Tony: Nobody Can Replace Walt Bodine!!!

This town hates change…

And that’s why we’d rather wheel Walt Bodine’s old bones into the KCUR studio and listen him say “Wha?” for an hour than contemplate local radio without the Kansas City broadcasting legend.

But, like it or not, things must change and that brings us to the curious subject of Jabulani Leffall.

According to KCUR FM’s press release, Leffall’s resume is full of jet setting with a number of big name media gigs but few apparent stable positions held. And he’s only been living here for like six months.

Contrastingly, Walt worked his way around Kansas City and became a local radio legend partially because of his close connection and deep roots in the community. Nevertheless, it was the tales of Leffall’s whirlwind adventures around the globe that were trumpeted upon his arrival.

About Lefall’s resume: It’s well-written, clever and full of a bunch of freelancing gigs. But sadly, there’s not a single connection to Kansas City, Missouri. For the most part Lefall has been involved in reporting and writing about business and financial matters, such as the effect of subprime lending on minority communities.

But more than anything, Leffall’s lack of Kansas City roots makes him a poor choice to replace Bodine, who has forgotten more things about this town than most people will ever know.

Now the slap fighting: Lefall’s introduction was performed via PR copy mostly transcribed, then commented on by Aaron Barnhart of the Kansas City Star. Better still, Barnhart was subsequently smacked down for pandering by local online media referee John Landsburg of Bottom Line Communications. Barnhart’s write up was called out as “Shameless and Embarrassing” because he was basically pleading for guest appearances in his copy. Given so many recent accusations against Star employees involving everything from fighting and after hours non-sexual man-kissing, begging for an interview doesn’t seem like such a horrible sin.

Then again, most people agree that Barnhart is a douche and the vast majority of his “reporting” could easily be replaced with a RSS feed from Entertainment Weekly.

But I digress. The point here is that this change to local radio is going to take some time to adjust to. And while Leffall may or may not be talented, he doesn’t come close to having Walt’s resume or connection to Kansas City. Then again, in this transient media era with desperate big media employees begging for interviews . . . maybe a more worldly fellow like Leffall is exactly what Kansas City needs.

Tony Botello

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7 Responses to Tony: Nobody Can Replace Walt Bodine!!!

  1. Anonymous says:

    MoCrash
    It’s a legitimate point that Leffell doesn’t have the roots in Kansas City possessed by Bodine. However, six months is long enough for a hard-working, intelligent broadcaster to have enough background to do a solid job. There are probably only a handful of people in the local industry who have been here long enough to have more extensive knowledge, and even fewer who are available who are capable of carrying the No. 1 spot on a talk show. Leffell’s talent will determine whether he succeeds or fails. Not having heard him, I have no way of knowing.

  2. Anonymous says:

    MediaJunky
    My parents used to make me go to bed at 8pm. This was about 1961-1966. I would lay awake and listen to “nightbeat” for hours. I’m sure this is where my interest in journalism and public affairs originated. I hear Walt just turned 90 and I wish him well whatever happens with KCUR.

  3. Anonymous says:

    bschloz
    “This town hates change

  4. Anonymous says:

    bethmargret
    Look up Lefall’s facebook page. It lists his hometown as Sexy, Peru, his employer as Broke Inc. (position, Broke Ass Brokee) and grad school as Arm & Hammer School for Handsome Idiots. I’m sure all KCUR’s devoted octogenarian listeners won’t find any change there? Sounds just like a young Walt Bodine.

  5. Anonymous says:

    smartman
    Like old dogs we keep around, more for our benefit, than theirs,it’s time for Walt to GO. He’s an icon, big deal. So WAS Walker Cronkite, who is now being channeled by an overpaid cougar.

    Doesn’t matter who replaces Walt. It’s a different time and most people just don’t care about the kind of stuff that Walt did.

    We live, we die and hopefully during our time we are of meaninful service to our fellow man. Jabulani Leffall looks to me like the second coming of Jason Blair AND Jason Whitlock.

  6. Anonymous says:

    moonstruck
    you’re smart like i’m an octogenarian. the whole “walt bodine show. walt will be here on friday” crap has to go.i never even liked him in the first place but he could do his job. i know nothing about leffal but im certainly not going to facebook for gods sake and make a decision while i see what my “friends” are doing. maybe npr should have hired nick wright while be waits to win his pulitzer.

  7. Anonymous says:

    MrOlathe
    Why no link to the “Funky Walt Bodina?”

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