KTCK (1310 AM; "SportsRadio 1310 The Ticket"), is a sports talk radio station based in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. The station, currently owned by Cumulus Media, has been made popular by the incorporation of humor alongside the sports talk. It rebroadcasts on 96.7 FM. The station's studios are located in the Victory Park district in Dallas just north of downtown, and the transmitter site is in Coppell.
The sometime controversial station has posted strong ratings in the Dallas radio market, especially its Arbitron top-rated shows The Hardline and Dunham and Miller, which have been the anchors of the station's success throughout its existence.
The 1310 kHz frequency has its origins as WRR, which was licensed in August 1921 and became the first broadcast radio station in the state of Texas, and the second in the United States. In 1948, WRR launched an FM station; the AM station played popular music while the FM station carried classical music until 1975 when WRR 1310 became the first station in the Dallas/Fort Worth area to have an all-news format until its 1978 sale to Bonneville International. 1310 was split from WRR-FM in 1978 and became the first of several incarnations of KAAM when it was owned by the same company that owned KAFM (92.5 MHz) until gaining its current call sign in 1994.
The Ticket's original lineup consisted of Skip Bayless, Curt Menefee, Mike Rhyner and Greg Williams, Chuck Cooperstein, and George Dunham and Craig Miller. Skip Bayless was the first host to inaugurate the station's sports format.
On March 6, 2006, the station announced that it would be the flagship affiliate of the Dallas Cowboys radio network. This success was followed up by Arbitron ratings which showed a 60% increase in listeners. However, on January 23, 2009, KTCK and the Dallas Cowboys ended their three-year partnership.
On August 7, 2013, it was announced that Cumulus Media would take over operations of rival station ESPN 103.3 through a long term local marketing agreement (LMA) with Disney. Programming on both stations would remain the same. The deal would take effect once Cumulus closed on the spin-off of repeater KTDK 104.1 in Sanger to Whitley Media. Cumulus surrendered the license for KTDK 104.1 to the FCC, as it was necessary to divest one of its FM frequencies due to the LMA with KESN-FM.
On October 7, 2013, it was announced that The Ticket would begin simulcasting on 96.7 FM, which displaced the simulcast of WBAP News/Talk 820 AM (WBAP is now on The Ticket's former simulcast spot KPLX 99.5 HD2). Dan Bennett, the vice president/market manager of Cumulus Broadcasting in Dallas confirmed this move. The format flips took effect on October 21. However, the station logo on The Ticket's official website had not yet been updated as it still had the 104.1 FM frequency until hours later.
Weekday programming on the station includes The Musers hosted by George "Jub Jub" Dunham, Craig "Junior" Miller and Gordon "The Great Doctor Gordo" Keith; The Norm-and-D Invasion hosted by Texas Radio Hall of Fame member Norm Hitzges and Donovan "The Great Donovan" Lewis; BaD Radio hosted by Bob "Sports" Sturm and Dan "Big Mac" McDowell; The Hardline hosted by Mike "Old Grey Wolf" Rhyner and Corby "Snake" Davidson; The Ticket Top 10 with Jon Fahy; and the CBS Sports Radio syndicated Ferrall On The Bench with Scott Ferrall. Notable weekend shows include The Train Station Fitness Show with George DeJohn, The TeeBox with Rick Arnett and Craig Rosengarden, Not a Podcast with Justin Montemayor and Mike Marshall, The Shake Joint with Sean Bass and Jake Kemp, Cirque Du Sirois with Mike and Cash Sirois, The Kick Around with Peter Welpton and Andy Swift, and Race Week with Carlos Leal. When locally-based Ticket shows are not on the air, the airwaves are filled with Yahoo Sports Radio. The Dallas Stars broadcast team is a simulcast of the television announcing team of Dave Strader on play-by-play with color analyst Daryl "Razor" Reaugh. Owen Newkirk and Bruce Levine host the radio pre-game, intermission, and post-game shows.
Notable former hosts
- Skip Bayless – Host of The Skip Bayless Show. When the ownership decided to accept a lucrative offer to sell the station, the new owners bought out Bayless' contract. He is currently hosting on ESPN’s First Take and 1st and 10.
- Chuck Cooperstein - Host of The Chuck Cooperstein Show, now on ESPN Radio (103.3 KESN-FM). Cooperstein is also the radio play-by-play announcer for the Dallas Mavericks Radio Network (also on 103.3 FM - ESPN Radio).
- Timm "IndyCarTim" Hamm - Co-Host of Motorsports Weekly with Nascar Dennis and IndyCarTim, Wednesday nights 8-10. The show later moved to KRLD-FM 105.3 The Fan in Dallas for a period of time.
- Chris Arnold - Host of The Chris Arnold Show. Arnold is the former sports director and morning show host at K-104 (104.1 KKDA-FM). He now hosts "G-Bag Nation" with Gavin Dawson on KRLD-FM. At one point Arnold, worked at The Ticket, K-104, WFAA-TV, and the Dallas Mavericks TV broadcasts simultaneously. Arnold is also the game night emcee for the Mavericks inside the American Airlines Center.
- Mark Followill - Former Ticket Ticker (news update) announcer for The Hardline and current television play-by-play announcer for the Dallas Mavericks on Fox Sports Southwest and on KTXA 21. Also serves as an occasional "plus one" on The Hardline as well as KTCK's Mavericks post-game show.
- Dale Hansen - Dale Hansen Show, often controversial DFW sports journalist and WFAA-TV sports anchor.
- Richard "Big Dick" Hunter - Host of The P-1 Wild Ass Circus, broadcast evenings on Live 105.3 as The Wild Ass Circus. Also hosted The Richard Hunter Show on 1360 KXYZ-AM.
- Curt Menefee - Curt Menefee Show, current host of Fox NFL Sunday
- John Rhadigan - former co-host of the original Ticket weekend show, The Press Box. Brief play-by-play announcer for the Texas Rangers in 2011, currently on Fox Sports Southwest as host for pre and post-game shows for DFW area teams.
- Ben Rogers and Jeff “Skin” Wade – hosted the Ben & Skin Show noon-2 pm Saturdays, and hosted the Dallas Mavericks post-game show. Former hosts on 103.3 KESN-FM, 9 a.m.-noon. Currently on KRLD-FM 105.3 hosting the afternoon drive show, 3 p.m.- 7p.m.
- Kevin Scott - former Ticker announcer for The Hardline; former co-host of The Throwdown; former co-host of The Beatdown on KZNX in Austin, Texas; former co-host on NewsRadio 1080 (1080 KRLD-AM), at 9am-12pm with Greg Hill.
- Greg Williams - former co-host of The Hardline.
- Rocco Pendola - former mid-day host, dismissed after a confrontation with Gordon Keith.
- Mike Bacsik - former major-league pitcher for several teams, served as producer of The Norm Hitzges Show. Dismissed after tweeting a comment about "dirty Mexicans".
SportsRadio 1310 The Ticket has won many awards over the years, including the 2007 Marconi Award for "Best Sports Station in America" at the National Association of Broadcasters' annual conference on September 27, 2007. The station and various shows have been Marconi nominees in the past, but this was The Ticket's first win. The Ticket was again recognized as "Sports Station of the Year," winning a second Marconi Award in 2013.
In popular culture
The FX drama Justified made frequent use of the names of "Ticket" personalities for supporting characters as writer/producer VJ Boyd is a former Dallas resident and an active fan of KTCK. Boyd continued this practice in his scripts for NBC's The Player.