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 perspective…as Gorman, of course, is a former program director of the station in question. We guess that Washington was not aware of Gorman’s history…

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