Hearne: Befuddling Departure of Mike Shanin from ‘KMBZ Empire’ Explained

Let’s straighten out all of this confusion where Mike Shanin and Entercom are concerned, shall we?

First of all, forget pretty much most of what you may have read or heard about what was blogged locally about the aging radio veteran’s untimely departure from News Radio KMBZ 980/98.1 earlier this year and more recently KMBZ’s new, weak sister business station at 1660 AM.

When Shanin refused to go on the air on 1660 on March 5th, hours before the station’s launch, the question was why?

And if you recall, one reason offered here was that according to sources he was upset that Entercom had not hired a producer to do the leg work and much of the heavy lifting in terms of booking guests and doing research for Shanin’s weekday business show on 1660.

A former Entercom manager who had hired Shanin to read business reports on KMBZ and 61 Country several years back noted that Shanin was not a business reporter per ser with a business background, describing him rather as a "rip and read " guy when it came to business news.

So quite obviously Shanin – who’d been demoted from his comfortable perch doing afternoons on KMBZ talking about news – would have been hard pressed to deal in complex business news and issues and foster intelligent discussion with local business leaders.

Hence the need for – at the very least – a true producer for his show on 1660 AM.

Instead what he got was the board op dude who did afternoons on KMBZ.

A guy who makes sure the commercials and news breaks, etc. run. Not the seasoned professional business news producer Shanin was counting on.

Thus Shanin continues to tell others in the industry that "the reason he didn’t take 1660 show was in fact they would not hire him a producer," says a source. "But he lied about that to Bottom Line so it would not sound bad or lazy."

Naturally management was furious with Shanin for refusing to go on the air at the last minute, but allowed him to continue to promote the new business station at 1660 by rip and reading business news on KMBZ. And if you recall, I wrote that under the circumstances, the chances of that continuing for very long were slim and none.

So it is, that Shanin and KMBZ have now parted ways and former KC Business Journal staffer Krista Klaus has replaced Shanin there, as well as on 1660. Obviously Klaus is a far better fit.

However, Entercom says Shanin will still be allowed to do voice commercial spots for advertisers on KMBZ (duh) and may be contracted in the summer or fall to do some political reporting for the station.

As for the concept of The KMBZ Business Channel at 1660 AM moving at some point to KMBZ 980 AM’s slot, don’t hold your breath.

That is a possibility, Entercom says, except for one thing.

"Very few stations around the country doing business get much if any ratings," says a broadcasting industry insider. "In fact, I don’t know of any as a matter of fact. For example, WBBR in New York City is ranked 37th in 12-plus, which means there aren’t a lot of people interested in that format on the radio. And New York is the financial capital of the world."

No way Entercom would be dumb enough to kill KMBZ 980 and replace it with business news, he adds.

"There’s no way anybody’s going to take that signal and put local business on it. That is so far out in left field, I don’t care what they’re telling people. That’s the dumbest thing in the world. That would kill KMBZ. If they would do that, that would be unbelievable. They’d be better off launching another talk format on 1660 and going up against KCMO 710 AM."

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6 Responses to Hearne: Befuddling Departure of Mike Shanin from ‘KMBZ Empire’ Explained

  1. Bob says:

    Like Glazer
    Is this like how Glazer is hard pressed to spell any words that have more then three letters and tackle complex issues and foster intelligent conversations? But yet he still has a job….oh wait…u aren’t paying him….its just a ego stroking thing.

    get ready…….bob u r deleted.

  2. Smartman says:

    Like that other loud mouth Mancow, Shanin is just bad radio. Self righteous without any bona fides to back it up he has been annoying since his days with Jerry Fogel….or…..hell….even when he was spinning records at KCKN. His KCK “God’s Country” schtick was saber-toothed. His attempts at over-articulation of every word were laughable. He and Parks made Dare and Glazer sound like Lincoln and Douglas. I’m sure he’s a GREAT AMERICAN like his poopleganger Sean Hannity, but he spent most of his days speaking to the choir and not doing anything to convert the lost souls.

  3. % says:

    I always thought the Bottom Line version of things didn’t make much sense. Why would they get Shanin off of the afternoon KMBZ show and plug him into this new station, and all of a sudden he realizes he doesn’t want to do the legwork of starting up a new station? It also seemed clear to me that Bottom Line’s report on the heels of your first foray into this matter was self-serving for both sides. One, it polished up Shanin’s role in this. And two, Bottom Line’s president (and accountant, receptionist and bathroom cleaner) John Landsberg was going to be on the show and probably wanted to keep being on whatever show 1660 would have him on so he obliged when the opportunity came about to clean up the whole situation and make it look all neat and tidy. Old timer in radio doesn’t want to break one more horse, Bottom Line says. Bottom Line is always pandering to favored subjects, like Shanin and TKC.

    Anyway, it got more curious when Bottom Line posted his first item today about Shanin’s sudden departure that included an interesting “no comment” from Entercom. If it was such an innocent departure, you’d think there would be a statement. Then he updated it with more self-serving comments from Shanin.

    I guess the, um, bottom line here is whether Bottom Line was lied to and didn’t know it, or just went along with the act to ingratiate himself with a station starved enough for content that they’d let him on.

  4. paulwilsonkc says:

    Goodbye Shanin, vis-a-vis you’re not there any more!
    I listened to the show from time to time, but good lord, he was insufferable. I actually sent a email years ago asking him to stop using the term vis-a-vis 50 times in a show, vis-a-vis, I was SICK OF IT!!

    Between him promoting GOD’S Country and talking about his expensive Nordstrom ties all the time, it was just a bit much. And any time I saw him out his ties looked like those terrible Countess Mara things!! Yes, they come from Nordstroms, but they are like the cheapest tie they sell, breaking the bank at $34 and change.

    His day has come and gone, hopefully he’ll do something enjoyable with his retirement and have a great life, mowing his yard in his tie, vis-vis, keeping the same wardrobe at home.

  5. BarKeeper says:

    The New Show on 710
    With that screeching-owl harpie woman and Parks is bound for cancellation very soon. They make me homesick for Shanin and Parks. Between shilling for the Kia dealer and endless trips down rabbit trails, I can only listen for a very few minutes.

  6. Hearne says:

    I believe you are talking about…
    KMBZ’s afternoon drive show, not 710 KCMO.

    Sean Hannity does afternoons on KCMO

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