WFNI

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WFNI
1070TheFanLogo.jpg
City Indianapolis, Indiana
Broadcast area Indianapolis metropolitan area
Branding 107.5 and 1070 The Fan
Slogan Indy's Sportscenter
Frequency 1070 kHz (also on HD Radio)
Translator(s) 107.5 W298BB (Indianapolis) (relays HD2 of WIBC)
93.5 W228CX (East Indianapolis)
Repeater(s) 93.1-2 WIBC-HD2
First air date October 30, 1938 (as WIBC)
Format Sports
Power 50,000 watts (day)
10,000 watts (night)
Class B
Facility ID 19521
Callsign meaning W FaN Indianapolis
Former callsigns WIBC (1938–2008)
Affiliations ESPN Radio
Owner Emmis Communications
(Emmis Radio License, LLC)
Sister stations WIBC, WLHK, WYXB
Webcast Listen Live
Website 1070thefan.com
1070 at Emmis Communications

WFNI (1070 kHz "107.5 and 1070 The Fan") is a commercial AM radio station in Indianapolis, Indiana.[1] It is owned by Emmis Communications and carries an all-sports radio format. The studios and offices are located at 40 Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis.[2] The transmitter and antenna are located off Perry Worth Drive near Interstate 65 in Whitestown, Indiana, northwest of Indianapolis.[3] WFNI is simulcast on an FM translator W299BB at 107.5 MHz.[4]

AM 1070 is the former home of WIBC, which had broadcast on that frequency since 1938. In 2007, WIBC's talk programming moved to co-owned 93.1 FM, and an all-sports format began on 1070, carrying local hosts weekdays with ESPN Radio Network programming heard nights, weekends and in the early morning.

Station broadcasting information[edit]

WFNI broadcasts using 50,000 watts of directional power during the daytime, using four towers, and 10,000 watts of directional power at night, using six towers. Both the daytime and nighttime directional signals focus more power to the southeast direction from the antenna site. The daytime directional signal also includes a small lobe to the southwest. AM 1070 is a clear-channel frequency, reserved for Class A KNX in Los Angeles, requiring WFNI to reduce nighttime power and use a directional antenna to avoid interference.

WFNI broadcasts in HD.[5]

Programming[edit]

WFNI was born as a result of a three-frequency, two-company station swap. These moves were provoked in part because Emmis had acquired the rights to the Indianapolis Colts football team for the 2007 season, which left the station with the rights to all major sports teams in Indianapolis. To avoid tedious shuffling of games among its stations and frequent preemption of regular programming, Emmis decided to clear a frequency for a new all-sports station in Indianapolis. The move began on October 8, 2007, when the format and branding of Top 40 WNOW ("Radio Now") was sold to Radio One and moved to 100.9 MHz, the former frequency of now defunct smooth jazz WYJZ. This was done so that Emmis could clear the 93.1 frequency for news/talk WIBC, which had been on 1070 kHz on the AM dial. That move was made on December 26, 2007, with 93.1 stunting an all-Christmas music format as WEXM, between October 8 and December 25. With the 1070 frequency open, Emmis launched its sports radio format on December 26 with a series of classic Indianapolis sporting events, ahead of its official launch date, January 7, 2008.

Prior to WFNI's launch, ESPN Radio talk programming had been heard on 950 WXLW, a lower-power station, from 2002 to 2007. Before that, 1260 WNDE was an ESPN Radio network affiliate from 1992 till 1994 and again from 1996 until switching to Fox Sports Radio in 2002. WIBC carried some ESPN Radio programming from 1994 to 1996, mostly GameNight on weekend evenings and some major live sporting events.

ESPN Radio's national sports broadcasts (MLB baseball, college football and NBA basketball) are all heard on WFNI – finally sorting out an unusual rights division among as many as four stations in the market during the early 2000s. (The NBA had often been heard on WIBC and Sunday Night Baseball on WNDE, regardless of which station had the main network affiliation.)

Local sports[edit]

WFNI is the flagship station of the NBA's Indiana Pacers basketball team. It is also the AM flagship for the NFL's Indianapolis Colts, simulcasting the games with sister station WLHK. As such, daily updates from Colts play-by-play voice Bob Lamey are heard in-season.

In addition, WFNI is the flagship for the WNBA's Indiana Fever. WFNI also airs Indiana University football (WIBC airs that school's basketball games) and the Indiana High School state championship games in football and girls' and boys' basketball.

WFNI is also the flagship of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network, carrying the IRL IndyCar Series (and its crown jewel event, the Indianapolis 500, which is simulcast with WIBC), as well as the NASCAR Brickyard 400 and the Indianapolis motorcycle Grand Prix.

In June 2010, it was announced that Butler Bulldogs men's basketball would move from WXNT to WFNI beginning in the 2010–11 season.

Local sports talk[edit]

In June 2010, WFNI programmed three daily local sports talk shows. The Grady and Big Joe Show with Michael Grady and former Indianapolis Colts lineman and longtime WIBC personality Joe Staysniak aired at 10 a.m., followed by The Dan Dakich Show from noon to 3 p.m. and The Ride with JMV (aka John Michael Vincent) from 3 to 7 p.m.

Kravitz and Eddie was the station's inaugural afternoon-drive (3–6 p.m.) talk show, co-hosted by Eddie White and Indianapolis Star sports columnist Bob Kravitz, with producer Grady. Kravitz left the station on March 15, 2010, leaving White as a solo host. An Emmis press release on May 15 announced White would transition to a part-time station contributor; he filled in frequently for Dakich before leaving in late 2010 to work for the Indiana Pacers; as of the 2011–12 season he hosts the Pacers' postgame call-in show. On May 24, The Ride with JMV took over the afternoon-drive slot. JMV had previously hosted the same slot on rival WNDE from 2004 to 2009. Grady remained as producer until becoming morning co-host in early 2011.

On October 6, 2008, former Indiana and Bowling Green basketball coach Dan Dakich was added in the 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. timeslot. On April 5, 2010, Dakich moved to noon to 3 p.m., making room for Staysniak.

Indiana Sports Talk, hosted by Bob Lovell, airs Friday and Saturday nights from August through May and focuses primarily on high school sports scores and results. The program predates WFNI, having been syndicated statewide since 1994 by the Emmis-owned Network Indiana. In 2012, the show began airing on WIBC.

WFNI, like WIBC before it, is the home of Indianapolis Motor Speedway historian Donald Davidson's nightly call-in show, The Talk of Gasoline Alley, throughout the month of May leading up to the Indianapolis 500. The show began in 1970.

Weekly local programs include Trackside, a two-hour auto racing discussion hosted by The Indianapolis Star's racing reporter Curt Cavin and former WIBC "Sports Talk" host Kevin Lee; and One on One, a longform interview show hosted by former Star writer Mark Monteith. "Jersey" Johnny Cimasko hosts a pre- or post-game show on Colts gameday Sundays, in addition to a weekend show in the offseason. Two Saturday morning shows focus on the Pacers (in-season) and the Indy Eleven (year-round).

FM 107.5 The Fan[edit]

The FM feed was officially launched on February 19, 2013 following a short test period.[6] At first, it sometimes broke away from 1070 with a different broadcast schedule, carrying ESPN Radio's The Herd and SVP & Rusillo in middays before simulcasting WFNI's The Ride with JMV. All other local shows and local play-by-play were simulcast, with the AM and FM feeds splitting whenever conflicts arose.

On October 16, 2015, Emmis split the simulcast of 1070 and 107.5, A new translator, W228CX at 93.5 began simulcasting WFNI full-time as the 107.5 translator began carrying ESPN Radio on a full-time basis.[7]

On March 30, 2017, the simulcast switched back to 107.5, due to problems with the 93.5 translator interfering with other nearby stations. The full-time ESPN national feed was discontinued. WFNI began calling itself "107.5 and 1070 The Fan."[8]

WIBC history[edit]

WIBC went on the air on October 30, 1938.[9] It began as a 1,000-watt daytime-only station.[10] In its early days, WIBC was the Indianapolis network affiliate of the Mutual Broadcasting System. It carried dramas, comedies, sports, news, game shows and soap operas during the Golden Age of Radio. As TV took over most network programming, WIBC switched to local news, talk and music. WIBC was considered among the great full service middle of the road (MOR) radio stations placing an emphasis on its colorful air personalities. Over the 1980s, more talk programming was added and music was reduced as listeners increasingly turned to FM for music. WIBC became a talk radio station in 1993, eliminating all music shows.[10]

On October 8, 2007, it was announced [1] that effective December 26, the WIBC call letters and news/talk programming would move to 93.1 FM, and that WIBC's sports programming would remain on 1070 AM, joined by programming from ESPN Radio, effective January 7, 2008. The new call letters WFNI were announced in December.


References[edit]

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Coordinates: 39°57′21″N 86°21′30″W / 39.95583°N 86.35833°W / 39.95583; -86.35833