Tommy announces he’s leaving ‘Tommy and Rumble’

Tommy Griffiths, longtime co-host of WNOR FM99’s popular morning show “Tommy and Rumble,” has apparently called it quits.

“FYI: as of 8/3/09 I have left FM99 WNOR- no more Tommy and Rumble. It breaks my heart, but it’s time to move on. Thanks for all the love and support over the years. All my best to WNOR and to RICK RUMBLE! Tommy Griffiths,” he wrote in a Facebook status message Monday evening.

Later, he added, “Oh. And this is not a stunt/joke/stupid promotion, etc. Tommy.”

Griffiths’ image has been removed from the station’s Web site. A message from Mike Beck, station operations manager on the site confirms Griffiths’ resignation.

“Tommy has been a fixture on our morning show for almost 20 years and we are very thankful for the many great things Tommy did for our radio station,” Beck’s statement says.

Griffiths joined the station in February 1990 to work with Henry “the Bull” Del Toro until Del Toro left WNOR in 1995 to take another local radio job. Griffiths and Rick Rumble have been working together ever since.

The morning show has always been known for its irreverent humor and practical jokes, but one of the show’s biggest pranks came at a great expense.

In 1992, the morning team of Griffiths and the late Del Toro – shocked Hampton Roads listeners with reports that Mount Trashmore in Virginia Beach was on the verge of blowing up because of a methane-gas buildup. Residents were told to flee. The 911 system was flooded with calls.

It was a big joke that flopped – big time.

The stunt brought the wrath of listeners, public officials and the Federal Communications Commission upon Griffiths, Del Toro and the station, resulting in suspensions for the jocks, the news director and the station manager. The FCC fired off a letter of admonition to the WNOR-FM owners.

Griffiths did not say in his Facebook postings why he was leaving the station, only that he was “searching for another station that needs a solid, funny, up-tempo morning show for about 20 years.”

His LinkedIn page also reflected his leaving WNOR, where the job is listed with previous jobs in Nashville and Orlando. Under current employment he only lists stand-up comic/host at Funny Bone Comedy Club in Virginia Beach.

The radio show runs from 5:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. on weekdays.

Pilot writer Cindy Clayton contributed to this report.

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