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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

Jonathan Zaslow No Longer With WQAM

An attempt to reach out to Zaslow for comment went unanswered.

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WQAM midday host Jonathan Zaslow is no longer with WQAM in Miami.

The radio station has removed his show from the website and references to him and his normal 10a-2p ET midday timeslot program have been scrubbed from the station website.

Zaslow tweeted at 5:19p ET confirming the news.

Whether or not this has any effect on his involvement with the Miami Heat broadcasts is unknown as of now.

Zaslow had been with 790 the Ticket since 2004. He was transitioned from Audacy-owned 790 to sister station AM 560 Sports WQAM last October. During his tenure he has worked with a number of established local voices including Joy Taylor, Amber Wilson, Brett Romberg, and Brendan Tobin amongst others.

WQAM has gone thru a number of changes, including a rebranding effort to call the station “560 The Joe”. That ended last year with the station returning to the AM 560 Sports WQAM brand listeners were more familiar with. What they have planned next in Zaslow’s timeslot is unclear but local listeners will likely get some answers next week.

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Sports Radio News

Vanessa Richardson Named Houston Rockets Sideline Reporter, Paul Gallant to Host Solo on ESPN 97.5

Vanessa Richardson will be on the sidelines for the Houston Rockets and Paul Gallant will host solo show on ESPN 97.5.

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Vanessa and Gallant

Changes are taking place in Houston sports media. First, the Houston Rockets will have a new television sideline reporter this season, and she’s a familiar name to Houston sports fans.

Vanessa Richardson, the now former co-host of ESPN 97.5’s Vanessa and Gallant, revealed that she will be on the sidelines for the NBA franchise covering the team for AT&T SportsNet Southwest.

She tweeted the news saying, “Elated to be the new Houston Rockets sideline reporter! I can’t wait to travel the country & share the stories of this dynamic team during 80+ games on AT&T SportsNet Southwest. I’ll continue to fill-in as a host/reporter for Astros broadcasts as well.”

Richardson’s co-host, Paul Gallant, tweeted that with Richardson leaving the show for the Rockets sideline gig, Vanessa and Gallant will become the Paul Gallant Show. The solo show led by Gallant begins Monday September 26th.

“We’re excited to have Paul host his own show”, said Todd Farquharson, General Manager of ESPN 97.5 & 92.5.  “He’s super creative, energetic, and likeable.  He’ll get the audience involved and have fun.”

Paul commented, “You know what I’ve always loved about sports talk radio?  That it’s interactive.  Whether through a phone call, text message, tweet or on Twitch, it’s the best place for sports fans to come together and celebrate…or vent.  And that’s what The Paul Gallant Show is going to be…Houston’s platform to talk about its teams. THE most interactive sports talk show in Houston.”

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Sports Radio News

Ken Carman: Al Michaels ‘Feels Untethered’ On Amazon Prime Video

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

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The Cleveland Browns defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers during Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime Video. 92.3 The Fan morning host Ken Carman applauded Al Michaels for his performance during the presentation.

“Al Michaels feels untethered for the first time. He’s not network television anymore and he can say whatever he wants. We interviewed him on the pregame show and I was nervous,” Carman said.

“He’s a legend,” co-host Anthony Lima added.

During the final play of the game, the Steelers fumbled a lateral into the endzone which the Browns recovered to make the final score 29-17. Michaels said “that may be meaningful to some of you. And you know who I mean”, alluding to people who had placed wagers on the game.

Carman, who hosts two-hours of pre-game coverage on the Browns Radio Network, continued to discuss how nervous he was interviewing Michaels. He also discussed how impressive Amazon’s behind-the-scenes production was, pointing out the only football broadcast with more cameras is the Super Bowl. More than 400 people work behind the scenes for Amazon Prime Video.

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

Carman later said people angry that Michaels misspoke by saying the Pro Football Hall of Fame is “down I-71” instead of I-77 were unreasonable, and joked “Al Michaels hasn’t been on a highway in 20 years”.

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