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  • Jason Barrett speaks.

    http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/spo...4?OpenDocument

    Ex-KFNS boss has pointed words
    By Dan Caesar
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    03/15/2008

    Jason Barrett

    The escalating battle on the St. Louis radio sports-talk scene has claimed its first major casualty since KSLG went full-bore late last year in challenging KFNS, as Jason Barrett is out as program director of KFNS. And he's not leaving quietly, having pointed comments about some of his former employees.

    Barrett, who had been at the station for almost two years, oversaw a major period of upheaval at KFNS (590 AM, 100.7 FM) in which an estimated 18 people who worked either on the air or behind the scenes were fired or left on their own accord. He accepted a buyout from the station and said family concerns played a major role because his 6-year-old son lives in New York and that he was tiring of the travel to see the child.

    But several sources said there was more to it, that he was unhappy with the direction the station was headed because things he wanted to do were shot down for financial reasons and that he also could foresee that he wouldn't be retained when his contract expired late this year. Barrett didn't want to address specifics of his departure other than to talk about wanting to move to the East Coast to be closer to his son, adding: "I feel like I've done everything I could here. I believe the general manager (Evan Crocker) is the right guy in place, but there's some rebuilding to be done.''

    However, Barrett was much more outspoken about some of the key personnel moves made under his watch — specifically with the dismantling of the "Morning Grind,'' which was KFNS's top-rated program with Martin Kilcoyne, Tim McKernan and Jim Hayes manning the microphones.


    TUMULTUOUS TIMES

    Soon after his arrival in the fall of 2006, Barrett had a disagreement with Kilcoyne, who said the run-in made him realize he was tired of waking up in the wee hours to do the show after having worked the night before at his primary job, sports director at KTVI (Channel 2). But Barrett said Kilcoyne refused to communicate with him for nearly a week, leading to a chain of events that unraveled the program.

    "The thing that sent everything into a frenzy was Kilcoyne,'' Barrett said. "When Martin wouldn't return a phone call or an e-mail to me for six days,'' that began the show's downfall. "Martin's departure changed the whole picture. One guy leaves and the whole show changes. To me, Martin was the star of that show. If he had picked up the phone, maybe things would have been different.''

    Kilcoyne said he didn't call back because "there no longer was anything to discuss'' and added, "My work speaks for itself, and so does his.''

    Barrett fired Hayes a few months after Kilcoyne departed and brought Bob Fescoe from Kansas City to work with McKernan. But Fescoe and McKernan never meshed. Things deteriorated to the point that McKernan was let out of his contract a few months later and Fescoe was relegated to lesser roles and his contract wasn't renewed when it expired in January, although he still appears occasionally on the station as a fill-in. McKernan, Hayes and Kilcoyne now have prominent roles on KFNS' primary competitor, KSLG (1380 AM).

    Barrett said McKernan pouted about losing his former partners and developed a bad attitude about being with Fescoe. MORE CAESAR
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    Barrett said he could tell there was a problem with McKernan "from the first show (with Fescoe), and I went to Tim three days later to discuss the situation. Tim didn't like the fit, but I feel like he could have done a better job on the air with the guy. The disappointment for me is I felt like I never should have wasted Fescoe's time'' by bringing him to KFNS. "I wish Tim would have at least given Bob a chance. You bring in Bob to fix the show, and the other guy tunes him out.''

    McKernan countered by saying that he could tell things weren't gelling and went to management two weeks after Fescoe arrived and offered to take the lead role on the show, which Fescoe was filling, for no extra pay. McKernan cites an entry he made on his www.insidestl.com website when Fescoe arrived as evidence that he wasn't against his on-air partner.

    "Here's what I ask: Give him a shot,'' McKernan wrote then. "Give the new show a shot. Don't do the same (thing) many of our parents and many of their parents have done to people not from St. Louis. Don't count him out before you've given him a shot.''

    On Friday, McKernan had this to say about Barrett: "I'm not interested in dignifying his attempts to defend his tenure. I would answer any questions by suggesting that people look at the strength of 1380 now as opposed to 20 months ago,'' which was about the time Barrett arrived at 590.

    MORE MOVES

    Under Barrett, broadcasters Mike Claiborne and Jay Randolph Jr. left for other jobs, and Bryan Burwell was dumped when his contract expired shortly after Barrett took over.

    "I have no control over people leaving,'' he said, and expressed some regret about the Burwell situation. "I wish I had more time (to evaluate) Burwell.''

    Barrett knows he has detractors who have been sacked by the Jason Jolt.

    "People inside (KFNS), I think 80 percent are not happy (with my departure),'' he said. "But outside the building, people I've let go, I'd expect they'd be happy. They'll probably throw a party.''

    Some say one is in the works.

    Ken "Iggy" Strode is one of Barrett's most outspoken detractors. He's a producer who was fired by Barrett and now is at KSLG.

    "A lot of people think it's sour grapes on my part the way I talk about the guy, but it has nothing to do with being fired — I've been fired from a lot of jobs,'' Strode said. "It's the way he treated people. He screwed around with a lot of good people.''

    Many viewed Barrett as a hatchet man, brought in to make cuts to save the station money.

    "I know it's perceived that way by some people, but no decision in radio is made by a program director without the support of the company that employs him,'' Barrett said. "The program director is the head coach of the team, and nobody ever roots for the head coach, they root for the players. People can question my style, but I work real hard and it's all about winning — and I feel we are.''

    Crocker, KFNS' general manager, said the station is "very healthy'' and the on-air product from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. "has been very, very stable. We had a change with our morning (show). The philosophy of the live and local'' approach continues.

    KFNS veteran Chris "Hoss" Neupert takes over many of Barrett's duties, with Matt Edgar of KFNS parent company Big League Broadcasting overseeing things.
    Last edited by Bleacher Creature; 03-16-2008, 06:48 AM.
    Make America Great For Once.

  • #2
    Kilcoyne said he didn't call back because "there no longer was anything to discuss'' and added, "My work speaks for itself, and so does his.''



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    • #3
      Good times.
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      • #4
        Best thing to happen in St. Louis radio the past few years since KTRS
        dumped Al Brady Law. Another New York City guy BTW. Good riddance.
        What an A-hole. This paragraph should tell you all you need to know
        about him.

        >>Barrett, who had been at the station for almost two years, oversaw a major period of upheaval at KFNS (590 AM, 100.7 FM) in which an estimated 18 people who worked either on the air or behind the scenes were fired or left on their own accord. <<

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        • #5
          What does that say about Frank for not saying fuck you & leaving?

          As if he really needed the extra $$$...

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Jack Daniels View Post
            What does that say about Frank for not saying fuck you & leaving?

            As if he really needed the extra $$$...
            Why shouldn't Frank stay? He never got fucked with and he can do whatever he wants and get a good paycheck. Frank would have been stupid to leave.
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            • #7
              Originally posted by skippy05 View Post
              Why shouldn't Frank stay? He never got fucked with and he can do whatever he wants and get a good paycheck. Frank would have been stupid to leave.
              So you're saying he's a racist & he was glad they canned Burwell...I get it...
              . . . and to tell you this: I work with gays, have friends who are gay, go to church with gays. Most of them are aware that I believe that homosexual behavior is sin. Some of them actually agree. Most don't. It's OK . . . because they also know or at least have been made aware of my multitude of sins: adulterous heart, lustful and covetous behavior, wicked pride, angry spirit . . . do I need to go on?
              -mike
              mike smith, post-dispatch online sports editor

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              • #8
                Originally posted by OldSchoolStroker View Post
                So you're saying he's a racist & he was glad they canned Burwell...I get it...
                Uh, yeah, that's EXACTLY what I said...

                Frank is above everything. I don't think he cares about anything at the station just so long as they let him eat in the studio, talk about Desmet and SLU hoops as much as he wants, and do his patented rapid-fire Q&A closer in his interviews. Someone could die in front of Frank and as long as it didn't directly affect him, he wouldn't notice. Frank wants no controversy, wants no negativity, and isn't going to make any waves at all. He'll never leave and they'll never fire him. He's the safest person at that station.
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                • #9
                  Pretty funny thread over at Benie's

                  http://www.stltoday.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=526969
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                  • #10
                    Pretty good stuff.

                    BTW, the Jason Barrett thread title might attract more attention if you put who the hell he is.
                    Dude. Can. Fly.

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                    • #11
                      Fuck 590.


                      "Sometimes you score, sometimes you don't," Tarasenko said. "You can't score every game. So, at the same time, you need to help your team. You can be a factor. That's what I try to do. I believe it's coming if you just don't think about it".

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ElviswasaBluesFan View Post
                        Pretty funny thread over at Benie's

                        http://www.stltoday.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=526969
                        no wonder Benie thinks the press box at the new Bush is so small, he has to fit that giant ego in there with him.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by dvyyyyyy View Post
                          Pretty good stuff.

                          BTW, the Jason Barrett thread title might attract more attention if you put who the hell he is.
                          I tried editing it, but to no avail.
                          Make America Great For Once.

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                          • #14
                            The thread from the PD is good. I can't understand the lack of respect that's given to Chris Dimino. IMO, he's the only reason to listen to the station during the day. I get to hear him more since KMOX screwed up and got rid of Paul Harris.
                            Make America Great For Once.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Bleacher Creature View Post
                              I tried editing it, but to no avail.
                              Yeah, it seems like only mods can do it.

                              Like I said, interesting stuff. I almost missed it!
                              Dude. Can. Fly.

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