Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Slaten The PR Machine

By now, you've probably heard about yesterday's "dust up" between Kevin Slaten and Steve Savard at the Martz press conference at Ram's Park. I have to laugh. Before Monday was over, Slaten was calling for the Rams, and Channel 4, to fire Savard, and Savard was calling for a boxing match at Guns 'n Hoses.

As I said yesterday, I don't really know Steve Savard. But I do know, and despite his checkered past, like Kevin Slaten. I've worked with him at KTRS and found him to be a fun person to be around. Oh, Kevin likes for people to agree with him, but generally I had no problem with Kevin as a co-worker.

My slant on yesterday's fracas? Kevin is being Kevin. But he is also no dummy. He, I believe, is doing his job by generating publicity for himself as he has done many times in the past. To be sure, some of his past exposure has been negative. We all know about his Steamers p.a. debacle and some of his public, domestic problems. But, I think Kevin realizes that to command the big bucks in any market, you have to be in the spotlight. And he goes to unusual lengths to be noticed, and get his name in the paper. Dan Caesar cooperated nicely in this morning's Post-Dispatch.

Yesterday's tensions started out with Kevin, unusually, showing up at the Martz press conference to ask "tough questions" which, he claims isn't done often enough by other members of the St. Louis media. Apparently it escalated when Savard sniped at Slaten about never showing up at these events before. Savard, used to being the top rooster around Rams park, apparently couldn't stand another rooster being in the coop.

Not many of us would find a way to get into an "almost fight" with a guy who is obviously as big and in shape as Savard. But, I believe Kevin's mindset at this thing was to get himself some attention. And, if it means having to sling insults back and forth with Savard, so be it.

What's interesting to me is that Kevin Slaten is not really a candidate for a boxing match...or, for that matter, any other type of physical contest. Besides recently having shoulder surgery, Kevin is not as young a man as he would have you believe. Notice, when he's on the air, that Kevin always deflects or dodges questions that come up about his age...or anything that might indicate how long he's been in broadcasting. Many will remember, like me, that Kevin was doing TV sports at Channel 4 back in the mid-70's. You do the math, Kevin Slaten is at least as old as me...and I'll be 55 in December.

I wonder if Steve Savard knows that he's challenging a man to a boxing match that's been eligible for his AARP card for several years. Would it solve anything if the ex-NFL player who is maybe 42?, beat up on a guy who might be pushing 60?...even if it were for the benefit of Backstoppers. I don't think so.

Savard said last night on KTRS that he would continue to conduct himself with class. Well that's admirable. But I've always been of the opinion that if you have to say you're conducting yourself with class, you don't really have the right idea of how it's done. That's for someone else to say, not you. He would have been better off, in my opinion, to tell Randy Karraker, Jack Snow and John Hadley...who were doing the show on KTRS...to let it go, and not comment at all on the Slaten deal.

Anyway, both guys should take a deep breath. But my belief is that Kevin is getting what he set out for, more attention for himself and his radio show.


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