Friday, October 13, 2017

I Speak to You Today of Celeb-Sniffing, and of Corby's In Particular

This topic has been rattling around up there for awhile, and in light of the comments from the previous post about Coach Switzer's interviews with The Hardline, I thought I might unburden myself of a few thoughts.

I'm not a famous person.  (In one sense, I'm not a person at all.)  I doubt whether many of my readers are, except maybe that anonymous guy who was floridly and intemperately critical of one of my posts or comments, and who I referred to as a jamoke in my colorful rebuttal, and who subsequently asserted that if only I knew who he was, I'd know he wasn't a jamoke -- maybe he's famous.  (Ah, the private suffering of the anonymous jamoke.)

The Ticket hosts are kind of famous, but, thanks to maladroit marketing by Cumulus and its predecessors, not too.  Yes, there are the Marconis, but I doubt whether anyone in that room that night not associated with Cumulus after that third Marconi was announced could name a single one of the hosts. In general, they're not even regional celebrities.  Local, sure.

That's one of the reasons we like them, I think.  One of the reasons I do, anyway.  They're just guys sitting around talking with their voices being picked up by radio microphone devices.  In fact, they're not just guys -- doing what they do and making it sound like just guys sitting around talking with their voices being picked up by radio microphone devices -- and being entertaining in the bargain -- is a rare gift.

Corby always takes grief for the Barry Switzer interviews.  He overlaughs, he kisses ass.

I think that's OK.

First, Corby ALWAYS overlaughs at remarks that are moderately amusing throughout the Hardline showgram, and sometimes remarks that are not so amusing.  If you don't like Corby's overlaughing at only moderately-or-less amusing remarks, you can't listen to any of The Hardline (and some of you don't), but we're talking here about one particular segment.  To criticize the Switzer interviews, you have to factor out the overlaughing because it is not unique to that interview.

I'll get to the ass-kissing in a moment.

Like Barry Switzer or not, he's a fun listen.  If Corby and Mike didn't interrupt from time to time, the man would go on for the entire segment.  And I must tell you -- I don't like anything I know about Barry Switzer, which is not a lot, but I find the man very entertaining in these segments.  I caught most of the interview on the Top Ten tonight, and I thought it was terrific.  The phone story (which I assume has been told before, which Corby reprieved this time around), the Dak Prescott story -- very fun.

So that takes care of the overlaughing and the merits of the interview.

Let's get to the ass-kissing.

It is my opinion that Corby kisses no more, or, if any more, only a tiny bit more, celebrity or sports-star or presidential ass than any other host on The Ticket.

ALL of the hosts kiss the ass of celebrities who give of their time to appear on a show.  BaD builds entire bits around snaring the famous to appear on their show, and when they get snagged (obviously thinking of Guest Booking League here), they're welcomed with great warmth and familiarity.  The Musers -- same.  Norm -- holy poop.  Corby is not worse or less listenable in this regard than any other (except, maybe, when Dan annoys someone almost completely off the phone).

But -- and here's where I'll probably hear from the respectful Confessor -- I don't really consider it ass-kissing.  Say what you will about Lee Corso, and whether Dan was being a Big Jerk or not (I don't even remember what he was supposed to have done that was so awful), he was right that most of these guys come the shows for no pay because they're good guys, as Corso says, to "help out" the sportsy station.  (Sometimes, of course, they have something to hype, and sometimes they have a sponsored segment, like J Witten.)  What we may think is ass-kissing is, for the most part, common courtesy.  And it's common courtesy because our hosts are decent human beings, not themselves famous or on a par with the people they're interviewing.  They treat these busy and notable persons as they should, as having scheduled a part of their busy day, or interrupting their own private lives, to make themselves better known to us.

And besides, Confessors -- if by virtue of your position as a host on one of the most popular radio shows in the world you develop a personal relationship with a public figure you admire, would you reject that opportunity?  We're not looking to The Ticket to break big stories or dig up dirt on celebrities; we're looking for some anecdotes, some glimpse of the human behind the image.  Joshing around with the rich and famous -- The Ticket is pretty good at that, and Corby is an absolute freakin' master.  Shaq and Parcells come to mind.  Doesn't bother me a bit.

So I guess all I'm saying is that (1) I don't mind the celeb-sniffing on any of the shows, and (2) I don't find Corby any more cloyingly obvious in that regard than any other host.

I know we have some Myrna Loy fans out there.

Dan, you can be a Big Jerk with me anytime.


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

BREAKING: Country Force to Take 10-Noon Saturday Slot

If my deep Cumulus source is correct, I believe most Confessors will find this a welcome development.  (I never know how reliable my sources are, but this one has the ring of accuracy on the merits, so I'm going with it.)

I have enjoyed Eli Jordan's work since he emerged at The Ticket awhile back -- he'll even sit in with Rick Arnett on The Tee Box from time to time -- but I'm especially pleased for Ty Walker.  Of course, he hosts Diamond Talk with Sean Bass, but it's great to see he's earned a permanent daylight-hours slot after his expert backwater toil at The Ticket all these years.  (I'm still waiting for someone to tell me what award Diamond Talk has won, not that it doesn't deserve to have won one, but it's right there in all the promos; you'd think someone would know.)

That leaves Sunday mornings, 8-11, to be filled.

My own listening plus comments received on this site inspire a respectful request to the New World Catman to give the very most thoughtful and heartfelt consideration to some combination that includes Justin Montemayor.

Then the Ticket world will be perfect, except for all that network programming.

Congratulations to Ty and Eli.

Hay!  Country Force, can't wait for your tractor-pull coverage.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Hardline News

First, thanks to Confessor DRW1961 for the link to the Corby story and interview:

The response that will get the Confessor going:   "Our whole lives are prep. But I start thinking about the next day while driving home from work, trying to piece it all together. But the whole show is in my head before noon. I've got it all planned out."

Skepticism-inducing responses aside, I think it's a pretty good interview with Corby.  He comes across likable and menschy.

Second, thanks to Confessor 1106 (two posts back) for this account of the end of E-News yesterday:  

"Corby and Danny getting each other worked up on gun control issue. Corby says to Mike, "you are awfully quiet over there. What do you think about this?" Mike responds, 'I don't think this is what people listen to us for.' Corby and Danny were both a little taken aback and they went to break almost immediately after."

Considering the response we got to the last post, think how many more emails these guys must get on this subject.  Not to mention My Leader COTA.  Email can be an unreliable barometer of listener reaction, of course, but I'll bet they've heard on the subject of excessive political coverage -- if you can call it that -- for a long time.  If 1106's account is correct, it's refreshing, and bravo Mike. 

In these dreary days of partisanship and slaughter, we need something to smile about:


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

We've Said It Before

The Ticket's in a tough spot.

If they don't comment on the political nonsense on both sides of the spectrum that has now infected sports, they'll be accused of burying a big sportsy story.

If they do comment on it, they find themselves exposing their own viewpoints, sometimes thoughtful, sometimes not, to the irritation of listeners no matter how carefully it's presented.

Does anyone doubt that the plummeting popularity of Niffle has as one of its causes the sports fan's disgust over the preposterous, posturing sideline choreography we're seeing, dating back to Kaepernick?  That we're being lectured by persons not normally known for careful policy analysis, a group tending to concentrate their studies more in the direction of endzone preening and domestic violence, probably hasn't sweetened viewers' disposition.

And because The Ticket is discussing it, it's reduced my listening time by quite a bit.  And yet, I don't know how they can do anything other than walk the line between stuff they're comfortable and good at, and things they're decidedly not.  To my taste -- way, way too much attention to the latter.

But I can't say that in general, that's a bad programming policy.  Just means I'm not tuning in.

Debating whether even to allow comments on this post.  Stay classy, Confessors.

And let me know what's actually being broadcast on The Little One these days.

Mr. Cat, can't we please get back to things like Garrett's and Linehan's misuse of Dez Bryant and the premature deification of the offensive line?

Saturday, September 23, 2017

PROGRAM NOTE: Horsemen, Pass By

Sounds like the new Saturday ten-to-noon show is "The Horsemen."

I was only able to catch the first few minutes.  I tried to find the names of the personnel, but I think their first names are Sam and Travis.  Not on the Ticket website yet, Google not of any assistance. 

I didn't catch their last names.  One of them, I think it's Sam, speaks very, very fast and their last names just whizzed by. 

What I've heard so far is promising.  Not much reaction other than that, but I'm still listening.  Sam's kind of jacked up and tends to smoosh his syllables together, but who wouldn't be excited, debuting a show on arguably the greatest radio station in the world?

More later on this interesting and unexpected Saturday offering.

LATER:  Samuel's last name is "Hale," I think.  Travis's last name is -- damn, missed it again.  It's Hispanic, sounds like.

I like horsies.
I like horsies, too.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

PSA on Behalf of Our Beloved Jub

Got this via email yesterday.  Passing it along for those who might have an interest:


Good Morning,

My name is Nick Wurst and I work in the UNT Athletic Department. This Saturday, September 23rd, at Apogee Stadium we will be hosting a "Town of Argyle Day". This event is specifically for Argyle residents and businesses as we will be honoring George Dunham and his son Blake during the game. I am sharing this information with several of the people from 1310 as well as other P1’s. We have prepared the promo code “ARGYLEEAGLES” for the link to purchase discounted tickets.

Kind Regards,

Nick Wurst
Account Executive
North Texas Athletics

Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Uncertain Journey of T.C. Fleming /// LATER -- BREAKING BREAKING -- The Woodwork Speaks!! [See Following First Redhead]

Confessor Colorado P1 posted the following on the last thread.  I'm sure others out there heard it as well, but I did not.  His report:

Following up on some comments by others in one of the recent threads, I am one who is finding TC's increasing pop-ons increasingly annoying. Case in point: I think TC legitimately annoyed Bob yesterday during The 1:30 News and I completely understood Bob's frustration. Bob started to make a statement about the planned obsolescence of light bulbs and iPhone batteries and TC immediately jumped in to say "this is the worst opinion you have." The conversation went on from there with Bob eventually saying "I'm so sorry I exhaust you TC" and TC responding "your arguments are just so bad!" Bob then ended it with: "Mic' off, get ready for your Ticker . . . I'm just sayin' -- let us do our segment!"

Then at the end Jake declared "that was a bad segment" and Bob protested "no way, that was a fine segment, just a little discourse, an exchange of ideas." After the break they joked about it with Dan calling it "your large Apple argument of 2017." It was not the type of thing that will have a lingering effect but there were definitely some brief uncomfortable moments of tension and it was not a bit by Bob. It seems to happen more and more often lately, that TC will jump in to say something critical and one of the hosts will respond with what seems like genuine annoyance. Or that I will just find myself personally annoyed at his interjection even if nobody on the air reacts negatively.

I am a day one P1 of IJB so I have never been a TC hater and I still have no problem at all with his role at the station. I think he has clearly improved his Ticker performance and I generally enjoy his Tickers. It just does seem as though he has been given increased license or has just taken the initiative to jump into the hosts' conversations more frequently and I can understand why reaction of the good strong P1 is not always positive.


In the recent past I have noted that when I was able to catch BaD I thought T.C.'s popping on had perhaps been moderated (or crowded out by Machine's incessant and truly annoying p.o.), and I thought some of it was even useful to the conversation.

But I would have punched out if I'd heard that.

I think T.C. is at a crossroads at The Ticket and may be feeling some frustration.


With the fadeout of Shake Joint and Machine's departure, there are several slots to fill on the weekend.  This only comes around once per total solar eclipse, so everyone's trying to read the tea leaves as to who will get these plums.  (Wow, three weak cliche-metaphors in less than two dozen words.  Time to hang it up.)

I am not a heavyweight T.C.-basher, and I have zero inside information, but I would be a little surprised if T.C. got any of those spaces.  In the past, T.C. has filled in a show here and there with one or another of his colleagues, and my recollection is that those shows were not at all bad, but his appearances in that role seem to have vanished.  I can't recall hearing him as a fill-in co-host, either with an established host or an ad hoc fill-in show with another JV, in a long time.  I'm guessing that Jeff Catlin's email melts down whenever T.C. gets extended air time.  In any event, he doesn't seem to be a current go-to for the odd slot here and there, so as a candidate for a weekend posting he's down-list.

I'm also guessing that maybe, just maybe, with the exception of Jake, his JV colleagues may not be anxious to share a show with him.  He would steamroll Justin M worse than Machine did.  As I've written in the past, every host and JV hopeful at The Ticket has ambition and a large ego.  T.C. is not unique in that regard.  His problem is that he is not good at disguising it.  He gives off a vibe that he believes he is the smartest guy in the room, but seems tone-deaf to the fact that (a) it's a very large room full of smart guys and hundreds of thousands of smart listeners, and (b) he's the only one  thinking that.  His treatment of superiors who disagree with him is inapt (see above), and peers -- forget it.

So -- wild guess -- I don't see The Ticket assembling a weekend show with T.C. as one of the co-hosts.

And I suspect he doesn't see it, either.  Makes him testy.

But I have a suggestion for the Man of the Cat, which I offer for my customarily modest commission:

Give T.C. his own weekend show with no co-host.

I would absolutely check that show out and give it some time to percolate.

Lots of advantages; the guy is like a Norm starter kit:

       (1)  It would make T.C. happy (if that's on Cat's to-do list).

       (2)  It would keep in place the general expectation that seniority will be rewarded by being given a chance to shine.

       (3)  The CTO only has to pay one guy and fill one slot.

       (4)  He will always be prepared with content.

       (5)  He will be contentious with callers.

       (6)  He will be free to let his ego-flag fly; his less attractive broadcast qualities will become advantages rather than irritants.

       (7)  The Ticket is assured of weekend controversy.

       (8)  He will have no co-host to whom unattractively to condescend or to bully.

       (9)  If it succeeds, you've got a new star; if it fails, the perpetually nagging matter of T.C.'s career path is finally resolved, and we can all move on.

       (10)  Appropriately scheduled, people will tune in just to catch the Craig Rosengarden/T.C. mixer (can you imagine the e-brake fodder that would explode out of that?).

You're welcome!

All right, all right, here's your redhead.


OK, Confessors, going out a bit on a limb here, so bear with me:

It is possible I'm getting scammed big time.  Please keep that warning in mind as you consider the following:

I almost never, ever hear from Ticket employees at any level.  I consider that a compliment to The Ticket -- employees are generally happy there and not trying to grind any axes on this site.  That speaks well of management.  (I know, I know, everyone thinks I kiss CTO ass, but think about it:  If you worked for a large organization (I do), and there was some guy out there doing a blog dedicated to your organization, and you were disgruntled, wouldn't you grunt, at least anonymously, to the keeper of that blog?  Sure.  My organization gets slammed from within all the time.)

But I may have touched a nerve with this column.  I've heard from multiple (claimed) sources via email.

Now let's keep in mind that there are readers who do not like T.C. Fleming one bit.  We hear from them frequently.  It could be they're pretending to be insiders and giving me crap.

But these communiques have the ring of authenticity.  Let's see if I can summarize fairly:

(1)  Current scuttlebutt is that T.C. is not presently agitating for a weekend gig.  If what Cat has told this site in the past -- that he listens to JV pitches when there's an opening -- is correct (some insiders have scoffed), it tends to suggest that T.C. will not be invited to co-helm (or, alas, solo helm) a weekend presentation.

(2) Perhaps the reason is this:  Your Plainsman's surmise that T.C. is not viewed as a desirable showgram co-host by his peers is correct.  (Make a note:  Correct Plainsman surmise.)   He is rather clear that he regards the other JV and most of the weekday hosts as deficient, compared to him, in broadcast skills and intellect, and have leapfrogged him for reasons unrelated to their on-air merit.  If pressed, he might concede a small advantage to Bob, Dan, and Gordon.  My correspondent was rather more colorful in his rejection of the notion that T.C. could pair with anyone.

Again, in fairness, we need to consider the potential axe-grinding factor here.  Do not want to be unfair to T.C., who has no opportunity to respond to things like this -- but this site would be delighted to hear from him and give him a forum for reply.

(3) Station is buzzing that management came down rather firmly on T.C. this week and advised him to cease his interruption of the hosts.  I don't know if this was before or after the episode Colorado P1 sketched out for us.  Again -- hearsay.

That's how I'd sum up what I've been told since this column appeared.  Take it for what it's worth.

And thank you for shopping at My Ticket Confession.

After all this, I think we need another redhead:


Sunday, September 10, 2017

Justin Montemayor and David Newbury

are knocking it out of the park on the Cowboys pre-pre-before-ante-early pregame.  Some of the best Cowboys and general Niffle commentary I've heard in a long time.  Just the little segment on how the Cowboys use, or fail to use, Dez Bryant -- very insightful.

Other stations step up with their Cowboys game-day coverage, but I prefer The Ticket's.

Stay Cowboys-hungry, my friends.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017


Kelly McClure has returned to The Ticket airwaves with new ads where she claims to be The Bulldog.

Here is some past investigative reporting on this burning Ticket Topik.

"It's a scientific fact -- yeah, science! -- that men are attracted to women who wear red, which is why I wear it most of the time in publicity photos showing me wearing stuff intended to instill confidence in my canine tendencies.  Rrrrruff!!.  See, e.g.,"

Friday, September 1, 2017


I have some pretty hard information about some of the changes we should expect to see at The Ticket.  I apologize for not disclosing every detail that has come my way, but I do think the individual(s) involved, and the CTO, should have the opportunity to roll out news in their own way. 

Also, if I get too mouthy about this stuff, sources could be reluctant to reach out to Your Plainsman.

In other words, I don't want any smarmy comments about what a pussy I am for not disclosing every pixel of information I've received.

Source on this is, on a scale of poor to unimpeachable, fair.  Somewhere in the middle.

Here's what I feel comfortable saying at this point:

     --   There will be a departure from The Ticket of a weekend host.  It will be a voluntary, "friendly" departure -- no termination, no employment- or performance-related issue with the host.  The host will not be going to a rival station.  No news on what will become of the show he hosts, but I speculate -- this comes only from me, not from my source -- it will either end or move to a new slot with a new host and/or name and/or format (that is, will not keep its current slot). 

[[UPDATE:  Mike Marshall has announced on the Donnie & Mike show on Friday that he is leaving the station to take a position with the Cowboys.]]

     --   Because of NFL and college football coming up, permanent changes may not be decided until after the season is over.  For example, the Shake Joint slot may see a variety of different shows filling in for awhile.

     --   Speculation (my source speculating here) is that Country Force will get a tumble in TSJ slot from time to time during the football season.  At least one other JV is mentioned as a candidate for helming TSJ slot on occasion.

     --    The Shake Joint departure will cause "other dominoes to fall," suggesting, as speculated here in an earlier post and above, that there will be other programming changes on the weekend.

This site has a bit of goodwill at The Ticket and I want to keep it that way.  Also want to keep faith with readers, so I'm trying to play this down the middle.  As long as everyone is equally dissatisfied, I'll have succeeded.   So this is all I'm spilling right now.

You know, one of those Friday news dumps.

I don't care how much you deny it, Pweenie, you're still a pussy.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

BREAKING: Ticket Ratings Rule, with Particular Attention to The Hardline

Some Confessors seem to think The Hardline is sinking in the ratings, running behind the competition, or otherwise not doing well. 

This is not correct.

I recently heard from a Dallas media source who I believe to be reliable.  S/he was concerned about passing along this information as even the immortal Barry Horn seems to be forbidden from publicizing it, so I'm going to withhold some details to avoid any problems with the ratings people.

However, at extreme personal risk, I can report generally on the numbers representing an average of the last four monthly books (as of the time I received this information, which was a few weeks back now):

--   All Ticket shows are #1 in their time slots in the target demographic (men 25-54).

--   The Musers are the top-rated Ticket show, ratings in the low double-digits.

--   The Hardline is a very close second to the Musers, only a point behind The Musers and also in the low double-digits.

--   Hardline ratings have risen steadily over the past "many" months (source was not more specific).

--   BaD and Invasion ratings are about equal, and only a point behind the Hardline.

So:  Ticket continues to dominate.  Hardline doing extremely well and improving.  Musers still tops.  Middays also extremely strong, only two points behind the galaxy-class Muser ratings.

None of this means you have to like The Hardline or any of the other shows.  But running down its ratings just because you want to see (for example) Corby get some kind of comeuppance is wishful thinking. 

If one believes these numbers, and I do, one can only conclude that The Ticket continues huge throughout the weekday daylight broadcast hours.  This suggests that the CTO has zero incentive to impose the slightest tinkering on any of those shows.

*     *     *

I will say this:  While I do defend Corby and The Hardline in these pages, I am in agreement with many Confessors on much of the criticism leveled at The Hardline.   Weak show preparation, dumb political talk, shaky sports talk, Mike's very inconsistent interest in the show (it seems to be on the rise lately), Corby's mic hogging and noisy berating of Mike for having variant opinions -- it's all true.  It's obvious.  And yet, I don't tune away very often and when I do, it isn't for long.  And the numbers are saying that, if anything, The Hardline is getting more popular. 

So while on balance I give The Hardline an MTC thumb's-up -- when it's clicking, it's still very entertaining despite everything and Mike remains the most charismatic broadcaster on the air -- I have to ask myself if better competition wouldn't see a meaningful migration away from 1310/96.7 after 3 pm.  

I just don't know, so hard to say based on the current choices.  ESPN's substitution of Steve Dennis for Matt Mosley has been a step backwards.  Ben & Skin -- man, every time I tune in there it seems like they're doing some dumb game show thing or homering for the Cowboys or Rangers or otherwise failing to attract my interest for more than a few minutes.  The whole show just seems canned, the enthusiasm manufactured.  Maybe I need to do a power-listen on B&S to see if there's more to 'em, because as much as I feel at home with The Hardline, I'd give a PM drive show staffed by human beings who seemed comfortable talking to one another -- which is how I would characterize The Hardline even when it's weak -- a real shot.

Inaccurate reportage of Hardline ratings makes me melancholy in kind of a tragic, Jane Austen sort of way.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

BREAKING: Shake Joint News

I don't have much information, but here's what I do have:

Bob did let the secret out of the cat-bag, so I believe we can take it as confirmed that The Shake Joint will be moving on.

I am advised that Jake and Sean will address the issue when TSJ substitutes for BaD tomorrow (Friday), and probably also on the Sunday show.  So tune in if you can and report here.  My ability to tune in is uncertain.

I have no information on other weekend changes -- zero.  However, Your Plainsman is going to go out on a limb and speculate -- really, I'm making this up -- that filling TSJ's slot will not be the only weekend change.  Look for movement and possible realignment of other weekend programming.  Other departures or lineup changes are not out of the question.

Your Plainsman also has no information on the reason for any of this; however, I believe I heard somewhere that TSJ was regarded as a ratings success as weekend listening goes, so suspecting this may be one of those "personal reasons" things.

If The Ticket is losing either Sean or Jake -- I hope not -- My Ticket Confession wishes him the best. 

[LATER BREAKING:  Please note comments below indicating Jake & Sean not departing, but moving to Cowboys pregame.  No news to date if Shake Joint will return; I'm speculating "no," but don't know.]

*     *     *

Not everyone shares this view -- not everyone shares any view about The Ticket -- but I liked The Shake Joint a lot.  Never understood people criticizing Jake's and Sean's "chemistry," which I thought was excellent, and their collegiality genuine.  Neither hogged the show.  And it got better with time.

I'm going to miss it.  The silver lining is that other deserving -- or at least new -- JV voices will get a tumble.  Craig "Junior" Miller may have to revise his Tier assignments.

Will MTC's Country Force campaign finally bear fruit?

I'm still waiting for my commission on the move to 96.7 FM.

*     *     *

This morning's redhead from the prior post didn't get much exposure, so she gets another shot here, and I'll add one more.

Hey, thanks, Plainsman.

Bye, guys.  Don't you be moving too far up the dial, now, y'hear?

Anyone Know What Bob Said?

Confessor Shaggy reports, second-hand, that Bob "let slip" that The Shake Joint showgram with Sean Bass and Jake Kemp is coming to an end this Sunday.  Did anyone hear that and can anyone give a report?

Does it have anything to do with even more Cowboys' pre-game coverage?

I'll see if I can find out anything.

Thanks for tending to the joint while I was away.  I'm back and trying to find time to give you a report.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Getting a Day's Jump on Wishing the Founder of the Feast a Very Happy Birthday

Mike Rhyner, born August 16, 1950.

I'll be away for a week and on the road quite a bit of that time.  Take good care of the site until I can get back and start deleting you.

Thanks, and Happy Birfday, you Old Grey Wolf

I'm not hip enough with Photoshop to turn this into Reinz 57      

"Feeling special, Michael?"

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

In Defense of that Nice Young Michael Gruber

Not that Michael needs any defense as a general proposition.  He remains a Ticket legend, his influence apparent on the station every day.

But, alas, The Ticket is having a great deal of fun -- every show, and the weekend shows, too -- at his expense.  I probably don't need to go into detail on what took place.  He called into Diamond Talk after the Yu Darvish trade and, as things turned out, didn't manage to complete a point that sounded like  .  .  .  an actual point.

BaD Reviews Michael's Diamond Talk Call

The consensus seems to be that sometime before placing that call, Michael had been overserved.

A firm hand at the controls.
I do not wish to be understood as suggesting that Michael was not pixilated.  It is at least possible.  Perhaps more than possible.  I hope he got home safely.

But I think he was calling to make an actual point.  To my ear he started to make that point but didn't get it out with enough detail to give Sean Bass something to hang his hat on.

I think his point was going to be -- at least this is what I "got" as his point before things went awry -- that Yu Darvish was ready to be traded, ready to go anywhere, ready to leave the Rangers for any team that would take him.  That Yu wanted to leave the Rangers.  I don't know if that was going to be his point had he gotten it out with a bit more detail, but that's where I thought he was going right from the start.

What happened, though, was that he did not get that thought out clearly, and Sean, who was trying to keep Michael on track, converted it into a technical question about Yu's no-trade list, which gave Michael two problems:  (1) he wasn't really calling to make a point about the no-trade list, which got him off-message, and (2) Sean's question required consideration of what resembled a double-negative, i.e., a team "not being on his no-trade list," which someone in Michael's condition was not prepared to process, and which led to the stumbles we're now hearing ad nauseum.

Let me stress that I do not blame Sean for Michael's aimless performance -- he was guessing at Michael's point, as I am.

But I do think that, nudged gently in a slightly different direction, Michael would have been on his way to making a legitimate Sports Point worth discussing, that being:  Yu's overall attitude about being a Texas Ranger at that point was that he didn't want to be.

Any takers?

"You leave Michael alone.  He makes more sense tight than most Ticket hosts do straight."
 (The site had a request for more Myrna Loy.  Always pleased to oblige.)  

Sunday, August 6, 2017

(1) Welcome back, Monte, and (2) PROGRAM NOTE: Sunday AM Country Force

Wish I'd known Justin Montemayor was going to be returning to Monte + The Machine yesterday morning, I'd have tried to catch more of the show.  I thought he sounded real good -- a little rough, a little tired, but pretty darned good little broadcast, what I heard.

Machine seemed happy to have him back as well.  His account of he and David Mino visiting Justin in the hospital where he had his leg tucked back under him -- giving the appearance that he might have been relieved of that limb as well -- was pretty amusing.

So was their talk about the Golden Chick empire being built on the music of Ronnie James Dio.  You had to be there.

I didn't hear the first of the show so if he delivered his package of his account of his hospitalization, I'd appreciate it if one of you would fill us in.

*     *     *

A long, long time since Country Force with Ty Walker and Eli Jordan got a slot.  Good to hear those boys this morning.

Grocery-cart talk very welcome.

*     *     *

Liking some of these new Ticker guys.  Caleb seems like a zero-BS guy.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Another Good JaD

Heard Dan on with Jake today.  Another good show.

We've remarked on Jake's strengths, but what struck me about today's show is how sharp Dan was.  I yield to no one in my admiration and affection for Bob, but his encyclopedic sportsiness and tendency to go on some tends to leave Dan in the "sports humorist" role.  This too often consists of jabbing and teasing and exaggerating and timidly throwing out the occasional sports point, after which he says "right?" as though hoping for approval.

With Jake, who does not try to dominate the proceedings, Dan has some time to stretch out, support his opinions, talk sports.  TC was invited to pop on with OJ updates, which was fine, and Machine popped on almost not at all, so not too many voices today.

And come on, you've gotta love The Ticket.  What other show, what other network, what other medium would have the courage to do two segments on comparing "Pee-wee's Big Adventure" to "Ernest Goes to Camp."  Jake was the sole Ernest supporter; the balance of the staff came down heavily for Pee-wee and violently against Ernest.

I like them both, but come on:  Pee Wee's movie was directed by Tim Burton and written by Pee-wee (Paul Reubens), Phil Hartman, and one other.  Ernest's show was directed by someone named John R. Cherry III and written by him and one Coke Sams.  I was surprised that Jake didn't summon up the Three Stooges as examples of film figures whose rank stupidity has been entertaining men and boys for years, and Ernest strikes me as in that vein.  (Irrelevant disclosure:  The friend of a friend of mine had some role in the creation of "Ernest:  Scared Stupid," one of the lesser of the Jim Varney oeuvre.)

Pee-wee is a genius.  Bit of a wanker, but a genius.   His "Pee-wee's Playhouse" on Saturday morning, theme sung by Cyndi Lauper, Laurence Fishburne as Cowboy Curtis, the magisterial William Marshall as the King of Cartoons, Phil Hartman as Captain Carl -- was an incredibly rich and wonderous and hilarious broadcast from Puppetland.  And don't forget Miss Yvonne, The Most Beautiful Woman in Puppetland:

Jim Varney was never going to win any Oscars, but he had his charms.  I remember his pitch-work, where he was constantly tormenting his neighbor Vern, with great fondness.

Anyway, two great segments.  Good show today.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Is The Ticket a Good Buy?

This site's good friend DA writes in a comment at the end of the last thread:

Say The Musers make 40%+ of the station revenue.  If Cumulus sold The Ticket and the 1310 signal, what would the investors by buying long term? Mike and Norm are at the end. Each of the Musers could move on quickly if Cumulus voids contracts and trying to bill equal to The Musers after if even one leaves becomes an issue. Plus, the off air staff costs and sales turnover is a constant radio issue.

That is a very interesting and valid point.  I would issue not so much a mild and respectful disagreement, as a perspective that shifts the assumptions somewhat.

DA's point applies broadly to any asset that depends on individual talent.  Think about a sports team.  It's worth more if it's talent is good and the talent is assured of sticking around for awhile.  What distinguishes the teams that are valuable year after year from those that have their ups and downs?    It's management -- the ability to keep the inventory of talent strong and fresh.  It's other things, too, but I'm focusing here on DA's point.  (NB:  The analogy is not perfect -- there are a limited number of Big Four sports teams to buy and sell, and so scarcity drives up the price irrespective of athletic or management talent.)

My view is that The Ticket is like those teams with lots of talent that is backed by strong and savvy management.   Think about it:  The individual talent of the hosts is undeniable.  But management -- invented, in the beginning, by Mike Rhyner and other founders -- is responsible for both permitting and encouraging the highly-personalized, draw-back-the-curtain type of talk that results in an identification between them and the listeners.  It combines this with strongly show-identifiable features (O-Deck, Homer Call, E-News, etc.), station promotions (GNO, Fight Night, etc.), and other lesser touches that make the station stand out.  The talent is the foundation, but management provides the framework and direction -- and sometimes the discipline -- in which it can succeed.

Even though the current hosts have all been around a long time, I would also suggest that a critical element of The Ticket's success is management's identification and strategic promotion of new talent.  New voices are added, some stick and fit in with the Ticket ethos, some don't.  Gradually, some get more exposure.  How does this fit with DA's point?  Consider his scenario of host departure for some reason.  Wouldn't most of us listen to Country Force over the competition if it got a slot?  Shake Joint? Cirque (when not on a frequent vacation; also, Cirque probably the least likely replacement as its hosts have other things to do)?  Not a Podcast has its partisans.  And wouldn't that keep The Ticket on top?  And valuable?

[Side note:  Unless there were a bankruptcy, I am doubtful that Cumulus would be able to unilaterally "void contracts."  But to DA's major point -- contacts certainly do expire and Cumulus could chose not to renew them.]

"I'll start the bidding at $700 -- but I only want David Mino."

Despite rumbles of it being near the end for Mike and Norm and even some younger hosts who want to do other things, I think both of those worthies, and even the younger voices, are going to be around for quite some time.  Got no concrete inside poop on this and DA may well be right that their days are numbered.  But it's just the feeling I get.  The P1 has been anticipating their exit for quite some time, but my sense is that this is just way, way too sweet for each of them, and Norm has some big fans in upper management.

Another point is that the a buyer of a business will take steps to avoid the very problems DA has identified.  It would make sure it had its main hosts under contract for a meaningful future period. It would also likely insist on noncompetes, for which it would pay the affected hosts extra as part of the deal.   And it would tie up key managers and executives in exactly the same way.

So if The Ticket were on the block, I think buyers with dollars would be lined up around it.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Excellent 2017 07 05 Shake Joint AND Mike R v "Not a Podcast"

(1)   I never went to church camp but today's segment on it was one of the most entertaining things I've heard on The Ticket for a long time.

(2)  Not attributable to Shake Joint, but:  Charlie Gray is asking listeners to let him know if Hidden Cost Motors and Heavy Metal Motors should be permanently retired.  Think his email might have given him a clue?

(3) Can't believe Sean will be interviewing one of my favorite crime writers, Don Winslow, here in just a little while.

(4)  Thanks to Jake for asking Sean to explain what "pitch framing" is from a stats point of view.  I kept hearing it mentioned on The Ticket, but had no idea what it meant.


This Machine/Mike R issue is intriguing.  It only came up yesterday, so here's the string from the commentary for your reading pleasure, and a late unrelated comment from a reader.  I doubt we'll see much more about this on Twitter, but I think it's a large-pulling back of the curtain.

Shaggy said...
Rhynes-Machine controversy brewing on twitter...
Anonymous said...
Can you give a little detail, Shags, por favor? I'm not on the Twitters.
Gopher said...
Shaggy: I'm not seeing anything on either feed. ?
The Plainsman said...
I haven't taken the time to learn the structure and practices of Twitter, so it's hard to tell exactly who is saying what to whom. However 16h ago (as of July 4 at 5:27p), Father John Zesty tweeted: "When the people you look up to shit on you on the internet." Attached to that tweet was a shot of what appeared to be another tweet of someone who was "Replying to @FYFMethod, k@BracketDan, and 6 others," with the following text: "Hopefully his tastes are discerning enough to turn off 3-7 today."

Circumstantially, it looks like whoever was the original author of that tweet -- and I can't find it anywhere, including @OldGreyWolf -- was taking a shot at Monte + The Machine filling in for The Hardline.

That's all I know. If anyone else can excavate what's going on here, let me know. If that was Mike R shooing people away from The Hardline's fill-in show, that would be news.
Shaggy said...
Nope, the original tweet was a P1 wife "complaining" (but not really) about her husband listening to the ticket on his phone on vacation in Florida. Completely innocuous/complimentary of the ticket in general. Not related to Not a Podcast in the least. Mike's shot seemed to come out of nowhere

Shaggy said...
(It was Rhynes that said "Hopefully his tastes are discerning enough to turn off 3-7 today")
The Plainsman said...
Thank you, Shaggy.

Mike's shot doesn't feel like a bit; nothing about it suggests he's teasing.

That's extraordinary. Mike R apparently displeased at the prospect of Monte + The Machine's stewardship of his time slot.

We wrote last week speculating -- well, mostly speculating, but also crediting some rumbles -- that perhaps The Musers aren't the warmest home for certain factions of the JV.

Now we have Mike R going radio silent (NPI) on David Mino and suggesting, quite gratuitously according to Shaggy, that people shouldn't listen to his distant-tier JV drydock replacement.

This site likes to pump up the JV when it has the slightest excuse to do so, but in this connection I must report that on a startling number of occasions when I've been tuned in Machine has presumed to dish it out to some weekday hosts and other of his Ticket way-betters. I hope he's as prepared to take it.
Anonymous said...
A few questions to anyone and I will hang up and listen.

1) Is "not a podcast" a reference to IJB? I know a lot of the JV'rs are annoyed with the way one of that group left and made it back as if it never happened.

2) Who is running the ESPN station? I know cumulus owns their signal, but how does that work? JJT was fired at ESPN but still runs a radio show. The reason I ask is it is stated it is less expensive to run national instead of local each night. Yet several nights their is local programming with Elf and others on ESPN.

3) If host are stretched for content during the summer, why not a soccer segment? plenty of MLS and Gold Cup or other tournament action. I guess we could have another will the Cowboys win 12 or 11 games this summer. There are plenty of things going on besides the Rangers or whatever they pull off ESPN headlines and just repeat the article. Several shows last week seemed like they were just stretching to get to that next break. Certain host def need a strong second host with them.
Mike R or Mike M?  Do I have to choose?  They're both so  .  .  .  radio-handsome.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Happy Eighth, MTC


On this date in 2009, My Ticket Confession debuted.

Its first commenter was none other than the estimable That Nice Young Michael Gruber.

Thanks for sticking with me, Confessors.  Some of you have come and gone, but your patronage is much appreciated whenever it was offered.

Let me know if we make WTDS.

"I wish I could wake up MTC in that special way."

Thursday, June 22, 2017


Craig, as a fellow cycling enthusiast – but not in your league – I am excited about your cross-country jaunt.

As a Ticket listener, and in particular a daily Muser auditor, I am shaking with withdrawal symptoms.

Please take a right turn in Missouri – I believe I heard it said you were traveling west to east – and return to Dallas.

I am second to none in my near-worshipful admiration of Gordon Keith.  His gifts are staggering.  This site has dedicated entire months to celebrating him.

I also join all of humanity in having enormous affection for George Dunham.  It takes a special kind of talent to be one of those Sara Lee people, one of those people nobody doesn't like.

But, like many very fine things, Gordon is best savored in small portions, served at intervals that leave us looking forward to his contributions.

And George – needs a co-host.

Gordon is a noodger, a baiter, a badgerer, a ceaseless font of freshman debate tricks.  George isn't equipped to respond meaningfully.  Segments bog down before they get rolling.

Craig, I have referred to you as the Fred Astaire of the Ticket.  

"Rita, you won't believe what's coming up in Scattershooting."

 Fred dazzled us with his terpsichorean skills, but on the set he imposed discipline.  You moderate Gordon's behavior in ways George cannot do, and you also occupy air time that Gordon is now called upon to fill, which would be OK if he didn't feel the need to be "on" all the time.   Did we really like it all that much when someone tried to conduct a sincere interview with Robin Williams, or Dangerfield, or Rickles? 

So please abandon your lifelong dream of pedaling the country and come home and take care of the P1s that have made The Musers the most popular radio show in the entire world.

CONFIDENTIAL TO JEFF "USA CATMAN" CATLIN:   Doocy is not a complete solution, since Gordon – after reducing his Doocy-baiting for awhile – can't seem to let go of that bit.  But he way beats an empty chair.   Why he's vanished, I don't know.   But you've got an entire school of JV swarming around the borders of these shows, several of whom the P1 would love to see sitting in with George and Gordon, the same way Jake sits in with Bob and/or Dan.

Fix this shit, Jeff.

I know, guys, but those legs  .  .  .  .