News From Terre Haute, Indiana


December 4, 2012

RONN MOTT: Media Watch

I was surprised to learn Abby Walton, after a six-year run at WTHI-TV, is leaving the station and ultimately Terre Haute. In conversation with her, she has many regrets about leaving this area, which she calls her second home. But there’s a time to plant, a time to reap, and I suppose a time to go. Abby feels it is a time to go. Her contract with Channel 10 was up and she was offered another. She decided not to sign the new contract. But, as we say, run the flag up the pole and see if anybody salutes.

She and her agent will be seeking new job prospects for her and it’s my guess, as a longtime media watcher, she will have no difficulties finding a new position. Abby has been a tireless worker taking on any project handed to her and doing it well. She is a product of Ball State University media training, the same place that gave us David Letterman. Good luck to Abby Walton.

After many years of employment as a chief engineer, the only full-time engineer at Midwest Communications here locally, Jerry Arnold is no longer employed by the company. Jerry, a member of Indiana Broadcasters Hall of Fame, was only unemployed a couple of hours. He is now with the Dorsett Automotive group. Good luck to Jerry.

We were saddened to learn the other day an old broadcast friend, Dennis Roberts, had passed away. He died in a nursing home near Gary, Indiana. Gary was his home and one he had left to attend Indiana State, which he did, and he graduated from the institution. Dennis was active in school politics and a worker in the media in Terre Haute for approximately 30 years.  

Dennis was 6 feet tall and a big man. His size was a stand-out feature when you first saw him. However, he never let it slow him down. He was a director, a technician for Channel 38, and my association with him was as a disc jockey on AM 1300 on WJSH. Dennis did the midday show on what we referred to as “WISH Radio” and did the noon-day talk show hosting with Mark Edwards.  

Dennis was bright, cheery, funny, one of the world’s great laughers, and was always optimistic. He has been gone for some time from Terre Haute, so he was already missed by us, but now it’s worse because we know it’s permanent. One day, Dennis told me, “It is not how long you live, but how well you are at living.” Godspeed, Dennis Roberts.

Ronn Mott, a longtime radio personality in Terre Haute, writes commentaries for the Tribune-Star. His pieces are published online Tuesday and Thursday on, and in the print and online editions on Saturday.

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