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FM simulcast of WOWO to replace ‘The Fort’

On April 1, WOWO, 1190 AM, will start simulcasting at 92.3 FM, the station’s program director, Gregg Henson, said Thursday.

The classic rock station that is currently using the frequency, WFWI-FM, The Fort, will cease to exist, Henson said.

Both stations are owned by Federated Media, which also owns WQHK-FM (K-105), WBYR-FM 98.9 9 (The Bear), WMEE-FM 97.3 and the AM station ESPN 1380, Henson said.

Henson said the decision to simulcast WOWO on FM was an economic one. “It’s the No. 1 station in Fort Wayne,” he said. “It’s the biggest brand in news, sports, weather and traffic. We wanted to go where the audience is.”

Henson said the radio audience in 1979 was evenly divided between AM and FM.

“Now it’s 80/20 in FM’s favor,” he said. “We need to go where the audience is and extend our brand. There are probably people who have never been exposed to WOWO on the AM dial.”

Henson said WOWO will continue to be available on AM “to serve the audience that’s there.”

At present, The Fort is home to popular local DJ Billy Elvis and popular national duo Bob and Tom.

Efforts are being made, Henson said, to shift Bob and Tom over to one of Federated Media’s other stations, although he could not say which one.

Henson said he believes The Fort was established in the late ’80s, although some online sources suggest the year was 1993.

Henson does not anticipate much protest from The Fort’s listenership.

“The classic rock audience can still get that music elsewhere,” he said.