By Stacy Harris
Copyright © 2023
Row Report All Rights
Webster PR Six Years After its Dissolution: An Update
been six years since the abrupt shuttering of Kirt Webster
Public Relations and two years since the publication of Kirt
Webster, the Demise of Webster PR: An Unprecedented
Investigation, Sex Scandal & Update.
With the subhead "The Status of Austin Rick's Book, Venmo Prostitution?,
A Leaked WTVF-TV Internal Memo, A Veiled Threat...,"
there's enough substance to follow up on any of my findings, should
be in dispute. Yet the silence, save for threats from Zach Farnum and (post-publication) Jesse Knutson, as well as a surreptitious
directive, apparently from (spoiler alert) Kirt Webster, has been deafening.
Unfortunately, few outlets covering Music Row
(most egregiously the industry
tax-favored 501s and the rip-and-read dominated publication that bears
its name), including the trades, report on the Row as a
business. That would require investigative reporting, a certain
doggedness absent among those I call "professional fans," and the
willingness to suffer the consequences.
What is to follow assumes that the reader has read the above article,
as well as the information provided by the linked sources within, in
order to provide proper context. No doubt criticism, to be sure
most of it provided anonymously, will come from those who have done
Kirt Bryan Webster has been on Kyle Stephen Coroneos' radar for some time.
By his own admission, Coroneos is not a journalist, let alone an
A blogger, who prefers to be known by his provocative nickname, "Trigger"
solicits what is usually- surprise?- anonymous reaction to his
comments. He covers Music Row but does not reside in Music City, let alone the state of Tennessee.
Needless to say, that lack of familiarity with the turf (except on
those occasions when local nuances receive broader exposure) and
accountability feeds Webstermania while
failing to answer the questions I have previously raised re: a lack of
media followup that should be the objective of anyone interested in the
Have Tamara Saviano and The Grascals said all they want to say?
Shouldn't Austin Rick
be forced to explain his backtracking, provide an itemized accounting
for, and otherwise reveal the destination of, any and all money he
collected from supporters?
do a real
internal investigation of its Nashville CBS affiliate's reporting as it
pertains to Webster PR, thorough in its query so as to identify who
leaked its highly unusual internal memo, to how many recipients
(ideally identified) and
And what about Steve Cavendish? Cavendish broke the the story that precipitated the sudden
closing of Webster PR, though I suspect Cavendish's partnership
with WTVF, already problematic for a "nonprofit"
wanting to steer clear of conflicts-of-interest, would dissuade Steve
from peeking too closely into Channel 5's personnel matters.
advocates might be interested in establishing the veracity of the
exchanges, whether the platform was the source of the supposed message
exchanges (which, if they occurred as circulated, happened long before Venmo's vulnerability was exposed)
and, if greater malfeasance was involved, getting to the bottom of who
engaged in account hacking and why?
The reported exchanges resulted in some collateral damage: Again, I
made successive attempts to give Kalie Shorr a heads up prior to the publication of
her purported Venmo exchanges with Farnum, but
Shorr's management team turned a deaf ear. For whatever reason,
Kalie is no longer one of Farnum's publicity clients, but that outcome
seems to be symptomatic of an industry that
historically, rather than learning from its mistakes, seems
hell-bent on repeating them. (I
have since contacted Shorr through her website and
if there is a response to that October 30, 2023 query I will update
this page accordingly.)
Unlike Shorr, Knutson, rewarded by the Row's historical embrace of
white male privilege, has resurfaced unscathed.
Enter former Webster associate, Jason Ashcraft. Ashcraft's "open letter
to my readers and all media professionals" decrying "industry predators
within our ranks who are being harbored, hidden and supported by
certain people and artists" landed as an exclusive with the blogger who
quoted Jason re: Ashcraft's prior association with Webster.
Though Zach Farnum excised me from his media contact list (only to
request to "connect" with me through Alignable), as of this writing I remain on Jason's
media contact list.
All this to indicate, ironically, as the only journalist to date to
raise a series of unanswered questions about the denouement of Webster
PR, I was not among those contacted in a roundup
for the purpose of providing "Statements submitted by other (than
Jason) industry professionals."
I should also note my extensive reporting's exclusion from the
List of Past Related Media Coverage by Real Journalists" (due to the
listings being incomplete or because, after an unmatched
continuous half-century as a print and
broadcast reporter, I have yet to establish in the minds of some of a
generation born after I was an established country-music author,
academician and multimedia journalist that I am a "real
On the bright side, I suppose, there is "honor" in my byline not
appearing on the provider's "List of Sham Journalism & White-Wash
Articles by So-Called 'Journalists.'"
Along those lines, it is said that the most respected journalism is
which is judged to be fair by virtue of reaction it receives from
who detect bias even as they totally disagree with each other as to
which extreme end of the spectrum is supposedly represented and
revealing of such alleged blatant one-sidedness.
Indeed, my response to the Nashville's Scene's October 31, 2017 revelation,
since removed with the rest of the reader comments, but preserved here,
requesting only that there not be a rush to judgment, elicited these
a host of others) from Trigger's no doubt erudite, articulate and
predictably anonymous Amen Corner; a group who unanimously did not
perceive any value in proceeding cautiously in the spirit of the Golden
"You're sick."-- M.J.
"...Siding against Kirt Webster would be bad for (Stacy Harris')
career." -- Tom
"Congratulations, Stacy Harris. Your comment just took the top
spot as the most self-important, condescending, victim-shaming,
bass-ackwards, egotistical post of 2017... Bless your heart."-- Hayley
Fast forward to the unannounced disappearance of Kirt
Webster, the Demise of Webster PR: An Unprecedented
Investigation, Sex Scandal & Update from its other "homes" on Newsbreak (though that censorship has been reconsidered) and Issuu.
According to "Karen," Issuu's Customer Success Associate,
a request on behalf of Kirt Webster... I hope this helps to answer
Well, I guess we have keyboard cowardice on the one hand and..."