FM-94/9 jettisoned Chris Cantore (right) early Monday, but there was no mention of Woods (left) leaving. Late Monday Woods indicated on social media that he was a “former” employee of FM-94/9.
It’s been a bad month for San Diego radio veterans.
Mike Halloran, who started at 91X in 1986 and went on to work at four other local alt-rock stations, was dismissed as afternoon DJ and program director.
Today listeners discovered that the Cantore + Woods morning show was simply not on FM-94/9 anymore. Chris Cantore “did mornings” at 91X from 1996 through 2007. Steve Woods came to San Diego in 2009 at the request of Mikey Esparza who was assembling an all new morning show cast for his "Mikey Show." When Esparza was fired in 2012, Woods, Mikey’s former sports guy and sidekick, went on host mornings by himself.
Roast of Cantore + Woods
...on Tonight in San Diego in October, 2016
Some insiders wondered if the Cantore + Woods exit signaled FM-94/9’s inevitable transformation to an all-sports station when the Padres play-by-play arrives in March.
But that does not seem to be the case. FM-94/9 jettisoned Cantore early Monday, but there was no mention of Woods leaving. Late Monday Woods indicated on social media he was a “former” employee of FM-94/9.
According to insiders, that would tend to indicate that Woods was not happy with the move to fire his morning show partner and decided to take himself out of the lineup.
“Sounds to me like Woods told them to go fuck themselves,” says one insider. “He has an emotional, volatile side to him.”
Woods responded Tuesday to a request for comment by emailing: “I can’t discuss anything right now.”
It seems Woods would have been the perfect bridge to help connect the Padres to the alt-rock crowd. Woods is a sports enthusiast, well versed in Major League Baseball, and pitches on an adult league team. “Big league baseball has an inferiority complex regarding millennials,” says one insider. “That’s why they want to get on FM radio and that’s why, I think, someone like Woods could have helped the Padres in San Diego.”
Woods and Cantore were paired as a team 15 months ago, after KPRI was sold and Cantore lost his morning show there. Not all seemed well with the morning team early last summer when FM-94/9 shortened the show, having it end at 9 instead of 10 a.m.
Many in local radio cringed at the “Roast of Cantore + Woods” special that appeared on the locally produced show “Tonight in San Diego.” The 90-minute segment taped in October featured current and ex-coworkers who gave unsettling digs about how the team sucked in the ratings, had no relevance to locals, and was about to get replaced by sports talk. Woods took it all laughingly but at the end Cantore lashed out against his roasters individually telling them that they are nonlocal San Diego newcomers.
After his morning show ended on KPRI in 2015, Cantore, a New York native who graduated from SDSU, outlined his radio career angst in an interview on Mighty 1090.
“When I lost my job at 91X I was this whiny little bitch," he said in the interview. "I lost my mind. I went on a sympathy tour. This time, my wife is healthy, my kids are happy, life is good.” Cantore said his own radio reality was tough. “My wife had breast cancer…we’ve lost our home, lost our savings. Until my late 30s I lived a privileged life. I didn’t struggle like I have for the past seven years.”
FM-94/9’s operation manager Kevin Callahan did not return a request for comment.