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."