Thursday, Dec 08, 2016
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Opinion

Morrison is a 29-year fixture on local radio

How long has Timm Morrison been at WWWM-FM (105.5)?

"That's easy," he said, "my first day was 8-8-88."

What wasn't so easy is the path he took to get there.

In the 16 months leading up to his landing at WWWM, for example, he covered the 3-to-7 p.m. shift on Toledo's WMHE-FM (which is now WVKS, 92.5) and the 10 p.m.-to-2 a.m. shift on Detroit's WMJC-FM (95.5).

Even when Morrison had just one radio job -- he started at WMHE in 1975, during his senior year in high school -- he maintained a hectic schedule. He worked as a DJ at "every nightclub in the city" and managed two bars. Somehow, he found the time to obtain a degree in business from the University of Toledo.

So pardon Morrison if he has trouble remembering his early years at WWWM.

"I slept from '88 to '94," he joked. "I was in a coma."

Morrison, 45, has worked the same shift -- 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. -- since joining the station, which has a "hot adult contemporary" format. Among listeners age 12-plus, his show ranked No. 5 in its time slot in Arbitron's most recent ratings period. He says he has fared consistently well in his targeted demographics (women 18-49 and women 25-54).

"The market has been very, very good to me," he said.

According to Arbitron, 76 percent of Morrison's audience listens to him while at work. Therefore, he is more subdued on the air than he would be on another shift.

"It's more conversational," he said. "I just open up the mike and say what's on my mind. I try to keep it concise and entertaining."

Morrison said his mind works in increments of 30 and 60 seconds.

One of his show's staples is the request-driven Wayback Lunch, from noon to 1 p.m. Songs from the 1980s are featured -- the popularity of "Come On, Eileen" and "Electric Avenue" never seems to wane.

Cumulus operations manager Tim Roberts said Morrison "is truly a major-market talent."

Morrison has maintained a second radio job during the past five years. He and Matt Melzak host a one-hour golf show Saturday mornings on WLQR-AM (1470), which is a sister station of WWWM. Both stations are owned by Cumulus.

Toledo radio icon Bob Martz, then the general manager of WCWA-AM (1230), gave Morrison his first radio job. He also gave some advice that Morrison took to heart: "Quit chasing your dreams. Realize them."

"I'm eternally indebted to him," Morrison said.

With 29 years on Toledo radio, Morrison is well on his way to being a local broadcasting icon in his own right.

HARDWARE: Brad Hundt, a graduate of Perrysburg High School and Bowling Green State University, recently placed first in a statewide newspaper competition in Pennsylvania. Hundt, who works for the Observer-Reporter in suburban Pittsburgh, won a Keystone Press Award for feature beat reporting. Hundt, 38, is also a contributing editor to Beatlefan magazine.

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