The World Of The Written Word In Toronto Sports Media

By TSM

A few years ago the deck chairs were shuffled in the world of sports radio in Toronto. There’s been movement recently in the written world of sports media in Toronto and with the hockey pre-season insanity almost upon us it’s time to review:

National Post named Scott Stinson as their new national sports columnist.

TSN has hired Rick Westhead, formerly of the Toronto Star.

Damien Cox is no longer at the Toronto Star.

Jeff Blair is no longer at the Globe and Mail

Cathal Kelly is now at the Globe and Mail

Bruce Arthur is now at the Toronto Star

I am sure I missed at least one writer, if not many…

Dizzy yet????

I have to believe that much of this change is a direct response to the ever changing world of digital media and the ways in which we consume content. Seriously, if you needed a program to know which players were on each team every time a new season starts it was exciting; now you need a program to know where to find your favorite scribe!

It’s all good though and so far the work done by those who’ve made the move has been positive.

It will get more telling as we approach the annual nuttiness that is Maple Leafs/hockey season but I think it’s clear that consumer is the true beneficiary of all the changes (except I’m hoping that the scribes themselves are getting paid more handsomely for making the change!)

In my opinion, the best change so far has been Jeff Blair moving from the Globe to the paperless Rogers Sportsnet. Blair is posting a regular column that marries his radio program to his written prowess. It’s really effective and has become a must read on my list of columns to ensure that I hit. His latest is here

Who’s work are missing? Who’s new home are you loving???

TSM

About the Author
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
22 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Another Steve
Another Steve
July 29, 2014 2:00 pm

What just happened at “the score”?

Rob In Aurora
Rob In Aurora
July 29, 2014 2:53 pm

I came here to see what happened too. I saw that Bruce Arthur mentioned it on Twitter so I thought I would check here.

mike (in boston)
mike (in boston)(@mikeinboston)
July 29, 2014 3:11 pm

The press release says they are focusing on live-updates/news rather than columns/features/blogs. As a daily user of their app, I’m happy to hear that is not going away.

Rob In Aurora
Rob In Aurora
July 29, 2014 3:22 pm

I see it all over Twitter: A bunch of writing staff got broomed today… So very Rogers. Amazing how Rogers builds the site, hires lots of high profile guys and apparently its awful. I never use anything that Sportnet produces (The Score is owned by them now), so I’ll never know.

Pudge72
Pudge72
July 29, 2014 3:30 pm

What did happen at theScore? Saw some comments on Drunk Jays Fans, but nothing detailed. This all has a very “Rogers” feel to it…

mike (in boston)
mike (in boston)(@mikeinboston)
July 29, 2014 3:51 pm

the Score has nothing to do with Rogers as far as I know. Rogers bought the TV channel and turned it into 360 but the website and the app remained independent.

Derrick
Derrick
July 29, 2014 4:52 pm

This really sucks. I went to theScore for the columns, not the updates (which I can get anywhere). Someone will pick up their writers – they are too good and too smart to be unemployed for long.

Wonder what this means for djf.

Robert
Robert
July 29, 2014 6:26 pm

TSM

Your link to Blair’s column doesn’t work.

Steve Clark
July 29, 2014 8:22 pm

As Mike in Boston said, The Score retained its name and mobile capacity while all the TV side was absorbed by Rogers. In the release they said it was not a cost cutting move but a restructuing . They 5.5 M downloads so financially they must be doing well. The release also said that they would be hiring other news editors.

yaz
yaz
July 29, 2014 9:30 pm

I would LOVE for Rick Westhead to do a 10 page magazine article on the aftermath of the Rogers NHL deal with an inside take on the maelstrom that was the first MLSE board meeting after the deal. Would only happen if Westhead was at the Star. Don’t know why someone hasn’t done it yet – its the biggest hockey story of 2014. Reporters talk, they know exactly what happened at that meeting with an enraged George Cope, yet they don’t report on it in detail because? Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

yaz
yaz
July 29, 2014 9:34 pm

On another note – I wish to god Steve Simmons would get hair plugs. Note: plugs have gone the way of the dinosaur; it is known as ‘hair restoration’ now. Simmons is one of the few who would look less like he had hair plugs after he got them than before. He looks like a chia pet after chemotherapy. Buzz cut it or get plugs – your head is distracting from your commentary.

Sam in Scarb
Sam in Scarb
July 30, 2014 10:21 am

So,whom got an extended summer vacation courtesy of the rogers empire?
I can find nothing on the subject.

Steve in Waterloo
Steve in Waterloo
July 30, 2014 10:22 am

I don’t agree with the original premise, whatsoever.

I feel the average consumer is not better served. There seems to be less content, and what there is needs to be filtered in terms of credibility.

Rogers owns the content, and MOST of those reporting on it. Are we getting promo’s disguised as content?

When McCowan was going off about the “breaking news” that the MLSE deal to buy the Argos was “OFF”, was he negotiating publicly for his masters, or was he breaking news?

Blair’s column about how the Jays have money flexibility. Was that commentary, or public relations?

Hard to know these days. Most certainly, I don’t feel the consumer is better served.

Mark M.
July 30, 2014 10:41 am

For me, Rogers snapped up two of the best sportswriters in the city a while back: Michael Grange and Shi Davidi. It was nice when Holly Mackenzie was there, too, but I think she’s moved on.

I’m hoping they snap up the talent The Score just let go. Drunk Jays Fans might chafe under that management, but it’d still be the best place for baseball coverage in the city.

sinnacle
sinnacle
July 30, 2014 1:28 pm

Agreed with you Steve which is why it bugs that Newspaper don’t play up their editorial independence when trying to sell their dying product.

Daniel
Daniel
July 30, 2014 2:25 pm

@MIB +1 … Rogers has nothing to do with The Score.

Jim Van Horne
July 30, 2014 9:22 pm

I worry about the written word period. I doesn’t bother me that the medium is changing at all. It bothers me that most people coming out of high school don’t know how to write their names. That in itself doesn’t bode well for the future of the media.

Antonio
Antonio
July 31, 2014 8:58 am

It seems most university grads today still don’t know there’s a difference between the words “your” and “you’re”.

Steve Clark
July 31, 2014 11:50 am

Jim VanHorne/Antonio

Teaching Law at the secondary school level gives me a great perspective on how our young people write. Quite simply, it’s not that great. The talent and content is there, but the higher level applied thinking is not. Basic research skills are lacking and from my experience, students are not reading nearly as much as they should. I have always had a book in my hand of some sort. It helped my writing style, and certainly developed my vocabulary.

I fear that young people read poorly written blogs, and other non-sanctioned/accredited forms of media, if they are reading at all. They communicate in short form via social media.

Has that trickled down to young people aspiring to be in sports media? Hard to say it has not.

Another Steve
Another Steve
July 31, 2014 2:24 pm

Agreed.

Teaching Latin and Greek at university has made me realize that a disturbing number of young people don’t know the difference between an adjective and a preposition.

And, as was said, most of them don’t read the kinds of things that are worth reading.

Kamlesh
Kamlesh
July 31, 2014 3:28 pm

If any students need help with verbs just watch this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=US8mGU1MzYw

Kamlesh
Kamlesh
July 31, 2014 3:33 pm

Today Brady and Walker were dissing mountain climbing. Maybe they would find rock climbing more to their liking.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VdemSEQUEow

22
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x