Major San Diego Sports Radio Changes


See that logo? That’s what the industry calls a radio collaboration, folks.  Clear Channel Media and Entertainment San Diego announced today the launch of XTRA 1360 FOX Sports San Diego. 

If you’re here, you know I’m bit of a self-proclaimed San Diego sports media critic. I’m not a journalist. I’m a blogger. I offer up very biased opinions. I’m not objective. I’m very subjective. Just making sure we’re clear on that. There’s been a lot of turnover in San Diego sports radio over the past few years. From way back to the terrible and short-lived Bleacher Bums…to Hacksaw getting bounced around and l lawsuits with JD Hayworth… to getting replaced by Dan Sileo… to Josh & Charod leaving AM1360 for AM1090, Judson and Costa took their spot on AM1360, then Josh & Charod fired… Dave & Jeff were fired after taking over mornings on AM1090 for Scott & BR after they got fired… then Scott & BR got re-hired… in the mix was always Darren Smith, as he bounced around time-slots. Like I said… a LOT of changes. So what are they today?

Well, there are a lot of them, so I’ll try to categorize.

The World of Sports (TWOS) with Ben Higgins and Chris Ello on XTRASports1360 has been cancelled.

Ben broke the news on twitter this morning that he and Chris are no longer doing TWOS.

This next tweet was a heartbreaker for me.  

Ello looks so, so sad. Made me sad. So, why are they gone? Well, ratings. As most all of you know, Dan Sileo took over for Hacksaw awhile back, which I thought would be a boost for AM1360′s ratings. Guess not.

Must read: The Tangled Web of Scott Kaplan, John Maffei, Dan Sileo, U-T San Diego, and The Mighty 1090

Back to TWOS. I enjoy listening to Ben… a lot. Hell, I even co-hosted TWOS with Ben once. Very disappointed he’ll no longer be on the radio. Ello, well, I disagree with almost everything that Chris says on air. But, their juxtaposing views is what made the show work. However, oftentimes, Chris frustrated me so much that I’d often have to change the channel because I couldn’t handle his nonsense. I’m sure I wasn’t alone in this, and I’m sure that hurt ratings for their show. From all accounts, Ello is a really good dude… a heart of gold, I just didn’t particularly care for most of his views on their show. Wish Chris the best of luck.

So, who is taking over the morning slot for XTRASports1360? Well, the incestuous relationship continues between The Mighty 1090 and AM1360. DAVE & JEFF are back!

“Dave & Jeff” – Dave Palet and Jeff Dotseth

The last time I wrote about Dave and Jeff was when Scott & BR were moved back to AM1090 mornings, and Dave & Jeff, along with Josh & Charod, were fired by BCA Radio. <– over 75 comments here from readers.

Dave Palet and Jeff Dotseth’s return to AM1360 is not a huge surprise as they’ve had the “Dave and Jeff Show” for the past few months on Saturdays from 12-4PM on Fox Sports Radio, which aired on AM1360. If, by chance, you never read about how Scott Kaplan first got fired… well, you can find that all here: San Diego’s Morning Radio Darlings, “Scott & BR” are No More: Scott Kaplan Fired by XX1090, What About Billy Ray Smith? <– over 200 reader comments on that bad-boy.

Chargers Power Hour with Judson Richards & XTRA at Night:

Judson was obviously part of the dynamic duo, alongside of Mike Costa, on The Driiiiiiiive. Sad to see them split up, but excited for Judson. He will now host his own show in the 6pm-8pm timeslot. Love Judson. Love what he brings to the table as a former professional baseball player. He’s a surfer with a great sense of humor and his finger on the pulse of young sports fans. He’s honing his radio craft and I’m looking forward to hearing his new show. Will be fun to see who* he brings into studio with him from time to time… *head tilts to Mike Goff*

Loose Cannons with Steve Hartman and Mike Costa, (Steve Hartman Returns to San Diego airwaves):

If you’re too young to remember Steve Hartman on the San Diego airwaves, you’re not alone. I’ll be honest, he was already in LA when I started paying attention to San Diego sports media. I do know that he’s a bit of a local legend in the radio business and I’m pretty pumped to hear the new show with Costa. I asked Costa his thoughts,

His pedigree and resume speaks for itself.  Looking around San Diego sports talk radio, you don’t get bigger than Steve Hartman.  As somebody who has admired him, going back to when I was an intern under Steve (yeah Steve, that just happened) and the late Chet Forte, this is an awesome opportunity.  His only downfall, his wonderful head of hair.  I am immediately jealous.  There’s no fear of him embarrassing the station, the show, etc.  He knows what works, what does not, etc.  He knows how to win…period! “

If your memory needs jogging of Hartman… give these old “sports” cards a look-see.

690 cards

The new lineup, from the full press release over at <– worth a click

XTRA 1360 FOX Sports San Diego (KLSD-AM) weekday programming lineup:

6:00 – 9:00 a.m.                     Dave & Jeff

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.         Jay Mohr Sports

12:00 – 2:00 p.m.                  The Dan Patrick Show

2:00 – 6:00 p.m.                     Loose Cannons with Steve Hartman and Mike Costa

6:00 – 7:00 p.m.                     Chargers Power Hour with Judson Richards

7:00 – 8:00 p.m.                     XTRA at Night

8:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.         FOX Sports Tonight with Jason Smith

So, there ya have it. The “XTRA at Night” is still Judson, so it’s essentially a two-hour show for him. Not really sure what this Jason Smith show is. Jay Mohr isn’t going anywhere, and Dan Patrick is still on tape delay. That means Darren Smith over at AM1090 will continue to absolutely dominate the mid-day ratings in San Diego. Dominate. He’s the best, so he should dominate.

I asked Mike Costa, as he’s a major part of what’s happening at the station, top sum up his thoughts:

Cannot tell you how great it is to know Judson will still be a big part of things, to have Steve as a partner, Dave and Jeff in the morning slot.  You talk about true team members, that defines all of them.  And that absolutely defines Ben and Chris as well.  I feel you have to like and respect who you are fighting the fight with and I really care about the guys that are part of this new launch. Knowing that you’re going to run into people in the hallways you like as people first and care about how their show does, that’s what we have here with Judson, Steve, Dave, Jeff, Jim Russell and Ernie Martinez. Our great listeners can attest, when you meet our line-up in public, what you hear is who you meet.  A very likeable bunch, on-air and off. This will be a ton of hard work and a ton of fun.  The rear view mirror has been ripped out of this new vehicle.  Onward and upward.  Our program director Brian Long is perfect to captain this for us.  Having been in major markets, on the mic and behind it, he knows what the recipe is.  In my book, he’s a very “don’t cry about the labor, just show me the baby” type of guy.  Cannot wait for Monday.

In conclusion, sad for Ben and Chris… but this is the business they’re in. It’s a tough one. Happy for Dave & Jeff, but to be honest, never really listened to them much, but if I’m driving in the morning… I’ll be tuning into them over Dan Sileo on AM1090. Kind of excited for both Costa and Judson. I think it will be cool for Costa to team up with a seasoned radio vet in Steve Hartman. On the flipside, I’m pumped for Judson to make a name for himself with his own show… not to mention he’ll still be doing the Chargers post-game shows.

What do you guys think? To the comments section!


[Again, see full press release with Steve Hartman quotes from Joe Nelson]

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27 Responses to Major San Diego Sports Radio Changes

  1. Rashad Pouncey says:

    I think I read one of your blogs a while back. I like this piece. I thought Ben was good because he brought a local san diegan feel to his show. I dont know what to expect from san diego sports radio. I will listen to Jay Mohr, judson, and occasionally D smith. Thats all…..

  2. Edward Moretti says:

    I can’t say I’m sad to see Higgins and Ello go. I think they were trying way too hard to imitate that sad sack Darren Smith and his negative spin on everything. Hope the new guys can book some of the bigger names for their shows with all that Fox Money. Good luck guys.

    • Rochacanas says:

      Glad to see that another San Diego sports fan views Smith’s show in a not-so-positive light. The interviews on that particular show are often very good, but I have found that listening long-term to Smith’s show frustrated me, as it became too predictable, boring (golf???), and primarily focused on the Self of the host. (This latter quality being very similar to the style of one of the two afternoon hosts who follow Smith, and I am NOT referring to Billy Ray Smith!)

      I am glad that 1360 is offering more live, local talk to compete with the Mighty 1090. Since I am primarily interested in the Chargers, I am now avoiding 1090 altogether and listening exclusively to 1360. I plan to do this from now on. So best wishes to the Loose Cannons and to all other hosts of 1360 Fox Sports San Diego.

      • Gary D says:

        I also couldn’t agree more about Darren. Great interviews, but too self-absorbed and too negative. The interplay with Marty is good, she should be a straight-up equal co-host. She does for him what Ben did for Chris. I find I only listen to Darren when my buddy tells me he had a good baseball interview with someone.

        • bp says:

          don’t understand all the darren-bashing. to each his own.

          • Rochacanas says:

            It may very well be that Darren’s “schtick” is getting old and predictable, especially with regard to his self-absorption and what I perceive to be a condescending view of his audience. It is not difficult to imagine why the show’s ratings are high: There has been no other LOCAL show during the same time frame as a counterpoint. However, I could be wrong and will let your other followers decide.

            I agree with other fans, however, that Marty makes that show, and so I am not going to criticize her hard work behind the scenes. I simply have moved on and spend my day listening to 1360.

            On a positive note, I find the new “chemistry” between Hartman/Costa to be a refreshing change, just as I find the chemistry between Dave and Jeff to be a welcomed addition to morning talk radio.

          • Cameron says:

            Darren is San Diego’s best and one of the best interviewers in the country, don’t get the hate.

          • Cameron says:

            Darren is San Diego’s best and one of the best interviewers in the country, don’t get the hate.

          • Gary D says:

            Darren seems a nice enough guy, and there is absolutely no denying his knowledge. Most of all, as I said, his interviews, baseball in particular are fantastic – insightful, pointed, and not afraid to ask hard questions.

            My issue is that outside of his interviews, he is highly repetitive.. he over-self-depricates.. “Listen.. I don’t know a lot, I’m just some guy, I’m not a professional, I’m just a fan.. but….(insert negative point about topic here)” to the point where it doesn’t sound sincere, but instead just sounds like his way of trying to sound humble when his opinions come off as anything but humble. I literally cannot count how many times I’ve heard that from him. It’s tiring. Listen, stop taking that approach, you have the mic BECAUSE you have good opinions and you DO know things..

            It really just feels like a schtick as they say. But yeah, his interviews? Top notch. Nobody better in SD.

        • rochacanas says:

          My personal preference for other radio hosts over Darren Smith is not “Darren-bashing” (“bp”) or “hate” (“Cameron”). Let’ get a grip on this! My opinion is my opinion according to my personal taste, just as the opinions of others are their opinions according to their tastes. And all of us retain the freedom to explain our opinions even when others may disagree, and to disagree does not always and automatically connote “hatred” or “bashing.”

          I can accept that Smith may be a great interviewer and, according to the perceptions of some or many, an excellent talk-show host. So for those whose opinions are thus, I hope that Smith’s program remains on the air for years and years to come. It is just that to me personally, it matters not. I have moved on to another station.

          Again, just my personal opinion––even if it differs from yours.

  3. Amy says:

    Brady this seems to be a very thoughtful analysis. I appreciate your voice and your opinion. Some of the conclusions may seem obvious but being as I only listen to sports radio sometimes when I want to listen to padres games, I have a few questions. Am I to assume that 1090 and 1360 are now the same station? Playing the same material?

    Also I appreciate you saying that you are not a journalist and you share your biased opinions on this blog. Are these sport radio shows supposed to be filled with journalists or entertainment professionals offering the very same biased options as bloggers? Is there such a thing as real unbiased sports journalism?

    • bp says:

      amy, very kind of you to say, thank you.

      1090 and 1360 are still very different stations. very different shows. they are competitors. it’s just that the san diego radio industry is small, so some of these have worked at both stations.

      great question about unbiased sports journalism. deep. i don’t know if it exists. i would say, yes… sports radio is supposed to be opinion based, but they walk a fine line when it comes to being unbiased.

      how bad can 1360 talk about the chargers when they are the chargers flagship station? how bad can 1090 speak about the padres when they are the padres flagship station? those are the questions that skeptics will ask when the question of unbiased sports journalism.

      “… don’t bite the hand that feeds you” comes to mind.

      • Amy says:

        To quote Jack Donaghy from the hilarious show 30 rock,
        “You can’t fight synergy, Lemon. It’s bigger than all of us.”

  4. Brian says:

    Sad for Chris and Ben, I liked them way better than Dan Silly or whatever his name is. But what bothers me most is The Drive. It was the best. Should have kept it going and put Hartman by himself. Wont be listening to 1360 anymore.

  5. Ken says:

    Sorry to see Chris & Ben get the boot- but happy that Ben can finally get some sleep- been listening to Chris for years and feel bad for him- However happy Steve is back- cannot listen to the 2 idiots Scott and Billy Arkie- as for the mornings will stream John Feinstein on CBS Sports Eadio.

  6. DJ says:

    Thanks for laying this out, Brady. I’m a huge Dave and Jeff fan (welcome back!), but hate to see Chris and Ben go. I heard about Tony Gwynn’s passing from Chris and Ben and I’ll never forget that. The whole morning was spent with them sharing memories of Tony, taking calls and serving, in a way, as a big group hug for all of us in RadioLand. I thought they were incredible that day and felt so fortunate to hear the news from a couple of San Diego guys. Good job, Chris and Ben. Wishing them the best.

    • Rochacanas says:

      Thank you, DJ. You somehow expressed my thoughts exactly. Best wishes to Chris Ello and Ben Higgins, and welcome back to Dave and Jeff! I am confident that Chris and Ben will resurface somewhere at some point.

  7. tom walsh says:

    Bummer for Chris and Ben, Way cool local guys!!! I like them way better than Dan Sileo or should i say “stupido”. Would one Sports Station please Give me a Good AM SHOW !!! And the replacements for chris and ben…….. How original, The Dave & Jeff show,Come on……. we have been down that road before, enough said !!! How long before they get fired again or moved from the AM slot??? Maybe 1360 will replace them with “Hacksaw” LOL?? They Should have put Hartman in the AM slot . The Drive was perfect, why mess with something if it works. and i know one thing that doesn’t work The darian smith & marty show AKA.. “the emotional moody show” is more like it. All I know is I Wont be listening to AM/ Morning Sports anymore. 2 Stations in San diego sports radio and they both are horrrrrrrrrrrible !!! thxs Jordan

    thxs TMWAIR23

  8. Gary D says:

    Overall, no problems with the line-up changes except for Chris & Ben. Yes, Chris could be a stubborn ass, he would step on Ben’s air-time from time-to-time, but the dynamic between them was great. They brought to SD morning sports talk what had been sorely missing, SPORTS TALK. While the jackhole tandem of Scott and BR* were all about stupid jokes, playing guitar, and generally talking about anything BUT sports, TWOS was pretty much only about sports, when they did have a gimmicky game, it was at least still sports themed. I have nothing against Dave and Jeff, they’re rock-solid, they know their craft and their SD sports. I will definitely still listen to them over the joke that 1090 is putting out there, but I’ll miss my World of Sports according to Chris & Ben. I hope Mr. Ello lands somewhere, but the shame of it is that Ben made him better, balanced him out, their show was an instance of being more than the sum of their parts.

    *I actually like BR but Scott is the most insufferable, arrogant, condescending, self-centered and useless radio personality I’ve ever heard… with the possible exception of Sean Salisbury, who was everything Scott is, but somehow even worse in every category.

  9. Patrick says:

    The old adage “much ado about nothing” applies here. Dave & Jeff…the new morning show…whoop dee doo. How many times have those two retreads been hired and fired. Too bad for Chris and Ben, but ratings are the name of the game. Although I have to admit that I’m not sorry to see Chris Ello and his pessimistic personality go…never was a fan of his to begin with. I won’t even waste my time listening to 1090 anymore. Their credibility has gone into the toilet as far as I’m concerned. Dan Sileo…not impressed at all. I give his show about a year and then he’ll be history. Darren Smith…total bore, no personality and its really pathetic how much airtime he gives that clueless, no-talent bimbo Marty Caswell. She’s an absolute joke! Scott & BR…well its a total embarassment to the station and an insult to San Diego sports fans when that loser Scott Kaplan was allowed back on the air. Lets face it…sports talk radio in San Diego has really lost its luster.

    • rochacanas says:

      I, for one, appreciate Patrick’s strong opinions, irrespective of whether I agree with or disagree with his viewpoints. I would never call any of his comments “hate” or “bashing,” just the expressing of strong opinions, which should be the “raison-d’être” of any fan forum such as this.

      Curiously, it appears as though I am not the only listener who has forsaken 1090.

  10. Brendan says:

    I’m not a big fan of Darren Smith, but I listen to his show from time to time simply because it seems like the only show in town that talks Padres. Are there any shows on 1360 where I can expect Padres talk? Every time I tuned in there, it was nothing but Chargers and national stories.

  11. Rich says:

    The banter between Jeff and Dave can be very entertaining. However, their new show suffers from the same illness that afflicts many of these shows (Chris and Ben, Silio, Smith, etc.): They talk about one thing FOREVER. 7am: Tony Dungy said he wouldn’t draft Michael Sam.” 7:20am: STILL discussing this. If you’re going to stay with one story, say your 2 minutes, then open the lines. At least Hacksaw talked about sports and let more than two listeners comment. I’m not a fisherman, but I enjoyed Sunday’s “Let’s talk hookup” on 1090 more than any of these other talk shows.

  12. sam says:

    D SMITH w/MARTY#1.. his show over any SO CAL Radio. Dan Sileo is still getting his feet under him, Joe Tatino needs and should get involved more. He carries the San Diego connection that can keep him in place with back round of SD that is needed on his show. JIM ROME shuts the other guy down, J-what?? Scott and BR are very well still a presence where Costa and that other guy that played baseball “richards” are dull.. NO LIFE in them.. they laugh about anything, they are goofy. They are just another generation of DAve and Jeff. The only life that 1360 has is Hartman. But it funny to hear how Hartman can talk and Costa seems to be overwhelmed, he she be working the phones, NOT a MIC! 1090 messed up not getting Hartman and bringing back Philly Billy. Now those two new how to jump on each other. Costa is out of his league. Ben Higgins, mike costa, richards, chris ello, dave and jeff are all associated with LIN SANITY because it IS!! these guys are the back ups. the only reason they hold up is because they carry the chargers, they are given access and even that they dont know how to deal with it. It’s funny how most of the GOOD charger players rather call into 1090, even like Phillip rivers did on his own time calling in to Darren Smith to talk. The coach JOHN kintera, my respects, he would do a better job then these guys over at 1360.. dont get me wrong, I like Hartman a lot… Hartman i said. 1360 you were better off using the NBC network on your station, some of that stuff was entertaining. RE TREDS!

  13. Billy Dee says:

    XTRA is still airing NBC sports radio at night from 8-10, even though they have Jason Smith listed on their website. How hard is it to list the correct on air lineup? So much for being Fox SPorts radio station. Is the monkey forgetting to flip the switch at 8 at night?

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