Seen & Heard – Weekend Edition

June 4th, 2016 | by mike (in boston)
Seen & Heard – Weekend Edition
business of sports

photo credit: Heather Ainsworth/Associated Press


by mike in boston / @mikeinbostonemail


Good morning sports media watchers. We are coming to the end of the sports calendar with the NBA and NHL trophies to be handed out shortly. Looking ahead, the spring radio book will be out at the end of this month and there are a bunch of expiring contracts at both 590 and 1050. That will be interesting to watch. A special thanks to those of you in and outside of the industry who are in touch to let me know about things that should appear in this space. You can always email or DM me (even if we are not following each other) with story ideas.


Suggested Soundtrack: The Clash – Straight to Hell


Programming note: I'm on assignment for the next few weeks so won't be posting regularly. Follow me on Twitter for occasional sports media observations. Retweets are sometimes sincere.


Goodbye, Elliott.


Bob Elliott retired, somewhat suddenly, this week. He is 66 years old and has been working in the industry for 30 years. Many tributes poured in from all corners. Steve Simmons wrote glowingly about his longtime colleague:


"More than anyone in this city, this country, he broke stories. Almost all the big ones. And if he didn’t break them, he provided immediate context, the insider’s view, the road no one else travelled."


Over the course of his career Elliott certainly was front and centre on many stories but to claim that "more than anyone … he broke stories" is not accurate. Since the Rogers takeover of the Jays, most of the news about the team has come from Sportsnet. More recently some unpopular stories — payroll, Bautista's contract demands, etc. — have come from TSN and other outlets. During the Riccardi era, most stories came from American writers, or from Jeff Blair


To be honest we don't really have that one baseball voice in this country who, when he speaks, we all listen and know we are getting the truth. In the U.S. you have Peter Gammons and more and more Ken Rosenthal as gospel on baseball. In this country we have that with Bob McKenzie (1.3 million followers) on hockey.


Steve is right that Elliott was a master at providing context. His minute-by-minute or day-by-day breakdowns of key trades or signings were enthralling. John Lott writes about how those stories came to be:


"Sources trusted him because he never betrayed them. Neither did he acquiesce when he was hot on the trail of a story. And he had so many sources—more than the rest of us combined, many times over—that if he couldn't get what he wanted from one, there were always a dozen more he could try. As a result, he harvested information and fascinating details that no one else could. He was a columnist who was a reporter first. He often told me he never fancied himself a writer. He was a storyteller."


Historically, his PTS radio appearances (more on that below) were legendary. He and Bob had, and still have, a great rapport. However in recent years he would sometimes be confused about names and plays, and one wondered whether he had actually seen the game from the night before. He tells Lott in the above piece that age and slowing down are part of his reasons for retiring. I am told that he is negotiating with the Sun to do a regular Sunday column but that those details have not yet been finalized. This would be a great addition to the weekend reading of baseball fans in this country. 


Thank you Mr. Elliott for all you have done for Canadian baseball over your career. I am very much looking forward to being able to continue reading your excellent writing. 


Emptying the Pool


Elliott's retirement is the second major loss for baseball readers in the last year. John Lott was let go from the National Post as part of their cutbacks. This leaves Richard Griffin at the Star as the most senior baseball regular writing for a print outlet. So we have gone from 3 respected baseball voices down to 1 in a very short time. I hope that Griff remembers that with great power comes great responsibility, and doesn't send any more tweets like this one:



With the full-time losses of Elliott and Lott here is how your written baseball coverage stacks up at the majors for the rest of this season. (Apologies if I missed anyone. Let me know and I'll add them in.)


Star – Richard Griffin, Rosie DiManno, Brendan Kennedy

Sun – ?? [recent Jays related stories by Bill Lankhof, Terry Koshan, Steve Buffery]

Globe – Robert MacLeod – Scott MacArthur, Steve Phillips – Shi Davidi, Arden Zwelling, Ben Nicholson-Smith, Jeff Blair, Stephen Brunt, Nick Ashbourne, Naoko Asano, Dafna Izenberg, Mike Johnston, Craig Battle, David Singh, Dan Robson, Tao of Stieb (note: these are just the people who have written Jays stories in the last week for SN. I'm sure there are more …)


I will continue to beat the drum for someone at a major outlet to hire John Lott to write and comment on the Jays on a full time basis. With the Elliott retirement there is a clear opening at the Sun/Postmedia. While I want this to happen, I am not hopeful. The Globe has had months to hire him, which leads me to suspect that there just isn't the money anywhere in the industry to spend on someone at his level. 


The Sun will be saving a massive amount with Elliott's salary coming off the books. If they don't want to give it all to Lott, another option would be to hire someone in early or mid career to be their lead baseball person. Arden Zwelling has distinguished himself at SN and would be a logical option. The same goes for Scott MacArthur at TSN. The worst possible outcome would be to shuffle some people around in the hopes of replacing Bob Elliott. This would be basically admitting to the audience that you're giving up on being a leader in baseball coverage. 


As with basketball (which we covered last week), Sportsnet's approach stands out from the rest. Their strategy seems to be to overwhelm you with content by hiring everyone under the sun to produce copy for their website. I'm not sure what they pay for this privilege — industry norms are shockingly low — but there is clearly no shortage of people willing to do it. 


Neither radio station currently sends a beat reporter on the road to every game. The Globe has been without a baseball columnist since Blair left. The Sun is now without one too. So while more people than ever are producing content for us to consume, the jobs we associate with the best kind of content seem to be drying up. 


Over to you: Who is your "go-to" on baseball? Will you shift over to Griffin now that Elliott is done? 


Speaking Up/Out


Two interesting moments this week. First, Mike Toth wrote a blog about his discussions with someone in the industry. Second, Bob McCown spoke about being told who he could and could not have on his show.


Here is Toth from his recent post over at Mike Toth Media:


"But is there a need for a “strong”, “tell it like it is” voice in Canadian sports? I’m not sure. Websites like TMZ Sports, designed to “dig up dirt” on athletes, already exist and anybody can jump on board Twitter to rant and rave about what bugs them. Does the world really need Mike Toth to join the massive man hunt when it comes to ripping the Blue Jays bullpen when they blow a big lead?"


He goes on to discuss how most fans don't seem to want harsh criticism of winning teams, and team owners Bell & Rogers want it even less so. He posits this as the cause of pom-pom waving from people employed by TSN and SN during the Jays and Raptors playoff runs. See for example:



He also cites Steve Simmons' widely criticized casino story as evidence that neither fans nor media want hard reporting. His conclusion is that the current state of the media in Canada is not really set up to provide "tell it like it is" sports journalism.


It's hard to disagree with Mike on this last point. Most people at the papers moonlight at either TSN or SN. Pure newspaper jobs are disappearing. While most of the media with whom I speak will insist that they have never been told what they can and can't say, most reasonable people will admit that they are keenly aware of what doesn't make the boss happy when it comes to criticizing ownership or league partners. 


This brings us to Bob McCown's comments on PTS (Friday, 4pm hour). Here's the clip in question:



In it Bob confirms that Elliott was banned from his show by one of Bob's superiors at Rogers — presumably far above the head of program director Dave Cadeau. This ban was in response to an unflattering piece Elliott had written. I covered what I can only assume is the piece in question here.


Bob says he didn't agree with the piece, and then strangely says that, knowing Elliott, he didn't take it seriously. I'm not sure what he meant by that, but it sounds like he's accusing Elliott of being disingenuous in his criticisms of Ed Rogers. Stranger still, he goes on to say that the people in question were thin-skinned about the piece. So, the listener is left a little confused about why Bob didn't take it seriously, but also why he didn't agree with the piece given that the behaviour exhibited in response to it seems to confirm one of the piece's central points. (For the record, I think the Elliott piece was unnecessarily over-broad in its criticisms).


Anyway … Bob admits that he acceded to the ban for a while but then brought Elliott back on, only to be rebuked by his boss — Cadeau? Moore? — for doing so. He contends that he will defy the ban going forward and that if people at Rogers don't like it "they are going to have to deal with me!" Bob has forever told us that he doesn't take marching orders from anyone, though this is obviously false. As much as we grouse about the FOB (Friends of Bob) phenomenon that ruined PTS, it is clear that he is often told who his co-hosts will be, and which stories will and won't get covered. I don't doubt he has a lot of control, but it is far from absolute. 


This incident seems to lend support to what Mike Toth wrote about. Elliott "told it like it is" (whatever that means) and was banned from Rogers. We have talked at length (and at times ad nauseam) about broadcasters who cheer for the home team while covering the Jays, the CFL, the NHL, etc. We recently discussed the NHL concussion emails and how certain people were oddly quiet for a while.


It is interesting to hear both Mike and Bob — two industry veterans — speak out about the same issue on the same week.  Another interesting angle to this is that Bob is in his walk-year and nobody with whom I have spoken believes Rogers will renew him at over a million dollars, or even half that amount. I have long believed that a "zero fucks given" Bob McCown would be a delight for the ears. Here's hoping that's what we get before Bob sails off into the Escarpment. 


Over to you: is there any place where we can find journalism that is free of biasing influence? What did you think of the Bobcat's growling? Does Mike have a point?


Quick Hits


Must-read baseball story of the week comes from's Tom Verducci. He has a great piece on Jose Bautista. 


Must-read basketball story of the week comes from Eric Koreeen for Vice Sports. He discusses the case for and against keeping Demar and Bismack. (Oddly, he fails to give credit to his colleague Andrew Walker when mentioning the latter's interview.)


Jon Filson, head of Star Touch, has left the company. That is not good news for the Star. As we have discussed many times, they have a very big sports department and have avoided cuts for the most part. 


James Bradshaw at the Globe does excellent work covering the media. It is beneath him to have to write a glorified press release about the Globe's new partnership with the Washington Post. "The technology is supposed to be smooth, stable and adaptable to desktop computers, mobile phones and tablets of all sizes." Uh, OK.


Andrew Bucholtz over at AA writes that ESPN saw a drop of 1.5 million subscribers recently. With skinny bundles now on the market in Canada it will be interesting to see if this hastens or slows the rate of cordcutting. People who were holding on to their existing services in the hopes of downgrading to a skinny package might regard the widely panned bundles as the last straw.


With the Zika Olympics coming up, it's time to start learning about the athletes who will be risking their health to serve our country. Here's a nice write-up on the womens soccer team.


Lastly, the details of the Argos tailgate program have been released. "Parking spots will be sold for a $5 premium on top of normal event parking rates, which will be $30 at Ontario Place and $35 at Exhibition Place. Parking spots will be need to be purchased in advance as part of a season pass at Ontario Place or a half-season pass at Exhibition Place." Can anyone explain that last sentence to me? Apparently the beer will be cheap, so there is hope that the kind of fans they despearately need to attract will show up. 


Oh, there's also this:



Low Hanging Fruit


  • Cringiest moment on radio this week? No contest. Andrew Walker and co-host JD Bunkis devoted the better part of a whole segment to joking about giving birth to Devon Travis. Someone fell asleep at the quality control switch in the PD's office.


  • Haven’t listened to Naylor & Lansberg in a while. Checked back in on Monday after the Raps’ loss to hear their takes on the series and what it might mean for basketball's growth in Toronto. Sad to report that 3+ months in, it is still a competitive story telling show loosely themed around sports. They must be killing it in the "remember when" demographic.


  • Overdrive pays three salaries for its hosts. During the 10-15 minute interview with SI's Tom Verducci, 100% of the questions were asked by Bryan Hayes. Good for TSN if they can afford to pay two people to contribute nothing for segments at a time. With hockey ending next week there are going to be plenty more such opportunities.


  • I will try to listen to more radio this month in anticipation of writing about the spring book. What stands out to you, good or bad, that I should keep my ears open for?




thanks for reading and commenting,

until next time …

mike (not really in boston)




  1. mario says:

    Thanks for a great read. Really going to miss Bob Elliott covering baseball in this market. always enjoyed his stories and insight on MLB and minors as well. Enjoy your retirement Bob looking forward to hear you on PTS.
    As for who I would go to for baseball in no particular order, Ken Rosenthal,Tom Verducci,Jeff Blair,Shi Davidi,and Richard Griffin.

  2. Jamie says:

    RIP The Greatest..

  3. Hans says:

    I honestly didn’t know that Bob Elliott was “banned” from PTS and just figured his lack of appearances was due to Rogers just wanting to push their own people. Seems quite petty and makes it looks like Rogers as a whole is so insecure that they can’t take any criticism, in jest or not, from anyone and would rather live in their own echo chamber than acknowledge any issues from those of the outside.

    On another sad note, Muhammad Ali passed away overnight and I honestly hope Rogers let Stephen Brunt do an actual proper piece (be it on their site or hopefully a video segment and not something corporate/safe) about him, his legacy and so forth. Even if Canada doesn’t have a real baseball voice these days we still have that one last voice from the world of boxing and that is Stephen Brunt.

  4. JMurph says:

    That Walker segment sounds just like the kind of radio that Brady would be happy to have nothing to do with. I cringed just reading about it, so I can’t imagine listening to it. I find 1pm to be a total black hole now since he’s been paid out and I don’t doubt he’s eyeing the “expiring contracts” MIB writes about with great anticipation.

    I also heard the same Verducci interview and, what can one say, it is what it is. You can’t complain about the quality, but, yes, I do think that show could really evolve if McLennan and O’Neill played less significant roles and you added someone else who’s excellent at radio first and knowledgeable about all the sports. Is that Jamie McLennan? Nope, so I think we’d all rip him if he asked a baseball question or tried to offer an opinion, so perhaps better that he doesn’t.

    The problem with TSN mornings is Naylor. There’s just nothing there personality-wise. I think Bob McKenzie’s great at what he does and his segments are a must-listen because he’s credible and informative. Does that mean HE could host a morning show? It doesn’t. Naylor has huge gaps in terms of following where Landsberg is going and as for sparring, it’s always a one-sided fight. This was also the problem with Millard and Kypreos when Millard tried to argue back about hockey, or even Brady and Lange a few years ago. When one guy’s always winning the arguments, it doesn’t make for great radio. But as noted by so many on here, it’s the only morning sports radio show that isn’t insulting our intelligence.

    I wonder if Blundell asked again when Casey Cizikis got his contract extension whether he’s the one who killed a guy or not? Management must be so proud. d

  5. 4X4 Time says:

    I know it is likely not true, but Elliot sounds like is hammered when he is on the radio…

  6. Alex says:

    I hope Ali’s passing will give us a one time return of Brunt to PTS for he and Bob to eulogize the Champ.

  7. Rob J says:

    Mike Toth is absolutely right. There’s next to no appetite for criticism of the Tor teams. The telecoms that own the teams and the media have overwhelmed the fans with feel-goodery and blatant homerism. Really a shame that objective fans have so little in the way of independent media, but there’s clearly no real demand for it. (PS The Sportsnet coverage of the 17-18 year olds at the draft combine is a few inches away from being creepy)

  8. Mike V says:

    The Simmons casino story wasn’t hard hitting journalism, it was gutter reporting. How does he explain the barrage of criticism that came from America? They all must be Toronto homers too. If Toth can’t differentiate between the two, even after decades in the business, I don’t think he’s the one to look to for critiques of the media.

    Likewise the whole “homer” complaining has gone overboard, to the point where those who obsess over it come across as the least objective and most closed minded. Now, it feels like if you don’t act like a negative, cherry picking moron you get painted with the “homer” brush. And attempts at actually having intelligent, nuanced discussions are still shouted down because “Dickey sux” or some variation.

    So judging from the article you need a car to park in the tailgate zone to participate in the Argos pregame festivalites? Little ironic given that they just moved to a neighbourhood (Liberty Village) where the predominant modes of transportation are transit or bicycle. BMO field is also right on the Lakeshore GO Line, why encourage people to drive downtown?

    Star Touch will likely be shut down at some point. Last quarter, the user base flatlined while still under 20% of TorStars’ year-end target. I don’t think I’ve opened the app in five months.

  9. Dustin says:

    Said it once, I’ll say it again. Overdrive needs to replace noodles with all around sports guy. Maybe that guy doesn’t work at TSN right now, but they need coverage of non hockey events. Who is out there? Greg Brady? Yuck.

  10. Sam In Scarb says:

    @ 4X4 Time You are not far off BE has not walked by many outlets without dropping in for a taste.

  11. Mike Stackhouse says:

    Toth is bang on. 100%

    I wish Canadians wanted a more tell it like it is approach to their sports journalism. Anyone can cheerlead and report the obvious.

    The casino story by Simmons was fantastic.

    I’d also like some in depth reporting on Tulo. It’s not a coincidence he’s never looked happy and the team has taken off with him mothballed.

    I have no respect for people like Wilner, Cox, Blair, Davis, etc. They are all shills and very seldom give me any information I don’t already know.

    In the case of the 4 I mentioned, as soon as I see their names in a byline …. I don’t read.

  12. Mike Stackhouse says:

    Rob J nails it.

  13. Rob J says:

    The problem with former journalists like Blair and Brunt selling their souls for big money at the expense of their legacies isn’t just that it’s eye-rolling and superficial. It’s that they and others can’t be relied upon to be gutsy or provocative or even have an inclination to dig for stories (you know, like journalists do). However, 90 percent of Tor fans lean to the ‘bandwagon’ category and the last thing they want is to hear is that Tulo doesn’t want to be here or that the Leafs should have picked Larkin over Marner. Soon, there’ll be no lines between fans, media, and team. If that’s what people want, then fine. Still sucks, though.

  14. Curt says:

    Agree with Rob 100%. Can’t add much to it really other than I wish there were some law prohibiting telecom companies from owning professional sports teams (never happen obviously). For those who don’t see a problem with the status quo, who don’t feel there is a problem with players and reporters drawing paychecks from the same owner, well I don’t know what to say to you – we live on different planets.

  15. My thoughts

    -“Overdrive pays three salaries for its hosts. During the 10-15 minute interview with SI’s Tom Verducci, 100% of the questions were asked by Bryan Hayes. Good for TSN if they can afford to pay two people to contribute nothing for segments at a time. With hockey ending next week there are going to be plenty more such opportunities.”

    This is the way it should be. If MacLennon and O’Neill don’t know the topic well enough, let Hayes control or make the interview.

    – David Bastl joining the FAN caught me by surprise. Gotta wonder if Sportsnet has eyes for Richards or anyone else at TSN.

    – I wonder if Sportsnet goes outside the company to hire a replacement for Bob McCown. If they don’t, I could see a Blair/Madani show… but I can’t help but notice that they’ve been avoiding have Jeff Blair host PTS lately.

    – It’s been nice hearing former FAN 590 guy Zack Cooper host Ubisoft’s TheBlend. I have fond memories of hearing him and Alex Seixero host nights and weekends.

    – The Blue Jays broadcast booth is pretty bad right now. I’m not a Buck/Pat fan. Buck’s alright, but Tabler tends to repeat what Buck says too often. I’d love if Sportsnet could do what everyone else is doing- taking a host from ESPN. Dan Shulman and Joe Siddall would be a fantastic broadcast booth.

  16. GreyCountyMike says:

    Kudos to McCown for, at a minimum, pulling back the curtain a bit on the programming shenanigans that go on at Rogers.

  17. Original Mitch says:


    Good post, a couple of points and to MIB’s point as well.
    Overdrive doesn’t Pay 3 host. Bell pays 3 employees. Right now Bell says of Mclellan and O-dog that they must to panel hits on the tv side, do some web writing and whatever else the company wants. As it happens right now, they want them on Overdrive and panel hits.But let’s not think tsn 1050 pays 3 salaries out of their budget.
    – David Baslt did not get hired by the Fan. It is a paid program. The sponsor of the paid program hired David Baslt and they just happened to be heard on the Fan. Importance distinction.

    Great Stuff as always MIB

  18. grangecoxhater says:

    I noticed on they have posted Muhammad Ali’s halftime appearance at an Argo’s game in 2002. But what TSN has failed to include is Brunt’s one-on-one interview with him that took place during that appearance. Show the mother f’n interview!!

  19. Omar says:

    Re Tabler repeating what Buck says; True, Tabler is so damn derivative with his colour. If you watch a lot of games it can be grating.

  20. ADC says:

    @rob j

    I don’t mean to nitpick, but Marner and Larkin were not in the same draft year, nor was Larkin a top 10 rated North American skater going into the draft.

  21. Rob J says:

    Mea Culpa! I meant Hanafin.

  22. Claire A Fye says:

    Well once again we’re back to this board being nothing short of a bitch fest.It’s getting awfully close to jumping the shark. A few things. Rob J: We get it. Everybody sold out. Corporate ownership muzzles everyone. They’ve all dropped their pants for the big bucks. Got it. Now please stop. As for the “cheerleading” that keeps getting mentioned? The elephant in the room is these radio and television stations are in business. I don’t like homers anymore than anybody else, but there are precious few anywhere that aren’t. In this town, I would put Steve Simmons at the top of that list. Yet he’s hated too. Jays, Leafs and Raptors broadcasts are commercials. That’s not new and it’s not news. How about the “Get rid of Noodles ” crowd? TSN radio has been around for what 5 years? They finally get a show that works and people pile on one of the hosts. 5 years and they find a show with chemistry and you geniuses suggest throwing that out because one guy is a hockey guy? How about Tabler? He’s a terrible colour guy!Elliott sounds like he’s hammered. Jeez, if he read this blog I’d understand why he might be. But I’d venture to say the real reason is he’s a writer, not a broadcaster. Brunt has sold his soul! Still, his take on the legacy of Mohammed Ali was brilliant. Of course I didn’t watch all of it because he’s sold out. It’s just so effin’ negative.

  23. Curt says:

    Yawn, “negativity” (or is that criticism) on this board is nothing new – just like bitching about the “negativity” is nothing new (though more tedious to read). I would suggest that if folks don’t like it, they should try to find a nice positive blog about the Toronto/national sports media to post on… Yeah, good luck with that.

  24. Original Mitch says:

    I gotta say, I don’t come on here to share rainbows and lollipops with everybody with regards to the Toronto MSM. I’d rather a harsh opinion and critique then…actually what is the alternative? Constant high praise? like our sports networks do with the teams they own (see what I did there)?
    And the people who comment on the negativity here focus solely on the negative comments.
    and lastly, BRUNT DID SELL OUT. gees, why is that so bad to mention? He was one of the greatest journalists this country ever produced..then he became a spokesperson for a giant conglomerate. Was it an age thing? a paycheck thing? who knows, but mention that it happened is okay on a forum about Toronto sports media!

  25. Nanaman says:

    Props to Steve Simmons for his balanced summary of Ali’s life (Who will we love now that Muhammad Ali is gone?, Toronto Sun, June 5).

    When Simmons writes with some real personal connection, he is one the better storytellers we have in the city.

    This particular piece is probably my favourite piece from any Toronto writer in ages.

    Great work, Mr. Simmons!

  26. Mike V says:

    So some guys want more columns about how the Blie Jays are now better with Tulo on the DL? Columns on something that A) isn’t true (they were 6-2 before he went to the DL, 5-2 so far afterwards) and B) assigns certain causality to something that is coincidental. Is that what we need, just a whole bunch of hot garbage takes with maybe some straw men thrown in for good measure? Completely inaccurate but hey, at least they “tell it like it is” right (the #1 defence for hot takers). If that’s the case someone should clone five more Skip Bayless and send them to Toronto ASAP.

  27. Sam says:

    Brunt did a great piece on Ali as well. I have not read the Izenberg piece yet – he was on PTS maybe a year or two ago.

    I have to tell you, I wonder whether Bob bringing up the thing about Elliott not being on is a bit of a work. I feel like Bob is very measured with his anti-establishment rants. I think its on the level, but there is a bit of a nagging feeling…

    ITA with MIB, no fucks given Bob would be awesome! And would Rogers take him out if he did do it?

  28. Sam says:

    Plus props to MIB for taking the time to splice in the clip of Bob!

  29. Big G says:

    @ Mike V

    No offence some guys like yourself want pure columns on how Jays will win the world series based on their recent run with over 100 games left, or raving over Tulo’s career .300 batting average in Colorado which has meant nothing to his career in Toronto. What baffles me is, the need for people to want censorship off criticism in a free society(especially on the net in on a blog), censorship leads to a completely false overview and misrepresentation of any story in any area of society. Journalists have a duty to write about the good and bad, Even in Muhammad Ali’s storied illustrious career there is room for objectivity despite Ali being the greatest of all time. This fallacy and expectation that the Toronto media should be patriotic and paint a rosey picture in all their reporting even when not rosey is ridiculous. Not everyone wants to be apart of an inner cheerleading agenda of some of these completely biased media fraternity’s. Maybe it would make some happy if Wilner was employed by all media outlets to cover all the teams in this country. Bob Elliot did not make his name off an allegiance to the team and making every story warm and fuzzy, he made a name off telling the real truth good or bad, this is what separated Elliot from the pure apologists and pure haters in media.

  30. Original Mitch says:

    So funny, because i’ve always thought the same thing about Bob. Picks his battle with the networks, knowing full well there are no real consequences to his action. We never think of him as the ultimate company guy because, well he’s not (at least compared to other players on the Fan) but I really agree that I feel he picks his spot. His outcry at Rogers just don’t feel very sincere. Maybe its because, as someone alluded too, he criticizes Rogers, then sits and does 2 hours with Ken Reid. You’d think a real anti-establishment type wouldn’t have ever had Dough Maclean back, but now they are old chums again!

  31. Steve Jones says:

    Well it’s no surprise that Rogers execs have control issues. If its not doing all they can to control the narrative then it’s cross promoting personalities and content. A short list;

    They fired Dirk Hayhurst for having an opinion

    They put Ken Reid into the PTS rotation on a heavy basis. He’s a news reader not an analyst.

    Whenever a new issue of their mag comes out its a literal catwalk of writers appearing on every show to discuss their latest tome. If I want to read the article I’ll get the mag. After I hear you talking about rhe article I don’t need the mag. Personally I vote no to both.

    The Blue Jay broadcast team is really best labeled the PR team. Sure lots of local broadcast teams are homers. But it doesn’t make it right. Frankly I’d watch more baseball if it wasn’t so, but I find myself yelling at the tv when they start in with their inane cheerleading. Watching a game with Shulman was nice.

    The lack of outside opinion is sorely lacking. I guess when you employ the majority of sports personalities in the country you need to work them. But when it becomes the boys club of chummy guys yacking about inside minutia it’s not very compelling radio. Also, “see you down at the ball yard tonight” is not the way to end every interview.

    Tim and Sid. Class clowns one minute. Serious commenters on Raptor games the next. Please, it’s all about cross promo (again) but personally I can’t take them, nor do I want to take them seriously. And I don’t care if they know the game. Maybe Martin and Lewis knew the game too. But I had would have had no interest in listening to them opine that Norm Nixon should be getting the ball low to Jabbar more often.

  32. Rob J says:

    Phew, I’m glad The Sun seized upon our need to hear what various Blue Jays had to say about Ali. Russell Martin believes Ali would have been a switch-hitter, and Dickey almost touched him at the 1996 Olympics. Mesmerizing!

  33. Mike V says:

    BIg G, NO ONE is writing the Blue Jays will win the World Series based on this run and no one is asking for one. Just like no one should have wrote that there was no chance the Blue Jays would win it three weeks ago. Both would be incredibly stupid articles, but one might actually be praised (guess which one).

    No, I want good reporting, either positive or negative. I don’t get the lot of people clamouring for very bad, negative reporting, basically Sid Seixeiro at his worst in print form.

  34. School Of Thought says:

    I’ve always wondered if Toronto sports(media,team,fans) contributes to an already existing political narrative in sports. When you hear national anthems at games, see players at times wearing the countries logo, politicians throwing out the first pitch, armed forces members being celebrated, slogans like “We the North”
    To me this gives the perception that sports has evoked Canadian patriotism which then cultivates “homers” a.k.a patriots of Canada and it’s teams.

    The constituents of this ideology may have the perception that, under all circumstances we defend our own as we are on our own or it’s us against them. Just a vibe I get in Toronto.

  35. Bob Canuck says:

    I agree with Claire A Fye that comments on this site can often be described as repetitive complaining. Some of my thoughts as to why we read the same criticisms over and over (“shills”, “homers”, “sold out”, etc.) are as follows:

    – I don’t think there are commonly-accepted definitions of journalism and commentary nor is there agreement as to who is primarily a journalist and who is an opinion-maker;

    – It would appear that some people place more importance on sports than others; I consider sports to be a form of entertainment and require less objectivity of those who work in sports media than I do of those who are employed in general news (for example, those who cover the Federal Government); and

    – On a week-to-week basis, nothing really changes in the Toronto sports media scene and yet Mike or Jonah post an article nearly every week. This is not a criticism of Mike or Jonah but simply an acknowledgment of the nature of the subject matter. It is similar to a movie critic reviewing the same movie every week: after a while, you would tend to see the same comments.

  36. Curt says:

    Interesting post, School. As a former resident of Toronto, I remember there being a built-in inferiority complex (which was perhaps more representative of the rest of the country). But that seems to have been replaced by bravado and jingoism, which “we the north” used to find distasteful of our American neighbours. For me, that change in attitude showed for the first time at Vancouver 2010, where we outdid America in the nationalism department, and which has only seemed to have grown since – for better or worse. Personally, I’m not a fan of jingoism, but that’s where we seem to be these days.

  37. MontfromLondonOnt says:

    Mike V
    What does that mean? Have you had posts deleted?
    If so were they over the top ie swearing namecalling etc?
    I find on here you have to really work at it to get deleted-

  38. Mike V says:

    No, not my posts and didn’t see any swearing. Which made them interesting to me.

  39. steven says:

    @Mike V

    Our posts are being deleted when the person who sturs the pot, ie Rob J, are not.

    Odd to say the least.

  40. Rob J says:

    Crazy UFC story, where a reporter has been ‘banned for life’ for reporting Lesnar-to-UFC. Supposedly, reporters are requied to get comment from UFC before reporting. Chilling, though there could be more to it, of course.

  41. yaz says:

    Yes, whenever Hayes had a significant guest on Leafs Lunch his voice seemed to drop a bit lower and he became much more serious. Now that he is in a higher profile time slot the voice is even deeper.

    He used to just have the basic ‘congressional-hearing-voice’ now it’s full ‘Warren-commission voice’. And it is so monotone and carefully delivered as to be boring. Station changer for me. I can hear O’Neill and McLennan staring lasers through Hayes as he delivers a 45 second question. It’s just not that serious. Please. The Darth Vader interview style is so opposite from the craziness that is the core of the show that it stands out even more.

    Not an easy fix because O’Neill is so gun-shy after being slammed by high profile guests before. That said, Overdrive is my favourite show and the first thing I go to when listening to Pods. The Ross Atkins interview was refreshing though – but surprisingly it was lightened up by the guest.

  42. Daniel says:

    Good for Bob for revealing that info about Bob Elliot and asserting that he intended to have him on again.

    Even if it’s a bit contrived or for show, it’s fun to hear Bob take on his bosses.

  43. Big G says:


    I agree with you to a certain extent, I like that Bob called out his employer for trying to censor a guest, however It sounded like Bob was kind of sitting on the fence a bit. Although he exposed his employer for trying to censor a guest from appearing on his show, he kind of went on to discredit Bob Elliot by saying he does not take Elliot seriously or agree with what Elliot said about Rogers effectively causing Rogers to censor Elliot,I found it to be a strange contradiction. Bob’s rant pretty much sounded like this. “I’m upset that Rogers told me who I cannot have on the show, it’s not like what this guy says I take seriously”. To me in that rant Bob threw his employer under the bus and then shortly after threw Elliot under the bus. In the overall McCowan says he can’t take Elliot seriously, after that conflicting rant who would take Bob seriously.

    I can recall former Bell Media President Kevin Crull was fired for telling CTV to cancel an interview with Mr Blaise head of the crtc, Kevin also threatened jobs at CTV if the interview persisted. Crull did it out of spite for Blaise who initiated the regulatory changes regarding the superbowl ads, effectively causing bell media millions in ad money. The Rogers exec should be canned.

  44. yaz says:

    Can someone pleae post what date/time McCown discussed Bob Elliot?

  45. Antonio says:

    Good on Bob to speak up for Elliott.

  46. jbg says:

    Wonder how many people, thinking they are selling outs or not made sure that they were listening to the Blair show this morning.

  47. Mike S says:


    McCown discussed the Bob Elliott ban on Friday June 3 at about 4:15 PM……… lasted about 2 or 3 minutes

  48. dogpounder says:

    Mike, as always, it’s great of you to write this! Be well, my friend.

  49. Dros says:

    Can anybody blame guys like Simmons, Arthur, Cox, Grange, Brunt, Feshcuk, etc. for grabbing the life preserver that is a job at one of these companies (TSN or SN)?

    With the precariousness of the newspaper industry as a whole, you’d have to be stupid to not attempt to get something more stable. What’s more important: “maintaining their integrity” and not “selling out”, or making a stable living for you and your family? It seems pretty obvious what every single person on here would do.

  50. Omar says:

    @ Big G,

    To be fair, the way I heard it, Mccown said he didn’t the specific article that Elliott wrote about Rogers seriously, not meaning that he doesn’t take Elliott seriously. That’s how I heard it anyway.

  51. Pete says:

    He’s no longer around on the baseball scene, but I always enjoy listening to Dave Perkins’ take on things when he is on with McCown.

    I’m still surprised at the Elliott retirement. I mentioned it in last week’s comments, but the timing seemed abrupt. I really hope he went out on his own terms and wasn’t nudged out by Postmedia.

  52. Greg says:

    I gotta say I’m not sure why everyone seems to be so anti-homer with their sports personalities. On a national stage I totally get it, and agree their really shouldn’t be a basis, but when talking about Toronto shows, I think there should be homerism. It is a local market and the majority of listeners are Toronto sports teams fans. It drives me crazy listening to Jeff Blair on the leafs – He clearly doesn’t care for the team at all. In theory the shows are all based in Toronto, only heard on Toronto airwaves ( i know its different in todays world with pods) listened to by a bunch of Toronto fans. Why would I want to listen to someone who isn’t a fan of the Leafs? All of the regional feeds in the US are huge homers because their audience is only fans of that team so I don’t get why Buck and Pat get ripped on for cheerleading, there are not many non Jays fans watching the SN feed of those games. That’s another reason I like Bryan Hayes, he is clearly a huge fan of all the teams I am a fan of too.

    I understand that the Rogers thing is different because there is no bashing of the team because they are all homers, and I hate that too. There needs to be criticism when it is due, but I enjoy that Buck and Pat are fans. The radio station is even called “The FAN”. But that’s Just my opinion.

  53. Curt says:

    @ Dros. Agreed. A job is a job. But how sad is it that once-credible and talented writers/broadcasters have to sell their soul for a paycheck. Grim times. That said, writers like Brunt are industries unto themselves. I’m not sure they would starve without the employment of telecoms like Rogers or Bell (who own virtually all major professional sports teams in Toronto and much of the country). Though the rest of them might. And that is shameful.

  54. GreyCountyMike says:

    @ Greg

    Fair enough. On a local basis, homerism may very well be perfectly fine for most consumers.

    Personally, I would be a lot more tolerant of it if the media members would come right out and admit it. What is annoying are media types who wrap themselves in the “journalism flag,” claiming complete independence and “I don’t care one bit who wins,” … and yet are hugging it out with team executives when the team does win. It’s a joke … and a particularly big one in Toronto.

  55. Bobby G says:

    On McCown’s show last week Elliott said he went to the boss and asked for a payout because he wanted to get out and retire. He kept going waiting for the payout and when one wasn’t forthcoming after a while, he decided to leave anyway.
    Abrupt from The oublic’s point of view but it didn’t sound all that abrupt from Elliott’s point of view. And it sounds like Postmedia was content to let him keep working.

  56. Alex says:

    Two classic pts moments in 4:00 hour

    Bob wonders if Ariel Helwani/UFC was a work or shoot.

    A caller referred to Ali as Cassius Clay without apparent irony. And then totally got his facts wrong about his fights.

  57. Cirroc says:

    Anybody see the new Source commercial featuring the Overdrive guys? Just act natural, act natural, ah geez!

  58. Mclean_deluxe says:

    Claire and Mike V are dead on. The shill narrative is the least intelligently thought out narrative going right now. Anything that isn’t a total hit piece is labeled homerism. I guess it is that people need there irrational negative opinions to be validated and when it isn’t, they double down on irrational.

  59. Mclean_deluxe says:

    Also, John Lott has continued to do great work over at BlueJays Nation and Vice.

  60. Kelvin says:

    Kinda pathetic that Rogers would ban established guests on PTS. Not surprising at all … remember Cito getting Wilner suspended? … but still sad. The message to Sportsnet staff is loud & clear: be a good company man or else!

  61. Kelvin says:

    On the radio shows …. weakest line-up in a very long time. Noodles has no business being on prime time in Toronto. O’Neill either. Son of Hayes either.

  62. Art says:


    Yeah I heard that call too. Wish Bob would have called him out on it.

    I mean after all these years to still call Ali Cassius Clay, Is really just saying hey look at me i’m a racist idiot.

    But then it showed even more because he didn’t really call in to talk about Ali or pay any kind of tribute to the fallen champ. What he really wanted to talk about was George Chuvalo. Best part was the entire question was a waste of time. Why didn’t Chuvalo get a 2nd fight? He did you dummy! Knew it even before Bob said it.

    If I was Bob I would have asked him flat out. You clearly don’t know anything about boxing history. So did you just call in to call him Cassius Clay so listeners would know you’re racist? The man wanted to be called Muhammad Ali and as Howard Cosell so rightly said he has the right to be called by whatever name he likes. Ali considered the name Clay to be his slave name and as such highly offensive to him.

    And now shortly after his death ignorant idiots still want to use that name when the show is trying to pay tribute and share memories. A complete lack of class. Bob really let me down for not addressing it.

  63. Hans says:

    Art – I wouldn’t necessarily label the person as “racist” but more completely ignorant and an idiot. I wouldn’t be shocked if the caller was a wrestling fan and thought the Ali name was a character name like Hulk Hogan. It came across like that to me but you are right that Bob should have called the caller out on it.

    It also struck me that this was a completely missed opportunity for PTS as on the one day you would want the two boxing guys together you pair McCowan with…John Shannon? I get that Shannon is now the co-host of the show (probably because no one else would do it) so I’m not going to bitch and moan about him but you’d think that Bob/the producer/et all would find a way to bring in Stephen Brunt to sit with Bob and just let them talk Ali and boxing the only way that those those can.

    And where was Brunt? He was co-hosting/filling in on Tim&Sid with Arash Mandani. That’s not a complaint as they did a good job talking about ali and such from what I saw. It struck me at this point: are we seeing the future of PTS with Arash hosting a Brunt back to co-hosting?

    On a side note – is the Tim&Sid show usually that over produced/over-sponsored or was it because Tim&Sid were not there?

  64. Antonio says:

    Former heavyweight champion Floyd Patterson refused to call Clay by his new name. He always insisted on referring to him as Cassius Clay. The again, I always thought Cassius Clay was a way cooler name than Mohamed Ali.

  65. Mike S says:

    Yes it would have been great if McCown had put aside his differences with Brunt and had him on PTS yesterday to talk about Ali……….but I knew that it was incredibly unlikely so I wasn’t expecting it to happen

    However Brunt did talk extensively about Ali on Blair’s show (Monday June 6 from 9:00 AM to 9:30AM)……… was a very interesting discussion

  66. Original Mitch says:

    Wait, McCown and Brunt have a feud?

  67. Frank says:

    Interesting that Brunt appeared on TSN Montreal 690 yesterday with Mitch Melnick. Those were always great segments 5-10 years ago, so it was fantastic to hear them back together.

  68. Patrick says:

    @hans Good point about Madani/Brunt. I think Madani is definitely in the mix for future PTS. I’d like to see Jeff Blair do it, but like I said above, I think Sportsnet is shying away from a Blair PTS…

  69. Alex says:

    My understanding is Brunt had to get permission to appear on Melnick’s show. Hopefully, theres a chance he can be on PTS after returning from Ali’s funeral.

  70. Big G says:

    Wow has ESPN swapped allegiances from TSN to Sportsnet despite them owning 10% of TSN or are they now a Rogers Communications shareholder. The fan has ESPN Journalists on their shows daily. Jonah Kerri and Dan Shulman are probably well missed of TSN’s phone lines.

  71. Alex says:

    Jonah now works for SI mostly, plus his podcast on Nerdist. No longer works for espn.

    I believe he appears on 590 and 1050 and the Jays pregame show.

  72. Hans says:

    Original Mitch – Not a feud per say but more of them being annoyed with each other. Bob didn’t like that Brunt was never around to be co-host and Brunt going to do dates on tim&Sid was the final straw while Brunt just got tired over being around grumpy bob.

    Dave Sloats has a whole write-up about it that you can easily find on the Globe’s site. It was also discussed here as well.

  73. Bobby G says:

    Jonah Keri no longer works for ESPN. And Dan Shulman is free to work for whom he wants outside of his ESPN obligations. Even when he was appearing on TSN it via via an independent agreement, had nothing to do with his ESPN deal.

  74. Rob J says:

    I wonder what shade of red Wilner’s face gets when his Jays lose in the manner they did tonight.

  75. mike (in boston) says:

    Elliott's goodbye column is up. His deal to write a weekly column for the Sun is not yet done. Wonder what the hold up is.

    Also, was there a tribute column from Griffin or Blair? I didn't see one.

  76. Original Mitch says:

    I figured once Brunt started popping up on T&S that was the end of his appearances on PTS, but always figured it was a Moore decision. And since Moore isn’t a very good talent scout, none of this surprises me. I can see Bob being resentful toward Brunt for that and I can also see Brunt getting paid mid 6 figures and just doing what he’s told.
    Anybody know if the T&S ratings are still terrible? Or have they been bumped up because of Blue Jays, like they did last September?

  77. yaz says:

    Apparently a ‘lifetime ban from covering the UFC’ is four days – or how long it would feel to me to watch one round of UFC. Not a sport. I wish TSN would stop mentioning it. May as well cover wrestling or video games.

  78. yaz says:

    TSN 1050 continues its half assed commitment to Pods. On in the column on the right, below TSN 1290 Podcasts are the current TSN1050 Pods: ‘Mike Richards In The Morning’, ‘TSN Drive with Dave Naylor’ and the ‘Bryan Hayes Show’.

  79. Rob J says:

    Latest ratings show 1050 with a 0.7 share and the FAN with 3.8 (of total audience)

  80. Art says:

    Well done Jeff MacDonald! 1050 will be back airing CP24 in no time

  81. Brandon says:

    Although it isn’t Men 25-54, you can bet there’s a noticeable drop given it’s the target audience:

    Fan 590 Adults 12+ went from a 4.9 in the fall to a 3.8 in the spring book. Toss the Christmas/Winter book out because from anyone I ever speak to, no one pays attention and lots of vacations happen. Yes, Blue Jays playoff games would factor into that, but there’s obviously no bump at all based on the shows and for the spring book where the Raptors go further than ever and there is hype about the Blue Jays defending a division title for the first time in 23 years, it’s not a good result for The Fan.

    1050 went from a 0.6 last fall to a 0.7 this spring in Adults 12+. Again, have no idea what this means for Men 25-54 where it does matter, but whatever they were trying to achieve, flipping some shows around and changing mornings, it had virtually no impact. It has to be depressing, and maybe the same at 590 knowing they’re stuck with Blundell. Given how much Blair’s April ratings were written about and his fall ratings during Jays playoffs were low, seeing what happened in May to the whole station would be interesting.

    I don’t think we’ll look fondly back on this era of Toronto sports radio, and agree with most, The Fan had a much, much stronger lineup and the ratings showed it 2-3 years ago.

  82. mike (in boston) says:

    Great read over at PPP on the state of Rogers hockey (big changes coming very soon) and how we arrived here over the last two years. 

  83. Tighthead says:

    In addition to Brunt, Mitch Melnick had Dave Kindred and Michael Farber on his show Monday to talk Ali. That is pretty solid depth.

    I think his show is the best going now. I find that guests like LeBrun and Ferraro seem to be more engaged on his show.

  84. Mike V says:

    The ratings showed it was better 2-3 years ago? How? 3.8 is higher than any overall rating the FAN has had outside of last summer/fall.

  85. Mike S says:

    Joey Vendetta……….co-host on PTS during the 4 PM hour today……..don’t think that’s ever happened before

  86. Hans says:

    Mike S – and now Dave Perkins for the 5-7 hours.

  87. Sam In Scarb says:

    Vendetta co-host 4-5…2 years ago that would never ever happen.
    CLEARLY Bobcat is just mailing it in,doing what the suits want while just stuffing his pockets with dough.
    Bob is getting the last laugh BIG TIME AND SCREWING robbers out of BIG $$
    I love it !!

    Friday,HUGE boxing day…will the round table be shannon,reid and kirke…
    All experts on boxing…

  88. Brandon says:

    Mike V,

    It’s been posted here before that the Men 25-54 numbers were better than last spring or this spring so far in previous ratings books. I looked back and you’re right, 12+ is higher than the 3.7 or 3.6 they’ve reached a couple times in the past couple years by 0.1 or 0.2.

    Point is, they’ve lost over 25 percent of their audience from the fall. And if it was just about the live playoff baseball games, that’s one thing, but it also means the big audiences the actual talk shows had didn’t stick around.

  89. MontfromLondonOnt says:

    In my opinion(for what it is worth) excessive advertising is killing all sporting events and for that matter any other programs – I of course realize that somebody has to pay the freight but when the highshots complain about the length of eg MLB games and then cram in an extra 30 or 40 seconds of ads between innings peoples eyes glaze over – It was brought home to me watching Netflix with a friend – The shows take 42-43 minutes – So when they are run on commercial TV there is 17 to 18 minutes worth of ads per hour – That is insanity – However I don’t have the answer – I just stop watching and turn off PTS for the ad breaks –

  90. HigherPositionThanYou says:

    Pretty obvious this blog is a shill for Rogers/Sportsnet. I will be saging this goofy pseduo intellectual (you have a JD, if that is actually true, not a PhD. Stick to providing content and not commenting on things out of your league) blog.

    Sorry but you don’t have an insight into the world of sports media and you are taking your pathetic readers for a ride. Sad that you get paid to shill for rogers, but then again when you are awful at what you do you need to find payment somewhere.

    Pathetic hot garbage. Keep it up, someone needs to line the sewers of media watchers and guess what? You are it.


  91. Alex says:

    US Network TV has had the 22 minutes per half hour model for decades.

    I do agree north american sports have too many ads and ad breaks. Thats why i pretty much only watch soccer on TV at this point.

  92. steven says:

    ‘Joey Vendetta……….co-host on PTS during the 4 PM hour today……..don’t think that’s ever happened before’

    Better than Shannon. I downloaded it.

    BTW its alot more civil and calm on here over the last few days, thanks to everyone for being ‘cool’

  93. mike (in boston) says:

    Headline for Cathal Kelly's latest: "Euro 2016 will be football’s last great showcase".


    The article is a rambling poorly researched bit of whining. Virtually no analysis; lots of bloviating. Not worth your time.

  94. yaz says:

    McCown is on Blundell. This is a first. Top of & am hour. Fri.

  95. yaz says:

    Bob’s first time live in studio with Blundell that is. He has been a call in before. Talking Ali.

  96. Mullah_Kintyre says:

    @Mike V
    Regarding “tailgating” — where it does exist, it’s because the football stadiums are in the middle of nowhere (well, at least not urban locations) and surrounded by huge parking lots with little or nothing else in the vicinity. They take a long time to get into and out of, so the people get there very early and the “tailgating” is out of necessity to kill the time before the game starts.

    Attempting to do this at Exhibition Place seems more than a little pointless, silly, and artificial.
    And call me unsociable if you want, but I’ve never understood the alleged attraction of “hanging around in a parking lot for a few hours” (as I saw it described elsewhere) anyway. Downtown venues like Toronto’s are a much better situation. I went — once — on a bus tour in the 1990s to a Bills game in Buffalo that left way too early in the morning, in part to ensure the passengers got to experience the alleged excitement of standing around in the parking lot (Oh, joy. Thrillsville) before a game that lasts 3+ hours.
    That’s why I only did that once.

    It seems that “tailgating” is one of those dumb things that gets automatically brought up in certain situations on Toronto talk radio by people who never actually go to games, like complaining about the roof at the dome being closed on a cold rainy Friday night in October or November, as if that’s the reason so few went to Argo games there.

  97. Antonio says:

    Yesterday, I heard the last 5 or so minutes of Bob and Vendetta interviewing some guy from the Orioles (I say “some guy” because Bob neglected to identify who the hell he was speaking with). What’s even funnier, he didn’t even bother to tell us who he had just spoken with at the END of the interview. He also said “thanks, Joe” to Vendetta without mentioning his name before ending the 5pm segment.

    I think someone needs to remind Bob to take his medication before the show. Clearly, he missed a dose yesterday.

  98. Anthony says:

    Im listening now, the person was identified as ‘The executive Vice President of the Baltimore Orioles, among other things, John Angelos’ at 30:17.

  99. Curt says:

    That is a bad habit of Bob’s – not identifying who he’s talking with outside of the introduction. It’s strange that such an old pro would continue to do that. Blair goes the other way – he keeps identifying his guest (along with the FAN 590 stuff) after virtually every other sentence.

  100. jackbee says:

    The most opinionated analyst in Toronto sports media is definitely Sportsnet’s Greg Zaun. His ‘Sunday Roast’ editorials on Sportsnet are must see tv especially couple weeks ago when he critiqued WHETHER Donaldson not hustling as part of star players not running out ground balls and pop ups.

    Zaun is brave enough to critique post game Blue Jays players or the team when they play bad in a team loss. Zaun critiques while Campbell looks ready to cry after a Blue Jays loss. He and the other Blue Jays ‘homers’ should take a page out of Zaun’s verbal analytical skills, especially when it’s negative.

    As for this blog’s host thinking Elliott’s column on Rogers was not proper – Mikey boy; Elliott has forgotten more about baseball and specifically thee lue Jays organization than you’ll ever recall in your sports media analytical lifetime.

    Elliot not only was Canada’s baseball guru – sorry Griffin you’re not it since you were an employee of Expos for many years before you started writing for the Star – for his analysis of Blue Jays and MLB over the columns for decades and especially his contributions in his Saturdays and Sundays in your career on Canadian junior baseball players – whether playing for the national team or in U.S. colleges or universities.

  101. jackbee says:

    Gordie Howe and Mohammad Ali passing away in consecutive — giant presences during their athletic careers and are probably comparing notes in the heavens up above.

  102. Original Mitch says:


    The difference between Zaun and company is that Zaun doesn’t need Rogers. He loves the attention and such, but he could leave tomorrow and find work elsewhere or not and be perfectly fine. Campbell aside (because he’s a real problem) the other guys don’t want to insult their employer or ‘rock the boat’ and get reprimanded. Especially not in this broadcasting climate where programs and companies are firing everybody every other day it seems. Play it safe, don’t ruffle feathers = staying employed 🙂
    Zaun is refreshing because he has no interest in being ‘boys’ with the current players. I find its the opposite with the other employees.

  103. Mullah_Kintyre says:

    When people talk about TSN1050’s weak signal, is that just about the frequency or something else?
    1050 (CHUM) gets a 0.7 share while 1010 (CFRB) gets a 7 share, so their frequency assignment apparently doesn’t impede them so much.

    BTW, who knew music radio stations still existed? Not sure why anyone in 2016 would want to listen to repetitive music someone else chooses for them.

  104. Marcus says:

    Came across this recent article via Surfing from the Players’ Tribune to Bissonnette’s Twitter account.

    @School – re:patriotism post on June 5th – interesting observations

    @Curt – re: response to School’s post – I agree. I find jingoism (which differs from patriotism) distasteful in sports or in politics.

  105. Mike V says:

    Overall station demos have been leaked. In Men 25-54, FAN had a 7.1 vs TSN at 1.1. In the younger M18-34 demo, TSN did a little better but still way back, 7.8 vs. 1.7. So the FAN got a sizeable Raptors and/or Jays bump while TSN stayed flat even with the new lineup.

    Also, I know it’s not relevant to advertisers and thus station finances but I found it interesting that TSN, the only sports station with a female host and made a big deal on her hiring, finished dead last in W18-34 with a 0.1. FAN had a decent 1.7. In W25-54 2.3 vs. 0.4

  106. yaz says:

    Interesting article reviewing Rogers’ hockey coverage. Still misses the point that ratings are in decline because of the product on the ice. Though the playoffs have been better than most years. But too many of the regular season games have turned into friendlies between NHLPA ‘brothers’. And by broadcasting more games during the week it cannibalizes viewership for the big Saturday night show. Change the deck chairs on the Titanic all you want, the bland state of the game will continue to sink the ratings.

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