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WOWO fill in host plans to donate earnings to ‘Penny Pitch’ after Charly Butcher’s death

FORT WAYNE, IND (WPTA21) – With the death of WOWO’s beloved Charly Butcher many listeners have heard new voices on Fort Wayne’s morning news.

Those volunteers who have offered to step in as hosts have meant a great deal to station staff.

Mike Wilson has been filling in as the host and said it’s been his honor after working alongside Charly nearly seven years ago.

He has been in Speedway Indiana, just outside of Indianapolis for a few years working as the Personal Relations Director for Comcast.

“I can do my part to actually help out, bring what I know Charly offered to the morning show cause I knew that’s what made Charly special,” said Wilson.

Wilson added that Charly displayed everything a host should display saying, “You knew exactly who Charly was just by listening to his show. You can’t say that about every host.”

After Charly passed Kayla Blakeslee, the program director at WOWO, said the station needed a new light in the newsroom and added, “Mike has helped uplift the spirits a little bit and has helped us take care of some of the wounds that some of us have been experiencing.”

Wilson said filling in is the least he can do and said, “Everybody who is here right now worked with Charly and whatever I can do to make anyone feel good at this point is something that I will do. Because it is an awful situation to be in and one that we can move forward without forgetting.”

The unique thing about Wilson is that he will not take any earnings for filling in and all of the money he would have made will be donated to “Penny Pitch,” the local non-for-profit at WOWO.

The kind gesture is something folks at WOWO have had a hard time believing Blakeslee said, “I almost cried and I’m not a crier so when he said that I was very moved and very touched. But it goes back to Mike. I know that he loves WOWO, he loves Fort Wayne, he loved Charly Butcher.”

When asked why Wilson planned to donate all the money he said it all goes back to Charly and added, “He would call me regularly.Hey I got another idea for “Penny Pitch!” Hey do you wanna do this with “Penny Pitch” this year? It was a huge deal for Charly, so I thought what could be better than donating whatever I would make to “Penny Pitch” and to be able to carry that out.”

“Penny Pitch” has raised countless of funds.

Last year they presented a check to Shepherd’s House for over $200,000.

As for what’s next for WOWO they will be looking to fill the spot after Wilson’s last day, which will be Tuesday.

Kaitlyn Kendall

Kaitlyn Kendall anchors ABC21 news at 5 and is the chief investigative reporter for the stations Digging Deeper team.

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