Two weeks after losing their spot on the AM dial, The Mighty 1090 has fully ceased operations. Mid day host Darren Smith tweeted that management at 1090’s parent company, the Broadcast Company of the Americas, pulled the plug on the station’s stream in the middle of his show on Monday.
When reached via text Smith told Barrett Sports Media that he wouldn’t describe the shutdown as a surprise necessarily. “My best guess was that Monday was the final day and we’d be told of our shutdown on Tuesday morning.”
Emotions of the Mighty 1090 staff were on full display in a Twitter video on Scott Kaplan’s account.
“For the last two weeks, Mighty 1090 programming has only been available online and through our mobile app,” a message on The Mighty 1090’s website reads. “We can’t thank you enough for bearing with us through this ordeal. Unfortunately, we have ceased operations. We are forever grateful for your passion, loyalty, and all your support over the years.”
“Well, it’s not pretty,” Kaplan responded when asked to describe the scene when management let him know the station was no longer in operation.
Darren Smith echoed the disappointment. “It’s brutal,” he said in a text. “Change is inevitable in the biz and we all know that but this is just wrong.”
In a three part message on Twitter morning man Ben Higgins expressed his disappointment and then took time to celebrate what he and his co-workers had created.
As for next steps, Smith told BSM that while he was focused on making the streaming station a success, he was always aware that this could be The Mighty 1090’s ultimate fate.
“Personally, I’ve thought about health insurance and preparing financially for loss of income. How long can I survive in San Diego without income? I’ve had those talks with my wife and advisor for months.
“Professionally, what decisions might I have to make – stay local or look out of market? Talk radio or something different entirely? Stay in sports or a different media field?
“I hoped we’d have a different endgame but wasn’t naive about the reality.”
Kaplan said he was focused on making the company a success in the streaming space. “I believe we have a winning team and can have a real digital business,” he said in a text.
He has also been working on putting together a group of investors to purchase Mighty 1090. Kaplan said that effort is not dead. He told Barrett Sports Media that he intends to present a letter of intent to take over operation of the station on Wednesday.
Barrett Sports Media will bring you more on this story as it develops.
UPDATE (4/30 @ 9:57 AM)
Scott Kaplan tweeted this morning that there is a meeting scheduled for 11 AM. There he plans to unveil his plan for taking over the station.
Fans of Mighty 1090 responded to the Tweet with excitement. Kaplan then singled out San Diego Union-Tribune business reporter Lori Weisberg in a Tweet alluding to her interest in the meeting.
UPDATE (4/30 @ 4:11 PM)
Scott Kaplan’s Twitter feed hosted a live video earlier today at noon Pacific time. Many 1090 staffers expressed their frustration and disappointment after leaving a meeting with management where they were told that the station is shutting down.
Craig Elsten accused GM Mike Glickenhaus of hiding from his staff during the meeting where they were informed that the station was officially out of business. It is similar to a remark he made on Twitter earlier in the day.
Kaplan himself reiterated that his goal is to keep this team together. How quickly that happens remains to be seen. Several hosts apparently told Kaplan they need a break before resuming their broadcasting duties.
“Sponsors have said ‘we will stay with you,'” Kaplan could be overhead telling one off-screen co-worker. He claims to have a broadcast space ready to go, and will be doing his afternoon show from there today beginning at 3pm Pacific.
As for reactions to the news, they varied widely. Kaplan noted that the staff “did not let 1090 die. 1090 died as a result of a big, cancerous tumor in the office down there.” It was clear he was talking about management, but he did not say who specifically.
Linda Welby, who was part of Kaplan’s afternoon show took the high road. She described herself as “sad, but not mad,” offering a very matter of fact assessment of the situation. “This is radio and that’s how it goes.”