Happy Thanksgiving Turkey

Happy Thanksgiving Turkey

by TSM

Greetings and salutations from The Land! Brought the boy here to see the Seahawks take on the Brownies. Impressed again by the city and especially the people. People literally could not be any nicer.

Sorry, I don’t buy it. I am not saying they aren’t going to re-sign him but why now and why is this story our there now, there is NO way Rogers would leak this if they wanted him signed they would have done it. Would Shapiro leak it? Hmmmmmm

Congrats to twitter blocker Steve Simmons for his induction into the CFL hall of fame on the media side. Few in Toronto are as loyal to the CFL as Steve is.

Speaking of the CFL, the Argo’s made some big news this week when they brought back Pinball to run the team. You didn’t hear about it? You must only listen and watch Rogers sports properties. Despite Rogers owning the team with Bell, they practically ignored the Argo news.

What should be done with the Argos? The CFL draws well on TV in Canada, in many cases, it outdraws the Raptors on TV (regular season). Not only is attendance non -existant in Toronto there is literally no interest in the team at all. I’ve lobbied for years to move the team to London or Barrie but I know the league sponsors demand a team in Toronto. I don’t think winning changes anything, by the way, kids aren’t interested, parents don’t care. It’s apathy 101.

I tweeted this week about rumblings of changes in Blue Jays management. I heard from more MSMers about how unfairly the Jays make their personnel available to non-Rogers outlets than on any other topic I have tweeted about other than the McCown ending. I had no idea rogers vs non rogers was an issue with the Jays. Shame on me.

The Maple Leafs are off to an unimpressive start. The fans are restless despite the fact the season is merely 5 games old. I can’t imagine things don’t turn around and no, there is no reason to panic yet or at all. If however, average performance continues, look out. It won’t be pretty anywhere.

Dan Robson is on a roll, here, yet another amazing read.

I had a chance to chat with Barry Davis on his podcast this week. It’s worth a listen to IMHO- no, not just this week! but in general..

As you know we almost lost our son to the Flu this year. Please do yourself a favor and get the flu shot for yourself and your loved ones this year. The flu is a serious illness and while not 100% effective getting the shot dramatically cuts down on your chances of getting it or reduces the severity. Don’t forget the time to do it is now. The image of my kid in the ICU on breathing and feeding tubes is something I won’t forget for a long time so, this Thanksgiving please be healthy and get the flu shot.

I’ve listened now to the new Fan radio show. It’s vastly improved. There is a natural flow to the show and there doesn’t appear to be one dominant voice. I think both stations are OK in the mornings. The battle is in the afternoon and it’s going to be fascinating to see where things head from a rating perspective. Remember, PTS was the dominant ratings getting for years, yes years! Should that change…

These are the numbers to remember:



Fall 2018 – 5.3
Winter – 4.7
Spring – 5.3

Spring 2017 8.6


Fall 2018 – 5.8
Winter – 4.8
Spring – 5.0

spring 2017 was 8.5

Don Cherry is back on HNIC. Just one question, why?

Tim Thompson is not. Just one question, why not?

Interesting that MLSE airs his work in the arena, but…

The Maple Leafs Forever… from Films by Tim Thompson on Vimeo.

Happy Thanksgiving from my house to yours.



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    I have not been happy with the 590 product since Bob’s departure and all the subsequent talent layoffs; however to be fair Blair & Brunt had Pinball on for a full segment the day his hiring was announced.

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    Despite Rogers owning the team with Bell, they practically ignored the Argo news.

    Rogers doesn’t have an ownership stake in the team. Bell and Larry Tannenbaum own it

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    @Chris…Rogers has in fact been a co-owner of the team since January 19, 2018; when the Argos were sold to Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment.

    MLSE’s ownership is divided between Rogers and Bell, with each holding 37.5% of the company and Tannenbaum’s Kilmer Sports holding the remaining 25%.

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    Wtf is “The Land”?

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    The Land is what the locals in Cleve”land” call their city.

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    @Dileno.. Thank you; Steve was not alone in wondering what TSM was referring to.

    @TSM…glad your son is well.

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    billyjoejimbob1 year ago

    You have Cherry on the wrong side.

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    Steve E1 year ago

    So great work at the switch at Sportsnet Ontario during Game 2 of the ALCS. I stayed up to watch the end of the game and the good folks at Sportsnet decide to run just one extra ad and come back late to the game feed missing Correa’s walkoff homer. Then they say nothing about it after the game on Sports Centre.

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    Drumanchor1 year ago

    I have often wondered that the only reason MLSE purchased the perennially fledgling Argonauts was by owning the rights to the team, it ensures that if – or, perhaps, when – the team is folded, it gives them first rights to an NFL team. Either through expansion or relocation, they can afford it and it would be tremendously successful.

    As an aside, I also believe that the CFL would continue to exist and thrive without a team in Toronto. It seemingly does well on TV and in western Canada but has been irrelevant in the GTA for about 20 years.

    Time to fold the team. Sad, but in my opinion true.

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    @Drumanchor…I agree with your take on the CFL. I have never believed that absent a team in the “Canada’s largest city”; that the League would fold. It has too much support in other markets where it still has some decent attendance and tv ratings.

    As to MSLE, I seem to recall another rumour at the time the purchase was announced. It went along these lines: Tannenbaum was always interested in the CFL and he initially sought out TSN as a partner given they were the CFL Rightsholder. When they reacted favourably, he then went to Rogers with the argument “do you want to be let TSN have exclusive ownership of a Toronto team”; gambling that they would come aboard because of the hostility between the two companies. I haven’t seen any great benefit to Rogers since the takeover, so perhaps they were thinking of an NFL team; although I don’t see it happening in Toronto.

    This maybe totally wrong (and if so someone please correct me),but stranger things have happened in corporate boardrooms.

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    The new Blair show from 2-5 PM on 590 is called “Writers Bloc” and apparently their slogan will be “sharp takes not hot takes”……………..based on that slogan it appears the entire Rogers marketing department has recently been given the McCown treatment

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    So basically, Writers Bloc is PTS but in a different timeslot with a new name. Methinks Rogers is really trying to make the audience forget that guy named McCown ever existed and is wiping away anything that could be tied to him.

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    @Hans…No kidding. Even on Friday’s final show the panelists seemed hesitant to mention his name!

    Since McCown’s departure, the product has become just another sports show.

    The calibre of guests has dropped off sharply; since SN’s budget cuts now only provide the “usual suspects”. Bob had a great contacts across the Canada and the US who provided different insights and now that is gone. Instead we have the cliché driven athlete interviews and the likes of Mike Wilner and other remaining Rogers’ survivors.

    The phrase “Lipstick on a pig” comes to mind.

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    The first edition of Writers Bloc had a total of seven guests, including the one hour roundtable……..……six of those seven guests are Rogers employees (Marek, Micallef, Seixeiro, Shulman, Davidi, Alberga)

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    @Mike S…I’m glad it has a new name. For me, PTS has been dead since the June/July firings and this new show is nothing special.

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    It appears Darren Millard now works for the Vegas Golden Knights broadcast crew. Should we read anything into the state of hockey media jobs in Canada? I mean, presumably if you could stay in Canada and cover a Canadian team you would, right? With the cutbacks at SN are all the jobs gone? And what of sports media in general in this country. If you were to try to break into the sports media beat in Canada does it have to be hockey, which seems saturated? I remember Friedman covering the Jays/MLB on the Score before moving to hockey. What’s the current path for new talent?

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    It appears Darren Millard now works for the Vegas Golden Knights broadcast crew. Should we read anything into the state of hockey media jobs in Canada?

    I wouldn’t read too much into that. It could simply be a case of he got offered the cash to go and do it for them. I’ve always found it funny how his leaving sportsnet was really quiet. I mean, he left, it was reported and that’s it. No questioning of why SN’s number one guy suddenly upped and left. It was kinda just accepted and moved on.

    Maybe I’m just reading too much into it myself and thinking there is more to this story than him leaving/being cut and taking a gig with Vegas.

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    Even without Mccown, I made sure to tune into Friday’s round table knowing it’d be the last “PTS” round table. It was the first time I listened to PTS since Mccown left, and I only did so to close the book on a historic show and hear that theme music one more time. PTS is gone with a whimper, just like my time listening to 590. No longer any reason to tune into the station with Brady and Mccown gone. Nice going Rogers.

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    No questioning of why SN’s number one guy suddenly upped and left.

    That’s my point though. He was the number one guy on SN’s hockey lead-in show. You would think that if he were to want to leverage that part of his resume he’d have more success doing it in Canada than in an expansion market in the US. Going from head guy on a national network to preview show for a regional, non-major market doesn’t sound like a promotion. More broadly as it relates to SN and all the layoffs, if he can’t get a job in Canada what does that mean for the PJ Stocks and Scott Morrisons of the world?

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    Listening to Docking and Zigomanis talk in the morning is sometimes like listening to two people talk in a singles bar.

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    Original Mitch1 year ago

    Darren Millard was fired from Sportsnet. It wasn’t a case of being offered more money by the Golden Knights. It was a case of Millard having good contacts within that organization. But the fact remains he was unceremoniously fired from the Net. (In a pretty poor way as well)

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    Steve in Waterloo1 year ago

    I would like to see the CFL have EVERY Argos game at the same time, same channel (no brainer there).

    I’m not sure that is fair to every other team, but I really think it would be the first step to having an identity. Having Pinball back can’t hurt. I try to watch the Argos. The NFL is just so slow (pace of game, commercials, flags)

    I was glad to see Millard landed on his feet – covering hockey is sunny Vegas no less.

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    I don’t think the cfl is making a comeback in Toronto. A generation was lost and that demographic is already having kids who will not grow up with the cfl. That said, Steve in Waterloo’s idea is a last ditch effort that should be explored. I don’t know when an Argos game is on and am not motivated to look it up. If it was known that there was a specific day that the Argos played though, maybe some people would take a flier on it (and possibly grab a few new fans along the way). As for the other teams, any success in Toronto is likely beneficial for the entire league.

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    @Steve in Waterloo and @Rob I’ve seen far more consistency this year from the CFL’s schedule than I have in years past. No Monday-Wednesday games outside of Canada Day and Labour Day and far more Friday and Saturday double-headers and triple-headers. In years past games would be all over the place, which would make me scratch my head. TSN spent years developing Friday Night Football into a thing, only to dilute it by trying to spread games around the week. The CFL needs appointment viewing, both in the stands and on TV. One thing that I know they’ll never do but should is to put one game on TSN 1 and another on TSN 2. That way more games can happen at the same time which would help add to the consistency in the schedule. I know they want every game to have the main channel all to itself, but that’s not how most people watch TV nowadays, especially sports. Even if you just have basic cable you have between FOX, CBS, CTV and TSN anywhere from 3 to 4 different NFL games going on at the same time that you flip between, and you still have NBC for SNF. That type of activity hasn’t hurt the NFL’s ratings in Canada. I think the CFL should try the same thing, but I know they won’t.

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    Poker Guy1 year ago

    Well, I thought I would give Leafs Lunch one more go, and see if I could stomach hearing Andi Petrillo.
    I tried, I really tried, but I can’t do it.
    I’m sure she is a great person, and a sound broadcaster, but NOT for that show.
    She is not equipped to host that show, and goes about it the wrong way. Her statements go on far too long, and when her co-host has a chance to speak, she cuts in. Bad Andi, bad.
    She’s too much of a fan-girl rather than a radio host.
    Try guiding the show along instead of being the show.
    It is called Leafs Lunch after all not, Petrillo Talk…And Talk…And Talk…And Talk

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    @pokerguy- Couldn’t agree more. I find Andi to be a more than capable television host, whether it be the TSN panel or even the Olympics. Do I want to listen to her “Princess little sister” schtik? Absolutely not. Between LL and Hockeycentral at Noon I more often than not find myself switching back and forth until finally I’m sitting in silence.

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    Tuned in to Tim and Sid this week a bit to hear how they’d try to pull off the radio/tv thing. Overall I do think Tim and Sid are funny and put on an entertaining show. It’s pretty tight and seems well prepared, and I really like that they talk all sports. But I just have trouble believing this set up will work. It’s not unlistenable, but it does sound too much like a TV show on the radio to me. Just the pacing, the awkward throws, there doesn’t seem to be a connection with the radio listener. It’s sad to see that happen to that time slot on that station after all those years of McCown and Prime Time setting the standard. I don’t know how many people are watching on TV, but I feel like with podcasts/drive time sports radio there must be a bigger audience than cable TV at that time. I predict in a few months they’ll switch to more radio focussed and become ‘a radio show on TV’. (That said, Rogers/The Fan has shown a total disdain for the audience lately, so who knows what they’ll do).

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    @Daniel…”Just the pacing, the awkward throws, there doesn’t seem to be a connection with the radio listener”

    Exactly why Bob refused to go to a tv format when the cameras were added to PTS. Also the shorter segments dilute the depth of the conversations.

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    I don’t know why they don’t just switch the timeslots of Tim and Sid or whatever it’s called with Blair’s Writer’s Bloc. How much have they invested in Tim and Sid that they can’t just pull the plug on it?

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    Jamally1 year ago

    I think people in sports media seem to over estimate the demographic of 18-34 and probably an even younger audience that finds the NHL boring, what with its parade of vanilla media personalities presenting the game on TV, or the stars of the sport.

    The CFL is a lost cause in Toronto. Toronto FC took that market years ago.

    Tv ratings don’t mean everything. The Argos out draw the Raptors on TV. And that means what? Are the Argos more popular than the raptors? No. The raptors audience will only grow and they already dominate online and surpass even the Leafs in twitter, Reddit, and Instragram followers. Means something. The Raptors fanbase is massive as shown by the playoff run.

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    Bingo Bango Bongo1 year ago

    @Jamally The Raptors fan base is strong, and it’s growing . It’s young and I think it will grow even bigger over time but I wouldn’t take the playoff run as an indicator of the true size of the fan base. Yes, the city, the country, went nuts for the Raptors and it was a fun ride. Let’s revisit in about 10 years to see where the fan base is. I suspect the Raptors will be behind the Leafs, but closer. The sad thing is, sports fans should be fans of both, not one or the other.
    You asked what does it mean if the Argos outdraw the Raptors on TV. It means the Raptors viewing numbers outside of southern Ontario are negligible. Yes they were huge during the playoffs. Yes they will continue to do well in the GTA. But elsewhere? We’ll see.

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    I tend to agree with Jamally. I understand that the NBA and NHL are realistically not of the same scale when it comes to North American interest, but hockey should be paying close attention to how the NBA presents its product. NBA discourse has become far more interesting and varied while the league has made random regular season games appointment television. I’m not sure if having a talent like Connor McDavid playing in a big market would’ve helped (though I would’ve advocated for a frozen envelope in his case) but I can see the NHL losing the younger demographic.

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    Spot on @Louis.

    Another round of deeper cuts and the graduates of Ryerson’s sports media program may be able to get out of driving Ubers and get on the air at 590.

    An interesting post would be to show contract timing with dismissals/departures. How much time did Brady have left? Did he leave because there was little time left on his contract and he was offered the hot 1-2 PM slot to ride it out and then bailed?

    Kypreos wouldn’t take a pay cut and left. People think Friedman is still there because he is so beloved ( meaning he says nothing) when the reality is he is still under contract. McCown was still under contract too but by cutting Bob they shed the production costs associated with his show. Will Friedman take a massive paycut and stay when his contract is up or will David Amber host every segment of HNIC with that genius Mike Cammelleri and his special brand of dynamic banality?

    TSN personalities were so glum at the announcement of the Rogers/NHL deal, but they truly won the lottery while Sportsnet continues to throw bodies overboard as their ship continues to sink.

    Bob gets thrown overboard at one station while the wheezing fossil Bob gets re-upped for five years at another. Rogers, partners in diluting the game.

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    The Argos can’t even claim TV supremacy anymore. Raptors opener drew 770,000 on SN1, only two Argos games this season were watched by >500k, according to 3downnation. The season low was 250,000, or what the Raptors used to draw for a decent game a few years ago. And this is all overall viewers, in key demos I would guess the Raps advantage is larger.

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    @Bora Because likely Blair’s contract is up soon and he’s going the way of Brady.

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    I see both Gary McCord and Peter Kostis are gone from CBS golf coverage.
    Looks like CBS might dangle a boatload of money to Tony Romo and have him relax and do golf in the spring/summer.

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    What an atrocity with Tim and Sid and their inane horns and whistles at the drop of a hat occupying both tv and radio time slot of the classic Prime Time Sports with Bob M that outshined the competition on radio especially over past 30 days. If they continue their horn and whistles, TSN OVERDRIVE will win the afternoon rush hour time slot in a walk. Too bad an uncouth former NHL player known as O-Dog is clogging the airwaves with his voice and banal attitude.