TV and WPTA in Fort Wayne).


New Albany Broadcasting's Talk/WNDA (1570am, New Albany) changes format to Oldies, using Dial Global's "Kool Gold" syndicated format. However, mornings are handled by legendary Louisville DJ Rocky Knight. Knight's show airs between 6:00AM and 9:00AM.

Two Ohio based groups have agreed on the sale of a CP. WCIX (89.5fm, Versailles) was sold by William Spry's Hamilton-based Spryex Communications for $45,000 to David Rinderle's Cincinnati-based Sacred Heart Radio.

We have several changes at Keith Reising's stations: First, Fritz Moser is now the PD at AC/WRZQ-FM (107.3fm, Greensburg) and sister Country/WYGB (100.3fm, Edinburgh). Moser was with Cumulus (and Susquehanna, before the sale) in Indianapolis. Before Susquehanna/Cumulus, he worked at other stations in Indianapolis. Moser replaces Keith Maddox who is now APD for both "QMIX" and "Korn Country." Maddox will focus on Korn and also adds local content during the syndicated "Rick and Bubba" morning show on Korn. Finally, the FCC has approved the sale of WXCH (102.9fm, Hope). No word on format or an expected on-air date.

Indiana Community Radio Corp. adds another translator, which just debuted on the air. W273AH (102.5fm, Edinburgh) translates ICRC's Contemporary Christian/WJCF (88.1fm, Morristown).


The $200,000 sale of silent station WXCH (102.9fm, Hope) from Wagon Wheel Broadcasting to Keith Reising's Reising Radio Partners has been approved. WXCH has been silence since January due to a lightning strike. There is still an FCC application pending to move the WXCH transmitter site southwest from Hope to Reising's Country/WYGB (100.3fm, Edinburgh) tower on the east side of I-65, south of IN-46.

Mary's Children, Inc.'s CP for 89.9fm, licensed to Ellettsville just changed call letters from WITE to WOMB.

Sarkes Tarzian's AAA/WTTS (92.3fm, Bloomington) adds an encore broadcast of their Sunday morning show OverEasy, hosted by Todd Berryman. The replay is on Sunday evenings between 7PM and 11PM. The show features acoustic tracks, singer-songwriters, and B-sides, among other unique tracks.


Regent's News-Talk/WGBF (1280am, Evansville) replaces a repeat of Dave Ramsey with The Dennis Miller Show in the evening between 10:00PM and Midnight. This change began on Monday 31 August.

DLC Media just received FCC approval to rebroadcast Standards/WAMW (1580am, Washington) on translator W240CE (95.9fm, Washington). The signal is 99 watts and transmits from a two-bay antenna 300 feet up on a tower near the studios.

The Vincennes University broadcasting department recently won a $20,000 grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. This grant will pay for recording equipment to record local Hispanic programming in the Vincennes area. The recordings will air on a new HD3 stream of Hot AC/WVUB (91.1fm, Vincennes). (The HD2 is airing smooth jazz)

An LPTV window opened for stations far enough away from a Top 100 market. Several applications were received for Evansville. Indianapolis based Kingdom of God, Inc., which operations two LPTV's in Indianapolis (WKOG-LP) and Kokomo (WKGK-LP) has filed for a LPTV station on either Channel 25 or Channel 50. If the current filing is accepted, they would transmit from the tower of Regent's Country/WKDQ (99.5fm, Henderson, Kentucky), north of Henderson. Waldorf, Maryland-based Alma Corp. has also filed for LPTV stations on Channels 14, 25, 26, and 44. If any of these are granted, they would transmit from the tower of ComCorp's CBS affiliate WEVV, also north of Henderson. Cedar Hill, Texas-based CrossTalk International has also filed for LPTV stations on Channels 31 and 51. If either of these are granted, they would transmit from the tower of Owensboro, Kentucky PBS affiliate WKOH on US-60 between Owensboro and Henderson, Kentucky.

Employment Opportunities

Some people like predictable jobs. Doing the same thing every day... at the same place and with the same people. And every month, they get the same boring paycheck. If this sounds like you... you can stop reading. But, if your personality is better suited to variety... if you enjoy meeting new people and tackling new challenges each day... and, if you'd like to influence your own paycheck... you might be perfectly suited for a career in radio marketing. White River Broadcasting Company is searching for a radio sales professional. You'll represent South-Central Indiana's leading group of radio stations... including Y106. Radio sales experience is not required but enthusiasm is. If you have the skills and the desire to succeed, White River Broadcasting Company will provide the training and tools to make it happen. Send your resume to jobs at y106 dot com. White River Broadcasting is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Federated Media/South Bend is looking for a GSM to lead the sales effort at Country/WBYT. Do you still get a rush out of helping people grow? Send resume and accolades to Brad Williams at: bwilliams at federatedmedia dot com.

Lakeshore Public Television & Lakeshore Public Radio, serving Northwest Indiana and Chicago, seeks a News Director. We're looking for a proven leader with sound news judgment to continue the mission of Northwest Indiana Public Broadcasting, Inc. as the nightly news leader in NWI. Competitive salary, full benefits, retirement plan. Please send cover letter, resume and salary requirements by August 20, 2009 to jlounsberry at lakeshoreptv dot com or mail to Julia Lounsberry, 8625 Indiana Place, Merrillville, Indiana 46410. No phone calls please. EOE.

Artistic Radio's Classic Rock/WZOW (South Bend) has a Sales Manager Opening. If you have a success story of managing local and national sales, hiring, training, and creating promotional gold with PD's, send your cover letter and resume to: Arthur at artisticradio dot com. Artistic Media Partners is proud to be an EOE.

If you are interested in the VP/Market Manager position at Entercom Indianapolis, please contact Noreen McCormack, VP/Human Resources at nmccormack at entercom dot com. Entercom is proud to be an EOE.

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

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

(c) 2009, Blaine E. Thompson

Indiana RadioWatch may not be reproduced, transmitted, or distributed in any way, shape, or form without the permission of the copyright holder (Thompson, above)

Indiana RadioWatch is produced weekly. Subscriptions are free. To subscribe, send an e-mail to asking to be added. Indiana RadioWatch is archived after publication on the Indiana Radio Archive at Submissions of any nature are welcomed by e-mail, FAX, or postal mail. Employment opportunities are posted as is, so please proofread. Employment opportunities are only posted when received from a credible source (usually the owner, GM, or PD of a station).

Finally, we thank you for your continued support.

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

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

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