Padres Officially Switch to Yet Another Radio Broadcast Station

Credit: Padres Radio

Recently, A.J. Preller, the Padres’ general manager, emphasized the importance of stability throughout the organization, from the big leagues and throughout the minors. However, the team’s association with a radio station has been anything but stable. For the third year in a row, the broadcast station for the team will change, this time to 97.3 The Machine.

Thanks to mobile devices and the MLB AT Bat app, fans no longer have to be tethered to a radio to listen to games.

However, according to, almost 27 million fans tuned in to radio broadcasts of MLB games last year. From 2004 through the 2016 season, Padres fans could listen to games on the Mighty 1090, which has a sports talk format and a range from Baja California to Santa Barbara to Lake Elsinore. However, rumor has it that the team’s CEO at the time, Mike Dee, badly misjudged the market and demanded that 1090 ante up a ridiculous price to continue broadcasting Padres’ games. The station declined.

Instead of negotiating further with 1090, Dee opted to switch to 94.9, an FM station with a soft rock format and a much more limited range. The pre- and post game shows would be cut from an hour to 30 minutes, and Rich Herrera would host the programs. In reality, Herrera rarely had more than 15 minutes before games, barely sufficient time to announce the lineups and starting pitchers. However, he knew so little about the Padres or the sport of baseball that the length of time hardly mattered.

When Dee departed under a cloud in October of 2016, he left behind a contractual commitment to Entercom, the parent company of 94.3 and 97.3, through 2021. A few months after his departure, Dee landed on his feet with a position as president of sports for (surprise, surprise) none other than Entercom. On the positive side, the latest broadcast station, 97.3 The Machine, will provide hour-long pre- and post game shows this season, hosted by Chris Ello, a sports talk fixture in San Diego.

Aside from Padres coverage, the station promises a combination of sports, rock, and comedy. Former 1090 host Dan Sileo, well known for his racist and sexist comments, will claim the 10 am. to 2 p.m. slot. By the end of the month, Kevin Klein (formerly of the Bay Area) will host his own show, which he announced by tweeting “We will be taking our talents to A Whale’s Vagina (aka San Diego).” He hasn’t arrived yet but has already alienated female listeners (to say nothing of their fathers, husbands, uncles, or brothers).

Do the Padres as an organization really want to be connected through their broadcast station to the likes of Sileo and Klein? Do the Padres want playoff games broadcast on a station with a mixed format rather than one dedicated to sports talk? Do the Padres want to take advantage of the void left by the Chargers and increase the fan base?

During his tenure with the Padres, Mike Dee made one boneheaded decision after another, including naming the Hall of Fame Plaza after former MLB commissioner Bud Selig (you remember him, the guy that left the Padres in limbo while he took care of the franchise just to the north of us) and wasting a draft pick on Johnny Manziel. The Padres need to admit that the contract with Entercom made no sense and find a way out of it, just as the team has paid for other mistakes (like trading for Matt Kemp). Then the Padres should return to a station with a sports talk format, like 1090, and work with that station to increase fan interest in the only major league team left in town.

Total Views: 391 ,
(Visited 1,954 times, 1 visits today)
Diane Calkins
Baseball has always been part of my life, as my dad played minor league ball and went on to coach at the college level. Although I've written for a number of publications (mostly about companion animal welfare), I love having the chance to write about a lifelong passion: baseball.

This article has 9 Comments

  1. According to Marty Caswell, the Mighty 1090 lost money on broadcasting radio games, so it’s not a huge surprise the Padres went elsewhere. Entercom is a national company with deep pockets, so I understand why the Padres would go with them.

    I believe the Padres signed a 5-year deal with Entercom, so there’s nothing they can really be done. On the bright side, Chris Ello is a class act, and he’s taking over the pre and post game shows.

  2. Why don’t you guys stick to discussing sports than your opinions on other matters. I love most of all EVTs articles on padres but can’t stand when people interject other matters in sports.

  3. Well Alan, I do get angry when someone supports people that are loud, crass and objectify women. Thanks for the spelling correction. I appreciate it.

  4. I think 1090 is off the air, maybe they were just having problems that day But I normally listen to 1360, which is total garbage also these days. No Padres coverage at all anywhere on radio. This new station for Padres games is a complete mystery to me. Tried to listen to a game this weekend for awhile on the online hookup for station and it was music. MLB wants $100+ for a season package. As far as all these Bozo’s you all are talking about, I don’t know any of them, and don’t care to. Just start calling the advertisers on each of there shows and tell the owners of those companies that you will not be buying anything from them or do business with them, while they support these idiots, and they will go away very fast, I have done it before. Mike Dee is a complete moron!!!

  5. I am a huge Padres fan from LA and was very sad last year when they moved to 94.9 because i could no longer listen to games in the car. Do you know if the new station will reach LA?

  6. Haha Steve. You sound angry too! Maybe you remember what it was like in 1950 but I was born in 93. And I think you meant loses, not looses.

  7. Alan, I agree with her. “Angry & bitter much?” You sound like you live in a cave. Wake up, there is a whole other population out here that you might want to consider, they are women. Brace yourself, we live in 2018, not 1950. Regarding Sileo, I listened to him on 1090 and he was very offensive he doesn’t know much about baseball or the home team Padres. It was one of the better moves that 1090 made by getting rid of him just as the Padres got rid of Mike Dee. This Kevin Klein guy sounds horrible as well. A radio station that is a music/comedy/Padre station has no continuity and looses it’s listeners. The Padres need to have a station that has a large range and is a sports only format.

  8. I agree that Padres radio is a mess. I also have disliked bozo Ted Lightener for years. No class like back in the 50’s. And commercials up the yin yang. Horrible content. Torture.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *