1070 the Fan’s Dan Dakich and Pacers’ Mark Boyle argument not driven by ratings or strategy; just honest disagreement

by Kent Sterling

Dan Dakich tells the truth.  Mark Boyle tells the truth.  When those truths don't intersect, it makes for great radio.

Dan Dakich (above) tells the truth. Mark Boyle tells the truth. When those truths don’t intersect, it makes for great radio.

1070 the Fan host Dan Dakich had a spirited discussion with Indiana Pacers play-by-play voice Mark Boyle today, and people on Twitter went a little screwy with talk of the motivation for the argument.

It was a cross media dispute – Dan on the radio and Mark on Twitter, but both sides were heard and prompted by the other.

As someone who knows both guys a little bit, I can tell you there was nothing strategic about the argument.  There was no thought given to ratings as a motivating factor because neither Dan nor Mark care a bit about the audience numbers or Twitter followers.

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There is one measure that determines success for talk radio shows or talent, and that is money.  Revenue matters.  The people who respond to a Royal Spa or Today’s Dentistry spot determine the success of the show, not the ratings – which even the company that measures audience concedes are difficult to trust.

Radio management spends some time looking through ratings, but they are not the driving force in decision making on the micro or macro level – or at least it shouldn’t be.  A very smart executive told me repeatedly, “Just do cool stuff.”  If a show is relevant, fun, innovative, and honest, the ratings take care of themselves.

To think that Dan and Mark might conspire to stage a fracas to drive ratings or Twitter follower growth is madness.  Both are repulsed by dishonesty.

There are a lot of people who sit around and concoct fascinating narratives for everything that happens in life, and those are people who tend to enjoy talk radio.  They want any excuse for an answer for their question of the day, and so listening to hours and hours of people ranting is fun for them.

They want to believe that everything in life is manipulated because if it isn’t, randomness and disorder become the drivers of events.  That makes us nervous.

The success of this post is not driven by number of people who read it, but by the number of people who click here to check out the great hot tubs at Royal Spa – just like radio

The reason for Dan and Mark achieving the success they have in media is their insistence on telling the truth in an entertaining way.  Disagreement is good for radio, and it’s good for the soul.  It’s dramatic and fun.  Nothing wrong with Dan and Mark getting after it a little bit.

But disagreement should never be contrived.  It must be honest or it can’t be trusted, and if it can’t be trusted, why would anyone listen to it?

Can’t wait for the next episode.

8 thoughts on “1070 the Fan’s Dan Dakich and Pacers’ Mark Boyle argument not driven by ratings or strategy; just honest disagreement

  1. Pauly Balst

    And by visiting your sponsor, I see Royal Spa has something for everyone, including baptistry tubs for your inner Ned Flanders.

  2. Jackern MacLackern

    I once felt sorry for him when I read that Coach Knight repeatedly pounded him in the head dodgeball-style with a basketball, but no I have to admit he deserves to have that done to him every day.

  3. Jon

    Kent was defending Dan about a week or so ago on his show.
    Defend him now for slamming Boyle on air!? For being a turd
    towards MJB? You call that professionalism?

    MJB is WAY above DD and always will be. MJB has more professional talent in his little finger than DD would ever have in is whole body or dream of.

    I know his friends like Kent and others always circle the wagons and defend their own…kinda like the IU/Bob Knight kool aid drinkers…..they do nothing wrong.

    Dan reminds me of one the cocky,arrogant national guys. I think thats what he wants to be(ESPN). He is well on his way.
    His word is the only word and “dumps” on his callers and treats them like trash. If he knew SO much about b- ball, why is he not coaching? 🙂 The sooner he is out of this market and at ESPN full time , the radio waves will be better.
    I dont mida a little rough edges on radio hosts, but Dan is full on obnoxious all the time.

    1. kentsterling Post author

      My intent is never to defend Dan or anyone else. The post was to explain that the intent of a good host is never to drive ratings growth. Ratings are kind of like the hot girl in college – the more you pay attention to her, the less love you get in return.

      During the show, when a caller attacked Dan, I tried to explain that people who understand basketball at the highest level regularly call Dan for his advice. They don’t do it because they have a lot of time to kill.

      You are more than entitled to feel Dan is arrogant and rude. That is an opinion I don’t share, but everyone listening to him is going to feel something, and that’s what makes his show so successful. It’s not background listening.

      1. Jon

        Yes we all have opinions that is true, and we are all entitled to have that. I repsect yours Kent but agree to disagree.

        People who are Dan’s peers probably do not feel that he is “arrogant and rude” because he does not treat them that way. He just belittles his callers and everyone else. They dont see it becasue they are not on the other end of it, or have a blind eye(ear) to his show.
        His schtick is old.

        This is besides the point , but I think you deserve to have a Mon-Fri radio show more than him. You do an excellent job on the weekends and I do enjoy listening in.

        1. kentsterling Post author

          I appreciate you kind words about me, but people need to know that radio should not be taken personally. It’s a show. Dan is always honest, but he knows that he purpose behind a mic is to entertain and inform.

          Callers should not view their presence on a show as anything other than part of that entertainment and informational apparatus. If they can’t inform or entertain, the host needs to find a way to make their presence worthwhile. And if they drone on and on without taking a breath after the first 15 seconds of good stuff, the host needs to take control of the show. Sometimes, that requires a heavy hand.

          Thanks again for the kind words. I’m in for Dan tomorrow. I’ll try not to disappoint.


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