Dan Russell went to air on CJOR, Oct. 15, 1984 with the first one-hour segment in the Vancouver radio market devoted exclusively to sports. From there he has taken his Sportstalk show to CKWX, CKNW, CFMI, My City Radio and back to CKNW.
But it appears what Russell has unabashedly referred to nightly as “Canada’s longest-running sports talk radio show” has reached the finish line after 29 years.
Late Thursday afternoon CKNW program director Tom Plasteras posted an internal staff memo that said, in its entirety: “This note is to let you know that we are reviewing CKNW’s programming in the 9 p.m. to midnight time slot with the intention of taking the station in a new direction. As a result we will not be renewing our contract with Dan Russell for his Sportstalk program when it expires on August 31, 2013. We will announce our plans at a later date. We are and have been very proud to carry Sportstalk on CKNW over the years and thank Dan for his significant contribution to the station.”
Plasteras pretty well repeated what was in his memo when he replied to an email request for more information. David Pratt has made it clear that he has no desire to work the late shift and for now is satisfied to maintain his 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. sports talk segment. It is also no secret that CKNW would eventually like to utilize Pratt in an earlier slot but that’s all part of what Plasteras refers to as “taking the station in a new direction” and “reviewing CKNW’s programming.”
HERE ‘N’ THERE: A couple of other prominent sports personalities locally are also heading in new directions. A board member at the BC Sports Hall of Fame confirms that CEO and president Sue Griffin is leaving after six-and-a-half years. Tennis BC has been pursuing Griffin and seemingly struck a deal late Friday with an official announcement forthcoming next week.
Scott Ackles and ViaSport board members have reached an amicable agreement to a parting of the ways. The timing could be ideal for Ackles on the heels of the B.C. Lions being awarded the 2014 Grey Cup. Ackles was general manager of Grey Cup Festivals in Vancouver in 2005, Calgary in 2009 and Vancouver again in 2011. He was acknowledged with rave notices on all three occasions.
Word of Ackles’ departure from ViaSport is fresh information and now that’s it out, rest assured that the Lions 2014 Grey Cup Committee honchos will be taking note.
END ZONE: The annual Michael J. Fox golf tournament at Riverway in Burnaby is generally held in May but because Michael is currently shooting his new television sitcom The Henrys in New York, the tournament has been moved to Friday, Sept. 13 so the guest of honour can keep his string going of being on hand for a 14th consecutive year.
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