The Elephant In The Room

The recent ratings victory by both 610 Sports Radio as well as their afternoon host, Nick Wright has possibly signalled a seismic shift in Sports Talk in Kansas City. Some of the reasons listeners are turning off Kevin Kietzman’s Between The Lines are well documented.  However, some might be more subtle, or rather, some might be just ignored outright.

I’m wondering if the contrast between the two shows signals the deep-rooted class warfare present in Kansas City. And this is playing out in the Radio Wars. It seems to mirror the microcosm of race, class, politics and economics.

Kietzman’s show carries with it a strong bias towards what I’d call an “Overland Park-style” thinking. That would be categorized by Republican, anti-union, higher-income folks. Kietzman’s ads seem to be mostly centered in Johnson County, along Shawnee Mission drive. He spends full hours talking about grilling with BBQ grills that cost in the thousands of dollars and frequently talks about golf.  They are the radio station of the Kansas City Chiefs – a team that requires $25 to park and $100 tickets.  Last week, he spent a full hour talking about the new configuration of Loch Lloyd Country Club, one of the most expensive Country Clubs in the area.

Wright’s show spends time talking about events centered in the urban core. He talks more NBA basketball. His ads, part of the Entercom advertising group, seem to refelect a wider cross-section of the entire metro area. They are the radio station of the Kansas City Royals – a team that requires $10 to park and sometimes $5 tickets. He spent 45 minutes talking about Serena Williams’ ass the other day.

Could the political climate in the City be signaling a shift in listenership?

I live in the Northland, so we basically hate everyone south of the River. We’ve got Zona Rosa, but also great areas of poverty. We voted for Kay Barnes, but we also voted for Funkhouser. So we’re not too bright.

The “minority” base of Kansas City is growing, and I just wonder if that’s not carrying with it a backlash at the Overland Park culture? There has clearly been a backlash against the NASCAR and Grilling talk. Just looking for reasons why. Perhaps it’s the elephant in the room?

5 Comments

  1. Jake

    If I listen to sports radio after 2 pm it is 810, but I think they are both pretty annoying. I have tried to tune into Nick Wright during breaks on 810 but he is always whining about something. I am shocked that anyone listens to him at all. I think the best thing for 810 to do is put Petro in the 2:00 time slot.

  2. holtron

    Possibly. Or it could be that people are turning him off because Keitzman is such an unlikeable, squirrel-faced choade

  3. Brian

    I agree with Jake. I view it as maybe the lesser of two evils, or maybe more that Keitzman had such a large listenership that is now tuning him out and into Nick that may well soon tune Nick out also. His constant pauses in his delivery drive me nuts and the last time I tried to listen a caller started his comments with “OMG” not oh my god but OMG.

    I can’t listen to either, long live Pandora.

  4. Noah

    Kietzman also has the Racing Boys on each week and that’s about as blue collar as it gets. I don’t dislike Kietzman like everyone seems to and I’ll always listen to 810 if I’m in the mood for sports talk.

    Also, I believe 810 started out in the Independence area, though I could be wrong.

    Most of my friends like 610 more, but maybe it’s just Kietzman promoting downtown baseball and coming down hard on KCMO for losing a lot of business that I like. I’m from and live in KCMO and I agree with him that downtown KCMO needs to step up and that Jackson County really screwed the pooch when it came to renovations instead of a new baseball stadium.

    I know there are plenty who disagree with me, and that’s fine.

  5. Tim

    The entire 610 lineup caters more to the younger crowd. It’s partially a cultural thing, but I think it’s more age-based than anything else.

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