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'Bob & Tom Show' switching syndicators

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Bob & Tom have found a new syndicator for their venerable local comedy show, while WIBC-FM 93.1 is moving its cigar-chomping Abdul-Hakim Shabazz to an evening slot.

The radio trades are buzzing over a plan by Indianapolis-based "The Bob & Tom Show" to move operational and advertising sales functions to a Cumulus Media subsidiary on Jan. 1—away from the Premiere Networks distribution arm of rival broadcasting chain Clear Channel Communications.

But overlooked in the latest tussle between the giant radio station consolidators is the awkward fact that "Bob & Tom" originates out of Clear Channel’s Indianapolis rock station WFBQ-FM 94.7.

That has some local radio executives wondering if the Bob & Tom Show might move up Interstate 465 to Cumulus’  WJJK-FM 104.5, also a classic-rock station.

“I can neither confirm nor deny that,” said Jay Michaels, program director of WJJK, for whom WFBQ is a direct competitor.

"Bob & Tom" co-host Tom Griswold couldn’t be reached for comment.

Griswold, in a press release, said the show has “enjoyed a tremendous relationship with Premiere Networks and Clear Channel Media ... for many years."

"Cumulus Media stations have always supported the Bob & Tom Show in some of our largest markets,” he said, adding that he looked forward “to continuing to work with Clear Channel stations in the future.”

That "Bob & Tom" already appears on both Clear Channel and Cumulus stations might mean that a move to WJJK isn’t necessary. A Cumulus Networks spokesman in New York noted that the new arrangement is only to handle operational and advertising sales functions.

Celebrating high school locker room humor for 30 years with a diverse cast of characters, "The Bob & Tom Show" is one of the oldest and highest-rated morning radio show in the U.S. The show carried on 130 stations has won five Marconi Awards and generated at least 50 comedy albums over the years.

Meanwhile, Emmis Communications’ WIBC this week told staff that Larry Downes is stepping out of his “Common Sense” show  at 6  p.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays, but will continue as the station’s director of digital marketing and promotions.

Moving into the slot starting Oct. 21 will be Abdul-Hakim Shabazz, who hosts a show Saturdays from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. 

Shabazz joined WIBC in June. He built a loyal following on WXNT-AM 1430, but that station axed his show in 2011. WXNT switched to a network sports talk format, and ratings tumbled.

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  • B&T+Garrison+Chicks=air polution
    Bob and Tom are old news. They are making a fortune NOT being the least bit funny. Sound like a bunch of jr high schools boys who are trying to talk dirty but don't know what they are talking about. Garrison ain't Rush. The "chicks" thing is an attempt by 93.1 to commit suicide. The station will be successful if these two "chicks" continue much longer. I just turn off the radio and enjoy the sights and sounds of road rage all around me on the way to work and back home.
  • stable & unstable
    Bob & Tom still have an audience who like what they do. WIBC's audience has been shrinking as they are no longer "radio Indiana". They used to be one of the city's top stations. Now they no longer even have dependable newscasts. Rush Limbaugh and Abdul will be the only two strong talk shows they air. Laura Ingraham (on 95.9) may not be local but she's a lot more listenable than Garrison. The afternoon "chicks" thing is awful.
  • Jim
    Jim: Yes. Dave is right and he is mostly on the right. That being said, how much Conservative talk can one handle or, better yet, how much does one need? If you hear the issues on Garrison or Limbaugh, you will here them again on "Chicks that think that they're right." Why not have news / info / variety from 3-6 or even 3-7? Enuff's enuff. As far as B&T go, I've matured a bit. They haven;t been the same since Marc Much and his voices left looong ago.
  • bobandtom
    TD has no idea what he's talking about. Bob and Tom were never funny.
  • Dave is right or is that Dave is on the Right"
    Ditto Dave's comment...as for TD saying he can't believe B & T are still on the air...they are still packing houses for comedians, and securing interviews with the likes of Sir Paul McCartney (you think he talked to every two bit syndicated radio show in the country...doubt it). You're opinion that they aren't that funny anymore is just that...your opinion...one of two things every human being has...obviously, not everyone shares your opinion...their shelf life has, quite frankly, been an amazing run. 30 years in radio at the level they are at is an unbelievable achievement. Knock them if you will, they are still laughing all the way to the bank.
  • Me too
    I also agree with Dave. I used to listen to WIBC on the drive home for the news and traffic reports. Not any more. I can't stand the nonsense their on-air "talent" spews, or the frequent and annoying ads. For me, an endorsement by Greg Garrison is the kiss of death.
  • Ditto
    Ditto to what Dave said. And I can't believe Bob and Tom are even still on the air. Know what guys? You're just not that funny anymore...
    • don't change channels
      Long time listener, first time caller...please don't change channels B&T, I 'd have to reset all my radios. Plus the Q95 high end equipment sounds better than all other stations. To IBJ, thanks for deleting the bigoted "judge a book by its cover" statement made earlier!
    • Agreed
      What Dave in Indy said....
    • Indy needs a NEWS station
      For years, WIBC has been where to turn for local news in the indianapolis area. Unfortunately the station is now a 85% conservative talker. The local news is a two minute each hour afair, after National FOX News. Ever since Ed Wenck left WIBC's airwaves, the only news type show is the Morning show. The afternoon drive should be a time for news and information not more of the same Conservative talk. Could you imagine if there is a National Disaster - would "The Chicks Who Think Their Right" be able to put their nonsense aside long enough to accurately deliver key info? No, they could not. What Indy needs is a true News station, with a staff and use informative talk shows as filler material, instead of vice versa. Maybe fold in Fox 59 news from 4-7?

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