CKNW Sliding Down the Ratings Razor Blade–Again: This is Very Sad…
On one of the radio boards/websites, there was recently some speculation about what would happen if I was hired at CKNW.
The final commenter, wrote: “Tsakumis will never be hired by NW. He is hated in the building as much (or more) than Jim Mullin.”
Mullin, for those of you who might have forgotten, was their former sports boss that was unceremoniously canned for taking Toronto Maple Leafs moron Brian Burke to task.
Burke, whose ego outguns any ego I might ever muster (and that’s saying something) bitched to Corus through his lawyer and instead of standing by a great story, NW brass capitulated. Mullin covered the story for Neil McRae and Dan Russell.
Mullin was fired. They weren’t.
But I found the comment entertaining. It’s no secret I negotiated with them for awhile, but when you’re being led down the path, who says you’d ever go back to a place that you gave superb service to, and that treated you like you were nothing?
I’m hated at NW??? Someone should ask key members of their news room, which other blogger/writer/journalist has GIFT WRAPPED more stories at the local and provincial level for them in the last three years. Go on. Ask. Perhaps ask Jon McComb how many times he’s lauded my work on air and never received so much as a stitch of criticism from brass. Ask Simi Sara if she has ever received a warning for hailing my work on BC Rail and other stories.
People on these radio boards are mostly bitter has beens, that sit around all day, cross legged on the floor, alternating between fastening and refastening their Depends and sticking cotton in the gum grooves of their dentures.
More to the point…NW’s ratings continue to slide, and as someone who grew up with them, it honestly makes me sad that the idiocy continues. In the latest reporting period they’ve dropped to a 9.4, down from 10.0.
This is very significant considering they have no competition. None.
My pal Simi Sara, whose terrific show is pulling in numbers that easily exceed the Dummy when she was littering the airwaves with incomprehensible nonsense, is now a bona fide rock star. Sara, who has really come into her own, is making me look good. I predicted she would be a star and said, first, that she would beat Christy’s numbers–and quickly. The same geniuses on the radio boards, and even some NW brass STILL stupid enough to be foot kissing the Dummy, scoffed at “Tsakumis and his little corner of the Internet.”
They ridiculed me; they laughed.
Well, who’s laughing now? Sara is a star and I shattered all previous records last month, with over 250,000 readers. 187,019 in BC alone.
Still laughing, idiots?
The bright spots…
And then there’s McComb. How can someone not listen to this man and wonder why he has not been moved to the morning slot, thus eliminating the painful and ill-equipped Vanilla Bull? Jon is a superb broadcaster and deserves better. I understand his contract is up in the fall and, typical of NW execs, not much encouragement has come his way. I hear he may be getting replaced by Dave Pratt (I’ll get to him shortly).
Dan Russell could be the nicest man in radio. Another superb broadcaster, he’s now being replaced “for a short time” by Dave Pratt. They’re pushing Pratt, but he’s not a fit at NW. He sounds condescending and too hardcore against the backdrop of Vanilla Bull, for example.
Pratt is like a Russian cargo plane: Takes forever to get going and at the end of the journey, you’re left wondering why you went along for the ride. Needs fine tuning–lots. I like him. But then again, I also endorsed Sam Sullivan for Mayor.
The newsroom remains super solid, with great reporters, led by the incomparable Janet Brown and and hyper-diligent and professional Charmaine DeSilva, plus Jordan Armstrong, Shane Woodford (who broke the Coast Guard station story–well done!) and they’re anchored by Tom Mark and Terry Schintz–both great newsmen.
But it’s all for naught…..
Neil McRae is done. An institution is gone. McRae, who only infuriated me once, with has erstwhile, embarrassing editorial years ago on Gretzky’s dad (sorry, it was unforgivable) is one of the best sports jockeys ever. Hysterically funny and always spot on, he will be missed. And if they lose McComb, too. It’ll really be a free fall.
Which brings me to their problems:
Sean Leslie, apart from looking to get into TV and not being too discreet about it, really needs to have his head examined. If ass-kissing the provincial government is what he considers good reporting, he has another thing coming. With his wife employed as a PR executive to the government, he’s in a total conflict and should choose to collect off one or the other. His ratings, in uncontested air, are slipping badly.
Philip Till must be the most celebrated and prolific local reporter of his time, with international credentials that would easily qualify him at ’60 Minutes’. But his schtick is beyond tired and followed by Bill Good in the morning; it’s over. Booooooring….
The biggest problem of course, are the numbers for the Bill Good show, which are diving like a torpedoed sub. He has the worst panels. The all-female panel with Garrosino, Andersen, and Mills, is very painful to listen to and often descends into a borderline catfight. None of them are particularly great and the shameful attempts by NW to garner Bill some female audience, is a failure. Monday morning quarterbacks has NEVER recovered since they got rid of Tieleman–his chemistry with Dr. Spector was marvelous.
Then again, NW’s shilling for Christy isn’t compelling radio–this emanated from Good and Leslie, who are huge problems.
So, throw in Cutting the chesse from the Ledge every Friday with Vaughn and Keith and the descent into radio hell for CKNW continues.
But NW brass doesn’t care. So why should you? They are simply going to continue cutting faster than revenues decline–a guaranteed crash–except this one is in slow motion and painful. If they had ANY kind of serious competition, CKNW would be done in a heartbeat–and that’s a shame. The house that Al, Rafe, David, George and Gary built (among others) will be no more.
Very sad that NW is drowning in the arrogance of their own executives.
Sadder still, that no one–YET, has stepped into the ring to challenge for the belt.
It’d be a first round knock out.
Cause the championship remains vacant.
Basi-Virk piece almost completed. Out tonight after dinner sometime. Check back then. And I’ll be working through the weekend, so don’t go too far!
Enjoy the sun. I’m on the road again.