Wednesday, October 24, 2012

"The Torg" (Part II and the Final Chapter)

Last Wednesday I wrote about the suspension of 97.1 The Fan's Scott Torgerson and a little bit about the situation swirling around it. You can find that HERE.

I stated then that this suspension felt a little different and, lo and behold, it's true. Earlier today the official Twitter feed (fitting) of 97.1 The Fan announced that Scott Torgerson is "no longer employed by our company" and Mike Ricordati, Torgerson's former co-host, confirmed the news on the radio as well.

Considering what it was that got him fired, it's sad to hear. I'm not so much down about Scott Torgerson, a husband and father of three, losing his job because I'm sure he will find work elsewhere and perhaps even use this experience to gain employment. I feel for the folks he worked with and the station that his show supported.

They, Mike Ricordati and Scott Torgerson, provided local programming on a local radio station. These guys held up a sports station built only around The Ohio State Buckeye football program giving listeners something even after the season was over.


It does. But maybe I'm spoiled. I spent the first 18 years of my life up near DC. I was too young to remember most of it but I was there when Howard Stern got on at DC101. What I can remember is friends passing tapes of his DC101 afternoon show years after he was gone. To this day, legends are still told about the early 80s stint there. Stern, as Torgerson, has not been fired for controversial statements with the public but stupid things about powerful people at their stations.

Listen to Stern rip into John Hayes, Vice President and General Manager of WNBC-AM. Hayes and DC101 dumped Howard Stern shortly after. That was nearly 30 years ago. Radio is still trying to catch up.

I'm not trying to say Scott Torgerson is Howard Stern (get that out of your mind), but the situation is similar. Columbus, Ohio is the Sports Mecca of Sports Mecca: College Football. In 1980s Stern was in Washington, DC during Ronald Reagan's first term. To say that in both situations you have some very large egos that damage easily is a gross understatement.

Here in Columbus, The Buckeye is King. The Buckeyes, for better or worse, are a literal gravy train that often feeds the monster that is ESPN. We are a sports crazed nation and Columbus, Ohio just might be her capital (this comes from a guy who spent a decade in the heart of ACC Basketball country as well).

Scott Torgerson took a swipe at an ESPN employee who co-hosts "College Football Gameday" with a former Buckeye and color man, Kirk Herbstreit, who calls games with broadcasting legend, Brent Musburger. Did you happen to see that ESPN All-Access: Ohio State Training Days recently? You think that happens by accident? How about we ask new Buckeye Head Coach Urban Meyer about the relationship any successful football program has to have with ESPN.

I really hope "Real Buckeyes" read up on Urban Meyer's relationship with the local press in both Utah and in Florida. Meyer could care less about your local shit. Step in line.

Torgerson has been swept aside like the other local personalities at 97.1 The Fan will be over the next couple years. Columbus, Ohio is Buckeyeland - and that means a national product that has no room for small time antics and/or dissenters. ESPN now has a more solid foothold here and will not let go.

I feel for the folks whose lives will be affected by the firing of "The Torg". Long live the local guy. The little guy.

Long live Scott Torgerson in our radio memories.

(I don't- nor will I ever- sell ad space on Helltown. I prefer those fighting from behind, doing it their own damn selves, and earning it through hard work and honesty. Go Crew.)

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