March is the beginning of the best portion of the calendar year, period. Not only does the weather begin to warm up a little bit (yeah, I know I live in San Diego), the beach is still not too crowded, girls start to shave their legs again after their winter pants season, but a new season of Padres baseball is upon us with the beginning of Cactus League games in spring training!
This year is a little different. Normally, us sports fans begin to look forward to the Padres upcoming season to distract us from yet another disappointing Chargers football season. Near the end of summer, we begin to look forward to the upcoming NFL season to distract us from yet another disappointing Padres season, and such the cycle has unfolded since the 1960’s.
Yet now we look forward to the 2017 Padres season for a couple of different reasons. One of those reasons being that the San Diego Chargers no longer exists after bolting (pun intended) for Los Angeles at the conclusion of their miserable 2016 season, and the other being an exciting young Padres team with players we hope will bring us a championship around 2019 and not make us want to cut our eyes out for the next couple of seasons.
This year is a little different for Padres fans who are looking for ways to listen to the teams games.
Last year, with the teams contract expiring with local sports radio giant the Mighty-1090, the team landed with local alternative rock FM station 94.9.
At first glance, this is a poor decision on two fronts.
First, an FM station does not carry the same signal as an AM station. The Mighty 1090 was able to (in perfect weather conditions) broadcast its signal as far north as Washington state and east into Arizona and potentially further. FM 94.9 on the other hand, gets hazy into the northern parts of San Diego County (south of Riverside) and doesn’t even stretch eastward into Imperial county which is a mere 120ish miles from eastern San Diego County cites like Santee, El Cajon, and La Mesa.
Secondly, FM94.9 is doing almost nothing to market themselves to fans! Instead of putting their most popular on-air personalities on pre or postgame shows, they fired them and hired an outside personality Rich Herrera who is an avid San Francisco Giants fan who frequently appears on Los Angeles Dodgers related podcasts.
But what about a third, maybe less obvious issue that may not go fully noticed? That being that FM 94.9 is barely broadcasting anything during spring training, and according to the Padres official website, is not slated to broadcast regular season games. The later statement will likely not hold true, but as you can see from the graphic below, 94.9 is only broadcasting 7 games on its own frequency during spring training, with the rest of the radio broadcasts being placed on the stations sister channel 97.3 KSON, which is one of the premier country music stations in San Diego. As for the regular season? 94.9 is not even listed on any broadcasts.