Sportsnet Revamps Entire 590 Line-Up

by mike in boston / @mikeinbostonemail

 

Hi everyone – Jonah and I are trying to collect as much information as possible but also want to give people a place to react to the big news of the day. This post will be updated by both of us as news comes in.

 

FAN590 Blows It Up

 

Jonah had the news late last night that changes were being announced today:

 

 

The Sportsnet press release came this morning, announcing a top to bottom revamp of the radio line-up. Next week FAN590 will consist of the following shows (names TBA):

 

  • 5:30-6am: Hugh Burrill
  • 6-9am: Scott MacArthur, Mike Zigomanis, Ashley Docking
  • 9-noon: Good Show
  • 12-2pm: Hockey Central hosted by Jeff Marek (M-F) or David Amber (Wednesday) + Anthony Stewart
  • 2-5pm: “PTS” hosted by Jeff Blair with either Deitsch or Brunt
  • 5-7pm: Tim and Sid

 

Of note, these changes reflect exactly what TSM readers asked for in our polls about the morning and afternoon drive slots.

 

This means that, for the second time in the last four years, Greg Brady is no longer with Sportsnet. Brady posted a long note to this followers explaining his side of this decision:

 

https://twitter.com/gregbradyTO/status/1176855941209296896

 

TSN1050’s Michael Landsberg provided a classy reply:

 

 

Dave Cadeau appeared on Sportsnet Today and thanked “great friend” Greg Brady for his service while unveiling the new lineup, and explaining that Tim & Sid will be a “multi-platform show”:

 

 

Tim and Sid chimed in to tell everyone that nothing was going to change about their TV show, confirming that the plan is to simply peel off the audio for broadcast on the FAN.

 

 

With this revamped line-up some of the battleground between TSN and SN is clearer while most of it is now murkier. The two lunchtime hockey shows will now go head to head but that is the only place where the two stations offer parallel programming.

 

Mornings will feature a show-down between two ex-athletes, with TSN’s offering airing until 10am rather than 9. Good Show is uncontested, as TSN opts for American syndicated radio 10-12. Things get really weird in the afternoon as TSN airs a generic local show called Game Day from 2-4. “PTS”/The Lede should defeat that handily before having to compete with Overdrive from 4-5. Then from 5-7 listeners have a choice between The Brazzers Bros and the audio from the Tim & Sid TV show.

 

Speaking of The O-Dog, he was kind of enough to take time out his schedule to reach out, five days later, to let us know what he thinks of the site:

 

 

Winners and Losers

 

Mike:

 

  • Biggest winner is Overdrive. Firing Bob was an odd move. Dumping PTS entirely is the FAN waving the white flag.

 

  • Biggest loser is FAN590: if you want to transition away from Bob and PTS then you don’t fire him mid-week in June, run Jeff Blair out there all summer and then three weeks into ratings period decide to abandon 4-7pm in favour of a TV show on radio.

 

  • Winner: Andrew Walker. Moving to YVR for their drive home show looks smart in retrospect. Let the dust settle here and then plot a return if a good opening presents itself.

 

  • Loser: Richard Deitsch. You sign up to join the most powerful brand in Canadian sports radio and then within a year Bob is gone and you’re in a sub-par timeslot. Deitsch is far too talented for this and I hope he finds a better fit, either at SN or at TSN.

 

  • Push: Scott MacArthur is in a major timeslot on the heritage station rather than wasting away doing 1-4 on TSN1050. But, if his goal was to be broadcasting Jays games then this has not worked out as planned.

 

  • Loser: Dave Cadeau. None of his moves since getting promoted have worked out. Rehiring Brady and hiring Price were both his decisions. Having to let them both go two years later is not a good look.

 

Jonah:

 

  • Thanks, Mike for posting this as I was stuck at the airport and then on an airplane.

 

  • The Tim and Sid to PTS has been rumored for ages; all the drumbeats of McCown getting canned always came with the story that Tim and Sid were taking the slot.  In fact, it was a surprise when they didn’t get named when McCown was let go before the summer.  At numerous points, over the summer I was told that Tim and Sid would be broken up and only one was going to PTS.

 

  • The Fan morning show has been a lost soul for some time.  While there have been peaks and valleys for sure, in its latest iteration it had no flow, no feel, and no vibe.  There wasn’t anything against any of the personalities but it was a mixture of butter and chocolate that didn’t make cup; the end result was bad. So the fact that a change was made is not surprising.

 

  • The timing of this makes little sense.  Once again, they have chosen to let bad news (and this is not good news) drip out piece by painful piece instead of at one time.  Furthermore, we are now in the prized fall book.  So instead of coming into the book with a new look, it’s dropped in the middle.

 

  • I have to think that the biggest winner here is TSN.  It is very ironic that several Rogers employees and on-air personalities predicted and even cheered the death of TSN when the NHL deal was announced.  Many of those folks are pounding the proverbial pavement looking for work.  Beating the competition is natural.  Openly cheering or predicting their demise in this business is foolish especially at the employee level where there are only so many jobs.  I had that argument with many staffers and I was always told I was full of shit.

 

  • TSN lost out of the NHL ratings but seemed to have won the war.

 

  • The perfect storm of the Canadian NHL teams not advancing in the playoffs (if they even made it), the oversaturation of content on a bevy of different platforms, the demise of the Blue Jays windfall, cord-cutting and a devalued Canadian dollar at the same time as the NHL deal getting more and more expensive have decimated Rogers media.

 

  • I’ll add Greg Brady to the list of losers in this.  He will not be hired at TSN and he has now completed a second tour at Rogers.  So if he wants to stay in sports he needs to find a new market.  Perhaps Rogers finds him a gig on another Rogers station in the news side of things.

 

  • I think Ennis and Bunkis are winners here.  I have no idea why, but I believe that the mid-morning show is less of a graveyard than the mid-afternoon show.  Blair did very well in that slot before so the possibility is there.

 

More to come.

About the Author