The tusked mascot tasked with filling San Diego’s airwaves with oldies is getting harpooned. The station will soon be rebranded as the New Max 105.7.
The Walrus handle was installed five years ago by then-station manager John Lynch, who reportedly chose the image as homage to the Beatles’ 1967 psychedelic-pop classic “I Am the Walrus,” which was fitting given that the station was playing hits of the ’60s.
But you can forget about hearing “I Am the Walrus” or most any of the early Beatles classics on the New Max 105.7. No more “I Feel Fine,” “If I Fell,” or “I Should Have Known Better” by the Fab Four on the airwaves. New Max 105.7 is following the lead of most other “classic hits” stations across the country that have moved away from the ’60s and chestnuts such as “Gloria” or “Under My Thumb.”
Insiders say that over the past few weeks the station at 105.7 FM has been phasing in its new format. The official name change is expected next week and then New Max 105.7 will focus on the ’80s with an ear for 91X heritage artists, such as the Cure, R.E.M., Billy Idol, the B-52s, OMD, and INXS, as well as dance hits by Michael Jackson, Rick James, and KC & the Sunshine Band and favorites by ’70s standbys Journey, the Eagles, Billy Joel, and the Doobie Brothers.
With the format and name change comes a significant DJ lineup overhaul to accompany the “re-launching.” One of San Diego’s longest-running rock DJs, Rich Brother Robbin, will host his last afternoon show on 105.7 on Friday, August 8. Robbin, 70, started playing the hits on San Diego airwaves in 1969, when he became a “boss jock” on 136 KGB Boss Radio.
“I’m hanging up my headphones after 56 years,” says Robbin, who tells the Reader that he first started working at a radio station as an errand boy at the age of 14. “I knew then this is what I wanted to do for life.”
Lynch, a former NFL linebacker who segued into broadcast management, could not be reached to see what he thought about radio mascot being killed off. Lynch was instrumental in launching 91X as a modern music station in the ’80s and for turning “Mighty 1090” into the West Coast’s first all-sports station. He is currently the vice chairman and CEO of UT San Diego.