Indiana RadioWatch: December 11, 2004

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Beginning Monday (13 Dec), Soft AC/WBZQ (1300am, Huntington) and Hot AC/WLZQ (101.1fm, South Whitley) will simulcast in mornings - hosted by Chris Larko, owner of the two stations.


An IRW reader tipped us to some unexpected downtime at Religious/WFRN-FM (104.7fm, Elkhart). We asked WFRN President/GM Ed Moore for the story. Moore told us that around 4:30pm on Wednesday 24 November (Thanksgiving Eve), a severe electrical storm with strong gusting winds, rain, and snow swept south of Elkhart. That storm damaged the FM antenna and coax. Moore says that both will be replaced starting 16 December. WFRN-FM, the 50,000 watt flagship, was off the air for 48 1/2 hours before an emergency tower crew was able to install a temporary four bay, vertical only antenna. That antenna was loaned by HCJB who has their World Radio Engineering Center in Elkhart. Now, WFRN-FM is operating at 5,200 watts ERP. WFRN's repeaters in Coldwater (W266AE/101.1fm), and Kalamazoo (W262AF, 100.3fm, Parchment, Michigan) are also off the air, for they can't receive the weaker signal. WFRN's two 6 kw stations: 100.1 in Winamac (WFRI), and 93.7 Kokomo/Walton (WFRR) and it's repeater in Marion at 107.7fm (W299AJ) have continued without problem along with WFRN's Internet streaming.

A followup on our WLFQ-LP (98.7fm, Elkhart) story from last week. An IRW reader writes to alert us that the Hip Hop, Contemporary, Hard Rock formats that WLFQ plays are all Christian related. WLFQ will also eventually have a studio at the Living Faith - Fellowship Ministries Church and once the studio is up and running with DJ's, they will start to promote themselves more.


The FCC fines WLTH Radio, Inc., owners of Talk/WLTH (1370am, Gary) $16,000 for "wilful and repeated violation" involving WLTH's failure to register their antenna, failure to notify the FAA that one or more tower lights were out, and failure to have the required "red obstruction lighting." In responses to the FCC, WLTH claimed that the WLTH day power transmitter site (in Gary) used an antenna shorter than 200 feet AGL, thereby leaving it short of FCC rules requiring registration, red obstruction lighting, and marking. In September, 2004, WLTH conducted a survey which established that the antenna height was actually 202.97 feet AGL. In addition, WLTH also claimed that hunters caused the lighting outage by shooting out the antenna lights.


Rodgers Broadcasting's AC/WZZY (98.3fm, Winchester) segues to Holiday Music through December 26th.


Blaire, morning show producer for the Billy and Marco Morning Show at CHR/WNOU (93.1fm, Indianapolis) exits the Emmis Communications station.

SuperRadio's Country Lovin', hosted by Country/WFMS (95.5fm, Indianapolis) night jock Darren Tandy adds several affiliates: WDJR in Dothan, Alabama, and WYTZ in Benton Harbor, Michigan.


CHR/WMGI (100.7fm, Terre Haute) will celebrate its ten year anniversary as a CHR at the end of this month. New PD Matt Luecking e-mails IRW, saying there will be a large on-air reunion on Friday January 7th at the studios from 6am-7pm. Former WMGI DJ's spinning airshifts, music from the past ten years, and all the memories. Anyone who has worked with WMGI is invited to attend. For more information, contact Luecking - matt at 1007mixfm dot com. Luecking is especially looking for these people: James Gregory (of Cumulus/Nashville fame), Wendy Allen, Ryan Olsen, and Mike Forte.

Crossroads Communications' WAXI (104.9fm, Rockville) segues to Holiday Music through December 25th, using ABC's "Christmas" channel.


As predicted, Blues-Jazz/WLBJ (1570am, New Albany) flips to Sports with programming from ESPN Radio.


Marty Pieratt's Midwest Ministries, Inc. sells Religious/WJLR (91.5fm, Seymour) to Richard Jenkins' Educational Media Foundation for $150,000. EMF takes the option to buy WJLR, as stated in a network affiliation agreement that was signed in July, 2001. WJLR is already running EMF's "K-LOVE" contemporary Christian format.

That's it 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.