What’s next for former KC Confidential hit man Tony Botello now that he’s parted ways with KCC?
Plenty. But first a few words about the year and a half-long journalistic honeymoon that ended two weeks ago. Early on in the brief two year history of KCC I met with Tony with the idea of writing a story for a local print publication measuring his six year odyssey to the top of the local blogosphere.
It was a story largely untold – until somewhat weakly two weeks back in the Pitch. One that warranted telling.
We met for coffee at Broadway Cafe in Westport and four hours later I departed with way more news and information about Tony than Pitch editor Joe Tone was able to amass two years later.
Just one problem…
The story was never written, I hired Tony instead.
My spur of the moment game plan; win Tony over to KCC and get him to abandon ship on Tony’s Kansas City. Ridiculous as that may sound, if KCC foodie Jennifer Janesko had been willing to make a romantic concession or two, I might have succeeded. Think I’m kidding?
Back to capturing Tony’s flag…
Tony agreed to write one column a day for KCC, five days a week for a year. A trial. Then we’d take a look and decide where to go from there. That year was up last September and Tony told me then he had too much on his plate and needed to drop out of KCC. I was able to convince him to stay by maintaining his six-figure salary and his writing three columns a week instead of five.
And away we went…
Which brings us to this year’s mayoral and city council elections. The idea in Tony writing for KCC was that he would focus on less KCMO-centric political and news stories. Insread, he’d unleash his inner Neanderthal on pop culture and stories with a broader appeal.
And that he did.
Last September when the year was up, Tony told me of his plans to throttle back on blogging – even on TKC. And that he was working on a book. When this year’s political campaigns got underway, it was clear that he’d attained a far larger voice in the information game with the people who count; the political insiders.
Then after taking a week off to work on an event, Tony called last Monday to say he’d decided to call it quits – he no longer had time to write for KCC.
Which brings us to an email tip I got today:
"Word is Tony Botello is trying to position himself for a gig with the new mayor as the city’s web site internet communication czar."
Knowing what I know about Tony, it made perfect sense. He’d be great at it. Though I’m not sure how well some of his TKC musings might fit into the equation.
So I asked.
"I would be good at that kind of thing," Botello says. "But not in the mayor’s office."
Botello says he’s fielded feelers from politically connected marketing firms such as Trozzolo Communications and Pat O’Neill Jr. – though he declined to name which firms have approached him.
And if he accepts some sort of consultancy position, might that mean curtains for TKC?
"You know what?" he says. "I would think they would want me to continue it."
Meanwhile, Botello’s book is still being written. A work of non fiction, with behind-the-scenes here in KC?
"Maybe," he says.
And while he’s been trying to cutback on his blogging, Botello says he still averages 30 posts a day and 100 story links.
"I haven’t cut back but I need to," he says. "I don’t know if I will, but I need to. But honestly, after this election things are going to slow down."
Does Botello have a prediction on who the next mayor of Kansas City will be?
"Nah, too close – too close," he says.
Speaking of Tony cutting back, "There’s a couple other Web site ideas I have that are more national in scope," he says. "It would still be about me writing but about things more national in scope. I’ve got a couple of ideas and one that I want to launch after the election."