Seen & Heard – Weekend Edition

February 27th, 2016 | by mike (in boston)
Seen & Heard – Weekend Edition
business of sports
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photo credit: Twitter

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by mike in boston / @mikeinboston / hatemailaccount at gmail

 

Good morning sports media watchers. The two local program directors could not have asked for a better week to debut their new radio shows. With the Bautista fireworks, Leafs trades, and Raptors shooting the lights out, there was a ton of exciting sports content to discuss. Along with this came several interesting media angles, which is what I will focus on today. As always, feel free to email or DM to report errors or to suggest topics for future columns.

 

A New Era in Jays Media?

 

Back when JP Riccardi was Jays GM a common complaint was that he would rarely leak info to the local media, preferring instead to rely on allies in U.S. outlets. This became an ongoing sore spot among those working for Toronto sports papers and networks, and some were not afraid to publicly call JP out on this. Here is a fantastic write-up by Jeff Blair, then of the Globe before he gave up serious writing in favour of being a multi-platform guy. Really, go read it. It’s a skillfully written comprehensive summary of JP’s tenure in Toronto.

 

As JP struggled to deliver a winner despite a term-limited infusion of cash from Ted Rogers, he eventually sought out friends in the local media. Blair has admitted publicly that, in order to maintain the lines of communication, he would occasionally spin his articles to paint the struggling GM in a more positive light. Eventually, no amount of media allies could save JP, and he was fired.

 

After JP came Alex whose nice Canadian personality led to him saying yes to every interview. He quickly became a darling to the local media, despite the fact that he rarely said anything of value. At the same time, Paul Beeston confirmed that there was no one better than himself to run the business side of things. The change from the JP/Godfrey era was clear, and people like Bob McCown ate it up. Despite his willingness to talk to the media, AA ran a very tight ship when it came to leaks. His nickname of “ninja” developed out of the fact that his trades were often ones no one saw coming.

 

As the AA era unfolded, both he and Beeston developed relationships with the local media such that news about the Jays broke locally on a regular basis. Shi Davidi‘s rise as a baseball insider is largely due to his name being attached to several major Jays stories over the last few years. Sportsnet affiliated reporters began to get the scoops more often than established baseball writers like Griffin and Elliott. Beeston’s friendship with McCown was also on display at times.

 

As we all know, Beeston’s time in Toronto came to end a year before his actual retirement date, with the ill-conceived Ed Rogers head-hunting scheme of 2014. Ownership doubled-down on strange management techniques by hiring Cleveland President Mark Shapiro in August without establishing whether or not he could work with the team’s golden boy GM Anthopoulos. As we all know, that ended in tears with Alex walking away from the team he carefully built over 5 years.

 

So here we are in 2016 with a new GM, and a new President. And with new people in charge comes a new era of Jays media, or so it seems. Consider the evidence: the Jays met with Bautista two weeks ago to discuss a contract extension. No one reported on the details of that meeting. Then, once Bautista let it be know that he has given the team his number, the first person to come up with a concrete set of terms is Rick Westhead of TSN. According to Rick’s article, “Toronto Blue Jays’ all-star outfielder Jose Bautista is demanding a contract extension for more than $150 million for at least five years, two sources familiar with the matter told TSN.”

 

Rick’s scoop was later confirmed by both Ken Rosenthal of Fox and Jon Heyman:

 

 

 

 

At the time of Rick’s story some Sportsnet insiders jumped on air to pour cold water on TSN’s reporting. A notable rountable of baseball experts featuring McCown, Blair, Barker and … John Shannon met on Feb 23rd to discuss.

 

Here’s Bob: “There’s unfounded speculation out there that Bautista’s number is $150/5 years.” Here’s Blair: “Anyone can pull that number out of their ass! All you need to do is look at [comparables].” After major US-based outlets confirmed the contract demands I have not heard much apologizing from those folks, but that’s hardly surprising given the climate and the personalities involved.

 

So here is the media question for Jays observers: has the hiring of Shapiro created a new playing field for Toronto Jays media?

 

Since Beeston’s departure Rick has been right on two major stories: 1) the Jays $140 million dollar payroll, and 2) the Bautista contract range. If you want to add a third, he also reported that the Jays never made an offer to David Price, which was later confirmed by Price’s agent. Those are some pretty big stories that have come from non-Sportsnet reporting. I don’t want to downplay the good work that is being done by many hard working baseball folks at Sportsnet. However, I suspect that a year ago these stories would have come through Davidi first.

 

Here is one more question for you to ponder: did the Jays intentionally leak the $150+ number?

 

The overwhelming consensus is that they did. If that is true, why would they leak it to TSN? It’s possible Rick was simply the first guy to call. It’s also conceivable that Rick has sources at the board level who are partial to him over Davidi/etc. But it’s also possible that Shapiro & Co want to send a message to the assembled Sportsnet crew that the cozy relationship they had with AA is not automatically going to transfer over.

 

Regardless, I hope this marks a return to the kind of reporting we enjoyed when the team was not owned by one of the major media employers in the market. One imagines that under the old system relationships were built based on individual bodies of work and not by corporate kinship. This might be a romantic view of history, but it’s hard to resist the idea that good reporting thrived when the media market was more of a state of nature.

 

JaysTalk

 

Personal opinion: the Jays should buy out Bautista’s final/current year and make it Year 1 of a new 5 year deal. In return, Bautista should give them a number under $30/AAV. This would bridge the semantic gap between the sides on whether or not he gave them a hometown discount. By ripping up the last year the team would be acknowledging he far outplayed the contract.

 

The Jays will be switching to a dirt infield in time for Opening Day. John Lott has a freelance piece for Vice where he discusses the issue of how the dirt will play relative to the “slow” AstroTurf we saw in the Dome last year. This could become a topic as we move into the summer months. The dirt will need to be managed on a day to day basis without relying too heavily on watering, since as we all know the facility lacks drainage.

 

Other off-season changes are afoot. BJH has a write-up on the switch to “dynamic pricing”. What this means is that you can lock-in at a certain price now or risk paying more closer to the date if that game turns out to be in demand. What I have not seen is how far below face value tickets can fall under the new model. For those of us who make last minute decisions to catch a game and watch from the centre field hangout area or any of the other great standing spots around the park, the only thing that matters is the price of the cheapest ticket.

 

Brendan Kennedy of The Star writes about the Jays’ annual tradition of threatening to leave Dunedin.

 

Lastly, Dave Shoalts has an interesting and well researched business of sports story outlining the accounting rule that will forever prevent the Jays from tying payroll to baseball related earnings. “The accounting rule means the profit or loss of any majority-owned asset such as the Blue Jays has to be included in Rogers’ earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), which can directly affect the company’s share price.” Something like this seems to have been what Bautista was trying to express when he went off about Rogers’ accounting practices.

 

Quick Hits

 

Chris Zelkovich of Yahoo! has a story on declining sports viewership across a range of sporting events. As CRTC-mandated skinny cable packages drop next week, this will be an interesting trend to watch. Sports are mindless viewing for many people. If those channels disappear from your line-up, many people will mindlessly watch something else rather than pay to keep them.

 

David Alter has been doing work for The Score lately. Nice to see him land on his feet and here’s hoping this is a sign the Score is going to start investing in content again.

 

The charges against ex-TSN hockey analyst Aaron Ward related to a domestic violence incident have been dropped.

 

First Impressions

 

TSM and I will do a comprehensive write-up on the new radio shows soon, so here are some quick first impressions on the shows I had time to catch this week:

 

Naylor & Landsberg

 

This is working. Both guys sound great on the air, and any worries about whether Landsberg could handle the pacing of radio vs. TV have been allayed. The first day was a little rough but things improved quickly.

 

Constructive Feedback:

 

  • Landsberg’s aggression level sometimes goes to 11 when a 7 would suffice.

 

  • Both hosts need to learn than not every anecdote is a story worth telling on the air. This was a problem that plagued Naylor’s last show. Here’s a tip: if you find yourself about to start a sentence with “I remember I was living in …” then hit the abort button.

 

  • The “breakfast club” hour was OK, but needs some work. Simmons and Arthur both talk a lot. Naylor kept trying to shout over them. Landsberg did a much better job staying back and picking his spots while moving the discussion forward.

 

Overall, lots of promise and definitely a different product than Blundell and Richards. Good for listeners.

 

OverDrive

 

The extended version of the bro-show kicked the testosterone into high gear in its first week. The guys are great on hockey, were able to handle pop-culture sports topics — like the Knicks coach who liked porn on Twitter — with humour, and were out of their depths on the Bautista story.

 

Constructive Feedback:

 

  • I still think the concept of having all three guys there for all three hours is flawed. Give Hayes a solo hour to talk about things that are beyond the skill set of Noodles and the Dog. But the branding of the show is very Dog centred, so I’m guessing that means they really don’t think of this as Hayes’ show.

 

  • Rely on guests to fill in the knowledge gaps. The drive time shows have big budgets so identify some experts who can carry the conversation on MLB, NFL, NBA, etc.

 

As long as you don’t mind the show grinding to a halt when someone burps, then the fun and light-hearted style of OverDrive should provide contrast with PTS.

 

The Andrew Walker Show

 

The first week was clearly an attempt to exorcize the ghost of Greg Brady from the time slot. Walker went out of his way to say he wants to be your friend, that he’s a guy just like you, and that you could call in and not be berated for your stupid opinions.

 

Constructive Feedback:

 

  • First four guests on Day 1: Kypreos, Grange, Wilner, Eric Francis. Oof. No thanks.

 

  • The show features a seemingly endless number of bits — think Match Game — that call for audience interaction. The consequence is that if you’re not interested in debating the top 5 “snows” then you’re probably going to turn the dial. The one segment I enjoyed was called “tell me I’m wrong” where Walker gives an unpopular opinion and the callers have a highly constrained window to rebut the point. Drop the bits that aren’t working.

 

  • The other notable aspect of the Walker show is how much he incorporates producer JD Bunkis. I didn’t keep detailed notes, but it seemed like the producer chimed in at least once per hour. For me that is too much, but this is a matter of personal taste. Dan Patrick works his supporting cast in on a regular basis, and I don’t care for that either. Maybe bring him in for the last segment of Hour 3 each day to recap the show that was.

 

Overall, this is a well-rounded hardcore sports show to get you through the afternoon.

 

Low Hanging Fruit

 

  • Naylor: “I think we’re all familiar with hosts who talk tough and then back away when the guest is on.” Wonder who he has in mind …

 

  • Landsberg: On the name of TSN’s Breakfast Club hour: “I swore I would never work on a show that had a round table.”

 

  • This will never stop being funny.

     

     

  • Star tech reporter Raju Mudhar wrote about Andi Petrillo being the first woman to host a regular sports show in Toronto. (Apologies Mary Ormsby!) Given how long it has taken the toronto sports radio stations to get over this hump the gender issue deserved deeper discussion. Further, there is a tiny mention of TSN’s bad ratings but no analysis of the state of competition between the two line-ups. I understand Raju’s a tech reporter not a media critic, but this didn’t serve the audience very well.

 

  • Continuing on the paucity of good media writing, this piece by ALEKSANDRA SAGAN of the Canadian Press was syndicated in both the Globe and the Star. In the first paragraph she writes “Rogers Media coffers could also suffer at the hands of the teams’ lacklustre performances three years after the company made a big investment in Canadian hockey talent.” In the remaining 10 paragraphs or so there is no discussion at all of the financial implications of the loss of viewership. You would think that would be a central component of the analysis.

 

  • Lastly, nice to see a tweet from Bob Mackowycz this week. On behalf of all of us at TSM, we hope you’re in a good place wherever you are.

     

—–

 

thanks for reading and commenting,

until next time …

mike (not really in boston)

91 Comments

  1. Rob J says:

    That ‘buy the cheapest ticket and stand wherever u want’ idea for Jays games is the best deal in Toronto! Love that centre-field patio. See you there, Mike.

  2. Original Mitch says:

    Great article as always!
    I do believe that there is more equality when it comes to Jays reporters getting scoops. Shi isn’t any more of an insider as any Rogers employees who covers baseball. If the team wants something known, they’ll feed Davidi. Its been that way for a while. With the new beancounters running the show, they aren’t fully aware of the structure yet, hence why Westhead gets more stories out first. TSN actually works for their scoops, doing some digging. Rogers had them spoon fed to them when the team wanted it out in public. The beancounters don’t seem to understand the corporate structure just yet or the competition with Bell (which may be a good thing for us fans). I suspect that this will continue for a while. Real scoops will come from non-Rogers entities while ‘Jose loves baseball’ type ‘scoops’ will come from Rogers.
    Maybe that is one positives with the dodo-brothers taking charge of the Jays, less shilling and more equality.

  3. Steve Jones says:

    Ask for all the money you want Jose. Leave to get it if you must. But please, save me the financial analysis. Unless you are willing to take a cut if the team doesn’t deliver last years results this year, or in subsequent years.

    It’s pretty obvious Jose bristles at his years of earning an under market salary, and he wants to make it up in the following years, years that will likely be less productive. I’m pretty sure he will get most or all of what he wants but I wouldn’t be giving it to him unless the team budget goes up substantially. A sudden decline would be an anchor for the team and most certainly contribute to a slide back to the mean. Spend more, make less, not exactly the Rogers way.

  4. MattK says:

    I will enjoy if Rick Westhead keeps getting scoops, Sportsnet personalities were getting a little cocky and patting themselves on the back a little too often over getting the Blue Jay scoops. I pointed it out to Arash once on twitter when he was congratulating Shi once and he didn’t like it.

  5. scarboro_scamp says:

    From what I heard this week, I really enjoyed Naylor and Landsberg and will be regularly tuning in. Thankfully, real honest to goodness sports conversation in the morning. It has been too long!

    Got to hear a few bits on Walker and agree with above – ditch the ones that don’t work, like Sports Tinder, and get on with the sports talk.

  6. Drumanchor says:

    Like you, MIB, I hope that this is, indeed, a new age in Jays media relations. I consistently find it just so hard to stomach the mutual back slapping between the Jays and Rogers. As McCown and Blair clearly demonstrated during their discussion – they’re pissed at missing the Bautista scoop.

    I find the TSN reporting far more informative and refreshingly independent from the repetitive cross promoting that is Rogers. Let’s hope this continues.

    As for Overdrive, I would suggest people give the hosts a break. Too many comments on how it won’t work because all they know is hockey. While that may appear to be the case, there is nothing stopping them from learning more about the other major sports. That’s what we’ve all done – why can’t they, as well?

  7. mario says:

    Thanks for a great read as usual. As for Rick Westhead getting to scoop on Bautista contract demands good on him for the hard work. It’s no surprise the people working at Sportsnet threw cold water all over it, they both seem to do it on occasion when one breaks a big hockey story.

  8. Darrell says:

    I am not a fan of Andrew Walker but I caught a bit of him this week and it was not that bad. Still prefer TSN radio though, by huge margins.

  9. Hans says:

    I have to wonder if TSN seemingly getting the scoops on Jays news over the Rogers people is how the new office regime is striking back at McCowan and the likes who were extremely vocal and hostile about the replacement of AA, Beeston, etc in the beginning.

  10. Matthew Mark says:

    How about when Jon Heyman was on with Blundell (http://www.sportsnet.ca/590/dean-blundell-and-company/jon-heyman-jose-bautista-has-to-make-room-for-negotiations/ – 6:50 mark) and Blundell said it’s not just a report out of Canada, and you’re hearing the same thing in regards to a $150M contract, and Heyman asked where the original report came from (TSN) and Blundell went all awkward and pretended he didn’t know. I thought that was pretty funny that he didn’t want to acknowledge Rick Westhead or TSN. Many at the FAN totally ignored that report or threw cold water on it as you say, until Heyman and Rosenthal confirmed they’d heard similar things.

  11. Pete says:

    Great article as always. Glad you touched on the subject regarding the Jays and media, because with each passing season, I can’t help but feel that Rogers employees are completely manipulated and pure puppets for the company owning the team. Wilner is obvious, who thinks everything is sunshine and rainbows even at the worst of times. Davidi, who I have found to be great, has been conforming into a Rogers kiss ass.

    Blair was on with the McCown this week to discuss the Bautista situation, and he started off a point by saying, “I am going to be accused of being a Rogers shill, but…” Jeff, if you start off a sentence prefacing it like that, guess what, you’ve basically exposed yourself.

    Going to be interesting going forward what the relationship is like between Shapiro and the media. If he indeed did leak the news to TSN, major kudos to him. On the other hand, what the hell did Rogers get into if he basically gave the royal finger to the own company’s reporters. Which again, major kudos to Shapiro.

  12. GreyCountyMike says:

    Westhead is clearly at the fore of the shifting sands of the Toronto Sports Media scene. He comes at his assignments with more diligence than most others … and, most refreshing of all, doesn’t seem to owe anyone any favors.

    As for Naylor’s shot about hosts suddenly turning ridiculously maudlin when actually facing their targets, McCown is indeed guilty … but so too are many others in this market including some of Naylor’s mates at TSN.

  13. Nanaman says:

    It doesn’t have to be Shapiro, the Jays and/or Rogers that whispered the number to Westhead. Bautista’s handlers or agent could’ve have easily leaked it out knowing full well how it would be perceived.

  14. Rob J says:

    Bob gets hammered regularly here for backing off when a guy he bashes is a guest, but so many on this site write things about radio personalities behind the comfort of your keyboard you would never say to a guy like Brady or Wheeler’s face.

  15. yaz says:

    Overdrive did have some minor tweaks but is essentially what TSN wanted – Leafs Lunch 4-7. Same show, not much to talk about. Love it.

    First time I missed Leafs Lunch in a few years. Didn’t listen once.

    Agree on the Naylor / Landsberg critique. It is the only new ‘show’ this week. Walker by himself, I hear the same show. I didn’t listen to Richards, or is he even back yet?

    Naylor / Landsberg is exactly what I had hoped for – vigorous sports debate. With Brady gone, I think Landsberg is now the fastest talker on either 590 or 1050 ( something I like ), he leverages more out of Naylor. The same thing occurred whenever Landsberg appeared on Cauz. But Cauz had a long relationship with Landsberg and would never take any comments personally because he likely heard worse many times before. Cauz could go back quickly at Landsberg – something Naylor is very quickly learning to do after a few bumps day 1. Love it.

    I actually liked the Breakfast club hour despite more than loathing the filibustering Bruce Arthur. Landsberg would be the best one to step on him when he drones on.

  16. yaz says:

    And who says a 4-7 show has to cover every sport? Overdrive shouldn’t be afraid to be hockey-centric. Cover big stories of the day in other sports when they happen and bring in a qualified outsider for a segment.

  17. Cirroc says:

    I realized yesterday that Tim and Sid has an excellent set, decent format, hell even the camera work is good. It’s the two hosts that are terrible. Does anybody else feel like Kate Beirness has jumped the shark? And for my positive comment I will say that I’ve enjoyed the new Leafs Lunch more than I thought I would. Great job Andi and co!

  18. DJ says:

    So, along the same lines…..since Bautista and his demands have gone public his first one on one sit down intervew (that I am aware of anyways) is with Steve Philips of TSN.

    http://www.tsn.ca/mlb/video/bautista-addresses-his-contract-demands-and-more-in-candid-interview~817975

  19. Sam In Scarb says:

    Be interesting to hear the reaction of rogers on-air staffs after TSN once again crushes rogers in the annual NHL trade day Telethons ?
    Will they say the numbers were inflated? Most trades were meaningless? Or will they just ignore and binge into baseball talk ?
    Actually,how they react will be much more entertaining than the content of the day on either network.

  20. Mike V says:

    Or maybe we’ll all just ignore it because the whole thing is rather meaningless in the grand scheme of things. All this ridiculous hype and hoopla over who won something on one day that does no better ratings than what a good Raptors game does. If TSN does win tomorrow and crows about it, it’ll actually be rather sad. They’ve lost the war all the past year, the most irrelevant battle of all is not the time to pump your own tires.

    I will make one prediction though: whatever the margin, it’ll be less than in previous years. Based on nothing more than the national deal taking hold more and influencing some people’s viewing habits.

    The skinny TV packages are going to be the biggest flop imaginable and backfire on the CRTC. $25 to get nothing more than broadcast networks available for free and stuff that no one wants (CPAC is included? Wow thanks!) and then a crazy surcharge to get anything else.

  21. Marcus says:

    @Original Mitch, ” ‘Jose loves baseball’ type ‘scoops’ ” is a classic. It should be an auto-complete phrase in the Comment box.

    @Hans, very interesting take.

    @yaz, my thoughts exactly on the Naylor/Landsberg/Arthur interplay. I liked how you loved the “bumps”. I agree. Watching/listening to any show develop, radio or TV, is fascinating.

    Good Comments board this weekend, people!

  22. William D says:

    Looking at the prices for some of the new packages in response to regulations set by the crtc, I can honestly say I think the death of cable has arrived as most of us already anticipated.
    Skinny TV packages are going to be the knockout blow to cable as ultimately they will place a very high premium on sports content(one of the biggest and coveted elements to their cable arsenal) and which is what continues to necessitate these cable giants. Online viewing will reach new heights this year as will subscriber losses on the cable side. However I guess all losses for the big telcos may be mitigated by price increases in their internet and wireless businesses, we may even see pay per view as a price for wanting to see some of our Toronto sports events or big games i.e Jays at red sox. Never a good thing when the guys that sell the viewing platform control the content.

  23. Mike S says:

    John Shannon has now been on the last four PTS roundtables and eight of the last ten

    Those numbers are similar to a year ago……….but two of the influential people at 590 (Ryan Walsh and Don Kollins) are now not in the picture so I guess I can’t blame them for something like this anymore

  24. Rob J says:

    The Bell skinny package features all Canadian channels and no US networks.

  25. Alex says:

    A few yeas ago, Shannon said it was in contract to so the roundtables. Dont know if thats still true.

  26. Omar says:

    Leaking the Bautista numbers outside of the Rogers family was by design. They don’t want it to look like they’re using their media arm to pressure negotiations. Nothing about getting scooped here, simply strategy.

  27. Hans says:

    Rob j – there’s a difference between talking tough and being a prick to people in person (like Jim Rome) as opposed to talking tough and in person being polite but asking hard questions. Bob McCowan does neither and specifically with Shaprio seem to give him an easy time as opposed to taking him to task over the things that Bob was accusing him about leading up to the “interview”.

    Makes me wonder if Brunt was still a part of the show would he have let Shapiro off with the easy questions or not.

    On the new TV packages: I can’t help but think that collusion has taken place and the CRTC needs to step in and tell the big 3 to stop being whiney children about it. I’m sure legally Bell, Rogers, Telus et all are in the clear but come on….aren’t you suppose to be in competition with each other and trying to woo customers to you?

    I really hope people are complaining to the CRTC about this, I really really do.

  28. Rob J says:

    @Hans
    I’ll never pretend to understand the fragile psyche of Tor sports fans but what should have Bob asked Shapiro: “Why did u take a job u were offered? Why are u not Beeston? Why is the field still turf? Why didn’t u pop Price’s tires so he had to stay? Why weren’t Jose and Edwin already locked up before u got here? Why isn’t the budget $200 million? Why do u care about the spring training site so much? Why did u not resign on the spot after alex made the deadline deals?”

  29. Curt says:

    Trade deadline shows run 9 hours (TSN) and 11 hours (Pravda). So far, one trade. Do people actually still watch this stuff?

  30. Derrick says:

    Naylor: “I think we’re all familiar with hosts who talk tough and then back away when the guest is on.” Wonder who he has in mind …

    I would think more of Naylor’s opinion of Bob if he actually challenged Bob in the ratings when they were opposite each other in the time slot.

    Not sure where Naylor gets the credibility to criticize a competitor who beat the snot out of him in the ratings.

  31. Claire A Fye says:

    @Rob J It has nothing to do with fragile psyches Rob. Nor is it particularly a desire to see Shapiro’s feet held to the fire, either for things that he’s responsible for or those he succeeded. It’s about Bob talking tough when someone isn’t there and then completely turning tail when they’re actually there. There’s a word for it…rhymes with wussy

  32. Rob J says:

    @Everyone
    Still waiting to hear what you would have asked of and said to Shapiro in that first interview

  33. Sam In Scarb says:

    @ Rob J @ Claire agree with both 100 %
    Bob use to be the best..NOW he is just mailing it in and taking the money.
    (which I just LOVE considering who strokes his cheques)

    Also flipped on the tv this am…seen shannon..that was it for sportsnet for
    the rest of the day.

  34. Brian says:

    I routinely harp on Shannon here his work on Sportsnet and PTS — his outdated references; insider-only references (like on the roundtable last week when he said: “When Tricky was playing! When Tricky was playing!” What the hell does that mean??); repetitive arguments; faux analysis; pseudo expert personna that lacks any credibility; and generally annoying voice.

    But today after putting in a full shift on the Sportsnet trade deadline show, Shannon was on PTS. I can’t fault him for his work ethic but it would also seem to me that if Shannon has to work as much as does, either Sportsnet (radio & TV) has too many prima donnas who don’t want to work or too few people with actual on-air talent.

    It’s ridiculous that listeners and viewers have to endure a whole day with Shannon because Sportsnet doesn’t have sufficient options. When does this fall on Scott Moore? Maybe he doesn’t see a problem but Shannon consistently gets flogged by listeners and viewers on this site. We can’t all be wrong.

    Moving to today’s Trade Deadline shows, TSN still beat Sportsnet but the gap is narrowing. I think TSN still has the better “insiders” but Sportsnet’s discussion on moves made by teams were often more specific and were augmented with graphics like depth charts. I find it noteworthy that Sportsnet does better on a show like this than it does with between-periods segments. I really can’t pinpoint the difference. It just seemed more relaxed.

  35. Matty Zero says:

    @Derrick I believe McCown and Naylor are friends, so I’m sure this was just some pointed ribbing.

    Last week on Twitter, someone posted a list of the Sportsnet deadline coverage team. Once I saw Shannon on that list as an ‘insider’ I decided to not watch one second of their coverage. The only inside info he would ever have is from the NHL League office which is useless in non-lockout times.

    It is time to put this glorified cameraman back behind the scenes.

  36. BoJack says:

    Bob has been so hilariously wrong on this Bautista thing. It’s not going to get better now that his pal Beest is gone. Pretty shameful that he accused Westhead of making it up. What a d-bag.

    Is it just me or have Tim & Sid become irrelevant since switching to TV?

  37. Eric says:

    I’m sorry Landsberg and Naylor isn’t working for me at all.

    This show Absolutely sucks. The only reason why I listen at all is because Blundell is well, let’s just say he’s really really really bad.

    I didn’t care for the old TSN Drive show with Dave Naylor.. But It was ok/good enough. I find him knowledgeable but a tad dry and dull.

    My bigger problem is with Landsberg. This guy is annoying to say the least. OTR this OTR that all he does is talk about OTR, who had on OTR, That time on OTR, back when he did OTR..

    WE GET IT LANDSBERG!!! You hosted a show called OTR. Guess what? That show is done. Move on! I challenge anyone here (who isn’t driving) to play a little drinking game. take a shot any time you here the words OTR or Off the Record during this show. Warning you may die of alcohol poisoning. ***I am not responsible if you do**.

    When he isn’t dropping those the little letters on us he is usually cutting Naylor off or finding another way to be a d**k to him. either way it’s annoying.

    What I find even worse is I don’t think this guy actually follows sports all that closly. I mean I know he keeps up with what’s happening. And I know he is big on the issues around sports.. but this morning Naylor was discussing the Reimer trade and Landsberg didn’t even know who Antoine Bibeau was. Really? You are on Toronto radio and he is a goal tending prospect for the biggest sports team in this market. Come on man.

    Maybe Landsberg should spend more time doing some home work on the local teams and less time watching reruns of his old show.

    ARRGGH! Please God give me a sports show worth listening too in the morning! I don’t care what station it’s on just give me something!

  38. Another Steve says:

    I could care less who breaks the news, as long as its accurate.

    @Rob J
    I would have asked Shapiro that if he were in charge when AA wanted to make those deals, would he have authorized them and then seek detailed explanation.

    I’d follow up with questions seeking clarity on the short term goals (2016 season – win now?) and long term goals (5 year plan) of the organization, on and off field?

    “Never a good thing when the guys that sell the viewing platform control the content.” very well stated William D, presents that “conflict” cleanly.

    To Han’s issue of collusion by the big 3 and the CRTC, “where there’s smoke there’s fire”, but then again, the CRTC is the old boys network, nothing emanating from the CRTC ever has teeth.

    As for the new shows, I’m catching portions of Leafs Lunch, Walker and Overdrive, and the occasional PTS.

    Any time a show relies on callers, I change the dial.

    I’ve posted here and elsewhere my ongoing disappointment that Mary Ormsby isn’t a regular contributor on Toronto sports radio.

    Very intelligent, highly business savvy, multi-sport smart, and from those rare occasions that she’s been invited on-air, she was always well prepared and more than capably contributed to the conversations and topics at hand.

    Ormsby would “school” many current on-air personalities at both TSN and SN.
    Disappointing.

    fwiw, I think she would make for a good 20-Question segment.

  39. mickey b says:

    @Eric…not that I really care but I know the part you’re talking about with the Bibeau comment. He knows who he is clearly. They were talking about the Leafs seeing what they have in goaltending until the end of the year and since Sparks was called up already. The way they were talking it was confusing with what Naylor meant when he said Bibeau and Sparks would be looked at and Landsberg knew bibeau hadn’t been called up as of yet. Anyways, no big deal. Maybe try Mike and Mike in the morning. If you’re interested in the sports they talk about, you’ll find them really, really good.

    Hate sounding like just pro-tsn and anti-rogers (I honestly have nothing to gain or prove either way) but it seems as simple as this. Rogers has paid for the content and get their ratings that way. No problem in this at all. I feel that since they have the rights to the baseball and hockey, that they’ve totally not put their resources into talent or production. As little as possible done here. Who on earth is going to ever listen and learn anything of value from guys like Shannon, cox, kypreos, etc. Sure they have a few guys who know their stuff but wow do they ever water down their product with guys who must be there because they work for cheap. Again, no worries, they get the ratings by having the content. They obviously see no business sense in worrying about their actual broadcasting and trying to make that comparable to their competitor.
    Tsn has to get their ratings by investing in the better production and talent since they don’t have that content. Although that being said, I’ve noticed on Chris Zelkovich’s great ratings report that many weeks since Christmas, Tsn has by the most number of shows in the top 20. Their content is underrated. NFL and curling are much bigger than the majority of Roger’s hockey games. It’s interesting to see the 2 ways of going about business. I wonder which is more profitable at the end of the day? Guess a lot of it depends on the year and how the ratings getting teams are doing.

  40. Rob J says:

    Speaking of cheap, have Becker and Rovell stopped appearing on PTS because of cost?

  41. William D says:

    I think Landsberg and Hayes would have been a better duo in the 4pm timeslot, there you would have one guy that relates to the millennials the other appeal to an ol audience. Morning drive shows have become awful,maybe what one of the sports radio stations can do is simulcast one of the morning shows from one of their TV properties until 9am when all sports will kick in. Bell can utilize their strong business content especially from bnn while Rogers can simulcast the new Bloomberg TV conten. Anything over what the current offerings are.

  42. Pete says:

    So February came and went and Rogers’ 200 media cuts flew completely under the radar besides the Brady and Sammut layoffs.

    But yesterday out of nowhere Gord Martineau announced he was signing off. No warning, no fanfare. It’s not unusual for a 39-year vet to retire. However, it is unusual to announce you will be back in broadcasting again very soon. Something seems a little fishy there.

  43. Hans says:

    Pete – I was wondering if anyone would bring up Gord’s “retirement” here even though it’s not really sports related (unless you count his one time calling a Blue Jays exhibition game as sports related) since it does smell very fishy. Like you said, he has said he’s going to continue and did was a sound clip on Toronto Mike’s site with him stating, and I’m paraphrasing, “I didn’t have any say in it” which doesn’t sound like someone retiring on their terms.

    I have to wonder if it’s like an Ann Rhomer deal (not the first time but the recent one) where they told him he was done as a part of the layoffs but he gets to say it’s a retirement to save face?

    However, you are right that the 200 media cuts seem to have not been noted or reported anywhere other than the Brady and Sammut layoffs. Did they not happen or did Rogers mange to hide them to a point where no one knows?

  44. Paul G. says:

    New intro today for PTS. “Jeff Blair hosting for the vacationing Bob McCown”.
    I can’t recall the regular intro ever being changed in the past, for a substitute host.

    Also, Blair said yesterday and again today that Bob was off “sick” (not vacation).

    Any chance the folks at Rogers are already looking to the future?

  45. Kamlesh says:

    Maybe add Mike Cooper’s “retirement” from CHFI to the Gord Martineau announcement.

  46. gratis says:

    just wanna thank you for creating this great blog and keep going the fabulous work!

  47. Eric says:

    I turned on Landsberg and Naylor just before 7:30 this morning. Must have caught Landsberg mid story, the first words I heard out of his mouth were… “when we did OTR”. I turned it off and drove to work in silence.

    I don’t think he can get through a show or even a segment without saying OTR.

  48. Jonathan Giggs says:

    OTR obviously was a big part of Landsberg’s life. It wasn’t for the rest of us.

    I forgot that the show was even on the air when it was cancelled. Hopefully he is getting it out of his system this week and will refrain from the constant mentions.

  49. Miguel says:

    Yeah I agree with you guys. enough with the OTR talk.

    I was a fan of the show in the early years all the way till maybe early 2000s. Watched it every day. But it got old and stale. I forgot all about it over a decade ago, And I think most people did too.

    Like Jonathan said It was a huge part of his life. And understand he will reference it from time to time… But right now it sounds like he is more interested in the past than the present. I hope he does get it out of his system because I’m growing tired of the OTR tribute show.

  50. Mike S says:

    Clash of the titans this morning from 9 AM to noon………solo Vendetta (590) versus solo Wheeler (1050)

    But at least we have a door number three (Dan Patrick) thanks to TSN 1150

  51. Art says:

    yikes, what’s behind door #4?

  52. AP says:

    So I heard Dave Naylor last week explaining to listeners how the NBA used to have the Most Improved Player award, but stopped it because all the winners were guys coming back from drug offences. Landsberg takes him at his word and they get into a discussion where Landsberg feels it’s a great story for a player to come back from drug issues.

    Finally got to check today. 1. The NBA still has the Most Improved Player award. And 2. the list of at least the last 10 winners don’t have any druggies I know of.

    Bobby Simmons, Boris Diaw, Monta Ellis, Hedo Türkoğlu, Danny Granger, Aaron Brooks, Kevin Love, Ryan Anderson, Paul George, Goran Dragić, Jimmy Butler.

    Is this not very concerning to listeners, that these guys don’t know what they’re talking about if it’s not hockey??

    Go to 11:30 of the link here for the audio.

    http://www.tsn.ca/radio/toronto-1050/naylor-landsberg-in-the-morning-hour-3-1.443322

  53. mike (in boston) says:

    Fun comments section this week. Thanks DJ for posting the link to the Phillips-Bautista interview. Interesting times in Jays land.

    I too find Landsberg’s OTR references annoying, but I’m willing to deal with it for a little while longer. If he can’t break the habit in the next month then we will have a real problem.

    What’s going in with the Fan line-up? Ennis is in for Blair one day then on the morning show the next with Vendetta covering 9-12?

  54. Art says:

    @AP Yes I think It should be a concern. I mean the reason for the switch from Richards was for less goofyness and more in depth sports talk was it not?

    I have said here 100 times that I was a fan of Richards and especially David Bastl. I liked the fun nature of the morning show. I don’t like this dry dull current show. But my wishes aside, If you are going to make the switch for more in depth sports talk than atleast be accurate and know what you are talking about!

    I actually find the entire idea that these guys somehow know sports more than David Bastl insane. These guys talk about issues in sports more than sports itself. They are more like a Bob McCown type guy. I don’t know how much actual games Landsberg watches, but I don’t get the sense that it’s much at all. Never had that impression with Bastl I knew that guy was watching more than even I was and knew his stuff. Richards not so much but there was a balance there.

    As for the OTR comments, Yeah I agree with all of you. He needs to let it go. But then again I’m still crying about a change that happened in November too so maybe I shouldn’t talk.

  55. Cirroc says:

    Now that we’ve seen some preliminary numbers from trade deadline day, and with the impending playoff doom, do you think Rogers might take the hint and try to improve their studio product?

  56. Rob J says:

    @Cirroc

  57. Rob J says:

    The only thing that will improve ratings is when the leafs get better, hence all the Stamkos talk. Makes no sense in terms of a rebuild but will attract a few more eyeballs next year. Rogers is calling the shots, not Shanny

  58. Art says:

    David Bastl just put up the latest episode of his pod cast Bastl’s Bytes. if you haven’t checked it out yet you can get it on itunes or at bastlsbytes.libsyn.com.

    What a great Post Trade deadline show. He had a great line up of guests. Darren Dreger, Gord Stelleck, Daniel Winnick and Rob Zamnuer. Love the this line up. you got the insider, the former Leaf GM, a guy who just got dealt and a old vet who has been through it.

    He also gave predictions on Team Canada’s world Cup roster.

    So impressed by the podcast and the quality of guests he continues to get each week.

    I am such a huge fan. I really hope 590 picks him up soon.

  59. Bob Canuck says:

    The Shoalts article is just silly. Here is a summary of his argument:

    – Rogers is required to use the consolidation method to account for the Blue Jays and, accordingly, the profit or loss from the baseball club appears in EBITDA;

    – if Rogers could account for the Blue Jays using the equity method, which they use for their investment in MLSE, the profit or loss from the Blue Jays would appear in Other Income and not EBITDA; and

    – Because analysts, shareholders and others focus more upon EBITDA than Other Income, Blue Jays payroll is more closely scrutinized by Rogers because of its impact on EBITDA than it would be if Rogers were able to use the equity method.

    Sounds reasonable except that Shoalts ignores two facts. First, regardless if Blue Jays results are included in EBITDA or Other Income, the same amount is reflected in earnings per share, another key piece of financial data used by analysts and others. Second, and most importantly, the profit or loss from the Blue Jays is insignificant when considered in the context of other Rogers operations. According to Rogers’ 2015 Q4 supplemental information, Adjusted Operating Profit, which is similar to EBITDA, was $5.032 billion. Accordingly, every additional million dollars of profit or loss from the Blue Jays would impact Adjusted Operating Profit by 0.02%. An impact of 0.02% is incredibly minute and therefore would likely have little or no affect upon an analyst’s decision. For example, if the Blue Jays added David Price’s 2016 salary of $31 million to its payroll, Adjusted Operating Profit would be reduced by 0.62%, assuming no impact on Blue Jays revenue.

    To be clear, I am not arguing that Rogers does not impose budget constraints on the Blue Jays. I am arguing that the thrust of Shoalts article, that payroll decisions are affected by which accounting method is used, is ridiculous for two reasons: first, regardless of which accounting method is used, the same amount is reflected in earnings per share; and second, the Blue Jays impact on EBITDA is insignificant.

  60. Claire A Fye says:

    @Art Okay someone has to ask. Are you David Bastl? There’s no other explanation for your obsession with the guy.

  61. Art says:

    Ha Ha Claire.

    No I am not. but I am a fan. I am not obsessed with the guy, but I just think he is much better than anything on TSN or 590 right now.

    The Mike Richards show had a very loyal group of listeners. I was one of them. Mike and Dave made us feel like part of the show. They brought us together on twitter not just by reading tweets but by calling regular contributors hall of famers… or with there “Sex Box” contest. The Sex Box crew became a community on twitter and we have Mike and Dave to thank for that. They even had a hockey pool for listeners.

    I wasn’t part of this initially, I didn’t get to go to the hockey game with them. But my friend Matty did and he made a lot of great friends through it. He was really treated well by the show. Through Matty and upon listening to the show I came to know the Sex Box crew as well. It was a lot of fun to chat sports and share fun tweets with the guys while listening to the show each morning.

    I know many of us felt that was stolen from us when Dave got cut and When Mike got moved to afternoons.

    It was the appreciation Mike Richards & Dave Bastl showed to listeners that has sparked this type of loyalty.

  62. jason says:

    @Claire

    I was thinking the exact same thing. Ive never seen someone who was in the background of a radio show be so promoted on here.

    If not him himself, must be a friend or family member?

  63. jason says:

    @Art

    My Apologies I just read your post.

    I would suggest that you’re personal connection to the program may have hidden the issues of it from you. I can only speak for myself and judging by those who post here it seems to be the conscientious, but the TSN Morning show was broken. I can’t say if the new one will be better, but change was needed.

    Richards schtick, the ‘wacky zany jock’ was effective in the ‘Good Morning Vietnam days, but I think people expect more intelligent sports talk on their morning radio shows, or at least less ‘schtick’ and funny voices, funny voices get old quick.

    Richards never made a dent in the ratings, even before he left he was light years behind Brady on the fan. It just never took here in Toronto. The Fans show now isn’t any better for the same reason, lack of sports talk and a stale format. Hopefully Naylor and Landsberg get things together. The most successful radio program in the States was Mike and Mike, two sports guys talking sports. Why is that so hard to get in Toronto?

  64. Art says:

    You Know Jason I do see your points. And I agree to some extent.

    I feel some what bad saying this because I did enjoy Mike Richards and his impressions (especially they Peyton Manning one)… But Yeah I guess his shtick was played out to a lot of people. There are things about Richards I really liked and something I could do with out. Some of the sleazy girl gocking I thought was over the top at times for example. And to be really honest I didn’t care for the show that much after Bastl got let go. The balance was gone. I like some here would have preferred more current sports knowledge from Mike Richards.

    But Mike does have his strengths as well. He is an incredible story teller for example. If you listened to the Toronto Mike pod cast for example you would have heard Richards at his best.

    Now here is where I disagree. I feel like to many of the people on here made up their minds about Mike Richards decided they didn’t like him and didn’t listen to the show. As a result Bastl gets painted with the same brush as Richards.

    I actually did listen to the show so I see the differences. You mentioned that Bastl was “in the background” Well It was the Mike Richards show not Richards and Bastl in the morning, so I suppose that’s partially true. but the more you listen to the show the more you could appreciate David Bastl for his sports knowledge and his own abilities. Sure Richards set the tone and drove the show to suit his own style.

    Give the Bastl’s Bytes podcast a shot. I promise you it’s not the Mike Richards show. Bastl is talented and should be given a shot without Mike Richards.

    As for the current morning show. I’m not a fan as I have stated before. I find Naylor dull and Landsberg annoying.

    I will admit I was wrong about Overdrive though. I was worried they wouldn’t work as a all sports show. While it’s true they are best when talking puck and lack other sports knowledge… The show is still entertaining and I am enjoying my drives home.

  65. CD says:

    Firstly, great article as always, MIB. Always enjoy reading your stuff but haven’t commented until now.
    On the day of the announcement of the line-up change, the personalities and producers took to Twitter to express how excited they were for the new changes at the station.
    This is something that was obviously asked for by either Jeff or the other higher ups, because I can tell you for a fact that some of the personalities/producers are NOT happy with the changes.

    I’ve been listening to the station on a daily basis for about 3-4yrs now. Initially I thought that maybe my opinions were just because I’m old and don’t like change (lol), but after speaking to a few friends that also listen, their views seem very similar to mine.

    I gave Naylor and Landsberg just over a week to get into their groove but can’t get on board with them. I’ll occasionally tune in during my drive but will often shut it off when they get to too much storytelling or OTR referencing.
    In my opinion, they are dull and lethargic sounding, even though their breadth of knowledge does lend itself to the show. Their give and take works and they’re quite suited for each other. While they have decent chemistry, I’m still not a fan.

    Morning shows tend to be a bit more upbeat, as the majority of listeners are listening on their way to work, but the 530-9 show falls completely flat in that regard, and comparatively, they have little interaction with listeners except to release polls from the shows Twitter account. I can see how some listeners would enjoy this show, I just don’t.

    Game Day is what it is, and I think we’ve all come to terms with it. Cauz is doing his best without proper chemistry – the give and take isn’t the same without Bob – even though C&W have rapport that goes back to their days at OTR and Grill Room.
    Several times per show, Wheeler’s overall attitude gets on Cauz’s nerves and you can hear it. Wheeler’s interruptions and condescension in regards to his opinion (which is a ‘Wheeler’ trait) gets excessive and at times, you can feel the exasperation on Cauz’s end when he speaks.
    With Cauz away in Florida, I haven’t bothered listening to the show all week.

    As for Leafs Lunch, I enjoy it, and I think a one hour spot is the perfect length. I’ve always liked Petrillo since her days on LeafsTV, and she seems to be doing quite well. Very happy for her.

    Richards 1-4 is the same in a lot of the ways it was in its old time slot, but I notice it’s a tad toned down now, most likely because of the time slot and the listeners at that time (and probably also due to feedback and articles like this one).
    Ive always been a fan of Richards but I do see his flaws. He’s very knowledgable but uses that knowledge in the wrong way – with cockiness and sleaze. I still think he needs a co-host and still feel that letting go of Bastl was not necessarily the right choice. Large personalities need a co-host to balance out the show, and the fact that Richards is solo is a huge drawback.

    I haven’t listened to Overdrive all that much because I can’t really listen past 4-5. It does seem as though it’s the only show that has transitioned seamlessly.
    Other than the time slot, I don’t notice that much of a change, and agree with previous posters that there isn’t a “need” for them to talk about sports other than hockey if they don’t feel the need to.

    Sorry for the length of this comment lol.

  66. CD says:

    Forgot to mention – just wanted to quell any rumours about Art and Dave Bastl being related.
    I know them both and can confirm they are NOT related whatsoever lol

  67. Brian says:

    @Rob J Rovell recently had to make a retraction regarding things he wrote about a U.S. marathon runner. He doesn’t have many friends in social media. He’s generally despised and doesn’t seem to be easy to deal with. This could explain his PTS absence.

    As for Becker, I could care less. While he makes good arguments, I find his squealy voice difficult to listen to for anything more than a minute or so. No big loss.

    Last night Richard Deitsch had this exchange with a reader:

    “Why do major networks trot out Joe Morgan, Harold Reynolds, Phil Simms types if the feedback (at least on social media) is so consistently negative?

    —J. Walter Weatherman ‏

    Because many people in sports television management are stubborn, hubristic and, worst of all, allow personal relationships to interfere with judgments of performance. Admittedly, it’s tough to get rid of people for managers, even high-salaried people. There’s a real human element there. But always remember that removing broadcast talent is an indictment of the person who chooses the talent in the first place. Networks, especially CBS and ESPN regarding NFL talent, have become somewhat immune to social-media criticism. Why? Because it’s too much to counter. The waves of anti-sentiment against the likes of Simms, Mike Carey, Ray Lewis and Chris Berman are so voluminous that networks often chalk it up to “Twitter is negative,” which dismisses the underlying issues that their talent is underperforming.”

    This could help explain why some people on Sportsnet and TSN remain employed.

  68. Rob J says:

    @Brian
    Haha, yeah I saw that Deitsch response as well. Clearly there is are comparable cases around here! He answered my question as well re: women in sports media here vs there. He said in TV, Canada is way ahead, but still behind in radio.

  69. Pete says:

    Thanks for that quote Brian.

    Wow, the first thing I thought of as soon as I hit the “Twitter is negative” mention is Scott Moore’s exact defence of Strombo as HNiC host, who cites that online media generally breeds negativity. These producers can’t be that thick-headed and stubborn to completely ignore social media criticism? Actually, never mind…

  70. Pants Go Brown says:

    Wow is John Shannon ever over-exposed on the Fan and SN at present.

    Way, way, way too much reliance on him and his views on panels and the like.

    Aside from that he is one large NHL-apologist-butt-kisser.

  71. Antonio says:

    @Pete
    You stole my thunder. Strombo immediately came to mind for me as well. Another reason they don’t dump these mistakes is simply money – they signed these jokers to contracts and to break them would cost too much money.

    Oh and the other reason, must be they have pictures. Carries a lot of weight.

  72. Art says:

    I like Strombo. I agree he might not be right for the role. And there was no reason to change from Ron..

    But He’s a Habs fan. And For me (also a Habs fan) It’s a nice change of pace from the cast of Bruins and Leaf loving Hab haters that fill the HNIC roster.

    I know that means nothing to all of you… But It does to a lot of us.

    Now if they just had a more balanced less bias broadcast, with less idiots like Stock and Healy maybe I wouldn’t feel the need for one of ours at all.

  73. Alex says:

    As much as people bad mouth Shannon, i dont think he would do something as bone-headed as when Grange made an Alan Eagleson joke to Don Fehr last night.

  74. Paul G. says:

    @Alex

    Tuned in yesterday, just in time to hear Bob tell Grange that he didn’t think “Fehr appreciated” his comments. What exactly did Grange say to him?

    Thanks.

  75. Kamlesh says:

    Mike Richards is getting big time guests.

    http://www.tsn.ca/radio/toronto-1050/richards-1-4-charles-barkley-declares-raptors-will-win-tonight-1.446830

    Whenever Dan Riccio does his show, he had the best bumper music. The rest of 590 should use some of it.

  76. Rob J says:

    @Alex and Paul G
    Would have Blair that chastized Grange as Bob was off. Eagleson has been on the show before, I think when Beliveau died. That guys like Bobby Clarke still respect Alan is a mystery…

  77. Paul G. says:

    @ Rob J

    My bad, especially since upon hearing that it was Blair/Grange I tuned out for the remainder.

    Agree with you about Eagleson. The fact that even today he has his supporters is mind boggling IMO.

  78. Hans says:

    As much as we all dislike Shannon and think he’s on too much just be thankful that it could be worse: we could easily be getting Ken Reid instead.

  79. Matty Zero says:

    @Pants Yes Shannon is over-exposed, that is why some call it The Shan590.

    As for Mike Richards, how long do you figure TSN will keep arguably its highest paid radio talent in the 1-4 graveyard before tying a can to his butt?

  80. Art says:

    I really hope they don’t. I know he isn’t all that popular with many on this board but I like Mike Richards. I know I am far from the only one who does as well. he has a good following of engaged listeners on twitter. Also Some here talked about his poor ratings but everyone on TSN 1050 has poor ratings, And If I am not mistaken his show is the only show on TSN 1050 that ever beat a Fan 590 show for even a hour.

    Please correct me if I am wrong. Everyone has nice things to say about the former Leafs Lunch now Overdrive team. but did they ever beat hockey Central @ noon?

    Not that rating are all that telling with the flawed system of giving a small handful of guys meters for 5 years at a time but that’s another story.

    I think TSN would be I’ll advised from a PR stand point to let go of Richards any time soon. The optics of firing a guy with Cancer just isn’t pretty. Not that having it should be a get out of jail free card… but still it just doesn’t look good.

  81. Anthony says:

    @Hans

    Without a doubt re: Ken Reid

    Is it just me or has Ken Reid been MIA from Primetime the last few weeks? Hopefully not jinxing things but perhaps his Prime Time career has been put out to pasture (I wish).

    I didn’t hear the show last night and I’m sure the joke from Grange was what people said, but at least Grande can formulate questions and instigate intelligent dialog, all Ken Reid brings to the table are unfunny jokes and ‘pucks in deep’.

  82. Alex says:

    RIP bud collins, the tennis commentator. Hopefully, this makes the round table tonight.

  83. Phoner says:

    @Kamlesh

    Are you really listening to 590 for the 30 seconds of music they play coming back into segments? Does it really make that much of a difference? Maybe you want to listen to music instead.

  84. Rob J says:

    Walker makes his PTS roundtable debut this afternoon…no Shannon

  85. yaz says:

    Hmmmm… don’t recall Brady ever on PTS.

    I’ve deleted the 9-12 TSN show from my Podcasts, whatever it is called these days. Wheeler is bad enough. 11-12 today talking only TFC and UFC?? rufkm? Bye.

  86. Joe says:

    Nothing wrong with good bumper music. Keeps the energy up helps the enjoyment level of the show.

    It’s not a deal breaker but it does spice things up. Little things add up.

  87. William D says:

    I’ll give credit where it is warranted and today’s Interview that Blundell had with the jays old whipping boy J.P Arencebia was good content, that said I’m not at all a Blundell fan.

  88. Mike S says:

    After almost two weeks of solo Walker on 590 here is an approximate breakdown of the guests:

    Rogers personalities = 60%

    Generic hockey players or former players = 25%

    Other guests = 15%

  89. Cirroc says:

    Jonas Siegel on Overdrive today, so no reason to listen to that. I’m as big a TSN guy as there is but I’ve never heard a more condescending twit and that includes Simmons.

  90. Darren says:

    @Cirroc,
    Apparently his wife/girlfriend is smoking hot (please, someone explain that one 2 me), so there’s that! LOL

  91. Vic says:

    Staniszewski= One of the most boring, uninteresting, and odd sport anchors to listen to out of the entire TSN crew

    Beirness= One of the best, most enthusiastic anchors in the sports business

    The only reason it works is because Beirness carries the show for the entire hour. They really should replace Natasha with any other anchor they have (Diakun, Wagland, Gurdeep, Nabil, or literally any other body they have there)

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