The Fan’s JMV leads afternoon sports-talk radio battle by wide margin

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With March Madness in full swing and the Final Four headed to Indianapolis, plenty of people—especially 25- to 54-year-old men—will be tuning in to sports talk radio.

Indianapolis has three stations cranking out sports talk, more than most markets Indy’s size.

WFNI-AM 1070 is the market leader, followed by WNDE-AM 1260 and WXNT-AM 1430.

The afternoon drive time is especially competitive.

As IBJ reported in August, WXNT became the third station in the market to launch a locally produced afternoon drive time show. Generally speaking, shows using local talent are more expensive to produce than a nationally syndicated show.

Ironically, WXNT’s show is hosted by Kent Sterling, who helped launch WFNI in sports talk in December 2007.

Since its formation, WFNI—1070 The Fan—has become a tough act to follow. The station’s afternoon talk show is hosted by John Gliva, known on air as JMV.

Gliva handled the afternoon drive slot for WNDE before being hired away by WFNI in 2010. Since JMV replaced former Reebok and now Indiana Pacers executive Eddie White and then Indianapolis Star columnist Bob Kravitz, WFNI’s afternoon drive time ratings have gone even higher, and almost immediately the station reported higher ad sales as a result of Gliva’s hire.

WNDE’s show is manned by Jake Query and Derek Schultz. Mark Patrick took over at WNDE for JMV for a short time but left in July 2011, and was eventually replaced by the Query-Schultz duo.

Query is a veteran broadcaster with considerable experience in motorsports and Schultz worked at locally based WXLW-AM 950 when it was doing sports talk.

Below is a four-month sample of how the afternoon stations stack up from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays in their target market of men 25 to 54. Numbers for The Fan take into account its simulcast on 107.5 FM.

Each share point means 1 percent of the listening audience at the time is tuning in, according to New York-based Nielsen Audio. The number in brackets is the station’s rank among all stations in the market in that demographic during the time slot.

WFNI 13.2 (1)
WNDE 2.0 (18)
WXNT 0.2 (30)

WFNI 12.0 (1)
WNDE 2.2 (18)
WXNT 0.2 (29)

WFNI 9.2 (1)
WNDE 1.6 (20)
WXNT 0.3 (28)

WFNI 10.6 (1)
WNDE 1.8 (20)
WXNT 0.3 (28)

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