OTC: Whitlock Gives 610 Sports’ Nick Wright What He Asks For: The Truth

“I couldn’t bring myself to call Kietzman.”
Jason Whitlock, on his reasoning for calling Nick Wright’s show on Monday afternoon, 610 AM
GH: Whitlock said he was recovering from a cold and bored. He had read on the Internet that 610 Sports was going to war with 810 and wanted to talk about a subject with which he had some experience. Wright, who knows good radio when he hears it, eagerly obliged to turn his show over to the former Star sports columnist for the next 30 minutes. It was an excellent decision – despite the verbal flogging Whitlock doled out on Wright.

“We’ve had a little bit of ratings success (at 610 Sports). Not with my show. Kietzman’s still kickin’ my ass. Do you have any suggestions for us?”
Nick Wright, as he began his impromptu interview with Jason Whitlock, 610 AM
GH: I thought this was an excellent topic for Wright to ask Whitlock about. Whitlock had battled Don Fortune in boxing trunks on the cover of KC Magazine. He had led the most shocking walkout in local sports talk radio when he organized the “Maas Exodus” from Kietzman’s 810.  But instead the interview quickly turned into what’s wrong with Niche Wright.

“One thing, and seriously Nick, I don’t mean to be offensive, you are too caught up with your friendships with these athletes. You get so happy that anyone pays any attention to you that you lose all perspective.”
Jason Whitlock, responding to Wright’s request for suggestions to improve his show, 610 AM
GH: Wright blocked me from following him on Twitter due to a similar criticism I leveled at him last fall. He has since lifted that blockage but I have yet to bother re-following him. It was just an immature move by an inexperienced newbie to radio. What Niche doesn’t understand is that he needs critics who promote his work more than we need him.

“Don’t crawl into anyone’s pocket – athlete, coach, whomever – unless there is something in that pocket for you. There’s nothing wrong with being in someone’s pocket as long as there is something good for you and your show. If you’re just in there to say, ‘Hey, I get to brag I’m in someone’s pocket,’ you ain’t really doing nothing.”
Jason Whitlock
, 610 AM
GH: Nick asks for advice but doesn’t want to listen to any. What Pork Chop said here is golden – and perfect for what ails Nick’s broadcast credibility. Whitlock should send Wright a bill for this nugget.

“It’s 100% accurate (that you try to imitate me). And if you were more self-aware and more confident, you’d (realize) it’s not an insult. It’s not a bad aspiration.”
Jason Whitlock, when asked by Wright if he still thinks Wright is trying to imitate Whitlock, 610 AM
GH: Whitlock is still funny as hell on the radio. I taped this conversation while driving to a softball game in Independence. As I listened back to it, I can hear myself laughing repeatedly in the background. The daily grind of a radio sports talk show was too much for JW. But the guy is great in small doses.

“My media shtick is total transparency. It’s total honesty. I’m not insecure about my weaknesses and my flaws – and who I’m trying to be like. You need to get there.”
Jason Whitlock, 610 AM
GH: We all know this is bullshit. Jason knows this is bullshit. At one time I believe Jason did aspire to be totally transparent and honest in his work. It made him a destination columnist. Those days ended back when he was telling us how much he love and respected his coworkers at The Star – years before The Explanation.

“You have some talent. But transparency and self-awareness and self-confidence, you struggle with.”
Jason Whitlock, 610 AM
GH: Wright responded to the above comment with, “Okay, let’s talk that.” And with this sentence Wright opened the floodgates to what has caused him much pain over the past 24 hours. Read on.

“What am I not transparent about?”
Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: A wise man once said, “Do not ask questions of which you do not want to know the true answer.” Nick obviously is not that wise a man and was ill prepared for Whitlock’s cutting response. Read on.

“There’s no one who listens to the show that can’t see that you’re uncomfortable with who you really are. Those (Chiefs players) will like you more, respect you more the more comfortable you get with who you actually are. You need to be that guy.”
Jason Whitlock, 610 AM

“You judge me and I think a lot of people do because I went to a private school and because I’m white and then you assume I’m playing some role when the reality is you don’t know me.”
Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: Even if you wanted to feel sorry for Nicky, I’m not sure there was any room left at the pity party due to all the room poor Nick Wright was taking up on the dance floor. What a bitch is must be to handle being a white guy from a private school. Damn you racial injustice!!!

“More embarrassing than that.”
Nick Wright, when Whitlock mistakenly said Wright was a kid from Bishop Miege High School, 610 AM
GH: This is one of the most telling comments made by Wright. As a graduate of Leawood’s prestigious Barstow High School and Syracuse University, Wright should take great pride in his academic achievements. Instead, he feels embarrassed by his excellent educational roots. Wright is obviously unhappy with who he was. Whitlock believes Wright remains unhappy with who he is. Read on.

“You’ve been confused for a long time, Nick. We’re all aware of that.”
Jason Whitlock, after Wright informed JW he has been this guy since he was 10 years old, 610 AM
GH: One of my favorite lines of the interview. Game. Set. And Match to Mr. Whitlock.

“Let me tell you something. If this is an act then I am making my life a million more times more difficult than I need to.”
Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: This from a 26-year-old guy who started a new radio job as the afternoon drive-time talk show host on 610 Sports, moved in with a black woman (who desires to play in the all-women lingerie football league) with two black children, and moved from KC proper to the Kansas side of town. Starting a new high-profile job is tough enough on anybody fresh out of college. But add an already made mixed-raced family with two kids, moving households and having your life play out on the air 20 hours each week and yeah, you might say you have made your life far more difficult than it needs to be.

“You have the radio skills and the work ethic. You just need to get more comfortable in your own skin.”
Jason Whitlock, 610 AM
GH: This comment irked Wright. He later lashed out at me on Twitter for agreeing with Whitlock. Me thinks Wright doth protest too much. Those who are comfortable in their own skin are not nearly as vulnerable to criticism about their comfort level as Nick. Nick can disagree all he wants — but the more he does, the more obvious it becomes.

“So you’re saying I’m racist. So, you really think that if all things were equal and Rory McIlroy was black and had cornrows instead of that Cabbage Patch hair I would root for him? I’d be defending him?”
Nick Wright, in a conversation earlier Monday afternoon with Jared Carter, his producer, and Carrington Harrison, 610 AM

“No, I (don’t think you’re racist). I just think you’re pro-(black).”
Jared Carter, responding to Wright’s above comment, 610 AM
GH: Carter was tiptoeing around Wright’s rant. He was attempting to be honest with the host but respectful of his sensitive feelings. Read on.

“There’s a lot of people texting that are saying Carter is right. Is that why you think I’m a Lebron fan? Because he’s black? … A lot of people are agreeing with you guys. There’s a lot of people agreeing with Carter. I’m absolutely floored by it but the (listeners’) text line tends to agree. … It doesn’t hurt. I’m just surprised by it.”
Nick Wright, to Jared Carter, who proposed that Wright would defend Rory and praise him if he was black, 610 AM
GH: Whitlock and I are not the only people out there who think Wright is Bizzaro Michael Jackson. He wants to be black and from the ghetto instead of white and from Hallbrook.

“Jason Whitlock is considered one of the preeminent voices in race relations. (His phone call to Nick Wright was) an outright character assassination of Nick. … It blew my mind and any credibility (Whitlock) had.”
Danny Parkins, 610 AM
GH: A character assassination??? Whitlock simply responded to questions and a topic that Wright brought up and pursued. Nick has to be a bigger boy than to allow his Syracuse school chum go on the air and rip Whitlock. JW did more for Wright’s show in 30 minutes than will happen on Parkins’ show in the next eight months. Did these two Syracuse grads learn nothing about radio?

I’ve known Nick for six years. He is a very unique guy. He is who he is. He’s one of the most real people I know. And Whitlock just character assassinated him without knowing anything about him. How can you take that guy seriously after he does something like that? Kinda sad.”
Danny Parkins, 610 AM
GH: It is even sadder that Parkins thinks any of us take Whitlock seriously. Did Parkins come to Kansas City by way of Jupiter?

“Whitlock is just so great! That was just captivating, man!”
Carrington Harrison, a contributor to Wright’s show, following the Whitlock interview, 610 AM
GH: Interesting that Carrington, who didn’t graduate from Syracuse, had such a different opinion of Whitlock’s words than Parkins.

“I’ve got a good therapist for you. That’s what you really need.”
Jared Carter, to Wright after he asked for a Black & Mild cigar following his interview with Whitlock, 610 AM

“Wright even attempted to suck up to Whitlock, but the interview continued to get even worse. In the end, it may have been 25 minutes of the most brutal radio in Kansas City history.”
John Landsberg, BottomLinecom.com
GH: I disagree with Landsberg. Any radio that is as compelling as this interview was is a success. Despite Whitlock’s uncensored and scathing critique of Wright’s work, it brought attention to Nick’s show. Landsberg wrote about the interview. Twitter was abuzz over it. My OTC column today is dedicated to it. It is what Nick Wright needs more of not less. Wright should get Whitlock on his show once a week just to move the needle.

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.

51 Responses to OTC: Whitlock Gives 610 Sports’ Nick Wright What He Asks For: The Truth

  1. OlatheCat says:

    Bizarro Michael Jackson! Hilarious!

  2. Kyle Rohde says:

    As I said to Nick last night on Twitter, I am looking for any reason possible to NOT listen to Keitzman, but What’s Wright is usually so bad that I find myself clicking over to 810, much to my own chagrin.

    Having grown up in Milwaukee’s version of JoCo and gone to a 99% white high school (the 1% were Asian kids adopted by white kids), I grew up with plenty of kids who did their best to be black. We had a couple nicknames for those kids but I’ll skip posting those. I went through a hip hop phase of my life, thanks to my obsession with basketball. But I grew out of it, as did most of those kids. Maybe Nick didn’t because he moved on to Syracuse and needed to talk with the basketball/football players to do his job then, just like he does now. He believes he’s better as hib job when he knows the players at that level, which most journalists don’t but that’s not a crime.

    The guy is definitely talented but he’s got to make some changes if he wants to beat KK. I still wish we had DA on the air here. Loved that guy.

    • Greg Hall says:

      DA is doing just fine in Boston. He recently celebrated the Bruins Stanley Cup by hosting his sports talk show all night until 6 AM. Shan Shariff got to celebrate an NBA title in Dallas. Whitlock is working for FoxSports.com and regulary has his column linked on MSN.com. 610 Sports has had some talent. They just haven’t managed to keep the good ones.

  3. Jip says:

    “One thing, and seriously Nick, I don’t mean to be offensive, you are too caught up with your friendships with these athletes. You get so happy that anyone pays any attention to you that you lose all perspective.”

    Standing ovation.

    Nick’s obsession with acting black and being embarrassed by all the educational advantages his parents afforded him is his own business. I would be pissed if I were his parents, but I’m not, so I don’t care.

    But his obsession with name-dropping Chiefs players as his closer personal friends is a disgrace to everyone in sports media. And he looks like a jock-sniffing dope, not an insider.

  4. Big Dub says:

    I can’t tell you how happy I was to have stumbled onto this radio gold last night, and let me stress that it was completely by accident. I really can’t stand Nick Wright in anything but the most miniscule of doses, but he and JW put together the most entertaining half hour of KC sports talk this year…bar none.

    The thing that had me most amused was the fact that Wright had absolutely no idea how outclassed he really was in that argument. He kept trying to throw out a ridiculous bait and JW refused to take it and kept on with his agenda. Nick asked the questions, and JW offered honest, yet very brutal answers….pure gold.

    Nick called JW into question for charactizing him on just a few hours of radio, not because they actually know what another. What he fails to realize is that is exactly what his radio audience does each day. I don’t know that douche from Adam, but I know that I hate the guy I hear on radio. I can see where Nick plays strong with the 16-26 year old male set, but that’s not a big money crowd and I really don’t think Nick is long for this KC Radio world…at least I hope not.

  5. Esteban O'Riley says:

    Thanks for the highlights, Greg! It does sound like I missed some interesting non-sports, sports talk radio.

    I’ve tried listening to Nick Wright. I’ve tried watching Sporting KC. Listening to Nick is like watching a soccer match; a lot of back and forth with very few scoring chances. Neither is worth the 4 hour effort. It sounds like I did miss a score yesterday though.

  6. CMac says:

    The only local show I actually enjoy is St. John’s in the morning. Nick is okay. The rest of them absolutely suck. Greg is right…Nick needs to get Whitlock on there at least once a week.

    PS-Leawood John Landsberg is a total hack.

  7. Big Dub says:

    Best quote of the “interview”

    “And Carter, there is no f-in way I am going to break. You’ll have to figure it out.”

    At least Nick had the wits to realize that this was good radio.

    • Greg Hall says:

      Big Dub, I missed this one in replaying the interview because I skipped over a portion toward the end where Whit and Nick were playing nice.

      Nick showed KK-esque radio savvy when he refused to break the Whitlock interview for mandatory commercials. KCTE and WHB made their mark by breaking radio rules. Sometimes you just have to go with it and deal with the consequences later.

  8. smartman says:

    You’d think that Nick woulda learned after The Explanation not to make the same mistake twice.

    He and Whitlock are like Lucie and Charlie Brown, and Nick wound up on his ass again.

    Whitlock repeatedly delivered Arturo Gatti headshots and Nick did NOTHING to credibly defend himself. What happened yesterday was intellectual sodomy and NICK LOVED EVERY MINUTE.

    No more evidence is needed that he does not have the skills at this point in his life to be a successful sports talk show host.

    Nick doesn’t have race orientation issues, he’s got gender orientation issues. Time for Louie to take him aside and teach him to be a MAN.

    • Greg Hall says:

      Nick sounded like every girlfriend I’ve ever known in fight mode while attempting to combat Whitlock. “Yeah, but whatabout you!! Yeah, but whatabout you!!!” Whit remained calm and collected while Nick’s voice squeaked with emotion.

  9. DonkeyPunch says:

    GH, you can still consider me one of your 270 readers

  10. Lo says:

    As a black person, I’ve always said I almost respect a racist who tells me that is what he/she is than a person who hides behind a hood. What gets me is how Nick, and others that I have come across in life who are not black, think that “acting black” means living one’s life in every negative stereotype there is about the black community. I grew up in the suburbs, went to good schools, have a great job and am in my 30s. I act like the black American person my parents raised me to be. Whitlock hit it on the head that this kid needs to be more comfortable in his own skin.

    • J.L. says:


      You can count me as one of your 270 readers as well. I have always found your writing to be entertaining and I may disagree with some of the things you say but most of the things you say about Nick I tend to agree with. I really wish he would use what you and Jason say about him to his advantage and make the most of his talent. Keitzman is barely trying and Nick is still losing…that says something.

  11. JHawkBox says:

    You hit on it, Greg. It’s sad that Nick is embarrassed about having a great education most parents can’t afford. Basically, he’s like the black kids in the ghetto that are criticized if they try at school for “acting white.” He has so much “white guilt” that he doesn’t want people to think he’s “acting white.” It’s a really sad example to be setting for anyone listening to his show (note, I’m not saying a sports talk radio show should be where young kids get their examples, but I’m still saying he’s setting a bad one for those that are listening). What kind of bizzaro world do we live in that ANYONE would be embarrased about a good education. He should be proud of his successful parents, proud of his education, etc. and encourage all to strive for that as well. I wonder what he tells his “kids?” Don’t try hard in school, kids, you wouldn’t want the other kids to think you’re acting white. Be sure to keep it real.

  12. Fake Ned Yost says:

    I guess I’m still a little confused as to why Nick didn’t get the fact that he was audio-raped yesterday.

    Perhaps because he set it up? Maybe I’ve really gone around the bend and am seeing folks on the grassy knoll and anal probes by aliens, but I had a twitter discussion with Nick today and he seemed like “Great Radio” trumps “Butt kicking.”

    Which, I guess is true in most cases. Like when you’re talking about how bad Vin Mazzaro is, or if Pete Rose should be in the Hall of Fame.

    But this was different. This cut deep. This very legitimately not only called Nick a hack and a fraud, but Jason actually lured him into admitting the same today on his radio show when he said “for this show to work, you guys have to think I’m legit.”

    Well, apparently, your listeners don’t. And that’s a problem.

    30 Minutes of Radio. Not a shot from 810. And it seems that you might’ve lost the war with a self-inflicted wound.


  13. Cliffy says:

    What’s sad is that KK is just going through the motions these days and Nick still can’t gain ground. Whitlock’s correct about Wright getting comfortable in his own skin. The guy has talent but he’s investing way too much energy in things that have nothing to do with sports and broadcasting.

    “Couldn’t bring myself to call Keitzman.” Now THAT is radio I would be willing to pay for.

    Landsberg … did he have some high school kid design that site? Embarrassingly bad looking web site.

    Off topic but 810 needs to pair somebody up with Bukaty when St. John is on vacation. Talk about bad radio. Worse than Twibell. Hell, even worse than Fescoe.

    • Bill says:

      “Off topic but 810 needs to pair somebody up with Bukaty when St. John is on vacation. Talk about bad radio. Worse than Twibell. Hell, even worse than Fescoe.”


    • kcredsox says:

      I totally agree, had it on for 5 minutes on Monday morning, turned to 98.9 and haven’t turned back since. Hopefully St. John will come back refreshed and talk most of them time. I would rather hear Jake be Steven’s side kick, would be much more entertaining.

  14. Brian says:

    Jason sounded pretty stupid making assumptions about Nick Wright. I met Nick once and he was very knowlegable and was a nice guy as well.

    • Greg Hall says:

      What I think Nick and you miss is that neither Whitlock nor I am calling him a bad guy…or even think he is a bad person from listening to his show. Both of us have documented his radio talent. Critiquing Wright’s professional work is not an indictment of him as a person. It ain’t personal. It’s business.

      • S.D. says:

        I’ve read OTC for awhile now, mainly because a friend of mine pointed out that you talk about Nick Wright a lot and I was interested in what you had to say. I find OTC very entertaining, except the Nick stuff bothers me. I’ve known Nick for nearly 20 years. We grew up across the street from each other in Verona Hills on the MO side of State Line (not Hallbrook), and he was like a little brother to me. I agree with you in that Nick needs his critics, like yourself, if he’s going to improve as a sports radio personality. But, when is the line of “critic” crossed and it becomes a personal battle? Rarely do I read an OTC where it is solely dedicated to critiquing Petro, KK, or any other sports radio personality in KC, but I see at least one OTC a week dedicated to “critiquing” Nick. Just curious as to why you spend so much time listening to and writing about Nick when it’s very apparent you do not respect him as a radio host, or even a person (despite stating otherwise above). Thanks, Greg.

        • Jess says:

          I think he wants someone to overthrow KK. But Nick cannot because he is not very good at doing a show. He is hard to listen to, and he talks about stuff that is not that important. Then the unimportant things he talks about he feels he needs to beat them into the ground. I have not listened to him in a long time. When KK takes about cookies or golf I switch to the Comedy channel. I really wish I could switch to a sports talk show, but I cannot. Nick is that bad at radio.

        • Greg Hall says:

          I think your perception of this OTC might be a bit clouded by your relationship with Nick. I think any of the other media personalities you mention in your post would beg to differ that Nick was treated more harshly in this OTC than they over the years. I could be dead wrong about Nick, as could Whitlock. But just because you know someone well is no fail-safe indicator that you know them. The headlines are full of surprised friends and family members each day.

  15. Bob Sacamano says:

    I don’t think Jason made a stupid assumption about Nick. Most people that listen to Nick knows he comes across as a white guy who wants nothing more to be black. I think everyone will agree that Nick is pretty knowledgable, he just comes across as someone who isn’t comfortable in his own skin. Too many times he tries to make his show into a show about race instead of sports.

  16. Gavin says:

    I agree that Wright has some talent, but the dude is way too belligerent about the guys at 810. I didn’t hear the Whitlock piece but I did hear some other parts of his show and all he could do was take shots at Petro for he “Two-Minute Drill.” He was taking the shots as if they were compliments and was saying “I might steal something from 810 but it’s okay because Petro stole from Cowherd.” Guess what Nick? No one cares. Make it entertaining or compelling and people will listen and no one will care whether it was your idea or you stole it.

    And when he’s not picking on Petro, he keeps talking about how Kietzman is kicking his ass. It seems obvious that Wright’s whole deal with that is that he didn’t deliver on his promise to become the King of Kansas City Radio so, rather than have someone call me out on it, I”m just gonna keep repeating it myself. Lawyers call it “drawing the sting” as it makes something bad look less awful if you bring it up yourself. Yes, Nick, we KNOW you’re getting beaten. Between 610 apparently now beating 810 and all the negative attention Fake Ned Yost has given Kietzman, you’ve got a great opportunity here. Quit blowing it with the arrogance, name dropping and general wigga attitude.

    • JHawkBox says:

      Petro openly talks about stealing the two minute drill idea because he thought it was good. That’s just stupid to snipe about.

  17. Esteban O'Riley says:

    Ditto’s on the comments about Bukaty ridin’ solo without St. John. He’s hard to bare with St.John present. I had to tune to Fescoe’s top 10 and then on to a music channel.

  18. Orville Sandusky says:

    As long as Kietzman’s first 30 minutes are as good as they are… I will stick with him. KK knows how to open a show and knows which topic must be dealth with first. Nick sometimes forgets to address the obvious.

  19. Louie from Local 33 says:

    Every time I’ve turned on Nick in the last 3 weeks it has been hearing him talking about how he wants someone to prove him wrong about something.
    If Kietz kicked up his game say 10 percent (read killed the golf and today explorers talk) I’d probably never listen to 610 again.

    As for morning shows, I kind of vary there. I enjoy St. John, but can’t really stand Nate. Looks like I’ll be listening to Johnny Dare this week.

  20. The Word says:

    I always thought Nick Wright was on borrowed time and this proves it.

    I remember hearing that right after getting rid of Chris and Cowboy the suits at 610 asked Whitlock to come back at the 2:00 PM slot. Whitlock wanted a ton of money because he knew he would be their savior. A last ditched effort to beat KK.

    610 couldn’t pay Jason the money he asked so Whitlock declined.

    610 also thought they could steal Petro from 810. There were many behind the scenes talks about getting Petro to go 610. Petro after talking to Entercom exces, Petro still thought the spirit of the old Entercom was still there and he was afraid that he would be screwed by Entercom the same say he was scred during the Maas Exodus and declined.

    Wright was the third choise. He was hired because he was there the longest and two more people said no.

    Wright may have some talent, but so do a lot of other host. That doesn’t mean their good.

    Two years from now will I be shocked if Wright is hosting a show in Omaha or Tulsa? No. Would I be shocked if two years from now he’s no longer on the radio? No. Will I be shocked if two years from now Wright is still on the radio in KC and at 610? Yes.

    Whitlock exposed Wright for what he is…a hack.