Hearne: 610 Sports Continues to Punish WHB Despite Royals Slide

920x920Speaking of sports…

It may not be over tis it’s over, but it’s sure looking like Kansas City’s reign atop  the world of Major League Baseball is coming to an end. It was nice while it lasted but given this area’s deep appreciation of sports and talk radio, one has to wonder will the Royals brief flirtation with excellence have any lasting effects?

Take the dramatic ratings shift of the past two years where longtime sports radio powerhouse WHB AM got dethroned by former weak sister competitor 610 Sports.

For years 610 Sports could do no right.

At its peak, local hero and former 610 stalwart Nick Wright spent practically an entire career struggling to compete with and vowing to defeat WHB kingpin Kevin Kietzman.

Never really happened.

Wright eventually threw in the towel and bailed for a morning radio show in Houston before latching onto a nondescript gig with Fox Sports in LA this past spring.

Meanwhile back at the radio ranch, a funny thing happened.

As the flagship station of the Kansas City Royals, 610 Sports rode the team’s coattails sweeping past WHB’s aging air staff with a cast of young unknowns, bantering about their dating lives, kids and the kind of cultural schtick that appeals to younger listeners.

The latest?

Even with the Royals’ demise this year, 610 continues to clean WHB’s clock.

3068041In the June 2016 radio ratings for listeners 12 and older, 610 Sports came in 7th overall with a 4.7 share and a cume of 381,000 listeners.

How WHB came out: Would you believe 19th place?

It gets worse.

Kansas City’s once venerable sports radio powerhouse WHB eked out a paltry 1.8 share with a cume of only 150,500 listeners.

No two ways about it, the “youngsters” at 610 cleaned WHB’s “oldsters” clock.

Flashback anyone?

Shades of the mid /late 1990s when Kietzman and WHB built the station’s success on a foundation of making fun of KMBZ AM sports talk strongman Don Fortune, casting him as a over-the-hill, fuddy-duddy.

The $64 million question: Can 610 maintain its lead should the Royals slide continue?

Time will tell.

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17 Responses to Hearne: 610 Sports Continues to Punish WHB Despite Royals Slide

  1. CG says:

    Points well taken Hearne. You might remember I predicted the 610 rise two years ago when they assembled the young crew and I was on with them often. Good guys, they have fun, work hard and have made their day to day lives a big part of the shows. Still the Royals slide, as you also predicted, has hurt.

    I’m a little surprised at WHB numbers man really down. Again KC is a loyal fan base for radio more than most cities our size, but time is changing that as well. Sports fans like to hear the day to day on our two pro teams, Chiefs and Royals but when they don’t do well interest falls. Chiefs are a mystery as always for upcoming season…nobody thinks they are a Super Bowl contender just the usual ‘can we make it to a wild card or slip in as a division winner’…with Denver down, Chargers in a fade and Oakland on the rise, a decent Chiefs team should take division. Yet we are missing some key players and the draft didn’t thrill anyone…we’ll see.

    • Harley says:

      GLAZE…..unfortunately whb is a huge moneymaker. They do twice the
      biz of 610. And with their new restuarnant on 135th packed every night
      they are killing it.
      610 is good with kids. But they don’tbuy product. And go over to 810
      zone…it’s packed!

  2. CG says:

    P.S. Nick and now Jason Whitlock are huge on FS1, Jason got his own show every night with THE HERD man. So his career is on the rise, so is Nick’s nice to see our local guys doing well.

    • The Word says:

      I don’t get how one man can fail up as much as Whitlock has done.

      I remember his last year at the Star and how much of a train wreck it was.

      Admittedly, he was the first person in this town to figure out Scott Pioli and Todd Hailey as the hacks they were. But then he did that horrific Tom Watson column.

      Remember that? Whitlock started the column with a disclaimer, paraphrasing that a smart Kansas City reader should expect a column from me about a famous Kansas Citian on top of the Open leaderboard trying to win his sixth Open championship and his tenth major.

      A smart man should expect that column. But I’m not a smart man. So here’s a throwaway column about Tiger Woods being a waste of space. Suck it Kansas City.

      He failed at 810, 610, ESPN twice. Fox Sports once and the only job he was good at he napalmed his bridge there. He’s like Lane Kiffin. No matter how much he fails someone promotes the guy.

    • bob says:

      “P.S. Nick and now Jason Whitlock are huge on FS1,”

      No they are not. Fishing outdraws those two. They average 36,000 viewers an episode.

  3. Guy Who Says What Others Think says:

    WHB (read: Kevin Keitzman) totally alienated the Mizzou fan base during their departure from the Big 12. That’s certainly NOT the sole reason for the stations ratings slide, but it’s a contributing factor. People just got sick and tired of his Kstate schtick and have turned off his station.

    • One Guy says:

      I’m a K-Stater, and I can’t listen to him. So full of himself and always picking a fight with someone. It gets old.

      • One Guy says:

        I do think Petro is great, but I could see his methodical style not working with the younger crowd.

    • Frank says:

      All of the local sports guys are morons. If you are in need of a “hot sports take” just listen to your own thoughts.

  4. Paul says:

    610, especially the afternoon crew, is so much fresher than 810. This comes from a 50-something sports fan who never thought it would happen. Kevin needs a total update of his show, which has become a never-ending loop:

    – Jack Harry
    – Frank Boal
    – Frank White
    – Smoke & Fire Barbecue
    – Stan Weber

    Soren does a nice job, but I’m a stats guy who likes his numbers-based broadcast. His weekly interviews with journalists from other cities always provide a fresh take.

    Danny Parkins and C-Dot may not stay focused on sports, but they get the interviews that matter. Their relationship is much closer to 50/50 than Kevin and Danny Clinkscale’s 95/5. That’s sad, because Danny can add a lot to a broadcast if given the chance.

  5. On the morning shows, 810’s oldsters have to be just short of taking social security, no doubt. But isn’t Bullfrog Fesco on 610 just about the same old age? Fesco and the Border Bores oughta get the hell out the game and do something more fitting of ancient senior citizens, such as running for president for the gop-er and democrat parties.

  6. snappietom says:

    Has anyone told Stan Weber to take a breath? He is the King of the run on sentence. Hey Stan, throw in a comma or a pause for effect for christsakes. Kevin lets him take over the show so he doesn’t have to talk. Absolutely the worst segment of the show. It really is time for a fresh overhaul of that entire line up. As a part-owner of the station, who’s going to call you out Kevin ?

  7. William says:

    Most of the KU fans love to bring down Keitzman just because he’s a K-Stater, but they won’t admit it openly — or probably won’t admit it to themselves. It’s always because of his “deficiencies.” (That’s the way bias works and that’s how “homers” act.) He was very upbeat about MU until the “fiasco,” then he called it for what it was, which many other people have as well since it happened. If Keitzman and Weber weren’t on radio, we wouldn’t hear anything remotely neutral or positive about K-State sports. They are biased, too, but they’re vastly outnumbered. With all of the KU grads (or married to one, e.g., Soren) in local sports radio acting like “homers” in many news situations, it’s nice to see some new personalities from schools outside the area get behind the microphone. The result is more non-biased coverage.

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