Padres’ flagship station rebrands after DJ’s controversial tweet

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SAN DIEGO – The San Diego Padres will stick with 97.3 FM as their flagship radio station despite recent controversy surrounding a tweet by a host – a decision that came on the same day the station announced it will rebrand as an all-sports station.

Entercom Communications announced 97.3 The Machine, which broadcasts Padres games, will be rebranded as 97.3 The Fan, a decision prompted by backlash from a promotional tweet by Kevin Klein, who was slated to be a morning show host but never ended up on the air.

Last month, Klein tweeted a photo of the San Diego-Coronado bridge overlaid with text urging listeners to “JUMP… to a new morning show.” The tweet, which was deleted the next day, was considered insensitive by many.

“After a recent off-air tweet, we took the opportunity to step back, listen to the important feedback from the community and our partners, the Padres, and reevaluate the path forward,” Bob Bolinger, market manager of Entercom San Diego, said in a statement Wednesday. “The station was always going to be largely about sports and we determined the right thing to do was go 100 percent all in.”

Klein will not be on the station, the Union-Tribune reported.

In a statement also released Wednesday, Padres Executive Chairman Ron Fowler said, “We have had numerous discussions over the last two weeks with Entercom’s local and national management about our expectations for the radio home of the San Diego Padres. They have assured us that the challenges we faced with 97.3 FM at the beginning of this season have been addressed and that steps have been taken to make sure they are not repeated.

“We believe that their new format better reflects the values of the Padres and the San Diego community as a whole, and we appreciate Entercom’s willingness to listen to our concerns and adjust their content.”

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