610 Sports is about to have a huge void in their programming with the much talked about Nick Wright departure happening next week. Nick was a beloved radio personality here in Kansas City, and now he’s off to do a morning show in Houston.
Whenever a big player in a company leaves, a void is created. Saturday Night Live is a prime example. When Will Ferrell left, you could sense that the cast was missing its star power, not to mention somebody who was wiling to do something absolutely ridiculous and not break character. When Charlie Sheen left Two and a Half Men, CBS had to scramble in order to have someone replace their main character. Personally, I think Ashton Kutcher doesn’t live up to par.
It’s no secret that there has been a legitimate feud between the two big sports radio stations, KCSP 610 and 810 WHB, dubbed the Radio Wars. 610 has been able to take the morning drive timeslot (6 am to 10 am) with Bob Fescoe over the Border Patrol. But that’s where their victories stop. The Program was handily beating 610 syndication of The Jim Rome Show, which they’ve now replaced with Danny Parkins and Carrington Harrison from 10-2. And finally, Between the Lines with Kevin Keitzman has been the king of the afternoon timeslot for several years. Nick was actually able to gain more ratings last summer when the Royals were doing well, but his victory ended when the team flopped.
So the question now is who will take the 2-6 timeslot? It goes without saying- the success of 610 hinges on whom they pick to replace Nick Wright.
The last time 610 was in this situation was in 2010 when the Chris and Cowboy Show was dropped when “Cowboy” Cory Anderson unceremoniously left. The station was quick to bring someone in, and Nick had been already been a well-established talent in his three year run with the station. Given the popularity What’s Wright with Nick Wright has garnered, it’s fair to say it was a smart choice.
610’s program director Ryan Maguire made public comments to the Kansas City Star regarding Nick’s replacement on Thursday.
“Turnover is part of any business, including radio,” Maguire said. “But turnover is only a bad thing if you don’t use it as an opportunity to get better, which is exactly what we plan on doing, as is the case any time we make a change. This is not the first time we’ve had a very talented host we were very high on leave. Nick is not first to have stars in eyes and big-city dreams.”
Maguire would go on to say hat Nick replacement would be a show with a co-host format with “with multiple strong voices.”
Let the speculation begin.
Bob Fescoe- The Bulldog does well in the morning, and that’s exactly where he should stay. The Skip Bayless-esque opinions wouldn’t go over with a drive home crowd. Plus he’s good at talking headline and pop-culture news, something you want in a morning show.
Danny Parkins- One huge advantage Nick had was being a Kansas City native. When a radio personality is from the city they cover, they can relate to the fans because they are one themselves. Parkins, while talented, is a Chicago native, so he’d be at an immediate disadvantage if he were moved to go head to head with Keitzman.
Carrington Harrison- CDot is the best groomed radio personality 610 has. He started as an intern for Nick Wright, was brought on air to be apart of the What’s Wright posse, worked periodically on the night shift, and now is a co-host with Danny Parkins. If this move were happening at the end of the year, I could see 610 wanting to give Carrington his own show. But he just got the Parkins job, rushing him into his own show would be a mistake.
Mark Carmen/Jared Carter/Robert Ford- Maguire did say he wanted more than one personality to take Nick’s place. Why not let the other members of his show take over roundtable style? Maybe it’s lacking the one polarizing character, but it’s a quick fix given Nick is out the door next week.
Soren Petro- NOW its gets interesting. I had a sit down with ESPN 1510’s Chris Kamler (@TheFakeNed) last week, and he gave an interesting theory on what 610 could do to shake things up. Go to 810, offer a fat contract to their No. 2 host and see if he bites. Why not try? Maybe Petro is tired of playing second fiddle? Maybe he wants to have the afternoon spot but knows he won’t get it at 810. There is a chance that he wants nothing to do with Entercom since he left a few years back, but maybe enough money could have him reconsider. Also, Petro may only consider leaving if he gets to bring the other members of The Program- Doug Steward and Kurtis Seaboldt. It’s a long shot, but sometimes you have to aim high.
Shan Shariff- Not in a million years.
*Update*- With Nick leaving last week it was announced that Danny Parkins will take the 2-6 time slot for the foreseeable future . However, the 10-2 show is still called The Danny Parkins Show and will feature Carrington Harrison and a rotated co-host (Carmen and Ford both co-hosted this week). Obviously the schedule is subject to change, and it looks like 610 is in a holding period. Parkins’ best chance of keeping the spot is good ratings or the station being unable to bring anyone in