Wednesday, May 6, 2015

EXCLUSIVE: What Does the Cat Say?

You're about to find out.

Jeff Catlin – aka "Cat," aka "Catman of the Americas" – is the Program Director of The Ticket and Operations Manager of Cumulus Media Dallas.   

Cat has reached out to My Ticket Confession and offered to participate in an exclusive session on this site on Tuesday, May 12 in which he will answer Confessors' questions about The Ticket.  I'll get to the details in a moment.

Let me start out with a little ass-kissing.  First, Cat contacted me to suggest this.  That was nice.  Second, he had in mind a kind of classic "ask me anything" (AMA) of the sort to which notable persons like T.C. Fleming subject themselves from time to time.  Unfortunately, this platform (Blogger) does not support any plug-in that I could find that would allow real-time Q&A.  When I advised him of this and suggested that, much as I would hate to lose the scoop, he might want to contact other web-savvy P1s to host a traditional AMA.  No, he said, I started down the road with you so let's figure out a way to do it on MTC.  That was really nice.

This should be interesting.  It's a fair bet Cat has a few things he wants to get off his mind.  In his initial communication to me, he wrote:  "Making a swim through there [MTC] this morning and GOOD GOOD are our sweet clean lovable P1s misguided! And the anonymous random predictions of an earth-shaking change coming…..including me leaving?  Well I think maybe it would be helpful to add something of real substance to the narrative on the record."

And earlier today, after we agreed on how we would receive questions and how he would respond, he wrote:  "I am looking forward to doing this so I hope they bring the heat."

Anyone may ask a question (using the procedure below).  Who knows, perhaps some curious Ticket employees will submit some interrogatories.  Maybe Barry Horn or Richie Whitt or Brett Blankenship or Latarian Milton will sneak one through.  But I'm hoping that the best questions will come from you, the faithful Confessor.

There will be no limitation on subject matter, except as qualified below (that is, I'm picking and editing the questions).  In fact, Cat specifically advised me that he was prepared to answer questions about T.C., among the hottest of hot-button topics, so you can bet that very little will be off limits.

OK, look:  I know this site is not exactly advanced.  It reflects exactly my capital investment in it, zero dollars.  So when you see how this is going to go – after Cat and I kicked around the pros and cons of a number of alternatives – don't gimme a bunch of crap.  It's going to be a little clumsy, with the possibility of error and screwups.  It won't be real-time.  But here's how it is going to – supposed to – work:

(1)  Sometime on Sunday afternoon, May 10, I will put up a post that will announce the start of the submission of questions.  Questions may be submitted as comments to that post or emails to theplainsman1310@gmail.com.   As are comments now, they will come to me for review.  

(2)  Questions will be accepted through 5 p.m. on Monday, May 11.

(3)  I will review all of the questions.  (We'll get to question format in a moment.I will select the questions, attempting to ensure coverage of all topics of interest, and I am quite likely to add some of my own.

(4)  Questions will be posted in a new post on Monday night – probably fairly late. 

(5)  On Tuesday morning – or, frankly, at any time Tuesday of his choosing – Cat will begin answering the questions in the comment section of that post.  He will have a lot of latitude on how to handle the questions.  He may write several long comments, or address specific questions in separate comments.  (The questions will be identified by number, and, I hope, the name of the Confessor asking the question.)  No other comments to the Tuesday post will be published at any time.  Only Cat and, as you will see below, maybe me.

(6)  Cat may choose which questions to answer.  He is not required to answer all of the questions.  I will see his answers before they are published to ensure that no imposters attempt to impersonate him.

(7)  If I feel that a particular answer could use some clarification or begs for a followup, I will toss that in as a comment and he can respond if he wishes.

(8) We do not wish to wear the poor man out.  I will be monitoring this on Tuesday and we'll go as long as Cat is comfortable doing so.  He and I will be in touch on that. 

There may be refinements or even material changes in this, but as of now, this is the  plan.

OK, how about your questions?

You all know me.  I want to make sure our guest is treated with respect.  On the other hand, he has asked you to "bring it," so a certain degree of Tickety passion will be tolerated.  It is my preference to publish questions without any changes, but if things get too angry or vulgar, the questions will either get bounced or edited.  There will be many duplicate questions, so I will pick and choose among them, and may combine some, so that we have room for coverage of all topics of interest to the Confessor.  And I'm certain I'll be tossing in a few of my own.

You may preface your question with context and commentary.  Please keep your entire submission as brief as possible.  

Confessors, this is the chance you've been asking for.  Cat has been brave (foolhardy?) enough to subject himself to what I expect will be some very pointed examination on this site and offer answers that the public -- including his colleagues and supervisors -- can see.    

Make it count, and keep it classy.

I promised I'd get this up by 9 PM.  I'll have more to say about this over the next few days before the question window opens sometime on Sunday.

Be thinking of good questions, and good ways to ask them.   You know I'm not going to post 20 T.C. questions, so don't neglect BaD, Norm, JV, Cumulus, Weekends, Tickermen, The Future, and all the rest.

Until we open the window for questions, let's get some good Campound comments, what say?


52 comments:

Anonymous said...

This should be good.

Anonymous said...

There's a good thread going on the reddit page. This was the butt holding news? Nevertheless, excited for it

Town of the Cow said...

GIML did an AMA with Cat years ago. *yawn*

birq said...

This could be really good. It could be a train wreck, of course, but I'm optimistic and I'm looking forward to it. Thanks Plainsman.

Arky P1 said...

Good stuff P-man, looking forward to it! It is really cool of the Cat-man to be willing to come into the ring and answer questions, when he certainly doesn't have to.

James said...

I like it.

James said...

Listening to Gordo this morning talk about his mom; it was 15 minutes of excellence.

Rhinosaur said...

Oh my, the Danny "Where's Gordo?" was so bear-trap cringeworthy. How the shit did he not know? Obliviot.

blergoyen said...

This could be cool if the answers are honest and thoughtful. If it's all head-fakes, dancing around the questions, and non-answers the P1s will sniff it out immediately and disappointment will blast through the roof.

Cody Patterson said...

I am thoroughly enjoying some Camp-pound this morning. Dan showing up naked is very reminiscent of his sack hanging out a couple of years ago.

I wish I was able to stay up and listen to the late night stuff. I woke up this morning hoping that the guys were still going strong before the Musers started up.

I'm hoping that the Unticket can get some radio gold from the overnight stuff. It'd be great to hear that.

On the subject of the AMA, I think this could be hit or miss. It'd be great if the Confessor could get a real-time Q&A, but I thoroughly understand the lack of resources to put something like that together. It's great that he's trying his best to get something up and running. Looking forward to seeing this.

Anonymous said...

It's not often you get to hear Gordon shake voice.

Props to him for making it to the campout/compound. It would have been totally understandable if he had skipped it.

Anonymous said...

Norm's up. Time to get some work done.

DRW1961 said...

Forgive me Plainsman, but...

Yawn.

I would like to think that this will be something that will result in some information from Jeff, but I seriously doubt that we get much at all. He's not going to talk about specific hosts or specific shows. If he actually does talk about lightning rods like TC or Corby or the state of the Hardline, he's going to give some generic management-speak about how "they are a valuable asset to the organization, blah, blah, blah". There's no way in hell that a PD from a major radio station in a major market is going to get up in front of anyone and give any real information – especially when what he says can be attributed directly to him and can be reviewed by anyone (including the entities that he is commenting on).

Prepare yourself for information about how they are:
* Tightening up the schedule and keeping shows and breaks on time by reducing or eliminating items such as ticket teasers
* Wanting to continue to reach out to the P1 and make them a part of the experience with things like the Campound and Summer Bash
* Having the hosts interact more with each other and the other shows
* Striving to continue to achieve the balance between sports and other "guy talk"
* Continuing to work to find new outlets to develop the JV and have them contribute
* Concentrating on getting back to the basics that made the Ticket an entity that has been copied by many other organizations

Kudos to you for scoring this Plainsman. I really hope that I’m wrong. I don’t think I will be.

MoronDog said...

This segment with Norm and Mike is greatness. Talk about living, dying and what more they could accomplish. Co-mingling the hosts on shows is the greatest thing The Ticket has to offer in my opinion.

Arky P1 said...

Wow, the Norm and Rhynes old man talk was great. Rhynes basically said that he looked into the Pre/Post Game show gig for the Mets last year. He also said radio is a dying industry, blaming management (not sure which level of management) for running it into the ground. Of course he could have made the Mets thing up, but still interesting.

Boo! said...

Well, This Old Farts conversation between Mike and Norm is something else...I like the honesty

Again, specialty programming like this shows why The Little Ticket is special.

Sooooo, was there a reason why a RedditAMA wasn't done over on The Ticket Subreddit? Or is that place unspeakable?

Because to be honest Pman, this Q&A thing sounds like its going to be a chore.

The Plainsman said...

Yes, it will be a chore but an enjoyable one for me, and yes, there are certainly reasons to think that Cat cannot spill all of The Ticket's internal secrets.

But the world still shows up for presidential press conferences, despite the limited enlightenment and limitless mendacity they offer.

I expect you'll see some tap-dancing, but even careful phrasing of answers can reveal information between the lines. Hope all you yawners out there can stifle your boredom long enough to give the Catman a chance.

KP in Dallas said...

Props to Sirois for killing the Rangers talk in favor of continuing the old man talk with Rhynes and Norm. The Mets stuff was great full disclosure we may not have gotten otherwise.

This is the type of stuff which makes the Campound and its like such greatness.

charlie0712 said...

That old man talk was greatness!! And I hope that the producers take Mike at his word and go out there tonight. From what we can tell, mainly how quickly Dan made it there it isn't that far away and having those three knuckleheads that we love so much would make for great radio late night.

Can't wait for the Catman questioning next week. I always look forward to any member of the little ticket talking whether it's old man talk, a podcast, or coming on this great site to enlighten all us little and dedicated P1s.

The Plainsman said...

Wild guess on Campound location: Close to the Red River, maybe somewhere in the vicinity of Pat Mayse Lake north of Paris, or somewhere north of a line from Paris to Sherman.

My evidence for this is so thin and unconvincing I'm not even going to repeat it.

The Plainsman said...

I wasn't able to hear any of the campound geezerfest people are commenting and tweeting about. Can someone give us some detail on the Mike/Norm conversation?

DA said...

Plainsman,

Congratulations on this endeavor. However this still seems to be behind the times, per usual in regards to many things at the station and the ground rules seem, well, rather “Floyd Mayweather-esque”.

As “Town of the Cow”/Boo”/DRW1961” already alluded to it as Cat already did an AMA. You deliver your invitation late on May 6 and then the answers will come on May 12-13. That's like us writing a letter to the station and waiting for a return. That is essentially is the problem with radio in general and The Ticket in specifics. Something occurs today and we'll talk about it 48 hours later, because we have a set format. Good in theory...not good in practice and delivery. Plainsman, while you believe you are helping the P1, you are really assisting hindering old AM radio in terms of delivery.

Plus, since The Ticket has a relationship with the DMN, he could've just have done a session there, like his hosts do monthly. I realize going in that he cannot answer questions regarding employee performance, as well as the economics of the station, but both of those prior the AMA don't really have moderation, like the parameters which are set on MTC. Not all questions on the DMN chats are answered, but they are not really edited or taken off the chat; rather, they are just left to sit unanswered.

I will have overall Campound thoughts after the entire broadcast.

charlie0712 said...

Just some general bucket list talk and such and they got to the point where they said they don't have any bucket list items work wise, only some travel things.

Then Mike said last year when the Mets pre-game host job opened up he threw his hat in the ring and had a hookup up there who did some stomping for him but then it didn't happen and even he admitted if it did come through he didn't know if he would or not with all the roots he has in dallas. It was very interesting and when it's posted on the UnTicket you should go back and listen.

The Plainsman said...

Really, DA, come on.

This blog is not my job.

I do not work in radio.

Cat is not delivering breaking news and I would not expect the questions to break new ground, either. So there is nothing urgent about this project.

Sorry you feel hindered.

Boo! said...

Just re-read my comment and wanted to clarify

It sounds like a chore/PITA for you specifically Pman...I'm grateful for you handling everything though.

Good get Pman.

MoronDog said...

Comment on the Camppound - While I don't feel this way, I could see how the folks who want sports talk 24/7 would not like it since they've talked very little sports today, even on Norm's show. But, for the P1 who have been with these guys for a while, it's radio gold.

Arky P1 said...

I know that getting all the hosts together is probably a beating for everybody, but when we have round tables like we are having now, it is true gold. Today has been some of the best Ticket radio I have heard in awhile. Wish we had more than one whole day.

Anonymous said...

I think the Catman will be a straight shooter. However, if you ask him when Rhyner is going to retire or how much everybody makes don't expect to get an answer.

Anonymous said...

Thanks PMan for pulling Cat on here for a bit. Sometimes this thing turns into a runaway conspiracy train with renegade "hot 1310 opinions" that have no base other than what is in one man's brain. (though I guess they are fun to laugh at) .... and though I'm sure he won't divulge heavy details, having someone on the inside to answer some basic questions will be nice.

Awesome stuff with Gordo coming on this morning..... I woke up early just to hear his 6:35 bit hoping for something of his recent travel and he brought some personal gold to the mic. He's a sophisticated comedy man on air, but peering into the soul of a personal situation brings the appreciation even more for what makes the Ticket successful. Our radio hero's are really human... love to hear of the personal lives with respect.

The Plainsman said...

As Norm might say, "exactly right." Don't expect him to answer questions the answers to which might only be found in writing in a personnel file. Sure, we'd like to know these things, but an employer has some limitations on what they may disclose. So use some common sense in putting your questions together.

Anonymous said...

Mike & Corby are the only hosts that treat norm with any respect. That was a good segment.

Gopher said...

The interfacings between Norm and Corby have been interesting. I get a feeling Norm really likes Corby and in return he has great respect for Norm. Something to keep in mind for future White Elephant days.

The rare instances of unguarded Mike are always radio gold.

One has to wonder what we might have heard if other talkers at the peak of their runs had done something like this. The golden days of KLIF with Norm,Kevin McCarthy,David Gold, and Wally Lynn/Leon Simon. The WPAB crew of Hal Jay/Dick Siegel/Mark Davis/GrandPa Urine and Bill Mack. Add in the talkers at 105.3 too.

The Plainsman said...

Whoever was slamming the "Greggo/Newsface" commercial hit the nail on the head. The stupidest, most repulsive ad I've heard since all of the Kingsford commercials.

The Plainsman said...

What's the over/under on the number of consecutive days The Hardline will devote at least one segment to grossly and tediously overpraising the way-too-long tenure of David Letterman?

Cody Patterson said...

Praying for Killer's mom this morning.

gunther said...

Thanks Pman, glad it's not just me; Letterman has been irrelevant for a long, long time. I haven't watched in 20 years or more.

Good get and get good re: Catlin. I might even try to think of a humdinger for him.

T4 In Rockwall said...

I would love to see Bob get relocated to another team besides Dan and Donnie. Those two shine when they're in a different audio environment and BaD radio used to be my favorite 12 years ago before Bob blew up. Dan was his funny self last night and Donnie doesn't try and fit in when he's out of Bob's smothering presence. I really do think they have the talent to get back to the 900 lb gorilla ratings champ they used to be but some shakeup and switcharoo are needed.

The Plainsman said...

I was one of those wrong "Red River" guesses. My flimsy evidence was: (1) Junior said they were "near" Tuttle, Oklahoma, where all the jungle animals escaped in the Wednesday night storm; (2) yesterday, Junior suggested that the sky was clear yesterday at sunrise, and when I went to a map showing Texas cloud cover at that moment, that was one of the only places in the state that was clear. But, alas, wrong.

George recalled the analysis of a couple years ago where this site (originally) correctly guessed the location based partially on Junior's announcement of the time of sunrise. But alas, failed to credit MTC. http://myticketconfession.blogspot.com/2011/03/campout-quick-hit-my-guess.html

Anonymous said...

Besides the constant cross talk, you know what has made this Campound great? Hardly any TC. That is all.

KP in Dallas said...

Thanks Plainsman. I was the one who posted about the Greggo/NewsFix commercial. It's easily the worst, most obnoxious ad I have ever heard on the Ticket or any other radio station for that matter.

I surprised it's not receiving more vitriol on this site and reddit. The Kingsford ad, which everyone is bitching about right now, is tame in comparison.

Anonymous said...

You know, I used to think TC was the most annoying personality on the Ticket but now I think I was wrong.

It is by far Kid. That guy thinks he is way funnier than he is.

Anonymous Ron said...

In real Greggo news, the Hammer is in a movie. Did he like his gig? That wasn't the question.

http://www.dallasnews.com/sports/columnists/barryhorn/20150508-hot-air-former-dallas-sports-radio-star-greg-williams-lends-his-voice-to-movie-windsor.ece

Anonymous said...

Greggo is back in the news....

http://www.dallasnews.com/sports/columnists/barryhorn/20150508-hot-air-former-dallas-sports-radio-star-greg-williams-lends-his-voice-to-movie-windsor.ece

Also...the jokesters over at reddit are up in arms over Cat doing an AMA here. It's amazing how some just can't understand how and why things work the way they do at MTC.

Anonymous said...

Greggo's in the moving pictures! http://www.dallasnews.com/sports/columnists/barryhorn/20150508-hot-air-former-dallas-sports-radio-star-greg-williams-lends-his-voice-to-movie-windsor.ece

Anonymous said...

Can't overrate David Letterman. He is greatness. Same folks that probably watch Jimmy Fallon and think he has something I guess.

Speaking of overrated the segments with Kid from Kid N Play are just awful. Another example of BaD Radio doing interviews with folks nobody cares about.

James said...

Gordo's meaningful Mother's day column: http://dallasmorningviewsblog.dallasnews.com/2015/05/gordon-keith-and-sharon-grigsby-when-mothers-day-breaks-your-heart.html/

blergoyen said...

Yes, Letterman was awesome in the 80's and early 90's. After he didn't get the Tonight Show gig, his downward spiral began slowly, picking up speed in the aughts. He's been bitter and unfunny for almost 15 years, making noises over and over again without much thought behind his behavior. I'd rather watch Norm MacDonald do David Letterman any day.

To compound the issue, we get a whole week or more of THL reviews. Like today, we get to hear corky talk about the painfully overrated Tina Fey (Junes is 111% right about her) taking off her dress to expose her covered up body last night. So not awesome.

T4 In Rockwall said...

I, for one, love it when Kid is on. He gets the Ticket and he's another great +1 who fits right in because he listens as a P1. I doubt I'll be a contributor to the AMA. Basically because I'll not be able to think up any good questions but I have my doubts about how the setup will work. No offense meant, Pman, we have a great thing here at MTC. This is just not a good, conducive forum for an AMA.

Anonymous said...

Why didn't Corby and Danny question whether Josh Brent's retirement statement was written by someone else?

The Plainsman said...

The Reddit guys have always been cool. No problems with that group or the posters (except the guy who keeps threatening my health there and here, too).

When I started checking out the Reddit Ticket site I thought it was excellent and made me wonder if it might be time to retire ol' MTC. But I got a nice note from one of the Reddit guys who had some kind words for us over here.

I'm trying to think of the names of the other Ticket fanblogs that have popped up from time to time (as opposed to station/host blogs). There was P1 Wasteland, which looked like it might have some legs but stopped about a year back (link still live there on the left). There was another one called Ticket _________ [something that started with T; Triumph? Slick site, good graphics]. And at least one other one whose name I don't recall at all and went dark quickly, but it looked like it might possibly have had some station connection.

Of course, the Incomparable UnTicket functions like a blog, too.

Hard to believe this site put up its 700th post a couple of weeks back. Blogger reports that I just had my millionth pageview, but I think that may count webcrawler visits, not sure. Sitemeter reports over 343,000 unique visits, but I didn't use Sitemeter for quite awhile after I started the site. Come some ways since the first comment on this site was left by Michael Gruber and a comment or two left by Barb Smith put us on the map.

Anyway, Thanks to Everyone for Shopping at My Ticket Confession.

Anonymous said...

Congrats, Pman. Thanks for providing us P1s of a certain discernment with a forum to discuss all thing Ticket.

Evidently there are a couple of Facebook sites that are rather popular. Though I've never visited them----not a social media kind a guy.

Rhinosaur said...

The Ticket Reddit used to have a listing of all the Ticket-related blogs out there. I think it was removed because they were all, for the most part, inactive.