Day 3: wrap it up!
05.12.2010
Matthew Bates in radio, the 91X Morning Show

Good afternoon!

Tomorrow, I'll have all kinds of fun stuff to post, including info on our last big party. But today I am going to post the blog that many people have been asking for....So let's wrap this up.

This is going to be a rather long post, so I'll hit on the main points first for those of you with shorter attention spans. If you do read through this whole thing- thank you.

 

WHAT REALLY HAPPENED?

We got fired. I'm really sorry that I don't have anything more salacious or controversial for you on this front. They basically gave us the same reason they gave you- "different directions". Its the corporate equivalent of "it's not you, it's me." Diego didn't finally cross the line on Hooked on Chronics, Sammi didn't finally melt down in a barrage of profanity, nothing that happened on Fox 5 last week caused us to get fired...91X just decided they didn't need us anymore.

In December, 91X became financially insolvent. In January, 91X was sold at an auction, not unllike a decomissioned police car. The winning bidder was a huge private equity firm. With that, our previous contracts and protections became void, and our old boss left. 5 months later, and we are done. From that point forward, it was clear to us that this was probably going to happen at some point. We were never even introduced to some of the people that you all have been writing angry emails to- including the guy that runs the company.

 

IT'S OVER...

The show is over. It really is. It is extremely unlikely that we will be appearing anywhere else on the radio in San Diego. I designed this show in conjunction with the company that previously owned 91X to be specifically for 91X, and specifically for San Diego. There's really no other available home for us in this city, and that's OK with us. We had a good run, made some lifelong friends, and proved a point. We've already been presented with a few opportunities to take the show to other cities, and while we are beyond grateful for the consideration, San Diego is our home, and radio is not a good business for someone with a family, a mortgage, and other obligations to be in. Nothing is ever certain, but I am pretty confident that this is the end of the road for me as far as radio goes. I can't speak for Carlos or Sammi on this, but they are both pretty burnt on this experience as well.

Most importantly, because none of us are "radio people", so to speak, we don't have that pathological desire to be behind a microphone. We are not willing to move around the country, compromise relationships and families, and risk our livelihoods just to talk on the radio. Our identities aren't linked to our job titles...we are going to be the same people with or without a radio show.

 

WE ARE NOT BITTER...

Here's the thing: whether you agree with their decision or not, LMA was well within their rights to fire us without cause. They own the station, they can do whatever they like with it. Perhaps we could have been treated with more respect and dignity, but that's business. Their obligation is not to us as performers, but to make money and get as many of you to listen for as long as possible. By any means nessicary. 

I've seen this happen so many times over the years, and I never really understood it: Radio show gets fired, and radio host goes on a year long sympathy and unemployment tour. They can't believe that nobody is ready to step up and pay them a ton of money to editorialize and do silly stunts in front of a microphone for 5 hours a day. Nobody is entitled to be on the radio any more than anyone is entitled to any other job. It's a meritocracy. We are not bitter, and our work ethic- both collectively and individually- is such that we are not inclined to sit around collecting unemployment and being bummed out. We need to go get jobs. Preferably not in radio.

If theres anything that sucks about this whole ordeal, it's that many members of the 91EX Morning Show community have had their feelings hurt and routines messed with, and for that, I am really sorry. I wish it didn't happen like this.

 

WHAT NEXT?...

Well, I will tell you what we are NOT going to do. We are not going to do shows from our garage. We are not going to set up some sort of glorified shoutcast station because we think that you desperately need to hear what we have to to say everyday. We are going to go get jobs.

After word got out about what had happened, the first people that reached out to us were our friends from the SD Craft Brewing community. Some of the guys from Airdale came out to have drinks with us at the High Dive. Paul Segura and Ryan Ross from Karl Strauss invited us into the brewing facilities during Beach to Brewery to drink and talk shop. Mike Mellow from Mission Brewery came over to my house within 5 minutes of hearing what had happened with a case of bombers for my beer fridge... you get the picture.

So- we've got a cool new project (that has come together remarkably fast) that is going to allow us to still work together once a week and continue what we've started with Beer For Breakfast. Think Beer For Breakfast, but in glorious High Definition. We are still committed to supporting and showcasing the craft beer scene in San Diego and encouraging people to drink locally, and apparently there are people that think that this is something that will be of interest to beer fans outside of San Diego as well. This project is still in it's infancy, but keep an eye on www.SDbeerforbreakfast.com and start following us on twitter at @SDBeerShow.

On a personal level- if you're looking for a new way to listen to and discover music, please support Slacker Radio. They are based right here in San Diego, they were my employers before I came to 91X, and they were kind enough to allow me to continue working there during my time on the show. I still work there as a Program Director. You can get the Slacker App for any smartphone and take it with you wherever you go, thus negating the need for a radio.

 

WE LOVE YOU...

Later on this week we are going to post something here called "Seriously, Thank That Guy". We feel like we owe you something, and hopefully this will suffice and show you how truly grateful we are to you.

One last note- when the new corporation took over, they fired Preston. The reason we didn't talk about it is because Preston essentially told us to forget about him and let him go off to Australia to start over. So we respected that. But with that said- we love and miss Preston very very much, and without him, the show wouldn't have been what it was. He worked as hard as anyone to make this work, and he is one of the best human beings I have ever known. Thanks, Poops.

 

I'll leave you with some fun facts:

1) The last song that I ever got to play on 91X was one that I actually got to pick- "Clampdown" by The Clash.

2) The last sentence that Sammi ever said on 91X included the word "shart".

3) The way we found out that we were being fired was not from any of the corporate guys, but by noticing that we had been taken off of the website before our show was over.

 

That's all I've got to say about that. You've read about it, now go discuss it here: 91EX Morning Show on Facebook

 

Thanks, and goodbye for now-

Mat.

Article originally appeared on Mat Diablo - Matt Diablo - Matthew Bates (http://mattdiablo.com/).
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