Four months after 94.7 Fresh FM abruptly dropped its popular drive-time gabfest “The Tommy Show,” its hosts have a plan to get back into the ears of Washington commuters.
Tommy McFly, the eponymous ringleader and self-appointed Fun Dad of the fans he calls the “Fam,” and co-host Kelly Collis, are relaunching the show Monday from the comfortable confines of a studio in the basement of Collis’s Upper Northwest home. No more corporate-radio overlords for “The Tommy Show” — McFly and Collis plan to air the show via their own company and an app that will connect them to listeners. (Jen Richer, the third “Tommy Show” co-host, tweeted this month that she and her colleagues would “follow different paths professionally.”)
McFly and Collis said that after the blowup at Fresh FM, they considered offers from stations in the area but realized that taking over a morning slot on another frequency meant that someone else would get fired, just as they had been. And there was an offer to move to Dallas. “That would have been some peoples’ dream, but not ours,” McFly says. “We are Washington through and through. To create an independent broadcast company in the city we love is the coolest thing ever.”
Collis said she got the idea to DIY the show when she was cleaning out some storage bins in her basement, inspired by the current craze for all things KonMari. “I thought, ‘let’s just put a microphone and a computer in there and do a podcast,’ ” she said. Things snowballed from there and soon they had a professional setup and a tech partner that allowed them to continue broadcasting live.
The rebooted, newly indy Tommy Show will look ... well, a lot like the original version, the pair say. They’ll be interviewing local VIPs and passing-through-town celebrities. There will be call-in segments and contests — and plenty of banter. Celebrity chef and humanitarian José Andrés will be a call-in guest on their inaugural show.
But there are advantages to doing their own thing, they say, such as being able to play whatever music they like instead of what’s dictated to them.
Selling McFly on the basement-show idea wasn’t exactly difficult. Says McFly: “She had me at ‘I had the room tested for mold.’”