Indiana RadioWatch: December 16, 2009

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The $1 million sale of Contemporary Christian/WLAB (88.3fm, Fort Wayne) from the Indiana District Lutheran Church (Missouri Synod) to the employee-owned Star Educational Media Network, Inc. has closed.

The analog transmitter antenna is now down from the West State Boulevard tower of NBC affiliate WISE-TV (Channel 33, Fort Wayne). Replacing the antenna is a steel pole, so the overall height of the tower did not change.

Six (Yes, six!) different Fort Wayne area frequencies have switched to all holiday tunes. Federated Media's WMEE (97.3fm, Fort Wayne), Sarkes Tarzian's WAJI (95.1fm, Fort Wayne), Russ Oasis' WJOE (106.3fm, Columbia City), Clear Channel's WDFM (98.1fm, Defiance, Ohio), and the Summit City Radio simulcast of WGL (1250am, Fort Wayne) and WGL-FM (102.9fm, Huntington).

After four years in middays, Trina Neeley exits Federated Media's Hot AC/WMEE (97.3fm, Fort Wayne). Replacing her is Nichole Roberts; inbound from morning co-host duties at KBQI in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Roberts has also done radio in Akron and Canton, Ohio for multiple stations.

A local Fort Wayne TV station discovered that a demolition permit has been issues for the former Farnsworth Factory in Fort Wayne. This building also housed the Capehart Corporation which was later sold to Farnsworth. Philo T. Farnsworth also conducted various experiments at the factory.

There is an interesting "television" news competition going on between Swick Broadcasting's AC/WLKI (100.3fm, Angola) and Fallen Timbers' AC/WFGA (106.7fm, Hicksville, Ohio). However, both newscasts are video and are online. As we reported in our 14 October issue, Charlotte Burke is anchoring an online video newscast at while "Froggy 106.7" morning co-host Taylor Brooks is now anchoring an online video newscast at

Several changes at Three Amigo's Broadcasting's Rhythmic CHR/WGBJ (102.3fm, Auburn): First, they briefly used their requested "WOPR" call letters, in advance of FCC approval. While it was not IRW, someone did tip them off, and "Power 102.3" returned to their WGBJ call letters at Legal ID time. Second, Randy Alomar joins the airstaff. Third, Derrick Gingery reports in the Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly that Alex Archer is finalizing a deal with WGBJ owner George Kotsopoulos to purchase the station. Gingery reports that Archer was with Miami, Florida radio station WHYI before his move to the Summit City. Fourth, the station adds the Fusion Radio Networks' show "Slow Jams" on Sunday evenings. Finally, they add a website at

Don Moore's Northeast Indiana Broadcasting purchases translator W238BH (95.5fm, Orland) from Sacramento, California-based Family Stations, Inc. for $40,000. The FCC filing says that Moore will move the translator closer to his Oldies/WAWK (1140am, Kendallville) and simulcast WAWK on the new translator.

After the late August arrest of Mary Collins Frank on OWI charges, the morning television news anchor at Indiana's NewsCenter (WPTA and WISE-TV) pleaded guilty and was given a 60 day suspended jail sentence and a 90 day driver's license suspension. She pleaded guilty to one charge (a misdemeanor); while two charges (both misdemeanors) were dismissed.

Craig and Sam exit Upper Wabash Broadcasting's AC/WKUZ (95.9fm, Wabash). Replacing them is the "Kiss in the Morning" show, hosted by Bryan Michaels.

A correction from our 30 September 2009 issue: W26DH-D (Channel 26, Auburn) broadcasts the Three Angels Network, and is a simulcast of W07CL (Channel 7, Auburn); not WINM-TV in Angola.

Where Are They Now? Former WISE-TV GM John Dawson is now the GM at KSNW-TV in Wichita, Kansas. KSNW-TV is owned by New Vision Broadcasting, which formerly owned WISE-TV.


Larry Langford's Oldies/WGTO (910am, Cassopolis, Michigan) adds an FM simulcast. Langford moved his recently acquired W212CK (90.3fm, Wakelee, Michigan) to 101.1fm (now W266BS). WGTO began its FM simulcast at 9:30AM on Friday 30 October, with an on-air announcement by Langford, followed by the Steely Dan hit "FM." The station now rebranded as "Classic Hits 910 and 101FM."

Swick Broadcasting's Sports/WMSH (1230am, Sturgis, Michigan) and Oldies/WMSH-FM (99.3fm, Sturgis, Michigan) flip call letters to WBET and WBET-FM.

Changes at Talking Stick's Rock/WRBR-FM (103.9fm, South Bend): First, midday jock "Irizarry" and night jock "Aaron" both exit the station. Replacing "Irizarry" is "Stryker" (temporarily), while "Reverend Ryno" takes nights.

Progressive Broadcasting System's Talk-Southern Gospel/WCMR (1270am, Elkhart) adds Sean Hannity, weekdays, from 3:00PM until 6:00PM (replacing Michael Medved). Hannity's shift to the left (well, on the radio dial...) is because the former talk format of Federated Media's WTRC (1340am, Elkhart) evaporated, in favor of their current music format.

Quincy Newspapers' FOX affiliate WSJV (Channel 28, Elkhart) adds Gary Darigol as Assistant News Director and Content Manager. Darigol was last News Director at KEZI-TV in Eugene, Oregon.


John "Records" Landecker exits Gerard Media's Talk/WIMS (1420am, Michigan City).

Northwest Indiana Public Broadcasting's PBS affiliate WYIN-TV (Channel 17, Gary) promotes Ryan Priest to News Director (from Assistant News Director). Priest replaces Todd Hauer, who left in August and is now in the Media Relations Department at Valparaiso University (using his real name Todd Fleischhauer). Priest has also worked in Evansville (Assistant News Director at WEHT-TV) and Tampa, Florida (Bay News 9).

Joe McConnell has retired from Purdue football play by play duties, after almost 47 years of broadcasting games. The 70 year old broadcaster began his radio career at Franklin College.


The Tattler reports that at Backyard Broadcasting's Talk-Sports/WHBU (1240am, Anderson), PD and morning host Leland Franklin will exit the station on 18 December. Franklin is also PD and afternoon host at sister Oldies combo WERK (104.9fm, Muncie) and WURK (101.7fm, Elwood). Franklin is moving to underwriting, as he will be handling underwriting opportunities for Anderson University's Contemporary Christian/WQME (98.7fm, Anderson).

Oxford, Ohio's Miami University sells the CP for its WMUI (91.9fm, Rushville) to Rush County Schools (Rushville). While Miami University owns the CP, operations of its other stations are now being handled by Cincinnati Public Radio. We have already seen a Petition to Deny for this sale.

Citadel's Country/WMDH-FM (102.5fm, New Castle) welcomes Dieter Hammerstein ("Chris Chase") to middays. Chase was at 'MDH before a brief radio trip to New England (where he was last the night jock at WOKO in Burlington, Vermont).

Where Are They Now? Former Backyard Broadcasting Anderson/Muncie VP/Market Manager Brett Beshore is now Market Manager for the Clear Channel stations in Poughkeepsie, New York.


Entercom's Adult Hits/WNTR (107.9fm, Indianapolis) flips format to all holiday music, and will return with a new format. Exiting "The Track" are on-air personalities Greg Browning, John Culver, and Kelli Jack. Entercom also names Scott Roddy as APD. Roddy was last with Russ Oasis' WKLU, before it was sold.

Raven Broadcasting's Sports/WXLW (950am, Indianapolis) is sold to Creative Data Management for $150,000.

Continental Broadcasting flips format on its Spanish/WSYW (810am, Indianapolis) to Spanish Oldies, as "La Joya 810AM." The Monday 14 December format flip features popular hits from the 1960s and 1970s. PD Manual Sepulveda remains with WSYW and sister WEDJ.

Steve Hartley exits as Director of Sales at Entercom/Indianapolis.

The Tattler reports that Emmis AC/WYXB (105.7fm, Indianapolis) APD/MD/afternoon host Scott Wheeler exits.

On Monday 30 November, Cumulus' CHR/WRWM (93.9fm, Fishers) added "The Marco Show," with Marco and Mel McMahon. Marco once worked at WNOU (when it was owned by Emmis), and Mel was last on weekends at Radio One CHR/WNOU (100.9fm, Speedway). The new show airs between 5:30AM and 10:00AM, weekdays. The rest of the "i94" lineup is: Brittany Huntman ("Brittany," voicetracked from Cumulus sister WBTS in Atlanta, Georgia) in middays between 10:00AM and 3:00PM, and PD Jeff Andrews between 3:00PM and 7:00PM. Will a former Indianapolis night jock also join the station?

John Michael Vincent ("JMV" to his faithful) exits afternoons at Clear Channel's Sports/WNDE (1260am, Indianapolis). Vincent remains with Indianapolis NBC affiliate WTHR-TV. On Monday 24 November, he was replaced by Jimmy "Mad Dog" Mattis. Clear Channel GM Rick Green tells the Indianapolis Business Journal that he "hopes to have a permanent replacement by January 1."

Educational Media Foundation moved its Air 1 Radio Network morning show to the Knue Road studios of its WKLU (101.9fm, Brownsburg). The new morning show retains host Sean Copeland and adds a new co-host Mandy Prusha ("Mandy Young"). Prusha last hosted mornings at WJQK in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

LIN Television CBS affiliate WISH-TV (Channel 9, Indianapolis) adds Andrew Gillfillan as Assistant News Director. Gillfillan was last Assistant ND for LIN sister station WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Gillfillan worked with WISH-TV News Director Patti McGettigan when McGettigan was News Director at WOOD-TV.

Tribune's FOX affiliate WXIN-TV (Channel 45, Indianapolis) adds an additional hour of local morning news (9AM until 10AM weekdays). The additional newscast will be anchored by Angela Ganote and Ray Cortopassi (who both anchor the 7AM until 9AM morning news). This all will take place early next month. Also at Tribune, their WTTV/WTTK simulcast adds "THIS TV" on their 48.2 (WTTV) and 29.2 (WTTK) digital channels. The "THIS TV" network features many MGM Studios films and several older television shows.


The FCC has proposed a new noncommercial allocation on 107.5fm (Class B), licensed to Terre Haute. This is one of the former frequencies belonging to Michael Rice's Contemporary Media, before the FCC shut those stations down in 2001. This week is the application week for that frequency.

Bill Cain is the new Market Manager for the Midwest Communications' stations in Terre Haute (WIBQ, WMGI, WPRS, WWSY). New PD's for each of those stations are Natalie Randall (WMGI and WWSY) and Steve Hall (WIBQ and WPRS).

Calvary Chapel of Crawfordsville's CP which is WDVL (88.1fm, Danville) shifts its city of license from Danville to Waynetown. This accompanies a proposal to move transmitter sites, and change the proposed power levels.

Where Are They Now: Former WMGI night guy "Crash" is now handling nights at WNKS in Charlotte, North Carolina. At "Kiss 95.1" in Charlotte, his show follows "The O Show," hosted by another former Hoosier DJ - "Otis" who was once on air at South Bend's WNDV-FM.


Reising Radio's WXCH (102.9fm, Hope) returns from silence and is broadcasting all holiday music.


After the tower fell earlier this year at WNDI (1550am, Sullivan), the station has returned to the air with a new tower and at full power (250 watts). While a new tower was constructed, the station operated on a temporary antenna at reduced power. The AM antenna is completely new, including a new 120 wire one quarter wave long radial system. WNDI CE Kevin Berlen tells IRW that the station returned to full power on Sunday 22 November.

"Big" Bill Love exits middays at Regent's Country/WKDQ (99.5fm, Henderson, Kentucky) after 17 years on the air. Love remains with the station doing fill in work and part time commercial production. Replacing Love in middays is morning co-host Leslie Morgan (herself a rather recent hire), who will voicetrack middays. Morgan started with WKDQ in September. Her last gig was with WOGY in Jackson, Tennessee.

The University of Southern Indiana's AAA/WSWI (820am, Evansville) lost all its song data during a recent data transfer. When PD Andrew Bolin discovered the problem, he tried a backup USB drive, which only had an empty document on it. The song data now has to be keyed in for each of the 1500 songs in the station's music library. Bolin also tells the University of Southern Indiana student newspaper (The Shield) that during summer, 2009, WSWI lost half of the music (audio) files while transferring to a new automation system.

Southwest Indiana Public Broadcasting's News-Classical/WNIN-FM (88.3fm, Evansville) is working on an extensive technology upgrade. This upgrade, funded by a Corporation for Public Broadcasting grant, includes a digitization of their entire classical music CD library, more digital storage for their ENCO computer system, and other computer network upgrades.

Horizon Christian Fellowship sells its translator W256AZ (99.1fm, Mount Carmel, Illinois) to Russ Withers for $30,000. The translator was also off the air briefly. Also, an application was granted by the FCC which will move the W256AZ transmitter location a few miles farther away from WKDQ. Will this translator simulcast his newly purchased Sports/WVMC (1360am, Mount Carmel)? Withers purchased "Sports Radio 1360" from Southern Wabash Communications for $22,800, but the station is now silent. Finally, Withers had operated WVMC under a Time Brokerage Agreement since 1 September.

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

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

(c) 2009, Blaine E. Thompson

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