Entercom has finally announced that Kevin Klein broke ‘The Machine.’ His one tweet caused his company to have to spend over two weeks apologizing, negotiating, repairing relationships and changing the entire direction of a station. The format ‘Talk that Rocks’ died an ugly death last night, never really getting off the ground. KEGY-FM became All Sports Talk this morning.
Klein’s now infamous bridge tweet is the reason the format is dumping rock music for a mix of local and syndicated sports talk, and the reason cost Klein his job. He was set to go on as the host of the morning show just days before he fired up his laptop, logged on to Twitter, and asked his followers to “jump to a new morning show.” That probably would have been fine if he didn’t include a photo (without permission by the way) of the Coronado bridge, where 400 people have jumped to their death.
The flip also makes the San Diego Padres very happy. Here’s what Entercom’s market manager had to say, as well as the Padres President.
Entercom San Diego Market Manager Bob Bolinger broke his two weeks of silence in a corporate press release last night. “After a recent off-air tweet, we took the opportunity to step back, listen to the important feedback from the community and our partners, the Padres, and reevaluate the path forward. The station was always going to be largely about sports and we determined the right thing to do was to go 100% all-in. We look forward to building 97.3 THE FAN into San Diego’s best sports station, delivering the highest quality content and listening experience for the people of this great community.”
The new line-up begins today. Gone are Klein and “The Men’s Room,” which Entercom was piping in from KISW in Seattle in the 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m slot. Dan Sileo moves from middays to mornings.
The new line-up will be:
Dan Sileo 5 a.m. to 9 a.m.
Jim Rome from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Doug Gottlieb 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. PT,
Chris Ello with Tony Gwynn Jr. from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT.
It’s clear the rocky relationship Klein caused with the Padres played a role and Entercom had to spend the past two weeks mending that fence. San Diego Padres Executive Chairman Ron Fowler released the following statement. “We have had numerous discussions over the last two weeks with Entercom’s local and national management about our expectations for the radio home of the San Diego Padres. They have assured us that the challenges we faced with 97.3 FM at the beginning of this season have been addressed and that steps have been taken to make sure they are not repeated. We believe that their new format better reflects the values of the Padres and the San Diego community as a whole, and we appreciate Entercom’s willingness to listen to our concerns and adjust their content.”
After the tweet by Klein caused an uproar in the community, the Padres did not allow players to go on the station as the club worked with Entercom to get the format changed. That will change now that the Padres are comfortable with the new direction of the station.
This one turned out to be a big lesson for managers. Make sure you have a solid social media policy in place and everyone is crystal clear on the consequences.
Read Radio Ink Publisher Deborah Parenti’s recent editorial on the Kevin Klein controversy HERE