Forum: Morning Radio

Forum: Morning Radio

by mike in boston / @mikeinboston / email


TSN1050 Shuffles the Deck


Good morning Toronto sports media consumers. The topic this morning is about radio, and morning sports radio in particular. TSN1050 announced that ex-Leaf Carlo Colaiacovo would be joining the team as co-host of the new morning show. His partner would be incumbent Michael Landsberg and the two would bring audiences First Up 6:00 to 10:00 every day. According to the press release, it will be “a fast-paced show filled with the hottest stories happening in Toronto and beyond, all delivered through the duo’s distinctive perspectives.”


Carlo’s radio experience is pretty limited. He filled in at TSN1050 over the summer for a few weeks and that was enough to convince those in charge that he should be a face of the station’s 4th morning show in 7 years.


“When it came to naming a new co-host we wanted to ensure we were bringing our listeners a distinctive voice with a unique insider’s perspective, and Carlo checks those boxes as the perfect pairing alongside Michael. Carlo’s experience in the NHL and with the Leafs allows him to take listeners behind-the-scenes and provide a one-of-a kind take on the sports news of the day.” — Jeff MacDonald, TSN1050 Program Director


Colaiacovo certainly ticks the insider box. He was a 1st round pick of the Leafs in 2001 and spent parts of 6 seasons with the the team. He can definitely speak to the pressures of being a young player in Toronto and that may be a major storyline this season.

The press release also talks up Carlo’s wider sports interests, with Landsberg saying “What surprised me, was his level of interest and knowledge in virtually every other sport.” Carlo gave listeners a taste of that on Twitter recently when he weighed in on the Jays:


FU has been up and running for a couple of weeks now, competing with the FAN590’s 20 month old morning show Starting Line Up featuring Elliott Price, Greg Brady, and Hugh Burrill. Those interested in the opinions of women or people of colour will have to look to other stations. Here’s a taste of what First Up has been serving up since launching:



The decision to hire Carlo can be debated. Given that the radio station features many prominent ex-players already, why add another? Why not reward someone who has been working hard on their radio craft for TSN Radio, either here or in one of their other markets? The FAN took a young Andrew Walker from Calgary and made him a name on their morning show in Toronto and then an even bigger name on their drive home show in Vancouver. Where are the similar success stories for the TSN radio network?


Ranking the Morning Shows


It’s early but we thought it might be worth looking back at the recent history of morning radio in Toronto to see how this show stacks up. This is TSN1050’s 4th morning radio show, 3 of which have featured Michael Landsberg. Are you excited about this one? Here’s a quick poll to gauge where this audience stands on TSN’s latest creation.



Another obvious question is whether this will draw any listeners away from FAN590. For those of you who tune in to Starting Line Up, this question is addressed to you:



Lastly, let’s think about the morning shows over the last 7 years. Which one did you like the most?




thanks for reading and commenting,

until next time …

mike (not really in boston)

photo credit: TSN1050


  • comment-avatar
    Mario 3 years ago

    Well I did try listening TSN new morning show a few times this past week and never lasted more than a few minutes . I totally agree give the people who have paid there dues and been and worked hard .Carlo may indeed work out as a good fit but start out like everyone in the business. The Fan morning show took a while but I am starting the really enjoy it now .

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    Carlo Colaiacovo’s tweet is just the type of insightful analysis that one should cherish. His ability to delve into the facts to illustrate the connection between the arrival of Alex Anthopoulos and the Braves good fortunes in 2018 is breath-taking.

    In order to understand Carlo’s awesomeness, I looked at the net bWARs of the players acquired and those departing since AA’s arrival. The net bWAR is 3.8, which is 9.0% of the Braves total bWAR to date. Carlo’s comprehension of baseball is truly remarkable. I was silly enough to think that the 91% of the bWAR, contributed by players who were Braves before AA’s arrival, was far more important than AA’s input. Furthermore, if we assume that the net 3.8 bWAR translates into 4 wins in the standings, the Braves lead would be cut from 8.5 games to 4.5 games without AA. We all know that you can’t win a division with a 4.5 game lead at the end of the season. What was I thinking?

    Impressive Carlo, truly impressive.

    Let us not forget about toilet humour. Is there anything funnier than a video about bowel movements?

    Sophisticated analysis and side-splitting humour. I think TSN 1050 may have found the Messiah.

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    @ Bob Canuck “Priceless”, sir!

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    Couln’t have said it better Bob Canuck. As soon as I saw that tweet I thought “I think I remember him calling in to Jays Talk.”

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    ‘Cup of Tea’ rhymes with ‘1050’. If you don’t believe me, tune into TSN 1050 6-10 am daily to hear them bludgeon you to death with their torturous crap ass ‘theme song’. Instant station changer.

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    It’s been a while since I posted, but I’ve been reading a lot of the articles/discussion and commentary. I will not normally opine on what is good and what is bad because that is really up to individual taste. The question about the hire of Carlo Colaicovo as well as why not promote one of the regular TSN hosts, or hire a sports radio host outside the market is the one that resonates with me. I am a freelance broadcaster who has done both TV and radio work, and sure I’d love to move up in terms of a better gig, but the there is a reality here. First of all TSN is trying to capture a little of the Overdrive chemistry in terms of First Up. Nothing wrong with that , the Overdrive formula has caught on. I have had no issues with CC so far on First Up. He’s pretty articulate, has a sense of humour and I think his comfort level will improve. The trend towards athletes as radio hosts is not one that thrills me to tell you the truth, as it means less opportunity for guys like me, but an athlete has a built in name recognition that gives them a leg up. Overall, it’s a good move for TSN 1050, and I say that as a guy who had a conversation with them about the process .

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    I’ve liked Colaiacovo’s contributions throughout the summer, but if he’s saddled w Landsberg, I’m not interested. The “insightful” Anthopolous tweet suggests he should stay in his lane.

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    Other Daniel 3 years ago

    Colaiacovo made a comment this morning that Jim Furyk should pair Tiger and Phil together for the Ryder cup because: “That’s what fans want to see”. The Golf expert was forced to explain to Colaiacovo that Furyks job is to win the Ryder cup not appease fans.

    This is sad sad radio. Guess I’m listening to podcasts every morning

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    I rarely listen to morning shows any more, last was back in the Don Landry days, so quite awhile ago…. I keep trying but can’t listen to annoying over-talkers and colourless sidekicks, there is just no connection. Admittedly I’m a Bills fan but regardless, Howard & Jeremy on Buffalo 550 do it just right – they simply provide good knowledge and good conversation and are wonderful to listen to.

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    BPB hit on a good point when he said the guys on Buffalo 550 do it right through good knowledge and good conversation. That’s not an easy thing to bottle up, but sports radio should be a natural conversation/argument. That’s what Overdrive is able to do. They talk like normal guys do in a sports conversation, just with microphones instead of beers in front of them..

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    Good segment this am with Shoalts and his new book Hockey Fight in Canada (the 5.2 billion deal) on CBC’s The Current

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    Shoalts didn’t show up on either 1050 or 590 to discuss the book. I’m sure nobody at either station told someone to not have him on their show because things like that don’t happen.

    Dubas did a half hour on PTS on Tuesday in studio. This is the first time I can recall a Leafs GM or President or Coach in a long time not immediately do a spot on the other station. Most often they literally hang up the phone and you could flip stations and hear them again.

    One time – I think it was Shanahan, he actually drove from downtown after a 590 spot to go out into the boonies to do Overdrive at the TSN studio. Perhaps the all business Dubas now believes Overdrive is beneath him. They might lay in some Lebrun chair move clips or Kawhi laugh clips between his words.

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    Colaiacovo seems like a personable guy……….and some of the stories he tells from when he played are interesting………..but based on what I have heard so far if anyone is looking for insight from him on all of the various sports they will be looking for a long time…………there is no bigger fan of James Duthie than me, but even I cringed when Duthie said this on 1050 last week: “I told a co-worker the other day that I think Carlo Colaiacovo will be the next Jeff O’Neill. In other words, he will be the next star at TSN”

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    Andrew 3 years ago

    I don’t have a problem with Carlo, but I think Landsberg has to stop treating Carlo as the greatest thing since sliced bread. Good radio needs different opinions and debate. Landsberg seems to be a giddy young Leaf fan meeting a player for an autograph.

    And I know this is being a little harsh, but Carlo was a journeyman defenceman who didn’t actually play a great deal with the Leafs. This does not diminish his insight into the sport, but Landsberg and the production team have to stop giving the impression that he should be on Legends Row. Hopefully as time goes on Carlo will become a broadcaster with a good hockey background, not the other way around

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    After he appeared on PTS, Dubas was the special guest at TSN 1050’s Up-Close & Unfiltered event that was held that evening at the Hockey Hall of Fame. All of the hosts (Landsberg, Petrillo, MacArthur, Hayes et al) were there.

    The Rogers-Bell MLSE-Management scale remains in balance. 🙂

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    Did anyone here go to TSN’s Up Close and Unfiltered? If yes, how was it? What was the cost? It occurred to me that this might be a response to the Pitch Talks (ok, Puck Talks) shows.

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    WestdaleRocks 3 years ago

    Here’s what’s wrong with TSN Radio. Two examples. Saturday night, I’m in the car. I turned on TSN radio, passing by Medieval Times at 11:10PM. They were in a commercial/promo break. It wasn’t until I was nearly at the 427 at least 10 minutes later, that they came out of break. Stunning! (although I think the bigger story here is that I was able to go from the Lakeshore and Jameson to nearly the 427 in 10 minutes! #TorontoTrafficSucks. Anyway, I realize they were tied to FOX network programming and their breaks, but SURELY they can put some interesting programming in the can, or do a sports update for such times?
    The second example happened this morning. Driving around at 7am and TSN radio has a repeat of one of the morning shows this past week. This, despite the Ryder Cup singles matches going on. Don’t know if TSN has radio rights, but I DO know that I heard some British Open golf a couple of years back. If they DO have rights, but still made a conscious decision to put an out-of-date show on, then that’s a terrible call.

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    @Bob. Thx. As I was about to hit send on my post I thought it had to be something I was missing. Leafs PR seems to be pretty strict on that. I just wish one time they get him to use a damn land line. Babcock kept it up yesterday going straight from Overdrive to PTS.

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    Colaiacovo talks way too much.

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    Landsberg and Colaiacovo are terrible.

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    Bobtt 2 years ago

    The worst show on Radio