Carmel, Ind. – May 18, 2020 – Six Hoosier broadcasters will be inducted into the Indiana Broadcast Pioneers Richard M. Fairbanks Hall of Fame, later this year. The Indiana Broadcasters Association today announced the 2020 Hall of Fame class that includes Fort Wayne TV news anchor Linda Jackson, radio station owner J Chapman, Indianapolis on-air personality and host Terri Stacy, and morning radio host Paul Mendenhall. The IBA also will posthumously induct two legendary broadcasters, Terre Haute sports anchor Bob Forbes and public TV artist Bob Ross.
“Each of our 2020 honorees represents highest level of professional broadcasting in Indiana and we are honored to recognize their long careers with induction into the Hall of Fame. From Fort Wayne to Bloomington, and Muncie to Indianapolis to Terre Haute, this year’s inductees are familiar names to broadcasters and viewers alike,” said Dave Arland, Executive Director of the Indiana Broadcasters Association. “At a time when more and more Americans are turning to their local TV and radio stations for news, information, and entertainment, this year’s Hall of Fame class embodies the importance of localism in broadcasting. They are not only great broadcasters but, more importantly, stewards of their respective communities.”
This year’s Hall of Fame class will be inducted later this fall during the annual Indiana Broadcasters Conference. The new honorees include:
For more than 30 years, Linda Jackson has delivered the news to viewers in northeast Indiana – the vast majority of them from the desk where she has anchored morning or evening newscasts spanning two generations.
Linda graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Journalism and got her start in local news as an intern at what was then WKJG-TV, the NBC affiliate based in Fort Wayne. Her first full-time work in broadcasting was as a producer and reporter. She has also served the community in a station management role, and it is as a news anchor that Linda has become best known in the region.
In 2016, having spent several years as the morning news anchor at WPTA’s ABC-affiliated station, Linda was tapped to lead the re-launched NBC TV news channel in Fort Wayne. She has served as lead anchor at “Fort Wayne’s NBC” since its launch, helping to establish the news team as a source for engaging and professional coverage in the community.
J Chapman grew up in the broadcasting industry. His father, Jerry Chapman, led Indianapolis WFBM Radio and TV (now WRTV-TV) for three decades and J got an early start in the media business when assigned by his father to mow the grass at the Indianapolis station’s northside transmitter site.
After graduating from Hanover College in 1983, J worked as on-air talent in Indiana at stations in Indianapolis, South Bend, and Madison. He also worked at stations in Scranton, Pennsylvania and Covington, Kentucky. J was part of a team that launched Indianapolis Fox TV affiliate WPDS-TV (now WXIN-TV) in 1984 as a Photographer and Sports Anchor. In the late 1980s, J decided to go into broadcast sales and joined Emmis Communications. He started out as a sales representative for WENS-FM radio and soon became sales manager before becoming General Sales Manager for WTLC-AM/FM. From 2001 to 2005 he was Director of Sales for Emmis’ Indianapolis Radio Group, where he worked for 17 years.
In June 2013 he became owner and President of Woof Boom Radio (affectionately named for his father’s employer, WFBM) with six stations throughout eastern Indiana serving the communities of Muncie, Anderson, Hartford City, Daleville, Yorktown, Alexandria, Pendleton, New Castle, and Marion. He soon added more stations in Lafayette and a five-station cluster in Lima and Delphos, Ohio. J also served as the Board Chairman of the Indiana Broadcasters Association and has been an IBA board member since 2013. Currently, he represents the 5th Congressional District on the IBA Board.
In 1985, Terri was hired as the receptionist for WIBC-AM Radio in Indianapolis. After winning “Employee of the Year” in 1989, Terri was rewarded with a guest stint on WIBC’s morning show, hosted by Jeff Pigeon. Terri was such an instant hit that station managers decided to continue having her cohost the morning show even though she was still working her full-time job as the station’s receptionist. In less than a year, the station made her a full-time on-air personality and morning show co-host. She would continue in that role, despite the ever-changing radio landscape, for more than 20 years.
In 2010, Terri finally stepped down from morning drive and began a new direction as the traffic reporter for WIBC. Since 2005, Terri has hosted “The First Day Sunday Magazine Show” and she continues as host of the “Caregiver Crossing” show on WIBC.
In 2012, Terri became the face of WIBC’s community outreach program, “Neighbor-To-Neighbor.” In this capacity, Terri attends over 200 events a year, raising awareness and assisting the fundraising of countless nonprofits and worthy causes. In both 2007 and 2008, Terri was acknowledged by Indianapolis Woman magazine as the “Local Female Radio Personality of the Year.”
Paul Mendenhall began his life-long radio broadcasting career in 1970 at Carmel High School where he worked at the school’s radio station WHJE. After high school graduation, Paul worked part-time at WHYT Radio in Noblesville, and in 1974 at WXLW Radio in Indianapolis while attending Butler University.
From there, Paul transferred to Ball State to take his first full time job for Bill Shirk’s family at WERK Radio in Muncie. At WERK, he became Program Director and served as one of the “Men at WERK” until 1981.
Paul also managed the radio station at Ben Davis High School and was a teacher for 17 years. After stepping down for a few months to student teach, Paul joined Fairbanks Broadcasting in Indianapolis working for Cris Conner at WNAP Radio, then WIBC Radio, and finally his current professional home, WTTS Radio. Paul joined Indianapolis market station WTTS (Trafalgar), where he hosts the WTTS “Morning Show.”
In addition to hosting charitable events that WTTS Radio presents for children’s reading programs through the Indianapolis Public Library, the Indiana Children’s Wish Fund, Toys for Tots and local food banks, Paul devotes his time to a number of other worthwhile local causes.
Terre Haute broadcaster Bob Forbes started broadcasting at WBOW-AM in 1947 while still in college at Indiana State Teachers College.
In 1948, Bob joined WTHI-AM when it first went on-the-air. WTHI-TV launched served in 1954, as just the tenth Hoosier television station. Bob Forbes was WTHI-TV’s first sports anchor and the only sports anchor at the television station until he retired in 1985. Bob was the longtime voice of the Indiana State Sycamores, including the Larry Bird-led NCAA runner-up basketball team in 1979.
Bob Forbes was inducted into the Indiana State University Athletic Hall of Fame in 1984 for his broadcasting career and was also inducted into the Indiana Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association Hall of Fame in 2006. Bob Forbes passed in January 2005 and the IBA recognition will be posthumously awarded.
Although a native of Florida, Bob Ross lived and worked in Muncie. His “Joy of Painting” program is still nationally and internationally syndicated, and was produced at WIPB-TV, a community PBS station affiliated with Ball State University.
Bob’s programs have been carried by nearly 300 television stations, covering an estimated 80 million households. One early individual station report showed Ross’s “Joy of Painting” program was more widely viewed than “Sesame Street!”
Bob Ross passed in 1995 at the age of 52, and the IBA recognition will be posthumously awarded.