Clear Sky Radio, which owns and operates CJOC has been the radio voice of the Hurricanes since the station launched in 2007. It’s no secret that several people knew our current radio broadcast agreement with the hockey club was expiring at the official end of this season (May 31). I've had numerous Hurricanes fans and media types alike wondering what was up. Until now I haven't been able to answer that question.
As indicated in the news release earlier, after long and careful consideration, Clear Sky Radio decided it would not be bidding for the broadcast rights of Lethbridge Hurricanes Hockey on 94.1 CJOC. This was a decision management of Clear Sky did not arrive at lightly. The company is growing and evolving. CJOC has come a long, long way in the past number of years. Our partnership with the Lethbridge Hurricanes has been enjoyable and fun. I feel we've provided an exciting and professional broadcast over the last several years for our listeners and take pride in the job we've done. Sure, things haven't gone the way the hockey club had hoped with its on-ice product, but the hope is that the future is bright for the organization. The decision by CJOC not to put in a proposal for the rights was strictly a business move.
As for my future. With CJOC no longer the host broadcaster of the games, it effectively ends my tenure as the play-by-play voice of the Lethbridge Hurricanes. My job with Clear Sky Radio remains, but is advancing into Corporate News Director, in charge of news programming and news staff for the company.
After 18 years in radio, this upcoming season will be the first one in my career that broadcasting hockey play-by-play will not be part of it. Will I miss it? Well, I'd by lying if I said no! I love it. But the thought of getting more time with my family is something I'm very excited about as well. Some things happen in life, like missing your kids sporting events and school concerts you can't get back, so being around more for them is something I'm looking forward to.
People may ask if the broadcast is going to another station, why don't I apply to keep doing the games? That I've thought a lot about for sure. There have been some sleepless nights. But in the end I love where I work and the company I work for. Clear Sky Radio has been very good to me over the years and with that I informed my employer I would not be applying to move to another radio station and would like nothing more than to remain with CJOC and continue to help the company grow and strive to put out the best news product we possibly can for our listeners. These decisions by Clear Sky and myself personally were not easy ones. That I can assure you.
With that said, I have several people to thank and if I miss anyone I do apologize! I would like to thank the entire Lethbridge Hurricanes organization for the opportunity to broadcast their games for the past 7 season, over 530 including some playoff games. Starting with Roy Stasiuk who first reached an agreement with Clear Sky Radio in 2007. Since then it's been a fun and interesting ride. Thank you to Rich Preston, Brad Robson, Michael Dyck, Drake Berehowsky, Mike Craig, Matt Kabayama, Jeff Battah, Chris Chisamore and all the other coaches and GMs who've treated me and CJOC with nothing but respect. It's been a pleasure to work with all of you. It made my job a lot easier and fun to come to the rink each and every night. Thank you to all the office staff as well for being so accommodating, especially to Esther Madziya and previously, Ryan Ohashi.
I'd be remiss if I didn't thank my two broadcast partners over these 7 years. First off, Dick Gibson. Thank you for your friendship and support during our time in the broadcast booth together. It was a pleasure to work with you. And to my latest Colour Analyst Fred Jack. Freddie and I have forged a solid friendship these last few years, which I know will be around for a long time. It was an honour to work with you as well my friends. Thanks to you both for contributing to our broadcast!
One of the best parts of this job is the relationships you build. Watching players come in at a young age and grow in their hockey careers. Thanks to all the players whose names I've had the pleasure to call and get to know over these last few years.
Thanks to all the sports media in Lethbridge, especially Paul Kingsmith and Dylan Purcell for being part of the broadcast at times. Having a support group of local media that can help out on a moments’ notice when you need a quick interview to fill time is great to have. I can't forget to say thanks to the other broadcasters and media in the WHL. You boys have been great friends and are all professionals at what you do. It's been fun working with you all and working with you all. I guess if any of you need a Colour Commentator when you roll through Lethbridge, you've got my number! The biggest thank you though goes to Hurricanes fans and our listeners. Without you, this job would be pointless. I hope you've all enjoyed our radio broadcast. It has been fun to bring the games to you.
I wish the Hurricanes nothing but success in the future. It's been a pleasure to be part of things. I take nothing for granted. I know broadcasting jobs at this level of junior hockey are coveted and hard to come by. I will say this in concluding, that although CJOC won't be broadcasting games anymore, it will not change in the way as to how we cover the hockey club during our regular programming when it comes to sports casts and on-line game wrap-ups on the station's website. We will still be there for press conferences, other news announcements regarding the team, reporting scores and promoting games. I will be there to support the club watching games as well both as a fan and a member of the media.
I haven't decided yet whether this blog will continue going into the fall. Perhaps its better suited for the person in charge of calling the games, but we will see what happens. Thanks to everyone again. Your support and friendship over the years is very much appreciated!