According to sources, Rogers is expected to make cuts soon after the Stanley Cup Playoffs. I’ve spent that last week in the greater GTA which has been awesome. It’s been too long between visits. Much has changed in Toronto since I was here last August and yet at the same time, little has changed too. In the same vein, much has changed since I wrote my article about rumored changes coming at Rogers Media, yet the bottom line is nothing has changed. The cuts at Rogers are coming.
Multiple sources told me before writing that story that changes of a particular type were coming and would follow the end of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. I was told by multiple people that there was a strong belief that Colete Watson and her team (and those around her ) that the organization was too top-heavy and that was where the focus of the cuts would be.
This week, while in the GTA, it sounds like the cuts could be much more comprehensive and much deeper. Once again, specifics have been kept very tight, and it’s hard to speculate much beyond Ron Maclean on the “talent” side. One source opined that the radio side of things should be fairly safe “Because the only person there who makes significant money is Brunt and his contract is guaranteed, they won’t save anything if they would let him go.” The same person did wonder if the end of the road was close for Tim and Friends. Don’t be surprised if Bourne and Kyrpeos take on a larger role offered one source. The entire lineup of Hockey Night is being examined, both behind and in front of the camera, sources explained. The only common theme? If things are “rolled back” we will be shocked.
If those in charge of talent or putting lineups in place are shuffled and new leaders are appointed, obviously changes could follow on the radio side. Overall, it appears that the driving force of these changes is “purely budgetary, not strategic” offered another source, so it’s unlikely that the general viewing/listening audience will see or hear an immediate change.
Further shuttering or format changing of radio stations has been speculated on. Still, no two sources have been able to predict the same thing so I cannot say with any degree of certainty what is likely to happen on that front. No one can agree whether further rights will be invested in or not either. All that sources say is that Watson is a master cutter and she has never missed a budget challenge via the knife so if she has to cut something she will. More than one source reached out to me after Tampa won game 5 proclaiming that Tampa Bay may have just bought some folks a few more days. It appears that all the decisions have been made, it’s just a matter of time. The cuts at Rogers are coming as soon as the Stanley Cup Playoffs end and they will be bigger than anyone thought at first.
Did you see this in Steve Simmons’s weekly column?
I am not a big follower or fan of sports awards. So I don’t track who votes for who year after year. Admittedly I don’t know how often it happens where an athlete wins an award where multiple media members don’t even have them on their ballot as been suggested by this tweet. Carey Price won the Hart Trophy in 2015. They didn’t publish voting back in 2015 when Carey Price won the Hart. I wonder if the Maple Leaf’s writers voted for someone else en masse as the Habs writers did this year? Is this a thing? I can understand (I think) not listing the ultimate winner number one on your ballot. However, not having the winner on your ballot seems to suggest a deeper problem. Who did Seth Rorabaugh list ahead of Matthews you may ask (his 5th vote was JT Miller):
The Athletic around the leagues it covers has a cool feature surveying fans after a season. Some 4000 people responded to the most recent Maple Leaf one and Joshua Kloke was charged with summarizing the results. To steal a line from a former Leaf coach, I wouldn’t know Kloke if I hit him with my car, but I will give credit where credit is due, he is a really good writer. However, he loves him some Kyle Dubas and it comes out in all of his pieces this one is no exception:
“With 73.9 percent of fans voting seven or higher, I think it’s safe to say this fan base is more than happy to run it back with the same core in 2022-23.
And they should be!”
It gets better…
One the question of confidence in Kyle Dubas he opens his response with:
“The confidence! It is overwhelming!”
As if to say, you see Kyle, it’s not just me who loves you, it’s everyone!!!
And yet another gem:
“The tribe has spoken. The passion is real. The overwhelming majority of people who took this survey are true believers …”
I don’t mean to be overly harsh on Josh, but this article seems really giddy following what was an amazing regular season and yet another first-round exit by the Leafs. I know I must be in the minority but I have yet to find anyone nearly as uppity as Josh nor as confident as he seems to be in the team or the management.
Until next time. Thank you as always for reading