Mike Rhyner

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Michael "Mike" Rhyner a.k.a. the old grey wolf (born August 16, 1950) is a radio sports talk personality on KTCK ("The Ticket") radio in the Dallas area, sometimes referred to as the station's patriarch. He co-hosts "The Hardline" with Corby Davidson, an afternoon show on the station.[1][2][3][4] He is a frequent guest on broadcast television.[5]

He was on ESPN's list of "Sports Radio Personalities of the Year" in 1997, 1998 and 2003.[6]

Early life[edit]

Rhyner was raised in the Oak Cliff district of Dallas where he graduated from Kimball High School in 1968.[7] As a boy he was a fan of the Dallas Texans at the insistence of his father,[8] but later would switch his allegiance to the Dallas Cowboys.[9] As a teenager he played the drums in several local bands from which he said he earned a surprisingly good amount of money.[10] He briefly attended El Centro College part of the Dallas County Community College District but did not graduate.

In his early twenties Rhyner continued to make a living playing music, but by his late twenties was not getting to where he felt he wanted to be so he returned to school to study radio broadcasting at the University of Texas at Arlington.[11]

Radio career[edit]

He started at KZEW in 1979 as a news intern and was shortly promoted to the assistant of the program director, Tom Owens.[12] In 1982 at KZEW he received a letter from the jailed John Hinckley, Jr., attempted presidential assassin, who turned out to be a fan. The letter's creepiness proved to be a local sensation.[13] In 1986 he left KZEW for WBAP to work in their sports department.[12]

In 1994, he helped create The Ticket. He was responsible for selecting most of the original lineup including George Dunham, Craig Miller and Greg Williams.[14]

From 1995 to 2008, Rhyner co-hosted with Greg Williams and they were "the most dynamic duo in Dallas talk radio".[6] In 2008 Rhyner had a public falling out with Williams who left the show. The Dallas Observer in its year end "best of" round up gave "Greg Williams versus Mike Rhyner" the award for best Dallas drama.[15]

In 2009 CBS Radio attempted to poach Rhyner from KTCK and Rhyner came close to accepting the new position, but instead accepted an increased compensation package from Cumulus Media to stay with The Ticket.[3]

On July 3, 2014, Rhyner was inducted into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame.[16]

Rhyner styles his public personality as "The Old Grey Wolf".[17] That of a cantankerous old fart[18] and baseball fan in a football crazy world.[19] Rocco Pendola, a former coworker claims that he is difficult to work with.[20]

Personal life[edit]

He is divorced.[14] He has a daughter named Jordan.[21]

He is a band member of Petty Theft, a Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers tribute band.[22] Recently, he started a Byrds tribute band called the Nyrds.


  1. ^ Richie Whitt. "A Dirty Dozen". The Dallas Observer, 26 Jan 2006.
  2. ^ "An extensive interview with The Ticket’s Mike Rhyner". Advocate Magazine, 01 Jul 1999.
  3. ^ a b Richie Whitt. "BREAKING UN-NEWS: Mike Rhyner and The Hardline Staying at The Ticket". Dallas Observer, 13 Feb 2009.
  4. ^ Boyter, Scott (2009). The Ticket: Full Disclosure. Dallas, Texas: BenBella Books. ISBN 978-1933771-68-7. 
  5. ^ Mike Foss. "These broadcasters are so happy NHL players are punching each other in the face". USA Today, 25 October 2013.
  6. ^ a b Richie Whitt. "The Hard Lie". The Dallas Observer, 3 July 2008.
  7. ^ Rachel Stone. "Q&A: Mike Rhyner". Advocate Magazine, 26 Sep 2012.
  8. ^ Patoski, Joe (2012). The Dallas Cowboys. Hachette Book Group. ISBN 978-0-316-23505-1. 
  9. ^ Eisenberg, John (2012). Ten-gallon war : the NFL's Cowboys, the AFL's Texans, and the feud for Dallas's pro football future. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN 978-0547435503. 
  10. ^ Boyter (2009). Page 194.
  11. ^ Boyter (2009). Page 197-198.
  12. ^ a b Boyter (2009). Page 198-199.
  13. ^ Alan Peppard. "The Ticket’s Mike Rhyner recalls that spooky letter from would-be assassin John Hinckley". The Dallas Morning News, 27 May 2014.
  14. ^ a b Barry Horn. "Mike Rhyner: The Ticket is unique, but 'sooner or later' someone will leave". Dallas Morning News, 28 June 2013.
  15. ^ "Best Drama Dallas 2008 - Greg Williams versus Mike Rhyner". The Dallas Observer, 25 September 2008.
  16. ^ Robert Wilonsky. "The KZEW-keeper behind The Ticket, Mike Rhyner, is finally where he belongs: in the Texas Radio Hall of Fame". The Dallas Morning News, 3 July 2014 .
  17. ^ Anthony Mariani. "So Long, Where House". Fort Worth Weekly, 15 January 2014 .
  18. ^ Boyter (2009)
  19. ^ Schultz, Bradley (2005). Sports Media: Reporting, Producing, and Planning. Focal Press. ISBN 978-0240807317. 
  20. ^ Pendola, Rocco (2002). Ramblings from Rocco: Hockey, Radio, Life, and Our Urban Environment. Writers Club Press. pp. 74–76. ISBN 0595238912. Retrieved June 15, 2014. 
  21. ^ http://www.theunticket.com/jordans-16th-birthday-talk-3-1-04/
  22. ^ Sam Merten. "The Ticket's Mike Rhyner and Petty Theft Rock All About Uptown Festival". The Dallas Observer.