OTC: Nick Wright Blasts KK & 810 For Being Shills For Chiefs / But Wright Stretches His Own Credibility In The Process

“(810), a station that used to be powered by fans is now powered by sponsors.”
Nick Wright, taking aim at his competition, Kansas City’s unchallenged sports talk radio station leader for the past 12 years, 610 AM
GH: What a roller coaster Nick Wright has ridden this summer. A year after taking over as 610 Sports afternoon drive-time host, he is featured in The Star’s Ink Magazine and comes off as an arrogant ass who has no clue how to work the very media in which he works. Wright follows up his Ink stained interview by repeatedly admitting on his show that Kevin Kietzman is, “kicking my ass.” A reported win in the June ratings book now
has Wright dismissing Kietzman and 810 as not only losers but shills for the
Chiefs unworthy of our ears. Read on.

“What in God’s name is going on at One Arrowhead Drive that somebody decided nickel and diming firemen on 9/11 who you want to be a part of the ceremony, that’s a good way to save $2,500?”
Nick Wright, on reports that the Chiefs were prepared to charge firemen $25 each for participating in a pregame ceremony on September 11th, 610 AM
GH: This Chiefs/firefighters story broke on Thursday night when a fireman called Mark Carman and Carrington Harrison on 610 Sports. I heard it live but I’m guessing I was in the minority. How many  people tune into 610 on a non-Royals night to catch the sporadic airing of the Night Shift? But the story took on a life on Twitter that was strong enough to get the Chiefs to reportedly contact Wright to tell him this was a “misunderstanding.” If I was aware of the story, one of 810’s numerous employees should also have been aware of the story. Read on.

“If you want to talk about that, if you want to hear about that, there is only one place you can do it. And that’s because (Thursday) night Kevin Kietzman made the final transformation from advocate for the fans to shill for sponsors. … (Thursday) night we heard the most obsequious and embarrassing 11 minutes of radio I’ve ever heard.”
Nick Wright, referring to KK’s Thursday evening interview with Clark Hunt in which he did not discuss the firefighters issue or the employee pay cuts issue, 610 AM
GH: Wright lost me with this argument. There are plenty of weaknesses in 810’s and KK’s game plan to exploit, but hanging 810’s entire soul on this ten-minute interview with Hunt sounded more like Wright was auditioning for the lead role in Inherit The Wind. Read on.

“Kevin Kietzman, a grown man, referred to Clark Hunt as Mr. Hunt nine times!”
Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: Wright mentioned this point numerous times. I did not understand the significance. I don’t really care if Kietzman called him Clark, Mr. Hunt or The Clarks. I don’t see Wright’s point that by KK referring to the owner of the Chiefs as “Mr. Hunt,” he is somehow less credible. Kietzman is exactly the kind of two-faced interviewer who would call someone “Mr.” while he had them live on the air and something else once they depart.

“Kevin Kietzman, a voice of the fans, did not ask (Hunt) about employee pay cuts. About those ticket-takers not being allowed into the games for free like they used to be. Maybe none of those are big deals, but those questions need to be asked. Kevin Kietzman, your former
voice of the fans, just ignored the firefighters and 911.”
Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: Wright muddied his argument by combining the lame ticket-taker gripe with the legit firefighter’s issue. The ticket-takers and parking attendants at Arrowhead need to find their own way into the game for free or go home. This bunch has no bitch in my book. But charging firemen you want to help remember 9/11 is a Chiefs marketing nightmare – one they quickly recognized and corrected.

“There were two goals of Radio Wars in my opinion. 1) Us to win. 2) You to win. You know how you win? By each radio station having to step their game up.”
Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: The radio personalities on 610 Sports have embraced Radio Wars like it was a frosty mug of Boulevard Wheat. 810’s talent though, publicly treats the news of a local sports talk skirmish as if it were a fairytale. What station is correct? For now, 610 Sports.

“Can you imagine a time five years ago when a story that had been picked up nationally about one of our pro sports teams taking advantage of first responders on 9/11 and that is not the biggest story of the day on that radio station? Can you imagine when the radio
station ‘powered by fans’ wouldn’t run with that and try to make a difference?
They don’t have the balls to do it any more.”
Nick Wright, on 810’s apparently ignoring the firefighters story, 610 AM
GH: I didn’t monitor 810 from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM on Friday so I am not as certain as Wright that this story was ignored by all three locals shows. But assuming it was, Wright again weakens his blast at 810 by referring to it as a “national” story. It was a good story, but Wright’s embellishment of it into a national story is Kietzman-like. He
mentioned that YahooSports.com had picked up the story. Okay…but what he failed
to mention is that Jeff Passan, who writes for YahooSports.com. also fills in
as a guest host on 610 Sports. Did this story even make it into The Star? It
was hardly like 810 ignored Dale Carter shooting up Westport.

“The Chiefs called 810 (Thursday night) and made some kind of Faustian bargain – the best I can tell. ‘Hey Kevin, you want to interview Clark Hunt? Sweet! Can you give us a commitment that you won’t and no one on your radio station will mention this firefighter thing? This 9/11 thing? We don’t need the bad pub.’ And they agreed to it.”
Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: The best I can tell? Wright stepped out on a slippery journalistic ledge with this made-up scenario. He even gave his listeners made-up dialogue between the Chiefs and Kietzman on how they struck this proposed bargain. For all Wright knows, none of this happened. But he floated out the bogus story in an attempt to strengthen his blast against his competition. Why? He had plenty to go after 810 without making up a story.

“Anyone who pays attention knows one empirical truth right now. One radio station is not allowed to tell you the whole story. When it comes to truly discussing the teams, how can you trust them when they don’t even have the ability, the courage or just the balls to acknowledge a national story based out of Kansas City?”
Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: Trust is far overvalued by both 610 and 810. The truth is many listeners tune into to hear the hosts’ opinions but are now savvy enough to realize all these guys are in the business of selling cars, motorcycles, jewelry and fatty foods. For Wright to pretend he and 610 are somehow above this game makes him more Kietzman-like than I thought
possible.

“So how can you ever trust (810)? How can you ever go to them and expect to get anything on (the Chiefs) other than what this team wants you to get?”
Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: This is a good point. Wright didn’t need to make up conversations or plead the case of the guy telling me where to park at Arrowhead. All he needed to do was hammer away at Kietzman’s apparent reluctance to critically access the Chiefs and whether or not that will affect 810’s overall coverage this season. But the reality is I did not see much evidence of it in 2010, the first year of 810′s contract with the Chiefs. Does Wright ever listen to Jack Harry on WHB’s Chiefs postgame show?

“(810) used to be great. Back when Jerry Green was alive and 810 was flush with cash and they were doing great in the ratings, being the independent little engine that could was
fantastic. Now that the money’s gone, that the ratings are fading and every
corporate relationship matters, every business relationship can make or break
your station, you’re making business decisions based on what the newsmakers
want you to say.”
Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: 810 is not as financially healthy as they were in the Jerry Green years. But is it accurate for Wright to say, “Every business relationship can make or break your station?” Jerry Green’s been dead for four years. WHB has weathered a number of financial storms during their reign. Again, Wright dips into his bag of drama to inflate his argument. It is unnecessary and chips away at his own credibility.

“To do ten minutes of a reach-around with Clark Hunt where you call him Mr. Hunt? Sorry, you lost (Radio Wars). I don’t know about every battle. I don’t know about every ratings month moving forward. But I know that I can say with full confidence – that war is over, y’all! They’re fighting a different battle than us.”
Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: Who says “y’all” on local radio? Is Wright now trying to appeal to the Texas demographic? A nice attempt here thouugh by Wright to claim victory down the road even if he loses future ratings books — which appears likely with 610 tied to the Royals during the first two months of the football season.

“It’s not how we do business around here. You know why? Because as much as 810 has vilified us for being corporate radio, we don’t have to be beholding to the Royals because we are a corporation – a multimillion dollar nationwide corporation! And one individual
business relationship is not worth the integrity of what we do.”
Nick Wright, on the difference in how 610 critiques the Royals and how 810 critiques the Chiefs, 610 AM
GH: Another good score here for Wright. Why he didn’t pound away at solid arguments like this to make his point shows his inexperience in radio. Nick having a firefighter father, an important part of the equation I never heard Wright mention, may have clouded his judgment and fueled his passion for his diatribe.

“Ultimately, what it’s come to is that it’s an unfair fight. It’s an unfair fight because even if Kietzman and 810 cut all that fluff (programming) out, they evidently don’t have the ability anymore to objectively report stories.”
Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: The irony is that Nick used far too little objectivity in reporting his Radio Wars story – despite having plenty of good ammo to choose from.

 and Twitter / greghall24

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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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29 Responses to OTC: Nick Wright Blasts KK & 810 For Being Shills For Chiefs / But Wright Stretches His Own Credibility In The Process

  1. Ptolemy says:

    So sports radio in KC has two choices, perennial leader 810, and 610 where they spend most of their time critiquing 810?

    I don’t know much about statistical ratings, but logic seems to indicate that 610 is helping 810 more that they are themselves.

    Also, I got a call from Arbitron last week. They wanted our household to carry their meters. I was more that happy to. None of the rest of my family wants to though. They rejected us as a ratings “family,” despite the fact that I am the only one who listens to the radio! How many other “households” get rejected in this manner? Certainly calls into question these radio ratings wars.

  2. smartman says:

    Sports radio in KC is more about opinion than facts. It’s not about “hard” news. It’s infotainment at best. Trying to fly the us versus them objectivity flag is like stirring pancake batter with a hard on or in Nick’s case, with his schnoz..

    Nick and KK have turned into Lumpy Rutherford and Eddie Haskell. If the Royals were playing .650 ball there would be a lot more “control” over the daily talking points.

    Once the football season gets rolling Nick will be sucking more Chiefs cock than an outcall dating service. He knows that 810 will get the opportunity to sniff more jocks than a laundry lady with an odor fetish. And while KK and Danny will play bukkake with Clark and Scott’s jizz Captain Jack will still get us high!

    When it comes to college football 810 will destroy 610 like Lemmy Kilmister would Nick Lachey in a Celebrity Death Match.

    Despite their common douch-nozzle DNA KK probably pays more in taxes than Nick takes home to his chocolate love bunny. He’s flipping burgers and KK is Gordon Ramsey!

    Nick can pound his drum all he wants but the most dangerous frequencies are the ones we can’t hear.

  3. 810 had a weird week with advertisers. They were doing a Jerry’s Sport Shop remote during Petro’s and KK’s show with live hits. During it Petro declared Nill Brothers (a long time Petro sponsor) as the only place to buy safe youth football helmets siting a certain brand. Jerry’s and Nill Bros are fierce competitors in helmets and football gear. The next day Petro was at a remote at the Harley dealer up North. They did commercials during it for the Grandview Harley dealer. KK was at a Independence Golf Course remote Friday. And during it they ran 2 spots for other KC golf courses. If I was paying for those expensive remotes, I would be pi$$ed. Especially the football helmet incident.

    • Jim Beam says:

      EVERY radio station faces that problem. Nobody likes hearing a Blue Springs Ford spot during a Van Chevy remote, but the reality is that it happens and the stations, agencies and clients know that there is nothing to be done. You could try and code those spots out of the log but the hard truth is that a lot of those clients buy so much frequency that they HAVE to run every hour and the most you can do is get two or three minutes separation with-in the stopset.

  4. DonkeyPunch says:

    smartman sed:
    Once the football season gets rolling Nick will be sucking more Chiefs cock than an outcall dating service.

    Donkeypunch sez:
    Do you have that number?

  5. Jip says:

    Nick can say what he wants about 810′s cozy relationship with the Chiefs, but he has a cozy relationship with Chiefs players that damages his credibility, too–no matter how much he wants to deny that.

  6. KCGolffan says:

    “But I know that I can say with full confidence – that war is over, y’all!” – So, the mission was to eke out a victory in one ratings book with help of Royals broadcasts….

    Way to aim high, Sparky….

  7. kcflatlander says:

    Two things:

    The more Nick complains and barks about 810, the more I think he wants to be on the 810 air vs. the 610 air. This is a gut feeling, but in my experience, the more one side bashes another side, it’s always because the ‘basher’ is jealous of the ‘bash-ee’ and wants to be that person. As Shakespeare wrote, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks”

    I don’t think 610 will ever be the real player in this town because of ownership. 610 is owned by Entercom, the 5th biggest Radio Conglomerate in the US. They are all about sponsorships, so let’s not pull any punches here….also, with Entercom’s money behind them, 610 should have already won “the war” a long time ago against “local ownership”. It hasn’t.

    Seems to me that Entercom to 610 is like Mama Carlson is to WKRP: nice little tax write off, and when it starts to actually make money, we’ll change the format so it continues to be the tax write off.

  8. nick says:

    Greg, good critique of Wright.

    The biased Chiefs coverage between KK and NW is a wash. One gives reach-arounds to Hunt/Pioli/Haley, the other gives reach-arounds to the players.

    I’m with Smartman, college football will sway things back to 810. Stan Weber’s a geek, but his hour on Thursday was refreshing. Real football games aren’t far away.

  9. Kevin says:

    KK is king of telling listeners what was said in ANY situation. He rarely knows the facts of the situation but doesn’t let that stop him from spinning the yarn his way to get his husker hating point across. NW learned it well from the master.

  10. The Independent Rage says:

    “Who says ‘y’all’ on local radio?” My question is who says “reach around” apart from jackwagons like Gunnery Sergeant Hartman on “Full Metal Jacket”? And the invented dialogue “as best [Nick] can tell” from the alleged Chiefs/Kietzman “Faustian bargain” strikes me as very KK-esque. That’s just the sort of stuff that Kietzman would make up. Two peas in the same pod, apparently. Little wonder I can’t stand either one of them.

  11. smartman says:

    Good point kcflatlander 810 should start openly courting Nick. Offer him a bump up to $60K. Hell, have KK call in to Nick’s show and offer him a job on the air.

    If I was Chad Boeger I’d run a billboard campaign with a picture of all the 810 staff wearing those huge novelty noses, and the tagline, Nobody knows sports like we do.

  12. Big Dub says:

    Saw Nick out at the K on Friday night. He and another media guy (don’t know who, just saw his credential) were taking a walk around the left field side in behind the first section. It almost looked like he was fishing for some recognition and atta-boys because they were just strolling along with no real destination.

    I’ll give Nick credit though, one of the guys next to me shouted out “Hey Nick, love the show!” and Nick stopped in his tracks, walked up the 3-4 rows to shake the guys hand, look him in the eyes, and sincerely thank him. So he did a great job connecting with the peeps. I’ve lived in this town for almost 8 years now, and have yet to see KK or any of the 810 Staff out amongst the general public.

    • Fake Ned Yost says:

      He made a point of seeking me out (for what it’s worth) Saturday, also. Actually talking to someone in person makes a big difference. Let’s be honest, I think we can all agree that Kansas City won’t be seeing the rebirth of Edward R. Murrow any time soon, but having a pseudo-personal chance to shake a hand does count for something. Also met Danny Parkins at the game the next day. I’ve never seen anyone other than Nate Bukaty at The K before. That’s not to say they aren’t there, but they certainly aren’t around politicking.

      Probably amounts for very little, but is noteworthy.

    • J.L. says:

      Steven St. John is at the 810 Zone (Plaza) a lot..especially during MMA/UFC or boxing events.

    • DonkeyPunch says:

      Met KK and his 1st wife several years ago at J. Alexander’s. Bought him and his Mrs. a cold beverage. He was extremely kind and went out of his way to thank me for listening. Granted, this was many years ago and things have changed. I am, however, awaiting the day that NW stops me and asks for a blunt, a pull off my OE, or $50 to feed his gambling habit.

    • Jip says:

      Of course he wants to be recognized. He gets on his Twitter feed and tells everyone where he’s going to be all the time. He begs for attention and recognition.

  13. The Word says:

    Any word on what happend to Wolverine Willie?

  14. tacky187 says:

    Listening to these guys is like listening to politicians. They are quick to complain about the ‘other guy’, yet they are all whores to the institutions that facilitate their existence.

    Anyway, this just reminded me of having to stomach Nick’s “let’s get Alex Gordon into the all star game” texting campaign; something that clearly came down from his station’s “sponsors.”

    Nick is like Voldemort – if he was even aware of the very things that hold him back, well, then he wouldn’t be Nick.

  15. Orville Sandusky says:

    Someone needs to give Maas another chance. Whoever does will come out on top.

  16. Chris says:

    I cannot stand Nick Wright or any of the “so-called” personalities on 610. I am no big fan of Kietzman either and hope that somehow we sports fans in KC could have better than a an arrogant thug (Wright) or a pompous, thin-skinned business man (Kietzman).

  17. Daddy V says:

    Maas will be on 610 during the Chiefs season, as well as hosting the Post-Game Show for 610 Sports Radio. Location to be announced.

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