Clear Channel talk WTAM/1100 Cleveland afternoon drive host Mike Trivisonno had a difficult task today.
Just five days after he lost his wife, Linda, to cancer, Triv took to the WTAM airwaves, and admitted that he "is not good at grieving" in a subdued...but very real...show.
Occasionally noting that he's not sure he's going to "stay in radio", he took calls from listeners offering condolences, or perhaps more importantly at this point, offering small diversions to get the host's mind off of the very real process he has been going through.
Though what hosts like Mike Trivisonno do is often "theatre of the mind" - things like Triv's on-air feuds with hosts like weekender Art McKoy - the Tuesday Triv show was the host grasping with reality...while still very much trying to keep up his "end of the bargain" to keep the listeners around, entertained and informed.
(By the way, McKoy himself devoted some time on his Sunday "Black on Black Crime" show for listeners to share their condolences for Triv and his family.)
The talk about Trivisonno possibly not continuing his radio career? We don't know Triv at all, but it's most assuredly not an act.
A few years ago, the wife of Washington DC-based syndicated "Don and Mike" radio host Don Geronimo, Freda, was killed in a horrific car accident in Maryland.
Don openly speculated, when he came back after Freda's death, if he would pull himself from the airwaves early...knowing full well that his Life Has Changed.
And leave the show, he did... leaving his "Don and Mike" co-host Mike O'Meara a year and a half early to continue the WJFK-FM/Washington-based show on his own, surrounded by the show's incumbent on-air and off-air staffers. That program lasted until last month, when CBS Radio flipped WJFK to a sports talk station.
Being on the radio was still fully in Don's blood, though.
After a continuing grieving process, and an eventual remarriage, Mr. Geronimo (nee' Mike Sorce) returned to local radio in the Ocean City/Salisbury MD area. His CBS contract is still in effect through 2010, but it allows him to work in markets with no CBS-owned stations.
If Mike Trivisonno is really thinking about his future in radio, given his recent tragic loss, we'd like to suggest something to him...get ahold of Don Geronimo, who may be the one person in America who can give some insight on Triv's possible road ahead.
Don is now doing a midday local talk show at Rehoboth Beach MD local talk station WGMD/92.7, and can presumably be contacted through the station.
(And no, old fans of "Don and Mike", you can't hear his local show via the Maryland station's streaming audio...it is shut down from 9 AM to noon, due to the aforementioned CBS contract issues. As noted here before, "D&M" once aired on Cleveland's WERE/then-1300, and Warren's WANR/1570.)
Anyway, whatever decision Mike Trivisonno makes is very much his own. We wish him well, no matter what he decides to do, or when he decides to do it.
Oh, during Triv's return show today, he made it quite clear that he was very happy with the hospice care provided to his wife in her final days on earth, and suggested that he may mount a local benefit concert or other event to raise money for hospice care...much like the events Triv organizes for "Coats for Kids".
We'll leave it to a WTAM co-worker of Triv, news anchor Tom Moore, who wrote about the topic on his most recent blog entry...with a personal story, as well.
There's also a link on Tom's blog to a site where you can donate money to the local hospice organization Hospice of the Western Reserve...