A Toronto Sports Radio Update

So it’s been a few days since the winds of change blew through the Toronto sports radio scene and I thought it was probably a good time to check in with some thoughts.

Let’s look at reality here. The fan 590’s current schedule won’t, so we’ve been told, resemble anything that it does right now. So any comments on the current lineup are in a way, irrelevant as much is likely to change in the given months.

I’ve been heading in to work earlier so I’ve had the chance to listen to Jeff Lumby on the morning show and let’s just say I hope the search for the permanent morning crew goes quicker than originally planned. Lumby is a radio veteran I believe and it doesn’t show. I counted, no joke, 17 umm’s and ahhh’s this morning on a short 7 minute segment. I do that on the Pressbox, I am not a pro nor am I paid for doing that. I expect more from a radio show host.

I haven’t heard Roger Lajoie in the old Hogan slot, but I don’t need to really. You know what Roger brings, he’s the standby, the fill-in every station needs. His opinions if you’ve listened to him over the years is predictable. He doesn’t bother me per se, nor am I overly eager to turn on. Not being critical it’s just that he’s easy to listen to while I am not overly concerned with his opinions.

Soccer isn’t my cup of tea so the soccer show isn’t one that I will listen to.

I know the mid afternoon slot is a hodge podge right now but I’ll say it again, there is something, in my opinion anyways likeable about Smith and Armstrong should they ever actually be in studio together.

Prime Time Sports is on cruise control as the summer of Mccownless starts. If I’m running the Fan, and I’m not, I would play today’s episode to test audiences because I thought Bruce Arthur and Jeff Blair were fantastic together. They brought a unique blend of knowledge and humor sans arrogance that can sometimes takeover the show. Unfortunately, most of the show isn’t on the Fan website unless it’s in the podcast… Take a listen if it is, great chemistry between those two!

So, what does it all mean?????? Nothing.

Changes are a foot and this is the most useless period of the year to advertisers. So anyone who is judging the changes right now is doing so without the whole story. Let’s give the new shows a couple of months after they get started to judge.

The one really funny thing I have noticed is that some out there, including some well known MSMers have been asking what I thought was a pretty basic question. That being, why would the Fan replace the old lineup now given the lack of quality replacements? Well it seems pretty simple to me. You can’t just fire a guy and stop paying them. Those who were let go all, I assume received nice severance packages. All are likely still being paid. So why would the Fan want to be paying new faces on a full time basis while they are still paying the old guard? If you use some of the folks who are already there plus a few fill ins here and there while you are paying out the packages for the dearly departed then you save a little bit of cash. It’s not as simple as saying lets keep Landry and Stellick on the air until such a time as we have the new guy ready. In part you have to believe this is as much about cash and costs as it is about programming.

As for what’s coming down the line, I don’t know anything more than the first time I posted on the changes. Here’s a guess, and not really an educated one. I think, and call it no more than a hunch that the Fan is going to try to find a way to get Strombo in to do the morning show. Despite the fact that I’ve been told it isn’t happening I am leaning to thinking it may very well. Calgary based Mike Richards may no longer be on the radar for the Fan and perhaps that pushes the fan back to Strombo. I remain fairly certain that Krystal is coming despite his denials to me.

Over at 640, I can tell you that I tuned in a few times and heard Bill Hayes talking about a few things while apparently flying solo. I much prefer the Bill Watters show when Bill Watters is on it with someone rather than having someone solo sans Watters.

More to follow as it comes.

Reminder that Norma Wick will join me in studio tomorrow to talk NBA free agency, the Toronto Raptors and Women in sports media from Lisa Olson to Mike Toth

Someone please wake me by the way when Lebron, Wade, Bosh and Kovalchuk have signed…

Best wishes to the family of Bob Probert who I am sure are deeply saddened after he was taken from them earlier today.

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