Sports Radio, Entertainment VS Credibility?


Had an interesting debate with an MSMer the other day. We were talking about several Toronto on air radio personalities. Some, are incredibly entertaining, others really know their stuff, either they know the game, or they have incredible sources so they are reliable. There aren’t a ton who are both. There are some, but generally speaking there are extremes.

My question for you is if you had to pick one, and you can’t say you need both, but if you had to pick one which is more important when it comes to sports radio? Do you want a personality that is fun and entertaining or do you want someone who simply knows their stuff?

My take later….


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November 6, 2013 11:48 pm

Definitely someone who knows their stuff. I want to hear intelligent questions to the experts. I am listening to sports radio to get insights and information. I watch the games for entertainment.

November 7, 2013 8:57 am

If by choosing “knowing your stuff” you also choose that a personality is NOT entertaining then I’d go for entertaining. If somebody, even if they know their stuff is boring me to death then I’ll listen to music instead.

Raptors Devotee
Raptors Devotee
November 7, 2013 9:20 am

TSM, you left out a category, those that are both neither entertaining, or knowledgeable. It is hard to believe in this day and age with stiff competition between the two sports radio stations, but some are still out there, but not for long, and I use John Shannon as a prime example.

His role on PTS has been drastically reduced of late, playing a minor role on the roundtable, and no longer as a FOB on strictly alone with Bob. Outside of talking hockey production, or sports production in general, as he would know about that too, he is both mind numbingly clueless on sports in general, and even more so, completely the opposite of entertaining, with his whiny voice.

Personally for me, I can tolerate both ends of the spectrum, but given a choice, will take the knowledgeable sports personality more often, as I find myself more engaged, where with the entertainer, I multitask more while listening, and it tends to be more in the background.

If I look at my favourite personalities to listen to, Bruce Arthur is #1 on the list, as he is both incredibly knowledgeable, plus he speaks in a dry, sarcastic way that makes him entertaining, without being too condescending.

Michael Grange is someone who is a mini-Bruce, but he tends to ramble on too much, and takes too long to get to his point.

For chemistry, McCown/Brunt are both entertaining to listen to, but the knowledgeable part on Bob’s side is lacking, and Stephen tends to pick and choose to cover (lucky guy) the sports he is most interested in, so he is more polarized on his sports.

My main point is that there will continue to be more changes made, and weeding out on both stations, in an attempt to bring both aspects to the airwaves, so the fans are the big winners.

Mike S
Mike S
November 7, 2013 10:42 am

And hey, whatever happened to our friend Ami Angelwings ????

November 7, 2013 10:52 am

It’s definitely entertainment. Anyone listening to all-sports radio in 2013 for information is looking in the wrong place (you know you’re already using something called the internet, right?), and anyone complaining that some on-air personality does not know enough about one particular sport is a childish douchebag who is just looking for something to whine about.

Radio and the talking-head TV panel shows are where the “personalities” belong, so we can listen to the entertaining ones and ignore the others. In 2013, they definitely do not belong on TV broadcasts during games. I’d rather hear no announcer or one guy talking sparingly only when there was something that needed explaining, and let us hear the ambient sounds the rest of the time. Save all of the motor-mouth “personalities” (like Gruden, etc.) for pregame, halftime, and postgame.

November 7, 2013 12:20 pm

I vote for someone who knows what they’re talking about. For me, that always trumps silly sound effects and stupid one-liners. Intelligence is entertainment, for me at least.

November 7, 2013 12:44 pm

A guess a mix of both is ideal.

Choosing one or the other, I would say it depends on the sport for me. I’m such a baseball nerd, so I hate listening to a host talk about the Jays and not know his stuff.

But on other sports, where I’m more of a casual fan, I’d say I prefer the host to be entertaining.

mike (in boston)
mike (in boston)
November 7, 2013 1:31 pm

RaptorsDevoteeTSM, you left out a category, those that are both neither entertaining, or knowledgeable.

Awesome. Shannon the Show-Wrecker really is the worst.

Steve Clark
November 7, 2013 2:51 pm

Interesting question that I was thinking about the other day as I had to take a break from Tim and Sid. Now, I like Tim and Sid, and think that they are entertaining, but find they get a little too carried away with jokes and self-deprecating humour. With that in mind, I found it hard to take Sid seriously when he was in the big chair on Prime Time filling in for Bob.

For me, the closest to intelligence and humour is Greg Brady (stops to duck projectiles thrown at him). I get a lot of his references as I believe he and I are around the same age, and I think he can carry a topic intelliegently, though it gets to the point that he is so sure that he is right that he cuts off the other person and will not listen to arguments.

If I had to handicap the rest:
Andrew Walker- too early to tell, but a very authoratative voice
Jeff Blair- intelligent, but plays grumpy curmudgeon as opposed to sense of humour
Tim and Sid- see above
McCown- intelligent, but not that funny
Cox- I like Cox, but to find his humour to be of the put down variety
Brunt- intelligent but not really funny
Eric Smith- getting closer to the nicie mix of humour/intelligence, but I don’t see the humour part enough

Mike Richards- I laugh out loud at some of his impersonations, especially Payton Manning but not sure he is a sports knowledge heavyeight

Macko and Cauz- Don’t listen to their show that much, but Macko has that quirky intelligence, and I think Cauz would admit he’s a hardcore football guy- he’s got a really good sense of humour
Brian Hayes- decent hockey focused guy, but not overly humourous
Naylor- intelligent, but doesnt have defineable sense of humour
Arthur- agree with good blend of humour/intelligent, but I find him far funnier in his columns than on the air
Simmons- see above, except his humour is more caustic
Mike Hogan- good strong voice, not much sense of humour
Tatti- good strong voice, but he’s become the affable laughing sidekick
Roger Lajoie- Passionate, knows his stuff- but no sense of humour

Did I miss anyone?

November 8, 2013 1:44 pm

Can anyone explain to me how that useless, not funny waste of skin Cam Stewart has employment of any kind let alone on a sports network?

Sam in Scarb
Sam in Scarb
November 8, 2013 6:42 pm

@AFRAUDHATER Clearly Cam Stewart has photos of a high ranking suit trying to push a sheep over a fence just north of Toronto.

November 8, 2013 7:04 pm

Sam I think you are 100% correct.

Don River
Don River
November 11, 2013 3:43 pm

It’s pretty simple: Cam Stewart remains employed because useless, not funny, waste-of-skin Greg Sansone is still his boss.

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