Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Yet Another Triv Folo

If he got yet another call from a listener getting asked if they'd listen to him in mornings, we didn't hear it on WTAM afternoon motormouth Mike Trivisonno's show today. But we did hear something interesting.

Triv was ripping former Indians star Jim Thome for refusing that Indians offer a few years ago to keep him in Cleveland, and taking a larger offer to go to the Philadelphia Phillies while telling Triv and fans he wanted to stay in Cleveland...saying the current Chicago White Sox slugger "lied" to Cleveland fans, and Triv himself.

The afternoon mainstay on Cleveland's "Big One" then told listeners that he had a leg to stand on in criticizing Thome...saying he'd gotten significant offers last fall from "two different places, two different stations" in what he called "a huge opportunity, making more money than I'm making here". But Triv says despite that, he "stayed put for less money", and turned down the offers, even though he believed he could probably get a lawyer to get him out of his WTAM contract...saying he was at "the place (he) wanted to be"...and on the station and in the time slot he wanted to be in.

Hmmm. How does all this play with the talk of moving to mornings?

If it's within the Clear Channel family, though he'd be abandoning WTAM's afternoon listeners, he'd still be within the company and still be talking to local listeners, just in a different daypart and likely on a different local CC station. And this could be yet another on-air negotiating ploy by Triv, as far as that "station and time slot" comment...along the lines of the spelling out of "double pay" on Friday.

About our comment that a Triv move to mornings would likely take place (in our opinion) on a Clear Channel FM station - consider this. There's only one landing place that could even happen for him in the company's firmament here. Look at the rundown:

* Oldies WMJI/105.7 - Unless he retires or leaves on his own, John Lanigan is about as close as you could get to a host being cemented in his current position. Like TV's Dick Goddard (WJW FOX 8), Lanigan leaves when he wants to leave, period.

* Hot AC WMVX/106.5 - While not in the Lanigan category, the prospect of Brian and Joe getting replaced by Mike Trivisonno is about as likely as a UFO landing at Clear Channel's World Domination HQ on Oak Tree. (Hmm, that'd explain Triv making it there in the first place, though...)

* CHR WAKS/96.5 - Triv replacing syndicated Valentine on a top 40 station? Where's that UFO again?

* Country WGAR/99.5 - Umm, Triv on a popular country station? Another UFO stop...

That leaves, of course, only rocker WMMS/100.7 left on the Clear Channel Cleveland FM list. The station's current morning show, "WMMS Mornings with Sean, Hunter and Cristi", is about the 6th WMMS morning show in the past 5 years or so.

We don't have access to WMMS' ratings, let alone specifically for morning drive, but IF there is a Triv move to a Cleveland Clear Channel FM station in morning drive, WMMS is literally the only place it could happen for the above reasons. Again...IF.

There's also the added bonus that WMMS' format would presumably be compatible with Triv's audience, and WMMS is an iconic presence as Cleveland's legendary rock station. With WMMS matching up well against CBS Radio alt-rocker WXTM/92.3, beating it the ratings much of the time according to what we've heard, adding Triv in mornings and keeping the current rock format the rest of the day - especially with 92.3 adding talk in PM drive - could be a good move.

Once again, we feel the need to light up the giant THIS IS ONLY OUR OWN SPECULATION sign. We've heard rumblings that WMMS is behind the "would you listen to Triv in mornings" marketing call flurry, but we cannot confirm that. All of this could well fall apart, and not happen...and pretty much 95% of this entry is our own semi-educated speculation.

But if it happens, you can bet we'll remind you that you heard it here first... heh.


ParmaGoosh said...

Triv's ratings have always been a mystery to me, going through his career back to his old Sunday night sports show on 98.5 FM (if anyone remembers that one, he didn't slur his words too badly on a Sunday night, did he???) Anyway, after pondering this, I figured out that the afternoon drive time ratings are really due to WTAM "Traffic and weather together on the 10s'", combined with the fact that he seldom is on time with these. One can listen in the AM drive time to WTAM and pretty much count on getting the reports on time, but what Triv does in PM drive time by not getting these on time "forces" listeners to listen to more than just the 10 minute updates, not saying that Triv would do this as a ratings strategy. (By the way, what ever happened to his lung cancer, did some alien encounter with those contrails in the sky cause a miracle cure for him???)

RadioDude said...

The ratings are a mystery to most radio people. That's the problem. Radio people don't think like the average listener.

Triv has success because Triv is as close to the guy that works at the mill or factory as you can get on Cleveland radio and Cleveland is still a blue collar town. They work hard, throw back a few miller lites and bitch about the Browns.

You may not like the show, but it speaks to Cleveland, and cleary Cleveland gets it.

Anonymous said...

It could be Mix.

The numbers for Mix have been improving, but they are still far behind.

Try this:

Moving Brian and Joe to WMMS, moving Triv to 106.5 and creating an FM talker. You could even put Brian and Joe on an FM talker in PM Drive.

WTAM, could then do another all news full service wheel in PM drive.

Ohio Media Watch said...

A couple of follows:

1) I don't think Triv's missing of the various time posts for service elements is a "ratings strategy" per se, though it may be in the back of his head.

Every once in a while, whether you believe it or not, word trickles in that WTAM PD Ray Davis is not happy with Triv blowing through those time posts by a large margin. You can tell that simply by Triv trying frequently these days to whittle down Pat Butler's pre-traffic report comments ("Pat, how's the traffic" two or three times a report), though that could just be his own thing. :)

The driving force here, so to speak, is that the timing of the service elements is not nearly as important in afternoon drive as it is in morning drive. Afternoon drive is more oriented towards entertainment. Therefore, Mr. Davis does not give Triv massive grief, just enough to make sure that the elements air SOMEWHERE near their scheduled times.

2) I'm not 100% mystified by Triv's "lunch bucket Clevelander" appeal, but Cleveland is a more diverse market and there are many others around than the mill worker or factory worker. So, why do the rest of us listen - those of us who don't work at the mill or factory?

Aside from the aforementioned service elements (notice, for example, that the top of the hour news rarely strays from near :00, no matter how Triv tries to keep talking), there's the spectacle of "what the hell will that dolt say next with a microphone in front of him", I guess.

3) As noted in this item, your Massive OMW Editorial Staff is not sure an FM talk station is what's in the cards. The more we think about it, the more likely that IF there is a Triv move to FM, it'll be on 100.7 with the station's rock format intact after AM drive.

IF. We can't stress that enough.


Anonymous said...

Triv's success is because he's up against no one in the afternoon. Does anyone, radio industry or not, really think that he'd be #1 in the morning?

Anonymous said...

Now that Opie and Anthony are on opposite him in the afternoon, I doubt he'll be number 1 in pm drive anymore either.

Anonymous said...

I've grown tired of the rants on Triv.

“Has no competition”
Clear Channel isn’t the only game in town folks. CBS has 4 stations; Radio-One is here, The Wave, WCLV Etc. Etc. Etc. If the folks behind the microphones aren't compelling or entertaining, they don't attract listeners. Like it or Not TRIV DOES!

“Started as a Caller, he’s not even a radio guy”
and this is the more idiotic statement of all. What is a radio guy? I assumed a man who worked on the air for years in a Market would be considered a Radio Guy?
Sean Hannity started as a caller to a radio show. Do folks on the TV boards scream “he’s not a TV guy”.

“Just a dumb Guy Clear Channel is protecting by firing other talent”
I find it difficult people would believe there is a big plan at Oak tree to remove all the great talent to protect Triv. Hardly. I loved Scott Howitt and Danny Wright, but that was YEARS ago and the door has been open for another talent and they've all failed.

BTW: I don't like Triv. I find the show boring for my tastes, but I admire the mans work ethic and he delivers ratings.

Anonymous said...

"radiodude" has it right. Triv is simply a Cleveland guy talking to Cleveland guys. No pretense about being a "radio guy". He wear a hard-hat and talks to people like they talk to each other. The only difference between Triv and a line-worker at Ford is that his voice is amplified by a microphone. And the rest of the line-workers at Ford (or pick your blue-collar metaphor here) love that about him.

Don't try to understand it, just accept it. Number one for 19 of the last 20 books. Opie and Anthony? Big deal. Tape delayed and can never talk about Cleveland, which is what Clevelanders want to talk about.

Triv's still here and he truly is Cleveland's voice to the rest of the nation, whether that voice is belching all the time or not.