Toronto Sports Media Friday Roundup


So much to talk about, so little time to talk about it….

A post is coming on the Blue Jays and the coverage.. I promise.

Mike is off this weekend and it’s Little TSM’s Bar Mitzvah so this proud papa is going to be awayavble too…so it will be an open thread tomorrow.

But first…

That’s great, it starts with an earthquake
Birds and snakes, an aeroplane, and Lenny Bruce is not afraid

Here we go quick hits:

I’m told that Dean Blundell had a very good month in September. His number in the key demo went up over 2 points. He pulled in a just south of 9 share.

On the topic of Blundell, Kayla Harris is no longer on the show. Geroge Who will be handling the updates.

Look for Matt Stairs to join the show next week for a stint…

However, what Blundell gained the rest of the station either gave back or held steady- across the board.

I am told that the Blair show and Baseball central both retreated too…. colour me surprised

Mcccown? Steady at best…..

Speaking of Mccown, how odd that the station did nothing with him on those days when the Blue Jays played in his slot….

Richard Deitsch was on PTS last night, sounds like he is going to co-host for a week. That’s a good get!

Stephen Brunt has been making some interesting comments about PTS when on Blair’s show and Mccown comments on Brunt too….. awkward….

Back to Kayla Harris for one second, could this be a signal that Rogers is going to be a part of what could be the big media layoff that’s rumoured to be coming in the next couple of weeks? I mean, ” I know how to fix the morning show, lets get rid of the woman doing news updates” said no one.

Word on the street is that the knife is being sharpened on the axe across the media business in this country. The numbers being bantered around are, in a word…. Scary.

This is one to keep an eye on.

Meanwhile, I can tell you that Little TSM and his friends inform me on a weekly basis of new ways to watch all kinds of content, live sports included without a download, without a tv, without a membership…it’s free and its easy and they are 13!

If the media companies, especially in this country don’t figure it out….. These layoffs will be tiny in comparison to what will be needed.

Ok, that’s all I got today….

Reminder, open thread tomorrow; keep it clean.

Here, by the way is an awesome video on the Blue Jays…

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Rob J
Rob J
October 16, 2015 10:00 am

Jays fans over the top defending Bautista’s bat-heave. Please tell me with a straight face you would defend, support, appreciate, and celebrate A-Rod doing the same thing in that situation…I’ll hang up and listen.

Steve Jones
Steve Jones
October 16, 2015 10:03 am

Sports radio? What’s that. A survey of one (obviously me) says rating are down 100%. I haven’t turned in either station for a week. The major reason is of course the almost full time coverage of the Jays. I can’t take the inanity of the conversation. They dig so deep for things to talk about it makes you wonder how they themselves can take it. I’ll return when the Jays season is over.

On another front I had to stop listening to the 9-12 show on TSN formerly known as Macko and Cauz. I’m not much of a fan of “your boy” Mr Wheeler. Listened little when he was on his own. Thought maybe when Cauz got back I’d return. But now that Cauz seems to have decided he’s the star of the show I can’t take him. Maybe Macko’ lower key delivery tempered things. But with Wheeler in the other chair I’m out. The show gives me a headache.

If Deitsch does co-host I’ll definitely give the show a listen. With him in they can’t (I hope) talk Jays for 3 hours. Guess I’ll have to turn it on to see.

As for the streaming of sports I to think it’s going to be a major issue going forward. Let’s face it hey keep jacking prices across the board over at the service providers. I finally cut the home phone. Should have years ago. I’m getting really tired of the cable bill. The price/value equation is now ridiculous. So it’s on the block. Their only final move will be to double or triple internet charges. Which thankfully can be mitigated by using an alternate provider. Maybe if they cut 30-40 (at minimum) of the useless channels they could get my cable bill under control. Sure it’s going to mean jobs. But if there’s no product demand why the heck should I be forced to pay for it.

WestDale Rocks
WestDale Rocks
October 16, 2015 10:16 am

Any high school kids looking for a career ANYWHERE in media…be it journalism, production, on air, online…anywhere… need their heads examined. It’s not the industry itself that’s dying, it’s that the bodies supposedly required to do it have been deemed fewer and fewer. When I got into the industry, we all thought “Hey…this 200 channel universe will be GREAT for jobs and we’ll all be rolling in the cash”. Nope. My friendly advice to the kids: go into something that is sustainable…something where you won’t get laid off at age 35 because the industry is over run.

October 16, 2015 10:39 am

I’m not a baseball guy but it is great to see the Jays doing so well! I am totally on the bandwagon. However, I have no interest in listening to 3 hours of baseball talk no matter how hot they are. They deserve the attention, they deserve the coverage, it’s just not for me.

In the recent weeks, I have come to the conclusion that the Leafs Lunch crew is by far the best sports radio show in Toronto. I listened yesterday, they barely talked hockey and they were still incredibly entertaining. It’s just genuine radio with three guys who don’t seem to have an agenda that compliment one another. Hayes is a solid host, O’neill is a clown but one of the funniest yet insightful personalities (yah a personality, remember that prerequisite in radio?) and Noodles provides some solid insight mostly into hockey but the life of a professional athlete in general. On any other platform, this format doesn’t work but this is easily the best sports radio show in Toronto at the moment. Keep in mind, this show is still entertaining even while the main topic of discussion is a kind of joke of a franchise, more kudos to them.

I feel all these guys on Rogers are following some kind of agenda and its become difficult to take as reputable sports banter. Because of the Jays success, it is easy to hide it but it is most definitely there.

October 16, 2015 10:41 am

If Arod played for the Jays then damn right I’d cheer a bat flip like that.

October 16, 2015 11:05 am

Rob J,

The general rule in these situations is that it all depends on whose ox is being gored.

Seeing Youkilidis (sp) say that Bautista could be responsible for a teammate suffering a debilitating injury as a result of a beanball was certainly odd. Attributing no responsibility to the guy throwing a 95 mph beanball.

Is Dowbiggin trying to get back into the mainstream with his new site? Might be a better discussion for open thread tomorrow.

October 16, 2015 11:56 am

@Rob….I STRONGLY agree. Leafs lunch has been AMAZING all week as they have gone passed just hockey and dabbled in other sports. I really think they could do a 3 hour show if pressed.

Also, I think the show is overlooked as it is on TSN and in the middle of the day. Easily TSN radios best show. Obvious chemistry and just good bar talk…

October 16, 2015 12:23 pm

Agree Leafs Lunch is entertaining. The Ferraro segments are “must” listen.

October 16, 2015 1:23 pm

@RobJ – I absolutely would think it was awesome if A Rod or any player did that in that situation. I hate the Red Sox, but Manny’s famous ‘hands up’ moment was incredible.

What Bautista did was genuine and appropriate to the moment. It was incredible.

October 16, 2015 1:26 pm

Bit much to expect sports radio not to go super Jays heavy right now. It feels like the entire country is living and dying with every game. Plus, the Leafs are really off the radar at the moment.

Give it three weeks and there’ll be more hockey talk than any of us could listen to.

Steve Clark
October 16, 2015 2:36 pm

Media companies have to be able to figure out a way to harness all the content they are creating and making it profitable. The trend in media is to demand a multi platform skillset. You are supposed to be able to write about it, talk about it, produce it and perform it on camera, and a lot of this stuff is being given away for free. What’s the solution?

They tried paywalls/pay for content and that did not work, but what is my motivation for picking up the Star/Sun///Post/Globe/Sportsnet Magazine, if eventually you can all the content for free. Are they offering multiplatform ad rates? Again, I’m not sure I know as much about the inner workings of the industry to know all of the revenue streams.

As for being able to stream live sports for free, if the media companies want a hope in heck of long term sustainability, they need to somehow negate that.

I feel really , really bad that many good people could be laid off for cost cutting measures. To me, radio needs a modern overhaul, and I’m not just talking podcasts or singling anyone out for criticism.

Like many have said about Leafs Lunch, they make great radio because it’s not contrived, it’s organic free flowing guys in a sports bar conversation with a high degree of intelligence. People are taken out of their comfort zone in a good way, while staying true to their own personality. Forced bits, and defined roles are a way of the past in radio. A sidekick to me is not very good radio. Guys with undefined roles, except for the host/moderatorm, who is in charge, that’s good radio.I do think there is a role for talk radio, even on AM, in an ever changing digital, technological worlds, but it does need a new, fresh look combining social media and interactivity. Love them or hate them, no one matches Tim and Sid for interactivity. They encourage it, and they get tonnes of feedback. They took a very simple concept of call in sports, and changed it to “social media” sports. No longer is there Joe from Woodbridge on the phone, but he is on Twitter/Instagram/Facebook. We no longer have to listen to Joe, but instead a quick scroll down will suffice.

Wow, I got long-winded there..Sorry for that!

rob j
rob j
October 16, 2015 3:09 pm

Not trying to be a contrarian but even with SN’s gaudy numbers, most Canadians are not watching the Jays. Feels like a team with incredible local support that has some love in the hinterland but not in most homes.

Mont from London Ont
Mont from London Ont
October 16, 2015 3:50 pm

Re THE bat flip – Beautista proved himself to be a hotdog and a whiner this year and if the roles were reversed he would be the first out of the dugout demanding respect – He showed very little class with that act – As I expected

October 16, 2015 3:52 pm

@rob j – Dude. There’s been no event ever that LITERALLY more than half the people in the country watch (other than the gold medal olympic hockey game, maybe).

More people are watching these first round Jays games than watched any of the Stanley Cup last year or the Grey Cup.

If you personally aren’t into it, I totally get that … but there’s really no arguing that it’s not a huge deal, countrywide.

Mike V
Mike V
October 16, 2015 4:16 pm

There is likely no dumber, made-up controversy this year than that bat flip. I couldn’t care less that Sam Dyson (or anyone) was mad about it. Also, how is it that Bautista’s celebration gets all the criticism but almost no one is talking about Dyson’s walk to home plate to put his hand on Tulo after the benches have cleared instead of just going to his dugout?

Tonight’s Leafs game on TSN might be the lowest viewed one ever shown on that network.

October 16, 2015 4:22 pm

Random question- Does anyone know what happened to Bob Mackowycz? Apologies if this has been posted before but I cant find anything on the internet saying where he is.

October 16, 2015 4:31 pm

If Big Papi had hit that home run at Fenway Park would there be any controversy?

October 16, 2015 4:38 pm

If Big Papi had hit that home run at Fenway Park and flipped the bat, I meant to say.

Jim from Abroad
Jim from Abroad
October 16, 2015 5:48 pm

Streams are a massive issue. I am actually watching the round table on Sportsnet 360 live at the moment in Europe. I have an but really miss the local ads, so I usually stream the local team. I stopped my NHL Gamecenter subscription after I got extremely angry with the blackouts. They blacked out games because they were shown on some channel you cannot even watch legal in my country. And they always picked the afternoon games that are on at a reasonable time to watch live.

So l switched to an illegal service that streams all matches without the blackouts. I am sure legal streaming can grow a lot more in the next couple of years, but they have to make sure the customer gets full value.

Regarding Brunt and McCown, I am losing my respect for the former.

Keith Murdoch
Keith Murdoch
October 16, 2015 6:31 pm

Game One of the ALCS and PTS throws out a roundtable of Shannon, Grange, and moon landing denier Ken Reid.

They really are not trying anymore, are they?

Carl A
Carl A
October 17, 2015 4:14 pm

PTS round table on Friday probably an all time low. When Michael Grange has to be the credible element on the panel, it leaves much to be desired. They could have replaced Grange with Carter and there would have been no credibility.

Sam in Scarb
Sam in Scarb
October 17, 2015 7:17 pm

@ Carl A….just further proof that Bobcat just does not give a shit anymore!!
If he cared at all he would not be sitting with Curly,Larry and Moe for two hours.

October 17, 2015 9:01 pm

Yes sir the goose has been long out of the bag, TV stations can be had, through an android set top box that can be ordered online. Once you have the box it comes preloaded with xbmc(the best media centre software ever) which autoupdates to the latest versions. Through xbmc you can add a ton of tv addons(apps). There are a bunch of addons that give the user access to all U.S and Canadian sports stations.

October 20, 2015 11:08 am

Reading Bruce Arthur’s twitter feed makes me want to throw up. 80% anti Harper/Conservative nonsense and 20% sports. Hopefully his boyfriend Justin doesn’t disappoint him.

October 20, 2015 2:18 pm

@Carl A. I agree 100%. That initial 20-25 minutes of the roundtable was brutal. Hammering away at the minutiae of that 7th inning made me turn away. When I came back they were still talking about it. Grange was clearly ticked. He looked as if he wanted to throw a punch.

October 22, 2015 4:26 pm

Loving the Leafs Lunch love. Been my favourite show for a couple of years. Though it is getting to the point where they should rebrand the show – not so much Leafs talk anymore.

Blundell is getting a surge from the Jays. And a lot of people likely have their radio on 590 from the night before. Wait until January to see what he’s really at.

October 28, 2015 12:52 pm

There was nothing wrong with the bat flip, given the context of the in-game situation, it was at the Dome, it was the Jays first playoff series (win) in 22 years, etc. So much of the “controversy” stemming from bat flips stems from the “unwritten code” of the game. Most complainers refer to needing to play the game the ‘right way’. The ‘right way’ is just code for the ‘white way’. A bunch of good ol’ boys like Sam Dyson play the garbage ‘what about the kids?’ card for things done against them.

News flash Dyson…the reaction by Bautista was a genuine celebration of a major in-game achievement at the most important time of a teams’ season. It was not personal, and it was not disrespectful of the game. If anything, it was a celebration of the game and its importance.

If the context of the situation was different (i.e. you and a player had an on-going feud going into a meaningless mid-season game and a bat flip of that magnitude had occured) then you would have a degree of justification in feeling aggrieved. This particular event was not that type of situation.

BTW, based on the reviews of Leafs Lunch…I will have to give it a listen. I have always been turned off by the title, so I have not given it a fair shake.

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