Star Tribune

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'Superstar' Mike Morris suddenly departs KFAN

Morning drive-time host and former Minnesota Viking Mike Morris is off the air at KFAN Radio (100.3 FM) amid reported layoffs by the station's parent company.

Article by: PAUL WALSH , Star Tribune

Updated: December 6, 2012 - 10:19 PM

Morning drive-time host and former Minnesota Viking Mike Morris is off the air at KFAN Radio (100.3 FM) amid reported layoffs by the station's parent company.

His sudden departure was a topic of discussion on the sports talk station Thursday afternoon during host Dan "The Common Man" Cole's show.

"He's gone," Cole said to listeners. "It appears to be from what I'm reading on the Internet a corporate-wide pruning. . . . Everyone that I am getting e-mails from is disappointed."

Cole added that Morris’ ratings have been strong and the layoff is “not [about] anything Morris did or didn’t do.”

As word spread, a chat forum on the KFAN website sprung up titled: "How the hell does Morris get let go and Common stays?"

Morris, known by his tongue-in-cheek nickname "Superstar," was an offensive lineman who specialized as a long snapper with the Vikings from 1991-99 before retiring.

A message was left Thursday afternoon with Morris for comment about his departure. Messages have also been left with executives with the station and Clear Channel seeking details about the layoff.

Morris, 51, was the host of "The Power Trip" morning show, which aired weekdays from 6-9 a.m. He also co-hosted post-game shows after Vikings broadcasts on the station.

The muscle-bound behemoth, whose dominant shtick played off the brains vs. brawn riff, began getting airtime at KFAN early in his 144-game tenure as a Viking. He started hosting about 10 years ago.

In July 2011, Concordia University in St. Paul hired him as strength and conditioning coach for athletics.

All Access, a radio industry website, said that KFAN's parent company is rolling out numerous layoffs Thursday among its stations and that Morris was among those let go.

The website said it obtained a statement from the company that said, "We are constantly looking at all aspects of our business to ensure that it reflects how the best organizations work today, taking advantage of the latest cutting-edge technology and organizational structure so we can continue to operate as effectively and efficiently as possible.

"Like every successful business, our strategy continues to evolve as we move forward as a company; this creates some new jobs, and unfortunately eliminates others. These are never easy decisions to make. In the process of making these recent changes, some employees were affected. We thank them for their service and wish them all the best for the future."

A playful Q&A on his bio page asks what he'll be doing in his post-KFAN life: "I have an application in for Valleyfair. I'm hoping for the ferris wheel."

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482

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