Uncertainty With Fan 590 Lineup & Strombo Stays Home

Uncertainty With Fan 590 Lineup & Strombo Stays Home


“On the radio side, Dean Blundell joins Sportsnet 590 The FAN to co-host the new morning show, Dean Blundell & Co., alongside Andrew Walker. Dean Blundell & Co. debuts on March 2, and will air weekdays from 5:30 to 9 a.m. ET. Greg Brady, co-host of the current morning show Brady & Walker, will take over the 1 to 4 p.m. ET timeslot previously hosted by Tim & Sid, starting March 30.”

or…… maybe not.

Blundell is still taking over the morning show.

Andrew Walker joining him??????


Maybe not.

Don’t bet on it.

Despite a press release announcing the moves, multiple sources are telling me that the Walker bit remains a mystery.

If you recall, the Blundell show was to begin rehearsal with Walker for a few weeks prior to the March 2nd launch. Walker, if you haven’t noticed is still on the morning show with Brady. The rehearsal has yet to begin.

There are multiple theories making the rounds as to why the sudden potential change but I await further developments until I hear more.

So where does Walker go??

The smart money is he goes along with Brady to the afternoon 1-4 slot.

Who is going to be with Blundell? Probably his old cronies. Maybe they add a sports voice.

Meanwhile, it seems that Sunday nights now belong entirely to Ron Maclean, at least on the hockey side.

Hometown Hockey it seems will be based entirely from the road with no more studio segments.

Why the change?

One thought is that the regular show needed more time to be developed, and the ratings (faulty and all) dictated changes needed to be made.

Meanwhile Ken Reid remains McCown’s sidekick inexplicably. The man adds absolutely no value to any interview.

Interesting times indeed.


  • comment-avatar
    Pants go brown 3 years

    Ken Reid on PTS is awful. Where is Brunt? Reid is so corny. His questions are poor. And oh yeah did I in mention that we sat beside him at a Jays game last summer and he was eating sunflower seeds and spitting the shells on my wife?

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    Peter Ballantine 3 years

    It’s already bad enough that the condescending, creepy 80’s douche Greg “squeal” Brady hasn’t been launched out of a cannon into space, but actually KEEPING Walker? Yikes man! That’s some terrible radio.

    Time to stop having these anti-intellectual, stereotypical sports radio misogynist bores host your shows. The FAN590 can (and should) do better than these goofs.

    Wilner should be given the afternoon slot with Ben Ennis. They’re a great duo. Also, we won’t have to hear these mental midgets going on about CORSI (as they call it) and how they’re too stupid and lazy to put in 10 minutes of work to understand why widely accepted things like Corsi, Save % and WAR are important in sports. (btw, what was the Corsi of the last two Stanley Cup winners? Oh right, LA #1, Chicago #1, yawn. The debate is over).

    So let’s just hope that Andrew “RIGHT!? RIGHT!? RIGHT!?” Walker is shipped back to wherever that phoney, cheesy radio voice fidget came from.

    P.S. Fire that dope Ken Reid. An office of 30+ people here can’t STAND him! Just the worst. Also, if the FAN had any balls they’d fire that lazy, clueless Bob McClown finally too!

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    MF 3 years

    Too bad TSN keeps dropping the ball when it comes to finding any competition for Toronto sports radio. I think the FAN’s ratings remain so strong, in part, because of how poor the other option is. Often the better option, if you can pick it up, is WGR 550 out of Buffalo. Heavy Sabres & Bills obviously, but on air talent is solid and enjoyable to listen to in drive times AM & PM.

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    Alex Peterson 3 years

    If you’re not listening to TSN Drive with Dave Naylor from 4-7pm, then you’re making a colossal mistake. The difference is enormous in quality, and it’s only a matter of time until Naylor is destroying McCown. The proof is in the pudding, and a 25 year head start is the only reason people still listen to 590.

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    Mike 3 years

    Seriously… Dean Blundell…. I’d rather listen to that clown Reid and that douche Walker.

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    As a former Montrealer whose favourite sport growing up was baseball, the Expos I hope someday will be resurrected again. The reason why I bring this up is because Reid too is a huge booster to the cause, given he is often outfitted in Expos gear, jacket, hats, probably Expos underwear too.

    Normally, this would be positive for the cause, but given how out of his league on the air with McCown Reid is, I feel he is actually doing irreparable damage to ExposNation, so I ask that Reid is either mercifully let go of his on-air duties, or refrains from wearing Expos gear, as I do not need his association given the hate going on against him, and by extension, to the Expos.

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    WestDale Rocks 3 years

    Peter Ballantine: i agree with most of what you said, except the Wilner/Ennis comment. The last time I heard those two clowns on together was to discuss Josh
    Donaldson. They got into some bizarre, frankly embarassing conversation about the Oakland Colisseum and comparing it to a toilet, which quickly descended into
    Some very poor potty jokes. Overall, I find Wilner condescending and a know it all. And worst, he’s a homer. Ennis is in love with his own voice. I timed one of his “questions” once duri g an i terview: 47 seconds. FORTY. SEVEN. SECONDS!! Him and Sammut are awful.

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    gregg 3 years

    Holy shit Ken Reid is so fucking bad.

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    Kyl 3 years

    Rogers was hiring a “third” man for the morning show. They have Dean and Walker but there will be a third co-host to the show when it starts.

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    sal 3 years

    Reid and Mccowan is unlistenable. The only reason I was listening to PTS was Brunt but now that he seems to be gone I’ve moved over to TSN and I don’t regret it one bit!

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    Not sure of the vitriol here, but I have never found someone to be totally “unlistenable”. Do I like some more than others? Sure. That’s a personality thing. Plus, as I’m a freelancer in the business as a play by play/on-air TV guy at the local level, I am not going to engage in any personal criticism. I may have a bias.

    1. I watched/listened to half an hour of the McCown/Reid combination and never wanted to turn off the TV/turn down the volume or fall of the treadmill. Though there is a cross market appeal to Reid, it is not publicized that Reid does Sportsnet Connected as much you would think. I’d love to have Brunt in every day as a permanent host, but his contract calls for 21 weeks I think. After Brunt I enjoy Friedman and Blair either as a host/cohost

    2. As for Blundell and Co, I hope that they stick with a Fan sports guy there, be it Walker or anyone else. To have someone like Todd Shapiro, his former co-host on, distances the show from the rest of the lineup on The Fan and may not make the best lead in for Blair/Hockey Central etc. I still think AM sports talk radio Blundell will be quite different from FM Edge Blundell. Demographics, I think , are different.

    3. As for Brady, I’m a big fan. Maybe its the similar age, sense of humour and pop culture references, but I enjoy his work. Apparantly that may make me in a majority.

    That said, people on this message board generally don’t care for many people on the TV/Radio sports except for Brunt, and Friedman (who people, ironically, turned on during his fill in spots on Prime Time)

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    Mike 3 years

    I personally really like Dean Blundell…I know what Sportsnet is doing here. No one under 30 listens to morning AM radio. The FAN is looking to get a younger demo. The risk is worth the reward to bring the younger listener to the FAN in the morning and have them listening to the void of AM radio that the 18-35 listener does not even have on their radar right now.

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    Dan 3 years

    No one under 30 listens to radio at all anymore, let alone AM radio.

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    Steve Jones 3 years

    I have a suggestion on how to further improve hometown hockey. Cancel it. Nothing makes me cringe more than to watch broadcasters try to elevate hockey into some sort of religious experience. Hockey is an important passtime in Canada. But it hardly defines the country. I think the CBC one day event each year was fine. It was like nice little celebration. The weekly shmaltz Rogers puts on is nothing more than hack marketing by a company that does hack marketing very well. It’s content that makes canada look like a bunch of small town rubes who think hockey is the only thing that binds the country together. If the concept doesn’t die within two years from all forced sentimentality I’ll choke.

    As for Reid, what’s left to be said. He brings the show down to a pedestrian level every time he opens his mouth. Someone should tell him sucking up to Bob only diminishes his credibility. At times he sounds like a guy who’s a fan and got to guest host for a day.

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    Brian 3 years

    PTS: Who doesn’t know where McCown is going before he gets there? Tarkanian, Bear Bryant… we’ve heard them all. And it was good to see Brian Cooper take on Bob on Monday at 4 pm. Without Brunt there to challenge Bob’s empty arguments, we’re left to listen Reid attempt to gently question Bob but it’s like a guy with a pellet gun taking on a Sherman tank.

    Blundell: What we know the positive: Had a big audience at the Edge, esp. under 30; good pipes; well connected relatives in the industry.
    What we know the negative: A producer on his show mocked on air a sexual assault trial where he was serving as a jury member. This, and other things, eventually led the cancellation of Dean’s show in 2014; co-host Todd Shapiro, one of Blundell’s friends, was fired from the show in 2013 after some questionable comments; The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council wrote this about a Blundell tweet in 2010 “The CBSC has found no justification for allegedly humorous references to children in sexual contexts, including those of the nature of sexual innuendo, double-entendres and inexplicit sexual comments that would not be problematic if the references were to adults. The Panel concludes that the pre-pubescent reference, ‘Save your energy for puberty or to fend off your dad tonight while you’re sleepin’ was gratuitous, unnecessary and a clear violation of Clause 8 of the Equitable Portrayal Code.”; and his recent Jays tweet shows he hasn’t learned much.
    And this is from the Toronto Star in January 2012: Jokes about women closing their mouths and doing chores, going to war and faking wounds while menstruating and engaging in lesbian activity, and using “trenches” and “foxholes” as euphemisms for female genitalia “was unduly discriminatory, negative, stereotypical and degrading,” the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council ruled in a decision released Wednesday. Blundell on the Fan is a huge risk.

    NHL on Rogers: The in-game work is good. The play-by-play work is good. The camera work is good. It’s the in-studio work that’s the issue. Watch a Leafs game on TSN and then tune-in to Rogers on Saturday — day and night. The analysts on Sportsnet bicker, struggle to produce full sentences (hello, Kypreos), and the Strombhost comes off as B-list, failing to add flow or compelling content. Moreover, few of these people are likable. They are not warm or engaging. They are generally assholes (hello, Damien Cox and Doug MacClean). These guys were OK when the spotlight shone on them in 5-minute segments on Connected but as their time on air expands, these guys are getting exposed. These are mostly third and fourth liners acting as A-list talent. We see through that.

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    Daniel 3 years

    @Alex Peterson – I think the Naylor show is pretty good, but I’m not sure I could see it ever really being a ratings hit. It is VERY dry, and it’s hard to imagine that show (or a lot of TSN Radio) appealing to many listeners who aren’t hardcore sports fans. PTS can be frustrating, especially if you’re serious about sports, but the entertainment value is generally a lot higher.

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    Daniel 3 years

    Interesting about Walker. Brady & Walker could be a solid afternoon show. I don’t think I’ll enjoy it as much as I did Tim & Sid, but not a bad option.

    I wonder who would co host with Dean? I would have rather they left the lineup as is, but f they’re go to use Blundell, then I really think that show should not even try to be a serious sports show. Be Don Imus or whatever and just do ‘guy talk’ with some sports. Dean can clearly do guy talk, but I think it could be terrible (and reminiscent of Andrew Krystal) if he tries to BS about the Jays rotation and the Raptors back court etc.

  • comment-avatar

    Thanks to TSM for the update………..when the original announcement was made it was pretty clear that Jan 30 was supposed to be Walker’s last day with Brady on the morning show………..so when Walker appeared last week (and again this week) I was wondering what was going on

    Having Walker as Brady’s co-host in the afternoon would make some sense………I won’t be listening to Blundell’s show so if Walker is on at a different time at least I would have the opportunity to hear him on normal sports show if I want to

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    Steve 3 years

    Walker must’ve seen the oncoming Blundell car wreck. Smart move pulling the ‘chute.

    With respect to Ken Reid, he truly is a channel changer for me. There’s a lot of hyperbole on this site but, for me anyway, when I hear Reid, I literally switch the station. He’s that bad AFAIC.

    Count me a WGR 550 Schopp and the Bulldog fan for the drive home. Not as big a fan of their morning show. Howard Simon likes playing up how dumb he is. I like smart radio.

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    Not that Chris 3 years

    Blundell tweeted something about an hour after that bit was posted, referring to Shoalts as a dumbass, and linking this:

    The tweet has since been deleted.

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    Jamally 3 years

    I thought there was nobody more irritating than Ken Reid – until I started to watch clips of Keith Olbermann’s ESPN show. MY GOD – it’s garbage…

    So KO does a little monologue of sorts with some witty comments….and you hear his production staff laughing in the background in this forced “hey, we’re breaking the 4th wall by laughing” act. About 5 times during his rant. AWFUL.

    Still, Ken Reid is terrible. His “pucks in deep” act is so tired, and this is when I realize Bobcat has lost it. At some point, Bobcat decided “hey, it’s time to make a new star”. Bob’s ego is such that he thinks he can do this. So after growing tired of Sid, who was seemingly his protege or someone he felt could take the reigns when was away, he decided “no, F**K Tim and Sid…they don’t need my help, let me groom Ken Reid”.

    Out of touch.

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    Nei 3 years

    @ Jamally,

    Your right Tim and Sid don’t need Bob, actually I think the show that Tim and Sid are preping will eventually be simulcast on the fan from 4-7. It’s funny that this new show with Tim and Sid on TV will not be starting until June. What I think is going on here is that the fan will use Tim and Sid to cover some sports business and societal affairs (like what Bob was once good at), while doing what they normally do, this mix should have mass appeal and target
    18-25 and 25-40. One would have to think that with Bob starting to show obvious signs of chinks in the armour, that the fan see’s this and is starting to put a succesion plan in place.

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    Pete 3 years

    Firstly, I’d like to say I came across this site when the Blundell news broke and it has now become a must read for me. Love the Seen and Heard – Weekend Edition. Continue the great work.

    Now that Walker is confirmed to be going with Brady to the 1-4 time slot, it makes me wonder why the Fan just didn’t leave them in their morning slot and transition Blundell in the afternoon spot. I get it — they want Blundell to bring in a different demographic in the morning. But Blundell has a lot of work to do to come up to speed when it comes to overall sports knowledge, and the quieter 1-4 slot may have afforded him the time to do that. It’ll be interesting to see if any gains from 1-4 with Brady and Walker are outweighed by the losses with Blundell in the morning. I’m skeptical about the hire.

    @ Alex Peterson — I find Naylor to be quite good, but think he is unable to realize his talents on TSN and completely miscast. He is stuck with irritating guys like Feschuk and Arthur. He is forced to continue jamming hockey down our throats. Get off the mandatory 5 p.m. Bobby Mac check in already, TSN. Funny enough, I think if Naylor were on the Fan, he would be a ratings hit and the prime candidate to take over Prime Time Sports.

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    Antonio 3 years

    I like Naylor and maybe he could be Bob’s successor. The guy I think who should takeover PTS is Mark Hebscher.

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    Antonio, brilliant call. Hebscher keeps the entertainment element alive and well, and following him since his days on Sportsline with Tatti in the late 80’s onwards when I moved here, he knows his stuff, and never mails it in. I keep current on his editorials via Facebook and he has certainly kept current, so would mesh well with younger demographics as well.

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    Jamally 3 years

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who likes the new Sportsline – I don’t see it as often as I’d like anymore, but I like Hebscher and Bubba. They would have been an ideal replacement for Tim and Sid.

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    Yaz 3 years

    Thanks for the great bunch of links. I completely missed the Walker news but it doesn’t surprise me.

    Seems like they just celebrated the highest ratings in the 530-9am time slot in the Fan’s history only to be told they’re being blown up. Brady & Walker had to be pissed off. Walker staying with Blundell as a career move is far too risky for a 30 year old guy with proven success. Walker is a Sports guy – being part of the ‘Blundell and Co’ isn’t Walker’s brand and he would have too much to lose. Seeing how Walker so quickly got shafted by Rogers, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him on with Naylor at TSN or in that time slot without Naylor who has never gotten any ratings traction.

    I was celebrating Tim & Sid’s departure to TV knowing that I soon will be able to bring back those 3 hours into my listening day – but there is no net gain because Blundell likely will be similar to the unlistenable Mike Richards show. And I listen to that time slot more than any other. I guess I’ll have to stream Podcast’s through my bluetooth from the previous day’s shows for my morning drives.

    Prediction: Blundell gone by Christmas next year. Walker starts a new show in the 530-9 time slot with a new co-host because I doubt very highly Brady will want to return to getting up at 4 am.

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    Zach 3 years

    I’m sure Ken Reid is an amazing person, he definitely seems friendly and of course I am a believer that practice makes perfect in any aspect of work – but the whole innocent “I’m just a simple guy from the east coast” schtick is not a fit on PTS. I like Bob as he speaks with a definitive opinion – agree or disagree, he still makes people think. It’s also important to keep in mind there is definitely a bit of comedy and entertainment on the air, especially with the interaction of Tim and Sid and Bob. It’s a fun storyline, and maybe I am alone in this – but I laugh at their bickering. Sports are entertainment, sport’s coverage is entertainment. Not taking anything away from the hard work required in the industry, but it’s easy to forget that it’s entertainment. I’ll definitely miss Tim and Sid in the afternoon slot – hilarious stuff, sure maybe sometimes “immature” but it makes me laugh and they get some good guests (and great chemistry). Bob with Brunt is a winning combo. Bob is “brash” with strong thoughts, Brunt is respectfully intelligent and his conversations are strong. It’s a great balance. Although I clearly enjoy some of the joking and entertainment side, this is all just my personal opinion but with that said… I am very worried about the shake-up. I’ll definitely give Blundell a fair listen, but at this point I don’t understand the reasoning for giving him the morning show. Although I clearly enjoy some of the comedy side of sports radio, I definitely expect some decent sports content and, I could be wrong, but is this one of the first hosts (at least in recent history) with a non-sports background (and a controversial one at that)?

    BTW, some good laughs and decent guests with Sammut and Rusic.