Change Is The New Normal; Where Are All The Ladies?

By TSM

Mike brought your attention to the fact that despite all the changes over at the Fan 590 there remains not one woman on the roster of on air personnel nor on the production side of things either. Sources tell me at Rogers that they go to great lengths to promote gender equality on the media side and that they are aware of the facts as they remain on air at Dave Cadeau’s station.

Speaking of Cadeau, let’s see, Brady and Walker in the morning.  Brady and Walker in the afternoon.  Walker in the afternoon.  I get all of that.  When you introduce Ben Ennis as a co-host of a show, how is it still the Andrew Walker Show?  Walker and Ennis? Andrew and Ben? Talking Sports with Bendrew?Andrew Walker and friend?  The Andrew Walker show featuring Ben Ennis??? Seems odd to me.

I’ve heard both guys before and I’ve heard both guys alone. Not sure why, but there is something off about these two guys together.  It’s not quite nails on chalk but it’s pretty damn close.  I can’t put my finger on it but it seems to me that the problem is there’s only one mic.  Having said that it’s still early days.  On the positive side there’s not where to go but up!

Meanwhile, with Mike’s story in mind, wasn’t it  great to see this tweet this week?:

 

Now that’s progress wouldn’t you say?

Speaking of tweets, this was interesting don’t you think?:

My son is in an away hockey tournament this weekend so we got to listen to two full hours of the Fan morning shows(1 hour morning drive and 1 hour Blair) this am:

From 8-10 the only mention of the Toronto Raptors who played last night was on the updates. I know, I know Leafs are in the playoff hunt, but behind the Blue Jays in spring training??? Come on now!

At 8am, Elliotte Friedman joined the threesome. The hosts honed in on Tyler Bozak and the success he has enjoyed this season. Friedman spoke about that for some time before moving on to topics like the Olympics and more. Then, kind of out of nowhere Elliott Price asked Friedman “So what’s with the NHL teams falling all over themselves to sign college free agents? Is it really worth it when none really make it?” I get that the the Montreal vet is new to Toronto, but he knows Bozak was a college free agent too right?

I’m not sure about Mike but my email, text and DM list was full after the “expose” on the Fan Sausage Party last week.

However, if you take a look at the print business in Toronto in the sports industry things are only slightly better in terms of equal representation.

The Toronto Sun lists their columnists on this page. Not a single woman on the list covering sports.

The National Post as far as I can tell has no women writing sports.

The Toronto Star is a little better with 2 full time female writers on the sports beat. Laura Armstrong and Kerry Gillespie. (no your friend and mine Rosie does not write sports full time, so she doesn’t count.) Jennifer Quinn was the sports editor, however in a recent announcement it seems she was promoted off the beat.

Over at the Globe and Mail Shawna Richer is listed as the sports editor. Rachel Brady is the lone female writer.

I apologize in advance if I missed anyone, however with the number of scribes actually writing for newspapers falling,  it gets harder and harder to find an accurate roster let alone a list of female writers.

My point being while the Fan has a long way to go, the print business is barely doing any better. One thought that the Lisa Olson incident of 1990 would have improved things in the business. Maybe they have for women in sports media in general (see below). However there certainly doesn’t appear to be much progress in the print business does there?

Thanks to many of those loyal readers who have pointed out that I have missed significant contributions from women on the Toronto sports media print side:

Lori Ewing (winner of 2016 George Gross Award) has handled the Toronto Raptors beat for The Canadian Press for years.  Melissa Couto also writes for CP in Toronto.

It’s also worth nothing that Donna Spencer is a CP writer in Calgary, as is Lisa Wallace in Ottawa.

Finally, the Sports Editor for CP is Julie Scott

Meanwhile, Richard Deitsch has it that Sam Ponder could be the new host of the NFL ESPN show! How awesome is that??? Who would have thunk that we would get to the point where a female sportscaster would be hosting a show of that magnitude.  That IS progress.

John Buccigross from ESPN had a touching story about watching his son play his last hockey game. If you read this site, you liked Bob McKenzie’s book then you will like reading this piece too. You can find it here.

The other day I heard (and may have tweeted or written about) Eric Smith on the Fan talking about the two preceding Saturdays where the NBA was on ESPN and at least one of the teams sat their stars. Kudos to Smith for ripping the teams and players for not playing their best each and every game. Can you imagine paying to see LeBron play against the Clippers and he is a healthy scratch? More of a hat tip to Smith for noting that fans are getting screwed in the world of dynamic pricing where a game like this one where Lebron is playing in LA would have been tagged with a heavy premium, adding a ton of salt to the wound of Lebron sitting out.

The coverage of this south of the border has been excellent. Stan Van Gundy was especially critical of the moves:

My only thing is that I hope that everybody, when they’re making the decisions, whatever it is they decide, at least factors the fans into the decision. To me, look, I think the perspective we tend to lose in this league is who we get paid by. And we get paid by the fans.

This was a hot topic on Mike and Mike on ESPN radio too.

Richard Deitsch has been on fire lately (look up) and he broke the news, BTW that Mike and Mike could be headed for splitsville.

Have to love the Leafs trying to explain their ticket prices as benefiting the fans by closing the gap between what they charge and what brokers are getting. I’d have a lot more patience with the the ticket raise if they simply called a spade a spade. Costs went up. We want to make more money.  I can live with either of those answers.

Tony Keller wrote this piece in the Globe and Mail attempting to connect high ticket prices in Toronto with low prices in Arizona. Ummmm, no Tony. The markets have nothing to do with each other. The market will always be what it will bear. The Leafs (and Raptors) continue to jack up prices (especially for top seats) because corporations continue to pay top dollar. In Arizona they are priced to a level they hope the fans will buy them. There is no connection whatsoever. What the Leafs pay in revenue sharing is tied to what Arizona does. That, however is totally different.

Just when we thought things would quiet down for a while, TSN 1050 has shuffled the deck again. Gone is their Gameday show from 9-12. Adieu Matt Cauz and Gareth Wheeler. Naylor and Landsberg have picked up the 9-10 hour so their show runs 6-10. They get followed up by Dan Patrick from 10-11. Leafs Lunch is now on the air from 11-1. Scott MacArthur follows in his usual slot and then the afternoon drive with the Over Drive team. I am told that Wheeler (who recently announced via social media that he is undergoing treatment for cancer that has returned- GET WELL SOON) will maintain his soccer duties.

This follows news that another 50 heads were cut at Post Media’s Vancouver outlets, the Province and Sun.

Let’s all hope together that those affected find work and soon.

I was asked this week if I thought anyone would buy the Sun or Postmedia for, if nothing else their sports assets. It’s a great question. Who, I responded, would consider a purchase? Perhaps the better question is, what exactly would they be buying?

I have no connection whatsoever with The Athletic startup out of Chicago nor do I have any shares of Yahoo! However at present I’d put more money on those two succeeding then the Sun properties.

I hope someone does step up and buy them. I do think they could operate as a stand alone sports outlet with reporters across the country; a digital version of the old USA Today National all sports daily. However there’s a lot of competition out there right now. Sportsnet is number one in Canada in that regard and does a pretty good job. TSN’s online presence is a total failure. They should really kill their website.

Speaking of the Sportsnet website, Mike handled click bait all too well last week, this week they carried a story on the Maple Leafs that had no specific author listed. Instead the article was only attributed to the Canadian Press. Really? They can’t tell us who wrote it? More importantly they don’t have enough talent there to cover the Leafs. Respectfully, I say the article was nothing that spectacular. Surely there had to be something else to use as filler besides that! (yes, I know you all told me on Twitter you are sure it was written by Jonas)

As always, thanks for keeping me busy, for filling my inbox, voicemail, text messages and DM’s.

From Bremerton, have a great weekend!

Jonah

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