Friday, September 6, 2013


A distaff Confessor writes me with the following convenient chart comparing numbers from a year ago and now:

Station            Aug. 2013                   Aug. 2012

Ticket                          7.5                   7.3
ESPN                          3.3                   2.8
Fan                              1.7                   1.3
Ticket                          8.1                   7.7
ESPN                          3.5                   2.5
Fan                              1.9                   1.8
Ticket                          7.3                   6.9
ESPN                          4.9                   2.8
Fan                              1.9                   1.8
Ticket                          7.5                   8.3
ESPN                          5.1                   3.4
Fan                              1.7                   2.1

She notes:  "All other Ticket shows up from a  year ago.  This makes sense to me as Mike’s disinterest and too much music/Breaking Bad talk might be taking a toll."  Looks like ESPN has essentially cut the gap with The Hardline in half, from 4.9 to 2.4.

Quite possible.  It is interesting that all sports radio is up from 2012 to 2013 (at least for the August report) except for Hardline and Fan Afternoon.

Now:  I don't know if these numbers are for all listeners, or only the all-important male-of-a-certain-age demo that we tend to look at.  A more sensitive breakdown might reveal continued Hardline maxi-dominance, I don't know.  

But I'll bet some of you do.

Thanks to our Confessor for sending this in (from her work email, yet!).


The Plainsman said...

I was in a traffic jam listening to The Hard Ones a few days ago, and it occurred to me that it had been a long time since I'd heard a segment on a sports topic. Personally, I didn't mind, but it did cross my mind that this is one of the things that Hardline critics mention with some frequency.

The Plainsman said...

Here's a question for radio people:

What exactly does "doubling up" mean when used in the context of commercial breaks? Does it mean doing two batches of ads back to back with little or no content between them? Danny was upset with Corby for blowing hard on something or other -- I think it was his State Fair Fried Foods Judging -- and blowing through the scheduled endtime of the segment. Danny was talking about how he hates to "double up," and cracked me up when he observed that BaD Radio does it all the time.

But what zackly is it?

Autocorrect said...

Aren't ESPN's numbers influenced by baseball? I wouldn't read much into it.

I don't mind the doubling up, like they do after WTDS. I get more annoyed during BaD because I'm usually in the car running errands or grabbing lunch and then I have no content. It's easier for me when I'm at work to just hit pause for 10-15 minutes because I know there's going to be nothing for me to listen to until what's on Mike's mind.

DA said...

While another Confessor gave the public the breakdown for the three sports radio stations, the bottom line is that those numbers do not matter and Barry Horn still thinks they do. That "key demo" $hit does not work anymore in a major market because, it is no longer as white as a Robert Young TV show anymore, even Marcus Welby, MD from the 70s. American is different now and browner.
After 20 years your Day1 P1 is now old (45+) and white; bad for advertisers especially when you mock minorities, women, and still consistently use "Dr. Carlton Maxwell".

The Ticket has never been #2 overall as their sister station KNBR is and KNBR airs the SF Giants...who suck this year. Plus, KNBR also has more hours of brokered shows per week, like a baseball guy in Marty Laurie who is on air much longer than The Teebox and DiGianni.


In a real world, as ratings go, the station is still low rated, and as a whole, it shows Cumulus failure in major markets.

Also, read this for more on "the back end".

Lastly, why the FM tuner/chip on smartphones is essential for radio's future:

Then again, I have posted about that before too.

cpatterson1177 said...

I would be in their key demo if I lived in the area. I'm more interested in their streaming traffic. It seems they have a pretty good core of Internet listeners and it would be nice to know how their streaming traffic compares.

Anonymous said...

None of those ratings matter. Demographical data is all that matters.

cactusflinthead said...

There are no bigger bog downs than Dan McDowell and Corby Davidson. If the Cat man is keeping track of who causes double ups I would be willing to bet they are 1 and 1A. Both start navel gazing and totally disregard the clock. While I am all for content over clock, their content tends towards Me Me Me. Anyone for Tennis? How about that scorpion? How many times in E News does he get to ONE story? I wish Danny would goad him more towards the finish line. I do not give a flip about Corby's idea of natural or organic if it means dwelling on a single topic. Norm will chew on a story like a bulldog for multiple segments but he does not miss the cue when it is time for a break.

I tried to read managing the back end link, but at this point after a 12 hour day my synapses are worn out and dry firing.

The Plainsman said...

I greatly appreciate DA's news and insights, and I do understand that these ratings may not be in the demo.

But I do not think ratings are at all meaningless. (Ask Richie and Greg about that.) They are not meaningless to advertisers, and, although radio listeners may be a small and even decreasing part of the great inhaling of media/podcast/stream content, the numbers represented by the ratings posted by the likes of Barry Horn are at a minimum indicative of relative listenership. Maybe DA's points are why Bob and Dan have to take less than what they were taking, but they and their drive counterparts (and Norm) still command a handsome salary because advertisers believe those ratings.

Whether the dip in Hardline ratings is meaningful, I don't know. I suspect not very. But I think terrestrial radio will be with us for a long time. Maybe it needs to figure out how to be more like The Ticket.

As far as Ticket listeners go, I'm sure that DA's point is not lost on the CTO. (Well, maybe it is.) The legacy Ticket listeners are indeed aging. My only (rather weak) rejoinder is that the crowds I see at remotes look pretty much like the white male pre-middle-age types The Ticket is aiming at, and there are still a lot of them out there.

And, as noted here and elsewhere, The Ticket is one of the most popular stations in the world in terms of downloads and, I suspect, listeners who don't, or no longer, live in Cool Metro.

Anonymous said...

I think that DA, a black man who seems to know his ins and outs of general radio, talk radio, and sports radio, and has been living outside the confines of the Metroplex for some odd years needs a refresher: While the Pols are telling us that Texas is fast becoming a Democratic state (by the way, for the vast majority of its existence it has leaned Democratic), Texas is still, well, Texas. Texas has had the same "Texas" attitude, how ever you want to interpret that--prior to LBJ's "Great Society" and after him. (And by the by, Nixon did more for opening doors, civil rights-wise, than LBJ ever did. Flawed man that he was, he got that part right). In short: The remotes that Plainsman attends are the same remotes, if not in location, at least in essence, that I attend. I think that DA is right where the big picture is concerned. Yes, at present rate, the demo is trending darker in as far as pigmentation is concerned. Specially brown. So yeah, somewhere down the road pasty white dudes talking about Steely Dan, the insect stings they incur while clearing their, ahem, land, with "bespoke-period" farm tools, European bicycling vacations, and whathaveyounot will come to be seen as silly. But these interests will be replaces with???? Answer: Other equally obnoxious/elitist/sily hobbies, perks, and privileges by the then "acceptable" or "targeted" demo. (Just like the 25-54 honky is now.)

Point is........

In essence nothing will change.

Quite frankly. I'd like DA for once just to come out and say what exactly he thinks is going to happen. What the f is going to change. What's coming down. Because the more I read the links he posts, the more general they seem. Exactly what brand do you think that Cumulus, CBS, The Dickey's, Radio One, or ????? are ultimately aiming for? STATE AN OPINION, DA. To keep posting links to business heavy articles that at best give cryptic hints as to what's to come in the radio biz is easy and cheap. WHAT DO YOU MAKE OF IT? Other than the demo is changing?????

DA said...

@Anon 9/7/13
Quite frankly, what is "easy and cheap" is to post as "Anonymous said..."

1-Use initials of your grandparents, or anybody,anything just to have some consistency to your post as oppose to mystery.

2-I do no think I have mentioned Radio One, so you may be looking at the other radio forums.

I could make a click to move to my Google account, but DA is more consistent to all on this site and I will keep it and may even contact The Plainsman to "verify" myself.

If you dislike parts of what I post, but let's look at my history here:

For many months, I have been on the record here saying that The Ticket needed to move full-time to a FM signal since AM radio is essentially unknown to those who are under 21.

For many months, I have said that CBS is looking to shed everything not TV. They have shed parts of their Outdoor Division (aka billboards) and went to battle with Time Warner. Les Moonves thinks that radio play is a privilege for artists and wants to get rid of it.

For months, I have posted about the trial which starts on Monday (Sept. 9) between Cumulus and former Cumulus employee, Ralph Barbieri and how as he was fired in 2012 at age 66, how it could impact both Norm and Mike. Norm is older than Ralph. This is his last contract.

As you want a statement, I think that Cumulus will buy CBS Radio and its assets in an attempt to put off their current debt payments off further.

Lastly, guess what, @Anon 9/7/13 ...
LeBatard is going national on Oct. 1.

BC said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Plainsman said...


The ratings AND the demographics do matter, because this is "bidness". Radio may be dying (although they've been saying that about AM for decades and KTCK and WBAP are still amongst the top billers in DFW) but there are still debt payments to be made, and thereofre spots to sell. A lot easier to sell spots when you have dominant ratings in key demographics.

And that's what everybody seems to be missing with this whole LMA of KESN. Remember a couple of important things. ESPN is retaining ownership of the signal, Cumuus will just be responsible for the programming and sales. Reports are this is a 5 year agreement. So all the conjecture (like some of Whitt's guesses) about moving tikcet programming to 103.3 have to take into account the possibility that in 5 years ESPN could regain control of that frequency. Why move people to a signal that you may not have in 5 years?

And don't ever forget this is "bidness". By moving ESPN into the mothership at Victory, the bottom line loses expenses like rent, etc for KESN's nice Las Colinas offices. Eliminate or consolidate some jobs, and how mant hundreds of thousands of dollars in salary go away? For example, do they need a GM if Dan Bennett is ther? Do they need a program director, or can Cat program both? Some people will be needed to do some of the work, but can you save money by only paying one CHIEF engineer, one business manager, one sales manager, one promotions director, etc. Cumulus already has a staff designed to handle 6 stations. Can they handle 7 just by adding certain people in certain spots, i.e. add another enginner, but not pay cheif enginner money. There's probably a lot of money that can be saved in payroll by downsizing certain positions. Add another accountant, get rid if the buisness manager. Get rid of the PD, let Cat program both, hire an assistant PD to handle some of the low level programming jobs.

Save some money on rent, save some money on payroll, have a sales staff that has been successful at selling sports in DFW now selling both stations, and there's probably a significant financial turnaround that can be made.

And that brings me to your last post Plainsman, and Dickey's comment. KTCK is one of (if not the) highest billing stations in the market (and from what I'm told, they compete monthly with WBAP, KISS and 1 or 2 others...who wins from month to month is a crap shoot, but KTCK is always someplace close to the top)
They obviously don't see the need to spend multiple millions to get them an FM frequency, when they're doing so well with what they have. Cost-effectiveness comes into play- they already bill a huge amount, which means high spot cost. Can KTCK bump up their average unit rate enough to pay off the millions of dollars that it would cost to buy another FM, or to replace the millions of dollars that a KLIF am or fm bills. In the advertising world, the Ticket's biggest competitors aren't ESPN or the fan, it's the other stations that are doing well Men25-54. KLNO, KZPS, KJJK, etc. The ad agencies drive much of the business, and if they are not willing to pay your high spot rate, they can often work around a station and get the reach and frequency they desire without using your one station.

The Plainsman said...

BA: I well understand what Dickey is saying -- The Ticket makes good dough, why improve the signal?

Ask Kodak about that philosophy. While you're at it, ask the entire American automobile industry. The Ticket 1310 signal is TERRIBLE, weak, spotty. It's all well and good to portray the station as the underdog "little" Ticket, and coast on the incomparable content. But it still sounds like crap in areas where, whaddya know, advertisers still do business. It sounds like crap pretty much everywhere.

I simply disbelieve that The Ticket could not make more money with a better, further-reaching signal. I'll put aside syndication/satellite for now, but I'm on record as suggesting that imaginative management would be, shall we say, leveraging this extraordinary asset. Making it audible in its own market would be a start, and one (I think but can't prove) that would make it more money.

Anonymous said...

Since there are some questions about the demographics of the ratings above: this chart is taken directly from Richie's blog, where he states the demo is men 25-54.
-P1 Mike

Anonymous Ron said...

Junior Miller tweets:

Team Crop Dusters, '13 Ragnar Colorado champs! 1st out of 204 teams. 23 hrs 51 mins for 192 mi. We blew everyone away, in more ways than one

Shaggy said...

Sports Sturm got some Deadspin exposure with this FC Fallas call:

The Plainsman said...

Thanks 949. Then I'd say the dip in Hardline ratings is not entirely meaningless. But probably not too terrifying for the Little One. Some periods up, some periods down.

bc said...

Okay, the signal is weak, spotty, etc. How do you want to remedy that? Any idea what an FM frequency would cost, and oh yeah, have you noticed Cumulus is at it's ownership limit? I get that you think they should do something. But what? From what I'm told, KLIF actually makes pretty good money. WBAP is a top biller, even i93 bills millions of dollars a year. If you rearrange deck chairs, do you think KLIF survives on 1310's weak spotty signal? Will the i93 listeners tune in to music on a weak and spotty AM signal? This is where I disgaree with DA. People tune in for content. Might they prefer it on FM, sure. But it's funny how KTCK's death knell was sounded when 103.3 showed up with sports on FM. It was going to kill the Ticket. Then when 105.3 switched to sports. TWO fm sports stations, that was the end of KTCK as we know it. And guess what, hasn't happened yet. ESPN got so tired of trying to kill the Ticket that they surrendered lock stock barrell and programming to their former enemy.
I too think they could make more money with a better signal. But the question -becomes how much more, and at what cost for that signal. If you've got a plan, email John Dickey. But realize that Clear Channel or CBS isn't going to just sell them a frequency cause John and Lew ask them to. Now if Cumulus buys CBS, all bets are off. And I think that's part of why that might happen. Economies of scale, and they get on a more even keel versus clear channel. At that point, I might see possibilities, but right now, no.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree with you more. Obviously the ticket signal sucks. No breaking news there. And it'd be great if it didn't. Again, no breaking news.
I feel like the whole "ticket needs a new signal" talk is analogous to "Jerry the owner needs to fire Jerry the GM." Needed? Yes, obviously. Gonna happen? Not in a million years. Run into the ground? Without a doubt.
-P1 Mike

The Plainsman said...

BC: Must be new around here. I've issued specific suggestions on this subject for a long time. Search "signal" in the little Blogger box and check out numerous detailed posts on this.

What improved signal should The Ticket use? Well, if there's nothing else available, as everyone seems to have convinced themselves, HOW ABOUT FRACKING 104 POINT FRACKING 1? Major market sports-talk stations have a history of improving their signals by moving -- but Cumulus is making The Ticket's worse.

Pretty hard to swallow.

livinginreality said...

Plainsman - I'm the one who sent the ratings numbers and neglected to credit Richie Whitt's column, and for that I apologize. I also wonder - why is Barry Horn no longer listed on the Dallas Morning News website as a sports columnist for media news? That is where I normally used to find that information. Thanks.

Shaggy said...

This is from Barry's DMN column:

Radio daze

In the wake of the news that Cumulus, parent company of Sports Radio 1310 The Ticket, is taking over operations at ESPN 103.3 FM, the station turned in boffo ratings for August.

ESPN’s numbers weren’t quite Ticket-like, but August was one of the station’s best months in 103.3's time on the air. Meanwhile, 105.3 FM The Fan was a distant third.

Among all listeners it was: Ticket (2.8); ESPN (2.5); Fan (0.9).

In the all-important demographic of men 25-54, the lifeblood of sports talk, it was: Ticket (5.8); ESPN (4.5); Fan (1.7).

In my favorite category, men 25-54 weekdays 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., when each station’s heavy hitters are on duty, it was: Ticket (7.7), ESPN (4.4), Fan (2.0).

The highest rated hour of the week easily was the Ticket’s Dunham & Miller at 8 a.m. with a 10.2.

The top hour at ESPN was noon when Fitzsimmons & Durrett scored 5.7.

Best hour at The Fan was 6 p.m. when Gavin Dawson and Chris Arnold scored 3.0.

Anonymous said...

How in the ever living eff did Fitzsimmons and Durrett get an hour of 5.7? That's just mind blowing.

T4 In Rockwall said...

Looks like 1310 is off of the air at 3:30. Not sure if that's when it went off. I listened to WTDS and went back about 3:30 and it's off air, just static.

T4 In Rockwall said...

And I can't pick up 104.1 to see if it's on air there.

livinginreality said...

They are on 104.1 as of 4:08 p.m. Still nothing on 1310 other than a lot of noise.

Brad Gilbert said...

Funny tweet by KT -

Anonymous said...

Tune In radio is working as of 4:21

Anonymous said...

They just mentioned that the stream is working (I am listening to Tune In) and that the 1310 audio is down due to a power outage

T4 In Rockwall said...

Jake just mentioned about a possible power outage as the culprit. I'm listening online as well.

Anonymous said...

These numbers definitely reflect my listening habits. As the promo use to go, I never listened to BaD radio but here recently I have actually found myself clicking over and staying. I guess my desire to actually hear some sports talk lead me there. All summer I longed for the days of the Hardline of old who were going to talk Rangers for multiple segments and if we didn't like it we had options, buddy. Well, now I find myself exercising my options a lot more than I use to and it appears others are starting to slowly do the same albeit not in mass but it will be interesting to keep an eye on as Mike continues to age/loose interest.

Anonymous said...

Well, it's finally, uh, dead and gone. Though he says it's not forever, you know that it is. Thankfully so. I imagine most business willing to advertise with him left after the month long move; while the few hangers-on left after his latest disgusting screeds.

Don't let the door hit ya where the Good Lord split ya, GW.

GREGGO ‏@TCUWhiteTrash 11h
I am trying to secure funding, but so far I haven't been successful. I will try and make this happen. Thanks much for your support..
GREGGO ‏@TCUWhiteTrash 11h
CafeDiners..with much sadness I must announce the suspension of GGB&C. This is NOT a cancellation. Much is of the financial nature..

Anonymous said...


Can you expand upon what Greggo's "latest disgusting screeds" were?

I listened to maybe 2 minutes of his original reaction video blog to Richie's 5 part series before I had to turn it off and never go back.

The Plainsman said...

"Financial." Well, I guess if he's unskilled in digital matters like I am, if he wants to run a proprietary site that requires some technical interaction, that may require cash flow of some kind.

But if what you want to do is stay in touch with your fans and make your views known . . . Blogger and several other blog-hosting services are free and you can run GoogleAds at no cost (not much revenue, either, unless you're a massive hit, but it's better than zero dollars).

So I guess what this means is that he was counting on his website as a source of sustaining income in excess of expenses, and that ain't easy. Content, content, content, and skilled online promotion.

Also, it couldn't have helped that he (or someone) was constantly tinkering with the interface and format.

And that Richie Whitt was perceived to have told a credible story full of telling detail and documentary support (overlooking for now whether some of those email disclosures were proper, but no one has said they weren't real), and Greg was not.

This site continues to wish Greg well.

Anonymous said...

As you said yourself, you had to stop listening--and have never gone back. I honestly don't care to give any of his views the time of day. Sufficed to say, upon his return from "the move," views that were already ramping up in their vitriol and vulgarity took off into the stratosphere.

So I'm getting ready for the workday, listening to The Musers, when the daily Dr. Sanjay Gumpta time waste comes on. Today's subject: the benefits of breast milk and breast feeding. If that wasn't asinine enough, CNN's resident Dr. Feelgood caps off the segment by telling me that under the new Affordable Health Care Act, x, y, and z should be covered by my insurance. Thanks for the shill, Doc. Ugh.

pDub Lahey said...

This OU story is insanely awesome.

I'm at loss for anymore words.

Stay Hard.

Anonymous said...

The Suite Life of Corby Davidson

The Plainsman said...

Nice one, 750.

When I heard that segment (about his, Jake's and TC's trip to the OU game, viewed from the suite of an OU legend whose name escapes me), I thought:

Yeah, Corby does live a kickass life. It's kickasser than mine. But I don't begrudge him his good fortune, and I liked the story, too. Even though I'll concede there's a fratboy or two bottled up inside him, and thanks to Grubes's drop library, lovingly tended by Jake, he has the reputation as a braggart. But I never get the feeling that I'm being scoreboarded. It's his life. He does some interesting things and runs into some interesting people, and accompanies some interesting drunks and joins them betimes. It's OK.

Jarod said...
This comment has been removed by the author.