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.