If you're in Kansas City, you have two main outlets for conservative/rightie talk radio: 710 KCMO
[*1] , and 980 KMBZ
[*2] . Those are the two stations I listen to most of the time. When I get bored with them, there's the two sports talk stations, 810 WHB
[*3] and 610 KCSP
[*4] (of which the sports talk hosts on 810 tend to be better, but 610 has the Royals and the Jayhawks play-by-play that I prefer). Music, I go to 105.1 "Jack FM"
[*5] most of the time I'm not hitting my iPod.
With that out of the way, here's my usual day's radio talk show listening schedule, when I'm within earshot of a radio:
5 am-9 am: KCMO Morning Show with Chris Stigall
[*6] vs. the Kansas City Morning News on KMBZ
[*7] : Overall, I find Stigall's show much more entertaining than the more hard-news program on KMBZ. Stigall is a big-league talk host talent, I think. He's guest-hosted the national Rusty Humphries show on occasion, and is pretty smooth all the way around. Stigall seems to have the knack of disagreeing without being too disagreeable--a rare gift nowadays--although he seems to take very few positions that I strenuously disagree with.
9 am-11 am: Glenn Beck
[*8] on KMBZ dukes it out with Laura Ingraham
[*9] on KCMO: There's no clear winner in this slot as far as I'm concerned. I can listen to them both. Beck is at his best when his show is slightly out of control, and at his worst when he's getting ultra-mega-serious. Ingraham has an unfortunate tendency to shout down guests she disagrees with (see above "disagreeing without being disagreeable", but when she avoids that she's very listenable, too.
11 am-2 pm: Rush Limbaugh
[*10] on KMBZ, vs. Dave Ramsey
[*11] on KCMO: Rush is THE master of the medium, but when you're not in the mood for incessant liberal-bashing, Ramsey's show is a welcome alternative. Rush gets around the whole issue of arguing with guests by simply not having any who disagree with him. The show is, after all, about what HE thinks. He's best when he's talking about people lifting themselves up and personal responsibility and the like--a message not at all dissimilar to Ramsey's.
2 pm-4 pm: Bill O'Reilly
[*12] on KMBZ vs. Sean Hannity
[*13] on KCMO: battle of the Fox News heavylightweights! Well, after either Rush or Ramsey, these guys come off sounding pretty light-weight. You've got Rush-Lite personified by Hannity, versus the squishy, populist, O'Reilly. Hannity loves shout-fests for some reason I can not completely understand. O'Reilly just likes to hear himself talk. I usually wind up on sports talk after Rush goes off the air, but of the two, I find O'Reilly is generally more listenable than Hannity on a regular basis, even though his aggressive populism scares me every once in a while. No winner in this time slot.
4 pm-7 pm: Local hosts Shanin and Parks
[*14] on KMBZ, vs. Hannity (until 5 pm) and Michael Savage
[*15] on KCMO: I find "The Savage Nation" utterly unlistenable. Sometimes I tune into Shanin & Parks, but they're rarely interesting enough for me to stay for an entire show. This time slot again winds up being sports talk radio, or more often Stargate Atlantis and SG-1 re-runs on the SciFi Channel followed by local TV news, while making and consuming supper.
Evenings: Darla Jaye
[*16] , local on KMBZ vs. Savage (until 8) and Rusty Humphries
[*17] (8-11 pm) KCMO. I don't listen often, except occasionally catching the end of Rusty's show while getting ready for bed. Recently I tuned in for a while to Jaye's show, and it was . . . awful.
Overnight: Coast to Coast AM
[*18] on KCMO vs. Mark Levin
[*19] (10 pm-midnight) and the Rush replay (midnight-4 a.m.) on KMBZ. Levin is, I suppose an acquired taste that I have so far failed to acquire. Coast to Coast can be amusing, unless they get too apocalyptic and/or paranoid. Which, come to think of it, is more and more often since Art Bell retired again. Sleep wins out over radio, I'm afraid.
So, the winners:
Chris Stigall, KCMO
Beck & Ingraham (tie)
Shanin & Parks, KMBZ
Rusty Humphries, KCMO
Coast to Coast AM, KCMO