Monday, January 23, 2012

San Diego Radio Shake-up

On Friday I was crammed in the back of my friend's truck on my way to NAMM when I got a press release from 91X with the subject "91X Begins Hunt For New Program Director". Here's the press release.

San Diego’s Heritage Alternative Rock Station
91X Begins Hunt For New Program Director

91X announced this week the departure of Program Director and afternoon drive host Garrett Capone, who has accepted a position as VP of Promotion at Crush Management. Capone ends his almost 5 year run at 91X, leaving the station in the top position in ratings in multiple demographic categories among rock stations in San Diego. Capone’s final day will be February 29th.

91X has already begun the search for his replacement.

“Over the years Capone has made tremendous contributions to the success of 91X on numerous fronts,” says Gregg Wolfson, Vice President and General Manager of Local Media San Diego. “91X and LMSD are grateful to have had him at the helm of 91X during very competitive times.”

91X is owned and operated by Local Media San Diego, a privately held San Diego-based company. LMSD also operates Z90.3 (XHTZ-FM) and Magic 92.5 (XHRM-FM).
This will be an interesting twist at 91X. Now that Halloran is back on the air, will he step back into the position? Will someone jump ship from another local station to fill the slot? Will someone come in from another market to takeover the position? Should I email Wolfy and throw myself into the running? More importantly, will there be sweeping changes at the station or will the new PD just be a figurehead to keep things more or less status quo? As stations have moved further from specialty programming to focus-group decided playlists, will anyone even notice?

As for Capone, I wish him well in his future endeavors with Crush Management. Here's a blip about Crush, according to the company tagline on a recent press-release about a partnership with Crush and Grooveshark:
Jonathan Daniel and Bob McLynn are two former musicians who have been through the major-label wringer and lived not only to tell, but to apply what they've learned to creating one of the most successful and innovative music management companies in the business. They brought the public Grammy-nominated, multiplatinum global superstars Fall Out Boy, reignited Train's success with a Grammy-winning, multiplatinum best selling song of 2010, and have had worldwide hits with Travie McCoy as a solo artist as well as with his band, Gym Class Heroes, not to mention multiple hits from Cobra Starship and more.
In other local radio news, over the weekend John Reis took to Facebook to announce his final show on FM 94/9. After seven years of hosting the Saturday night specialty show, Swami SoundSystem, the reasons for the end are as yet unannounced. Of the 207 comments left on the thread, speculation and snark took over, from people joking that Mikey must've demanded a raise to Reis leaving to focus on a Rocket From The Crypt world tour. It is possible that it is just another of the specialty cuts that took away features like "The Local Member of The Day" and "Desert Island Discs". Let's hope these were just compromises to make the extra hour of commercial free radio from 9-10am possible and that the rest of the station's specialty shows (FTP, The Local Pyle, Big Sonic Chill) stay intact.  Additionally, the stirrings that Reis is focusing on Swami Records and a Hot Snakes tour make me believe that this was a mutual parting.

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