September 21, 2023


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T-Bone Found His Groove And Has Been Going Ever Since

The despise mail was consistent. In some cases intense.

It kept coming and coming…for six months, according to Jonathan “T-Bone” Smith, who had the unenviable task of changing a well-known sports host in Columbus, Ohio, named Scott Torgerson, soon after he was fired for a controversial tweet involving Desmond Howard in Oct 2012.

Speedy ahead to the before long-to-be summer season of 2021 no far more loathe mail (at least on that subject matter), and it’s 8 and a half yrs of achievements (the rankings again it up) for “Common Person and T-Bone,” the afternoon show that anchors the thriving (the scores back that up, too) 97.1 The Lover.

Common Man and T-Bone and Monster at Kroger Brewers Yard on November 23,  2018 | The Fan 97.1 FM
Courtesy: 97.1 the Lover

Barrett Sporting activities Media scored an interview with “T-Bone,” the “round mound” of Columbus sporting activities radio. It shortly turned apparent that the route to afternoon exhibit stardom was 1-third expertise, just one-third difficult get the job done, and 1-third “good fortune” for T-Bone.

Jonathan “T-Bone” Smith is a Columbus child, born-and-elevated, who would perform basketball exterior, then arrive inside and flip on the radio to listen to the Wonderful Sporting activities Babe, Paul Harvey and Dan Patrick, between other radio stars.

“I experienced normally been intrigued by the concept that you could communicate in the microphone and have a bunch of folks listen to what you had to say,” T-Bone reported. He stated by the age of 10, he knew he wished to be on the radio, “some way, someway.”

In the seventh quality, he listened attentively as a twelfth-grader at his compact Liberty Christian Academy university go through the early morning announcements. That twelfth-grader finally acquired a task performing at Columbus radio station WUFM 88.7, a Christian rock station. T-Bone followed in the exact same footsteps. T-Bone started off reading the morning bulletins as an eleventh-grader, and after significant university, he knocked on WUFM’s doorways to volunteer on the avenue group. But the receptionist there experienced other tips.

“She mentioned, ‘Do you want to be on air or do you want to do the avenue staff?’” he remembered.  “It’s Ok, we’ll train you,” she claimed, just after the 19-calendar year-aged radio rookie said he needed to be on-air but had no knowledge.

By December 2001, 6 months soon after donning the higher college cap and gown, T-Bone was on the air. Throughout his 6 many years at the station, he did afternoons, nights, and experienced a stint as the promotions director, way too. He had been attending Ohio Condition, but exited the college to focus on his on-air function whole time at WUFM.

Emotion that the spiritual structure was no lengthier a very good in shape, coupled with his drive to do additional of a chat-centered clearly show, he still left WUFM in 2008. With no college diploma, T-Bone took a customer company occupation with BMW (certainly, that BMW) Monetary Providers. He was on the telephone, a ton, but he appreciated to talk, a lot, so…it worked out. Plus, it made him additional income than what he was building at WUFM. Continue to, he yearned for that speak-demonstrate design software. So T-Bone started off a podcast that concentrated on his appreciate of soccer. His studio? A spare bedroom in his Columbus-location home.

Turns out, Ivan Lee of 1010 WINS in New York Town heard his podcast, and made available to air it on a very little-recognised streaming entity identified as Chat About It, which no lengthier exists.

Bit by bit, T-Bone’s identify was finding out there.

He swears he obtained his next radio job, as an afternoon present producer for Sporting activities WONE-AM (980) in Dayton, Ohio, since he had that Major Apple reference on his resume. T-Bone would travel, every day, from Columbus to Dayton (60 miles) to generate and then later on host a sporting activities show. Immediately after a year of racking up hundreds of frequent driver miles, he still left Dayton for superior in 2011. And he just about gave up his desire of possessing a long on-air job in radio for superior.

“I informed my wife, give me a 12 months to get a thing much better (in radio) and (if not), I’ll get a degree, get a superior career, give up on the radio matter,” T-Bone informed BSM.

Fortunately, the radio gods didn’t make him wait that long. In September 2011, he heard that WBNS-FM, 97.1 The Enthusiast in Columbus, was seeking to seek the services of an afternoon exhibit producer for “Common Guy and The Torg,” Mike Ricordati and Scott Torgerson. T-Bone used, and got the position. He told BSM that he could really feel the chemistry in between the three sports activities-crazed gentlemen, and that made it all the more difficult for T-Bone when, just five or six months into developing the afternoon show, T-Bone considered about implementing to turn out to be the host of “The Buckeye Present,” which aired soon after “Common Person and The Torg.”

“I don’t forget, distinct as working day,” T-Bone reported of his wander with Torgerson to get lunch at Chipotle in the spring of 2012, “I explained to Torg, ‘I’m contemplating of implementing to that mainly because I would like to do on-air stuff, but I would not do it except you fellas are great with it mainly because I arrived in this article to be your producer.’…He stated, ‘Ah, dude, you really should certainly do it.’ He was pretty supportive. Mike was incredibly supportive. Torg even claimed, ‘Hey, you may not get it, but at minimum it displays them that you’re intrigued.’”

T-Bone finished up acquiring the place. He hosted The Buckeye Exhibit from the summer months of 2012 right up until December of that year, when Ricordati hinted to T-Bone that he needed T-Bone to turn out to be the everlasting co-host on the afternoon clearly show, after Torgerson’s dismissal from the station.

January to June of 2013 was a real exam of resiliency for T-Bone. He was in the a lot more popular time slot, paired with the more founded host (Ricordati), replacing the preferred male known by one syllable — “Torg.”

Columbus radio host Scott Torgerson fired for controversial tweet

“Scott (Torgerson) is a truly intriguing man. I had a unique sort of character that I consider took some getting utilized to for some people and which is totally comprehensible,” T-Bone, who considers “Torg” a mate to this working day, instructed BSM. “After six months or so, points settled down…and I was in a position to come across a groove and we have been going at any time considering that.”

“Common Man and T-Bone” are a consistent best-a few in the Adult men 25-54 demographic. The two fellers have an all-comers attraction — not far too old, not much too young…they can get major about the Buckeyes and then snicker about Nick Castellanos’ antics on the baseball field…the demonstrate isn’t fast-paced and cutthroat like quite a few exhibits in the Northeast, but by no means places you to snooze, either. To steal a line from Adult Contemporary Radio, “Common Man and T-Bone” is that show that “everyone at get the job done can agree on.”

“We’re heading to shell out additional notice to the society and the conversation close to the games as opposed to the true in-activity every day (nuts and bolts),” T-Bone instructed BSM.

And the discussion which is created by Ricordati and T-Bone gives the two a possibility to show off their identical senses of humor, as T-Bone explained it.

The Columbus industry has a minor bit of everybody. When the Buckeyes are the No. 1 attract, persons come from all spots of Ohio and over and above to connect with Columbus residence. T-Bone reported soon after Ohio State, NFL chat is what pursuits most sports fans in Columbus. It doesn’t have to be just about the Browns or Bengals, nevertheless Browns enthusiasts are extra dominant in Columbus. T-Bone believes the Indians have more lovers in Columbus than the Reds these days, although it wasn’t like that in the late ’80s and early ’90s, according to T-Bone, when the Reds were busy heading wire-to-wire and profitable the 1990 Entire world Collection. Columbus athletics fans also like to discuss what’s taking place with the Blue Jackets and Crew.

Sometimes, Jonathan “T-Bone” Smith walks into the 97.1 The Fan studio and might have to pinch himself. At age 38, he’s dwelling out his desire, web hosting a sports activities radio display, on just one of the highest-rated sports stations in the nation, in his hometown.

“I feel, of course, you have to have some stage of talent to do what we do,” T-Bone told BSM, “but I assume there are considerably much more gifted people today than me that for what ever purpose, life’s conditions prevented them from sticking all-around. Expertise is pretty significant, but I believe availability is really significant. An ability to shake off your bad days is seriously vital mainly because I have experienced a ton of them. Expertise issues, but the capacity to stick with it is what matters far more.”

T-Bone at Harry Buffalo on March 15, 2018 | The Fan 97.1 FM
Courtesy: 97.1 the Enthusiast

T-Bone extra this notice to aspiring on-air abilities: “When an prospect offers itself, if you have completed the get the job done, if you have organized, if you have expertise, then you can phase in and hopefully strike a property run or a solitary, if that’s what they’re asking for…just really don’t strike out.”