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Information Wars

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Sports coverage in the area is about to get very interesting. While 850 the Buzz and 620 the Bull have had virtual strangleholds for quite some time in the local radio sports talk market, a new contender is about to enter into the fray. According to a recent story in the News and Observer, former country station, WCMC 99.9FM will soon change formats to sports talk. Usually competition is good for consumers, so I look forward to seeing how this works out. Obviously, I prefer lots of Hurricanes and hockey coverage, the more the better. The Buzz and The Bull have done a pretty good job with hockey in the past, especially with their pre-game and post-game shows. While I never called into "The Aftermath", I always listened to it after each game while driving home. If anything, it seemed too short for me. Now that the games will be broadcast on 99.9, will "The Aftermath" still be on "850 The Buzz"? Will "The Buzz" and "The Bull" continue with their somewhat hardcore hockey coverage, or will they change to a different direction if 99.9 seems to focus in that area? This will be an interesting story to follow, and Canes Country will be right there watching, listening, and reporting as much as we can about it, as it unfolds.

The ongoing "information wars" are not just limited to radio land. Coverage on the information superhighway is expanding as well. Long time Carolina Hurricanes announcer, John Forslund is starting a new blog venture on WRAL's site called, "My EYE is Yours". Ron Francis blogged for these guys a couple of years ago during the Stanley Cup run as well. John is an experienced blogger who does a fine job, having blogged previously for the Canes on "Hey Hey What do you Say?". Obviously, he has the knowledge and inside information to make this an extremely popular blog. Will other local television stations sit idly by and do nothing while the WRAL website readership grows and grows? One would have to think that they will be looking for "hired gun" bloggers as well. "The Buzz" currently has a very popular blog, and I'm sure 99.9 has to be looking in that area too. (The 99.9 website is currently under construction). Soon, the Hurricanes blogoshere will become more crowded than ever. But this is a good thing for fans. The better the overall blogging community can become, the more information there will be for readers to absorb. This pertains to the amateur "regular Joe" bloggers as well as the highly paid "mercenaries". If the amateurs can keep their blogs updated regularly, then the "hired guns" will need to do the same. It should be a win-win for local hockey fans! Canes Country will be watching closely and linking the activity of any new worthwhile Hurricanes blog, amateur or professional, just like we always have done in the past. We have already set up a new RSS feed to track any new postings of Forslund's new blog. You can find it on the right sidebar and the direct link to the blog itself under "Other Canes Blogs" on the left.

While WRAL is gaining one new correspondent, they are losing another. Long time traffic reporter, Mark Roberts is leaving the station to start his own company. It's being reported in the News and Observer this morning that one of his new gigs will be to headline a Hurricanes pre-game and post-game show for 99.9. Mark has had ties with the old Raleigh IceCaps, is a hockey guy, and should do a fine job. Does that mean that there will now be two shows, one on 850 and one on 99.9? This gets more and more interesting each day!

Speaking of Forslund's new blog, he starts out by reporting that Bret Hedican is looking really good and also informs us how great the Matt Cullen acquisition is for the team. Finally, he closes by saying that David Tanabe might be attending camp on a try-out basis. Hello, a try-out? One might think that playing here all last year would be enough of a try-out. Didn't the coaches get enough of a chance to monitor this guy's skill last year? This makes no sense to me unless there is another factor involved. Perhaps they are concerned about a defensemen's health and want to see how training camp goes for that person? Maybe there is an impending trade and they want Tanabe around until it is completed? Who knows, but I can't see the logic in having DT here on a try-out just to evaluate his talent, which is typically what a try-out is. Either the Canes want to pay the money to add him to the roster, or they don't.

Happy hump day!

Jackson Browne