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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