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Don Geronimo
Don Geronimo

‘Radio god’ leaves the RELM

A few months ago, I told my colleague, Lizzy McLellan, about the RELM Network of podcasts. The hook for the story was RELM adding “The Don Geronimo Show.”

Honestly, I was hoping that Lizzy would say she was too busy to write her story so I could write it and possibly talk to Don Geronimo and RELM Network’s Buzz Burbank. The two were part of the legendary “Don and Mike Show,” which I religiously listened to every afternoon when I was a teenager.

I was happy to hear part of the band of “radio gods” was getting back together. But earlier this month, Don announced he had left the RELM Network.

“I have enjoyed my time with RELM and thank them for all their hard work to establish our new show,” he wrote on his website.

Loyal fans know Don is an open book and not one to bite his tongue if there is more to the story. Turns out there is, according to a series of tweets Don sent out this week:

Buzz went on The Kirk McEwen Show (another legendary name from Baltimore’s radio history) to give RELM’s version of events.

“We didn’t see eye to eye on business matters,” Buzz said. “He [Don] wanted to do things a little differently and ultimately decided to strike out and do them on his own.”

The RELM Network remains “as strong as ever,” Buzz continued. Don’s podcast was the only paid subscription model used by the network, which is “not a business model we think works but one we were willing to try because of Don.”

Even though the business relationship failed, Buzz said he still considered Don a friend and encouraged people to listen to his new podcast.

“People take this very personally,” Buzz said, alluding to the personal connection people like me feel with Don and Buzz (and Mike for that matter). “They hate to see mom and dad fight. It’s really not about that. It’s business.”

UPDATE (Aug. 18, 4 p.m.): Buzz, in a phone interview Monday, said Don’s claim he was not paid is “simply not true.” Don was paid as required by his contract, in some cases ahead of schedule until the partnership ended, he said.

“He was paid every penny he was owed to that point,” Buzz said.

One comment

  1. Too bad the team broke up. Imagine there were many reasons. But, it was a shame they didn’t re-group after being dumped by WJFK when they flipped formats (with no advance notice-one day the Mike Show was on, the next it wasn’t). WJFK has slowly morphed since 2009 to a mix of sports oriented guy talk, a format Don & Mike used, but with less sports content and more comedy. Don & Mike was a link to the ‘gang’ radio program popular from the 60s until sports talk replaced it around the early 2000s. The program had superior production values, was well made and gave the listener a lot of content. Today, with some minor adjustments, Don & Mike would fit into the WJFK format, and, with some more attention paid to sports content, probably stay in step with its current format. I know we tend to get nostalgic about this kind of stuff, radio programs from ‘the good old days’ but Don & Mike was a special show and is fondly remembered by listeners. You can still strike up a conversation talking about it here in the DC area. I was at the Harley dealership near Winchester, VA recently and noticed they still had pictures up from the 2009 visit by Mike and the gang when they held a get together there for bikers. Talked to a guy who works there and remembered the visit. Maybe someday the guys will return, as a new show, to the DC area. The odds are it would be a hit. It certainly has a lot of fans around, and, I think, could draw in many new ones.