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Done! Mischke gets 10 p.m. WCCO-AM show

Well hallelujah — the Good Neighbor finally hired the Wacky Neighbor.

WCCO-AM just announced Tommy Mischke’s hire on Dave Lee’s morning show — only the first of what will be many head-snapping juxtapositions for AM830 listeners. (It's like pouring a shot of Wild Turkey in your oatmeal.)

Mischke, as predicted, will assume the 10 p.m.-midnight slot he was born to host, only with a clear channel to two dozen states’ worth of restless callers. This is easily the funkiest hire WCCO has made since the late, lamented Phil Hendrie days. With all the buyouts and out-of-town hires lately, AM830 has folks wondering just how recognizable the station will sound. In one fell swoop, CBS and station management have grabbed a genuinely beloved local voice who makes truly original radio.

It’s a different voice, sure, but Mischke epitomizes this place just as much as some of those WCCO stalwarts. Kudos to the brass, who badly need to take chances but until now really haven’t done so. I hope they’re rewarded with blandness-loathing listeners who haven’t felt the need to program “830” into their radio’s pre-sets.

Am I sure this will work? I am not. I remember management being absolutely flummoxed a decade and a half ago about how to explain Hendrie — whose “dupe the rubes” schtick was far riskier, and meaner — to loyal listeners. (I’d love to believe this story is true, but with Phil, you really can’t know.) Of course, WCCO has been humbled a lot since 1994, and Mischke, a pal, probably won’t be poking management quite like he did near the end of his KSTP career 19 months ago. I think his creativity will survive.

The details? Mischke be working Monday through Thursday with some sort of repeat Friday night. (He'll still be writing his City Pages column, by the way.) The radio show starts May 10 — next Monday. Plan your nights accordingly.

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Comments (13)

Well, risky sure is the word here. Phil Hendrie was rude and the listners just did not get what was "real" and what was not. I, now understand what 'CCO is up to. They are trying to do two things: One, they want to cut those who make bigger money and two, they need to attract younger listners. I understand both. However, chucking your established older audience is a real gamble. Only time will tell is these decisions will pan out. I also wonder how this late night syndicated crap is doing in the ratings. It would be interesting to see what those numbers indicate. WCCO should never do anything other than provide local radio. I also wonder if cutting costs on talent is a move to accuire the Twins rights? To me, the Twins moving their broadcasts up-the-dial was a large nail in the 'CCO establishment. And, why allow Jeff Mckinney a decent goodbye and Tim Russel a back door exit?

Brilliant hire.

What? Up against the CBC's As It Happens with Carol Off and Barbara Budd? Decisions!!!

Anyways, kudos to WCCO to making themselves listenable and relevant once more.

Mischke must be getting a pretty good salary since he's able to hire Brauer as his PR guy.

John - bitter, so bitter. If I like your stuff, you get my praise for free.

Sorry, this will be another in the long line of Mischke failures.

Matt - Just listen to the intro and outro of As It Happens and fill in the middle with Mischko.

Well, maybe now I'll come back to 'CCO, which had gotten so bland that even this baby boomer (I'm 55) was nodding off. I don't think WCCO is chucking its "established older audience." Heck, those folks are DYING. And the rest of us can't listen to MPR every hour of every day.

As I was telling Patrick, other than the Twins a few years ago, I haven't listened to CCO since my grandma died in 2001. Go Miscke!

David, thanks for posting this. This is such great news! I've been listening to him since the 10 pm - midnight Highway 61 days, so you know I'll be listening now! I'm really happy that TD is returning to the air, and the later night shift is such a good fit for his voice and his stories. My husband and I are big enough fans to name our dog Barron von Mischke, so you know we have been missing him. The news these days is pretty grim, so a bit of good news re Mischke is so welcome.

WCCO immediately displaces KSTP in my book with this move. It probably won't get me listening to 'CCO all day long, but they will have my undivided attention 10 to midnight for the foreseeable future.

It's going to be good to have Mischke back on the air.

From what I've been reading on the 'net today, Friday will be a "Listener's pick". They are either picking their favorite bits and/or picking whole favorite shows to be played on Fridays, it's unclear. WCCO doesn't offer full show podcasts so this will be interesting for fans. Hopefully someone underground will provide podcasts.

This will turn out to be a great move by WCCO. Mischke has a talent that is all but dead in our day, he knows what radio is supposed to be.

KSTP, having been dethroned from her long reign as radio queen has opened a vacuum in Twin Cities talk radio. WCCO will emerge as the top dog on the Minnesota AM dial for years to come.

One principle that these trucked in program directors of late don't understand is that people like salsa out of their own gardens best. We don't want to hear the same phony repackaged voices from way over yonder. Give us some local roots, give us the like of Mischke.

Though it may be unconventional to the likes of radio's antithetical Steve Konrads, talents like Mischke will bring in the listeners and the commercial revenue will soon follow.

I tip my glass to you WCCO-- you see the value in rich, original, creative and insightful radio content.

Welcome back to the airwaves Mischko!