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Best Local Ego 

Steve Rose -- Columnist, Sun Newspapers

After he sold his family's chain of suburban newspapers to a Texas-based company, Steve Rose insisted that his twice-weekly column remain on the front page -- where his late father always had his own Memo column -- as part of the deal. When one of the succeeding publishers tried to move the column farther back, Rose went to court and won. The publisher who took him on was fired. But Rose doesn't always win his battles. When Ruckus, the weekly KCPT Channel 19 show featuring him (along with the Star's Yael Abouhalkah and talking heads Mike Shanin, Trudi Hall and right-wing gnome Rich Nadler), was axed this summer, Rose took revenge by writing a column blasting the station's expensive building makeover as "an ego trip gone haywire." Was he wrong? Not necessarily, though the column did come off as disingenuous given that Rose claimed he had found a "major foundation" that was willing to underwrite Ruckus and keep it on the air. Rose isn't all about self-promotion -- he's no shrinking violet when it comes to drumming up publicity for his pet projects: the BiState II tax for supporting the arts, boosting business in Johnson County, helping the American Cancer Society and Johnson County Community College. But Rose likes getting the last word. Even after accusing his bête noire, the Star's "gossipmeister" Hearne Christopher Jr., of writing "lies for the sake of sensationalism," Rose still lets Christopher quote him. No bashful, blushing Rose is he.

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