Is Rogers Buying It’s Media Coverage?


Been buried with work, so I apologize for not getting you much lately. Besides with the Leafs eyeing the playoffs, the Jays finally underway it’s been VERY quiet of late.

Two stories caught my eye last week and I thought I would raise them.

Do you remember Howard Berger?

He used to be on the Fan, infamous for wearing sports teams jackets to press conferences and the like. More importantly, he was known in the early days as one of the first true Maple Leaf Insiders. Well, Howard still has a voice, a blog that he writes and he came a running to the defence of other insiders the other night. It’s quite a read:

“Breaking stories has never been more difficult than in today’s Internet/Twitter/Facebook era. Such pursuit is fraught with peril in the unspeakably competitive media world; always has been. Everyone wants to be first with a story… and why not? Revealing information has forever driven the industry. Reliable reporting cannot be measured by impeccability; nor can the standard of achievement in professional hockey.”

Now, make no mistake, none of the insiders have been heard complaining, not publicly nor any of the times I have talked to any of them. They work their a$$e$es off and rewarded nicely for their efforts. But this article is total crap. These insiders, for which Berger used to be one are paid specifically to break stories. That’s it. They are good at what they do and rewarded for having great contacts. What separates them from the rest, the pretenders is that they are right more often then others, they are right more often then they are wrong. No one is 100% accurate but for those who report on done deals after the fact.

The good ones, and there are only a few, no who to trust, whose word they can rely on and when to go to “air”.

Sports is a results business. Players, coaches, GM’s all are rated based upon their performance. The insiders are no different. If they start to become more wrong than right they too will end up on the sidelines. Simple enough.

The fact that people jumped on them when they got one wrong was more of a commentary on how ridiculous the coverage on this stuff has become. Used to be we made fun of the extra hour of Superbowl pre game coverage. The networks do pre-deadline shows and entire day shows. The coverage is election night esque except it’s 24/7 almost 365 days a year. So, yes, people were piling on when they ALL screwed one up. Nothing wrong with a little bit of levity.

Speaking of levity, who wants to buy some old nhl media guides 🙂 $2300 gets you a ton of them….

The other article that I found interesting was in the Globe and Mail.

“Mr. Pelley’s enthusiasm may get equity analysts and shareholders excited, but it can make sports journalists – and regular sports fans – feel kind of icky. In the most recent issue of Sportsnet magazine, their marquee sports columnist Stephen Brunt wrote a fawning article about the great chemistry between the Dominicans playing for the Jays. (The column promoted a 30-minute special Mr. Brunt hosted for the TV network called Up Close: Dominican Blue Jays.) How are we to tell that he’s applying any sort of critical eye to the subject?”

Wow, how many of you read this gem?

A fascinating read on whether or not the media can be unbiased when they own both the teams and the outlets. I wonder how Stephen Brunt, who used to write for the Globe and Mail felt about his former employer writing a story that calls into question his ability to separate church and state.

If Rogers were to outbid CBC for HNIC do you think Leafs coverage would differ much from Don Cherry smooching players?

There are tons of tales of sports teams freaking out and pulling strings with their rights holders. Rogers has owned the Blue Jays for some time and guys like McCown have gone after them pretty hard. Wilner may or may not have been suspended for Cito gate. Their were rumblings then that Rogers had pulled a string. I am not saying they did or didn’t but with media teams now owning teams in markets like Toronto suspicions will increase.

Well worth watching.


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