Since hiring afternoon host John Michael Gliva, whose on-air handle is JMV, sports-talk station WFNI-AM 1070 has seen a double-digit
increase in advertising sales, according to station officials.
Later this month, the station known as 1070 The Fan plans to unveil two major program sponsors for JMV’s show, which airs from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.
“The response to his show on The Fan by both listeners and advertisers has been overwhelmingly terrific,” said Charlie Morgan, market manager for Indianapolis-based Emmis Communications Corp., which owns WFNI. “Of the things that we can measure in the short time he’s been on the air, the response has been even stronger than I expected.”
Though Morgan wouldn’t say how much revenue the new deals would bring WFNI, he said they won’t likely be the last new advertisers to join the station’s roster of clients. JMV, Morgan said, was active in recruiting both sponsors.
“I knew he had a following, but I may have not realized what a great job [JMV] has done previously in building relationships with listeners and advertisers,” Morgan said.
JMV previously hosted an afternoon drive show on sports-talk station WNDE-AM 1260 before quitting abruptly almost seven months ago. After a non-compete clause in his contract with WNDE expired, he joined WFNI on May 24. He replaced Indianapolis Star sports columnist Bob Kravitz and former Reebok executive Eddie White as WFNI’s afternoon drive-time host.
Well-known radio host Mark Patrick replaced JMV at WNDE, and media buyers expect the pair to have quite a ratings duel. Five years ago, JMV was Patrick’s sidekick on WNDE. Patrick left WNDE to pursue other opportunities, including hosting a national satellite radio job, before returning to WNDE in January.
“Mark Patrick has very deep roots in this community and a unique style, and JMV has proven that he, too, can carry a show,” said Sue Doron, media director for EchoPoint Media, Indianapolis-based ad agency Young & Laramore’s media buying arm. “I think if you’re looking to appeal to a strongly male demographic, you have to consider both of them very seriously.”
The summer ratings period ends later this month and, within a few weeks, WFNI will get its first look at how many listeners are tuning into JMV. The quarterly book will only have data for JMV’s first month. Still, Doron said there will be no shortage of advertisers interested to see what the numbers say.
WFNI and WNDE have been in a near dead heat for the last year, with WFNI having a slight edge in listener numbers during afternoon drive time. Each station attracts between 3,500 and 5,500 listeners during the average quarter hour.
WFNI has a much stronger broadcast signal than WNDE, and Morgan thinks JMV has the potential to push the station’s ratings much higher.
“I think we’ve just begun to scratch the surface on what sports-talk can be in this market,” Morgan said. “In the adult-men demographic, we think WFNI should consistently be a top-five station in this market.”