Saturday, July 31, 2010

Teebox Under Water Today

Worst sound quality to date.  Rick sounds worse than Rob, but both suffer the same electronic malady. 

I don't know enough about sound engineering to know what might cause the awful gurgling quality to some of the Teebox's remotes.  (Not all of them.)   No other Ticket remotes seem to have this problem.  It sounds like a bad digital transcription of one kind or another.  It's a hollow sound, like there's a very slight digital echo dialed in.

Right now I'm listening to the handoff to the Orphanage, and the difference in sound quality is very dramatic.

Good show, though.

Friday, July 30, 2010

A Rare Sportsy Post

I was interested in the Musers' discussion this morning on whether, if the Cowboys win the Super Bowl this year, Bill Parcells or Jerry Jones will get the lion's share of "general manager" credit.

Craig and George reviewed the roster, noting who was a Parcells guy, and who was a Jerry guy, and coming around to the conclusion that the fact that there were more Parcells guys (including Tony Romo), meant that even if the Cowboys are successful this year, Parcells might well get more credit than Jerry.

Anyone find it odd that a huge Parcells/Jerry difference was completely ignored?

That being:   The Jerry/Stephen-engineered Parcells's departure and the subsequent Jerry selection of and loyalty to Wade Phillips.  You will recall that Parcells was angling to stick around in administration even when most, including Jerry/Stephen, wanted him to go as head coach. 

This suggests that the Musers don't think much of Wade -- or at least don't think he has much influence on whether the team wins or loses.  Junior tiptoed toward this point when he suggested that the team may have been said to have underachieved following Parcells' departure. 

Anyway, thought the switch from Parcells to Wade switch -- and sticking with Wade -- was a major Jerry GM initiative that got overlooked.  Like I know anything about sports.

PS:  Props to Junior for the "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" reference:  "Some men call me Tim."

PPS:  Interesting that we refer to Bill Parcells as "Parcells" and Jerry Jones as "Jerry."

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Haven't heard any ads from Dr. William Boothe or Dr. Gary Tylock lately.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

CONFESSORS PLEASE NOTE: I've added a gadget which makes it easier to share Your Plainsman's timeless thoughts via email, Facebook, Twitter, and otherwise. Many thanks for spreading the word

The Ticket Should Hire Lee "Hacksaw" Hamilton

How's that for getting to the point?  You may have thought you wandered onto another site.

Look, I know The Ticket Top 10 is probably cheap to produce, advertisers like it, you don't have to have a fancy host (although Chris House did a fine job, I thought, and Jake Z is staking a claim), and P1's get to hear stuff they didn't catch earlier in the day.  Personally, I think the DFW 7-11 slot is tailor-made for Hacksaw, and Hacksaw is tailor-made for both KTCK and the P1 Nation.  

Would anyone object if Dan Patrick got bumped an hour or two?

Lee "Hacksaw" Hamilton  .  .  .  where have you heard that name?  You've heard it on The Hardline, where Mike R and the boys make merciless fun of Hacksaw.  And indeed, Hacksaw is, ah, somewhat over the top.  But if you were to hear him, as I did for nearly five years during drive time when I worked in San Diego, you would say -- this guy isn't all that different from Norman Hitzges -- also, I am told, a former target of Ticket hosts before he joined the team.

Okay, okay.  Yes.  It's the worst rug you have ever seen.  But I'm telling you, Confessors, he runs a helluvan entertaining sports-talk radio showgram.  

At the outset of his program -- I'm speaking of the way he ran the show some years ago, and I'd be surprised if he does it any differently now -- he puts "topics on the table," which is an amazing recap of the day's sports news.  His show is 100% sports, which is a complaint that non-P1's have about The Ticket.  No guy talk, no current events.    In further contrast to The Ticket showgram model, he takes a lot of calls.  Like Norm, however, while he is friendly and gracious to most callers, from time to time a caller will get under his skin and his "Hacksaw" persona will emerge. 

And by the way -- he is delighted to talk puck.

Alas, he has something of a history of issues with station management, and he also lost his gig as a superb play-by-play guy for the Chargers as a result of some contretemps or another.  A pity -- his play-by-play is frankly the best NFL pbp I've ever heard.  He got chased after one pre-season game when he was slated to be the Vikings play-by-play guy -- he does have some unfortunate race- and gender-related broadcast issues in his past that would have to be vetted.  (I don't know what they are.)

(That nice young Michael Gruber would have an unfathomably deep source of new drops should Hacksaw join The Little One.)

I see from Wikipedia that he's doing drive for XEPRS-AM 1090 ("XX 1090 Sports Radio"), the "X" denoting a Mexico-based transmitter, broadcasting into San Diego metro.   Details, details.

In all candor, I'd much rather hear original programming in the evening than the Top 10, no offense intended to whoever the host happens to be.  Hacksaw would, I believe, be an instant hit with the P1 Nation.  He'd have some issues with the hosts who have teased him in the past, but there are hosts right now who aren't all that fond of one another.  And The Ticket would add to its all-star roster with original local programming with a proven radio star.

P1's ask around.  Confessors, if you've ever lived in SoCal, give me your thoughts on Hacksaw.

I know this isn't going to happen.  But, as I never tire of reminding the Confessor Nation:  as Chicago sports-talk pioneer Chet Coppock used to tell his evening callers, "your dime, your dance floor."

Cumulus, he might come cheap.  He might well be willing to relocate.   Give it some thought.

PS:  It is conceivable that Norm H will not be able (although willing) to broadcast forever.  Hacksaw would be an absolutely perfect substitute, although he'd probably want a gig with more than two hours a day.  I don't know how old Hamilton is.  I'll leave the due diligence to the Cumulus HR department
I'm enjoying Gordon's new impression, Ira Glass of "This American Life."  We only hear it in snippets, and unfortunately, I don't think he's going to have a lot of opportunity to use it on The Ticket.  Reminiscent of the Saturday Night Life NPR parody "The Delicious Dish."

Other current favorites:  George's Snore Man and his close cousin, Dodge Man and their mumbled asides.

Monday, July 26, 2010

MONDAY TWOFER:  The next two articles are new on Monday evening.  -- Plainsman.

I Don't Like Using Vulgarity on This Site -- but DAMN

I don't want to be Alarmist Alphonse here, but:

This morning the sainted Musers played a piece of tape which was apparently the sounds of a couple having sex behind a closed hotel door in the Musers' hotel in San Antonio.   Recorded live by Gordon Keith.  (The incomparable UnTicket has it.)  Played it maybe a half-dozen times.

Opie and Anthony.  A few months before I came to Dallas they played on their extremely popular New York City radio program an audio tape of a couple having sex.  [CORRECTION 7-27-10:  I believe it was actually a live broadcast.]  As a result, they lost their show and they may even have been syndicated at that time.   (I recall that they went to satellite, now back on terrestrial, I think.)  The FCC assessed a record fine against WNEW of $357,500. 

Now, Opie and Anthony's situation was different.  O&A's good news was that the couple knew they were being taped [broadcast].  Their bad news that the taping was done in St. Patrick's Cathedral on Fifth Avenue.  The New York archdiocese brought major heat on WNEW and with the FCC, and Opie and Anthony were through on terrestrial for quite some time.

Compare and contrast:  The Musers' good news is that their San Antonio hotel is not St. Patrick's Cathedral.  Their bad news is that the couple in question were recorded without their knowledge and consent in a situation where they had an expectation of privacy. 

The same news is that it was an electronic record of a live sex act broadcast over the public airwaves by an FCC-licensed station.

The unknown news is (1) whether the couple ever discovered they had been taped; (2) whether the couple ever discovered that their action was broadcast repeatedly on the air and over the Internet; (3) whether the hotel knew that one set of guests were eavesdropping and recording another; (4) whether anyone who heard the broadcast filed a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission.  (No, of course I won't.)

Does it matter that the couple was so loud that they could be heard outside their hotel door?   That might protect the hearing of it.  I'm skeptical that it would protect the recording of it.  (See below.)   I'm even more skeptical that it would protect the broadcasting of it during morning drive in a major metropolitan area and to the rest of the world via Internet.  Does it matter that the couple is not identifiable on the tape?   Very doubtful (again, see below).

You know, it wouldn't take much.  Someone alerting the hotel.  Someone who knows a couple that was staying on the Musers' floor might say "hey, Gordo taped some couple doing the wild thing on your floor!"   (Corby recently experienced the vast reach of the P1 on his trip to a remote out-of-state spot a lot less likely to harbor P1's than a San Antonio hotel at the beginning of Cowboys' training camp.) This stuff has a way of getting out.  And it's not exactly like no one listens to The Ticket or that Gordon and Craig aren't recognizable by vast numbers of Texans.  [LATER THOUGHT 7-27-10: What if a competitor got some ringer to file an FCC complaint? That's not so far-fetched.]

But broadcast decency isn't the only problem.   Not by a long shot.

Quoting from a 2009 report from the Congressional Research Service titled "An Overview of Federal Statutes Governing Wiretapping and Electronic Eavesdropping":

"It is a federal crime to wiretap or to use a machine to capture the communications of others without court approval, unless one of the parties has given their prior consent. It is likewise a federal crime to use or disclose any information acquired by illegal wiretapping or electronic eavesdropping. Violations can result in imprisonment for not more than five years; fines up to $250,000 (up to $500,000 for organizations); in civil liability for damages, attorneys’ fees and possibly punitive damages[.]"

Hokey smokes, Bullwinkle.

I won't even quote from Section 16.02 of the Texas Penal Code or Section 18.20 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, which also bear rather intimately on this topic. 

(BTW:  I found all this legal stuff in about a half-dozen minutes via Google.)

The Musers, state and federal criminals?  Exposing Cumulus to many-figure liability?  Whoa. 

Let's put that aside and not think about it anymore.  It's unpleasant.  Returning to what seems to me to be the more potentially troublesome issue:  broadcast decency.

Was Your Plainsman offended?  Nope.  I was astounded at the almost incalculable risk of broadcasting that audio, but, eh, you know, it's The Ticket.  I'm not a prude and it didn't violate my standards.  But it's community standards that matter to the FCC.  The community contains lots of folks who have their car radios tuned to those Gentle Ones while driving their kids to school.  That audio was broadcast right in their wheelhouse. 

Oh, Musers, I extravagantly admire you and your program , but you are skating on exceedingly thin ice here.

You might consider excluding that piece of audio from your Marconi submission.

Good Spot / Bad Spot

Good spot:  The "Double Radio" ads.  Very well done.  They just miss brilliance because after a pitch-perfect beginning, the impersonation gets too rushed and too frantic, loses the ambience of the original.  But still one of the better station promo spots.

Bad spot:  The "satellite boys" parody ad.  As with the "The Ticket Was My Idea" ads, discusssed in this recent article, the writer didn't even bother to change the punch line (babies driving vehicles, horses wearing people clothes, etc.).  And where did George, usually a great mimic, come up with that horrid accent?  (They should have used the guy who does the intro/outro to Junior's Scattershooting segment.  I should know who that is, they were talking about it on the show one day -- Jeremy?  Fernando?)   I thought George claimed to be a Texan. 

Part of the problem here is that the original ad is itself almost unbelievably stupid.  Where a cable company gets its signal is of absolutely zero importance to the consumer.  If that's what the sponsor (as I sit here writing I have actually forgotten whose ads those are) thinks is its strong point, it must not have much going for it.  The Ticket parody, however, isn't a bad concept, since the main point -- that The Ticket's competitors get a lot of their content from satellite feeds from the hated East Coast -- is a good one.   They could have had a lot of fun with the "what's next?" part of the ad, but once again the station took a pass on creativity.

Friday, July 23, 2010


Well, the interruption by management of Dan McDowell's BaD Radio Reports segment as he was reading an internal Cumulus memo has really got the P1 Nation in a lather.  Coincidentally, I have a BaD Radio two-parter in the works, but in a rare display of actual timely posting, Your Plainsman offers a comment on the whole megillah.

The P1 Nation identifies strongly with the on-air guys.  And the on-air guys tease (and sometimes do a lot more than tease) Ticket and Cumulus management.   When Mike R growls "Why doesn't somebody come in here and buy this thing," he sounds pretty sincere to me.

(Although you might have noticed that he hasn't said it in awhile.  I haven't heard it lately, anyway.  Perhaps  .   .  .  perhaps his employer spoke to him about it.)

In any event, there is a tendency on the part of your average listener not to feel kindly disposed towards Cumulus management.  And MyTicket Confession has from time to time taken management to task for failure to take steps to improve The Ticket's signal, for declining to keep the hardware up-to-date for that nice young Michael Gruber, and the like.

But this time, I'm with Cumulus.

And it has nothing to do with the fact that it was Dan doing the report.  I'd feel the same way if it were, oh, say, Mike R or Junior.

Human resources is a difficult function for all companies.  It must be especially difficult when a company's product consists of "talent," which tends to be egotistical, high-strung, and not exactly risk-averse.  And it must be really, really difficult when there is a gigantic disparity between the compensation of on-air guys, on the one hand, and the guys who are supposed to be trying to keep the on-air guys on task and on time -- the producers -- on the other.

While a lot of guys trying to break into radio would find the producer job very desirable, the guys who actually make it to the front lines undoubtedly find themselves pulled uncomfortably in many different directions.  The hosts are demanding, and the management responsible for overall broadcast quality and regulatory compliance has its  own bunch of requirements that the young and lightly-paid producers are expected to observe.

Before BaD Radio got shut down for a segment-and-a-half, Dan was reading a memorandum from management to producers.   He actually managed to get out the two main points the memo was making, which were (1) the producers are the "most important" guys on the showgram, and (2) they work for management, not for the hosts.

Now:  That may sound ridiculous, especially item (1).  But put yourself in Cumulus management's shoes for a minute.  It is not only required to supervise producers, it must motivate them to do the job they're there to do.  As noted, part of that job is to keep the hosts happy, but a big part of the job is to produce the station's product -- make sure that a satisfactory presentation goes out over the airwaves.  They don't get paid a lot to do that, and they sometimes don't get a lot of appreciation from the talent.  (Sometimes they do.)  It is entirely sensible, and in some sense no exaggeration , to tell producers that they're critical to the showgrams' success, and that they are ultimately beholden to their actual employer.  A little hyperbolic to say that they're the most important?  Maybe, maybe, but well within the tolerances of human resources rhetoric.

That might not be a message that the hosts would particularly want to hear, true though it may be.  That is why the memorandum was internally confidential.

But Dan didn't just pass it around the station, which would have been bad enough (someone else must have been doing that, since someone gave it to him) -- inexcusably, he broadcast it to the world.  When he learned he was getting cut off, Dan offered up "this is comedy," but it was very obviously nothing of the sort.  It was a way to ridicule underlings by exposing the delicate and rather insecure position that they occupy, and that they occupy for wages perhaps, oh, maybe 10% of what McDowell banks?  If that?  It is frankly incredible that Dan thought it would be acceptable to disclose an internal company memorandum not even addressed to him over the public airwaves.  (It would have made almost no difference if it had been addressed to him.  Let's see if he reads the written communications he received from Jeff C or Dan Bennett after this little episode, which, I suspect, were far more interesting.)

I work in a very large organization.  I am not an executive.  I am not even a manager.  I have no ownership interest or stock options.  Like any wage slave, I have the occasional issue with my overlords.   So I usually sympathize with the issues the on-air guys have with Cumulus. 

But at least I not so dim as to fail to recognize that management is not dumb and has its own issues to deal with.  The difference between highly-paid on-air guys and highly-paid Cumulus guys is that the latter have in their care the risk capital of the Cumulus shareholders.   Part of their task in guarding that risk capital and trying to make it grow is to direct the activities of their employees, which they are entitled to do by their own lights, without worrying that their every utterance is going to be shared with a public that does not bear that risk, that only enjoys the product.  They're entitled to advise the producers that they're both critical to the showgrams and a direct link to management, and entitled to do it confidentially.   I would love to know what Rich Phillips -- prominent on-air guy and local suit -- thought of Dan's excursion into intracompany communications. 

(By the way, I'm not even considering the gross breach of what is undoubtedly written company policy represented by disclosure of that memo, which would be a firing offense in many organizations.)

I'll have more to say about Dan McDowell in a day or so -- much of it favorable.  But if  I were that other Dan -- Bennett, not Balis --  I would probably invite that gent to relax at home for a few days.

Sorry, Confessors.  I like to be in step with the Great P1 Nation, but fair's fair.  McDowell was way out of line and the only regrettable circumstance out of the whole episode is that Jeff C couldn't get to his phone any faster.

BaD Radio Repor -- Uh, Not So Fast

In the next few days I will be posting a two-parter on my General Unified Theory of BaD Radio.  How timely that the spotlight is on Bob and Dan after Dan's BaD Radio Report on an internal memorandum from management to showgram producers was prematurely terminated by a phone call from some Cumulus overlord.  As usual, you can check it out at The UnTicket.

(Grubes was unintentionally hilarious when Dan asked Tom if he wanted to be part of the segment, and Grubes -- who may have had an inkling that the anvil was about to come crashing down on Dan's head -- simply said, "He's on the phone.") 

No real comment on this episode for now, but since BaD Radio had this spot of drama yesterday I thought I'd take the opportunity to tease the upcoming two-parter, wherein I offer my General Unified Theory of that showgram.

Have a fine weekend, Confessors everywhere.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

On Tuesday I Heard The Musers Complain . . .

.  .  .  that they don't get any press attention.

What's Your Plainsman, chopped liver? 

Well, I suppose I can't expect everyone to have found this mighty engine of responsible Ticket journalism.

I mean, where else can you get stuff like this?  Before I started this site I looked for an unaffiliated Ticket blog with extended commentary and thought I'd find a bunch but didn't find one.  (Richie Whitt really can't be expected to spend all his time on Ticket matters.)  The UnTicket is outstanding and a great resource but has a different agenda. is also great, but pretty flame-y and doesn't really have a consistent editorial voice.

So tell your pals:  It's Great to Read My Ticket Confession.

(Hey, I just did a self-promo, just like The Little Ticket.)


PS:  Speaking of journalism:  This morning (Wednesday) Junior was talking about the horrific, hateful comments left by some readers of the online Dallas Morning News in response to news articles, and how some media sites are starting to monitor and regulate their message boards.   I'm delighted to say that so far, I haven't had to take down a single comment from a visitor to this site.  One anonymous poster called Cat a douche, but I can tolerate the occasional ad hominem  remark, as long as it doesn't catch on.  My thanks to all civilized Confessors.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Drydock Quick Hit

I like Followill and Rhadigan as drydock substitutes.  Always glad to hear that they're substituting.  They did a one-day fill-in for The Hardline yesterday, and the show really caught my attention because:

First, any show where either of them is a host is always really loud.  They are classic radio/TV guys, trained to avoid dead air at all costs.  Their show is a slab of sound.  Good talk, but noisy as hell, very conventional-sounding.  In contrast to most of the Ticket hosts, these guys have great, if conventional, radio pipes.  (I don't know what it is about Followill, but it sounds like he is always EQ'd really, really hot, his voice sizzles and hisses in comparison to the much more midrangy Rhadigan.  Maybe he needs to lean back from that mic a bit.)

But yesterday, it was different.  Better.

It was better because of the presence of Danny Balis.  He participated in the showgram as a near-equal, and it completely transformed the Followill/Rhadigan offering.  His calmer and more conversational tone busted up the Phil-Spectorish tsunami of syllables and regulated the show to excellent effect.   That extra voice transformed the entire cadence of the Mark/John roar into something much more agreeable to the ear.

My ear, anyway.

A Doyle King Sampler

"Hollywood" Matt Shannon has checked in with some links to Doyle King's fine work in other media ventures.  You can find them in his comment to this article on Doyle King and why he should be the permanent traffic guy

My Ticket Confession thanks Hollywood for his patronage and for providing Confessors with a little slice of the greatness of the Doyle King Experience.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Listening Too Hard: Two -- Wait, Three -- No, Four -- Observations on Those "The Ticket Was My Idea" Ads

You know the ones I'm talking about.  The ones that sound like the Windows 7 TV ads.

(1) They're extremely weak.  There's nothing wrong with a parody, but these ads barely qualify.  The writer made no effort at humor or cleverness.  It's just guys describing Ticket features in extremely dull terms.   They could have had some real fun with this, teasing the hosts and the shows and the Tickers and all the rest, but those spots just lay down and die.  They're short but you can hardly wait for them to be over.  They make no impression on the ear at all.

By contrast, consider the "Most Interesting Radio Station in the World" ads that parody the Dos Equis commercials.  They are not particularly clever, but at least the writer tried to write some gags.  "They handle hot sports opinions without an oven mitt" is not going to make you forget Sam Kinison, but at least someone tried to make the spot entertaining. 

The "my idea" spots couldn't have taken more than a minute or two apiece to write.  I'm wondering if some P1s didn't get together, record those in their basement, and send them in.

(2)  How does Cumulus account for revenue on those spots?  Do they do a book transfer at The Ticket's normal ad rates from Cumulus to KTCK's revenue sheet?  Are they freebies, time donated by KTCK with no impact on the sales revenue figures? 

And does the increase (or at least it seems like an increase) in KTCK self-promotion mean that they're having trouble moving spots to paying advertisers?  I mean, what's the point of running them at all?  If you're hearing the ad you've already decided to listen to The Ticket, and, given The Ticket's listening audience, those listeners are probably already pretty loyal.  I realize there is some benefit to the brand from running self-promo ads, some bump in goodwill, some psychological impact among the demo of "belonging" to a special kind of radio club.  But they seem to be running an awful lot of them lately, and one would think that time is pretty valuable on a station with The Ticket's ratings.  (Or are advertisers balking because of the uncertain coverage of The Ticket's ragged signals?)

(3) It occurs to me that they run these spots because they want to broaden The Ticket's appeal to ethnics.  Some of the guys doing the ads are obvious non-Anglos.  Kind of like those Chevy truck ads with the Latino-sounding narrator.  (And like the Windows 7 ads themselves.)

(4)  You think it's easy being a radio talker?  You think anyone who knows something about sports, and can talk, can be a host?  You think our beloved Ticket stars have the easiest jobs in the world, not requiring any special talent or skill?  

Listen to the guys they got doing these ads (they really ought to have some women doing them).  Don't know who they are -- maybe Cumulus employees, maybe friends of the hosts or management, maybe P1s with an inside track.   Listen to how flat those voices sound (part of it is the flat copy they're being asked to read, but only a small part of it). 

Imagine any of them as a host and listening to them for three hours. 

And appreciate how talented your Ticket on-air guys really are.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Is down this morning?  I'm trying to listen to the Teebox but the site won't come up.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Hardline's Theater of the Mind

Been getting a big Ticket kick out of those improv Hardline ads, some of which sound live to me for Gumout with Mike R agonizing over his fuel economy/engine-cleaning problems, and Corby always present to set him straight on getting rid of whatever product that is that Mike alleges he's been using. 

Danny gets into amusingly into the act with the Texas Land and Cattle series of dramas, usually focusing on Corby's failure to carry more than twenty-five bucks in cash with him, and apparently no plastic at all. 

Fun, but you can see why they run into time problems on the show.

Here, let me spoil the fun with something that just occurred to me.  If you were an advertiser or director of advertising, and you'd signed up Mike and Corby to do these spots, which one would you imagine you would cast as the guy with the engine problems, and which as the guy with the Gumout solutions?   I've remarked on Mike's sometimes uncomfortable role as the doddering old-timer who gets lapped by fast-talking Corby on the showgram, not necessarily to the showgram's benefit, when Mike's role used to be that of the show boss.  (He's regained some of that in recent months.)  Interesting that they've cast this the way they have, with Man of the Future Corby as the Prophet of Gumout, and Mike as the Analog Neanderthal who's using that Greasy Kid Stuff in his tank.  (If you remember Greasy Kid Stuff -- well, I'm sorry.) 

Sociological signifcance aside, they're great spots, always good for a chortle.

Thanks for Checking In, but . . .

.  .  .  I've been out of town and slammed at work and when I finally get a spare moment it's paying bills, honey-do, and the usual business of life.  Even less time than usual to experience the Greatness of Listening to The Ticket.  In a way it's OK because so many of the hosts are on hiatus, but it does give a chance to hear some folks you don't hear as often.

A mixed blessing, to be sure.

I appreciate you taking  a peek to see if there's anything new, and I'll be back in a few days with some new blasts. 

Thanks again

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Danny Draws Back the Curtain

A post or two ago I tossed a bouquet to Jeff Catlin , Program Director at The Little One (he may have a different Cumulus title, not sure).  He drops a line now and then, always polite, usually pointing out areas of disagreement, but always in pretty neutral tones.  I appreciate his communications and said so in the post.

An "Anonymous" poster, however, observed:  "Cat is a douche and doesn't respect all of his employees and most of the P1's."

I can't speak to Mr. Catlin's attitude towards his employees.  Although one does get the impression of a certain uneasy distance between JC and his charges, especially when he's referenced by Mike R on The Hardline.   As to the P1's, Your Plainsman mostly hears good things about his responsiveness, although I recall one commenter who didn't get a response to an email.  I imagine Mr. Catlin gets hundreds a day and probably doesn't (can't) respond to all of the genius suggestions he receives from The P1 Nation.  But perhaps Anonymous has information I lack.

Which is why I found this morning's Orphanage of interest.  (I'd been able to catch a fair amount of Cirque du Sirois (damned clever name) substituting for the Teebox.  Based on early returns, CdS is a pretty good show that suffers only from the Ben-and-Skin disease of the hosts sounding too much alike -- in this case for pretty good DNA-based reasons.  I'll have more to say about it in the future.)

Anyway, a caller on the "Ask the Orphanage" segment asked why The Ticket didn't run The Orphanage as a substitute programming for the regular weekday shows when those hosts were on vacation, since (in that caller's and his pals' opinion) the Orphanage was the best show on The Ticket.

Danny's initial response was "Because Cat hates us."  Upon brief reconsideration, he said that there were two reasons. 

First -- if I understood him correctly -- Danny explained that The Orphanage, as a successor to The Rant, got "grandfathered in" as a show that was not required to conform strictly to the X-percentage-of-sports-talk format.  Other shows, he said -- and I tend to credit this account -- are constantly importuned to maintain a substantial amount of actual sports talk.  The number Danny threw out was 60%, but I'm not sure if that was intended to be an accurate report or just an illustration of Cat's instruction to emphasize sports talk.  But The Orphanage is apparently exempt from that requirement, and Danny thought that Cat would not "trust" them to do a conventional sports-talk showgram substituting for a regular weekday show.  (Ironically, today's show was heavily sports-oriented, and probably had the most intensive World Cup coverage I've heard to date on The Ticket -- and since I usually tune such talk completely out, it was a tribute to the show that I didn't.)  

Second, he said, "Cat hates us."

I can understand why Mr. Catlin might have a problem with Mr. Balis.  I don't have a firm grip on Dave Lane's persona -- I gather he may have had a more prominent role on The Ticket in the past, perhaps before I got to Dallas in the mid-Oughts.  (I could never figure out who "Gen-X Davey" was.)   And I assume Dave has an actual paying job elsewhere.  Danny, however, gives every indication of being an actual honest-to-Jah free spirit who enjoys his freedom more than his radio gig and probably would not be the favorite of any supervisor who wanted employees to, you know, comply with his employer's instructions and policies, as employees are universally required to do.   

Cat's problem (if Danny's suggestion that there is a problem is to be credited), of course, is that -- putting aside attitude for the time being -- Danny is a truly gifted human.  Let's see:  He's a composer; producer; musical performer; witty; funny (not the same thing); a talented broadcaster as a secondary sidekick; a talented broadcaster as a show host; and a notable content provider ("What's On Mike's Mind" intros and other similar contributions).  Also a man-about-Dallas through his performing and his friendships with the Wilonskyesque Observer-orbit hipster element.  And a thoughtful mentor to that nice young Michael Gruber.     

And, I suspect, a Galaxy-Class pain in the ass to the KTCK/Cumulus overlords.

And it's true that the Dark Cloud emerges from time to time to annoy the hoi polloi P1 Nation with his overcool musical tastes and his cynicism about matters that may call for it in the abstract (for example, most of pop culture), but which he tends to oversmack on The Hardline.  But man, if he weren't there M-F 3:30-7, you'd miss him terribly. 

 (By the way -- does anyone know why George refers to him as "Big Dumb Danny"?  When I hear that [although I haven't heard him say it in awhile], I get this image of George walking around in a big glass house, with me standing outside with a chunk of feldspar -- or perhaps gneiss -- in my hand, ready to chuck.)

But returning to the original point -- doesn't it say something positive about Mr. Catlin that despite what he may see as unacceptable disrespect for Cumulus programming goals by the obstreperous Danny B, he recognizes what he's got and not only declines to terminate the the SOB, but actually gives him his own showgram?   

Before I sign off:    Will one of my faithful Confessors please remind me to post sometime on the extremely intriguing Danny B/Gordon K dynamic? 

Ah, dammit.  It's Great to Listen to The Ticket. Hurrah for the freakin' Fourth of July, everyone.

Friday, July 2, 2010

A Special Thanks to P1 Steven . . .

.  .  .  for the shout-out to My Ticket Confession on BaD Radio Screenless a few days back.  Very much appreciate the support, Steven, but I'm sure you had the BaD Radio boys scratching their heads.

In your honor, I've added you as a "label" so your fans can find you here when they search "P1 Steven."