Seen & Heard – Weekend Edition

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by mike (in boston) hatemailaccount /a.t/ gmail (. com)

 

Sports Media Week in Review

 

Pretty interesting week in sports media with the new ratings and the layoffs at Rogers. The diversity of radio options we have right now is great – there are shows I don’t like (Blair, Hayes) but the ratings suggest that others are listening, and that’s a good thing.

The interesting question going forward will be which station shuffles its line-up first. TSN dumped the awful Cybulski and installed the excellent Naylor, and their schedule seems pretty set now. The Macko/Cauz pairing has worked out well.

The FAN needs to decide whether they are satisfied with their current morning show. I suspect they are not. I am shocked that Richards has an audience, yet he is holding his own against the FAN. I think it’s a matter of time until someone at Rogers hypothesizes that Tim&Sid would do a better job than Brady in the morning.

This would free up Brady to go back to afternoons. Personally, I would like to hear a Brady solo show in the afternoons. I find him to be a terrible interlocutor with his co-hosts – too much yelling and too much willful misrepresentation of the opposing point of view. This might be a side-effect of his radio roots: that’s basically the Watters playbook. But, a solo show that is interview-heavy might do well as a lead-in to PTS.

Opinions on Brady are mixed here: do you think he could carry a 3 hour show on his own? Would that be an improvement over his current assignment?

 

Onrait writes a book

 

The only reason i’m linking this is that he has an interesting response to the question about the low ratings of his FOX show. “There’s no logical way we could ever [start on even ground]. TSN had a 15-year head start on [Rogers] Sportsnet. Sportsnet still hasn’t caught up. ESPN has a 30-year head start on us. This is going to be a long process, so settle in because we’re just getting started.”

Most of us on this site are content-junkies and will switch channels a lot in search of interesting opinions. I take it that the casual fan will just stay on whatever channel he grew up watching/hearing until something causes him to switch. I wonder if channel inertia is harder to overcome on TV or on radio.

 

The Basketball Jones Make it Big

 

I’m not an NBA watcher so I can’t comment much on this story, but it’s great to see a blogger to MSM success story. The usual trajectory is to work your way up from crappy local paper writer to more high profile positions. This hiring shows that if you generate good content then you can get picked up regardless of your blogger status. Best wishes guys – congratulations.

 

Arthur weighs in on the NHL’s condoning of assault

 

I’m finding it harder and harder to care about the NHL (at least until the playoffs, when goons mostly don’t play). Arthur conveys his own frustration with the NHL’s approach to on-ice assaults. Here’s a question ponder: if the Bertuzzi-Moore incident takes place in the US in a non-traditional hockey market, do we see a criminal conviction of Bertuzzi? I feel that legal threats are the only way that is going to change the NHL’s corrupted culture.

 

The Incognito Story

 

Speaking of corrupt sports cultures, the main question that has come out of the Incognito story is this. Which is the greater evil: is it hazing or going public with an issue?

That’s the way this is playing out. All the ex-athletes are blaming Martin (while paying lip-service to Incognito having crossed the line). Most non-athletes are saying “how is this anything other than workplace harassment?”

Good discussion of financial hazing with Darren Rovell on TSN Drive (hour 2 Nov 7). Rovell made the nice point that these rookie dinners contribute to a culture of financial irresponsibility among NFl players, which then leads to so many of them being bankrupt after their playing careers. In Rovell’s words, the NFLPA is the worst among the 4 in educating their players about financial prudence.

Deadspin has some fantastic coverage of this story. Mental health advocate Brandon Marshall has some really thoughtful quotes. Highly recommended reading.

 

until next time …

mike (in boston)

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COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 40
  • comment-avatar
    Sam in Scarb 8 years ago

    TSN radio in Toronto has been pretty much a disaster.I now understand that their radio en devour is pretty much one big commercial for their TV product.

    That being said after a few tweeks in the past personal I believe now is the time to make a major coup.

    Bobcat is not what he use to be and also he is not the long term solution.

    Tim & Sid are ! TSN’s best move now would be to meet with T & S hand them a large envelope with blank dated cheques till the end of 2016.Promise them a televised morning show plus a 1 hour weekly TV show for them to do whatever they wish.

    Tell them to fill out the cheques with” whatever they think is proper. ” Just let the TSN suits know in advance

    I think T & S would love to go from the “B” team to the “A” team.

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    I remember when Brady had the aftenoon show before goingto mornings. Seemed pretty generic and paint by numbers if i recall correctly.

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    Dave in Bolton 8 years ago

    I guess Sam never heard of contracts. I don’t get the bashing of TSN Radio its been pretty good much improved from when it first went on the air

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    Thanks Mike.

    The Moore-Bertuzzi thing will be fascinating if it ever goes to trial… 10 years (!!!!) after the incident.

    At first I enjoyed Brady (in the afternoons, I don’t really listen in mornings) but after a while his whining, Detroit-ness, etc. started to grate so I stopped making a point of seeking him out.

    I think Brady in the afternoon would be fine… For a three hour block I’d suggest a co-host for 1 or 2 of those hours. I think a co-host for Brady needs to be able to hold his own with Brady, either an ex-player or ex-GM or a writer / other expert that can win arguments.

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    Per Wikipedia
    “Five years after filing the Ontario suit, Danson told reporters in March 2011 that the case had not yet proceeded in order to fully gauge the extent of Moore’s injury.”.
    Sounds like someone who wants his day in court, or a VERY large cheque.

  • comment-avatar
    Nan Young Lee 8 years ago

    Why do people keep mentioning that Martin went to Stanford and his parents went to Harvard? Does he deserve special treatment because of this? If he and his parents went to East Tennessee Teachers College then would the abuse be more acceptable?
    On Friday’s roundtable, Michael Grange made a statement that Martin wouldn’t want to go on a Vegas trip because a trip involving Incognito might involve drugs and prostitutes and as a Stanford grad Martin would be against these things. Yeah, none of those Ivy league traders and quants on Wall Street are involved with drugs or hookers. There’s no escort services in NY catering to rich bankers. All these Harvard types just want to go home and read about Richard Rorty’s “Final Vocabulary”.
    When John Gibbons, who was in a position of authority, tried to punch out his players was that abuse or assault or was it just a fight? Anyway “Gibby” is a great guy and Shea Hillenbrand did write on a blackboard or something. Rogers shouldn’t have suspended Gibbons. Wait they didn’t suspend him. They suspended Wilner for asking Cito a tough question.
    I’m glad Bob came out so strongly against bullying. Maybe he can have his friend Alan Eagleson on and they can have a long conversation about ruining players lives.

    On a different subject, I agree with Damien that the Raptors “should be tanking their brains out”.

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    MIB, just wanted to say I am enjoying your topics, gives me a reason to come to this site, there haven’t been many of those the past year or so, keep it up.

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    thanks AFRAUDHATER . Appreciate the comment.
    .

    Surreal moments in sports radio: T&S discuss what they are watching this weekend and one of them goes out of his way to talk about this great NCAA football game which, as it turns out, will be airing on SN. A few minutes later one of them is criticizing ESPN for hyping the upcoming Dolphins game just because it is airing on ESPN’s Monday Night Football.

    I get that you don’t want to transparently come off as a corporate shill for the network, but disguising promotion as opinion is really lame. It discredits you in the eyes of the audience, and that trust is hard to rebuild. Brunt went through that with his torch-bearing for the IOC and again with his work promoting the 2103 Jays.

    Credibility is important, and it needs to be treated accordingly, especially in this age of media convergence.

  • comment-avatar
    Nan Young Lee 8 years ago

    Sensitive Stanford grad Jonathan Martin feeding his pet snake some live mice:

    https://twitter.com/J_Martin71/status/308401329255112705/photo/1

  • comment-avatar
    Nan Young Lee 8 years ago

    Jonathan Martin didn’t want to go to Las Vegas but Bourbon St is OK. Must be because it’s lined with bookstores.

    https://twitter.com/koehlkim/status/384653331102044160/photo/1

    I always wanted to go to The Big Easy with someone who’s bullying me.

  • comment-avatar
    Another Steve 8 years ago

    A better look at the Incognito story, and one that doesn’t blame or mock the victim (and story about the role of the media):

    http://www.thenation.com/blog/177105/jay-glazers-interview-richie-incognito-was-sports-journalism-its-worst#

  • comment-avatar

    NYL, why the cheap shots at Martin? How do you see him as the bad guy here?

  • comment-avatar

    great link Steve. It sounds like Incognito only agreed to do the interview on the condition that it be with his friend Jay Glazer asking questions that Incognito pre-approved.

    That’s not journalism. That’s PR. The editor over at Fox has to know the difference.

    I had forgotten about Zirin since I stopped listening to the Hayes’ show. Maybe I should tune in again. Zirin is a breath of fresh air.

  • comment-avatar
    Roger 8 years ago

    I like Brady in the morning. I rarely listen to the radio in the afternoon – prior to the drive home.

    I like Brady and Walker together. Both know their stuff and they’re entertaining to boot. Being over 20, I don’t enjoy the Tim & Sid clown show. On his own Sid is good but he becomes an annoying fool with Tim.

  • comment-avatar
    Kamlesh 8 years ago

    Now Jay Glazer tells Dan Patrick his tougher questions were edited out and will be aired today.

    http://www.danpatrick.com/2013/11/11/jay-glazer-gives-more-details-on-exclusive-interview-with-richie-incognito/

  • comment-avatar

    Roger the moments where Sid is not annoying are very few; like you said if you’re under the age of (and I will even lower it) 16 the show grates on your ears and brain. The only good thing about moving these two clowns to the morning show is it would get their ugly asses off the TV.

  • comment-avatar
    Kamlesh 8 years ago

    On today’s Tim and Sid one of them mentioned there will be less commercial breaks on their show. Were the ratings going down due to this?

    Tuesday on TSN2 at 9:30pm – Andrew Wiggins vs. Jabari Parker:

    http://www.news-record.com/sports/article_5bbe7e22-4b10-11e3-afe8-001a4bcf6878.html

  • comment-avatar

    Again because there is no new thread for today I will ask this question here, when did McCown become a certified MD? I unfortunately have had the entire show on in the background at home for once tonight and the amount of time he has spent diagnosing Stamkos is simply unbelievable.

  • comment-avatar
    Mullah_Kintyre 8 years ago

    Can there be a more scummy-sounding commercial than the one on 590 during PTS for a “tout service” using the Gary Glitter song?
    I remember a few years ago McCown describing what deplorable frauds tout services were, before going to a break where the first commercial was for one of them. I suppose the song choice just adds that extra repulsive factor. Maybe the ethics of a radio station accepting ads for them could be debated, although I have trouble believing there’s many people dumb enough to use them.

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    Julian 8 years ago

    Compliments to “Mike In Boston”. Great to see new content on the website, and that’s not to dismiss TSM’s usual contributions.

    Disagree about Fan morning show. Naturally, there are things I like about it and times when it’s not giving me what I want, but from a business perspective, the ratings are higher and have been for the past 3 years than any of the Stellick/Landry years and those guys never had to compete against another sports station (and a well-funded one at that) in the city.

    So not sure how they’d be dissatisfied with what Brady’s bringing. I did enjoy his afternoon show, after hearing very little of him with Bill Watters on the 640 show, other than the last year or show that partnership was together.

    The show seems to have a fast pace and I wouldn’t read much into Jim Lang’s departure being bad for the show. Seems on this board, there are few people making note of his absence, and they didn’t bring Andrew Walker in from out west, not sure of station, to pair him with Brady and then all of a sudden blow up the show.

    If I’m the boss at 590, until I start actually losing in the key demo in the ratings, why mess with what’s there. If Tim & Sid are winning their time slot and Brady’s winning his, why move anything? You then give TSN an opening in both slots if you mess things around too much.

    Sure, it’s possible the numbers will be the numbers no matter who’s in that slot, but why risk it? Remember how short the ride was for Krystal in the mornings? Something has to have disaster written all over it to make a move.

    I’ve said before I have no idea what lengths of contracts are (of course, McCown’s the only one who enjoys publicizing such a thing out of his own insecurity) but I’d also assume if they bumped Brady for any reason, TSN would make a push to acquire him. He worked closely with Dreger and McKenzie with Watters, and would give their daytime a boost.

    Of course, as I’ve said before, TSN would have been smart to grab Tim and Side before Rogers did for their afternoon slot. Naylor might be a more preferable listen than Cybulski, but if you think he’s connecting with younger listeners, doubt it. There’s no humour, no controversy, no speed to it.

    Anyway, agree with most of the points, but I’d bet no station’s actually in a big hurry to make changes either way. Morning shows across North America take the longest time to build audiences, and you don’t change them unless you have a very good reason (Krystal) or unless you think they’ve lost touch and given all they can in terms of juice (guessing on why they dumped Landry and Gord).

    On another point, I’m finding both 9am shows are lacking for me right now. I get nothing from TSN’s attempt at product there, and Blair out of baseball season just doesn’t bring me much. I don’t have satellite radio so it’s a real void for me right now.

  • comment-avatar

    AFRAUDHATER: when did McCown become a certified MD?
    .

    I think it was around the time he diagnosed Sidney Crosby with a career ending neck injury.

  • comment-avatar

    LOL, well done MIB, I’d forgotten (as I’m sure Bob would love to) about that.

  • comment-avatar
    Reel E 8 years ago

    It’s pretty interesting that, with the exception of Kamlesh, everybody writing today missed the biggest story of the day. The Fan dropped their 20/20 updates, and I think they rebranded as well. It sounds like they are now Sportsnet 590 The Fan. That’s probably the biggest change they’ve made in 22 years, and everybody missed it.
    I think this was probably in the works for quite a while but the last ratings didn’t help. McCown has lost almost half his audience in the last few years, and Julian, I hate to tell you, they’ve never had the morning numbers Landry and Stellick had since they left. You would never know it from this Fan tribute site, but TSN is making progress. And while you may not see it, you can bet the folks at Rogers do.

  • comment-avatar

    Didnt bob break his leg skiing? I presumed much of his discussing the Injury today was based on personal experience.

    I enjoyed how audibly Drager appeared to be getting by being bumped by people at the HOF during naylor’s show.

    Of course, i think having mckenzie and drager every day on 1050 is overkill.

  • comment-avatar
    Dave in Bolton 8 years ago

    I prefer TSN 1050 over 590 i find their coverage of all sports much more professional. Even though they don’t have any rights to the Jays they cover it as if they do unlike 590 when it comes to the CFL.

  • comment-avatar
    Don River 8 years ago

    Speaking of the CFL, Chris Zelkovich says 2013 regular season ratings were up overall and in southern Ontario.
    http://ca.sports.yahoo.com/blogs/eh-game/key-cfl-television-ratings-increase-surprise-southern-ontario-183017606.html

  • comment-avatar

    @reel e

    If you look back through this site you can see that Brady and Lang provided a large ratings bump over Landry and stellick. Not sure where you got that.

    It’s been called Sportsnet 590 The Fan for a year or two now.

  • comment-avatar
    Reel E 8 years ago

    @Daniel With all due respect Daniel, this site is not really the place to determine the numbers. I know how to read a book and I stand by what I said. As for the rebranding, I’m aware they have referred to themselves in the past as Sportsnet, it’s now the only way they identify. There may be the odd time they will say The Fan 590, but believe me, it’s not like it was. This was always part of the plan, a gradual process so that all their platforms identify uniformly.
    But again, the biggest thing yesterday was dropping the 20/20 updates. Is it to save money? Or is it a reaction to the latest book?

  • comment-avatar

    @reel e

    TSM gives the BBM numbers… It’s not like they’re subjective. I could go back and find it if I have time, but when The Fan had their major shake up a couple years ago, they got a big bump in each slot, M 24-54. Brady/Lang included. Stellick/Landry was never a powerhouse or anything.

    Yeah, they haven’t called it The fan 590 in years. The Sportsnet rebranding happened a couple years ago.

  • comment-avatar
    Reel E 8 years ago

    @Daniel Ever had a good accountant? Numbers are what you want them to be.
    TSM gets the numbers from The former Fan. ‘Nuff said.
    And as for the rebranding, it’s changed. Listen to the bumpers…if you know what they are

  • comment-avatar
    Mike V 8 years ago

    Regardless of who provides the numbers to this website, they are compiled and calculated by BBM which is independent of the station. The Fan is not manipulating the data; they’d be called on it very quickly if the #s posted here were different than the ratings book.

  • comment-avatar

    Years ago the Fan did Sportscasts every 15 minutes and it was not good for the continuity and flow of the show. Hence the switch to 20/20 sports updates. I did notice a change, but are they going at the bottom of the hour?

    The Fan is slowly rebranding. With the addition of the Ottawa stations for more of Primetime and Tim and Sid, they now refer to themselves as on “The Sportsnet Radio Network”. Not sure if Hockey Central does the same thing as they are on in Calgary too. As a traditionalist, it would be sad to see the name The Fan go by the way side as its been the name for 20-25 odd years. However, with the competition between TSN/Sportsnet, Sportsnet needs to keep up with the fact that TSN has been branding itself on its radio stations.

    Though they share Raptors/Leafs broadcasts, they remain fierce, fierce rivals.

  • comment-avatar
    Julian 8 years ago

    Reel E backed himself smoothly into a corner.

    “Numbers are what you want them to be”. No, concepts are what you want them to be. 3 is 3, 6 is 6, 932 is 932. Numbers are numbers. He’s clearly getting them through legitimate means and posting them on here.

    Also, this is a FAN tribute site that just made note that the Fan’s last numbers (though leading by a chunk) were flat in October, while TSN made modest gains.

    It’s embarrassing someone would suggest that real BBM ratings are being posted as if they’re modified or fake, per Reel E. That sounds illegal. If someone suggested I did something illegal on my website, I might consider suing someone.

    I’m pleased TSN’s making progress. I don’t like all their programming but I like the options when a show is dragging. Yes, I listen to the Fan more but that’s because of their talent, plain and simple. They have more listeners and always have. Will they always? Who knows? Some say yes and some say no.

    There’s way more people watching and listening to sports radio in the city and watching live sports on TV than they were 10 years ago and it’s not even close. None of these are bad things. No one’s doing a disastrous job and no show’s on the verge of an awful run in the ratings. People may not like it, but things seem stable from an outside perspective, but as someone who’s done radio advertising in a past life (not at Rogers). I’d love to get TSM’s take on it in column if he thinks any changes are coming.

  • comment-avatar
    Nan Young Lee 8 years ago

    Reel E was correct that PTS has lost half their audience. On April 15, 2012 Bruce Dowbiggin wrote a fawning column in the Globe which reported that PTS had a 13.5 share, while the recent ratings posted by TSM show that number (for males 25-54) has dropped to 6.9.

  • comment-avatar

    good catch Nan. If those numbers are accurate (and who knows really — the numbers aren’t public) then that is a telling trend over the last 18 months.
    .

    Speaking of the deplorable Dowbiggin … as terrible as he was at his job, at least he provided sports media content on a regular basis. I find it so sad that none of the 4 majors provide media analysis anymore.

    This is definitely a niche market, but I think it is an important one.There is no question that Bill Houston became crazy in his later years. But, he had the credentials of being a media member. So when he spoke out on something you can bet that people listened.

    While it’s clear that lots of media people read this site, it’s easier than ever for the people who write and speak to us on a daily basis to simply write off the critical feedback from the internet as noise. For example, how often do T&S cherry pick out some positive tweet and claim that this represents the view of their audience?

    In any walk of life, the lazy thrive on lack of accountability, and that seems to be true in spades among members of the media.

  • comment-avatar

    p.s. – 35 comments? When was the last time we managed that on this site? Good job everyone.

  • comment-avatar

    I’ll make it 36. Great points on the media blowhards MIB. I was another who thinks it’s beyond a joke that none of the so called big 4 Toronto based papers (is that even the right term anymore?) don’t have a medium dog. In the U.S the best sites IMO are Awful Announcing, the Sherman Report, Fang Bites and Mediate in no particular order, all of them are interesting reads, my fav of them is AA. Any other one’s out there I’m missing?

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    The only thing I’d say about that McCown number is that I recall him being around a 7 share for a lot of the Brady/Watters days (IIRC). So much less than recently, but about the same as he’s been at other times in the past. If he stayed around that number or went lower, maybe The Fan would sweat a bit…

  • comment-avatar
    Mike S 8 years ago

    I agree with those who are praising the content that Mike in Boston has supplied to this site lately………….I think the amount of comments shows that many people appreciate his contributions

    On the subject of sports media columns, I was in the USA over the weekend and I bought a USA Today on Monday…………..I was expecting to see Michael Hiestand’s media column but it was not there…………….does Hiestand even work for USA Today anymore?……………..when was the last time McCown had him on PTS?

    That USA Today media column used to be excellent…………..when Rudy Martzke was there his media column was in the paper 5 days a week……………after Hiestand took over for Martzke it seemed to be reduced to 3 days per week…………..now I don’t know if they have it at all

    I remember when Rob Longley used to write a sports media column in the Toronto Sun…………..he used to take shots at Mike Hogan almost every week…………those two really seemed to hate each other

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    Mike S, Hiesttand hasn’t worked for USA Today in months, not sure if anyone else took over the column. I’m assuming that is why he hasn’t been on PTS. I would rather hear from Richard Deitsch, Heistand reminded me of Jeff Blair, took him forever to make a simple point.