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Confessions of a Former Fan Fan

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So I guess the first question is: Why did I choose to start listening to 105.3 The Fan?

Well, it basically comes down to this: I wanted something other than SportsRadio 1310.

I’m not going to deny that for years, I had a beef with The Ticket and refused to listen. Even those reading this that know me as “the Hardline Nerd” should know my vendetta against them was even during that time and I only did that one appearance to appease a friend. I should elaborate on more details later.

But for now, back in 2009, I was needing something else. I was listening to 103.3, but outside of Galloway by that time, there was very little local stuff on there. And while I tried to deny it to my Ticket-listening friends, it was a problem. (Even though “local talk” in DFW still means 99.99 percent Cowboys, which isn’t much better for me…) So when I discovered 105.3 was converting into becoming a third sports station for North Texas, I was definitely intrigued.

Nothing really sparked my interest for the first few months – until Sean Salisbury was replaced with Richie Whitt as Newy Scruggs’ new on-air partner. Here was a name I knew. Richie’s Mavericks articles in the Star-Telegram had been must-read action for me as a kid, and I was honored to discover that my choice of college was the same as his. Here was a show I could listen to.

A year later, while Newy had to take some days off, Richie sprung a surprise guest host. It was Greggo, getting a third chance after getting bounced from the other two sports stations. I’ll admit – at the time I didn’t like Greggo; guilt by association from my issues with The Ticket. But as I continued to tune in, especially after Greggo eventually replaced Newy full time, I grew to like him and began to think other factors made me hate The Ticket instead of him. (Trust me, Ticket fans, I WILL let you in on those issues eventually.)

I was a dedicated “Fan fan,” not just tuning in regularly but attending their remote broadcasts and promo events with regularity. And it wasn’t just RAGE – I turned out for the G-Bags, Elf & Slater and the few times New School had promos. I wore their shirts whenever I could. I liked the hosts as people, even when I disagreed with them, and I could tell they were genuine. Pretty much everything about The Fan helped get me through some difficult times.

When did it start going south?

In a way, maybe the seeds were planted all the way back in early 2011, when the Rangers up and left The Fan, but more on that at a later date. At that point, it was awkward being a dedicated listener to just the flagship station of my most disliked team (well they were also the station for TMS, but still). But the people on the air were still ones I liked, and I assumed they weren’t going to just be shills for Jerry just because the games were on their station (yet another topic I’ll get to later).

I knew The Fan’s ratings were not good, but I didn’t care. I’ve supported soccer and UTA sports; I don’t follow anything just because it’s popular. This was my station, and as far as I was concerned, nothing would change that.

But then came March of 2013 when the first bomb was hit – in the form of a Facebook post from a Miss Jasmine Sadry saying The Fan was not renewing her contract. I had known Jas for just about a year, and to know the type of person and worker she was, it was infuriating to hear that just like that, she was gone. No one at the station was allowed to even talk about her departure, just make it seem like she never existed in the first place. It was a cold 180-degree turn from how the station had handled departures before. I couldn’t bring myself to listen to New School again, just out of principle. It didn’t matter how much I liked Shan and RJ, management was essentially telling me as a listener, “forget about that stupid chick, she was nothing, just listen to who’s left.” It was condescending to me, and I couldn’t stand for it.

But it wouldn’t be the last blow.

It was April 2013 – the Monday following Race Weekend at TMS. I tuned into 105.3 a few minutes late – and heard Kevin and Cory from the K&C Masterpiece. Hmm, RAGE had to take the day off, I first thought. But when they came back from first break and didn’t say they were filling in for RAGE, I got that feeling in the pit of my stomach. I immediately went to The Fan’s website, and sure enough – no mention of RAGE on it whatsoever. Minutes later, the posts came on Facebook from Richie – RAGE, Dead and Gone.

And with that my status as a Fan fan: Dead and Gone.

I didn’t listen to another minute of K&C’s afternoon run, even though I kind of liked their show. No need to; I knew they wouldn’t last. Anyone with half of a sea monkey’s brain knew who was coming in, and that wasn’t going to keep me around.

The bridge burning began for me – at least for the people behind the scenes at 105.3. A very long and intensely heated war of words with one B-bag of a sales rep who obviously thought I was loyal to the brand and not the people. She was dead wrong, and let’s just say we should never meet face to face again. I’ll tell you more later.

You can say all you want about The Fan doing what it has to do to make more noise in the ratings battle; I don’t care. Clearly, trying to do better in the ratings means catering to people who aren’t like me. Fine, I’ve been there too many times before. I don’t follow the popular crowd; I make my own decisions. But when you kick away the people I was loyal to and you treat me like a sheep by essentially saying, “forget those other guys, watch our new guys,” don’t expect me to acquiesce.

Am I wasting space on the unlimited World Wide Web saying this, coming off like a whiny fanboy? Well, I can’t blame you for thinking that. All I can say is, it’s therapeutic for me to get this out in saying how a station’s management gave the shaft to friends of mine that I think deserved better. And if you don’t think I’m wasting your time, feel free to stay tuned.

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