Changes at the Fan

More hockey more detailed hoops from the fan 590. Hockey Central goes twice as long 12-2 and the gameplan goes 2-4.

Here is the offical word :

“TORONTO – THE FAN 590 is pleased to announce changes to its afternoon lineup. With the resounding success of Hockey Central from Noon until 1 p.m., the show has been expanded to two hours. Beginning Monday September 14th, Hockey Central will now air between Noon and 2 p.m., with both hours being simulcast on Rogers Sportsnet.
The first hour of Hockey Central features host Daren Millard along with co-host and former NHL player Nick Kypreos discussing all the latest news from the hockey world. The second hour sees former NHL General Manager Doug MacLean join Millard to provide his insight on all things hockey. Both teams will continue to provide FAN listeners with the most entertaining and informed hockey talk in the city.

The Game Plan with Jack Armstrong will follow from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Starting Monday, Raptors colour analyst Eric Smith will officially join Armstrong as the co-host of the popular program. With Armstrong’s trademark raspy voice and Smith’s opinionated take on all things sports, the Game Plan will continue to be a strong presence on THE FAN afternoon lineup.”

Wonder where that leaves Doug Fairway? The Deacon had been in the 1-2 slot.

Anyone think 2 hours of hockey is overkill? Anyone think a basketball shie mid day will do well in thus town?


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September 11, 2009 3:36 am

Yeah, I’d say two hours of a daily hockey show is overkill in my opinion. Though, I didn’t like the Director’s Chair at all, so I guess it’s a moot point for me. To be fair to Jack and Eric, I think they hold their own quite well in MLB and NFL. I don’t think it will be solely a basketball show. They seem to be relatively well rounded sports fans.

Regarding Hockey Central, what happens in the summer? A two hour hockey show in July/August would be ridiculous. And, unless the Jays really turn things around, it’s hard to imagine them getting Wilner to do a two hour baseball show every day.

I would rather a show built around personalities/debates than a show that focuses only on a single sport – I’m not really big on the Leafs Lunch/HC at noon style of program. I wonder what will become of Doug Farraway? I wonder if any changes to The Bullpen and the Morning Show are coming?

The Meatriarchy
September 11, 2009 8:24 am

Daniel: Hockey Central is not on in the summer the baseball show is. I think Wilmer could stretch it into two hours.

September 11, 2009 10:00 am

I agree…two hours of hockey is too much. For some unknown reason that I can’t rationally explain, Millard irritates me most of the time…Does he have an actual hockey background, or does he just act like he does, with the schmooze fest and nicknames he throws around with the co-hosts and guests.

If he has been involved with hockey beyond house league, I would appreciate being educated…his Sportsnet profile on the website does not say much.

Isn’t Farraway the sports director (hence “Director’s” Chair) at the Fan? If so, he hopefully still has a job…I actually like his show, when I can catch it on occasion, since he discusses more serious/offbeat issues that are not part of the Big 4 sports in Canada.

Mike S
Mike S
September 11, 2009 10:51 am

Hey Pudge…………you are not alone………….Millard really irritates me too………….that show would be much better with a different host…………….RJ Broadhead is not great but he is much better on radio than Millard

The ratings for the 590 hockey show have been very good so I am not surprised to see them expand it to two hours

I am not sure what to make of the Armstrong/Smith show…………..they will definitely talk about much more than basketball, but how often are both of them going to be there?………….Armstrong goes on some of the Raptors’ road trips and Smith goes on all of them………….they are going to have fill-in hosts on a constant basis, unless Armstrong and/or Smith do the show while on the road like Swirskey used to do quite often

September 11, 2009 11:32 am

Farraway has to be one of the first to go in the upcoming axings at 590. And anyone you talk to will tell you they are coming. You can’t justify someone to have a full-time salary in this day and age doing swing-work or putting up a reporters and update anchors schedule.

I feel like the shows on 590 and 640 are making more of an effort with imaging and new segments and peppy talk with the exception of the morning show on 590. But as most agree on here, that staleness has been around for a long time, and there’s no sign of it getting any better. Those two dudes are just cashing a paycheque.

In the history of this blog, can anyone remember any memorable interview or debate they have ever gotten into on that program? Seriously.

September 11, 2009 11:53 am

Yes, two hours is way too much hockey midday especially when the other FAN shows are a lot of hockey too. I can’t take all the hockey overload and won’t be listening to either hour.

It’s nice that they tried out Baseball Today in the noon hour for the summer, I would’ve listened if they replaced Shilner as the host.

Don’t think a basketball only show is needed when you have Eric and Jack on from 2-4. I know they’ll cover other sports too but it should be enough to fix everyone’s basketball jones.

September 11, 2009 11:59 am

And Sportsnet is now simulcasting the FAN from 12-2 and 5-7. How long will it be until they add Landry and Stellick from 6-9am la la Mike&Mike on ESPN?

September 11, 2009 4:14 pm

I am very saddened that Farraway show is not going to be on anymore, even though he has his faults (way too much cheerleadiner/whining about the Hamilton hockey situation) he is the ONLY host that seems to have a grasp and talk about different sports. There is nobody right now during the weekdays that have that. The weird thing is that during April ratings came out and with exception to hockey central he was the only show who’s ratings went up from the previous year. Every other show on the weekday from the morning show to bullpen to game plan and even self proclaimed ratings man PTS all dropped during that rating period compared to last year. So they keep everyone else but drop the show that gained ratings in the year. More genius Rogers planning.

Good that MacLean is out of the general sports talk show, he’s everything that’s wrong with the hockey snob mentality. Bad enough he is strictly a hockey guy but he had this attitude of all other sports were beneath him. Some lowlights memories of him on the Gameplan was an interview with David Sterm, Doug mocked Bettman during it for suspending a player a game for skipping the All-Star game being totally clueless that this rule came from the NBA. Or getting the Terrell Owens soon after he signed with Buffalo and saying “Forgive his bad questions cause he doesn’t know much about football” and asking Owens what he feels about hockey fights. PATHETIC in giving an impression that every sports fan in this city is nothing but a puckhead who can’t talk sports without adding hockey into it.

I like Armstrong, he is a likable guy and put him with a good host he can do well as he seems like he tries, but Eric Smith is not that guy. Smith is a total hypocrite who whines about how basketball doesn’t get respect from the hockey establishment but when he on the air he does the same thing to other sports. Time and time again he contradicts himself and is shown as a true hypocrite. Smith has shown he is an apologist for the Raptors/basketball because of his connection to the team (all the signings are great, just like Antonio Davis) are we really going to get good balanced opinion on the team and other sports. Agree with MikeS comments on when the Playbyplay duties aren’t they going to be out on the road which brings the annoying rotating guest hosts all the time.

Can we not just get some damn regular hosts for this timespot who has a good knowledge of all sports. Look at the Fan weekday lineup, it’s filled with sportsnet individual sport “expert” or a PBP person for a team. Can’t we expect more, can we not get hosts that seem to talk sports and know a full range of it, instead of seemingly push as a spokesperson for a sport, team or TV station. Just like the Jays, Rogers is ruining “The Fan giving hosting duties to people who have other interest or jobs. The B-squad (evening, weekend, sports update) are better on the most part than the weekday guys cause at least those guys want to be general sports host. CHUM Team experiment came at the wrong end of the decade. If they started this year they would compete with this sorry excuse for a sports radio station

September 11, 2009 6:05 pm

I am predicting the lineup looks vastly different by next April. This is re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, for now. That’s all. I’m not going to criticize the folks making the decisions there and they continue to wallow in mediocrity and do dick-all to change it. Great post and well-written analysis.

September 11, 2009 7:16 pm

Not that this was Karnac (sp?0 material, but I was skeptical from Day ONe that this would work here. Mostly because it was a 1 team town, in terms of mass appeal interest. The baseball thing came hard a few years later and I’m not certain, but I’d say it’s dropped off a bit since the heyday. And I bet can count the total # ofcallers who’ve uttered the words ‘Cody Pickett’ on 1 hand. You can argue that the landscape may have gotten a little wider in the last 20 years (footie interest has never been more visible here), but the problem now – for me – is a virtual dearth of interesting/polarizing personalities. I’ll listen to tons of people I don’t like/agree iwth if it’s compelling. To paraphrase something I read elsewhere (about James Blunt, but could apply to 100’s other acts); ‘if beige was a radio staton, it would sound like The Fan’.

September 11, 2009 9:43 pm

I’m not sure if you’re arguing that a sports radio station isn’t viable here, but pretty much every city with at least one sports team has one (or more) sports radio stations now. And The Fan has been around for 17 years now. I think it’s pretty much validated its existence at this point.

But yeah, a lot of the station is pretty beige, I’m with you there.

September 11, 2009 9:51 pm

Not sure if they still are, but WFAN was the #1 billing station in NYC for years (Granted, a ton of that was during Imus, and to a lesser degree the heyday of Francesca/Russo). I know that ain’t anywhere close to being the case here. I will continue to exist here, I just wonder if it will ever thrive.

September 11, 2009 10:03 pm

Interesting, FMT. I think the idea of The Director’s Chair was good (say, an off beat sports show that shied away from the big 4). But too often it seemed that Farraway would just come in and riff for an hour on either The Leafs, Soccer or Hamilton. Kind of seems like a wasted opportunity. Maybe they could do an offbeat show late nights or on weekends or something. I’d probably check it out. Farraway sounded kind of terse at the end of his show today. Something like ‘HC will be in this slot on Monday. Talk to you down the road.’

I agree with you that it would be good to hear more hosts who are hired because they are good sports radio hosts, rather than because they used to be an NHL GM or something. Look at someone like Bob McCown – above all he’s an entertaining radio host.

I agree with you too Julian – I get the feeling The Fan will have some more changes. Probably the morning show?

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