Friday, May 13, 2011

A Disturbance in the Blogosphere

Those Confessors who are weary of Greggo/Richie/RaGE stories are hereby given plenary dispensation to skip this article.

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Whenever this site's hits go stratospheric as they did today, it's a sure bet that some much more popular site has linked to us.  This was the case today, where Richie Whitt in his "Whitt's End" column in the Observer linked to my essay "Is Richie Whitt Good for Greggo?" of a couple of weeks back, which was generally favorable towards RW.  The reference in the "Whitt's End" column was to a anonymous Confessor who suggested (stated) that Richie had been been fired from both DFW newspapers, which RW denied both in a comment to the MTC article, and in today's column. 

I have no idea who did what to whom in the Richie/Greggo/DFW Radio Community intrigue.  A different anonymous commenter to that article offered what he claimed to be a genuine insider's account of what went down with the former Hardliner Mr. Williams.  It isn't malicious and to me it has the ring of truth -- you have to know something about the players involved even to make this stuff up -- so I thought it might be of interest to that portion of the Nation that does not pay much attention to the comments.    Please bear in mind that this is anonymous, not sourced, and not verified by me.  [NOTE: I've edited it for clarity.  You can read the original in the comments to the second link above.] 

"I am a 1st hand observer on this ordeal from WAY WAY back. Richie was keeping his literary relevance writing 'where's Greggo' stories'. His last set of highly read/commented Greggo stories were brought about from the John Clay Wolfe experiment.

"[Wolfe] had gotten sideways with Fan's [Program Director] Tom Bigby, and left for KEGL with his [Saturday] car show. [Wolfe] had made it crystal clear that he wanted to replace Russ Martin's void on 105.3.

"When [Wolfe] left, he wrestled up Greggo, got Whitt to give them some Observer ink, and got the Greggo thing rolling again streaming online. This caught [Clear Channel's] attention, and [Wolfe, Clear Channel, and Greggo] made a deal to do a sports show on 1190 afternoon drive to compete with Hardline.

"[Clear Channel] put the barrier up of 90 days of 1 hour noon shows, to test [Greggo's] sobriety.

"Note: When [Wolfe] was on The Fan, Bigby refused to let [Greggo] co-host [Wolfe's Saturday] show, and the first KEGL show [Wolfe] did, [Greggo] was co-host and slammed The Fan and Bigby on 97.1 open mic. Said 'Tom Bigby is an idiot, The Fan is a bunch of losers, and I would NEVER EVER work for a bunch of talentless losers like the crew at 105.3.'

"30 days later, [Greggo] had the job on 105.3 The Fan. Bigby caught wind that [Wolfe] was going to use 1190 air to prove Bigby a fool, and the vet CBS programmer stole [Wolfe's] trick pony [Greggo.]  Without [Greggo's] splash, the terrible rated 1190 experiment was a bust.

"It was [Wolfe], that brought Greggo back from dead, not Whitt. I was there, I watched the whole thing unfold [play by play]. Whitt was a patsy for Bigby, and Bigby hired Greggo as a defensive maneuver against the 1190AM show that was being designed in the backroom. Bigby's plan worked, but didn't chink the armor of the Hardline. Would [Wolfe]/Greggo been different? From what I witnessed, yes."

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So there you have it, a purported inside account.  Is it accurate?  Dunno.  Who might our anonymous insider be?  Dunno that either.  I will say that my recollection is that Greg negotiated for quite some time with John Clay Wolfe over money and their failure to make a deal for the (possibly to-be syndicated) Greg/Wolfe show was what sunk that deal.  That's not inconsistent with what our anonymous commenter says, but it does but a slightly different spin on things.  It is also hard to imagine that Whitt had no role in promoting the RaGE idea to CBS, given his relationship with Greg.

Anyway, if the Sportatorium link brought you here for the first time, hope you will have a look around and stop back from time to time.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

I really do find it sad and a bit disturbing that Whitt feels the need to addresses commenters from (and no disrespect here) small blogs in his far reaching, paid for, blog. It says a lot about him. And none of it is good. Sorry, Richie (as I'm certain you'll be reading this). Methinks the man doth protest too much and too often about too many things. It seems that many commenters on your blog and others come too close to the truth for you. And Richie (again, I know you'll read this), for the love of all that's good in this world, get off the UFC. I know that you're trying to do a Dick Hicks ala NASCAR (you know, find a niche sport to call your own in order to build upon it career wise), but it just isn't working. You're no Dick Hicks, and UFC is, as Jake Z would say, super gay.

The Plainsman said...

No disrespect inferred.

But I find it hard to criticize Richie for defending himself. MTC is indeed a modest little blog, but I get maybe a hundred hits a day and if Confessors read a comment that says he was fired from jobs that he wasn't fired from -- or that he maintains he wasn't fired from -- I don't have a problem with him making that position known either as a commenter (I suspect he would not count himself among the Confessors) or in his column.

As far as his "finding a niche sport" is concerned -- isn't Richie in show biz? Even if he's just attempting to establish a "brand" for himself, isn't that what a lot of media guys do, find some way to distinguish themselves, build a fan base? And maybe he really is a UFC fan.

Look, I have no particular brief for Richie. I do think we have to acknowledge that he is an influential sportswriter in this town. I admit that I don't read all the sports journalism that DFW has to offer, but here is a guy who is the main sportswriter for a high-circulation weekly where he is frequently called upon to write lead articles on local sports and sports media that are very informative and well-sourced. If he hadn't written "The Hard Lie" we would know much, much, less than we do about Greg Williams's departure from The Ticket, and this site would be trafficking in even more lurid speculations. We may not be wild about RaGE or his broadcast persona, and this site shares that opinion, but I just can't slam the guy for what seems to me like fairly garden-variety self-promotion.

So interesting. The guy seems to excite very piquant reactions. I will gladly accept criticism that I'm not hip enough to the local scene to understand Richie thing. The last time I suggested that his journalism was "pretty good," I got eviscerated by an anonymous commenter who took me to task for not scouring RW's journalistic output for examples, and, as a result, lost him (or her) forever.

Well, radiowise, the end result seems to be that the Greggo/Richie experiment, a year in, has not proven much of a threat to our drivetime heroes. Or even to Mr. Urine.

Perhaps someday, he'll write about the experience.

Anonymous said...

"I do think we have to acknowledge that he is an influential sportswriter in this town."

Is he? He writes for the Observer, and most of his readership is there just to take shots at him (read the comments - they're hilarious).

Whitt has a glass jaw. The fact he even engages his anonymous internet critics is all you need to know about him. He has somehow managed to work his way into a semi-pro writing gig and a hosting gig on a two-bit radio station. Anyone else would ignore all the folks giving him a hard time, but he can't help engaging them... because he knows they're right.

The guy is a failure and a joke. And you know what - lots of people are. But most of them don't insist on proving it day after day in mass media.

Richie (because I know you're reading this), do yourself and all of us a favor and go do something more anonymous. We're all very uncomfortable with your regular public humiliation.

Anonymous said...

I hear you, Plainsman. And I also see the side of those who think RW a tool. I agree with you that he's an influential media member, and because he is, it's a bit small time to go around various blogs, read the good, the bad, and the ugly comments and then feel the need to defend yourself in your online weekly. It just is. I can understand defending yourself if the DMN or the Startlegram disparaged him, completely. But you have to have thicker skin than that if you are in show biz. And I agree with you that he is.

I remember reading the anonymous commenter you're talking about. While I think he or she was a bit dramatic, I think he or she had a point. You did ask for sources and whatnot. I think the person was wanting you to do as you asked. But who bleepin' knows.

Anonymous said...

Sure, he writes for the Observer, but he also left a newspaper that is firing people left and right while the Observer thrives with being a free paper, especially when blogs are the new age way of getting news. The fact that it is a blog though, allows him to give opinions. He does take a lot of shots, but the fact that he is blogging allows him to and I don't think it bothers him one bit. And because it is a blog, he can reply back, you know the way any other blogger would. Guy might be a jackass at times, but still one of the more knowledgeable sports writers and voices in the DFW.

Anonymous said...

Oh Richie, at least put your name on the comment. I do like the "Guy might be a jackass at times" touch. Nice try, pal.

Shaggy said...

On a list of the most influential sports writers and/or voices in the metroplex, Richie doesn't even sniff the top 25.

Anonymous said...

Yeah...not Richie, just a loyal RAGE listener who gets his shtick both online and on-air. Never said he was influential either Shaggy, just knowledgeable of Dallas sports.

Shaggy said...

The Plainsman (mistakenly) called him influential.

The Plainsman said...

Your Plainsman is frequently in error.

Perhaps I should have used the word "prominent."

cancer monkey said...

You may be interested to know, Plainsman, that the sainted saints at The Unticket have posted some RaGE audio from today. Apparently Greggo has "mixed up" his "medication" and was too out of it to come to work today. Maybe it's 100% true, or maybe it's another convenient excuse. I'll leave my comments at that.

http://www.theunticket.com/ambien-greggo-has-a-shoe-in-his-cheek

The Plainsman said...

Is anybody believing these "just mixed up the meds, move along, nothing to see here" excuses?

And even if it is true, an employee too stupid to know what his daily pills look like -- they have different shapes and colors for that exact reason -- quite possibly might be an unsuitable employee. And delegating that task to a girlfriend who seems incapable of performing it is one notch higher up on the irresponsibility scale.

Surely, the beginning of the end. It must be clear to Greg that his goal of kicking Hardline toches is unattainable, and that this amazing opportunity for prime-time radio rebirth has come and gone.

Greg Williams has given me some hilarious commutes, so it gives me no joy to say this isn't going to be pretty.

Anonymous said...

You might have hit the nail on the head, Plainsman. Sadly for Greggo. And oh boy, does this mean a reopening of the "Is Richie Whitt Good For Greggo" query? It seems at this point the question is as valid as ever. To use this latest idiocy as a device to attain and retain listeners is pretty low, in my opinion at least.

The Plainsman said...

Anonymous, I have to agree.

The first time they got mixed-up-meds Greggo on the air, it could have been passed off as a "hey, we know he's a risk, but we love him anyway" moment.

The second time, it starts to sound like a bit -- and like it's AOK to be an irresponsible and/or incompetent public figure.

And if you get in the habit of milking Greggo FUBARs for yuks and entertainment value -- that's a road to excusing his bad benavior.

There's another word for it -- exploitation.

Greg Williams will be in the headlines before the year is up.

And it won't be for a Marconi.

Anonymous said...

plainsman,

you couldn't have said it better.
i am in agreeance with your thoughts on greggo.

to me its obvious he's smoking something thus the voice issues every week.
long-term snorting of cocaine eventually shreds your vocal cords.
however, when it is smoked, the cords get damaged immediately.

when you're 51 y/o your days of doing blow and getting into fights are over.
instead the hammer goes to work beat up to high holy hell and with no voice.
is it time to pose the Bob Hope question of "he won't make it to Christmas"?

and rest assured if the hammer meets his demise while employed on 105.3, they WILL try to use it for a ratings grab.