Above: North County sports personalities Ben Higgins, right, and Steve Woods are taking their show to 97.3 The Fan, the Padres’ flagship station. Courtesy photo
After Ben Higgins’ noggin’ finds the pillow at 1 a.m., his alarm clocks snaps the solitude of his Encinitas home a mere three-plus hours later.
“Somehow I make it work,” Higgins said. “I sneak in a nap here and there.”
If Higgins isn’t the hardest-working media member in the San Diego market, he’s the most sleep-deprived. As the KGTV10 News sports director and, as of June 10, the co-host of the “Ben and Woods” morning sports talk show on 97.3 The Fan, the Padres’ flagship station, Higgins is shy of shut-eye.
“I really don’t know how he does it,” said co-host Steve Woods of Solana Beach. “He’s a beast.”
What’s old is new again for Higgins. After the 11 p.m newscast, it’s nearly time to start again with his radio gig.
“Actually I have a twin brother,” Higgins joked. “But I’m doing what I want to do, so in that way, I enjoy it.”
There was no joy in Mudville, or the Higgins household, when The Mighty 1090 waved a white flag recently. Unable to pay its bills, Higgins and Woods paid the price.
After about a year of them forming their a.m. shtick on an AM station, it was over.
“We expected to be at 1090 a long time,” Higgins, 43, said. “We were really fortunate that 97.3 showed an interest in us. It certainly wasn’t planned that way.”
Higgins’ career path after graduating from Torrey Pines High School has been local. Since being a 1090 intern in 2002, he’s bounced around different San Diego stations, connecting with more partners than Paris Hilton.
He’s shared a microphone with Craig Elston doing the Padres pre- and post-game shows. He had a sports talk show with Chris Ello. And while working at KGTV he’s seen countless colleagues come and go while manning the sports desk with class and distinction.
That led to his double-double with KGTV and 1090 and now into a similar combo with Woods at 97.3. Save Ted Leitner, who once did that, and called Padres games, few match the tenacity in which Higgins punches the clock.
So when 1090 cried uncle, Higgins slept in. But that didn’t last long when 97.3 called, seeking to expand its home-spun programing.
If Higgins nicks his face while shaving in the pre-dawn darkness, he bleeds Padre brown.
“I love the Padres,” Higgins said.
But which platform tugs at his heart the most?
“TV is about crafting things to fit into two- and three-minute chunks,” Higgins said. “Then on radio I’m able to expand my passion for sports and have a little more fun.”
It’s doubtful Higgins will be off-kilter when returning to radio. Like rust, Higgins never sleeps.
Contact Jay Paris at [email protected] Follow him @jparis_sports