I’m a huge fan of The Ticket (KTCK) radio station. I listed on my way to and from work. I listen to the online stream while at work. You might even call me a P1 in Ticket parlance. However, lately I’ve found my radio dial rotating to 105.3 The Fan on my drive home. More often than not, I end up listening to the Ben & Skin radio program instead of The Hardline on the Ticket for my entire drive home.

Why Switch to The Fan?

For the longest time I didn’t know why my radio ended up with Ben & Skin. At first I just chalked it up to the outrageously long commercial breaks forcing me to listen to something else. But I came to the realization that I wasn’t switching back to The Hardline. In fact, I was powering through the commercial breaks on 105.3 to hear more Ben & Skin on my drive home.

I can’t honestly say that I particularly like the Ben & Skin Show all that much. They don’t do anything that blows my socks off or would otherwise pull me away from The Ticket. Since that’s the case, I had to wonder if it wasn’t something that the Ticket, or more specifically The Hardline, was doing to push me away.

The Experiment

I decided to conduct a small science experiment. Every day on my drive home this past week I forced myself to listen to The Ticket the entire way. I  fought through commercial breaks that lasted 20 minutes. I endured segments such as “Entertainment News” and “What’s On Mike’s Mind” and the rest of the crap The Hardline broadcast. Every day, for a week from 5 to 6 pm my radio was locked on 96.7 FM, The Ticket.

You know what? It was awful! I got home and found that my mood was horrible. Incidents of Road Rage increased. I was not pleasant to be around once I got home. The Wife told me something had changed and that I needed to figure it out.

So I did. I reviewed the prior week in my head. I was perfectly happy to be heading home each evening, so I had to figure out what ticked me off on my drive? Why did I go from happy to angry while on the road. Traffic wasn’t considerably worse. I was in the same vehicle. The only change was that I forced myself to listen to The Ticket. What was so bad about that?

The Problem

After much internal analysis, I realized that I cannot stand to listen to Corby Davidson, aka The Cobra. His voice is like nails on a chalkboard to me. His cackling laugh sends shivers up my spine. Any segment he features prominently in, which is basically all of them since Rhyner is coasting, gives me tired head and can’t end fast enough. My brain hurts after listening to Corby’s braying and bragging. It’s a non-stop Corby-fest and I can’t take it anymore.

Corby is a me first know-it-all hack of a radio guy. In his mind he is always right and will not accept any alternative. It’s readily apparent that Mike has given up and is resting on his laurels. There’s no way he would have given his previous co-host as much slack as he gives Corby. Without Mike Rhyner as his guardian angel, there is no way in hell Corby could rise to drive-time host in a top 5 market on his own. He talks over Mike all the time. I cringe whenever I hear his 4th-grade level attempts to interview a guest. His observations about sports, especially his so-called expertise in College Football, are no better than you will find from any drunk saddled up to the well in a local sports bar.

The Solution

For me, it’s easy. I’m trading in my P1 status and spending my drive time with Ben & Skin. They aren’t much better, but they are at least better. Maybe I’ll give Cowlishaw & Mosley over on 103.3 FM a shot. I highly doubt they’re anywhere as bad as that horrible Mike & Mike crap ESPN Radio trots out each morning. And there’s no way they’re anywhere near as craptacular as “The Cobra.”

For the Ticket I don’t know what the solution is other than to take The Cobra out back and shoot him. While that would save all of us the misery of having to listen to him any longer, I don’t think it would be legal, bummer. They need to find a new lead guy for drive time. Their producer, Danny Balis, thinks he’s God’s 2nd Gift to Radio (behind his compadre Corby), but I think he’d end up being an even worse solution.

I love what the Ticket did with the Norm and Donovan show, bringing in a terrific talent to slowly push out the rapidly declining Norm Hitzges. A few months ago, this article would have been about turning off the Ticket for Norm’s two hours, but Donnie-Doo resurrected the entertainment value of that slot. I really enjoy their back and forth banter.

Can a resurrection like that occur with The Hardline? In it’s current format I think the answer is an easy no. Send Corby down to Abilene or Durant to get some seasoning & learn how to speak effectively on the radio. Bring up a polished newcomer, like Donovan, and wake Mike up.

It’s a real bummer to see such a great radio station in decline. Purging some of the dead weight (Corby, Norm, and Gordon Keith) will go a long way toward righting the ship and returning the station to ratings dominance.

Just my $0.02 worth. Stay hard fellow Ticketheads!

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