Less Of Bill Watters A Good Thing!

Interesting developments in the Toronto sports radio world indeed. Bruce Dowbiggin broke this evening that 640 Toronto has waived the white flag to the fan 590 for the lunch hour hockey show. Dowbggin got hold of an internal memo explaining the end of Leafs lunch as we know it :

““The Leafs Lunch brand is not going to die,” program director Gord Harris wrote in a staff memo obtained by Usual Suspects. “It will live on — in a modified form — beginning in September.”. The daily hockey program, with Bill Watters and Darren Dreger, has been cancelled by the Toronto Maple Leafs’ host broadcaster after making a concerted challenge to the Fan 590 in the noon-to-1 p.m. time slot. The station will instead go with a syndicated talk format with Charles Adler from noon to 4 p.m., followed by the Bill Watters Show from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. The station will apparently direct its sports resources to the Watters show. “The Leafs Lunch brand is not going to die,” program director Gord Harris wrote in a staff memo obtained by Usual Suspects. “It will live on — in a modified form — beginning in September.”

There is no surprise to me that Leafs lunch has been shelved. No matter how good the folks at 640 think Bill Watters they hopefully are getting that he is human. Too much of anyone is overkill and Watters 3 times a day is too much. There isn’t enough to talk about for the amount he has been on. He’s good in small doses- namely hockey season 4-7. If something big happens they can always break in with him.

With respect to Dregger, personally I think this is a case of him being in a no win. The truth is he is great at what he does and hosting isn’t what we want him to be doing. But him on with Brady or another host and he is good, at times even great. He’s one of the best insiders around and I love hearing his take on big stories and his insight on rumours etc.

What’s interesting to me is the following comment in Dowbiggin’s column about Bill Houston:

“Hearts were all a-flutter in Toronto radio land earlier this week with the purported news that CBC TV host George Stroumboulopoulos was taking over the morning-drive gig at the Fan 590. Alas, the story was a blogger getting too far off the leash.

Wow- interesting choice of words to in the Globe and Mail about a former long serving writer of the paper.

I am still working on the other story as promised. I know some are waiting for it and I will have something shortly.



Dowbiggin is here

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June 18, 2010 12:12 am

Interesting. Funny there’s been so much talk of The Fan making changes, I don’t think anyone thought 640 would do something first.

Now that 640 had dropped sports in the midday, I wonder if The Fan will keep HC at noon as it is or toy around with things.

June 18, 2010 2:16 am

Its Funny, I remember back in the Day Leafs Lunch would dominate that time slot. Once Jeff Marek left it seemed to loose its identity.

Hope they keep Darren around as a regular on Watters, he is quite informative.

The Meatriarchy
June 18, 2010 9:01 am

This is a real loss. HC at noon tries too hard to cover every team equally. At least Leafs lunch catered to the local audience.

Personally I don’t care to listen to the assistant coach to the farm team of Nashville for 15 minutes.

But I have always said Watters is the problem. 640 is shooting the wrong horse here.

June 18, 2010 3:15 pm
Mike S
Mike S
June 18, 2010 3:37 pm

I was really surprised when I heard about this news………..maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised, but I was.

When Leafs Lunch started it was quite a bit different than it is now…………..it was 2 hours long, it was simulcast on Leafs TV, and it is my understanding the ratings were good…………..but at that time there was no noon hockey show on 590 as competition.

When Wilbur’s 4:00 show started in the fall of 2007 Leafs Lunch was reduced to one hour………..and when 590 started their hockey show a few years ago it made it tougher for 640 to get good ratings at noon

In many ways I will miss Leafs Lunch………….it was nice to have a choice at noon…………..I am not a Leafs fan but I preferred it over the 590 show mainly because I don’t like Millard and I am lukewarm on Kypreos

I wonder if they will still be having the weekend editions of Leafs Lunch?

June 18, 2010 4:37 pm

I didn’t think they’d drop the show – I just wondered if the new lack of competition would change the show in the future. It seemed like a lot of the show was built on trying to one up Leafs Lunch (adding the second hour etc).

June 18, 2010 4:43 pm

It is also interesting that 640 has said that this shows they are a ‘talk station that has the Leafs and a sports drive home show’ as opposed to a sports station. For a while, it looked like they might be leaning toward maybe going all sports one day.

I wonder if they’re changing their sights a bit to focus more on taking on CFRB with news/talk instead of going after The Fan. I guess Oakley and Stafford do quite well. It would be a bummer for sports fans who want more choice.

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