Farewell Mick Holien, the Voice of the Grizzlies
In an opinion in the Missoulian newspaper this morning, a reader is asking for a little recognition for the play-by-play voice of Mick Holien. It seems like he hasn't been recognized by his employer for years of dedication. It's too bad. Sadly, it's not uncommon for broadcasters.
The story states that Mick wanted to work for two more years, but is being forced out this year by Learfield Sports. From a business standpoint, they are free to do what they deem appropriate.
I think we all would like to be in a position to say when it's the end of our employment road. But in broadcasting, it doesn't work like that. I'm guessing that it's not personal. It's just part of the bigger plan.
In fairness to Learfield, they still let him do one last season of both football and basketball instead of just ending things last year. So, that was pretty generous. And this way, Mick gets to say goodbye to the folks that have listened to him for so many years. Because, believe it or not, folks relate to the on-air people that they listen to. They feel like they know you. Some even feel like you're part of the family. So, when someone like this gets turned loose, it upsets people.
But, from the broadcasting side, you have to understand that this is the way it is. I don't know the exact number, but I guarantee you that more on-air folks get fired than the ones who leave on their own terms.
I've known Mick since his radio career began because it was my father that hired him. Dad could spot on-air talent like very few people that I've ever seen. And Mick never missed a game. Over 1,200 games called. And he wasn't there because it was making him rich. It's because he loved what he was doing.
Good luck, Mick. You will be missed on the radio.