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Broadcast area Lafayette, Indiana
Branding Z96-5
Slogan Lafayette's #1 Hit Music Station
Frequency 96.5 (MHz)
Format Contemporary hit radio
ERP 50,000 watts
Class B
Owner Artistic Media Partners
Website wazy.com

WAZY-FM, "Z96.5" is an FM radio station owned by Artistic Media Partners in Lafayette, Indiana. The station operates on the FM radio frequency of 96.5 MHz, FM channel 243. [1]. The studios are located at 3824 South 18th Street in Lafayette, Indiana.

Station broadcasting information[edit]

The station broadcasts from a 499 foot tower near New Greenhill, Indiana. [2] Archived 24 August 2006 at the Wayback Machine Originally the station broadcast at 96.7 MHz, but shortly after it changed to 96.5 MHz. [3][dead link]

WAZY-FM is the oldest top 40 station still in existence.[citation needed]

WAZY is the flagship station for Purdue University Football.


In 1938, the first radio station to sign on the air was WLAF-AM.[citation needed] Located at 1180 on the dial, the station broadcast local programming and the popular BLUE network. In 1952, the father of Top 40 radio Todd Storz (Storz Radio) purchased the AM station and built his first FM signal, WAZY-FM. Lafayette was the first city in the United States with a Top 40 FM radio station.

In 1955, Storz sold the combo to Westinghouse Electric Corporation, which intended to move the AM station to a higher frequency so that WOWO in Fort Wayne, Indiana could expand its service. In 1956, Westinghouse sold WAZY-FM to Holmes Radio Inc who also owned present day WFBQ in Indianapolis and present day WTMX Chicago. In 1964, WAZY-FM was reunited with WLAF-AM and they began sharing station call letters.

In 1964, J. Edward "Ed" Willis purchased the combo and moved it to its current location on South 18th Street in Lafayette. Willis sold the radio stations to the Peoria Journal Star newspaper group. It was later purchased in the early 80's by Lightfoot Broadcasting, headquartered out of Connecticut. Rob Ford was hired from the WASK group to run the stations. Hal Youart, the station's GM for many years, was widely regarded as the person who grew WAZY-FM into the successful station it was.

The tide really turned for the station when it flipped its Top Forty by day and AOR by night format to all Top Forty. Jeffrey Jay Weber, who later became one of the first PD's to make the move directly to GM when he left the station to go to an AM-FM in Terre Haute, was instrumental in the station's growth in the late seventies along with jocks like Bobby Day, Dan Michaels, Lou Patrick, Scott Dugan, Bob Leonard, Keith Harris and Steve West.

History making ratings were achieved in the 80's with Jim Stacy as program director, and talent including Steve Louizos and Dr. Dave (Dave Gross) which was featured on the cover of Friday Morning Quarterback.

In the 1970s WAZY-FM began to grow, while the AM station's influence lessened. Some of the talent and programming staff that worked for WAZY in the 1970s moved on to become programmers in New York City, Philadelphia, and Chicago.

In 1984, Lightfoot Broadcasting sold the AM signal to First Assembly of God Church of Lafayette. In 1987 Lightfoot Broadcasting's Indiana stations, including WAZY A/F and WXLX A/F Columbus, were purchased by University Broadcasting, which would become Artistic Media Partners of Lafayette. Since that period, WAZY-AM (now WSHY) has been reunited once again with the FM station.

In 1995 under program director John Flint (Harrison), WAZY switched from a Top 40 format to a Hot Adult Contemporary format, positioning themselves as "The Best Of the 80's and 90's." In the fall of 2000, WAZY decided to soften its musical approach and flipped to Adult Contemporary. On March 16, 2001, just 6 months after the switch to AC, WAZY returned to the Contemporary Hits Radio (Top 40) format. It remained 96.5 WAZY until September 28, 2006, when it switched to "Lafayette's #1 Hit Music Station - Z96.5".

In 2004, Artistic Media Partners, as a part of company-wide sports programming realignment initiative, moved Purdue University Football and Men's Basketball off WAZY to their classic rock sister station, WSHP, and the following year to country sister, WLFF. This resulted in two frequency flip-flops between WLFF and WSHP in a less than 18 months. Beginning in the fall of 2007, WAZY once again became the flagship station for Purdue Football.

Since 2006, VP/Programming Karen Rite has overseen the management of WAZY and sister WBPE. Under her direction were Program Directors Dana Marshall, Dan Baisden and currently Jimmy Knight.


WAZY currently plays a Contemporary hit radio format.

WAZY is a Local Primary Source-2 for the Indiana Emergency Alert System. [4]

WAZY is currently streaming online at their website

Where are they now?[edit]

Former WAZY morning show hosts Gavin Todd and Stephanie Patterson left WAZY during the fall 2006 ratings sweep. Todd now works in Hawaii, while Patterson, who was with the station for 5 years, left WLFF to become the Community Relations Coordinator at the Tippecanoe Community Health Clinic.

Scotty Blades has decided to return to the educational field in Kentucky, Dan "Tyler" Baisden moved to Lima Ohio as PD of WWSR/WDOH and now is Operations Director at Grenax Broadcasting II in Flagstaff/Prescott AZ. Carley O' Kelly is now hosting mid-days in Clear Channel Madison WI. Beau Derek now hosts nights in Detroit, Michigan. Kim Iverson now hosts a nationally syndicated night show based in Austin, TX.

Chris Carter now directs promotions for WHHH, Hot 96.3 in Indianapolis, Indiana. General Manager Rick Prusator is a sales manager for WLFI in Lafayette. Chris Cruise is hosting nights at WJFX Fort Wayne. JJ Davis is now hosting nights in Kokomo, Indiana. Dana Marshall has left radio to pursue a career in Artist Management for Sally Anthony.

Sidney Sharp, the production director at Z96 in 1983-84 and an on-air personality until 1990, now works for an NPR affiliate in Richmond, Virginia. Long-time program director, Jim Stacy, is an independent record promoter working for Tri-State Productions in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Former OM/PD Jeff "Jeffrey Jay" Weber is Executive Vice-President/part owner of the Business TalkRadio Network and the Lifestyle TalkRadio Network in Greenwich CT, a position he has held since 2002.

Bill Raley aka Steve West later went to WXUS, WASK[disambiguation needed], WGLM (all Lafayette), KTZR and KGVY (both Tucson). He was also a police officer and Corporate Security Manager at Wabash National in Lafayette.[1][2]

Gary Spears aka Michael Ray (real name: Michael Raymond Frosch), who last broadcast from WAZY-FM in 1977 and had stints at WCOL/WXGT 92.3 Columbus, Ohio and WDJX 104 Dayton, Ohio before moving to WBBM-FM Hot Hits B-96 Chicago (1982-1984, 1990-1994), WAPP 103.5 Lake Success, New York (1984-1986), WRQX Q-107 Washington, DC (1986-1990), and WEZB B-97 New Orleans (1994-1996), was at KYSR/KIBB 98.7 Los Angeles (1996-1997), then middays at KIIS-FM 102.7 Los Angeles (1997-2004), then the afternoon drive at KBIG-FM 104.3 Los Angeles (2004-2007), then a few weeks later began co-hosting St. Jude Hospital weekly podcast "Casting Hope" with Pixie Monroe. Gary Spears began middays 10:00 am – 3:00 pm on WJMK 104.3 FM K-Hits Chicago on 21 March 2011 and, as of 27 February 2012, had moved to afternoon drive 3:00 pm - 7:00 pm.


  1. ^ "Bill Raley". Retrieved 2011-12-28. 
  2. ^ "Steve West". Tucson Weekly. Retrieved 2011-12-28. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°23′02″N 87°07′55″W / 40.384°N 87.132°W / 40.384; -87.132