Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Gregg Drinnan’

January? That happened.

February 1, 2011 Comments off

Is this a new feature? Maybe, if the blog survives another month.

Here’s what you may have missed in January if you haven’t been following the J-lust religiously:

Nelson Star editor Bob Hall penned a must-read column on what it was like to be the final editor of the Nelson Daily News when Black Press made the decision to send the newspaper to a farm in the country, and then to be hired by Black Press to edit the Star.

Kamloops Daily News sports editor Gregg Drinnan was banned from speaking to members of the Kamloops Blazers after team management took offence to his reporter. Outrage ensued. The WHL were taken to task for being out to lunch on the issue. The Blazers were ridiculed as the ban blew up in their faces. It became clear that the WHL didn’t know what the fuck was going on. The Blazers met with the paper and the league. The ban was lifted, the Daily News promised to not change a thing, and the Blazers have continued to suck.

The aforementioned Nelson Star drove another Nelson paper out of business as the Express closed up shop, blaming aggressive competition from the Star. Meanwhile the Nelson Daily, an online newsite, took a swipe at Black Press but needlessly ignored the Post.

Former Prince George Free Press Reporter Michelle Lang, who died while reporting for the Calgary Herald in Afghanistan, was remembered a year after her death.

A Trail Daily Times reporter had the means to retire at the age of 54. I expressed disbelief and envy.

I criticized Black Press for sponsoring the lamest award ever: the CCNA award for best holiday edition.

A video of a cop kicking a man under arrest that was shot by Castanet reporter Kelly Hayes on his iPhone sparked an investigation and nationwide news coverage. He later shot an exclusive interview with the man, Buddy Tavares.

Mounties began an investigation into whether the Nanaimo Daily News and reporters Danielle Bell and Derek Spalding breached a publication ban with a recent article. But the Daily News pushed back, saying the cops were just bitter because the story left them with “egg on their face.”

Penticton Herald editor James Miller wrote about his brave turn as a transvestite on stage. In a strange sort of synergy, the aforementioned aforementioned Bob Hall also confessed to growing muttonchops and a moustache for a pantomime role as a snake oil salesman.

I asked “Why is there so much bullshit in community newspapers?” in an expletive-filled column.

Derek Bouchard, a long-time radio news guy with CHBQ 1280 (about which I can find little information) in Powell River, is running for city council. Derek no longer works in radio, according to the bio on his “Derek Bouchard for City Council” Facebook page. Instead, he’s now working for a company that maintains Canada Post mailboxes.

Good news for any Postmedia editor who, for whatever reason, would want to be publisher as Marlyn Graziano was named publisher of the Surrey Now. Marlyn was the editor of the paper until 2000, when she took over as editorial director of Canwest Community Publishing. She’ll keep those duties too.

Alaska Highway News reporter Ryan Lux fought off “a drug-addled delinquent” who burst into his Fort St. John apartment uninvited and threatened to kill him. Then he wrote about it in a gripping first-hand account you’ve got to read.

And Burnaby Now editor Pat Tracy gave all aspiring journalists a cheat-sheet for finding work in a newsroom with a terrific post on her blog. I added my two cents.

To recap the recap:

Shame on you award: Kamloops Blazers.

Greggggate over: WHL ends ban

January 11, 2011 Comments off

So the strange tale of Kamloops Daily News sports editor Gregg Drinnan‘s ban from speaking to Kamloops Blazers management and personnel is over following a meeting between the team, the WHL and KDN editor Mel Rothenburger and publisher Tim Shoults.

Gregg can report as usual and the WHL has admitted that the Blazers contravened the league’s media policy.

[WHL commissioner Ron] Robison admitted that the Blazers were in violation of the WHL media policy by restricting the sports writer’s access to team personnel.

However, he was sympathetic to the Blazers’ issue that coverage has not been as balanced at what is received by other franchises in other WHL cities. He provided few examples other than to note one major press conference was not covered, as well as player signings.

more…

The worst they can come up with is that the Daily News missed a press conference? Really? Christ, no wonder they caved.

So what came of this: well, the Kamloops Blazers management was tar, feathered and made to look like a bunch of thin-skinned crybabies. Gregg got some more street cred to add to his resume and presumably some stories to tell. And, finally, the league comes out looking bad because, if the Blazer ban contravened its rules as it states above, why the hell was it allowed to remain in place for nearly three weeks?

The day before the end of Gregggggate (?)

January 10, 2011 Comments off

I would be amiss if I didn’t just remind people that tomorrow is Dec. 11, the date for a meeting between the Kamloops Blazers, Kamloops Daily News and Western Hockey League. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, please climb out from under your tree stump and read up here, here, here, here, and, finally, here.

To get you all set, read former Kamloops Daily News scribe Ben Kuzma‘s column in today’s Province.

When asked what it was like to be ground in the Kamloops media meat-grinder, the always-quotable Ken Hitchcock had this summation of crossing WHL swords with certain scribblers.

“You guys,” Hitchcock said with a roll of his eyes. “You not only knew when I went to the bathroom, you knew how much toilet paper I used.”

It was considered a compliment. The Blazers evolved from pretender to contender in the mid-’80s, but in the transition the coach’s decisions were either lauded or loathed by aspiring journalists. Players didn’t escape the microscope and that’s why they called it Little Montreal because success came with scrutiny. However, a fair-but-firm approach was usually the order of the day. And while that perspective helped players transition from the WHL to the NHL, it was the same for Blazer coaches like Tom Renney, Don Hay and Hitchcock. It was the same for Kamloops Daily News alums who graduated to NHL beats, like Scott Cruickshank (Calgary), Robin Brownlee (Edmonton) along with Iain MacIntyre and me in Vancouver.

more…

That’s a pretty distinguished list of journalistic and Blazer alumni.

Gregggggate: Should there be a WHL boycott?

January 5, 2011 1 comment

Some details about the aims of the Jan. 11 meeting between the Kamloops Daily News and the Blazers:

According to a story in today’s paper:

“The objective of the meeting will be to look for common ground on defining ‘fair and balanced’ coverage of the team,” Rothenburger said. “Right now we have different opinions on that.”

Yesterday, Gregg Drinnan‘s former colleague Angela MacIsaac asked on her Twitter feed: “I wonder if any newspapers would have the balls to boycott coverage of their #WHL teams in defence of Gregg Drinnan.”

That’s an interesting question. First of all, is it even possible when you have to fill your sports pages? Let’s look at B.C.:

In Vancouver, the Province and the Sun don’t need the WHL to fill their pages. But Chilliwack’s two twice-weekly papers probably do. Kelowna has a paid daily that needs feeding, although the Cap News could probably get by. The Cranbrook Daily Townsman definitely needs the Ice coverage. But in Prince George, they have a Junior A team with which to weather the storm.

But any boycott would probably start in Kamloops and would have to be launched by the Daily News, which for the moment seems inclined to talk before waging war. It will be interesting to see what comes out of the Jan. 11 meeting. If the Blazers come to the table demanding sugar and spice and everything nice from the Daily News, I’d like to see a boycott threatened.

I doubt it will be necessary, though. The Blazers have taken a PR schellacking, especially on Twitter. (Buzinga of the week goes to Dylan Bumbarger, who wrote:

Next: @blazerhockey fires scoreboard operator for being too negative

The tweet was instantly retweeted again and again.

Vancouver Sun sports reporter Elliott Pap wrote about the issue for today’s paper:

The Blazers informed Daily News sports editor and hockey beat writer Gregg Drinnan in a three-page letter dated Dec. 22 that he would no longer have access to players, coaches or other team officials. Copies were also sent to WHL commissioner Ron Robison and Board of Governors chairman Bruce Hamilton.

more…

Meanwhile, even my blog stats show people care about the issue. This blog usually is frequented almost exclusively by readers in Western Canada. But today? Regina, Portland, Port Elgin, Summerside, Unity, Sask.,  Saskatoon, and so on. If that doesn’t show the Blazers play has backfired, I don’t know what does.

Also, this blog usually doesn’t get much traffic via search engines, a fact I don’t mind. This issue, however, has clearly touched a nerve. Here are some of the searches that led people to this blog yesterday (I culled a half-dozen non-Blazer-related searches):

drinnan banned by kamloops blazers 4
greg drinnan blazers 3
greg drinnan news 2
greg drinnan 2
blazers ban reporter 2
kamloops blazers ban kamloops daily news 1
greg drinnan blazer 1
greg drinnan decision 1
greg drinnan banned 1
gregg drinnan ban 1
drinnan banned 1
“kamloops blazers” “greg drinnan” 1
blazers ban sports 1
drinnan blazers 1
kamloops blazers banned 1
kamloops blazers media ban 1
blazersdrinnan 1
kamloops blazers greg drinnan 1
drinnan banned blazers 1
greg drinnan january 2011 1

I think it’s only a matter of time before the Blazers cave off the ice like, well, they have been caving on the ice.

Is a boycott practical? Likely? Needed? Leave a comment.

******************

Help keep this blog running for weeks to come by becoming a link farmer. It’s easy, quick and the pay is shite. E-mail bclocalreporter (at) gmail (dot) com. Also, take the poll on the right. It’s free. Lucky you.

Have I made an error? It wouldn’t be the first time. Leave a comment and I’ll duly update the post.

We’re making inroads into our census of B.C. community newspapers, but there are still a lot of blanks in the Journo-lust Spreadsheet. How many journalists work at your paper? How often do you come out? Who’s your publisher? Participation is free! The benefits unlimited! The exclamation points boundless!

Gregggate: Drinnan still banned, will meet Jan. 11 with Blazers

January 4, 2011 1 comment

This is the second post on Gregggate. Find the first post here. Find the third (and newest one) here.

According to the Twitter feed of Gregg’s Kamloops This Week counterpart Marty The Reporter Hastings, the Blazers and the Daily News will meet next week “to discuss reporting restrictions on reporter Gregg Drinnan.”

I hope that by “reporting restrictions,” we’re talking in the current, not the future, tense. Actually, scratch that; by “reporting restrictions,” we better-the-fuck be talking about the current, not the future tense.

More from Marty The Reporter’s Twitter:

“It’s our hope we can come to an immediate resolution.” — #WHL communications director Cory Flett on Jan. 11 meeting with Blazers, Daily.

and

#Kamloops Blazers GM Craig Bonner told Kamloops This Week the #WHL has instructed him not to comment on Drinnan, Daily, Blazers situation.

Kelowna radio sports guy Regan Bartel wrote on his blog Monday:

I was surprised to learn that the Blazers hockey club has essentially cut off player and coach accessibility to the Kamloops Daily News. The local newspaper was issued a letter from Blazers ownership before Christmas saying the decision was made because of negative reporting by the paper towards the hockey club. That means veteran WHL writer Gregg Drinnan is unable to obtain quotes from the hockey club and is forced to interview the opposition team instead. In a day and age where WHL teams like the Seattle Thunderbirds and Portland Winterhawks are thirsting for more media coverage, be it positive or negative, the Blazers theory is they are best served by radio, TV and the Internet.

Burnaby Now sports editor Tom Berridge wrote (in a post titled Send in the clowns):

The sad reality in this case is the example they are setting makes them look like clowns in my opinion, or worse, very immature clowns. I applaud the position taken by the newspaper standing behind their writers. I am less enthusiastic about how the Western Hockey League has handled the situation, in particular because it is supposed to be against the league rules. I’ll let this article speak for itself. I think it sums up the situation nicely. What do you think?

more…

Former colleague Angela MacIsaac reminisces about how Gregg got her a job 10 years ago in a touching blog post that concludes in a similar vein:

It is a local newspaper’s job to report the news in a manner that allows you to make up your own mind. They write columns or opinion pieces to stir your thoughts, incite your fire and provoke your response.

When it comes to Gregg’s work, it is always based in fact … and a desire to ensure his readers are the most informed they can be.

I’ll go to my grave respecting the body of work Gregg Drinnan has compiled on the WHL.

But tonight, I lose quite a bit for the Blazers, a team of which I became a fan after I put my sports writing days behind me.

more…

The Province has published Mel Rothenburger‘s editorial and the issue has spread across language barriers. La Soleil reporter Mikaël Lalancette sums up the story on his Metro Montreal blog:

On ne parle pas d’un blogueur sévissant sur Internet : on parle d’un bonhomme respecté de ses pairs et qui livre quotidiennement un travail d’une grande qualité.

That roughly translates (I think?) into: “We’re not talking about a Internet blogger. We’re talking about a gentleman respected by his peers who delivers daily work of great quality.”

Amen.

I would still like to see someone craft an open letter, to be signed by local sports reporters, that can be forwarded to the league.

Any takers?

******************

Help keep this blog running for weeks to come by becoming a link farmer. It’s easy, quick and the pay is shite. E-maibclocalreporter (at) gmail (dot) coml . Also, take the poll on the right. It’s free. Lucky you.

Have I made an error? It wouldn’t be the first time. Leave a comment and I’ll duly update the post.

We’re making inroads into our census of B.C. community newspapers, but there are still a lot of blanks in the Journo-lust Spreadsheet. How many journalists work at your paper? How often do you come out? Who’s your publisher? Participation is free! The benefits unlimited! The exclamation points boundless!

Blazers ban Daily News sports editor Drinnan (updated with proper spelling)

January 4, 2011 Comments off

I’ve since posted an update on Gregggate. Find it here.

Kamloops Daily News sports editor Gregg Drinnan, (spelling error fixed, sorry) who I read somewhere is considered the dean of the WHL gallery and whose widely read blog is the best source out their for WHL news, has been banned from speaking with the Kamloops Blazers until he writes nicer things. (Thanks to Kamloops This Week reporter Dale Bass on Jsource for the heads up.)

The Blazers may have been provoked by a recent column that closes:

In the meantime, Blazers fans are left to wonder just what has happened to this once-proud franchise and why it is unable to fix the things that are holding it back.

As one member of the organization was heard to say the other day: “You’d think there was a curse over us, or something.”

Kamloops Daily News editor Mel Rothenburger responded to the banning today with a column that you can find in full here. Here’s the gist:

This is unacceptable to us as a newspaper. It’s also unacceptable to the Western Hockey League, or should be, since it clearly violates league policy.

Unfortunately, the league has so far declined to lift the ban on Drinnan, and so has the team. We’re attempting to work with the team and league to resolve what is, to our knowledge, an unprecedented infringement of transparency and free speech in the reporting and analysing of hockey not only in this league, but across the country.

We don’t believe Craig Bonner and Tom Gaglardi, nor the rest of the team’s partners and managers, are unreasonable people. However, this ban betrays a certain desperation about the fact the team’s mojo remains missing in action. It won’t get the community the kind of team it deserves.

more….

Mel makes clear that Gregg  “doesn’t get mean about the players.” That’s important, these are 18-year-old kids who shouldn’t have to take unnecessary pot shots from reporters. Their coaches and general managers, on the other hand, are more than fair game, especially in a community like Kamloops where the local junior team is so revered.

In the meantime, Gregg has been writing about the Blazers by speaking to opposing players and coaches and quoting visiting media who are allowed to speak to Kamloops players.

I’ll point out that mentioning the banning would make great fodder for sports reporters looking for a new way to write “Blazers suck” in their columns.

I would also like to see someone craft an open letter, to be signed by local sports reporters, that can be forwarded to the league.

Any takers?

******************

Help keep this blog running for weeks to come by becoming a link farmer. It’s easy, quick and the pay is shite. E-mail bclocalreporter (at) gmail (dot) com. Also, take the poll on the right. It’s free. Lucky you.

Have I made an error? It wouldn’t be the first time. Leave a comment and I’ll duly update the post.

We’re making inroads into our census of B.C. community newspapers, but there are still a lot of blanks in the Journo-lust Spreadsheet. How many journalists work at your paper? How often do you come out? Who’s your publisher? Participation is free! The benefits unlimited! The exclamation points boundless!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 684 other followers

%d bloggers like this: