Will You Be Tuning In?

So the wait is over, Kollins got past strike 3 and picked door number 4. Krystal is now the guy. the entire process, irrelevant now, it’s all up to us the listeners. One would have to think that management wasn’t happy with the performance of the departed- why else make change so the bar has been set. The nice thing about that business is that there are ratings and they are numerical. So while Beeston’s ‘a good accountant can make chicken salad out of chicken shit works in some cases, here, the numbers don’t lie. How they are spun is a different story. The good news is that there are historical numbers and there will be new ones. Either the new guys beat the old ones or they don’t. Reputations and careers will be based, solely upon that. As one wise media veteran in this town said to me over the weekend, (Keith) Pelley is the new boss, he won’t put up with “losing”.

To his credit, Kollins said the same thing to me this morning. The easy work is done. Putting names on a board is simple. Now the hard work begins. Kollins has put ass on the line with these moves. It’s up to the audience whether or not he is right or wrong. Only time will tell.

Here’s my 2 cents, again. There are lots of good places to get your news fix on the morning drive. There are good news personalities on 640, 680 and 1010. I think, and I could be wrong, that people who tune into the Fan, aren’t looking for the latest information on the Toronto Mayoral election. I don’t think people tuning into the Fan want to hear about the G20 unless it pertains to the Toronto Sports teams. So, the question is what type of show will Krystal deliver. I don’t think this is going to be jock radio. I think it will be more current events with the occasional sports talk. Nothing wrong with it, I am just not sure that is what those tuning into the Fan want. Krystal told me the first time we spoke, that he is a big leaf fan. You can hear that in him. However, there is a difference between a big fan and someone who knows all the x’s and o’s. The question is, and I don’t have the answer for you, does it matter? Does the audience care?

I’ve said in this space a million times that the best interview Bill Watters ever does is when he doesn’t know the person or the subject on the other end of his phone. Watters asks questions that I, the fan want to know. Watters isn’t listenable to me when he is chumming up to everyone about their favorite watering holes. Andrew Krystal asks different questions than Gord Stellick would ask. One is not better, they are just different. It is the fan, the audience that will decide if this works or not.

My biggest personal issue is that radio in Toronto has nothing to do with Toronto anymore. Radio in this city is all about those who live outside the city. The vast majority of my peers is in the car from 830-915ish. We all have kids who go to local schools and we are usually driving them around. So we may catch a bit of the morning show, but in reality we get a lot of commercials and a lot news.

To me, someone who actually lives in Toronto, the morning show would start at 6 or 7 and go to 10. I am not a commuter. If you don’t think this is the case, listen to a traffic report in this city on the radio- take your choice of stations it really doesn’t matter they are all the same. At least 75% if not more of the traffic report is about roads coming into or going out of the city. As someone who drives on the main streets of the city, Avenue road, Bathurst, Mt. Pleasant etc. you rarely hear about in city traffic unless there is something really exceptional.

So, I am not the target audience. I will miss 90% of Krystal in the mornings. I will also miss 90% of Mccown at night. The Fan appears to be taking the true Torontonian out of the equation. Those of us who live and work in the city are the forgotten ones. So I will continue to rely on all of you who email me regular with the comments, clips and quotes.

I leave you with this poll. The Fan has a new morning show, will you be tuning in?

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mike (in boston)
mike (in boston)
September 21, 2010 7:34 am

i have always felt that the FAN’s ratings are skewed by the fact that they have no competition for the sports listener most of the day. i know ratings are indifferent to this but it still seems to me relevant that the FAN has a captive audience for the most part … we couldn’t listen to anyone else even if we wanted to. i live in a city with 2 full time sports radio station and at one point i could tune in to 4 on my AM dial.

the most startling thing about 640’s dalliances in sports radio is how much of an audience they were able to pull. Brady has demonstrated that if you’re very good at your job you can take listeners away from the FAN and other stations, and keep them away.

now, the FAN seems to be ceding some of the sports audience in the morning. as TSM notes, sports fans don’t want to talk or hear about Rob Ford or bike lanes. my guess is that Krystal’s numbers will be fine, but how would they look if there was an alternative in the morning where you could go for sports?

let’s hope TSN Radio is monitoring the situation and readying their debut. their people are well respected and they would have instant credibility. i have no antipathy towards the FAN but i do feel they have been lazy due to lack of competition. they hired away the first real threat they faced in Brady, but they can’t do that indefinitely. as a sports listener i just want better quality on the air.

Bill
Bill
September 21, 2010 7:47 am

Why is Krystal always yelling? I gave it 20 minutes, that’s all I could take. Let me know when they fire him and hire someone entertaining.

Raptors Devotee
Raptors Devotee
September 21, 2010 8:46 am

For me, Krystal is a complete non-starter. The guy really rubs me the wrong way as soon as he moves his lips. He is literally the last person on air I would want to listen to, that is how repugnant I find him.

Krystal though will IMO lose so many hardcore sports fans looking for intelligent informative sports talk radio I just don’t see him filling the void elsewhere, but time will tell.

Mike, I really hope you are right and TSN Radio will step in to fill the cavernous hole in morning radio. I have moved to Oakley for now, as the next best option for me.

Leo
Leo
September 21, 2010 9:45 am

Can’t stand krystal. he was awful this morning. i listened to the interview with brian williams – brian was trying to tell a story about olympics and montreal, and as soon as he mentioned montreal krystal started going off on how bad of a city montreal is and kept cutting off brian who was just trying to finish his story. i felt bad for brian and ended up just turning it off.

Greg
Greg
September 21, 2010 10:08 am

We all know that Vito from Woodbridge, and impersonations of Vic Rauter, Don Cherry, Gary Bettman, and Arod and impersonations of a bunch of former Toronto GMs, managers and coaches (what, they couldn’t impersonate the new ones?) was intelligent informative sports talk radio. Seriously, the old morning show consisted of unfunny comedic bits, a few interviews and Don and Gord talking hockey or comparing an incident in a different sport to a similar incident in hockey.

Yes, there were too many moments this morning where Krystal made me shake my head and/or turn the dial (why does he raise his voice so much?), the first few mins of his interview with McCown was bad (got better when he got Bob talking about the leafs rebuilding but the most interesting part was that Bob was actually up) and his chemistry during the money game was horrible, but, was this show much worse or less informative than the previous one?

Will there be times that I turn the dial? Yes – lots. But, there were times under the old show that I turned the dial. I was never obsessed enough with hockey to tune in when the GM of the Thrashers, the goalie coach of the Blue Jackets or the assistant to the scouting director of the Panthers was on as the insider.

Sam
Sam
September 21, 2010 10:23 am

I have been listening to the Fan since day 1. The worst move they made was getting rid of Stellick and Landry. Krystal is horrible. I no longer listen to the Fan except for Bobcat. The change in timeslot for primetime was another massive screw up. I wish they would go back to how things were. The new producer or whoever the yahoo that messed this station up should be fired. I don’t want to hear andrew krystals thoughts on anything much less sports. And I also don’t want talk radio like 640. Rogers is doing a number on sports in this city this year.

FIRE THE YAHOO WHO CHANGED THINGS…I CANT LISTEN ANYMORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

cam
cam
September 21, 2010 10:47 am

The sad part for me is I am more interested in reading the comments around the station in this blog these days then I am in listening to it. The morning show never was a big deal for me; prefer to get my news fix in the morning. So the while I would occasionally tune in, moving Krystal there is no big loss for me as I just won’t tune it in at all.

Overall I am tuning in less and less, even with PTS. While I work out of a home office these days, 3 is just too damn early. Where I would catch almost all of the 5-7 hour I now usually only catch bits and pieces up to 5 … then at 6 it get’s turned off to avoid the woefully weak Blue Jays Pregame.

The FAN used to be on as background for about 5 hours over the course of the day… it now consumes less than 2. I turn the dial more often finding there is less reason to turn back.

Am I unique? Is it a concern for FAN management? “There is no evidence to suggest it is” as Kollins’ only comments have been when he started this with the fact they had done well had strong ratings but they could do even better. I have no doubt they will in time build an audience, but the question is how long will it take.

I suppose it depends on how many there are like me who have truly found other more interesting options during this process. As for my sports fix, I am learning from the comments here aleternatives on how to “fix it”.

Andrew
Andrew
September 21, 2010 11:13 am

I missed the Brian Williams / Montreal bit but he did the same thing with Lance Hornby, who sounded totally uncomfortable with that line of discussion. My first problem is that it sounds totally contrived. Secondly, it destroyes whatever flow the guest has. Why have guests if you’re just going to club them over the head? Most importantly, as a lifelong Toronto resident and frequent visitor to Montreal, there is no contest over which city is more fun. By trying to insult Montreal, he just looks petty.
If they’re still going to run the hockey insider at 7:20, this has trainwreck plastered all over it.Healy or Kypper might be able to keep it amusing but Scotty Bowman and Krystal together just isn’t going to work.
Bottom line for me, Don and Gord looking better every day.

Mack
Mack
September 21, 2010 11:21 am

The one thing I do not understand regarding how the Fan 590 Morning Show is constructed is how the criteria of topics are determined for specific shows or better said, specific days. The Fan 590 is promoted as being all sports, all day. Yet on far too many occasions, be it with Landry and Stellick or with their equally incompetent interim replacements Doug Fairaway, Jeff Lumby and Jeff Salmon, sports is not the focus of the discussion throughout the show. Far too many times the focus has been on irrelevant, mundane observations about something in the sidelines or something that someone said or about someting that is not specific or integral to any sport. And for a Monday or Tuesday morning show, there are so many sports and events to recap going from Friday thru to Monday night that the non-sensical could easily be avoided. I find it amazing listening this summer how little time was spent speaking about various events or particular games or particular plays that occured on the weekend. More time was spent with Jeff Salmon simply repeating whatever Lumby said, and Lumby was more fascinated about talking about the colour of teams’ sweaters or how he refused to mention the Toronto Maple Leafs, than actually reporting or discussing what happened the night before. Yunel Escobar does a flip of the ball on his back hand, somewhat suspended in air, and these guys are talking about dog-walking. And frustratingly, its day-in, day-out on that program, regardless of who is hosting.

My hope is that with Crystaal, like’em or hate’em, that he at least helps to return the Morning Show back to a focus on sports and plays and recaps as opposed to irrelevant conversations about muffins and such (see Landry and Stellick and their obsession with pastry).

Steve-O
September 21, 2010 1:00 pm

This issue I had was when Krystal was talking to Howard Berger, they got totally off topic and went off on a tangent comparing Ed Belfour and Curtis Joseph. Also, Krystal interupts everyone, which is not shock radio and then the guest feels compelled to try and keep up with Krystal. Howard Berger, whom I don’t have a problem with reporting, is not funny at all. When he tried to keep up with Krystal, he still was not funny. Guests got taken out of their comfort zone and time will tell if they adapt , or get annoyed.

Like Andrew, says when the hockey insider gets going, will Krystal cut off Scotty Bowman to ask some question about the size of Nick Lidstroms package? How will that go over?

R3000
R3000
September 21, 2010 1:23 pm

So what’s everybody tuning into as an alternative? Admittedly odd, but I spend 15 minutes or so in the morning watching the Weather Network- seriously- there is a woman on there named Emily- she repeats the same stuff every 5 minutes or so, but it doesn’t matter because I’m not listening. I have never been jealous of shirt buttons before.

Al from Burlington
Al from Burlington
September 21, 2010 1:26 pm

I agree with a lot of what Cam has said. I too am listening less and less to the Fan, simply becuse it is not very interesting. The only time that I did listen on a regular basis was PTS from 6:00-7:00. Even near the end, it was getting old and stale with the same guests and McCown getting stale. Now that it is not on, I do not bother listening to a dreadful pre-game show that re-caps what I already have read or heard.

Al from Burlington
Al from Burlington
September 21, 2010 1:56 pm

Does anyone know why Ellotte Friedman has disappeared off CBC Twitter?

Raptors Devotee
Raptors Devotee
September 21, 2010 2:02 pm

He did not elaborate on it, as I follow him and saw his last post, and he chose not to reply when questioned about it.

It could be a company decision (hard to believe), or likely a personal one where he just doesn’t see the value in it, or it takes up too much of his time. His tweets, especially his 30 random hockey thoughts where he linked to it, were always entertaining. I imagine he will continue to do so from his blog at CBC.

Al, I too, as you, would like to know the real reason.

Rob
Rob
September 21, 2010 3:19 pm

When you drive across Toronto to work you encounter more than a few jerks. The whole experience is stressful and I don’t want that coming out of my radio as well.

I’ve been listening either to AM 640 when it’s interesting or I may even just put the CBC on and turn the volume down to a barely listenable level.

I will not be listening to Krystal. Ever. He needs to learn to adapt. His act of being a jerk wore out quickly and frankly, I don’t think even is fashionable in radio today.

Kollins took a radio station that had plenty of loyal listeners and turned it into a smoldering pile of shit in less than three months.

Gerry
Gerry
September 21, 2010 3:59 pm

I just don’t understand the whole facelift given the end result. Yes Krystal is much different than Gord and Don, (however, i doubt much cheaper if at all) and now you have a fellow who thinks he is Howard Stern trying to mix sports in. Then instead of Hogan (whom it took me a long to time to appreciate, but end of day was a sport junkie like myself) now we have Eric Smith? This guy states nothing but the obvious and works in sports radio because it was the first job he got out of college. Brady is fine, much better than Smith and Whatever else. And now i hear far less of Bobcat because they have him on at 3.

I listen to 640 much more, and i have rediscovered i have an fm dial in my truck.

Sean
Sean
September 21, 2010 4:19 pm

Yeah, I do not get the jerk approach at all. I also agree with the people mentioning how Krystal interviews. Nobody finishes a though, he just jumps in and yells. It will not be long before everybody is turning down interviews on that show.
For now I am listening to 550.

Neal
Neal
September 21, 2010 4:32 pm

When a radio station decides that the format is not resonating with a given audience, the result is usually a shake-up or a total change of format. In this case it is the former as opposed to the latter. Some stations like CFRB take night guys and put them into mornings to see how that works. In any event, The Fan is giving this a shot investing in talent that they didn’t have already pretty much indicating that this is a last kick at the all-sports can (all-in if I can borrow a poker term). Brady and Krystal have sports experiences from the Corus days (640) and the Fan is seeing if these voices resonate. In my opinion, as listeners, if we want an all-sports station in the Toronto market, we have to take a chance on this station because the alternative is the end of all-sports radio here.

Daniel
Daniel
September 21, 2010 5:14 pm

Neal – there is no way we’re going to see an end to all sports radio in the foreseeable future. Toronto must be one of the only North American cities its size that doesn’t have 2 all sports stations.

We’re far more likely to see two than none.

Omar
Omar
September 21, 2010 6:09 pm

Just can’t believe that people actually prefer the old morning show. It was so horrid, I felt embarrassed just listening. Once I had company staying over from Chicago and they couldn’t believe what they were hearing; said it sounded like two guys off the street thrown into a radio studio. Everyone I know who previously avoided the morning show is going to give it a shot. Time will tell.

Sebastian
Sebastian
September 21, 2010 6:19 pm

It took about 15 mins of listening to Krystal before I found myself yelling “Shut-up!” back at the radio after he made some stupid comment just as he turned things over to Halina as she was going to give the traffic update.

To find out he had spent part of a past show talking about what Pat Burns meant to Toronto without actually doing his homework and confirming if Pat had passed away leaves me stunned at how much of a jackass this guy is.

Chris
Chris
September 21, 2010 7:06 pm

I agree with Omar. The previous morning show on the fan was completely insulting. They would either do one of those stupid wacky skits where Landry did an awful imitation of someone, or Gord would kiss Maple Leaf ass to a guest who probably could have cared less.

Krystal might not be the answer, but at least I wont feel like I’m listening to an awful clip from the movie pleasantville when I turn it on in the morning.

pk32
pk32
September 21, 2010 7:19 pm

Krystal is unlistenable. I want sports in the morning, and for any faults people found with Don and Gord, at least they talked sports. That Lumby experiment had me off the FAN mornings for the summer, but the Faraway (and I don’t even like him) and various hosts last week was actually not that bad. I tried Andrew Krystal this morning, but it was unlistenable. Like someone above said, I don’t want to be stressed out in the morning; it’s bad enough as it is. Krystal is just too serious, too non-sports, and too dramatic.
I agree with the article wholeheartedly. I’m gone from the FAN now. I’ll listen to a few of the last few Jays games, but the morning show is now a non-starter for me, and McCowan’s timeslot doesn’t work anymore so I can only catch a little bit anyhow.
Please; if anyone is listening… a little bit of common sense restored at the FAN would go a long way.

gunner4413
gunner4413
September 21, 2010 8:36 pm

I tried to listen this morning when Dan Dunleavy was on with Krystal and he was cutting him off as well!The only way i see this working is if they give Krystal a strongly opinionated ex athlete or an ex sports executive.Because rite now a blowhard without a sports background just doesn’t do it for me. All i want is sports .

Pat
Pat
September 21, 2010 9:03 pm

Krystal is a big blowhard!! He yells over his guests and interrupts them. I find it hard to believe that Don Collins (Program Director Fan 590) is this stupid! We don’t need someone like Krystal in the morning. It’s a sports radio station. We want sports. If we want current events we go to a station with real reporters, not an opinionated shock jock.

As a listener from day one, the Fan 590 has lost me at least until noon when Greg Brady kicks in.

lt67
lt67
September 21, 2010 9:51 pm

Does anyone know when the ratings come out? I can’t wait!

I listened to Krystal this morning…they created a sports line up for him (Berger, Williams, Cito….) and he still couldn’t carry an intelligent sports discussion….too many tangents, cutting off the guests, shock lines (“thought you said sack, not back”)….I admit I laughed a couple of times but…the Krystal experiment doesn’t have a chance in the morning. Krystal is a late night ranter/shock jock….that’s where he belongs….

I’ve said it every time I comment on this topic…how can Kollins not see that the perfect guy for the job is right in front of him….BRADY!

BTW, anyone listen to Hayes at 7pm on 640? He’s good…After Krystal is canned (when the ratings come out) and Brady is moved to mornings….Hayes could fill a mid-day slot.

Davidca41
Davidca41
September 22, 2010 8:23 am

We need to put together an over under contest as to when Dan Dunleavy will hit Krystal. My fear is that the good interviews will stop going on the Fan because they cannot get a word in before Krystal interupts them. I was all for a change. I think Landry became tired and boring and I stopped listening a long time ago. I don’t think I can take Krystal for long. I mean how many times do we need to hear “I think we need steroids in football, what say you?” Really? how shocking – not.
I like Brady in the afternoon, although I am a little surprised they couldn’t come up with another name for the Hockey show other than Centre Ice, don’t we already have a Centre Ice (TV package). (see Rough Riders). I liked Mike Hogan, he asked good questions and let the guests answer the questions – that’s what they are here to do. Please consider bringing him back. He probalbly won’t as this is the second time he has been sent away. I have given Krystal a try and can’t take it anymore. At the risk of being interupted or cut off

Steve-O
September 22, 2010 8:24 am

Today (Wedneday)- much better. Dan Dunleavy was incorporated into the discussion and it worked. Interviews with Berger and Wilner were much better. I think that I’ll have to wait until I get something of a full body of work before commenting, rather than day to day.

oldsalty
oldsalty
September 22, 2010 9:15 am

The interview with Wilner was terrible. Krystal was so desperate to generate conflict about whether Toronto is a hockey town or a Leafs town that the conversation went in a circle – twice. In fact, after the second time that Krystal announces that he disagrees with Wilner, Krystal has the same guffaw that he had the first time. It was like a replay! At one point Wilner says something like “If you want, we can go through this again…” It is fake and dishonest conversation in the morning. Not how I want to start the day. I think Don Kollins has made a big mistake.

Mack
Mack
September 22, 2010 9:17 am

I have to agree with the comments above regarding Don Kollins and the direction he has taken with the radio station. It would appear that there is no clear plan in place regarding how the schedule should be set up let alone what personalities should be taking a foot-hold. More and more, it appears that the personalities that are put into place gear away from sports and resonate within their own schtick, thinking they are smarter and funnier than the medium itself; yet, really, they are simply not tolerable. We – the listeners – are looking for sports radio, as in sports news and sports debates; we care not for anything else because if we did, we would be listening to a news channel or Howard Stern. But instead of increasingly embracing sports media and involving sports news, the Fan 590 seems to think being anti-sports involved is the way to go.

Like one blogger mentioned above, Toronto is one of the only large markets in North America without a second all sports radio station. Methinks the Fan 590 is making a strong case that there should be some competition to its current status.

Andrew
Andrew
September 22, 2010 9:29 am

I lasted about 15 minutes this morning. Even if the interview skills improve, we still have to deal with the voice like nails on a blackboard. And again, enough with the shots at Montreal, he just sounds like a loser.

Eric
Eric
September 22, 2010 10:34 am

I can’t believe that Kollins thinks sports fans want to fill their morning with this argumentative crap. I have enough real stress and won’t turn to an entertainment meduim to get more piled on. I wasn’t crazy about Stellick and Landry, but at least is was sports talk. Still miss Hogan. They need to have someone with football as their central focus to balance all the hockey talk.

Mack
Mack
September 22, 2010 12:01 pm

Kollins must be on the bubble in lieu of decisions with the restructing this summer. He definitely has made numerous blunders and no doubt the numbers are sufferring. Just look at the comments being made here; evidently, a number of us are tuning out.

Letting Hogie (Mike Hogan) go was a terrible mistake. From 5am to 12 noon, it was refreshing to listen to his shows and to be audience to his interviewing technique. He made sense and kept focus on the issue at hand. He didn’t do schtick and didn’t disrespect the individuals who he was interviewing. He was inciteful as opposed to going for the cheap gag.

Seriously? Is anyone at The Fan or at Rogers seeing our comments? Is nobody “getting the picture?”

Rob
Rob
September 22, 2010 3:09 pm

I think all we have to do is wait and we will find Hogan back on the air full time. We’ll wait a little longer and see Kollins heading down the road. And we’ll wait a little longer still and we’ll see Krystal heading down the road too. Kollins will go down in broadcast history as being a disaster of similar proportion to the “Team” misadventure few years ago.

Maybe Krystal can go out west or something and get a couple extra years out of his jerk personality…until they get sick of him too.

David
David
October 5, 2010 9:46 pm

Happy to see I am not alone. It’s all been said, so as long as Krystal is on the air, I’m off

Jason
Jason
October 7, 2010 11:03 am

Krystal is so full of himself that no one else matters. A classic case of low self-esteem!

Scott
Scott
December 12, 2010 12:36 pm

Krystal – brutal. I only listen to 590 when JR is on. Don Gord were great, spoke lots of hockey, well and knowledgeable. Gord has lots of great stories form his reallife expereince as Leaf’s GM. Im tired of listening to Krystal’s unwitty banter ( “chocking on Cox”, “mouse hole” etc etc). I went to 590 one morning to give Krystal another go, I hear Dave Miller yacking on about something non-sports related, another time some schmo talking video games, idiots. McCowan is the only reason I click to 590 these days….other than JR of course.

Martin from Mississauga
Martin from Mississauga
December 14, 2010 8:16 am

I thought this was a great chain from the exchange of comments from months ago and it seemed the opinion was unanimous that Kollins and Krystall amounted to being one huge mistake-by-the-lake. I have long ago turned off the fan except for the evenings when real sports is in discussion. As far as I am concerned, the 5:00am to 2:00pm is a long useless timeslot with the station and my hears are now better attuned listening to 680am or Top 40 – say it ain’t say but it is true.

Sidenote – Adding Jeremy Roenick is the only smart decision the station has made in the last 8 months and if not for J.R., Krystal would likely be gone (seriously, the guy is useless).

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