Early this year, Kansas City Star political columnist Steve Kraske suddenly started throwing punches at KCTV Channel 5. "Tell me I'm not the only one being driven bonkers by the crime and grime dominating the news each night," he wrote on January 7. He recounted a typical local news lineup: a firefighter hurt, a downed helicopter, police searching for burglars, teens killed in car wrecks, shots fired into a home, murder charges in WyCo, a Lawrence man convicted of killing a baby, an elderly woman awakened in her bedroom by a masked man. Yikes! Channel 5 News Director Regent Ducas defended his station, telling Kraske, "Tens of thousands of Kansas Citians on a nightly basis do worry about bullets flying into their house. It's there, man. It's not like we're making this up." When Kraske asked why Channel 5 didn't dial back the blood to focus more on government, politics and culture, Ducas said, "According to our research, it would fail miserably." Which confirmed the obvious: TV news is determined not by current events but by market research. By March, Ducas was gone. Alas, that had nothing to do with pressure from Kraske. Ducas had taken a job in Dallas, and Channel 5 General Manager Kirk Black announced that nothing about the station's approach would change. Oh, well.