Toronto Radio Wars Heating Up

The first quarter book is up, here are the results:

Fan Mornings vs. 640- Not sports, but a comparison nonetheless

Men 25-54:
S1-2008 4.4 to 2.2 (fan was at 4.4, 640 at 2.2)
S1-2009 5.6 to 3.0 (fan at 5.6, 640 at 3.0)

So the fan morning show has grown from 1 year to the next. However:

Fan Morning Show from S4-2008 to S1-2009 goes 5.7 to 5.6
640 from S4-2008 to S1-2009 goes 2.6 to 3.0

Over the last quarter the fan share went from 5.7 to 5.6- not a huge drop, but a drop nonetheless.

HockeyCentral vs. Leafs Lunch

Men 25-54 S1-2008 3.8 to 4.8 (hockey central 3.8, LL 4.8)
S1-2009 6.1 to 3.3 (hockey central 6.1, ll 3.3)

Men 35-54 S1-2008 3.8 to 6.5 (hockey central 3.8, LL 6.5)
S1-2009 5.0 to 2.8 (hockey central 5.0, LL 2.8)

Leafs Lunch destroyed by Hockey Central… Leafs Lunch in S2-2008 was a 7.1 Millard and Kypreos are killing Dreger and Watters right now.

PTS vs. BWS: I am providing the last three years to try and offer some perspective on the headstart McCown had/has.

Men 25-54 S1-2007 9.9 to 1.9 (PTS 9.9, BWS 1.9)
S1-2008 9.0 to 3.2 (PTS 9.0, BWS 3.2)
S1-2009 7.3 to 3.5 (PTS 7.3, BWS 3.5)

Men 35-54 S1-2008 9.7 to 4.1 (PTS 9.7, BWS 4.1)
S1-2009 6.8 to 3.7 (PTS 6.8 BWS 3.7)

PTS in S4-2008 to S1-2009 was 7.8 to 7.3
BWS in S4-2008 to S1-2009 was 2.3 to 3.5

So, McCown is still ahead, in the one show that really counts, but his lead is shrinking, and Watters continues, as little TSM would say, slow and steady…..

I can’t imagine the folks at the fan are to elated with these results. I don’t the full set yet, but I am told that the Hogan/Toth numbers and the Armstrong/ MacLean numbers aren’t very good either.

680 remains the king of AM radio in Toronto

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April 2, 2009 1:54 pm

Don’t get why hockeycentral gets more listens than leafs lunch…millard is a bit of a douche and doesn’t know what hes talking about. Dreger has way better sources and seems to get better guests. They also talk more about the leafs and don’t employ howard berger

April 2, 2009 2:04 pm

I think leafs lunch dropped when dreger took over. as good as his sources are, he is not nearly as entertaining as brady (who I think is one of the best radio personalities in toronto).

as for the evening show, it astounds me that people still listen to the fan….so many lies and fabrications….and I can’t stand listening to jim kellie…his voice alone immediately causes me to change stations!

April 2, 2009 2:44 pm

Agree on Brady. He’s the straw stirring the drink, but he also gets absolutely everything he can from Wilbur. They’re a good pairing. McCowan has never had a partner in ANY era who he works as well with, as these two guys do.

Let’s put it this way, if McCown got run over by a bus tomorrow, there’s not too many guys in town who could fill his shoes. Brady might not, sometimes he’s too over the top, but he’d have the best shot to become a star in a changing radio landscape.

The cast of clowns outside of Brunt who McCown hangs with are killing him. Sometimes you have to cut ties with your old buddies.

Agree on Brady over Dreger. There’s only information – he is NOT an entertainer. It’s a lot like sideline reporters. They report. You couldn’t put them in the studio. But Brady doing two shows with Watters would be a bad idea. It’s just too much for them to work and for us to listen to.

April 2, 2009 3:04 pm

The cast of clowns outside of Brunt who McCown hangs with are killing him.

this is so true. his hackneyed curmudgeonly shtick really ramped up once he teamed up with the current crop of hangers-on.

Brunt’s intellect and his reluctance to go for the simplest level of discourse brings out good things in McCown. Friedman was a good pairing as well for similar reasons. The rest of the crew bring out the worst in him.

Mike S
Mike S
April 2, 2009 11:13 pm

Sometimes I find it hard to take radio ratings seriously……… we really believe that Leafs Lunch has dropped that much in the ratings in such a short time?

By the way, where are the preliminary ratings for the new Cox & Simmons morning show you mentioned the other day??……………..I have a feeling many people would tune in just to see how long they could go before killing each other……………I think the over/under would be about 3 days…………….maybe we can get Milbury and Strachan to co-host a show too………….and while we are at it maybe we can get Wilbur and Kypreos to get one too.

April 3, 2009 1:19 am

There’s a lot I don’t like about the Fan, but I find it much, much better than 640. Listening to that station, you’d think the only sport in the world is hockey, and the only team in the Leafs. It’s really boring, as far as I’m concerned.

I like the topics on PrimeTime, I find them interesting and well thought out. Whereas I really find 640 to be mostly ‘how about the Leaf game last night” etc. I really can’t listen to that station.

April 3, 2009 11:21 am

this is a town where the leafs are the only thing that matters, thus why 640 is able to survive. I find that brady touches on enough other topics to keep me apprised of what’s going on outside of hockey, but being only interested in hockey, it’s great for me.

brady does bring out the best of watters – he is SO much better than some of the other idiots they’ve had in the past.

I used to really like watters, but he’s hardening his old school mentality as of late (the ovechkin rants are too much). He’s great for the plethora of inside info we can get from him about the inner workings of an NHL team and some oldtime stories. Doug Maclean was great on the fan for this reason.

Mike S
Mike S
April 3, 2009 12:02 pm

I agree with LT about Doug MacLean…………I was sceptical when he first started but I have really started to enjoy him now………….his show with Armstrong is a significant improvement over Swirky’s show last year

April 3, 2009 1:41 pm

LT – I really disagree. 640 is able to survive with 4 hours a day of complete Leafs talk, at half the ratings of The Fan talking all sports 24 hours a day. If the Leafs are the only thing that matters in Toronto then why is that? Why does McCown have double the ratings when he frequently doesn’t talk about the Leafs at all?

Nobody is denying that hockey is huge here, but I really don’t understand why some hardcore hockey fans in this city seem to almost take pride in the fact that they don’t care about the non-hockey Toronto teams. And almost seem to actively route for baseball, basketball and football to fail – simply because this is Canada and it isn’t hockey.

I find that to be a really weird attitude. I can’t imagine that great American sports towns deal with this. Do hardcore Red Sox fans constantly put down the Pats, Celtics and Bruins like that? I doubt it.

I think there are a lot more hardcore Jays, Raptors and even FC fans in Toronto than some hockey nuts want to acknowledge. I wish a lot of Toronto hockey fans were a little more open minded.

April 3, 2009 3:29 pm

” Why does McCown have double the ratings when he frequently doesn’t talk about the Leafs at all?”

Are you kidding? Really? McCown’s show has been around 15 years. These guys have been around for 15 months? Do you have any idea what kind of headstart that is?

And Brady has constantly referenced how difficult it was to talk Red Wings in Detroit. All anyone cared about was Michigan football and the Lions. That’s how it goes. I bet the Bruins have a real tough time getting coverage in Boston.

You’re trying to suggest there’s an audience for the Blue Jays and Raptors to talk about them regularly. There isn’t.

McCown is sinking – no one debates that. The issue is how far he will fall.

Mike S
Mike S
April 3, 2009 3:58 pm

If having a headstart is a huge advantage then why is Leafs Lunch doing so poorly against Hockeycentral @ Noon (assuming the recent ratings are accurate) ??……………….Leafs Lunch has been around for about six years while HC has been around for less than two.

April 3, 2009 5:01 pm

Well, the Fan 590 has a sports show leading in HockeyCentral and AM640 doesn’t. That’d be one reason, and this is the first book in a while Leafs Lunch has lost. In the fall, according to TSM’s numbers, Leafs Lunch won. It’s tough running a news/sports station unless you were there FIRST.

April 3, 2009 10:26 pm

oh no…there are 2 LT’s…this is going to get confusing….I’ll have to sign as LT67 from now on….

April 3, 2009 10:44 pm

Daniel, my thoughts are much like julian’s. fan has been around so long and is so embedded. in time it will drop off. I agree there is too much leafs talk on 640 with too much of the same people. but it is just so much better than the fan.

mccown makes up stuff and forms his opinions on the fly simply to contradict his guests. that gets old real quick. one can spot it 10 minutes in advance. he talks way too much about boxing and horse racing in a town that really doesn’t care about either.

hockey is big here, and the other sports are great, but in reality, hockey is what people want.

April 4, 2009 3:25 am

Ah, it’s ok LT, we’ll just agree to disagree!

Mike S
Mike S
April 4, 2009 1:02 pm

McCown talks about horse racing no more than 3 or 4 times per year so I have no idea how LT can say that he talks “way too much” about it…………he did have Glenn Crouter on earlier this week, but then so did Brady yesterday………….there are plenty of things to criticize McCown about but this isn’t one of them.

April 4, 2009 3:23 pm

Also, there is without question an audience to talk Jays and Raptors regularly. The Fan DOES talk Jays and Raptors regularly.

C’mon guys, we’re not in Sudbury or Barrie here. Toronto is a big metropolitan city, the 5th biggest in North America. There’s a lot of people interested in a lot of things. Despite that some people think hockey is all that matters here – it’s not.

April 5, 2009 9:07 am

Size of city has nothing to do with it. If I hear a curler – which has happened on McCown, I’m gone. Never heard a curler on Watters’ show. If I hear a boxing reporter born in 1930, I’m gone. Never heard that on Watters’ show.

In the last six weeks, Watters and Brady have had JP Ricciardi, Bryan Colangelo, Aaron Hill, Charles Barkley, Phil Jackson, and some dude from Toronto FC (don’t remember his name, but I think it’s their captain), you’re acting like they should talk other sports AS MUCH as they talk Leafs/NHL. They shouldn’t. They’d never be digging into McCown’s numbers if they didn’t emphasize hockey so much.

They’re a much better listen for hockey fans than 590’s afternoon drive show. It’s not even close. If they tried to split hockey with basketball and baseball equally, Daniel…they’d DISAPPEAR! Poof, into thin air. Can you comprehend that?

They need to show they do the most important thing better than McCown. Mission accomplished. Now they seem to be branching out a bit more. We’ll see if it works. McCown sitting around, shooting the shit with Jim Kelley and Mary Ormsby while they talk hockey on 640? Daniel, you can have your sleep-inducing programming.

Mike S
Mike S
April 5, 2009 2:48 pm

Hey Julian……………do you also turn the dial when Watters insists on having one of his Toronto Rock buddies on once a week?………….if you think few people care about the Jays or Raptors then you can’t tell me there are people who care about the Rock.

Dave K
Dave K
April 20, 2009 2:21 pm

Is it just me or can anyone out there stand how Kelley kissis McCown’s ass??

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