The Mikey Show team "isn't going anywhere.”
  • The Mikey Show team "isn't going anywhere.”
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“When they said my name, there was a chorus of boos. It really hurt my feelings, but I understand it.”

Mikey Esparza, the anchor of The Mikey Show on FM 94/9, was reflecting on the air December 14 what it was like to be dissed at this year’s station-sponsored Holiday Hootenanny at UCSD’s Rimac Arena. The booing highlighted an ongoing disconnect between the station’s music-loving fan base and the all-talk Mikey Show, which debuted on 94/9 in February 2010 and airs weekday mornings from 6 to 10 a.m.

Station manager Rick Jackson doesn’t seem to buy into the station’s slogan that “It’s about the music.”

“We are not in the music business,” says Jackson, “we are in the radio business.” He says that though he has no plans to tinker with the music part of the station’s format, “If I could run an entire cadre of shows that had nothing to do with music, I would. People can get their music from Pandora and from many other sources.”

Jackson credits The Mikey Show for turning around the fortunes of 94/9. “Our bottom line has tripled.” He says 94/9 continues to lose money as it has for two years, but he predicts the station will be back in the black in 2011. The latest Arbitron ratings show that among listeners aged 18–34, The Mikey Show is in 9th place; among those 25–54, it’s in 11th place. Overall, 94/9 is in 20th place.

Garett Michaels, program director of 94/9, defended his morning host on air: “What really pisses me off is that a couple of jerks in the crowd booed and made it really hard to enjoy [Holiday Hootenany headliners the Black Keys].... If you’re not down, fine, shut your mouth. The Mikey Show isn’t going anywhere.”

Jackson says “[Esparza] is important to the majority of listeners, regardless of what a whining few have to say.” Before Mikey, Jackson says, “Mornings on 94/9 were like the Sahara Desert.”

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Comments

BigJ Jan. 13, 2011 @ 11:17 a.m.

Rick Jackson pretty much summed up his contempt for 94/9 and it's listeners. Look, if you want to run a radio station your way, buy one, make it an all talk station (because San Diego needs more of those) and put Mikey on that station. The people that listen to Mikey are the ones who listened to him on his old station...not really 94/9 listeners themselves. When Mikey was on 105.3, he was making more than half a million annual salary. That's a pretty good paycheck for a guy who is a dull teatotaller who veers off the topic all the time to tell us something we could care less about. If 94/9 had problems paying it's bills, maybe production of a morning show was not the way to go. The way I see it, the station had to have been kinda low overhead before they added talk. If you can't run in the black, you have a worthless marketing department.

As a former avid 94/9 listener, I can tell you that most people who listen to the station were not happy that Halloran got fired days before they announced the hiring of Mikey. We can read between the lines, they robbed peter to pay paul. They fired a true radio talent to hire a hack. An absolute hack.

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Pickles Jan. 14, 2011 @ 9:48 a.m.

They can defend that boring show all they want, the listeners will just refuse to tune in. Guys, the Mikey Show (not just Mikey, but the entire unoriginal cast of kooks) are a colossal bore. I thought the conversation and occasional comedy of Tommy and Hanson were much more entertaining. If I want general morning sctick then I tune into the DSC show, Mikey and the rest are just poor copycats of this format. I think Mikey believes he's more interesting to listen to than he really is, and that makes the show totally uncomfortable to listen to. And don't get me started on Mikey's delusional Jesus rants at the end of some show ...

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Gail Powell Jan. 14, 2011 @ 10:42 a.m.

Good for Garett Michaels that he sticks up for the Mikey Show. As much as all the whiners may gnash their teeth, at the end of the day-radio is a business. Mikey may annoy some people but there are plenty others that like him and his crew-enough to bring up the 94.9 morning ratings and pays some bills in the meantime.

Those who booed Mikey at the Rimac show should be ashamed of themselves. Not only was that not cool, but rude and inappropriate. Mikey serves as a good example of how someone who was once broken is made whole through faith. I adore Mikey and can always listen to music after 10 AM. Haters-take a hike!

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sageofsantee Jan. 14, 2011 @ 11:59 a.m.

Good business? Let's see how astute this "businessman" is. First off, the station has spent 7 years branding the station as the "it's about the music" station and in one fell swoop he flushes it down the toilet and then says music doesn't really matter. That's like the State Farm CEO saying "We'll, we maybe won't really be there when you need us after all..." Then, this fine businessman tells us that his money losing station is actually tripling his bottom line. Huh? how does that work? I didn't get that chapter in college accounting. But the real joke about all this is that the Mikey Show is weak and it just doesn't mean that much to too many people. That station spends about half-million a year on this show PLUS they were the only morning show to get featured on billboards and bus signs in 2010, and they are only 9th and 11th in the ratings in age groups that matter AFTER A WHOLE YEAR? Wow, Rick Jackson, you ARE an amazing businessman. Do you have any clue what you doing out here? You want all Mikey radio all the time and that show is stiffing after a whole year on the air and all this expensive promotion? It's not even an also ran. IT"S IN BLOODY 11th PLACE, in an industry where the people who buy ads only care about the Top 5 in each age group. Whether I like the Mikey Show or not doesn't matter. He is a hack but there are plenty of successful hacks. The problem is Jackson is acting like this show engages people but it is just a bunch of random zeroes who ramble on about nothing. This is like a Seinfeld-inspired show if you lived in Omaha. It's a flacid pile of nothing. What's the new slogan Mr. Businessman? "94.9 - It's about spending as much as we can for as little as we can back in return." Yeah, that's the ticket!!

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tigerpeniswine Jan. 14, 2011 @ 6:48 p.m.

Garett said,

“What really pisses me off is that a couple of jerks in the crowd booed..."

If it was just a couple of jerks do you really think anyone would have noticed. I think more people don't like the Mikey Show than Garett wants to admit.

"...and made it really hard to enjoy [Holiday Hootenany headliners the Black Keys]...."

Did it really make it hard to enjoy the Black Keys? I'm pretty sure people weren't booing while the Keys were on.

If you’re not down, fine, shut your mouth. The Mikey Show isn’t going anywhere.”

Why should people shut their mouth? If people don't like the Mikey Show they have a right to say it. Garett doesn't have to like it, but he shouldn't tell people not to voice their opinion. Whether he likes it or not his job is to serve his audience. If all of a sudden Mikey Show ratings plummeted and never came back I guarantee the station would have no problem going in another direction.

I hope it's worth it 94/9. You took a product/brand the community respected and went completely against everything you said you stood for for the first 7 years. You said the changes were necessary for the station to survive. Well now that Mikey is only pulling down 11th place how is the stations survival looking now?

Oh and that Rick Jackson guy sounds like a real winner. A real finger on the pulse kinda guy.

Jackson said "If I could run an entire cadre of shows that had nothing to do with music, I would. People can get their music from Pandora and from many other sources.”

I guess people can only get mindless, self indulgent dribble from the Mikey Show because it's not like there are any other shows in San Diego that do EXACTLY what the Mikey Show does. (Cough DSC, *Cough, 105.3's The Show.)

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Gail Powell Jan. 15, 2011 @ 1:31 p.m.

I cannot understand all the vitriol against The Mikey Show on 94.9. Does anyone even remember how bland and uninspiring the previous morning show was? Now, I like Hanson and Tommy is very environmentally correct, but their Music in the Morning was yawn-inducing.

Garett and 94.9 have every right to put on the air whatever they want and if you clowns out there don't like it, switch the channel. It seems enough listeners followed Mikey over to 94.9 that their advertising revenue has increased-which is what most station business managers and program directors like.

It is not necessary to personally insult Mikey and his crew at Holiday parties-of all places. The ignoramuses that feel comfortable enough hooting at Mikey-a good man-best take their sticky fingers and place it on their stolen car radio. Turn it to 91X-where there is plenty of the kind of "music" they are looking for. Mikey is a role model for EVERY man out there-listening or not. Something to think about for those witless wonders who like to "boo" Christians at Christmas.

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sageofsantee Jan. 16, 2011 @ 9 p.m.

Interesting! If you don't like Mikey, that means you have a stolen your car radio. Isn't that special church lady. Mikey is a fraud who talks about getting blowjobs while driving on the air yet he will preach to you about how Jesus saved his life. Garret does have the right to put anything on the air, but if his half-million dollar a year flop keeps coming in 11th place he won't get to opportunity becuse he and that Rick guy will both be out of a job.

People were not booing at Mikey because he was a Christian. They were booing at him because he is a self-righteous hack who was brought in to help the plight of 94-9 but in fact is taking this once-beloved station down even further IN SPITE of the billboards and bus signs and 1/2-mill a year. His show is filled out by a bunch of warm-body nothings who have never done radio before and it shows.

Maybe Hanson and Tommy were yawn inducing, but this no-talent, low-wattage Mikey Show is not the answer.

Hey, if you think your radio Christian is such a good guy, why don't you ask his longtime co-horts on Rock 105 boutt what they think of him. They aren't even speaking to him because of his weasel behavior. Onward Christian soldier!!

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Gail Powell Jan. 18, 2011 @ 10:22 a.m.

I am not going to get in a war of words with sageofsantee, but I will say that it is surely a misnomer for this sage commenter to even associate him/her self with sagacity because the previous comment castigating Mikey and his witnessing on the radio is spiritual folly. Jesus said in Acts 1:8, "...you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth." The witnessing Mikey does-whether some people deride it as fake or Mikey as a hack is irrelevant. Witnessing is an act of faith-most especially to unbelievers. It is Holy Spirit-derived.

Furthermore, "sage" of santee, you will note that since you have felt free to criticize Mikey's testimony, keep in mind this passage in the New Testament- Mark 12:31: "So I tell you, people can be forgiven for every sin, and everything they say against God. But whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven...now or in the future."

This means that slamming people who have sincere testimony is folly. Not that you cannot do it or shouldn't do it. There is always the option of "free will." I don't agree with every thing that Garett does at 94.9 but I do respect his spine in backing the Mikey Show. So, "sage" of santee, perhaps it might behoove you to listen to Mikey at 9:30 AM on Friday's, when he speaks from the heart to help heal broken people that need forgiveness. Matthew 15:11 "It is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth that defiles a person." It is not just in the Reader's Sheep & Goats that you will find Bible-thumping!

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sageofsantee Jan. 18, 2011 @ 12:41 p.m.

How about Ezekial 44:11..."Whoever preaches to ye over and over and over in the name of God while at the same time spewing trash on the airwaves is a phony and a fraud." And how about this from Leviticus 17:22 "Verily I sayeth unto thee, beware of false prophets who promise they can deliver ratings for a half-million dollars a year yet wallow in the brine of 11th place in mornings. Cast out thy morning mistake before thy insurance company owner reaps even more losses. Hasten not to polish a turd lest ye find ye are wasting your polish and ruining an otherwise normal turd."

Do we respect Garret for his spine, or come to realize that he is desperately trying to defend the fact that his station was promised the entire Mikey Show but only got Mikey and a raft full of amateurs, while the others stayed behind to ensure this new Mikey Show would never ever mean anything. Is that spine or desperation? Hey Garret, just keep beating your chest about how smart you were to bring this expensive loss leader over and see where it gets you.

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sageofsantee Jan. 18, 2011 @ 2:54 p.m.

Interesting Foo that you are copping the image and the band name of Dave Grohl. He is not a religious person. Why would you do something so unholy in the name of the lord. Maybe for the same reason that Mikey both preaches and talks about blowjobs-while-driving on the air. You people are some messed up folks. Nevertheless, you have every right to say what you want and Mikey has every right to ram his religion down the throats of all the listeners who put him 11th place. Freedom of speech? YES Freedom of religion? YES Freedom to abandon fm-94/9 for making a huge mistake? YES.

I'll bet you none of this would have seen the light of day if Garret and Mikey et al hadn't talked about it on air. These poor people don't deserve to be driving this radio station.

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RC Jan. 18, 2011 @ 10:56 p.m.

LMAO on "Sages" Bible quotes...no matter what side of the "debate" you are on... you gotta admit that was some pretty funny stuff!

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sageofsantee Jan. 26, 2011 @ 2:41 p.m.

In the ratings that just came out today, Jan. 26, 94/9 fell even more, while 91X and rock 105 took nice big jumps. Can anyone tell me what is the point of this mixed up, shook up mess of a radio station? It is a confusing, hodge podge menagerie of a station that tries to appeal to everybody but is actually appealing to a shrinking pool of listeners. Rick Jackson got what he wished for: music irrelevance. He also got an overpaid morning show that is still not catching on a year after it went on the air. What's worse...he can't admit his mistake...that the Mikey Show is a nice steaming number 2 floating in the punch bowl.

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