Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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June 23, 2013

WIOU switches to ESPN format

Rob Rupe staying on as program director

Longtime Kokomo AM station WIOU-1350 is planning a July 1 move to an ESPN Radio format, bringing “Mike & Mike in the Morning” and outspoken personality Colin Cowherd’s show to the broadcaster.

Station manager Ernie Caldemone said the station will continue the same high school sports coverage listeners are accustomed to, including Kokomo Wildkats basketball, and coverage of the county schools.

The station will also remain an Indianapolis Colts affiliate and will continue to broadcast Indiana and Purdue university sports.

“I feel as long as we continue to be local in our community, we’ll do extremely well,” Caldemone said. “I think we’ve been known as the sports station, because we already carry a half-day schedule. I just felt like with the sports we already have, why not go to all sports, 24/7?”

WIOU Program Director Rob Rupe, a 26-year fixture on the Kokomo radio scene, will remain in place and will continue to be a presence in the community. For Rupe, who started his career in Hartford City and who was a participant in the “Rock Radio Wars” between WNAP, WFBQ and WZPL in Indianapolis during the 70s, the longtime connection to Kokomo has been proudly held.

The change at the station will mean an end to the political talk which has dominated WIOU’s airwaves for the past decade, with a new weekday lineup of The Herd with Colin Cowherd on from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., SVP & Russillio on from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., and Coach & Company from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The popular Mike & Mike show will be on air live weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. with hosts Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic.

According to the Inside Radio website, which performs format counts, sports talk radio has been a growing segment of the market. While only a third as many stations carry an all sports format compared to news/talk stations, over the past year, the sports segment has grown by 7 percent, while the news/talk segment has declined very slightly.

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