breaking news

Sportsnet Fan 590 Setting Thier Sights?

February 14th, 2011 | by torontosportsmedia

The NHL and NBA trade deadlines are both fast approaching. After this past weekend, we got a glimpse of what we have in store in terms of excitement over the next couple of months. Thank god for the Blue Jays.

So, here’s what I am hearing as of this cloudy Monday morning:

Need more evidence that TSN radio is coming? Sportsnet the Fan 590, I am told has been given notice that their relationship with ESPN radio is over! That was a quick re-marriage. Chum has apparently taken the rights back from the Fan.

Da da da, da da da

A couple of weeks back, I was told that there was interest on the part of senior Rogers folks in one Norman Rumack. You remember Norman right? Former Toronto Maple Leaf evangelist, the guy who the last time I saw him I nearly ran him over just south of the Forest Hill village on Spadina. Well, now that nights are about to be vacant at Sportsnet the Fan 590 again, the drumbeats are pounding louder that Norman could make a comeback. In fact I am told that Norman (remember to call him that as that is the name he uses on his blog) has been seen near and around the Rogers campus of late. Who’s next, Spider Jones?

While all the details, I’m told are still being ironed out, and no deal is apparently done, yet, Sportsnet the Fan 590 has apparently identified it’s new morning man. Negotiations are on going with Joey Vendetta to take over the reigns from Andrew Krystal. Joey (either Vendetta or Scoleri as he has been known in Hollywood) sat in the captain’s chair over Christmas time while Krystal was away. He is an avid hockey fan, known for hanging with many players over the years. Vendetta used to be on the air here on the mighty Q way back when.

A couple of folks told me last week that changes were coming to 640 Toronto with respect to the Bill Watters show. In fact at one point, I was told that a new co-host had been retained. That didn’t happen. I am told what did happen is that Brian Hayes has had the interim co-host tag lifted. With all the changes going on in the industry and the never say die rumours that 640 is getting out of the sports business, you just have to wonder how long Hayes will want to stick around at a non sports radio station.

Lastly, because several of you keep asking, here’s my take: Andrew Krystal has been on his twitter account claiming that he wasn’t fired. I don’t know who he’s talking to. I haven’t read anywhere that he was fired, have you? Everything I have read says that he is no longer the morning guy, but that he remains employed at the station. Now, Krystal tweeted a few weeks back that his show wasn’t being canceled, but rather it was being “expanded”. So when Krystal tweets that he will be back on the Fan from 1-3 when he returns from vacation, I’m taking a wait and see approach.

Greg Brady is on in the mornings until Vendetta or whomever else they secure settles in, I am betting in early April. At that point Brady will return to 1-3. Then what will they do with Krystal? I am sorry. I just don’t’ see that happening. I have no clue what Krystal’s been told, but for some reason I just don’t see him back on the Fan airwaves any time soon. I don’t know that, I am just giving my 2 cents.



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  1. Rob says:

    Joey Vendetta? I squirmed listenting to him in the ’80s and I squirmed again at Christmas (then changed the station). Oakley has been a fine alternative. I will see how TSN goes then make my deciosion. The Fan just made it a two horse race for me and I am sure I’m not alone.

    Krystal will be disappearing slowly but surely over time. He tweeted that he and Kollins will be ‘working together on other projects’. That (“Special Projects” tag) happens in the business world too, when they can’t just fire you for whatever reason (money, contract, gender, ethnicity). Then you become a consultant, which is Canadian for “Unemployed”…Eddy Money’s big hit from the 70’s comes to mind: “Two tickets to Halifax”

  2. Raptors Devotee says:

    Krystal is done. End of story. I can’t recall a more polarizing figure in the Toronto sports radio media than he was. I initially took the FAN at their word, of him being reassigned. No way that is happening. Kollins should take the fall for it as well.

    Biggest improvements at the FAN: two minute sportsbreaks, Brady, Blair.

    Worst changes: McCown on 3-6 instead of 4-7 & hate pre-game shows, FOB’s still remain on PTS, Krystal of course, all the call-in which are a WOT.

  3. lagerandale says:

    While I did enjoy Vendetta while he was filling in, I gotta wonder if I would have enjoyed him as much if he was on in the summer. Maybe I’m wrong but he seemed a little one dimensional on the hockey side, which is fine for a week in December, but not so much year long. In saying that he had great guests and anything would be an improvement.

  4. jack says:

    This has Burkies fingerprints on it for Krystal being so negative. Media in Vancouver know what I mean

  5. PKey4 says:

    Best idea was getting Krystal off the air. He’d probably be great for a 1 to 5 am shift (when I’m never listening), if they need that filled.
    Pretty happy they’re getting rid of the ESPN overnight for the 11pm on too. I like to fall asleep to the FAN, and I can’t stand the American football-centric blabber on ESPN. I like that day replay thing they had going for a while last year, but like most good things that Kollins touched, they disappeared.

  6. CD says:

    When Joey Vendetta was on over the holidays, it was one of the few times I actually didn’t flip the Fan off for the morning drive. I didn’t mind him at all (although that may just have been due to the fact that anything other than AK was refreshing!). I was back to listening to the Fan in the mornings with Brady last week. I think I am definitely willing to give JV a try.

  7. DA says:

    I think Gareth Wheeler from sun tv would make for a better mourning host

  8. Pat MaGroin says:

    I realize anything said In the above post is not set stone.
    BUT, let’s get real,when are the Suits & Loafers at Sportsnet/590 going to wake up and get rid of Kollins.
    Clearly, he Is costing them lots of money (hires,

  9. Petti says:

    I agree with CB, the morning show had a completely different sound with Joey and I would be more than willing to give him and the FAN morning show a shot again.
    Even Brady is making a huge difference, but we know he isn’t staying on mornings.

  10. The Historic says:

    As has been said, we’ll see Krystal disappear slowly but surely over time. There’s such an overwhelming negative response to his show (based on this and other boards), that I’m not sure polarizing really captures it. It seems more to me that he’s just not well received…at all.

    After completely undermining whatever credibility he had as a “broadcaster” and “entertainer” by changing him from time slot to time slot and then removing him as the morning guy, does anyone really believe he can recover from this and be successful at the Fan?

    I think his time in Toronto media is finished again until the next sap decides he needs to shake things up and make terrible decisions.

    We know Krystal wasn’t the first choice for the morning show. Does anyone know if Kollins was the first choice for PD at the Fan?

  11. Daniel says:

    Thanks for the update, TSM. It’s amazing how plugged in you are.

    I checked out Joey Vendetta when he was on in December. Honestly, I didn’t enjoy it. He didn’t strike me as much more of a ‘sports guy’ than Krystal. I found it quite boring.

    From what I’ve heard of him, and what I’ve heard of Richards – I would definitely tune in to Richards if they go head to head. Frankly, I think I’d probably prefer Krystal to Vendetta (and I thought Krystal was TOTALLY miscast).

    So, I’m hoping you’re wrong, TSM – but your predictions have been so bang on, I’m sure you’re right.

    As for Norm – why not? I thought it seemed cheap that a sports station in a major market like this signed local programming off at 11 (or whatever it was). I don’t really listen that late, but it’d be cool having him back.

  12. tdm says:


  13. Petti says:

    The strange thing is I didn’t even mind Krystal when he was at 640, but his stylings just dont work in the morning.

    I still think Vendetta would be great. Rumak coming back would be so much more entertaining. He always managed to have decent guests on and get some good interviews.

  14. Daniel says:

    Raptors Devotee – I totally agree with you best/worst changes.

    Historic – It’s amazing how long the morning show has been in disarray. I mean, Don and Gord were fired in June 2010! 8 months ago.

    What a mistake The Fan made by not signing Richards. Now, they’re going to pay Krystal for three years (probably to do nothing) AND have to hire a new guy.

    How did they not dump Krystal before Richards signed with TSN, and make a second run at him? And why did they sign Krystal to a 3 year deal 6 weeks before ending his show?


  15. Sam In Scarbrough says:

    Why not bring Norman R back !!
    He was and still would be perfect from say 11pm-2am after Blue Jays Baseball..Jays play appox. 4 outa 5 weekday nights May-October..
    There you go Kollins,read It here then ,make It your OWN idea !!!
    Might be perhaps,the first good move that you have made!

  16. Sam says:

    Another change I like is McCowns new promos/lead ins to his program. And they update them frequently.

  17. Chris F. says:

    I enjoyed Vendetta when he filled in in December but I agree that he seems a bit too one dimensional. I have a feeling he’d try to cram hockey down our throats in the middle of July just because that’s the only thing he’s comfortable talking about.

    As a host though, he’s miles ahead of Krystal in terms of treating guests with respect and actually carrying a conversation so that would be a much needed change of pace. Still though, I think if I had to choose it’d be Richards over Vendetta.

    As for Norm being back on the Fan? I think that’s a great idea providing he loosens up. The last year or so of his time on the air was tough to listen to what with the overly conservative style of broadcasting he was doing. Hopefully he can strike a balance between that and his freewheeling style from the early ’90s.

    I won’t cry too much over Sportsnet The Fan 590 losing the ESPN rights. Their late night show has been total crap since they fired Todd Wright a few years ago.

  18. Chris says:

    If Kollins hires somebody like Vendetta (who I don’t think will take the job anyway) or somebody else, instead of just anointing the guy who is doing the job now, he should be promptly turfed. Brady has been doing a superb job. The show is upbeat, and entertaining. Friday and today are the first two days in years I haven’t channel surfed away from the Fan on my commute to work.

    Give Brady the show now, and allow him to build it BEFORE he faces competition.

  19. Sam In Scarbrough says:

    While I am here:
    I realize 12am-5am is no big deal for ratings
    If true Sportsnet/590 will lose ESPN radio,that’s 35 hours per week of air to fill.
    Would you put Kollins in charge of filling 35 hours of airtime per week after what he has done trying to get listeners and advertisers into the 6am-6pm airtime??

  20. mike (in boston) says:

    Another change I like is McCowns new promos/lead ins to his program. And they update them frequently.

    i thought Bob “kicking the dog McCown” was a pretty tasteless promo. I mean the guy is a dog owner. Does he actually come home and kick his dog? Bob also complained once that the promos made him sound like an egomaniac. Part of me wonders whether Bob has less control over things, despite what we all assume. The show shift was a major move, and i have to believe he would have blocked it if he could. Propping up Krystal also looked to be a directive from above.

    then again, the FOB fiasco suggests that he can do whatever he wants with the content of PTS. the net result is that i have been trained to skip the the first segment of the 3pm and 4pm hours, since for some reason Bob thinks the audience wants to listen to him recount his trips to the grocery store, or trade inane banter with his co-host. having just listened to the McKeown interview re: VANOC i couldn’t help but wonder how much better that would have been with Brunt on the show.

  21. Steve says:

    I will miss the ESPN coverage at night. It was nice to get perspective from another country as opposed to Fan590 reruns :(

  22. Petti says:

    The fact is Brady does not want to do the morning show or else I am sure they would have offered it to hm already. He enjoys the time his normal slot allows him to spend with his young family.
    Besides Brady there are not really anyother interesting names out there so at the very least Vendetta is the bets of a bad bunch.
    If Strombo wanted the job he would have had it by now. I think with Pelley and Moore running the show now Kollins won;t have final say on the new morning guy as he did with the Krystal hire.

  23. Pat MaGroin says:

    @Mike clearly Bobcat is just playen out the back nine after going 7 over on the front nine..spittin on the greens.
    Think of it..why would he accept the time change 3-6, having Kristhole on his show and always bringing back Shannon when HE clearly knows people tune out when Mr. Magoo is on Hummm?

  24. Al from Burlington says:


  25. Mike S says:

    I was away over Christmas so I didn’t hear much of Vendetta’s work on 590………..I don’t know much about him but I was under the impression that he already had a pretty good job in Los Angeles……….if that is the case I’m not sure why he would give that up unless Pelley is throwing a ton of money at him

    I agree with those that have said that Brady should get the morning job (with a solid co-host)…………but a big part of me hopes he stays in the afternoon because it is much easier for me to listen to him from 1:00 to 3:00 than from 5:30 to 9:00…………..I didn’t like Richards when he was on the 590 morning show in the mid-1990’s so I doubt I will be listening much to him on 1050

    I never liked Rumack but I don’t listen to 590 at that time of day so I guess I wouldn’t have a problem if they hired him back

  26. Chris says:

    @Mike S – Vendetta works for Live Nation in LA. I don’t think the folks at Rogers can throw enough money at him in order for Joey to give up that job.

  27. T J Clarington says:

    If Joey Vendetta is the choice for the Morning Show, I just can’t wait for TSN radio to sign on. I listened to him with AK in December, and it was BRUTAL x 2!
    Although I’ve never heard Mike Richards, his Calgary fans seem very disappointed at his departure. Looking forward to TSN radio in the a.m.. Until then, if Joey V signs on, its HTM on XM radio (not a bad show) or back to listening to Derringer on the Q.

  28. James says:

    I’m surprised as I remember a great response to Vendetta when he was on recently.

    I think he is a definitive improvement over Krystal, but all things considered he would be much, much more likely to succeed with a solid sports guy alongside him.

    Damien Cox…?

    In my eyes its a perfect pairing. Like how many said AK would be better with a sports guy…well Vendetta is exponentially better than Krystal so this could only be a huge improvement.

    OR…Greg Brady? He said he wasn’t going to mornings…but he could pair up with Vendetta nicely. I shudder thinking of AK joining him 1-3. It would cost Brady’s career greatly that’s for sure.

    I like Vendetta, and I think if you guys give him a chance he will surely be listenable at the least (as opposed to Krystal and his completely obnoxious act that is like Mace to the ears). Vendetta is clever, charismatic, and he isn’t a d-bag like Krystal. He also knows a heck of a lot more about sports, that was evident from listening to him for even a short while.

    Let’s just be thankful AK is gone, and laugh at him when he says he will be on 1-3. That would be a joke.

    Finally the reign of Krystal Nation is over. (To be clear, Krystal Nation consists 100% of the morons who call in with great insight into Leafs trades for Crosby and rehashing everything said about the Kessel trade daily).

    That being said, I can’t wait to try listening to Richards.

    Only a bit worried that he won’t live up to all this hype, especially from comments here.

    If he lives up to it though, not only will 590 still lose me in the mornings, but it won’t be to podcasts of their shows but to TSN radio….

  29. CD says:

    If I remember correctly, JV did one of the more interesting interviews with Brian Burke since well…honestly TSM’s interview.

    He talked to Burke about musical interests, and Burke told a story about once being a bouncer for a Stones concert which was funny. I thought it was an interesting break from the typical interviews Burke has to do (When he is on 640 and 590 on the same day it’s almost the same thing repeated). I thought that it showed that JV would be an interesting alternative to AK, DL etc.

    That being said, Brady would be my first choice for the morning show, but it really sounds like his family situation impacts the likelihood of that happening.

  30. James says:


    If that is true, then all I can say is thank the lord Jesus (insert your religious figure of choice here) that we have Burke here in Toronto now!

    You are saying that without him, we would be endlessly subjected to Krystal?? If he never takes the Leafs out of bottom-feeder territory now I can still be happy with his tenure in Toronto, thank you.

    All hail Burkey, Defender of the Sports Radio Airwaves and Slayer of Obnoxious Douchebags!

  31. James says:

    What a lot of people aren’t picking up on is that Brady doesn’t *want* the morning job, by all reports. It seems like he could have it if he wanted, but probably for a combination of personal reasons and so he can do HC he is sticking at 1-3.

    The Fan would of course would want Brady in the morning, but he doesn’t want it.

    @ Daniel

    Can’t believe that you would prefer AK, I think if you give Vendetta a chance (at least before Richards’ show starts) you’ll find he is a huge improvement.

    If only for his decency and respect in dealing with guests…that alone would make Krystals show at least partially listen-able. The fact that he seemingly is unable to complete an interview or speak to anyone for more than 15 seconds is shocking.

  32. Willam Carter says:

    As for Krystal, the news is not good at all for this man. The Fan signed a contract but everyone knows that contracts don’t mean anything these days. Why would the Fan honour a contract when Krystal is no longer a host? The contract is now null and void. I am sure they will give him a pay out but it won’t be much for only 5 months of work. As for Krystal, he is too old and he is washed up, he had his day long ago. No one really seems to like him on the air and he has a weird personality. Trust me, the Fan will grow without him. Any station will grow without him. His days are all over in the Toronto market. Just my two cents but I am glad the Fan got rid of him and know that he is not desired for other media shows in town.

  33. Daniel says:

    James – well, you might be right in that he would be less frustrating to listen to than Krystal (the interrupting etc), but I guess I found Vendetta to be kind of boring. I’d give him a chance though.

    I thought I remember Brady indicating he was interested in the morning show when he started at The Fan. I wonder why he changed his mind. I think I heard that they’re going to televise HC at noon again. Maybe Brady wants to be involved with that as a bridge to TV work?

    If Brady did want to do mornings, they could try to get Bryan Hayes to do afternoons perhaps? I guess that’s moot though, since Brady said he’s not a candidate.

  34. Marsh says:

    I also don’t think Vendetta would take it. I enjoyed him when he was on in December. However I don’t think that he could sustain the celebrity interviews that he sprinkled throughout the week. While I had turned off Krystal, I’d give him a chance.

    And still wold like to see Stellick back.

    And I would welcome Stormin Norman back.

  35. PBI says:

    It’s not surprising that you puckheads would welcome back someone like Norm but anyone who has a diverse taste in sports probably wouldn’t want any part of him.

    It looks like we can look forward to years of him enjoying the struggles of the Raptors.

  36. Don Mandrie says:

    Best person for job actually works in Montreal. Can’t believe Mitch Melnick wants to remain in the minors.

  37. Sunny B says:

    not sure if anyone has mentioned this but tsn radio has had a soft launch in Winnipeg….

  38. mike (in boston) says:

    bringing back Rumack would be a testament to the utter failure by the FAN to build a proper evening program over the last 15 years.

    the Globe is running a column today called “Sports Media”. I’ve never see this column before, is it new? I wonder if this is a precursor to getting rid of our friend Dowbiggin. Maybe Kollins could hire him to do the FAN’s morning show.

  39. Raptors Devotee says:

    Don Mandrie hit it dead-on. I spent my first 25 years in Montreal and go back frequently. Mitch Melnick by far is the best possible host on the market. I actually canvassed a friend of mine, Mike Cohen, in Montreal last year asking him about any interest Mitch would have. Mike replied there is no way he would leave Montreal, and the reason was due to his family, where his kids are so entrenched in Montreal that he does not want to displace them. I can see the day though once his kids are old enough where Mitch would consider it, but certainly not now or in the near future.

    As far as Storming Norman, come on, the guy is a hack, and you may as well get any Joe off the street to be on the station.

  40. Brewmaster says:

    There is another proven radio talent that is currently in Toronto just doing his own thing right now that im sure could be available to someone for the right price; Gabriel Morency.

  41. Straw says:

    I really agree with you MikeinBos. on the evening weekend talent. I think Seixeiro is really good but he’s hardly on. Lajoie is okay in a semi-regular role but the rest. But the other guys just do not work at all for me. Back in he day there was a lot of talent in those spots, it’s just not there now.

    I didn’t mind Rumack being let go, he’s been around for a long time, since the beginning and I support freshing up what we hear with different and new voices. But the lack of stepping up from most of the overnight talent, I don’t mind him returning.

    Strangely I think the only place Krystal could fit in now is overnight host. Where the confrontational yelling schtick could probably work at that time spot.

    The morning show has been so much better with Brady. He is so funny. He said the new host of the show might be a robot lol. Which made me think back to the great Simpsons episode where the radio hosts was going to get replaced by the DJ3000

  42. Dileno says:

    During Joey Vendetta’s fill in time on the morning show in December, all I remember is him dropping more names than Richie Rich – it got sickening after a while. He also mentioned that he lives in LA, and works for Live Nation about every 5 seconds. Good, let him stay there. A sports radio show should not be about interviews with Cuba Gooding Jr.
    While I didn’t love AK, I feel bad for anyone who is in a situation that is not suited to their skill set. He is an interesting broadcaster, but was not right for a sports morning show. I hope he will land on his feet somewhere.
    The overnight slot has never been the same since they dumped Stormin’ Norman, and if he comes back I would be happy to hear him agian, he is a sports junkie and knows his stuff (just take it easy on the Syracuse love in)

  43. Andrew says:

    I wonder if anyone at TSN has ever heard Scott Ferrall. He would make an interesting building block. Loves hockey but know all sports and it doesn’t sound like he’s getting rich at Sirius.

  44. James says:


    I actually hadn’t heard that Brady originally wanted the morning job…which makes me question if he really would change his mind or not.

    Perhaps the rumors about him turning it down are incorrect, and the Fan has really been so stupid as to not offer it to him.

    Let’s just hope it was his choice not theirs, as that would be a colossal error.

  45. Daniel says:

    James – I certainly could be wrong, but I remember him saying something like ‘I did mornings for x years in Detroit, of course I’m interested in the morning show’ during the period when The Fan was searching for someone.

  46. Mike P says:

    I wouldn’t mind Don and Gord coming back – listening to Krystal for the little that I did have me a whole new respect for them.

    I have become a 1010 listener most of the day ever since they made all these changes and just check in on their website audio vault every so often. On the way home I’ll listen to Bobcat a little bit. Losing ESPN and bringing back Norm will blend in with the rest of the horrible decisions that they’ve made the past year. I can’t believe how bad the Fan has become.

  47. Mullah_Kintyre says:

    When you say “given notice that their relationship with ESPN radio is over”, regarding ESPN Radio on Fan590 over night, that’s a little ambiguous, seeing as it was still ESPN Radio on Fan590 when I tuned in for a few minutes just after midnight last night (Monday night/Tuesday a.m.). I’ll assume you meant “will soon be over”, or something like that?

  48. Brawley says:

    Joey Vendetta possibly getting hired as the morning guy for Sportsnet radio Fan590 reminds me of a line from an old Sylvester & Tweety bird cartoon: “Boy, that’s really scrapping the bottom of the barrel!”

    He wasn’t anything great during his Q107 days & his stint over the christmas holidays weren’t that great either. Don’t see him leaving LiveNation & LA for a gig like this.

  49. Tom says:

    Vendetta was awful during his December stint. The guy name drops non-stop and mentions he works at Live Nation almost as much as he mentions his name.

  50. SJB says:

    Initially, I couldn’t stand Andrew Krystal, but then I became addicted to him, and I haven’t listened to the morning shows since he left. I can’t stand either Greg Brady or Jeff Blair, because they both have a whiny naggy style that I find too irritating. And I didn’t like Joey Vendetta over the holidays. My opinion doesn’t seem to be shared by many though, so I’ll wait until Krystal lands somewhere and follow him.

  51. Peter says:

    Norm Rumack is extremely boring and has a limited knowledge of sports. How can thet continue to employ him. Worst broadcaster in the country.

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