Indiana RadioWatch: September 23, 2000

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WEXI (102.9fm, Huntington) ends its simulcast with sister Rock/WXKE (103.9fm, Fort Wayne) and flips to "alternative dance" as Energy 102.9. IRW listened for about two hours yesterday and was quite impressed. We heard a mix of early 1990's and current dance tracks, mixed back-to-back with no jocks and very few liners. Special note for PD Dawn Sweet: IRW didn't hear a Legal ID.

Speaking of WXKE, longtime air personality Sharon Rossi exits.

Dean McNeil is the new co-host of SportsTalk on News-Talk/WOWO (1190am, Fort Wayne). McNeil replaces Art Saltsberg, who remains with Federated Media, as mentioned in our July 29th issue. McNeil hosts the show with Dean Pantazi, Sports Director at Granite Broadcasting's WPTA-TV (Channel 21, Fort Wayne [ABC]). Also, the show is shortened by one hour; it's now on from 6pm - 7pm. By the way, McNeil is no stranger to Maples Road; he's the Operations Manager for Country/WQHK (105.1fm, Decatur). With their shortened show, the Dolans move to 7pm - 9pm, and all 4 hours of the Michael Reagan show are on from 9pm - 1am.

Returning to the Fort Wayne airwaves is the morning duo of Dirk Rowley and Jeannette Rinard, this time at Sarkes Tarzian's AC/WAJI (95.1fm, Fort Wayne). Rowley and Rinard did mornings in the 1990's at Country/WBTU (93.3fm, Kendallville). Rowley returns to the Summit City from Country/WBYT (100.7fm, Elkhart) where he did mornings, while Rinard took some time off from radio to be a full-time Mom.

The sale of Country/WBTU (93.3fm, Kendallville) was finalized from 62nd Street Broadcasting to Artistic Media Partners, for $5 million, on 5 September. And with that comes...

J.R. Greeley exits as GM at Country/WBTU (93.3fm, Kendallville) Taking over responsibilities at "B-93" is Shel Leshner, GM at Artistic's properties in South Bend (WHLY, WJVA, WNDV(AM) & FM). Leshner's new title is "AMP/Northern Indiana GM" We hear the airstaff's future, including the morning "J-Crew", is uncertain.

Weasel, PD at Urban/WJFX (107.9fm, New Haven) steps down, but will remain with "Hot 107.9" doing mornings.

Religious/WBCL (90.3fm, Fort Wayne) names Jason Craner as News Director. Craner arrives in the Summit City from Lansing, Michigan, where he was News Director & morning host at WLGH.

Newsman Lee Burdorf exits News-Talk/WOWO (1190am, Fort Wayne). Replacing Burdorf is John Perlich, from crosstown Talk/WGL (1250am, Fort Wayne).

Speaking of which...Talk/WGL(AM) (1250am, Fort Wayne) picks up The Phil Hendrie show, live from 6pm - 9pm. 2 of the 3 hours were rebroadcast the next morning from 7am - 9am, but owner Frank Kovas has decided to only broadcast the show at night, after only a few weeks of this lineup. A new morning show for WGL is yet to be determined. Also at WGL, Dean Taylor is their new PD, arriving at Lower Huntington Road from Talk/WBOW (640am, Terre Haute).

On the other side of that building on Lower Huntington Road, the shakeup at Rhythmic/WCKZ (102.3fm, Auburn) continues. "Trip" exits one week after morning man Phlash Phelps departed for Washington, D.C. Promotions Director Courtney Heiser (the other 1/3 of the show) is now off-air, concentrating on her Promotions duties. IRW hears that they're actively looking for mornings. For now, VP/Programming Brian Michel is rotating interim morning duties with night guy Mike Thomas.


Jason White is the new news director at Elkhart Community Schools' WVPE (88.1fm, Elkhart). According to ShopTalk, White was last at WNDU (Channel 16, South Bend [NBC]) where he was the 5pm weekday producer.

At CHR/WNDV (92.9fm, South Bend) morning stunt guy Jeremy Gray exits.

John Fineran exits the "WeekDay SportsBeat" at News-Talk/WSBT (960am, South Bend).

Woody departs mornings at Rock/WAOR (95.3fm, Niles, Michigan).


What's going on with WZRK (101.7fm, Kentland)? Our Archive has little in the way of information as to format, etc. While browsing the latest FCC actions, we noticed that they granted a License to Cover for the station. Presumably, this would mean that they're on the air for the first time. However, if you believe the FCC database, it says that WZRK is silent.


Some big changes at Brewer Broadcasting's News-Talk/WHON(AM) & Country/WQLK-FM (930am, Centerville; 96.1fm, Richmond): PD & WHON morning man Russ Walker exits. Dan Mills is now OM for both WHON & WQLK. New PD for WHON is Troy Derengowski from Rodgers Broadcastings' Talk/WKBV (1490am, Richmond). At WHON, Derengowski will host an hour long morning show, an afternoon/evening sports show, take Sports Director duties, and (!) do sports reporting for both WHON and WQLK. Finally, News Director Bill O'Hara ends his lengthy radio career. Replacing O'Hara as News Director at both stations is Jeff Lane.


CHR/WNOU (93.1fm, Indianapolis) names David Edgar as PD. Edgar arrives from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he was PD at WBZZ.

The vacant night gig at CHR/WZPL (99.5fm, Greenfield) is filled by Jason Burns (aka Buzz Craven). Burns heads to the Circle City from Florida, where he's worked in Orlando and Tallahassee. Burns' first day is October 2. Also, John Mills is new to overnights at WZPL. Mills was last at Rhythmic/WHHH (96.3fm, Indianapolis), where he did weekends.

WFBQ/WNDE/WRZX promotes Assistant Production Director Tim Denniston to Production Director. Also, Chris Geisen is now Creative Services Director for all three Clear Channel stations.

New to weekends at Oldies/WGLD (104.5fm, Indianapolis) is Don Riley. Riley was last at WASK & WKOA in Lafayette as OM/PD.

Condolences to the family of Richard M. Fairbanks. Fairbanks, 88, died August 11 in Key Largo, Florida. According to the obituary in The Indianapolis Star, he is the son of Charles W. Fairbanks, Vice President under Theodore Roosevelt. Richard Fairbanks founded Fairbanks Communications in 1948 to buy WIBC (1070am, Indianapolis). The Fairbanks family also owned The Indianapolis News (later sold to Eugene C. Pulliam also in 1948.)

Addendum: In our March 25th issue, we told you that a historical broadcasting landmark has disappeared in Anderson: The WHBU(AM) Blaw-Knox tower. WHBU Chief Engineer has put some photos of the WHBU tower on this website:


Where are they now: Former CHR/WMGI (100.7fm, Terre Haute) PD Beau Richards is now the new PD at KHFI in Austin, Texas.


Elizabeth Hamma is the new GM at the Cox properties in Louisville, Kentucky (WMHX, WRKA, WSFR, and WVEZ). Hamma arrives from GSM duties at WDFN(AM) & WWWW-FM in Detroit, Michigan.

Doug James, GSM at Clear Channel/Louisville (WAMZ, WQMF, WTFX, WYBL, and WZTR), heads across town for similar duties at the Blue Chip properties (WBLO, WDJX, WFIA, WGZB, WLRS, WMJM, and WULV).

Oldies/WINN (106.1fm, North Vernon) PD Kris Kaane exits for MD & Nights at WOMP-FM in Wheeling, West Virginia.

After dropping Bob & Tom, Classic Rock/WSFR (107.7fm, Corydon) adds syndicated morning duo Lex & Terry, from WFYV in Jacksonville, Florida.

Also in the Louisville metro, Country/WYBL (93.1fm, Clarksville) adds syndicated morning duo "John Boy & Billy" from WRFX in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Family Worship Center Church gains approval on their revised application for 91.1fm in Madison. Calls are now W216BU-CP. The FCC dismissed their original request back in June.

Where are they now? Former Cox/Louisville, Kentucky VP/GM Brent Millar is now VP/Market Manager at Entercom's Greensboro, North Carolina stations.


AAA/WTTS (92.3fm, Bloomington) welcomes Jim Ziegler as PD. Ziegler was last doing nights at legendary AAA/KFOG in San Francisco, California. Also, MD Marie McCallister is promoted to Assistant Program Director.

A call letter swap between two Good Shepherd stations: The 96.9fm in Hardinsburg flips from WBRO to WKLO, while the 89.9fm in Marengo flips from WKLO to WBRO.


Lots of changes at CHR/WSTO (96.1fm, Owensboro, Kentucky): PD/midday guy Dr. Dave Michaels shifts to mornings, alongside Diane Douglas. Douglas is new to "The New Mix 96", arriving from Oldies/WRIT (nee WZTR) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Michaels moves since morning man Chris Kellogg heads to mornings at WCBZ/WRHT in Greenville, North Carolina. Also, night guy Cat Michaels is upped to MD, while webhead Scott Michaels has to find his headphones, since he's coming back to WSTO for middays.

Family Worship Center Church gains approval on an application for 89.5fm in Loogootee. Calls are W208AZ-CP.

That's it for this issue! See you in two weeks...

Blaine Thompson
Indiana RadioWatch

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