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?  

No?

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.

*     *     *

ThePlainsman1310@gmail.com
@Plainsman1310

51 comments:

The Plainsman said...

Would a legitimate nighttime sports-station signal enhance Cumulus's ability to bid for Mavs and Rangers rights down the line (sorry, Stars)? (Probably too many Rangers day games for that.)

Dustinwb said...

Tim Cowlishaw and Mosley.

Anonymous said...

No more "3-wide" with Cowlishaw sitting in with B&S - thats a win!

Dustinwb said...

Instead you get 4+hours of Cowlishaw.

Anonymous said...

If you can get audio of Cowlishaw calling out the Fan's morning show while he was on with Ben and Skin, I suggest you listen.

Anonymous said...

Can you give us the gist of what Cowlishaw said?

Anonymous said...

i know you've already addressed the issue of why streaming isn't feasible for you. though i will say that streaming through your car stereo has been a staple for me ever since the unticket started promoting tunein. i honestly haven't listened terrestrially in the car in a long time, despite living downtown.

but to me, streaming is just how i listen now full stop. if i missed a segment, i just go to usave it the next day and fast forward to whatever i missed. on a long car ride to a lake outside of town, we just paused the stream when we got in the car and then listened to CQH and concert calendar once we got out of signal range (pretty soon after leaving city limits). i understand it not being ideal at work but i think fighting the good fight for a better terrestrial signal is a losing fight and embracing and finding a way to rely more heavily on streaming will make life much more pleasant. just my two pennies.

The Plainsman said...

As ofo 5:35 AM, The Ticket is still broadcasting on 104.1. Perhaps I misunderstood when 104.1 was going to go Ticket-dark.

The Plainsman said...

417, I actually heard the Cowlishawa segment on Friday. It must have been Shan (pronounced "shawn") Shariff, who I gather is one of the morning guys, was talking about what I assume was his report that Nolan Ryan and Jon Daniels had ahd a "blow-up" that was so heated that Ron Washington had to step in to prevent a fistfight between the two. (BTW, this Shan guy was really, really annoying.)

Cowlishaw noted in his usual near-comatose tones that no one else was reporting this, and that no regular source within the Ranger organization -- sources usually available to reporters -- were confirming this.

It was actually pretty funny. It almost sounded like this Shan guy was bargaining on what kind of story he would have to report in order for Cowlishaw to believe it. Like he was willing to change his report to make it more believable.

I have no idea if Nolan and JD almost came to blows but for the good offices of Coach Ron, but I thought Cowlishaw had the better of it.

If for no other reason than that this Shan guy just sounded like Generic Oveheated Sports Radio Guy..

James said...

We Tarrant folks should have our two cents put in. I live in South Arlington and work in Northwest Arlington, and cannot hear the 104.1 most of the time. My 1310 signal is listenable most of the time. But when someone plays a recording of, say, a movie clip, where they want us to hear something that someone says (usually Corby or Dan do this), I don't stand much of a chance of hearing the thing they want us to find so funny.
That said, 96.7 sure comes in strong. I would love the hear the Little One on that frequency.
By the way, some of us cannot stream for many reasons.

Autocorrect said...

I'd have to think that sometime within the past 20 years someone has made this argument before PMan, the hosts even reference it when they win an award how it's just about a miracle that they bring in the ratings they do with the worst signal in the metroplex and worst in a large market station. What would a stronger signal mean to the Ticket? More listeners? Maybe. Those of us that can't pick up the signal at home have reverted to listening online. I listen to them more on my tunein app than I do by radio because I can't get the signal in my office or at home. Now that being said, if you flipped them to 103.3 and whatever show espn is putting on at the time to 1310, that show would die out a fast death as I don't see the ESPN FM crowd moving over to AM. I could be wrong but I could be really right.

darkiguana said...

This was just tweeted by Mark Davis:

DFW radio bulletin: WBAP to lose 96.7 simulcast as Cumulus hands it to SportsRadio 1310 The Ticket. I'll always remember the March '10 debut

Anonymous said...

Great news on 96.7 for us collin county folks!

Arlington P1 said...

Not to bury the lead here, but I like how Mark Davis responded ro the "Do you like this gig" response to his tweet, he replied with "but that isn't the question". Didn't realize he was a P1! Or are least a P2 or P3.

Anyway, good job on figuring this out ahead of the announcement.

Gopher said...

http://www.dfw.com/2013/10/07/833731/sportsradio-1310-the-ticket-to.html

Gopher said...

Arlington P1:

Listening to him over the years he is very much a P1. He had dropped enough Ticket terms to know he listened to BaD and the Hardline. There have also been mentions of the Ticket guys interfacing with him at various concerts and events.

cactusflinthead said...

I count this as a definite upgrade. 104.1 was nearly worthless for me. 96.7 has a much better reach for those of us on the west side of the Trinity. This does not suck.

Steve said...

This is great news! Good call Pman. I usually get 1310 just fine in my car but it sounds like absolute garbage, quality wise. 104.1 always had vastly superior sound quality and I'm sure it will be even better (due to presumably better signal) with 96.7).

The Plainsman said...

We actually get more right on this site than people realize -- it's just that we (I) make fun of my wrong guesses, and the rep takes on a life of its own.

I'm glad to have nailed this one. A huge, huge day for The Ticket. Wondering when The Musers will offer up a Major Station Announcement, whether they will acknowledge their deep debt of gratitude to this site, and when my commission check will be arriving.

Retweet me, dammit.

Anonymous said...

Looks like they will flip to 96.7 on October the 21st according to their wikipedia page.

T4 in Rockwall

The Plainsman said...

The DMN article says that 104.1 is still carrying the simulcast. As of later in the day yesterday, no.

Interestingly, Dan Bennett makes precisely the point I made in this post: WPAB gets zero ratings boost from simulcasting 96.7.

I had my first Muser-free morning in years. 1310 was inaudible in all but one room of my house. Frowny-face.

Anyone know when they'll flip the switch to 96.7?

Also looks like WBAP is going to get the 99.5-2 KPLX HD signal, if I'm reading that correctly.

So I'll be changing the banner on the site.

Anonymous said...

Wbap swap this morning said the swap will start 10/21 (i already changed my presets, only reason I had 96.7 on and heard it - can't get 1310 in the house in am hours)

Brad Gilbert said...

Great day for the Plainsman!

Here is the first thing I thought about: what are we going to talk about on here now?

The Plainsman said...

Brad, the same thought occurred to me.

Maybe . . . nothing.

blergoyen said...

Plainsman, be glad the 96.7 thing is happening. If forced to stream, you would've been subjected to some of the following repetitive torture for what seems like 20 minutes each hour:
-"Progressive presents FLO..."
-Rager/Dykes autogroup with the most insincere owner/operator on the radio who doesn't know if he's in Dallas or Addison and doesn't care
-"Just don't ask to borrow my antigravity-boots" feedthepig.org,
-"Anyone with $2000 or more in credit card debt...'
-"I'm having a stroke, I'm having a stroke..."
-The FAKEST Mexican accent ever recorded* by some lady learning skype. "Oh, Aye Aye AYE, you loook so preeeedhy..."
-Granada Theater commercials
-"He shoots he SCORES...No pouting, it's your ball, let's see what ya' got." Whirlyball.
-"If you're atticted to trugs or alcohol...call the attiction care hotline..."

*Attn: Race Baiters - a Mexican accent is different from a Cuban, El Salvadorian, Puerto Rican and Argentinian accent.

Werewolf of Frisco said...

I forgot to reset my alarm clock radio yesterday, so I woke to static this morning. No problem, reset to 1310 am... Again, more static. It's amazing how much the Little Ticket has become part of my morning ritual, and how disrupted my morning is with the Ticket signal offline. AM slowly faded in as the sun came up...

Anonymous said...

Junior did make somewhat of a station announcement saying there's been a lot of traffic online and the P1's will be happy. But that was it. I'm sure the official announcement will be soon.

T4 in Rockwall (my work feed has been blocked and my phone doesn't recognize my blog spot sign in.)

Anonymous said...

No more Breaking Bad talk. And now, fingers crossed, with a nice FM signal and the streaming having been sorted out (for better or worse, it is what it is and it ain't changing), perhaps we've had the last of the signal/streaming articles and threads. Oh how I hope. Now we can taahhk Ticket, not tech. That last quip was about the 3rd or 4th time in the last several months that you've either alluded to or flat out said that you weren't sure about the future of the blog, i.e., its existence. I think that would be a darn shame. A real shame. But it's your blog, your time, and your life, so do what you gotta do. But just do it. Don't be cute and coy about it. Personally, I think you should keep it rolling. Or maybe hand over the reins to a commenter that you think would keep up its high standards.

birq said...

From the article previously cited, "Bennett added that WBAP will also air on HD Radio channel 99.5 HD-2."

So I wonder if The Ticket is going to get a different HD signal? I've been listening to it for the past 2 days and it's been usable. I won't miss it too badly once the move to 96.7 is done, but it does make me wonder if they thought HD was a failed attempt for KTCK.

Anonymous Ron said...

If nothing else, there will be lots of chatter over the holidays as the JV fills in.

And whatever deck chair rearrangement goes on over at the Fan.

cactusflinthead said...

And we haven't even mentioned the Ticket Goodbye to Galloway.

I thought of a 'what if' earlier as I was wheeling home. Greggo and Galloway. What if he had stayed? Part of me says he would have still managed to find the coke spoon, but maybe not.

I haven't listened to Galloway in years. I think about the time voices other than Reevo were invited I stopped tuning in and there didn't seem to be a compelling reason to go back. I could read his opinion in the paper if I wanted. It might have been interesting to hear the Darth Rhyner bit again.


Anonymous said...

The Grandpa Urine bit was a gas. Specially the part where he talks about being childish and immature in his ability and wont to work with those Ticket heathens. Gordo's my leader.

Understand, Cactus, Pman is only into speculation and signal/stream talk.

Gopher said...

There may not be many posting here that were around in the days before the Ticket. Sports talk in Dallas in the 80's consisted of Brad Sham at KRLD, Norm at KLIF, and Randy at WBAP. Sham pretty much had a lock on the Cowboys, Norm the Rangers and Galloway had the rest. Randy did not become GrandPa Urine until the Jerry Jones years. As a writer he was critical of Jones before their success and he became more and more bitter as Jones shut him out. His ratings increased because there was a large part of the fan base who agreed with his anger at the way Landry and crew were let go when Jerry bought the team. As his ratings increased he became the anti-Jerry.For those who didn't listen in the early years don't dis him for what he became before he retired.

Anonymous said...

Can someone please explain the Grampa Urine name\bit?? I've never heard where it came from. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Something akin to him being an aging drunk who urinates in his Depends. Or something like that.

James said...

Mark Davis is a P1? How about they bring him in for afternoon drive? If he sticks to sports, I'd listen.

Anonymous said...

If anyone still wants to deny the fact that Mike Rhyner has given up on trying to do good radio and is just collecting a paycheck, give yesterday's (Wednesday 10/9) E-News a listen. It's like he's asleep. Corby trys to put together a good segment, but it's like he's talking to himself.

Dustinwb said...

And yet that still better radio than what ESPN or the Fail give.

Brad Gilbert said...

Richie Whitt tweeted this link out about Chris Arnold, and it has nothing to do with watching movies

http://thebiglead.com/2013/10/11/chris-arnold-dallas-mavericks-game-night-emcee-wrote-a-next-level-analysis-of-tony-romo-completely-plagiarized-it/#sthash.GJos2qHk.uxfs

Brad Gilbert said...

Here is a link with a response from the original author:

http://captaincomeback.wordpress.com/2013/10/11/how-to-blatantly-plagiarize-a-nfl-article/

My initial thought is that this is why most (Bob Sturm not included, he researches,etc.) radio guys need to probably stick with radio. There are those who are calling for his firing, but if he is a radio personality, should he be fired from radio for something he did in print? I can see them taking away the blog posting duties, but not sure about radio. I can see it both ways.

Poor 105.3, can't seem to get a break...

Anonymous said...

Another loss taken by The Fan! What an embarrassment

blergoyen said...

@ Brad, I think the question at hand is how does The Fan deal with an employee who, without a doubt, plagiarized on the company website during the course of performing his job requirements (yes, there very well could be contract requirements to provide web content). I think he should be fired for plagiarism, in addition to being painfully annoying, uninsightful, possessing a horrible radio voice, being a local sports organization shill 24/7, and claiming he's BFF's with Janet Jackson when in reality she doesn't know him from a hole in the wall and doesn't care.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't he also involved with a failed New Year's Eve show with Prince a couple of years ago?


In another subject - Corby continues to deliver. He's never heard of Uncle Calvin's and doesn't know where the Eismann Center is.

Anonymous said...

@6:50 Anon - I have never heard of Uncle Calvins and couldn't tell you where the Eismann Center is either.

Anonymous said...

i also don't know who or what uncle calvins is/are and have no idea where the eismann center is.

Anonymous said...

Then maybe he should excuse himself to send selfies to Switzer during the Concert Calendar.

BBQ said...

@blergoyen

Gotcha down.

cactusflinthead said...

The remarkable thing to me about the whole Chris Arnold plagiarism is that he thought he could get away with it. Gordo talked about somebody stealing from him and posting it as his own. It happens, to both great and small. There are a lot of students this semester that will come to the same cold reality that the System is available to check their work.
I bet Sports Sturm checks to see if his stuff is cited. 10-1. I bet again that Gordo checks his stuff more closely too. Plagiarism happens periodically. Somebody gets lazy and outright steals from another writer. Like Sturm said on Friday, you can cite big chunks of somebody else's stuff (though 2 paragraphs is the safest bet. even the picky ones will let 2 go) as long as you give them credit. Think about it. Chris could have lifted two juicy paragraphs out of Kaczmar (however it is spelled, buy a vowel) cited it and riffed some stuff and it is all good. Lifting it wholesale with not so much as a whisper that you got it from somebody else? Not good buddy. Bigger names have been fired for such things.

Signal is going up this week?
Will report back with from findings on a trip west.

Anonymous said...

Mark Davis is Tweeting that The Ticket will flip to 96.7 FM this week.

Dan said...

@6:50

here's the link to the story about Chris' failed Prince Super Bowl Party

http://www.pegasusnews.com/news/2011/feb/04/prince-canceled-super-bowl-concert-dallas/

T4 In Rockwall said...

@Anon 12:30
The last tweet Mark Davis (talk host 660 am) had was on October 11. I don't see anything about the Ticket. His latest tweet about the Ticket was on October 7. As far as I know they'll debut next Monday the 21st on 96.7. I check every day just to see how clear it comes in where ever I might be. I'm looking forward to it.