Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Putting Things Into Perspective...

It’s funny how quickly things can change. One day you’re stressing out trying to meet the demands of your everyday obligations. You know, things like your job, trying to stay on top of the yard work, the plumbing issues, and trying to keep your wife from killing you because you’ve been working on the road for five out of the last six months. And on top of all that, you absolutely have to have your column turned in by 3:00 P.M. every Wednesday afternoon.

And so it went. For the last two years and eight months without fail, I’ve managed to get it all done. Then last week, out of the blue, I got a call from Denise Hall, the owner of the Topeka Metro News. She informed me that she had sold the paper and that I’d better contact the new owners to find out whether or not they’re interested in continuing my column. So I did.
The answer came in the form of an e-mail the next day. It simply said, Mr. McGinty, sorry but we won’t be able to run your column anymore.
Well, that’s that then. I can no longer call myself a columnist, but then neither can any of the other local columnists that have always been a big part of the paper. The new owners have decided to drop all local commentary from the paper and keep a couple of national syndicated one’s.
I’m not sure why they‘d want to go that route, but it looks a lot like the strategy, Spike Santee used when he took over one of the most popular radio stations in Topeka, AM 1440. The first thing he did was to fire Jim Cates. Then came the local DJ’s, followed by Steve Forman and Deb Goodrich. By the time he was done, he had managed to get rid of almost all the local people and replaced them with national syndicated shows.

Hey, it’s their world, they can do with it what they want. But they do need to understand how that strategy worked out for my old buddy, Spike. He took over a radio station that had always enjoyed ratings at the top of the charts because of local participation. And a year after he took over, their ratings have dropped to the very bottom of the charts.

Was I disappointed? Yes. Was I pissed? Oh hell yeah. It was a little like getting kicked in the gut. I thought for sure they'd at least write one last column, you know, just to say goodbye and all that. But the new owners of the paper thought otherwise.

But you know what? None of that really matters. I received a text massage from my daughter that same afternoon that brought everything in perspective for me. (Dad, everything’s normal, there’s no cancer and I’m okay.) God, you have no idea how much of a relief that text was. After that news, any small disappointment I may have felt, whether it was real or imagined, just sort of faded away.

So now, I’m just going to keep writing and posting on my blog. I’ve decided to keep Wednesday afternoon as a deadline and I'm going to try writing a book of some kind. And my offically cancer free, daughter has promised to work on it with me. Today, I’m stuck working in Pratt, Kansas and I’m okay with that.

Take a minute or two today to give your kids a hug and tell them how much you love them. Call your mom and dad if you can. Maybe you grandparents, too. How about your brothers and sisters, maybe your mad at them over some family squabble or something. Call them to burry the hatchet. Maybe you have an aunt or an uncle who’s not doing so well. Give them a call just to let them know you’re thinking about them. Life’s too short not to.

Life is full of disappointments, large and small. Just try to keep them in perspective.

I hope all is well with you and yours today, and I’ll talk to you guys next week…


  1. That's the spirit, my friend. It's all just a matter of attitude. I think it was Viktor Frankl, a survivor of several Nazi camps including Auschwitz, who said, "They can try to take away everything I have, but they can't take my attitude."

    Whether the new owners realize it or not, there will be readers in Topeka who reach for that paper just to see what McGinty had to say. But you won't be there.

    Keep us posted on the book.

  2. Hi Dad! I love you! Keep your chin up! Everything happens for a reason. However, most times the reasons are unclear to us... that's just the way it works you know! Here's to another chapter in Kevin McGinty's life!! I'm your number 1 fan!!!

  3. Thanks for the vote of confidence, Fred.

    And now, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. I present to you, my daughter, Misty Michelle.

    Don't you worry, kiddo, however this things works out, we will get that book written one of these days.

  4. Of coarse we will! I have so many ideas I'm bursting!!! Can't wait until you get home and we can chat!! Love ya and drive safe!

  5. I've been seeing this all over the country. Large syndicates swallowing local news outlets...broadcast and print, alike.

    I wonder if you should consider collecting your works into a book.

    I'm glad to hear your daughter is doing well, and that your typical male behavior hasn't landed your better half in jail. (to be totally honest, my late hubby was more likely to kill me than the other way around. god, i used to piss that man off! i don't know how he managed to stop himself from slapping me.)

  6. You sound a lot like my wife. You know, she knows exactly which buttons to push when she wants to piss me off.

    I keep telling her to knock it off or I'm going to hit her in the mouth. And I'd do it too, if it weren't for the fact that I'm scared of her. LOL.

    Yeah, it sucks about the paper. But you know, I try not to stress too much about things I can't control.

    Hope all is well with you and yours...

  7. Hey my friend and fellow blogger ...

    FYI, I wrote a note to my son John to bury the hatchet. Stay tuned my friend and keep up the good work.

    Your good buddy


  8. I stopped worrying about much of the 'small stuff' after Barb was diagnosed with breast cancer and then survived it. The new owners of that now second rate paper who pushed out their best writer just freed him up for the book. See you Saturday.

  9. tell them the truth mcginty. you werent pushed out. you were thrown out because you cant write above a fifth grade level. that and all you do is parrot everything your hero rush limbaugh tells you to say. really have you ever had an original thought?
    the metro news made a wise move by getting rid of you tired old racists who were only filling space.

  10. Wow! What a big mouth comment from, wait a minute, we don't know who you are do we? I bet it makes you feel brave. Have a good day!

  11. Myron, I really hope you can work things out between you and your son. Because you know as well as I do that one day it'll too late.

    Hawk, good to hear from you again. It's funny too. A few years ago my daughter, Misty gave me a book titled "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff." Yeah, she's a pretty smart kid.

    Oh yeah, tell Aunt Barbara I said hi, and I'll be looking forward to Saturday.

    And, Misty. Since you're still kind of nre around here, I probably should have warned you about my Anonymous friend who pops in and out from time to time.

    I'm not sure exactly when it happened but somewhere along the way, I evidently offended his sensibilities. And as a result he's really pissed.

    We just let him rant and rave. I think it makes him feel better. Hell, Fred even thinks he cute.

  12. Anonymous = coward on blog sites. If you don't have the courage of your convictions then get lost kid you bother me. Kevin, you are nicer than I am - I wouldn't accept posts from anonymous cowards.

  13. Thanks again for the kind words my friend... Someday I hope to be able to get my handwritten bucket list crossed off ..

    I also am getting replies from my blogs as posted to




  14. Hi Kevin Going to miss the Metro AND YOUR COLUMN If you're going to be in town tue(9-8) how about coming on the show? Let's talk about what would have been in your farwell column Jim

  15. You caught me just in time, Jim.

    I'll tell you what, I'm heading out to Hutchinson Tuesday morning to get things ready for the State fair and I'll be gone for at least three weeks. I'm pretty sure they can do without me for a few hours. They owe me "big time, " and I have no problem reminding them of it either.

    Not only will I do your show, but I'll go ahead and write that farewell column. That way we can talk about what was in it instead what it would have been.

    Thanks for stopping by, Jim. You made my day...

  16. Oh and, Hawk, it's okay with me if my Anonymous buddy wants to come on here to rant and rave and make a fool out of himself.

    Besides, I think he really needs a way to vent. I'm sure he gets pretty lonely being cooped up in his mom's basement all day. And that tin-foil hat he wears must be hell on the temples too...