Yesterday I posted the news about the departure of Mikey Esparza of The Mikey Show from FM 94/9, and as you can imagine, the story is still unfolding and generating some local internet heat. To be fair, I didn't break the news, I was only commenting on the departure as posted by Chris Carmichael at SDRADIO.net, so credit where credit is due. Today, Chris posted again after listening to the morning show (while THIS blogger was still sleeping). It is interesting to me that Rick Jackson, the general manager of the Lincoln-Financial radio cluster actually took to the airwaves instead of Garett Michaels, the station's Program Director, who is usually the guy that would share this kind of news with the station's listeners. Of course, there's a lot to be said after the news is out, so I just wanted to take a little bit more time with the story. Anyway, here are some things, thoughts, etc., after the jump.
My editor at SoundDiego wrote this piece about the departure after speaking with Adam Martinez, the Promotions Director of the station. As the news spreads, so do the articles like this one from The Reader and this one from All Access, which suggests the team of Lauren O’Brien, Steve Woods, and Jay Isbell will remain intact with perhaps a new personality at the helm.
The gossipy news junkie in me loves this sort of thing. There's so much drama and speculation and you can hear the clamoring for market position and whispers of what is going to happen. The human part of me, however, hates when this kind of shakeup happens. I have a lot of very close friends in radio, especially at FM 94/9, and it was very hard to hear the brutal beating the station got when they added The Mikey Show. I will also say that I don't know Mikey. I tried listening to him a few times and besides being on nearly opposite sides of every issue, his show just felt like junior high bullying disguised as comedy, so I never tuned in again, (let's face it, it's not like I'm up listening to morning radio anyway), but that also doesn't mean I have anything personal against him. As my friend Elliott pointed out on Facebook, Mikey's recent blog posts suggest some personal issues are at hand, and it still isn't clear if Mikey left on his own volition or was let go by the station. On February 29th he posted, "A few days ago was one of the worst days of my life.
All the pain of the last few years, the loved ones and things lost, the breaking down of who I am, it all came flooding out in about an hour long cry. I was in physical pain as well, because of my surgery from last week.
This was a primal, gutteral cry. The kind of cry you remember your whole life.
I think I may officially be in a mid life crisis of epic proportions."
Anyone with any humanity should take a second and really feel for the guy, but most people, especially behind their screens prefer to express their schadenfreude. I don't need to share the comments, I'm pretty sure you can imagine the range from music fans declaring victory and good riddance to Mikey's supporters declaring that they're never gonna listen to the station ever again for the whole rest of their lives because the station is stupid and Mikey is the best thing ever.
Only time will tell what happens, but what I do hope is that FM 94/9 finds ultimate success with this new move. I think that people like to play the 91X versus FM 94/9 game, but go to any other city, and you'll realize how lucky we are to have both (and having KPRI and Sophie in the mix is pretty awesome, too). We get double the radio sponsored events (Wrex The Halls and Hootenanny and X-Fest and Indie Jam), and we can flip the dial when either of them plays a dreaded track from Sublime or RHCP. Good luck to my friends at FM 94/9. The internet shrapnel will stop flying soon.
And Rick, my mornings are pretty open if you need me.