Seen & Heard – Weekend Edition

July 30th, 2016 | by mike (in boston)
Seen & Heard – Weekend Edition
business of sports
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photo credit: Sportsnet

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by mike in boston / @mikeinbostonemail

 

Good morning sports media watchers. Not a lot of big media stories on the front burner but there's some stuff brewing in the back on which to keep our eyes. I'll be using this post to clear out the queue so forgive me if some of these items are out of date.

 

Programming Note: I'm taking an extended break from writing. I'll be back at you in one form or another before too long. Follow me on Twitter for sports media observations (and nothing else). Retweets are sometimes sincere.

 

Suggested Soundtrack: Leonard Cohen – Waiting For the Miracle

 

Gary's World

 

For most of Gary's tenure as NHL commissioner he was widely regarded to be the worst of the leaders of the big 4 sports. This was at a time when noted buffoon Bud Selig was running MLB. A few years ago Gary's fortunes started to change as Roger Goodell started his slow descent into incompetence. Now there is a good argument to be had about which of the two is doing a worse job as the top dog in his sport. This week Gary made a strong pitch to reclaim his title. The NHL filed a 24 page response to a Senate inquiry about the league's stance on CTE. In it Gary casts doubt on a "link" between CTE and concussion:

 

“The science regarding C.T.E., including on the asserted ‘link’ to concussions that you reference, remains nascent, particularly with respect to what causes C.T.E. and whether it can be diagnosed by specific clinical symptoms. The relationship between concussions and the asserted clinical symptoms of C.T.E. remains unknown.”

 

Gary goes on to cite the case of ex-NHL player/fighter Todd Ewen, whose brain was examined after his suicide at age 49. Ewen's brain showed no evidence of CTE. According to Gary, 

 

"This, sadly, is precisely the type of tragedy that can result when plaintiffs’ lawyers and their media consultants jump ahead of the medical community and assert, without reliable scientific support, that there is a causal link between concussions and C.T.E. Certainly, a more measured approach consistent with the medical community consensus would be a safer, more prudent course.”

 

This is precisely the kind of disingenuous argument that makes the NHL look foolish. Rather than addressing the number of cases where there is evidence of CTE, Gary chose to pick a case where there isn't to try to reach the conclusion that there is no "link" between repeated concussions and CTE. This is like saying "I knew someone who smoked a pack a day and lived to 90, so there is no link between smoking and lung cancer." James Mirtle did a great job critiquing the NHL's argument. 

 

And finally, here is Gary providing a quote that will likely not reflect very well on him in the years to come:

 

"The bottom line is that none of the research to this point in time has established a causal link between CTE and concussions in team sports generally, much less in NHL hockey. No medical scientific study has ever concluded that concussions suffered by players who have played hockey at the NHL level can or do cause degenerative ‘brain diseases.’”

 

don-cherry

"Nevermind the concussions"

 

As I have written before, someone at the NHL should be tracking the extent to which the league and its loudest voices comes across as anti-science and anti-player safety. We've seen this before with Don Cherry's public feud with Dr. Charles Tator. We have also seen this with Brian (I'm going to rent a barn and kick your ass) Burke talking about the "rats" taking over the league if you eliminate fighting. The NHL's recently released emails show the retrograde culture that dominates amongst senior execs like Colie Campbell. Finally, we saw how some in the NHL blamed Steve Moore when Todd Bertuzzi caved in his skull from behind.

 

One question over which I have been mulling is this: to what extent is Gary just speaking on behalf of his constituency? 

 

The NHL has never been accused of being a progressive league. It has been historically slow to adapt to technology, social issues, and the like. And it could well be that behind the scenes Gary is trying to his best to drag the owners and GMs into the 21st century, and failing. Whatever the facts are, this was a moment the NHL could have free-ridden on the NFL's recent admission of a CTE-concussion link, and taken a bold step in favour of protecting the health of its players. That they didn't is unsurprising, but still disappointing. 

 

 Gary is widely viewed as a talented lawyer. He has also spent a lot of his time as commissioner in court defending the league against lawsuits, fighting relocation, and locking out the players. Right now the NHL needs a lawyer less than they need a leader. 

 

Gary has a lot on his plate. He is dealing with 2 years of declining playoff ratings in 2 countries, as well as a growing sentiment the game is boring. His prized rights deal with Rogers is not going well in Canada. At the same time, the deal is providing his owners with 20% less value than when it was signed due to his mistake of making the deal in Canadian dollars. As TSN reports, he is going to be back in court to talk about his concussion comments as part of an ongoing lawsuit brought by suffering former players. He also has an expansion team joining the league in a completely unproven sports market.

 

As mentioned, the NFL is finally trying to get it together on CTE. The NBA took a big step in moving the All-Star game out of North Carolina's due to that state's legal endorsement of discrimination. MLB is looking good under Rob Manfred's leadership. The NBA got some new energy when Stern retired and Adam Silver took over. The NHL owners should start thinking about life after Gary and whether they are prepared to promote someone who will lead rather than follow. 

 

Radio Summer Call-Ups

 

One of the topics we discuss the most around here is the lack of a farm system in radio. It is very hard for people to work their way up from lowly intern to underpaid producer to fill-in host to full-time host. There are a few such success stories but none of them are recent.

 

Summer brings with it a crop of hard-working fill-in folks, as the big time hosts retreat to their summer homes. One of the good things about this is that the lesser known guys get a chance to get their reps in running a radio show. As we all know, radio is about comfort and familiarity. You can make several good points for a whole segment but if you fumble around for the last 30 seconds throwing to break then it reminds the audience you're not really up to prime time just yet. Fixing that takes time and practice, and it is very hard for people on the way up to get that practice.

 

This summer has brought a slew of new, newish, or evening voices into the daytime slots. Here are some polls to see how readers are finding the fill-ins.

 

TSN1050

 

 

FAN590

 

 

With some major contracts expiring in the next 12 months in Toronto it will be interesting to see if any of these names successfulyl leverage their summer work into promotions. Aternately, it would be nice to see some of these guys hired into major timeslots in smaller Canadian markets.

 

Quick Hits

 

On the topic of radio, Sporting News Radio is rebranding again, this time to SB Nation radio. This gives the corps of writers at SB Nation up to 500 radio stations on which to make appearances. This is an exciting new model. Let's see how it goes. In the U.S. there are several national radio networks: ESPN, FOX, CBS, and now SBN. That's quite a lot compared to the 7 TSN all-sports stations and the 2 Sportsnet ones. More on this topic down the road.

 

With the Olympics starting shortly all eyes will soon turn to Rio. Both Bruce Arthur and Stephen Brunt have quality pieces on the fallout from the Russian doping scandal. (Aside: I really don't get what determines when people comment on stories on SN. Brunt on Shapiro = 500 comments. Brunt on the Olympics = 40 comments) 

 

Cord cutting is continuing at a careening clip, according to this report by CBC. The cable companies have a plan though: charge existing customers more. 

 

Amid news that the investigation into the culture of the Star is being put on hold, the financial picture at the paper remains uncertain. Here's hoping all these losses lead to stability down the road. It would be nice if Canada's biggest newspaper were healthy.

 

In a somewhat unconventional move TSN sent Rick Westhead to do a feature on Jays prospect Vlad Guerrero Jr. Nice to see them following a sports story even if it means promoting a Rogers property. 

 

Low-Hanging Fruit (for Mike S.)

 

  • Unintentionally hilarious radio: Joey Vendetta reads mean tweets slagging him for being bad at radio. To prove the tweeter is an idiot Joey goes on to read some of the guy's past tweets slagging Bob McCown. 

 

  • Interesting story on PTS with Bob recounting growing up in Ohio and being scolded by his grandmother (I think?) for trying to ride in the back of the bus with the coloured people.

 

—–

 

thanks for reading and commenting,

until next time …

mike (not really in boston)

 

68 Comments

  1. billyjoejimbob says:

    Bettman is trying to win a lawsuit. Annoying, but what lawyers do.

  2. Rob J says:

    Best commish by far is Adam Silver.

  3. WouldStaley93 says:

    @mikeinboston

    Great read as always. I really enjoyed fill in/guest hosts @DavidBastl and @BennisSnet on Dean Blundell & Co on Sportsnet 590 The Fan. Ennis and Bastl already have great chemistry together in my opinion. Ennis is back to rotating fill in spot work on the radio and tv side of Rogers next week as George Rusic returns.

    I think Dave Cadeau the PD at Sportsnet 590 The Fan should bring in @DavidBastl and @BennisSnet in permanently as @itsdeanblundell co hosts. Be a good sports and pop culture oriented morning show with lively discussion.

    I’m not a Joey Vendetta fan at all. He’s awful at sports radio and comes across as so phony and fake.

    Thought @Zeisberger did a great job filling in for @DamoSpin on @FadooBobcat PTS.

  4. mario says:

    Thanks for another great read. Typical Gary Bettman with his head in the sand but understandable, if it dose go to court admit to nothing. That’s if it makes there, out of court settlement is more likely.

  5. Anthony says:

    Thanks and good luck MIB, hope to read your content again soon.

  6. Sam says:

    I can only hope Bettman is carrying the water for the owners. Deny, deny, deny seems to be the best, if not the humane, strategy for the owners.

    If you are Gary Bettman to bastardize a Reddit meme… do you want to make $10 million a year? That’s how you make $10 million a year.

  7. Steve Jones says:

    Well I guess Bettman is just doing what he gets paid to do. After all it’s all about limiting any class action payout. I do wonder if it causes him any internal pain to be seen as a shill and science denier. The linkages have been established and as the point has been made already not everyone who experiences concussion will be beset with CTE. As troubling as the denials is the leagues lack of will to make changes to reduce the chances of being concussed. All of course for the “good of the game”. The thing that puzzles me is why the players union isn’t more aggressive on the issue. I can only surmise they are making too much money to want to rock the boat. Statistically they are not likely to be a victim so best to fight for the thing that matters most. More money and benefits. Hard to argue that point.

  8. James says:

    Here’s the problem with the Fan morning show and I think it’s been mentioned before. Dean is on a long-term deal. If Dean picks up and decides to leave, that’s one thing, but they aren’t moving him out and eating that money. I think it’s fairly obvious that the show makes no one happy and is just kinda “there”, but they’re also not giving a morning show to Bastl and Ennis. Let’s get reasonably serious about that. Dean is there for another year unless he doesn’t want to be, and given they almost certainly wouldn’t re-up him, it makes sense for him to be looking elsewhere.

    As for Landsberg/Naylor, I do think something’s coming eventually there. That said, 1050 is the exact antithesis to everything conventional about sports or talk radio in that you don’t stick with a losing entity. I don’t mean the format, I mean the personalities. Naylor’s been a “loser” (pardon the Trump-ism, I’m sure he’s a swell guy) in the two prime time slots for radio for over five years now. It isn’t working and isn’t about to. I’d slide him eventually to 1pm with a co-host who can drive a show better or put both Landsberg and Naylor at 9am and give it a shot there if they insist on continuing with him as a “radio guy”, which I don’t think he is.

    1050 has some things they could do opportunity-wise in the market to prep themselves for McCown’s eventual departure, no question. It’s been written on this site before that they passed on Tim and Sid when they were “free agents” and that was a time when bodies were flying everywhere (Cybulski gets afternoon drive there, Richards comes from Calgary, Brady goes from 640 to 590, the Krystal experiment is disastrous for 590, etc.).

    Though it’s quiet now, I think MIB has it right in that it will heat up again. Richards will leave the market. Blundell will eventually leave sports radio. McCown will retire or be shoved out. Naylor? Well, I wrote it earlier. I’m not expecting Tim and Sid to be back on radio but the tv show may not last forever. As everyone suggests, it’s expensive to do long-term. Landsberg’s show was a half-hour and TSN deemed it too expensive to produce, think what Tim and Sid costs on a yearly basis. Then there’s Brady, and he’s obviously sitting out the end of a lucrative morning contract, just as Richards would be if TSN had let him go instead of moving him to 1pm. Why would the Fan let Brady go and do TSN mornings (hypothetically) if they know Blundell isn’t a long-term fixture there? Would Walker go do mornings with someone else at the Fan or has that ship sailed?

    Anyway, my point was it’s nice people prefer an alternative to Blundell, that much is obvious, but it ain’t about to happen anytime soon but at some point, things will start to change. Remember how settled things were with Landry and Stellick and Mike Hogan and Jack Armstrong all doing shows, and then one day, none of them were.

  9. Tighthead says:

    Bettman is speaking for his constituents and on the strict advice of lawyers. He can’t say anything publicly that would undermine their defence or potential defences as pleaded in litigation. I’m sure he doesn’t believe what he is saying.

  10. Original Mitch says:

    James is right. We can lament Blundell all we want but he ain’t going nowhere unless he miraculously gets another gig, which he won’t. Even on SiriusXm where his buddy is, it’s not a paid gig unless you bring in sponsors and that itself is a full time job.
    We speculate that McCown is leaving. I’m not convinced. Even if they cut his salary to a mere 6 figure annually, why would he leave? He works for 3 hours a day. Heck they may even set up a studio at his house.
    The waters have never been murkier in the radio industry with salaries plummeting. If one has a steady, paying radio gig these days, they are hanging on for dear life.

  11. Darrell says:

    I was able to enjoy the morning show at 590 this week with Ennis. Ennis is a breath of fresh air compared to Blundell. I hope Ennis can get a regular gig.

    As for McCown’s eventual retirement and the hiring of Blundell – they blew it by moving Tim + Sid to 5 pm to 7 pm and not moving them to the morning show or mould them to replace Bob McCown for the evening drive.

  12. Joe says:

    I want Ennis and Bastl as the full time hosts in the morning too. They were awesome this week. Blundell is awful he might have a long term deal but so does Mike Richards and they made a change.

    And Ennis and Bastl are far better than Naylor and Landsberg are too. That brings me to Scotty Mac on TSN how does that guy not have a show?

    People comment about the lack of talent in the system. But for me they are better than the crap that is actually on every day.

  13. GreyCountyMike says:

    WouldStaley93: Bang-on about Vendetta. He and his name-dropping are so ridiculous that it almost makes one wonder if it’s all a spoof. A little Sammy Maudlin, maybe?

    And, if it was indeed a parody, well good on them. Sadly, though, that doesn’t seem to be the case … and, worse of all, it keeps coming back.

  14. Original Mitch says:

    If Ennis can get rid his “uhhh” between words and sentences, he’s got the stuff for sports radio long term. He knows his stuff and when contained is quite funny. They are molding him to get a full time gig eventually so that’s good.
    Re: Tim and Sid. We can’t forget that for them (and Ennis to a point), tv is the ultimate destination. More money, more exposure. Most young “radio” guy would jump at the chance to be on tv. And it’s not a vice versa thing either.

  15. Eric says:

    Ennis’ problem is he goes over the top too much. screaming into the mic and taking over too much. you have 2 other guys with you use them. he goes through long stretches where he just takes over in a “it’s all about me” kind of way. At least that’s the way I found him to be for most of last week. He did get better as the week went on. Thursday was close but then he reverted back to the over the top stuff. Friday’s show was great. the 3 man team of Ennis, Bastl and Fabro worked very well together. Great 3 way discussion. By the end I was sad it was there last day as a team. I agree with other posters that this is a better show than the Blundell show and should be kept on. I am curious to see how Rusic and Bastl work together next week.

  16. Sleepy I says:

    How long has Ennis been with the Fan/Sportsnet? I think it’s been a while. I don’t think they see him as anything more than a sub for the main time slots, like Jeff Sammut was.

  17. Art says:

    Great to see that others are finally giving some credit where credit is due. Dave Bastl and Ben Ennis did a incredible job this week. Nice to see that reflected in the comments.

    I’ve have been a fan of Bastl’s since he was the Cohost on the Mike Richards show. I feel like Richards is really missing Dave and the show hasn’t been the same since he left. I know there isn’t a lot of love around here for Richards and a lot of unfair comments about him, And I feel that that opinion always kind of rubbed off on Bastl. Now that people are getting a chance to hear him away from Richards on a more sports focused serious show they can see that he is a great broadcaster with a well rounded sports back ground. I love that he knocked it out of the park this week along side Enis. I don’t know if the fan sees a future for Enis or not as Sleep I just said. but I can see one for both of them. The Dean Blunder show has been a disaster any everyone knows it. I rarely see anything positive about him on here. 1 week without him and I don’t think anyone misses him.

    Make the move sportsnet time to revamp the line up. while you are at it. Get Walker a cohost.

  18. mike (in boston) says:

    In case you want to know who the Others are who are getting write-in votes:

     

    Tony Ambrogio 1 vote

    Arden Zwelling 1 vote

    Jeff Simmons 1 vote

    DJ Bunkis 1 vote

  19. Poker Guy says:

    WouldStaley 93 wrote:
    Bang-on about Vendetta. He and his name-dropping are so ridiculous that it almost makes one wonder if it’s all a spoof. A little Sammy Maudlin, maybe?

    As a comic in all seriousness…

  20. Chris says:

    Wasn’t Bastl already canned as Richards’ sidekick? Pretty laughable to bring him back on the rival station. He’s not even good

  21. MontfromLondonOnt says:

    As I said before Joey Vendetta is a namedropping over the top ego maniac – Where did he come from? Here in London I can’t hear any Toronto stations and must stream everything so it is too much of a nuisance to switch stations – Someone on here said he works cheap – I can believe it – Just like Wilner – Work for free just to get their pictures taken with the ballplayers etc – They are just male starf—–s – I can’t believe either one is getting more then minimum wage-

  22. Cirroc says:

    Who in their right mind would write in a vote for Jeff Simmons? Does the old man visit this site?

  23. Original Mitch says:

    I don’t want to go all Marty York here, but really? a graphic July 30th comparing Happ and Price? still? let it go SN. You didn’t want him, he left. let it go.

  24. RobInAurora says:

    I never found Bastl to be likeable. When he was on the morning show with Richards, he often sounded like he just rolled out of bed and came to the station 15 minutes earlier. Groggy and disinterested. Having said that Richards badly needs a co-host to help him carry the load. He’s often at a loss for words and his mostly weak humour needs someone there to laugh and make it sound funnier.

    TSN is really struggling in every time slot. I much prefer overdrive to McCown but I am clearly in the overwhelming minority….I guess Macko is gone for good now. That’s disappointing, as he and Cauz had something worth listening to. Every fill in host at TSN 1050 is a disappointment to me.

    Joey vendetta is an embarrassment to sports radio as a format. (I am repeating myself, but he is still being discussed, so I thought that needed some reinforecement)

  25. Brandon says:

    Blundell isn’t doing terribly enough to get fired and have that entire contract eaten by Rogers management. Not after they cut valuable people on both the tv and radio side in the past six months. It’s a poison pill deal, and as has been pointed out before, it’s nothing Sportsnet seems willing to promote or acknowledge. Given the splash they made originally marketing Blundell, they seem quite aware how laughable it was in retrospect that the guy knew sports well enough, or would have something to say about them.

    The Blue Jays doing great and defending a division crown, and the Raptors having a seven week playoff run should have boosted that show to unheard-of numbers this spring and it hasn’t. It’s over when it’s over though, and it isn’t yet. But if someone on here (forget who) suggests Dean’s on the lookout for a landing spot, like his boss was weeks after Dean got on the air at Da Fan, I’d believe it.

    As McCown’s favourite phrase is, “he’s just a guy”, that’s never been more true in sports radio than now. Ennis. A guy. Bastl. A guy. Rusic. Obviously, a guy. Cauz. A guy. Wheeler. Good lord, don’t get me going. So, so bad. Taggart is even worse. At one point in time, to me, there was talent to fill 6am-7pm on both sports radio stations, maybe it’s the summer, but with Tim and Sid on TV, no Cybulski (I was a fan), no Brady, and no Jim Lang (liked him, too), it cannot be argued there’s less sports radio quality on the air than 2-3 years ago. It’s bad right now, and the teams are looking up, and that makes the problem more glaring.

    And for the last time, The Fan didn’t “fire” Tim and Sid. TV gave them huge raises and a plum spot and a ton of security with the TV job. That had nothing to do with Don Collins. He just should have left Brady-Walker keep rolling along and put a new show at 1pm. What’s done is done and he isn’t there anymore for that very reason.

  26. Steve Clark says:

    Does anyone actually know the contract status of Dean Blundell? Can’t comment, until you know details of term/buyout etc.

    Shocked that Dave Bastl is head and shoulders over others so far in the fill in poll. He’s garnering over 50% of the vote over Fan veterans like Ben Ennis and Ryan Pinder (granted he’s on Sportsnet 960 in Calgary)

    Over at 1150, myself and occasional commentor DJ are part of a four man rotation doing 2 hours of sports talk from 7-9pm on Sunday nights. Give it a listen as we qualify under the new voices category.. 🙂

  27. Tommy says:

    I think Bastl is far and away ahead because he killed it this week. Same goes for Scotty Mac on the TSN side of things. Thought that he and Tatti were a nice fill in for overdrive. I’m surprised Tatti didn’t get more votes to be honest.

    I’m not a believer in that just a guy stuff. People are just a guy until given a shot to be the guy. In my opinion as far for McArthur, Tatti, Ennis and Bastl this week like Tatti would say “YES GUY”. I wan’t to hear more of them hope they get more opportunities.

    For the others especially Vandetta I give them a NO GUY.

  28. Steve Jones says:

    For your consideration. Maybe it’s not the hosts, maybe it’s the people deciding what gets talked about. On the Fan every hour has a Jays segment. Inside baseball gets a lot of time. There is way too much free form from people who aren’t that interesting. And of course there is the hourly update on whether Sanchez is going to the bullpen. That topic never gets old.

    So my premise is they need to structure the discussion better. Find something interesting to talk about. I hate to say it but more McCown-esque sports business stories. Maybe some more human interest. Anything but another segment from one of the inhouse Jays experts on whether they are re-signing people, moving people to the pen, have enough people in the bullpen, need a starter, or are selling hotdogs of sufficient quality. It’s just boring and no one can make it sound otherwise. And if any of the part timers had some rope to do a “different” show we’d see if they thrive or hang the sleeves.

    Past this I dunno. The repetition and less than exciting personalities have me off the medium for the most part. Listening to Andrew Walker do The List is like hearing that old 56K modem fire up. Pure irritation. I don’t want to hear it.

  29. Original Mitch says:

    @stevejones

    That’s a very interesting point and I would tend to agree with it. I would love to hear about more issues and variety in sports discussion a la McCown. I don’t know how many of them can actually make it interesting but I’d listen more often.
    Let’s face it though: these fillers want to stay employed and with the SN mandate of 90 percent Jays, 10 present others, they are doing what they are told to do. Not to mention with the Jays actually being good, it makes for relevant convo. A few years back when I heard Jays talk in August and the team was 12 games back, well that was kind of forced.
    I think podcasts are the way to go for interesting topics, as they aren’t mandated and controlled by giant companies, generally speaking

  30. Alex says:

    Been enjoying dr. Z as pts co-host. Presume he is usually too busy during hockey season to be on more regularly.

    Damian with Z or Perkins as fill ins or 4:00 co hosts is a good rotation.

  31. yaz says:

    Bastil is passable sports radio fare. Perhaps he’ll join the phalanx of rotating Fan 590 fill-ins. I don’t see him as a full time guy in one of the major 530am-7pm slots but he may slot in with someone because budget cuts are lowering the bar ( at both 590 and 1050). Brady and Landsberg would be a good show. Cauz & Landsberg is better than Naylor and Landsberg. Joey Vendetta should change his name to Joey Scoleri.

    Best moments of a quiet week: PTS at 36:30 July 29, 4 PM Pod, Bob: “I have no idea what Rogers is thinking. I have no Idea what Rogers is doing. They don’t talk to me. I don’t talk to them. I don’t even know if they listen to what they say. Part of me thinks they must not, otherwise they’d have fired me a long time ago. Although I’m not sure they can. Although I guess they can, but not without consequence.” Consequence??

    33:45 min mark of the Friday, hour 3, NL Pod: Simmons was telling a story about how he was on a show way back with Ken Rosenthal. Landsberg responded by saying “Was the show called ‘breaking into irrelevant stories to interrupt the flow of someone else’s show’?”

    Simmons: “Basically, yes. It’s like making OTR references.” Bam.

    First full week I’ve missed every day of Overdrive live or on Pod.

  32. Jim from abroad says:

    I agree that Mike Zeisberger is making PTS a lot of fun to listen to. Interesting voice, lots of factual knowledge and the ability to turn that knowledge into good journalistic questions. Also Bob seems to like him a lot and PTS is always a lot more fun when Bob agrees with the choice of co-host.

    Personally I still hope Bob will continue for a few more years. There is no replacement in sports radio.

  33. RobInAurora says:

    You don’t have to wait long for Landsberg to try his best to make other people feel bad about themselves. Then we have to listen to his insincere palaver about mental health awareness. If he’s so concerned about other people’s well being, why then is he constantly bullying them and tearing them down?

  34. Shawn says:

    Why do so many commenters here feel the need to conduct a witch hunt for media personalities. If you don’t like a show don’t listen.

  35. mike (in boston) says:

    Write-in ballot update:

    Arden Zwelling – 3 votes
    DJ Bunkis – 1 vote
    Tony Ambrogio – 1 vote
    Jeff Simmons – 1 vote
    Joey Scoleri – 1 Vote

    p.s. please refrain from personal attacks on hosts and commenters.

  36. Antonio says:

    I’m enjoying Ennis. I don’t see how the Fan chose stuttering Rusic over Ennis as Dean’s sidekick. He follows and knows all the major sports like a geek and is entertaining to boot. Rusic tries way too hard and has an annoying speech impediment. No contest for me.

  37. yaz says:

    Landsberg does take jabs in stride and laughs at himself from comments like what I quoted above from Simmons. The NL Producer should prep guests to have some return jabs at the ready. It’s fun and makes for good radio. Naylor was quite excited at Simmons’ response.

  38. Eric says:

    @Antonio

    I disagree. I thought Rusic did a great job today. Now I will admit I don`t listen to the Blundell show regularly because I`m no fan of Dean`s. but based on what I have heard since Blundell has been off I feel like Rusic was better. I wrote here sevearl times already that Ennis is too up and down. We he settles down he is great but then he flys over the top at times, screams into the mic and forgets that it`s not all about him. I did find that Ennis was very good on Friday just wished he was more like that all week.

    This morning George was good. managed the show well, used Bastl and Fabro really well, kept the show moving and I enjoyed the over all feel of the show. Just felt more chemistry among the 3. I think Bastl did a great job with both hosts he really shined IMO last week. Today however I felt more natural chemistry. That is a good thing since Rusic and Bastl will be working together every Sunday for Inside the lines.

    Not sure how Rusic is as Blundell`s side kick but I think was very good today.

  39. Michele says:

    You are mostly failed radio hacks on here right? Seneca College maybe? The bitterness is phenomenal – especially toward the successful people. So great.

  40. Lemmon says:

    @Michele

    An Art History Major, actually…*pushes glasses up nose*

  41. Jeff says:

    Yes, I know I can unfollow him. But is anyone else’s Twitter timeline bogged down by the play by play of Bruce Arther’s travel issues on his company paid vacation to Rio? I’d tweet him directly, but I can do without the “eat me” or “fuck off” reply that is inevitable.

  42. Mike S says:

    The results of the summer fill-in poll are interesting……..the first thing I noticed is that the 590 poll has received almost 3 times as many votes as the 1050 poll……..that surprised me a bit, although it probably shouldn’t have given the ratings that each station has been receiving

    I haven’t been a fan of any of the fill-in hosts on 590 & 1050 this summer, other than maybe Tatti, and I don’t really consider him a fill-in host………..in my opinion the others have been mostly uninteresting (Roe, Taggert, MacArthur, Ennis, Pinder, etc) or hard to listen to (McNamara, Taylor, Vendetta, etc)

    My nominee for most peculiar summer programming decision goes to TSN 1150………they have a one hour Ticats show on weekdays at noon and they have decided to re-air it two hours later at 3 PM…………I guess that is the definition of cheap programming

  43. yaz says:

    The Fan 590’s CRTC request to officially change their name to ‘AM Sanchez is going to the bullpen 590’ was approved today.

  44. Latrell says:

    Sports talk radio is meant to make you hate the hosts so whomever you really despise is doing a great job. Congrats geniuses.

    • mike (in boston) says:

      Let’s dial back the insults. I can’t sit idly by while people make fun of Seneca College.

      • mike (in boston) says:

        Also, here’s your write-in vote update:

         

        Arden Zwelling – 3 votes

        DJ Bunkis – 2 votes

        Jeff simmons – 2 votes 

        Joey Scoleri – 1 vote

        Gord Stellick – 1 vote

        Roger LaJoie! – 1 vote

        Tony Ambrogio – 1 vote 

  45. Marcus says:

    @yaz

    Witty comment. I laughed. Bring on the Olympics.

  46. Marcus says:

    @Michele

    Your point is understood, and would have been just as valid without slagging an entire post-secondary institution in stating it.

  47. Michele says:

    point taken…

  48. Original Mitch says:

    Speaking of appearances on television…Good god what has Sportsnet done with Jeff Blair! Perfect example of the conversation on hand. I couldn’t listen to a word he was saying because of his look. Why SN thinks this old man(ish) needs to look like a retired boy band member is beyond me, but I promise you it’s not working and distracting which is the number 1 faux-pas for television personalities.

  49. Patrick says:

    Thank goodness Bryan Hayes is back.

  50. Greg says:

    Interesting conversation on 1050 this morning, Landsberg and Cauz opening talking about Rogers and if the Blue Jays success has any relation to profit and if they really could easily afford to keep Bautista and Edwin if they wanted to. Even interviewed a guy from BMO about it. I think its interesting because they were talking about Rogers wireless divison, and weren’t trying to hide the fact they they are their largest competitor. I think I heard the word “Rogers” more in that 10 minutes than I ever have on a TSN platform. I think maybe it was some kind of a troll job like they were trying to get the fans on Bell’s side or something. At the end Landsberg also mentioned that the NHL deal was ‘the worst deal in the history of Canadian television’.

    On a related note, I really have enjoyed Landsberg and Cauz the last couple of weeks. I think they have way more chemistry that Landsberg and Naylor, too bad Naylor is back Monday. It’s also kind of weird they would move Cauz from his normal slot to be a fill in, maybe its because they realize the chemistry too.

  51. Eric says:

    I don’t enjoy Landsberg with anyone. Cauz is enjoyable but not to the point of saving a show with Landsberg. He can’t even save his own show with Wheeler.

    I’ve been listening to Rusic, Bastl and Fabro really enjoyed them. It’s a much better show than Blundell and Company. I liked last week with Ben Ennis too Although i struggled with Ennis’ up and down style. Thankfully Blundell is off on Monday too, So I have 1 more day of enjoyable morning radio.

    Sadly after that I go back to listening to music on my way to work.

  52. Omar says:

    I thought Bastl was good as well. I never really listened to him on 1050 (poor signal). Hopefully his trial run turns into a regular gig.

  53. chuck says:

    Heading to Rio to watch Canada kick butt in the Olympics soon. Any suggestions on Twitter follows for best coverage down there? Don’t need to know about Zika every minute.

  54. yaz says:

    Forget about announcing guests – how about the host?? Somebody is hosting PTS right now, maybe a caller is hosting Don’t recognize his voice from TV or radio. No clue who it is.

  55. Bill says:

    The current abomination on PTS might be the worst ever on August 5th. Had to turn it off. Bland, boring very unfunny and cringeworthy.

  56. MontfromLondonOnt says:

    @Bill – Wow I couldn’t agree more – I just now turned it off – Jeff Blair saying “I mean” every third word – Some host Rob somebody allowing it to go off the rails with everybody trying to ‘outcute’ each other with stupid inside tales and for me the final straw was some phoney breathlessly describing what some Irish boxer had to go through to train – Who cares? Say what you want but give me McCown on his worst day over this dreck – How long is he gone for?

  57. Alex says:

    Rob Foulds hosting, with blair, kirke and fitzgerald.

  58. edge says:

    Anyone watching the World Junior Showcase? Because apparently nothing brings this country together like the words “International Hockey Tournament”. Well, it’s not really a tournament. It’s TSN’s hockey-for-the-sake-of-hockey…in August. I get the World Juniors are a big deal for TSN, it’s one of the few tentpoles that they produce themselves and can show nationally outside of the CFL. But come on…it’s summer. If the analog for junior hockey is college sports in the US, do what they do and do a ‘Media Days’ weekend. I bet the crowds would be just the same as what they’re drawing now.

  59. Matty Zero says:

    They could return Kirke and Faulds back to the crypt now, for another decade.

    I’m all for Rusic and Co. Ditch the Dean.

    Overdrive is 10X better with Hayes at the wheel.

  60. mike (in boston) says:

    The press release wars don’t take summer holidays. The recent Sportsnet one contains this new term of art:

    “[…] Canadians were locked on Sportsnet, Canada’s #1 sports media brand, which delivered double-digit audience growth across television, digital and radio.”

    I’m not sure how the fine folks at Rogers are defining “brand” here. I expect a corresponding TSN release shortly in which they also lay claim to the throne.

    If you’re following the bigger issues, the value of cable is dropping as cord cutting accelerates. Cable companies are trying to squeeze more money out of their existing customers and out of advertisers while they try to adjust to the new paradigm. This “#1 brand” nonsense is part of that strategy. Ignore it. Everyone who has cable has both TSN and SN. Everyone watches both. Both are profitable for Rogers and Bell. Radio and web (and the magazine) are pennies compared to the revenue generated by TV.

  61. Rob says:

    Funny Rogers would make that claim. When I see Sportsnet’s programming, the first thing that comes to mind is #2….and speaking of toilet humour that claim they are making is a giant load of #2.

  62. Cirroc says:

    @mib I can honestly say I would not watch SN at all if they didn’t have the hockey or baseball.

  63. Daniel says:

    Random Thoughts:

    – Interesting that so many of you seem to prefer Rusic/Bastl to Blundell. I still maintain that Rogers paying big bucks for Blundell and then asking him to do a sports focussed show is nuts. The guy basically dominated the marketplace doing ‘guy talk/pop culture talk’. It’d be sort of like Q107 hiring McCown away and then asking him to play tunes and talk music while avoiding sports. I like ‘hardcore sports’ oriented sports talk sometimes, but I also like ‘guy talk’. If you’ve got Blundell you might as well let him loose. Could be like how Imus was on The Fan in New York. If you ask a non sports guy to do a sports focussed show, it’s always going to sound forced and not quite right. If they wanted a sports show they should have hired a sports guy.

    – I wasn’t very enthused about it at first, but Walker’s show has grown on me.

    – I think Scott MacArthur has really gotten good.

    – TSN has got to change that 9 – 12 show. I’m sure they’ll dump Richards from 1-4 once that contract ends too. They’ll have a couple big gaps to fill in. Will they offer one of those to Brady? Might as well.

    – I still miss Tim and Sid on the radio. I’d like it if they shortened the TV show and maintained some kind of radio presence. Who watches TV from 5 – 7?

  64. jackbee says:

    Scott McArthur was the 9-12 morning slot in the first few weeks of TSN 1050 RADIO’s existence, then dropped him off to oblivion to being a beat reporter for the Blue JAYS. Give him back his old slot of 9-12 to be rid of Cauz and Wheeler or put him as straight man to Richards in 1-4 time slot.

  65. fif says:

    You have a good taste.

  66. K says:

    I’m certain Bettman doesn’t consider what he's saying. He can’t say anything openly that would sabotage their case that are possible as pleaded in litigation. He's speaking for his constituents and on the specific guidance of attorneys.

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