Hockey Fan Forums banner
1 - 1 of 1 Posts

26,388 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sportsnet shows Morrison the door
Broadcaster booted in internal shuffle

Briggs-Jude moves to event production
Jul. 12, 2006. 01:00 AM

When Scott Morrison was called into a meeting at the offices of Rogers Sportsnet yesterday morning, he had no idea the purpose of the meeting was to inform him he was being fired.

Morrison, the director of news and hockey, was as befuddled as his colleagues were yesterday that he had been dismissed in a major shakeup at the network. But judging by an internal memo to staff from network president Doug Beeforth, a difference in philosophy between Morrison's journalistic approach of telling stories and breaking news and the network's desire to appeal to young men was at the root of the changes. While the ratings for both Sportsnetnews and Hockeycentral have improved, they have consistently trailed those at its major competitor, TSN.

"When we launched in 1998, we quickly became known for our fun, sometimes irreverent, but always credible and complete approach," Beeforth wrote to employees. "Over the years, we've gradually moved away from that mix, to the point where there's not much difference between us and our competitors.

"It's time to move back in the direction of a brand that stands for energy, fun and entertainment, aimed at making Sportsnet the first choice of young men as their source for sports content."

Supervising producer Jeff McDonald was also dismissed and vice-president of production Rick Briggs-Jude was moved to event production and is being replaced by David Akande, who becomes VP of content.

Morrison was recently named by the Professional Hockey Writers' Association as this year's winner of the Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award for excellence in hockey journalism. Morrison said he harbours no ill will toward the network and noted he made changes of his own when he took over the news programming department.

"It's not unlike a sports team situation where there's a new general manager and he hires a new coach and new personnel around him," Morrison said. "That appears to be the scenario here. It's ironic because we were just trumpeting how terrific the ratings had been for Sportsnetnews and Hockeycentral. They all exceeded all the targets they had set in programming so everybody was feeling quite good about ourselves. The plan was unfolding, but it sounds like there's a different plan."

Neither Akande, who broke the news to Morrison, nor Beeforth would comment on the situation.
1 - 1 of 1 Posts