Monday, November 10, 2014

A Handful of Reactions to the Surprise Dual Ratings Dips


ITEM:  An hour each of The Musers and The Hardline suffered a loss to competitors on other sports stations.  (Barry Horn report here.)

(1) Agree with those who urge not reading too much into that.  Recall that BaD showed a similar dip not long ago, and it turned out to be a one-book phenomenon, although truth to tell I haven't done the Internet research.  I just haven't heard that it repeated.  The severe dip for that one hour of The Musers looks especially anomalous.  So yeah, just sort of massage your butts lightly for now.

(2) Agree with those who think that this might well have animated Checkout Mike to show greater interest in his show and guest appearances on other Ticket offerings, the latter of which had become a severe embarrassment to him and the station in recent years.  You can be a curmudgeon on your own show, but his is-he-really-there? appearances on other shows, pre-games, and round tables had started to suggest something approaching a lack of respect for the rest of the station.

(3) My guess is that Jeff Catlin did not lecture anyone about stepping up his game as a result of this ratings book.  No inside info here; just tidbits I pick make me think that with the exception of correcting seriously bad behavior, The Pan-American Catman is fairly hands-off with individual performances.  Also, these guys probably see the ratings the minute Cat does -- they don't need any additional motivation.

(4) The Musers' dip was in a heavy Gordon-inflected hour.  Confessors know that I am a Gordon admirer, but in recent months I have wished for less juvenilia/sex talk/perversion talk/political talk and more of anything else.

(5) Confessors also know that I am not a Corby basher, but after a comeback from severe OverCorby/Checkout Mike a couple of years back, The Hardline has noticeably backslid into lassitude, severe misogyny (I thought that had left the building with Greg Williams), and, well, OverCorby/Checkout Mike.  (I don't have a big issue with Danny's participation most of the time, with a big carveout for current-events talk, where he's dog-paddling with Corby in the low-information punditry fever swamps.) 

(6) Confession:  I'm one of the ones who is tuning into Mosley and Cowlishaw more and more.   Switch back and forth.  (Sorry, KT, just can't warm up to Ben & Skin.)  They're off the air at 6, so I usually get me some solid slabs of late-show Hardline, but from 3:30-6, while I always start with The Hardline and most of the time find something to engage me, it's taking less and less for me to dial in the next preset down the dial.

"Sorry, Mike and Corby.  More than three vagina references per show sends me to Tim and Matt every time."

31 comments:

Anonymous Ron said...

Another indication that the Ticket hosts are stepping up their games - the Musers introduced Cowboy Theater 1310 into the 5:30 replay of the Cowboy post-game press conferences.

Anonymous said...

I have to respectfully disagree with you, Pman. I do think Cat or someone even higher up the food chain said something to the hosts. Be it directly from Cat or Cat's bosses telling him to relay their displeasure.

They (meaning hosts and CTO alike) knew the numbers before Barry Horn reported them. I think it's no coincidence that a few days prior to the ratings being publicly released that all of the sudden the two anchoring shows step up their games in a big way. Corby, who has done nothing but a few half-assed man on the street gags that appear forced by circumstance (training camp or hassling chicks or what he deems ugly people when they do a "remote" from the AAC pavilion outside their studios) all the sudden is doing pranks and other bits that require thought. Mike (aptly named Checkout Mike by you) suddenly is not only interested in things that your typical high school or college student is into (which at his age is so weird and off putting I can't get my head around it), but he's also actually interested in his job and the environment in which he works. HOF the reason? Maybe some. But for the "kool kid" that late-middle / early old age Mike has morphed into, the HOF honor is only something to be grateful for in some respects, snubbed in others. But not "this" Mike. Mike, the past couple of weeks, has been all over it. Engaged and engaging on others shows and pre game shows. Engaged and engaging on his own show. No. It's no coincidence.

A message came from on high: Get off your high horses and "want it."

Charles Golden said...

I'm surprised 105.3's best hour is in the mornings. That's the only show I absolutely can not listen to. I'll switch over to listen to Mike and Mike before I try 105.3 in the mornings. But then again maybe I'm just the outlier because the Musers are my least favorite ticket show as well, or at least tied for last with Norm.

blergoyen said...

I noticed Rhymer on the pregame show with Bob, etc. yesterday. Is that new or has he been doing that all season?

As much as I like The Ticket overall, I would like to see these latest ratings become a trend. They've needed some serious shaking-up for a while now.

Shaggy said...

The pre-game show always features one rotating Ticket team member. Nothing out of the ordinary for Mike to do it once or twice in a season.

Shaggy said...

I'm wondering why the renewed discussion over the ratings news. The original story was actually published on 10/31.

http://www.dallasnews.com/sports/more-sports/headlines/20141031-the-ticket-still-no.-1-overall-but-fails-to-win-every-primetime-weekday-hour.ece


There was a brief mention of it in the comments section, but nobody much cared. Then the DMN republished (?) the story and now it is dated 11/7. Kinda weird.

Anyway, Barry Horn alluded on twitter to the weak Ticket signal in the 6am hour as his theory on the low rating. But still, I don't ever remember seeing a rating that low for any Ticket show, much less The Musers.

Anonymous said...

Barry Horn is correct. The Musers have always struggled in the 6am hour in the fall, because the station doesn't power up until sunrise, or around 7am. They go from a 2-something at 6am to a 9-something at 7am. That's not programming, that's signal.

Funny how people react to every ratings blip as though it's the end of the Ticket. For 20 years people have continued to predict their demise. My bet is that for the next 5-10 years the lineup remains the same, and they remain on top of the ratings. And, there will be ratings dips and speculation, like always, but the big picture will remain as it has for 20 years.

Jiggity McDiggity said...

I've talked with an on air talent/behind the scenes guy. They see the gains made by The FAIL but honestly they don't give a flying f. Their words "it's not realistic to think that we would beat both stations combined forever..." I told him what you (almost everyone) are thinking about dividing up the shows and he asked me "what the f*** for? All is strong in Ticketland" This person says just to chill out and enjoy the programming and stop thinking that two lost hours means anything. I asked about the low Musers hour and his exact words: "a total ANOMALY and not one bit of a concern"

Anonymous said...

@11:34 You do know they have an FM signal, right? And you do know that on that FM signal they broadcast, right? - Double Fake Jules Winfield (who doesn't think the ratings hour fluke is a big deal.)

Fah-fuh-fuh-fah said...

Gurkle!

Anonymous said...

Highbury makes things up, me thinks.II

Scruffy said...

Plainsman, 6 am for the Musers is pretty sportsy. Gordo does the O-Deck at 6:30 and then usually there's an 8:40 bit replay, but I don't think your comment holds much water. And his O-Deck content lately has been very solid. Seems like the signal theory is much more likely an explantation.

And will someone please tell Matt and Tim that the Galloway/Russ Martin-esque self-amused giggling is no less annoying than HyperboleCorby or Ben & Skin over-eagerness?

Anonymous said...

I think Russ Martin is a funny guy, but it takes a special kind of suck-up to giggle non-stop for four hours.

The Plainsman said...

910: You may well be right about Cat's oversight over the programs. I just get a sense that he doesn't give them a whole lot of directives and that a couple of ratings dips -- especially that Muser dip -- would call forth any orders to get the quality up. I'm not even sure where that impression comes from. I think Cat is mainly concerned with the flow of the programs -- making sure ads get aired when promised, making sure upcoming segments, shows, remotes, etc., get plugged. And that he doesn't care a whole heckuva lot where the OverCorby/Checkout-Mike-o-Meter needle hovers.

I have a hard time believing that the large one-hour plummet for the Musers has much to do with the scruddy 1310 signal early in the morning in the fall. Of course, I'm also puzzled as to why anyone is any longer listening to 1310 at all. Maybe there are some places south of the Metro reached by 1310 but not 96.7, but surely not enough to make much difference.

Or . . . is 96.7 itself subject to early-morning woes? Dunno.

So -- I think the Muser dip is an outlier, but only slightly related to technical issues if at all. I think the Hardline dip is not an outlier but may well be temporary. I am skeptical of all claimed Ticket insiders in these comments -- we've gotten so much misinformation from persons claiming to have inside poop in the past -- but I do agree that for those who care about Ticket ratings there isn't much cause for concern. Not zero cause, especially for The Hardline, but not rising to the level of consternation.

Shaggy said...

CUMULUS! THE POWER OF RADIO!!!

Stock now trading at 52-week low after bad earnings.

"Cumulus Media misses by $0.06, misses on revs (Stock Price: 2.96 Change: -0.33)


[10-November-2014]

Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $0.01 per share, $0.06 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.07; revenues rose 19.6% year/year to $313.9 mln vs the $318.66 mln consensus.

Revenue: The increase resulted from increases of $39.1 million, $7.3 million, $3.1 million and $1.9 million in broadcast advertising, digital advertising, political advertising and license fees and other revenue, respectively. These increases were primarily attributable to the addition of the operations of WestwoodOne. The increases were partially offset by decreases in local spot and national spot revenue. The increase in political advertising revenue was due to additional activity associated with mid-term and gubernatorial elections in the current period."

Anonymous said...

"Or . . . is 96.7 itself subject to early-morning woes? Dunno."

I know the signal gets really spotty in the evening. I'm not up at 6am, so I have no idea abotu that.

Anonymous said...

I live in East Dallas, near downtown. In my car the AM and FM signals come in great. I primarily listen to FM while driving. At home, the FM signal is drop dead awful. I own two radios. One pretty high end, the other a transistor. Neither can consistently get a strong FM signal. Hence I listen to AM at home.

As to the ratings, let's see if the next book reflects to any extent this one. If it does, then we have something to talk about. If it's nearly a carbon copy, we really have something to discuss. If the discrepancy widens, then batten down the hatches because it's time to get all apocalyptic up in this bitch. Until, if, that time comes let's all chill.

KP said...

okay whoever started Ragonk.com is genius. This singlehandedly makes me fan of hiring T.C. back and I was one of the P1s complaining about him a few weeks ago.

Anonymous said...

I feel guilty laughing about Rangonk, but I cannot help it. I nearly choked on Indian food a few minutes ago... My skin is not nearly as thick as T.C.'s... No way I could handle this without going postal...

Anonymous said...

He does not have thick skin and he did go postal; he took another job. The fah-fah-fah thing had a lot to do with it. I don't think he was kidding when he mentioned finding "alternative employment" today. I hope he follows through.

deezy said...

1330, how do you know that he went "postal"? And how do you know that his taking another job had nothing to do with opportunity (even if he miscalculated)? You know, because that's what ambitious people do?

And ragonk.com is up to 11K+ hits from 2K yesterday evening (when Corbs and Danny were talking about it). The merchandise storefront intrigues me a little, as it's tied into Paypal and Amazon Payments; how can there be actual merch (like kids' ankle socks with pics on them) this quickly?

The Plainsman said...

Here I go, being a bad P1 again. Can someone answer two questions:

(1) When and under what circumstances were the syllables "ragonk" uttered?

(2) Much more important: Why have they become famous? They seem like just a random misspeak that any broadcaster might commit, so who picked this up and spotlighted it, and why?

Shaggy said...

ragonk.com was registered by Austin Guttery, current Ticket employee, I believe.

Anonymous said...

T.C. was doing a ticket and was trying to say "Rolando McClain" but he tripped over himself and said "Ragonk...[three seconds of silence] Rolando McClain...". I'd say UT really took off two Fridays ago when it was revealed on air that Kid (from Kid'n Play) told T.C. that he had marriage advice for him - Kid leaned into T.C. and said "Ragonk!". The Musers worked the word into a n interview with Brandon Carr... I tweeted "Regonk!" to Bob right at the end of the Dallas loss to WAS and he retweeted it... Anyway, it has far surpassed "Fa-Fa Gate"

The Plainsman said...

Thanks for the admirably concise account.

Anonymous said...

PMAN-
Most PD's DO have their finger on the show programming, where segments go, what kind of segments, etc. The only reason Cat wouldn't is bc the ticket has been doing the same bits for so long and it has obviously been working, i.e, if it ain't broke don't fix it.
-Not Spittle, Not Dawson, Not Richie

Anonymous said...

Just giving Babyarm a rest.

Doesn't sound like Ragonk to me either.

Regonk said...

I think leaving a job you love qualifies as "going postal." I didn't suggest he started throwing things around the control room or brought a firearm to work.

And he did say it contributed to him taking the other job.

- Not Lying, Not Hating, Not Amused by your accusations.

Shaggy said...

I don't think TC loved doing the Top 10 at a very low salary as much as he relished the opportunity to advance his career. I think most people would have done the same. That most certainly does not qualify as "going postal".

Anonymous said...

Maybe someday Mosley can go more than 5 minutes without mentioning Baylor.

Anonymous said...

first off, it sounded more like 'Reglon' or 'Reklon', not ragonk.

Also, I agree with p-man that Gordo and Corby are coasting and just repeating mainstream CNN or MSNBC story of the day. (Taking CNN or MSNBC as gospel truth, while pretending Fox is run by lunatics is laughable. Both sides of the mainstream thrive on staged, circular arguments.) I also see Dan doing this in 1:30 news with an anti-gun story basically every day. I suggested on unticket a few months ago that I felt it was a willful pro-establishment bias and was shouted down as being a conspiracy theorist (really?). I think this is probably the corporate hand of Cumulus reaching in and demanding all stations fall into rank and file. Cumulus/MGMT just used the ones on the station who are more likely to agree with the desired position on any topic. (Corby, gordo, dan)

To the guy who said that norm and the musers are both his least favorite show, you need to give Sirois a chance. As a 30 year old, I think that he is probably the most relatable and genuinely funny, talented personality on the air. (The sirois are the ones running Ragonk.com)

i love you all