Hearne: Scribe Charts Walt Bodine’s KCUR Years

walt-bodineJust how relevant was the Walt Bodine of the past 30 years?

Outside of a handful of aging Boomers and NPR listeners from the arts and academia worlds – not very, says Stanford & Sons main man Craig Glazer.

“I was never a fan of his,” Glazer says. “I never thought he was cool or sharp or anything – he just existed. I only cared about him because I got to be on his show.”

Glazer had been on Bodine’s Night Beat when he was in high school.

Bodine’s Nightbeat program on WHB in the 1960s was one thing, Glazer says, his KCUR FM years quite another.

“He was horrible,” Glazer says. “He had me on once in the early 90s and he was already a schmo. He was just befuddled and shuffling papers and wasn’t really sure what the interview was about. He just let me interview myself. I think his radio longevity as an old man was based on a much older crowd.”

Walt-Bodine-1Bodine’s restaurant reviews on Channel 9 weren’t much better, Glazer adds.

“He came to Stanford & Sons with his assistant – I believe it was his daughter – right after we had just redone the restaurant and expanded the menu,” Glazer says. “And he was very kind, but the only thing I remember much about the review was he asked my manager Larry Nichols to cut up his steak in little, tiny pieces, like for a little kid.

“It wasn’t so much a food review, it was more about the history of Stanford’s and my dad from what Walt could remember. You know, when you get to be an older person like he was, it’s not a happy time. And I guess all he had was the media thing going and that kept him alive.

“I remember going down to (KCUR) one time and it was really strange.  Walt’s reputation and people knowing him was bigger that his actual shows were. He carried this reputation of being the voice of Kansas City. But he just came across as an older gentleman who wasn’t really able to do a great job of interviewing people anymore. I just think he was past it.

“Realistically, we all knew why Walt was still on the air; it was kind of like keeping a historical monument around.”


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40 Responses to Hearne: Scribe Charts Walt Bodine’s KCUR Years

  1. Guido says:

    We get it. Walt was old and past his prime long ago.

    But piling on like this is rather pathetic, in my opinion.

    I mean… what did good ol’ Walt ever do TO you to warrant all of this?

    The quote “I never thought he was cool or sharp or anything – he just existed. I only cared about him because I got to be on his show.” really says a lot.

    Wow. WTF?

    • CG says:

      Hearne took that out of context and to make me look mean and selfish. Even out of context it sounds awful, I agree and I am sorry for any friend or relative of Mister Bodine’s who reads this and thinks of me in that light. Let me say for the record, regardless of his issues, he was kind and very nice to me, I didn’t need to know him for an interview or two.

      I don’t appreciate you doing that Hearne. You intentionally make me look mean and selfish, while you smack the man around for no good reason. I just agreed Walt was past it in the end, and I think everyone knows that, doesn’t make him a bad guy or destroy what he did all his life. So again for anyone who reads this I am sorry.

      • Jess says:

        I don’t believe that that was Craig Glazer that wrote this response. Makes him almost sound human, and has a heart.

        If that really was you Craig, then kudos. And shame on Hearne for printing that.

  2. balbonis moleskine says:

    Hearne bought you a case of mineral water.

  3. chuck says:

    People forget as time goes by. Walt had a violnet past. Here he is on June 8th, 793 after destroying the Abbey on Lindesfarne.


    Fast friends with Bud Grant throughout his long life, his close ties with his half brother Brad Childress helped facilitate the Jared Allen trade. His local short lived local restaurant, which specialized in Brunost coated in Bar B Q sauce was short lived and contributed to his early death.

  4. I put my life savings into that stupid restaurant.

    The sauce was good, I will say that.

  5. I hated Walt ever since that ol’e man threw me off of his lawn back in the day.

    It STILL pizzes me off!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  6. I am going to miss Walt. He was a dutiful son. When he was young he was so full of life. ONE thing he would NEVER do, is clean his room!!


    My goodness, what a mess!

  7. CG says:

    Hearne that was a bit, way over the top. Now come on, I did say the guy wasn’t the best interviewer and his latter days on radio were too many, but I didn’t feel I only was interested cause I was on his show a few times. Truth is I didn’t know him much outside of that, I knew him as a teenager for having me on his program. Decades later as a much older man we did a couple more interviews and as I said he, as everyone knew, was too ill to do the work. Walt was nearly blind. I did have some nice things to say about him as well. Hearne you kinda limited this to make me part of your attack on Walt. I just didn’t know him well enough to say if he was or wasn’t a good guy. Kansas City seemed to embrace the man. I had nothing against him. Let him rest in peace.

  8. admin says:

    Hey, when I first spoke to Craig on the way in to KC yesterday morning he said all of the above and more. We were just discussing his story on TKC and mine.

    So when I got where I could write a couple hours later I called Craig back and asked him more questions about Walt and wrote down exactly what he said.


    The point being that what he said was very insightful and spoke to KCUR general manager Cahill’s decision to take Bodine off the air in 1996.

    It’s that simple.

    • Irishguy says:

      So you got the quotes you were after out of Glazer, put them in the context you wanted to put them in, and ran with it with another chance to kick a 92-year-old dead guy.


      • admin says:

        Nope. Craig said all that and more two separate times. I merely called him back when I could write down what he was saying and asked him basically to repeat what he’d said.

  9. mark smith says:

    You’ve got a mean streak in you Hearne. There are times it’s entertaining and others when it just makes you look like a petty dick . In this case, I’m going with the latter. You’re like a dog that gets hold of a bone and won’t turn it loose. I read glazers take on Walt at TKC, totally different tone and sentiment than his quotes in your hit piece. Just curious, when your friends have casual conversations with you do they preface it with “this is off the record” ?

    • admin says:

      It wasn’t a casual conversation.

      Just talked to Craig and he said he knew I was interviewing him last night. I’ve been interviewing him for 20 years, so he should.

      The point being that what he said spoke exactly to the reasons Cahill let Bodine go in 1996.

      It’s one thing to write a puff piece and another to say what you really think. Craig covered both bases.

      This is exactly what he said and exactly what he meant.

      In answer to your question, yes. Often times my friends preface their remarks with “off the record” when they know they are talking about something that might be newsworthy.

      • the dude says:

        Take dead horse, beat continuously with stick. Repeat.
        Wash hands and repeat again.
        Sound familiar?

      • Irishguy says:

        The issue isn’t whether or not you quoted Glazer accurately.

        The issue is why go to Glazer to take another kick at a 92-year-old dead man. You already took your shot at both Bodine and the KC Star. Wasn’t that enough.

        • Hearne says:

          Craig and I were talking about Bodine and other subjects and he expressed his opinions and supported them with firsthand facts. It’s pretty simple

  10. mark smith says:

    I get the puff piece part. You want to lay it all out there, good, bad, and ugly. But you did that in your previous piece. When you keep beating a dead horse it doesn’t really serve a purpose. We get it, the guy was old, and his presence on KCUR aggravated the artsy hipster, 20 and 30 somethings. We all draw our own lines that we won’t cross. I guess I just have a problem with the way we are so quick to cast aside the elderly in our society. It hasn’t always been that way. The more I learn about the gen x and y types, the more I appreciate the old folks from my parents era. Just my 2 cents, and in no way meant to infringe on your right to drag a dead guy through the mud in your literary Mogadishu.

  11. CG says:

    Hearne again you called me again an hour ago and I expressed the same concerns. YOU said I made that remark in referring to when I first got on the guys show at age 14. I had no reason as I told you again, to befriend Walt to be on his show in the 90’s, I had tons of shows to do and as Nigro and I discussed, hundreds of reporters came to Westport over the 90’s to do stories with both of us, we didn’t pursue them. As we all know there was much going on back then, Red Fridays, Bust Out In Blue with the Royals, Days of Thunder with NASCAR, New places opening, closing, ST. Pats, Parades, run ins with each other, the list goes on and on….Walt did several restaurant reviews in the area back then, with us and many others, Bill as well.

    I thought you were going to explain that the comment that seemed mean and nasty by me was something about me being on his show in 1970 or so…as a kid. As far as Walt not being cool or hip, well he was an average guy from what I could gather, thats all, AND WE ALL KNOW HE STAYED TOO LONG, not a secret.

    Look Hearne you have your style, I have mine. As some have said here the man is dead, he was liked by alot of people in KC, Walt was in the media most of his life, people 40 and up all knew his name( I mean today), I just was trying to say that you were correct about his later years on radio being tough ones for the guy. We all get old and we all die. Being on the air gave this man a purpose to go on living, not a crime. I sure did not mean to say I only was interested in Walt for a couple interviews. It was in reference to ‘how I knew the man’…I didn’t know him outside of that like I did Mike Murphy or Johnny Dare, that’s all.

  12. Hearne says:

    To Irish Guy

    Here is the overriding issue to me. History is being recorded here. Granted it’s not the sort that matters in the most serious sense but it still matters.

    Are we to leave out significant details and information because it’s the kind thing to do?

    I don’t think so.

    If something or someone is to be celebrated and remembered, why not do it accurately?

    Many interesting points have been made in these discussions. Are old people today expendable? I would think and hope not, but that doesn’t mean they belong on the air when they are all but totally out of it.

    They belong with their families and friends

    • Irishguy says:

      Right, Hearne. If it weren’t for you, this vital piece of Kansas City history that Walt Bodine was a mean ol’ cuss just wouldn’t be written.

      But hey, keep writing it. The guy hasn’t even been buried yet. You should be able to squeeze at least another 10 more posts out of this by calling the rest of your friends for their take.

      After all, just like Glazer, they got your back on this one. (Sarcasm alert).

      • admin says:

        Mean Ol Cuss?

        You had some decent points and questions up until then Irish Guy.

        But since you mention it, you are correct. Nobody else was reporting on the Bodine – Cahill story. And nobody else in the local media was putting things in perspective for the thousands of newcomers to Kansas City and younger people who had no clue as to why he was allowed to be on the air when he was so obviously out of it.

        • Irishguy says:

          Ah yes. The Bodine-Cahill story. That one will surely be in ever history book written about Kansas City.

          Sorry, but everything I have seen about Bodine’s passing mentions his firing SEVENTEEN YEARS AGO and the groundswell of support that put him back on the air.

          So don’t hurt your arm too much patting yourself on the back.

          • CG says:

            Irish Guy, you make some valid points, I agree. I think Hearne is correct about Walt’s issues, but he doesn’t see the harm in writing about it after the man is gone. That’s Hearne. As far as having his back, I like Hearne, we are pals, we’ve worked together on hundreds of stories. He usually treats me quite fairly, but like most of us he has to always be right.

            I just think we pick our spots and battles and sometimes as you point out, you have to let it go. Hearne just pulled me into a story line he wanted backed up and that was his mission. I understand. I just felt it could have been done a little nicer that’s all. Finally, Walt Bodine to my knowledge was a decent person, he was a fixture in the Kansas City Media for decades. To his credit he had thousands of fans, maybe older ones but that’s no crime either. The man was a big player on WHB when it was huge as a rock station. Walt stayed in the media far longer than almost anyone around here ever had before him. So a life well lived.

          • Hearne says:


            And they addressed in detail the circumstances of why he was taken off the air and described how out of it he was the past 20 or so years too, right?

  13. Gal says:

    History is being written here? WHAT?? Just because he said it doesn’t mean you have to print it. Rude and classless.

    • admin says:

      I’m referring to the reporting on Bodine’s 1996 ouster and subsequent embarrassingly bad broadcast career.

  14. harleyiscool says:

    Walt was a good man.
    Why do you hate old people?
    Glaze just turned 62..he’s old.
    Just a few years til social security.
    Nice to make fun of old people?
    Poeple on kcc are old too. They need their
    meat cut up for them.
    Is that funny?
    Chuckles is 65.
    Smarmyman won’t make it to 65. Pulmonary
    problems from inhaling cleaning solutions.
    And the other “movers” and “shakers” on kcc…they’re smoked.
    The only guys that win are harley and the lawyers!!!!!!

  15. admin says:

    Dear Harley,

    Welcome back!

    As usual, you’re statistics are incorrect. Craig is not 62 and your ongoing obsession with trying to guess people’s ages and call them old says more about you than it does the readership.

    Misery loves company?

  16. mark smith says:

    Harley had a side gig at the county fair guessing peoples age, weight, and zip code. It’s just one of the many skills he learned at the sheltered workshop before moving on to his current occupation in the world of high finance and international espionage. Plus he is a major douche nozzle so what do you expect?

  17. chuck says:

    Just for the record, I am 62.

    I got some miles though.

    Kinda feel 82.

    Harley’s Florid Psychosis is in full presentation, even on minutia.

  18. balbonis moleskine says:

    It is a bad habit of yours that once you cannot legally be sued for libel you just unleash all the bombs you have on people. I don’t think it is an accident that you wait until they are dead to do this stuff.

    Maybe it is because of your failed family relationships but when people die they usually have people who miss them and cry wishing they were still around.

    Walt Bodine could probably give two steaming cowpies about you Hearne. The guy was in his 90s Im sure death wasn’t a surprise. But I bet you made one of his many grand kids cry this morning (who are probably about my age).

    It’s one thing to rip on us fellow chuckleheads in the comment section or make jokes at your or CG’s expense. We all seem to take it with the grain of salt and laugh it off.

    Honestly this seemed vicious and unnecessary. He’s an old man who was able to stay in front of a microphone until he died, even if it was a little public radio station. I didn’t listen to him but I don’t watch Desperate Housewives either (not my target demographic).

    Maybe you feel a bit jealous that you were booted from the star and not allowed to write the shitty-folksy aww shucks columns about fishin’ or huntin’ or sunsets that old columnists from the Star puke out on a regular basis now? Hell throw in a few Royals references and it gets you an SI gig and a Paterno book. You have to feel a little bitter…

    • admin says:

      Wild Man, if I felt “a little bitter” I probably wouldn’t have just posted your comment intact.

      I was laid off alongside hundreds of Star staffers, probably more than 1,000 since the newspaper’s gone from more than 2,000 employees in 2003/2004 to 700 or fewer today.

      They also tried to hire me back as a part time freelancer for maybe 40 to 50 cents on the dollar immediately after my buyout, so it’s not like they wanted me gone. They simply couldn’t afford me.

      As for the folksy, aw shucks columns, Gusewelle was choking those out in his prime, long before he went out to pasture.

      Not my style…

      But then, I suspect you already know that.

      When people opt for careers in the public eye, they sign on for all that comes with it. Not everybody disagrees or likes what comes with that and your opinion is certainly merit worthy.

      Fair enough?

      • balbonis moleskine says:

        I certainly don’t dispute that the Star did you and many others dirty over the years.

        My point was that you could have been mistreated and still be bitter about seeing others who you may think were less talented be treated better.

        I did notice that you didn’t quietly let it not post as I keep dropping glorious s-bombs on here- and I do appreciate that.

        He may have been horrible on-air. I don’t doubt that contention. But if you work public radio and your presence is the only thing that keeps Old White People With Money (TM) donating and you work for nearly free then you are valuable to the station. I think UMKC’s support of the station has waned over the years. If I had my druthers I’d rather see them let the students run the mic more often. Some of my fondest college memories were being able to be on-air 6 hours a week on our college FM station.

        Aww shucks sentimentality isn’t your way, you are snark before gawker found a way to monetize it. I wouldn’t be a regular reader here if it was Ole Hound Dog stories.

        You don’t pay me to read and write comments and the occasional story. I don’t pay you any subscription fee so in a way I have even less ground to complain that someone who paid 75cents for a KC star.

        I just think that you could have handled this better.

        Right now we have the UMKC murder story but true-crime isn’t really what KCC is here for. We have the Mavericks in the hockey playoffs starting wednesday so that’s a good story that I bet nobody really knows about.
        Jeep just released the 2014 Cherokee to wildly mixed reviews. Wal-Mart did some dirty recently and pushed through their zoning approval in Lee’s Summit. Some kid just broke the Texas state HS bench press record at 705 lbs, perhaps you should call CG and various KC media people and ask “how much ya bench?” You know CG’s answer would be golden, plus you can run that hilarious picture of him with his shirt off. 🙂

        I see and understand your point on public figures. As said before I just think it could have been handled better and frankly aside from the history of the man which is interesting I didn’t actually know he was still on the air.

        I do appreciate how you let us jab you jokingly and you do let us tell you when we think you stepped over the line and do seem to respond to that.

  19. gerald bostock says:

    The vibe I get is that Hearne is miffed that KCUR chose Steve Kraske instead of him to take over the 2nd hour of Walt’s time slot. And miffed some more that Walt used to have Aaron Barnhart on regularly instead of the Star’s very popular gossip columnist. And triple miffed that Walt continued to tout the Joy of Milk Shakes even though they are clearly not a healthful choice, especially for a blind invalid in his 90s. Thank you for bringing truth to power, Hearne; otherwise this coverup of Walt’s decline as a broadcaster would have made the list of the top Censored Stories of 2013.

    • Hearne says:

      Hey, it’s a Second Guess World out there.

      So far be it from me to fault you for over analyzing my motives for reporting rather harshly about Walt Bodine. Quite an imaginative assemblage of theories. Bravo.
      Actually, when Steve got the KCUR gig the WHB boys were trying to hire me to do Hot Talk for probably triple or more the money. Steve and I both had to fight with an editor named Jeanne Meyer who was determined to make it almost impossible for either of us to make our deals.

      They both dragged on for months and Steve finally got his approved. I basically gave up. I was already handsomely paid by the Star and put on seven day workweeks writing four columns a week. Steve had a lot more free time.

      So on that one, you’re wrong. Steve and I were co-commiseraters.

      Otherwise, you’re a very funny guy, G Man. Keep shrinking me, maybe you’ll break thru

  20. Rick Nichols says:

    As Jesus once said, “Let the dead bury the dead.” R.I.P. Walt – you were a real credit to the broadcasting profession. I just wish you’d been there the day my mother was on your show to be interviewed about her book (you were sick).

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