Thursday, September 29, 2011

Well, It Finally Happened: Peter Gammons Blows off the Musers

In his defense, it's probably a busy day for Boston-based baseball mavens, and baseball mavens generally, after last night's wild multilple final regular-season drama and the conclusion to Beantown's historic late-season swoon.

Still, a broadcast commitment is a broadcast commitment.  This one doesn't mean much to Gammons, and pretty apparently never has, given some of his selections of broadcast locales.  Although the segment isn't as uncomfortable as it used to be, I always felt like Craig and George didn't have much use for it, either.

Dump him.

The Musers should interview her instead.

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Follow Your Plainsman on Twitter:  @Plainsman1310

Monday, September 26, 2011

BREAKING NEWS: Is It That (1) Richie Whitt Is Out at the Observer, or (2) the Observer is Getting Out of "Full-Time" Sports Reporting?

Thanks to Confessor Shaggy to alerting this site to Richie Whitt's farewell to The Observer, or its farewell to him.

Richie tees it up as the Village Voice organization "downsizing" by eliminating "full-time" sports.

This site has no idea whether this is the case, or whether, as less charitable minds might wonder, Richie's bosses got a little uneasy with him commenting on an industry segment (DFW sports radio) in which he is prominently employed, and writing about a team (Cowboys) that his station carries and whose game-day shows he hosts. 

Now I'll tell you right now that I don't find that to be a terrible conflict.  To the extent that it is, it is a disclosed conflict and readers and listeners can make up their own minds.

But there's something else:  He's become a little newsier himself than perhaps his editors are entirely comfortable with.  There was the Greggo blowup, and the widespread suspicion that he was anonymously commenting on his own stories hoping it would blow over.  (I know of no confirmation of this.)  That, if confirmed to his supervisors' satisfaction, would be tough to take, and his proximity to Greggo eruptions make him radio news in a way he hasn't been in the past, casting a somewhat fuzzy conflict into much sharper relief.

Well, maybe this will give him more time to keep an eye on Greggo.  Although I doubt that his Observer gig would ever threaten to make him wealthy, if he lost the Fan exposure, he'd vanish entirely.

All further evidence, if any were needed, that partnering with Greg Williams is a high-wire act.

I'm not a RaGE hater and I've defended Richie's Observer work.  I don't listen to RaGE often, I don't find it consistently entertaining, but I've found things to like about it from time to time.  I wish him well.

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SPECIAL TO GYPO NOLAN:  What can you tell us about this?

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Memo to Alice Walton: Let Me Broker Your Date with Mike Rhyner

[ITEM:  A week or so ago The Hardline was reviewing the Forbes list of the 400 wealthiest people in the U.S. and noting the ones who lived in DFW. Alice Walton, daughter of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton, topped the DFW list with $23 billion US or thereabouts. She happens to be Mike's age, which got The Hard Ones urging Mike to pursue her.  This site would like to leverage its vast local influence to help Mike with this initiative.]

Alice, I know you’re a Confessor.  Hey, who isn’t these days, what with all of Greggo’s wacky weekend Tweeting!!   You gotta come to good old MTC, right?  Well, you can enjoy one of the many advantages that go along with Confessing by taking me up on my offer to smooth your introduction to one Mike Rhyner, paving your way to a pleasant evening at one of the metro’s swell spots. 

Object:  Romance!

You know, you can’t be too careful about blind dates when you’re clocking in at the tens of billions in the samolian department.   You can’t just waltz out with every lonely swain Mark Cuban dredges up for you out of his Rolodex of mere multimillionaire single buddies.

I would be honored to vouch for Mike and arrange the necessary introductions.  I know the man well.

No – no, his name isn’t Manuel.  I meant that I know Mike well.  I’ve never actually met him, but I’m sure that will change when I become your personal emissary to the Ticket’s stable of eligible stallions.    I have, however, spent several hours a day with him every weekday for the past seven years.

Let me just tick off some of the qualities that make him the ideal evening companion to a woman of wealth and taste.

I know, I know, women don't care about looks, but let's get this out of the way -- Mike  has taken good care of himself.  I mean, at one time or another the guy's been tested for everything

He positively radiates charm with his inviting demeanor.

When he has a conversation with a woman, he actually listens to what she has to say; he'll look you right in the eye.

He loves fine literature, and uses his passion for books to mentor younger men in his profession.

But he's not only conversant with the fine arts; he's intimately involved with the performing arts as well.  I think you'll find his stage presence translates well to an intimate evening across an elegant dinner table.

No, I don't know what that is in his pocket.

You say you're not interested because you're more into the furries-plushies scene? Hell, Alice, no problem.

And Alice, I didn't want to bring this up, but when I was researching you in attempting to identify those 37 points of compatibility you hear so much about these days, I discovered that you have, shall we say, a fondness for the fruit of the bottle.


And that you once called a policewoman who pulled you over after you mowed down a gas meter a "bitch."

Gotcha covered.

Well, Alice, I can't blame you for being a hard woman to please.  I really thought you'd go for Mike.  He's age-appropriate, he just missed the Forbes 400, and  .  .  .  what's that you say?  It's his age that's the problem?  You're looking to get younger at that position? 

Here, let me check my Ticket stallion files  .  .  .

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Final Observation on Greggo's Weekend Meltdown . . .

.  .  .  and then I'll put a cork in this topic for awhile, unless there's some news.


Let's put aside the content of Greggo's bizarre weekend Tweets.

Let's put aside whether his judgment as to the robustness of his employment approaches that of an armadillo deciding whether to cross a highway.

Let's put aside whether he should or should not be on The Fan's Sunday Cowboys coverage, and the reasons he is not.

Here's the true, ongoing problem with what he did this weekend:

It hurts RaGE.

When he reveals to the public how he feels about his employer and his on-air colleague and friend, and how the latter is starting to feel about him, listeners factor that knowledge into their judgment (subconscious or live) as to whether what they're hearing everyday on RaGE is sincere or fake, from both Greggo and Richie.

A display of false camaraderie doesn't give the listener a good feeling about what he's being sold.  The "family feeling" (all right, sometimes "dysfunctional family feeling") that the Ticket successfully conveys, and that RaGE has been trying to develop for the past year with all the on-air palsy-walsy, is destroyed.

Greggo's weekend poetry has greatly damaged his daily product.  You just can't hear RaGE the same way, knowing what Greggo has now improvidently revealed. 

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My thanks to Confessor ScottsMerkin for retrieving the following recent Tweets where Richie and Greggo try to laugh this off as a bit:

Richie Whitt  Since I'm getting so many inquiries re: @TCUWhiteTrash's supposed "firing" from Cowboys post-game show: 1. He was invited back before season and declined; 2. Remember, he has a twisted sense of humor; 3. You really think I have that kind of power?

Long post from Just now View on Twitter

more twitter

richiewhitt Richie Whitt
Yep, he's kidding you.> @pudgey7 I hope you realize you are nothing without him! Are you kidding me?
1 hour ago Favorite Retweet Reply »
richiewhitt Richie Whitt
Giggle. >@GaryBlain hy did you fire the greatest air personality, ever, from after game activity? You'd never have a rating w/o Greggo!
1 hour ago Favorite Retweet Reply »
richiewhitt Richie Whitt
Joking. Of course. >@mrolson is greggo joking about getting fired from pregame and postgame or did he really get fired
1 hour ago Favorite Retweet Reply » richiewhitt Richie Whitt
No. of Ed Hardy shirts I own: Zero. >@Ambien_Greggo Why was I fired? I haven't snorted coke off of one of your Ed Hardy shirts in weeks.
1 hour ago Favorite Retweet Reply »
richiewhitt Richie Whitt
You really fell for that, tough guy? >RT @ICscott: @richiewhitt you better hope twitter has this one wrong

and then from Greggo

Ok FAN is the deal...I was just clowning around and goofing about being fired from Cowboys post game was my decision...

...I was just having fun with the no way was I fired..just some of my weird ways of having fun...but...Elf was carrying a knife!!
1 hour ago Favorite Retweet Reply

...and in no way am I bitter...NOT THE LEAST...I did a cowboys post game for 16 seasons..just wanted a break..and chance to go to games....
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My response:

Not credible. Not in the least.

This is damage control, and a pretty sorry attempt.

What bottom-dwelling show does an intentional "bit" about internal discord?

They're moving from dirty-laundry-airing to listener-intelligence-insulting.

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Follow Your Plainsman on Twitter:  @Plainsman1310

Monday, September 19, 2011

Make MTC Your Source Today for Responsible Former-Ticket-Host Journalism and Breaking News re Same


UPDATED 9-19-11 1:55 PM:    Greggo is on RaGE today and is, in fact, the first voice heard interacting with Josh and Elf.   So in the short run, at least, they're powering through this weekend's differences.


If you don't know what that headline means, first thing you do, you go back and read the prior article, which is here:  BREAKING NEWS: Is This the End of Greggo?  

Read the comments to that article as well.

Next, consider a Richie Whitt Tweet unearthed by an Anonymous commenter late last night: 

"richiewhitt Richie Whitt
Bull. Ess. >RT @TCUWhiteTrash: Wish I was welcomed at Frankies today..but the other hosts have made thoughts know...being fired hurts..."

So clearly, Richie and Greggo are at odds.

How serious is it?  Will hands be shaken and all forgiven by showtime?  Or will Greggo's pathetic public poor-pitiful-me-the-Fan-guys-won't-let-me-play performance over the weekend persuade the CBS/Fan suits that they need to act before The Final Meltdown?

So we count down to 2 PM, unless there is a prior announcement.

Now, of course, this site is not a "source" for anything.  But we've got some helpful Confessors here who keep us advised of more-or-less reliable industry scuttlebutt and what the Internet is revealing.   You got it, bring it here.  You can also write me at

Comments:  (1) No (or only very mild) profanity.  (2)  Stay on the right side of the fuzzy line between criticism and personal attack.

And again:  This site's current editorial position is that when Greg Williams is present and audible he hasn't been bad on RaGE, and on occasion has been very good; it would like to see RaGE continue with a healthy and responsible Greggo, at least through Mike Rhyner's contract negotiation; it does not find Richie Whitt a terrible sports-talk host, although not a particularly compelling one.  And finally, it hopes that Greg is well or gets well, and stays that way.

Thank you for shopping at My Ticket Confession.

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Follow Your Plainsman on Twitter:  @Plainsman1310

Sunday, September 18, 2011

BREAKING NEWS: Is This The End of Greggo?

Greg seems to be burning a bridge before being asked to cross it. 

Here are the series of Tweets issued by Greg Williams Sunday afternoon (thanks to Anonymous commenters for the reports): 

I have so much 49'er information I want to share on our pre and post games shows on THE FAN...but.I was fired...and the other hosts agreed"

All FAN FANS...ask Richie why I was fired..he just said he didn't think I possessed the necessary traits to do a quality post game show.."

I really wish I was welcomed at Frankies today..but the other hosts have made their thoughts know...being fired hurts..."

@bbshelton you think people would listen??...I would definitely consider it....I miss it so much...but CBS made a decision..and I'm out"

@richiewhitt ..Frankie's might be packed...too bad there's not enough room for me...but I guys DON'T want me there....."

The initial question was whether his "firing" related solely to Cowboy game-day participation, or his weekday gig.  The foregoing suggests the former -- as of 8 PM Sunday. 

Still not finding anything on the Internets about any of this.  To the best of this site's knowledge, he's still employed by The Fan as a weekday host.

But what do you do with a guy who issues serial sad-puppy whining  Tweets about being excluded from Weekend coverage?  Where he reports that his employment savior, media champion, and on-air partner Richie Whitt told him to his face that he didn't have the skill set to do a conventional pre/post-game show?  Has CBS/The Fan just made a decision to ignore these outbursts and judgment lapses?  Or will they do what any other employer would do?  Some kind of discipline, up to and possibly including suspension/termination. 

Suspect RWhitt and CBS/Fan poobahs are meeting tonight to decide what to do.  Oh, yeah, there will be lawyers there.

I have the same question Confessors have been asking:  What is he thinking?  Either he believes he's finished at The Fan and is reaching out for a final grasp at attention, OR he's fearful of it and thinks that by hinting at it online the millions of fans he imagines he has will rise up in his defense.

Either way, I have the same reaction as most of the Confessors commenting here -- it's sad, sad, sad.

Please let us know if you have any news on this.  Email:

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Follow Your Plainsman on Twitter:  @plainsman1310

MAYBE NOT BREAKING NEWS: A Greggo Firing, But Probably Not THE Greggo Firing

An anonymous commenter to the prior article reports that Greg Williams just tweeted:

I have so much 49'er information I want to share on our pre and post games shows on THE FAN...but.I was fired...and the other hosts agreed"

He questions whether this means Williams was just fired from Cowboy commentary, or his main weekday gig.  I've done a very quick and superficial Google search and I find no recent items re The Fan terminating Greggo's services generally.

However, this site did report on a Cowboys pre-game last year in early November where Greggo was there one minute, and not there the next.  You can read that report here:  AND AGAIN -- WHERE'S GREGGO?    As to whether he returned to Fan Sunday Cowboy programming in subsequent games, I don't know.

So I'm guessing that the Tweet means -- to the extent Greg's Tweets may be said to have useful, much less credible, substantive content -- that he was disinvited from the Cowboys pre- and post-game on The Fan, and not that he was fired from his daily host duties.  I would think he would have Tweeted more colorfully and fully had that taken place, and the Twittersphere would have exploded.

If any of our incredibly wired Confessors can fill us in on the inside baseball at The Fan regarding Greggo's Sunday duties, the Nation would be grateful to hear from you.


Haven't caught the entire Ticket pre-game, but Rich, Mark F, and Junior sound great.  Bob Sturm is a splendid sports brain and broadcaster, but for a succinct, well-reasoned, elegantly-expressed sports analysis it's hard to beat Craig Miller.

Monday, September 12, 2011

A COUPLE OF QUICK HITS: (1) Paynj and (2) Croak

(1)  Mike's Continued Interest in Unusual Animal Habits.   We have already had occasion to remark on one of the most bizarre moments in recent Ticket history --  Mike R's reference to Green Tail Shiner.  (You need to listen to the links in the comments if you don't remember this -- I mean, Mike was at his out-there best.)

Today, he referred to a canine activity, presumably theoretical, called a "paynj."  I'm spelling it phonetically -- like "pain" with a "j"-sound on the end.  (So why not spell it with an "i"?  So as not to associate it with "pain."  I hope we've cleared that up.)

How did this come up? you may well ask.  Grubes was replaying some old account of how Corby's parents used to wake him up when he was a boy by sending his dog into his bedroom, whereupon said cur would leap upon the slumbering MiniSnake and proceed to (bleep -- presumably, "hump") him until he woke up.  This recollection was the cause of well-earned hilarity, and then, apropos of nothing, Mike makes reference to something called a "paynj."

This perplexed everyone, until someone, I think Danny, suggested that Mike was giving a name to the way a dog would perform a haynj (phonetic) -- because a dog has paws (starting with a "p") and not hands.  Got that?  What it had to do with waking up the adolescent Corby is shrouded in the mists of radio lore.

But shouldn't it be "pawj"?

(2)  Greggo's Lost Cords.  Flipped over for a spot of RaGE today.  Greg's voice had almost completely disappeared.  All he could do, when I was listening, was whisper.  I didn't listen long enough to tell if he was coherent. 

Did anyone hear an explanation of this?

So maybe he was yelling at the TV all weekend.  Doesn't a radio host with a history of vocal problems have some kind of obligation to care for the pipes?

Recent commenters have suggested that Greggo's Tweets are spiraling towards unhingedness.  

Richie Whitt must be fighting carpal tunnel in both hands as he keeps his fingers tightly crossed at all times.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Sean Bass has given us the catchphrase for the season, for good or ill.

The pre-game shows have been good.  Sean and Donovan were plenny fine. 

Rich, Norm, and Mark Followill are putting on a crisp, authoritative presentation.  Miss Bob, but this team is slinging an entirely satisfying listen.  God, I love The Ticket.

But it's SeaBass who wins the prize this afternoon.  At the conclusion of his (pre-recorded?) analysis of the Jets, expressing some concern for the Cowboys' fate under the circumstances, he uttered our title phrase.  I laughed out loud, thought it was absolutely pitch-perfect for this season.  Someone, Rich, I think, said what the hell was that?

I don't know, but it struck me as excellent advice to the Cowboy Cadre.

[[NOTE:  The initial post identified the phrasemaker as Ty Walker.  Thanks to Anonymous and That Nice Young Michael Gruber for correcting me in the comments.]]

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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

OPEN THREAD: Your 9/11 Recollections

A new Confessor dropped me an email suggesting this, and it struck me as a great idea.  I invite you to tell the Nation your memories of 9/11.  Ticket memories are welcome if you have any, but if not, we would still be grateful for your account.

Here's mine in abbreviated form so I can get this thing online:

My main memory of 9/11 is the blue of the Chicago sky.  No jets lowering to O'Hare or Midway, no contrails making some new weather, nothing.  Just blue.

I was driving east on Irving Park when I heard the first report on -- of course -- the sports-talk radio station WSCR The Score.  I switched over to NewsRadio WBBM 780.  Even the earliest reports -- erroneously reporting that it was a DC-3 that hit the first tower -- made it sound deliberate.  I was driving south on the Kennedy toward downtown when the second plane hit.  My eyes went immediately upward -- to the Sears Tower, as it was then known, already visible in the distance.  My office building was kitty-corner from it.

I called Mrs. Plainsman, in charge of an elementary school in a suburb.  I called her out of a meeting and told her to get a TV on pronto.

No work got done that day.  There was concern over whether the Sears Tower would be targeted, and our building closed down by midday.  I had the only TV in the office, and people huddled around, disbelieving.

I had spent some of my young-guy life in New York City, but a few emails and phone calls blessedly confirmed that no one I knew had been injured or killed.  I didn't know of the full impact of 9/11 on my life until several years later.  I was vaguely aware that my best childhood friend growing up in the Midwest, a brilliant kid and a brilliant man, had eventually ended up at the Pentagon as a financial analyst.  I had not kept in touch with him over the years, and I hadn't thought about him on 9/11.  Later, I did.

If he had been sitting in his office in the Pentagon on 9/11, he would have survived.

He wasn't.  He was in the jet that hit it.

Friday, September 2, 2011


I thought it was just me. 

Oh, Gordon was his usual brilliant self, but, it seemed to me, more lurid than usual.  The concentration of sex/perversion stories and references were coming thick and fast.  I don't know why they don't just use his altering-his-voice-to-avoid-drop-treatment as drops -- he used it so often the past week that it would serve just as well to identify him as the author of a drop using the voice.

Then I noticed that George and Junior themselves remarked on his more-raunchy-than-usual performance this week.  It was also noticed by Confessor East Texas P1 (from comments to the article on The Fan Sports Lounge):

Anytime Gordon and Corby start with the bathroom / in-the-gutter humor I am out. George even asked Gordo this week "Did you hit your head on something" which I think was only partial humor as Gordo was really off of it.

I didn't punch out, but I did find his performance curious the past few days.  He's an immensely talented guy, and  I don't think he was "off of it"; I think he's bored. 

Have at it, Nation.

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Follow Your Plainsman on Twitter:  @Plainsman1310

WEEKEND OPEN THREAD: Well, What Did We All Think of The Hardline Today?

I will reserve comment for now.  Commenter Anonymous beat me to the punch in the previous article; I thought it was a thoughtful reaction and I hope he or she will not mind if I repost his/her thoughts:

TC and Jake did a pretty good job today. Especially when you consider it was their first time to be put in such a prominent position. And for the fact that Rhynes pretty much let them take over the show. Much like he does with Corby. I'm beginning to agree with some of the commenters here that Rhynes might be bored or a bit lazy on the job. Like I said, they did a fairly good job. But it grew stale after awhile. TC began to sound more and more like Gen X Davey Lang as the show went on. Meaning that he has a deeper than superficial body of sports knowledge, but he takes the long way home to get any thought out. I think it's evident that he's a smart guy, so he doesn't need to attempt to use formalized language on air in order to let us know he's smart. He's not very good at it, and so it clutters the message. That and he tries too hard to schtick it up as much as possible. If anyone remembers Gen X's tickers they'll get what I'm saying. I was surprised that TC, not Jake, took more of the lead during the broadcast. Jake on the whole was serviceable, but not very memorable. Overall I give their performance a solid B.

What do you say?

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Follow Your Plainsman on Twitter:  @Plainsman1310

Thursday, September 1, 2011

MORE BREAKING NEWS: The Fan Invades The Ticket's Backyard

I was thinking that maybe The Fan had some Cowboys pre-game, so when the Hardline took a break I switched over.

I switched over just in time to hear a Major Station Announcement on RaGE. 

The Major Station Announcement was that The Fan has acquired the space formerly occupied by The Board Room in Victory Park (8000 sf) and is going to open The Fan Sports Bar.  I may not be recalling the name correctly, it may be The Fan Sports Lounge -- I was dodging texters on the Tollway at the time.  It will obviously be 100% Fan-promotional, and programs will originate from there from time to time.

Not far, I would imagine, from The Ticket's new studios, should they ever actually ever move into them.  I know that the move has been complicated by the recent Citadel acquisition, but that move to Victory Park ahs turned into something of a joke, has it not?  It is certainly not treated very seriously by any Ticket host.

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All right, Confessors, I want you to bear with me for a minute here.  You know Your Plainsman likes to look at the big picture, so after almost no careful consideration, I'd like to share with you a couple of thoughts for you to comment on:

The Fan may suck.  Richie Whitt may suck.  Greggo may suck.  The whole damned station may suck, and CBS may suck.  And we can all have a good laugh about The Fan's lousy ratings.  And we can all be very smug about the superiority of Ticket programming, talent, bits, history, all the rest.  I will concede that that smugness has been richly earned, because The Ticket is superior to The Fan in any way that matters to a day-to-day listener.

But I gotta ask you -- be fair now --:   Isn't there a spot of genius in this?  The Ticket moves into studios in Victory Park, but The Fan one-ups them with 8,000 square-feet of fan-friendly promotion right next door.  The Ticket does remotes and they're great, but The Fan is throwing up a permanent remote where listeners can come and identify with the brand while they're doing their favorite things (drinking beer, observing breasts, eating bar food in a bar, watching sports).  And The Fan guys are going to be rubbing elbows with listeners there in a way that Ticket guys haven't had to do in awhile (because they don't have to, because they're local gods).  I'm not criticizing Ticket hosts, who by and large get really good marks for dealing decently with P1's at remotes and in public.  Just saying that The Fan hosts are hungry in a way that The Ticket hosts haven't been, for awhile.  Those hosts and their listeners are part of a community of pain that can be a powerful springboard to improved ratings.

Even if you disagree with me that this is a very imaginative and progressive way to promote the station:  It ought to mean something to Cumulus and The Ticket guys that CBS continues to be willing to pour a ton of dough into promoting The Fan.  This is a signal that they're in it for the long haul, and they're going to fight The Ticket tooth and nail, right next door to our boys.

And all of this with Mike Rhyner's contract coming up.  What?  You don't see any way that The Fan's continuing well-financed assault on The Ticket has anything to do, conceptually or otherwise, with Mike's contract?  You say that Mike has been heard saying that Your Plainsman is a rank fool?  

In the words of the magnificent Rick Arnett, "I don't think so."  

It's going to be an interesting six months, and I hope that all Confessors hang in there for the ride.

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Follow Your Plainsman on Twitter:  @Plainsman1310

BREAKING NEWS: Cirque to Replace Scrubs

I have it on impeccable authority (that is, I didn't hear this myself) that around noon Cash Sirois announced that Cirque du Sirois would be replacing the Scrubs, or what was left of them -- man, how dispiriting must it be to be the remains of something called "The Scrubs"? -- following the Orphanage on Saturday afternoons.

David Newbury has taken his lumps from Confessors over the past couple of weeks, but I have always thought that he does bring something to the station.  Whether he's cut out to be the star of a showgram remains unclear, but as a hard-core sports guy -- which species some believe is underrepresented at The Ticket -- his credentials would seem to be fairly well-established.  I'm hoping he gets a shot somewhere else on the Little One, perhaps with a strong co-host.

I haven't heard who will be taking Cirque's place on Sunday.  It makes sense to move the strong Cirque to Saturday, which I'm guessing is a more heavily-trafficked listen. 

Well, Confessor and crypto-insider Gypo Nolan had it right -- BIIIG changes on the way for the weekend.

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Follow Your Plainsman on Twitter:  @Plainsman1310