Seen & Heard – Weekend Edition 5 Questions with Andrew Walker

<span class="entry-title-primary">Seen & Heard – Weekend Edition</span> <span class="entry-subtitle">5 Questions with Andrew Walker</span>

photo credit: Sportsnet’s MS Paint department

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by mike in boston / @mikeinboston / hatemailaccount at gmail

 

When local media people make news I reach out to them for a short interview that sometimes turns into a long interview. Andrew Walker of the FAN’s morning show made news last week by being first to have the full details of the Lind to Milwaukee trade. He kindly agreed to join me for this weekend’s column. (Past guests include Scott MacArthur and Rick Westhead)

 

5 Questions With … Andrew Walker

 

Q: Coming from out west, what were your expectations about Toronto’s obsession with the Leafs? Did “Leaf Nation” live up to the hype?

 

I knew it as the “centre of the hockey universe” and I was really excited to come experience that. I wouldn’t say it has been disappointing but I would say it has been different from what I expected. I’ve never seen a team move the needle like the Leafs do but Toronto is not as hockey crazy as the West; rather Toronto is Leafs crazy. But I do attribute some of that discrepancy to the time zone. It’s tough for people in Toronto to stay up to watch Nashville-Vancouver for obvious and good reasons. Out West you just get to see more hockey.

 

So, it is Leafs crazy but not as hockey crazy. The World Juniors won’t be embraced here the way it would be out West. And when the Flames aren’t in the playoffs, the local WHL team sells out just as an NHL team would. No chance of that happening in Toronto even though there’s way more people here.

 

Q: Are Calgarians just as obsessive about the Flames as Torontonians are about the Leafs?

 

Yes, but there are two differences. First, there is more history here, and second there are way more people here or from here, and they travel well. It’s like comparing the Dallas Cowboys and the Cleveland Browns. Do Browns fans care less about their team? No, but there are way more Cowboys fans. The same is true of the Leafs.

 

Q: What are some of the biggest job-related adjustments you had to make in transitioning from doing sports radio in Calgary to doing sports radio in Toronto?

 

In Calgary, we were 90% hockey most of the year, and maybe 75% in the summer. Here, it’s a lot of Blue Jays, more and more it’s the Raptors, also the NFL … people have a much more diverse set of interests and you have to be really cognizant of what people are talking about at the water cooler.

 

Another big difference is that out West if you’re not talking Flames/Oliers/Jets then you’re talking Bombers/Stamps/Eskimos [note: these are CFL teams]. Here the Argos get no play.

 

Q: What do you see as the challenges of doing morning radio versus other time-slots during the day?

 

In morning radio you are tired all the time. No matter how prepared or excited you are to do the show, you have this mini-battle with yourself every day when the alarm goes off. More importantly though, you are the first show that gets to react to everything that happened the night before. Unless some trade happens in the middle of the day, on most issues, we are the first guys who get to talk about it. When a listener gets in his car he either saw the game and has an opinion or didn’t see the game at all and we are the guys who tell him what happened and what we think. It’s sort of like the way newspapers were 20 years ago. It’s a responsibility and it’s a privilege.

 

Q: How, and when, do you and Brady and Fabro decide on what topics you’ll discuss during your show?

 

The conversation for the next show starts right after the show ends. There’s a lot of emails and texts sent in any given day. By the evening we know what the water cooler topics will be, and what has to be the lead for our 6am, 7am, and 8am hours. But the final line-up doesn’t get settled until a few minutes before the show.

 

Q: Do you ever argue about what the lead should be?

 

Oh yeah, all the time. We have to be aware of our own personal preferences and that these might not match public preferences. There’s a common sense element to it though. If it were up to me then we would lead with Saskatchewan Rough Riders talk every Monday, but we haven’t mentioned them in maybe 6 months on the show and for obvious reasons.

 

What happens more often is that we disagree about which sports story is the most important to our audience … World Series versus the Leafs, for example. And what we try to figure out is how we can organize the show so that the least amount of people possible tune in and then switch off because we’re not talking about something they care about. What makes our show different, and people have commented on this a lot, is how quickly we move between topics. Part of that is to make sure that everyone hears a little bit of what they care most about.

 

Q: When Strombo was hired for the HNIC job he faced some criticism for having not “paid his dues” as a sports host. As someone who is young with a high profile radio gig, did you face any resistance from radio veterans?

 

I have a bit of an advantage because my medium is radio and you can’t tell my age from my voice. Our target demo is males 25-54 and while I’m in the lower half of that demo but I’m still in it. I could understand some backlash if I were 24. Internally, I haven’t had any negative experiences at the FAN. That said, it is a cut throat business and if you don’t perform then you’re gone.

 

Q: You were first to have the complete details of the Lind trade. Without divulging your sources, how did you manage to get that scoop?

 

I think breaking a good sports story in the true sense of “people are needing to hear this info, and the race is on for where they hear it” has a couple of elements. One is luck. A lot of right place, right time sort of thing.  The other is simply, networking. Get to know enough people in the sports world, and you never know when you have the “right contact”. That’s all it was for me, it was timing meets contact, and the right MLB source had the answer I was looking for.

 

Q: Were your baseball colleagues at Sportsnet angry that you scooped them? Or is it understood that it’s “every man for himself” when you get inside info?

 

I’ll be the first to say that I’m not a baseball insider. But sometimes you get lucky. I’m sure there is a sense of disappointment when you’re a big boy on the local baseball scene and someone gets a story ahead of you. But it happens all the time in the hockey world. The one thing I’ll say that I’m proud of about our show, and something that separates it from other shows in the market at any time-slot, is that if you’re listening in the morning there is a chance that you will hear some breaking news. It’s one thing we really do pride ourselves on. Our show had the Cody Franson signing, the Mason Raymond signing. A couple of years back Brady had the Richard Peddie resignation. Brady also got the ball rolling on the Thrashers moving to Winnipeg.

 

Q: How does someone who grew up without a local MLB team to cheer for end up being such a big baseball fan?

 

That’s easy. I played ball growing up. I love hockey but I was better at baseball. I cut grass for a local municipality growing up and the local radio station carried the games with Tom & Jerry courtesy of the FAN. From the age of 13-17 I would probably listen to 120 games on the radio while mowing lawns. I love everything about baseball. The fact that the game story is so much more than what the scoreboard shows at the end of the game. The fact that there is no clock … it’s great.

 

Q: Hockey analytics have moved from being a fringe concept to dominating a lot of NHL discussion. What are your thoughts on the emergence of fancy stats?

 

I think it’s incredibly overdone. I sometimes play the role of being “anti-analytics” on the radio or Twitter, but mostly I try to be a voice of reason in this debate. The thing I like about analytics is that it tries to explore new aspects of the game. The thing I don’t like is that people are pretending like puck possession, and face-offs, and gap control and cycling are new inventions. They’re not. They have been around for years under the name “good hockey.” And now people are quantifying it, which is a good thing, but it’s also a dangerous thing in the following way. It has made it the case that people can’t even mention words like compete-level, tenacity, hard work, intensity without being ridiculed. People act as if those things are meaningless but at the end of the day this is hockey and those things are not meaningless. They are important to playing the game well.

 

Q: What would it take for you, or the city, to care about the Argos?

 

I love the CFL. I get as emotionally invested in the Roughriders as I do when a Canadian competes in the Olympics. So I’m pro-CFL but I get why the Argos struggle here. They have a recent Grey Cup championship, the most exciting player in the game in Chad Owens, and one of the best QBs in the league as well as a CFL legend in Ricky Ray, and yet people don’t care. For example, if we are working in Calgary and the Stamps’ QB is coming in studio then it’s the lead story of the day for the radio station. Here, Ricky Ray – the legend – is just not going to be good for ratings, even at 6:20am.  The league is vibrant and successful out West but we just don’t have the same sports competition, nor the competition from concerts and restaurants. I don’t think the problem is the way the Argos do things. It’s not going to get better. I think it’s hopeless.

 

Q: What’s the best thing about Toronto that you couldn’t appreciate until living here?

 

Living downtown, the accessibility of sports is incredible. Especially baseball. Living out West you were limited to wherever they do direct flights – Minnesota, San Diego, Denver, Seattle – whereas here I can take the subway 5 stops and walk to the Rogers Centre on a Saturday afternoon. Working in this business sometimes you see guys who get burned out and disaffected and lose their passion for sports. But I love sports so much that when my shift is done I still want to get out and watch as much as I can, and Toronto is amazing for that. Also, the restaurant scene is pretty great too.

 

Q: What’s an uncomfortable truth about Toronto that Torontonians need to hear?

 

People are disappointingly cold and flaky. It’s a big city with a lot going on and sometimes people want to prove they are busyComing from out West, people are definitely friendlier there. For example, every rec hockey team I played on out West, the sport was relatively speaking the least important thing. It was about the chicken wings and beer after and the laughs in the dressing room. I played on a team here last year where after the game every one went their separate ways after the games. So to not have any close friends on the team after a year of playing with them seems weird to me.

 

—-

 

Thanks again to Andrew for taking the time to talk to me. You can listen to Brady & Walker weekday mornings from 5:30 to 9am.

 

Anthopoulos Speaks

 

Now that the World Series is over the Jays front office have turned to improving their not quite good enough roster. Besides trading Lind for a bullpen arm, they shed a bunch of contracts by declining options. AA made the rounds to discuss these moves, including an appearance on TSN Drive with Naylor and co-host Mike Hogan.

 

The Drunk Jays Fans blog used to do a bit when JP Riccardi was GM where they translated his bullshit into normal english. They could do quite a bit with this interview. Let paraphrase for you some of the quotable moments of his interview with TSN:

 

  • “Estrada had a lot of bad luck giving up home runs last year. We think he’ll be better this year.”

 

This is classic AA. Trading a productive player for a barely above replacement level player (who made $3.5 million last year) and then telling people to expect good things. Because as we all know, pitchers tend to put up better numbers when they move the AL East, right?

 

  • “We start the year with a payroll number but if we see things that can improve the club then we can always go to ownership and ask for more.”

 

Let’s game out the implications of this statement. The Jays’ last move that added salary was to sign Dioner Navarro to a $4 million dollar a year deal. That was in December 2013. So, if we take AA at his word, one of the following two things is true: 1) he didn’t see any payroll increasing moves that could improve his team since Dec. 2013, or 2) he has been told “no new salaries.” It’s obvious which one is true. He should just say so and stop insulting our intelligence.

 

  • “We would like to sign free agents and make trades but if it doesn’t work out then it’s good that we acquired guys like Smoak, Dirks, Estrada.”

 

The team is already preparing itself to not sign anyone of consequence this off-season. I know that most of the guys he mentioned can be cut, but we’ve seen this script before from the Jays. Once you sign a bunch of scrubs who could play a position, they stick around and get the majority of at-bats. See for example the cast of character who have played 2B for the Jays over the last few years.

 

Next, Naylor asked if the payroll was going up this year.

 

  • “It’s possible but I doubt it. Ideally you’d like to put a winning team on the field without spending as much. I don’t know how all that is going to go.”

 

There it is folks. Beeston claimed that payroll was going up but here we have the GM saying that he is going to try to get this team to 90 wins while reducing payroll. Let’s dig deeper: AA is saying that he doesn’t yet know what his payroll will be. If true, what a horrible way to run a baseball team. But more likely than not, it’s not true. For whatever reason, the Jays have decided that the fans can’t handle the truth about the team’s payroll restrictions.

 

Did you forget to renew your Jays season tickets? They have increased by as much 40%, by the way.

 

Quick Hits

 

Shoalts can get to work adding a second floor to the second home the Coyotes have allowed him to build. He had two pieces this week on the ownership changes in the desert as well as the mounting losses that will trigger the escape clause in the lease.

 

The CHL made news again this week by suspending two players for 15 games after chat transcripts surfaced in which the players used abusive language towards women who turned them down for a hook-up. It’s pretty obvious that the number would have been much lower (perhaps all the way down to zero) pre-Ghomeshi and pre-Ray Rice. I don’t have strong feelings about this case, but I am glad to see the CHL enforcing something like a conduct clause on its players. These players are professionals in training and should learn that employers may demand higher standards.

 

Low Hanging Fruit

 

  • Anyone have a guess as to why Numeris (formerly BBM) is advertising so heavily in Toronto? Part of me hopes that they have faced pressure over the tiny sample sizes they rely on to generate radio ratings. I’m going to try to get someone from Numeris to talk to me. Given the content of their ads, it would be hypocritical for them to refuse.

 

  • Adrian Peterson pleaded no contest to a lesser charge to settle the child abuse allegations against him. If he were the star player on the Leafs or Raps or Jays, would you want him re-instated? We saw how quickly the Jays dumped Escobar after a fairly stupid but also fairly innocuous joke that went horribly wrong. What would Toronto’s response be to something like the Peterson case?

 

  • Thoughts are with Dave Perkins who is recovering from a heart attack. MLSE has already sent him a get well blanket.

 

  • Steve Simmons on TSN Drive, discussing the perils of social media – “I have hit the send button and wished I hadn’t more times than I can remember.” This fruit hangs too low for me to touch.

 

 

—-

 

Enjoy the weekend everyone. Don’t forget to drop a link to whatever you’re reading or listening to.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

mike (in boston)

 

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 67
  • comment-avatar
    Sam 3 years

    Thanks MIB. I make it a point NOT to listen to AA. Its all bullshit.

  • comment-avatar

    @ MIB

    As always, great content. Thanks for sharing. This space is always a Saturday must-read.

    Re the Jays: I can’t disagree with Sam. This organization is all about spinning, all about contradiction, all about the message of the day. Complete smoke and mirrors.

  • comment-avatar

    To echo other comments – this has become a must read Saturday mornings. Great work as always.
    If you missed the last post from last weeks thread, check out the beat down Adam van Koeverden lays on Cathal Kelly. It is epic.

  • comment-avatar
    Mullah_Kintyre 3 years

    I’m going to guess it’s getting more difficult for Numeris/BBM to find people willing to fill out those ratings surveys and listening diaries. Like most surveying, I believe it may depend on phoning people, getting them to answer and agree to be sent the survey book and return it after a week (apparently also getting a $2 coin with it for an incentive, according to the only person I know who says they recently did so). In 2014, who answers calls from unknown numbers?
    I actually did it for TV ratings once in 1989, as I remember it just happened to be the week of that year’s Super Bowl. Apparently there are now more technologically modern methods to attempt to gather TV ratings (although I wonder if some of it also still requires phoning people first), but it seems the radio method is largely the same.

  • comment-avatar
    alex 3 years

    When they said Perkins was sick the other day, i had assumed the flu.

    Get well soon

  • comment-avatar
    Daniel 3 years

    I think you were summarizing the AA interview regarding payroll rather than actually quoting it. When they asked if payroll would rise, AA said: “I don’t know. It could happen. It certainly could happen. I don’t know that I expect to.”

    Not exactly super optimistic sounding, but not quite as negative on it as you described there.

    http://www.tsn.ca/radio/anthopoulos-on-cabrera-negotiations-off-season-plans-1.126272

  • comment-avatar
    Daniel 3 years

    (Oh, I see you wrote you paraphrased) 🙂

  • comment-avatar
    Tyler 3 years

    Props to Morgan Campbell from the Star. Great scoop on Fiday about the Leafs looking to expand their popularity in China.
    His videos are smart, too on economics of sports .
    Best in the Canadian biz at covering the business side of sports.

  • comment-avatar
    Jake 3 years

    Ken Reid is a trainwreck on PTS. He is in the same category as Shannon for me. Will not listen. Too painful.

    Thanks to Andrew Walker for doing this interview. Good insights.

  • comment-avatar
    Sam in Scarb 3 years

    Re Walker “Q: You were first to have the the details of the Lind trade. Without divulging your sources, how did you manage to get that scoop?”

    Let’s get something straight,Rogers OWNS the Blue Jays OWNS the radio station,Owns the Blue Jays radio network.If a Rogers paid employe (insert any name here) does not have any important,relevant Jay news first well,then the problem at Rogers is much bigger than i assumed.

  • comment-avatar
    Sam 3 years

    Agree with my namesake.

  • comment-avatar
    yaz 3 years

    14 Questions with Andrew Walker.

  • comment-avatar
    Alex 3 years

    I’m one of the few Shannon … Defender is too strong a word, but tolerater? … Here, but defending the NHL Drug Policy after Len Boogaard was on the show was a bit much. At least he did admit they were his friends.

  • comment-avatar
    eebest8 john 3 years

    I think this is a real great blog post.Really thank you! Awesome.

  • comment-avatar

    Haha Yaz. I was wondering if someone would call me out on that. In my defense, several of the questions were follow-ups to things Andrew said.

  • comment-avatar
    Sam in Scarb 3 years

    Butch Carter is very very good when he is on any media when he talks Basketball.
    When he talks about any other sport what so ever,he is about as useful as teets on a nun.

  • comment-avatar
    Jamally 3 years

    Nothing makes me want to turn the radio off more then when we get baseball talk in November instead of Raptors talk or even Leafs talk. I just don’t think people are to hear what AA has to say right about now. I totally get that Bobcat is loyal to Beeston who likely tells him to bring up the Jays to keep them relevant, but I don’t care about.

  • comment-avatar
    Antonio 3 years

    @Jamally
    I couldn’t agree more.

    The Fan590 really should be called the Jays590. There’s no way the Jays would get this much coverage/air time if Rogers didn’t own the team.

  • comment-avatar
    Alex 3 years

    Imagine if MLSE had bought the Argos. 590 would actually have to talk about them

  • comment-avatar
    Neil 3 years

    @Antonio,

    Rogers media through their Radio stations talks alot about any sports in which they’ve paid a tone for braodcasting rights. I don’t think it’s alot of blue Jays per say I think they talk alot of baseball period, they hold the rights to about 500 games a season, plus they are the canadian marketing arm of the mlb network.

  • comment-avatar
    Mullah_Kintyre 3 years

    Of course they talk about the teams they own and have rights for, but also the sports people in Toronto pay attention to most. Take a look at what makes the Top 30 TV shows in Toronto. World Cup soccer, Blue Jays, NHL, and NFL. But no sign of the CFL, despite it getting high rankings such as 4th and 6th in Calgary and Edmonton, and the disingenuous claims of Mark Cohon trying to pretend it’s as popular in Toronto as elsewhere across the country.

    http://tvcentral.ca/2014/07/08/numeris-top-30-programs-for-the-week-of-june-23rd-29th-2014/

    http://tvcentral.ca/2014/09/30/numeris-top-30-programs-for-the-week-of-september-15th-21st-2014/

  • comment-avatar
    Bob's your uncle 3 years

    Really mullah_kintyre?

    Rehashing your same old tired post.
    Did you get fired from the CFL or are you one of those who believe the CFL is holding up the nfl from entering Canada?

    Something refreshing would be nice!

  • comment-avatar

    Now that the Argos have officially missed the CFL playoffs that means that four of the five main Toronto teams (Leafs, Jays, TFC, Argos) missed the playoffs in 2014 and the other team (Raptors) made the playoffs and lost in the first round……………..but there have been years recently where all 5 teams missed the playoffs so I guess this year could have been worse…………it can’t be easy to host a sports radio show in Toronto with all of that lack of success

  • comment-avatar
    Jamally 3 years

    Anyone else think that Donovan (DJ) Bennett is really great when he’s with Tim and Sid. That entire Raptors/We The North debate was fantastic. When you get three young people who don’t just live and breathe hockey, you get the true demographic of what Toronto is. This is why Tim and Sid are light years ahead of all the shows on sports radio in Canada.

  • comment-avatar
    Julian 3 years

    Jamally,

    That was cool you worked his nickname in, in case we weren’t sure who he was by listing his first name and also last name!

    No, to answer your question.

    It might become more important for more hosts to watch NBA games and talk about them, yes. I will agree with that. But when I hear Naylor, Grange, Jeff Blair, and Brady-Walker talk about the Raps or the NBA, I get what I need and they watch as much as they can, or they need to, but not at the risk of other sports.

    Why Tim and Sid are nowhere near the best show in the city, let alone the country is just what you point out. Most people are still fans of the Leafs, of hockey, of the NHL, and listening to them for a couple years now, I don’t take their hockey acumen seriously. I don’t know many who do. I don’t think the passion for the sport comes from the heart, and they’d rather be talking basketball or CIS football, or mid-90s Canadian rappers, and that’s a major turn-off.

    During the Raptors in the NBA Finals, for two weeks, I’m sure they’d have a hell of a show. For the 8 weeks the Stanley Cup playoffs are on, it’s cringe-worthy. Oh, and there’s the 68 attempted one-liners an hour, and fake laughter from Micallef.

    But in that time slot, we have had Jack Armstrong and Doug MacLean, Andrew Krystal, Doug Farraway, and Chuck Swerski before on the Fan, so you can’t win them all.

  • comment-avatar
    Antonio 3 years

    @Julian
    I agree with what you wrote about S&T however, I find they are tolerable when they’re on their own. Its just when they’re together, they act like those annoying university guys we all tried really hard to hide from.

  • comment-avatar

    I’m sure that who holds the rights to the CFL drives the bus in terms of how much it is talked about . Bell has the rights, so Rogers is not going to invest much time on the CFL because it would be in essence promoting the competition. Bell/TSN has Argo radio coverage, the full TV rights so you hear a lot more talks.

    Obviously you cannot do that with hockey, but I’d guess that TSN devotes more time to its regional properties than it did before.

    I look forward to M I B breaking down the various media reactions to the Connor McDavid fight heard ’round the world!

  • comment-avatar
    Alex 3 years

    Case in point: Naylor actually led mondays show with Argos talk.

    Too much basketball talk for me personally on both stations. Makes sense since they are the only winning team in town, but just gets me to turn the channel or ff thru a podcast.

    Ken Reid’s nerd gimmick is becoming cringe worthy. How much time did he waste the other day trying to name 70s sitcom stars during a guest segment?

  • comment-avatar
    Kio 3 years

    Is there a sycophant bigger than Ken Reid?

  • comment-avatar
    Curt 3 years

    Agreed about Skippy (Ken Reid). He’s trying too hard to be funny – working in stupid references whenever he can that don’t relate at all to the topic being discussed. All he does is cause eye rolling distraction. Skippy is a channel changer for me…

    …still better than Cox, tho.

  • comment-avatar
    Alex 3 years

    The worse these new co-hosts get, the better Shannon looks by comparison.

  • comment-avatar
    Kamlesh 3 years

    Bryan Colangelo is getting lots of credit for Raptors success, but would he have traded Gay and Bargnani? Where would the Raptors be with those 2 still starting for the team?

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nba-ball-dont-lie/bryan-colangelo-offers-praise-kings-sly-dig-raptors-210058558–nba.html

    http://www.torontosun.com/2013/05/21/raptors-colangelo-has-faith-in-bargnani#Scene_1

  • comment-avatar
    Curt 3 years

    “Is there a sycophant bigger than Ken Reid?”

    Answer: George Stroumboulopoulos

  • comment-avatar
    Sam in Scarb 3 years

    I did not know what sycophant meant, so I Google it and all that came up was a photo of Damien Cox.

  • comment-avatar
    F.B.W. 3 years

    Does any website have that Toronto/Hamilton Top 30 TV programs chart every week? The site linked to appears to only do it irregularly, and strangely I can only see national and Quebec francophone ones on the actual Numeris site.
    Interesting that the NFL was the only sports event charting for that week in September, with the Jays not there anymore after dropping out of contention when back in June they were 12th and the World Cup on CBC was number one ahead of everything else including the big primetime sitcoms and dramas. If the late Sunday afternoon NFL game is the highest rated sports event for a week, maybe the Sunday night game gets even more viewers that Numeris ignores because it’s on NBC?

  • comment-avatar
    Julian 3 years

    The problem with Ken Reid isn’t that he’s awful, it’s more that he’s terrible. I won’t watch. I know everyone says these things but I won’t watch, and I sure won’t listen. It’s the most instant click-off I’ve had in listening to the Fan for 20 years. I mean that.

  • comment-avatar
    Dave in Bolton 3 years

    see this is the problem with the NHL decision to sign with Rogers what they did was go to an infuriate product. everything TSN does is far and beyond better then SN. NHL watered down their product. Gary never learned when he walked away from ESPN and he did the same mistake with TSN.

  • comment-avatar
    rob in auroa 3 years

    Q. “Is there a sycophant bigger than Ken Reid or George Stromboulopoulos?”
    A. I’d say Barry Davis on Sportsnet trumps them both…but actually they all make me cringe…

  • comment-avatar
    Curt 3 years

    Agree but sideline reporters shouldn’t count, because ass-kissing is expected and required in that job description.

  • comment-avatar
    Darren K Johnston 3 years

    It sure is nice to see I’m not the only one who can’t stand Ken Reid, why can’t they get Evanka as a 4-5 host or even better a 5-7 co-host when Brunt is not there? Seems to me that would be a ratings bonanza regardless of what comes out of her mouth.

  • comment-avatar
    Alex 3 years

    I tweeted the PTS asking the Evanka question. They RT it, but didnt answer.

    I feared today’s roundtable would be Shannon Reid and Sid, so Shannon, Reid Grange is a mild improvement.

    Prob lots of hoops talk, so i prob wont listen.

  • comment-avatar
    Daniel 3 years

    @Julian – meh. Based on the changing demographics of this city, I think we’re moving away from a place we’re it’s Leafs, Leafs, Leafs all the time. At least within the city itself, I think other sports are catching up to hockey in a major way. I think Tim and Sid are on the right side of the curve by being basketball heavy.

  • comment-avatar
    Darren K Johnston 3 years

    I can’t believe Bob himself has never requested for Evanka to co-host. Maybe he has and she answered with a big fat “NO WAY”

  • comment-avatar

    Hi folks. I had to travel unexpectedly this weekend so I can’t get my usual column up. I am enjoying the current referrendum on Ken Reid. Count me in the group of people who click over to TSN when he is on, regardless of the quality of the guest. Reid’s priority as a cohost is all about Reid not about the interests of the audience. Another in a long list of PTS duds.

  • comment-avatar
    Carl 3 years

    As much as I enjoy PTS, when Ken Reid or John Shannon is attached it is time to change the channel. One cohost that is worse is Butch Carter. I can remember him trying to make people believe Lebron was coming to the Raptors. I agree he is even worse when he talks about other sports.

  • comment-avatar
    Julian 3 years

    Not a reason on earth Evanka would want to sit with McCowan for 2 hours and follow his every conversational whim. Nor would it have anything positive to do with ratings. It’d be great if more females had prominent roles in sports radio, sure, but if they impacted ratings, program directors would use them far more prominently and often than they do if they impacted ratings. They don’t. In fact, they’d be a negative. Think of whether a couple male co-hosts on The View would help or hurt their demographics. I mean, but it’s not the worst programming idea I’ve ever read from people on this message board. It may not even be the 496th-worst idea. The amount of women who listen to sports radio is really, really minimal. And radio doesn’t work like TV. People can’t just read a teleprompter. I’m expecting someone to respond – hey, I’m female and I listen to sports radio!!!! – sure, ok, and you aren’t smart enough to admit you’re in the vast minority? Well, you are.

    Daniel – the Raptors followers are young and vocal, yes. The team is fun and competitive right now. Talking Raptors was probably radio death just eighteen months ago, so it takes time to build up to something. Nothing wrong with “bandwagon” fans, that means the city’s into it and the more the merrier, but there’s zero indication from TV ratings that the Raptors are even approaching the Leafs’ monolithic control of the city’s fanbase. Hard to judge from a few playoff home dates after the Maple Leafs’ late season collapse.

    Are they a bigger deal? Yes, absolutely. Talking them on a show more than talking the Leafs, unless it’s immediately after a big game like the Bulls game was Thursday? I doubt that shows would be smart to do that. Hockey coverage in Toronto isn’t just media hype. There’s no agenda, I would wager, in the media to force unwanted coverage on an entire city or country. If people in Toronto cared about the CFL or pro lacrosse, or even US college sports, radio stations would give it time. They don’t. So they don’t.

    Ken Reid’s the worst, we all agree.

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    (Another) Andrew 3 years

    After almost three hours of watching Federer v Wawrinka in the ATP Tour Finals SF Rogers lost the feed at match point in a third set tie-break! I appreciate that Rogers shows tennis tournaments that TSN never bothered with but they have a habit, going back several years, of losing the live coverage, and for some reason this almost always happens on a Saturday. In the past I just assumed this was because nobody was working at Rogers on Saturdays thus leading to these mishaps, but now with the NHL rights that is no longer possible. Maybe they are so focused on hockey on Saturdays they forget all the other sports?

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    Steve 3 years

    Ken Reid is unlistenable. The class clow shtick is painful – trying to waaaaaayyyyy to hard to be funny. Failing badly. A surefire channel changer for me.

    My problem with Tim in Sid isn’t the weighting of their coverage; I’m sick of 24-7 Leafs coverage myself (aside: is anybody else noticing less Leafs coverage this year or is it just me?) They don’t come across as that intelligent or well informed to me. The horn and that sort of garbage is a turn off for me too but I could likely take it if they seemed smarter.

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    Nan Young Lee 3 years

    Bob surpasses those scientists who landed a robot on a comet:

    https://twitter.com/FadooBobcat/status/533785614748241920/photo/1

    Brady puts his finger on the CFL dilemma:

    “Greg Brady @bradyfan590 · 4 hours ago
    It’s never been worse, but why will it suddenly improve. How do you end up w/ Dunigan/Flutie/Ham/Allen/Austin all in same league/same time?”

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    Nan Young Lee 3 years

    “ESPN.com’s Jim Bowden reports the Blue Jays were the only team willing to give a fifth year to Martin right now. Other industry sources confirm that as well.”

    http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/id/28098/cubs-miss-on-martin-time-to-move-on

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    Kamlesh 3 years

    Saskatchewan doesn’t make them like they used to.

    “Andrew Walker @FAN590Walker · 4 hours ago
    It’s a bit cully out today- finally convinced @RYANFABRO590 to drive me home instead of 5 min walk!”

    Dreger reports the momentum killing dry scrape before overtime could be ending soon.

    http://www.tsn.ca/source-nhl-could-abandon-pre-ot-dry-scrape-by-this-weekend-1.138191

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    Kamlesh 3 years

    That scene Arnold ordered cut from “Predator”.

    http://instagram.com/p/vjjoFFRTJH/

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    alex 3 years

    Reid seemed less schticky yesterday.

    I wonder if got a talking to, either from bob or the producers or the PD.

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    Charlie Brown 3 years

    @alex Way less schticky. For the last 3 or 4 shows.

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    Ken Read (Crazy Canuck downhill skier) > Ken Reid (sports broadcaster)

    You can add me to the list of people who are underwhelmed with Reid as PTS co-host……………the people at 590 have struggled for years to try and find someone decent when Brunt is not there

    If they are going to insist on having a Rogers employee as co-host I can think of a bunch of people I would choose ahead of Reid…………..Grange says some strange things at times but he would be an improvement…………Friedman would be good but I guess he is often unavailable because of his hockey duties………..I would even settle for someone like Brad Fay or Jamie Campbell………guys like that wouldn’t be exciting but at least they wouldn’t feel the need to be wacky

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    Sam 3 years

    Naylor having Tie Domi on is a low point. And he was shilling for Microsoft to boot!

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    alex 3 years

    Biased, but i would be curious to see Marek as cohost.

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    Antonio 3 years

    Reid’d nasally voice is what really bugs me. Oh along with his constant sucking up to Bob (i.e. “good point, Bob”, “you’re right there, Bob” etc).

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    Curt 3 years

    Bob and Ken…

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    WestdaleRocks 3 years

    Wow. PTS is really getting to be unlistenable, especially is week with Ken Read on the show. Funny listening to Naylor’s show. It’s increasingly sounding more and more like
    what PTS used to be….while PTS is slipping bigtime away from what made is special.
    Here’s a question. A friend and I were having a debate. Who is Sportsnet’s best hockey analyst? For me, I don’t rate Damian “Pat Burns is dead, oh wait, no he isn’t” Cox. I don’t rat John “I disagree wit every opinion unless it’s mine” Shannon, Doug “Maybe if I shout louder people will believe me” McLean. And I certainly don’t rate Nick “I’m WAAAAY out of my league” Kypreos. For my Scott Morrison and Elliott Friedman Are their two best. They’re the only ones who even hold a candle to the TSN Tour de Force of Mac/Dreger/LeBrun. And as an aside, it’s great to see Elliott thriving after being put on that stupid HNIC desk with the theee clowns of Healy, weekes and Stock and being ridiculed because he wasn’t one of the boys (aka a former player).

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    WestdaleRocks 3 years

    PS. Sorry for the bad grammar on the previous post. Writing on an ipad on a moving train has its issues!!!

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    (Another) Andrew 3 years

    PTS is really getting to be unlistenable

    I’ve barely listened lately as PTS only covers one of the four sports I follow in November (NFL) but I did put it on in the first hour on Thursday. Bob was having what I thought was a contrived argument with Shannon about some baseball player wearing his uniform at a press conference. I changed the station. I tried again in the second hour but they were discussing baseball. In late November. Click. I tried one more time in the third hour only to hear what I think was the voice of Alex Anthopoulos. Oh well. At least he doesn’t mail it in when talking baseball as he clearly still likes the sport.

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    Alex 3 years

    I dont think i would begrudge discussing baseball on the day when the Jays sign a big free agent.

    Also, bob rails about having athletes on the show all the time and yet, had two i beleive. In one hour this week (martin and the golfer).

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    Jamally 3 years

    God awful roundtable for PTS. Hey look, Ken Reid said “Pucks in deep” again the stupid puckheads around him laughed.

    Is THIS what passes for comedy for white Canadians?

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    Claire A Fye 3 years

    Really Jamally? That’s pretty insulting, not to say unnecessary. Seriously, why bring race into that comment?

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    thanks everyone for your patience. New post is up.