May 1st, 2012
Larry Moore

    Anchors have come and gone over the years in Kansas City. Then there is Larry Moore, who has anchored the news on ABC affiliate KMBC-TV9 for nearly four decades.
    And not only has Larry anchored the news, but his station has been one of the top-rated in the nation for several years now. In the process, he has won just about every journalism and community award ever given.
   He graciously took the time to answer questions from Bottom Line Communications regarding his illustrious broadcasting career. We must admit some of his answers were surprising.
    While he has interviewed a number of Presidents (he was the last TV person to interview Harry S. Truman), the proud University of Missouri grad says he found actress Jane Fonda the most interesting person he has ever interviewed.
    His most difficult story? His own battle with cancer 20 years ago.
    Ladies and gentlemen, Larry Moore…

Larry Moore
Anchor, KMBC-TV9
My hometown is Baring, Missouri, a little town east of Kirksville, Missouri. I spent a lot of time in Edina, Missouri, where I attended St. Joseph Grade School.
Educational background?
I have a Master’s Degree specializing in television news from the University of Missouri and a bachelor’s degree from Truman State University.
How long have you been in your current position?
For nearly 40 years I have anchored the evening news on Channel 9.
How did you get into your TV?
As a youngster, I had planned to be a newspaper reporter and publisher. I circulated my own neighborhood newspaper when I was in 4th grade. When I reached college, the excitement and immediacy of television news lured me away from the print media.
What are some of the previous jobs you held?
I began as a beat reporter with the Kirksville, Missouri, Daily Express. I worked for United Press International out of Kansas City. I was state editor and reporter for the Columbia Daily Tribune. I decided then that television news held the most promise for my future and personal security.
I operated a commercial truck garden while in high school and the first two years of college, distributing produce to supermarkets and hospitals throughout north Missouri, I wrote a gardening book, The 20X30 Backyard Garden Guide, based on my experiences.
Major awards/honors?
I have received numerous awards for professional work and community service. I just recently received the President’s Medal from Rockhurst University and the Diversity Award from Johnson County NAACP.
How has TV changed over the years?
When I joined Channel 9, we had to shoot film by 3 p.m. in the afternoon so we could have color film on the evening news. Now we can go live from anywhere in the world in color in a matter of seconds.
Marital Status (Children)
I have been married to my loving wife, Ruth, for 43 years. We have five children and five grandchildren.
Any children following in dad’s TV footsteps?
Of my 5 children, none are involved in television news. They will tell you they’ve seen it from the ground up and from the inside out.
What is the most rewarding part of your job? Least rewarding?
The most rewarding part of my job is being the first to know of events going on in our community, our nation, and our world and to be able to communicate details to a waiting viewership. The least rewarding is the bad hours the job entails. It’s 24/7. News does not respect time.
Did you ever consider another career?
When I was in junior high and high school my plan was to be a major league baseball pitcher. I had a great fastball and nasty curve. All of that changed when I injured my right shoulder and could never learn to become a hitter.
Did you have a mentor during your TV career?
I would not call him a mentor, necessarily, but the style of broadcasting I developed I copied considerably from Walter Cronkite. Rather than just reading the news, I tried to incorporate an excitement into news as he did. If I’m not interested and excited, why should the viewer be interested?
What is the strangest thing you have come across in your job?
Some of the strangest things I have come across involves the amazing things some people will do to be on television.
Any aspect of your career that that makes you particularly proud?
I am most proud of the Dream Factory, which I co-founded in Kansas City 28 years ago. During that period we have granted more than 5,500 dreams to sick and disabled kids. All the work is done by volunteers.
Dreams coming true have changed lives for the good and today a number of past recipients are now doctors, nurses, executives, business owners, lawyers, and physical therapists. We have never had to say no to a child because of lack of resources or money.
What is your favorite thing to do in Kansas City?
My favorite thing to do in Kansas City is to broadcast the evening news. I have never considered the work a job. It truly is a love that I’ve had for some 40 years.
What do you like to do in your free time? Hobbies?
In my free time, I enjoy photography, growing vegetables, (I‘ve had lots of two-pounders), riding horses, and playing with grandkids.
Your Catholic faith seems to be an important aspect of your life…Yes, it is. I have been since 1991 a member of the Knights of Malta, an order of men and women dedicated to helping the poor and the sick. Membership is approved by the Vatican. My wife and I are members of St. Thomas More Catholic Parish in South Kansas City.
People might be surprised to know that you…I really did write a book on gardening a number of years ago. It’s called the 20X30 Backyard Gardening Guide and is on the shelves of public libraries and is in the Library of Congress.
What is your favorite TV show?
As one of my sons once said in a charity stage appearance when I asked him the questions, he said, “Channel 9 News.”
Who was the most famous person you ever interviewed?
I’ve had the great opportunity to interview many of the famous and not-so-famous. When a reporter interviews a President of the United States, it is always a special occasion. I’ve had the opportunity to interview several—Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and Clinton. I also had the privilege of doing the very last television interview of the man from Independence, Harry Truman.
Who would you consider the most interesting person you have interviewed?
Probably the most interesting person I’ve interviewed is Jane Fonda. Regardless of how one feels about her political beliefs, I found her to be a most extraordinary and educated individual. No matter the question I would pose, she would never waiver.
Who do you follow on Twitter?
I don’t do much on Twitter. I can’t understand how one can hold onto a full-time job and still have time to Tweet. Talking on the phone while driving or Tweeting while driving are two things I do not do.
What was the most difficult story you ever covered?
The most difficult story I ever covered was my struggle with cancer 20 years ago. As I went through treatment, we presented an educational campaign on Channel 9. We had no idea how the process would conclude. It was like a bad movie, but I did survive.
Is it fair to say that you have pretty much seen it all in KC over the years?
In many ways, my tenure at Channel 9 is a history of television news in Kansas City—black and white film and the urban riots of 1968 to microwave technology and the GOP convention in 1976 to the World Series and satellite technology to the crime wave of the 21st century and iPhone technology.

6 Responses

  1. Jim Overbay says:

    Congratulations Larry. Without doubt, a Kansas City media institution.

  2. Pat Paton says:

    There are newsmen and there are newsmen — Larry Moore is a true newsman — and Kansas City is all the better to have had his smile, his delivery, his presence and as a friend for 40 years.

  3. Tim Kridel says:

    “We had to shoot film by 3 p.m. in the afternoon so we could have color film on the evening news.”

    Interesting. What process did it have to go through?

  4. Bill Oades says:

    John, great job with Larry Moore.

    Larry, thanks being the man of integrity that you are and have been over the years. Thanks for your great news reporting, and thanks for the terrific job you have done over the years as emcee of the SOS (Support Our Seminarians) dinner each January.

    Here’s to your next 40 years of KC TV!

  5. Tom Gorenc says:

    MR. KC
    Larry Moore is Mr. Kansas City.

  6. JIM S. says:


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    You’ve probably heard the slogan, “You never have a second chance to make a good impression.”

    The same is true in crisis communications.  When a crisis hits, as it did with United Airlines removing a passenger from a flight, the company had to come out with a strong message.  Unfortunately, it didn’t and today has to figure out how to pick up the pieces from a PR disaster.

    Unfortunately, it didn’t and today has to figure out how to pick up the pieces from a PR disaster.

    We have all seen the videos of a man being forcibly taken off a plane that was overbooked.  The man was bloodied and dragged off the aircraft.

    The company’s CEO Oscar Munoz initially blabbered about re-accommodating a passenger.  He also fired off an internal note to employees commending them for their actions.

    United Airlines

    Both were bad moves.

    The media, and particularly social media and talk shows,  jumped all over the airline for its insensitivity to a Chinese passenger and highlighted how offended the Chinese public was.  The next day it was revealed the passenger was actually Vietnamese and new stories about how offended the Vietnamese were flourished.

    What did United Airlines do wrong with its initial response? It is very likely the company conferred with its legal team and were told everything it did was legal.  While true, the biggest mistake was not addressing the emotional part of the issue.

    The average passenger was thinking “They could have done that to me!!” The guy had paid for a ticket and was waiting for his flight to depart when all hell broke loose.

    Years ago a phone company in Lima, Ohio, issued new phone books.  That’s not exactly “stop the presses kind of news,” but in this case it was.  The phone books contained coupons for various discounts:  pizza, dry cleaning, home goods, etc.

    It also contained a coupon offering $25 off on an abortion!!

    The phone book coupon issue exploded locally and then nationally.  The local Catholic hospital in Lima was beyond upset.  People on both sides of the abortion issue agreed that offering a discount coupon for it was tacky.

    The phone company’s legal team initially was quick to point out it was perfectly legal for the abortion clinic to offer a coupon since abortions were legal.  But the average person did not care if the coupon was legal.  They thought it was tacky and insensitive.

    The company spokesman ignored the legalities of the message and instead profusely apologized to everyone for the offensive coupon. He promised controversial coupons would never find their way into the phone book again.   The message resonated and the furor died down in a few days.

    CEO Munoz blew his initial message, but a day later had developed a new, stronger one. It should have been his initial message.

    “The truly horrific event that occurred on this flight has elicited many responses from all of us: outrage, anger, disappointment. I share all of those sentiments, and one above all: my deepest apologies for what happened,” noted Munoz.

    After all the facts have come out about the incident some cooler heads have risen over the incident.  However, it will be tough to overcome the initial horrible publicity and a reported $255 million loss in stock value.



    Published April 12, 2017 at 3:25 pm - 2 Comments You’ve probably heard the slogan, “You never have a second chance to make a good impression.” The same is true in crisis communications.  When a crisis hits, as it did with United Airlines removing a passenger ...


    President Donald Trump has a rather unique way of dealing with the news media: He looks on the news media as needing him as much as he needs them.

    This tactic goes against everything media trainers (including us!) have preached for years. We have always stressed to our clients how to effectively work together with media outlets in order to get their message out to the public. We note it is important to provide information that the news media will want to use for a win-win situation.

    However, Trump, as a successful businessman, seems to look at things from a business perspective.  He understands that media conglomerates today operate the same way as Walmart or Exxon. He knows the media needs him for readers/listeners/ eyeballs. That means revenues for their bottom lines.

    He knows the media needs him for readers/listeners/eyeballs. They need him as much as he needs them.

    In years past journalists were heralded as individuals who worked hard to uncover issues and provide an honest examination of news. Yes, there was a business side to the media, but journalists were above the fray. A threat by a company to “pull its advertising” meant virtually nothing.

    That is not the case today.

    Literally thousands of high-quality journalists have been purged in the past decade over budget cuts. Reporters with specific beats such as banking, state government, telecommunications and others with intimate knowledge of those areas have been cut loose to improve media outlets’ bottom lines. It’s not a grand calling.  It’s just business.

    National Public Radio recently listed big digital media companies (LINK) and their myriad of ownerships. Potential conflicts of interest are routine. Verizon owns the Huffington Post which has attacked Trump relentlessly; Walt Disney owns ABC and ESPN; Time Warner owns CNN and TMZ.com; CBS owns book publisher Simon & Shuster.  In the newspaper

    In the newspaper business Forbes reports that 15 billionaires own America’s media outlets. They own them to make money, not necessarily quality journalism.

    With only 6% of the population trusting the news media, according to a recent Associated Press story, Trump’s attacks on the media also resonate with his base.  When he attacks CNN for doing “fake news” the network’s bottom line suffers.

    As an example, during his recent address to Congress Fox News led all coverage with 10.8 million viewers.  CNN came in at a paltry 3.9 million, with MSNBC the lowest among all cable channels at 2.7 million.  These numbers means millions of dollars of lost ad revenues.

    Yes, reporters hate Trump. Press coverage of him during his first 30 days in office was 88% hostile (Link).  But their bosses love the revenues he generates for them.

    It will be interesting to see if coverage of President Trump changes over time as media outlets’ bottom lines are impacted.









    Published March 2, 2017 at 8:46 pm - One Comment President Donald Trump has a rather unique way of dealing with the news media: He looks on the news media as needing him as much as he needs them. This tactic goes against everything media trainers (including us!) have preached f ...


    It has been called “appalling journalism.”

    That might be considered a positive comment regarding an editing trick inserted into a documentary on gun ownership that has come to light.

    Long-time NBC Today Show star and anchor at all three major networks, Katie Couric, now with Yahoo! News, is being severely criticized for highly questionable editing in her documentary titled “Under the Gun” after it was revealed an eight-second pause was inserted to make it look as if the people interviewed could not answer her question (LINK).

    Luckily for the individuals being interviewed, one person was wise enough to record the Q&A (LINK TO AUDIO). Otherwise, questioning the bubbly media icon would have been virtually impossible and fruitless.

    Couric was executive producer, host and narrator of the piece.  Anti-gun activist Stephanie Soechtig produced and directed it.

    In the documentary, a group of Virginia gun owners was asked by Couric: “If there are no background checks for gun purchasers, how do you prevent felons or terrorists from purchasing a gun?”

    Not only did Couric/Soechtig insert a pause (8-10 seconds), but they also inserted “B” roll of the gun owners taken before the interview even began.  There is little doubt the editing was clearly designed to make it look as if Couric’s tough question made them speechless and uncomfortable.

    Couric is now calling the edit an “unnecessary mistake,” according to an individual with knowledge of her thinking (LINK).

    In an official statement, Soechtig countered, “my intention was to provide a pause for the viewer to have a moment to consider this important question before presenting the facts on Americans’ opinions on background checks. I never intended to make anyone look bad and I apologize if anyone felt that way.”

    Couric now says she supports Soechtig’s statement “and am very proud of the film.” However, a few days later she admitted she regretted how she portrayed gun activists (LINK).

    However, the National Review and Washington Post now say Couric should be fired over the deliberate misrepresentation (LINK).

    This is a classic reason why at Bottom Line Communications we strongly advise clients to always record media interviews.  Without actual audio evidence (below) the Yahoo! crew would have denied inserting the pause.

    However, with the evidence journalism takes another huge credibility hit.


    Published May 29, 2016 at 8:30 am - 2 Comments It has been called “appalling journalism.” That might be considered a positive comment regarding an editing trick inserted into a documentary on gun ownership that has come to light. Long-time NBC Today Show star and ...


    In Journalism circles, having a degree from the University of Missouri was often a ticket for success. It is not only the nation’s oldest Journalism school, it is also one of the most prestigious.

    When rankings for the best “J” schools in the nation are posted the University of Missouri is almost guaranteed to be in the Top 10 or Top 5.  However, that may have all changed due to the actions of a single media professor during the recent student uprising at the school.

    A Mass Media Professor, Melissa Click, is shown in a video asking for “muscle” to remove a student photojournalist, Tim Tai,  who was working for ESPN and in a public place.   It is a horrible act by a college professor and shows a total disregard for the Journalist’s First Amendment rights, which is against what the school has taught for decades.

    “Who wants to help me get this reporter out of here? I need some muscle over here,” says Click.

    A video of Click’s actions against Tai has gone viral and has well over 500,000 views (LINK) on a single site.  The New York Times has written an extensive story about her actions.

    What was once a sympathetic media for the protesters has now changed with the actions of students and faculty against them.

    Technically some have pointed out Click works in the Mass Media Division of the Department of Communications in College of Arts & Sciences, which is separate from the J-school.  However, she is listed on the School of Journalism’s site (LINK), which tars the entire Journalism program whether it deserves it or not.

    Click had earlier Tweeted out that she she was looking for coverage of the event by Journalists.  Later on she is clearly leading the charge against other Journalists with total disregard for their rights to cover the event.

    With the resignation of the school’s President and Chancellor the University of Missouri is clearly being painted as a college where the inmates are running the asylum.   Rather than act like a Professor, Click and other faculty members have clearly shown they were behind the student protests against the administration.

    If the University of Missouri doesn’t hire a crisis communications team immediately its entire image for producing quality Journalism graduates could likely be tarnished forever. If the school was wise it already had a crisis communications plan in place for such an incident, but that is unlikely.

    The first move would be to remove Click. But that would be a stop-gap measure since a faculty member helping foment the disturbance was an indictment on all the faculty.  The school hired her, and whether tacitly or not, approved of her actions.

    A statement issued today by the Dean of the Journalism School denied she was part of the faculty and sounded as if her days as a professor at Missouri were numbered. Click has also been forced to apologize in an attempt to save her job and resigned her “courtesy” appointment to the J-School.

    However, a Kansas City reporter told BLC that the protesters are refusing to speak with local reporters and will only do interviews with national media outlets.  That is the kind of move that will turn sympathetic local media against them now and in the future.

    It’s a bad move.



    Published November 10, 2015 at 10:23 am - 5 Comments In Journalism circles, having a degree from the University of Missouri was often a ticket for success. It is not only the nation’s oldest Journalism school, it is also one of the most prestigious. When rankings for the best ...