Saturday Toronto Sports Media

Saturday Toronto Sports Media


Happy Saturday!


It’s funny, everyone tells me that they don’t listen to sports radio, that the medium is dead, yet no topic garners more energy on this site, my twitter feed, my texts and my emails.

With TSN announcing their new lineup effective Monday, I’ve heard from people in the business who I haven’t heard from in some cases in over a year.

Nothing draws out emotion and opinion like sports radio seems to.

Mike and I will volley up our opinions on week 1 on the new TSN 1050 lineup.

So, some random thoughts from me on a Saturday morning when the thermometer is sitting around 10 degrees and the sun is shinning.

  • Non sports related issue, if you don’t have a Sonos system in your house you are missing out! Great technology and I can attest that days that include music in my life are indeed happier days.
  • The Academy awards are one week away, I’ve seen most of the nominated films, so far, I have two favorites: The Reverant and Spotlight. What the best you’ve seen all year; if you have only one to watch this week, which would it be?
  • Notice traffic in TO was light this week? University reading week the cause????
  • On various days this week I picked up physical copies of the local papers in town; on those days I felt smarter. No, it’s not the medium per se picking up a newspaper forces me to read cover to cover and i can read a single paper in 15-20 minutes (thank you law school). While I read tons of articles and papers online, it’s still not the same. What’s the last physical paper you picked up & the one website you visit each and every day for information (besides this one)?
  • 7 days before the NHL trade deadline and I wonder where the buzz is. Did the Dion deal kill the energy in this town? Did you happen to catch Doug MacLean destroy Bryan Murray on the Dion deal this week??? Here’s a thought, was the PK rumour a media interest creation in a relatively quiet period.
  • I know you don’t trade for the sake of trading but consider this: After NHL deadline day the Maple Leafs become completely irrelevant until the draft and the free agent period. Truth be told, the NHL in this market becomes irrelevant until then too. (How’d you like to be Rogers with a Canadian content less NHL playoffs this year?) With the Blue Jays opening spring training the focus will turn to baseball. As a talking head said to me, there just isn’t a ton to talk about until the games actually begin. So, did the Raptors, miss the boat on an opportunity to capture the countries imagination as the Jays did last fall??? I’m told there was no David Price available in the NBA, however I wonder if they bow out early again will they regret not making a move. Raptors fans, educate me.
  • The Buds are whipping Bernier out agin tonight; how do you spell showcase?
  • Phone rings, “do you want Leafs tickets tonight?” the voice asks. “Free” I’m told. “Ummmmm, no thanks”. This happen to you too?
  • By the way, I am not down on the Leafs. This is the best season I think they’ve had since Pat Quinn coached the team. I just can’t bring myself to get motivated to go.
  • All the major publications are predicting the Jays are in the 10-15 range of top teams in baseball. If that’s where they finish the angst in this town that AA left will be nothing compared to the feeling if they finish out of the race.
  • Ive been watching more of the nightly sports shows on both TSN and Sportsnet these days. For my money, they’re on par with what ESPN puts out there. I was in Seattle last weekend and man has ESPN become boring and predictable. There’s better and fresher talent here in Canada.
  • Challenge to both the Fan 590 and TSN 1050 start developing young talent. Like now.
  • Andrew Walker now of the Andrew Walker show starts this week. While it’s in the graveyard slot of 1-4, I’m interested to hear what he has up planned. What would you do in that slot if you were flying solo?????
  • Lastly, for all those who knock Apple, I can tell you I’ve been trying out the Apple Watch for some time now and I love it. No, I don’t do anything special with it, but for texting, calls and emails especially when I am in the car it’s great. For breaking news and notifications when I am in meetings it’s awesome. Everything else? Yawn.
  • Happy Saturday!



  • comment-avatar

    I read the Tor Sun everyday and use twitter as my main online source for up-to-the-minute goings on.
    Re: Jays predictions. True they’re in the range you mentioned but because the overall strength in MLB is in the NL, the Jays’ expected win total still places them at least in the WC game.

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    Is there any connection between the cuts at FAN 590 (Sammut, Brady) and the new TSN 1050 lineup? Why did such major shakeup happen on both stations? Just a coincidence?

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    Steve Jones5 years ago

    Let me first say I love the newspaper in its physical form. The last paper I bought was the Globe. A paper I subscribed to for decades. It was a waste of 2 bucks. There was little in it and I was done in 15 minutes. I do subscribe to the online version of the Wall Street Journal. It’s my go to read every day. The app is superb, it looks exactly like the paper, font included. Great graphics and photos all of which expand to full screen with a tap.

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    Best movie easily Mad Max Fury Road, followed by Hateful 8.

    We still get [local paper] daily.

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    Drumanchor5 years ago

    Always enjoy picking up a Globe, especially their Saturday edition. I fly to Western Canada quite often and invariably when given a choice between the Globe and the Post, those westerners almost always chose the Post – yet I find it to be particularly flailing and failing.

    As for Rogers and the upcoming lack of Canadian teams in this year’s playoffs, I would almost guess it is Karma. (Although, sadly, I would bet their reaction would be to sack even more employees.)

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    This is all you need on the Raptors not making any moves to improve in a season where the conference finals is within reach and even the finals.

    I still want to see Raptors media coverage by Aaron going ahead, and not pure basketball articles, or ones that are written under the guise of media coverage but really aren’t.

    For Walker, with the freedom to do his own show and not just when Brady was on vacation, I don’t know what to expect, but will certainly give him a shot to prove himself in this format.

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    Its will be fascinating to watch the rating numbers if indeed there are no Canadian team in the playoffs this, and the spin Rogers put on it. I personally don’t have a lot of issues on there broadcast this year but it has improved over there first year. Having said that it can be much better TSN and the CBC have many years to get it to the standard that it was at. There must be some tweaking in the on air talent, maybe over time some of the hockey people at TSN the switch.

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    The best part of potentially no Canadian-based teams making the NHL playoffs will not be how Sportsnet reacts, but rather reading an earlier, even more snit-filled edition of the annual public pout by Roy MacGregor. Who needs Wiarton Willie when we have Whiny Roy around to conduct his annual footstomping? Yes, Roy, we get it, the NHL hates Canada.

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    I think no Canadian team in the playoffs will be a disaster for Rogers. Friday on PTS even Shannon could not put a positive spin on it. If I listen to radio in the afternoons it will be Richards over Walker. One thing Walker hopefully does is lose the ‘hot take’ format he and Brady so annoyingly did every day. Lastly, there is special place in hell for anyone who wears, or owns, an Apple watch.

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    Doubt Walker will do anything different – just 3 hours of ‘insiders’ bouncing in and out. Or will have some nattering stooge or two yakking at him like Richards did.

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    Yes without Canadian teams in playoffs it will be a disaster for Rogers. Coupled with a leafs rebuild with record-breaking low ratings and interest, even their home market is hurting them.

    I will still watch the trade deadline but won’t make the same mistake I did last year by watching sportsnet.

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    I pick up the Metro and 24 on my train commute. I agree, a condensed paper format can be read within one 45-60 minute journey. I see plenty of screens daily so looking at print is a break from that.

    And no, I don’t calls offering free Leafs tickets, but if I did, I’d ask the caller to call the local Big Brothers/Big Sisters organization to give a child and their big brother or sister the thrill of a lifetime. They won’t care about the score. They’ll just be grateful to have the experience.

    Just a thought, TSM.

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    Re: PK

    How is Don Cherry still given a forum? He lays no blame at the feet of Therrien because Cherry did the same thing once wherein he have grief to Brad Park. Maybe Therrien should’ve watched Subban being grabbed before making a public statement.

    Similarly, Cherry praises the police and then claims well when they make one mistake. One? Even the Toronto Sun has dampened their hard core right wing rhetoric. I’m not asking for Cherry to become a “left wing pinko”, but at least his commentary should be somewhat logical. In essence, he rambles and somehow the masses love it. I’m guessing, Trump learned a lot of his media skills from Cherry and his popularity.

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    Cherry’s closing comments about “lefties”
    last night were a disgrace.

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    Cherry is one of the last who will tell it like it is…..count me in Cherry’s corner every time.

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    Well listened to the first hour and a bit of Naylor and Landsberg…found it a little dry, but was kind of expecting that. Just glad there was no Morning Zoo vibe, and mostly sports talk.

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    Sports talk? When did that happen? When I was listening they were just talking about themselves. It was awful just horrid. I won’t make the mistake of tuning in again.

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    Hehe I said ‘dry’ and I was being kind. Tepid? But yes, there was a ton of navel-gazing.

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    Naylor works 530-6. Executive Landsberg doesn’t have to start until 6. Did seem a little dry. First day. Will have to work on chemistry.

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    Two things that bothered me:

    1. Landsberg, as he is known to be at times, came across as an ass. He said to Naylor within a 30-minute period “Don’t cut me off” and “So what’s your point?” in a condescending tone. If it’s supposed to come across as cute, it doesn’t.

    2. Landsberg sounds a lot like Bruce Arthur, who I despise. I have to get that out of my head otherwise it’s going to be hard for me to listen to the show.

    Besides that, decent first show. Obviously kinks need to be worked out, but I’m thankful there is now at least one option in the mornings which involves sports talk and not stupid jokes.

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    call me crazy but I like jokes. Obviously I want sports talk too. When they let Bastl go they lost the sports guy on that team. Richards on his own lacked that for sure. But I want to have a laugh or two in the morning.

    Landsberg and Naylor might work better in the PM but not here. Then again even in the PM I’d probably still skip it.

    I didn’t even hear much sports talk this morning. I heard them debate what type of questions makes a good interview. I couldn’t care less about this. it just seemed like they where bragging about their skills and history in the biz. I heard them talk about their past shows. I heard Naylor List of the new sked over and over. Landsberg even made him do it again once because the first time wasn’t good enough.

    When they finally did get to sports they talked about Phil Kessel. Talk about yesterday’s news. It was even the lead off question for Pierre McGuire. Come on really? You just talked about great questions for an interview… And you lead off with old news that has already been beaten to death. 7 days away from the trade deadline no less. They are not great interviewers at all.

    And didn’t I read that they would have bigger and better guests. It was a the same type of line up Richards would have except he bumped Dreger till after 8. Also a dumb move since the 7-8 hour is prime and again we are 7 days from the trade deadline.

    I don’t know guys this was brutal radio. I won’t be giving them a 2nd chance. It was just awful

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    Here is my short review of the new one hour Leafs Lunch show on 1050:

    High on information…………low on entertainment………in other words, pretty much what I expected

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    @Mike S. That will be the challenge for the NEW Leafs Lunch. In this market, you hear Leafs news ALL day long, so to stand out, you have to do it differently. That is what made Leafs Lunch (w/Hayes) so successful. They had the knowledge and the entertainment. I wish Andi well, I think she was a great fill-in. But, without entertainment, you become Hockey Central@Noon. *shudders

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    Richards opens with Craig Button. Walker opens with Kypreos. Same-o same-o.

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    Original Mitch5 years ago

    the more things change, the more they stay the same. ‘new’ hosts, same old guests, same boring formats. There is NOTHING original about both tsn and sportsnet. I’m not even sure there’s any appetite for it from management. When there was an original machine (the Score), sportsnet gobbled it up and turned it into another Sportsnet Boring channel. The old Leafs Lunch was the closest thing to original content on radio and they destroyed it. Typical.

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    I thought Landsberg was very credible in his interviews with McGuire, Dredger and Jays GM Atkins, as he seemed to have most of the interview time over Naylor. Their show beat Blundell and Co. by couple minutes. to announcing first the Polak trade to San Jose.

    To those criticizing the pair for glossing over themselves in 1st hour of their show — they have worked at TSN over the years but not as a duo, certainly not a radio duo. Future shows should be sharper as they acclimatize to each other. I hope Richards, who seems to be ignored in TSN radio promos today,gives it to Walker a both square off in 1-4 slot. Don’t know who misses the whiny Bastl, but not I.

    As for Petrillo, she kept out of the way of th ‘insider’ boys in her first show. She mad to references to ‘pom-poms’ as it related to her support of the Leafs. Think Lisa Bowes would have been better choice for Leafs Lunc host, but probably too short turn around after hosting 200 pm ET version of Sportscentre. She has perky sense of humour and knowledge of hockey, to hold her own and given show a run at topping rating of Sportsnet ‘Hockey Central at Noon’.

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    Sorry, why would be any differences in TSN and SN? They have ownership stake in all the Tor teams so of course it’s going to be bland and corporate! As long as the hosts pump the Jays tires, emplore the Raptors to win a round, and never question the Shanaplan, they’re doing exactly what they need to. No controversy allowed.

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    If he wants to be original, Walker, like Bobcat, should cultivate his own insiders that aren’t on every single other Sportsnet show. But guys who are younger, more entertaining, and engaging. Guys we’ve never heard of before.

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    I presume theres a mandate to use the various insiders on both channels.

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    Walker is too thin skinned to take chances. There is an undesired arrogance about him as well. Talks down in my opinion. He NEEDS someone like Ben Ennis with him, or this will fail too.

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    @Jackbee Whiny Bastl? I never found him Whiny? I found him funny, knowledgeable and a great interviewer. Just a great broadcaster through and through. I’d listen to him over anyone on either station. In fact I find his pod cast Bastl’s Bytes to be much better than anything they have now.

    I’m a huge fan. I just don’t get how anyone could think Landsberg and naylor were anywhere near good today. Or even in general. naylor stunk in the 4pm spot. And Landsberg well I guess he’s done something right to be on the air since day 1. but whatever that is. I don’t see it.

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    Sorry Art — I heard Bastl too many times when he was with Richards to be glad he’s not on the air. McGuire had too put down his line of questioning too many times for my liking, as he was always harping but his Winnipeg Jets. Lwt him pontificate in blogville.

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    Mullah_Kintyre5 years ago

    Kind of a depressing day as there’s now nothing left on morning radio, and then just McCown on the way home. Eeesh. At least its 2016 and there’s other alternatives.
    As Mark Hebscher said in one of those podcasts just after he was fired, the problem with Toronto sports radio the lack of entertaining personalities.
    Why don’t they save the money they spend on the other guys and instead have them all replaced by that monotone electronic Shapiro-Bot voice from Cauz’s show, with it pre-programmed to spout endless sports talk clichés. No one would notice the difference.

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    Sleepy I5 years ago

    “Walker is too thin skinned to take chances. There is an undesired arrogance about him as well. Talks down in my opinion.”

    Agreed. He’s very condescending. Possibly has a Napoleon Complex

    I listened to that “Tell Me I’m Wrong” segment today and it looks/sounds like it will just be one big ego stroking for him going forward.

    The best part of the show was hearing him recount how Marshawn Lynch almost kicked his ass at a party during NBA All Star Weekend.

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    Ha Ha I’m with Art. Bastl was awesome. McGuire shooting down his line of questioning? Guys can disgaree makes for better radio.

    But since we are talking about McGuire allow me to bitch about him for a sec.

    McGuire is awful. I won’t deny he knows hockey he’s been around yadda yadda yadda. But he’s crap on TV and Radio. All he does is spout off what junior team guys played for, like that matters. Or repeating the same old things over and over. 7 player profile to compete. Blah blah blah.

    BTW that genius McGuire is also the guy who bashed the Habs for drafting Carey Price because they already had Jose Theodore. So being shot down by him doesn’t alway mean you are wrong.

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    ‘1. Landsberg, as he is known to be at times, came across as an ass. He said to Naylor within a 30-minute period “Don’t cut me off” and “So what’s your point?” in a condescending tone. If it’s supposed to come across as cute, it doesn’t.’

    I met Landberg a few years ago, I can say that yes, he certainly is an ass. For a guy who struggles with depression and mental illness he sure doesn’t mind letting you know that hes above you.

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    Walker is very condescending and clearly a kiss-ass, so technically a perfect fit with the Rogers family.

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    I flipped to “overdrive” a few times today. It seemed anytime they were talking about any sport other than hockey, it got referenced back to hockey. For instance, they were talking spring training at the top of the 6PM hour, and right away it was “it takes those guys 6 weeks…really? Two weeks we were in shape ready for the season”

    That shit is gonna get old quick.

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    @Jason Nice to hear confirmation on what I’d figured for a good while. Landsberg always comes across as a huge d*ckhead. I’d be depressed too if I were such an asshole.

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    @Cirroc I love that dickhead is censored but not asshole.. lol but you’re right he’s both.

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    I just heard Steve Simmons is on with Landsberg and Naylor. Was the show not bad enough already? Is he there just to turn away the few people who might be still listening?

    Honest question I really want to know. Does anyone here enjoy listening to Steve Simmons? He might be one of if not the most hated sports writers in the city. What value does he bring to a show that already features the unlikeable Landsberg an the boring Naylor?

    Is Sportsnet paying Jeff MacDonald? It’s starting to feel like sabotage.

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    Claire A Fye5 years ago

    I have to say I am constantly amazed at how negative everybody is on this board. It’s getting tired.

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    I’ve long said that the negativity towards the TSM is a relection of the awful teams over the last 20 years. If there were some titles, everyone would be much more gracious

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    I only heard the 8 am hour on Naylor/Landsberg today and it was really good with the extra guys in the room. Arguments moved a lot faster. Compare that hour to any hour previously between Blundell & Richards and it’s a winner.

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    Poker Guy5 years ago

    Did anyone catch Overdrive last night? Unfortunately, I was unable to listen.

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    I got to admit I’m negative lately. but that’s because Toronto Sports radio keeps getting worse. Before David Bastl got hired. I never posted here. I didn’t even know this site existed.

    I came here for a place to vent when I was unhappy about the change. I imagine other do the same for things they don’t like. I just think it’s human nature to not seek a forum like this when you are content.

    for me it started with the loss of Bastl, but also they layoffs in general. Now these line up changes that I just don’t like. I just don’t get it. I used to love sports radio. now I find my self flipping back and forth between 590, 1050, 1150 and 550 just grunting and complaining.

    If I could only stream TSN 690 Montreal in my car without killing my data… I’d be very happy. That station has great sports talk all day long.

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    Steve Jones5 years ago

    Every now and then Bob says something to make one of his points and I have to laugh. Last night as he was making his case for the Jays to up payroll and ensure Bautista stays he said (I’m paraphrasing here) “when the Jays were in that great late season run all of the dislike for Rogers disappeared. There wasn’t a peep of discontent with the company. The Jays winning will be a massive lift to public sentiment”

    Really Bob. Every Rogers customer is a Jays devotee, and not one had a concern about their service. Must have been a very quiet couple of months in the customer service center. LOL.

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    @Steve Jones I still hate Rogers. I know I’m not alone

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    When I heard Walker was getting his own show I predicted that hockey player Karl Alzner would be one of his first guests……….they couldn’t fit him in yesterday because they felt it was necessary to have one Sportsnet personality after another (Kypreos, Grange, Wilner, Francis, etc)……..but they managed to squeeze him in today

    More than one person has posted on this site that they liked Walker better when he was solo than when he was with Brady………I couldn’t disagree more

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    Mike S,

    In total agreement on Walker solo. There’s a huge difference between a lot of the names on here who polarize people and aggravate people, and then there’s people where it’s just so painful, the listener like me tunes out. I’m afraid Walker’s show will be such a thing. He is absolutely unable to carry on a conversation with himself, and admittedly, it’s a skill very few in radio probably ever master. I gave it about 20 minutes yesterday, less than 10 today, and I don’t think I’ll be back. He and Brady had excellent chemistry though, but the show was more about Walker reacting to Brady, sort of like how Tim has to react to Sid. Well, not as painful.

    People talk about mornings and how they wasn’t anything to listen to as of a year ago when Blundell and Richards were the choices, now after three very well-received and proven shows featuring Tim & Sid, Brady, and Brian Hayes, there’s nothing there now that appeals to me at all.

    If Brady’s salary was the key factor in choosing Walker to stay on, and it’s hard to believe it’s anything but, then he’s probably in a very good place given it’s almost impossible to believe the lineups won’t stagnate and be in need of change again.

    I agree with many of the posters here, the best the Fan did was leaving shows alone for the better part of 3-4 years. Even the mild tweak of Walker in, Jim Lang gonezo, didn’t negatively impact ratings or as important, sometimes, perception of a success.
    Have to think Blundell is actually not too disappointed if he gets to look back into a talk radio format not about sports. Sports aren’t his thing, but all the other stuff is, and Rogers whether you like it or not, helped him back on his feet and made him somewhat reputable again. This is almost certainly the only sports talk job he’ll ever have, but anyone could see it wasn’t going to be a huge success, and it’s just a springboard back to credibility to do something else.

    I haven’t heard any of the TSN morning show yet, but I am interested in doing so. Landsburg does bring tons of interviewing experience and on TV, I assume your questions and answers have to be much tighter than radio. I prefer that style and he might be intriguing in that spot.

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    C.M.A.J.5 years ago

    I doubt it’s deliberate “sabotage.” More likely a PD being told to do something different without spending any more money. But I can see how it might look like some are being pushed to quit by being set up to fail and put into bad positions. The hockey guys having to do 3 hours and talk about the other sports they don’t watch, the former afternoon drive guy(s) who rely on interviews being told to work in the morning when there are few available, the former morning show funny-man being told to work by himself from 1-4 in the afternoon …

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    I’m trying to listen to nothing but 1050 for a week. So far I have been able to. A good sign…

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    On day TWO of the new ‘Overdrive’ show, two of the hosts promoted as part of the show aren’t even in studio. It’s mind boggling to me how TSNR can be so inept.

    I’m a big fan of Bryan Hayes, I think he’s one of the most talented, young sports broadcasters in the market. TSNR probably feels the same, which is why they moved him to PM Drive. Why oh why would you saddle him with guys who know nothing about other sports, and during the NHL Season, probably can’t be there a few times a week? It’s almost like Bell wants this station to fail.

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    I’m with @Clare A Fye: So many here are quick to condemn TSN for their new format and they’re barely off the ground. Give them credit for acknowledging changes were necessary (yes, overdue), but allow some time without immediately piling on.

    I only heard a small sample size of Landsberg/Naylor this morning as they discussed the potential Jays/Bautista standoff and quite enjoyed the banter which included Steve Simmons and (I think) Bruce Arthur. No doubt this show will be a significant upgrade. Mike Richards had a few solid regular guests and is a quality interviewer, but as others have pointed out ad nauseam, his schtick never cut it this market. He was also saddled with a dry co-host, and there was no fall-off when on his own. I wish him well in the unimportant 1-4 slot, but he can’t be thrilled.

    My first tastes of the new Leafs Lunch and Overdrive were also brief, but liked what I heard. Andi Petrillo is a talented broadcaster with plenty of hockey knowledge, whereas Kate Beirness, who filled in today on Overdrive, sounded like a good fit. If not for her TV schedule, she’d be terrific with a regular gig on radio.

    Now, if TSN would announce what many are advising – a stronger signal – it would benefit more of us.