OTC: 610 Sports Claims Victory Over 810 With Latest Ratings Boost…Kinda

“610 Sports Radio. The Most Listened To Sports Radio Station in the History of Kansas City”
Promo for 610 Sports promotional email, 610 AM
GH: 610 is tossing off their mittens and declaring an all-out in-your-face sports talk radio war on 810. WHB has dominated 610 Sports and every sports talk show host they have lined up against WHB since Entercom turned 610 from a Country giant into a sports talk also ran in 2002. The “history” of Kansas City radio has seen only three all-sports radio station, 1510, 810 and 610. 1510 was a daytimer station that never reached the audience these two 50K-watt giants access. Is 610’s claim true? Probably. Does it mean 610’s sports talk hosts are winning their time slots over 810’s hosts? No.

“Less shillin’. less grillin’, less cookie diet chit chat”
Tag Line, for 610 Sports promotional email
GH: Great line. I know I chuckled when I read it. But the truth is that Kevin Kietzman’s ad-heavy program still dominates Nick Wright’s show when the two go head-to-head. Wright himself admitted this a few weeks ago on the air when he told his audience KK is “kicking my ass.” Royals baseball gives 610 a lot more ears in the afternoon and evening. That is a good thing for 610. But it in no way means Fescoe, Parkins and Wright are making any headway in taking down St. John, Petro and Kietzman.

“610 Sports Radio… Real Sports Talk, Real Substance”
Tag Line, for 610 Sports promotional email
GH: I wish. 810 needs real competition, not the mess currently offered to 810 listeners by 610 Sports who are looking for entertaining, substantive sports talk. Fescoe has no idea how to be entertaining or informative. He is a buffoon on the radio who makes me feel dumber every time I tune him in. Having him in 610’s morning drive is akin to telling your audience, “We simply don’t give a damn.” Parkins has talent. He sounds like a radio host. He organizes his show like he has done his prep work. But who is left to listen to him when he has to follow Fescoe? Wright is also talented but clueless as to how to do a quality radio show. He is getting pummeled by the weakest Kevin Kietzman shows I can remember in the past 13 years. I had hope for Wright at one time but his unbridled arrogance has proven to be his Achilles. He thinks he knows what he is surely too inexperienced to understand. He will one day look back on this missed opportunity and weep – likely from a job as a fireman his dad lands him.

“My comment is if it’s not broke don’t fix it.”
Caller, to KK, reassuring Kietzman that his show is still stellar stuff, 810 AM
GH: Well, it’s broke and in dire need of fixing. KK blamed the poor play of the Royals for FakeNedYost’s open letter and the negative emails that followed. Kevin lives in a world most of us do not so he may actually believe that. It is unfortunate if no one at Union Broadcasting is kicking him in his Lenexa sunset and telling him he’s slipping. If Whitlock had faced this Kietzman head-to-head in 2002, Pork Chop would have crushed him. Nick Wright is no Whitlock. He’s a high-pitched Roger Twibell in a sweatsuit.

“I wonder if the media coverage in this town is a little overblown when it comes to the Royals?”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Anyone else care to take a stab at why KK would like to see everyone pay less attention to the Royals? That will change once the Chiefs go back to work. While the Royals radio contract helps 610 in the spring, it cripples them starting in July with the Chiefs’ minicamp. Once those Royals’ games in August and then September roll around, those same numbers 610 is promoting today will be drowning them.

“I think there is some kind of consumer advocate in me. I’ve got a microphone and I want to try and help protect the fans.”
Kevin Kietzman, on continuing his crusade to force the Royals to put up screens to protect their fans from foul balls and baseball bats, 810 AM
GH: Kietzman reported that Royals’ beat writer Dick Kaegel’s wife was recently hit in the head by a flying bat and received 30 stitches. KK claims the Royals have repressed this incident because they feared the bad publicity it might foster. KK also stated some local media outlets – specifically naming Bob Dutton and The Star — are cooperating with the Royals in not report it.

“I can make it really uncomfortable in this town for the Royals.”
Kevin Kietzman, after a prolonged diatribe on how he wants to force the Royals to add screens at The K to protect fans against foul balls and flying bats, 810 AM
GH: This is the kind of talk that makes Kietzman easy to not like. He sees himself as something he is not. While many of us see him for exactly what he is.

“I used to watch hockey with a keen eye but since I’ve moved out here (from the Boston area) I haven’t been able to as much.”
Danny Clinkscale, 810 AM
GH: How did moving to Kansas City make Danny lose his keen eye for hockey? Was it the humidity?

“I would say that HD has saved hockey because you can see the play and you can see the puck.”
Paul McGannon, with the NHL21 group, talking with Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Earth to McGannon, hockey has not been saved. As a matter of fact it is in danger of falling below soccer as a spectator sport in this country. McGannon swears he will get Kansas City an NHL team at Sprint Center. What he fails to acknowledge is that we don’t want one.

“Five NFL players were featured in a recent advertisement for an Exxxotica Expo 2011 party in Miami last month.  The problem: They were in uniform.”
Gregg Rosenthal, writer, Chiefs’ players Brandon Flowers and Eric Berry were pictured in the ad, ProFootballTalk.com

“Flowers, btw, tweeted his tail off about going to the party, in the days before & the day of. His contention he was unaware weakens others’.”
Kent Babb, on the Chiefs’ defender being at the porn party he has been linked to, Twitter
GH: I have a feeling tweeting wasn’t the only thing going off on Flowers at the party.

“Porn, Chiefs, and barbecue is the holy Kansas City trinity!”
Jeff Passan, YahooSports columnist, 610 AM

“I think (Tiger) is an absolute candidate to walk away (from golf). I think he could come back when he’s 50 and say, ‘I’ll play with those guys.’ I could see him never contending again for another major accept for The Masters.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Tiger looks as done as they come right now…but I don’t believe for a second he’s done wining majors. I still think he’ll catch my all-time favorite – The Golden Bear.

“I’m always for a guy who’s got man boobs and a hot wife. So more power to Phil (Michelson).”
Soren Petro, on who he is rooting for in the U.S. Open this weekend, 810 AM

“I think it was twenty bucks. I wish now it would have been more.”
Jamie Bluma, former Royals pitcher, retelling how he once ate a bug off the grill of his Wichita State team bus for $20 on a trip back from playing Arkansas, 810 AM

[email protected] 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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19 Responses to OTC: 610 Sports Claims Victory Over 810 With Latest Ratings Boost…Kinda

  1. Ptolemy says:

    You know, I recall in this city’s first all-sports blog, Greg Hall’s Sportswaves.com, a mouthy and wordy writer using the penname Soylent Green wrote a column declaring that Kietzman had indeed “finally” become what he purported to hate the most…Don Fortune, due to his numerous commercials and apparent runaway from the slogan, Powered by Fans.” That must have run, 10+ years ago.

    Funny how some things never change.

    • Greg Hall says:

      Opened Sportswaves.com (at that time ghall.com) in May of 1999. Closed it down in November 2000 and went searching for work. Soylent Green (still one of my all-time favorite Internet names) had to have made that salient comment 11 or more years ago. The OTC has always attracted an intelligent tribe.

  2. Grant Rolley says:

    GH, great analysis as always. If 610 wants to hang its hat, and revenue generation, on a demographic of 6+ and listeners during evenings and weekends (when the Royals play the majority of their games), go for it. Won’t pay bills for long. I like my radio M-F, 6am – 6pm, when 810’s lineup kicks b*tt. If I want someone shouting at me and talking in run-on sentences before I even get my coffee, Fescue it is. But I’ll take St. John’s wit and breadth of knowledge. If I want to hear the latest on the Vancouver riots, Rome it is, but I prefer Petro breaking down Billy Butler’s numbers with the local team, and if I need a KC eulogy for LaBron James, Nick it is, but I prefer Kietzman’s heartfelt tributes to KC icons like Splittorf and acknowledging the dedication and hard work of locals like of Kevin Gray. Oh, today BTL had an exclusive with Matt Cassel talking about player workouts at Bishop Miege and lockout thoughts, over on 610 I got “A swing and a drive to right…gone…Matsui!” Seen that movie before.

  3. Jim Beam says:

    Don’t look at 6+ numbers – EVER! That’s a radio station selling you on a bill of goods. Ages SIX AND UP? Puh-lease. That includes kids, tweens, women and grandparents. Men 25-54. That’s the sports radio “sweet spot.” Look at it and you will see 810 in the top 3 during every show. 610 is 7th or 8th. This is like saying NBC is losing to the CW network – Men 25-54 is ALL a sports station has to hang its hat on – it is THE demo to cater to…and 610 can’t crack the Top 5 in ANY show? Weak.

  4. Scott Simon says:

    I laughed when I read Danny’s take on hockey. Hockey’s not on the radar screen. Here in St. Louis, where we have a team – Nielsen TV numbers for the NBA and NHL finals showed 5 times more people watched the NBA than NHL. And we haven’t had an NBA team in 43 years!

    I won’t get into the radio pissing match. Been there, done that, retired from it too.

  5. Brian says:

    Hall said, “McGannon swears he will get Kansas City an NHL team at Sprint Center. What he fails to acknowledge is that we don’t want one. ”

    I disagree, when the SC was build we were promised that we WILL get either a NBA or NHL team. Looking back…it just seems like a big lie. The NBA and NHL don’t want to come here. But we build this fish bowl BECAUSE we wanted a NHL or NBA team.

    NHL teams are moving back to Canada. Atlanta might move to Winnepeg, WINNEPEG! The Coyotes might still move to Hamilton…HAMILTON!

    There will be NHL team in Regina before there is a team in Kansas City.

    As for the NBA, we could build a arena that rivials all arenas and the NBA would STILL not be interested in coming here.

    So we were lied too by Kay Barnes, Kevin Gray and the Sports Commision.

    We were told that if we build it, they will come. We built it, and only Arena Football and the Big 12 basketball Tourny has come.

    We want an NHL team here Hall, the problem is the NHL doesn’t want us.

    • Gavin says:

      I disagree just a little bit. I think we probably were lied to about the whole “if you build it, they will come” part. But I don’t think it was built BECAUSE we wanted an NBA or NHL team. Don’t get me wrong; I think that KC did collectively want a team, but I think the reason it was built was because Kemper was a toilet and we were losing good concerts and likely to lose the Big XII tournament unless we did so. Given how important the Big XII tournament is to people around here, I don’t think any of the principals wanted to see it go away on their watch so they built the thing and rationalized it by telling people “we’ll get an NHL team.”

      All that being said, I’m still glad it was built. First, it was largely paid for with a “you don’t live here tax” on hotels and car rentals, so the burden on most Kansas Citians was relatively minor. Second, I do think we were in serious danger of losing the Big XII tournament and I think this kept it. Finally, although I’d like to get a team, even if we don’t, Sprint manages to get a pretty good list of events that come every year so I’m okay with it even absent a major league team as a tenant.

    • Greg Hall says:

      Brian, My use of the term “we” should be translated to mean the majority of Kansas City. Sure, you and those 5,000 great hockey fans in KC want an NHL team. That is understandable. But the NHL fan based here in KC cannot support a franchise at Sprint. Same goes for the NBA. Yes, Sprint was built to house one of these franchises and yes, we were lied to by Barnes and AIG.

      But it turns out we were lucky NOT to attract one of those losing teams that would have been bounced from KC in a few years. Sprint is one of the busiest and most successful arenas in the country because we can offer weekend dates to concerts and events. Face it, we’re a concert town and not an NHL/NBA town.

      • John says:

        I completely agree. An NBA or NHL team would probably be exciting for a year or two, but people would later realize that we were much better off with many of those dates being used for concerts and other entertainment. Plus, an NBA or NHL team would possibly have a negative impact on the Chiefs, Royals, Sporting KC, and minor sports teams by giving them a little less attention and a little less revenue since each team would get a smaller piece of the KC sports pie. I would rather give more support to the Chiefs and Royals than to an NBA or NHL team.

      • Brian says:

        Hall said, “But it turns out we were lucky NOT to attract one of those losing teams that would have been bounced from KC in a few years. Sprint is one of the busiest and most successful arenas in the country because we can offer weekend dates to concerts and events. Face it, we’re a concert town and not an NHL/NBA town.”

        Ok, except for one thing, the Power and Light District. Let’s face it, both Sprint Center and Power and Light are joined at the hip. And while the SC seems to be a “success” without an anchor tenant, the P&L has been a white elephant. And a lot of P&L’s failure is due mostly to the SC lack of an anchor tenant.

        Don Cordish routinely asked Mark Funkhouser to try to lift a finger to find a tenant for the SC. Of course in all of Funkhousers wisdom, he would just ignore him.

        Also I think it was a myth that we weren’t getting good concerts before SC. We were. Kemper, Starlight and Sandstone were doing fine in getting big named acts to Kansas City.

        I guess TonysKansasCity said it best about SC fail and the so called renaissance of our downtown:

        “Local media completely swallows the line about Sprint Center success despite the fact that the place raises local taxes and subsequently stifles business growth. Let’s not forget that the so-called Downtown Renaissance that so many people expected has never really come to pass.

        “In the final analysis, Kansas City was promised a major league NHL or NBA pro-sports team by approving the Sprint Center and years later that simply turned out to be a lie. ”

        One of Tonyskansascity comments semmed interesting:

        “Its successful if you don’t count the millions in tax dollars thrown into it, the millions more spent to keep Kemper alive, the millions spent on the P&L District while the rest of the city falls apart”

  6. Greg Hall says:

    I keep hearing KC bashers like Tony B. tell us what a failure the P&L has been. Why? Because some restaurants and bars haven’t made it and closed? Since when was that fact of life proprietary to the P&L? The P&L is jumpin’ to be jumpin’ weekend nights and for weekday lunches. It a fantastic addition to our downtown and will more than pay for itself during it’s lifetime. What we all should be ticked about is the millions poured into 18th & Vine for no good reason besides a lyric in an old song.

    • John says:

      Well that bring up a good question. If the Sprint Center is the No.1, concert venue in the country, then why are a lot of the bars and resturants at the P&L bearly aflot? If it’s jumping to be jumping then why are so many bars and resturants closeing shop?

      Doesn’t make sence.

      I don’t think the Sprint Center is the success people say it is.

  7. harley says:

    hall…congrats on the new site….well done….super job…. look forward to your comments and mine…..

  8. Beat Eczema says:

    Particularly like the way you have shared your insights here in such a post. Completely enjoyed it. Thanks and best regards!

  9. Brian (Indep., MO) says:

    Yes, Fescoe is boring. Parkins should definitely be in that time slot. I often listen to 89.3 KCUR in the morning because Fescoe on 610 is boring and the guys on 810 sound hung-over and spend too much time laughing at their own jokes.

    I can’t stand 810 in the afternoon. In addition to the time they give to sponsors, I question the credibility of anyone who gives Jack Harry a forum. Also, all the golf talk is boring. Then add in Frank Boal, that guy is more boring than Fescoe in the morning on 610. I’m a track coach and runner but I can’t stand “Spoke, Strokes and Strides,” or whatever they call that show.

    I also just get the feeling that KK isn’t really into this crusade for the Royals to put up safety nets for the right reasons. I wonder if he is just doing this in response to the criticism surrounding the “Open Letter.” Obviously, nobody knows his motivation but he just seems disingenuous. Also, Kietzman just shouts down listeners who call in to argue and are being completely courteous. Last week a caller was trying to make the point fans need to be aware of flying objects and KK just shouted the guy down saying something like, “You don’t even know where the seats were sir!” He had the nerve to do this right after he just got done explaining where the seats were. What a jerk.

    I’ll keep listening to 610.

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