I don’t write about traditional media stuff often because it’s a relic and serves no purpose other than to dunk on a shitty industry on life support.
HOWEVER, hockey insider Chris Johnston’s move to TSN was a really fucking funny reminder of how hilarious the war between Sportsnet and TSN is.
Chris is truly one of the good people in sports media. You won’t find anyone who dislikes the man because Chris does his work and it’s second to none. He knows his own brand’s worth and he’s right to bet on it.
After he announced his departure from SN for The Star, I thought “HMMM. This isn’t a guy who SN would just let walk” and wondered why Chris would leave a well-paid senior gig with the NHL’s Canadian broadcast partner for a fucking newspaper.
He announced a new podcast (on a separate network) and a week later, Darren Dreger popped the news. CJ was going primetime with TSN, Sportsnet’s arch-rival, and FUCK, did I laugh.
— Arpon Basu (@ArponBasu) September 28, 2021
- Had Chris left directly for TSN none of this would have happened. Non-competitive clauses are a big deal in this city. If Chris left for the Star, then parlayed his newfound self-employed contractual freedom into a plum gig with TSN, he’s the smartest sports media talent in the country.
Chris leaving SN came a week after PXP legend Jim Hughson retired rather than call another game for the network. We don’t know why, but the optics of Hughson retiring and CJ taking a connecting career flight to TSN are devastating for the beleaguered Rogers property.
I wonder how much of the Blackhawks sexual assault coverup is playing into SN’s continued slide. TSN has been front and center while SN continues to pretend the story doesn’t exist. As the NHL’s main broadcast partner, it isn’t sitting well with A LOT of Sportsnet hockey people. That’s a fact.
It’s also entirely possible Chris Johnston realized what very few media types have; his brand has more equity than that of his employer and Chris is finally in a place where he can decide who he blesses with his work.
That’s when you know you’re successful btw. When YOU dictate your work environment.
This sports media shit is hilarious to me, btw. I was fortunate enough to work in that format for 2 years and it sucks. 70% of them would rather be taken seriously than be successful and they all complain about the success others have and why they’re better than the next guy. Both entities pretend they’re the only game in town and it’s a privilege to deliver their messaging.
It’s not. Sports media in Canada is like a jail for people who think they’re more important than the games they cover and it’s fucking funny to watch. Sports media has used and abused good people for years under the premise of privilege so it’s nice to see Chris Johnston use them for his own benefit for a change.
Let the sports media wiener wars rage. It’s only a matter of time before they’re both shells.