Confessors will recall a very interesting dialogue I stitched together out of some comments from Little Weak Jeremy and Anonymous. They're about ten years apart in age, but come to The Little One looking for different things and, in general, find them. Here are the links to the posts:
I won't repeat their positions in detail; suffice it to stay that they each enjoy different things about The Ticket, don't enjoy some of the other things quite so much, but find enough of what they're looking for that they remain committed P1's.
What struck me about this dialogue, and about running this site generally and reading all of the great comments that Confessors favor us with, is that the "demo" that we hear so much about with The Ticket is actually quite diverse.
And I thought: It's remarkable that The Ticket has grabbed all of us for many years and is doing nothing but getting more popular.
I think the Cumulo-Ticket Overlords deserve some credit -- actually, quite a lot of credit -- for this success.
Several Confessors have used the phrase "lightning in a bottle" to describe the mix of talents we have heard every day for lo these many years. I agree with this characterization for the most part. Junior, George, Mike, the anchors of the Good Ship Ticket since the beginning. Greggo for many years. Incredible talents and they're still there, save the Hammer. But BaD was as acquisition; so was Norm. Corby's gradual ascension through the ranks was not inevitable. I happen to be a Rich Phillips fan, and he's a hire. The constant augmentation and improvement of weekend and nighttime offerings are also management initiatives. It may be "lightning in a bottle," but the voltage of that original inspired team has been considerably juiced as the years have passed.
Of course, the current CTO are not responsible for all of these decisions, but the current lineup has been more-or-less in place through the current administration. They'll be dealing with Mike's and Corby's future shortly.
I have no pipeline to the ruminations of the CTO. But I would be quite surprised if our on-air heroes don't get some nudging with respect to the variety of material they offer. There are the young listeners who are probably more interested in the entertainment stuff; there are old-timers who prefer the sportsy-talk; and those extremes are stitched together by the overall dosage of generalized guy-talk. I don't think that's an accident of the unsupervised preferences of the hosts. I think the CTO manage these egos with great skill to get a mix of broadcast content that appeals to guys in all their variety. And to a large (and, I suspect, growing) audience of chicks as well.
The CTO are facing a real challenge over the next several years. Am I correct in thinking that all of the weekday hosts/yuks are over 40? Mike over 60. Norm is 67. (I haven't found any birth info on Donovan.) So far that collection is doing an admirable job of grabbing and holding the younger listeners. (See the Little Weak/Anon dialogue.) I think a lot of this is a tribute to The Ticket's success in making listeners feel like they belong to a kind of exclusive club, the P1. (I know, I've written that the plural of P1 is "P1's" under rules for making plurals out of words ending in numbers, but "the P1" is kind of a synecdoche, too.) The remotes and special events have done a lot to foster this feeling among listeners, and that's a function of the integration of marketing, sales, and the Talent. (The UnTicket has a role in this, as does grubesismyleader and, to a microscopic extent, MTC as well. As I have suggested, the UnTicket is probably allowed to repost proprietary content wholesale through the CTO's good graces.)
They can probably keep it up for a long time, but not indefinitely. Off-hours shows are tryouts for up-and-coming talent: The Sirois brothers, Scot Harrison, Matt McClearin, Sean Bass, Ty Walker (another 40+, but a fresh voice as a host), and The Next Generation: Jake Kemp, David Newberry, Mike Bacsik (RIP), Casey Millen, Michael Krenek, and, of course, human lightning rod T.C. Fleming. Some encouraging talent there, if not all of them can currently be imagined as full-time weekday daylight hosts. But the CTO deserve some credit for giving these guys some time to stretch out and turn on the mic once in awhile.
And I'm guessing that Jeff Catlin and his colleagues are pretty clued in to broadcasters in other markets who might fit in here when the time comes. Guys who can talk in normal tones, in measured cadences, about sports, pop culture, and babes. (May be some babes on that list, too.)
Don't get me wrong -- The Ticket's gold is in the performance of its broadcast teams. My point is that management has an unsung role in maintaining that level of performance and the stability of these teams, and we should sing about it a little.
It will be interesting to see what, if anything, changes comes February with Mike's and Corby's contracts. My guess is that the current lineup is going to be around for awhile. My point is that the CTO aren't sitting around waiting for the next ratings book when it comes to Ticket programming.
Of course, we give the CTO grief in these pages. Signal; promotion; syndication; hockey. So I think fairness requires us to give some credit where it is due.
Can I get a witness?
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