Clock Ticking On TSN Radio Launch

Updated as of 11:13am:

As an April Fools baby, I don’t have to be reminded that April 1 is on Friday and…the launch of TSN radio a mere couple of weeks away. Not a whole lot to report out of the network as there haven’t been a whole lot hirings, at least not that people are wiling to talk about.

So, here’s what I know so far. Multiple lines have been tossed into the Sportsnet Fan 590 employee waters in attempt to lure various types of employees. To date, TSN hasn’t successfully yanked anyone on either side of the microphone. It appears that they have been focusing lately on numerous producers and update people, but to no avail.

The big question for right now is, who will be hosting the drive home show. I have conflicting reports on this. The one name that I keep hearing is in the mix is……

James Cybulski (by the way, I am not entirely sure that is his mug above, however it comes up repeatedly in searches for him)

Cybulski, according to his TSN bio page is no stranger to radio:

“Cybulski graduated from Algonquin College in 1995 from the Radio Broadcasting program, where he began his broadcasting career doing play-by-play and colour commentary for his hometown Ottawa 67’s. After graduation, Cybulski accepted his first job in the industry as weekend news anchor and weekday reporter at CHEZ 106 Classic Rock. ”

While Michael Landsberg’s name keeps getting tossed around the rumour mill, it sounds like Cybulski is the man.

I have heard a couple of different scenarios, the most interesting one had the TSN Radio lineup including a drive home show from 5-7pm. I’ve heard from a few sources that Cybulski will be part of a lead in team to the drive home show (Landsberg?). However, more and more people with knowledge are telling me that it will be Cybulski going mono a mono with PTS.

A little more than 2 weeks from now TSN radio kicks off. I am sure the appearance of confusion from a far is just that, an appearance. So that’s what I have for you right now. I certainly could be wrong, I have always been a fool, or so everyone tells me!

Update:

I am told by rock solid sources that the show will be Landsberg & Cybulski likely 4-7.

I am told that an announcement should be coming today.

Stay tuned

TSM

@yyzsportsmedia

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 37
  • comment-avatar

    First of all – love the idea of a 5 to 7 drive home show. Really smart of TSN to provide an alternative to that weird 6pm hour on The Fan. Would have liked to see their hockey show on at a different time too. As someone who finds the noon hockey shows a bit dull, it would have been nice to have an alternative.

    Also – I like the idea of James Cybulski more than Landsberg. Lets be realistic – they’re not going to beat McCown anyway, so they may as well try someone young and different who will have a different angle to McCown.

    I think TSN Radio will get hammered for a while, but maybe they can build something by starting slow. That said, it really is more of a ‘soft launch’ than I thought it would be.

  • comment-avatar
    dsscpu 8 years ago

    TSM, something doesn’t add up with this schedule. Maybe you can clarify…

    Richards from 6-10am, Kouleas with That’s Hockey 2Day from noon-1pm and Cybulski from 5-7pm. Slot in Dan Patrick at 10am-noon being joined in progress and then Jim Rome show being in full from 1pm-4pm, there is a gap of 4pm-5pm in the schedule…

    Unless they have decide to air Dan Patrick in full, on a 1 hour tape delay, and move the Hockey show from 1pm-2pm to go head-to-head with the first hour of Krystal which would appeal to me more.

    Also, I take it that after Saturday night, ESPN programming is being pulled from Fan 590?

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    I am sorry nothing against James Cybulski just is not going to cut it…. they do need a big name up against PST McCowan I just know who…I agree someone young like ( Brady though is not going to happen!) or else… how about Dave Hodge he did plenty of radio back in the day and sure is a better alternative than Cybulski or Landsberg… thats if he is interested…TSN will have its work cut out for them against the Fan even with all the shuffling over there the past year…

    Local is the only way to go…Syndicated programming just wont work in Canada I realize this may only be short term and the Fan also started this way….I think the Fan is even going local when ESPN is done over there on the over night shift…

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    Chris F. 8 years ago

    I have no problem with Cybulski but against PTS? That’s just asking him to be a sacrificial lamb. I agree with Mario they need someone established at least in the beginning and think Dave Hodge would be a wonderful idea. I think having someone fresh and young in the role is an eventual goal but sometimes you have to grow your way to such a position and not just be given it on a silver platter y’know what I mean?

    The one thing TSN has going for it that The Team didn’t is they have the resources and the money to go through a couple of losing years on the radio side. We’ll have to see it how it goes.

    BTW last night I listened to a bit of Samut’s show on The FAN. He did a pretty good job but the test is definitely coming up for him on Monday when it goes to the full overnight format.

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    Matthew Pa 8 years ago

    I’m so looking forward to the Dan Patrick Show finally getting here. I think it’s not only the best sports radio program today, but maybe the most listenable show in all of North American radio. It’ll be interesting to see if Toronto is world-wise enough to enjoy it, or whether we just want to listen to provincial radio. At least I don’t have to search for a while to find it.

    I hope they play the whole 3 hours. It’s one of those shows where it’s fun to listen to the whole story line.

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    Gerry (Burlington) 8 years ago

    I for one am looking forward to the competition plain and simple. The morning show on the Fan has improved quite a bit and will be forced to continue to improve with Richards competing on TSN.

    While I don’t mind Blair, as many others have said, the constant call in segments are getting very old, and I really do miss all the regular contributors Hogan had for NBA, NFL etc updates. In that aspect, I look forward to the Syndicated option. I recognize this won’t be longterm nor can it be long term successful. But instead of the 30th episode of why should the leafs keep Ron Wilson etc… it will be an option.

    The afternoon will also be a good alternative. Even though I haven’t always been a big Jim Rome fan, you know there will be plenty of good guests on that show. A great improvement from Krystel/Lajoie.

    I guess, my main point, is we finally have an option. The Fan has had their way for years and whether TSN succeeds long term or not, competition can only help the quality.

  • comment-avatar
    Rob in Aurora 8 years ago

    I don’t mind the idea of cybulski at all (much better than Landsberg!). I think he is capable of attracting a young audience and I am pretty sure he has a broad knowledge base of all the major sports. I think McCown is tired and old and ripe for being knocked off. I think young people will tune him out and TSN has other recognizable talent to augment any show they air.

    If their studios are in Agincourt, they can avoid the annoying phone-ins that other stations like AM640 do now. I want to hear a clear voice, telephone interviews become hard to take after a while.

    Dowbiggin always waits until this blog reports on anything real or new – We can expect an article about Cybulski tomorrow

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    Al from Burlington 8 years ago

    I agree with Rob in Aurora. McCown is old and played out. The same revolving guests on PTS are boring and predictable
    TSN has a real chance to gain a share with a proper drive home time slot and refreshing interesting guests.

  • comment-avatar
    Steve from Waterloo 8 years ago

    Why would a TV guy want to go back to radio? Wouldn’t that be considered a step down on the success ladder?

    I think the progression seems to be writer for a local paper/blogger, radio personality/subject expert, television.

    I welcome the sports radio alternative, pretty much regardless of the host (there is a Krystal caveat there!)

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    Phil from Mississauga 8 years ago

    I love Cybulski…check out his latest interview
    http://watch.tsn.ca/nba/#clip437351

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    So it looks like no Landsberg, I guess?

    Yeah – Cybulski is a neat choice. I doubt he’ll get close to McCown, but I’m sure TSN is aware of that. (Perhaps why they went with a big gun in mornings, instead of drive home).

    Here’s what I feel is a safe prediction at this point:

    By September, Bryan Hayes will either be in Krystal’s current slot on The Fan or mid mornings/ mid afternoons on TSN. Doesn’t that seem inevitable at this point?

  • comment-avatar
    dsscpu 8 years ago

    It’s official now, James Cybulski will be the guy.

    http://tsn.ca/story/?id=360260

  • comment-avatar
    Adhish 8 years ago

    So what will happen to the Bill Watters show. Is TSN going to let their talent also appear on another radio station?? I think Bryan Hayes would be an excellent choice for the 1pm-4pm slot instead of Jim Rome. Rome can be heard on WGR if anyone really cares

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    No such luck… Iam sure they will only be allowed to be on there radio station only…. just like no one form TSN is on the Fan and the Fan wont let them on either… say good bye to 640 Bill Watters show as well there done!!! TSN radio will need luck as well…the only thing they will have on PTS is they go till 7 pm…McCowan will be hard to beat…Hayes wil be a good pick up who ever gets him…

  • comment-avatar
    dsscpu 8 years ago

    640 will have to go with talent that is non TSN and non Sportsnet. That means CBC, The Score, any Quebec people and non-Canadian guys who are on Fox Sports or CBS, etc.

    Will be tougher to say the least

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    If the Watters show isn’t toast by the end of April, I’ll be shocked.

  • comment-avatar
    Chris F. 8 years ago

    The Watters show has been a dead man walking for at least a few months now. I reckon once the hockey season is over 640 will end their sports flirtation which means no more Watters and no more Leafs play by play.

    I’m surprised there hasn’t been news of them pulling the plug relatively soon as one would think with both a Federal election and pretty soon a provincial one it’d be well past time to have a political type show for the drive time hours.

  • comment-avatar
    R from Toronto 8 years ago

    McCown is going to eat Cybulski alive. What is TSN thinking????

  • comment-avatar

    […] • TSN’s James Cybulski will be the afternoon drive host for TSN Radio in Toronto, and our old pal Steve Kouleas will host their noontime show. [TSN and Toronto Sports Media] […]

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    LG toronto 8 years ago

    i for one will definitely check out C-Balls’ show. i always enjoy his style on tv, and think he’ll do well with his own show.

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    @Chris F : I agree about it being a deadman walking for sometime now. Wilbur, when he isn’t taking days off, has been even more bitter than he usually is. Once the leaf season ends, I don’t see how 640 can continue to air this show. TSN will be taking some of the little listener base the Watters show has, and they’ll also stop allowing their talent to appear on their station as guests.

    Not sure if it means anything, but I flipped to 640 during PTS commercial break and BHayes wasn’t the host today.

  • comment-avatar
    mike (in boston) 8 years ago

    McCown is going to eat Cybulski alive. What is TSN thinking????

    my guesses:

    1. Trying to compete head-on with PTS by going with Landsberg or Hodge would yield lousy numbers at the beginning, allowing the FAN to crow about their dominance. Going the “young” route allows TSN to build up an audience before trying to go head to head.

    2. TSN plans to throw buckets of money at Bob when his contract expires. No point in trying to build a show when you can just buy one

    3. TSN may be gambling on people being sick of Bob being on cruise control on PTS. People on this site (myself included) have complained about the ongoing FOB (friends of Bob) nuisance. Bob has bordered on contempt for his audience with some segments recently. Face it: PTS sometimes conducts brilliant interviews, and conducts great journalistic research; sometimes PTS is just an old guy talking to old guys about stuff he doesn’t really know anything about.

    4. you don’t need to win the ratings battle to make money in radio.

  • comment-avatar
    Gerry (burlington) 8 years ago

    Just heard on ctv sports Claude Feig is leaving ctv to be a senior anchor on TSN radio, maybe their sports update guy?

  • comment-avatar

    Claude Feig from CTV is also moving to TSN Radio, not sure in what capacity but it sort of sounded like he might be a co-host with Cybulski.

  • comment-avatar

    not bad, like the idea of going young.

    Still would rather they get Tim and Sid instead but whatever

  • comment-avatar
    Hez - TO 8 years ago

    Way to be on top of this story – well you were 50% correct …but not bad without an editor yelling at you to get your facts straight…BTW, get your facts straight next time

    My 2 cents – C-Balls will be good …seems like a decent guy – and really with McCowan/Blair/ Krystal – that who grumpy guy-thing is getting old – literally.

    some advice to YYZmedia – if you want to be taken seriously – lose the bikinis…

  • comment-avatar
    Bob from Burlington 8 years ago

    When Bobcat left for holiday late last week, it was Damien Cox who in the transition broadcast with McCown, mentioned that there would be numerous “sitdowns” by McCown in the next while. I suspect that McCown will drag his heels figuratively to Mole 1 and 2 as he calls them(Pelley and perhaps Kollins) as he mopes around looking for a salary increase.

    Interestingly as of mid March,Kollins may have started his current stint with less authority in his present position. Sportsnet appointed Scott Woodgate as VP Programming which will include national radio and television programming with obvious say in the soon to be battlefield of the Southern Ontario sports radio market. Pelley and presumably Woodgate eventually, will have their pawprints all over the Fan 590 programming as it shores up against the incoming TSN 1050.

    I wonder if the TSN 1050 will be interested in giving some radio time to a fine journalist Mike Hogan. I enjoyed his Bullpen show and felt bad when he was let go. Hogie cut his teeth in broadcasting amateur sports and was one of the best commentators for amateur and pro football on the Fan 590- his weekly sessions with Chris Shultz and his NFL contacts was always a must hear for me. I thought I read somewhere that Argos broadcast might be heading to TSN 1050 but I could be wrong.

    Anyways, goodluck TSN radio as it now gives a good alternative to listening in the am, lunch and pm from my current repertoire of Fan 590 and Sirius satelitte.

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    Good Call, Mike. Sid and Tim would be great on The Fan or TSN. Their podcast is good.

    I’m not sure if people like the guy or not – but I almost wonder if Gareth Wheeler could be an OK host. The Grill Room was kind of cheesy, but I found him alright. Maybe even as an evening/weekend replacement for Roger Lajoie or something.

    Either way, with TSN (and probably when Krystal gets canned by The Fan I’m guessing) there’s definitely going to be some openings for new hosts.

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    Rob in Aurora 8 years ago

    I really don’t know why we have to listen to Roger laJoie when Blair or Krystal are away. Obviously Stellick is a better host and he is underutilized right now. I can’t listen to LaJoie for 5 minutes, Farraway too…I hope TSN has better fill ins. They do everything so much better than Rogers, so I am sure they will pay attention to details

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    Skinner 8 years ago

    Cybulski’s not bad, but not exactly a guy I am going to tune in to listen to. Mccowan is still the man, always has been, always will be. The guy I keep waiting for to pop up again is Mike Toth. He was the best fill-in for Mccowan when he did PTS. He would have been a much cooler choice, but face it no one is going to beat Mccowan

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    Don Mandrie 8 years ago

    There’s only one guy in the country who can take on McCown. He works for the same company as TSN. But he’s in Montreal. TSN must be working with blinders on.

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    I was disappointed with the choice to go up against PTS. I suspect it is a stop gap measure as they pitch to Bob with his FAN contract coming to an end.

    On an unrelated note, did anyone hear Mike Willner yesterday? How does this guy keep a job? He was woefully over his head and spewed website headlines about baseball… For a guy who just saw the Jays everyday fir two weeks, he added nothing to the discussion .

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    Gerry (Burlington) 8 years ago

    @KBM – Was going to write in about that, but didn’t know if anyone was listening to him. Could not agree more with you. Even just his delivery as he introduced his guests was awful. I for one have never cared for Wilner as I find him so condescending to the call ins, yet every week hosts a call in show. He has some knowledge, but overall I just find him far to arrogant given his talents.

    Sounded to me like Brunt was quite reserved, and had to be hoping Bob would be back soon. Of course after about 20-30 mins i had to turn it off.

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    I really enjoy Tim & Sid as well, listen everyday and listen to McCown on podcast later. Only thing is, I think you would ruin what they have going on with their show if you put them an normal radio. I hear Tim & Sid everyday on my way home and I am in hysterics daily listening to them. Don’t ruin it by crimping them with having to behave and toe the line on AM radio!!

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    Mike S 8 years ago

    I wonder how much the weak signal of 1050 will hurt TSN Radio………….someone made a comment about that on this site a few weeks ago………….when 590 moved from 1430 several years ago I believe it made a big difference because 590 has a very strong signal and the signal on 1430 was extremely weak

  • comment-avatar

    […] • TSN’s James Cybulski will be the afternoon drive host for TSN Radio in Toronto, and our old pal Steve Kouleas will host their noontime show. [TSN and Toronto Sports Media] […]