NW Drops Sports Entirely?


A listener who noticed there was no sports as usual at 12:15 this noon hour on CKNW, called the station, and was informed by someone in the newsroom, “There no longer is sports at NW.”

A sign of the times?  The word “sports” has been removed from the logo.


How it Used to Be


  1. Dave Sheldon and Bob Addison have both been let go. Not sure what they’re up to but it is looking more and more like a gong show…

  2. “Big Al” Davidson must be rolling in his grave. ‘NW continues to turn into a broadcasting disaster. From a powerhouse that featured everything–‘NW had it all no matter what the listener was looking for–to a wimpish also ran.

  3. Why do in depth reporting when you can rip and read from the Canadian Press feed or steal from the competition?

  4. What a bunch of complete buffoons running that place now. Mind you, marble mouth, one item Sheldon is no loss. But to have no sports at all is the final straw. No wonder Corus is losing so much money. How long before some suit from Toronto arrives to show Ian K. the door. This is really sad to see this happen. They claim they want a younger audience but they do everything they can to alienate that age group. Sad.

  5. Bob Addison is a classy sports reporter. Hopefully he will resurface. Roundhouse would do well to sign him even though they too apparently have no dedicated sports reporter.

  6. Here’s the word from Dave Sheldon:

    Pretty interesting day. Thanks to all of my friends @cknw and @Rock101Van for four super years. Onward!

  7. The next step could be the elimination of reporters. I was recently in Ontario and noticed that the Corus station I picked up in Waterloo, CHML, ran full news casts but there were no reporters involved. There were clips and recordings made on location but these were all intro’d by the two-person news team.

  8. I don’t know what anyone is so surprised about. If you notice the CKNW logo on the home page, it says NewsTalk Radio, nothing about Sports…
    I can see there was a trial happening with both Sheldon and Addison to see how or if there has been the magical chemistry IK may have been trying to seek in a last ditched effort to hang onto some sort or form of a sport image, of sorts…. It obviously hasn’t worked, and I credit the likes of this and other forums for obviously help form opinions by looking over the assortment of comments here on PSR…. I have the impression peoples comments are truly being noted

  9. The black tower will soon be looking for a new tenant for the 21st floor. Whether I liked Sheldon and Addison was irrelevant. Sports is part of the news. Without sports you can’t possibly hope to retain your audience. CALL THE LISTENER LINE!!!! Thats the new catch phrase at NW. It’s hard to find another entity that has gone from the pinnacle of its genre to the basement in such dramatic fashion. I’ve always been a fan of Addison since he produced David Berners slot. I hope that the new Roundhouse station picks the bones clean and puts NW out of its misery.

  10. More layoffs in Winnipeg today as well. They let go a fantastic sports guy, rid the News Director of his duties (mind you, he still does mornings. Why? I don’t know. I assume they’ve given up) and a couple others were let go as well. Someone on this board recently suggest Charles Adler may soon be headed to Vancouver. That too sounds like a real possibility…. I’m sure a statement will be released soon. They’ll twist it and make seem like decisions aren’t 100% financially motivated and won’t completely lessen the quality of the product…too late… like, waaayyyyy too late.

    Truth is, it looks like Corus’ ultimate goal is to look purchasable to a company who can turn that disaster around.

    Good businesses make decisions based on assets and liabilities. These guys running the show just really don’t seem to have a clue. Mostly middle managers who act as talking mouth pieces to consultants…. but maybe THIS will be the round of layoffs that help Corus get back on its feet. Yeah, that’s it!!!!!

  11. Another crack in the once mighty NW98 foundation. I mean once they bailed on Lions and Canucks games over a decade ago and dropped Dan Russell’s Sportstalk in Sept. 2013, I know sports was just a small thing . But with news and weather also comes sports reporting. News talk (and the fluff of much of it on CKNW nowadays) may not always be all age encompassing but sports does cross all demographics and can be a catalyst to keeping listeners. I guess I.K. and the Corus gang of nuts want to reduce their listening audience to near zero. NURSE GET ME THE DEFRIBILLATOR STAT!

  12. Addled Charlie headed to Vancouver? Nah. It can’t be that bad. Look… anyone in the mood for sports news wasn’t listening to ‘NW anyway. The direction they’re going in is apparently clear to at least one person in their hierarchy, although I’m not sure that an AM radio station’s focus counts for squat in 2015, other than to a few white guys over 55.

  13. Yes we’ve established NW is not the Top Dog it once was. But we still listen. For all its faults, we still listen. If I want sports I’ll go to one of the two SPORTS stations in the market. But if I want good (not great) talk radio, I’ll go to 980.

  14. Neil, I’m not suggesting Adler is headed to NW. I predict he and Corus will part ways. Love him or hate him he’s a smart man. This is the fourth round of layoffs in Winnipeg in just over a year. Surely he recognizes he’s on a sinking ship. Probably a contract in play which Corus is too broke to payout.

    Many more managers have to go at Corus in order for it to survive. Dave Farough was a good start but not enough.

  15. Another bump down the stairs to darkness. Personally, if I never heard another sportscast it would be too soon. However I realize there are a lot of folks whose day starts and ends with sports info and so can only agree with those above who observe IK’s club-handed “management” has again made itself known. I certainly won’t miss old marble-mouth and Jon’s assessment of him this morning as a “professional” broadcaster strikes me as being…um…generous. It always seemed to me Jon’s laughter at Sheldon’s efforts was more than somewhat forced. As have speculated elsewhere, I agree with Been There’s assessment Corus is looking to dump the one-time top dog which has morphed, thanks to IK, into a raggedy-assed turkey.

  16. So sad – wow how the mighty fall! Since when isn’t sports part of the community conversation in Vancovuer. We are, after all – a hockey town through and through. IK is truly out of touch but taking his marching orders from Toronto. I remember when talk radio was controversial and helped form community opinion. Now the talent base is so veneer thin ‘hosts’ are reduced to talking to their squeakily voiced operators and ‘producers’. Do we care what they think? Most of them are too young and inexperienced to have formed an intelligent opinion. Talk radio has been reduced to reading social media posts. Another money grab – I wish Corus would just sell the mighty 980 and put the license in the hands of an owner who would take pride in the fabulous heritage of the brand. Obviously IK and Corus leadership (Doug Murphy) could care less!
    IK must thank the lord daily for BCIT – a group of students who will come in and work for $10.50 a hour.

  17. While we’re all talking about sports, what’s with CTV in Victoria not having a sportscaster on their late news? For the last few weeks they’ve shown one or two score graphics with the news anchor trying to read them.

  18. Sports is not important enough in this city, this is very sad. Corus keeps cutting back, and nothing on the positive side. This is definitely not the CKNW that I grew up with. Trying not look back with rose-coloured glasses on, so many good sports hosts let go since 2010. No sports, less to talk about, does anybody remember two and three hour sports programs. I am assuming ratings have to weaken even more before they can retire any more hosts.

  19. When CKNW got rid of Sports Talk, you knew they didn’t care about sports anymore. That caused me to stop listening to NW.

  20. To those who say no sports on NW is ok as one can tune to an all sports station. I should NOT have to change stations to get updated sports scores and sports news during the NEWS, WEATHER and what should be SPORTS time cycles.

    Is it too much to get sports on NW? The all sports station is meh generally fine but it’s almost always all CHEER LEADING with POM POMS as they shill for their corporate handlers who have spent TOO MUCH MONEY to carry the rights to any and all sporting games, events and leagues. NW by no longer buying sporting rights can as a NEWS item still carry sports and even discuss sports issues more objectively even for just a few minutes during to the morning news (8:00am) mid day news (12:00pm) , evening news (6:00pm) and night news (10:00pm) cycles.

    Remember genius (in his own mind) I.K. and the same Corus genius’s (NOT!) by having a listener TUNE away from your cherished (not so much anymore thanks to you cheap, nut jobs) CKNW to get a sports update elsewhere could mean they may not tune back afterwards. It may seem trivial to carry a few minutes of sports scores and sports news during the news cycles, but it may be enough to have listeners STILL KEEP TUNED TO THE (dying dog) NW980. THINK ABOUT IT! BRAINIACS!

  21. Trevor your ability to still support the mighty 980 is admirable. I agree , I still listen and still call in every now and then. I used to really enjoy getting Peter Warren riled up. Back to your thought that we still listen. We do, I do but when Roundhouse gets up and running maybe not anymore.

  22. Ian K — how do you STILL have a job????
    It hurts the mind, how he has been there for sooooo long and made sooo many dumb decisions, but yet the Corus heads still keep him???
    A man who was an operator/producer…. somehow has over the years, managed to get to the top and stay there??? no skills/no talent/no style/no substance…

    So many great people… let go, fired, or left at their own will…. dwindled the once “top dog” .. to this??? wow… is anyone surprised no one listens to radio anymore??

  23. Just listening to ‘NW at the noon newscast today (Friday) and they are doing some brief sports reporting at the end of the newscast.

  24. As i read various PSR articles and Mr Oberfelds media blog entries I wonder to myself. I wonder when the IKs of the world read these comments and the stories being commented on what goes thought their minds. Do they think we’re a bunch of fringe dwelling lunatics that haven’t got a clue? Do they think we’re so out of touch with reality that we are all delusional?
    For myself, I chat with co workers, friends and family. Many of these people don’t follow HO or PSR. What they all have in common is curiosity as to why Global and NW have gone in the tank. It would be awesome if some of the decision makers at those two media outlets were to engage some of the commentors. At least perhaps a dialogue with Harvey or staff at PSR.

  25. It was always rumoured in the halls of the Black Tower that IK (prior to Plasteras’ dismissal) was leaking stuff to certain bloggers and message boards.

  26. It seems people don’t get the message.

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  27. I think that people are misreading the outcome of this situation.

    Oh, CKNW will, in all likelyhood, continue to cover sports stories in spite of Sheldon and Addison biting the dust. They HAVE to cover sports, in a sports town like Vancouver; they would be seen as fucking idiots if they didn’t.

    What this is all leading to, (I think?) is the homogenous “major market” radio announcer, who must cover and do everything. spin records, write and sell commercials, voice track, read news ,sports, weather, wash dishes and wait tables, as well.

    Therefore, I can foresee CKNW being run with just three employees only, one day.

    A morning man slash brand manager, an afternoon person, plus a salesperson, much like Montreal’s former 940 CINW (once owned by Corus, btw).

    Next, fire all of the news reporters, editors, and strip it to the bone, then have everyone read Toronto crime and traffic stories.

    Make sure that no reporters are laid off in Toronto, though, so that Toronto news and sports stories are shoved down our throats !

    Finally, be a cheap, squeeky clean radio station, much like a straw filled scarecrow that would make a beancounter proud.

  28. Sure NW still gives sport scores at the end of the news. That is not covering sports. Explaining why a trade was done why a team lost why the event didn’t sell out why ………. that’s what the sports dept does. I guess it does cost money to cover local live sports. Cheaper to just report the results.
    Dont forget that IK also said he was going to be less political. This should allow other stations to carry the ball (sorry bout the sporting analogy) for the extra long Federal campaign. I think he also wants to do less live call in. Must be why every show has a listener line. Gives listeners the illusion that their opinions mean something to NW. Personally I think the people that listen to NW aren’t that stupid. I think they see most of these changes for what they are. COST CUTTING measures.
    Three weeks away from the dying dog. You really have to wonder if JM wants to be part of the demise.

  29. I Hope The New Round House radio station knocks out CKNW
    More Simmi no Sports and throwing hosts all over the place and replacing shows
    Don’t the Listeners have any say ??

  30. Mike Jones, of course they don’t listen to listeners. That’s why they dropped their tagline “listening to Vancouver”. If they did listen, they would know that the listeners they had are leaving the dying dog at the side of the road and moving on. If hear that ad for Simi’s bookclub one more time, I’ll hurl. Nobody can disagree that radio is changing. It’s not the change that is the problem, it’s the quality of the replacement programming that is the issue. Surely to goodness we can at least have newsreaders that can pronounce names and places correctly. It really sounds like some of them can’t even read because they keep stumbling over even simple words and phrases. I have to agree that I hope Roundhouse knocks ‘NW off their “lofty” perch (which really isn’t that lofty anymore) and that some sort of sanity returns. But that would require some of the suits (like Ian K) being dumped. Amazing that when you read all the articles on this board, it seems over and over again that it is Corus stations that are making changes and cuts. What part of “not listening anymore” from previous listeners do they not get? Can all be summed up in one word. Dumb.

  31. The evening newsreaders are terrible. They have been since Terry Bell was sent packing.

    I wrote to IK to express my concern a while back and he replied saying they were very proud of their newsreaders.

    Terry at least knew how to read, had a good radio voice and added a personal touch to the newscasts. The new readers bumble every second word. What a shame this direction NW is taking is.

  32. I agree with Sam above. There’s also the matter of spelling on the station’s Twitter feed (@CKNW). Quite a few errors of late.

  33. I also agree with Sam. We also get the “pleasure” of listening to them on the weekend. Mind you they are a perfect compliment to the wacky pharmacist, the Sunday night cackle show and all the other dreadful weekend programming. Sean Leslie (when he works weekends) and Jill Bennett are about the only weekend programs worth listening to. I wish Jill was on later in the day as she is too early for me most of the time. Terry Bell was one of the best…but he was hired in the days when they hired “experienced” newsreaders. Now they hire straight out of BCIT and most of them are usually gone before long so they avoid wage increases.

  34. Terry Bell, Tom Mark and others. These gave ‘NW a certain sound, and, to use a word bandied about here a fair bit, gravitas. Weekend programming is indeed mostly terrible. “Wacky” is a word I haven’t heard before in connection with the “pharmacy” segments but it seems appropriate. I keep wondering why the College of Pharmacists of BC hasn’t looked into these segments.

  35. Great example of talented people Wednesday evening and Thursday early morning! Neither the newsreader (Matt Lee) nor the traffic reporter (Ray Luck) know how to pronounce Grosvenor Road. They both pronounce the “silent s”. Par for the course with NW these days.

    They’re also running ads for the new sound coming to the station. Wonder if there will be changes other than Lynda Steele doing the 2-6 weekday show. Sure hope they do something with the weekend programming.

  36. Back in the day, Vancouver radio people all had a leg up in correctly pronouncing Grosvenor, mainly due to the fact that one of the city’s premier radio stations, CJOR, was famously located in the basement of the Grosvenor Hotel.

  37. Hopefully things will soon improve. Apparently Ian Koenigsfest was shown the door today. Also Sean Leslie quit. Jim Goddard interview with Brian Frosty Forst doesn’t present IK in a very good light.

  38. I really miss Dave Sheldon on sports talk he was very informative on all sports.
    Not just Hockey I mean All Basketball Nfl Cfl NBA
    I really think they did themselves a disservice by getting rid of sports. Your Loss

  39. To Corus mgmt.

    Get your heads out of your asses. You’ve already made a laughing stock of shore fm now let’s get rid of sports on Cknw. Which has been known for years as the go to one station for news and sports.
    All you have accomplished is forcing listeners to switch stations.

    Here’s an idea, let the people who live here, who listen and watch your media, make those those big boy and girl decisions.


  40. This station is like rotating the chairs on the Titanic. There is a saying Lead, follow, or get out of the way. It seems that CKNW is incapable of doing any one of the three.

  41. I’ve been listening to the station less and less over the past while. I never really thought about why, but now … Terry Bell, Nasty Neil, Roy Green, Sheldon, et all. Radio is famous for back stabbing and blood letting. I remember Big Al stewing in his beer for a month before his contract was due for renewal. Time for a career change, one and all, guys.


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