At Last Saskatchewan Sports Talk Show Fans, Your Long Nightmare (Might Be) Over

It appears as though Drew Remenda is no longer with Rawlco Radio (Your Official Home of Crotchety, Old, White and Rich Guys Who Bitch About Life), effective last week. He hasn’t been on the air recently and the latest podcasts are being done by Jamie Nye.

Hiring Remenda in 2005 was a decidedly strange choice by Rawlco: a sometimes Hockey Night In Canada talking head who also worked for the San Jose Sharks, Remenda wanted to talk hockey – and only hockey – on a radio station network in a province whose listeners are crazy about other sports. Any sports talk show host who complains about having to cover the Grey Cup when the Saskatchewan Roughriders are in the show – as Remenda did in 2007 – is someone who should be searching for another line of work, and it goes to illustrate that Rawlco either didn’t care or didn’t know about their market. Which explains a lot. There’s a great rivalry between Rawlco (CJME/Jack/Z99) and Harvard (620CKRM/The Wolf/My92.1) and Rawlco, by not having the radio rights for arguably the most lucrative non-hockey radio sports property in Canada, struggles at being second best the way I did when the girl next door ignored me when I was in Grade Five — I thought that by acting like a jerk, I’d get her attention. Didn’t work for me: it didn’t work for Remenda.

The final straw came last month, when Remenda broadcast an interview with an elderly Saskatoon martial arts instructor with a strange story about getting involved in a fight with Ron Lancaster sometime in the late 1960s or early 1970s. The story didn’t seem to make much sense because (a) Ron Lancaster was about 5’6” and probably not going to get into a scrap with people bigger than him, especially if he was out won a night with the boys on the Rider team who would have collectively asswhupped any drunk idiot looking to fight a Roughrider; (b) the story sounded so much unlike the stories about Lancaster that people have heard about – in public and private – that nobody ‘s going to believe a word of it without evidence; and (c) while you can always libel the dead, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the mud you throw at Lancaster’s grave, in this instance, won’t rebound and land on you.

Rawlco is apparently replacing his show with sports director Jamie Nye and an expanded “Green Zone Football” which makes me think one of two scenarios played out between Rawlco and the Roughriders — Remenda and his producer knew that he was going to get shitcanned and wanted to sign off with a giant ‘eff-you’ to his audience, or that Rawlco wanted to create a program to suck up to a Roughrider organization obviously and understandably pissed that one of their greats has been dragged through the mud attract eardrums that they had lost in droves over the years to Harvard and 620CKRM, which already owns the radio rights for the Roughriders and the Regina Pats, which doesn’t give Rawlco a lot of sports to talk about, the Lingerie Football League notwithstanding.

It’s not like Remenda will never get work again – in sports radio, it’s surprising how many failures keep coming back to the mike, long after it’s clear that their 15 minutes is up – Jim Rome, Stephen A. Smith, Colin Cowherd, the list goes on. But while the good guys didn’t win, at least the bad guys lost. This time.

Author: Stephen LaRose

2006 winner of the Canadian Association of University Teachers's Award of Excellence in Journalism for a bunch of prairie dog stuff. Invited into the best homes in Regina. Once.

4 thoughts on “At Last Saskatchewan Sports Talk Show Fans, Your Long Nightmare (Might Be) Over”

  1. Remenda was refreshingly frank about Rider hype, things like Rider Pride windshield washer fluid and baby wipes. As for running afoul of Rawlco brass, I have no idea, but I did hear him go on a 5-minute rant about Bush getting involved in the baseball steroid scandal that was interesting, to say the least. I remember statements such as, “What are you doing meddling in major league baseball, Mr. President? Why weren’t you doing your job, pulling your boys out of the Iraq lie instead of screwing up the entire planet..?” something to the effect of that. Say what you will, it was the most truth I’d heard in ANY mainstream media since Bush stole the presidency.

    I also think, that for an obvious sort of classic jock, Remenda strove to be fair-minded, balanced, strove to see most sides of the issue and usually withheld his judgement toward people who didn’t totally relate to. I liked that about him: definitely though, as of late, from what I heard, he sounded increasingly troubled, or tired, of his role, the boundaries, the routine, I don’t know. You could hear that Remenda strove to be a gentleman, in a racket normally filled with one-line yucksters and loudmouths. I didn’t hear the show that often, but I for one will miss him!

  2. Ha! Good analogy about being in grade 5 and being a jerk when you didn’t get the girl.

  3. #1 i agree. Drew did have an open perspective. CFL talk was quite good. But too much hockey,0 soccer,0 cycling,0 Roller Derby news, the show gets boring real quick.

  4. Do I sense a small feud going on between Prairie Dog/Planet S and Rawlco Radio?
    Only they see this as news worthy?

    Referring to Drew Remenda as a “Long Nightmare”? Me thinks that’s going a tad overboard.

    I’m not a big sports guy, but occasionally listened to his show. I didn’t mind him.

    No one should be shocked if a Radio Broadcast show gets changed to something else. Radio business is much like a TV show business. Low ratings = getting cancelled.

    CBC TV/Radio shows also come/go….not always related to Budget cuts.

    Good luck Drew Remenda.

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