Dave, Shelly, and Chainsaw do radio. Virginia-based Tegna only does TV.
  • Dave, Shelly, and Chainsaw do radio. Virginia-based Tegna only does TV.
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Update from Ken Leighton:

As was first suggested here July 5, the top-rated Dave Shelly and Chainsaw crew could not reach an agreement with Tegna, the Virginia-based TV conglomerate that took over the KFMB stations four months ago.

After their show last Friday, July 20, the six member-on-air crew were taken into a room and told they just had their last show on KFMB (100.7 FM) after six years of giving KFMB dominant ratings in the all-important morning drive.

They were not given a chance to say goodbye. The DSC crew will still get paid this week becasue of their contract but their fans won't get to hear them.

"We are still Tegna employees through August 1st," Dave Rickards wrote via email last Friday. "But they have taken us off the air for the remainder of our contract. It’s a shame that Shelly didn’t get her final day. But I am keeping the entire show together. In town."

Rickards has served as ringleader and key on-air talent since the show first went on the air in 1990 at KGB. Rickards came from Denver and news reader/sidekick Shelly Dunn arrived from a station in Phoenix. They both joined sports-dude and comedy utility man Cookie Chainsaw Randolph who was already at KGB. The three formed the core of the morning crew (fiirst known as the Dawn Patrol) which has dominated the morning ratings since then.

Only the now defunct Jeff and Jer and the syndicated Howard Stern shows regularly gave the gave the DSC crew competition in the morning ratings race in the sought after 25-54 age range.

Dunn announced July 13 that she was retiring and her last day with the DSC crew would be July 27. Rickards said during the next ten days the show would feature special tributes to Dunn. The DSC crew only made it through the first five. The DSC crew gave no indication on the air that they would be yanked off the air before their contract was over at the end of this month.

Here is what the general manager of the KFMB stations, Alberto Mier y Teran said in a statement released Friday afternoon July 20: "After extensive negotiations and a generous offer to the DSC team, we were unfortunately unable to keep the show here at KFMB. We are looking to the future and remain committed to our listeners in San Diego."

By phone on Friday, Mier y Teran said his offer simply was not as much as the team was offered by a different radio group. He assumed, but did know for sure, that would mean the DSC crew would end up either at Entercom which owns The Fan 97.3 or iHeart which owns KGB and Rock 105. It is thought by most insiders the DSC team would end up on on of those three stations.

The problem is that while DSC remains an attractive platform for many local advertisers, radio as a whole has significantly dialed back on talent expenses as overall ad income has decreased over the years. DSC was thought to be making $2-million a year. It is thought that iHeart, which is bankrupt and owes $20-billion to creditors, would have difficulty convincing a bankrupcty judge to fork out such a huge new expenditure. And Entercom is struggling with decreased first quarter earnings and tumbling stock price since it swallowed the CBS Radio group earlier this year.

Mier y Teran said he is looking for the replacement for DSC.

It should be noted that I asked Rickards if he had an agreement with another local station. He declined to answer. KFMBs "generous offer" could have been a fraction of what they were making. The consensus is that KFMB-FM without Rickards and Company will not be a compelling destination for local listeners.

Original story:

San Diego’s most successful radio crew is being tossed aside through no fault of their own.

The Dave, Shelly and Chainsaw morning show has dominated ratings for most of its 28 years on the local radio airwaves. At the end of the month the show will be without a contract at KFMB-FM, its radio home for the last six years.

And discussions with other stations continue over a new radio home for the morning show that includes Dave Rickards, Shelly Dunn, Cookie Chainsaw Randolph, Ruth 66, Chris Boyer and Emily Maguire.

Tegna, a Virginia-based media group (formerly known as Gannett) owned 46 TV stations in 38 markets when it bought the KFMB stations for $325-million in December. That purchase included TV Channel 8, KFMB 760 AM, and Dave, Shelly and Chainsaw’s radio home since 2010, KFMB-FM.

But radio was not in Tegna’s portfolio. It is clear to key broadcast insiders that Tegna has no interest in staying in the radio business.

“Few believe that Tegna intends to keep KFMB-AM/FM,” said one reliable source who opted not to be named. “It’s a TV company and its management has shown no interest in running a competitive radio station.” That insider confided there was no offer for Dave et al to stay at KFMB-FM which has been the show's radio home for eight years.

As of July 1, Dave Shelly and Chainsaw are free to look elsewhere for a new radio home. Their current contract with KFMB-FM expires at the end of this month.

A source who did want to be identified says there has been no effort since Tegna took over the KFMB stations four months ago to communicate with the popular morning show.

One well-substantiated rumor is that Local Media San Diego (operators of 91X, Magic 92.5 and Z-90) is in talks to buy KFMB-FM if a price can be agreed on.

It has been reported that the Dave Shelly Chainsaw show gets in the neighborhood of $2-million a year for its services. It is also widely known that the members of the DSC crew negotiate on their own for their own contract after Dave Rickards secures his contract.

Rickards did not agree to speak for this article.

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Comments

jnojr July 5, 2018 @ 3:42 p.m.

I got sick of the egotistical blowhard Dave Rickards years and years ago.

1

swell July 5, 2018 @ 4:21 p.m.

I used to enjoy the random chitchat of morning talk shows when I worked for a company. The company paid me whether I was focused on business or not. But when I needed to be productive, self employed, I found that I had no time for such nonsense. Now I'm retired and still have no time for such nonsense. This is not a rehearsal, It's the only life we will have—don't waste it.

2

Visduh July 5, 2018 @ 5:20 p.m.

Other than the cost of the trio and the three support personnel, this comes across as absurd. If they can command that sort of listener-ship in a lucrative time slot, why not keep them on board until the station is peddled to an unsuspecting buyer? Let the buyer decide about keeping them and their costly contracts. Who knows, the buyer may know radio well and conclude that they are an asset. (This is all spoken as a media buyer from a long time ago.)

BTW, I've never heard them--not once. So, I have no emotional involvement in this dust-up.

0

AlexClarke July 6, 2018 @ 6:14 a.m.

Who cares? Just another self absorbed group of egomaniacs pandering to the less-than-mentally-sharp radio audience. No loss.

1

Bob_Hudson July 23, 2018 @ 10:05 a.m.

This show helped establish what was for a long time the formula for a morning radio show heavy on talk: you need a dick, a dork and a dame.

3

AlexClarke July 24, 2018 @ 7:15 a.m.

With the dame retiring it will leave the dick and dork looking for a home. No matter what the DSC without S will be nothing. I hope the dick, dork and dame invested in retirement because they are now retired.

0

Ken Leighton July 21, 2018 @ 7:28 p.m.

As was first suggested here July 5, the top-rated Dave Shelly and Chainsaw crew could not reach an agreement with Tegna, the Virginia-based TV conglomerate that took over the KFMB stations four months ago.

After their show last Friday, July 20, the six member-on-air crew were taken into a room and told they just had their last show on KFMB (100.7 FM) after six years of giving KFMB dominant ratings in the all-important morning drive.

They were not given a chance to say goodbye. The DSC crew will still get paid this week becasue of their contract but their fans won't get to hear them.

"We are still Tegna employees through August 1st," Dave Rickards wrote via email last Friday. "But they have taken us off the air for the remainder of our contract. It’s a shame that Shelly didn’t get her final day. But I am keeping the entire show together. In town."

Rickards has served as ringleader and key on-air talent since the show first went on the air in 1990 at KGB. Rickards came from Denver and news reader/sidekick Shelly Dunn arrived from a station in Phoenix. They both joined sports-dude and comedy utility man Cookie Chainsaw Randolph who was already at KGB. The three formed the core of the morning crew (fiirst known as the Dawn Patrol) which has dominated the morning ratings since then.

Only the now defunct Jeff and Jer and the syndicated Howard Stern shows regularly gave the gave the DSC crew competition in the morning ratings race in the sought after 25-54 age range.

Dunn announced July 13 that she was retiring and her last day with the DSC crew would be July 27. Rickards said during the next ten days the show would feature special tributes to Dunn. The DSC crew only made it through the first five. The DSC crew gave no indication on the air that they would be yanked off the air before their contract was over at the end of this month.

Here is what the general manager of the KFMB stations, Alberto Mier y Teran said in a statement released Friday afternoon July 20: "After extensive negotiations and a generous offer to the DSC team, we were unfortunately unable to keep the show here at KFMB. We are looking to the future and remain committed to our listeners in San Diego."

By phone on Friday, Mier y Teran said his offer simply was not as much as the team was offered by a different radio group. He assumed, but did know for sure, that would mean the DSC crew would end up either at Entercom which owns The Fan 97.3 or iHeart which owns KGB and Rock 105. It is thought by most insiders the DSC team would end up on on of those three stations.

0

Ken Leighton July 21, 2018 @ 7:29 p.m.

The problem is that while DSC remains an attractive platform for many local advertisers, radio as a whole has significantly dialed back on talent expenses as overall ad income has decreased over the years. DSC was thought to be making $2-million a year. It is thought that iHeart, which is bankrupt and owes $20-billion to creditors, would have difficulty convincing a bankrupcty judge to fork out such a huge new expenditure. And Entercom is struggling with decreased first quarter earnings and tumbling stock price since it swallowed the CBS Radio group earlier this year.

Mier y Teran said he is looking for the replacement for DSC.

0

Ken Leighton July 21, 2018 @ 10:10 p.m.

It should be noted that I asked Rickards if he had an agreement with another local station. He declined to answer. It should also be noted that KFMBs "generous offer" could have been a fraction of what they were making. The consensus is that KFMB-FM without Rickards and Company will not be a compelling destination for local listeners.

0

Chuy July 23, 2018 @ 1 p.m.

1st day off the radio; miss them already. They were entertaining; that's what they get paid to do. Yes, some of their bits may be dull (even not funny), but overall, I found them funnier and more entertaining over any other morning show. Hope they return but will be interesting to hear them without Shelly.

0

sdsurfers July 23, 2018 @ 1:02 p.m.

THANK YOU for all of the information Ken. Turned on the radio to listen to the last week of Shelly, and they were just playing music. Mike V (who is awesome) was on and was talking about the weather and acted like nothing had happened. I am SURE the "generous offer" these morons made wasn't anything close to what they were asking for/deserved! These local radio stations are greedy and screw people constantly. That's why you always here DJ's rotate from station to station every few years (Like Halloran and Hillary etc....). DSC makes these stations plenty of money over and above their payroll and my guess is that they will be on the air (without Shelley) in the coming weeks and months LOCALLY. The show is funny and they say a lot of things that others are afraid to say without losing their jobs/careers. Best of luck to Dave and the rest of the remaining crew. I am looking forward to listening to you again (on any station!) soon!

0

Ken Leighton July 23, 2018 @ 2:40 p.m.

Oh my! as Chainsaw would say.....Is Dave Rickards and company headed back to one of their previous homes? Does this station have three call letters? If that happens, would the "S" in DSC replaced by a "C," or would the popular C person be moved to a different part of the day? And what would then would happen to The Fan which was dead on arrival and clearly needed the DSC crew to help them get back on track?

0

Ken Leighton July 27, 2018 @ 10:07 a.m.

Soon after they are off the clock and no longer KFMB employees (August 1), expect KGB to start teasing about the arrival of a surprise to the 101.5 airwaves. Nobody can do anything until then. KGB/iHeart ad salesmen would not leak the news out of fear of litigation UNTIL WEDNESDAY. The interesting thing to ask DSC....iHeart is bankrupt. It owes $20-BILLION WITH A B. After all is said and done, what does it mean if you reconnect with heritage call letters when it involves a contract from iHeart? As Chainsaw would say, OH MY!!!

0

Ken Leighton July 31, 2018 @ 11:19 a.m.

The reality is that they just aren't making compelling morning shoes with a lot of moving parts like DSC anymore. There are fewer and fewer farm clubs out there developing new talent because radio in smaller markets are backing away from hiring and developing live talent. It seems to me that Entercom had a good idea with Kevin Klein Live, a snotty, younger skewing morning show with attitude. And by the way, the KKL show costs a fraction of DSC. When the Coronado jump issue came down, after the show got huge publicity, they balked on keeping KKL which seemingly would have given DSC a longterm run for its money especially with younger listeners. But Entercom got spooked by the Padres (which by the way is a ratings bust and which Entercom pays a lot to carry so Entercom shouldn't have to cave if the Padres says KKL hurts their feelings). Instead Entercom stuck with Dan Sileo. Are you kidding me? The only thing I can think of is Entercom will eventually bring back KKL to 97.3 (maybe as a syndicated show). But for now 97.3 is in second or third in a three way race. Can you imagine what KKL would have done this week and last week with DSC off the air?

0

Ken Leighton July 31, 2018 @ 11:44 p.m.

Kevin Klein Live (a low cost, hungry, younger-skewing morning thing) could have been on the air during these two weeks without DSC, doing major damage and establishing a local beachhead with new energy and a more urban, saucy delivery. But No. Entercom San Diego (Bob Bolinger and Kevin-from-Albany) went with Dan SIleo. What a way to top off your radio career guys!

You can say DSC is old school and follows a predictable formula. But they are still smart, impromptu and do quality radio. And they get ratings. This was a rare opportunity for a competing group to make headway in a major market by spending little salary money but executing a little chutzpah and clever counter-programming. But no. The Padres made a pouty face. So Bob and Kevin reacted to their Padres bitch-slapping by sticking with Dan Sileo. I don't think anything else needs to be said: DAN SILEO. Bob and Kevin have their corporate careers defined by D-A-N S-I-L-E-O.

It's almost like the gods wanted to protect DSC by keeping any would-be competitors like Entercom to exhibit weak and lazy decision making.

Kevin Klein Live will never never beat DSC. But KKL could have been a huge sensation last week and this week while DSC was off the air 97.3 could have established some kind of footing going forward. But Bob and Kevin went with Dan Sileo. They didn't want to upset the Padres.

Bob Bolinger started his career here by bringing San Diego's first major morning show, Murphy and McKeever to San Diego's Q-106 in the 80s. Thirty years later he's known for Dan Sileo. That's gotta hurt.

0

Ken Leighton Aug. 1, 2018 @ 9:12 a.m.

New KGB lineup: The DSC crew in mornings. Bob and Coe in afternoons. Clint is moved to middays and the Coppola guy who used to voicetrack his midday from out of San Diego has left the station. Unclear: what happens to Tommy Sablan.

0

aardvark Aug. 2, 2018 @ 10:06 p.m.

The only time I listen to KGB is on the weekends when Jim McInnes is on, or the day/night of the SkyShow. Other than that, I haven't listened to KGB in years. That will continue. Satellite radio is a wonderful thing.

0

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