About Shine 99 FM

Shine 99 FM is proud to be celebrating our 40th year of service to the 18 counties in our listening area. We’ve come a long way since then, by listening to you – as your concerns and interests have changed over the years, so have we changed to meet your information and entertainment needs

For a moment, let’s “dial back” to our very beginning:

It was 12:00 Noon on April 9, 1982.  Indiana’s 50,000 Watt Radio Station Shine 99™ WSHW officially went on the air.

Spielberg’s “E.T. The Extra-Terrestral” movie had not been released.  British Troops had yet to land on the Falkland Islands and Ronald Reagan’s shooter, John Hinckley Jr. had not been brought to trial yet.  Ronald Reagan was still early in his first term as President and no one knew about Chernobyl or Astronaut Sally Ride. That was still in the future.

On April 9, 1982, suddenly over 18 counties in Indiana and beyond could have a constant companion on the airwaves at 99.7 FM.  Listeners were able to pick up the “Shine 99” FM signal from Danville, Illinois  to Lima, Ohio.  One competitor said “Shine 99 has a signal that reaches half of the free world”.  Since that day in April 1982, Shine 99 FM has always played a popular blend of music, weather, personality and information.

Lawrence Lambert, Kokomo engineer and Frankfort Mayor Mary Jane McMahon attended the “first light” of Shine 99 that day.

Vern Kaspar in front of Shine 99 Transmitter on “first light” April 9, 1982. Photo by Susan Goff/Kokomo Tribune

“Shine 99” WSHW can be heard for over 90 miles on Interstate 65 between Indianapolis and Chicago and 85 miles from south of Sheridan to Silver Lake south of Warsaw and as far as Plymouth on U.S. 31 and beyond. Listeners in parts of Illinois and Ohio can still hear the FM station. Once back in the 1980’s, a listener from Cancun, Mexico sent a postcard and told us exactly what we said  on the Shine 99 airwaves, what song we played and when we played it.

The name “Shine 99” was launched in the fall of 1981 at a brainstorming session with the station owners at the Inn of the Four Winds on Lake Monroe.  Owners Vern, Lillian and Russ Kaspar had a retreat lasting 2 days to get away and plan the new station that was destined to launch in just a few months.

The time had come during the retreat to think of a name for the new station. While Vern Kaspar slept, Lillian Kaspar and Russ Kaspar brainstormed a name for the station. Russ said “What would rhyme with the dial position 99 and what name would have a positive, happy  image and could even have agricultural overtones?”

Lillian Kaspar, Russ’s mother looked out the window at Lake Monroe and quietly said “I think we should call it 99 Shine or Shine 99”.

“That’s it! Shine 99!” Russ said.

Russ and his mother woke up Vern and said…we have the name for the station…”Shine 99”. The rest is history. The name “Shine 99” has been heard across much of Indiana and beyond since that “first light” on April 9, 1982.

The logo for Shine 99 has undergone two major designs. The first logo was a rising sun coming off the horizon with five horizontal  “warm red” streaks or lines on a yellow background. Dave Liverate designed this first Shine 99 logo. Dave was a talented artist who did world-class design work from his studio. Dave designed several album covers for Bill and Gloria Gaither.   He presented several designs in late 1981 to the Kaspar’s and all settled on the rising “Shine 99” sun coming off the horizon.

On sign on day April 9, 1982, thousands of “Shine 99”  rate cards, “Shine 99” coverage maps and “Shine 99” stationary were all ready to go with the first Shine 99 logo. The “Shine” brand for a radio station had begun after much planning, hard work and excitement.

About 20 years later, a logo update and redesign was in order. As I remember it, Scott McIllrath and Karen Butcher approached Russ with a fun, smiling sun character design from a fellow friend and broadcaster in our beloved Ideabank and said “Now THIS is what our logo should look like!”  It didn’t take long to spring into the happy Sunny Ray Shine 99 logo with sunglasses after a ground up redesign of the logo inspired by our fellow IdeaBank broadcaster with a different radio brand (not Shine). Randy Lawson and the team tweaked and played with the new design until everyone was happy.

To date at six times per hour (probably a low number) “Shine 99” has been broadcast on 50,000 watt WSHW well over 2,000,000 times with an estimated 2 BILLION “Shine 99” impressions. Including dozens of billboards, thousands of window labels “Bright Spots” posters, TV ads, calendars, pens, clocks, hot air balloon launches,  calculators, mouse pads and newspaper articles and ads, mentions at sporting events in Indianapolis, front page phone book logos in Indiana cities including Lafayette and Kokomo, logo displays at Indiana county fairs, chamber memberships, FFA “determination award” talks at over 200 FFA banquets throughout Indiana,  the number of Shine 99 impressions throughout Indiana and the midwest in the last 39 years would have to be in the tens of Billions. These numbers are just an educated guess…but suffice it to say “Shine 99”  has become a good friend recognized by LOTS of people throughout Indiana and beyond.

Lillian and Vernon passed away but Russ Kaspar continues to serve Shine 99’s listeners, advertisers and team members at the station as President and CEO of Kaspar Broadcasting Co., Inc.

Russ is now in his 52nd year of broadcasting, getting his 3rd class FCC license with endorsement at age 15 in 1969. As a 12 year old, he used to play “Radio” with his brother Steve in the basement of their home with teletype paper, old weather forecasts and two turn tables.  Each time one brother would say “er, uhh” or other ugly connective, the other brother would be allowed to punch the offender in the shoulder to cure him of this “er,uh” disease.  Steve now owns four radio stations in Missouri.

The Indiana operation owns 5 stations including translators and one construction permit in Lebanon, Indiana.

Shine 99 Coverage area.

Here is a pictorial walk through the evolution of Shine 99 through the years. WSHW is blessed to have a great team of creative engaged people who enjoy entertaining and informing you every day.  Enjoy this pictorial walk down memory lane and help Shine 99 celebrate 39 continuous years on April 9!

Shine 99 radio positioning statements over almost four decades include:

  • FM Music with Me in Mind
  • 50,000 Watts Stereo
  • Indiana’s Best Music
  • Best Hits without the Hard Rock or Rap
  • The All New Shine 99
  • Today’s Best Music

Cindy and Scott get your mornings started weekdays on Shine 99. 

Some of the area served by WSHW Shine 99. Shine 99 engaged an artist to sketch each courthouse for this piece back in the 1980’s

Shine 99 bright spot contest featured a static cling window label and picture of the Shine 99 balloon that flew throughout the country including in Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

The winners of the 1984 Shine 99 Bright Spot window sticker contest. Shine 99 sent the winner with airfare and lodging to the Bahamas for a week in the summer of ‘84. After our winners checked into the room, out came the Shine 99 t-shirt. Our 1984 winner was so gracious that after the trip, Shine 99 was presented with a scrapbook of all the fun adventures they had. We have that scrapbook to this day. Bob Rohrman Auto Dealerships in Lafayette helped sponsor the first several Bright Spot contests. On the back of the label of the first Bright Spot sticker was a coupon for a $9.99 Oil Change. 6,000 window labels were given out in the 1984 contest.

Shine 99 loves to promote its logo, brand and radio station! Here is a picture of the winning “Bright Spot” for the 1984 Shine 99 contest. Note the winning sticker in lower right hand corner of the back window. Notice the “Wander Indiana” license plate that was only used in 1984 to 1986. Note the picture development date in lower left corner of this special picture from the winner’s beautiful scrapbook of memories delivered to Shine 99 radio upon our winner’s return. :>)

A happy family photo from one of our first Shine 99 Bright Spot window sticker contest winners.  Father and son also sport our famous Shine 99 ball caps. They both wore the hat bill side forward so we could see the Shine 99 logo in these shots! :>) This photo and gracious message is from 1984. To our best recollection our very first Shine 99 Bright Spot window stick contest took place in the summer of ‘82. The contest continued for several years and many trips were enjoyed by our lucky winners when we spotted that Shine 99 logo! After several years, Shine 99 logos could be seen on cars traveling all over the midwest and beyond. We eventually went to Shine 99 “static sticks”. Car owners liked these Static sticks better because they could be removed easier than the adhesive vinyl stickers…plus since static stickers were mounted on the INSIDE of the window, static stickers would not fade as quickly, BUT sometimes harder to see THROUGH the back window. More information than you wanted to know about Shine 99 Bright Spot stickers, right?

Shine 99 hot air balloon at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in late 80’s/early 90’s. Pilot and balloon owner was Dave Bobel who owned the Peru Music Center in Peru.

Lillian and Vern Kaspar. Vern was known for his award winning hard hitting editorials and Lillian Kaspar was quiet but extremely creative, coming up with the name “Shine 99” in 1981. She also pegged the name “KHUB” K-HUB in Fremont Nebraska in the late 50’s.

A Lafayette Ad Club ADDIE award Shine 99 won in 1988 for its animated Hot Air Balloon ad. The ad club was made up of Advertising Professionals from Ad Agencies, Television, Newspapers, Radio stations, freelance creators, customized premium and incentive imprint companies and more.

An early draft of the early era Shine 99 logo before publication. Logo design was created by David Liverate who designed several album covers for Bill and Gloria Gaither.

“Hot Stamp” art work on one of the Shine 99 station pieces (Thank you cards) from the ‘90s.

WILO and Shine 99 in the early nineties gave away thousands of dollars of toys and a dozen bikes each year to celebrate Christmas. Children and parents were admitted FREE with a canned good donation to charity. The grand prize for several years was a Go-Cart. The party included Free puppet shows, Santa time, Free balloon sculptures, face painting and more. Shine 99 and WILO team members and community leaders and the Rotary Club donated their time to help kids have a better Christmas. Over 20 sponsors made the special day in early December possible.

“Radio Wars” piece from the Lafayette Journal and Courier in 1983. Shine 99 is mentioned in the piece (circled below)

50,000 Watt Shine 99 WSHW is mentioned in the “Radio Wars” story in the Lafayette Journal and Courier piece from May 1, 1983 by John Norberg.

Kind letter from Peru Shine 99 listener and Advertising Director at Peru Daily Tribune from July 2, 1991

Early piece showing how tall the Shine 99 tower is in comparison to the tallest buildings in Indiana. AUL building is on the right, built in 1982. Now it is called “OneAmerica Tower” and is 38 stories high. The Indiana National Bank building was completed in 1970 and is 36 stories and is headquarters for Regions Financial Corporation.

Back of Shine 99’s first rate card dated April 9, 1982, the official sign on date for WSHW. The SH in call letters stand for “Shine 99”.  The increasing size of Shine 99 logo on the right was to represent the increasing growth of the Radio station hoped for throughout the years. That growth has become more and more a reality over the years.

March 31, 2021. Sun shining on stain glass logo of Shine 99. Self Standing tower and 5200 square foot Kaspar Media building in background.


Thank you card from Cub Scout Pack 336. Kaspar Media prides itself on community involvement and supporting youth activities like Scouts, Camp Cullom, FFA, 4-H and Untied Way.

“Swag” from Shine 99 to promote the popular and valuable ‘Shine 99’ brand over the years. Shine 99 discs for the kids were among the most popular items.

Cover of IdeaBank Broadcasters Convention program. The convention at French Lick hosted some of the best broadcasters from all over the world. Shine 99 hosted the convention in 2014 at French Lick with a leadership team of other Indiana Broadcasters shown in photo below. Shine 99 believes in sharing ideas with other trusted broadcasters so each radio station can serve their communities better with fresh interesting and creative content and ideas.

Welcome note to Broadcast Convention attendees and venders from Russ Kaspar, Shine 99 owner on behalf of leadership team for the convention.

Clock gift experiment with Shine 99 Bright Spot window sticker. Well…we’ll try another route with those hands. From the 80’s

Shine 99 has always served the faith community over its 39 years. Here is a poster promoting the LIVE church service broadcast weekly from the sanctuary of the Delphi Presbyterian Church. The broadcast was agreed to in February 2000 but it took some time to engineer the phone line installation, setup, test, train and promote.  The first program finally aired LIVE on Shine 99 April 2, 2000 three weeks before Easter that year.

Thank you letter to Shine 99 from Mothers Against Drunk Driving group from 1990

Shine 99 Billboard artwork. October 23, 1992

Shine 99 “Bright Spot” Window Sticker promotion. If you were found with a sticker on your car, you won big prizes. Shine 99 stickers could be seen across the midwest in the 1980s. Over 30,000 stickers were distributed over the years.

Yet another Shine 99 Billboard campaign from the 80’s and 90’s.  This one featured the Famous Shine 99 Hot Air Balloon that visited county fairs across the entire state.

1982 ad in the Monticello News Reminder. Monticello continues to be an important area for us. Stay Tuned for exciting things happening at Indiana Beach!

Mini Mascot of Shine 99’s Sunny Ray. An on-air contest was held to decide the name for the friendly Shine 99 mascot. A full life sized mascot can still be seen at area fairs and festivals. Rock on right side of photo is a chip from the Berlin Wall chipped away by one of Shine 99’s owners Lillian Kaspar in the late 1980s. It is now in Russ Kaspar’s office as a conversation piece.

Original Shine 99 Painting that was displayed at the Shine 99 Lafayette office. Painting is dated 1986.

Shine 99 WSHW was a pioneer of RDS technology. RDS refers to the letters that scroll across your car radio. Shine 99 was also the first station in the United States to test the new HD radio technology with design engineers from Delphi-Delco and iBiquity. On the RDS project, at first there were only 6 spaces to place letters but Kaspar’s petitioned for 7 spaces on the display so it would fit “Shine99”. Engineers found a way to fit 7 alpha-numeral slots on the display on your car radio and ‘Shine 99’ fits there to this day!

Mission statement for Kaspar Broadcasting Co., Inc. DBA Kaspar Media. Kaspar Media now owns WSHW Shine 99, WILO AM, WILO FM, Clinton County Daily News, Boone County Daily News, Hoosierland TV and has other projects and media products “in the pipeline”

Russ Kaspar President and CEO Kaspar Media.

One of the Shine 99 mobile units in front of the Kokomo Office and Studio. Shine 99 has probably had 5 or 6 mobile units running around Indiana over the years, including our first one…a 1979 red Ford Bronco with the Shine 99 logo proudly displayed on it. The Shine 99 Ford Bronco was used to “Spot” Shine 99 stickers on vehicles all over Indiana. It could take the better part of a day for the spotter to do his or her work…but would often come back with exciting stories of stickers spotted all over, even on bicycles. We also gave spotter forms to sales reps to document winning vehicles…and they would place winning notes on windshields…all to promote the famous, now 39 year old Shine 99 radio brand. It all started on April 9, 1982 and continues to this day. Happy 39th birthday, Shine 99! Locally owned, Indiana loved!

Front Lobby of Kaspar Media. Kaspar Media includes Hoosierland TV, WSHW Shine 99 Radio, WILO AM, WILO FM, Clinton County Daily News, Boone County Daily News.

Shine 99 has held  the “Shine 99 Woman’s Fair’ since 1994.  The first Shine 99 Womans Fair was held in the Ramada Inn in Kokomo but the event soon outgrew that facility and moved to the former  Kokomo Elks Club in the beautiful facility south of the Kokomo post office.  Shine 99 soon outgrew that facility as well, later moving to the Ivy Tech and Kokomo Events Center.

Even in the spring of 2020 Shine 99 got permission to safely have another Shine 99 Woman’s Fair even with all the challenges COVID-19 presented.

A quick Search of “You Tube Videos Shine 99 Woman’s Fair” will show how much fun Shine 99 has had with this event throughout the years. Shine 99 had several speakers at the event such as Amy Rolof with Little People Big World, Pipa Mann, Indy Race Car Driver and even Susan Kaspar, Shine 99’s owner’s wife who climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in 2012 with 47 other women to protest and raise money to fight human trafficking, especially women and children. Over $400,000 was raised by Susan Kaspar and 47 other women who climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and these 48 ladies set two world records in their climb. “Freedom Climb” was the project name at the time. Now the initiative is called “Freedom Challenge “ organized by the missionary support organization “Operation Mobilization”.

Susan’s talk at the Shine 99 Woman’s Fair added to the many offerings at the free event.

See video below of the fashion show from one of many Shine 99 Woman’s Fairs: