So, brown posted a post(redundant) yesterday about if the Ticket has jumped the shark or not. He brought up some very valid points the best of witch is this.
Like he said, I do work in radio here in Dallas, albeit far from the sports talk genre, but its a place that I would like to end up someday. Never the less, here is my take.
My sisters have lived here in Dallas since the early 90's with their husbands. When we would pack the car up and come to Dallas to see them, I remember that listening to the Sports Brothers as soon as we reached the city. It was sports on the radio, and even at an early age I loved it. My earliest memory of Dallas sports talk is when Derrick Harper came back to the Mav's after his stint in New York, and when we finally got the signal they were talking about how much Harper would help the Mav's with his return. I thought they were talking about Alvin Harper from the Cowboys and was confused.
When I moved up here for college in the summer of 2000, one of the things I was most excited about was listening to the Ticket, an all sports radio station that was much more that just sports. Hell one show on the weekend even talked about wrestling.
What made the Ticket so great was that it was all about the normal fans. The guys who liked to joke around and poke fun at stuff, talk about movies and music, and all and all just have fun. Every single one of the Ticket Hosts, with the exception on Norm, who had just started, were people that didn't intimidate you, they didn't seem like bigger than life people that most radio "stars" come off as. I was sure that if I saw any of those guys out at a bar, I could sit down, buy them a beer, and not feel intimidated.
The reason for this is they were just as new working in this format as we were listening to it. We were growing together. Hearing storeys of the original compound where Craig, Gordo and Corby lived for awhile in an apartment gave them even more of an appealing aspect. As the Ticket listeners grew, so did the Ticket. What was once a let's try anything approach, like moving Corby from Bad Radio to the Hardline, Gordo from the Hardline to the Musers, or even the Musers to morning drive, has now been set in stone for the past 6 or 7 years. Its the same format, that we all love, but what kept them on edge and fresh is starting to turn people away for the opposite reason.
Have they jumped the shark? No. They just don't have anybody to push them.
In radio there is an unwritten rule about how to run a station. Find your demo, and exploit it. If you can get a firm grasp on the Demo(a group of people, like guys 25-50), then your almost untouchable. Take a look at these examples.
Sports - The Ticket
Top 40 - KISS
Talk - WBAP
County - 99.5 wolf
Alternative - 102.1 edge or 97.1 eagle
Classic rock - 93.3 Bone
Urban - 104.5
Now for the past 2 or 3 years the top rated over all stations looked like this with each moving a few spots up or down but pretty much where they are at
KISS (top 40)
WBAP (news talk)
2 Spanish stations.(Spanish)
Those are the top guys. The Ticket is on the next level due to the fact that pretty much only guys listen to the station. The only non Spanish station that is on top that even has competition is the Urban station. 97.9 the beat has taken away from K104 many many share points and knocked them out of first, which they were for about 2 years straight.
I know I'm starting to ramble. But here is my point. When you have competition leads to a better product, but less money in the ratings. Right now, the Ticket has no competition, and they are making a quite a bit of money, so why change a good thing right? The problem lies with when will your audience find your bit tired. And it will happen. If they want to stay on top, they will have to shake some things up.
When will competition happen? When Greggo goes to ESPN during drive time. That's when things will get interesting.