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Why Did 91X Fire Mookie?

Marc “Mookie” Kaczor was escorted out the doors at 91X when he was fired October 15. He’d been on the air there since 2002, when he segued from the Grossmont College radio program to the alternative-rock station. For the past two years, Mookie was on from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“I was on the air seven days a week,” says Mookie about his recent work schedule, which included prerecorded air shifts. “I got to hang out by the Lafayette [Hotel] pool and listen to myself,” said the North Park resident in a telephone interview. He called his 91X stint a dream gig. “Just this month I got to see Arcade Fire, Gogol Bordello, and Muse.”

Mookie says his moderate paycheck could not have been the reason he was let go. And what makes his dismissal even more perplexing is that the last Arbitron book showed Mookie’s ratings were huge in his target demographic, second only to Rock 105.3 among men aged 18–34, topping 94/9, Z-90, and Channel 9-3-3.

“Everyone kept telling me my ratings were up. I poured my guts into this thing. Now I’m supposed to accept this as the nature of the business.”

Mookie says he was completely surprised when his boss, 91X program director Garrett Capone, told him he was out. Capone declined to comment on the termination. Mookie maintains that Capone is not connected to the locals who are devoted to 91X, which has been playing modern rock for 27 years.

Capone and nighttime DJ Christy Taylor came to 91X from a station in Albany. “The Albany cats don’t know what 91X used to be or what it means to locals,” says a radio insider.

Veteran DJ Robin Roth, who worked at 91X from 1986 until 1994, was hired to take over Mookie’s time slot. Roth has been spinning goth/industrial nights at Kava Lounge and the Flame and hosting club nights at Whistle Stop and Air Conditioned Lounge.

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Marc “Mookie” Kaczor was escorted out the doors at 91X when he was fired October 15. He’d been on the air there since 2002, when he segued from the Grossmont College radio program to the alternative-rock station. For the past two years, Mookie was on from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“I was on the air seven days a week,” says Mookie about his recent work schedule, which included prerecorded air shifts. “I got to hang out by the Lafayette [Hotel] pool and listen to myself,” said the North Park resident in a telephone interview. He called his 91X stint a dream gig. “Just this month I got to see Arcade Fire, Gogol Bordello, and Muse.”

Mookie says his moderate paycheck could not have been the reason he was let go. And what makes his dismissal even more perplexing is that the last Arbitron book showed Mookie’s ratings were huge in his target demographic, second only to Rock 105.3 among men aged 18–34, topping 94/9, Z-90, and Channel 9-3-3.

“Everyone kept telling me my ratings were up. I poured my guts into this thing. Now I’m supposed to accept this as the nature of the business.”

Mookie says he was completely surprised when his boss, 91X program director Garrett Capone, told him he was out. Capone declined to comment on the termination. Mookie maintains that Capone is not connected to the locals who are devoted to 91X, which has been playing modern rock for 27 years.

Capone and nighttime DJ Christy Taylor came to 91X from a station in Albany. “The Albany cats don’t know what 91X used to be or what it means to locals,” says a radio insider.

Veteran DJ Robin Roth, who worked at 91X from 1986 until 1994, was hired to take over Mookie’s time slot. Roth has been spinning goth/industrial nights at Kava Lounge and the Flame and hosting club nights at Whistle Stop and Air Conditioned Lounge.

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Comments
15

Many of us have been let go from a job believing it to be unfair or wrongful, who is honestly going to say "I deserved to be fired?"...quit whining and move on like we all do.

Oct. 27, 2010

Real Classy, ClassyInSanDiego. While you may be right about people being fired, doesn't mean you have to kick a guy when he's down.

As for 91X WHO CARES? It's true that the chuckleheads running the place have zero idea about what San Diego is about, but 91X hasn't been relevant for years, and when they fired Matt Diablo and crew, that was the final straw. Does anyone expect anything better from 91X? Theyve abused their employees and the ears of native San Diegans for years. This is nothing new.

Oct. 27, 2010

I agree with blue-there is much benefit in letting your anger, in a blog, over being treated unfairly.

I did business with 91X back in the 80's and they had problems back then with management. I wish I would remember the clowns name that was there GM back then, Glickenhouse?? Don't recall.

Oct. 27, 2010

Perhaps he should talk to Chris Cantore. Anyway, I am happy for Robin, who used to do appearances at Emerald City, a Pacific Beach bar that was popular in the early nineties and where I had a stint as a cocktail waitress while working my day job. It was the coolest place in town, and 91X was pretty cool back then too. I no longer listen to them, but now that RR is back, I just might.

Oct. 27, 2010

"Now I’m supposed to accept this as the nature of the business."

But it IS the nature of the radio business. BCA and LMA just split up, no idea if that has anything to do with it, but LMA may have empowered Capone and he pulled the trigger. If "Mookie" is any good, he'll get work somewhere.

Oct. 27, 2010

Perhaps he should talk to Chris Cantore. Anyway, I am happy for Robin, who used to do appearances at Emerald City, a Pacific Beach bar

Oh yes, I remember Emerald City......do you recall what it was before that though??? It was a club called Manikin (sp??).

I have always been a huge fan of 91X ever since I moved to San Diego back in the 80's.......and what was cool is that there were just not very many alternative stations like 91X, anywhere else in the nation-we never had anything close to 91X in Nor Cal where I grew up in the Bay Area. 91X back then had their corporate office over off of Sea World Drive, right next to the 5, I think that street was PCH, don't really recall.

I still have, and value, my black 91X sweatshirt with the yellow 91X logo, bought it at Pacific Eyes and T's (they still around??) back in the mid 80's.

Oct. 27, 2010

It was called "Mannequins" although I am not sure if the proper spelling was used. It had a black and white motiff, and was also pretty cool - kind of the antithesis of PB dorkiness, which was rampant at the time. If I remember correctly, because I went to high school in northern Cal as well, KSJO and KOME were the stations we listened to. I remember KOME's tagline was "Don't touch that dial - there's KOME on it!!!". When I moved to San Diego in the late eighties, I discovered alternative music and officially fell in love. I remember my sisters visiting me and being appalled at my love of The Smiths. I quickly converted them.

Oct. 27, 2010

KOME were the stations we listened to. I remember KOME's tagline was "Don't touch that dial - there's KOME on it!!!". When I moved to San Diego in the late eighties, I discovered alternative music and officially fell in love. I remember my sisters visiting me and being appalled at my love of The Smiths. I quickly converted them.

Yes, KOME was a San Jose station, I think.....were they the ones that went to a country format??......And the type of music 91X played, like The Smiths, was just not played on clasic rock type stations. It took a little bit to get used to, but once it hooked you, the alternative/91X music was, and still is, music I prefer.........

Oct. 27, 2010

Someone who lives up there told me that KOME went country. We used to have KFAT as well, which was "cool" country. KSJO still plays modern hard rock mixed with classic rock. But I still pine for the old 91X days. I LOVED that music and still do. The first time I heard "Cool Thing" on 91X I ran to Tower and bought Sonic Youth's "Goo" cassette!! Which reminds me - Sony just discontinued the cassette "Walkman". An era has officially ended :)

Oct. 28, 2010

Why do they all have to go "classic" rock? Shouldn't our rock be classic by now? They should call those stations "ancient" rock!!

Oct. 28, 2010

Way to many "Classic Rock" stations these days. What is classic to me or you can be different. Living in the "City" in the 70's, KSAN, KFRC and even KSFO were the great stations. These days KOZT in Mendocino/Ft. Bragg has a great mix from that era.

Oct. 28, 2010

OK, who from the Bay Area here remembers KFRC 610 AM, and Dr Donald Rose???

That is dating myself :)

. http://www.bayarearadio.org/audio/kfrc/dr-don-rose.shtml .

Oct. 28, 2010

Remember the name, but not the show. I was 14 when we moved to Northern Cal in 1977.

Oct. 28, 2010

I am also perplexed why Mookie was abruptly fired as he was one of the nicer DJ's that answered his phone and was pleasant to the listeners. I emailed Program Director Capone and reamed him good. I think Capone is just a coporate tool trying to survive in that dog-eat-dog world of BCA and protect his Albany friend, Christy Taylor.

Capone told me that my "rant" over Mookie was "hilarious" and if I knew the "real reason Mookie was let go," I would not have "wasted my time.." defending Mookie. I know that this reasoning could be just a way for Capone to genuflect away from what really happened there. I also know that a lot of these men with a "face for radio" develop a male entitlement mentality in regard to all the women that are suddenly available to them as they go around town acting like big shots. I do not know if this is what befell Mookie, although certain other previous 91X DJ's surely suffered from this spurious self-aggrandizement.

I am sure that many locals will welcome Robin Roth's return to the San Diego airwaves with open arms-as she is a doll. However, these glad tidings of Robin Roth's reemergence have a bit of a sad tinge as they come about on the departure of the well-liked Mookie.

Oct. 29, 2010

Re #15: 91X is not under the BCA umbrella, they are part of LMA's holdings.

Oct. 29, 2010

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