Toronto Sports Media Power Rankings – Print

So as the year comes to an end we are going to be awarding the first ever Toronto Sports Media MSMer of the year. As we get to that, I thought it made sense to at least do it properly. So, I polled industry types to come up with the nominees and the eventual winner. What resulted was a monster list of MSMers that I have brought down to a more reasonable list.

Because it is however the holiday season, I thought I would take a couple of days and break the master list down by type of medium and present the TSM Power Rankings by field. Today we look at the top Toronto MSMers in Print as voted on by a collection of fans, media types, advertising gurus and other industry “types”:

First from the Globe and Mail:

Stephen Brunt
Eric Duhatschek
Jeff Blair* Blair is here because he didn’t start his radio gig to recently
David Shoalts
Michael Grange

From the National Post:

Bruce Arthur

From the Toronto Star:

Damien Cox
Richard Griffin
Doug Smith
Kevin McGran

From the Toronto Sun:

Steve Simmons
Bob Elliott

So there is the list as voted on for the MSMer of the year from the print category. Who’s missing, who’s on that shouldn’t be? Personally I was surprised to see the “beat guys” left off of so many lists.

Tomorrow we will do TV



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December 17, 2010 7:49 am

To me it is a no brainer, Stephen Brunt by far. Intelligance, unbiased and wide spread knowledge on most sports.

And he has to get bonus points for being the best co-host on PTS of all time. He brings the best out of Bobcat.

Mike S
Mike S
December 17, 2010 10:04 am

I agree with Gerry……………Brunt is the gold standard.

We shouldn’t forget that he also had some powerful television pieces during the Olympics on CTV………….I believe he won a Gemini award for one of them

Steve from Waterloo
Steve from Waterloo
December 17, 2010 10:19 am

Brunt had a few excellent television features during the Olympics.

I would vote for Brunt, but to be honest, his writing seems a little obtuse to me of late. I respect that he goes off the beaten path, but he’s in the forest of late and I have had no desire to read his stuff.

I wonder if the reason why the “beat” guys are not on the list is because they have to do game recaps, which I find for the most part dull.

Put me down for Cox, Blair and Simmons as my first reads.

Chris F.
Chris F.
December 17, 2010 12:10 pm

Brunt is the gold standard. In fact, I think he could pull off writing outside of sports. I could really see him doing a biography of a political figure or something to do with the social fabric of Canada.

His writing is a bit off the beaten path sometimes but I do think it shows his intelligence and breadth of knowledge.

Out of the other guys Cox is pretty good when he isn’t trying to stir up controversy and Simmons has been a personal favorite of mine since the days I used to get the SUN as a teenager every sunday and read his “Last Word” column.

December 17, 2010 2:08 pm

I agree with the comments about Stephen Brunt. In addition, Bruce Arthur of the National Post has been more and more a ‘must read’ for me.

Simmons on Sunday’s has for a long time bee destination reading for me. Good thing that I can read his column on-line because if I had to buy the rest of that paper in order to get his column, I would be missing out.

December 17, 2010 4:38 pm

Great to see more in depth awards given,

I will also award Brunt the award. His range and writing skills are second to none.

Grange and Arthur impresses me as well.

December 17, 2010 6:48 pm

Man i guess Brunt is the man!And he is. But Bruce Arthur is up and coming and in a hurry!!And now he is becoming a regular on the friday round table on PTS as well as a guest during the week.
He is the king of twitter where his wit is front and centre! along with his knowledge of all sports.
So yes Steven Brunt this year and maybe next .But Bruce Arthur is hot on his heels and i think Brunt is ok with that.

Raptors Devotee
December 17, 2010 7:45 pm

I love Brunt as much as anybody, and if not for his extremely poor discretion in jogging with the Olympic torch which I am still astonished that somebody with his integrity succumbed to I could see myself ranking him #1, but even then, I have to say that Arthur has established himself as the heir apparent, if he is not already there.

As far as I am concerned, we are blessed to have two individuals like Brunt and Arthur who continually bring it on a consistent basis and raise the IQ levels of anybody listening to them. Compared to the dribble that is out there more often than not, these two both deserve all the credit in the world for doing what they do so well.

December 17, 2010 9:28 pm

Brunt for me is indeed the gold standard and in a class by himself!

However, Raptors Devotee’s point on Arthur is well founded. He is certainly the heir apparent.

December 17, 2010 10:10 pm

I’m going to be a broken record and say that Stephen Brunt is easily the best sports columnist we have. Arthur is my #2, followed by Jeff Blair and Michael Grange (as you can probably guess, The Globe would get my vote for best overall sports section).

Going the other way, I frankly don’t see why Damien Cox should be on this list. He had a horrible streak this year where it just seemed like in everything I read he was either deliberately taking a stupid position to get a reaction from readers or genuinely clueless at how completely wrong he was. I mean his “just asking the question” piece alone should disqualify him from any journalism awards.

December 18, 2010 4:09 am

Brunt is DQ’d for the Olympic torch thing. Can’t sit on the high, ethical, intellectual horse (as he very often does) when you are front and centre in what is a giant marketing campaign (the torch run). His response to the criticisms – along the lines of “get over it, the Olympics are a business ya know?” – were juvenile and unbecoming of a top columnist.

December 18, 2010 12:52 pm

Just have to agree with Mike on Damien Cox!He had a bad year.Everything was negative, even on the radio his interviews were full of sarcasm and almost hatred of anything to do with sports.His twitter action has slowed down of late?I guess he got tired of the negative responses?You know when you disagree with the media on twitter they block [email protected] is their world we are only allowed to visit it..NO NEGATVE COMMENTS PLEASE!!Anyway i have noticed that Cox has come around abit of late and maybe the new year will be better?

December 18, 2010 5:48 pm

I’m going to echo everyone else.

1) Brunt
2) Arthur
3) Blair

But as gunner and others wrote above – Arthur is hot on Brunts heels.

I actually wouldn’t be shocked if Arthur received offers from major US papers soon. He really seems like a rising star.

Ami Angelwings
December 18, 2010 10:46 pm

I was going to say Brunt, cuz I’m a huuuge Brunt fangirl, and while I do think Arthur has SO much potential, I always felt that his pieces felt too fluffy b/c he seemed scared to say what he means on controversial issues without covering it up with far too many cheesy jokes… but after his last piece on how the OHMA and hockey in general has real issues when dealing with racism, where he pulled abs no punches and showed us what he could do w/o the jokes, I say Arthur put himself on top for this year :3 (also Arthur rly took it to the IOC and VANOC after the death of the luger too while Brunt toed the party line) So yus, Go Bruce Almighty! 😀

December 19, 2010 12:58 pm

I can really only comment on the Toronto Star writers, specifically Damien Cox, as this is the only paper I currently read. As noted by Gunner4413 and Mike, Cox should not even be on this list, largely due to the irresponsible nature of his writings this year. The two most obvious examples being the lack of fact checking on Pat Burns non-passing (in June…I believe) and the potentially libelous (maybe TSM can comment on this specifically, given his legal background…I don’t recall if you did at the time or not) column about Jose Bautista’s “drug use” in hitting 54 home runs.

Reading the comments, along with the enjoyment I get listening to them on PTS, I am ashamed at not making Brunt’s and Arthur’s writing a must read…that will change starting this week!!

mike (in boston)
mike (in boston)
December 19, 2010 1:01 pm

Brunt is DQ’d for the Olympic torch thing. Can’t sit on the high, ethical, intellectual horse (as he very often does) when you are front and centre in what is a giant marketing campaign (the torch run). His response to the criticisms – along the lines of “get over it, the Olympics are a business ya know?” – were juvenile and unbecoming of a top columnist.

i agree with this fully. the decision to run, the pathetic moralizing during the controversy, and the fact that the vaunted article never came out during the games (has it ever come out?) really lowered my opinion of Brunt.

Arthur is a game changer. Brunt and to a lesser extent Blair had the intellectual audience all to themselves, but Arthur’s eloquence, intellect and ability to stay current have driven him to the top of my list. He’s funnier and more plugged in to the younger culture than Blair, and he’s less of an old boy than Brunt.

I’ve been really impressed with his work as well as his work ethic. I trust his opinions, and i feel like he’s doing real journalism when needed. Great year for Bruce.

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