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The Herald-Leader Profiles Matt Jones

If you listen to the radio show every day you knew this article was a long time coming. When Tom Eblen’s column was going to drop many, including Matt himself, wondered just what tone the piece would take. Would it be a crushing expose on Jones and KSR? Would it be a trumpet of success for the future of sports media? Well it turns out you get just a little bit of everything.

We all know Matt Jones the blogger, host, and personality but few know about Matt Jones the person so Eblen provides a bit about the origins of both Jones and KSR. The article also digs into some of the recent controversies our site has been embroiled in over the past few years which Jones addressed as such:

Part of the tension between Jones and others in the press box stems from their radically different views about the role and ethics of news media in college sports. Jones said he appreciates good journalism, but he’s running a business.

“In no other business is it the case that not giving the consumer what they want makes sense,” Jones said of journalism. As an example, he cited the Pulitzer Prize the Herald-Leader received in 1986 for exposing cash payoffs to UK basketball players, a scandal that led to major reforms in the program.

“To the average fan, that’s the worst thing you all have ever done,” he said. “My goal is not to win the state journalism award. My goal is to make the consumer happy.”

All in all it’s a good read and a fair look at how KSR and Jones transformed into a media juggernaut over the last 8 years. Check it out in print or online.

[With fans and the media, Matt Jones and KSR stir passions in Big Blue Nation]

Article written by Andrew Cassady

Follow me @ACassady_KSR

36 Comments for The Herald-Leader Profiles Matt Jones



  1. Cat89
    11:57 am December 22, 2013 Permalink

    Wow! What was the name of that fellow in Greek Mythology who fell in love with is own reflection?



  2. Matt
    11:58 am December 22, 2013 Permalink

    Giving the consumer what they want happens in journalism, too: See MSNBC and Fox News as examples.



    • Joe
      3:14 pm December 22, 2013 Permalink

      MSLSD, OK, I guess….I just didn’t realize how few consumers there were in that market.



  3. sincitycat
    12:23 pm December 22, 2013 Permalink

    The Kinks: “Give the People What They Want”.



  4. BUCats
    12:24 pm December 22, 2013 Permalink

    The LHL really gets bent out of shape about the whole photo thing. If a photo appears on the internet, I think it’s fair game.



  5. Gap Tooth Danny
    12:31 pm December 22, 2013 Permalink

    Sure to follow: Joel Pett editorial “cartoon” skewering MJ/KSR/Chester, etc.
    Tipton’s reference to heretofore unknown rumors about Marcus Lee is typical of why UK fans and KSR writers love to hate him. Nothing obvious going on to “expose”? Just make up a rumor and then criticize the alleged rumor-mongers…



  6. Bigcatelswick
    12:33 pm December 22, 2013 Permalink

    The article seemed to be fair with no “new” news. If you read KSR and follow the radio show you’ll find nothing you haven’t already heard. The only folks that could find this article interesting and new are the few readers who only use LHL as their source for info. What a shame.

    And weren’t the kernel’s photos copied from Jon hoods twitter account? Get real, kernel. You had your chance and that time has popped.

    Keep doing what you’re doing KSR. This fan approves and won’t look elsewhere first for my UK fix.
    GO CATS.



  7. frank
    12:36 pm December 22, 2013 Permalink

    good article – provides good balance, Jones is talented and passionate. He also treats many poorly and to quote Bill Lamb is “ethically challenged” as noted throughout the article



    • Moe Tuhvayshen
      3:40 pm December 22, 2013 Permalink

      “ethically challenged” = lawyer



  8. Jesse
    12:49 pm December 22, 2013 Permalink

    The only point I’ll criticize is Jones’ statements about only taking information from press conferences, etc. The fact is, Jones and his crew steal everything and rarely ever give proper credit. No one would mind if he only took stuff from press conferences. Other than that the article is fair. Jones is seemingly highly successful, he has a lot of readers/listeners, all the rest of us hate him and it isn’t because of his site or show, it’s because he’s a conceited jerk with no ethics.



    • Hater
      1:08 pm December 22, 2013 Permalink

      Define “all the rest of us”?

      Don’t get mad because you didn’t think of it first.

      Haters Gon’ hate



  9. mgcat
    1:16 pm December 22, 2013 Permalink

    I do thinks it’s unfair that Matt and KSR get criticized simply because they don’t follow the dying print media model… times change, we don’t manufacture many buggy whips anymore.

    However, I would like to know more about the breakaway from KSTV, and where the relationships with Beisner and several of the others that contributed to both the TV and web in the past stand.

    I think TJ was an awesome contributor the KSR’s success, and while I like KSTV, I miss his contributions to the web site.



  10. samk
    1:29 pm December 22, 2013 Permalink


  11. Grant
    1:33 pm December 22, 2013 Permalink

    It’s an okay article…a bit bland. Keep up the great work Matt and KSR staff!



  12. inside info
    1:44 pm December 22, 2013 Permalink

    Not as scathing as Matt made it out to be. The thing that stood out most to me was the fact that Matt thinks people don’t like him because of jealousy. I think people don’t like Matt because of his extreme arrogance. I’m sure jealousy does have something to do with it in some places, but mostly it is his arrogance and inflated self-worth.

    But good publicity for the site. And it is still a pretty good site.



    • harry
      2:43 pm December 22, 2013 Permalink

      good for business, look at all the conservative talk show hosts.



  13. PrintMedia
    1:49 pm December 22, 2013 Permalink

    Matt Jones is mean to us!



  14. Coach Durbin
    1:52 pm December 22, 2013 Permalink

    The traditional media tried to freeze out KSR and treated them with disdain when it was being formed. Now they wanna cry foul when Matt and the crew are the most powerful media entity in the state? You mad bro?



  15. Liberal dukie
    2:19 pm December 22, 2013 Permalink

    Matt Jones is my favorite liberal Dukie.



  16. Truth Sayer
    2:22 pm December 22, 2013 Permalink

    Great shout out to cofounder Rob Gidel and those that helped him (john the intern) at the beginning. Why rob does not expose you for the fraud that you are is beyond me.



  17. Matt Jones
    2:35 pm December 22, 2013 Permalink

    I mentioned Rob a number of times in the interview in talking about the site’s history. He didn’t print it, but I can’t control that. Rob is a great guy who was a big part of introducing me to the business and starting our podcasts. I wish he was still doing sports with us. He is super talented



  18. Mr. Positivity
    2:37 pm December 22, 2013 Permalink

    I think a lot of fans conflate journalism and media, and though KSR does offer some hard news, primarily it’s an opinion-driven (and personality-driven) site. It has a different mission than the Herald, the Courier, USA Today Sports, etc. That’s not a bad thing or a good thing, but it’s how this site (and other fan-driven blogs) operates. For any hard news pertaining to sports, I’d go first to SI or ESPN or USA Today. For commentary/opinion, I’d come to a site like this, understanding that its main thrust is to support the Cats, and that everything posted here is going to be seen through that lens.



    • harry
      2:47 pm December 22, 2013 Permalink

      but all the entities are business as well, which is primarily run by personalities. Hate’em or love’em the bigger the ego, higher the revenue. for example Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity (fill in the blanks)



    • Mr. Positivity
      3:32 pm December 22, 2013 Permalink

      @ Harry: you’re right that papers, TV, and websites have commentary, too, and that it brings in a lot of traffic, viewers, and readers, hence revenue. But while commentary and hard news can overlap, they’re really two different things. I think of hard news as things like scores, trades, injuries, etc. Commentary is opinion, for example, on how the twins stack up against Louisville’s backcourt, and how that may affect the game. The thing about commentary is that a lot of people seek it out looking to have their own opinions validated. So many Cats fans come to KSR for that (and, judging by a lot of the regular posters, to complain), the way lots of conservatives listen to Rush or liberals watch Chris Matthews. My point is that it’s not the same as hard news, which details an event without offering an opinion on what it means. My preference is to seek out a mix of both, and not to rely completely on one or the other. I get a lot of Cats information here, but I look elsewhere, too, not just for news but opinions, because, as much as I enjoy KSR, there are other blogs and news outlets that provide other views, some complementary, others more skeptical. But I don’t want to fall into the trap of hearing just what I think people should be saying, simply because I’m a Cats fan.



  19. Midday
    2:47 pm December 22, 2013 Permalink

    #1 – Narcissus

    Matt doesn’t make the news, or for the most part, even report it. He takes reports and puts his “ridiculous” spin on it. It’s kind of like deadspin, but UK specific, and has proven to be a successful business plan. Good for him and his team.



    • Moe Tuhvayshen
      3:44 pm December 22, 2013 Permalink

      Yes. The site is a University of KENTUCKY news repository with comments from Matt Jones, his staff, KENTUCKY sports fans (readers) – and trolls.



  20. harry
    2:49 pm December 22, 2013 Permalink

    KSR without Jones = Nothing.



  21. roundball fool
    2:55 pm December 22, 2013 Permalink

    I thought the article was fair. Eblen usually goes a bit harder – see Centrepoint opinions.



  22. kycats34
    3:55 pm December 22, 2013 Permalink

    Matt Jones has made a mockery of Kentucky Basketball. He is the pied piper of the segment of fans that make the fan base look horrible. Listening to his radio show and his voice is like being in a Saw movie. His voice is like having your skin peeled back….slowly. Pure torture. I have even stopped listening to the pre-game show and play by play broadcast at home games because of him. I don’t have a problem with the format of his daily show, or even the fans that call up. I find it somewhat entertaining when the goofy fans call. What I find annoying is him and the douchebag aspect he brings to it all. The constant yelling and arrogant attitude is immature. Cawood is rolling in his grave right now.

    If there is one Christmas miracle I want this year, it is for Matt Jones to be removed from the core of UK media.

    And comparing him to Howard Stern is an insult to Howard.

    Worst thing the Herald-Leader did was run an article on him to bring a little more attention to him and his show. Although, in their defense, it was a fair piece. More dirt from the people that declined to speak would have been great.

    Good on him for being in the right place and right time when online technology took off. He found a niche and turned his passion into his career.

    For some reason, God likes Matt Jones and has blessed him with success. It may be one of the world’s greatest unsolved mysteries.



    • Mr. Positivity
      4:01 pm December 22, 2013 Permalink

      Meaning no disrespect–I’m not trolling or trying to pick a fight–but if you don’t like this site, why do you come here?



    • Coach Durbin
      9:35 pm December 22, 2013 Permalink

      Any success that Matt and KSR have had is because of hard work, innovation, and talent. Mystery solved. Get a life, troll.



  23. {{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}
    7:17 pm December 22, 2013 Permalink

    THE LARGEST INDEPENDENT SPORTS BLOG IN AMERICA. That’s absolutely laughable. Just because you say it, doesn’t mean it’s true! A blog covering a little dink school like UK is definitely not the largest sports blog in America. You’re ego is showing.



  24. Wise Wizard
    9:05 pm December 22, 2013 Permalink

    One of life’s great lessons is that no matter what line of work you are in, you are in sales.



  25. Matt Jones
    9:15 pm December 22, 2013 Permalink

    #24 it is the largest independent college sports blog…there are a few bigger ones about pro sports, but vast majority of big sports blogs are not independent



  26. bigbluelife
    6:52 am December 23, 2013 Permalink

    Why worry about scathing if you’ve done nothing to provide scathing- also find it strange that your response to the article was nearly as long as the article itself-ego much?- lastly I admittedly listen because of job spend a lot of time in the car and you’re somewhat better than cowherd.