Pioneering Seattle Sportstalk Host J. Michael Kenyon Dead at 73

  • by: Casey McNerthney,          

    J Michael Kenyon, one of Seattle’s legendary sportswriters and a longtime local wrestling historian, M.C. and promoter, died April 26 at age 73, friends said.

    Kenyon, who was born Michael Glover and grew up in the Lake City neighborhood of Seattle, suffered from congestive heart failure.

     In 1967, Kenyon became the first SuperSonics beat writer for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. A decade later, he covered the arrival of the Mariners. In 1980, Kenyon was the city’s second sports talk show host — after KIRO’s Wayne Cody — on 570 KVI.

    Kenyon also worked for KING radio, the Yakima Morning Herald, Tacoma’s News Tribune, the Hollywood Citizen-News and the Baltimore Sun, among other outlets.

    His name change came at the suggestion of his second wife, a former dancer that he met on a Sonics road trip, who thought Glover sounded too boring. He spotted the Kenyon Printing Company while driving down State Route 99 near Seattle and took on that name. The J was added to his P-I byline, but not with a period after the initial — that wouldn’t fit on one line with the newspaper column width.

    Kenyon quit the P-I four times, including once because one of his stories wasn’t published. His track record on radio was similar, with one of his departures from KING being mid-show after a station manager gave unwanted input to Kenyon’s reporting.

    “He often became a better story than the one he was writing,” wrote Dan Raley, a friend and another legendary Seattle sportswriter.

    “He changed jobs, wives and watering holes so frequently it was hard to keep track of him. He was loveable and despicable, all in one. He was talented and self-destructive. He was the city’s own Hunter S. Thompson, the sports edition.



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