Last week, the sports media stratosphere outside of Columbus, Ohio was introduced to Scott Torgerson, one half of the afternoon drive show “The Common Man And The Torg” on WBNS-FM/”97.1 The Fan.”
Or at least he was up until October 12. The very next day, while watching ESPN’s “College GameDay,” his ire for a certain Michigan alumnus who is part of the show’s crew went to new heights.
“I wish Desmond Howard would get fired or die so I can watch ‘Gameday’ again,” was what “The Torg” had tweeted, then apologized for, before deleting his entire Twitter account altogether. The following Monday would start what would be an indefinite suspension; that same Monday, “College GameDay” analyst Kirk Herbstreit used his weekly platform on “97.1 The Fan” – a one-hour college football talk show on Monday afternoon – to take Torgerson to task for his “sickening” and “asinine” tweet directed at his friend and colleague, Desmond Howard. (The full transcript of Herbstreit’s rant as well as previous Torg tweets on Howard can be found in the original post, here.)
It was on Wednesday – eleven days after Torgerson’s Twitter trouble – that “97.1 The Fan” announced, conveniently, via Twitter (it was posted on the station’s Facebook page, as well, albeit earlier in the day) that “The Torg” would no longer be heard on their air. “Scott Torgerson is no longer employed by our company (Dispatch Media Group) as of today,” read the tweet. “We appreciate his contributions and wish him well in his future endeavors.”
I’m sure if “The Fan” were allowed more than 140 characters, that would probably read: “We appreciate his contributions – well, all except that last one – and wish him well.”
And not a moment too soon, we once again hear from “The Torg” – no, not on the air 100 miles northeast of Cincinnati, but in an exclusive interview with The Lantern, the Ohio State University newspaper.
He says that he’s appointed a good friend of his, local defense attorney W. Joseph Edwards, to consider taking legal action against WBNS-FM and Dispatch Media Group, insisting that Torgerson’s termination was “unlawful.”
(Probably more “lawful” than suggesting Desmond Howard ought to drop dead in the first place. Or even what Erin Andrews went through on Twitter earlier this week. But I digress.)
We also learn details about what went on behind the scenes between Torgerson and Dispatch Media Group. When asked to choose between quitting with severance and a vow not to discuss the situation or sue the company, or being fired with no severance at all, “I showed up Monday for our meeting and told them I want to go back on the air; they told me that wasn’t an option.”
Two days later, “The Torg” was pink-slipped.
“He had a job where he was doing very well, had very high ratings, was very well-liked in the Central Ohio market, and now all of a sudden, he doesn’t have a job,” said Edwards, who believes Dispatch Media Group lacked “just cause” when they fired Torgerson.
“We’re going to explore filing a lawsuit against the station and anybody else that was involved in his discharge.”
And that “anybody else” may include Torgerson’s former colleague, Kirk Herbstreit, the ESPN personality who hosts his weekly radio show on “97.1 The Fan,” an ESPN Radio affiliate.
Edwards says he may investigate Herbstreit for something called “tortious interference.”
No, it’s not what happened when the hare awakened to find he was trailing in the race.
But if you want to read up on it, though, there’s a Wikipedia article all about it.
Basically, Edwards wants to find out if Herbstreit’s October 15 radio program – “where he went off on Scott Torgerson” – or Herbstreit himself played any role in Torgerson’s firing. “We’d like to know… did he talk to anybody else at the station?,” said Edwards. “Did he call any people in management?
“We would like to know… what Mr. Herbstreit said, who did he say it to, and why did he say it.”
Edwards, however, made it clear that he did not know for certain as to whether or not Herbie pulled strings at the Worldwide Leader to get Torgerson canned. That might be up to the court of law to decide.
While no lawsuit has been written up at this time, the suddenly unemployed Scott Torgerson believes he has a case. In his first blog post on his new website, TheTorgShow.com (he admitted “I am just learning this web stuff”), he promised that “unless something changes, I will file suit. My counsel feels we have a very strong case, so I will not comment.”
He also declined comment on “Herbie.”
“Sorry I can’t say a word on this one.”
Torgerson also used his website as a classified ad for potential program directors. “I love doing my job [radio] and don’t want to change careers,” he wrote on Wednesday, his first day officially no longer with “97.1 The Fan,” no longer hosting a show that he claims was “the second highest ranked sports talk show in the country” on his blog.
“I was employee of the quarter the Friday before,” Torgerson bragged to The Lantern. “I would think being the… strong ratings and the income I have made for the station, that deserves a second chance.”
He also claims that a “Save The Torg” Facebook page has 33% more likes than the one maintained by “97.1 The Fan.” So “The Torg” certainly has his following. You can tell by reading different Internet articles about this story, and discover the Torg trolls in full effect on the comments section, with cries of, “Let him live!,” which was a catchphrase on the afternoon drive show on WBNS-FM which has since been renamed to just “The Common Man,” as in Mike Ricordati (they might want to remove the “Torg” from the URL, though).
So how will Torgerson make ends meet if he can’t get a new radio gig? He might turn a running gag on his radio show – high-ranking people who have to work at a Citgo gas station after being relieved of their duties – into a reality.
“I may do it,” he said.
Well, he already has the Twitter handle to reflect any future employment there.
That’s right, three days after his infamous “get fired or die” tweet at his old Twitter account, @MyGuyTheTorg, Torgerson opened up a new Twitter account, @CitgoTorg – likely reflecting his apprehension that he wouldn’t have been reinstated by “97.1 The Fan” in the first place. And since his termination, he has reactivated his old Twitter account and can now be found at @TheRealTheTorg.
And possibly a Citgo station in Central Ohio.
But if he had his druthers, he’d rather it be a radio station.
“Now I have to deal with the punishment for my actions,” Scott Torgerson said.
“I just don’t feel firing me is a way to handle it.”
Just like wishing someone you loathe dead is a way to handle them being on your TV set.
Right, “my guy”?