Wednesday, August 30, 2017

BREAKING: Ticket Ratings Rule, with Particular Attention to The Hardline

Some Confessors seem to think The Hardline is sinking in the ratings, running behind the competition, or otherwise not doing well. 

This is not correct.

I recently heard from a Dallas media source who I believe to be reliable.  S/he was concerned about passing along this information as even the immortal Barry Horn seems to be forbidden from publicizing it, so I'm going to withhold some details to avoid any problems with the ratings people.

However, at extreme personal risk, I can report generally on the numbers representing an average of the last four monthly books (as of the time I received this information, which was a few weeks back now):

--   All Ticket shows are #1 in their time slots in the target demographic (men 25-54).

--   The Musers are the top-rated Ticket show, ratings in the low double-digits.

--   The Hardline is a very close second to the Musers, only a point behind The Musers and also in the low double-digits.

--   Hardline ratings have risen steadily over the past "many" months (source was not more specific).

--   BaD and Invasion ratings are about equal, and only a point behind the Hardline.

So:  Ticket continues to dominate.  Hardline doing extremely well and improving.  Musers still tops.  Middays also extremely strong, only two points behind the galaxy-class Muser ratings.

None of this means you have to like The Hardline or any of the other shows.  But running down its ratings just because you want to see (for example) Corby get some kind of comeuppance is wishful thinking. 

If one believes these numbers, and I do, one can only conclude that The Ticket continues huge throughout the weekday daylight broadcast hours.  This suggests that the CTO has zero incentive to impose the slightest tinkering on any of those shows.

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I will say this:  While I do defend Corby and The Hardline in these pages, I am in agreement with many Confessors on much of the criticism leveled at The Hardline.   Weak show preparation, dumb political talk, shaky sports talk, Mike's very inconsistent interest in the show (it seems to be on the rise lately), Corby's mic hogging and noisy berating of Mike for having variant opinions -- it's all true.  It's obvious.  And yet, I don't tune away very often and when I do, it isn't for long.  And the numbers are saying that, if anything, The Hardline is getting more popular. 

So while on balance I give The Hardline an MTC thumb's-up -- when it's clicking, it's still very entertaining despite everything and Mike remains the most charismatic broadcaster on the air -- I have to ask myself if better competition wouldn't see a meaningful migration away from 1310/96.7 after 3 pm.  

I just don't know, so hard to say based on the current choices.  ESPN's substitution of Steve Dennis for Matt Mosley has been a step backwards.  Ben & Skin -- man, every time I tune in there it seems like they're doing some dumb game show thing or homering for the Cowboys or Rangers or otherwise failing to attract my interest for more than a few minutes.  The whole show just seems canned, the enthusiasm manufactured.  Maybe I need to do a power-listen on B&S to see if there's more to 'em, because as much as I feel at home with The Hardline, I'd give a PM drive show staffed by human beings who seemed comfortable talking to one another -- which is how I would characterize The Hardline even when it's weak -- a real shot.

Inaccurate reportage of Hardline ratings makes me melancholy in kind of a tragic, Jane Austen sort of way.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

BREAKING: Shake Joint News

I don't have much information, but here's what I do have:

Bob did let the secret out of the cat-bag, so I believe we can take it as confirmed that The Shake Joint will be moving on.

I am advised that Jake and Sean will address the issue when TSJ substitutes for BaD tomorrow (Friday), and probably also on the Sunday show.  So tune in if you can and report here.  My ability to tune in is uncertain.

I have no information on other weekend changes -- zero.  However, Your Plainsman is going to go out on a limb and speculate -- really, I'm making this up -- that filling TSJ's slot will not be the only weekend change.  Look for movement and possible realignment of other weekend programming.  Other departures or lineup changes are not out of the question.

Your Plainsman also has no information on the reason for any of this; however, I believe I heard somewhere that TSJ was regarded as a ratings success as weekend listening goes, so suspecting this may be one of those "personal reasons" things.

If The Ticket is losing either Sean or Jake -- I hope not -- My Ticket Confession wishes him the best. 

[LATER BREAKING:  Please note comments below indicating Jake & Sean not departing, but moving to Cowboys pregame.  No news to date if Shake Joint will return; I'm speculating "no," but don't know.]

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Not everyone shares this view -- not everyone shares any view about The Ticket -- but I liked The Shake Joint a lot.  Never understood people criticizing Jake's and Sean's "chemistry," which I thought was excellent, and their collegiality genuine.  Neither hogged the show.  And it got better with time.

I'm going to miss it.  The silver lining is that other deserving -- or at least new -- JV voices will get a tumble.  Craig "Junior" Miller may have to revise his Tier assignments.

Will MTC's Country Force campaign finally bear fruit?

I'm still waiting for my commission on the move to 96.7 FM.

*     *     *

This morning's redhead from the prior post didn't get much exposure, so she gets another shot here, and I'll add one more.

Hey, thanks, Plainsman.

Bye, guys.  Don't you be moving too far up the dial, now, y'hear?

Anyone Know What Bob Said?

Confessor Shaggy reports, second-hand, that Bob "let slip" that The Shake Joint showgram with Sean Bass and Jake Kemp is coming to an end this Sunday.  Did anyone hear that and can anyone give a report?

Does it have anything to do with even more Cowboys' pre-game coverage?

I'll see if I can find out anything.

Thanks for tending to the joint while I was away.  I'm back and trying to find time to give you a report.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Getting a Day's Jump on Wishing the Founder of the Feast a Very Happy Birthday

Mike Rhyner, born August 16, 1950.

I'll be away for a week and on the road quite a bit of that time.  Take good care of the site until I can get back and start deleting you.

Thanks, and Happy Birfday, you Old Grey Wolf

I'm not hip enough with Photoshop to turn this into Reinz 57      

"Feeling special, Michael?"

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

In Defense of that Nice Young Michael Gruber

Not that Michael needs any defense as a general proposition.  He remains a Ticket legend, his influence apparent on the station every day.

But, alas, The Ticket is having a great deal of fun -- every show, and the weekend shows, too -- at his expense.  I probably don't need to go into detail on what took place.  He called into Diamond Talk after the Yu Darvish trade and, as things turned out, didn't manage to complete a point that sounded like  .  .  .  an actual point.

BaD Reviews Michael's Diamond Talk Call

The consensus seems to be that sometime before placing that call, Michael had been overserved.

A firm hand at the controls.
I do not wish to be understood as suggesting that Michael was not pixilated.  It is at least possible.  Perhaps more than possible.  I hope he got home safely.

But I think he was calling to make an actual point.  To my ear he started to make that point but didn't get it out with enough detail to give Sean Bass something to hang his hat on.

I think his point was going to be -- at least this is what I "got" as his point before things went awry -- that Yu Darvish was ready to be traded, ready to go anywhere, ready to leave the Rangers for any team that would take him.  That Yu wanted to leave the Rangers.  I don't know if that was going to be his point had he gotten it out with a bit more detail, but that's where I thought he was going right from the start.

What happened, though, was that he did not get that thought out clearly, and Sean, who was trying to keep Michael on track, converted it into a technical question about Yu's no-trade list, which gave Michael two problems:  (1) he wasn't really calling to make a point about the no-trade list, which got him off-message, and (2) Sean's question required consideration of what resembled a double-negative, i.e., a team "not being on his no-trade list," which someone in Michael's condition was not prepared to process, and which led to the stumbles we're now hearing ad nauseum.

Let me stress that I do not blame Sean for Michael's aimless performance -- he was guessing at Michael's point, as I am.

But I do think that, nudged gently in a slightly different direction, Michael would have been on his way to making a legitimate Sports Point worth discussing, that being:  Yu's overall attitude about being a Texas Ranger at that point was that he didn't want to be.

Any takers?

"You leave Michael alone.  He makes more sense tight than most Ticket hosts do straight."
 (The site had a request for more Myrna Loy.  Always pleased to oblige.)  

Sunday, August 6, 2017

(1) Welcome back, Monte, and (2) PROGRAM NOTE: Sunday AM Country Force

Wish I'd known Justin Montemayor was going to be returning to Monte + The Machine yesterday morning, I'd have tried to catch more of the show.  I thought he sounded real good -- a little rough, a little tired, but pretty darned good little broadcast, what I heard.

Machine seemed happy to have him back as well.  His account of he and David Mino visiting Justin in the hospital where he had his leg tucked back under him -- giving the appearance that he might have been relieved of that limb as well -- was pretty amusing.

So was their talk about the Golden Chick empire being built on the music of Ronnie James Dio.  You had to be there.

I didn't hear the first of the show so if he delivered his package of his account of his hospitalization, I'd appreciate it if one of you would fill us in.

*     *     *

A long, long time since Country Force with Ty Walker and Eli Jordan got a slot.  Good to hear those boys this morning.

Grocery-cart talk very welcome.

*     *     *

Liking some of these new Ticker guys.  Caleb seems like a zero-BS guy.