TERRE HAUTE —
My name isn’t attached to them, but I’m the one who usually puts together the “Sports on the air” television/radio listings that appear daily on this newspaper’s Scoreboard Page.
I must admit, the last few months have been the most confusing time for doing these items in the 33-plus years I’ve worked at the Tribune-Star.
One reason for my confusion is the ownership changes occurring at some of the stations.
But I think I’ve got everything figured out now.
Tribune-Star sports editor Todd Golden explained how 50,000-watt WIBQ-FM 98.5 — owned by Midwest Communications — became the “Voice of Indiana State Athletics” in June when a two-year agreement was signed.
Since then, changes at other stations have forced listeners to be on their toes, so let’s address them here.
Three sports-broadcasting stations formerly owned by Crossroads Investments, LLC, and formerly located at 1301 Ohio St. in Terre Haute, have moved elsewhere because of two pending sales.
Indianapolis-based Emmis Communications Corp., which already owned WTHI-FM 99.9 and WWVR-FM 105.5 and recently transferred them to a new building at 925 Wabash Ave. in Terre Haute, is in the process of purchasing two of the Crossroads stations — the former WSDX-AM 1130 and the former WSDM-FM 92.7. The deal is awaiting approval by the Federal Communications Commission (better known as the FCC).
These stations, now known as WFNF-AM 1130 (”The Fan”) and WFNB-FM 92.7 (“BOB-FM”) respectively, are conducting business out of the Wabash Avenue building.
James Conner, general manager of these stations as well as WTHI-FM (which airs NASCAR Sprint Cup races) and WWVR-FM (which airs Indianapolis Colts games), said he’s not sure if/when WFNB will begin carrying sports broadcasts.
But WFNF-AM, under the direction of program director Ed Zeppelin, has been airing select Major League Baseball games and national college football games since Sept. 1.
(I was going to put Ed’s real last name here, but he’d prefer I not do that.)
Gone from the 1130 spot on the AM dial are the Cincinnati Reds and high school football, but Conner anticipates high school basketball being added to the schedule in a few months.
“The Fan will carry a wide range of ESPN programming,” Conner promised. “I’m very excited. Our goal is to improve upon what has been offered previously.”
Conner also plans to introduce an afternoon sports talk show on WFNF soon, although a few details need to be ironed out first.
Meanwhile, the other sports-broadcasting station formerly owned by Crossroads — WAXI-FM 104.9 — is in the process of being purchased by Dave Crooks, again pending approval by the FCC.
So WAXI shifted its headquarters from the Ohio Street building to Rockville in mid-September, said station sales manager Kandee Cook.
She mentioned that WAXI (billed as a “true oldies” station) is still broadcasting the Chicago Cubs, Indiana University football/basketball and high school football/basketball featuring Parke and Vermillion county teams. The Cubs are in jeopardy of being axed in 2013, however, because the National League club will begin charging a fee to all affiliates for broadcast rights and WAXI hasn’t decided if it wants to pay the fee.
In slightly older news that you might have already noticed, WNDI-FM 95.3 and WNDI-AM 1550 out of Sullivan no longer air Indianapolis Colts and Purdue football games.
Now that you (we) have all of this information, hopefully “Sports on the air” is back to being as accurate as it was before the changes.
David Hughes can be reached after 4 p.m. by phone at 1-800-783-8742, Option 4, or at 812-231-4276; by e-mail at email@example.com; or by fax at 812-231-4321.