Kevin Klein Show Doesn’t Air As Scheduled; Full Silence All Around

Kevin Klein Live 97.3 The Machine KEGY San Diego Padres Apology

Despite continuing to promote the scheduled launch of his show by attacking his competition on “97.3 The Machine” KEGY San Diego, Kevin Klein did not debut this morning as scheduled. As the fallout from the tweets continued, the station saw the Padres Opening Day party it was set to host at Bub’s @ The Ballpark cancelled by the venue.

San Diego Padres Chairman Ron Fowler told the San Diego Union-Tribune that the team is going to assess its legal options and review its relationship with Entercom following the end of the team’s first homestand.

Niether Klein, co-host Ally Johnson, nor the station have commented on the show’s lack of airing this morning. We sent an inquiry to Entercom that has also gone unanswered.

Original Report 3/27: A series of tweets by new “97.3 The Machine” KEGY San Diego morning host Kevin Klein insinuating suicide with an image of the Coronado Bridge and other local landmarks with the words “Jump*” in large text and then “*to a new morning show” at the bottom has led to MLB’s San Diego Padres condemning the tone and direction of their new flagship station.

The now deleted tweets, promoting the former “Live 105” KITS San Francisco morning host’s debut on KEGY this Thursday, quickly elicited a strong social media backlash for its use of suicidal imagery. The Padres already have come out against KEGY midday host Dan Sileo emphasizing that he will not be involved in any of the team’s content. Now they have issues with both of the local shows on the stations whose format was developed in part around the team’s broadcasts.

“We find the comments made last night by Entercom’s employee offensive, insensitive and completely unacceptable. Mental illness and suicide are not joking matters. Additionally, we’ve expressed our concerns to Entercom around the tone and direction of the station they have chosen to create.

“It’s important for our fans to know that our agreement with Entercom to move to 97.3 was an opportunity to expand our pre and postgame coverage and it was done well before we knew the format, the tone or the talent lineup.

“We believe Entercom owes San Diego an apology. And, even though we do not have ultimate control over Entercom’s programming beyond our game broadcasts, we apologize for the behavior of the station.”

Klein has just tweeted an apology calling the images “reprehensible and inexcusable” and seeking a second chance to make a first impression when the show debuts on Thursday, but not after first attacking an unnamed San Diego personality for leading the backlash against him.

Kevin Klein Live 97.3 The Machine KEGY Coronado Bridge Kevin Klein Live 97.3 The Machine KEGY Coronado Bridge

INSTANT INSIGHT: In this era of social media and everyone looking for something to attack, the Hot Talk format that KEGY is attempting to revitalize is not the best fit. Klein’s image was posted the same day that the biggest local story was about prototypes being designed and funding being sought to prevent suicides on the Coronado Bridge, which currently is home to the second most suicides per year in the country. In terms of generating publicity for the new show it worked, but at the expense of a relationship with a franchise that KEGY requires to keep in good graces to succeed.

This is also as Entercom deals with the fallout of the attacks on New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and having to suspend programming on Sports 93.7 WEEI-FM Boston for sensitivity training last month. Making it even more awkward for Entercom is that Entercom Sports President Mike Dee is the former CEO of the Padres and COO of the Boston Red Sox.

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  1. johndavis says

    Why is it that talk radio seems to be stuck in the mid-1990s?

    1. Nathan Obral says

      Doesn’t matter if it’s conservative talk, “hot talk,” or (in quite a few cases; see Dan Sileo) sports talk. Somehow it all became a time capsule, especially the most confrontational iterations of the format.

      Whoever thought this could work apparently was in a medically induced coma 10-12 years ago and missed Free FM entirely. Outside of WMMS and WHPT, the Hot Talk format is effectively dead (and WMMS is only in that format part-time).

      And people wonder why talk radio is seeing it’s audience demos slowly, but surely, die off.

      1. Eric Jon Magnuson says

        I probably wouldn’t count ‘MMS–although I would count WTKS (and, by extension, WCZR). However, I don’t blame Entercom for trying to do Talk here–as it needed to do something with the Padres, and the All-Sports format is pretty much taken up by the existing stations. (Besides, San Diego has enough good signals–including from over the border–that a niche format like this could have a better chance of success.) That said, I don’t think that Entercom put a lot of thought or planning into the actual lineup; it might’ve worked better to have launched the format with an existing syndicated morning show, even as a temporary measure.

        1. Eric Jon Magnuson says

          I meant to refer primarily to WZZR above; WCZR is the simulcasting station (and I do confuse them sometimes).

  2. Nathan Obral says

    And then there’s the local photographer who took that picture of the Coronado Bridge that Klein apparently used without permission.

    That photographer is very, very unhappy.

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