One tweet from yet-to-debut morning host Kevin Klein was enough to sink the entire strategy and brand of Entercom Hot Talk “97.3 The Machine” KEGY San Diego.
Update 4/11: Entercom has announced that KEGY will become Sports “97.3 The Fan” on Thursday, April 12 at 5:00am.
The move comes two weeks to the day that morning host Kevin Klein was set to debut and ends the Hot Talk/Rock format after just six weeks. Midday host Dan Sileo is the only holdover but he will move to mornings from 5-9am. CBS Sports Radio’s Jim Rome will follow from 9am-12pm and Fox Sports Radio’s Doug Gottlieb from 12-3pm. Current San Diego Padres pre and post-game host Chris Ello and Tony Gwynn Jr. will host afternoons from 3-7pm. In addition to serving as flagship station for the Padres, KEGY will also carry Westwood One’s NFL and NCAA coverage.
In response to the format change, San Diego Padres Executive Chairman Ron Fowler released the following statement, “We have had numerous discussions over the last two weeks with Entercom’s local and national management about our expectations for the radio home of the San Diego Padres. They have assured us that the challenges we faced with 97.3 FM at the beginning of this season have been addressed and that steps have been taken to make sure they are not repeated. We believe that their new format better reflects the values of the Padres and the San Diego community as a whole, and we appreciate Entercom’s willingness to listen to our concerns and adjust their content.”
Entercom Communications, the nation’s unrivaled leader in sports radio, today announced plans to relaunch 97.3 as 97.3 THE FAN, San Diego’s only 24/7, all-sports FM station. 97.3 THE FAN will serve as the flagship home for the San Diego Padres and will broadcast all regular season games, expanded pre and post-game shows and complementary programming throughout the week. The new format will launch on April 12 at 5 a.m. PT.
“After a recent off-air tweet, we took the opportunity to step back, listen to the important feedback from the community and our partners, the Padres, and reevaluate the path forward,” said Bob Bolinger, SVP and Market Manager, Entercom San Diego. “The station was always going to be largely about sports and we determined the right thing to do was to go 100% all-in. We look forward to building 97.3 THE FAN into San Diego’s best sports station, delivering the highest quality content and listening experience for the people of this great community.”
The new line-up will be headlined by engaging and compelling personalities, including Dan Sileo on the air from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. PT, Jim Rome from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. PT and Doug Gottlieb from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. PT, and market veteran Chris Ello with Tony Gwynn Jr. from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT. 97.3 THE FAN will also be the new home to the NFL and the NCAA in San Diego, beginning with the 2018-19 season. This will include the NFL playoffs and Super Bowl and NCAA March Madness.
Listeners in the San Diego area can tune in to 97.3 FM, stream at 973TheFanSD.com and connect with the station online via social media at @973TheFanSD on Twitter and @973TheFan on Facebook and Instagram.
Update 4/9 2:15pm: The first sign of change to KEGY has come as Kevin Klein and the afternoon Men’s Room have been purged from the station website. Still no comment from Entercom or any of the talent at the station about the impending revamp.
Original Report 4/7: Klein, who days before he was set to make his March 29 debut on KEGY tweeted a picture of the Coronado Bridge with the words “JUMP” in large text and “to your new favorite morning show” in smaller text underneath, has yet to debut on the station. The controversy grew enough that MLB’s San Diego Padres, who the new format was to be built around expressed that they would explore their opportunities to potentially get out of their contract with Entercom. And the photographer who took the picture that was used without permission is exploring his legal options against Klein and possibly Entercom. Klein, co-host Ally Johnson, and local and national Entercom management have all gone completely silent on the matter over the past ten days.
The Padres and the sponsors who cut ties with the station may be getting their wish for the station to move in another direction as quickly as possible as Entercom registered three domains on Friday indication an imminent shift to a new format. We can exclusively report that the company registered 973TheFanSD.com, 973TheFanSanDiego.com, and TheFanSanDiego.com as they prepare to transition KEGY to Sports Talk built around the Padres broadcast rights and current midday host Dan Sileo.
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