OTC: Soren Petro’s Rebuttal To Nick Wright’s Attack Is Far From “Crummy Radio”

“I’ll do this once and once only because I think this is crappy radio and I think it’s boring.”
Soren Petro, as he began his 10-minute on-air response to Nick Wright’s parting salvos, 810 AM
GH: I listened to Petro’s rebuttal via the podcast on WHB’s website. Although Petro was careful to mention no names, it was clear to anyone with ears and knowledge of his feud with Nick Wright that his comments were in response to the now departed former 610 afternoon sports talk host. Read on.

“The real story on why I don’t like Soren Petro is because his inability to hide his absolute envy and jealousy of me has turned him into a bad person.”
Nick Wright, on one of his last few shows before he left 610 Sports for a KILT in Houston, 610 AM
GH: I am guessing this is one of the comments from Wright that prompted (goaded?) Petro into take a break from his stat-heavy programming and allow himself to do “crappy radio.” Read on.

“A lot of people have a lot of big talk and have a lot of things to say and they’re not around anymore. And a lot of times piss down their leg when they’re in front of somebody and don’t have the spine or are too cowardly to live up to the words.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Again, Petro never mentioned or named of these cowards, leg pissers or those lacking a spine. It was a pity. One thing I really admired about Nick Wright’s rant is that he called out Petro by name. He didn’t leave any doubt with listeners about who he was discussing. Petro may have thought he was showing Wright his ultimate disrespect by not mentioning him by name but what he did was indict just about everybody who doesn’t work at WHB. 

“Petro likes to pretend now that he’s always been Mr. Kansas City and he’d never leave. But the reality is that the reason Petro will never leave is that no one else will ever give him another job.”
Nick Wright, in another take on his fellow Syracuse-educated nemesis, 610 AM
GH: Petro focused much of his rebuttal on this point – on why he is at WHB and in Kansas City. Read on. 

“The more time I spent away from Kansas City, the more I realized I enjoyed it.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Wright did a poor job of characterizing Petro’s career last week during his verbal attack. He made it sound like Petro had never worked outside KC and had little or no opportunity to do so. The reality is that Petro had worked on a national radio show after his days with Pete Enich on 1510.

“I get enough people telling me if I have any balls I’ll go work across the street at two o’clock and go up against Kietzman or I’ll go this or I’ll go do that.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: I hear this all the time as well about listeners wanting Petro to take on KK as a competitor. That already happened when Petro teamed with Don Fortune on KMBZ and the results were not kind to Petro. KK did was KK does, he crushed him and Fortunato.  

“So let me set the record straight. I’ve spoken to eight different people at Entercom and have been offered the afternoon job at Entercom FIVE DIFFERENT TIMES! Okay? Where I work is because I choose to work here! There has been no lack of opportunity to work elsewhere in this town!”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Petro really, really pushed this point – and I am not sure why he thought it important. Does anyone who follows sports talk radio even a little not think that Entercom has made multiple plays for WHB’s best talent? We all know that KK, Steven St. John and Petro have used offers from Entercom to improve their income at WHB. We have seen the hires that Entercom has made to fill their afternoon sport talk drive slot. It is not as if they are hiring a head hunter to the stars for these candidates. 

“If I’m fortunate enough, this will be the last place I work. There are times that I get calls and am offered jobs and I don’t take them because I want to work here. There is not a better place to work.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: One of the best indicators of employee satisfaction is turnover. When you compare the talent turnover at WHB to 610 Sports – or any local sports talk radio station – 810’s talent just never changes. The voices you hear on 810 are for the most part the same voices you heard on 1510 in the 90s, prior to when Jerry Green bought the 810 signal and WHB became the mega sports talk station we all know.

“This is a coveted place in the industry. People want to work here because of the environment that is here. This is a destination place. … The commitment to sports radio is unparalleled to anywhere in the country. And that includes ESPN the network! Whom I’ve also talked to!”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Petro got a little nuts during this take. I can understand why other sports talk hosts would want to work at 810. Good ratings, good money and job security. But what’s this garbage about an unparalleled commitment to sports radio? Has Petro caught KK’s infomercials on grilling, fishing and the cookie diet? WHB isn’t any different than any radio station – they have a commitment to making money. There is nothing wrong with that, but please be honest about what drives your programming. 

“The frustrations [at WHB] are minimal.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: I would enjoy a frank discussion by the not-so-often heard voices on WHB about their “frustrations” at 810 – many of them who are no longer at the station due to some of these unmentioned “frustrations.” But honesty from the host in talk radio only goes so far…and not nearly this far. 

“If there’s one real negative here on The Program it is that we’re not big self-promoters. We don’t run around and beat our chests. It’s not my style.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Wouldn’t it be nice to have only “one real negative” about your job performance? Me thinks Soren might need to listen to his critics a bit more closely.  

“The soap opera of sports talk radio I find boring. I think most people do. I apologize to those of you who I dragged into this soap opera.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Petro is a niche sports talk host. He is a stat-fat seamhead who thinks most listeners are like him. They are not. It is one of the reasons Kietzman so soundly clocked him when they were foes on opposing stations. The truth is, most listeners love a good cat fight. The more fur, the more fun. My OTC hasn’t been around for almost 20 years now because of WHIP, OPS and BABIP. 

[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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29 Responses to OTC: Soren Petro’s Rebuttal To Nick Wright’s Attack Is Far From “Crummy Radio”

  1. MUC says:

    Greg,
    Do you think Petro is just waiting for KK to decide he has had enough and move to AZ and play golf. I know KK is not really old but I would imagine the money he has made and still having a stake in 810 he may try too leave early.

  2. Yael T. Abouhalkah says:

    Greg:

    Holy cow, OTC is almost 20 years old? You must be one old dude.

    From another old dude,

    Yael

  3. donkeypunch says:

    Maybe it’s b/c I’m older than Niche’s listeners, but I found the constant attacks from Niche on 810 boring. I like the fact that nobody at 810 mentions anybody at 610 by name. Frankly, I find the 810 bashing that 610 does lame and makes me hate their product more

  4. MightyMo says:

    I have always liked Petro. I am not nearly into stats as he is but (i) I admire his preparation and willingness to learn and (ii) I think the comraderie on his show seems more genuine than the others. The morning and afternoon shows are decent, but the relationship between the participants always seems forced. Plus, like SSJ, I don’t feel as if he is a TV guy trying his hand at radio. Radio is it for him.

  5. Jason Doyle says:

    I consider KC my second hometown…and was working and living there in the 1990s and early 2000s when WHB was developing into a sports powerhouse. (I even worked with Greg Hall for a short time on the radio.) Even if there is a “boring sports talk radio soap opera” playing out in KC, listeners should feel good about that. Where I live and work now (Oklahoma City), the sports talk radio market is suffering because of cooperation between the personalities and the stations. I like the personalities, but it is all one flavor. KC sports radio offers much more to its listeners.

  6. thelaundry says:

    I don’t think the baseball stathead community embraces Petro as one of their own. He didn’t help himself last year when he said the Royals should trade Wil Myers for the Braves’ Jair Jurrjens, had true stathead Rany Jazayerli on his show to debate the point, then recently denied he said it.

    • Boyd Crowder says:

      This is exactly right. When Petro wailed, “YOU MAKE THAT TRADE, YOU MAKE THAT TRADE” it made me crazy as I had already read an article that was entitled “Buyer Beware” to anyone who was considering trading for Jurrgens. I thought that Petro had allowed the fantasy owner get the best of him on this one and hadn’t done his homework. When he came out a few weeks later and was indignant about how he hadn’t said that it left me shaking my head. He played the typical sports radio host knowing that people are not recording his show and figured he would get away with it.

  7. red says:

    With petro, you get takes that are thought out and not just intentionally designed to infuriate one segment of the audience and please another. I like his show a lot.

  8. shecky says:

    A classic Greg Hall OTC. He contradicts himself, demonstrates an inability to accurately comprend what he hears, and suggests that radio listeners are more like him than Petro.

    1) “810’s talent just never changes” followed shortly by an insinuation that many have left 810 due to ‘frustrations’. Which is it Greg? Looks to me like you’re playing both sides here.

    2) Greg believes that Petro’s comment “(810’s) commitment to sports radio is unparalleled to anywhere in the country” is somehow contradicted by 810s promotional work (“Has Petro caught KK’s infomercials on grilling, fishing and the cookie diet?”). So, it’s not possible to be committed to sports radio and do the necessary promotions to maintain that commitment? Any chance those aren’t mutually exclusive, Greg? That’s like saying you aren’t really committed to your family since you choose to go to work five days a week.

    3) GH- “He is a stat-fat seamhead who thinks most listeners are like him. They are not. My OTC hasn’t been around for almost 20 years now because of WHIP, OPS and BABIP.” So to prove or disprove Greg’s assertion, let’s compare Petro’s daily audience to Hall’s. Anyone have those numbers available? A quick look at twitter followers shows Petro with nearly 10K and Hall with 2K. Maybe people are interested a statistical approach? Or, more likely, maybe calling Petro a stat-fat seamhead is an overly simplistic, lazy generalization.

    Another sloppy, albeit entertaining, effort.

  9. Smartman says:

    Soren has gotten really, really lazy. Just like KK. He’s a bloated toad just waiting to have the BIG ONE or stroke out. I find him no where near as entertaining as he used to be, or potentially could be.

    Sports radio in KC is godawful. That will not change anytime soon.

    All is not well on the money front at 810. That’s a pretty well know fact in the industry. It’s a great work environment for about 12 people. Everybody else is just another brick in the wall.

    Jerry Green caught lightning in a bottle. It’s been leaking out for quite some time. All that’s left is a faint whiff of a bad fart.

  10. harwood benjamin says:

    The challenger traditionally calls out the champion by name because he needs to connect himself to the more popular figure. The champion doesn’t call out the challenger by name because he doesn’t want to give him more credibility. Do you really think that anybody who cares what/who Petro is talking about doesn’t know that it’s Wright?

    the main flaw in sports talk radio is when hosts take positions not because it’s what they believe but because they want to generate controversy, publicity, phone calls, etc. Petro comes across as arrogant and a little pissy, but I think the opinions he has are mostly genuine. Wright seemed like his first priority was trying to stir the pot rather than have reasoned and honest opinions. One of the reasons I think Kietzman has declined in quality is not because he’s a doofus blowhard (he always was), but because his opinions nowadays seem more manufactured (often based on what appears to be WHB’s business strategy) than heartfelt. My wish for all hosts is that if you don’t have an opinion on something, don’t fake a position to generate calls. Call it the anti (Jim) Rome Theory: You don’t have to have a take on everything.

    • TangoAlphaLima says:

      I’ll grant you that Kietzman has rolled over for Pioli and the Chiefs, it’s laughable. But if you think he’s not heartfelt with his opinions on the local colleges and the Big XII, you’re wrong. He’s clearly as passionate of a K-State fan as he always has been, which includes his not-so-subtle ill wishes towards KU and his newly found hatred of Mizzou due to their defection (although his stance on Mizzou seems to have significantly lightened lately, probably due to the backlash of Mizzou listeners).

      • Juan De Guzman says:

        wouldn’t that be Harwoods point- that KK is too willing to temper his “passion” because he’s afraid of pissing off MU fans for some reason?

      • dman says:

        His stance changes with the wind. In 6 months, he’ll be bashing another school.

        I seriously doubt Mizzou people have stopped listening – what else are they going to listen to?

        He pisses off one school’s fans while the other schools’ fans cheer him on. Then, he moves on to bash another school. It is a cycle he has repeated successfully many times.

        People have short memories. Most of the people he ticks off will come back later when he has moved on.

        • Husker Bill says:

          Re: What else are they going to listen to? Between satellite radio (which only a certain percentage of sports fans have access to) and the internet (which the vast majority of sports fans have access to), there are plenty of options. I haven’t listened to 610 or 810 for well over a year and a half. I have satellite in my vehicle and the internet at home – both of these radio stations are off my dial. Missouri fans (and KSU fans and KU fans …) have more options today than they’ve ever had. I’m in business this week in Nashville. Lots of SEC football talk on sports radio here. Maybe I’m in a tiny minority that has tuned out, but I have to believe that more and more fans will seek out other options. If either of these stations thinks that they have a monopoly on sports talk options, they are sadly mistaken.

  11. JFP says:

    The fact that some 2nd grade farewell rant and the subsequent rebuttal is the biggest story in the last several days in local sports talk radio says more about the state of local sports than anything else.

    The mileage varies, but for the most part to most local people, the Royals still suck, the NBA sucks, the NHL sucks, soccer sucks and the Chiefs don’t start training camp for quite a while.

    Then two sports talk radio hosts get into a bitch slap fest and nobody likes them either.

    Negative town we live in.

    • Java Man says:

      Maybe I’ve just heard it all before. From my perspective, I think Nick was going down the right path early in his career. Broaden the show from other topics than just sports. Many disagreed with his positions so he dialed it back to just harassing his coworkers.
      I realize I’m in the minority on this one, because I hear over and over “Stick to sports”. Fine, they can have my 15 minutes a day.

  12. BS says:

    i travel a lot for work, and i can say that sports talk radio in kansas city is way better than most other markets.

    i listen to petro’s show nearly everyday. his show has great guests (sure 810 pays for some of them, who cares?), and his expressed opinions seem to come from his own beliefs.

  13. Old Man Kissel says:

    I never liked Petro. too much of a Kinh Carl boot licker. Now saying thay hes still better tjen anything on 610.

    810 scoops 610 once again…

  14. Johnny Utah says:

    Petro was right, sounds like crappy radio that is boring. I listen to hear sports news and analysis, not some guy’s career options, which are very likely inflated.

    When he talks actual sports, he’s pretty good.

  15. P says:

    Damn, I was hoping for a rundown of the MO state track and field meet!

  16. tigerdan4 says:

    Like I told some people on Twitter last week, for me it’s all about the quality of the show. Nick may be a nicer guy in person than Soren (I’ve never met either one, just going off of what I’ve heard from others) but Soren’s show is miles above whatever is on 610. The Program is based solely around sports. Nick’s show was based solely around Nick. Listening to him, I got the impression he cared more about making himself look good & running down his co-workers than he did about actual sports. Now sure, Soren does some of that too but they don’t ever waste a whole segment on what Doug did last night and they always quickly get back to the sports topic at hand. So for me it’s simple. When I tune into sports radio I want to hear about sports. Nobody in KC is more informative about sports than The Program. Case closed.

  17. Rick says:

    I think this is one time where instead of reporting comments and then making snappy replies you should of gave your insight. Anyone that read your take on your dismissal would of heard enough behind the mic stuff to realize that with all the back stabbing and second guessing working for the Green guys was not the most positive experience. And it was clear that KK was the power. Which reminds me is Chad Boeger gone or still there? What a butt kisser he was.

  18. Splitlog Quindaro says:

    Petro is definitely a “niche” guy and could never dominate prime time. The 35-55 year old guy that likes sports makes money and spends money. Adverstisers love that guy. KK relates to that guy. KK is going nowhere for quite a while.

  19. Splitlog Quindaro says:

    Look… The only way anyone is ever going to beat KK is if they out-report him. The fact is, KK often has a monologue that reveals otherwise unknown information. Now does KK hype up the info? Sure… But while someone down the dial is talking about the NBA game last night.. KK is talking to inside sources who know what the AD at Florida State is thinking. The only way KK gets beat is if someone outworks him on reporting on relevant issues. I mean… KK seems like very boring guy. He is Lenexa 101. But when he is on the air he brings it. He does. The other guys talk about themselves all of the time and banter on end about nothing new. Yes… the 810 crew does their smalltalk… But rarely in that first crucial hour. Yes they do the remotes and those get old… but they balance it enough. I know that 4 out of 5 times I turn on 810 at 2pm that I am going to learn something I did not already know. That does not happen at 610. If 610 wants to beat 810 they need to go find something out… every single day… and report it. Instead they will talk about 20 something apartment living and pet cats they gave away… etc etc… KK will have Kevin Harlan on… and Harlan will tell you something you don’t know. He will reveal something from a huge national broadcasting perspective. Even if 610 hires Whitlock… which would boost their ratings…. fans will gravitate away eventually because JW will keep speculating… while 810 will be reporting what people are saying, thinking and doing.

    • Jim says:

      LOL Yeah, KK always nails the “inside” reporting and is never inaccurate. He never makes shit up or tells you what a person REALLY said when we just got done hearing EXACTLY what they said. FYI…..KK is an entertainer, not a sports reporter. Absolutely nothing wrong with that, but let’s call a spade a spade.

    • dman says:

      It is laughable that you think KK reports on “accurate” info. He’s been in the business long enough that he does have some inside sources (most of which have to do with the fact that he is a pretty big KSU booster – so he knows people around the KSU program).

      But, he makes up way too much stuff when news is slow. The guy is an expert fabricator and liar – which is a problem when he refers to himself as a journalist. He also won’t hesitate to tout internet rumors as truth without any confirmation. If he worked for a newspaper – it would be the National Enquirer.

      I will give him credit in that he is an equal opportunity a-hole. He takes turns pissing on and pissing off the KU/MU/NEB and even KSU fan bases to keep the others listening. It’s funny to see how much each fanbase dislikes him – even his alma mater’s.

      But, the fact that he will completely make something up and spin his side of the story kills his schtick for me. Then, if there is info pointing a different direction – he will talk about how he was “predicting” it the whole time. He flip flops more than the spatula at the local IHOP.

      The most amusing parts of his shows (albeit they are getting fewer and farther between) is when he gets a caller who calls him a fake, and he gets filled with righteous indignation at the fact that anyone could possibly doubt his honesty and integrity.

  20. JP says:

    Petro’s rant was very interesting. While I believe Petro is very knowledgable on sports, and knows what he’s talking about, presenting it in a radio format is another story. I remember Enich and Petro’s show on 1510 in the 90’s. It was a breath of fresh air, and very entertaining. They talked sports, made picks “Always with the spread in mind” and put on a great show that was far superior to Don Fortune. I liked that Petro and his takes were very entertaining and informational. If given another year, they would have cleaned Fortune’s clock, but the station manger pulled the plug and the rest is history.

    Petro’s show today is about numbers and stats. His show is basically a magazine format (like most 810 shows). He seems far more cranky and angry and doesn’t want to take callers. I do enjoy the experts he brings on, but most of the time he slams them with his opinions. When he takes calls, he invariably throws a temper tantrum at a caller making a point. Too much time on stats and numbers, not enough time on quality radio. I will grant that I preferred his show to Nick Wright’s, but I am not Nick’s demographic. Being good at sports knowledge is one thing, communicating that and making it entertaining and informational on the radio is quite another.

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