Does Bob McCown Have A New Contract?

June 3rd, 2011 | by torontosportsmedia

I am hearing whispers this morning that Bob McCown has either signed, or is in the process of signing a new contract with “Thing 1 and Thing 2” that would keep him on the radio for six, count them, 6 more years. Obviously, financial terms weren’t shared with me specifically but we can all guess that it’s a significant number.

The current host of Prime Time Sports remains one of the best interviewers in the game. Through help from “the idiot producers” he gets the timely guests and when he wants to he can be the host of the best sports radio program in town.

Prime Time Sports is the show to which others are compared. While it is really nice to have the fine folks up the dial at TSN Radio as an alternative, McCown is the standard.

This is a big move by Rogers to get McCown locked up. This deal, if it is as reported to me at 6 years would take McCown until the ripe old age of 65 (if his age in Wikkipedia is correct too).

More details as I hear them


  1. Raptors Devotee says:

    TSM. why are you even remotely surprised. Do you not think that they already had an agreement in place prior to Rogers designing their new studio which was obviously done per spec by the Bobcat, even though he acted like he had no idea what was coming? Bob also obviously approved his two sidekicks, being Cox and Brunt in the process.

    We all know how McCown is the centrepiece of the FAN and without him the station would immediately lose its soul, that is how important he is, not to mention his ratings which are always at least double, if not more, than the competition.

    Congrats on breaking the news, although you are speculating more than anything, but my spidey sense tells me that you are correct on this one, as your sources are usually dead on.

    After initially giving TSN Radio a shot against McCown, I have gravitated back to PTS, not because of the comfort factor of knowing what I am getting, but because he is and IMO always will be the best in this market.

  2. James High Park says:

    60! at bobcat’s age he is eligible for aarp membership

    if your over 40 then i guess he’s relevant to you
    if your under 40 and specifically 30 he sounds like your grandpa

    i just read his Wikipedia page he was born May 21, 1952 in Columbus, Ohio

    i’m a little fuzzy on the details as how he exactly got from growing up in columbus, ohio to toronto

    he didn’t become a Canadian citizen until 2004… huh???

    i’ve only lived in toronto for 2 years so if all my questions are old news fill me in on the details please

  3. miracleviolence says:

    Bob-0 is the guy. The long form interview skill is right up their with guys like Charlie Rose and Costas. The Mark Chipman talk earlier in the week was captivating and informative. The demographics will get older as he does, but older folks have monies and that’s who advertsers wish to reach. In about 4 years I’d have revolving door guest hosts once a week for on air auditions. In a dream world, Elliotte would be ideal as a national figure is need to maintain the syndication. That or Claude Themolfachuck.

  4. Roger says:

    Despite doing the same job for over 30 years, McCown still hasn’t figured out that as a radio host, you need to identify the interviewee. I’ve listen to his interviews for the entire segment without him telling the audience who he’s effing interviewing.

    As for comparing him to Rose or Costas… please.

    He deserves Moore and Pelley and they him.

  5. Sean says:

    Roger is a bit of a troll isnt it?

  6. Tom says:

    @Roger – Totally disagree. I am always hearing him say stuff like ‘we are speaking Joe Blow of the….’

  7. mike (in boston) says:

    This is, if true, surprising. I fully expected Bob to do a little negotiating through the media as we neared the expiry of his current deal.

    Bob is very good at interviewing important guests, but his skill set is narrowing rather than expanding. With the roster of regular co-hosts, guests, and experts, his talent for getting good answers and keeping a discussion going is less and less relevant. His segments with Kypreos and Armstrong and Healy and the other pundits are becoming painful due to inane banter, generic sports talk, and Bob’s enduring disinterest in watching sports. Unfortunately those kinds of segments constitute a large chunk of the 3 hours of PTS.

    In my ideal world, Bob would do 1 hour per day on the top sports news stories. He just doesn’t appear to have enough motivation to sustain a 3 hour show anymore. I suspect he would probably agree with me about that.

  8. Roger says:


    He might address them by using their first name but he still doesn’t tell us who he’s interviewing.

  9. robinaurora says:

    I think McCown is a couple if not a few years older than 56. He sure acts and sounds like he’s older than that. (and I am not going by hair colour).

    I remember he said he was working at Uplands GC as an assistant pro in 1972 when Henderson scored “the goal”, that was 39 years ago. Maybe he is 56, but I doubt it.

    Bobcat does conduct really good interviews quite often. But the whole ‘curmudgeon’ thing wore thin on me many years ago and I find it very negative, abrasive and really off putting.

    I am giving TSN a more of a chance now, McCown and his crew makes me feel old. But TSN Radio does need to improve. (Please, no more wrestlers).

  10. Gerry (Burlington) says:

    I have no doubts they have or about to sign him (Fair for Brunt to call a done deal i think! lol) to a contract.

    When he has Brunt on and good guests the show is excellent. As Mike in Beantown put it, it is the rest of the time the show is lacking.

    To me I have noticed a significant drop off since the Rogers/Sportsnet tie in became official. I feel he lost some street cred. with me, as he used to be willing to criticize BlueJays ownership just as he would MapleLeafs. While he will make the odd dig at them, he has become corporate to some degree.

    Also, one of the things I liked about him were his ultimatums, even if I disagreed. He now has reg. athletes on, he has brought Richie Rich back in his circle, I think he now gives Kypreos far to much credit etc…. All of these are things he used to stand up for.

    The reality is, Rogers COULD NOT afford to let him go to TSN radio. The other side of equation is, TSN has done a poor job of competing with him. Cybulski, and Sun TV boy are beyond a far cry from his show, which is too bad I really had high hopes for TSN radio. Unfortunately it is seeming to be a carbon copy of TSN Sportsdesk. I still prefer TSN TV over Rogers TV, but on the radio side of it, I feel it isn’t close.

    Problem for Rogers, is how much more grumpy and comfortable will Bob be with this contract….

  11. Daniel says:

    Yeah, Roger is kind of a troll. Too bad. I’ve always appreciated that this comment section was pretty civil and respectful.

  12. Daniel says:

    Good for McCown and The Fan if this is true.

    I haven’t listened to much TSN Radio, but I do think its presence has caused The Fan and PTS in particular to step up their game a lot.

    With the new studio, better cohosts, and no phonecalls, I think PTS has been really enjoyable lately.

  13. Keith Pelley says:

    James High Park –
    McCown’s father was a semi-pro(?) baseball player – a pitcher who played in Toronto for teams like Tip Top Tailors & People’s Jewellers. He must have married a local girl. He died when the Bobcat was about 2. Bob has mentioned he lived with his mom & grandparents growing up in Scarborough, where he went to David & Mary Thomson C.I., and played football with Dave Perkins. Perkins brought in their team photo in once on the show

  14. Chris says:

    I figured he was signed early this week when he took to twitter to bash TSN, then bashed them on his show the very next day.

  15. Al from Burlington says:

    I have stopped listening to PTS because of the constant stream of boring guests – Kypreos, Healy, the old Boxing guy, Armstrong etc.etc…and not to mention the co-hosts who suck up to him.
    However that said, good on him for getting the deal to take him into retirement.

  16. R3000 says:

    Hopefully one clause RSN insisted on was that he stop bringing his inane friends on the show- Kirke, Shannon, et al.
    It’s odd that he seems to have excluded Wilner as a guest.

  17. I am also not surprised that a new contract may have been signed. His on-air tough-guy anti-management schtick is belied by his pandering to his bosses and essentially lifetime employment with one company. It would have been disastrous to Fan590 to lose him at this juncture of the competition with TSN, notwithstanding the middling competition to-date.

  18. Daniel says:

    Hey McCown just tweeted this: “FadooBobcat Bob McCown
    To those who have asked, the answer is…”No, I do not!”

    Maybe referencing this story?

  19. robinaurora says:

    OK – I am bored – It’s Friday and I don’t feel like working….Al from Burlington: Good for McCown and his contract – But his choice of guests and cronies is not my thing. I feel like I am listening in on a clique that I am not in – or want any part of. (If Kypreos and John Shannon and Doug McLean are in the clique, I’m out.)

    For me Bob’s act got tired out several years ago. I don’t get Kypreos, Cox really gets on my nerves on PTS (but somehow he’s OK with Stellick, who somehow manages to reign in his negativity).

    R3000 mentioned Wilner not getting on aPTS. If Bob dismisses you, you aint’t getting on his show, even if you’re Rogers staff (Howard Berger can tell you that – and I find Wilner and Berger were/are effectively the same guy).

  20. Fluffy says:

    Well, I’ve been a bobcat basher from time to time – mostly because of his genuine apathy, his self glossing, and his transparent schtick but on many afternoons his show is entertaining and informative. So if it’s true it’s good for Toronto sports radio for the next 6 years. And as for Sean, give Roger a break. He’s just offering an opinon.

  21. Craig says:

    McCown just tweeted:

    “Leafs get Richards neg rights.”

    Looks like others on twitter are disputing the claim.

    Interesting Friday.

  22. Guy says:

    @craig that seems to be the modus operandi way of doing things over at pts/sportsnet as of late.. put something out there that’s plausible, then if/when it does happen, they anyone that you “broke the story”

  23. lt67 says:

    Bob is still the best in the Radio biz as far as i’m concerned….He may not always be the most informative on matters of x’s and o’s but he’s entertaining and fantastic on sports legal and business matters….

  24. mario says:

    Good for Bob and Fan/ Sportsnet… just can not see any where else… but money talks I guess..tried TSN radio a few times but just keep going back… that why he is #1…

  25. Chris F. says:

    Man I wrote out a whole long post but forgot to put my e-mail “sigh” Oh well cliff Notes version:

    – Good for Bobcat
    – Best long form interviewer in Canada not quite in Costas’ league but close
    – Would listen to TSN Radio more if they actually have local coverage from 1-4
    – Been meaning to Hogan but am always busy during the weekend.

  26. Dave from the suburbs says:

    Best sports radio there is (when Shannon isn’t there, anyway).

    Even my wife, who doesn’t like sports, likes Bob.

    It’s a no brainer.

  27. Drumanchor says:

    Is it a schtick? Is it contrived?

    Of course. All great artists are contrived to a degree.

    Although I might not dare to imply that McCown is an artist, but in Canadian sports broadcasting there is no one who can touch him.

  28. Don Mandrie says:

    Cybulski – McCown is a terrible mis – match. Cybulski & Company should be on 1 – 4. If TSN really wants to make a fight out of this sports radio war they need to bring in a radio heavyweight. Somebody with a lot of radio experience who’s also very current. What were they thinking? That after getting Mike Richards they’d also reel in McCown? Pelley & Moore won’t rest until TSN radio goes the way of The Team. Sports fans already get a heavy dose of Mckenzie, Dreger, McGuire et al on TV. I’m not sure people want to hear the same voices they already see on a nightly basis. As good as TSN is-and it is better than Sportsnet by Muskoka mile – they’re going to have to figure out how to do radio a lot better than what they’ve got.

  29. Cam says:

    The only sports radio I routinely listen to any more is PTS. Like any show there are great moments and not so great, but over the course I find it entertaining and informative. It was only during the early Kollins days when it truly seemed to drift.

    I can live without the Hockey Central crew but do like the range of guests, especially when they get into some of the legal questions of the day. Some of my most favourite sessions are with Bob, 1 on 1 in an extended interview. I must also admit to enjoying when Perkins is on because the man has no filter, evidenced by the blanket.

    For years I did not listen to McCown but this latest incarnation is entertaining Very rarely do I stay tuned in when the guest host arrives, though Stellick and Brunt were kind of fun.

    If he does have the contract then good for him. If they locked him up, good for them. At least I will continue to have one show on local sports radio that interests me for more than a segment.

  30. Rome says:

    I also agree with the people who think McCown was as good as signed when they made the studios and he had so muc say in how it was done. Just look on Monday, he was able to take the day off to hang out with City TV lineup stuff.

    I thought Cybulski had a decent chance to make a dent, but theFan was smart, they grabbed a bunch of good talent (Brady, Damo, Brunt, Grange) who would all be great host or co-hosts types for that show, the only person TSNR got that I would consider a difference maker was Arthur, who seems to be there weekly maybe twice most of the time.

    I like the idea of not going “legend vs legend” The Team made that mistake didn’t they when they went with Jim Van Horn vs. McCown. Heck even 640 with Watters has a “long time name” as host. TSNR went with something different vs. the legend, and I thought it was smart, they just didn’t surround him with much substance at all.

  31. Mike S says:

    McCown is flawed in many ways but I have always been a big fan………….therefore if he is going to be on 590 for 6 more years it is good news for me (and not good news for 1050)…………however if we think he sounds old now I wonder how old he will sound at age 65 ??

    When McCown is away I still listen to his show every day so I am probably a bigger fan of the show than I am of him…………I like the “big picture” focus of the show and the way it deals with the legal & business issues of sports………….and they have made some nice improvements recently (more Damien and less Shannon, adding Healy as a weekly hockey guest, almost no phone calls in the first hour anymore, moving it back to 4-7 from 3-6, etc)………….the only negatives recently have been losing Arthur as a guest/co-host and losing Shulman as a weekly guest

  32. Todd says:

    So i guess this TSN radio thing isn’t as exciting as we would have all hoped?

  33. Capn2patch says:

    I’m curious to know what the range would be to sign a guy like McCown over the long term

  34. Dave from the suburbs says:

    Me as well. I figure Bob is up there with the other big Toronto radio people…..Derringer, Roger Ashby, Erin Davis…..I’m I crazy to think 7 figures?

  35. Don Mandrie says:

    No, you’re not crazy. In this market, with $ at stake, it’s gotta be seven figures, or very close to it.

  36. Daniel says:

    Dave – I recall reading a sports media article in the Globe a few years ago they said he made well into 6 figures each year.

  37. Capn2patch says:

    He must make more than Ron Maclean money, although we are talking about the CBC. He’s around 425k I believe.

    If I were guessing I would say 4.2 M over 6 years with weekends off 😛

  38. stephen weir says:

    Bobcat show sounds different of late. Who is producing? New producer?

  39. skip currie says:

    bob.. never knows anything.,. he watches highlights.. he talksabout green bay game saying they took feildgoals, when seattle couldn’t move ball. does he know the kicks came on first two possessions/are you kidding me?

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