Hearne: Taking the Measure of Bottom Line Communications Going Away Hit List


Will Gregory

About fleeing-the-scene media blogger John Landsberg

First a quick reminder, I too will miss his “reporting” on the comings and goings of local television newsies. Landsberg’s takes may have been fuddy-duddy at times (and they were), but Bottom Line did its best filling a niche nobody else has really attempted to fill since the women folk in FYI at the Star ran off media dude Barry Garron in the 1990s.

Let me go on record here that I too will don a black armband when Landsberg moves his grandpa sweater collection to South Carolina.

As a going away gift to readers however, he opened up with some departing shots and explanations about local media and himself.

Let’s take a look.


Mark Clegg

For starters Landsberg gives a nod to former Channel 9 news director Brian Bracco now hard at work transforming Channel 41’s Gary Lezak and Who? newscasts into a contender. I’ll second  Landsberg’s praise and add that insiders have their fingers crossed that Bracco will be the one to finally pull the plug on the wooden soldier known as Mark Clegg and hire a real deal male news anchor.

My prediction: Count on it!

Tony & Jennifer(1)

Who else? Tony!

Landsberg’s take on why he screens comments is a good one. Tony and I used to joke about how he was waaaaaaay too thin skinned to allow comments. For years he would post one here or one there that he apparently received in the form of an email or phone call.

However, a year or more ago when he finally redid his website, the new baby arrived comments ready and one by one they began to appear. Screened of course, to weed out ones that struck a nerve or hit too close to home. Here’s what Landsberg says now:

“Why do I screen comments on stories? Because some people are idiots. The vast majority of the people who visit this site are top-notch, but those few who cross the line with their comments will have them deleted. Really, no one cares if you would like to have sex with an anchor or reporter.”

Funny guy.


The Late Fred White

I never posted on Bottom Line that I wanted to have sex with anybody, but a few weeks ago I attempted to set the record straight on comments made by former radio newsman Scott Simon. Incorrect comments attributing the axing of Royals broadcaster Fred White to former Entercom news director Bill White. Having confirmed with Entercom’s general manager that the decision was well above White’s pay grade and rested largely with then Royals GM Herk Robinson, I posted as much in the comments section. A simple correction verified on the record with KMBZ management.

Funny thing, my comments never saw the light of day. I must have been day dreaming and drifted off into wanting to have had sex with somebody.

As Tony and I discussed, Landsberg doesn’t have the stones to allow any but the mildest criticism. Look, we all screen comments at times, but readers of this site have seen me and just about everybody who has written here take it up the you-know-what time and again.

So allow me to call bullshit on that one.

Let’s continue.


Bottom Line fan boy Aaron Barnhart

“For some reason, former KC Star TV/Radio writer Aaron Barnhart never liked me.  He actually insulted me while I was buying his stupid book, and it really irritated me.  I do think he fashioned himself as some kind of a national media reporter and did not cover KC media goings-on very well.”

This surprises you, John?

When I first left the Star and mentioned Bottom Line briefly on KCC I got a message from Aaron telling me what a faux journalist and flake he thought Landsberg was, and encouraging me to burn him at the stake.

I’m pretty sure the 13 to 18 bucks he spent on Barnhart’s book was not about to change his estimation of Landsberg’s skill set.

Here’s another doozy.


The “amazing” Darla Jaye

“It has been great to see how KMBZ’s Darla Jaye has thrived despite being banished to the tough evening talk show period. She can sometimes come across as tough as nails on the air, but she is a very nice person. I will miss her.”

I’m going to let that one stand while you guys go thru SMH  motions (remember that one?)

Here’s where I show up!

whatswrongwithnickwright“My mother always told me that if you can’t say something nice about someone then don’t say anything.  I will apply that to Hearne ChristopherJason Whitlock and Nick Wright.  Enuf said.”

Two things…

First you’d be better served with “nuff said.” Second, your mom’s words ring about as hollow as I can imagine, given that you’ve gone as far out of your way as possible to trash me and Nick over the years. Until I outed you a few years ago and you email begged me to enter into a truce.

As for following your mom’s advice, you still aren’t doing it, given that what you wrote here is obviously a slam. I mean, on  behalf of Jason, Nick and I, we welcome the publicity but would ask that people consider the source. Just don’t pretend to take the high road…



Don’t let the half smile fool you…Joyce Smith

“One of the strangest media relationships I have ever had was with the Star’s Joyce Smith.  To this day I do not know if she cares for me or not despite us being close friends at one time.”

Hoo boy, welcome to The Club, John Boy.

Joyce Smith is about as mentally unstable a reporter as imaginable and I can’t think of a single soul that’s ever sitteth on her right hand that didn’t get godsmacked eventually by her left. Usually to the point of being permanently scarred and hating her guts. The name Will Gregory comes to mind on the latter.

Joyce and I were quite close prior to my joining the Star. And for a period of time afterwards as well. I used to go down to the business desk and joke with her about who scooped whom on some kick ass business story.

Until the time I scooped her on Ralph Gaines Lobster Pot moving to Manor Square in Westport. Joyce totally lost it. And when I had my come to Jesus with then FYI head Ellen Foley and told her that Joyce and I were pals, she said – and I quote – “Trust me, she is not your friend. Stay away from her.”

Anybody have room for dessert?

Then check out this comment left on Bottom Line by PR dude Will Gregory: “Class. I’m a better person for knowing you, John. Congrats on standout career and a blog not to be missed. Cheers!”

I probably shouldn’t do this but I can’t resist.

Wanna know what Gregory told me time and again that he thinks about Landsberg and Bottom Line? Not much.

largeGregory told me that when he left the Fairmont Hotel (now the Intercontinental) several years back, Landsberg advised him that if he wanted to put his new PR company on the map, he should lie to the Kansas City Business Journal about how much actual business he had – inflate the numbers – to make it into the mag’s Top 25 list – like Landsberg told Gregory that he did.

Hey, that’s all folks!





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10 Responses to Hearne: Taking the Measure of Bottom Line Communications Going Away Hit List

  1. smartman says:

    One by one the turds are slowly leaving town. Next up on my list of hopefulls, Ned Yost, Dayton Moore, David Glass, Kevin Keitzman, Mike Fannin, Craig Glazer, Stretch, and the whole KC Star Idiotorial Bored.

  2. Mysterious J says:

    Way to use Fred White’s still warm corpse to score points against your enemies!

  3. paulwilsonkc says:

    Mysterious, technically, it’s not still warm. It achieves room temperature in about 2 hours. Just a point of clarification as that seems to be the typical media waiting time. I don’t know if there’s a direct corrolation, however.

    • Mysterious J says:

      I stand corrected…Fred’s corpse was perhaps better termed as “fresh” when Hearne began using it to score points, it was certainly not warm. Point taken.

  4. chuck says:

    Great article.

    I fu*kin love it when the gloves come off!

  5. Hot Carl says:

    “When I first left the Star and mentioned Bottom Line briefly on KCC I got a message from Aaron telling me what a faux journalist and flake he thought Landsberg was, and encouraging me to burn him at the stake.”

    This was fantastic advice. Landsberg definitely has some sort of bi-polar thing going on. He actually made up two fake names at KCForum.net and used to use one of them to tell his other alter-ego how great he was. One of the strangest guys I’ve ever come across.

    • admin says:

      Here’s kind of the interesting thing about John…

      Despite his numerous, odd character flaws, he does provide enough basic information that he’s worth having around. That’s why I keep saying that I’ll miss him.

      The funny thing being is how a number of legitimate media folks that he’s stroked – does the name Jim Fitzpatrick ring a bell? – who have no idea of what Landsberg’s track record and modus operandi have been over the years, suck up to him and praise him as if he was Bob Woodward.

      Because if Landsberg had truly mattered – if his site had become a force or he’d been affiliated with a legitimate news organization like the Star – somebody would have outed him long ago and he’d have been disgraced and probably fired.

      There’s something to be said for flying under most folk’s radar.

      The other interesting thing to note is that the only comments that ran after his farewell piece were ultra positive ones and maybe a couple with faint criticism.

      Hey, this is the Internet. I think we all know what the odds are of running an opinion website for 12 years and not having your fair share of critics. Harsh critics.

      All of that said, again, I’m going to miss him!

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