You Can Always Come Home

A lot of people asked when the Fan 590 underwent its changes if Dan Shulman would be considered as a potential candidate for one of the openings they were trying to fill. At that time it appeared highly unlikely. The former co-host of PTS has seen his career rocket to the proverbial moon in the world of sports media. Dan, who got his start doing weekend sports updates in Barrie media is the new voice of ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball, in addition to his NCAA basketball duties.

Shulman has inked a deal with TSN where he “will be a regular contributor for TSN’s baseball coverage.”

Take that Sportsnet/Fan 590

Besides the fact that he is VERY good at what he does, Shulman is a class act.

This is a huge loss to the Fan in my opinion. Shulman is always a great guest, especially when he is on with McCown. I heard him on a few weeks ago and McCown and you can tell that they get along quite well together. Their regular segments are highlights of the my listening week. No matter the subject, Shulman talks intelligently and McCown sets him up brilliantly. If Shulman can’t go on the Fan (where he got his start in Toronto) it would be a loss to the little “f” fan and the big F Fan too.

Many of you ask who TSN is going to have host the afternoon drive show opposite McCown. I have absolutely nothing firm. The only name I have heard on a few occasions is Mitch Melnick, who one of you pointed out is in Montreal. Again these are just rumblings that I have heard- a name that some industry types are throwing around. Ironically, the station that Melnick is on carries PTS at 7pm nightly.

Here is the one thing you can take to the bank. Those who currently write sports for major publications are in hot demand. Sportsnet and TSN are going to try and grab whomever they can as fast as they can to appear on their respective airwaves ASAP. Make no mistake about it, this is a war between the two networks and the battle for talent is on. No matter what you may think about those who write sports for the dailys, there just isn’t a whole lot of “talent” in this market who can talk sports 24/7. I am hearing and, therefore, betting that the best of them will be gobbled up soon by either TSN or Sportsnet with a keen eye on radio.

Have a good night



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February 16, 2011 1:41 am

Very interesting.

Yes, Shulman would be a loss to PTS. He’s a phenomenal broadcaster.

I assume Shulman won’t actually be doing any hosting on TSN Radio, correct? Just a guest/analyst?

Good for TSN if they can hire Melnick. Seemed to me that the two biggest sports radio names in Canada outside of Toronto were Richards in Calgary and Melnick in Montreal. TSN has already snagged one of them. It would be a coup to get both.

Why is The Fan looking at Joey Vendetta, a guy who was a Rock DJ in the 80s (and not particularly successful if I’m correct) with limited sports background, instead of going after a guy like Melnick for mornings? I still think Brady in mornings and Gord/Damien in afternoons is a decent idea too.

I have to say I’m looking forward to checking out TSN radio. I never really listened to 640 because I’m a casual hockey fan, and the Leafs haven’t been too compelling the last few years. It’ll be cool for hear an all sports alternative. Having said that, I really enjoy Blair/Brady/McCown and Jays PBP, so I’m not anticipating jumping ship.

February 16, 2011 1:45 am

Also – regarding print journalists – I bet Bruce Arthur comes out of this with a radio deal of some sort (assuming he wants one).

February 16, 2011 1:53 am

I hope Mike Hogan is next to jump to TSN radio. the fan is dead to me as soon as TSN starts up although I love the PTI he should of jumped when he could of.

Sam In Scarbrough
Sam In Scarbrough
February 16, 2011 4:30 am

So as the sun arises, TSN lost Damien Cox to Sportsnet and gained Dan Shulman…I think I know who came out on top.

February 16, 2011 5:34 am

I am sure since ESPN has interst in TSN it is only a given that Dan Shulman would not have much of a choice in this. I have so much respect for him his must be hard because the Fan is where he got his start and was always loyal to PTS. So how about the many other good people of ESPN who appear on the FAN is that it for them too? While I will continue to support the FAN even with some of there questional choices of on air talent, I just cannot seem to watch their progaming at TSN. They have some great talent at TSN but seem to think they can’t be beat so I will go for the under dog in this one. I hope the FAN can get Bruce Arthur,Micheal Grange(Post) on their side…..

February 16, 2011 5:42 am

That should be Bruce Arthur (post), Micheal Grange (Globe) sorry about that….

mike (in boston)
mike (in boston)
February 16, 2011 7:35 am

i’m with Sam. puckheads are a dime a dozen in toronto, but people with real baseball credibility are hard to find. no one on the Rogers roster can match Shulman.this is a huge coup for TSN.

February 16, 2011 7:50 am

Wonder if Rod Black would be in the mix. When I hear him on Live From Wayne Gretzky’s, I find him to be entertaining…even more entertaining than listening to him describe triple toe loops and double axels!!

Al from Burlington
Al from Burlington
February 16, 2011 8:05 am

I know Paul Romanuk lives in England now, but it would be nice if one of the stations could get him on as a regular contributor. I have always found him interesting to listen too.

Who will be the first station to bring on a full time female host?

Raptors Devotee
February 16, 2011 8:48 am

Sam in Scarborough, I am in complete accord with you. While I will gladly take Cox over Shannon, I was really hoping for Brunt to alternate weeks with Arthur. Arthur had said repeatingly that due to his paper committents and growing family (young twins and one more on the way) he just can’t find the time.

I was the one who got the update on Melnick from Mike Cohen in Montreal, a friend of mine in the media know, who informed me that Melnick will not disrupt his family to move to Toronto at this time. He is very happy in Montreal as well. Of course, you can never say never, and maybe if he is blown away with a guaranteed longterm contract he can change his tune, but it is a longshot.

February 16, 2011 9:06 am

While I agree it is a great move for TSN to get Shulman, I`m not sure its a huge loss for the Fan, in his present capacity, as he was only on once a week anyway. You can`t miss what you didn`t have. In saying all that, I`m starting to wonder if the Fan is taking this new competition seriously. There the rights holders, and owners of the Blue Jays and if you ask me there coverage needs to take a huge step forward, would have been a great start whith Shulman on board.

Chris F.
Chris F.
February 16, 2011 9:08 am

It would be truly be a shame if Shulman can’t go on PTS anymore as I always liked the genuine friendship and great sports banter between he and McCown. I’m guessing Shulman will do what Steve Phillips did for TSN on the TV side with a short 5-6 minute segment a week going around the league with an emphasis on the Blue Jays.

As for Melnick I think he’d be a great hire if TSN can get him. It seems to me that TSN Radio is going for a broader appeal rather than going for the tried and true puck talk 24/7. I’m really looking forward to seeing how this station works out and it seems like there’s going to be some stiff competition for my attention.

February 16, 2011 10:18 am

Though I don’t know him personally, there’s two things I’m confident about:

1. Schulman couldn’t be persuaded by a bigger TSN pay day (not just because he’s probably making more than anyone at TSN anyway, but he doesn’t seem the type)

2. Schulman is well aware of the perception — one of his gifts is that he admits there are multiple ways of looking at an issue

#2 is the more interesting to me, because it tells me that there really must be something that smells bad at the Fan 590. Something that would even make someone like Schulman, who is (or at least seems to be) a paragon of integrity, to risk being perceived as working for “the other side” and not the station that helped launch him into the broadcasting dynamo he is.

February 16, 2011 10:41 am

I agree Daniel, Bruce Arthur *has* to be among the top if not the #1 available talent in the city. He is by far my favorite member of the round table, and I am constantly wishing he could get more air time somehow.

He is very intelligent, and reminds me of a younger Brunt to a great degree. I personally prefer his writing to Brunt’s, but he does lose out a bit on the radio, if only due to experience.

But I also think that he is probably starting his radio career a lot earlier than Brunt, and could develop into a stronger personality of his own.

The Fan really, really needs to lock him and a few key others up as fast as possible before TSN really becomes a powerhouse.

February 16, 2011 10:44 am

One last thing – the real key for the fan actually must be locking up Bobcat. His contract is nearly up, and you can tell they are already wooing him with full TV coverage and a new spiffy studio, etc.

If they lost him though…that would be it for the Fan in my eyes.

February 16, 2011 10:49 am

Sam, I’m not sure you have the trade-off straight.

Shulman will not be doing any hosting, and most likely will have a few segments at most throughout the week.

Cox is going to be a regular co-host. So while I agree of course that Shulman is a phenomenal and superior broadcaster/analyst, it isn’t like he is going to be on regularly like Cox.

February 16, 2011 10:57 am

Let’s not forget that yes Shulman got his start at the Fan but I would argue that TSN launched his career. I don’t think he’s ever worked for Rogers.

February 16, 2011 11:13 am

Dan Shulman will be doing Sunday Night Baseball for ESPN who partly owns TSN. I would say it didn’t take much to get him to do the TSN gig.

This has all the making of a showdown, Sportsnet Fan 590 Vs TSN Radio.

Hopefully Pelley now leader of all things Rogers and former head of TSN can smooth the waters.

If Kollins was left to run Sportsnet Fan 590 he would plunge it to the bottom. Pelley has already stepped in, hopefully in time to stop the bleeding.

February 16, 2011 11:47 am

Pat is correct. Does anyone really think that Shulman had a choice? ESPN Radio got pulled from the Fan so it can go on TSN Radio when it starts…..TSN will end up getting all of the ESPN talent. The Fan will end up with SI and some Fox Sports talent. Everything will be drawn along company lines…..this also means that youve heard the end of Jack Armstrong on the Fan….which stinks.

Chris F.
Chris F.
February 16, 2011 12:13 pm

Doug isn’t Jack Armstrong employed by the Raptors? I know he appears exclusively on TSN but I believe he’s getting his money from the Raptors and not TSN.

Correct me if i’m wring on that.

Sam In Scarbrough
Sam In Scarbrough
February 16, 2011 1:00 pm

I believe Sportsnet/590 has many ESPN guests
The biggest show to suffer will be PTS
Bobcat has had many ESPN affiliated guests over many years..
To lose them will be a big shot!!
If PTS has Krystal on within the next 2 weeks then,you know they are hurtin”

February 16, 2011 1:04 pm

Good point, Doug. TSN has probably just said ‘anything ESPN stays with us’.

Doug – Perhaps Jack could be considered for a show on TSN radio? I thought he was a really good host on The Fan. He isn’t a puckhead, but he can talk all four sports too.

Mike S
Mike S
February 16, 2011 1:20 pm

Brunt has been doing radio in one form or another for at least 10-15 years so I don’t think Arthur (who is is his late 30’s I believe) is any younger now than Brunt was when he started his radio work

I agree with those who say that Shulman probably didn’t have a choice…………I’m sure he would love to continue to appear on PTS (a show he used to host) but when 590 changed their name to Sportsnet Radio I had a bad feeling that Shulman would not be on there much longer.

I also agree with those people who say that Arthur would be a key guy to get locked up by one side or the other…………..if TSN gets him he could be a regular guest on TSN radio and fill Damien’s seat on The Reporters (he would be an upgrade on Naylor, who is a good sports reporter but not a great personality yet)………….if Rogers gets him he could hopefully appear on 590 even more than he does now and maybe appear on TV on a similar Reporters show that Sportsnet is apparently considering

February 16, 2011 4:30 pm

Some people don’t understand the relationship with ESPN and TSN. Sportcentre’s name comes from ESPN, the music, the graphics are all very similar because ESPN has an ownership position with TSN – thus they scored Dan Shulman. He would be precluded from going any where near the FAN as an employee – he has friendships there and apears on the FAN because of those – he is going to TSN because they are indirectly his employer already. This just seals the deal and makes sure he’s off the FAN (which is good, as I don’t listen to the FAN. I will at least catch hi on TSN now)

February 16, 2011 4:41 pm

I think it would be smart for TSN to try and get Nelson Millman over to their radio network. the fan has never been the same since he left

February 16, 2011 8:21 pm

Michael Grange?! Really? He sounds like a poor man’s Ray Romano.

February 16, 2011 10:58 pm

I feel a bit sad about all these exclusive contracts. A drawback for it will be the same voices talking to the same people with each respective side which I think hurts the product.

I know the connection of ESPN and TSN but I am wondering. Is there any ESPN programs/sports currently shown on SN? I don’t think there is, the last thing I remember was Sunday Night Baseball early last season was on SN but moved to TSN. So this grabbing exclusive ESPN stuff might be going on for a while.

I agere that Arthur is the next big get. I like Grange also, I saw him on the TSN Sunday morning panel show and he did pretty well, I also heard him recently on The fan. I guess he’s still a “free agent”. Hopefully there can be a few that aren’t under contract in forcing to be exclusive

February 17, 2011 8:39 am

Well Rob, are you 100% sure that is how it works? Do you have insider knowledge of the deals and contracts?

Because thus far even TSM has mentioned he isn’t sure how exactly this aspect of it all will play out.

For example, currently at least (prior to TSN Radio mind you) TSN personalities themselves appear on the Fan – obviously this will probably change with TSN Radio, but I wonder if they *could* why they haven’t stopped TSN/ESPN people from going on the Fan completely.

Perhaps they have no legal justification to cite a conflict of interest or whatever until they actually have their own competing station?

But once TSN Radio is up, can they lock out Shulman for example…without giving him a cent or making any kind of deal?

Anyways, we can’t really know yet how stringent ESPN/TSN will or *can* be. If someone does have rock-solid info on this though, please enlighten us!


Interesting story: When TSN launched they did a wide-ranging survey type deal (not sure on specifics of this), and came up with the pretty great name The Sports Network(TSN). ESPN realized that would be a far superior name and actually tried to buy the rights to it – but were unable to obviously.

Would be funny though today if ESPN was TSN – and usually in these situations the American company always does come out on top with the best name.

February 17, 2011 10:09 am

Good question about Armstrong – I think you may be right I think he does get paid by the Raptors just like Devlin does…..funny though how you rarely hear Leo on the Fan – maybe just because he is boring! 🙂

What would really screw things up even more is if that Rogers/MLSE sale goes thru…..that would change the radio landscape even more would it not!

My gut tells me that McCowan will go to TSN Radio when his contract is up – just a feeling.

February 17, 2011 2:31 pm

TSN radio 1050 is launching April 13th. The news is on their website. They say they have Argo radio rights. Does that mean that Hogie will be moving to them. They announced that they will be carrying the Jim Rome show and Dan Patrick show from ESPN Radio. This would assumedly leave a hole between Richards and Rome. Who will fill this role. They are also promoting Schulman as a contributor. BYE BYE FAN 590. Kollins really made a mess of this.

February 17, 2011 2:59 pm

I could not care less about Jim Rome… I belive the did someone in this market tried him before maybe the old Team 1050 carry him in the early stages?… and it failed.. This market needs local programing to make it.. as for the Argos that will hurt the Fan

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