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.