Wednesday, February 27, 2013

More Questions for Knowledgeable Confessors

All right, we need to lighten up around here.   Let's have a spot of fun, eh?  Also, if we have some new Confessors from the incredible runup in visitors over the last week, a good way to get started with the site.

Quite awhile go I posted "Questions for Knowledgeable Confessors" and laid out some questions about station history and bits that I -- a listener only since 2004 -- was curious about.  We heard from our friends at The Ticket (Michael Gruber proved a fine historian) and got most if not all of them answered, and Confessors knew some answers.  Now, with many times the readers I had then, I'll bet we can get these answered, too.

I have a little list going, most of them mine, some of them from others.  I encourage you to ask your own questions in the comments about bits, phrases, inside gags, characters, performers, anything you've been wondering about.  Let's see if we can't all get up to speed with the many mysteries of the greatest radio station in the world.

Thanks in advance for helping out.  Here we go:

     (1)  What is the significance and humor value of "babyarm"?

     (2)  Who is Pete Stein, what did Mike and/or Greg do to him, and was it a dark moment in Hardline history?  Is that where the "3  .  .  .  2  .  .  .  aaaaannnd you're done" drop comes from?

     (3)  I think this drop was destroyed with the move to Victory, so maybe not worth answering.  There was a drop that was played when someone would make a cheesy joke, the drop was a rimshot with a guy hollering out something that sounded like "what about me".  Michael Gruber said that he was saying "from the northeast," an occasional reference in Gordon's characters, but after that explanation I listened to it closely and I can't pull those words out of it.   I say, this one's probably a dead letter.

     (4)   Here's one I had on the list but got an answer to just a few weeks ago: Where do Corby’s and Danny’s “doin’ the Greggo” clips come from in George D's Jaggeresque Community Quick Hits theme?  I believe the answer  is that some people thought that George was saying "everyone loves doin' the Greggo," and Corby and Danny recorded those clips to play over George's vocal.  

     (5)  What ad did George do that has his kids (I think they're his) cheering followed by George saying “Yeah, the kids like that"?

     (6)  I know what the “one ball” line is – wait, actually, I don't – but what does the name mean? 

     (7)  Who plays guitar on the Hardline theme song?

     (8)  What is the Teebox theme song with that marvelous gutbucket guitar?

     (9)  Where does that clip “Whiskey, all you want” come from, and has it been lost in the bungled move to Victory?

    (10)  For some reason, it sounds like Brent Spiner (in his guise as the inventor of Data) saying "it's time, buddy, it's time."  But I can't find any reference to it online, with or without Brent Spiner.  Where does it come from?

     (11)  Does The Ticket have any idea of the amount of its archives (drops, classic audio) lost or destroyed in the bungled move to Victory?  What exactly happened, anyway?  How could that possibly happen, giving the incredible ease in copying files and moving gigantic amounts of data these days?  

     (12)  What is that infectious country-swing pedal steel number they play under Ticket promos from time to time?  Just a canned snippet for radio stations, or part of a real song?  Love that.

    (13)  Does George Dunham (among other hosts) really not know how to pronounce Norm's last name, or is it a station bit?  I was going to write an indignant piece on this, but thought I'd better check on the possibility that it's a bit.  

Awright, everyone, get your questions ready -- and longtime P1s, JV, and Ticket stars, fill us in.  If you would prefer not to leave your answer in a comment  .  .  .

Twitter:  @Plainsman1310

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Speak to Us, Gypo Nolan

I said I was going to move on from Where's Greggo Talk, but did not anticipate the gigantic response to the last post.  Thank you, Google.

Thought I'd throw up a quickie just to freshen up the thread, which I think also set some kind of record for this site.

Gypo Nolan is an occasional Confessor who brings us some inside dish from time to time that has the ring of authority.  I'm thinking he's heard something about Greg Williams's situation and could fill it in if he feels able to do so.

I suppose we'll all be tuning in at 2 PM tomorrow.  A commenter to the last thread has promised us that Greg will be broadcasting.  And I believe everything that anonymous commenters say, especially when they sound like The Girlfriend.

In the meantime, what's the scuttlebutt on Ben and Skin?  Headed to The Fan?  Good move or bad?

See you tomorrow at 2.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A "Where's Greggo 2013" Inventory

We're not hearing much of substance other than from the frantically tweeting Girlfriend, so I'm going to give this one solid posting and if there aren't any developments I'm going to move on, main-topic-wise.  (Comment section always open for RaGE/Greggo/Fan talk.)

What to write about?  How about a listing of all current theories, some of which overlap, and many of which are not mutually exclusive.  (An annoying way of saying "it could be a combination of several of these things.")   And it may be none of these things.  These are not in order of likelihood, just the order they're coming to mind.  Let's get to it.

(1) He is sick, perhaps hospitalized.

(2)  He ran into trouble with Fan management over his absence relating to Chris Kyle's funeral.

(3)  He's angry about The Prank.  (RaGE Prank on Greggo)

(4)  It's a bit to draw attention to the station and RaGE.

(5)  Management is preparing to make some changes at the Fan or RaGE that he's unhappy about and he's pouting.

(6)  The Richie-Sybil relationship and perhaps a growing role for Armen has resulted in a diminished role for Greggo and he's feeling that the same thing is happening to him there as (he believes) happened on The Hardline (not his fault, of course).

(7)  The Richie-Sybil relationship and perhaps a growing role for Armen has resulted in a kind of ganging up on Greggo and as the most experienced radio hand on the show, he resents it.

(8)  The Richie-Sybil relationship has created an intolerable and almost indescribably icky and eeeeeww-inducing sexual tension that has eroded whatever professionalism RaGE was starting to develop.

(9)  He's fallen off the wagon.

(10)  The station is in major upheaval up and down the line and it's just all too much for the Hammer, who's getting out while the getting's good.

(11)  He's been suspended, possibly fired, for misbehavior that hasn't been publicized.

(12)  He's a petulant childish jerk who can't stand even the tiniest slight to his real or imagined importance to RaGE.

(13)  He's a major radio talent who is undeservedly taking abuse from the less-talented Richie and Sybil.

(14)  It's time, buddy; it's time.  Greggo's chief addiction is to self-featuring drama, and he can't go for more than a couple years without writing himself another one, so he's off the reservation for no reason that any of us would find rational.

In happier, but less focused, times.

*     *     *
Twitter:  @Plainsman1310

Sunday, February 17, 2013

I Wander Ticketstock

Notes from my Friday afternoon visit.  I wandered the floor for an hour or so, visited a few vendors, listened to some of The Hardline.  Thoroughly enjoyed myself.  Reviews have been excellent, and The Ticket should be congratulated.  In fact, let me start with this:

Kudos.  First, how about a hand for the CTO?  Sure, the thing is sponsored, and a lot of it is pretty sponsor-promotional, but it's a lot of work, a big time commitment for the whole station, very entertaining for the P1.   A real nice kiss for listeners, and when we smack the CTO around for one or another sin, let's remember cool stuff like this.  I'll have a further thought on this in conclusion.

Parking.  I could have sworn I heard hosts saying parking was free.  Five bucks to get into the garage.

General.  The floor was less crowded with stuff this year.  Seemed to me like there were fewer sponsors, but that may have been because the did not have the basketball court this year so the joint just had a more wide-open feel.

Shoop.  I put some geld into Michael Gruber's pocket by purchasing a SHOOPY t-shirt portraying him laboring lovingly over what appears to be a Les Paul Custom.  I asked the vendor whether Michael got a royalty for the use of his image and was pleased to hear that he does.

Ticket Guys Generally.  Passed by Gordon, Norm, and Craig out on the floor.  Norm and Gordon had destinations they were hurrying (in Norm's case, slowly) toward, but Craig was taking a stroll and chatting with attendees.  I considered introducing myself, but decided against it.  Everything for the bit, right?  Well, being The Plainsman is my bit, lame thought it may be.

A Confessor on the last thread wrote:  "It was an incredible night, I left the rest of the guys alone [Confessor had chatted with Grubes, Donovan, and Sean Bass]  but to anyone that says they are too big for the P1’s, they are just wrong. All of them walked around, shook hands, took pictures and spent time with their fans, it was a pleasure to watch. I really walked away thinking “we can do what they can do, but they can’t do what we can do.” And looking at my twitter tweet P1 time line, there were a lot of folks who had just as much fun. "  Second that with enthusiasm and could not have put it better.

Un.     While I did not beat down any Ticket guys, I did see some guys wearing UnTicket t-shirts at a booth advertising a way of recording streamed radio, and I asked if they were with that incomparable site.  Turns out they all were, and I was honored to meet DP and two of his invaluable henchmen (sorry, gents, I have forgotten your UT monikers) in assembling Ticket audio.  Great guys.  ap, alas, is stuck in The Great White North.

It's a pleasure to call your attention to their new venture, THINKIT MEDIA.  The are marketing their proprietary system under the brand for recording streamed radio. (DP reports that they have some P1s using their system to record their favorite station.)   They also offer other services to businesses such as blog development ("ThinkIt Social) and increasing their profile in the online world.  I may give him a call.  You can read more about it here:  ThinkIt Media  I'm linking it to it on my "Ticket-Friendly Sites" if you ever need to find them.

I neglected to ask DP if he minded if I used his real name (obviously, I was star-struck by the three of them), so I'll keep that valuable information to myself.  However, he and his colleagues were kind enough to let me take their picture at their booth (DP is on the right):

And to top it off, I was deeply honored that they scrounged one of those snazzy UnTicket t-shirts for me.

Ticket Chicks.  Seems to me there were fewer Ticket Chicks abroad, and I did not see a photo area where us mere mortal P1 schlubs could get their picture taken with these lovelies, although I have no doubt that any of them wandering about would have accommodated a request for a quick snap.

T.   As last year, the testosterone clinics were there in force and doing a brisk business.   Apparently I appear to be down a couple of quarts, as I was approached a couple of times by young ladies who worriedly pressed brochures into my infirm grip.

Michael.  The Ticket acknowledged MJ's half-century with a statue.  

However, I couldn't help noticing that he was going to have trouble with this particular dunk, as the anchor for his Airness appeared to have had him stepping in a nasty wad of gum:

I Discover the Theme of Ticketstock.   Last year, I was puzzled by the Mardi Gras theme since it had not been advertised.  This year, it was a collegiate theme, which I realized when I purchased one of the long-sleeved shirts and observed that it had a large "U" in the background.

But with my keen reportorial instincts (which failed me when I didn't get the UnTicket guys' screennames), I ferreted out the true theme.  It was:

"Slanty Boards with a Hole in the Top End Into Which Attendees Were Invited to Attempt to Drain Square Bean Bags Slightly Larger Than the Hole."

(1) The Dallas Stars had the most elaborate set up -- this picture only portrays only two of the four slanty boards:

(2)  Top Golf:

(3)  FIOS:

(4)  Ticket #1:

(5)  Ticket #2/Budweiser, charmingly presented by two fetching Ticket Chicks:

(6)   Hooters had a more inviting variation on the slanty board/hole trope:

And I thought I had snaps of a couple more, but they do not seem to have survived.

Closing Thoughts.  All the Ticket events, but especially Ticketstock, remind us of what an extraordinary phenomenon The Ticket is.  Of course we're unhealthily, sometimes absurdly, obsessed with who's hosting, who's got next, the JV, the shows themselves, what goes on behind the scenes.  As I looked around the place with men and women having a great time, the Ticket guys enjoying themselves, the same phrase kept playing:  This is a club.  A private club that anyone can join just by tuning in.  And think how astonishing it is that it has been maintained for 20 years, and what kind of effort must be going into trying to figure out how to keep it going another 20.  I don't envy them that task.

I hope we're helping.

A big thanks to The Ticket, the CTO, the sponsors, and, of course, Grubes.  Michael, don't spend all my royalty contribution in one place.

*     *     *

Twitter:  @Plainsman1310

Thursday, February 14, 2013

QUICK HITS: Heading to Ticketstock

A few topics as I load up the Conestoga and hang the "IRVING OR BUST" banner on it:

(1)  For your convenience, a couple of great links from Confessors on the last comment thread:

       An interview with Cumulus ultimate CTO Lew Dickey:   Lew Dickey Interview   I haven't listened to this yet but I'm going to and will have some further thoughts.

       Real nice article about some of our favorite JV (they're all our favorite!), with pics!:  JV Article

See below.

(2)  I don't have a problem with Scot and Matt lifting bits from The Ticket.  Show biz has always been about stealing bits.  So has business.  So has how we dress, the phrases we use, and everything else.  I am doubtful that the CTO has imposed a "do stuff like The Ticket" regime on our lads, but if they had it would hardly be an irrational strategy.  I do hope they find some creative variations -- "Community Tidbits" as a title is a little, um, weak.  (Maybe in Alabam you'd be better off with "Community Tide-Bits.")

As for Mike R's attitude:   The Confessor may be right that Mike is contemptuous of people who appropriate his mannerisms or lift bits from The 'Line or The Ticket.  I don't know.  And in general it is not a good thing to upset Mike.  But is it not very clear that he has very little influence at The Ticket these days?  He may be able to do what he wants, and thank Jah for that, but I doubt whether the CTO takes his disposition into account when making decisions on programming, personnel, scheduling -- anything.  I'm thinking Rich Phillips has more influence at The Ticket than Mike does.  You may think that is a good thing or a bad thing, but it's the thing.

(3)  Speaking of which:  On The Hardline yesterday reference was made to The Machine, Kevin Turner, and other JV, and Corby jubilated that this was the best possible time to be at The Ticket, or words to that effect (the context was one of general approval of these guys).  Mike replied that "things have never been worse around here" and "this is the worst it's ever been" (or WTTE), which I took as more of an overall Ticket comment and not necessarily directed at the JV (although he took a direct shot at KT).  What was interesting about this is that he repeated these phrases in one form or another at least a half-dozen times or so, but Corby and Danny seemed always to be talking over him.  He continued to repeat the phrase(s) as though he were hopeful of stimulating some reaction to his growling judgment that things were bad at The Little One.  But either because they weren't paying attention, or didn't want to get into it on the air, Corby and Danny did not respond in any way to Mike's repeated condemnation of the way things are "around here."  Anyone hear that and have an impression?

(4)  I really liked the article on the JV guys, but it depressed me a little since it contained more information on these fine chaps than you would get out of reading a year of this site.  I know, this is a commentary site and not a newsy site, different goals, reaction rather than reporting, but still made me feel pretty unnecessary.  So I'm going to go off and sulk for a bit.

See you at Ticketstock.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Someone Out There Knows the Deal with Mitchell Karasik

For all of you who are tempted to slag me for writing a big fat post about a would-be Tickerman, spare me.  Spare us all.  It's Tickety.  It makes me wonder how things happen at The Little One.  I'm going to write about it.  You gripe about the selection of subject matter, I'm taking your ass down.


First, Mitchell, if you're out there, permit me to apologize for spelling your name incorrectly for quite some time now.

Second, a Confessor reports hearing on a BaDD podcast that Mitchell is transported from New York to Dallas to do his Tickers a half-day on weekends.

Third, this site has had some fun with the challenges that Tickers have presented to Mitchell.  I didn't really feel good about that teasing, because I supposed that Mitchell was a radio tyro, some kid trying to make it, kid somehow got a tryout from The Ticket in the face of what I supposed were better audition clips with which, I also supposed, the Pan-American Catman had been deluged.  So while he was clearly struggling with  .  .  .  copy  .  .  .  which I supposed he had composed  .  .  . and seemed initially unaware that what he was delivering was a "Ticker," I was kinda rooting for improvement so the lad could get his start in a cool profession.  Alas, as the Indispensable Brad C has memorialized, things have not gotten much better as of a week ago:

He has been savaged by The Hardline; but then, who hasn't?  Bono, possibly, aside.  Confessors have been similarly skeptical of his abilities.

Fourth, however, I was quite, quite wrong about where Mitchell came from.

This is Mitchell Karasik delivering his 2010 MLB preview:

Mitchell Karasik has not only been around for awhile, he has run what is apparently his own production of something called, variously, "LockerBlogger" and ":60".   Always dressed smartly in a coat and tie, he has scored some pretty big interviews.  Here's his Miles Austin interview at some kind of function from a couple of years ago when Miles was doing good:

Here is his interview with Orthodox Jewish Boxer Dmitri Salita, Part 1 (I have not been able to find Part 2):

Thus:   Fifth, the PAC was almost certainly not pulling a resume out of a stack when he invited Mitchell to do some DFW Tickers -- he was enlisting a somewhat experienced talker, a guy with some credible sportsy media experience, even if it was his own medium.  Unless, of course, the PAC had nothing to do with this and it was imposed upon him by some CTO.  Although I have not been able to find any Internet evidence of any affiliation between Mitchell and Cumulus or CBS (with the exception of the somewhat tenuous speculation which I shamelessly offer way, way down at the bottom here).  No, his affiliation appears to be solely with his own company LockerBlogger, described on his beta site ( as follows:  "LockerBlogger is a Sports Social Media Company that Connects Athletes, Charities, Fans and Brands through Education and Philanthropy."  (But where did he score that bank of screens and ritzy studio-looking background?)

At first I thought BaDD must have been pulling our leg about MK flying in to do these Tickers.  But when I heard Brad C's recording from only a week ago (above), I realized that it must be true.

Sixth, what Someone Out There knows, is:


Here's a little extra tidbit to interest you:  A Mitchell S. Karasik was married in Collin County in 2008.  His parents live in the NYC metro.  (Scroll down here to view record)   No idea if it's the same one, but the Internet nuggets are suggestive.   So maybe MK is looking for a way to spend more time in the metro for family reasons.

But let's return for a moment to his qualifications.  Hey, I  admire the guy for living the dream.   He's got this sports-philanthropy-social-media thing going, and whatever that is, it does get him face time with jocks.  (I didn't join the site, but I've seen other things leading me to believe that this "LockerBlogger" is affiliated with MK's videos   of the same name.)   How did he do that?  ALERT:  CRASS SPECULATION FOLLOWS:    I'm wondering if Mitchell might have some independent wealth in his background.   The father of the Mitchell Karasik married in Collin County in 2008 -- which, I stress, I cannot definitively link up with OUR Mitchell Karasik, but there don't seem to be a lot of them in the U.S. -- is Stephen Karasik.   Stephen is an independent investment banker the New York City area.  Perhaps he invested in our Mitchell.  WARNING:  SPECULATION GETS EVEN CRASSER BELOW.

In any event, he's got a long way to go to join the accomplished Tickerman fraternity -- all right, a long way measured in astronomical units, if not parsecs -- but he's not a complete schnook, you know?  Those interviews are at least enthusiastic, and the fact is  .  .  .  he gets them.  Maybe this kind of initiative appealed to the CTO somewhere along the line.  So let's be fair -- they're trying.  They're trying to get some guys with maybe some gee-whiz potential to affiliate with the station.

But I suspect Mitchell's path to Saturday mornings on KTCK is a lot more interesting than that.  Someone's either going to pretend to know in the Confessions to this post and we'll all have to wonder if we're getting pranked, or someone is going to lay a tip on me that I will be duty bound to keep confidential.  (It happens, rarely.)   How did he come to do Tickers for a station he doesn't know, reporting on teams he's not familiar with, where he is required to speak the names of athletes he doesn't know how to pronounce?  More intriguingly, why is he still doing it?

Well, my curious Confessors, here's another little tidbit for you:  There is a Steve Karasik who is a multi-Emmy-winning Senior Coordinating Producer for  -- dramatic pause -- CBS Sports.  Looks like he is about Mitchell's age.  His father is not Stephen Karasik, according to wedding announcements -- it's Robert Karasik from  .  .  .  Manhattan.  I'm way, way off the reservation here, but I wonder if perhaps Robert and Stephen are brothers, and Mitchell and CBS Steve are cousins.

While this is, I must Confess, not Responsible Ticket Journalism, the possible connection of Mitchell to CBS Steve, and Mitchell's possible family connection to the DFW area, may go some way to explain why the guy is getting airtime on the greatness of The Ticket.  Maybe that's also how he scores those snazzy production values for those studio interviews.

CBS -- again.

Inquiring Confessors want to know.

But you know something?  Whether I'm on track with any of the foregoing, or galaxies off -- I wish Mitchell Karasik well, I really do.  Even as a Tickerman -- maybe he'll study up and we'll get used to the somewhat exotic cadences he brings to his readings.  After all, one of the qualities The Ticket brings to sports-talk radio is its willingness to showcase unconventional broadcast voices.  So let's give the guy a chance.  (To help expiate my guilt over teasing him at the outset, and in admiration of the initiative he's shown in his non-Ticker ventures.)

Let the Mitchell Karasik Watch continue.

Twitter:  @Plainsman1310

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


Let's face it, every thread here is an open thread.  I'll be away for a few days.  In the manner of Lee "Hacksaw" Hamilton, here are some topics on the table to get you started:

(1) Sunday AM.  Following up on the last comment thread, what would you like to see on Sunday morning, or elsewhere on the weekends?

(2) Bass to MaSS?  I have been startled by a couple of anti-Sean Bass confessions in the comments to the previous post, complaining of know-it-all-ism and breathing patterns.  I have to disagree.  When I tune in and hear a Sean-based program, whether with Ty or Newbury, I'm in.  Always like those shows.  Would have no problem with a Sunday morning show featuring him, Ty, or David.  (Or other guys, either, but they seem to team up with more regularity.)

(3) Matt M.  Also started by the vitriol directed at the departing Matt McClearin.  Yes, Matt has "boundary" issues, although I would classify them more as "governor" or "editor" issues, and I understand the sentiment that one makes one own bed in radio, as one does in whatever freely-chosen profession in which one is engaged (not to mention the personal choices that require, um, cash money).  But they by no means dominate his performance, and on balance I think it's undeniable that Scot and Matt have earned the shot they're getting and that Matt is an equal partner in their success.  I didn't take down random P1's post, because, bitter though it seemed (and the "whore"comment did almost get it booted), it at least had some thinking behind it.

(4) Ax.  And I am hoping, really really hoping, that ├╝bercritical posts like those relating to Sean and Matt, are not folks with, shall we say, an ax to grind about these guys.  If you know what I mean.  I am extremely reluctant to question the motives of people who take the time to write comments, but when those comments tend toward the angry and personal (and oddly detailed), I am moved at least to wonder.  If I thought this site were being used to advance anyone's personal agenda to the detriment of both this site and The Ticket, it would be vamanos in zero time.  Maybe I need to get the machete out more often. 

There's a topic:  I don't moderate comments (do not have the time and want comments to reflect breaking items), but should I be more aggressive about weeding out posts that have a legitimate take but are gratuitously mean or nasty?

(5) IJB.  I really regret I do not have time to listen to podcasts.  I barely have time to knock this thing out.  But a lot of P1's really like what Jake and T.C. are slinging, and I wouldn't be offended if the CTO gave them at least a tryout on Sunday mornings.

(6) New Orleans.  What did we all think about Super Bowl Week in New Orleans? Here:  mixed.

Outta time.  Keep it cool, Confessors, with my thanks.

Twitter:  @Plainsman1310

Friday, February 1, 2013

BREAKING: Your MaSS Is Grass

This site does not like to convey Total Bummers of the Universe, but sometimes the job requires it:

I have learned from a Source Never Previously Known to Be Reliable Or Even Known as a Source or Even Known to Me But Which I Have, Perhaps Foolishly, Chosen to Believe, that Scot Harrison and Matt McClearin, better known to us as Sunday MaSS, have taken a job with a Cumulus affiliate in Birmingham, Alabama, where they will hold down the weekday 10-2 spot.  That spooky Anonymous who posted earlier in the day seems not to have been a troll (at least not today) but to have been clued in.

This Sunday will be their final service.

I regret this a lot, as both men are quite talented in different ways that, oddly, worked.  This site has generally supported MaSS (and even enjoyed listening to it).   Your Plainsman at one time touted Scot Harrison as a possible Mike Rhyner replacement.

Scot and Matt, will you do us the honor of checking in to confirm or deny?

And, whatever the circumstances, very best fortune to you both, and we hope you find your way back here frequently, and even permanently, when circumstances warrant.