KC PROFILE: LEGENDARY ANCHOR LARRY MOORE

JohnLandsberg
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…

Name:
Larry Moore
Title:
Anchor, KMBC-TV9
Hometown?
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:

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

  2. Pat Paton says:

    TRUE NEWSMAN
    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:

    WHAT PROCESS?
    “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:

    MAN OF INTEGRITY
    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:

    KC ICON

Leave a Reply

  • TIME WILL TELL IF TARGET’S PR TACTIC IS SUCCESSFUL

    Public Relations practitioners are experts at taking advantage of current events in order to generate positive publicity for clients.

    After the 911 attacks, companies lined up to show their support for the War on Terror.  Anything they could do for the troops and their families was fair game with the hope they would receive some media recognition for their efforts.

    Whenever there is a natural disaster anywhere in the country companies are quick to jump in with monetary support, supplies and other forms of assistance. They have learned their best chance for positive coverage is to announce a donation as soon as possible.

    The reason for all this corporate goodwill?   Obviously, to show their companies in a positive light.  However, the over-riding goal should be to generate additional revenue and profits in the short or long-term.

    In 2013, Target  experienced a major retail disaster when it had more than 40 million credit cards compromised during the 2013 holiday shopping season. That may have resulted in the theft of as many as 110 million people’s personal information, such as email addresses and phone numbers.

    After the breach, Target saw its profits fall an astounding 46 percent, according to Forbes (link).  To add insult to injury, just last month the company was forced to shell out $10 million in a class action lawsuit to settle credit card claims (link).

    Target needed some positive publicity and needed it quickly.  A current hot issue involved transgender people after North Carolina said transgender people must use the restroom that corresponds to their birth certificate.  Some performers like Bruce Springsteen immediately jumped on the issue, but no corporations had joined the fray.

    Target very likely saw an opportunity to general positive publicity for its “inclusivity” by jumping on the issue.  The beauty of it was there was virtually no cost for the PR effort.  To offer to build unisex restrooms could cost millions of dollars.  This involved no more than issuing a statement:

    “We welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity,” the retailer said in a statement. “Everyone deserves to feel like they belong.”

    Target-boycott

    As the company likely anticipated, initial publicity was overwhelmingly positive.  The news media applauded the company for its politically correct stance on behalf of the LGBT community.

    However, within days, it seemed the tide of public opinion about Target started to turn in another direction.  In less than a week nearly one million customers signed a petition generated by the American Family Association saying they would boycott Target stores (Link).

    Stories began to appear involving men in Target restrooms attempting to take pictures.  The social media backlash to Target, particularly on the influential Breitbart News Network, was fierce.

    And now it seems Target is on an island with its controversial policy.  No other major retailer has jumped on the Target bandwagon.  Most, like Walmart, very likely staying quiet while hoping to skim off Target customers.

    Even Starbucks, considered a leader in political correctness, has not weighed in (Link).

    Was Target wrong to jump on the issue?   Only time will tell.  It obviously did not anticipate the fierce backlash by its customer base.  It most likely will not prove to be a move that will increase its bottom line.

    “The decision to weigh in so strongly on such a divisive issue has to be worrying for holders of Target stock,” noted InvestorPlace. “Since the retailer’s April 19 announcement, TGT stock has dropped 6.5%.”

    But of even greater concern to Target might be its new policy seems to be turning off its prime customers:  women.

    “The study further indicated that a growing number of shoppers — especially women — heard negative comments about the company,” said InvestorPlace. “Interestingly, brand perception of TGT is down to its lowest level in eight months.”

    Companies have to be very cautious when jumping on issues for publicity.  After Chick-fil-A’s CEO came out against gay marriage the LGBT community attempted a boycott of the chain.  Customers responded so strongly that Chick-fil-A’s sales actually increased.

    After a character on the TV show “Duck Dynasty” said he was against gay marriage the restaurant chain Cracker Barrel quickly announced it was removing all Duck Dynasty merchandise from its stores.  That hasty decision was not thought through very well despite Jesse Jackson throwing his support behind the restaurant.

    Cracker Barrel quickly realized it had made a huge mistake.  Its loyal customers were furious and let the chain know they would be taking their business elsewhere.  Within three days Cracker Barrel was forced to completely rescind its decision (Link) and ask for forgiveness.

    Target was quick to publicize its restroom policy, and now the company now steadfastly refuses to reveal if the boycott is hurting sales.  That will be the key whether this program is successful or not.

    Target’s decision may pan out in the long run as an effective PR tactic.  If sales and profits grow it will be time for high-fives in the corporate boardroom.

    However,  it could also be a decision its shareholders will regret for years to come.  Only time will tell.

    (Update: Signers to the petition have now surpassed the one-million mark.  Target’s stock has lost $1.5 billion.)

    Published April 28, 2016 at 10:35 am - 5 Comments Public Relations practitioners are experts at taking advantage of current events in order to generate positive publicity for clients. After the 911 attacks, companies lined up to show their support for the War on Terror.  Anythin ...

  • MIZZOU NEEDS CRISIS PLAN TO RESTORE IMAGE

    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 ...