Test. Test. Is this thing on? I’m new here in my own blog space, and frankly feel a little uncomfortable without a microphone in hand. But I suppose this is my voice for now and I felt the need to use it today. This space will be used for hockey-related content moving forward, but today if you’ll indulge me it’s about tying up some loose ends from the week that was.
Is it really Friday? How’d it get to be Friday already? Most of the week has felt like 1:04pm Tuesday. That’s when I lost my job. I didn’t lose my life. I wasn’t diagnosed with a terminal disease. I have my health and my family and, as was reinforced a thousand times over this week, I have the support of so many people. And given where we all were as a society last Friday, I have a great deal of perspective on the bigger picture.
When I left the air after the post-game show on Monday night, I knew jobs would be lost on Tuesday. But since I finished up my shift at 9:30pm and hadn’t been informed of the need to be back at the station on Tuesday (a scheduled day off), I foolishly allowed my mind to wander to a place where perhaps I’d be spared. But that changed with the arrival of a terse one-line e-mail on Tuesday morning telling me I had a 1pm meeting in a boardroom. And that was all I needed to know.
That meeting didn’t last long. I don’t remember much of what was said and wouldn’t share it if I did. I will say I was grateful that I was not escorted to the elevator and thrown out on to the street. I was afforded the opportunity to move freely about the building I’d called my work home for very close to a decade. That gave me a chance to say my goodbyes to colleagues and friends in person. And it meant a lot to me to be able to do that.
Quite frankly, the outpouring of support has floored me. The hockey world is a pretty cool place and to hear from players, managers, administrators, team staff in all departments and so very many colleagues on both sides of the border has truly touched me. I heard from a number of the biggest names in hockey broadcasting that I had no idea knew of me or my work. And to have so many offer to do whatever they can to help means the world to me as well.
It was tough to watch Wednesday night’s game at home on my couch. Difficult, too, not to be at Canucks practice today or know that they will play home games this weekend that I will not be at. For 22 years I have covered hockey (six in Kamloops and the past 16 here in Vancouver) and it has been a huge part of my life — a huge part of who I am and what I love to do. This career delivers a unique rhythm of morning skates and game nights and practices and wonderfully strange hours. And stepping back from that will take some getting used to.
I’ll be honest, I haven’t slept much since Tuesday. But I have never been a great sleeper so who knows if the termination is responsible for my unrest. But more waking hours has provided me plenty of time already to start thinking about the future. It is my intention to try to stay in the sports media despite the many risks that come with the territory. I believe I have a unique skill set in this market and one that I want to believe will be valued by another employer.
The timing of the termination is tough because most media outlets are fully-staffed for the hockey season. But my challenge will be to knock on every door until I find one that opens even a crack. Many of you have suggested creating a blog (like this one) and podcasts and I am certainly going to explore all new media and digital avenues along with opportunities in traditional media. And yes, I plan to remain active on Twitter. That is the strongest voice I have right now and it’s one I intend to use to engage with so many people as I have in recent years. I have too many crazy Canucks numbers rattling around my brain and require an outlet for them. So it will be business as usual in that regard.
I’ve had many wanting me to speak freely about my former employer. And I understand the fascination with the ‘behind the curtain’ viewpoint I could provide. But I won’t. There is nothing to be gained from that. I didn’t think the right decision was made on Tuesday. I hold to that belief still, but that doesn’t change anything. Having worked so many jobs there and with so many people on so many shows, I always believed I had one of the best perspectives on the mechanics of the radio station. I had some good observations and strong suggestions for improvements. But nobody wanted them when I was employed, I’m certainly not offering them up now!
This will be the last I write of my personal situation until I have an update for you on the next chapter in my life. Some know that my wife works for the company I have left behind. I was disappointed for her having to go back into that workplace on Wednesday with her husband terminated along with so many of her friends and colleagues. However like the pro she is, she did the job expected of her and is trying her best to deal with all that has taken place this week on both a personal and professional level.
This wasn’t a great week. But there are lots of terrific broadcasters across the country in the same boat. We’re all adrift right now and trying to figure out how best to move forward. I have been in contact with some of them and I feel for all of them.
Thanks again to everyone who took a moment out of their lives to reach out to me this week. It really does help ease the sting of the situation. I’m down for now. But not out. I truly believe you haven’t seen the last of me yet. Now I just have to convince someone in a position of power to make that happen. Time to go make some more phone calls.
All the best,