What A Week It’s Been

So, is anyone else head spinning after all the changes in the sports media world? The changes keep rolling in and the intrigue growing with the passing of each and every day.

Let’s look at where things stand:

TSN appears to be ready to launch a full out assault on the sports radio business. First up, it seems will be 1050 Chum here in Toronto. Mike Richards, from the Fan in Calgary, as we told you first here and on twitter, has left that station and will be the lead man on the radio show in the morning. Richards apparently turned down the other Fan, 590 earlier to take the same job there. That has to hurt. You know it does when Mccown takes a shot at you.

Speaking of hurt, Damien Cox (again who we told you first was staying at the Toronto Star and adding Sportsnet duties) was going to be the centerpiece of TSN’s drive home show at one point, left TSN at the altar and is now going to be sitting across from Mccown’s desk as opposed to fighting him on the air. Cox remains at the Star, to be honest, the place where he belongs. TSN radio now needs to find their drive home show personality. Cox was going to be the other bookend to Richards. There’s now a gaping hole at the end of the day slot. Look for it to be filled soon.

The pressure over at the Fan to improve the morning show has to be immense. Pelley is a sports guy. There is little question in my min that his MO is 100% sports oriented. Having Krystal on in the mornings talking sports isn’t cutting it as a sports show. This isn’t a knock on Krystal by the way. Asking him to do a sports show isn’t drawing on his strengths, nor the skills which made him the least bit attractive as a personality. It’s akin to bringing in Howard Stern (no, I am not saying Krystal is Howard Stern) and asking him to do a sports show.

Up the dial, or in between 1050 and 590 is 640 Toronto. They appear to be waving adieu to sports leaving Bill Watters and Brian Hayes in limbo. Hayes by the way is good on the air. I am impressed with him. He knows his stuff and can talk all major sports with ease. Watters I have to believe is done. I would like to think that Hayes finds a gig.

TSN radio needs more than Richards to fill it’s day and there’s a long list of folks who I am sure would love to work opposite the Fan. Names that I am sure are watching with great interest are Norm Rumack, Mike Hogan, Don Landry, Darren Dreger, Bill Hayes, John Derringer, Charles Oakley and more.

The biggest winner in all of this is us, the fans. How often do you get to say that these days?

Speaking of which, am I the only one who really misses the good old fashioned trade rumor? Forget the new each rumor crap. Long gone are the days where we actually heard names possibly moving. We don’t hear crap anymore. Seriously, all these insiders and all we get is radio silence. When is the last time a real trade was made and anyone predicted it? No one, and I mean no one had tonight’s Blue Jays trade on the radar. No one had last years Maple Leafs deals. All these reporters covering all these days and we got nadda. Fascinating now?

If you were TSN, which personality would you run up against PTS? Would it be a big name like Landsberg? Would you try to grab someone like Steve Simmons? Would you try to poach someone from Sportsnet/Fan 590?



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The Meatriarchy
January 22, 2011 7:50 am

“Norm Rumack, Mike Hogan, Don Landry, Darren Dreger, Bill Hayes, John Derringer, Charles Oakley…”

Except for Dreger that is a line up of medioctrity. If TSN wants to make this radio sucessful they should be looking to be somewhat different from TheFAN hiring their retreads or burnt out radio-jocks like Derringer is not going to get them listeners in Toronto.

Dreger, McGuire and McKenzie can provide the basis for some good on-air hocckey related talent but guys like Hogan and Rumack? Yikes.

Last time we had two sports stations in Toronto the rival to the FAn (whihc only lasted one ratings period) called The Team carried “The Fabulous Sports Babe” in the same time-sloit as Mike Hogan’s football/hartford whaler lovefest on the Fan. I used to listen to her almost as a protest against how bad the Fan’s programming was.

Wanna bet the Jim Rome Show might make an appearance on TSN’s new station?

The Meatriarchy
January 22, 2011 8:01 am

One other thing. Andrew Krystal is a lot better than I thought he would be. At least he talks about the Leafs every morning and admits he is a fan of the team.

His Kessel hatred is becoming tiresome however. As is his Howard Stern-like stunts (the prostate exam, wearing a skirt etc.)

I am shocked that they (TSN) weren’t able to land Cox since he is a pretty good radio personality. I still maintain that Gord Stellick and Damian have the best radio chemistry together in the city. Their afternoon show in the 90s was a great listen.

I have never found Cox to be a good partner for McCown since one is just a grumpier version of the other. The problem with PTS is that it is one big echo chamber with Bob making pronouncements and his beta-males grunting in the affirmative. Cox just adds to the unrelenting negativity that makes PTS so unlistenable at times.

Oh, and please don’t tell me this new radio entity will renew rumours of Strombo coming to sports radio.

And hey since we are throwing out names Jeff Marek was the guy who made Leafs lunch listenable. TSN should go hard after him.

Finally: If talk 640 is giving up on sports does tha mean the Leafs broadcast rights are in play?

January 22, 2011 8:11 am

If 640 is getting out of the sports business, I see a fit for Krystal on the drive home but can 640 afford both Oakley and Krystal in addition to Watters parting package? Does anyone really think Toronto can support 2 sports stations?

January 22, 2011 8:17 am

Meat, I hardly think Derringer is mediocrity incarnate. Try again.

And Dreger, frankly, grates on me. Not a fan of his act, though his journalism is good.

mike (in boston)
mike (in boston)
January 22, 2011 8:28 am

reposting from the other thread, i expect that Globe writers Shoalts and Mirtle should be snapped up by TSN as regulars, Simmons from the Sun could host his own show, and i would also take a run at Wilner who may still be bitter about his mistreatment by the Kollins/Cito/Beeston.

a key piece would be Arthur from the Post. He could easily handle a morning or mid afternoon slot, can talk all sports, and can do the pop culture and social media stuff without it sounding forced.

i would stay very far away from the radio retreads (Watters, Rumak, Landry, Hogan) unless it is is very specialized roles.

The Meatriarchy
January 22, 2011 9:01 am

Walt: Derringers stint as morning man on The Fan some years ago was an unmitigated disaster. Let him stick to spinning stoner rock records that were trite 30 years ago but keep him the hell away from sports radio.

TSM: great to be back.

Here’s a name that I think TSN should go after HARD: Dan Shulman now doing baseball on ESPN radio.

Shulman was the evening drive host on the Fan back when McCown was hosting “The Breakfast Flakes” (groan) and was exceptionally good.

Shulman is the polar opposite of what passes for good radio these days: he’s classy, respectful, doesn’t do phony outrage or phony outrageousness and he has an encyclopedic knowledge of Baseball and Basketball (esp college basketball). And most importantly has one of the most listenable voices in radio.

Plus he’s a local boy and he might be tempted to move back home.

mike (in boston)
mike (in boston)
January 22, 2011 9:10 am

Shulman was just promoted to be the voice of Sunday night baseball on ESPN … a hugely important gig in the States. I can’t imagine him leaving that job, but i suppose it is possible he could be an almost full time co-host in Toronto since he lives there.

he would provide instant credibility on all things baseball and basketball if TSN were to add him.

January 22, 2011 9:11 am

Meat – totally forgot about the debacle at the Fan w/Derringer – as a radio jock he’s a talent, but yes, he was out of place there.

Shulman wouldn’t really have to move. Family still lives in Thornhill, and his kids go to school there.

No name
No name
January 22, 2011 9:19 am

Hi. No fact intended, but I think John D. already (just recently) signed a 10 year contract to stay Mornings at Q107 in Toronto.

January 22, 2011 9:22 am

One name to be bandied about for a reporter gig with the TSN station would be Scott Ferguson. Since his ill fated stint with the other sports station in Toronto, he’s bounced around a bit (CFRB, 640, Rogers TV), but stated appearing as a special guest on Sportsnet Jays games.

I’d have to believe he would be in play here. We all remember Fergy as the perfect complement to Tom Cheek and Jerry Howarth.

Also, there’s no way Shulman comes back. He’s one of the lead NCAA hoop guys and MLB guys at ESPN.

January 22, 2011 10:56 am

Interesting times indeed. I’m betting Shulman would be honoured to be asked to do a TSN Radio gig, but that would probably be a step backwards for him. Just a thought, but I think James Duthie would host a pretty solid show for sure. Jim Rome would be a good programming fit in my opinion. Now to be completely speculative and play “fantasy radio” as it were, if Rome was on TSN Radio, would the fan switch Krystal and Brady, having Krystal and Rome go head-to-head, as they both use that basic shock-jock style.
Just a question to close… Didn’t TSN try the radio thing in the 90’s? I have vague memories as a kid of hearing Sportsdesk updates by then TSN personalities somewhere on the AM dial. Did this happen, or is this a figment of my imagination?

Chris F.
Chris F.
January 22, 2011 11:17 am

Charles Oakley? The basketball player? Why would he be looking at the developments of TSN Radio? Unless you mean John Oakley?

Anyways this is the perfect time for TSN to strike at The Fan and really Don Kollins’ foolish and ill advised moves may put 590 off the perch as THE unsinkable ship for the first time in its history.

I’m sure Keith Pelley is looking at this and is just itching to show Kollins the door.

January 22, 2011 11:41 am

I think if The Fan hadn’t signed Brady, there’s a good chance TSN would have snapped him up to go against PTS.

I’m interested to hear what TSN will sound like. I never got into 640 because it’s sports coverage was basically limited to hockey and I’m more of a general sports fan.

Leaf rights are an interesting domino. If Rogers buy MLSE, we could have one station with all the PBP rights, and another station with no PBP at all (except maybe Argos or TFC). On the other hand, if the MLSE sale doesnt happen, perhaps TSN radio will set their sights on the Leafs.

Also – Derringer and Marsden was largely considered to be the only Fan morning show that actually ‘worked’. When John left, I remember a Zelkovich article stating what a shame it was that the Fan only got a couple years out of that morning show.

January 22, 2011 11:41 am

Remember the “team 1050”? TSN radio will end up the same way, although, they will stick it out a bit longer. The only place the fan is vunerable right now is morning drive, and I believe pelley will fix that before facing any sort of competition.


[…] become a producer at the CBC; now The Fan’s Mike Richards is following the bouncing puck to host TSN Radio’s morning show in Toronto . Here’s a look back at Bruce Weir’s 2008 interview with always […]

Stephen from Waterloo
Stephen from Waterloo
January 22, 2011 1:05 pm

I look forward to a national approach to sports broadcasting, with a minor in Leaf talk. It will be refreshing, and I find that I REALLY want some competitor to go head to head with the Krystal, and show the Fan590 what an error they have made.

I’m a little bitter that my morning drive is either a news channel, or commercial, non funny dj’s on the FM dial.

Chris Z over at the Star claims the TSN network will be launched in April, btw.

January 22, 2011 1:58 pm

What did Bobcat say about Richards? I caught most of PTS but must have missed it…

January 22, 2011 2:06 pm

“That has to hurt. You know it does when McCown takes a shot at you.” Who did McCown take a shot at — Fan 590 management, the proposed TSN attempt at competing against Fan 590, or Mike Richards? Didn’t McCown and Richards work together on the morning show in the early days of The Fan’s existence as an all-sports station?

Krystal apparently had some success in Halifax, and some supporters in Toronto several years ago on 640 when it was MOJO Radio For Guys or whatever it was called (I never listened to it). But as you point out, he obviously has little interest in sports, and he seems out of place trying to fake it. Like many others here, I find McCown is now the only worthwhile show left on 590. I hope this long-rumoured TSN Radio 1050 finally gets going soon, if for nothing other than its morning show. The frequency is simply wasted now with the audio of the CP24 TV station. Surely someone at CTVglobemedia must have known that was a bad idea from the start?

January 22, 2011 2:26 pm

“Mike Richards is taking his comedy routine to another station — and to another city.

The morning-sports show host is no longer with The Fan 960 in Calgary, opting late Thursday to take his on-air talents to Toronto, according to media reports.” http://www.calgarysun.com/news/alberta/2011/01/22/16990191.html

Meanwhile, reports out of Vancouver suggest that Team 1040 will not be joining the TSN Radio network… “Asked whether Team 1040 will re-brand TSN Radio in Vancouver, CHUM president Chris Gordon replied by email: “There is a lot of speculation and misinformation being printed. We have no plans to re-brand any of our existing stations including Vancouver. Or change the [on-air] talent.”” http://www.vancouversun.com/entertainment/Canucks+uncork+tribute+Russian+groundbreaker+Larionov/4149216/story.html

January 22, 2011 2:57 pm

I worked in Halifax this summer and listened to Krystal a few times.

He was good! He talked a lot about city issues, in an intelligent and entertaining way. It was kind of like the John Oakley show, but less of a ‘angry, middle aged, well off white guy’ vibe.

It was a much, much better show than his morning show.

I would listen to a news/talk show he’s hosting. His sports show just doesn’t seem to be a right fit.

If I was 640 I would absolutely try to get him back.

January 22, 2011 3:19 pm

Wow. Mike Wilner? (The FAn would love for him to go I bet) …Hogan? Scott Ferguson?..I highly doubt any of those guys get even a sniff at TSN. Ferguson can read the sports results, but those other guys? Please. Shoalts, Simmons and James Myrtle? There is no way. Simmons was on the fan years ago and was simply dreadful on the radio.
Derringer did well on the FAN, whether you like him or not – they were upset when he jumped ship.

Why on EARTH would Dan Shulman want to work on radio everyday when he is the main voice at ESPN ad calls one game a week? TSN will hire a main personality and have their “experts” take turns sitting in the way McCown has his toadies come in. TSN has a good stable of talent already (Except Landsberg…wow, there’s a way to chase me away).
Radio rights – I see one station getting the Leafs, the other the Raptors and the Jays will go wherever they get paid most. One stations can’t do Leafs and Raptors – too many conflicts and listeners wont jump around the dial to find them.

Mike S
Mike S
January 22, 2011 4:08 pm

Shulman is one of the biggest rising stars at the largest sports television network in the world…………..I seriously doubt he would give all that up for a radio gig, especially if he would have to go head to head with the radio station that gave him his big break 20 years ago.

Hey TSM………..be careful what you wish for………….I think the last time a real trade was made that had been rumoured for weeks was the Kessel trade

January 22, 2011 5:38 pm

You guys are right about Shulman. I REALLY can’t imagine why he’d give up one of the biggest sports TV gigs in the US to do afternoon drive in Toronto (a job he did 15 years ago).

Rob – Rogers owns the Jays. So you can pretty much bank on games being on Sportsnet and The Fan. My point with the Leafs and Raps was that if Rogers owns all the franchises, they could keep all the PBP for themselves.

But true – having the Leafs and the Raps could be tough, scheduling wise.

January 22, 2011 6:31 pm

Here’s my thoughts, for what little they’re worth:

– I agree with Nick that Krystal would likely be better suited back at 640 (unless he burned bridges the last time) in a non-sports role.

If TSN is indeed interested in being a permanent presence in Toronto radio than they should…

– Throw the bank vault at McCown when his contract comes up (I believe later this year based on his incessant referencing of it this past week) so that PTS moves to TSN.

– This would presumably keep the McCown/Brunt pairing together due to the Globe’s affiliation with CTV/TSN. Whenever McCown retires (10 years?) Brunt would be the natural replacement.

– Signing McCown would bookend the day for TSN radio, while leaving 590 seriously (mortally?) wounded…assuming that Krystal gets killed in ratings by Richards and McCown remains the King of Drivetime Radio.

– If this happens, I would see Brady shifted to either the morning or evening slot to replace Krystal or McCown.

– Shulman, unfortunately, does not likely have time to do anything other than the weekly spot that he has on PTS between the previously pointed out college basketball, baseball, and NBA commitments on ESPN. At most, he might be a drop-in co-host during the breaks (i.e. certain weekdays during summer?) in his ESPN schedules.

– With Daniel’s scenario (assuming Rogers buys MLSE), if Rogers did decide to throw the rights for Jays/Leafs/Raptors out for bidding…I would see them keeping Jays and Leafs while making the Raptors available (smallest, least established, most localized following of the three). TSN would pick up those broadcasts to fill airtime and to correlate/simulcast with their TV package.

– If TSN/CTV retain their NFL TV rights, I think Mike Hogan would be a solid mid-day host who could specialize in all things football.

– Derringer seems comfortable at Q107 (my personal preference for pre 9am radio, until 1050 starts operations), though I did enjoy his pairing with Pat Marsden back in the day.

– I personally would love to hear Scott Ferguson back doing Jays pre/post game work…what the heck happened to him anyways? I would enjoy listening to him over Wilner most days, if for no other reason than Wilner’s attitude during JaysTalk becoming more condescending as the years pass.
– If either station is interested in increasing their junior hockey presence (TSN tied in with world juniors, Sportsnet with Memorial Cup and occasional CHL schedule) with radio content, my biased suggestion would be Mike Stubbs, the play-by-play voice of the London Knights on 1290 CJBK. He hosts a good afternoon drive time show (mainly sports) in London, along with his Knights work.

January 22, 2011 7:04 pm

Please no retreads like Hogan.

TSN would be much better served going a step younger (ie. Duthie, Bruce Arthur) and if they’re really bold steal some talent from Sirius/The Score.

If they’re going to follow The Team and go all old school (Jim Van Horne LOL) it’s going to be a failure. They need to be much more dynamic.

Why don’t guys like Tim Micallef ever get tapped up for these gigs? Tonnes of experience but still decades younger than the re-treads, and a much stronger personality

January 22, 2011 7:09 pm

Pudge72, BCE is in the process of divesting itself of The Globe and Mail as part of its purchase of the CTV assets. That was part of the reason Brunt was off PTS in the summer, as it was a reason to hold up his contract from being finalized… Brunt is signed up with PTS for awhile now…

January 22, 2011 8:01 pm

Good call Mike on Micallef, I actually think The Score has tons of really natural talents who seem to be able to cross over and do talk sports very well. I like his 24/30 show he does. I also like Sid Seixeiro. Another Score person is now a suit type in Greg Sansone is great as well. For some reason I don’t get the same feeling out of many of the TSN types, maybe it’s because of how TSN shows are structured the TSN staff I never got the impression they would be good in the free flow style of radio.

What TSN has to be careful is not think just because you are good in print or good on TV you will be automatic good on radio. Radio takes a special talent and it’s not usual that a TV/print person crosses over that well. Also like what Mike said that they need to be careful not just to grab 90s names to fill out the roster, having a “legend” is fine, maybe even a couple but you need fresh voices too. Plus don’t be worried in going out of market, heck Brady was in Detroit, try to find talent out there that might surprise.

Local names I would go for is the Score guys I mentioned and CBC guys that have radio experience like Marek and Friedman.

By the way did you read the slap TSN exec said to Sportsnet on The Star. He compared TSN as Pittsburgh Penguins and Sportsnet as Nashville. That smug attitude makes me always feel that TSN are the snobs of sports media.

January 22, 2011 9:05 pm

Headsup mentioned Jim Rome as a possibility for sydication on TSN radio(I’m assuming because his TV show is on TSN2). My opinion of Rome is almost as low as the one I have for Krystal. When I have heard him on occasion on 550 WGR, I turn the station within five minutes because I find the show to be 90% schtick (filler, with little quality content).

The show seems to be about Rome’s “clones” (loyal listeners/repeat callers) and his relationships with them, and his relationships with a handful of athletes, rather than actual sports content. I hold him in higher regard than Krystal only because he isn’t a jerk to his (very few) guests and callers.

January 23, 2011 2:14 am

With all this crazy sports radio news, I just clicked on The Fan’s schedule for the upcoming week out of curiosity..

Not sure if it’s a typo or what – but it says that Tuesday to Friday the morning show is hosted by Andrew Krystal and Greg Brady.

January 23, 2011 3:52 am

Remember this in about 18 to 24 months. It. Will. Not. Work. Canada is not the USA. It is not big enough, nor does it have enough national, diverse sports interests to make a national sports network fly. Sports radio is one of the most expensive radio formats to execute and just plugging in American syndicated programming doesn’t work It will not make money. Jim Rome in Canada? Tried it. Failed. Fabulous Sports Babe remember her?)? Tried it. Failed. They tried it. The TEAM tried it. Same deal in Toronto and Vancouver or Montreal or any other city. The market is not large enough to support more than one all sports station. Remember, you are talking about a small, niche audience to start with (all-sports is not the number one format in any of those cities – most people don’t listen to sports on the radio); so to slice that medium to small sized share up further is just going to result in two stations not making any money – and one of them will get tired of that and turn to oldies or some other cheaper form of programming. The only caveat being that a decision is made to simply use the radio station(s) as a promotional tool for their personalities and other properties and take money out the marketing and promotion budgets. Maybe then. But, as a stand-alone business. It. Does. Not. Work.

January 23, 2011 7:11 am

Pudge72, I agree with you about Rome. His rants are somewhat entertaining, but its tough to make a three hour show out of what some would use for an opening segment. I through Jim Rome’s name out there merely as speculation. I wonder if this TSN Radio is going to be a go, wouldn’t they have to take a slightly different approach than Sportsnet Radio? Would the CRTC go for having two carboncopy stations in the same market? I wonder if TSN Radio would take more of a national approach. Would it work to have a national network of programming with local station breaks (I.E traffic, weather, etc)? If other stations across the country are going to get on this TSN Radio bandwagon, I would think it would be easier to lure top notch talent to the network. As a radio personality, would you rather have a Toronto-wide audience, or a nationwide audience? The answer is a no-brainer in my opinion.

Also, with ESPN being a 20% owner of TSN, would this branch over to the radio side of things? Would TSN Radio get first dibs on ESPN Radio’s programming, more specifically, their pbp stuff? If TSN Radio goes national, again, that would be quite exciting for ESPN, as there would be the potential to reach a broader national audience than it has now with the Fan and the other loosely affiliated Rogers stations. Also makes me wonder what the over-night programming would be like.

Finally, if this TSN Radio gets off the ground and has some staying power, could this finally mean the end of Grapeline? Brian Williams is a CTV/TSN employee… How could he have a show on the Fan? Although he is older, Brian Williams could be an interesting player on TSN’s radio network (and it would be a return to 1050 for him). Not sure what he’d do there… Maybe the time checks?

January 23, 2011 8:27 am

I quit listening to The Fan when they fired Mike Hogan.
He was the best interviewer on the station – he asked good questions and actually listened to and respected
his guests.Plus he was very knowledgeable,especially
about football.

January 23, 2011 8:35 am

Hey TSM, I’m new to this site and have to say I really enjoy your info and insight.

My 2cents, the Fan must get rid of AK in the morning, he is terrible, I have stoped listening. He is to one dimensional.

I would love to hear Scott Ferguson on the Fan again, my only worry would be, has it passed him by? Wilner has a “me against the world” attitude witch is getting really old and every time he opens his mouth it seems he is telling his listeners how much smarter he is and that we are all idiots. It seems he can’t seperate the caller that says trade Richmond for Price, from the caller with good insight which he may not agree with.

I don’t really miss Mike Hogan on the Fan although I didn’t not like him. I think he could find a home on TSN radio somewhere with Chris Shultz, there football friday show was great and I do miss that.


The Meatriarchy
January 23, 2011 9:01 am

Anan – Jim Rome is currently carried in Calgary and I believe at least one other Canadian city – I think Ottawa.

The Fabulous Sports Babe left radio due to health reasons I don’t think her show was dropped from Canadian markets due to lack of popularity. In fact I seem to recall her leaving the airways when she was still at her peak.

Regarding the previous iteration of the TEAM which failed. It failed because it wasn’t really given a chance to get off the ground. One ratings period that was all.

I think if there can be three TV sports networks in Canada there can be two sports radio networks.

The strength of the on-air personalities is what will make the difference however. The Teams previous attempt failed largely because it sounded too much like the FAN’s “B Team”.

I agree with earlier commenters who suggest that TSN shoudl look for talent south of the border not just in the FAN’s former employee file.

And if TSN should throw a bucket of money at McCown to get him to jump as some people are suggestging, there is no reason they shouldn’t throw buckets of money at Shulman.

mike (in boston)
mike (in boston)
January 23, 2011 9:25 am

i think we should let the TEAM comparisons go for a while. that was a failure both in terms of programming and in terms of financing.

TSN RADIO TORONTO will be local, and will be backed by the weight of the most respected sports network in Canada. They will basically take all of 640’s sports audience and a portion of the FAN’s. that is more than enough to survive for a few years.

January 23, 2011 9:58 am

I for one cannot wait for TSN Radio!

But instead of having retreads doing the hosting it would be nice to hear some fresh voices.

Back when The Fan 590 had ESPN Radio All Night there was a host named Todd Wright.He is now on Sporting News Radio.

His brother played for the Columbus Blue Jackets afew years back.So for an american he has hockey knowledge and he seems to be very connected as he always has a great line up of guests on his show .

Not sure if he would be considered but it would be great to have an entertaining host that is young and knowledgeable.

January 23, 2011 12:15 pm

To add to Mike (IB)’s point, if you look at the backers of both radio stations they could slug it out ad infinitum.

January 23, 2011 1:26 pm

I just seen what you were talking about Daniel. I think its a sign of changes to come at SR FAN 590.

January 23, 2011 1:33 pm

Moose, all I can say is thank god you are in such a small minority. Hogan was terrible as a host and had little to no sports knowledge. Bad guests and no insight, as well as stupid amateur topics. I don’t want to listen to “just another fan”. I can call up my buddies for that thanks…

I’m not sure about this, but so far it seems to be more of just TSN Radio without the Toronto. I believe a key to their success would be to go for a more nationwide focus, and it Sounds like that is the plan to me.

January 23, 2011 1:45 pm

Yeah! Nuts! I mean, putting Brady in the morning with Krystal would be about 1000x better than Krystal solo (Firstly – Brady actually knows sports).

But why have Krystal there at all then? Let him talk politics/news maybe? Would the two even get along or sound good together? They didn’t exactly seem like buddies on their old crossovers.

I would miss Brady in middays. Maybe he could keep his noon show (some morning guys do a noon show).. Who knows!

January 23, 2011 1:48 pm

Getting way ahead of myself here – it could be a typo for all we know..

But since Rogers just signed Cox – Gord and Damien replace Brady’s old slot if he goes to mornings?

January 23, 2011 2:02 pm

Anan – I think you’re right that a national sports network wouldn’t work in Canada.

For one, I think the sports landscape in this country is sort of divided. There’s Toronto with its somewhat ‘Americanized’ sports tastes (loves hockey, not huge on CFL. Solid to strong MLB, NBA and NFL fanbases). And the rest of Canada (perhaps more of an NHL/CFL interest. Maybe not much interest in MLB, NBA).

But TSN radio is apparently focusing on local sports. So I think it could work.

And your assertion that Toronto is not a big enough market for two sports radio stations is hard to swallow. This is the 4th biggest sports market in North America. Smaller US markets have two or even three sports stations.

I think that people underestimate Toronto’s size because we are relatively underserved from a sports perspective (3 major teams). And – all three of those teams have been mediocre to terrible (hence bad Jays attendance, and the Raptors non relevance right now).

But when one or more of our teams become competitive – or when T.O. gets a 2nd NHL team or an NFL team, I think people will really be surprised at the potential of this market. This size and wealth are here. There just has been nothing to get excited about for a long time.

January 23, 2011 2:24 pm

I love how people are experts on what will and won’t work on radio in Toronto.

Remember this: when they launched 680 News people thought Rogers was out of its collective f***ing mind, too.

For that matter, people thought Telemedia was jumping off a ledge when it switched what was then 1430 to all sports.

My point is – none of us can fully predict how the TSN station will do. But it can’t help but:

a) push the Fan to be better than it is now.

b) offer us a choice of what to listen to.

Don’t forget too, that the plugged was pulled on the Fan airing ESPN radio overnights and weekends. TSN will have that in it’s corner too – the overnight shows can be entertaining, and certainly it beats a repeat of whatever Blair was blathering about 16 hours before, not that what’s on overnight really matters, save the fact that if you put some effort into making your station interesting to listen to 24/7, there’s more of a chance we’ll pick it first to listen to.

No back to you all blithering and prognosticating about how it will all play out.

About as entertaining as listening to people calling in and making trade suggestions for the Leafs.

January 23, 2011 2:53 pm

To the ^ poster, one of the first things Collins did when he took over CJCL-AM was bring ESPN Overnight radio back to the station. So CHUM-AM can’t just take the overnight programming, although there is plenty of other ESPN day programming I am sure they can get.

I think CHUM would be better served having its overnight programming come from CKST-AM/CFUN-AM in Vancouver.

January 23, 2011 3:31 pm

Walt that is part of the allure of this site, we get to be experts on what we like and think. not necessarily on what we can prove conclusively!

I think Mike (IB) had two great points – in an earlier post he talked about ill-will that the Fan has created with its changes, as well as, the situation is vastly different from when the Team was launched. I firmly agree with him on both these points. I also believe that this has created a tremendous opportunity for a second sports station with a legitimate source for on-air talent and programming to push the Fan if not surpass or even bury it.

If you had the choice at noon between Brady and MacLean vs Dreger and McKenzie, as an example, who would you pick? Would Dreger & McKenzie be used for radio, I really have no idea. It is only an example of TSN’s depth.

In my opinion, with the exception of PTS, the line-up at the Fan is incredibly weak and in some cases amateurish which also makes it very vulnerable to competition. This cannot be lost on the Sportsnet execs. It will be interesting to see the moves made in advance of any TSN radio launch.

The Meatriarchy
January 23, 2011 7:27 pm

Daniel: Re-uniting Cox and Stellick for the noon show would be a great idea imho.

Brady as a morning man? hmmm would need a bit of help. I like Brady as a midday guy not sure how he would pull off the morning drive.

As a Leafs fan who happens to live in the GTA I think we should get leafs coverage and at least Krystal talks Leafs. Brady seems too willing to play the “I worked in Detroit” card too often. I know some people out there don’t want to hear ANY mention of the LEafs on sports radio here but guess what? It is Toronto and the Leafs are the NHL team in Toronto in a hockey mad city. Of course there is going to be Leafs coverage.

James: totally agree with you on Hogan the only host I have hated more is Mike Toth and when both of them were together it was cringe inducing.

Which brings me to my biggest fear. Could the launch of a new sports station pave the way for a return of Toth? Someone shoot me now.

January 23, 2011 7:32 pm

Toth= Really, Really bad Radio.

The Meatriarchy
January 23, 2011 7:33 pm


Agree with you on your point on forcing the Fan to be better. When 640 brought in Leafs lunch the Fan responded with Hockey Central and another sports station should continue to force them to up their game.

Also choice is good. I love the option of switching back and forth between Waters and McCown (esp when PTS devotes two hours to discussing cocussions in mindless detail).

I am totally excited about the prospect of another sports station.

Oh and Walt. do you think we could trade Komisarek to Washington for Alzner and Semin plus a first rounder and a prospect?

January 24, 2011 7:55 am

“Domains have been registered to coincide with the rebranding of CTV’s Sports stations under the TSN Radio branding. TSNRadio990.com for “Team 990” CKGM Montreal, TSNRadio1040.com for CKST Vancouver, TSNRadio1050.com for the aforementioned CHUM in Toronto, TSNRadio1200 for “Team 1200” CFGO Ottawa, TSNRadio1290.com for “Sports Radio 1290” CFRW Winnipeg, and TSNRadio1410.com for “Team 1410” CFTE Vancouver. The .ca variants of all those domains were registered by CTVglobemedia’s registrar of choice as well.”


January 24, 2011 10:43 am

Anyone think one has anything to do with the other… Off of Shaun Starr’s twitter…

“How sweet it is. TSN’s @DarrenDreger has joined the Morning Show roster. Each Tuesday & Thursday at 7:25AM starting tomorrow. #NHL #TSN”http://twitter.com/Starr990/statuses/29536955360346112

Starr of course is Co-Host Morning Show on Team 990 in Montreal…

January 24, 2011 10:45 am

According to Fybush.com, Launch date for TSN radio is set for April, which concurs with what The Globe said…

“But sometime in April, that will change once more, when CHUM becomes the flagship of the new TSN Radio Network.”http://www.fybush.com/nerw.html#can

January 24, 2011 10:55 am

Dsscpu – Very interesting…I suspect TSN will model their stations along the lines of the ESPN radio network in the US. ESPN has a full schedule of programming (run from HQ in Bristol CT??…I don’t know) with a national focus/scope that their affilitate stations (i.e. 1000 WMVP in Chicago) seem to be able to pick and choose to fill their broadcast schedule, based on local broadcasting needs (i.e. in lieu of “The Herd” that is currently available nationally, Chicago has a full block during the daytime today that will be focussed on mourning the Bears loss to the Packers 🙁 as I am a Bears fan from birth). The local stations can then also plug in their local game broadcasts as scheduled while at the same time the next night, the national content can be offered.

Should be interesting to see how this all comes together.

January 24, 2011 11:31 am

Pudge, I agree that is the formula that is going to probably make the most sense. When you consider that a lot of these stations have regional radio rights for NHL and CFL games, they need the option to not always be on the main network. Plus they have local radio hosts some of whom draw decent numbers and they will want to maintain.

What I also hope happens is that some of these local voices get some national exposure with their shows… I could easily see, for example the morning show in Toronto also airing in Vanouver because of the time difference, but morning drive in Vancouver wouldn’t air in Toronto. But the late night show in Vancouver could fill the overnight gap on the east coast, etc…

January 25, 2011 8:18 am

I won’t even tune in to sample if they put on Oakley or Derringer. Terrible terrible radio.

January 25, 2011 7:57 pm

Daniel opinion on Oakley is so right on, the sad thing is he was the most talented radio host when he was doing afternoon radio on RB, but went to 640 I am sure got paid great (which of course is fine) and just turned int what you said. I hear he does good ratings but the quality and “personality” have become something so different than his RB days. But hey back to sports

Mike in Barrie I really liked Todd Wright on ESPN late night, he was so entertaining. I remember he had a thing for Jodie Vance lol. He really balanced sports with pop culture as well as I heard anybody did and worked well overnight. He just had this friendly personality that I liked. Since Jason Smith took over, I can’t listen to it at all. It was such a drop off for me. Other ESPN show the Herd (off WGR) I don’t like either. Weekend overnights are okay.

As for Jim Rome, I like him. The thing I will give him is he has such a different type of show than what you hear other places, and it works for me. It’s not for everybody and you have to give it a week or two to get at all the shtick. I get some pretty good laughs about it and nobody deals with horrible calls better. Since Brady came during afternoons I would listen to Brady but whenever Brady is off I go back to Rome fast.

Speaking of Brady I don’t think it will work him working with Krystal, both have “main guy” personalities. Who I did like in the morning is Dan Dunleavy, he is a good straight guy. A morning show with Brady, Dunleavy and a Barb Digiulio. I think that could be a very good mix.

January 28, 2011 3:44 pm

Would love for TSN get Noel Butler on the air in Toronto. He just started writing for their website and covers the Champions League on tv for them. He currently is at the Team 990.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x