Farewell, 97.3 The Machine. We never knew ye.
The Entercom-owned, San Diego-based radio station was formed in March with the intent to complement Padres broadcasts with a lineup of talk shows and sports yakkers, but that plan went up in flames when the morning show Kevin Klein Live sent out a promotional image that featured the word “Jump” over a photo of the Coronado Bridge, which has one of the highest numbers of suicides in the nation. The Padres apologized; chairman Ron Fowler said the team would reevaluate its relationship with the station; and radio host Kevin Klein didn’t even make it to his March 29 debut show. (Since he was pulled from the air, Klein has tweeted once, on April 1. His show’s Twitter account changed its header to an image of the First Amendment.)
A trip back to the drawing board has resulted in a desperate rebranding. The Machine is dead, and in its place will be 97.3 The Fan. Here comes a revamped logo, an all-sports format, and new chuckleheads. (Well, radio moron Dan Sileo is still involved, and he’s actually been promoted to an earlier timeslot.)
The Entercom press release lays out the programming changes, which include six hours of syndicated shows and Tony Gwynn’s son:
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.
Everybody (who works there) is excited!
As Kirk Kenney of the San Diego Union-Tribune points out, this will be San Diego’s third all-sports station, along with The Mighty 1090 AM and XTRA 1360 AM. The Fan has an advantage, being the flagship station of the city’s only major pro team, but it’s also banking on getting four crucial hours out of a guy who’s been fired twice for saying stupid shit on air. Today was the station’s debut, and hopefully it went a little smoother than the last one. If you listened in—or, again, know anything about former Padres president Mike Dee’s journey to becoming president of Entercom Sports—drop a line.