Federated Media didn’t take long to decide what to do with FM station 92.3 after moving WOWO Radio up the dial recently.
On New Year’s day, the company launched “Big 92.3” on WFWI FM. The station’s format will focus on pop and rock music from the 1970s and early 1980s, Federated Media said in a statement. The new station’s brand also comes with a “2 Minute Promise” that guarantees commercial breaks will be no longer than two minutes.
Broadcaster Mike “Ragz” Ragozino will serve as program director and as host of the station’s new morning show, according to the statement.
WOWO, which for years simulcasted its original station AM 1190 on 92.3 FM, moved to 107.5 FM in December. Its AM position did not change.
Meanwhile, WXKE 96.3 FM now serves as the new home for the Bob & Tom Show in Fort Wayne.
The nationally syndicated morning comedy program from Indianapolis switched from WBYR 98.9 FM to WXKE on Jan. 4, according to a statement from Adams Radio Group, which operates 96.3.
“I’m excited and humbled to welcome this veteran show to WXKE. The show adds to an already great line-up of Fort Wayne talents,” JJ Fabini, program director, said in the statement.
Bringing Bob & Tom to WXKE is an opportunity that Adams Radio took, Fabini said.
At the same time, the radio group began simulcasting conservative talk radio station WLYV AM 1450 on 103.3 FM on Jan. 4, replacing the station’s Great Country brand.
The move was made in preparation for this year’s presidential and other elections.
“It’s 2016. It’s going to be a huge political year, and we thought that it would be a smart and beneficial move for listeners on the FM,” said Fabini.
Whether Great Country will return at a later day, all he said was anything’s possible.
Raising the WELT
If pre-production activity is any indication, the new public radio station WELT should have no trouble finding contributors when it goes on the air in Fort Wayne.
The low-power station plans to first debut online in mid-January, then begin broadcasting on 95.7 FM around the first of February.
WELT is the brainchild of Erik Mollberg, station manager and assistant manager of Access Fort Wayne, the public access cable television station and WELT’s older sibling. The two share space at the Allen County Public Library downtown.
The first broadcast will be the fruition of more than a year’s worth of work led by Mollberg to set up the station, get a license through the Federal Communications Commission and raise funds. As the process moved forward, more and more volunteers became interested and involved in hosting shows.
“We’re not even on the air yet, and the WELT studio is doing more production than the two TV stations combined,” Mollberg said.
So far, most of the activity comes from people learning the basics of radio operations and recording podcasts that will air when the time comes to begin broadcasting.
“All the DJs are working together to learn the process and helping each other through that,” he said.
The growing interest in people wanting to be on air seems to come from a romantic notion of radio’s ability to reach people with entertainment and information on a personal level in a way that TV sometimes can’t.
“With radio, I think it’s a little easier. It’s easier to be creative. You’re working off the mind, off the sound,” he said. “Broadcast has an allure that cable doesn’t.”
WELT differs from Access in that, as a community radio operation, Fort Wayne listeners can pick it up free on their radios. The public TV channels are only available on TV through certain cable subscriptions. Both media have online streaming capabilities.
WELT also has no set format.
The programming is dictated by the tastes and imaginations of each show’s host. The result will be a mixed bag of content, which is part of the overall plan to have a station dedicated to enhancing the local culture by encouraging a variety of ideas and perspectives, he said.
When everything is up and running, the mix will include music and talk shows, some live and others pre-recorded. The talk shows will feature a wide range of topics that include personal motivation, politics, LGBT issues, technology, health care, ancient mysteries and the paranormal. Music shows will feature different genres like rock and jazz as well as global sounds from places like Africa and India.
“The music is kind of all over the map,” he said.
One topic will be off-limits though.
“No religious programming is allowed on the radio station,” Mollberg said, explaining that several other local stations already have faith-related content. “That need has been met. It’s already all over the dial.”
Since WELT has an FCC license, there will be a community program group that will review programming and provide oversight.
The station is also picking up the tab for all the copyright fees to help ensure producers have the ability to showcase a variety of material.
Mollberg estimates annual operating costs will be about $2,000-$3,000, mostly to pay the licensing fees as well as for equipment maintenance and upgrades. He raised about $30,000 to set up the station during a nine-month capital campaign last year.
He expects to start another round of fundraising around May.
“The fundraising is never done. We got a break for right now,” he said.
Now, he’s focused the final technical and legal details to get WELT on the air this month. The station will broadcast from a transmitter a tower at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne using a broadband connection to link the library and the campus.
The station’s site is at ACPL.info/welt.
For its annual report, Oxford Financial Group once again turned to LaBov Marketing Communications and Training in Fort Wayne for assistance.
LaBov recently finished the document for the Indianapolis-based company, LaBov said in a statement. The two businesses have had a long-standing relationship for producing the reports.
Oxford provides estate planning advice and investment strategies to residents and organizations in 37 states.
Indiana Tech takes
A new admissions feature on Indiana Tech’s website clinched an award.
The Higher Education Marketing Report gave the Fort Wayne-based school a silver award for its new Student Snapshot site, Indiana Tech said in a statement. The page uses photos, videos and other storytelling abilities to take prospective students on an in-depth virtual tour of the campus.
Student Snapshot was developed by Pete Novak, the school’s webmaster; Joel Kuhn, web developer; and Indiana Tech’s day admissions team.
“I’m happy that Indiana Tech has been recognized for its innovative and effective work in sharing all the great features of our university with prospective students,” Brian Engelhart, university relations head, said in the statement.
Indiana Tech won in the admissions award category of the third-annual education digital marketing awards. This is the school’s second award in the competition after it took bronze in 2014 for the launch of the Indiana Tech Law School site.
The school competed with several other universities and institutions, including Clemson University and the University of Pittsburgh, in the program.
The site can be viewed at IndianaTech.edu/snapshot.
Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne media students are receiving more hands-on education in journalism through a student newsroom.
A new newsroom is designed for students to develop practical industry experience on campus, according to an IPFW statement.
Students will produce stories for an online publication using similar reporting methods as professionals. The students are responsible for finding a story, doing the appropriate research and writing before submitting it. Two student editors then examine the stories and provide feedback before deciding whether to publish.
“There are stories coming through our dashboard that are newsworthy to more than just IPFW, and the writing skills are improving,” Megan Mantica, one of the student editors, said in the statement. “It would be neat to come up with some type of partnership to show off the great work by IPFW students.”
The stories appear online at IPFWStudentMedia.com and go out to social media as well.
The student newsroom launched at the beginning of the fall semester and is based in the basement of Walb Student Union.