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BaD Radio has been a fixture on the Ticket midday for a decade now, and the show's quirky chemistry and eccentricities have become a staple of the listening day. But for the better part of their tenure they were considered the 'little brothers' of the Ticket. From the halting, rocky start, to the stilted, awkward mixes with The Hardline to their reduced role on road trips, the BaD boys seemed destined to always be considered the new guys, never to be taken into the fold of the Ticket mainstream.
Something has happened over the past couple years to make the show more prominent. BaD used to only rarely crack the top half of the Ticket Top 10, but now they regularly make 2nd or 3rd, and occasionally take the top spot. They play a more central role in the Timewasters' set and get to (or are forced to) participate in the campout or compound or Great Game as much as everyone else. And the glorious chaos of Why Today Doesn't Suck is arguably the best daily segment on the Dallas airwaves.
What is it that has transformed BaD Radio? Is it the presence of Donnie, acting as both buffer and catalyst, as the situation demands? Has Gribble matured to the point where he's a net positive for the show? Is the drop artistry of Grubes the secret ingredient? Is it a management decision, forcing the other shows to play nice? Each of those may or may not play a role, but I would posit another small factor: Social media.
Bob is as much an information junkie as he is a stats junkie, and Twitter gives him the ability to follow other high-profile information junkies and to share his information stream with everyone else. He and Grubes were both early adopters and both understood very quickly how to effectively use it. Of all the Ticket hosts and personalities, Bob and Grubes were the only ones who really got it until recently.
A side effect of their effective use of the medium was increased interaction with Ticket listeners. Bob has always been reasonably responsive through email, but with the limited size of Twitter messages and the necessary brevity, interaction is faster and with less obligation. He engaged the listener more often and in more meaningful ways than most of the other Ticket hosts, and the listeners came to feel a stronger kinship with the show. This engagement has led to the creation of the phenomenon known as #the2300, a loose amalgamation of P1s and sports fans. Bob and Grubes didn't create #the2300 -- by the time it came into being, most other Ticket hosts had jumped on the bandwagon and figured out how to take advantage of the medium -- but their interaction with P1s opened the door, and, I believe, helped put BaD Radio as a show on par with The Musers and The Hardline.
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My thanks to birq. I have a feeling he has some other STDs he might be cajoled into sharing with the Nation in the future.
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