OTC: KC Star’s Kent Babb — GONE! Columnist Heading To Washington Post In October

“So, yeah, if you haven’t heard, I have accepted a sports enterprise writing position with the Washington Post. Sorry for the sports journalism jargon. Sports enterprise means longer, in-depth pieces that I often did on Sundays.”
Kent Babb, @kentbabb, alerting his Twitter followers today about 1:00 PM [CT] of his new position at the WP, Twitter
GH: Just a few months after Babb was elevated to the role of sports columnist at The Star, he has accepted his dream gig. Good for Kent, bad for us Star readers. Babb was also interviewed by John Landsberg of BottomLineCom.com about his pending move from The Kansas City Star to The Washington Post. Read on.

“I have wanted to work for the Washington Post since I was a teenager, and this chance really came out of nowhere. There’s a mystique there that, as a journalist, is difficult to ignore. But, really, it boils down to this: It’s what I want to do, where I want to do it, and I have found that it’s rare in this business to get a shot at that combination. Plus, my wife has family in DC and northern Virginia, so this makes some sense on professional and personal levels.”
Kent Babb, in an interview with John Landsberg, BottomLineCom.com
GH: You can read Landberg’s report on Babb’s departure from The Star here. Writing for the Washington Post is heady stuff – especially for South Carolina grad. Who says the SEC is bereft of intelligence? I mean, besides almost everybody? Just having a little fun at your Gamecockiness expense, Kent. Read on for more.

“One of the first texts I got was from Scott Pioli, believe it or not, offering congrats. I’ll miss my secretive old pal.”
Kent Babb, @kentbabb, Twitter
GH: Pioli is probably the happiest guy in town that the Blabber…uh, er…the Babbster is heading east. And don’t forget to PICK UP ANY CANDY WRAPPERS THAT WHITLOCK LEFT LAYING AROUND AT THE STAR!

“Best text, tho, was from one of my brainiac friends; after hearing I was going to the Washington Post, he wished me luck covering Seahawks.”
Kent Babb, @kentbabb, Twitter
GH: Most likely a former South Carolina valedictorian. #SEC!

“Maybe most surprising thing is that a job recruiter heard on the radio and called/emailed about helping her find something in DC. Weird.”
Kent Babb, @kentbabb, Twitter
GH: If she is looking for a tallish, shaved black man with a killer fade away jumper and a Minnesota accent, go ahead and give her Ivan Carter’s contact info.

“Leaving the Star after five years was not an easy decision for Babb, but the Post should be a more stable environment. In just the past few years the Star’s sports staff has gone from 19 sportswriters to just eight after he leaves. In fact, Babb was the last full-time sports hire from outside the paper.”
John Landsberg, BottomLineCom.com
GH: Wow! When you look at the dwindling numbers in black and white, it is staggering. The Star still is the source for most news in town…but for how long can they stretch so few so far?

“I’ll still have plenty of time to continue paying attn to the Chiefs. Don’t spend 5 yrs w/a team and just lose interest.”
Kent Babb, @kentbabb, Twitter
GH: Has Babb ever covered Kansas football?

“It is, of course, incredibly difficult to leave Kansas City and The Star, where I have been granted numerous opportunities to tell big stories, with the faith, backing and guidance of some of the best editors in journalism. They took a chance on me as an NFL beat writer (with no NFL experience) and a columnist (with no column experience), and for that I’m very grateful. I’m not nearly good enough at telling them often enough how much I appreciate their trust. Through my nearly five years there, I’m lucky to count most every coworker as a friend, and that’s not easy to leave behind.”
Kent Babb, BottomLineCom.com
GH: I do not know Babb well. I cannot remember ever meeting him in person. But I get the sense he is a straight shooter who spends little time or effort on industry politics. That makes him fairly unique when it comes to being a player in the media biz. One thing I always appreciated is the sarcastic camaraderie he has publicly shared with fellow Star columnist, Sam Mellinger. Read on.  

“Sorry is right. LOL!!! “@mellinger: Sorry, y’all. I’m sticking around. Job about to get better w/out that overgrown 12-yr-old around.”
Kent Babb, @kentbabb, Twitter
GH: I witnessed the relationship [or more accurately the non-relationship] between Star columnists Joe Posnanski and Jason Whitlock up close back in the ‘90s. It wasn’t destructive because they had almost no personal contact but it was far from nurturing or productive for The Star. I found the opposite true of Mellinger and Babb. They treated each other just like I treat my friends – and many of my enemies.

“Despite cutbacks and strains common in this business, The Star still has a commitment to in-depth, meaningful journalism that some other papers have, in a panic, left behind. There are challenges here, but the passion and talent in that sports department and newsroom are incredible.”
Kent Babb, BottomLineCom.com
GH: THAT is how you leave a job. Someone copy and paste Babb’s comment to our old pal, Whitlock.

“You know, I just might. It’ll be my going-away gift in a couple wks “@bobfescoe: @kentbabb so this news means u reveal the mouth breather?”
Kent Babb, @kentbabb, Twitter
GH: This is a bit of an ongoing inside joke with Babb, the media and his Twitter followers. A year or so ago he identified a member of the media covering the Chiefs by the mysterious name of The Mouth Breather. He has since refused to put the name with the moniker. Looks to me like Bob Gretz is about to get outted.

“That’s a peek into journalism. No one breaks their own news.”
Kent Babb, @kentbabb, in answer to a follower who thought it was “lame” that Babb didn’t break his own story, Twitter

“It is, of course, bittersweet. I love KC and the Star. Couldn’t turn this sucka down, though. I’ll still be writing through Sept. 21.”
Kent Babb, @kentbabb, Twitter
GH: Landsberg is reporting that Babb will begin at The Washington Post on October 1st. No word on what his first feature story will be. Here is a tip for the Redskins, Babb is easily distracted by the odor of BBQ, heavily breathing males and Steve Spurrier.

“With today’s news of the NFL replacement refs being used on opening day, I want the NFL Players to take a stand and go on strike.”
Bob Fescoe, @bobfescoe, Twitter
GH: Yes folks, Babb might be leaving but Fescoe remains. Yippee Yi Ki Yay…!

and Twitter / greghall24

About Greg Hall

Software guy who has been writing my Off The Couch column in KC newspapers, publications and websites since 1994. Has been bounced from some of the finest media establishments this side of State Line Road. Dad first and everything else second...and there are a lot of everything elses.
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28 Responses to OTC: KC Star’s Kent Babb — GONE! Columnist Heading To Washington Post In October

  1. Ptolemy says:

    Jeez! A whole OTC on a young white columnist departing the Red Star for DC.

    Ivan Carter seemed to get only a couple of snippets.

    I think Carter was “black.”

    Hmmmm?

  2. donkeypunch says:
  3. Merle Tagladucci says:

    Morons in a boat in a field.

    “SEC Bound” Music Video – http://youtu.be/d4E8mUxELNY

  4. Gavin says:

    “I do not know Babb well. I cannot remember ever meeting him in person. ”

    I think, Greg, what you meant to say is “I do not know Babb.” Or, perhaps, “I do not know Babb at all.”

  5. Terducken Tommy says:

    GH: Has Babb ever covered Kansas football?
    In one of his most recent columns he actually asserted that Charlie Weis didn’t take the KU job for money, which is Paterno-Posnanski worthy truth stretching. His Pioli reporting were interesting reads, best of luck to Babb.

  6. dman says:

    I like this one to and I believe it was even school-sanctioned:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXBM7XxZ5DI

  7. Smartman says:

    Good for him getting his dream job with his dream paper. I hope he got a shitter full of money. I’m sure the Star wasn’t paying him a hundred grand

    Ain’t cheap living in DC, Baltimore or the VA burbs. When it comes to crime DC makes KC look like Mayberry.

    I always got Ivan Carter and Steve Penn confused. They do look a lot alike.

  8. Arte says:

    Speaking of columnists, just read Sam Mellinger’s take on Posnanski’s book. That had to be the most wishy-washy thing I’ve ever read.

    • Ptolemy says:

      I’d read Positiviski Paterno book but I understand there is no cure for diabetes.

    • Smartman says:

      Agreed. No guts, no glory. No balls, no story.

      • Java Man says:

        I did like this quote from Sam’s blog:
        “I don’t need the authorized biographer to demonize the man. I want him to explain the man.”

        • Cliffy says:

          That won’t fly around here. It’s either demonize the man or nothing.

          • chuck says:

            Or Cliffy, look at the actual facts, the time line, the unambiguated evidence and draw the logical conclusion. Kinda like that guy from the FBI. You know, the Fedral Bureau of Investigation.

            However, failing that, you can apologise by proxy for a fuckin pederast. Continue to lionize a man who sold Penn State’s ethics, morals and honor down the shitter in quest of money, power and postion.

            You can love Joe Posnanski’s book, it’s sweet, saccharine tribute to a football coach and the glory of Penn Stae University , penned during the nastiest scandal in the history of college sports, and then, get the fuckin sugars.

            Shove that glucose meter that comes with every tome up your ass.

  9. MightyMo says:

    So Babb and Mellinger aren’t the same person? Shit.

  10. Jayson Blair says:

    Hope The Post has better fact checkers in its sports editorial department than it does in its HR department. Job well done Kent, you pulled one over on The Post better than I did on The Times.