It seems a notable name has popped up in radio industry news circles. Former 97.5 program director, Matt Nahigian, who was let go in August, has found his way to San Francisco to be the new program director of 95.7 The Game. Here’s what Matt wrote on his Facebook page:
San Francisco here we come! I am incredibly excited to tell all of you that I have accepted a position with Entercom and will be heading out to San Francisco to be the Program Director at 95.7 The Game. It’s such an incredible opportunity to be apart of a company that is one of the biggest and best radio companies in the country. Everyone we have talked to that has lived or is currently living out there says it is amazing. The station is the broadcast rights holder for the A’s and the Golden St. Warriors so I won’t be considered a bandwagon jumper if I become a Warriors fan. LOL. Thanks to all the great people that we have met in Philadelphia. It’s been 10 of the best years of my life. We have made so many great friends and will miss all of you a great deal. Please think of me in shorts when you are shoveling snow. From Chicago to Philly to San Fran!
Despite some late grinding of the axes – particularly when it came to our podcast – I always liked Nahigian as a person. Much better than Andy Bloom, who once blindsided me on the air and called me an “asshole” and then proceeded to yell at me off the air for doing my job. I felt like Bloom was a scumbag, whereas Nahigian was a decent human who didn’t quite get new media.
I had several conversations with Nahigian over the years – no, he wasn’t my source for RADIO WARS – including one around 2012 about a potential partnership.
He had approached me about being sort of the web arm of 97.5, doing posts about their interviews the way CBSPhilly.com does for WIP (which is now owned by Entercom, Nahigian’s new employer). I was open to the idea (at the time RADIO WARS wasn’t really a thing), but it became sort of a non-starter when Nahigian requested that we pull some punches lest he get a call from a local team that we pissed off (he cited the time I called Ruben Amaro a “fucking liar”). That wasn’t going to work for either of us. I countered with a more unofficial business partnership concept where Greater Media sales reps could represent CB and include us in potential ad buys, giving them a web component to sell. That never went anywhere.
Most notably, I had conversations with him over the years about podcasting, on which I found his views to be slightly archaic. Nahigian seemed to conflate delivery with quality, and refused to acknowledge that a certain demographic preferred on-demand, niche topic-driven content to big, loud radio shows, even if they were better produced. Ironically, WIP, historically more old school than 97.5, has excelled as of late in partnering with a number of team-specific local podcasts. Whether they’re bringing in any significant revenue I don’t know, but at the very least it has compelled a number of discerning local thought leaders among the most hardcore fans to embrace WIP and also steer clear of lambasting the sometimes archaic views of its hosts, which would typically be ripe for the picking with that crowd. Nahigian turned his nose up at stuff like that and, I always got the sense, felt that new media wasn’t worthy of mainstream attention. Still, he did a hell of a job turning 97.5 from an also-ran into a genuine contender and peer of WIP, the longtime incumbent. Getting Mike Missanelli, Tony Bruno, Anthony Gargano and others over to his station, whether you like them or not, was a job well done, and I think Nahigian deserves credit for what he built over there.