TSN1050 Shuffles the Deck

February 6th, 2016 | by mike (in boston)
TSN1050 Shuffles the Deck
business of sports
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by mike in boston @mikeinboston and TSM @yyzsportsmedia

 

Note: Seen & Heard will return. We made an editorial decision to bump it in order to cover the big news of the week in more detail.

 

We had been hearing rumours of changes coming but neither of us knew they would be coming this week. TSN1050 program director Jeff MacDonald has been on the job for a year and has finally put his own stamp on the line-up. On February 22nd TSN will reveal several new and revamped radio shows in an attempt to establish some market share against local behemoth the FAN590.

 

Let’s take a quick trip back 5 years ago when TSN radio was launching. Here is what they were saying:

 

“TSN’s mandate has always been to be Canada’s Sports Leader and TSN Radio 1050 gives the network yet another platform to deliver industry-leading sports coverage to Canadians across the country,” said Phil King, President of Sports and Executive Vice-President of Programming, CTV. “The powerful combination of TSN’s all-star broadcast team and CHUM Radio – one of the most successful radio organizations in Canada – enables TSN Radio 1050 to make an immediate impact on the sports radio landscape.”

 

In their wildest nightmares no one at TSN could have predicted how poorly the network would fare over the next 5 years. TSN1050’s opening day line-up featured popular FAN960 (Calgary) host Mike Richards in the morning, and James Cybulski (& a company including producer Wheeler, then Gentile, and finally Macko) in the afternoons. In between was Dan Patrick, Leafs/Blue Lunch, and Bryan Hayes. You can read some TSM reader reaction here.

 

By February of 2012 Patrick was gone and the Scott MacArthur show took over 9-12. By February of 2013 C-balls was booted from TSN, radio rookie (edit: Naylor did a lot of radio between ’92 and ’00) Naylor was brought in to handle 4-7, and Macko& Cauz took over 9-12 from MacArthur who was moved to the Jays beat. Read the reaction here. This is more or less the line-up that would last for the next 3 years.

 

In its 5 years in the market TSN1050 has struggled mightily with a weak signal, inept podcasting practices, and terrible ratings. The current changes reflect the biggest attempt since 2013 to try something new on the content side. Here are our impressions of the new line-up.

 

Mornings with Landsberg & Naylor

 

MikeThe biggest reason to love this show is that it will once again provide a sports focused option in the mornings. That was Brady&Walker’s biggest asset and it was sorely missed when the FAN brought Blundell on board. Whatever else may be true of Landsberg and Naylor as personalities, both are highly credible on all Toronto sports and on national stories.

 

My biggest questions are the following:

 

1) Can Landsberg sustain enough energy for 3 hours of live radio 45+ weeks a year? He’s been in TV for a very long time and radio is a different animal. I genuinely don’t know how he will handle this aspect of the job, especially since it involves getting up at 4am.

 

2) Does Landsberg still have the passion for sports? Anyone who follows him on Twitter knows how important his mental health advocacy is. If that dominates his on air contributions then I can imagine listeners quickly tuning him out. He will be able to coast on his banked reputation from his TV days with some segment of the audience, but the younger part of the demo will need to be won over.

 

3) Is this the right role for Naylor? As I have written before, Naylor was a huge step up from Cybulski and provided a great alternative to Bob while still being in the same ballpark. Naylor struggled as a host though: too often he got caught up trying to compete with his co-hosts when what he needed to do was guide the discussion. In some ways the new role will be easier, since Landsberg will be the high energy character. Dave just needs to play it straight and deliver solid sports takes in order to do his part.

 

4) Can this duo make gains against the FAN? This has a very Marsden & Derringer feel to it, which could mean good things for TSN. Both guys are recognizable and relatable. I reckon there will be very little shtick, and the excursions into the world beyond sports should be few and far between. Please — no Oscars talk or Trump v Sanders discussion. I also reckon the guest list will be reliably good. Both guys are well connected.

 

Overall this has the potential to draw in a different audience than Richards’ show, and to bring over sports fans from the FAN. Bold move by TSN1050. Let’s see if it pays off.

 

TSM: This is a HUGE win for the Toronto Sports Fan!  When Don Kollins yanked Greg Brady and Andrew Walker off the air, that was the last time Toronto had a real sports radio morning show.  No pressure on Naylor and Landsberg!  For my two cents, TSN has made a major advance here.  They have two guys who can talk sports with the best of them.  They also have guys who can talk about pop-culture and the news of the day.

 

My questions? The first one for me is which Landsberg shows up.  There was a time when Michael was high energy and lots of fun to listen to.  IMHO, it’s been a while since we’ve seen that.

 

Next, How will Landsberg do on radio.  Again, IMHO, I think he was made for radio, and sports radio in that.  I think he’s a lot like John Derringer when he joined the fan back in the day.

 

The next question is, how will Naylor and Landsberg do together.  Let’s hope they avoid the “bit” radio that seems to be the norm these days.  Chemistry is important and it will be interesting to see how these two vets work together.

 

The Answer? No matter what, this will NOT be any worse than what we’ve had for awhile.  Talk about setting the bar low.  This will be a huge improvement for those of us who are in our cars in the am.  Not only is this an alternative to the Fan, it’s an improvement without hearing a word of it.

 

Afternoon drive with Hayes & O’Neill

 

TSM: If ever there was a crew who replicates what it would sound like if my friends and I had microphones on us talking sports, Hayes and crew would be it.  No, they don’t just talk hockey.  They talk baseball (Jays), they talk football (superbowl) and they sound like a bunch of guys who just plain love talking sports.  They are younger, more fun and bring a sense of humour that will be more than just a McCown alternative.

 

Questions: First up, do they alienate their audience who loves them in the noon slot. Leafs Lunch with this crew was the best show on TSN 1050.  Moving them later vs. the KING could kill two birds with one stone, and I don’t mean that positively.

 

Secondly, how will the show play in non hockey high times. Toronto is not a hockey town.  It’s a Maple Leafs city.  Let’s face it, from the day after the NHL trade deadline until the draft and free agent day, hockey will be challenged from an interest level by Blue Jays baseball and Toronto Raptors playoffs.  If you don’t believe that, take a look at how much Jays talk there has been on McCown’s show this year post Jays season.  The audience won’t care all that much about the Leafs on March 7 or April 7 and when the Leafs aren’t involved the ratings on hockey take a hit.  Can these guys keep an audience or gain when in those hockey dead times will make or break the show.

 

Mike: This is by far the biggest risk that TSN is taking with these moves. If this doesn’t work then you will have taken your most valuable brand (Leafs Lunch) and ruined it through overexposure and misuse. You will also have missed an opportunity to have something stable in place for when Bob retires. That said, this pair of moves is clearly a shot across the bow: they are moving their best people into the most important slots. If they make any gains, now all of sudden the FAN has to think about responding. Here are some questions I have:

 

1) Will people be interested in listening to O’Neill talk about the Jays and Raps? O’Neill is currently occupying the same space that Zaun does for the FAN. Big personality, big talk, big ego, ex-jock … All of that works in small doses if you care about the player’s perspective. Once he is talking about things he doesn’t know much about, the wheels come off the bus. Will O’Neill know to dial down the bluster when he doesn’t know what he is taking about? That’s not a switch that is easy to turn off. We shall see …

 

2) Why didn’t they give Hayes & O’Neill the morning show and keep Landsberg & Naylor in the PM slot? That seems less disruptive to me, and it buys you some time for Hayes & Co to develop as generalists before committing to them as the PTS alternative.

 

3) What happens to Mirtle and Feschuk and Graham and Hodge and the rest of the co-hosts? In one sense, it makes sense to keep them around to provide continuity. In another, it’s a terrible idea. I doubt guys with actual journalistic training are going to suffer through having to play third fiddle to the other two. I’m guessing a co-host clean slate is in order here. The aforementioned can always appear as guests if they want to. That said, if TSN stops employing them as co-hosts then they might jump ship over to the FAN for more exposure. The only person who makes total sense to keep around on a regular basis is Simmons. Something tells me he and O’Neill will be a riot together.

 

Some more thoughts: I have followed Hayes’ rise in Toronto sports radio since it began. My complaint has been the same throughout: I’m not sure he delivers enough interesting opinions to carry a show on his own. (This is not intended as a harsh criticism. Bob McCown doesn’t have enough interesting opinions in 2016 to carry a show on his own either.) In my humble opinion as a listener, Hayes has a derivative personality. He is currently most comfortable playing off the big personalities with which he is paired, whether that is O’Neill, Noodles, Bill Watters, or his dad. Just look at how much of how his persona is “I’m the guy who has to keep the O-Dog in check!!!” I’m not sure that is going to work well for 3 hours a day in a prime time slot.

 

Here is my suggestion for how to address this. Give Bryan 1 out of the 3 hours solo and don’t let him take calls or have a co-host. Let him do some interviews solo, and make him carry the conversation. If he is going to last in the PTS slot then he needs to develop as a leading man whose opinion people want to hear.

 

One other thought. My biggest complaint about TSN Drive was that each hour was littered with hockey talk. Feschuk or Simmons talking Leafs at 4, McKenzie at 5, Dreger at 6, and who knows who else in between. It’s too much, and it breaks up the coherence of the show. If this new show is going to be more than Leafs Lunch PM then please try to sequester the hockey insider segments to the 5pm hour, for example. PTS used to do a great job of building from local stories in the 4pm hour up to national stories at 6pm.

 

My hope is that TSN has an actual plan for how to make the show something other than an extended Leafs Lunch. Old habits die hard, and if left to their own devices the hosts will just settle in to what they already know how to do.

 

Middays with Mike Richards

 

Mike: Mike Richards has lasted 5 years as TSN1050’s morning show. He put up better ratings than anyone else on his station. For that he deserves a lot of credit. My guess is that he won’t last long in his new slot. There are other opportunities out there for Mike and if he sees one, he should jump. There is nothing left for him at TSN1050, especially not at a morning show salary.

 

As TSM notes, everyone in the industry regards the day time slots as a wasteland. We hear this all the time: no one is listening during the day and advertisers don’t care how good or bad your ratings are so long as M25-54 are listening on the way in to work or on the way home.

 

To be honest, I find this to be very 20th century thinking. Lots of people podcast shows, and time-slot doesn’t matter when you can listen to everything on demand. Lots of people (mercifully) don’t have to obey the strictures of the 9-5 work day and so are commuting later in the day, or not at all. Lastly, the morning commute ends long after 9am and roads seem to be packed going home before 4pm. So I’m not sure the old clock to which advertisers seem beholden is terribly accurate in 2016.

 

All of that to say that whatever TSN1050 does with and post-Richards, treating the time slot as a black hole would be a mistake. The FAN went from Tim&Sid, a strong show, to Walker&Brady, also a strong show. My suggestion is to surround Mike with some of your best young talent so that when he leaves you have some people ready andy waiting to take over.

 

TSM: If TSN wanted to tell the FAN there was a time slot they didn’t care about, this is the way to do it.  Sticking Richards in the purgatory time slot takes him from the most important show to the most meaningless (as Kollins did with Krystal and then Brady and Walker).  Perhaps Richard’s schtick will play better in a meaningless slot.  I can tell you for sure, this website will have a lot fewer comments about this show than anytime before.

 

I have only two questions: how long does Mike last in this slot, and does Vijay Singh go with him?

 

Mid mornings with Cauz & Wheeler

 

TSM: Not much changes here except perhaps a bit of permanence if the show is in fact their’s for the keeping.  For reasons I don’t quite understand, Jeff Blair’s show has not been a ratings success of late.  So, perhaps skewing a little younger will help generate an audience in a quite time.

 

Questions? Don’t really have any to be honest.  I happen to like both guys, but I am not in a position to listen all that often.

 

Mike: Nothing much to say here other than “get well Macko”. Macko&Cauz built a good brand together and it is a little sad for Cauz that he has to start from scratch.

 

The pairing of Wheeler & Cauz is not ideal. Both guys have that goofy and fast-paced approach so there is not enough contrast on the show. Macko was a very good ballast for Cauz. That said, both current guys bring wide sports knowledge and I rarely feel they are mailing it in. If Blair’s style and delivery are not for you, then C&W provide a plausible alternative.

 

Final Thoughts

 

  • TSN1050 should do whatever they can to get on FM. Many US based sports talk stations went FM years ago, with an interim period where they were on both AM and FM.

 

  • Jay & Dan might not be ready to come back just yet, but things are not going well over at Fox. See if you can get them to do some radio hits or host a weekly podcast.

 

  • Maybe call the new morning show “On the Record”?

 

  • Probably time for a new ad campaign to let people know TSN1050 exists.

 

  • Give some thought to poaching either Brady or Walker to join the 4-7 slot as a full-time co-host.

 

  • Nice work Jeff MacDonald. TSN1050 was DOA at launch with chucklehead shows in the morning and afternoon. This is much better. Better late than never …

 

  • Don’t reduce your baseball coverage in 2016. Rogers took a beating for the AA/Price/etc missteps in recent months. It is important that TSN (especially radio) be a regular voice on the Jays.

 

  • Lastly, fix your website. It’s a jumbled mess. Separate your video, audio, and columns. Also, provide clearer definition between original content and generic stuff I can read anywhere.

 

 

—–

 

Thanks for reading. We look forward to reading your ideas for where TSN1050 should go from here.

 

Mike and Jonah/TSM

42 Comments

  1. Rob J says:

    People with low ratings moving to different time-slots to attain similar numbers…big deal. But if they don’t need Bruce Arthur anymore, it’d be great to see a PTS reunion

  2. ShwaGuy says:

    One of the first weekends that TSN1050 started, I flipped over while out driving. What followed was a 5 minute rant by the ESPN host about how stupid hockey is. He mocked the sport, the fans and was pretty well insinuating that if you were a fan, you were homosexual. I’ve never tuned in again since and I never will. I don’t care who they put on the air, I’ll never give them one second of my time after listening to that 5 years ago.

  3. mario says:

    Thanks for a great read TSM, MIB and a lot of hard work for sure. This line up shuffle it a real make or break time for 1050. The most interesting moves are Richards and O’Neil they are both out there comfort zones. Not sure if O’Neil can carry the ball when it comes to other sports just not hockey. All of these moves with the different personalities and time slots is a huge gamble but something had to be done to compete with the Fan 590 but I am afraid it might be to late and should have been done a few years ago. Should be a interesting year.

  4. Too Much says:

    Corporations can only own two AM and two FM stations in one market. There is no way Bell is going to give up power houses CHUM-FM or Virgin to flip its sports station to FM. Bell will have to concentrate on improving its AM signal.

  5. Steve Jones says:

    I’d like to be all positive on this shuffle, but alas I don’t think it’s going to fix much in terms of numbers. I will also say I don’t have any great or even good ideas either. What they need, I think, is an new set of players. Who, where do they come from, no idea. So I’m no help there. But I do have opinions!

    On Hayes and O’Neill, look out below. I really like Leafs Lunch. The 3 man crew, the banter, it’s all good. But it’s a mid day single focus show. I think Hayes is good to go, but O’Neill is all puck. In drive you need to be way more diverse. And not just in the x’s and o’s. You need to discuss issues and I don’t think he s the guy. Maybe I’m wrong. But I don’t see this a viable show in terms of growing audience.

    Middays with Richards. It’s middays, it’s just there. It’s why Leafs Lunch worked, the time slot needs some sort of appointment. They created it and now have abandoned it. I understand why, but Richards won’t be that or anything other than what he is in the AM. He’s Jim Richards, on a sports station.

    Mid mornings will continue to suck. Sorry, I just can’t take Wheeler. I liked Macko and Cauz, I really like the “ballast” descriptor for Macko. He kept it all in check and his laid back style with Cauz just worked. With Wheeler and Cauz you have this kinetic dialogue that at times is wildly grating. It’s just too much.

    As for Brady, happily I doubt TSN would hire him after he basically, on a couple of occasions, called the station and staff losers. Can’t stand the guy.

  6. Mullah_Kintyre says:

    “This has a very Marsden & Derringer feel to it.”
    So, they’re going to pretend to get angry and argue with other, and turn the TSN1050 morning show into must-avoid radio? They were both recognizable and I thought Derringer was okay, but Jabba The Marsden was horribly unsuited for trying to be an entertaining on-air radio personality and was unlistenable in that role. I think during the time he was on the Fan I tuned in four times for about ten minutes each time, and I swear every time I heard him talking about physically attacking his boss when he got fired from CFTO. Did he tell that story every day because he thought he could scare the radio station management away from firing him?

  7. Kamlesh says:

    I remember Jeff Sammut telling a story that there was a new PD at 590 who wanted to meet after every show and go over it in detail. I’m assuming this was Don Kollins. Sammut said at first he wanted to quit the station but soon appreciated the meetings. Has 1050 had anyone who could do this? 590 has had Kollins and Millman. I think MacDonald came over from TV. I always liked Landsberg but he has no radio experience and would benefit from a Kollins-like treatment to help him make the transition. Maybe MacDonald should spend a few days in San Francisco with Kollins.

  8. Phil says:

    I agree with Rob J. The Fan should grab arthur if available. Also, the more I hear Walker, the more I think he should be the new host of PTS when Mccown retires. Really like Walker.

  9. Drumanchor says:

    I applaud TSN 1050 for the effort but can’t help but wonder if cancelling Leafs Lunch is a wise move. It has improved immensely and on certain days is must-listen radio.

    Time will tell.

  10. GreyCountyMike says:

    The potential of Landsberg in the morning is interesting. If I recall correctly, he wasn’t afraid to stir it up when on the Mojo 640 airwaves back in the day; even though that was the official Leafs radio station, he wouldn’t shy away from criticism of the team and, often, would stand up to renowned blowhard Bill Watters.

  11. Mullah_Kintyre says:

    correction to my above comment, should have been “argue with each other”.

  12. yaz says:

    What happened to all the comments for this same topic that started a couple of days ago? Why aren’t they visible? Never seen a post deleted before.

  13. Nick says:

    Finally! We have people who know sports, talk about sports. When the FAN took Brady and Walker off mornings, they told me they’re not interested in my demographic. I have nothing personally against Blundell, in fact my 25 yr old son thinks he’s great. Now hopefully 1050 will have a signal north of Steeles so I can listen for the whole commute rather than half of it.

  14. HRM says:

    Interesting changes. I will probably give Hayes and O’Neil a listen (mostly podcast). I really like their chemistry and I think O’Neill might be able to branch out from the topic of hockey if he does not try to do too much. Naylor and Landsberg do not excite me but I agree it will mean more ‘pure sports’ in the morning. I disagree with the majority on this site and do not really think Blundell is that out of his element. The show is professionally put together and more often than not pretty funny. I personally do not want to see Arthur on Sportsnet or anywhere else for that matter. The only enjoyable thing would be having him as a guest on PTS and having Bob put him in his place.

  15. Daniel says:

    I agree that Naylor – Landsberg would have been a more obvious fit for afternoon drive.

    But (as I said in a previous post) I think TSN knows they almost definitely aren’t going to make much of an impact against McCown while he’s around, so why not throw the big guns at Blundell, who is still very much a question mark.

    We’ll see how Landsberg/Naylor sounds, but I could see them beating Blundell. I’ve said this before, but I think Blundell might as well go half sports, half guy talk at this point. He’s not going to ‘out sports’ Naylor and Landsberg.

    I’m optimistic about their new morning show, but I think the rest of TSN’s lineup is pretty bad.

  16. Daniel says:

    Interesting that TSN is moving away from a noon hour hockey show. I’ve never been a fan of making a show all about one sport and only one sport. (What if something huge happens with a home team in another league that day?)

  17. Matty Zero says:

    I love Leafs Lunch, but have you ever heard O’Neill try to talk about something like the CBA? Oh boy…

    Looks like the NHL has hired the same ‘genius’ who designed Tsn.ca. In 2016, those websites are brutal!

  18. Art says:

    This will fail massively.

    Naylor is far too boring for AM Radio. And Landsberg isn’t any better. Richards and Bastl were a much better team they made us laugh on the way to work. That’s the point of a morning show. Your heading to work, feeling crappy you need somethibg to turn your mode around. Richards and Bastl did that. And they knew their sports too. I see a lot of comments trashing Richards for his goofyness and impressions. That was just part of it. Ofcorse Bastl did make the show a lit better than it is now. He added sports knowledgw interview skills and kept the convo going. Richards is much better when he has someone to engage him in atory telling. Shawn Levine doesn’t cut it. Firing Bastl was Jeff MacDonald’s first mistake. This new morning team is a massive diwngrade and they will fail. Hey is Naylor actually going to show up for work every day? I feel like the afternoon show had more days with guest hoasts then with him there.

    Cauz and Wheeler staying as is blows my mind. Does anyone ANYONE like Wheeler? The guy might be the most unpopular radio personality in the city. How do they not see it. The nerd show doesn’t work. Ditch Wheeler and give Cauz a better parter.

    Hayes and O’Dogg. Leafs lunch was working. It was the show with the greatest momentum. And now they messed it up. ODogg can’t talk anything but hockey. This too will fail.

    RIP TSN 1050 you’re done.

    I just hope the fan scoops up Richards, Bastl and ODogg they are very talented and should stay on the air.

    Ditch Blundell, Brady and Walker

  19. Mullah_Kintyre says:

    Not only is Naylor as dull as dishwater, but unlike in afternoon drive it’s difficult to line up interviews for early in the morning. That’s a big part of why you need personalities who can be entertaining on their own in the morning (not that it necessarily has to be ‘Crazy Ira And The Douche’ with fart noises and sound effects, etc.).
    It’s a bunch of seemingly pointless and maybe even counter-productive shifting around, unless they already have some bigger plan for a few months down the road to bring in a lot of new people and present contracts are set to expire by then.

  20. Brian Harvey says:

    I only listened to Leafs Lunch on 1050, with the upcoming changes I probably won’t be listening anymore.

  21. steph says:

    Richards shtick might have worked in Calgary, but it didn’t here. Those music intros were embarrassing to listen to. I hope Landsberg does well, my issue with otr is that it became too much of a “sick not weak” platform. Important stuff, but kinda a buzz kill. Hope it’s good. I’ll tune in, because blundell isn’t doing it for me. The evening drive slot isn’t fixed, but something new can’t hurt. Honestly I miss Tim and sid on the radio, it was a good show.

  22. Poker Guy says:

    Disappointed that Cauz and Wheeler are still on the air.
    Sad to see Leaf Lunch go.
    Interested to see what effect Landsberg has on the morning show.
    Richards is shuffled to ‘no man’s land’
    Overall, upon further thought, I don’t know if this is going to help. I know they have to try something, but I am not sure if they have the winning formula here.

  23. Rob J says:

    Have you guys heard? Sittler scored 10 points in a game 40 years ago…i think even the Weather Network aired footage and interviews.

  24. Not that Chris says:

    I was no fan of Don Kollins, but at least when he made “changes” at the Fan just over five years ago, he made real ones. Besides McCown, he blew out the all of the shows before PTS and brought in new talent. Some worked and some didn’t, but there were real changes. As someone mentioned in the other thread, TSNR is basically taking people nobody listens to now, and just rearranging when they appear.

  25. yaz says:

    Leafs Lunch has been my number one show for quite some time and I am very disappointed it is gone. With the Podcast, I haven’t missed a show in at least two years. McLennan should stay on Leafs Lunch for continuity and because McLennan’s live game calling and Hockey 2 Night responsibilities will keep him out of the 4-7 slot quite a bit anyway.

    O’Neill speaks with authority and conviction about hockey in an entertaining way, but not about anything else other than contracts or bad athlete behavior etc. The success of LL is because of the Hayes/O’Neill/McLennan synergy. Absent one of those 3, the show isn’t the same. McCown vs Hayes/O’Neill is like Charlie Rose vs Jimmy Fallon: the first may be qualitatively better than the latter but the target demo doesn’t give a shit.

    I disagree with breaking up TSN’s 4-7 hockey talk. When McCown is talking about the latest pair of pants he picked up at Korry’s or holding a mirror under Grange’s nostrils to see if he’s still alive, I know there is solid hockey talk on TSN at the same time every day so I go there. But I think they need to shed McKenzie; sure he knows his stuff, but he isn’t an engaging personality on TV or Radio. Go with Dreger at 5, anybody else at 6.

    Landsberg makes more sense in drive home but if you think about it, MacDonald is providing two counterpoints in the two most important time slots. A Leafs Lunch style show is now a counterpoint to the dry and disengaged McCown. And from 530-9am TSN now has experienced and knowledgeable sports guys to counter the stammering-interviewer-of-insiders: Blundel. I think Naylor is still under contract so that is likely the only reason they slipped him to mornings. The morning show is really the Landsberg show and Naylor is the next to go if it doesn’t work. Landsberg has a genuine interest in digging beneath the surface of many issues not just depression. But a 60 year old morning guy? I have to admit I unfollowed Landsberg on Twitter because he never Tweets about sports. Ever.

    All in all, you would expect more from a new PD than just shuffling the deck.

    • mike (in boston) says:

      great post Yaz.

      I agree that the motive here is to go for as much product differentiation as possible. Landsberg + Naylor in the PM is not nearly as different from PTS as Hayes & Co. Whether that will draw people away from PTS is very much an open question though.

  26. Alex says:

    I wondered why Naylor did not go to the Super Bowl or at least go to radio row. (Or did he go later in the week. I turned off Mondays show when bruce was not on and never went back.)

    Naylors show was a good alternative to weeks on PTS when Reid was co host. Dont know if i will bother now. Prob just go straight to podcasts weeks he is on now.

  27. steph says:

    A little off topic, but how in the name of everything good does the Fan keep sending John Shannon out there. It’s insane how stupid that guy sounds. Hughson couldn’t even level with him today. Absolutely brutal radio.

  28. James Canmore says:

    Toronto sports radio is DEAD! Bell and Rogers both own most of the sports teams and will only report on the teams they actually own, you need impartiality to have quality sports talk radio and Toronto doesn’t have anywhere to turn for that.

  29. Matty Zero says:

    @yaz That mirror under the nose bit was the funniest thing I’ve ever seen on this forum.

    @steph It’s a mystery. The only person who benefits from Shannon is his wife, because he’s out of the house from 9 AM to 2 AM almost everyday. Unfortunately, he turns up on every show on the radio and then on the screen at night.

  30. Rob in Aurora says:

    I’m done with sports radio in Toronto. I will switch to AM640 now. Or comedy to cheer me up. Nothing on either station is going to be worth listening to now….how is that even possible? I’m not exaggerating. I was once a fan listener. When Rogers bought the fan, it slowly and steadily declined in qualoty to the point where I just listened to Mojo radio. When TSN came along I welcomed the new alternative. But they mamnanaged to botch their programming. I did enjoy Macko and Cauz and Leaf’s lunch. Macko not being their and wheeler subbing made the show in listenable for me. Cauz can be a loose cannon and Macko kept the show (and Cauz) in line, while providing a foil and a laugh track for Cauz.

    Naylor ids a stiff, but some of his cohosts save his show. I am not a landsberg fan. I admire him as a person, his on air personna is grating. Mccown makes me feel 100 years old. I haven’t tuned in for several years….since the Bert Sugar days. Hayes can’t pull off drive time and O’Neil is out of his depth there. They will exemplify the Peter Principle on the new slot, just like Naylor and Cybulski did before them

    Anyway, I’m out. I’m moving on after listening to the fan since it started…

  31. Antonio says:

    Just once I would like to hear Grange finish a sentence. Every time he starts a rambling/stuttering opinion, he wastes so much time trying earnestly to get his point across, the other guy(s) will ultimately jump in and either finish his sentence or simply interrupt him and move on to another point.

    The guy is useless. How is he still allowed on the radio???

  32. Mike in Burlington says:

    These changes are further proof that Bell/Rogers simply don’t want to compete with ESPN or any other 21st century sports media. Sure, it’s live radio, but other than rush hour traffic updates and news, does live matter??

    Our data plan has 2.5 GB Of data, and streaming live radio via app is only 40mb/ hour, commercial free, FM quality sound, and 680 traffic is only 1 button click away.

    Glad to see guys ( not a woman in sight by the way!!) still working, but none of this will get me to give a shit about Toronto sports radio.

  33. Alex says:

    Imagine if this leags/sens trade had happened on first day of new lineups

  34. BoJack says:

    It’s almost as if Grange has put no time in to improving despite the obvious flaws. I don’t understand how people like Reid, Grange and Shannon never show any signs of getting better as radio hosts. Maybe no one cares??

  35. (Another) Andrew says:

    Bob didn’t think a Super Bowl featuring Peyton Manning’s last game (potentially) versus Cam Newton (one of the most talked about people in America) would be a ratings winner? Really? He’s talking about the NFL as if it is still a regional sport with fans mostly only watching if their team is involved like the other three main sports leagues.

    I’m done with sports radio in Toronto. I will switch to AM640 now

    Alas, AM640 is even worse.

  36. GreyCountyMike says:

    Bojack: I, too, have often wondered how those gentlemen continually get on the air. Grange, at one point, showed some small signs of improvement in his delivery, but has since fallen way back past where he started; Shannon may know a lot about the business of broadcasting, but he too has no place behind a mic. Their presence on the air can be so offsetting that their mere voices will sometimes distract the listener from the actual conversation taking place. It’s so ridiculous that you almost wonder if someone is playing a big joke on the market. It’s too bad, really, because Grange in particular does have some insights to offer; he’s not a dumb guy, just not a good broadcaster.

  37. (Another) Andrew says:

    I don’t understand how people like Reid, Grange and Shannon never show any signs of getting better as radio hosts. Maybe no one cares??

    The sports media scene here is very insular. Maybe they’ve figured out that unless they say something unPC they won’t ever be replaced by some outsider so there is little incentive to improve.

  38. BoJack says:

    Have Nylor or Hayes or Richards talked about their new time slots on air yet??

  39. Mike S says:

    If 1050 is going from Leafs Lunch at noon to Richards then that might be the biggest downgrade in a timeslot that I can ever remember……..I realize that timeslot is not very important but I listen a lot at that time so it’s something that will have an impact on me

    Jeff O’Neill was Naylor’s co-host once a week for almost an entire year and he did a decent job talking about non-hockey subjects………but there is a big difference between 3 hours once per week and 3 hours every weekday……….he does a lot of TV work on TSN at night so I don’t know how that might impact on his availability for the 4 to 7 radio show each day

    The new 1050 morning show should be a significant upgrade on Richards………I’m not a huge Landsberg fan and I don’t listen to sports radio in the morning very much but I’m happy there will now be a decent alternative to Blundell for those that do

    One of the strongest things about the old 1050 lineup was the various co-hosts on Naylor’s show (other than Tim Graham)……..if they aren’t featured prominently on the new Hayes/O’Neill show or on the other 1050 shows then I am skeptical that the new lineup will be a major improvement on the old lineup

  40. Rob says:

    So by the looks of it, Leafs Lunch is basically going head-to-head with PTS just not under the name “Leafs Lunch”. I think it’s a great move. Nothing to lose, balls to the wall. This is their best show, Toronto’s best sports show, may as well put it on the time slot that matters. I am an avid listener of this show and as long as they pickup where they left off with Leafs Lunch, this will be a great alternative for Toronto sports radio listeners.

    Those of you who are concerned that O-Dog isn’t an expert on sports other than hockey, well what makes the following credible on “multiple sports”?
    – Shannon
    – Reid
    – Madani
    – Cox
    – Brunt

    List goes on and on and on… At least he is a former jock and provides insights that those other guys can never have.

    This is a good thing, looking forward to it.

  41. dogpounder says:

    “Lastly, fix your website. It’s a jumbled mess. Separate your video, audio, and columns. Also, provide clearer definition between original content and generic stuff I can read anywhere.”

    THIS

    Why must podcasting a show on my mobile device be so so painful??

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