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Old 09-30-2002, 04:45 PM   #1
Bran
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Unhappy MacLean leaves Hockey Night in Canada

This is a very sad day for Canadian Hockey fans, It really is.

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9/30/2002

TORONTO (CP) - Hockey Night In Canada will look vastly different to Canadian hockey fans this season after the CBC announced Monday that host Ron MacLean would not be back after 17 years with the network.

The CBC released a statement Monday afternoon saying negotiations with MacLean had ended at an impasse.

``CBC Television is disappointed that we have not been able to reach a successful contract agreement with Ron MacLean,'' the release said. ``CBC Television recognizes the significant contribution Ron has made to the success of CBC Television's Hockey Night in Canada and countless other sporting events.

``We felt that our offer was fair and respectful. Our offer recognized and rewarded Ron's contribution to CBC Sports.''

MacLean reportedly was looking for $600,000 a year in his new deal after earning $400,000 a year in his old contract.

Don Cherry, MacLean's long-time partner on Coach's Corner, signed a new deal last week reportedly worth $700,000 a year.

Aside from Hockey Night In Canada, MacLean was also a fixture on the CBC's Olympic coverage, hosting in Salt Lake City last February, as well as at the Sydney Summer Games in 2000, Atlanta Summer Games in 1996, the Winter Games in Albertville in 1992 and the Seoul Olympics in 1988.

MacLean's work has earned him four Gemini Awards as best sports broadcaster in Canada.

He began his career in his native Red Deer, Alta., before joining the CBC in in 1986. He became national host of Hockey Night In Canada in 1987, replacing Dave Hodge
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Old 09-30-2002, 06:37 PM   #2
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So... who's gonna fill is spot.

Or more to the point.... who wants to work with Cherry?
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Old 09-30-2002, 09:35 PM   #3
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I love Don Cherry, but no way he is worth $700,000 and MacLean less than that. He works every weekend, Boxing Day, Olympic daytimes, PanAm games daytimes, other sporting events.... EVERY DAY from mid-April to mid-May.... And whoever his replacement on Coach's Corner is.... will be TERRIBLE compared to MacLean... no way anyone else can come up with those puns on the fly... what? -- SCOTT RUSSELL!???? -- whenever he fills in and does the Cherry show the odd time for MacLean whenever he doesn't do it, Russell BLOWS. IT'S THAT SIMPLE.

Bad PR move for the CBC, but what else is new?
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Old 09-30-2002, 09:49 PM   #4
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Another thing... I don't want to see MacLean on TSN or SportsNet like other guys.... it just doesn't fit.... MacLean and HNIC belong together.

Oh ya, and HNIC is one of the few profitable shows on the CBC.... next thing you know, they're cutting down their playoff schedule this upcoming spring and they get rid of undoubtedly the best hockey media guy in the game (though Bob Cole and Harry Neale could be considered tied with MacLean).

Idiots.

I can't get over it.
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Old 09-30-2002, 09:52 PM   #5
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Sorry -- more things keep comming to mind. A CBC.ca viewer wrote this:

"It's bad enough you cram the LEAFS down our throat every weekend and now you've taken away the ONLY enjoyable part of having to watch the first three hours of HNIC!"

NO KIDDING!!! YEESH.

..."I was listening to the tail end of a CBC interview with Mr. MacLean as my 12-year-old son came in off the bus from school. He is a die-hard hockey fan and summed it up perfectly; "Oh no, Hockey Night in Canada is going to suck now." "


The only reason I can see for Ron's leaving is that he predicted Dallas to win the Stanley Cup last October. Other than that, I really don't get it. :redhot:
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Old 09-30-2002, 11:17 PM   #6
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Your right on every count, Lee.

This is just really sad, MacLean deserves more money then what Cherry is getting, He is more on the show, Is that stats guy, Does mostly all CBC Sports games, Olympics. Its just sad they let him go, Coach's Corner won't be the same!!

Maybe they'll realize how much of a loss he is and give him his contract anyways, I hope so.
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Old 10-01-2002, 01:57 AM   #7
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MacLean wants 600,000; CBC doesnt want to pay more than 400,000

Net result ... fans get screwed.


Anything sounding familiar?
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Old 10-01-2002, 03:49 AM   #8
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The feedback the CBC has been getting is bad, Fans are letting them know what a mistake this is, And im glad! Seriously, HNIC won't be the same. I enjoyed MacLean's work, He deserves more then what Cherry is getting. Not to mention, HNIC is CBC's best show, No one ever watches CBC for anything else.
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Old 10-01-2002, 04:02 AM   #9
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Just found this petition to the CBC from a viewer on the tsn.ca website

http://www.petitiononline.com/rmaclean/petition.html
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Old 10-01-2002, 09:03 AM   #10
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Hey guys, MacLean also won 4 Gemini's for being the top sportscaster.

This is insane... how can they pay Cherry $700,000 and refuse $600,000 to MacLean? He puts in 10 times more hours than Cherry over the course of 10 days more per WEEK.

I'm reading the viewers response on TSN.ca and CBC.ca and maybe 1 out of 15 letters is pro-CBC
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Old 10-01-2002, 10:02 PM   #11
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I just hope this comes back to shoot CBC right back in the foot, The was the dumbest move they could EVER make! Does ANYBODY watch CBC besides on Saturday Night? What other quality show do they have to produce for, NOTHING. This has upset Id say around 90% of the HNIC viewers, Which is a high number. If anybody is gonna get the money it should be MacLean and not Cherry. Ron works 52 weeks a year with the CBC, While Cherry comes in Saturday night for a five minute segment. Labbatts who sponsers HNIC just might jump in and force the CBC to re-hire him which I hope they do. Just for God Sakes DON'T replace him with Brian Williams. Cherry would own his ass. There are talks of bringing in Jim Van Horne also, Who IMO would be the best possible replacement.

If they do find a replacement and MacLean is out of work, He'll go down to the states and most likely ESPN will pick him up. He has one hell of a resume with him, I hope this comes to haunt CBC.

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Old 10-01-2002, 11:38 PM   #12
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Haha -- Cherry DOES own Williams on the daily "Grape Vine" radio segments.

Williams won't do hockey. They'll probably replace him with Scott Rusell who has always been dumped to the late West Coast games on Saturday night ... my theory is that he's always there 'cuz he has a high, squeaky, and annoying voice, so they put him on when less people watch

Cherry would own Russell's ass too -- he does every time he filled in for Ron.

A great article in the Globe & Mail writted by the Calgary correspondent on HNCI during the Satellite Hotstoves, Eric Duhatschek (actually a funny story about Mr. Duhatschek -- I flew from Winnipeg to Toronto late last June and as I was walking off of the plane into Toronto's Pearson Airport, I saw Mr. Duhatschek sitting on a chair typing on his laptop, waiting for his flight in the boarding/unboarding area of the airport... cool, huh!? )... he starts by quoting Harry Neale and then goes off and talks about the difficulties of MacLean's job:

Quote:
From TheGlobeAndMail.com

MacLean was 'best player,' Neale says

Harry Neale heard the news from Joel Darling, the executive producer of Hockey Night in Canada, and like so many others yesterday, couldn't believe it had come to this. The news that Ron MacLean, the long-time host of Hockey Night,was leaving after 17 years following the breakdown of contract talks with the CBC, seemed unlikely, improbable, impossible.

"I thought: 'They'll both give a little, like in every negotiation I've ever been in,' and then you get it done," confided Neale, Hockey Night in Canada'sNo. 1 colour commentator. "I guess that didn't happen."

No, it didn't. Officially, MacLean's departure leaves Hockey Night looking for a new host 12 days before the first telecast on Oct. 12.

"We're like any team," Neale said. "In my opinion, we just lost our best player. I mean, they're not going to cancel Hockey Night in Canada and people will still watch, but now Joel and Nancy Lee [head of CBC Sports] will have to find somebody else to host. Scott Russell and Scott Oake, they've done plenty of that. The big thing is, who's going to do Coach's Corner ?"

A good question.

In his 17 years with the CBC, MacLean became primarily known for his association with Don Cherry on Coach's Corner,the first-intermission staple that drew huge audiences for the network. In the end, the Ron and Don show transcended the Hockey Night broadcast -- they made public appearances together, did TV commercials, shared meals.

Cherry tends to be a prickly, intimidating sort, employing a shtick that has turned him into one of Canada's most enduring personalities for the better part of two decades.

"MacLean and Cherry had a heck of an act going," Neale said. "People liked them and watched them, even though they didn't agree with a single thing they said. But people watched them anyway, because they wanted to be sure of their own opinion. Howard Cosell had the same thing going for him.

"MacLean and Cherry were brilliant at their act, which is what it is -- an act. On the air, it looks as if there was animosity there, but the fact is, they were inseparable on the road. They're buddies. Whether you think so or not from watching the show, I can tell you they are."

MacLean started his hockey broadcasting career in 1984 in Calgary, replacing Jim Van Horne as the host of CFAC TV's Flames' broadcast package, which is when we first became acquainted. It took MacLean only two years to work himself up to the big show -- Hockey Night in Canada -- and a year after arriving, he replaced Dave Hodge as the show's primary host.

More recently, I occasionally worked with MacLean on the second-period intermission feature, the Satellite Hot Stove. It required MacLean to be host of a panel discussion with three guests, usually in three different cities, usually live. The logistics of the enterprise could be complicated -- satellite feeds were lost, sometimes the voice of a panelist could be delayed or muffled or muddled.

A producer would whisper time counts in one ear, while at the same time, MacLean would be following discussions with the other, digesting the information and making the smoothest possible transition to the next topic. And, of course, he'd always finish up with a pun, on the last item we had discussed. How he managed that, with no advance warning of what might come out of a person's mouth, remains a mystery.

It often seemed like eight minutes of chaos when you were on the air. But then you'd get home and watch a tape of the segment and it seemed fluid and planned and well rehearsed, as if you had 15 cracks at getting it right, instead of what it actually was, journalism on the fly, eight minutes of frantic live television, directed by a real pro.

More than anything, the demands of live television require that a host think on his feet, something that is easier said than done. MacLean had that rare gift, the ability to make it look easy. People in the industry will tell you, they've rarely seen anyone better at staying calm in the eye of the storm.

Ever since Hockey Night expanded its programming schedule to include 6½ hours of live television every Saturday, the job became increasingly more demanding and complex. MacLean didn't just turn up on the set at 6:30 p.m. ET. Preparations began much earlier in the day, and the stamina and concentration levels required to stay sharp for the entire evening were high.

MacLean also tended to be extremely prepared. If you had a point to make, or an idea to discuss, chances are he knew the ins and outs of the issue and would ask a probing question. He also did a nice job of playing host to Olympics and major sports events.

How much money is too much? The handful of people who do what MacLean does in the United States -- the Jim Nantzes and Chris Bermans -- earn millions. It's like trying to argue that $5-million (U.S.) a season is too much for the Montreal Canadiens' José Théodore, or $6.5-million (U.S.) is too much for Jarome Iginla. Performers at the top of their professions tend to earn more than the rest of us.

There's one thing I can say for sure. People who have suggested to me over the years that what MacLean did looked easy, think again. He made it look easy.

There's a difference.
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Old 10-02-2002, 03:13 AM   #13
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Good article,

CBC let it be known you screwed up big time.
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Old 10-02-2002, 07:13 PM   #14
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Right on!! CBC contacted MacLean & Meehan yesterday and they are going to resume talks tomorrow in Toronto.
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Old 10-02-2002, 11:36 PM   #15
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Thanks to Labbatt MacLean is back.

They told the CBC to sign him or else.... so they did

Ahh.... capitalism at work

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