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…

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