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Shocker: KSTP-AM fires Tommy Mischke

This seems like spitting on the flag; KSTP-AM axed the Twin Cities’ beloved radio yarn-spinner Friday night.
By David Brauer

This seems like spitting on the flag; KSTP-AM fired beloved radio yarn-spinner T. D. Mischke Friday.

I called Mischke Saturday morning and he was gracious, diplomatic and cautious. “I want to be able to talk about it, but I need a little time before I can,” he said.

Expect a torrent of outrage; for 17 years, Mischke has been a genuine, funny, decent presence in a commercial-radio landscape filled with haters and bloviators. [Update: Mischke said a brief goodbye to his fans on AM1500’s website. Hopefully, management leaves the discussion up.]

He began as Don Vogel’s sidekick in 1992, and has done the noon to 2 p.m. show after working late nights for years. His talent was vast enough to be recognized nationally; for example, in this excellent Atlantic Monthly profile (PDF).

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Even though the TV side laid off 18 people Thursday, word was the rest of the Hubbard empire went untouched.

A discussion about Mischke’s removal has erupted at the radio site Redandnater. One anonymous commentator says KSTP management axed Mischke a day after the release party for his CD “That Kind of Day” — an event KSTP program director Steve Konrad attended.

Just a month ago, Konrad talked up Mischke in a lengthy City Pages profile of the host. I’ll try to get station management’s explanation this weekend.

[Conflict of interest note; Konrad hired me at KSTP in the mid-’90s; he was a very supportive boss. Tommy was a very supportive colleague.]