News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

March 31, 2014

Radio station shifts across dial

News talk to move from FM to AM

TERRE HAUTE — With a new radio tower about to power up, Midwest Communications is converting its news talk WIBQ from FM to AM and implementing a new FM adult contemporary music station.

The changes will take place on Thursday, said Amy Dillon, market manager, and Steve Cannon, operations manager, of Midwest Communications, which has its offices at 824 S. Third St. in Terre Haute.

“Midwest Communications bought a tower in town. It is hugely impactful,” Dillon said. “It is the old 1230 [AM] tower by the Wabash River [located west of First Street between Peyton and Buckeye Streets.] We have been updating it and getting it back up.”

The move will shift the news talk WIBQ, now broadcast on 98.5 FM, to an improved 1300 AM. Midwest Communications will continue to broadcast 1440 AM from Paris, Ill., and will use the same news talk programming, Dillon said.

The AM stations will have a broadcast range of 150 miles, joining the FM’s range.

The AM stations also broadcast sports for Indiana State University and Paris High School in Illinois, Dillon said.

In addition, the move allows the call letters WBOW, which had not been used since July 2012, to return to Terre Haute air waves in the 98.5 FM spot. That new FM format will feature adult contemporary music.

“It expands our product line. There was an audience of females 35 to 54 [years old] that was being underserved. There was not a station specifically for that [demographic] and that is what this format” will serve, Dillon said.

Crossroads Communications used the WBOW call letters for its 102.7 FM station, which was sold to Midwest Communications. Midwest converted that station to WDWQ, a country music station, in 2012, Cannon said.

A station first using the call letters WBOW went on the airwaves in 1928, after Wabash Broadcast Association purchased a station from Rose Polytechnic Institute, now Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

Midwest Communications owns FM stations 98.5, 95.9, 100.7 and 102.7, along with AM stations 1300 and 1440 and reaches beyond cities such as Champaign and Effingham in Illinois and to Bloomington, Martinsville and Bedford in Indiana.

Midwest Communication’s core area covers six counties — Vigo, Sullivan, Clay, Vermillion in Indiana, along with Clark and Edgar in Illinois. The radio stations also can be heard in Coles, Cumberland, Jasper and Crawford counties in Illinois, and Greene, Owen, Putnam and Parke counties in Indiana.

Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached at 812-231-4204 or howard.greninger@tribstar.com.

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