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Sprint

Courtesy Overland Park Historical Society

The Kansas City Star’s front page on December 7, 1997, made a big splash about the $500 million construction just starting in the southern metro area.  

“Sprint makes history with its headquarters,” the headline read, adding that it was “so big it will have its own ZIP code and power substation."

This week, two more headlines showed that the respective heydays for Sprint and the Star are now history, as Sprint lurches closer to a merger with a competitor and the Star announced the bankruptcy of its parent company.

Peggy Lowe / KCUR 89.3

Clearing one of the last hurdles in a nearly two-year merger marathon, a federal judge on Tuesday ruled that Overland Park-based Sprint may complete its $26 billion deal with rival T-Mobile.

Screenshot from Snickers commercial

Kansas City companies have poked fun at Willie Nelson’s trouble with the IRS and shown someone faking their own death to switch cellphone plans during Super Bowl commercials in previous years. 

Super Bowl viewership regularly tops 100 million. For prominent Kansas City companies like H&R Block and Sprint, it has proven to be a prime chance to advertise. Here’s a look back at the ads run in past Super Bowls that have Kansas City connections. 

H&R Block’s Willie Nelson commercial (2003)

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An Overland Park company that services Sprint credit cards is laying off 99 employees, according to a notification filed with the Kansas Department of Commerce.

Home Credit US, which is located on the Sprint campus in Overland Park, began in 2015 as a joint venture with Sprint. The company is part of Home Credit Group, a consumer finance and credit card servicing company that was founded in 1997 in the Czech Republic.

Peggy Lowe / KCUR 89.3

The singer in a cover band was belting a hip-hop song about the party being underway on the lawn of the Sprint campus when CEO Michel Combes got on stage.

Combes told the Sprint employees gathered outside on a late June afternoon that they were celebrating the remodel of the company’s headquarters at 6200 Sprint Parkway. What he didn’t say was that the new building was missing one big thing: a Sprint logo.

Peggy Lowe / KCUR 89.3

In a 3-2 decision divided on party lines, the Federal Communications Commission has formally approved the merger between Sprint Corp. and T-Mobile US Inc.

Although the FCC has telegraphed its approval of the Sprint and T-Mobile merger, that doesn't mean there isn't dissent within the agency.

FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks was one of two Democrats to cast a dissenting vote Wednesday, according to Law360.

Peggy Lowe / KCUR 89.3

Sprint Corp. was accused by the Federal Communications Commisison on Tuesday of falsely accepting millions of dollars in subsidies for low-income subscribers and failing to provide the service.  

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said he has asked the agency’s enforcement bureau to investigate.

“It’s outrageous that a company would claim millions of taxpayer dollars for doing nothing,” Pai said in a statement. “This shows a careless disregard for program rules and American taxpayers.”

Segment 1: Continuing developments still don't seal the deal for a merger of Sprint and T-Mobile

Last month the Justice Department gave final approval to the $26-billion deal between the communications companies. This week the Federal Communications Commission chair recommended going ahead with it. In the way is a lawsuit brought by 16 attorneys general looking to derail the proposed union. Learn what the success or failure of the merger could mean for Sprint and T-Mobile, urban and rural consumers and company employees.

Peggy Lowe / KCUR 89.3

More than a year after announcing the proposed $26 billion deal, Sprint and T-Mobile won final federal clearance on Friday when the U.S. Department of Justice announced it had settled anti-trust concerns.

The combined company will be called “the New T-Mobile.”

Ten state attorneys general have filed a lawsuit to try to block the merger of telecom giants T-Mobile and Sprint.

Peggy Lowe / KCUR 89.3

Sprint and T-Mobile announced concessions to their proposed $26 billion deal on Monday, prompting promises of approval from two FCC commissioners.

Segment 1: Moderatism and social media.

It seems everywhere on the news there's talk about a political divide in America. But is it possible that claim is over exaggerated by social media? In this conversation, we find out why a recent study from the University of Missouri says this might be the case.

File photo by Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

Sprint Corp. has an agreement to sell its Overland Park headquarters campus to a Wichita company, the Kansas City Business Journal reports.

Sprint announced Friday morning that it has an agreement to sell the massive property to Occidental Management. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Sprint CEO Michel Combes told employees in an email that he expects the deal to close "in the coming months."

Peggy Lowe / KCUR 89.3

At the end of last year, most telecom analysts thought the proposed $26 billion merger between Sprint and T-Mobile was coasting towards an easy approval from the federal government.

But since then, opposition forces have surfaced, prominent Democrats are taking it on as a cause, and the deal’s approval chances now appear to be at 50-50. An analysis by Bloomberg called it "anybody's guess."

BNIM Architecture

An ambitious idea to spend at least $90 million building a high-tech block between Kansas City's East Crossroads neighborhood and the 18th and Vine District took its first concrete step when backers of the proposed Keystone Innovation District signed a predevelopment agreement in recent weeks.

A development entity established by J.E. Dunn Construction reached the agreement with the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, which owns the block targeted for the proposed education, research and entrepreneurial center.

Peggy Lowe / KCUR 89.3

The executive building on the sprawling Sprint campus in Overland Park, Kansas, used to look like a bank: wood-paneled walls, heavy drapes, elaborate light sconces, lots of offices and a huge board room.

"It represents a company formerly known as Sprint," said Tyler Pittenger, Sprint's corporate real estate portfolio manager.

Crysta Henthorne / Kansas News Service

Windfall or tax hike?

Last year, Congress and President Donald Trump delivered sweeping federal tax cuts. Because the changes in tax law meant fewer people had to itemize their tax returns, the changes actually upped the (smaller) state tax bill for some filers.

In some corners, that’s seen as a windfall of revenue for state governments, including Kansas. Seen another way, it’s a de facto tax increase in state taxes for a minority of people.

Burns and McDonnell

Segment 1: How to analyze political ads.

As midterm election campaigns start to hit their stride, voters in Kansas and Missouri are sure to be inundated with any number of political advertisements. As a public service (and at the request of a listener named Mary Anne) we spoke with trusted, professional fact-checkers about what to keep an eye out for when attempting to separate the fact from conjecture.

Image of a Kay Barnes, a woman with white hair, against a dark background.
Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City's first female mayor might only vaguely remember her first day on the job, but she does remember knowing people had some doubts about her because she was a woman.

“I knew that there were comments behind my back about, 'Well, she might be OK as mayor in some ways, but she's not going to be able to do much with economic development,'” former Kansas City Mayor Kay Barnes told Steve Kraske, host of KCUR's Up To Date.

NICOLAS TELEP/KCUR 89.3

Kay Barnes served as Mayor of Kansas City for two terms, from 1999-2007. Her name is now affixed to the Grand Ballroom at the Kansas City Convention Center.

The convention center sits between the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts and Municipal Auditorum, spanning Interstate 635 near Downtown Kansas City. In a ceremony Friday morning, the ballroom's new name was unveiled along with a bronze statue titled "Woman Walking Tall," by metro-area artist Tom Corbin.

Segment 1: From Abilene to KC: The history of Sprint.

It's a multi-billion dollar company with thousands of local employees. But did you know that Sprint got its start in Abilene, Kansas? Over a century ago, a farmer-turned-businessman started stringing lines through town and bought up local independent telephone companies. Hear how the company grew from there.

TIMELINE: Sprint's 120 Years In Kansas City

May 11, 2018
Missouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri.

The Sprint campus in Overland Park, Kansas, was inaugurated in the late 1990s. It's a collegial brick complex surrounded by lawns and trees, and built to house about 14,000 employees. Today, more than 6,000 Sprint workers occupy the company's headquarters, and some of the space is leased to other businesses.

Julie Denesha / KCUR

Segment 1: A merger with T-Mobile could change Sprint's long-standing relationship to the metro.

Updated at 3:07 p.m. ET

T-Mobile and Sprint have reached a "definitive agreement" to merge in an all-stock deal, which would create a new company with a total value of $146 billion, based on current stock prices.

File photo by Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

Sprint Corp. will cut 500 jobs from its Overland Park headquarters in the coming weeks, the Kansas City Business Journal Reports.

Al Chang / StanfordPhoto.com

This year’s NCAA women’s volleyball final four will be held at Sprint Center next month, and players with Kansas City roots are hoping for a homecoming.

Five volleyball players from Kansas City-area high schools are hoping to repeat last year’s success in the tournament. Their teams—Stanford, Minnesota and Texas—made it to the final four in 2016.

Kevin Collison / CityScene KC

Mayor James came out swinging today against Republican tax reform proposals being considered in Washington, saying they would “cripple” vital city redevelopment and infrastructure efforts including the planned new terminal at Kansas City International Airport.

“We need an agenda to revitalize and restore the infrastructure of our cities, not cripple future investment in our urban centers,” James said in a press release.

Julie Denesha / KCUR

Sprint has entered two months of exclusive talks with cable giants Charter Communications and Comcast, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.

Greg Echlin / KCUR 89.3

The Big 12 men’s basketball tournament begins Wednesday downtown at the Sprint Center. Top-seeded Kansas doesn’t play until Thursday in the quarterfinals, but KU has already put itself in elite company winning its 13th consecutive regular season Big 12 title. That ties the Jayhawks with UCLA.

KU faced challenges on the court, but even more trouble off the court en route to this year’s title.

shortCHINESEguy / Flickr - CC

From biblical birthrights to the Belmont Stakes, people have always been obsessed with finishing first. Racing is the most fundamental form of sporting competition and, for better and for worse, a part of human nature. Commentator Victor Wishna elaborates in “A Fan’s Notes.”

You may not even know about it, but there is an earth-moving event happening right downtown. More than 3,000 tons of dirt is being hauled in to the Sprint Center, dumped on the floor, and bulldozed into a twisting track of moguls, ramps and jumps.

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