Will JMV drive over to The Fan?

August 19, 2008
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A couple things became clear from reader feedback I’ve been getting about a story I wrote regarding dueling sports/talk radio stations for this week’s print edition of the Indianapolis Business Journal. First, fans of WNDE-AM 1260 are much more vocal than those of WFNI-AM 1070.

Second, sports/talk radio listeners seem to be tiring of the happy talk of WFNI’s afternoon co-hosts. IBJ readers commenting on the article about the war between WNDE and WFNI, The Fan, want less chatter and more sports news and analysis. I’m betting WFNI officials are hearing the same thing. It will be interesting to see if there is a format change—or at least a tweak to the afternoon drive show featuring Indianapolis Star columnist Bob Kravitz and former Reebok executive Eddie White.

Third, John Michael Vincent, host of WNDE’s afternoon drive show, has an ardent following. If you don’t believe me, check out the comments under the story at www.ibj.com.

Even Tom Severino, local vice president of Emmis Communications, which owns WFNI, raved about JMV. So naturally, I asked Severino if he would consider trying to hire JMV away from WNDE. I asked the question shortly after Severino said he wanted to add more local on-air talent to the WFNI line-up. There was a pause on the other end of the line. But in the end, Severino wouldn’t bite. He didn’t dismiss the idea out of hand either. No doubt WNDE would counter any WFNI offer for JMV. While many readers assumed Emmis’ WFNI has deeper pockets than WNDE, I suspect that has more to do with WFNI’s highly visible posh headquarters on the downtown circle than anything else. San Antonio-based Clear Channel, which owns WNDE, has plenty of resources, and will be eager to protect this profitable enterprise. So stay tuned.
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  • Eddie White is horrid. If I hear him say one more time, What's up dog?, well I'll.......sorry Eddie, but you can't hold a candle to JMV or Greg Rakestraw any hour, any day, any week!!!!!
  • Kravitz/Eddie: Hands down the absolute worst radio program I've ever listened to. I'd take nothing over the circus they try and get away with. They should be arrested for embezzling their salary from 1070 - or else the program manager should be forced to listen to their mindless drivel.
  • agreed! kravitz and eddie try way too hard to market that show, forcing phrases and names upon their listeners in what feels like a desperate attempt to increase popularity. first, they're not funny. and when the lone sports columnist in the state doesn't even have his own inside sources to break local stories (he sourced ESPN for the tom crean hiring) that's pathetic. JMV built a solid reputation for over several years, not weeks. and the differences are grossly apparent.
  • JMV is a hometown boy so his eventually going to WFIN makes all kind of sense. Emmis (WFIN owner) is a local company with a history of keeping their home-grown talent happy while Clear Channel (WNDE owner) is a mega-corporation whose prime loyalty in Indy is only to the Bob & Tom property.

    Kravitz and Eddie spend more time trying to crack each other up than they do on sports reporting. Eddie is a one-trick pony who's already run out of unique sports insights and doesn't sound like he does much homework on the local central Indiana sports scene - except pro NFL and NBA teams.

    Kravitz plays his Sure I'm a schmuck act too much on air and doesn't let listeners know much more about himself. His comments are usually a re-hash of his previous or upcoming Star column.

    JMV, on the other hand, has carefully grown his younger male audience with excellent local HS and college sports coverage. He's young, hip, a bit irreverent and has the pulse of Indy sports listeners.

    GM Severino would do well to make JMV an offer he can't refuse while at the same time demanding more real sports talk out of Kravitz and Eddie.
  • What kind of show did Emmis expect to get when they hired Kravitz and White? These two guys know nothing about most sports, so they have no choice but to entertain each other. You'll get no high school cover on this show. When is the last time you've seen Kravitz write a column in The Star about HS sports?
  • Gotta agree with nearly all the comments, I can hardly stand to listen to Eddie and Kravitz though I must admit I can hardly stand to read Kravitz either but that is another topic. Eddie and Kravitz are best when they have guests on who actually can talk intelligently about sports and listeners don't have to listen to them try to be funny.
  • Emmis (WFIN owner) is a local company with a history of keeping their home-grown talent happy. . .

    While that was once true, the abrupt departures of big names like Big John Gillis and Jeff Pigeon suggests that local Emmis radio isn't what it once was.
  • JMV is actually a home state boy, from Greene County in the 812....I hope he stays with WNDE.
  • Just piling on at this point, but yeah, Kravitz and Eddie are un-listenable radio. I guess I don't care if JMZ moves over, as long as Emmis wouldn't try to run his show for him. I just can't fathom why anyone would listen to those blowhards with great talent like JMV and Rakestraw on the air.
  • And here, I thought I was the only one who felt this way. Eddie's constant brown nosing, cheer leading, and taking whatever position Kravitz is NOT on just gets old. It's contrived and completely transparent. Kravitz makes sense when Eddie isn't stumbling all over him or propping up whoever is calling in.

    Oh, and by the way, Eddie, quit using THE OLD as a prefix to everything. THE OLD Colts at THE OLD Lucas Oil Stadium playing THE OLD Bears. And would it kill you to let Kravitz finish his thoughts every once in a while? Kind of important since he's the only one on that show with any worth sharing.
  • Oh, one last thought. Isn't JMV's name actually John Michael? Didn't the V come from Mark Patrick as a joke (as in Jan Michael Vincent of TV's Airwolf)?
  • Wow! JMV a highly sought after free agent? I don't mind Kravitz, but Eddie White is TERRIBLE! I know how to get 1070 The Fan better ratings. Fire Eddie live on air!
  • Maybe WFNI could pull Rakestraw out of the his obscure station. I wish I could hear him more.

    I was at a remote he was doing and watched him talk for 30 minutes and he was giving stats, info and knowledge off the top of his head without any reference guides or info in front of him.

    I really like JMV, but it would be fun to watch those two battle it out.
  • I think it's fair to point out that a message board of JMV devotees, The Baggery, contains a plea for the radio sportscasters' fans to post to this blog and to a story on www.ibj.com in support of JMV. While I have no problem with this, I simply think it's fair to point this out.
  • i can't really say any more that what already been said, so i'll just pile on and kick the dead horse. white and kravitz are simply unlistenable.

    jmv needs to stay at 1260. it's nice to see something espn in second place for a change.
  • The Fan had someone that would have been great instead of Krappo and Gabbo show. His name was Jersey Johnny. Too bad the idiot programming manager cut his hour each day. It was the only thing I listened to on that station.
  • JMV is by far the best local sports radio talent around
  • hello
  • eddie white truly is horrible, but kravitz is a sound sports guy. i like him and his columns. jmv is a smart aleck young jerk. rakestraw deserves be on wibc with kravitz. good guys, know their stuff.

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