Indianapolis Radio and TV 2

(from the Jim Shaffer collection)



The collection of pictures from Rick Plummer (indyrtv.htm) has caused another reader to send in some pictures of television stations in Indiana.

First up are more pictures of WFBM-TV, the first TV station in Indiana. Since stations needed to fill up many hours of local programming the station broadcast the Indianapolis 500 Auto Race in 1949 and 1950. The station covered the entire race with three cameras located among the main straightaway. (One of those two races was shortened by rain, but TV wouldn't telecast another race from the track until a pay-TV operation appeared in the sixties, and ABC returned to produce tape delayed broadcasts and, later on, live telecasts.)

Indiana people also take high school basketball very seriously and WFBM has been there to broadcast the Indianapolis area basketball tournaments and then the final games when a state champion was crowned. (WFBM announcer Tom Carnegie was heard as the PA announcer in the movie"Hoosiers," a film about one team's trek to the basketball championships.)

By the way, if you have any pictures you'd like to put on these pages please let me know. The pictures DO NOT have to be about Indiana, the stations can be anywhere in the world.

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WFBM Building-1952
(does not have FM or MUZAK)
WFBM Reception Area

TV Tower (north side of Indianapolis)




1951 Mailing Label

WFBM Camera (1949)

remote broadcast at the Butler University Fieldhouse (basketball finals)




Indy 500 Remote(1951)

Studio Kitchen Set (1952)

Construction of their own cameras




WFBM Main Studio

Frances Farmer hosts afternoon movie

Remote Broadcast (1963)




Station Advertisement (1962)

WFBM Studio 1968




More Indianapolis Radio and TV

(from the book "From Crystal to Color WFBM")

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WFBM-tv at 1949 Indy 500 race

6 pm news on WFBM

Early mobile unit (1928) for WFBM


6 pm news


News Cruisers 1964

WFBM studio at Indiana State Fairgrounds

Station Film Lab - 1964


fair studio


First radio transmitter

Radio Master Control


mstr cont

FM Studio

TV Master Control 1964



WFBM Mobile Unit

Station's newsroom

Older VTRs

unit 2


older vtrs

part of 8000 record albums

Remote Studio

Lou Sherman loading MacKenzie cartridge


fair studio


Service Truck

Coverage of high school basketball tourney

16" turntable playing 12" long play (LP) record
(this is for the benefit of those young people that don't recognize either item)

service truck

IHSAA Tourney


Another shot of the tv antenna

A newer, color capable VTR

Transmitter Building

tv ant




(more from the Jim Shaffer collection)

Next are pictures about WTTV-TV of Bloomington Indiana, later licensed to Bloomington and Indianapolis.

WTTV began telecasting on channel 10, Nov. 11, 1949, at 7:30 PM. With the lifting of the freeze for new television station apllications, new channels were allocated and construction permits were granted in areas surrounding the WTTV coverage. WTTV needed to go to full power and tower height to assure a maximum audience for its advertisers. The FCC had reallocated Channel 4 for the Bloomington-Indianapolis area. The switch to channel 4 took place on Feb. 21, 1954 at 5:00 PM.

Since it was the second TV station in Indiana the station probably had network affiliations in its early years, but by 1957 the station was on its own as an independent station.

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Bloomington (IN) Studios

Homemade camera-1949



Political Rally

Studio A



News Ad 1950

News Ad 1953

$90,000 Mobile Unit

Interior of the Mobile Unit

ad 1950

ad 1953

mobile unit



Hayloft Froloics 1952

Milt's Music Mart

Basketball Remote at Indiana University






(more from the Jim Shaffer collection)

WISH Radio went on the air in Indianapolis on August 2, 1941, as an affiliate of the NBC Radio Blue Network. A shift in ownership came in 1948, but they were pleased to announce that the station would still be owned by "responsible and interested Hoosiers."

The address of 1440 North Meridian was WISH radio's second address. They moved to the new address at about the same time as WFBM moved to 1330 North Meridian. The new address for WISH meant there was room to add a television facility, which it did on June 26, 1954.

In June, 1963, WISH AM and FM were sold to Don W. Burden of Omaha (see the story of that operation on the Radio Page of this web site). The stations were renamed WIFE AM and FM.

Therefore when WISH-TV moved to its new facilities at 20th Street and Meridian there was no need to make space for radio operations.

With the addition of these pictures I was able to confirm that the Vince Leonard mentioned in a 1957 Channel 8 News newspaper ad was the same Vince Leonard that delivered the Noon news on Phoenix TV station KTAR/KPNX-TV (Channel 12) in the 1980's.

(more info from Jim Shaffer)
An article in the Indianapolis Times dated June 5, 1955 stated, " When the move to 1440 N. Meridian was completed in 1950, the station had a future expansion to television in mind. Since the advent of Television, two of the studios have undergone considerable remodeling, to provide a pair of complete kitchens, ramps for cameras, overhead lighting,etc."

>From the December 1965 Broadcast Engineering magazine, "In the ten years since it's first broadcast in July 1954, WISH TV had outgrown it's original home on Indianapolis' North Meridian Street. As a result, management decided to move to a new home, built especially for the station, five blocks north of the original location. Contractors began the construction in April 1964, and in June 1965, WISH TV a Corinthian Broadcasting Corporation station, originated the first live telecast from it's new studio facilities."

The address of Channel 8 is 1950 N. Meridian. If you get on you can see that the station is adding new offices to the station. WXIN 59 the Fox affiliate has their studios now at 1440 N. Meridian Street.

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First (or second) Home?

Vince Leonard delivering the news

WISH-TV studio 1965




New home at 20th Street and Meridian

Floor plan of this building