Monday, December 24, 2012

WXNT Re-Arranges The Deck Chairs

WXNT, 1420-am in Indianapolis had been a radio station of interest upon my arrival in Indianapolis back in 2002, because they carried the Neal Boortz show. That satisfied my desire for bias confirmation, and from there I began listening to Jim Burrows and Trapper John in the morning on the station, then Indianapolis Indians baseball and Butler Bulldogs basketball, and quickly began feeling like I knew a little more of the lay of the land.

Not long thereafter, Abdul Hakim Shabazz replaced Jim & Trapper, and I was really hooked. Sure it was a bonus that Abdul would have me as a guest as I ran for office. But even if he did not, I would have been tuned in for the politics- from him, his guests and his callers. He was the only guy on the radio who was chasing down the newsmakers.

As I just pointed out earlier today with my Newsweek post, originate some content and you'll have my attention. So, what does WXNT do? First, they chopped Abdul as a budget cut and replace him with the worthless Wall Street Journal Report. At least they had Michael Smerconish, who wasn't the predictable righteous right-wing blowhard that most of AM talk is.

Until now. Word is out that WXNT is going... wait for it...


Local sports maybe? Can a guy hope? Might they originate some content? From Radio Insight:
Entercom Talk 1430 WXNT Indianapolis will shift to Sports on January 2 as the local CBS Sports Radio affiliate.

WXNT will shift from being one of three Talk stations in the market to one of three Sports stations joining Emmis’ “1070 The Fan” WFNI and Clear Channel’s 1260 WNDE. The latter of whom will be losing Jim Rome to WXNT as he joins CBS. WXNT is the local affiliate for Notre Dame football and basketball.

Among the syndicated hosts losing their affiliate in the Indianpolis market are Glenn Beck, Michael Smerconish, Dennis Miller, Alan Colmes, and Phil Hendrie.

I might have understood if there wasn't a sports station in Indy, or if there was only one. But there are already two. No word there on local talent being hired. A look at WXNT's website gives no clue- not a word about the format change.

I can't remember the last time I checked out sports talk. I think it was at night, trying to find a Reds game as I was driving. Alas.

It must be the cheapest way to run a radio station and make a few bucks without particular effort, just to run syndicated content via satellite. It's the only explanation that makes sense, because exciting radio doesn't enter into the picture.


Indy Student said...

My friends at WIBC tell me 1070 gets better ratings than their flagship FM station.

I doubt the same will hold true for WXNT.

Mike Kole said...

That may be because their local host is a national pretender and not someone who really connects with Hoosiers on local issues. Steve Simpson is excellent, otoh.

timb said...

Not to mention, their local host is transparently uninformed and a Manichean to boot. At least 1070 uses local hosts, who make up their lack of knowledge with enthusiasm and a couple of them (Jersey Johnny for example) who actually try to stay informed by asking questions of powerful people.

Richard Lowery said...

Gag! Losing Dennis Miller in Indy to the CBS sports radio cadre is depressing. Why on earth does this market need three sports talk radio stations? Well... 2&1/2. You can only get the WNDE signal if you're living in the NW quadrant of Indianapoland.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand the love for Chris Matthews Jr. aka Michael Smerconish. I never heard him express anything remotely Libertarian in opinion. Perhaps it was his dislike of social conservatives that appealed to you. I once heard him state that the only thing he agreed with Ron Paul on was foreign policy.

Mike Kole said...

I enjoy Smerconish because he does good radio. I'm able to listen to hosts I don't agree with. If I couldn't, I wouldn't listen to the radio at all.

Mike Kole said...

Just as an addendum, I rarely listened to Free Talk Live, because while I agreed with them on vastly more than Smerconish, I can't stand the way they present their show. I can only listen for about 3 minutes before I get frustrated and bail.

Competitive Advantage said...

Maybe they wanted to make changes with their company to improve their service.

Jan Ellen said...

I thought we had an ESPN radio station as well as major college, pro and National racing coverage.
I will miss the politically fair coverage that was on WXNT and have removed it from my favorite channels.

So now Indianapolis has WIBC, PRN. and WLS on a clear night. Sad day when the future of our country is replaced by "bread and circuses ."