Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Dez and Corby

I'll make this quick.

Dez and Corby are each in showbiz.  Their workplace is public.

Each melted down very conspicuously in their respective workplaces.

Each meltdown took the form of angry utterances to colleagues and supervisors.

Each meltdown probably had some justification to it, assuming that we're all guessing right about what Dez was trying to convey in one or more of his several episodes.  I also share what seems to be the initial reaction of the Confessor, which is to have some sympathy with Corby in this situation.  He's live on the air and his stuff gets yanked without notice, and he's not sure why at first, and every other station is going to be playing the clip and talking about what Manly said, and Corby was allowed to describe Manly's words in any event so what's the big deal?  Live broadcasting is a high-wire act, and his got jiggled when he wasn't looking.

And each meltdown was shocking and excessive.

We know what's going to happen to Dez.  Nothing.  The excuse-making and "passion" crap is just more evidence of the lack of intelligent leadership in the organization.  Consider what would have been the Cowboys' reaction to that kind of performance under Landry, Johnson, Parcells, and pre-Jones ownership.  (Yeah yeah, times have changed, modern athelete blah blah blah, bull.  Substitute Cowher, Belichick.)

I'm pretty sure nothing's going to happen to Corby.  When Dan McDowell started to read an internal confidential Ticket memorandum on the air a few years back, BaD got yanked from the air for a segment or two, but that was it, at least as far as on-air repercussions were concerned.

In any normal workplace, irrespective of justification for his unhappiness, Corby would be invited to relax at home for a day or so, maybe longer, maybe forever.  The Ticket, of course, is not a normal workplace.  I don't know the extent to which the inmates run the asylum there.  Sometimes it seems like they do.  Other times it seems like they get ordered to do stuff, and they do it.  

A commenter to the last thread states:  "Leave it to the people on this blog to blow up this thing between Corby and Cat.  It's not a big deal and Corby and Cat are old friends and that's the the type of relationship they have.  It's not the kind of relationship you people have with your bosses." */  There is probably something to that.  I'm sure they go back a long ways.  But I don't think anyone who heard that segment thought that this was good-natured palsy-walsy pretend agitation.  Or appropriate public treatment of not only Jeff, who I previously thought had some kind of authority over program content, but colleagues.

I'm a pretty stout Corby fan and have defended him most of the time.  On this one, I'm with those who think this should call forth some sanction from the CTO.


*/  "You people."  Like that? Care to guess who left that comment?  (I don't know, but it sounds familiar.)


Saturday, October 26, 2013

P.O.? Or Just P.O'd?

Confessors, I apologize for my distance the last few weeks.  Been hard to get by the Osborne to slap up some fresh material.  I am grateful for you guys and gals making up your own topics in the meantime, and this one seems to have some legs.  I'm late to the party so maybe it's played out, but maybe we can find a new angle on this.

 Many commenters to the last post have listed the items that cause them to punch out.  Here is a partial list, some of which seem rather extreme and some of which may be tongue-in-cheek (I'll get back to this):

--  Ranch Reports or midweek Ranch Reports
--  The Tom Grieve Show
--  The Jason Witten Show
--  Gay/Not Gay
--  Red Dirt talk from George
--  Norm's show
--  Musers and Hardline "Around the NFL"
--  Hardline College Football talk (assume this is the Tuesday roundup)
--  Hockey talk
--  Soccer talk
--  Homer Call
--  Monkey News (not sure what this is)
--  Aggressiveness audio (guess this is a BaD thing; commenter says it isn't done much anymore)
--  Gribble talking
--  Norm interviewing a new guest
--  Corby travel, political, music, or name-drop talk
--  Any interview
--  Any Cowboys talk
--  Any NFL talk
--  Any music talk
--  Any Norm
--  P1 Football picks against the Musers
--  Evan Grant
--  Musers' charity functions
--  BaD game show segments
--  BaD segments that take forever to set up
--  Race Week
--  Teebox
--  Any wireless segment
--  SMU football
--  Stars hockey
--  Checkout Mike
--  Fart game
--  All athlete interviews, including Troy Aikman
--  Why Today Doesn't Suck
--  Hardline thinking certain music or trends are douche-like
--  What's On Mike's Mind
--  Muse in the News
--  Fantastic Friday Fan Feedback (not familiar with this, sorry)
--  Junior's Top/Bottom Five List
--  Cirque du Sirois
--  Intentional Grounding
--  Ferrall
--  NBA talk
--  Orphanage
--  Soccer, golf, and tennis talk

The first thing to notice about this list is that some of it consists of entire shows.  Fair enough, but it's not really a punch-out candidate.  You don't like a show, you don't punch in. 

And I would never doubt the sincerity of a Confessor, but I suspect that a lot of these items are not true punch-outs, but just items that the P1 in question doesn't care for.  I just don't see a large number of people who care enough about The Ticket -- who like it -- to turn away from the station when some of these things come on.  

On that list I only see a couple of things that sometimes move me to change channels on the Philco.  I dislike phone pranks, so I'm out on the Fart Game.  If wireless wandering gets too blue or supercilious, I sometimes see what Little Steven's Underground Garage has cooking.    Looks like BaD may be overrepresented in that list, but I have been known to wander up and down the dial when some set-up drones on, or when Dan says "Right?" more than seven times in a ninety-second period.  But by and large, my only regular punch outs are ads:

--  The Central Market "Are you really into  .  .  .  ."
--  The "Most Interesting Man in the World" Dos Equis ads (he used to be interesting, but he seems to have turned into an ┼▒bermensch)
--  Ads for SMU featuring the extremely smug pitchman, who seems to be finding work with other sponsors, which I also punch out on.

And frequently, I don't really punch out, I just turn the sound down until the annoyance passes.

(I must mention one ad that I find absolutely fascinating, and that is the one for renting tires.  I think it's "Rent A Wheel."  Sounds like the entire ad was phoned in.  Now, you may be wondering about the wisdom of renting a tire, a process which conjures up the temporary use of a tire, for which privilege one pays, and then one returns the tire when the rental period expires.  And that tire is then rented out to another motorist, and so on.  Ah, but that would appear to be wrong thinking.  If you go to the website, it seems instead to be the financing of an actual tire purchase.)

I don't really have a point here.  But I do wonder where you guys go when you really do punch out.  Do you sample ESPN or The Fan?  Do you turn the thing off?  

Hey, as long as I'm rambling:  What's the deal with KT?  I didn't hear what The Musers said, and I can't tell from Kevin's or others' comments on the last thread if his status has changed somehow on the Ben/Skin showgram.  In any event, Kevin, continued good wishes.

Finally:  I'll continue to be scarce for the next little while.  Thanks for continuing to check in, and keep on giving us your thoughtful and civil comments.

Monday, October 21, 2013

96.7 -- The Dawn of a New Sunset

This is the most important day in Ticket history next to the day it first signed on.  More important than any of the acquisitions.  More important than any of their physical moves.

The Ticket finally has a long-pants signal, 96.7 FM.

This instantly renders 1310 AM irrelevant, except perhaps in certain pockets south of the metro.  And from their discussion of the inauguration of 96.7 FM during Muse in the News this morning, you can tell that the Musers, at least, know it.

Alas, Your Favorite Website did not receive the acknowledgment it was due for sparking demand for this precise change starting in 2011.   They all laughed  .  .  .  .

The signal was clear as a bell all the way downtown -- and, as Junior said, in the parking garage and in my high-rise office.

I do wonder if Cumulus will take a run at the Mavericks when their 103.3 contract is up, since The Ticket may now be heard at night throughout Cool Metro.  I suppose the the Local Management Agreement (LMA) Cumulus has with ESPN for 103.3 plays into that decisionmaking somehow.  Can't see them going for the Rangers -- too many day games.

Would Jerry consider a return to The Ticket for the Cowboys now that it has a long-pants signal?  Mm, guessing no, but Jerry is a practical man, if not a farsighted football man.  We'll take a look at the technical considerations some other time.

Smokin' FM
Who is the happiest guy in Cool Metro today?

Gotta be one T.C. Fleming.


Sunday, October 13, 2013

Will You Guys Be Here for Awhile?

Good.  May I ask you to look after the joint for the next week or so?

I've been completely tied up all week and will be away all this coming week and may be jammed up for a bit thereafter.  I'll try to monitor comments for suitability, but thankfully you guys have gotten the gestalt and behavior is almost always within the bounds of acceptable Tickety discourse.

I can't believe I'm away during all these exciting events:

--  The single most significant Ticket event since I've been listening, including the move to Victory:  The inauguration of 96.7 FM as a home for The Ticket.  I am predicting a mass migration from 1310 within that listening area.  I am particularly interested in whether the station acknowledges this amazing event in some way.  No one's been in touch re a commission check, so I am assuming this site's trailblazing role will be ruthlessly suppressed.  (See, among others, Prescient Plainsman 96.7 Argument.)

--  The Galloway retirement.  I'm glad we've had some people posting their positive memories of his past broadcasts.  I tried to listen a few times the past couple of years.  Tough.

--  The Chris Arnold plagiarism.  Yeah.  What was he thinking?  I'm thinking maybe he did not create that post, that some minion did it for him.  I haven't seen anything on any discipline planned for him, or on his own reaction.  Is it out there?  Someone mentioned that Bob probably keeps an eye out for this stuff, and in fact I recall that he did catch someone copying his stuff awhile back.  Let me see if I can find it.

Well, it's not exactly plagiarism in the Chris Arnold sense, but here's what I was remembering:

ESPN Rips Off Bob, per Deadspin

Gotta go.  Thanks for keeping the fires banked, everyone.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Let Us Revisit the Always Innarestin Subject of Signals

As long-time readers of this site know, I've been banging the drum for signal swap, or signal change, for a long time.  One of the earliest annoying obsessions of My Ticket Confession.

I haven't excited much enthusiasm for this crusade.  And in the course of, um, criticism of my position, we've learned some interesting things from people who seem to know things about radio economics.  (Anon E's Lesson on Radio Economics)

I remained skeptical that giving The Ticket a better signal was unfeasible.  I was willing to sacrifice i93.

But in the course of mulling this over and thinking about things like the 2011 Citadel deal, we see that there may be a better candidate out there, first identified on this site in June 2011 (More Questions about Signal Swap):  That would be the 96.7 FM simulcast of 820 WBAP.  It's not an ideal signal for the metro as a whole, concentrated on northerly areas (like 104.1), but hugely more powerful:  90,000 watts compared with 104.1's 6200.

WBAP is a huge biller in this market; more, I believe, than The Ticket.  The question is:  Who needs that signal more?  Or rather, which simulcast assignment maximizes Cumulus's profit?  820 AM, a 50,000-watt clear-channel scorcher that can be heard all over the Southwest after hours and clearly throughout the metro and beyond when the sun shines, or Class B KTCK 1310 AM with half that power during the day (and sounds worse even after factoring in the lower power) and almost nothing (5 KW) at night?

I am doubtful that WBAP gets any revenue advantage from simulcasting on 96.7.  Here is its coverage area:

And here is 820 AM's:

Compare the overall map coverage (the 96.7 map covers a smaller area), and you will see that 820 entirely swallows up 96.7 -- even the red strong-signal boundary.  Are advertisers paying more for the duplicate signal for a talk station not requiring FM fidelity that doesn't reach a single additional listener?  


Then Cumulus loses nothing -- nothing -- by reassigning 96.7.

I concede that comparing the KTCK 1310 map to the 96.7 map may not impress one with a gigantic increase in Tickety coverage in the extended metro:

However, coverage maps aside, the evidence of our ears tells us that 1310 isn't nearly as good in those ranges as the map suggests, and 96.7 is quite clear in the indicated boundaries, and it does someewhat extend The Ticket's range in the desirable North Texas/North Suburban market.   And, of course, this is the daytime coverage.  Here's the nighttime coverage for 1310:  

Pretty clear, I think, that simulcasting 96.7 with 1310 -- unlike an 820 simulcast -- at least has the potential to increase station listenership, and would beyond question improve the listening experience. With the potential to (although, again I concede, not the certainty of) also boosting ratings and revenue.  Might even make nighttime sales look a lot rosier.  (Another concession -- post-sundown sales likely aren't robust under any circumstances.)

Anyway, my very patient Confessors, I know that streaming and smartphone listening is on the rise and may be the wave of the future.  But I believe that most radio guys would tell you that good old-fashioned broadcast terrestrial ratings continue to drive sales.

So I haven't given up on signal swap nor entirely abandoned my faith in the common sense of the CTO.  Don't be stunned if someday soon Craig "Junior" "the Joonz" Miller interrupts his courageous report on "The Five Best and Five Worst Brands of Derailleur Sprockets" with some real news, just texted in from the Pan-American Catman -- a long-pants signal for The Ticket.

What's next?  Billboards?

You saw it here first.

*     *     *


Thursday, October 3, 2013

Quick Hit Time + BREAKING BREAKING BREAKING (Really Bad) -- 104.1 RIP

Nothing much Tickety on my mind lately.  A few observations to freshen up the thread:

(1)  Becca the New Traffic Twist does a pretty nice job.  I could do without traffic reports entirely, but they seem to be a staple of local radio, so there you go.  A couple of unusual pronunciations aside ("Jagwire," "tellpipe"), she seems pretty sound.  Always interesting to see whether a Traffic Twist will become a target (Barb Smith) or a tread-lightly-around tigress (Alexis Smith) or kinda one of the guys (Tara Artho) or hardly there at all (Julie Mac).    A belated welcome to her.

*     *     *

(2) With all the Breaking Bad talk I thought it might be a good idea to check out The Fan.  Someday I need to do some kind of piece about Ben & Skin, but this isn't it.

I guess they are famous for knowing lots of athletes well enough to get them for interviews, which is really great if athletes are interesting interviews, not so much if they aren't.  Fortunately, some are -- Dirk -- but many, many are not.  Upon punching up 105.3, I hear them interviewing Derek Holland.  Now maybe Derek Holland is a really good guy to talk to, but he must have gotten beat up about his many bits, and brought low by the conclusion to the Rangers' season.  It was agonizing to hear, poor guy had nothing to say.  I confess that I did punch out on him for awhile, so maybe it got a lot better and if it did I apologize for what follows, but I punched back in in time to hear them begging him to be their color next-day interview for all Stars and -- was it Mavs or Cowboys? Sorry, I forget -- games, or maybe just home games.  (After extracting a promise from him not to speak with any other local sports radio stations, which he delivered.)  And he said OK and you'd have thought the Ben & Skin show had just won the lottery.   I have to assume they were not serious about this, but it was hard to tell.   If they were, then they just promised a lot of don't-listen segments.

*     *     *

(3)  I find the growing Sean Bass controversy interesting.  I'm delighted he's pushed back in these pages.  More than one Confessor has criticized him over the past year or so, citing a dismissive attitude toward persons, including colleagues, who do not share his views on one thing or another.  Personally, I hadn't really noticed it, at least not to the degree that it would be off-putting.  So I listened for it, and I still didn't get a snotty vibe from Sean, no more than one gets from other of the more youthful hosts.  (He and I do disagree about the proper coverage of sites like this one, but that's OK, too.)  And he got a strong defense from a Confessor on the last thread who said hey, Sean and Jake know their baseball and hardly anyone else does, so good for them.  

I don't mind some intra-Ticket tension.  In fact, as little as I know about sports, even I can tell that some of the hosts don't think deeply about the sports they cover.  And The Shake Joint always has some really good, carefully-considered analyses.  I'm hopeful that The Pan-American Catman will pair Sean with some of his targets on a panel somewhere along the line.  

That would be innarestin radio.

*     *     *

(4)  Spoilers aside, here's the problem with all the Breaking Bad talk.  This is a point I've been wanting to make and a Confessor beat me to it a couple of days back on the last thread:  This Breaking Bad obsession makes these guys look so  .  .  .  so  .  .  .  dull and common and fannish, and not in a fun sportsy way, but in a pedestrian Tiger Beat way.  Like they've got nothing going on, nothing else interesting to observe and comment on.  

Let's put it this way:  After the Breaking Bad binge we've all tolerated for the past couple of years, reaching near-Rolling-Stones levels as the series drew to a close, The Ticket boys should never, ever again make fun of Ty Walker for his Star Wars enthusiasm.

*     *     *


Craig Miller just announced that 104.1 FM would stop broadcasting The Ticket effective close-of-day this Sunday.  Cumulus must have gotten its FCC issues squared away, which means both the death of 104.1 and the inauguration of Cumulus's management of 103.3's programming.

This is very bad news for Your Plainsman, Western Civilization, and  quite possibly My Ticket Confession.  Almost every minute of my listening of The Ticket since 2004 has been via 104.1.  I am listening to it now at a location that does not receive one hertz of 1310 AM.  The SportsDay app and iHeart are not good alternatives for me for a large part of my listening day, nor is the Internet stream.  

So look for lots more cheap reprints of good Confessor comments as main posts.

Oh, I can hear 1310 most of the time.  But it's just such an f-y by the CTO -- assuming they don't improve the Ticket signal in any way -- that I'm starting to wonder if it's time to stop rewarding the Dickeys' contempt for the Cumulus audience.