Seen & Heard – Weekend Edition

Seen & Heard – Weekend Edition

by mike in boston / @mikeinbostonemail

 

Good morning sports media watchers. I have had precious little time to listen to radio/podcasts in the last month so apologies for the drop in commentary lately. As always, if you hear (or produce or host) a segment/interview worth a listen, shoot me a message. Thanks to those of you who send me items each week. 

 

Suggested Soundtrack: Avalanche – Nick Cave covering Leonard Cohen

 

Programming note: I am planning a piece for next month on the final issue of Sportsnet Magazine. If you have thoughts about that topic please be in touch. 

 

Musical Chairs

 

willywonka_boatride

 

The topsy-turvy world of written journalism continued its turbulent voyage into the great expanse this week. Where it stops, no one knows. Here's a quick round-up of the moves and interesting assignment changes:

 

The Star: It has been a terrible year for Canada's largest paper with plant closings, poor financial results, newsroom culture controversies, tablet disappointments, and layoffs.

 

  • Brendan Kennedy leaves the Jays beat for investigative news. No replacement announced.

 

  • Sports editor Jennifer Quinn moves on to head up a new Breaking News unit "with a digital-first philosophy". Replacement announcement to come "in the coming weeks".

 

  • Laura Armstrong is re-hired after being part of the recent round of cuts.

 

  • Chris O'Leary, also recently cut, is back doing freelance basketball work for the Star. Where is Doug Smith?

 

  • Richard Griffin has also been writing about the Raptors. Where is Doug Smith?

 

  • The tablet edition of the paper now (perhaps always) links out to Star blogs rather than displaying relevant content in the app. I have no idea why they think this is a good user experience. Perhaps it has something to do with ad revenue. Anyway, that's where I accidentally found Doug Smith … on his blog. Is this part of the re-shuffle? Who knows but it is very confusing for the user when content is spread around different outlets. One might have thought all digital content would be natively displayed inside their flagship digital app.

 

  • Damien Cox wrote a Monday column about the U.S. election and football ratings and another one on hockey's refusal to allow women into the HOF. I wonder if this signals a new "don't just stick to sports" editorial direction for Damo at the Star. Anyone who follows him on Twitter knows that politics and gender equality are topics about which he is very passionate. Could he be in the running to replace Quinn as Sports Editor?

 

The Globe: The window on voluntary buyouts is either closed or will soon be closing. We will see in the new year whether they hit their target of cutting 40 positions without needing to lay anyone off. I have written at length that I think GlobeSports should go all-in on opinion + business of sports and leave recaps and game analysis to other outlets. Here are some changes of note from the last several weeks:

 

  • David Shoalts has been covering TFC for the last month, which is a departure from his established repertoire of Coyotes/NHL, and sports media/business. 

 

  • Robert MacLeod has been shifted to the Raptors beat from the Jays.

 

  • Rachel Brady is now doing both basketball and hockey features rather than game recaps, and has added the CFL playoff beat to her portfolio.

 

  • Cathal Kelly has been writing about politics, UFC, McDavid, Quebec filmmakers, Leafs, TFC, and the Jays in the last month. He also spent 75% of a column on the NBA Warriors talking about an 80s soccer team from Milan. So no big changes there. 

 

The Athletic: the subscription start-up has ramped up coverage and personnel in the last few weeks. They also had a 20% off sale this week.

 

  • Sean Fitz-Gerald (Post then Star) is hired as Managing Editor and features writer.

 

  • Kaitlyn McGrath (Post then Yahoo) is hired as Associate Editor.

 

  • Despite only showing logos for the Leafs, Raps, and Jays on their site they have been covering TFC for the last month.

 

  • Their account tweeted that Argos coverage is coming.

 

  • They managed to fix the Twitter link on their website since I last wrote.

 

PostMedia: Nov 8th was the deadline for voluntary buyouts with Paul Godfrey claiming that they will keep cutting until they hit bone and then they will cut some more. No major changes in either personnel or assignments as far as I can tell, but they did have Steve Simmons on their podcast.

 

 

Further Thoughts

 

  • Good news: recently laid off writers are landing on their feet at The Athletic. 

 

  • Possible Bad News: convincing people to subscribe might be a little harder if the perception is that this is mostly the same corps that could be read for free in the National Post not too long ago. 

 

  • Radical Proposal for The Athletic: hire a "name" retired general columnist to do a regular column. Al Strachan and Dave Perkins come to mind as writers with strong opinions who might sell subscriptions. Both had high profiles when the industry was flush with cash so it might not take much to get them. Also, hire a sports media critic so I can retire.

 

  • Looking ahead: The landscape may be very different in just a few months once the Globe and Postmedia buyouts are complete. Here's hoping there is work for everyone when the dust settles.

 

Forum: Brand Portability

 

Two items from south of the border: 1) Bill Simmons' HBO show is dead 17 episodes in to a 37 episode commitment, 2) Skip Bayless is not delivering big ratings for FS1 (yet).

 

The two cases raise the following very interesting question: how portable is brand in sports media?

 

The Simmons case is a little complex because he went from ESPN to Grantland then to HBO and there is also a very popular podcast to factor in so comparisons are hard to draw. But obviously HBO thought he would bring in way more viewers than he actually did.

 

The Bayless case is more clear: ESPN viewers have not followed him over to FS1. The next few years will be a fascinating test of the value of a heritage network brand vs an individual sports personality brand. If the audience starts to build over at Fox then it will show that original programming (as opposed to obscenely expensive live sports rights) can make a big difference to ratings. If the audience flatlines then it shows that live sports rights + channel positioning + the formidable power of inertia still rule the day in the 21st century. (Note: Richard Deitsch — please cover this general question in a future column or podcast. I'm curious what other evidence there is on the subject. See e.g. WEEI v The Hub)

 

Rather than debate the details of those cases let's focus on the locals. Here's my question for you: which Toronto sports media personality would bring instant results by switching teams?

 

Here are some names that come to my mind:

 

1) Bob McKenzie — Sportsnet and TSN are in a healthy competition on the TV front. It seems likely to me that his TSN audience would follow him over to SN and this would instantly give them the ratings win on trade deadline day and July 1. Am I over-valuing the Godfather's standalone value?

 

2) Bob McCown — unlike the TV side, TSN is in Year 6 of getting trounced by SN on radio. Suppose Bob were to shift to 4-7 on TSN1050. What would the ratings impact be? This is closest to the FS1/ESPN case. Skip's audience won't change the channel in droves. Would Bob's? 

 

3) Simmons/Cox — the Globe has not been on the forefront of sports opinion since Brunt left. Would luring one of these controversial characters over make a difference? Neither really fits with the Globe brand, obviously. Anyone else come to mind who could sell subscriptions?

 

4) Jay&Dan — this one is a little out of left field but what difference would these two make to TSN1050? Would a morning show of Jay&Dan get 1050 on the radar or is there no evidence anyone at TSN TV can yield a ratings bump for TSN radio. (I suppose they could do both radio and TV since mysteriously some people will watch radio on TV). Or, suppose SN hired J&D to replace whoever currently does their flagship evening desk show. Would that lead to ratings success over rival TSN?

 

Quick Hits

 

Race in Sports: Lebron James harshly rebuked Phil Jackson for using the word "posse" to describe James' business associates. Two points here: 1) It was really interesting to see some people use the opportunity to reflect on their own casual use of coded language. Personally I don't think there is a necessary connection between the term posse and race, but it is definitely used disparagingly. The same negative connotation accompanies "entourage" (see e.g. Johnny Manziel) or the word "crew". All of these imply people who are hangers-on who may be up to no good. I think they could all be used interchangeably. 2) Lebron masterfully turned the conversation away from Jackson's substantive criticism: Lebron demands special treatment that puts others in difficult positions. 

 

Football Ratings: NFL Sunday afternoon games are up 14 and 7% YOY on CTV/TSN. Monday is up 12%. This is in contrast with the sustained drop in ratings for the same games in the US. CFL playoff ratings are also up by 14%. (Disclaimer: numbers are from Numeris so take them with a grain of salt. That said, these are TV numbers not radio, so they are probably not based on a sample size that could fit in your kitchen.) John Kryk at the Sun has a very detailed analysis of the numbers. Nice to see the Sun devoting space to ratings talk. Let's hope they cover the upcoming very important fall radio book. More on that topic another time. 

 

Crime: The horrific Stuckless sexual assault charges continue to haunt Toronto into their third decade since coming to light. It is heartbreaking to think how many lives have been destroyed by one person. It is infuriating to think that no one has ever been convicted for aiding him, or for knowing this was happening and turning a blind eye. How could he keep using tickets and access as a lure without anyone noticing? I believe there were Paternos at Maple Leaf Gardens and I believe some people know who they are. 

 

Low Hanging Fruit

 

  • Best of Twitter this week: Kate Upton (200K interactions!)

 

 

  • Noted advocate for women Dean Blundell asked his followers to weigh in:

 

https://twitter.com/ItsDeanBlundell/status/799223849921507328

 

  • Upton did a much better job of being a sports spouse than Bills kicker's wife Kaela Carpenter. She deleted then not quite apologized. The apology didn't go over well.

 

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  • Mike Bullard joins the list of Toronto male radio personalities getting in trouble with the law. Bell had this to say about the subsequent end of his radio show on 1010: "Mike’s show had been part of the Newstalk 1010 lineup since 2010, when the station was owned by Astral Media. Bell Media acquired Astral and its media properties including Newstalk 1010 in July 2014.” That is a vicious and masterful PR statement.

 

  • A recent Jeff Blair Show promo says something to the effect of: "Jeff has covered lots of big events as a journalist so talking 3 hours of sports radio is easy for him." The #1 complaint I hear from radio people is that print and TV people think they can just drop into radio and blab and have it sound professional and interesting. It's surprising that Canada's first sports radio station would promote this idea.

 

  • The above mentioned TSN press release is celebrating their 26% increase in ratings with "Millenials" aka "the key 18-34 demographic". This the same demographic whose earning power is vanishing and who are more likely than ever to be living with their parents. Fool's gold if there ever was any. Other than cell phone contracts what can you sell to this demo?

 

  • Overdrive co-host Bryan Hayes recently mused: "I'm not sure if TFC have surpassed the Argos in popularity …". I initially chortled at this take but on closer inspection B raises a good point. TFC have great attendance and a devoted young fan-base but the Argos have TV ratings that TFC aren't close to matching. Which is more valuable in today's Toronto sports market?

 

  • Still with TSN1050, they have been using Jonas Siegel as a low-carb Noodle replacement on Overdrive and also as a roundtable guest on the morning show. To my ears he's pretty dull. Far be it from me to suggest that Overdrive needs more personality but they might consider looking elsewhere in the TSN ecosystem for a fresher voice.

 

  • Worst interview of the week: Bob and Damien with NFL expert Don Banks wasting everyone's time talking about a television show from the 1960s. That's not going to play real well with the Millenials. You know it's a bad interview when the paid guest mentions how poorly it is going. 

 

  • Finally, the worst tweet of the week about Leonard Cohen's death goes to Canadian fashion icon and current Style Editor at the Shopping Channel Jeanne Beker (79K followers!). For some people it is impossible to resist the urge to make it "all about me":

 

 

—–

 

thanks for reading and commenting,

to read past columns click on the "mike in boston" tag below

until next time …

mike (not really in boston)

 
photo credit: Reuters/Eloy Alonso
 

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 88
  • comment-avatar
    Andrew 6 months

    I signed up for The Athletic this week to support the writers that I read. Paul Godfrey doesn't need my help.

    I'll keep posting this. I'm not listening to Jeff Blair as long as his policy is to mass block people on Twitter.

    Skip Bayless is an embarrassment. He can't fail badly enough. 

    If you can, subscribe to the New York Times or the Washington Post.

    Great work as always MIB.

  • comment-avatar
    Edward 6 months

    I am a dedicated TSN1050 listener in my morning and afternoon driving commutes. Naylor and Landsberg are decent and there seems to be less sniping compared to when they started the morning gig. I think the quality of their regular morning guests helps the show's quality and credibility.

    My enjoyment of Overdrive has waned a little bit recently. I am not as entertained by the Gerry's Percentages weekly segment. Jokes about Jeff O'Neill "mailing it in" are rather dry now. I do agree that Jonas Siegel is not an effective substitute. His voice and personality are indeed dull in comparison to Noodles. The energy the three guys had during the Leafs Lunch days is rarely present. I don't mind the juvenile banter from time to time, but if it dominates the show content, no thanks. Sam Mitchell's in studio visit was entertaining this week. Make Sam a regular guest.

  • comment-avatar
    mario 6 months

    Thanks for a great read. Interesting concept on the changing of personal between Bell and Rogers . I would think it probably be a wash on going power struggle between the two. Both have strong personalities,and both would claim victory.

  • comment-avatar
    Larry Tate 6 months

    Thanks for this MIB. Regarding your point about millennials – while they may not have huge amounts of cash compared to Xers and boomers, I believe they are now the single largest demographic numerically. And a lot of their consumer preferences haven't been formed yet, so they're more open to marketing messages than older folks. And that's what advertisers want. 

  • comment-avatar
    GreyCountyMike 6 months

    MIB: Great column, as always, and good on you for bringing up the Stuckless hypocrisy.

    Many commentators, including some in Toronto, rightfully rip on Penn State and members of the Paterno clan for their roles in the Sandusky story, but get pretty very quiet when the subject turns close to home on Stuckless and their beloved Maple Leaf Gardens.

  • comment-avatar
    Brian 6 months

    I've never agreed more with a post. I still hate Landsberg but Naylor has learned how to deal with him. Sam Mitchell needs a regular segment. He may be TSN's best personality outside of Duthie and McKenzie and maybe O'Dog — but he's just so lazy.

    Siegel has credible Leafs info but little else. 

  • comment-avatar
    Brian 6 months

    McCown would bring listeners with him to 1050 but the signal is so bad that it would make little sense. Sports radio in Toronto must find its way onto the FM dial. That said, moving Hayes and the boys back to Leafs Lunch would be much appreciated. I've listened to fewer than 10 broadcasts of Leafs Lunch since they left. The show is now like an amateur podcast but without the humour. Andi is a good broadcaster but she often comes off as being too casual or sometimes too focused on her own train of thought to skillfully engage in meaningful hockey talk. O'Sullivan isn't making the show better either.

    McKenzie is incredibly loyal and would never leave TSN. He also knows that part of his success is due to the TSN ecosystem. Duthie is great. The Quizmaster is great. Ray is great. Production quality is great. If he were 45 or 50 and SN offered to double his salary, he'd consider it but that transition is not worth the headaches at 60. SN is clearly run by idiots. How else do some of these "personalities" stay on TV? I'm looking at you John "he's a good player" Shannon.

    Scotty Mac has had a few weeks in the new time slot and it's, well, less than compelling. He speaks far too deliberately. I can't listen long to someone that I can think faster than. I lose interest and I can't be alone. He's got a decent voice but three hours is too much radio for his overall talents.

    I don't think Damien Cox is a sports editor. That requires too much work. His career has been about working less and making more money for at least 10 to 15 years. He's employing the Bob McCown model. He stopped being a Leafs beat reporter (lots of work) to become a columnist (less work) to become a TV guy with TSN (even less work, more money), then a radio/TV guy with the FAN590/SN (about the same work but even more money) then back to just a radio and sometimes columnist guy (a bit more work, same money due to his existing SN contract). I really think his work at the Star is about keeping options open if his radio career happens to come to a sudden halt (a fairly likely outcome). Being the sports editor at the Star requires diligence, long hours and diplomacy, things for which Damien is not known.

     

  • comment-avatar
    Steve 6 months

    TFC is the only Toronto team I follow, so I can't justify supporting The Athletic right now as much as I want it to succeed and enjoy some of the names working there. Maybe if it ends up expanding into more general sports topics, I'll reconsider.

    I think the overall status of a network plays a bigger role in people's viewing habits than individuals. Personal example: While I think both networks are trash in various aspects, I prefer TSN over SN. I was a big fan of James Sharman and Kristian Jack when they were at The Score. KJ is now at TSN and I will nearly always read his columns online while I couldn't really be bothered to find Sharman's or follow him on Twitter because I'd have to deal with SN.

    Your paragraph on TFC vs Argos is missing is a key piece of data. We only have access to national ratings, not the city by city breakdown. From what I've read and heard over the years, CFL fans across the country will tune into any CFL game because the league is so small and they enjoy the league. TFC ratings are no doubt comprised mostly of GTA viewers. We may never know, but I wouldn't be shocked if TFC's rating in Toronto are higher than the Argos rating in Toronto and viewers out west in CFL country are boosting the Argos numbers.

  • comment-avatar
    cirroc 6 months

    I can't believe I'm saying this but I found myself not minding Landsberg this week.  There are times where I have to change the station because of him.

    Can't stand Jonas Siegel.  He comes across as a smug little twerp and I loved O'Dog calling him a pencil neck earlier in the week.  He literally adds nothing to the show.

  • comment-avatar
    Justin 6 months

    Star Touch is absolute garbage. How they managed to come up with such a poor product after sinking that much money into it is beyond me. Where do I even start? They give you a watered-down selection of the content on their regular app, so I have to flip between Star Touch and their regular app/website to read all the content I want. Why inconvenience the consumer like this? The ads are also more intrusive than they used to be (though still not as bad as the Globe's disastrous endlessly-buggy app). Furthermore, the layout looks nice but in terms of functionality it forces you into landscape mode and can be quite awkward to use at times. Despite the iPad interface, there's also hardly any multimedia videos/infographics/polls etc. that would make Star Touch stand out from their regular app. It's essentially a shittier, buggier, more ad-ridden, and overall worse version of their regular app. And the suits over there think it's "innovative" and "revolutioary." What a joke. What a waste of money.

     

     

  • comment-avatar
    NefCanuck 6 months

    The other point (and this is something that shouldn't be overlooked) is that TSN is claiming this ratings win among millennials when the only way to legally watch them is with a cable TV subscription.

    Unlike Rogers with Sportsnet NOW, Bell refuses to offer TSN any other way than with a cable TV subscripttion.  Considering the cost of cable TV these days, the fact that TSN is able to convince that demographic to pony up for cable TV, can't be overlooked.

  • comment-avatar
    Pants Go Brown 6 months

    Have to say how totally putrid Hockey Central is.  Kypreos is dull, still thinks like a player and provides almost no insight.  McLean spends all his time doing his inside jokes and cronyism and Millard as host is simply terrible. It's hard to believe that someone couldn't come up with something better.  

    Truly rock bottom.

     

  • comment-avatar
    Wally 6 months

    One thing I'd like to add is consider the demographics of people who have their viewing habits tracked. It is well known that the CFL has a demographics problem in that their fans are older and they have a tough time attracting young fans. It is also reasonable to assume that those having their viewing habits tracked are also older. Do people in their 20s and 30s make an effort to be part of the viewing statistics? Or are they more likely to be streamers and not subscribe to traditional cable packages? 

     

    I truly believe that a majority of Argo fans reside outside Toronto (likely the 905 region). There is no doubt in their successful TV numbers, but then why is the stadium half-full? My guess is that the same 300,000 or so people are watching every football game, regardless of matchups. These people are likely in cities where they have only 1 professional sports team in the summer (Regina, Calgary, Winnipeg). You can see issues with attendance in all of the major metropolitan cities and their CFL teams (Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal) and I believe it is because those cities have multiple sporting options (Blue Jays/TFC, Whitecaps, Impact). 

     

    Final point. CFL games are scheduled at specific times during the week and is not difficult to find. Also every game will be on TSN 1,3,4,5. What channel is TFC on? Some combination of TSN4, TSN2, Sportsnet 360. Their playoff game on Tuesday is on TSN 1,3. Also CFL games have pre- and post game shows with panels of experts and columns written constantly (often times written to prop the league up (Gary Lawless)). TFC doesn't have the consistency of game times and panels of experts speaking about the team on radio or TV. This is a chicken and egg situation. Does high rating justify increased exposure, or would increased exposure produce higher ratings? TSN being the exclusive rights holder of the CFL will have a vested interest in propping the league up. TFC being shared by Rogers and Bell is stuck in the middle similar to poor Raptors TV numbers (obviously winning changes that). 

  • comment-avatar
    Jack 6 months

    The biggest brand in the country is obviously McKenzie. He is known everywhere and has cred in every market in Canada and the US. McCown's brand is so old and so Toronto. Put him in any other market and he's just a guy. He has cred here because of the FAN and the Jays. I doubt anyone under 40 even knows who he is. TSN would be dumb to hitch themselves to that wagon.

  • comment-avatar
    gary 6 months

    Speaking of …. has anyone seen PTS commercials recently? Or Blundell commercials? I seem to recall sportsnet used to advertise the FAN pretty heavily.

  • comment-avatar
    Patrick 6 months

    For what it’s worth, Damien is among the best at managing up. At Sportsnet, he used friendships with Keith Pelley and John Honderich to land a salary that quadrupled his income at the Star. And even after he left, he has done his best to maintain his influence at the Star. When the paper hired Bruce Arthur, Damien confronted Honderich with a folder of all Arthur’s twitter postings, some of which are indelicate. Arthur is not afraid to drop the occasional F-bomb in his posts. Damien argued to Honderich and Star management that Arthur was not the best representative of the paper’s family values. That, my friends, is Machiavellian. Trying to get a guy fired literally moments after his hiring!

  • comment-avatar
    Drumanchor 6 months

    Kate Upton? Listen, I like to use the F-word as much as the next guy, but…really? Really? Not only is it totally contrived, it's a lame attempt at being White Trash. 

     

  • comment-avatar
    Chris 6 months

    I can't believe how bad mainstream media is in Toronto. Blundell is a joke on a sports station and is a deplorable human being. The fact that PTS dominates the ratings is crazy….the IQ of co-hosts and regular guests would make a Trump supporters look smart. Bobcat's "strength" is baseball but has no clue about the game or how teams operate in 2016. He suggested moving Pillar to RF if they signed Fowler. I'd fire someone for saying something so stupid on my station. Cox/Shannon/MacLean/Ryan/Reid/Healy are all awful on the radio and anyone under the age of 45 should consider them an assault on their IQ. Jeff Blair is a pompous ass who acts like a radio tough guy until someone calls him out on his hypocrisy. TSN radio has its own problems and has its own awful regular contributors….Gord Ash is heralded as a baseball genius but offers nothing anytime he's on. TSN Drive doesn't offer anything that's going to blow you away mentally but they have fun and it comes across the radio. They are entertaining and sound like regular guys, not old white guys who think they are smarter than everyone. 

    For anything that is going to actually inform you of something you must look to smaller niche podcasts…Effectively Wild, Hockey PDO cast, TSN Hockey Analytics, Birds All Day, At The Letters, The Ringer….all great at entertaining and informing.

    WGR550 provides a much better option for a quality radio show both in the morning and the afternoon, the hosts are smart and point out the good and the bad in all sports and teams, even though I don't care about Buffalo sports teams I listen because the hosts get it and don't insult my intelligence. 

     

  • comment-avatar

    Cool. Report back with some 1st impressions and improvement suggestions for The Athletic. I know the people over there really want this to succeed.

  • comment-avatar

    This is a good point. If you’re an advertiser and you have to make a decision about priority. Do you target A) the market with high salaries and huge assets (homes bought in the 80s and 90s) and lots of established consumer preferences or B) the people with lots of free time, lots of education, some disposable cash, and a lot of apathy and anger about the economic world they are being handed. There’s money to be made in both places but there’s more money in the older demo.

  • comment-avatar

    “For anything that is going to actually inform you of something you must look to smaller niche podcasts…Effectively Wild, Hockey PDO cast, TSN Hockey Analytics, Birds All Day, At The Letters, The Ringer….all great at entertaining and informing.”

     

    This is a good point too. There is a demand for sports podcasting amount younger people. I never listen to radio live but when I reach for a podcast it is usually one from a mainstream radio show (PTS, OVerdrive, etc) where there is a guest I am interested in. This is still a hook into the traditional model of radio. What will happen when podcasts are mostly fueled by content that was never on the radio? (like some of the ones you mention).

     

    We are seeing something similar with Netflix. Some of their most popular shows are ones that are exclusive to a format that doesn’t have any cable presence and doesn’t rely on ads to make money. But there’s the difference too: people will pay for a subscription for access to TV shows/movies. Would anyone pay for a podcast subscription?

     

     

  • comment-avatar
    James 6 months

    I'm a big WGR fan as well.  It's smart sports talk about the Sabres and Bills, but both morning drive and afternoon drive shows have been consistent and they don't need a gimmick. There's no former shock jock pretending he lives in a sports world, there's no ex-athlete spouting cliches.  Problem there is there's no daytime programming.

    I agree with the criticism of MacArthur on TSN.  Let's not forget, he was an original host on 1050.  I couldn't even tell you the time slot or whether he came on before or after Hays.  It was awfully boring.  There was nothing compelling about his opinions and there was a "drone" factor to his monologues.  I have the same issue with Mike Hogan, and it's an instant turn-off the second I hear him on the dial.  I don't think TSN thinks MacArthur is a long-term answer.  Besides, he does well on the Blue Jays beat, gets some TV time occasionally and gets to travel.  That probably sounds better to him than doing a solo show and getting crap-kicked in the ratings.

    Someone else said it a couple months ago, but, given how universally awfully Blundell has been received in mornings (ratings won't show it because of the Blue Jays fever and games in the playoffs, but they did last spring when he was the lowest-rated daytime show on the Fan), winds of change are probably coming.  Even Dean would probably love to be doing anything else.  Playing music, talking politics, burping and farting, all those things that he did on the Edge to get the big salary and numbers.

    Two years ago, if someone said to me, do a draft of the best four guys going forward on sports radio as assets, I could easily answer: Brian Hayes, Tim and Sid, and Greg Brady.  Only one of them has a show for now.  So it's natural that the overall quality has suffered.  You wouldn't draft Bob because he's in his 60s.  Naylor is well into his 50's and I've never gotten the appeal and he's now getting bad ratings in a second important timeslot there, despite the commercials where he's cooking things and playing the piano, LOL!

    Same as MacArthur, some people talk about Mackowicz.  While I do hope he is happy and content and getting better whatever the issues are, I didn't enjoy him either.  He first joined Cybulski and I thought made the show worse, and had no intrest in hearing him at 9am and the ratings also show few others did.  That's not an answer either, and though it's not as extreme as the failure Blundell has been, it is someone saying "I kinda like sports so I'll give it a try" very late in their broadcasting career while never having done it before.

    People can say what they want about Landsberg or Blair or Brady or McCown or Naylor but you can't argue there's a background and they've put the time in by writing or reporting or interview shows or whatever.  It's an easy format to sniff out who belongs and who doesn't is all I'm saying.

    And first I've heard of The Athletic so how much is it to subscribe?

     

  • comment-avatar
    Sperk 6 months

    Just to add to the above…Nate Duncan's NBA podcast (Dunc'd On) is a must listen to if you are an NBA enthusiast.  The Raptors Republic ones aren't bad either

  • comment-avatar
    Sperk 6 months

    That's an excellent question Mike…I think the spreading popularity of (non radio) podcasts will deeply bite into traditional sports talk radio.  Like the newspaper industry, sports talk radio tries to cater to to the masses which is a dangerous strategy when there is so much choice out there that fragments the market.  If you want intelligent talk, there are podcasts out there for you…if you want "narrative" driven talk (who's dating who, who said what on twitter, are the players friends with each other) that seems what talk radio is trending to (especially on the national scene) but there are also podcasts for that.   Radio is trying to be everything for everyone and I am not sure that is feasible anymore.  

  • comment-avatar
    Rick in Barrie 6 months

    If you want a reason to get back to disliking Landsberg – catch the first 20min of the 'Breakfast Club' hour last Tuesday. Landsberg had thrown a pool up on twitter….the guests roundly disapproved of it and called him out on it. Landsberg spent the next 20-30 minutes whining like a baby about how his poll question didn't receive the respect he thought it should….and his sour and negative nature was very present throughout. A awful display of professionalism. 

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    Anthony 6 months

    This is why I always laugh a bit at those who complain about 'bias' in media. If you think there's bias, guess what, there are tons of other options for you to get your fix. If you don't like something, you can listen to something else that fits your needs.

     

    Problem being alot of these independent podcasts say the same things (about the Jays, mostly) about the sports teams that the 'biased' ones do (ESPN seems to say the same things about the Jays as the 'biased' ones do too ;)), so perhaps the bias isn't so big 🙂

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     The successful podcasts monetize themselves via live reads, merch, sponsors or even using a service like Patreon, where listeners help subsidize the show. This seems to be the formula for about 99% of the most popular independent podcasts. Most true subscription models are for the die-hards who want access to archived shows, mostly in the comedy realm.

    Re:Bayliss/ESPN  Look, Fox Sports 1 will never be able to compete with ESPN until they have live rights to the real big 4 sports in the US. The NBA, NFL, and NCAA top 25 Football and Basketball. ESPN has a 40 year lead in terms of 'habit' viewing. Every sports bar in America fires up the TV at 11 AM and puts on ESPN, and this goes on in every other home as well. Get those rights exclusively, and the talent and viewers will follow. Problem is, they probably can't match what Disney could hypothetically spend. The dog keeps chasing its tail.

    As for the TSN/Rogers 'what if'',  I think only Bob McKenzie would make a dent. McCown would have been interesting 15 years ago, but not now. And Cox wouldn't take the pay cut to be an editor in the dying moments of the newspaper business. He's nefariously got himself to where he is now for a reason.

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    Jack 6 months

    I'm not sure why people are being so hard on Cox. Maybe it's just jealous people in the industry anonymously lashing out ….. hmmmm … nah, nobody uses this board for that right?

     

    He worked his way up like lots of people did and was able to leverage his Star fame into a big Sportsnet payday. Don't forget that TSN was also chasing him.

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    Jack 6 months

    Also, on the brand question …. being a contrarian is the  best way to get national attention. That's what Skip does and it made him very rich. I'm surprised sportsnet let Cox go from hockey night. He can stir it up better than anyone. Hockey night in Canada has become very dull under Rogers's watch.

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    Selfies for Cox 6 months

    Why in the name of Allah does the Fan keep using Joey Vendetta to fill in during the day? Gotta suck to be Ennis or any of the other usual fill-ins. "Sorry ……. you're not getting the call so some guy in L.A. no one in Toronto cares about can call in to host a radio show." Get a grip Sportsnet.

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    yaz 6 months

    While there may be some jealous people in the industry anonymously lashing out, they are the few. The many were part of the social media storm that had Maclean rehired and hacked Cox down a notch along with Healy and Stroumboulopoulos.

    Cox worked his way up then worked his way down. Cox is not a personable on-air personality. He comes across as pompous while having no possible justification for having his nose in the air (Like Arthur) If he had a long term deal like Healy ( who just began the first year of a three hear severance package) I doubt he’s crying about it. .

    On another note, Al Strachan’s Tweet ‘The word in the media grapevine is that he (Bruce Arthur) was close to getting fired over his manic tweets and The Star told him to tone it down.’ must have been true because on election night there was nary a peep out of Arthur. Arthur would benefit from Bob McKenzie’s philosophy about Tweeting ‘I consider it the same as if I am talking on the air.’

    If anyone knows any of Bruce Arthur’s anonymous Twitter handles with 200 followers please let me know so I can block them.

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    Mike V 6 months

    Considering how the Star has covered Trump in the past few months, I highly doubt that was true. Strachan is rather obsessed with Arthur for reasons not entirely clear. Maybe he has nothing better to do with his time now that be on Twitter.

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    Mike V 6 months

    I think you're reading too much into it. The press release talked about an increase in 18-34 NFL ratings vs NFL games last year. It wasn't  about the overall channel or making comparisons to the competition. Also, the most watched NFL games are Sunday afternoon on CTV which is available OTA without a cable sub.

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    Pete 6 months

    I'm curious to see how The Athletic does because I don't see (nor really know why) people would subscribe, unless they go to a magazine type format where content/articles are unique and more in-depth.  Otherwise people will continue to just look out for free content.  None of the papers have been able to unlock the right formula to convince people to pay.  

    On the other side…how are these writers getting paid?      

    Bob McKenzie, although it will never happen at this point, would bring instant results to Rogers' hockey broadcasts, as well as credibility.  Bob McCown would cause a surge over at TSN.  Jay & Dan would do so as well for Sportsnet.  I can't think of a single sportswriter who could increase subscriptions at their new paper; for one, that medium is dying a quick death, and two, there's not a single "stud" writer out there that's a must read nowadays.  

    Anyone else finding that Overdrive has jumped the shark?  You can't carry over a niche program like Leafs Lunch into the core afternoon drive slot.  It's amateurish, too hockey (Leaf) centric and there's too much joking and innuendos to be taken seriously (like Blundell & Co.).  I keep harping on it, but my dislike for McLellan on the show is growing by the day.  He flat out sucks and is a complete misfit for that time slot.

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    Anthony 6 months

    Because he can get better guests than those guys and generally the ratings are a bit better with Vendetta. 

    Don't like it, be better. 

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    Anthony 6 months

    Maybe Arthur recently stepped on Al's lawn, I heard the older folk dislike that 😉

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    Mike V 6 months

    Are ratings really better? How does anyone see breakdowns like that.

    Personally, I prefer Ben to Joey. 

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    GreyCountyMike 6 months

    I've never gotten Vendetta's appeal either, but admittedly I am not in the target audience. If he actually delivers numbers during his FAN 590 stints, then that's all that's going to matter to Rogers management.

    Last time I heard him, the show seemed very much focused on "look who I know" … almost worthy of a SCTV-level parody. Joey, meet Bobby Bitman.

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    Mike S 6 months

    @ James

    I agree with everything you wrote about Scott MacArthur

    I also agree that the WGR 550 drive home show is a good show, despite the fact that they take way too many phone calls and don't have enough guests (they sometimes have just two or three guests during a four hour show)………….Mike Schopp is a solid host, although he can be incredibly condescending at times and often goes overboard when he ridicules callers (can you say Mike Wilner?)

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    Original Mitch 6 months

    I liked that Sportsnet hired Bob's kid fresh out of school and a week later put him on a national stage, hoping to lure Bob to SN with the chance to work with his son. Clever, but fairly transparent. 

    Also, nobody watches Ken Reid and Evanka Osmak, so i'm sure Dan and Jay could do nothing but brings ratings up. I don't care how SN tries and convince me the numbers are good for that show, it is all industry tricks. He's awful and she doesn't watch/like sports. Not a good recipe. I'm also pretty sure D&J wouldn't do that and would head back to TSN. They simply owe them everything. 

    Speaking of, is TSN just rotating behind the scenes employees to host SC now? Seems like its someone new every time i turn on my tv. 

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    Shoot and Score 6 months

    Bingo on Cox. He doesn't want to work that hard. Would interfere with his tennis game. When he was punted from the HNIC broadcasts over the summer, he had one year remaining on his deal and offered to do the radio, rather than sit at home, like Healy. Was a win-win for him and Rogers – they don't have to pay another cohost on PTS – and Cox gets to maintain his profile as the clock winds down on his Rogers deal.

     

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    NefCanuck 6 months

    I tried watching Sports Central on Sportsnet (Now that I'm paying for Sportsnet NOW< I figured I should experiment a bit…)

    That show is so bad that it could be hosted by two drunks off the street and it would be more entertaining.  Hell, I'd host for free for a month and I'd bet I'd pull in a bigger audience than Reid and Osmak.

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    I’m told Numeris has been refining their reporting and are feeding stations daily numbers, hourly numbers, numbers for 15 minute increments, and so on. The sample sizes haven’t grown so there’s still that issue. But if you trust the statistical validity of the ratings, they have become more granular recently. No idea if what Anthony says about Joey V is true … he has better sources than I do.

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    Dan on the DVP 6 months

    A couple of thoughts. The newspaper industry ran itself into the ground. No sympathy from me. The Athletic need to do a lot more to earn my dollar. Once people start raving about it, I'll subscribe. Hope they have money to suck up losses for a while. Sportsnet Magazine lasted 5 years before the inevitable. Tim and Sid have the best brand at sports net but is wasted in the current slot. Jay and Dan should come back to Canada and save TSN radio during drive time. Move Leafs Lunch back to lunch. The O Dog is the only one with talent. Peace.

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    Tighthead 6 months

    Wow – Mirtle leaving the Globe for the new online startup. Huge risk. I wonder if he was fearing more cuts and jumped before he was pushed.

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    Mike V 6 months

    Was thinking the same thing. I think he's the first writer the Athletic lured from another place. Maybe Mirtle thought he was on the block if the buyout targets weren't reached and decided to take one for himself.

    And now Jonah is tweeting that sports clicks (whatever that's worth these days) are down 70% at the Globe from last year and it makes a bit more sense.

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    Something to think about: The Globe makes money by selling subscriptions, and by selling ads in their print edition. Clicks and digital ads are a small part of their revenue stream.

     

    While I agree that Mirtle's move may be related to the buyouts (and possible layoffs) it's also possible that the Globe's direction wasn't going to be best suited to his talents. How many Globe readers are likely to be stats folk? Older conservative demo, so probably not many.

     

    So I hold out hope for a refocused GlobeSports emphasizing sports biz, features, and opinion.

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    Too Loose La Trek 6 months

    This site has jumped the shark. When people post things like this

    "Hell, I'd host for free for a month and I'd bet I'd pull in a bigger audience than Reid and Osmak."

    You can see the problem. Everyone thinks they can do better. Let me ask, do broadcasters come to your work to tell you how to make the fries?

    And how exactly did the newspaper business run itself into the ground? Technology changed everything. You want to understand the importance of journalism, take a look south of the border. The business didn't change but people did. There's a whole generation of people who have no desire to read anything more than a paragraph. Get your news from TV? Please. No pictures , no stories. An extremely important election gets decided by a bunch of talking heads because you can't really get into policy, people won't watch. 

     

     

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    Anthony 6 months

    Cant replay to Mike V oddly, but there has been a post on here that had his ratings higher than alot of TSN regulars that seems to get free passes on here. 

    Its fairly simple, 'I don't like this guy, fire him' doesn't really make sense when the guy you specifically don't like brings better ratings than others. Just because one poster thinks something, doesn't make it law. 

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    Anthony 6 months

    @MIB

    Thought that I had read that on here, perhaps it was Toronto Mike. 

    Regardless, how many times have we read 'Take that guy off hes awful' when he's delivering ratings. I've lost count of the amount of times Ive read people complaining about Blair saying any PD with 'half a brain', direct quote to a poster who relied a few posts above, when saying the fan should get rid of Blair. 

    We'll that PD with half a Brain simply needs to look at the ratings that he brings and say 'damn, hes one of my best guys'. Being smug on a message board doesn't mean your right. 

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    jackbee 6 months

    Watch traffic more Dan on  DVP – Couldn't stand Tim and Sid on the Score, much less with their juvenile fan 590 show with horns and whistle sound noises every few minutes. The got demoted to tv where they now only have TWO hours and not their radio THREE hours, totorrture millenials

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    Anthony 6 months

    This site has jumped the shark. When people post things like this

    "Hell, I'd host for free for a month and I'd bet I'd pull in a bigger audience than Reid and Osmak."

    Lord knows Im no fan of Reid, but I agree to an extent. Sometimes you find some smart and well thought out conversations, but most of the time is a board for complaining about the ills of media. Its way better than it use to be, MIB has done a great job with taking the trolls off here, but man, I don't get all the hate and anger, all the time, week after week. That's alot of negativity, and that's a lot of watching of media that people say they dislike. If they say they dislike it, why are they watching it? 

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    jackbee 6 months

    I like Scot M in the afternoon slot on TSN 1050 — not full of his own ego like Andrew Walker, and is even paced in questions to guests and insiders, like Jonah Carey this afternoon. He was one of the 1st voices when TSN 1050 hit the airwaves, and deserves this tim slot. Thank G-d Hogan was turfed out of said slot as I thought he was too over the top and giggly when he was at FAN 590 – fired and rehired. Let him dwell in the pit of play-by-play of Toronto Argonauts .

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    Original Mitch 6 months

    wah wah, everything on a forum is negative. 

    For some bizarre reasons, our very small country has two massive sports broadcasting conglomerates, limiting our viewing/listening options to just 2, but still allowing us an alternative when one doesn't satisfy our appetite. However, 2 choices for a highlight program or a radio time slot is still very few, so it is understandable that we critique some of the talent considering they have a pool of 30 million people to chose from and this is the best they can come up with. It isn't trolling, its observation on the most subjective of professions in the world. There is no right or wrong. There are a few telltale signs I suppose (faking enthusiasm, mispronouncing names), but there is no performance checklist to determine whether one is good or not. Its how the boss feels about their performance, that's what keeps them on the air. So when we see the likes of Walker, Osmak, Reid, Fan morning guy, Maclean, Wilner, etc all being supported (i.e. kept on-air) by the same employer, we tend to criticize more than we praise. It's true. Its our freedom. We love sports, pay outrageous cable bills by the same employer that feeds off this trough, so yeah, we want better. 

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    Anthony 6 months

    Thats the thing Mitch, you have SO MANY CHOICES.

    Thanks to technology, I have the choice of listening to about 10 different items on drives. Sometimes I listen to This American Life, sometimes Toronto Mike, Sometimes ESP or Canadaland. I source out content that I like, and listen to it. I don't listen to things that I dislike, because life is awfully short and I don't like to be surrounded by negativity and 'hate listen'. Generally those who hate listen do so specifically, with a purpose. Howard Stern made a living off it. Those who did would always act like they had no other option, but they had many options. 

    Simply put, if you think there are only two listening options, you're not trying very hard. I listen two two bluejays podcasts a week that don't belong to either the TSN or Rogers brand, because again, Im not looking to hate listen. 

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    Mike S 6 months

    The strangest thing I heard on radio recently happened last Friday morning at about 9:15

    I was listening to Dan Patrick on TSN 1150 when the feed went out…………..there was a minute or two of dead air and then they started playing an episode of OverDrive (or maybe it was an old Leafs Lunch show)…………then there was some more dead air…………and then I heard Joey Vendetta's voice………..it took a minute for me to determine that they were airing the Jeff Blair Show and the reason why it was Vendetta was because he was filling in for Blair that day

    After a couple of minutes of Vendetta they ended up going back to the Dan Patrick feed………….it was truly bizarre hearing a FAN 590 (Rogers) show on a TSN radio station, even if it was only for a few minutes

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    Big G 6 months

    Anthony,

    Isn't it odd that you say when one dislikes something just stay away from it, however  you continue to complain about those who have not so favorable opinions of Rogers and their personalities. Would not the same message apply to you? if you don't like what you are reading from other posters, there are a ton of other options. The web is a very big place and blogs are a very big thing here in the 21st century.

    If I were you I would get tired of posting the same thought over and over and over?

    Yes we get that you don't believe in such a thing as media bias, Yes there are plenty of other options if people don't like the current on air selection, Yes people really despise Rogers and your appalled…… and the list of repetitive things go on.

    Just say n.

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    Original Mitch 6 months

    I agree with all that Anthony, however since this is a Toronto Sports media forum, I tend to stick to that and, let's face it, TSM is basically owned by Bell and Rogers.

    I listen to the PTI and Undisputed Podcasts every day. I like some of the things the Fan 1150 is doing in Hamilton and definitely expand my horizons to the web when it comes to watching highlights. However, I don't comment much on those here because I don't feel its appropriate and don't want to stray far away from Toronto sports media, since Mike and Jonah take time from their lives to write about TSM.

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    dogpounder 6 months

    Nice to see everyone getting into the holiday spirit around here.

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    Daniel 6 months

    Jonah tweeted today that there are rumours of 'Fan changes in the AM'. 

    Since Blair's seems to pull pretty solid numbers at his time, so can we assume this means Blundell?

    Anyone have any suggestions for a replacement?

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    Anthony 6 months

    @BigG

    You are 100 percent correct, those who constantly bitch and complain about things, after putting themselves in position to listen to those things, should look in the mirror. There are so many options for media these days that anyone who listens to something they hate are doing so for obvious reasons, its the Stern affect. 

    You can't compare that with blogs and message boards, these are here for honest dialog and discussion. There here for looking deeper into items and looking into how things could could be done and what works, what doesn't. Its about dialog, its about debate. If you think that offering a different view against those who just complain about the same things is offside, then I think you miss the point about the dialog part here. Im looking for reasons as to why they continue to watch and continue to complain, Im trying to understand why they do it and what motivates them. Im trying to pull out answers so I can see things from their perspective. See my interactions with Mitch as an example. There's no negatives here, posters like Mitch are respectful and honest, as I try to be. In the past there where legions of trolls who made everything personal, but MIB has done a real nice job of eliminating that. Im hardly putting myself in a position to post on things I hate, Im trying to get why some posters just to the cut and paste 'rogers sux, bias evil!!!!' posts every week. 

    To this point i struggle with the all things Rogers are evil narrative that people push. They have some poor radio options (see the morning show), but they kick TSN's add in rankings, so why does TSN get so much of a pass on here? I don't get it. By asking questions and trying to get behind the 'why' we get the same posts, while other media companies who are completely failing at radio, aka TSN, gets a general pass, I hope to pull out a reason other than 'they sux!!!!'.  

    And if you think im not posting that, your not paying attention. I have posted about ratings, a new morning show, heck, i even made mention of Al Strachan's lawn 😉

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    Anthony 6 months

    @Mitch

    If that's the case then I guess I don't understand your original critizism that people in Toronto only have two options. You just admitted they have many. There's two different messages here. 

    For some bizarre reasons, our very small country has two massive sports broadcasting conglomerates, limiting our viewing/listening options to just 2,

    But then you agree that we have many options? Colour me confused. 

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    Anthony 6 months

    One would have to assume so. 

    Why the fan didn't put Tim and Sid in the AM slot is beyond me. There gimmick and schtick is build for AM radio. Its not for me, I find most if not all of it contrived and an act, but it would work well when people in the morning simply want entertainment. 

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    Anthony 6 months

    *If you think that's all im posting about

    Appoliges, bad grammer on my end. 

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    seguaro 6 months

    Mike Schope may be the most patronizing sports host on earth.

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    seguaro 6 months

    Schopp is a paternalistic coward. He is never wrong.

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    Mike V 6 months

    Anthony, I find it odd that you're comparing Joey V ratings to TSN Radio, a station that gets less than a fifth of FAN590. Fact is, anybody on the FAN will instantly get higher ratings than TSN. The real comparison should be how he does compared to the regular host or other fill-ins like Ennis.

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    Let's agree that some people don't like how much complaining other people do on TSM and move on. My view is that it's good for people to have a place to vent about stuff that bothers them. If that's the only kind of comment you ever post here then maybe consider mixing it up a little. The site is at its best when people are debating/discussing sports media issues.

     

    On the Rogers v TSN thing: Rogers takes more hits here for the very obvious reason that they own more content and so are watched more. When you're more present in the marketplace then you'll control more of the mindshare, good and bad. Add to that the fact that the FAN has way more listeners than TSN1050. You get the point. 

     

    1 million average viewers for TFC v MTL, 3.6 million unique viewers. That is a big step forward for the sport in Canada. I wonder if any of those viewers came from outside the two cities involved. It will interesting to see what the ratings are for the championship since one Canadian team is guaranteed to be there. If it's under a million that's a pretty good indication that the appeal of the sport is still very local.

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    Anthony 6 months

    ' If that's the only kind of comment you ever post here then maybe consider mixing it up a little. The site is at its best when people are debating/discussing sports media issues.'

    +1

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    GreyCountyMike 6 months

    Montreal-based journalist Jack Todd had an interesting take on Toronto-based sports media earlier this week: http://montrealgazette.com/sports/jack-todd-toronto-is-not-the-centre-of-canadas-sports-world

     

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    Stick to Sports 6 months

    I generally ignore Cox for this reason. The points he makes in his work have never have struck me as well thought out, researched, or even interesting. His blasé attitude toward a lot of stories on PTS often leaves me wondering whether he actually likes sports outside of the Leafs and tennis. He reminds me of a lot of kids who get into journalism for the wrong reasons: to be paid to have their opinions heard, without wanting to do much work.

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    Not only that, him and Jonah had a fun little spat on Twitter culminating with this spectacular missive:

     

    https://twitter.com/jacktodd46/status/800906827928113154

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    Mike V 6 months

    Wonder if the <2,000 tickets left for Sunday include these up for grabs at fine Hamilton restaurants. http://3downnation.com/2016/11/24/30-pizza-deal-includes-free-grey-cup-tix/

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    edge 6 months

    Perhaps it's just big event fatigue?  I know Vancouver went through this after the Olympics in 2010 and the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals, that everything else after that just seemed to pale in comparison, no matter how unfair that comparison was.  The 2014 Grey Cup failed to sell out, and the Heritage Classic needed heavy papering.  The Women's World Cup was a huge success, but that's a once-in-a-lifetime international event drawing on people from all over the world (The Final was basically a US invasion).  UFC Fight Night fizzled, and all three of the Canucks, Whitecaps and Lions are seeing attendance decreases.  I've read articles that after what's happened this year it'll be a while before the Grey Cup goes back to Toronto.  Well if you add Montreal (who almost never bid for the Grey Cup thanks to the ancient Big O) and Vancouver who will will to take a Grey Cup break after hosting in 2011 and 2014, you're pretty much left with the prairies and Ottawa and Hamilton. 

  • comment-avatar
    mark 6 months

    You ought to take part in a contest for one of the best blogs.

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    Dan on the DVP 6 months

    You asked about brand. I guess we will see how big Mirtle's brand is. Of all the people the athletic has hired he's the only one with a serious following. Just check out his follower count. Last I remember it was over 120,000. A lot of that was the loser internet stats geek community supporting one of their own. Pension plan puppets couldn't stroke him enough even after the Montador tweet. Hypocrites. Will those same people rush to subscribe?

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    "Naylor is well into his 50's and I've never gotten the appeal and he's now getting bad ratings in a second important timeslot there, despite the commercials where he's cooking things and playing the piano, LOL!"

     

    Poor Naylor. People keep aging him prematurely. He's 48 or 49 but but not yet 50.

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    yaz 6 months

    I don’t mind when people complain about the media here. I do mind when people complain about the complaining which begets an endless defense about why people shouldn’t complain.

    This isn’t a complajnt.

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    Tighthead 6 months

    Jack was a decent writer about 20 years ago. 

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    Sam In Scarb 6 months

    Word going around is that if you get your gutters cleaned next Spring by a certain cleaning company you get a pair of Argo season tickets.

    Also, if you refer a friend and they get theirs cleaned..You get to play….SWEET !!

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    Mike S 6 months

    Apparently Blundell is on the PTS roundtable today…………..I'm speechless

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    yaz 6 months

    Ahhhhh…. that is bizarre. I don't think Blundell has ever even been a guest on the show. 

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    Hans 6 months

    He is indeed on the roundtable. I'm just going to grab some popcorn and keep hitting refresh as people start posting their triggering messages here for Dean being on PTS.  😉

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    Brandon 6 months

    Homophobic well-established bad human being hired as ratings stunt now being used for similar ratings stunt in another time slot.

    At first, I thought, absolutely gross. I won't listen as I haven't to any of the morning show since his ghastly persona and lack of general (let alone sports) insight appeared.

    Then, I thought, there's something strategic about it.  Is it to demonstrate to certain powers that be how woefully miscast he was and how out of place he is?  It's not some kind of accident and given I know people who have the misfortune to know Dean and he badmouths McCown every chance he gets and has ever since he started there, as he has with Jeff Blair, as he has with Scott Moore (he was complaining his show isn't promoted enough on tv) that this appearance is being either forced on Dean, or forced on Bob as a last gasp thing.

    I think TSM is onto something and this horrible experiment won't go on much longer.

    But given they did this in the first place, I'm not sure why we trust they'll put a show in we can enjoy instead.  But nothing, and I mean that, and so many others clearly agree, can be worse.  I love sports, I love the Toronto teams, and I won't turn on that station until 9am period.

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    Too Loose La Trek 6 months

    By no means am I defending Blundell but he has a point about not being promoted on TV. Every morning show demands and expects such exposure. I wouldn't read too much into it. I'm sure they consider McCown to be the franchise and he most likely has some promotional help in his contract. Add in the constant promotion of Tim & Sid (a show that is woefully underperforming) and there just isn't enough to go around. Don't get me wrong. I think Blundell was a huge blunder right from the start. I also think they hired him because they were afraid TSN would. One other thing to consider. Rogers radio management has to be concentrating much more on who will replace Erin Davis. CHFI is the big money maker for them and if they make a mistake there again, like they did when she left the first time, heads will roll. In comparison, replacing Blundell is a minor inconvenience.

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    I'm at blogger sensitivity training this weekend so keep the discussion going here as you see fit. 

     

    Question: is Blundell on PTS a sign of the impending apocalypse or a sign that Sportsnet is trying to get us ready for FOUR MORE YEARS! of the most forgettable sports morning show in recent memory. Or is it a sign that TSN1050 made some inroads in the latest ratings dump. Or is it it a lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

     

    Keep cool everybody, and stay out the bike lanes.

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    Hans 6 months

    If that was the case of it being a strategic move then wouldn't they also have put on Shannon and Ken Reid as well as Bludell? 😉

    It might be more of a thing to see if Blundell is willing to bury his hatchet with Bob if they're on the air together. More likely it was a case of Blundell being in the building and they just grabbed him for the show since the regular circle of Bob's freinds were not around.

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    Anthony 6 months

    Some people sure do live hating on Toronto….