Martin Responds to 105.3 Format Changes

Russ Martin, one of the most popular voices on North Texas radio, was suddenly silenced Monday, the victim of a format change.

Today, Martin spoke out about his firing at FrontBurner. Click here to read.

Live 105.3 abruptly changed from talk radio to all-sports talk.  Its new name is The Fan.

"The (Russ Martin) show is no longer with the radio station at this time," said David Henry, KLLI-FM's senior vice president and general manager. "We feel the sports format is the biggest possible audience we can get."

He denied Martin's dismissal had anything to do with his much-publicized arrest this summer in Southlake following an argument with his girlfriend.

"You know what? It's just a change in direction," Henry said.

Martin did not return calls or e-mails seeking comment from NBC 5, though he did talk to D Magazine's FrontBurner blog in an e-mail exchange: Click here to read.

He was perhaps the closest thing Dallas-Fort Worth radio had to a shock jock.  Sometimes brash and abrasive, he was always entertaining to his listeners.

In 2001, he underwent a vasectomy -- and broadcast it live on his show.

"The guy's got talent," said longtime listener James Wallace. "The station has a following that they do not even, I guess, understand. And going to a sports station? It doesn't make sense to me whatsoever."

Wallace was so disturbed by the change he drove to the station's Dallas studio to protest.

"He was their money-maker," Wallace said. "Russ Martin is what made this station."

The station started alerting listeners to the change by playing nothing but college fight songs Monday.

In a press release sent out after the announcement, KLLI announced its lineup would be anchored by the Jagger Show from 6 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., followed by market veteran Kevin Scott and former NFL and Texas A&M football player Greg Hill from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The station's midday show The Ben and Skin Show moves to the afternoon drive-time slot of 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. followed by Pete Stein and Mike Rodriguez from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Nowhere to be found in the lineup is Martin. The popular host had occupied the coveted 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. slot.

Martin made headlines in July when he was arrested on three misdemeanor charges, accusing him of assaulting his girlfriend.

He pleaded not guilty and his case is set to go to trial in January.

The move to all-sports talk echoes moves at other CBS Radio stations in Detroit and Baltimore.

"We felt (it was important to) get it on now," said Henry, the general manager. "It's December, the Cowboys are still in the playoff hunt. Lots to talk about right now."

More: Dallas Observer's Sportatorium

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