Hearne: The Farce & Folly of Radio Ratings

nielsen-people-meterEveryone pretends they’re real…

That is until a radio station like Entercom’s The Rock 98.9 gets embarrassingly low ratings, then out come the excuses alongside the specific demographic and hourly breakdowns to explain away the bad news.

Welcome to the world of radio ratings!

It’s how the ad sales game is played and it’s evolved into high art.

Radio sales jockeys and ad agency media buyers have become masterful and convincing in their explanations and presentations to clients and members of the media.

Yet the dirty, little secret – the flawed, unexplained “science” behind those ratings – is just that, flawed, inexact and highly questionable.

However it’s the only game in town at present.

The inherent problems with radio ratings include, ridiculously small sample sizes, questionable “technology” and zero oversight or insight into the exact methodology being employed.

In other words, smoke and mirrors – Wizard of Oz stuff.

Check out what media experts have been saying about these ratings for years: Continue reading

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Jack Goes Confidential: Tom Hanks ( And I) Endure Italian Thrill Tide

inferno-tom-hanks-release-dateTom Hanks kicked off the 2016 fall movie season the weekend after Labor Day…

Many in the Industry would have considered that date to have been suicide at the box office, but not for Hanks who overcame the naysayers by turning SULLY into a major hit.

Now seven weeks later he’s at it again with a second attempt at box office gold.

Will Hanks pull it off with INFERNO?

Let’s just say that I enjoyed SULLY v e r y much……

This weekend Tom Hanks reunites for the third time with director Ron Howard and producer Brian Frazier for yet another complex adaptation of a Dan Brown best selling mystery thrill novel.

As Harvard professor and symbolist  Robert Langdon we find Hanks waking up in an Italian hospital with severe head trauma. How did he get there? And what of all the haunting and twisted visions he’s experiencing?

And what of (hot) doctor Felicity Jones who’s treating him? IS there a connection?

And IF there is—Why and HOW?

Quite a puzzle!

Making things even worse there’s someone trying to do him in WHILE he’s in the hospital.

Time to get the hell out of there.

What we later learn is that it all revolves around a mad man intent on unleashing a killer virus with the potential of wiping out half the world’s population.

Can Hanks and his guardian hottie stop the unthinkable events before they become reality? Continue reading

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Lefsetz: Lady Gaga Lays an Egg

lady_gaga___joanne_folder_icon_by_nickohetenbern-dahufotIt’s a stiff…

Ignore the sales chart. That’s where hard core fans and kooky-loos go to participate, the store. The action is now in streaming, where we can see right away if anybody is listening.


It’s staggering, but not one track off of Lady Gaga‘s new collection “Joanne” is in the Spotify United States Top 50. It’d be like putting out a new “Star Wars” movie and finding no one in the theater, ending up with a gross of les than seven figures for the weekend.

How did she go so wrong?

Well, her last album, “Artpop,” was a flop, too.

Then she detoured into a collaboration with Tony Bennett.

And now she’s put out an album without a hit – and she lived and died on the hit.

But the same thing happened to Katy Perry. That Olympics song? Straight to the dumper.

So what is happening?

The rules are changing. The audience is changing. And if you’re looking for the mainstream media to jump in and set you straight, or the major labels, you’re going to continue to be blind.

We live in an on demand culture.

Data rules and we can tell if something is successful instantly. And it’s hard to resuscitate a project, especially when it’s got the stink upon it.

Five of “Joanne”‘s 14 tracks don’t even have a million streams.

Six break a million but don’t reach two.

Perfect Illusion,” the advance track, is at 38 million and change. But #50 on the Spotify US Top 50, Lil Yachty‘s “One Night,” has 38 million streams. And #1, “Starboy,” the Weeknd’s collaboration with Daft Punk, has a cume of 144 million plus, and it’s racking them up at the rate of 1,285,283 a day.

Now Gaga used collaborators too, but that’s become the story, whereas it’s only the end product that make a difference. And “Joanne”…is a curious collection of songs that lean more towards rock than EDM – and the electronic sound dominates today. Continue reading

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Hearne: The Rise & Fall of Johnny Dare

xyzThink end of an era…

It’s been decades since a geeky kid from Olathe rose from obscurity to become a force to be reckoned with in Kansas City radio.

His stage name: Johnny Dare.

Yet after more than 20 years of success and huge paychecks captaining 98.9 The Rock, Dare and the station’s ratings are plummeting, revealing that the emperor has few clothes.

“The Rock was in the top five stations for years and for five years in a row it was the No. 1 station in Kansas,” notes a media observer. “And now even with Johnny Dare, it’s ranked 14th. I mean, X105.1 FM came out of nowhere without any advertising or promotion and it’s got a 3.1 share to The Rock’s 3.5 share.

“The Rock is falling apart  there’s no question – and who knows what they’re still paying Johnny…He was a franchise player on that station… They used to pay him $800,000 plus bonus. My point is Johnny Dare is no longer a franchise player, because you could change the station’s format and still get a 3.5 share – three shares are not hard to get.”

In days gone by The Rock reportedly billed as much as $8 million a year in advertising.

The odds of KQRC garnering that kind of revenue now in 14th place among listeners 12 and older: Zippo

“This has been a long, steady decline,” says the source. “But even as they’re losing listeners, they’re still going to have loyal advertisers like Worth Harley. However the biggest part of a station’s revenue comes from ad agency buys – generally 90 percent with the exception of new talk radio.”

The bottom line: Continue reading

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New Jack City: Double-Dosing (Dipping?) On Political Ads

schweichlookLet’s not kid one another…

Major television media companies are still a great investment with their enormous holdings throughout the country.

Sure there are ongoing signs of diminishing returns for TV stations as other delivery systems make inroads on local affiliates.

But don’t feel sorry for these mega TV operators. They’re not going hungry—YET!

Kansas City’s television stations are no longer locally owned. That ended years ago.

Today out-of-town mega media corporations call the shots for our No. 31 ranked market.

But hats off to those TV moguls! Continue reading

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Glazer: Chiefs Get a Nice Win, Starting to Look Promising

screen-shot-2016-10-24-at-10-19-01-amChiefs coach Andy Reid’s 300th game…

He’s a likely future hall of fame coach and got a big win over the hot New Orleans Saints. The Arrowhead crowd helped with so much noise it caused 10 penalties by the Saints. Rarely heard from safety Daniel Sorensen had a touchdown run after he intercepted Drew Brees and then later a sack.

Turns out this was a first in Chiefs history, a TD INT return and sack in the same game.


Sorensen’s interception return and Marcus Peters fumble recovery were the big difference in this game. The Chiefs had no turnovers. Most importance is the emergence of Tyreek Hill as a major force and weapon for QB Alex Smith and the Chiefs. He can return the kicks, play running back and as we saw yesterday make the big play downfield with his speed.

Hill caught a deep pass from Smith for a touchdown that helped seal the deal. His speed is maybe best in the NFL today. Now teams will have to game plan for the speed and danger of Hill getting loose. He made a one handed grab of the ball. He may be the weapon the Chiefs have lacked for years. A game breaking receiver who can catch and run.

Smith was solid with just over 200 yards in the air, two TD throws and 17 for 24 passing. Spencer Ware continues to be the Chiefs workhorse and had a nice long TD run off a short throw from Smith.

The Saints offense was dangerous as always but the Chiefs stopped them with the two big turnovers. Brees still threw for over 300 yards as usual. It was a big win and kept KC in the mix for the division title, post season and perhaps a top spot in the playoffs. Continue reading

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Glazer: Scribe Unleashes Post One Night Stand Pics

Not Craig

Not Craig

Big game at Arrowhead…

A Chiefs win will establish them as the likely #2 team in the AFC. Hard to believe after the Steelers game,

But with the fall of Denver, Oakland and Pittsburgh and the Chiefs light schedule ahead – only bad teams coming for weeks – the Big Red emerge as a top tier team in the NFL.

Really, only a couple teams look Super right now.

The Pats are the best in football; Dallas the best in the NFC. The Seahawks re quietly sneaking up on everyone and the Vikes are a surprise team with great D. There are about seven or eight second tier teams, including our Chiefs right now – and an injury here or there can change things in a blink.

KC should beat the Saints.

They have no defense to speak of and a good passing game from guess who.

Chiefs 28-17 over New Orleans.

Continue reading

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Hearne: The Trouble with Harry — I Mean — Harley



Bear with me…

A long time ago – like nine years – during the early years of KC Confidential there came an irritating, irascible comments section dude named Jojo. Talk about rude and offensive, this dude made just about everybody’s skin crawl. He was a train wreck readers couldn’t turn away from.

Nobody was safe.

Then suddenly, he went away.

However many weeks or months later another equally gifted, odorous comments section dude named Harley rose from Jojo’s ashes and carried poor taste to new heights – or depths – depending on your perspective.

New KCC readers marveled at Harley’s caustic mix of obnoxious wit and flashes of fleeting, borderline genius. With rare exception, poor taste was the dude’s middle name. He was so bad he was good – a train wreck – a funny guy at times.

However for many readers – and a number of past and present KCC writers – Harley’s contributions to the site was a mixed blessing.

I’ve generally taken a bemused, tolerant attitude toward Harley.

Because at times he can bring more to the table than his trademark relentless, repetitive rants.

Other times, less so. Continue reading

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Jack Goes Confidential: ‘Jack Reacher: Never Go Back’–I Wish

jack-reacher-never-go-back-peopleDid 2012’s original JACK REACHER screen adaptation really warrant a sequel?

Depends on how one looks at it.

I’ll get to that in a few graphs.

In ‘JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK’ Tom Cruise returns as the former military officer who is now on call with various agencies when justice needs to be served.

This time he’s about to meet up again with Major Susan Turner (Cobie Smulders) who now leads Cruise’s old security outfit.

But before Cruise even gets to meet-and greet her, he learns that she’s been arrested for treason.

You guessed it, Tom saves the day by springing her out of prison and in the process uncovering a major government conspiracy and cover-up—not to mention a paternity side story.

You get the picture….. Continue reading

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Glazer: Donald Trump’s Last Stand?

screen-shot-2016-10-19-at-1-39-24-pmLooks like this may be Donald Trump‘s last stand…

If Trump thinks he’s beaten will he justly and have fun and attack, attack, attack? Maybe.

The way I see it, Trump still has a slugger’s chance to win on November 8th. Even though it looks pretty bad for the Donald right now. I mean, at no time has he had the lead over Hillary Clinton in national polls.

Trump pulled about even before the debates but his off the wall behavior and people seeing him as uncontrollable seems to have done him in.

Current polls show Clinton up 4-8 points.

She leads in almost all the battleground states.

So even if Trump’s last couple of debates were good, the tapes of his comments about women have simply taken over the two hate campaigns. So at this point, short of an indictment – which ain’t happening – Hillary is white House bound. She’s almost bullet proof.

Because the nation will elect the safer bet, a pro political star in Clinton. They just don’t trust the Donald. Those who like him can argue that he’s not a crook, that he wants to shake up Washington. They can say that he will fight for the little guy and wants to make America Great Again, but it’s clearly too late.

The Clinton machine was way bigger than anyone might have imagined. Bill and Hillary have just built a monster, getting backing where it matters from the people who run this country. And that’s pretty much that.

I don’t think Clinton or Trump are any more evil or corrupt than the many politicians who came before them.  Continue reading

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New Jack City: ‘American Honey’ Stiffs; Is KC Ready For Its Close-Up?

americanhoney-432x243There’s an old show biz saying that goes something like this…

If people don’t want to see it—there’s no stopping them.

I guess one could apply that expression to the latest feature motion picture to be partially filmed in Kansas City and Johnson County among other mid western locations.

It’s AMERICAN HONEY, a movie about a traveling crew of disaffected teens selling magazine subscriptions door-to-door by day and partying most of the night.

The film was written and directed by Andrea Arnold and stars Sasha Lane, Shia LaBeouf and Riley Keough among others.

Now one would think that with all the local media hype and fluff pieces afforded the movie, it would have opened here strong here this past weekend.

Some local critics even questioned why AMERICAN HONEY was opening at only TWO theaters in the metroplex?

Well, according to my sources, that may have been one theater too many. Continue reading

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Glazer: Chiefs Destroy Raiders, Go Figure

chsoTalk about strange things…

How about our Chiefs being favored on the road in Oakland after losing so badly to the Steelers. Not only that but with the Raiders at 4-1 with a strong passing attack and a win that would place them a powerful position to win the division.

But hey, the people in Las Vegas knew must have known something. Because the Chiefs walked all over the Raiders 26-10. Not only that, they beat them up physically on the field. Derrick Johnson had a couple crushing tackles that could end careers. He was awesome with seven big tackles.

The Raiders started the game in the heavy rain with a big return and an easy drive into the Chiefs end zone.  It looked like it would be another bad outing for KC. However Alex Smith led KC right down the field for a score and the Raiders and Derrick Carr were pretty much done.

The Chiefs played by far their best game of the year. Perhaps their best road game in years against a top tier team. Continue reading

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Glazer: Scribe Celebrates a Decade with ‘Black Barbie’

black-barbie-poolI went with Hearne nearly 10 years ago so see a Police concert at Sprint

After the show I got a call from a pal who worked the door at downtown strip club Temptations, just down the road. He told me that there was a young 9-plus new dancer from San Fran that I had too meet.

Her name was Black Barbie.

She stood nearly six-feet tall – even more in her stiletto heels – and was stunningly beautiful. All eyes were on her, including mine.

It was lust and love at first sight.

Barbie told me I looked like a young Al Pacino and it was on.

It was 2007 and she was 18. We began dating that night.

Oh, I tried to get her out of stripping, the usual moves one makes on these ladies. We were a couple for nearly two years.

I introduced her to my pals, double dated, even with Hearne, and we had so much fun.

Unlike other dancers she was very upbeat and had a nice way about her – even strangely well meaning.

But like all good things it ended. Continue reading

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Glazer: Chiefs-Raiders Redux & Zzzzzzzzzz Big 12 Games

6f1ef68decefbe4afe58ee4b5353ae82Not too many juicy football games to bet on this weekend…

Lots of tough calls.

Our Chiefs caught a break with Denver losing to the Chargers this week and falling to 3-2. That leaves Oakland alone at the top with a 4-1 record.

The Raiders are hoping to take over the division with a win against our Chiefs Sunday.

Based on the first part of this NFL season, that should happen.

That said, Oakland has lost its last three to KC, however this one should go their way at home.

Chiefs pass defense looks more than suspect, other than Marcus “Big Play” Peters.

The Raiders Derrick Carr should out duel a fading Alex Smith. Jamaal Charles says he is 100% ready to go – and we’ll need him – but we’ll see.

When Alex Smith scores a touchdown on the ground himself the Chiefs are 9-0.

Those were the days.

Nut this season Smith has not run the ball much, so he needs to start.

For some odd reason KC is favored!

What? Yep. By one point on the road, strange. I look for a close game with the Raiders winning. 24-17. Lets hope for better. Continue reading

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NEW JACK CITY: Jack Meets Up With ‘American Honey’

maxresdefaultThis is not really a movie review…

But since AMERICAN HONEY filmed some of its scenes in Kansas City and Johnson County, I felt that I better touch on it—all 2:42 hours of it.

First off, the basic story line finds Muskogee runaway (newcomer) Sasha Lane hooking up with a traveling crew selling door-to-door magazine subscriptions.

Shia LaBeouf is their top sales guy as the crew now heads on through Oklahoma, Iowa, North Dakota—with stops in Kansas City and lovely Johnson County.

Selling by day and partying by night.

And yes, there is drama, sex and social empathy as these kids glide from brotherly highs to lonely valley’s of distress with magazine pitch techniques perfected by LaBeouf. This guy is smooth as silk.

“He’s not lying. He’s selling”

It’s like a band of Gypsies hitting neighborhoods….all living for the moment.

The movie gives the impression that it was filmed improvisationally. A documentary approach and style complete with the hand-held camera hipness which (almost) gave me a headache. Continue reading

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Jack Goes Confidential: ‘The Accountant’—What You See ISN’T What You Get!

the_accountantTHE ACCOUNTANT is not who you think he is—or WHAT he appears to be…

In one sense he’s an accounting specialist who offers savant-like skills with numbers to some of the world’s most dangerous outfits.

His other side is one driven by the cruel world of autism.

Ben Affleck in the title role walks a fine line between both aspects of this complex action-thriller.

RAINMAN with high-octane lethal firepower anyone?

And now J.K. Simmons of the Treasury Department is closing in on our complex CPA/Hero by following the murky trail of inconsistencies uncovered by Anna Kendrick at John Lithgow’s Living Robotics high-end tech outfit.

Sounds weird?

It is to a degree as the movie combines the best of two very different worlds.

Some would call it the worst. Continue reading

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Hearne: So Many ‘Pussycats,’ So Few Dance Grooves

article-1279558711395-0a7e3bd7000005dc-434089_466x425It’s not unusual for 76 year-old men to lose a step after more than 50 years…

Such was the case with ’60s heartthrob Tom Jones before a sold out crowd at the Uptown last week.

What was unusual was for the septuagenarian’s pipes to be in such amazing shape. Make no mistake, for an oldster, Jones did not disappoint.

Unless of course you have a really long memory and/or checked out Jones clips on YouTube from the days when he was – to put it plainly – a panties magnet.

No mas.

These days – with the odd exception, including my date of course – most of the panties tossers in the crowd seemed better suited to Depends.

That said, Jones dress shirt was dripping wet halfway through his two hour show, despite the complete absence of the slinky, suggestive, signature body language and dance moves he was once famous for.

Powering Jones’ show was a stellar nine piece band that breathed fire into many (but not all) of his greatest hits along with a smattering of  R&B, blues and gospel tunes that were pleasing if mostly unfamiliar.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, was no small feat; to bring a packed house to its feet and sustain such a high energy level with so many unfamiliar songs.

Not that everything about Jones show made perfect sense.

For example with his arsenal of actual hits numbering under 10, how does one rationalize leaving out, “She’s a Lady” and “Daughter of Darkness” to name two?

“So how do you rate the concert so far,” asked an anxious audience member to my left. “Don’t be a dick.”

“Eight to 8.5,” I shot back.

Again, despite a nonstop parade of mostly obscure songs.

Then Jones threw the crowd a bone and did, “Kansas City.

Complete with an odd rewording of the song’s signature line:

“You gotta crazy way of living here and I’m gonna get me some,” Jones sang.

Huh, crazy way of living?

What happened to: “They got some crazy little women there, and I’m gonna get me one.”

Maybe at Jones advanced age he’s finally packing it in romantically.

Wasn’t always the case. Continue reading

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Starbeams: ‘Creepy Dads’ + Weiner/Trump + Save Second Base

74910Happy Christopher Columbus Day!  If you can’t get a good deal on a mattress, you’re not paying attention.



Ivanka Trump and Chelsea Clinton spoke after the Sunday night debates in St. Louis.  They wanted to exchange creepy dad stories but they only had three hours to kill.



Finally some good news for Donald Trump.  He received and endorsement from Anthony Weiner!

      *******  Continue reading

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Lefsetz: HBO’s Vice News Tonight —Out With the Old!

viceIt’s all about trust…

Shane Smith and his roving group of merrypersons are going to take over the news business, they’re gonna hijack it in plain sight, just like MTV became the music juggernaut.

But this is different. Because Vice is built for the 21st century. Where how you look is secondary to who you are.

The hosts were a cornucopia of sexes and ethnicities. They looked like America. Where everybody is just not an old white man.

The show was strangely riveting, like watching a younger, hipper, version of 60 Minutes. It was news with gravitas for an educated viewer – it was a home run.

And it will only get better.

We can argue all day long whether millennials watch television.

One thing we know for sure is HBO is the most trusted name in television. Its imprimatur is priceless, and yes, millennials do watch Game Of Thrones.

And they’re newshounds.

Forget Fox News; its audience is so aged the outlet should be sponsored by mortuaries.

The networks think it’s about slickness. Local stations are a joke, peopled by bimbos, both male and female – it’s a caricature of the news.

But Vice News Tonight… It was the real thing.

While all its competitors are cutting back, believing it’s about balancing the books, Vice is doubling-down and will take over, right under everybody’s noses. It’s quite a remarkable story. Vice knows the marketplace has changed, that people want to know and they want someone/something to trust, and if you provide this… Continue reading

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Glazer: Scribe Laments Alex Smith, Andy Reid, Lays Down Winners

15113048The Chiefs are as big a dud as Hurricane Matthew was yesterday in Florida…

The season already seems lost and head coach Andy Reid is likely at the end of his coaching days. Reid has had a career similar to Marty Schottenheimer….lots of great regular seasons but no Super Bowls.

The Alex Smith experiment is nearly over as well.

Smith had his moments but in the end he netted only one playoff win and just didn’t have enough talent to take the Chiefs to big dance.

The Chiefs have made a lot of money using up other team’s quarterbacks. No other team in the NFL has dodged developing a young quarterback for nearly half a century.

It’s getting to be about time to look at Nick Foles.

Alex is looking pretty old at 32.

Taking all those hits for sacks over the years seems to have aged him and slowed him down. His passes are off this year more than ever with no long balls. And he no longer runs the ball to get first downs and keep drives going. Maybe he just can’t anymore. So it’s going to be a long fall and winter for all of us in KC regarding football.  Continue reading

Posted in Craig_Glazer | Tagged | 38 Comments