Monday, June 26, 2006

PD's Julie Washington on Bob and Tom

We guess we weren't expecting a timely article on WMMS' addition of Premiere's Bob and Tom today, but Plain Dealer TV/radio columnist Julie Washington has one in the Monday edition of the paper.

Cleveland native and co-host Tom Griswold calls the long-running syndicated show "not inordinately blue. Kinda sexy" as a way of introduction to potential Cleveland area listeners. WMMS promotions director Jeff Zukauckas (who is not the station's program director, despite being identified as such in the article) says the station is "extremely excited" about Bob and Tom, calling the Indianapolis-based hosts "immensely talented".

Bo Matthews, who would be the person actually holding the title of program director at WMMS, denies going with a syndicated show was a financial move, and says the former morning team of Sean, Cristi, Hunter, John-Boy, Phil, Dave...oh, you know...was told they were let go for a lack of ratings performance.

Despite the money issue being brought up by "media consultant" John Gorman in the Washington article, we can actually go with that statement from Mr. Matthews. For one, WMMS' morning drive ratings have never, ever been really solid. (If they were, a dozen morning shows would not have come and gone in nearly so many years.) For another, WMMS - we would assume - is not getting Bob and Tom for free.

Syndicated morning shows that rise to the level of Bob and Tom get paid by their affiliates, as we've explained more than once. The money does not necessarily go to the syndicator - in this case, WMMS owner Clear Channel's syndication arm of Premiere - but to the hosts as "pay" for being on in the market.

That doesn't mean WMMS still couldn't be paying less money for Bob and Tom than they were for Sean, Cristi and the rest of the former gang. The pair from Indy is probably getting some coin out of 'MMS, but it certainly wouldn't rise to the level of, oh, whatever's in the Brinks truck that's hauling out John Lanigan's pay in 2006.

So we guess you could speculate that "they're both right".

As far as Gorman's appearance in the story is concerned - it points out a problem with Ms. Washington's article. She does not let readers in on some historical Gorman, of course, is a former program director of the station in question. We guess that Washington was not aware of Gorman's history...


Anonymous said...

Bob and Tom affiliate fees vary depending on market size. A Top 45 SE B&T affiliate payed $86,000 per year. When ratings dropped and the contract was up for renewal the yearly fee dropped to about $75k.

I doubt WMMS is paying more than $125,000. That's Lanigan's yearly dry cleaning fee, lol!

Anonymous said...

Why are the PD columnists that cover radio for Cleveland so freaking CLUELESS???? They should be embarrassed...

Ohio Media Watch said...

One thing we're not clear on - how much of Bob & Tom's charge for local affiliates goes directly into their pockets, and how much goes to Premiere. Of course, CC can wink/nudge at the latter part, though it still affects the local affiliate's books.

We're also wondering what the B&T coinage for WMMS comes to - compared to the combined salaries of the now-deposed morning show. If that $86K figure above is correct, a top 30 market station would likely be in the $100-125K range. Just a guess. Did S, H & C make that much if you combine their salaries?

As far as Ms. Washington goes, we're not QUITE ready to give her the Denise Grollmus Award for Clueless Newspaper Reporting on Radio just yet. She does at least get more right than a certain real estate columnist moonlighting in the sports department.

But we'd suggest to her what we suggested to Ms. Grollmus, directly - find folks who DO know which end is up, and learn from them.

And get someone to tell you that your "media consultant" is actually a former programmer at the station you're writing about. And if you DO know that, include it at least as an aside that's how he made his name in this market!

We still hold out hope for Julie.

-OMW, cranky this early morning

Johnny Morgan said...


I'm not sure it's necessary for Gorman to be listed as PD of WMMS as well as media consultant.

Gorman was last at WMMS ten years ago this month--that was three owners ago (four, if you count Jacor separately).

He left WMMS the first time 20 years ago.

The station now has little to no resemblance to what it was when Gorman was there either time except for the calls and maybe a couple songs in common with either format.

Since he's been consulting for those 10 years, I think that term applies more to Gorman now than "former PD at WMMS".

If he left there within the last year or two, sure--there might be an agenda. But this is 10 years.

Sorry, I just disagree.