The Ticket

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The Ticket's neon sign from Ticketstock 2014
Image from twitter

SportsRadio 1310 The Ticket (KTCK 1310 AM/96.7 FM), is a sports-talk radio station based in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. The station has been made popular by the incorporation of humor and pop-culture alongside the sports talk. The station's studios are located in Victory Park in Dallas, Texas, and the transmitter site is in Coppell.

History

Origins

The origins of The Ticket begin on a Sunday in 1990, when Renee Rhyner--wife of Mike--took her daughter to a local park. She ran into a fellow park visitor and discovered each of their husbands were in the radio business.[1] This new acquaintance was the wife of Geoff Dunbar, a fellow radio guy active in promotions and the son of a radio property broker.[2]

Mike Rhyner had recently left a job at GTE On-Call, "an audio-tech service" that provided sports updates to callers for a fee, and moved along to KZPS-FM 92.5 doing sports.[1][3] Over the next couple of years, he discussed with Dunbar the concept of an all-sports radio station in Dallas to compete with other stations like WBAP with their mighty AM signal.

Arlington Stadium

While he was working for KZEW-FM 97.9, Rhyner had become acquainted with sports-talk colleagues Greg Williams (working at WBAP) and Craig Miller (with KRLD) through the times they'd shared in press boxes throughout the Dallas sports landscape. Rhyner, Williams and Miller were inseparable in the Arlington Stadium auxiliary press box in Right Field, leading the group of other sports writers and radio guys they referred to as "the back of the bus"[1] Although the surroundings were of suspicious build quality, there was free food and plenty of yuks to be had. These yuks, and reactions from listeners to the other topics discussed by the three radio guys, were the primordial ooze of The Ticket's sports-talk format. All these guys needed was a radio station to call their own.

Putting the Pieces Together

In June 1993, Dunbar called Rhyner with an invitation to discuss details with Spence Kendrick, an investment banker from New York who "wanted to play radio".[1] The group discussed the sports-talk radio concept broadly, available radio frequencies and which radio personalities were available to compete with Norm Hitzges at KLIF among others.

Bonneville Broadcasting, a media company owned and operated by the Mormon Church, had three stations in Dallas and Houston they were was willing to sell.[2] Its FM station in Dallas and its AM station in Houston had various problems (price, tower location, signal issues), but their AM station in Dallas --KAAM 1310 playing oldies--seemed perfect. Kendrick figured they would need several million dollars to acquire the signal and get running, and they developed a plan for the three co-founders: Rhyner would be the operations manager, Dunbar would run sales and promotions, and Kendrick would handle the finances. After procuring the start-up funds from a group of investors, some details began to come into focus. Kendrick met with ad-man George Lois and brainstormed a name for the station: "KOOK Sports Radio for Sports Nuts."[2] Thankfully later in August, the name The Ticket was coined by Renee Rhyner over a birthday dinner for Mike at Pappadeaux, figuring "a ticket" is what tied all sports events together.[3]

The Launch

With pieces in place, the team set a proposed launch date for The Ticket: December 1, 1993. As preparations for the station moved forward slowly (the speed attributed by some to a lack of radio experience by select members of the team of founders), this launch date came and went. There was some understandable anxiety as the on-air talent had left their other jobs in preparation for starting The Ticket. The first paychecks supposedly went out to Ticket staff, starting with George Dunham and Chuck Cooperstein on December 15, 1993.[1] To convey the seriousness of the situation, Dunbar brought in established sports columnist and author Skip Bayless to meet Kendrick in the midst of a Dallas Cowboys playoff run. Bayless, who along with other staffers was ready to walk away, was assuaged by an impromptu signed agreement from Kendrick: "We will be on the air January 24th, 1994." At Baker's Ribs on Greenville Avenue, The Ticket hosts were notified of their upcoming go-live date, regardless of whether the Cowboys were in the Super Bowl. Although there were doubters (including then rival Norm Hitzges on KLIF) that they would sign on within the next 9 months if at all, The Ticket did indeed debut on the air on January 24, 1994.

The original lineup consisted of Skip Bayless in the mornings, Curt Menefee from 9 to 11 am, Mike Rhyner and Greg Williams, from 11 am to 2 pm, George Dunham and Craig Miller from 2 to 5 pm and Chuck Cooperstein finishing the day.

--Renting Space at KZPS--

--Establishing Popularity with Remotes--

--Sale to SFX, The Laddy era begins--

--The Next Level with Bruce Gilbert--

--Into the Future with Cat--

--New Digs--

In January 2012, The Ticket moved their studios into Cumulus Media's Victory Park location, 3090 Olive Street.[4]

During Ticketstock 2014 and on the 20th anniversary of The Ticket, then-mayor Mike Rawlings made January 24th "The Ticket Day".[5]

Photo Gallery

Current Show Lineup

Weekday

Weekend

Occasional

Former Hosts

  • Skip Bayless (1994-96) - Host of "The Skip Bayless Show", now on Fox Sports
  • Chuck Cooperstein (1994-97) - Host of "The Chuck Cooperstein Show", now on 103.3 KESN-FM
  • Curt Menefee (1994-95) - Host of "Curt Menefee Show", now host of Fox NFL Sunday
  • Greg Williams (1994-2007) - Host of "The Hardline"
  • Rocco Pendola (1997-99) - Host of weekday mid-day show
  • Chris Arnold - Host of "The Chris Arnold Show", now on 105.3 KRLD-FM
  • Timm Hamm - Host of "Motorsports Weekly"
  • Mark Followill - Host of The EnderTicker Guy for "The Hardline", now television play-by-play announcer for the Dallas Mavericks on Fox Sports Southwest and KTXA-TV 21
  • Doug Anderson (1999-2000) - Host of "The Ender"
  • Dale Hansen - Host of weekday mid-day show, now on WFAA-TV
  • Richard "Big Dick" Hunter - Host of "The P-1 Wild Ass Circus"
  • John Rhadigan - Host of "The Press Box", now on Fox Sports Southwest hosting pre-/post-game show for Texas Rangers
  • Ben Rogers and Jeff Wade - Host of Ben & Skin Show and the Dallas Mavericks post-game show, now on 105.3 KRLD-FM
  • Kevin Scott - Host of "The Throwdown" and Ticker Guy for "The Hardline"
  • Rich "Dick Hicks" Phillips
  • Jimmy "The Saint" Christopher
  • Davey Lane
  • David Robinson (2001-2002)
  • Kevin Blanford (2001-2002)
  • J.P. Horne
  • Max Miller
  • Mark Effenbein
  • David Burrall
  • John Sponsler
  • Tommy Daniels
  • Martine Raleigh

Former Staff

  • Tom Gribble - Producer for BaD Radio
  • Michael Gruber - Board Op for BaD Radio and The Hardline
  • Mike Bacsik - Producer
  • Mark "Friedo" Friedman
  • Rick "The Geezer" Arnett
  • Kevin "Expo" Fox
  • "Psycho" Dave Martin
  • Joel Jenista
  • Michael Turley
  • Scott Jones
  • "Spastic" Erich Dalrymple
  • Stewart Cedar
  • Drew Hamilton
  • Steve "Cactus" Pryor
  • Jon Griffin
  • Heath Lambert
  • Jim Radcliffe
  • DeAnn Johnson

Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Boyter, S. (2009) The Ticket Full Disclosure: The Completely True Story of the Marco-Winning Little Ticket. Dallas: BenBella Books, Inc. pp. xx. ISBN 978-1933771-68-7
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Horn, B. "Hot Air: Spence Kendrick, founder of The Ticket, 'would have loved to have kept it'" (January 17, 2014); http://sportsday.dallasnews.com/other-sports/barryhorn/2014/01/17/hot-air-spence-kendrick-founder-of-the-ticket-would-have-loved-to-have-kept-it
  3. 3.0 3.1 Advocate Magazine Staff. "An extensive interview with The Ticket’s Mike Rhyner" (July 1, 1999); http://lakewood.advocatemag.com/1999/07/01/thats-the-ticket/
  4. Graves, C. "Victory By Design: Local Sports Stations The Ticket And The Fan Battle For Turf In Victory Park" Central Track. (March 6, 2012); http://centraltrack.com/Culture/597/Victory-By-Design/Local-Sports-Stations-The-Ticket-And-The-Fan-Battle-For-Turf-In-Victory-Park
  5. Twitter. @tomg1033: "The Mayor Rawling's proclamation saying today is officially Ticket Day in Dallas" (January 24, 2014); http://twitter.com/TomG1033/status/426891724141518848

See also