Team 1260: a good one gone

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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.

  • gdawg

    I cant say I enjoy the fox sports on the Team. The pace is at a snail's pace and most of the content sucks. As for the local programming side of things, I hope that they totally retool the morning show. Replaying interviews from the previous day is so lazy and dull. Keep the phone lines open longer and let the fans have more of a say. That is what the station is for right? The fans?

  • danoilfan

    @ Brian Rains:
    "only what the repercussions can be from sports like wrestling and MMA. Pretty hard to be a “fan” of that"

    that is a very ignorant statement

    MMA atheletes are probably tested more closely than the NHL, MLB, NBA, and NFL combined.

    educate yourself before you speak.

  • lea

    I do try to listen to 1260 but it is so so disappointing that the reception is very poor. I do think this is a factor in your listening audience numbers. It is so frustrating that the reception is so poor. I live in Vegreville, and Calgary comes in much better, and I don't particulary enjoy listening to them. Try and up that power and you will surely get a larger listening audience. Thank you

  • I was surprised to hear Dustin Nielson on the radio this morning after my vacation. Good for Him – Bad for Bryn.

    That said I think Dustin will do just fine. He has been doing play-by play for the MOB in Ft Mac. Really good play-by-play guy who will be missed up there I am sure. He knows his hockey, has worked for Hockey's Future Radio so he knows what he is doing.

  • fritzeg

    This station is going in the toilet. When Stauffer left the replacements were (and still are) un-listenable. Now Bryn getting canned? I was never a fan of Jake, but Bryn was entertaining, knowledgeable, and had some good local sources. I listened to the new guy this morning and he talked for my entire commute about donairs! Plus the American shows talk about sports news I have no interest in. Last time my dial hits 1260 for awhile unfortunately.

  • Movin' on...

    The show was a big disappointment this morning. Totally unlistenable. I'll be listening to another station tomorrow morning. Big mistake by Astral…the beginning of the end…?

  • carry2

    Man, it's about time they got rid of those two bozos in the AM…Jake's hollering and Bryn's directing sucked.To bad they went to Fox…enjoyed Mike and Mike, but you can keep Jim Rome miwwions and miwwions of his wisteners. Nice to hear the change in the AM but the verdict is still out….Now if Brent Bullis would change his 6 yr old commercial.

  • zen guy

    I was never a fan of Daniels, however would GLADLY rather listen to him and Bryn, as opposed to AJJ and the new duo they have now.

    Bryn was in a NO-WIN position and seems to me to have taken the fall by a bunch of suits that seem to think they know better. It's day 3 of the "new" morning lineup, and I don't think I can stick around for day 4.

    Team 1260 is down one morning listener.

    All the best to Bryn and Jake.

  • Neil

    I'm not sure if people understood the dynamic or the interplay between Bryn and Jake. Bryn was the straight man to Jakes goof ball schtick. I was a firm believer that it worked, but what do I know. I loved it when Jake would get out of control and Bryn would try to put him back in line. The conversations during commercials were probably very entertaining, Anyway, both deserved better. Both will land on their feet. I'd like to hear Jake on a rock station again(K-Rock, Hello!!!). Bryn should take some time. Go on a holiday, spend some time with his family and when he's ready, tune back into 1260 in time to watch it crash and burn. Another real article from Mr. Brownlee. No holds barred blog.

    Thanks Robin.

  • Scott Mah

    i hope murph goes on more but these new guys are not doing so well i have had to change the station many times this week after hearing them balble on about supid stuff and time out for comedy has become a joke in its self ever since marty forbes left i hate to say it but the station has gone to hell

  • Oggie Ogilthorpe

    The place started a downhill slide when Stauffer left, then continuous "replays" of the previous days show,and too much US programming. I enjoyed More On Sports and Gregor, other than that, just couldn't be bothered to listen to the other shows. These new guys are pretty hard to take! I just don't get their shtick.

  • Brian Rains

    @ danoilfan:
    I am not only driving my point towards drug / steroid abuse, but you get your head slammed as many times as wrestlers and MMA do and health repercussions have to happen. Combine that with steroids- and don't be so naive to think that isn't happening- and you have a prescription for disaster. It isn't a matter of my being ignorant to the testing in sports, I know some sports are trying. It is a matter of people like you refusing to accept what is now normal behaviour in many athletes- just go to your local gym.

  • K. Kadla

    First Jake, now Bryn. Boredom now reigns…a station with the worst a.m. show in the nation. The a.m. slot with B & J was enlightening, the straight man & sidekick scenerio working well. Despite the ratings, when it's not broke, don't fix it. Perhaps if B & J were more aggressive towards callers with idiot comments, controversy always creates better listenership. Then again, who knows if the directive wasn't to offend the caller, 'cos you know, ratings. Well, the best anchors the a.m. show had went thru the bottom of the boat. And the show is sinking. Anyone want to start a new all Sports Station? Or R there competition laws? But what competition! B & J to the front of the line. Personally, as for The Team, per Jim Rome, I'm out!!!!

  • KenL

    I've been on summer holidays and thought maybe Bryn was too. And while I wasn't the biggest fan of Bryn and Jake, the first couple of years of Team's existence – they were a breath of fresh air.

    Since Stauffer left for greener pastures, the Team has steadily been on a downward spiral. I can't stand Gregor, who comes off like a Bryan Hall wannabe. He doesn't let callers talk, and seems more interested in talking with guests and co-hosts.

    Stauffer was great in that he let callers have their say, whether he agreed with them or not. Stauffer also has a great sense of humor and just comes off as people person. I sorely miss his shows with Laraque, Spector and Reid as co-hosts. If it weren't for Brownlee, Barnes, and Rishaud as co-hosts, I wouldn't listen to Gregor at all.

    I'm sure Bryn and Jake will resurface on the radio scene in Edmonton. The early years of the Team was fantastic with the duo in the morning, Stauffer in the afternoon, John Short in the evening, Gregor late night (where he wasn't as annoying), Ron Rimmer and Tony Furillo on the weekends.

    That was an amazing schedule of local talent. And it's disappointing that other Stauffer, none of these shows didn't make a dent on CHED's listener unfriendly options. Before the Team, there were no trade deadline shows, no NHL draft day shows.

    I hope the Team is able to rediscover its past glories, which wasn't that long ago.