The Fan Scores Olympic Gold

So apparently one or two people were listening to the Olympics on the radio. Not that radio ratings are akin to a boxing match, but this was as close to a knockout in the business as you can expect to see. The Fan enjoyed a huge ratings boost for the Olympics, the question of course is, what relevance will that have on advertisers and their tight budgets. I mean, the Olympics are over so there is no reason to expect similar numbers post Olympics. Advertisers know that, what this does help is for the next time there is a large event like this in Canada to guestimate what rates should be given approximate ratings.

Men aged 25-54: 6-9am
640= 5.2
590= 5.9

Overall, the Fan show, according to Zelkovich jumped from a 5.8 to a 7.5

Men aged 25-54: 4-7pm
640: = 3.8
1010 = 4.5
590 = 9.2

Overall, the Fan show, according to Zelkovich jumped from a 7.2 to a 12.0

Men aged 25-54: 1pm
640: 3.0
1010: = 3.9
590 = 5.3

the Fan show, according to Zelkovich jumped to a 5.7 in hour #2

Zelkovich has the bullpen getting an Olympic boost going to a 5.7 from 4.4 and the Game Plan saw a similar raise heading to a 6.2 from a 4.8.

The Olympic gold medal game landed the fan a 40 share! Huge numbers to say the least.

So what have we learned? Mccown is still on top. Hockey central at noon continues to blow Leafs Lunch out of the water. At some point, probably after the summer, if this continues, I would think that the folks at 640 are going to have to make a change to Leafs lunch. I don’t know how many times I can say it but Dreger isn’t a host and Watters all the time isn’t a good thing. Rotate the hosting duties amongst other talent and then put Wilbur on when and only when there is something really unique to talk about.

Zelkovich’s blog can be found here

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March 12, 2010 11:57 am

I wonder if we’re seeing the limitations of the Bill Watters Show at the moment. They almost completely focus on the Leafs, but with how bad this year has been, maybe even some of the hardcore fans might be tuning out.

Either way, McCown has really built up his lead again.

Mike S
Mike S
March 12, 2010 2:56 pm

I agree that Dreger is a better hockey insider than he is a host………….but at least he’s not annoying like Millard…………Dreger is informative but it would be nice to have someone a bit more entertaining and outspoken…………..maybe a guy like Steve Kouleas, who is sometimes a guest host of that show

I also agree that having Wilbur on at noon is overkill, given all of the other times he is on 640…………but if they were ever going to take him off Leafs Lunch they would need to have a capable replacement so that their ratings for that show wouldn’t drop even further, and I don’t know who that would be

March 12, 2010 3:31 pm

If it was up to me, I think I’d consider shuffling things at 640 so that morning becomes the sports part of their day. 6 to 10? Or 6 to noon even?

That seems to be a weak point for The Fan, so you’d think 640 could maybe make some major headway there.

Instead of going up against the only really high quality show on the Fan, why not try the much more achievable thing and win mornings (which is just as important a time slot)?

March 12, 2010 4:30 pm

Conspicuously absent is any mention of your buddy Brady.He seems to dominate the Watters show in regards to airtime, but not a pip regarding his performance,meanwhile you’re all over Dreger.A little bias ?

March 12, 2010 4:58 pm

Yes,and considering Brady gets more airtime on the Watters show than Watters,his performance(or lack there of in regards to the ratings) is surprisingly absent from the discussion 😉

March 12, 2010 5:04 pm

I would guess expectations were pretty low for Watters Show and the other shows on 640 and 1010 in February. The Olympics are the Olympics, and there’s a reason the $$$ was paid for the ratings, and obviously, there’s going to be a huge ratings bump.

If anything, Watters holding a 3.6 is a minor victory. It could have been much worse. Their high peak was in the fall at 4.4 so they held 90 percent of their listeners through Christmas, Watters on vacation, and the Olympics. The show’s obviously best when both guys are together.

He may never beat McCown, probably won’t, but they’re probably pleased as punch if they have half his audience (ie. a 9.0 to a 4.5 or 10 to a 5)

The next book is much bigger in March/April/May. No one is basically allowed to take vacation. We’ll see. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, 590’s got major budget concerns and McCown makes so much money, given that revenue has dropped, it’s tough to believe they won’t make changes and make them fast.

Mike S
Mike S
March 12, 2010 5:25 pm

It makes sense that this particular set of ratings for 590 are somewhat distorted by the Olympics.

Is the next book really that big?…………I have never heard of radio people being told not to take vacation at this time of year…………in fact, Landry was off this week and apparently Stellick is off for a lot of next week……….but that’s probably a bad example since that show is much better when one of them (or both) are on vacation…………Friedman has been great this week

If they tell McCown not to take vacation until June that will mean he will be off for basically the entire summer because he has taken very little vacation since last September

March 12, 2010 5:58 pm

I don’t have a strong opinion of Brady one way or the other.The one critique I would make, is that his questions are too long winded,and he seems to try to answer them while in the midst of asking.

March 12, 2010 7:10 pm

reply to Julian

Holding on to 3.6 from a 4.4 is 82%. Still, remarkable that so many walk around with blinders.

reply to Mike S

Stellick and Friedman were good together. Liked what I heard. Friedmans’ talent is wasting away for the CBC, I don’t understand why he speaks in such glowing terms about that job.

Landry should be a game-show host.

March 12, 2010 7:15 pm

Mm, I dunno. You seem like a bit of a Watters Show apologist, Julian. Granted, these ratings include 2 weeks of the Olympics (though it’s not like the Watters Show wasn’t allowed discuss them, but point taken), but you think 9.2 to 3.6 is a minor victory for 640? What would have been considered ‘bad’ then?

What’s the point in even running a sports show from 4 – 7 if they’d be pleased as punch getting half McCown’s audience? That seems like pretty low standards to me.

March 12, 2010 8:01 pm


Where do I start? Hardly a watters show apologist. The show has some major flaws..who could argue that?

You have a guy in his 30s who does ask long questions paired with a guy in his late 60s whose memory is fading, and only is capable of talking one sport. His connections are fading as quickly as his cognizant powers.

Do you think Brady wouldn’t like to talk other sports more often? Without even emailing him and asking, I would bet “yes”. He can’t. But admittedly, some probably listen for Watters’ opinion.

Pairing old guy/young guy almost never is a recipe for success, but…

The show has been around 2 1/2 years. McCown’s got a 15 year head-start. When watters started up, ratings 4-7pm were a 1.1. They hit a 4.4 in fall 2009.

You’re asking what the point is in continuing on after increasing listenership 400 percent from when the show started? How long have you got for me to answer that?

I flip around like a madman. I listen to both shows. I wish I had 2 options in the morning like I have/we have in the afternoon. The last thing I’d want is one choice, so don’t try too hard to kill the other show off. 🙂

Then when McCown calls Jim Kelley and they yak about nothing for 23 minutes, you’ll remember I said this.

Besides, Watters signed a mega-deal (might have been good, might have been Jason Blake-esque) for at least another 2-3 years. I don’t know Brady’s status, but as many here previously speculated, the FAN could use Brady in a couple spots as an upgrade, and then 640 needs a new danc partner for Watters.

Like I said, no one’s surprised McCown wins every book. No one at all. But like morning shows, just because you don’t have, say, Q107’s numbers, you can still be successful and real profitable.

March 12, 2010 10:26 pm

Fair enough. I was kind of giving you the gears there 🙂

March 13, 2010 8:00 am

OK, so my conclusion from reading these posts is:

The Watters show sucks, but it is entirely Watters fault,regardless of the fact Brady produces the show and has the bulk of airtime, so in conclusion Brady should be promoted to the Fan for more airtime?

March 13, 2010 4:15 pm

Ha. Duly noted..but Eggbert, you not read so good.

It’s a flawed show and everyone bears some responsibility. But I agree with TSM and others, Wilber is on too much of the time on too many shows and the age and repetition is showing. Brady needs some polishing but one guy on that show has a future ahead of him, the other guy is off to retirement sooner than later.

If you don’t think 590 needs any changes from some pretty bland programming, that’s your call. You’re in the minority.

Not sure 590 is a “promotion” either. Unless, you’re Bob McCown, you can make more money at 640 than you can at 590, given Rogers and their cost-cutting ways. I don’t think Mike Hogan or Jack Armstrong would make near the money Watters or Brady would.

March 13, 2010 4:55 pm

Corus has been making big cutbacks too, actually. I think it’s bad all over. (Though, as a Jays fan…yeah. Rogers are cheap bastards).

I wonder if The Fan might be appealing because of the potential to crossover into Sportsnet? Also it’s a bit more stable than 640. That station has has a lot of turnover and format changes over the last ten years – may not be the best job security.

But yeah, as for salaries? Man, who knows. Makes you wonder how The Fan once afforded McCown, Derringer and Marsden.

Mike S
Mike S
March 13, 2010 7:56 pm

The Pat Marsden era was definitely interesting………..they were so desperate to improve their morning show they ended up offering a ridiculous salary along with a nice condo to stay in and a round trip plane ticket to Florida each weekend………….but that was before Rogers bought 590 and it was before McCown started making really really big money

March 14, 2010 2:36 pm

Mike Hogan and Roger Lajoie don’t turm my crank………I’m still looking for a Jack “Hello” Armstrong t-shirt, I luvs me some Jack

Jessie Brockmann
Jessie Brockmann
March 15, 2010 1:23 pm

The Fan should start by replacing Don Landry.

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