Seen & Heard – Weekend Edition

Seen & Heard – Weekend Edition

photo credit: the internet

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by mike in boston / @mikeinboston / hatemailaccount at gmail

 

Good morning sports media watchers. If you’re a new reader, welcome! This space is usually devoted to the week that was in Toronto sports media news, general sports stories that have a connection to broader social issues, and the good, bad, and ugly of being a listener or a reader in this market.

 

Kollins’ Calculated Blunder

 

Dean Blundell has been hired by the FAN to hold down one of the most valuable spots in the sports radio line-up. The move displaces the current morning show of Brady&Walker which has been running for the last 16 months to very good ratings. The move was a surprise at this juncture but not entirely unforeseeable given that Rogers brought Blundell in this past summer for a trial run. I wrote a long post about that decision at the time which you can read here.

 

The biggest question is what you are getting in Blundell at this point in time. When Dean was brought in last summer Rogers VP Julie Adam had this to say: “Rogers has a zero tolerance in regards to discrimination, and our track record speaks to that, and we wouldn’t have him in if we felt there was going to be any risk to our reputation regarding that.As I wrote back in May, I don’t believe this statement. If Rogers had a zero tolerance policy then they wouldn’t hire Blundell. Given that they did hire Blundell the more accurate statement should be “we feel that the risk to our reputation is worth taking given the potential ratings and revenue returns Blundell might bring.”

 

Chris Zelkovich has new quotes from Sportsnet president Scott Moore: “I am 150 per cent confident that we will not see a repeat of [homophobic slurs]. I’ve spent a great deal of time with Dean and … he understands what we’re looking for. We were pleased with both the performance and reaction on his dry runs last year. He was playing a role on a younger-male radio station at a time when the shock jock format was hot. He realizes that the world has changed a little bit and that he … has to reinvent himself a little bit. I’m sure he will be a good fit.”

 

Moore’s quotes raise the following question: if you are not bringing Blundell in to be what he was before, what are you bringing him in to do?

 

The reaction to Blundell’s brief audition around here and among those in the media I spoke with was not good. He was a fish out of water on sports. Despite his smooth and professional delivery, Blundell could not sustain a conversation about the sports topics du jour for any length of time. It is a mystery how the FAN expects him to do so for 3.5 hours Monday to Friday, 40+ weeks a year. He is clearly being brought in to appeal to the younger demo, but obviously not the same younger demo that Brady&Walker currently own. So if those people aren’t listening now, what will make them tune in to Dean? He isn’t a sports guy and they claim not to want him to be a shock jock. The incoherence is obvious.

 

The media reaction outside of the Rogers chambers has been largely critical.

 

Raju Mudhar at the Star had this to say: “The unfortunate aspect about his hiring is that Sportsnet must feel that their core audience doesn’t care about Blundell’s past transgressions, or don’t believe it will be a hindrance in this important time slot.”

Josh Visser at the Post had a compilation of Twitter reaction, including this from Bruce Arthur: “If Dean Blundell is the Fan’s new morning guy, then they’ve finally locked down the demo for garbage piles who once threatened to sue me.”

– One positive opinion comes from Mark Hebscher who argues “if you push the envelope and challenge your listeners, you’re going to ruffle some feathers. By hiring Blundell, The FAN has to stem the tide of criticism by ensuring that he does a top-notch show, devoid of any of the controversy that had him taken off the air by The Edge.” As noted above, I fundamentally disagree with Mark that Blundell is cut out to do sports rather than edgy shtick. (That said, it is fantastic that someone from the business is writing about the business. Keep it up Mark. I’ll be reading.)

 

I’ll turn this over to you: based on what you heard last summer, will you tune in to listen to Blundell talk about last night’s Leafs game? I’m especially interested to hear from Dean’s legions of listeners from his Edge show. What are you looking for in his return to radio? You left the Edge in droves … where did you go?

 

Dominos

 

As a straight up radio move, I think this was a risk not worth taking for the FAN. You’re thumping the competition and they aren’t making many gains. So I started trying to think along more sophisticated industry lines about what might explain taking this risk. The main question with which I was left was the following: what was the first domino to fall to set this all in motion? Here’s one theory: 1) Blundell was being courted by someone else in the market. Here’s another: 2) Sportsnet TV is struggling in the ratings and wants T&S to provide a boost.

 

Theory 1 makes some sense, but not very much. I don’t see TSN being interested in Blundell. So if he was going elsewhere it was to 1010 or 640 or to FM. Since Rogers competes with Bell for younger listeners across multiple formats and stations, perhaps they just wanted Blundell not to be with the competition, period. If that’s the real story then it’s beyond stupid for Kollins to go along with it. Why blow up your line-up just to appease some other part of the company? Who knows, maybe this was dictated from upon high and he had no choice. Time will tell.

 

Theory 2 makes some sense too. Shoalts reported that TV revenues are below expectations at Rogers. TV is way more valuable than radio, so it would make sense to try to extract as much value from T&S as possible and they are arguably more valuable on TV. Again though, this means that the radio side is being sacrificed for the greater good. Seems like a terrible way to treat your radio people, in my opinion.

 

The other domino I was curious about was this: given the obvious conflict of putting T&S up against PTS, was Bob McCown consulted before the change was finalized? The answer according to multiple sources is no. Bob found out roughly when the rest of us found out. He cannot be happy about this. Bob loves being on TV and he also loves being the star of the network. One has to wonder whether this is a clear signal that PTS is done in 2 years when Bob’s contract is up.

 

The last domino I want to talk about is the TSN side of things. The FAN has just demoted two of its better on-air personalities. What do you do? One thing you could do is approach Brady&Walker and offer them a show on TSN. They could easily slot in to morning show and bring over a chunk of their audience. The bolder move would be to put them up against Bob. I have no idea how happy TSN is with Naylor’s performance (I’m a big fan) but the ratings are what they are. A possible half measure would be to hire either Brady or Walker. Both guys have succeeded in cracking the Toronto market as outsiders, which is a feat that has bested many others.

 

Over to you: what should TSN Radio do?Stay the course? Poach?

 

Winners & Losers

 

I spoke to lots of people this week and ran a bunch of theories up the flagpole and here is my best current guess at how this all shakes out. (Disclosure: I predicted Richards would be Krystal 2.0 … so what do I know.)

 

Winners

 

  • Blundell: the Toronto media scene rewards failure and Dean is being rewarded in spades.
  • Tim&Sid: from what I hear they always wanted to be back on TV and this promotion gives them a chance to be stars in the mould of Jay&Dan.
  • Macko&Cauz: the show most like them has disappeared. It’s plausible that some people who find a bro-talk-shaped hole in their lives will switch over
  • TSN Radio: things couldn’t be much worse from a ratings standpoint and this provides an opening to make significant gains.
  • Blair: lived to fight for another day of taking your calls

 

Losers

 

  • Walker: he did nothing to deserve being saddled with all of Blundell’s baggage. If the new show fails it won’t be because of Walker, but it’s hard to see how he would come out untainted.
  • Tim&Sid’s listeners: these guys have been loyal for several years and across several stations. They are now an army without a nation.
  • McCown: This will drain viewers but more importantly guests as well away from his show. If you have to choose between appearing on a TV show on TV or a radio show on TV, which would you choose?
  • Female sports hosts: sorry ladies, not this time. Maybe you could do updates and occasionally pop in to talk about which Leaf you’d most like to date?

 

On the fence

 

  • Brady: if he succeeds then he’s in the conversation to replace Bob in 2 years. If the show is uninspiring then he’s essentially done at the FAN. He makes too much money to spend on a low-revenue time slot.
  • Richards: on the one hand, the show that was drubbing him in the ratings has been blown up. He now has the home court advantage. On the other hand, Blundell is a lot closer to what Richards does and might do it better.

 

Quick Hits

 

The UNC academic fraud scandal took an interesting twist with former athletes suing the school and the NCAA for failing to protect the quality of the education they received. I have long hoped that someone would sue on behalf of those people whose degrees have been devalued by the school’s cheating on behalf of athletes. This is a good step in that direction.

 

Bob Elliott is not a big fan of Ed Rogers. Neither is John Lott. This is another embarrassing chapter for the Blue Jays organization. If you had hopes that incidents like Adam Lind’s mum requesting MRIs and the Jays players passing the hat to sign free agents were a thing of the past, guess again.

 

The other half of the Brady sports media empire has a nice feature on newest TSN basketball analyst Mo Pete. Looks like Sportsnet is going to counter with the equally popular Alvin Williams.

 

Westhead has a scoop on the possible expansion fee for the Las Vegas NHL team. $450 million seems really high for a totally unproven professional sports market, but the NHL has survived many failed expansions in the past so there is no reason to think they couldn’t survive this one too if it goes bust.

 

Cathal Kelly has an article about the need to blow up the Leafs and start over. I liked this line: “What management needs to get past is the fear of looking stupid, of being rooked in a deal. The only foolish thing left to do is nothing, while pretending that’s a sort of progress.” Many GMs have come here and succumbed to what I call Blue & White Brass Disease, where they think they can outsmart everyone and fix the Leafs without losing. The Leafs need someone who is OK with looking dumb. Bonus: Cathal borrows my car analogy from a few weeks back!

 

Low Hanging Fruit

 

  • It’s hard to put into words how bad the combination of Reid and McCown is. This wretched pairing is not getting any better. I tried to get through a segment with a guest I like but couldn’t do it, so I skipped the rest of the week. Anyone remember the time when PTS had both Arthur and Brunt as co-hosts?

 

  • Deflategate may turn out to be the best IQ test yet. You can tell so much about a person by how he/she reacts to it.

 

  • Glad to see TSN giving Macko&Cauz more exposure rather than letting Hayes Sr. host in Naylor’s absence. Maybe the new PD is actually interested in developing radio talent instead of treating the station as just another outlet for TSN television personalities.

 

  • Out of respect for those involved I won’t name names, but it’s sad that Blundell’s arrival means someone who was doing good work has to lose his job. Best of luck with your next venture.

 

—–

 

thanks for reading and commenting,

until next time …

mike (not really in boston)

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 66
  • comment-avatar

    Re: Bob and Ken on PTS: I listen because of the guests but man, the talk of ken’s new kid, Nova Scotia vs PEI, 80’s references, the agonizing choice as to whether Bob will go to the All Star game (did u know he’s from Columbus?) Or the Super Bowl is infuriating. Oh well, a fresh start next week…

  • comment-avatar
    WouldStaley936 years ago

    I will say this @mikeinboston now as of March 2nd listeners will have morning sports radio programs with brash controversial but most importantly PERSONALITIES. You can tune in and hear Dean Blundell and Co w Dean Blundell and Andrew Walker on Sportsnet 590 The Fan or you can choose to hear Mike Richards In The Morning w Mike Richards and David Bastl on TSN 1050 Toronto. It’s choice and the listener will decide. I must say I find it quite rich when BELL employees like Bruce Arthur inmeadietly piss all over Blundell’s hiring but the direct competitor ROGERS. That’s totally not objective journalism and its a tired routine.

    If I am TSN 1050 Toronto Program Director Jeff MacDonald I would try and poach Greg Brady from Sportsnet 590 The Fan. Brady with Dave Naylor going head to head w Bob McCown would be good radio. I feel Brady is best when he had a pro as a co host to counter his sometimes idiotic statements. Jim Lang brought that when he and Brady were together.

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    How old is Dean? How long until the younger demo finds him to be the creepy old guy just trying to be edgy and cool? Hope he learns not to talk about his ex’s.

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    @Would Bruce has at least been consistent on his opinion of Dean long before he was on 590. I agree with what you say about Brady, would love to see him at TSN 1050.

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    Drumanchor6 years ago

    I just can’t help but feel that McCown is done with Rogers.

    His feathers must be ruffled with this latest gaffe in having Tim and Sid as “competition”. If, indeed, he was not consulted at all, he can’t be pleased. Couple that with his obvious distaste in how his friend Beeston is being handled by Rogers and the litany of dumb-dumb co-hosts he has to pretend to enjoy working with, he has to be thinking about when is it time to hang them up. It’s almost as if Rogers is doing this purposely to spite him.

    He’s too old for this shit.

  • comment-avatar
    dogpounder6 years ago

    @Would

    Brady and Naylor together would OWN.

  • comment-avatar
    Steve Jones6 years ago

    As much as I hate to say it PTS is losing me fast. It was bad enough when Butch Carter guested, but Reid has me ready to just give up. He and Bob have no chemistry and his interview skills are awful. On a related note last night on the roundtable the Bob Cole sidebar was cringeworthy. I love Cole, my favorite play by play guy of all time. But each guy droned on about how much they love the man. It was almost like a contest to see who loves him more. It was similar to many guest interviews (Kypreos regularly) where the conversation just has no focus or purpose other than what Bob feels like talking about. I’d like to see the show regain its footing but I doubt anyone can do anything given Bob probably doesn’t have any interest in suggestions.

    On the topic of the moves in the Fan I am starting to think they can do as they please. I know its only my opinion but I do think TSN has some worth shows that just don’t seem to be able to get traction. It’s like there is station inertia at play.Blair v Macko and Cauz to me is a no contest. There is nothing interesting or endearing about Blair. I find him to be unfocused at times. M&C at least bring some energy and the back and forth provides some depth. The lunch hockey shows are not comparable. Listening to Millard drone and play the punching bag isn’t a great start. But then you add in Kypreos yelling and McLaen being pompous and it just becomes a cacophony of disjointed prattling. On the TSN side you have at least got a bit of chemistry and some decent debate that doesn’t have guys stepping all over each other. If Hayes had a foil for the 2-4 segment I think it would give them a better shot at competing with the Fan.

    If the NHL does get the reported $450MM for a Las Vegas franchise I won’t be shocked, but it will prove idiots with money, or access to it abound.

    As for the Leafs you have to wonder who, if anyone, wants to be the you who pulls the pin and sets off a rebuild. There are no guarantees and with a dearth of talent in the wings it’s going to take at least 5 years to regain competitiveness. I don’t see it impacting the business side, companies still want tickets and boxes for entertainment. The fan base is huge and so tickets and TV will hold there own. For me it’s all about reputation and who wants the tag of the guy who killed the team. Even if it was already on life support. So, will someone do it? I think in Leaf fashion they will move a few pieces to look proactive, but keep most of the core. I don’t think they have the cajones to take it down to the studs. And so it will be even longer before they are a contender.

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    Drumanchor6 years ago

    @ Steve Jones. You just have to love the line “cacophony of disjointed prattling”.

    Anyway, I enjoy Leafs Lunch on TSN 1050. As a long suffering fan, I want to hear what they have to say and appreciate their no-holds-barred line of conversation and criticism about the players and management.

    If I was to offer up a mild note of critique, it would be the, “One time me and my buddies” talk. The stories of getting juiced up with their jock-sniffing sidekicks during their playing days gets really tired very quickly.

    I think we can get back to the name of the show, if you don’t mind.

  • comment-avatar

    I was truly shocked at the Brady and Walker blowup. Relatively recently they celebrated the highest ratings in the history of the Fan in that time slot – Walker flew home the weekend after the announcement to celebrate. This as we all know was after the Brady and Lang blowup – it was a risk and it worked.

    Walker worked with Mike Richards for a few years out west so he should comfortably slip in with Blundell. ( I only listen to sports radio and have to admit complete ignorance about Blundell, had never even heard that name before he popped up on the Blair show last year for a week )

    Unfortunately homophobic comments like Blundell’s happen every day in conversations but they are happening less and less. Blundell’s weren’t as graphic as the interpretation above. What would you want? He never work again? See @burkieycp when he deals with it when it comes up with pro athletes. He doesn’t want them banished, he wants to better inform them, and he does.

    Blundell does have a great voice and we’ll see if his following jumps aboard. I believe your theory number 2. The pressure inside Rogers is really ratcheting up as ratings are not where they told advertisers they’d be. Rogers is under the gun to leverage the TV product and were willing to risk losing money on the radio side to achieve gains on the TV side.

    The only good thing about all this is that two clowns who do nothing but yell into my fing radio for 3 hours a day are now gone. Love Brady. 50% of my radio time from 1-4 PM is no longer held hostage. I have two stations I can listen to in my vehicle, a thousand on my TV, so it will be much easier to avoid those two goats. Their new job will be to yell and scream at each other on TV for 2 hours a day to try and churn impotent narratives about the next ‘Panthers – Preds tilt’ and such. Good fing riddance.

    Walker’s name falls off the show title now which has to sting him. Now entitled ‘Blundell & Company’ which implies it will be Blundell, Walker & ?? Hopefully not that dork Jr hockey reporter Brady & Lang had with them. However, if the show fails I believe Walker will survive given the show’s current success. The next incarnation will be ‘Walker & …’

    Lastly, does this change the context of the Lang firing? Did they bring Walker in not because they thought he’d be the greatest partner for Brady but better able to carry the show on his own than Lang if Brady moved to the afternoon? ( this before Blundell was even on the Fan’s radar.)

    P.S. every time I typed ‘Blundell’ above my Mac autocorrected it to ‘Blunder’. Time will tell.

  • comment-avatar

    @mattk Blundell is younger than Greg Brady. Not much, but he is.

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    I agree with Mike that when Blundell guest hosted last year, it didn’t appear as though he had the sports chops to keep up a good conversation on sports. It did remind me of Krystal where it made you uncomfortable to listen, because you knew he was trying to BS his sports knowledge.

    My guess – the only way Blundell really works on The Fan is if he doesn’t try to fake being a real ‘sports guy’ and the show becomes closer to ‘guy talk with a lot of sports’ rather than ‘a hardcore sports show’.

    Even though there’s a lot of negative sentiment to Blundell, one thing to keep in mind is that he was doing huge numbers for the Edge. I believe I read 12 and 13 shares for men. It’s a gamble for The Fan, but if they can find a way to make it work it could be a huge payoff.

  • comment-avatar

    Yeah, I think this change must have been brought about by wanting to beef up Sportsnet TV. Even though The Fan seems clearly to have been interested in Blundell for a while, I thought the station had it’s best lineup … probably ever. Ratings were good, didn’t make sense to shake it up from the radio perspective.

    I also thought it was odd to give Tim and Sid the 5 – 7 spot. When I heard they were going to TV, I assume they’d take over the late night highlights show. Sid said something about Rogers asking them to do both the radio show and a TV show but he thought it was too much work.

    Here’s one more thing nobody on here has talked much about – Brady says he will have a co-host 1-4. Any guesses? Friedman? Arash Madani? Eric Smith?

  • comment-avatar

    Up and down the latest moves at the FAN – I hate it! I have listened since day one when it was The FAN 1430 in 1992.

    The thing I hate the mots is no Tim + Sid on the FAN! They were the only listenable and enjoyable bunch of guys on the programming (the current roster of talent on the FAN plus the changes in the lineup).

    These latest changes at the FAN will have me listening a lot less and Don Kollins doesn’t give a crap about his listeners.

    I am not familiar with Blundell’s “sins” on the other Toronto station but if what I read about him true, the FAN is totally going to a pot mouth, offense language, abuse women station and I just cannot accept that as a station that is credible and acceptable.

    I wish there was a way that Don Kollins was ousted and Nelson Millman brought back into the fold.

    Goodbye FAN 590! Hello TSN 1050, you will be gaining a new listener very soon! Glad there is a vacancy available for a new listener.

  • comment-avatar
    Dave in Bolton6 years ago

    I bet eventually Walker jumps to TSN he would be the best person to take the 1 to 4 timeslot leading into Nailer. Grooming Walker to be the drive home host would be a home run for TSNR.

  • comment-avatar
    Sam in Scarb6 years ago

    @ MIB As normal your weekly words are required reading.Bravo !!
    Interesting quotes that come from Sportsnet president Scott Moore.
    Question is why are quotes coming from SN President and not from Fan590 PD aka don kollins ? Is he not responsible for such major staff moves? or is he now just in charge of the big wooden stick with a key attached to it that says MEN?

  • comment-avatar

    As Brady & Walker are very successful as a team and Walker has never worked with Blundell, why would they not keep Brady & Walker together and move them as a team to the 1-4 slot? They MUST have considered this. Why didn’t they? If Blundell fails, which they must have also considered, when Blundell departs, Walker will still be there and provide continuity to the ratings ( in theory ). Given his success and this disrespect, Walker is the most easily poached person by TSN. I see him on with Naylor, or in that timeslot without Naylor. Mike R is the only successful TSN radio show. But Macko & Cauz have a good chemistry, Leafs Lunch is a fun show – can’t slip him in for a lousy two hours on the Hayes show.

    If I were Walker I’d stay at the Fan though, they’re the real deal and have a real radio signal unlike TSN’s pathetic reach. But 4-7 slot at TSN working with all their top TV personalities would be hard for Walker to turn down.

    Friedman won’t demean himself by taking a full time radio gig. Not sure who Brady has as a partner, but will be interesting.

  • comment-avatar
    Steve in Waterloo6 years ago

    I am so tired of pundits knowing what is best for a billion dollar industry.

    Kelley and Chris Smith and others, all who have a few years of journalism school, and are observers in the press box, constantly stoking the flame of “blow it up”

    What the heck do they know? They have not played, they have not been a part of any business plan, hockey strategy nor trade talks.

    They are trying to sell papers with headlines that are equal to propaganda, which seem to flame the public outcry.

    I would care less, except the TML track record indicates that they tend to make moves which pander to this outcry, and in the end, continually suck.

    We all have opinions, but some are just ridiculous…

  • comment-avatar

    A media company’s radio broadcast assets are becoming expendable at the hands on aatellite Radio and streaming which provides way more choice for less. The writing is close to being on the wall for Rogers to start massively cutting cost due to lost ad revenue. The eventual cost cutting measures, viewers and listeners will notice is the end of Bob Mcowan, and the sublicensing of NHL games. Bob and the NHL are probably the heaviest weight on the media payroll right now, however Bob yields a substantial return on investment as the most listen to talk show. Although Bob is a very popular radio personality in Canada I don’t think that rogers media is convinced that this show cannot go on without him especially now that he may have poke the bear with jumping to the defence of Paul Beeston. In the near future I believe you’ll see Rogers Media slim down as traditional media continues to transform and face stiff competition from the internet.

  • comment-avatar

    Re: Reid and McCown, it’s certainly not the worst combination in that time slot. The worst combination would be anytime that either Tim or Sid co-host. I get their shtick and maybe they attract a younger demo but they’re too damn retarded to listen to. Their rants are often nonsensical and they confuse increased volume for persuasive commentary. As for guests who might prefer to be in TV versus radio (notwithstanding that PTS is on TV already) but I have a feeling total audience for PTS will dominate whatever Tim and Sid generate. Plus, have you heard the guests who come on that show and praise it for the rarity it is within the talk radio landscape? Guests like Richard Deitsch, Ken Rosenthal, Bob Ryan, Don Banks, routinely praise it for being a show where thoughtful discussions take place. That’s an anchor for many guests, especially those which listeners/viewers will want to listen to.

  • comment-avatar

    while not arguing thepoint, the people you name are likely the ones who have a paid weekly timeslot. Maybe they only choose PTS because it is better than average sportsradio, but the $ probably doesnt hurt. 🙂

  • comment-avatar

    I think the money issue is certainly a fair point. But I doubt the $50 they get from their spot is that big of a deal to sway their thinking on the matter. If I were to hazard a guess, I bet it’s only a handful of guests too, e.g. Ryan, Elliott, Banks, but not many more. That being said, I do think the quality of the show is a far bigger factor, especially when you compare it to the tripe in most U.S. markets.

  • comment-avatar

    Matt, the guests that appear on PTS do not appear because it’s a great show and they just can’t wait to be on. Alot of these guys have blogs and colunms and aspire to build or promote their brand. I highly doubt that the big names in sports journalism in the states are sitting there saying I have to get on PTS in Canada, while there are hundres of other all sports stations in the states

  • comment-avatar
  • comment-avatar

    The Winner is Todd Shapiro. The lesser known of the Blundell success over at the Edge, was gone from the show out of nowhere before Blundell messed up which warranted his firing. Shapiro has proven to be more than just a sidekick as he has developed a wonderful Sirius xm show and podcast. I think those who follow is career know that he was the brains to Blundell’s antics. He’s hosted shows at TSN1050 too and proved to be a very well rounded, unoffensive and cordial host. My only knock on him is he isn’t very opinionated and in a world of personalities who need to say something that resonates, Shapiro might be a bit too jovial and “easy going”. I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up TSN1050 though as Bell would probably love to steal some of Rogers thunder as true Blundell fans clearly understand that Shapiro always brought a lot charisma and natural charm to the air, where Blundell was the Shocking Main Big Voice, as evident by him and his show failing on the Edge after Shapiro got canned.

  • comment-avatar

    Steve Jones – you’re totally right about the station inertia. Like, no matter what you think of TSN’s programming, there’s no way they are that much worse than what the FAN is offering. Yet the numbers aren’t even in the same stratosphere for the most part.

    yaz – Blunder for Blundell was suggested by my Mac as well, so I ran with it.

    Daniel – totally agree that the FAN line-up was really strong … had a little something for every taste. That’s why I think something else has to be the catalyst. Why would you blow up your line-up for the mythical promise of a 12 share with a 46 year old Blundell?

    Sam in Scarb – thanks for mentioning the lack of Kollins quotes. He’s a real change of style from the very public and very popular Nelson Millman. I don’t think his silence is helping.

    Matt/Neil/Alex – I probably could have worded that better. Here’s my point: I assume guests want to be on the show with the most exposure. Maybe some people will say “it’s Bob or no one!” but I doubt it. And that’s the puzzle Sportsnet has created … some guests might say “I have time for one Sportsnet hit, you guys figure out which show I’m on” and this now pits producer vs. producer. Not healthy.

  • comment-avatar

    The fact that listeners and advertisers didn’t depart The Edge until after Blundell left made the decision quite easy for The Fan who likely have advertisers committed that trump the current Brady and Walker advertising revenues – guaranteed in the short term. Long term?

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    allie-cat6 years ago

    totally agree that Kollins is treating his employees like crap. Nelson would never run the radio station to please the tv side … Walker deserves so much better than being stuck with a dumb shock jock. I won’t be listneing.

  • comment-avatar

    Big Blundell fan here. Listened to him every morning on the Edge and I was never offended by his show. For about a 6 year span, the only two shows I couldn’t miss was PTS and DBS. I find every other morning show so weak by comparison.

    Really hoping that Dean tries to push the limits on the FAN, but I have my doubts. This outrage culture we live in drives me nuts. People need to relax.

  • comment-avatar
    Don Mandrie6 years ago

    Remember Mitch Melnick in Montreal. He sat in for Naylor for a week a couple of summers ago. It’s mind boggling to me that he’s still in Montreal. Great city. Lousy market.

  • comment-avatar

    @John
    Blundell will be fine as long as he sticks to making fun of Rob Ford, Christians and handicapped people. However, if he dares to make fun of the gays or a few other select groups, it will be lights out.

  • comment-avatar

    @antonio

    Woe is me huh? Have you not noticed Christians are not villified… Their biggest complaint is nobody saying merry christmas or calling it ac peace tree…

    Bigger fish to fry, antonio

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    (Another) Andrew6 years ago

    I guess Richard Deitsch replaced sports media reporter Michael Hiestand who, according to a quick Google search, took a “buyout” from USA Today. Deitsch is fine but sometimes I cringe when he goes OTT complimenting PTS and Canadians in general. He’s also easily baited by Bob into an OT discussion, unlike, say, Don Banks, who sticks to the topic he’s on to discuss.

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    Steve in Waterloo6 years ago

    Since these comments have morphed a bit to some of the US media, can anyone tell me why Tony K waives a mini Cdn flag at the end of some/most/all shows of PTI?

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    Here is the reason why Kornheiser waives the Canadian flag at the end of PTI:

    When PTI signs off just before 6 p.m. ET, viewers in Canada do not get the additional segment with Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon that airs on the SportsCenter edition that follows because a different program airs north of the border.

    “It has to be at least seven or eight years now since I started doing this,” says Kornheiser.

    PTI’s longtime associate director Bonnie Berko told Kornheiser about the SportsCenter segment not airing in Canada. So, he grabbed the flag and started waving it at the end of the show. It became a farewell to the viewers who wouldn’t see him again until the next day’s show.

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    Please no Ken Reid…Please no Ken Reid……MY GOD….KEN REID. Again!!

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    I cringe imagining Reid today discussing ballgate with bob ryan.

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    Dogpounder6 years ago

    Your new morning show host, Fan listeners.

    https://twitter.com/mlse/status/559910814577356800

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    Looks like Blundell’s show will be a three man operation:http://ca.indeed.com/m/viewjob?jk=4675de701ae4f950&from=serp

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    Have to give credit when its due. I enjoyed Bob’s critique of the friggin all-star game/joke.

    For me, its not just the insane score (17-12) but also the format and the fact that so many players dropped out of it – why bother playing it?

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    the last thought I had before falling asleep last night was that in all likelihood Wilner is going to have to talk baseball with Blundell. For some reason the thought of those conversations makes me giggle like a schoolgirl.

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    I tune in to PTS until I find out who the cohost is. When it’s the deadwood ( Reid-Shannon-Carter) I don’t bother listening to the rest of the program unless there a good guest worth listening to in spite of the cohost. I enjoy listening to the call in segments because the callers seem to be more intelligent not asking questions like why are hockey pucks black. However I find myself listening less and less.

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    As if Reid wasnt bad enough already, he played the “athletes are role models / wont someone think of the children” card when discussing marshawn lynch.

    Shame on me for listening, but 1050 had a basketball guest.

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    Sam in Scarb6 years ago

    I think it is safe to say that Ken Reid is worse than shannon on PTS.
    Brings absolutely zero to any topic discussed.
    Think about it people,to be worse than shannon on radio is truly a gift.

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    @dogpounder. Wow. For Blundell, a guy who says ‘If I’m watching TV I’m watching Sports’ to think MLSE, not Rogers owns the Jays? His show will function at a lower level of sports ignorance than I thought possible. Especially with all the Rogers vs Beeston talk of the last couple of months. How could he get that wrong? And while ‘lipstick on a pig’ is a common phrase the last few years, Craig Button was really hammering that point a few days ago on radio about the Leafs. I think Blundell is binge-listening to radio in the hopes that he can at least plagiarize inflammatory comments about Toronto sports.

    Blundell fails? Brady skips back down to Walker in the morning and no loss. Just like McCown going back to evening drive after his morning disaster years ago.

    ps, Blundell has been Tweeting sports at a ‘Bruce-Arthur-like pace the last few days.

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    dogpounder6 years ago

    10 days into the SB hype-fest and I’ve YET to hear ANY analysis on the radio of the actual game that’s to be played. I get about 2.5 hours of listening in a day. Guess I’ll have to tune in to the Sunday morning degenerate shows to get a matchup analysis.

    Brutal. Sports radio becoming Entertainment Tonight. Brady, Belichek and Lynch are better stories than the game I suppose.

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    Hayes had a segment today with Arthur talking about the super bowl having an app only available to attendees. This is really interesting and should help get some fans back to games. It drives me nuts at a baseball game, for instance, not being able to see replays. That was when I went to games. The replay issue plus the incessant noise/commercials has added up to me not going for several years.

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    I regret living in Canada sometimes when it comes to sports on TV/radio….I live in a country were curling draws big numbers, hockey is the number #1 sport, basketball isn’t given the time of day, people think Ken Reid is good, people think Tim/Sid are annoying (you must be over 40)…

    Weirdness. And our Canadian dollar sucks.

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    People who curl (myself) are loyal and love watching it, it was at least better then the all star “games”. Tim and Sid are sports fans and it shows they pay attention to most sports, though not experts in all they can at least carry on a conversation.

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    Ned Nederlander6 years ago

    Time for Knobcat to stop calling AA the managing general of the Jays. Tired joke from a tired jockstrap.

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    Ned Nederlander6 years ago

    How can Knobcat and Weed not know about The Kinks? Bunch of Kooks!

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    When i was in grad school, we had cbc on our cable and i loved watching curling sunday afternoons. Great nap viewing.

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    McCown/Reid is 100x better than McCown/Cox…that was so much more painful. I’m really liking Reid’s personality come out.

    All you guys complaining about Reid are likely as old as BobCat is. I love Bobcat, wrote a blog about him, but his time is coming and the future of sports talk is Tim and Sid and the Reid’s of the world…all good, I say!

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    Darn right, Mattk!

    Oh and Reid is terrible. He just is.

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    Listening to PTS less and less.

    Reid is a show killer for me. He’s just not that bright. His “what about the children” take w.r.t. Ballghazi – weak. Not funny but thinks he is. Brings out the worst in Bob.

    I’d actually think that Reid’s “folksiness” appeals to an older demo, not younger. My parents like him.

    I get that Tim and Sid appeal to a younger demo. Wish they were better informed.

    Naylor is better but during my drive home there’s too much Mackenzie and Dreger. Every friggin’ day for half of the 5pm and 6pm hours.

    I like Schopp and the Bulldog on WGR 550 for my drive home listening.

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    An interesting little write-up about the NHL All Star ratings:

    https://ca.sports.yahoo.com/blogs/eh-game/rogers-questions-about-sports-ratings–nonsense—says-bell-media-000827918.html

    My wife and I PVR the skills competition and watched it over the course of a couple of nights. We enjoy the actual competitions (for the most part), but are more than happy to fast forward through the disaster that is the set of Rogers talking heads. We had no inclination to watch the game itself, and haven’t for many years.

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    @Pudge72 thanks for the link. Interesting controlled study? Leafs ratings on TSN down 13%. Leafs ratings down 22% on Rogers??

    I think Nadir said the same thing about the NHL rights deal as Nonis said about the Clarkson contract ‘I won’t be around for the whole contract anyway.’ But Nadir wasn’t around for any of this, took his golden parachute and flew the coop.

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    KEN REID NEEDS TO BE SHOT IN THE FACE MULTIPLE TIMES!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    With a squirt gun I guess I should add.

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    I find i dont even mind missing PTS these days. Im glad Deitsch was on during the 4pm hout yesterday. He is a good guest when shannon is co-host to talk tc.

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    Markhamite6 years ago

    I know this is not a response to this thread, but some may enjoy hearing Duquette respond to the non-trade

    https://twitter.com/JimBowden_ESPN

    Jim Bowden ‏@JimBowden_ESPN 6h6 hours ago
    #BlueJays…I mean #Orioles Executive Dan Duquette joins us at the top of the hour…you don’t want to miss it…@mlbnetworkradio Sirius209 XM89

    We asked Dan Duquette about the Blue Jays- Angelos situation and here is direct audio on his answer: https://t.co/QI6ttoA8Sx— Jim Bowden (@JimBowden_ESPN) January 29, 2015

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    dogpounder6 years ago

    Sid just called out this page’s treatment of Reid. It was amusing.

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    What did he say? I will have to check out the podcast later.
    What hour was it in?

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    Reid, is without question the least talented member of the Toronto sports radio crew. It’s not even close.

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    dogpounder6 years ago

    Early hour 3.

    “Called out” may be strong. He references the issue humourously.

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    hi folks – Thanks to everyone who posted in this thread. Lots of really interesting thoughts. I was hoping to hear more from Blundell Nation since they are the golden goose the FAN is chasing. If you find this thread late and have views about what makes Blundell so great, please share.

    I’m on the road and TSM just posted, so I’ll wait until next weekend to continue the conversation. Feel free to comment with what you are reading and hearing these days.

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    Basically Sid just says while introducing Ken Reid for the segment “Name that Wrestler” as a person who has had an entire website dedicated to him at Torontosportsmedia.com.
    Nothin to see here.
    http://www.sportsnet.ca/590/ Click or copy and paste here to listen, it’s around the 7 minute mark of hour 3.