Archive for Thursday, August 2, 2007

The Fly Route

August 2, 2007

It really couldn't have played out any worse.

The Kansas City Royals announced Tuesday that their radio rights would be transferred next season, flipping between one KC-area sports station (810 am) to another (610 am).

In every way this flip-flop is bad news.

The first negative of the whole deal came Tuesday afternoon. Kevin Kietzman, 810's afternoon host, announced the signing.

I'm an 810 guy at heart. Hour for hour, I like the station's personalities immeasurably more than I do 610's. Kietzman sometimes makes it hard to say that, however.

Rather than just let his listeners know what the situation was and touch on the major issues involved, he went on a 15 minute rant about the situation, explaining with no class that the Royals are a bad team their broadcasts are a financial drain and that the other (non-locally owned) station was tricked into overpaying for the rights.

Kietzman doesn't always drive me nuts, but in situations like this, he can be unbearable.

I will say two things: who cares, and are you sure?

Are the Royals still really so hopeless? They just finished their second winning month this summer. Whether he's right nor not, piling on the Royals at this point in time defines pathetic. Obviously they won't be contending this year, but for the first time since 2003 there's some legitimate excitement building around the team and to dismiss that shows that Kietzman's either incredibly shallow, or just very out of touch.

Second, who cares? No one asked him to justify the finances or attack the other station. No listener cared about anything beyond the basics and perhaps a brief rundown of his company's opinion. Anything beyond that was immature.

Sadly, I fear the transfer to 610 will be equally vomit educing.

If anything, it should be a positive. The new station has a stronger signal at night, helping solve a rather frustrating problem.

I doubt it will be so simple.

The thing I like best about 810's production is its pre- and postgame shows, and I can't imagine 610 being able to successfully duplicate them. For an hour before every game and about two hours afterward, different hosts just talk baseball.

It's lighthearted, it's informative and it's fun. The hosts know what they're talking about and are easy guys to like.

I've listened to every host 610 currently has on the air, and I have no idea where one would find someone capable of lighthearted, informative and fun. To a man, the 610 personalities split between offensive, judgmental and ignorant and lame, boring and insubstantial. On the whole, they combine in the middle to be just one thing: annoying. They rant about three-month old stories and lack the creativity to come up with new, unique and -- most importantly -- intelligent views.

Kevin Kietzman said both the Royals and their new radio station are losers -- the Royals on the field and the radio station in this deal. That may be true, but as long as Kietzman rants about the deal and 610 surrounds next year's broadcasts with its current on-air talent, we all lose.

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