Scott Moore’s Memo

Scott Moore’s Memo

by mike in boston / @mikeinbostonemail

 

Hello sports media watchers. With the busy sports season in full swing we are going to get back to regular posting. Hope everyone had an enjoyable summer.

 

The Evidence

 

This past week brought lots of exciting developments, with the most interesting being a peek behind the veil at Sportsnet. In case you missed it, Steve Simmons wrote this in his Sunday column:

 

“Recently, Sportsnet president Scott Moore sent out a memo to staff which included an ardent defence of the work Shapiro and Atkins have done, all but saying to give the guys a break. Which is basically an insult of sorts to the many professionals who work for him.” – Steve Simmons

 

Here is the memo in question:

 

“The hockey season is literally a couple of weeks away and baseball is finishing up the dog days and heading into the real pennant races. For the Jays, we always seem to have a dramatic story to tell, and this year is no different. With the Josh Donaldson story playing out in a bizarre way, we once again have an intriguing soap opera to follow. Of course, we are all over every part of this story.Yesterday, Stephen Brunt was on The Starting Lineup and put much of the current Jays story into perspective (as he often does well). Fans are ready to blame management as they did with the Bautista story. In hindsight, most fans would have to admit management was right on that one.

 

What’s interesting is that the Jays will continue to be a fascinating story over the next 24 months as we get a chance to see how management’s strategy plays out. It’s not dissimilar to what happened down the street with the Leafs. You have to go through some pain to get to the next chapter. Look at the similarities between having Austin Matthews and having Vladdy Guerrero Jr. Both may be franchise players to build around. For us, telling all sides of the story is going to be a fun challenge. But it’s rarely boring in Jays Land!” – Scott Moore

 

Interpreting the Evidence

 

With the evidence in front of you, here’s the basic question: is Simmons’ statement that this memo includes a directive to “give management a break” accurate or not?

 

At first glance the answer is no, that is not what Moore is literally saying. But if you look a little deeper some other questions come to the surface. Let’s get one thing out of the way. The season has been a disaster on several fronts. The team has underperformed on the field after raising ticket prices, there have been lots of injuries again, and a key asset from a year ago has yielded next to nothing in return. The re-build is starting a year late and many are wondering why the team chose to tread water when they could have got to work getting back to competitive respectability.

 

With that as the background, Moore states that Sportsnet will be covering “all sides” of the Jays’ terrible season and the ones to come. Now, look again at the memo and tell me how many sides you see represented there. All I see is ‘fans blame management’ and ‘management has been right in the past about not resigning a player’. Putting those two together is pretty easy: Moore is saying that the current criticism of management is off the mark. The implication seems to be that this is the “side” of the story he wants to see covered going forward.

 

 

Second, he cites Stephen Brunt as someone who has put things in perspective. Brunt’s published work on Shapiro has been unequivocal: fans haven’t given him a fair chance. Want some receipts? Here you go:

 

Why Shapiro Makes Sense

Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins never had a chance to be liked from the start

Shapiro was instantly cast as Skeletor, as Darth Vader

 

If you have evidence of Brunt writing something critical about the current administration, post in the comments. (If you want to know more of my own thoughts on whether Shapiro has been given a fair shake, I wrote about that here.)

 

Some people in the media took offence at Simmons’ charge of editorial meddling by Sportsnet’s leader.

 

 

And of course Arash is right. There is nothing in the memo that “dictates” anything. However there is text and there is subtext. To my eyes the mandate in the subtext is “be like Brunt!” If you’re a Sportsnet employee and want to comment on the Jays you now have to show that your side of the story fits with the one your boss has told you he wants to see covered. As a fun exercise over the next few months let’s all count the stories that come out of SN.ca that paint a different picture than the one Moore has described above.

 

Putting Things in Context

 

In my years writing about sports media it is striking how often people say both publicly and privately that no one has ever told them what they can and can’t say. However, what is also striking is how everyone at a network knows which lines not to cross. Here are some relevant examples: after Marcus Stroman blew up at Arash about “Nat Fucking Bailey”, there was no story about it on Sportsnet. The same is true with regards to the MLB commissioner’s criticism of Sportsnet regarding the Facebook exclusive broadcasts. Both of these stories were widely discussed elsewhere. The same thing happened when the NHL concussion emails broke and Sportsnet didn’t write about them for a whole week.

 

What is the most plausible reason these stories didn’t make the cut at Sportnsnet.ca? It’s possible that people tried to get these stories published and were told they by management they could not. I haven’t heard any evidence to support that, and if we believe people like Madani then this simply doesn’t happen. Rather, it seems that no one chose to write these stories (at the time they happened) and no one in an editorial capacity demanded that the website cover “all sides”. And just like that these incidents passed without a mention on the network’s main public outlet of record. (I have more to say about the relative worth of what gets said on the website vs radio vs tv but this is not the time for it.)

 

So there is good reason to believe that memos like Moore’s have a chilling effect on option diversity without ever needing to come right out and say what you can and can’t write. It would also be wrong to say that Moore runs Sportsnet in a way that allows only positive news about Rogers properties. For example, Arash covered some difficult topics with Kevin Pillar in his recent feature. The Jays would probably prefer that Pillar’s slur against gays not be mentioned, all else equal. But, just because some people can be critical some of the time doesn’t mean that the audience’s interests in objective and comprehensive coverage is being well served.

 

The Bigger Picture

 

Here are some interesting coincidences. Scott Moore sends his memo on Friday. On the same day Shi Davids publishes an article about the rumours of a rift between Shapiro and Rogers. That story is tweeted out by Ed Rogers.

 

 

Any reasonable person would wonder whether Ed spoke with Moore about the coverage of Shapiro. I have no idea whether such a conversation took place or whether Moore spoke to Davidi. But Ed certainly seems pleased with Shi’s story on the same day that Moore gave a directive about the kind of coverage he would like to see.

 

Here’s another question: why is Moore talking about how to cover the Jays at all?

 

It is of course part of his mandate to highlight the great work being done by his staff, but why say anything at all about “all sides” needing to be represented. I’m told that Moore’s memos are a regular thing but that they mostly stick to recapping big stories and network accomplishments. This memo stood out as having an editorial agenda. That is presumably why someone sent it to Simmons.

 

This is one of the pieces of the picture that readers and viewers need to keep in mind. Unlike newspapers or digital outlets, both TSN and SN have high level corporate relationships with the teams they cover via broadcast agreements. That’s why Gary Bettman can pick up the phone and talk to Moore about the kind of national coverage he wants to see on HNIC. That’s why Ed Rogers can do the same. There is no similar lever to be pulled if the Jays aren’t happy with the coverage they are getting from the Toronto Sun.

 

Until recently Sportsnet Magazine provided a kind of safe space for their serious journalists. That publication had an editor in chief and a masthead and spent money chasing stories that would have a longer shelf than the usual .ca fare. When the decision was made to kill that publication and fold all of it into the generic website this was a significant loss along several dimensions. From what I understand there is no editor in chief position at the website. That means there is no real journalist who takes responsibility for the editorial decisions of the whole publication. As a result it is unclear who decides what gets run and what gets cut. If that person is Scott Moore then something has gone wrong. Real journalists should be given the freedom to chase stories wherever they lead, and it is the job of their editors to protect that freedom. As long as Sportsnet is going to employ real journalists and present them to the audience as such then they need to give them better journalistic cover.

 

For what it’s worth Scott Moore told Toronto Mike that “We have the largest baseball editorial staff in the country, representing all points of view. All of them have full editorial freedom.”

 

The Verdict

 

Both are guilty of wrongdoing here and I’ll leave it to you to decide who failed to the greater degree. Simmons’ gloss on the Moore memo is obviously inaccurate even if there is a kernel of truth behind it. It’s also antagonistic towards the folks who work at Sportsnet, many of whom are Simmons’ peers. They didn’t choose to have their employer and the team they cover be one and the same. On that point, I have put the question to many at Sportsnet: would you be happy if Rogers sold the Jays? Most say they would trade the access for the independence, but not all. Take that for what it’s worth.

 

Moore’s transgression is, in my opinion, the fact that once again he has missed an opportunity to stick up for the journalistic integrity of his team. When questioned about the Rogers/HNIC deal and whether people would be free to criticize their new and exclusive league partner, Moore often talked about wanting to celebrate the game with Sportsnet’s coverage. Comments about objectivity and independence came later, if at all.

 

I was hoping for some strong statement from Moore when Stroman shouted at Madani. This is a clear case of a player – one with a history of anger at media – questioning a journalist trying to do his job. The story was not covered at all by Sportsnet.ca at the time. If I’m Madani I want my boss to have my back, and would want some public support as that clip went viral.

 

What about TSN? They are in bed with the CFL right? Why don’t we go after Mark Milliere the same way we do Moore? Why don’t we criticize them for their soft coverage of the CFL’s labour and concussion problems? These are valid questions with, in my opinion, valid answers: TSN does a better job of staying out of the kind of integrity mess described in this post. Admittedly, they have it easier since their quaint $43M/year CFL broadcast relationship doesn’t really compare with the NHL’s national $5.2B/12 year deal. Also there is no equivalent to Sportsnet’s corporate relationship with the Jays.

 

Another part of the explanation is that Sportsnet devotes more energy to its written content than TSN, so we are harder on them because they are actually trying to use writers on their website to draw in readers. TSN’s website is an assault on the senses for the most part, and their writers are relegated to the margins. The best thing Sportsnet could do would be to find a way to separate their real journalists from the rest of create a firewall between the two. I would gladly pay for access to the former assuming they were editorially distinct and were left off Moore’s memo mailing list.

 

Over to you for discussion: given the track records of the personalities involved, whose side are you taking in Simmons v Moore?

 


 

thanks for reading and commenting,

until next time …

mike (not really in boston)

photo credit: USA TODAY

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 33
  • comment-avatar

    My biggest issue with this memo is that Scott Moore doesn’t know it’s “Auston” not “Austin”.

    One would think that an executive at a major network, one that focuses on hockey quite heavily, would know how to spell the name of one of the biggest stars in the Canadian hockey picture. 

    On an unrelated note, there’s a host on the FAN who took offense to me because I said he conducted a bad interview. I won’t mention names, but I’m “curious” (major hint) as to why he thinks criticism isn’t fair when he states his opinions on athletes and teams everyone he’s on the show…many of which are negative.

    I can understand if I said he was a bad human or got personal, but saying he isn’t really exceptional at his job is no different than when he says Martin Marincin isn’t great at hockey.

    That said, I’m glad the main shows are all back. I really love Scotty Mac and Overdrive. They’re the best shows in the city.

    Also, what is up with Gord Miller? He’s the best of the best..but so snarky when on with Andi. 

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    Steve 3 months ago

    More from Simmons on the memo…

    If I’ve learned anything from all the years doing this, it’s that no matter how clearly you write something, how clearly you express an idea, no matter how obvious it may to be you, someone misinterprets the message or the tone of it. And so it was when Rogers Sportsnet president Scott Moore sent a memo to staff recently, as he regularly does.

    The memo was seemingly harmless, if not a little on the cheerleader side. But that’s not what I was told about it from various Rogers staff members, some of whom were concerned that Moore was coaching them to treat the Blue Jays front office with kid gloves. Taking their view of the memo and asking some of the most credible people I know at Sportsnet about it, I wrote an item in last week’s column questioning why Moore would do that and wondering about the editorial freedom of those who report on the Jays at Sportsnet.

    Then I saw the memo. And I saw nothing it in at all that drove coverage or opinion in any one direction.

    While I may quibble with Moore comparing Auston Matthews and the current state of the Maple Leafs to the rebuild the Blue Jays are beginning with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. there was nothing in the note to staff that I thought, in any way, influenced the direction of coverage.

    Apologies to the good people at Rogers — many of whom are friends and colleagues — and to the president Moore, whose words were misinterpreted here.

  • comment-avatar
    mario 3 months ago

    Thanks very good article . A good case can be made on both sides, is very tricky at the best of times and becomes even more cloudy when personal agendas get in the way.

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    Simmons really did a sorry-not-sorry in the retraction. First, he says Moore sent out a memo all but saying to give Shapiro and Atkins a break which draws fire from Madani and Millman and likely others less publicly. Then, after the memo goes public, Simmons precedes his apology with something more damning than what he was apologizing for: (see above) “… I was told about it from various Rogers staff members, some of whom were concerned that Moore was coaching them to treat the Blue Jays front office with kid gloves.” In other words, Simmons’ first piece was his interpretation of a memo he hadn’t seen and, after seeing the actual memo, he states he was just reiterating Sportsnet employees’ interpretation of the actual memo. The fact is that the story would not have existed were it not for Sportsnet employees contacting Simmons with their concerns. 

    I am kind of sick of the ‘never-asked-never told’ defense. (Millman, Madani, and Brady, though Brady’s was a couple of years ago about the same questions and the NHL). Okay, you were never directly told or asked, we’ll concede that, but there are plenty of examples Mike provided above of influence or ‘message control’. 

    Few examples are as nakedly apparent as Brunt’s ‘documentary’ on Shapiro, at a time when the most media and fan heat was focused on Shapiro, he stuck a soother in Shapiro’s yapper and rocked him to sleep in ‘The Mark Shapiro Story’. Sure, that is ‘one side of the story’, but it is hard to envision Brunt writing a book called ‘Why the Jays Suck.’ like Al Strachan did in ‘Why The Leafs Suck.’ Often it is the absence of reporting that is the issue.  If you add up Mike’s examples above along with David Shoalts who said on Toronto Mike’d ‘If you talk to Sportsnet employees privately, they’ll admit they know where the line is and not to cross it’ along with Al Strachan recently on Twitter: ‘Scott Moore has a history of punishing staffers who are critical of the teams on his network.’ And in response to criticism: ‘You’re right. I added nothing. I don’t feel like getting into a battle again. Therefore, if you don’t want to accept my word, I can understand that. But there is ample evidence if you dig a bit.’ (cue the Strachan trolls).

    Here’s the thing, I’m not saying Rogers employees are like Gary Lawless who is directly employed by the team and who readily admitted on PTS the first day he landed in Las Vegas that he is employed by the team and isn’t going to start railing against management and say ‘Fire Gerard Gallant.’ But Sportsnet employees are employed by the owners of the Jays who are also partial owners of the Leafs and the most significant broadcast partner with the NHL – it is inconceivable that their reportage isn’t influenced by those facts and they know that. Stop with the empty defenses to the contrary. Where there is smoke there is fire and it is getting hard to see through the smoke. 

    Likely the only person to ever buy the Jays would be Ed Rogers which won’t change a thing. On a good note, at least we’ll be able to watch EE and Donaldson in the playoff race again…

  • comment-avatar

    Personally, I don’t think Brunt is treating the Jays with kid gloves… I just think he doesn’t want to be a rash, Sexeiro-esqe hot take dude who is incapable of nuance. It’s not like he savagely rips down the Raptors or Leafs either. He’s never been the type of guy to call GMs out etc. I think the right take on the Jays is – this sucks right now, but this rebuild was inevitable after AA went for it in 2015, and the future does look promising. The Donaldson situation was a mess, granted (but I do think holding onto him till July was a justifiable call at the time, as obvious as it all looks in hindsight).

    He also has basically the same opinions on the Jays as Andrew Stoeten, who is not employed by Rogers (and is in my opinion, the best Jays writer out there), so … Brunt’s somewhat non critical stance does not necessarily indicate a Rogers bias.

  • comment-avatar

    Also – I thought Simmon’s apology re the Moore memo was actually pretty classy for a dude who often seems pretty combative.

  • comment-avatar
    mario 3 months ago

    Totally agree Simmon’s apology was well said , while I am not his biggest fan but look to his writing every Sunday.

  • comment-avatar

    […] Scott Moore’s Memo – Toronto Sports Media BlogTSM Blog is back from summer vacation. They start off with a peek behind the veil with a leaked memo from Sportsnet President Scott Moore. […]

  • comment-avatar

    Agree. Have to give Simmons credit for his followup.

  • comment-avatar
    Other Daniel 3 months ago

    The fact that nobody used the word “blunder” to describe Shapiro/Atkins handling of the Donaldson situation proves that SN personalities are nothing more than infomercial hosts for jays games/analysis. Its pretty clear, they sold at the lowest point of his value, full stop. Nobody at SN is critical of this. it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that Moores memo is saying “don’t you dare be critical of OUR property”

    But in all honestly I’ve felt that under new management nobody has been allowed to be critical of jays management, so I now ignore most SN articles, videos, and their “documentaries” about the jays players. I’ve also begun to tune out their entire pregame and post game programs because I don’t feel like sitting through an infomercial

    Consequently I do feel less involved in the blue jays and pay less attention. but that’s what happens when you employ a team of journalists and give them 0 journalistic integrity. your viewship suffers.

  • comment-avatar

    No opinion on the Moore/Simmons spat, but I do wonder why Sportsnet does not employ a Rick Westhead type of investigative reporter. Well, actually I guess I do, he would hypothetically only report on properties that TSN owns the rights to. It is a joke that there was literally complete radio silence on all Sportsnet properties when the emails/depositions came out regarding the NHL concussion lawsuit.

  • comment-avatar

    Admittedly, they have it easier since their quaint $43M/year CFL broadcast relationship doesn’t really compare with the NHL’s national $5.2B/12 year deal.

    Um, $5.2 billion split into 12 is exactly $43 million. I’m actually shocked TSN is paying the CFL that much.

  • comment-avatar
    Joeybutts 3 months ago

    If you want good coverage of the Jays, you need to turn to the Sun.  Rob Longley was the one in Florida during the Donaldson shitstorm who got quotes that Sportsnet editors would not dare publish.   

  • comment-avatar

    @DL No, 43 billion over a 12 year term is $433,333,333.333 a year.

    PS it’s nice to see the comment being posted sooner.

  • comment-avatar
    Paul G. 3 months ago

    Mobile Typo…should read 5.2 billion.

  • comment-avatar

    I don’t care how much Moore and those within Rogers deny it, I have an extremely hard time being convinced there is absolutely no directive coming from the higher ups when it comes to the coverage of the team.

  • comment-avatar

    I agree Pete. It doesn’t have to be stated; the proof is in the poor level of scrutiny provided by SN staff.

  • comment-avatar
    Pants Go Brown 3 months ago

    Remember when the Leafs stunk? The Fan used to trash them all the time. Even more recently, listen to how they make fun of the Bills / Buffalo. Defies logic that the Jays, in this wasted season, should escape the same level of derision, unless of course they are directed, explicitly or more subtlety, not to say anything

  • comment-avatar
    Justin 3 months ago

    I don’t believe for a second that Sportsnet employees are given specific directives to handle Rogers properties with kid gloves, but as others here have said, there’s likely an unspoken but mutually-acknowledged understanding not to cross the line – a line that those at the Toronto Sun don’t have to worry about.

    Anyone who’s listened to PTS knows Mccown’s been very critical of management, going as far as to attack their speaking style and rhetorical tone (and rightfully so). Gregg Zaun was very critical of some Jays players when he was on the air. I’m sure Sportsnet didn’t like this but they allowed it to happen, recognizing the need for independent media from the team. On the flip side, you have examples like Wilner being suspended for a run-in with Cito Gaston.

    From what I can see, I doubt directives have been given by management, but it’s likely that most Sportsnet employees are too afraid to cross an imagined line. Hard for me to envision Davidi, Shulman, Martinez, Barker, Zwelling, Madani et. al really skewering this team like Buffery or Simmons.

  • comment-avatar

    I can’t decide which I despise more: (1) Scott Moore; (2) Sportsnet coverage of anything or (3) Blue Jays management (Shapiro and Atkins).  That being said, I don’t see anything in this letter that’s attempting to encourage the team to paint the picture in a favourable light.  I imagine those types of messages aren’t communicated through memos, but in backroom conversations between key people. 

  • comment-avatar

    The weirdest thing about Simmons’ apology is that he is saying sorry to Moore for misinterpreting his words while at the same time saying that people at SN interpreted those exact words as Simmons originally did, and then complained about it. Why the apology then? If the words are genuinely ambiguous to the point that people at the network feel burdened by them then the original charge of undue influence seems well founded. 

    I don’t think there is any capital crime here. I just wish the editorial boundaries were better defined. That would advance my interests as a reader/listener/viewer as well as the professional interests of the journalists working there. 

  • comment-avatar
    alanon 3 months ago

    Questions – why do we expect broadcasters like Sportsnet (or TSN) to provide us with anything other than entertainment in the form of a nicely packaged 2.5 – 3.5 hour product? Is what they provide any different then what NESN, YES, Sportsnet LA or ANY of the other regional sports networks in the US offer? Can the worldwide leader not also be included in that list too (see their NFL coverage as a case study)? Thinking further afield, wouldn’t this also be the case for sports services across the globe? Are channels 7 and 10 (?) going to cover Ozzie rules any differently than the equivalent of what we see here in Canada? How about Sky/ESPN Star Sports in their coverage of Indian cricket? Or whatever domestic broadcaster holds rights to European Football competitions across that continent? Do we level the same kinds of critiques posted on this board to the DAZN’s of today’s world?

    In my own life, I remind myself to “consider the source” in all matters of things (whether it be investment advice or self-help books or politics or …). Wouldn’t we be wise to do the same with our sports viewing too?

  • comment-avatar
    Original Mitch 3 months ago

    I truly don’t understand the story here. It is 2018, everybody knows that Rogers shills for Rogers, Bell shills for Bells and the sun sets in the evening. There is no “journalism” at Sportsnet when it comes to any of their property. Why would they try and hurt their product? For the sake of integrity? Please. The moment you turn on SN you are watching an infomercial for whatever product they own or have a vested interest in, like the nhl or the Jays. While I don’t think that particular memo said anything explicitly, it is pretty clear that upper management at Rogers is well aware that upper management at the Jays (i.e. colleagues) are bundling things up badly and the fans know it and is warning his staff to be careful not to paint the team in too bad of a light. There is nothing wrong with that! I have absolutely zero doubt in my mind that every single staff at Rogers gets told early on to be careful when “reporting” on the Jays or the NHL or heck, even the curling thing they created. zero doubt it happens. Just like TSN employees are told to treat the CFL with much respect. I guarantee you that even if a mailroom employee is overheard bashing the Jays by a boss, that employee is quickly reminded who signs their paychecks.
    Old school real reporters like Simmons need to realize there is no more sports journalism (in this country) on tv or radio. It died the day Rogers and Bell bought everything. Personally, I don’t care. I watch the games and enjoy them. If I turn on the Fan or SN and they aren’t cheerleading their properties, then I assume that person will get told to stay within the lines.

  • comment-avatar
    bingoBangoBongo 3 months ago

    This is really much ado about not much. Simmons eventually read the memo and didn’t interpret it the way some at Sportsnet did. Let’s break this down. Simmons is a reporter/columnist. What he did in the first instance was report what he had been told. I don’t know, nor do I need to know, who his sources were. He obviously trusted their beliefs that the memo was a veiled directive, but when he saw it he disagreed with that interpretation. I will add that any time any suit wants something handled a certain way, they never put it in writing. A comment is made, sometimes “jokingly” in passing, but the message gets delivered. Guys who put that kind of stuff in writing are generally soon referred to with the prefix to their title being former.
    Really surprised we haven’t had more on TSN’s new morning show or John Bartlett replacing Romaniuk. Where are those stories, Mike (wherever you are)

  • comment-avatar
    Liberty Village Bob 3 months ago

    This is about organizational culture. Every workplace has one. TSN was always criticized for thinking they were better than everyone else and some of that still exists in Agincourt. But they’ve earned their credibility as a network.

    Sportsnet is still the Pizza Party network and you can see it in how they run their journalists. Do they have anyone with the same objectivity as Hodge or McKenzie or Farber? Brunt has traded that stature away over the last 5 years (and has admitted as much on podcasts). McCown? He’s the king of saying stuff just to get a rise out of people … hardly a credible personality. Grange is probably the only one who has kept himself above it all.

  • comment-avatar
    Other Daniel 3 months ago

    @Original Mitch

    Couldn’t agree more with everything you said

    I guess what bugs me is the fact that I hear them constantly claim that they ARE independent journalists, with journalistic integrity. Don’t piss in my ear and tell me its raining. You’re a glorified PR arm and I feel fans don’t like being lied to so blatantly

    I mean arash madani is the hypocites hypoctie. He slags the CFL every chance he gets, alluding to the fact that TSN won’t cover any story that shines a negative light on it. Then proceeds to slurp marcus stroman and then stays nice and quiet during that whole debacle

  • comment-avatar

    Good God, that smug picture of Scott Moore annoys me every time I look at it.

  • comment-avatar
    Sperk 3 months ago

    I think Scott Moore’s memo sets a guiding principal on how Sportsnet/Fan are going to deal with the Jays’ off-season…Management is right/fans are wrong. That stance ensures people call into their talk shows and click on their website links. This is a business plan not an attack on journalism.

  • comment-avatar

    I have a few questions.

    Did Steve Simmons ask to see the Scott Moore memo before his September 9 column was published? Would that not be standard practice given that his sources had the memo?
    If he did ask for the memo but was refused a copy, should that not have given him pause before making the public allegation against Moore?
    Toronto Mike had the Moore memo on September 9 and, according to Toronto Mike, he reached out to Simmons on the same day for a comment. Given that Toronto Mike and Simmons have what appears to be a good relationship, why did it take Simmons a week to publicly address the issue?
    If I recall correctly, Rogers/Sportsnet terminated the employment of Jeff Simmons a few years ago. He is the son of Steve Simmons. This, in addition to the TSN-Sportsnet rivalry, creates the perception of a Simmons bias against Rogers/Sportsnet. Was it not incumbent upon Steve Simmons to address his son’s termination in his original column?

  • comment-avatar

    Chess move is that Simmons probably predicted the blowback from his original article in advance and did it anyway. And yes, he probably saw the memo before his original article.

  • comment-avatar
    Original Mitch 3 months ago

    @other Daniel 

    That’s a good point and one I never considered. They really really really want to convince us that they have integrity in their “journalism” and remind us of that every single commercial break no matter the outlet. Is there another network that toots it’s own Horn as much? Really comes off as desperate. 

    Simmons was way too nice in his apology. The memo is quite clear in its message and for him and others to argue semantics is meaningless. But again, it’s just further proof of something we’ve already known for years and years. 

  • comment-avatar
    Bobby 3 months ago

    Given his level of responsibility for the poor quality of hockey broadcasting in this country, I can see how Moore might be a little sensitive about the criticism received by any of his buddies in all walks of the Rogers empire.  

  • comment-avatar
    Steve Jones 3 months ago

    Sorry, but is this really an issue? Is there really a point? Of course Rogers expects a certain level of propriety. They own teams. They have a financial interest. They employ broadcast teams that are overtly partisan ( Hi Buck) and writers who are smart enough to say the right thing and write the right thing. Soft ball the critical so you can claim objectivity and never go near the really tough issues. If they say something tough about management it’s because they got a green light. 

    So what’s it all mean? Basically, listen to them if you want to hear a filtered opinion. Other than that just think what you think. Who needs anyone to tell you the Jays suck, the future is uncertain and the Dome is never getting upgrades.