WNDE yanks sports show during morning drive time

And then there were two.

WFNI-AM 1070 and WXNT-AM 1430 are now the only Indy radio stations offering sports-talk during the morning drive.

WNDE-AM 1260 on Monday yanked Fox Sports Daybreak with Andy Furman & Mike North in favor of Rover’s Morning Glory, a syndicated news commentary show out of Cleveland.

WXLW-AM 950 abandoned sports-talk in September 2012.

WNDE will continue to play in the sports-talk game, airing the Dan Patrick Show from 9 a.m. to noon, Jay Mohr’s show from noon to 3 p.m., and the locally based Query & Schultz show from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., according Rob Cressman, director of operations for Clear Channel Indianapolis, which owns WNDE.

Cressman emphasized WNDE is not transitioning out of sports-talk, but rather attempting to bring on a morning show that WNDE’s mostly male, sports-loving audience will appreciate. He also stressed the move has nothing to do with changes at other stations in the market.

“This [Rover’s Morning Glory show] is a rising star in the world of morning talk radio,” Cressman said. “It’s done well in Cleveland and Rochester and we think it will do well here.

“We think this show is a good mix with what we have and the audience [WNDE] attracts,” Cressman added. “Rover does talk some sports, but it’s a little broader than that. It’s a show for guys, kind of a Maxim Magazine type of radio show.”

Hosted by radio personality Rover (Shane French), the show launched in 2003 and quickly became one of the top-rated shows in the Cleveland radio market. It is now syndicated by San Antonio-based Clear Channel and covers a wide array of topics, from politics to pop culture. The show most often airs on rock music stations.

Though he declined to discuss WNDE ratings for Fox Sports Daybreak with Andy Furman & Mike North, Cressman said: “The [Fox Sports Daybreak] show wasn’t doing well at all. The content just wasn’t compelling enough.”

According to New York-based Nielsen Media Research/Arbitron Inc., Fox Sports Daybreak on WNDE was attracting less than one-half of 1 percent of the Indianapolis radio audience.

Rover’s Morning Glory on WNDE will be pitted against the popular ESPN Radio show Mike & Mike in the Morning, which airs on WFNI (1070 The Fan) in addition to WIBC-FM 93.1’s new morning show featuring Tony Katz. WXNT airs CBS Sports Radio programming.

Cressman isn’t too concerned with what the other stations are doing.

“It has to do with better serving our listeners,” he said.

Cressman said WNDE’s other sports shows “are all doing great,” adding that he is especially pleased with the growth of the afternoon drive-time show hosted by Jake Query and Derek Schultz.

“Query and Schultz have gained a lot of momentum in this market and their show is doing very well,” said Cressman, who joined Clear Channel Indianapolis in December. “They’ve gotten out in the market, made a strong connection with the community and built their audience.”

Query and Schultz compete head-to-head with The Ride with JMV, the popular locally originated sports-talk show on WFNI.

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