And many thanks to the Anon, obviously either a Ticket, Cumulus, or radio insider who's picked up the news somewhere, for his authoritative disquisition on the OpX system.
What I can't figure out is -- why? I suppose it's a word that Mike uses -- "leverage." The audience is the biggest and best, it won't stop listening, Cumulus makes enough money with it, so why improve (1) signal, (2) remotes, (3) in-studio tech, (4) Internet stream? Small expenditure, big revenue. Leverage. What's not to like, as a CTO?
Now, let us confess (of course): We can hear the station. It broadcasts. We like it. The negligent IT and tech administration doesn't render it unlistenable most of the time.
But the persistent failure to fix problems that have existed for years is not only disrespectful to the listeners, it's degrading to the amazing talent that has assembled there and remained over the years (for which the CTO, let us further confess, deserves some unknowably small amount of credit).
Which leads me to a question that I was going to address back before I gleaned that Mike had signed his contract without the benefit of the conclusion of my highly speculative series awhile back on Mike's new deal:
What does the CTO care about? Well, I would think they would care about keeping their talent, even if they don't care about giving them appropriate tools and a grown-up signal.
[ALERT: WILD-EYED ADVICE TO FOLLOW.]
Which is why, if I were a host in demand in the market, as each one of them must surely be, and my noncompete weren't too long, and I really, really cared about the IT and tech . . .
. . . I'd start holding out.
No -- no, first thing I would do is call a meeting of my fellow hosts, or at least those maddest about the situation. Oh, this is much better:
I'd see who was interested in taking the Ticket act, en masse, to another station. Don't sign the damned contracts, or -- no, this is even better -- make any noncompete contingent on a new signal, appropriate in-studio tech, and a couple of new mobile remote suites, fixing the Internet stream. That way, if things didn't improve, an entire showgram whose hosts (and essential Y-monks) had signed such a contract could quit and move instantly if promises along these lines were not kept by a date certain. Producers -- doubt they even have a non-compete, George and Craig and Gordon could take Fernando and Jeremy right along with them, and adios Cumulus. Cumulus wouldn't go for it? Well, that's nut-cutting time, isn't it? You either stay and live with the crap, or you go to a competitor. Or retire. Or go to another market that the noncompete doesn't reach. The more showgrams signed on, the greater terror they could inflict on the CTO.
This assumes, of course, that there are other stations to go to. It's dreaming (even more than I'm dreaming by even proposing this) to think that anyone would uproot their entire programming to take on The Ticket guys, but on a showgram-by-showgram basis? ESPN or The Fan? They'd love to have The Musers.
Don't leave comments telling me I'm crazy. (Oh, all right, go ahead.) It's not that crazy. Some of these hosts are angry. And they should be.
Horrifying thought: Is it possible that some of the guys, a little bit, like being The "Little" Ticket (I'm not necessarily referring to Mike here). They like being the scruffy, underpowered, tech-challenged underdog constantly whipping the be-jeebers out of coddled lame-o sister stations and better-financed and reliably audible competitors?
I hope not. I personally don't find the meltdowns amusing (except for the way that Danny handles them on The Hardline, which can be counted on to crack me up), and from the comments it seems to me that the Nation doesn't perceive any benefit there, either. And, again, I find it insulting that Cumulus offers an audio product this lame especially since AM technology has been around for over a century and FM for over 60 years and stations have been doing remotes for decades?
Hosts, arise! You have nothing to lose but your comfortable incomes through the noncompete period!! (I wonder if Lenin got his start this way.)
Mike, you really should have waited for my advice.
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