Fan Bids Adieu To The Deacon; Petrillo On The Move

September 13th, 2011 | by torontosportsmedia

Another busy day here in Toronto.

Here’s what I am hearing tonight:

Doug the Deacon Farraway was relieved of his duties from Rogers Sportsnet The Fan 590 today. Farraway lists on his Twitter account that he has been in the business for 36 years and was currently the Sports Director for 590, a position he has held for 9 years or so.

I haven’t been able to find a full bio on Doug. My memories of him on the fan are of the guy who took the morning shift on NHL trade deadline day or NHL free agency day. You know manning the desk for hours at a time when literally nothing would happen.

I know many of you may not have been huge fans, to me he was what he was. He filled in regularly, he took calls all the time. I was surprised to hear him doing updates on the morning show lately, but that’s what the fill in guy does right?

I say this too often. It’s never fun when anyone loses their job. I wish Doug and his family all the best and hope he lands where he wants, doing something he enjoys.

I’ll say this, Don Kollins hasn’t left too many stones unturned has he?

I am also told at this hour that Andi Petrillo has bolted LeafsTv for a role with the CBC and Hockey Night in Canada.

What exactly Petrillo will be doing is not yet known, but it look for her on the CBC this hockey season. Congrats Andi.



  1. Robinaurora says:

    If he was Sports Director, great. He should not have been an on air personality – he was awful at that. He should have just read the news – he was quite good at it. So was Rick Ralph. This smacks of cost cutting. Get someone to do the same job for much less money. Way to go Rogers…

  2. Martin says:

    Deacon came to The Fan from a Hamilton station but as stated he was good at reporting the news but as a host not so much but would take him over The Rog who other than McCowan & Barb Di are probably now the longest serving Fan talking heads…….

  3. mario says:

    I agree as TSM stated is never fun when someone loses thier job…Deacon was good as a sports reader but never as a host…best of luck to him..Petrillo not a big fan but got better as time went on also good luck..

  4. Dave in Bolton says:

    okay add this to the list why i can’t stand Rogers/the Fan those damn idiots who run rogers aka Don Kollins! they need to be knocked off their high horse. Deacon was a good man and does not deserve to be fired ugh im so pissed it’s not funny! I hope that TSN gives them a kick where the sun don’t shine and becomes #1 in Toronto. Shame on Rogers for letting a muppet run their all sports radio station

  5. Rick Ralph says:

    My favourite show was the Muppets.

  6. Sam In Scarb says:

    So the suits at Robbers continue to ice long term higher salaries (Farraway,Berger ect.) Yet, keep kollins on whom has a proven track record of HUGE mistakes that has cost them big $$..They don’t axe kollins because that would be an admission to their own big mistake.

  7. Chris F. says:

    It’s never good to hear that someone has lost their job but the Deacon was a poor on air personality other than reading the news/scores. I will say this for him though he did tend to have a wider scope of interest when he wasn’t too busy looking at the world through Maple Leafs glasses.

    I’m pretty sure he played a hand in some of the programming over the years such as the ISR, Outdoor Journal, the high school/college show and the soccer and tennis shows that have popped up on the schedule.

    If this firing means that some of that programing (and ISR is now gone) is not long for this world than this may be a very bad thing. I guess time will tell.

    Here’s hoping he lands on his feet somewhere else.

  8. Steve-O says:

    I had a chance to work with Andi Petrillo on two separate occasions when she sports anchor at Rogers TV and at SkyWords Traffic.

    You could tell that with her poise and strong on-air delivery that she was clearly cut out for bigger things.

    As for The Deacon, sad to see him go. He was very enthusiastic about his job and covered some non-mainstream sports on The Fan along with some issues that showed his Hamilton roots.

  9. EugenesAxe says:

    I am actually pretty surprised to hear Farraway has been let go. I never understood why he got the gig in the first place much less holding onto it for as long as he did. One could conclude if he was good at one thing it was politicking. In the end, it will only help matters at the Fan as they can bring in someone less annoying, hip and likeable.

    Hopefully Barb Diguilo is next to go. Hopefully someone tweets about it soon.

  10. Paul (from Hespeler) says:

    The demise of the FAN590 over the couple of years as been steady and the radio station is a shell of what is was or should be. Unfortunately the attempt for convergence of so many mediums into one simply doesn’t work well. To wit, radio is radio, but SportsNet is trying to make it multi-media for the under 30 crowd with an attention span of a few minutes, if not seconds.

    It was enviable that Farraway would be released since he is in his 60s and doesn’t fit into the new mould. Doug is a good radio guy and doesn’t work with the new ideas for the FAN. Too bad that Rogers and SportNet brass (Keith Pelley and Scott Moore in particular) don’t see radio as a unique and stand alone medium, and are desperately trying to reinvent the wheel. To me it means switching radio stations as the very weak newcomers seem to be more about self promotion and really are not interested in substance, or even facts. The FAN morning show tandem is a perfect example of two guys who are not at all suited for radio.

    Oh well, not my worry, but I would love to know why Don Kollins manages to keep his job, never-mind how he was hired in the first place. Nelson Millman was old school radio… Kollins is no school radio.

  11. Andy says:

    Sam is bang on. The only reason Kollins hasn’t been axed is because that would expose the endless run of mistakes the suits at Robbers have pulled off…like hiring Andrew Krystal then signing him to a long term contract then firing him after a litany of listener complaints. The FAN morning show continues to be a running joke…a quick check this morning had frat boys Brady & Lang whining on about “your worst 1st dates” and asking listeners to call in! What an embarrassment for a supposed all sports radio station to allow this garbage to be broadcast on air. That crap is not entertaining nor is it sports informative nor does it have a damn thing to do with sports. I also agree i wouldn’t miss Barb and her uninteresting and rediculous rants on air in the afternoons.

  12. I don’t listen to 590 enough to really care, I didn’t listen when he was on for very long, he was too plodding and call centric for me, lazy radio.

    It’s sad mike hogan only has a part time gig but Blair and Sammut still have jobs, but this is the fan 590 of today, glad we have ESPN.COM

  13. sinnacle says:

    Don’t watch LeafsTV but always liked Petrillo on Goltv. Plus she did a good job hosting the annual MLSE smoozefest to advertisers in 2010. Best of luck to her.

  14. Steve (in Hamilton) says:

    This is a question for those of you who are involved in radio (since I have no connection to the field), but what exactly does a “sports director” do? I used to hear Deacon’s title and wondered if his position is different from that of Kollins. It used to remind me of McCown’s joke about the position of “director of hockey operations” on a hockey team. That is, isn’t all of the programming sports-related? Sorry for the silly question, but the title “sports director” always sounded a bit invented.

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  16. Roger says:


    It’s not her “poise” or knowledge of sports that got her the job – it’s her appearance. Obvious to me anyway. .

  17. Roger says:

    Sorry, that’s addressed to Steve-O.

  18. Matt says:

    Even though I wasn’t a fan of Farraway, it is sad to see him go. As far as the search for a new sports director goes, if Rogers promotes from within, I think that Zack Cooper should be the one who gets to be the new sports director at Fan 590.

  19. Steve-O says:

    Roger: No question that the optics help, but she does a very good job on-air, in my honest opinion.

  20. Sean says:

    Not a fan of Deacon at all. He was not a good on air personallity.

    How many references to the ‘Hamilton Predators’ do we need on a 2 hour show?

    I hope he lands on his feet, but he must have been a ratings hole for the Fan.

  21. Drumanchor says:

    Unlike most of the posters here, I did not entirely dislike The Deacon. Initially, when I first heard him doing the odd fill-in gig, I thought his style was somewhat different and refreshing for Canadian talk radio. To me, he brought more to the game than some of The Fan’s other, permanent hosts and I enjoyed listening to him, for the most part.

    However, when he started to go over-the-top with his constant cheerleading (and then whining) about how Hamilton should have an NHL team, he lost me.

    It showed a very small town, parochial attitude that many from Hamilton tend to exhibit and should never have gone to air. A very unprofessional manner for a Sports Director at a major market radio station to act.

    He sealed his own fate after that.

  22. Moe Howard says:

    the Deacon was ok, maybe too much soccer talk. Petrillo is hot but c’mon from Leafs TV to HNIC. This is as bad as Dunleavy calling Leaf games!

  23. mike (in boston) says:

    Steve (In Hamilton) Says…:

    what exactly does a “sports director” do?

    good question. i assumed it was something like news director, where he decides which stories get top billing on updates, assigns people to work on certain stories, and so on. but this doesn’t really seem to fit with what they do at the FAN. Count me among the people who think the job sounds made-up, but probably came with some extra salary.

    a poster here once recounted a fairly smarmy exchange with Farraway when the poster emailed some criticism to the FAN. this confirmed the impression i had of him. very preachy on the radio, and not very good at hosting. i wish him well in his retirement.

    on a related topic, who is TSN’s “sports director”? who is their PD? i find it odd that we’re 6 months in to their life and we still really have no idea who is running the show over there. TSM, any help?

  24. Sam In Scarb says:

    @Mike (In Boston)…
    on a related topic, who is TSN’s “sports director”? who is their PD? i find it odd that we’re 6 months in to their life and we still really have no idea who is running the show over there. TSM, any help?
    Fantastic Question !!!
    Would have thought TSM would have had some information about said subject by now???

  25. Marsh says:

    Perhaps TSM could enlighten us on what a Sports Director does? I’ve always wondered about it myself. When Nelson was around he seemed to run the whole show himself anyway.

  26. Sam In Scarb says:

    Mr Farraway was not hired to be an “on air” voice. He was Hired to be the Spots Director and my, he must of been doing a fine job at that for so many years before you know who was hired . Then, I we can only assume Mr. Farraway decided he wanted to be “on air” more and more..NOT!!
    Maybe the next “Sports Director” will be Jeff Lumby…hummm

  27. kim says:

    Wow, so many new commentors today lol. Wonder if the Farraway family was directed to this blog? lol

  28. Matt says:

    @ Mike (In Boston) and Sam in Scarb,

    I believe that the program director at TSN Radio 1050 is Rob Gray. He was previously the program director at Team 1040 & Team 1410 in Vancouver. As for who’s the sports director, I have no clue. I cannot help you guys there. Sorry.

  29. Darrell says:

    Not much to say here but Doug Farraway – the radio host I enjoyed listening to. Doug Farraway – the program director or whatever management position he held was an utter idiot.

  30. Michael says:

    I really hope this doesn’t mean less soccer on the fan. He was good at getting less main stream sports on the radio. Since kollins took over I very rarely listen to the Fan live. Now I only listen to Primetime and the Soccer Show podcasts. The rest has become really bad.

  31. Darrell says:

    Farraway being ousted is a good thing; but the dusting should continue and clean out Don Kollins as well from Sportsnet Radio The FAN 590.

  32. RJ says:

    When you call yourself the Deacon and talk in a pompous matronly tone, you’re not going to be popular and well received once listeners/coworkers get tired of the act

  33. Hugh Knowe says:

    Where to start? Farraway was Sports Director for a long time, many years working under Nelson Millman. The job entails scheduling,overseeing producers and helping anchors with their casts, among other tasks. Not necessarily determining what the lead stories should be (an anchor at The Fan should already know), but what the content should include and exclude. He also worked with newer and younger on air talents like Alex Sixeiro , Ben Ennis and Zach Cooper. One of the frustrations in constantly reading the comments on this site is how most of the posters have no idea how the business works. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to get feedback. But it might have more impact if, every once in a while, there was something positive said. I know you’re not going to like everyone or everything, nor should you. There is a lot of crap masquerading as major market radio. And as for Farraway, the man just lost his job. No matter how you feel about his work, show some class. Good luck Doug

  34. Steve (in Hamilton) says:


    I think a lot of the comments here are supportive of Doug, and the other group, while they may be happy to see him leave, are not motivated by personal animus.

    You answered my original question, regarding what a “sports director” does, pretty well – and I appreciate it. However, you then suggest that all of the comments here are negative, which is both untrue and even childish. Nobody is goating – I hope – that a person lost his job, but this is a forum to discuss the media in Toronto, and you shouldn’t go on air if you are extra-sensitive.

    Dude, most of the comments here are constructive, and non-personal. I have heard it said that it only takes one bad apple on an internet forum and then everyone starts calling one another Hitler. Well, you just said that we are all bad apples and, well, I just don’t feel like stooping to that level. Have a good night, sir.

  35. Jack says:

    Farraway first surfaced on the Fan doing news updates (news not sports) at two or three minutes before the hour on late afternoon programming. At the time, Scott Metcalfe was the Sports Director. Eventually Metcalfe was transferred to the sister station at 680 as News Director and Farraway was appointed Sports Director at the Fan 590.

  36. Sean says:

    Where were all these ‘loving’ Doug Farraway comments over the past year?

    We have all lamented the fact that he used the show to promote things that he cared about, not what his audience cared about, which I think is why you see many people saying that they are glad that he will no longer be on the air. The Hamilton Hockey team is prime example #1.

    Now as far as calling us negative? Thats your perogative, I just happen to disagree. We are honest. To some who may be close to the situation it may look negative, but its no different then what you would hear in an office.

    Ive called his show once or twice and said the same to his face (ear? Not sure how that works lol). Id have no issue doing it again. Its not negative, its feedback, and its not personal. Others may love it, and thats fine, but in my opinion, he was not a quality on air broadcaster.

    As far as the person goes, hate to see anyone loose a job. Always have, always will. I have no idea if he was good or bad at his off air job, so i cant comment on that. Based on the fact that he was in his job for as long as he was probably suggests he will land on his feet. Hopefully he does.

  37. RJ says:

    Hugh Knows (I get it now!!) was wise to comment on his perception of negativity on this blog. It reminded me to post that I had a great laugh this morning listening to Brady/Lang seriously debate whether Schenn is worth $4 million a year! One of them sheepishly concluded that then the leafs would have 4 defensemen making that amount while the far superior Red Wings would have none! Blue and White Disease alert, bigtime, baby

  38. Daniel says:

    In all honestly, I pretty much agree with Hugh on the tone of the comments section. Don’t get me wrong, I like reading the comments a lot (and many commenters give really interesting thoughts), but I do find that there’s a lot of repetitive attacks that aren’t really constructive at all.

    Since Kollins has come in and revamped things, ratings are up (and for me personally at least, I think the station is much improved). It’s kind of funny though, if you only read the comments here, you would assume that they’ve plummeted.

    That said, this is the internet … so you have to take things like comment sections with a pretty huge grain of salt. This is a great site, and interesting forum.

  39. I didn’t mind the Deacon on-air. At least he was one of the few willing to admit he was a Leafs/Jays fan on a station that seems over-represented with Habs/Yankees fans.

    IF the fan’s ratings are up as some are suggesting I am shocked. I find the morning show utterly unlistenable.

    Ant let me ask all you who read this site. Do you actually listen to their gaming show “got game”??

  40. Darrell says:

    @ The Meatriarchy – Farraway is a Yankees fan; he’s not a Jays fan. Also since when is the FAN 590 known as a Canadiens station? It’s Leaf eccentric. Agree with you about the morning show being unlistenable.

  41. d. says:

    It’s always unfortunate when a person loses their job, with that in mind I hope Mr. Farraway lands on his feet and wish nothing but good tidings for him in the future.

    As other have noted he was a very capable news reader with a unique cadence to his voice. He was suited to that role but as an on-air personality it wasn’t my cup of tea. To my ears, he did come off as preachy & entirely too ‘folksy’ for my taste. That folksy tone is the same reason that I find Lajoie unlistenable.

    On the whole, I actually quite like what The Fan has done. It’s gotten younger & in my opinion – the overall talent level has increased. I like the fast pace of Brady & Lang & enjoy that they’re able to discuss pop culture in a witty way, rather than sticking to the same, tired Leafs topics. At the same time I can appreciate how they might grate on the ears & sensibilities of others. I’m hoping to hear Tim & Sid soon.

    I’ve tried listening to TSN’s programming & while Hayes has his moments, only Dan Patrick has held my prolonged interest.

  42. Rick says:

    One less reason for me to even bother tuning in to the Fan anymore. With the exception of PrimeTime Sports, Kollins has made that station untenable to listen to with his massive overhaul.

    All the best to Doug Farraway and I wish him nothing but success and hope he finds an on-air spot somewhere that I will be able to listen in.

  43. Andy says:

    I agree bang on that when you call yourself The Deacon and broadcast in an annoying pompous tone your bound to irritate a lot of listeners.

    The last i read the FAN’s overall audience numbers were way down after Kollins took over. They had more younger punks listening to hacks like Brady but overall listeners was way down. If that has changed i have not read it.

    Also Stellick & Landry had comparable numbers to what Brady’s summer book was but we all know that show took a dive and i fully expect the same thing will happen to this new un-listenable FAN morning show.

  44. Daniel says:

    Andy – just from searching ‘ratings’ on this website for a couple minutes, you can easily compare pre and post shakeup Fan ratings:

    Summer 09
    Landry/Stellick Morning Show: 4.0
    Bullpen: 4.2
    Game Plan: 3.6
    PTS: 7.8

    Sept 09:
    Morning Show: 6.3
    Bullpen: 2.9
    HC @ Noon: 4.3
    PTS: 9.0

    Feb 2010
    Morning Show: 6.1
    HC @ Noon: 4.4
    Game Plan: 4.5
    PTS: 8.7

    Then in June 2010, all the changes happened.

    Here is Summer 2011 (worth considering that I believe summers are considered soft in sports radio):

    Brady/Lang Morning Show: 6.8
    Blair: 5.1
    1-4 Fill Ins/Krystal: 3.3
    PTS: 8.9

    So, all the new shows have improved ratings except for 1-4 (no shock there). If you compare it to summer numbers, then it’s a substantial improvement.

  45. Daniel says:

    Brady/Lang is a substantial improvement from the 09 summer numbers I mean.

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