Toronto Sports Media 2017 Open Thread

Toronto Sports Media 2017 Open Thread



Heading out to watch the Seahawks play the Lions…

Maple Leafs Canadiens

Raptors surging

Blue Jays Hibernating

NFL Playoffs

Lots to banter about, in the words of the mortal Andrew Krystal, What Say You


  • comment-avatar
    Paul 5 months


  • comment-avatar
    GreyCountyMike 5 months

    Never been a big fan of Jeff O'Neill on radio, but his work on the World Junior TV panel between James Duthie and Bob McKenzie was very impressive. He was insightful, enthusiastic, yet generally stayed away from the jingoism that too often in the past has plagued Canadian broadcasters at this event. Well done, especially for a former player.

  • comment-avatar
    Jamie 5 months

    I’ve been very impressed with Naylor/Landsberg in the last few months.

    The show seems to have taken a big step. It’s the best show on 1050 right now and I don’t think it’s close.

  • comment-avatar
    yaz 5 months

    Can Scott MacArthur lighten up? Even when discussing a lighter subject he has the tone and intonation of a news anchor delivering news of an assassination or a terrorist attack. He knows his stuff but please, everything is not so gravely serious. Maybe he should be like Captain Serious Jonathan Toews and start Yoga and study Taoism (or pretend to). Or get some medicinal marijuana from Wheeler.

  • comment-avatar
    @WouldStaley93 5 months

    This Leaf team has been a blast to watch these past few weeks. The speed and skill of the young core group of forwards is amazing. Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner and Connor Brown have been a blast to watch as a fan. Fredrik Andersen has been improving game after game and getting more confidant in net. Beats having Vesa Toskala or Andrew Raycroft or Jonathan Bernier etc etc

    Re sports radio

    Once again @BennisSnet and @DavidBastl did a great job covering / guest hosting the morning show on Sportsnet 590 The Fan 5:30AM to 9:00AM. Both should be brought on full time with @ItsDeanBlundell and both Ryan Fabro and George Rusic should be shifted to different roles.

    @DamoSpin has continued the good co hosting role on Prime Time Sports.

    I’m wondering if Mike Richards will rejoin Sportsnet 590 The Fan to host the 7-11 Monday to Friday slot or co host with his old Calgary colleague Andrew Walker 1-4? @MikeRichards01 keeps tweeting a announcement in February is coming about his next gig.

    As for the Jays the organization is being destroyed by Ross Atkins and Mark Shapiro. With a good young Leafs team and a Raptors team that’s competitive this is the worst time for the Jays to rudderless.

  • comment-avatar
    Phil 5 months

    How are people finding the Athletic? I am loving it. Excited for additional writers to join the site.


  • comment-avatar
    mario 5 months

    It has been a long off season for the Jay's .  Just when exactly when are they going to start making any kind of really moves to contend this year?  I know as they say plenty of time but it other teams have made major signings and trades and all  we keep hearing is  crickets.

  • comment-avatar
    Steve in Waterloo 5 months

    PTS Roundtable on Friday somehow became compelling tv for me. 

    I started watching, observed that D Cox was being especially disagreeable with the rest of the group, interrupting and basically trying to insist his thoughts were right while everyone else's were unfounded.

    Basically, Cox trolling at his best.

    Reason in became compelling was that I thought Blair, who was hosting, JUST MIGHT lose it on Cox.  Didn't happen, but one of these days….

  • comment-avatar
    Brandon 5 months

    @yaz > You're a better man than me, I can't do it.  Can't listen.  The dull tone of his voice is an absolute no-go for me.  I haven't listened once this go-around.  They tried him in a solo slot when TSN Radio got rolling and it was the same.  If you can't dance, you can't dance.  From Wheeler, to Cauz, to MacArthur, there are three voices that the very second I hear them, I'm outta there.

    Agree on Naylor and Landsberg.  I am not into Naylor at all, but given Landsberg now runs that show, I can give it a chance, given, like many others, 590's morning show is an absolute lost cause until they make proper changes to try and bring the audience back.  


  • comment-avatar
    Brian 5 months

    I only listened to the roundtable on podcast and it was a friendly reminder of how good it can be without Shannon's repetitive yammering, leaky arguments and constant defense of the NHL and its increasingly unwatchable product. 
    I like Cox in his PTS co-host role. He's an agitator and Blair is, too, so I don't mind those two going at it. Blair telling Cox to return to Twitter made me chuckle out loud. Brad Faye is getting better but still needs more confidence. 


  • comment-avatar
    Daniel 5 months

    I agree.  Cox has been surprisingly good as a cohost.  I was expecting not to enjoy the show anymore, but he's been solid.

    McCown said he had Brunt booted because he wanted a cohost who could commit to the show all year.  I still think Brunt was the best co host the show has had, but McCown was probably right here.  I'd rather have Cox on all the time, than go through weeks with Ken Reid or John Shannon as co host.


  • comment-avatar
    Mark R 5 months

    Question to all who listen to the radio shows. Are you still listening to them on the AM dial or have you moved onto a digital platform such as Tunein or the station's app. 

    Independently of the first question, if listening to a show on an AM dial, does the voice matter and likewise, when listening on a digital platform, does voice matter?

  • comment-avatar
    NefCanuck 5 months

    I've been listening to the Fan 590 on TuneIn for years because my condo is an absolute concrete bunker and AM signals just die here.

    It now sounds odd in the car when I listen on the AM signal because I'm used to hearing the hosts voices after they have been digitally processed (so much so that I normally listen to the Fan 590 in the car on TuneIn as well.

    Either way, if the host has a voice or verbal tic that I can't stand, I change the channel (see Ken Reid as an example)

  • comment-avatar
    yaz 4 months

    I notice no difference in the quality of any broadcast in my car radio vs Itunes Podcasts. More bass in my car I guess. Greg Brady once Tweeted that you’d be surprised how much switching to FM gets talked about inside Rogers. I tried to find the Tweet and couldn’t but it brought up another point.

    @bradyfan590 was his old handle which switched to @gbradyradio after his departure from the Fan. Someone named Irka Gushtyn is now @bradyfan590 and Tweets in an alphabet I’m not familier with. Mostly arctic landscapes and animal pics. When you consider how unbelievably bad and sometimes illegal the pictures are on Twitter – Brady got lucky. Similarly Jeff Blair’s old @globlair handle has been taken by Shelly Blair -possibly by someone related to Jeff at his urging to prevent a possible disaster. You’d think Twitter would have warned them that their handles could be taken over and possibly by someone who only Tweets on #AssWednesday or some such.

    Had either of their old handles gone off side it wouldn’t just reflect on them it would reflect on their former employers Globe And Mail ( the Glo in Globlair ) and Fan 590. You’d think Twitter would do something to protect verified accounts.

  • comment-avatar
    JamesM 4 months


    The Fan hired a morning host who was good with tweeting about oral sex, transvestites, performing bodily functions during sex, bestiality, and vomiting.  I don't think they're too worried if Blair and Brady have twitter accounts taken over by others who have nothing to do with the radio biz.

    Does Shelly Blair have all the other Fan hosts blocked on twitter also?  

    Blundell still loves words like "fart", "douchenozzle", "dipshit", "pussy", and "lube" judging from all the "non-offensive" tweets he didn't delete before his hiring when he was at the Edge, or after his show was cancelled. 

    As for FM, it would certainly change the game for either station.  1050 might get into the game big-time by being able to put their shows on with better sound and signal and live sports events as well.  Anyone who's driven in America can tell you how good baseball and hockey can sound on an FM signal now.


  • comment-avatar
    robinauroa 4 months

    O'Neill's humour is an acquired taste – I happen to enjoy Overdrive but toi each his own. He's not particualrly "likable", but he's funny and knowledgeable…If you've listened to him, you'll know that he unabashedly roots for team Canada and the Leafs….he doesn't claim to be a journalist and he'll be harsh against both the Leafs or the Canadian Juniors when required, because he knows the game and willingly calls out bad performances. I think that's the way he should do it…. I can't agree with you on the TSN panel being "jingoistic" in the past…(and really, does it matter at the World Juniors? How many people watching at home are rooting for anyone but the Canadians?).

    —The viewing ratings will be interesting when they come out. TSN won the week last year when the Canadians finished 6th.

  • comment-avatar
    robinauroa 4 months

    Landsberg is way too egotistical for me – for no good reason either….Naylor isn't a radio personality. He should be a football insider and fill in host. But Landsberg is light on all sports and an arrogant pri#k and should be gonged in my opinion – I can't listen to that show (you're entitleld to your opinion, and I may be in the minority. The Fan's morning show is worse, so I listen to podcasts in the AM). 

    ….Anyway, I have said this about Landsberg in the past. He has a lot of nerve being a mental health "advocate" and talking about his own depression and mental health issues – all the while doing his best to make people feel bad about themselves. If you listen to him, that's all he does to Naylor. Who knows how he would react if everyone started riding him the way he does other people. He comes across as a two faced jerk – – – Anyway, I am pretty sure he and Naylor dislike each other a lot, but try hard to work together in order to keep getting a paycheck.

  • comment-avatar
    Drumanchor 4 months

    I don't know, robinauroa, I share GreyCountyMike's opinion in this case. The panel itself isn't necessarily jingoistic in their analysis of the games or Canada's play. Yet, the whole TSN package with hilights of only Canadian goals, saves and player celebrations gets to be too much. Sure, all the viewers are Canadian and we know who they are very likely cheering for but it IS an international tournament with many great players teams that appear to be consistently ignored. 

    Isn't the "It's Our Game" signs and the Canadian flag being passed over the crowd during the national anthem getting just a little old now? 

    PS – I would also suggest that the debate about the validity of the shoot-out only comes into being when we lose. Would the topic be discussed if Canada won in the shoot-out?


  • comment-avatar
    robinauroa 4 months

    I find MacAurthur to be way too deliberate and "self important" as if the listener is hanging on every word – I can't listen to him either…he likes to pretend that he's big time, but he's not. (That "Uncle Seany" shtick he does is cringeworthy….most of what he does is)

  • comment-avatar
    robinauroa 4 months

    I agree with you on the Leafs and Jays…Every on air Fan personality you mentioned bugs me (I'm on a roll today)…except maybe Ben Ennis, but to me he's a fill in guy at best. He's the Mike Hogan of the Fan.

  • comment-avatar
    robinauroa 4 months

    Haven't bought in yet, but I'm thinking I will subscribe sometime. It requires a Facebook account to sign in. So until that changes, I won't be subscribing – I've read a few free articles off Twitter links and I've enjoyed them. Some are simply op-ed pieces that don't provide me any value….it looks promising though…I hope they make it work 

  • comment-avatar
    robinauroa 4 months

    I agree – And unless they make some significant moves, then I will have lost any faith in "Sha-tkins" that I may have had. I foresee some "crowds" of 10,000 again by July if all they are doing is cheaping out for Rogers and pretending to rebuild when they have 3/5ths of a great team in place – With Edwin, could have been 3/4 of the way to a real contender…Right now they still need 2 outfielders, a middle reliever and a set up man. Losing Edwin made them worse off at first…and who is DHing? (Maybe 3/5ths is being generous)

  • comment-avatar
    robinauroa 4 months

    I use the "Simple Radio" app on my Android phone…It works really well and it's easy to use and use a bluetooth speaker (Bose has great sound for Music) at home instead of a radio – you can save numerous favourite stations for easy access.

    Leaf fans take note: I also use Simple Radio to listen to Joe Bowen for viewing Leaf games, rather than the awful play by play on Sportsnet. I connect a Bluetooth speaker, then pause the DVR until the audio streaming catches up to the video…It works great and no more annoying Hughson or Paul Romaniuk (If they bug you too as much as they annoy me, no need to thank me – Just enjoy – and pass on the info as required)

    For podcasts on Android, I highly recommend the (free) "Podbean" app…it has carried everything that I have looked for. I podcast Overdrive to listen to in the AM the following day – also Dan Patrick

  • comment-avatar
    robinauroa 4 months

    TSN shows lots of games that don't involve Canada – and those game highlights are on Sports Centre, so I don't agree at all. If you are keeping track and Canada actually has more air time, that may be true, but it's understandable because that's what a majority of the audience expects and wants.

    People have to remember that the broadcast isn't the "product" – the ad time is the real product for the broadcaster…..If no one watches the broadcast, the ads can't be sold for a profit – and people seem to be watching the World Junior, so do you see a real reason for TSN to change? (Sportsnet has showed a willingness to change when no one wanted Strombo on HNIC)

    As far as the shootout, I hate it no matter who wins. I am a real hockey fan and I don't need Bettman's gimmicks in order to watch the NHL. The "hard fought tie" was a part of the NHL game for generations and didn't need changing, even though Gary Bettman didn't like it. He had never watched hockey —–and the whole "If Team Canada won by shootout" argument is just U.S. trolling. No one claimed it was tainted win…I am not the only one who said that night that if Canada won via shootout, then the win would be sour for me – A skills competition to decide a world championship is just so weak. 

    I realize we can't have 4 OT periods. But for 20 minutes of OT, they could easily have 4 on 4 for 10 minutes, then 3 on 3 for another 10…99 times out of 100 you'll have a winner using that format , especially after 3 periods of intense regulation time hockey – and I think any real hockey fan can accept a shootout if its a very rare occurrence and a "last resort", rather than a "forgone conclusion" after a very even, hard fought game like we saw last week. 

  • comment-avatar
    Steve in Waterloo 4 months

    Different medium – is the Sun web presence for non subscribers different than what folks who pay view?

    I have always gone to The Sun Sports daily, but now find that blogs/stories are weeks/months old.

    I know I'm cheap –  I subscribe to the paper on week ends, but I wouldn't pay $1 to have access to what I see on the web.

  • comment-avatar
    kyle 4 months

    In the AM\FM\Digital vein, there was this story last week about Norway shutting off its FM network.


  • comment-avatar
    Phil 4 months

    Strange – i didnt need a FB account. Was able to sign up without.

  • comment-avatar
    Drumanchor 4 months

    You are absolutely right. My bad! I suspect when I used the term "hilights", I was really referring to the TSN ads that, to me, only seem to show what I eluded to in my original post. 

    As for the shootouts, I also wholeheartedly agree. I'm personally not aware of any "US trolls" pointing out the Canadian sour grapes responses, but, like you, I always enjoyed a good tie. Howard Berger recently had an excellent post in his blog that was, essentially, saying the same thing as you. Shootouts are gimmicky, eventually will be a thing of the past and should be replaced by an extra 5 or 10 minute overtime of 3 on 3. If there is still a tie after that, who could possibly complain?

    Good comments, Rob.

  • comment-avatar
    CowboysKanuck 4 months

    I signed up a month ago, and like Phil, I really like what they're doing. There's quality fresh content added on a daily basis, they're starting to add podcasts – and I don't have to sift through ads to get to any of it. I expect as they get more subscribers they'll also add more writers. For $5 bucks/month, you're getting more than your monies worth. 

    @robinauroa – You don't require a FB account to sign-in or register, however, you do require an account of some sort to comment on articles. I used my FB one, but it didn't use any of my profile info when I comment on articles – it just uses your first name and first initial of your last name that you used to register your account. The TOS for commenting on articles is one of the best, and most straight forward I've ever seen.

    1. Don't be an asshole.

    2. Don't be a troll. 

  • comment-avatar
    Mike S 4 months

    Better late than never, here are my award winners for 2016:


    Toronto Sports Media Member of The Year………….Ray Ferraro (even though he doesn't live in Toronto he still appears frequently on radio and TV in the Toronto area and is the best sports analyst in Canada)

    Best TV host…………….James Duthie (consistently excellent at everything he does)

    Most unlistenable radio show………Blundell (590)

    Best radio newcomer…………..Dave Poulin on the new Leafs Lunch

    Worst radio newcomer…………….Michael Landsberg (1050)

    Dullest sounding radio newcomer…………..Patrick O'Sullivan (1050)

    Best fill-in radio host……………Jim Tatti (1050)

    Worst fill-in radio host………….Derek Taylor (1050)

    Best radio move…………..…..590 deciding not to use Ken Reid as PTS co-host anymore

    Worst radio move………..…..590 letting Greg Brady go

    Best new radio segment…………..Breakfast Club (1050)

    Worst new radio segment…………..the comedy bits on Naylor & Landsberg (1050)

    Best Twitter follow…………..Down Goes Brown (makes me laugh out loud more than anyone)

    Worst Twitter follow………….Bruce Dowbiggin

    Best daily radio guest…………..Ray Ferraro (1050)

    Best weekly radio guest………….Richard Deitsch (590)

    Best occasional radio guest………….Lee "Hacksaw" Hamilton (1050)

    Most refreshing move……………….TSN 1050 hiring three females (Andi Petrillo, Kristen Shilton, Meghan McPeak) for prominent on air roles

    Least refreshing move……………….PTS producers choosing John Shannon to appear on 33 out of the 51 Friday roundtables in 2016

    Worst radio trend…………………….bringing the producer of the show on the air and using him/her as a pseudo co-host

    Classiest handling of the worst moment of his career……………Elliotte Friedman at the Rio Olympics


  • comment-avatar
    Art 4 months

    Agreed 100% all on points

    I'm currently listening to a podcast right now rather than either morning show. Bastl's Bytes. he has Don cherry on this week. Also looking forward to Toronto Mike'd later today with Jesse and Gene. I only listen to the fan morning show when Dave Bastl fills in for Rusic. Even better when Rusic and Dean are both off.  Even when Landsberg is off I still can't listen to 1050 because they bring in Simmonds who is also brutal.

    Landsberg and Naylor is the worst show on the radio and their ratings reflect that. I have no idea how TSN 1050 stays on the air with numbers like that.

  • comment-avatar
    Art 4 months

    I really like Scotty Mac. I don't find the same problems you guys are hearing. Honestly think he's the best TSN1050 has left.  To be fair though I haven't listened in a while. Only time I hear him lately is when he was filling in on Overdrive which is a light show in nature.

  • comment-avatar
    Art 4 months

    Agree 100%. Bastl and Ennis should be made full time 100%. especially Bastl. Rusic just doesn't do it for me. When he's with Dean he plays the dopy punching bag. then when Dean is off he is the bg shot mic hog who rambles on so he can hear his own voice without letting the co host talk. I find him to be better on inside the lines though. maybe having 2 more knowledgeable cohosts in Rapp and Bastl helps him. On inside the lines he directs traffic rather than taking over so it works much better.


    I have no use for Fabro, I compare him to Shawn Levign on 1050. Both need to shut up and stick to producing. They don't have any value to contribute.

    I'm not a Blundell guy though. I'd rather the morning show be totally revamped than keeping him on.  The biggest problem with the morning show is the format. The Long updates that are interrupted by Dean.. they run on for sometimes as long as 20 minutes. You forget that it is even an update. They then chat for 1 minute or two before Dean says and now it's time for a update hear is George. It's almost like the update is all the show is. Is it because Dean doesn't' know anything or has nothing to talk about so he just fills the show up with updates to kill time?


    Updates should be 30 seconds long.. tell me the Toronto team scores a couple other big stories then move on to the actual show.

    As for Richards I'm very curious myself. What I find weird though is he keeps tagging TSN1050 in his tweets. Is he going back to the station in a diff rent role? or is just the sad gy who can't let go?

  • comment-avatar
    Hans 4 months

    Indeed. All the Blue Jays are doing is leaks here and there of "will we or won't we sign Bautista". I honestly just don't care and wish it wouldn't be reported by either TSN or Sportsnet unless there's something actually happening.

    Personally, I don't think they will sign him and these leaks are just to keep the team in the news and for PR purposes. I fully believe Shapiro is going to tear the team down, results be damned, because he sold Ed the idiot Rogers on his grand scheme. I'm not saying Shapiro is evil or with malice but that he completely misread the team, the market and the city and either can't admit it or can't see it because (in principal skinner's voice) "Am I so out of touch that I misread this baseball team? No! it is everyone else who is wrong". 

  • comment-avatar
    Hans 4 months

    Guess you wouldn't have liked the 4pm hour today as Bob is back and right there is Shannon. I really do think it's less contact and more he's a "Friend of Bob" now even though he's also a total NHL league shill.

    Although it was interesting: Today Bob made the comment, or joke, about how Shannon was booted off HNIC and he found his way to PTS like Damian Cox. Don'\t know if there's something there or if Bob was being Bob but it was an interesting statement to me none the less. 

  • comment-avatar
    Patrick 4 months

    I'd actually recommend the "Pocket Casts" app instead of Podbean. I much prefer it.

  • comment-avatar
    yaz 4 months

    Least Dynamic Duo: Wheeler and Hogan today. Honestly, go with solo Wheeler next time.

  • comment-avatar

    I would love TSN and The Fan move to FM.

    Especially after 6 pm when signal is totally gone.

    Shannon showed his great knowledge of golf when he swore the Farmers was at Riviera.

    I should not have to look up things that I think and know are right but hosts or co-host get wrong.

  • comment-avatar
    cirroc 4 months

    Tough day on the dial.  I don't mind Hogan so much but having him with Wheeler is a definite channel changer.  Switch to Blair, who for some reason is talking about Trump on sports radio…  Dan Patrick is on commercial, guess I'll listen to Funny 820 for few minutes…  Ahhh geez Dane Cook?

  • comment-avatar
    Darren 4 months

    I thought the exact same thing when he said that, like 4 times, and even went on to say it was a course that didn't fit Tiger, like seriously just STFU. And almost as bad is the self-proclaimed Golf know it all Bob, didn't have a clue he was wrong!

  • comment-avatar
    John 3 months

    Jeff O’Neil seems to get his tires pumped soo much on this site and I don’t understand why. He’s the one Toronto host that I can’t stand. His continual attempts to map other sports to some sort of NHL locker room anecdote are lame, his “insert word here” guy tag line is lame. He just comes across as some jock with a mic, I don’t think he’s ever offered something insightful.

    I wonder who’s incriminating photo’s he’s in possession of to have such a high profile at TSN