Toronto Sports Media Radio Ratings Wrapup

Toronto Sports Media Radio Ratings Wrapup


Mike in Boston is off planet visiting, avoiding both the electronic & verbal darts hurled his way from weeks of stellar opinion from previous Seen and Heard episodes.

So, you are stuck with me today.

Here we go….

Let’s start once again with the disaster that is the Toronto Radio ratings game. As far as I can see, this is the only civilized place (Canada) where radio ratings are NOT fully available to ANYone who wants them, even at a price.

The media is so petrified that the truth may be seen by the public that they actually enforce penalties to those who leak the results! We could start with the flawed prehistoric diary version of asking people to record what they’ve listened to. Or we could discuss how lame the devices are that record what people are actually listening to. Beepers? What is this 1980? The final and worst nail to me is the refusal to release detailed ratings. Yes, yes, yes, yes I’ve tried to pay for them and I’ve been stonewalled.

The fact that cellphone penetration in this country is amongst the highest anywhere and yet these devices aren’t equipped to be used as listening behavioural recorders is stunning. Or, the fact that we all have connected mobile devices in our cars and that doesn’t activate something in the vehicle radio to record behaviour is quite amazing.

So, there you have it. That’s the behind the scenes crap.

Let’s add to that the puzzling secrecy around the recorders themselves and it’s a perfect sh!t storm. They don’t release who has them, how old they are, where they are (none of which is protected by privacy in aggregate) nor do they release how often the device holders are changed.

All in all let’s come to the final conclusion that the industry relies on a system they have created that is totally unreliable and unscientific. Every single executive I talk to says the same thing, “the system sucks but it’s the only one we have.” The truth is the system sucks but they own the system! They can demand change.

So, I’ve been fortunate enough to get my hands on the April ratings. Thank to Andy Dufresne for helping out this time!

A trusted radio guru has always told me that you can’t look at one “book” for much as you have to look at trends, however it is one book and one book only that I have right now.

Here are some highlights:

For reasons I can’t explain (not a backhanded compliment) the king of Toronto Sports radio in terms of radio ratings in the month of April is Jeff Blair. That doesn’t take into account audience size. Meaning a 6.0 at 9am isnt the same audience size as a 6.0 in the morning or afternoon drive. So The morning show may have (and it does) a lower # as a rating, but it’s based on a much bigger audience.

Blair’s #’s are OFF the charts. In the key demographic, Males 25-54 the one most import to advertisers Blair pulled a 9.7!!! That’s crazy. I mean really crazy. For comparison, Macko & Cauz featuring Gareth Wheeler pulled in, wait for it, 0.1 in the same demo.

In the less important demo’s Blair’s numbers were better!

Men 18-49 — he pulled a 10.6 (vs 0.4 at TSN)
Men 18-34 — he pulled a 14.1 (vs 0.6 at TSN)

Those my friends are CRAZY #’s.

What makes them harder to understand is there is no trend. Blair, if you recall the last time we spoke about ratings was after the Blue Jays run and Blair with Brunt’s number were really bad. Which made no sense to me at all. Special hat tip BTW to Ben Ennis who filled in for Blair for a part of April too.

So you know how high Blair’s numbers were here are Mccown’s:

Men 25-54 — Mccown pulled 7.3 ( vs Blair’s 9.7)
Men 18-49 — Mccown pulled a 7.7 (vs Blair’s 10.6)
Men 18-34 — Mccown pulled a 9.1 (vs Blair’s 14.1)

Bob’s numbers are good. They aren’t stellar Bob numbers but they are beyond respectable and they are very good. Again, Bob has a bigger total audience at that hour so you need to keep that in mind. However the Blair #’ are astounding.

The next conclusion is that the only show at TSN 1050 to have an audience to speak of is Overdrive. None of the other shows even show up. The 0.1 for Macko and Cauz are the numbers that shutdown stations let alone shows.

Here is Mccown vs. Overdrive

Men 25-54 — Mccown pulled 7.3 vs Overdrive’s 2.4
Men 18-49 — Mccown pulled a 7.7 vs Overdrive’s 3.3
Men 18-34 — Mccown pulled a 9.1 vs Overdrive’s 3.0

While those Overdrive #’s aren’t great they do show that’s its a legitimate show.

Next conclusion, mornings at both stations are bad. The Fan morning show has yet to achieve anywhere near the number insiders are telling me they were promised when this show was pitched. I am told that former PD Don Kollins was talking about double digit ratings and the show is not on par (April to April) what old shows used to do. If my research is right the last April this bad at the Fan was when Stellick and Landry were on the air!

At TSN? Crickets. I am apparently the only person listening to Naylor and Landsberg. The numbers for this show are not very good. But they are better than the Macko and Cauz #’s. Here are the numbers Blundell vs. N&L:

Men 25-54 — Blundell pulled 6.5 vs N&L’s 0.5
Men 18-49 — Blundell pulled a 6.3 vs N&L’s 0.4
Men 18-34 — Blundell pulled a 8.2 vs N&L’s 0.2

Andrew Walker is holding his own solo and is putting up relatively good numbers for the 1pm slot. Here are Walker vs. Richards:

Men 25-54 — Walker pulled 5.8 vs Richards’s 0.7
Men 18-49 — Walker pulled a 6.1 vs Richards’s 0.9
Men 18-34 — Walker pulled a 6.4 vs Richards’s 1.3

The noon shows continue to do what they to on both stations. I will admit I don’t have comparables for either show in recent April ratings so here you go, HC vs. LL:

Men 25-54 — HC pulled 4.7 vs LL 0.6
Men 18-49 — HC pulled a 5.7 vs LL 2.3
Men 18-34 — HC pulled a 6.8 vs LL 3.5

That 3.5 in the younger demo is TSN 1050’s best rating.

So what does it all mean?

Well, again, sh!tty system and only one book. However April is actually one of the most important books. September and April are the two that are considered biggest.

The morning shows are both disappointing. The Rogers execs have to be wondering why they made the move they did as it has yet to pay dividends. At TSN, while I am sure they are happier with the show and recognize it is a work in progress they can’t be happy with the #. Once again I will say that Naylor has to become more vocal and Landsberg more likeable and demonstrate that he is able to a team guy. This is not his show and so far they struggle together.

The mid morning show is a boon for Rogers. A total bust for TSN 1050. I’m curious to see what Blair’s numbers are this month. Traditionally April is a much bigger ratings month compared to May, May generally goes down. I believe this number more than the brutal ones in the fall. But that’s just me.

Leafs Lunch and hockey central are what they are in a time where hockey is irrelevant in this market.

Walker is owning Richards. Not a surprise.

Mccown over Overdrive is the most interesting battle. Mccown, the incumbent is winning. How overdrive performs without any hockey being played this summer will be the test. Overdrive will benefit in the fall from an improved Leafs.

So there you go.

I am happy to report them when I get them. Ratings aren’t easy to come by but here’s my take on one of the biggest months of the year.

Happy Saturday!



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    So TSN shuffled a bunch of people around, no one was listening too, and still no one is listening to these same people?

    Who could have predicted that? LOL

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    It’s funny because I was lamenting to myself on Thursday how I wish there were a listenable sports show on for my drive to work. I end up listening to Derringer a bit or 1150.

    I’m sorry, but Landsberg is just a disaster of a person and it pours right out of the speakers. I don’t mind the fact that Naylor is a bit of a subdued presence, he has good sports knowledge. From what I’ve heard, Landsberg is just an all around jerk on air and off and when he treats Naylor like shit it doesn’t come across as schtick.

    I don’t mind Blair, and going against Wheeler will definitely help get your ratings up.

    HC is a non-starter for me. LL has been okay. I don’t mind Petrillo and I like hearing Button or Poulin’s perspectives from having been in the league for so many years.

    Love Overdrive. It’s nice to be able to laugh on the way home from work every day and I appreciate their style of show even if a couple of the guys are a little light on sports knowledge outside of hockey.

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    I honestly have no idea why the Fan is so dominant. I understand they have the history, but with the exception of mid-morning, the quality of talent at TSN1050 blows them out of the water.

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    I wore one of those things for about a month before I returned it. They were disappointed, as I think they have trouble finding suckers – I mean people – to do this. So, you have to question the taste and perhaps the sophistication of someone who would where these uncomfortable bulky boxes every waking hour as the all important measuring stick for how the business is run. It’s absurd. That said, I’m not sure I would want some big brother thing setup on my phone either.

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    You guys should just stop commenting about the methodology Numeris uses and stick to delivering the info. No the system isn’t as horrific as you make it out to be. It’s the exact same system that calculates TV ratings and the US uses something similar.

    I personally think Blair and Brunt is the best show in the market right now and it’s the only show I listen to reliably so the numbers don’t surprise me. That Andi Petrillo has 1050s best ratings in the young demo does.

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    I have been a Mccown fan for a long time… but have found myself listening to Overdrive quite a bit – usually when I am uninterested in what is happening on PTS. Don’t get me wrong – still listen to the Fan most of the drive home, but Overdrive is growing on me. Could see myself permanently transitioning there when Mccown retires.

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    Thanks for a good read. I give you lots of credit TSM for even trying to translate what these numbers you are given, knowing its like throwing darts at a moving target. If we are to believe anything in what these numbers show why is TSN radio even on the air other than self promotion.

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    McCown kicking butt among younger listeners. That flies in the face of conventional wisdom around here.

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    I’m not shocked by Blair at all. I listen frequently. Blair has the best baseball radio show in Toronto. The interview with Jonah Keri on May 6th about the Jays and Dodgers struggles was great. When he talks with baseball guys (not Rogers people) about teams other than the Jays, it’s usually a really good interview. Sure, he has to talk basketball and hockey too, which he clearly doesn’t care about. I know he gets a lot of hate on this site, but honestly – he’s the best host in the city when it comes to talking baseball.

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    Very interesting about both stations.

    First on 1050 TSN, it’s a mess. But they can take minor, minor encouragement that Hayes and O’Neil aredoing a bit better than apparently Naylor did for 3 or 4 years against McCown.

    This is where it gets tough because I don’t know these people. Naylor “seems” like a super guy, but he’s radio death to me. There’s nothing he has ever been able to do to keep me listening for a segment and I was hopeful that his partnership with Landsberg would change that. He’s the issue and not Landsberg. Landsberg drives people crazy on here, but he’s not boring, and that’s the whole point. McCown isn’t boring but he gets complaints. Blair gets complaints. Greg Brady got complaints. But you had a tough time tuning out, because you kept complaining and the ratings showed you kept listening.

    This is the major problem with Blundell. It’s boring, and he’s faking the sports thing and that’s a major turnoff for me as a listener. I’d rather a host like O’Neil admit ignorance than pretend he’s dialed in and knows stuff he clearly doesn’t. Those numbers are very poor for a morning show where the Blue Jays start off defending an ALCS appearance and the Raptors are going deeper than ever, and the Leafs got Auston Matthews in the lottery draft!

    By chance, one of your links just below shows Lang and Brady got a 7.3 share in 2011, almost a point higher than Dean is now. That’s freaking incredible. No one cared about the Blue Jays OR Raptors in 2011, and the Leafs were finishing another boring non playoff season. We’d all guess that both Brady and Lang combined made less or close to what Dean probably makes solo, and there’s lots more cost involved in whoever his co-host is and others to prop him up. That just seems like a ticking timebomb there where eventually you just admit you made a mistake and start fresh, there’s no future there. Dean will find something that interests him more at some point, I’m sure.

    I’m happy for Blair doing well, and many have it right, his baseball is second to none, and he should thrive doing that whereas when he talks NHL and NFL, it’s an area of obvious weakness and apathy.

    I think 1050 has to roll with this lineup until they simply can’t do it anymore, and they’d be hoping for the Blue Jays to not do quite what they did last season in giving the Fan very very high ratings which would have very very little to do with the shows themselves, but the numbers are what they are.

    I know it’s very personal and you guys may not want to write about it, but are there contracts ending at 1050? Surely, they don’t keep signing losing shows to more and more years, or even give raises? Would you publish that info if you knew it? The site clearly speculates alot on what 590 personalities were making and when contracts like McCown’s are over. Of course, I guess Bob announcing details of his contract on his show make it easier to get the info.

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    I am a confirmed Naylor & Landsberg fan, but I wonder how much of that is because I just don’t dig Blundell or understand why he is on a sports radio show. Additionally, since I’m generally listening to 590 any other time, I do enjoy hearing from TSN’s insiders. It’s a nice break from the regular roster of Sportsnet’s insiders. The best interviews are with independents, by far!

    I sure hope Naylor & Landsberg are given a chance to refine their show – it’s still early! – and/or the Fan decide to revamp their morning offering.

    Just one guy’s thoughts.

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    Leafs Lunch is the WORST! How petrillo gets any ratings is beyond, must be people who forgot the guys moved to overdrive. she is not funny, awkward and arrogant. terrible mix

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    I listen to Overdrive live and podcast PTS because I can advance through the John Shannon parts or avoid him altogether. Every once in a while Overdrive bogs down in the ignorance of its hosts or their ability to advance reasoned arguments but the show makes me laugh three or four times an hour. Noodles sometimes makes me roll my eyes with his acute lack of intelligence (that said, Hayes recently tweeted that with the top prospects in the AHL, OHL and the top draft pick, the Leafs were in “unchartered” waters) but overall the show works. When I listen to PTS I often end up yelling at my radio because Shannon is talking and talking (usually over others), repeating and repeating and saying nothing.

    The Blair numbers are surprising because Blair was either gone or unlistenable with laryngitis for much of April. This must make it difficult for the honchos at Sportsnet to determine the source of this success. It could be simply a matter of
    poor competition. Wheeler and Cauz is broken. They have little chemistry and Wheeler is difficult to like whereas Brunt is easy to like and often offers informed opinion vs just talking to fill time.

    I hate to say it but I’ve almost abandoned Leafs Lunch since the former crew went to Overdrive. Petrillo seems nice but I don’t like her as a permanent host. Not my taste. I like Poulin and Button in bits and pieces but not for a full hour. My main problem with HC@N is (you guessed it) Shannon. He takes so long to form a thought that Marek and Cox often step in to help — then he blurts words over them and it gets difficult to understand. The one bright spot is when Cox finally calls JS on his BS and Shannon goes silent. For those reasons, I often go out of market for lunchtime listening.

    I’m usually busy in the afternoons and listen to neither Richards nor Walker.

    Despite what others think, I like Landsberg and Naylor. Landsberg is certainly an asshole but so is Bob McCown and that hasn’t hurt his show’s ratings. ML makes fun of Naylor but it doesn’t seem overly mean and he rarely tolerates mindless blathering by guests — I really like that. But maybe the best part of the show is that we only have to hear Landsberg vs seeing Landsberg. The Breakfast Club, on Tuesdays and Fridays, is the best part. I like roundtables and there has been much to talk about in the Toronto sports scene over the last month. There is lots of room for improvement (like killing those attempted comedic bits) but I still think the show could really work once the Leafs hit the ice again.

    As for Blundell, I never listen. Seriously. I consume more sports radio than 99% of Toronto listeners but out of principle I will not listen to this man. I don’t think he’s a good guy and believe he should not be on radio.

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    Blair (and Brunt) also have some of the smart segments we used to get regularly on PTS. You have David Epstein, Declan Hill, and folks like that doing stuff in the news. Is there really a smart regular guest on PTS other than Deitsch?

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    I never listen to Blair so I have no idea if he is this good or not. But I gotta wonder how much of this is because the alternative is Cauz and Wheeler. I like Cauz but I think EVERYONE knows Wheeler is awful. The big takeaway (as Cauz likes to say) for me is TSN 1050 needs to ditch Wheeler now!

    Naylor & Landsberg is garbage. The gu who is dull and doesn’t talk, and the big know nothing jerk who mocks guests and wastes time talking about his old show. No surprise to me at all that the numbera are crap for this show. Notice how Richards has better numbers?

    TSN should have never made the switch. They ahould have kept Richards in the morning with David Bastl and kept them on TV too. Wamna save money? Can Landsberg he is worthless and I gaurentee he makes more money than most of if not all of the people who got laid off by Bell.

    Richards numbers are not great either but like I said they took away his TV, hos cohost and stuck him in the 1-4 slot.

    The only thing that is working os overdrive no shock there. But everything else is a disaster.

    Jeff McDonald should be really worried.

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    Good on Perkins for shooting down fan-boy David Amber’s claim that the Jays had an ‘historic’ season last year. Amber had obviously never been challenged on that point on the friendly Rogers’ airwaves and spat out some drivel as evidence. I’m sure the ‘lifelong’ Jays fans who started following them last August were outraged at Perkins’ insolence.

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    WestdaleRocks5 years ago

    Landsberg is awful. Way too frenetic and overbearing for a morning show. Blundell needs to go. His sycophant co-host Rusic does nothing but pucker up for a chance at kissing one of Blundell’s non-facial cheeks.

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    TSN 1050 ratings will NEVER increase until they get a stronger signal, period, end of story. I live in Durham and the signal is AWFUL and I gather that this is the case for most/all ‘suburbs’ of Toronto proper where, frankly, most of the sports radio listeners now live.

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    The signal is a major problem, and there’s nothing they can do to fix it unless they can somehow buy a better frequency on the dial and sell 1050, much like the Fan did in the 90s when they moved from 1430 to 590.

    With that said, TSNR could be moved to 104.5 FM and it wouldn’t make much of a difference with the lineup they have. The last shake up of shows they had was nothing more than shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic. They took shows nobody was listening to and just moved them around. I feel bad for Bryan Hayes, because I think he’s the best young talent in the market. TSNR have put him in the hardest slot to get listeners and saddled him with co-hosts who can’t discuss anything but hockey. Come late July, that show will be a difficult listen.

    If TSNR gets another book like this in the fall I’ll be interested to see if Bell is still interested in having a radio station bleed money.

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    McLean_Deluxe5 years ago

    Rob J- Amber was the only rational voice on the Roundtable and he was absolutely right that it was a historic season from an offensive perspective. That is a fact. Perkins was being the usual get off my lawn grump, and the game has passed him by long ago. When I hear is voice on PTS, I just pass by it.

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    McLean_Deluxe5 years ago

    Brian- Not sure what your complaint about Hayes tweet is. He was pretty much accurate. Confused as to why that would bother you.

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    It’s probably good that you only listen to the Rogers employees discuss a Rogers team on a Rogers radio station and a Rogers TV network. Keeps the Orwellian groupthink totally on message.

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    With only 287 PPMs used by males 25-54, yes, it is difficult to give much credence to the ratings. But as you say, this is all we have. Not sure what a .4 represents in terms of numbers of people, but I would bet that there are more people than that listening to NL and Macko. If 3 more people out of the 287 PPMs started listening to NL, the ‘ratings’ would go through the roof. Richards told a story on the Toronto Mike’d Pod where his neighbour back in Calgary had a box and he left it on Richard’s show all the time and his ratings skyrocketed in that demo – from ONE guy.

    I’d be interested in seeing numbers of Podcast subscriptions. The fan across the board benefits from Jays fans leaving their radio on the Fan from the Jays game the night before. How many of the 287 PPMs are frequently outside the GTA with no 1050 signal? TSN knows there are more people listening than the numbers represent. The iTunes bug continues to affect MC, MR intermittently and NL. NL recently parted out interviews on their pods like on their website in addition to posting the entire hour. The bug affects the hour pods and not the small interview pods. Annoying. (buy makes it impossible to listen to the pod unless cellular is turned on when you’re away from a wifi signal)

    Both Brady & Walker and Mike Richards celebrated historic ratings for their time slot then both were shuffled off to afternoons. Walker got fired and Richards is likely next when his contract is up early in 2017.

    I listen to Blundell only when he has a guest on worthy of listening to. But compare that to NL and the breakfast club when the speed and quality of sports debate is the best of any show in any time slot. I hear the Landsberg complaints and having listened quite a bit, I don’t disagree with that perception but I honestly don’t think Landsberg means to do it nor is he entirely aware how some of his rude comments are perceived. Yes, Bob is confrontational but it just isn’t the same tone as Landsberg’s. Bob engages the listener when he does it, Landsberg has the opposite effect. Overall though, I love the show and it is a huge upgrade in that timeslot from Scarface and Victor Newman bits.

    The 15 minutes of talk on NL Friday about the exciting Mondale 1984 Presidential run should have been cut to 15 seconds. Someone who is 32 was born in 1984. Landsberg should talk about an election in the year he was born and maybe then he would see how ridiculous that was. When NL go off on an election or NRA diatribe, they should get a sharp beak in the ear from the Producer to get them back on track.

    Is Walker that much better than Richards and that is why his ratings are better? Nope. Walker is good though, but was better and it was a better show with Brady. I enjoy Gino Reda with MR in the 3 pm hour; solid and vigorous hockey talk.

    Blair’s 11 am
    Baseball Central is the only show that consistently talks intricately about how the game is played, the strategy at the plate, how to swing, what pitches to throw in different situations, where the hands should be on the bat etc. I am not a baseball guy but I love that kind of talk because I learn something new each time as someone who never really played baseball. (Zaun does as well on Jays broadcasts )This vs the ENDLESS talk about ‘bottom six,top six’ ‘RFA, UFA’, this guy that guy, contract status, age of the player, salary cap etc etc etc that dominates hockey talk. I’d appreciate someone on any of the shows talking about how one PP works vs another team’s PP or the technique of a goalie, how Tavares got better by working on his fast release etc. IE: talk about the damn game and how it is played, not endless contract, salary cap talk that doesn’t play out on the ice.

    Thanks for getting the ratings. I know they are hard to get. The unofficial Twitter poll a couple of weeks ago mentioned here had to be encouraging for TSN.

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    Sorry for long post. Ratings get me excited.

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    And sorry, Brady got fired, not Walker in my above posts. Was typing too fast. No more sorries. Sorry.

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    Original Mitch5 years ago

    Having done a bit of digging on the tsn1050 PD, it appears this guy gets fired wherever he goes, so I guess it’s just a matter of time before he gets canned. Maybe new guy can have a better strategy instead of re-shuffling the deck.
    Blair is an awful speaker. takes 40 seconds to formulate one sentence. He’s a print guy. However, his experience and knowledge overcomes his inability to talk.
    Also, he’s a baseball guy on a baseball station…so yeah people will listen.
    But look at his competition? With respect to Cauz and Wheeler…who are you? I know, Grill Room, yada yada…but seriously, who are you? Toronto radio listeners have proven to be sophisticated (I know, shocking!) and want knowledgeable people.
    Hence why a Blundell doesn’t move the needle.
    Dave Naylor you say? Sure, but what is he exactly? A cfl guy? Plus, I bet in time he and Landsberg can develop something there.

    Overdrive is refreshing, but still has two former professional athletes with 1 always saying what’s on his mind. Say what you want about his clownish attitude, but when Odog talks from a pro athlete’s perspective, I listen. That’s experience.
    Who do we hate the most? Shannon and Reid. Why? Because we ask ourselves who exactly Shannon is other than a hockey producer. And Reid..well the less said the better.
    Bottom line I think listeners want sports experts with gravitas.
    But yes, the TSN signal is AWFUL

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    RobInAurora5 years ago

    ….He was worried about Hayes not knowing the difference between “uncharted” vs “unchartered” waters….(I guess a malapropism is enough to prove someone is incompetent or not intelligent enough to talk about sports on sports radio…(well, we do know for sure that “Master and Commander” is off the table anyway)

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    Claire A Fye5 years ago

    Well the uncharted vs unchartered thing could also have been Spellcheck. I never judge any tweet or posting’s spelling anymore because of it. Most of us don’t proofread before hitting send.

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    I wonder what will be bigger story on the radio Monday: basebrawl or basketball?

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    Rob in Aurora5 years ago

    Anyone should feel to judge me on anything I type here or anywhere else. I do like to have the last word, so make it a real good one…(I mean “uncharted” vs “unchartered” is indefensible, but then that’s Hayes’ problem)

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    Wow what a turn of events for Rogers in contrast to the Blue jays run last season. No Canadian teams in the playoff, and Blue are off to a disappointing start, pretty much taking the air out of a pumped up fan base coming into the season. The two properties that should be driving ratings for Rogers right now is actually being pushed aside by the property they have only 50% stake in, the other 50% being owned by their biggest competitor who had the Raptors biggest game seven in franchise history on TSN. I guess the discussion tomorrow on the fan pertaining to the brawl today between Texas and Toronto may make up for the lost Raptors game 7 coverage on SM. The brawl may have been the perfect storm for SN.

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    Just heard about the TSN 1050’s new contest. I can’t think of any prize I would want less. A road trip to Cleveland with Landsberg to watch Basketball? No thanks!

    Brutal destination, awful travel companion and boring sport.

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    Blair’s numbers aren’t surprising in the sense of who he is because he has really grown on me as a host and his baseball discussions are top notch. I’m surprised that a time slot like 9-12 illicits so many listeners.

    Thought Naylor & Landsberg would make a bigger dent in the morning, but their show is still in its infancy. Landsberg alone is enough to want to give up on the show, but I remember what the alternative is and I live with it. If Brady & Walker were still around, then the N&L show would be pretty much irrelevant.

    I can see Overdrive taking a bite out of Prime Time as the show gains steam. But that likely starts in September when hockey ramps back up. Having to listen to Noodles try and talk other sports come July and August all the while trying to relate it back to hockey somehow is going to be a train wreck. He’s a show dragger.

    Leafs Lunch with TSN’s highest rating? I can’t listen at that time, but based on the comments of Andi as host and the former crew gone, I’d have thought the ratings wouldn’t have been so good (in relative terms).

    I too questioned how much longer TSN would put up with these ratings. But then I figured that’d be willing to eat whatever losses they may be incurring even if it means one less person is listening to their competitor’s channel.

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    “Landsberg alone is enough to want to give up on the show, but I remember what the alternative is and I live with it.”

    So basically if somebody other than Blundell was on 590, you would likely not be listening to Naylor & Landsberg? I don’t think you are alone here. So what that tells me is that 0.5, 0.4 & 0.2 ratings they got should be and could potentially be even lower.

    If The 590 gets someone worth listening to, or even just went back to Brady & Walker than N&L might be even closer to zero than they already are.

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    I’m in the same boat. If the Fan put anybody remotely decent on I would be listening to that in the morning. Knowing our luck, they’ll poach Wheeler and give him his own morning show.

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    Pat Tabler: “They only score when they score runs.”

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    ‘McCown kicking butt among younger listeners. That flies in the face of conventional wisdom around here.’

    Same with Blair. I honestly wonder why so many take pride in ripping 590, suggesting TSN is a much better schedule, when everyone, pretty much everyone anyways, seems to be listening to 590.

    Perhaps their need to hate rogers makes them hate 590? No idea, but if its as bad as they claim, they wouldn’t be as successful as they are acquiring listeners. You can only use the argument that TSN is the ‘new kid on the block’ for so long, they aren’t the new kid anymore.

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    I can only speak for my self but I don’t listen to the Fan much if at all.

    Although maybe I should give Blair a shot.If his ratings are that good maybe I’m missing something here. I am work during that time so I don’t really listen to the radio, although I suppose I could. Same goes for Walker and Richards. I used to listen to Richards in the Morning and liked it a lot. but I’m at work 1-4 so I miss both shows.

    I used to listen to McCowan all the time but It just got kind of stale. Maybe It’s the co hosts. I used to love Brunt but when I started to hear Shannon and Cox more I stopped listening. Over dive is far more entertaining and fun.

    I used to listen to Leafs Lunch but I made the switch to hockey central when TSN changed hosts. but again I only really listen a couple times for week when I go out for lunch, and only for about 20 mins.

    The problem with both stations is the morning shows. Key to a good radio station are good drive time shows. that’s when everyone is in the car tuning in. In the morning both stations absolutely suck. I honestly can’t deiced who is worse.

    Both Stations need to scrap the morning shows and bring in new hosts. They are really really bad.

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    That’s fair, honest dialog offering a thoughtful critique is what this board is all about. What I never get is why so many seem to just take glee at taking on the Fan, suggesting that its not nearly as good as it once was, without offering much in the way of analytical thinking.

    If its as bad as they rant about, how are they dominating the ratings….again? It can’t be that bad it they are, can it?

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    I agree with you guys. both AM shows are Andrew Krystal bad.

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    I think there’s obviously going to be a difference between whether the shows are good or not and whether the ratings indicate some of the quality, or not very much of it.

    The Fan’s ratings are down based on what’s above from a couple years or ago or even 3-4 years ago. They have lost talent for various reasons and haven’t replaced it. It is a weaker lineup and no one denies that. Now, they’ve lost different people for different reasons.

    I have read on here before, “How stupid was 590 to get rid of Tim and Sid?”. Dumb stuff, television called them on up and gave them much bigger salaries, a much bigger staff I would guess, and a much easier show to do. So if you look and think in two years they’ve lost Tim and Sid and Brady and have replaced none of those three guys, and The Fan has had more of Ken Reid and John Shannon, almost universally the two most disliked personalities on this board, for what that’s worth, then that says something.

    So dominating the ratings, yes, but if I’m The Fan, I still need raw numbers that put me higher than other competition in Toronto, it’s a no-doubter than they’ll beat 1050, but they are beating fewer other stations, except during the Jays miracle run, than they were. Why? Just guessing, people like the shows a bit less, and especially the morning show.

    But given times are tighter at Sportsnet and Rogers, why pay Blundell out when he’s getting a not-terrible number? They probably know they have a lemon, and a show that’s one of their least popular shows ever, and a host who can’t talk sports if his life depended on it, but why spend the money. They just bought out another guy who’s sure to resurface in Brady for quite a long time. Why make it two? They don’t have to do that. But they sure don’t have to give him any publicity, which they don’t, or give him more years, which they’d be stupid to do.

    If McCown is truly done at the Fan in a year or two, TSN has to make him a decent offer. There’s still gas in that tank. You’re telling me if you put McCown on 1050, and add Greg Brady in some capacity to mornings, maybe instead of Naylor, it doesn’t level the playing field a bit. It sure would. I don’t doubt those conversations are happening and the Fan should be worried.

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    That’s pretty much it. I’ll preface it by saying that I’m a huge Naylor fan. Being bland and dull doesn’t matter to me when listening to sports radio. Intelligence and articulate does, and I find Naylor to be both. And dare I say it, Landsberg, in pure form, is quite good himself — he’s smart, speaks well, has years of experience and his voice translates well (is not ear piercing). I do believe the show has a lot of potential with those two guys if Landsberg kept things in check.

    However, Landsberg’s not like that. There’s nothing I despise more from radio personalities than being condescending towards your co-host/listeners/guests, acting like a know-it-all, and just coming across as a huge asshole that drips through the radio. Landsberg fits that bill. So does Wilner. Brady did. And even Bobcat does when he goes on one of his know-it-all crusades. All guys who easily get me to change the station.

    But really — Blundell and Rusic? Blundell can’t get through a single sentence without stumbling and his sports “knowledge” is a joke. As for Rusic, he sounds like a special needs kid that they keep around to make fun of. The show has run its course.

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    I guess my point is, if its as bad as some on here like to suggest, they shouldn’t be getting any ratings, let alone dominating the competition. Jeff Blair gets killed on here for being un-listenable and he pulls in a rating like that? There’s a disconnect, not sure if its fair to suggest that the criticism is personal, I don’t know that it is, but at some point logic needs to be presented and offered, the ‘Blair is awful’ simply isn’t true, you shouldn’t have to offer some sort of evidence, otherwise it just comes off personal.

    I guess I just don’t understand how the same people can come on here and proclaim TSN the much better product when there is nothing to suggest that it truly is.

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    WestdaleRocks5 years ago

    To Pete, who commented at 10:14AM today. BANG ON! Rusic is like the Grinch’s dog. Nothing more than a Yes man. TSN got it half right on the morning show. Keep Naylor, ditch Landsberg.
    One final note. A few years ago, Scott Moore complained that TV ratings were out of whack. You could say the same about his set of radio ratings. The “turnaround” of the Blair show is rather questionable.

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    Steve Jones5 years ago

    So yesterday in the 4-5 hour Bob took calls and the only thing discussed was the brawl from Sunday. I find it hard to believe that no one wanted to talk basketball. The Raptors win a second round is less interesting to the proletariat than a baseball fight in May? One would think not. But when you own the team, the team is sucking wind and you need something to get interest up a fight and total team coverage is the call. Next, more cowbell. Always more cowbell.

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    Original Mitch5 years ago


    They screen those calls. the Fan has zero interests in the Raptors, no matter if they broadcast their games. Whenever its on Sportsnet, its their 3rd priority over Jays and hockey. They throw the games on SN1 for crying out loud! The brawl was perfect for them because it gave them something to talk about the Raptors.

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    Actually, with the notable exception on N&L all the shows on both stations do better in 18-34 then 25-54. Has that traditionally been the case in past books? To me it sounds counter-intuitive at first but the trend is fairly consistent this month.

    Steve, I think that’s because of Bob. I think he would rather talk about a stupid baseball brawl started because one team is still pissy about another team beating them 8 months ago than the Raptors so those are the calls that get on the air.

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    @Steve Jones

    Just a question, and not trying to instigate things. But if you don’t like Rogers and what they stand for, why are you listening for a full hour? It seems like you where frustrated with the program, why put yourself through that?


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    Bang on. I can’t believe how many commenters are so down on these shows yet KEEP LISTENING just so they can vent about how much they hate them. Turn the friggin channel!

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    Original Mitch5 years ago

    With respect, turn the channel to what exactly? at most I have 3 options and 90 % of the time I have 2 options and considering TSN’s awful signal, 45 % of the time I have 1 option!!
    Unless we’re talking about satellite radio, we don’t have options so we listen and gripe. that’s the nature.

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    Drive to work and drive home radio in Toronto is small time (i.e. limited choices). Toronto likes to believe its a major city where the world wants to come and visit when in reality its just another tier 2 city on the level of a Cincinnati, Seattle and Milwaukee. the sooner the clueless residents of this city realizes this, the better we’ll all be.

    If you find there’s nothing to listen to on the radio, spend a few bucks and get satellite radio.

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    @Rob J

    I don’t comment often, but read all the time. I constantly see the same people complain about the same thing about the same programs over and over. I’m somewhat befuddled by that, as I know I don’t listen to anything that doesn’t bring me enjoyment, why would anyone?

    Either they just like to complain, about anything, or they are falling victim to the ‘I hate you so much I need to listen to see what I hate about you next’ syndrome, I think that made Howard Stern millions. I get not liking a single element of a multi personality program, one person on the round table as an example, but the program host, if you don’t like him, and his message, why listen?

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    I’m sure no one gives a rip about what I like, but I only listen to PTS and only in podcast form so I can skip over the guests I know I won’t care for. In no universe can I imagine myself listening to a show day after day and despising it, just to tune in again tomorrow. Do these people go order Big Macs every day and incessantly complain about the sauce?

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    Im the same, if I see someone or something that I dislike, I skip it or fast forward. As an example, anything with Ken Reid on it I refused to download. Easy as pie, no complaints, move on. Life is easy. Its not like its hard to find other options either, with technology you can listen to whatever you want, whenever you want. I use to post on here more often, but the comments have turned into more of a complain/bitch fest vs. a smart dialog on radio, which is unfortunate.

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    My only criticism of the Tor sports media which I’ve posted about often is the inherent conflict of interest in the telecoms owning the teams and their TV-radio rights, and the cheerleading that has resulted. But to say ‘I dislike Wheeler every single time I listen to him’ makes my brain hurt.

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    Steve Jones5 years ago


    A couple of points. First, I don’t listen to Rogers, I listen to PTS. Second, I didn’t express any problem with the content of the show I was commenting on the fact that they focussed 100% on a marginal issue related to their baseball team as opposed to offering some time for Raptors callers. It was I guess a bit of a historic day for the franchise. To be clear I could care less about the Raptors. I just think it shows the corporate bias which I am loathe to say does bug me. Probably shouldn’t.

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    @Original Mitch

    I listen to audio from ESPN, Fox, All American Life, etc. via Podcast. Its free and easy and you can control what you want to listen to.

    Why youd do anything other then that, who knows, but its not 1984, we have more options then we’ve ever had.

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    @Steven Jones

    You came across as thou you did not like the content, hence the complaining. It appears as thou Rob J read it the same way. Simple as that. If you wanted to hear Raptors talk, call in. Ive called in twice and never been told what to talk about or that I couldn’t talk. The people seemed to want to talk about it, ces la vie.

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    Don’t want to get into a Marty York discussion, but he was the guest on a rivetting episode of the Toronto Mike’d podcast last night. Worth a listen.

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    I like sports. I am interested in sports. That doesn’t mean I have to love and fawn over the hosts. I would rather listen to a poorly hosted sports program than listen to traffic and weather ad infinitum on 680 or the Trudeau hate mongering on 640. That is why I don’t change the station but can still be critical of the hosts, which I personally rarely am on this blog. I don’t post about radio personalities on this forum to any degree but I can’t stand a few of them.

    You may not like Big Mac’s but if McD’s is the only place you can get a burger well you have no choice. Either that or become a vegetarian. Not all of us want to become vegetarians….so to speak. (No, that doesn’t mean I have anything against vegetarians).

    This site is a forum for OPINIONS on sports media; what I don’t get is the old refrain, “why do you listen?” to which the response is invariably “why do you care why I listen?” to which the response is, “why do you care, that I care?”, to which the response is…

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    Anyone see Sid take a shot at Jay and Dan last night about how nobody watches their show? They were in Jurassic Park and it was empty, and a truck started backing up and it was making noise. So Sid starts yelling “Hey were doing a live show! Maybe he doesn’t realize that since there is on one here. Maybe he thinks we are Jay and Dan or something.” Tim just laughed awkwardly. I really enjoy Tim but Sid is becoming more and more unlikable.

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    Original Mitch5 years ago


    You’re right, there are options out there. but this is a forum about TORONTO sports media and as a person who resides in the area, I want top not quality sports radio. And when I can’t find it or have some issues with some personality, I come here to discuss with my fellow listeners/watchers.

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    @Original Mitch

    I think their poster are right, every week its the same thing over and over on here,

    ‘I hate this, I hate that’, Ok, well if you hate it so much, why are you listening? Im not saying this is you in perticular, just that this site, which as you said, was once about Toronto sports media discussion, has turned into a complaint board, with the same people saying the same things about the same personalities over and over.
    Post what you want, but after a while, shouldn’t you move on from listening? Again, this isn’t for you specifically.

    Personally Ill never understand why people continue to listen to things they don’t like either. There’s a ton of independent audio out there about Toronto sports if you looking for, each team has 2/3 podcasts dedicated to their teams. Its a bit of work, sure, but it takes the ‘I hate’ out of your day, which should be worth it.

    Its like walking outside and stepping on a something every day. You can complain about it, or move the object your stepping on. Id move it, but that’s me.

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    Its easier to be negative than positive, easier to complain than compliment. Most people who exist online simply to complain.

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    Personally, I get the most out of the posts that refer to actual topics discussed by the media, such as this week when Zaun predicted significant suspensions for Bautista, Pillar, and Donaldson when in the end the 3 combined for just 1 game of punishment. Give me that discussion here instead of ‘I hate Zaun’ etc.

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    Very disappointed they wasted deitsch’s segment this week talking basketball. Had I known, would have skipped it.

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    Benjamin5 years ago

    What Rob J said

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    I wish i could give the poster credit, they articulated this much better then myself. Weeks back someone posted about the lack of interesting and unique dialog on here, that people seemed more interested in expressing what they dont like, not to talk about the industry (Rob somewhat commented on that as well). They’re point was that just because you don’t like it, doesn’t mean that its bad, and doesn’t mean that it should be posted on here.

    In past year, this was the spot to go to for industry discussion and rumours. Posters would be offering interesting thoughts on many different items, a post like this one, ratings, would be going on and on about the relative merits of each show and what is good, bad or indifferent about them. I personally loved that, I miss that type of discussion.

    The ‘I hate Bob hes mailing it in’ cut and paste responses to posts, most of the time having zero to do with the actual topics layed out in the column, are tiring and boring. What about Bob don”t you like, why do you need to post about it every single time? Can’t you offer more then that? We’re missing the ‘dig deeper’ conversations that made this place him back in the day, back when Bob himself was screen-capped visiting the site on Sportsnet TV.

    I just miss that level of conversation, I miss the thoughtful responses. Way to many on here seem to think this is their personal complaint department all things radio, never offering reasons or positives, just complaint after complaint. Doesn’t it get tiresome complaining all the time? The complaints about Jeff Blair are probably 100 – 1 negative to positive, yet he’s arguably the most intelligent baseball commentator on the radio and hit a home run with his ratings. Why did it take 4 months for a positive comment about him, he can’t be as bad as the 99 percent who post on here make him out to be, the numbers say otherwise.

    Apologies for the rant, I don’t post here nearly as much due to the ‘cut and paste negativity’ on here. Its to bad.

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    Whay I hate most is people complaing about the quality of comments. Every week it’s the same thing.

    Just accept that some comments are going to be good and some not.

    If you want to have a more thought-provoking engaging discussion, then contributed such. Just ignore the complaining you don’t like and stay on topic.

    I know a hypocryte because I’m complaining about others complaining about complaining.

    We can have this same side track arguement every week. Or we can just accept that diffrent people like to comment in diffrent ways. Not everyone comes here for the same reason.

    Not everyone is in the industry some people are just listeners/viewers who want to complain.

    Just the way it is.

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    Oroboros should be the board’s mascot. 🙂

    I await hearing all of “gibby” buddies do a 180 once “wedgie” or “blackie” is the manager. The only person i expect to stay loyal after he is fired is Barker, since he played for him.

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    Claire A Fye5 years ago

    @Steven With all due respect, what alternate universe are you living in? This site has ALWAYS been a bitchfest. Exactly what “level of discussion ” are you misremembering? It sure wasn’t here.

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    Original Mitch5 years ago

    Claire a Fye isn’t wrong. No matter what interesting, articulate and thought provoking article Mike In Boston may write, the comments usually fall back to bitching about Rogers and/or Bell (but mostly Rogers). That said, I genuinely do believe that the watered down, sycophantic radio/tv personalities have driven us crazy and our vents are based on that and not just our general negative nature. So, imo the bitching has gotten worse as the hosts have become more and more shill-robots of their parent companies.
    There was a time when shows had great guests on, on a daily basis. Now, 90% of the time its just another tsn/sportsnet fellow employee. its the same thing, day in, day out. I mean, did you hear Buck Martinez on Prime Time on Wednesday genuinely getting agitated that Bob and Perkins were legitimately question the teams flaws while cheerleader Buck tried to stay positive despite a 4-game losing streak?
    these shows need to diversify. But its lazy producing. Why chase an original, thought provoking guest when you can just go back to the well and have your Barry Davises or Bob Mackenzie’s on. Shows are now content factories, churning out content. They used to be about production quality, now its generally not.

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    Great post, Mitch. The perils of having media-owned sports franchises have never been more obvious than in Toronto today. Understandably, it’s the bottom line for much of the negativity around here.

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    steven north5 years ago

    i look forward to, appreciate and enjoy what tsm and mib share with us. they bring insights and info not easily found elsewhere. big time value-added.

    but the tedious and repetitive axe-grinding screeds of some commenters here (you know who you are — and so do the rest of us) just serve to diminish the overall quality of the site and dilute the pleasure of a fresh post from one of the principals.

    my rule of thumb — admittedly neither empirical nor rigorous — is that once the quantity of comments reaches about 30 or so the decline in quality is rather precipitous.

    so rather than stay calm and carry on, i close my eyes and think of england.


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    I’m trying to figure out what this golden age of Toronto sports radio was. Was it Chuck Swirsky, Eric Smith and Jack Armstrong? Three basketball focused guys when the market might call for that to be 15% of the show. Was it Landry & Stellick, Andrew Krystal, Jim Lang and Mike Toth? Other than Blundell, who should have never gotten a job at FAN590, I personally don’t see that list as a huge upgrade over the current hosts.

    Or is all this reminiscing on the past just about having crummy PTS co-hosts now?

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    @ Original Mitch — Pretty spot on.

    I’ve been visiting this site for just over a year now, and I’ve found the complaints about the complainers to be more annoying than the negativity around here, especially when those same people provide very little in discussion besides railing on people.

    And realistically, are people surprised by all the negativity? The Toronto media is at its absolute worst right now. You have two behemoth telecommunications companies controlling every major sporting property in the city. Their programs are used primarily to hawk company products and programming. Their employees are puppets, whose works seem completely manipulated and full of bias. Objectivity is no longer part of the vocabularly in this city’s media. I have given up a lot of hope when excellent talents like Brunt, Friedman and Davidi have simply become company whores.

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    ‘ I have given up a lot of hope when excellent talents like Brunt, Friedman and Davidi have simply become company whores.’

    Well, when your calling people corperate whores, there isn’t any doubt that you’d like the negative comments.

    Ive been here for 4/5 years. The early years where awesome, much like what others say, it was a cool place to have intellegent discussion on all things Toronto and media. Now, its a place where angry people complain. Sorry, but Id like to get it back to where it was. If I was alone, perhaps that would be my issue, but it looks like Im not, not by a long shot.

    Ill ask again, I’m not sure why so many love to complain and listen to things they don’t like. If you don’t like it, there are easily 100,000 podcasts available for all to listen too. I don’t know anyone who actually listens to live radio, everything is on demand. If you can choose what you want to listen too, why listen to things you don’t like? I listen to TSN, Fan590, ESPN, FoxSports1, Yahoo, many independent podcasts as well. There’s way to much out there to listen to things that you don’t like. There’s way to much out there to come on here and only ever talk about what you hate.

    Here’s a change, why do you LIKE? Why not comment on that for once? Some people just love to complain, and that just to bad.

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    @Mike V

    I think the golden age of radio is whatever you grew up with. Im not old, not young, but listened to 1430/590 growing up, so thats my golden age. IF your older, your golden age would be before that. Im like aspects of today’s radio, as the ratings indicate Jeff Blair is great, Bob continues to be Bob (despite some bad co-hosts). When I was a kid Id listen to the fan from morning to night.

    Perhaps a bit of the complaining from some on here comes from that, from the change and it not being what it was. We always here ‘back in my day’ or ‘it was better back when’, no matter the topic. Perhaps that’s what spurs on those who feel the need to complain, the physiology of change.

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    I listen to Joey Vendetta when he is on and the guy gets good guests, talks about every major sports event and sets up/recaps games. If you can do the Jim Rome show regularly i guess thats a great reason to not host full time in Toronto. Crazy that a fill in guy does a better job than most of the regulars in Toronto.

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    The Fan morning show has never been worse, maybe I’m even thinking Andrew Krystal wasn’t this bad because I listened, and gave this a chance for a morning or two last spring and then quit. Krystal tried hard and had a likable side to him. Anyone will tell you there’s nothing likable about Blundell. It’s a virtually terrible fit and I’d bet everyone involved knew it pretty early.

    Blundell even asked on twitter who the Raptors were going to draft at number nine on Tuesday night, after the draft lottery. He deleted the tweet as he has done with all his prior homophobic and racist and sexist tweets, but you can’t tell me that lack of knowledge doesn’t make the rounds around his bosses’ offices.

    The NBA Draft the same night as the Lottery? And the same night as a Cleveland-Toronto playoff game. Yes, that would happen. Yet, it’s not that shocking when we all think about it, is it?

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    Here is my list of favorite/least favorite Toronto media sports personalities. What about you?

    Favorite Top 5 (from most favorite)
    Bob McCown; still the King and go to guy for the big story
    Andi Petrillo
    Jeff Blair
    John Shannon
    Leah Hextall

    Least favorite five/least liked
    #1 least favorite, the pompous egomaniac Lance Brown, sports director CFTO
    Glenn Healy
    Nick Kypreos
    Michael Landsberg
    Don Cherry

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    I’ll play along. hard to think of just 5 in any category so i’m going to split between TV and Radio

    Fav TV
    1. Bob Cole
    2. James Duthie
    3. Ron MacLean
    4. Bob McKenzie
    5. Elliot Friedman

    Least Fav TV
    1. Glenn Healy
    2. Don Cherry
    3. PJ Stock
    4. Pierre McGuire
    5. Hazel Mae

    Radio fav 5

    1. Bryan Hayes
    2. Jeff O’Neil
    3. Scott MacArthur
    4. David Bastl
    5. Mike Richards

    Radio Least Fav 5

    1. Dean Blundell
    2. Michael Landsberg
    3. Gareth Wheeler
    4. Mike Hogan
    5. Andi P

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    Let’s go with US/Canada Version

    Sports TV Like
    1. Al Michaels
    2. Charles Barkley
    3. Shaq
    4. Sophia Jurkstowicz
    5. Chris Cuthbert

    Sports TV Dislike
    1. Stephen A Smith
    2. Mike Milbury
    3. John Gruden
    4. Pierre McGuire
    5. Don Cherry

    Radio Top 5

    1. Rome
    2. Dan Patrick
    3. Cowherd
    4. McCown
    5. Joey Vendetta

    Radio Least Fav 5

    1. Dean Blundell
    2. Dan Lebatard
    3. Farrell
    4. Michael Landsberg
    5. Hockey Central

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    People on the radio books:

    “The books must be wrong. TSN must be making more strides than the numbers released. This is an antiquated system that desperately needs upgrading”

    Scott Moore says same thing about TV ratings:

    “He’s just making excuses! This is the best technology there is to measure this stuff. There’s no way it’s the measurement system”

    Every now and then, you’ve gotta just come on here and laugh at the strange double-standards.

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    The ratings are done with a flawed system… but it’s the only system we have.

    Until the system is improved this is what they have to deal with. So TSN Radio and Sportsnets HNIC should both be upset

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    Right, but no one was saying that before is my point. Before, it was, “Yup, excuses! The ratings are the ratings!”

    Now it’s, “Well, you know, maybe it’s time to look at how this whole ratings thing works”

    Also, surprised no one has peeped a word about the TSN guys music video they released this week.

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    I just read on twitter Inside the Lines is returning to the Fan 590 this August with Steven Rapp, George Rustic and David Bastl.

    You know I’m a huge David Bastl fan, so this is great news for me. Can’t wait to make this part of my Sunday morning pre kickoff tradition. I hope they touch on Fanatsy football too, I’m in 3 leagues and would love some sit em start em advice.

    I also hope Bastl doesn’t abandon the Bastl’s Bytes Podcast. I’m loving it.

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    @Dros. I see your point. I believe I brought up the flaws with the system before. I know I mentioned what mike Richards said about it on Toronto Mike.

    On the music video. both stupid and entertaining. I’m not going to lie I laughed pretty hard at it and watched it more than once. Just gotta love the guys having some fun and making fools of themselves.

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    If Strombo et al did that, I think people would actually hang George in the streets.

    My hypothesis on this site all along has been:

    1. TSN gets a free pass because they have likable personalities. If SN tried half the things TSN did, people would hate them even more. If something is good on SN, people won’t admit it; if the same thing was done on TSN, people like it (people seem to like OverDrive for it’s “light-heartedness” and humour, yet hate Tim & Sid for that same reason). Why is that?

    2. Well, I think it’s because of the negative association of Rogers. Rogers owns Sportsnet, Bell owns TSN. Rogers makes sure people KNOW that they own Sportsnet (hell, it was called Rogers Sportsnet for years), but Bell never called it Bell TSN. As a result, a lot of people’s negative customer experiences to do with Rogers carries over into how they view the brand. Rogers = bad, so people remember it.

    Now, that’s not to say that each network isn’t legitimately better than the other at things, but I do think it clouds people’s perceptions, whether consciously or sub-consciously.

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    @Dros You win, truly believe that people’s emotions with Rogers and their customer service lead to what they say about their properties.

    ‘As a result, a lot of people’s negative customer experiences to do with Rogers carries over into how they view the brand. Rogers = bad, so people remember it.’

    100 percent.

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    Great idea, here’s mine

    Fav 5
    Bob McCown
    Bob McKenzie
    Elliot Friedman
    Jeff Blair
    Jeff Marek

    Least 5
    John Shannon
    Dean Blundell
    Doug McLean
    Michael Landsberg
    Darren Millard

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    I wouldn’t because unlike most people here I like Strombo.

    Also he already was in a music video about hockey. Rock the sweater by Montreal rapper Annakin Slyad.

    I also loved that video and have watch it way more times than the silly TSN one.

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    Is it really necessary for TSN to pull O’Neill or McLennan off of OverDrive for 30 minutes (or more) so that they can do a segment on SportsCentre?……… seems to happen almost every day and they often don’t even mention it on 1050……….I guess they are maybe hoping the audience doesn’t notice

    Don’t they have other TSN hockey people that can handle those suppertime SportsCentre duties?

    It’s hard not to come to the conclusion that 1050 is pretty low on TSN’s list of priorities

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    Claire A Fye5 years ago

    @Art Really disappointed to hear what the Fan is doing with Inside the Lines. I always liked Steve Rapp and it’s good to hear he’s coming back. He’s a really interesting guy who has a lot of interesting takes on football betting. But Rusic and Bastl? Are you kidding me? Jorey and Randall the Handle were really good, and again were heavily invested in football gambling. There is no way Rusic and Bastl can come close to giving their kind of information. Those guys lived it…to Rusic and Bastl it’s a gig.

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    I can give you my personal reason for enjoying Overdrive but not Tim and Sid. The Overdrive guys come across as genuine and at ease with themselves. There is a real looseness within the group. I have no problem with Tim but I cannot watch Sid. He seems like, for lack of a better term, a loser. With his grandstanding and faux outrage I’m just not into it.

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    Tighthead5 years ago

    It would be. Ice to have a forum where discussions would be threaded.

    The York podcast is outstanding.

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    I don’t know much about Rustic but I have been a ling time regualr listener of The Mike Richards show and now Bastl’s Bytes.

    Betting and spred bets has always been a part of both shows. Bastl has always gone through the lines and made picks. He does have a back ground in gaming.

    His 4 play and perfect picks have been a ling time feature of the show, as have the Proline best bets.

    I know I personally jave made money taking advice from both he and Richards.

    In the flip side Randle the Handle is a long time vet. But I always laugh when I look at his record each week in the sun. Frankly I can and do do better on my own.

    In the end it’s a show and I am pumped to have a great broadcaster in Bastl back on the air.

    Sure I’m bias because he’s one of my favourites but everything I just said is still true.

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    Original Mitch5 years ago

    If news came out that Dave Bastl ate puppies as a hobby, Art would be here defending him! 🙂

    Claire is right, it IS a gig for Bastl and Rusic compared to the previous hosts. Placing a bet on proline every 3rd Sunday hardly puts you in the same company as Jory and Randle.
    I’m not a gambler per say, but I enjoyed inside the line because Jory and Randle’s whole lives and passion is sports betting. Bastl would take a figure skating PxP gig tomorrow if offered.

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    Rogers according to multiple analysts, views all it’s sports properties as mainly a branding or cross promoting opportunity, as a result this the company smears it’s name all over it’s sports properties, this is the main reason fans continue to “Bundle” their views of Rogers media properties with services. In case you haven’t noticed Rogers has a bizzilion adds for all their services at the Rogers centre, and sportsnet for years has been synonymous with the Rogers brand as sportsnets predecessor is Rogers sportsnet. All in all Rogers puts its signature stamp on what it owns in terms of services or media, and Customers/fans marry the two, rightfully so.

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    No need to be dink.

    I agree with Art. Bastl ia pretty good, I listed him in my top 5 earlier today.

    I listened to the Mike Richards show too and yeah gambeling is a big part of it, especially during football season.

    Good for Bastl & Rusic for getting this “gig”

    If you like the old guys then follow them where ever they go.

    Geez we are talking about a sunday morning show here. Relax

    If you don’t trust these guys, then don’t take their bets. There is no shortage of places out there to get wager advice. Actually I’m setting up a line now. Only 4.99 a minute lol

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    Claire A Fye5 years ago

    I’m sorry. I don’t get it. A large part of this thread has been about the comments here being more about the posters than the actual shows or hosts. I made a post about a show that, in my opinion, has been one of the best specialty shows in this market for years. In it I mentioned the old and new hosts. I was not making disparaging remarks about the new hosts (Rusic and Bastl) but rather lamenting the fact the old hosts would no longer be around. And as for it being about a Sunday show? Really? Now we’re discounting days of the week? Look, if you’re at all in to the NFL and gambling, that show was pure gold. Don’t the games go on Sundays? There in a nutshell is the problem with this site. You can’t win.

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    Cirro is right, i need to change my pick.

    Sid is at the top of the dis-likable list, way to much fake there. Honestly think the gimmick has jumped the shark, most fans seem to get what he is at this point.

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    I wasn’t really talking about you Calire A Fye. My no need to be a dink comment was about Mitch taking a jab at Art. I just thought the puppy thing was snarky.

    I said it’s a Sunday show because, hey let’s be honest I have never seen anyone comment about this show here before. Not once. Nor have I heard anyone comment about either host who is leaving the show. What are the ratings for a Sunday morning show anyway? most people are watching NFL pregame shows on TV anyway.

    I just don’e get the outrage. I do bet on football and like I said there are a million sites, shows, hotlines, blogs, columns and other sources to get tips on NFL games.

    I am also sure that being part of the biz for a long time both Jorey and the Handle with both continue on elsewhere. They won’t be hard to find.

    I just don’t see the big deal.

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    It seems as though SN has a lot more Espn journalists and broadcasters on their shows weekly than TSN has on their shows. How is it that Espn is a 10% stake holder in TSN yet contributing to the majority stake holders competitor. Today Adnan Virk was on the morning show. Did the Dan Shulman contract with SN blow the doors open??

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    Original Mitch5 years ago

    Sorry if I offended you. Admittedly a bizarre, random booster for a guy that barely has a mark in the city’s sports landscape is odd to me. If he were relevant in any way, I would understand. But brought up exclusively by one person, periodically at random strikes me as odd 🙂
    To my point and yours, when was the last time a weekend or night show was ever brought up here? Not saying its not worth discussing (Yes guy!) but if not for Bastl Booster, we aren’t even having this discussion. Not to mention ‘inside the line’ is paid advertising, its an informational.

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    @Original Mitch

    No worries I wasn’t offend especially since It wasn’t directed at me. I just don’t get the flack Art gets for being a fan of David Bastl. I’m of fan of his as well.

    What we should be giving Art flack for is being a fan of Strombo. What’s that about?

    @Big G

    That is odd, but the entire Bell Rogers relationship is odd. the are bitter enemies yet they own the Leafs together. They fight for broadcasts rights but do some special events together. TSN guys used to be guests on 590 until TSN 1050 opened. I guess 10% ownership only means TSN gets ESPN content not rights to all their people too.

    Maybe the fact that TSN guys are showing up on NBC pissed ESPN off.

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    Original Mitch5 years ago


    It’s mainly tongue and cheek anyway, as Art knows I like to bug him about his affinity for Bastl.

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    Thanks but you don’t need to fight my battles. Although I’m glad you like David Bastl too.


    So I looked up Randall’s record from last year. ( He had a winning percentage of 51.76 % . Wow yeah can’t replace that kind of expertise lol. You could do just as well flipping a damn coin.

    You say he lives this and to the new guys it’s just a gig. Well that saddens me. Because If I lived something and was only right 51% of the time, I might want to get a new living.

    Also he didn’t even have a perfect 5 for 5 week all last year. Not 1. He did have 4 1-4 weeks though.

    If you are listing to this guy and making bets then you need someone new.

    But if you still want to take his advice. You can find him in the Toronto Sun.

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    Sam In Scarb5 years ago

    Ratings ???

    Just flipped on fan/590..5:20
    50% of the Friday round table is Ian Leggett and shannon
    The suits at rogers are just saying f-you public,everyone listens
    to the Friday roundtable anyway..
    Traffic must be a bitch on the 400 as the suits have to sit in it in their Caddy SUV’S listening to a CD or 550 from Buffalo…

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    The reason why I’m starting to prefer Overdrive to PTS, is that the 3 guys are genuine, and when they go off on tangents, it is usually amusing, or stuff we can all relate to. Not to mention, they mostly watch the games. Over the years, Bob has really been mailing it in, and the humble-bragging about the exclusive golf course or the latest sojourn to Atlantis, or who stopped by the winery is starting to wear thin. Not to mention the constant presence of Shannon. God, I was hoping Shannon would be shuttled off to Red Deer this week, to no avail.

    Get over the petty jealousies, and bring back Brunt!

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    Shannon update…………he has now been on 14 of the last 18 PTS Friday roundtables

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    Reason #542 why the Tor sports media is despised: actual articles and reports on… (Drumroll please)…the 1st anniversary of the Mike Babcock hiring. Yes, 365 days ago, the prophecies which foretold the Saviour were fulfilled…and the Leafs haven’t been out of the basement since. Stay classy, TSN and SN

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    Marty York spent the entire podcast trying to convince listeners he isn’t a dick and ended up coming across as more of a dick. Hey Marty, Hitler was evil, Jose Bautista isn’t, even if he doesn’t like Steve Simmons.

    It has always been a repetitive yammering of ‘insiders’ on each of the stations but to me it has seemed to be more of a drone in the last year. ‘Welcome Elliotte Friedman!’ ( applause ). Ask Friedman a question, he drones for 4 minutes. Another question, 3 minutes of droning. Hey Friedman (paid to be here), thanks for taking the time man.’ ( Insert, Kypreos, Maclean, Cox, Marek: same drone. – Also insert Dreger, Mackenzie, Simmons, Feschuk on the other station.

    Though I find if the insiders are actually in the studio which seems to happen on 1050 more than 590, actually never happens on 590, there seems to be more engagement and genuine banter, not seemingly reading off cue cards.

    More shows need to step outside of the Insider sandbox and cultivate their own guests. Darcy Tucker on Walker, Charles Oakley on Blank and Cauz lately. More guests that aren’t an ingrained part of Toronto sports media churning out mildly different versions of the same story. Rob Becker is one of my favourite guests on PTS, more of him for example. Find interesting people and get them on regular weekly spots. BE ORIGINAL.