Communication and Media
Phones and Area Codes
Two area codes serve Kansas City, and you’ll know which one to use depending on which state you’re in. Kansas City, Missouri, numbers all begin with 816, while all numbers on the Kansas side use 913. Dial the complete area code and number when you make a call, as some outlying areas that fall into the two area codes are still considered long-distance.
Wi-Fi hotspots are available throughout Kansas City, including at the Convention and Visitors Center, the Kansas City Public Library, and most coffee shops. More restaurants are also offering Wi-Fi access, and most places post signs detailing connectivity details such as passwords or IP addresses. Check with your hotel regarding online usage; although most hotels offer Wi-Fi, some charge for access, whether hourly or daily.
Each Kansas City neighborhood or district has its own post office, with the centralmost location being downtown’s Union Station (30 W. Pershing Rd., 816/460-2020). Free parking is available for postal customers. Another option is the post office in Westport (200 Westport Rd.)
For other mailing services, there’s a Fed-Ex Office on the Country Club Plaza (612 W. 47th St., 816/960-2030) that offers a variety of packing, shipping, and copying needs. Or try the UPS Store (4741 Central St., 816/561-7411) for printing, mailing, and packing services.
Newspapers and Periodicals
Kansas City’s major metropolitan daily newspaper, the Kansas City Star (www.kansascity.com) is the city’s go-to source for news, sports, business, and arts and culture. Although many Kansas Citians enjoy a love-hate relationship with the Star, a news organization that’s suffered massive layoffs since 2008, the newspaper is still a favorite source for local information. The Star’s younger sibling, Ink (www.inkkc.com), is a newsprint magazine targeted to the city’s young professionals and is published on Wednesdays. Look for the bright green distribution boxes located throughout the city for event calendars, local profiles, happy-hour guides, and more.
Pitch Weekly, a product of the larger Village Voice Media, is Kansas City’s original alt-weekly (www.pitch.com). Distinctive red boxes house free copies of the Pitch, published on Thursdays. Although its longer features are often criticized for their controversial content, the Pitch is an unparalleled source of nightlife, event, and concert calendars. Check online for a database of restaurant reviews.
For a moderate-sized metropolitan area, Kansas City is home to a surprisingly large—and diverse—amount of print media. While you’re in town, check area newsstands for KC Magazine, an upscale monthly publication that covers local dining, fashion, arts and culture, and other lifestyle topics, including September’s often-anticipated “Best Of Kansas City” issue. Spaces magazine, produced by Grand Communications, a division of the Star, is a favorite choice for home decor and interior design enthusiasts. KC Parent is a colorful magazine filled with articles and local events geared toward families, and is available for free throughout the city.
Arts enthusiasts should pick up a copy of Review magazine, a visual arts publication that offers one of the most comprehensive guides to local arts events. Check downtown galleries and coffee shops, as well as the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, for copies. An informative and versatile resource for city-wide events and information is online-only Present magazine (www.presentmagazine.com), which covers arts, design, business, food and drink, and music. Consult the calendar for upcoming events—it’s a great source as you’re planning your trip’s itinerary. Look for other publications in drop boxes around Kansas City, as well as the travel and regional sections of bookstore newsstands.
Radio and Television
Billed as Kansas City’s “local source for NPR news,” KCUR (89.3 FM, www.kcur.org) is a university-run station home to hourly NPR news reports and several news and music shows. Tune in at 10 a.m. for The Walt Bodine Show, a local favorite that explores a variety of local, national, and international topics. Throughout the evening, programming switches to the musical variety with shows hosted by various KCUR disc jockeys.
Kansas City Community Radio, KKFI (90.1 FM, www.kkfi.org), is an independent nonprofit station that offers a mix of eclectic talk and music programming hosted by local on-air talent, as well as numerous syndicated shows that play throughout the day.
Local all-talk stations include KCMO Talk Radio 710 (710 AM), the Fox News affiliate. Or try right-leaning News Radio 980 KMBZ (980 AM, www.kmbz.com), with shows from Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and local talent Darla Jaye. For all sports, all the time, tune to Sports Radio 810 WHB (810 AM, www.810whb.com), after which Kansas City’s 810 Zone sports bars were named. Most Kansas City stations can be heard about an hour outside the city, although some stations broadcast on smaller frequencies that suffer quicker signal interruptions.
Kansas City Public Television (www.kcpt.org) on channel 19 offers a mix of local and national programming including Ruckus, a round-table discussion focused on the largest of Kansas City’s community issues. Other local stations include channel 4 (Fox affiliate), channel 5 (CBS affiliate), channel 9 (ABC affiliate), and channel 41 (NBC affiliate).
© Katy Ryan from Moon Kansas City, 1st Edition