Sports

Major changes coming at Kansas City’s top cable sports network

Dave Stewart, who has been part of the Kansas City sports media scene for decades, will not be with Spectrum Sports KC after May 4, The Kansas City Star has learned.
Dave Stewart, who has been part of the Kansas City sports media scene for decades, will not be with Spectrum Sports KC after May 4, The Kansas City Star has learned. 2003 photo

Major changes are occurring at Spectrum Sports KC, the cable television station formerly called Time Warner Cable SportsChannel and originally known as Metro Sports.

Longtime broadcasters Dave Stewart, Leif Lisec and Brad Porter are among a group of employees who won’t be with the company after May 4, The Star has learned. More than half of the staff of about 32 were told last week they would not be retained.

The veteran anchor/reporters have been part of the Kansas City sports media scene for decades. Stewart joined Metro Sports in 2001 after previously working at KMBC Channel 9.

Lisec had worked at KCTV Channel 5 and joined Metro Sports in 2004.

Porter was an original member of the on-air talent at Metro Sports when it debuted in 1996 as Kansas City’s first cable station devoted to sports.

Besides anchoring broadcasts and reporting, Stewart, Lisec and Porter host programming devoted to the Royals, Chiefs, Sporting KC, and high school, college and fantasy sports.

Charter acquired Time Warner Cable in May 2016, and the companies operate as Charter Spectrum. Time Warner subscribers automatically became customers of Charter Spectrum.

Spectrum/Time Warner Cable has been home to the Jayhawk Network since 2013-14, which broadcasts a handful of men’s basketball and football games and many more non-revenue sports broadcasts, as well as coaches’ shows and KU-themed programming.

One year remains on the contract with KU and its multimedia rights partner, IMG College, with an option for two additional years.

A Charter spokesperson said in a statement: “We have made some changes to our program for Spectrum Sports in Kansas City. These changes will not affect our University of Kansas coverage.”

Blair Kerkhoff: 816-234-4730, @BlairKerkhoff

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