With the critical fall ratings season approaching, the drums have been beating in the local radio jungle with messages that indicate some serious shakeups could be on the horizon.
There will soon be a new face behind the door marked Program Director at Corus Radio with the firing this week of Tom Plasteras after 20 years in management at CKNW. With sports talk show Dan Russell’s contract not being renewed as of Aug. 31, the station faces the decision of keeping or dumping a sports format from 9 p.m. to midnight Monday through Friday.
While ‘NW News Director Ian Koeningsfest has replaced Plasteras on an interim arrangement, the buzz in the business has Rob Gray leaving the CHUM Radio chain in Toronto to join Corus. Gray was the original programmer at Team 1040 before being transplanted east. With Gray’s background in sports broadcasting, he might push for a continuation of the sports talk theme on ‘NW. Russell stand-ins Dave Sheldon and Brook Ward are anxious to find out.
Meantime, speculation continues to pick up steam regarding Jake Edwards (Bro Jake) heading for a morning slot with Team 1040. His contract expires Aug. 31 and it, too, is not being renewed. Likable morning host Scott Rintoul is safe at Team 1040, whether it means working with Bro Jake or landing a different slot.
HERE ‘N’ THERE: Andy Dunn, part owner and president of the baseball Canadians, is normally laid-back and patient as he goes about running the mega-successful show at Nat Bailey Stadium. But even Dunn bristles when asked over and over if, indeed, Wayne Gretzky will be at the ballpark this weekend to watch son Trevor play for visiting Boise. “I’ll know when and if he shows up,” Dunn told anxious media snoops Friday. “It isn’t a C’s promotion and I won’t allow it to turn into a circus. The bottom line is that if he shows up, he’ll be coming to watch his son play. We have to respect that.”
SHORT HOPS: Dunn and co-owners Jake Kerr and Jeff Mooney must have had lumps the size of baseballs in their throats Tuesday as they watched busloads of youngsters from the Boys and Girls Clubs of South Coast B.C. file into Nat Bailey Stadium for this year’s launching of the Vancouver Canadians Baseball Foundation mini summer league. The program headed up by Boys and Girls Club CEO Carolyn Tuckwell is for kids who would otherwise never have the opportunity to learn baseball and life skills in an organized environment.
END ZONE: Canucks’ TC Carling and Alex Mitchell of the team’s Community Partnership division travelled to San Antonio to accept a National Alliance on Mental Illness Award for the Canucks leadership in raising public awareness and reducing the stigma often associated with mental illness. Carling told the National Alliance convention the Canucks are committed to carrying on the legacy of “our friend and former teammate Rick Rypien.”
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