Chris Cantore to replace Chargers insider Kevin Acee on Mighty 1090

Part of backlash against departing football team?

Kevin Acee. “Everything he wrote came directly from owner Dean Spanos.”
  • Kevin Acee. “Everything he wrote came directly from owner Dean Spanos.”
  • From mighty1090.com

Insiders confirm longtime local rock jock Chris Cantore is replacing Kevin Acee as host of the weekday 6 to 9 p.m. time slot on Mighty 1090 beginning April 3.

Kevin Acee, the U-T sports columnist who was repeatedly scooped by L.A. Times sports scribes like Sam Farmer and ESPN’s Adam Schefter as the Charger’s move to L.A. was unfolding, is being told by Mighty 1090 his evening sports show is over. Acee replaced much-loved sports host “Coach” John Kentera in October, 2015.

Kentera went on to become general manager of the San Diego Sockers, and has since retired.

On his podcasts and on his DJ shows on 91X, KPRI and FM-94/9, surfer Cantore made references that he was not a fan of big league team sports. It is unclear how Mighty 1090 will approach the fact that a nonfan of traditional sports will host 15 hours a week on Mighty 1090 when all the other hosts keenly focus on baseball, football, and basketball.

The move may be traced to Mighty 1090’s decreasing relevance in the market. The station was not able to renew its Padres play-by-play contract, losing out to FM-94/9. And its ratings have tanked in the last year. Three years ago the station’s ratings showed its audience was often two-and-a-half times the size of its local competitor KLSD/”XTRA Sports 1360.” The latest ratings now show KLSD in 24th place, just behind Mighty 1090 which is in 23rd place. This, even as Mighty 1090 booms from Baja with 50,000 AM watts and KLSD’s poor AM signal barely serves many parts of the county.

The news that Cantore was replacing Acee broke three days after a curious article in Sunday’s U-T, “Will Radio Be Transformed By Podcasting?” In it, Cantore said he was concentrating on his Yew Media podcasts that he records at studios at Barrio Logan’s Iron Fist Brewing. He said he was done with traditional, terrestrial radio. “I look at radio as the antichrist. That’s where you go to die.”

Local attorney Dave Meyer, who has represented sports interests including Upper Deck, Super Shot Sports, and Cobra Golf, and has spent nine years representing the Oakland Alameda Coliseum, thinks Mighty 1090 may have made a big mistake by replacing Kentera with Acee in the first place.

“I think 1090 has been without a charismatic personality in their 6-9 time slot since John resigned in late 2015,” he tells the Reader. “I could never figure out what they were up to when they brought in Kevin to replace John.

“I think Kevin was always thought of as a Chargers insider and that everything he wrote came directly from owner Dean Spanos or former GM A.J. Smith, and later from Mark Fabiani,” says Meyer. “Fabiani was brought in just to protect the L.A. market exclusively for the Chargers. When that failed and the Rams beat the Chargers to L.A., maybe the writing was on the wall that the Chargers were leaving too. Perhaps 1090 and Kevin overestimated the appetite for more sports talk focused on a football team that showed little interest in its loyal fan base in San Diego.”

When it was announced that FM-94/9 was adding live Padres broadcasts, it was thought the station may give up on alternative rock and go all-in for sports and a male-based talk format. Its corporate owner Entercom has flipped a number of its FM stations around the country out of music and into sports. But the station says there are no such plans going forward.

Attempts to get a comment from Mighty 1090 vice president of programming Mike Shepard were not successful.

Cantore says he would not comment specifically on joining the Mighty 1090 on April 3, but that if he were to ever do such a thing, he would consider focusing on action sports figures like Rob Machado, Tony Hawk and Danny Way. He also said “If I ever to return to traditional radio,” it would not be done under the auspices of his Yew Media LLC, which oversees his podcasts.

Regarding the U-T story where he called traditional radio the “antichrist,” he said that was just one quote out of an hour-long conversation, and that he was simply trying to point out the juxtaposition between his former radio partner Steven Woods who “wants to put the farm on radio,” and himself who wants to incorporate radio with “other stuff I do like Yew online.”

“Why would I ever say no to a job opportunity,” he says about a prospect to get back on traditional radio.

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Comments

Letting Coach Kentera was a major blunder but firing Hacksaw also did damage to the brand as well. 1090 is a legacy station built on the work of Lynch at XETRA. 690 during the 90's. The Mighty 1090 has made a ton of missteps. First they fired Saw and replaced him with a dopey name-dropper morning host. No question Sileo has a good rolodex of guests that he can remind of his 6 month stint in the NFL during a strike year & he's somewhat more effective in the morning, than Saw who was out of place-but still of value in other areas. But spend a few minutes listening to Sileo and you get the feeling that the lights are on but nobody is home. Kentera was really the last connection to XETRA and the heyday of the Padres and the Ross era Chargers going forward. The afternoon show has a lot of issues, a driver personality, and a slow paced jock (who increasingly has nothing to say).

But Kevin Acee is a souless opportunist who wants to build his brand, how that was supposed to build 1090's night numbers is beyond me. I cant imagine in fact the 90's era staff sleeping through the Chargers move, like this station did. It just proved irrelevant. As noted 1360 (vastly under powered) has done a pretty good job against this powerhouse. Moving to Cantore --A good talent specific to his shrinking audience (Alternative is dead in the water in this market) But a bad fit, think Dennis Miller on MNF. But he will make the most of it.

What's troubling is the fact that the decisions at 1090 are made by a faceless research geek, who was hired to make the Walrus #1, they obviously decided instead of hiring a first class Program Director they opted for someone with no background, no track record of success in Sports or Talk Radio, Mike Shephard. If anyone has ever worked with this guy, his lack of people skills are epic--coaching liner-reading disc jockeys, and high profile- talk show hosts are two different skill sets. . Now, without the Chargers,& more importantly without the Padres Flagship package and all the ancillary revenue and marketing opportunities--they will be dead on the water without big changes. What amazes me is they didn't offer Coach his job back.

Not to pile on (OK, I guess I am piling on), I am told by someone who knows, that the night it was announced-- Jan. 11 -- that the Chargers were leaving Acee was not even in town and that Jay Posner had to write the story for the UT. I am told the UT staff was hugely pissed and demoralized because UT management apparently did nothing about it.

Time to bring back Wolfman Jack and the 50,000 watt flamethrower XERB 1090.

The Mighty 690 is not so mighty after all.

I can't imagine what Cantore will bring to 1090, but I'll give the guy a listen (on the off chance I'm listening to radio in the 6-9 slot and KPBS isn't capturing my attention). I used to spend a good amount of time with 1090, remarkably despite my lack of a typical pro-sports obsession...these days the only local show I can stomach on either sports station is Darren Smith and his crew. I wish them all well as the rest of the station circles the drain - maybe if 94/9 does kill music they'll bring on Smith/Caswell/Carruth and pick up the Rome broadcast rights - or I can stick with real news.

Darren Smith has long been the very best local sports talk guy, and though he really doesn't take calls -- which I think is a mistake, heck even just one segment -- he's not a homer, not a dopey name-dropper, and he's well-respected in town to boot. For us native San Diegans, Coach was legendary in this town and always cared about the local fans, even when he was a bit hokey. Hacksaw is also a legend but I agree w/ most of what was said here about him. The Cantore hire was a real head scratcher to me, and man, did he back-pedal those anti-Christ comments or what! Not sure this experiment will end well for him. Time will tell if this was a good move, but Acee wasn't as awful as everyone says, but he wasn't a natural on radio, either. His act seemed a bit forced to me and seemed as if he was in denial about the Bolts leaving town. Wish Sileo would've left town w/ the team. Ugh!

Listening to sports talk over the past few years has been akin to a death watch of a radio segment on life support. I would not be surprised if both stations discontinue sports all together and switch to a different format in the next year. Would you really miss the mediocrity and inaneness of discussing the NFL draft, NFL combine or the relevance of Wonderlic test scores in drafting immature young men?. I recently saw the March ratings and they are almost 2/3 of the January ratings. No NFL, NBA, NHL and minor league teams in hockey and baseball (thx,Padres owners). The hope is that another 3rd rate soccer league and team will revitalize the sports scene and make MV the magnet spot for the city. It is over and any sports radio personality of any talent can see the handwriting on the wall and probably has the resumes out.........better hurry since ESPN just laid off 100 fellow types today. Maybe I am old fashioned but it appeared that Kantera and Hamilton (corny but entertaining) really cared about the teams and the fans while self promoters like Kaplan - who the hell cares about your weekend bike ride? - and the sports careerists like Darren Smith who appears to be bored most of the time when he is not talking about baseball. He is still playing minor league ball when he should be in the big leagues. One last thought.....I am one of those people who don't care about SDSU basketball or football which the sports jocks are always talking about. Most SDSU grads that I know don't care about the teams also......always more talk about third rate teams in a third rate league. Despite these comments I love sports in general but unfortunately live in a city of low expectations and many other diversions and we have politicians and sports team owners who are the most selfish and cheap bastar$s on the face of the earth.

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