Sid Gilman tried to get him to try out for the Chargers, but Lynch plowed into the Chicago business world. He came to San Diego in ’72 as a 25-year-old sales manager with the company that took over KFMB Radio. Lynch then cofounded a group that bought a series of stations (including XTRA Sports) and created alternative-rock station 91X. Lynch bought 100 percent of the company, grew it to 25 stations and then sold to Jacor Communications in 1996 for $152 million.
A five-year noncompete agreement kept Lynch out of radio. He spent time presiding over the San Diego International Sports Council, and was vital in lining up the Torrey Pines course for golf’s 2008 U.S Open.
But now he’s back in “show business in its smallest form,” he says. Lynch’s new Mighty 1090 station offers 24/7 local sports coverage on the AM dial. In a quick coup, he landed deals to air Padres and SDSU games. “This makes us major players—almost immediately,” he says.
But Lynch doesn’t plan to rebuild a dynasty. “We’ll go for two to four other stations,” he says. “I see a role these days for small, independent operators.” Small—but mighty.