Emmis to take AM 1070 off the air, although The Fan remains on FM stations

  • Comments
  • Print

Emmis Communications Corp. announced Monday that radio station WFNI—known as The Fan—will stop broadcasting at AM 1070 starting Aug. 2 as the signal’s towers in Whitestown are dismantled to make way for development.

Indianapolis-based Emmis says it’s now exploring new uses for the 1070 AM signal. Listeners can still tune into The Fan on FM 107.5 and 93.5 and at www.1075thefan.com.

The announcement comes more than a year after Emmis won approval to rezone 70 acres on Perry Worth Road near I-65 for commercial, office and residential development. Emmis said Monday that it had closed a deal on 10 acres of the land that house the towers.

“As long-time owners of 1070, we are working diligently on finding the next great use for the signal,” Emmis Chairman Jeff Smulyan said in a media statement. “We were offered a wonderful opportunity to monetize the property and felt it was our obligation to explore that. Ultimately, it made the most sense.”

Emmis has been selling the land in pieces. Parcels are being listed by Cushman & Wakefield.

Last month, West Lafayette-based IG Development proposed building a $60 million apartment complex with 408 units on part of the site that does not include the towers. IG Development owner David Hood submitted conceptual plans to bring 10 apartment buildings and a clubhouse full of community amenities to the site aimed at young professionals.

Emmis spokeswoman Kate Snedeker said that transaction has not yet closed.

The company has also sold 5 acres along the northeast corner of the original 70-acre property to allow for the construction of a senior living facility. Community Reinvestment Foundation, an Indianapolis-based not-for-profit, is building a roughly 33,000-square-foot, four-story assisted living facility with 126 units on the south side of New Hope Boulevard.

The project, called Glasswater Creek of Whitestown, is scheduled to open later this year.

The changes take AM 1070 off the air 80 years after radio station WIBC first broadcast at the frequency in 1938. In 2007, Emmis moved the call letters to FM 93.1 FM.

It then launched 1070 The Fan, a sports talk station that quickly became the No. 1 sports/talk station in the market.

In early 2013, Emmis bought FM 107.5 from Frankfort-based Kaspar Broadcasting, ditched its soft-rock format and boosted its weak signal. It then re-broadcast some of its locally generated content from The Fan but also aired a fair bit of ESPN national content.

In 2015, Emmis bought another Kaspar station, FM 93.5, and strengthened its signal. That station has mirrored AM 1070, airing all of its local content.

Please enable JavaScript to view this content.

Story Continues Below

Editor's note: You can comment on IBJ stories by signing in to your IBJ account. If you have not registered, please sign up for a free account now. Please note our updated comment policy that will govern how comments are moderated.

6 thoughts on “Emmis to take AM 1070 off the air, although The Fan remains on FM stations

    1. The change was inevitable but as someone old enough to recall when WIBC still played music, it’s still a little sad to lose a 50,000 watt station.

    1. A substantial amount of acreage is needed for the multiple towers the AM station requires. If you have been paying attention to land prices you know that anywhere within the metro area is pricey.

    2. Let’s face it, AM radio is all but dead. No corporation in these times is going to invest a bunch of money into AM.