Toronto Sports Media Summer Update

Toronto Sports Media Summer Update

Is it true that as we get older summers seem to fly by faster or is it just the calendar is so full that we blink and it’s gone?

This is going to be rapid-fire with no real theme but rather a list of things that I’ve been thinking about and heard over the last couple of weeks. This is being written at 30k feet so pardon any unusual amount of typos (more than you are used to with me!)

First, on the serious side, it is really sad to have read the passing of NFL writer Don Banks. “Hello Banks”, as McCown used to great him weekly on PTS was always a solid guest. He was an exceptional writer and by all accounts a great guy too. He died way too young. Thoughts and well wishes to his friends and family.

Let’s stay with McCown. The rumor that won’t go away, Bob is working with others on a new radio station. I hear something once or twice as nuts as this and I dismiss it. I am hearing it from too many people to ignore it but not enough from the right people to give it much credibility.

Bob seems to be tweeting a lot more including inviting people to come to say hi to him in places. That is not the Bob we grew up loving.

I loved his tweet about websites that mistreated him. We, here, have been accused of many things over the years- without question, the number one claim, too Bob friendly…

My bet remains a podcast of some sort or XM radio.

Wherever he shows up (get it show?) which of your favorite fan advertisers will be first to join him? Sauuuuuul Korman???

Best idea I have heard with regards to radio, by the way, is a mid-day or late morning EST nationwide Canada all sports radio show. Think PTS at noon EST, 9 am PST. The timing isn’t all that important but I LOVE the idea. Anyone have the stones to try it?

The Rogers Cup in Toronto is the best live sporting event in the city. If you haven’t been before, go this year.

I see that MLSE is fixing up the ACC. Will one half of the majority of that group actually step and fix the dome too?

Thank you all for the input on how to fix the dome. Much more to come.

The TSM Pressbox is coming back this fall!

The problem with the Blue Jays front office in my opinion if optics. The 12-15k die-hards who show up and know the ins and outs are a given. The rest of the crowd need the warm cuddly management style that this group clearly is devoid of. Check out Arash’s interview with Atkins post-deadline deals. It’s like Atkins and Shapiro go out of their way to say the wrong things all the time. They have zero empathy for the fan base at all.

All they have to say is this is going to be painful, we know it’s going to be hard, but we are going to focus our energy on stockpiling young talent to ensure that we have the players and budget to spend when the team is close to contending. Then cut prices and increase promotions to try to appease people while the product is uncompetitive. It’s all in the messaging and these two guys don’t get.

Either the times they are a-changing OR things really are bad. I don’t recall a management team getting slaughtered by the media then the Jays FO has recently. That Rogers bias crap can finally get taken out back and shot. Blair and Brady have been all over Atkins and Shapiro to name but two front of the line Fan folk. Blair’s guests, especially JJ Cooper literally took a flame thrower to some of the deals. With the exception of Richard Peddie’s greatest hits (Me, I, Rob and JFJ) I don’t remember a front office this hated by a fan base and local media as Atkins and Shapiro- EVER. Even Ballard was loveable in his little bunker.

The Blue Jays are coming to Seattle. It’s usually a home game of sorts for the Jays. I wonder how many will make the trip with the game being played by two teams whose marketing tagline is waiting until 2025. I was offered free tickets to games and have politely declined.

Right now, for my money, your best reads on a regular basis in baseball in town, Stoten, and Longley with Davidi a close third.

You know this right, just because you don’t like something someone writes or says from time to time doesn’t make them an idiot.

While the Globe and Mail decimated its sports section, the Toronto Sun keeps pumping out content. The paper business may be in full decline but the sun’s dedication to sports is impressive.

It seemed to me that there was no offseason in the NBA. I mean literally no time to actually exhale and enjoy the fact the Raptors won the title. The league runs 12 months a year.

Ray Ferraro and James Cybulski are your new voices on EA Sports NHL franchise. Am I the only one who thinks that’s awesome. Could Cybulski move over to the TV side of play by play too? Excited to hear him on the game.

Despite his tweets to the contrary and the number of people tweeting on his behalf, I have no official comment on whether or not Mike in Boston will be here for another season. Until Rogers actually confirms that Don Cherry will be back for another season I will continue to give a lot of credibility to those in the know who keep suggesting Don will NOT be back full time.

Is Dave Cadeau about to take his radio lineup, put it in a bag and then pull the names out of the hat to rebuild it? Many in the sales sides of things in the GTA believe that to be the case and are happy to hear it.

McCown is gone, the Jays blow can we hear silent cheers coming from the TSN crew????

Richard Deitsch is a damn good interviewer. Not sure if it’s the new co-host but his game has gone up considerably since he’s moved in with Blair.

Ashley Docking, right person, wrong show.

Carlo Colaiacovo, best fill in on Overdrive. Gord Miller the worst.

This is not a knock on the CFL or any of you who love it. Toronto is no longer a CFL town. It’s just not. I know, I know, I know, those corporations who support the league demand a franchise in Toronto. It’s not going to work in Toronto. I grew up going to games, I watched them all on tv. I knew every player. The landscape has totally changed. I have no hate for the game, I have no hate for the league and I admire those who love it. Move the Argos NSEW out of the GTA and fill a stadium of 20-25k.

About all those offer sheets. Nevermind.

I love the Maple Leafs can’t let the Marner thing drag on commentary. Really? So they are better to sign a bad deal then let things drag on. I know you know this, but it does take two to make a deal and neither side is close to that. Horseshoes and hand grenades, only time close counts. The only sign that tells me the Leafs can’t let this drag on is they trade his rights. Otherwise, it’s a negotiation. All those who were all over Dubas on Nylander for not calling more often, keep this in mind you can call every day, twice a day and it’s not going to get you to force a signature. If you think Lou would have gotten him signed sooner you believe that either Lou would have met his demands OR he would have been prepared to trade him by now by threatening to do so.

If something breaks with Marner do all those vacationing talking heads re-appear?

Rogers has a new head of media, which includes the Jays and Sportsnet. This is great news for fans. Someone who understands the modern landscape, the importance of engagement and the younger demographic. The playbook in corporate America, 90 days to make assessments then 90 days to implement changes and assemble the new team. The clock starts after labor day.

Many scribes are no longer writing for their bark of choice anymore. I miss you already.

Is this the last year for Buck and Pat? I am told it may very well be. Who replaces them? Hmmmmmm….

Going to TRY to keep the content a little fresher as we get out of the summer days- shorter and more frequent posts. If you could have me host one person on the pressbox who would it be and why?

Jonah

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 30
  • comment-avatar

    It is true that summers SEEM shorter. This apparent temporal discrepancy can be blamed on the ever-slowing speed at which images are obtained and processed by the human brain as the body ages. Days seemed to last longer in your youth because the young mind receives more images during one day than the same mind in old age.

    Said another way, if your lifespan is measured in terms of the number of images perceived during life, then the frequency of mental images at a young age is greater than in old age,

    It’s physics. Link: 

    https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/european-review/article/why-the-days-seem-shorter-as-we-get-older/2CB8EC9B0B30537230C7442B826E42F1/core-reader

    That was a fast Leafs season. Hopefully this Jays season will be shorter. 

  • comment-avatar

    At 4:00pm today the Fan590 broadcast as usual Prime Time Sports.

    As a decades old listener to this show, I was confused…what happened to PTS?

  • comment-avatar

    “I loved his tweet about websites that mistreated him. We, here, have been accused of many things over the years- without question, the number one claim, too Bob friendly…”

    This.

    Here’s some behind the veil intel. One of the best things about co-writing for this site is that readers get balance. Jonah and I have different tastes and styles. We also have different contacts. Some people who talk to him never talk to me because of things I have written. And some people tell me they only talk to me for the same reason. This means we are editorially independent. I don’t tell him what to write and vice versa. 

    Fans often see bias in writers that simply isn’t there in the writing. We get the same thing from media. People get upset when we talk about them. They also get upset when we don’t talk about them enough. But the one piece of feedback I get all the time is that we take it easy on Bob and that the show is not as good or important as we make it seem. Bob has been part of every discussion about radio on this site because he was the most important person in radio. 

    Every dynasty comes to an end. When Bob reads this I hope he realizes that a career as long as his will have both good and bad. His legacy has more good than bad. That’s something of which to be proud. He is also the model against which all Canadian radio hosts will be measured for years to come.

    Enjoy retirement. Plan your next move. But don’t try to stay relevant just for the sake of it. If you have something to say, people will listen.

  • comment-avatar
    Chris 4 months ago

    Best overdrive fill in is Mike Johnson.

  • comment-avatar

    Can only HOPE that this is indeed the last year of those 2 buffoons….Buck and Tabler!!!!!!!

  • comment-avatar
    Steve in Waterloo 4 months ago

    Good catch all post Jonah, a little like Simmons Sunday column – which remains my favourite, btw.
    A couple of thoughts. I actually, and I was surprised by this, missed Bob McCowan last week as I was flipping the radio dial. Never thought I would, but I missed serious, credible sports conversation, and probably missed the familiarity PTS offered.
    I too have been offered complimentary Blue Jays seats, but graciously declined – not worth the drive and the hassle.
    As for the Argos, my suggestion to have the Argos play the same time, same day, same channel every week would help attract the casual fan. Is it fair, no, but a high tide….Absolutely nothing personal if you are reading this Pat Tabler, but I would encourage and welcome an alternative colour commentator. I just cringe at some of the things that are said, often, over and over. Buck’s fine in my books. AND, I just bought a new vehicle, and it comes with a 3 months satellite subscription – could not come at a better time!

  • comment-avatar

    I don’t think Shatkins’ main problem is optics/messaging. Their main problem is objectively bad moves. No need to re-hash them all here, but letting several assets depreciate because of an idiotic attempt to contend in 2018, the Edwin/Morales fiasco, the Happ and Donaldson trades, and now the Stroman/Sanchez trades all come to mind. The fact that their messaging is awful just makes it worse, but it’s merely an ancillary symptom of their failing regime. Plain old bad baseball moves are the main cause of their bad coverage.

    And regarding PTS…The main driver of listeners to a sports radio host’s show is that listeners care about what the host has to say. That might mean you love them or you hate them; either way you care about hearing their opinion. South of the border, that’s why people like Stephen A and Colin Cowherd have been so successful – people just seem to care about hearing their takes on things. Bob Mccown has the same stature in Canada – every time big news broke, I’d so straight to PTS. Every Friday, like clockwork, I’d go straight to PTS to hear the round able. Well, since Bob’s departure, I don’t think I’ve listened to the show once. Just don’t care about what Blair has to say about anything outside of baseball, and even then I mostly go to print (Stoeten, Longley, Chisolm, the Sportsnet cadre of writers) for Jays coverage. It’s sad – PTS has been a staple of my life since I was a child and that’s ceased to be the case since Bob’s departure. If the Rogers suits think the PTS brand is strong and enduring without Bob, they’re incredibly mistaken. Overdrive has had their knives and forks out for a while and will FEAST on PTS for the Fall ratings book once hockey is back.

  • comment-avatar

    Long time reader from NS  first time comment….Would love to see Canadian Icon Dave van Horne  lured out of Miami to become Blue Jays announcer, failing that at least interview him in the Press Box!

    In regards to the Marner situation, the only negotiating will happen with a deadline, so forget about this item until Sept/Oct.

    I enjoy this site, thanks for your efforts.

  • comment-avatar

    At 4:00pm today the Fan590 broadcast as usual Prime Time Sports.

    As a decades old listener to this show, I was confused…what happened to PTS?

    I felt the exact same way. PTS has been appointment listening for me since the 90’s. When Bob took his vacations in the summer, winter, whenever, the Fan always treated the show like the important property it is, and more often than not depending on your opinion, filled his slot with a competent host and co-host. With all due respect to Bunkis and Ennis, whom I’m sure do a nice job midday – they should NOT be hosting PTS

  • comment-avatar

    @ cowboyskanuck

    To be fair, I tried listening again yesterday but couldn’t make it through the first hour.

    They started out by saying that they were going to bring to PTS more elements from their morning show. As you pointed out, in the past replacement hosts were competent and did not try to fix what was not broken.

    For SN Management to treat their schedule’s top rated timeslot in such a cavalier manner; is an insult to all the former hosts and production staff who created and maintained the show’s now discarded high quality.

  • comment-avatar

    What an exercise in spin control today on the baseball show with Davidi pimping his “fans need to forget the past” article. 

    Although, today was the first I heard someone (MacArthur in for Blair) mention that the front office only have 1 remaining season (2020) on their contracts left.

    As for PTS, I stopped listening when it became mostly basketball talk and haven’t come back yet. Maybe when/if Brunt is back in the fall. 

  • comment-avatar

    Correction: morning show should read afternoon show

  • comment-avatar
    Drumanchor 4 months ago

    @Justin – Very, very well said. 

    As for PTS and it’s future, I wouldn’t at all be surprised if Scott McArthur is the new host. Young, polished, thoughtful and might be a good choice. As for Overdrive, I have found myself listening more and more and will be interested how the fall book looks. If it actually is a feast – ouch. Look out. 

  • comment-avatar

    Dave Van Horne is 79- need somebody who is younger 

  • comment-avatar

    @Bob – Dave Van Horne is 79. I doubt very much he’d be interested in moving to Toronto, even just for the summer. (What’s the opposite of a snowbird?) On the other hand, I can see Dan Shulman taking the PBP position full time again, with a new sidekick. I don’t find Buck objectionable when he does the analysis, at least compared to Tabler, but they might want to go with a fresh voice.

  • comment-avatar

    @Bob…I have the same take as you on Buck: No real issues with him doing analysis and Shulman doing really good play-by-play work.

    The product comes across pretty well; however when you add Tabler into the mix you want to hit the Mute button!

  • comment-avatar

    If 1050 still has a PD he/she should strongly consider replacing that ignorant and offensive Dan Patrick show with three hours on a loop of a drunk Diego Maradona trying to answer a reporter’s question. It would be so much more fun while at the same time deliver more informative content. So much so that I would listen to the entire three hours every day and then listen to the Podcast. 

  • comment-avatar

    What an exercise in spin control today on the baseball show with Davidi pimping his “fans need to forget the past” article.

    I think Shi’s article took some big shots at Atkins and Shapiro as well. The spin really came during PTS sports when Shapiro was on. The questions asked by the Good Show hosts sounded 100% scripted and addressed every point raised by Shi in his article. It was the most embarrassing interview I have ever heard on 590 since Mike Toth was interviewing an incoherent Tommy Lasorda.

    If the position player kids mature faster than expected and pitching is the weak link next year, this front office will be done.

  • comment-avatar

    This afternoon Joey (Don’t Call Me Scoleri) Vendetta is taking phone calls on 590…………………meanwhile Andy McNamara is talking wrestling on 1050…………….I think I will skip both and listen to an old podcast of Andrew Krystal instead

  • comment-avatar

    Today’s Fan590 roundtable had to be one of the worst ever if not the worst and the week of Ennis and Bunkis hosting PTS is for sure the worst ever. As soon as I heard Ennis pronouncing nuclear as ‘nuculer’ I shouldn’t have tuned back in but I unfortunately did. It was even worse than when Ken Reid or Sid Seixiero were hosting.

  • comment-avatar

    Today was the absolute worst PTS roundtable I’ve ever heard. 

  • comment-avatar

    @ Bora & Moe: no kidding. Tried a few minutes each hour but no joy.

    Just as calling this current show PTS doesn’t make it so; calling the current production The Roundtable carries the same lack of validity.

    It’s like replacing a 60 Minutes broadcast with a Rogers Cable 10 community chat fest!

  • comment-avatar
    Chance Vought 4 months ago

    “All they have to say is this is going to be painful, we know it’s going to be hard, but we are going to focus our energy on stockpiling young talent to ensure that we have the players and budget to spend when the team is close to contending.”

    That’s exactly what they have been saying, you just refuse to hear it for some baffling reason. Stoeten and Brunt nailed it: people hate them mainly because they aren’t Beeston and AA…even though they hated AA until mid-2015.

  • comment-avatar

    <

    blockquote><It’s like replacing a 60 Minutes broadcast with a Rogers Cable 10 community chat fest!/blockquote>

    This may very well be the epitaph of the Prime Time Sports we once knew.

  • comment-avatar

    It’s like replacing a 60 Minutes broadcast with a Rogers Cable 10 community chat fest!

    This may very well be the epitaph of the Prime Time Sports we once knew.

  • comment-avatar

    I’m going to respectfully disagree with some about Friday’s round table: I found the kids Alex Wong and Blake Murphy to be informed and entertaining. I’m going to keep listening even though I miss the grown ups conversations.

  • comment-avatar
    Poker Guy 4 months ago

    Kayla Grey is a rising broadcaster on TSN. She just needs to turns down the volume when she talks.

  • comment-avatar
    Mark Coale 4 months ago

    “All they have to say is this is going to be painful, we know it’s going to be hard, but we are going to focus our energy on stockpiling young talent to ensure that we have the players and budget to spend when the team is close to contending.”

    Is this about the Jays or about PTS? 🙂 

  • comment-avatar

    Hear, hear Omario.

  • comment-avatar
    DSmith 4 months ago

    As someone who lives in Manitoba and is subjected to media completely beholden to the Jets I found that Shi’s piece on the state of the Blue Jays tremendous. As much as Sportsnet/Fan hosts and writers get called homers and shills for Rogers it nothing compared to what TSN radio and most new papers in Winnipeg subjects us to. Everything is unicorns and rainbows. No one asks and difficult questions or attempts to tackle an issue in depth.