Days after the termination of his post at AM 1500, T. D. Mischke is still keeping to himself. "I want to talk about it," he said in an email. "And I plan to. I just need a little more time. Without giving too much away, it's hard to articulate why at this point I have to keep my own counsel. But that's exactly how it must be. I understand the interest of listeners. I'm not being coy. I just need a little time."
But like molasses in January, details are beginning to emerge about the circumstances surrounding the firing of AM 1500 personality T. D. Mischke.
According to station sources, a memo regarding a very particular FCC rule was circulated to several on-air personalities shortly before Mischke's firing last Friday. The memo cited FCC rule 73.1206, which indicates that for any telephone call recorded for broadcast made live on-air, "prior notification must be given to the other party."
Though long-time listeners know that this was a rule often broken by Mischke, it seems unlikely that so minor an infraction could have precipitated his termination.
"I get the impression that no one knew it was in the wind," says Nancy Fox of Mischke's firing.
Fox, who is an evening newswoman for AM 1500 and spent almost a decade alongside Mischke during his night shift days, filled in for fellow newsman Jon Heidt's afternoon shift last Friday. Mischke arrived upbeat but fatigued from the previous night's performance at O'Gara's, stating that he had gotten little sleep. After his two hour broadcast, Mischke was overheard to remark that he had a meeting with the boss. "I assumed they were doing a follow up chat about the previous night," says Fox.
"It was 3:15 or 3:30 when the rumors started spreading," she adds. "I don't think anyone saw this coming."
The duty of firing Mischke would have fallen on either AM 1500 general manager Todd Fisher or programming director Steve Konrad. Both Fisher and Konrad spoke favorably of Mischke in interviews for Mischke's November cover story in City Pages, but neither have returned phone calls as of 3:00 P.M. today.
Though management's lips are still zipped, sentiment seems to be shared station wide. "I consider Tommy a friend," said newsman Jon Heidt in an email. "I'm going to miss him and his show a lot. His show is a unique and fun situation for a news guy."
"My only comment is that Mischke taught me so much about radio, and about myself," Mischke's on-air producer Jason McGovern, more widely known to listeners as High Speed Chase, stated in an email. "He will be missed."
"When I say I'm shocked and saddened," says Fox, "I think I speak for a lot of people."
As of now, no long term replacement for Mischke has been secured, and AM 1500 personality Kelly Webb is currently filling in.