Don’t Look Now, Radio May Be Gaining on You

By Kevin Eck 

Video may have killed the radio star, but a Topeka, Kansas radio station is doing its best to resuscitate the medium by using the very thing that took most of its audience.

WIBW Radio multimedia journalist Shawn Wheat and the digital team at the Topeka AM station have started producing video newscasts that look eerily like the newscast of olden times, but with a twist. The shows are getting good numbers on the newest medium, social.

“I have a TV background, then moved into radio when I was told I was too fat to be on-air,” Wheat told TVSpy. “But this is something we have pioneered here, and hope to move it across the entire Alpha media company. We are getting thousands of hits and views. 2 months ago, we had 3,000 likes on facebook. We are about to break 8,000 soon.”


Wheat’s background includes stints at KOAM in Joplin, Mo. and KSAS and KAKE in Wichita, Kansas. He says the digital team at WIBW has a staff of six, as opposed to most local TV stations with somewhat larger staffs.

“We do the top 3 stories, then weather and the close,” said Wheat. “The video is normally 3-4 minutes. We started with just headlines, but started including weather. We do one a day during the week. Then use Facebook live or short edited video features when needed.”

“It shows a resurgence in radio news … as not just radio news,” he said.