Saturday, September 09, 2006

SPORTSCASTERS IN CANADA GETTING THE BOOT

You know, I should be writing praise about Global TV this week, because the NFL is back on and Global is going to be back covering it again. Instead, I'm mad at them.

I'm mad at Global for getting rid of Global Sports, their nightly 11:30PM sportscast. They are serving up a repeat of Entertainment Tonight Canada with Cheryl Hickey instead.

I figured something was askew this week when I tuned in at 11:30 and found Hickey on, but couldn't quite pinpoint the problem until I read an article in the paper about all the anchor changes going on in town. It turns out they unceremoniously cancelled Global Sports, formerly Sportsline, last week due to poor ratings. And they gave Jim Tatti, who was not only the anchor but the sports director as well, the royal boot.

Granted, I only watched the first five minutes of the show while waiting for Letterman to come on, and only really watched the full show whenever Letterman had a repeat. But it was still a good show and Global ought to be ashamed of itself for getting rid of that broadcast. In fact, Global has basically made a hash out of their sports coverage for the past few months. They didn't make an effort with their lousy ChampCar race coverage this year at all, unlike previous years when they would put on numerous race specials and the like, and have their people report live from the tracks. Great, extensive coverage. Instead, they said forget it to that and took their feed from CBS! They look like they are going the cheap route over there. I can't say I'm surprised, just sad.

It's too bad the sports department seems to be taking the knife for problems that really have more to do with the rest of the Global TV junk programming lineup. The ratings for all of Global's prime-time crap reality shows are dragging the network down, and I'm sure that affected the ratings for their newscasts as well. So instead of blaming the prime-time shows for the mess Global is in, they went and cut costs and knifed the sports show, and got rid of Tatti. They might as well knife their viewership while they are at it! I also read they got rid of Jacqueline Milczarek, the news anchor, as well- they demoted her to reporter, so she quit. I guess she took the fall for the bad ratings her newscast had at 11PM from the crummy lead-ins they were getting. Why didn't they simply keep the sports and get rid of Cheryl Hickey? I'm sure her show costs a fortune to produce, too, but I guess she survives because her show was doing all right and entertainment news is the rage these days. These entertainment reporters seem to be the last people to get the boot at these TV stations in Canada, they're able to survive every bloodbath and bloodletting imaginable.

These are sad times for these older sportscasters: I also found out that Jim Van Horne got the can over at Sportsnet, and also that John Wells left TSN for a radio job in Winnipeg with CJOB. Really, the heck is going on here?! Everyone is getting canned this year! This closure in Toronto hits the local sports scene hard. Everyone has fond memories of Sportsline and of the pairing of Jim Tatti with Mark Hebscher, who now is doing time at CH. That's all in the past now--- and it's too bad.

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