Seen & Heard – Weekday Edition

June 20th, 2016 | by mike (in boston)
Seen & Heard – Weekday Edition
business of sports
185

photo credit: the internet

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by mike in boston / @mikeinbostonemail

 

Irregular posting schedule will continue until morale improves. I need to clear out the queue so here's an early edition of Seen & Heard to get you through the work week. We should have a Strombo thread up eventually but feel free to discuss that here until then. I'm also working on a few more rigorous features on bigger topics, and will be reaching out to people in the coming weeks for help. (If you're in the business, thanks for answering my emails). Additionally we should have some fun posts upcoming. All of that should help us survive the dog days of summer in sports media that are about to descend.

 

Suggested Soundtrack: Black Sheep – The Choice is Yours

 

Vegas, Gary!

 

News leaked this week that Vegas will get an NHL team while Quebec City will not. Here is a quick round-up of some notable opinions

 

Scott Stinson (National Post) writes:

 

"The great uncertainty is whether Las Vegas can generate enough interest from visiting tourists to sustain a franchise. No one knows. But hoping that there are lots of visitors who go to Vegas and find themselves bored and looking for something to do is a curious bet."

 

Eric Duhatschek has a more positive view in the Globe & Mail:

 

"Las Vegas is a hospitality hub, a destination for many seeking to get out on the town in short whistle-stop trips to the Nevada city. Nowadays, people go to Vegas not just for the gambling, but for the dining and the shows. Suddenly, the NHL will be on offer as a tourist option. Snowbirds have not flocked to games in Arizona or Florida the way those teams hoped, but the belief is Vegas can be different because people go to Vegas with a mindset to get out on the town."

 

The least informative piece I read came courtesy of TSM and Sportsnet favourite John Shannon, who writes the following explaining why Quebec didn't get a team:

 

“But where would the corporate dollars come from? I’m told that portion of the application did not really properly address how and where the dollars would come from. It was the weak link in the proposal. How quickly would this team require an injection of revenue sharing from the other partners, which would dilute the almost $17 million fee each team would receive? The Toronto Maple Leafs paid almost $30 million into revenue sharing last year. Would they, and every other “have” team, be paying more in a few years? It was a risk that Bettman could not recommend. It was a risk that the Executive Committee would not approve. From a pure business sense, it was not realistic.”

 

Shannon neglects to tell us why Vegas doesn't raise exactly the same concerns, or how this issue was addressed in the case of Winnipeg. The piece lacks the kind of balance one would expect from a reputable hockey outlet like Sportsnet, so it reads mostly as a press release for the NHL. This doesn't do much to reverse Shannon's existing reputation as Gary's man on the ground at Sportsnet.

 

As an aside, with cuts coming in that wing of the campus, would anyone miss Shannon if he went back to work for the NHL in an official capacity? He's got a very deep CV on the production side and I would argue that this is where his talents lie. He is inarguably the worst co-host in the history of PTS and Sportsnet employs many superior NHL "insiders". He is very very redundant.

 

Back to Vegas and Quebec City, conventional wisdom is that Canadian markets won't be filled via expansion but rather be held open until a U.S.-based team is on the verge of folding. The logic is that Canadian markets won't ever lose their interest, so you can go there when all other options have been exhausted. By contrast, you need to strike while the iron is hot and scoop up expansion fees while U.S. markets are interested in hockey. If and when the interest wanes, then you turn your gaze back to the North.

 

Here's the problem with that strategy: the last two years of hockey ratings have shown that there is a finite amount of interest in the NHL, even in Canada. International hockey tournaments still draw big TV numbers, so Canadians haven't lost their appetite for the sport of hockey. Rather, it's the NHL that is less compelling. 

 

The NHL is playing a risky game by using Canada as a last resort rather than investing in growing the game here. With the rise of the Raptors, Canadian basketball in general, a resurgent Jays team that draws national attention, soccer and the expansion of the MLS, there are now more options than ever competing for eyeballs and ticket dollars. Additionally, the NHL has chosen a regular season schedule that drags on too long and overlaps with the NFL juggernaut in the fall and winter, as well as the record setting NBA playoffs and the MLB in the spring.

 

Finally and perhaps most crucially, as Bruce Arthur wrote about recently in the Star, the game is boring. The NFL has done a lot recently to shed its label as the No Fun League, including making the passing game front and centre. The NBA is making the 3-point shot more prominent. Soccer added a diving penalty, a shirt pulling penalty (Hop Suisse!), and more officials to try to improve the flow of the game. Can you point to anything that shows the NHL is trending in a more exciting direction? I can't. 

 

Vegas may turn into a stable franchise but I wouldn't bet my money on it.

 

Over to you: would you make an NHL game part of your Vegas vacation? Do you care that Quebec City was skipped over? Are you bored by the NHL's product?

 

Running Players out of Town

 

Is Toronto a tough media market? We've batted this ball around before and it has come up again with Kessel winning The Cup and people taunting Steve Simmons as a result. Steve had this to say on Twitter:

 

 

I don't really have an opinion on whether or not Simmons has a vendetta against Phil. That said, he does work for TSN and that network was ground zero for run-ins with the ex-Leaf. Many media rallied around TSN contributor Dave Feschuk when he was called out by Kessel. Dave Naylor has been very vocal on his TSN radio show supporting Feschuk after the latter wrote his now infamous "Phil is uncoachable" story featuring anonymous sources quoting Steve Spott quoting Randy Carlyle. Recall that TSN also aired a lurid tweet about Dion Phaneuf's wife. Also, TSN Leafs beat reporter (now with CP & TSN) Jonas Siegel publicly complained about Kessel's media surliness and how he wasn't going to take it anymore.

 

All that to say there are a lot of layers to that era of Leafs-media relations that make it hard to know whose personal dislike for Phil bled into his or her professional work. Things seem to be better now that Lou and Brendan are in charge. In any case, Steve filled in for Michael Landsberg on TSN1050's morning show and discussed (Wednesday of last week maybe?) his hot dog story and roundly rejected the idea that he or the media drove Phil out of town. He made a pretty compelling case in my opinion.

 

The more general questions I want us to ponder are the following:

 

1) Is Toronto a tough media market?

2) What are the examples of the local media turning on an athlete and driving him out of town?

 

On the first question, Toronto is undoubtedly a fish bowl for Leafs players. That said, we don't often hear about players' personal lives (marital status, which clubs they were spotted at, financial woes, etc.) the way, for example, tabloids follow the Yankess in New York. Nothing will ever compare to the Boston media in my experience. Those guys would shred players day and night and you could see the fans follow suit. Antagonizing players was something of a local pastime.

 

So while Toronto is a demanding media market for hockey players it is not especially intrusive. By contrast with the Leafs, Raptors players seem to enjoy significantly less pressure from the media. Most Raptors players are treated as saviours when they are not being ignored. The Jays are somewhere in the middle. The fact that the majority of the people covering the team work for Rogers helps keep things friendly, obviously. The love affair with Gibby sometimes borders on the ridiculous. We occasionally hear or read critical pieces when players struggle — Tulo comes to mind this year — but generally speaking the baseball media is not tough. 

 

Turning to the 2nd question, I struggled to think of guys who were run out of town by media rather than by their own play. Larry Murphy? Alex Rios? Bryan McCabe? David Wells? I'm curious if anyone can make the case that these guys left early because of the media. I'm also especially keen to hear from those of you who have lived elsewhere. 

 

Over to you: is Toronto a tough media market? Did the TSN gang run Phil out of town?

 

TWIBT Winner

 

The winner of This Week in Bad Twitter is going to be in the running for bad tweet of the year. Check out this doozy from Mr. Bob McCown:

 

 

Within an hour Jays media were disputing the facts

 

 

 

A few minutes later Bobcat recanted the original report with this sheepish tweet:

 

 

Normally I wouldn't devote much space to this but given McCown's record when it comes to breaking news, this incident is pretty interesting. Bob hadn't tweeted in months and was clearly excited to be able to make a splash. The question I have is how did this happen?

 

  • Theory 1 says: Bob was just throwing something out there to rile up the fanbase. Bob is well known for his deep reserve of energy for disingenuous arguments so this theory has some merits.

 

  • Theory 2 is that one of Bob's sources with the Jays told him something false by mistake and Bob drew the implication that Bautista would be traded based on that, and went ahead without doing any fact checking or confirming.

 

  • Theory 3 says that someone intentionally gave Bob false information and the idea that a trade is in the works, knowing that this would be publicly embarrassing for McCown if he were to mention it. 

 

I have no idea which theory is accurate but one of them is pretty close to the truth. Regardless, someone in Bob's position and with his track record of hilariously wrong scoops should be doing his due diligence before tweeting. The fact that reporters were able to falsify the report so quickly suggests that the facts were not all that hard to discover. 

 

As we near the end of Bob's contract, events like these won't help his negotiating power in squeezing another year or two out of Rogers.

 

Quick Hits

 

Speaking of negotiating power, how does Don Cherry have so much of it? As we await the full details of the Rogers hockey cuts we get the news that Cherry is safe. In my opinion Cherry is part of the problem with HNIC not part of the solution. We have become so accustomed to blaming Rogers for the ills of Hockey Night but let's recall that Cherry devolved into his current unwatchable state long before they took over. Would anyone really miss the guy that rants about lefty pinkos who ride bicycles? Seems odd to rush to lock him up to a new deal. Where else would he go?

 

TSN issued a press release stating they have hired a new Leafs beat reporter. Welcome to the fold Kristen Shilton. I'm a little sad David Alter didn't get the job after his rough treatment by Postmedia. That said, it's great they have hired a woman. I do wonder how much she will be going on the road with the team, since they have essentially cut that from Scott MacArthur's Jays job, and the press release praises her social and digital media skills but doesn't specify whether she will be traveling.

 

Chris Zelkovich reports that 535,000 people tuned in to TSN to watch a CFL pre-season game featuring two western Canadian teams. 

 

The CFL has a blog called The Snap. They took a look at tailgating at BMO. You can see the lively pictures (of the same dozen people) here. If I can be so bold as to give the CFL marketing advice: stop calling it a tailgate and call it a fan party or the BBQ Zone or something else instead. By using the word 'tailgating' you are inviting comparisons with the NFL and you probably don't want to do that.

 

Sean Fitz-Gerald reminds us about the idiotic spat between Argos and TFC supporters about the state of the grass at BMO. Here's hoping this story dies with this article. 

 

Richard Deitsch (who owes me an email) has a discussion of whether media members can come back after being fired for racist remarks. He also had a great appearance on PTS recently to discuss the widely acclaimed ESPN documentary on OJ Simpson that is airing on TSN.

 

ESPN has adopted guidelines for acknowledging the work of others in their own reporting. As much as I want to make sarcastic remarks about ESPN, it will be eons before either TSN or SN adopt anything similar. The way each network pretends the other doesn't exist is immeasurably stupid since anyone who pays for one network also pays for the other.

 

Low Hanging Fruit

 

  • If you missed TSN Overdrive in the last little while let me catch you up: ball sweat and diarrhea. TSN1050 really missed the boat by deciding not to put this crew in the morning. Weak general sports knowledge and toilet humour? They would be perfect to go up against Dean Blundell.

 

  • Joey Vendetta did one his 10 weeks or so of fill-in work for the FAN. Notably he was actually in the FAN studios (as opposed to via ISDN from LA). He made appearances on the PTS roundtable, as guest host for Blair as well as for Blundell. One of the best things about the Vendetta shows is that he breaks up the monotony of the usual Sportsnet suspects as guests. The day after Joey hosted and Blair returned, listeners were treated to Wilner, ESmith, Molinaro, and Healy over the course of 2 hours.

 

  • Ben Ennis filled in for both Walker and Wilner this week and did a great job at both. Look forward to hearing more of Ben all summer.

 

  • Steve Simmons was a breath of freash air on Naylor & Landsberg. He has all of Michael's bluster but none of his OTR references, a much deeper sports knowledge, as well as an ability to have a debate without talking over his interlocutor. I've said it before, radio is Steve's best medium. Excellent rapport with Dave.

 

  • Greg Brady is making cryptic remarks about a possible return to radio. He may not be the host we deserve but given the state of the line-ups he may be the host we need.

 

 

  • The Star revamped their website to be more mobile friendly. It now looks atrocious on desktop browsers. Good job, good effort.

 

  • Like many of his own colleagues, I continue to be blocked by Jeff Blair. Miss you Blairsy! We used to be pals. I bet you don’t even remember why you blocked me.

 

  • Damien Cox’s Twitter is still on lockdown. What purpose is that serving at this point?

 

  • Postmedia has been embedding videos in their stories. I get that they are trying to create more impressions but they need to put in better effort. For example, if you click on the Stinson article above you'll be treated to an auto-play video, streaming in glorious 240p, featuring Mike Zeisberger and Michael Traikos (and some unsuspecting swimmer) doing a hit from the hotel pool. Not exactly professional work.

 

trunks

 

—–

 

thanks for reading and commenting,

until next time …

mike (not really in boston)

 

185 Comments

  1. mario says:

    Thanks for a good and interesting reads. Looking forward on how deep Rogers will cut, and how they will revamp HNIC and hockey package in general. Always very sad to see good people lose they jobs in front and behind the camera. Stombo was if correct the first big name to go just not sure if he was the biggest problem, or maybe the surrounding cast should have been blown up instead. John Shannon very good behind the camera terrible in front of it should never be seen on it again. NHL corporate yes man.

  2. dogpounder says:

    Mike as always thanks for doing this! Be well my friend.

  3. Huz says:

    I’m glad that Maclean is coming back as host, but he should’ve never been removed off of HNIC in the first place.

    They can still use Strombo for interviews etc.

    I’m also hoping they can hire back Tim Thompson to make his epic montages. The montages over the last 2 years have really sucked.

  4. Mike V says:

    So since the Rogers’ cosmetic changes got too much of the blame for ratings declined, will the reversals to go back to a carbon copy of CBC also get too much of the credit if Canadian teams are a combined 100 points better and ratings increase?

    The only way the TFC/Argos spat gets quieted is if they get through the entire season without a problem with the grass. If they don’t, then I see TFC fans remaining (somewhat justifiably) angry.

    As for the Argos, last fall the team did the media rounds for promote new owners/new(ish) stadium/getting Grey Cup 2016. In it, they said they planned to sell out every game and saw it as a reasonable goal. Well we’re days away from the inaugural game at BMO and there are still quite a few tickets available. There could still be a good walkup and they’ll sell out (or maybe Bell will use creative accounting to call it a sellout) but it doesn’t bode particularly well for future games if you can’t sell 26,000 yet for the opener after all the hype and with the opponent being your rival just 40 minutes away. Maybe moving to decade old BMO isn’t the magic pill everyone associated with the team said it would be?

  5. yaz says:

    Glad Ron is back. This will quickly disprove the theory that his ousting was the reason HNIC ratings went down.

    Phoenix is a top 20 U.S. Media market and that is the only reason the Coyotes remain there. Vegas is about 40th so the NHL won’t as vigorously prevent their demise on behalf of NBC like they did in Glendale. Hello to the 2021 Quebec Black Knights.

    For those who said Overdrive couldn’t talk other sports, check out hour 1, June 17 dIscussing the NBA final and Steph Curry’s wife’s Tweet. Sure, it isn’t talk about GSW’s defensive strategy to hug the permimeter and force shooters into the paint but when is the last time you heard Bob discuss that? Agreed, ‘bowl-hugging’ talk should remain off-air though.

    Cherry is a beloved Canadian sports media figure. Is there anyone else that could be described as such? Brian Williams maybe, but my Grandma is more engaging. Cherry is the only one that calls it like it is and after he is gone there will be nobody that fits that bill. Al Strachan was the 2nd last one (calls it like it is, not beloved) and he was booted by MLSE because he didn’t have Cherry’s power.

    Because of his age only, Cherry will soon be replaced by someone about as exciting as a bag of ketchup chips. Sure he goes offside sometimes, but people are listening. Can’t say that about anybody else on HNIC.

  6. Mike V says:

    Cherry is beloved by some but reviled by just as many, even more at this point I would argue. He gets views because they put him on during what HNIC has promoted the most-high profile timeslot, but just as many people listen to Friedman and Kypreos during the second intermission.

  7. yaz says:

    Ratings say far fewer people are listenjng to the 2nd intermission than Coaches Corner. Cherry is back, Kypreos and Friedman’s return is still up in the air. The people who revile Cherry still listen, you can’t say that about others who are reviled on HNIC. Cherry’s value further proved by the fact that despite the ratings pain at HNIC, Cherry is the first one they signed to a new contract.

  8. mike (in boston) says:

    I’m on a plane for the next 12 hours so I’ll fix typos tomorrow. Thanks dogpounder. Please don’t pound your dogs.

  9. Mike V says:

    Where do we see intermission breakdowns this year to show that? The only place I’ve seen it is this Dowbiggin article from 5 years ago, not very relevant to this year’s numbers: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/don-cherrys-ratings-take-a-hit/article4243219/ But still goes to prove that even then, the notion that Don Cherry was so, so much popular than anyone else he is untouchable was bunk. CBC was loathed to let these get out and you can see why.

    Cherry is back because Scott Moore is terrified of rocking the boat anymore and/or he personally likes Don’s “non-PC tell it like it is” style and/or he still believes in the mythology (i.e. when Don’s fans in the media went so far as to float the laughable idea that more people watch Coaches Corner than the actual game) of Cherry the CBC built up – with his help while he was there I would add – for all those years. But the actual numbers that we do have suggest he isn’t nearly as vital as Don’s idolizers (SM included?) would want you to believe.

  10. Stan says:

    There’s more coverage of the Strombo-Ron sags than there would be if the NHL actually did anything substantive to make the game more exciting and watchable.

  11. Mullah_Kintyre says:

    Just to annoy both TFC and Argo fans — Would a pre-season NFL game at BMO Field be a realistic proposition? It’s too late to arrange for one in 2016, but I don’t see why it couldn’t happen in future years. Did the mutual end to the Bills/Rogers deal also end the territorial designation that had Toronto exclusively belonging to the Bills, meaning any potential pre-season game could now involve other teams, like Steelers vs Packers for example? I think I recall NFL games at SkyDome required some kind of security perimeter for a certain distance around the stadium, which might cause compatibility problems for BMO Field during the CNE, although the first week of pre-season games in August happen before the CNE starts.

  12. Steve Jones says:

    Vegas. Do I care? Not a lick. Would I go to a game while there? Not likely. I go to Vegas to do things that are unique to Vegas. But I am sure there will be some interest among the folks who like to travel to see a game making it part if a trip. I think that will be a novelty at first and then just taper off to league wide norms. Will the team be successful? Not likely. Break even would be a big success IMHO.

    Is Toronto are hard place to play? Seriously I can’t imagine how anyone could say yes. The media here softballs everything, unless you’re mailing it in or underperforming hugel, and then you deserve the scrutiny. Maybe it’s me but I never read about players off the field. They don’t get covered the way they do in some other markets.

    McCown’s tweet. That’s just tragic. A guy who wants to a story breaker who just can’t break stories. The older he gets the more it seems his ego gets in the way. I still think he’s the best Toronto has to offer but I listen less and cringe at times. Good Bob barely bats .500 these days.

    Moving forward by going backward? Keeping Cherry is just sad. But I’ve never liked his schtick. But to bring back Maclean just shows Rogers has no thoughts or ideas. Clearly, hockey ain’t for hipsters, and hockey fans don’t like hipsters. But is the talent pool so shallow you have to bring back last decades retread? Seems to me it was many years ago a young Maclean was the young buck who they took a shot on at a young age. Is there no other similar talent who wouldn’t need to learn the game like Strombo did? I guess the answer is Rogers needs safe. Appeal to the base. And keep your job.

    Not sure how to describe Overdrive. Schtick (again). A bro fest. Massively redundant on the bro speak. Populated with very weak sports opinion. What was fun at noon is not fun at 4. And it’s so reliant on the same but and phrases that are now beaten to death it’s just not radio I bother with.

    And wherever Brady lands I will not be present.

  13. EX -SN says:

    Just chiming in to say it’s a good thing SN owned up to it’s failings and finally made the Strombo/Maclean switch. Not only is this a move in reaction to the poor ratings, but you can guarantee the public backlash also factored in

    A few things I’m surprised about:
    1 – that they signed Cherry to another contract. The guy is a dinosaur and the public has called for his head many times in the past in response to his controversial comments. I guess SN sees him as inseparable from Ron, although I think they can find a better foil for Maclean
    2 – From the sounds of it Strombo is going to be completely cut off. I originally thought he would be kept on and maybe given a different role(maybe doing more in depth pieces about issues surrounding the game, interviews etc). But I can see why he wouldn’t want to stick around in that capacity. It’s a slap in the face and he wouldn’t want to be put into a lesser role. As well, this should probably serve as a wake up call for Strombo to stick with what he’s good at in the market he’s appreciated in. He should stick to interviews, news, music. Between his HNIC experiment and his show on CNN a few years back, Strombo should realize venturing too far out of his area of expertise isn’t a good idea

  14. Alex says:

    Admittedly, im one of the few that like shannon (at least more than most), but is he really the worst pts co-host ever when Reid still shows up every so often?

  15. Drumanchor says:

    Good stuff, MIB.

    Some quick observations:
    1) As much as I actually enjoyed the NHL playoffs this year – the first in many years – the product IS rather boring. Too much shot blocking/defensive play, etc., makes it hard to watch unless you have a horse in the race.

    2) Toronto media is fine on professional athletes. What do the players on the Yankees, Red Sox, Eagles, Cowboys,
    Canadiens deal with that is any worse than what TO players get day in and day out?

    3) Strombo, to me, is a decent broadcaster and did well in what seemed like a reduced role in the playoffs. Yet, is there anyone who is more overrated than him? He is alright…but just that – professional with a pout. Couple that with being a very polarizing figure, you can see why the decision was made.

    Besides, the CBC should be jumping with joy with this news – a new host for Q.

  16. Curt says:

    Good post MIB. Re being bored by the NHL – I have been for many years. Never mind the substandard job Rogers does in presenting it, NHL hockey is an over-coached sport with little creativity and entertainment value. I know some folks like to watch endless puck cycling and shot blocking and 2-1 games, but not me. And evidently, many others are tuning out also. Canadian teams doing poorly certainly contributes to falling ratings (along with the poor production), but I also believe the product itself is to blame. Which begs the question, how big of a mistake was it of Rogers to shell out 5.2 billion to broadcast this stuff?

    Regarding Bob’s tweet and his source, well, I can only think it was Shannon who gave him the heads up on that one. “No, no, no, Bob. I REALLY think he’s going to cancel his tournament because I REALLY believe he’s going to get traded! You watch!”

  17. MontfromLondonOnt says:

    @Alex
    I’m with you on Shannon – I don’t mind the guy – As for Reid – I can’t believe that clown has still got a job –
    McCown may be over the hill but he is still my go to guy – Especially when he has Perkins on – And a biggg plus is McCown never has Wilner on-

  18. GreyCountyMike says:

    Agreed, Toronto is a tough sports media market for hockey players, less so for baseball players and much less so for basketball players. Why is that? I think it boils down to the fact every person who writes or comments about hockey considers himself or herself some sort of expert. They all played at some level, from house league to major junior or beyond, and some have even coached minor hockey at significant levels. How’s that old cliche go? “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing?” I think that sums up most journalists and analysts around the Leafs. Steve Simmons is a prime example of that. How many times does he remind listeners and readers that he is an experienced minor hockey coach? And somehow that makes him an expert on how NHL players go about their careers? C’mon.

    By comparison, the Jays’ reporters and certainly the Raptors’ reporters have a lot more respect for what is a much bigger mystery to them – how to make it to the top echelon of the respective sport. Doug Smith is a good example; he simply reports events first and foremost … and rarely if ever tries to explain what’s going on in a player’s head.

    Let’s face it, most Canadians know a guy who knows a guy who made it to the NHL, or the AHL, or the OHL. Many of us think, the moment we turn on the TV, we know exactly what’s wrong with every non-scoring left winger or bumbling defenceman. We don’t … and neither does Simmons, et al.

  19. Bingo Bango Bongo says:

    I think Steve Simmons should get some credit for covering the league for 35 plus years as well. Pretty simplistic to say he’s a self styled expert because he coached minor hockey. The reason guys like Simmons, Cox, Mckenzie and others are experts is because they talk to people around the league and get information other so-called experts don’t. I find it funny that Feschuk took (and still takes) so much heat for his Kessel piece a couple of years ago, but when he breaks the news that Ron MacLean will be replacing George Stromboulopoulos, everybody loves him again! I appreciate the fact that these guys report what they know, whether fans like it or not.

  20. Cirroc says:

    I’ll give Simmons credit, he is good at his job. I look forward to reading his Sunday column every week. His problem is that he is so damn unlikeable.

  21. Jp says:

    for crying out loud, how unfair it is for Dan Riccio to be forced to go wall to wall Monday night with the coverage of that trade, about a young goalie who really didn’t do anything of significance in the league. By 9pm he just started talking about weird things and just generic stuff you would say about anybody playing sports. This is not right and the fan program director has put him in a tough spot on a subject that gets stale after only 30 minutes of air time. Not that I prefer listening about TFC but I think that it’s a very bad idea and not something I would put on young shoulders.

  22. Matty Zero says:

    I’m sure the NHL owners who are rubbing their hands with glee to stuff that 15+ Million each into their jeans will be SO happy in about five years, when they will be shoveling it all back into Vegas to keep them afloat. Trying to build a fan-base from tourists has to be the stupidest idea, in a league that has had plenty.

    Nice to see the Leafs get a goalie. Checkout the comments from this article for a good chuckle about the O Dog:

    http://deadspin.com/the-maple-leafs-got-a-goalie-1782313240

    As for the HNIC ‘changes’, these are kind of surface moves. They need to go deeper, As someone else mentioned, start with the montages, and build a more professional broadcast from there.

  23. MattK says:

    I’ve recently been listening to 590 on the weekend to noon and it is really good, one program is Sportsnet magazine live. And they have really good discussion usually the lesser known/younger Sportsnet talent who know their stuff. It’s simple and it works really well wish weekday sports radio could be that good. I also enjoyed inside the lines in the past be interesting to see how the new show is. The outdoor radio show is junk though, it is just a infomercial.

  24. another steve says:

    When it comes to radio, I know what I like and I know what I dislike, and I
    know this as soon as a I hear it (thank you, Justice Potter Stewart).

    What I do like:
    Mike & Mike, Dan Patrick, Jeff Blair, Kevin Barker, Craig Button, Dave Poulin,
    Bob McKenzie, Andrew Walker, Matt Cauz, Jim Tatti, Dave Hodge, Dan Shulman,
    Jeff Marek, Mike Hogan, Greg Zaun, Ray Ferraro, Michael Grange, James Myrtle,
    Stephen Brunt, James Duthie, Jerry Howarth and Joe Siddall.

    What I don’t like:
    Dean Blundell, Naylor & Landsberg, Nick Kypreos, Doug MacLean, Darren Millard, John Shannon, Mike Richards, Mike Wilner, Pat Tabler, Bob McCown, Gareth Wheeler, Damien Cox, the Overdrive crew and Joey Vendetta.

    Voices that I hope that are gone from local radio forever: Mike Toth,
    Syd Seixeiro, Ken Ried, Greg Brady.

    Voices that I hope to hear again on local radio:
    Dan Landry, Bob Mackowycz, Norm Rumack and Tim Micallef.

  25. another steve says:

    Spot on Jp.

    Was listening to 590 tonight as well, and Riccio and Zac Cosby struggled to carry the time slot, talk about redundancy.

    Bad decision all around.

    I’m with Drumanchor & Curt…
    The game is stagnant, parody is a fallacy. Under no terms are the Maple Leafs, Jets, Blue Jackets, Sabres, Oilers even close to competing with the Penguins, Sharks, Ducks, Lightning. Under Bettman, it’s become clear that growing the game revolved solely around making money. The actual game is nothing but an afterthought to Bettman.

    The answer isn’t in just tweaking the goaltender’s equipment, or adding an expansion team. Quality of play is already watered down with too many grunts of limited skill and imagination skating up and down the lanes.

  26. yaz says:

    @anothersteve. Like your post. Here’s my thooughts edited in brackets to yours:

    When it comes to radio, I know what I like and I know what I dislike:.

    What I do like:
    Mike & Mike, (who?) Dan Patrick, Jeff Blair, Kevin Barker, Craig Button, Dave Poulin,
    Bob McKenzie, Andrew Walker, Matt Cauz, Jim Tatti, Dave Hodge, Dan Shulman,
    Jeff Marek, Mike Hogan, Greg Zaun, Ray Ferraro, Michael Grange, James Myrtle,
    Stephen Brunt, James Duthie, Jerry Howarth and Joe Siddall.

    (All yes above except Myrtle. )

    What I don’t like:
    Dean Blundell, Naylor & Landsberg ( I like) , Nick Kypreos, Doug MacLean ( MacLean is solid, a Sportsnet Craig Button) Darren Millard, John Shannon (no) Mike Richards, Mike Wilner, Pat Tabler, Bob McCown, Gareth Wheeler, Damien Cox, the Overdrive crew (love them ) and Joey Vendetta.

    Voices that I hope that are gone from local radio forever: Mike Toth,
    Syd Seixeiro, Ken Ried, Greg Brady.(wish Beady was back, will be soon)

    Voices that I hope to hear again on local radio:
    Dan Landry, Bob Mackowycz, Norm Rumack and Tim Micallef.

  27. Huz says:

    Does anyone actually enjoy listening to Doug Maclean, Healy, Cox, Stock, Kypreos, Millard?

    I’m still scratching my head as to why they’re put on Wednesday Night Hockey, Hockey Night In Canada, the playoffs etc.

    If only some of the TSN guys jumped ship….

  28. Daz66778 says:

    I also think Steve Simmons should be given credit for his 35 plus years experience of covering sports just as much as other media members are who also were not necessarily former players or “experts”. He seems to be the focal point for “unlikeable” but are others such as John Shannon, Ken Reid, Mike Wilner, Damien Cox, Glen Healy, Mike Landsberg, Doug Maclean, etc any more likeable? Only one of this particular list ever played at the NHL or MLB level and was not exactly at a star level either.

  29. Dros says:

    @EX-SN

    Well, we can certainly see why you were let go from SN with an attitude like that.

    “As well, this should probably serve as a wake up call for Strombo to stick with what he’s good at in the market he’s appreciated in. He should stick to interviews, news, music. Between his HNIC experiment and his show on CNN a few years back, Strombo should realize venturing too far out of his area of expertise isn’t a good idea”

    Just a LITTLE closed-minded.

    “Kids, never try anything else in life than what you know. Ever. Only bad things will happen”

    I tip my hat to Strombo. He was put in a tough position that a lot of stuffy Canadians would have never accepted him for. Flaws aside, if he was the most encyclopedic host that ever lived, it still wouldn’t have been enough because he wore fitted suits and had a beard. That was enough to send the bumpkins into a tizzy.

  30. Drumanchor says:

    @ Dros

    I think you are being a little unfair with EX-SN. His observations aren’t without merit in the fact that many people are, for whatever reasons, put in situations that they cannot thrive in. A fish out of water, so to speak. It’s obvious that this may be one of those cases. It happens but it’s hardly the end of the world – SN tried to think outside the box a bit and, for the most part, their viewers just didn’t warm to it. Now they are going back to a comfort zone, but one should give them credit for trying.

    As for Strombo being disliked for fitted suits and a beard, I think that is unfair, as well. It was less his look as his schtick. It seemed completely contrived and was so cringe-worthy that many people couldn’t help but roll their eyes before reaching for the mute button.

    Or worse – changing the channel. THAT’S why he is gone.

  31. Moe Howard says:

    Hey…just wondering,
    does anyone know what the deal is between McCown and Wilner?

  32. Big G says:

    @Moe Howard

    Ryan Walsh former producer of PTS had addressed this when he was taking questions on this site. Apparently it’s a chemistry thing as to why Wilner never appears on PTS when Bob is present, if that’s what you are referring to. Bobs old producer felt for whatever reason that the two do not have good chemistry. I’m not sure how that was determined because I’ve never heard the two on the same show. Maybe it was something behind the scenes.

  33. Original Mitch says:

    There’s more to this Strombo story than meets the eye just like there’s more to the Gord Cutler story than meets the (public) eye. That said, Rogers will get lucky because the ‘rebuild’ is pretty much over in Leafs land (once Stamkos signs) and now the viewers will come back.
    Strombo may have turned off a few viewers, but Rogers can’t acknowledge issues with their guys, like Kypreos or Maclean. Maybe viewers are turned off by their contribution (or lack their-of).

  34. Dros says:

    @Drumanchor

    I think pointing out someone’s failures at other ventures is a little needless, as it’s not an apples to apples comparison, in this case. Strombo’s show on CNN was supposed to be a seasonal one, so when it was cancelled, it’s not like this was some project they had really dumped a ton of time or resources into. Strombo also strikes me as way too progressive for the CNN crowd.

    As for this HNIC failure, I would sooner look at other guys around Strombo than Strombo himself. That supporting cast, as many people on here have mentioned, was not very strong. You work with what you’ve got.

    If it was an all-Canadian matchup in the Finals, I don’t think we’re sitting here having these discussions right now. I think too much went wrong all at once, so Rogers hit the panic button. I think that, if the hockey rights were still under CBC, they would’ve experienced the same drops in viewership these last two years.

    I watch hockey for the hockey, not for the personalities.

  35. 4x4 Time says:

    I could care less about who is on HNIC telecasts, but the “leak” about Strombo being dumped is a completely bullshit classless move by Rogers…Have some balls, man up and come clean and pay the dude out all you owe him and then some…

  36. mike (in boston) says:

    So far the most clicked link from this post is the one about the Argos tailgate party. Sometimes I don’t understand you people …

  37. Tighthead says:

    Any update on whether Damo is couch surfing? Maybe he will do a podcast with Toronto Mike and just pack a weekend bag with him.

  38. Wally says:

    I have asked this question on other websites as well…

    Has anyone ever seen someone where a Toronto Argos jersey outside one of their games? It’s like spotting a unicorn in area 51.

  39. MjwW says:

    Can someone explain the appeal of Kevin Barker? The guy is a meathead that just spouts conventional (uncreative) baseball knowledge. I could probably write a computer program that would generate the same responses as Barker.

  40. Drumanchor says:

    @ Dros

    All good points and well said. There was more to the ratings issue than Strombo.

  41. Original Mitch says:

    And more to Strombo than ratings issues I would venture a guess.

    And yeah, where is Damo these days?
    And how come all the juicy stuff (controversy, firings, etc) comes from Rogers? Other than Steve Simmons, who is affiliated with Bell, why don’t they get in twitter trouble?Is it because they aren’t relevant anymore so we don’t really notice?

  42. Anthony says:

    Im not sure what Matt Marchase is complaining about

    https://twitter.com/PTSProducer/status/745444355364651008

    Its ok for media personalities to rip on players and suggest that they are subject to trades or demotions, or being cut, yet when the same thing happens to them, then its offside? How does that even make sense? Theres no consistancy, either its fair to talk about people’s jobs, or its not. Im sure the backup goalie on the Leafs doesn’t want to hear hes on the bubble, but somehow thats ok and the media personality should get a pass when talking about if they should be on the bubble? Unbelievable.

  43. Mike V says:

    Matt should save that anger for his bosses who 1) started the speculation by firing the head of NHL production right before the playoffs and 2) are fueling it by leaking stories on the fate of the hosts to the media.

  44. Anthony says:

    I was fairly neutral on the whole debate, but Matt’s comments put me more towards the ‘speculate all you want’ side. He can’t have it both ways. If hosts are allowed to speculate on the employment of coaches/player, they should be subject to the same speculation on sites like this. Can’t have it both ways.

  45. Steve Clark says:

    mike (in boston) I really wanted to click on the shot of Big Zeis and Michael Traikoff to see what happened with the pool side guy. The freeze frame shot indicates that he looks like he was caught stealing towels.

    For what it`s worth, the Globe and Mail has written two stories on Rogers and HNIC in the last three days. Almost 300 comments on the 1st article, 98 and counting on the 2nd. Clearly this issue makes for good copy.

  46. Antonio says:

    Does anyone out there know why Cathal Kelly hasn’t tweeted anything since Dec 2015?

  47. Antonio says:

    For those few devoted Strombo fans, you have to keep in mind his numbers on CBC were actually quite brutal. Being the CBC (where one can have brutal numbers and still be gainfully employed), they kept him on and continued to promote his awful show. Why was his show awful? He was awful. The producers would line up the top trending celebs/authors as they were always able to pitch to their guests that “This Hour” was a national broadcasted show. What they didn’t tell the guests was that the guy interviewing them was a total knob.

    Getting rid of him is the smartest move Rogers has made in a long time.

  48. Stan says:

    I was shocked (shocked!) Tues that the most prominent sports media reporter in North America was on PTS for 20+ minutes and the biggest story of the year in Canada was completely ignored. Too busy ripping Fox golf coverage which I’m sure was top of mind for Canadian listeners.

  49. MontfromLondonOnt says:

    @Antonio
    You hit the nail right on the head – The two times I was forced to watch(at a friends house) I kept thinking that if it wasn’t for the CBC this clown would be flipping burgers – The same for that porn queen on definitely not the opera

  50. MattK says:

    Kevin Barker isn’t the best with words but he has a positive fun loving attitude, he does mesh with Blair good. Though he needed to use a indoor voice last night.

  51. Mike S says:

    I am with MjwW………I don’t have much time for Barker……….when he was only on with Blair it worked for me because I never listen to Baseball Central……..but McCown seems to like Barker so now he has been co-host on PTS for an hour most weeks………yet another uninspired PTS co-host choice

    We all know that Wilner is never on PTS when McCown is there……….but I have also never heard Arden Zwelling or Ben Nicholson-Smith on PTS when McCown is there even though they appear on every other 590 show……..just about all of the other Rogers baseball people (Buck M, Shulman, Zaun/Campbell, Davidi, Siddall, Barker, Blair, etc) appear on PTS regularly………maybe those two guys are in McCown’s infamous black book like Wilner apparently is

  52. Original Mitch says:

    @ Mike S
    I wager that those two (Zwelling and Nicholson-Smith) are never on PTS because Bob has literally never heard of either. These two guys are classic web writers thrust into baseball because Rogers needs more and more coverage. Not saying they aren’t good, but really, what do they bring to the table? nothing. i’m sorry if that’s harsh but its true. Seeing them on the web or occasionally on the broadcast is fine (still bush league) but for them to be on PTS…well imo you have to be a little better established. Especially as a Rogers employee.

  53. Cirroc says:

    @Antonio

    While I didn’t mind Strombo’s CBC show, you are bang on. What’s with all the rhetoric about how “Strombo had nothing to work with” regarding a weak supporting cast. As far as I’m concerned, he’s supposed to be the lynchpin as host and he didn’t do a good enough job.

  54. Alex says:

    On one level, i dont blame marchase. Maybe if the criticism (especially here) wasnt so often mean spirited and critical, he (and others) wouldnt take it personally. Generally speaking, analysts are talking about a players on field/ice performance, not them as people (except for the baylesses of the world).

  55. Anthony says:

    @Alex

    You’re 100 percent right on those who make it personal on here. Its completely unfair and not really what this place is used for. There’s a very small handful of posters who at a time felt it was their right to take personal anonymous shots at the reporters they dislike. That’s not really the case as much, MIB does a great job of moderating those posts, so the dialog and discourse the (last week especially) has been smart and drama free. Also, be noted that MIB and YYZ don’t take personal shots.
    Just some silly comments

    That said, lets not paint all mainstream media members as completely professional, they make it personal all the time. How many ‘fat Phil Kessel’ jokes have you heard in Toronto media?

    Again, I was in the neutral with the whole debate, but Marchase’s reaction left me having a fairly bitter taste in my mouth, he’s happy to produce a show that speculates on the livelyhood of coaches and players, but when someone else tries to do the same thing, he freaks out.

    Again, he can’t have it both ways.

  56. Anthony says:

    Sorry, that should read

    *Just some silly commentors

  57. Mullah_Kintyre says:

    I tried listening to the new TSN morning show for the first time a couple of days ago for about half an hour. Maybe it was unfortunate timing, but almost all of what I heard was an extended whining session about which particular athletes (or coaches, GMs, etc.) provide the worst interviews.
    I am mystified by this inexplicable and I believe peculiarly North American expectation that someone’s athletic ability (or ability to operate a team) somehow also means they can and should be enthralling personalities. That’s your job if you are an on-air media person. Quit complaining about the athletes because they’re not doing your job for you. The best on-air people (like McCown) certainly understand this.

  58. yaz says:

    Blundell continues to be the only Podcast to keep sports updates in his Pod. Hopefully he adds traffic and weather to the Pod to make it even less relevant.

  59. Greg says:

    John Shannon on HC@Noon yesterday…”Did the Las Vegas owners really need to build their arena on the strip? Maybe the team could work better if they put it in the suburbs”… Only took Doug Maclean .000190 seconds to say Ahh no.

    Please, Rogers make one of your off season moves significantly reducing John Shannon’s on air time.

  60. Jp says:

    how about rating some podcasts (SN590)
    On late nights I sometimes listen to ‘at the letters’ with AZ and BNS, the Steve Dangle podcast or Free Association with JD Bunkis.

    Even if baseball is my first choice of sports, at the letters is the most inane and boring of all. while the content is spot on, it feels like these two are not fit for spoken media and are just concentrating at sounding sexy…

    JD Bunkis and Donnovan Bennett have great chemistry and I am suprised how easy it looks for JD to drive a show. Obviously basketball is his strong suit but when Andrew Walker lets him talk on-air while he produces the show he is not given a real chance as AW cuts him off all the time. I’d venture to say that JD would be a better host than Eric Smith.

    Now as for Dangle and Wylde… I’d almost qualify listening to that show as a guilty pleasure… Never have I listened to a goofier show on talk radio with the loud genuine-sounding fake laughs and pop culture references… not even Tim and Sid. Still the content is well informed and a must listen as a hockey fan.

    Anybody else has time for these podcasts?

  61. Bingo Bango Bongo says:

    @JP No

  62. Hans says:

    Bob just announced on PTS that Damian Cox is now the “official co-host” for Prime Time Sports.

    A bit of a head shaker for me since I seem to recall his was the co-host before and just upped and left as soon as he got the big time gig on the NHL shows. Makes me wonder if Damian is a summer co-host or if he”s being shuffled off the NHL shows as a part of the revamping for the NHL shows.

    Of course, no mention of his twitter issues.

  63. Pete says:

    Well, no more station flipping for me. Overdrive has my full attention starting Monday.

    Cox is the worst of the worst.

  64. Alex says:

    40 weeks a year means permanent co host.

    Recent issues aside, i thought he had been a better co host in his recent stints. Less trollish.

    Now, who knows?

  65. Anthony says:

    Cox >>>>> Shannon any day of the week. I think hes a bit of a gongshow on Twitter but at least that eliminates both Shannon and Reid from Hosting duty (Im sure Shannon will show up at 4PM often)

  66. MjwW says:

    What an uninspired choice, but maybe no one else wanted the job.

  67. Alex says:

    The next question is:

    When bob is off, does damien become host for the day?

  68. Curt says:

    Never cared for Cox and his trolling ways but he is perhaps a marginal improvement over Shannon. But everything is temporary anyway isn’t it? I mean if Bob really is leaving soon I would think the new host would have a say in who would be the co-host. Whatevs…

  69. Mike S says:

    The revolving PTS co-host chair has been interesting to observe………..a year ago it was mainly Brunt and Reid……….now both of those guys are gone………..recently it has been a mixture of guys like Madani, Shannon, Cox, etc……….and now we are apparently going to get 40 weeks of Damien per year

    I don’t see the need to have one person be PTS co-host for 40 weeks……….a rotation of two or three quality co-hosts would be fine with me……….my first choice would be a rotation of guys like Brunt, Perkins, and maybe Madani but of course that’s wishful thinking now

    I am hoping they have Deitsch as guest co-host for a week in the fall again this year so I hope this Damien news doesn’t potentially jeopardize that

  70. Matty Zero says:

    At least Cox will sometimes challenge Bobcat’s takes, as opposed to Shannon, who just spouts out populist opinions on any issue, unless it has to do with the NHL head office.

    Fix the rift with Brunt, already!

  71. Too Much says:

    According to Shoalt’s Twitter Cox is going to be radio only

  72. Ssarmazi says:

    The only PTS co-host I’ve genuinely liked is Brunt. Cox is bad, Shannon is worse, but Reid is the worst…and I mean the WORST. Fortunately for PTS, the Overdrive gang is terrible. They really don’t know much beyond hockey…they had the perfect time slot (noon) before, not sure what they did to get a promotion to the evening slot. So I guess I’ll have to listen to Cox with McCown.

    And brave to Bob for never bringing Wilner on – Wilner’s condescending ways on twitter are a good indication of what he thinks of Jays fans, so he can continue to be a corporate shill without getting the large exposure he’d get on PTS.

  73. 4X4 Time says:

    Is Stombo what people would call a Hipster Doofus?
    MacLean and Cherry, McCowan and Cox, those are the alternative back to the future types people want?

  74. Pete says:

    Landsberg of course had to act like a knob this morning. Babcock walks by their desk while they have McKenzie and Dreger on, picks up a mic, and all Landsberg would talk about for the 45 seconds they had him is that Babcock was never on OTR. One of the greatest and most important days in franchise history, he has one of the most important figures of the franchise, and Landsberg uses his platform to selfishly bring up a show that is becoming a distant memory. Michael…the world does not revolve around you!

    Naturally he follows it up minutes later when Boudreau’s name came up saying that he can relate to him because he was fired from OTR and Boudreau has been fired as a NHL coach. I literally wanted to facepalm myself.

  75. Stan says:

    Don’t think I’ve ever seen this before: McCown responded to a bunch of negative comments about the Cox-PTS news under Arash’s original tweet.

  76. Alex says:

    I wonder if it was actually Bob. He had mentioned his assistant was still trying to get his twitter unlocked the other day.

  77. Bobby G says:

    BRADY ALERT: Just spotted on CP24 talking about the NHL draft. Could this mean a future with CTV/TSN/Bell?

  78. Antonio says:

    Despite the fact that last night was the NBA draft followed by tonight’s NHL draft (Leafs with the top pick and all), Bruce Arthur spends 95% of his Twitter feed bashing the Brexit vote results. The remaining 5% is spent bashing Trump (no surprise).

    Other than fawning over Steph Curry on a daily basis, why is he a “sportswriter”?

  79. Antonio says:

    @Bobby G
    I hope he does end up on TSN radio or even TV. He knows his stuff and considering the lack of decent talent on Cdn sports radio, its a crime he’s not working.

  80. Greg says:

    @Antonio

    I couldn’t tell you. I actually just unfollowed him the other day. It doesn’t really bother me that he tweets about non-sports stuff, but the amount of it was too much and I cant’t take it anymore. Especially the ratio of non sport to sports tweets.

  81. Brandon says:

    Didn’t see Brady but was never going to be a long wait to be back somewhere, and yes, I have enjoyed him since the Watters Show days. He made it sound back when he left 590 he had a considerable buyout ahead of him, and makes me think it may have been by design to be let go. It’s been well documented here how many thought it was a mistake to move Blundell into mornings and given how average the results have been and poor the reviews have been, he may have been ready for a fresh start, but if they’re still paying him, there’s no need to rush it.

    As for McCown, I would guess Cox is with him as long as McCown is there the rest of the way which isn’t going to be for much longer. The onair Rogers attacks will grow and grow and grow. Bob isn’t kidding, I would guess, that he’d rather get fired and get more money than if they just let his contract expire. I would be betting that in 2018, there’s no McCown, no Blundell, no Mike Richards, and no Michael Landsberg. Anyone dispute those guesses?

  82. another steve says:

    Today is a lot like draft day for sports radio – redundancy and hyperbole.

    Each talking head blends in with the next, they talk a lot but say nothing worthwhile or meaningful because nothing happens.

    It makes sports radio not worth listening to.

  83. Sam In Scarb says:

    Did anyone tell Dean Blundell..590/SPORTSNET that the NBA draft was last evening NOT 3 weeks ago when they drew the draft order.
    I ask, because I tried on 3 occasions to listen to the 590/sportsnet morning radio show and could make it past 12 minutes..
    I know a 55 year old man with ample money..( hear me Kory) does not in anyway matter..just would like to know.
    Then again I would be speaking to a small group of listeners in their cars whom had 590 on their radio from the night before.

  84. Cirroc says:

    @ Pete

    TSN must be on the hook for a bunch of money with Landsberg or something. Does anybody have this information? I can’t think of another feasible reason to keep him on air.

  85. yaz says:

    @Stan

    Yes, interesting. I don’t recall Bob doing anything like that before either. Bob directly responded to 6 different people who were trashing Cox, Fan 590 and PTS. i.e.: ‘sure your 7 followers will be re-tweeting this news. Bye.’ or ’30k tweets to nobody? Wash the car, do the dishes, read a book, get a life!!!’. Nice.

  86. Alex says:

    Funny to hear Madani throwing stones about Bell using their TV network to pimp their team(Argos). I guess he is very familiar with the concept with the Blue Jays.

  87. Cirroc says:

    Interesting choices in talent covering the draft by Rogers.

  88. Hans says:

    I noticed that as well Cirroc. No Kypreos, No Maclean. Sam Constino in. Cox in. Mike Johnson in.

    As much as I hated the Rogers coverage, to the point where I didn’t watch at all this year, I’m liking this line up.

  89. Shoot and Score says:

    Hans:
    That’s exactly the same lineup Sportsnet used at last year’s draft, minus Strombo.

  90. Alex says:

    It makes sense to feature the giys who junior hockey and have the nhl guys there for news/trades.

  91. Mike S says:

    I believe this site began on June 25, 2008………..Happy 8th Birthday TSM !!!

  92. mike (in boston) says:

    I'm off this weekend so feel free to continue the discussion here. Can no one think of an example of the big bad Toronto media running an athlete out of town? Congrats Damien on the promotion! Full time PTS co-host!! When was the last time we had one of those?

  93. Mike V says:

    Going from HNIC to PTS is a big demotion. The Rogers release sure did try to spin it differently though.

  94. Steve Jones says:

    I also got a good laugh when Madani made the comment about TSN being the promotional arm of the Argos. I guess he thinks the non stop Jays talk on SN is all hard reporting. He also made some derisive ticket comments. Weak attendance and papering the house. Maybe they were legit comments. But how long ago was it when Jays tickets were being given away with every ham sandwich and the 500 level wasn’t even for sale? Comments like the above sure makes the partisanship stand out.

  95. Mike V says:

    The ticketing situations between the Argos and Blue Jays were different. One has 9 games, the other has 81. So while there were nights in April where only 15,000 showed up, the opener was always a packed house and there were a number of summer games against big opponents that drew 40,000.

    I agree that a Rogers guy bringing up these concerns do look partisan but they’re still valid. The Argos have by far the lowest ticket inventory of any team. Selling out the inaugural game in a stadium against a local rival should not have been difficult. The changes made over the past year don’t appear to have cured what ails this zombie team.

  96. Stan says:

    Some pretty intense and hardcore Leaf media cheerleading out there this weekend. I miss the days when reporters would report and left the cheering to the fans. Nowadays, who can tell the difference?

  97. Curt says:

    Yes, that was pretty rich from Madani. I did a bit of a spit-take when I heard that whopper.

  98. Original Mitch says:

    Yeah, it is definitely not a promotion for Cox. Major, major demotion. Guys don’t get ‘promoted’ to radio, especially as “co-host”. Especially on a show that’s been more or less run by one person for 30 years. Cox used to travel everywhere for Sportsnet, covering all sorts of different events. Now he’s in a radio booth. I imagine he’s got a massive contract and they just didn’t know what to do with him, so they dumped on him on PTS.

  99. Mike V says:

    Bob’s streak of bad scoops countinues.

  100. Hans says:

    Question – Does this “promotion” for Damian has anything to do with his twitter issues recently?

    Mike – would Larry Murphy not count as someone chased out by the Toronto Media?

  101. DJ says:

    MIB –

    You could argue David Clarkson was run out of town. A bit of a stretch, due to the fact that he was a train wreck on the ice…..but still.

    As for the Arash stuff, his thoughts definitely went against the grain.

    Here is the Toronto Star game story praising the crowd – https://www.thestar.com/sports/argos/2016/06/23/ticats-waste-little-time-spoiling-argos-opening-party.html

    Here is Steve Simmons loving BMO for CFL in the Sun – http://www.torontosun.com/2016/06/23/bmo-field-atmosphere-passes-sniff-test-argos-dont

    Here is a SPORTSNET (Arashs employer) praising the move to BMO – http://www.sportsnet.ca/football/cfl/argos-boss-copeland-happy-bmo-field-atmosphere/

  102. Alex says:

    I’d have to think the Cox thing has been in the works for a while and they announced it after the season was over.

  103. Andrew says:

    I could see Damien getting PTS when Bob moves on. By general consesus here he’s been better on lately, he may be happier not going on the road all the time and umm ahhh he’s intelligable on the radio. At worst he’s still getting a presumably fairly large paycheque. If Rogers does make the expected cuts a lot of guys are going to a thank you and a pat on the fanny. Worst case is that he’s making lemonade.

  104. Bobby G says:

    The fact that Rogers does it too doesn’t make Madani’s point about TSN’s Argos coverage any less true. He just shouldn’t sound so angry and personally offended by it.
    Of course, he seems to anger and take personal offence at just about everything. It’s not an endearing trait.

    And Larry Murphy was run out of town by the fans. That wasn’t the media jeering him every single time he touched the puck. To blame the media would be to imply the fans can’t think for themselves.

  105. MontfromLondonOnt says:

    I was pleased to see Stroman get gassed again today by the White Sox – Once around the league and the big guys catch on to his type – When he came up he was the greatest thing since free beer with as I believe McCown said a ‘cockiness bordering on arrogance’ – Ever since he tried to show up Gibbons a few weeks back after he was pulled in a game it looks good on the jerk – You can’t show up the boss like he did – I bet they are shopping him now and planning by trade deadline to have him moved – Hope he enjoys his rehab in Buffalo –

  106. Big G says:

    @MontfromLondon

    Not sure if you heard Greg Zaun in post game, he pulled no punches when he said Stroman should be sent down period end of story. He qualified his point by saying Hutchinson had the same numbers last year at this point as Stroman has right now and Hutchinson got burried by people and eventually sent down, not to mention Stroman has had eight straight bad starts. I agree the ego needs to be checked no doubt.

  107. MontfromLondonOnt says:

    @BigG
    Thanks for the update – I missed hearing Zaun but most of the time I agree with him- Good for Zaun – Stroman was always over rated to me –

  108. Stan says:

    Cherry tweeted out criticism of the sacred ‘Shanaplan’. I expect he’ll be hearing from his Rogers’ bosses Monday morning.

  109. (Another) Andrew says:

    Bruce Arthur spends 95% of his Twitter feed bashing the Brexit vote results.

    I take it Canadians like him who are upset about Brexit would support merging Canada with its NAFTA partners the USA and Mexico in an EU-style system without being consulted? Probably not, but self-awareness is not a common Canadian character trait when pontificating about other countries.

    40 weeks a year means permanent co host.

    Seems like Bob himself is barely on for 40 weeks a year.

    The fact that Rogers does it too doesn’t make Madani’s point about TSN’s Argos coverage any less true.

    Yes, but unfortunately with no separation between the media and sports teams/leagues everything the guys at Rogers and Bell say is going to look suspicious. It’s a shame because everything Madani said rang true for me.

  110. Original Mitch says:

    I can’t wait for Stroman to pen another love letter to Toronto in the Player’s tribune. That ought to be enough for Jamie Campbell to do a feature on how great he is and gush like a teenage girl when he interviews him.

  111. Poker Guy says:

    This will be Cox’s second stint as co-host with Bob. He had that role in the 90’s on the FAN, after his Friday show, The Cutting Edge did not succeed.

  112. Jacob says:

    Do we find out about HNIC changes today?

  113. Steve Jones says:

    I have no idea if Stroman will be a long term success or not. But he’s a great example how the Rogers shills deify players. The guy hasn’t had anything more than very short term success and they had him as one of the best pitchers in baseball at the start of the season. No one was more guilty of this than Bob. How many time have I heard him tell the story about spring training when “just he and a few other guys” we’re standing behind the screen watching Stroman throw. “It was electric.” Whenever he tells it it’s like he was watching Sandy Koufax. I guess the era of objectivity is long gone.

  114. CowboysKanuck says:

    @ Jacob – The blood-letting has begun. Healy is gone, and I’m sure a ton of people who work behind the scenes. I feel awful for the latter, as it’ll be tougher for them to land on their feet.

  115. Hans says:

    I was reading the brief story about MacLean being joined by David Amber in hosting duties on citytv’s site and was curious if this means that John Shannon and PJ Stock are out as well?

    Link to story for those interested though it’s mostly a fluff piece: http://www.citynews.ca/2016/06/27/ron-maclean-david-amber-to-host-hockey-night-in-canada/

  116. Sam In Scarb says:

    Yet,john shannon still has a paying job with rogers.
    Boggles the mind !!

  117. Pants Go Brown says:

    I’ll miss Healy. I thought he was one of the few players-turned broadcasters who got it. He was there to entertain, be funny, pithy, controversial and caustic. But he was also there to criticize and like very few of the other former player/broadcasters, he’d at least criticize.

    Maybe his caustic-ness didn’t mesh with the new ‘vision.’ But his act is better than Ron MacLean’s cringe-worthy corni-ness and stupid puns.

  118. Curt says:

    Interesting that at the end of Friday’s PTS roundtable both Madani and Blair scoffed at the idea of Stroman getting sent down. But both Zaun and now Morosi are saying it’s a possibility that it could and should happen. I dismiss a lot of what Madani says because he’s often too emotional, but Blair is supposedly the resident “baseball expert”. What makes him so certain that Stroman won’t be sent down?

  119. RobInAurora says:

    Healey was far from the worst on air talent at HNIC, however I won’t miss him on the Leaf broadcasts. I gather he was being paid a lot because they (HNIC) hired him away from TSN way back when he was on both CBC and TSN and had to choose between one or the other.

    ….How does Daren Millard stay employed? John Shannon too (I mean, come on man)….There must be some really twisted stuff going on in those photos…

  120. Bobby G says:

    If Healey is gone, who’s going to keep Craig Simpson and Jim Hughson awake during broadcasts? Better yet, who is going to keep the viewers from lapsing into a coma with those two at the mic?

  121. Anthony says:

    ‘ Blair is supposedly the resident “baseball expert”. What makes him so certain that Stroman won’t be sent down?’

    It would appear as though Blair has contacts within both the Baseball world and the Jays in particular. I’m sure his comments are based on what they tell him.

  122. Big G says:

    Bob is going off about the changes at Rogers/HNIC, he says it’s contradictory for Guy Lawrence to claim that Rogers is making money on NHL hockey and then turn around and start axing hockey media people. I think where Bob is fooled is in realizing that the so called talent SUCKSSSSSSSSSSS and the terminations and ratings reflected that.

  123. Sam In Scarb says:

    Turned on PTS at 5 PM …seen cox and was ready to turn to ANYTHING….but stayed for a few minutes..
    Cox the Hole commenting about poor people whom have lost their jobs..What a jerk…
    HE was the first to go from HNIC and put back on radio never to be seen on TV again (other than the infomercial called PTS.)
    CLEARLY he was the first to get gassed and robbers instead of paying him off is using him like a Cuban Welterweight sparring partner and trying to make their mistake look like a promotion.

    Anyone whom is fooled by this BULL-SHIRT raise your hands..

    TV watchers are rejoicing radio listeners again get the shaft.

  124. Curt says:

    @ Anthony, I hear you. I just didn’t understand Madani and Blair’s reaction like it was the absolute dumbest thing to consider the possibility of sending Stroman down. Doesn’t seem that remote of a possibility right now.

  125. Curt says:

    Oh and with Cox riding shotgun on PTS, I’m out.

  126. yaz says:

    Leafs Lunch with Andi Petrillo & Glenn Healy?

    Macko And Healy?

  127. MjwW says:

    Cox blamed the poor performance of Canadian hockey teams for the problems at Sportsnet…”analysis” like that is why they needed to make changes and why he should have been fired, rather than dumped on PTS.

  128. Bobby G says:

    Except that team performance is the single biggest reason why people don’t. Beyond this board, few give a flying fig who the broadcasters are. To wit: McCown offered the topic up as a discussion point for his open phones in the 4 pm hour and NOT ONE of the as always mundane callers took up the offer. People don’t ensure they’re in front of a TV on Saturday night because they have no reason to watch the team of their choice. Very few avoid a television becuase of the host, the PXP or the colour guy. Very few.

  129. Curt says:

    ^^ I’m one. When I watch the Jays I watch them on MLB.tv – with the other team’s broadcasters.

  130. MjwW says:

    Tell that to the people on /r/hockey or /r/leafs, Bobby.

  131. Bobby G says:

    Yes, MjwW, whenever I’m looking for the voice of reason, I turn to Reddit.
    And, Curt, that’s the point. The types of viewers that fill out ratings aren’t the ardent fans who pay for MLB or or the NHL app. It’s the casual fans who are drawn in when their teams are winning. It’s tough to make the excuse to stay home Saturday night, or to not rent a movie or whatever your pleasure when your team is a basement dweller.
    In fact, in the case of the NHL app it probably doesn’t bother them if you use it over the broadcast because they are benefitting either way. And Rogers gets its cut of the MLB app too.
    Team success is, and will continue to be, the number one driver of ratings success. The rest is just window dressing.

  132. Anthony says:

    @Curt

    I heard the conversation you where talking about, didn’t find it dismissive, moreso matter of fact. Blair knows the answer to the question based off of dialog hes had with Blue Jays brass. Didn’t think about it twice, mind you its a silly topic to bring up for the 6th time in the week.

    Regarding ‘hometown’ broadcasts. They are all pretty similar, was watching the Texas/Boston game on Sportsnet with the Texas broadcast, not much difference, all dialog was on Texas players, what they are doing well, things that didn’t always fit the stats. No different than Dean Brown in Ottawa, Joe Bowen in Toronto in hockey, your paid by the team to make the fans feel good about themselves, it is what it is. Its not a Toronto thing, its a tribalism in sports thing, keep the natives happy. Based on the TV ratings, I don’t think anyone cares whose broadcasting Jays games expect a small few on here.

    IF you hate Rogers, than its a homerism thing. Why Joe Bowen, who is a bigger homer then any Blue Jays announcer, gets a pass on here is amazing. I dont think anyone needs to be persecuted on here, but if the posters need to persecute, Bowen is the most ‘homer’ in the city.

  133. Cowboyskanuck says:

    People on reddit generally aren’t the most rational people in the world. They’re passionate and emotional, not rational.

  134. Curt says:

    Really nothing to do with homerism for me. I’d just rather listen to almost anyone other than Buck and Pat call a game. As for hockey, I don’t watch it for the reasons I listed earlier.

  135. Original Mitch says:

    What a mess at Sportsnet. This is truly an embarrassing day for them, letting go all the “talent” they put up on pedestals 2 years ago and told us how they were the best in the business and they were going to change the way we watch hockey. They did accomplish that last part. We did change..changed the channel that is.
    I didn’t see any of the big wigs take any fall today though. We wouldn’t want to shake up that core group of sound-decision making management. If only Rogers wouldn’t be so brash, then it may not be as damaging. But no, they always have to tell us how they are the best and build the biggest sets and yell the loudest. That’s what makes them so annoying. I feel for my peeps behind the scenes. As for ‘talent’, whatever. they knew the risks, since its a revolving door over there anyway.

  136. Cirroc says:

    “We’re the best in the business and let’s tell everyone about it” must be the mantra at Rogers/Sportsnet, because I heard Andrew Walker mention Sam Cosentino as the “Only expert to have Pierre-Luc Dubois correctly going 3rd to Columbus” at least three times in a five minute segment yesterday. What a turn off.

  137. Anthony says:

    @Curt,

    Wasn’t really directed at you per say, just the small % who complain on here.

  138. Pants Go Brown says:

    How is it possible that Darren Millard escaped the Scott Moore broom?

    Equally baffling is why SN doesn’t increase Jeff Marek’s exposure.

  139. MjwW says:

    Anyone that complains about Buck and Pat being homers has NEVER listened to any opposing team’s broadcast. NEVER NEVER NEVER

  140. Joe says:

    The Hockey Deal was a decision made by the previous regime (Nadir Mohammed and Keith Pelley) so not sure heads should roll just yet.

    When Rogers won the deal, they expected to poach half of TSN’s hockey people but those guys were very loyal and signed new contracts. So, Sportsnet ended up with the leftovers. Nobody should be surprised by the news. But, nobody should be happy that people are losing their jobs. I am surprised when people take pleasure at seeing other people get fired. It’s one thing in sports where managers are let go but they are making seven figures. But, media people don’t make that kind of coin (though, ex athletes may or may not have savings).

    As for Cox being the new permanent co-host, I don’t hate him as much as others on here. He was a newspaper guy who used to dabble in radio. He should not have been on TV in the first place and he still has a job (and did acknowledge with Bob that he was grateful to have the radio gig while the others were let go). He is way better than Shannon, and not nearly as goofy as Reid (who tries way too hard to be hip and young).

  141. Original Mitch says:

    We all knew it was coming, but this is why there is so much anti-Rogers sentiment on this board, because of the way they handle business in general. I don’t see how anybody could possibly support Rogers (media department) after this nhl fiasco. It’s one thing to restructure. It’s another thing to build a million dollar set, parade it to the world and then a short time after layoff a bunch of people. Had they kept things simple from the start, didn’t make grandiose promises about increased profits, not have baloney press conferences to announce their ‘talent’, then we wouldn’t be here. Instead of acquiring the nhl rights and testing the market for a couple of years and THEN see where you are at, they went all in from the get-go because they love to remind us they are the best in the business.
    This isn’t to call out anybody specifically on this board, but yes this is a very anti-Rogers post and I will continue to be anti-Rogers until they finally get it. Heck, we should ALL be anti-Rogers at this point because of these unacceptable business practices that are keeping ALL their employees walking on eggshells. Like I said before, I don’t care for ‘talent’ anyway (other than their ridiculous salary compared to actual work). I care for my peeps behind the scenes, the ones who need this job. The ones who can’t bounce around from network to network because of their last names. As you can tell, I am very frustrated by these latest developments. 🙂

  142. Mike V says:

    Not to sound harsh, but why is this getting the biggest outrage? Apparently 14 people lost their jobs according to the reports I read but all media companies (be it Bell, Rogers, Corus, Postmedia, Torstar) have slashed hundreds of jobs at once over the past year and got less press or handwringing that this did.

    Traditional media is a structural declining business. Live sports are somewhat immune but when ratings tumble like they did, costs will be cut to maintain margins.

  143. Curt says:

    Because this is hockey and this is Canada. And hockey invented Canada. Haven’t you heard?

  144. Omar says:

    From Howard Berger’s blog betweentheposts.

    “I think I understand why Rogers fired Glenn Healy from the No. 1 Hockey Night In Canada telecast crew with Jim Hughson and Craig Simpson. Technically, the reason evolves around elimination of the third party. It appears Sportsnet/CBC will now emulate TSN with a play–caller in the booth and a game analyst between the benches. Unofficially, I sense the NHL’s broadcasting “partner” here in Canada grew weary of Healy’s blunt (and largely accurate) narrative — especially as it pertained to the Maple Leafs, in which Rogers Communications has a 37.5% ownership stake”

    and

    “Censorship has sadly become a major factor in the Canadian sports media landscape.”

  145. Mike V says:

    Curt, I would not shed any tears if the person who came up with that horrible line was one of the 14 yesterday. But I have a sneaky suspicion is came from Moore himself.

  146. yaz says:

    Healy playing the Benny Hill theme song over a sped up replay of the Leafs power play likely didn’t sit well with the powers that be mentioned by Berger.

  147. Cirroc says:

    @Yaz

    We all remember what happened to Strachan after his “Why The Leafs Suck” book.

  148. Tighthead says:

    Maybe MLSE just thought Healy stunk, like 99% of non-Leaf fans I known. What Berger calls censorship I call taste.

  149. Anthony says:

    ‘What Berger calls censorship I call taste.’

    Ding Ding, we have a winner. Plus, Berger isn’t the most unbiased of observers with regards to this.

    Im not a fan of PPP but this tweet pretty much fits the bill with what I thought of Healy, and evidently based on the twitter reception, its a common thought.

    https://twitter.com/mlse/status/747563817505292289

    If most people don’t like you, they’re not going to watch you.

  150. Original Mitch says:

    If you really believe it wasn’t censorship then ask yourself this: Why did they even bring him on in the first place? He wasn’t new, he wasn’t green, in fact he had been doing the same thing for 5 years now. Once Rogers controlled the message and the medium, and the product, they realized they couldn’t have Healy’s opinion. It’s really that simple. This whole thread started about homerism. This is an example of it. on the opposite end of it and it costs you your job. So yeah, we can surely except less homerism now from Walker and company, right?
    And if you think its a talent issue? than ask yourself why Millard, Shannon, Reid and the 100’s of others we always complain about still have jobs. it has nothing to do with being a talented broadcaster or not. Never has been.

  151. Mike V says:

    John Shannon and Ken Reid were not the third man in the booth deemed to be redundant. That’s why they weren’t let go. Willing to bet Healy also made a lot more that both of them.

  152. Original Mitch says:

    @mike V
    Fine, then Kypreos, Cox or the plethora of other NHL guys everybody constantly says is awful. I don’t even hate or care about Healy to be honest. I think its funny when we love Barkley for calling the NBA boring sometimes, but hate it when Healy says the same about our precious sport. Either way, he towed too far away from the corporate line and was fired. Simple.

  153. Cowboyskanuck says:

    Slightly off the topic at hand, but I see the Fan is now available in HD Radio, streamed on CISS 92.5. I’m sure it sounds better there, but I think the 590 signal is stronger. With that said, how the fuck has TSNR not done the same? Once nightfall comes, you can’t hear 1050 outside of the GTA. It’s like they don’t want to help themselves, or they don’t care.

  154. Anthony says:

    @Original Mitch

    You’re more then entitled to that thought, but I’m not sure where the logic is. He’s the third guy in a booth and deemed redundant. Adding into the fact (and you saw this on Social Media when everything was announced), every fan based disliked the guy. He made statements that lacked fact (he claimed Datsyuk wasn’t that skilled), which goes against his job.

    I don’t even think that was the reason why he was let go, as you illustrated, no one gets fired for a poor job there, he was fired because his job was deemed redundant. Nothing more, nothing less.

  155. Dros says:

    It’s clear that Cox, Healy and Strombo were let go because of fan feedback and sentiment. I don’t really get why people are questioning Healy’s firing, but not Cox’s–it’s the same deal all the way around.

    They probably saw the scores and scores of people shooting at them on social media over two years, or flooding their emails, and decided it was time for a change. I have no problem with Healy or Cox being let go. They made covering a sport for a living look like the worst thing you could ever make a human-being do. People get tired of that. Fast.

  156. Dros says:

    *shouting at them…

  157. Sam In Scarb says:

    I wonder if rogers offered Strombo the morning show host at fan/590 so they would not be stuck paying his whole remaining salary and he said F/U ??

  158. Original Mitch says:

    It is true, viewer feedback helped pick and chose who was going to get fired. Healy doesn’t have wide range appeal and probably should have never been in that role in the first place. That said, like Cox they would have found somewhere else to dump him had they not been threaten by his anti-hockey, anti-leafs sentiment at times. The fact remains, Healy played by his own rules and was fired. You can’t have an independent thought at Rogers and not suffer the consequences. I never liked Healy all that much, he contradicted himself and really was pointless in that role. But this good old boys environment surely meant that had he walked the corporate line, they would have found something for him.
    Did Mike Johnston get fired? he was also a 3rd man in the booth type, no?

  159. Hans says:

    Isn’t Mike Johnston a part of the junior hockey crew as well? If so maybe he’s just going to stick there now as SN eliminates the 3-man team.

    Does anyone think Healy will go back to TSN or has he burned his bridge there?

  160. Anthony says:

    @Original Mitch

    Johnston is on many platforms (Junior/NHL Draft), more than Healy, hence why he wasn’t dreamed redundant.

    If you’re going to feel that way, then there isn’t much that we can do from a logic perspective to talk you off of the proverbial ledge. I think all those who have been with HNIC and the Fan have been anti leafs, Doug McLean/Kyprous both have ripped them, Cox makes a living ripping them, Cox rips hockey at every level. If that was the standard, then Cox would be unemployed now, he’s way worse than Healy, and Cox gave them an out with his twitter behavior.

    End of the day there’s alot more evidence that people who where deemed both disliked (Strombo/Healy) and not very good (Healy) let go. Healy wasn’t good at his job, and his job wasn’t needed anymore.

    If being a cheerleader was the biggest reason why people heal onto their jobs, Strombo shouldn’t have been let go, he was a cheerleader to an extent.

    This is where the logic breaks down. We can all play the Marty York card and claim conspiracies, but like most of York’s stuff, it falls apart when you look deeper. If non cheerleaders where going to be fired, Cox wouldn’t be employed, simple as that. Logic dictates that those who where not good at their jobs and deemed redundant where let go, not those who didn’t tow the line, others who don’t tow the line are still employed.

  161. Dros says:

    Mike Johnson isn’t the 3rd man, no. He plays the in between the benches role in a 2-man crew. Healy was the between the benches part of a 3-man crew.

    Johnson also serves as an analyst for studio shows at times and is clearly way better at what he does than Healy. I think his stock is rising, for sure.

    As for Healy to TSN, I doubt it. They don’t have the capacity to take him on. They’ve got so few hockey games now that they’re not going to further splinter what is given to their existing guys. I read an article that he may try his hands at politics.

  162. Stan says:

    Those poor leaf fans who got trolled by Stamkos for 8 months begging McKenzie on twitter to tell them it was a sign-and-trade are the real victims.

  163. Alex says:

    Bad luck to have no PTS today when all hell broke lose.

  164. Original Mitch says:

    @anthony

    I see your point, I really do. And I agree he was useless and certainly not part of the OG. Maybe that’s why he was let go and all the others stayed. I still find the whole thing suspect and keep in mind this is based on Berger’s post from above.
    In the end, jobs cut, shows cut, less work needed = more jobs cut, etc etc.

  165. Stan says:

    Someone called Andi Patrillo who seems to have a show on TSN radio tweeting out hope that the leafs eventually sign John Tavares. Coincidence that it’s the exact same team her bosses own? Probably.

  166. Anthony says:

    @Original Mitch

    But lets also remember how Howard Berger got let go. He was downsized, taken off the road and started to get bitter towards the Leafs, the Fans and his employer (Rogers). He was much like Healy, disliked by those who followed the team aggressively not because he ‘told it like it is’, but because he was jaded and allowed it to effect his reporting.

    So here, his friend, was fired, what do you expect him to write? The blog post in question has personal photos that Healy provided (how’s that for objectivity). He’s not going to be objective when his friend was fired by the company that he was fired by. He’s going to go to bat for his friend.

    Healy just wasn’t any good, and if you want me to sign up for Darren Millard being following him and Damien Cox not being allowed any where near anything other than a newspaper column ill sign up, but them not being fired doesn’t say anything other than Moore didn’t do enough and he only let go those who where redundant, not those who where poor at their job.

  167. Original Mitch says:

    @anthony

    You’re right, I imagine Berger is definitely jaded. Nobody is gonna miss Healy nor the 3rd man (although Ferraro and yes, even Pierre do it well). I hate guys that are negative just to be controversial. It feels phony. Ever hear Healy on PTS? He was calm and even cerebral at times. Its like when he was on tv he took a jolt of..well Jolt and would yell for the 25 seconds he had the mic to himself.

  168. yaz says:

    I’m no Millard fan and would rather he wasn’t ever on HCN but he is more of an anchor than a colour guy. Rogers would still need a host here and there. He is a professional anchor type and they need that as part of the team.

  169. Anthony says:

    @Yaz

    Marek could take over the main host gig and to it much better then Millard.

  170. Jacob says:

    @Anothony @Yaz Agreed. Marek is far superior to Millard in every way. I don’t get how Rogers continues to pick Millard over Marek.

  171. Hans says:

    Millard has always struck me as more a “hockey fanboy” or “NHL player wannabe” than someone like a James Duthie or Jeff Marek anchor type. The thing is that Millard comes across as very corporate and seems to fit into the “roger’s way” of how they want to do things.

    To be honest, I’m surprised that he didn’t get the HNIC gig as opposed to them bringing back Ron MacLean.

  172. Original Mitch says:

    Millard is hands down the luckiest person in the history of broadcasting. No discernible skill or talent, yet has moved up the ranks to be one of their untouchables at sportsnet. It truly is an unfair industry. I guess since there is no quantifiable measurement of skill, ass-kissing is a useful tool. A lesson to young broadcasters on this forum: they say jump, you say how high. and then compliment them on their idea to make you jump. 🙂

  173. Stan says:

    Watching Sid watching soccer makes want a refund on my cable bill.

  174. Matty Zero says:

    Well, they have another year to turn it around, and seeing how many people are cutting the Rogers cord, it might be impossible to stop the bleeding. Unless Rogers can poach some of the better TSN talent, it may be time to show Mr. Moore the door.

  175. Big G says:

    Millard and Christine Simpson were there from the CTV sportsnet days. In any buyout or merger you’ll always have one of two Journalists/broadcaster/Reporter kept on with the new company for years and that’s been the case with Millard. He’s been rewarded for his loyalty not necessarily skill. Go to any radio/tv station and you’ll find one or two senior personality that has been there through many transitions. Didn’t Gord Martineau from City just “Retire”?

  176. Steve Jones says:

    Look we all know Rogers thinks cross promotion is the be all end all marketing strategy. They don’t even try to hide their corporate approach to journalism and broadcasting. But to include a bit in the top of half of their post Jays sports roundup that was Seixero watching soccer was just too grating for words. Forget the sad bit of “acting” which was cringe worthy. It is the need to pump up a failing TV show with a hideous bit that just makes you wonder who is in charge. As a side note clearly I’m the one at fault here. I should have chnaged the channel quicker after the end if the game just to avoid Read. I won’t make that mistake twice.

  177. Stan says:

    @SteveJones
    Count your blessings you didn’t see that tire-fire live. It was the stupidest and biggest F-you to a sports audience I’ve seen in a long time. I was praying for Tim to come up behind Sid and hit him with a beer bottle. I will never defend that show again.

  178. Original Mitch says:

    @bigG

    You say ‘reward Millard for his loyalty’ and I think where was he ever gonna go? TSN knows better, nobody south is going to ever want him and going back to Saskatoon or whereever he’s from doesn’t make sense. He should thank his lucky stars every single day he wakes up that he’s employed, let alone in that role. If he gets fired tomorrow, hypothetically, where does he go? he has zero options in any major markets.

  179. Cirroc says:

    I invite anybody to watch 10 minutes of TSN’s coverage today and realize how superior it is to Sportsnet.

  180. Matty Zero says:

    Wasn’t Millard the first to have a MacLean-like resurrection a couple of years ago? I seem to recall Brady hosting HC at noon for a year, until flamed out due to ‘chemistry issues’. I swear Millard sat out a year.

  181. Hans says:

    Matty – As far as I recall Millard has always been the noon show’s host but had a revolving set of co-hosts till they hit on the current setup. Maybe you’re thinking he sat out because up to a few years ago Millard wasn’t on every hockey related show on sportsnet and just the noon and wed shows.

  182. Brandon says:

    Matty,

    Yep, you’re remembering it quite wrong. When Don Collins initially arrived, he banished Millard from radio and put Brady in from 12-3. Part of that was hosting HockeyCentral and if you may recall, Krystal was at 9am and they moved McCown up to 3pm. Yes, several mistakes. Brady wasn’t pushed off noon show for chemistry issues, he was promoted to mornings when Krystal flopped badly and everything worked out.

    I admit it was a mistake to this listener to so suddenly ditch Millard but if I recall, he kept doing his tv stuff as usual and didn’t have to sit out or anything. Hard to blame brady for wanting to focus on mornings and not also do a noon show but someone more knowledgable than me would know if he did or did not do both for a while.

    Then the Fan lineup got settled until Blundell’s arrival. Then no more Collins!

  183. Mike S says:

    @Brandon @Matty Zero

    Brandon is right………Brady was host of the noon hockey show in the fall of 2010 (with Kypreos and Doug MacLean) and they re-named it “Centre Ice”………but they ended up changing the name back to “Hockeycentral At Noon”, probably for legal reasons

    When Brady was moved to mornings (with Jim Lang) to replace Krystal I think he continued to do the noon show for a few weeks but I assume they decided that it was too much for him so that’s when they brought back Millard………..Millard continued his TV duties during the months where he was not hosting the noon hockey show on radio so he did not sit out a year

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