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Big 98.3 Indianapolis Debuts

Radio Disney Big 98.3 WUBG Indianapolis Country WRDZ-FM Plainfield Indianapolis iHeartMedia Bobby Bones CarseniHeartMedia launched Country “Big 98.3” WUBG Plainfield/Indianapolis at 4:00pm today.

WUBG becomes the third Country station in Indianapolis joining Cumulus’ 95.5 WFMS and Emmis’ “97.1 Hank-FM” WLHK. The soon-to-be former Radio Disney owned stations will feature two on-air hosts based at iHeartMedia’s “Big 104.7” WPGB Pittsburgh. Bob Delmont is listed from 10am to 3pm and Carson from 3-8pm.

Update 7/8: The countdown clock on the flip of 98.3 WRDZ-FM Plainfield/Indianapolis to Country “Big 98.3” has begun as the application to change the station’s call letters to WUBG was made on Tuesday, July 7.

As explained in the sale agreement in May, iHeartMedia needed to give Disney five days notice prior to the start of its LMA and call letter change to WUBG. No official statement from iHeart has been made on when they will begin operating the station yet.

Update 5/29: The April domain registration pointing to a sale becomes reality as iHeartMedia has purchased 98.3 WRDZ-FM Plainfied/Indianapolis, IN and 910 KWDZ Salt Lake City from Radio Disney for $1.95 million.

iHeart will begin operating 98.3 WRDZ-FM via LMA before the sale closes, however no start date is attached. The company just needs to give notice within 5 business days. The LMA agreement does however insist that the call letters of the station be changed to WUBG, which clearly matches the Big983Indy.com domain registration previously reported below.

WRDZ-FM/WUBG will become iHeartMedia’s fourth property in the Indianapolis market joining Sports 1260 WNDE, Classic Rock “Q95” 94.7 WFBQ, and Alternative “Alt 103.3” WOLT.

910 KWDZ will become iHeart’s seventh station in the Salt Lake City market joining News/Talk 570 KNRS/105.7 KNRS-FM, Classic Hits 94.1 KODJ, CHR “97.1 ZHT” KZHT, Hot AC “My 99.5” KJMY, and “Rock 106.5” KAAZ.

Original Report 4/12: Has Disney found a buyer for the only FM remaining in their portfolio?

iHeartMedia registered Big983Indy.com for 98.3 WRDZ-FM Plainfield, IN this past Friday. With iHeart launching “Big” branded Country stations in Chicago and Pittsburgh in recent months, we’d expect the company to launch a third Country station in the market. Any possible FCC filing to transfer the station will not appear in the database until Monday morning.

Country on 98.3 would join Cumulus’ 95.5 WFMS and Emmis’ “97.1 Hank-FM” WLHK. The Country duo combined for an 11.5 share in the February 2015 Nielsen Audio PPM ratings.

Profile photo of Lance Venta
Lance Venta is the Owner and Publisher of RadioInsight.com and a consultant for RadioBB Networks specializing in integration of radio and the internet. Lance has two decades of experience tracking the audio industry and its use of digital platforms.

5 Comments

  1. Profile photo of Jeff Lehmann


    iHeart also has their mostly (if not all) premium choice pop classic hits “Big 106.5” in nearby Dayton. Might that also be a possibility? That’s been a hole in Indy since WKLU was sold to EMF.

  2. Profile photo of Eric Jon Magnuson


    iHeart also uses “Big” as the branding for at least a couple of Sports stations: WTSO in Madison, and WOKY in Milwaukee.

    I do think that Rush’s move off of WIBC isn’t a total coincidence. Might iHeart move WNDE’s format to this FM (as “Big”), and use 1260 to launch a Talk station (with Rush)?

  3. Profile photo of Dr. Akbar


    So did the deal for Indy require the buyer to take one of Dizzney’s Ancient Modulation stations, too? Maxing out in SLC with KWDZ is a strange priority for I ? Debt.

  4. Profile photo of JustinT


    From the LMA, Exhibit A:
    “The programs will consist of contemporary country programming substantially similar to the programming aired by Programmer’s affiliates…”

    There you go.

  5. Profile photo of WeNeverKnew


    Thought there was a chance Big 98.3 would rollout over the July 4th weekend. Likely iHeart Indy was too busy building out the 97.5 translator for WNDE. Will we have any advance word on when iHeart invokes that five day advance notice with Disney?

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