Hearne: Dramatic Cutbacks in New Orleans Bad Sign for Newspapers

Just when devotees of newspapers thought it was safe to go outside…

It’s been an incredibly tough four-plus years for newspapers and magazines. And not just because of the dour economic landscape. The Kansas City Star has laid off hundreds – going from a staffing of more than 2,000 employees 10 years ago to around 700 today. The city’s second largest print player, the Johnson County Sun, is no longer even in business having been shuttered by its area owner that had invested millions in buying and running the suburban weekly. The Pitch was fire saled off to an out-of-town buyers a year ago after years of churning out red ink, its long term future yet in doubt.

And now comes news that the vaunted New Orleans Times-Picayune is poised to enact massive staff cuts and reduce its newspaper circulation from daily to just three days a week this fall. To which I now suggest that you read it here first.

How few times a week can a daily paper publish and remain viable, I asked former Star publisher Art Brisbane in February of 2009.

"Obviously there’s something known as a weekly out there, but I don’t know the answer to that," Brisbane – now the New York Times public editor said then. "They could have a daily printed product, but maybe look at doing it differently. Maybe print a free six-days-a-week paper but with only 40,000 copies a day and on Sunday you have a mega paper with 300,000 or greater circulation. That way you preserve the single most profitable part of the paper which is the Sunday paper – that is overwhelmingly the most profitable part of the paper. The problem though is, you reduce your visibility and the newspaper reading habit."

The understanding being that like New Orleans and a handful of other newspapers owned by its parent company, daily online publishing would continue.

However…

"There’s another dimension that makes it very difficult for newspapers and that’s that it’s not going to be easy to shift from print side revenues and profits to the online side," Brisbane added. "A lot of companies are trying to do that, to (convert) the loss of print revenues to Internet revenues and it makes a lot of sense to try to do that. But the reality is the profits from Internet revenue are a lot less. The problem is that newspapers had a virtual monopoly over print advertising, but on the Internet there is virtually no barrier to entry, so they cannot leverage their rates up because there’s so much competition. And because of that it’s hard to generate profits and what’s happening is the decline of the print side is so much greater than the rise on the Internet side."

For example, the Ann Arbor News  stopped printing its daily in 2009, but continued to deliver the goods online while publishing a print edition twice weekly. Several other Michigan papers followed suit earlier this year.

Poynter Institute business analyst Rick Edmonds‘ take:

“On the one hand, they liked it enough that they did it with the rest of the Michigan papers," Edmunds says. "On the other hand, I’ve never had the impression that it’s been a real financial success, and it has the typical difficulty of trying to generate meaningful online ad revenues.”

The publisher of the online-only Ann Arbor Chronical, Mary Morgan told Poynter the following:

"You can find isolated community voices who offer a positive take on some aspects of the publication. However, with respect to its overall journalistic success, it’s fair to say that the general sentiment in the community ranges from disgruntled resignation to outright loathing. …

"Having watched the debacle here as it continues to unfold, I find it incredible that (it owner) would impose this on another publication, particularly one as storied as The Times-Picayune. It’s truly baffling. Or maybe not: Owners who don’t live in a community — or in the same state or region —see these publications as commodities to be optimized."

Poynter notes that the Detroit Free Press and Detroit News still print papers but only deliver them three times a week, offering readers "slimmed-down" editions at newsstands.

And allow me to remind you, this is about the business model of print, not just the economy.

CNN reporter Gloria Borger tackled the topic Friday.

"And newpapers, well, they take another step in the way of the dinosaurs," Borger said. "How much longer can the business hang on?"

"New Orleans will now become the largest metro area in the nation now that doesn’t have a daily print newspaper," Borger continued. "We have seen this starting to happen at newspapers for years now. We know that the economy is going in the wrong direction as far as newspapers are concerned."

Borger then asked CNN media host/reporter Howard Kurtz, "Does this mean that all daily newspapers are going to of the way of the steam engine?"

"I certainly hope not," Kurtz began. "(But) newspapers need the revenues provided by the print advertisements because online ads produce a fraction of the money coming in."

Print ads accounting for about 86 percent of newspaper revenues, Borger added.

"Look, the trend is moving in this direction and it really pains me to say that," Kurtz added. "I don’t think print is going to disappear completely but it may in some communities."

"Here’s the problem," Kurtz continued. "When you shrink the revenue and you cut the staff, which is also happening in New Orleans, you are crippling the reporting that those communities rely on…You know, newspapers are already cutting back. For example, you go to any state capital in the United States and there are far fewer print reporters there than there used to be.  That means fewer people keeping an eye on the governor, on state legistlators, on contracting. Now, that’s important stuff if you live in that community and I don’t see local TV or Web sites stepping up to fill that breach."

Kurtz unfortunate bottom line:

"Newspapers can’t be everything to anyone anymore. Their economic model is not there any more. But they do some things very well…But also if you’re in New Orleans or Tampa or St. Louis or San Francisco, you rely  on that local paper to hold your public officials accountable. We’re oin to be seeing less of that."

Brisbane’s three year-old prediction for the future of newspapers still stands:

"I don’t want to make a prediction about The Star but in general a number of newspapers will probably close and some of the newspaper companies will go bankrupt. And when that happens – let’s say some newspaper that has become unprofitable – the question is will anybody step up and buy it and try to run it successfully. You would think they would but we haven’t had a situation that has tested that prospect yet."

Until that is, the Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffett.

Stay tuned…

Posted in Hearne_Christopher | Tagged | 9 Comments

Glazer: The Premature Death of Royals ‘Superstar’ To Be Eric Hosmer

The Royals are beginning to turn away from their "future super star" Eric Hosmer…

Yep, todays Kansas City Star held more proof of the team’s lack of confidence that their guy will ever be much more than maybe the next Alex Gordon. Meaning a solid player – nothing much more than good – not great. Holy Molly!

So the Royals press dogs have now started pushing for Mike Moustakas, the Moose. He was front page news today – the team’s best third baseman since George Brett. The guy leads the team in homers at seven and is batting .300. They even compare him to all the other good third baseman in the league for range.

They‘re desperate we’re desperate.

Clearly with Hosmer out of the All-Star Game, it’s THE MOOSE, who the Royals want to take his place.

Unless it’s a pitcher or Billy Butler (the second coming of Mike Sweeney) it will likely be Moustakas. That is, unless his average slips to .250 and he doesn’t hit any more homers in June (like Hosmer didn’t in May).

Hosmer’s stuck on five home runs.

The directionless Royals even started a rookie against the Yankees a couple days back at Yankee Stadium. Good move, he got crushed. That was an easy money bet with the Yankees just a 2 to 1 favorite over KC. But good luck getting takers outside of online or Las Vegas. So yeah, we lost.

So the Royals, with the third worst record in baseball, now have the dud of the year in Eric Hosmer.

Most baseball insiders and Royals fans thought he was a sure thing this season. Eric would hit over .300, have at least 28 home runs and drive in over 100, no problem. Instead he’s been hitting around .180 with few homers and RBI’s.

Is he a bust? Probably not a complete bust.

It looks like he will join Butler and Gordon as guys who are good to have on your team, but no big deal. And that’s painful.

Oh, for those of you who will tell me the Royals have done much better than when we lost one million games in a row to start the season. Really? We were 6 1/2 games out of first at that time and now we are 8 1/2 games out with the second worst record in the American League.

I hope Eric gets going again, but it doesn’t look too good right now.

Posted in Craig_Glazer | Tagged | 17 Comments

Starbeams: Johnny Rowlands’ “Pornstache,” Kid Curfew, AMC Bails, French Connection

The Kansas City Youth Curfew starts this weekend. Children 18 and younger who are in public after 9:00 p.m. must be on a leash.

*******

AMC and Cordish have parted ways on the AMC Mainstreet Theater.  It has nothing to do with the Chinese buyout of AMC this week.  I’m hoping to get a deal on one of those vibrating leather chairs. Is this a public forum?

*******

KMBC Channel 9 was off the air Thursday evening after lightning struck its tower.  The station was able to go to backup power but major damage was done to Johnny Rowland‘s electric pornstache trimmer.

*******

Missouri highway officials just cut the ribbon on an $8.1 million diverging diamond interchange at I-435 and Front Street.  It was pioneered in France.  Basically, the interchange takes people to the left then right and turns them into socialists.

Kelly Urich hosts the morning show on The Point 99.7 FM

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Whinery: NY Goes After Blog Commenters, Greek Tragedy, Kool v. Van Halen

Ladies and Gentlemen. May I please have your attention?

I’ve just been handed an urgent and horrifying news story and I need all of you to stop what you’re doing and listen.

CANNONBALL!  Ron Burgundy!

The State of the World… I don’t even know where to begin this rant on how we are either hopelessly screwed or face a new beginning- either way- as Bob Dylan said,  “The times they are a changing!”

From the “Don’t They Have Something Else Better to Do” file comes this; Republicans in New York State think that the safety of their citizenry is being compromised by anonymous blog commenters. You know the types. And nearly half the Reps in New York’s legislature have signed onto an UNCONSTITUIONAL bill which would force web pages, social media sites and online newspapers to delete any anonymous comments under penalty of law.

All in the name of “CyberBullying.

I think the politicians just want to be able to find out where you live should you have the temerity to question their leadership. If passed- this will be another piece of legislation that the courts will have to save us from.

Like the Honorable Judge Katherine Forrest just did when she struck down the provisions of the “National Defense Authorization Act”, authorizing Americans to be held without bail, legal representation, or being able to confront their accusers if the Executive Branch of Government deemed they’re a “terrorist.”

I’m telling you- Judges are the only thing standing in the way of a Fascist Police State.

Look at Chicago during the NATO Summit if you don’t believe me.

That had a security presence similar to the old East Germany. Does it still feel like this Country is the World beacon of freedom or more like we’re turning totalitarian? The First Amendment guarantees freedom of assembly and I didn’t see the Government doing anything to preserve that right during the “Conference of Warlords

Things are also getting interesting in the world of money.

The European Union is getting ready to implode and I can’t wait. The Greek elections coming up on June 17th may just put the final nail in the coffin of this silly experiment. When the socialist and anti-austerity party, Syriza, takes over- the NWO banksters in Europe will be on the run.  The great economist Milton Friedman gave the Euro 10-20 years before it collapses, and his prediction is right on schedule.

Meanwhile back here in the USA- I think KC Confidential needs to start a “Dead Pool” on which State goes bankrupt first. Unike the Federal Government, the States can’t run deficits and must balance their budgets. My money is on my home state of California which is running a $17 BILLION dollar deficit and is being driven into the ground by my favorite liberal- Edmund G. Brown, JR. He should know better than to think you can tax and spend your way into prosperity. Btw, Michigan and Illinois are running a close second.

And to any suckers who bought stock in Facebook, did you really think that investing in a CIA Data Mining operation was gonna put your kids through college? Sorry CIA- You know I love you- just spy on the rest of the World and not Americans and your agencies crest will always be on my refrigerator.

Concert Review Time: Kool & the Gang blew Van Halen off the stage- even without JT singing lead. Don’t get me wrong, Eddie Van Halen’s guitar solos are still a quasi-religious experience, but Diamond Dave’s voice is shot. Maybe 30 concerts really have been postponed on this tour because of fatigue and not the usual prima donna rock star internecine warfare.

Good Day and Have a Pleasant Tomorrow!

Posted in News_and_Views | Tagged | 8 Comments

Leftridge: Tales From the Tweet: NBA Playoffs, Wright’s Grand Gesture & Canseco vs. Sheik (Finally!)

When you’re a fan of Kansas City sports, the end of May and early June is a bleak time. The Royals are typically toast, the Chiefs are just starting OTA junk and collegiate athletics—the ones worth paying attention to, anyway—are stagnant. If you’re an NBA or NHL fan (LOLZ! at that last one!!!), this is an exciting time, though. Playoffs, baby.

In case you missed it—and let’s be honest, most of you probably did—the OKC Thunder ousted the Lakers, the Spurs steamrolled the Clippers, the Heat will probably dismiss the Pacers in short order (though it’s worth noting that the Pacers have made it a close series, at least) and the Celtics and the 76erswait, what? Are we sure it’s THOSE 76ers? It is? Well…okay, if you say so—are heading into a Game 7 showdown this Saturday.

So just who in the hell is watching this stuff? The Lakers Executive Vice Cougar, for one.

@‏JeanieBuss (EVP Lakers, Phil Jackson’s GF, Unbelievably sexy lady)
“Congrats to OK City #Thunder. 1st class organization starting at the top. OKC is OK with me – good luck through rest of #NBA playoffs.”

What a thoughtful, classy tweet from someone who is transparently passing along tidings of well-wishes and… whatever. I can’t do this. I didn’t even read whatever her tweet said. I just included her so I could post her picture. Where have I been? Where has SHE been all my life? How did I have no idea that the Executive Whatever in Charge of Holy Shit was so goddamned hot?! Wow. And she’s ridiculously wealthy? AND wears sexy business suits? I’m sold. And totally in trouble with my wife, now. Let’s move on.

@lilduval (standup comedian)
“U know how boring the nba finals would be if indiana and San antonio make it there?”

Um, yes, yes I do. The Spurs are archaic and would be boring against whoever they play (let’s go OKC!). The Pacers are… the Pacers. They haven’t been fun since Ron Artest was punching civilians in the stands. Thankfully, I don’t think the Pacers are a very real threat. Speaking of Artest—nee Metta World Peace—just how is he handling the Lakers dismissal?

@MettaWorldPeace (LA Lakers, notorious head-case)
“Which OKC fan got my jersey??? Tell her to tweet it do I can sign it for her…. Like 50fans were trying to get it but she had a fatty….”

He’s nothing if not honest, folks.

You know who ISN’T watching the NBA playoffs (aside from you and everyone you know)? This guy:

@GrantWahl (Senior writer, Sports Illustrated)
“Buddy of mine tried to watch NBA playoffs in NYC bar with NBA exec Sat. Got shut down since every place was showing Champions League final.”

And rightfully so. The Champions League Final between Chelsea and Bayern Munich came down to a thrilling shootout after Chelsea’s Didier Drogba tied the match up late in the second half, thereby eliminating my Tottenham Hotspurs from contention in next year’s Champions League competition, thanks a lot for that, YOU COCKSUCKING BASTARDS. (this just in—UEFA’s executive committee will be reviewing Tottenham’s bid, so all may not be lost… I’m sure you were delirious with concern).

Although you’re likely spent after all of this engrossing, deeply thrilling NBA and soccer talk, we must press on. There’s baseball to be had, and despite only minimal signs of encouragement on the major league front:

@Buster_ESPN (Buster Olney)
“Alcides Escobar has taken his OPS up to .340 this year. Steady progress.”

our critically acclaimed minor league talent continues to astound and amaze.

@MinorLeagueBlog
“Wil Myers hit his 2nd Home Run in as many nights at Omaha. Hitting .417 in AAA. He’s got 15 Home Runs on the season.”

Simply put, Ol’ One L is DOMINATING. One cannot stop him, one might only hope to contain him. Will he immediately step into Kaufmann and begin humming dingers? (that sounded strange—my apologies) No, he will not. Would he provide an instant upgrade in the outfield? Quite possibly, but where? He’s playing centerfield right now, but doesn’t project as a major leaguer at the position. Jeff Francoeur isn’t a centerfielder either, nor is Alex Gordon. In a perfect world, Francoeur would pull himself out of his early season mire—lest his skillset be reverting, as seemed the case before signing with Kansas City last year—up his average while exhibiting some power, and be traded to make room. I like Frenchy—he’s great to the fans and seems to be an exemplary clubhouse guy—but he’s not a long term solution in the grand scheme of things.

New starting pitcher Will Smith could be, however, despite his first disastrous start at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday night. Though the game wasn’t pretty, his was a name that spawned a thousand jokes.

@NotESPNsTito (Not Terry Francona—parody account)
“Kansas City Royals recall pitcher Will Smith from AAA Bel Air.”

Can the “gettin’ jiggy” jokes, because that was about as good as it gets. Sam agrees:

@mellinger (Sam Mellinger, KC Star sports writer)
“Feel bad for the #Royals Will Smith. How many times has he had to fake laugh at the same bad joke?”

Well, OUR Will Smith is 22—the rapper/actor/gay-slapper was a household name by ’89 or ’90. You’ve gotta figure the pitcher was 5 before he really understood the significance of his name, he probably gets it AT LEAST a few times a week, so 3 times a week, 52 weeks a year, that’s 156 times a year, multiplied by 17 years—that’s 2,652 times that someone has made a Fresh Prince/Big Willie Style/Men in Black reference. If I were Pitcher Will Smith, I’d probably murder my parents. To death. With a fastball.

But fear not, Royals fans, comedian/actor/reformed asshole Jay Mohr has a plan:

@jaymohr37
“By the time I get to Kansas City July 7th at The Midland Theater, I will have a plan in place to fix the K.C. Royals.”

This is cool. I have no idea what it means—I’m sure there’s joking afoot!—but it’s always fun when actual celebrities mention the Royals. It fills me with some bizarre, false happiness. It’s depressing, actually.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in KC sports news, the “GREATEST BROADCASTER OF ALL TIME, EVER” (- Craig Glazer) moved on to dirtier, dustier, and more violent pastures. “LOCAL RADIO LEGEND” (- Craig Glazer) Nick Wright, who formerly filled the 610 am afternoons with his “fresh” take on sports, accepted a job with… 610 am. But in Houston. 610 producer Jared Carter put forth a plea—a really, really lame plea:

@JaredLCarter
“#NickWright is a 27-yr-old man and he’s leaving KC for a bigger market. His only wish is to trend on Twitter. RT so his name will live on.”

Yeah, so I don’t think this happened. And really, who gives a shit? People pleading for retweets or attempting to get something “trending” are only (slightly) above people who tweet at their favorite athletes—“YO LADAMELIAN TOMKINSON ITS MY BIRTHDAY HOW BOUT A RETWEET PLEEZE???”—in the hierarchy of online worthlessness.

But I digress—this moment is about Nick, and I won’t ruin it. Someone asked former 610 personality and noted drug and gun-nut Bill Maas if this meant a return to the air:

@BillMaas (Former Kansas City Chief, vice enthusiast)
“I think not. but I really enjoyed working with Nick. We had good synergy. The best I’ve worked with.”

So that was nice. And sweet. Speaking of nice and sweet, Wright himself did something that I couldn’t make fun of if I tried.

@getnickwright
“Just bought the 200 #Royals tickets to the game on June 1st. Giving 100 away to Twitter folk. If you want one, email me whatswright at gmail”

Very, very cool. Once I move on to bigger and better things—I’ve got my eye set on you, Gladstone Sun Tribune—I’m taking you all out for whores and red velvet cupcakes. Not good ones, mind you, but whores cupcakes, nonetheless. YOU’RE WELCOME.

But seriously, Nick’s a big fan of mine, and I know he reads this website daily, so I just wanted to say, “good luck.” Whether you liked him or not, he was the only real competition Kietzman had… you know, until I can parlay my gig with the Sun Tribune into my own radio show.

Speaking of local radio, what DID Kevin Kietzman have to say about his rival’s departure?

@kkwhb (810 am)
“Honeycrisp apples are the best I’ve ever had.”

Oh, Kietzman… you lovable, delusional old man, you.

And Steven St. John? Any thoughts?

@SSJ_WHB
“Is there any way Bruce Chen could intentionally walk Rex Hudler? #Royals”

Dear God, I agree, I agree, I AGREE. Look, I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt. I thought it might take time. I thought that I’d get used to his laid-back, low-key, cool-guy, surf-speak. But I haven’t. Listening to Rex Hudler is like sticking a crocheting needle deep into the recesses of my brain while slamming the door of a 1978 Buick Skylark repeatedly on my nutsack. I don’t know how much more of this I can take. For real.

Finally, we’ll close out this edition with some Classic Canseco. Jose’s been popping up everywhere, lately, for some strange reason. The sports-gossip website Deadspin began a recurring feature, “Jose Canseco Tweets as Motivational Posters,” Bill Simmons’ love-labor Grantland.com ran an interview with the former star, and he was recently on the front page of Yahoo! in a piece regarding his poor debut with an independent baseball team in New Jersey. All along the way, it’s been repeatedly questioned whether or not he actually tweets, or whether he has a ghost-writer. Allow us to put that notion to rest with the following blitzkrieg of unabashed insanity.

First, he got into it with another of our favorites, the Iron Sheik:

@the_ironsheik (Unbalanced former WWF star)
“@JoseCanseco you piece of shit”

@JoseCanseco
“@the_ironsheik be careful old man I won’t take it easy on you like I have averyone else”

I would pay almost everything in my savings to see these two fight. Like, actual for real fight. Despite Iron Sheik’s considerable age disadvantage (he’s 69 [!] to Jose’s 47), he WAS an Olympic caliber wrestler in his younger days. The thing is, both of these guys are so bat-shit crazy, I think someone wins it in a bizarre manner—Canseco chokes Sheik to death with a stray cat, or Sheik bites out Canseco’s throat or something.

This needs to happen.

When our busy boy wasn’t trying to fistfight living legends, he was shilling. Hard. And uncomfortably so.

“Wow Facebook 28 year old CEO worth 20 billion good for him maybe he will invest in my anti aging product I complete you”

“Zuckerberg congrats email me let’s buy a baseball team together Jc7264@yahoo.com”

Hey Jose—Mark Zuckerberg didn’t see this. Sorry, bro. Any other marketing ideas, though?

“Any Investors wanting to get richer please email my agent. Joemelendez@msn.com. We r full of ideas that will make a wise investment.”

Oh, I don’t doubt that AT ALL. Plus, don’t all of the best agents use msn email addresses? I mean, mine uses Hotmail, but he’s a little behind the times, I’ll admit. Any final words?

“I understand your pain haters I would trade pain with you to help you out but mine would kill you instantly cause its much greater.”

Wow, Glazer Jose, that was heavy.

“Goodnight I am going to sleep now is when the real horror begins its called nightmares”

And goodnight to you as well, sweet prince. Perhaps in our dreams, we will perchance to meet.
 

Posted in Sports | Tagged | 6 Comments

Hearne: Mancow Falls for Knuckleheads, Makes Up with Rainmakers, Disses KC Crowd

It was the best of times and the worst of times…remember that one?

This time out however we’re talking about Saturday’s Rainmakers show at Knuckleheads in the East Bottoms, not the French Revolution. And while it was clearly the age of foolishness, it was hardly the age of wisdom.

Not according to the Kansas City-bred, Chicago shock jock Erich "Mancow" Muller.

"It was fantastic," Mancow says of the show. "I tell you, Bob Walkenhorst‘s hair was gray – which is startling – but they’re still a great band. They’re as good as they were in 1986."

When the Rainmakers took the stage Saturday, Mancow was Johnny on the Spot.

"And the first thing Bob did when he walked out was reach down and shake my hand," Mancow says. "I was front-and-center with my belly against the stage and quite honestly, I was surprised he recognized me."

The story behind the story being that Mancow wrote a column here before the concert discussing issues he’d had with Walkenhorst over the years and speculating that the Rainmakers lead singer’s surley disposition may have cost them the fame and fortune they so richly deserved.

There’s more…

"Towards the end of the show the band played a song Bob wrote about somebody he hates called ‘Like Dogs’ and then he came over afterwards and said, ‘It’s not about you, Mancow.’

"I think we’re going to let bygones be bygones. I mean, we’ve had a contentious relationship."

As for Knuckleheads, it’s now become Mancow’s favorite music venue.

"There’s just something great about that place," Mancow says. "It’s just a powerful venue and a perfect place to see the Rainmakers. As U2 is to Red Rocks, the Rainmakers are to Knuckleheads. I mean, they unbuckled the Bible Belt and let it all hang out.

"The fact is that Knuckleheads is a treat, however the crowd there is not a treat. I’ve traveled the world and when it comes to America, the East Coast has people that are ugly but brilliant. The West Coast has people that are beautiful but stupid. And the crowd at Knuckleheads around midnight is a combination of both – ugly and stupid – at least they’re fat.

"Buddy, it was a great show and I met some really great people. But the majority of people there are just fat dummies – drunk and stupid and dancing and spilling drinks on themselves. The high-fiving motherfuckers that wore their hats backwards in college and are now trying to relive their glory days at Knuckleheads but those days have passed. They’re the same kind of guys who used to put Rohypnol in drinks and rape fat sorority girls while they listened to Jimmy Buffet. That’s the Knuckleheads crowd."

Which brings us to opening act, the Russian-American Red Elvises.

"They may be the single worst band I’ve ever seen in my life and I see two to three bands a week," Mancow says. "But I absolutely love Knuckleheads and I’m flying back for Southern Culture on the Skids (tonight). I saw David Allan Coe there and I’m going to fly back in again for Merle Haggard."

As for the prospect of Knuckleheads attracting a younger crowd, don’t hold your breath, Mancow says.

"Look, I don’t know the owners of Knuckleheads, but their logo is the Three Stooges on Harleys and you’re not going to attract young people with the Three Stooges on Harleys."

Posted in Hearne_Christopher | Tagged | 10 Comments

Sounds Good: Jon Eric@Barnyard, Weir, Robinson, & Greene@Crossroads, Best Coast@Granada

Some cool shows this weekend…
 
I’ll be taking it a little easy, resting up for the big trip to Mulberry Mountain next weekend for the Wakarusa Festival.  I’m planning on talking with festival mastermind Brett Mosiman sometime soon to get the inside scoop on this year’s festivities, which I will, of course, relate to you loyal KCC readers.
 
And I’ll be reviewing the bands, venue, hula hoopers (or is it hoopists?), etc., live from the mountain top for those of you not brave enough to make the trek yourselves.
 
In the meantime, here’s where to go…
 
Friday, May 25th
 
Jon Eric @ the Barnyard in Lawrence
 
This one is a FREE show, so if you haven’t yet experienced the hoedown throw-down that is the Barnyard, this is your best chance yet.  Jon Eric is a bluegrass maestro by trade, who uses some loops and other cool tricks to create lush sound-scapes that makes you wonder how he is doing that with just a banjo.
 
Don’t believe me?  Check this video out.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Za9DUk8KIgg
 
Then come out to the Barnyard and sample some of Heath and Mike’s tasty brews.
 
Saturday, May 26th
 
Weir, Robinson, & Greene Acoustic Trio @ Crossroads KC
 
We all know Bob Weir was in the Grateful Dead, and Chris Robinson is the lead singer of the Black Crowes.  But who is this Greene guy?  Well, apparently he’s a badass guitar player who has played with the likes of BB King,  Phil & Friends, Huey Lewis, and Gov’t Mule.
 
The three are touring a bit this summer, including a headlining spot at Wakarusa next weekend, but they’re swinging through KC first.  The setlist is bound to include some of the three’s originals, plus a bunch of Dead tunes and other stuff the Dead used to cover.    
 
Sunday, May 27th
 
Best Coast @ the Granada in Lawrence
 
This California garage rock band has been getting a fair amount of indie buzz of late.  They just released a new album about a week ago entitled The Only Place that has met with mostly mixed reviews after their 2010 debut, Crazy For You, became an indie hit.  But this time around the duo got rid of the noisy fuzz and opted instead for a cleaner, shinier product, enlisting a producer that has worked with Kanye and Fiona Apple.
 
This show should be pretty well attended, so I’d get your tickets early, especially considering we can all drink our faces off on a Sunday night, which is always fun.

Posted in Entertainment | Tagged | 1 Comment

Jack Goes Confidential: Will Smith Rewrites History. Josh Brolin Nails a Young Tommy Lee Jones

It’s been a decade since MEN IN BLACK 2 hit the big screen in 2002…

To say it was underwhelming is putting it mildly. Gone was the fun, freshness and funny interplay between Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones that we all loved in the 1997 original.
 
So has director Barry Sonnenfeld learned his lesson from the first sequel?
 
The answer: Sort of.
 
M.I.B. 3 is definitely a better movie than its predecessor turned out to be but still lacks the spunk and fun of the original. Here Tommy Lee Jones seems to be just walking through the material.
 
In this latest version Agent J (Will Smith) has to time travel back to 1969 in order to halt an alien takeover and save the future—not to mention his partner played by Tommy Lee Jones.
 
Returning to the past, of course, calls for a much younger version of Agent K who’s played by Josh Brolin. And Brolin stepping into Jones’ character channels him perfectly.
 
Needless to say special effects have vastly improved. And the 3-D, which plays intriguing at times, is really not necessary for the enjoyment of this alien hunting adventure. (Save the up charge for popcorn.)
 
And it’s nice seeing the talented Bill Hader popping up as Andy Warhol in the film’s 60’s sequence.
 
It’s also a relief viewing a chapter in a franchise taking under 2 hours to unfold. For the record M.I.B. 3 clocks out at a reasonable 106 minutes.

Our (full house) screening audience seemed to enjoy the movie while some of the critics in attendance were grumbling on their way out of the theater.
 
For my money—make that, for my time—I’m raising 3-1/2 out of 5 fingers for this latest sci-fi odd-couple, buddy comedy.

JACK GOES TO THE MOVIES Friday mornings at 6:40 a.m. on NewsRadio KMBZ Am & Fm / and anytime on Time-Warner Cable’s K.C. ON DEMAND, Channel 411 / and NEBRASKA ON DEMAND, Channel 411 throughout the Cornhusker State.

Posted in Jack_Poessiger | Tagged | 3 Comments

Katie: Van Halen Storms Sprint Center

 

 

I shot for Van Halen last night at Sprint Center. The shooting was rough though. I could only be there for the first three songs and it was from the soundboard. I couldn’t see shit!

 

 

 

 

 

But seeing those three songs was freaking amazing.. I can’t really write much about the concert because I didn’t get to stay after that…boo! Still was a pretty neat experience.

Posted in Entertainment | Tagged | 4 Comments

Glazer: Scribes Puerto Rican Wilding Sparks ‘Greatest Hits’ Flashback

If you could capture and hold onto just one moment of your life, what would that be?

I know for most of us there are many not-so-great moments and it’s often hard to hold onto that truly wonderful snapshot. I was on the plane coming home yesterday from Puerto Rico – great place – and looking out the window thinking just that – what moment in time was the greatest, the best?

It’s summer now, so I think for so many of us this is that time of year when things seem a bit uplifting.

And so I thought about the good things. It’s hard to narrow it down to just one, but if I had to? I’ve never fathered a baby so that’s not an option. However seeing my nephews playing tennis and looking so happy, expecting to have a life not nearly as rocky as mine or their dads – that’s a pick.

I thought about when I got to interview my all time favorite hero, Muhammad Ali. I sure have that one tucked away in a special place. At the time I was in a packed hotel lobby in L.A. for the films premiere party, a roped off area, in my tux, mic in hand, and seated next to me was THE GREATEST. We had that one on one for maybe 20 minutes. That was such a fantastic snapshot in my life.

Another one for me had to be my wedding day.

With my beautiful wife-to-be Connie Parker coming down the aisle at the Fairmont in a gorgeous gown with her mom and dad. She looked like an angel. A happier moment for her may never come. Until maybe she has a baby. Sadly that won’t be with me because we divorced. But that was a nice life snapshot and I have the photo next to my bed to this day.

Or maybe it was opening the box and seeing my book, THE KING OF STING in print for the first time. Forever that book will be out there. That was a feel-great moment for me. Perhaps another was the phone call from my agent in 1982 saying,"Craig CBS just made us a nice offer on your life story, can you fly out here and make this deal?" 

Wow that got my juices flowing.

Another big one was again "lost love." 

I had been trying for a year to get my best girl, Terri Gatewood to come back to LA and live with me, marry me and live happily ever after. Finally she accepted.  It was 1983 and we went to the beach in Malibu. She walked off a ways and then began jogging towards me in her bathing suit. As if in slow motion. And I thought then, "Man, I am so damn lucky to have a lady like that."

Terri and Connie were the two most important women in my life and I failed them both.

And that’s something I will always regret.

I’m not trying to make this about me, I’m just just giving examples so you will think of your SNAPSHOT. The one moment you want to take with you forever.

We all have many, but THE ONE…it’s not easy to sort it out, but you will. Think about it for a time. I did.

In the end, my moment that both haunts me and lifts my spirit won’t be one any of you would have.

No, its not Hollywood but I hope there are more Hollywood moments left for me. Something like, "Craig, they greenlighted King of Sting." That could be the moment, but right now that hasn’t yet happened. Maybe it never will – I don’t know.

For now, it’s this bittersweet snapshot:

I’m leaving the weight pile at Lompoc prison, I take off my gloves – the ones I’ve worked out with for more than four years – and I place them over the ends of each dip bar. I turn and walk away…my last moment in prison. I walked out to freedom and would get to start my life over again. Freedom and hope for the future.

Posted in Craig_Glazer | Tagged | 60 Comments

Starbeams: KCPD Radar Love, Obama Does Joplin, Chinese Take Over AMC & Dilly

A 24 year-old Kansas City man has been arrested for allegedly pointing a laser at a KCPD helicopter. Apparently, he became upset when they wouldn’t tell him the location of the rebel base.

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President Obama spoke to graduating students in Joplin Monday night.  Several residents of Jasper county said it was the first time they had met someone from Kenya.

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The Supreme Court ruled that children conceived from a dead father’s frozen sperm are not entitled to certain social security benefits.  Especially if they refer to the old man as "Dilly Bar."

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What are the odds that Chinese-owned AMC Theaters would show the movie "Free Tibet?"

Kelly Urich is the morning show host on The Point 99.7 FM

Posted in Starbeams | Tagged | 4 Comments

Whinery: PENN FRASER JILLETTE GOES OFF ON OBAMA

Author/illusionist/comedian/musician Penn Fraser Jillette is a man known for epic rants…

And he really let Obama have it about the president’s hypocrisy concerning drug laws. Pointing out how Obama in his 1995 book Dreams of My Father admits to “smoking weed” and “doing a little blow” and now he’s letting the Feds crack down on medical marijuana dispensaries in California and Colorado. This is but ANOTHER campaign promise broken by Mr. Obama.

Remember how in 2008 Obama said he would call off the war on medical marijuana?

Mr. Jillette does and he calls Obama out on where he would be now if he’d been busted under the same drug laws he supports now. Would Obama be President now? Hell, no! Though that wouldn’t bother me. Obama also probably would not have gone to elite schools, become a million selling author and would likely be just another Ex-Con working some menial job.

I may not like Obama much as President, but there is no denying the man has tremendous talent and it would have been a shame if it were to all have been wasted because of a drug conviction.

And let me tell you, the way the drug laws are written in this country- you can have a million bucks and resurrect Johnny Cochran and you are probably still going down for possession if an officer finds drugs in your pocket, home or car.

 I’ve represented a lot of kids facing the specter of losing their student loans, having to drop out of school and otherwise having their futures compromised, all for smoking weed.

Sometimes the busts are just too clean and the only option left is begging the Prosecutor for mercy-luckily they have hearts too and will offer a deal that doesn’t ruin the person’s life, However that is not always the case. Especially when “scoring a bag” for a friend makes you a dope dealer in the eyes of the law. Not to mention a convicted felon.

And in Kansas, the simple act of passing a joint around is technically considered distribution of marijuana, a level 3 drug felony with a presumptive prison sentence- VERY SCARY.

At some point, the War on Drugs need to stop and President Obama could do a lot to improve his reputation as an agent of “Hope and Change” by – at the very least- calling off the war on medical marijuana.

Mr. Jillette chides Obama for ignoring that this issue should be one of State’s Rights, like the President’s stance on gay marriage. And if the people of States have voted for medical marijuana then that State’s right should be respected.

The Federal Government has lot more pressing issues to tend to than whether people are smoking pot.

Posted in News_and_Views | Tagged | 7 Comments

Donnelly: Mayer Hawthorne at the Granada, May 21, 2012

Apparently, Mayer Hawthorne is taking this neo-soul thing seriously.

When he rolled through Larryville in late 2010 with just one record under his belt, you had to wonder whether this kid’s journey into Motown was real or if it was just a cheeky and ironic hipster wink. I mean, he had already carved out a pretty nice little niche for himself in LA as Haircut, a hip hop DJ, so it wouldn’t have been surprising to find out that Mr. Hawthorne donned the tight sport coat and hit the high notes just for something to do on the side.

Whatever it may have started out as, at this point there’s no doubt that Mayer Hawthorne is all in.

And he proved it to a 2/3 full house at the Granada Monday night – not bad considering school just got out.

Most noticeably, Hawthorne’s vocals were much stronger.  In the past- and in particular on his first record, A Strange Arrangement- the singer’s voice was criticized as “thin,” “reedy,” and “technically poor.”  It was kind of like, what’s this white kid trying to pull here?  You don’t sing soul unless you’ve got mad pipes, son!

Hawthorne took his critics to task on Monday night, showing off a much improved tone and strength in his voice, especially apparent on swooping high falsetto runs that confidently drifted and darted up above the staff.  His band seemed to be tighter, too, which consisted of drums, keys, bass, guitar, and a DJ on the side punching in some pre-recorded horns and beats.  And as always, Hawthorne brought his unabashed lady’s man vibe to the theater with polished stage banter to keep the crowd engaged.

Sometimes, it was almost too polished, as if every single gesture and word was mapped out in advance.  Probably because it was. 

“Hey, I like to write love songs, fuck it,” he explained about four songs into the set.  “But sometimes it’s not about love, you just want to have some disconnected sex.” 

The crowd agreed as Hawthorne and his band launched into No Strings, off his latest release How Do You Do, complete with synchronized dance moves from the band.      

And he hit plenty of crowd favorites while playing Arrangement almost in its entirety, including  Make Her Mine, Your Easy Lovin’ Ain’t Pleasin’ Nothin’, Shiny & New, I Wish it Would Rain,  Green Eyed Love, Just Ain’t Gonna Work Out, The Ills, and Maybe So Maybe No.

But the highlight of the night was probably the bouncy and super catchy Dreaming, which morphed easily into a cool cover of Hall & Oates’ You Make My Dreams Come True.

For the encore, Hawthorne emerged from backstage with a bottle of Hennessey and a bottle of ginger ale.  He mixed up four or five cups of the potion and handed several to audience members, saving one for himself, of course, as the band vamped on the intro to the final track off of How Do You Do, appropriately titled Henny & Gingerale.  The song prompted a sing-along that was incited by Hawthorne before each band member soloed.  The guitar player was allowed some room to really open up and delivered a ripping solo that raised a few eyebrows after he had been relegated to rhythm figures most of the night. 

The set was short and to the point, but not in a bad way.  That’s kind of just the style of Hawthorne’s catchy pop-soul – it lends itself to three minute love songs and doesn’t apologize for treading the line between being slyly cool and jumping on the retro bandwagon. 
 

Posted in Entertainment | Tagged | 6 Comments

New Jack City: What’s In The Cards For AMC Entertainment Kansas City’s Heritage Company?

Sometimes these international buyouts of U.S. companies don’t quite go as expected…

Different customs and practices by the foreign buyer can bring eventual frustration and downright bitterness to the company being bought out. Remember Daimler-Benz and Chrysler?
 
Current American management may feel that they’re still in charge, but often times they’re really not. And that can be a hard pill to swallow.
 
Think I’m kidding?
 
Back in 1987 I was part of the management team of the now defunct Commonwealth Theatres, Inc. which was headquartered on film row in Kansas City. I was Commonwealth’s Director of Advertising, Publicity and Public Relations and we operated nearly 500 screens in more than a dozen states, many of which were twins, triplexes and fourplexes with about 100 were Drive-Ins.
 
In the greater Kansas City area we had, among others, the Ranch Mart, Bannister Mall, Metcalf, Antioch, Valley View, Trailridge and Crest and Riverside drive-Ins. Plus surrounding area theaters in Lawrence, Manhattan, Warrensburg, Junction City, Emporia, Sedalia, Clinton and Chillicothe.
 
Commonwealth, after a brief stint as a publicly traded company, had turned private again. But as these things sometimes go, current ownership wanted out and in 1987 found a buyer.
 
A foreign buyer.
 
It was THE CANNON GROUP, a film production company in Israel that had established a foothold in the U.S. with generally low-budget exploitation movies.

Its leaders, Menahem Golan and Yorum Globus, were known in the trade as "The Go-Go Boys."
Their plan was to expand Commonwealth to over 1,500 screens and accomplish it in a very short time frame.
 
I’ll never forget it.
 
Instead of holding our next annual managers meeting in Kansas City, Denver or Albuquerque, our new owners opted for Tel Aviv. I was to get the ball rolling, make the convention, flight and hotel arrangements and pretty much oversee the conclave.

To say I was overwhelmed is an understatement.
 
It never came off.
 
Cannon had overextended itself and six months later we had an Israel overseer placed in our K.C. office who first slashed jobs, then dramatically cut expenses. And we felt like we had to account for practically every box of paper clips.

In short, their traditional way of doing things sure didn’t match ours.

Commonwealth’s upper management here became mere puppets. It was a sad situation—and one that didn’t last much longer—as Cannon unloaded us to the United Artists circuit which eventually sold us off on a market by market basis.

By the time it was all over our home office staff of about 250 had shrunk to just 2-1/2 persons. Two full time and one part timer. I was among those last 2-1/2 souls.
 
So when I hear about China’s DALIAN WANDA GROUP buying out Apollo Investment, J.P. Morgan Partners, Bain Capital Investors, the Carlyle Group and Spectrum Equity Investors’ stake in AMC  ENTERTAINMENT, I flash back to our buyout days and what eventually became of it.
 
Foreign ownership means different customs, traditions and and perceptions of business practices. It can make for unforeseen circumstances.
 
Today’s USA TODAY reporting on the deal from Beijing writes that Wang Jianlin, Chairman and President of Wanda, is "a Communist Party member who sits on his nation’s top advisory council."

USA TODAY also reports that the movie business there reflects the central contradictions of modern China, where the film world’s standard glamor and deal making must accommodate a ruling Communist Party that tightly controls what its citizens can watch. And that, "Beijing is investing heavily in projecting its ‘Soft Power,’ or cultural influence by boosting the Chinese state media’s presence abroad, including the USA, where the Chinese government has also run advertisements in New York’s Times Square."
 
AMC has a rich heritage and is a great motion picture exhibition company.

It’s expertise, knowledge and understanding of the business combined with Wanda’s desire to rapidly expand should make it the world’s top theater circuit.

And I wish them all the best under their new ‘East meets West’ company integration.

Posted in Jack_Poessiger | Tagged | 10 Comments

Glazer: Scribe says, ‘It’s a Gay, Gay, Gay, Gay World!’

It’s a Gay, Gay, Crazy, Mad World out there today…

With films like THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATOO, playing up lesbian sex with the star as example, you bet it is!  Now comes the not-exactly-a-shocker story on John Travolta. Yes, they are coming out of the woodwork to tell the "He offered me money to have sex" stories.

Are they true? It would seem to be the case.

Hollywood has always had its Gay Mafia.

Many – and likely most – of the men and woman in the arts have had same sex moments. Not me, of course.  But it’s all too common.

So why the buzz on John?

The media came out on him long ago. He even went into hiding in the 90’s for a few years to let the rumors die down. Remember? Then he did a couple family films, "Look Who’s Talking" and followed with "Pulp Fiction," his big comeback movie.

He was really just the same as always. He’s maybe a bit heavier and with a hairpiece now. Hey, the guy has been a huge star for 40 years, clearly the public didn’t care if he was gay or bi.  When we did Champions Forever, our writer and co producer was hanging with John. We couldn’t figure out why until the rumors surfaced, and we went, "Oh, I see." 

Our guy was a very well built gym rat, blonde and well, you can figure it out.

John even put our boy into a couple films like "Perfect." Maybe I should have hung out with John? Nah. By the way, they never invited the rest of our staff to go with them for even a drink. Hey, that’s Hollywood.

When I got there in 1982, the big story was Tom Cruise.

He was ratted out by some ‘friends’ on the set of THE OUTSIDERS. Based on his marriages, or pretend ones, his lifestyle is clear. Yet we put this to the side when we go see his films. I like his work very much, gay or not. I mean did he even go out with Penelope Cruz? Letterman asked if she even ever met him when they were "a couple" at the time. Most insiders felt it was fake. It clearly was just a career move for Miss Cruz. And it worked.

From Rock Hudson to Randolph Scott, the stories never stopped.

Almost all were true. Even my hero Errol Flynn said, "Why Deprive the other half?"  WTF!

Hey I am a wild guy, but I just don’t have that wheel. You either do or you don’t. 

I think by now we all know that most young ladies today will check out the bi-world.

I don’t know hardly any women who haven’t. That is, in today’s world. It’s common, maybe too common. I feel it’s a big reason many marriages don’t work anymore. Now that women have wanderlust for "other women"

Damn.

My nephew Jake is a junior at Shawnee Mission East and he told me, "Uncle Craig, it’s the rage…this bisexual thing in high school. It’s like the bad boys of the 80’s were Rockers, now they are bi!"

Of course, Jake is not at all interested. Yes, most kids are not buying in, but many are. The media has made it seem not only O.K. but cool. Look at our sports stars, how many of our local guys from George Brett to Nick Lowery have had the finger pointed their way with gay’ stories. George had Jeff Flanagan of the KC Star print a story saying, "Hey, I’m Not Gay!"

Remember that one?

The world is changing and I’m not sure if it’s for the better.

Now make sure you check your Facebook!

Posted in Craig_Glazer | Tagged | 13 Comments

Hearne: Jack Searches the Heavens for Rationale for AMC Sale to Chinese

What to think of the deal by Chinese company Wanda to buy local movie giant AMC?

Well for starters, that nothing is sacred in the world of high finance and international business. As promised – but not reported locally until recently by KCC – Wanda president Wang Jianlin had boasted in a speech last year that "his company would ‘shock the world’ with an acquisition to be made within the year."

Well, it certainly did come as a shock to Kansas City that one of its prized corporate possessions would no longer be under local (or domestic) ownership and control. After all, AMC employs about 18,500 staffers and owns 346 theaters.

And while undoubtedly the Chinese will want things to remain intact where AMC’s domestic and international business is concerned, it does make one wonder how much longer those two and three connection international flights to the Cowtown will make sense to Wanda execs. Especially given that Kansas City is hardly an entertainment hub.

So we’ll see.

Meanwhile, inquiring minds locally want to know what venerable movie guy Jack Poessiger thinks of the deal. Is he in shock or anything?

"No, not really," Poessiger says."There’s nothing really new that we didn’t speculate on a week ago. The NYC money guys finally got their payday and there’s apparently some money left to put into the company as well.
Stan Durwood‘s probably up there—or at least I THINK he’s up there—high-fiving  St. Mayer, St. Warner, St. Zanuck–and St. Peter."

Maybe.

Or perhaps he’s wondering why AMC wasn’t the one embarking on the theater buying shopping spree in China instead of the company he founded’s money lenders cashing in on their big movie bet.

Oh, and one more thing…

"There’s absolutely no truth to the apparent rumors that AMC management will have to be carrying Chairman Mao‘s little red book with them at all times," Poessiger cracks.

Posted in Hearne_Christopher | Tagged | 2 Comments

Starbeams: With AMC You Get Egg Rolls, Facebook Founder Pokes & Battleship Missouri to Rescue

Long-time Kansas City owned AMC Theaters has been bought by a Chinese company, but the chain will remain based in Leawood.  Former CEO and creator of the megaplex, Stan Durwood, is undoubtedly egg-rolling in his grave.

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Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg updated his status to "married" on Saturday to Priscilla Chan, a California med student.  It was the first time since my wedding in 1999 where the vows included the word "poke."

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The movie "Battleship" made $25.3 million in its opening weekend with the battleship USS Missouri representing the Show-Me state quite well.  It’s the ship that was used to deliver meth to the sailors.

Kelly Urich hosts the morning show on The Point 99.7 FM

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Donnelly: Complacent Sporting Team “Satisfied” With Draw on the Road

 

After starting off the season 7-0, Sporting KC hit a rough patch.  A month-long rough patch…  

The boys in blue have not won a game since April 18th, and have struggled to replicate the form they showed early on.

Over the weekend at Colorado KC had a golden opportunity to earn 3 points after heading into the locker room up 2-0 thanks to Teal Bunbury’s first half brace.  But Colorado notched two goals of their own in the second half and the game ended in a draw.   

“I don’t know if there was a certain point in the game where it really turned,” wondered Bunbury, “but I feel like we took our foot off the pedal a little bit after those two goals when I feel like we should have kept pressing them a little more.”

Yes, KC took their foot off the pedal.  But why?

Haven’t we learned by now that those crazy comebacks happen when a team gets a little too complacent with its lead and just tries to run the clock out?  Haven’t we learned that you’ve got to keep attacking?  Apparently not.

"We’re satisfied with the point," continued Bunbury.  "Obviously we wanted to win, but a point away from home is good."

No it’s not. 

Not when you’re up 2-0 at halftime it’s not.  Not when you are admitting in post-game interviews that, "We took our foot off the pedal."  It’s just not. 

"What we didn’t want to do was sit back and just bunker in," said KC boss Peter Vermes.  "But obviously we knew that they were going to come, they were going to come with everything they had. I thought for a little while there we were a little bit too deep."

So, the thing that KC "obviously" didn’t want to do was precisely what they did.  Right after they came out of the locker room.  Up 2-0.  Where is the disconnect, can someone please explain it to me?

And is anyone else getting a strong whiff of deja vu?  This is precisely the type of mistake that KC was prone to make last season, prompting me to write the now-infamous headline: Why Won’t Vermes Stay Aggressive Late?  SKC Crushed (Again) in Last Second Defeat.

Remember?  (C’mon, humor me).

Something is simply not clicking, and the team that looked so dangerous a few games back, that looked like it had learned how to COMPETE, is nowhere to be found right now. 

Captain Jimmy Nielsen was pretty blunt.  "I don’t know if we were too satisfied but we dropped too much and we stopped playing," Nielsen.  "And actually we didn’t start really playing until they tied the game."

Ouch. 

Obviously, something’s got to change to get Sporting back playing quality soccer.  Whether that’s personnel, mentality, or a bit of both I’m not sure. 

Remember, just a few short weeks ago KC was being called the best team in MLS, not just by reactionary media types, but by opposing players and coaches who know what the hell they’re talking about. 

Posted in Sporting_Kansas_City | Tagged | 2 Comments

Hearne: Star Asleep at the Wheel While KCTV Breaks Boffo Local News

Look, I’m in Mexico, so I couldn’t be much more out of it but…

Looking at the morning news on kansascity.com, the Kansas City Star Web site, a couple of things jump out.

Funny, lame kinda things.

Because since forever local television news has been newspaper’s enemy. For obvious reasons. The main one being that – first and foremost – everybody in the news game wants (and treasures) the scoop. That’s just the way it is. Including local radio personalities who want to be first to "break" the news whatever it may be.

Even local bloggers who seldom-to-never sully their hands at doing even the most basic reporting relish laying claims to silly things like "TKC Exclusives."

So yeah, the going can get pretty goofy but the basic, underlying deal is news is news and first is foremost.

Which brings us to a pair of "front page" stories on the Star‘s Web site this morning. Both of which were bread-and-butter basic news that should have been reported – if not first – at least by the newspaper. Instead they were both creditied to the Star‘s local TV "reporting partner" KCTV, Channel 5. A news organization I might add, that is but a tiny fraction the size of the Star‘s.

Worse yet, both stories were easy "gets" that the Star could and should have reported on its own. And by the time you red this post it probably will have.

The first was that KC Mayor Sly James son was arrested (again) more than a week ago for disorderly conduct in Wyandotte County.  How could they miss that one?

The other "scoop" was even lamer.

The Associated Press reported that local movie giant AMC had been bought by the Chinese for $2.6 billion.

Yet, there KCTV’s screen shot is reporting the news on the Star’s main page. Weird.

Posted in Hearne_Christopher | Tagged | 4 Comments

Katie: Daughtry Delivers (Family Style) at Midland by AMC

Daughtry is one of those people who didn’t win American Idol but is actually doing way better than many of the people who did win. 

Which is, you know, kinda awesome.

Hey, he’s a super-talented guy and his vocals we’re spot on last night at the Midland by AMC. Which makes me wonder; why didn’t he win? The show wasn’t sold out unfortunately and most of the audience was – to my surprise – an older crowd. Even people were there with their small children. Not exactly a good sign hipness-wise.

In other words it was a very relaxing setting that I’m definately not used to at a live concert. None the less, you can tell Daughtry’s a really down-to-earth dude and he put on a great show for his fans in Kansas City.

Words and photographs by Katie Grogan

Posted in Entertainment | Tagged | 7 Comments