First, a brief report on a conversation I had last night. Present at this moment were two adult woman and a man. They know I do this site. One of the women said that she hated The Hardline because it was "coarse." Sports/guy radio is not going to be her first choice under any circumstances, but that was not the case with the other adult male, squarely in the Ticket demo wheelhouse. He mentioned that he'd been liking Norm's show lately. He also said that he had tried to listen to "the afternoon show." He tried to explain who he was listening to, without success, and I just asked him if it were afternoon or afternoon drive. Drive, he said. He said when he tried to listen there was almost no sports talk, but sometimes they tried to do political talk and it was so ignorant that he had to switch it off.
Second, I can hardly remember the last time a Confessor said anything positive about The Hardline. To judge from recent comments, some Confessors say they are drifting away and will drop it entirely if Danny leaves. Personally, I don't feel that way. I still enjoy the show. I like Corby. I don't mind Mike not having all that much on his mind. I could do without the political stuff myself -- the only thing worse than Musers talking politics is The Line talking politics -- but in general, my forays into Galloway and RaGE territory are always brief. Which is another way of saying, I guess, that The Line's competition is weak. But even so, it would take a pretty extraordinary presentation by another station to get me to switch.
Having said that, I do think The Hardline may be entering one of its dark periods. It is true, as Confessors say, that Mike is drifting into one of his disconnected phases, show prep is not apparent, the OverCorby is appearing more frequently. I will keep an eye on this trend and report, although I suspect you will all do so before I do.
The end of the comment string from the prior post reported on Robert Wilonsky's report that Danny and others have invested in the revival, if that's what it is, of the Twilight Lounge in Deep Ellum. (Link to Robert's Report) His specific use permit hearing is before the Dallas Plan Commission this week sometime. Confessors report there was no mention of it made on the show today, as predicted on this very blog. I would not expect to hear anything about it until Danny's departure was certain, which I continue to predict with something approaching zero conviction, and even then not until shortly before. There are lots of hoops to jump through before something as iffy as a Deep Ellum revival commits to open its doors, and the last thing The Line would want would be a lengthy lame duck period for arguably the most popular guy on the show.
And the point I offer for discussion is what that departure would mean for the show. I've always felt that Danny keeps the OverCorby under control and keeps the show moving. He's also very smart, very funny, very witty (not the same thing), and just an all around good listen. When either Mike or Corby is absent, the resulting show with Danny always gets good reviews. When Danny is away, the reviews are not so good. Would his departure send tremors through the CTO as they hand-wring over whether to replace him, and, if they do, with whom?
Fourth: Despite the evidence of the Confessor, the show is enjoying historical levels of popularity. Something about the show continues to resonate with the demographic, and isn't that the idea?
So consider this an Open Thread for some truly thoughtful 30,000-foot thoughts on The Hardline. Remember -- this site was founded in part as a reaction to what I call "The Corby Sux School of Ticket Journalism." If you're abandoning the show, that's fine and you are invited to tell us why, but I'm really more interested in why you think the show is still a smash hit in the metro.
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