Recap Of Day That Was At Fan 590

Well, this has been an interesting couple of days hasn’t it? The changes that we told you about long ago finally came to fruition, at least in part. Major changes at the Fan 590 took place today, after they started at 640 Toronto over the last couple of days. 640 started this off by announcing the end of Leafs Lunch and then with the termination/departure of Greg Brady. Today, the Fan’s Don Kollins cleaned house.

Gone from regular duty are, Don Landry, Gord Stellick, Mike Hogan, Brian Angus and Rick Ralph. That is all that really happened today, and while I understand while some people are upset with the lack of announcement or formality from Kollins, I happen to have a lot of respect for the silence and think it’s the right thing to do.

I was fortunate enough to spend some time with Kollins this afternoon and I could tell this wasn’t his finest or proudest day. Firing people, no matter how long they have worked at a place sucks. Strip away all the bs and you are dealing with the 2nd most important thing in a persons life, their livelihood (the first being their health). When you are the new guy and you are charged with making changes it isn’t easy.

However, as Kollins said, he wasn’t brought in to be popular and he wasn’t brought in to be nice. He was brought in to produce and therefore as a result this is what he thought he had to do. It sends like Kollins has looked at tons of reports, statistics and focus groups before making the moves he did today. I got the sense that he realized what many of us did, the station had become stale and that despite some shows realizing gains in one book or another it became irrelevant when compared to the overall trend.

The reason nothing has been said formally is that today isn’t the time to say anything formally. I am sure there were lots of long faces at the radio station today and I am pretty sure there are nervous people as well remaining. Nelson Millman, the man who built the station, it is said treated those who worked there like family. Perhaps to a fault. Everyone may not have loved Millman but they certainly knew and respected his loyalty. Millman is now over at Sportsnet and one can see the same thing over there. Millman’s been there for a few months and he has yet to make noticeable change at least in the talent department.

Different styles, different roles, perhaps different goals or objectives.

Kollins has a clear view for where he wants the station to go and what he wants it to be. I think he wants his talent to be sports oriented BUT well versed enough to talk about the issues that the stations listeners are talking about. I think if I heard him correctly, it’s not just sports but it’s guys talk too (sorry ladies). Perhaps the best or most interesting thing Kollins said to me is that if the station is going to be called the Fan, then it should be about the fan and include the fan.

As for the future… Well, here’s what I know and here’s what I think. Jeff Lumby steps in to the morning role as a fill in. Kollins will look far and wide for a morning show candidate or team that is premiere. Although not in the bag yet, and Kollins wouldn’t confirm, I firmly believe that Andrew Krystal is the guy coming to the Fan 590 to fill what was the Hogan slot. Greg Brady will eventually fill the host role on Hockey Central- with Darren Millard apparently filling a panelist role and eventually the one hour slot from 2-3 (Brady that is not, Millard). The timing for Brady’s start is up in the air as I am sure there are non-compete clauses (damn lawyers) in his contract that may preclude him from taking to the Fan airwaves anytime soon. Brady will likely get a few opportunities to prove his fit in the coveted morning slot- but it’s not his gig right now for sure.

Mccown, as we told you will start at 3 and carry on until 6. 6-7 is going to be a combination of pre-game shows (Blue Jays, Raptors – Maple Leafs?) and some PTS repeat.

Mike Hogan, it sounds like will remain Mr. Argos. Eric Smith Mr. Raptors. Both may do some fill in when or as necessary. It sounds like Jack Armstrong is probably a little bit relieved from having to make the daily trek to Toronto from down the QEW. Family time is never a bad thing if one can afford to spend it right?

I will say this, and it’s worth listening to if you can find it- Armstrong and Smith opened their show with tremendous dignity and respect today. Perhaps as best as I’ve ever heard anyone considering the day that went on. They were respectful and really said all the right things. To be honest, Smith said it best when he said something that got echoed by both Kollins and another sports media personality to me today: Smith said that there was a tremendous lack of continuity in the mid day slot at the fan. Both he and Armstrong were traveling a ton and that made things difficult. Kollins echoed that in saying that he really was looking for someone to be in the drivers seat from 12-3. He believes he has found that in Brady.

Let me say this about Brady, as I heard him a lot in Detroit. I know a ton of people think he is a puckhead – a hockey only guy, but I think you need to step back and look at the role he has had while in Toronto. He worked with Watters. He worked at a station that’s only real sports direction is hockey. I can tell you that in Detroit, Hockey comes after the other majors sports. Even as popular as the wings were, unless they were late in the playoffs they were not the primary topic on WDFN or on Brady’s shows (ice time – a hockey centric show excepted of course).

I am stunned that Gord Stellick was let go. I didn’t see that coming at all. I saw changes to the morning show, I sensed Landry would be gone, but not Gord. Everyone LOVES Gord. It certainly sounds like Stellick was caught by surprise too. Personally I hope he lands on his feet and I think he would be great with Watters.

I am not sure what to think about Landry. For months the rumor was he didn’t want to do radio anymore and I think it showed at times. Whatever he does I hope he does it soon and he enjoys it.

I get the sense that Hogan isn’t done at the Fan. It certainly sounds like he will remain the Argos guy and do an Argo show. That’s good because he’s good at it, he’s passionate about it and I don’t think anyone else in this town could do as well. Personally, I think his show has been way better since he lost the sidekick. I think the slot he was in was tough, especially for a sports only show.

This may sound nuts, but the two guys I really feel for are Rick Ralph and Brian Angus. Ralph hasn’t had an easy year and I thought he did a good job reading the news. I hope he is able to find something soon. As for Angus, the producers really are the worker bees. I have no clue if he was good, liked or otherwise, but we’ve heard about ‘mumbles’ for a long time. I don’t think too many people keep those types of jobs for a long time without being good. It seems like he was just getting his feet wet on air and I hope he find work soon too.

So, I think we need to let the dust settle. It sounds like there is going to be more noise and news in the coming weeks and months. Keep in mind that this is the dead time in the industry anyways.

I will have lots more tomorrow, but let me leave you with two thought for the night. I am told that Jim Kelley is really unwell. I know that he was in town recently and he did some studio shows and I wanted to wish Jim again best of health in whatever he is battling.

Lastly, for those who wonder why Mccown gets the big bucks, listen to the way he started his show tonight. The guy is a pro. I don’t care if your in the love him or hate him camp, his start tonight was fantastic. He was brutally honest, sincere and well, from the heart. Either that or he is one hell of an actor and I’m not buying that. I’ve tried to capture most of what he said, the link is below too…

When I started TSM three years ago next week, it was because I felt there was a lack of balance and fairness in the main street sports world in this town. The only reason this website is still going is that many of you come back every day and are kind enough to send words of encouragement, comments and feedback on a regular basis. I’ve fought the resistance to join the other fantastic blogs in the sports world and I’ve tried to stay focused on the sports media scene as best as possible. While the last few weeks were fun to cover and talk to lots of people, I am mindful that people lost their jobs and that sucks. To them, I’ve tried to be fair and balanced in my comments and critiques and I hope to be able to do so again when you take to the air again. To those who support this site


Here’s what Mccown had to say today:

-Difficult day for those of us at the station especially for those of us who have been at the fan since inception.
– truth is there have been changes over the years, not dramatic, tribute to people and management- management have stuck with people here- many have moved through, many have moved on to great things.
-Mentions almuni who have gone on to great things
– Significant number of the core group you won’t hear on the fan
– today was one of the those days in radio
-maybe not all the right decisions were made
-I’m not sure whatever the plan is will work and my feelings and sympathies goes out to those effected today-
-from experience this company has fired me 2 times
– no worse day than today, tomorrow will be nominally better and the next day….
– i’ve had the great fortune in the times I have been fired, i’ve taken a step backwards at first but ended up at least 2 steps ahead
– these were good people
– i ran into landry and stellick 2-3 times a year
– there is a bond though because of what we do
– I suspect none of them is listening, hard to watch and or listen to the place you leave
– for the record, I think we all wish them well, those of us here and those of you listening
– this was a hard day
– couple of changes have been announced
– I don’t know the people who have been announced
– I trust decisions that were made were calcualted but I can’t speculate
– I don’t know that it has been confirmed that this program will change it’s time on July 19 from the slot it has been from the beginning to 3-6 and on occasion you may get a repeat of this show from 6-7
– were going fro 3-6, I am unconvinced that this is a good idea. We are going to try it, we will gauge your response and others involved. I have no idea how this will impact the television.
-this is a day of difficulty, a difficult day for everyone here, not nearly as difficult as for those who have left us
-we thank them for their friendship and what they have provided us as listeners for while the group that is here that delivers programming we also listened to those who have left.

Listen to Mccown here

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Raptors Devotee
Raptors Devotee
June 24, 2010 11:22 pm

I feel bad about my other post TSM, as I thought that Stellick was being sarcastic, when in reality he did not see the changes coming affecting him.

Also the reason why you are able to run this amazing blog is because you know when and when not to release information that very often is told to you in a confidential matter.

I am pleased that you had a one on one with Kollins, and Zelkovich was not the only one given access today. It is hard for us on the outside to really know what is going on and the dynamics involved. Your blog helps us to see both sides of the issues, while also expressing your opinions on topical issues.

I wish Jim Kelley the best with his health issues and am disheartened to hear he has taken a turn for the worse.

RE: McCown and the new time slot 3-6, it does make sense in terms of having a proper pre-game show, but I just don’t see how the ratings would be higher versus having McCown on till 7.

The funny thing for me is I don’t have a good feel for Greg Brady, as I am pretty loyal to the FAN, so will be interested to see how I accept his new role.

I did correctly predict earlier that the FAN would be looking to get the Leafs broadcasts, once I saw that basketball was being reduced to a secondary role, and rid themselves of the Raptors, and there is no doubt that hockey is going to be playing a more prominent role for them, much to my chagrin.

Closing, I do wish anybody that lost their jobs today success in their other endeavours. Whether I enjoyed their shows or not, these are people who all performed to the best of their abilities for many years, and are to be commended.

June 24, 2010 11:51 pm

One of my biggest frustrations with the lack of comment from Kollins is the fact that these people worked hard for the FAN, and to not say anything really takes away from their careers in Toronto.

A simple Press Release thanking them for their work would have been enough, but they do not get that.

Good on those on air talents who acknowledged the changes and thanked the guys who have left, I would hope that the Program Director will do the same publicly.

Time will tell.

mike (in boston)
mike (in boston)
June 25, 2010 12:37 am

no word on the evening hosts. thats been a grab bag of awful for a decade now. i would really love to see them develop some young talent there … someone who makes you want to call in and can hold his own in a substantial discussion, and do some occasional interviews.

Landry, Stellick and Hogan had no business being lead men on the radio. sorry to see them lose their jobs but i imagine they’ll all find tasks to which they are better suited.

June 25, 2010 6:19 am

The most annoying of all of those let go was Mike Hogan. His “legendary” pauses after his sentences were simply annoying. It seems the arrogant Hogan wanted us to digest his “great commentary”. And he pushed CFL football on us to the degree that whenever he was on, I shut the FAN off. The CFL should be behin hockey, baseball, basketball, soccer and even sumo wrestling. Oh yeah, I forgot, Hogan is the play by play voice of the Arogs..

The Meatriarchy
June 25, 2010 7:01 am

Agree w Sean I have always found it annoying that media in particular radio fires or allows hosts to depart without a peep. You have to go to another media source to find out what happened. At least make an announcement.

BTW have been listenint to Doug Farraway on and off this morning. Is he going to talk sports at anytime?

Al from Burlington
Al from Burlington
June 25, 2010 7:57 am

It sucks to see people lose jobs, particularily people who have worked at a company for so many years, but this station was overdue for a fresh look for some time.Good luck to all that were fired and heres hoping they foind new gigs that they want.

I am curious to see how the morning show will be postioned, and I think more “guy” talk, not just sports will be a good idea. Personally I would like to hear more from Mike Epple on business issues when the news events warrant it.

TSM – Your blog is very well written, insightful and a good read. Keep up the great work.

June 25, 2010 8:30 am

Now that all these changes have happened at the Fan i wonder if the Leafs will shake up some of thier on air talent.Greg Millen is annoying at best.He seems to get locked on to something and will not let it go and starts to repeat himself over and over again.Even Joe Bowen has losta step and seems to be resting on his reputation.Facts do not seem to be important to him anymore and it affects his would and credibility.
The intermission on Sportsnet are unwatchable.TSN does a way better job.I always wonder what Bill Waters is looking at when wounders to the left?And Darren Millards work speaks for itself (weak).
Andy Frost always seemed like a strange fit for me,at the rink doing the P.A work and doing the pre game and call in show after the game.Is it late to bring back Paul Morris?And maybe Gord Stellick would do abetter job hosting the show and handling the callers?
Paul Hendrik is another strange choice for the Leafs?I am not big on his work either.The man can’t skate and he is doing on ice segments with the players….C’mon a guy is the face of the Leafs TV and he can’t skate?He also comes of as alittle “whimpy” for lack of a better word, in his presentation.

June 25, 2010 10:53 am

cant believe Stellick was let go. I think in the long run these changes will be a mistake. Why would the fan want 640 leftovers? Im sure Stellick will find a tv home fairly soon. Hogan should be mr football for the fan cfl and nfl. Very surprised about mumbles – he had great connections for guests and is highly respected…maybe too powerful for a new PD to deal with. I wish them all the best. Keep up the great work TSM

June 25, 2010 11:30 am

Jack Armstrong often did his show from his home – something he & Eric tried to hide but Mike Hogan & Bob McCown mentioned on the air – so I don’t think his daily trek was all that bad.

Last week they lost the line for a second – unfortunately it came back up – it would have been interesting to see how they explained it if it hadn’t.

June 25, 2010 12:13 pm

Just discovered this Blog yesterday after hearing about Greg Brady and just prior to hearing of The Fan changes.
It’s a great find for me and your submission today is excellent – keep up the great work!
Just a bit disappointed that the McCown sound link didn’t work for me.
Moving Prime Time ahead by an hour is curious – isn’t this 5-7 slot the anchor of the station?

June 25, 2010 12:44 pm

I wish that the Station would have put out a notice saying that they made some hard decisions.

Its a shame that this program Director Kollins did not go on Air and mention the firings. Its good that McCown did it.

I tried to call in and talk about it, but was told that they are under orders from above (Kollins) not to talk about it.

This guy needs to worry about his audience, not alienate them.

Raptors Devotee
Raptors Devotee
June 25, 2010 12:54 pm

I agree with you Jeff.

I have to say that having two calls I made into him, one for Wilnergate, and another one just after the firings, both with no return calls, I am disheartened with the stance he is taking.

My way of protesting will be the following. Since I would have an easier time getting hold of a World Leader at the G8/20 Summit this weekend than Kollins, the next survey I receive and complete as part of the FAN Loyalty Club will be my last. On the last page there is a comments page, and the last couple of surveys I have asked Kollins for a return call as well. The next one I will advise him that I want no part of his surveys anymore, and this is the last one I am completing as this is not a one-way street.

You ask me to provide you with feedback which I am happy to do in order to benefit the direction the station is going, but do not have the courtesy to respond to my own inquiries about the station?

June 25, 2010 12:54 pm

Boy, listening to Leafs lunch today…Stelleck is needed in the worst way.

May have been the worst show I have heard in the history in the program…..

June 25, 2010 1:08 pm

“I could be wrong” (cough) but I think Kollins is making a massive programming mistake that, like all galactic errors, will take years to fix.

Broadening the programming so that it (my words here) embraces non-sports issues is a MISTAKE.

I — and I’m sure I’m not alone — listen to the Fan *precisely because* it’s news that isn’t really news at all. I mean, I can tolerate listening to a discussion or even an impassioned debate over whether the Leafs should trade…well, who cares. The point is, is that sports radio is supposed to be a giant diversion. It’s like life intimating art imitating life. It’s not pseudo-news, but it’s not NEWS news. It’s kind of para-news.

Once the Fan starts to blend into “guy talk radio” the quality of content is going to plummet like mad. It’s barely tolerable now listening to armchair quarterbacks call for this guy to be fired or that guy to be traded. But to listen to Joe Blow tell me his views on the G20 or military spending or climate change?

Are you kidding?

Count me out of that.

Will Roache
Will Roache
June 25, 2010 2:18 pm

Great article and very classy. I too like Gord Stellick. I dislike all of Toronto sports teams however I really enjoy the work of all of those fired. Don Landry was getting cranky however Gord Stellick was always passionate. I know Rick Ralph from University many years ago and he is a good person and has gone through hell the past two years. I think this is all about Twitter and Facebook.-Gord made it clear he could barely turn on a computer. The guys fired don’t fit the demographics the station is after. Should the Fan start to wean away fom an all sports station and /or ignores those of us over 40-just look at Sportsnet and why it consistently loses out to a classier TSN.

June 25, 2010 4:14 pm

My comments on the changes:

1. It really sucks anyone loses their job. I, like many, thought Stellick would be re-assigned within the station. He’s got some versatility. Paired with a Greg Brady or someone like him, Stellick’s flaws and lack of presence wouldn’t have been as obvious.

2. No sympathy for Landry. He’s whispered to many for a long time that he’d lost his passion for the job. As such, he would have gotten quite a nice buyout “packet” from Rogers, and they made him a comfortable living doing exactly what he wanted to do, without having to get any better at it over the years. Many of us get turfed from our jobs and aren’t getting 6-7 months salary, believe me.

3. I’m mixed on Brady. I hope he adapts well, but going to 590 was probably the right thing for him to do, getting out of Watters’ shadow, even though it was obvious from Day 1 over on 640 who was driving the bus, calling the shots, steering the topics, and bringing the heat. He needs to know when to be funny, and when not to be, and I don’t think that’ll be a problem for him.

If the Fan lets “Brady be Brady” while tightening him up just a bit, then 12p-6p might be set for a long, long time. I would probably prefer to see him and a partner in mornings at 590, but he’s very versatitle, and I agree with TSM, anyone who thinks he’s a “hockey guy” only is kidding themselves. Coming from a US market, you have to be more versatile, and while not having heard him there, you can tell he thought the Watters Show and 640 were doing too much hockey at times. I think it’ll be a great fit, and it cripples what 640 can do with Watters.

Think about all the people they gave tryouts to when Marek left. Four months later, they land Brady and they probably took the show as far as they could. I always point out, the demo is 25-54, and Watters might even be 70 years old. It’s a hard battle to ask someone in his mid-30s like Brady to win, but having said that he needs to improve his game and maybe he will.

4. I think Brady will work fine with Kypreos, I worry about the MacLean dynamic with Brady, but MacLean needs to also focus on what he does best. Not interrupting, bragging about his stock portfolios, and telling people what he had for breakfast would be a start.

5. McCown moving up to 3pm is ok with me. Many drive shows in the States start that early, and the WGR one in Buffalo does as well.

6. If they haven’t truly hired anyone 6-9 am or 9-noon, it’s hard to comment on the changes, but Mike Richards would be a “safer” signing from what I gather than Andrew Crystal. If Crystal can’t do a sports show and it’s too much guy talk, there’ll be issues.

Congrats to TSM for being very on top of this. You can’t get “sources” without being trustworthy and he’s obviously got his people helping out.

Also — I would like to see Stellick land on his feet, but he may not want to be with Watters if Bill’s time is limited at 640 and working period. Surely retirement should come calling soon. As passionate as he is, he’s sounded lost and exhausted the last couple months. Hard to recognize the guy who used to be on Leafs Lunch w/ Marek when he was fresh out of Leafs management.

June 25, 2010 4:23 pm

I’ve been a loyal listener of the FAN590 since its inception and even before that. They let a lot of great people go. I am sure that they will find other employment within the media soon. I hope the station does not go with a primarily entertainment small “s” sports format. It needs to remain hardcore and provide sports fans with information and the ability to call in and vent. As an all-sports station it needs to get as many properties as it can and bringing back the Leafs would be great for it and probably the only way it can survive. But…bring along Andy Frost, Joe Bowen, and Jim Ralph.

Wayne Frazer
June 25, 2010 6:42 pm

Great stuff, TSM. I’m a little flabbergasted at the Hogan bashing — he was the one guy who actually spent any appreciable amount of time talking football, be it pro, college or CIS. I know hockey’s king, but there are certainly enough football fans in Canada to merit its discussion occasionally.

Agreed, Julian, about Landry & Stellick. Gord did seem out of sorts the last little while, but I wonder if that was a by-product of working with someone who has already acknowledged his own lack of desire.

June 25, 2010 10:59 pm

Not suprised with the changes. Fan590 mornings were so old that i lost interest when Stellik joined the morning show. He knows nothing about sports and was too much of a Leaf homer.

I hate seeing people lose their jobs. However i will now be listening to the fan590 in the morning and a bonus is bobcat at 3pm now!

June 25, 2010 11:26 pm

Having read and digested a lot of information in the wake of the firings at the FAN 590 all I can say is that it seems the new programming head Kollins was brought in with an agenda and specific orders, picked his time and set things in motion.

To see the large number of people fired without so much as an acknowledgment by management of their contributions says more about the management than it does about the people released (all of whom I hope find work quickly in whatever field of endeavor they choose to pursue)

The fact that it took the remaining *on air* talent to stand up and say some parting words in acknowledgment to those released is truly a sad state of affairs.

Sufficed to say the FAN 590 is “On the clock” with me and unless I see something very positive come out of this very quickly, I will be abandoning them as my radio station of choice at home and on the road.

June 27, 2010 12:05 am

Not sad that Landry was let go. I found that he didn’t have much insight into the actual sports topic. All he wanted to do was his impressions which sucked and was really annoying. Whenever he did one of his skits I always switched off the radio.

June 28, 2010 11:38 am

Its unfortunate that Kollins still has not sent out a Press Release thanking those that worked hard for that station, its truly sad.

Ironically, I have not listened to it since then, so well see how this plays out.

June 28, 2010 11:57 am

The only shows I could bear to listen to any more were PTS, Game Plan, and the Morning Show.

I absolutely hate Hogan, Lagoie, and Farraway. The latter two are awful, and I have no idea how they got into this profession. All three have 0 insight, and they regurgitate what brighter people have said at best.

I used to listen to the FAN on the way to work, then stop at 9 for Hogan. Then at noon listen the rest of the day.

Now I start listening at 4. (Well to be honest, I will listen to the Insider and updates in the morning) –an aside, this morn they tried to get Burke but couldn’t while I listened….oh the horror that would be Farraway interviewing Burke. I literally was thinking Burke would be offended by speaking with such a fool)

I have no desire to listen to shows hosted by ignorant fools with analysis befitting an infant. Perhaps this will change with Brady; I sure hope so.

June 28, 2010 1:15 pm

Good riddance Landry! Good luck Stellick, you’ll be missed. Hogan!?!?!?!? Why get rid of the one guy (aside from McCown) who can talk intelligently about almost every sport! He was great at interviewing and wasn’t afraid to ask the hard questions. His show was best w/o a sidekick but he did well despite the boat anchor that some of the co-host could be (Toth in particular).

I am dine with the fan. I have been a faithful listener since Jan ’98, and will only tune in now to PTS unless Hogan is brought back for more than Argo play-by-play.

Doug Kollins – Boo! Hiss! Bad decision, and poor customer relations(that’s what we are – customers! We deserve better!)

June 28, 2010 4:52 pm

good riddance to mike hogan , a few years back i call in and just because i disagree with him he cut me off , from there on i stop listening to any fan590 morning show , And end up listening to sportingnews radio , fox sports and espn radio.
And when im in the car i do have satellite radio , so im not held hostage by our local sports station anymore.

June 28, 2010 4:58 pm

I think the radio station would be smart to expand and go into politics, for a city this big we only have i talk radio and thats cfrb1010, and this city by majority is liberal, yet we still don’t have a liberal talk radio , maybe this is one area they should tap.

June 28, 2010 8:41 pm

although firings in radio are a part of the game, before anyone bashes and criticizes, lets give us all an opportunity to evaluate the changes. someone has been charged with improving the numbers at the fan, so if he falls on his sword so be it.
after all Mike Hogan was replaced before by that fabulous sports babe (lol), and was rehired
i dont know who Greg Brady is, just hoping his co-hosts are not Jan, Marsha and Cindy Brady

changes happen folks, give it a wait and see attitude

Cheers, Dave

June 28, 2010 9:48 pm

It’s a shame that I tune in every morning at 9am thinking that Hogie is on holiday and I give the fill-in host about 10 minutes to keep me tuned in…which they never do because their topics have no thought!
I am a big football fan (CFL & NFL) and it seems Hogan was the only host who didn’t mindnumb me with Leaftalk.
Still will listen to Bobcat but these replacements better start trying to research topics instead of picking something on their drive to work!

Anthony L
Anthony L
June 29, 2010 9:40 am

These changes made were shocking. Despite being in my mid twenties, I’ve been a loyal listener, waking up to the fan since the 1430 days and have been a steady listener ever since. Although I agree that Don Landry’s lackadaisical attitude has been worsening, and Hogan’s obsession with CFL and CIAU football have been painful to be constantly subjected to, I’m still very much against these wholesale changes.

First of all, I totally understand changes were necessary to liven the station up a bit. However, the passion brought to work every day by Hogan was unparalleled(and was always compelling to the general audience when he wasn’t talkin football. His ‘bring up your best sports memory’, ‘favourite all-time lineups’, etc caller interaction segments were classic. He could talk to almost any sports issue.

Don Landry, however, was agreeingly becoming a little too predictable, unenthusiastic and his skits were losing their lustre after dropping such characters as Alex Rodriguez, Sam Mitchell, John Ferguson classic “crank calls”, etc, but Gord’s enthusiasm will be sorely missed. He easily could have stayed on in another capacity and done well–i.e. returning to the mid-day slot.

No shot I ever listen to Doug Farraway though. I’ve grown sick of his pauses after every 6 words and constant overembellishing in his tone of speech.. Unbearable! He’s the only host I’ve ever listened to that tries to makes every story coming out of his mouth sound like its shocking and incomprehensible. So unnatural. Unlike Bobcat, who’s eloquance and articulacy is duly noted, the Deacon’s vocabulary choices sound forced and must live by his Thesaurus/Dictionnary. He needs to stay behind the scenes, NOT on air.

What can you say about the Game plan hosts? Sure, filling in the great Chuck Swisky’s shoes was never going to be an easy task, but Jack did a commendable job with both side kicks.

After 15 years, I’m changing my morning show fix to XM-NHL Radio. My mid-day fix when given the opportunity to listen will be on the FM dial. Kollins must provide feedback to the listener after we have always provided feedback via the fan club surveys.

All the best to some of my all-time faves, Gord, Jack and Hogie. I hope Gord winds up with a TV gig!

June 29, 2010 11:45 am

Good! That’s what they get, there all too biased! Can we stop down playing all the other sports in the city except hockey now????

Part of this morning show was let’s turn everyone against Chris Bosh who playe

June 29, 2010 11:49 am

played his heart out when they should/focus on turkalo’s cry baby attitude…… what ever, im for more basketball talk even in the off season…… hey theres always espn radio…

June 29, 2010 12:21 pm

I am finding much of this hilarious.

People on this website have been clamoring for change on 590 for ages.

Changes get made, and people swear they’ll never listen to the station again.

The lineup hasn’t even been set, and no one new has even hit the air yet.

You might actually really like what you hear. It’s laughable to swear off the station, because you wanted the likes of Don Landry and Mike Hogan to work there on-air until they hit 65 years of age.

Roy Green
June 29, 2010 2:24 pm

I can understand the on-air hosts getting the axe due to low ratings, but almost a week later, I’m still waiting to find out why Rick Ralph and Brian Angus got canned. Any ideas?

Mike S
Mike S
June 29, 2010 3:21 pm

I am still trying to get my head wrapped around these changes…………here are some random thoughts from my alleged mind:

1) Anyone who thinks Brady is a “puckhead” hasn’t really listened very closely to him. The reason why he talked hockey so much on 640 was because that was the show’s strategy

2) Kudos to all of the people (McCown, Berger, Smith & Armstrong, etc) who have talked eloquently about this subject on the air. Massive changes like this are never easy for anyone involved. Now all we need is for McCown to give us his honest thoughts (better late than never) on the Wilner suspension

3) I listen to the Saturday morning golf show on 590 each week and I was very disappointed that they did not mention Brian Angus’ name on the show this past weekend. He has been on that show for 15 years so he deserved better

4) Does it make any sense that Kollins changed the names of the two morning shows to “Landry & Stellick” and “The Mike Hogan Show” recently when he had probably already decided that the hosts of those shows would be replaced?

5) I still don’t understand the move of McCown’s show to 3:00 (and neither does McCown, apparently). It should help the ratings during the 3:00 hour but the 6:00 hour will be harmed. It would have made more sense to have McCown go from 3:00 to 7:00 (just like WGR 550) if they could ever convince him to do an extra hour

6) I was not surprised that Stellick was taken off the morning show but like others have mentioned I was surprised that they couldn’t find another time slot for him. He can be quite good when he is paired with someone interesting. That was evident whenever Landry was on vacation

7) I really wonder what Nelson Millman thinks about all of this. All of the people that got fired were hired by him and had long stints with the station

June 29, 2010 3:39 pm

I do not think that most are upset with the changes, I know that the morning show and afternoon show needed to be reformatted.

My issue is more with how they where done, the lack of comment from the company, and that Kollins seems interested in hiding behind a desk other then being open and honest on Prime Time, which is something that had been common in the past with Nelson Millmen.

joe e
joe e
June 29, 2010 7:26 pm

What else can one expect from such a competitive business? People may laugh at me but a union sure would look good to a lot of those fired. I myself do not listen to the fan 590 anymore. Jeff Sammit or however you spell his name has the vocabulary of a peanut. The got games are so lame. ET on race line radio is a farce. McCown is either on vacation or sick anyway he has finally sold out. I just ordered satellite radio today. Bye Bye Fan 590. Oh the only footnote is the best man they have is the “Rog” and what did he ever get?

June 29, 2010 8:01 pm

Listen, all of these guys make obscene paycheques JUST yapping about sports. The least they can be is…INTERESTING! OR ORIGINAL! OR FUNNY!

Landry, above all, sucked huge Jamaican cucumbers.

Doug Mclean must have naked pictures of the boss’es wife.

Don H
Don H
June 29, 2010 10:49 pm

I am not surprised at this change. I used to really enjoy their morning show up to about a year ago, but lately it seemed to go stale. I am not really a sports fan, but used to enjoy the humorous side to the sports in the morning.

Having said that, I wish them well and to be honest, I hope these new guys are only temporary, cause they are worse in my opinion and I have flipped to another station in the morning now. And if they mess with McCowan at 4pm-7pm, I am no longer a Fan590 fan.

June 29, 2010 11:48 pm


Love how many people are saying they won’t listen to 590 anymore, yet they don’t mention what they will listen to instead.


June 30, 2010 10:45 am

I agree, Jeff Sammutt really, really is not entertaining.

I switched down the dial to 640 and mix a little ESPN in.

Ill still listen to McCown, but thats about it.

Most people have said where they are going too.

June 30, 2010 12:32 pm

The main change this station needs to make is eliminating the 20 minute updates. They completely interrupt any show, and are useless and repetitive during the day when nothing is happening in the sports world. All the results from last night’s games are still the same 20 minutes later. This is a holdover from ESPN radio and should be the #1 change made by this idiot station manager

June 30, 2010 12:36 pm

I’m upset about the change in Prime Time Sports (what’s prime time about 3:00 pm?)
I already miss the 4:00 to 5:00 hour, now I’ll miss the 3-4 hour too.
Stellick should have been kept in another role as many have said. Hogan is knowledgeable in every sport, but a little anti-Leaf for my liking. He provided the football talk that is lacking everywhere else.
This all started a year ago when they let Norm Rumack go for no good reason.

June 30, 2010 12:39 pm

Bring back lunch bag letdown

joe e
joe e
June 30, 2010 2:11 pm

I quit listening to ESPN. One morning at 3:00 am i listened to amy lawrence. Without a doubt i counted she said espn 50 times in 15 minutes This is amy lawrence on espn radio and espn radio dot com. Coming up on espn we talk to espn’s joe blow but right now on espn we have espn’s expert paul jones. blah blah blah u get the idea?

June 30, 2010 4:40 pm

response to Joe E:
You mean they stopped talking ‘College Hoops’ long enough to say ESPN that many times?

June 30, 2010 9:50 pm

Regarding all the changes at the fan, I was as shoked as everyone else…Don Landry – good luck to him but his time had come. The last few months he lacked any energy and never had anything insighfull to say. His few bits were his only saving grace as of late. When he went to L.A. recently the show picke up. I am truely sad to see Stellick go. His wit and on air dry humour was great. I am surprisd the fan could not find him a spot. The best show the fan ever had outside of PTS was the old mid afternoon slot of Damian Cox and Stellick. I still remember when Stellick asked Pat Burns after three months of the lock out was it good for Pat to be able to recharge – Pat replied that was the dumbest question anyone has ever asked him and of course Damian piled on – classic. Hogan, never was a big fan- his holier than thou attitude came through on the air and it turned me off. I do feel bad for Rick Ralph and Brian Angus – you almost feel they were just collateral damage in all this. I do find this strange that all this was done without replacements already lined up in place. I tried to listen to Doug Farrawy the last few AMs and finally had to switch to the wgr550 morning show which should tell you how bad Doug was…It would be interesting if Mike Richards came back to the fan. He was second banana to Bobcat when he was doing the morning show and seemed to have potential…

Matthew A.
Matthew A.
July 1, 2010 8:59 am

I’m frankly thrilled that Angus and Landry are gone. I will never forget the classless and tasteless way they went after Pat Marsden, a broadcaster they were not fit to share the same planet as.

Stellick was the classic Canadian broadcaster; bland, unassuming, inoffensive and seemingly unable to give an opinion on which type of toilet paper would be preferable, one ply or two. Won’t miss him in the slghtest.

As for Hogan, you could have sat him in a room with David Beckham, Wayne Gretzy and Serena Williams and he would have asked them a question about the Saskatchewan Roughriders. A one trick pony thankfully put out to stud on the Argos boradcasters where all 50 of his devoted listeners will still get to hear him.

But the best change of all to that station was getting rid of Nelson Miller-lite-man. What an utter buffoon. Only in a company like Rogers could such a man keep their position for so long doing so little.

Adios to the whole stinking lot of them

mike (in boston)
mike (in boston)
July 1, 2010 9:02 am

i wonder if any of the decisions were salary dumps. Landry and Stellick and Hogan have been at the FAN for an age and they must be making decent scratch with regular pay raises. This is a Rogers company after all …

one of the fascinating things about this thread is the range of opinions presented. I cannot stand Hogan but clearly many people here will miss him. if there ever was a time for someone to launch a 2nd all-sports (or mostly sports) station it would be now. Hiring some of the FAN rejects would give the station instant credibility and provide an audience for new personalities and programs.

July 1, 2010 7:16 pm

Good hearing Hogan doing spots on the Fan for the Argo’s.

Hope he makes a comment on the pregame.

Kollins not issuing some sort of release is pretty bush league.

July 4, 2010 10:07 pm

I think the whole station is on the decline regardless of these changes.

I’ve listened to the baseball games for years but I’ve reached the point that I can’t handle Wilner anymore. His little live chat during the game (and his call in show after) is made up of a group of cronies who hang around what they think is the coolest person at the party. The infatuation with spelling and grammar is just disgusting and comes across as being incredibly elitist. Mike himself can barely keep in his disgust with several of his callers, especially if they dare suggest all his whining about interleague play or the unbalanced schedule is just getting old. My memories of baseball on the radio includes laid back, congenial hosts and announcers that oozed warmth and made you feel like you were there beside them. Listening to Wilner blabber on about verbs and composition is sickening. I feel embarrassed for the clods who hang out on his live blog and feed him gibberish about grammar, as if they’re somehow going to get to “hang” with him some day because they’re as cool as he thinks he is. Andy Frost down the dial at AM 640 could wipe the floor with Wilner when it comes to taking calls from fans.

It may have been time for Landry and Stellick to go. But Farraway is not the answer. His pregnant pauses make it impossible to listen to him. The man seems to be a legend in his own mind. The one hour a day he used to have drove me down the dial and three hours in the morning is doing the same thing – except there’s nothing to come back to now. Landry deserves eternal respect for commenting on Wilner’s situation and I can only wish him the very best in whatever he does next.

I liked Hogan and wished he could have stayed in some on-air role. He seemed like a genuinely likable fellow. But that moronic “Game Plan” had to go. I could not listen to either one of them. McCown would jokingly (or maybe not) refer to them, and others at the station as “idiots”. Armstrong’s knowledge of sports other than basketball was very weak. Smith didn’t add much to the show besides bravado and a tendency to get wrapped up in topics quasi-related to sports. They sounded like guys who you always hoped didn’t get buy the season tickets beside you.

McCown is great and the biggest asset the station has. His long holiday now shows how good he is. After Brunt it’s a long way down. Blair and Shannon can’t come close to filling those shoes.

The rest of the crowd are like the weak members of a baseball bullpen. Lajoie is usually entertaining or at worst not annoying but he is showing the strain of being all over the schedule and too much time on on air to stay fresh and interesting. Getting rid of Rumack left a wound that they haven’t been able to fill…unless repeats of stuff that aired at 9 that morning count.

A lot of the other stuff they air seems to be cheap, half-assed crap that is designed to fill space and get them away from putting a warm body in there during the off-hours. The “Got Game” show, the “Fantasy Show”, “Raceline Radio” and the moronic Showdown Joe stuff fill in time where needed but all suffer from the lack of a regular spot. It seems like a real stretch to me to imagine a lover of sports is also going to want to hear about the latest video games that debuted at some trade show last week. For all the complaining I did about Wilner above I will say he is the one that should be talking fantasy baseball, not the 680 Sports guys who happened to have a couple hours free.

Jeff Sammut is just awful. He sounds like he has marbles in his mouth and has very little of anything insightful to say. When he disagrees with you his voice goes way up and you can close your eyes and picture a ten year old getting ready to throw a tantrum. How the rest of the morning show got canned and he hung on is inexplicable to me. He may be the one who has the naked photos of the wife of the boss.

It’s incredible that I’m down to listening mainly to McCown. Being an outdoors person I don’t mind that Saturday morning Outdoor Journal show either…but I can get that from the Fishing Canada website as a podcast and enjoy it without all the commercials and annoying Sports Updates.

Moving McCown to three is hard for me to understand. There will be a pregame show for baseball or basketball in the 6-7 pm spot. How are they going to fill an hour before Blue Jay games? Will there be yet more “JaysTalk” in this spot? We already get more than enough stuff from the Jays everyday. The emphasis on Jays personnel for interviews seems to be way up in the last couple of years. I get it that they ARE the home team – but I wouldn’t mind hearing perspective from the managers and coaches of the other teams (besides Jerry getting all cuddly with John Gibbons twice a year). We now get Wilner interviewing a coach after every home game and the coach often has very little to say. An hour pregame will be too much.

All in all I’m disappointed in some changes and content with a few of the others. I guess you can’t please everyone.

July 5, 2010 9:15 pm

Amusing this morning to hear Ron McLean basically give a reaction to all the changes that have happened at the station during his “insider” stint this morning.

As much as he did say, you could tell he wanted to say more. I’m not sure as to whatever stopped him, it’s not like he *needs* the “insider” gig, though it may have been professional courtesy.

My guess though is that the Fan won’t have Don Cherry on for a good long time (If ever again) aside from pre-recorded things like “Grapeline” because Don *will* say whatever he thinks and I’m hazarding a guess that he wasn’t pleased how this went down.

July 6, 2010 12:38 pm

I cannot say I was dismayed about Landry and Stellick as I found myself changing the station over the last year as they tried to “one-up” and argued with each other without really saying anything… I don’t really want to hear mindless chatter and repetitious stale “comedy” routines…a few amusing but many bad and in poor taste IMHO)….I guess I’m just not a Stellick fan (although I give him credit for his sports knowledge and quick wit)….hope the replacements will provide more real commentary and less comedy/inter-host banter….PS I think McCown’s show is very good and enjoy tuning in most days….

Paul 6
Paul 6
July 13, 2010 3:38 pm

Gord Stellick was great, I’ve enjoyed him since the early days with Damien Cox, his afternoon show and since coming on in the mornings. Landry was always weak on sports, his best talent was the Vic Rauter impression and how far can that get someone? This guy Lumby seems as too bland, generic radio guy, if the permanent guy is the same I’m switching stations for good!

Eduardo Cardona
Eduardo Cardona
July 20, 2010 2:18 pm

Am I the only one who loved Landry?

July 20, 2010 10:16 pm

Answer to Eduardo’s question is yes I believe so!

July 28, 2010 8:41 am

cant believe both landry and Stellick are gone. dont understand but then i’m not in the radio business. all i can tell you is whaerever landry and Stellick end up, as a pair or not, that’s where i’ll be listening.
Michel Gendron

dave cooper
dave cooper
August 25, 2010 2:51 pm

I’m a devoted listener for 10 years. I was away for 3 weeks and was literally shocked when I flicked my radio on and heard the change. I realize change is unavoidable and wish all the guys a speedy return to their passion. I find the debate on Hogan on here interesting. For me a very intelligent sports guy that is articulate and would take on Bob’s comments anytime. I think Landry knew he was on his way out. Stellick will do what he always does and land on his feet. Rick Ralph has had his world ripped apart on many levels and I hope he finds his way. A devoted listener will continue to listen and accept change.

August 26, 2010 8:02 pm

Andrew Krystal is a poor replacement for anyone Ihope someone else starts up a sport station the fan 590 sucks now

September 5, 2010 10:54 pm

I think Roger Lagoie and Doug Farraway are the 2 worst radio “personalities” in Toronto. I wouldn’t pay them to be a DJ on a Moosonee station let alone a Toronto one.

September 22, 2010 10:01 am

The Fan 590 is now a joke, how long before they are the new oldies goldies station?

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