Breaking the Silence


This is a little different than the main theme of this blog, but again is part of something larger I’m working on, and it includes a little bit more background on the specifics of how and why I ended up outside sports journalism and in education leadership (That’s a good thing).

But I think it’s the right time to share some of this.  Let me know if you want to hear more.

The afternoon of July 13, 2009, should have been a quiet one, especially for sports fans in Chicago.  It was a Monday, and the first day of baseball’s annual All-Star break, one of the very few days of the year in which there are no major professional sports games scheduled.  For me, it was the first day of a 4-day mini-vacation, one which I felt I’d earned after working more or less for three months straight for Comcast Sportsnet, a regional sports television network based in Chicago, primarily as the beat reporter and studio host assigned to follow the Chicago Blackhawks hockey team.  But the day turned out to be anything but quiet.

I was having an alfresco lunch with a friend at an outdoor neighborhood café not far from Wrigley Field, when my Blackberry buzzed.  One of the producers from our network said he had just read an Internet report saying that the Blackhawks – the NHL hockey team I covered – was about to fire their General Manager.  Did I know anything about it?

By way of brief background, the Blackhawks had just completed a wonderful rebirth, having reached hockey’s semifinals in late May, after being one of the worst teams and most dysfunctional organizations in sports for the previous decade.  The General Manager, Dale Tallon, was an astute judge of talent and a popular, engaging personality.  He had engineered much of that turnaround when he took over as the General Manager in 2005, after previously spending a long time in the organization in lesser or different roles.  But there had been rumblings that he and other members of the team’s front office were having trouble getting along.  And a week prior someone in the front office had made a clerical error in re-signing some of the team’s players, which the team claimed cost them several million dollars. Tallon acknowledged the mistake publicly and took responsibility, but in reporting on the subject I discovered that the error was not his, but that he took the fall to protect an underling.  Through the implications of several industry contacts, I was also able to speculate (essentially, to report without attribution) that the error was not nearly as financially costly as the team was attempting to portray.  Because of all of that, there had been inside gossip that the Blackhawks might fire Tallon, and so yes, I told my producer, I did know quite a bit about it.

Also by way of background, responding to my producer’s text, even while I was on vacation after a long, consecutive stretch of work is typical in my business and what a good reporter has to do.  I knew this subject better than anyone else at my network.  I had connections and sources that would eventually be able to get me some answers, or some context, or would say something in a way that I would recognize as out-of-character and that would cause my ears to perk up, leaving me to chase after the threads of a story.  So though I had been looking forward to this day off for a long time, and though I was a little skeptical of the internet rumor because the story had been floating about for some time, I returned the call, told my producers I would put feelers out, and then excused myself from lunch to plug into my network of contacts.  I plugged in, reached out, and then went on with the rest of my vacation while I waited for the responses to come back in.

Several hours later, after the wheel of evening news had spun into the nighttime hours, I was picnicking on the lawn at a crowded concert at the Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago’s beautiful Millennium Park, when I touched base with my producer to tell him that I hadn’t heard anything from my sources either way.  He said that the story had not advanced from the rumor page and that he was getting ready to produce our 10 o’clock shows, but he asked if I would check with my sources again to see if there was any update to the story.

I left the concert and as I was walking out of the pavilion, I went back to my contact list for another try, this time expanding my outreach to contacts slightly wider than my circle of closest confidants and inside sources.  That decision allowed me to make an additional seven or eight phone calls to people with outside connections, instead of the three or four on the inside who might have reason to stay quiet because they were keeping a story secret.  Two of the seven or eight people in this secondary circle of contacts actually picked up the phone.  The first said that he thought this was just the old rumors gaining steam again on a quiet sports day, which was the main track playing in my head when I started through my contact list hours earlier.  But the second person said that while he didn’t have any hard evidence, discussions within the team, as he knew it, had moved again in the direction of firing Tallon as the Blackhawks’ general manager.

With that quasi-story, I felt like I could go back to my top inside contacts for reaction.  Often, in these situations, the people closest to the story are the people a reporter wants to contact least and last.  They are the ones who have a plan for how to release that information, and they have a vested interest in the execution of that plan.  Usually, they will stonewall or ignore a reporter, or often lie outright, which is frustrating to a reporter, but at the same time it is understandable because those people have a lot to lose if they are found out to be the source of a leak.  But one task a reporter has in his job is to build up relationships of trust over time, which he does by handling stories fairly, being ethical in his approach and in the execution of his work, and by earning the respect of the people on whom he reports.  Fortunately, I had a few people with whom I felt I had that kind of relationship, and after several attempts to reach all of them, one finally responded by text, saying, “If that’s all you have, I can’t confirm it.”

Now, that probably sounds like a denial, or maybe it doesn’t read like there’s a story there, but I knew this person well enough to read between the lines of what he was saying.  Let’s try it again:

“If that’s all you have, I can’t confirm it.”

That person wasn’t telling me that my supposition was incorrect.  He was telling me that I needed to do more digging, and that as long as I could report the story from another source, preferably a source who had been a part of the meetings, and who had more solid information than someone outside the proceedings telling me what he’d heard about the tone of preliminary discussions, my inside contact would be willing to confirm it for me.  In other words, my contact was pre-confirming it, letting me know without saying so that the story was true, but until I found out more I couldn’t use him as a source.  What that did, however, was to give me confidence to ask questions of my other contacts differently, or more aggressively, to elicit a response that would give me the information I needed to go back to my inside source to get the confirmation.

So now I’m pacing in my living room with the phone at my ear, my wife is calling me from upstairs to come kiss the kids goodnight before bed, and my producer is buzzing in trying to get the very latest because his live show is about to start, and we’re all trying to keep track of our competition in the business, because we have to assume we aren’t the only ones working this story.  We desperately want to win this story.  But we can’t run with it yet ourselves, because even though I believe the story is true, I don’t quite have it. Yet.

By this time it’s well after the workday has ended, ten-fifteen or so, which means I’m attempting to reach people who are friendly professional contacts, but probably not actual friends, at home or on their cell phones or by text.   That’s always a little bit of a dicey proposition.  Most of these people are not responding.  I try different approaches as I leave messages – with some I’m polite and straightforward, with others more aggressive – while still not revealing what story I’m working on.  Finally, I try a playful tack with a person who might not be on the inside of this decision, but would be close enough to know it happened. “So what are you guys going to do with the new office space?” I text.  The response I get is rapid and terse, “Call me” is all it says.

I think that’s all I should share for now, but if you’re intrigued, please give a response on this site letting me know that you want to hear more.

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About 40yearoldnothing

I was an award-winning sportscaster in a major market who suddenly found himself downsized out of a dream job. With a recession raging, and my family depending on me, I had to find a new job and a new career very quickly. This blog is about how the MTV generation approaches mid-life, and the decisions which are sometimes thrust upon us whether we are ready for them or not.
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119 Responses to Breaking the Silence

  1. Clay Tsuhako says:

    Please continue. There are a lot of unaswered questions about this travesty. Both you and Dale got screwed.

    • Stan Katz says:

      I, of course, think you should continue. Just to bring it to “light”. Variations on the same theme go on in Government (and business) all the time – unfortunately.

    • matt says:

      you ought to continue it could explain a lot and would feel good to get out into the open for you and the real hockey fans.

  2. matt g says:

    Well written tease.

    Now…OUT with it, Mora!

    As a Producer, I was never comfortable with chasing leads like this, largely due to my LACK of relationship with people on the other end of the phone. See: stuck in an office/studio all day. So, I was more than happy to assign the task to those “in the know” and then badger them (you) all day for “the latest”.

    I’ll help you tell the story….you go out there and get it!

    It’s a silly business…and often a thankless one. It’s really a nasty chain of annoying phone calls. Producer to reporter…reporter to sources…with very little to show for it on most days.

    However, it’s days like this that you pace the living room at home and thoroughly irritate not only your sources, but your family. And yes, it is BOUND to happen on your off day. ;)

    Looking forward to Chapter Two.

  3. Larz says:

    AAAAAHHHH!!! I hate cliff hangers! I need Chapter 2… QUICK!

  4. Deanne says:

    More please….edge of my seat!!! (:

  5. fanof19 says:

    I would very much like to hear the rest of your story. Tallon is a good man, and certainly did not deserve what he had to endure from the backstabbing B’s and the front office politics. Reporters win prizes for uncovering stories, not get fired. You never should have lost your job because you told the truth about what went on. What I do wonder, is if you still have the comment (from an apparent insider) that was written after your blog on the subject. THAT was most telling.

    • Hey fan of 19 (and is the 19 for Jonathan or for Dale? Or for Troy Murray? Or for Ron Sedlbauer?) The mind reels.
      I’m not sure I remember the comment you are referring to.
      Give me the gist, please. And where did it appear?

  6. late breaking says:

    spit it out punk

  7. Ken Polk says:

    Are you kidding me JM? Does anyone NOT want part two? Cant’ wait to read it and find out “the rest of the story.”

  8. Buffalo Matt says:

    Edge of my seat JM…please post part two ASAP!

  9. Its about F’N time you said something. You know how long Ive been waiting I knew a tiny bit but now have to wait for more? Hope your well kid

  10. Joel says:

    A great story, Josh. Having been through something similar, I can definitely empathize. And your writing is excellent — you must have perfected your craft writing for WeSeed!

  11. hawkfan10 says:

    Please write more. This inside account of the Tallon story needs to be heard by Blackhawk fans.

  12. jar3dp says:

    Chapter two please…

  13. Dan Rosenberg says:

    Good post so far, Josh. I look forward to the rest. As a former reporter, I’m totally with you on this one. I felt like it could have been me in your shoes. I know all about how it feels when that Blackberry buzzes on a day off (and trying to do work at 10 at night when the kids need me).

  14. bhawks39 says:

    Josh, we need to know. I’m glad you’re finally feeling comfortable enough to finally tell your side of this story. Fans who have followed the Hawks through the (mostly) bad times know when they have something good. You were the only reporter in that town able to speak intelligently about the team, and the game, and true fans knew that and admired it, and miss it immensely. I’m sure you have some former colleagues up there who you respect, but there is nothing out there now, on any network, that matches what you brought to the city and its hockey fans. Please, we need to know how you were wronged. Thanks.

  15. E Runs says:

    Josh,

    Please continue this story! Most Hawk fans with any semblance of grey matter knows the handling of Tallon, and your subsequent “non-renewal”, were hack jobs plain and simple. But unfortunately many do not and continue to accept the information spoon fed to them from the organ-I-zation, including (wort of all) the remaining media.

  16. Kevin says:

    keep goin man, i know dale took the fall for bowman

    youre a good story teller too btw

  17. Sathington Willoby says:

    I would love to hear the rest of the story. We lost two great hockey minds in you and Dale as a result of this debacle.

  18. C-Mc says:

    WE NEED MORE

  19. illini21 says:

    i really want to hear the rest. i’ve got a friend who had inside info and i want to hear if what you got matches up with his.

  20. xyha4 says:

    Can’t wait to hear the rest. Thank you for posting this.

  21. Shooter says:

    We want answers, please keep going.

  22. Hauthisis says:

    Definitely continue. We would appreciate your side of the story.

  23. burpchelischilli says:

    I would like to read the rest of your story.
    In case you haven’t heard it enough by now, Thank you for all your hard work in the past, and good luck on your new career

  24. Amanda says:

    Don’t leave us hanging Josh! Please continue. You were the only reporter on CSN that I ever felt was worth watching for hockey related information. It’s been painful without you! I wish you nothing but the best with wherever the future takes you.

  25. Steve Kohl says:

    By all means continue this story. There are a lot of us out here who want to hear the facts. It’s becoming increasingly clear that Tallon got screwed-I’d just like to get all of the facts.

  26. Pat says:

    Let’s hear the end of it, Mora.

  27. mark says:

    I would love to hear more. Very interesting read, drew me right in.

  28. Tony D says:

    Would like to read the rest. This is a good, clear story that deserves an honest logical explanation and it is being told in an honest compelling method.

  29. Dan B. says:

    JM – publish! We all need to know.

  30. Evan says:

    Was a fan of your work, would love to hear more.

  31. hoist da cup says:

    More please Josh. As much as I like what they’ve done with the team, they’ve had to lift the carpet and sweep a few turds underneath more than most of us know. This is one. You can tell it. The media is so complicit, it won’t likely get out any other way.

  32. dean says:

    More please.

  33. MSW1994 says:

    Time to start the 2nd period Mora…

  34. Sheldon Gottlieb says:

    Great read thus far Josh…I have all the rrspect in the world for you and wish you luck in your new career. I would love to hear the rest of the story…please continue!

  35. Diana says:

    Josh,
    Knowing the truth (all of it, not just this tease) does nothing for me. It still doesn’t have you on TV, covering the team that YOU (and I) love. I have exhausted myself in trying to get you back on the air, but no one listened. I didn’t do it because we’re friends and I wanted you to have a job. It was far more selfish than that: I simply wanted a good sportscaster covering the Blackhawks. I didn’t want them to just know I was upset with the decision…I just demanded you back on the air.
    What did the station tell me? Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Not even a courtesy response.

    I just want you back on TV covering the team. Please???

  36. J Kelly says:

    Let’s hear this! I’ve always thought there was something fishy there. Do you also have any info on Kim Johnsson?

    • Sorry, J Kelly, I don’t. I wasn’t around the team much last year, and certainly not Johnsson, because the Hawks acquired him after I moved away.

      • E Runs says:

        Not to hijack but Johnsson never recovered from the concussion he suffered in the regular season Philly game. Word is he couldn’t stay upright on the stationary bike when attempting to pass the medical protocols.

    • dumdum alouwishes says:

      An insider told me the Hawks were pissed Johnsson didn’t even attempt a comeback. Not sure what to think after hearing the Reply regarding him even staying upright.

      JOSH.
      sorry man. ya gotta tell us.
      I know it’s at your expense, but it really IS a fascinating read.

      • J Kelly says:

        I just thought it odd how the AHL callups were on the podium at the parade and introduced while someone who actually had a few points was basically put in the witness protection program and never heard from again.

  37. Glen says:

    The truth shall set you free….

  38. Chris B. says:

    PLEASE! let’s hear more!!

  39. fat pat says:

    Josh,

    Id love to read more. I loved when you had the broadcast and miss it immensely. Id love to be able to hear the real story and not what me and the other nerds on message boards have been able to peice toggether or infer. Do it josh, keep it coming

  40. jim says:

    yes more josh please. good luck with your future plans.

  41. Harry says:

    please continue this is great stuff Josh.

  42. Jay Max says:

    Please, please send the whole story. With the Hawks playing the way the are, I need something to distract my attention from the ice.

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  44. Douglas J says:

    Oh, you have to, now. These are the same people who thought it was a good idea to sign John Scott. There was a lot of loyalty to Tallon in that locker room, and I really wonder if this disloyalty and subsequent dismantling of the team is being reflected in the play of certain players still here. But, if you don’t, I completely understand. I know some of the friends of and around the Cubby Clique are City High-Rollers that you might not want to cross. And you aren’t the first to be run out of the United Center on a grudge. But, oh crap, I’d love to hear the whole story.

  45. AirTrafficAJ says:

    Hey Josh.

    Enjoyed the story, and miss your reporting before/during/after the Hawks games. CSN is a more empty place now. I would definitely love to hear the end of this story, though I’m afraid I’m not going to like the ending…

  46. Fridani says:

    Definitely want to hear the rest of this story

  47. Dusty Bourque says:

    Please Mora, there are a lot of people that would like to know what really happened here.

  48. Adam F says:

    Duh……???!!!!

    No Josh, we’re happy just hearing the first act. OF COURSE WE WANT TO HEAR YOU CONTINUE…..Drama king.

    And even if they’re not pertinent to the story can you work in an Ice crew member and maybe Adam Burish. If you can’t the truth will be fine. But if you could I really think it would help the story.

    Go Hawks.

  49. Tim says:

    Please continue!!!

  50. Wheel of Justice says:

    Would be great to hear more. As a former journalist myself, I understand a bit of what it sounds like you’ve gone through here. In my humble opinion, better that we know the facts — pursue of the truth is always King. Thanks again for your work then and now, and best of luck in your future endeavors.

  51. Hawks21690 says:

    Please share the rest, it’s a story that should come out, and the people who read this are the people who should know what happened.

  52. Indyhawk says:

    Please continue. Dale has been nothing but class since he was fired. He deserves the truth to come out.

    • Yes, Dale is 100% class an 100% authentic. The truth about what happened to him is what I wrote in my original CSN blog last July, 2009. The truth about my situation is still untold, and the bad guys may surprise you. I apologize for making everyone wait for chapter 2, but this is part of a much larger work, and there are all kinds of i’s that need to be dotted and t’s that need to be crossed before I can continue. The support and interest from so many fans of the Hawks and of Chicago sports helps get us closer to that possibility.

  53. Preacher says:

    Get on with it! Please! Not only do I want to know the truth behind Dale’s departure, but I’d like to know how you ended up out of a job when you were one of the best reporters in Chicago. And this will also shed light on why other reporters in this city can’t seem to ever ask the tough questions or cover a story with a critical eye.

  54. Bob says:

    Let it out Josh. Let it all hang out. You have a lot of support and the more that can be told, the better.

  55. JV says:

    FINISH THE STORY!!!!

  56. Adam says:

    Great to hear from you again, Josh. I’ve missed you on the CSN coverage.
    There’s been way too much speculation about this story and it makes the remaining management look very bad to those who were following the story with the interest of most die-hard Hawks fans. Do please continue… and quickly!

    Best of luck to you in the future, your new employer is lucky to have you.

  57. Kent says:

    Drool is dripping down my chin….gotta have more.

  58. Brian says:

    Very interesting!

  59. BHWK85 says:

    I just read all that for nothing….finish the story next time.

  60. JM says:

    I don’t see the need for chapter 2. This is enough for me.

  61. Katherine215 says:

    One more vote in the “Share more” column. I’m sure Chris Boden is a very nice person but his work as the studio host for Hawks is cringe-inducing. You are sorely missed by viewers in Chicago.

  62. Scott says:

    I miss your reporting and coverage of the Hawks on CSN and think you got a raw deal, but your facts in this blog aren’t correct. You claim you started working on this story on a Monday, yet their were internet reports on the Sunday night from some trusted hockey sites who were breaking this story. You might have started working on this on Monday, but the story broke already. So I feel bad that you got a raw deal at CSN, but why don’t you stick to the truth and not make stuff up to make yourself look better.

    • Scott,
      Thanks for reading and replying.
      What I know to be true is that there were rumors around for several weeks, and in particular in the days leading up to July 13, which followed the qualifying offers debacle. That Monday afternoon, my producer called me to say that the rumors were picking up again. So is it possible that someone was working on it the night before? Sure. I’d be surprised if that wasn’t the case. But the meeting at which Dale got relieved of his job took place on Monday afternoon, so as of Sunday night, — in fact, as of Monday lunchtime — Dale still had a job, and anyone reporting otherwise before that would have been doing so on speculation (and again, people had been speculating for some time) and without fact. I published/reported the story when I had the facts confirmed from two solid sources and a third confirming source. No one in Chicago had it. No one nationally had it. All of them quoted our coverage and our release.
      Maybe we just disagree on what “breaking” a story is. In my mind, reporting that something might happen, or might be happening, isn’t breaking a story. That requires good sourcing, sure. And I take pride when I’ve done some of that, too. Sometimes, based on our sources and how we get a story, that’s the most and the best we can do. It’s significant. But actually breaking a story is rare and it’s more — it’s having facts and details and having all of them correct and confirmed. Honestly, in a 17-year career I can honestly say that I “broke” a big story exclusively like this maybe 3-4 times. What I would say to the website people that you reference is that they had good information and did good work, and they may have even gotten the ball rolling. They should be proud of that. I was fortunate enough to have the contacts to get similar information and to take the story all the way to the end.
      Again, thanks for reading and writing. I appreciate and publish all comments, supportive, critical and neutral, as long as they are clean and don’t attack people personally.

      • Scott says:

        Josh

        you were a great reporter and as a huge hawks fan and huge fan of CSN you are missed. What led to Dale’s firing and yours as well is up for debate. I am sure many people think Dale got a raw deal, just like many thought you got a raw deal. Bottom line McDonough took over the hawks and dale was already the GM, he has the right to bring in his own guys and the results last year speak for themselves. Yes Dale was a big reason the hawks won last year, but he also made his mistakes and who really knows what the working relationship was with McDonough. Sports is a business and people get fired all the time.

  63. Biff says:

    I’d love to hear more!

  64. Justin says:

    What a great story! Please tell us the rest. Thanks.

  65. Scott says:

    Didn’t your blog get you fired? As unfortunate as it might be, bashing the hawks, when they own part of CSN isn’t good when you are an employee of CSN. Also, didn’t CSN make you take down your blog hours after you put it up?

    • E Runs says:

      Personally I never confuse ethical behavior, balanced reporting, and ideals as being “unfortunate”. No matter the cost.

      • George C (Buryit Toews) says:

        “bashing the Hawks” and reporting the story, which is what I thought a reporters job was, are two different things. Reporting the truth and reacting to it is something a reader should come to expect from a TV personality…. The fact that Josh was removed because of “it” further confirms what many already think.

      • Scott says:

        it is one thing to report facts, it is another thing to write an opinionated blog bashing people you work for. Please tell me a profession where you can bash people you work for and still have your job? The hawks own part of CSN and because of that, the coverage is biased for it. If Josh didn’t like that, then he should work for someone the hawks don’t own and then he can bash them. Come on people, lets have some common sense.

    • George C (Buryit Toews) says:

      “Opinionated blog” isn’t that what a blog is? A forum to share one’s opinion on a variety of subjects? How do you know how much freedom CSN gave Josh? I don’t know either, the point I’m trying to make is I think CSN gave Josh free reign to post his thoughts and big brother didn’t like it so they issued an ultimatum.. we’ll see. But by no means am I discrediting your opinion on the matter, we are all entitiled to one.

      • Scott says:

        that is exactly what a blog is for, but when you work for a company that is owned in part by the Hawks and then you choose to write a negative blog about it, it is grounds for discipline. Again, whatever company you work for, if you wrote a blog giving your opinions and they were critical, would you be in jeopardy of discipline? i know i would be at my company.

    • Mark Buban says:

      Scott,

      After reading the complete thread and knowing that the team owns part of CSN, I understand what you are getting at with the idea that bashing the entity for which you are employed might not be the best idea if you’d like to continue at that job. Sometimes you have to stand up for your beliefs and let the aftermath sort itself out. I’d like to think it’s having some conviction vs. being a slave to your corporate master. I couldn’t work for people like that and continue to respect myself. Josh, I hope life after CSN has been good to you.

      Mark

  66. Paulie says:

    Great start, can’t wait to read the rest.

    Wouldn’t surprise me if Tallon’s firing wasn’t on the up-and-up – it’s a pretty common occurrence for the new guy to come in and not want to continue working with the old guy’s guys. Generally no one bats an eye when a new guy cleans house – the issue is when a new guy comes in and the old guy’s guys are actually getting the job done. Generally the new guy just bides his time till he can dump the old guys and get his people into the mix.

    Miss you at CSN, Josh – you were great to watch and a real loss to Chicago sports reporting.

  67. pc says:

    Keep it coming!!!

  68. Ed says:

    Please complete the story, and offer more stories of your experiences in sports journalism. Very interesting

  69. Larmer Ruled #28 says:

    Thanks for the tease! Hook up the rest of the story Jim! Dale deserves the real story to come out and this is one of the few times in sports I’ve seen/talked to so many people that really wanted to know what happened. I’ve got my own thoughts, but it would be awesome to know the real story.

    fyi – My family always liked you during intermissions, etc. Good luck in your new career.

  70. Larmer Ruled #28 says:

    Thanks for the tease! Hook up the rest of the story Josh! Dale deserves the real story to come out and this is one of the few times in sports I’ve seen/talked to so many people that really wanted to know what happened. I’ve got my own thoughts, but it would be awesome to know the real story.

    fyi – My family always liked you during intermissions, etc. Good luck in your new career.

  71. Variable says:

    Hey Josh, thanks for posting this info, especially for newer Hawks fans as myself that don’t know much about what happened. People keep going back to your original blog post back in July of 09′ that got you fired and I cannot find it. I know CSN won’t still have it, I was just wondering if there was any way you could maybe repost it here or at least give the overview of what it was you wrote, just for me it seems like the missing link in all of this, never had the chance to read it. I’d really like to know what it was that was so “explosive” in that blog post that they decided to “let you go”.

    And yeah Scott, man, you’re right on one thing. The results speak for themselves. Tallon’s Hawks won the Cup, not McDonough’s or Bowman’s. Mora got fired for doing his job. Period. The only thing unfortunate is that we live in world where the media is easily manipulated and if you don’t play along, you’re out.

    • Scott says:

      Mora got fired for doing his job? Do you know why he got fired? His job was to report on the hawks, not give his opinion. He got fired for giving his opinion.

      • Scott,
        That’s not why I got fired, but you’ll have to wait for part 2. But if I granted that the issue was the blog, opinions are what blogs are for. No one reads blogs simply for a recitation of the news.

      • Variable says:

        It wasn’t his opinion. Tallon didn’t get fired for the signing sheet fiasco, he got fired for “other reasons” and McDonough lied about it. That much is pretty blatantly obvious. And reporting on that and revealing it to be what it is, that’s not giving your opinion, that’s doing your job, showing things as they are. Not bashing.

      • Scott says:

        that is exactly what a blog is for, but when you work for a company that is owned in part by the Hawks and then you choose to write a negative blog about it, it is grounds for discipline. Again, whatever company you work for, if you wrote a blog giving your opinions and they were critical, would you be in jeopardy of discipline? i know i would be at my company.

        Your blog was part of the CSN website…and you bashed the hawks (regardless if it was the truth). That is grounds for discipline. Maybe that wasnt the sole reason you were let go, but it didn’t help your cause. Politics in business exist and guys like McDonough who are great at what he does, is an ass and is ruthless and doesnt like people bad mouthing the Hawks…thus I am willing to wager he had a hand in CSN not renewing your contract.

      • Scott says:

        you are just missing the obvious, this is all about money. CSN is in bed with the Hawks, thus they want all their on air personalities to be all warm and fuzzy about the Hawks. Josh may have reported the facts, but this isnt about the facts, this is about the fact that Josh worked for CSN, who was in bed with the Hawks and I am sure it was made quite clear to Josh and all other on air personalities to walk a fine line when it comes to negative reporting about the hawks.

        It wasn’t a fireable offense, but I am sure the blog pissed a lot of people off at CSN and the Hawks. I am wrong in saying Josh was fired, if I am correct, CSN chose not to renew his contract. They let him finish his contract out. This was the choice of CSN.

        Yes as a fan, i want the truth and I like what Josh did, but if i were an employee of CSN and they were paying me, then i would either be company line or find a different company to work for that gave me my independence and freedom.

      • I re-read my original blog tonight, Scott. Of course I saved it. In fact, I’ll probably publish it in a matter of minutes. I don’t think I bashed the Blackhawks. It’s a pretty fair and balanced blogumn, with one critical aspect saying that there was maybe one guy who was gunning for Dale’s job and probably had a hand in the qualifying offer debacle. You’ll be interested in the Blackhawks reaction to that. When I can share the next part, that will be included.
        One of the issues I had at the time was that we were given no direction about what was fair game or what was not fair game for our blogs. We were told to go break stories about our teams, no matter how it made the team look. But there’s more to follow. There was no fine line about negative reporting — it was go get the stories, and if in the end we don’t like the reaction, then the reporter is the guy on the line. It happened to John Boruk at CSN Philadelphia during last year’s playoffs as well.

        You are right that I was not fired, but not renewed. If they’d fired me they would have had to pay the rest of my contract with me sitting on the sidelines. By not renewing me, they made me work for the money, or give up the money if I quit. I needed the money — I needed to put money away in case I didn’t get another job. That was soul-sucking, and I gave up a lot of my manhood to do it, but I had 3 people counting on my salary to pay the bills. You do what you gotta do.

        Listen, I’m happy to engage with you on any and all these points. I appreciate your passion and your taking the time to read my blog and write responses.

  72. George C (Buryit Toews) says:

    Solid stuff Josh, I was hoping you would get around to addressing this here. I have a feeling that once you complete this tell all, most die hard Hawks fans will say something along the lines of “I knew it” or “I told you so” – It has been long speculated and it’s just waiting for you to confirm, you didn’t deserve an unfair shake, the Hawks broadcast and chicagoland sports is lacking because of it. Keep up the good work.

  73. Ken says:

    Yes, please! Continue! Awesome stuff so far, Josh.

  74. David Levin says:

    Please post the rest.

  75. 334Rules says:

    Josh,
    I’m glad you’re enjoying a new career, but I guess you know by now you’re missed here on the Chicago broadcast sports scene. Can’t wait — like most — to hear the rest.

    And a note to the folks who think Josh got what he deserved in light of the Hawks’ partial ownership of CSN, let me just say that it was CSN’s decision to hire actual journalists like Josh. When you do that, you make an implicit commitment to let them do their jobs, regardless of who winds up looking bad in your front office. If CSN didn’t want journalists reporting actual facts and commentary, they should have simply hired publicists to staff their network.

  76. Ray says:

    One more who wants to hear the story, Josh. Even now several broadcasters make comments assert that Dale got a raw deal, I think almost all Hawks fans appreciate what Dale did for the team and would like to hear the whole story come out.
    Ray (London, England)

  77. Preacher says:

    Josh, Is there any way to see that blog post at CSN? Or will you at least quote it when you tell us the rest of this story? I’d really like to know what got you “in trouble” with the bosses.

    I hope the rest of this will be out soon. I’ve been “defending” Tallon for a while with my friends who say he was, well, all sorts of bad things. I’d really like to know the truth.

  78. Jennifer Hurley says:

    Great content Josh! As always!! It was like reading a ‘tease’ or ‘trailer’ for a murder-mystery novel!!!
    Miss you on ‘Hawks beat!!! Best wishes to you!

  79. Chris says:

    Everyone got screwed here. Tell us more…please!

  80. Variable says:

    Hahaa, man this dude Scott.

    I like how he went from “Josh was fired for giving his opinion when that’s not his job, his job is to report on the Hawks” to “Josh reported facts about the Hawks’ front office and it wasn’t a fireable offense but umm it’s not about the facts anymore….. it’s…about….the …..fact …..that the Hawks hired him….to report….on the facts…..”

  81. IndianHeadCrest says:

    Josh, you are sorely missed on the Hawks telecasts. You were one fo the local journalists that actually had a clue about hockey before the Hawks captured everyone’s attention. I think it’s obvious…yours is a story dying to be told. Good luck on your endeavours and keep writing.

    And, Scott…you’re kinda a tool.

  82. TonyLVNV says:

    My question is…Is Dale Tallon resposible for the Salary Cap disaster that Stan Bowman had to deal with at the end of Last season?

    If NO….please tell his side of the story.

    If Yes…I have no muse for Dale Tallon.

    • On the one hand, yes, he’s the boss so therefore he is responsible. On the other hand, it was something that was not his direct responsibility. He was told at the GM meetings everything was under control, and then he got horribly sick. The person responsible for making sure that got completed then let it slip by, I believe intentionally.

  83. Mark Buban says:

    Josh,

    I would love to hear more about this story. And if you can explain the inner workings of the Havlat situation, it would be icing on the cake! Thanks.

    Mark Buban

    • As per Havlat, I don’t recall all the details, and I don’t know that in the end I had a great handle on what actually went on there. I never got a chance to follow up with Havlat’s agent, Allan Walsh. My speculation — and this is only speculation — was that Dale and Walsh/Havlat thought they had a deal, but either: Dale was told to pursue Hossa for leverage, OR someone other than Dale was dealing with Hossa and his agent, and then someone else in the organization said “Well if we can get Hossa, get Hossa, because he’s the better player. I don’t KNOW this for fact. What I did know pointed in that direction.

  84. mike says:

    good read. write on.

  85. da-da-daddio says:

    Reading a bunch of comments above brings out an interesting – and potentially dangerous – aspect of this whole “sports teams own the media outlet that covers them” scenario.

    To me at least it appears that Josh was supposed to be [only] a “beat reporter”. That was to be his job function and job title. It would make sense since 25% of CSN is owned by the ‘Hawks. Josh took an opportunity (or risk as it ended up so being) to be a “columnist” on a certain ‘Hawks topic. He may have crossed a not-always-clear line between reporting on the news and providing his own opinion on a topic associated with the news.

    I won’t even pretend to know what Josh says is the truth or not, how much is true or how much is false. But he did what he did and within the confines of a media outlet who’s owned by the teams they cover, there has to be some of this pom-pom waiving, yes-sir-may-I-have-another corporate BS in the job functions. I’m not saying it’s correct, ethical or otherwise, but it is what it is.

    It sometimes takes someone with a big kahuna strut to do what Josh did. It got him canned. But if he truly believes he acted in good faith towards the ever increasing size fan base and he can look himself in the mirror knowing he did well, that’s all we can really ask.

    On the topic itself Josh, I would totally love to hear the whole story from your perspective. I read other columnists around the city. Some of them I truly enjoy simply because it often “makes sense” what they say. Having another source cite these same inner-happenings would certainly bring some light to the ‘Hawks situation.

    From the Havlet / LaPointe confrontation, Bob Murray’s GM situation, all things Bob Pulford, to Doug Wilson after he was “traded” after he voiced his displeasure about the Savard trade a year earlier, I would welcome any and all stories you can share. You’re free of the CSN chains, let it rip !! Good luck in your future endeavors.

  86. Brett McLaughlin says:

    This is outstanding writing, Josh. Can’t wait for Part 2.

  87. DJ says:

    Excellent stuff Josh and I look forward to reading the rest when you can share it with us.

  88. brad says:

    more please!

  89. Pingback: Radio tonight, Last night, Thoughts on Beach, Morin, Keith, Mora and more | The Third Man In

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