Marty Allen is a graduate of John F. Kennedy High School in 1978 and graduate of The Ohio Center For Broadcasting in May 1982. He started his radio career in December 1982 at WJW AM850, He was hired by Dick Satterwaite to be the overnight technical engineer and also produce the morning news with news director John O’Day and news anchors Dorothy McIntrye and Jim Belles. It was then that he met production director Bill Bender and was offered an opportunity to be a production assistant at WJW AM850. The station was new on the talk scene and was owned by Cleveland Browns football owner Art Modell’s Lake Erie Radio Company. Marty soon found himself producing radio legends Merle Pollis, Joel Rose, Joe Finan and Rich Barnett.
In 1985, Lake Erie Radio bought stations 3WE and WDOK and moved the studios to downtown Cleveland where Marty became assistant production director and talk show producer for Merle Pollis and Joel Rose and started to really make a name for himself. But in 1987, Lake Erie Radio sold to Ambresia. Wilson Pollack and Marty Allen, along with production director Bill Bender were not retained by the new owners and found themselves out of work. That lasted only about a month. Talk hosts, Merle Pollis and Joel Rose had moved on to talk giant WERE along with executive producer David Slutzky and they quickly offered Marty a job producing their morning show with Jack Callahan. It was then he met and became friends with Mr. Know It All, Mike Trivisonno who was doing sports updates with Paul Tapie at the WGCL morning show.
Radio is always changing and over the next few years WERE lost Merle Pollis, Joel Rose, the morning news crew, that at the time consisted of news director Jim McIntrye, Tom Moore and Kathy Davis, production director Jim Mehrling as well as executive producer David Slutzky and the public service director. Marty was then promoted to production director, morning show host, public service director and executive producer for the station. It was then that Marty became very talented at multitasking and enhanced his ability to wear many hats.
In 1991, Los Angeles Lakers superstar, Magic Johnson announced he had the AIDS virus. It was then that Mike Trivisonno approached Marty and asked him to voice a tribute to Magic that was written by his former producer and long time friend, Jim Scott (aka Jim from Euclid). It was a true tear jerker and Mike Trivisonno gave Marty the venue to showcase this talent on the rock station WNCX where Triv was still doing his morning sports updates and the two quickly became good friends.
WNCX then brought in radio heavyweight Howard Stern to boost ratings for the station. Mike Trivisonno and his morning show crew were all fired and thought it would be the end of the story for them, NOT! In the spring of 1994, Asst Program Director, Ray Davis at 3WE called Marty and told him that 3WE was changing ownership and wanted to know if Marty had an interest in rejoining the station as a producer for Sportsline, the show that was made famous by talk legend Pete Franklin. Ray also asked Marty if he knew this Mr. Know It All guy and Marty said yes and offered to get in touch with him. Marty called Triv and told him 3WE wanted to give him a tryout if he was he interested. Triv, who was unemployed at the time accepted the offer and got his tryout. The station liked what they heard and offered Triv a contract and asked what he needed to make his show a success and he quickly without hesitation said “I need Marty Allen”.
Mike Trivisonno started doing his show in June of 1994 and over the next 2 months he and Ray Davis pursued and finally persuaded Marty Allen to jump ship from WERE on August 22nd 1994 and come back to 3WE and produce the show with Triv and a promise was made by both that “if this show takes off then we’ll all get rich together and I’ll make you a star”.
Those words still ring in my head to this day. The station changed call letters, became WTAM radio and over the next 15 years the Mike Trivisonno Show broke all kinds of ratings records in the country with 35 #1 books. But in the end, Triv got rich, Ray got promoted to program director and Marty….well he did get famous, never got rich and on April 27th 2009, he got fired.
You’d think that WTAM would be the end of the story but if you know anything about Marty Allen, he’s a survivor and he had the skills all along to take the next obvious step in radio and host his own show. The Marty Allen Show was born. After 27 years in the business in one market its time for Marty Allen to take his place in radio next to giants like Merle Pollis, Joel Rose, Gary Dee, Pete Franklin, George Forbes, Jeff and Flash, Lanigan and Malone and yes…even Mike Trivisonno.
Marty says the story ain’t over, now its time for ME to write the ending to this story.