Friday, Dec 23, 2005

Posted on Mon, Oct. 24, 2005

dooley noted A column by Mike Dooley

WOWO’s wattage: Don’t count on it

Once-mighty signal hits new low during recent drive through town.

Not all that long ago, the booming 50,000-watt signal of Fort Wayne’s radio station WOWO kept the Summit City on the national map.

But things, like the autumn leaves, have changed.

For some time now, restrictions placed on WOWO have all but muted its voice. No longer do people in places like Tar Heel, N.C., who missed the broadcast the night before, call the station to find out if the Komets beat the hated Toledo Blades. No longer is the station one of the few that can be heard as a car bobs and weaves its way east through the Appalachians on the Pennsylvania Turnpike late at night.

Which is why we weren’t that terribly surprised the other evening when we were driving up Lafayette Street, listening to good old 1190-AM, the announcer was going through one of the many commercials the station does to promote itself and concluded the spot with its new catch phrase: “Depend on it.”

We’d have loved to, but at exactly that moment, the station went off the air. And all we could depend on for the next minute or so was the ominous silence of dead air.

Anchors aweigh

Speaking of WOWO, Damon Bruce, one of its daytime announcers, left last week to take a job as host of a radio sports talk show in the San Francisco area.

According to an item in the San Francisco Chronicle, Bruce held earlier jobs at ESPN Radio, Fox Sports Radio and Sporting News Radio. “His most recent job,” the story said, “was as a morning show anchor on an all-news station, WOWO, in Fort Wayne, Ind.”

Funny. We could have sworn Charly Butcher was the anchor of the morning show on all-news station, WOWO, in Fort Wayne. But that’s one of the greatest drawbacks of radio personalities. They all sound alike.

Caught in the act

A Fort Wayne Police officer had a different account of events when he was sent to a local home to investigate a burglary in progress the other day.

“I don’t think they’re breaking in, or if they are, they’re mixed up,” the officer told the dispatcher who’d assigned him the call. “They’re carrying food in.”

Definite maybes

Filing doesn’t officially open for another two months, but you already need a scorecard to keep track of who’s running, who’s not running and who might be running for Allen County sheriff next year.

There seems to be no end to the number of Allen County officers who are interested in the job. But what in the past has been another gold mine of potential candidates – the city police force – seems strangely removed from the fray so far.

True, Fort Wayne Police Capt. Jim Zamora was on the first list of sheriff wannabes, but lately it sounds like he may have scrapped his plans because he’s happy where he is. Now, however, friends of two other city types – former Police Chief Neil Moore and Capt. Tom Rhoades, who heads the police internal affairs unit – say they won’t be surprised if one or both carry the FWPD banner into the race.

Reporter Mike Dooley’s column appears every Monday on what’s going down around town. Dooley has been a reporter in Fort Wayne for more than 25 years, 12 of those with The News-Sentinel. The column reflects his opinion, not necessarily that of The News-Sentinel. To pass along column ideas or feedback, contact him at or call 461-8255.