Saturday, December 24, 2016

The Merriest of Christmases to All Confessors -- and BREAKING: Latest Ratings No Christmas Surprise (see Comment 3)


And I am feeling so Christmassy that I extend that greeting to all of my trolls, who seem to be decreasing somewhat in number and virulence as time goes by.  May they all be visited by three spirits tonight  .  .  .  .

Been a bit of a rough year for Your Plainsman, but things improving quite a bit as year-end approaches.  Hope you and your loved ones have a lovely Eve and Day.

Enjoying your predictions and DryDock reactions, so let's keep that going.

All in the holiday spirit, of course.


42 comments:

Tangent said...

It seems that I've been hearing about what a sucky year 2016 has been quite often; TSJ had a segment on it one recent morning, and even the Plainsman mentioned it.
I say 2016 held its own. Your old friend Tangent abruptly came to the end of a 13-year career near the end of 2015, and spent last Christmas wallowing in unemployed despondency. Early in 2016 gainful employment was secured and life moved on. What a difference a year makes!

Merry Christmas and best wishes to all who are glad to see 2016 in the rear view mirror. Despite the abysmal political scene let us all rise, shine and enjoy whatever challenges await in 2017.

The Ticket held its own as well. The cast remained the same and delivered good to mostly good radio reliably, while serving up some questionable JV and fill in Product, that at least was worth some discussion.

The Plainsman said...

That's the spirit, Tangent.

Your Plainsman's blues did not relate to David Bowie, Prince, Andrew Sachs, Van Williams, Gordie Tapp, the Election, or employment. More of a personal nature -- and my dog died.

But, as I said, things looking up nicely and looking forward to a Tickety 2017.

Be safe.

The Plainsman said...

BREAKING: Many thanks to Confessor Lindsay who corresponds from Richardson to pass along the latest ratings report. The Ticket continues to dominate, FAN's numbers improving. Sorry I can't post a link here, you'll have to cut and paste:

http://sportsday.dallasnews.com/other-sports/moresports/2016/12/23/clean-sweep-ticket-dominates-key-demographic-throughout-2016-fan-celebrates-december-numbers

Lindsay offers a thought that has also occurred to me: "Amazing for all of the bitching and complaining on your site, the numbers still are heavily in favor of the Ticket. Of course, there are naysayers that say the PPM is not an accurate accounting of ratings numbers. Regarding bitching and complaining, for those that come on and make snide remarks about the Ticket JV, give a listen to SB Nation radio which has run this weekend and on Monday. The SB guys are supposedly top of the line, but the JV sounds like seasoned pros compared to that gaggle of spares on the network."

I don't know about "seasoned pros," but Lindsay and I are in agreement that at least for the listener who is accustomed to the cadences and variety found on The Ticket, the weakest of the JV teams is a better listen than any of the national feeds from any of the
networks on any of the stations.

I do think the commentary on the DryDock combinations here has been fair. Monte + The Machine tends to get the most ink because it's the newest of the combos. I think it is pretty clearly an effort by the CTO to pitch a show to the very youngest of those to tune into The Ticket, an effort to get a whole new generation -- really, we're talking "generations" here with how long the current lineup has been on the air -- hooked on the station. They may not BE all that young, but Confessors have observed that they SOUND really young, not just the sound of their voices but the whole slacker barely-made-it-to-graduation thing they've got going. I can appreciate what they're doing and how they're doing it without liking 100% of it. When it's good, it's extremely good. I've heard some fantastic segments on M+M during DryDock When it slips into Ben-and-Skin Disease -- self-referential snottiness of the sort that characterized B&S when they were at The Ticket (but not their FAN show) -- and potshots at their way-betters at the station and especially sociopolitical commentary, at which neither is good -- it grates noticeably and sags. But overall a lot of potential there, I think. When they work it, demonstrate solid show prep, it's as good a listen as The Shake Joint. I still think Cirque is the gold standard of JV programming.

The Plainsman said...

PS: Thanks to Lindsay from Richardson for the ratings URL.

Anonymous said...

A bit puzzled as to why we're listening to the feed the day after Christmas and on a Cowboys game day. Surely the JV could've, would've loved to have, filled in. The FAN, on the other hand, is using their spares. Frankly, other than CdS, they're no better or no worse than Ticket JV.

And while I appreciate Lindsey passing along the ratings, I loathe the "why do you all bitch, the ratings are excellent" statement. So the ratings are all that matter, huh? Their ratings, I and many others maintain, are more a function of the poor quality of their competition than the quality of their own product. That, the product on the whole has gone down over the past few years. Especially where the once vaunted pm drive time show is concerned. Taylor Swift sells millions of records, but does that mean she's actually good?

Anonymous said...

There is a difference btwn Ticket and FAN JV: one tries real hard to let you know how cool and smart and on the right side of history they are, the other tries to make you feel like you're a part of the club.

The Plainsman said...

1243: I agree that the weakest part of the game of the JV and a host or two is the sociopolitical commentary, including the snarky asides. It's not so much their positions on the merits (with some of which I agree), it's that it's too often so ill-considered, ignorant, and poorly-expressed that it calls their sports talk into question. I don't like to hear my guys sound dumb. I'd like to see Cat stop it entirely.

But he won't.

Nevertheless, it doesn't make me want to listen to The Fan. Partly because they try SO HARD to make you think you're part of the club, when you're not.

The Plainsman said...

Let me come to Lindsay's defense here, since he sent those thoughts to me privately via email and I posted without his permission.

I think ratings do tell us something about relative merit. 1224 is right that they are not an argument why any particular person should like a particular show, or that quality has not gone down over the years. Nor does it account for the weakness of the competition.

But while there are exceptions -- the meritorious show that fails, the bottom-dwelling show that has temporary success -- would we not say that M*A*S*H and Seinfeld and The Big Bang Theory and other top-rated shows are "better" in some ways not describable in ratings than most of the shows that fall by the wayside?

And part of the reason that the competition seems so weak is that we're accustomed to the overall excellence that is The Ticket. The competition seems weak because comparatively few people do listen to it -- we view their ratings failure, their failure to make a long-term dent in The Ticket's ratings as weakness on the merits. In fact, though, I'll guess that if The Ticket did not exist, most of us would be tuning in to the competition rather than listen to nothing or some other format.

I think Lindsay is basically right. It's the nature of social media and sites like this that people write in when they've heard something or someone they don't like, and tend not to write in when they're satisfied. It's the one the reasons I probably come off sometimes like a Ticket homer or kissass -- always trying to remember that, for every segment where Corby is completely unprepared, for every Gone-with-the-Wind Sturm interview question or Dan bogdown, for every Gordon cringe-inducing menstruation joke, I've had hours of amazing entertainment that I would not abandon for what's being offered elsewhere.

The ratings tell that story.

That does not mean that the complainers or the good-old-days people are wrong. They're usually right to some degree, which is why they have a home on this site, within the bounds of civilized discourse (mostly). We just need to keep some perspective and the ratings remind us to think twice about doomsaying.

The Plainsman said...

Jake Kemp and David Newberry did an absolutely terrific pre-game show yesterday for a largely meaningless game. All content. No fluff. No droning. The obligatory tip of the hat to Desperados, but everything else was good, hard sports talk. The same team will do the same "solo duo" act next week with an even more meaningless game, and I'll look forward to seeing what they have cooked up for 2.5 hours. (Jake says: 100% call-in.)

Anonymous said...

The Kickaround on a Victory Tuesday? Did Cat take up sniffing glue during dry-dock? I need soccer talk on a weekday like I need herpes.

ellislives said...

@ 12:42. Well you got soccer talk so I hope the other is not true. Gents...it's called dry dock for a reason. I don't claim for a second to know about how the ever fading radio media ratings are gauged. I assume the Cat Man of all generations knows what he's doing when it comes to letting the A-Team slide for a few weeks over the holidaze. It's tough some times to watch your kids play sports or in the school play when you know they suck but hey you do it.

The great thing about the little one is that you don't have to pretend to watch the holiday play while you're checking scores on you phone. Just tune out. One thing that this thread has taught me is that my opinion is not shared by all. Some praise I hear from others is absolute nails on a chalkboard for me. I don't even bother comparing it to the FAN or others. I tune in to my latest Air Supply Pandora offerings.

My 2017 prediction is that [INSERT KTCK HOST HERE] is really bad sometimes.

And [INSERT KTCK HOST HERE] is really great sometimes too.

That's why I've been rocking this station since ~'96. I have buddies that I would go to mat for but I would never loan them money.

Anonymous said...

Jake and Newbes did an excellent job yesterday. I'm looking forward to Sunday's pregame. Once again, Jake is fantastic when paired with someone that will not let him be the focal point of attention. I wish he had the self-discipline to comport himself as such when paired with those for whom he feels (and so, does) dominates. He'd go further, faster.

Plainsman, your quip about The FAN beating you over the head with an inclusiveness that's really not was funny, and spot-on. One thing I will say in defense of 1243 is that there are no Dylan The Argumentative Teens amongst The FAN JV.

The Kick Around was great today. It was nice to hear about the EPL demise of Bob Bradley. Their Cowboy talk was just fine; and, moreover, they in no way pretended to be NFL experts.

Monty and Newbes, so far, is throwing an A game out there. M - M is better than M + M. Sorry, but it is. Justin flourishes without The King of All Interruptors and Air Time Hoggers. Kid's got something to say and says it well. Newbes is Newbing, which means he's dishing out top-shelf sports talk. Is anyone, perhaps even more so than Bob or Norm, better prepared than David Newbury? The dude knows his shit. And I for one 'preciate him, pal.

And Eli kicked his usual ass today.

East Texas P1 said...

Plainsman - sorry to derail the thread but wanted to post this.

I have never liked the Steelers. Even as a young lad my first team that I liked was the Indianapolis Colts. That is because around age 6 I got a football uniform with horseshoes on the helmet. Growing up in rural East Texas that was something I could identify with. Around 7 or 8 I took a cue from dear old dad and switched allegiance to the 'Boys.

All that time I have never liked anything about the Steelers. Still don't like Bradshaw on pre-game, can't watch him. However, I have always had a nagging feeling about Mike Tomlin. Could never put a name to it but something about him just made me not hate him at all. In fact, there was almost a grudging respect. Now I find out why.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/nflvideos/tomlin-on-bradshaw-comments-what-do-i-know-i-grew-up-a-hollywood-henderson-fan/vi-BBxCSji

See his comments at the end of the link above about growing up a Dallas fan, particularly a Hollywood Henderson fan.

The Plainsman said...

416, total agreeance up and down the line. Justin and David killing it, sounding great.

For the time being, no comment re That Certain Machine.

Sometimes I feel like I'm falling behind on the shifting makeup of the JV squad. So can someone tell me:

Who are Tim and Charlie?

The former actually got a couple of segments today, and I've never heard of him. No complaints, really, but would like to know a little more about these guys if we're expected to relate.

Big Old Ruby Red Dress said...

Been enjoying NormAthon. Kudos all around to Norm, Donnie, Sirois, and crew. Great guests, some excellent behind the scenes skinny and old day's tales. Rick Carlisle's backing out was lame. Then again, I'm not sure why Norm is so obsessed with being friends with a man who obviously has no interest in his friendship. A wonderful coach, but his dealing with the very easy going and softball tossing local media is rather silly, wholly unnecessary, and an all around bad bit.

We're lucky to have one Norman Elizabeth Adolf Hitzges gracing our airwaves and our lives. Good dude, that one.

Can't wait until the Varsity returns en masse next week...

The Plainsman said...

After a couple of weeks of AM Shake Joint, gotta say -- pretty good. Smooth, professional, interesting, well-prepared. Jake seems to me to have tamped down some of his more supercilious tendencies and it makes for a much more seamless listen.

The problem with all of these shows ready-made for prime time (thinking primarily of Shake Joint, Cirque, and I'd even put Country Force to show) is that there is no prime time to move them into. Absent a health issue, or a huge management upheaval (almost impossible, with ratings like this), any change is going to come in the ranks of these guys, not the hosts. But I'm not convinced we will even see that kind of change. These guys are still going to value exposure on the most popular station in the country over going to a rival Dallas station where they'd have to go up against The Ticket. Someone not long ago said they thought some JV might seek their respective fortunes in other markets, and that sounds smarter to me than going to The Fan or ESPN. Who was the JV who went to Colorado or New Mexico somewhere to broadcast? I'd know the name if I heard it.

I haven't been listening to much middays. Is T.C. doing Tickers or any fill-in? Unless he's taking some holiday time off, I agree with whoever commented a week ago that his low visibility during DryDock (if it is low -- as I say, I don't hear much middays, maybe he's all over it) is notable.

Shaggy said...

TC is in NYC

Anonymous said...

Agreed re TSJ and Jake. With a caveat: The Sunday SJ, proper, is a different animal than fill-in, primetime, SJ. The Sunday show has DtAT Jake on full display. DtAT Jake is about as difficult a listen as there is not just on The Ticket, but in DFW radio, period. Fill-in, Cowboy pregame, Plus 1, Jake is someone who is informative, knows his stuff, and has a bright future. If he could ever lose the hubristic DtAT side of his on-air (perhaps off-air, too) persona when left to his own devices, Jake Kemp could really go places.

Anonymous said...

I'm sad TSJ morning drive run is over. I've enjoyed it.

Shaggy said...

Who's on tomorrow?

The Plainsman said...

I think TSJ is on tomorrow AM as well. Don't know about the rest of the shows, but I don't think KickAround is on.

1130: Interesting take, and I think there is something to it. It seems to me that the JV shows that are transported intact to prime time feel a kind of stewardship over the time slot they're keeping warm for the established shows.

Shaggy: Does T.C. have family in New York? Still kind of interesting that he'd be given this time off while some far junior JVs are getting some airtime with Monte and Newbury.

Anonymous said...

Pman, TC's vacay might be company mandated. That he has to use up the days before the calendar turns. I know I've had to do as such at my job.

The Plainsman said...

You know, you may have a point there. I think I may have heard the Musers say something about that policy.

Unknown said...

Never posted here before but i'd like to thank 2016 for
being a pretty great year for the ticket. I have great memories of the Masters coverage, the camp out, the golf outing, white elephant and so
much more. I can't even name all the top-shelf drops this year. Anyway, if 2017 matches up with this year i'll be a happy listener.

Btw, Eli Jordan really has something and i'm compelled to recognize performance. He's interesting, seems knowledgeable, and brings a professionalism or "straight man" vibe that's invaluable...and has a great radio voice. Not many of the jv catch my attention but he's definitely not a another generic voice. I look for him to rocket up the jv bench. My 2 cents.

James said...

Big Old Ruby Red Dress: I agree with your assessment of Rick Carlisle. I"m losing respect for him as a man based on how he's been coming across in Ticket interviews these last couple years. How you treat other humans is priority #1 with me, regardless of your success in other endeavors (which is why I distance myself from heaping acclaim on Steve Jobs, but that's another discussion).

The Plainsman said...

Hey, BORRD: Appreciate the Helen Reddy reference.

And speaking of references to bygone stars: It's surprising how little Jake knows about past items of cultural importance. He's a smart man and a good broadcaster, but he's not a kid and it's startling and in some ways telling to hear him say that he had never heard of Debbie Reynolds until she died. She was a huge star in major movies and involved in one of the most publicized scandals of the 20th Century. And this isn't the first time he's professed complete ignorance about other persons and events of note in the 20th century.

I'm really not trying to be critical here. Not knowing about Debby Reynolds doesn't mean you're stupid or will make bad judgments about how to conduct your life or are a lousy host. But it does kind of suggest a . . . narrowness of cultural interest and focus that somewhat explains some of the attitudinal issues that crop up with him from time to time (but that, it seems to me, are diminishing in frequency and intensity).

I believe I also heard him say in the 5:30 segment that the Beatles are overrated. I haven't been able to listen to the whole show so I'm not sure if that was a segment tease. But would be hard to listen to someone who worships the amelodic doggerel of hip-hop underrating the Beatles.

Shaggy said...

I'm mid-40s and have been pretty up on pop culture my whole life and I'm BARELY aware of Debbie Reynolds' career. I had to Google to find out what scandal you're referencing. I am not surprised in the least that a 30yo would have no clue.

And Jake thinks the Beatles are trash. (Black Beatles, however, is a top 5 rap song)

Rhinosaur said...

Main problem these days is anybody can do a google search on something they were completely unaware of before and act like a GD expert after the fact. So, if you fancy yourself a Debbie Reynolds expert, more power to you I guess. Don't look down your nose at someone who honestly doesn't know/care.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Rhinosaur. Non-sequitur much? Must be kicking off your NYE party early.

The Plainsman said...

You may have noticed that Debbie Reynold's passing has received a GD ENORMOUS amount of coverage. And not just among ancient persons or persons who perform Google searches. So it is surprising when a hip adult has never heard of her.

Shaggy said...

But it only got this much coverage because it was a day after Carrie Fisher's death, and because of the "2016 OMG PLEASE END" narrative.

(I actually haven't noticed how much coverage it's gotten)

The Plainsman said...

Debbie Reynold's passing would have been a very big deal if Carrie Fisher had never been born or died, but, I acknowledge, not as big a deal.

If one doesn't know anything about the highlights of cinematic and Hollywood history in the 20th century, no big deal. But if one knows anything about them at all, one knows who Debbie Reynolds is. And if one doesn't know anything about them at all, then I'm less interested in one's observations on pop culture in general. Not uninterested, just less interested.

That's the only point I want to make. I'm more interested in the current-events opinions of someone who knows some history -- whether or not directly connected with the current event in question -- than someone who doesn't.

The Plainsman said...

Should have said "Debbie Reynolds's passing," or, pursuant to some style books, "Debbie Reynolds' passing." But not "Debbie Reynold's passing." Thank you.

Anonymous said...

The historicist tradition is alive and well with the Millenials.

Anonymous said...

I'm only a year younger than Jake, and I can tell you with extreme confidence that 95% of folks in their early thirties and younger had no idea who Debbie Reynolds was. Also, I'm a huge Beatles fan. But again, the overwhelming majority of folks in my age group care and know very little of the fab 4. I think jakes disdain of them is mostly a bit, attempting to get a rise out of the older ticket listening generation. He's playing the skip bayless style contrarian. Which, yes, can be annoying as hell. But I suppose his thinking is it's better for people to hate your opinions than not care at all. I really like Jake, been a IJB fan for years, but his occasional fall back on this contrarian style crutch does wear on me at times.

slinky said...

Good subject. I can't really hold these "internet, social media" feuded millennials accountable for not knowing Debbie Reynolds. I'm in my late 50's and only remember seeing The Unsinkable Molly Brown, which was a great movie. To be honest, I thought she had already passed. That's the downside of big time celebrity old age dying. You might not get the send off as one dying tragically young. Take Liz Taylor, and even say...Tony Curtis, had they died young, they would enjoy the same legendary status today as James Dean and Marilyn Monroe. But does anyone even remember when they died? Let's be honest, James Dean was pretty much a one dimensional actor, and Marilyn was certainly no Meryl Streep. But man...that whole daughter/mother dying thing...that was as freakish to close out 2016 as opening with David Bowie!

Anonymous said...

I think we tend to be getting cause and effect mixed up when it comes to TC being in NY for the holiday. Catman thinks about the holiday chemistry long in advance and how they all mesh together with Ticker guys being pretty expendable and relatively unimportant. Had Cat thought TC should co-host a show as a JV fill in he wouldn't have been allowed to schedule vacation during the 2 week dry dock period. It is clear they have no future plans for him other than Tickers and they clearly had no problem with him being gone. The writing should have been on the wall with regard to TC's status when the various JV shows came together in last couple of years such as TSJ, Not a Podcast, and even Ty Walker's led Country Strong with Eli Jordan. The ship has sailed IMO for any TC enhanced role on the little one. There was a time 5 or 6 years ago when the Hardline was going to TC for some bits here or there and he seemed like an up and coming Yuck Monkey. I know he was upset when he didn't get the Board Op job for BaD and Hardline when Grubes stepped down. He was in the running but lost out to Mino. As you can see the Board Op, regardless of pay, becomes an integral part of the station in how they set the tone with drops etc. Mino has been good but I also know TC would have been excellent in this role. One potential place for him would be when Norm retires you could pair TC, Jake and Dongovan together in the 10 to 12 spot. Would make for some good sports talk. Or alternatively if Mike retires at the same time as Norm you could go Jake and Donny from 10 to noon and then an ensemble group similar to G-Bag nation from noon to 3 consisting of Mike Siroise, Mike Marshall, Justin Montemayor. Then combine Bob and Dan with Corby and you will have a fun afternoon drive show.

Anonymous said...

I haven't listened much over the holiday break. But I wanted to see if anybody knew when we'd be back to full strength or "semi"? Is it this coming Mon or Tues? Thanks

Anonymous said...

Full strength Ticket can't cone soob enough, 940. Hope it's Monday. One moe day of Not a Podcast, and I'm gonna turn into a FAN Fan.

Anonymous said...

Anyone know what happened to Becca?

Shaggy said...

Monday is a holiday...it'll be full network all day. Tuesday is when everyone returns

Anonymous said...

I think she just had a baby