More on TSN Radio

The news today on TSN Radio is interesting. We told you about Richards a long time ago, so there was no surprise there. The fact that Richards is the only “local” personality to be named in the TSN 1050 release is mildly shocking. There may, however, be a reason for it.

For those who are kind enough to visit this site on a regular basis know that I am a big Dan Patrick fan. Having lived in the U.S. of a for the better part of 15 years and being a sports radio junkie, I’ve heard most of the national guys and Patrick is by far my favourite. He knows his stuff and is able to talk intelligently on all of the major sports. He has a great sense of humour and most importantly, he gets great guests.

On the flip side, I am not a Rome guy. Jim Rome is one of those on air personalities where there are only two groups: those who love him; and those who hate him. I don’t think there is such a thing as a casual Jim Rome listener. I am not a fan. It’s nothing personal; it’s not that I don’t think he’s talented or smart. I just don’t like the style.

There are a few reasons I’m surprised that TSN is going with syndication. The first and easiest reason is that both shows have been on in Toronto before, but with little success. Secondly, both shows are available in Buffalo on WGR 550. So this isn’t feeding an under-served audience. The biggest reason I am surprised is that these guys simply don’t fit the market. The content on both these shows is going to be relevant to the Toronto audience less than 10 per cent of the time. (10 may actually be a stretch)

When I lived in Miami, no matter what any other team was doing, the sun rose and set with the Dolphins. With the lone exception of when the Marlins won the World Series, it was Dolphins, Dolphins, Dolphins. It’s no different here with the Leafs and hockey. The problem is that neither Rome or Patrick talk much hockey, let alone Maple Leafs hockey. The question is, what will the Toronto audience do when both are talking NCAA football and/or basketball? If Sportsnet The Fan 590 is talking hockey playoffs or NHL trade deadline, what kind of audience will TSN 1050 radio have when their talking NCAA basketball?

This isn’t a knock on basketball. The same will be true when they talk NFL football or non-Blue Jays baseball. Ninety percent of the talk on both those shows will be totally irrelevant to the sports radio audience in Toronto. I love Patrick’s NFL talk. I love when he has Peter Gammons on. He gets great non-hockey guests. However, so little seems to be relevant here.

So what does it mean?

To be honest, I think it doesn’t mean much. TSN 1050 radio comes on air April 13. My bet is that by the time fall comes around, they will have their fill of local personalities. Summer is the season when radio goes on holiday. Why pay for new guys when both the talent and the audience is away? More importantly, if they are going to try to grab talent with any type of non-compete clauses they will need some time before those folks are free to go on the air. I don’t know this to be the case, but I’m thinking this is a short-term solution. Soft launch with Richards in the a.m. They will have an afternoon prime-time show too. Both shows will be full of TSN personalities. Come fall, when the Leafs are in training camp, I’ll be surprised if they haven’t filled out their local talent roster.

What the Jack?

Do you remember the day that Chris Bosh left the Toronto Raptors? Do you remember the first interview he did locally? He was on the radio with Eric Smith and Jack Armstrong. It was really weak interview. Puff ball question after question. Over the last couple of days, with Bosh’s reunion approaching, Armstrong was on the air quite a bit telling both various hosts and listeners how much he didn’t like “the way” Bosh left Toronto. What? you can’t suck and blow at the same time, Jack. You can’t throw the softball questions at first and then come back after the fact and be critical. The time to be critical was then when you had Bosh on the air. You don’t have to be rude about it, but rather fair and balanced.

TSM

@yyzsportsmedia

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Wes
Wes
February 17, 2011 10:53 pm

TSN Radio has 100% less Roger Lajoie. That is a great start.

mario
mario
February 17, 2011 11:26 pm

I agree with you TSM this is much to do about nothing…they will need local canadian content to compete with the FAN 590.. Usual Suspects in the Globe is saying Michael Landsberg( not a fan of him at all) will probaly be up against the PTS Bobcat will eat him alive !

Petti
Petti
February 17, 2011 11:30 pm

Landsberg? Haven’t even watched his show in years. PTS has still managed to remain more relevant. At present, I see no reason to to make the jump over to TSN radio.

Chris F.
Chris F.
February 17, 2011 11:33 pm

Michael Landsberg is okay in small doses but yeah, he’d get KILLED by Bobcat.

Thanks for the mini review on Dan Patrick TSM. I think I might listen to his show quite a bit when Blair is talking too much hockey or the calls get a bit tedious. Needless to say i’m sure you’re right that TSN Radio will have “local” talent by the fall.

Raptors Devotee
February 17, 2011 11:45 pm

TSM, I remember the Bosh inteview like it was yesterday, with Jack, Eric and Jonesy having him on and we were all tweeting at the time on how pathetic it was how they were kissign his ass and accepting everything at face value, while knowing how upset us Raptor fans were on how Bosh was handling himself. The only remotely challenging question I recall came from E.Smith, but even then there was not much to it. Jack was the worst, as he avoided any confrontation at all costs.

I like Jack a lot, but after that interview it became apparent to me that Jack, like the Bobcat, is very good at being critical on the air when necessary, but when given the opportunity to confront any guests directly, will shy away from it. That is just not right.

I noticed your tweet that you said Rome is a Sports guy and Krystal isn’t. Even so I can’t take Rome, as his act (even if it is not an act) rubs me the wrong way and I have no tolerance to listen to it, none.

Daniel
Daniel
February 18, 2011 1:05 am

Oof. Michael Landsberg?

I think his quote about PTS was very classy in the Globe, but with respect, I’m not a huge fan. He’s OK, I suppose. But I’m not sure he’d beat Bill Watters, nevermind McCown. Kind of reminds me of the team putting Jim Van Horne up against McCown.

Perhaps TSN isn’t trying to topple The Fan off the bat here, though. Maybe they’re trying to start small, and just get a foothold. I dunno.

Either way – I think TSN would be smart to have Landsberg show go until 7. He should do well against the PTS replay at least.

Who would have thought their lineup would have been Richards, Patrick, Rome and Landsberg?

By the way, I totally agree with you, TSM – Patrick and Rome are both very talented broadcasters. And I will probably tune into both here and there. But they’re just not really relevant here, and they will compare terribly to Blair and Brady when they’re talking Leafs/Jays/Raps etc.

Madis Pugi
Madis Pugi
February 18, 2011 1:12 am

For those of you who like sports radio, Dan Patrick may be the best ever at it. I’ve listened to Dan on podcast for many years, and it’s great to hear he’s finally coming to Toronto.

As for Jim Rome, I don’t need to be preached at. At least he’s not as bad as Colin Cowherd on ESPN, but that’s not saying much.

Good luck to TSN radio. At least as far as Dan Patrick, and sampling the local hosts, I’ll be listening.

Mike S
Mike S
February 18, 2011 1:41 am

Lansberg can be rather annoying during a 30 minute TV show…………how annoying would he be during a 3 hour radio show??

The syndicated programming is definitely inexpensive…………..but when April 13 rolls around and Patrick/Rome are talking NFL draft while 590 talks about the first round of the NHL playoffs I am pretty sure I know who most people will want to listen to

It sounds like 640 will continue with Wilbur’s show )for now) but I’ll believe it when I see it…………you have to think TSN will use guys like Dreger, Ferraro, McGuire, Naylor, MacKenzie for their own station…………..when Wilbur’s show loses regular guests like that there won’t be much left

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Il Duce
Il Duce
February 18, 2011 8:28 am

I find it funny how TSM is sounding off on Armstrong, Davis and Jones for throwing up puff ball questions to Bosh. Would you have liked it if they called Bosh out during the interview? You can still not agree with what a person did, but an interview is not the place to let them know.

I remember not so long ago, an Interview on this very website with Steve Simmons right after the guy basically stole a part of this very blog and put it in his Sunday column, word for word. TSM went Dexter on him but I don’t seem to remember any hard hitting questions about this during the interview. It was like a love in, similar to the Bosh interview.

Sure, throw someone under the bus!! Is that how you get them to do interviews or give you ‘insider info?’

Look in the mirror

Stumack
Stumack
February 18, 2011 9:13 am

I tend to agree this is a stop-gap introductory lineup and things will get fleshed out over the summer. I feel there’s a significant market for sports talk that ISN’T hockey (particularly Leafs) all the time – in fact I think that is much of McCown’s appeal. Wilbur will be gone after June – perhaps an opening for Mr. Krystal at 640?

mike (in boston)
mike (in boston)
February 18, 2011 9:33 am

the one worry i would have about TSN’s decision to run syndicated US programming is that it might turn off a lot of people who will then feel no need to switch, even when they eventually set their line-up in the fall. it will be a bad first impression for a lot of people who love hockey, and don’t care about college football and basketball.

TSM, any word on who is PD at TSN RADIO?

also: “. We told you about Richards a long time ago, so there was no surprise there.

are you auditioning for Bruce’s job? We’re not big fans of his style of writing, as you know.

Cam
Cam
February 18, 2011 10:54 am

I am less convinced TSN will stumble in the morning than some others here. The listener call-in focus of the Fan, introduced last year with the changes, is the Achilles heel, in my opinion.

I think Blair is incredibly vulnerable with the current format that seems relentlessly focused on local callers talking about the Leafs with side journeys into the Raptors and Jays. He is a novice broadcaster, learning the craft and it shows. So if Patrick has intelligent guests with broader topics without the local focus it beats the hell out of Anyone in a car on the 400 ranting once more about the Kessel trade. In my opinion it is a viable alternative for share in this slot.

As for Brady, I am not a fan of him solo but there is no doubt he is much better with a surrounding cast and has improved Hockey Central @ Noon. Does he have the morning show or not and if not, who does? If he does then there may be time to build a loyal audience. I heard the morning show yesterday for the first time and it was okay until the call-ins started, again. If he doesn’t, then Richards vs. say Vendetta – who gets the sports audience? In my mind any advantage to the incumbent 590 is squandered at this point.

I really can’t see the afternoon line-up challenging much as it currently sits. Rome will not push hockey central but if Krystal’s tweets were accurate and he has 1-3, then it may very well be a slug race. PTS should not suffer any loss from Landsberg if those reports are correct. It appears right now TSN is conceding the afternoon.

Overall, it is shaping up to be a pretty inauspicious debut.

Steve (in Hamilton)
Steve (in Hamilton)
February 18, 2011 11:36 am

I don’t think you are being fair at all to Armstrong or Smith. In fact, they did confront Bosh when they talked to him last year – but they didn’t scream at him either. Rather, they were polite and mature.

Bosh made some inappropriate tweets and then made a decision to leave, which a lot people didn’t like. It’s not as if he committed a crime.

Martin
Martin
February 18, 2011 12:18 pm

If Landsberg is going to try radio he had abit of a trial run in Montreal on The Team990 the last two days (Wed-Thursday) co-hosting ? The Montreal Forum with Tony Mariono

Doug
Doug
February 18, 2011 12:20 pm

I concur with Mike(in Boston) people may not flip back to TSN radio if they don’t like what they hear for the first 4-6 months.I don’t support a soft launch, with Landsberg as the Drive home show this lineup went from underwhelming, to down right irrelevant other than Richards in the morning. Not all sports radio listeners are up with the behind the scenes going on as the fans and commentors of TSM are.

The syndicated programming will offer very little NHL coverage, no CFL coverage(yes haters there is still a niche for this in Southern Ontario). As well as very sporadic if not virtually zero coverage of local teams, since the franchises here aside from perhaps the Jays are struggling and the American audience generally dosen’t care about Canadian teams.

Tom
Tom
February 18, 2011 1:20 pm

Landsberg did a short stint doing mornings on 640 and was dire

Darren
Darren
February 18, 2011 3:33 pm

Jack Armstrong should not have any job on TV or radio, he should be delivering newspapers, he is annoying and uninformative.

Peter
Peter
February 18, 2011 4:39 pm

Dan Patrick show is a great addition, he is not available on WGR 550 as they pick up Colin Cowherd. What is strange is that they would pick up Dan Patrick and not Colin Cowherd when ESPN partially owns TSN. Also Dan Patrick show has not been on the air in Toronto before.

Rome
Rome
February 18, 2011 6:46 pm

First off really poor timing on my name, did not expect Rome to be a huge topic lol. Secondly, I like Jim, but it is certainly an acquired taste. But as syndicated stuff goes, I think he does general sports topics well enough that I can get into the topics even if it’s not local stuff. (PTI does that very well too on the TV side)

All things being equal I would take local over syndicated. But all things aren’t equal and if there’s a local topic talked about all day I can certainly go for some syndicated program to hear some different stuff. If Brady goes back to his original timespot I will always listen to Greg before Jim. But if somebody else is there, it will be more of a decision. I think also much like WGR does, if something is happening local you can also leave the syndicated show for the day to focus on the local issue. BTW a quick correction TSM, I don’t think Patrick is on WGR, Cowherd is on during that time.

Glad you talked about the Bosh return/NBA commentators. But Armstrong didn’t catch my ears as much as ESmith. Did you hear the post game show after the Heat match, it was absurd. They had Bosh on after the game and they were all chummy chummy. Asked him if his kiss to the crowd was sincere, CB said of course it is. ESmith & Jones then spends the nxt half hour of post game show telling the listerners and callers what a “sincere & great guy he is”

Until they hear the presser of CB with james & Wade when Bosh was asked about it and answered “What sarcastic mean” and that the kiss can mean anything people want it to mean. Then it goes back to Jones and ESmith, you can just feel the shock in themseleves as they say “This is why fans get upset, the double talk Bosh does” I literally laughed out loud and said DUH guys. I heard somebody on the radio said it best about a lot of the basketball media here, these players aren’t and shouldn’t be your chums. I think RD here said it well, start reprsenting the fans & your listeners and stop trying to win “hang out” points with the players.

Dave
Dave
February 18, 2011 8:18 pm

All this talk of Armstrong and ESmith make me realize how awesome Bobcat is. So refreshing to hear him cut away from the Burke presser today to save the audience from the “idiot reporters”. 😀

Steve (in Hamilton)
Steve (in Hamilton)
February 18, 2011 9:29 pm

TSM – this is a bit off-topic, but do you, or does anyone, know why Tom Tebbutt no longer writes for the Globe anymore? He is recognized as one of the finest tennis writers in the world, and now that both Raonic and Marino are making real moves in the rankings, it would be great if our best tennis writer was actually writing for a major paper again.

Matt
Matt
February 18, 2011 10:30 pm

Peter, The Dan Patrick Show works much better with TO’s sensibilities than Colin Cowherd would. As my American cousin once told me “Cowherd is for people who can’t think about sports for themselves”. Dan Patrick’s show never tells you what to think and Dan’s cohosts always jump in for a different point of view.

Also Cowherd’s misguided views would make Bob McCowan seem like Gord Stellick. And that’s the last thing TSN needs.

Chris
Chris
February 18, 2011 10:50 pm

So, TSN is coming to town with syndicated US shows we can get on either WGR or XM; and Lansberg in afternoon drive? REALLY?

Can anyone say TEAM 1050?

This will be a disaster. 640 may not even have to blow up their 5 hours of sports if this is the TSN plan of entering the Toronto radio market.

Chris
Chris
February 18, 2011 11:20 pm

From the official TSN press release:

“Along with live Argos broadcasts, TSN Radio 1050 is also the official radio broadcaster for two of golf’s major championships – The British Open and the U.S. Open – and Euro 2012 and 2016.”

Ooof.

Matt
Matt
February 19, 2011 12:20 am

Chris, I couldn’t disagree with you more. There are thousands of us who don’t listen to fan590 or 640 any more. Why do you think Mccown is still around and succeeding? Because he’s not lost in the home team only mentality that’s turned so many of us off Toronto sports radio. That’s doubley re-enforced considering McCown’s wonderful relationship with management.

TSN has a chance to serve the thousands of us who don’t want to hear for the millionth time that the Leafs are only a couple players away from the Stanley cup. Toronto is one of the great cities in the world, and deserves a sports radio station that doesn’t sound like it’s from Port Hope.

Daniel
Daniel
February 19, 2011 2:41 am

I could see TFC being a fit on TSN Radio. They had a lot of games overlap with Jays broadcasts on The Fan.

Although – I’m not sure there’s much of an audience for TFC on the radio (then again I’m not sure there’s much of an audience for Argo games on the radio either).

johnny
johnny
February 19, 2011 5:58 am

We they will have me in the 12PM to 3PM EST time-slot. Jim Rome is the most talented sports radio personality.

Other than that, I can’t see this working out for CTV Bell/Globe Media.

To sum this up Bobcat will kill Landsberg. Leafs and Jays broadcasts on 640 and 590 will kill whatever lame bowling or college women’s basketball game 1050 gets rights to.

Team 1050 eerrrrrr I mean TSN 1050.

Doug
Doug
February 19, 2011 9:33 am

Anyone know if Hogan is going to TSN Radio to do the broadcasts or if someone else is doing it?

Daniel
Daniel
February 19, 2011 2:20 pm

Jim Lang cohosted with Brady on Friday. I think those two could make a good morning show.

If they did that, and the Fan got a new afternoon guy, they could even move Hockey Central to 6pm, say. It would replace that annoying replay hour. You could just do some baseball show/pregame type thing in the summer.

Chris
Chris
February 19, 2011 2:45 pm

Matt,

I don’t disagree with you about the whole homer home team mentality. 640 is absolutely disgusting when it comes to that. However, in my opinion, imported syndicated US programming won’t work here. A few thousand people who are interested in listening to it aren’t enough for a sports radio station to survive in this market.

Also, Toronto Argos broadcast rights and a couple of golf majors aren’t exactly blue chip properties that will have people turning the dial en-masse.

From what they’ve (TSN) announced thus far, this just seems doomed to fail.

Matt
Matt
February 19, 2011 4:11 pm

Chris, you have a good point about US syndicated programming. And I don’t think Jim Rome’s show will work in TO.

But The Dan Patrick Show is completely different. It may be one of the most listenable show in all of talk radio. Not just sports radio.

What makes it different is the same thing that makes McCown so popular in TO. A strong personality who doesn’t get stuck in player interviews or the same old discussions about the same old sports.

But it’s also part sitcom with it’s cast of humorous but very flawed characters who never let Dan get stuck in a rut. I think if it catches on, it may be a formula that will be “tributed’ here a few times.

It’s also interesting how many people in TO know about and listen to the show already even though the it’s about American sports and not on the radio. Just the other night I had a good discussion about it at Gretzky’s.

(And you do realize that we’re not talking in the millions when we’re talking about ratings for Toronto sports radio, right?)

For anyone who wants to try it, start from Monday’s famous (or infamous) Charlie Sheen’s show and go from there. You can get it free on itunes. Be careful, it’s very addictive. If TSN gives it a few months in TO, I’m sure it should catch on.

Gordo
Gordo
February 19, 2011 7:07 pm

Any plans top take the radio national or does the T in TSN stand for Toronto???

headsup
headsup
February 20, 2011 9:56 pm

An interesting line-up for sure. That’s got to be a soft launch though. I am concerned for TSN’s live sports coverage. I’m assuming that TSN will take on ESPN’s coverage of Sunday Night Baseball, NFL games, and NCAA stuff. Who has the rights to the Stanley Cup? If 640 is getting out of the sports format, TSN would jump on it hopefully. If they don’t, TSN could be the home of the Argos, Toronto Rock, TFC, and any other low-interest sports. Good luck TSN, you’ll need it.

James
James
February 22, 2011 9:32 am

Would be funny if eventually Rogers buys up MLSE, and then since TSN decided to draw lines with talent and between corps, the Fan / Sportsnet have exclusive rights to Leafs, Raps, and Jays…games and more.

Its interesting, as personally as a neutral observer it seems everyone would benefit a lot more by having a more open environment – its definitely better for the fans to have choices and I’m not so sure it wouldn’t be for the media too.

Anyways. I think the thing you guys are almost ALL failing to comprehend was a primary point of TSM’s, the fact that this lineup is TEMPORARY. He goes into detail about how this is mainly for summer – when Bobcat & co. are on vacation anyway.

So right now its disappointing, but that will most likely change. Personally I just am happy to have Richards in the morning, and hopeful Brady goes back to afternoons so I can catch both.

Rome
Rome
March 30, 2011 8:08 pm

if t s n has any smarts they ll sqeeze Hogey in their line up

murph
murph
April 27, 2011 2:38 am

losers,hope your leafs do well in2222!! popcorn song is catchy,for toronto!!!!!!! you can’t spell play offs losers!!!!!!!( I actually like the leafs! its you idiots,vancouver hates!!! Stay in Toronto”,oh we(Toronto) dont smoke weed!!!! Cause coke is prem!!!!Morons!!!!!!

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