The Arizona Diamondbacks have made a change to their broadcast team.
Daron Sutton is apparently out as the TV play-by-play guy. But – the D-Backs, nor Sutton, are not saying if it’s permanent or why the change. Nothing more than the standard “for personal reasons." Think about all of those possibilities.
Silence in situations involving public figures, high profile companies or others who rely on positive perception by their fans, customers or other stakeholders is never the right approach. It allows the rumor mill to generate who knows what scenarios that can have severe long term damage associates with them.
Remember the two weeks of radio silence after Tiger Woods ran over the fire hydrant after an altercation with his wife? If he’d have come out of the gate with his explanation, no matter how bad the situation was, the public would have had a better reception. People do understand that even celebrities are human, too. But the two weeks of rumors made the mountain almost too high to overcome, especially when the sordid truth did come out.
In the D-Backs’ situation, the change in their high-profile broadcast team is being handled differently than they have done with other personnel moves. We always know when a player is sent down to the minors or called up to the big leagues.
A few weeks ago, D-Backs managing partner Ken Kendrick called out a couple players during a radio interview who he thought were underperforming. Their statistics indicate that – but there was quite an uproar by some that an owner would publicly hold his players accountable. I had no problem with it.
If one of the prime-time news anchors, sports reporters or other “faces” of an organization -- one who has been used relentlessly to gain the public’s favor and support – was suddenly reassigned, fired or “their contract was not renewed,” the viewing public should be told something.
Communication is a two-way street. But in this case, it’s a public relations error – if you’re scoring at home.