Toronto Sports Media Catch- Up

Greetings and salutations (are you a heather?)

As one MSMer said to me last week, ‘ does the sports media business ever have an off-season in Toronto?’

So let’s recap what’s occurred over the last week or so. Phenomenal article over at PPP about Bill Watters dropping a homophobic slur, only days after I told you that the end of his show is near.

The Pierre LeBrun to TSN story was finally announced, again, we told you it would 🙂

Peter Loubardias was let go from Sportsnet.

Rumours continue to swirl that Rogers is about to acquire the Ontario Teachers Pension fund share in MLSE and that the Leaf radio rights are going to the Fan 590.

Adrian Wojnarowski, of yahoo! sports dropped a grenade that Bryan Colangelo is going to hire a GM for the Toronto Raptors.

That about sums it up right?

So here’s my take on the moves.

First, the Watters slur. Is anybody the least bit surprised by this? I mean really. How many times have I written about him dropping racially insensitive “slurs” on the air. Come on people. Bill Watters is OLD SCHOOL. He is what he is. I don’t buy for one second that what he said didn’t have the intended meaning that everyone took it mean. How many times have you heard Watters say that so and so was “light in the loafers”? Watters is the modern day Archie Bunker. Really people.

LeBrun joins TSN. How many news breakers can one network have? I mean, they have McKenzie, they have Dreger as the 2 heavy weights. Add in the likes of Ray Ferraro, Mike Johnson, Craig MacTavish who only do hockey too and wow. To borrow from the sports cliche, how many microphones are there to go around? Don’t get me wrong, I am a big LeBrun fan. I am a TSN fan, but that is a top heavy “insider” lineup wouldn’t you say?

Peter Loubardias let go from Sportsnet. I don’t know Peter but people in the business have only the nicest things to say about him. It’s just another example of the changes Moore is making over at Rogers. I loved the comment in Dowbiggin’s column about Rogers not knowing where the rumours of change coming from only to terminate a well known personality hours later. Rogers is doing everything in its power to grow their sports properties. I am told a fall relaunch is coming and it’s going to be “huge”. Peter Loubardias is a talented guy. He’ll get another gig. Heck, TSN can always use a few more hockey guys no? His replacement? My money is on Dan Dunleavy. Which means the Fan needs another replacement for Berger.

Rogers and MLSE. Everyone is hearing the same thing. Rogers is looking seriously at MLSE. It only makes sense. Will they get a deal done? Time will tell. Until then, there will be speculation.

Watters, for those who didn’t see it, I told you last week that it sounded like the Watters show would end on Friday. Well, a glimpse at Arlene Bynon’s page on 640 tells you that she will be on weekday’s from 4-7pm. Go figure.

Adrian Wojnarowski column was big news in Raptors land. Unless I totally missed it, which is, of course possible, I didn’t see, or hear of any chance of Colangelo giving up any power in any local media outlet that covers the Raptors. Can you imagine if Yahoo! broke the news that Burke was going to do the same? That’s big news. The question in my mind is what’s really going on here. Is this a situation where Colangelo needing help, needing a Nonis type guy who has all the credentials and credibility to talk trades with other GM’s so that he, Colangelo can do the other parts of the job, i.e. sweet talk to sponsorship partners and advertisers etc? Or, conversely is this a situation where the guys over at Teachers said, if you want Colangelo to stick around, then he has to hire a GM to work under him?

I don’t know the answer. We may never know the answer. That to me is the most intriguing part of the story.

Tomorrow is a new day and the start of a new week. Let’s see where it goes.

TSM


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mario
mario
July 18, 2011 3:07 am

Very true..sports media never has a off season thats why I and alot of other people enjoy this blog so much…this is truly big business which has no heart when good people who will find other work and not so good people whos time has come are put out to pasture… Bell and Rogers are the two bigest and will contine to try to one up the other but in the long run the fans are better serverd for it…

Chris F.
Chris F.
July 18, 2011 4:52 am

Well it’s not exactly sports media but hey, i’ve always enjoyed Bynum and think she’ll do a good show in the afternoon drive time though she’s gonna get killed by the other talk shows 🙁

anyways I agree with you about Watters. The guy is from another time and when he makes comments like that it really shows itself plain as day.

As for the Colangelo news could it be possible he’s doing this of his own volition so he can get the inside track at Peddie’s job? I guess time will tell.

EugenesAxe
EugenesAxe
July 18, 2011 8:29 am

I am amazed the modestly talented Dan Dunleavy has lasted so long at the Fan590. He cannot hold his end of the conversation when used on the morning show. His play by play skills are weak at best. He is not very personable or interesting character. There was a reason he has been used largely as a news and sports reader for the past 15 years.

That being said, I hope he makes the move to Calgary to replaced Lobardias. At least I won’t have to listen to him anymore.

Good luck Peter. Talent always prevails. You will find a good gig soon.

Roger
Roger
July 18, 2011 9:11 am

I was never a fan of Watters but I really hope he wasn’t canned because of the over sensitive, yet ever powerful gay (light in the loafers) lobby.

I remember a few months ago Watters and then, co-host Bryan Hayes made fun of Mormons (for several minutes) when one of the BYU players was kicked off their B-ball team for having pre-marital sex. They bashed the Mormons at length and even incorrectly stated how that religion allows polygamous marriages (when in fact they outlawed that over 100 years ago) but absolutely nothing was done them. No firing, no apologies, and actually Hayes received a career promotion from TSN radio.

Just another glaring illustration of the double standard in today’s main stream media. The golden rule: Insult Christians all you want just stay away from the light loafer crowd and a few other ‘special’ groups.

Dave from the suburbs
Dave from the suburbs
July 18, 2011 9:35 am

Oh shut the fuck up you right wing, fluffy cloud watching zealot.

I hope you care this much about all the priests molesting young boys. I guess the “cloud guy” has no problem with that?

You’re a fucking loon

Roger
Roger
July 18, 2011 9:39 am

Wow, Dave, you really have anger issues. Isn’t the left supposed to be so tolerant? I guess not.

Your post is abusive, the language is inappropriate. You’re not a good representative of the left are you?

mike (in boston)
mike (in boston)
July 18, 2011 9:39 am

Bill Watters is OLD SCHOOL. He is what he is.

people who still use rotary phones are “old school”. people who use slurs against gays to critique hockey players are bigots, and have no place on the public airwaves.

Roger
Roger
July 18, 2011 9:47 am

If anyone should be insulted it is Franson. After all Watters intimated he marched in a parade of freaks and questioned his manhood. Nothing could worse than that.

But of course, its not about the insulted victim, its about all of those poor gay people.

Chris F.
Chris F.
July 18, 2011 10:07 am

While I don’t particularly take to Rogers line here. There is some merit to what he says but it goes both ways to be honest. I see this as more of a “death by a million cuts”. Watters has said some damning things over the years on his show so the little indiscretions have piled up and up. It’s kinda like the whole “little monkey” line that sunk Howard Cosell there were people who always hated the man and looked for anything to bring him down.

I’m not saying Watters is in Cosell’s league (he’s not) but it’s a similar kind of thing. His show has been on a death watch for at least a calendar year now so this was as good an excuse to get rid of him as any.

Steve from Waterloo
Steve from Waterloo
July 18, 2011 10:15 am

I REALLY hope that Rogers does not acquire TMLSE. They will have a complete monopoly on Toronto sports, and you KNOW that it is going to cost you and I MORE money to simply watch a game, and be a fan.

Lee (Oakville)
Lee (Oakville)
July 18, 2011 10:20 am

The comment from “Dave from the Suburbs” is totally out-of-line and not commensurate with the level of discourse usually associated with thus site. Very dissapointing and I hope the moderator takes action to prevent a repeat.

Dave from the suburbs
Dave from the suburbs
July 18, 2011 10:32 am

I apologized to TSM. That’s all I will say.

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John
John
July 18, 2011 10:52 am
Jeff B
Jeff B
July 18, 2011 10:56 am

Bill Watters is out at 4-7 and Arlene Bynon is in.

http://www.640toronto.com/HostsandShows/ArleneBynon/PressRelease.aspx

Rob In Aurora
Rob In Aurora
July 18, 2011 11:18 am

I really dispise this PC stuff. Gay people call each other ‘fags’ and ‘queens’ and ‘queers’ all the time in jest. People of colour bombard our current popular culture with negative stereotypes – – – about their own race.

I want to see one gay person who would be angry at Watters’ comment. I am not defending it, I think it was an insensitive, personal comment, but not a ‘slur’ – there is a difference.

The fool coming on here spewing the f bombs as a personal attack should be banned from posting here (why are we providing email addresses?). The anonymity of the internet provides a lot of cowards with “courage”. Compare his post to Watters comment. Who is the idiot? The line seems blurred…

Can we please all get alo…no wait, I don’t care one stinking bit about “getting along”…can we please mind our own freaking business. People are entitled to their opinions as long as they don’t harm anyone else. (And yes – It really appears that it’s OK to attack bible based faiths – they don’t seem to matter these days, just don’t say anything to offend anyone that “matters”.

Mike in Burlington
July 18, 2011 11:31 am

Dave…a bit more decaf, play nice buddy, its just sports…

Watters is a cranky old fart, listened to him once or twice, bored the hell out of me, he’s even worse then the ROG, and that’s really hard to do.

Anyway, i can’t imagine the wasteland that will be Toronto sports if Rogers gets MLSE. You already have inept mngt at MLSE, imagine now when you combine that with Rogers closing the purse strings like they have at the Jays? its been 2 decades since we’ve had a big 4 sports championship in this town, and it will be easily 2 more if these tools get control of MLSE.

lagerandale
lagerandale
July 18, 2011 12:26 pm

So there’s these two muffins baking in the oven, one muffin says to the other, “holy crap its hot in here”,the other muffin looks at the talking muffin and says “holy crap, a talking muffin!”……. I feel that some tension breakers are needed. So a priest, a rabbi and a sheep walk into a bar…….

KBM
KBM
July 18, 2011 12:30 pm

I am always impressed with the dialogue usually seen in this space. While at times debate is polarized, it has been generally civil and informed.

Today, as a group, we have lowered that standard.

I, for one, would like to recommend we holster off topic rants, characterizations and snide, hate filled generalizations.

Just the facts, Mame (or sir, should that be your taste)…

Mike in Burlington
July 18, 2011 1:27 pm

I cannot imagine the dumpster fire that will be Toronto Sports if Rogers gets MLSE. They have totally killed the Jays, and the Raptors and Leafs will be next. They will spent the absolute minimums to field teams and as long as stupid fans continue to go and support their shitty teams, Rogers has every incentive to put the cheapest prodcut out there.

The Leafs are the biggest sports draw in this city and for 6 years, they have missed the playoffs, but they play their shitty hockey to a full building. Tell me why they would care to improve?? It will only get worse if Rogers gets their claws in there

Boycott my friends, its the only solution!!

Sean
Sean
July 18, 2011 1:28 pm

There certainly are people on here who enjoy baiting and getting a rise out of others. They mock and say things with the only purpose of soliciting a negative response. I am 100 percent in favour of banning those who do so. We had a great group of posters on here up until a few new posters, known as ‘trolls’ showed up.

Lets get back to where we were, and not lower ourselves to a much lower standard.

Roger
Roger
July 18, 2011 1:51 pm

I’ve promised TSM not to stray from the topic at hand and to keep my social and/or political views to myself.

However, for a blog to be vital and interesting, debate has to be part of it. If someone posts a comment that you disagree with, there’s no need for name calling or attacks on their beliefs (whether it be religious or secular). Another form of attack from some here is to refer to the person making the comment as a ‘troll’ First of all, that’s an overused insult, as is ‘homo-phobe’. If you want to insult me or anyone else here, please use some creativity – without using of the F word.

connr
connr
July 18, 2011 2:27 pm

so no word from am640 on friday about that being Watters last show? I think the decision was made before his july 3rd comment.

dave
July 18, 2011 2:41 pm

i am also hoping rogers does not buy the mlse shares. i can hear the rogers promos already.

“rogers presents rogers maple leafs hockey on rogers sportsnet and rogers sportsnet the fan 590…brought to you by rogers.”

and not to mention the constant playing of that “im coming home” song being played for another month before hockey starts.

Sean
Sean
July 18, 2011 3:06 pm

Debate also needs to be civil, without bringing in ‘Left Wing’ or ‘Right Wing’ political crap that no one wants on here. We want to talk about Sports Media, which is the name of the website.

If there has been a pledge to keep the political views at bay, then the post at 9:39 has already failed.

We have always had a great group of posters who look to co-edist without starting needless debates about things that no one on here really cares about.

This blog has reached the success that it has because TSM has kept it clean of that stuff, and we all respected it.

Lets continue that success and continue to respect each other, without dragging this great website in the political and baiting posts that are starting to become oh so common.

Roger
Roger
July 18, 2011 3:11 pm

Sean,

You sound as if its your blog. Anywhooooo…..

Jay Circles
Jay Circles
July 18, 2011 3:26 pm

WOW, we have become that sensitive to actuall let go of a talented host just because of one comment that he made out of all the many years he has been behind a microphone? Let us (Canadians) grow up and have more….

But really, I think a few things hurt Bill Watters:

-His time-slot rival on the Fan590 (Bobcat)
-His constantly changing hosts starting from Jeff Marek, Greg Brady, Bill Hayes, Brian Hayes and lastly Andy Frost.

While I enjoyed listening to Bill, I think he was a little too old to have his own show, not to mention, his sports knowledge is mostly limited to hockey. I would have him as a guest for hockey matters, but that is all, not a 3 hour show.

Speaking of AM 640, I used to really enjoy that station (and I still listen and absolutely love John Oakley and Mike Stafford) but it has been going downhill lately. Too many changes especially in personalities (like I mentioned above)

mario
mario
July 18, 2011 3:45 pm

I sure hope some rich billionare individual gets control of MSLE… but dose many one really think if Rogers or Bell do get contol it will be an different… they both soak in cell phones and cable bills… rich just get richer..

Sean
Sean
July 18, 2011 4:10 pm

No Roger, just calling it like it is. Im a vet of this board, there always have been standards.

Regardless, Im done, Im falling into the trap that i warn others about.

Steph
Steph
July 18, 2011 4:24 pm

Let’s just keep the political talk off here. This website has blossomed without it, and will no doubt fall with it.

Roger, if you said you were going to keep the political views off here your failing, all of your comments are filled with political talk, left wing this or right wing that. We don’t care, we want to talk sports and sports media.

I’m all for removing those who choose to bring their political views on here. Jonah shouldn’t have to deal with that.

Gerry (Burlington)
Gerry (Burlington)
July 18, 2011 4:52 pm

If indeed it is true that Colangelo will get to hire a new GM all the while remaining as President, this guy needs to get a career in Politics. I have been unimpressed with virtually all Raptor hires since the days of Isiah Thomas. I actually believe the best coach this team ever had was the first coach Brendan Malone.

When Bryan Colangelo was hired, I had very high hopes for the organization. Unfortunately, his early GM moves were his demise as it improved the team and in my opinion is what won Sam Mitchell coach of the year. As a result Bryan C. was forced to keep Sam as he had just won coach of the year. Since that time he caved and hired a Canadian to coach only to appease the public and media. Now he drafts another tall European Center who is probably not going to be on the team for 2 seasons. This guy has Stones the size of Lake Ontario.

I am not sure what he has really done but he has MLSE snowed.

If Rogers gets the Leafs/Raptors/FC/Marlies, it will be a sad day for the sports fan in this city. Too bad RIM stocks are where they are, and too bad Mr. Thomson already bought the Jets. That would have been much better ownership.

Daniel
Daniel
July 18, 2011 7:59 pm

I guess if there’s a positive to Rogers owning the Jays, Leafs, Raptors, Snet, the dome, the ACC, and (maybe) having some involvement in an NFL team someday – it’s that it will be one of the most powerful sports conglomerates in the world.

So at least there’s the potential for serious spending. Whether they do it not, is a different story I guess.

As for the comments…yeah. The tone has definitely gone downhill in the last while.

Sean
Sean
July 18, 2011 8:14 pm

Daniel – I hear you, its to bad this place use to be great for honest and relaxing convo about sports and sports media.

Sam in Oshawa
July 18, 2011 8:15 pm

Not big on basketball,so the question is has Bryan C.done enough to keep bball fans in t.o. interested.I listen to the callers on the radio and am very impressed with the knowledge of the game and the passion they convey over the air.Do NBA players consider this a market that they can thrive in.Just wondering.Agree that Rogers owning MLSE is to much Rogers,there must be more than 1 billionaire kicking around t.o. that can throw his hat in the ring…..

Don Mandrie
Don Mandrie
July 18, 2011 8:17 pm

Watters – Way past expiry date. And I’d love to see/hear him say something like that with an outed gay athlete sitting opposite him. Or maybe he’s afraid he’d like it too much?

Loubardias a “talented guy”. By whos standards? No way he’s major market. Maybe a good fit for the Calgary Hitmen but not a National voice.

Roger
Roger
July 18, 2011 9:49 pm

Steph,

Thanks for coming out. I’m sorry your brain can’t grasp anything more than who the 3rd line centre will be for the Leafs next season.

Less than 12 parsecs
Less than 12 parsecs
July 18, 2011 10:06 pm

Whatever the reason, it’s a relief that Watters will no longer have a regular fulltime gig. Now, if only the CBC would take the same responsible tack with Mr. Cherry…

I look forward to civil replies. 😉

Nick
Nick
July 18, 2011 11:03 pm

What happened to a good healthy debate without having to resort to name calling? Does each topic have to really have to have a right wing perspective and a left wing perspective? I think athiest Dave should go have a beer with christian Roger and each pay for a round! In fact if they do I’ll buy the 3rd round!

As for the comment by Bill Watters, yes it was out of line but I sincerely hope he wasn’t cancellled because of it. I am afraid that if we jump on every person who says something controversial and get them fired we’ll have very boring and cookie cutter media personalities.

Less than 12 parsecs
Less than 12 parsecs
July 18, 2011 11:38 pm

@Nick, it’s pretty clear from TSM’s reporting that Watters was finished long before last week’s goofiness.

However, I don’t think it’s quite fair to give Watters a pass based on the “it’s just his opinion, he’s just controversial” defence. That excuses too much, as if he’d accidentally somehow ended up behind an AM640 microphone discussing his private personal views. What Watters did last week was essentially the kind of playground name-calling that seems to have annoyed so many people on this thread. It wasn’t a controversial opinion; it was what boys did in grade 5 when I was growing up, taunting people they didn’t like with gay or racist slurs. And that has a real impact. If you haven’t already, I suggest you check out this recent post on PPP: http://sbn.to/pQkXJT

TSM, I understand your desire to keep this blog on subject, and I’m happy to comply. But if some users breach the conventions around here, with no apparent response, I feel it’s necessary to reply, in a way that’s not ad hominen or abusive. If that doesn’t work for you, please email me to chat further.

Sean
Sean
July 18, 2011 11:57 pm

“TSM, I understand your desire to keep this blog on subject, and I’m happy to comply. But if some users breach the conventions around here, with no apparent response, I feel it’s necessary to reply, in a way that’s not ad hominen or abusive. If that doesn’t work for you, please email me to chat further.”

Great point. Dont let one person drive away the audience that you have built up TSM. This person is making perosnal attacks without much responce. Its dragging this great website down.

Mike on the go train
July 18, 2011 11:59 pm

Waters was a cranky old man whose best by was long ago and I couldn’t care less, now if only we can also lose Cherry, the Rog, Burke and Stellick , then we’d be getting somewhere…

James
James
July 19, 2011 12:54 am

It’s hilarious how Roger keeps going with this past all reason or sense, insulting those who call him on his trollish behavior. Cue his insulting tirade?

And I will note with full sarcasm that it makes perfect sense to call into question someones political leanings based on if they are Christian, racist, gay, etc. We are trying to emulate the radicalized American political system after all right? Oh yes and on a sports media website with the post commented on having purely sports discussion. Sanity at it’s finest.

@Mario

Unfortunatly in canada that person doesn’t Wally exist. Maybe Thomson but most rumors even before jets deal made that sound highly unlikely, it’s a huge investment in a growth-stunted franchise that’s pretty jaded out and Thomson isn’t noted to be a huge hockey fan like you’d want anyway. And now with jets bought that seals the deal on him I’d say. Maybe one day he’d fund the 2nd TO franchise, but yeah.

MLSE is only worth it’s enormous price tag to a certain type of buyer…a media corporation. Who else could possibly profit anywhere near as much as rogers or bell? Especially as its not just the leafs they’d be buying.

Personally i still don’t buy that rogers screwed over the blue jays. Locking up one of the best players in the bigs…that’s huge. Solid foundation for success is in place and pouring money at free agents isn’t a surefire recipe for success anyway. We’ve been told they will open up the pursestrings and while It remains to be seen, its not like they are on or near the cusp of contending,

How many years before contention should they be pouring money in is up for debate. But i definitely see the logic in waiting at least until next season. It all depends on whose available and specifically to the jays, the Canadian team. Slow steady development will be much better in the long term. This isn’t the leafs and hockey and since 67…with years of Nowhere near a great top 5 player or something. Its baseball in the toughest division in pro sports probably to make thr playoffs that is.

And hopefully in the next couple seasons with playoff spots increasing … Good things could happen at least in the area of making the jays a hot topic and interesting.

I wouldn’t jump the gun either.

conners
conners
July 19, 2011 10:31 pm

Dan Dunleavy doing the Flames broadcasts? That is a bit of a leap don’t you think. Not to mention a bit Toronto-centric. There are very capable sportscasters west of Hamilton who would probably be a better fit than a Toronto radio update/OHL play by play guy

Mike S
Mike S
July 20, 2011 10:22 am

Maybe Dunleavy will replace Loubardias for junior hockey telecasts on Sportsnet but not for Calgary Flames games on Sportsnet

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