Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Wherein the Nation Is Instructed (by Someone Who Seems to Know) -- Yes, It's Another Post About the Ticket's Signal!

I'm not the only one who gripes about The Ticket's signal.  Those gripes long predated this site, and hosts express their dismay at the fluttering coverage.  Some time ago I proposed that Cumulus swap the 104.1 and the 93.3 signals.  I wont' go into my reasoning or the statistics I had at the time, but you can see the original article here:

The Ticket's Lousy Signal -- and What to Do About It

And I mention the topic from time to time.  One of those times commenter Anon E wrote an email as to why that wasn't a viable plan.  In a recent post I mentioned his response and said that I needed to go look it up to refresh my recollection.  Turned out to be unnecessary, because he was kind enough to repeat his point from earlier.  It makes sense and best of all, it has some very good information about the radio marketplace.  I am reproducing it in its entirety below, with my thanks to Anon E for repeating his commentary.  (Corrected a typo or two, otherwise unedited.) 

I had some questions after I read it, but I'm going to save them for the next post, which I'll put up in a few days.    For now, I just want to showcase Anon E's information and analysis.  And thanks again, Anon E, I do appreciate you taking the time and trouble to bring us some of the inside baseball.

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I can explain why it's not viable, and I'll try not to be grumpy while I do it.
The Ticket's average billing for the past few years has been in the 15-20million dollar range. i93 is probably billing this year around 5 million dollars. For the swap to make sense, they need a combination of billing on 93.3 and 1310 that combine to that 25mil total. The Ticket is one of the 2 or 3 highest billers in the market (beat by WBAP and/or KISS), they are already the #1 station with Men 25-54, etc, so JUST switching to FM doesn't necessarily equate to higher ratings, which SOMETIMES equals more revenue.


As is, the reason we have 2 other sports stations in town is because the other stations undercut their spot prices- both ESPN and the Fan offer to advertisers what can be perceived too be a better value in advertising. yes, the Ticket has higher ratings, but those spots come with a higher price tag. So to repeat, a switch to FM may mean slightly better ratings, but that doesn't necessarily translate to higher revenue.

And see above, you need to replace a format on 1310 with something that will replace the majority of i93's billing. If you guys think you know of a format that will bill 4 million dollars a year, let's hear what it is.


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14 comments:

Schrutebucks said...

That makes a ton of sense. I suppose improving the 104.1 signal is out of the question? I live in southern Dallas county, right on the border of Grand Prairie/Cedar Hill and I get the ticket just fine. However 103.3 barely comes in, which makes listening to ranger games impossible. So maybe I'm in a small minority, but the little one's signal is to my liking. :)

birq said...

The Ticket's FM signal has been considerably better this week so far. Maybe it's because the weather is changing or there really were technical issues, but it's been mostly bearable.

DRW1961 said...

Somewhat tangential-

What happened to their move from the current location to Victory Park? I thought that was supposed to be happening by summer and was allegedly going to include an AM power bump to help out the signal. Did that get canned due to the economy?

Anonymous said...

I've heard them make some sarcastic remarks about the move recently. Not sure what the story is with it but it always reminds me of the absurdity of them sending out a breaking news alert when they initially announced it.

The Plainsman said...

Schrutebucks, welcome.

It's a quirky signal, varying considerably and quickly as one moves around Cool Metro.

I was wondering about the VP move myself. I thought I heard that it might have had something to do with the Citadel merger casting their combined real estate needs in some question. I've heard the sarcastic remarks as well. There is the Ticket Hovel, of course, in that general vicinity.

Anonymous said...

The move to VP is now planned for late 4th quarter. By then, the purchase of citadel (WBAP and KSCS, along with the 96.7 signal) will be complete, and they can all move in together to VP. The delay was caused by the purchase, and the need to redo a 4 station space to now accomodate 6 stations.

And here's an interesting exercise. Who do you think needs that 96.7 signal more: #1 A 50 thousand watt flamethrower of a station that uses it as an auxilary signal to the top biller in the market, a station BTW which faces no real ratings competition in the market,
or #2 an underpowered, signal-map challenged station that has 2 other stations in it's format already on the fm band?

Anon E.

(And yes, improving 104.1 is out of the question)

The Plainsman said...

I absolutely love all this inside baseball on the local radio scene. Anon E, hope you'll continue to advise the Nation.

For those of us (me) who remain somewhat challenged (read: ignorant) of local readio politics and power rankings -- what is your suggestion here? That WBAP doesn't need the FM help, and that that signal might be a possibility for improved Ticket coverage?

I have prepared a follow-up post to your report posted above, but I had not considered the effect of the Citadel merger. I await your further thoughts.

DRW1961 said...

I have nothing else to add to this discussion, but

A) Is anyone else ready to take the ergonomic chair and beat Jim and Susan to death with it

and

2) Does anyone else hear Ron Washington say "Dat's what Fidelity do" whenever Susan says "That's what Fidelity does"?

Have a happy summer. Babyarm.

The Plainsman said...

No problem, DRW. I also find that ad incredibly stupid. Another ad where the man is thick and the woman is condescending to the poor schlub.

Off-topic comments always welcome.

Anonymous said...

Totally off topic HSO: I don't always listen to Circ du Sirois, but I'm catching them this morning.

These boys have something!

-Anon B

Shaggy said...

I like Cirque. I also strongly approve of Sean Bass. 2nd tier Ticket guys that provide entertainment and solid contributions. I really wish that instead of Black & Quack as a fill-in show, we'd get Cirque or Mike S + SeaBass.

I'd actually prefer SeaBass to Donovan as Bob and Dan's +1.

ap said...

Cirque du Sirois footsoldier here...those boys are a really, really fun listen. The only time I've ever written Catttt about anything was when Cirque du Sirois was announced as a fill-in for Norm during his piranha-hunting expedition, and JJT-Scot's then-unnamed soulpatch was slid in at the last minute. I freely admit that I'm very biased on them, seeing as how they're very P1 and UnTicket friendly, but I think that all P1's should give them a listen at least once.

Regarding SeaBass - he filled in for Cash recently on CDS and it was an entertaining listen...he played along with SportsBot, got all the bits, and had great chemistry with Mike. I don't know if he'd do so well filling in for Donny though; a "yuk monkey" has to have extremely thick skin, and being the low-man on the totem pole opens you up to all sorts of abuse when working for Bob and Dan. I believe another confessor has once described SeaBass as "thin-skinned and peevish" - I'm not sure I'd go that far, but I do think Sean would be more successful working in non-yuk-monkey roles with friendlier personalities like those on the postgame shows (Newbury, Donny, Followill, Studer, etc) and that a comedic role would open him up for all sorts of abuse that he seems like he'd rather not deal with. My $0.02 only though; I've only interacted with him once.

The Plainsman said...

This site was an early Cirque adopter -- see first favorable comment on July 4, 2010.

I've got on my list to write about Cirque, but if you want to start a thread here, fine with me.

The first thing that needs to happen is George learning how to pronounce the name of the show. While he's at it, he can learn Norm's name, too. Love, love, love the Commander, but sometimes the guy just doesn't pay attention.

Anonymous said...

The Musers replayed the CDS draft prank this morning. Good on them, giving the second-tier guys some drive-time love.

-Anon B.