San Diego’s most successful radio crew is being tossed aside through no fault of their own.
The Dave, Shelly and Chainsaw morning show has dominated ratings for most of its 28 years on the local radio airwaves. At the end of the month the show will be without a contract at KFMB-FM, its radio home for the last six years.
And discussions with other stations continue over a new radio home for the morning show that includes Dave Rickards, Shelly Dunn, Cookie Chainsaw Randolph, Ruth 66, Chris Boyer and Emily Maguire.
Tegna, a Virginia-based media group (formerly known as Gannett) owned 46 TV stations in 38 markets when it bought the KFMB stations for $325-million in December. That purchase included TV Channel 8, KFMB 760 AM, and Dave, Shelly and Chainsaw’s radio home since 2010, KFMB-FM.
But radio was not in Tegna’s portfolio. It is clear to key broadcast insiders that Tegna has no interest in staying in the radio business.
“Few believe that Tegna intends to keep KFMB-AM/FM,” said one reliable source who opted not to be named. “It’s a TV company and its management has shown no interest in running a competitive radio station.” That insider confided there was no offer for Dave et al to stay at KFMB-FM which has been the show's radio home for eight years.
As of July 1, Dave Shelly and Chainsaw are free to look elsewhere for a new radio home. Their current contract with KFMB-FM expires at the end of this month.
A source who did want to be identified says there has been no effort since Tegna took over the KFMB stations four months ago to communicate with the popular morning show.
One well-substantiated rumor is that Local Media San Diego (operators of 91X, Magic 92.5 and Z-90) is in talks to buy KFMB-FM if a price can be agreed on.
It has been reported that the Dave Shelly Chainsaw show gets in the neighborhood of $2-million a year for its services. It is also widely known that the members of the DSC crew negotiate on their own for their own contract after Dave Rickards secures his contract.
Rickards did not agree to speak for this article.