David Shoalts’s Expose on Bob McCown

David Shoalts’s Expose on Bob McCown

Photo credit : www.autographedsportsart.com

By TSM

David Shoalts seems to have been appointed the sports media beat at the Globe and Mail and his latest piece on Bob Mccown is by far his most interesting and in my opinion his best work to date. It was a full page expose and well worth the time it took to read it if you are interested in the sports media thing (if you aren’t I can’t imagine what brought you here).

The article, especially the quotes from either Mccown or others once again proves that “the fan” in this town isn’t as out of touch as perhaps some would like to believe.

Here are my highlights:

* Like many of you who comment here, Mccown also feels the show is a little boring: “feels like a long time and “that leads me to where I am now, which is a little bit bored.”

* McCown is an actor playing a role, I don’t know who doesn’t know that but Shoalts confirms it again: “What they probably don’t know is that the persona is a creation – a character McCown plays for fun and profit. It has made him the highest-paid broadcaster in Canada, according to some sources, with an annual salary believed to be more than $1-million. “He’s created this character that’s embedded in listeners’ heads,” said sometime co-host Stephen Brunt. “It’s Bob of the imagination.

* McCown (or his created ego) isn’t oblivious to the effect the Rogers/NHL deal has on his show: “There’s no question the hockey contract has changed things and not for the good for me,” McCown said.

* I’m not the only one to notice the Ken Reid experiment isn’t working : “Sportsnet television anchor Ken Reid has taken Cox’s place and tries to bring a hip, pop-culture sense of humour to the show. The kindest thing to say is the chemistry with McCown is still developing.

* How much longer will McCown stick around??? :“I do not see myself doing this after this contract,” he said.”

If he is making the money suggested by Shoalts, I’d suggest he’ll do it as long as someone is willing to pay him that type of money.

* McCown does no preperation : “In the broadcast industry, McCown is famous for arriving at The Fan studio minutes before the show starts at 4 p.m. and hitting the exit equally quickly at 7 p.m. But Gentile says those who mock his apparent lack of preparation have no idea how the show works.

McCown is the best interviewer in town, if not in the country in the world of sports. His lack of preparation forces him to listen to the answer a guest provides and creates a dialogue unlike anyone else in the radio business. Shoalts does a good job bringing to life the persona that apparently some are unaware of. I found reading Shoalts’s story much like reading Richard Peddie’s autobiography. When Peddie was in place at MLSE, there were rumours about him, his love for being front and center, issues he had with ownership at various times etc. and his book confirmed much of the rumors to be true. Shoalts does that with McCown in this piece.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 37
  • comment-avatar
    rob j 2 years

    The haters are lying in wait, but Bob is the gold-standard and I feel sorry in advance for the poor soul who’ll replace him. He has no chance. You want to replace the guy who replaces the legend.

  • comment-avatar
    mario 2 years

    Very good article by David Shoalts I been a big fan of his since his days at CJCL 1430 really got me interested in sports radio and has been lacking the last few years. I just hope he dose not disappear all together when his contract is up maybe even bring back his old show The Business of Sports which I really enjoyed.

  • comment-avatar
    Pants Go Brown 2 years

    I listen to PTS on my drive home. Bob is one of the few interviewers I know who makes you stay in your car to listen to the interview after you’ve arrived home and are sitting in your driveway. The show has a few warts and some of his commentary is a bit old, but he is as someone said the gold standard. It’s not even close. I hope this is all a bargaining ploy for him to get more money or for 1050 to go after him. I’m a fan, so where he goes I am likely to follow.

  • comment-avatar
    WestdaleRocks 2 years

    With ken Reid as co-host most days, it’s no surprise McCown is bored and looking for an exit strategy. I used to be glued to PTS whenever I was in the car. Now, there’s a whole litany of reasons I don’t hesitate in changing the channel: if I hear Ken Reid’s voice, if Blair is hosting, or if there’s a guest interview with an athlete integral to an event Rogers is covering (which seems to be happening more and more), I’m gone in a heartbeat. Only a talented host like McCown could maintain the kind of ratings numbers he has, despite having an unlistenable entity like Reid beside him. Reid is a guy who CAUSES people to change the channel. Brunt and McCown are the gold standard of this show. If TSN Radio is smart, they’ll continue to base their show on intelligent radio conversation and solid interviewing. In other words, base it on what McCown’s show USED to be.

  • comment-avatar
    Antonio 2 years

    McCown is a good interviewer (not great). His biggest flaw is that he neglects/forgets to tell the radio listener who the hell he’s interviewing. There are only a handful of announcers who do it well. Blundell, Brady and Stafford at 640 do it, while most others like veteran Bill Carroll wait until the end of the interview to tell us who they’ve speaking with. By them, why bother?

  • comment-avatar
    Darrell 2 years

    I actually really liked Bob McCown years ago as the morning show host. I don’t think he is the best host of Prime Time Sports. However, he is probably one of the only sensible and non blathering idiot that works at the FAN 590.

  • comment-avatar
    RobInAurora 2 years

    I stopped listening to him many years ago. I actually found Bill Watters easier to listen to – then TSN radio came along when Watters’ run came to an end….McCown and his sycophantic cronies make me feel 100 years old when they start rambling on like cranky old men making wise cracks that aren’t the least bit funny.

    I maintain that every bit of Rogers content produced on TV and radio is simply awful. Rick Brace will make changes i guess, I am not sure they will be any good though – His predecessor was supposed to be a boy wonder (also formerly of TSN too) and all he did was spend $5.2 billion on a pig in a poke, then quit before the gong sounded.

  • comment-avatar
    Mont in London Ont 2 years

    I am a big fan of McCown – I enjoyed the article as well –
    I am a big fan of his interviews as he GENERALLY pulls no
    punches – However I just finished listening to his interview
    with David Peterson – I have never heard McCown lob so many
    softballs – It seems to me that even the great McCown has
    been told to toe the company line and has partaken of the
    kool aid when it comes to talking to any high shot with the
    PanAm games – When he is talking on his show he has no good
    words for the games and then this terrible(for him) interview-
    I was quite disappointed in McCown-

  • comment-avatar
    Blue Jay Fan 2 years

    With all due respect to Bob Mcowan

    Over the last few years Bob has become more of a corporate shill than probably ever before in his career. I think his shilling is brought on by his internal friendships with Rogers employees like John Gibbons(A.K.A Gibby to Bob), Keith Pelly and Paul Beeston. It has become obvious that the content of Bob’s interviews are based on how much he likes the person he is interviewing, this is one of a few things that compromises his journalistic integrity to me. (His interviews with Gibbons is pointless radio)
    Bob has also become a typical fan 590 host where he craps on broadcast properties that sportsnet does not have the rights to and praises those where sportsnet is the rights holder, this is another thing to me that compromises his journalistic integrity. People are simply mistaking Bob for the Bob of twenty years ago. It’s almost like a team signing a once superstar when he is far past his prime, a simple case of living in the past. Bob’s opinions and analysis of games,teams and stats are very general and at times baseless.

  • comment-avatar
    Curt 2 years

    Couldn’t have put it better, Blue Jay Fan. Bob’s been living off his history for many years. He’s a legend, but by his own admission, he’s bored and when Bob is bored, PTS suffers. Ratings are ratings, but you can’t argue that the quality of PTS has been on a steady decline for several years.

    Guess that makes me a “hater” though doesn’t it… (eye roll)

  • comment-avatar
    rob j 2 years

    @Blue Jay Fan,
    Bob must be the only corporate shill that blasts his bosses, the company in general, and its main sports property on a consistent basis.

  • comment-avatar
    Curt 2 years

    ^^^ Only since his buddy Pelley left.

  • comment-avatar
    Don River 2 years

    Whoa, hell just froze over! Someone named ‘Blue Jay Fan’ is actually calling Bob a corporate shill for the team (which, of course, is true).

    I don’t think Bob’s been the same since John Shannon used his evil powers and took over Bob’s mind almost a decade ago. Someone really should investigate.

  • comment-avatar
    Don River 2 years

    Bob “blasts his bosses” because he wants more resources directed towards his favourite team. I think he realizes that’s a bit less (or much less) likely after Rogers threw $5.2 billion at hockey.

    And many of Bob’s rants, such as “thing one” and “thing two”, are obviously tongue-in-cheek.

  • comment-avatar
    rob j 2 years

    He said in the article he’s tired of arguing with people (his bosses) that know nothing about radio. I double dare anyone else in the business to say that in the Globe. If he’s a Rogers shill, he’s terrible at it.

  • comment-avatar
    Keith Murdoch 2 years

    I think Bob’s tune will change once Tim & Sid inevitability gets cancelled.

  • comment-avatar
    Curt 2 years

    Again, McCown’s change in tone coincided with Kieth Pelley’s departure. He wouldn’t open his spleen like he did in Shoalts’ piece (for the Globe no less) if the ground hadn’t shifted beneath him. After his friend Beeston leaves the Blue Jays in the fall, watch how long it takes him to start talking about them like he does the Leafs.

  • comment-avatar
    Blue Jay Fan 2 years

    @Rob J

    In case you have not noticed Bob has invited Gary Bettman on the show and acts like him and Gary are old buddies, Is this not shilling? prior to the hockey package Gary had not appeared on PTS in almost a decade. what changed? Bob always blast the CFL and Argos and goes over the top, He’s on record for saying the Argo’s will not survive in the league even with the new stadium deal, Bob heavily critcized the new Argos stadium deal, guess who the rights holder is? Shilling? Have you ever heard Bob ask John Gibbons or Alex Anthoupolus tough questions, In fact in interviews he referrers to John Gibbons as “Gibby” and Alex Anthopolous as “Double A”, seems a little buddy buddy to me but let me ask you, Shilling? Bob has never blamed ownership for the jays shortfall in talent, in fact he has said several times that it is not ownerships fault and people are always looking for someone to blame and always berrating fans that call for accountability, Shilling?

    Bob’s criticism of Keith Pelly was obviously tongue and Cheek, and it’s obvious this is one friend bugging another, Bob and Pelly are Golf buddies and Bob absolutely never did this pretend blasting of his bosses when Tony Viner(Pelly’s predecessor) was around. In terms of Bob saying he’s tired of people that don’t know nothing about Radio telling him what to do, Bob can say anything at this point because it’s obvious and by his own admission he’s on his way out, it’s just like someone about to quit a job and giving his bosses the middle finger on the way out the door, I don’t know that Bob makes the statement if he wanted to make a case for another contract. Primetime sports at one point was driven by Bob Mcowan but over the last few years it has been carried by it’s name and popularity in this country, and I say that because I don’t believe that when Bob is not present the show’s ratings take a nose dive, traditionally sports people in Canada have become hooked to 590 during the afternoon drive regardless of who the host is.

  • comment-avatar
    Clifton, Etobicoke 2 years

    Is it just me or is the Tim and Sid show just a worse version of their radio show but with a nice set. I just don’t see them appealing to people on a national level like Bob can. Bob is sleepwalking, still better than Tim and Sid.

  • comment-avatar
    John 2 years

    I disagree Mont. The David Peterson interview was great today. It is in the best interest of the City/Province to sell the boondoggle that is the Pan-Am Games to Bob’s huge audience. He was respectful and courteous of that. No need for him to rain on the parade one day before it starts, regardless of what he thinks. I’d rather see it be a success, everyone should. I had no interest in attending any of the events prior to said interview and now I am currently looking up tickets online. There’s an international event in our backyard after all.

  • comment-avatar
    (Another) Andrew 2 years

    Bob has invited Gary Bettman on the show and acts like him and Gary are old buddies, Is this not shilling? prior to the hockey package Gary had not appeared on PTS in almost a decade. what changed?

    Although I agree with your overall point, just to nitpick here, but Bettman was on PTS a few years (maybe 3?) before the Rogers deal. I remember it because there was some acrimony between Bettman and Brunt.

  • comment-avatar
    rob j 2 years

    @Blue Jay Fan
    Like I said, I double-dare any media personality to say about his-her employer what Bob said about his. Calling Gibbons a nickname literally everyone uses (nauseating though it may be) etc ain’t shilling. Plus he acted as a Jays fan waaaaay before Rogers bought the team in 2000. (He had Bettman on before the hilariously terrible NHL deal, btw). And on Thurs, he went against all conventional wisdom and said the Jays should not go for it this season but hang on to all the young players. I’d think AA and Beeston would differ strenuously with that idea.

  • comment-avatar
    yaz 2 years

    Peddie has a book? Must have self-published.

  • comment-avatar
    Not that Chris 2 years

    I didn’t get to listen to much of PTS today, but caught about 15-20 minutes of the beginning of the third hour. The roundtable were talking about CTE and it’s future impact on sports. It was one of the best segments of discussion I’ve heard on sports radio in a long, LONG time.

  • comment-avatar
    Alex 2 years

    Probably not a coincidence that the roundtable was not packedwith the ususal suspects.

  • comment-avatar
    Not that Chris 2 years

    I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the last two roundtable panels weren’t loaded with the usual buddies and yes men. Maybe with what he perceives as actual competition (because he sure as hell never considered TSNR that)in the time slot, he’ll be stepping up his game.

  • comment-avatar
    alex 2 years

    Prob has more to do with usual people going on vacation, esp the hockey guys.

  • comment-avatar
    Dan 2 years

    I haven’t listened to McClown in years, and maybe he is the best interviewer in the country, but who really is his competition? Canada has no real national radio shows other than his to my knowledge and most of the locals around here seem to softball most interviews.

  • comment-avatar
    Mike S 2 years

    If some people feel that McCown only started being critical of Rogers after Keith Pelley left they must not have been listening when the Yunel Escobar fiasco happened………..or when the John Farrell trade happened……….or when the Bills In Toronto games were going on……….or when the Jays payroll was very low for several years (before the Marlins trade late in 2012)……………or when Rogers teamed up with Bell to buy MLSE………..or when Rogers tried to replace Beeston with Dan Duquette last year

    There are several things about McCown that I don’t like……..but I can’t think of too many people who have been more critical of their employers than him

  • comment-avatar
    Dros 2 years

    TSN 1050 is like listening to college radio…but not as good.

    TSN 1200 in Ottawa was decent when I lived there, but 1050 just sounds amateurish from front-to-back. Boring, know nothing hosts. The sound quality is also off when listening to it, but I can’t put my finger on how…it’s like echo-y in their studio or something.

  • comment-avatar
    Anthony 2 years

    ‘If some people feel that McCown only started being critical of Rogers after Keith Pelley left they must not have been listening when the Yunel Escobar fiasco happened………..or when the John Farrell trade happened……….or when the Bills In Toronto games were going on……….or when the Jays payroll was very low for several years (before the Marlins trade late in 2012)……………or when Rogers teamed up with Bell to buy MLSE………..or when Rogers tried to replace Beeston with Dan Duquette last year

    There are several things about McCown that I don’t like……..but I can’t think of too many people who have been more critical of their employers than him’

    100 percent bang on….

    Its the blind rogers hate comments that TSM mentioned before that continued to get posted. Its taken over the site.

    Being critical is fine, but be fair. McCown has a very, very long history of calling out Rogers.

    http://torontosportsmedia.com/sports-and-toronto/prime-time-sports-review-for-tuesday-september-18-2012/14930

    I distinctly remember how hard Bob went after Rogers and the Blue Jays that night, it was one of my favourite shows.

  • comment-avatar
    Marcus 2 years

    I’d like to reference a different media station for a glimpse into the real Bob McCown. A decade and change back or so, TVOntario had a roundtable hosted by Steve Paikin about the impact of, I believe, legalizing gambling, casinos and betting on sporting events (yes, that was topic of discussion once upon a time) and Bob was one of the invited guests. I remember him being quite subdued (not intimidated, btw), picking his spots, and making pithy, insightful comments. I would be interesting to see more of Bob in this context, but he’d have to get away from the meathead mentality that pervades a lot of sports talk radio.

    It would be great to see him revive The Business of Sport, but on ROB-TV or CBC-Newsworld, not Sportsnet or TSN. Then watch him pull up his socks and reflect the milieu he inhabits.

  • comment-avatar
    Don River 2 years

    “If some people feel that McCown only started being critical of Rogers after Keith Pelley left they must not have been listening when the Yunel Escobar fiasco happened………..or when the John Farrell trade happened……….or when the Bills In Toronto games were going on……….or when the Jays payroll was very low for several years (before the Marlins trade late in 2012)……………or when Rogers teamed up with Bell to buy MLSE………..or when Rogers tried to replace Beeston with Dan Duquette last year”

    Bob has been critical of anything that harms his beloved Jays. Escobar? Embarrassed the team. Trading Farrell? Made the team look bush. Rogers-Bell partnership? Had the potential to make the Jays less of a priority for Rogers, which is now a bigger possibility because of the subsequent NHL deal. Beeston? Bob’s #1 Jays pal.

    Bob has always been critical of the Bills in Toronto series (or any NFL in Toronto venture), not to mention that most of the people responsible for it are now gone. So if anything, Bob is defending the current Rogers regime that killed the deal.

    I’m sure Rogers is ecstatic with Bob since he’s all about protecting and promoting the Jays brand, even when he has criticisms. To paraphrase an old song, that’s what Bob has been reduced to.

  • comment-avatar
    Don Mandrie 2 years

    There is one person in the country who can move into Bob’s chair – Mitch Melnick in Montreal.

  • comment-avatar
    Anthony 2 years

    ‘Bob has always been critical of the Bills in Toronto series (or any NFL in Toronto venture), not to mention that most of the people responsible for it are now gone. So if anything, Bob is defending the current Rogers regime that killed the deal.’

    He was doing so when the series was announced and mocked people for buying tickets. The Rogers big wigs where not gone at that time, they where fully employed. If he was blindly defending the brand, then he wouldn’t have ripped the Rogers series and those involved WHEN THEY WHERE EMPLOYED by Rogers.

    This is really getting silly.

  • comment-avatar

    He certainly towed the Rogers line in his interview with Beeston and Shapiro yesterday.  He never asked a tough question or a question about the team as currently constituted.

    I love listening to the Bobcat but that was a terrible 1 hour of my life that I would like to have back.

    He came across as nothing but a shill for Rogers.

  • comment-avatar
    Larry MacCormack 4 months

    Been a fan of PTS for quite some time and understand Bob is probably winding down on his tenure, but seriously putting and idiot like Damien Cox  as a co-host  along side is not the way to go out. I'm sure this doesn't matter to Rogers but I  stopped watching when he came on the show…