Seen & Heard – Weekend Edition 5 Questions with Richard Deitsch

<span class="entry-title-primary">Seen & Heard – Weekend Edition</span> <span class="entry-subtitle">5 Questions with Richard Deitsch</span>

by mike in boston / @mikeinbostonemail

 

Good morning sports media fans. This is my last column. For a month or so. Pursuing some interesting things for the future. I’ll still be available on Twitter and you can always get me on email. If anything major happens in sports media I’ll drop back in.

 

Thanks as always to those working at print, digital, radio, and TV outlets who read and take the time to write. It’s a pleasure to work with so many professionals who care about the craft.

 

Suggested soundtrack: I’m Afraid of Americans — David Bowie

 

5 Questions with … Richard Deitsch (Sports Illustrated)

 

Rock star Richard Deitsch (187,000 followers) returned to Canada this week following his very successful 2016 tour stop on the FAN590’s Prime Time Sports. He added more shows this time around with performances at venues such as Jeff Blair, PTS, and Andrew Walker. He was also gracious enough to spend some of his brief off-the-clock time answering some questions from me about sports media. Here is our conversation.

 

Q: The US & Canada have seen similar reductions to print journalism. Sports media criticism was among the first things to be dropped by Canadian papers. Why has the US and your publication in particular maintained its commitment to sports media criticism?

 

RD: There has been a shift in my country as well. A lot of papers used to run sports media columns 3 times a week … The Chicago Tribune, the LA Times … and those did go away. The difference is that a lot of what replaced that content was the web. Deadspin, Awful Announcing, The Big Lead … they filled in the gaps that mainstream media left. There are still mainstream places though. SI, the Boston Globe, the New York papers … they all still do it. So there are some parallels. But the big difference is that there were some big online entities that took that content over, whereas in Canada it seems — other than your blog — no one did.

 

Q: That has been one of the most disappointing things, for me, about Canadian sports media: they don’t seem to think media criticism matters. How do your bosses at SI see the value of the kind of reporting and commentary you do?

 

RD: The reasons are multifold. First, there are great metrics for it. There’s really big interest and this is a beat that has been undervalued by outlets. Look at this way: you grow up with Joe Buck and Al Michaels and Jim Nantz in your living room every weekend. They are there more than the 3rd starting pitcher for the Seattle Mariners (unless you live in Seattle). My point is that you know these people way better than you know 85% of the athletes. So why wouldn’t you write about these people who are such a big part of your sports world. Second, we are independent. We don’t have direct rights relationships with the leagues, so I have a lot of editorial freedom. Third, I am able to get to people and they are willing to talk. Access is easier than to traditional athletes. Fourth, since I write for the web I am able to do long form stuff that wouldn’t fit in a paper. I can do roundtables and podcasts. Lastly, it’s an interesting business because it combines money and ego and fame and jealousy and creativity. And SI has been great in giving me full autonomy.

 

Q: There are a range of jobs that fall under the blanket term “sports media”: sideline reporter, columnist, broadcaster, TV show host, radio show host, etc. When you evaluate people’s work, do you have a sliding scale based on how “serious” a journalist they are? Or is there just good journalism and bad journalism and everyone should be judged by an objective standard?

 

RD: All of this is subjective at the end of the day. There are people who like what I do and people who really don’t. That’s just part of an arts profession. I try to be accurate as best I can; to try to find the best possible truth I can when it comes to the reporting of facts. When it comes to opinion I try to be honest  with the reader and I try to be strong. Some people can and do ask: can you do both? And that’s a good philosophical question. When it comes to criticism, I think that if you’re an on-air talent there is an understanding that this comes with the job. I try very hard to have a different standard for people who are behind the scenes and not in the public eye. I would still put producers and directors as part of “talent”. But if you’re  an audio engineer who never talks to the press I think you have to handle that differently. But the one thing that is odd about what I do is to comment on people who are essentially my colleagues. That said, people in sports media comment on athletes, who have nothing to do with athletics themselves. So I think it is all fair game for someone like me — or you — to comment on what people in sports media are saying. There will always be people who ask “why are you writing about me?”. But there’s an inherent hypocrisy in talking and writing about athletes and not wanting people to comment on your own sports media work.

 

Q: I want to press a little on the point that it is all subjective. When you point out the (obvious) flaws in the work of someone like Skip Bayless I don’t think you’re saying “hey, this is just my opinion.” I think you are saying this person is doing objectively bad or disingenuous work that falls short of what the audience expects.

 

RD: I think that’s a great point. There is no such thing as pure objectivity because we are all humans and we all have opinions. So the best you can do is be as factual as possible about the facts, and then be honest with the reader about your criticisms within that framework. So when I talk about Bayless I tell the audience that I don’t respect the guy’s work. I loathe what he does professionally. Now you as a reader can judge all my criticisms for yourself. Rare is the person who is universally loved or hated. So it’s always going to be shades of grey. I think the thing that people dislike is a fake-out; not being authentic about what you really think. Sports media writing is really interesting precisely because it plays between the lines of opinion and reporting, and sometimes you have to do both within the same piece. But it’s also important to acknowledge that there is no common standard between, say, sports talk radio and writing for the sports section of the Globe and Mail. All of the complexities are really tough to navigate as a sports media critic.

 

Q: How do you deal with angry feedback to your work from the people and networks you write about?

 

RD: Most of the feedback I get is from representatives of the subjects I write about rather than the subjects themselves. I will hear from PR or the network president but not as much from talent … less than what you might think. When I write something that is critical of talent I will write to them and talk to them and give them an opportunity to comment. And understand that even if we have that conversation we are likely not going to get to a resolution. But there’s at least some explanation for where I was coming from. The interesting thing about sports media writing as a whole is that the majority of it is positive. The minority is what sticks in people’s craw. But I rarely get a call when I write something nice about a network. So what I often tell them when they call in response to something negative is “hey, I respect where you’re coming from but I never heard from you when I wrote all those columns praising your talent.” So I think it’s important to give the subjects an opportunity to give their opinion on what you write, but I don’t think you should cede on your opinion ever in response to pressure. Especially if people challenge you on your credentials to comment on their work. When people try to discredit or devalue you, that’s when you need to hold your ground the most.

 

Q: We know print journalism is in decline and have seen the job losses. We know there is an increase in cord cutting which will lead to a shrinking of tv jobs. We are also in the “golden age of podcasting”. Do you see the growth of podcasts as a threat to the business model of commercial radio?

 

RD: I don’t. I see it as a complement and as an added-value play for traditional radio. Here’s why: as long as we have a car culture in our countries then radio will always have a place. People prefer live when they are in their cars over tape. Sports fans want to hear about the game coming up. So I don’t see the two as in competition. I do think podcasts will continue to grow as a forum for interesting content. You can make a podcast as long or as short as you want. You can vary the style to fit your content. You’re seeing the big places do this already: they will put every single show on podcast online; they will create dedicated podcast divisions; they will seamlessly merge all their content into a big library people can access. There will also be new voices in the market because of podcasts. My guess is that you’ll start to see podcasts that draw ten times the audience of traditional shows. Take Barstool Sports’ Pardon My Take. They are destroying the Cowherds and LeBatards in terms of podcast numbers. So you can create a gigantic audience going podcast-only. But if broadcasters are smart they will see it as an addendum to what they are already doing. It’s also going to be a great place for younger guys to get their reps in. I love podcasts. You guys should do one.

 

Q: The model in cable sports seems to be: get the rights, get the ratings. My question is about the value of non-live sports programming. Things like desk shows, panel shows, highlight shows, features, documentaries, etc. How much do you think this programming matters to the success of a network?

 

RD: In my country you have to have a bridge to live programming. The value to having sports shows like the ones you mentioned is that they are cheap to produce. You already have the studio space and the airtime. You just have to pay for talent. It gives a network an identity — not always a good one. There’s no doubt that during certain timeslots you can bring in people to watch debate style shows. My one counter is that if you go all debate and minimize news and features you become an elongated echo system for noise. I don’t think that is good for the longterm. In the US 10-12am has become the slot for debate shows and it gets ratings. But the real reason they do it is for the reasons I mentioned: it’s cheap and it fills time. It’s also marketing. The reason why so many radio shows get simulcast on TV is that it’s a great ad campaign for the network. Mike&Mike draw a little over 200,000 for their TV/radio show. Not gigantic numbers but also not costing you anything. That’s a no-brainer.

 

Q: What about 30 for 30 and investigative sports journalism? How do you see the value there? That’s much more expensive programming to produce.

 

RD: That is not a money maker but it does establish you as a smart thoughtful news entity. Things like 30 for 30 bring in a different high-end and high-dollar segment. But it’s also very expensive and in some cases is burning money because it doesn’t yield results that can fill a lot of airtime. Debate shows can do that every single time. I give ESPN a lot of credit for their documentary work. And every now and then you hit it just right and it becomes a huge success, like the OJ one. That made a lot of money, brought a lot of viewers in, and establishes the network as a place of intellectual heft. ESPN can do this, in part, because they are getting a ton of revenue from subscriber fees.

 

Q: That leads in to my next question: when the sports cable bubble bursts, do you see ESPN suffering more than FOX because they make so much more money from subscriber fees. (FOX gets about $1 vs $7 for ESPN)

 

RD: I would still bet on them being the industry leader for a long time. They have banked so much money for so long. They have multiple distribution networks. Their brand is huge. The interesting question for them will be at what point do we break from the traditional model of partnering with cable networks and instead sell directly to consumers. That will come but no one knows what the number is where that makes economic sense. Is it 80 million cable subscribers? Is it 40? Who knows. But right now if you are a college football fan then you have to get ESPN. There’s no other way to get the content you want. The challenge is the generation of young people who form other habits: going to a bar to watch, going to a buddy’s house, borrowing your parents’ password to stream … that person isn’t going to pay $150 per month. But FOX is going to be fine. Murdoch has loads of money and wants to be in this game and can afford to do it at a loss for a long long time.

 


 

My sincere thanks to Richard for his articulate and insightful answers. I’m also grateful for the attention he pays to Canadian sports media. It is very much needed.

 

Looking Ahead to 2017

 

2016 was a terrible year in sports media as layoffs, firings, cuts, and buyouts dominated the headlines at the papers and the big media companies. The dust has mostly settled but some people are still out of work or underemployed. 2017 is off and running and it is unclear whether things will get better, stay the same, or continue to get darker with the day.

 

Here are some story lines to watch in the year to come:

 

Print

 

  • Does the National Post survive the year? It’s clear that the plan is to make it as cheap to run as possible. What happens next is not clear. One suspicion is that Darth Godfrey’s goal is to liquidate Postmedia assets (which have shrunk under Godfrey). Scott Stinson is one person writing sports who still has a contract with National Post. If it goes under I’d like to see him land with the Toronto Sun.

 

  • Since Postmedia owns the Sun chain, it is also unclear what the future holds for the Toronto Sun. Sports became much less expensive overall with the 2015-2016 departures of Bob Elliott, Bill Lankhof, Cam Cole, Mike Rutsey and Ken Fidlin. In an ideal world those big savings would be reinvested in the product by improving the website, developing a 21st century app, and hiring some young talent.

 

  • The financial picture at the Star is bleak. The Globe just dedicated roughly 4500 words to chronicling in painstaking detail just how bad things look. We have already seen some job reductions in sports, as well as some talented people moved elsewhere at the paper (see e.g. Brendan Kennedy). The paper is currently without a sports editor. The wonderful StarTouch tablet app has not been a mainstream success. I worry that things will get worse before they get better.

 

  • GlobeSports. The operation is as lean going into 2017 as it has ever been. Lots of their writers have taken on new duties and shifted roles in the past few months. Let’s watch if they try something  — anything — new in 2017.

 

Digital

 

  • The Globe is the only paper currently selling premium digital-only content. Most of it is quite good journalism, and all of it is a free throw-in for people already buying the physical paper every day. Unfortunately that’s the same group that is least likely to read the paper and then go to their app to read the “unlimited” digital content. If you want “unlimited” without buying the paper then it’s $6/week. Given that none of that premium content is sports related, the Globe’s premium product is irrelevant to sports readers. It’s conceivable they could try shifting to an enhanced digital-only sports section in 2017.

 

  • Sportsnet Magazine is dead and roughly 16 editors and 10 writers are now part of the Sportsnet.ca family. That’s a pretty crowded environment. Rogers chose not to keep the magazine as a digital only subscription publication, which it did with some of its others magazines. Does this mean they see no future in the digital subscription model for longform sports journalism? I have an in-depth piece on Sportsnet magazine banked for some time in the future, so let’s put a pin in this for now.

 

Radio

 

Here’s a graph showing a 10 year trend in radio listening, music vs talk.

 

radiotrendgrpah

 

What do you see? I see that streaming services (Apple, Pandora, Soundcloud, etc) and large portable music libraries have taken a big chunk out of commercial music radio. The other thing I see is that there is no growth in talk radio.

 

The Fan’s % share of M25-54 for their entire day has bounced from 6.7 in Spring ’14 (no playoff stories) down to 5.3 in spring ’15 (also no big playoff stories) and then up to 7 for spring ’16 (huge Jays, Leafs, and Raps stories). So there was a bit of a bump vs 2014 but not much. During the same time frame TSN1050’s % share was: 2.9, 1.3, 1.3. What this means is that TSN didn’t benefit from the FAN’s dip in 2015, but it also didn’t benefit from the big spike in general sports interest in 2016.

 

This suggest that the total share of male sports fans is what it is in the city and isn’t affected very much by winning or losing. The other thing to note is that most of that demo is listening to something other than sports. What will it take to draw in more? Well, TFC, Raps, and Jays are all winning without an appreciable effect on total share. Perhaps everything will change if the Leafs win? The proof will be in the pudding.

 

Lastly, what will it take for women to matter to sports radio advertisers? There is some evidence that the female audience grew from 2014 to 2016 for the FAN, but the sample sizes are so small that it’s hard to tell. Female listenership stayed flat for TSN during that time. 2016 was the first full year of Andi Petrillo on Leafs Lunch so perhaps we will see an uptick in 2017. The first network that figures out how to draw women to sports TV and radio stands to make a lot of money.

 

The biggest question in radio in 2017 is whether TSN1050 will show signs of life. Here are some things to consider in that vein.

  • First, TSN radio in Montreal is experimenting with using HD radio to rebroadcast its AM content. Rogers already does this with 680 and 590 in Toronto. HD radio receivers are not ubiquitous but they are growing, mostly in cars. If this technology becomes an invisible standard then this might help TSN1050’s signal issues. Speaking personally, I have reception issues with both stations downtown in my car.

 

  • Second, one intriguing question over the last two years is why TSN1050 has not seen any halo-effect from having the Leafs radio rights. It would be natural to think that some people will get in the car the next day and enjoy Naylor & Landsberg and come to favour TSN over 590 at least some of the time. There is no evidence this is happening. If the Leafs have an exciting spring playoff push then this will bring more ears to sports radio, and some of those may stick with TSN1050.

 

  • Third, Jeff O’Neill’s profile at TSN tv is growing. He’s clearly a star at the network. Will his fans seek him out on radio on their drive home?

 

More generally, something to watch in 2017 is whether we see more stability in radio programming. In 2016 we saw changes to one morning show, three mid-afternoon shows, one lunchtime show, and one drive home show. Here’s another comparison. Between 2011 and 2015 the Fan had 4 (or 5) different morning shows: Krystal, Brady+Lang, Brady+Walker, Dean Blundell & Co (Kollins version), Dean Blundell & Co (Cadeau remix). For comparison, WGR550 in Buffalo has had the same morning show for 12+ years.

 

The fact that Mike Richards was let go 6 months ago and TSN1050 has not named a mid-afternoon successor is curious. I don’t think I have ever seen a timeslot remain with a generic title this long before. Perhaps that’s the plan? Rotate existing staff through the slot but don’t actually give someone a new contract to host the show. Could be a cost-saving measure. Who knows.

 

Here’s a poll question for you: of the following 4 names — Brady, Landsberg, Richards, Blundell — which one do you think is LEAST likely to have his current work situation in radio change in 2017? (That means you’re voting for the person you think is MOST likely to stay right where he is, either on or off sports radio. )

 

We are almost 2 years in to the great Blundell sports radio experiment. Will he go back to music or is the FAN happy to keep him for another year? Brady’s severance and non-compete clause run out in the spring. Does he land at TSN1050 in time for Fall 2017? Would the FAN bring him back to do mornings if Blundell moves on? Does Corus take a crack at giving Brady a variety show? Landsberg ended up on radio because his TV show was canceled after an impressive run. Does TSN eventually move on completely, or do they think they are getting good value out of that contract? Does Landsberg eventually want to devote more of his time to his mental health advocacy? He could still appear on TSN, just not as an everyday radio host. Finally, Mike Richards has been making noise about a return. Is it a podcast? Is it music? Is it satellite radio? Or does the FAN look to pair him up with Walker or Blundell?

 

 

Quick Hits

 

If you’re a Bell customer your internet and TV rates are going up. Look for more of this strategy as cord cutting increases: juice those who won’t cut the cord, and increase the cost of streaming to those who do. No matter what happens, you win.

 

J-Source has a story on the success and failure of subscription based journalism in Canada.

 

Netflix is now in half of US households. Per their recent comments they have no interest in leveraging that reach to get into sports: “In terms of getting to a full one-to-one tie ratio with today’s cable, that includes a lot of sports, which we don’t have plans for.” This will be something to watch. If you’re a cord-cutter, Netflix is an essential service. The biggest drawback to cutting the cord is the loss of live sports. Imagine if Netflix had a tiered system with live sports as an optional add-on.

 

Apple Music is getting into sports radio streaming. I have no idea if this would be a draw for anyone who is not already paying Apple $10 a month to stream music. Intuitively, it seems to me that music streamers and sports talk streamers are different audiences.

 

Cyd Zeigler (who was once a regular guest on the FAN … what happened?) has some thoughts about NHLer Brad Marchand’s claims that he and others would have no issues with a gay teammate. Zeigler  argues that this same acceptance would be mirrored by fans of the league.

 

Low Hanging Fruit

 

  • Deitsch and Bruce Arthur had a fun discussion about the differences between Canadian and American approaches to sports talk. Personally, I think the differences are overstated. There’s a lot of hot take talk here, but we have far fewer people working in sports media relative to the US. So that noise just doesn’t get amplified as much. If you’re reading this space then you really should be subscribed to Deitsch’s podcast.

 

  • John Lott is very slowly and subtly letting his opinions show up in his writing. It’s fantastic. Here’s his story on the recent Atkins/Bautista press conference and the return of Ed Rogers to the forefront of Jays news.

 

  • Damien Cox makes the case for forgetting about NHL players at the 2018 Olympic games. It’s a good piece and I’m buying his argument. The fight between the IOC/IIHF and the NHL/NHLPA is about who is going to get rich off the Olympic games. Maybe we should take a break from having pros at the Olympics and see if we miss them?

 

  • TSN1050’s “Breakfast Club” has some nice momentum and is a great alternative to Dean being taught about sports on air by his producer. My only criticism is that they need to exercise some quality control over who they invite. Like their Reporters TV show, it seems as though just about anyone can count as a journalist according to TSN’s standards.

 

  • Back during the MLS playoffs TSN did a joint radio show between their Toronto & Montreal stations. This would be worth trying more often. They have 7 all-sports stations across the country and are set up to have more inter-market conversations about sports.

 

  • In an act of petulance or courage Cathal Kelly quit Twitter in 2016. No one noticed for a while. Who else would you like to see quit Twitter in 2017?

 

Screen Shot 2016-11-25 at 3.40.18 PM

 


 

thanks for reading and commenting,

until next time …

mike (not really in boston)

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 117
  • comment-avatar
    Brent in LA 5 months

    Great work as always.

    The O-Dog is by far the most popular media personality amongst me and people I associate with. It’s rare to find someone who has his knowledge but can deliver it with humor and charm.

    I’m in my easy 30’s and people my age relate to him. On the other hand, it’s the opposite for John Shhhhhannon. Maybe the older demo likes him, but his constant reminiscing of things that happened 30 years ago is an automatic channel changer. Millenials and people close to my age simply can’t relate to him. I’m sure he’s a good guy but he’s past his expiry date.

    Lastly, Ovedrive is spectacular. I live in Los Angeles and still listen daily. It blows any other show out of the water. There’s no rambling about wineries or the like. The show grabs attention with fun quick segments (Gerry’s Percentages, Grit grindee, etc) and in today’s world with low attention spans it just works. I also find they do a great job getting high profile guests like Marcellus Wiley or Trer Dilfer, which is a great change from the garbage someone like Walker has on (Colby Armstrong, Darcy Tucker). Whoever came up with “Tucker Tuesday” should be fired.

    Edit, one more point. Patrick O’Sullivan is terrible . I understand he’s has some abuse issues and I can’t imagine what that felt like, but he’s terrible. It’s no coincidence his twitter is realPOSullivan…because he actually seems like a major POS the way he goes about his business.

    Have a great day!

  • comment-avatar
    Paul G. 5 months

    Really great read with some excellent links to other relevant stories.

    Are you still going ahead with a Five Questions for Bob Elliott piece?

  • comment-avatar
    Mario 5 months

    Thanks for a very informative read and the link for Richard Deitsch pod cast. Always enjoyed him when ever he’s on PTS. Sports media critic’s are unfortunately not reported as much over here other than here on TSM . Keep up the good work both of you.

  • comment-avatar
    Daniel 5 months

    I think Blundell could have worked if The Fan went more 'guy talk' in the mornings, and didn't try to turn him into a sports guy.  It hasn't been a disaster like Krystal, but I definitely don't think it's a fit.

    Is the 2 year mark significant re Blundell?  Is his contract up?  

    Replacing Blundell with Brady is actually a pretty solid idea.  

  • comment-avatar
    JamesM 5 months

    @Daniel

    Strongly support idea of Brady back on Fan mornings.  I will admit, I'd complain about Brady and his show sometime to my friends, or they'd complain to me.  I was a big Stellick and Landry fan, until I wasn't, as I thought their act had gotten stale.  Then, to Andrew Krystal.  Without question, the worst mistake the Fan has made since I've lived in Toronto, but Blundell is a closer second place in mistakes than I ever thought he'd be.

    I was finished with the show the first week.  Most people I know were.  From the sounds of it, it hasn't improved, and I am not surprised, he's resorted to the usual sophomoric tricks from time to time from his FM days to try and get attention.

    But my point was, I'd bitch about Brady and Lang (I liked Lang a lot better than Walker, and stayed a loyal listener only because of Brady, when he was gone, I couldn't give that obnoxious Walker the time of day).  But wow, I wish i'd never complained.  Amazing how you think you may not fully like something and they given you alternative that ends up being 20 times worse.  The first moment I heard Blundell in that show, I wanted Brady back and I can't be the only one.

    To address the poll, here's my predictions mixed in what I hope will happen, as a listener who is in the car for 90 minutes most mornings, again, have sworn off 590 until there's a new show there:

    Richards: yes, a fancy podcast will happen – maybe mikerichards.com.  His style isn't for me, but he obviously is a worker, and good luck to him beating cancer, because that's far more important than any of this stuff, as we all know.

    Blundell: I don't know, but can't see why the Fan would keep going with him.  Three things I always hear about him that never get disputed from people who either know him or think they know him: that he's a good radio guy, that he's not necessarily a good person (shocking, right?), and that he was very wrongly pushed into sports radio with no experience and he just isn't good or interesting enough to pull it off.  So, your guess is as good as mine.  But I'm not a fan at all, and his time may be up.  Maybe he goes to Sirius where he can curse and say "dick" and "douchebag" a lot more than he probably does now.

    Landsberg: Bet he's still there within a year.  He's a TSN lifer so there has to be some loyalty there.  There sure is some loyalty for Naylor, who I find boring as dish water.  I'd move him to a different spot and bring someone else in.

    Brady: And that's where Brady comes in.  He's gotten proven results in mornings at the Fan with two different partners.  From all that gets said on here, it's fairly obvious, the move to Blundell was about Blundell and Blundell only and there wasn't some level of dissatisfaction with brady and Walker.  He was hardly perfect, but maybe a year off has changed his approach.  To me, if you're TSN, you get him signed to do something or anything before the Fan comes to their senses and puts him right back where he was, with someone more interesting and with more chemistry than a random guy like Andrew Walker.  

    That's why I voted in the poll that Landsberg is the least likely to move, and it's a trick question of sorts, because obviously Brady isn't just doing nothing for another year after his buyout ends.  Or was the question meaning to be does he replace one of those three people?

    Also, great Q&A with the SI media critic.  He makes a good point that we know all the broadcasters more than random players from random teams in cities we don't live in.  Although it's probably hard in Canada because TSN people won't critique their own people and Rogers won't either.  It actually hurts talk radio now because when Don Cherry used to say something, it would be hotly debated by all stations and networks.  Now, no one touches it, do they?

  • comment-avatar

    I'll tackle the Apple Music streaming sports radio issue because I think there is something interesting going on.

    One of the reasons that people like to stream is the ease of which you can move from place to place while continuing to listen with certain apps (example – TuneInRadio Pro) 

    Apple may think that there is money in that on a subscription basis, me I'm not so sure people will pay but if Apple buys the exclusive streaming rights and locks up the content, they may prove me wrong.

    Hell, I swore I'd never buy an Apple Watch but after two years I finally took the plunge and now can't imagine not having it, so what do I know?

  • comment-avatar
    Paul 5 months

    I think Brady in the morning would be great for TSN 1050. He has a good range of knowledge and is an interesting radio personality. With TSN recently signing a deal to be TFC's lone broadcaster, maybe bringing in a guy like Brady (who can talk soccer) would be a good way for them to push their product and provide an alternative to the same old Toronto sports topics (Leafs, Jays, Jays, Leafs) while still being able to talk about those same old topics with knowledge. 

    Funny that talk radio numbers have flattened yet both stations have not changed their approach. I feel that Toronto has changed as a city over the last 10 years, but Toronto sports radio has failed to change with it. Hence, flat numbers. 

     

  • comment-avatar
    GreyCountyMike 5 months

    Who should pull a "Cathal Kelly" on Twitter? There are few folks who come to mind, but let's start with Mike Wilner.

  • comment-avatar
    Brandon 5 months

    I'm in the majority. Brady is greatly missed on the Toronto airwaves.  He and Bryan Hayes are my two faves.  Speaking of hosts who can handle all four major sports, it's him and Tim Micallef  for me and neither have been on radio for too long now.  

    And speaking of people who seem to have quit twitter, it would appear Sid Sexiero did.  No loss, as far as I'm concerned.  In fact, I wish more than anything Tim could escape Sid and demonstrate what he could do on his own.  But I don't know how locked in they are and if they're paying both guys well, it's hard to walk away from it.  But here's hoping the next project he commits himself to doesn't involve Sid.  Tim can do fine on his own.  Sid's fame clock is ticking in the wrong direction.  Most of us who want smarter sports talk on radio, in print, or on the web or TV are obviously not looking in his direction. 

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    Brent in LA 5 months

    I doubt this gets answered but I’m goin to ask.

    What are ballpark figures people in sports radio make?

    Morning show
    Mid morning
    Afternoon
    Drive home
    Overnights

    Salaries here in America are often known. What would someone like Walker make? Blair? Hayes? Roger Lajoie (who has expired years ago and needs to retire)?

    Thanks

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    Poker Guy 5 months

    "Brady is greatly missed on the Toronto airwaves." 

    Really??

    Wow. Desperate times, I guess.

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    Patrick 5 months

    Anyone read the Globe takeout on the future of Torstar? Holy smokes. If you are a reporter there or editor, how do you feel about the Star asking the province to forgive your pension liablities. Work for your whole career, expecting a defined benefit pension, and now you learn that you are facing the possibilty of only getting a fraction of what you thought you'd get?

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    Marco from Barrie 5 months

    great thoughts from Deitsch. I'll disagree with one thing though. The real reason sports media criticism went away is that Toronto media is an old boys club. Just look at how much nepotism there is in the industry. You think people like Cox and Simmons want objective analysis of their trolljobs? No way.

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    Bob Canuck 5 months

    The wording in the G&M article was poor: it says that TorStar is seeking relief from its pension liabilities. However, TorStar is not asking for a reduction in their pension liabilities. TorStar, like many companies, has been part of a consultation process that may provide temporary relief in the funding of pension liabilities. In other words, the liability remains the same but the sponsor has a longer time period over which they make certain payments to the plan. Such relief is not new; in 2009 and 2012, the Ontario Government put regulations in place that provided, under certain conditions, funding relief to plan sponsors.

    Below is an excerpt from Section 5 of the Management Discussion and Analysis from TorStar's 2016 thrid quarter report.

    On July 26, 2016, the Ontario Government released a consultation paper on solvency funding in 
    Ontario. According to the consultation paper, which can be found at 
    http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/pension/solvency/review-solvency-funding.html.“Over the last several 
    years, sponsors of defined benefit pension plans, have faced funding pressures associated with 
    persistently low interest rates. The stated purpose of the solvency funding review is to develop a 
    balanced set of solvency funding reforms that would focus on plan sustainability, affordability and 
    benefit security, and take into account the interests of pension stakeholders – including sponsors, 
    unions, members and retirees. Further temporary solvency relief measures are intended to provide plan sponsors with flexibility as the funding review proceeds." Feedback on key policy issues associated with pension plan funding in Ontario was to be submitted to the Ministry of Finance by September 30, 2016. There can be no certainty as to the outcome of the Ontario Government's solvency funding review or the availability of funding relief measures.  However, if such funding relief were to materialize and be applicable to us, it is possible that it could significantly reduce our minimum required funding in respect of our defined benefit pension 
    plans.

     

  • comment-avatar

    I'll agree that O'Sullivan has some growing to do as a radio personality & needs some refining….but he does a great job of calling the analytics diehards (often who don't quite understand the numbers themselves) out on their obsession and blind adherence to the numbers. 

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    Pete 5 months

    The least likely to have his work situation change in 2017 is Landsberg.  I'd even put big money on that.  While it is obvious he would rather still be doing OTR, I think he has embraced his radio gig, has taken over the show (a good thing), and dare I say it, has become really good at it now that he is limiting his condescending tone.  Don't see why he needs to give it up for his mental health advocacy, especially when the radio provides a good medium to help get the message across.

    Brady should end up at TSN 1050.  Would Rogers really plop him back in the morning show?  Talk about admitting an error that should have never occurred.  Still don't understand how he and Walker give the station its best morning ratings in years and they punt them aside for Blundell.  Speaking of Blundell, I bet Rogers is wearing thin with the drop in ratings and eventually can him.  Richards I think gives the royal F U to both 590 and 1050 and does something independently to go head-to-head.

    The Globe has great content, but they have to find another means to unearth revenue than having people pay for content.  In this day and age of Internet, I don't understand why anyone would be pay for an online subscription.

    Jeff O'Neill on TV is a totally different Jeff O'Neill than on radio.  Might be a good thing for some.  Might not for others who don't care for stripper and bar stories.  Extending that, I predict in the not-too-distant future something is going to give with Overdrive.  With each passing day I'm coming to realize the show is not very good and the luster of the whole Leafs Lunch success has all but worn off.

    And hey…whatever happened to Marty York?

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    Hans 5 months

    Pete – I'm going to add to your Overdrive prediction that one if not both co-hosts will be moved out or just moved back to Leafs Lunch and replaced with more sports generalized co-hosts. Both O'Neill and McLennan have been exposed in their lack of knowledge on anything but Hockey and for a show that's meant to be a PTS killer it won't happen. Sadly, Overdrive could have been a fun experience with the hockey guys learning and growing with new sports they discuss but it seems neither (McLennan more than O'Neill by all appearences) are really willing, interested or care to do anything not hockey related.

     I think the best way to save Overdrive and even revamp it is to move McLennan back to Leafs Lunch so he can do his hockey only talk and bring in a new co-host who can play off Hayes while O'Neill catches up and learns about the sport in question that's not hockey.

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    Eddie (Hamilton) 5 months

    The reason Canadian media ditched sports media critics us that they are kinda pointless. People here care but the average person wtaching or reading sports doesn't. There's also the jealousy factor. Producers are failed on-air hosts, editors are failed writers, and media critics are failed sports personalities. Explains a lot of what I read on this site.

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    Eddie (Hamilton) 5 months

    I agree with you but that also means a whole lot more of Boring Bryan Hayes.

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    Antonio 5 months

    I would like to see Bruce Arthur disappear from Twitter…… and every existing entity for that matter. It will never happen but one can dream, can they not?

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    Art 5 months

    All 4 should have there situation changed in 2017.

    Landsberg is brutal. actually he is worse than brutal. He is a arrogant annoying little blow hard that does nothing but bring up his old canceled TV show. OTR this OTR that. He is not a strong interviewer at all, he intentionaly tries to annoy or flat out piss off his guests. He is not a team player as he dominates Naylor every chance he gets. His ego is overwhelming. It's as if the topic of the show is not sports, but rather Landsberg himself. The show draws a 0.something ratting and has in every book since they have come on. Richards used to draw in the 2s,3s,4s or even a couple of 5s.  How can you possibly let this continue. I feel like dead air could draw a better rating than Naylor and Landsberg.

    Blundell has much better ratings usually in the 7s.. but that's not really a great number either compared to other 590 shows. And worse his number is flat or shrining. there is no growth despite being up against a show with a rating under 1. flat out people are not listening to either station in the morning and that time slot should be your money maker.  Blundell has had a 2 year kick at the can and it's not working. he lacks sports knowledge, he is supposed to be a shock jock but he's not that any more either.  His show is dull and repetitive. Basically they try to cover up his lack of knowledge by running long update after long update after long update. a update should be 1 minute long not 20 FFS. And what's worse is he interrupts the updates which just drags them on longer. and when it's Finally over they go to break and come back with you guessed it another damn update. The only thing that breaks up this non stop update loop is guests. thank god for guests. The highlight of the Blundell show has been the guests hosts or cohosts. David Bastl, ben Ennis and Dan Ricco have all been great and all deserve a bigger gig. but even when they are on those damn updates.  Scrap Blundell and scrap the updates!

    Greg Brady. honestly not a fan of his really. but he did have success and he deserves another shot somewhere. he is clearly better than a lot of what TSN 1050 airs (pure garbage) Can they get over what he has said about the station in the past though?

    Mike Richards. Yeah I know he isn't everyones' favourite here.. but honestly most of you are a tad older than his usual audience. he has had success in the younger dem, and those people grow with the station. TSN 1050 killed all his momentum, 1st by scrapping TV, then by letting David Bastl go (who made the show 100% better) and then by moving him to 1pm. like him or not his ratings with Bastl in the am were far far better than the ratings they are getting now.  Richards deserves to be on the air somewhere, 

     

     

     

     

  • comment-avatar
    Pat 5 months

    It won't get any better at The Star. One of the paper's star reporters is leaving this week, heading for a bigger media outlet in the U.S. Everyone eyeing the exits.

  • comment-avatar
    Mike V 5 months

    Wonder if we’ll ever see such a savage press release like this up here: http://www.espnfrontrow.com/2017/01/fox-v-espn-anatomy-moving-target/

    And if it’s from Rogers, will they make Arash Madani write that one too?

  • comment-avatar
    stephen 5 months

    further to the Overdirve predictions….

    No changes until the Stanley Cup is awarded.

    The puckheads will go on vacation, replaced by two sports generalists – all summer.

    In September when hockey season fires up, the puckheads return, but only for 1 hour, the remaining two hours will be the return of the summer generalists.

  • comment-avatar
    stephen 5 months

    bruce arthur and rosey dimano

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    stephen 5 months

    Spot on Rick.

    O'Sullivan is tough to listen to, but he was my choice for radio host rookie-of-the-year.

    No malice intended, but Patrick, if you're reading this, join Toastmasters, and find a voice coach. Don't just listen to Tatti, take notes!

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    stephen 5 months

    I refuse to listen to Blundell, Richards, Brady and/or Lansberg. Been there, tried that, didn't work. So after these clowns crash and burn at station A; station B decides to re-cycle them, in different time slots, with different co-hosts, hoping listeners won't notice, ……

    For me, each (and many others) are unlistenable – none of them are entertaining, or informative. Clearly the people calling the shots for radio programming at both TSN & Rogers lack creativity and originality, explains why the morning shows continue to suck, and why the tinkering of various "personalities and time slots" so resembles an abandoned dart board, so they clearly don't get it either.

    The fact that so many talking heads just get "shuffled" is still no reason for people to listen to them. Very unfortunate that program directors don't get this. 

     

    Toronto, 5th biggest media market on the continent, largest in Canada; 4th most populated city in North America; home to NHL, MLB, NBA franchises, home to franchises in 2nd tier pro leagues MLS & CFL, and home to a pro lacrosse team, as well regular, MMA, WWE, F1 and Indy events. Clearly, there's no lack of content. And Bell & Rogers have significant ownership stakes in all the teams except the Rock. 

    So with all that, why does Toronto sports radio suck so bad?   

     

  • comment-avatar

    Surprised how many of you are confident Landsberg and Blundell are going to be in their same slots through the year. I'd be shocked if both are status quo by fall 2017. Neither one is made for sports radio, though for different reasons. Time will tell.

     

    I'm also curious to hear from those of you who listen to the Leafs on radio at night. Do you stick with whatever station had the game the night before when you get in your car the next morning? Maybe I'll run this as a poll down the road. 

  • comment-avatar

    nice link. thanks for sharing. whatever happened to the old marketing principle of not mentioning the competition when you're #1?

     

     

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    Art 5 months

    I listen to the Leafs on the radio. not ever game but enough. When It's on TSN 1050, the next morning I switch the station right away. I just can't deal with Landsberg.  When it's on 590 I'll give it a minute or two. Depends on if a guest host/cohost is on, or if they have a good guest.  More often than not though I end up turning off the radio all together or switching to WGR 550 or TSN 1150.

  • comment-avatar
    Mike V 5 months

    Guess they got tired after 3 years of shit talking from Jamie Horowitz & crew.

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    I enjoyed Deitsch Week on 590 last week………..he did a good job once again as guest co-host……………..does anyone have a theory on why they used him for two hours a day on Blair's show and a reduced role on PTS?

    He is a guest each week on PTS and as far as I know he has never (or rarely) been a guest on Blair's show…………..Cox was on vacation all week so it was a perfect time to have Deitsch be PTS co-host from 5 to 7 each day like he did the last time he was in town………….there are less people listening to radio at 10 AM than there are at 5 PM so I would think that if 590 was willing to pay for a guest host like him they would want to use him in the most effective way

  • comment-avatar
    Steve Jones 5 months

    I like a good joke. And I'm not really at that PC myself, but Jonah "sloppy seconds" is hardly a joke. Also ironic is that you used this in a reference to Dion Phaneuf. Remember that comment from Sean Avery? That wasn't funny either. 

  • comment-avatar
    Mark 5 months

    Or Damien Cox. Pick your poison

  • comment-avatar
    Mike V 5 months

    So Bell's idea to counter-act the nonsensical CRTC decision is to flood the market and show their Super Bowl feed on CTV2/TSN? I do not think that is going to accomplish anything.

  • comment-avatar
    yaz 5 months

    I think occasionally Bruce Arthur gets knee deep into the Scotch and can’t help himself. Timeline is a mess tonight. Sure one can unfollow but why would the Toronto Star want someone on their staff to call another journalist and paper out by name – along with said journalist’s picture attached to: ‘The Toronto Sun: The World Leader In Shitty Columnists With Sunglasses On Their Heads.’ – a comment that belongs in Frank Magazine.

    Even if you hate The Sun, that is a separate argument. This kind of back alley garbage should be beneath the paper with the largest circulation in Canada. Perhaps the Star is trying to pump up circulation by stirring up controversy a la professional wrestling. In a separate Tweet he mentioned ‘human sunglasses mannequin Mike Strobel.’ Whatever that means.

  • comment-avatar
    Island Chris 5 months

    I don't know.. I'm tired of hearing hockey people complain about analytics.  We get it, you can't make all of your decisions based on stats.  Even most teams that embrace analytics are saying that.  But they're starting to sound old and scared when they make over the top rants about it.  

    Personally, I wouldn't mind hearing more about how successful teams are using analytics.

    RE: O'Sullivan, I don't mind his opinions on the game but I find he's pretty monotone in his delivery.

  • comment-avatar
    Island Chris 5 months

    Good point.  I also don't necessarily think that the music streaming audience is that different from the sports talk audience.  A lot of music streaming subscribers use it mainly when they work out; there's no need to download your own music or fiddle with playlists, plus no commercials.

    So it's not out of the realm of possibility that those people would be interested in switching over to something talk based before / after the gym.  

  • comment-avatar
    Island Chris 5 months

    Dude, I'm 32 and I don't think younger people than me would like Mike Richards.  What would they like about him?  Hack impressions of Schwarzenegger and Victor from Days of Our Lives?  Yeah, that'll get the millennials!

  • comment-avatar
    Bill W. 5 months

    I don't know about others but I think there are still too many people working in sports media. Between the Sun and Star and the Athletic refugees and the Sportsnet and TSN talking heads and all the podcasts people keep pumping out there's just too much content. I think the Globe has the right idea.

     

    I'd like to see another 30% reduction in the number of jobs across the board. The quality is just not there.

  • comment-avatar

    As TSM reported on Twitter earlier today, the people at 1050 have just announced that the weekday 1 to 4 PM show will be "The Scott MacArthur Show" starting on Monday

  • comment-avatar
    Art 5 months

    Very happy for Scotty Mac. I think he's a great talent. I just wish he was doing the morning show instead.

  • comment-avatar
    Pete 5 months

    As soon MacArthur started filling in, whether it be for the vacant Richards spot or on Overdrive in the summer, I knew he was destined to have his own show.  No brainer move.  

    He can be droning, but I think he has the potential to become one of the best hosts in the city.  He is well rounded when it comes to sports, doesn't play up to some stupid schtick, and comes across as a genuinely nice guy.  Come spring/summer, if he focuses a lot of his attention to the Blue Jays, I believe he can make some inroads.    

  • comment-avatar
    yaz 5 months

    1-4 Continues as 'no reason to listen radio.'

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    Elvis 5 months

    Add me to the group who think sports talk radio is a format with no future. It's basically just filler to get you to listen to commercials. Podcasts will eventually destroy that. Millenials aren't raised on car culture, and they also weren't brought up with Howard Stern and other shock jocks. When you can stream everything minutes after the show ends, why would you suffer through commercials?

  • comment-avatar
    Brandon 5 months

    Well, the fact 3 people reacted to TSN Radio's announcement of their 1-4 show says everything you need to know about the radio station's appeal, the 1-4 slot itself, and Scott MacArthur himself.

    Seems like a lovely chap, and my experience listening to him tells me there's no reason to.

    If 590 had changed a host or a show, there'd be 50 responses here already, and 80 by the end of the weekend.  That's just the plain facts.  Tells you what TSN is up against and they've partially made this mess themselves by recycling people like Scott, Naylor, Cauz, and others who people simply won't sign up to listen to.  

  • comment-avatar
    Factual Frank 5 months

    Total comments at The Athletic on their 3 stories … all on the Leafs … from yesterday = 2. One of those comments is complaining about a technical issue.

     

    So that's going well.

     

    – FF

  • comment-avatar
    Cowboyskanuck 5 months

    I don't know if counting how many comments there are on stories, especially this weekend when there's two all-star games nobody cares about and not much else, is a fair way to judge how 'well' the Athletic is doing. 

  • comment-avatar
    bobby 5 months

    I'm curious on this one, I would expect it to be the exact opposite. I'm in that younger category and I miss him being on the airwaves. 

  • comment-avatar

    agreed, I see a lot of variation in the viewers-to-comments ratio on my columns.

     

    for some comparisons, this post and this post have the same # of viewers but one has 2.5 times more comments (23 vs 59). Same here: this column and this one have the same # of hits and one has almost twice the comments (46 v 77).

  • comment-avatar

    that said, sometimes there is a strong correlation. This post was both the most read and the most commented one of mine in 2016.

  • comment-avatar

    All of that said, we are a niche blog. I reckon things are very different at big mainstream outlets like The Athletic and Sportsnet/TSN. I’ll do some digging and see if anyone has some more interesting data. FYI Chris Johnston’s All-Star game story currently has 22 comments at Sportsnet.

  • comment-avatar
    Robert J (Corktown) 5 months

    Big radio changes in 2015 and 2016. Is 2017 the year when things stay quiet? That stat about WGR is astounding. 13 years with the same morning show?!?! I think their drive home show has also been around a while. The only other one I remember was with to ex-coach who hated Flutie. Anyone remember his name?

  • comment-avatar

    Chuck Dickerson

  • comment-avatar
    Art 5 months

    I had no idea what the Athletic was other than seeing it mentioned here several times. So I just checked it out. Mirtle and Scott Wheeler. No thanks. Toronto or Chicago Centric sports blog. Nothing special I could just go to Pention Plan Puppets or any other SBNation blog site and probably get much better. not to mention a billion other team geared blog sites.

    I'm taking a hard pass on this one.

  • comment-avatar
    MjwW 5 months

    McCown just said he supports Trump's Muslim ban, even though he disagrees with the countries chosen.

    I'd say that's the end for him on the Fan, no?

  • comment-avatar
    Curt 5 months

    I missed that part, but I did hear him with Rob Becker where Bob belittled the protesters and questioned their sincerity. If he did say that he supported the Muslim Ban then he must be fired – full stop. He should be in deep shit for just the segment that I heard.

  • comment-avatar
    brandon 5 months

    I heard the Becker stuff, to sum it up:

     

    "Who is there protesting? Democrats who are mad that (Trump) got in there."

    "You think the American population is that high and mighty and everything they do is that they deeply feel about it.  They've got no life and need something to do." – on the protesters.

    "The minute you can get a bi-partisan protest going, call me.  This is all sour grapes over who got elected."

    It's really not that inflammatory, and not even close to a level of getting fired or suspended.  Again, who's their morning show host?  Only a guy as disgraced as any radio broadcaster in the history of Canada for saying inflammatory and offensive things.  I don't think that's an exaggeration.  And he's already in his 590 tenure mocked the Blue Jays president and GM with rude names, called out his Sportsnet colleagues for being shills, suggested the company that gave him a radio lifeline are a bunch of cheapskates, and made fun of a fan losing his life, while attending the game wit his brother, falling out of his seats in an MLB ballpark and dying.   And you want McCown fired over this?  

    It's just Bob being Bob.  Quite politically uninformed, ignorant, and actually factually wrong on the dual-citizenship issue.  So pretty much par for the course, and most of you people love it.  It's an old and tired act.

     

  • comment-avatar
    Daniel 5 months

    "McCown just said he supports Trump's Muslim ban, even though he disagrees with the countries chosen."

    Just listened to the Becker segment.  Did not hear him say anything remotely close to that.

  • comment-avatar
    Daniel 5 months

    He sounded a bit cynical about the protestors, and came off a bit douchey there for sure (he also said he's against Trump FWIW).

    Unless I missed something, he absolutely did not say he's for the Muslim ban, or anything that would warrant his firing or even controversy really.

  • comment-avatar
    MjwW 5 months

    It was the at end of the 4PM hour he said it. 

  • comment-avatar
    Curt 5 months

    Just listened to the end of the 4 o'clock segment. I didn't hear Bob say he supported the Muslim Ban. He said he's all for stringent background checks (which they already do) but not for a ban. I did find his dismissal of the protesters rather offensive – he believes they're having a whinge. What a tool that man is.

  • comment-avatar
    Bob Canuck 5 months

    I listened to the podcast numerous times and here is a fairly accurate transcript of what Bob McCown said:

    "I heard what Lowry had to say about … the immigration laws … he (Lowry) doesn't like them. He's entitled to that viewpoint. I tend to share them … to arbitrarily ban a whole bunch of people from a particular country for no obvious reason … it just seems ridiculous."

    In the future, I would suggest that, if you are going to make a serious allegation about what someone said on the radio, you wait to listen to the podcast. Your stated claim is a complete distortion of what Bob McCown said. 

    As a good carpenter would say, measure twice, cut once.

     

     

  • comment-avatar
    Curt 5 months

    Agreed. This was a total misrepresentation. As I said below, I found Bob's comments regarding the protesters pretty offensive and he should be told as much, but I didn't hear him say that he supported the ban. The man should stick to what he knows something about, like sports….oh wait.

  • comment-avatar
    Cowboyskanuck 5 months

    I’d actually just come here to comment that I would add my name to the list of people who are happy Cox is back as co-host of PTS, but I read some of today’s replies before posting.

    Today wasn’t one of Bob’s best days, but as a few other people have pointed out, never once did Bob say he agreed with the banning of Muslims – he said he was in favour of screening. During part of the segment with Becker, he said the people protesting were only doing it out of sour grapes because Trump got elected instead of their person. Part of what he said here is correct. If Trump had done NONE of the stupid shit he’s done over the past week, and he’s done a LOT, people would still be protesting. They were protesting the day after his inauguration, before he signed racist executive orders. Bad take, but certainly not a fireable offense.

    Back to being happy Cox is back as co-host of PTS. Damien, unlike Shannon and other FOB co-hosts weve been subjected to, who just laugh off his inane shit, Cox calls him on it.

    Also with Becker in the 6PM hour, they talked about MLB putting some pressure on Cleveland to eventually get rid of the smiling Indian logo/name, along with Redskins, Blackhawks et-al. I’m only paraphrasing but it went something like this:

    Bob “9 out of 10 native Americans polled don’t think the names are offensive. So I don’t think a bunch of old white people should decide what native Americans find offensive”

    Cox: “A bunch of old white men came up with those names”

    Bob “I just don’t think it’s up to them to change the past”

    At that point Cox was willing to argue with him, but they had Paul Coffey waiting on hold and Damien said they’d have the arguement another day, even tomorrow when a guest was sitting on hold.

  • comment-avatar
    Bob Canuck 5 months

    I agree that it was not one of Bob's best days. His lack of preparation was evident when he made that "9 out of 10" comment. While it is true that the Washington Post conducted a poll that produced the results that Bob McCown spoke of, those poll results have been questioned by many. Also, it is not the first time that Bob McCown has cited that poll. Given the publicly-available criticism of the Washington Post poll, a well-prepared broadcaster would not have said what Bob McCown said without noting the criticisms of that poll. Below is a link to the Washington Post article and one from The Nation.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/new-poll-finds-9-in-10-native-americans-arent-offended-by-redskins-name/2016/05/18/3ea11cfa-161a-11e6-924d-838753295f9a_story.html?utm_term=.743ce1d9658a

    https://www.thenation.com/article/on-the-shameful-and-skewed-redskins-poll/

    Damien Cox is not without faults. But I agree with you that it is commendable that he challenged Bob's opinion. From that perspective, Damien Cox is a welcomed relief from John Shannon and other FOB.

  • comment-avatar
    Mark Levinson 5 months

    "'When People Show You Who They Are, Believe Them" — Maya Angelou

     

    Bob repeats a headline over and over again from a flawed study about what Indigenous people think. Bob refuses to mention or consider the words from the thousands of people who protest the racist names every year and from the other studies that have been done. Bob doesn't have any Indigenous guests on his show to discuss the issue.

     

    Bob endorses a Trmup-like plan on immigration. Says nothing at all to repudiate the clearly racist content of the current EO, while mocking those who got out and protested.

     

    Bob is called out for being a racist by Cito Gaston. No defamation lawsuit is ever filed.

     

    I think we know who Bob is. He has been trying to tell us for a while now.

  • comment-avatar
    Antonio 5 months

    So because McCown opinion isn't the exact same as the majority of the MSM sheep, he should be fired??? What country do we live in, China, Saudi Arabia, Cuba???

  • comment-avatar
    Donny 5 months

    Greetings from California! wonderful site!

  • comment-avatar

    I wrote about the poll that Bob loves to cite. I have never heard him cite any other empirical evidence so I am led to the conclusion that he made up his mind on the basis of that one headline.

     

    If you want to read about the poll's methodological problems, here's a point by point breakdown. If you can't be bothered to read, here's something to consider:

     

    "First and foremost, the Post states clearly that they did not verify the actual Native American identity or tribal enrollment of its respondents."

     

    That's just the start. It gets worse from there. But the Washington Post poll is a distraction from the core issue: there's lots of evidence that Indigenous people want the racial slur celebrated by the NFL team removed. Ignoring that evidence is a choice Bob is making.

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    GreyCountyMike 5 months

    Unfortunately, some of the loudest critics in Canada of U.S.-based teams having these nicknames and logos get awfully quiet when the subject turns to our own country's horrific treatment of indigenous peoples. I am not suggesting they are wrong to criticize the Washington NFL team or the Cleveland MLB team for their use of offensive terms and images, but let's not forget that many First Nations communities in our own backyard are struggling mightily to get the respect they deserve from our own government, a.k.a. us.

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    (Another)Andrew 5 months

    Where were these white liberal protesters, millionaire athletes, ESPN commentators, and Hollywood when Obama's regime change policies in Libya and Syria and his support of Saudi Arabia in its dirty war against Yemen were creating the refugee mess?  Hundreds of thousands dead, millions displaced but not a peep out of any of them in case it reflected badly on the Warmonger-in-chief. The protesters have shown themselves to be hypocrites and Democrat partisan hacks. They deserve to be mocked.

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    Curt 5 months

    Right, so they should just keep quiet and stay home while their country slides into fascism (not an exaggeration, btw).

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    I don't see a point in us arguing about whether or not protesters are hypocrites. Doesn't have much to do with sports or with whether Rogers (or the audience) should have an issue with McCown's statements. Let's keep the focus there. Plenty of other places to go talk about politics that don't connect with Toronto sports media. 

     

    (p.s) apologies to Bob Canuck for duplicating your research in my earlier post. 

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    Curt 5 months

    I hear what you're saying, Mike. But, this topic isn't going away. Not when you have an increasing number of athletes and sports media people voicing their opinions on the current political climate. I'm guessing that at some point you'll probably blog about it – it's unavoidable.

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    Bob Canuck 5 months

    Much appreciated, thanks!

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    for sure, and I have no issue when there is a connection to sports/sports media. Let's talk about what Kyle Lowry, Greg Popovich, Bob McCown, etc. are saying.

     

    I just don't see any merit in a broader discussion about dems/libs/repubs/feminists/alt-rights/neo-Nazis/hollywoo stars & celebrities/etc. No one comes here to have that debate. 

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    Curt 5 months

    Agreed. This topic is a tough one with a lot of opinion "leakage" and rhetoric. Glad I'm not a moderator!

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    Paul G. 5 months

    @ MIB

    Fully agree.

    While self admitted  a political "junkie" myself, I come to this blog on a daily basis for insight and commentary on sports media. This is a unique resource and we all need to do our part to support it's creators in keeping it as such.

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    CowboysKanuck 5 months

    Right after the Jays season ended, Steve Simmons reported he had heard Barry Davis wouldn't be back on Jays broadcasts in 2017. Guess it's true. No idea if he was let go from SN entirely. 

    https://twitter.com/BarryDavis_/status/826524854778216448

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    robinauroa 5 months

    I heard this line in a comedian's routine (I can't remember who it was right now):
    Whenever someone says " …I'm not a racist, but…."
    What they're REALLY saying is "…I'm a racist, and…."

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    Steve on St. Clair 5 months

    Count me as a fan of Schopp and the Bulldog (WGR afternoon drive).  Smart and funny.

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    Antonio 5 months

    Comment Deleted – wrong forum

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    GreyCountyMike 5 months

    Comment Deleted

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    robinauroa 5 months

    O'Sullivan doesn't bother me as much as many other professional broadcasters on Toronto – does anyone listen to Gareth Wheeler or Scott McArthur? Actually, probably now…never mind. O'Sullivan actually doesn't bother me at all…He does have a personality, even if the tone of his voice is a bit monotonous…He effectively carries Leafs Lunch for me when he's on it – and he manages to put up with Andi Petrillo's girlie, Leaf cheerleader act (which is very cloying) without sounding annoyed…

    When he is called upon, he does a good job as an ex-player/insider/expert…The voice and personality will come – better to be genuine than forced and fake sounding. I like the guy and he's a good follow on Twitter

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    Big G 5 months

    @ MIB

    BCE announced layoffs a few days ago at it's Bell Media division but declined to mention a number, Any word on known names that may have been affected on the radio or tv side?

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    Hans 5 months

    I've seen in other site that while non-sports related Ingrid Schumacher of Chum FM in Toronto was let go a few days back and it was also announced that CTV has let Victor Malarek go as well. Both are Bell owned media properties so I wouldn't be shocked to hear that they were a part of the layoffs in the end.

    It is also beign speculated/rumoured that (again non-sports related but layoff related none the less) CP24 has let go of Amber Payie and Pooja Handa though given the time of year I wouldn't be surprised if they're just on vacation and people are jumping the gun given the layoff announcement.

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    Here is a treat for all of the John Shannon & Ken Reid fans:

    Today's PTS roundtable is going to be McCown, Cox, Shannon, and Reid

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    Hans 5 months

    No wonder there was no simulcast on Tv today 😉

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    Matty Zero 5 months

    I found it interesting/disgusting that Bell drew a straight line to the firings/layoffs to the loss of Super Bowl ad revenue. Business as usual, carry on.

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    Carl A 5 months

    Had the potential to be the worst roundtable of all time especially on Super Bowl weekend. Didn't even bother to listen.

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    Drumanchor 5 months

    My reply is a little late and at the risk of getting back into a political rant, I'll just add that nobody deserves to be mocked but that is what the current President and his supporters seem to thrive on. At a time when we spend so much time and effort trying to instill into our kids that bullying is wrong and very harmful (I believe Johah can add to this), the fact that this highest office in the land openly acts this way is quite frightening. 

    Secondly, the argument that it is "sour grapes" that motivates the protesters does not hold water, either. Let's pretend that Mitt Romney ran and won this past election. Would there be anywhere near the protests and backlash from across the planet that we have seen now?

    It's not sour grapes,it's reality. A demagogue is in the White House and people understand history – with people like this in power, it doesn't generally end well. 

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    yaz 5 months

    Overdrive consisting of Hayes, McLennan and Siegel wasted the first half hour of the show on Friday with babbling political blather.

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    JSP 5 months

    Anyone else hear Bob & Damian making fun of Bell for cutting jobs after getting screwed by the CRTC. . Fave line was Damian boasting about how much money he made from Bell. Classy. Rogers have cut hundreds of job over the last 12 months in part due to Cox's total failure on Hockey Night. Gutless.

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    Art 5 months

    Agreed, I don't know why they are taking pleasure in people losing their jobs. Competitor or not, it's ultimately in everyone's best interests that both companies are successful and there are more jobs out there. If for some reason Rogers let him go, wouldn't it be nice for him to have somewhere else to go?

    Not to mention being in the industry this long you would think they have friends on the other side. Friends who are pretty nervous right now.  Nice guys these two are especially Cox. Cox is lucky to have a damn job, if it were up to me he wouldn't. 

     

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    Hans 5 months

    That's funny as I recall during a different segment Bob and John Shannon going on about how bad they feel for the for the folks losing their jobs and how the CRTC is evil for doing this to a fine company like Bell. Actually, it was more Shannon stating the latter and Bob just agreeing.

    In other words – typical John Shannon being a good company man to even companies that don't pay him.

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    Mike V 5 months

    I too don’t know why these idiots would be laughing. If the CRTC can arbitrarily change simsub rules on Bell than they can also do the same to Rogers’ CityTV for events like the Grammys. This wasn’t a good decision for anyone in the industry.

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    Mike V 5 months

    So with the loss of sim-sub for Bell, are people thinking over/under 5.5million on CTV/RDS last night? Last two Super Bowls did 8.3 and 9.23 million with sim-sub enforced.

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    windsor oldtimer 5 months

    Never good when people lose their jobs!! Imagine if “free trade” applied to the “protected” cable/tv industry in Canada? Thousand of auto workers wish free trade didn’t apply to them as well!!! For some reason free trade does not apply to Fox 1 and ESPN being allowed in Canada! Random thought; be better, put on a better broadcast!! Sim subbing should never exsist! Be better. Better with your money!(why does TSN waste money having a “panel” at the Super Bowl?(rooms,cars,flight,per diems, producers,etc,etc). Just show the ESPN coverage!! I can buy an American paper or listen to a radio station(without Canadian ads pasted inside), but I can’t watch ESPN? No wonder paying subscribers see their rates go up while “Illegal” streamers win! Hopefully simsubbing doesn’t cause a border town resident to not find out about an impending emergency some day!!

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    Anthony 5 months

    If your going to outright lie, why post? 

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    Anthony 5 months

    One of the posters in above sure does like to give it to Toronto and Rogers whenever he gets the chance, even when its totally off topic. Thanks for deleting the post. 

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    Tighthead 5 months

    I know everyone likes Mirtle but he sure goes fanboy over Marner. 

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    yaz 5 months

    Mike Richards Tweeting this A.M. ( Feb 7) that this is ‘the last day of his non-compete’. Should be some news finally tomorrow. Blundell out? Comparing Mike Richards ratings at 1050 vs Mike Richards ratings at 590 3 months from now?? Would be the best test of the signal strength effect we could hope for.

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    Mike V 5 months

    Still don't get why 590 would hire Mike Richards. He didn't make much of an impact here for five years. He'll certainly get better ratings on there but can't see him doing all that much better than Blundell. I think fixing the Brady & Walker mistake makes more sense.

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    Art 5 months

    Didn't make a impact? Hmm I know this board isn't filled with his fans, and you guys are not his target audience but i believe the rating did speak for themselves atleast until Jeff MacDonald sabotaged the show.

    Obviously if you define impact as beating the Fan590 then he didn't do that. BUT His ratings in the mornings were better than any other show TSN 1050 has had and far better than what they have now. If you factor in the signal strength issues and 1050s overall share of the market Mike Richards ratings were actually pretty impressive. I mean Overdrive is a popular show but they are not even close to touching the numbers Richards did back when he had TV, David Bastl as cohost and the morning slot. Did Brady and Walker beat him? Sure but they had the far better station and Richards came closer to the Fan than anyone else ever did.

    Like him or not it's hard to say he didn't make a impact. 

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    Art 5 months

    I think people like him BECAUSE he's a fan boy. I don't care for him at all, but I'm not a Leaf fan.  I think fan boys like fan boys who are on their side telling them things they want to hear. Fans want to believe in their team. So if some legit media member wants to lead the cheer, fans will be mre than happy to follow.

     

     

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    Mullah_Kintyre 5 months

    I still have no idea what it is he's supposedly "returning" to, but looking through his recent tweets "No interruptions/surprises/ball-dropping this time" seems to be the closest thing resembling a hint. Because he was dismissed by Bell/TSN last year and declined an offer to rejoin (Rogers) 590 (where he worked for several years in the 1990s) when he came back to Toronto after the 5-6 year stint working in Calgary, I would guess it's probably not going back to one of those again, or any major mainstream radio station owned by one of the big conglomerates.

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    Mike V 5 months

    There were a couple of months where Richards had great numbers but if you look at whole 5-year picture it was middling. Overall, Cybulski fared just as well in his short stint. Plus, Richards was trending down for two years before being let go, a portion of which overlaps the Blundell era where you would want to see him gaining if you're thinking about him being a replacement.

    And when I get down to it, I think he’s just too similar to Blundell to necessitate a change. A morning show where jokes and bits are central and the substance is light is what they have now and the potential replacement is no more proven (and arguably much less so) in the market than the current host. Unless Dean is totally untenable in the office why make the switch?

     

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    Art 5 months

    I'm guessing I'm remembering the numbers differently than you are. Yes he only had a short regain in the 4s and 5s. but I remember him in the 3s and 2s consistently. if you look at TSN1050 now the best shows are in the 1s. The current morning show is under 1 for God sakes They have even posted ratings as low as 0.1. that's as bad as it gets.

    And Yes Richards was trending down hill for 2 years, but in those 2 years they

    1. Took the show off TV

    2. Let go of his cohost David Bastl (about a year later)

    3. Moved him to the 1-4 hole (4-6 months after that)

    As far as him being like Blundell. I mean I guess in theory by reputation. But If you actually listen to Blundell these days he doesn't actually do much comedy. The Blundell show is nothing but updates after updates with some snarky Blundell blabber that I don't think is even meant as comedy really. They are not actually that similar at all other than the fact the both are lacking in actual sports knowledge. 

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    Art 5 months

    Also forgot to mention also in that 2 year span he missed a entire summer to deal with cancer treatment.  that should have been between losing TV and Bastl being laid off.

    Plenty of good reasons why his show was trending downward.. But it never got as bad as Landsberg and Naylor are now.

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    Mike V 5 months

    Maybe the similarities is just a reputation thing. It's been forever since I listened to either of them but that's been my impression.

    I think he started in 2s, hit 4s for a brief period in 2014 but then fell to 1.0 before being moved out of the slot. I'm not factoring in his 1-4 numbers though they obviously wouldn't help the cause.

    I don't get the TV argument; its cheap filler for cable. How does it improve the 1050 numbers?

     

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    Art 5 months

    I think TV helps because it helps exposure. I would bet a fair amount of people turned on the TV when they are getting ready in the morning. TSN may have been what they were watching before bed… so there is Richards. You get in the car and you keep listening to what you were just watching.

    Not to mention TSN cut the advertising of his show too. Look how much they pumped up Naylor and Landsberg after the switch. And Still N&L get ratings like 0.4 or 0.1.

    Ad yeah 1.0 before the switch to afternoons. but that was after David Bastl got canned. The show was very bad with Sean Levigne talking all the time. but even still 1.0 is better than 0.4. And Naylor and Landsberg have TV, Advertising and each other and still nobody listens.

     

     

     

     

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    Interesting programming decision by TSN 1150………….instead of having an American syndicated show (ESPN's "Mike & Mike") in the morning and local programming (Game Day With Jamie Thomas) in the early afternoon they have apparently now decided to have local programming (Morning Scrum With Jamie Thomas & Louie B) in the morning and an American syndicated show (Jim Rome) in the early afternoon

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    Matty Zero 5 months

    Nice to hear former 'unofficial' PTS co-host Mike Sunnocks on the show. Where have you gone Redfield T Baum?

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    Art 5 months

    Dean Blundell is gone from the fan.

     

    The fan's account just tweeted that Elliot Price and Greg Brady are the new morning show,.

    I have been a long time listener of Elliot Price's back when he was on TSN690 in Montreal. Elliot is great and I think you will all love him hee. This is a huge upgrade for the mornings.

    I just wished they put David Bastl in the mix here becasue Elliot and Dave worked great togther on both the Bastl's Bytes podcast and the Price Is Right podcast.

     

    Maybe something in the future.

     

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    Pete 5 months

    Seems like there are some radio bombshells at the Fan that are starting to trickle out.  Brady's back in in the mornings?

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    Anthony 5 months

    Thank god, I can put my radio back to 590 in the mornings now.