Category Archives: Marion-Grant County


Ava Zinn addresses the responses regarding minor accident, recent decisions

I am well aware of it. I am very well aware of criticism I am facing after making the decision to go live on Facebook with a breaking story after witnessing a minor accident on the afternoon of Friday, September 2, 2016 at the intersection of North Wabash Avenue and West Kem Road on the northwest side of Marion (Indiana).

As someone who is an executive producer of “Vote for the Girls (USA on YouTube)” and with some broadcast journalism experience background while attending Mississinewa High School and previously launched a news department back in 1999, you would know what I am talking about. I’m sure that all broadcast journalists have to know whether or not to shoot a Facebook live segment (something I do not do very often, unless it is warranted).

The decision to go on Facebook live just a half hour after witnessing the minor accident, met my threshold and met my threshold of the decision to go on Facebook Live, despite being shaken up. However, keep in mind that I had to find a spot with a stable Wi-Fi connection in order to provide the live update as it happened and had to work with what I have available.

My decision to post the live video on Facebook simply came down to the obligation and a duty to inform fans (both on THIS WEB SITE and Vote for the Girls) and friends without any f**king question in my judgement whatsoever. The decision also came down to the decision of this one news story since I also run the “Vote for the Girls” franchise.

One clear example of when to make the decision to go live on Facebook and/or post on YouTube at the first opportunity (besides posting episodes) happened during the summer break, starting with the very second I got alerted (approximately 4:00 AM Eastern) from sources in Orlando, Florida of word via Twitter about the murder (or should I say the Assassination) of Christina Grimmie on June 11, 2016. The reason that story met my threshold of my definition of an assassination is because Christina Grimmie was my Vote for the Girls pick on the sixth season of The Voice and decided to pick eventual winner Joshua Kaufman (I cannot accept Mr. Kaufman as a fellow Hoosier because he is from Virgina and the reason why WTHR “13 NBC” anchorman Scott Swan is no longer my all-time Indianapolis anchorman–that position is now held by Ray Cortopassi at Fox 59 in Indianapolis) as a “Vote for the Worst pick.”  Two years later (THIS YEAR), NOW I know that I had made the right decision for a good reason or two (Watch “Remembering Christina Grimmie” from VFTG  and “INNewsCenter’s 300th YouTube clip” below the details) ;

  • After Alisan Porter won “The Voice” and watching BOTH clips from Alisan Porter and Joshua Kaufman from “Star Search” back in the day on YouTube as well as after I OFFICIALLY sold my virginity to my girlfriend, Kymberly, as a threat if a female contestant did not win shows like “The Voice” or “American Idol”, which in fact did happen and what eventually lead to the most brutal punishment at the time.
  • Ever since the late Christina Grimmie’s third place finish two years ago, I’ve since made changes to Vote for the Girls to include “flex picking” (or switching picks) last year that produced my first American Idol moderator victory after Nick Fradiani was announced the winner (though I did not watch the finale performances, but Kymberly did because Jax Cole, the last female contestant, finished third, and I never watch an all-male finale nor from 1986 until I posted as part of a late “April Fool’s Day” prank after 23 years on the INNewsCenter YouTube channel, decided to post Scott Jones and Gene Cox anchoring the April 3, 2009 edition of Fox 59’s morning newscast–there are certain days when the day is right or when I do get advance notice then and ONLY THEN will that ever happen)….

Often times, most of the moderator panelists on VFTG also do double duty as a de facto reporter as a broadcast journalist. The first time that ever happened was on June 11, 2016 when I had to broadcast a special episode of “Vote for the Girls” that was eventually posted on the YouTube channel the night of June 11, 2016 (watch below) and also on INNewsCenter (watch below).

I have faced way too much criticism in recent years over recent decisions and a great majority of those decisions proved to be justified (similar to when a police officer has to shoot a suspect), but the fact of the matter is many of those other decisions were made because of what I have available at that time. Take the WISH-TV/Bright House dispute eight years ago, look at the repercussions that followed and the reason why I have cut the cord some years before it became a trend not because of costs, but after the big four Fort Wayne stations were dropped from Bright House is what killed INNewsCenter and outdated equipment . Another clear example was raising just enough funds for my American Idol audition five years ago, when I had no other choice but to raise funds by holding a yard sale yet the side effect of that was breaking the lease.

I’ve received a number of comments about the accident since Friday night. As the webmaster of, my obligation is to primarily inform people of Grant County, Indiana with this web site and entertain (such as Vote for the Girls and INNewsCenter). That obligation unfortunately, sometimes, includes uncomfortable subjects or comments that are difficult to hear or even make you angry–most of those comments were hurtful and at times disrespectful for a transgender woman nearing 34 years of age. And while this webmaster is human as well and we have similar reactions. These are situations we take very seriously.

By posting the live Facebook video Friday afternoon, you were able to get a third side of the story, the witness’ side. I wanted to give some insight into the mind of someone who happened to have witnessed the minor accident as it happened  so there was some context and exposure for you. For some, maybe it’s something you are already familiar with; for others it may be something you cannot even comprehend. It was difficult for many of us to watch and understand coming from the witness’ point of view. I’ve seen it way too many times since the day I moved to Marion from Van Buren on October 16, 1996.

The decision to post the live video on Facebook is just a small part in the existing commitment I made on May 26, 2001–the day I graduated from Mississinewa High School. That commitment did not change after I began a long transition to a woman in 2004.

Again, it is the reason why I do this web site and I hope you understand the tough choices we have to make in making the decision to go on Facebook Live. Like our viewers, we want 100 percent of the story.

Ava Zinn
Founder and Webmaster, since November 1, 1999

PS: After I watched the video back, I almost swore by saying “This is the f**king news” after I heard a car honk but instead I said, “Oh, crap.” I’ve posted part of the clip as “Ava Zinn – The Thug Life (OFFICIAL EDITED version)” on my YouTube channel and an unedited version has been donated to the ThugLifeVideos YouTube channel.

© 2016, All rights reserved.


Turkey-less on Thanksgiving 2014 and Losing Gracefully

Almost nine months into the vegetarian diet, I had to face an obstacle as it was my first Thanksgiving without a turkey.

So I researched Turkey alternatives and found a replacement in Tofurky Vegan Roast and Savory Stuffed Turk’y ith Gravy by Gardein.

But there was a big problem, after I researched the two products–both of them are carried by Whole Foods, which does not have a location in Marion, yet there is such a store in Indianapolis.



So that being said, and not wanting to make the brutal bike trip to Indy… I had no choice but to go to Meijer in Marion to get what is close enough to the replacement…


And then coming across a tofurkey recipe I found online and skeptical to try it on Thanksgiving, the end result was either undercooked or overcooked….

Now with Black Friday coming up, I am thinking “this vegetarian thing could go on into 2015 if DaNica Shirey does win.”

That being said, earlier this week, my closest friend, Holly Everman, became a winning moderator as her Vote for the Girls pick (Alfonso Ribeiro and Witney Carson) won Dancing with the Stars 19. I had made the decision to add DWTS as a make-up competition and the moderators of the Vote for the Girls site were divided into two teams based on biological sex (transwomen vs women–the Transwomen are in the Purple team and the Women in the Pink team).

Unlike the other competitions (like The Voice, American Idol, and Rising Star and to a lesser extent as the fellow makeup competitions of So You Think You Can Dance and America’s Got Talent) that have one winner, all the moderators’ picks were good since there were no Vote for the Worst picks on DWTS (the closest to such are basically not chosen by the moderator panel).

As for the 20th season of Dancing with the Stars: I can confirm that Holly Everman and Julia Passalt will not be participating and won’t make a DWTS pick because Everman’s pick won DWTS a 19 and Passalt made a great deal with the “Male Moderator” before the Rising Star finale in August with an $8 Million offer.

There is more to come next week as I celebrate 10 years as Ava Zinn, and trust me, it will start with a shocking announcement from April 18, 2014 and something that will change everything.

© 2014, All rights reserved.


October is Leg Beards for Breast Cancer Month

It may be the 21st of September 2014 and as is typical punishment for failure when a female contestant or a Vote for the Girls pick on my site — — doesn’t win (ex: runner-up or worse), I take part in what has become a tradition that I’ve taken criticism for since I launched the site nearly five years ago.


I’m not the only woman or transwoman that many have had audacity to say that have called me a f***ot, and far worse derogatory terms that is typically used in the trans community.

Sure, prior to my gender transition, I had a beard and had it shaved after I graduated from Mississinewa High School some 13 years ago.

It was during the month of October of 2012 while watching Fox 59’s newscasts that the guys (notably Brian Wilkes and Ray Cortopassi) have grown their beards out. At the end of the day, I put two and two together and realized back in 2011, I didn’t know a whole lot about Beards for Breast Cancer until I learned it was an Indianapolis-based organization that asked only the guys to grow a beard during the month of October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

In the past, I posted daily pictures of the unlady-likeness of the hairy leg until Haloween night or the morning of November 1. (As I did last year)

But not this year: Because I called off the competition and announced I was auctioning off my virginity to the highest female bidder on April 18, 2014 that ended a little early due to low bids, I decided back in August that I wasn’t going to shave my legs for the remainder of 2014 (to coincide with the vegetarian diet that will end on January 4, 2015) and since I’m often free to ignore the rules of Vote for the Girls as I see fit.. this Leg Beard for Breast Cancer punishment has become a real bitch in 2014. Yes the legs was bid adieu in August as I prepared for five  straight months of leg hair oriented charitable causes (Beards for Breast Cancer in October and No Shave November) .

The rules seem simple enough: Have clean-shaven legs on October 1st (for me earlier than that), grow a leg beard for 31 days, donate money–the latter is usually non-existent. I’m sure there are more rules, but anything that allows me to not shave my legs for a month (or longer) while still supporting breast cancer awareness and gets my vote as a worthwhile charity endeavor.


About this Leg Beards for Breast Cancer and No Shave November Vote for the Girls Punishment for Failure

After a Vote for the Girls Loss is claimed when a girl doesn’t win shows like American Idol, The Voice, and/or Rising Star, the Vote for the Girls USA moderators (myself, Holly Everman, and other female friends) take part in the the great annual events called “Beards for Breast Cancer since October 2010 and for the first time in November 2014 “No-Shave-November” where guys and girls alike unite in the height of laziness agreeing to not shave their beards or legs (respectively) for the entire months of October and November.

After all, they are the busiest parts of the semester or work year, and you are the farthest behind on sleep, so why waste the time? Plus, it’ll cold enough to wear scarves or jeans (respectively) to cover that unsightly hair.
Everyone, young and old, male and female can participate in Beards for Breast Cancer and No-Shave-November by following this simple calendar of guide-lines. The festivities shall unfold thusly:

  • October 1 (or the first day of Beards for Breast Cancer): Razors are stowed, indifference ignited. Beards for Breast Cancer begins.
  • October 1-7: The week of scratching that itch. Push yourself, control the desire to shave and relieve the itchiness.
  • First Wednesday: Itch hump day.
  • October 14: Finally the women do look ridiculous.
  • October 27: Finally the boys or follicularly-challenged do look ridiculous.
  • November 1: Razors are stowed, indifference ignited. Noshember begins.
    Nov 1-7: The week of scratching that itch. Push yourself, control the desire to shave and relieve the itchiness.
  • Nov 30: Photograph day. Take your best hair exhibiting celebration photos. You have truly completed something great.
  • Dec 1: Great festival of many razors, shaving commences.

Among Beards for Breast Cancer and No Shave November traditions, perhaps the strongest is the beard and/or leg hair contest (or armpits or whatever…be creative). Lets see who is the fullest, bushiest, and most natural after a month, and then join in a ritual corporate shoring of our hides!


Girls Rules of the Game

Ladies (and this applies to transgendered and transsexual women as well)! Don’t think that just because you can’t grow a burly beard you can’t participate in Beards for Breast Cancer and No Shave November…You can! Now it may not be on your face, but hair does grow on your body…the most commonly sported female hair is on the legs and under the arms. Now its quite uncommon for even males in our society to be unkempt in general, but its especially uncommon (and unusual) for females to go all natural. So we want to give you a special word of encouragement and thanks for supporting the ways of the hairy. Only a few select women (as part of Beards for Breast Cancer Awareness) have what it takes to participate in this tradition. I think I have been commended for this, as well as my friend Holly  you.

A note from one of the female No-Shave November Facebook groups:

“For all the girls who think they can go for all of November without shaving. We are standing up for our right as women!”

“How long can you go? *oh, btw, this group is only for legs. feel free to shave other places as you wish, cuz i’m not gonna go there*”

© 2014, All rights reserved.


CBS moves from WISH to WTTV (Justice Served?)

CBS EyemarkBy now, you have probably heard the news that Tribune Company of Chicago, owners of WTTV/WXIN in Indianapolis, have signed an affiliation agreement with the CBS Television network and ending the 58 year affiliation with WISH-TV.

For starters, CBS shows such as “The Price is Right,” “The Young and The Restless,” and possibly a US version of “Keep Your Light Shining” will move from WISH-TV (channel 8) to WTTV (channel 4) as of January 1, 2015. CW programming, which is currently on WTTV will move to WTTV’s digital subchannel currently occupied by This TV Indianapolis.

WISH-TV logoThe main question you are probably is wondering, “Why? Why is CBS moving to WTTV?” If you remember the WISH-TV/Bright House Dispute back in October 2008, LIN and Time Warner Cable entered into an impasse during negotiations to renew retransmission consent deals for some of the group’s television stations. Bright House Networks, one of two major cable providers serving Indianapolis as well as the cable provider in Marion, negotiates retransmission consent contracts through Time Warner Cable. LIN TV requested compensation for carriage of its stations in a manner similar to the deals that cable networks have with pay television providers, as other broadcast station owners began to seek compensation from cable and satellite providers for their programming. The carriage agreement with Bright House expired on October 2, 2008.  At 12:37 a.m. on October 3, WISH-TV, WNDY (channel 23/Marion Cable 10), and Fort Wayne’s WANE-TV (channel 15/former Marion Cable 20, currently occupied by TBN) signal was removed on Bright House. It would not be until October 29 when WISH-TV and WNDY were restored to Bright House Networks systems in Grant County, Indiana (which serves Marion, Gas City, and Jonesboro), but WANE-TV’s signal wasn’t restored, which led to WISE-TV and WPTA-TV being dropped nearly two months later. At that point, I had no choice but to cancel my cable subscription to Bright House after six years and began to watch over-the-air (and eventually added AT&T’s U-Verse Internet High Speed, making it an online streaming/over-the-air hybrid).

I somehow knew what LIN TV was going to try to do at that point and to this day, basically turned Marion, Indiana upside down.

Then, incidentally, the very last post on INNewsCenter was Fox’s announcement on June 20, 2011 that it would end its affiliation with WFFT (channel 55/former Marion Cable 2, now occupied by C-SPAN) moving WISE-DT2 on August 1, 2011. Nexstar had earlier lost the Fox affiliation for WTVW (channel 7) in Evansville following a dispute with the network over retransmission consent fees that it wanted its stations to pay to the network.  WFFT has since reaffiliated with Fox on March 1, 2013.

And in a twist of fate, happens to the the very first unofficial post of the INNewsCenter revival is that CBS’s announcement yesterday that it would drop its affiliation with WISH-TV (and likely WLFI in Lafayette) and affiliate with a WTTV (and its Kokomo satellite WTTK), effective January 1, 2015. Like the reason for WFFT going independent from August 1, 2011 to February 28, 2013, and now the case with WISH-TV losing CBS is coming as CBS is aggressively seeking a higher share of retransmission earnings gained by its affiliates as part of affiliation agreements, an approach that openly irked WISH-TV’s owner LIN TV.  I would not be surprised if LIN TV would subsequently be stripped of its CBS affiliations in Lafayette (WLFI), Buffalo (WVIB) and Providence (WPRI) as well.

As for WISH-TV’s future after January 1, 2015, and here is likely what will happen:

  • WISH-TV will either become an independent station (or take the MyNetwork TV affiliation from WNDY) on January 1, 2015 as WTTV takes the CBS affiliation.
  • WISH-TV will likely replace CBS daytime primetime shows with syndicated programming on weeknights, movies on weekends.
  • WISH-TV will introduce increased local programming, including coverage of local high school and college sports.
  • WISH-TV’s focus on news and investigative programming will likely be increased should the station become independent. WISH will expanded its weekday morning newscast from 2 1/2 hours to four (from 4:30-9 a.m., and effectively cancelling the 7-8 a.m. hour on WNDY), early evening newscasts expanded from a 90-minute to two-hour block starting at 5 p.m., and an hour-long primetime newscast at 10 p.m. (currently shown on WNDY) will joined the existing 11 p.m. newscast, and its existing noon newscast will likely expand to an hour.

WTTV, on the other hand, will have news since canceling a WRTV (channel 6)-produced newscast in 2002. WTTV, upon taking the CBS affiliation will have the following newscasts, as not to compete with WXIN (channel 59/Marion Cable 11)

  • 4:30-7:00 a.m. Weekdays (WXIN currently airs a morning newscast from 4-10 a.m.)
  • 12:00-12:30 p.m. Weekdays (WXIN did have a midday newscast from 2008-2010)
  • 90 minute news block from 5-6:30 p.m. (WXIN currently has a early evening news block from 4-7:30 p.m. come September)
  • 11-11:35 p.m. (WXIN currently has a late newscast block from 10-11:30 p.m.)

Then there comes WTTV’s likely weekday schedule come January 1, 2015 as follows (many shows currently shown on WTTV could stay or move to either WXIN or WTTV-DT2:

  • 4:00 a.m. CBS Morning News
  • 4:30 a.m. “CBS 4 Morning News”
  • 7:00 a.m. CBS This Morning
  • 9:00 a.m. Judge Mathis
  • 10:00 a.m. The People’s Court of Let’s Make A Deal
  • 11:00 a.m. The Price is Right
  • 12:00 p.m. “CBS 4 News at Noon”
  • 12:30 p.m. The Young and the Restless
  • 1:30 p.m. The Bold and The Beautiful
  • 2:00 p.m. The Talk
  • 3:00 p.m. Let’s Make A Deal or The People’s Court
  • 4:00 p.m. Paternity Court or The Middle
  • 4:30 p.m. The Middle??
  • 5:00 p.m. “CBS 4 News at 5:00”
  • 5:30 p.m. “CBS 4 News at 5:30”
  • 6:00 p.m. “CBS 4 News at 6:00”
  • 6:30 p.m. CBS Evening News
  • 7:00 p.m. The Big Bang Theory
  • 7:30 p.m. Two and a Half Men
  • 8:00 p.m. CBS Prime
  • 11:00 p.m. “CBS 4 News at 11:00”
  • 11:35 p.m. The Late Show with Steven Colbert
  • 12:37 a.m. The Late Late Show with James Corden
  • 1:37 a.m. How I Met Your Mother
  • 2:07 a.m. Rules of Engagement
  • 2:37 a.m. CBS News Up To The Minute??

When WTTV joins CBS, WTTV will most likely pre-empt the network’s Saturday morning block CBS Dream Team in favor of running E/I-compliant children’s programs acquired from the syndication market and pre-empt Up To The Minute, in favor of airing syndicated programs and infomericals during the overnight hours. Once the syndicated acquired programs get dropped from WTTV’s schedule once contract commitments with syndication distributors ended, likely those blocks may begin airing.

Then comes the issue of the This TV subchannel, since that is owned by Tribune Broadcasting. One scenario is This TV could move to a new subchannel on WXIN because WTTV will likely upgrade 4.1 and 4.2 to HD and WXIN currently has Fox on 59.1 and Antenna TV on 59.2, and possibly This TV on 59.3.

Bottom line: I think WTTV is considered to be a strong CBS affiliate owing to WTTV’s former “Indiana’s Sports Station” as a college basketball hotbed and teams such as Purdue, Butler, and Indiana being longtime fixtures in the tournament, I think NCAA tournament games on WTTV will be consistently among the highest-rated programs in Indianapolis during the tournament’s run.  Unfortunately WTTV’s future late news WILL NOT serve the lead-in for Indianapolis native David Letterman’s late night talk show on CBS, the Late Show), since The Late Show with Davide Letterman’s final episode will air on WISH, not WTTV.

© 2014 – 2017, All rights reserved.


Marion Cable TV provider pisses off Justice for Ashley Rheam Supporters…

Ahley Rheam 1984-2013First and foremost, I am speaking on the behalf on anyone who has cable or satellite in Grant County. Secondly, I also speak to anyone that like yours truly whom until the WISH-TV/Bright House dispute of October 2008 decided to end the cable television subscription just because the cable company no longer carries the big four Fort Wayne television stations, and forced some to whom I say I applaud you to now rely on over-the-air television.

Given the number of conversations in-person, emails and messages following the WISH-TV/Bright House Dispute five years ago on this website (as well as the former INNewsCentrer, a web site I launched in November 1, 1999 as a Mississinewa High School junior that discussed the television industry changes that only covered Fort Wayne and Indianapolis before expanding to all 10 markets that serve all of Indiana’s 92 counties until June 2011 when the site closed when WFFT lost the Fox affiliation and has since rejoined that network) about where the big four Fort Wayne stations were and no longer being carried on Bright House Networks for Marion, Gas City, and Jonesboro subscribers, I thought I would try to explain the issues for like yours truly that share their frustrations and could not watch the Indianapolis 500 live since the 2009 race LIVE (via WPTA-TV, former Marion cable channel 21) and more recently WFFT’s (former Marion cable channel 2) news coverage of what I will call “Justice for Ashely Rheam” coverage.

First, some background (WHERE DID WFFT-TV GO):

Industry-wide, the United States is divided into 210 television markets. The largest is New York City, with Glendive, Montana, the smallest. The Fort Wayne market is the 109th largest, with approximately 600,000 television homes. Each market has defined boundaries. Fort Wayne has 11 counties.

However, the Fort Wayne market does not include Grant County – which is, unfortunately, in the Indianapolis market, which is the 26th largest with approximately 2.5 million television homes in 32 counties.

Why is that important?

In the case of WFFT, the Fox Broadcasting Company (FOX) is enforcing contract language with companies that retransmit a FOX station’s signal –for example Bright House (Marion, Gas City, Jonesboro) and Comcast (Upland, Fairmount) – that only the affiliate for that market be provided on a channel lineup. As such, the signal of WFFT, unfortunately–despite being significantly viewed in Grant County, has been removed from the channel lineups in those areas I mentioned, such as Grant County, where just WXIN (Marion Cable channel 11) is provided.

This is absolutely not being done at the request of either WXIN or WFFT and like many of my friends, fans, followers in Grant County–like you–no longer have access to WFFT.

In the case of WANE-TV–the Fort Wayne CBS affiliate (former Marion cable channel 20), five years ago LIN TV of Providence (which also owns fellow Indianapolis CBS affiliate WISH-TV), began enforcing contract language with Bright House that retransmits the signals of WISH and WANE. Unlike the case of WFFT, is affiliated with FOX, whereas WANE and WISH have been very close sister stations for as long as I can remember. However, five years after the WISH-TV/Bright House dispute and  seeing this from what I believe, and thus have a theory led to the Marion repercussions that soon followed with the removal of WPTA and WISE-TV.

My theory is that five and a half years ago right after my 25th birthday in January 2008 while INNewsCenter was in operation, I had revived an email from a LIN TV Indianapolis official concerning YouTube videos I posted on the INNewsCenter YouTube channel, that not only paved to my eventual decision to take INNewsCenter offline in June 2011.  The theory is that LIN TV of Providence (Rhode Island) knew that what the big four networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX) were going to try to do were basically create a pay TV-big five (ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CW) television network (or the lesser Pay TV-Station) model of strict contractual policies against network signal duplication (Marion’s a clear example since Bright House is the only major cable television provider)  from out-of-market signals in other markets (thus Bright House still carries mostly Indianapolis’ big four stations and eventually discontinuing of Fort Wayne stations on Bright House), basically meaning discontinuation of out-of-market distribution; all of the communities listed have their own broadcast network affiliates.

The networks aren’t “picking” on WFFT, WANE, WPTA, and/or WISE. In fact, those stations would expect that in Huntington County – which is part of the Fort Wayne market – that systems there will be seeing WTTK or WNDY removed from the lineup at some point in the near future for the same reason.

While the network’s programming may be the same on Fox stations WFFT and WXIN; CBS stations WANE-TV and WISH-TV; NBC stations WISE-TV and WTHR; and ABC stations WPTA and WRTV, many other shows – particularly the FWA and INDY newscasts, football shows, IndyStyle on WISH-TV, are unique to aforementioned stations. If a cable company chose to carry WFFT (and very unlikely re-carry WANE-TV, WISE-TV, and WPTA) for local programs, the cable company would have to block out all the network shows that are duplicated from the network – and in most cases cable companies do not provide a channel when they have to block out so many programs.

Viewers like myself that lost WANE-TV on October 2, 2008, WPTA and WISE-TV on January 1, 2009, and WFFT via Bright House Networks have just ONE Option–get the Fort Wayne stations with an outdoor antenna (no higher than 60 feet as an FAA requirement–if your apartment complex allows this in the lease), but success with an indoor antenna isn’t guaranteed given the distances involved.

I ALWAYS OFFER THIS ADVICE (and have done so since my mother founded NoSirGifts, a gift/media retailer that has since closed stores due to Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in 2013)–make sure to get an antenna that receives BOTH VHF and UHF signals. As assigned by the FCC, WFFT’s broadcast signal is on Channel 36.1 (PSIP 55.1); WANE-TV is Channel 31.1 (PSIP 15.1); WPTA is channel 24.1 (PSIP 21.1); and WISE-TV is 18.1 (PSIP 33.1). The Indianapolis stations, however,  BOTH use VHF and UHF signals that’ll come in pretty much handy should a cable/sattelite dispute like the WISH-TV/Bright House dispute in October 2008, WXIN/DirecTV dispute in April 2012, and WTHR/DISH Network dispute in September 2002.

As for why the networks will do this, at the end of the day, it all comes down to protecting the local affiliate within a select market.

Four Examples:

  1. If a viewer in Grant County living in Marion watches “American Idol” on WFFT “Fox Local 55” and records that with Nielsen, WFFT does not get ratings credit for it because it’s outside the Fort Wayne market. And because that viewer in Marion didn’t watch WXIN “Fox 59”, they can’t get credit. So, Fox 59 doesn’t get any credit for a viewer that watched American Idol. With Fox Local 55 (and basically all the Fort Wayne stations) taken off the Bright House Networks system in Marion, viewers in Marion, Gas City, and Jonesboro (and eventually Comcast will do the same in Hartford City/Upland/Fairmount)  there will have to watch Fox 59 for American Idol – and WXIN and FOX will get the appropriate credit.
  2. If a viewer in Ripley County watches “The Voice” on WTHR “13NBC” and records that with Nielsen, 13NBC does not get ratings credit for it because Ripley County is outside the Indianapolis market. And because that viewer didn’t watch WLWT, they can’t get credit. So, WLWT-TV doesn’t get any credit for a viewer that watched The Voice. With 13NBC off the Comcast system in Lawrenceburg/Versalles, viewers there will have to watch WLWT for The Voice – and WLWT and NBC will get the appropriate credit.
  3. If a viewer in Kosiusco County living in Warsaw watches “Dancing With the Stars” on WPTA “21Alive” and records that with Nielsen, 21Alive does not get ratings credit for it because Kosisoco  County is outside the Fort Wayne market. And because that viewer didn’t watch WBND-TV “ABC 57”, they can’t get credit. So, ABC 57 doesn’t get any credit for a viewer that watched Dancing with the Stars. With 21Alive more likely to be off the cable system in Warsaw, viewers there will have to watch ABC 57 for Dancing with the Stars – and WBND-TV and ABC will get the appropriate credit.
  4. If a viewer in Tippecanoe County living in Lafayette watches “The Price is Right” on WISH-TV and records that with Nielsen, WISH-TV does not get ratings credit for it because Tippecanoe County is outside the Indianapolis market.  And because that viewer didn’t watch WLFI–even though there’s no ABC, NBC or Fox affiliate in the Lafayette market, they can’t get credit, and WLFI may as well be a semi-satellite of WISH. So, WLFI doesn’t get any credit for a viewer that watched Dancing with the Stars. With WISH more likely to be off the cable system in Lafayette, viewers there will have to watch WLFI for Dancing with the Stars – and WLFI and CBS will get the appropriate credit.


We know it may not make a lot of sense. Marion, Muncie Central, and Anderson High Schools are in a conference with a Fort Wayne area high school while Mississinewa, Eastbrook, Oak Hill, and Madison-Grant are in a conference with a high school in the Indianapolis DMA, for example. Or maybe you just like Fort Wayne and/or Indianapolis newscasts better. I don’t blame you for that. However, in this case, we’re all paying more when you come to think of it.

SOURCES: WLUK-TV “Where did Fox 11 (Green Bay) Go?”

© 2013 – 2017, All rights reserved.


McCullough Middle School Tragedy

MARION (AVA ZINN) – No resident of a local school district, let alone a parent of a middle school student, wants to have the daunting task on having to post on one their own. On May 6, 2013, I find myself in that position. It was an incredibly difficult Monday afternoon for the Marion community after school officials say a seventh grade girl hanged herself at the junior high school. Parents of the other students were baffled at how this could happen during the school day.

Braylee Rice (COURTESY WRTV)

Marion Police along with Marion Community Schools are investigating the death of a 7th grade  student at McCulloch Junior High School, 3528 South Washington.

Grant County Coroner Stephen Dorsey reported that Rice used a neck tie she frequently wore. The preliminary cause of death is being ruled as a suicide by hanging, and an autopsy is scheduled for tomorrow (Tuesday).

Superintendent Steve Edwards says the likes of this case is something he’s never seen before in his experience in education.

At a news conference Monday afternoon, the Grant County coroner said Braylee Rice, 14,  hanged herself by the track bleachers at the middle school. Dorsey said the girl used her own tie she was wearing to hang herself from the bleachers.

School officials said there was “no indication at this point it was a bullying situation” but police are investigating the circumstances.

Grief counselors will be made available to students for the rest of the week.

“This is a tragic situation,” said Marion Community Schools superintendent Stephen Edwards.

According to the school district, the Grant County coroner’s office has been in contact with Braylee’s family.

Students were kept in their classrooms for the day, instead of moving from class to class or being released early, but school officials stressed that the building was not on lockdown, and many parents opted to pick up their children.
“In light of the tragic circumstances, we decided, after consulting with the State Department of Education, to keep school in session today on a modified schedule. Out of concern for the safety of those children who may have gone home to empty houses, we opted to keep school open and in session,” the district said in a statement.
School officials said counseling was provided to students during school hours and on the bus that Rice rode.

Marion Deputy Police Chief Cliff Sessoms is urging anyone who may have any information regarding the apparent suicide death of Braylee Rice to call Marion Police detectives at 662-9981.

This is a developing story that will be updated. This story reflects information that has been confirmed to Ava Zinn at this time. Stay with Ava Zinn (in person and online) for a full report, or refresh this page.

 Ava Zinn Statement:

My family is deeply saddened by the terrible tragedy of today’s events at McCullogh Middle School. Rags, Tabby, and Ashli are also saddened by this deep shock and sorrow of Braylee’s death. My thoughts and prayers are with the family of Miss Rice.

What friends are saying:

A few of the status updates from Facebook, I wanted to post on….
Tiara (Shepperd) Stapleton: My heart goes out to the family of Braylee Rice. Its a sad world that kids get bullied then thinking the only way out is to kill themselves. As a parent we worry about so many things now we have to worry about our kids taking their own lives because of mean a** kids. This is a dark time we live in more n more horrible things keep getting worse and trying to find the beauty in life is being covered up by so much negativity. Its time to turn this around and start blighting up all the positives there are in this world. Prayers being sent out to this little girl and hope that this is a major wake up call for bullies, parents, children go talk to your loved ones or a trusted adult for help.

Tasha J. (Mangold) Simon: OK I’m gonna say this… but I Hope I don’t upset anyone. This poor little girl hasn’t even been gone for 12 hours and They r already having a candlelight vigil for her??? Is something wrong with this picture or is it just me??


Jenn Ricks: Prayers go out to the loved ones of the little girl from McCullough Middle School…my daughter is only a few years younger then she was…I cant even imagine wat the family is going through right now…so sad

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