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.

56 comments:

The Plainsman said...

This site is not in the habit of breaking big Ticket stories, mainly because no one ever spoonfeeds me any and I don't lift a finger to go find them. This particular tip had the ring of truth, and I took absolutely no steps to confirm it. If it is incorrect I deeply regret any injury it has caused Matt, Scot, or The Ticket.

So I'm hoping M or S will be allowed to check in to tell us what's up.

Thanks for your indulgence on this little scoop, and please, don't take it for any more than it's worth.

Whatever the frack that means.

Cactus said...

I can confirm this. Your anon poster was right. And this sure makes the other Anon who called the guy a troll, etc look stupid, IMHO.

Anonymous said...

Not a big MASS fan. Sunday is the only day I make the switch to the FAN. I really like K and C masterpiece - it would play well on the ticket.

Anonymous said...

@Cactus
I do apologize for calling this particular Anon a troll. Seriously. I'm sorry for calling you a troll, Anon. It's just that there is a troll who lurks around here; who makes all sorts of wild claims, snarks, etc.. But you're right, Cactus, I do look (and feel) stupid on this one. My bad.

Now...... OUR bad is losing MaSS. Count me among the haters of its early churchy conception. I was glad when they gave up that schtick. They didn't need it. It soon became a nice little Sunday morning break from the chores for me. I'll miss it. Now......on to the bigger picture. What to make of this? Cumulus is now poaching from itself? If this happens once, make no mistake about it, it'll happen again. I'm I right here? Help me out, Cactus. You're in the know. Perhaps Sunday is now open for IJB or another CdS slot? The bigger question is who is next to be shuffled? Obviously not a weekday show. But there's a lot of JV talent that might easily be moved to other stations in order to give them a shot at a daytime gig. A shot that they won't be receiving here. At least not anytime in the near or middle future. I'm not sure if this bodes well for The Ticket. I wonder if room is being made for more CBS content? Perhaps this is the beginning of a larger scale integration between CBS and Cumulus? Making more room for other programming? Who knows, maybe in some sideways angle, this is the beginning of The FAN as we know it coming to an end and its merging with The Ticket? Overreaction? Most likely. But this move of MaSS to another Cumulus station in a market where neither host has any ties to strikes me as strange. While I've admitted that I like MaSS, I like it as background noise, as a side dish. It's not a main course. I really do wish those two all the luck in the world. But man, I hope it works out for them, because if it doesn't, they're screwed as far as Cumulus goes. They won't be coming back to The Ticket. Now they're no longer Ticket guys; they are Cumulus guys. Yes, Cumulus owns The Ticket, but you can see the difference, yes? Don't know. Seems like a strange move for them. Both appeared to be so entrenched in the local scene. With the beers, the bars, the this that and the other. Matt and the Stars, Scot and his wife's nursing job and his daughter, school, etc. (That's one thing I enjoy about MaSS, they tell you what's going on in their lives...like the other hosts used to do in the old days. Really telling you what's going on.)

Anyway. Again, my apologies to the Anon with the info goods. And good luck MaSS boys. You'll need it. But you will be missed. For sure.

ausgang said...

Evidently, either Scot or Matt or someone at The Ticket/Cumulus posted that Anon scoop. Which is cool because it only affirms my long held suspicion that everyone at the station, and I mean everyone, plus CTOs read this blog and its comments. It's nice to be heard and taken at least somewhat seriously by something you've invested so much of your time and heart into (if they didn't, they wouldn't read it and even check in from time to time). I'm sure we'll hear the whole backstory tomorrow morning from Scot and Matt. Or who knows, maybe Scot will leave a comment here to that effect. After all, he has checked in a few times in the past.

Good luck to you Scot and Matt. I sort of echo the 12:27 Apologetic Anon in that I wonder if this means other movements are in the works? Who knows. Every time things seem settled and humming along, something springs up from out of nowhere and upends it all. Granted it's "only" Sunday am programming, but it was the best Sunday am programming The Ticket has ever had (no offense, Elf). I just hope they don't stick a CBS national feed show in its place. May God help us all if we get "Best of" Farrell.

ausgang said...

One more thing: K&C Masterpiece would not play well on The Ticket. IMHO it's not good radio. And it's not BaD radio for that matter, either. They are an amalgam of the worst characteristics found in Ben and Skin and CdS. That, my friends, does not make for compelling radio. I've listened to them for the last month or so, trying to give them a chance. Many chances, really. Last weekend, Sunday I believe, they were actually asking callers to phone in and give their Super Bowl MVP predictions. They weren't kidding. Neither were the callers. Enough said.

One more Ferrall tidbit. The few times I've tried to listen, there has been each time a Dallas caller. It's always a prank. It usually involves invoking Barbero or Norm. I can't stand "On the Bench," but I must admit that he not only sniffs out the prank, pretty much from the get-go, but he also handles it very well. He actually engages the caller, never making any "I'm outraged" or "Don't call back you moron" kind of "Yeah, I knew this guy was a prankster all along" kind of statement--either during of after the call. In other words, he doesn't bring attention to it in the least. Which is pro. I have to give him at least that much credit. Other than that, yuck.

duckandcover said...

I like to make predictions. So here I go.

MaSS is being transferred to Birmingham because the CTOs think it has a lot of potential. Potential, that is, to be a daytime show on The Ticket. However, at this time there is no room for them. Being able to only work together one day per week for a few hours won't allow for them to polish their chops enough to do a daily show, so they are being shipped off in order to prepare for their ultimate return to The Ticket. Why all of this? Because the CTOs know that one of the regular shows is not going to be around after its contract(s) expire. Which show? Beats me. When? Don't know. But this is my prediction and I'm standing by it. However, if for some reason things don't go well in Alabama, then the CTOs say "well, glad we didn't try this out at our golden goose station" and that'll be the end of it (and MaSS's career at Cumulus; perhaps not individually, but as MaSS). Now why not just put them on weeknights? Because of that insult to all Ticket listeners, Ferrall on The Bench. We've already seen what happens to Intentional Grounding with their brief amount of time: by the time things get rolling, it's time to close up shop. It's frustrating for the listener; and I can only imagine how frustrating it is for the hosts. Besides, it has to be cheaper to pay for TC to oversee the Top Ten than it is to pay two hosts.

Anonymous said...

D&C is a smart man. Or woman.

Tomfoolery said...

Duck,
I totally agree with your theory. It makes perfect sense. I have been trying to figure out why these two guys would take a job in freakin' Alabama. It seems feasible that they were offered this job as a chance to polish the show with the promise that they would be given the chance to come back to Dallas once one of the weekday programs was not renewed.
Scot is a longtime Dallas guy with a family, and Matt has the Stars duties, etc. Surely they would have to be promised something down the road to do this.

I know this goes against most of the sentiment on this site, but I have never understood all the love for MASS...I have given it a try a few times, but, as someone said a few posts ago, MASS sounds like a show in Lubbock or Tyler or Waco trying to copy the Ticket. As far as I am concerned, this is no big loss. I would much rather hear IJB or even the Sirois-es than MASS...at least those shows don't sound like they're trying so hard to be "Tickety"...

Anonymous said...

You think radio companies work more efficiently than they do. They're going to Birmingham because they sent a tape there and the PD liked it. They sent a tape because they'd like to be able to afford to venture off Wendy's Value Menu for dinner a couple times a week. It isn't Cumulus moving them, it's them moving to another station that happens to be a CMLS station. I'm sure they applied to several different stations with several different ownership groups.

The Plainsman said...

duck, you stole my thunder.

Back in the old days, all the big Broadway shows would open in other cities for tryouts before moving to New York. Joseph Heller even wrote a play whose title references the practice: "We Bombed in New Haven," that worthy city being a prime tryout venue.

While I understand 927's skepticism, this does have the flavor of an out-of-town tryout. Although not everyone likes MaSS, the consensus here seems pretty favorable and I think the CTO think they've got something with that team. Indeed, there's no place for them now, but in the next few years, Norm will surely be retiring. Although he still sounds strong and enthusiastic, I have recently been picking up a hint of weariness in that voice. I don't know when his contract is up. One way or the other, The Ticket cannot go on in its present form forever. (Actually . . . I think the Musers may be immortal, and The Hardline is proving Woody Allen's bon mot ("Eighty percent of success is showing up") may have been an underestimate.)

My sense is that this is indeed a CTO initiative and not our lads having sought a new gig. This Birmingham thing could easily go on for several years -- they're trying to find out if Scot and Matt have the chops to build up and hold an audience in the top sports radio station in that market. I'm assuming they're going to WJOX AM 690 (yes, it's "The Fan"), one of the top-rated stations in the market, with the University of Alabama Crimson Tide Sports Network (football only), Tennessee Titans Radio, and the Atlanta Braves. At one time it simulcast at 94.5 FM but I'm getting mixed signals as to whether that's still the case, although the FM station is sports-talk. The ESPN affiliate is 97.3 FM "The Zone."

If I'm reading matters correctly, The Fan (FM) is one of the top five stations in that market. (We have readers who know radio, so please weigh in to correct me.) So this isn't just some spare station these guys are being parked at. I think it's a bigger deal than it may sound like to us spoiled P1's. SEC football, perennial top-ranked college team, and an affiliate for pro football and baseball. Not a backwater by any means, but surely not the cash cow that The Ticket is. If M+S have staying power there, the CTO will feel much more confident bringing them in to replace (again, just guessing) Norm sometime a few years down the road.

Of course, they're not going to go in to the inside baseball tomorrow morning, but as usual, Your Source for Responsible Ticket Jounalism (which is now mopping its brow in relief that it didn't report a big fib) will be listening between the lines.

And what JV combo will replace them on Sunday morning? Like everyone else, I'm praying it isn't some dreadful network crap. I'd rather listen to Messrs. Fleming and Kemp any day. I could also handle any combination of Ty Walker, David Newbury, Sean Bass, and David Moore.

Never a dull moment at The Ticket.

ausgang said...

Not that it means anything, though it could, Matt said nothing about leaving the Stars pre and post shows tonight. In fact, he said he'd be back for Monday's game. So who knows, maybe this is in the works but hasn't been yet nailed down. If they did instigate this themselves, they must be getting a nice salary from the new station. Else I don't see why they'd make the move. They both have real roots here. Especially Scot. Moving to a new city and a new school is tough on a teen ager. Isn't his daughter a high school kid? And Matt and his wife just had a baby, right? A new baby, and I presume it's their first, with the grandparents in the area and family, that's a tough thing to leave behind. And to leave behind for something that might last for a few months. The radio business is brutal in that regard. So my guess would be that they're being very nicely compensated. I hope duck's theory is right, though.

Anonymous said...

927: Don't try talking logic here. It doesn't fly. Everything is a conspiracy. Everything. It's just easier once you figure that out.

Anonymous said...

Plainsman,

WJOX was generally running between 4th and 8th in the ratings, while the Cox competitor (WZNN) was not in the top 15.

That said, note that two weeks ago, WJOX lost their biggest draw in Paul Finebaum as his contract (and staff) ran out. He has a 90-day, no complete clause in Birmingham. He is the big earner. In losing him (for at minimum 90 days), they moved their mid-day show to his old slot, 2-6 PM.

Finebaum did not really have an issue with Cumulus, rather the company and contract they assumed, Citadel. He drove station revenues, period.

Reportedly, the WJOX PD also left for WZNN as well.

As for T.C., I just cannot stand to listen to all of his, "ya know/umm/I mean..." for more than 15 minutes.

Anonymous said...

@plainsman If you look further into wjox you'll find that their current 10-2 show has been moved up a time slot. No mention of what will take it over but if it is Mass that's kind of pathetic. No disrespect to Scot and Matt. I listen to Mass weekly but I don't think many listeners would argue that it is way off the radar compared to the rest of the shows, even CDS and the Teebox. It just amuses me that Mass of all shows are head hunted for a daily 4 hour show. Imagine how bad a station would need to be to have Mass as a headliner? A weekly bottom feeder at the ticket now getting more airtime than Bad radio in another market. Damn that's funny.

Best of luck to them if it's true. I hope the ticket decides to do something fun with the new time slot. If not maybe they could banish Intentional Grounding to sunday and give IJB that measly hour on wednesday to fiddle with.

The Plainsman said...

As long as we're all looking at one another sheepishly and conceding that we're engaging in take--your-breath-awy speculating, here some more for you in light of ausgang's observation about Matt saying he'd back on Monday for more Stars broadcasting and Anon's report on the sitch in Birmingham:

(1) There will be a "fallow" period while M+S get up to speed on local sports and perhaps tend to the logistics of a move to Birmingham, leaving Matt available for Stars work.

(2) Here's one for you: They're taking that Birmingham gig, BUT NOT LEAVING THE METRO. Modern communications, amazing, you can sit in one city and be heard through the radio box in another! I would think that would be a fairly hefty PR risk in Birmingham, though.

This possibility is consistent with this being a CTO initiative, rather than a M+S initiative.

(3) If WJOX just lost their big dog, as 135 and 203 Anonymous has reported, perhaps MaSS isn't intended to be a "headliner" (which, contrary to Anonymous, I don't find odd at all -- like MaSS or not, which I do, it's a real damned radio show with real content and likable hosts, and I wouldn't expect the "MaSS" trope and format to be carried over verbatim to Birmingham, anyway), but more of a credible placeholder until WJOX finds a bigger dog to fill that slot again. We've all been looking at this from a Ticketcentric standpoint (there is, by the way, no other credible worldly standpoint from which to be looking at anything), not from a Birmingham or CTO standpoint. Cumulus has a problem in Birmingham; they have a slick ready-made show in Dallas that's gotten fair notices and is underutilized; thus, get M+S on the air in Birmingham and you've got, if not a win-win, at least a smart use of resources to alleviate a crisis at your Birmingham tower.

(4) I've been thoroughly scammed.

[[FOR NEWCOMERS: CTO = Cumulo-Ticket Overlords. Takes both the singular and the plural, depending on your personal whim at the time.]]

PS: 1227 Anoonymous: You win the prize for the greatest Stream of Unconsciousness post. Keep spilling your best at My Ticket Confession!

And really, guys & dolls, thanks for some great posts. If the CTO isn't checking y'all out, it should be.

ausgang said...

@12:58
You seem to consistently have no conception of what this site is about. Strange.

I think 9:07 is the same anon from the last thread who first put this site onto MaSS's departure. Now, after hearing their first segment regarding their leaving, I'm pretty sure the anon is McClearin. (The money issue being brought up by 9:07 and McClearin, and the anon nailing everything before announced.) Not sure, but I thought I heard a shot aimed toward MTC. From the sounds of things, duck's theory is, alas, not true. However, it seems like there might be a little more to the story. Guess we'll find out at 10:30.

Good luck to Matt and Scot. I'll certainly give their first few shows a listen via the internet.

Anonymous said...

Hope what I just heard Killer say is a joke. The KT and Machine show taking the MaSS slot? I like both of those guys, but I'm mot sure about them having 4 hour Sunday program.

@ausgang
You heard correctly. They were definitely taking a few shots at MTC. The comments about contracts, hosts leaving, and CBS content on The Ticket were directly aimed at this place. Too bad. Excepting some, and I believe rightly put, concerns over Matt's boundary issues and vulgarity, this site has been very positive about MaSS. Even those who don't like it are most always respectful. I also thought it interesting when both Matt and Scot sort of admitted that they were, at least in the beginning, using the religious angle in order to be a bit on the offensive side of things.

Good luck to them. I hope it works out. But to be honest, I don't know if it is. In fact, I kind of don't think what they do is going to transfer well to the Deep South. They are going to the heart of Big Southern Dummy country. They better know their Bama. Bama everything. I don't think either they themselves or their new employers realize how much of their show content is Cowboy centric (with some Rangers thrown it). Thing is, these are both Dallas guys. They grew up with these teams. They're in their blood. Thus it's easy to discuss. It's second nature to do so. That's not going to be the case in Birmingham. There will be no crutch, no innately known spirit of a team to fall back on.

Like I said, good luck. I honestly mean it. But man oh man, it's going to be a lot of work for those boys.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Matt just hurled a bomb over this way. About the possibility of their return in 2015 for THL. Jerk It almost makes me think he's the anon troll. As weird as he is, it wouldn't surprise me if he were.

BBQ said...

Jeez. After hearing about the station and what's expected of them, I'm not sure I'd be to eager to go down that road. Yeah, an opportunity is an opportunity, but dang, all SEC football all the time and yelling "ROLL TIDE!" at every turn sounds more like a nightmare rather than a dream job.

@9:55 Lighten up, brother. If in fact it was a shot, who cares? He has a right to think what goes on around these parts is annoying.

Looking forward to the 10:30 segment. And in case you MaSS guys read this, best of luck to you. But yeah, that market does not sound like a good time.

Anonymous said...

MASS is low energy, not funny and generic. A couple of nice dudes with obvious sports takes and craft beer talk. Will probably play well on a more mainstream station, but not Ticket worthy.

Anonymous said...

Well, that's that. Adios, MaSS. I can see why they'd make this move. I can also see why they've been sending out their resumes and audio to other stations, seeking a job. Don't know if this is the right move though. I think there's more than enough "country" and adaptability in Scot for it to work out for him there, or most anywhere in the South/Southwest. Matt, I'm not so sure. I think he's going to have a difficult time with both the listeners and management. I've yet to see anything in him over the last 18 months that suggests that he's capable of toning himself down. The differences in the mien of Birmingham Ala and Dallas are striking. By what they said about bringing certain Ticket ideas (campout, etc.) to the new station, I imagine, is exactly what the new PD has in mind. He thinks he's going to bring in some of that Ticket magic. We'll see. I hope they do. I hope they do well. Good luck guys, and like some have said here, you will need it.

PS: I wish your prediction/theory was on the money, d&c. They made no mention of the possibility of their return. In my opinion, they'll either make it there or become typical radio vagabonds.

STAY HARD MATT AND SCOT!

Anonymous said...

One more thing:
Who's more upset about Scot Harrison leaving: The Plainsman (who has had grand designs for his local career and an obvious man crush on him) or The Pour House (the weekly free advertisements)?

speakerrebuilder said...

I listen to the ticket less and less anymore. I haven't listened to B&D for years. The one show I never miss is the Orphanage. The day they did Ratterday (the music group Ratt) was priceless. Even the HL is getting boring. This week I was watching Happy Days reruns on TV instead of them. They need an overhaul....they are ripe for the taking....

Anonymous said...

A Birmingham daytime sports show based in Dallas? Howard Stern is right-radio is an industry run by idiots. Thank God for the little Ticket!

Anonymous said...

I still enjoy B&D for sports and banter. What's killing their show in my opinion are sports interviews (like Jason Witten), TV talk (worst thing that's happened to sports talk-thanks HL!) and the ultimate radio anthrax - interviewing TV show characters?! Who enjoys listening to this crap which has become a staple of BAD radio. Sad.

Scot said...

Hey kids, just wanted to drop in and say thanks! The fact that you guys and gals love the Little Ticket so much that you take time to thoughtfully (in most cases) post here is a really cool thing. Naturally we appreciate the kind words more than those less delicate...but if you're going to do this you have to understand that people will either like or dislike your work...indifference is death.

I can tell you that neither Matt nor I was anon 904 from Friday. We sat on this until this morning. The email to the staff rolled out at 9:02 Friday... draw your own conclusions.

As we explained this morning, I became aware of this opportunity Jan 22. We talked to Cat about it the next day and received his blessing. A few phone calls later and a couple of listens to our podcast and it was mostly done. They offered and we accepted this past Thursday. That's all there was to it...no CTO machinations...no CBS net influence...just two guys hoping for an opportunity.

We would love to stay here but you all know the lay of the land at The Ticket... no major show changes since 1999 or so? We wanted more at bats...Birmingham had a roster spot... duckandcover from 2/2 5:42 has it pretty well nailed...or at least that's the logic I like to think is being used here...except the part about "things don't go well". We hope that doesn't happen. If the opportunity to return to the Ticket someday arises it would be great but we don't go to Birmingham with that in mind. We go with the intent of taking care of the Jox FM P1s and constantly working to be the best we can be....come what may!

Again, a big thanks to the Confessors and The Plainsman. His touting of my abilities, meager as they are, were humbling and the comments from Confessors, good or bad, in the last 2 years were appreciated. As I said once before in a post here: you guys took the time to not only listen to our little show but to then take to MTC and write about it...that's cool!

So Plainsman, whaddaya say you get My Jox Confessor up and running...

Stay Hard Confessors!

Scot

Anonymous said...

this is, by far, the most clear-headed and correct post that has been delivered on this subject

Anonymous said...
You think radio companies work more efficiently than they do. They're going to Birmingham because they sent a tape there and the PD liked it. They sent a tape because they'd like to be able to afford to venture off Wendy's Value Menu for dinner a couple times a week. It isn't Cumulus moving them, it's them moving to another station that happens to be a CMLS station. I'm sure they applied to several different stations with several different ownership groups.

February 2, 2013 at 9:27 PM

duckandcover said...

@1:03 Anon
That's mighty magnanimous of yourself to congratulate yourself on your own thoughts. Great job, buddy!

@Scot
Thanks so much for stopping by here for some parting words. I think I can speak for all, regardless of their position on MaSS, we all wish you and Matt the best. Go get 'em and make us P1, MTCers proud! Oh, and thanks for the tip of the hat in your comment. From the above, I, too, hope things go well, and not the other way around.

Now we must turn our attention to what happens next.

Any guesses as to who takes over Sunday mornings? I'd love to see a Newbury/Sea Bass or a Newbury/Jake helmed show. My gut feeling is that we will not see either a move to Sunday or having Sunday added on to the CdS show. I think Cat knows what he has in them, and is most likely looking for another pairing or person whom he thinks could develop into something that could one day be daytime host material. CdS is not that show. They're good for what they are: two brothers who do a couple of hours show on a Saturday. Nothing more, nothing less; and not a darn thing wrong about that. Not my cup of tea, mind you, but they serve their role in the greater scheme of the schedule.

Anonymous said...

I'm sad to see MaSS go. And quite frankly, I don't know if they're replaceable. It became a perfect show to cap off The Ticket weekend before giving way to the national feed (sans the rare Ticket Sports Sundays) or the pre or pre-pre game Cowboy programs. While this loss on surface seems fairly inconsequential (it's a show that aired Sunday mornings), I think there's a bigger picture thing going on. It's getting harder and harder to find local talent with lifelong (or nearly lifelong) ties to the community and sports scene to bring into The Ticket fold. And that is, after all, what made the station great. It really is local guys talking local things. It's even more difficult to find a more mature voice like Scot's to fit that bill. The MaSS hosts, especially Scot, are a dying breed of sorts in these parts. Without such hosts to bring up through the ranks, the station's voice will begin to evolve into something that is quite different from where it has been and is now. Yes, there are a few guys who are from here, but with perhaps the exception of Jake and Sea Bass (I think he's from the DFW area) there aren't any true contenders that could someday fill the shoes of the current weekday lineup. And in truth I'm not sure Jake could or would even want to. He seems like a guy who has several ideas of what he would like to eventually get into. Whatever the case is, it's high time Cat or whoever it is up there that makes these sorts of decisions to get serious about their JV crew. Because they just lost the only show, and the only solo host (Scot) that had real potential. What passes for the rest of the JV crew does not. CdS is Ben and Skin light. The Orphanage has no ambition to do anything other than what it does already. Besides, it's about as stale as The Hardline (and it's only on for two hours, once a week). I guess I'd like to see something with Dave Newbury and Sea Bass, or Ty Walker or Jake or even Stu Seder. Really, that's all you can do. Once again, The Ticket struck gold in MaSS. But this time they failed to capitalize on their good fortune. Kind of like Mike Olt and Jurickson Profar, there's no room on the field for them at this time. Who can blame them for wanting more ABs and moving on? I would have done the same. Oh well. Our loss. Perhaps our loss in a bigger way down the road than presently. But our loss, indeed.

atlanta rhythm section said...

Whoa Nellie! I just took a gander at WJOX and uh hiyo, that is one generic frackin' sports talk radio station. I have a feeling that no matter what the MaSS (RIP) boys throw out, there they will be the edgiest and most compelling thing to hit the Birmingham airwaves in years. I have a feeling they're gonna be able to get away with not knowing all things SEC and Bama. I have a feeling they're gonna be able to go light on those topics because of everything else Tickety they'll bring along. Yup, methinks Scooter and The Weirdo (feel free to use that as your new show name. . .that one's for free) are gonna be better than alright at WJOX. I think they'll make a name for themselves.

So long and thanks for all the fish, fellas.

The Plainsman said...

My thanks to Scot Harrison for filling us in on the details, and for being a friend to this site. It has meant a lot to me and to this site's readers and Confessors.

I have no reason to doubt his account and I do not doubt it. But that is a pretty extraordinary account of getting that gig. A top-rated mid-market station with a big hole at midday, and it gets filled with our heroes in a matter of a few days when there must have been many podcast and show-tape (I know, no one tapes anymore) submissions to WJOX. A couple of thoughts.

First, it's a real tribute to the quality of MaSS (let's face it, Confessors, The Ticket has spoiled us) that it was love at first listen for the Birmingham Program Director and Station Manager. Some of us may have quibbles with the show, and I came down pretty hard on Matt not too long ago, but the CTO deserves credit for running local programming Sunday mornings, and for finding a combination that works. And ultimate credit to Scot for powering through Jean-Jacques Taylor (The Soul Patch was a fascinating listen, too) and to Matt McClearin for making a damned fine marriage with Scot.

Second, while it is clear from Scot's account (and from his outright representation) that this was not a CTO initiative -- let me confess, my speculation was wrong -- I would be surprised if some of those "few phone calls" Scot mentions did not include, somewhere along the line, a conversation, perhaps one that did not include S or M, that included exactly the same thinking that went into duck's and my own speculation -- this is a golden opportunity for this fine Dallas station to see if a couple of our home-grown talents can helm a high-visibility midday show on a top-rated station. With the thought, in the back of some folks' mind, and in the front of some other folks', that there might possibly be a homecoming in these men's future.

Third -- and again, with absolutely no arched eyebrow towards Scot's comment -- if there WERE such a thought abroad in the organization (whether or not M+S know it), no one could possibly acknowledge it. These guys deserve the best launch they can possibly get, and they don't need jamokes like us speculating about an eventual departure from Birmingham.

Fourth: Matt & Scot, thank your lucky stars that Mitchell Kerasik did not get his submission in first.

And again, this site's very best wishes for gigantic success in Birmingham, for you AND your lovely families -- forever, if it suits you and your loved ones. Kick some of it, gentlemen.

The Plainsman said...

I almost forgot the Byron Anderson years -- er, months -- er, weeks.

Anonymous said...

Like you, Plainsman, I also take Scot at his word. But also, like you, I find it near Hollywood script like that it went down this way. I mean, wow, a once per week Sunday morning show in the span of a week goes from being low to near if not lowest on the show totem pole at The Ticket to being midday hosts at the biggest station in a city whose regional population tops 1 million. That's no small potatoes, folks. Now while I take Scot at his word, I do have a sneaking suspicion that they've been sending out audio and resumes for a while. The opportunity might've presented itself on Jan. 22 by means of a formal 'we're interested if you are' call from WJOX, but I can't imagine that Matt and Scot had no feelers going out, that this was completely out of the blue, that WJOX just happened to hear of a Sunday morning show from Dallas and had to get them for an important daytime slot. I wonder if they'd been on The FAN if this would've went down? Somehow I doubt it. Even if their show was exactly as it has been, I have a feeling the cache that comes along with being Ticket associated had to have helped them. And it should've. And what's more, good for them.

Anyway, it's over. I doubt if they're ever coming back. So I guess it's time to move on to something more important if in fact there is something more important to move on to.

Anonymous said...

@10:09
Amen, brother. MaSS is gone and it ain't coming back. If it does, it won't be MaSS or any other name. It'll be one or both moving back to Dallas because it didn't work out for one reason or another. Like atlanta rhythm section, I think it will work out. But it's time to move to another topic. This one is dead letter office. Even though in a really weird way their departure is having a sort of depressing affect on me. A sort of don't know what you've got until it's gone thing.

One topic is who will replace them? We have nearly a week to speculate before we find out. Though there'll probably be an announcement made in a few days. I do wonder if the station will mix it up and give multiple possible shows a shot. I think that would be a good idea, unless it's Newbury and Sea Bass. That pairing I'd like to see. The station sorely needs another more sportsy oriented show. If even for one day a week.

D.A. said...

I believe Scot's account with these reasons:

1-On January 22, 2013 Cumulus' contract with Paul Finebaum at WJOX expired. In terms of "basic sports talk", keep in mind that Finebaum's show had 25% of the key male demo in Birmingham (2-6 pm) and the show was syndicated throughout AL and most of the southeast as well as on Sirius.

2-Less than an week before the Finebaum contract expiring, nine year PD Ryan Haney resigned from WJOX to take a job at the cross-town rival effective January 28.

3-There are message boards and other trade publication and websites which do post jobs regardless of market size. Scot also has his skills being marketed by STAA Talent, a sports broadcasting dedicated site.

Anonymous said...

I don't think anyone doubts Scot's account; I'm saying that I think there's more to it, backstory wise than he let's on. Understandably so.

Whoever you are, D.A., and I think you're the person who has posted all the radio in the know info on WJOX, you obviously know your Birmingham stuff. Either that or you're one heck of a bullshitter. Which I don't think you are, by the way. But I still don't see how the big dog in Birmingham sports talk radio loses its big dog host and then immediately says let's get the Sunday morning show from Dallas to replace it.

From the last half of your last sentence, you suggest that Scot has been very proactive in stepping up his career. That makes sense. If true, good on him. It seems, at least at the moment, to have worked. We'll see how it plays out. Not sure if the end game has he and Matt working together. I have to agree with others when they say that Matt has some serious where to draw the line issues. He does seem to keep things in check when he's doing the Stars pre and post, but I think that's only because it's a totally sports focused show. When he has free reign I think his true self can't help but manifest itself. I think it's entertaining. But I only listen to it once a week. Not sure how that goes over every day. Then again, maybe he gets sick of his freaky schtick and gets into talking more sports than his own fetishes. Honestly I think those SEC fans will force him to normal up or he'll be forced out.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I think those SEC fans might suck the very life out of Scot and Matt. I don't think many of you readers of this blog, the blog's proprietor, or Scot or Matt have ever been around that scene for an extended period of time. I have. Get ready, Matt and Scot. I'm not sure you understand what you're about to get into. Talk about investing one's energy into that which one will quickly find stifling, vapid, and stultifying. Good luck, guys. You will need it there if you want to in any way retain any form of the show you put forth in Dallas. Realize that you'll have to totally revamp and water down your personalities. YOU ARE NOW IN ALABAMA.

Anonymous said...

3:06......Do you not think that M&S haven't thought about that before taking the job? They're obviously not idiots. I don't think you're shedding any light on to a situation. I'll guarantee you they've not only thought about it, but they've also come up with a plan of action as to how to deal with it. Damn. I like this site, but some of you people don't give other human beings enough credit. Either that or some of you just like to read and have read by others the crap that rattles around in your heads.

Here's one. If anyone has any ideas, I'd like to hear them. Starting last week I noticed that the Musers are always referring to themselves as Dunham and Miller and Keith. They're doing it again today. At first I thought it was one of their inside the radio biz jokey things. Now I'm not so sure. Why call themselves D&M&K after all these years? Why now?

randomP1 said...

It's old news now but this P1 would like to blow really hard on this topic a bit. I totally understand they'd like to make more money. We all do. However, it sounds like that gig in Birmingham would be a great fit for your generic sports guy. Have a few takes and field calls the rest of the time. That's most of the sports radio in this country. Sure they make better money but offer so little in the way of originality. Turn on any station not the Ticket and that's what you'll get. It's lazy and uninspired unless you love caller driven radio.

So here we have 2 hosts in M and S who are quite the opposite of your generic sports talk guy. Love them or hate them, they have personality and it explains why they have a show on the Ticket in the first place. Furthermore, they are deeply ingrained in the local sports scene. Scot mentioned how depressed he was when not doing radio. Well Scot, the good news is you now have tons of airtime to fill. The bad, we don't need you to say anything about Texas HS football, the Cowboys, the Rangers or any of that. It's an odd move for him. If he's not in it for the money he's got little to gain. I would think considering where he is in life that he'd rather talk about his passions and not forced into bama topics. I get the impression he's ok financially so it kinda sucks for him. Whatevs.

Matt on the other hand will probably adapt much better. He is a whore. Whores will do anything for money. He's doing the right thing. I say that as a compliment, btw. People like him are great for radio because he gets a reaction and I think that's probably what jox is looking for. Piss off the listeners and get more callers.

Dear Matt, no one wants to hear anyone on the radio bitch about money. You should be aware that working for the Ticket is more a privilege than a job. If your priority is money you should know better. It's been said repeatedly, if you're looking to get paid stay away from the Ticket. Jake still works a job outside of being a FT board op. Clearly he understands there are other benefits to his position than his paycheck and he is utilizing them. More on that in a bit.

So Matt needs money. If you're a regular listener he's made that known repeatedly. We get it. You want the hot young wife and the high income job that's also your dream job at the Ticket. Sorry we couldn't provide every last concession for you. Like I said, you're a better fit for this new gig and you're smart for taking it. Your bitterness comes off on the air and I have no use for it. You have the envy of every P1 that has dreams of having a show and yet you complain as if you didn't already know that there's no chance in hell there will be a daily slot open and if there was that you'd even get it. No sympathy here whatsoever. Your decision to have a kid on whatever income you have is your own problem, not the CTO or the P1s.

As far as their replacements, I'm surprised at some of the recommendations on here. People want to bash on TC, but nothing makes me rush to turn down the volume more than when Sean Bass decides to chime in on Bad radio. Definitely don't need his input when the big boys are in the room. I can't take him on Ticket Sports Saturday either. He comes off as a know-it-all to me, a bit arrogant and a tad too cocky for a ticker guy. I think he's fine where he is.

Meanwhile, we have a podcast nearing 200 episodes that has had almost every Ticket host on as a guest and has even done a remote. I'm sure people feel the same way about Jake and TC the way I feel about Sean, but I think it's only fair that these guys get a legit chance first. Why not reward those that have worked for it? Plus, they're in it for the love of the game so it works into the hands of the CTO. Don't have to pay them much and reap the free content. MaSS' departure could be a blessing in disguise.

Anonymous said...

Birmingham = 60th ranked market. Daily show > once a week show.
Perfect fit. Perfect sense.

Anonymous said...

Yama mama, Random P1. If them be compliments going Matt's way, I'd hate to be on the ass end of your criticism!


Michael in Irving said...

@Random I think you give IJB faaaaaaaaaaaaar too much credit and credibility. Why do they deserve a shot over a Sean Bass or a Ty Walker? I'm not sure what your idea of paying dues is, but neither Jake nor T.C. have paid dues like some of the other guys at the station who merit a shot before they ever do. And I'll bet you anything that Jake and T.C. would say the same thing.

The Plainsman said...

1142: Thanks for your comments, but of what earthly necessity was your shot at the Confessor? ("I like this site, but some of you people don't give other human beings enough credit. Either that or some of you just like to read and have read by others the crap that rattles around in your heads.") You disagree, fine, but in the future -- stash the gratuitous shots. You came thisclose to being taken down.

The reason you weren't taken down is because I also had been noticing that "Dunham & Miller & Keith" business. Wondering if maybe the Musers have made some new arrangement with The Ticket -- new contracts used to be publicized, but no longer and I've lost track of Muser renewal time if I ever knew it -- whereby Gordon's contributions are to receive greater recognition somehow. In any event -- yes, it's noticeable and I wondered about it myself.

Anonymous said...

The shot wasn't at you Plainsman, it was at some of the commenters who can't seem to accept what others say. I mean, hello, one of the people directly involved in the subject matter says here is the deal, and yet that's not good enough for some people. I'm glad you kept my comment up, but I'm not sure what was so offensive about it. You have comments on this thread alone basically saying you and your commenters are clueless rumor mongers. Whatever.

Anonymous said...

the dominos are falling

Anonymous said...

...and Leon's getting larger.

randomP1 said...

@Michael I think I made a pretty good argument why they deserve a shot. An almost 200 episode podcast, getting all the Ticket hosts to come on with them, yada yada yada. You know, actually putting forth the effort on their own dime to prove they want and are worthy of a show. You might have noticed that whenever a weekend show is a man down that it's Jake getting the call to sit in. Where's Ty when these opportunities arise? What has Ty Walker ever done anyway? Porn birthdays? If he wants to host I've never got that impression from him. Are you judging guys by their desire to succeed or just by how long they've hung around to do tickers?

If Sean got the nod that's fine. He's deserving I'm just saying he's not my cup of tea. He's the only guy on the station that beats me. Chances are we're all wrong and the Ticket digs up some more writers from the DMN and gives them a show. It wouldn't surprise me and that way I can free up Sunday mornings for something else.

Tomfoolery said...

Random P1:

I totally agree with you about Sean Bass. He may be a good guy, but his know-it-all attitude and cocky sniff that ends every sentence drives me up the wall. I can't take his HSO's in 10 second bursts on Norm and BaD, let alone a 3-hour show.
And speaking of BaD - to the poster that said athlete interviews are killing BaD radio, He is right on the money. Every time we have to listen to 30 minutes of Jason "Rube" Whitten rattle on with a never ending string of cliches, i punch out.
And Ty Walker getting a show????? This is the entertainment business, not union work. Seniority and paying dues shouldn't make any difference at all. While IJB is a little vulgar at times, they are always interesting. I think Jake has something, and despite his goofiness, Totally Chuck has some radio talent in my opinion. I think the Ticket would be well-served to at least put IJB in MASS's old spot, if not a nightly show after the Hardline goes off the air.

Anonymous said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but Ty Walker Chicken fills in constantly for tickers when the regular guy is out. He also works for SMU and has a few other sports related gigs. Plus he does fill in on Ticket Sports Sat/Sun when need be. Same with Diamond Talk. He pretty much is the go to guy for fill in stuff. As far as IJB goers, yes they did a remote. Though they haven't been asked to another one. That says for something. They got asked to at at time when Jake's air time and pub by the other hosts talking about and engaging with him were at an all time high. It made sense. Equating a podcast with real radio experience is analogous to comparing doing nicely against the peewee batting cages, stepping out, and then taking on a major league pitcher going full bore with all of his pitches. I'm not saying IJB can't succeed. I'm saying it's highly unlikely. It would only be a matter of time before either Jake or TC or their callers --probably the callers-- runs the show a ground. Neither guy is likable enough in the broad sense to do it, either. They're niche dudes. So get K and C Masterpiece in here! Naw. Just joking. THat show IS what MaSS will have to become in old Bammy if they want to make it there.

Anonymous said...

Bring back the Hot Spot

Anonymous said...

Ty Walker is a regular ticker guy. He's the ticker guy for the Hardline. I've never heard of him working for SMU, but Sean Bass is their sideline reporter. Sometimes he hosts Sports Saturday, which is the most boring show the station has to offer.

Anonymous said...

WHY would they go to Brimingham??? How much money do you guys think weekend hosts make? They're paid part time,even at the mighty ticket. These guys are going to work everyday in Bama and get paid full time money. Kudos to them. And it's not poaching even if it's intentional. The bama PD prolli called Cat and said "Who ya got on the bench?" Sent some tapes, and there ya go. Is it so bad they wanted to do what they love full-time and not get paid by the hour?

Singed;
Not Mclearin or Richie

Anonymous said...

@Not Mclearin or Richie

First off, it's "signed" not "singed." Unless we're to imagine that you were singing the words as you typed them.

Secondly, who are you referring to by "Richie"? Scot is Matt's co host, not Richie (I presume, Whitt?).

Thirdly, Scot has another gig plus his wife is a doctor. Money isn't the issue for him. He said so on Sunday. It is for Matt, so it makes perfect sense that he'd seek out and take a full time gig, anywhere. The point being raised around these parts pertains to -at least for the majority of us- if whether a market and a station like WJOX in Birmingham is a good fit when considering their show, their strengths, their personalities, and their interests. I haven't read one comment that says I hope they fail. Sure some are skeptical of whether they'll be successful or not, but no one has said they wish failure on them. Quite the opposite.

Third, I can assure you that no such conversation took place between Cat and the WJOX PD. In fact, if you read this very thread, Scot himself tells us what transpired.

Anonymous said...

Or perhaps he had recently been burned (singed)??!?!!!?!

Anonymous said...

I know who the hosts are, but every time you don't play devils advocate around here you're accused of being the person in question.