Toronto Sports Media Musings & A Week In The ICU

by TSM

Been a crazy couple of weeks- year here in the TSM household capped off with my son’s week long stay in the ICU here in Seattle. Thank you to all those who reached out to the tweet I posted as we finally were back in “safe-land”:

Starting the week with a nightmare, spending the week in the ICU with your 16 year old son watching as he fights the fight of his life, ending the week watching the @MapleLeafs with him from his hospital bed on the mend #priceless #Thankful &blessed— jonah (@yyzsportsmedia) March 16, 2019

More on that below…

Lets talk about some sports media things first shall we?

My take on the latest radio ratings?

One book does not a trend make. So the rise of OverDrive is worth watching. Is this a new thing? I am told that during parts of the latest book, OD bested McCown. I tried to go back through my ratings reviews however I found not one single book since I have been doing this when McCown came close to losing a book. He didn’t here. Could this be the book that does it?

If the embarrassing sale of Blue Jays opener tickets is an indicator of the current interest in the Jays, this could be the time for PTS to swoon. TSN is a little bit like the Toronto Star right now, void of significant local expertise. If the Jays aren’t front and center in the market that will hurt the Fan and thats an oppotunity for TSN.

TSN nixed the updates on the radio and continues to whittle away at their non Toronto markets. The most important thing for TSN right now is how to get on a better frequency. Will that happen. Yes. Soon? NO!

So the Maple Leafs seem to have re-entered Brian Burke’s 18 wheeler as the season comes to an end. There’s a ton of reading as to the why or whose to blame for the situation the franchise is currently in. However, I think we are going to have a heated return of the analytics vs. traditional hockey types debate should the buds make an early exit as many expect.

You can already sense the tension in old world reporting vs. new world reporting in the coverage of the team during this swoon. It will increase as we head to the offseason.

Is anyone else tired of Mark Hunter spewing on about the state of the Maple Leafs? Hunter, like the Blue Jays brass on the subject of Vlad Jr. should politely decline to comment on the state of his former employer. He didn’t get the job, right or wrong. He sounds like a spoiled brat whenever he speaks about the teams future without him.

As we told you earlier, congrats to a new voice on Blue Jays talk to Scott MacArthur.

The season hasn’t started and I am getting more complaints about the play by play teams for the Jays. Really? Are people that annoyed with those in the booth before the season even starts. A potentially long season will seem even longer if the bitching is this rampant during spring training.

Congrats to The Athletic getting into the Podcast game. We all knew they would have to expand the offering beyond just “print” to be successful.

I love getting your emails ([email protected]) however lets be clear about one thing (to the 10-15 of you who think otherwise) emailing me asking me to tell the powers that be at Bell and Rogers who you wanted hired or fired is a total waste of time. Yours and mine.

With the Raptors coming down the stretch what’s the bigger story, playoffs or will he stay or go?

The drumbeats will not go away, the end is near for what is left of the Globe and Mail sports department.

I know get upset when the Raptors are Maple Leafs are on a national (USA) network. The offerings via and the NHL package via either apple tv or any other streaming device/service is so much better than anything on cable. If you haven’t tried it out it’s worth a shot.

Is Dazn the next sports media disruptor? I would say it has the potential.

So , last Saturday am my son woke up with flu like symptoms. 12 hours later he was lying in the ICU, unconscious. Barb DiGiulio saw my tweet and asked my son and I to join here on her show. The interview is below. I don’t want to get into the whole vaccine debate, I can tell you the Dr.’s told us what happened to him was avoidable had he had the flu shot. He will get it next year, joining the rest of my family.


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March 21, 2019 1:36 pm

It seems like at this point, TSN Radio is basically becoming a station you would turn to hear breakdowns about the Leafs, but basically not any other sport or team in the market. It’s three Leaf focussed shows now and that’s kind of it. The Leafs are obviously enormous, so I get it.  But this isn’t a small town like Winnipeg or Peterborough (or wherever) where the appetite is only for hockey talk 24/7 365.  If the Leafs lose in the first round, and then the Raptors make the finals it kind of bites them a bit. Not to mention the entire station then kind of becomes irrelevant then until October.   That seems like a big chunk of the calendar to kind of give up on? It’s funny – with TSN basically being Overdrive and nothing else – I could almost envision a time where they save costs by shuttering the station and turn Overdrive into a prominent TV show/podcast/stream.  

Paul G.
Paul G.
March 21, 2019 3:30 pm

Following up on Daniel’s good points:

When you add what is shaping up to be a poor Jays season; neither TSN or SN have much to look forward to.
In a year that has already had many industry layoffs, one can only wonder at the reactions from the respective Boardrooms if the ratings continue to fall.

Chance Vought
Chance Vought
March 22, 2019 9:05 am

“I don’t want to get into the whole vaccine debate…”

There is no debate. Anti-vaxxers are nuts.

March 22, 2019 10:35 am

At the risk of being yet another reader complaining about the Jays radio play-by-play, I would just say that I find both voices to be almost identical. I always have to take a second to figure out who is actually speaking – Wagner or Wilner. 

PS – Best to you and your family. 

March 22, 2019 12:37 pm

I wouldn’t be surprised if the Globe if they completely shuttered their sports department. Does a single person in this country buy that newspaper FOR the sports section? Years ago people did in the days of Brunt, Blair, Duhatschek, Grange, Houston, Tebutt, Rubenstein etc. but those days are long gone. If eliminating sports wouldn’t decrease overall subscription numbers but would lead to substantial cost savings, it’s hard to blame them. We’ll see if this new poorly though-out government media bailout bribe will change things.

March 22, 2019 8:25 pm

Perhaps if TheFan got away from audience phone calls between 4-5, then people who tune in to that garbage may actually stick around.  

March 22, 2019 8:25 pm

Perhaps if The Fan got away from audience phone calls between 4-5, then people who tune in to that garbage may actually stick around.  

Gary M
Gary M
March 23, 2019 9:01 pm

Drumanchor, I find Wilner’s voice to be substantially stronger than Wagner’s. I like Wagner better but just on vocal power, I have no trouble telling them apart. If I were Sportsnet Radio, I’d seriously consider adding some kind of slight technological enhancement like what Howard Stern has on his show.

March 27, 2019 10:49 am

These pizza at the beginning of all the Sportsnet podcasts, or at least starting line up and pts,are starting to affect me. Actually ordered one last night when I shouldn’t. Gotta be more careful to download, pause and skip!

mark coale
mark coale
March 30, 2019 11:54 pm

Scott MacArthur is a breath of fresh air so far. At least until he is forced to tow the party line. 

Chance Vought
Chance Vought
March 31, 2019 10:27 am

Re: Mike’s constant complaints about Buck’s alleged homerism.

Have you never listened to any other broadcasts? None of them act like “impartial” national broadcasts and why should they? It’s a frelling game, people, enjoy it. And if you can’t enjoy it, don’t try to stop others from enjoying. Just. Go. Away.

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