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