Damien Cox Stays at the Toronto Star, Adds Rogers Duties

As a wise man once wrote, when a death was erroneously reported on twitter, a good journalist always checks with at least several sources before pushing the enter, send or publish button 🙂

In all seriousness, it sounds like Damien Cox was pretty close to pulling the trigger and joining TSN. Some sources told me that Damien went so far as to actually resign from the Star.

In any event, , as we told you first on twitter at 6pm this evening, it appears that when Keith Pelley wants something, he gets it. Apparently, it was Pelley who first approached Damien.  In the end, he got him.

Cox will remain with the publication he has been with for 26 years, and add Sportsnet radio and TV duties to his responsibilities.

Love him or otherwise, he’s good at what he does, and is a great hire for Rogers.

Few are as opinionated or as connected. He may not have been a former assistant general manager, agent or professional player, but Cox knows his shit.

For TSN this has to hurt. If his new role with Rogers is true, and that they came so close and left empty handed, it has to sting.

If anything, though, we are reminded that the battle between the networks is on.

Cox, by the way tweeted this morning:

“It’ll be great to be back with the Bobcat and Brunt, two all-time pros. The best in the business.”

So, one has to wonder what that means for John Shannon.

Dowbiggin has this in his most recent piece:

“Prime Time co-host John Shannon has been assured by Rogers executives that he will have “a significant role” and does not expect to leave the program or the TV network. However, the specific nature of that role is under discussion. ”

The one thing that hasn’t been reported is the work I assume Damien will be doing on the Sportsnet website, that will be interesting to keep an eye on



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Mike S
Mike S
January 21, 2011 12:26 am

I assume this means he won’t be on the TSN Reporters show anymore………….I guess they will have to find someone else to disagree with everything that Simmons says.

I wonder if Damien will end up being co-host with McCown on 590 from time to time…………if we could get rid of Shannon and have a rotation of Brunt and Damien I would be extremely happy…………..or how about getting rid of Krystal and putting Brady & Damien in the morning?…………..that might be a longshot, but many people (including me) have said that those two would make for a great morning show

January 21, 2011 12:54 am

I know this is Toronto Sports Media, but there is an interesting issue percolating in Vancouver that Dowbiggin never mentions. Don Taylor is the very popular co-host of the pm drive show on 1040 (CHUM/CTV). He also hosts the nightly Sportsnet Connected, and is again very popular.

As the Sportsnet/TSN lines get more and more delineated, how much longer can this go on? It appears that the companies are in fact going to the mattresses, so to speak.

January 21, 2011 1:35 am

I read that about 10 minutes after I posted. I like Taylor on the radio, and he is very popular.

As for his TV work, he has a huge following in BC. I guess he is an acquired taste. Dowbiggin mentioned something about the 1040 PD being given a job to assemble a team, but I couldn’t tell if he meant TV or radio.

Sam In Scarbrough
Sam In Scarbrough
January 21, 2011 3:58 am

It’s great to believe what print media spits out…
How Dowbiggin can be 100% inaccurate in a Cox story just 36 hours ago.
Now that’s reporting!!

Rob C
Rob C
January 21, 2011 7:46 am

Don Taylor is absolutely awful. (Sorry, just being honest) For a world class city he is a very small market type of personality. He is very much like Toth…(there are audio downloads of his radio show that will back me up). Cox is annoying and was let go by the FAN before Jim Kelley started with McCown, so I’m sure there must have been a reason.

Quoting Dowbiggin’s column is a risky proposition. He was 100% wrong on this one.

mike (in boston)
mike (in boston)
January 21, 2011 8:44 am

Love him or otherwise, he’s good at what he does, and is a great hire for Rogers.

if by “what he does” you mean journalism i have to disagree. few writers had a worse year than Cox. the Bautista nonsense, the twitter meltdowns, the tired Leaf bashing columns, the undeclared conflict of interest with respect to Brodeur … Cox really undermined himself as a serious journalist.

the main criticism from the comment section here has been that PTS is on cruise control, and doesn’t feel the need to hold itself to high standards anymore. this is evident in the choice of co-hosts, the guests, the endless banter at the expense of actual sports discussion, etc. adding Cox seems consistent with the status quo of treating PTS as a place for the old boys to get together and shoot the breeze.

if i’m TSN RADIO i look to capitalize on this by trying to model the PTS when Bob actually cared enough to try.

January 21, 2011 9:11 am

Sam and Rob,

Dowbiggin never actually said it was a done deal, just that a deal with TSN was close.

“Negotiations are ongoing,” Cox tells Usual Suspects in an e-mail. “Expecting to finalize soon, but you never know.

Others said it was done – Steve Simmons tweeted that Cox had resigned from the Star to go to TSN F/T.

And as has been suggested – here and by Dowboy – Sportsnet ran the end-around on TSN, so to say it’s 100% wrong would be same.

Al from Burlington
Al from Burlington
January 21, 2011 10:10 am

I agree with Mike. Cox has really gone downhill as a journalist, his writing is boring and predictable.

January 21, 2011 11:56 am

Cox sharing sidekick duties with Brunt on PTS would be nice and an upgrade on Shannon. I do hope that Arthur, Friedman and Grange can be squeezed in for co-hosting duties from time-to-time.

January 21, 2011 1:00 pm

You guys are crazy.

You might disagree with him, but there is no question he is one of the top hockey writers in the country.

Cox articulates his points better than anyone when called in as an expert, and has insight that rivals actual insiders. He presents himself extremely well on PTS and other shows, and he is clearly a known commodity and sort of “starpower” as it were in the business.

Dok Doyle
Dok Doyle
January 21, 2011 2:05 pm

I asked Damien last night on Twitter about if his new deal means that he is picking up co-hosting duties on PTS or roundtable slots.

He answered me that both will happen.

January 21, 2011 6:03 pm

I use to be a fan of his work, but this year has been bad, Ive stopped reading.

His twitter rants are the opposite of what I would expect from a journalist, and his Broduer writings where very unprofessional.

January 21, 2011 9:12 pm

Couldn’t agree more with Mike (in Boston)’s writings about Cox. However, could someone please elaborate on the conflict of interest situation with Brodeur? I am not aware of this particular item.

To be fair to Cox, while his writing has gone downhill, I don’t mind some of his broadcast work which, to James’ points, allow him to articulate the knowledge that he does have, without being burdened by actual writing. As I stated in a comment on an older post, his writing seems to have gone downhill since he became associate sports editor at the Star.

Mike S
Mike S
January 21, 2011 11:46 pm

Cox and Brodeur wrote a book together a couple of years ago. They are now good friends.

At the Olympics last year Brodeur was benched in favour of Luongo and Cox was very critical of the move………his columns also included anonymous quotes from Brodeur’s “camp”…………it was obvious that Cox wanted to go out of his way to make sure that the public knew that his friend Brodeur was not happy about the benching and the way it was handled

January 22, 2011 1:20 am

Thanks for the insight Mike S….much appreciated. Wow, the fine art of journalism takes another punch to the gut in 2010 by Cox.

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