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WFBQ parent axes 'Bob & Tom' producer

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The executive producer of Q-95’s popular “Bob & Tom Show” has been let go in an apparent budget-cutting move by the radio station’s parent company.

Marty Bender was notified Tuesday that he no longer had a job with California-based Premiere Radio Networks Inc., a subsidiary of San Antonio-based Clear Channel Communications Inc., which owns WFBQ-FM 94.7.

"It was a complete surprise," Bender said Friday morning.

Besides “The Bob & Tom Show,” Premier syndicates nearly 90 radio programs nationwide, including “The Rush Limbaugh Show” and “The Jim Rome Show.”

Bender, 55, started at the Indianapolis classic rock station as program director in 1986. He vacated that position in early 2008 to devote himself full time to “The Bob & Tom Show” as executive producer.

Bender declined to divulge details of his release, but a radio industry insider said he likely is a victim of budget cuts. Clear Channel officials could not be immediately reached for comment.

“I call it quite amazing, that a show this successful does not have an executive producer,” said Tom Taylor, executive director of Radio-Info.com, which reported the departure on Thursday.

“The steadiness and the vision Marty brought to the show is something the show has valued and will probably miss,” Taylor said.

“The Bob & Tom Show” went into syndication in 1995 and is now aired in more than 150 markets by Premiere. According to Arbitron’s most recent ratings, the show is in the top three in its time slots in 85 percent of the markets in which it airs. A TV version of the show also appears on cable channel WGN America.

During Bender’s tenure, WFBQ and “The Bob & Tom Show” won 14 Marconi awards, presented annually by the National Association of Broadcasters to the top radio stations and on-air personalities in the United States.

“That’s quite an accomplishment for a radio station in Indianapolis,” Bender said. “No one is even close to that.”
 
WFBQ was the top-rated station in Indianapolis for 70 quarters in a row with Bender as program director.

Bender, a Cleveland native, said he is unsure what the future might hold. He has a journalism background and said his next job doesn’t have to be in the radio industry.

 

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  • Marty Bender
    I agree w/Bill. Even though we've got K-SHE 95 (another Clear Channel) here in STL, I listen to Q95 here at work on the net. Marty's name is well known throughout the radio industry. B&T better hold on !!
  • rehash
    Q95 meets the demands of its Hoosier audience.

    WITT hasn't become much of anything. From what I understand, most of its music is just rehash from past shows taped that were broadcast on another station.
  • witt
    I also agree that WITT FM is the best non-NPR thing going right now.
  • Marty/Dog
    OMG. These guys have families to take care of. They'll land on their feet but I wish they didn't have to go through it. Hang in there Dean!
  • ...
    Dr. Phil: "Yuh Think?"


    I'll believe it's financial when:

    Look in the sky!

    "It's a bird!"

    "It's a plane!"

    "It's a ... pig?"

  • Chunk Daddy
    Chick, you're next. sorry.
  • dying radio heads
    First Ace Cosby, then Dog, Now Marty. Defintely cost cutting measures! While doing a great job, I guess they(the bean counters) think Deano can run the whole show now! Don't be surprised if another "name" is dropped in about 3-6 months again in a $ saving mode, and replaced with a no-name, maybe B&T want more money. By the way, Ace is back on as weekend, fill-in & board op. Bet he isn't making half of what he made before his exit. Listen to WTTS if you want good local talent. Screw-95, I mean Q-95 is last on the selectors on my radio now!
  • B&T
    WITT is an example indianapolis radio should heed. I just heard FBQ during my lunch our and was subjected to REO Speedwagon, Steve Miller, and some other horribly worn out music that they've been playing since 1970 whatever. Really...talk about dumbing down the listeners experiance...great job FBQ...
  • Carving the Fatted Calf
    The bean counters at Clear Channel win again as Bob & Tom Show listeners will be the ultimate losers with the sudden firing of one of the radio industry's best executive producers.

    Marty Bender was a guiding force of the B&T Show for decades and now Clear Channel thinks they can save a few bucks as their uber money-making show doesn't need his leadership. This is another in a series of way stupid moves by a corporate giant who's dumbing down local radio across the nation while wondering why they're losing listeners to XM, Sirius and IPods.
  • hmmmm
    this sounds a little fishy. I wonder if Mr. Bender is gone for other reasons.
    • Marty Bender / Q95
      More "corporate radio" mistakes...they don't get it! They don't care. Thankfully we have choices like XM/Sirius, iTunes, etc. I have sharply reduced my support of corporate radio across the board.
    • Marty Bender
      First it`s Mad Dog, Now Marty, Why mess with that show? The way I read things the Bob and Tom show is the back bone of Q95!! who`s next? Chic? Christy?

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