KMOX relocation sparks commentary


CBS RadioThe St. Louis Dispatch’s Bill McLellan noted that CBS Radio St. Louis is consolidating its three local stations into one building: “KMOX-AM, KEZK-FM and Y98 will move into the Park Pacific, a mixed-use office and condo building at the corner of Olive Street and Tucker Boulevard, according to market manager John Sheehan,” the paper reported.

But McLellan sees the move as much more than just that in his Dispatch column:

“There was a time — and not so long ago — when this would have been unthinkable.

KMOX was at One Memorial Drive. It was there because it was a good location. Its studios overlooked the Gateway Arch. It could have found cheaper digs, but it was KMOX, and it was run by Robert Hyland, and he was not a “market manager.” He was the general manager of a 50,000-watt radio station that considered itself the finest radio station in the country.

And more, too. “We are the city’s third newspaper,” he used to say.

In those days, there were two newspapers in St. Louis — the Post-Dispatch and the Globe-Democrat.

That was the situation when I got here in 1980. I interviewed at both papers. I failed a writing test at the Globe-Democrat but was hired by the Post-Dispatch to do listings in the Calendar section.

That was not a big job, but I was in the media community. I had occasion to visit One Memorial Drive. More precisely, I had occasion to visit saloons and restaurants near One Memorial Drive.

What fun it was. The KMOX people shared their building with Channel 4 television, and with the ad agency D’Arcy-MacManus & Masius.

That agency had had the brewery account for decades. The ad guys would sit at lunch with a bottle of whatever brand they were working on — Natural Light, Michelob, Budweiser — sitting in front of their martinis. Maybe it was at one of those lunches that one of them came up with “This Bud’s for you.”

By the way, the KMOX people could drink with the D’Arcy people, and when it came to storytelling, the KMOX people were in a league of their own.

See the full column here