Tuesday, May 29, 2012

May 29, 2012

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7:40 a.m. -- Playing around with something different.  With my time availability dwindling and likely to dwindle further, I'm going to try to get quick hits up from time to time for whatever interest they may have, but mainly to provide a continuing and occasionally refreshed forum for those who care enough to leave a comment.

The usual articles and thought pieces will continue to appear as I'm able to get to them.  I invite anyone with a hankerin' to write a piece to drop me an email, and, of course, I will be pirating emails to generate content for this space either anonymously or credited (with permission only). 

In any given day, there may be added material that will be headed by the time it was posted, thrown up as things occur to me.

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I was out of town over the weekend.  Did The Orphanage comment on last week's technical disasters (I understand they had some technical challenges of their own)?

Did George DeJohn and the TeeBox have a real handoff on Saturday?  (The prior weekend the handoff was torpedoed by the worse TeeBox transmission quality ever, and the week before that, I 1think, was the George D-Craig R tiff.)

Does anyone have any information on Greg Williams's medical condition?

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1:35 p.m. -- We hear from folks who think I'm (and some commenters are) overblowing the whole Ticket technical crisis.  Entirely possible they're right.  The show does manage to go on, mostly.  

But the commenters here and to the site that T4 directs us to (see comments to this post), including a well-known local broadcaster, makes the same point I made a week or so ago -- when things go bad and good people start to leave, everything suffers.  Not just the ability to stick plug A into port A, but morale, initiative, the desire to do well, the desire to come to work every day.  It shows in the product, and, eventually, it will show in the cast of characters who emerge on the air.

44 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thoughts on the Monday Memorial Day fill in shows?

T4 In Rockwall said...

Plainsman, I'm definitely not trying to plug any other website, but this is where I find a lot of info about radio, The Ticket, somesuch: http://boards.radio-info.com/smf/index.php?topic=212946.0

This is a thread particularly about the meltdown on Friday and how bad Cumulus is as a whole.

T4 In Rockwall said...

Sorry if it didn't link up like it was supposed to.

The Plainsman said...

NO PROBLEM plugging other sites. I don't mind it a bit. It looks like your link is going to work fine, can't wait to read it.

It completely escaped my mind that Monday would present us with fill-in shows. Please give us some thoughts on what you heard.

duckandcover said...

From the radio-info.com board, it does look as if things/times might be a changing, big time, over at The Little One sooner rather than later. Local radio host John David Wells pulls no punches. He is about as inside as it gets, so we really ought to take his words into serious consideration. However, I've been following that board for years now; and while there are many credible voices on it, there are also many cranks, trolls, and people with specific agendas that frequent it. I'll take JDW at his word that he's not bitter, but let's also not forget that he was recently let go by Cumulus. Now while we all like to think of ourselves as unbiased in these situations, we also know that when such a situation happens to us, it's a lot easier said than done; a lot easier to *think* we're being unbiased when we really aren't. Food for thought to go along with taking what JDW said seriously (and like I said, we ought to).

I found it interesting that one commenter on the board brought up Dan Bennett's name. It's the first time I've heard of him being tied directly to the mess that has become the Victory Mothership. I've yet to hear anyone on air take a pointed swipe at DB where the tech issue is concerned.

Mostly I've been in the "you're overblowing this" camp. Since Friday's complete and utter meltdown and the Tweets that ensued, I'm moving closer and closer to Plainsman's view. Something stinks up there, badly. And it runs much deeper than the, now chronic, technical foul ups.

Last thought: Much like Cubes clearing cap space for the Summer 2012 free agency market, is The FAN/Gilbert doing much the same? Hoping that their version of Howard and Williams?

Anonymous said...

Is the problem with the streaming still ongoing? I have been getting some terrible studder/lag both at work and home. Maybe I just have a bad connection on my end.

duckandcover said...

Oops, I didn't finish the thought...

Hoping that their version of Howard and Williams will be willing to play for a new team? Far fetched? Maybe. But somehow I don't think so. And for anyone that says "there's no way they'd get rid of RaGE or this or that show," you're nuts. Every single program they have has, is, and will continue to perform not just poorly, but awfully. And RaGE, with all the ad campaigns that have been thrown at it, the near nightly local t.v. appearances, the time slot, having one allegedly beloved fan favorite pioneering host and another well known print media host, and all the rest, is probably the biggest disappointment of them all. CBS would drop them in a heartbeat for any one of The Ticket hosts.

Shaggy said...

The stream is F'ed for everyone.

Newt said...

http://recordsetter.com/world-record/finger-lip-rolls-breath/10740

FAST FORWARD TO 0:55 TO HEAR WHAT THE STREAM SOUNDS LIKE TODAY STOP

Anonymous said...

me thinks a suspension is looming for one of our heros

T4 In Rockwall said...

Anonymous, who might you be referring to?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Anon, who are you referring to? Rhyner for last Friday's Tweets? Danny, ditto, plus his constant over the air jabs?

Anonymous said...

BELOW ARE COPIED FROM THE INFO-RADIO.COM BOARD (sorry about the caps, trying to differentiate my words from what I've pasted from the board)......

danny balis‏@danny_balis

i apologize for the stream. it is 100% out of our local hands. this is at the corporate level as they change over to I <3 RADIO on june 1st.

MORE.....


mp3trojan
rimember

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Posts: 22

Re: Ticket trouble
« Reply #20 on: Today at 04:06:03 PM »

Today Danny, over the air mentioned some kind of strife with middle managment.

Anonymous said...

well, the great beast got bounced from the air for a week for tweeting Cat's email. I would think Danny tweeting cumulus's corporate contact info rises to the same level. But then again this just might be a glimpse into who's got more juice.

Anonymous said...

I would be awfully surprised if Mike or Danny got suspended.

Anonymous said...

Mike, no way is he suspended. He'd probably quit if they tried. Danny, absolutely possible. Even being fired isn't out of the realm of possibility. I know a lot of you love you some Danny. I'm a fan of his too. The guy's a producer, he's not a host. There's this misconception out there that he's become a third host. That may be so in some of the listeners' eyes, but that's not the reality of it. I can almost guarantee you that's not how corporate Cumulus sees him. To them he's an expendable producer. If they let Greggo go, they will axe Danny in a heartbeat. I hope they don't. I hope he's not suspended. I'm a fan of his. But I can see why they would. Fingers crossed he's not.

Anonymous said...

Who knows what the deal is with Greggo's surgery. Is it a Whitt bit? Is it another stomach reduction? If it is for real, hopefully it's nothing serious.

And at what point do Greggo queries become like Rocco queries: a subject that has long since run its course? He's been gone for quite some time now. I think we can all see first hand 1. how his career is going and 2. what effect his departure had on the station and the show (1. not as he expected and 2. none/if any, positive). To me, sans some tragic news or his/his show's firing/departure, I'm not sure why the day to day or little personal thing here or there doings of Greggo's life matter much anymore on a blog that's supposedly about The Ticket.

McDoom said...

@Anon 7:00pm

I went and checked his feed and he wasn't tweeting any emails...in fact he said he wouldn't be. If simply copy/pasting the information openly available on your employer's "Contact Us" warrants a suspension, then things are FUBARed beyond repair at Cumulus.

And if you want to email the Cumulus highest ups, it's really not that hard as long as you know their names. Going off the template from the Little One's "Contact Us" page: firstname.lastname@cumulus.com

Anonymous said...

I don't know what Danny would be suspended for. If for bashing "the man" on the air D&M have also let fly a few times in the 5:30-6am segment within the last couple of months.

At least he is kind enough to keep us informed and acknowledge that they are aware of how brutal it is to try and remember the time I have spent listening to The Ticket.

Anonymous said...

Again, it's one thing for a host to do it. Specially when it's either a D&M or a Hardline host. It's another thing when a, quite frankly, expendable show producer to do such a thing, repeatedly (as in constant complaining and bashing along with Tweets). I'm not saying that he warrants a suspension or more. Not at all. I applaud his honesty and integrity. I'm just saying that's how things go in the world of big business.

@McDoom: If copy/pasting your bosses e-mail address while tacitly encouraging your customers to do what you will with those addresses isn't seen as a problem by those same bosses, then I don't know what would be...regardless of how FUBAR it might be up there.

McDoom said...

Pure speculation: I think the first domino to fall will be Craig leaving the station. He's been one of the more vocal ones on the talent side of things regarding all the problems in the past 5-6 months. He's the only non-sextenarian host without young kids/kids in college, not counting Donny. And there's something I heard about third hand a few years back, so take with a grain of salt - apparently Craig makes less than both George and Gordon since he's not a voice guy/funny man. He still makes a good wage mind you, but it is materially less than his co-hosts.

McDoom said...

@Anon 8:15pm

Again, I'm looking at his feed and not seeing any email addresses, just a copy paste from Cumulus' own "Contact Us" page. Did he tweet one and then delete it?

I do agree with your first point. Ticket minions should tread very carefully concerning what they publicly about the ongoing problems up there

Anonymous said...

Even reading the radio-info board, the issues with Cumulus are everywhere. KNBR, who was also in the Susquehanna Family before the sale has had issues with too. In fact, last month they fired Ralph Barbieri who was with the station since 1984 and last December went public on his early stages of dementia.

If you want to read the numerous Cumulus issues in San Francisco, just go here:

http://richliebermanreport.blogspot.com

The Plainsman said...

Re: Greggo.

True, this site is about The Ticket. Greggo was an immense part of the station and, I would still argue (present unsuccess to the contrary) a large part of its success.

I thought he needed to be fired, having faded from view long before, and I wasn't sorry to see him go.

But I still care about the big lug, have an interest in his comings and goings, and wish him well.

And, as you can see from my avatar there at the upper left, I'm "Scanning the Radio Horizon." Which, for now, includes Greggo.

The Plainsman said...

I go away for three days and all heck breaks loose.

Anonymous above reports that Ty Walker has been suspended for a week for tweeting Jeff Catlin's email.

I assume that tweet and attachment, if any, are long gone.

So can someone please advise what that email said? Does the email survive anywhere on the Interwebs?

Y'all may recall that when Dan McDowell read an internal Cumulus email on the air, or as much of it as he could get out, Cat shut BaD down for two segments. This was some time ago, reported on here: http://myticketconfession.blogspot.com/2010/07/torn-from-todays-ticket-headlines.html

My lightning take:

(1) Cumulus has the absolute right to insist that its employees not release confidential internal information to the public and to discipline them if they do.

(2) It also has the absolute right to require its employees not to bash it or its executives on the air and to discipline them if they do.

But neither of these is really the point, is it? Because:

(3) Because of the existence of message boards and sites like this one, there are lots of ways employees could communicate dissatisfaction to listeners, not to mention through their own Twitter accounts and blogs. Historically, however, that has not happened. This told me that in general, things were OK at The Little One; despite the occasional gripe, Cumulus held the loyalty of employees at all levels.

(4) The point being: Because Cumulus no longer inspires that loyalty, and because what we're hearing has job-losing potential all over it, the conditions that gave rise to that loyalty must have changed, and changed dramatically.

(5) Conclusion, as if you didn't know if you were a faithful reader of Your Plainsman's speculations: Things are much worse at The Ticket, so bad that the risk calculus for Ticketarians has changed. Ty loses a week's pay and probably some goodwill with the bosses (and potential employers). But he gains something, too -- he's embarrassed a management that for the last six months has done little but embarrass him and his professional colleagues. Worth it? Not it things are cool; maybe, if things really, really aren't.

The Plainsman said...

@McDoom:

Welcome to the site. Some good stuff today.

I accept your disclaimer that compensation rumors must be taken with a grain of salt. But:

If Craig makes one cent less than George or Gordon, he should fire his agent, and then fire his lawyer for not telling him to fire his agent.

And if he doesn't have an agent, he should fire his lawyer for not demanding that he get an agent.

And if his lawyer is acting as his agent, he should fire his lawyer for being an atrocious agent.

And if he has neither an agent nor a lawyer, then he should at least hire Gordon to impersonate one or both.

While I might follow a Ticket show to another station, Craig is the only host I would follow even if he split solo and showed up at another station doing a one-man show. (Bob a close second, but second.) Nothing against George or Gordon, both of whom I admire tremendously, but Junior is the anchor to the great wallowing craft that is The Ticket, and keeps it tethered securely against the tides of the fickle demo. Metaphors away!

McDoom said...

Plainsman, thanks for the reply. If it helps that grain of salt go down any easier, my info regarding Craig's salary is via a friend of a friend, a displaced Ticket listener who worked for one of the many institutions who provide Cumulus's debt, and as such, was privy to the hosts' contracts; they did not give specific $$$ details but again, did say Craig was a step below George and Gordon as of their last contract signing.

Anonymous said...

For some reason, I think Ty's suspension was quite some time ago. Prior to the move to Victory. Could very well be wrong, though.

Greggo stuff: It's your blog, do with it what you wish, but I have a feeling that more and more listeners neither really know who he is nor care one iota about him. They only know him as a drop/barely veiled punchline of sorts. It has been THAT long as far as "radio time" goes.

Danny's Tweets: I haven't seen anything CTO e-mail related, but I have received Tweets over the last several months, more so of late, that explain and place blame on the technical problems. I know my own "CTO" would not look upon that in a favorable light. I would expect at the least to be disciplined, and even fired. It matters not if the Tweet comes from a personal account or an official business account. In both instances the business is being represented by an employee. Other than doing it via pseudonyms and anonymously, there isn't any way round being in the "wrong" here. Even if we listeners appreciate and completely agree with the Tweets. The on air comments by Danny and others could also be seen as hostile and requiring disciplinarian measures. Again, even if we appreciate and agree with them. It's the way business go, to use a Washism.

It may very well be the case that Jr is paid less than his two co hosts (one of whom only works 40% of the show...seriously, think about the 3 scheduled segments and the one, if any, bit--not counting the replay from the previous day). But from my impression of Jr, I'd say he wouldn't stand for such an arrangement.

Anonymous said...

Ty was on the air today. Obviously, he hasn't been suspended.

ollie said...

Jeez a whiz...Grubes is burning up the twitter world with Cumulus HSOs. Didn't summer school start for him yet? The tweets are funny as hell. What else would you expect from McGruber!

Anonymous said...

I think all hell is about to break loose.

I also think all the problems are indictments on management or lack thereof. I don't know how high up it goes but at some point the managers with "boots on the ground" here are accountable. Previously local management was just tasked with being good stewards, keep the gravy train rolling. But with the move to victory, more leadership, foresight, and problem solving was needed. The ability to delegate, manage, and coordinate many aspects of a major undertaking such as this move were essential. Sure, there were unexpected twists and turns. But that's why management gets paid what they do. To be able to adapt and find solutions, not give platitudes and excuses while fostering an environment with a lack of accountability for employeeso who have been proven to be overmatched. If I as listener can sense that, imagine how bad it really must be. Management has failed and we're talking basic radio 101. Being able to broadcast, having working equipment, etc. All respect appears to be lost for the people in charge and a cauldron of insubordination seems to be bubbling. I think the future of the Ticket as currently composed, depends on local rmanagement regime change. And I feel like everyone on air there would support and commend the move.

If this was a sports franchise, a passionate fan would already have the "fire coach x" website up and running. Maybe it's come to that for the P1s.

Stay Hard

Ron said...

Danny may not be a host on the level of Mike and Corby, but remove him and the Hardline becomes unlistenable (think Corby without a governor).

If Greggo didn't matter, they wouldn't keep playing his drops.

Anonymous said...

@Ron: If you think that management believes Danny to be a 3rd host, then I have a time share in Galveston that has your name on it. If he was thought to be a 3rd host, do you think he'd be paid as little as he is? Just because we listeners think of him as the 3rd leg in the HL tripod (at least some of us, me included, and obviously you too), doesn't make it so. If the show could go on and be stronger, ratings wise, than ever without one of its founding co hosts, it will go on just fine without its producer...no matter how much SOME of us think he brings to the table.

As far as Greggo goes...he's a drop/punchline that means more, comedic wise, to the hosts (other than Norm and BaD) than to the majority of today's listeners. Many of my younger (and some not so young) co worker and friends who have become listeners over the last few years neither really know nor care who Greggo is/was. They know he used to co host the HL and that the drops played are funny, often bizarre, and make the guy out to be an idiot. Other than that, he means nothing to them. There are a lot, if not a small or almost majority of listeners that fall into that category.

The Plainsman said...

I think Ron's point was only that he regarded Danny as valuable as a third host, and I think a lot of Confessors would agree. (For example, I.) I don't think Ron thinks that Cumulus views him this way.

I should add that Cumulus's failure to view him in this way and to treat him as a valuable asset to the station (if, indeed, they have so failed) is another example of CTO shortsightedness. His departure would be a severe blow to the station.

On the other hand -- why hasn't he left? I would think that his be-hind-the-scenes and on-air skills would be in demand somewhere that would pay him more than he hints he is paid now. Either he's better off than he lets on, I'm wrong about his perceived value to other employers, or he's just a loyal guy who loves what he does for what he's paid at the A+ #1 station in the market.

In any event, glad he's there.

T4 In Rockwall said...

@ Plainsman.

You're getting links provided by members of the link I provided up above back to this site. Even though we're all providing most of the same info, it's nice that people are recognizing this as an informational site.

BTW, in that same link there is a comment with a tweet from Danny B. stating that iHeart radio will be up and running on Friday the 1st. So, no more TuneIn after tomorrow. I wouldn't assume that would change any streaming issues though.

Ron said...

I'm well aware that Hardline Proper is Mike Rhyner and Corby Davidson. But take Danny out of the mix and get back to me.

For what it's worth, if you go to the Ticket website at 3:00, the picture on the home page under the title "The Hardline" is Mike, Corby, and Danny.

I'm not a Day 1 P1 but I've been listening for a long time. I don't care if references to Greggo confuse new listeners. I'm interested in my entertainment, not theirs. I'm selfish that way.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Ron. You're a paradigm of the self-involved person that makes up most of today's society.

Plainsman, what on earth about Ron's statement gives you reason to think that he doesn't believe Cumulus to view Danny as we listeners do? I think my statement was pretty clear cut: I agreed with Ron about Danny's importance, as far as many of the listeners are concerned.

Why hasn't Danny left? I think it has to do with loyalty to his friends/co workers, to what the station (regardless of its various ownership changes) both means to him (he was a Day1 P1 who would sent songs in and eventually sought out a job) and what its done for him, that despite the recent crap it is still #1 by a mile, and that it affords him, at the age of 44, the lifestyle of a 24 year old partying musician that stays out till closing time and has a damn good time. I've seen the last one up close and personal on many many many occasions (and he seems like a heckuva good guy, from what I can tell).

Anonymous said...

to last anon:

what on earth is that if cumulus did, in fact, view the big dumb one as a 3rd wheel, then there wouldn't be a threat of CTO suspending or firing him.

basically stating the fact that while he is loved by many a p1, if he's viewed by cumulus as just a producer, then they wouldn't think twice to can him.

capiche?

Ron said...

@Anonymous-

"Congratulations, Ron. You're a paradigm of the self-involved person that makes up most of today's society"

I don't understand what you mean. Can you explain please?

Ron said...

Guess not.

T4 In Rockwall said...

Ron, that's a bad thing about the way this site is set up. If you post something, there's not a good way to be notified if someone posts after you, therefore your question might go unnoticed. Basically a thread will become dead after awhile.

Ron said...

Of course.

All I can do is ask.

The Plainsman said...

Hey, Ron, welcome. Sorry you did not get a response from your inquiry of another Confessor.

T4 is right, this is not a very sophisticated site. I started it on Google Blogger because it is free. I do not have the time or means to make it more interactive than it is.

But hope you will continue to check in and comment when the spirit moves you.

Ron said...

Appreciate the platform to talk about all things Ticket!