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Radio station adds Dennis Miller in conservative-talk battle

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News-talk junkies were even more peeved than usual in January, when Entercom Communication’s WXNT-AM 1430 switched formats to sports talk.

Gone were Michael Smerconish, Alan Colmes, Glenn Beck and the pugnacious comedian/commentator Dennis Miller.

At least one of those talkers—Dennis Miller—is coming back to local airwaves starting Dec. 3. But this time it will be on Pilgrim Communications’ WXLW-AM 950 in Indianapolis and WFDM-FM 95.9 in Franklin.

WXLW, which last year began simulcasting content airing on WFDM, will put Miller on during the midnight-to-3 a.m. slot, however.

Miller used to air on WXNT in the afternoons, when many listeners were driving home from work. Although Miller often goes on political rants, his show adds balance with non-political content such as movie trivia and humor from guests such as Norm Macdonald and Dana Carvey.

“I know some people would prefer [Miller] in an earlier slot,” concedes Dan O’Brien, marketing operations manager at WXLW/WFDM. The stations are singularly branded as “Freedom 95.”

The challenge, O’Brien said, is that Freedom 95 is already booked with popular shows from hosts such as Sean Hannity, Dave Ramsey, Mark Levin and Michael Savage.

“Who would we remove?” O’Brien said, adding that he was sure everybody had opinions on that. 

Currently, the closest stations carrying Miller are WGCL-AM 1370 in Bloomington and WBAT-AM 1400 in Marion, according to Miller’s website. It lists Miller as airing on Freedom 95 at 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., but that is a misprint, said O’Brien.  

Pilgrim’s use of WXLW to reach Indianapolis listeners–-particularly those in more conservative and wealthier northern suburbs–-has made it a strong talk rival to Emmis Communications’ WIBC-FM 93.1.

To what degree Freedom 95 might ding WIBC is hard to say, however, because WFDM/WXLW doesn’t pay to participate in ratings services.

WIBC airs conservative talkers such as Rush Limbaugh, the firebrand Dana Loesch, and Indianapolis attorney Greg Garrison. WIBC recently bolstered its lineup by adding local political commentator Abdul-Hakim Shabazz and the "Chicks on the Right" show.

One downside for WXLW in the Indianapolis market is that, like most AM radio stations, it must dial down its power a bit at night.  

So O’Brien said the show also will be delivered through Internet streaming, for those who can’t pick up the weaker nighttime signal.

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  • For Real
    They will move Mark Levin at their own peril. If this is the larry I think it is, I'm quite sure he would be more impressed with rachel madcow or some other commie. Consevatives have seen through hannity's allegiance to the establishment RINOs.
  • My lineup
    11am-2pm Dennis Miller 2pm-5pm Savage 5pm-8pm Jerry Doyle
  • Senior Citizens Need Sleep
    Ouch, a midnight time slot on Conservative Talk radio? Not good for Dennis. That's way past a typical Conservative's bedtime(The elderly need lots of sleep).
  • Changes
    Hannity seems ripe for moving to the overnight slot. Savage is moving his live show to 3-6p est in January. He or Miller would work in the afternoon. Miller would be better than the financial guy noon-3p, but he seems to bring in money so that won't go anywhere. Mark Levin could also move to overnight with not many complaints likely.
    • Miller
      Who would you remove for Miller?...any and all of them, they all stink and are a bunch of Johnny one-notes...Miller is the only one who can articulate conservatism without sounding like an idiot...
    • great
      I love Dennis Miller. I found freedom 95 a couple months ago and listen all day. I'll definitely listen even though it's late.
    • Save some money
      Fire them all and hire bunch of crazy uncles. Save a boatload of money, get the same content.
    • Excited.....until
      I was really fired up about the Miller coming back to the Indy market until reading he would be on during midnight to 3:00 a.m. Shift Hannity. I like Sean, but I can watch him on TV and his rants are the same....Miller is entertaining and fresh...
    • better
      The WFDM shows are a lot better than what WIBC offers in most slots, especially mornings, afternoons and late nights.

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