WNTR
Broadcast areaIndianapolis metropolitan area
Frequency107.9 MHz (HD Radio)
Branding107.9 The Mix
Programming
FormatAdult contemporary
Ownership
Owner
WFMS, WJJK, WXNT, WNDX, WZPL
History
First air date
October 15, 1984; 39 years ago (1984-10-15)
Former call signs
WTPI (1984–2005)
Call sign meaning
Station was known as "The Track"
Technical information[1]
Licensing authority
FCC
Facility ID47143
ClassB
ERP22,000 watts
HAAT232 meters (761 ft)
Transmitter coordinates
39°53′42″N 86°12′04″W / 39.895°N 86.201°W / 39.895; -86.201
Links
Public license information
WebcastListen live
Websiteindysmix.com

WNTR (107.9 FM) is a commercial radio station in Indianapolis, Indiana. WNTR is owned by Cumulus Media and it airs an adult contemporary format. Its studios and offices are on North Shadeland Avenue, off Interstate 465.

WNTR has an effective radiated power (ERP) of 22,000 watts as a Class B station. The transmitter is on Township Line Road at West 79th Street on the northwest side of Indianapolis.[2]

History

WIFE-FM

Main article: WIFE-FM (Indianapolis)

Indiana Broadcasting Company was granted a construction permit to build a new radio station on 107.9 FM in Indianapolis on July 21, 1960.[3] The station signed on the air on October 22, 1961; 62 years ago (October 22, 1961). The original call sign was WISH-FM, a sister station to WISH (1310 AM) and WISH-TV (channel 8). WISH-FM largely simulcast the programming on WISH 1310.

In November 1963, owner Corinthian Broadcasting opted to focus on its television stations and sold the WISH-AM-FM to the Star Stations group, headed by Don Burden. Under Burden, WISH-AM-FM became WIFE-AM-FM. Lucky 13 WIFE was a Top 40 dynasty into the 1970s, while the FM station aired an automated beautiful music sound. However, Burden ran afoul of the Federal Communications Commission for a number of serious violations, some of them concerning the Indianapolis operation, and the FCC ruled to deny license renewals to all Star Stations in 1975. The AM station was transferred to a competing applicant, while the FM station switched to a short-lived try at country music as "CB-108". But with all its appeals to stay on the air exhausted, WIFE-FM went dark on September 2, 1976.

FCC action

Even before WIFE-FM had signed off, applicants formed to make bids on the vacant 107.9 MHz frequency.[4] The FCC received nine applications by the November 1976 cut-off date.[5] In 1978, the FCC designated five bids for comparative hearing, from Peoples Broadcasting Corporation; Radio Circle City, headed by former WIFE-AM-FM general manager Robert Kiley;[4] Mediacom; Radio Corporation of Indiana, consisting of several local investors;[6] and Indianapolis Communications Corporation.[7]

The FCC did not rule in favor of any of the applications until May 1982, more than five years after WIFE-FM signed off. The FCC selected Peoples Broadcasting.[8] However, the winning applicant had developed a flaw in the intervening years, as Peoples head Joseph Cantor died in September 1981.[8] FCC rules which froze the qualifications of competing applicants at a certain point in time meant that the two ruling administrative law judges had to consider Peoples as if Cantor was still alive.[9] The losing bidders appealed, but the FCC review board upheld the decision.[10] and the full commission[11]

WTPI

On October 15, 1984,[12] Peoples Broadcasting went on the air by using the new call letters WTPI which is short for "We're at the Top for Indianapolis!", relating to their location at the top of the Indianapolis FM dial. The first program director at WTPI was Mark Edwards, and the station's new studios overlooked Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis. Longtime morning personality Steve Cooper (a.k.a. Jim Carr) was with the station for its entire lifetime. Cooper also did stints at WNDE (1260) and WIFE (1310). Overnights were handled by Mike O'Brien (a.k.a. Dave Heck, now an engineer at Emmis Radio) for nearly 20 years. The station was known for a smooth jazz show, "Night Breeze," in the 1990s. Over the years, WTPI was the radio home of Jennifer Carr, Paul Poteet, Oleta Martin, Pat Moore, Jerry Curtis, Gia Berns, and Kelli Jack, to name a few.

WTPI was sold twice in the 1980s. In 1986, original owner Peoples sold the station for $8.5 million to the Somerset Group, a local firm.[13] Three years later, the Pinnacle Group—renamed MyStar Communications in 1990[14]—acquired WTPI for $12 million.[15] The radio station eventually moved from Monument Circle to the 3100 block of North Meridian Street, and finally to its current site at 9245 North Meridian. Long-time WTPI program director was Gary Havens.

WNTR

On October 3, 2005, Entercom dropped the adult contemporary music format in favor of adult hits, and changed the call letters to WNTR. The station's on-air identifier was "107.9 The Track". Programming featured a format similar to the nationally syndicated "Jack FM." It used the slogan "We Play Everything." A popular live syndicated show featuring Tom Kent occupied the evening shift on WNTR. The station also broadcast classic American Top 40 with Casey Kasem from the 1980s, on Saturday at 6:00 am and also on Sunday at 8:00 am.

On November 13, 2009, WNTR switched to Christmas music for the holidays. On December 28, 2009, at 12:28 pm, WNTR was rebranded as "My 107.9", retaining the adult hits format. The first song on "My" was "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey.

Flip to Hot AC

On May 22, 2013, at 5 pm, after playing Kesha's "Blow", and a goodbye message, followed by Simple Minds' "Don't You (Forget About Me)", WNTR began stunting with several micro-formats. They included Mainstream Rock as Rock 107.9, all Garth Brooks hits as Garth 107.9, Christmas music as Yule 107.9, all boy bands as Heartthrob 107.9, all Midwestern-born artists as 107.9 Heartland Radio, and the sounds of nature as Earth 107.9.

The following day at 5 pm, a Hot AC format was introduced under the name "107.9 The Mix." Dave Smiley from sister station WZPL[16] launched the station with Fall Out Boy's "My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up)".[17]

Cumulus ownership

On February 13, 2019, Cumulus Media and Entercom announced an agreement in which WNTR, WXNT, and WZPL would be swapped to Cumulus in exchange for WNSH (now WXBK) in New York City and WHLL and WMAS-FM in Springfield, Massachusetts. Under the terms of the deal, Cumulus began operating WNTR under a local marketing agreement (LMA) on March 1, 2019.[18] The swap was completed on May 9, 2019.[19]

On April 10, 2020, WNTR dropped its Hot AC format and began stunting with Christmas music again. The stunting was framed as a form of escapism in response to the global uncertainly brought on by the COVID-19 Pandemic.[20] On May 14, 2020, WNTR ended its month of Christmas music and shifted back to mainstream adult contemporary, still branded as "107.9 The Mix".[21]

HD Radio

WNTR is licensed to broadcast in the HD Radio format.[22]

References

  1. ^ "Facility Technical Data for WNTR". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission.
  2. ^ "WNTR-FM 107.9 MHz - Indianapolis, IN". radio-locator.com.
  3. ^ "For the Record" (PDF). Broadcasting. August 1, 1960. p. 97. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  4. ^ a b Inman, Julia (June 11, 1976). "WIFE-FM Is Sought". The Indianapolis Star. p. 13. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  5. ^ Inman, Julia (November 5, 1976). "Crowd Gathers For FM Station License". The Indianapolis Star. p. 17. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  6. ^ Inman, Julia (July 23, 1976). "'Howdy Doody' Will Return In September". The Indianapolis Star. p. 11. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  7. ^ "Public Notice". The Indianapolis Star. August 30, 1978. p. 50. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  8. ^ a b Shull, Richard K. (May 20, 1982). "Finally, A Winner For WIFE-FM". The Indianapolis News. p. 17. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  9. ^ "FCC awards unusual FM-radio permit". Seymour Daily Tribune. Associated Press. August 3, 1982. p. 8. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  10. ^ Inman, Julia (January 29, 1983). "ABC adds midseason shows". The Indianapolis Star. p. 23. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  11. ^ "For the Record" (PDF). Broadcasting. January 2, 1984. p. 94. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  12. ^ Hanshew, Dennis (October 12, 1984). "WTPI to sign on Monday". Indianapolis Star. p. 29. Retrieved May 29, 2020.
  13. ^ Koenig, Bill (November 8, 1986). "N.J. firm buys 2 Anderson papers; Radio station WTPI sold to Indianapolis company". The Indianapolis Star. p. 23. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  14. ^ "Medland Now MyStar Exec. VP, WTPI VP/GM" (PDF). Radio & Records. February 9, 1990. p. 5. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  15. ^ "Somerset Reaches Pinnacle With $12 Million Indy FM" (PDF). Radio & Records. September 29, 1989. p. 6. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  16. ^ Venta, Lance (May 23, 2013). "WNTR Becomes 107.9 The Mix". FormatChange. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  17. ^ "107.9 The Mix Indianapolis Launches". RadioInsight. May 23, 2013. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  18. ^ "Cumulus Sells Six To EMF & Swaps With Entercom In New York & Indianapolis". RadioInsight. February 13, 2019. Retrieved February 13, 2019.
  19. ^ "Cumulus, Entercom Close Six-Station Swap". Inside Radio. Retrieved May 16, 2019.
  20. ^ "107.9 The Mix Indianapolis Goes All-Christmas". RadioInsight. April 10, 2020. Retrieved August 2, 2020.
  21. ^ WNTR Ends Over A Month Of Christmas Music With AC Shift Radioinsight - May 14, 2020
  22. ^ "Station Search Details".