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Emmis Indianapolis Adds 3rd Sports Station

Jason Barrett

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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

Sports Radio News

Andrew Fillipponi: Peter Burns Made ‘Innocuous Joke’ To Ben Watson

“So wait a minute? Because you believe in Jesus Christ you care about your wife more than other people? What are you talking about?”

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The on-air spat between SEC Network host Peter Burns and analyst Ben Watson continues to be bandied about in sports media circles, with 93.7 The Fan hosts Andrew Fillipponi and Chris Mueller discussing the topic Tuesday.

“I’m on Team Burns,” Fillipponi said.

“Forget who’s team you’re on,” Chris Mueller said. “I think you’ve do have to keep the wives and children out of this.”

“What are you talking about, keep the wives and out of it?!,” Fillipponi asked.

“Do we believe this is work or shoot here?,” Mueller wondered.

“Oh, I think this is real,” Fillpponi added, which Mueller agreed.

“Do you think a close fist from Ben Watson hit Peter Burns?,” Mueller asked.

“No, I think he picked him up by the lapels,” Fillipponi said.

When the subject of Watson’s religion was brought up, Fillipponi then pointed out the absurdity of the situation.

“So wait a minute? Because you believe in Jesus Christ you care about your wife more than other people? What are you talking about?”

“I think he might have a shorter fuse and not taking in humor that Peter Burns was giving out,” Mueller said.

“It was an innocuous joke!,” Fillipponi stated. “It wasn’t a joke! Why is it in bad taste?”

Mueller then added the idea of Watson’s wife texting Burns insinuates there’s an inappropriate relationship.

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Sports Radio News

Craig Carton: Booger McFarland’s Zach Wilson Analysis ‘An Embarrasment’

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Craig Carton

ESPN NFL analyst Booger McFarland raised eyebrows on Monday Night Countdown this week by saying New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson has never been held accountable for his actions because he was a “young man who grew up with a lot of money”. WFAN afternoon host Craig Carton called out McFarland’s comments Tuesday as outlandish.

“It was an embarrasment,” Carton said. “Someone should ask Booger McFarland if his kids — who grew up with amazing wealth — have accountability in their lives or if having a little bit of money in your pocket immediately discounts the possibility to have accountability. He’s an idiot and we learned that last night.”

“It’s funny that Steve Young was on the other side of it,” Evan Roberts noted. “Because a long time ago, Steve Young criticized Chris Simms because he’s the son of a famous quarterback.”

“You don’t have to invent reasons for why Zach Wilson isn’t playing well,” added Carton. “Just watch his tape. He’s not playing well. Maybe he’s just not good!”

Carton later said NFL reporters “will try to make a name for themselves by putting out a story” about quarterbacks who take responsibility for their teams failures, while Wilson wouldn’t accept the blame.

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Sports Radio News

Greg Hill: Ben Watson, Peter Burns Drama Was A Bit

“Be careful when you’re talking about somebody’s wife and their kids. ‘Cause not everybody jokes the same way.”

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Peter Burns and Ben Watson shared an awkward exchange during the halftime show of an SEC Network football game over the weekend, and many are still debating whether Watson walking off the set was serious or not. Count part of the cast of The Greg Hill Show on WEEI as doubters.

“That was a a bit,” Courtney Cox said. “That was absolutely a bit.”

“Yeah, unlike the Chris Rock/Will Smith thing, I assume that was a bit,” Hill said. “I can’t believe that Ben Watson is really angry about that.”

“I dunno, man. There’s been a lot of speculation that it isn’t,” Jermaine Wiggins added. “There are people who are very sensitive about you clowning on them or joking with them. Especially with joking about their wife. Some people can’t handle jokes like that.”

After a back-and-forth with Cox about the legitimacy of the joke, Wiggins concluded by saying for some folks family is off limits.

“I’ve learned something in my 47 years on this Earth: be careful when you’re talking about somebody’s wife and their kids. ‘Cause not everybody jokes the same way.”

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