Seen & Heard – Weekend Edition

Seen & Heard – Weekend Edition

by mike in boston / @mikeinbostonemail

 

Good morning sports media fans. Things are very busy at the gas station where I stock shelves so I have not had as much time to pay attention to all the great work being done by the local media. If I had to guess this will continue over the next few weeks. If you’d be interested in helping me write this column by compiling noteworthy content, reach out. The pay is terrible but you get the priceless return of knowing that every fish in the pond is checking out your reel.

 

Business Models

 

One of the big topics over the last few months is the hastening collapse of traditional media and the rise of various types of new media. As recently as 10 years ago the tried and still very much true models were:

 

  1. Print
  2. TV
  3. Radio

 

Some may argue that print was already dead in 2007 but recall that Sportsnet decided to print a twice monthly magazine in 2011. Clearly they believed there was some money left to be shook from the tree.

 

The big money was always in TV, but a sports writing gig could end up being lucrative if you managed to stick around, since so many of the papers are unionized environments. Plus you were also free to moonlight on TV and radio for supplementary income. Radio, by comparison, was less well paid for the average host, but still a great living given that you’re working 60% of full time hours.

 

Compare that to today. Sports departments are shrinking and retirements are not being replaced. The Sun chain is going bankrupt, Star is losing money as is the Globe. None of these outlets have made a dime in digital, and are choosing to give the content away after trying and failing with paywalls.

 

Radio budgets also keep falling. Look at 1050 now versus one year ago: a solo morning show, syndicated mid morning content, solo afternoon, and nearly no evening hosts. They have shed several salaries in Toronto. FAN590 is doing the same: the current morning show is way cheaper than the last, they have gone solo in the afternoons, and are relying on just one co-host for their signature show when they once had two. Compare that to Brunt and Cox on PTS and Tim & Sid in the afternoons.

 

TV is a medium I don’t follow as much but there is growing concern that the old advertising model is close to collapsing. Hear me out: fragmentation, cord-cutting, Twitter highlights, DVR/PVR, Netflix … few of these things existed 15 years ago. You could count on the same people being in front of their TVs during the same hours every night of the week. That assurance is what generated all the cash you needed to pay everyone big money and compete for rights. In the last decade TV rights deals have mutated to unsustainable levels and networks are firing on-air staff to balance the books. See for example the fallout from Rogers’ HNIC deal.

 

The question to which no one seems to know the answer is whether digital has strong enough legs to support the next chapter in sports media. A prominent digital venture in a different market advertises itself as such:

 

“Not just a “fan” blog, [Sports Website] goes beyond the amateur analysis sometimes found in the blogosphere to deliver news and exclusive interviews not found anywhere else.”

 

This is the state of the game: legacy media are trying to invade someone else’s space and present themselves as a professional replacement for what is already on offer. But in order for that to work two things need to be true:

 

1) people need to be unhappy with what’s already there, and

2) the replacement needs to be significantly better than the status quo.

 

To try to answer these questions I took a glance around at the different business models competing to make money in digital sports media.

 

A) Named Website – e.g. Dean Blundell Dot Com

 

Dean’s new venture is mostly viral videos, plus a link trading arrangement with a Leafs fan site, plus some banner ads, plus an app that – like most, I presume – tracks and sells your data. Note, when he launched the site advertised 24 young writers but that mention has been removed. If I had to guess, at most two people are getting paid to generate all the content for the site. Most of what you get is freely available stuff on the internet that is being aggregated for a small share of the viral profits.

 

Dean also accepts submissions from readers. For example, here’s a link that takes you to this page:

 

 

I am not sure if there is a business model here. Dean is probably trying to use his name to set up a Barstool-like place for people who like babes and beer and videos of people falling down. The reason I am including it here is that Barstool very clearly proved these people also really like sports. If you can get enough of them to make you their homepage then advertisers will flock to you. It doesn’t look like that has happened yet for DB.com but it may yet.

 

It’s hard to find any examples of websites that cater to the frat guy demo that loves fantasy sports in Canada, despite several very profitable ones in the US. TSN tried with its BarDown viral website. Vice is in that ecosystem to an extent.

 

Is there is a future here for sports media? I’m not sure.

 

B) Podcast – e.g. RawMikeRichards Dot Com

 

Mike started touting his new podcast venture the second he mutually split from TSN1050. He has successfully completed 80+ shows since launching. He has also taken the show on the road, and continues to get familiar guests to come in to the studio/bar where he records.

 

Realistically Mike just needs to generate enough in advertising revenue to pay his co-host, a tech person, and a social media + web person to make this worthwhile. The long play for him is to keep his name in the news until he lands his next radio gig. If for some reason this venture is successful, then he can keep doing it.

 

Whether there is a future for sports media here is again hard to say. No one has shown there is money to be made in subscription based podcasting, despite the medium being immensely popular right now. Mike is giving the content away online in exchange for sponsor mentions. We will see if he decides to stay in this space or go back to radio, where the majority of advertisers are.

 

C) Aggregated Blogs

 

There are a ton of these sites. Here’s a recent one. This was the old SB Nation model: take a bunch of popular blogs and bring them under one umbrella with lots of cross-posting, reader-contributed posts, and collective marketing.

 

Like the viral video sites, the model works based on economies of scale. If your ad can be seen by visitors to dozens of blogs all in the same place then you have a better chance of getting clicks. The problem here is that there is nowhere near enough money to pay a bunch of regular writers for local teams. If you were to put one of these sites together for the Toronto market only then you lose the scale and the advertising revenue goes with it.

 

Could something like this work across the whole country? Maybe. One sports section to rule them all is a model that has only ever been tried by the Globe, which had 13-14 writers across the country contributing to one national sports section in their heyday. A digital version would obviously be much more nimble since you wouldn’t have the encumbrances of deadlines and unions and offices. But you still need to sell a lot of advertising to pay for all the content you are producing. It would be hard to commit to say a dozen salaries without knowing that you’re going to get hundreds of thousands of clicks every month.

 

Right now, lots of those clicks are going to blogs many of whom don’t do it for the money. Some are going to the TSN and SN’s websites, who can write the expense off as a loss-leader for their TV channels. Some clicks are still going to newspaper websites, who have not realized that giving their content away for free is hastening their eventual demise.

 

That is the big problem: until mainstream sports websites go away, the market for the click-based business model is too fragmented for anyone to make money. This is why I have argued that Bell, Rogers, Postmedia, Star, and Globe should all get together and create a subscription based sports app. This would be a Netflix for sports media. I would happily pay $15 a month for that, especially if it were based on the La Presse tech that worked so well for the short-lived StarTouch. I’d even tolerate ads, as long as they weren’t too intrusive.

 

All of the above-mentioned outlets are doggedly pursuing a loyalty-based business model where each tries to be the destination to the exclusion of the others. This is silly. 9 million households subscribe to TSN and 8 million subscribe to Sportsnet. This means that 90% of people who choose to pay for cable sports pay for both. Neither one is going to exclude the other in the mind of the audience.

 

The same goes for newspaper websites. If you’re clicking on the Sun for Simmons you’re probably also clicking on the Star for Cox. Does anyone read one but refuse to read the other? Back in the day when most of your info came from a printed paper loyalty made sense because most people were only going to pay for one paper per day. But this has not been the reality of how anyone gets their news for … 20 years?

 

D) Subscription-based

 

This brings us to the venture-capital funded The Athletic. If you want to make money then you need to go where the people spending money are. Their tagline — fall in love with the sports page again — tells you which market they have in mind. It is the people who are already comfortable paying for sports media, namely newspaper readers.

 

The only quirk is that the papers already tried luring those people over with paywalls. Those were very short-lived, possibly due to the price point. Is a paywall likelier to succeed in 2017 than it did in 2007?

 

Maybe. For one thing, lots of big names have left their traditional media homes. If you are loyal to those individuals, then you might follow them to The Athletic. For another, The Athletic is just a sports section. They don’t need to pay salaries to cover news and city hall and entertainment. This reduces the amount the consumer needs to pay to read. That was never an option under the paper paywalls.

 

The flip side of these two coins is this: with so much free content out there, the motivation to pay to read anyone is pretty low. If you can read Jonah Keri for free at SN why would you pay to read him at The Athletic? The related point is that the generation that likes to pay for a sports section is dying, and those that remain are not especially tech savvy. The generation that follows has never paid for sports reading, be it a magazine or a newspaper or a website. How do you convince them to start all of a sudden?

 

None of these problems are insurmountable but they are real challenges that will remain for a long long time. Until traditional sports media websites die, which won’t happen with TSN.ca and SN.ca, The Athletic will be fighting a war on two fronts. They also need to compete with the tons of great free content that comes from blogs. Those are some of the people they have been hiring to write for them, but lots of readers will just move on to the next blog if their favourite one moves behind a paywall. Between the network websites, the paper websites, and blogs, The Athletic are trying to make you pay in a marketplace saturated with free options. Personally, I can’t read everything I want to read — including content that I pay for — each week.

 

What’s the answer? Netflix for sport media. There is no reason the Athletic couldn’t be part of that solution. Right now, like everyone else who is generating revenue, they are competing in the loyalty-based marketplace. If they could somehow collaborate with say, Globesports, that would really be something.

 

“This is an invitation for new and aspiring sports journalists — really for anyone seeking a larger platform for their work. If you have a story idea related to Toronto sports — on hockey, baseball, soccer, football or modern pentathlon — send in a pitch.

Some background in journalism is preferred but not mandatory. We are looking for reported stories, be they news, profiles or features. We’re looking for different ideas and themes, stories that stand out and bring depth and/or unique analysis. Personal journalism and opinion pieces will be considered in exceptional circumstances.

Journalists will receive a modest fee for their work.” — Sean Fitz-Gerald, Managing Editor

 

Last point on their model: I think they are making a mistake by doing what Dean does and inviting bloggers to pitch to write for them. The idea was explained as an attempt to give a platform to new writers (at low cost for the publisher). This has been tried lots of different ways by various blog networks and websites. You use your platform to bring in more content to keep people clicking through longer and enhance the perceived value of the product. It’s a low cost to you and if it works then you reap the reward of more subscribers.

 

For my money, this dilutes the value of the product. I already have a lot of content in my feed. If the story is really worth telling, why aren’t your staff writers telling it? If you think someone is a good writer, you hire him or her and take responsibility for the work. Then I’ll decide whether to keep subscribing. Adding vetted fanposts to my feed isn’t making my life better. Think of the amount of time needed to sift through and reply to all those pitches. If I’m not wrong, their EIC made his name as a blogger and didn’t need anyone to help him find a bigger audience. Those kinds of people will make a mark on the marketplace without the help of the Athletic. If you see bloggers doing good work, why not ask them to write for you?

 

Like everyone else who is a consumer of sports media I am happy they have provided a place for writers who were squeezed out of their previous jobs. Can you imagine if the Jays beat lost both Elliott and Lott in the same year? That said, I think their primary value is in giving readers stories, written and edited by professionals, that aren’t available for free on the Sun or the Star’s websites, or TSN.ca. That is where I would prefer they spend their editorial energies. In other words, be a sports page. (As far as I know, The Globe and Star don’t yet have a “submit your shit” section.)

 

As an example to illustrate my point, why has there not been a follow up story from them on the Flames arena? The last one was a week ago, written by someone who primarily does analytics. A lot has happened since. Why not put your high profile named journalist on that story?

 

 

E) WTF??

 

Someone click on this project that features Norm Rumack and tell me what the business model is. I can’t for the life of me figure it out.

 

 

Back to the points I mentioned at the outset: 1) people need to be unhappy with what’s already there, and 2) the replacement needs to be significantly better than the status quo.

 

Over to you: Can these media outlets compete on bloggers’ hometurf? Are they offering anything better than what you are already getting for free?

 

Journalism & Editors

 

Note: I don’t have an editor. I wish I did. Please forgive my typos. 

 

Here are two things I know about Eric Francis: 1) He doesn’t want Mayor Nenshi to get re-elected, 2) He supports massive tax subsidies by Calgarians for a new arena for the Flames.

 

How do I know this? Because his writing is transparent and lacks balance. That kind of writing is not supposed to make it to print. As one writer told me recently, an editor once sent him back to the keyboard because he “didn’t have the story”. When you read Francis’ latest piece it’s clear he doesn’t have the whole story, just a slice. And trying to write about a topic when you just have a slice of perspective leads to bad journalism.

 

I am not going to bother with a line by line breakdown of the work. I’ll just make two observations:

 

1) There have been new arenas built in Quebec, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Vancouver since the Calgary rink was built in 1983. Rather than cite the facts surrounding how each of these was funded, Francis picks the few that support his argument and leaves the rest out. It’s lazy and disingenuous, but it’s also deceptive. The idea that you can build a rink without significant subsidies is never discussed despite that being an option that several teams have done.

 

2) The not-so-subtle references to getting rid of the current politicians are obnoxious. We all have political views but to let it infect your work to this level is unprofessional. For example:

 

“What the mayor and this city’s new councillors will have to decide after next month’s election is whether it makes better business sense to start entering into some sincere negotiations with a willing partner who also happens to generate gobs of money for the local economy and charities.”

 

Did you catch that reference to “new councillors”. Like, maybe the old ones — the ones who are voting against funding the rink — will get voted out? The “charities” line is the cherry on top of the bad writing sundae. Zero facts; just “gobs of money” … I mean, I’m convinced. It’s not as if every single pro sports team gives money to charity, right?

 

The closing stanza of the article is the most risible. It’s as if he had a bunch of notes down there to possibly include earlier, and then forgot to delete them:

 

“The onus is now on this city’s leaders to push harder for a solution, which is problematic given the egos involved.

So far, the city’s attempts to bridge this gap have been disingenuous at best. The Flames have called them out on that.

Calgarians deserve better.”

 

There absolutely is an argument to be had about whether there is a case for public subsidies for sports. In large “world-class” Canadian cities, that argument has historically had no political support. Billionaires don’t need subsidies despite the fact that they create jobs and revenue for the city. Why not? Because if they weren’t there, someone else would be. That’s one of the perks of living in a “world-class” city: people want to be where you are; you don’t need to bribe them to come.

 

Proof? Take some time today to get up to speed on research that has been widely available for 20 years:

 

“Bloomberg calculated that the $17 billion in tax-exempt debt used to build stadiums since 1986 would cost taxpayers $4 billion.”

“Stadium boosters like to point to all the money I will spend going to, at, and associated with my trip to see the Hawks, but they never focus on the fact that other businesses are going to lose a roughly equal amount of spending that I would have done instead. All that substitute spending would also have produced tax revenue.”

“In every case, the conclusions are the same. A new sports facility has an extremely small (perhaps even negative) effect on overall economic activity and employment. No recent facility appears to have earned anything approaching a reasonable return on investment.”

“Stacks of independent research over many decades have shown that building a stadium or luring a new franchise does little for a city’s economy. They typically don’t generate significant new tax dollars, jobs or growth. In most cases, the money would be more wisely spent on badly needed public infrastructure, such as roads, transit or schools.”

“Most likely, if teams and leagues had to pay for their own stadiums, the stadiums would still be built […] but at a cost that could be repaid from the rights to personal seats, naming and concessions.”

I’m going to fold this criticism into a larger point about the role of editors. When I write a column here I don’t have the benefit of a 2nd set of eyes that looks at hundreds of stories a month and tells me where I need to rework things. Think of the kind of expertise you develop in that job. You can spot the leaps of logic, the missing quotes, the lack of balance, the personal agenda, etc. It’s one of the reasons why blog journalism is on the whole not as good as legacy journalism. We don’t have that professional layer that helps turn writing into a professional product.

 

 

When I tweeted about Francis’ article I got several DMs to the effect of “you assume Postemedia still has editors? ha!”

 

If that is the case and print journalism has dispensed with its sports editors then it may well be time to shut down the operation and give the money back to the shareholders. This is one of the big things that makes your content worth paying for. It has been fact checked, drafted and redrafted, and passed through various other quality control measures before being printed. Once that quality control is gone, what’s left? Bad journalism. You might as well be a blog.

 

Over to you: Do you find that legacy journalism holds itself to high enough standards for what it chooses to publish?

 

Quick Hits

 

 

“Joey, if you’re hurting so am I” — Plenty of writing on the end of the Bautista era and I am the only one to make a Concrete Blonde reference? Here are the articles I read that stood out: Greg Strong of CP, Michael Grange of SN (warning: two auto-play ads + an unrelated video of Ken Reid and Jeff Blair), Simmons of the Sun

 

Rick Westhead and his team at TSN Originals produced a 24 minute doc (one auto-play auto-muted ad) on some Canadian athletes who will be competing at the Invictus Games in Toronto this weekend. Bell is exclusive broadcaster of the event and so this documentary helps to promote the product. Sportsnet’s features department does the same, mostly focusing on the Jays. The odd exception to the rule was over the summer when TSN sent Westhead to feature the Gurriel boys, one of whom is a Jays prospect. Compare that to what has been produced by ESPN’s award winning 30 for 30 series. Both networks have the talent to compete at that level. It would be nice if they made that a priority rather than promoting their own “exclusive” content.

 

Sportsnet is ignoring the Invictus Games in terms of their own reporting, relying on the odd CP story, except for this piece of clearly sponsored content attributed to “SN staff”.

 

Lots of people weighed in on Lupul. Here is James Mirtle of The Athletic. Since almost everyone who writes about the Leafs also collects some part of their cheque from Rogers and Bell, owners of the Leafs, genuine independence on this story is going to be hard. I’d like to read some real digging on cap circumvention in the NHL. There is clearly a story here and it is a matter of finding a player who will talk and then connecting it to the CBA in the right way. Hopefully this story doesn’t get washed away as line combinations start to become clear.

 

Chris Johnston of Sportsnet also has a very solid piece on the Lupul situation. Unlike Mirtle’s story, his features a Sid Seixeiro video embedded half-way down for some added value:

 

 

With recent stories about security worries at the 2018 Olympics the NHL’s decision to prevent its players from attending is back in the spotlight. As per usual, hockey agent Alan Walsh was first to lob a bomb at Bettman, with some sweet hashtags:

 

 

Low Hanging Fruit

 

  • Jackie Redmond is off to greener pastures. Here’s a list of recent DRAFTED finalists. Where did they go?

 

  • If I told you that another person in Toronto sports media also got his/her job via winning a contest, who would be your first guess?

 

  • Howard Berger is reporting that Mike Zeisberger has joined the league’s website. No confirmation from Z or his colleagues yet:

 

 

  • Donnovan Bennett had a good story on Bautista called Photographic Memories. One big problem, the formatting is completely screwed up on the browser on an iPad rendering it unreadable. I reckon they formatted it to work with their app and didn’t bother to check.

 

  • I don’t often watch TV panel shows. Good hosts are like good umps at a baseball game: the audience doesn’t even notice them. Daren Millard detracts from the good points being made by Elliotte Friedman and Nick Kypreos here. (Two 15 second auto-play ads for a 3 minute clip.)

 

  • How great is it having Mike Johnson back on hockey full time? His absence has never made any sense.

 

 

  • Some bloggers delighted in labelling those who criticize Stroman’s yelling at opponents as racists. I’ll be curious to see what the response is to the news that he was denied access to a downtown restaurant.

 

  • Bob McCown commented on PTS on his visit to the Dome to throw out the opening pitch. “It was great hanging out in radio booth with Jerry and Joe”. No Wilner mention? Was he away?

 

  • Speaking of Bob, on September 14th (5pm) he and Damien Cox spent 5 minutes talking about the Matt Duchesne Avs situation with neither one knowing the facts about his contractual situation. Cox went on at length about the player being unsigned. Bob then asked if he might be a restricted free agent. A few minutes later the producer chimed in to inform Bob that he has 2 years left. Cox: “I was going to look that up …” There are two producers on that show. Good job, good effort by everyone involved.

 

  • Sheri Forde is getting more airtime on the FAN, this time on the overnight show with Rob Wong.

 

 

  • Congratulations to Arash Madani (broadcasting) and Rick Westhead (writing) for winning Sports Media Canada awards. It’s a funny thing because I was talking to people just this week about how Arash’s talents as a broadcaster are wasted on the 55 or so games he does with the Jays. Hazel is great and they can find some other person to do postgame interviews with Biagini. I’d rather see Madani spend that time chasing down CFL stories, or doing more investigative pieces. Give him more time on radio too. Cox needs a vacation.

 

  • The same point holds for Westhead: he gets an award for writing, which is the part of TSN’s portfolio they seem to care the least about. Go to their website and try to find Rick’s written work. See you in an hour.

 

  • I stumbled across a show called The Sports Market on TSN’s app. It’s a quality show on the business of sports. The host is a little out of his depths as a broadcaster but the content is solid. Would love to see them add someone like Farber as a co-host. As I have said endlessly, TSN radio is in a great position to cover national sports stories and should try to come up with some shows they can syndicate across their 7 radio stations.

 

  • Hot rumour: Landsberg is going to stay solo for a while. Is the show better or worse that way?

 

  • Jonah and I are overdue to do our annual radio report card. I can’t bring myself to do it. I have never cared this little about the sports radio line-ups in my adult life. This is as bad as it has ever been.

 

  • Both The Athletic and Sportsnet killed their RSS feeds in the last month. This means that I no longer have an easy way to glance at everything they are writing when I sit down at my computer. Hard to see how this makes any business sense for an outlet that doesn’t depend on clicks. In both cases though, don’t you want to make it easier for people to see what your writers are doing? TSN has never had individual feeds for their writers, of course.

 

  • Kristen Shilton covers the Leafs for TSN:

 

 


 

thanks for reading and commenting,

until next time …

mike (not really in boston)

photo credit: The Star

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 78
  • comment-avatar
    yaz 3 months

    There are evolving blog forums like Steemit and Akasha where authors earn revenue just from the quantity of activity on their page. A simple ‘like’ ‘upvote’ or ‘repost’ etc, generates ‘Steem’ which can be sold or traded. This is also part of the emerging blockchain technology that will basically be Internet 3.0. If you’re scratching your head ‘What is blockchain?’ That’s okay, we all did the same 20 or so years ago when we said ‘What is the internet?’

    Or, on ‘Medium’, they take a subscription fee but divide it up among authors based on the number of claps or hearts the article gets. Not saying any one of these would work for a Toronto based writer at this time to an extent that provides him/her a living, but it will be interesting to watch these sites evolve.

    Another mode would be to crowdsource individual articles. Someone posts on their website or a company’s website or on any social media that their fantastic article about Joffrey Lupul is available once twenty dollars has been crowdsourced, or a hundred dollars or X amount. Minimum purchase is a loonie or twenty five cents. The author displays the ongoing total then releases the article to the universe once the total is reached. For what it is worth, I think this model would work on this website.

    Or I just keep surfing Twitter until I find it for free like everyone else.

  • comment-avatar
    Bgolz 3 months

    I’ve never subscribed to traditional MSM except for a promo deal that I cancelled after a month because I never opened the delivered paper, just straight into the bin. I still subscribe to TheAthletic because of the writers they hired. Clearly people will pay for ease of access and perceived quality. After all, Netflix is flourishing while all videos are available through sketchy streaming.

    “Netflix for Sports” app… isn’t this something the American Press and Canadian Press should be pushing?

    I’m not sure why you take the suggestion of Freelance opportunities for The Athletic as publishing fan posts. Haven’t seen a fan post yet.

  • comment-avatar
    Paul G. 3 months

    30 for 30 is a “much watch” for me. While Canadian broadcasting budgets will never match their American counterparts; I would love to see TSN set up Rick Westhead with a full time documentary/investigative mandate. His work is excellent and sadly not promoted to the level it deserves.

  • comment-avatar
    Gordo 3 months

    Caught Rob Wong and Sheri Forde the other night, it was a solid combination, I thought. Wong has been there a while, always thought he had a good voice for radio. Hope they continue to give them a shot

    I can’t believe anyone could listen to any landsberg show, let alone solo. Can’t imagine TSN keep him around beyond their contractual obligations.

  • comment-avatar
    Daniel 3 months

    I caught Sheri Forde on the Blair show and enjoyed it. Good to hear a different POV on The Fan. Not sure if there’s a permanent spot for her during any of the main shows (not sure I see her clicking with Ben Ennis), but if they paired her with Rob Wong on evenings/weekends, that would be good.

    I’m really impressed by the writers they’ve put together on The Athletic. I haven’t bought it yet, because I feel like I’m paying too many subscriptions as is at the moment… but I do intend to subscribe.

    I agree that I find it odd TSN Radio hasn’t tried to put together a national show of some kind. Sportsnet as well. I realize sports radio is local, but if doing a national show at some point in the day allowed them to put a bit more money into a show, I think it could work. At the very least I’d rather hear national shows on evenings/weekends instead of syndicated American stuff.

  • comment-avatar
    billyjoejimbob 3 months

    Remember NSR?

    The Team?

    National Sports Radio does not work in this country. I remember a guy in Montreal told me he tuned into The Team to hear Expos when Felipe Alou was fired. That morning, Antonio Davis said he wanted to go back to the States because he didn’t want his kids to learn the metric system. Host talked Raptors…guy told me he never listened to the team again.

    Interests in Canada are too diverse, depending on region.

  • comment-avatar
    Daniel 3 months

    @billyjoejimbob True, true. But it would be better than CBS sports radio, at the very least.

  • comment-avatar
    Cirroc 3 months

    I myself would never pay for a subscription service for sports news, especially from the Athletic. I don’t see the appeal when there are so many other options out there.

    To be honest im also a bit worried that a top hockey mind like Tyler Dellow will be scooped up by another team on account of his ability to read box scores and interpret them which not every single person with eyes can do, thus rendering my subscription useless.

  • comment-avatar
    cirroc 3 months

    I just want to reiterate my reticence regarding subscribing to the Athletic on account of stats guru Tyler Dellow’s impending departure. We all know its a matter of time before another club comes to their senses and snatches him from the doldrums of digital media. He’s clearly a brilliant hockey mind (as shown by his successful stint with the Oilers), unburdened by classic hockey knowledge and/or the ability to view a game and dissect it’s intricacies. This is a fresh mind that can take statistics after a game has ended and predict future major award and Cup winners successfully. I’m even willing to go so far as suggest we introduce the Martin Marincin Award For Driving Play Within Advanced Metric Parameters next season.

    Sorry for the rant, I just don’t know that I’ll do if I’m forced to watch a game metric-less.

  • comment-avatar
    Justin 3 months

    Mike you critize Eric Francis for pushing a political agenda, but then constantly retweet and comment on broadcasters and writers tweets when they are against Trump. Most sports people these days seem to be variations of 80% sports content 20% politics. I understand twitter is different then actual paid articles, but we shouldnt call out writers for pushing agendas only when it goes against our personal beliefs.

  • comment-avatar

    Athletic isn’t different enough yet. So many of their big names are available elsewhere, and their smaller names are mostly bloggers or the unemployed. You’re paying for the novetly of a sports section. That’s why I didn’t renew

    Another thing is that they have been around for a year and I can’t name one story they broke. Did I miss one? Koreen is likable but the rest of their big name crew have bad reputations and big egos.

    I’m giving it another year before trying it out again.

  • comment-avatar
    Mike from The Internet 3 months

    Neither I nor anyone I know who grew up in the era of free internet content will likely ever pay for written content of any sort no matter the media. Especially when there is decent content available for free on various blogs etc. If your a Leaf fan for instance there is, pensionplanpuppets, theleafsnation and mapleleafhotstove, all with arguably better content than MSM. To your point about edited content not containing biases, i have never found much content from any MSM that didn’t contain biased mostly purposeful bias. Though I will say that it has gotten worse recently. Ex: sportsnet and its ridiculously biased jays converage and fantasy about being “Canada’s Team”

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    BingoBangoBongo 3 months

    @Mike from the Internet I see what your saying but I would caution to never say never. I too go to those Leaf websites but the thing that I find is they
    don’t have the access to the team that the so-called MSM has ( with the exception of Mike Augello at Hockeybuzz). Mapleleafhotstove is essentially an aggregator of MSM content, theleafsnation is not what it used to be (and is really married to analytics), and pensionplanpuppets has some interesting content (their European prospect report is exceptional) but is pretty inconsistent. I also believe it won’t be long before all newspapers figure out their only chance of success is to stop allowing free content. Look, I understand people are hesitant to pay for something after they have received it for free, but the truth is professional content has a value. If all we end up with is blogs, heaven help us.

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    Curt 3 months

    Nice Concrete Blonde reference!

    I live in Calgary and no one here takes Eric Francis that seriously. He’s a entitled fanboy who’s mama opened doors for him. He also cried when Iginla left the Flames.

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    over 100 of you have clicked on tspn.ca and no one has any theories on what the hell kind of website that is?

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    mario 3 months

    Thanks very good read. Great to hear Sheri Forde , she’s versatile in all sports and hoping she gets a regular time slot. I still can’t figure out what took Mike Johnson so long to bet back on the air waves, glad he is back.

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    Elvis 3 months

    First Dean Blundell, now James Mirtle. You sure do have a way of getting inside the heads of toxic people.

    He’s the reason I won’t subscribe.. I don’t like giving my money to jerks who treat others like garbage.

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    Steve in the media 3 months

    Like most in the media, I enjoy reading your thoughts on our collective work. I disagree with most of it but that’s not the reason I am writing.

    Since Mr. Mirtle has taken to attacking you on Twitter I’ll chime in to say that this is exactly the kind of childish behaviour many have experienced from him. This is par for the course. Don’t let it get you down when someone tells you who they are.

    Cheers,

    Steve

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    Lol ….. when Mirtle breaks out the GIFs you know he’s grasping at straws. What a tool.

    https://twitter.com/mirtle/status/912093896964018177

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    Hi everyone — before this gets too far out of hand …

    Thanks for reading TSM. I wish we weren’t the only game in town, but that’s a choice mainstream outlets have made about the value of media analysis. With the highly interwoven state of sports media in Canada, independent voices are really important.

    James has publicly and privately insulted me every time I have written about The Athletic. Most of what I write about them is positive because I am a big supporter of what they are doing. As with everything I write here, I lay out my reasoning and let the audience decide for themselves what to think. He’s entitled to respond, in whatever way seems appropriate to him. Most of the subjects I write about don’t bother to respond.

    I have been called gutless by Damien Cox. I think I can handle this.

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    Island Chris 3 months

    I clicked on the TSPN.ca and all I can say is…. yuck. A 1-800 number to get sports info? The 90’s called, they want their outdated media back. It looks like they’ve since re-branded to BarnBurner.ca… Which seems much better. It might be cheesy but I actually really like the name BarnBurner.ca

    It seems to me that the business model is podcasting / sports news. I don’t know how profitable podcast networks are as a business model, but there are quite a few out there trying to make a go of it. In that vein a sports podcasting network seems to make sense but I’m not sure it’s necessary to add in the syndicated sports newsfeed. To me, it seems to take the focus away from the only unique content they provide: the podcasts.

    I would think their man power and financial resources would be put to better use by continually improving the listening experience for the podcasts and of course by promoting said podcasts. It’s not uncommon for people to subscribe to 3 or 4 shows that are produced by one podcast network without ever visiting that network’s website.

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    Island Chris 3 months

    PS totally agree on the return of Mike Johnson… I’ve really enjoyed his work on Leafs Lunch too! If they could guarantee Andi, Gord & MJ everyday (or most days), then I don’t think I’d miss a show. Kristen Shilton sounds great in the hits I’ve heard her do as well.

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    Dave's Not Here 3 months

    A 1-800 number to get sports info? The 90’s called, they want their outdated media back.

    I was reminded of this service, which launched in 1980…

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    Omario 3 months

    Last week McCown and Cox were lamenting the disappearance of sports journalism and McCown wad completely unaware that Sportsnet Magazine was done.

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    Daniel 3 months

    @omario – I think he was joking

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    Just started listening to the 2nd hour of PTS and it is going to be tough sledding as Cox is at his simpering worst pontificating about what these african american athletes actually think – How the hell does he know what anybody thinks -He has taken to correcting Bob and I don’t think that will go on for too long – How much longer is he going to be on PTS as he really has become impossible to listen to – This show is getting way too political and they go on about politics for far too long for my taste but I will give it a listen –

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    Well I lasted until 5:33 and shut it down when the Penguins were criticized for embracing a visit to the White House (bad in PTS crew eyes) but any NBA team is correct by not going(Great decision in PTS crew eyes)so as usual if the decisions anyone makes agrees with (in this case PTS crew) that is the right choice and all dissenting decisions are a wrong choice -I would rather listen to the guy sell suits! – I even turned off during Bob Ryan who I generally enjoy as he is so enthusiastic – My point is I don’t care to hear nothing but politics on my once favourite sport/talk show – OK Rant over

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    Hopefully this week my opinions don’t get deleted.

    1) Mike Johnson is amazing on Leafs Lunch. Such a breath of fresh air. He’s intelligent, articulate, and doesn’t talk down to Andi. It’s wonderful to be able to hear him.

    2) Again, Overdrive is the best radio show in Toronto and it’s not even close. As I’ve mentioned before, Jamie has really brushed up on his other sports. He by no means is a guru, but he knows enough to get by. That said, when it comes to hockey, nobody is better than him and O-Dog.

    3) Listened to Blair and Brunt the other day. Shill shill shill. Also, does Blair have a major health condition with his throat? Dude coughs non-stop. I feel he needs to seek medical attention for it. I hope he is okay.

    4) Best sports radio show in North America is Dan Patrick. TSN should scrap everything they do in the morning and play his entire 3 hours.

    5) JD Bunkis is great and I see a bright future for him.

    6) A segment with John Shhhhhannon, Blair, and Brunt was on the radio last week. I don’t know anyone under 65 who relates to anything they say.

    7) Over/Under on how long it takes Doug MacLean to talk about PEI on his first HockeyCentral episode. I give it…3 minutes. Max.

    Again, all of these opinions are strictly my own and do not reflect either Jonah or Mike, so any venom you have about the above you can blame on me.

    Have a wonderful day.

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    Paul G. 3 months

    @MFLO

    You are not alone. Had a bad feeling when I tuned it at four to get the lineup and Bob was already starting up.

    Tried at five and only lasted 10 minutes. Checked back 2-3 times over the next hour or so, but couldn’t buy in.

    I have feelings on both sides of this issue but Bob’s needless “pontificating”, Damien’s unending “superiority” and a constant refusal to even consider another point of view led me to calling it a day.

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    Wally 3 months

    I disagree with subscription-based services such as The Athletic. Specifically subscriptions for information.

    I don’t believe it’s right to hide information behind paywalls, specifically high quality information. In my opinion, this creates a precedent where high quality information and reporting become exclusive those who have money. Of course arguments will be made that the price of the subscription is insignificant but there are several individuals who simply cannot afford a cup of coffee everyday. Do they deserve to be shut out of high quality information? Of course arguments will be made that the content supplied by The Athletic is not important but to some individuals those writers were a significant part of their sports consumption and now are unable to read their work.

    There is a significant problem in academia where papers, journals and thesis are hidden behind elaborate paywalls when really the information could be beneficial in a public domain. By no means am I claiming academic work and sports articles are on the same level of importance, but the infrastructure in place rewards people with money with arguably high quality information when that information would likely benefit everyone. There are several writers on The Athletic that were part of my reading routine that are now inaccessible.

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    Omario 3 months

    Omario 19 hours
    Last week McCown and Cox were lamenting the disappearance of sports journalism and McCown wad completely unaware that Sportsnet Magazine was done.

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    Daniel 18 hours
    @omario – I think he was joking

    Definitely not joking….he had no idea.

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    matt 3 months

    Lost respect for Mirtle over the Montador incident. His failure to own up to it and his rude behaviour on twitter has prevented me from being able to support someone like that.

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    TSPN.ca is definitely “unique”. Agreed with Island Chris that it seems about 30 years late to the reporting game.

    A TSM link seems to have found a home on their rumours page (http://tspn.ca/categories/rumors/) … right beside everyone’s buddy Eklund. Solid E4.

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    Bob Canuck 3 months

    @ Matt,

    “There’s an updated report from police it was natural causes with further investigation coming. If so I apologize to his family.”

    “… but that’s not good enough. I’m off work and shouldn’t have tweeted.”

    James Mirtle

    In my view, James Mirtle owned up to his mistake. He acknowledged his error and apologized.

    http://awfulannouncing.com/2015/nhl-reporter-retracts-steve-montador-suicide-report.html

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    On 1050 they have been using Greg Gilbert as Tatti’s partner on their Leafs pre-season broadcasts………I guess we can say that the Patrick O’Sullivan era on TSN radio is now officially over…….when you get taken off the air right in the middle of a Leafs playoff series I guess there is no coming back from that

    Leafs games have only been on 590/1050 for four or five years but there has already been a ton of turnover in the studio analysts………on 590 they have had Nattress and Osborne and Hlushko……..on 1050 they have had O’Neill and O’Sullivan and Roe (occasionally) and now Gilbert

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    Steve 3 months

    There are evolving blog forums like Steemit and Akasha where authors earn revenue just from the quantity of activity on their page.

    I’ve never heard of these sites or this model and I doubt anyone would consider using it seriously for revenue.

    Another mode would be to crowdsource individual articles.

    Would also never happen. Means the author would spend their time and money on a piece that they may never get paid for if the goal isn’t met.

    Another thing is that they [The Athletic] have been around for a year and I can’t name one story they broke.

    I think you’re confused. The Athletic isn’t hiring guys to break the dumb day-to-day stories that beat reporters do. If they are going to be breaking any stories, it is the large ones that take months of reporting and don’t happen once a week.

    Mirtle is a fragile and very insecure man, it seems. I mysteriously am blocked by him, presumably because he searches out his own name on Twitter and saw that I made a comment about him hiring all his white, male buddies from the newspaper.

    I am on the fence about The Athletic. When they announced they would begin covering TFC, I instantly signed up. The TFC coverage in this city is woeful (especially Kurt Larson at The Sun) so I was excited to support a fresh voice. I was quickly disappointed when I realized that a/ their TFC reporter was just some dude that is still covering the Leafs most of the time, and b/ there were only two articles published in the first month. I contacted their HQ and cancelled my subscription and they were generous enough to keep it active for the full year though. I don’t support any other Toronto teams, but I have been enjoying their Red Wings and MLB articles and their new college football team is outstanding – not that really appeals to many of the Canadians signing up.

    4) Best sports radio show in North America is Dan Patrick. TSN should scrap everything they do in the morning and play his entire 3 hours.

    Couldn’t agree more. I’ve been listening to their show via podcast for a few years now and nothing comes close (especially in Toronto and Canada) to mixing sports and entertainment as well as they do. They get amazing guests and they (obviously) don’t cover hockey for the most part, which is a plus for most Canadians who need to branch out and realize hockey isn’t the centre of the sporting universe and is actually quite unpopular in the realm of North American sports.

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    Simulcast in Mississauga 3 months

    No more PTS sports for me either. A long time listener (me) disconnects, for at least a month and probably longer as I check out alternatives, due to too much politics on PTS.

    McCown has become too political. When he sticks to sports, he is hard to beat. Tuned in yesterday at 4 as I usually do but I wasn’t going to put up anymore with Bob’s political bashing. Definitely not the first time recently…politics every day on PTS now. Rogers calls the show Prime Time Sports for a reason; if McCown wants to host a Prime Time Politics, he can join the CBC or CNN when his contract runs out.

    Re the Athletic:
    Mike in Boston suggested that a new media endeavor will not be successful unless:
    1) people need to be unhappy with what’s already there, and 2) the replacement needs to be significantly better than the status quo

    The Athletic strikes out on both counts.

    TSN1050 summer ratings:
    The ratings are so poor that next summer, why doesn’t TSN1050 concentrate strictly on promoting the associated TSN TV scheduling instead of trying to be a FAN me-too. During the summer TSN has an excellent line up of sports from golf to tennis to auto racing (F1 and NASCAR) to soccer to CFL and more. It would build the TSN base to cross promote TSN’s sports channels via TSN1050 radio and from 1050’s point of view, it couldn’t get any worse so why not??? In the fall, they can go back to all hockey.

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    Funny how both Mirtle and Blundell get all fired up by Mike (they’re both insecure people and Mike hasn’t said anything bad at all).

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    Sean 3 months

    I cancelled my account after seeing James’ response. What you wrote is no different from what a media member would say about a GM, coach or player. You offer your opinion and analysis, no one is saying its 100 percent correct, but your opinion shouldn’t be shouted down, just as James opinion on the Leafs shouldn’t be shouted down.

    If he had an issue with what you said, he should have reached out and told you why.

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    Original Mitch 2 months

    I’m thankful for this site that help expose the insecure nature of Toronto’s media members. You know they are frantically reading this site daily hoping their feelings won’t get bruised with a negative mention in an article or a comment. A guy like Mirtle, who comes off as unlikable as they get to begin with goes after Mike.. I can’t help but be proud of Mike and Jonah! Keep up the great work fellas! The Toronto sports fan who enjoys reading/listening/watching sports needs you more than ever.

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    @SimInMiss
    I’m with you – No more PTS for me either – I was just about done with the show when Cox became so prominent and the recent political turn has pushed me over the edge – Bob must stick to what he does best and it is not coming across like some whiney snowflake who has been ‘triggered’ by some fools taking a knee – If I want to hear that crud I will tune in CNN – As you say Bob is in top form when he sticks to sports –

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    Daniel 2 months

    The 9am hour of Monday’s Blair show was excellent. Brunt was at his best addressing the kneeling/Trump issue. Wish he did less TV stuff and did radio more often. Worth checking out. Really intelligent, thoughtful sports radio.

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    Bora 2 months

    What is the photo from at the top of the article and what is it’s relevance?

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    Hans 2 months

    I firmly believe that sites like this are much needed in this day and age to help keep the sports writers honest and help those of us who read to know where things are objective and where the writer (such as the Eric Francis thing) are going off on their own subjective direction.

    Playing devil’s advocate here: if Bob didn’t talk about the kneeling thing from last weekend I suspect an equal amount of people would be complaining about him purposely avoiding it or putting out the tinfoil hat idea that he was told to avoid it. It was the biggest story of the weekend from the NFL, he would be dumb not to talk about it. I would say give him a pass on this no matter how self-righteous he got on the issue.

    That said, I have also recently given up on PTS. Too much John Shannon in the last few weeks, too much Damian on his high horse named morality and Bob himself feels like he’s doing a victory lap of sorts right now. Just not worth my time to be honest anymore. Even the round-tables are just morphing into Bob and his buddies messing around for a few hours or they turn into the weekly John Shannon/Damian Cox verbal slap fight.

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    Brad 2 months

    I don’t listen to much PTS anymore, but they still book solid guests such as Bob Ryan, JP Morosi, and Dan Shulman that keeps me checking in. I happened to be listening during the noted Duchesne discussion, and I was embarrassed for them. McCown continually tells the audience that he is ready to retire, and these days often backs it up. If Cox can’t keep up with the hockey world, what else is he contributing to the show/network?

    I don’t want to make a thing of it, but I don’t think I understand the gist of Kristen Shilton’s tweet about Marleau. Is that a real problem, or simply something made up to complain about in the absence of any actual issues? The “preeeach” suggests she agrees with Marleau’s wife, but can this struggle possibly be real? Is it sexist that I am confused by this reporting?

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    Original Mitch 2 months

    @brad the mere mention of anything female reporting that is anything but absolute praise these days is sexist. Lol

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    Daz66778 2 months

    Same question as Bora asked, what is the picture at top of article and what is its relevance?

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    Mike V 2 months

    It’s from Arrested Development and it’s Gob and his “business model”.

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    Thoughts on Todd Shapiro joining Landsberg on the 1050 morning show for a couple of weeks?

    I have always enjoyed Todd and the work that he does. I’ll be listening. I think he’s extremely talented and quite personable.

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    yaz 2 months

    Bob advocates that the NHL should get an office in China because he has an office in China.

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    Big G 2 months

    Bob’s take on politics sounds so limited. All you pretty much here is name calling, Though I would likely disagree he has no informed intelligent well thought out opinion. This would also include Damien. It’s terrible radio.

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    @Big G
    Exactly my thoughts – Glad I’m not alone –

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    Mike V 2 months

    Fan 1-4pm slot is now going to be Good Show with JD Bunkis and Bennis. Feels like Dave Cadeau was going for the intentional oxymoron with this one. A little too on the nose.

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    They just made this announcement on 590:

    On Monday we have a new show taking over the 1:00 to 4:00 weekday slot on Fan 590:

    Good Show with Ben Ennis and J.D. Bunkis

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    Liberty Village Bob 2 months

    From Tim and Sid to Brady’s leftovers to Walker’s leftovers to Ennis’ leftovers.. 1050 is running a week of Cauz in the morning during the fall book. Tells you all you need to know about the state of radio business . Hello podcasts.

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    Paul G. 2 months

    Was hoping it was am aberration, but another day of Shannon for the full 3 hours!

    Between him and the politics, I fear I’m out of luck concerning PTS. As too many others have noted, their is to put it politely, a lack of quality sports media broadcasting in this market.

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    Liberty Village Bob 2 months

    The standard for white men to get radio jobs has never been lower. The standard for women, on the other hand, ……….

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    The turnover in the 1-4 slot on 590 in the last 10 years has been crazy……….here is the chronology……..I’m sure I am missing some (I refuse to list The Director’s Chair just out of principle):

    Swirsky solo
    Armstrong & D. MacLean
    Armstrong & E. Smith
    Brady solo
    Krystal solo
    Tim & Sid
    Brady & Walker
    Walker solo
    Walker & Ennis
    Ennis solo
    Ennis & Bunkis

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    Daniel 2 months

    @ Mike S – Wow, crazy. I think the only one of those shows I would actually go out of my way to listen to was Tim & Sid.

    Having said that, I think Ennis and Bunkis could be alright. They have fun at least.

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    Daniel 2 months

    In terms of Bob et all discussing politics – Trump opened that door wide once he attacked the NBA and NFL. He involved himself in the sports discussion right there, unfortunately. If you disagree with their stance that Trump is a moron… I dunno. Maybe you can stream Alex Jones instead of PTS.

    Personally, I like it when the hosts are willing to branch out a little and not just talk about RBIs or whatever. And these are truly crazy, crazy times. It’s hard to ignore.

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    If there was one week when you couldn’t complain about “stick to sports” it was this last one. This was arguably the most important week for race and sports since the 1968 summer Olympics. Everyone should be talking about it.

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    Can you imagine being a woman working at Sportsnet with Dave Cadeau and Scott Moore as your bosses?

    I’m off writing for a while, working on some special projects. Follow me on twitter if you’re starving for sports media observations. See yinz in a month or so.

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    Curt 2 months

    Well said, Daniel and Mike. The mouth breathers and old crusties get uncomfortable when they’re forced to confront their own bigotry. “Just stick to sports, snowflake!” Well sorry, but it’s never been that simple – obviously much less so these days.

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    @Daniel and Curt
    While Bob may have an opinion he cannot resist descending into name calling – To him(paraphrasing here) Trump is a moron no better then a trained ape and anyone who thinks otherwise like ‘those on the right who are idiots’ as he called the ones that disagree was the last I heard from him and PTS as I shut it down – That is certainly not sports radio – And it certainly isn’t good radio – As a long time fan of his I have lost all respect – The left wingers can’t seem to grasp that a contrary opinion does not make one a mouth breather or an old crustie(whatever that is)and the dreck he spews lately certainly doesn’t make me uncomfortable – I am more saddened by what PTS has become compared to what it once was –

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    Paul G. 2 months

    @ MontFLO

    Well put!

    I am no Trump fan But Bob’s tunnel vision regarding his beliefs is no better then those he criticises for their refusal to deal with differing opinions.

    Earlier this week when a guest responded by referring to other “sane Republicans”, Bob responded with “is there such a thing?”. This was shortly after John McCain (a hero who has chosen his own path) announced that his latest brain cancer prognosis was very poor.

    Again, I am not defending the current US President and am not blind to the racial issues that exist not only in the US but here at home as well. Nonetheless to simply categorize with ageism, those of us who differ with Bob’s comments shows a narrow minded simplistic bias that ironically is a prime component of the very issues that are be raised.

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    Paul G. 2 months

    Should read “being raised”.

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    Big G 2 months

    Well said @mont from London.

    @ Curt

    It’s funny how Bob was accused of being a bigot years ago by Cito Gaston and to this day can’t get over it and still rants about and years later. Many at that time and even now other than Cito argued that Bob is racist based on where he is from and the fact that he grew up during a racially oppressive time with(by his own admission racist parents) in addition to those things never giving Cito credit for accomplishments(first back to back championships in years) yet turning around and giving Joe Torre high praise for his success with an equally talented team, Also of note he barely ever criticizes Gibbons yet Gibbons has accomplished little in comparison to Cito. Bob is now quite comfortable doing that which he hates was done to him to someone else this begs the question does Bob really mean what he is preaching? or is he going with the masses (Grandstanding). Bob when Yunnel Escobar had the message on his eyeblack was screaming to get rid of him yet Kevin Pillar for whatever reason got a free pass it almost sounded as though he was making excuses for Pillar, I also remember Bob did not want to touch the Cleveland Indians story, did not want to say weather it was derogatory or not, his comments were “let the natives decide”. How much did Bob stand against what happen with the P.K situation in Boston his comments were minimal again did not want to barely touch it or firmly reprimand it. Sounds to me like sports radio has it’s own political agenda, and I speak as a person of colour.

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    Curt 2 months

    Well, I’m not saying Bob isn’t full of crap most of the time – I’ve posted often that I think he is. So, I don’t know why you’d think I’m defending the man. However, he and every other sports personality has a right and responsibility to address this story for reasons that have been explained.

    I don’t know…for those who are so offended by someone taking a shot at such a complete idiot, well that says a lot to me. “I’m not listening to PTS anymore because Bob attacked Trump and republicans!” Please, get a grip.

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    (Another) Andrew 2 months

    I stopped listening to The Fan in part due to politics (I can’t stand ignorant people discussing politics, even when I agree with their overall outlook)- but also because North American sport is now just a big bloated corporate joke.

    The above comments suggest that nothing has changed at The Fan. Bob is old, ignorant, and totally bored with not just sports but any opinion he hasn’t heard before. It’s amazing to me how someone like Bob who has regularly displayed xenophobia towards soccer fans, insulted Russians like a drooling McCarthyite, and, as an above commenter mentioned, got into a racial incident with Cito Gaston – he ain’t no ‘Gibby’ – can accuse anyone of racism. Talk about lack of self-awareness. He even interviewed the vile neocon David “Axis of Evil” Frum the day after the election as if the former Bush speechwriter and Iraq war propagandist were some kind of respectable human being. Disgusting. Jeff Blair is another one: Remember his needing to join al-Qaeda to eat in a London restaurant during the 2012 Olympics or his NFL (ie mostly black)=National Felons League remarks?

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    @Curt
    Of course Bob can address the subject – It is his hostile blinkered I am right opinion name calling stance that turned me off PTS – And your post with the ‘such a complete idiot’ crack is no better – I don’t care one way or the other about US politics – I care about the fact that nobody can apparently have a dissenting viewpoint without being called names – Perhaps this is Bobs way of signing off on his career – I won’t know because I have lost my grip and don’t/won’t listen to PTS anymore –

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    Big G 2 months

    @Curt

    He can address the story all he wants, fact of the matter is, he does not sound very articulate in the process, it merely sounds like he loves the sound of his own voice especially when he name calls. Although I disagree with a lot of what Stephen Brunt says at times, he commands the ear because he usually has a well thought tasteful opinion, something Bob completely lacks at this point in his career.

    Maybe Brunt left Bob’s show because when you work with an idiot it tends to rub off, then again Brunt is worse off with Blair.

    Bob is a trainwreck when his information on a matter is limited and he starts spewing garbage to over compensate, we see this time and time again when he talks baseball.

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    Mike 2 months

    Not gonna lie, I’m getting a mighty chuckle out of people who are whining “I don’t want politics in muhhh sports” when a year ago all I would hear out of these people is that this world is “too PC” / mocking “safe spaces” at universities, going on and on about how free speech is everything, etc.

    Now these same jokers are all offended when a black guy exercises his free speech to do something not PC (kneel during the anthem).

    Sorry not sorry that sports isn’t your safe space anymore snowflakes

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    Curt 2 months

    Right…it’s his name-calling, hostile opinion that has you taking your ball and boycotting PTS – not who it’s directed at? It’s Bob’s respectful, fence-sitting positions that made you such a big fan all these years, right? To be clear, I kind of agree with Andrew. There are a lot of reasons not to listen to PTS these days, but Bob calling Trump a moron has to be way down on that list.

    Anyway, I’m done with this topic. Call me snowflake or whatever you’d like. It’s a pointless argument.

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    Big G 2 months

    Why would you protest at your workplace in front of customers when they are not the issue? Interesting….

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    Drumanchor 2 months

    @ Mike: I agree wholeheartedly with you comments. Although I certainly can’t speak for everyone’s opinions, it seems to me that most of the people upset with the kneeling during the anthem would be the same people who insist that the U.S. constitution is a sacred document. But only when they talk about the “right to bear arms” (and look how well that is going today).

    Free speech? Not so much.

    PS – Haven’t we all come to an agreement that most of what Bob does is a bit of an act? His cantankerous personality is just what he does on radio. Bob being Bob, if you will. As for calling out the POTUS, why not? Can anyone really say even one thing nice about this man that isn’t tinged with bigotry or racism?

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    My beef is with Bob and Cox and PTS in general – Bob calling anyone who disagrees with him idiots and other etc has put me off the show – Well having Cox figuring so prominently has also helped me decide – Bob of course always has a ‘show personna’ but lately he has become downright nasty – I don’t care if they kneel ride a unicycle or wear the jocks outside their pants in protest – Name calling is not the way to end a discussion because two people can’t agree – I won’t post anymore on this as the mod has been very tolerant and these arguments just go nowhere-

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    I don’t get why people are so against paying for a subscription. I love Netflix and I while I haven’t subscribed for Hulu I will likely pay for that as they get in the content game. I am a consumer who likes to read, so if there is great content I am happy to pay for it.

    Thanks again for visiting and commenting.

    Jonah

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    Keri 2 months

    Great article.