Indiana RadioWatch: December 24, 2013

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From the reading pile: "When "60 Minutes" Checks Its Journalistic Skepticism at the Door." and "Merry Christmas! 107 years ago tonight, Americans heard the world's first radio show."

Radio Spotlight

For those who've met me, most of you seem to ask basic questions about me.

Who asked the questions? A group of radio journalists:

Tom Taylor, Editor of Tom Taylor Now

Frank Saxe, Managing Editor/Newsroom of Inside Radio

Joel Denver, the President, Publisher and Co-Founder of AllAccess

Perry Michael Simon, the News/Talk and Sports Editor of AllAccess

Kevin Carter, Senior Editor of RAMP ("Radio and Music Pros")

Scott Fybush, CEO of Fybush Media and editor of NorthEast Radio Watch

Mike Austerman, webmaster of

Name: Blaine Thompson
Job Title(s): Editor and Creator, Indiana RadioWatch

Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana

In your opinion, what or who was the greatest influence on your intense lifelong interest in the radio industry? (Carter)

It's easy to catch the radio bug. I grew up with a 50,000 watt AM blowtorch in my town. When I was in elementary school, my parents took me to Disney World in Orlando, Florida. While driving back from Disney to the hotel, we listened to a Fort Wayne Komets game on WOWO. I still don't understand hockey.

What makes Indiana radio distinctive? (Fybush)

The minimal number of national group owners. I enjoy hearing the fruits of local strategic planning and programming decisions.

What do you listen to when you listen to the radio? (Fybush)

I listen across both radio dials. I have wide musical tastes and I'm a news junkie. I'll listen to both public radio and commercial radio. As I write this, I'm listening online to music from WFHB in Bloomington.

How has social media changed how you report on radio and television? (Austerman)

It's a nice 'tip sheet' for what's new.

Who are the broadcasters and/or writers that had the greatest influence on you? (Austerman)

Broadcasters: the late Bob Sievers (WOWO). Writers: Outside of radio, Mike Allen and the late Mark McCormick.

Where do you see Indiana Radio Watch in 5 years? (Austerman)

Maybe the IRW website will undergo a redesign by then? I'll publish more often, for sure.

What do you feel are the biggest challenges radio faces today? (Carter)

Creating quality content and serving the community and doing both while respecting the bottom line. Money doesn't grow on trees.

Thoughts on the importance of radio developing real talent again. (Denver and Simon)

We have a minor league, at the Mom and Pop (or smaller group owned) radio stations throughout the nation, and especially in Indiana. In Indiana, I've seen locally programmed stations in towns with populations under 20,000. And that radio station serves the community. Local news, local weather, local sports, high school play by play, local DJs. No canned satellite programming.

What do you do besides this business to keep your horizons broad? (Denver and Simon)

I'm a voracious non-fiction reader. I have several industry interests (Airlines, most notably), so I read and keep up with airline industry news. This helps me each year, when I fly to Las Vegas for NAB. I also played piano for ten years; maybe I'll pick that back up again?

What's one thing that radio no longer does would you like to see make a comeback? (Saxe)

That's a very good question. I'm a big fan of sung radio jingles, and I don't hear them as often anymore (I know several PDs who don't like jingles as radio station imaging. Sorry.)

Looking at the markets you cover, are there some formats missing - as in, you're surprised that such-and-such market doesn't have a particular format? (Taylor)

Looking around the state, I'm surprised by the lack of commercial News-Talk stations in some radio markets. Especially in one rated market.

Any guess on how many former radio pros are still on the sidelines? And are they waiting for a possible opening, or have some moved on, leaving radio? (Taylor)

I don't know the numbers in Indiana. I know people who left the radio business and became highly successful. Some are waiting on new challenges within radio. I've never found anyone a job here, but I always run employment ads, so I've found that opportunities exist.

What effect might the new wave of Low Power FMs have on the scene? (Taylor)

LPFMs should generate interesting content for a niche listenership. I have one just up the street from me (the transmitter is a block north of IRW Central; the studios are two blocks south of IRW Central).

Do you have any observations about simulcasting AM/FMs? Does the additional potential coverage make up for losing the revenue stream from the second station? (Taylor)

When content is key, the revenue stream should increase, thereby offsetting the revenue loss from the simulcast.

Have you seen success stories from AMs that get FM translators? (Taylor)

I don't study ratings or revenue, since I cover many unrated markets and revenue data is generally private. I've noticed a few FM translators that have increased the overall success of the AM radio station.

What does the Indiana radio scene really need, right now? (Could be relaxing ownership limits in the individual markets, a lighter regulatory hand from the FCC, or more stringent oversight, to bring out-of-tolerance stations back into legal operation.) (Taylor)

I'll copy from the given suggestions: I don't want to see any radio market "owned" by one owner. Let me give an example: A radio group owns 6 AM or FM radio stations, in a market of 30 radio stations. That leaves eighty percent of the radio market owned by different owners with different formats and different strategic visions.

What are the opportunities for Indiana radio, in 2014? (Taylor)

I'd vote for more compelling and local content. I'm not trying to disparage any radio station or format or owner. I'm just saying that keeping the content local should retain listeners.

Employment Opportunities

Are you currently a news director ready to grab the wheel and jam your foot to the floor of an aggressively expanding news operation? WSJV, FOX for South Bend IN (market #96) has an immediate opening for an experienced news director. If you're a sleeves rolled up mentor who can drive compelling content and products on multiple platforms, and put this award winning team on a clear course to the future, we need to talk.

We're looking for a collaborator, a strategic thinker, a brand builder for this expanding organization. If you're someone that can effectively lead in this highly competitive market, apply now to wsjvnewsdirector at quincyinc dot com. FOX 28 is a Quincy station. Learn why our family owned broadcast group has a reputation as one of the best companies to work for in the industry today at

WTWO (NBC) and WAWV (ABC) in Terre Haute, Indiana are looking for a News Director who is a dynamic leader and possesses a hands-on approach to local news. If you are inspired by producing quality, compelling local news that matters to the viewer's we need to hear from you. In recent years the station's work has been recognized with numerous awards including the Indiana Broadcasters Association, a Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi Award and numerous RTDNA Edward R. Murrow Awards. Our reporters have covered the Super Bowl, the Country Music Awards, and traveled to Auschwitz with a Holocaust survivor. This is an incredible opportunity to continue excellence in local journalism while mentoring the next generation of storytellers and journalists while working for one of the fastest growing companies in the industry, Nexstar Broadcasting. Solid producing skills, the ability to coach and manage talent and superior communication skills are a must. Candidate will also be responsible for news content on our web portal Bachelor's degree in Broadcast Journalism, or related field, or an equivalent combination of education and work related experience required. We want a minimum five years' experience in News with at least two years in a leadership role. Terre Haute was named the Community of the Year in Indiana in 2010 and is a great place to live and raise a family. Cover letter and resume via email to tsturgess at wtwo dot com or via mail to: Tim Sturgess, VP/GM, WTWO-TV, PO Box 9268, Terre Haute, IN 47808. Nexstar Broadcasting Group is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Artistic Media Partners' WSHP (Your Country 95.7)/Lafayette, IN needs a PD to guide their new country station. Ideal candidates can relate to and generate ratings among Persons 35-44. Send your materials to Market Mgr. Bob Dakin bdakin at artisticradio dot com. Artistic Media Partners is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

If you've always harbored a burning desire to someday call Terre Haute home, that day has arrived -- Midwest Communications Top 40 WMGI (100.7 Mix-FM)/Terre Haute, IN has an immediate fulltime night opening. Just Plain Joe is headed to another gig TBA, so Brand Manager Shawn Powers has already swung into action to find a qualified replacement that is a motivated, organized team player that loves both community and listener involvement and lives the Top 40 lifestyle. You will roll live for a minimum of five nights a week and be tracked as needed. "This is not a starter position... we are looking for superstars! Can you light up the phones, Facebook, Twitter, texting... and keep your listeners coming back for more? We are the market leader, so if you have an outstanding work ethic, great people skills and a proven track record of dominant ratings, apply today!" Send your resume, cover letter and MP3 demo (no longer than 2 minutes) to Shawn.Powers at mwcradio dot com or snail-mail to Shawn Powers, Brand Manager, WMGI-FM Radio, 824 S. 3rd Street, Terre Haute, IN 47807. Midwest Communications, Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Lake City Radio / Talking Stick Communications in Warsaw is looking for an On-Air Talent/ Assistant Program Director for our heritage Classic Hits Station, Lake City Rock107.3, WRSW! The ideal candidate must understand what it takes to run a live and local radio station in a small market. We are looking for someone who is a great talent coach, understand the Classic Hits format, loves putting together creative imaging, enjoys executing large promotions, and understands the importance of social media / multi-platform branding. This person must be detail oriented, lead by example and must demonstrate a positive attitude while establishing a fun working environment. WRSW is a successful 60 year brand. We are looking for someone with a track record of results. 2 years minimum experience required. If this sounds like you, email: Resume, Air-Check, and Programming Philosophy to: jmichaels at lakecityradio dot com. Talking Stick Communications L.L.C. is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

WGTO AM-FM is looking for a salesperson to handle local and regional sports and general market sales. Position pays high commission rate but requires a self-starter who can operate without direct supervision. List is unrestricted and the right candidate can name his or her territory. This person will be responsible for prospecting and developing new business as well as growing and maintaining existing accounts. A positive attitude and excellent communications skills are a must. WGTO is the local voice of Cass County Michigan and the home of local high school sports. The music format is Classic hits with a live local swap shop program, Dowagiac High School Football and University of Michigan football and afternoon talk with Ed Shultz. WGTO is 3000 watts at 910AM and FM at 101.1 WGTO covers Cass County as well as Niles, And St Joe Benton Harbor in Berrien County and South Bend Indiana. Send letter of introduction and or resume to WGTO at larrylangford at aol dot com. WGTO welcomes applications from ALL interested persons as an Equal Opportunity Employer.

WZZY Winchester, Indiana is looking for our next Morning Show host. Not only will you be the morning "voice" of our A/C station but through your work and interaction within the community you'll also be the "face" of the station as well. Plus you'll VT evenings on our winning Adult Top 40 sister FM and do plenty of remotes and appearances on both stations. Even if you've never done Mornings before send along your best. Our former host has been with us for 13 years so we believe in longevity and loyalty. Send along an on-air sample (please keep it short) and resume to rickduncan at g1013 dot com. Or you can mail it to 2301 W. Main St. Richmond, IN 47374. Whitewater Broadcasting is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Hoosier AM/FM is seeking an experienced media Account Executive to join the sales team of our four-station cluster in Muncie-Marion, IN. This person will be responsible for prospecting and developing new business as well as growing and maintaining existing accounts. A positive attitude and excellent verbal and written communications skills are a must. This is a full time position. Hoosier AM/FM offers a competitive compensation package including Medical, Dental, Paid Vacations. Minimum education level is High School diploma or equivalent. Resume and letter of introduction are to be sent to indianaradiojobs at yahoo dot com. Hoosier AM/FM is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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

Blaine Thompson
Indiana RadioWatch

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