Toronto Sports Media Morning Drive Lineups

Here’s your drive lineup for your listening enjoyment this am:

On 590 with Doug Farraway and Dan Dunleavy will fill-in tomorrow morning.

Gary Roberts, former NHL All-Star
Willie Pile, Safety for the Toronto Argonauts
Jeff Marek of Sportsnet
Dave Bolland, Centre for the Chicago Blackhawks

On TSN radio with Mike Richards



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August 3, 2011 8:18 am

Farraway is annoying to listen to at the best of times. He has an annoying style and a limited knowledge of contemporary sports.
Not sure how that guy has survived all the changes at the Fan in the last few years. My guess it is a result of his ability to politic rather than perform.
Mistakes of installing these two clowns on the morning show will only drive people up the dial to 1050.

August 3, 2011 9:43 am

There is no question that Farraway is an idiot. There are lots of questions about the personalities on at the FAN.

This past Monday night I tuned into the FAN for the 8 PM to midnight time slot – expecting to hear Lajoie or some host in leading into Jeff Sammut. To my surprise I hear Sammut from 8 PM to midnight & Anthony Totera hosting the Jeff Sammut show? Why isn’t Jeff Sammut hosting the Jeff Sammut show? For months now the FAN has been tooting that they are going 24-7 local sports with Sammut & Rumack going overnight and they have Totera hosting the Jeff Sammut show? And who the heck is Anthony Totera???

Small beef about the station.

August 3, 2011 10:44 am

My understanding is that one of the hosts is sick, the other is on vacation, but it is summer and I haven’t been listening a ton, so it’s quite hilarious to think one day in the middle of August will “drive folks by the thousands to switch permanently to TSN Radio”. Haha.

It’s like there’s a contest that the one millionth person on this website suggesting The Fan is in trouble and TSN Radio is going to take all their listeners wins a new car!

I agree with some of the comments on the previous thread. It’s great this website is here, but it’s turning into complaints without solutions. “I can’t stand this guy on the air, blah blah, the Fan or TSN will really regret this, blah blah”.

They will? How? Ask yourself this: Is TSN 1050 really a solid alternative most days? Look at how little people on this website have commented or talked about Mike Richards. Forget the ratings, he’s had no impact whatsoever in this market and this is his fifth month on the air. It does take time to build an audience, but I don’t think that show will last. I have been greatly underwhelmed by Richards, to the point where it’s like Krystal, I don’t even think to turn there during a commercial. Not at all. Not funny, not knowledgable with regards to sports, and out of hockey season when he’s leaning on his 22-minute long chats with Pierre McGuire, there’s nothing there.

Brady and Lang? Far from perfect, but better than what was there previously, I’m sorry. And yes, they’re better together than when either of them are away. You look in any major market in Canada or the States, and the morning slot is the one that gets the most criticism, even the very successful shows. I liked Brady with Watters, and thought he really had a great thing going with Kypreos & Doug, and then on his own, but mornings are a different animal. People are in the car for briefer periods of time, whereas midday shows, people are listening in their offices, for the most part.

People can complain about McCown and his co-hosts all they want, but people are just plain addicted to this show. It’s like Hockey Night in Canada on Saturdays, it’s a tradition. Or Monday Night Football. No matter who’s hosting or calling the games, almost the EXACT same amount of people will watch. That’s that. It’s a joke to suggest because John Shannon’s on one day, or Farraway hosts one morning show, that people will give up on the station. That’s what TSN’s up against and if you ask me, they’ve blown it big-time with the morning and afternoon drive shows, I’m sorry. But the talent has all settled and everyone is probably locked into longer-term deals so there’s nothing they can do about for a couple years.

Let’s face it, give 590 credit for making sure none of their big names jumped to TSN. That was hugely important and they succeeded in keeping everyone, even the part-time hosts or update anchors.

The real battle now is 1-4pm. Neither station is settled in that department. They both need new shows there in the fall and though it won’t make that much of a difference, I do think the best move is to put Bryan Hayes in that slot, and because he’s been on a while, he probably beats 590 in there after a year or so. But some of you expecting 1050 to ever challenge 590 in the ratings are crazy in the drivetime shows. I haven’t talked to one person in or out of the industry who thinks that can happen.

Other quick thoughts:

Grange is improving on radio
McCormack is awful. I turn it off the second I hear him, as I do Chris Schultz or Jamie Campbell. Seriously, I can’t believe these guys are the best at what they do in a country of 30+ million people!

Sorry for the length! Back to fishing!

Mike S
Mike S
August 3, 2011 11:23 am

I have enjoyed going to battle with Julian in the past so I wish I could say that I disagree with what he wrote today………….but I can’t………….I agree with just about everything, especially his comments about Mr. Richards

August 3, 2011 11:44 am

You make a great point that Richards has failed completely to make an impact in this market. And that’s even more incredible when you think about the promotional power TSN has. He’s still failed to even make a blip on the radar. I understand his show will be on TSN2 in the fall, so maybe that will help to get his face out there.

As for McCormick, he was easily the worst sports anchor in Canada when he hosted Connected. Why TSN would put him on radio — in a critical drive slot no less — is beyond me.

Julian is right — TSN 1050 isn’t even close to stealing mass listeners from the FAN. It’s just not going to happen any time soon.

Bob Canuck
Bob Canuck
August 3, 2011 12:55 pm

I was wondering what people thought of the Ed Snider interview on PTS with Bob McCown and John Shannon last evening.

I thought Bob McCown was being petulant when he abruptly ended the interview. Bob was not pleased that Ed Snider would not offer a comment on various CBA-related questions (salary floor, Donald Fehr, etc.). I would have thought that the reason to have Ed Snider on the radio yesterday was to talk about his induction into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame. I don’t know what was said to Ed Snider prior to the interview but, if the subject of the CBA was mentioned, I believe that Ed Snider would have said that he would not make a comment.

It is fine if Bob McCown wants to raise the issue; however, once the guest makes it clear that he will not answer any CBA-related question, the host should move onto another subject. If you are not interested in speaking with the guest about non-CBA related matters, don’t book the person as a guest. Bob McCown and the producer should settle these matters off air beforehand.

To end the interview abruptly and then make comments about Ed Snider after he is off the air and unable to respond is ill-mannered, childish and unprofessional.

I generally like Bob McCown but he occasionally shows this unattractive side of his personality.

Chef Mike in Burlington
August 3, 2011 3:20 pm

Julien…a bit long winded but both accurate and well reasoned…

As of today, TSN has barely scratched the FAN, but I believe in all honesty that will change in the next book. Bell has huge resourses to play in this space and unlike the TEAM in 2001, they have the content, the cash and the content to wait it out. My friends at Bell told me last week that as of now, they are generally pleased where they are and that they know this will take time and $$$.

One thing I have noticed is how many BOBCAT billboards and TV commercials I see now compared to last year…things that make you go hmmmm…

Can’t listen to Richards, just doesn’t to it for me, same as Brady and Lang, but I prefer Mike and Mike on ESPN anyways since i work from home, but I think Hayes could do the 4-7 timeslot and chip away at PTS.

I think we are going to see 2 distinct station styles be created, one aimed up to 45, with less hockey, more football, some MMA, X Games stuff and a generally younger skew, and the 45 and up, more baseball, no MMA, more Leafs and more call ins…but we will see…

August 3, 2011 3:55 pm

“Bell has huge resourses to play in this space and unlike the TEAM in 2001, they have the content, the cash and the content to wait it out.”

And Rogers doesn’t?

When 1050 launched, Richards had tons of billboards, promos running on TSN, “news” stories on SportsCentre and CTV News. And the numbers weren’t good in the first book. How much more publicity could they give him than they did at the launch?

My personal opinion: People have checked out 1050, didn’t like what they heard, and switched back.

August 3, 2011 4:00 pm

Not one single person, or media type should EVER say that Rogers cannot keep up with Bell and the TSN guys or that the Blue Jay empire can’t compete with the so called ‘Evil Empires’ in Boston & New York.

Rogers is rolling naked in money and cry poor all the time and I am sick of it.

August 3, 2011 4:09 pm

Agree on William’s points. You’d have to have been living under a rock not watching the NHL playoffs on TSN and not seeing 15-20 Mike Richards promos per broadcast. I don’t think I’m exaggerating. It’s like promos for new Fall TV shows. Then the ratings come in and those that are disastrous don’t last very long.

I would assume they’re paying Richards real good coin but would also assume they have a way out if his fall book is disastrous (and I’m setting expectations low, anywhere under a 2.5 Men 25-54 should be enough for TSN to know whether it’s working or not).

I’d still argue it’s a real narrow group of people who listen to sports radio. Basically, two stations are fighting for about 15 percent of all male listeners 25-54. It’s not very many people and given the Fan has an 18-year headstart and I think most people concur the more talented people (as a whole) are still on 590, at least in the two money slots, I’m not sure where TSN gains traction. I haven’t done the research but it takes years and lots of lineup tinkering for a new sports radio station to challenge or even come close to competing with an established one. And yes, Rogers has as many resources as Bell, if not more, and they clearly paid out to keep their talent from jumping across the street.

It’s the opposite on TV. TSN has the best talent. Sportsnet’s trying to scratch and claw to battle them. At least we as fans have two networks/stations spending good money, getting the best talent they can and giving us as consumers choices.

But there’s a reason very few people upped and left Rogers or 590 for TSN. Bruce Arthur is the only one who comes to mind and I guess that’s great that he’s on The Sports Reporters, I don’t watch because I’m allergic to Steve Simmons, but you sure as hell don’t hear him on the radio anymore. I’m sure he’s on TSN but I don’t know when and where. Say what you will, but when you’re on McCown’s RoundTable, everyone knows about it.

I’d rather be Michael Grange right now and for the next 5 years in this town than Arthur. Far more prominent broadcast roles, part of McCown’s afternoon juggernaut, and writing full-time for a website that’s going to grow a lot more than the National Post is over the next few years.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed Arthur with McCown, but I wouldn’t have moved unless the money was different, and it probably was better, but he’s far more anonymous in the city now.

Chris F.
Chris F.
August 3, 2011 4:13 pm

Regarding Anthony Totera. The guy has such a youthful voice that I thought he was some 20 something year old snot nosed kid. I then go and look him up on the Fan site and see that he’s a 45+ year old guy!


Anyways I didn’t mind Farraway too much this morning. I thought he was actually pretty restrained. Maybe absence does make the heart grow fonder?

I do agree that the comments on h ere have turned more into a complaining session (I admit I do a lot of complaining myself) but I agree with Chef Mike about the distinct styles that will come about. Problem is I love football but hate MMA and X Games crap….

Oh well 1 out of 3 aint bad 😛

Chef Mike in Burlington
August 3, 2011 5:05 pm

Let’s not forget that TSN only had about 3 weeks in the first book, so that we can ignore it. The real book that will matter will be the fall book that ends November 1st. They will be 5 months on the air, summer holidays will be long over a true sense of the audience shifts, assuming there are some, should be clearer.

I suspect Cybulski will be out, and Hayes or Hogan in for the afternoon drive. Richards has a solid gold contract from what i have heard so he’s probobly safe for a year, and I suspect they will keep Dan Patrick and their ESPN feeds.

Of course, if Rogers gets the Leafs, it could all change, then you would have 1 evil empire with both key city sports properties to milk content from.

August 3, 2011 5:07 pm

Wow Julian. I agree 100%. Great post.

The whole `John Shannon is in for a week, The Fan is going to shut down’ recurring sentiment here makes me roll my eyes.

August 3, 2011 5:30 pm

Chef Mike,

All good points, although TSN Radio was on-air and yes, heavily promoted for 7 weeks of the 12 week book. Was on half of April and all of May. It stiffed everywhere except Dan Patrick. The Fan corrected that by gassing Andrew Crystal.

I agree, fall book is a huge one more for TSN than 590. Have to grow some audience but like I said, all the odds are against them. Besides, if you make the argument that “shows take time to grow audience”, wouldn’t the same be said for some pretty young shows on 590 which had stellar ratings in spring?

Brady & Lang have been on the air about 6 months, maybe?

Jeff Blair has been on 9-10 months?

No current permanent 1-4pm show.

So by any logic, those shows will continue to grow audience as well, and given 590’s tradition, they have better odds of growing faster.

Don’t get me wrong, I listen to 1050 too but I’ve been massively disappointed with the shows as a whole. I keep giving Cybelski a chance and almost always end up regretting it. There’s just no strong opinion and McCown is a far better interviewer, has far more a commanding presence and any show that chooses to align with Gareth Wheeler and Sean McCormack is burying itself with me and I think many others. I’m sure TSN will stick with the format but these shows won’t win, and as I said, no one’s claiming otherwise.

Yes, getting Leafs would help TSN Radio, no doubt. We’ll see!

Mike S
Mike S
August 3, 2011 5:39 pm

I agree with Julian about Bruce Arthur……….I’m sure he got a great offer from TSN and he must like being on TV every week since he was never really on TV before…………..but it can’t be a good thing to go from being a regular on a powerhouse like PTS to being a once-a-week (or even less) co-host on a show that gets a small fraction of the audience………..McCown has many faults but many of us agree that his show is much more capable of producing really good radio than the Cybulski/Wheeler combination and deep down I’m pretty sure Arthur knows that

mike (in boston)
mike (in boston)
August 3, 2011 6:07 pm

But there’s a reason very few people upped and left Rogers or 590 for TSN.

to use the cliché: it’s a marathon, not a sprint. TSN will eventually post respectable numbers. even if you don’t like TSN, you should be rooting for them to be viable. choice is good for the listener, even if your own listening habits don’t change. competition keeps people on their toes. i hope both stations succeed.

the ratings battle and network tribalism make no difference to me. i don’t care who takes my demographic (i’m in the key one). i just want good quality shows … some are on TSN and some are on the FAN, and i would listen to them regardless of which station they are on.

mike (in boston)
mike (in boston)
August 3, 2011 6:15 pm

Daniel: I agree with some of the comments on the previous thread. It’s great this website is here, but it’s turning into complaints without solutions. “I can’t stand this guy on the air, blah blah, the Fan or TSN will really regret this, blah blah”

i’ll respectfully disagree. i like reading constructive complaints, even if i disagree. when Hogan was let go i was shocked how many people wrote in here saying how much they liked his friendly style. i like when people like Bob Canuck write in (see above) to complain about an unfair interview.

i agree that no one is in a position to know whether TSN or the FAN is doomed, but i’ll i have no problem listening to well reasoned complaints and venting.

August 3, 2011 6:31 pm

“choice is good for the listener, even if your own listening habits don’t change. competition keeps people on their toes. i hope both stations succeed.”

Agreed 100%, Mike. If it weren’t for the competition at TSN, Krystal would still be on the FAN — they would have never eaten the contract. That’s just a small example.

In terms of being positive: Kudos to Dunleavy, who did PBP of the TFC game on Sportsnet last night (10 pm start time) and did the FAN morning show on what must have been next-to-no sleep today.

August 3, 2011 6:48 pm


August 3, 2011 7:02 pm

The funny thing is, the supposed added competition that TSN brought which was going to (in the perfect world) have me frequently going back and fourth between the two stations is causing me to tune into WGR 550 on a daily basis.

I’m really bored with everything the two stations are putting out outside of primetime sports. I’ve gotten tired of Brady taking contrarian viewpoints just for the sake of taking them without an interesting perspective to back it up, I don’t even get Richards, he just rambles for hours with no real direction and Cybulski is vanilla, not opinionated at all and just bland.

August 3, 2011 7:08 pm

Mike in Boston could not agree more, hopefully both succeed and continue to provide listening options. Unlike others my listening habits have shifted to TSN 1050 for everything but Jays broadcasts and PTS. I admit PTS is an addiction.

I never listened to sports radio on the weekends but I frequently tune in to 1050 now.

Unlike others I am not convinced that 100% local programming is essential for sports radio. I thoroughly enjoy Dan Patrick’s show. It offers a different perspective and wider view of the sports landscape. It is, in my view, a quality show. However, the true surprise for me has been Brian Hayes. I really enjoy his style and believe he has a great future. As more people “discover” him I believe he will take share from the FAN.

As Julian stated this is a game of taking share from the other guy. Given this is the summer, weaker fill-in hosts, there is more opportunity to try out the other station. So while one fill-in host does not predicate the downfall of the Fan, it does allow the listener to try the 1050 option. If they hit Hayes or the Patrick show it is a very credible alternative, in my opinion.

As for Richards, well, for me it’s the fact he is not Brady

August 3, 2011 9:47 pm

the one point that everyone here seems to miss, and i see this on blogs everywhere: it’s impossible to know how the general public is responding. this is a great blog and it really stimulates debate, but really, the number of people reading/commenting is pretty small. this is not to say that the people here are incorrect, or that this blog isn’t a reasonably accurate barometer of the listening audience’s sentiments. but i don’t think i’d be naive to say that most people who listen to radio aren’t as analytical about what they’re hearing. (the comparable example that comes to mind is the tv show “The Killing”, which got pretty good ratings, but was a critical flop. there were many people commenting on blogs on the failure of the show, but there was apparently a silent majority of people who still seemed to be enjoying it, and not getting involved in the blogosphere).

just something to think about!

August 4, 2011 12:11 am

Anybody noticed what TSN Radio has done to the Argos broadcasts?
They cheaped out and simulcast their TV broadcast.
Know what happens when you take commentary meant for radio and put it on the radio?
The game becomes impossible to follow.
TSN — the saviour of the CFL — are treating the Argos as second-class citizens.
I’m not taking 1050 seriously until they start taking radio seriously.

August 4, 2011 1:36 am

great stuff by Julian i thought you hit the nail on the head with your posts

Gerry (Burlington)
Gerry (Burlington)
August 4, 2011 10:41 am

@Lh, I think those of us that come to this webpage are real hardcore sports lovers who simply want their sports information delivered to them in the best way possible. There are many listeners who probably just pop onto the Fan or TSN to catch the scores from the night before then go back to music or other talk radio.

I am surprised by how many people write in here though and seem to have a perceived Bias based on the station. Mike in Boston brings up a great point in that the better they both do the better for us.

I jump back and forth all morning, between both stations, then at 1pm its Dan Patrick show for me. If you like a variety of sports talk with some great humour, I think it is one slick well produced show. Still trying to get caught up on some of the inside jokes from callers.

PTS is still the king, but yes when I do hear a Shannon on, I do turn it off. I don’t go to Cybulski I turn it off. So no Shannons appearances won’t make TSN the king of Radio, but his appearances dont help the Fan either.

Nothing wrong with people complaining here either, how long does it take to scan through a person post, take it for what it is. But this is a comments section, and criticisms should be welcomed.

August 4, 2011 12:11 pm

@Gerry, i enjoy reading the comments here, and in no mean would i want to dismiss the validity of them. it’s true, the readers of this blog are going to be the hardcore fans of sports/sports radio. my point is simply that it’s a pretty small sampling of the audience. i have no idea what the ratings are going to be. based on the comments here, it seems like the FAN will continue to dominate. but nobody here can say for sure if that’s the case. i hope that the competition continues to keep both stations hungry!

August 6, 2011 10:57 am

@ (another) Steve: simulcasts are horrible, especially when you’re being told to ‘watch this”. What’s been even worse in this case is that – on at least 2 occasions that I’ve heard myself – they’ve lost the TV audio and Hogan’s had to do PBP from the studio or pressbox. That’s beyond embarrassing

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