Seen & Heard – Weekend Edition

June 6th, 2015 | by mike (in boston)
Seen & Heard – Weekend Edition
business of sports

photo credit: AP


by mike in boston / @mikeinboston / hatemailaccount at gmail


Good morning sports media watchers, and welcome to new readers coming over from Jonah’s appearance on CTV.


After being off last weekend I have a mountain of things to comment on but some of them will have to wait until next time. So hold on to your MLSE CEO, Sepp Blatter, and “we’re number 1!” thoughts. As always, if there are other things I should be talking about or good work I should be highlighting, please get in touch.


5 Questions with … Ryan Walsh (Sportsnet)


We spend a lot of time dissecting the work of the people in front of the microphones, cameras, and keyboards in this space. I have been trying for a while to interview someone who works behind the proverbial glass to provide a different perspective on sports media. I am thrilled this week to have had the chance to trade questions with Ryan Walsh, longtime producer of Prime Time sports. Walsh recently announced that he is moving on to work on the new Tim & Sid television show, and very graciously agreed to answer some questions. Here is our conversation.


How did you get your start in radio?


Oddly enough, it was at 680 News. I got a co-op placement doing a victory lap semester in high school. That was before Rogers bought the Fan so 680 had its own sports department. Peter Gross brought me in and I got to work with great reporters and sportscasters like Peter, Sara Buchan (great reporter), Bill Cole (maybe the best voice I’ve ever heard on radio) and Mike Wilner. I learned a lot from them but Mike gave me the extra time I needed to learn the ins and outs of the business. I owe my career to him.


So I had a press pass to the Raptors and Leafs when I was 19 and was petrified to make eye contact, let alone talk to some of the best athletes on the planet. It was overwhelming at that age but Learning how to deal with the slings & arrows at that young an age made the difference later on.


I went from there to a two year program at Seneca college for radio and after working a real job for six months, I applied for a Fan internship and was denied. I had to work Jack FM promotions, putting up banners for concerts, etc.


I even had to put on the opposing team’s jersey during the Leafs playoff run one year and sit in a dunk tank… In April… In Toronto (if you’re reading this and you remember doing that to a dude years back, I still hate you). I’ll never forget sitting in a Jack FM van, shivering in a soaking wet jersey and a frogman suit, watching reporters and media trucks out in front of the ACC and I promised myself that I was going to be a part of that sports world. I applied a few days later again at the Fan and they let me intern on weekends. I was producing the International Sports Report within six weeks because it interfered with another producer’s weekend drinking. That morphed into nightly producing, Sports Central, inside The Lines, Hoops, Dream Job, Blue Jays and Raptors producing and the main fill in for the daily show. I worked 72 straight days at one point. Day 73 was Christmas. I was back at work Boxing Day. And I loved it.


What does an average day producing PTS look like?


The average day involves a lot of reading. The way McCown always described the stories that he wanted to do was that tiny blurb in a sports page. Not the scores or the basic ins and outs of a long season, find the issues. So you spend a ton of time the night before and the morning getting a skeleton of the stories you want to do then find the best person to tell that story. And you can’t forget the entertainment factor. If the article is great but the guy who wrote it is a terrible talker, the impact of the story isn’t conveyed correctly.


Then it’s comparing notes with the guys that you work with. Matt Marchese, who I brought in over three years ago when they decided to move Fabro to the morning show, is one of the co-producers on PTS now. He’s got a great eye for what a ‘Bob’ story is. Matty and former Tim & Sid producer Jeff Azzopardi will do a phenomenal job on that show. You tell your AP on the TV side what visual elements you’d like and then the chasing begins.


There are certain guests you have on a specific day, that helps your workload. The key is, even if you’re freaking out that no guests are calling back or you can’t think of a topic, keep it inside. Never show fear to Bob… He can smell it. And there’s no room for it. Man, we’ve had a few doozies where we needed four guests less than an hour before showtime. Our TV director Jennifer Rolnick (she runs the backstagePTS account and makes that job look easy. She’s an artist). will come find us around 3:00 and ask what we got, and we have no clue but we always know that 4 PM will come no matter what, keep calling and we’ll be fine. We annoy so many people.


How much of the work of producing is done while the show is actually going on?


During the show, if you’ve done it right?  Very little. You slide stats in, answer questions as you go, keep buzzing the hosts to break, that kind of stuff but your job is done by 4:00… Preparing yourself by trying to be on top of every story. But when something breaks, that’s when shit gets real. That’s the fun part of the job.


What is the process of booking new guests? Does anyone ever get angry at you for calling? Do you ever have to say no to people wanting to be on the show?


The process of booking new guests always varies. Can be through them pimping a book or a product, an event or charity. Can be through their agent, can be a number that I magically acquired.  A cell is key because you can throw out the odd text and no matter what, you look at a text, you don’t always answer the phone if it’s a number you don’t know. That gets the ball rolling sometimes.


Tons of people you cold call get pissed. But put yourself in their situation. They made tons of money playing a sport or they’ve made tons of money in sports then an unrecognized number shows up on their phone, and as I’m making terrible small talk, all he’s thinking is ‘how did this ass get my number?’


I’ve had one boxing analyst tell me to go F myself on two separate occasions. But it’s part of the job. Your potential embarrassment is far outweighed by the 5% chance some big name says yes.


Are there any common disasters that crop up during the day or during the show? 


The worst thing on the planet is spending six or seven minutes talking to your hosts in a break and then calling your guest that you just talked to and he doesn’t answer. Now you have one minute where you keep calling and pray they pick up. Because when that music starts a segment and he puts those headphones on and I have to say I don’t have a guest yet, you can see the dead eye stare through those sunglasses.


Once Bob broke so damn late and Dan Marino called in early, that he was on hold for 12 minutes. I thought for sure he’d hang up, I mean I would have.


You have to understand that these people have families, they may be picking their kids up from soccer practice or something and I’m blowing up their phone. You give them the benefit of the doubt but you just hope they remembered they are on at a specific time. You can remind them all you want, if I call and you have to go to the bathroom, I’m expecting a missed call.


In your experience how important is the producer-host relationship to putting out a good radio show?


I think it’s extremely important to understand each other. You don’t have to be besties. Bob’s an icon. When you understand his expectations and meet them, you get his trust. He gets focused for the show but he’s like one of those big deals I was talking about earlier. Dude’s got two wineries, a production company and has to hold up a radio station. That’s a ton for one man. So he’s gotta have good people around him.


I think you need a better relationship with the co hosts to be honest. Because they can fill the holes that need to be filled, we can steer the conversation in different ways… It’s key to have someone play that role correctly.


Did it take time to develop a good rhythm with Bob? 


For sure. It took a little while, mostly because I went from booking people who talked about the stars to booking the stars. It’s a very different kind of show. Bob has his strengths and you learn how to play those up. And his harsh ‘no athlete’ policy can be broken if you find the right one. And sneaking back in Doug MacLean when Bob was on vacation and eventually back in the rotation was one of my favourite things. That and booking Wilner when Bob’s off. Little things that the audience understands and is in on the joke.


What is something about Bob that the audience would be surprised to know?


I don’t know how many people know why he wears sunglasses indoors. He wore normal glasses when he was doing the business of sports and everything was fine but our first radio studio was so tiny for TV. The lights were right over you. Bob kept getting headaches and didn’t know why. One day, he forgot his regular glasses, wore his prescription shades and boom, no headache. So the shtick started right there.


How much of the job did you learn while on the job, as opposed to in school?


None in school. Honestly. My school was hands on and even that didn’t teach me the tools for this job. It’s a talent and performance based industry that like in most disciplines involves tons of luck for your break. If you have it, you have it, and if you don’t, you’ll know very soon. You have to be a sicko to want to do what we do.


What advice would you give to young people trying to make a living in the radio business?


As my friend Jeff Blair told my class (I teach at Centennial): Go to law school.


Know what you’re going against. Because if you always won the sports argument at the bar, it doesn’t mean that conversation will translate on radio. Think of how many colleges offer broadcasting courses, now think of how many graduate every semester. And old mules like me aren’t going away quietly so there are so few gigs and an over saturation of graduates. You have to stand out.


People always told me in school you have to move out to the middle of nowhere before making it in Toronto. That’s such BS. If you have an in, take it. Talent breeds talent. Be around the best possible group you can be around. Do as much as you possibly can and shut up while doing it. Let your talent talk.


How do you see your job changing producing a TV show rather than a radio show?


Oh man, I’ve been doing this for just a few days and it’s already very different. Tons of meetings, tons of prep and a huge team. But these are some of the most talented people in television. It’s surreal that I’m on this side and that they wanted me. We are going to emphasize more on in studio guests and double Enders, obviously… But in my role, that’s about all that changes.


What did you like most about being in sports radio?


The immediacy of it. If it breaks, you learn with the audience. I think that’s where Bob excels more than anyone. To ask the right questions that he and the audience want to know. It makes you think on your feet.  Radio is grittier. It’s the message more than how it looks. You’re getting people in their cars, it just you and them. I love that.


Who are some of your favourite PTS guests?


My favourite guests were the people I either idolized or represented an era that I wish I was a part of. Like Bert Sugar. He is my all time favourite guest because he was what I associated with boxing from when I was small. I love boxing and every fight I watch, I think of him. His sound. The times I called him for the most obscure reasons or anniversaries, just to have the excuse of having him on. Every single time I called, I got excited. We had a full conversation. He’d try one liners and material on me before he went on. Even his ever changing voicemails made you smile. He didn’t have email, didn’t have a cell. You had to call him. And I would never regret it.


My other favourite regulars include Bob Elliott, Morosi, Kyper, MacLean and Richard Deitsch… Those are off the top of my head. They all provide so much and I love those guys as people too. Love Blair, I consider him a good friend, there’s nobody like him. And Brunt gets me through the day to day grind of the show. He’s my idol in this industry and the best part of doing that job is grabbing a beer and a burger and talking shop with a guy I owe so much to and respect more than anybody else I know.




Thanks so much to Ryan for these candid and thoughtful answers. He has agreed to check in on the comments section in the next few days so if you have questions about producing radio or about PTS or want to follow up on anything, ask away below.




The Blue Jays are in the midst of another up and down season, the likes of which we have seen many times before over the course of the last decade. For some local perspective, Griff argues the team is better than their record, while Elliott thinks the team is simply not very good. Tao of Stieb also has a nice forward looking piece about the possible ways to fix the roster.


The main media story this week is the criticism of Jose Reyes by Jays play-by-play man Jerry Howarth. Jerry called out Reyes during the broadcast and then elaborated during an interview on the FAN morning show. BlueBirdBanter has the recap of the interview.


Howarth’s list of grievances includes the following: sub-par defense, too many injuries, declining offense, and too many smiles. Reyes responded to these complaints in a lengthy interview with the excellent Shi Davidi. (Make sure you read TSM’s interview with Shi, who, in my opinion, is the most talented and rational Jays observer at Sportsnet. He deserves a bigger profile at the network.)


Jerry is in the wrong here, though he didn’t have to be. The Jays blogging community was worried about Reyes’ defense the day the Marlins trade was made. There is no question that this is a concern, and that Reyes’ play has substantiated the concern. But Jerry made the mistake of packing that criticism in with some pretty frivolous ones. To describe Reyes’ offense as declining is simply not supported by the facts. Further, EE and Bautista have both spent significant time on the DL over the last 3 seasons, so picking on Reyes for injuries seems arbitrary and capricious.


But the worst part of Jerry’s comments is the reference to Reyes’ penchant for smiling. It invalidates the substance of his argument entirely. There is simply no relationship between a sunny disposition and defensive woes or injuries.


To be honest, I understand that watching guys goof it up when the team has underperformed over the last few seasons is frustrating. I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for Zaun for referring to the Jays as the “league leaders in secret handshakes.” But it’s just not relevant baseball analysis.


Dirk “the blocker” Hayhurst contributed his take in his trademark style:



There has been a trend to Jerry’s criticisms. He seems to go after guys based on very personal sounding considerations. Jerry complained about R.A. Dickey not speaking with him enough, and then said that he was not doing enough to mentor young pitchers. He also intimated that Jose Bautista was not a good leader in the clubhouse, and in one famous incident blamed a loss on Jose after he was thrown out of a game in which his defensive replacement misjudged a fly ball allowing runs to score.


This is not good for fans, nor is it good for the team. Jerry’s skill is calling a game, not judging the character of the players. If he wants to write a tell-all book some day I’m sure people will read it. We have seen a revolving door of colour commentators over the last few years. We now we have a Wilner-Howarth hybrid in the other seat for home games. As a life-long listener to baseball on radio, the broadcast could use some major refreshing.


Quick Hits


Sean Fitz-Gerald of the National Post sat down with The Godfather of hockey. It’s a good interview.


Rachel Brady of the Globe wrote a nice profile on Canada’s keeper at the Women’s World Cup. She is a good writer and it’s nice to read her on more than just the Raptors/NBA.


TSN’s Rick Westhead reports on a $200 million dollar lawsuit against the CFL, its former commissioner, and a leading brain injury doctor. It will be interesting to watch if Bell’s recent acquisition of the Argos will influence how Toronto-based TSN covers these issues. So far so good.


Low Hanging Fruit


  • Let me join others in wishing Mike Richards a full recovery. It was nice to read the tweets from the few Sportsnet people who publicly wished him well.


  • Congratulations to Hamilton on getting your own all-sports radio station, TSN1150. No offense to the deep and rich Hamilton sports scene, but I suspect this is mostly a way to extend TSN1050’s lousy radio signal.


  • Dear Don Kollins: I’ll always be a little sad that the things I wrote here made you mad. In all sincerity, I think you had a really tough job and I wish you well in your next challenge.


  • If you were starting a sports section today how desperate would you have to be to give Cathal Kelly a job writing columns? His body of work over the last year is filled with self-absorbed and poorly thought out pablum. Hard to believe this is the same sports section that once employed Brunt, Grange, and Blair at the same time.




thanks for reading and commenting,

until next time …

mike (not really in boston)


  1. Neal says:

    That was a great interview there with Ryan Walsh. Ryan…question for you: PTS started off as a radio-only show and of course in recent years it became a radio show that is broadcast on television. So the question is did you have to make any subtle changes to the show in recent years so that it would television-friendly? Thanks Ryan and all the best of luck on Tim and Sid’s show. They are former co-workers of mine from the Score and I wish you all the best of luck.

  2. I get why you didn’t bring up FOB (Friends of Bob) for the uninitiated, meaning those co-hosts who Bob has used over the years due to his own personal friendships with them, and even though they are panned by the listeners, continue to get a regular gig. Other co-hosts seem to be planted more for cross-promotion purposes, which is another issue altogether. No need to mention specific names, as we have gone through it ad nauseam, but if Ryan can explain the dynamics of how the co-hosts are selected, i.e. by whom and for how long do they get to stay it would be appreciated. Obviously we know the icons like Brunt, who challenges Bob and gets the best out of him, without pissing him off when he goes out on a ridiculous tangent just to get a rise out of the listenership. I can see how much Ryan idolizes Brunt, and why wouldn’t you, I still do at 50!

    I am also interested in Ryan’s thoughts on the ratings, and how TSN 1050 has changed the way he produced PTS. Obviously greater competition means more challenges for guests, and how did he initially deal with it. I loved listening to Darren Rovell with Bob, and on Twitter this is what I wrote to him when he came back on the show and he thanked me for it:

    Brian Gerstein ‏@RaptorsDevotee Mar 3
    Happened to catch @FadooBobcat with @darrenrovell back again on @BackstagePTS and their chemistry did not miss a beat. #AppointmentListening

    Darren Rovell ‏@darrenrovell Mar 3
    @RaptorsDevotee thank you sir
    5:53 PM – 3 Mar 2015

    How was Rovell able to come back, when he never wanted to leave but had to since his affiliation with ESPN.

    The TSN competition is one thing, but the Tim and Sid head to head against Bob in his time slot within the family is going to be interesting. Two different target markets, and two different platforms, but I would love to know how Bob really feels about it, if Ryan can comment on it, and if he can’t, I understand, as it is his job to kick Bob’s ass when they compete regardless from 5-7 p.m.

    I would also love to hear if Ryan can comment on Nelson Millman, who IMO was someone who I could relate to over the years and actually went on air as the PD and took questions periodically from listeners. I can’t emphasize enough how much this meant, versus the other tactic of Fan 590 polls sent out by Don Kollins, and no interaction with listeners other than that. It may be more effective from a business standpoint, but at the same time, with Nelson as listeners we felt a part of the station due to that, and I haven’t at all with Kollins, although I do wish him well in his future endeavours as well.

    BOL Ryan, I am a Tim and Sidizen, so my loyalties will follow them given a choice. I would have preferred they stay in their afternoon time slot though, as I have not listened to sports radio on a regular basis since in that time slot that is lacking right now from an entertainment perspective. When Brunt is on with Bob in the fall I will catch them on podcasts if I have the time.

  3. Paul says:

    Kelly has been a disaster ever since he started at the globe. He takes random personal guesses or thoughts and presents them as fact. Lucky for the globe that they have the best sports reporter going … James Mirtle

  4. rob j says:

    Off topic, but I listened to the hour-long toronto miked podcast with special guest Mike Wilner. Highly recommended as he describes his job with its pros and cons. Biggest non-surprise was that he was a psychology major in university. Explains a lot. Our own TSM also was interviewed for a full hour. Worth checking out

  5. Griffin’s column is a glaring example of why I actively avoid Toronto media sports coverage. There are no ribbons for 5th place, and Bill Parcell is right, you are as good as your record is, like the NFL, there are no style points or good losses, only W and L…

    Maybe he was desperate to find something good to say, maybe he needed column inches, maybe he was asked by someone in power or at Rogers to write something nice?

    I don’t know why he wrote it, but I know this…the AL East is weak this year, and will likely be won by 86 wins, maybe 87, and for Jays to win the division, (no wildcard I bet) will need 60 more wins (now at 26-30), and with 106 games left, that means they need to go 60-46 the rest of the way or a .566 record, a record they have not had since the start of May.

    It looks like he’s just another Jays homer selling hope, and we’re not even at the All Star break yet…

  6. Neil says:

    Mike In Burlington

    I’m with you on this, it appears that the media outlets with the exception of TSN are having a competition on who can be the biggest cheerleader,hence the reason why people want blood when it comes to Jerry Howarth and his comments about Reyes, Jerry put down his pom poms for a second and is really paying for it. Is there any other city other that has a parade bigger than Toronto for a team that is out of a playoff spot. Toronto is #1 for this. Thanks Leafs.

  7. mario says:

    Thanks for another great read..Just wanted to wish Ryan all the best with Tim and Sid and what a great job he did on PTS ..Great questions asked by others looking forward to his response.

  8. yaz says:

    Put Bruce Arthur and Cathal Kelly in the same room and let them bloviate each other to death. Note: their noses aren’t just up in the air to keep their glasses on.

  9. GreyCountyMike says:

    mike (in boston): Great point about Shi Davidi! Well put!

    The man is a very solid beat reporter who goes about his day-to-day duties with little to no agenda. He is one of very few employed by Rogers whose analysis of the Blue Jays has discernible integrity.

  10. Jim from Abroad says:

    I first listened to PTS while on holiday in Canada about ten years ago and have been a fan of the show ever since. The podcast going from just the ‘national hour’ to the full three hours was great. For my job I do a lot of driving and listening to Bob McCown has killed many a boring hour waiting for traffic to get moving.

    One of my questions has been answered in the interview, why does Mike Wilner pop up in the show everytime Bob is absent. The one questions I would like to ask Ryan:

    How much pressure is there to have ‘Sportsnet’-personalities on the show, especially in the baseball coverage. I miss the chats with guys like Ken Rosenthal and other American national reporters.

    Bob this week mentioned retirement a couple of times again, possibly in jest, but do you think Prime Time Sports could continue with a successor or would something new in the same time slot be more wise?

    If there was one regular from the past you could get back for PTS, who would it be?

    Anyway, wether you are able to answer these questions or not, thanks for all the great work you did over the years!

  11. Ryan walsh says:

    Thanks for the interest and the questions.

    We’re off to a wedding of a dear friend of ours in
    The business so I will answer every question Sunday
    For sure. Keep em coming if you’d like.

  12. alex says:

    I thought it was funny bob mentioned not going to satellite radio a few years ago.

    I first starting listening to pts and 590 when they were on the same sirius channel as HNIC Radio.

  13. Darrell says:

    Hayhurst was an ex-player (extremely average at best) and it’s only natural that he would stick up for Reyes. I personally am on both sides and love both players, but Reyes is on the decline and not the same player he was with the Mets.

    The FAN has not been the same since the departure of Tim + Sid from the afternoon show. Love ’em or hate ’em, Tim + Sid were entertaining and nothing like Brady + Walker (library talk).

    I was hard against Kollins’ but I can wish him the best as well, but he did ruin a station that I used to love and it was just the passion above the hurtful tone talking about him.

  14. IP3LEE says:

    “I miss the chats with guys like Ken Rosenthal and other American national reporters.”

    Pretty sure McCown doens’t like Rosenthal since he ended interviews on the show early a few times saying he had to take a call. Can’t imagine Bob liked that.

  15. PBI says:

    The coverage of FIFA corruption and the entire Sepp Blatter situation, from Qatar getting the World Cup a few years ago to Blatter re-signing last week, has seemed incredibly self-serving to me on the part of the American media considering they finished second in the voting.

    Not exactly breaking news that corruption is happening and has always happened to grease the palms of powerful organizations like FIFA and the IOC but when it happens and indirectly affects America, then everyone loses their minds.

  16. Neil says:

    Wow! this game between the bills and the jaguars can really be a stepping stone for something big when it come to streaming live sports. If Netflix enters that arena. Rogers and Bell media say goodnight.

  17. Pete says:

    Excellent interview. As someone who has taken a keen interest in the marketing and media side of spots in the last few years, I found this very intriguing. Ryan, a few questions if I may:

    1. Completely understandable if you forgo answering this question, but what exactly is Bobcat’s status/future intentions? I’ve read on this site he has another two years left, whereas I could have sworn that he announced he signed a long term deal (6-year) back in January 2014. Some times he hints at retirement, another time I hear him tell a caller that his successor is a long ways away.

    2. What degree of respect is there amongst the talent between The Fan and TSN? Obviously each wants to crush the other from a competitive standpoint, and on air they’ll take jabs at each other, but a lot of these talents have worked together before and there is some movement between the two companies. Is the amicability there?

    3. Has there ever been pressure, whether it be a personal urging as a producer or a directive from above, to incorporate female talent on the air? TSN seems to be ahead of the curve these days with Kate Beirness at times co-hosting with Naylor the afternoon show opposite Bobcat. (I do remember The Fan had the Fabulous Sports Babe back in the day.) Do you view that as an untapped demographic that should/will be pursued?

    Many thanks in advance.

  18. Darrell says:

    Could be wrong but I seem to remember “the Fabulous Sports Babe” being an ESPN personality that Nelson Millman had between 11 AM + 2 PM?

  19. Ryan walsh says:

    @neal honestly, there hasn’t been much that’s changed. We’ve dabbled with Skype with varying success (see Becker, Rob) … We try to make it as visually appealing as possible but at its core, it’s still a radio show on television. We try to do as many double Enders (satellite) as possible, but as long as we have the best content as quickly as possible, we’ve done our job.

  20. The Londoner says:

    Question for Ryan Walsh, what in your own words is EBIDTA? Thanks. Now excuse me while I go bet on Jai alai.

  21. rob j says:

    For Ryan W: I only listen to PTS via podacast and love that they’re so quickly available each evening. Is preparing them a separate job? And how many listeners subscribe?

  22. Ryan walsh says:


    I think the FOB thing is over rated to be honest. The way i always got to schedule things was with Brunt. His usual deal had around 25 weeks or so, so I scheduled him the way I wanted. But this year, it was mandated that Brunt did a significant number of weeks In a row.

    I wasn’t sold on that but we did what we were told. This was an odd year because I usually had carte Blanche and had Brunt and Cox as regular co hosts. But when Cox left for the NHL, it was a different world. I thought Reid did a great job doing double duty. That’s not easy, working a national broadcast and then working with us for hours on end. He was a pro the whole time. He wasn’t a FOB, he had to make it work. And I thought he did an excellent job earning Bob’s trust.

    Re: 1050… The thing I learned early on was don’t acknowledge your competition. We do what we do, whether it waS 1050, the Team, or whatever. We do what we do. There’s another sports station in the market? Who cares. We do what we do and we keep moving forward. As a person, I love Naylor. He is a friend. It’s not like when Haksaw Duggan was caught with the Iron Shiek. We are all friends. I root for Naylor. It’s healthy competition. I loved beating him but he’s got one of the best resumes I’ve ever seen.

    I talked to Rovell off and on because I thought the ESPN embargo sucked. I never understood because ESPN owned a fraction of TSN, I couldn’t have Lester Munson, Shulman, Rovell or Fainaru Wada. It drove me nuts. When Rovell had an opening to re join us l, I was so happy. The fact that we lost people off our roster without giving up a fight felt like I was Billy Beane in Moneyball. We did what we had to do. But when I lost people who I considered friends of mine, it made me bitter of the process.

    As far as Nelson goes, I don’t know if I respected a person more in this business. He had the fear factor that you had to push yourself to make sure you were up to his standards. I love working under him and always valued when he was on the radio. Thought it was so unique and it always felt like he would never duck any questions. I loved that about him.

  23. Thanks for the responses back Ryan. Much appreciated. I actually wasn’t referring to Ken Reid as a FOB, obvious that he would not apply, but regardless, no reason to drudge up the past names which I feel would apply, and if you say that it is over rated, then I have no reason to doubt otherwise, and thanks for clearing that up.

    To back up my own personal feelings on Nelson, I reached out to him a year ago to learn more about this industry, as I am so passionate about it, and found out that Nelson lives right near me in Thornhill. After a really enjoyable lunch at Centre Street Deli, and btw, Nelson eats way healthier than I do, I really learned the lay of the land from him, and IMO there is no better resource out there. He is still thoroughly missed by myself and countless others.

    I am very excited for Tim and Sid to get going already. This hiatus is killing me, and it is too bad that I have taken up drinking and gambling as a vice since they left, but hope to kick both habits come early July.

  24. Ryan walsh says:

    @ Jim

    Wilner is one of those guys where the chemistry doesn’t work from host to guest. I love Wilner but it didn’t jive with bob which I never liked. So he’s on vacation and boom, here come Wilner.

    As far as retirement goes, Bob has a few more years. He holds that spot just like Cherry holds Coach’s Corner. It’s his until he wants to step down. The public has spoken and he is what they want.

  25. Neil says:

    @Ryan walsh

    Do you think pts will be rebranded when Bob leaves, signaling the start of a new era in that time slot?

  26. Mike S says:

    Here are some PTS roundtable questions for Ryan Walsh:

    – Why was the one hour Monday PTS roundtable discontinued a few years ago?

    – Were you the one who decided who the Friday roundtable guests would be each week?

    – If so, can you tell us why there are less external (ie: non-Rogers) roundtable guests than there used to be? Were you instructed to have more Rogers personalities on the PTS roundtables? Do any of the Rogers personalities have it written into their contract that they are to appear on a certain number of PTS roundtables?

  27. Alex says:

    Ryan, you may not be able to answer, but how many of the weekly guests are paid hits? (Not asking the amount) i would presume Ryan, Rovell and Deitsch are, since they have (generally) the same timeslot each week.

    Since we famously know Bob arrives at 3:57 each day (more or less), does he ever veto a segment and leave you scrambling to get a fill-in on short notice?

  28. Sam says:

    Ryan what are your three favourite bob-isms?

  29. Bella says:

    Why is Mary Ormsby never on anymore?

  30. yaz says:

    Bob speaking to Healy on Game 1: ‘It is interesting the way the game unfolded. I don’t think any of us would have been surprised that Tampa was the more nervous team coming out of the gate. And yet they didn’t really demonstrate that – I’m told – I didn’t get a chance to see the game.’ (June 4, 6pm hour)

    Fan 590’s first Cup Final as the home of hockey.

  31. Ryan Walsh says:


    The regular I wish we had back was Bert Sugar obviously but if we’re talking people that are still around, then it’s Dan Shulman. Danny was a host of Prime Time, one of the biggest broadcasters in North America and he gives you so much in an interview. He’s an ESPN guy and has a deal with the other guys. The majority of the regulars I miss are in that same boat. I would have loved to have had Mark Fainaru Wada on throughout that League Of Denial era. I love great old school journalists like that. He’s so damn good.

    To be honest I was rarely ever told to have a Sportsnet personality on instead of somebody else. It’s just in this world of two media giants, you basically have a deal with one side or the other. We used to have Griffin, but he signed a deal with TSN to be an analyst there, we do the same with Bob Elliott. Very few are free agents that bounce back and forth on both. The only one off the top of my head is Richard Deitsch. Bryan Hayes had Deitsch on back in the day so Deitsch will always go on there which we respect. But never has a Sportsnet exec tell me we had to put Jamie Campbell on instead of Elliott, for example.

    The story with Rosenthal is with his MLB Network duties now, he is so busy throughout the year. It was great having him on double enders but he couldn’t fit us into his day most times. But Morosi in a couple of years will be just as connected as Rosenthal and I think he’s a great interview… it’s good to get a little younger where you can and baseball with Morosi & Jonah Keri helped us do that.

  32. Ryan Walsh says:


    -Yeah Bob has a couple years left after this year. He always jokes about retirement but I don’t think he’s ready just yet. He does have other interests like wine and a production company but I don’t think he’s slowing down any time soon.

    -There’s a lot of respect on both sides. Some people always have this us VS them mentality and that’s healthy from a work standpoint but when you know people on the other side, it’s a bit silly. Naylor’s a great broadcaster and I like that he’s in the market… it makes you a little hungrier. It would do absolutely no good for them to struggle mightily. We needed a push, same way Wilbur pushed us way back. Made us work a lot harder.

    -I definitely do see an untapped resource with the lack of women in opinion based sports. My wife is Kayla Harris, she’s on the morning show as an anchor so I know the struggles women have in this industry. Any time someone like Christine Brennan of USA Today has an article, we try to get her on asap. And Mary Ormsby is a dear friend of the show. I would have loved to have Hazel on throughout but the timing sucks with her TV responsibilities. I’d love to see more women in the industry in general.

  33. Ryan Walsh says:

    @Rob J

    I don’t know how many subscribers we have but our former technical director Neil Oosten made it a mandate of his to expand the podcast from the 6PM hour to the entire show a few years back… and it’s integral with how people absorb their sports these days.

    Our sports editors do a great job making sure the podcast is up as soon as possible.

  34. Ryan Walsh says:


    So who were you referring to as FOB?

  35. Ryan Walsh says:


    I think when Bob hangs em up, there will be a full rebranding for sure.

  36. Ryan Walsh says:

    @Mike S

    -Shows evolve over time and we played around with a lot over the years. One thing was going from calls every day, to calls a few times a week, to no calls at all and then back to Mondays and Fridays. I missed having the Monday roundtable but we thought it was too much every week. Bob wanted more guests. Man, the days of no calls sucked because that meant 32 different guests a week and booking two roundtable guests… that was insane. You can call them Friends Of Bob but when you try to find 32 topics with 32 different people every week, they were Friend Of Mine.

    -Yes, I book roundtables.

    -As I answered a little earlier, there are very few non Rogers or non Bell people available these days. The landscape’s changed so much. Our non Rogers people that we rely on that live in the city (Devlin, Elliott, Doug Smith) all have beat jobs… hard to nail them down on a Friday, especially Doug Smith since the Raptors always play on a Friday or are on the road. So its morphed into who’s on your roster. I think Madani is one of the smartest guys we have and if he was a free agent or whatever, I’d be calling him every week to do the roundtable. It isn’t a contract thing for people on the Roundtable.

  37. Ryan Walsh says:


    -We try to pay our guys for their time… not everybody on that list you provided are paid guests though. Some newspaper guys in the city we do pay, some we don’t. The majority of the US guys we has as a part of our show on a weekly basis do get paid for their time though.

    -Bob shows up a bit before showtime and gets the lineup but I can count on one hand how many times he’s told me to scrap a guest over the last decade. I think that’s more us doing a phenomenal job selling the guest to him than him vetoing someone. You have to be a bit of a used car salesman with guests sometimes and as long as you can make a good case, the show will stay in tact. You earn Bob’s trust over time and he knows we know what he or the audience will find entertaining.

  38. Ryan Walsh says:


    My favourite was always Claude Themalthachuk. Tangible is the word of the day though. That Bobism Bingo is great! Neil Oosten put that together and we play from time to time.

  39. Ryan Walsh says:


    Mary is one of the best roundtablers we’ve ever had. But she’s extremely busy with her kids and their sports… and oh yeah, a full time columnist. There’s a reason why we always bug her around holidays, because we know she’s off and hopefully, her kids are too!

    She’s the best and has a standing invitation.

  40. Ryan, the FOB I was referring to was John Shannon, who I respect for his hockey production knowledge, but beyond that, just never see what value he can bring to the who, especially in other sports. Shannon has been so much a part of hockey now at Sportsnet that he is a lot more qualified than when he was first introduced as an integral part of PTS.

    Shannon also is better now, but had a history of talking over people and not respecting other people’s views i.e. his belittling of Tim about the idea that basketball is a growing sport in popularity versus hockey from a demographic standpoint moving forward in Toronto.

    To be a FOB you have to be someone who Bob seems to invite into his inner circle outside of airtime, and I got the feeling that Shannon is part of that, but I may be wrong.

    That leads me to another question, who is actually able to spend time with Bob at his palatial estate from the show as a friend, when it is not at all business related.

  41. Replace who with air in my first line, sorry for the mistake. Wish we had an edit button on this site. CALLING TSM!

  42. Curt says:

    Off the top of my head, some FOB examples: John Shannon, “Gabby” Boudreau, Butch Carter (before the unfortunate Eric Smith tweet). I know I’m missing others…

  43. Daz66778 says:

    Other FOB examples for sure are Neal Smith and his Toronto lawyer/sports agent whose name escapes me right now who rarely had anything to say on the roundtable.

  44. Wayne says:

    As for FOB Gord Kirk was great, but perhaps the two best are Brian Cooper and Dave Perkins. They both should be on at least every week!

  45. Antonio says:

    Question for Ryan:
    Why the hell is Ken Reid still showing up on PTS when clearly no one wants him to be there. He’s as popular as Strombo is as host of HNIC.

    My guess is that Reid is on there because someone “up there” insists on it. That someone may well be that pant load Scott Moore.

  46. Andrew says:

    Great column, and appreciate Ryan Walsh responding to the additional questions through comments.

  47. Steve Clark says:

    Aweome job by Mike in Boston to get an outstanding and very articulate interview with Ryan Walsh. He was very candid. One thing I will do is add to the platitudes about Nelson Millman. 10 years ago Nelson over an hour with me talking about the ins and outs of sports radio, along with the pitfalls (money) of the business. It was a very rewarding hour. A year or two ago, I notied he had started up a media consulting business, so I gave him a call and had him go over my stuff and give me any information he could pass on. He had a fee, and it was one of the best investments I made. He gave me feedback on stuff I’d never thought of, and also patiently took any calls I had (and I had a few!) about follow up/ other opportunities. Great guy, great investment and I’d say that if I don’t go any further in sports broadcasting.

    My questions for Ryan:
    1. Do people in the sports media business, in your opinion, read the articles/comments on this site?

    2. You might not be able to answer this as it might be giving away conceptual stuff, but will there be more on-air personaliteis other than Tim and Sid as part of their show, or it will be all Tim and Sid?

    Cheers, and thanks for all your insight.

  48. Curt says:

    Perkins is great. I always enjoy him whenever he’s on PTS. But I wouldn’t call him a FOB (although I’m sure he is friends with Bob). To me, FOB is code for nepotism. A FOB is someone who’s regular appearance on the show is due more to the fact that they are a buddy of Bob’s rather than the quality they may offer as guests/co-hosts.

    Either way, I don’t really care that much to be honest. I’m sure Ryan is great and I appreciate his contribution to this blog, but personally, I only listen to PTS when certain guests/co-hosts are on (Brunt, Perk, Jonah Keri). But unfortunately, that’s not very often.

  49. Pudge72 says:

    Thanks for posting a great interview with Ryan Walsh. Thank you to Ryan for taking the time to respond to so many questions.


    As for Jerry Howarth / Jose Reyes…Howarth stepped over the line in several instances: 1) His cheerleading for Ryan Goins to the point of suggesting that Goins should be the Jays starting shortstop. Ummm, sorry dude, Reyes bat contributes waaaay more than Goins, and Goins defense, while borderline spectacular, does not make up for the black hole that he is at the plate. 2) Jerry’s use of the term ‘streetball’ to describe Reyes approach/demeanor has a nice passively racist undertone to it. 3) Slagging a guy for smiling while playing baseball? Really??

    This article (which I linked to in a previous discussion thread, but will link to again here as it is relevant to this thread) really draws out the issues created by Howarth’s ‘analysis’:

  50. Keith Murdoch says:

    Yes, I have to agree with others on here that the continued presence of Ken Reid on PTS is baffling. He’s been doing the show for months now and he has shown absolutely no improvement. It’s got to the point where I do not listen to the show when he is cohosting. Please keep him off the new Tim & Sid show.

  51. Hans says:

    I wonder if it’s a case where they can’t find anyone but Ken Reid to fill in given how Cox jumped ship the moment he could and Brunt has his limited appearance schedule.

    We all know that Bob is famous for being grumpy with folks, on-air and off, but it could be a case where people are just not interested in dealing with him despite how long he’s been at it with PTS.

  52. Ryan Walsh says:


    I think John, especially since and during the lockout, has been one of the best hockey analysts we have. I respect your opinion on him but he is a broadcaster, understands the game and understands the issue based program we did.

    There’s four people in the room… lots of egos, lots of opinions… Shanny talking over Tim may stick out to you but I’ve done probably 400 roundtables… it happens, a lot. If you don’t like somebody, the more they do something you don’t like, the more it irritates you.

    I think you get a lot of value from Shanny.

  53. Ryan Walsh says:

    @Steve Clark

    -I don’t know how the media world absorbs this site, to be honest.

    -Not going to divulge any state secrets on the new show just yet but it’ll be Tim & Sid and its my job to make sure they always have significant and fun people to talk to.

  54. Jacob says:

    Hi Ryan,

    Thanks for answering questions. I can tell you how much I miss Tim and Sid and can’t wait to have them back on the air. Two questions:
    1. it’s no secret that PTS and Tim and Sid attract different demos, with the former skewing to older audiences and the latter to younger. Does your mindset change when switching from show to the other?
    2. Is Tim and Show the tv show modeling itself after other sports talk shows (ie PTI) or is going in a completely original direction? I couldn’t imagine the work pitching a completely new idea.

  55. Mike S says:

    Thank you Ryan Walsh for your answers to my PTS roundtable questions

    I agree that there are far fewer non-Rogers options than there used to be…………..guys like Arthur, Shulman, etc aren’t available for obvious reasons……….and there are others (Friedman, Grange, etc) who used to be non-Rogers and aren’t anymore but are still good choices

    But I still think there are many non-Rogers people who are viable options…………Mike Zeisberger, Dave Perkins, Doug Smith, Sean Fitzgerald, Ken Campbell, Mary Ormsby, Matt Devlin, Terry Koshan, Steve Buffery, Michael Traikos, Mike Brophy, Wayne Parrish, Rob Longley, Bob Elliott, Tim Wharmsby, David Shoalts, Chris Zelkovich, etc…………..I realize these people have busy schedules (or maybe have ties to Bell/TSN) but I’d like to think one of them would be available each week

    The bottom line is I listen to the PTS roundtable each week and for the most part I enjoy it………I just tend to enjoy it more when there is at least one fresh voice on it

  56. Anthony says:

    Appreciate that Ryan is offering his thoughts, nice to see.

    Not to scare him off or anything, but I think its fairly unanimous that he may not have the best read on Ken Reid, he’s fairly unanimously disliked on here, he’s not PTS standard. I always thought that PTS is the best of the best, where smart, intelligent dialog happens. Thats not Ken Reid (I’m sure he’d even say that), Reid is a schtick/comic type, 180 degrees against what we are use to/want.

    Im sure Reid is a nice guy, but that doesn’t mean that hes at the PTS level, I struggle to make it through a podcast with him co-hosting.

  57. Scott says:

    Whomever is responsible for Ken Reid on PTS needs to be fired. I gave him the benefit of the doubt orginally but he has simply not improved and generally acts like and idiot. I once thought Cox was unlistenable but now I’d even take that blowhard over Reid.

  58. The Londoner says:


    I think it is time for Jerry Howarth to call it a career.

    That being said, I think it is too much of a stretch to call his comments passively racist. Jerry is a high school basketball coach. So am I. We use this term often and for players of any race. I knew immediately what he was getting at, even though I do not think it applies to Reyes. A streetballer thinks about themselves instead of the team, ignores fundamentals, does not keep it simple, etc. I, and I`m sure Jerry, have seen plenty of that from players every race.

  59. Pete says:

    Thanks Ryan for the insight in answering my questions as well as the others. If you’re still taking questions, I have a couple more I’m curious about:

    1. How did the Rogers/NHL deal alter the programming for the show? For instance, there was always an NHL insider on at 5:10, whereas before it would be a mixed bag.

    2. Bob can be pretty harsh and outspoken on Rogers when it comes to the NHL deal, the Jays, partnership with Bell in owning the Leafs, etc. Has he ever been reprimanded because of it?


    Regarding Howarth, I noticed he hasn’t been working the games on the radio the last couple days. Probably just scheduled time off, but it did coincide with the Reyes incident blowing up, so I wondered if he was given forced time off.

  60. Ryan walsh says:


    It’s not easy to get people in all the time. I loved leaning on Perkins but it’s hard to put a lot on a man who had a heart attack not too long ago. On that list you provided, there are some people I use consistently, some schedules really don’t work well on a Friday, others have a lot going on at home and some I don’t like, to be honest.

    We do the best we can to put together a compelling roundtable, that includes content and panelists. But I understand what you mean by enjoying different voices.

  61. Ryan walsh says:


    -the way I approach this show compared to PTS is similar, just what I look for is extremely different. Same prep but very different guests and subject matter. Athletes are an option now which opens a few doors that were slammed shut for me for a long time, but eliminates certain guests that I would call at the drop of a hat for certain issues. But one thing I think that can bring to the TV side is a feel for the immediacy. The in the moment broadcasting that sometimes TV doesn’t have.

    -the new show will be what the two guys do best, entertain you and push the boundaries of the sports show. There will be a lot of new toys to play with that we didn’t have on the radio side, but at its core it’s two very talented men driving the bus, just like when they were 1-4.

  62. Ryan walsh says:


    Sorry you feel that way. I think Ken is extremely talented.

  63. Ryan walsh says:


    -I think we were affected the least by the NHL deal. They let us be. The 5:10 is still a mixed bag, always had Kyper in the 5:10 slot. You see a lot more NHL guys in the 5 hour because they are so damn busy in the 6 hour, doing Sportsnet hits, getting makeup done, getting ready for a 7 PM game, etc. But it was never mandated that a hockey guest had to be at 5:10

    -Even though Bob’s been a harsh critic about a bunch of things, we were never reprimanded or lectured. We were like Vatican City, our own country within a country. We got away with more than anyone. But that’s all on Bob. You know what you were getting into when you signed him. That’s what makes him so special. Him and Cherry are the only two in this country that do what they want.

  64. Antonio says:

    Since Ryan ignored my previous question (re: Reid) I thought I would ask another one: Why does Sid always look at himself on the monitor (up and to the right)while he’s babbling away on radio/TV? Its annoying and it makes him look even goofier than he normally looks. I’ll await Ryan’s answer….

  65. Ryan Walsh says:


    Because I’m not going to dignify abusive and hateful questions. Thanks for the interest though.

  66. Antonio says:

    I understand.

  67. Anthony says:


    Thanks for the answer, again, appreciate it. I think if you where to take a look at the posts on here (and alot of the comments), its not just me, it seems to be majority.

    Regardless, thanks for the time.

  68. Reggie says:

    I do not understand how Ken Ried can be considered extremely talented. His lack of sports knowledge is continually exposed with comments and questions he asks on Pts. Mary Ormsby is a waste of time whenever she hits the roundtable. Maybe you should help out walker and Brady in the afternoon before jumping to the waste of time that the new sid and tim show is

  69. yaz says:

    Dave Bastil and Jeremy Taggart on the Richards show this am were playing some crafty radio chess – they had heavyweight Leafs beat reporter Jonas Siegel in and leveraged his unique global brand of gravitas by bleeding his comments through the 8-9 AM hour. They didn’t break for news on the hour and ran him from 750 ish to 805 ish, not giving us the chance to slip back down to 590 during the normally scheduled commercial break. With M.R. on medical leave, Taggart and Cauz have proved again that Bastil is good with NOBODY.

    Didn’t like the show but I appreciate the move. 590 and 1050 both beating us to death with the tedium of unnecessarily repeated-to-death scores from last night. Go the Stern way – end the segment when the segment comes to a logical conclusion. But in a local market I understand it isn’t going to happen – but we do have Podcasts.

  70. Neil says:


    Walker has very week all around sports knowledge, he mainly knows hockey, football and the jays(doesn’t impress me with all around mlb knowledge). He is very general in other sports and it’s not fooling anyone. Walker wouldn’t survive doing a show on his own while Brady if Brady were to take vacation as Tim or Sid use to do.

  71. Neil says:

    Walker should be walked out of the studio.

  72. Jacob says:

    Hi Ryan,

    Thanks for answering my question. I have one more: Did Bob have a mandate what type of questions he wanted when someone called in? Did Bob like call ins or was it just a part of Friday PTI?

  73. Ryan Walsh says:


    Like when a fan caller called in? No. It was my job & Matty’s job to keep the flow of calls with what Bob seemed interested in.

    You don’t put the fools through unless you know it’ll get Bob going or laughing… you try to time those weirdo calls for the end of the segment… good way to go to a break. Either that or something where Bob can get a good soliloquy that can hook the listener into waiting around eight minutes.

  74. Sam says:

    Hi Ryan, thanks for answering the q’s

    Re phone-in
    1. Any tips on best time to call in?
    2. Any ideas on how to actually engage Bob in a back and forth conversation vs. asking a question then getting “a soliloquy”?


  75. Ryan Walsh says:


    1. Call in early and come with not just a great topic but confidence and a good opinion. If it’s a question, make it clear and make it interesting.

    2. Engage Bob like you’re having a conversation with your buddies. Instead of ‘first time long time’. Be respectful, don’t cut the man off and you should be just fine.

  76. GreyCountyMike says:

    Hello Ryan: Thank you for taking the time to respond with great insights. You have fans for life. Speaking of which …

    Back in 1978, as a petrified 12-year-old, I called a Bob McCown post-game show to offer my thoughts on the young and struggling Blue Jays. I was expecting to get the “Pete Franklin” treatment from Bob, but he could not have been more of a gentleman to me.

    I’ve called Bob since, of course, and not always have been on his right side … but his kindness to a dumb kid many years ago will never be forgotten.

    Thanks so much.

  77. Darren K Johnston says:

    Another week of “The Drive” for this guy and pretty much everyone of my friends that were PTS regulars. Ken Reid Mon & it looks like again today makes that decision really easy. Mark my words, the more they insist on running Reid out there the more viewers that will turn that dial or just go do something else.

  78. Anthony says:


    Ive turned the page as well. I like the program and guests but Reid just is starting to be a no go for me. Im sure hes a wonderful person, but I just can’t listen to his style.

  79. Darren K Johnston says:

    @ Anthony, yep, exactly. Sometimes it might sound personal but it really isn’t, I just can’t stand listening (and now even watching) him.

  80. Darrell says:

    @Ryan – I openly admit I have been extremely critical about some of the decisions made at a station that I used to love listening to 24/7. I would go in my car, I’d flick on the FAN. I am working around the house, I’d flick on the FAN.

    Here’s my question why are some radio and management personalities so “soft skinned” when they hear criticism about their work or some of the decisions? I am not saying that I have ever been attacking them personally or family life, but why must the radio personalities always be coddled at the FAN?

  81. Darrell says:

    I forgot to add that if you criticize their work, you are immediately black listed and blocked on Twitter. To me, it sounds extremely childish when you are a member of the media in a large media market like Toronto.

    Shouldn’t you be able to take the criticism?

  82. Darren K Johnston says:

    I agree @ Darrell, I’ve lost count at the number of Rogers Personalities who’ve blocked me, for not much more than, like you said, simple criticism.
    and probably 20 more that I’m not thinking of right now.

  83. rob j says:

    Based on the personal attacks on media personalities just in this thread, I’m not surprised some block (or mute) easily. I sure would.

  84. Darrell says:

    I am not saying that what we all say is right or appropriate for the FAN personality. Totally not even implying that! I do not like Mike Wilner at all and it’s just his arrogance and cockiness and constant slandering callers if they made a criticism about the Blue Jays got overly annoying.

    However as media, aren’t you supposed to be thick skin or be like a swimmer and allow the waves to overtake you? I have been blocked by FAN personalities and for no apparent reason other than saying that I was disappointed in their program.

    Don Kollins was an absolute weenie! Nelson Millman was a man who held his head high, took calls from callers and engaged with them as to how to make the station a better product. Sure, Millman perhaps never always agreed with callers suggestions but he portrayed himself as “The FAN 590 is our station” not “Nelson Millman’s station”. Kollins has made constant changes and when you tweet him about wanting to know why he’s changing a station that you (as a station listener) genuinely “LOVED”, how is that wrong?

    Yes Twitter and even this page can be attacking and harmful sometimes but I for one will never understand how simply saying that you don’t like a particular portion of the radio station is warranting a block on Twitter? It’s so child like and the personalities are like, “You don’t like me – I am taking my ball home and not being your friend anymore!” — BLOCK!

  85. alex says:

    “Based on the personal attacks on media personalities just in this thread, I’m not surprised some block (or mute) easily.”

    Definitely. A lot of the criticisms here come off as personal and mean-spirited if not cruel.

    I may turn off PTS if Reid is on, but i dont know him as a person. Of course, the same goes the other way: good guys on the air might not be saints off it.

  86. Matty Zero says:

    Glad to see unofficial PTS co-host Mike Sunnucks back in the house. Redfield T Baum is just around the corner. Everyone loves a sequel!

  87. alex says:

    Mike Sunnucks should be part of PTS bingo.

  88. Anthony says:

    Im not sure if its personal. Saying ‘I can’t stand listening to Ken Reid’ isn’t a personal attack, it’s someones feelings. Doesn’t mean he’s not a great guy or someone who you want to have a beer with, just that he’s not a professional radio host.

    For me Ken Reid is the equivalent to a fan sitting in the studio and cracking jokes. Doesn’t have great knowledge of many sports and compensates with bad jokes (pucks in deep anyone).

    Primetime Sports is THE standard for professional broadcasting, Ken Reid’s non professional stand up comic style just doesn’t fit

  89. Darrell says:

    I echo Anthony’s comments above.

  90. Drumanchor says:

    @ Ryan. Wonderful insights and thank you for the time and patience with all of the comments.

    However, if I may, I think that you would be hard pressed to convince most people that Ken Reid is “extremely talented”. I believe his talents specifically lie on the television side with his work on a nightly hi light show. As for radio, after prolonged listening, I cannot hear any chemistry or connection with both the various co-hosts or, specifically, your audience.

  91. Darren K Johnston says:

    Yep, for Ryan to defend/rationalize having Reid on (when he was producer) day after day, week after week, month after month is beyond absurd. I mean ok, if it’s just a dozen or so fans/listeners that are complaining about him and switching off or worse yet over to another show, then you can brush that aside, but just take a look at not only this thread but a vast majority of the threads on this site alone ever since he started the gig. It’s to the point now where not only do I immediately change the channel when he is a co-host on PTS but I now won’t even watch a second of Connected, yes, he’s that bad.

  92. Curt says:

    I’m guessing Ryan is defending Ken Reid because it’s his job to do so. If he really believed that the man is a complete disaster as a co-host on PTS I’m sure he wouldn’t let that be known. My guess is that someone up above mandated that they needed to do some “cross-promotion” between PTS and Connected, and so they threw Ken on. Otherwise, I think you’d describe someone calling Reid “extremely talented” as willful blindness.

    Again, nothing against Reid himself (I think he is actually pretty good on Connected), I’m just trying to offer an explanation as to why someone in Ryan’s position would defend him as a regular on PTS.

  93. Darrell says:

    My beef is only against Mike Wilner.

    Could be way off but Ken Reid is similar to what Mike Toth was about 10 years ago with TSN. “Different!”

  94. Pete says:

    Man, take Darren’s latest post and swap Ryan with Moore, Reid with Strombo and PTS with HNiC, and he’s describing that situation right to a ‘T’ as well.

  95. PBI says:

    Ken Reid is the product of the success of guys like Jay Onrait and Sid Seixeiro.

    Unfortunately, he’s not 10% as entertaining as the aforementioned but he’s definitely being pushed with that mold in mind.

  96. Bad Brian says:

    In this thread: loyal FAN employee is rewarded with big promotion; says lots of nice things about his bosses and coworkers … I’m not complaining. Just sayin’

    Good read.

  97. Antonio says:

    That’s the downside to having people currently employed in the industry – they aren’t going to be fully open and honest about everything. I don’t blame them – its just the way it is.

    Did any of us expect Ryan to come out and say “oh yeah, Reid is a total knob who should not be co-host on PTS, EVER but is mandated by the big bosses at Rogers to be on.” No chance.

  98. Jacob says:

    Wow,guys. I can’t believe you are asserting that Ryan is a liar and a lap-dog for Rogers because he finds Reid talented. Maybe that’s his opinion? Heck, maybe he has some market research that shows many people like Reid. It doesn’t matter. If you want people to come on and do cool things like answer our questions, maybe you should respect their opinion.

  99. Drumanchor says:

    @ Jacob.

    Good points all, but I doubt there is market research that would show that “many people like Reid.” What we have witnessed over a long period is pretty obvious – someone has insisted on cross promotion and this is the result.

    Let’s hope that the new producer of PTS has the intestinal fortitude to argue that this decision has not worked and that the show’s core audience is in danger of leaving permanently.

    That is what I hope their market research shows.

  100. Darren K Johnston says:

    OMG, I’m sorry, it’s a rainy, shitty day and just to get me in an even better mood, I decided to see what the PTS roundtable looked like tonight. I figured there’d be lots of good stories to discuss, we have a great Stanley Cup Final, same thing in the NBA, the Blue Jays are on an 8 game winning streak, we also have a 17 year old Canadian girl Brooke Henderson who after 2 rounds of the LPGA’s first major of the year sits in 2nd place. All of that going on and what are the 4 yahoo’s on the roundtable arguing about? A FRIGGIN Olympic bid for Toronto and how this would be good or bad for us as a tax payer, SMFH!!!!!! And after listening/watching for just 20 minutes I had to change the channel (AS USUAL), Ken Reid is seriously going to give me a stroke. He really needs to wipe that stupid looking, annoying grin off his mug and just stop going to these shows, if Roger won’t quit inviting him he has to take it upon himself to just stop. He is so out of his league in brain power when discussing anything, and I mean anything that has to do with a somewhat intellectual conversation or debate, end the misery Ken, watch a video of yourself on just one show and ask yourself if it’s really worth it? For the love of all that is holy!!

  101. mike (in boston) says:

    New column will be up a little later than usual today, but it’s on the way.

  102. Jim from Abroad says:

    Count me among the people that do no like Ken Reid. Yet the tone of voice of some of the postings here are quite rude towards Ryan, who is kindly answering Questions. Anyway Ryan, thanks for answering my questions and good luck in the future!

  103. Ben says:

    Agreed, not fair to attack Ryan, he’s offering an opinion, don’t be silly and attack him for it, be an adult.

    Make me the 103rd poster who dislikes Ried. When I hear it’s him and not Brunt as the co-host it’s extremely disappointing. Why does Ried have to turn everything into a joke? Can we not have honest serious discussion about sports without jokes? Please?

  104. BoJack says:

    Just found this thread. What a great job by Ryan. Great to read his answers.

  105. Franklin says:

    Walsh was great. PTS hasn't been the same since he was promoted to Tim & Sid. 

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