OTC: Nick Wright Gets Inked & It Might Stain Him

 

“I say this, and I mean it: You could not speak English, and be scanning the radio dial in Kansas City, and you would stop on my show.”
Nick Wright, Ink Magazine
GH: Dugan Arnett wrote a feature piece on 610 Sports afternoon sports talk host for The Kansas City Star’s alternative weekly, Ink Magazine. I think Dugan’s piece was fair but a bit confusing. He appears to waffle between whether or not Wright is delusional or credible. One thing rang clear in the story, Wright is high on Wright. Read on.
“As (Nick Wright) spoke, he was nursing a wine cooler and … he had just finished providing a detailed and unsolicited account of how intelligent he happens to be (“I crushed the SATs”), how regularly he is recognized around town (“a lot”) and how, had he not decided to pursue a career in radio, he would have almost certainly become a very successful doctor or lawyer (“I could have gone to Harvard, probably”), and now he was leaning forward in his seat and explaining that, when you really break it down, there isn’t a sane individual on this planet who could listen to his radio show and not conclude that it is, without question, the best sports-talk program in Kansas City.”
Dugan Arnett, writer, Ink Magazine
GH: Makes you wonder why this future Johnny Cochran/Doogie Howser settled for talking sports.
“You listen to my show for a week, my show will either entertain you more or make you think more or make you angrier. One of the three. But there’s nobody that can listen to my show for a week and not acknowledge that it’s superior. That, I know.”
Nick Wright, Ink Magazine
GH: Wright is coming up on his one-year anniversary of taking over 610’s afternoon gig. He finished ahead of Kevin Kietzman in exactly one month – last April when the Royals played nine afternoon games during his time slot. The Arbitron numbers just don’t show any reason he’s making a dent into Kevin Kietzman’s reign. Read on.
“That (Wright) is able to make such a proclamation — not only make it but, based on the tenacity with which it’s delivered, actually believe it — is an impressive feat to behold, given the lack of empirical evidence to support it. … on any given day, roughly twice as many people tune in to Kietzman’s show than Wright’s.”
Dugan Arnett, Ink Magazine
“I feel like when I win, partly it’s going to be by default. I’m going to win because Kietzman has made (a lot of money) and become complacent, and people are going to be tired of him. … I wish that I could start over because it would have been, I think, a better challenge.”
Nick Wright, Ink Magazine
“According to the most recent Arbitron ratings, which take into account October, November, and December (2010), Sports Radio 810 was No. 1 in the market from 2 to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, for men age 25-54 with a 10.7 share. 610 Sports Radio was No. 8 with a 5.5 share.”
Dugan Arnett, Ink Magazine
GH: October through December are football’s primetime in sports talk radio. And Wright sees himself as THE football expert in the Kansas City media. KK, who spends about as much time on football as he does selling diet cookies, BBQ equipment and other sponsored spots, crushed Wright in football season.
“And yet, here he sits, sipping his drink and watching his basketball and insisting that no one in this town has a bigger impact on the sports discussion than he does. No one works harder. No one cares more. No one, in the end, will achieve as much. He will be the most listened-to radio host — sports or otherwise — in Kansas City, he assures you, ‘and it’s not a Carl Peterson five-year plan.’ … The plan is to beat Kietzman and Kansas City and, eventually, (Jim) Rome and Colin Cowherd.”
Dugan Arnett, Ink Magazine
GH: I love that Wright has a goal and that he’s set his goal as high as possible. But it is my opinion he has no idea how to get there. Nick’s young and dumb. A lot of 26-year-olds in a lot of industries have told us how great they are/were/will be. Every host who has ever gone against Kietzman has garnered a fan base, just as Wright has done. Wright appears to have confused having fans to having won.
“He curses profusely and egregiously (“fucking worthless fucking stooge” is how he identifies one radio contemporary), and though he was raised comfortably in Kansas City, a graduate of the private Barstow School and the son of two Harvard alums, his show features a markedly urban feel.”
Dugan Arnett
, Ink Magazine
GH: Niche Wright. If Niche thinks this is how you win the afternoon drive slot on Kansas City radio, he is as green as he looks.
“I’m not an expert on what he does. But it sounds more like a niche than a mainstream approach. That’s just me. With the specific jargon and lingo and things that he does, it’s like Jim Rome. I think he kind of sounds like a Rome-clone or something.”
Kevin Kietzman, Ink Magazine
GH: Kietzman has a huge audience and many of those listeners despise him. But KK understands that it’s not WHY you listen, it’s IF you listen. Wright cares way too much if he’s liked. It’s obvious to me he doesn’t handle criticism well – which is unfortunate. I had hoped he was someone who could put some heat back into the sports talk wars in KC. Instead, he looks to be just another inexpensive pawn in 610 Sports’ revolving door of hosts.
“He is friends with a handful of Kansas City’s professional athletes and friendly with a couple dozen more — in some cases, he has been to their homes, ridden in their cars — because when you get to know the men you spend four hours a day discussing in a way that no one else in the city does, you can speak with a level of authority that no one else in the city can.”
Dugan Arnett, Ink Magazine
GH: Wright sees being on a first-name basis with Chiefs players is an asset when it destroys his credibility with his audience. Sure, three fans with their pants hanging down to their knees think it’s fly, but the rest of us see it as nothing more than the Barstow kid jock sniffing his way to a woody.
“Never heard of the guy.”
Soren Petro, when asked about Wright, Ink Magazine
GH: Dugan points out that Wright recently called Petro’s show, “an abortion.” How much would you like to have a hidden camera in 810’s offices this week while they discuss Wright’s story in Ink? If anybody has any audio or video, send it my way.
“The thing is, sometimes telling someone to go fuck themselves makes you happy.”
Nick Wright, Ink Magazine
GH: Does Wright even understand that radio is in place to sell advertising? He comes off in this story like the last person you would want promoting your product or service. Maybe he’s vying to be the new Aflac duck voice.
“The same thing that prevents (Wright) from ever relaxing, that at times threatens to sabotage an otherwise promising career — it’s the same thing he describes, in the very next breath, as his ‘edge.’ It’s why he refuses to take Prozac or any other kind of anti-anxiety medication, even though he admits it would almost certainly help calm him down.”
Dugan Arnett, Ink Magazine
GH: I don’t hear a lot of “edge” coming from Wright’s show – except when he’s discussing his coworkers or his competition down the dial. He treats most athletes and coaches as if they were his heroes, just as you would expect from a guy driving around with his idols. He rarely criticizes anyone of importance. He has made overtures that he is friends with both Todd Haley and his wife. He treats Frank Martin as if he can do no wrong. I don’t think he knows enough about baseball to critique the Royals. Saying “sweet” and “bro” four times an hour isn’t edgy.

“One thing it’s important to note about Wright is that he does not view Kansas City as a final destination. He is happy enough to be here now, wants to be clear about that, but he decided 15 years ago that he was going to be the best sports-talk host in the country, and somewhere between then and now, he arrived at the conclusion that anything short of national prominence will be failure.”
Dugan Arnett, Ink Magazine
GH: I like people with big dreams. More power to Wright to set a goal and go after it. But he strikes me as a guy who will handle failure poorly. And there is no success in the media without a deep trail of failure behind that success. Understanding and coping with that fact is also part of being a professional – something that this story made clear is lacking in Wright’s resume.
 
GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24
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25 Responses to OTC: Nick Wright Gets Inked & It Might Stain Him

  1. Markus Aurelius says:

    I tried to read the Ink piece earlier today and
    couldn’t get past the first couple paragraphs so I quickly scanned it for the general gist. My thoughts:
    (1) Wright is NOT a good broadcaster despite his inflated self-ego — he doesn’t inspire me, anger me or make me think. He just makes me change the channel. If 810 didn’t have such long commercial breaks, I’d never listen to him. He almost never does his homework to back up his opinions with facts and I almost never feel like he is more informed than I am on a particular sports subject (and I consider myself an average to slightly-above average informed fan).
    (2) What I read of the article almost seemed like a puff piece to prop him up and garner ratings — Greg what’s the relationship/partnership like b/t The Star and Entercom? Any cross-pollination expected there which would provide a motive for this kind of piece?
    (3) If the quotes by him are accurate – he is both an egotist and delusional. Makes me want to see him fail even more.

  2. Markus Aurelius says:

    BTW, what kind of guy…
    ….drinks wine coolers in this day and age? Wine coolers? Really? Somehow I’m not surprised.

  3. Gavin says:

    What’s wrong with nick wright
    First, I’m sorry, but wine coolers? I like that he goes the extra distance to emphasize his youth and drinks wine coolers. I’ll be he regrets missing Zima.

    Greg, as for your assertion about Arnett’s piece “waffling” between thinking he is credible or delusional, I didn’t read it that way at all. I thought it was Arnett setting out the reasons why it could or could not happen and let me make up my mind. To my way of thinking, both views are credible. However, if I had to guess, I’d say Wright will flame out. Maybe after he learns from some failures he will get better, but Wright now the guy is way too focused on doing what he wants to do. He spends all kinds of time on the NBA, and while I appreciate someone cracking on Fescoe as much as the next guy, Wright is malicious about it and I don’t like it.

    One thing that Arnett wrote that I was surprised you didn’t mention, Greg, is that you were quoted in it and you discussed how Don Fortune had once occupied the unassailable position Kietzman now holds. I think there’s a few fundamental differences between Kietzman and Fortune, though. First, Fortune, while a bit of a waterhead, was a nice guy. Kietzman is a good deal more ruthless than Fortune ever was and I have no doubt that Kietzman would pull out the long knives for Nick Wright in a way that Fortune never would. Then again, you know/knew all these people better than me so maybe Fortune is a ruthless son of a bitch too.

    Also, Arnett’s piece discusses, but you don’t mention here, that the prime sports talk radio demographic is, essentially middle-aged suburban dudes. While Kietzman may not have been middle-aged when he went against Fortune, he still appealed to that demographic then than Wright does now. Wright makes his living off of being a jocksniffing wanksta and that just won’t appeal to the target demographic of this particular medium. This is something Lietzman has alwyas understood, which is why he can get away with peddling barbecue supplies and the cookie diet.

  4. dp says:

    Like to hear from Glazer on this…
    Wasn’t he hard on the Wright bandwagon? Or was that JoJo? Or both?!

    Guy is all talk, no substance or talent. KK drives me nuts, but I get the feeling Wright doesn’t even watch the games.

  5. dp says:

    PS
    Plus his infomercial against the KC earnings tax was the tackiest thing I’ve heard on radio in five years…

  6. Guy Who Says What Others Think says:

    Wine coolers…that says it all.
    Nick Wright is a tool of biblical proportions.

  7. Bob says:

    Wine Coolers?
    Hahahahahahahahaha. That’s rich.

  8. shecky says:

    No substance
    It’s clear that there just isn’t much to this guy. He claims he’s super intelligent, yet he’s incapable of thinking on his feet when challenged by a caller. He pushes an opinion but is unable to clearly articulate it or defend against critique. Harvard my ass.

    He says “no one will work harder” but is consistently unprepared. Having a successfull radio show is a helluva lot more work than just sitting around with your buddies talking about sports. I don’t think he gets that yet.

    Nearly a year into it and 810 has only widened it’s lead. And keep in mind that the early success Greg referenced was entirely made up by Nick. Another media outlet discreditied that info with the real facts.

  9. MrOlathe says:

    Bartles & James
    Might have found a new spokesperson. I think those old guys are dead now.

    Speaking of dead, I thought Dugan Arnett was dead. Where has this guy been? I remember thinking he was a real douchbag but I don’t really remember why. Where was he? And where has he been?

  10. Eric says:

    He drinks wine coolers and is on the cover of INK?
    What a douche.

  11. Lee says:

    I listen to Wright because…
    I am tired of Kietzman’s first 15 minutes of infomercials and pimping some of his advertisers. I get it that times are tough but when KK starts out on some advertiser, you know he is going to pimp it for a solid 15+ minutes. I switch immediately and hear what Wright is saying. I agree that Wright is much better on the Chiefs and during Chiefs’ season I start out listening to him.

    However, I like Soren Petro more than either KK or Wright. I like his espn analysts and other experts he brings on for 30-40 minutes without commercials. I also like his knowledge and his viewpoint. I listen to him in the car and when I am working out at the gym.

  12. Old Man Kissel says:

    Hack Wright at it again…
    How did this no-talent loser get the cover on Ink? Speaking of the cover, why hurt my eyes with his ugly mug? I want to know what that girl who doesn

  13. Red says:

    both of them
    Both KK and wright bore the hell out of me. The two best shows hands down are SJS and Bukaty in the morning and the Petro.

    Laughing at the wine cooler.

  14. John says:

    From Bottomline Communication
    03-23-2011
    INK INTERVIEWS 610’S FOUL-MOUTHED NICK WRIGHT
    Ink, the Kansas City Star’s answer to the Pitch alternative weekly, has devoted considerable time and space for an in-depth interview (3/22) of KCSP sports talker and constant self-promoter Nick Wright.
    The well-written article by Dugan Arnett provides Wright with a major forum to once-again gloss himself about how he plans on becoming the area’s top sports talker as he disses competitors with a variety of disparaging remark. He brags about his gambling problems, drug problems, arrests, drinking issues, etc.
    When contrasted with his Harvard-educated parents, his own education at the plush private Barstow School and Syracuse University, it becomes obvious Wright is desperately trying to portray a “ghetto” image. At times it comes across as laughable when compared to reality.
    Along the way Wright comes across as a foul-mouthed punk who seems to thing very highly of himself despite ratings that show he is alone in that view. (When a local writer posted his station’s low ratings Wright contacted Arbitron to report the offender.)
    In fact, Arnett notes the most recent Arbitron ratings, which include data from October, November and December, list

  15. Larry says:

    Steven St. John is the most entertaining sports talk host in town. Bukaty and Jake drag him down, but SSJ makes the show entertaining.

    Also, just because one doesn’t like Wright, means one likes KK. His constant in-show commercials are brutal. So, so bad.

  16. MoCrash says:

    Wrong-way Wright
    I’ve dumped on Wright enough previously that I’ll spare him some this time. This was essentially a profile which made him appear even more twerpy and clueless than I suspected. He really doesn’t get it, does he? Ah, the sweet hubris of youth.

    I will chime in on the wine coolers, though. C’mon, Nick, man up: either pound the ol’ Budweiser (or even Boulevard, though I don’t much care for it) or down a shot of whiskey. Better yet, stick with iced tea, at least when you’re being interviewed. Maybe you won’t sound so stupid (which even Harvard men are bound to do).

  17. Merle Tagladucci says:

    Sports radio in KC is by and large a joke. Four out of five hosts are tolerable only in small doses. As stated by a few others already, St. John and Petro are inarguably the most entertaining to listen to and also possess the most underrated skill a talk show host requires to be good: the ability to interview well and ask good questions while adapting and thinking quickly on the fly with the artillery to inject a good one liner at the right time. Maybe it simply boils down to simple people skills and social dexterity. Whatever you want to call it, they both have it. Shariff has it too. That kid has talent.

    Nick Wright comes off like a college kid on a campus radio station. His sports smarts are limited, he talks too loud and a lot of the time he carries himself like an asshole, which is likely by design. Perhaps he thinks it makes him sound authentic. Perhaps he’s overcompensating trying too hard to be the anti-Keitzman. Whatever the case, it results in his on-air presence being instantly annoying. Shan Shariff rolled into town and immediately put a clown suit on Wright in the art of smooth, thoughtful and amusing commentary.

    When I read quotes from Wright like, “there

  18. Merle Tagladucci says:

    Sports radio in KC is by and large a joke. Four out of five hosts are tolerable only in small doses. As stated by a few others already, St. John and Petro are inarguably the most entertaining to listen to and also possess the most underrated skill a talk show host requires to be good: the ability to interview well and ask good questions while adapting and thinking quickly on the fly with the artillery to inject a good one liner at the right time. Maybe it simply boils down to simple people skills and social dexterity. Whatever you want to call it, they both have it. Shariff has it too. That kid has talent.

    Nick Wright comes off like a college kid on a campus radio station. His sports smarts are limited, he talks too loud and a lot of the time he carries himself like an asshole, which is likely by design. Perhaps he thinks it makes him sound authentic. Perhaps he’s overcompensating trying too hard to be the anti-Keitzman. Whatever the case, it results in his on-air presence being instantly annoying. Shan Shariff rolled into town and immediately put a clown suit on Wright in the art of smooth, thoughtful and amusing commentary.

    When I read quotes from Wright like, “there

  19. chuck says:

    meh…
    Colin Cowherd was mentioned, he is on TV, during his broadcast, and during football season, I record him on the DVR.

    Jesus, that guy is the best. Funny shit non stop.

    For a while a couple of years ago, Cowherd was on the radio here in town, Several times I would find myself laughing so hard, look over at another car and see some guy laughing his ass off too, Cowherd is the best.

    Here in town, I try to catch Petro when I can.

  20. Rainbow Man says:

    Two Liter California Coolers
    Remember when 810 was in Independence and doing nasty jokes and stalking Chief’s players at the bar at Adam’s Mark?

    But KK is still interesting radio. He really ticks me off… but the dude is compelling. He knows what is relevant… and he knows what topics must be discussed. He has good instincts.

    I read that whole thing in Ink. I just can’t dig Wright’s show. This is Kansas City. KK has the right Ad demographics. Wright’s audience will listen to America’s Pub ads…

  21. hey landesfaggot says:

    awwwww the star said a dirty word. meanwhile tony botello needs his asshole cleaned out, and he’s waiting for you. so hop to it.

  22. theKCeye says:

    The name of his show says it all
    Look no further than what he calls his show — “What’s Wright with Nick Wright”. He even spells the first “Wright” like his last name instead of the correct “right”. The ego, my god. That tells you all you need to know about the tone of things over on 610. You wanna hear about how cool Nick Wright and his three listeners are for having gotten a wink and smile from Derrick Johnson across a Westport bar late one Saturday night, well 610’s your station. You like a mostly-credible and informative conversation about local sports, you know where to go.

  23. 810 hater says:

    Petro’s a tool
    Really Sorren? “Never heard of him.” Did you think that was cute or funny. What a duche you are. We all know you know who the guy is. Either refuse to participate in the story or give a real answer to the question. Don’t be such a duche bag.

  24. jjskck says:

    Petro v. Wright
    In fairness to Petro, Wright has bagged on Petro incessantly on the air. Petro will throw the occasional jab, but it’s nowhere close to the level of Wright’s haymakers.

    The two don’t like each other at all. Simple as that.

  25. Guy Who Says What Others Think says:

    Petro vs Wright
    Douchebag vs Douchenozzle. Make your pick and let the douchebaggery begin.

    This whole story is full of douche.

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