Tuesday, April 30, 2019

San Diego Radio: The Mighty 1090 Shuts Down

Less than three weeks after The Mighty 1090 went off the terrestrial airwaves on XEPRS 1090 AM, San Diego’s sports-talk leader for the last 16 years has disappeared from the internet as well, reports The Union-Tribune.

“And that’s a wrap. Right in the middle of the show,” tweeted afternoon host Darren Smith at 2:06 p.m. Monday, about two-thirds of the way through his regular weekday show, which along with the rest of the station’s programming had been available only online and via a mobile app since April 11.

Mike Glickenhaus, president of the parent company, Broadcast Company of the Americas, declined comment. Employees were told to report Tuesday for an 11 a.m. staff meeting.

The Mighty 1090 has been a fixture in the market since its creation in 2003. It was the flagship station of the Padres from 2004-16. But despite strong ratings in the Men 25-54 demographic for the first quarter of 2019, it went off the air just before noon on April 10, due to BCA missing lease payments, said Andres Bichara of Interamericana de Radio, the signal operator for the station.

“They have had multiple warnings that they should pay,” said Bichara, whose company is based in Monterrey, Mexico, on April 11.

Transmission comes from an antenna in Rosarito Beach, said Bichara. “Communications have been ongoing with (BCA). If they do not pay I cannot continue giving them the station for free,” he said April 11.

San Diego has two operational sports-talk radio stations: KLSD 1360 AM, the home to the football and basketball Aztecs of San Diego State; and KWFN 97.3 FM, flagship of the Padres. Both are owned by large corporations -- iHeartRadio and Entercom, respectively -- that operate hundreds of stations across the country, including multiple stations in San Diego. That allows them to create advertising packages that include their low-rated sports stations, rather than forcing those stations to generate income on their own at a time when many media companies are struggling to create revenue.

BCA also operated two other stations in San Diego under a deal with another business partner in Baja California, Jaime Bonilla Valdez, but a financial dispute in December resulted in 105.7-FM going off the air and 1700-AM switching from ESPN and local sports play-by-play to Spanish-language content.

Ratings at 1090 dipped after the Chargers left San Diego two years ago, and BCA was known to be seeking a buyer in recent months.

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