Listeners voice their issues with city’s pro team bosses
The Vancouver Giants press conference with Ron Toigo, majority owner at the podium.
Photograph by: Kim Stallknecht , PNG
SCENE & HEARD: Historically, the month of August in the radio industry is the deadest time of the calendar year. Yet every August for the past four years, TSN Radio (née Team 1040) host Matt Sekeres has energized his midday audience with what has been cleverly positioned as Presidents Week.
For five days running, with the help of programmers Mike Whittingham and Rachel Goldman, Sekeres secures months in advance the top honchos from Vancouver’s sports teams as guest co-hosts. The batting order this past week from Monday to Friday was Dennis Skulsky (Lions), Andy Dunn (Canadians), Ron Toigo (Giants), Trevor Linden (Canucks) and Bob Lenarduzzi (Whitecaps).
“We don’t drag them into the studio kicking and screaming,” Sekeres says.
“They get good feedback from their respective customers and look forward to it. I tell them before each show to be prepared for potentially controversial issues that might be brought up by our listeners. But just to be clear, there are no holds barred. I simply ask the callers to be respectful.”
Just once over the four years has a team president balked at appearing and that was after the Canucks’ Mike Gillis had gone through a Summer Summit broadcast on Team 1040 that became, in the words of Sekeres, “testy.”
“It has reached a point where the listeners appreciate being connected with the leaders of our teams,” Sekeres says. “Occasionally they drop a scoop like Skulsky mentioning the Lions inviting the University of Washington marching band for a Lions game and Linden telling us the Canucks will be bringing back the retro black-skate jersey for a game in February. That’s the fun part.”
Presidents Week obviously adds some much needed bite to radio’s notorious dog days of summer.
HERE ‘N’ THERE: The man who had a hand in the recent firing of last-standing sports broadcasters Dave Sheldon and Bob Addision at CKNW was fired himself this week. Program director Ian Koenigsfest was let go by the parent Corus Entertainment Group after serving 24 years with NW.
Sheldon had been with the station for four years after gigs as a hockey play-by-play broadcaster in Everett, Chilliwack, Vancouver (Giants) and Abbotsford.
SHORT HOPS: Sheldon can take solace in the fact that another former NW sportscaster — Randy Hahn — enters his 25th season in October as play-by-play man for the NHL’s San Jose Sharks.
Hahn got his start in the business calling a dogsled race in Yukon Territory with CKWR in Whitehorse. He made stops with CKNW and CKWX on his way to the NHL.