Emmis Communications Corp. has bought the FM 93.5 radio frequency and is set to add another sports-talk station to its Indianapolis arsenal.
Sports junkies will soon be able to listen to all of The Fan’s local shows on either of two stations—one on the AM dial the other on FM—and ESPN’s daylong national lineup on a third station.
The Fan’s primary competitors in the sports-talk realm are WNDE-AM 1260 and WXNT-AM 1430, but Emmis officials said The Fan is taking on—and beating—other top local male-oriented stations.
“People say ‘you have the No. 1 sports-talk station,’ and I say ‘no, we have the No. 1 men’s station,’” said Emmis Market Manager Charlie Morgan. “Since we’ve started simulcasting, it’s safe to say we’ve more than doubled our audience, and advertisers have followed the audience growth.”
Emmis began airing sports talk on WFNI-AM 1070 in December, 2007.
In early 2013, Emmis bought FM 107.5 from Frankfort-based Kaspar Broadcasting, ditched its soft-rock format, and boosted its weak signal. It then re-broadcast some of its locally generated content from WFNI—The Fan—but also aired a fair bit of ESPN national content.
This summer, Emmis bought another Kaspar station, FM 93.5, and strengthened its signal. That station will mirror AM 1070, airing all of its local content.
“We had so much success with the local parts of The Fan that we were simulcasting, we went on a search for another FM frequency,” Morgan said.
Emmis is merely waiting for FCC approval—which Morgan expects in the coming days—to flip the switch on the new FM 93.5.
With AM 1070 and FM 93.5 blasting out mostly locally originated sports-talk content from Bloomington to Lafayette, Emmis will use FM 107.5 to air ESPN Radio’s national content. That helps Emmis meet its contract with ESPN, Morgan said, adding that the national shows also have a solid niche audience.
“We think there’s value in associating our brand with ESPN—the world-wide leader is sports,” Morgan said.
The only non-local show that will air on AM 1070 and FM 93.5 will be ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike in the mornings. During the morning drive, FM 107.5 will air The Erik Kuselias Show, an NBC Sports product.
Emmis AM 1070 and 93.5 FM will be branded The Fan, while 107.5 will be branded 107.5 ESPN: Indy’s Sportscenter.
In September, AM 1070 ranked No. 15 in the market among all listeners and 107.5 was No. 16, according to New York-based Nielsen Media Research. WNDE in September ranked No. 17 and WXNT was No. 22, according to Nielsen.
If the September audiences of the two Emmis sports-talk station were combined, it would have ranked No. 12 among all listeners. According to Nielsen, combined ratings for AM 1070 and FM 107.5 for the male 25 to 54 demographic grew from a 3.6 share in September, 2013—11th in the market—to 9.2 share this September—which is No. 1 in the market, according to Nielsen.
To read more of this story visit the Indianapolis Business Journal where it was originally published
Jason Barrett is the owner and operator of Barrett Sports Media. Prior to launching BSM he served as a sports radio programmer, launching brands such as 95.7 The Game in San Francisco and 101 ESPN in St. Louis. He has also produced national shows for ESPN Radio including GameNight and the Dan Patrick Show. You can find him on Twitter @SportsRadioPD or reach him by email at [email protected].
Greg Papa: ‘These Are Rough Times’ After KNBR Cuts
“Murph, I’ve known forever, going back to the A’s days. These are rough times. Things change.”
Late Wednesday, it was unveiled that KNBR had undergone a series of cost-cutting measures that eliminated the jobs of morning co-host Paul McCaffrey and evening host F.P. Santangelo. KNBR midday host Greg Papa reflected on the changes Thursday morning.
To open Papa and Lund, Greg Papa took the opportunity to address the elephant in the room.
“With Murph and Mac, and Pauly, I’ve been on with them every Friday since I started working with the Niners in 2019, and we hardly ever talked football,” Papa said. “It was always about other things and coming to the studio and getting to know them. Murph, I’ve known forever, going back to the A’s days. These are rough times. Things change. Look at what’s going on with the RSNs in the country. Certainly, terrestrial radio is feeling the brunt of it for a number of factors.”
John Lund agreed, calling McCaffrey “one of my favorites”.
Fill-in host Deiter Kurtenbach hosted the morning show Thursday in place of Brian Murphy. Papa joked that the fill-in host needed a better understanding of radio if he’s going to have the job full-time.
“For Deiter, if you’re going to be on in the morning, you gotta get on the clock better. We can’t start at 10:08 AM. You get a false start right away.”
It is unclear what Murphy’s role with KNBR will be going forward. The station has removed him from its website, and he has yet to comment publicly about his future. Kurtenbach said this morning he would host the morning timeslot for the remainder of the week.
NASCAR President ‘Can’t Overstate’ Importance of New TV Deal
“Everyone talks about getting younger and we’re no different…We have, but we have to keep going…”
Yesterday, NASCAR announced a new television deal with 10 races split between new partners Amazon Prime Video and TNT. NASCAR President Steve Phelps says you can’t overstate the importance of new partnerships.
In an interview with Sports Business Journal, Phelps admitted the agreements with TNT — and it’s Max streaming service — and Amazon Prime Video are focused on reaching a younger audience.
“I don’t think you can overstate how important it is,” Phelps said. “Everyone talks about getting younger and we’re no different. Have we had success over the last three years getting younger and more diverse? We have, but we have to keep going and we have to meet those potential fans where they are, whether that’s our Netflix show that’s going to come out early next year or what’s going to happen with here.
“Amazon is going to do some different content-related things going into 2025 and … our expectation is Warner Bros. Discovery is going to plug us into Bleacher Report, House of Highlights, and other channels that will start to promote NASCAR. Because, honestly, we haven’t had a lot of that. Now they’re a partner and see us as a partner and there’s going to be a mandate to promoting NASCAR, and that to me is really important and it speaks to the changing landscape of where media consumption is going specifically.”
Phelps continued by saying it was “one of the most important, if not the most important” contracts of his career, noting that the new deal was about more than just money.
“It was critical – even past dollars. Are they important? Of course, but it’s really about having these distribution outlets that are just incredible. The reach these five companies have is incredible.”
SiriusXM and MLB Sign Extension Through 2028
“We’re very proud to continue Baseball’s rich history of reaching fans through their radios.”
SiriusXM and Major League Baseball have announced an extension of their partnership that goes through the 2028 MLB season.
Every MLB game will remain available to SiriusXM subscribers on their car radios and in the SiriusXM app. The new deal also ensures that MLB Network Radio will continue through the 2028 season.
“We’re very proud to continue Baseball’s rich history of reaching fans through their radios. Today, we’re delivering those fans the sounds of the game through SiriusXM’s state-of-the-art platforms in the car and on the SiriusXM app,” said SiriusXM President and Chief Content Officer Scott Greenstein.
“Being able to hear their team’s announcers is important to fans, and no matter where you are listening from across North America, you’ll get access to every team’s broadcast for every game on SiriusXM. Couple this with the best daily talk and analysis of the game on the MLB Network Radio channel and SiriusXM is a must-have for baseball fans, and will be for years to come.”
The new agreement continues the relationship between SiriusXM and MLB that dates back to the 2005 season.
“The collection of MLB game presentations and content that has developed through our extended relationship with SiriusXM has been a powerful asset in making our game more accessible to fans wherever they are,” said MLB Executive Vice President of Media & Business Development Kenny Gersh.
“The sounds of Baseball are an important part of our story and we’re proud to continue to work with SiriusXM as they advance and grow the MLB streaming experience for fans on their platforms.”