Namely, Casey Millen's.
At this point, Confessors are probably aware that Casey made some highly personal and highly critical remarks about Matt McClearin on the Tee Box that apparently took Craig Rosengarden by surprise, although having given Casey the rudder his options may have been somewhat limited. You can hear it here: (LINK).
While we're on the subject of the UnTicket, I am reposting a comment left by AP which for some reason failed to appear in the comment section to the Open Thread on "Tell a Friend about The Ticket Month." If you are interested in this topic, there are some good comments on it back there, two articles back. Here's AP:
I reposted it at The Unticket for two reasons:
1) I wanted to know if I'm just being a prude, or if what I heard was really that bad. The answer appears to be a bit of the former and a lot of the latter.
2) McClearin deserves to hear what was said about him.
I'm not fan of McClearin's radio work for various reasons, but he certainly does not deserve a shot like that. I'm actually a bit disappointed that Craig didn't dump the comment. He was however on remote and may not have been familiar with McClearin or his situation (Matt is 30+, this is his second marriage, and he married his current wife 2-3 years ago when she was 18).
Weekends at the ticket basically serve as the farm system for cultivating new talent. For producer/board ops, there's Kevin Turner, Mike Marshall, Dave Wilson, and even Jason Killer Kellison on occasion. Ticker men in regular weekend rotation include Michael Krenek and Casey Millen. It's competitive environment in which one must bring their own twist to get noticed. If you've listened to the 'It's Just Banter' episode with Mike Sirois, you'll hear him talk about having to "up his ****" to get noticed - and his MadLib tickers went over well enough with other hosts and management that he was a "shoo-in" for Bacsik's seat.
The weekend ticker guys also try to bring their own twist to their work - both insert subtle jokes during their one-minute slots, and both also take opportunities to pop on air whenever possible. Millen's work is decidedly more shock-jock than Krenek's as of late though.
Krenek has recently gained acceptance with weekday hosts, garnering notice and 'praise' from Bob, Dan, Grubes and Tom during his fill-in work with BaD Radio last week. Millen is a reluctant favorite of the Teebox's, and the weekend edition of the SoulPatch uses him in limited on-air doses. I don't believe Millen has ever had a fill-in opportunity during the weekday.
Millen filled in as a host for a Teebox show a few months ago, and his work had a similar level of abrasion to the McClearin comment - borderline shocking, and not terribly funny 'jokes' delivered in rapid-fire succession (at least for my taste, and I'm pretty crass). Read into this what you will, but Mike Sirois was tapped to fill in the next time the Teebox was a host short, and Newbury + Jake also did a fill-in when both hosts couldn't make it. I haven't heard yesterday's Teebox offerings, but I'm told by a purported Millen fan that he was more muted this time around.
"Pretty sure I'm being fired next week" has been his twitter tagline for several months now.
Regarding McClearin, I'm fairly certain that his co-host regularly surfs this blog and was aware of what was said before the audio was reposted. While coming out of a break during Tuesday's SoulPatch, Matt introduced himself as "the intelligent one" ... Scot quickly replied with "and I'm the enthusiastic one." (Scot'll work in a subtle reference or two on you based on things he's read here).
One last note - some of the posts complimentary of Millen's work here and on the unticket seem to be written by Millen himself. The Plainsman is very gracious about letting the anonymii remain anonymous, so I can't make the claim with 100% certainty, at least not for this site.
My quick and not-deeply-considered takes:
(1) Casey has some on-air gifts, but he's the most nakedly ambitious of the Ticket JV. Maybe not the most ambitious, but he is least successful in hiding it. It's why I occasionally refer to him as The Perpetually Up-and-Coming Casey Millen.
(2) When he's playing it straight, he can be good when given some air time. He's glib, he's intelligent, and he tries to find interesting things to say. Too bad about that catastrophic-lack-of-judgment thing.
(3) I have no information on whether or not he's been fired. If he was on the Tee Box Saturday, sounds like he survived. I don't like to see guys fired for one horrible moment, although there are some levels of horribleness beyond which one cannot survive. This one is bordeline, but on balance I think I'd try to handle this internally if I were Cumulus HR.
(4) Casey has posted here under his own name a couple of times, not offensively. Always happy to hear from Ticket guys.
(5) I have suspected Casey of posting anonymously on his own behalf, and I actually caught his significant other doing so with a suspiciously laudatory post about the lad. I outed her somewhere along the line in these pages, but wouldn't be able to find it now.
(6) I am in agreement with some of the commenters to the last Open Thread who offered thoughts on what the JV will do to try to get noticed. Some are more skillful at insinuating themselves onto the air than others. Casey tends to come across as very aggressive and brassy, as though he can hardly wait for an opening or an invite, and when it comes he practically bursts with schtick. It's not that the content is bad, it just has calculated written all over it. I bend over backwards to try to be fair to the junior guys, who have a tough row to hoe for not a lot of financial reward, and Casey is not an untalented guy. Just too obviously eager. If he survives this, I wouldn't be against giving him another fill-in shot somewhere.
(7) Having said this, the McClearin thing was pretty awful. Nothing to add to what has already been said about that.
(8) However . . . why? Why would a political guy like Casey have been moved to issue such self-damaging observations? Let's think about this for a couple of minutes.
Matt has posted very kindly here on occasion, which the Nation appreciates. He seems to have supporters (generally, I'm one) and those who are less enthusiastic (AP). I have to say, however, that I have always found him a little . . . discomfiting. Just a little . . . curious somehow. I don't want to overstate this, because, as I say, on the whole I think he's working out well on The Soul Patch.
The whole young-wife thing, when it got big play on the station when he went to her prom (I believe they were afianced at the time) and when they were married, struck me as really kind of . . . man, I can't even think of the word for it. Kind of an eewwww moment. I really want to keep out of the personal lives of the Ticket guys (Norm's recent marriage a happy exception), but this was all over The Ticket, so fair game. Yeah, yeah, we guys all yuk it up about getting younger at that position, but I really had to wonder about all that teasing. I asked myself why he let this happen; I asked myself what the future Mrs. McClearin thought about all of it. I don't want to be uncharitable -- maybe he felt that this is what his bosses wanted to do, so he had to go along with it; maybe he thought any pub is good pub. And it wasn't in unusually bad taste by The Ticket's notably flaccid standards, just more or less male joshing. But it made me wonder about him a little.
Then there was the close encounter with the aliens. I'll pass on commenting on this except to say that it was certainly consistent with the archetypes of these types of account. Another emotionally-charged, unusual personal experience by a not-yet-prominent guy on the station that got a lot of airtime. Hmmm.
Next: On-air friction with David Newbury, with Newbury seeming to get the worst of the reaction to it. Numerous Confessors noticed it and commented on it in these pages. Result: McClearin up, Newbury down, perhaps a little unfairly in the latter case. (FWIW at this point, I thought Matt was a little manic on those weekend shows with Newbury. He's calmed down on Soul Patch and it's better work.)
And now, Casey Millen rather angry with him.
Where am I going with this? Nowhere in particular, except to say that Matt seems to have a talent for getting noticed, which is not necessarily a bad thing. He's skillful at it -- taking all of the foregoing into account, has anyone out there formed a strongly negative impression about him, based solely on what you hear on the channel? (And not about what you might know about him off-hours?)
Can't speak for The Nation -- I have not. But some of his colleagues apparently have. I don't keep track of seniority among the JV, but my working theory here is Matt has leapfrogged some of the JV, and it has caused some resentment.
Rambling, sorry. But we don't get the curtain pulled aside at The Ticket very often, and when it happens, Your Source for Responsible Ticket Journalism has to get something up fast. There's some sizzlin' inside baseball going on here, and I'm hopeful some Ticket Inside Baseball Jeebus can fill us in.
In the meantime -- Casey and Matt, you guys take care.
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