The Curious Case of Carm Carteri
Published: Tuesday, May 23rd 2017, 3:05pm
By: Greg McCulloch – @GregOnSports
Regina’s worst kept broadcasting secret was finally let out of the bag on Monday as it was reported that Riders colour commentator Carm Carteri would not be back in the booth for a 29th season. CKRM decided not to keep rolling over his yearly contract, they instead offered him new deal as a sideline reporter and he turned it down.
When looking at the length of his tenure and the suddenness of his removal so close to training camp may seem cold on the surface. It doesn’t look as bad as when you realize that this was being rumored to happen as early as May 9th on Riderfans.com. Almost 2 weeks of rumours, innuendo, and blame being passed around Rider Nation so let’s see where the cards fall.
“There is the truth… then there is the ‘TRUTH’”
Carm was an opinionated Regina raised former player who “called it as he saw it,” that usually doesn’t not work well you are also supposed to be one half of the voice of the team. Carm’s job was to talk about the action on the field as a former player, not anger the executives who ran the team.
It was no secret that Carm had his run ins with Rider executives from Roy Shivers all the way to present day with Jones and Murphy. Not to mention his frequent run ins with executives from other teams like Wally Buono.
Carm’s tenure in the booth probably could have made year 30 if he would have just talked about the action on the field and not lobbed so many grenades at the executive. But then again, it was always the way he did his job and he was true to himself. Hard to blame a guy for doing that.
When in doubt blame Jones:
For the record, when I say “Jones”, I mean Jones, Murphy, O’Day, Reynolds… the whole executive. If the Riders brass had anything to do with Carm being removed from the booth it would not just be on Chris Jones, despite what you may have read on the internet.
Do I see the Riders raising concerns to CKRM, a division of Harvard Broadcasting (one of the “Stadium Founding Partners”), that one of their employees is speaking out of turn? Of course, I do.
Do I think it’s a bit thin skinned? Yep a little bit.
Do I blame the Riders for doing that? HELL NO.
If the Riders didn’t want Carm to be in the booth talking down the team and second guessing every move the executive made anymore they had every right to voice their opinion to CKRM. What CKRM did from there would be their own decision.
What was CKRM supposed to do?
It feels hard to put any blame on CKRM because it seems like they were stuck in the middle. By Carm’s own account CKRM asked him to take a lesser role and offered him to be the one to pass the “baton” onto Luc Mullinder.
It seems like they tried to appease all parties with their sideline reporter offer to Carm. He would still be part of the broadcast team, there would be a smooth transition since Carm was planning on stepping down in a few years anyway, and with Carm’s role being reduced and more structured it would make the Riders happy as he wouldn’t be able to be as critical in the lesser time he got on the broadcast.
CKRM and their affiliates on a Rider game day broadcast almost half a day of Rider coverage with the pregame, post game, call in show, and the game itself. It draws listeners and listeners mean advertising revenue, the last thing they want is for an employee to lead the Rider fan mutiny on air and angering their partner.
Mullinder will do fine as a replacement for Carm, it might take him a few games to find his rhythm but he and Pedersen already have a rapport from other projects they have done. There will be a few growing pains but I am sure the radio broadcast will be fine.
In the interest of full disclosure, I will fully admit I was never a big fan of Carm’s style as a commentator, he was ok but sometimes he was over the top a bit too much. Then again when you share a booth with Rod Pedersen for that long it might just happen by osmosis.
That said, I think he did deserve a better farewell than the one he got.
Thanks for your years of service Carm, and very special thanks for getting under Wally’s skin whenever you could.
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