Norm Wain is the former owner of Metroplex Broadcasting, which operated WNCX/Cleveland, WFYV/Jacksonville, and WRFX/Charlotte.
So here we are with a great class B facility in Cleveland and we are fooling around with rock, top hits, AC what have you. Every PD has his own idea. All Norm and Bob wanted was something we could sell to advertisers. Is that asking too much?
So somebody says call Jacobs Consulting. They can’t be too bad. They make a living in that disaster of a town called Detroit.
But they ALWAYS recommend Classic Rock, don’t they?
So we hire them. The first thing they recommend is an expensive research study and THEN they recommend Classic Rock.
So we start doing well in many day parts but we are getting killed in the morning. So Jacobs says you need a sportscaster. Here’s what we want: We want a guy who sounds like he has one foot on the rail, is drinking beer, and arguing sports.
Immediately everyone at the station recommends Mr. Know It All – a freak of a guy who is driving every sports talk show crazy right from his home. He is always on the phone contradicting the experts. So we call him.
Turns out he’s an unemployed type who stays in cigarettes by helping to mow the fairways at his brother’s golf course. Jacobs says PERFECT
We put him on the air. First day on he calls the top Catholic High School team a “bunch of scum bags.” I say “Hey Mike, just read the sports news.” Mike says “Hey Norm that’s my shtick and anyway the phones are ringing off the hook. He was right, Jacobs was right. I was wrong.
Mike Trivisonno aimed his vitriol at the professional teams from then on but the fans ate him up. He really helped the ratings and he launched himself into a radio career (Number One afternoons now on WTAM).
AND… He’d still be there doing the controversial sports news on WNCX if something else didn’t pop up: a chance to put Howard Stern on the air in Cleveland.
Jacobs liked the idea of Stern as a compliment to their classic rock, but they didn’t get the calls and letters from Rabbis, Priests, Mothers, and all variations of Stern haters. (We were one of the first non-Infinity stations to air him… and definitely the first in the conservative Midwest).
But with Stern’s talk-fest and Jacobs strict playlist… We survived and grew a valuable franchise. You guys were worth every penny.