Goodbye Bieber, hello AC/DC!

Jack is dead, long live 100.7 FM and the DSC show

Hard act to follow — 100.7 FM will try to hew closer to the DSC's demographic with its new (classic rock?) programming
  • Hard act to follow — 100.7 FM will try to hew closer to the DSC's demographic with its new (classic rock?) programming

After admitting that the music “sucked” on his own radio station, Dave Rickards, anchor for the Dave, Shelly, and Chainsaw morning show, announced in a pre-recorded statement Saturday morning that his station, long-known as Jack-FM, was in the tank.

No more Bieber. And even the name “Jack-FM” was dead.

While it was thought that the new music format for 100.7 FM would be unveiled the day after Chistmas, the station formally known as Jack decided to punt on Boxing Day.

After weeks of nonstop Christmas schmaltz, when the final Cristmas song ended at 10 a.m., Rickards announced that his station would not be launching the permanent format just yet.

Instead, Rickards said it would play a different format each day and announce the permanent format when he and his top-rated DSC morning team return from vacation on January 4.

In the radio business this is called “stunting.” It’s the period of time between format shifts when a station has fun by playing all Elvis, all Beatles, or all Johnny Cash…a just-for-fun stunt format that (hopefully) builds interest and anticipation for the new format when it finally does arrive.

But the first format-of-the-day was telling. It was AC/DC — all day long. Which seems to point the station formerly known as Jack in a decidedly rock direction for 2016.

Hearing “Highway to Hell” was a sharp contrast from Jack-FM's poppy playlist. The sonic shift will undoubtedly shock the Jack-FM listeners who tuned into the station after DSC signed off.

But the reality is there just aren’t many of those listeners around. The ratings show the local pop fans greatly prefer Z-90, Channel 9-3-3, Star 94.1, Energy 103.7, or KYXY to hear new hits by modern artists.

It is presumed the new 100.7 will compete with a smaller pool of competing stations: namely classic rocker KGB and modern rocker Rock 105.

The new, as-yet-unnamed 100.7 would seem to have a decided advantage in that arena. Classic rock is a favorite of men aged 25-54. And DSC delivers the top-rated morning ratings for that group. DSC has twice the ratings for men 25-54 than the second-place morning show, which is Rock 105’s “The Show.” That Rock 105 morning team is composed of the remaining members of the Mikey Show who stayed at Rock 105 after its namesake Mike Esparza left the station four years ago.

The problem for Jack-FM for the past two years is that the pop hits played after the DSC show forced many DSC regulars to tune out when the trio left the air. It is hoped by 100.7 management that they won’t migrate as much after January 4.

A radio format change is a rare event. KSON has been country and KYXY has been adult contemporary for four decades (although KYXY started mixing in newer hits in recent years). 91X has been on top of modern rock for a third of a century, and Rock 105 has been rockin’ for 20-plus years.

During the past few years, the Dave, Shelly, and Chainsaw show seemed to exist as an island at Jack-FM. The highly paid seven-member morning team seemed not too connected with what the station did the rest of the day. That seems to be different now as Rickards is involved in announcing the station’s new rocking direction.

But what of this new, still-unnamed rock station at 100.7 FM? Will longtime local DJ Coe Lewis be hired away from KGB? Will there be a place in the new lineup for former longtime KGB DJ Jim McInnes who started playing FM rock in this town at the now-defunct KPRI in 1974? And will this new station make a run at Rock 105 by playing modern cuts by Disturbed and Five Finger Death Punch?

It is assumed because of DSC’s domination of the older listeners that the new station will hew closer to familiar, classic rock. But new program director Garett Michaels was known for playing out-of-the-box artists during the decade he helmed FM-94/9 (2002-2012).

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Some other notes....Insiders say the afternoon Johnjay and Rich show, which was basically between-song bits phoned in by two Arizona DJS, will not be returning to 100.7 FM..."Jack-FM" had a ten year run in San Diego. There are other Jack's around the country including one in L.A. which plays yesterday's hits but focuses on the alternative oldies played by KROQ in the 80s and 90s. It seems unlikely that the new 100.7 will focus on "heritage alternative" since both 91X and 94/9 already rely heavily on that library of old alt rock hits....If the station formerly known as Jack focuses on classic rock, it comes at a challenging time: After many ratings strong ratings periods, San Diego's only other classic rocker KGB just took a big dump in its ratings, falling nearly 30% in one month.....And finally, today's shift from Christmas music to the band known for "Big Balls" was quite a shock. The station pivoted from "Jingle Bells" to "Hells Bells," from "What Child is This?" to "Problem Child," and from "Silent Night" to "Night Prowler."

Also, as of Saturday evening the station has not altered its now obsolete Jack FM website which still mentions "Jack-FM," Johnjay and Rich, and still has that pastel, poppy look.

Maybe they can call it B-100.

​How does KGB radio stay in business? They play the same old music over and over. It's like they went to a Janis Joplin concert and never came back.​

How does KGB stay in business you ask? Being the only classic rock game in town for ten years hasn't hurt. It's had no direct competitor since The Planet (103.7 FM) went away in 2005. In Los Angeles there are two major classic rockers butting heads: The Sound and KLOS. Although they certainly are not identical.

New website went up early Sunday morning.

It's misleading, if not a lie, to suggest 94.9 relies on "heritage alternative." No, it plays the same ten songs repeatedly. Currently, you can't go half an hour without hearing either "Now we're stressed out," "Always wanna come but they never wanna leave," or "Did I drink too much am I losing touch?" or whatever those stupid songs are called. I suppose it does drop in a bunch of older Red Hot Chili Peppers songs, but those songs all sound the same anyway.

It'd be nice if 100.7 did some sort of rock format, but was vastly more expansive in its playlist. Dig up garage rock from the 60s, mix it in with local bands, etc.

What ever happened to Mikey Esparza anyway? He isn't missed, just curious.

DSC is still on the air? I was sure they were goners after being booted from KGB. I've always wondered how much they were raking in and what the offer was the sent them out the door, and what they had to settle for. Did that ever knock Rickards' ego down a notch or two?

Petezanko: You say that "It's misleading if not a lie to suggest 94.9 relies on heritage alternative." Well, Pete, if you look at their website where they showed what they just played, between 11:52 a.m. and 12:53 p.m. (that's one hour) you will see they played 15 songs. If you look at what those songs were, you were see they were all 15-to-25 year old hits which makes them by definition heritage alternative. Those songs were by Jane's Addiction, Green Day, Offspring, Jimmy Eat World, Cracker, Strokes and Sublime. That's 7 out of 15. That's not one or two songs an hour. That's about half Pete. Those songs are part of the old hit alternative library and are thus considered "heritage alternative." Do you understand now? Also, Bob Hudson you say that KSON has been country since 1963. Yes, and KSON-FM went country in the 70s which is four decades ago. Your point?

Mr. Leighton, the website often doesn't jibe with what I actually just heard. Seriously. Try an experiment. A couple years ago I was working overnight, had 94.9 on. They played that "Radioactive" song six times between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. The website only listed it twice. I called the station and started to tell whoever answered that they need to stop playing that song so much. He cut me off and said, "I don't think we can... It's a huge song!" I told him it's only a "huge" song because they push it in our heads and they probably do that as a result of payola. In fact, the conspiracy nut in me thinks they're intentionally falsifying their website playlists. Now, do me a favor, Mr Leighton (do not address me by my first name, you don't know me), please don't so lazy web journalism and just look at a site. Listen to it for six hours, mark down each song, see what you see.

For the last three months, it hasn't stopped with that awful "Renegades" song from a car commercial that refers to Spielberg as an underdog.

Also Bob you say most other stations change formats like the wind changes directions. That is true for a few underperforming frequencies like 103.7 and 95.7 which have certainly flip flopped over the years. But they are in the minority not the majority. FM 94/9 is in its 14th year in the same format. Other stations that have been stable even longer include 91X, KSON, KYXY, KGB, Channel 9-3-3, "K-Love" 102.9, "La Nueva" 106.5, Z-90 and 92.5. 105.7 has been doing oldies for almost as long, and non-commercial KPBS has been doing the public radio thing since the 60s. Yes, KPRI recently did a complete turnaround, but that was due to an an even rarer event, the sale of a station. The format flip of KFMB 100.7 FM comes not with a sale, but with a new operator, SDLocal, who decided it was about time to fix an underperforming station with a strong signal. It will be interesting to see if SDLocal also makes adjustments to 100.7's sister station, KFMB-AM.

Just to be clear of the comment before last....KSON, initially played country as a low-powered AM station at 1240 on the dial in 1963. But for our conversation (FM radio) KSON-FM started in country in 1975. Which was four decades ago.

To Charlie Sloan: I think you may have something! Hopefully you and new 100.7 new program director Garett Michaels are on the same wavelength. But to me, KLOS and especially KGB really sound tired. What if you could take the soul of what those stations used to be and update it a bit and graft it into the new 100.7? We can dream can't we? Right now KGB is like a rock 'n' roll wax museum, with limp DJs (many pre-recorded or "voice-tracked"), and no new music from the last ten years. We can hope that KGB's Foreigner/Styx/Kansas radio jukebox model will be swept away with a smarter, more vibrant musical mix. Oh, that we could have a station that would mix Zeppelin, The Kinks, Sabbath, The Ramones and The Black Keys. Am I asking too much? Maybe. But I think think that KGB has pooped in the broadcast drinking reservoir for way too long. Red blooded rockers from 25-55 with half a brain may be looking for something better in 2016.

So it's interesting to note that of the nine formats of the day, three were rock (Aerosmith, Van Halen and hair bands) and the Blues format had plenty of Zeppelin and Stones AND much newer cuts by The White Stripes and Alabama Shakes. I think the blues one-day mixtape may be saying a lot about the future of 100.7.

KFMB-FM. No nickname. Clash, Green Day, INXS, Guns and Roses, Nirvana, Cars, White Stripes, ACDC. Looks like its is aiming for a rocking spot between Rock 105 and KGB mixed in with the heritage alternative library of 91X. Ramones meets Rush. A newer version of classic rock. Unlike Rock 105 and 91X there doesn't seem to be any new breaking artists. I'm guessing no ballads, just well-known upbeat familiar rock hits that don't rock too hard.

Black Keys no less! Program director Garett Michaels says that while no brand new songs are being played at present, he would not rule it out in the future. He says this week his new "variety rock" station will have no DJs after DSC, but starting next week Sarah Perry will be live middays and Garett will do afternoons himself.

Here in Seattle, we have a "Jack" station too, but independent station KEXP gets it right. It has DJ's that play everyhing and not just the same songs over. Out of towners can tune in at www.kexp.org. Give it a listen. (While growing up in San Diego in the 1960's, KGB AM was my favorite).

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