Seen & Heard – Weekend Edition

Seen & Heard – Weekend Edition

by mike in boston / @mikeinbostonemail

 

Good morning sports media fans. As the industry continues to evolve in 2021, sports media news drops in fits and starts. We are in a bit of a lull as the industry recovers from COVID, and prepares for a return to normal life in the fall. Here are some stories from the last week or two. As always, if there are things you think we missed please add links in the comments or email/DM me.

 

The Alomar Story

 

News broke on Friday that Roberto Alomar had been dismissed from his roles with MLB and the Blue Jays. This was the result of an independent investigation commissioned by MLB into sexual misconduct allegations brought forth by a former employee. The league issued the following statement:

 

“Having reviewed all the available evidence from the now completed investigation, I have concluded that Mr. Alomar violated MLB’s policies, and that termination of his consultant contract and placement on MLB’s ineligible list are warranted […] We are grateful for the courage of the individual who came forward. MLB will continue to strive to create environments in which people feel comfortable speaking up without feat of recrimination, retaliation, or exclusion.”

 

The Blue Jays followed up with their own statement, doubling-down on distancing themselves from Alomar:

 

 

Alomar himself issued a statement, citing the current social media climate, and promising to defend himself if given the chance:

 

 

Here are some notable moments from the local media coverage of this story.

 

The Athletic published a summary of the events, credited to “staff“, but provided no analysis or original reporting by their Toronto writers. The outlet lost John Lott to retirement and fired Andrew Stoeten in 2020 and have not replaced them despite claims they would do so. This is the kind of story on which paid subscribers would want detailed local coverage rather than wire service copy.

 

By contrast, The Star published stories by three of their four baseball writers. Here is Rosie Dimanno, criticizing the decision to remove Alomar’s name from the level of excellence:

 

“The vacuum of information leaves a worrisome gap for warranting so ham-fisted a decision. And this comes from someone who was once called a “f—— c—” by a player in the Jays clubhouse; who, on another occasion, had a player simulate pelvis thrusting from the rear while I was bending over to conduct an interview with another player at his stall. These were not incidents I reported to the club or to my employer. I’m just not that delicate a flower.”

 

While MLB is trying to enforce professional standards from its employees and provide safe working conditions for media, DiManno chooses to refer to complainants as delicate flowers. Her colleague Mike Wilner had this to say:

 

“When the Jays saw the results of the independent investigation, they made the unprecedented decision to remove Alomar’s name from the Level of Excellence and take down the banner retiring his number and celebrating his induction into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. As fans, we feel angry, hurt, sad and betrayed for admiring, maybe even loving, someone who could behave in such a way. We don’t know what happened, and we may never know. MLB revealed no details out of respect to the complainant, whose lawyer Lisa Banks told Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi that her client “has no plans to file a lawsuit or take further action … She simply wants to ensure that Mr. Alomar is held accountable for his wrongdoing.””

 

It’s unusual to see a baseball writer refer to himself as a fan, but since moving to The Star after being fired from Sportsnet Mike Wilner has been refreshingly honest. The quote from the complainant’s lawyer is also notable here, since it contradicts a report by the recently resurfaced Rick Westhead, in which he quotes a source as saying that a lawsuit is in the works:

 

“A person familiar with the issue said that a complaint against Alomar was filed with the Blue Jays months ago, alleging he acted inappropriately in an incident that occurred several years earlier. […] The complainant has retained attorneys and is believed to be preparing a lawsuit against Alomar, the Blue Jays and MLB, the person said.”

 

I would have thought this story was right in Cathal Kelly’s wheelhouse, but instead he filed a meditation on fighting in hockey. Maybe he’ll write about this next week. Once again, the Globe misses a chance to be part of an important sports conversation. Scott Stinson of Postmedia provides some good procedural analysis to the mix:

 

“This is the rare case where the process reached its conclusion absent any of the media uproar that typically follows such accusations. So far, none of the parties have aired any of the details. And, given Alomar’s beloved status in the game, it also follows that the investigation’s findings must have been serious for the league and the Blue Jays to cut ties with him so completely. With a few exceptions, Major League Baseball is not often accused of overreacting in disciplinary matters.”

 

The absolute best thing on this topic came in this morning from Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.

 

“The process and outcome are really important for the league and its clubs to truly make their workplaces safer and more inclusive. Those viewing the allegation against Alomar, and those related to others, through embedded sexist and lazy tropes routinely used to diminish women’s complaints about unwanted sexual behaviours – can’t take a joke, unhinged with an agenda, scorned and seeking vengeance – are overdue for a serious rethink.”

 

In his Sunday notes column, Steve Simmons added:

 

“Major League Baseball owes it to fans and especially Blue Jays fans to go public with details of the investigation of Alomar. Imagine if a court in a free society operated with such secrecy. Imagine the outrage. This isn’t Russia or China. I don’t know what Alomar did, or what he’s accused of, or any details at all. None of us do, but we’re being asked to accept a decision without any facts at all. I’m not in any way defending Alomar. Nor would I ever defend sexual misconduct. In this case all I’m defending is truth”

 

I’m not sure why Simmons thinks he’s entitled to details of someone else’s termination. That seems like a workplace matter between the employer and the employee. If Alomar wants to sue for wrongful dismissal he’s welcome to do so.

 

The writer whom I most want to read is Stephen Brunt, but given that he has exactly one writing credit in 2021, I’m not holding my breath. On the radio side, I went to the market’s #1 radio show to hear what they had to say. Bryan Hayes ended the first hour by mentioning the story, before handing the mic over to Jeff O’Neill:

 

“What it is is a sad ending Bryan. He was one of the most revered Blue Jays of all time. […] The difficult thing about these situations is the timing of it. We’re going back to 2013 [sic], and what actually was being investigated. And for people to comment and say this or that; you don’t know the facts, so don’t comment. But MLB did a thorough investigation as they said they were going to do, and they deemed that this conduct was enough for him to be out of baseball. So that’s that, and that’s the end of it, it’s a sad ending for Roberto Alomar in Toronto. But that’s the going rate of doing business when people do an investigation like that, and they have those findings, it’s just the baseball stuff is gone.”

 

The subtext of O’Neill’s comments about timing are plain. He doesn’t think it’s fair to Alomar to dredge up the past. I’m not sure why O-Dog is commenting at all after telling people not to comment, but the theme of sadness and disappointment for people other than the victim in this case continued in the final hour of the show with TSN baseball reporter Scott Mitchell:

 

“You know … I think you can only look at it as disappointing, and you have to look at the fact … you know … that they looked at all the evidence and they concluded … you know … yeah that this was warranted. He obviously sent out a statement on twitter as well pretty quickly saying that he was disappointed and surprised by it. So … you know … I think it caught everyone off guard a little bit and yeah, I think when you look at what the Blue Jays did, they acted decisively and swiftly, and I think … you know … that says … you know … what you saw in that evidence that MLB found in the investigation … you know … it’s just unfortunate for everyone involved at this point.”

 

Bryan Hayes ended the interview with: “Yep. That’s well put.” Over on FAN590, Richard Deitsch had this to say:

 

“I understand a lot of people’s first instinct is to say it’s a sad day. And I don’t look at it like that at all. There’s very little to almost no detail into the allegation itself. […] We know a little bit about who is behind the allegation, but essentially like a sentence of what we know. But if we are to believe that MLB did its due diligence here, and we think they did because it’s a very prominent player, a hall of fame player, and you’re not going to make this suspension – I think – if you’re Rob Manfred unless you absolutely know that what you have found is significant. They did the right thing. […] Sports organizations should do this; there should be the death penalty if one is found to have committed a violation where the person is no longer in good standing in the game.”

 

 

This incident comes on the heels of other recent bad behaviour by ex-Jays, including Kelly Gruber drunkenly maligning host Ashley Docking at a panel event, and Gregg Zaun being fired from Sportsnet after workplace sexual harassment claims.  After the incredible reporting on the Callaway and Porter cases by The Athletic’s Katie Strang and Brittany Ghiroli it seems unlikely that this will be the last such disclosures of past misconduct.

 

 

The coverage mentioned here brings out an interesting divide among media. At one extreme you have DiManno, and the view that complaining about sexual harassment is weak. Another point along the spectrum is the O-Dog view that it is sad and unfortunate when people lose their jobs due to past misconduct that is brought to light years later. Yet another is the Wilner and Mitchell view that it is sad for fans when their heroes are revealed to be harassers. At the other end is the Deitsch and Davidi view that leagues and teams should be more active in acknowledging the wrongdoings of their hall of fame players, and distancing themselves in some cases from ex-players with bad histories. Deitsch and Blair also had a good discussion about the Bills and O.J. Simpson.

 

Sports Radio Fantasy Draft

 

 

Per Jonah’s recent posts, no radio show other than Overdrive is doing well. And even Overdrive is not drawing anywhere near traditional numbers for the #1 sports radio show in the market. The last couple of years have seen a huge shift in the relevance of radio, and we are seeing the results played out in Vancouver where the heritage brand simply walked away from the market, leaving some of their hosts to move over the competition, while others started their own independent digital shows.

 

Here’s the thought experiment I want to engage in this morning: if you could make one Toronto sports radio line-up out of the currently available hosts, what would it look like?

 

It’s been years since either station had a powerhouse roster in every time slot. The closest in recent memory is FAN590’s 2014 line-up of Brady & Walker, Jeff Blair & Co, Tim & Sid (radio only), followed by PTS. Many people in the industry talk about momentum and how having a strong line-up in all slots helps build audiences. You can see this point played out over at TSN1050, where the lack of consistent local shows during the mid-morning, mid-afternoon, and evening slots has limited their audience outside of drive time.

 

When you look at who is available, there are a lot of popular names either on the sidelines or in limited roles. Both Brady & Walker are without sports radio jobs. Dan O’Toole is also a free agent. Bob McCown is cycling though his rolodex on his podcast, but obviously would prefer to be back on sports radio somewhere. Tim Micallef is giving it a go without Sid, but any reasonable observer can see that this is not the future on either TV or radio.

 

So, using the Vancouver experience as a model, if everyone became an unrestricted free agent tomorrow, how would you construct a line-up that would actually sustain your interest throughout the day? I’ll give my own opinion, albeit with a disclaimer: as regular readers will have noticed, we don’t cover radio nearly as much as we once did on here. In part that is due to the current offerings, but also due to a shift in consumption patterns. I have gravitated towards longform formats, like podcasts, over the last few years and rarely listen to programming designed around scheduled breaks for commercials and traffic updates.

 

As a lifelong PTS listener, I think I can confidently say that I am no longer interested in 15 hours a week of Bob McCown. His new format is interesting, but suffers from the FOBbism that plagued the last decade of PTS. If there is room in my fantasy line-up for Bob, it’s as part of a once a week business of sports type show, featuring big guests and possibly a roundtable. I have the same view about Tim & Sid. Their Score podcast was pretty revolutionary at the time, but 15 hours a week on radio was not up to the same standard. I am OK with Sid doing Bachelor recaps for the rest of his career, but Tim obviously has value as a host that needs to be surfaced.

 

In terms of other shows I’d like to hear, I think the market would welcome Dan O’Toole into a regular radio slot. When TSN radio launched I often advocated that they should try Jay & Dan as a regular show, rather than keeping them in the 11:30pm TV slot doing highlights. I also have room on my radio for Andrew Walker, whose style is just controversial enough not to be boring, but never reaches the level of inflammatory nonsense we have heard from the likes of Blundell and Cox. I’d also like to hear what Kayla Grey could do with a regular platform. Scotty Mac has also not found the right fit in terms of co-hosts to this point, and I think he might have another gear yet to be discovered. I am partial to the idea of MacArthur & Madani in the morning, but I suspect I am in the minority on that.

 

Over to you: what dream line-up would lock you in for the day? Is it over for commercial radio? Will you listen more once the playoffs begin?

 

Quick Hits

 

Steve Simmons has a great read on the rise of Vladdy. Totally agree that he is becoming appointment television. Rogers must be thrilled.

 

Sportsnet published a good Q&A with CFL commish Randy Ambrosie, hosted by Donnovan Bennett (notably, not Arash Madani, who  has lots to say, on twitter, about the CFL).

 

The above-mentioned Kayla Grey has a new show premiering in a couple of weeks on TSN. Oddly, TSN has not issued a press-release about this yet on their Bell media news site The Lede. Readers may recall that the network apologized last year for failure to support Grey after a public incident between her and a motivational speaker.

 

Sean Shapiro of The Athletic provides great analysis on the NHL’s TV rights deal with Turner. What’s interesting about this story is the low-ball offer NBC made for the B package after passing on the A package that eventually went to ESPN. These negotiations look very different than the ones between the NHL and Sportsnet/TSN/CBC eight years ago. Next year we will be two thirds of the way through the monster 5.2 billion dollar deal that has defined, for better or worse, the current sports media landscape in Toronto and in Canada. More on that topic another day.

 

Lastly, SMW has a great story about a brewing spat between Nielsen Ratings and the networks. “The networks have long held grievances about Nielsen, a private company that has at times struggled to adapt to the changing television landscape. Nielsen only last year began incorporating out-of-home viewing into its final nationals — a process that itself has its skeptics — and plans next year to unveil a new ratings measure that takes into account viewing across all platforms and devices.” In Canada we have been stuck with the incompetent industry-funded Numeris for decades, and there is little indication that the numbers north of the border will become more reliable any time soon.

 


 

thanks for reading and commenting,

until next time …

mike (not really in boston)

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 17
  • comment-avatar

    Well done and timely on the Alomar analysis, MIB. You really pulled together a nice insight on the diversity of viewpoints.

    My favourite line:

    I’m not sure why O-Dog is commenting after telling people not to comment

  • comment-avatar
    TommyB 2 weeks ago

    Scott “You Know” Mitchell….you know….said absolutely nothing in his….you know….45 second sound bite.  You know?  

  • comment-avatar

    It’s crazy how things have changed. I really think of local sports radio as podcasts that happen to talk Toronto sports at this point.  Yeah Overdrive is very good at light sports chat or breaking down hockey games, but struggles on big picture or serious issues. PTS was so great for that.

    If I was making a lineup, for mornings I might try Andrew Walker, JD Bunkis and Ben Ennis. I used to think Good Show was terrible but I think it’s improved a lot. They have chemistry and very good on all 4 sports. If they were paired with a really good broadcaster to drive the show it could be successful.  At some point in the day I would want Blair and Brunt together. With Bob gone I really look for their opinion on certain issues, and I like that there’s a show that doesn’t just break down last nights game. I enjoy a thoughtful, off the beaten track type story, which they are just the best at. For middays I would be tempted to just run shows that work well as podcasts at this point. Maybe a hockey show, a baseball show and a basketball show one after the other? A basketball centric show with someone like Ashley Docking, Kayla Grey, William Lou or Blake Murphy is needed I think. Something young that doesn’t sound like the same old white dudes. As for a Fan drive home show, it’s hard to come up with something. Scott MacArthur is very good but wasted with Zigomanis imo. Maybe you pair him with Michallef, Madani or Hazel Mae? Someone like Shulman or Adnan Virk would be awesome on the drive home but I imagine they have bigger fish to fry.  As for Bobcat, I will always be a fan but I’m not sure he’s up for 3 hours a day anymore. However, I think he could still be very strong doing an hour a day, maybe 6-7? Focus on one topic that really interests him? Or, as you said, if The Fan ran a weekly round table with decent guests, hosted by Bob, every Friday on the drive home that would be must listen imo. If they could reincorporate Bob in a smaller way it would improve the lineup a lot.

  • comment-avatar

    I’m not one to draft a dream lineup, but heck, why not give it a try:

    6 to 9 am: Tim Micallef and Dan O’Toole — Both part of the two of the best duos in the last two decades. The level headed ones. Bring them together for a great way to start the day and drive in.

    9 am to 12 pm: Andrew Walker and Kate Berness — The two best young talents with the most well-rounded knowledge. 

    12 to 1 pm: Jeff Blair and Kevin Barker — Jays talk. Sprinkle in Shulman, Martinez, Siddall, Romero, etc.

    1 to 4 pm: OverDrive —  Their antics and talk are better outside prime time. Let them discuss and dissect the games from the night prior here.

    4 to 7 pm: PrimeTime Sports (McCown, Deitsch, Brunt) — Bring the old band back. Tackle serious sports topics. Just like they used to. Both the others pushing McCown, because an engaged McCown is the best McCown. So long as we get the great Stephen Brunt, and not the Rogers corporate shill one.

    7 to 11 pm: Jim Tati and Alex Seixeiro — Yes guy!

  • comment-avatar

    Pete – Thanks for mentioning Beirness. I forgot to include her. She’s so knowledgeable and poised, and also deserves a wider platform.

  • comment-avatar
    Gary M 2 weeks ago

    This “we can just assume that MLB knew what it was doing and got it totally right” stance, from writers and broadcasters who have never said that before in their lives, is pretty funny.

    These are not the genuine views of these people. It’s guys trying to sound woke enough so they have a chance of surviving the next round of layoffs.

    I mean, when Wilner writes “We don’t know what happened” and then “You can’t ignore the facts”, it doesn’t even make sense.

    This isn’t a defense of Alomar. It’s not a knock on firing someone over harassment. For simplicity, I’ll even concede that the investigation was thorough and Alomar is guilty of whatever it is. But to publicly announce that you’re disappearing someone without even disclosing what the allegation is, allowing the internet to fill in that blank with anything they want and did they ever, may be perfectly legal but it’s not a sustainable path for society.

  • comment-avatar

    Three cheers for MLB – Alomar should have been cut loose in ’96 for spitting in the face of John Hirschbeck – Too bad the NBA doesn’t have the stones to sever ties with LeBron James for his despicable act –

  • comment-avatar
    Liberty Village Bob 2 weeks ago

    You know? You know, you know. Lol.

    O’Toole has had his time. Give younger people a chance to step up.

  • comment-avatar
    Dylan 2 weeks ago

    This is how I would set up Toronto Sports Radio, as someone who REALLY listened in 2014 and am completely out of it in 2020. This assumes the new “everyone’s a free agent and willing to do these roles” rules. I’ll preface by saying I think MacArthur and Micallef would be best served on the right TV program, so I’ve left them out of here. I’d love to see the former host Jays and the latter serve as SN’s version of Duthie.

    5:30-9
    Brady And Walker

    I know this is just the same thing again, but I really think this was a good show and I don’t think it should’ve ended. Brady’s got a great feel and voice for morning radio, and he’s knowledgable enough while being a good interviewer. Walker’s a stronger personality to counter that and a good fit for the morning. This shouldn’t bring any bias for a specific sport, either, and Brady’s got the know-how for international sports when needed. It wasn’t broken, and it’s a strong morning show with a clear identity. In this free-agent world, I’d be getting BarDown personalities to do the morning updates and be additional personalities for this show, since it’s also one of the longest shows on the schedule; I’m thinking particularly DZ, Luca, Corwin, and Eric would mesh well in that spot.

    9-12
    Seixeiro and Docking

    Alex, not Sid. I’ve never understood why Alex Seixeiro never seems to be on the list for a regular show, he’s a pretty good host and I’d like to hear him on a regular basis in a proper timeslot. Docking was good on the radio and brings a modern perspective and good interviewing. This is where you could also do a weekly (Friday?) Tim and Sid reunion segment if you’re feeling like it.

    12-2
    Petrillo and Bennett

    Leafs Lunch, except far more flexible. Petrillo’s an excellent host and Bennett deserves a spot on the normal lineup. Could devote the first hour to either hockey or baseball depending on the season with another voice in the mix. (If I could pick: Kevin Bieksa for hockey, Mike Wilner for baseball.)

    2-4
    The Dan O’Toole Show (with Donnovan Bennett)

    He’d be great at this, especially if you put him in an early-afternoon Cowherd-esque spot and simulcast it on SN 360. Keep it reasonably short, have both recurring guests and unusual ones, and let it be lighthearted and full of personality without relying too much on the Jay And Dan-era comedy too much. Give Bennett the co-host job and the fill-in hosting job. This is the one to go all-out on social media on.

    4-6
    Hayes and Blair

    This combines the strongest host in the city in Hayes with an experienced journalist in Blair. I think it would combine the stronger parts of OverDrive and the more traditional vibe of Writers Bloc to create something that could get both extremes of the target audience on board. I’m good with MacArthur in the mix here too, though I think that’s probably not utilizing his talent in the best way. You’re not alienating the PTS crowd with this, and you’re probably doing enough to keep the OverDrive fans. Include Brunt and Deitsch at times if you want, and add the other two from the OverDrive trio on Fridays if you’re feeling fun.

    6-7
    Prime Time Sports with McCown and Shannon

    I’d keep it to an hour and let him do what he’s doing on his podcast. The full format is fine, but this is much better for everyone at this point in my view. John Shannon might not be everyone’s favourite, but they’ve got chemistry and Bob sounds engaged. If Bob takes time off, I’d give the alt-show to Danielle Michaud and Donnovan Bennett.

    Blue Jays Baseball
    Ben Wagner on PXP, Joe Siddall and Mike Wilner as the Analysts, Ben Ennis hosting pre-and-postgame alongside Jeff Sammut. Rob Wong, Shoaib Alli, and Tyler Zickel in the mix.

    Wagner’s the best baseball pxp voice in Canada not named Dan Shulman. He’s being underused in his current role, and the simulcast isn’t working. Baseball is best when it’s light and conversational, so let Wagner do the play-by-play while the alternate perspectives of Siddall and Wilner handle analysis. If you want to rotate pxp between Wilner and Wagner again, that would work.

    Ennis is a good fit for pre-and-post host, and I like the idea of Sammut alongside him postgame. Tyler Zickel, the new voice of the Vancouver Canadians on SN650, is also excellent and he should be on the list to hop into a spot whenever Wagner or Wilner need time off. Wong and Alli aren’t doing anything wrong right now, but they’re not the strongest personalities; I’d consider re-tooling their roles a bit.

    Raptors Basketball
    Eric Smith and Paul Jones in the booth, Kate Beirness as the host with JD Bunkis co-hosting

    I’m fine with it, it’s not personally wow-ing me compared to the TV booth, but it’s not really broken either. Beirness would be my ideal host for this, and Bunkis brings a fresh sound and perspective. Meghan McPeak and Kia Nurse should be in the mix too.

    Leafs Hockey
    Joe Bowen, Jim Ralph, and Jamie MacLennan in the booth, Nick Alberga, Kristen Shilton/Gord Stellick/David Alter co-hosting

    It’s not broken. The booth has gotta stay the way it is for the most part, but in the spirit of getting bold, it would be cool to have MacLennan’s more modern opinions to contrast Ralph’s. After the Bowen/Ralph era, I’d be going for Harnarayan Singh and MacLennan in this booth. I miss David Alter on radio as well, and would value his opinion on a panel.

    That’s my thoughts on what I think would sound both traditional (in the sense that it would have a strong identity and strong shows) and modern (new and varied perspectives). I intentionally shortened some of the shows to keep them more focused and easily digestible for on-demand. That means proper podcast access: Upload the full shows, upload just the interviews, and separate the longer shows by hour.

    I would also be seriously looking into adding a YouTube channel with a 24/7 proper TV-style simulcast of the main radio shows (Like PTS used to be) to go along with the online streams. Overnight/during live games, you could replay the day programming on that.

    Just my opinion!

  • comment-avatar

    What despicable act of Lebron’s merits banishment? 

    Dylan – interesting that you don’t have room for O-dog. 

  • comment-avatar
    RossFromTO 2 weeks ago

    Good show with Ben Ennis and JD Bunkis doesn’t get enough respect. These guys actually sound like fans, inject some humor, have well thought out takes that occasionally diverge from the lazy mainstream narratives, and can actually discuss a variety of sports and sound like they know what they’re talking about. Yes, JD can tend to overwhelm Ben on occasion, but I he has passion and that is sorely lacking in a lot of other shows.

    I’m a regular listener to Overdrive. They’re the best show for talking about hockey, but discussing pretty much anything else is out of their depth. Jamie McLennan is completely clueless and seems to get all his takes on other sports from half-remembered elements of things Bryan Hayes says, and it’s quite frustrating to listen to. He’s said he watches every single NHL game for like 6-7 teams – like, how about devoting some of that time to other sports please. But it seems he would rather watch a regular season game of the Arizona Coyotes vs. the Anaheim Ducks than to watch a big Raptors or Jays game and to actually educate himself on those sports. They desperately need a change here, but I understand TSN doesn’t want to mess with a winning formula. During the hockey season, it seems that Jamie isn’t even there half the time because he’s calling NHL games. Does TSN use this opportunity to bring in new perspectives? No, they would rather give us more Dave Feschuk and Carlo Colaiacovo – 2 hockey guys who say nothing that Hayes or O’Neill couldn’t have on a 2-man show. Give me more Al’s Brother.

    Also, I hear a lot of people clamoring for more Donovan Bennett. He is a sharp dresser and has a good voice, but he doesn’t do it for me. I listened to a week of him and Richard Deitsch on Writers Bloc last year and it was some of the most boring radio I’ve ever heard. Maybe I caught him on a bad week, but there was no depth or uniqueness to his takes, he was so serious (no humor), and it didn’t sound like he even had a passion for sports.

  • comment-avatar

    Zebb: “What despicable act of Lebron’s merits banishment?”

  • comment-avatar

    Zebb – Pushed wrong button – Take your pick of despicable acts – Lying Racebaiting and certainly threatening the life of a police officer – What the guy posted about the cop is indefensible and is far worse than anything Robbie Alomar did and look at how well and decisively MLB acted- The NBA is run by feckless clowns who are afraid of LeBron –

  • comment-avatar
    Cirroc 2 weeks ago

    So happy Kayla Grey got her own show.  Now I won’t have to watch her on SC.

  • comment-avatar
    Dylan 1 week ago

    I think O’Dog’s got a place, just not sure it’s on the permanent radio schedule in my view. To be fair, I mentioned the idea for a weekly OverDrive trio segment. I don’t mind him on the TSN panel. For the digital era, you could definitely make that segment into its separate podcast too.

    I also just realized I put Donnovan Bennett twice after re-arranging something, so I suppose you could re-arrange Ennis up to co-host with Petrillo as an alternative, though I still like my Jays setup.

    I also don’t hate the idea of James Cybulski in that 12-2 spot with Petrillo, and it certainly wouldn’t hurt to have the voice of EA NHL back in the mix in terms of your target demographic.

    When it comes to Bennett, I think putting him on the bigger show (in this case Dan) would probably be the best option, at least until post-Bob. When Bob’s done, that Michaud/Bennett show could slot right into place (adding an additional hour or so), and it would already sound familiar through both Dan’s show and the fill-in PTS one. I know Jesse Rubinoff is in the Tim & Friends mix, and he could slot in somewhere around here too, pretty seamlessly.

    My brain has so many ideas!

  • comment-avatar

    Yesterday at 4 PM the Jays were playing the final game of a four game series against Oakland………but if you were listening to 1050 you would have heard no reference to it……….the only time it got mentioned (briefly) on OverDrive was at 6:50 PM when the game was over……….it’s pretty apparent that the management at 1050 have told their on air people not to talk about a game while it is being carried on the station of their competitor

    This is what happens when teams and stations in Canada are owned by Evil Empire #1 or Evil Empire #2………….you get one radio station airing the game with a TV simulcast to save money and you get the other radio station refuse to make reference to the same game because they are afraid some of their listeners will switch channels………but this strategy by 1050 is nothing new……….they did the same thing when Jays playoff games were going on during weekday afternoons in 2015 and 2016

  • comment-avatar

    Donnovan Bennett has brought nothing to the table since his days at Hardcore Sports Radio.

    I’m glad more work is being done on social justice, and love it when athletes are also activists, however I like my sports content to be the nuts and bolts of the games itself. I have little interest in woke sports articles or woke sports tv shows like Kayla Grey’s new show.