Toronto Sports Media Roundup

Toronto Sports Media Roundup


Happy Friday!

Some random thoughts on a Friday morning:

The sports media “event” of the week had to be new Blue Jays pres Mark Shapiro appearing on PTS with Bob Mccwon. My two cents, despite whatever he may do as a CEO, Shapiro came across as unlikeable. Maybe you don’t care. Maybe it doesn’t matter. To me, Shapiro continues to fail to connect with the fans. That simple.

I am be alone on the island but I don’t care where the Jays play their spring training games. I’d like them to have a killer facility, but where? I don’t care.

When Greg Brady went on vacation, Bob McCown appeared on the Brady and Walker show. With Dean Blundell away this week, Bob McCown appeared on the morning show. Coincidence? Hmmmmmmmmm

Speaking of the morning show, I may have bee wrong when I said the problem with the sports radio market in Toronto right now is that there is no bench, no one in the minors. Ben Ennis was a refreshing change on the Fan all week. I’d like to see him continue to get chances to host in the meaningful time slots.

Toronto Mike does a very cool regular podcast with various Toronto personalities. If you have over an hour to kill Mike Richards stepped into Toronto Mike’s basement this week (literally) and Richards was unplugged. Richards went after some big names in the session and came across as confident (if not cocky) and a firm believer in his format of radio. Among those who Richards went after: Pat Marsden, John Derringer, Nelson Millman, Pat Marsden plus his current bosses at Bell, his former bosses at Rogers.

He tells an interesting tale of how he was being represented by JP Barry and had to decide beween an offer to do mornings at the Fan or TSN and in my opinion at least in part blamed Barry for endning up at TSN.

He was pretty defensive f his former co-host David Bastil which was nice to hear.

Again, it’s over an hour, so it’s an investment of time, but if you are into this stuff, it’s an interesting listen.

Still with Richards, did you happen to catch him this am? He reached into his closet and brought out his Vijay Singh Indian voice over bit. I’ll admit that I heard him start down that path and immediately flipped the station. A few minutes later, just before Dregger made his daily appearance he read a tweet from a listener who tweeted that Singh is from Fiji and that Richards had the wrong accent!

Richards response? ” Really? I think this show isn’t for you”.

I didn’t conduct a poll, however, I’d bet that given the ratings, the show isn’t for most people….. (Mike states that the station is achieving it’s sales targets despite this on his podcast with Toronto Mike).

Finally, I’m happy to report that since TSN 1150 came on the air I have not listened to one caller segment on any sports radio. The benefits of choice!

Have a great weekend!


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    I noticed that too that McCown was on those shows when Brady and Blundell were absent. Is there a backstory behind this? I would understand him thinking Blundell is a moron and not wanting to stoop to that level.

    I really like Ben Ennis. He has a clean delivery and speaks well, is not condescending like most talk show hosts, doesn’t engage in antics, and is knowledgable across the many sports. The main thing I think that’s holding him back from having a bigger role on the station is he doesn’t have that “sexiness” attached to his name. He’s pretty cut and dry, whereas it’s evident Rogers wants people with an edge.

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    Um, getting ‘file not found’ error message when trying to listen to the Toronto Mike podcast (bad link?)

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    Rob J 6 years ago

    I wrote this somewhere else but the 3 Toronto sports teams have zero championships with likeable GMs over the last 20 years and zero championships with unlikeable ones. Just win, baby.

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    mario 6 years ago

    I am not the biggest Mike Richards fan but I did find pod cast on Mike and Mike he was very open on how he came to Toronto and 1050. I as well on how open he was on the ratings system on what they were and how screwed up it really is.

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    Darryl 6 years ago

    I really have to disagree with the Shapiro being unlikeable thing. I think he’s just finding his feet in the market and will grow on the fans. He doesn’t have the disarming nature that AA did but that’s okay. I listened to it and I think he’s coming out of the corporate shell that fans here seem to hate. Yes, he wears a suit and speaks well but is that really such a bad thing for the guy who runs the team? I’m giving him a chance and I hope other fans do to. Just my two cents.

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    Chris 6 years ago

    I’m with Pete, I’d like to know what are the background stories with McCown and Brady, Blundell, and even Wilner and their issues with each other.

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    McCown was a phone guest every once in a while on the 590 morning show when it was Brady & Lang and then Brady & Walker……… far as I know Brady has never appeared on PTS with McCown

    The only time I ever remember Brady being on PTS was as a fill-in host during the late December holidays a few years ago

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    (Another) Andrew 6 years ago

    he read a tweet from a listener who tweeted that Singh is from Fiji and that Richards had the wrong accent!

    When I spent a few months in Fiji in the 1980s the local ‘Indians’ spoke with an accent identical (to my ears) as those in India – completely different from the native Fijians. Vijay has been on the PGA so long his accent is probably different from both nowadays.

    My two cents, despite whatever he may do as a CEO, Shapiro came across as unlikeable. Maybe you don’t care.

    Nope. I don’t think the average fan cares. The whole CEO/GM thing seems to be overplayed on Toronto sports media, though for all I know it may be no different than other North American sports markets.

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    I remember brady and bob doing cross-talk before brady went to mornings. Dont remember if it was last segment of bradys show or first segment of PTS, maybe both

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    Darrell 6 years ago

    Ben Ennis did a great job this week hosting the morning show. I wouldn’t mind even seeing Ennis + Rusic. Have zero interest or appeal in hearing Blundell!

    Something appears to be imminent given the latest couple of e-mails from the FAN wanting programming personnel views from the listeners. Something appears up that’s for sure.

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    WestdaleRocks 6 years ago

    A couple of things. Chris, the background on McCown is that, in most cases, he doesn’t get along with anybody and nobody gets along with him. The two guys he DID get along with both died—Jim Kelley and Shaky Hunt. For listeners, Brunt and McCown were gold. Unfortunately, Bob’s personality got in the way of any possibility of a working relationship and, as noted on this site and others, the Bob/Brunt show is essentially done.
    Personal opinion, of course, but I’m fascinated by the love for Ben Ennis. He drives me crazy. His lead to a question with a guest is all about him hearing his own voice for as long as possible. I once pulled out a stop watch and timed his question at 1:12. There was another time his preamble to a question was so long, he finally gets through it and his guest says “I’m sorry, what exactly is the question??” Do yourself a favour, Ben. Dig up some Larry King interviews and learn about direct, to-the-point questioning.

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    Good on Elliotte Friedman during yesterdays PTS round table or calling out Bob on the fact that Bob was stirring up a storm and then played nice with Shapiro when he was face to face with the man. Bob of course back pedalled like crazy and then quickly changed the topic.

    I know others have said it happened years ago but for me this is the moment in which Bob is done with his act.

    I do wonder if he got told by the powers above him that he has to play nice with the new Blue Jays president or face being put out in the cold for Blue Jays related stuff? I know it’s been said that Rogers leaves him alone but I get the feeling that given his grumpiness leading into it if he got told to back off a tad.

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    Drumanchor 6 years ago


    I find most “young” announcers on both The Fan and 1050, not only, sound absolutely the same but also ask terribly long winded, disjointed questions. Makes one wonder if they actually DO love the sound of their own voices. One thing for certain: it makes for bad radio.

    As you alluded to, give me Larry King on the old Mutual Broadcasting System anytime. (Live all night on WBEN 930, back in the day. Long before American talk radio was ravaged by right wing alarmists.)

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    Rob J 6 years ago

    Of course the new voices are ‘boring’. Why rock the boat and become the next Marty York or Mike Toth? Pretend to be angry once in awhile but generally stick to your bosses’ talking points (you know, the ones who own the teams you’re “covering”)

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    Couple of things, remember Bob’s character is an act. He tries to rise the audience by saying things like the Jays should build a stadium at Downsview. He knows it doesn’t make sense, but he is just going against the grain hoping to get a rise.

    With Shapiro, he can say what he wants when he’s not around because he knows Shapiro ain’t listening but when he is face-to-face why would he challenge him and risk rubbing him the wrong way and not having the President of the club on the show for the next 4-5 years just because he challenged him early on? Or risk having “the company” after him due to his treatment of a fellow employee? Bob is still a company man, don’t buy the act. Just look at his interviews with Bettman before and after the Rogers deals. Night and day.

    Also, I think the call-in sessions is something that can’t be lost in radio. I think it gives the audience and the city a pulse. We’re talking about the lack of talent on radio these days, keep in mind that some of the radio personalities we loved from the past were created and found because of call-in sessions. It can make for dry radio but at times it is needed to give the audience and the city a voice. I’m all for call-in radio shows, in moderation of course. I don’t count the hour with Bob as a call-in show because it is obviously vetted to make sure the baseball conversation is maintained.

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    Daz66778 6 years ago

    Also agree that it was good to see Elliotte Friedman ask Bob why he went so soft with Shapiro when he was in studio. But was also surprised how Elliotte appeared to keep trying to raise issue with Shapiro as if he does not trust him at all. Rest of panel seemed ok with Shapiro’s interview and have moved on from Alex but Elliotte kept on about it. Out of character for him. Incidentally, have come to appreciate Arash Madani as the sanest most logical of the regulars on PTS.

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    PTS Streaming-
    Is it me or has anyone else notice PTS seems to stop streaming at 6:00pm on occasion – It just did it now and has happened at random intervals other times-

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    C.M.A.J. 6 years ago

    I’ve always liked Mike Richards since I first heard him 30 years ago on 1050 doing his parody of the station’s news guy Dick Smyth. Yeah, I’ll agree that some of his bits (the accent, fat jokes now about Adele instead of Rita MacNeil) have become hackneyed and cringe-inducing, but at least he has fun. I couldn’t listen to The Fan morning show for years in the 1990s after they fired Richards and replaced him with that humourless “get off my lawn” troll Pat Marsden, until Stellick and Landry brought some fun back.

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    Biggest take away from that Mike Richards pod cast is… TSN 1050 was built around Mike Richards and now just a few years later they are cheaping out. The man asked for TV and David Bastl give it to him!

    I’m glad he was defencive of David Bastl. The Guy is awesome one of the best in this city.

    Frankly I’m enjoying his pod cast Bastl’s Bytes more than any show on the Radio.

    IMO Richards and Bastl are the best radio team in this city since Jesse & Gene. Please TSN I beg you reunite them. The Richards show is hurting without Bastl. Shawn Levine is a good producer I’m sure but he shouldn’t be talking this much.