Entertainment

Don Taylor leaving Rogers Sportsnet, focusing full-time on Team 1040

Don Taylor, seen here anchoring the Western arm of Hockey Central on Sportsnet, after the Vancouver Canucks fired head coach John Tortorella last spring. Taylor is leaving Rogers after 13 years on their network, moving to Team 1040 radio station full-time. - YouTube screenshot (CanucksVid)
Don Taylor, seen here anchoring the Western arm of Hockey Central on Sportsnet, after the Vancouver Canucks fired head coach John Tortorella last spring. Taylor is leaving Rogers after 13 years on their network, moving to Team 1040 radio station full-time.
— image credit: YouTube screenshot (CanucksVid)

Don Taylor is stepping away from television – for now at least – and will host host his last segment on Sportsnet's Connected this Friday.

The longtime Vancouver-based TV anchor announced the move on his own Twitter account on Wednesday. Taylor said he will now be working full-time with Team 1040, where he already co-hosts the sports talk station's daily afternoon show with Barry Macdonald from 3 to 6 p.m.

Taylor has co-hosted on Team 1040 since 2003, working with Dave Pratt until 2011.

He has been with Sportsnet Pacific since 2001 and previously worked for the Sports Page team on CKVU from 1985 to 2000.

Taylor is an icon in the British Columbia sports broadcasting world, and is known for his comedic, pop cultured scripts and delivery. He even has a Wikipedia page devoted to his "recurring themes", from his Jerry Lewis impression to his penchant for referencing the numbers of obscure, past players.

VIDEO: Don Taylor anchors Sports Page in 1980's

The announcement of Taylor's departure comes just over a year (or a season, rather) after Rogers hired former TSN anchor James Cybulski to co-host duties in Vancouver for Sportsnet Connected. In January, Rogers also brought in Caroline Cameron to share hosting duties with Cybulski for Connected's morning show.

Last week, Rogers dismissed longtime on-air reporter Craig MacEwen, the network's Pacific Bureau chief. On August 1, columnist Greg Douglas said McEwen was told Rogers was moving in a different direction, and he speculated the move was due to the network's Torontonian bias.

Writes Douglas:

"The predicted eastern influence in the Rogers Sportsnet national television chain hit the west hard this week with word that Pacific Bureau Chief Craig MacEwen has been given the old "we're moving in a different direction" departure message by the brass in Toronto, who honourably enough delivered it to MacEwen in person.

"It was suggested here on June 28 that the Sportsnet Pacific on-air and behind-the-scene crews were concerned about what might lie ahead. Nobody has to remind longtime Sportsnet Connected anchor Don Taylor how tense things are these days."

Rogers has a 12-year, $5.232-billion deal with the National Hockey League that kicks in this upcoming season, giving the broadcaster rights to all nationally televised games in Canada – including operational control over the CBC's Hockey Night in Canada program.

Follow Kolby Solinsky on Twitter: @KolbySolinsky

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