Toronto Sports Media Weekend Update

Photo was taken from here


Happy Blue Jays Saturday!

Mike is taking some time to reflect on a new name for Seen and Heard so I am filling in for today.

Just kidding.

Here’s a little bit of what I’ve been hearing and thinking….

You all know I am a big Blue Jays fan. The coverage on the team, the trades, the run has been fantastic and what a great distraction from what was the worst season ever as a Maple Leaf fan.

However, the none stop banter, and i mean non-stop debate on who is going to be in the playoff rotation and playoff roster has been way too overhyped/overplayed.

I am superstitious, I admit it. I remember the year the Jays tanked vs. the Tigers down the stretch. I remember Manny Lee booting the ball.

Having said that, I get it. It is a good topic, it is intriguing, it is an interesting debate.

But guys, it was on, discussed, debated all week on every show I heard. When Jeff Blair opened with asking for calls on who is “your playoff rotation” I couldn’t have flipped the channel faster. The PTS roundtable was basically Bob replaying everything he said on the topic from each show each and every night this week.

The topic has already had it’s 15 minutes of fame and it’s not even ripe yet!

Speaking of Bob, the Shoalts column and my follow up led to more phone calls, emails and texts from media types then any other story I’ve covered on this site.

The two most common themes from what I received as feedback:

1. I was wrong in my comment that Bob will be able to work as long as he wants to. “The Field” if you will strongly believes that it would take Bob having to accept a massive pay cut for Bob to get another gig. The radio business isn’t what it used to be and the money simply won’t be there for a salary like Bob currently gets.

2. Bob may have done himself some real harm as a result of this article. Many insiders viewed this as Bob taking family business to the press. Many opined that it’s one thing for Rogers to deal with Bob’s rants and comments on air, this, they say seemed different.

I think this will be a story that will be fun to watch for the next little while.

Still on McCown, Mark HEBSCHER (yes guy) has a really good article on Bob. You can read it here

Did you happen to get the latest Fan 590 fan listener survey?

These things come from time to time and not that I’ve ever paid any attention to the points rewards you get for filling them out, but this one seemed to have a much bigger reward than normal. I am pretty sure the usual reward is 500 points this one was 10,000.

The topic this time was Dean Blundell and also Blue Jays baseball.

One of the first questions was do you listen to Blundell. Apparently if you selected yes, you got to hear some clips and rate them. If you selected that you don’t listen to him you didn’t get those questions.

Read anything into the fact that the survey was about one show and one show only????


So, if radio is declining, is it perhaps time that we focus our attention a little more on the TV side of things?


If print is declining, is it perhaps time that we focus our attention a little more on the web content side of things?


Coming soon, our annual report card as Mike and look at the various outlets and rate the talent.

Any burning questions for either Mike and I????? We can try to answer those here too.

So, the Leafs are training camp after a very interesting summer. Besides the shipping out of Phil Kessel not much else was moved out (over the summer). Are you tired of hearing the term “the Babcock effect” while talking about the Leafs? As if to suggest that having Babcock is going to turn certain players into the next coming of fill in the superstar name here. In my opinion, Babcock is going to implement a system of accountability, pride and effort. I don’t think that losing games, or the actual end result is really all that important right now. It’s the effort and attitude. Fans going to the ACC, watching on TV etc want to see a team that tries hard and cares almost as much as the fans do. Honestly, if the Leafs end up dead last but actually have a team that gives a crap that will be a significant improvement. All this talk of the Babcock effect, is, in my opinion noise.

Did anyone catch Steve Simmons on the afternoon drive yesterday tell the story of a prospect at Leafs camp last year remark after a few drills that neither Kadri nor Kessel worked very hard in the drills? That’s what I think Babcock and co. will change. Things like salute-gate should not happen under the new regime. If Babcock and Co. accomplish that, this will be a successful year. In my opinion.

Happy weekend!


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September 19, 2015 2:14 pm

Bob with Shannon and Perkins was a vigorous trio yesterday. Madani should stay home.

Dave in Bolton
Dave in Bolton
September 19, 2015 2:30 pm

McCown needs to jump to TSN and should of done so before resigning. It’s clear that Roger’s doesn’t view him as the #1 personality. #freeMcCown

September 19, 2015 3:10 pm


If Bob is bored, I wonder thered ever be a scenario where they’d shorten PTS? Keep him on the air, but lessen his workload and maybe keep his interest by packing everything into an hour or something. Kind of a semi retirement. Might be a better show if it makes McCown happier to do less?

I guess the Tim and Sid to radio ship has sailed, but something like Tim and Sid 2-6, and then McCown 6-7 could be ok.

I still enjoy PTS (sometimes i still think it’s fantastic). But I suppose it has to wind down some day.

Mike V
Mike V
September 19, 2015 3:15 pm

Why would anyone believe a word Steve Simmons says about Phil Kessel after the hot dog story?

I think there’s no way McCown goes to 1050. Even if Rogers let him out of the contract, there’s a decent chance the audience doesn’t follow him there. Imagine the hit to his ego if his last chapter is getting 2s white the new PTS gets 6-7s. Too risky for the legacy of a guy who’s admittly bored at radio.

Rob J
Rob J
September 19, 2015 4:46 pm

Interesting that shows like PTS are actually more boring when the home team is doing well. (small sample size, obviously). Two hours of floating names for a back-up infielder or #4 starter is tedious. More fun when a team is imploding or there’s public dissension.

September 19, 2015 6:10 pm

I am a fan of McCown since he did the morning show years ago. I am talking about McCown, the man. I think perhaps he should retire but since he isn’t entertaining it, keep him going. I would take my act up the dial to TSN 1050. They have a much more engaging show when Cox and Reid are not there.

I personally would love Elliotte Friedman to slide into a deeper role with HNIC or into the PTS chair.

Ron H
Ron H
September 19, 2015 6:24 pm

Is anyone else bored of listening to Buck & Tabler? I appreciate each of those guys, but how many times do we have to listen to what a lineup the Jays have,how there’s no easy outs, how the Jays talk to one another on the bench. What, no other team does?

Instead, I’d love hear a broadcast, any broadcast, share their thoughts on why a pitcher is using this sequence of pitches. Explain what hitters approach at the plate means? This is where Zaunn excels.

Other than Bobcat, can we really say that Toronto has a sports voice? And I mean Toronto, not reporters or journalists that cover national broadcasts?

If there’s breaking sports news in Toronto, I’m curious to know who’s voice or opinion means the most to you, whether you agree or disagree with his/her thoughts. For me, hands down is Bobcat.

Blue Jay Fan
Blue Jay Fan
September 19, 2015 7:23 pm

Radio and Print are declining content over the web seems to be the big draw, The Dolan Family owners of New york knicks, Rangers,madison square gardens and other media assets in New york decided to divest of their cable holdings which include internet, cable and home phone service. The company served 3.1 million customers. At the end of the day the Dolans sold the pipes and kept the content as they stated that cable products has lost it’s margins. I’m curious if we may see this move, played out by one of the big players here in Canada as We know that Rogers has shifted to a content based business. I wonder if they will divest of their cable and radio holdings to focus on their web based content, i.e NHL, Shomi etc. The new pick and pay system may answer the question.

Ami Angelwings
September 20, 2015 1:44 am

I tried listening to the roundtable because roundtables can be interesting even without Brunt, but I couldn’t stand Shannon doing his usual stuff, and then Bob complaining about the Jays scoring runs in bunches again and, as mentioned, just repeating what he said before. I also get that Sportsnet needs to stir up some topic of discussions and to get the fans talking about stuff, but I’m also tired of the “who will be in the rotation” question. I suppose you can only come up with so many things to talk about with this team rolling.

On another topic, I have a discussion question for people about Bob. Given his current issues with Brunt and apparently Brunt no longer welcome on his show for the present, does anybody think Bob’s personal beefs ever hold the show back? He didn’t want Ricciardi on his show, or Rob Babcock, for a while Gary Bettman was banned and Doug MacLean. Wilner’s never going to be a guest on PTS while Bob’s in the chair. Whether people like these guys or not is beside the point, the point is that people he doesn’t like don’t show up, and that limits who can be on the show and give analysis.

So do people think that’s an aspect of Bob that hurts the show?

Mark Hebscher
September 20, 2015 8:12 am

Thanks for the plug, but you misspelled by last name. It’s HEBSCHER. Just looking for a little respect.

Jim from Abroad
Jim from Abroad
September 20, 2015 8:15 am

I don’t think it hurts the show at all. Bettman is not a very good guest, it is actually a pity he is back. At the time they regularly had Colin Campbell and Bill Daly on instead. The conversations with Campbell were especially informative and open. Daly is more versed in lawyer speak.

A don’t really know Mike Wilner well, but if the conversations Jeff Blair has with him in Bob’s absence are any indication, his absence is not a loss. Doug MacLean was not missed I do not think. A guy like Healy has better stories and is more prepared to give real opinions.

In general in a personality driven show like PTS the ‘black book’ is a positive thing in my opinion. And list of regular contributors like Banks, Morosi, Rovell, Deitsch, etc is so strong that the absence of a few individuals does not hurt the program. Brunt might be an exception to this rule, but as somebody else mentioned on this site he was not really committed to PTS anymore anyway.

And I completely disagree with you regarding John Shannon. I like his contributions and the positive influence he has over Bob.

September 20, 2015 11:06 am

Easy Hebscher. Spell check has trouble enough with common words, let alone your last name. ‘My’ is spelled with an M not a B, for instance.

September 20, 2015 12:07 pm

Well written piece TSM, should be a weekly occurrence, enjoyed it.

September 20, 2015 12:49 pm

Been a long time listener of PTS. I agree with some of the other comments. I don’t think the “black book” takes away from the program. Some of the other guests ( Rovell, Morosi, Banks ) more than make up for it. Having said that, I think Brunt is a huge loss. Can someone fill me in on the reason for the chasm between Bob and Wilner? Is that going back to the whole Cito thing? I missed that one.

September 20, 2015 2:28 pm

I think wilner isn’t on Pts because he wouldn’t just sit there and let them do crappy radio. If people are saying things that don’t make any sense, he says so. Most of the discussions on Pts are theoretical and pointless.

Steve Jones
Steve Jones
September 20, 2015 4:42 pm

Can’t say I care if Bob has a problem with some people and won’t have them on the show. He has a wide swath of others who can do more than an adequate job. For me none of the guys mentioned were must listens. It sort of reminds me of when Spider Jones was complaining he was never asked to be on to discuss boxing. But Bob had Brunt and one of my all times favourites, Bert Sugar to handle that topic. And the other issue is what host is going to be motivated to do good work if he has people he doesn’t like on? Not many imho.

September 20, 2015 9:45 pm

Hebscher’s piece sounded more like a eulogy or better yet, like I want everyone to know I know Bob and we’re pals. Some objectivity in the piece would have made it a much better read.

I’m not saying for you to bash him, and it’s great to see your friendship evolve. However in light of his recent actions, it comes across as a defense rather than a sincere tribute.

My take as I read.

September 21, 2015 10:52 am

Hebscher (regardless as to how you spell it) should replace Bob. He would bring sports knowledge, entertainment value and cred to the role. No one else in this market has all of those.

September 21, 2015 3:23 pm

So, 590 put’s it’s 4 most knowledgeable talkers (Brunt, Blair, Walker and Brady) on during the daytime (9am to 4pm) when they have the least amount of listeners. The 4 people i’d like to listen to the most (and who’s opinions I trust the most) on when I have the least amount of time to listen…sweet.

My only suggestion (and this is a selfish one) is that Brunt start at 8:00am with the Blundell show in the morning.

September 24, 2015 11:30 pm

@Ron H

Listen to the radio broadcast. Far superior.

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