Radio Leaders Remember Longtime Indy Exec Chris Wheat


Chris Wheat, a General Manager for three decades at such Indianapolis radio stations as iHeartRadio’s Classic Rock WFBQ-FM 94.7, the former WRZX-FM 103.3 and Sports WNDE-AM 1260, died Thursday night of melanoma. He was 66 years old.

After exiting iHeart predecessor Clear Channel Communications in late August 2006 in what was reported as a radio division restructuring, Wheat spent one year as Market Manager for Entercom’s Norfolk cluster, replacing Skip Schmidt. He returned to Indianapolis in fall 2007 to serve as GM of Cumulus Media’s station group in the market.

In 2012, Wheat departed Cumulus, becoming GM for the Saga Communications station cluster in Asheville, North Carolina. He retired in 2015.

Wheat retired in May 2015 following a 4 1/2-year stint at Saga Communications‘ Asheville Radio Group, where he served as VP/Market Manager for WISE-AM, WOXL-FM and HD2, and WTMT-FM. He had been living in Naples, Fla.

At WFBQ, Wheat played a major role in the rise and national syndication of The Bob and Tom Show, which originates from the station. He served as GM of “Q95” from 1984 through 2006.

Wheat appeared at the National Radio Hall of Fame 2015 induction ceremony as a presenter at the Chicago event at which Bob Kevoian and Tom Griswold were inducted.

A memorial service will be held at 2pm on Monday, Oct. 23, at Madeira-Silverwood Presbyterian Church, 8000 Miami Ave., Cincinnati, OH. Burial is private.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to the Ocular Melanoma Foundation, 1717 K Street NW, Suite 900, Washington DC 20006.

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