WXLW makes overnight format change

By:  David Lindquist

Radio station WXLW-AM (950) made an overnight format change, dumping sports and adopting conservative talk.

The new lineup — featuring syndicated hosts Sean Hannity, Michael Savage and Laura Ingraham — mirrors what’s heard on sister station WFDM-FM (95.9). Franklin-based Pilgrim Communications owns both stations.

Pilgrim is branding the dual programming as “Freedom 95 Radio.” A website announcement includes the note, “While 95.9 FM focuses on the greater Indianapolis metropolitan area, 950 AM can be heard all across Central Indiana.”

Pilgrim spokesman Michael Gilliland said the change at WXLW accommodates listener demand.

“They were seeing a large number of online listeners in Hamilton County and the north side of the market,” Gilliland said.

The signal for WFDM and WXLW hasn’t been strong enough to reach listeners north of Marion County. But a recent “redirection of the current 5,000-watt signal” of WXLW, Gilliland said, allows coverage of two-thirds of Indiana.

On Wednesday, financial adviser Dave Ramsey — whose show is now simulcast on WFDM and WXLW from noon to 3 p.m. weekdays — will lead a business training workshop at the Murat Theatre in Old National Centre.

WXLW, until now a home for ESPN personalities Colin Cowherd and Scott Van Pelt, carried religious content before adopting sports in 2002. The station’s Twitter profile transformed overnight from @xl950 to @Freedom95Sports.

Cincinnati Reds games played at night will continue to be heard on both stations through the end of the current baseball season.

WFDM became a conservative talk station in 2007, when it dropped an oldies pop-music format.

Contact Star reporter David Lindquist at (317) 444-6404 or @317lindquist on Twitter.