Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Responding to Triv

After all the rumors swirling about concerning the future of WTAM/1100 afternoon motormouth Mike Trivisonno, the host himself finally weighed in when it was safe - after sister rocker WMMS/100.7 announced they were bringing in Premiere's "Bob and Tom" to replace their local morning show.

Evidently, the "Triv to WMMS" chatter extended far beyond your Mighty Blog of Fun(tm).

We know for sure it made it to print, as a recent Cleveland Free Times column by former WMMS programmer John Gorman brought up the speculation we kicked around earlier, back in May.

Gorman's logic probably seems familiar to our regular readers:

Trivisonno's move-to-morning rumors have been armchair quarterback fodder for years. Now there appears to be valid research being done by Clear Channel on such a move.

WTAM wouldn't uproot current morning driver Bill Wills — meaning that Triv would move to another Clear Channel station. Which one? Here's a hint: Can you name who's doing mornings on WMMS?

It's not the first time Gorman has bit on such speculation - he was riding the train right along with us back when there was talk about Salem sports WKNR/850 dumping the format, and Clear Channel possibly mounting an FM sports or talk station. Those rumors got about as far as the "Triv to WMMS mornings" rumors.

As for Triv, here's some transcribed quotes from his show Monday afternoon:

You know how much pressure (the WMMS Bob & Tom announcement) takes off of me? I must have had 80 thousand people, including Folgers in the afternoon over there on 'MMS, OK...(Alison: "Maxwell")...everyone in the city thought I was going to mornings on 'MMS...

Now all the geniuses on the chat rooms on the computers and everyone around the building and everywhere else I go can finally believe that I'm not going to mornings on WMMS because they put in Frank and Tom or something over there.

That MMS morning thing made my life a complete nightmare. They did all this research, they called people in Cleveland...(voice) "I have a question to ask you, would you listen to Mike Trivisonno in the morning?" and they think I'm not gonna find out about it. Cleveland's a small little city, you call 800 people or whatever it is, it gets around.

Everybody in the world talks to me about going to mornings on 'MMS...you know if I was going to mornings anywhere it'd be on 'NCX, not 'MMS...

Speaking only for "the geniuses in the chat rooms on the computers" (we know Triv's staff is aware of OMW):

We took great pains to let you know that we had no even semi-confirmed information that Mike Trivisonno was going to morning drive on WMMS. Or, that his show was even moving at all, anywhere.

We put together a few easily connected dots - like John Gorman did above - based upon those research calls Triv talked about for two days. We knew that "Mike Trivisonno in mornings", the subject of those calls, would not happen on his current station for many reasons. We also suspected - as it turned out correctly - that the WMMS morning show at the time was not long for the airwaves.

Read that line again from Monday's show about the calls. It sounds to us like Triv was well aware of the nature of the callout research, even if it was after he was made aware of the calls by listeners.

Our general take on this? Purely speculating here on our own, with absolutely no facts to back it up:

1) Clear Channel had, at the proper levels, made the decision to end the local WMMS morning show with Sean, Hunter, Cristi, Phil, Steve, Julie, Dave and John Boy. (OK, again, only kidding about anything after "Cristi.")

2) In the process of figuring out what to replace it with, the idea of Triv moving to mornings was "an option"..."on the table" along with other possiblities, like what turned out to be the eventual decision to bring in the "Bob and Tom" show.

3) Before Clear Channel makes such a move, it has to get an idea how it would go over with the listening public. Since Mike Trivisonno is an established name in a long-time daypart on one station, they have to figure out if his listeners would move to morning drive (and to WMMS). Thus, the calls.

4) Simultaneously with the above, Clear Channel executives explore other options, like mounting the 28th...er...14th new local WMMS morning show in the past 12 years with other talent, or going the syndicated route. (Our guess - Bob and Tom were the only "solid" possibility for that route. We can't see a "John Boy & Billy" or one of the other syndicated rock morning shows working here.)

5) Either the research comes back negative - people wouldn't move to 'MMS mornings to hear Triv - or they just decide it's not worth tearing up WTAM afternoons and what's been built in that time slot and on that station. Or, they decide going with "Bob and Tom" is what makes the most sense, and outweighs any thought of moving Triv or doing something else local.

6) On Friday, June 16th, that decision becomes public.

This timeline is made up entirely in our heads, and is based on no information from Oak Tree or anywhere else. It's basically just a semi-educated guess on our part. It just makes sense to us that this is how it could have came down, given the information we already DO know.

Or, if you really want to wonder - was it WMMS/Clear Channel doing the research, or was it CBS and WNCX? Triv hints at it in the very last line of his comments reprinted above, though his specific line about the callout research may contradict that. We're really not reading much into either.

No matter what, it's a moot point. Bob & Tom are on WMMS starting Monday, and Triv is not moving from his WTAM afternoon perch. But, we had to close the book on it...


Anonymous said...

The secret to Triv's success is going up against no one. If he was up in the morning against other shows with actual skill or talent, he'd tank. Of course, even with no competition, is he even #1 in the PM? I haven't checked recently, but is he still getting beat by a guy that just plays music? That's sad.

Anonymous said...

Triv's got a face only a blind-mother could love. What a pompous windbag.

Johnny Morgan said...

Triv's last morning adventure was so great WNCX bought Howard Stern.

Triv was then out of a job for a couple years.

WWWE hired him, and he was alright but never a #1 in evenings.

In fact, he never became #1 in PM drive until early this decade. After having been in PM drive since at least 1998. He was constantly beaten by Scott Howitt and WMJI or Danny Wright and WGAR.

It's funny that the same radio company that barely gave the last-extant WMMS morning show 2 years to reach their target gave Trivisonno 8 years until he garnered #1.

In mornings, Trivisonno's out of his league and dead in the water.

Anonymous said...

Trivisonno's been #1 in 20 of the last 21 ratings books. 20 books equals 5 straight years at the top. Criticizing that by saying there's no competition sounds like sour grapes and nothing more.

Maybe the reason there's no competition is because the competition pales by comparison?

Or are hundreds of thousands of Clevelanders just plain wrong for the last 5 years?

Johnny Morgan said...

The 20 out of 21 books thing is constantly thrown out by pro-Triv supporters.

No one is trying to take away his success. But, and this is an important point:

Those 5 years, 20 books, came AFTER both Scott Howitt and Danny Wright were canned by Clear Channel. THAT is an undisputed fact. Trivisonno in competition with those guys, he was NEVER #1.

So, the last 20 books is nice, but what say you about the 20 books BEFORE THAT?

Anonymous said...

What are you saying? That Clear Channel intentionally cut its own throat by canning those other guys?

Why would a company take away #1 shows in order to make another show #1?

And if it was that simple, why didn't another company simply hire Danny Wright or Howitt and put them in PM drive, kicking Triv's ass? If they can beat Triv working for CC stations, it only stands to reason they could beat him working for someone else, right?

Yet for 5 years, no other company has been able to find a show to touch him in PM drive. How do you explain that?

Johnny Morgan said...

I can't explain why another station hasn't found a PM show to beat Trivisonno, nor should I explain it. It's a non-issue. I have not said anything against Trivisonno being #1. I was stating a fact.

I also can't explain (or fathom) why Clear Channel would can Scott and Danny.

I never said they cut two #1s to make Triv #1. You said that--not I.

But, no one has been able to explain why Trivisonno was not number 1 before Scott and Danny were fired. Nor explain why Scott and Danny were fired.

But the fact remains--Trivisonno was not number 1 before Scott Howitt and Danny Wright were fired. That is undisputed.

You can make any inferences you want. Those are the facts--the jury can draw whatever it wants.

Anonymous said...

"Or are hundreds of thousands of Clevelanders just plain wrong for the last 5 years?"

No, I'm saying hundreds of thousands of Clevelanders have had no other real option to listen to for the last 5 years. That's why so many are running to XM and Sirius. Come on, Triv lover, who is #2 or #3? Nobodies! Between 3 and 7, he's a medium fish in a small pond. If he ever moved to mornings, he'd be a goldfish in the ocean.