Selected soundbytes from today’s radio spot. Let’s see how this goes:
Thanks Kansas City
“Whatever level of national success was a byproduct of rabid support I had here.”
Apologizes for arrogance, bombast.
“What you’re about to hear it not bitterness or bombast or arrogance. It’s disappointment. It’s devastation. It’s regret.”
“I love America. I love democracy.”
Other than being in the military, the best way you can serve this country is by being a journalist. Would never be in the military because he’s against killing.
Grandmother and family were run out of the South by the KKK. Audibly tearing up.
Important to have friends of all races, ethnicity.
“I never intended to disassociate myself from the newspaper industry. It’s vitally important, but things have transpired that in my opinion left me no choice.”
“I wanted to be like Mike [Royko].”
“When you’re an outspoken columnist like me or Mike Royko, the management is going to push against you. And they should.”
Royko had options if he was treated wrong by newspaper management. In this day, there is only one newspaper in each city. Not anymore. “If the system starts pushing against you, you’re stuck.”
Will put his first two years as a columnist with Dale Bye as his editor as the best ever. “Arrogant but fact.”
Bye fired in 1996. “But from the time Dale Bye left, things for me started changing at the Kansas City Star. The Star, and the leadership at this time, allowed me to participate in the hiring of the next sports editor.”
“From the moment [Dinn Mann] got here, there was a problem with me. A competitive problem.”
Something about Dinn Mann saying Whitlock was overpaid: “Now I’ve got a real problem on my hands… and I start complaining behind the scenes.”
Had to go to lunch with another sports editor every Friday at Chili’s. Editor told him “no one reads me and that I suck.”
“In 1988 [Editors note: THIS WAS 12 YEARS AGO!], as you all know, I go to New England and make a critical error.” Back in Kansas City, he’s handed a “bogus” police report by his editors. This leads to a two-week investigation and he’s suspended for two weeks.
Won’t be supported by the Star so he branches out into radio and ESPN.com
“I worked at ESPN.com for peanuts,” with the understanding that eventually he would get a full-time position.
Neal Scarbrough [his editor at ESPN.com] gets fired.
“I’m building my brand.”
Some long-winded story about why he stopped doing the morning radio show. Five minutes condensed: “It’s hard.”
“After five or six years of writing for ESPN.com, I want my pay addressed. It doesn’t get addressed, or it does at a $25/column raise.”
Scarbrough is now at AOL. Follows him there. Signs a one-year contract for a “significant chunk of change for a part-time job.”
Gets involved with Imus debacle.
“I wind up on the Oprah Winfrey show. Good thing and a bad thing. Envy. Jealous.”
“My Imus columns irritated a lot of black people around the country.”
“Neal Scarbrough, who is African American, I believe had a bit of a problem with my perspective.”
“I wake up the next morning and there’s an ESPN executive is on AOL ripping me.”
“I apologize for the arrogance: I put AOL Sports on the map. I had done great work and there’s an ESPN executive ripping me.”
I need to work somewhere else.
Fox Sports calls. (“I did not call them.”) Signs a three-year contract. “An ideal situation for me.”
“I’ve written some of the most progressive columns that have ever been written in sports on Fox Sports. I don’t care what is on Fox News.”
Fox Sports wants me to come on full-time. “I’m still passionate about newspapers, very passionate. I still feel like it’s my patriotic duty. Despite the things that are going on in newspapers, I feel like it’s my duty to stay involved.”
“I’m going to go back to 1999.”
….and we’re done with this experiment. I can’t take this anymore. It’s worse than The Decision. Way, way, way worse. It’s Friday afternoon. Go outside, sports media world.