The Devolution of Sports Radio

So there I was, sitting trapped in my car - again - in merciless Toronto rush-hour traffic. All I wanted to do to take my mind off the real world was hear some insightful, informed, provocative sports talk radio.

And in Toronto, that typically means tuning into The Fan 590 during the drive home show with legendary host Bob McCowan. So I tuned in, as I normally do. But he was on a jag about golf, and I just ain't no golf fan. Frustrated, I remembered that Toronto now has two dedicated all-sports talk radio channels. The second is the recently launched TSN 1050. It's being marketed with the tagline: "The Evolution of Sports Radio." Now, I'd heard some bits and pieces of 1050's drive home show hosted by James Cybulski (the show is called "Cybulski and Company". The "company" part is comprised of ex-TV host Gareth Wheeler, who also produces the show) off and on over the summer and just felt "meh" about it. And I should mention that every time I had tuned into 1050, for whatever length of time it was, inevitably the hosts were talking equal amounts of sports and film. And not sports-related movie trivia or some such thing. Nope. Just films the guys liked or actors in films. But I didn't think much of it, guessing they were trying to find some sort of groove and had fallen back on their outside interests in film. They're both pros, so it'll get better.

Well, it seems the 4p.m. drive slot on 1050 in Toronto has gone even further down the path of the cinephile. 

Now let me make clear one thing, I think Cybulski and Wheeler could be great on-air hosts. But what I heard blew my mind. While McCowan was busy interviewing and speaking about some major golf happening, James and Gareth were pontificating on the merits of some obscure film that had nothing to do with sports. And they wouldn't let it go. Seriously, the conversation went on for like 10 minutes. Anyone wanting to hear some sporting news was not getting it from these guys. Again, no disrespect to their broadcasting abilities, but the dudes were just waaaaaay off base with content. 

That was day one of the week. Monday. I decided to test my theory: that Cybulski and Co. were sorely lacking in sports topics and were using a safety net of pop culture discussion to get by and fill time when they had no real guests or sports news to report. And on it went. Tuesday - movies. Wednesday - TV stuff. Thursday - sports movies (OK, this one gets back to the realm of sports... but still!!) and Friday... well, I missed Friday because I left work early.

All told, I'm still a Fan 590, um, fan. 

Word to the wise to the TSN 1050 drive slot folks - start lining up more sports personalities and guests. Drop the pop culture conversations by about 50% and evolve into an actual sports radio show. Because as it stands, in my opinion, you guys are dropping the proverbial ball. 

TSN Montreal, TSN Winnipeg
Fan 590


New Columnist

Television Newspaper
Stubborn Fool and are proud to announce a brand new feature. And with it comes a brand new contributor to the site. On at least a monthly basis – and more likely whenever we get pissed off – Stubborn Fool will feature a media column. The column will focus on the goings on in the radio, television and newspaper industries and will shine an opinionated light, in particular, on the Montreal and Toronto industries and in general on the national and North American markets. But here is the big news:

Newspaper Television
Joining Stubborn Fool is a blogger and veteran journalist who goes by the fake handle of Joe Bunga. Joe Bunga brings 15 years of print and online media experience to this forum. Together with my 15 years in the broadcast industry as an announcer and writer, we will impose our well-considered (and sometimes not so), critical and oft-times nonsensical opinions on you.
What's worse than bloggers and commentators with no experience? Bloggers and commentators who work in the groove and maintain industry connections.
Yes, we will be different from the rest. We will be critical and take a no-holds-barred approach. We will swoon over our favourites and shit on those who deserve it.
This is an addition and not a change to the format of the site. Mike Boone's radio and TV column is long-gone and has been replaced in part by Fagstein.comWhat we will try to do is fill some of the great void that exists, with a little more knowledge than some commentators, and with a little less journalistic integrity. Keep watching this space for subjects that will make your head spin, your brain melt and, depending on your perspective, either cause you to have an aneurism or get your rocks off. We don't anticipate much middle ground.


Working From Home

I am working from home this afternoon. Or, as I like to call it No Pants Monday. There are several benefits to working from home. 1 - I'm the only idiot here. 2 - No pants. 3 - The coffee is cheaper. 4 - I'm not actually working.
I will have to log back in shortly and finish my reports. And since my car is at the garage getting fixed I will have to take public transportation to the office tomorrow. The bus and metro system in Montreal has improved over the years. But not for me. It will take me an extra twenty minutes to travel by metro than my usual jaunt by car. A thought just occurred to me, I should carpool tomorrow. Always considering the environment when it suits me best, I will see if any of my colleagues in the area want to give me a ride to work. I searched for "no pants Monday" on the intergoogle and found this picture which I took from the cheezburger network.
Big Bang and Skinny Leg Theory


Mayweather Verbal Knock Out

It may have been a legal punch but it was still a sucker punch. Floyd Mayweather was a great boxer. Now he does anything to win. Ahh... remember the good old days when only the promoters were corrupt and there was honour between boxers? Mayweather doesn't seem to like when people call him out. He had a few choice words for Larry Merchant whose response was priceless. A verbal KO. Merchant, a long time sports reporter and announcer on HBO Boxing has been known for his arguments and disagreements with his colleagues. Mayweather boasts a record of 42 wins, 26 by KO, including his last bout versus Victor Ortiz. HBO will be re-airing the fight again on September 19th and On Demand until October 2nd.


Lost in the Shuffle - Montreal Radio

It truly was awesome listening to Pete Marier on my ride home from work. Lost in the shuffle of the CFQR and CJAD radio marketing campaigns, re-branding and announcer switcharoos was the real quiet like moves over at CHOM 97.7 FM, Montreal's English language rock station. Marier, the long time rock radio announcer has come home to the afternoons where he shone as the drive home announcer for years. Rob Kemp has temporarily moved back to the mornings - for a second time around - as a more seasoned and much improved announcer.

So, that makes two smart moves for station management in recent months. Marier to the afternoon drive and Too Tall to a daily midday shift. Marier, a real professional and great announcer was hardly the ideal candidate for any morning show. Long after hitting prime time on the morning show at 980 AM, Marrier and his gruff voice was moved to the afternoon slot at CHOM and showed what he had. Mornings were never his bag. Put it this way, Carey Price is a great goaltender. Are you going to switch him to a forward position just because he is a tremendous athlete?
Marier first took on mornings at CHOM in 1995 replacing John Derringer and then passing on the torch to the syndicated Howard Stern Show.

When Music Mattered
But wait, just in time for his 54th birthday, Terry DiMonte is scheduled to return to Montreal from Calgary in January 2012 and will be sitting in the air chair during the morning show. Who is the odd man out? Will Kemp move to mid-days splitting time with the 34 year CHOM veteran announcer Too Tall? Will someone get their walking papers? The morning show runs 5:30-10 with the awesome Too Tall's show airing between 10 -3. And did I mention that I love the fact that Montreal radio has a program called The Butt Show?


Twitter Faster Than An Earthquake

Awesome promotional video from the folks at Twitter. It comes on the heals of the earthquakes, hurricanes and other natural disasters to hit Canada and the United States in the last few weeks. It took 30 seconds for the August 23rd earthquake to travel from Washington DC to New York...


My Life in Pictures

Labour Day and time to put away all of your white clothes. Luckily everything I own is black and blue. I have always hated this time of year. For the first 25 years of my life it signified a return to school. September also marks a turn in the weather. The sun isn't as strong, and rays turn to rain. And it's the weekend where the local radio stations bring out their lame weekend promotions. CHOM, the once cool rock radio station pulled out a real gem.

From their website, "This Labour Day weekend CHOM is having...twins. It's a special two-for Labour Day weekend on CHOM! All long weekend we’re birthing your favourite bands back to back. We’ll do twice the get twice the songs..." Are you freaking kidding me? That's a bit of a stretch. That station has lost its grit. I was listening on Saturday evening and their veteran weekend announcer sounded embarrassed reading that promo. They do have a couple talented announcers. Too Tall has always been my favourite, if I had my say, he would be programming all their music, although I think Picard is having a good influence. Anyway, this wasn't supposed to be a rant about radio. I was going to write a line or two and post some pictures. So, happy (day after) Labour Day. Off to work...

And I haven't lived with my parents in 16 years.

Granted, they just moved into my building. I probably won't ever tell them about my blog. I figure they get offended enough in our regular conversations.
I'm down to bag litre three cups of coffee a day.
How I act around girls I have no interest in.
How I act around girls I want to Date

Apart from the obvious, I also gain the weight as shown in the above photo. I stole this joke. I prefer this picture of Farley to the original.

Sisko's, Winner of The World's Best Restaurant Prize, Fictitious Category
I've been to New Orleans three times and this was the only thing missing. They have their own Myspace page and are supposed to serve excellent food. Too bad they aren't real.
Thanks for stating it better than I could.
My colleague responded to this cartoon by saying, 'I've been there'. I responded by saying, "I live there".


The Jim Carey Meme

You may or may not have heard about Jim Carey professing his love for Emma Stone. If you haven't let me explain that this is Carey's most viewed film since 2003's Bruce Almighty. Many people gave up on Jim Carey long before Jenny McCarthy ever did. In the video we see Carey playing creepy to an Academy Award level.
I fell on this Jim Carey Meme first at the No Named Dufus blog. I also discovered another of my regular reads Cardio Girl had added her own interpretation.

You can watch the video on the intergoogle but the video is being taken down quicker than you can say copyright infringement. Here is the transcript.

Carrey’s desperate message to Emma Stone

I just wanted to let you know that I think you’re all the way beautiful. Not just pretty but, you know, smart and kindhearted. And if I were a lot younger, I would marry you, and we would have chubby little freckled-faced kids.
Jim Carrey, Jim Carrey Emma Stone, Jim Carrey's letter to Emma Stone, Jim Carrey video, Jim Carrey transcript, Jim Carrey youtube
Jim Carey
We’d laugh all day long and go camping and play Yahtzee and tell ghost stories by the fire. And the sex?(Stares into the distance imagining all kinds of lewd, creepy scenarios involving food, fur and who knows what else.)
Every day, for the rest of your life, you would thank God that I was the appropriate age for you. But I’m not. I’m 49. I have lines on my face, sometimes a little gray in my beard, and it takes me a little longer to pee than it used to. Those are the only discernible signs of aging that I can find so far.
Anyway, I just wanted to let you know how I felt. You’re pretty special, and I wish you continued success and artistic fulfillment, but most of all, I wish you love and contentment. That’s all.

Since Dufus nicked the transcript from Cardio Girl's site, I took it from his. And following the theme of the meme, below find my love plea, that I will call An Ode to My Commode. Video follows. I can say there's some really crappy editing on my part.

I just wanted to let you know that without you I am full of shit. My toilet, you are always there when I need you. At times you may get pissed but you always take me back.
You have taken so much shit from me yet, you are always so open to anything new I might bring up.
My time spent alone with you is always so peaceful, whether I am reading the newspaper or writing. At work, you are always there when I need to escape. You sit by when I need to take a break. Even when the nasty cleaning lady tries to chase me away. 

You may grow cold when we are apart but when I am near you warm up very quickly. Nothing between us is ever half-assed. I wish you love and contentment. That’s all.