Bryan Hall

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Bryan Hall

Postby Craig » Fri Feb 06, 2009 11:59 am

Big announcement from 630 CHED/Edmonton Eskimos:

BREAKING NEWS Eskimos/Corus make big announcement
12pm
EDMONTON/630 CHED
2/6/2009

630 CHED will remain the "Voice of the Edmonton Eskimos."

The CFL club and Corus Entertainment have reached a four-year contract extention that will keep 630 CHED the exclusive rights holder of all Eskimos' home and away games up to and including the 2012 season.

The announcement was made Friday by Corus Entertainment's Doug Rutherford and Eskimos' president Rick LeLacheur.

However, a brilliant career in the play-by-play booth will end following the 2009 season. After more than four decades calling Eskimos' games, Bryan Hall will step down. The Canadian Football Hall-of-Famer will continue to be active in radio with the Edmonton bureau of Corus Entertainment beyond the 2009 campaign. (bp)

Link: http://www.630ched.com/Channels/Reg/New ... ID=1060927
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Bryan Hall

Postby jon » Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:30 pm

My Edmonton Broadcasters Club sources tell me that Bryan will continue his normal schedule of Sportscasts on the Edmonton Corus stations.

They also tell me that another News story or Press Release revealed Bryan's age: 74.

Interesting, as I was reading last night that both Bob Hope and George Burns made it past their 100th birthdays.... As you may recall, George actually booked an appearance date for his 100th birthday, but his declining health in the last few months before his birthday forced a cancellation.
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Re: Big announcement from 630 CHED/Edmonton Eskimos

Postby johnsykes » Sat Feb 07, 2009 8:28 am

Bryan also did the Argos play by play prior to his move to Eskimo land
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Re: Big announcement from 630 CHED/Edmonton Eskimos

Postby soundguys » Sat Feb 07, 2009 9:05 am

By my calculation, Bryan has been in radio for over 55 years.
He could set a record, becoming the first Canadian On-Air
broadcaster with a continuous 60 year career.
And, I think ke was born with that "Blagojevich" hair do.
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Edmonton Journal Front Page

Postby jon » Sat Feb 07, 2009 9:48 am

Voice of the Eskimos hanging up the mike
After 55 seasons, 2009 will be last one for Bryan Hall
Mario Annicchiarico
Journal Football Writer

EDMONTON - Bryan Hall, the man with the golden voice and silver hair, will be performing his goodbye tour this season as the Edmonton Eskimos’ play-by-play man.

The longtime radio personality and his employer, Corus Entertainment, announced Friday this will be Hall’s final year of handling the broadcasting for the Canadian Football League team.

But Crosstown Motors, Sorrentino’s and Tony Roma’s shouldn’t fret just yet, as the 74-year-old — who has covered the Green and Gold for 55 of the club’s 60 seasons — is staying on at 630 CHED to handle various duties, including tasks on game broadcasts.

Listeners will still be able to hear those dulcet tones asking them to take their tummies to Italy, to enjoy the best-tasting ribs in North America or to head on down to Crosstown.

A search has already commenced to find the heir apparent for the playby-play role. Global TV’s John Sexsmith has long been rumoured as a possible replacement, and Hall’s current colour man, Dave Campbell, has already applied for the job.

Hall is an institution and a cultural icon in this city, having covered all 13 Grey Cup games involving his “everlovin’ Eskimos,” as he has often referred to the team.

With Edmonton Oilers play-by-play man Rod Phillips also nearing a retirement stage, sports fans could lose two strong voices on the sports scene.

“There are many great play-by-play guys, but there are very few broadcasters who jump out of the radio at you and really distinguish themselves,” 630 CHED program director Syd Smith said of Hall. “He’s a guy where people may not say, ‘Yeah, I was listening to the radio.’ They’ll say, ‘I was listening to Bryan Hall.’

“He’s that big of a personality, and in this market he’s as big a personality as a lot of the guys he interviews. He’s a big draw that way.”

Hall, who carries his emotions on his colourful sleeves, started covering the Eskimos in 1953 and began his playby-play duties in 1965. He’s been to more than 50 Grey Cups and was around when legends Jackie Parker and Johnny Bright first arrived on scene.

“You can’t go through all of that, with all those people, without having a special feeling in your heart. It is heartfelt, and I mean that sincerely, it isn’t just a passion. I love the organization, the EE, the Green, the Gold, the tradition. I love it,” said Hall, who has dodged queries regarding his retirement for the last few years.

“I’ve talked to Doug (Rutherford, Corus vice-president and general manager) for about the last three years, really. Since I first raised it with him, I said, ‘ You know, Doug, sooner or later because nothing goes on forever, we’re going to have to give some thought to who is going to carry on broadcasting the Eskimos on 630 CHED.’

“It has to be, I think, a special person, a person — because of the Eskimos and the great organization that they are — who knows the history of the club, has a passion for the team and the game and knows this league as well as possible. It can’t be someone who comes in and learns on the fly.”

After giving it some thought they came to this conclusion.

“They said, ‘Bryan, we’ll leave it up to you to determine how we should do it and when we should do it,’ ” Hall said of conversations with Eskimos CEO Rick LeLacheur and Rutherford.

With the two sides hammering out a new four-year broadcasting rights deal — also announced Friday, to carry through the 2012 campaign, the 100th anniversary of the Grey Cup — Hall helped with the succession plan for 630 CHED, the broadcast voice of the club since 1994.

“When they started negotiating on the new four-year contract, I said, now is as good a time as any,” said Hall.

His final season as play-by-play man will begin June 17 as the Esks kick off their exhibition schedule against the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Hall stressed that he is not retiring or walking away from the game.

“He has a passion for life, whether it’s his travel, enjoying a great meal, going to the movies — whatever he’s doing at that moment is the most important thing in his life,” said Smith, who will be involved with the hiring process.

“We will entertain pretty much anybody who has interest in throwing their name in the hat and go from there,” said Smith, who denied rumours that CHED has already interviewed both Sexsmith and Global’s Kevin Karius. “We have not started the process.”

Smith said the company will look inside and outside the market in the search to replace Hall.

“The plan right now, the only thing we’ve dealt with definitively right now, is the play-by-play,” said Smith. “He still has an interest, we still have an interest and the Eskimos still have an interest in him being involved in the broadcast, be it pre-game, post-game or locker-room interviews.

“Strictly on the radio side, he is still the sports director after this year, still doing his morning stuff and the rest of it.”

So fans will still get their fill of Chryslers, pasta and ribs — not to mention that voice many will never forget.
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Page One Sports

Postby jon » Sat Feb 07, 2009 9:56 am

Calling it quits his way
Love him or hate him, Hall generates interest as voice of the Eskimos
Dan Barnes
Edmonton Journal

A week in which the gentlemanly Dave Dickenson was forced to leave football and the classless Sean Avery threatened a return to hockey far too soon provides the perfect context for a debate on the impending career movements of Bryan Hall. Should he stay or should he go? Turns out the man whose commercials for Tony Roma’s, Crosstown and Sorrentino’s are only occasionally interrupted by his passionate, erratic, meandering, annoying, vague and somehow strangely entertaining playby-play on Edmonton Eskimo broadcasts, is calling it quits in a style truly his own. Which is to say he’s not really quitting at all.

“What am I gonna do, walk Bonnie Doon Mall with a coffee cup every morning?”

Not likely. Through the 2009 Canadian Football League season Hall will be asking and answering his own questions while hogging the microphone from colour commentator Dave Campbell (whose per-word salary is unrivalled in the industry). Hall plans to leave the play-by-play duties for 2010 and beyond to whomever wins the year-long cattle call to fill his size nine-and-a-halfs. But he just signed a multi-year deal with Corus Entertainment and will be hanging around the town, the team, game-day broadcasts, Grey Cups, Eskimos practice and 630 CHED studios, where he will continue to make his 19 on-air appearances and 534 commercial endorsements daily. Just try to stop him.

All that said, and there was much more than that during Friday’s news conference, is he gone too soon as the voice of the Eskimos? Or should he not let the radio booth door hit him on the ass on the way out? Hall will generate emotional responses from fans at both ends of that spectrum, such is the polarizing nature of his delivery.

Love him or hate him as you will for his on-air abilities, but know this, Hall is a gentleman and a delight at the dinner table and a legend in the business. He is 74, though his hair is actually much younger. He has been institutionalized at 630 CHED for decades and started in radio just shortly after Marconi put the finishing touches on his prototype.

He was in the Eskimos dressing room when Jackie Parker swaggered into town, he was at the funeral after Parker died and he documented the legend of Ol’ Spaghetti Legs throughout the decades in between. He has been to more than 50 Grey Cups and announced the correct final score at several of them. He has interviewed practically every CFL star from Doug and Darren Flutie to Russ, Paris and Jarious Jackson to Gizmo and Bret Williams, and hit most of them on the chin with his microphone. He is a Hall of Famer in his own right. He has commandeered countless scrums and press conferences with trademark three-minute questions. He has never been wrong on the air and his guy, the one who predicts game day weather, has never been right. And after starting in radio in the 1950s, after broadcasting 55 years’ worth of Eskimo games as their voice, he has never been this close to giving it up. But why? He signed a long-term deal and CHED has the Eskimo broadcast rights for four more years and the Grey Cup is here in 2010. Why give the play-by-play duties to some talking haircut half his age?

“Would I have to drop dead on the job and then we make a change?” he asked an interrogator. “There has to be a succession plan. “Nothing goes on forever.” Notwithstanding one of his questions. Or, on Friday, one of his answers. The news conference lasted 23 minutes. There were three questions from the floor. That’s vintage Hall. Ayear from now the Eskimos will have a new guy at the mic and it will definitely be a guy if Hall has anything to do with the selection process, and he will.

He wants everybody interested in the job to apply to him or CHED or the Eskimos. He wants none of the candidates to be women.

“For the same reason women don’t play the game, I guess. I think it’s a male domain,” he said.

Besides the preferred chromosomes and plumbing, the winning candidate will have a passion for the job, and in that way Hall will be replacing himself with himself. Because there is no denying his love for all things Eskimo. He wears Grey Cup rings proudly. He is the biggest homer in the Edmonton media, though there are challengers and one of them may well end up with the job.

“I want a candidate who knows a little of the history of the CFL,” he said. “What I want to see is someone who has a real love for the game, a real passion. Someone who is going to work hard, be honest in his assessment, think about someone other than himself, think about the organization and the entertainment aspect.”

Eskimo fans have a checklist of their own and it would include someone who will tell them where the ball is and who has it. Not every play, perhaps. But more than once per quarter.

I’m not saying. I’m just saying.
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Re: Big announcement from 630 CHED/Edmonton Eskimos

Postby freqfreak2 » Sat Feb 07, 2009 11:08 am

Katz could be fly in ointment
http://www.edmontonsun.com/Sports/Eskimos/2009/02/07/8301341-sun.html

But there are two issues on the horizon that could pose problems for the Eskimos.

What happens when the Edmonton Oilers' radio rights deal with CHED expires in two more years?

And what happens if Oilers' owner Daryl Katz decides to expand his growing sports business and forms an all-sports radio station in this city - either by buying the TEAM 1260 or acquiring a different station before flipping it?

If the Oilers move to a different radio station in two years - possibly one owned by Katz - the Eskimos would be left on their own at CHED.

That wouldn't be an ideal scenario for the Esks, as sports fans follow the Oilers more than anything else.
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Re: Big announcement from 630 CHED/Edmonton Eskimos

Postby johnsykes » Sat Feb 07, 2009 11:40 am

I going to make a comment re that last posting (Oilers), but will do so on the general sports page.
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Re: Big announcement from 630 CHED/Edmonton Eskimos

Postby jon » Sat Feb 07, 2009 12:35 pm

I found the Edmonton Sun article so interesting, I thought I better cut and paste it here. I was especially intrigued by Mr. Katz getting into the Radio business, either buying CFRN-AM or creating another All Sports station. But there is lots more here of interest.

Edmonton Sun
February 7, 2009
Katz could be fly in ointment
By JONATHAN HUNTINGTON

Random thoughts and observations while mulling over who should really replace Bryan Hall on Edmonton Eskimos' broadcasts ...

COSTLY ARRANGEMENT?

In a very uncertain time in the Edmonton media market, the Eskimos made an interesting move by signing a four-year radio rights deal with CHED.

On the surface, the CFL club made the right move.

It's believed the deal brings an annual rights fee of nearly $300,000 to the Eskimos.

Simple math means the four-year contract is likely worth close to $1.2 million.

That's big money for a CFL team - likely the second-richest radio rights deal in the league behind the Saskatchewan Roughriders arrangement with Regina's CKRM.

In terms of overall listeners, the Eskimos are also aligned with the right station as CHED ranks No. 1 in a market dominated by FM stations.

And in the key male 25-54 demographic, CHED ranked second in last fall's ratings book.

But there are two issues on the horizon that could pose problems for the Eskimos.

What happens when the Edmonton Oilers' radio rights deal with CHED expires in two more years?

And what happens if Oilers' owner Daryl Katz decides to expand his growing sports business and forms an all-sports radio station in this city - either by buying the TEAM 1260 or acquiring a different station before flipping it?

If the Oilers move to a different radio station in two years - possibly one owned by Katz - the Eskimos would be left on their own at CHED.

That wouldn't be an ideal scenario for the Esks, as sports fans follow the Oilers more than anything else.

BYE, BYE NYE

The Eskimos radio broadcasts will have a slightly different feel to them this year as Jamie Nye has left CHED for CJME radio in Regina.

Nye handled some of the home pre-game show and the post-game interview with the Eskimos head coach.

No replacement has been hired for Nye.

GOING GLOBAL?

Global TV's John Sexsmith should be named the new play-by-play radio voice of the Eskimos when Hall moves aside.

It just makes sense for the Eskimos.

With media outlets scaling back on staff and some facing financial issues, sports teams can't count on receiving the same amount of coverage in the future.

If Sexsmith can juggle his current TV sports reporting/anchoring duties with football play-by-play, the CFL club would surely see football coverage rise on Global.

Knowledge of the Eskimos and a passion for the job are already givens with Sexsmith.

Somebody else would have to bring an amazing set of skills to the table to make a better case.
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Re: Big announcement from 630 CHED/Edmonton Eskimos

Postby jon » Sun Feb 08, 2009 3:22 am

Edmonton Sun
February 7, 2009

Voice returns
Bryan Hall returns to Esks' broadcast booth for one more year

By JONATHAN HUNTINGTON

Bryan Hall will leave the Edmonton Eskimos' play-by-play radio booth - not the broadcasting industry - at the end of the 2009 season.

And while Global TV's John Sexsmith is the overwhelming favourite to call Green and Gold games on CHED radio starting in 2010, Hall will likely still be involved with the football broadcasts in some form.

During yesterday's announcement of CHED radio signing a four-year broadcast rights deal with the Eskimos, Hall made it clear this will be his last year as the play-by-play voice of the CFL team.

"I look forward to this year and I'm aware that nothing goes on forever," said Hall. "I feel very positive about this."

Turning 75 this year, Hall has covered the Eskimos for 55 years and started broadcasting their games in 1965.

But there is a good chance the radio legend will still travel with the team from 2010-2012 - in the final three years of the rights deal - while playing another role in the football broadcasts.

Hall quietly signed a four-year deal with CHED last fall and will continue his afternoon sports talk show along with his 19 daily sports broadcasts.

"I am not retiring," he stated. "I feel great. My doctor has given me a clean bill of health.

"What am I going to do? Walk Bonnie Doon mall with a coffee cup every morning?

"I'm not into that.

"I could go to Crosstown and sell cars, maybe. I could flip burgers at (Tony) Roma's. Twist pasta at Sorrentino's?" he continued, joking with the reporters and getting laughter in the process.

But with Hall stepping aside from play-by-play duties on CHED after 2009, the focus turns to his replacement in the football broadcast booth.

Sexsmith - a 12-year member of Edmonton's Global TV - fits the profile of what Hall sees in a replacement.

"I would feel dreadful if we had someone come in who didn't have a real passion for the Green and Gold," continued CHED's sports director.

"It has to be a special person ... who knows the history of the club, has a passion for the team and the game and knows this league as well as possible.

"It just can't be somebody who comes in and has to learn on the fly."

Raised in Edmonton, Sexsmith has been attending Eskimos games since the early 1970s and has an "extremely high" interest in replacing Hall.

"I grew up idolizing Hallsy and he has been a friend and mentor," said Sexsmith.

The Eskimos management team, CHED executives and Hall will be involved in picking the new play-by-play voice.

"I'm convinced Dave Jamieson (the Eskimos director of communications and marketing) would hire (Sexmsith) in a second," said one Edmonton broadcast source.

"(Sexsmith) is liked by pretty much everybody. He would be a good fit there."

During the 2008 season the Global TV sports reporter/anchor put together an audition tape from a home game against the B.C. Lions.

But other names will surface during the next 10 months in the search to replace Hall.

Roger Millions (Sportsnet, Calgary), Bob Stauffer (Edmonton Oilers radio analyst), Morley Scott (former Oilers radio announcer) and Dave Campbell (CHED football analyst) are other possible candidates.

Image

Bryan Hall was at his boisterous best during a press conference yesterday, announcing that he will call Eskimos games for one more year on CHED. The radio station has a deal to carry games through the 2012 CFL season. (Jason Franson, Sun Media)
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Bryan Hall at Crosstown 1965

Postby jon » Thu May 21, 2009 8:46 am

From a recent Edmonton Journal article about a guy who still owns the 1965 Chrysler Windsor that he bought new in the summer of 1965:

"We came into the showroom to engage a sales person, and there was Bryan Hall," said [the Windsor owner].

The Edmonton sports broadcasting legend was then in his first year as Crosstown advertising spokesperson -- a position he still holds 44 years later.

Back then, Crosstown's main location was on the northeast corner of Jasper Avenue and 118th Street, but in the summer of 1966, the dealership moved to their enormous "Motor City" facility on 104th Avenue. Very soon, another move will be made to their new complex at Yellowhead Trail and 156th Street.
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