Toronto Sports Media Open Thread

March 19th, 2016 | by torontosportsmedia
Toronto Sports Media Open Thread
sports and toronto



Greetings and Salutations!


It’s been a long time since we’ve provided an open Mic, so here you go, the stage is yours!


Keep it respectful!




  1. Rob J says:

    Hilarious circumstances on PTS Thurs (6:00). First guest was a surprise for Bob and John (the wrong Kelly) so they had no questions. Then unannounced Chris Johnston appeared, and finally Kelly Hrudey, 40 mins late, but he had to hang up early. Never heard a peep from scheduled guests Matthieu Schneider or Sean Avery. First time in 41 years, according to Bob. Hearing him ask ‘Who are you’ to the first guest will go down as a classic moment. John couldn’t stop laughing. Podcast worth listening to.

  2. Bill says:

    How much longer do you think Tim and Sid will last? It regularly gets beaten in the ratings by PTS and costs tons of money to produce. Possible it gets moved to a late night slot?

  3. Brian says:

    @ Rob J Shannon is never worth listening to. He got pissy with Doug Maclean earlier this week on HC@N when DM implied Shannon didn’t know what he was talking when it comes to motivating NHL players at this time of year. No, a former NHL coach wouldn’t know more than some wannabe NHL insider. I wish Maclean had offered an uncut opinion on Shannon’s BS. Shannon, who is fairly short, also had his chair pumped up to the top so that he looked taller than Millard. Such petty crap. Unbelievable.

    Yesterday, I started with TSN 1050 for the “Breakfast Club” which generally works and then moved to the FAN for Brunt (and Blair; yes, in that order) because Wheeler shouldn’t be on the radio. I started with Leafs Lunch and then went to HC@N because, despite Shannon, it was better. I went out of market for the rest of the afternoon but tuned into Overdrive around 5 pm because Ray Ferraro for 25 minutes is far better than two old guys on the fan talking about irrelevant crap (and I had already had enough Shannon on HC@N. I typically delete the PTS podcasts if Shannon is on. I don’t understand why he gets such regular billing on a network with superior talents). That’s a typical day for me. PTS used to be must-listen radio. But as long as Bob continues to treat his listeners like they don’t matter, I will continue to treat the show the same way.

    The Shoalts article on declining ratings for sports despite high rights fees is worth reading here:

  4. Old Dave says:

    This may be because I am old and cranky (I am both) but I find it irritating when game announcers believe their function is to entertain rather than describe, explain and analyze the game. More and more I watch Raptor games on mute in fear of Jack Armstrong singing or clever banter that never ends. I suspect one of the reasons Buck never knows how many outs there are in Blue Jay games is because he is forced to listen to Pat Tabler try to replace “the” with “that in everything he says. I am watching the game because that is what interests me. I don’t think I have ever tuned in in order to hear an announcer – but I have certainly tuned out because of them.

  5. Mark R says:


  6. WouldStaley93 says:

    I’ve gone back to listening to Dean Blundell & Co on Sportsnet 590 The Fan. I gave Naylor & Landsberg a trial period and just can’t bare the show. I’m a fan of Michael Landsberg but he is extremely mis cast doing morning am radio. He’s a TV guy through and through. And Dave Naylor while a good real journalist as a host is so dull and mundane. Not a good recipe for morning radio.

    I think they should bring Mike Richards back to mornings at least love him or hate him he provoked reaction and has a good program.

    Still no update on the “disappearance” of Bob Mackowycz?

    And I like Overdrive but the fill in hosts have been awful. You have people with upside at 1050 why not get people like Jim Tatti? Or Gurdeep Ahluwalia? Or Darren Dutcheshyn ? Or even Michael Landsberg? To fill in when Bryan Hayes is off. Derek Taylor was brutal.

    Also props to James Sharman and Gregg Zaun who did a great job guest co hosting for Tim Micallef on Tim & Sid on Sportsnet.

    Does anyone for see a morning show shake up again at 1050?

    Have a good weekend all sports media fans and observers.

  7. GreyCountyMike says:

    At some point, does Don Landry return to a somewhat prominent place in the local radio market? It had been widely speculated that he stepped on a lot of toes on his way in, through and out at The FAN, but hasn’t his sentence been served by now? Good for him for keeping somewhat of a profile with his CFL and curling work, but given the revolving-door talent both 590 and 1050 has been putting forward of late, Landry’s got to at least earn a second chance as a regular show host, doesn’t he?

    No doubt, his opinions rubbed some people the wrong way when he teamed with Pat Marsden and then Gord Stellick on the old FAN morning show, but his broadcasting skills were always at or above par, which is more that can be said for many of the folks currently hosting regular shows in the Toronto market.

  8. Hugh says:

    Proof Bobcat doesn’t pay attention to the NHL standings. On Friday’s roundtable he had Dallas in danger of not making the playoffs when at the time they were second in the overall standings and first in the Western Conference. Shannon bailed him out on that (“yes Bob if Dallas lost all of their remaining games and the Wild won all their remaining games it is possible Dallas could miss the playoffs”). Lol

  9. Hugh says:

    Just when I was starting to appreciate Damien Cox more in the last few months, his stupidity came roaring back during the Mar 11 roundtable when they were talking about the Wideman ruling. Cox had the audacity to ask why the NHL supported the officials in this situation and someone else pointed out to him that the official was the aggrieved party, not the player. This fellow then mentioned at least twice that the NHLPA represents the interests of the suspended player much more than the injured player in ALL player/player situations like headshots, etc. Cox didn’t say a peep about this ridiculous situation but I was cheering in my car. I can’t remember the name of this roundtable fellow though. Lol

  10. Curt says:

    @Bill – Tim & Sid is just a bad show, full stop. The shtick is so played. I suppose it was moderately better on radio, but it’s cringe worthy on tv. While there may be the occasional decent segment, it’s generally a promo show for what’s being shown on sportsnet later that evening (usually hockey). That’s it really – that and two guys trying desperately to be funny with lame frat boy humour. Awful stuff.

  11. jbg says:

    Would anyone else agree that sportsnet hockey coverage would immediately jump in quality if they just put Marek into all Millard spots? Of course have to replace Marek in his junior rolls with someone.
    I find Millard to be to much of a 13 year old hockey fan. I know being around the scene so long he must be more knowledgeable. He comes off so much better on the 5 minutes with Millard segments that they did on the Tim and Sid radio show. I don’t know if they still do that as have not seen Tim and Sid on tv.
    What I find the problem is with sportsnet hockey coverage is they just pose questions. I don’t find they use video or stats enough to back anything up. There is to much of Player(a) just isn’t getting it done.

  12. Jamally says:

    Tim and Sid is a bad show, and I loved the radio show and podcasts prior. The problem isn’t just the terrible timeslot, but the show just isn’t any good.

    But I don’t blame them – they are forced to cater to Joe Canadian dumbass, who only cares about hockey. Their audience was more diverse – and they’ve lost people like me who enjoyed the non-hockey talk, especially the Raptors talk and other talk. But Sportsnet forces them to talk about hockey and the Jay way too much. And I just don’t care anymore.

    I rarely listen to radio these days, but I did catch last weeks and this week’s PTS roundtable….they spend the 5pm hour talking about the Jays. I personally like the Jays, but tired of Bob’s constant ramblings about them.

  13. Brian says:

    I am now dumbfounded as to what to listen to in the AM for a sports radio fix. Tried to stick with the new Naylor and Lansberg, which is actually is the other way around, but that matters none! They have now completed 4 weeks…..I am done. No Company Blundell for me, I am checking radio test patterns, will get back to you!

  14. Frank says:

    Millard is the ultimate hockey fanboy, fascinated by uniforms and other peripheral nonsense. I have zero time for him.
    Shannon is a channel changer. His depth of knowledge is only in TV production.
    Bob really seems to be playing out the string here.
    Damian Cox seems less obnoxious than I remember. But he started from extremely so he has a long way to go.
    Heard Blair and Brunt giving a big long ass smooch to the new Blue Jays regime. It was hard to take, and Im no AA lover.
    The TSN 4-7 show is fine when hockey is in session but I cant imagine what happens post Cup.
    When Rogers 10 covers AHL games in St. John there’s an older color guy whose name escapes me but he is terrific. He would be a good caller in to any of the hockey shows.
    Now get on it Rogers.

  15. Daniel says:

    I have no idea what the ratings are like, but yeah… having Tim and Sid on TV from 5 – 7 seems like a waste to me. Put them on after the games at night or back on the radio, in my opinion. Or maybe shorten their TV show to half an hour or something, and give them a shortened radio show back.

    The Fan really misses them on there in my opinion. They set the station apart a bit.

  16. Robert says:

    @Old Dave – At one point during last night’s Raptors game, there was a stoppage in play and a jump ball at centre court. Neither Devlin nor Rautins explained what had happened and why there was a jump ball. They were too busy blabbing about nonsense. Very irritating for someone trying to watch and understand what’s happening in the game.

  17. Jp says:

    A few things:
    Is Tim and Sid direct competition used to be OTR? Now that it’s canned will we see a ratings boost? Is PTS or for that matter overdrive really in competition with T&S?

    Bob Elliot with a bombshell writing about EE, admitting the blue jays are not interested in re-signing him at the end of contract… Are the Rogers in-house baseball reporting ‘talent’ just sitting on that story for fear of clubhouse disruption or reprehension from management or is it another Rick westhead situation where Rogers media people not being spoon-fed stories?

  18. jbg says:

    I didn’t realise overdrive was on tv. Yes PTS is competition, I assumed that when Tim and Sid went to tv I would watch it more then PTS on tv. However I think I may have watched Tim and Sid twice on tv. I am out of market so I find it easier to turn PTS on tv then to stream it online. Have we seen if putting Tim and Sid on at same time as PTS increased tv ratings? Or is that a time slot that just doesn’t matter and it’s part of a longer term play for Sportsnet.

  19. William D says:

    Tim Mcaliff in my opinion would be great in the 1pm timeslot on his own or hosting the morning show with Sid. Andrew Walker is a disaster at 1pm. Maybe walker should be on the beat for the leafs or jays, kind of like a Barry Davis. To give Walker his own show was curious.

  20. Rob J says:

    With everyone shutting off the power for an hour for Earth Day tonight, Rogers has a great excuse for low ratings…for 1 night it won’t be the crappy Leafs and production

  21. Drumanchor says:

    What was once an intriguing forum for Sports talk radio has, sadly, turned into a virtual nonstop whiny bitch fest. Very much miss the old days of this site.

  22. Rob J says:

    Totally agree. The ad hominem attacks at guys like Shannon Landsberg and Wheeler go beyond the bounds of legitimate criticism. Seems like it’s a game of who can one-up the previous insult. Say it to the guys’ face and I’ll respect it.

  23. Mookie says:

    Umm, heard Paul Romanuk refer to a Leaf goal as “delicious” tonight…now the Cascade ad where the people are arguing about whether you need to pre rinse a casserole dish covered in “Alfredo”…when it is abvioulsy a tomato based sauce stain…

    A new low indeed.

  24. Original Mitch says:

    In the span of 3 minutes Andi Patrillo said “crapped my pants” and “poop” on Leafs Lunch this week in case anybody was worried the show would be too high brow.
    I had Connected on earlier this week and in one segment Jeff Blair shows up from Florida and talks oncamera for what seemed like 20 minutes and later Hazel Mae did the same. I don’t believe for a second anybody is watching that show when the likes of these two are on.

  25. Rob J says:

    @original Mitch
    ‘I doubt for a second anyone is watching when they are on.’
    Well, you were.

  26. Original Mitch says:

    true story, it was muted on a tv screen at work.

  27. DJ says:

    I think what A LOT of people on this site forget is that the channels are not programmed for us. The very fact that you have found this site, comment on this site, and regularly check the site identify you as what I would call a ‘hardcore’ sports radio/tv consumer. When stations are programming they are programming to the norm, the average. They want to appease the greatest audience – not the loudest.

    I have spent the last 2 years volunteering at multiple media outlets trying to learn as much as I can about radio and tv. One radio talk host – not sports – told me something that has stuck. Paraphrasing but he said ‘not many people listen to my whole show. Not many peoples schedules allow for them to sit and listen to me for 4 hours everyday. That is just part of it’.

    On this site we look at the micro. We over-analyse the smallest mistake as they happen. This isn’t wrong, it is just what we do. Sometimes I think we need to step back and look at the macro.

    But at the end of the day companies aren’t focused on us. Sure, they want us to listen/watch…..but lets be real, we are going to listen/watch to one of the main sports stations no matter what. That is why we come to this site.

  28. Rob J says:

    Another low is the worst team in the league raising ticket prices (yes you read that right) and no one points out the absurdity of it because ‘they’re on the right track.’ Will Leaf fans ever ever admit they’re being duped? Or is it like how few victims of cybercrime go to the cops cause they’re too embarrassed to admit they were swindled?

  29. Art says:

    @Rob J

    Thing is the average fan can’t buy tickets anyway. Leafs tickets are almost all corprately owned. To them it’s a buisness expense. The big companies can afford the hike especially if they believe that it’s a good way to entertain clients and customers and drive sales.

    From what I hear only 1000 tickets per game are available to the general public. If thise 1000 fans all boycott then there will be another 1,000,000 just waiting to take their place.

    And even if there isn’t well 1000 empty seats is still not that bad when your grtting top dollar from the other 18000.

  30. mario says:

    I personally PVR Tim & Sid and watch PTS, just see what guest they have on watch from there. I do enjoy both and tune into the drive occasionally.

  31. Mike V says:

    No one is forcing anyone to renew their season tickets. If the people (or corporations) holding them are willing to pay 2% more per game next year (about the rate of inflation – not outrageous by any means) then that is their prerogative.

    There are a number of factors in play here. Corporate expenses is one but also family ties. The individuals who still have seats likely had them handed down to them through generations and/or planning to give them to the kids one day. Scarcity value is another one. Once you give up the tickets you aren’t getting them back in two or three years time so you hold them through the cycle.

  32. Sam says:

    Last year when sportsnet decided to take tim&sid off 1-4 slot on radio and put them on tv it ruined a good thing they had. Brady and Walker were good on the morning show and tim and sid were great in the afternoon on radio. I love tim and Sid on the radio because they had 3 hours to talk about whatever they wanted without having to promote a sponsor or go on a commercial break. There radio show allowed them to be interactive and just for the most part talk leafs, Jays, raptors and sometimes tfc. Again I wush for the best and maybe there ratings will jump when the jays start but if the show is ever cancelled I hope they go back to radio.

  33. yaz says:

    Naylor and Landsberg is great sports talk. You have two guys with a depth of sports knowledge that can have a vigorous debate without having to interview an ‘insider’. Great back and forth. Landsberg has taken a few unnecessary and over the top shots at Naylor however. Not sure if there is some old antipathy there. I’ll only turn over to Blundell if they start talking basketball.

    Compared to Blundell who has an insider on & says ‘What do you think the Leafs will do at the trade deadline?’ ( insert 5 minutes of insider blather ) ‘Do you think they trade Kadri?’ ( insert 2 minutes of blather) ‘What about Rielly, is he the only one you keep?’ ( 2 minutes of blather ). ‘Hey ( insert Insider name here ) Thanks for coming on brutha.’ << This was every day for 3 weeks leading up to the trade deadline.

    Walker's show losing momentum with all the live Jays games. Haven't listened to Leafs Lunch in weeks. Overdrive still going with 20 minutes of snooze-inducing Bob McKenzie talk in the 6 PM hour.

  34. Claire A Fye says:

    @DJ You are absolutely right when you say programmers are constantly trying to broaden their audience. They do a lot of research to identify who is listening, when, and for how long. That’s why you will hear a bit or a conversation repeated every couple of hours. If you’re listening a lot that can be annoying, but the fact is the average listener doesn’t . The topics of the day are pretty easily determined and you’ll hear them frequently. The opinions differ though and I maintain that’s how so many people determine who they like listening to. It’s kind of like music radio where you “play the hits”. Jamally you are clearly not a hockey guy and you wonder why basketball and the Raptors don’t get more coverage and discussion. It’s because the audience isn’t there…yet. Wait till the playoffs though; especially if the Raptors go far.

  35. Rob J says:

    A last-place team raising ticket prices knows full-well there are suckers born every minute. Throw in a little help from the media that owns the team and all is well at MLSE.

  36. Matty Zero says:

    Yeah, it was really enthralling radio hearing Naylor blather on about his (chest)nuts.

    Naylor and Landsberg so far is just ok…not terrible, but I’ll give it time to find itself. And by find itself, I mean that Type A personality of Landsberg basically taking over the show.

    I wonder if when Tim & Sid get cancelled, if they will talk about it incessantly like Landsberg does with OTR. *drink*

  37. Toronto guy says:

    I listen to WGT550 mostly in the morning. Lots of sports talk albeit Buffalo focused but it is much more interesting and fun compared to what 590 and 1050 offer.
    The afternoon drive with Schopp and the Bulldog never disappoints. Funny and intelligent.

  38. Rob says:

    “Another low is the worst team in the league raising ticket prices (yes you read that right) and no one points out the absurdity of it because ‘they’re on the right track.’ Will Leaf fans ever ever admit they’re being duped? Or is it like how few victims of cybercrime go to the cops cause they’re too embarrassed to admit they were swindled?”….

    Can Hab fanslaease go post somewhere else?…I’m a leaf fan, I don’t buy tickets. There are millions more just like me….the value of any product suct or service is subjected to !market conditions (a product is worht whatever someone is willAnother low is the worst team in the league raising ticket prices (yes you read that right) and no one points out the absurdity of it because ‘they’re on the right track.’ Will Leaf fans ever ever admit they’re being duped? Or is it like how few victims of cybercrime go to the cops cause they’re too embarrassed to admit they were swindled?

    ….Is this site going to deteriorate into a pissing match between Hab fans and Leaf fans…(Any idiot knows there should be 3 teams in S. Ontario, then the Leafs would have some competition for ticket sales). Until then, Hab fans (or Sens fans or whatever) need to look up “price elasticity”, then they need to take their thinly veiled, passsive aggressive insults and go piss up a rope.

  39. Rob J says:

    Thanks for the shout-out! What made you think I’m a Habs fan? My comment was the media angle where these days anything the Leafs do is applauded by the media literally with no questions asked. (Haha, Habs fan…right…)

  40. Art says:


    I’m the Habs fan not Rob J.

  41. Original Mitch says:

    Speaking of ticket prices and corporate greed I wonder if Rogers will cease employee discounts to Blue Jays tickets like they did last year when the team got good.

  42. Sam In Scarb says:

    Tim & Sid are horribly mis-cast by rogers by doing nothing more than a 2 hour daily infomercial for the owners sports product coming up that evening on their group of stations.
    People who should not be heard or seen in the Toronto media market:
    shannon,cabbie,millard,lance brown,wheeler,rustic,ennis,tabler.

  43. EX -SN says:

    I worked on Tim and Sid (both radio and TV) and the show was put in place to “rejuvenate” a stale timeslot on TV. The evening Connected/Central show with Hazel was stagnant. The idea was to take some of Tim and Sid’s radio success and see if it transferred to TV and compete with OTR.

    The criticism about it being a long commercial for the hockey broadcast is accurate, but that was never a hidden fact. The show is a lead in to the evening shows/games on SN.

    I will say that the show has relied too much on Sid’s frat boy humour, with cheesy bits, or Sid saying something controversial to stir up some ratings. On radio his rants felt more organic/genuine.

  44. Darrell says:

    The way the FAN 590 is – can anyone honestly tell me anyone better is on the radio vs. Tim + Sid? Tim + Sid are the best personalities on Sportsnet or the FAN 590.

    Put them back on the radio and in my ideal world, throw the money their way and present them the 5:30 AM – 9 AM morning show. I’d give them another hour and take away an hour of “The Ah Jeff Blair Show”.

  45. Rob J says:

    I’m not a Tor sports fan so it doesn’t bother me outside of being a media junkie plus I’m not just being nostalgic but if they’d kept the Landry-Stellick morning show, Mike Hogan, Barb DeGuillio, and T and S leading into PTS with Brunt as co-host, this board would be empty cause we would be satisfied. They made drastic cuts-changes for no reason and haven’t gotten it ‘right’ since. PS for Landry fans, he gave a very insightful and honest interview to Toronto Mike recently, including when he knew he was dead man walking

  46. dre dre says:

    Hello sports fans . If Larry Tanenbaum decided to sell his 25 % of Mlse between of bell or rogers would win the bidding war ? Or would telus or shaw try to get a piece of the pie also

  47. Art says:

    @Rob J

    I agree about Landry & Stelleck, Tim & Sid as a Lead into PTS, And about Brunt as a CoHost.

    But Mike Hogan?

    Thank Guy was THE WORST. Flat out boring radio. I would rather listne to 680 news than him

  48. Pete says:

    Can someone explain this to me. On Saturday night, Rogers had the Leaf game on both CBC and City. What’s the purpose of that? I thought whole point of the multi-channel platform was to have (for example) the Leafs on CBC, the Habs on City, the Sens on Sportsnet and the Jets on Sportsnet One. Does that suggest anything?

  49. Nick says:


    I really enjoyed Landry and Stellick in the morning, so much so that I never even listened to another radio station on my way to work. However as a 50 yr old male, the Fan no longer cares for my demographic and as a business person I get it. The new guys and even the previous new guys just don’t do it for me. This is why I now have iTunes and listen to podcasts on the way to work now.

  50. Art says:

    don’t worry Nick I’m 36 and they don’t seem to care about me either.

  51. scarboro_scamp says:

    I’ve really been enjoying Naylor and Landsberg in the morning. They have not done anything to make me change the station at all. They both know a lot about sports, can bring the humour, and generally keep me entertained. It’s nice to have some stability in the mornings again.

    (Like others on the board, I’ve enjoyed Landry and Stellick, Brady and Lang, and Brady and Walker. The other shows just haven’t held my attention at all. The only time I listened to Blundell was the day AA announced he wouldn’t be returning and I wanted to hear the Rogers’ insiders express their views. Other than that, just didn’t grab my attention.)

  52. Andrew says:

    Count me in for Naylor & Landsberg. Good flow, smart guys. As for the OTR references, trying doing the same job for 18 years and see how easy it is to move to a new job and never mention the old one.

    I think the Overdrive guys will figure it out. It’s easy to listen to. I’m guessing when Mike & Mike started Mike Golic didn’t know much about anything other than football and they’ve done ok.

  53. jbg says:

    @dre dre

    I suppose should research first. But isn’t part of the ownership agreement that neither bell or Rogers buys Tannenbaum shares? I know he has first refusal of theirs but thought something like that was in place to avoid a one step coup.

  54. dogpounder says:

    “What was once an intriguing forum for Sports talk radio has, sadly, turned into a virtual nonstop whiny bitch fest. Very much miss the old days of this site.”


  55. Art says:

    Actually it has now become a bitch fest about how others are bitching.

    Although I suppose I just bitched about people bitching about other’s bitching.

    So I guess one way or another we are all a bunch of bitches.

    That said. Landsberg & Naylor suck!

  56. Brandon says:

    Yes, I’m in also on Landsberg and Naylor. I feel like more people have mentioned things they heard on their show since it started than the entire run of Richards on TSN Radio. Hurts, but it’s true!

    I admit I’m listening for Landsberg because he entertains and has some energy to him. That’s all I want in the morning. Know your stuff and be excited. I haven’t bothered with Blundell but I’m clearly not the only one. The difference is some of you tried it and moved on. I admit to never giving it a chance and have no regrets. The funny thing is it just sounds like he doesn’t know sports well enough and is boring and there certainly isn’t a star presence with him that can compel people to listen.

    I think Brady and Walker or Brady and Lang or Stellick and Landry were the kind of shows that appealed to me in that slot. I didn’t like Krystal, and knew I wouldnt like this. It’s still amazing someone thought this would be a big hit, but if that decision maker was moved out of The Fan quite quickly afterwards, it explains everything. If TSN’s morning show can’t close the gap on a show people seem to universally dislike, then maybe the ratings game really is fixed in some way or another.

    I admit to not having listened in the afternoons much but McCowan doesn’t do it for me anymore and I’m happy to move on to something else. Maybe the Golic comparison is a fair one for Jeff O’Neill, but remember, you can probably talk football anytime in the States on national radio, it’s a little bit harder to do that with the NHL. Playoffs sure, but it’s a long season, and the games don’t mean as much as NFL games do, and college football is so huge, that Golic probably only needs a passing knowledge of basketball and baseball. I’d say that here, you get exposed pretty fast if you don’t know those sports well, especially given the Blue Jays popularity.

  57. Not that Chris says:

    Seems like a Fan 590 ticket contest went, well bad. Seats were bad, morning show hosts were supposed to meet and greet with them and didn’t. Say what you will about, Blundell, but he’s doing his best to twitter right now to make it right.

  58. Art says:

    @Brandon If it seems like more people have mentioned things on Naylor and Landsberg, Maybe it’s just people giving the show a shot.

    Most of what I have heard has been negative. I myself gave them a shot. I feel like 32,000 OTR references was more than enough. I haven’t listened in a couple of weeks and I don’t miss them at all. I didn’t hear any of this inelegant sports talk I was promised. All I heard was Landsberg mentioning OTR every chance he got, Naylor bringing up old interviews, Landsberg trying his hardest to be a ass to Naylor and a bunch of self promotion.

    I don’t think these guys know a tenth as much about sports as people claim they do. Naylor talks like a writer and Landsberg a talk show host. Which is to say they are better at talking about the issues around the game be it social, systemic or financial.. but offer very little in terms of game evaluation, talent observation. tactics, or even GM strategy.

    I heard very little specifics about any of the day to day operations of sports clubs, very little about what the Leafs should do next in terms of building their club.

    frankly I don’t even know what I heard. It was all a bunch of nothing. There wasn’t any content of value, there sure as hell wasn’t any comedy. It is really nothing but the Michael Landsberg show about well Michael Landsberg. Sports isn’t the topic it’s the excuse for him to talk about himself and his old show.

    The show is considerably worse than I had imagined it would be.

    It blows my mind that anyone likes this crap. I don’t know maybe it’s a age thing? I read a number of people here claim to be 50 or over. Is that what it is am I just too young to see things like the rest of the people here.

    I would very much like to know everyone’s age when they post. Just to see if there is a consensus among age groups.

  59. Golden J says:

    @Original Mitch

    Rogers already cancelled Canadian Music Week trips and seminars for it’s employees corp-wide. Toronto will be a whole heck of a lot quitter come early May.

    Budgets are so frozen at Rogers right now (radio stations, not sure about TV) you can’t buy a stapler until Q2.

  60. Jp says:

    I’m so sick of all the Edwin / Bautista contract talk on the fan and rogers in general… Shi Davidi was on like 4 different Rogers shows across the board talking about it… Why it’s such a sensitive topic for those Rogers shills with baseball richest owner is beyond me… Everybody has their own idea how much money they should get… Who cares it’s not your money or your business how much they are paid.

  61. Big G says:


    Rogers is not basesballs richest owner, by assets maybe, but by dollar value Rogers isn’t close. Yankess merchandise revenue alone matches the earnings of Rogers biggest division, the same can probably be said of the L.A Dodgers ownership, cubs etc.

  62. dm says:

    bring back brady

  63. Original Mitch says:

    They cancelled the employee Blue Jays discounts last year in September. I thought that was so funny. These people had been supporting the Jays for years and when team gets good…see ya! more $$ to be made, but thanks for your years of loyal support when few others were there!
    Typical Toronto franchise.

  64. Alex says:

    First thing i hear at 5 on PtS are the words “pitch count” and “innings limit” and i turned off before i could hear “babied” and “four man rotation.”

  65. Rob J says:

    For all those who defend Rogers (or question criticism of same) as an owner of an mlb team,’The Comeback’ site ranked all 30 owners, and it came up a less than mediocre 23rd.

  66. Cirroc says:

    I know it’s not new news, but would it kill TSN radio to get a better signal? I’m trying to listen to overdrive at home and it’s pretty gruesome.

  67. Curt says:

    “What was once an intriguing forum for Sports talk radio has, sadly, turned into a virtual nonstop whiny bitch fest. Very much miss the old days of this site.”

    I keep hearing this. But when were these grand old days exactly? I’ve been a reader and occasional poster on this blog for years and I don’t remember when it wasn’t full of criticism – and rightfully so.

    The quality of sports media in this country, particularly in radio and tv, is awful. I’m sorry if that’s offensive to people on this site who are in the business, but let’s be honest about it. Listeners/viewers are the consumers, and as such, they are entitled to criticize as much as they want – particularly in a blog that asks for opinion.

  68. Bill Stewart says:

    After watching for awhile…why not make Chantal Desjardins or Petrillo new host of HNIC? Both very accomplished and miles above what is there now.

  69. Matty Zero says:

    Especially on said blog’s open thread!

  70. William D says:

    Liberal government in todays budget promised to restore funding to the CBC. I wonder if CBC will be back in the bidding for the NHL rights when they are up for renewal.

  71. Rob says:

    Zelkovich’s weekly column on Yahoo reporting sports ratings is an absolute joke. For some reason, this guy loves taking hits at TFC TV numbers yet misses other “TV ratings” stories amongst Toronto sports teams that are much more troubling.

    After two regular season games where the team played away, in a league that gets little to no coverage on any of the networks, he was quick to point out TFC’s poor TV numbers. Fair enough, the numbers were piss poor. But the question I ask is where is his 750 word column posing questions about the Raptors ratings lately? The fact that the Raptors play in one of the most recognized sports leagues in the world, have one of the best teams in the league and get far more coverage than let’s face it, a second tier soccer league that barely has 20 years of history, has yet to spark a whole column is questionable. The Raptors play in a league with the Golden State Warriors, Kobe Bryant, and Lebron James and are pullling in ratings similar to amateur sports or overseas soccer matches… that is kind of scary and a very good story for a media columnist to write about. Working for Yahoo, I would assume there isn’t anybody really questioning his objectivity (really, do they know he exists?) but if he wants to come across as a credible source for sports media in Canada he needs to throw his bias out the window. For some reason, maybe it just generates clicks, he quite often goes out of his way to point out TFC and soccer in generals pitfalls without really paying attention to the current troubling Toronto TV sports stories.

  72. Golden J says:

    @William D

    CBC president Hubert Lacroix has said that the corp is out of the sports game. Obviously this is false, Olympics, but I think he and management meant to say they are out of the sports league rights game. Too pricey to enter, operation costs too expensive. CBC cannot sign 12-year escalating rights agreements because they do not have a way to cover costs if they exceed their yearly budgets.

    In my opinion the biggest issue with NHL rights is the diminishing returns. In 10 years it is just as likely that hockey ratings return or exceed record numbers as it could see 25% of annual hockey audiences just ‘disappear’ and never return on a weekly basics. It will be really interesting to see in 2025 or so whether or not sports leagues will be able to ask providers for even bigger rights deals or will we begin to see smaller, shorter deals as sports viewership in general diminishes.

  73. Matty Zero says:

    @Rob When it comes to the Raptors and the NBA, we are similar to a winning Southern NHL market. Yes people will go and are excited when they win, but there is no depth to the market and it can turn anytime. It is like the old saying about the Blackhawks…they have 50 thousand hardcore fans, and half of them go to the game.

  74. Rob in Aurora says:

    Are the Raptor ratings as bad as all that? I doubt it is as dire as Rob posted earlier. Soccer fans are very protective of their sport. I think that’s great. I think the sport will grow once the kids playing soccer become part of the demographic that makes a difference or really counts (18-54)….North American soccer can’t compete With EPL, but it’s growing anyway.

  75. Rob In Aurora says:

    By the way: I just read Zelkovich’s column on Yahoo. As usual, it was to me quite well written, concise and informative. I see no need to insult his objectivity, he isn’t biased – He sure calls a spade a spade when it comes to the hockey ratings. Rogers has got to be hurting. (Egg on faces, etc). He doesn’t go after quality of content as an explanation (however I think that he should).

    He did comment on the Raptors poor ratings too. I gather the NBA just doesn’t resonate in Canada outside the GTA (Not too hard to figure that out by the numbers)…TSN will want to change that as they don’t have enough hockey in their lineup now. But if the rights are reasonably priced, maybe having Barkely and Shaq on their air when the raptors are not on will help to back-fill the gaps in the lineup that hockey left from Mon-Fri during prime time viewing.

  76. Original Mitch says:


    Dude I don’t know what article you read but the latest ratings report barely even mentions TFC, goes into decent details about raptors and brings up hockey ratings in an interesting point. Zero bias in that particular article

  77. Mike V says:

    I think Rob is referring to the previous two weeks where he did go into detail about TFC and the very poor ratings.

    I don’t find Zelkovich to be that great – he often misstates things or forgets what he’s previously written and could definitely use an editor – and of course he has biases like everyone does but I also don’t see how mentioning that an audience of 62,000 viewers for a Toronto team is extremely low is proof of that.

    As for the Raptors… it’s a team that is a game behind the Lebrons for first in the East, looks set to beat the franchise record for wins by 6 or 7 and yet viewers are down 15% yoy according to Bruce Arthur. I think it’s been more than proven by now that they have a niche following relative to other sports. There are enough diehards to fill the building and ensure they will be viable in Toronto but the mainstream sports fan, much less the average joe on the street, just isn’t engaged. They’ll pop in the playoffs for sure and if they can get to the Eastern finals might even get 3M a game. Next season? Would not be shocked to see games all the way back down in the 200-range.

  78. Big G says:

    I wonder if we are seeing a big shift in peoples priorities, People consuming less sports and sports media and focusing more on the things that will shape our world in the coming years such as technology, politics, finance and education. One has to wonder if the smoke screen in front of reality called sports is now being taken at face value.

  79. Art says:

    For those of you who are big fans of Jeff O’Neill, He is on this weeks episode of Bastl’s Bytes the David Bastl podcast. you can check it out on iTunes or

    He talks about no Canadian teams in the playoffs, The Leafs, Mitch Marner, William Nylander, As well as a look back at his playing days.

    Also on the show Jays talk, NCAA, NHL in Vegas and NBA talk.

  80. Rob J says:

    Did you say the discussion featured Nylander AND Marner!? Be still my heart! The least talked-about prospects in sports history finally get their media due.

  81. Art says:

    @Rob J Ha Ha yeah there is a lot of talk about them out there, but even if you don’t care to hear about them it’s still a great interview.

    He doesn’t just hype them up, he is a little critical and voices concern about the Leafs prospects and the Leafs rebuild.

    I don’t want to spoil the interview talking about it too much but he says a few things that really surprised me. a few opinions I strongly disagreed with. But it was fun to hear him be bold.

    I also really liked hearing him talk about why he chose 92, his Whaler days, his kids and his memorabilia and some of his old team-mates.

    It was really good.

  82. Hugh says:

    @ Cirroc

    THANK YOU. I am surprised this does not get mentioned more often on this site but a MAJOR reason that TSN radio doesn’t get higher ratings is that THEIR SIGNAL SUCKS. They have to bite the budget bullet and increase the signal. I want TSN radio as an alternative to FAN590 but their signal gets too much static when I leave Toronto, driving home in Durham. That’s pathetic, really.

  83. Rob says:

    To I think Mitch and Rob in Aurora who responded to my post from yesterday… I just find that there is a bias in his body of work. Yes, he calls a spade a spade in the sense that TFC’s ratings are bad, real bad and he has every right to state that. However, he fails to headline that or post a full column about the Raptors TV ratings this season while over the years he has made a habit of doing so with TFC for some reason. A headline and full article on one team but a slight mention on another is IMO writing with a bias. I am just questioning why TFC earns a headline and full article for poor ratings after two road games in the context of the MLS while the Raptors are only receiving just a slight mention in the context of the success of their season and the worldwide popularity of the NBA.

  84. Marcus says:

    @Art that is an interesting idea to profile our demographic when posting. You had the guts to start, I’ll continue. I’m 50, male, and consider myself a casual sports fan. I know the general rules, history and trivia of several major league sports, but have not played any at the high school level or beyond, and am not a statician, geek expert, or superfan.

    I do find the issues surrounding sports interesting i.e. the financial and social, but I liked it better when they were part of the mix rather than dominating it. I agree with you that this seems to be where Landsberg and Naylor are going. Landsberg is definitely a generalist and casual fan. To Naylor’s credit, he does know the nuts and bolts of certain sports, especially football, and when kept to the game itself, has a lot of interesting comments to make. But it seems that the mass media has been hijacked by the “culture wars” brigades so that we have liberal- or conservative-biased agendas shoved down our throats in the guise of, among other things, sports commentary. Sometimes, professional sports is central to a social issue i.e. concussions and the unwritten sacrifices asked of employees by employers. But more often than not, it is peripheral to what is going on, and we don’t need the in-depth analysis of, for example, tweets from sports figures on Arab Spring or what have you.

    In short, there is CBC, CFRB, AM640, etc. if you want to talk politics ad nauseum. It would be nice to hear the sports stations get back to sports. ESPECIALLY in the morning.

    TSN1050 signal – agreed. It is terrible. Out in the burbs, or driving along Carlton , it whistles and screams and fades out. Is the technology to improve it really out of their reach?

  85. Anthony says:

    ‘Drumanchor says:
    March 19, 2016 at 10:04 pm
    What was once an intriguing forum for Sports talk radio has, sadly, turned into a virtual nonstop whiny bitch fest. Very much miss the old days of this site.

    Rob J says:
    March 19, 2016 at 10:11 pm
    Totally agree. The ad hominem attacks at guys like Shannon Landsberg and Wheeler go beyond the bounds of legitimate criticism. Seems like it’s a game of who can one-up the previous insult. Say it to the guys’ face and I’ll respect it.’

    Its amazing what its become. From great intelligent dialog to bitch fest. I couldn’t make it though this page because how negative and ‘everything is awful’ comments. Just because someone says something you don’t like doesn’t mean he’s a bad broadcaster and needs to be attacked on here.

    Man, I too miss the old days.

  86. greg w says:

    i still remember the day rogers did the big radio shake up announcement which included tim & sid moving from radio to tv … sid was hosting alone … and was NOT at all happy … i’m sure behind the scenes they’re both unhappy too … unless the increase in pay fixed that … loved them 1-4

    really hoped tsn would put something better from 9-12 … blair is unbearable … can’t handle someone who takes 3 minutes to complete a sentence and then repeats it 8 times

    wheeler is almost cute the first few times you hear him, but then it’s just annoying … cauz spends way too much time trying to be funny …

    bryan hayes needs to be more of a host and let his experts do the analysis … i don’t need to be told 300 times why the leafs made this move or why they are rebuilding … he just rambles and rambles while the guys who actually played sit there and have to listen … tsn has a lot of non-experts … anyways … it’s still better than what PTS has become … mccown’s guests are old and boring and all bob does is try and play blue jays gm …

    greg brady may talk too much (he never pauses or takes a breath) but i’d love to see tsn put him 9-12 whenever he’s available …

    lastly, i know it’ll never happen, but the guy who SHOULD have his own show (if he wasn’t so busy with hockey) is elliote friedman … very smart, funny, thoughtful, and always does well with listener calls when bobcat is away


  87. Not That Chris says:

    To all complaining about TSNR signal strength, and yes, it sucks, they can’t just increase the signal strength if they wish to. It’s a matter of where you are on the dial. It’s why the Fan moved from 1430 to 590 years ago (and 1430 was way worse). Some AM stations are forced to power down in the evening so they don’t interfere with other stations in other markets on the same frequency because signals travel farther at night. Some don’t have to power down. It’s why at 2-3 AM in the morning, if you’re in Toronto, you can pick up 660 WFAN out of NYC fairly clear, but if you’re in Brampton, 1050 TSNR is static.

  88. Mike S says:

    I have enjoyed OverDrive so far, even though the three hosts haven’t been together for very many shows yet………..the biggest weakness of the show, as many people predicted, is Jamie McLennan’s complete lack of knowledge (and lack of interest) of any sport other than hockey………they have been able to overcome it so far but it will be much tougher once the Jays season begins and the Raptors playoffs begin

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