Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Can Dan Patrick Deliver to Don Martin's Standards?

Lately I've been listening to more Bill Handel than Dan Patrick, but Don Martin would rather stop that slide.

Don Martin, the KLAC program director who says he's disappointed having to lose his previous team of Fred Roggin and T.J. and Tracy Simers to make room for Patrick, would like to see the new morning man go beyond sports jabbering and permeate into other areas that interest listeners in that time slot.

"Dan fits into what we're trying to do, and we're encouraging him to open up a little, not be so much hardcore sports," Martin said. "It behooves him to do that in whatever city he's heard in. Anyone who paints themselves into a box prohibits growth in other places. People know his name and he has to take advantage of that. At ESPN, he had to march to that drum, but here we don't have lines to box our guys in."

Postioning Patrick as a tour guide leading into Rome's jungle provides a cool package deal.

"Back to back with the two biggest names in the game in this genre can't hurt you," Martin said. "They split the market in a lot of cities for a long time, and now both of them can fill up their day."

Since I'm not behind the Megacorp firewall at the moment, I'm able to view what Sports by Brooks had to say about Dan Patrick's first show:

We know it's only the first day of Dan Patrick's *new* radio show, so we'd like to think the development of the show is still in progress. But, after listening to it this morning on KLAC-AM in Los Angeles, this version of the DP show reminds us a lot of right after Rob Dibble was dumped from his initial ESPN production - which isn't a good sign.

Patrick didn't take on a co-host after the goofy former fireballer was jettisoned, and the show soon sounded like a funeral procession. Humorless and worse yet, featuring no unique insight into the sports we all already follow.

After about a month of that, program directors at Patrick's ESPN radio affiliates at the time staged a revolt, demanding that they be allowed to drop the show if no changes were made to the NPR-esque format. Bristol executives responded by bringing in Keith Olbermann to save the show (along with major outdoor ad campaigns in large markets).

Then Sports by Brooks commented on a first-day visitor:

The top personality on KLAC, afternoon host Petros Papadakis, made an appearance on Patrick's show this morning to discuss USC football. Papadakis is a hilarious personality who has taken the L.A. market and college football media world by storm.

You would think Patrick would embrace the highest-ranking host on what will surely be his top affiliate in the future. But shockingly, DP brought on the former USC football captain for only a few seconds to analyze USC football, and then brushed him off like he was a phone monkey calling in a high school volleyball score.

And no, I hadn't read that Sports by Brooks post when I wrote this:

[I]t turns out that there's one thing that Patrick and [Jim] Rome have in common.

They both work solo (as does Bill Handel and Tom Leykis for the most part).

For me, this immediately puts you at a handicap unless you're a completely riveting personality, since a solo host can't interact with anyone unless he/she takes callers (and even when Rome takes callers, he doesn't interact with them).

A group show, such as Roggin and Simers Squared, the Loose Cannons, Petros/Money, or Jeff Pope/Evelyn Erives is much more entertaining.

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