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.

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(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.

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(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.

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(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.

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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.


tg said...

Let us re-read and pause for a moment of quiet reflection in regards to point #4 as it relates to the theme of this blog. The irony is palpable.

The Plainsman said...


tg, that made me laugh out loud. I'm still smiling. Beautiful, and nicely played.

And you're right. Let's lay aside that The Ticket is not a Breaking Bad fansite (and that you're checking this site at 3:37 PM CDT), I fully accept your point without sarcasm. My life is entirely too Ticket-centric, and it's really rather sad. I've written about The Ticket Life in these pages.

In fact, I was talking to Mrs. Plainsman about this just the other evening.

"Babe," I said, "I think it may be about time to pack it in with that Ticket thing I do." (She doesn't read it and would not be able to tell you its name.)

"Don't do that," she said. "What would you do?"

Fair point. I could catch up on Breaking Bad, I suppose.

I actually thought my adult years would be productive. But no. I'm an anonymous unpaid Ticket enthusiast who runs a site for (mostly) like-minded souls who spend way, way too much time listening way, way too hard to The Little One. Have a ton of fun doing it, feel like I've actually made some good anonymous friends I'd love to meet someday (now that's pathetic, right there), get the rare email from entertainers I admire -- but, in the words of Iggy Pop, preparing to perform "Louie Louie" with the Stooges for a bunch of bikers on the legendary bootleg "Metallic KO": "Baby, I never thought it'd come to this."

So tg, I salute you for an entirely legitimate and well-executed noodge.

The Plainsman said...

Evan Grant was excellent on The Hardline this afternoon. Actually seemed interested, and had some good Rangerrific points.

The Plainsman said...

Hey, UnTicket, I hope you captured Corby's Hacksaw interview which, I assume, aired sometime in the 5-5:30 hour today. I couldn't hang in the car long enough to hear it.

I'm a Hacksaw fan. ( For all those out there who hear about Hacksaw on The Ticket but have no notion of his broadcast style, he's a little like . . . hell, I don't know. Combine Norm, Art Bell, and a Touchdown Brother, and you've got Lee "Hacksaw" Hamilton. Enlivened my commute when I lived in the San Diego area.

And he's also as good a PBP guy as I've ever heard. I put him right up there with Rich Phillips, who I think is one phenomenal PBP guy.

And Lee will absolutely talk some puck with you.

I remember Corby's first interview with Hacksaw, and I thought he (Corby) did a good job and didn't turn it into a bit. (Which is probably why Lee wanted him back.) Hoping that's the case this time around. No doubt Hacksaw can be a figure of ridicule and susceptible to bit-like strategies, but I'm hopeful that anything Corby attempted was sly enough to be meaningful to the P1 but not too-obviously disrespectful to Hacksaw.

James said...

I'm kinda surprised you haven't brought up the sudden retirement of Galloway this monday. It's indirectly Ticket-related.

slinky said...

Plains, I know you're not a big Galloway guy, but I'm a huge fan and will miss him greatly. It sounds kinda like he wasn't satisfied with maybe the politics of the station and thats why he's retiring. I'm wondering if Ticket would be interested in him, and if so, would he be interested. I would take Galloway over Norm any, I repeat, ANY day!!

Anonymous Ron said...

Junior just made the announcement that the 104.1 signal goes away at midnight Sunday.

Fake Norm Hitzges said...

Lads... breaking news... The Ticket has lost 104.1 FM at the age of 19.

East Texas P1 said...

Galloway's comment in the Star-Telegram is non-transferable. So he could either keep doing radio and get paid or stay home and still get paid. He choose the latter.

East Texas P1 said...

*is that his contract is non-transferable

birq said...

Junior did mention in passing something about increasing the AM signal, but that's hardly any consolation. After over a decade of only consuming this thing over 104.1, the AM signal is completely unlistenable to me. Sure, the HD signal works from time to time, but it's completely unreliable for me in the northern reaches of the 'plex. Sure, you have options of web, app or iHeart (just kidding about iHeart), but that completely changes the way I consume it in the car, and is going to make me listen less. I can't imagine the Venn diagram of people that only listen to 104.1 and can't or won't use an app results in an insignificant number of people that will no longer listen. Sunday will be a dark day in Ticket history. It's not the end. Not by a long shot, but like the Musers mentioned, it's yet another hurdle imposed on those that want to listen, and yet another example of how the CTO has no idea what they're doing with this thing.

The Plainsman said...

That's right, birq. We've been hearing about improvement in the 1310 signal for the better part of a decade.

Let's face it: Unless some major sponsors bolt over Cumulus's neglect of The Ticket, we're going to get the same murky, Kenny-Albert-gugrling signal even in 1310's wheelhouse signal area.

And, alas, Cumulus is probably correct that the way ratings are measured ensures that we won't see a significant dip in The Ticket's ratings as a result of the lopping off of a big chunk of the listening area. So the sponsors ain't going anywhere.

Anyone know anyone at Autoflex? Dr. William Boothe? Patt Lobb Chrysler-Plymouth-Jeep? (Oops, sorry, Cat.)

livinginreality said...

From Richie Witt's column today:
" I'm told that the new afternoon show on ESPN will be Matt Mosley, paired with a partner who is an in-town guy and a "familiar voice" to Metroplex radio listeners." Wow, any guesses on this?

Dustinwb said...

So KESN is broadcasting a whole lotta dead air right now

Elf and Mosely? Sounds like a ratings loser for sure but then again anything with Moseky is a loser.

Steve said...

I'm pretty annoyed that they're cutting off 104.1 without replacing it with another option. What a load of crap.

Mosley and Elf... good luck with that.

birq said...

@Plainsman: Maybe someone needs to get Captain Sorensen on the phone

Anonymous Ron said...

They could lose the Progressive Insurance account. That would be OK with me.

9 lives said...

Elf, Greggo, and Mosley are going to start their broadcast next Wednesday. Kelly Webster is also on her way out. I cannot believe how many lives Greggo has..... ESPN is basically strapping on the suicide vest.

Shaggy said...

No effin' way. Wow.

Shaggy said...

On second thought, if that were true that would mean it's actually Cumulus putting Greggo back to work?

Again, no effin' way.

Anonymous said...

@9 lives Where are you getting this info? Greggo's latest Tweet is "#Iamelf." That's all it says. Kinda cryptic. Even from that moron.

Dustinwb said...

Is there anyway this is true?

The Plainsman said...

Cumulus could not possibly be so du -- oh, wait.

The Plainsman said...

Google doesn't kick up any info on this, no announcements, no media blog entries. So I'm holding my fire on this one.

Jonaessa said...

Well, I just sent Cumulus a "strongly-worded letter" similar to the one Jack sent to the White Star Line, I'm sure, about my displeasure with the drop of the 104.1 signal. I'll let you know if/when they respond.

In the meantime, why would Cumulus think dropping this signal would be a good idea? No, seriously. Anybody?

T4 In Rockwall said...

Didn't DA say something in the past about not being able to hold a certain number of signals at once? And that maybe they were letting 104.1 go in order to pick up a better signal? I read something to that effect somewhere. Just strange how the Musers wouldn't know or disclose that info as well.

If Greggo is getting another chance, don't you know that this has to chap 'Ol RW's hide? I can't see that as being true though. He's really dug his grave around here.

Anonymous said...

No way the GW comeback is for real. ESPN already went down that road. We're being trolled.

The Plainsman said...

T4: A couple of articles and perhaps DA as well have confirmed the link between shedding 104.1 and being able to take over the DFW-area ESPN radio programming. The fact that these two things are happening simultaneously is not coincidental. I reported recently based on a tip from a Confessor that the FTC had rejected the sham "sale" of 104.1 to a broker. They must have fixed that.

Has The Hardline said anything about it today?

By the way -- has 104.1 been simulcasting The Ticket for its entire run, or did it come in sometime after The Beginning? Someone out there knows.

YOKOYOLO said...

104.1 came on board around 10-ish, I think, years ago. It definitely wasn't there until sometime in the 00s.

Does anyone out there know if there is any truth to the GW, Mosley, Elf rumor? Elf and Mosley, I can see (though I don't think it will fare well); Greggo, solo or with any host, not so much.

The Plainsman said...

From a May 3 article on (

"Being fired from all three sports stations might seem to wrap it up for Williams on DFW sports radio, but never underestimate a media personality’s ability to bounce back. Williams says he would work for the Ticket again, but he doesn’t think that’s going to happen; he doesn’t want to return to ESPN Radio, where he says he was too edited and censored."

Dustinwb said...

I earlier posted about Elf as guess due to RWs comment about a local known host to team with Mosely. but soon saw other comments referring to GW. in the radio business i can see anything happening but to bring him in would be nuts. they would be better off using that staion to build talent like Shake Joint or Cirque.

P1BradC said...

From someone who lives slightly outside the metroplex and has been on 100% streaming for at least a couple years I'm really confused at the amount of outrage at the loss of 104.1 here. Can one of you who is affected explain why you are unable or unwilling to use the stream? I can listen 24/7 with (almost) no problems myself and I can't get ANY OTA signal.

T4 In Rockwall said...

Yeah, streaming's not that big of a deal, unless you have a limited data plan. I drive from Rockwall every day and have to stream through my car speakers sometimes, so it's an incovenience, but not a big deal.

Gopher said...

There is nothing they can do to 1310 to make it any stronger. It is running all the power it can by the rules of the FCC to protect other stations that share the frequency. A move to 570 would gain you little or nothing. Now that Rush is staying, forget WBAP. KSCS/Wolf, no and I93 gains you nothing in Collin county or the counties north and east.

The proposed CBS/Cumulus mixup might bring something but between Jack/KLUV/KMVK/KRLD+FM/KVIL which money making signal do you take here?

No help from Clear Channel either. Doubt they would sell KDGE/KDMX/KEGL( I wish)/KHKS/KZPS and 1190 again gains nothing.

Unless they pull a rabbit out of a hat looks like we are stuck with 1310.

slinky said...

Bring Greggo back! I'll listen! I still think if Greggo got the right setup, it could work. I think Richie started getting on his nerves.

DA said...


While The Ticket won the Marconi, during the same NAB/RAB Radio Show the FCC's interim commissioner announced that commission will open a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on AM radio or NPRM (for search purposes).

The NPRM, which is still just a proposal, would include a one-time application window for AM owners to file for an FM translator to fill-in their service area; relaxing AM daytime rules and modifying rules for antennas and directional antennas as well as relaxing nighttime community coverage standards. The commission proposes to eliminate the so-called Ratchet rule, which she said was supposed to reduce nighttime interference but really has had the opposite effect.

The Plainsman said...

DA, great info, many thanks.

Although would an FM translator be of any value hereabouts? And isn't it extremely limited in power, like a couple hundred watts or something like that?

The Plainsman said...

P1BradC, you raise a fair question in this day of many sources for Tickety broadcasting. I can only answer for myself.

First, I do note that if you are the Famous Brad C, you are probably at the far upper end of digital sophistication among Ticket listeners. Not everyone is going to "get" SportsDay, iHeart, and even streaming. Believe it.

And I will say that I had not considered T4's technique of running the SportsDay app through the car speakers. That would indeed solve some of my problem.

But not most of it. I listen to the Musers when I'm getting ready for work. Nightclothes, shower, nakedness, lots of moving from room to room, brushing teeth, adjusting prosthetics -- I'm not going to be wearing headphones or buds, nor will I have a pocket to put a mobile device in for a lot of the time. Also, Mrs. Plainsman likes The Musers and would like to listen with me. Also, I need to be able to communicate with her during such times, so headsets frowned on. Terrestrial radio is really my only option for a large part of a Muserrific morning.

Car: As noted, T4's suggestion is something I'll try. I think my car should have some kind of jack for that and a "mode" that would allow playback from a device. It would still be less convenient than turning on the radio. I will not wear headphones or buds while driving.

Office: Streaming: Occupying employer's bandwidth for streaming strongly discouraged.

1310: As with most AM, cannot be heard in downtown buildings (any building I've worked in, anyway).

SportsDay/iHeart: Again, I need to have my ears free to deal with people visiting my office, and I move around and can't be taking headsets on and off. It also gives an unprofessional impression. And also gives the impression that I'm not, in fact, working, but hammering off listening to The Ticket. Solution: Nice FM signal (a little dodgy downtown, but usually audible) playing in the background as I prepare to start my work day.

So with the exception of the car, I still need good old sound coming out of good old speakers. 1310 sound is old, but it's not good.

birq said...

@T4, I agree it's not that big of a deal, but it's another barrier. I switch over to other stations during commercial breaks, and switching inputs is different than just switching stations. Also, streaming in the car has been unreliable for me. It can take 30-45 seconds for the stream to start, and when my fancy-schmancy radio switches back to terrestrial from the iPod, it pauses or stops the stream, which can then take 30-45 seconds to start up again. There's no way in hell I'm going to just fight through the commercials; I value the remainder of my sanity too much. I'll use HD when I can and try to stream when I can't, but it's just asinine that those that want to consume the product of the station are even required to have this conversation.

KT said...

Haven't read all the comments, but I can say that the Derek Holland thing was definitely a bit. The Interview was actually really interesting because at the end he took some shots at Josh Hamilton.

The Plainsman said...

Thank you, Kevin. I don't think there have been any comments on that.

I don't want to be unfair, because in truth I did not hear the entire interview. What I heard was not illuminating, but may not have been characteristic of the entire interview. I feel kind of bad for Holland because he's gotten so slagged over his many bits, unfortunately broadcast while the Rangers were trying to win a World Championship. Not entirely his fault.

And, as Norm advises, bits are funny.

As far as the "bit" of having Holland on for regular sportsy commentary goes: It didn't sound like one, mainly because of B&S's reputation for book their show with a large number of athlete-pal interviews, and because the high-volume high-fiving reaction to his agreement to do so, and because of their repeated insistence that he give them an exclusive until he finally said that he would.

So I accept that it was a bit. But when it's hard to tell the bits from the non-bits . . . .

Anonymous said...

It might be nothing but there's a Twitter dialogue between a couple of people, Greggo, and Elf. Greggo says he'd love to work, always wanted to work with, Elf. So he really doesn't answer anything. Elf on the other hand says he's not commenting, and for others to go fish all they want or somesuch. While I find it darn near impossible to believe KESN would rehire Greggo in any capacity, we are talking about a bat shit industry. I did notice that neither party flatly denied it. So I wonder if there could be something to it, or maybe it was proposed by someone at KESN and Elf and/or Mosely (smartly) said "NO WAY," and Elf just doesn't want to hurt Greggo's feelings/Greggo thinks he can convince Elf/Mosely. Why did Greggo Tweet @iamelf the other day, and nothing else? And right before these rumors started? Like I said, I can't see it happening. But who the f knows.

DA said...

@The Plainsman,

To repeat, in the largest (markets with 45 or more radio stations), one owner can hold up to 8 stations, no more than 5 of which can be AMs or FMs. DFW is one such market.

To reply from my October 5, 2013 at 7:58 AM comment, I have no idea what the future for AM radio holds, but the FCC is trying to save it to a point with the availability to use FM transmitters. As s result, I posted that comment. Keep in mind that due to their acqusitions of stations, Cumulus cannot really have a 50/50 split of stations in relation to band; they have more AM stations to worry about than FM stations nationally.

Aside: I would lead you and all Confessors to the FCC site with commissioner comments on the proposed AM radio NPRM, but due to the federal shutdown the page is not live.

Anonymous said...

I have a hard time believing there's a single person in this market who would entertain working with Greg again.

The Plainsman said...

DA, question: What is the actual rule with respect to the number of radio properties a single owner may have? Is it total AM + FM? Or so many AM and so many FM? Or is it some maximum percentage of licensed properties?

It would seem that, assuming that the ESPN programming deal "counts" towards the limit, Cumulus could not add any additional signals in the area (without getting rid of one). Is that correct?

Thanks for all the info.