The Herald Bulletin

May 9, 2013

Local radio stations being sold

By Baylee Pulliam
The Herald Bulletin

ANDERSON, Ind. —  Don’t touch that dial.

Six east central Indiana radio stations, including Anderson’s WHBU (AM 1240) and Alexandria’s WMQX (FM 96.7), are being sold to Woof Boom Radio, a new group headed by veteran broadcaster J Chapman.

WHBU Anderson broadcasts talk radio shows from its studio in Mounds Mall. WMQX Alexandria airs “MAXimum” classic rock.

“While each station that we’ll acquire is slightly different, each has its strengths that we’ll be building on,” Chapman said. “The stations we’re acquiring are vital links between listeners and the local community.”

Woof Boom expects to take over its first batch of acquisitions June 1, pending Federal Communications Commission approval, and is looking for other possible buys in Indiana.

The goal is to return the stations to local control, Chapman said, which would better-serve their combined estimated 89,400 weekly listeners. The stations are currently owned by Backyard Broadcasting LLC, based in Jacksonville, Fla.

“I can’t stress ‘local’ enough,” Chapman said. “We want to understand what’s important to the community.” For Anderson and Alexandria, he said that could include programming focused on and produced in Madison County.

“Radio works if it’s authentic and local,” he said. “Woof Boom Radio is not about programming from somewhere else into east central Indiana. It’s all about truly caring about the community you serve,” its business owners, advertisers and listeners.

That starts with Woof Boom, Chapman said. He’s partnered with three businessmen — Aaron Reitz, Conormara Investments’ Ray Kennedy and WestBridge Investments’ Jason Farmer — all of whom are local.

Chapman himself is a Hoosier native, who graduated Hanover College and spent 17 years as a radio executive with Indianapolis’ Emmis Communications. He most recently worked for Maverick Media in Rockford, Ill., but sees Woof Boom as a homecoming.

“I’m very excited to come home and put my years of experience in the vibrant radio industry to good use back in Indiana,” he said.

Stations affected by sale

WLBC (FM 104.1), Muncie

WERK (FM 104.9), Muncie

WXFN (AM 1340), Muncie

WHBU (AM 1240), Anderson

WMXQ (FM 93.5), Hartford City

WMQX (FM 96.7), Alexandria

Like Baylee Pulliam on Facebook and on Twitter @BayleeNPulliam, or call 648-4250.