Today: Radio Station The Buzz Declares War on KanRocksas Festival

Whatever became of the nobler aspects of rock ‘n’ roll?

You know, the part where the promoters, radio personalities and stations actually cared about the artists, fans and listeners? As opposed to declaring war on one another over small-minded, petty, percieved self interests?

Remember the "Save the Buzz" campaign several years back to try and rescue KC’s then-failing, only alternative rock radio station? Parent company Entercom had marked The Buzz for extinction. Word leaked out. And not less than corporate overlord David Field personally rode to the Buzz’s rescue, vowing it would continue.

Things like the radio station’s Church of Lazlo came to mean something more than merely a repository for corporate cash.

Which brings us to Entercom’s fully declared war upon KanRocksas, KC’s largest two-day rock fest ever.

Despite the fact that KanRocksas is fielding a slate of artists that are card-carrying members of Lazlo’s church, Entercom has refused to even accept fully-paid advertising from the festival. Leaving fans of the artists that the station plays in the dark as to their August appearances at the Kansas Speedway.

"We have our own concerts to promote," says local Entercom head Dave Alpert. "We own the Buzz Under the Stars and we own Beach Ball and Rockfest. So we’re in the concert business ourselves."

Iconic local rock promoter Chris Fritz doesn’t quite get it..

"That’s what he told me," Fritz says of Alpert’s refusal to allow KanRocksas to buy ads on the one and only area alternative station. "That they’re in the concert business and they’re competing with us. And they’re not going to do anything to help us."

In other words, Entercom and The Buzz are doing what they can to make KanRocksas fail.

"So unfortunately we have to move on," Fritz says. "Which is too bad, because so many of the acts we have playing are Buzz acts."

Is owning the only alternative station in KC and refusing to sell ads restraint of trade?

Apparently not, radio insiders say. But it sure doesn’t look good. Nor does it bode well for The Buzz and Entercom’s relationships with the Kansas Speedway, Sandstone and the area concert promoters from whom they have been and continue to accept ad dollars from for other area shows.

"I thought they were in the radio business to sell time," Fritz muses. "But they told us it was a corproate decision. We offered them a great deal – they could have made a lot of money with (KanRocksas)."

Not only is the Buzz refusing to sell KanRocksas radio ads, it mocked the fest on its Web site.

“Now, there are a lot of things we would spend 200 bucks on … a high class call girl, a shopping spree at Forever 21 or Valtrex," the Buzz sniped.  "But camping on a race track, pissin’ in a portapotty and watching a white rapper ain’t one of ’em…."

"I think that was pretty rude, not very cool, but whatever," Fritz says.

The rub being The Buzz wants to sell tickets two weeks later to its Beach Ball concert at Livestrong Park.

"We’re not trying to compete with them," Fritz says. "But you know, they can do what they want to do. I do think it’s unfair – it’s not a level playing field. I look at it as two separate things. And I would think their audience would be like, ‘Why don’t we ever hear anything about KanRocksas.’ "
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24 Responses to Today: Radio Station The Buzz Declares War on KanRocksas Festival

  1. smartman says:

    My Penis is Bigger Than Your Penis
    First of all more people heard me fart on the Plaza Saturday night than listen to THE BUZZ.

    Kanrocksas won’t live or die by not running ads on THE BUZZ. Shitty deal to be sure ’cause radio stations are Nimitz class whores when it comes to taking your money and giving you all those “bonus spots” that run between 1:00 and 5:00 in the morning. But c’mon this is no deal breaker. I’m sure THE BUZZ listeners are tech savvy enough to know that the event is happening and who’s playing.

    If Chris thinks it’s CRITICAL to the success of the event to run ads on THE BUZZ he knows that all he needs to do is call the agents, band managers and record labels and they’ll get this shit cleared up faster than a prom night zit.

    The bigger question still remains whether this event goes off or not. Lot’s or rumors, none of which have been denied, suggest ticket sales are awful. One report says less than 8,000.

    That’s the dirt we wanna hear about, not some vagina-esque whining about something that doesn’t matter in the big scheme of things.

  2. Super Dave says:

    As I have said
    As I have said more than once Entercom is ran by a bunch of idiots who have no clue how to do anything but to destroy things. And they do a damn good job of doing that.

  3. Super Dave says:

    Good Points Smartman
    You are very right there as well.

  4. Irishman says:

    T$cket Prices + Lackluster Lineup=Dotte County #EPICFAIL
    First off Entercom is a 2 trick pony-JOHNNY DARE+RIGHT WING PIGGY’S -and Kansarocks is just effing re-tarded look at the prices for the weekend.Think about it. 1.campsite+ticks=$170 Per, not counting the Fresh Herbs $120 OR MORE FOR SUPREME NUGS BRAH…. and the lineup sucks plus the Fiasco(WAKARUSA) who would want too cum too Kansas Speedway for the Hassle and a wanna be high schooler who is over 33(EMINEM). LATE

  5. Interesting.... says:

    The BUZZ burns bridges
    I found it interesting with how as you mention, The Pitch did the ‘Save the Buzz’ deal some years back and then in the past year Afentra and Lazlo did nothing but bash The Pitch.

  6. harley says:

    fritz kept stations in business
    fritz spent millions on these stations….he kept them alive for years…now they want to
    piss on him.
    well…karma is toujgh because it can all come back to haunt the buzz…take the money…
    advertise the show and let it go….because fritz still carries some heavy weight in this
    town and in the concert promotion biz… might see all the wyandotte county adev ertisers
    (casino/raceway/etc. say no to entercom. Its too easy to start a big war…and besides
    if fritz needs to get the word out i’m sure the internet has about 5 million ways…
    good luck chris…you’ve been a master over the years…..

  7. newbaum turk says:

    Entercom, Clear Channel, and deregulation have killed FM radio. It is awful. 96.5 claims to call itself “alternative” just because they play crap like Mumford & Sons and nobody else in town does. I appreciate the fact they Social Distortion on occasion but what passes as “alternative” radio is a joke. The old 105.9 The Lazer out of Lawrence was “alternative” until sadly deregulation made them a corporate sacrificial lamb like so many other stations. Radio is now just like retail where the mega-corporations like Wal-Mart and Target rule the world and the listeners suffer for it. If not for Johnny Dare I would never turn off my satellite radio.

  8. Guy Who Says What Others Think says:

    was a stupid idea, with a stupid name. It’s going to be an epic faceplant. Prices are too high, and the acts are weak sauce. And it’s in Kansas. Enough said.

  9. In the know says:

    Fritz will fail
    Fritz is a thief with a history of ripping off vendors in KC. If Entercom is in the Concert biz I can’t blame them for not doing business with that asshole. 95 degreea in August in a field in Kansas with no water or trees with weak bands? Sounds like Kanrockas is going to fail either way and he( and you) are already looking to blame someone.

  10. Logicman says:

    The Buzz just announced their Buzz Beachball line up yesterday which is just 2 weeks after Kanrockas. They are having it at the new soccer stadium rather than Sandstone this year. I can’t blame them for promoting their own concert (which they have have been doing for years) over the upstart Kanrockas. The promoter (Fritz)should have calculated that before he planned his own event. As a matter of fact I believe that the Buzz always did Beachball at Sandstone which is Fritz’s venue. Perhaps Fritz is the dumbass and not Entercom) for competing with a radio station that always supported his venue.

  11. Captian Obvious says:

    Super Dave is an idiot
    Let me get this this straight Super Dave. Entercom ( The Buzz and The Rock) bring to Kansas City Rockfest, Buzz Under the Stars , and Beachball. They do it every year and seem do it quite successfully. I am having hard time seeing how that is “destroying things.” If they have a vested interest in all these other concerts, I can see why they don’t get behind Fritz’s ill conceived debacle. One would have have thought that maybe Fritz would have tested the water with all of the local stations before he made such a commitment. Especially if those statsions were so important to him.

  12. Concert goer says:

    Funny, I went to Buzz Under the Stars last Friday and saw the Kanrockas people stuffing flyers under everyones windshield wipers promoting ticket sales to all of the Buzz listeners. They must be hard up for ticket sales to stoop to that level of promotion.

  13. formersusquehana says:

    Is nothing but an ass. Dave has a scorched eartnh policy and has thrown eveyone outside his little club under the bus. His first failed illogical attempt was to bring the three stooges from jacksonville to do morings on the fox. Then Bob and Tom, then…
    What an effing jack ass. It’s the standard of today’s radio when a guy like him is successful.

  14. BS says:

    This is why
    I listen to Ira and The Douche.

  15. Shana says:

    Big Deal
    What’s the big deal? Does Entercom have some sort of community obligation to help Chris Frtiz make money by selling overpriced tickets to a crappy lineup when they have their own concerts to promote. Chris Fritz needs to quit whining and be a be a big boy promoter. He should have gotten the stations backing before he planned the event if it was so important to him. I personally don’t think having ads on the Buzz will make a hill of beans of difference to the failure or success of the event. Aren’t there like 20 other radio statsions in town to help him promote the event? I also don’t think that passing on airing Kanrockas advertising to promote your own concert events is exactly” declaring war”. It’s actually a good business decision and if I were Alpert and Lazlo I would probably do the same thing.

  16. Hearne Christopher says:

    I stand partially corrected on the Pitch’s role in Save the Buzz. Lazlo & Afentra actually launched the campaign internally to save the station and their jobs. The should be credited. The Pitch, as I recall, was supportive.

    However there is talk of some kind of fallout between the Pitch and Entercom. But I was told by Entercom that they are working more with Ink simply because they got a better deal.

  17. Hearne Christopher says:

    Here, here!

  18. Mark says:

    If Chris Fritz is so mad at Entercom and Entercom is decalring war on Fritz, then why are they co-promoting the July Rob Zombie concert together at Sandstone? This is all much ado about nothing and just more hyped garbage by a gossip columnist.

  19. Hearne Christopher says:


  20. Hearne Christopher says:

    Chris was not the origin of this story and did not come complaining.

    However, when you’ve been buying and paying for radio ads for years and are unexpectedly told your ads will not be allowed to run, that’s a whole nother matter.

    Not selling KanRocksas ads was not a community obligation situation. He wasn’t asking for something for nothing, he was asking to be treated like the other advertisers on the station and allowed to purchase air time.

    Which is what radio stations have been known to sell. For a price.

  21. Hearne Christopher says:

    Can you not read, Mark? These are direct quotes from all parties involved.

    Yes, they’re talking Fritz’s money for other shows at Sandstone. And yes, Entercom is accepting buys from the Kansas Speedway for other events.

    But in the case of this HUGE event, with a ton of money on the line, Entercom to date has refused to accept ad buys for this specific event. Because it is acting as a concert promoter selling tickets for a similar event at the soccer stadium 13 days later.

    But go ahead, don’t believe your lying eyes.

  22. Hibby says:

    You keep saying The Buzz…
    But really this is Entercom’s call. Yes 96.5 the Buzz is owned by Entercom. But you don’t expect Macintosh to start advertising Windows, or Pepsi to start advertising Coca Cola, so why is it a surprise that a company won’t advertise for something that competes with their product? Do all of you Entercom haters not understand basic economics?

  23. Hearne Christopher says:

    You don’t get it is what you’re saying. Radio stations sell ads. They sell it to promoters who come to depend on them to get the word out. They’re not in the concert biz with rare exception.

    It’s very unusual and controversial for a station to turn down business from large, established advertisers so it can venture into that advertiser’s business domain and compete with them.

    It’s very simple.

  24. Hearne Christopher says:

    Oh yeah. Rob Zombie is a Rock 98.9 FM show, not Buzz. Which makes my point. They’re taking money from Fritz and the Speedway for other deals, while screwing them over on this one. And make no mistake, this is a huge one.

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