Hockey Canada scandal has ‘affected’ business operations at TSN, exec says
A senior executive at TSN said the network’s business operations have been “affected” by its pursuit of the scandal cascading around Hockey Canada, one of its major broadcast partners, but told an audience it would continue to chase the story because “that’s sort of what we do.”
Speaking as part of a panel for The Canadian Journalism Foundation at the Toronto Reference Library on Tuesday night, Ken Volden, vice president and executive producer at TSN, acknowledged how the reporting has impacted showcase events such as the world junior hockey championship.
“We’ve managed to build that — quite frankly, in partnership with Hockey Canada — into a pretty major television property,” said Volden. “And yes, our business is affected by this story. We’re not sure where this is going to go, but I can tell you there’s a separation of church and state that happens at TSN.
“We are allowed to do our work that goes along with this, and make sure it’s right.”
Volden appeared on stage with Rick Westhead, the senior correspondent at TSN, and Katie Strang, who is a senior enterprise and investigative reporter with The Athletic.
Volden addressed a question from the audience about the broadcaster’s relationship with Hockey Canada, and while he chose not to detail the specifics of how the story has impacted the bottom line, he said the backing extended up the corporate ladder to Stewart Johnston, who is senior vice president, Bell Media sales and sports.
“You can imagine the pressure on him on a daily basis,” said Volden. “He’s supportive. Understands what we’re trying to do.