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Media: March 2019

| February 28, 2019 | 0 Comments

Brian Sherman and Steve Tingle

 

When WDRV’s Sherman and Tingle were first put together as a team more than a decade ago, it wasn’t exactly considered a long term plan. “I came here from Phoenix to be a part of a show called The Morning Fix which is the show that replaced Mancow on Q-101,” Steve Tingle explains. “After about a year it failed miserably. The boss at the time was Marv Nyren, and he said, you know, you and Sherman would sound good together.”

At the time, Brian Sherman was doing evenings at the station. “I had only met Steve once in the hallways,” Sherman adds. “Marv said I should give him a call, so I did, and we talked for three hours. We spent that time getting to know each other, feeling each other out about how a show should go, what kind of work ethic was required, and we found out we were very similar.”

The next day they were doing the afternoon show together, and against all the odds, the arranged marriage flourished. After about a year in the afternoon slot, when the final remnants of The Morning Fix were let go (Alan Cox and Jim Lyman), Sherman and Tingle took over the morning slot. They became a fixture there for the next three years. It didn’t end until the format switched to all-news. That also happened overnight.

It ended just as suddenly as it began, and Sherman and Tingle went their separate ways. “But here’s the funny thing,” Tingle says “I went to Philadelphia, and then I went to Georgia. Meanwhile, I was still talking to Sherman on the phone. I would say ‘man I miss working with you. I wish we could get back together.’”

“I was working in the suburbs at the time doing mornings,” Sherman adds, “and I was also doing weekends at [W]KQX. But I wasn’t obligated to be anywhere–I wasn’t under contract.” “And then I was fired in Georgia,” Tingle says, a twinkle in his eye. “Losing that job in Georgia is the best thing that ever happened to me. We heard that they were thinking of putting us together at The Drive again, and we thought, “Oh man.”

“There were so many other things that had to fall into place,” Sherman says, still marveling at the timing of it all. “The management at The Drive had to feel us out. They wanted to make sure that we had grown up too. Our show at Q-101 is different than the one we do today. You have to grow with the times. It’s a demographic [thing]. We were getting a little too old for 101 anyway.”

And after a feeling out period with The Drive audience, the old duo is humming again. They admit it was a delicate balancing act at first. “We had to ease into it because the listeners were used to music,” Sherman explains. “You can’t just walk in the door and change it after twenty years of mostly music morning shows.”

“I had a guy come up to me and say ‘I hated you guys at first and now I can’t get enough of you.’ Tingle adds. In the most recent rating book, they were solidly in fifth place in the morning slot, an incredible move up the rating ladder. They have some theories for why the connection to the audience has taken hold.

“I think the thing that makes us popular is that we are who we are,” Tingle says. “My real name is Steve Tingle. His real name is Brian Sherman. We don’t have fake radio names. We don’t do fake radio bits. We have people who come up to us and meet us and realize we sound exactly the same on and off the air.”

“I think the secret to our success is that we’re real,” Sherman agrees. “We don’t fake things. We were out at an appearance recently, and my wife was out there, and a listener was asking us about how we write the segments when we talk to our wives, and we were like, ‘Write it? Are you kidding? That’s all totally organic. That’s who we really are.’”

It’s a very different audience than their old Q-101 crowd, but then again, this audience may be a better match. “The Drive is very blue collar. That’s who I am,” Sherman says. “I was a garbage man. My dad was an auto worker; my brother is an electrician. On the job site, a lot of people are listening to us, and we know what it’s like for them. And I know and love this music. I started in classic rock, so I knew this format better than the 101 format.” “Me too,” Tingle adds. “I grew up with it. Plus, we didn’t want to be 40-year-old guys working in an alternative format.”

If it sounds like Sherman and Tingle are ecstatic to be in their current situation, there’s a good reason for that. They are.

“I’d like to use (WDRV midday man) Bob Stroud as an example,” Tingle says. “I’d like to be here until my mid-60s.” “I’d love to retire here,” Sherman adds. “They just signed us to another four-year contract, so we’re not going anywhere anytime soon.”

Along with their hardworking producer Jill Egan, Sherman and Tingle can be heard every weekday morning on WDRV, 97.1 FM.

-Rick Kaempfer

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Category: Columns, Media, Monthly

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