News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Opinion Columns

July 19, 2012

RONN MOTT: Radio’s Shifting Sands

A few weeks ago, WIBQ, political voice of the right-wing, decided to live up to its promotion line “news and talk,” and actually have a lengthy effort in news. They would change their 6-9 a.m. show into a news block and it would be anchored by newscaster and sportscaster, Mark Jaynes. Mark had been a news man in Terre Haute and was on the Indy 500 broadcast manning, I believe, one of the corners for Mike King’s excellent race coverage.

Now we learn that Jaynes is leaving WIBQ to go to the Beech Grove school district in Indianapolis in some capacity. It is not that he had a problem with WIBQ, it was simply too good an offer to refuse. If you were one of those who enjoyed the news effort in the early morning, don’t despair. Frank Rush of WTHI has been tagged to take his place. Rush was the news voice of the Hi-99 morning show for many years.

Let’s run down the gossip trail, and that’s exactly what it is … not news, but gossip (but as in myth and gossip, there’s often a germ of truth). Emmis Broadcasting, owners of Hi-99 and The River in Terre Haute, are about to say no to running 92.7. The rumor mill doesn’t say why they are not going to do it, but it looks as if they’re saying no to what was once the Crock and is now ESPN Radio.

The rumor river floats this up for consideration … Dave Crooks, running for the House of Representatives, is going to buy WAXI in Rockville. I don’t know how close to fruition this is, but they have changed their format back to “oldies.” (We had predicted this earlier.)  Party Marty, who was on WAXI, is going to WIBQ as they go to some kind of “country” format. Doc Long, we hear, is going to be the major domo of WAXI. Now whether that is manager, program director, operations manager, or sales manager, remains to be seen. The rumor river is very quiet about other people involved at the radio station.

Somebody a long time ago wrote a book about the history of show business. And the consensus was the only thing constant in show business … be it movies, TV, the Internet, or radio, is change. As things change, we’ll try to keep an ear to the ground.

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

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