An Open Letter to Kevin Kietzman

Dear Mr. Kietzman:

I’m done.

I feel that I should publicly apologize to you for this, but I’m done.  I hereby resign my listener-ship of Between The Lines.

This is not a decision I take lightly.  Let me tell you that I have listened to Union Broadcasting religiously daily.  Specifically, your program — since it was on 1510.  I remember altering my start time at a job so that I could be driving to work when the sun came up one autumn so I couldn’t drive to work without the sound of your station.

I remember the venom with which you went after Don Fortune at 980.  Those were the days, right? You openly mocked him for his Tippins pies commercials and how stale his radio program had gotten.  You were a maverick and I felt I was part of something special.

I was at the Walk-Out.  One of the greatest Radio promotions ever, in my humble opinion.  I feel that it was a turning point in the history of the Royals.  I was one of the first ones in the parking lot and I remember throwing money at the Yankees as they were walking into Royals Stadium.

I listened to you as you transitioned to 810 WHB.  I also enjoyed listening to your other programs, but I ALWAYS tuned in at 2:00 to hear the real sports news of the day.  The entire day hinged on 2:00 for me.  I admit, I sound like a bit of a sports radio junkie here.  But I guess I am.  All of the above are truths.

You seemed to only strengthen over the first several years at 810.  Petro came over and provided a more statistical analysis of sports, and you brought the heat, the passion.  Sometimes I disagreed with you, sometimes I passionately agreed.  But I always listened.

You were part of my family.

The past few years, however, my listening began to evolve.  I began to notice that commercial breaks were just a little bit longer.  That you didn’t start your 2:00 program until 2:06.  Add to that 5 minutes of commercials at the end of Petro’s show, and that starts to be noticed.

When you do start your program at 2:06, you are usually on a remote.  This is inevitably a result of the economy and it’s good that you have so much interest in local businesses wanting to host your show. I have been to many of your station’s remotes and do try to use 810 sponsors where possible.  However, when you start your program, you spend at least 10 minutes pimping the remote location ad libbing about the location, what can be found there.  It feels very stock and unentertaining.  By the time you do get to the first story of the day, the story that you will provide your much admired opinion and analysis of, it’s nearly 2:20, if that early.  By that time, I’ve usually tuned out or moved to something else.

That’s your 2:00 hour.

The 3:00 and 4:00 hours are typically filled with content that I have no interest in.  NASCAR, Soccer, NBA.

Finally, the long-winded discussions with Jim Colbert as a paid product endorsement of the cookie diet and the weekly one-hour Grilling segment are simply wastes of time.  There has to be a more entertaining way to pimp your sponsors without making it like the Tippins Pies live reads that you once made fun of. I don’t fault you for trying to make a buck, but it seems, to me, that the heavy majority of your program has become trying to make a buck with very little interest in delivering news and analysis.

You, sir, have become Don Fortune.  You have become the thing that you once reviled.

Today was the straw that broke the camel’s back, however, when I listened to you at 2:00 talk for 35 minutes about the hygiene “the odor” of the studio headsets in use at your remote.  I regrettably came to the realization that I have better things to do with my time.

I write this to you today, sir, not with hatred, or ill will.  As I mentioned before, 810 is family.  I have spent countless hours listening to your radio station.  I will continue to listen to The Border Patrol and The Program as my schedule allows.

I did feel compelled, however, to share with you my concerns.

I may move down the dial and listen to Nick Wright. I have tried listening to his program in the past, but I have very little interest in the NBA and he’s pretty NBA heavy right now.  I will say that his edge is refreshing.  I don’t know if he’ll be around for long, so I’m not getting to used to his program.

I wish you the best of luck in the future. I do hope that you’ll temper the vamping that goes on in your program and cut back on the grilling/cookie diet/Len Zimmer & The Jazz Band/Golf/Chuckles with Jack Harry/Chuckles with Frank Boal/Whats Up Leabo/Picks Segment wastes of time so that you can get back to the issues that made you great.  In my eyes at least.

Goodbye.

Fake Ned Yost
Chris Kamler, Listener since the beginning

21 Comments

  1. Dan

    I was never more convinced that Kevin was about money than when in the beginning of the Dayton Moore era he made the statement just before the 1st Fan appreciation event. Kevin stated “I’m not sure what this Fan appreciation thing is but everything Dayton has done has been classy” that was when the Royals were on 810. Then when the Royals followed a better dollar amount and moved to 610 Kevin called the whole organization classless. This will all be swept under the rug of if you don’t like it don’t listen. I wouldn’t if I could stand the sound of Nick’s voice longer than Gilbert Godfrey in an elevator. Nick’s so bad it the only thing that keeps me listening to Kevin. Now I keep switching to this new comedy station and well to be honest with a teenage daughter I get a lot of Kesha in the car too.

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  3. Zac

    Couldn’t have said it better myself. I made the move to 610 a long time ago. I have no issues with Nick Wright, and find him a refreshing change to the dribble on 810 these days.

  4. landon chase

    Seriously? Nick Wright is a joke. I could do without Kevin’s constant plugs or bitterness at Nebraska (although they are bitches) or Greinke, but Nick Wright is a punk slandering others to make a name for himself. He has NO class.

  5. Kris Nelson

    Well done.
    I stopped listening daily when I noticed callers would call in with legitimate questions or gripes about something KK had said and he would cut them off, be rude, or shout the caller down and keep them from even making their point. He stopped being a good sports talk radio host a long time ago, in my opinion. It’s sad. Like guys who “don’t wanna be like my dad”, he’s become every bit the has-been he once impuned.

  6. Davey

    What else do you expect from Nick Wright then? Amen he is talking NBA and people are listening. The NFL is a non-story until something efficient happens and Chiefs employees stop receiving pay cuts. Right now, it is Royals, MLB, and NBA. For crying out loud, the NBA finals are happening right now. I know there is not a NBA team within 6 hours of Kansas City, but at least someone is covering the NBA finals with some legitmate knowledge of the league.

  7. Jeffro

    This is actually a pretty moronic letter. Complaing because of the ads that help support the radio station is ignorant at best. While I could care less for NASCAR or many of the other things mentioned, it wouldn’t stop my from listening to any particular radio station.

    What stops me from listeing to anthing is how much I can or cannot stand the host. KK is the lesser of two evils. Nick Wright is a waste of air time,IMO. When it comes to the Chiefs or the Royals he sounds like a blabbering idiot. At least he isn;t Bob Fescoe.

  8. John

    A lot of this stuff doesn’t bother me…if they are talking about NASCAR, grilling, or golf, I just tune out…what starts to drive me away is the absolute disdain for the Royals.

    It’s one thing to be critical, but both he and his surgically-implanted ass-kisser Clinkscale take gratuitous shots at the Royals and try to belittle them whenever they can.

    What ultimately drives me and many other long-time loyal listeners away is the anti-Royals, anti-KU “agenda” that his show pushes.

    Keitzman yesterday talked about “trust” when asking people to continue to listen…I don’t trust him as a host that he is giving it to us straight and ultimately that’s why I hardly listen anymore.

  9. Lester

    I agree that Between the Lines has far too much product placement type programming (remotes and the grilling segment come readily to mind). Also, since I don’t like golf or NASCAR, I move down the dial quite a bit more. The Jack Harry and Picks segments are a waste of time, too. But otherwise, I usually tune it to get KK and the Clinker’s take on things. That’s not very often anymore.

  10. Bob

    I thought Chris read my mind and took the words right out of my mouth.

    Keitzman HAS become Don Fortune….but with a nasty ego streak Don never had.

    At one time KK took pains to be informed about that which he speaks….today it is only sponsor-hugging and calculated emotional rants devised to drive ratings regardless of the tiny amount of truth involved.

    Clinkscale may be a toady but at least he knows his sports…Petro is still my fav sporks jock in town…but the only time I listen to Between The Lines anymore is when KK is on vacation. Even the braying donkey Nick Wright has more substance to offer.

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  13. todd nielsen

    Of course it’s about money. It’s all about money. It’s a business not a charity.

    I love the grilling show, but not nascar. Everyone is different. If everyone gets a little of what they like ya have a successful business and make more money.

    Why are peoples lives and egos wrapped up in sports? How can sports show hosts be hated for their approach and opinions? We live in a sick society and many sickees vent their illness upon all of us through inane attacks on sports show hosts. It’s the callers that hurt the show not the hosts.

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  17. Tim Keltner

    Dear Chris and the moron squad. What a bunch of candy assed whiners! Kevin’s schtick has not changed in years. His job is too stir up the debate and polarize. Would you rather have Whitlock back on the air? The one thing that has not changed is the never ending list of complete morons that call in and prove what they do NOT know! The Royals did not get a better price from 610. Union Broadcasting made a business decision not to spend 8 million dollars to carry a baseball team being run like Wal-Mart. Kevin went after Don Fortune as a business rival. And after Don retired Kevin graciously had him on the show and paid tribute to his years of broadcasting. So, it seems you all are so dim that you don’t even know that saying Kevin has become Don Fortune is a huge compliment! You idiots only hear what you want to hear. Products and sponsors keep the station on the air. They pay for that building, for the staff and on air personalities. They pay to send Petro to the SB to get the great interviews he has had on this week. They pay for the giveaways, the T-shirts, tickets and more. If you don’t want to hear commercials go pay for XM and shut the hell up! With every breath you demonstrate the collective absence of brain matter. Goodbye, Chris, and good luck!

    Bagman – Here from the very beginning and here to the end. THAT is what loyalty is!

  18. Fake Ned

    Baggie, comment any time. This “Open Letter” is simply my truth. It was almost a year and a half ago when I wrote this and I’ve probably only listened to him for maybe an hour since then. While you are correct, Kevin is an institution in this town, it’s simply too formulaic for me. This is nothing against 810. I remain a loyal fan of the morning show. My job right now doesn’t allow me to listen much during the mid day, but I remain a fan of Petros (and Danny Parkins.)

    I agree with many of the things you say here. It’s just I gave up on Kevin that day, and haven’t been back.

    Thanks for reading. Stop back any time.

    –Candy-Assed Whiner

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  20. FRED MARCHESE

    YOU ARE THE ARAGIANT PERSON I HAVE EVER HEARD YOU DOWNGRADE PEOPLE IF THEY DONT COME FROM K STATE YOU SHOOT YOUR MOUTH OFF LIKE YOU ARE THE BEST COACH AND BALL PLAYER AROUND YOU WOULD NOT HOLD A CANDLE TO ANY OF THESE TWO YOU THINK YOU KNOW EVERTHING YOU ARE A PHONY

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