Mightier 1090 logo
Mightier 1090 logo

Bill Hagen couldn’t be more excited.

Hagen, a passionate fan of sports talk radio since his youth in Phoenix and a successful owner for the past 23 years of Out The Window Advertising, a Flagstaff, AZ-based ad agency, is the station operator heading the re-launch of San Diego-based sports-talk radio station XEPRS 1090-AM.

Beginning 9 a.m. Monday, Aug. 17, the 50,000-watt station, with a transmitter in Baja California, will return to the Southern California airwaves as “The Mightier 1090.”

“I’m incredibly excited and very nervous, but I like our chances for success,” Hagen told Times of San Diego. “It has taken a tireless amount of work from a number of great people to get us to this point. It’s been very challenging, but I believe it will pay off. ”

The station, previously billed as “The Mighty 1090,” was a fixture in the San Diego radio market since its founding by Broadcast Company of the Americas (BCA) in 2003. The station has been off the air since April 2019, after a dispute over leasing fees between BCA and the Mexican-based signal transmitter provider.

Hagen says he has signed a local marketing agreement, which includes a five-year lease of the 1090-AM frequency, with Andreas Bichara Assad of Interamericana de Radio in Rosarito, the signal tower operator who was previously battling with BCA, which is now out of business.

“I know what it takes to launch a radio station and I’ve been working on this project every day for the past six months,” said Hagen. “Without Covid, it should have taken 60 days. But, we kept pushing and pushing through the delays.”

In the 1990s, Hagen said he was involved in rebranding KMVP-FM 98.7 in Phoenix. Today, the station is the flagship station for the MLB’s Arizona Diamondbacks, NFL’s Arizona Cardinals, NBA’s Phoenix Suns and Arizona State University’s Sun Devils’ football games. Hagen said he grew up listening to KTAR, a Phoenix news-talk-sports station featuring veteran sportscaster Lee “Hacksaw” Hamilton, who relocated to San Diego in the 1980s. Hagen said his first job after college was at KTAR.

Bill Hagen

“Yes, you could say that I’m a passionate fan of sports talk radio,” said Hagen. “Launching a radio station from scratch during a pandemic with virtually no live sports taking place has been a daunting task, to say the least. But, we made it, and I am very proud of the product that we will be putting on the air. The station has an iconic history in sports radio and a lot of people have been working very hard to make it happen.”

Beginning last week and continuing until 9 a.m. on Aug. 17, the station has been airing an entertaining, seven-minute continuous audio loop of “The History of 1090” program.

“It has long been our goal to give 1090 AM back to the millions of listeners of Southern California who have missed it since it went off the air almost 18 months ago and we’re doing so as The Mightier 1090,” said Hagen.

The weekday talk-show host lineup includes: “The Morning After,” a nationally syndicated talk show with hosts Ariel Epstein and Jared Smith, 6 to 9 a.m.; Rich Eisner, a nationally syndicated talk-show host, 9 a.m. to noon;  Scott Ferrall with two shows per day, including “Ferrall Coast to Coast,” 1 to 3 p.m. and “Ferrall On The Bench,” 7 to 9 p.m.; Scott Kaplan, 3 to 7 p.m.; Tony Bruno, a nationally syndicated host formerly with ESPN Radio, Fox Sports Radio and Sporting News Radio, 9 p.m.- midnight.

Programming for the weekday noon-to-1 p.m. time slot has not yet been announced. The full programming schedule, including overnight and weekends, appears on the station’s website, www.TheMightier1090.com.

Eisen was the first on-air talent added to NFL Network’s roster in June 2003, five months before the network’s launch in November 2003. He resides in Los Angeles with wife Suzy Shuster, a long-time ABC, FOX and TNT sports broadcaster.

Kaplan, a local personality who spent 16 years at 1090-AM at The Mighty 1090, will host a show called “Kaplan and Crew” with sidekicks Alex Padilla and John Browner. He also has been an NFL sideline reporter for both CBS Sports and Westwood One Radio.

Ferrall has hosted radio talk shows for the past 20 years. “Ferrall on the Bench” debuted on CBS Sports Radio in 2013, following shows with Howard Stern on SiriusXM since 2006. Prior to joining Stern, Ferrall hosted programs on WFAN and WNEW-FM New York and WQAM Miami. Earlier this year, Ferrall left CBS Sports Radio to join SportsGrid Radio Network to host shows focusing on sports wagering.

Bruno has hosted sports talk shows since the 1990s. He helped launch Fox Sports Radio in Los Angles in 2000. In 2015, Bruno announced his retirement from terrestrial radio. In 2019, he reemerged with stations in Philadelphia. He’s also currently heard weekdays, noon to 3 p.m., on Sirius XM.

The station said its signal is one of the strongest in North America with the ability to reach more than 24 million California residents from Baja to San Diego and up to Orange County, Los Angeles and the Central Coast. The 1090 AM broadcast signal has been active since 1944.

The staff of Alternative Strategies

Alternative Strategies Celebrates 20th Anniversary

Alternative Strategies, a San Diego marketing agency, recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. The agency was founded by William Lopez in July 2000, who today serves as CEO.

“Having a supportive team and a dedicated family of past and current clients, vendors and partners has made reaching this 20-year milestone possible,” said Lopez. “I couldn’t be more grateful to my passionate team for working together, digging their heels in and contributing to the building and growing of each business.”

With 16 full-time employees, the agency specializes in the restaurant and hospitality industries. It has won previous awards from the American Marketing Association, American Design, Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the Greater San Diego Business Association.

Falcon Strategies Adds Victor Avina as Senior Associate

Falcon Strategies, a consulting firm offering government and community relations, has announced the addition of Victor Avina as senior associate. Avina was previously an advisor in land use policy to San Diego County Supervisor Greg Cox, who is termed out.

Victor Avina

“We are very excited to welcome Victor as part of the team,” said Clarissa Falcon, principal, Falcon Strategies. “He has a proven track record of successfully guiding initiatives related to a myriad of environmental projects, which make him a valued addition.”

At the county, Avina assisted Cox in strategy and advocacy when Cox served on the California Coastal Commission and board member on the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority. Avina also spearheaded strategy and policy development on behalf of the Supervisor to address sewage spillage into the Tijuana River Valley along the U.S.-Mexico border. This multiyear undertaking resulted in the approval of $300 million in federal infrastructure funding.

Avina earned a bachelor’s degree in business management in 2012 and a master’s in business administration in 2020 from San Diego State University’s Fowler College of Business.

Two Extra Weeks for Press Club Entries

The San Diego Press Club has extended by two weeks the deadline for entries for its 2020 Excellence in Journalism Awards program. Instead of 9 p.m. on Monday, Aug, 17, the new deadline is 9 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 31.

“We’re at a high number of entries this year, even more than in some recent years,” said Terry Williams, executive director of the organization. “But, this has been such an unusual year. So, for the first time in recent memory, our board decided to give some extra time in an effort to reduce stress for our members and award entrants. We’re calling it a ‘pandemic perk.’”

Entry information, along with instructions and categories, can be found at www.sdpressclub.org. More than 500 awards in more than 180 categories will be presented in an online awards presentation on Oct. 27. It’s the 47th year for the San Diego Press Club’s award program.

In addition, the Press Club is seeking nominations for its four annual special awards, including: Harold Keen Award for outstanding contributions in journalism; Jim Reiman Award for exceptional leadership and news management skills; Drew Silvern Award for special achievement in reporting; Andy Mace Award for outstanding contribution in public relations. Entries for the special awards can be sent to kathi.diamant@gmail.com.

Rick Griffin

Rick Griffin is a San Diego-based public relations and marketing consultant. His MarketInk column appears weekly on Mondays in Times of San Diego.