Monday, December 5, 2011

We Interrupt This Nosy and Apparently Endless Series on Mike's Employment . . .

.  .  .  for a nosy article on someone else's employment.

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.

Thanks, AP. 

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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16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good stuff, Plainsman. And wasn't it Matt who recently claimed that a child conceived out of a loving relationship and grexual experience was much more apt to he a happy person? In fairness to Matt, this isn't a novel idea. Especially in certain religious circles--I have no idea whatsoever if McClearin is religious. Yeah, the guy appears to be an odd duck in many ways (some ways, such as the prom thing verge on the border of creepy), but he doesn't deserve to be treated on-air with such disdain by certain coworkers (namely Newbury and now Millen).

birq said...

I've never paid any attention at all to Millen before, which I guess affirms the "no pub is bad pub" axiom you mentioned, Plainsman. Now that I've heard him, he reminds me a whole lot of Rocco. That's not good. Rocco had an air about him of someone that was annoyed that they weren't more popular and were going to hit you over the head with their annoyance until you liked them more. Casey sounds like he has a chip on his shoulder and that he partially blames McClearin for his situation.

ap said...

@ First anon:

Newbury never took a blindside shot at McClearin like that - you simply cannot compare the disdain of Newbury with the malice of Millen. Yes, listeners could readily pick up on the lack of chemistry between the Scrubs co-hosts in the months leading up to their divorce, but it was still kept well within the realms of civility.

And, to defend Newbury (disclosure: biased; I root for the guy), I would also submit that Dan, Danny or Gordo would have had a field day picking on McClearin for some of the things he would say on-air. Newbury, the ticker guy and the board op would usually just dismiss it, sometimes rudely, but that would be the extent of it.

Sorry for that tangent - just wanted to make sure people understood the difference.

Anonymous said...

The rape comment is pretty awful, but let's not dismiss the fact that the segment he was granted by the Teebox was not funny at all.

Anonymous said...

@ap:

You're absolutely correct that there is no comparison as far as degree goes between Newbury's and Millen's on air attitudes toward McClearin. I'm glad that you pointed out that important difference. While Newbury's, IMO, was condescending and jerky, Millen's was defamatory and downright awful. That's a huge difference!

But I do stand by words as far as Matt not deserving to be treated with disdain by coworkers. And again IMO Newbury's attitude towards him while they were partners was dismissive and disdainful. If you Newbury's attitude as more rude than anything, you're entitled to your opinion. I have no axe to grind with Newbury. Though he acted like he'd rather be talking and sitting next to anyone other than McClearin.

ap said...

@Anon - My personal bias is very likely influencing my opinion, and your viewpoint is absolutely true - it got really rough towards the end of the Scrubs, and Newbury carried that tension over to the handful of shows he did with Byron Anderson. Occupy Teebox was a nice reset, but it was a one-off thing.

That being said, I've got at least five examples of Matt-isms that, had I been there in person, I probably would have replied with a disdainful "good grief man, did you really just let those words tumble out of your mouth?" None of those examples have to do with aliens or his marital situation either. Matt's current co-host, Scot, is great at not calling attention to these comments and instead deftly sweeping them under the rug, but they have been noticed when they happen on weekday shifts. The example the Plainsman threw out about babies being born out of wedlock elicited a trademark "Really, you just said that?" response from Seabass, for instance.

Again, Anon, if you can dissuade me from my stance, I encourage you to do so...I really don't like punching out during the SoulPatch, but I'd rather do that than punch the proverbial dashboard.

The Plainsman said...

I guess I don't hear The Soul Patch as often as I should. Are the Matt-isms to which you refer more in the nature of Craig Rosengardenisms, just mispeaking, or are they in the nature of things that are foolish in substance?

The Plainsman said...

Just reran the CMillen eruption. Yeah, you wouldn't want the proverbial sales director from Rapid City to get into his rental car and tune that in.

Here is something I find interesting. In fact, I find it very interesting. In fact, I find it breathtakingly riveting:

The Ticket has not asked The UnTicket to take that audio down.

And by the way -- I think I've mentioned this before -- don't Cumulus and The Ticket deserve some thanks for being cool about The UnTicket rerunning the descriptions and accounts from The Ticket's broadcast day? I'm not an intellectual property guy, but I would think they could cause our Incomparable friends some grief if they wanted.

I recall that The UnTicket recently complied with a request to take down the Gordon/Danny reminiscences about Corby. They apparently are content to let Casey's indiscretion become memorialized on the Interwebs. Maybe that's part of his penance.

Anonymous said...

@ap:

I wouldn't dream of trying to persuade you to think differently of McClearin. Honestly, I haven't a strong opinion on him either way, other than that he says some odd stuff from time to time. I mainly hear him on the Stars pre and post game shows, where he's serviceable. While I haven't listened much to the Soul Patch, what I have seems to be OK. Then again, I'm not a big fan of the show. It's very bland. Harrison is pretty knowledgeable, but he's also rather generic sports guy-ish. He's obviously putting on some sort of radio voice (so it seems McClearin does as well) to mask his not so well hidden Texas accent. But like I said, he has a decent sports brain and he's not bad at all. Generic, but not bad. The Soul Patch definitely belongs on the weekends. When they subbed for Norm I listened to Josh Lewin and Bacsik (who was subbing for Elf), and was rather impressed, by the way. I've heard it said here many times by different people, but since it's also been said that Harrison reads this blog I'll add to the chorus: Please change the show's name! It's awful! It makes no sense whatsoever!

Anonymous said...

McClearin never said anything about babies being born out of wedlock. I believe it was something random about babies being conceived absorb the energy of the act.
The guy says some very odd things sometimes but it seems like he's just a really odd person which makes for some interesting exchanges between him and the others. From what I've heard of the Soul Patch it seems he has different views of some things and isn't afraid to talk about any of it. Last week when they were in for Norm, they got him talking about how he likes shirts to touch him. Strikes me as more of an eccentric type than an "ism".
Millen seemed to reference this in his comments but I haven't heard anyone else on the station say anything negative about him. Millen has gotten under people's skin before, seems like a few months ago he had Sirois pissed off at him on the air for something.

ap said...

I stand corrected; the audio is here:
http://www.theunticket.com/matt-mcclearin-diarreah-of-the-mouth/.

Re: Millen, yes, Sirois was pissed at him for intentionally derailing a segment by firing off a drop (keep in mind, Casey's not the board op, so it took some effort on his part to do this). Mike doesn't get mad that often either.

Anonymous said...

Seems to me that McClearin has HSOs that don't jive with the mostly socially progressively minded Ticket employees -hosts or otherwise, and is eccentric too boot. That combination can make for a tense working environment from time to time. But it doesn't make McClearin an a-hole or deserving of derision from fellow employees. It also seems to me that Millen is a self inflated jerk. So, does anyone know definitively if Millen still has a job?

Anonymous said...

I'd like to add that birq is on the right track with the Millen - Rocco comparison.

Anonymous said...

I heard Millen doing tickers during the orphanage. It would appear that he still has a job.

The Plainsman said...

I don't know if Casey is a schmoe or just a guy whose filter has a tear in it, but I hate to see anyone lose his job. As I say above, he's not without broadcasting talent -- but I'm not sure The Ticket keeps the thermostat high enough for him. He might be better off at a conventional sports talker where his piquant personality would be valued. But jobs anywhere in radio are hard to find, so I don't really have a problem with him hanging on.

Interestingly, on his Facebook page he lists "How to Make Friends and Influence People" as one of his favorite books. Quite aside from the irony of this choice, I believe the name of the book is actually "How to Win Friends and Influence People," by Norman Vincent Peale.

Casey Millen said...

I wish I had learned of this thread before now but I don't frequent this site as often as most.

1.
What I said about Matt was abrasive and I crossed a line which shouldn't have been crossed. I'll not get into the specifics, but note that I have apologized to Matt and we are now on good terms.

2.
"Sirois was pissed at him for intentionally derailing a segment by firing off a drop (keep in mind, Casey's not the board op, so it took some effort on his part to do this)."

Wasn't intentional. I was writing a ticker and accidentally had ENCO live while trying to hear a Dirk cut.

3.
I have filled in weekdays many times but have been unable to do so over the past 6-months due to scheduling conflicts.

4.
I probably shouldn't respond to this thread at all but I am not one to shy away from my critics when they're right or wrong. I have been both good and bad and actually agree with many of those who criticize my judgement, skills, talents or my on-going series of crass and unfunny jokes. Truth is, I'm just doing me.

I want to thank all those who have weighed in on a post about me and I only regret the thread was for actions that I wish I could take back. Having said that, my intentions are not to be a "shock-jock." I'm just a poor white trash, blue collar kid who legitimately doesn't know any better and occasionally doesn't care.

Thank you, I'm sorry, you're welcome and "ess my dee."