the admiral

NHL Anti-Thread: Bad Business Decision Aggregator

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Hurricanes fired radio play-by-play guy, Chuck Kaiton, today. Kaiton had been with the franchise for 39 years going back to Hartford. Carolina will join Dallas and Buffalo as the only NHL teams to simulcast their TV broadcasts on the radio.

 

The real relevant information from the News & Observer article:

 

Quote

Kaiton’s agent submitted a counterproposal to the Hurricanes after Kaiton’s contract expired on June 30, but the team stood firm on its final offer to the broadcaster, which included a dramatic pay cut as the Hurricanes and new owner Tom Dundon attempt to reckon with their money-losing radio broadcast while giving Kaiton the opportunity to recoup some of the losses by selling sponsorships, which is the kind of arrangement more typical on the minor-league level.

---

 The expiration of his contract combined with the change in ownership from Peter Karmanos to Dundon brought a re-examination of the economics of the team’s radio deal. The team pays WCMC-99.9 FM to carry the broadcast, incurring six-figure losses while apparently drawing fewer than 2,000 listeners per game. Kaiton’s salary was a big part of that expense.

 

“Radio is not a prudent financial decision,” Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell said earlier this summer. “It’s important, I think, to have it for the people that still want to listen to it, but it’s something from a business standpoint that doesn’t make a lot of sense.”

 

FULL ARTICLE

 

(Also posting in Sports Media thread)

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 The team pays WCMC-99.9 FM to carry the broadcast, incurring six-figure losses while apparently drawing fewer than 2,000 listeners per game.

iT's ImPoRtAnT tO bE iN tHe RaLeIgH-dUrHaM mEdIa MaRkEt

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So, Dundon owns the team then fires the GM to take on a more hands-on role.

 

Hell, if he takes over as the PBP guy he'll be the hockey equivalent of pre-Attitude Era Vince McMahon.

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Hurricanes fans on reddit seem pretty supportive of the move, which is a bit of a poison pill, because supporting Genius Owner Tom Dundon on this also requires one to lean very hard on "well come on what are they supposed to do when only 2,000 people are listening." 

 

Incidentally, if their radio numbers are that bad, how bad is the TV side? The Canes and Perds are able to hide their television ratings because of some quirk in how Fox Sports South is distributed, but I maintain that if they had numbers to brag about, they'd find a way to tell us.

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1 hour ago, the admiral said:

Hurricanes fans on reddit seem pretty supportive of the move, which is a bit of a poison pill, because supporting Genius Owner Tom Dundon on this also requires one to lean very hard on "well come on what are they supposed to do when only 2,000 people are listening." 

 

Incidentally, if their radio numbers are that bad, how bad is the TV side? The Canes and Perds are able to hide their television ratings because of some quirk in how Fox Sports South is distributed, but I maintain that if they had numbers to brag about, they'd find a way to tell us.

 

You inspired me to go over and look.

 

What a delusional group.

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This is probably an unpopular opinion (and maybe colored by the fact that I'm in one of the simulcast markets), but I don't see why you need a separate radio PBP. I'm actually shocked that 28 out of 31 teams still have a separate radio broadcast in 2018.

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Buffalo's simulcast is built around Rick Jeanneret and the fanbase's loyalty to his call. I'm sure they could run two booths if they felt like it, and whenever Jeanneret retires or dies, they probably will. Dundon is basically telling the world that hockey play-by-play on the radio isn't worth crap. I feel this is, indeed, a Bad Business Decision for the league. Even if radio isn't a lucrative property around the league, why devalue it further?

 

Oddly enough, the Blackhawks were at a low point similar to the one the Hurricanes are in now when they abandoned their simulcast, getting rid of Pat Foley on both TV and radio. Foley would come back to do TV when the old man died and it's probably for the best, because John Wiedeman is one of the best play-by-play men in the league, both on radio and overall and Foley has lost a little off his fastball to where he can't really do the auctioneering of hockey radio pbp.

 

EDIT:

11 minutes ago, Cosmic said:

This is probably an unpopular opinion (and maybe colored by the fact that I'm in one of the simulcast markets), but I don't see why you need a separate radio PBP. I'm actually shocked that 28 out of 31 teams still have a separate radio broadcast in 2018.

Radio is a play-by-play man's medium, television is an analyst's medium. A lot of radio play-by-play is superfluous when you can see the game for yourself, and a lot of television analysis relies on replays and telestration (this is certainly the case in Chicago with the verbose Wiedeman and the OKNOWSTAHPITRIGHHERE Eddie Olczyk.) Again, special dispensation for Jeanneret, who I think kinda splits the difference between radio and TV pbp and is such a singular voice that I totally understand why Sabres fans would only want one call at one time -- why dilute that product?

 

I've noticed that the Canadian teams' radio crews more than American teams seem to use their second seat in the booth as more of a supplemental play-by-play than typical ex-jock analysis.

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Listening to a TV broadcast could definitely be awkward ("Watch this!"), but I think you can make a product that's suitable for both. It's not as if the TV guys won't also know that they're on the radio now. Rick Jeanneret holds a special place in my heart; I've said multiple times that he IS what hockey sounds like to me, but I just don't feel like he's one-of-a-kind in his ability to walk the line between TV and radio. But again, Rick Jeanneret is my measuring stick.

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Saw someone on Facebook compare Dundon's short run with the Hurricanes thus far to Loria and the Expos; which, for starters: 
 

On 5/9/2018 at 4:39 PM, Sodboy13 said:

The theory rumbling in my brain is that Dundon, a vulture capitalist by trade whose big windfall came from predatory auto loans, is going to run the franchise all cheap and bare-bones until he can flip it to Quebecor, who will pay an NHL-mandated premium price for it.

 

Rod Brin-da-who? Chuck Kai-who? :censored: him. He's just an employee. I got mine, bye.


But also, the difference being that once upon a time people actually cared about the Montreal Expos.

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7 hours ago, the admiral said:

Oddly enough, the Blackhawks were at a low point similar to the one the Hurricanes are in now when they abandoned their simulcast, getting rid of Pat Foley on both TV and radio.

 

Also worth noting that, at this time, the Blackhawks were buying airtime to get their games on the radio, and were being labeled the worst-run franchise in North American pro sports. So, uh, congratulations, Carolina!

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11 hours ago, goalieboy82 said:

how much longer until the Hurricanes uniform is this:

Image result for quebec nordiques

5 to 7 years and if they do move it won't be to Quebec. 

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10 hours ago, Wings said:

5 to 7 years and if they do move it won't be to Quebec. 

Oklahoma City or Albuquerque 

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20 hours ago, Sodboy13 said:

 

Also worth noting that, at this time, the Blackhawks were buying airtime to get their games on the radio, and were being labeled the worst-run franchise in North American pro sports. So, uh, congratulations, Carolina!

 

Definitely some striking similarities between the darkest-before-the-dawn Blackhawks and the current Hurricanes, but the biggest difference is that the Hurricanes don't have and can never have a John McDonough type who can go through a rolodex the size of Infinite Jest to tell everyone how great the team is and how they should always be talking about them. It's become very fashionable in the smart circles to rag on McDonough (doing what the dumb circles have been doing from day one), and I kinda get it, but I still remember the smothering hype that surrounded the Hawks when he came on board, and it was important to have that hype just in case the Blackhawks didn't rattle off three Stanley Cup wins. Maybe such a winning team didn't need all that ballyhoo, but we've seen a major-market quasi-dynasty with a decided lack of ballyhoo, and it's the 1993-2003 New Jersey Devils.

 

Anyway, it'd be a neat project to go around the league and take inventory of whose radio has a rights fee and whose is brokered. I believe the Blackhawks have been on a profit-sharing deal since they moved to WGN (and have had an oddly hostile relationship with the Score ever since), and I'm guessing the TSN teams like the Jets and Senators have their radio as throw-ins on their admittedly overvalued TV deals. 

 

EDIT: another difference is that when the Hurricanes got rid of a cheap, duplicitous, union-busting scumbag, they somehow came out behind

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The other difference is that the Hurricanes don't have a large, dormant fanbase waiting for signs that the franchise is finally willing to pull itself out of the depths. Outside of maybe a season and a half's worth of bump around the Cup win 12 years ago, this is what they've got.

 

I also remember reading around the time of the sale that, unlike pretty much every other Southern expansion team, Peter Karmanos never put any effort into "grow the game" efforts like building youth leagues and rinks. So there's no forthcoming generation in the Triangle with increased interest in hockey, unless the Hurricanes magically become consistently top-tier.

 

Long story short :censored: Pete Karmanos sideways with a rake.

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Disappointing but unsurprising, considering I'm pretty sure Karmanos mostly ran the team from the home office in Michigan and only in the last couple years showed any interest in actually being in Raleigh. It's fun to tease the Sharks for the World's Greatest Rec League or whatever but they're doing exactly the kind of stewardship teams are supposed to be doing.

 

Incidentally, I wonder how much of the much-heralded increase in American draftees is simply that playing hockey has gotten prohibitively expensive for too many kids. I mean, where would escalating costs hit first: small towns of Quebec and the Maritimes, or the suburbs of Boston and Detroit? Is this really anything to be proud of? 

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SURPRISE!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Forbes report states grim financial numbers for the Arizona Coyotes last season

https://www.bardown.com/forbes-report-states-grim-financial-numbers-for-the-arizona-coyotes-last-season-1.1158096

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1 hour ago, tigerslionspistonshabs said:

SURPRISE!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Forbes report states grim financial numbers for the Arizona Coyotes last season

https://www.bardown.com/forbes-report-states-grim-financial-numbers-for-the-arizona-coyotes-last-season-1.1158096

 

Got to laugh at the last sentence in that artice: ,so there's still hope. 

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