Sunday, January 9, 2011

Quick Sunday AM Question

I only caught a few minutes of the Sunday AM show today.  It sounded like Cirque.  Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I thought that Jean-Jacques Taylor was taking a shot at that slot. 

Anybody know what's up with the Sunday AM showgram? 

I'm thinking perhaps JJ was at one of the playoff games and not available to host this morning, which I could probably confirm for myself if I just picked up a Dallas Morning News.  Or visited

But it's easier and more fun to ask you guys.  Besides, its slick out there.  Cold, too.


Speaking of the Sunday morning show, I was able to listen to a little of Elfenbein/Lewin this past week.  Didn't make a strong impression either way.  They seem to have solved some of the technical problems with the show, but Elf still sounds really dry and denatured for some reason.  Content was OK, didn't grab me but didn't repel me, either.  Anyone have any reactions to that show?

Josh Lewin (2d from left) in
full semiformal regalia


Anonymous said...

From that photo, it looks like Lewin has had some sort of "reconstructive" hair procedure!

I too thought that JJ Taylor was to take over the Sunday slot (along with Stu Seder). Hopefully JJ Taylor will be a part of the Ticket crew. I thought he and Norm were pretty darned good the other week. Especially once he found his sea-legs, as it were.

I'm not a big fan of the Cirque show. They're too much like Ben and Skin (and excepting Mavs talk, I didn't care for their show, either). Perhaps it's just me, but I'm growing tired of the 20 and early 30-something B-teamers/peripherals at the Ticket. The Top Ten host, Jake, absolutely makes me cringe when he speaks of "prison rules Wednesday" and the likes; the "Norm's a punchline, but oh we really do respect you" attitude they all seem to hold has become stale to the point of being annoying; and their overall lack of genuine creativity is (to me) evident. I'm excepting Grubes, for obvious reasons.

Anonymous said...

Define "denatured," please.

The Plainsman said...

Second Anonymous: "Denature" means "to change the natural qualities of." In context, I meant that Elf doesn't sound like the very distinctive broadcaster that he did on his own show. He sounds like just a guy, and I'm referring both to the sound of his voice and the content of his utterances. As I said, it's not bad, it's just a little odd to someone accustomed to his Sunday morning show.

The Plainsman said...

First Anonymous: I agree in major part. On several occasions I've mentioned that Cirque du Sirois suffers from Ben & Skin Disorder -- hosts sounding too much alike. However, they're not nearly as self-referentially irnoic and cutesy as B&S. On balance, I'm perfectly happy to have Cirque as a fill-in show.

As far as the next-gen hosts are concerned -- I won't disagree with you about some of the attitude issues, but really, what's The Ticket to do? They're not going to replace an aging host with another aging host. It's inevitable that younger guys are going to get a chance. The Ticket, seems to me, is to be commended for giving the JV as much of a chance as it does.

Having said that, I do wonder whether the Cumulo-Ticket talent evaluation is up to snuff. While I don't find any of the youngsters unlistenable, neither do I find any of them particularly distinctive.

No host is close to retirement or, to my knowledge, in danger of involuntary separation. Even Rhyner should have close to another decade of broadcasting left in him, if not more. And, as other commenters have noted, a guy who wants a full-time work-week-daylight position and has the talent to sustain one can see this as well, and won't hang around The Ticket.

Point being: The JV is not going to have a lot of varsity players, ever. If we get some pretty decent weekend and fill-in guys out of the staff ranks, I'm happy. There are exceptions -- Danny Bacon comes to mind (and he'd be my leading candidate to jump to another station, or getting out of the business altogether) -- but we shouldn't expect drive-time sparkle out of station production and tech guys.

cancer monkey said...

The only thing Josh is missing in that picture to round out his '70s night look is a gold medallion.

I've turned the corner on the Sirois brothers. I had little use for them when I first heard them, but I think they've got something now. I don't think they're headliner material yet, but I think they're on their way. They don't come across to me as too additudnal (not like Jake Z, for sure), and they keep a good mix of light and sportsy talk. I would take them over Elf as a weekend show any day, if Elf were still here. Some more time to hone their craft and learn what it takes to appeal to the more mainstream part of the Ticket audience and I think they'll be ready. Of course, they'll be gone to one of the other stations by then, which is part of your point. It looks like there's not going to be an open spot in the rotation for quite a while.

As for JJT, I'd assume your guess of footballball duties is probably right.

P1 Steven said...

BIG QUESTION: I am currently writing a mini article about the Hard-Line's break up. I have a question... When did Mike Ryner say he did not owe the P1-Anything? Was it in relationship to the breakup? What was the context?

Anonymous said...

P1 Steven,

Yes. It occurred when the Hardline (revamped) finally was allowed to somewhat tell its side of the story. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I'm a Mike Rhyner fan, but that incident along with the Pete Stein countdown really says a lot about the man - and what it says isn't too good.

Anonymous said...

Also, he said it with respect to listeners' and blog posters' frequently saying to the effect "you owe it to the listener to explain what's been going on... what's REALLY been going on." Which means, I think it's safe to say, that he reads this blog, the Unticket, and Richie Whitt's blog.

Anonymous said...

Kinda interesting how The Ticket's success means:
• they train lots of up-and-comers
• there are almost never any openings
• those up-and-comers go to competing stations

In other words, The Ticket is the farm system for their rivals. They train the very people that go out and compete against them.

Anonymous said...


Excellent points, all around (re: B-teamers). However, it's my contention that major shakeups could come sooner rather than later. Junior Miller has already come very close to quitting, twice, due to burn out. Furthermore, he's made it known that he doesn't plan to retire in the radio industry. As far as Mike goes (and this is merely my opinion), I can easily see him moving on within the next two to four years. He truly seems disinterested. In fact, I'd go as far to say that he might even be a bit disappointed that RaGE hasn't put up a better fight. He seems to thrive on heated and real competition; and especially on being the underdog. Finally, I can imagine Gordo moving on. I think it's only a matter of time before he's offered a position somewhere else (even in L.A. or New York). The junkets that he's been going on - and the success of them - are providing meaningful connections in the industry. Gordo is a real talent (except when he's playing barroom philosopher/psychologist). I can't believe that he'll remain at the Ticket forever. And while I think we can all agree that Norm will have to die at the mic in order to leave, I wouldn't be surprised if at some point in the next three or four years, corporate pulls the plug on him.

ap said...

That last anonymous made me very, very sad. Can I at least keep BaD Radio and Grubes, or is the big radio in the sky gonna take them from me too?

Scott said...

AP, unfortunately I agree with some of the last Anon post. I did not know about Junior, but I am not at all surprised.

As big as they are, there is nowhere for these goes to go as far as moving up. For Mike, that is probably great, he does 3 years and retires. But, for most of the guys, they started very young, and after 16 years, they are doing well, getting paid well, and can't go further.

This is a topic no one wants to talk about, because it is no fun. But, speculation is fun.

I can totally see Junior going, and timing that with a Gordo departure. I have no idea how Gordon keeps his schedule. But, with his success off the Ticket carrier frequency, he has to be a short timer.

So, from there, how would you restructure? Maybe move BaD to afternoon drive time? Team Danny and Corby with George (assuming he stayed on)? I don't think Corby has the chops to move up in the entertainment world. The times I have seen him on TV, it wasn't great. And, abrasive Corby may be too much for that time slot.

Would they ever bring a woman in to one of the teams? The other stations in town do it.

These are things that will greatly impact our world. Discussion, especially from an Nsider, would be very valuable.

Anonymous said...

Totally disagree. I think Rhyner will die at the mic (contrary to reports, he's not dead yet), and I think Gordo is sticking with this gig for a while. Three reasons for that: 1) he said so in The Ticket book; 2) He's a bit old to launch a career in Hollywood or even as a TV personality; and 3) I don't think the mainstream would "get" Gordon Keith, and I think he'd be bored trying to play it straight. I believe he'd miss the relative freedom he gets to be weird.

Junior Miller? I have not idea. I can't read that guy. Honestly, though, I think he'd be the easiest to replace. Dunham is a lifer, I'm betting.

The one I wonder about is Dan. It wouldn't shock me to some day just find Dan gone. He butts heads with the suits more than anyone, and frankly, he's got the worst attitude (I say that respectfully) of any of the hosts (that I'm aware of). He's also not from this part of the world. I bet the right gig in Cleveland would lure him away.

But overall, I think all the guys at 1310 realize what a rare and great thing they have going. They are stuck in a little bubble where they are not buffeted by the same winds the rest of the industry is. Rhyner (still not dead) says it all the time: when The Ticket is gone, you won't ever see something like this again - and he's right.

-Anon B

Anonymous said...

Anon B,

In regard to Gordo: I don't believe he's too old to begin a career in either television or in Hollywood. He's not even 40 yet. Many a career has taken off past, say, the age of 35. Besides, he's already on television and has had his own talk show. The notion that the mainstream will not understand Gordo is, in my esteem, off-base. What is considered mainstream these days seems to push the envelope further and further, by the week. Heck, the same was said about Conan O'Brien. As far as the book goes... things do change.

I find your take on Dan to be very interesting. My only disagreement would be that I don't think he'd want to go back to Cleveland or the north in general. He's said on-air far too many times how much better it is here; how much he likes the metroplex (he doesn't even mind the heat); and how much he loathes Cleveland winters.

Anonymous said...

Two questions:

I wonder if Elf tried to get Stu Seder to jump ship?

Are Norm and Rhyner still married (not to each other!)? It's been a very long time since I've heard Norm mention Vicky or Rhnyer say anything about the She-Wolf. In fact, over the last year, there's been a lot of dating/women talk about Rhyner coming from Danny and Corby. As well, today Norm was talking about downsizing and moving in a somewhat cryptic manner. Perhaps that pertains to his marriage?

The Plainsman said...

Whew. I'm going to have to leave a multi-part commentary. Just a casual mention of Cirque -- and it wasn't even the subject of the psot -- and you guys are off and running.

In the words of the local news interviewer chick interviewing the Desperate Housewife: I love it, I love it.

O Confessors, the themes you have touched on here are among the most sizzling on Your Plainsman's topic griddle -- especially on "what's next" for the station. I've tinkered with lineups and with some of the other possibilities mentioned here but have been saving them up for a slow STD day.

For now, let me address the issue of hosts "moving on" other than in a pine box.

All commenters have made very plausible points. I tend to hold with those who think that the lineup will remain stable for the foreseeable future, and by that I mean the next 5 years or so.

-- I don't see anyone retiring (see next comment).

-- I don't see the Cumulo-Ticket overlords tinkering with success.

-- I don't see any host jumping to another market. Our hosts may not have Mike & Mike visibility nationwide, but it ain't far off. Don't underestimate the nationwide presence of The Ticket via the Internet stream. (You should see the map of Confessor contacts.) If a host is going to move "up" the only markets are NYC, LA, and maybe Chicago. I don't see it.

-- Let's not forget the effect of contracts and the possibility that the big shooters have noncompetition provisions that would limit their ability to move to another station.

-- Money. Consider this possibility: The only plausible place for a host to go for more money is to a competitor in this market (assuming a host did not want to start over in one of those Big 3 markets I just mentioned and ignoring the possibility of noncompetes). That may even be a new sports talker, and in that connection, think about this:

Let's say, for example, the following guys got together and decided that they'd had enough of Cumulus and The Ticket's abysmal signal and no advertising support: Craig, Dan, Mike, Corby. These guys have both the dough and, much, much more important, the bankability to start a new station. I think this is unlikely. But I'm not sure it's more unlikely than a major host going to a scorned competitor.

-- Competitor Success: This is the only thing that will break up the gang, and as things stand now the Confessor Nation has not indicated that The Fan is going to make enormous inroads. For a ratings decline to cause change at The Ticket it would have to be huge. That doesn't mean there wouldn't be some fine-tuning and may even a 7% increase in Hardline show prep. But I don't think it would occasion a major lineup change.

-- Misbehavior. Williams. Bacsik. You see anyone committing wrongdoing of that magnitude? (Note to self -- move article on Ticket host relationship with alcohol to the front burner.)

Continued in next comment.

The Plainsman said...

A note on a couple of the individuals mentioned:

Mike: He's got the life. He's 60, he doesn't have to do show prep, he can thumb his nose at his C-T Overlords, he's well-paid, he's famous (he's a a goddam legend), he can gig with Petty Theft (I call his Ticket relationship with PT "plug-n-play"). He'll go as long as his health permits, and his constitution seems to be pretty salty.

Gordon: Agree that he's an amazing talent and so prolific. He has the chops and the physical appearance to go national, but it's hard to think of how that might happen. He needs to do an Oprah thing -- a local talk show that is just talk -- limited standup (his monologues on his TV show were painful), no bits. Just him interviewing pop-culture types. To tell you the truth, Gordon could do the Dick Cavett thing and bring in intellectuals as well. But I'm getting ahead of myself. I don't think Gordon is going to untether himself from the Ticket platform anytime soon.

Junior: I've seen a couple of Confessors over the past several months mention that Junior has had burnout issues. Was that in Full Disclosure? I don't recall it being an issue since my arrival in DFW in 2004. And he doesn't seem especially uncomfortable with the CTO. I'm thinking that Craig is one of the more influential hosts behind the scenes. His dry, analytical, sarcastic-but-not-combative approach probably plays fairly well in the CTO chambers. I'm guessing he's reasonably content right now.

My candidate for the most likely host/station guy to make a move? Donovan Lewis. Second? Rich Phillips, whose national potential I've written about a couple of times. (I don't know as much about the Fernandos of the world as I should, but they're probably always a little loose in the socket as well.)

I should have done this as a main post, but as long as the Confessor Nation is on the warpath, I thought I'd better get out front on this stuff or you'll all leave me behind.

Which is no place for a Plainsman to be.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, the guys on Cirque De Sirois do sound too much alike. I wonder why? And what's with them sharing a name? Cna't the suits at Cumulus afford a radio name for one of them?

And as for all the talk of people leaving, rmember that no one major has ever left the nuturing biosphere of the little Ticket and returned. So all the major hosts know that if they go, they're not coming back, and that has to factor into their planning.

I think any of them COULD leave but I don't think any of them WILL leave anytime soon. As long as the ratings hold steady, the hosts know they have a steady gig.

If they sit out their non-compete and cross the street to ESPN or the Fan, they know they might get a year or two, but could be off the air after that if the ratings aren't there.

And that's why I think nobody is leaving soon. At their ages, none of the hosts want to turn back into radio journeymen, traveling, in WKRP speak, up and down the dial. Nobody who's in the #5 market wants to resort to having to do middays in Milwaukie, or nights in Austin, or even AM drive in Denver.

If you think Junior is going to quit, what do you think he's going to do for the rest of his life? What else are most of these guys qualified to do except radio? And none of these guys make as much as you probably think they do.

Oh, don't get me wrong, they make good money. If smart, they've socked a lot away, but enough to retire at 45 or 50? And maintain the lifestyle they've been accustomed to? I think not.

And would someone share what talent Gordo would utilize in Hollywood or NY? Everybody talks like that's a no-brainer, but as a impersonator, well, Gordo himself has said he has aboout 3 or 4 voices and that's it. He's not a great interviewer, and while he's a funny guy, he's funny at jokes for a 3 minute bit. What does that translate to, writing jokes for Leno? Working on a sitcom? For those of you that see Gordo leaving, tell me what you see him doing? I once had somebody tell me they could see him playing a Caliendo-type roll. I pointed out that there's exactly ONE job like that it Hollywood right now, and Caliendo might not be going anywhere soon.

N Sider

amused said...


You think way too much/hard about the station. It is interesting to see some of the wild speculation that goes on here.

The Plainsman said...


No doubt.

Although maybe not as much as you think, as I'm a speed typist and the time I spent thinking about The Ticket (as opposed to listening to it) is approximately congruent with the time I spend typing.

Which also accounts for my many unsupported speculations.

And anyway, as someone once said here -- I think it may have been me -- it's fun to speculate.

As hobbies go, this one is pretty benign. And I've made lots of anonymous friends.

Shaggy said...

Since a couple of people mentioned non-compete clauses, I thought I'd point out that in my (completely layman's) understanding, enforcing non-complete clauses in the Great State of Texas is EXTREMELY difficult.

Anonymous said...


Your post begs the question: What are you doing here?


Some really good points. As to Junior: I think he (along with all the hosts) has made enough connections and inroads in the community to set himself up with another career - though perhaps not as lucrative. I also would be willing to bet that he has and still does take very good care of his money (i.e., more than just socked a lot away). Concerning Gordo: Only a stand-up comedian has to be funny for more than a few minutes. I think Gordo could write for a sitcom or the likes. His Quick column is on the whole funny
and at times even insightful. Moreover, writing for a Leno or a "3rd Rock" is done by committee, not by a single person.


I believe Junior did disclose his burnout and near leaving in "Full Disclosure." But perhaps I'm wrong. I do know that he has spoken about it on air before.

ap said...

I'd like to concur with Shaggy - there was a no-compete slipped into my latest work contract, and after consulting two lawyers on the matter, I'm fairly satisfied that it is essentially worthless (unless the employee is paid in shares or their compensation is deferred; neither of which seem likely for KTCK boys). This is apparently consistent across North America.

Regarding Cirque; I must confess I'm not completely partial as I'm a big fan of both of those guys. I think Mike is capable of generating great radio, especially when he's paired with a 'straight man' -- i.e. he did fine with Rhads and JJT during drydock, and of course, anyone who can support Norm on a daily basis is darn near a saint.

Cirque du Sirois are also quite aware that their similar voices pose a problem with listeners and management, and they turned it into a running gag throughout their latest show by identifying who they were speaking to at the most awkward moments. I hope Stu chips in a bit more in their presentation next week as he seems to slow down the high-energy delivery of Mike and Cash and give the show a more deliberate pacing. Also note that Cash's day job is with the Mavericks, where I believe his job description is to provide the over-the-top experience one is subjected to during Mavs games. Might explain his Ben-and-Skin-esque quick-hit delivery.

So, yeah....sports!

Scott said...

As to money, I recall Greggo mentioning $500k in the Witt article. Sounds high to me, but who knows... maybe Nsider.

But, didn't the original crew, Hardline and Musers, get a chunk when it was sold to Susquehana?

I honestly don't remember, but I thought that was the case.

This gives me plenty to ponder on my flight today.... Much better than Skymall...

Anonymous said...

"My candidate for the most likely host/station guy to make a move? Donovan Lewis. "

I would tend to agree here, but for one thing - as told in "Full Disclosure," Donovan has been "up and down the dial." And that is a beating. I think for him, stability is huge. Of course, this is just speculation. I don't know the guy.

I still think Dan will be the first "major" to go. Could be his choice, or maybe not.

As far as Rich goes, I think he was probably making noises after 15 years of tickers, and that's how he ended up with the Ass. PD job.

-Anonymous B

P.S. RE: money, the "majors" are all millionaires. I'm sure Rhyner, Dunham and Miller all approach $500K/yr., while the next tier (Gordo, Corby, Bob, Dan) all do about $250-$300.

(And board ops are lucky if they hit $10/hr.)

The Plainsman said...

I think "amused" is either a deep Ticket insider, or Mrs. Plainsman.

Edgar & Marsala, PLLC said...

Re: Noncompetes.

It is a bit of a public misconception that noncompetes are difficult to enforce in Texas. In fact, noncompetition covenants are specifically authorized by Texas statute. If your contract says the magic statutory words, your noncompete will likely be enforced under most common factual circumstances, especially if you receive confidential information of your employer (as most important employees do). The Texas courts are somewhat hostile to noncompetes and have construed the statute very narrowly in the past, but in the past few years the Texas Supreme Court has made noncompetes easier to enforce. ap, we hope you have good attorneys.

Douglas Sutherland said...

Anon B:

1. I'm not sure why I always single out your comments. I don't mean anything by it.

2. In my Ticket Power Rankings, Dan is number one, so in the same vain that I'll always subconsciously look past Michael Young's flaws, I do the same for Dan.

I fall almost on the complete opposite side of the Dan argument as you do.

Most Ticket hosts recognize how fortunate they are, but I believe Dan in particular feels his life is incredible, and that he has worked his butt of to get here.

I strongly advise all my fellow confessors to listen to the It's Just Banter Podcasts when they have Ticket hosts as guests. Danny's is really incredible (and kind of inspiring), but to me Dan's is the most interesting because he was a true journeyman before he sent a tape to Bruce Gilbert because his friend did the same thing and wasn't given a job, but Bruce called him and told him why he didn't like him.

Dan's tenure with a Cleveland upstart radio station and later with WHIO I think has really led him to appreciate The Ticket. He says repeatedly how much he loves 12-3 and how lucky he is to get to goof off for a living. I think he's here for good, and I think both he and Bob realize what they have is amazing chemistry. They do tend to talk over each other quite a bit, but their on-air marriage works in the same way actual relationships work: they're so different but at the same time they have just enough in common to create a radio Venn Diagram.

My point is although Dan's persona is one that is super laid back, and doesn't really care about anything, nor does he recognize what's around him, it seems clear to me that Dan knows he fits more at The Ticket (thanks to his partner, the "ef the man" attitude, and the strong ratings by all shows) than he would at any other radio station. He was Ticket even before he moved to Dallas, and I don't think he'd quit to go somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

Good points, Douglas. I don't get to listen to BAD Radio nearly enough, so you probably know more about Dan than I.

I like your "Ticket Power Rankings." We should have this as a weekly feature.

Oh, BTW, I finally did notice shorter commercial breaks on The Hardline. Several times last week and yesterday, I flipped away, then came back and the show was already back in progress. I would ascribe this to less demand for advertising post-Christmas, but maybe someone at cumulus realizes they need to have a show to sell ad space.

Anonymous said...

TIcket Power Rankings for the week of 1/3/11:

1. Mike Rhyner (last week: 6)
Coming on strong and rejuvenated after dry dock

2. Norm Hitzges (last week: 5)
Sounds excited by the imminent Spring Training

3. Shoopie (last week: 4)
Good on-air contributions this week

4. Big Strong (last week: N/A)
Fearlessly stepping up to the mic!

5. Bob Sturm (last week: 5)
Always consistent

6. Jah (last week: 3)
Horrible Redball impersonation not helping in the standings

7. Corbett Davidson (last week: 7)
Holding steady, but with Bowl Season over, what will he talk about?

8. Dark Cloud Balis (last week: N/A)
Showing some sports knowledge and helping out the floundering Corby

9. Rich Phillips (last week: N/A)
Back where he belongs after holiday Over-Rich

10. Mike Sirois (last week: N/A)
Confidence rising after holiday fill-ins

Douglas Sutherland said...

Wow, whoever was number one last week totally dropped off the ratings. You know that's going to hurt his confidence.

Anonymous said...

It was Cash Sirois.

Douglas Sutherland said...

Quick aside-

I was just thinking about this: Does anyone else switch out whenever guests come on? Whenever Lombardi or Troy comes on with The Musers, I punch out. Anyone else?

Anonymous said...

I like Lombardi and Troy, but most other guests, yeah, I punch out.

That guy they had on today from Auburn - Big Jack or something. He was a beating.

ap said...

@E and M, PLLC:

I didn't know that about Texas. Also, as you no doubt surmised, "IANAL" (but I did stay at a Holiday Inn, once) :)

@Doug -- I punch out for Lombardi and would be really surprised if he's brought back next year. Troy is a must-listen for me though; his interviews always end very well.

Anonymous said...

Greggo's 500K line was bullsh. They've never made that much, even counting talent fees, appearence fees, live spot money, etc.

I can't share what they make, but consider that Dan lives in Grapevine, Bob in Lewisville, Donnie in the C-hill, Jr and Gordo in the M Streets, etc. NONE of them live in Preston Hollow, UP, H-Park, etc. (And think- Highland park would be an easy 5 minute commute) but just crossing central you get smaller houses and cheaper prices than UP/HP.
They make good money. But no one is making 500K a year....

Shaggy said...

Anon B wrote:

"P.S. RE: money, the "majors" are all millionaires. I'm sure Rhyner, Dunham and Miller all approach $500K/yr., while the next tier (Gordo, Corby, Bob, Dan) all do about $250-$300. "

Poor Norm...

P1 Steven said...

what the host make is always a favorite topic.

The Plainsman said...

We are fortunate that one of our Anonymous posters is either an insider or a semi-insider. It's dangerous to try to distinguish one Anonymous from another (except for Anonymous B, of whom I am assuming there is one and only), but I think that the Anonymous who posted just above with respect to the geographical distribution of hosts is that semi-insider Anonymous, and is also the one I sometimes refer to as Grumpy Anonymous, and is also the one who is a friend and vigorous defender of Danny B, although Danny Bacon doesn't need a whole lot of defense. I'm glad that he fills us in on his info from time to time.

But I don't know how inside he is, so it's hard to know if this Anonymous actually knows about salaries, or is only surmising from the aforementioned geographical distribution. I'll only say this:

(1) A half-million ain't what it used to be. Those neighborhoods he names have a lot of people pulling down mid-six figures. A half-million dollar annual salary frankly won't get you an absolutely fabulous mansion in the neighborhoods that are close to downtown. It will get you a very nice home in the neighborhoods mentioned, plus a good chunk left over for a good life.

(2) If the major hosts aren't pulling down a half-million a year, they either need to fire their agents, or get some. The (reported) salaries for the major sports-talk hosts in the major markets are well in excess of a half-million. In their heyday, Mike and the Mad Dog each made close to a million-and-a-half. Mike North in Chicago makes over a million.

Ah, but you say, these guys are syndicated. Exactly. It's an outrage that Cumulus has done nothing -- or very little -- to (1) get the Ticket a first-class signal, and by that I don't mean putting a turbocharger on the 1310 signal, and (2) publicize the station and take portions of it national. I had a column planned on this, but I'll preview it here -- Mike Rhyner, Craig Miller, and George Dunham should refuse to sign another contract until Cumulus commits to a huge local signal and explore syndication and satellite deals.

(3) If the residences of hosts is an indicator of income, what do we make of the Croesus-like existence of George Dunham?

(4) Having said all this, I don't have the slightest fracking idea what the hosts and sub-hosts make, and I'm a little embarrassed that we're even talking about it.

Anonymous said...

Plainsman- you can "s"-can that column and here's why:

Syndication has been explored. And there's abosultely no interest in it from potential affiliates.
None. Major markets have their own shows, minor markets are more likely to carry ESPN, SNR, etc.

And there's not much interest in it from the Ticket end either. If the sales department can't move inventory in the first week of January for the #1 rated M25-54 station in this market, do you really think they'll be able to monetize piss-poor ratings in Amarillo, Tyler, or wherever else you guys think they should be getting syndicated to?

And as for getting a better signal- what's your suggestion? 93.3 has it's own signal issues. They could swap it with 570, but the 1310 signal might kill off KLIF, and then what's your plan to replace the millions of dollars that 570 now brings in?

They're not going to get it from increasing rates, not with 2 stations willing to undersell them for the same format/demo. They're maxed out on rates, which leaves other stations.

And I'm sure Citadel, or CBS is calling Dan Bennett right now looking to sell 820 or 1080. Because after all, it's not like their using those frequencies (insert rolling eyes here)

When Bonneville sold 1310 to Cardinal, the signal was 5000 watts. They (Susquehanna/Cumulus) have increased it to 9,000 and they're in the process of boosting it to 25K. Unless they can convert their #1 M25-54 ratings into #1P25-54, they're stuck with that signal and those salaries.

And BTW- it's really hard to compare salaries in NY or Chicago with salaries here. The ad market is just so much bigger that you're not comparing apples to apples-

Anonymous said...

Another fact to contribute to the numbers discussion:
Russ Martin was getting paid over a mil a year to sit at home and not broadcast on a competing station. If Martin can pull a million/year contract then Mike, Jub, and Jr are definitely in the high 6, low 7 figure area. Gordo, BAD, Norm, and Corby all probably fall in the 250k-500k range.

Everyone else works for scraps.

The Plainsman said...

So, Grumpy Anonymous: What's the problem with the 93.3 signal? Sounds great to me all over DFW, in sharp contrast to the collection of signals they've cobbled together for the ticket.

You have more respect for Cumulo-Ticket management than the hosts seem to.

Anonymous said...

93.3 isn't a 100K watt flamethrwoer- it's underpowered, doesn't penetrate buildings well (just like 1310) and starts fading out east of downtown. They've got a short antenna on Loop 12, so their coverage is much smaller than all the Cedar Hill FM's, so they don't go out as far as other FM's, etc.

There's a reason 93.3 (like 103.3) was one of the last signals added to this market- because they're marginal signals that aren't full market coverage.