Interview: Rick Dhaliwal King Of Spor...
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Interview: Rick Dhaliwal King Of Sports Radio News1130 Vancouver
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Airchecker calls Rick Dhaliwal the king of sports radio. If you want to know what’s going on with your favorite team and all the members news in Vancouver Dhaliwal, is the one to follow & tune into on local radio. AC researched his news over 6 months he was the king of news. Just when I was wondering about a certain player Dhaliwal would report the latest going on with the player. No stranger to Vancouver sports radio. A 20+ year radio vet in the industry who always has his thumb on the beat of Vancouver or international player news.

Dhaliwal  contact list is part of his radio tool belt filled with all the top team coaches, agents and players numbers is what separates him from others. Hockey, football or soccer Dhaliwall sports is always at the top of his game. A radio pro who has built relationships from working as a anchor or management role in Vancouver. 

He has also worked with many of the great local sports staffers in the city. With this experience Dhaliwal, is able to investigate stories and who always gets a comment or a fact that he can bridge for future stories. Rick, appears to follow players news keeping a log of drafted players talking to players first hand or getting full stories from players agents. Always working developing news headlines.

 Rick Dhaliwal can call upon his industry contacts at moments notice broadcasts BREAKING NEWS on Twitter, @DHaliwalSports the radio, News1130, SN650 & Facebook. The king of sports radio.

Rick Dhaliwal tells Airchecker he takes great pride in his job you can’t break stories everyday but you can try. AC can tell you Dhaliwal sports radio news is truly the source you should follow for new Vancouver sports news. He knows what  local radio audience are thinking he will ask & follow up on past traded players. Gets status reflection comments. He is able to call upon that player source for years to come. Follow Rd’s Twitter feed you will soon learn you don’t have to spin the dial Dhaliwal has it covered. You will find his sports updates are short to the point broadcasted with authority.

You can bet the competition follows his news for players, coaches,trades and inside scoops. If you want to find out what’s going on in Vancouver sports radio give Rick Dhaliwal a listen you will soon find out why he has been so successful in his radio career.

AC can tell you Dhaiwal,is working his stories 24/7 gathering news tips & tracking his stories. This is why Airchecker calls him king of sports radio. He is able to create news by talking to a player, coach or agent. This is where being a fan of sports separates the sports anchor. AC countless times saw a developing story created from a fan point of view. A true pro this is why we turn to his Twitter feed. He’s asking questions that others are not yet talking about.

Rick Dhaliwal is the current morning Sports Anchor on News1130 Vancouver & can also be heard updating Dhaiwal sports on SN650 at 8:59, 9:59, 10;59 and 11:59. See bottom of page for details on ways you can tune in weekday mornings on News1130 & SN650.

AC:Rick, your first radio job was with Coast Radio CHQB back in 1990. When did you first get the radio bug? Was it sports radio you wanted to work towards? Did you take a broadcast course? How did he come to be you landed a job n Powell River.

RD: I was one of those stats freaks in high school, couldn’t wait to get the newspaper and check out the stats. After high school I went to a private radio school after seeing an ad that said “You on the air” in the Vancouver Province.

After school, my buddy was working in Powell River and he called me and told me to apply. I got the job as the night time DJ. I only wanted to do sports but you quickly find out when your looking for a job that you have to start anywhere and work your way into a sports job.

AC: After Powell River you headed way up North spent three yeas in cold country working at CKLN Fort St. John, In 1994 moved on to Wetaskiwin, A.B.What role were you playing at both stations. Why you left BC for A.B.only to work a year in Wetaskiwin, Were you working in the news department? Talk about your the experiences paying your dues what your experience was in small market radio. Was Vancouver your focus after putting in some good 5 years in small market.

RD: After 9 months in Powell River, I got a job doing sports in Fort St John at CKNL radio in 1991. I had to look on a map to see where Fort St John was. It was the most crucial and important step in my career. I did play by play hockey for the Junior A and Senior hockey teams. I covered Curling, Rodeo’s, golf tournaments and high school sports, it was very important to work in a small town and make your mistakes, correct your mistakes and develop.

Sadly nowadays, so many students out of broadcast school go straight to a radio station in Vancouver and miss that crucial step of growth in small towns.

The goal is always to work in a major market, no different than a player in the AHL with Utica, you have to improve in those small towns.

I used to listen to Neil MacRae every morning in Fort St John at 5:25am, I would send Neil tapes to critique me and Neil would send them back. If you don’t self improve on your own, it’s tough to get better. Find ways to get better away from the radio station. I would appreciate Neil’s many talents when we worked together at CKNW.

AC: Have you been a sports junkie most of your life?.

RD: I went to Lions and Whitecaps games at Empire, Canucks games at the Coliseum in the late 70’s and 80’s.

Newspaper was the big thing for me back in the day, check the NHL and CFL stats on a daily basis.

The Columbian newspaper from New Westminster was my favourite – it was a must read everyday for me.

1979 Soccer Bowl, 1982 Canucks Stanley Cup run and 1985 Lions Grey Cup were may my favourite teams.

Lots of players, coaches and gm’s became friends off those teams.You landed major market at CKWX sports in 1995. Where you would stay for 4 years. Tell us about your experience at WX?

Getting a job at CKWX in 1995 was an eye opener. Major market radio – sink or swim, it’s your choice. There was pressure to produce no question but having a sports director like Gary Raible made things easier.

Many people think you need a great voice to be in radio – wrong. Rabe’s taught me the most importance thing in radio is writing. Up to that point I didn’t have a clue about writing.

Sad to see so many people in our industry “rip and read BN wire stories”.

If you keep writing the same stuff after each cast, you will bore yourself and more importantly bore the listener.

WX was great in year 1, Rabe’s, me,  Steve Darling and Rick Quinton, it was a good group.

AC: You jumped ship in 1999 CKNW. Where you an sports anchor?

RD: Leaving WX for CKNW was a tough thing to do but Don Taylor was getting a sports talk show at 10pm at CKNW and Don asked me to be his producer.

I would only be at NW for a short while because 1040 started up and I was gone.

AC: Sports Director CKST Team 1040 Vancouver. Can you talk about your role on 1040 what were your accomplishments?

RD: I will never forget being interviewed by Paul Carson and John Rea in a hotel back in 2001. They were looking for a sports director for Vancouver 1st All-sports radio station.

I got the job and you find out quickly about long hours and lots of turbulence when you start up a radio station.

Rea started the Fan 590 in Toronto in the 1990’s and was crucial to starting Vancouver’s All-sports radio station.

Rea was the best boss I have ever had, today we are still very good friends and I can lean on him anytime for advice because the day you think you know everything about radio is the day you should call it quits.

Rea, Rob Gray and myself put in a lot of work in the early days, so much heavy lifting especcially in trying to educate people on All-sports – it’s not a big audience but a good audience for advertisers who are looking for males.

I helped Rob and John as much as I could in management meetings but the newsroom was my number 1 priority, trying to get the news first and move it as quick as possible.

I feel proud of the early days and the work John and Rob and myself and countless others did to start Vancouver’s  1st All-sports radio station.

I will never forget those days.

AC: From 1040 you became a sports anchor and management position at CKNW. What was your position?. You would of had a hand in the launch of “MOJO Sports Radio”AM 730” in 200 4t hat was going head on with your former station Team 1040. Mojo Sports Radio had air staffers such as John Mcechie and afternoon host Bob “The Moj” Marjanovich. Ratings were not to kind to Mojo Sports Radio andn flipped to All Traffic in 2006, Reflect why Mojo just did not pick up steam?

RD: In life we make decisions based on money, emotion and heart. Leaving 1040 to goto Mojo radio wasn’t my smartest move.

I learned a lot about making a move for more money and the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

The people at Mojo were great – I just didn’t know I would miss 1040 as much as I did.

When you start up a radio station and invest so much mentally and physically – you don’t realize the attachment till you leave.

Mojo was doing fine and was going to be okay till the Canucks left CKNW for 1040 – light’s out.

AC: Rick 2010 back on CKWX  you have been here for over 6 years. Are you just happy being a sports anchor now? You don’t have to worry about managerial stuff. You were Sports Director running some big stations in Vancouver?  You have over the years  established good relationships with Vancouver players, coaches etc

I admire your work. always first out of the gate with BREAKING NEWS. Player news, you are the one to turn to for today’s news. If it’s happening now in the city you seem to have your pulse on it. Your Twitter news feed is always ahead of the competition. You must have a huge Rolodex with contacts. Are you always looking for the next BREAKING story? Congratulations on all that hard work.

RD: You can’t break a story everyday but my philosophy is “You can TRY and break a story everyday.”

I have a passion for getting news first, always have going back to Fort St John in the 1990’s. (I once interviewed a junior hockey player at 2 in the morning in a nightclub about a player revolt against a coach.)

I get to work at 4:30am and start to talk with my Eastern contacts, I know when my local contacts get up.

I do my internet checks, twitter checks, everything by 5am.

The relationships I have with my contacts in 22 years in Vancouver and elsewhere are built on trust.

There are some methods I use that I will not tell  anyone but generally if you care about an agent’s client, an owner’s team, a gm’s draft pick – chances are he will care about you.

It takes years and years to build a contact and get his trust.

Does not happen over-night.

I have been wrong on stories many many many times but I would rather be wrong than not try at all.

Texting and e-mails have made my job much much easier.

Vancouver media is hard working – lots of guys working hard everyday trying to beat the other guy to the news – makes everyone better.

AC: Finally Rick, can reflect on sports radio in Vancouver. You been part of Vancouver sports scene for 20 plus years. You are also fortunate to see the launch of SN 650 where you also do morning sports updates along with your morning duties at CKWX. Whats your view looking back as well as forward on Vancouver Sports Radio.

RD: I’m one of the special one’s who loves his job.

My alarm goes off at 3:50am – I can’t wait to get to work.

I have a deal with myself – the day I don’t want to go to work at 3:50am is the day I call it quits.

Twitter, internet and facebook have changed the world, radio stays the same, it’s special and the only place that gives you news as it happens.

I grew up in a radio time that had reel to reels and carts, miss those days, was much simpler.

All-Sports Radio is a different animal – it’s a tough format to nail. But it’s the new generation.

24-7 all-sports.

While many complain about 2 all-sports radio stations in a town that is not Toronto, I like it because it employs more people in our industry.

Any time you can add jobs – it’s a good day in radio.

Thanks to Rick Dhaliwal for chatting with the Airchecker. Catch his sports radio news weekday mornings. News1130

@dhaliwal Twitter SN650





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