Tuesday Morning Toronto Sports Media Thoughts


One week into the new morning show on the Fan, what’s your take?

I can tell you everywhere I go people are asking me.

While one week does not a trend make, I can tell you from my perspective the Fan has moved closer to TSN radio then it ever has been before in terms of the morning show.

Let me say first and foremost, the new show is WAY better than both what I expected and the Krystal show. I honestly can’t tell the difference between the two hosts unless one of them uses the other persons name. But it’s not the train wreck that Krystal was right out of the gate.

Substantively, the show lacks depth from my perspective but that is just one persons opinion. It is selling a lot of sizzle and not a whole lot of steak. This is precisely what the TSN show is. Both shows get really good guests on. When the guests are being interviewed the shows are somewhere from good to great. In those slots where there are no guests, my hands are hitting the change station. That’s not new to TSN. This has been the Richards show from day one. That is new to the Fan. While I may not have liked, or been interested in the level of detail the old hosts went to on the old Fan morning show, or if you didnt’ agree with their opinions, there was little doubt in my mind that they new the games, the players and the facts. It was a sports radio talk show.

Yesterday morning the new host said something like, we are not going to break down the game like how many minutes did Eric Brewer get in the last game. That’s fine. There are enough websites and columns written to that level of detail. However, the show seems to go to the other extreme by default. In the absence of guests there is not much substance to the sports talk.

Don’t get me wrong, I prefer to hear from great guests. I’d rather hear what McKenzie, Kypreos, Davidi, Rosenthal, MacArthur etc. have to say then the hosts. McCown is king because he is a great interviewer. I don’t really care what he thought on any given subject but he is at least entertaining when talking about a topic. He sticks to sports.

So when asked my opinion on the new show, I say it’s fine. When the guests are good, it’s good. When no guests are on it’s not a sports radio show in my opinion and I flip. It’s inoffensive. The bits they do, are what they are. Is there a huge difference between the worst tweet of the day and the George Rusic News bit? Not really. Both are fillers. Both are better than the bits they do on the Richards show.

Clearly the theme in this market is to move away from hard hitting sports talk in the morning to high level coverage all the time with deep dives when warranted. The audience will decide whether or not that’s good enough. Personally, I find myself ending up on 680 or Q107 more mornings then I ever have before. There aren’t a lot of guests when I am in the car on my morning commute.

On the TV side of things, I am told that the Saturday Maple Leaf/ Blues game drew under 750k average fans (the Habs game on City drew 603k). No one will say so on the record, but it sounds like we have hit an all time low. “If it’s not a record it’s pretty damn close” an advertising executive told me.

Let’s stop with the Rogers is blowing hockey on tv talk though. This is as much a Maple Leaf problem as it is a Rogers problem. Fewer fans are watching because the Maple Leafs blow. 1.25 million are tuning into to watch curling because they like the event not the production of it or what network it is on. Is this hurting Rogers? You bet. Is it entirely their fault? No.

Lastly, thanks again to all of you who take the time to post on this website. Those of us who create the content do so as a passion. Some people knit, we like to write about sports media. The only rule on the site is that your comments, which are always welcome, don’t get personal. Don’t like my opinion, that’s fine. Think someone’s comment is moronic, feel free to disagree, but please don’t turn it into a hate attack.

Happy Tuesday!


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