More Changes At the Score and 640 Toronto

Well Howie’s bird dog’s are chirping again this hour with changes at both the Score and at 640 Toronto. One is obviously sports related and perhaps the other is too.

At 640, I’m told that John Downs, host of the John Downs Show is longer with the station. In fact when one tries to find the former John Downs Show page on the 640 website it is gone. However the info on the John Downs Show Facebook page still lives on:

“Downs has been part of the Toronto news radio scene since graduating from Ryerson University’s Radio and Television program at the end of the last millenium. He’s covered politicians, performers and popes making their way through the city. Downs’ interview style can be described as “blunt”, and often results with his subjects asking, “Who let this kid past security??”

After pinch hitting for other vacationing AM 640 Toronto hosts, Downs was awarded his own two hour evening slot. Downs’ reporting and commentaries have been three times recognized by the Radio and Television News Directors Association of Canada. While he considers his political positioning as centrist, he also answers to, “That Commie” and more recently, “Pinky”. Downs has no official political affiliations and plans to keep it that way. ”

Downs was on 640 from 7-9 on non Maple Leaf game nights. Why a sports story? Well, if 640 is going to remain a sports station then perhaps they would use that slot to put in a potential sports host to talk sports in a slot that is ordinarily hockey games at least 82 nights a year.

Meanwhile, over at the score, Steve Kouleas contract it is said has not been renewed. More than a few folks have whispered that in my ear over the couple of hours. Kouleas who, according to the fine folks at wikkipedia has been at the score for a very long time (13 years?) hadn’t posted on his twitter account in a long time put this up about 20 hours ago : “watch for my movie… Score: A hockey musical due out in theatres Oct 22nd at the TTFF September 9th…” Unless I’m missing something it seems to suggest that which the whispers have been suggesting.

I’m a Kouleas fan. I think he would be a great fit over at 640 with Abe Simpson (Watters). I also wouldn’t be surprised if he wasn’t now considered as a potential co-host for the morning slot at the fan. Kouleas isn’t just a 1 dimensional hockey guy (as some folks may think) and he has a good mix of pop-culture/news/entertainment knowledge to mix in with real sports (and hockey) facts and opinion.

As I say each time I write on of these stories, interesting times indeed.



About the Author
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
August 18, 2010 6:33 pm

I honestly didn’t even know Kouleas was still at The Score. Actually, most people probably don’t know that The Score is still a tv network given how little on it is worth watching.

mike (in boston)
mike (in boston)
August 18, 2010 7:22 pm

i’ve never really thought about it until now, but 640 could easily own evening sports programming if they installed someone with some personality in that slot.

640 have the most desired sports property in the Leafs, and if they were able to put together some solid sports talk from 7-11pm then they should be able to beat the pants off the FAN in ratings.

590 is stuck with the atrocious Raptors from Oct-June, and they have never been able to put together a compelling evening radio show. 640 should be able to capitalize on that, especially since the FAN thinks playing repeats in prime time is a good idea.

August 18, 2010 7:32 pm

To bad about Downs, I enjoyed his show.

Kouleas would be a huge upgrade over Hayes squared, which needs to be upgraded soon!

I think he would fit well on a morning show, but would need someone to balance him, hes got energy ill give him that.

August 18, 2010 9:09 pm

Here comes the LT broken record. Of all the names mentioned for the FAN morning show, none would do as well as Brady. If Kouleas comes to the Fan, give him Brady’s current slot and move Brady to the morning…simple. That said; I still associate Kouleas with hockey (right or wrong) thus making him a good fit with 640….along side Abe of course.

August 18, 2010 11:13 pm

Tweet posted by Steve Kouleas at 10:18pm ET

“after 13 years i’m leaving the score i want to thank all my co-workers over the years especially PW AC DR BS GM ST + J Levy for the ice time”

August 18, 2010 11:15 pm

I’m going to focus more on the non-sports guy if you guys don’t mind. John Downs was my favorite current local talk show host. It is a damn shame that he was let go. Probably the hardest worker at that station as he did street location reporting and his talk show hosts on all hours (his usual evening show and filling in for the highly paid guys whenever they are on vacation) To show the dedication of this guy compared to the others on the station, during the G20 when even CFRB had there weekday guys come in to cover it over the weekend, 640 $$$ guys in Oakley & Stafford didn’t bother, but Downs was right in the middle of it reporting on it.

He was the only different voice that wasn’t a generic “right-wing” opinion. I find it amazing listening to him how people would get so angry not because what he said was crazy or over-the-top, but just because it’s different than 99% of the time on that station and 80% of any other station. He reminds me a lot of Brady (voice is so similar) and their laid back style and humor and not take everything so seriously even when people confront them or disagree with him, he was great to listen. Downs had good range that he can talk local, national and world wide issues but also fun and silly topics. It’s sad to see hard working talent that goes against the grain get let go while the guys who go by the easiest route and sound like everybody else get all the air time.

As for Kouleas, I was never a fan. Even when the Score had some talent hosting their shows and was my favorite sports station (Gaillard & Sansone, Bowes & Kouleas) I always found Kouleas annoying and too hyper. Even now Sid or Tim I think are more talented. Even when Steve was guest hosting Leaf lunch I thought his guest spot was the weakest of the bunch. He is just the type of sports personality that never connected with me on any avenue.

But isn’t getting let go from The Score the equivalent of getting a life raft from the Titanic.

August 19, 2010 2:54 pm

Re: losing no hitters. Twice. 1964. According to WikiAnswers:
“The only starting pitcher to lose a complete-game no-hitter was Ken Johnson of the Houston Colt 45s (pre-Astros), who lost to Cincinnati 1-0 on April 23, 1964. Johnson’s throwing error allowed Pete Rose to get to second with one out in the top of the ninth. Chico Ruiz moved Rose to third on a ground ball, and second baseman Nellie Fox’s error on a grounder by Vada Pinson let Rose score the game’s only run.

Steve Barber (8 2/3 innings) and Stu Miller (1/3 inning) of the Baltimore Orioles lost a no-hitter to Detroit 2-1 on April 30, 1967. The Tigers got both their runs when Barber walked Norm Cash and Ray Oyler to start the top of the ninth. Earl Wilson (who started for Detroit and got the win) bunted them over. After Willie Horton popped up, Barber threw a wild pitch, which let Dick Tracewski (running for Cash) score to make it 1-1. Miller came in to pitch to Don Wert, whose ground ball was booted by shortstop Mark Belanger, allowing Jake Wood (running for Oyler) to score the go-ahead run.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x