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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    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 ...