After less than a year on the air, broadcast veterans Don Stuck and Dave “Gunner” Gunn have struck out as a morning team at sports talker WNDE-AM 1260.
Last week, WNDE officials sacked the duo's "Flagrant Foul" morning show and brought back nationally syndicated “Outkick the Coverage,” hosted by Clay Travis, to the drive-time slot.
Stuck and Gunn, both longtime local disc jockeys, still can be heard on WNDE’s classic rock sister station, WFBQ-FM 94.7.
Despite the duo’s vast broadcast experience, they had little sports experience before launching the show aside from some weekend work and Gunn’s sports updates in the afternoon on WNDE.
Although it was the only local sports-talk show in Indianapolis during the morning drive time, "Flagrant Foul" struggled to gain much traction with listeners and compete with WFNI-AM 1070’s ESPN syndicated morning show.
During the last three months of 2017, WNDE had a 0.9 share during the morning drive time (6 a.m. to 10 a.m.) with their target audience, men 25 to 54 years old, according to New York-based Nielsen Media Research.
WFNI scored a 4.7 share during that same time slot with the same audience segment.
WNDE in February 2017 benched its nationally syndicated sports-talk show to launch "Flagrant Foul" weekdays from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.
A WNDE official confirmed the cancellation of the show to IBJ on Thursday, but iHeart Media market manager Brad Polston was not immediately available for comment.
“The show was maybe a little rough around the edges and never gained much of an audience, and iHeart wanted to deploy their human resources in another direction,” a local media buyer who wished not to be identified told IBJ on Thursday. “A station can pretty well forecast what the ratings of a show is going to be after a year’s time, so I’m sure they made that evaluation and moved on.”
In addition to not requiring as much human resource power as a locally-generated show, syndicated shows sometimes come with a small amount of advertising revenue built in.