Bill Shirk graduated from Ball State in 1967 with a degree in education and initially worked as a repairman and as an account executive for his Dad’s advertising agency. He taught a year of middle school in 1965 then talked his dad and mother into applying for the license for WERK Muncie. They received the license and Shirk’s parents wanted him to start at the bottom, so he began at WERK as the janitor. A year later, he became a weekend DJ at WERK and by 1968 not only became WERK’s station manager, but also served as sales manager, program director, production manager and remained as a DJ in the afternoons.
Throughout the next three decades, Shirk went on to own, general manage, program and serve as an air personality on ten radio stations and two TV stations in Muncie, Indianapolis, Greenwood, Greencastle, Cloverdale and Lebanon. A member of The Garden United Methodist Church, in 1983 Shirk was the executive producer and starred in “The Escapist” the first motion picture ever produced in the state of Indiana before the film commission was established in Indiana.
He is also a published author having written “Modern Day Houdini.” Bill Shirk was the number one Escape Artist in the World, in the 1970s, 1980s & 1990s, setting eight Guinness Book of World records from fastest escape from Strait Jacket 1.68 seconds to a World Record Jail Break. Through his escapes, Shirk has raised thousands of dollars for underprivileged and handicapped children and adults throughout Central Indiana. This work has been recognized with various awards including the Crossroads Business Award, Variety Club of Indianapolis Human Achievement Award, and the Indianapolis Northwest Lions Club Special Award, among others.
He now owns 12 radio stations in Hawaii and does mornings on the oldies station in Honolulu.