Monday, May 11, 2015

EXCLUSIVE -- BREAKING -- The Voice of the Cat



OK, here we go.  

If by any chance this is your first visit to My Ticket Confession, and if so shame on you, this post is dedicated to questions for Ticket Program Manager and Cumulus Media Dallas Operations Manager Jeff ("Cat" "Catman of the Americas") Catlin.  He has consented to sit still for a tsunami of questions from our readers.

I was pretty impressed with the Confessor on this one.  Good coverage, good commentary contextualizing the questions, no death threats.



Most of the people writing in with questions also included their thanks to Cat for participating in this Q&A on My Ticket Confession.  I add my own not only for taking the time to consider our questions, but also for approaching this site to get it going and working with me to figure out how we could make it work.

As Cat said in his final comment to the last post, he has asked me to keep editing to a minimum and I have done that.  However, our loquacious interlocutors sometimes went on at some length, and there was a great deal of repetition.  So have sliced some of the contextual material out, although I believe I have left every question intact. 

I have numbered the questions in case Cat wants a shorthand way of referring to one or another.   As noted, many of them ask the same thing so there are a whole lot fewer unique questions here than meet the eye.  I have grouped them in subject matter areas which I hope will make it easier for Cat to address similar questions in a smaller number of responses.

I have also included almost every question submitted.  I have left the repeated questions in to show the degree of Confessor interest, but please do not expect Cat to answer several identical questions separately.  Remember, he has complete discretion as to how he chooses to respond, and may pass up certain questions entirely.

Please do not submit comments to this post.  The only comments that will  be approved are Cat's answers and any followups that I might toss in.

We will go as long as Cat can stand it.  He has a job to do, so expect some breaks.  I'll try to alert when he's going to bring matters to a close.

Cat, you asked for it, so have at it – and thanks again:

THE HARDLINE

(1)  The Breeze asks:  I've watched the evolution or devolution--depending how you view it -- of Mike Rhyner. Towards the end of Greggo's tenure, he began to take a backseat to Corby (at first), then, at times, even Danny (but in the context of a Corby/Danny tandem). Upon Greggo's departure and for a short while after, he firmly retook control of the helm of the USS Hardline. Soon thereafter, he appeared to hand it over to Corby (and by extension, Danny). The show has never been the same since. It has been for the worse. Indeed, what we mostly get now is the Corby and Danny Show. And of that, it's mostly The Corby Show. He's a very strong personality. He pretty much commandeered both Late Night Ticket evenings at the Campound--with varying degrees of success. Corby truly is, as Mike says, "polarizing." On those rare occasions when Corby is out and Mike is forced to retake the helm, the show is absolutely golden – halcyon day good. But those days are few and far between. Most of the time Mike seems barely engaged. When he attempts to engage (hell, even during his own segment M's Mind) he's often talked over, the segment hijacked by either or both Corby and Danny. Is this a concern for you? If so, has it ever or will it ever be addressed?  

[The Plainsman adds:  I agree with the position expressed here, but I attribute The Hardline's marked decline in quality (forget about the ratings) to Mike's lack of interest, lack of preparation and just plain abandonment of on-air leadership much more than Corby's segment-bogarting.   On numerous occasions Mike will start a segment as though it's "his," get out a sentence or two, then fall completely silent.  If Corby didn't jump in with content there'd be no segment at all.  Having said that -- way too much Corby, and too much "bad" Corby.  Do you perceive what recent Hardline critics perceive?]

(2)  Wldcat4 asks:  They say time heals all wounds so I was wondering if there was any chance Greggo would ever be back? Maybe in a fill in position when someone has to be out, or maybe just as a quick ratings boost. I’m sure it wouldn’t work out if he was back full time. I think getting the old Hardline back together occasionally would be huge.   And ed gar in gar land asks:  Has there ever been discussions-past, present-of either giving Greggo another shot or at least as a guest/a couple of segments reunion? Or is anything Greggo a non-starter, both with the station and with Rhyner?

(3)  Feth O'Ril asks:  Who auditioned/tried out for the empty spot left behind by Greg Williams, and why was Corby Davidson chosen over the others who auditioned/tried out?

(4)  mark in richardson asks:  Do you think THL focuses too much on music and TMZ sort of stuff? It seems like they do. Their sports knowledge has not kept up with the listener over the years and now when they do talk sports, they sound a bit behind the curve.

(5)  Jason Becker asks:  I am writing this message to inquire about Corby's role in interviewing special guests. I think the guy does a fantastic job handling interviews (I also enjoy Norm's work). My favorite would have to be the great job he did on the Robert Plant interview. He really knows how to connect with a guest and seems to put them at ease. I hope you'll consider upping his role at handling big-time interview jobs.   Side note: keep the celeb interviews coming. Regarding athletes and coaches, how about we stop having them on? Those people make for awful, boring interviews (there's plenty of station sports talk, already, so no need to interview athletes / coaches).  

[The Plainsman adds:  And this is "good Corby," who, when he's not slumming through The Hardline, can be sensationally good.  Good on other shows, good without Mike, good as a primary host, and the best interviewer on the station.   If Mike does take his leave, will you consider keeping him as the primary host on the PM drive?]



T.C. FLEMING, JAKE KEMP, AND OTHER JV

(6)  HopefulP1 asks:   Cat, have been a listener for 10+ years and am squarely in the demographic. I have seen hosts and personalities come and go, but never has one individual gotten me or many others that I know to tune out. Ever. It seems clear from the ratings, that many have stopped listening middays. Is the drop 100% attributable to TC? Of course not. Is it potentially a much bigger impact than you or anyone else involved with the station believes, absolutely. From his constant screwups on prepared tickers, to his self-admitted problems with authority, to his unwillingness to take a joke over his own constant mistakes, he is as bad as I've ever heard on the Ticket. To be on radio, one would assume you must be able to articulate your thoughts without continually messing up. You said on this site before that he's gotten better. Well sir, he could not have gotten any worse so technically you may be right. How could you have let him come back to the Ticket after some of the things said in his AMA on the Reddit site? How come it took Pensacola two months to cut bait on their mistake but a Marconi winner could make the same mistake twice? I love the little Ticket, and wish it nothing but continued success. How can you justify keeping him on? But for the sake of the P1, for the betterment of the station, for the hopeful bounce back in ratings, please Cat, make the right call here.

(7)  Anonymous asks:  I know TC takes a beating on here, but he really isn't a very good ticker dude. Isn't there some way to keep him, promote another person to that position, and save the P1 the ebrake once a week? Just seems foolish to keep letting him do something he's not very good at. I think Eli, Chris, and Montemayor all do superior work. Eli particularly is great. Rarely stumbles, great pipes (sounds a good deal like Rich IMO) and is funny/interactive with the P1 on Twitter. Seems like a much better fit. I understand there's a "skins on the wall" issue, but why hold someone better suited back simply because someone else has been there longer?

(8)  debased asks:  How is it that TC has been able to keep the ticker spot? To put it bluntly, the guy rarely gets through a ticker without some sort of verbal flub. He's nails on a chalkboard. Seems like there's other talent waiting in the wings that could only do better. Also, having 5 people talking over each other during BaDD radio has gotten old. I'm finding myself checked out more and more on what once was my favorite show. 
(9)  N asks:  Did you ever consider giving IJB a timeslot whether weekend or fill in?  If not, why not?

(10)  Anonymous asks:   At what point do you or have you tell/told Jake that he might want to think through some of the things he says before he opens his mouth? For example today he went on about his perception of the asinine and obsolete NATURE (rock me) of weather reports. His argument was that his iPhone tells him all he needs to know. If that's not a case of latent affluenza bubbling below the surface I don't know what is. Does he honestly think the majority of people own, can afford a smart phone? It's so sad to think that a 30 yr old sees the world in such a narrow way that it's almost funny. Funny too is him just now referring to a woman in her 60s with whom he disagrees as "old assed." When you couple a childish (or maybe teenager-ish) view of the world with a smug know it all attitude and a weird faux this-is-what-an-East-Coast-person-sounds-like-to-me accent, you get one annoying on-air personality.

(11)  Anonymous asks:  It seems like Jake is being groomed for a bigger role. Is this true? I for one think he has talent but needs to mature, a lot, before he's ready for anything other than producing, pre/post and weekend specialty shows. He's gotta lose the Dylan the Argumentative Teen that resides inside.



(12)  Anonymous asks:  You once wrote to Pman, which he published with your permission if memory serves, that there's been almost zero interest by the JV vis-a-vis pitching their own show ideas or wanting to fill in. Right after Pman published it, several not so veiled JVers commented that that was totally untrue. So what gives?


OPERATIONS AND DECISIONMAKING

(13)  Azzhle in Azle asks:  Can you tell us how you balance (1) ratings, (2) advertising revenue, and (3) listener and social media reactions to Ticket programming (email, Reddit, blogs) in making programming decisions?  If you get more and more email about The Hardline going downhill fast but ad revenue is still strong, do you do anything to address listener concerns?

(14)  The Plainsman asks:   Do you feel that the people you hear from – whether from email or commenters to sites like this and Reddit and others through the years – overrepresent the negative viewpoints among listeners generally?  Do you tend to discount social media as giving too much bandwidth to the naysayers, who tend to speak up more than the people who are happy with the programming in question?  When you're inundated with negative emails (or other social media communications) about a particular topic, do you tend to think it's just a noisy, persistent minority, or at some point does the sheer weight of the communications you receive move the needle on your program evaluation?

(15)  annoyedP1 asks:  Do you have authority to make firings [disrespectful reference to T.C. at this point] or regulate what annoying ads and commercials 1310 airs?

(16)  birq asks:   The main players on the station have been in place for an unusually long time by local broadcast standards. Do you see any complacency, lack of engagement or mailing it in?   What do you do to try to keep shows (or individual hosts) engaged and fresh?  What do your bosses do to encourage, limit or thwart you in these efforts?  Do you think your efforts are working?


(17)  Anonymous asks:   Was anything said to Norm about his unwarranted outburst towards Sirois [relating to the Cowboys Gregory pick]?

(18)  The Plainsman asks:   What is your personal authority – maybe I should say leverage -- for forcing improvements in show presentation?  Let's say – strictly hypothetically -- that you agreed that the Hardline needed better show prep, Mike showing an interest in segments, less showbiz stuff, less Corby, whatever.  Does it do any good to call them into your office and say "I want to see X, Y, and Z changes"?  Other than suspension or the threat of nonrenewal of contracts, is there anything you can do to improve host performance?  There must be something you hold over their heads, because on-time performance has markedly improved.  But really, how difficult are these guys, and are some more insubordinate than others (names if you dare)?




PROGRAM CONTENT

(19)  Jason D asks:  Do you feel there is a lack of diversity of viewpoints with the on air folks?  It seems everyone is in lock step politically, musically, socially and it leads to everyone agreeing with each other in many segments.  It seems like diversity of opinion was greatly reduced when Greggo departed, and a bit of spice was lost. 

(20)  Anonymous asks:   Do you at all monitor the hosts' political views both on air and on social media? As a whole it seems like it's pretty even with left and right views among the hosts, however the left thinking ones are appear to be much more outspoken (See Sean Bass and Jake Kemp). Everyone is entitled to their opinion and free speech, but do you try and limit this at all if it potentially will drive away listeners?  And I'm in the anti TC Fleming camp in case you're keeping tally.

(21)  egg or walrus koo koo ka choo asks:   Do you ever take issue or have a sit-down regarding show content? More to the point, show content that has to do with current events and hot button socio-political issues?  I ask because as much as I love The Ticket and all the shows, I find myself turning it off more and more due to the hosts tackling issues and topics that they seem to have zero knowledge about other than their own opinion based on nothing but "gut" feeling. Many times it's as if the host(s) has/have never read a thing on a subject. That's how ignorant they can come off. Sometimes it's about common historical facts, too. It's maddening.

(22)  ed gar in gar land asks:  Does it ever make you and-or Dan B[ennett]. cringe when Jake, Corby, Danny, and at times, Dan make utterly wrong assertions about political or social or current event topics with supreme confidence? I know it bothers many a P1 when they do. If it does, is it ever brought up?

(23)  BuffaloPrinter asks:  Have you ever mandated changes if a show has "too many voices"?  Example:  BaD Radio has more on-air comments from their producer and Ticker guy than the Musers or the Hardline.   Do the hosts themselves ask for less involvement?  Rich Phillips was more inclined to pop on than Sean is.


THE BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY

(24)  Anonymous asks:  Over the past few years rumors have been rampant about a Cumulus/CBS merger that would in effect make The Ticket and The FAN sister stations. Is there any truth to this?

(25)  Anonymous asks:   Even Mike has said that your industry is a dying one. Indeed, in his opinion, management is its demise. Do you agree with this? If so, why? If not, why? And in conjunction with this, are you worried about terrestrial radio's future in general? I am around late teens and early 20 somethings on a daily basis. None of them listen to the radio. They pod, listen to some satellite, but no am/fm radio. In fact, the overwhelming majority have little idea of fm radio and no idea whatsoever about am. Thus it might be said you have a limited, dying audience. Would you agree with this to any degree?

(26)  iphongmoney asks:    If someone wanted to buy the Ticket as Mike so often suggests, could you place a value on the station alone?

(27)  The Plainsman asks:  What was The Ticket's sales revenue last fiscal year?

(27.1)  The Plainsman asks:  Has the local operating agreement by which Cumulus has programming responsibility for KESN (ESPN) caused any difficulty for you with your Ticket colleagues (assuming you have some programming responsibility for KESN, which may not be a correct assumption)?  At a minimum, it would appear to require Cumulus, if not you personally, to counterprogram The Ticket.



COMPETITION AND RATINGS

(28)  Brad Calhoun asks:  Just want to say I've been Ticket listener for a long time and I will continue to be a big P1.  I had a question concerning what is working with The Fan. We can be dismissive with what they do but they are doing some things right. They are branching out with social media and getting in with younger listeners and now even getting in with the big 25-52.  I understand branding yourself as the "originator" and not wanting to "copy" The Fan but you have to give credit to the work they have done to build their brand regardless with what you think of their content.   I feel like the downfall of The Ticket could be relying on longtime listeners and few young listeners like me.  I see in a few years The Fan taking overall number [one] for years to come. Do you agree? 

(29)  Wldcat4 asks:   Do the streaming listeners contribute any to the ratings?  I am out of state and moved away from where I could pick up the signal a few years back so I am a P1 streamer all day everyday actually as I have a tablet dedicated to iheart and the Ticket on at all times in my house.  And Susan Ellis (who describes herself as "a Ticket Chick for about four years") asks:  Cat, I listen to the ticket at work every day on one of two apps on my iPhone.  DFW Tuner or SportsDay.  I am curious if the Ratings Book includes apps?

(30)  The Breeze asks:    I'm not sure how the ratings work, but it seems like they are not anywhere near what they used to be. The Hardline is no longer the juggernaut it once was. As Mike used to say, and rightly so IMO, "Your, his, her, this station's way is through The Hardline." If that's so, and I think it is, and the ratings are dipping, is that problematic not only for The Hardline, but also for the station as a whole (sans The Musers)? When Cheers's ratings began to falter, so did the lead in shows and the one's that followed it. Is the same thing happening here? Because, again, aside from DnM, the ratings are down across the board. They have been for an extended period. If so, what if any measures might we see to remedy this in the future – besides clock mgmt and a "Tickerless Society"?

(31)  Anonymous asks:  What do you account for the now sustained drop or evening out in the ratings? It seems that it wasn't merely a Cowboys thing. Nor does it seem to be Rangers or Mavs related.

(32)  Anonymous asks:  Does it piss you off the way Gavin Spittle and many of The FAN personnel have totally appropriated patented Ticket lingo and bits....so much so that listeners new to the area think they came up with them and that The Ticket is ripping them off? This happens, often, by the way.
(33)  P1 Dan asks:  It seems that the other stations, especially the FAN, regularly take shots at The Little Ticket and with the current ratings as they are and their ever-changing numbers, here's my question:  How closely, and be specific, do you monitor what the "other guys" are doing? Are you in contact with former Ticket ex-pats like B&S, KT who jumped ship?  I guess my overall general question if you can't answer any of those with clarity is, are you guys aware of what other stations do and how does it affect your day-to-day and year-to-year programming?  Stay Hard!

(34)  birq asks:  How do you view the current apparent ratings shift from all shows on The Ticket as the undisputed winner in every timeslot to The Fan and ESPN nipping at your heels, and in some cases, sneaking by?   Is this something cyclical on the large scale or indicative of The Ticket losing steam?   Is Cumulus brass freaking out or do they even notice or care? 




PROGRAMMING

(35)  Anonymous asks:  Has there been any listener feedback, or push back, since reducing the number of Tickers? Would you ever consider going down to one ticker per hour or eliminating them altogether? I know I personally would rather have the hosts have more time per segment.   In my opinion, they are mostly an outdated tradition at this point. There are so many other ways to get sports scores and news and rarely do you get anything breaking from them. I feel that valuable airtime could be better spent elsewhere.

(36)  Anonymous asks:   Are you aware of the complaints about the length of time between segments? I understand that ultimately the station is a business and ads are a necessary evil, but there are plenty of times where I'll get in my car to run errands and never actually hear the hosts. I can say there are plenty of times where I've tuned out completely due to the length of commercial breaks.

(37)  mark in richardson asks:  Is there anything in the works about getting regular local weeknight programming up and running? Intentional Grounding is nice and all, but it's only during Cowboys season and for one hour per week. I mean regular, daily shows. I think the station sorely needs it. Farrell is OK for a laugh (at) or two, but only for about 10 minutes, maybe once a week or so. I know you have Cumulus/CBS obligations, but can't local programming go on until 10 or 11, then switch to the national feed?

(38)  Anonymous asks:  Given the success of The Kickaround, Four Pointer, and Stars Sunday, have you given any thought to another niche Saturday or Sunday show? I'm a big MMA fan and wouldn't mind hearing an hour show about that once a week.

(39)  Anonymous asks:  Would you be open to more specialized shows?  I'm not a wrestling fan but what I heard of Jer/Ty's Wrestlemania show was pretty solid. I know I would much rather listen to something like that than national generic sports talk. Same goes with the Local Ticket.   ESPN2 broadcast a video game tournament on TV recently. For example, could you envision the station allowing an hour show based on video games? I feel like more unique content is something that the station desperately needs. Not Ferrall talking about how good he is at betting the odds or how awesome his life is. 

(40)  kmclain3 asks:  Would be interested to hear your thoughts on the dynamics of being a pro teams flagship station from both a product/ratings perspective and profitability. As it pertains to the Tickets relationship with the Stars and the division realignments in 2013 causing more lost air time for the Hardline – how much does something like that go into the decision to renew? This is also something your main competitor recently had to make a decision on with the Rangers cutting into their late night live programming. They obviously felt it was worth it, but they won't be losing a tremendous amount of 7a-7p programming and I would have to assume the Rangers typically outdraw the Stars.

(41)  Anonymous asks:   Cat, what were you thinking with Laydeez B Trippin'? I hope you at least got a li'l somethin' somethin' out of it.

(42)  BuffaloPrinter asks:  Can you give an example of a recent segment that you thought "didn't work"?  Or perhaps an example of a weekly segment you forced into early retirement?

(43)  BuffaloPrinter asks:   Line 4 Guy.  Sometimes he has gold, sometimes he's a superfluous voice calling for drops.  Is his presence grandfathered in, or have you tried to change the WTDS format and remove him?

(44)  Boo! asks:    I would pay many pieces of money to have some sort of unfiltered stream a la the webcam during Superbowl week. P1 premium!


(45)  Jim Cusey asks:  Has the station’s decision to acquire Stars flagship rights worked out well, or has it not?  From a listener’s perspective I would claim that it has not, but I get that there are surely business considerations of which a listener would be unaware that might change that answer when it’s considered from the station’s perspective.  Here’s my motivation for the question:   The hours between 6PM and 8PM are prime listening time for me (and, I suspect, many others).  My work schedule is such that I often don’t get to listen much during the day, especially to Norm and BaD, so between 6 and 8 I enjoy listening to the Hardline live and to the Top Ten to catch up on the highlights of the day.  Being the Stars’ flagship means that about 40-50 times per year the last half-hour or hour of the Hardline and all of the Top Ten are interrupted by the Stars pre-game show and game.  I place very little value as a radio listener on live-action NHL hockey, especially when the audio is generated for TV and merely simulcast on the radio, especially when the team is as poor as the Stars have been since the Ticket has been their flagship, and especially when there is locally-produced sports talk on the air at the same time on a competing station.  I would guess there are many more people like me – who listen regularly to the last hour of the Hardline and the first hour of the Top Ten but who punch out when that’s pre-empted by the Stars – than there are people who are the opposite of me – who don’t tune into the HL and T10 but do tune in to listen to the Stars.  If I’m right, carrying the Stars has got to be a net ratings loss for the station.  So, it must be the case that either:  (a) I’m wrong, and carrying the Stars really is a net ratings gain for the station, or (b) I’m right, but it doesn’t matter, because carrying the Stars brings in other revenue streams that more than offset the ratings loss, or (c) I’m right, but at the time the station acquired the Stars flagship rights you thought it would work out differently – i.e. that Stars broadcasts would turn out to be a net ratings gain.  I’m curious which it is, because I would sure like to see the station walk away from Stars flagship rights whenever the contract expires.

(46)  Lindsay asks:  What ever happened to Ticket Sports Saturday & Sunday?   This was a stop down for me since Day 1 it came on air.  It was informative and kept me up to date with scores and commentary from the hosts.  I remember the day when the Sunday version had the big clock:  11:00 am-6:00 pm.   It was a show where the JV could polish their on air skills (except TC who needs to move into an off air role).  I feel sure that JV members would welcome the chance to be on air and polish their formatics and leading in and out of breaks.  It certainly is better than anything on whatever the network flavor of the day is.  Perhaps a programming idea would be to move Race Week to the 10:00 am slot on Saturday, move Cirque and Kickaround up 1 hour and then have 3 hours set aside for Ticket Sports Saturday.  After the Hockey Show, have the Sunday version there for special Sundays-Nelson, Colonial and the other golf majors.





TECHNICAL

(47)  Brad Calhoun asks:  Can the Ticket make full rebroadcasts of shows available?  And Cody Patterson asks:  Some radio broadcasts release their entire radio show on a 24 hour delay, commercial free, as a podcast. Will The Ticket look at doing that as well instead of partial segments for those can't listen to an entire show? If not, could The Ticket look at including the whole segment, instead of part of a segment in the current podcast format?   And Colorado P1 asks:  Why doesn't the station put up full-show podcasts, like some of your competitors do? If Lincoln Financial Media (104.3 The Fan in Denver) can post commercial-free podcasts of each hour of each of their shows, it seems like Cumulus should be able to do the same thing. Even posting them with the ads would be better than the few snippets we get now.

(48)  Cody Patterson asks:   Is someone going to fix the SportsDay DFW app so that it will actually show the ticket show rather than "Scott Ferrall On the Bench" all day? This has to be really confusing to new comers to the station.

(49)  Boo!  asks:   As a remote P1 are there any plans to make sure that the stream is more reliable? Any future app plans?

(50)  Colorado P1 asks:  Is the station aware of the constant problems with the stream, and does it have any plans to make improvements? By far the worst problem is that ads just randomly cut in to the middle of show content; it is incredibly frustrating to the listener whenever that happens.





THE FUTURE.



(51)  Charles Golden asks:  I was kind of struck by Mike and Norm's campout conversation when Mike mentioned how this type of media is dying and how he'd wouldn't recommend a youngster to pursue this line of work. How does the Ticket plan to stay ahead of the technology curve to avoid what so many radio lifers seem to think is the inevitable?

(53)  Bayern Munich asks:  You have at least two hosts who are getting close to the edge of retirement: Mike R. and Norm. Norm is 70 and is audibly losing steps. Mike is more disengaged than not. At least that's how he comes off to every listener I know, to a person. (He also disclosed that he tried to get a tryout for a position on the Mets broadcast, which means his feet aren't as firmly planted as we might think.) There is also the morning show that, has three hosts who all seem to have very strong pulls in other directions. Gordon is going through a lot right now, obviously; regardless, he seems ripe for a more "seriously minded" career change--his "torn" attitude between being a funny man and a straight writer appears to be coming to a head. For the last few years, and especially now since his youngest is about to fly the coop, I've gotten the feeling George is man ready for a life change. And Joonz, well, he's admitted that this isn't what he wants to do forever. I wouldn't be surprised if he wants to move on while he's still able to do all the physical/athletic stuff he so much loves.   All that for this: Are there contingency plans for replacements where the "Varsity" is concerned (Especially the "Musketeers")? Moreover, if so, are there any "JV" players that have the inside track?

ONE-OFFS AND MISCELLANEOUS

(54)  Anonymous asks:   Do sites like MTC have any influence at the station? From the word "go" Grubes to the Siroises to Sea Bass to Jake to yourself to Jer to Justin M to ex-KT to nearly every JV player to several hosts have chimed in. As well the site has been mentioned directly or obliquely on several occasions throughout the years. I also heard Dan and George mention the Reddit fan site. So it seems like many if not most employees of all levels stop by.  Your doing this AMA I think attests to the "power" of MTC. What makes such a blog important to you guys?

(55)  The Plainsman asks:  How many emails do you get from listeners each day?

(56)  The Plainsman asks:  If you swim by the site from time to time you will notice that people claiming to be Ticket or industry insiders will offer rumors and opinions about what's up The Ticket or Cumulus.   Are they ever credible?

(57)  blergoyen asks:  How many times has a Cumulus Media executive "higher-up" contacted you in regard to on-air comments?  Which hosts were involved and what were the specific comments in questions? 

(58)  Anonymous asks:   What is or was the general feeling toward Richie Whitt? He was once a friend of THL, even did a plus one gig. Then he wrote "The Hard Lie" which basically said yeah, Greggo's a flawed guy, but his coworkers and employer are in many ways equally at fault if not to blame. Then a year later he's cohosting a show with him on a competing station. The whole thing seemed fishy.

(59)   Anonymous asks:  What do you think your greatest accomplishment at the station is? How about your biggest failure? Is there a decision that you regret?

(60)   gopher asks:   I would like to hear Cat give us the lowdown on his radio career.  I remember him as Ron Engleman's producer at KGBS 1190 AM in the 90's.  A little history, his first job, stations he has worked at, and how he became management at KTCK.


WRAP-UP

(60)  The Plainsman asks:  Is there anything else you want to get off your chest that the foregoing questions haven't given you an opportunity to communicate?

(61)  The Plainsman asks:   Is there anything going on – or coming up -- that you can give us a scoop about?  Teases accepted.

========================

Thanks, Confessors.

Thanks, Cat. 


 ThePlainsman1310@gmail.com
@Plainsman1310

66 comments:

Jeff Catlin said...

Let me start by invoking a phrase you might hear Corby say...."THANKS FOR GIVING AN S!!!' Seriously, thanks to you for caring...about the Ticket, about the future of the station, about all the guys and JVers, even me. Caring enough to read this blog, post, submit questions for this and for reading my answers which will trickle in like Norm's stream throughout this day. I really appreciate it and I'll try not to bore you. Thanks to the Plainsman too---this is alot of work for him, and I appreciate him working with me. I've never met him don't know his name but over the years when I've asked him to post something or had email convos about the station or some issue he's always been fair and cool about it.

Jeff Catlin said...

So why MTC and why now? This is just me but I never have and never really will go to radio message boards, Ticket fan sites or blogs etc on a daily or weekly basis. I can't, it drives me insane! But it IS part of my job to keep up with what listeners think and fan sites etc are great--provided I just check in from time to time, so that's what I have done. Grubes is My Leader, MTC, The Unticket the Ticket P1 FB pages etc have all been periodic stops. Reddit and Ticket Reddit page didn't exist back a few years ago when I was going to those other sites....and MTC is still here. Which is a complement to you and to the Plainsman so this has been the longest regular visit for me. Last time I swam though a few weeks ago it just seemed that more than ever the wild ass speculation and rumor was running more rampant than normal. Alot of that was fueled by so called "insiders" including one who was saying I was going to be out. Well, that was enough for me haha. I felt maybe it would be helpful and slightly more interesting to get some real facts onto the site and so I asked to do this QA. Most times anonymous insiders aren't really employees or they are ex employees with an axe to grind, or they are a competitor, or just a fan and don't really have any inside information.

Jeff Catlin said...

1) I don't agree and I am not concerned with your opinion that Mike is somehow less engaged in the show. I think Corby has gained confidence over the years as he has taken a bigger role. But Mike is in full command of his own presence and how the Hardline runs, make no mistake about that. The show, like the station as Mike says is "organic" its living, breathing and evolving. I do think that more than every the show is a three legged stool--and it can't stand unless all three- Mike included--are doing their part

Jeff Catlin said...

2) absolutely not. At least not under my watch. And I feel pretty confident I am speaking for Cumulus mgmt and the guys. And let me be clear NOT personal towards Greggo but this is a bridge he burned. For every detail or story P1s have heard, there are three or four more you haven't. Deep down Greggo means well, but he lost it. No professional trust there at all. And remember, he had chances at both 103.3 and 105.3 and he got canned from both. There are reasons why. And btw, never any discussions about this. At all.

Jeff Catlin said...

3) We called that period in late 2007, early 2008--so many listeners never even knew Greggo or heard all of this.....the Plus One period. I've had a few whiskeys since then but Richie Whitt was one, Mark Followill maybe, Dave Barnett, John Rhadigan...I am sure I've forgotten some. Most all had merits. But three things needed to happen: I needed to think the mix was good, Mike and Corby (and Danny) needed to think it was good and the listeners needed to think it was good. We could;t force it, and as it all worked out (again, organic) it was just the best fit to have Corby's role expand. Then the ratings actually improved and then the 2009 recession happened.

Jeff Catlin said...

4) Disagree. the HL sports knowledge is just as good as anyones and I think this is where corby and danny have really grown. They have legit HSOs on college football, the NFL-Cowboys, The Mavs and Rangers....I think content mix and balance is something we always examine and talk about as a station and on the shows.

Jeff Catlin said...

5) Not sure this is a question but I am happy to see that the P1s (at least some) recognize that the HL has improved in this area alot over the years. I have pointed this out to them and I think its an area the show has evolved in. Plant was great, Coach Ruff weekly is great, Tones Romes is great....again, you probably remember your favorites more than I do.

Jeff Catlin said...

5B Plainsman) If and when Mike leaves I don't see any reason why Corby wouldn't stay in PM Drive. Possession is 9/10ths of the law.

Jeff Catlin said...

Catman's Hardline bias. You have to understand that I was the producer of the HL from 1994-2000. I can still complete Mike's sentences in my office when listening to the show. I have known Corby for 30+ years, we went to elementary, Jr H and HS together, I helped him get on at The Ticket in 95. I did a show with Danny, I helped Danny get on at the Ticket and I was part of him taking over Producer from me. I know this show inside and out, and I am biased because I worked on it and know every guy so well. All of these thoughts about the HL demise in my biased opinion are completely off base.

Jeff Catlin said...

Answer 6/7/8) TC is not the best ticker guy we have, but he is good and good enough to do midday tickers. I am coaching him. Hard. To improve and get better, and grow. Just ask him. My job is to continue to get him better and until I can't do that anymore or until he quits taking my coaching to heart he has a place here. Like it or not, I am not even sure how it happened but TC is one of us. At the time the FT ticker job came open TC was best prepared and earned the job. Other guys you mentioned (outside of Justin M) were not working here then. This is a talent business but also paying dues and seniority come into it and TC checks those boxes too. As for the Reddit AMA when He left I only read it once and I think "You" (royal you P1s) were more upset than I was about it. And I didn't "let" TC come back. The guy went to Pensacola to improve his career and it sucks it didn't work out. That had nothing to do with me or the Ticket. I judge things on my own face value. when he came back to town he worked PT on the weekends before the ticker gig. I needed a body and he needed a job. And again, I was straight up with him (ask him) and said--you don't get the Top 10 job back but if you are willing here is what I have. And he was, and again, he did a good job. That is not easy to swallow his pride like that. And then the Ticker job came open and he was the best candidate as I have already mentioned.

Jeff Catlin said...

9) When the Sunday slot opened up I tried out a variety of combos (kinda like I am doing on Sats 10a-12n right now). One thing I have learned in my career is that you can think something will or won't work on air, but until they get in the studio and try, you don't really know. I wasn't planning on Scot Harrison and Matt Mc to work out at all, they did and now they are doing PM drive in Birmingham. I tried IJB on Sundays but Jake and Sean were better together. Probably because Sean is alot more experienced talk show host. And while doing a podcast can give you some experience that translates to radio--it all doesn't. Jake and Sean have been great on Sundays. I also try (when it comes to as you call them JV) to not join any partners fate to each other. I try to judge everyone and give everyone opportunities on their own merits. EX Jake and Machine doing the Four Pointer.

Jeff Catlin said...

10) I think the direct answer to your question is I talk to Jake all the time about alot of stuff. Producing, hosting, strategy behind producing a show, dealing with "talent" , programming philosophy. I see you don't appreciate his opinions. I think some of them are crazy too (for the record, space is NOT gay) but the station is built on hot sports opinions and I want guys that have them.

Jeff Catlin said...

11) I hope that all the guys outside of the main 9 hosts are being groomed for larger roles. That's my job and the job of any manager--to coach up the players to ensure future growth and success of the organization and for their individual careers. Jake is no exception.

Jeff Catlin said...

12) Mission accomplished by me. Since then I think more of the guys have been willing to come in and pitch me ideas. I can think of very few times when I've had one of the JV come to me and I said absolutely no. Right now I have a Saturday slot open from 10-12 (RIP) and several guys have come forward to try it out, and they will all get a chance, and I will be by the channel to assess and give them feedback to improve their hosting skills.

Jeff Catlin said...

13) If it don't make dollars, it don't make sense! This is a for profit, revenue business. I know that isn't fun to think about esp in terms of our little Ticket but it is. Ratings are hugely important because that is a key driver of ad revenue esp in major markets. So my job is to first drive ratings and then accommodate the sales team within the best of my ability (and programming sense) to monetize the programming so we can all eat. But specifically as PD ratings come first. Period. Everything we do has to have that end game in mind. Will we and do we do some things for revenue, yes. But I think over the years its been pretty manageable. Part 2- I use ALL information and tools at my disposal to make programming decisions. Those things include: Ratings, research, gut instinct and experience doing this, listener feedback, management input, revenue and budgets, marketing, changes in the marketplace, changes in society (no smart phones or podcasts when I got this gig) etc. They all count as some part of the equation. PS The Hardline 'is not going downhill fast"

Jeff Catlin said...

14) Sure its the nature of the business that people tend to complain more than praise. Ticket listeners are no different. Although I do enjoy reading on FB during the Compound for ex how everyone is enjoying it, and 'its gold' etc. But as it relates to my job and decision making and I tend to look for trends. If I like something but I am getting 100s of emails from people that hate the same thing, I am probably wrong. Vie versa is also true. Sometimes listeners love something and I hate it and I am probably right LOL. When either of those things happens, the tie breaker (when applicable) is always the ratings.

Jeff Catlin said...

15 A) yes I can fire people. But just like any other business or corporation we have policies for that type of thing. And get off the TC man (greggo sick bit reference) 15B) Very little. if a spot has questionable content (strip club maybe) or is a category that I know our listeners don't like (tout service) then I speak up. BTW I have a great relationship with our sales manager and sales team. Ask someone about his hook on beard

Jeff Catlin said...

16A) Absolutely not, no way never. Myself included here-one of things we all have in common besides the LOVE of this place is that we are competitive as all hell and we will do everything in our power to keep the Ticket going for P1s and ourselves. 16B) Come up with new ideas, or new twists on older ideas. My specific role in that is to clear away the "clutter" that the guys have to deal with so they are free to create. And then when they do, I am the person (with alot of great help) that makes it a reality. 16C) one specific thing I do or we dp is hold regular brainstorming meetings to come up with ideas or newer ideas etc I also encourage shows to examine things they do and make room for new signature bits that might come up 16D) Not sure how you mean this but I think yea, we have a pretty good track record going here for 21 years. In the shorter view: Musers College Tour, Jub Jam, Hardline Baseball Road Trip, Tom Grieve Hitting Challenge just to name a few are good ideas that came up in the last three - four years.

Jeff Catlin said...

17) Not be me. That was just Norm being Norm.

Jeff Catlin said...

18) in short that's my job. Everything you described. That is my role. As noted in a previous answer part of it is to foster an environment where they are free to create and have fun. But the other side of that my role or any PD is to also hold shows accountable for content. I have regular meetings with all the shows. I would say on average at least twice a month, sometimes 3 weeks out of four. In those meetings we talk about strategy, any station housekeeping stuff they need to know about. programming content, execution of content etc. I don't have to threaten anyone--we are all professionals here. nobody likes to be micromanaged. One thing that doesn't make the air, and it shouldn't, is that there is a very creative side to this and there is also a very strategic and operational side. Both are important to success of the shows. I would think in any other industries employees get a message from their boss, they get the reasons behind it and then for the most part they understand what they have to do in their individual job to carry out the overall mission. Same here. And your final question-- Every one of these guys are great to work with or "manage". We all respect each other. In 20+ years we've all had moments with each other. We disagree or argue or whatever, and then we move on. It happens. But we don't have jerks here and we don't have huge egos here. And (generic business phrase) at the end of the day we all want the same exact things: great ratings, big station success and to keep working here at this place with this group.

Jeff Catlin said...

19) No not at all and I disagree with your assessment of that. Greggo was a cartoon and he was funny and all that but I don't think he represented a great diversity of opinion. To expand, one area where The Ticket can never win is on any politically charged topic. Half (or more) of the audience disagrees with whatever the guys say on it and a certain percentage doesn't want to hear that content at all. But that never stops us!!

Jeff Catlin said...

20) I am not keeping a "tally" does your boss? And no, I could not care less what the hosts political views are (within reason) I am not even sure I could or want to pigeon hole each hosts as "left" or "right" or whatever. I really believe if I examined it closely they are all probably extremely moderate politically. as someone once said " we are the toy department here" politics is so....politicky. lets just have fun talking about trading for AP and then girls boobs or something.

Jeff Catlin said...

21) I think I have already covered this in a couple different answers

Jeff Catlin said...

22) No I can say that it doesn't I might personally disagree with their views but this is the station built on "hot sports opinions" I want guys that have them

Jeff Catlin said...

23) Yes. this would be an example of something we discuss in a show meeting. (BTW in those meetings the hosts and producer are present) For the most part I let the hosts police the chiming in from the crew, but yes I will and have stepped in to get this back in balance if I feel it needs to be done

Jeff Catlin said...

24) I read the trades and they say Cumulus wants to be in acquisition mode. But I have not heard nor do I have any inside skinny on Cumulus/CBS.

Jeff Catlin said...

25) tough question to tackle because there are many areas. Dying in terms of ad revenue? in audience migration? of Millennials using other forms of audio? Radio is both a device and content. Its also free and readily available to everyone. The audio content is really what its about. Regardless of how it evolves or changes there will still be a market and desire for audio content for consumers to be entertained and informed by, for free. Catch me at an event and we can discuss this topic for an hour. I really am not trying to avoid this subject its just really BIG and you have alot of angles here.

Jeff Catlin said...

25 B) One important thing I forgot. I don't think management or corporate radio management is killing the industry.

Jeff Catlin said...

26) I really have no idea. What you pay for first is the signals (1310 am and 96 7 FM) and then the physical plants (the towers, real estate, transmitters etc) and then finally the FCC license. THEN you add in the format or content of the station and all that goes with it. Studios, employees etc. As a standalone station this is a wild guess but lets say upwards of 80-100MIllion with an M for the Ticket. But I could be WAY off.

Jeff Catlin said...

27) Sorry I don't think this is public knowledge Plainsman.

Jeff Catlin said...

27.1) Yes I have day to day PD responsibilities to the Ticket and day to day PD responsibilities for ESPN radio. I also am the Ops manager for Cumulus Media Dallas which means I oversee the Programming and PDS for the 5 other stations in our cluster.

it hasn't caused ME any problems with my colleagues but maybe you should ask them. It has been a learning process to handle both in terms of time management and focus and because I have lived and breathed Ticket for 20 years prior to getting ESPN so I just didn't know it as well.

It definitely provides some strategic operational opportunities (generic) for both stations that should provide an advantage to us. We also have experience doing this with two country stations Wolf and KSCS and two talk stations WBAP and KLIF, in the same building. In order for the cluster to be successful, all of the individual stations have to have their own levels of success too.

Jeff Catlin said...

---Intermission------

Before I get into ratings or the competition I have an opening statement. I am very limited it what I am allowed to say on how the actual ratings measurement works. This is a neilsen industry rule. If I say too much I could mess things up and since ratings is our business I can't do that. So allow me latitude to sidestep some specifics there.

Competition is competition and I realize anything I type will live on forever so I am going to be reluctant to get into too many strategic specifics here. I mean Carlisle or Garrett don't go on coaches r us .com and give away their team's game plan to the Rockets (or maybe he did?) or Eagles. So I am going to keep some stuff close to the vest here for obvious reasons.

thanks in advance. Now, On with the Show!

Jeff Catlin said...

28) Of course I disagree. I don't think the Ticket is in downfall first of all. And I don;t see The Fan taking "number one overall" for years to come. First of all, they haven't been #1 overall except for a few isolated months here and there. (Cowboys football) The only sports station that HAS been #1 overall for years is The Ticket. So there is that

I give full credit and respect to the Fan and ESPN (prior to last year) for the piece of the pie they have carved out. ESPN has been on air for 15 years, Fan in this form for about 5 or so and so if they weren't having some success they wouldn't have made it this far. Competition is good for everyone.

Right now, this market with Men 25-54 is the most competitive I have ever seen in my career. That includes ALL stations and formats that live in the demo.

younger listeners are important not only to the Ticket but to radio in general. See other answers.

Jeff Catlin said...

29) Yes ratings for the stream "count" provided just as any station, they meet the minimum requirements. And the stream is the stream regardless of where or how you latch on to it

Jeff Catlin said...

30) Everything means everything. -M Rhyner

Jeff Catlin said...

31) Generally speaking there are four things that influence ratings: 1-content on our station 2-content on another station 3- changes in the market place 4- changes in the measurement system.

Depending on who you ask, which part of that equation is the one greatest influence on ratings is up for debate.

Jeff Catlin said...

32) Meh. Everyone steals everything

Jeff Catlin said...

33) I listen to the other stations, sports and otherwise. That's part of my job. I listen to the Ticket (and ESPN) most of all, but I spend quite a bit of time with the other stations in our cluster and that target our demo

Jeff Catlin said...

33 part 2) No i don't talk to any ex Ticket employees working at other stations.

Since I can't control what the competition is doing (on any station) our efforts are best served by doing the best we can and focusing on the Ticket

The Plainsman said...

Cat, not sure if you are seeing these comments on the site itself, but a followup if I may:

Trying to get a clear view of your thoughts on ratings (without getting into stuff you can't get into).

While it is true that ratings go up and down and it would not be surprising to see variations from time to time, the recent books do seem to be showing a definite decline in the ratings of several shows, most dramatically The Hardline, which used to double and treble the ratings of its competitors.

In light of your answer, I'm prompted to ask: Do you believe that these ratings trends are not meaningful in the long run (or that they will not continue)? How many consecutive books of Hardline/BaD "losses" or neck-and-neck finishes would cause you to believe that the change in listener preferences is becoming permanent?

And, if you did believe that the ratings decline was "real" and not just some outlier or anomaly, would you reconsider your judgment expressed (or at least implied) above that the declining shows do not require reevaluation of their current sound? Or would it be more likely, in your view, that the competition has improved, or that their marketing is more vigorous, or some other non-program-content-related reason?

Promise -- followups will be kept to an absolute minimum. This might be the only one.

Jeff Catlin said...

35) None, and I admit I am surprised by this. The day we did it I was talk gin with Junes that morning about how not one listener emailed me or the guys or tweeted or anything. There is alot that went into the process here but the short answer is you are correct--we want to streamline our breaks to give as much content time to the shows as we can

Jeff Catlin said...

36) Very aware. And if you listen closely and put a watch to it (as I have) you will see that I think we've been pretty successful these last several months in moving things around etc that resulted in shortening the overall time away from content. Thank me later.

Jeff Catlin said...

37) Hopefully you've had a chance to listen to some of our "unscheduled" Thursday night or random weeknight one off shows? Junior Coast to Coast, DJ Donovan, Corby and Sirois Masters Preview, Bob & Newbury and Jake on the Draft etc.

Top 10 does well in the ratings and provides a service. Farrell had a very hot start but has cooled off. This is something I am always evaluating

Jeff Catlin said...

38) Sure am. And by the way partly by plan partly by necessity, the weekends have undergone some pretty big changes--starting with the shows you mention and the addition of the Local Ticket on Sunday nights and now we have an opportunity Saturdays from 10-12n too. I like the weekend content we have and its a really good proving ground or niche time as you note.

Jeff Catlin said...

39) Yes same answer as 38 and yes have given thought to video game show or content of some type. Not sure how many people realize that the gaming industry is larger than the movie business. And even when CD/records etc don't move when Call of Duty of GTA come out, they move hundreds of millions of games.

Jeff Catlin said...

40) If it don't make dollars it don't make sense. And also "free is not a business model"

I love having the Stars, I love the organization and the people and it works on every facet of our relationship. However, yeah I wish the HL didn't get cut short about 12 times a season but that's what happens and it IS part of our analysis. The Stars understood and that's why we don't do pre game shows on any game prior to 7:30pm. The other teams and flagship stations don't have that flexibility in PMD I can tell you that.

Jeff Catlin said...

41) Favorite Question! It has became a punchline or a badge of honor for me. Because when "people" claim I don't take chances with shows I can always say "hey I was the guy who put Ladies Be Trippin on, holmes"

I thought it was going to be funny. A little wheels off to be sure, but funny and maybe at its best something different and insightful or at least lustful for guys ears and theater of the mind. Cuz they all three looked good.

It harmed nobody to give those girls a couple shots on Saturday and Sunday night. And it turned into a bit so.....

And contrary to popular opinion ladies be trippin' didn't prevent ANY other show from making the air, ever.

The backstory to this is a good one. Rich Phillips and I had a fun listening to them at the First ever Ticket Tap Takeover at Luck in Trinity Groves about 2+ years ago. Ask me about it sometime but no....I didn't "get" anything from it.

I think it was Dan Mc who claimed ownership of the Ticket casting couch last week.

Jeff Catlin said...

42) yes I can and no I won't. It happened, recently, but that won't do anyone any good to air it our publicly. It IS rare when I absolutely say "this is no good don't do it" But I will if needed.



Jeff Catlin said...

43) WTDS gets ratings.

Jeff Catlin said...

45) I think I covered this in a prior answer. Yes I think its worked out well and I think with the team primed to be really good we are the cusp of it being extremely rewarding to have the Stars on the Ticket

Jeff Catlin said...

46) Station evolution happened and lifestyle and technology changed. That show started in like 2002--pre smart phone and wi fi for one thing.

And then as noted, we've made changes on the weekends to our programming and alot of the guys that did TSSa/Su got on other shows or whatever.

We still will roll it out from time to time in the ways you noted.

Thanks for the line up suggestions I could steal that and give you zero credit for it.

Jeff Catlin said...

47) Podcasts: unfortunately right now, Radio does not get ratings credit for time shifted listening. (Unlike TV that does). So the only way we get ratings is via live listening on 1310/967 or the stream. Thats it.

So if we create show archives or create entire show podcasts of every show unfortunately and counter-intuitiuvely, we remove a possible incentive to listen to the Ticket live and to give us ratings. That would mean any P1 can go back and listen to a show later or outside of the time it airs and that is a double whammy-- 1) Not listening live to the Ticket 2) not getting listening/ratings credit when listening to a time shifted pod cat

When this changes we will amend our policy

Jeff Catlin said...

48/49/50 Streaming Issues; Yes I am aware and this is technically confusing. There are several things that contribute to the user experience on the stream. Some of it we control, some of it we don't. Bear with me please.

What hardware device you use and where you grab the stream, what app you use, ad insertion technology, the over the air broadcast delay vs the delay on streaming and the commands sent in real time to 'cover' ads.

It all factors in and as I said alot of it I can't control. What I hear loud and clear is that our user experience on the stream should be better. I agree with that 100%. Its frustrating for me too. We are behind in this area and I hope we continue to have a better user experience on the stream regardless of all the technical factors that go into delivering it to the masses

Jeff Catlin said...

"Lets just say, that those are the terms that it's being thought of, by just about everybody "

This is not an answer to any question but I am getting near the end and I wanted to work it in somewhere.

If you are ever wondering what we joke about in the halls up here, this phrase in our triple fake Rhyns voice is never more than a day away.


Jeff Catlin said...

51) Very difficult and good question. I don't know. I really don't. I think as an industry we have to do more and be better to attract new talent in every area of our business that we can. Secondly I think we are going to have to cultivate the passion of radio specifically in students and young people. Once this bug bites you, you are infected. That's not a really good business plan when you have to compete with other industries in terms of salary and future but its the best answer I have right now.

Jeff Catlin said...

53) Let me just say that those are the terms...

I disagree with your assessment of Norm and Rhyns.

Guys-- all the Ticket show host are locked up into multiyear deals. Nobody is going anywhere. That may make some of you angry, but I sleep great at night knowing they are all going to be here and we are going to be here together.

That being said my boss has a great saying about always having a "funnel" ready of guys that could step in to various roles or shows etc. Yes I think and have thought about alot of what ifs....the goal is to keep this station going long after I've gone and maybe some of the guys have retired at some point in the next ten years

Jeff Catlin said...

54) As previously noted I use all information available to me to make programming decisions. I also said blogs like MTC and the other fan sites are great but I can't personally visit them regularly and still effectively do my job. They can drive me insane at times.

BUT the reason I am doing this is I appreciate YOU the dirty, sweet, clean P1. You freakin' CARE about the station. I care too. ITs a great thing that we can have the dialogue and its great for me to have the chance to help you understand the thought process of what we do, even if its just a little bit.

I personally think one of the things that has made and MAKES the Ticket great is that there is really no wall here between us all. We just have the transmitter man.

So thanks for the question and your time, and even if you think I am a clueless idiot messing up your station at least we've heard each other out

Jeff Catlin said...

55) depends on if the stream is down or not. Plenty though. I get alot of emails a day period

Jeff Catlin said...

56) rarely. Which is how this whole QA got started. I can promise you this: I am not on my way out as one insider claimed. Take all those--what do you call them, Hold your Butts comments with a giant grain of salt

Jeff Catlin said...

57) in regards to on air comments, Zero times. I have gotten a call a time or two after we have played some illegal audio on the air we didn't have the rights to. (Sorry ESPN TV! :) ) We have mostly gotten in trouble for comments made directly or indirectly about sponsors or that time or two we got cross ways with the FCC but that was pre 2006

Jeff Catlin said...

58) I can be extremely negative in this answer or I can take the high road. I will choose B. Nuff said.

Jeff Catlin said...

59) ooh, that's a tough one. Well we've won two National Marconi Awards under my watch. I am very proud of the guys for that. Cool trophies too.

We have had the highest ratings in the history of the station under my watch. We have also had the lowest a few times. So that. In regards to ratings I think we were pretty successful moving into the digital ratings age, I felt I had the guys well prepared and educated at that time in 2008/09.

I have been a small factor in keeping this thing together and all the guys keep signing contacts because they want to be here.

I've made plenty of bad calls over the years. A few bad hires and stuff like that. I got into it once with BaD Radio during their show and that is PD 101 No-No and I am sorry that happened. Again, years ago but still I let things get the best of me at that particular time.

Longevity has been important to me not only to share in the success we;ve had together at the Ticket but because its a sign of loyalty which I value highly. I have been the PD here for 13 years, that's over double the time of the prior PD (Gilbert 5 years) and triple the time of the PD prior to him (M Thompson 4 years) .When I got hired here my goal was to be here two years because I never worked anywhere long than that. When I made it two, I thought if I could get 5 it would look awesome on my resume, after 5 years I was thinking....yeah, this is a pretty all right thing we've got going.

Jeff Catlin said...

60) Boring. Yeah I interned and then worked at 1190 am from about 91-94 pre Ticket. I loved doing a sports talk show with Tony Hill and for awhile Curt Menefee's producer again pre Ticket for us both. I ran the board for Ron Engleman during the entire David Koresh drama. Also worked at 1190 with Morton Downey Jr.

I started at the Ticket March 1 1994 and was Hardline Producer and APD until 2000 (Danny took over HL May 2000).

From Sept 2000-Feb 2003 I stayed with the company (Susquehanna) and was PD of KCMO AM in Kansas City. (Same format as WBAP)

Then in Feb 2003 I came back here after interviewing for the Ticket PD job and getting it. At different points since then is when I took over the Ops Manger role for the stations and then we got ESPN in Oct 2013.


Jeff Catlin said...

61) And.......scene.

You better hold onto your butts because I have a reliable inside Ticket source that is in direct contact with both COTA and a CTO and he says that something major is about to come down. Maybe even this week, or certainly by next week. And I'm not joking. You'll remember this when it happens.


Also Plainsman, there are two #60s so there....

The Plainsman said...

Again, on behalf of all Confessors, hearty thanks to Cat and continued best wishes to him and The Ticket. A truly manful effort.

I'm shutting down comments to this post and immediately putting up a new one for reactions.

Thanks again to all participants.

Jeff Catlin said...

Fake #60) Yes just again, Thanks everyone. I think my mouth wrote a check my butt was having a little trouble cashing today....Great questions and I appreciate the opportunity to answer them all. Took longer than I thought but I did enjoy it.

Thanks to the Plainsman for setting it up and making it happen.

At the very least, agree or disagree I hope this gave you some real factual insight into the decisions and thought process here. I put my name on every answer. Remember that please when you read some of the future posts by "insiders"

And the most important thing we have in common is that we LOVE and CARE about this thing--this thing that really is just a radio station but its not. It is SO much more...because of your passion, and the group of guys we have here--from the Musers to Mike and Corby, BaD Radio, Donovan and Norm and even yes TC. I could mention every employee here by name but no need. Every single person that works at the station right now FT or PT, promotions team or whatever matters. They matter to me and to the success or lack thereof, of the Ticket. Even if it doesn't seem like it, we ALL contribute and we all have a role to play. Its a freakin weird chemistry experiment but it works because all the elements are in place right here right now. So Yo! Science!

And you know what the magic ingredient is? YOU. P1s. Even 2s and 3s ...every single one of you. Do you think PDs across America are spending half a day doing a QA on a fan site for their stations today? Hell No. You Know why? Because those stations and those PDs don't have you, that's why.

And I will never take that shit for granted for one single second while I am here. Nor will I long after I am gone from this place. Sniff. Tear.

Yeah I like this gig. And I know, that wasn't the question.

One final thought while I am rolling...whether you like a guy that works here or think he sucks, remember--he's just like you. He's a human being (with a schedule) trying to make his way up here and in life. Likely with a family and friends that care about them, just like you. Don't hate the player, hate the game.


Cat, out.