In fall 2016, a Hoosier broadcaster who had actively owned and operated radio stations in Indiana for 30 years sold the last of his three station clusters.
The reason, RBR+TVBR reported at the time, was simple: This longtime owner had gradually been heading toward retirement.
On Wednesday (3/6), this operator, Art Angotti, passed away.
On October 26, 2016, Angotti’s Artistic Media Partners sold its three FMs and one AM in the Lafayette, Ind., market to Lafayette TV LLC.
In August 2016, Angotti sold his two radio stations in Bloomington, Ind. — WBWB-FM 96.7 “B97,” a Class A airing a CHR/Pop format, and WHCC-FM 105.1, a Class A boasting a Country format — to his son, Arthur Angotti III in a deal valued at $4.4 million.
That deal followed the August 2014 transfer of WNDV-FM, WSMM-FM and WSSM-FM in South Bend, Ind. from Artistic Media to his son’s Sound Management for $3.5 million.
With the Lafayette TV deal, Artistic’s holdings dropped to one: WDND-AM 1620 in South Bend. That station in October 2018 filed for an extended STA as the station sought to secure a new tower site due to a lease expiration with no option to renew.
Sadly, Angotti’s retirement would be marred by a battle with cancer that began in May 2018.
At his company’s peak, Artistic Media Partners (AMP) owned and operated 20 radio stations. This included the flagship stations for Indiana University, Purdue University and Notre Dame Sports Radio Networks. Angotti was inducted into the Indiana Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2008.
“He loved his work in radio, but his greatest love was spending time with his family,” an obituary offered to Dignity Memorial reads. “Art was a devoted husband. He was extremely proud of his children, Arthur and Laura, and delighted being ‘Baba’ to his four grandchildren. Art was happiest when boarding an airplane heading west. He enjoyed hiking in the Colorado mountains and visiting his grandchildren in California. At home, he delighted in spending time on his property working with tractors and taking people for golf cart rides.”
In addition to his radio operation, Angotti has served as the founder and president of Heritage Management Inc., an investment banking and financial consulting firm whose clients have included the NBA’s Indiana Pacers. He is also the former president of the Indianapolis Cablevision Company and in 1985 worked to bring a Major League Baseball team to the city. The Indianapolis Arrows effort failed to materialize.
“It was such a great effort,” Indianapolis-based Emmis founder and CEO Jeff Smulyan, who worked with Angotti on the Arrows project and said eventually led to his company’s purchase of the Seattle Mariners, told the Indianapolis Star. “It epitomized Art being the ultimate entrepreneur who just wanted to make stuff happen.”
Blaine Thompson, who covers Hoosier state media as editor of Indiana RadioWatch, said, “Mr. Angotti did so much within Indiana broadcasting. Whether it was owning radio stations (through Broadcasting Management, Inc., University Broadcasting, Artistic Media Partners, et al.), negotiating TV deals (When Indianapolis nearly gained a MLB franchise, Mr. Angotti had already reached an agreement with Indy’s Channel 4 WTTV to television “Indianapolis Arrows” baseball games), or developing talented broadcasters, it was definitely all about the people.”
Art is survived by his wife, Barbara; children: Arthur III (Amber) of Indianapolis; Laura (Peter Geraghty) of Malibu, California; grandchildren: Leo and Amaya Angotti, Briggs and Lux Geraghty; brother: Joseph (Karen) Angotti of Monmouth, Illinois; sister: Phyllis Parker of Rockford, Illinois; nephews: Mark and Drew (Kim) Angotti and Jeffrey Parker; niece: Francine Angotti. He was preceded in death by his parents and nephews John Parker and Rev. Joseph Angotti Jr.
Calling will be held at Northminster Presbyterian Church, 1660 Kessler Blvd., East Drive, Indianapolis, IN 46220, on Sunday, March 10 from 3:00-6:00 p.m. and Monday, March 11 from 10:00-11:00 a.m., Eastern Time. The service will follow Monday’s calling at 11:00 a.m.
The family requests that memorial gifts be designated for Art Angotti at Mayo Clinic, Department of Development, 200 First St. SW, Rochester, MN 55905; to Northminster Presbyterian Church, 1660 Kessler Boulevard East Drive, Indianapolis, IN 46220; or a charity of your choice.