David Shoalts’s Expose on Bob McCown

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David Shoalts seems to have been appointed the sports media beat at the Globe and Mail and his latest piece on Bob Mccown is by far his most interesting and in my opinion his best work to date. It was a full page expose and well worth the time it took to read it if you are interested in the sports media thing (if you aren’t I can’t imagine what brought you here).

The article, especially the quotes from either Mccown or others once again proves that “the fan” in this town isn’t as out of touch as perhaps some would like to believe.

Here are my highlights:

* Like many of you who comment here, Mccown also feels the show is a little boring: “feels like a long time and “that leads me to where I am now, which is a little bit bored.”

* McCown is an actor playing a role, I don’t know who doesn’t know that but Shoalts confirms it again: “What they probably don’t know is that the persona is a creation – a character McCown plays for fun and profit. It has made him the highest-paid broadcaster in Canada, according to some sources, with an annual salary believed to be more than $1-million. “He’s created this character that’s embedded in listeners’ heads,” said sometime co-host Stephen Brunt. “It’s Bob of the imagination.

* McCown (or his created ego) isn’t oblivious to the effect the Rogers/NHL deal has on his show: “There’s no question the hockey contract has changed things and not for the good for me,” McCown said.

* I’m not the only one to notice the Ken Reid experiment isn’t working : “Sportsnet television anchor Ken Reid has taken Cox’s place and tries to bring a hip, pop-culture sense of humour to the show. The kindest thing to say is the chemistry with McCown is still developing.

* How much longer will McCown stick around??? :“I do not see myself doing this after this contract,” he said.”

If he is making the money suggested by Shoalts, I’d suggest he’ll do it as long as someone is willing to pay him that type of money.

* McCown does no preperation : “In the broadcast industry, McCown is famous for arriving at The Fan studio minutes before the show starts at 4 p.m. and hitting the exit equally quickly at 7 p.m. But Gentile says those who mock his apparent lack of preparation have no idea how the show works.

McCown is the best interviewer in town, if not in the country in the world of sports. His lack of preparation forces him to listen to the answer a guest provides and creates a dialogue unlike anyone else in the radio business. Shoalts does a good job bringing to life the persona that apparently some are unaware of. I found reading Shoalts’s story much like reading Richard Peddie’s autobiography. When Peddie was in place at MLSE, there were rumours about him, his love for being front and center, issues he had with ownership at various times etc. and his book confirmed much of the rumors to be true. Shoalts does that with McCown in this piece.

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