Saturday, April 12, 2014

A P1 Conundrum -- Or, a Cheap Thread-Refresher

You're in love.

You're so in love, in fact, that you decide to ask your beloved to marry you.

You know what to do next.

The Diamond Doctor.

But there's a problem.

Your doors are starting to stick.  You  notice cracks in the paint on the drywall.  Your nephew's ball keeps rolling away from him, always toward the same end of the house.

Oh oh.

Foundation problems.

You know what to do next.

All-Pro Foundation Repair.

But there's another problem.

You only have a few large in the bank.

Enough for a nice ring.  Enough for some attention to your foundation.

But not enough for both.

How do you decide?

Because there's another problem for you, the in-love but living-on-that-tricky-Texas-soil P1.

Because now, all of the Ticket hosts are endorsing both All-Pro Foundation Repair and the Diamond Doctor, according to a DD ad I heard for the first time today.

Monday, April 7, 2014

It's Rich Phillips Week!

Certainly the most significant departure from the station since I've been listening.  I've told the story of my Rich conversion before:

For quite some time after I became a listener, I didn't much care for Rich.  He seemed like a peevish presence on the Musers' morning showgram, and I never paid much attention to Tickers.

Then one Saturday I was out running errands and Race Week came on.  I have zero interest in NASCAR or any of the other vehicle racing regimes, but I found myself listening to the show, I mean actually listening to what Rich was saying.  By the time the show was over, I realized that I had been listening to a broadcast talent of a very high order.  Rich conveyed his enthusiasm for the sport with such energy and sincerity that it kept the ear and mind of the listener engaged – this listener anyway.  The expertise was also quite obviously genuine.

Think about what that show requires: that is a solid hour of one guy talking.  He will do an interview for each show, but for the most part it is one voice delivering news and what struck me as very sly commentary.  No ranting Hicksatorials, just the occasional aside that conveyed what Rich thought about what was going on.

After that, I paid more attention.  The first time I heard him do a Mustangs game, I was amazed.  That was some of the best play-by-play for any sport that I had ever heard, and I've tried to stop by on weekends ever since.  I suppose his style doesn't suit everyone, but I thought it was perfect for radio.  And again, his voice crackled with enthusiasm and drama.

From there, I came to admire his other work on the station, including not only Tickers, but his teaming with Donovan as a fill-in program, usually for BaD.

I also came to think that he was one of the smartest guys on the station.  I don't know that this is particular evidence of it, but his promotion into management as assistant program director did not come as a surprise.
I recall writing that there were two people at The Ticket with the greatest potential to break onto the national scene.  One of them was Rich Phillips.  I still think it is possible that he could become a national voice in racing broadcasting, and I'm wondering if some national networks might someday consider his SMU work as an audition for national football or basketball play-by-play.  And there's every possibility that his versatility extends beyond those two sports. 

Rich Phillips gigantically Pshopped onto Kevlar Jeep,
courtesy The UnTicket (without permission)
In any event, in my estimation Rich is a big talent who will be missed by The Ticket.  I think listeners will miss Rich more than they realize, although they can still catch him on the SMU broadcasts for at least another season.  And I'm sure Rich will miss The Ticket as well.

Except maybe Gordon.  He may not miss Gordon

Congratulations Rich, and very best of luck from your friends and fans at My Ticket Confession.

*     *     *

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

No Foolin' -- Time to Freshen Up This Dog // BREAKING: RICH PHILLIPS UPDATE

(1) Best wishes to T.C. Fleming as he starts his serious broadcast career on afternoon drive on The Buzzer, WBSR in Pensacola.  (I think I"m the only one who calls it that, but maybe it will catch on as a sportsy nickname for the station and I'll watch those commissions roll in.)   I trust some Confessors will be streaming that show and will give us a report.  I predict it will be a pretty good little show.

(2) It would be very hilarious if there were mass DFW-area defections to WBSR during T.C.'s show, seriously wounding The Hardline.  I predict this will not happen.

(3) Gordon Keith:

MORE:   Dan McDowell impression.  He may have been doing this for awhile, but lately he seems to be trying it out more.  It's pretty Jay Leno-ish right now, but you can hear him tossing it out there in short bits every once in awhile to see what happens.  During the 5:30 am segment today, he was working on it, but everyone was talking at once so it was hard to pick it out.  Pretty funny, though.  I think it would be a tough one to do because Dan talks fast so the impressionist has to have something worked out in his head to keep the bit going.

LESS:  Drought Man.

*     *     *


Although my sources are being somewhat coy, it does appear (as suggested in a comment below) that there is at least one major change afoot at The Ticket, and it involves Rich Phillips.

No details, but other than his departure or a violent office coup deposing Jeff Catlin, I don't know what it could be.  

Will be limited in my ability to follow this today, so please advise if you have information.  If my info is faulty, apologies to Rich, The Ticket, and y'all.


1:20 PM:  We waterboarded that uncertain source.  This remains unconfirmed.  However, best current information:

Rich Phillips will be taking a position with the Texas Motor Speedway in the nature of media relations or overall broadcast operations.  Sounds sweet.   Best of luck to Rich.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Tell the Truth

If you are able to get 96.7 FM, do you still listen to 1310 AM?  Some Confessors said they didn't switch over when The Ticket got its long-pants signal, but is this still the case?

A few quick hits:

A commenter at the end of the last thread beat me to it:  I thought the Norm expense report review on The Hardline yesterday was pretty bad.  Remember when Bob and Dan got yanked off the air when Dan undertook to read an internal memo regarding, as I recall, producers?  This is plainly company-confidential information, and, in my judgment, about as sorry as Dan's disclosure.  I'd be surprised if someone didn't get spoken to.  Also agree with that commenter that the expense report was not all that exceptional.  Kind of made The Hard Ones look like they weren't too hip.

I like it when people say "coach 'em up."

Wish the Dirk "Guess What Day It Is" commercial parodying the GEICO ad with the camel had run more often.  Thought it was absolute genius.  Not only was Dirk extremely funny, not only did he actually walk like that camel, the thing featured a star turn by the too-little-seen-on-major-visual-media-outlets Cash Sirois.

As a Man of the Plains, I have a pretty thick skin after coming on five years of composing this site.  For those who have not heard me say it in the past:  I compose very quickly and do not spend a lot of time on this site.  I listen to The Ticket when I can, which is maybe 2-4 hours a day, almost all of it in drive time.  I do not have time to do much else.  I almost never re-listen or to go back and find things I missed.  And I have listened to precisely one podcast, ever.  This means I will be less knowledgeable than some others who have lots more time to do these things.  I am very grateful that those people visit the site and I appreciate it when my errors are pointed out. 

But really, put a cork in the personal aspersions, OK?  I tend not to delete them because I don't want to seem like a guy who can't take criticism, and because I do get stuff wrong.  But I'm considering greatly increasing the deletions for tone around here.

Thank you, and also for Shopping at My Ticket Confession.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

You Watch -- T.C. Is Going to Kill

Fare well, T.C.

I mean it.  I think everyone who has commented on his departure has been sincere in wishing him good luck with the new engagement on ESPN Pensacola, WBSR, 1450 AM, 101.1 FM.  (Do they call it "The Buzzer"?  They should.  Maybe T.C. can rename his show.  T.C., I hereby grant you an irrevocable royalty-free license to use it.)

But with all of the well-wishing, there's also a "but  .  .  . " to many of these comments, suggesting some shortcomings that kept him down at The Ticket.

I think this is misguided.  I think we need to do some celebrating.  Not because he's left, but because he's on his way.  I'll come back to this thought.

If I'm reading his Twitter feed correctly, he's going to be "host/PD," so other duties other than on-air, it sounds like.  Good strategy, keep one's hand in management.  He tweets that he's starting on-air on March 24.  I cannot find any announcement of this on the WBSR website or any kind of a press release.  Any radio types out there who can give us more details about T.C.'s show?  Again, his Twitter feed says it's "Good Morning Pensacola."  (Co-hosting with Chad Brillante, the incumbent? Solo shot?)  Nor any chatter out there, really.  I just Googled ["T.C. Fleming" WBSR], just like that, and got seven hits.   Probably not a gigantic media event so nothing should be expected, but thought there would be some account of this other than T.C.'s.   NOT DOUBTING that he's going to be on, just curious about how ESPN is handling it.

I did not hear one second of any of the T.C. sendoff segments, nor have I listened to It's Just Banter on this subject.  I get the impression from Confessors who did that there was an overtone of ill grace from T.C.  I hope that's not the case.

If it is, it's too bad.  I feel pretty positive about T.C. and about this move.

His Ticket persona was among the most interesting I can recall.  He was the Zelig of The Ticket:

     --  The eager BaD intern who would do anything for the show and their hosts.

     --  The presumptuous insider, pre-on-air days, who rubbed certain other hosts the wrong way.

     --  The shy, soft-voiced guy who would show up occasionally on-air, do a roving-mic bit, mocked and humiliated by certain hosts.

     --  The ambitious would-be host, given a brief shot with Jake, and the two of them even taking over a Hardline show with Mike in September 2011.

     --  The co-host of It's Just Banter with Jake, which gained something of a following.

     --  The host of The Top 10, sounding very different both from IJB and from his shy, soft-voiced guy.

     --  The more mature fill-in guy whose shot selection had vastly improved.

In the past, I had not been interested in commenting on T.C. because it was so very obvious that he was so very ambitious to be an on-air guy, and I did admire the lengths to which he had gone to move up at The Ticket, but  .  .  .  .    And I thought he did a very, very good job with The Top Ten.  The truth is, and I've admitted this in the link you'll find in the next paragraph, I pulled my punches with T.C.

My past T.C. views got their most thorough airing in the comments to this posting, which featured the T.C./Jake Hardline appearance with Mike R on September 2, 2011:  What Did We All Think of The Hardline Today?  Which, if you take the time to read through it, was exactly that I did not care to engage in extensive T.C. nutkicking because I really did not want to knock a guy who was just starting out.  Reading between the lines, yeah -- I didn't see him as Ticket host material, at least at that point.  Which, combined with the nutkicking from Confessors, did not endear this site to him.  I believe he once referred to it as the worst website ever, OWTTE.

But that was a long time ago.  He's a hard worker, he's very smart -- I don't think he gets enough credit for his brains in these parts, I really don't -- he'll prepare the bee-jeebers out of his Florida shows, and I'll bet he'll do extremely well.

Who would have thought that T.C. would beat all other recent J.V.'s to hosting a drive-time show on an ESPN property?  (Elf wasn't drive; B&S, Matt & Scot -- not ESPN.)   This is a credit to his strategies at The Ticket and with IJB.  Come on, Confessors, we need to do more than just wish the guy luck -- we need to acknowledge that if the standard is personal advancement, T.C.'s tenure at The Ticket was a success, and he made most of it happen by sheer industriousness and, yes, talent.  There is no reason to think that he won't continue to work on his skills and keep his audition tape shiny and current.

I'll go out on a limb here:  I think T.C. has a great career ahead of him.  He's an ESPN team member now.  He's ambitious.  He's smart.  He's interesting.  He's young.  He has an interesting look.  He has a great-sounding media name.  He works hard.  Yes, he can talk.   I think he is going to move up the ESPN ladder and we're going to see and hear a lot more of T.C. Fleming.  And I think we will think that is a good thing.

And that's My Ticket Confession for the day.

Best to you, T.C.

*     *     *

Friday, March 14, 2014

End-of-Spring-Break Quick Hits

(1) Having some problems with Blogger lately.  If I vanish for awhile it may be for technical reasons.  Will leave a comment if there are further issues.

(2) Craig "Junior" "the Joonze" Miller reported on his favorite websites in the 5:30 segment this morning.  "My Ticket Confession" was not among them.

(3) Jeff "The Pan-American Catman" Catlin is really cutting into his host's extra promotional income.  First it was Pat Lobb Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep, now he's flogging a Chevrolet dealership.

(4) I remarked in a comment to the last thread that TC had made himself a Ticket "immortal."  Some readers took that as an endorsement of his entire body of work.  No -- I meant he has made himself a Ticket character that people will remember long after he's gone.  Someone mentioned Rocco Pendola, who, in my book, is also a Ticket immortal.  I never heard a single syllable he ever uttered, being long gone before I arrived in the area.

(5) Pretty cool that Gordon was runner up for the Royko Award from the American Society of Newspaper Editors for his Dallas Morning News column.  Congratulations, and best of luck to him as he's also been submitted for consideration for a Pulitzer.

(6) Anyone else find the "Between Two Ferns" thing with Galifianaklis/POTUS about 17% as amusing as a couple of Ticket hosts did?  Actually, I thought the President did a good job -- he's a natural performer -- but it just didn't move my yuk meter.  Probably didn't help that it gave off the fragrance of just another Hollywood shill for Obamacare.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Almost Drove off the Road

I was laughing hard.

I won't be able to reconstruct this entirely, and I don't recall whether Corby or Danny made some of the incidental remarks, but Mike R cracked me up in the opening segment today.  Maybe The Unticket will have it.

It wasn't so much what he said, it was how he said it.  No  .  .  .  no, it was what he said, too.


Corby is talking.  Rangers preseason game is on.  He interrupts what he is saying to say that "[Someone] Cowsill" has hit a three-run homer against Alexi Ogando, realizing that this will make Mike sad.

There is some banter about the old group The Cowsills.  Mike does not believe that any Cowsills played major league baseball.

They bantered a bit on the name, and someone said "maybe it was The Herd."  (ESPN guy Colin Cowherd.)

Mike says, "I can't stand that guy."

Mike says, "The Laddie [former Ticket PD] probably knows what he's [Cowherd] is up to.  And you know who else was tight with him?  Djeel-BEAR."  (Another former PD, Bruce Gilbert.)

Corby:  "Bruce Gilbert and Cowherd were buddies?"

Mike:  "Gilbert gave him his start.  What did he [Gilbert] ever do for this place?"

Corby:  "He hired Bob and Dan."

Mike, after a pause, deliberately and with emphasis:  "Whoop.  Dee.   Do."

Danny:  "They've been solid on middays for 15 years!"

Mike, contemptuously, practically spitting out the words:  "Ah, you could get a chicken to do middays around here."

Good thing I was cruising the middle lane with no traffic or I'd been in the ditch or up against the divider for sure.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

We're Going to See More and More of This

Philadelphia Judge Issues Ruling That Could Give Anonymous Online Commenters Second Thoughts

"Have you thought about it?" -- George DiGianni

Speculation Upon Speculation

So sometime Confessor Provocateur Gypo Nolan (a character from an old movie called "The Informer") threw up a comment last night that stated only "Hold on to your butts."  The last time he did that, Bob and Dan were flirting with The Fan.

When asked for clues, he responded only:  "Norm, Mike, Corby, Jake, Mino, Dan, and Bob .  .  ."

Which looks huge but is so huge that it really isn't much of a clue.  And how likely is it that Cumulus is really going to bust up its still-number-one schedule in any significant way?    And his last clue re Bob and Dan related to the Cuban Missile Crisis, so I don't think highly of Gypo's clues.

There was a time when I thought I knew who Gypo was but when I asked that individual directly, he denied it.  So now I think it's someone else.

We know Lew Dickey was in town last week.

We know T.C. Fleming is off to ESPN Pensacola to be on the morning show there.  (A big congratulations, we'll try to cover that soon.)

We know Norm is working on a new contract.

My few radio-related guys who sometimes know Ticket stuff haven't heard any Ticket stuff.

So all I can ask is that you stay tuned and keep the thread lively and civil.

In the meantime, I'll keep my ear to the ground  .  .  .

.  .  .  and check email frequently.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

21st Century Schizoid BaD

First to ID the reference without Googling -- honor system -- and I'll send you something.  I don't know what, but something.  I'm sure I've got something sitting around somewhere I could send you.

I didn't hear Dan twist off on the intern.  But we've heard his on-air downdressings before.  The event prompts some thoughts.

The first thought I had was -- do all the shows have interns?  Are they station interns, or are they hired specifically for BaD?  Is the reason BaD seems to have so many interns is that its the only show that talks about them?  Whenever I hear interns referenced on other shows, it's always a reference to a BaD intern doing something inappropriate.   Or does BaD have some special deal where only they get interns?  (I seem to recall references to Norm interns, too.)  Why does BaD need interns?   Why does BaD need other people to feed them?  Run their personal errands?  Is it the mankilling hours required of Ticket hosts?

I don't really care if BaD has interns and other shows don't.  All part of the deals, I guess.  I just don't understand the function of the intern.  I thought maybe they do research.

But I didn't really intend to make this a column about interns, although I'd be glad to have information about this unsung breed.  Perhaps we should pay more attention to them.  You know, I should be cultivating the intern.  Would be an interesting source of Ticket information, with pretty much nothing to lose if he or she got found out.

Oh, yeah -- get a female intern for Bob and Dan.  I dare ya, Cat.

No, here's what I wanted to write about -- my BaD schizophrenia.

I've been able to tune in more often than usual the past few weeks.  (Less Musers/Hardline, more BaD.) 

And sometimes I hear segments that are as good as anything I've ever heard on the station, sports-talk wise.  I thought the Ron Washington segment a couple of days ago was excellent.  Crisp, thoughtful, balanced.  Mostly Bob, but Dan usefully contributing.  And when I hear segments like that, I think -- you know, I've really come around on BaD, I should write a column about my growing admiration for that show.

Then I hear a segment like the recent El Chapo segment (El Chapo -- the Guzman cartel CEO that just got hisself captured) that was just chaos, and not good chaos.  It bogged down from the first syllable.  The discussion was whether "chapo" meant "shorty," which had already been pretty well established by every single news story on the event in all forms of media.  And while everyone was talking at once, you hear this dial tone, and you think man, that's annoying, Mino needs to fix that.  And it went on and on, and eventually you realize that it's not just an apparently unfixable irritant,  Dan is calling someone.  You don't know who it is.  Someone answers the phone.  No identification of who it might be, none that I heard anyway.  Dan starts talking to the woman in a familiar, flirtatious way, as though she should know who he is, and maybe she does, but doesn't sound ecstatic to hear from him.  He asks for "Mishrod," who I eventually figure out is Michelle Rodriguez (her Twitter ID is @michrod), who I eventually figure out is a fellow Cumulus radio host.  Maybe I should have known that's who Dan was calling, maybe you all knew, but irrespective of my ignorance of non-Ticket Cumulus stars, I was able to perceive that she wasn't a whole lot more interested in hearing from BaD than the receptionist had been.  Dan tried to chat her up, but she wasn't playing along.  The segment lurched to a close.

I was talking to  someone about BaD after that ratings book that showed a dip during some of the Norm-BaD hours.  This individual was as skeptical as we all were that this was anything more than anomalous blip, but he did say that maybe it would prompt BaD to sharpen up the show, especially the first segment or so.  And I thought of that remark when someone commented on the last thread that the segment after the intro was pretty much always burnt.

But every show has its rocky segments.  Why BaD's emerge more vividly for me, I can't say.  I've always liked Bob a lot, and I've warmed up to Dan more and more over the past couple of years.  A big Donovan supporter, too.  So I can't tell you why I punch out on BaD more than all the other shows combined.  And for all  those Chapo fails, there are segments that are brilliant.  And not just sports segments, but segments intended to be funny, and are.  Then Dan shows up a one-step-up-from-a-volunteer kid for insufficient attention to the details of his personal requirements.

See, Bob and Dan are like a railroad track.  They're separated from one another like
these rails here,  and no matter how far they go along together they never
get any closer.   And yet, they succeed perfectly well in their intended purpose.

Nothing like a well-turned metaphor -- actually, I guess I styled it as a simile --
to set off another incisive column.

On balance, if anyone's keeping track, it is the case that I'm a bigger fan of the show than I used to be.  (I know this will please BaD greatly to hear.)   I have been guided in my efforts to appreciate the show by the admiration expressed by many Confessors, who name it their favorite.

I guess where I come out is -- it's a damned weird show rendered entertaining by a mismatch that somehow usually works.   Yes, I do punch out from time to time -- but when I'm by the Philco from noon to three, I'm punching in.

I know that's a long way to go for not much payoff, but I haven't given you much content lately so thought I'd just ramble a bit while I had a few minutes.

*     *     *

Here's that album cover cactusflinthead refers to in the first comment below ("In the Hall of the Crimson King").  Love Robert Fripp, man.  Solo on the tune is amazing, but my favorite of his is on Eno's "Baby's on Fire."  [CORRECTION 2-28-14:  A commenter points out that the name of the album is "In the Court of the Crimson King."  I regret the error.]

Friday, February 14, 2014

CHEAP THREAD-FRESHENER: Watching "True Detective" and Can't Get Enough of Matthew McConaughey?

Well, that's him doing those Reliant Energy ads.

Theater of the mind:  Rust turns to Marty and says: "You are wearin' the heck out of that outfit," and chuckles softly.

"Too much Corby, man."

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A Gift for Some Lucky Host

This is a bit of a scam entry, because it's really just one of my tragically sportsy opinions disguised as something with an extremely attenuated Ticket connection.

It is never a good thing when I dip my toe into sportness.

So you have been warned.

Yeah, so here is a sports opinion that I want to offer to any Ticket host who wants to adopt it.    No, really.  That fortunate host may have it free of charge, and the beauty part is that he, whoever he may turn out to be, may have it without giving this site any credit whatsoever.  No mention necessary.  Hey, what good would more readers do me?  I don't get a nickel from this if I have one hit a day or a million.

It's a Cowboys opinion.  I have not heard it previously opined.  If anyone has previously opined it, well, I thought of it first a long time ago, so that's my position on that there.

*     *     *

No one thinks that Jerry's management of the Cowboys is competent.  This evening, I'm thinking particularly of his game of musical coaches, the difference between what Jerry's doing and musical chairs being that no one gets eliminated -- you just get more and more coaches.

But I don't think this is just aimless, random meddling.

I think Jerry knows exactly what he's doing.

Now, this is not to say that what he's doing is good for the Cowboys.  But I think that Jerry believes that what he's doing is good for Jerry.

So here is my theory:

Jerry keeps adding coaches and layers of football-team management because it is a way for him to increase his influence over the coaching function and, ultimately, the locker room.

We all know that if he thought he could get away with it, he'd name himself head coach.  Instead, as we also know, he inserts himself in coaching matters.

Adding more coaches and layers of management enables him to meddle more, and more effectively (by his lights), in several ways:

First, the addition of each new coach that Jason Garrett had no role in selecting further dilutes the influence of that poor man.

Second, each new non-Garrett coach gives Jerry someone new to call, someone who hasn't completely tuned him out and who feels some gratitude to him in the short run for giving him a job with one of the most famous sports franchises in the world, and who will report his views to the group.

Third, the more coaches in the room who listen to Jerry when he calls, the more his ideas, advice, scolding, whatever, get repeated in the room.

And, finally, and most importantly for his purposes, if he can get coaches fighting with each other over the direction of the team, the weaker and less certain that direction is and the more influence he will be called upon (by himself, but now with justification he's created by his machinations) to exercise  to "resolve" these disagreements.

Take the Callahan business.  He won't let Callahan interview for a job?  Why not?  Because it serves his purpose to have a disaffected and even angry Callahan on the staff, because it gives management -- Jerry -- the chance to step into the coaches' conclave to resolve matters and, oh, by the way, long as I'm here, why don't y'all emphasize the tight ends this week?

Of course, this is a terrible way to manage almost anything.  But it is entirely consistent with what we know about Jerry's scorching ambition to be a respected "football man."  What better way, in his toupee-warmed brain, than to divide and conquer his own coaching staff?

Who will be the first host to discover this jewel of Cowboys analysis and make it his own?

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Let's All Take a Break for Some Green Tail Shiner

All right, things are getting a little too testy around here for my liking.

We all need to calm down a little for some Ticket fun from the archives.

I've written about this a couple of times in past posts.  For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, and for those who do, the good men at The UnTicket have the goods as they usually do.  I re-listened to this a few minutes ago and I laughed out loud again, and not just one or two giggles.

9/11 was unquestionably a worthy Number One moment at The Ticket, but here is my personal favorite moment on The Ticket of the last ten years:

Green Tail Shiner Non-Explanation with Embedded Replay of Original Reference with Bonus Classic Michael Gruber Background Chortling

The link is actually Mike's Mind on the day following the original reference, but I believe most if not all of the original Green Tail Shiner reference is replayed here.

So if, on my deathbed, my final words are "Green Tail Shiner," as they may well be, you won't need a whole damned movie to figure out what I was talking about.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

BREAKING: Gribble to ESPN as producer. Jake to BaD as producer. Mino to 12-7 board op.

Host lineup intact.

You just can't keep good news bottled up!

Gribble's precise assignment unknown (to this Plainsman).

Talk amongst yourselves.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

SPORTS: My Best Friend → 20 Yrs RIP → Widow → Cousin → Scott Linehan

I thought I remembered her telling me once that her cousin was an up-and-comer in football stuff awhile back, but it didn't click until this recent appointment.

This is a thread-refreshing place-holder.  Anniversary/Ticketstock weekend has stirred up some Ticket thinkings that I'll try to sketch out sometime in the next little while.

Are we in general agreement that Ticketstock was a grand success?  It was not a good listening Friday and Saturday for me, unforch, but what I heard was fun and sometimes touching.  My stroke on this is that whoever was primarily responsible for assembling the weekend, which I believe must have been Jeff Catlin from certain remarks dropped during the broadcasts I heard, did a fine job meeting the expectations of the P1 and memorializing two astonishing decades in America media.  Thanks to him, Cumulus, and everyone at The Ticket.

And y'all.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Two Decades

Confessors, I feel I have let you down.

You've been kind enough to join me here for the past several years to talk Ticket.  Here we are coming up on the biggest Ticket date in forever, and I disappear.  No excuses.  Well, I have some, but who cares?  I finally tore myself away from other stuff I needed to do at least get one acknowledgment of this event up here before it passes entirely.  Thank Jah for A P1 Wasteland for throwing up some solid content for you.

I don't have a topic.  Oh, I got a bunch written down, but none of them are good for an event of this magnitude.

So I'm gong to meander a bit, toss out a few Tickety thoughts as they occur to me.

I moved to this area in 2004.  I was happy to do so, for Mrs. Plainsman's family was down here, and it's a wonderful family, and Mrs. Plainsman is wonderful.  And Mrs. Plainsman was from here, and had moved to my city Up North to pursue and marry me, a goal in which she thankfully succeeded.  And Mrs. Plainsman had job prospects down here.  And many friends.

I wanted to stress all that about the great family and great Mrs. and my pleasure in making them happy by moving down here, because I'm trying to take some of the edge off the pathos when I report that I had no job prospects, no family of my own, and no friends in this area.

But I had a car.  It had a radio.

I don't know the date of my first tune-in to The Ticket, but I know exactly where I was to within a few feet of roadway.  I believe the first voice I heard was that of George Dunham, although it took me quite a long time to figure out who was who and even the name of the damned show (was one of them named "Donovan Miller"?) -- at that time I didn't tune in at 6 AM where the Musers introduce themselves.  For some period of time measurable probably only in days, I believe I thought it was George's show, with Craig as his sidekick and Gordon as local color.  That didn't last long and eventually I sorted everyone out.

I loved the humor and the sports talk, but what really drew me in was the cadence and tone of the show.  It wasn't blustery, it wasn't announcerish, it wasn't stagey or overly bit-driven.  There were topics that served as a pretty loose skeleton for conversation, but that's what is sounded like -- conversation.  It wasn't intimate or too-inside, it just hit the right balance between holding you at distance as an audience to be entertained, and inviting you in as a friend.   It never bored.

I don't have a strong recollection of my introduction to the other shows.  I'm sure I left 1310 on in the hope that I'd actually found an all guy/sports station for DFW in that unlikely spot on the dial, and sure enough, here comes along The Hardline, and BaD, and even Norm.  That turned out to be the last good time for The Hardline, and a good time it was.  Mike was fully engaged, Greg was a native wit, and Corby filled in some gaps that needed to be filled.

I don't recall how I discovered 104.1 FM, it wasn't right off the bat -- but it was where I parked for almost ten years.

Eventually I got a job,  Got some better ones as time went by.  Family kept growing.  As you know from past reports, I've never really warmed up to the Metro, but when you spend several hours a day with The Ticket, you really don't need to be much of anywhere else.

But one thing was missing:  No one I knew listened very much to The Ticket, not even the male relatives in that great family I told you about.  Those who did know the station didn't listen to it for hours at a time like I did and so didn't have same attachment to it that I did.

And because of the nature of my job and my time commitments, I didn't really make any guy friends (more pathos) and so when I'd think of stuff that interested me about The Ticket, I didn't have anyone to talk to about it or say "hey, did you hear  .  .  .  .?"

So on  Tuesday, June 30, 2009, at 8:38 p.m., I tossed up the first post on My Ticket Confession.

And now, I have lots of friends.

Thank you.

And thank you, George Dunham, and Craig Miller and Gordon Keith and Norm Hitzges and Bob Sturm and Dan McDowell and Donovan Lewis and Mike Rhyner and Corby Davidson and Danny Balis and yes, Greg Williams, and all JV past and present, and the stout leatherlunged Tickermen and hearty and unthanked board operators, and by Jah, Jeff Catlin and, why not, the whole damned CTO.

See you at Ticketstock.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Mrs. Plainsman Explains the Musers for You + More Ratings Talk

My lovely wife doesn't much care for The Ticket and she does not read this site, although she encourages me to keep doing it for some reason.  However, she does allow me to listen to The Musers when we are getting ready for work in the morning.

This morning, she looked at me and said:  "I know why people like this program."  OK, says I, I'll bite:  Why do people like this program?

"Because," she said, "people like to listen to men giggling."

I wasn't sure I heard her correctly.  She explained.

"These guys giggle a lot," she said.  "And when you hear a man giggle, it just makes you want to giggle along with him."

(Point of clarification:  She was not referring to Gordon's soon-to-be-retired faux-laff commercial intros.)

I don't know about the cause/effect she has identified, but I realized that she's right:  The Musers do giggle a lot.  I suppose it could be called laughter, but in fact our boys do a fair amount of gentle (of course) chuckling that doesn't really pass into the realm of all-out larfing.

Mrs. Plainsman, at least, finds it amusing and indeed, I will frequently hear her giggling along with the hosts even though she may not have been paying the closest attention to the topic on the table.

*     *     *

I'm still puzzled by the ratings switcheroo we've been discussing, and I really do wonder if it might be an outlier.  Wondering if has something to do with the loss of 104.1 and the gap before 96.7 kicked in, as some Confessors have speculated.  I always strongly suspected that whole lot more people in the north metro listened on 104.1 than seemed to be generally acknowledged, and its loss without an FM replacement ready to go may have had a more damaging effect than Cumulus anticipated.  (This move seemed really ill-advised to me at the time.)   It went Ticket-dark the first weekend in October, so we had at least the better part of a month before the 96.7 went online, right?  But why would that affect the midday disproportionately?

As I say, puzzling.  Won't shock me to see midday rebound in the next book.  Nor if it doesn't.

I was out of the office yesterday midday and tuned into 103.3 to see what was up.  It wasn't a good sampling because Friedo was off that day.  Otherwise, I found the show pretty generic, although sportsy, and before too much time had passed I was back to BaD, gently drifting off to sleep (and from lane to lane) to the sound of one of Bob's oral essays.  Wonderful stuff.

*     *     *

Now that we're all celebrating two decades of Ticket Greatness, we remind ourselves of the incalculable damage wreaked by the incompetent move to Victory.  All that marvelous material, fully digitized and easily transportable, completely lost.  


Thursday, January 9, 2014

A Fun Suggestion from Distaff Confessor Liz

Always love to get suggestions for topics from the Confessor.  Especially love to hear from the ladies, good to know we have a civilizing influence checking the site from time to time.   Liz emails with a thought that segues nicely with the anniversary reminiscing now current:

"In the past twenty years, we've had non-hosts pass through our listening lives. Junior's "what ever happened to..." line in Scattershooting made me think of this. 

"For example - back in the days of Fax Fodder and when THL actually took calls, we were introduced to Glenda (God rest her soul), Danny in Lake Highlands (we know where he is), Rogers Hammerstein (probably got the name wrong, but have no idea what ever became of him), BDH (in Vegas now? )...I think you get the point. I'm guessing that several of us will be reminded and remind others of named we had since forgotten."

Not Liz
So especially you long-time listeners, give us your recollections of some of the characters who used to call in (or otherwise participated) in the shows.  You can fill in some info on the ones Liz mentions, Glenda, Danny in Lake Highlands, Rogers, BDH.  (Maybe some of them are posting here.) 

By the time I got here in 2007, the shows were already greatly de-emphasizing the callers.  I can only remember two:  Blue, and the crazy Vikings guy ("Viking ________," can't remember his name.)  And of course there's Hakim in Frisco who calls the post-game show.  Hong Kong Paul, there's another one.  And wasn't there some guy, perhaps of Middle Eastern descent, a younger caller with girl problems (i.e., no girl)?  

Not Blue
Regale us, Confessors.  And my thanks to Liz.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Few Year-End Thoughts from Confessor Thomas, and a Happy New Year to All Confessors

A few weeks ago, Thomas the Confessor left a couple of interesting, nicely-composed comments that I stored away for rebroadcast.    It's a backward look and I thought NYE was an appropriately nostalgic juncture to brush them off and display them.  They are lightly edited and reformatted for clarity:

It's funny how so much changed so quickly. The Littlest of Ones went from Skip Bayliss proclaiming they'll kick everyone's butt on D1 to packing out road shows in a few months. It went from a startup that no one in the industry thought would last 6 months to leading the pack within a few years. It had a fairly steady stream of turnover and tweaks outside The Musketeers until BaD hit the scene in 1999. It's also seen the metamorphosis of some hosts. Some for the better, some not.

It's gone from a primarily caller-driven station to a primarily talent-driven station. And it has trend-setted and set the bar for nearly all other sports/guy talk stations in America. But, to my mind (a la Jerry Jones), the biggest change has to have been what has occurred with/in technology.

My D1P1 status allows me to go back and map out every jump in technology we've had over the last 20 years. It's breathtaking. The effect it's had on The Ticket and the listener, too, is breathtaking.

It seems like yesterday when Sideshow Bob was faxing in to THL on a daily basis. Outside of Fax Fodder, mind you. Now, many below the age of 35 have very little, if any, idea what a fax machine or a fax is. The internet was almost all dial up. At least it was for 99% of all home service. We all had Internet America (local outfit) or AOL for a provider. It was slower than molasses, and there wasn't that much on there yet as far as time wasting goes.

Most of the sports, entertainment, and news stuff that was being discussed came from ESPN and the news. Which meant that both listener and host pretty much knew the same thing at the same time. Which also meant that everything was current and therefore the discussion had more urgency and zip to it. It was more of a conversation, and not a commentary like it is now. It also made you feel more a part of it. And with the way the interaction between host and listener was back then, you actually could be a part of it.

Now it seems like the majority of the listeners, specially the younger ones, only care for the bits or the outlandish, the shocking statement. And the drops.  I get it. I really do. But you rarely get that warm and fuzzy "I'm a part of this" feeling from the interaction between the hosts or between host and listener anymore. Sometimes you do, but it's very rare.

What does this mean? I'll take a stab at it. Hopefully it makes sense.

Like [an earlier commenter] said, remotes were different then. THL really did hang out afterwards. Most were in restaurant-bars or bars. Not only that, but also the younger and/or single guys used to make no secret about where they hung out at and/or where they were going to hang at on such and such a night. You could easily have some suds and a conversation with Junior, Gordo, Followill, Doogie (if any of you remember him), sometimes Expo, and sometimes the (at that time) producer, Cat.

Greggo was an 817 guy then. He had his own longtime running buddies. But he sure would sit down with you after a remote. Rhynes was married and had not yet hit his belated midlife crisis. Like [the earlier commenter] I also suffer from Good Old Days Syndrome. But it was THAT good, people. Truly it was that good. When Rhyner issued his "there'll never be anything like it again once it's gone" statement, for me, "it" left the building around 2006.

It was the immediacy of the on air conversation, due to both host and listener knowing the same things at the same time, and its making you feel like you were having it with the hosts that also made the conversations and friendships after the remotes come about. Without [that immediacy], it would've been like it is now at a remote or a station-listener event (I go to most of them). Which means that the hosts are friendly but mostly guarded in nature, and when the remote or event is over, so too are they. Work is over and they're outta there. Just like the other stations do and have always done (been to several old-days Galloway and others remotes so I know what I speak of).  

I wonder whether the listenership would have had such loyalty early on if [remotes hadn't had that personal flavor they had at the beginning]?  It was that loyalty and host-listener bunker mentality that made it what it is. The bunker mentality still exists. You read it here in the comments whenever someone even hints that another station isn't so bad.

We'll never know.

Thank you Thomas, and thanks also for permitting me to spotlight your comments, which of course you didn't.  See where he went with that?  He found a source for the intimate relationship between hosts and P1's in two places:  (1) The relatively primitive state of sports news in the very early Internet days meant that you were learning it when the hosts were, which led to greater identification between listeners and hosts in the context of the shows themselves.  This was enhanced by the greater emphasis on callers and faxers.  (2) This schlopped over to the personal contact that remotes afforded.  He wonders (I'm extrapolating a little here, Thomas, please excuse me) if The Ticket would have exploded with the intensity of its early, loyal listeners if the technology were then as it is now.  As he says, we'll never know.

          Buckle up, confessing Buttercups, round up a designated driver, and get home safely tonight.  See you in 2014, and Thank You for Shopping at My Ticket Confession.

          Happy New Year.

Monday, December 23, 2013

A Cat Flyby

Jeff Catlin does not regularly read this site, but he advises that he drops by every few months.  He was interested in the thread of comments prompted by the Sunday night show a couple of weeks ago featuring Ticket Chicks, and, in particular, the theme started by, of all people, Kevin Turner.  KT, you will recall, expressed outrage-by-proxy that long-time JVs were being passed over for opportunities to broadcast.

In the thread that followed, some Confessors pointed out that, in fact, some of the JV had, in fact, developed regular shows on The Ticket.

The Pan-American Catman dropped me an email, which he has generously permitted me to use, in part.  It is lightly edited at his request:

"Do you know how many so called 'JV'ers' have come to me to pitch me ideas for their shows in the last year  .  .  . and I am seriously thinking about this as to not miss-speak here. The answer is 0.  One guy has expressed interest in hosting over the holidays. But not one other person, team or group has come to me and said 'hey, give us a chance.'

"Do you know how many JV'ers have come to me to pitch me ideas on hosting a show in the past TWO Years?  The answer is one."

Thank you, Western Hemisphere Catman.  So it would seem that there is no general clamor among the showless JV to develop something for the air.

I'm sure that if he were queried, The Catman of the Americas would wish all Confessors a very Merry Christmas, or, depending on Cumulus policy on such matters, a very Happy Holiday.

MTC's own employee handbook permits the wishing of a Merry Christmas, and you all have been so wished.   Be blessed as your beliefs provide.  See you in a few days.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Three Ads

Before I get to the three ads:

(1)  If anyone knows whether the Ticket Chicks will be broadcasting today and when , please let us know ASAP.  Norm and Donovan will presumably be doing the post-game into the evening, so unclear if they will be on this week.

(2)  PREGAME NOTE:  The station has been promoting the Cowboys Pre-Game Plus  that is sometimes broadcast before the official Sturm + Phillips pregame show.  Not sure who is doing it this year, but I recall it as very worthwhile last year.

*     *     *

Ad One:  Reagor Dykes Auto Group

Unquestionably the worst-produced ads to have appeared on The Ticket since I started listening in 2004. Bart Reagor sounds like he is recording his lines in a cavernous bathroom at old Texas Stadium about 20 feet away from the mic, while the person he is supposedly having a conversation with -- the guy with the kid who plays baseball, and the female high school graduate who sounds like she's about nine with a room-temp IQ (one "Ashley") -- are more or less conventionally recorded.

But the main question is: what the hell is the Reagor Dykes Auto Group?  If you go to this website (, it appears to be a series of Toyota-Ford-Lincoln-Mitsubishi dealerships in West Texas.  What is unusually "direct" about that, I don't know, but whatever it is, it appears to be a subsidiary of the "auto group" itself, which on this website ( touts itself as being able to get you "any car you want," and lists the various locations and capabilities.  
In other words, it's a series of new-car dealerships and, astonishingly, you can also get used cars there, and, wonder of wonders, they offer leasing.  How they materialize cars that you "want" that they don't have on their lot is unexplained, but my car-buying experience has persuaded me that any dealer can get pretty much any car in the same way that the car leasing companies (D&M, AutoFlex) are able to.

By the way -- is Ashley, who gets the BMW for her graduation present, a good endorsement interview?  She may be headed for a career in quantum physics but sounds dumb as a stump and a member of a slice of society where everyone who graduates from high school gets a car. (She learned about this "great dealership" -- the name of which she has obviously forgotten or can't pronounce -- from her friends who got their cars there.)


Ad Two:  The Blind Guy

Now there is a strange spot.   This guy comes on.  He sounds AA.  He says we can't see him because we're listening to him on the radio, and he says he can't see us because he's totally blind.  Well, maybe so, but he also can't see us because he's speaking to us on the radio and, additionally, because he recorded this thing a way long time ago.  He couldn't see us if he were Superman.   But let's put aside these logical issues and ask ourselves, as we did with RDAG, what the hell this ad is about.

There is one mention of the affliction that the guy is suffering from:  "924".

But that is not correct, as I discovered as I tried to find out what this is all about.  

It's not "924" -- it's "non-24."   Here:  (  It is a circadian sleep disorder, which the AA guy mentions in the ad.    It barely mentions anything else, but gives a phone number -- not a website, no brand name of any medicine, just a phone number -- to call.    Why so coy, I have no idea.  Obviously, someone is flogging a drug, and the drug is manufactured by Vanda Pharmaceuticals.  This ad feels like a setup, something to pique our interest in this poor guy's condition, and we'll soon hear another set of ads that resolve this mystery.

Ad Three:  Danny and the North Texas Field Office of the Order of Gentlemen

First time I heard this ad I didn't immediately associate it with Danny because he nowhere identifies himself.  Second time I heard it I caught an inflection and thought -- whoa, this is Danny playing it straight for Gentleman Jack.

Is there another ad done by a Ticket personality where, somewhere along the line, the speaker doesn't identify himself?  The Texas Land & Cattle ads don't identify the speakers at the outset, but Corby-Mike-Danny each speak one another's names.  There are probably a bunch of ads done by hosts where the host doesn't identify himself, but I can't think of any right now.  

Danny could be a professional voice -- he's got a couple of pronunciations to standardize (the one I catch is "min" for "men"), but this JG ad showcases nicely how good he can sound in a not-deliberately-over-the-top type of ad (Texas Land/Cattle).  

[Someone is probably going to write me and say "that's not Danny," but I'm pretty sure it is -- and, of course, he's been flogging GJ in the Whiskey War ads with Corby, who's wielding Woodford Reserve.]

*     *     *

Sunday, December 8, 2013

What in the Name of All That is Ticket-Holy . . .

I only heard five minutes of it after I saw the posts you will see in just a moment.

This evening The Ticket broadcast a Ticket-produced shows with an all-chick lineup.

Not chicks talking sports.

Chicks talking relationships.

Chicks talking things of chick-heavy interest.

The five minutes I heard did not reflect well on the dos equis chromosome people.

It was not clear to me that these were Ticket Chicks in the sense of promo-event-enhancing Ticket Chicks.  But it was clearly a Ticket-produced showgram.

Maybe, as someone suggested below, it's a bit -- and given some of what was said, and in particular the Texas-flavor valley-girl patois, it's not out of the question.

I tried to catch the name of the show right at the end.  But all the chicks said it in unison and I didn't catch it.  It isn't on the Ticket website.  At first I thought it was the "Happy Hour," since they called that hour by that name a couple of times, but I gather that was just a part of the show.

However, this site does try to be fair.  If this is going to be on again, I'll try to catch the whole show.  Perhaps it has some merit.  Perhaps I will learn something.  Perhaps I will discover the cure for ankylosing spondylitis.

And perhaps no one much listens to The Ticket on Sunday evenings, so the CTO was taking a flyer on something way different.  I'm not opposed to that.  And chicks are of interest to guys.  Guys say they want to know what chicks are thinking about guys.  So this maybe wasn't such a stretch.  Maybe we should give it a chance.

Early reviews by Confessors, however, are unmixedly negative:

Chicken Pillow said...


Seriously, I want to cut out my ear drums right now.

Thanks Cat.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What in Sam Hill is going on at the station right now????? It's 7:32 pm on 12/8/13, and there's a gaggle of hick chicks talking all eat, love, and pray meets Dr. Phil "let's get real" like. This is awful. They're talking about Pam flippin' Anderson's hair. "I'm Tori and 31 and blond. I went blond from brunette last Christmas..." "Blonds are not stupid!" "It's like you need to call all your like um guy friends next. We all are gonna tell you all how to get a new girl..."
Thanks a lot, Cat. Genius move. Let's see: You have Ty, TC, Machine, Fahey, Newbury, and others. . . . .and this is how you use time that could go to a deserving JV team????? Brilliant, man. Just brilliant.
Anonymous Anonymous said...
@Chicken Pillow,
Indict me as guilty since as soon as I read your post I tuned in. That was so awful, I kept listening until a break. It is so terrible, it is nearly addictive. It was Cuban/Dallas CAN advertisement bad.

However, I wonder if it could be a bit or a test for Corby as the white noise those women are providing is EVERYTHING which he rails against on-air. But since they talk about events four days later, it might be a segment after drydock.

Back to Sunday Night Football
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Well, they've confirmed what I've always thought about a lot of DFW chicks, they're really shallow.

1. Your car is important to them. Your choice of car reflects the "real you." A white GMC pickup = Maturity.

2. Cleanliness = Maturity.

3. Smell Good. Not clean, but good. Cologne = Maturity.

4. The Right Shoes. Preferably Italian Leather or Cowboy Boots.

5. Hang out at Bars, Often.

6. Wear a buttoned-up Oxford Shirt.

7. If you are a Frat Guy, say you are not. Even though all of the above describes every Frat Guy there ever was since the late-80s. Paradoxically, being an "Independent" constitutes being a loser.

8. Compliment women. But not overly so. Don't say they're hot. It means you are superficial. It means you only like their looks, not the person herself. The Criteria stated in 1-7, is not, I repeat, is not, superficial.

Thank you, Cat, [REDACTED].
Anonymous said...
I REALLY REALLY REALLY hope this b.s. is addressed by The Musers, BaD, and THL tomorrow. I want to hear Snake go off on these motor mouth yapsters.
Anonymous Anonymous said...
This is stupid. Exactly what are these chicks qualifications to dispense with advice? What a fool's game of an endeavor this is.

Yeah.  I would really like to hear what any host thinks of this.  Only problem is, probably not a one of them heard it.  Anyone tweeting the thing so it might have come to someone's attention, like Town Crier Grubes?

Let's just remember, it's Sunday night.  A radio wasteland.  Who knows, maybe those chicks paid to do that show, like George DiGianni.  By the way, did anyone hear a sponsor for the thing?  As I said, the five minutes I heard -- I mean, I actually stared at the radio as though it had answers -- were train-wreckish, but I tuned in Ben & Skin again after the first five minutes I heard of their show, so I I'm willing to try a larger sample size.

If I remember, I'll try to tune in next week.  If anyone knows when the show started, and it's name, let me know.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The White Elephant Approacheth

I'm going to make a real effort to keep the radio on all day tomorrow.  I've missed too much cool stuff over the years.

However, that does not relieve a single one of you from listening carefully and giving us reviews and updates of your favorite and/or cringe-inducing performances.

This morning, Craig mentioned that some P1's take the day off to listen to White Elephant Day.  Is this correct and are any of you among those lucky ones?

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Happy Thanksgiving to All Confessors

Especially thankful for you this time around as, alas, my posts have been fewer and further between over the past several months and you guys have kept the site interesting and fresh.

Please stay safe.  Hands at ten and two, as Jason Garrett told the 'Pokes on the flight home from New York City, although according to something I heard on The Ticket today, we'd all be better off with the mitts at nine and three.  Although don't most modern steering wheels have stuff  attached across that diameter?

I digress.  Watch the booze, be thankful, forgive your friends, and keep it on 1310 AM and 96 7 (no "point") FM.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Whither the Orphanage?

The demise of The Orphanage is regularly predicted by Confessors. I was never sure why, except that the show seemed to get under the skin of some listeners who show up here. It's been away the last two weeks. If there has been an explanation for its absence, I haven't heard it.

I only heard a bit of its replacement on Saturday. I believe it was Bruce LeVine and maybe Josh Bogorad? I didn't hear a name, but Bruce made reference to his partner, so I'm surmising. Nothing wrong with the show. Nothing distinctive, but an OK listen.

But it wasn't the Orphanage.

Some have tired of what they believe to be Danny's "act," the aging hipster music snob. Some feel that the ages have passed Dave Lane by. Some don't like the attitude, the nose-thumbing at show prep, the sometimes hung-over flavor to the whole thing.

I like all of these things, and I like The Orphanage. I would not like to see it leave the air.

But to everything there is a season, no? I am doubtful that either D or D is handsomely compensated for spending his Saturday morning on the air. Danny has gone into business which must require some of his professional attention, has musical irons in the fire, and he's still full-time on The Hardline (with, it seems, more absences than in the past).

No one has dropped me a line with any inside dope on the disposition of The Orphanage. Perhaps someone will. If it is the case that we have seen the last of it -- and, as Norm might say, with the greatest respect to Bruce LeVine and the other guy -- I hope the CTO will continue their policy of looking for some fresh voices among the JV. I'm not sure who it would be. For my money The Ticket has hit a home run with Cirque and The Shake Joint, and I also very much like any combination of Ty Walker, David Newbury, David Moore, Stewart Cedar, guys like that.

In the meantime, I'll remain hopeful that the Teebox will continue to hand off to Davey and Danny.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Demo Redux

ALERT:  Long.  Repeats comments you may have already read.  You've been warned.

*     *     *

The last thread had some very thoughtful pieces and responses on where The Ticket might possibly be headed.  Here are some of them (sorry about the formatting irregularities -- Blogger's word processing is pathetic), and then I have a couple of thoughts:

This first one, from Anon 225, doesn't focus on the Hardline, but on Ticket competition generally:

Flipped on 103.3 today. Elf and Friedo have a show. Nice to hear Elf on the airwaves again. Like B&S and Greggo, he's now done the trifecta. Except in a way, working for 103.3 is sort of a return back to The Ticket. On that note, by the way, the cross over between the two stations is already underway. Programs on both frequencies are beginning to cross reference/mention the other. In a friendly manner, too boot. While listening to Elf and Friedo (sorry, Dick Hicks, I know it's the last Race Week of the year, but I can't deal with it), I started to think how 103.3 might be about to embark upon cracking the code that is The Ticket. How? By taking the IDEA of The Ticket and making it their own. Instead of, like certain ESPN programs in the past (looking right at you, B&S) and well, every single FAN show, copping Ticket lingo, segments, and just about everything - basically aping The Ticket to a T with zero success - they've decided to take the "guys just being guys who happen to know about and have inside info on, sports" concept and run with it. But do so by actually being themselves, and not trying to be THL of The FAN or whatever. It's early in the game, but so far they have my attention. Pman's too, for that matter. I'm looking forward to the ratings books over the next six or so months to see how this shakes out.

Things got rolling with runitandrunitandrunitandrunitandrunit, expanding on Anon 225's point:

Exactly right, 2:25. What's going on at ESPn is kind of what went on during the first years of The Ticket. They're getting for the most part locally known talent who've been around the media scene for a long time who 'get' the DFW area mentality and who have lived here and know the area intimately. The demo for sports talk radio is not going down. It's still the same as it's always been: mostly approaching, in the midst of, or about to exit middle age/d white dudes. The young aren't listening, and the scant numbers that are diminish with each year. No getting around it.  *  *  *  If you've ever been to a remote or a bigger event, you see their demo first hand. All of this means that on the whole (please note that part, "on the whole" which means of course there are exceptions) the majority of the listening audience wants to "converse" with guys like them. Not snarky younger guys who come off as knowing everything (whether they do or not is not the question), are into music that is for the most part alien to them, and who are experiencing and relating their adventures that most listeners went through themselves years, decades ago. They want the guy next door who gives the knowing nod, not Jake, not TC, not Sean, not Machine, or whomever. It's not a knock on the guys I just mentioned, at all. It's just the way people are and how they relate to others and to whom they relate to. LIke seeks like. Unlike might be interesting for a bit, but in the long run it isn't. 

Thus the picture here is that with a demo that ever remains the same and yet will inevitably shrink, and an up and coming demo that really doesn't exist, and the little that does keeps dropping off, you've got yourself a shaky future for The Ticket because they have no veteran replacements. Due to the probable future of the industry a youth movement is actually counterproductive. Cheaper, yes. So the upshot is that over the next years don't be surprised if a group of vets who've passed their 20 year mark begin to set sail, a group of (absolutely deserving) up and comers take their places, and the once mighty Ticket begins to slip in a most major way. Falling prey to its sibling with big mouse ears and a largely aging talent pool that connect with a largely aging demo.

runit had some additional thoughts in the thread you may want to check out.  Anon 111 had an interesting contrapuntal observation:

As someone who is probably in the younger end of the demographic (too old to start a high school fan club but around the age of the up and comer JVers), I am amazed that we are listening to the same shows. I love the Musers but The Hardline is my show of choice. 

I started listening right around when Greggo left. Thanks to our pals at the Unticket, I've gone back and listened to the old shows and I probably wouldn't have been into the show that much back then. Greggo just isn't my thing. And maybe it's coming to the station towards the end of things with him and just not being there Day 1 but he leaves me with a big old meh when I listen to archived Hardline shows. 

Corby can be too sheltered/pompous/privileged. I like Mike's music and TV segments and hearing old band stories. But I really like the weekend guys a lot and think they're finding their niche. Shake Joint and Cirque are solid and most people I know in my age group that listen agree. Again, love the Musers too but that didn't seem to be a point of argument here.

All very interesting.  Got me thinking.  

First, I am no expert on the overall radio audience, but I have a hunch that when it comes to The Ticket and its competitors, the demo business is somewhat overblown.  The market for sports itself is huge and growing.   The NBA, MLB, and NFL are prospering even in this dismal economy.  Driven mainly, by guys, and guys of all ages and levels of prosperity.  They get in the car, they turn on the radio, they want to hear sports talk.  They stay for the guy/pop culture talk.  Maybe that talk is by guys in their 30's, maybe their 50's.  But as long as it's good, and knowledgeable, and doesn't insult their intelligence, they'll like it and hang.  Check between the three stations, see which they like the best.  But still a huge audience to go around.   This, of course, does not address the relative popularity of the shows.

Second, the Ticket has been on top since almost the day it came on the air.  That's 20 years.  If a demo is going to change, it's going to change over two decades.  And yet The Ticket is more popular than ever, and The Hardline -- which has taken it in the jewels in the comments for the past little while -- if I'm not mistaken, is the highest rated show on the station.  This, of course, does not address what some here have urged to be the waning popularity of terrestrial radio generally.

Third, I'm willing to listen to our experts who predict the coming decline of terrestrial radio.  But if anything iHeart Radio, SportsDay Talk, podcasts, and even social media have, if anything, expanded the radio audience, so I'm guessing that radio -- or programming produced for radio -- isn't going away anytime soon as a destination for sports fans.

And one more thing:

Fourth, I have a feeling that the demo for this site is not closely representative of the P1 universe.  I'm thinking possibly somewhat older.  Perhaps more critical.  Just perhaps.  So when I see lots of comments slagging The Hardline (not that it doesn't need some slagging now and then) or predicting the coming decline of The Ticket, I do wonder.  Now, of course, The Ticket will change with the passage of time.  Stars will retire or leave -- almost lost Bob and Dan there awhile back.  Rome fell.  But it took a long, long time.  Gibbon's book is three heavy and closely-printed volumes.

And with Cumulus bringing a different strategy to ESPN -- which, on the evidence of the afternoon show, may be exactly as Anon 225 described -- it should be an interesting few years.