Seen & Heard – Report Card Edition

by mike in boston (@mikeinboston) & TSM (@yyzsportsmedia)

 

In honour of "back to school" week and the return of the A-teams to each radio station TSM and I thought this weekend might be a good time to give some detailed feedback on what each show should be working on in the year ahead. We have included very subjective grades that reflects our opinions + the results of the last ratings book. Please leave your own grades and comments below.

 

Brady & Walker

 

Last year's report card = Mike A-, TSM B-

 

Mike: Hard to argue that much is wrong with the FAN's #1 rated show. As we always point out on this site, morning radio is a different animal than what happens during the rest of the day, but B&W have clearly figured out how to pack in comedy and content in a way that resonates with the audience.

 

I listened to much more morning radio this summer than usual, mostly so I would have stuff to write about for this column. Brady was on vacation several times, which gave Walker a chance to be the lead host with a range of fill-in co-hosts. He did a very good job, in my opinion. Walker without Brady is good radio, though some of his-costs were less than ideal counterparts. Brady without Walker was not as good, as it devolved back into Brady berating his co-host a lot of the time. That said, Brady is very funny.

 

The most interesting thing to watch will be the ratings. The morning show has been riding high for a while now and might be due for a fall. If that happens, I wonder what the FAN's reaction will be. The stability in the morning slot has been good for listeners, but part of me can't help but think that there is a failsafe plan involving shuttling in some big Sportsnet personality. All of this has happened before …

 

TSM: Morning drive is the one area I think that toronto sports media has the most room for improvement.  As I've written over and over again, perhaps it's my age but when I'm in the car in the morning I want to hear about what happened last night and to be honest I really only want to hear from guests or "insiders," as they call them.  I find the morning show on the FAN is way too much attempted comedy and not nearly enough sports news and informed opinion.

 

Having said that, I think Walker is the freshest voice on the toronto sports media scene. He balances opinion and questions really well and in my opinion he is starting to drive the show more and more which has been a really pleasant surprise. 

 

Mike Richards

 

Last year's report card = Mike C+, TSM C-

 

They say a rising tide lifts all boats, and the Leafs' playoff appearance a year ago + the Raptors' resurgence has been a boon for all sports media in Toronto. This is my only explanation for Richards' good numbers, and the reason his grade is not worse. A lot of people must be tuning in to the games at night and then leaving the dial set in the morning.

 

As I have said repeatedly in this space, I find the show unlistenable. But I am clearly in the minority, as Richards has established a credible number and the show appears to be growing in each new book. His bosses must be very happy since his show is the only one that demonstrates to advertisers that TSN can do radio. He is being thoroughly beaten by B&W, but all other TSN shows would kill to have Richards' number.

 

I am not in a good position to give advice to Richards but I would probably listen more if he got rid of: A) the impersonations, B) the singing (there's a song about Pierre Maguire that's an instant channel switcher), C) the laughing side-kick. It's like a bizarre mishmash of 80s variety show content with some sports content mixed in. Not sure what is left once you subtract all of that.

 

TSM: While the ratings are climbing the show remains way too focused on hijinx than on sports news.  The show has great guests and therefore great content. Too many nicknames and the totally inane and annoying songs and bits are very 1980s- all that's missing is the sports babes gallullies – the show needs to grow up.

 

The Jeff Blair Show featuring Jeff Blair

 

Last year's report card = Mike C+, TSM B+

 

Mike: Basic advice is the same as it has been since Day 1: 1) Take fewer calls, 2) Work on seeing a sentence all the way to the end. It's hard to believe that Blair started transitioning to radio 7 years ago (?) and that his delivery is still so rough. This is the weakest show on the FAN (though the numbers don't really bear that out). I would suggest a co-host but that might make things worse. If I'm Don Kollins I am looking for an upgrade.

 

TSM: I'm a big Blair fan. Few on the radio have the journalism experience and he brings it. I think he takes too many calls but that's the curse of his slot. No one does baseball better and he's getting better in the other sports too.

 

Macko & Cauz

 

Last year's report card = Mike B, TSM B-

 

Mike: Macko was one of the few bright spots on the otherwise dull Cybulski show (side topic – I wonder how TSN looks back on that decision) and continues to deliver interesting and reasonable takes with his new partner. Cauz can be all over the place but he has grown into a competent radio personality in the last year and a half. The show has a tendency to fall into Hot Take territory at times. That is something to work on.

 

Advice: not all arguments are worth having, so pick an issue where both sides are interesting rather than settling for low-hanging fruit. I reckon the show appeals to the same demo as Tim&Sid, so the fact that they are not directly competing is a good thing. That said, Tim&Sid listeners seem pretty loyal to that show so I wonder how much overlap there actually is. I can imagine people finding their banter annoying and sticking with Blair, or turning the radio off altogether.

 

TSM: As far as general shows go it's good. If you need a quick catch up on what's happening or happened it's great. I don't get the chance to listen all that much but for the quick hit, it's good.

 

Tim & Sid

 

Last year's report card = Mike B+, TSM B

 

Mike: The transition from 1 hour to 3 hours has diluted the quality of this show. This was unavoidable, but there are still some lessons to be drawn here. The current show is cripplingly addicted to Sportsnet "insiders." These people also appear on lots of other shows. The biggest strength of T&S is the comfort the hosts have with each other, as well as the amount of time they put into scripting some aspects of the show. Why would you take time away from that to drop in boring old Wilner?

 

My recommendation would be to devote the first hour of each show to T&S only. If you must interview the in-house reporters then put that in the 3rd hour after you have exhausted all your good content. Also, keep up the show prep. I can always count on the people behind the glass on T&S to have cut up all the relevant audio.

 

Beyond this, the show also might think about its Twitter reliance too. There's this hysterical thing Jim Rome does after every interview. He spends the ensuing segment reading tweets and emails about what a great interview it was. It's transparently self-serving and a waste of the audience's time. I understand that T&S spent a lot of time building their show via Twitter, but that doesn't mean we need to listen to them respond to tweets on air.

 

TSM: They are truly the fun part of the show, and while I find the constant air horn annoying, I get it. They have a huge following and people love their shtick. They're actually better as radio hosts when split up, as they don't appear to be trying to outdo each other so much, but they have the best on-air chemistry of any show on the radio

 

Bryan Hayes 

 

Last year's report card = Mike C, TSM C

 

Mike: The fact that Hayes was passed over (for his Dad no less!) to cover for Naylor during his extended summer vacation makes me wonder if TSN is planning to dump his show. I had high hopes for Bryan when he first appeared. I liked his down the middle approach and reasonable opinions. But the show just feels stale. Hayes desperately needs a co-host who can drive the discussion forward. Most of the time when I tune in he is giving a boring opinion that is couched in all kinds of cautious language. This show does nothing for me.

 

TSM: If there was an award for the host most in the wrong time slot, Hayes wins hands down. TSN is not getting any value here and his exposure couldn't be worse. He's a really smart guy who can talk sports on any level and is buried at a time when no one cares.  I'd love to hear him at a better time with a good cohost.

 

Prime Time Sports

 

Last year's report card = Mike B+, TSM  B-

 

Mike: Where to begin with PTS … The flagship show has finally started to show its cracks, relatively speaking of course. They are still miles ahead of the competition from TSN, but they are also miles behind the standard they established over the previous decade. The additions of Cox and Shannon have hurt in so many ways. Brunt was previously keeping the show afloat, but he seems to be permanently checked out over the last year. As many readers have commented, there are entire segments and interviews where he contributes next to nothing.

 

Bob had a timeless quality to him for a very long time, but that is no longer the case. He's old, his opinions are outdated, and he clearly lacks the energy he used to have for the show. I'm sure all parties will ride this gravy train until Bob retires, but then what? There is no clear heir apparent. and there is now a viable alternative for people who want a journalistically driven talk show that includes wider issues in sports. PTS doesn't need my advice, so I won't offer any.

 

TSM: There is no host who can turn it on like McCown. When he is on, he's an A+. When he mails it in, he's plain old ordinary. No one, and I mean no one, does interviews like he does when he cares.  He remains the one guy and the one show that I want to hear when something happens.  The problem is he mails it in more often than not.  He's the one show that really is non stop sports. It's true sports radio and it's good.  What they do when he's done…. No idea.

 

TSN Drive

 

Last year's report card = Mike B+, TSM B

 

Mike: I had been beating the drum for Naylor to replace Cybulski for months so I was thrilled when that actually came to pass. He has been as advertised: sober, smart, and well spoken. That's the good. The bad is that the show has not drawn an audience, and the grade I gave reflects that fact. Here are some ways the show could improve.

 

1) Stop relying on Hodge as a regular co-host. He has little traction with people under 50, and none whatsoever with people under 40. Bring him in once a week for a roundtable.

2) Get a regular rotation of co-hosts, but try to keep them around for most of the week. Continuity is good. Simmons, Arthur, Feschuck, Mirtle … these guys are all solid co-hosts on the radio, unlike what the competition is putting out. Find a way to leverage that advantage.

3) For the love of God, keep CFL talk to one day a week, like Football Fridays, or No One Cares Tuesdays. Until Toronto embraces the CFL, stop trying to make it happen on the radio. It's not going to happen.

4) Wean yourself off your dependence on Dreger and MacKenzie.

 

TSM: A great McCown alternative. Great guests with good analysis. This is where TSN has to double down and decide they are in the radio business. The show, while vastly improved, still seems like nothing more than a tv promo tool. Break news, bring the best and perhaps you can take on the leader. Until then the show seems like a promo for what's coming on tv.

 

—-

 

This is a time to give free advice to the station managers and show hosts, so let them have it in the comments section.

As always, thanks for reading.

mike (in boston)

 

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GreyCountyMike
GreyCountyMike
September 6, 2014 9:42 am

Great work, gents! As always, appreciate so very much your insights and perspectives! Kudos!

elseldo
elseldo
September 6, 2014 10:13 am

My only problem with Brady & Walker is that Walker is very concerned that every know he’s a man’s man. Always sliding in hints of “theatre isn’t for me” “women aren’t funny” “drunk driving is ok if no one gets hurt”

interviewer, yes, he’s good, but I could do with less of a bro on the commentary side.

and if I have to hear him call people “nerds” one more time while having to hear him play football RPG’s I”ll scream

Sam in Scarb
Sam in Scarb
September 6, 2014 1:14 pm

Nice to see your opinion of bbbblair.How he has a job on-air anywhere never mind in Toronto is mind boggling.
Clearly,those photos of AKA don kollins helping a baby sheep over a fence have come in handy.

mario
mario
September 6, 2014 1:28 pm

Thanks for the read..Should be interesting how the upcoming ratings over the next year show now that Rogers has the NHL rights.If it will change on what people will watch and listen too.

Ken
Ken
September 6, 2014 1:32 pm

@Sam in Scarb………if you go through life caring about ‘how’ people talk, in lieu of ‘what’ they say, you may miss out on a lot.

Sam
Sam
September 6, 2014 1:44 pm

I did not hear all of pts this week but in that time not one mention of the Steve Moore settlement. Doodly doodly doo doo doo.

Don Mandrie
Don Mandrie
September 6, 2014 2:07 pm

They are both way too serious in the afternoon. There is a time to be. But it’s sports. Not enough playfulness. Melnick in Montreal gets it.

Nei
Nei
September 6, 2014 3:55 pm

Sam,

In the final segment of Thursdays PTS (Ask Bob or whatever they call it) Brunt asked Bob what his thoughts were on the Steve Moore case, Bob responded by saying he is satisfied with an out of court settlement and will not critisize Steve Moore for settling, especially if Steve Moore and family are happy. Brunt brought the point that alot of people particularly on social media would have preferred this case to move foward. Bob immiediately dismissed the publics notion and called them idiots and niandrothols. While Bob ranted on the publics perspective, in his rant he added that the same people in the social media relm that want the case to proceed, it is also those same people that attempt to make Todd Bertuzzi the victem. To me it almost felt as though Bob was somewhat in defence of the NHL by ranting on those who want the case to proceed, clearly there are those on social media that sincerely want justice for Steve Moore that are far from idiots and Niandrothols and in getting justice would like to see the NHL exposed for what it is. I think Bob saved himself by specifically referring to a specific opionbase on social media he was being critical of(The Bertuzzi backers). Right off the top when Bob first responded to Brunt, he did also say he once felt like those who wanted the NHL exposed and this is not surprising given Bob’s opinion on fighting, Gary Bettman and NHL code. BUT
I wonder what changed, Bob did a good job in making it seem like the fact that Moore and familly has emotionally been through alot is what changed him from wanting the NHL exposed to being ok with settling. In my opinion I could think if 5.2 billion things that changed. Bob to me has become a personlity that sticks to the company line. Notice he never wants to critisize Anthopolus or Beeston and kills fans who do. Bob will only go hard after a company or property that Rogers has no vested interest in i.e CFL.

alex
alex
September 6, 2014 4:42 pm

After having hopes for Naylor, i pretty much gave up on the show this summer over the way he handled his World Cup coverage. And since i have stopped watching the nfl, i dont need all that football talk. I will prob only listen on mondays when arthur is co-host.

Having Simmons as a cohost make me not want to listen too.

Sam
Sam
September 6, 2014 5:09 pm

Thanks Neil for the roundup.
I am disappointed that it didn’t go to trial but it is really hard to fault Moore for settling. So, I guess agree with Bob.
Would be awesome to know the $ and who paid what.
Too bad its going to take an on-ice death… or someone to be made a vegetable… for anything to change.

On the TSN/CFL, it is an immediate channel changer.
Quick poll: What makes you change the channel faster, Cox, Shannon, or the CFL? 😉 For me it is the CFL.

Thanks to TSM and MIB for the article. Question: any particular reason you didn’t cover the two noon-time programs?

Sam
Sam
September 6, 2014 5:15 pm

Apropos of the article actually written, I pretty much agree with everything said for the shows I watch. MIB is bang on on Hayes: “Most of the time when I tune in he is giving a boring opinion that is couched in all kinds of cautious language.” I have to say I do enjoy Leafs Lunch when Ferraro is on and make a point of listening. The (faux)animosity that O’Neill has to Ferraro has got to go – if I want to listen to guys being assholes to each other I’ll tune into Hockeycentral (actually I won’t, but you get the point).

Jamally
Jamally
September 6, 2014 7:32 pm

Tim and Sid appeal to my demographic – that is, the REAL sports fan that doesn’t just watch one sport. The sports media in Canada is awful and way too old. That’s a known fact. Tim and Sid realize people also watch basketball and football. They include these topics. We will see once hockey season begins if they will continue to be diverse. If every segment is hockey related, I can see myself tuning out. They need to continue with the NBA talk for the guys like me who don’t eat and sleep hockey.

Neil
Neil
September 6, 2014 8:22 pm

Who do you all think Bob’s successor should be? I’ll throw my vote in the hat for Grantlands Jonah Keri, Jonah is a great sportswriter and well versed in all of sports. When he’s on primetime he’s always a good Interview and always provides solid information on anything he is asked. If you ask me I think primetime should get the ball roll n now on Mcowans successor. I don’t think prime time revovles around Bob any longer(ratings are still high even when he is not on). I think primetimes rich history has long kept it afloat. The history of being the only sports talk station for a long time is what’s helped the station across the board.

Neal
Neal
September 6, 2014 8:42 pm

TSM – re: Brady and Walker…you say that you’d rather hear from guests in the morning rather than hearing reviews about what happened the night before. Guess what? It is hard to get guests to wake up in the morning (especially in the first hour of the show) I am guessing to have that happen. I am sure once the NHL season gets going, there will be more insiders on the Fan to match the insiders that Richards has on.

Anyways…

The Hayes show is pretty good on TSN Radio. He basically deals with all the headlines of the day in more depth…more of a news of the day kind of show whereas Tim and Sid do the same thing but add much comedy and entertainment into it. I give both shows an A grade.

PTS – A+ in my opinion. If you loved it 25 years ago, you still love it. If you hated it 25 years ago, you still hate it. It really hasn’t changed. It is my go-to show.

Jeff Blair…I like the show a lot because it is baseball focused. B+ in my opinion.

Early evening shows…I flip around…sometimes I listen to the Fan/sometimes TSN radio. No preference in either case…like them both. B+ to both in my opinion.

Curt
Curt
September 6, 2014 10:07 pm

I disagree. I loved PTS 25 years ago, but not anymore. I’m not going to list all the reasons why it ain’t what it use to be (frankly I’m tired of repeating myself), but suffice to say, Bob has been bought and sold – property of Rogers Communications.

torontosportsmedia
September 7, 2014 8:26 am
Reply to  Neal

Have to disagree both stations have guests on early am, TSN more so in the earlier hours – it’s a session on when you want them

yaz
yaz
September 7, 2014 9:42 am

Terrific post.

For me, Mike nails it on B&W & Mike Richards ( The Pierre Maguire song I never got either, like most of his empty schtick ) TSM’s comment on Richards ‘The show has great guests and therefore great content’ seems to be TSN 1050’s mission statement. I agree with TSM on Blair. Also, Blair has become increasingly caustic to callers – its fun sometimes but lately many of the hangups have been unwarranted. I warmed up a bit to Macko and Cauz because of the relentless drum of Fan590 B & D teamers. Cauz, like Brady, has the best grasp of both sports & social issues & each know the correct threshold for comedy in a sports radio context.

Still hate T&S. I think the blaring of the air horn causes them to constantly raise their voices to the point of yelling at each other even when commenting on where they went to dinner last night. However they did dig deeper into Nonis the other day right after I listened to Hayes blandly interview Nonis.

Hayes is actually on two different shows; Leafs Lunch with O’Neill and Noodles is entirely different, and better, than The Bryan Hayes show. I listened to every Leafs lunch all week and found it informative and entertaining. They can make you laugh and 2 of 3 are speaking from many years of NHL experience – in contrast to Hockey Central at Noon where 2 of 3 have even more experience but always seem angry or as serious as a Defense Secretary giving a report on troop movement in Afghanistan. ‘The Bryan Hayes Show’ always seems to open with him yakking non-stop for one full segment about the NFL; no callers, no guests, just a sleeping pill.

McCown is McCown. I think he does have the best and most informative guests in this market. Naylor is going to go the way of Cybulski. There is just nothing there at all – and they seem to have ratcheted up the CFL/NFL talk even more than before the summer which just puts more nails into his coffin.

Neil
Neil
September 7, 2014 12:10 pm

I agree with you Curt, Bob is all things Rogers and very different content wise than he was 25yrs ago. For the life of me I can’t understand how a radio host talking about how big his TV is or how big his house is makes for good radio.
When we look at a couple of the biggest sports stories this year being Ray Rice and the NFL’s handling of his suspension for assaulting his wife and the Steve Moore settlement, Bob gave these two big sports stories minimal attention. In regards to the Ray Rice story, Bob did not discuss the issue nor interview anyone close to the situation. I feel that this was Bob’s opportunity to lay into both leagues for their lack of discipline. Espn used it’s media power through their on air personalities to really lay into the NFL and it’s executives for such a passive suspension. Goodell has since then, being under so much scrutiny changed the size of suspension for domestic violence second time offenders can now receive a lifetime ban, first time offenders receive six weeks. How much of a stance does Bob really take on issues that are creeping into sports that cripple our society. i.e racism, violence, drugs, etc. I think Bob’s cult following comes from his criticism of the leafs in such a leafs crazed market.

Sam
Sam
September 7, 2014 1:09 pm

I don’t remember the last controversial position Bob has taken (I really don’t, not trying to say he hasn’t). Will be interesting to see what issues come up this year, especially in the NHL, and what he does with them.

The discussion on PTS this week as to which sports are better viewed live or on tv was interesting.

Alex
Alex
September 7, 2014 4:46 pm

There was an interesting bit on friday’s call in segment where Bob discussed creating the Bobcat character vs the real Bob.

It struck me as the classic example of pro wrestlers who say their gimmick is their personality turned up to 11.

Darrell
Darrell
September 7, 2014 7:39 pm

Still wish Tim + Sid were first thing in the morning from 5:30 AM to 9 AM. Greg Brady’s love affair for the Detroit Tigers is about as nauseating as Mike Wilner’s love affair for the Blue Jays.

I tune off completely for Jeff Blair Show. I actually like Bob McCown’s professionalism but I just think he is the Bob Barker of the FAN and hanging on.

MattK
MattK
September 7, 2014 8:23 pm

I’d be ok with Tim and Sid being separate for part of the day, like 1 does 2-4 then 4-5 they are together and 5-7 the other is by themselves.

Neil
Neil
September 7, 2014 9:32 pm

Tim and Sid provide the most objectivity on the jays, Everyone else blair,Mcowan,Wilner You would almost think these guys are seeking a role with the organization

Daniel
Daniel
September 8, 2014 12:54 am

When the Jays were going great, I was listening to a lot more sports radio than I am now. But I’ll give it a go:

Brady and Walker – B. I think it’s a good morning show and I like both hosts a lot. I find it a bit too fast paced for me though as they seem to rush from topic to topic. I’d probably really enjoy their show if it wasn’t mornings and they didn’t have to constantly recap last night. I could see Brady as a McCown replacement one day?

Mike Richards – C-. Kind of unfair on my part because I’ve barely listened. But from what I’ve heard the comedy bits are pretty hacky. And the guy who laughs at everything has got to stop that.

Jeff Blair – B+. Jeff isn’t a smooth broadcaster but I like his show a lot because I think he’s pretty informed and doesn’t tend to BS or search for ‘hot takes’ like some hosts do. I think he’s the best host on the Jays in the city.

Macko/Cauz – B-. When I tune in, I think it’s a totally fine alternative to The Fan. I don’t feel super compelled to listen, but I think it’s solid.

Tim and Sid – B+. I think this show is a huge breath of fresh air on The Fan. Remember the days of Landry/Stellick and Mike Hogan? So stale. I think the station made a great choice getting a fun and genuinely funny show on the sched. I would have given it an A- but I hate it when Sid rants about total non issues. Just stay light and fun guys.

Bryan Hayes – C. He’s knowledgable. It’s just too boring. I don’t really feel compelled to listen. Needs a coshost I think.

Prime Time Sports – A-. Gotta give it a good score despite its faults. When something big happens (particularly on the business side) I still want to hear McCowns take on it more than anyone else, and I think they still regularly put out great shows. Shannon has come close to ruining the show, but it seems he’s on a lot less lately. Brunt implied last week he’s going to be on a lot. So that would help immensely.

Naylor – B. Really solid alternative to PTS. Very knowledgable. I just think it’s too dry, especially when Hodge cohosts. But the best show on TSN I’d say.

Bonus – Dan Lebatard Show – A+. This has become my go to show over the last year on podcast (especially when Toronto sports are in a dreary period). Kind of makes normal sports radio seem silly in comparison. Like the best parts of PTS combined with the best parts of Tim and Sid. Highly recommend.

Rob In Aurora
Rob In Aurora
September 8, 2014 8:13 am

You neglected the noon to one, noon to 2 shows. (Hockey has been gone for a while, so it will get ramped up now) The Fan with Kypreos and Millard is a joke. I can’t listen. That is where TSN with Brian Hayes and McLennan and O’Neil are a way better choice. People need to give Macko and Cauz a chance.

Tim and Sid are just annoying, so I prefer Hayes. But he needs a co-host. Naylor is just too awkward as the host. He should have been a co-host / insider as he has good insights, but he is so stiff it’s uncomfortable. Oh man, when he giggles, I cringe.

Both morning shows are weak. I listen to Richards exclusivvely as he has better guests and Brady is more annoying to me

Mike S
Mike S
September 8, 2014 3:13 pm

I could be wrong but at the start of Friday’s PTS roundtable it sounded like they were indicating that Cox would not be a PTS co-host all that much (if at all) over the next several months………..I guess that means he will be focusing most of his time on the Rogers NHL coverage

Also, Friedman seemed to indicate that he is scheduled to do 8 weeks of PTS……….I don’t know what the timeframe is but I assume that means 8 weeks between now and the end of the hockey season

If it’s true that Friedman is replacing Cox as one of the regular co-hosts I think it is a significant upgrade……….I like Friedman as PTS co-host more than I like him as the PTS main fill in host

Neal
Neal
September 8, 2014 6:45 pm

Ken Reid made a lot of appearances on PTS during the summer. Maybe he’s being groomed for the takeover? I don’t want Bobcat to retire ever ever ever…he was really the first radio personality that I ever tuned into on a regular basis many moons ago until now. But even Wally Crouter on CFRB had to retire one day so it happens…

Drumanchor
Drumanchor
September 9, 2014 11:18 am

A little late in commenting as Drumanchor was in sunny Alberta on the weekend (believe me, it was lovely weather before the snow).

Anyway, really great comments by both MIB and TSM. Thoughtful and accurate and I would hope that the powers-that-be at both stations take some of these suggestions to heart.

PS – I thought Bob and Brrunt provided first rate analysis of the Rice incident yesterday. As said here many times, when they are “on”, no one comes close.

ben
ben
September 9, 2014 3:49 pm

Hayes is the worst, guy can put you to sleep painful show he also thinks he knows everything, I swear an american audience would laugh him off the radio

Mike S
Mike S
September 9, 2014 3:51 pm

Here are my radio thoughts:

Morning shows………..I didn’t dislike Lang and it took some time for me to warm up to Walker, but I have……….I think Brady & Walker is a solid show, mainly because I have always liked Brady………the Richards show is unlistenable for me and I don’t think that will ever change as long as he is host

Mid-morning shows………..I am not a big fan of either of these shows……….Blair takes too many calls and needs a co-host……….Cauz needs to tone down his wacky guy act, especially when interviewing guests that aren’t familiar with him

Noon hockey shows………….I like both of these shows, mainly because I really like Doug MacLean and Jeff O’Neill………….the 590 show would be better with a different host than Millard but it’s still a good show

Mid-afternoon shows…………I like Hayes but he needs a co-host……….I like that Tim & Sid have good chemistry and talk about a variety of sports, but they need to ditch the false outrage (Sid) and reduce the frequency of sound effects, match games, etc

Drive home shows…………..Naylor’s show is good when he has a good co-host (Arthur, Simmons, Feschuk, etc) but they need to upgrade his other co-hosts and get rid of his opening commentary………PTS has good guests but needs to eliminate Shannon and Butch as occasional co-hosts……….if they stick with Brunt, Friedman, and maybe Grange/Perkins as regular co-hosts I would be happy

Evenings/weekends………….Tatti is far and away my favourite evening/weekend host………no one else is close in my opinion…………I don’t really like any of the guys on 590

dave in bolton
dave in bolton
September 10, 2014 2:29 pm

I said it before and il say it again TSNR should go after Andrew Walker as their drive home host. Maybe move Nailer to the mourning show and dump Richards to late nights. Team of Nailer and Simmons might be an intresting team in the mournings.

Drive home with Andrew Walker
The Nailer and Simmons show

Sperk
Sperk
September 11, 2014 10:40 am

Really interesting article by MiB and TSM and I like everyone’s comments. To honour the start of the NFL season I’m going to go with the power rankings approach from what limited amount I’ve heard in the past few months:

1. PTS
yes, McCown mails it in more often than not and his co-hosts are annoying but there is no question this is still the best show on right now
2. Dave Naylor
There is still a big gap between his and McCown’s show but I think that gap is lessing
3. Brady/Walker
of all the shows, I think this is the one with the most informed opinion as the hosts can talk about mlb, nfl and nhl somewhat intelligently. Their increasing reliance on comedy bits is getting a bit troubling
4. Jeff Blair
his long winded delivery is annoying but I like his “no schtick” approach
5. Tim & Sid
in my opinion, they are excellent when they are alone but together (yes, they are familiar) I think they bring out the worst in each other. Sid’s faux anger is exaserbated by Tim’s urging him on and calling attention to it. Tim’s faux cool routine wears on me…you’re in your mid 40’s Tim, I’m not impressed that you know the kids are using the term “cut” to describe things they like. The content (apart from the noises and comedy) is actually really good but I fear their schtick and personae are more important to them
6. Mike Richards
We’re beginning to scrape the bottom of the barrel here…too much outdated comedy, satire referencing songs that were popular 40 years ago. Not much content
7. Bryan Hayes’ PM show
seems like a nice guy but his “analysis” usually consists of “The Spurs won the NBA Finals because they wanted it more” and “The Kings made the pledge at the beginning of the season that it was Stanley Cup or bust and that’s why they lifted the trophy” or other nonsensical or unquantifiable justifications.
8. Leafs Lunch
Much the same as what I said about Hayes’ other show but x3 as O’Neill and McLennan love to tell us that the “Leafs need to play with more heart” I hate it when these three talk about anything other than the NHL, liketheir love of who shows the most leadership in the locker room has anything to do with the Steelers/Ravens game tonight. They do get plus marks (unlike the below) for being congenial with each other
9. Hockey Central
McLean and Kyprios are the most unlikeable people on the air (even worse than Cox). Their beligerance and arrogance make me want to turn them off instantaneously

Can’t give a grade on Macko/Cauz as I have never heard their show

FMW
FMW
September 11, 2014 4:44 pm

Great topic, lists rule. Not great with grades but just giving generally opinion

Brady/Walker- Was always a huge fan of Brady even back to his 640 days, love his partnership with Watters,had a fun hungry young guy/old guy combo which reminded me back of the great McCown/Hunt combos. Lang just didn’t seem to fit as a morning host in a big market. I don’t love Walker but it’s an improvement to Lang but I still don’t think Brady found a combo as good as he did with Watter.

Jeff Blair- I like him more than most because I think baseball translate best to talk radio. Unfortunately Jays talk has turned into a clown show with Wilner and it’s become more about a sh*t throwing contest between host and callers than actually baseball discussion. Blair has the best fan/host interaction for Jays talk with a host who understands that the beauty of the sports is the difference ways people can critique the game. Blair also stepped up and was very good during World cup and good knowledge of general sports.

Tim&Sid – Big supporters when they were on the Score, I still am. Great combo of sports & entertainment. Unique style and I approve mixing pop culture with sports. The hosts interact perfectly with the more over-the-top Sid and the calmer Tim. I like they don’t ALWAYS agree with each other (see WGR hosts)they also don’t disagree for the sake of disagreeing. Have a solid knowledge of all sports, and most willing to go after the home team (especially Jays) the only negative is too many in house SN guests.

PTS – Strangely for me it’s maybe the weakest of the A-list show on TheFan. McCown & Brunt is still strong when a news story breaks but too many freinds of Bob hosting and guesting and when there is no real breaking news the show drags a bit for me and seems repetitive.

Overnight/Weekend – No doubt the weakest part of the lineup. None of these guys really established themselves as “up and coming talent” or having an imagination of standing out as a host (see Jim Richards back in the day) Lajoie interview skills are those of a community TV host just breaking in, and he’s been doing this for how long?

TSN radio

Mike Richards – Gave it a legit chance, it’s just horrible. Everytime I tune in it seems they are doing some bad “Mexican” type accent or something. The fun I have with Tim and Sid comedy I have the total opposite reaction to Mike Richards “comedy”

Macko/Cauz – I like Macko a lot,even back in the old “game” days of The Fan. Smart guy. As for Cauz, I never really liked him even back in his Sun TV days, I always like Wheeler more. So kind of an odd combo for me, but I do give them a listen once in a while.

Hayes – Tough time spot. Tim & Sid is my most listen show, Jim Rome is my alternative. Heck I listen to Jim Richards at RB and McArthur before listening to Hayes. He just never grabbed myh attention.

Naylor – Better than I expected, I know him as “CFL guy” but he’s a decent overall host, I think their guest co-host are solid most of the time and doesn’t have as much of a “Buddy system” as PTS seems to have. But when they start talking too much CFL that’s when I run for the dial.

Overnight/Weekend – This is where TSNRadio kicks SNradio butt eaily. Wheeler, Tatti, Hogan are light years ahead of what’s on the Fan during the same time. Are these guys A-listers, nope but solid B-listers and I think Wheeler has A-list potential.

yaz
yaz
September 12, 2014 12:02 pm

@Dave in Bolton

TSN would never dump Richards anywhere other than maybe the Drive home but that would likely be as unsuccessful as when McCown moved to mornings way back and didn’t survive a year. I can’t stand the M.R. show but he is the only successful TSN radio show. Everything else is barely treading water.

Dogpounder
Dogpounder
September 13, 2014 10:56 pm

I think it’s all been covered here.

I’ll add that I think Ennis is talented. Does a good job on his own and filled in well from what I heard on Fan morning show. His baseball IQ is far above the average in this town and I believe it’s needed, as the below average (pretty much every other host) are having a negative effect on the fanbase.

Really enjoying Naylor. I listen to him exclusively unless it’s CFL talk or Brunt is on at the Fan.

I’m all for the outright banning of calls. They bring nothing but a desire to change the station for me.

Dogpounder
Dogpounder
September 14, 2014 9:49 am

I forgot to add that I think Friedman is the guy for PTS. Haven’t seen anyone else hold that spot as well as he does.

Curvy
Curvy
November 18, 2014 4:11 am

Hindsight is very much 20/20.

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