Indiana RadioWatch: September 23, 2006

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Several Summit City Radio Group employees - GM Kristine Foate, Director of Programming Bill Stewart, GSM Vori Dhabolt, and Joel Hoffman (middays at WYLT) have left the company. We recently learned that Stewart is now VP/GM at Meredith Communications' stations in Atlantic, Iowa - KSOM and KSWI. Also, Dhabolt is now Sales Manager for Artistic Media Partners' stations in Fort Wayne - WBTU and WSHY.

Replacing Foate at Summit City is Lloyd Roach, and replacing Stewart is programming consultant Ted Bolton (as we understand it, Bolton is not in Fort Wayne, but he's consulting the station through his Bolton Research Company in Florida). Roach is on the Board of Directors of Summit City Radio parent company - Seattle-based Northwest Capital Appreciation, Inc.

A significant shakeup happened with several Summit City Radio Group stations. First, Rhythmic CHR/WNHT (96.3fm, Churubusco) stunted with Timex Social Club's "Rumors" (1986) repeating from Sunday afternoon (20 August) through Monday (21 August) at 5pm. WNHT then emerged as "The New Wild 96.3, At least 18 Songs in a Row." Second, the remaining Summit City stations were wildly (erm, no pun intended) shook up at the end of August.

Let's examine the Summit City's radio lineup as it is now:

Alternative/WXTW (102.3fm, Auburn) is now under an LMA with former Artistic Media Partners (Fort Wayne) GM John Henry and two other local businesspeople. Their company is Three Amigo's Broadcasting, Inc. At Midnight on 1 September, "X 102" ceased and the new owners switched its format to Spanish. "X 102" signed off that night with the entire airstaff playing music and reminiscing. As Midnight drew closer, PD JJ Fabini noted that the alternative format originally signed on at sister frequency 96.3fm, as "The Edge," on 21 September 1995. "The Edge" signed on with Nirvanna's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and X 102 signed off with the same song.

Inside Radio tells us that the station sold for $1.35 million, plus $20,000 per month for the LMA.

Derrick Gingery's article in the Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly says that the new "Mega 102.3" uses Bustos Media for most of its programming. The station plans on using news from Univision, and adding locally produced content as well as locally hosted talk shows. For now, the call letters remain WXTW.

Standards/WGL (1250am, Fort Wayne) remains its format. Adult Hits/WXKE (102.9fm, Huntington) now simulcasts WGL with new call letters WWGL. The former "102.9 Mike FM" played all Frank Sinatra starting late on 29 August and all day 30 August, before switching to WGL's simulcast at Midnight on 31 August.

Rhythmic CHR/WNHT (96.3fm, Churubusco) debuts a new morning show with PD Vince Wilson ("MoJo") and "Shady" Spencer on Monday 28 August. Also, former WYLT morning man "Man at Large" is now in afternoons at WNHT/Wild 96.3. Former WYLT morning co-host Sara Lauer exits.

CHR/WYLT (103.9fm, Fort Wayne) reverted to Rock as "Rock 104" (as WXKE). Rock/WCKZ (94.1fm, Roanoke) will simulcast 103.9fm. Their new "Rock 104" airstaff lineup:

Mornings: Doc West (also PD) - from same at WCKZ.
Mornings: Leslie Stone
Middays: JJ Fabini (also MD) - from PD/mornings at WXTW.
Afternoons: Buster Meyer - from Afternoons at WCKZ.
Nights: Jason Lee - from Afternoons at WXTW.
Overnights: Mathew Albro - from Nights at WXTW.

Finally, McConnell Adams moves from mornings at WYLT to afternoons at WNHT, and Rock 104 is on the web at

Is this the finished story? Does GM Lloyd Roach have more up his sleeve? Stay tuned.

Federated Media promotes Country/WQHK (105.1fm, Decatur) MD/afternoon drive guy Dave Michaels to Assistant FM OM under OM Rob Kelley. AllAccess reports that Michaels will oversee WQHK and sister Hot AC/WMEE (97.3fm, Fort Wayne).

Federated Media Rock/WBYR (98.9fm, Van Wert, Ohio) PD Cindy Miller exits.

Federated Media Hot AC/WMEE (97.3fm, Fort Wayne) welcomes Craig Morrison and Samantha Adams to mornings, replacing Steve Kerrigan and Company. Their "Craig and Sam" show began Monday 28 August. Morrison and Adams arrive from mornings at KKCS in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The new morning show means Chris Cage moves to afternoon drive (3pm - 8pm) and former afternoon guy Don Walker exits WMEE.

Former WOWO (1190am, Fort Wayne) PD Chris Rathaus passed away. Rathaus was PD starting in 1974. He later moved on to WDAE (Tampa), WQAM (Miami), WRMF/WJNO (West Palm Beach), and eventually onto Sirius Satellite Radio. While at WOWO, he hired Carol Ford.

Malara Broadcasting's ABC affiliate WPTA-TV (Channel 21/DT24) owner Tony Malara passed away on Thursday 24 August in Syracuse, New York. Malara, 69, graduated from Syracuse University, was President of Affiliate Relations for CBS from June, 1998 through his retirement from CBS on 1 December 1995. His Malara Broadcasting owned both WPTA and CBS affiliate KDLH (Channel 3/DT33).

Federated Media Classic Rock/WFWI (92.3fm, Fort Wayne) changes it lineup, reuniting a former morning show, once heard on sister Rock/WBYR (98.9fm, Van Wert, Ohio). The new lineup:

5:00AM - 10:00AM - The Bob and Tom Show
10:00AM - 3:00PM - Cliff
3:00PM - 7:00PM - PD Billy Elvis and Jack Hammer
7:00PM - 10:00PM - Roxy
10:00PM - 3:00AM - Alice Cooper Nights

Where Are They Now? Former WJFX PD Michelle Price is now Affiliate Relations Manager at The Marketing Group/Impact Radio Networks in Nashville.


Inside Radio reports that Talking Stick Communications purchases Classic Hits/WAWC (103.5fm, Syracuse) from Bill Dixon for $430,000, plus $170,000 from a four year consulting agreement. Dixon built and signed the station on 31 May 1991 and has run "Hoosier 103.5" ever since. (though we fondly remember it as "Wawasee 103!")

Artistic Media Partners' CHR/WNDV (92.9fm, South Bend) welcomes John Blassingame as Station Manager. Blassingame was last Market Manager at Entercom in Memphis, Tennessee.

Schurz Communications' AC/WNSN (101.5fm, South Bend) OM/PD Jim Roberts welcomes Brad King as midday jock. King replaces Roberts, who goes off-air and focuses more on his OM/PD role. King was last nights at WDAF-FM in Kansas City, Missouri.

Federated Media Country/WBYT (100.7fm, Elkhart) morning co-host Rick Hummer exits.

American Family Association's WHNI (88.5fm, Rochester) signs on.

Where Are They Now? According to The Chicago Sun-Times' Robert Feder, former Religious/WHPZ (96.9fm, Bremen) Production Director/Morning Co-Host Denise Pagano is now co-hosting mornings at WXXQ in Rockford, Illinois.


After the FCC posted notice that renewal applications from Purdue University stations WBAA(AM)-FM (920am, 101.3fm; both West Lafayette) were "inadvertently canceled," the stations' licenses are now renewed.

WASK(AM)-FM (1450am, Lafayette/98.7fm, Battle Ground) split with the AM flipping from Oldies to Sports, as "ESPN Radio 1450," while Oldies remain on the FM frequency.

CHR/WAZY (96.5fm, Lafayette) welcomes Dan Baisden as PD. Baisden was last PD at WQHY in Prestonsburg, Kentucky. Baisden replaces PD Dana Marshall. Also, morning host Gavin Todd exited the station in August. (Read on for where Marshall is at now!)

Radio One Communications' AC/WZVN (107.1fm, Lowell) adds the Element One Network feature "Mr. Food."

Where Are They Now? Former Artistic Media CHR/WAZY (96.5fm, Lafayette) PD Dana Marshall is now Director of Promotions for Gracie Entertainment.


The sale of WIFE-FM from Rodgers Broadcasting to Radio One is complete. WIFE-FM (100.3fm, Connersville) moved city of license to Norwood, Ohio and is now WMOJ, broadcasting a Rhythmic Oldies format. Also, IRW discovered that Rodgers Broadcasting sold the station to Radio One for "approximately $18 million in cash," according to Radio One's Second Quarter results press release.

Citadel Country/WMDH-FM (102.5fm, New Castle) morning man Jay Michaels exits. PD Jon Sipes is now doing mornings with Kelly Stokes.


Clear Channel Indianapolis (WFBQ/WNDE/WRZX) GM Chris Wheat exits after 21 years. No replacement was immediately named.

Bill Shirk's Hoosier Broadcasting Corporation sells contemporary Christian/WIKL (90.5fm, Greencastle) to Educational Media Foundation for $2 million ($1.5 million in a note). WIKL has carried EMF's "K-Love" format since its inception on February 26, 2004. John Pierce was the broker for Educational Media Foundation.

Spanish/WSYW + WEDJ (810am, Indianapolis; 107.1fm, Danville) OM Scott Isenhart exits. Also, Manual Sepulveda is the new PD for both stations, and Stephanie Tatay-Myers is now Marketing Manger. Sepulveda was last PD at XBCE in San Diego, California. In July, WEDJ relaunched as "The New Radio Latina 107.1fm. More Mexican than Ever" (or, "La Nueva Radio Latina Mas Mexicana Que Nunca!") The new format is Regional Mexican, and WEDJ sister station WSYW has added the music from the old WEDJ "Radio Latina" format into its music and talk show mix.

Scott Sands was recently promoted to Operations Director for all of Entercom's Indianapolis stations (WZPL/WNTR/WXNT). Sands will continue as PD of Hot AC/WZPL (99.5fm, Greenfield), but will also work more closely with Adult Hits/WNTR (107.9fm, Indianapolis) PD Tom Watson, and N-T/WXNT (1430am, Indianapolis) PD Andrew Lee.

Several changes in Monument Circle at Emmis Communications. First, N-T/WIBC (1070am, Indianapolis) Reporter/Anchor Leigh DeNoon exits. Second, WIBC adds ABC Radio Networks' Mark Levin from 11pm - 1am, weeknights. Third, Mysti Cox exits from middays at sister CHR/WNOU (93.1fm, Indianapolis). Finally at WNOU, CHR/WNDV (92.9fm, South Bend) night guy Otis adds weekend duties.

Entercom Indianapolis promotes Toni Williams to Marketing and Promotions Director. Assisting Williams on the Promotions side is Sales Assistant Melissa Abriana, who is now Assistant Promotions Director. Both women will oversee these duties for all three Entercom stations: N-T/WXNT (1430am, Indianapolis), Hot AC/WZPL (99.5fm, Greenfield), and Classic Hits/WNTR (107.9fm, Indianapolis).

Dispatch-owned NBC affiliate WTHR-TV (Channel 13/DT 46, Indianapolis) News Director Jacques Natz exits after nearly ten years as News Director. Starting October 2, he will be Director of Digital Media Content with Hearst Argyle TV.


Midwest Communications' Country/WACF (98.5fm, Paris, Illinois) changes call letters to WINH but retains its music format.

Digging the TV remote out from under the couch, we discover that Doug Runyon was promoted and is now News Director at LIN-owned CBS affiliate WTHI-TV (Channel 10/DT 24, Terre Haute).


Once sold to BK Media, LLC, Country/WJCP (92.7fm, Austin) will take new call letters - WXKU-FM. The WJCP call letters remain with Pieratt Communications' 1460am (North Vernon) station.

Sarkes Tarzian AAA/WTTS (92.3fm, Bloomington) PD Brad Holtz and APD/MD Laura Duncan swap shifts, with Holtz segueing from afternoons to middays and Duncan moving to afternoons.

Good Samaritan Educational Radio's WKJR (91.7fm, Jasper) switches call letters to WJPR. As best we understand, the license is still an unbuilt CP.

Sarkes Tarzian's AAA/WTTS (92.3fm, Bloomington) welcomes Stefanie Porolniczak as Promotions Director. Porolniczak was last Promotions Director with Entercom's Adult Hits/WNTR (107.9fm, Indianapolis).

Block Communications' WFTE-TV (Channel 58/DT 51, Salem) switches call letters to WMYO-TV/DT and switches network affiliation from the now-defunct UPN to My Network TV.


Regent Communications will sell Sports/WYNG (94.9fm, Mount Carmel, Illinois) to W. Russell Withers' Withers Broadcasting Group for $1.5 million. Regent President/CEO Bill Stakelin said in a press release that the sale was "in line with our strategy to maximize the value of our assets."

Regent Communications' Talk/WOMI and Country/WBKR (1490am, 92.5fm; both Owensboro, Kentucky) add LaDonne Craig as GSM.

That's all for this issue.

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