Well now it’s official. Stephen Brunt has left the Globe and Mail. He is an employee of the Rogers empire. The Globe and Mail will basically simulcast one sportsnet.ca column of Brunt’s a week.
I was able to check in with Brunt earlier this evening and oh how he put things in perspective:
“It’s been an emotional day. I started at the Globe when I was 25 and haven’t really worked anywhere else. I wound up with basically the same job as some of my idols- Jim Coleman, Scott Young and Trent Frayne to name a few. I love newspapers and the Globe and Mail. However, in sports especially , there’s no doubt which way the wind is blowing. It’s already happened in the United States. Newspaper writers are moving to media companies who primarily focus on sports. I have had the great experiences working for Keith Pelly, and of course I love being with Bob (McCown), whom, I believe is the best at what he does in North America. Now, I get to be part of a startup, surrounded by young, talented people. I feel incredibly lucky to have this opportunity at this stage of my life and career.”
Here are my thoughts:
I think it’s funny to think about anything Rogers does as a startup. Perhaps that says more about me and the place I am in my life. Brunt’s worked at a big company, so maybe he won’t recognize that he is still working for one. Maybe at his level it just doesn’t matter.
There is little doubt in mind that the sports writer as we have known them to be are a dying breed. If senior writers like Brunt are jumping ship, what does that say about the future. I don’t think the demise is going to happen tomorrow. However I don’t think we will see a next generation of great newspaper sports writers in the Canadian market.
I, for one, think that the Sportsnet magazine is a horrible idea. I think they would do better as a sports daily. Rogers has certainly brought in an impressive list of talent. The question is, is there a market for it? I don’t think so.
Speaking of Sportsnet, the relaunch is almost upon us. I am told that Rogers will be dropped from the name, instead it will just be called Sportsnet. Also the logo will be modified with a red and blue underline under the SN part of Sportsnet. Look for this early next week, perhaps on the 3rd.
It’s funny, the one question I get more than anything from those in the MSM world in Toronto is what do I think will happen with TSN Radio. Again, file this under funny, but I think I am the only person who thinks that the mere existence of TSN radio is not only good for the little f fan but also for the F Fan. It seems to me that many a MSM out there, irrespective of their affiliation, are cheering against TSN radio. I don’t get it. I really don’t. Ok, they aren’t close to the Fan in the ratings. They do provide a listening alternative to the Fan. How is that a bad thing? They have hired people in the business, that can’t be bad can it? The Fan may not agree, but they have forced the Fan to up their game. Tim and Sid are coming and I think that has everything to do with TSN Radio.
TSN Radio isn’t an overnight success. They may never catch the Fan in ratings. I do however hope they do well enough that TSN sticks with it. Toronto may never get a second NHL franchise, but I do think we can support 2 all sports radio stations.