C.J.: Mischke explains the art of never being employee of the month

  • Article by: C.J. , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 14, 2014 - 5:00 PM

If you listened to radio show host T.D. Mischke it was not difficult to conclude that his last name must mean mischief in some language.

He wasn’t really a bad boy during his 17 years with KSTP-AM or four at WCCO-AM. He was simply super mischievous, sometimes in brilliant ways. With a few snickers, after a recent appearance on “The Rusty Gatenby Review with Melinda Jacobs,” video podcast, Mischke fondly recalled multiple walks his brain and mouth took to receive carpet burns in the office of Jim Barnum, Hubbard Broadcasting’s legal guy.

Eventually Mischke was fired by Hubbard Broadcasting in what he said was one of the most pleasant meetings he ever attended, given its purpose.

There was no Barnum paying attention to Mischke as he returned to the air waves in “The Mischke Roadshow,” an audio podcast on the Tom Barnard Network, which started airing in May. The world of podcasting is the modern day “Wild West of broadcasting,” said Mischke, who plans to ride it hard before that changes. In this Q&A Mischke reflects on recent and yonder times.

There’s also a startribune.com/video Mischke joked to me that no one will see. That’s his most fond wish as a broadcast guy who likes his anonymity although an opportunity to give that up reportedly presented itself.

Q: You were almost the new Jason Davis at KSTP-TV?

A: I wanted to do “On the Road” when he hung it up. I was talking to the Hubbards about it. But that’s as far as we got when I learned my wife was going to be spending the year in Kansas. I had to come up with a new job.

Q: What did you tell me Ginny Hubbard Morris, Hubbard Board chair and the broadcasting empire’s radio executive, found so soothing about the possibility of you returning to Hubbard Broadcasting?

A: She was willing to talk to me about the Jason Davis position because it’s prerecorded and they’d have less trouble with legal.

Q: Tell me about the trouble you got into with Arthur’s Jewelers while promoting R.F. Moeller Jeweler.

A: I got a little carried away when I was doing the show from Midway Stadium in my little treehouse one night. I was in the middle of a R.F. Moeller Jeweler ad and decided to compare them to Arthur’s Jewelers. And I started to get a little bit incendiary. I think I was swinging a baseball bat around, threatening listeners who didn’t go to R.F. Moller. And I believe Arthur’s were advertisers at KSTP at the time. Didn’t make them happy. When the lawyer calls and you have to go upstairs at Hubbard Broadcasting that’s never good. I think thousands of dollars of free advertising were given to Arthur’s. I should have probably figured about then, it’s time to toe the line. I think that’s when the clock starting ticking on Mischke. But I lasted a lot longer after that. They gave me too many chances.

Q: How often was the seven-second delay hit when you were on the radio?

A: Over the years? Either from my own words or someone else’s? Too often. The beauty of late night was they let a little more go there than they do during the day.

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