|Broadcast area||Indianapolis, Indiana|
|Branding||FM 93.5 and 1070 The Fan
ESPN Radio 107.5
|Frequency||1070 kHz (also on HD Radio)|
|Translator(s)||93.5 W228CX (Indianapolis, relays HD2 of WIBC)
107.5 W298BB (Indianapolis, relays HD3 of WIBC)
|First air date||October 30, 1938 (as WIBC)|
|Power||50,000 watts (day)
10,000 watts (night)
|Callsign meaning||W FaN Indianapolis|
|Former callsigns||WIBC (1938–2008)|
(Emmis Radio License, LLC)
WFNI, known as 1070 The Fan, is a radio station in Indianapolis, Indiana owned by Emmis Communications. The station operates on the AM radio frequency of 1070 kHz. The studios are located at 40 Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis. Transmitter and antenna are located near Interstate 65 and Indiana SR 334 in Boone County, northwest of Indianapolis.
The 1070 AM frequency is the former home of WIBC, which had broadcast on that frequency since 1938. On October 8, 2007, it was announced  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 were announced in December .
In February 2013, Emmis launched FM 107.5 the Fan on newly purchased repeater W298BB. It simulcasts some of 1070's local sports talk and play-by-play while airing more ESPN Radio programming than its AM cousin. That will all change on October 16, 2015, when it signs on another repeater, W228CX (93.5), which will simulcast WFNI's programming, while 107.5 will take the ESPN Radio programming full-time.
Station broadcasting information
WFNI broadcasts using 50 kW of directional power during the daytime (four towers) and 10 kW of directional power at night (six towers). Both the daytime and nighttime directional signals focus more power to the southeast direction from the antenna site. The daytime directional also includes a small lobe to the southwest. The dominant Class A, clear-channel station on 1070 kHz is KNX in Los Angeles, California.
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 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 WXLW, a lower-power station, from 2002–2007; WNDE was an ESPN Radio affiliate from 1992 till 1994 and again from 1996 until switching to Fox Sports Radio in 2002. WIBC was an ESPN Radio affiliate from 1994–1996. (From 1992–1996, the network's only long-form programming was GameNight on weekend evenings.)
ESPN Radio's national sports broadcasts (MLB baseball, college football and NBA basketball) are, as of the 2009 baseball season, all heard on WFNI – finally sorting out an unusual rights division among as many as four stations in the market during the 2000s (the NBA had often been heard on WIBC and Sunday Night Baseball on WNDE, regardless of which station had the main network affiliation).
In addition, WFNI is the flagship for the WNBA's Indiana Fever and has been the flagship for the NBA's Indiana Pacers from 2007–2010 and again since the 2012–13 season; the Pacers aired on WIBC from 2010–12. 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.
As of June 2010, WFNI programs 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 airs at 10 a.m., followed by The Dan Dakich Show from noon – 3 p.m. and The Ride with JMV (aka John Michael) from 3 p.m. – 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 2004–2009. 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. As of 2012-13, the show also airs on WIBC.
WFNI, like 1070/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
The FM feed was officially launched on February 19, 2013 following a short test period. It airs a somewhat 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 will be simulcast, with the AM and FM feeds splitting if conflicts arise.
On October 16, 2015, Emmis will split the simulcast of WFNI and W298BB, with the AM launching a new translator at 93.5 that will simulcast WFNI full-time while the 107.5 translator will air ESPN Radio on a full-time basis.
- "Emmis Launching Second Sports FM" from Radio Insight (October 15, 2015)
- http://www.hdradio.com/station_guides/widget.php?id=41 HD Radio Guide for Indianapolis
- "Format Changes". Your Midwest Media. February 19, 2013.
- WFNI Website
- Query the FCC's AM station database for WFNI
- Radio-Locator Information on WFNI
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for WFNI
- Query the FCC's FM station database for W228CX
- Radio-Locator information on W228CX
- Query the FCC's FM station database for W298BB
- Radio-Locator information on W298BB
- FCC History Cards for WFNI