Indiana Broadcast Pioneers

Indiana Broadcast Pioneers We’re archiving the rich history of Indiana broadcasting The Indiana Broadcast Pioneers was organized in 1979, following the lead of several other national and state groups.

We are dedicated to offering opportunities for fellowship, education, public service, and the preservation of broadcast history. Ongoing projects include a quarterly newsletter, this website, the Richard M. Fairbanks Indiana Broadcast Hall of Fame, an exhibit at the Indiana State Museum, and occasional public programs featuring retired broadcasters. It is our hope to grow this website into an interesting digital repository for the rich history of broadcasting in Indiana.

Operating as usual

Indiana Entertainment Foundation - IEF

Indiana Entertainment Foundation - IEF

Tonight at 6 at WFYI, Kyle Long looks at some amazing Indiana country music pioneers!
Says Long, “Growing up in Hendricks County, it felt like a cultural vacuum. As a kid, it seemed like there was literally nothing happening. So looking back now, it's hard for me to believe that one of the most influential country singers of the mid 20th Century ran a nightclub just a few miles down the road from my former home.

Bobby Helms' Special Angel Club was named for his 1957 hit "My Special Angel."
The club was originally located outside of Mooresville, but around 1980 Helms moved the club to the Plainfield Plaza, a humble strip mall where my mother would take us for our weekly grocery shopping trips.
Today Helms is best remembered for his Christmas hit "Jingle Bell Rock," but the most consequential record he cut was "Fraulein." A number one Billboard hit in 1957, "Fraulein" broke sales records, staying on the country charts for over a year.
Listening to the song today, it might be difficult to understand why it was so impactful at the time. But if you look at the country charts in 1957, you'll see that "Fraulein" was one of the only pure country recordings to break the Billboard top 10 that year.
Other records from that time were either pure rock and roll, or early examples of the "countrypolitan" sound, featuring slick choral arrangements and heavy production. But "Fraulein" was just a fiddle, guitar, piano, and Helms' strong soulful voice.
"Fraulein" would later be covered by alternative/outlaw country artists like Willie Nelson, and Townes Van Zandt. The record was a global hit, and was even translated into Mandarin Chinese during the late '60s.
Bobby Helms started his career as a teenager, performing in the Monroe County area.
He eventually rose to prominence on the Bloomington, Indiana show 'Hayloft Frolic," broadcast on WTTV. Helms spent a few years living in Nashville, Tennessee after his breakout success - but soon returned to Indiana, where he lived until his death in 1997.
Tune in to Cultural Manifesto tonight at 6 on 90.1 WFYI to hear some early recordings of Bobby Helms, and other country music pioneers of Central Indiana.

Adam Hambry shared this.

Adam Hambry shared this.

Spring 1997.

Spring 1997.


Tom Zaenger article on Fort Wayne TV news ratings from March 11, 1986.

A fun find in a file cabinet over here.  :)  Wil Hampton Dick Rea Mark Patrick

A fun find in a file cabinet over here. :) Wil Hampton Dick Rea Mark Patrick

A fun find - a newspaper ad for my special report from the USSR from July 24, 1988.

A fun find - a newspaper ad for my special report from the USSR from July 24, 1988.

What can you tell me about Don Abbott? Can you direct me to a full biography? This links to an interview his nephew did ...
#11 - Don Abbott

What can you tell me about Don Abbott? Can you direct me to a full biography? This links to an interview his nephew did with him.

Don Abbott a pioneer for radio, television, and advertising discusses his lasting media career including the founding of his own audio-visual company, Abbott Productions.


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This report from Russ Dodge came yesterday: Another WTLC Air Force member gone but not forgotten. Fred Moore died today in Memphis from Covid complications. He was PD when I came to WTLC in 77. Always fun to work with. He actually let me fill in a few times as "The Unknown Disc Jockey". I did visit with him when he was at WDIA Memphis. RIP to a friend and class act. Prayers to his family.
Indy radio veteran Steve Cooper passed away today at his Indianapolis home at age 72 after an extended illness. Steve came to Indy to work on-air at WNDE shortly after their call letter change from WFBM in 1973. He later moved over to WIFE-am near the end of that station's top 40 days and stayed on as they switched to news-talk. Steve also did mornings at WFBQ in the early 80s prior to the arrival of Bob & Tom. He's probably most remembered for his 21 years doing mornings on WTPI (107.9), from 1984 until the format and calls were changed in 2005. In a 2005 interview, Steve told Nuvo's Marc Allan: "I love radio because it's a real personal, real one-on-one medium. I'm going to miss that. But if I never get behind a microphone again, I will consider that I had a good career."
We lost WTHI's Wayne Jenkins (left) earlier this year and December 2 would have been his 94th birthday. He was one of the first TV weathermen in Terre Haute as well as farm director. In the '80s, he created the syndicated farm show, "Ag Day." I had the privilege of working with Wayne early in my career. In this picture from '81, he's with reporter Bob Sabo and sports reporter/anchor Bob Ramsey at Ambrosini's, a favorite WTHI spot. Bonus: on the wall behind them are framed personality sketches from WTHI artist Pete Johnson.
Happy 71st Anniversary to WTTV! What will you do when you hit 75 in 4 years?
Click the Dropbox link to view the interview. Thanks to Ann Craig-Cinnamon for interviewing 2020 Indiana Broadcasters Hall of Fame Inductee Linda Jackson. The Hall of Fame inductees will be honored during the IBA Spectrum Awards and Hall of Fame virtual program on Thursday, October 22nd at Noon ET. You can watch it premiere at and parts of these interviews will be used during the program.
Hi, this is Len Clark, longtime Indiana broadcaster/educator. My colleague, Mike Castellucci and I have created a global mobile journalism initiative called CREATE WITH MOBILE. Here's a story from journalism, -…/new-smartphone-j…/s2/a759883/
Photos and story from The Elkhart Truth reviewing media coverage of the Palm Sunday tornadoes, April 11, 1965, which killed more than 138 people in Indiana (62 in Elkhart County near Elkhart and Goshen).
Thanks Blaine Thompson for permission to share this. Please subscribe to and support thi valueable resource.
Good morning. I would like to wish a belated Happy 71st anniversary to Channel 6 (WRTV), who incidentally on this day in 1979 switched network affiliates with WTHR (Channel 13). WRTV (formerly WFBM) became an affiliate of the ABC Television Network after many years with NBC, and WTHR (formerly WLWI) became an NBC affiliate after 22 years with ABC. And as recent history has shown, this would not be the last time two local stations would switch to different networks.
really enjoyed Chris Connors and Bruce and Tom on the broadcast today.great memories of the great days in Indy radio.