Has Stephen Brunt Flown The Globe & Mail Coop?

Back on the laptop for a Sunday afternoon. However I am heading back to Seattle tonight for a short 2 day trip.

Here’s the big news I have for you for an awesome Sunday afternoon in Toronto. Numerous sources are telling me this hour that Stephen Brunt, arguably one of the most respected sports columnists in the country will be forgoing his writing career at the Globe and Mail for a full time role with Rogers.

Here is Brunt’s bio from the G&M:

“Hamilton-born Stephen Brunt started at The Globe as an arts intern in 1982, after attending journalism school at the University of Western Ontario. He then worked in news, covering the 1984 election, and began to write for the sports section in 1985. His 1988 series on negligence and corruption in boxing won him the Michener award for public service journalism. In 1989, he became a sports columnist.

Nominated for several National Newspaper Awards, Brunt is also the author of seven books: including Facing Ali, which in addition to Canada was published in the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, Australia and Norway, and was named one of the ten best sports books of the year by Sports Illustrated. His book Searching For Bobby Orr was a number one national bestseller and Gretzky’s Tears, a look at the trade that changed hockey, was published in the fall of 2009. ”

Brunt’s rumoured departure from the Globe follows that of other Globe and Mail sports writers, Michael Grange most recently. However, there is no question that Brunt was the face of the Globe sports department at least to those of us who read it. I wonder what Jeff Blair is thinking these days.

I am told the fact that Brunt will take on a more permanent role at Rogers is apparently a given. What’s not clear is if he is fully 100% giving up writing at the Globe. One source told me that they think he may still write for the paper perhaps as often as once per week. I haven’t been able to confirm that, but I’m thinking if he’s leaving, he’s leaving for good.

I am not entirely sure what Brunt will be doing full time for Rogers should he fully bolt the Globe, but one can expect his PTS role to continue as well as I would expect him to be writing for the new Sportsnet Magazine. The writing part, I would imagine, is contingent on him leaving the Globe. If he fully leaves, I’m sure he’s free to write for Sportnet.ca and the magazine. It gets interesting if he stays at the Globe in any capacity.

Any reduction in Brunt’s role can’t be good for the Globe. David Naylor, Tim Wharnsby and Grange have left a big hole at the Globe (is it time for a future of newspaper sports writers column?). I wouldn’t go so far as calling this a potential death blow but wow, it’s a tough loss.

TSM

Update: I’m told Brunt will write a column per week for the Globe and Mail but officially be a Rogers staffer and will be writing for both the magazine and Sportsnet.com

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