July 27 2009 08:31PM
Guys who've been around the media game as long as Bryn Griffiths see moves like what transpired today coming -- Griffiths was fired by Astral Media -- but that doesn't make it easy to swallow.
Griffiths, sports director at TEAM 1260 since the first minute the station hit the airwaves back in June of 2002, is taking his walking papers in stride, but I'd expect nothing less. That doesn't mean I like it.
I can't help but feel that Griffiths, who helped grow TEAM 1260 under boss Marty Forbes and served as co-host of More On Sports with Jake Daniels until Daniels was let go this spring, deserved better.
Whether you laughed at his morning shtick with Daniels or thought it was remarkably lame -- hardcore sports types voted for the latter -- it's never a good day when another veteran sports guy loses his job. Been there. Done that. It's no fun.
SAW IT COMING
"This is probably the most prepared I've ever been for a dismissal," Griffiths said. "There were little things that started to happen over the last year or so... Jake's dismissal, I didn't want to be a part of.
"When you work with somebody closely, that has to be done by higher-ups, not by you or else you've got blood on your hands."
With long-time co-host Daniels gassed by Astral Media in the wake of disappointing numbers in recent ratings periods, what unfolded today at a west end restaurant was of no great shock to Griffiths. Radio, like the newspaper biz, is a numbers game. If they don't add up...
"I was never involved in the process of finding a guy to replace Jake," Griffiths said. "I wasn't consulted, which is a good indicator of the fact you're out of the loop. I'd pretty much figured it out for the most part."
Word is, TEAM 1260 has hired a young broadcaster out of Fort McMurray and will add another voice out to take over the morning slot to complement the rest of its programming.
While some people will say "good riddance" over Griffiths' firing, just as they did with Daniels, he deserves better than that.
THE FIRST FLOOR
As a guy with input as sports director but never the final word or control of the budget, Griffiths deserves credit for trying to make TEAM 1260 a viable alternative to 630 CHED, which is never easy to do when taking on a rights holder with the keys to the big games in town, the Oilers and the Eskimos.
It was Griffiths who pushed to bring in Bob Stauffer in the days when nobody outside of family and friends knew who he was. Griffiths and Stauffer hatched Total Hockey in 2002, which morphed into Total sports and produced the best numbers TEAM 1260 has ever had. Stauffer got his shot because Griffiths was willing to roll the dice on him.
"Anytime somebody in the business gets let go you feel for them," Stauffer said. "I don't think the average sports fan realizes all the challenges Bryn was facing in his role.
"On a personal level, Bryn certainly was a major supporter of mine and I'm indebted to him for providing me with the opportunity he did."
Stauffer, of course, made Griffiths look pretty smart before he left to join 630 CHED as analyst to play-by-play man Rod Phillips.
"Bryn and Marty Forbes were my biggest boosters," Stauffer said. "Bryn helped get my career to the next level. For that, I'll be forever grateful."
-- Listen to Robin Brownlee every Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m. on Just A Game with Jason Gregor on Team 1260.