As you no doubt have heard, Susannah Collins was let go by Comcast SportsNet Chicago late Thursday night. As I reported immediately, it wasn’t CSN that terminated her employment, it was the Chicago Blackhawks. The order came from up on high within the Blackhawks organization.
I knew this because I’ve covered the team for years and I know how the propaganda machine works at 1901 W. Madison. I know how hands-on, petty and paranoid the front office and Media Relations are. They’re Draconian about message control and hypocritical about sexual imagery. They’re especially hypocritical in their selling of that sexual imagery.
They’ve crushed reporters in the past for no good reason other than they knew that they could. And I knew they did it again with Collins.
I was the first one to report that it was the Blackhawks, and not CSN, behind this. A few on-air personalities from 670 The Score had my back instantly as Laurence Holmes, Joe Ostrowski and Herb Lawrence re-tweeted my story, and endorsed what I had to say.
The next day, talk of Susannah Collins dominated The Score airwaves, and Score afternoon host Dan Bernstein, who has probably influenced me as much as any media member in this market, started saying the same thing I had said: this was the Blackhawks call.
Since it came at drive time, the prime time when radio audiences are largest, I naturally thought of Notorious B.I.G.’s “Juicy” “blowing up like you thought I would.”
However, 670 The Score was just one tree in my publicity forest yesterday. I gained 100 Twitter followers and doubled my subscribers in just one day. That happens to me, uhm, never!
Remember, you can subscribe right here at the top of the homepage or at the bottom of this post. And you can follow me on Twitter here.
Anyways, we’ll begin with WSCR The Score, a CBS Radio station. This morning, they published what they found in a Chicago Tribune story that also came out this morning.
According to a report in the Chicago Tribune, Blackhawks Chairman Rocky Wirtz sent a letter Wednesday expressing concern over the appearance of Comcast Sports Net reporter Susannah Collins in a series of Sports Nutz videos.
The videos remain on YouTube. However, the existence of those clips is hardly a secret. She acknowledged the videos in this interview with Paul Banks of the Chicago Sports Media Watch blog.
And here’s the CBS/670 The Score story from yesterday. My plug is listed right above a tweet from Dan Bernstein corroborating my story. Obviously, it’s a thrill for me to be listed right next to someone who's work I enjoy so much.
As co-host of Sports Nutz, Collins filed sexually charged reports that included lowbrow humor. The videos remain on YouTube. However, the existence of those clips is hardly a secret. She acknowledged the videos in this interview with Paul Banks of the Chicago Sports Media Watch blog.
And here are those tweets from Score on-air personalities I was telling you about:
— Joe Ostrowski (@JoeO670) May 3, 2013
— Laurence Holmes (@LaurenceWHolmes) May 3, 2013
Next we move on to the Midwest “paper of record.”
In my opinion, the hierarchy of all American newspapers goes like this: 1.) New York Times 2.) Wall Street Journal 3.) Chicago Tribune
From today’s front page story on Susannah Collins:
The YouTube videos gained traction last month after Collins was interviewed on ChicagoNow.com, owned by Chicago Tribune Media Group. In the interview, she credited the videos with helping her land her first television gig with Showtime Sports. Some local interest began to percolate, and soon the videos came to the attention of CSN executives and Wirtz.
None were pleased with what they saw, according to sources.
Here’s another Tribune story from the Business Section, which mentions my name.
But these next two websites are probably the crown jewels of my 5-3-13 publicity collection:
It brings us to conclude one of two things: either CSN doesn’t adequately investigate its job applicants (stupid), or its executives fire employees for an innocent misstatement (tremendously stupid). Collins was open about her “Sports Nutz” involvement and how they boosted her career;
And national Fox Sports columnist Sam Gardner:
Others have suggested that the directive to fire Collins could have come down from someone in CSN Chicago’s ownership group, which, in addition to NBC Universal, includes Cubs owner Tom Ricketts, Jerry Reinsdorf, the owner of both the Bulls and White Sox, and Rocky Wirtz, the Blackhawks’ owner and chairman.
In an interview last month with Tribune Media Group blog ChicagoNow, Ms. Collins briefly discussed the video series, titled “Sports Nutz,” and cited the popularity of one particular episode as a catalyst for her landing a job with Showtime Sports/CBS Sports covering mixed martial arts, boxing and other topics.
Collins, in fact, has talked about her time on that production since being hired by Comcast. In this interview with blogger Paul M. Banks in April, she talks about her move to New York City and the unusual path she took to get to sports broadcasting.
In fact, she points to Sports Nutz specifically as the thing that got her noticed after Deadspin helped their “Doucebag Nation” report go viral:
the reporter was open about the gig. She previously discussed the show with the Chicago Sports Media Watch blog.
The “circumstances unrelated to her on-air remarks” were allegedly a series of videos Collins made called “Sports Nutz”, which you know were extreme because the name ended with a ‘Z’.
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