Two years after Clear Channel fired "Dangerous" Dick Spenneberg from Rock 105.3 and KGB/101.5, he says he's back in town to settle up.
"When I got laid off by Clear Channel, it broke my heart," says Spenneberg. "I dedicated 16 years to be a music DJ on the radio, 8 in San Diego. They just automated that job out of existence.... When they fired me, they walked me out of the building. I walked down a long hallway of, like, ten stations. Each station was just a dark room and a computer."
Spenneberg returned to the local airwaves yesterday (March 1) as cohost of The Dangerous Dick and Skibba Show, the only live and local weekday talk show on Free FM (KSCF 103.7 FM). (Spenneberg and Mike Skibba recently worked at KLSX in L.A.)
"When I started at KGB ten years ago," says Spenneberg, "they were still playing [vinyl] records. It was still a real radio station when I got here, then it kept getting sold. It got worse with each new owner. Now I listen to both stations and they both sound dead, like a jukebox. I'd like to do at least one hour with all the unemployed Clear Channel DJs to come on and vent."
Spenneberg recalls DJ John Leslie, who died on New Year's Day 2000 after 25 years on rock radio.
"When John died, it seemed like the whole spirit of KGB died with him.... It was like the Tom Petty song 'The Last DJ.' I watched him have to deal with automation. It's what killed him.... Management used to tell DJs that any monkey could do their job. Once they automated KGB and Rock 105, someone in management at Clear Channel told me, 'Now we don't even need a monkey.' But there's now somebody live and local in San Diego and it's going to be me, and I'm going to give it to those Clear Channel motherf*****s."
On Spenneberg's new show, he says he will occasionally interview local bands.
"I see it more like a Loveline type of thing where they hang out with us. We are also asking local bands to help us with bumper music [used to segue into and out of commercial breaks]."
The Dangerous Dick and Skibba Show airs from 7 to 11 p.m., Monday through Friday.