Sunday, November 23, 2014

The End of the OCR

If you've been a curler in Ontario over the last four decades, you probably know the Ontario Curling Report. At least, I hope you do. It's been a staple at clubs since the '70s.

But this month, we printed our last edition. The OCR is hanging it up its broom and throwing its last rock.

I've been lucky enough to be the editor of that paper for the last two decades and have thoroughly enjoyed it. We accomplished a lot over the years, and were integral to getting Labatt's to return to the Purple Heart, to getting the Free-Guard zone implemented and to punting a number of officials who simply had to go. Last year, we finally got answers to the "member not in good standing" debacle the CCA put the OCA into and helped change the course of the OCA's leadership. I don't want to take full credit for all of these things; just that we helped move the needle and provided much-needed information.

We didn't always make friends with people in high places and I'm told that is still the case with at least one high-ranking mandarin, but we were always happier to serve the curlers first. I think if there's one thing I'm proud of with the OCR it's that we served the curlers above all else.

We also had a lot of fun over the years with the regular Top 10 lists and the Behind The Glass rumours section. Frank McCourt's cartoons had a home with us too. He is an amazing cartoonist with a slightly twisted mind!

So why did we end it? The simple reason is money. There simply isn't the financial support for a curling newspaper any more as the world turns digital. People get their news now from places like and can read scores and results via Twitter, often directly from the players themselves.

The other reason is that it's been a long run, the four publishers -- myself, Alf Phillips, Peter Birchard and Ken Thompson, along with sales guru Paul Savage -- are all getting up there and perhaps have lost a little of our enthusiasm.

But we didn't want to close up shop without one final issue, which is out now. It's been a great run but the time to say goodbye was right.

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