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Investor plans 'Mightier 1090' after leasing signal of former sports radio station

'SoCal-Sports-Talk' format, summer launch planned for rebranded San Diego station

By Tom Krasovic
The San Diego Union-Tribune
April 26, 2020

Planning to relaunch San Diego radio station 1090-AM but with less sports content, the owner of an Arizona advertising agency has obtained broadcast rights to the far-reaching radio signal that beams from Baja California.

Bill Hagen, the investor, said Sunday the former sports-talk station known as The Mighty 1090, which fell off the airwaves last April for financial reasons, will be recast as The Mightier 1090.

This summer, if not sooner, is the target date for the launch, Hagen said.

"We have to a ton of work to do," he told the Union-Tribune. "We just wanted to announce that it is coming back."

The signal operator, Andres Bichara Assad of Interamericana de Radio in Rosarito, referred comment to Hagen, who said the lease runs five years.

A year ago when its parent company took it off the airwaves, 1090 was the highest-rated sports talk station in San Diego. It was a market fixture for 16 years.

Hagen said Scott Kaplan, a former 1090 talk-show host, will be part of the station's afternoon lineup but that he has no other broadcasters under contract.

"Sports is going to be just part of it," Hagen said. "There will be sports there - but it's not going to be just 24/7 talking about sports. Absolutely, it will be about lifestyle."

The station will target listeners throughout Southern California, not just San Diego, Hagen said. Because of the 50,000-watt signal, 1090 broadcasts can be heard clearly as far north as Santa Barbara.

Hagen, 49, attended Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. In the same city, he has run an advertising agency that counts several auto dealers among its clients. He owns a home in Carlsbad, from where he spoke Sunday.

Long "infatuated with radio," he said he appreciates the lengthy history of the potent 1090 signal. He noted that in the 1960s, for example, disc jockey "Wolfman Jack" could be heard on 1090 XERB radio. The station's slogan was "Southern California giant, 50,000 watts of soul power!"

"It's just a great radio story," Hagen said of the 1090 signal, "and that's what intrigued me about this."

The San Diego radio market includes two sports-talk stations, XTRA 1360 Fox Sports San Diego and 97.3 The Fan. Each station has a show that used to be on 1090, with Darren Smith working afternoons at 1360 and Ben Higgins and Steven Woods on mornings at 97.3.

© The San Diego Union-Tribune April 26, 2020

This material remains © The San Diego Union-Tribune and is only to be used for non-commercial personal or research use. Any other use requires permission of the copyright holder.


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