Like a lot of Canucks fans, I’m addicted to the Team 1040. I listen to it all the time because I can’t get enough Canucks talk. But in the last year or two, my addiction has subsided. I still listen to it, but I find myself needing a break from it more often and I think I know why. The Team 1040 is broken. It has some problems and I know just how to fix it. Because I’m feeling charitable, I’m going to offer some free advice to Team 1040 executives, enjoy:
1. More Shows
The biggest problem I see with the Team 1040 is that their local shows are too long. The station currently has four local shows from 6am to 10pm, with each show going for four hours. Quite simply, four hours is too long for their hosts. You can tell that some hosts just run out of things to talk about. It’s like they take a three hour show and stretch it out to four hours. Most shows spend the last hour of their show replaying interviews from earlier in the show.
A few years ago, the Team would play the Jim Rome show from 9am to noon, which caused them to make their other shows three hours long as well. Their shows were a lot less stale and their hosts had more energy. I would like 1040 to have a format that more closely resmembles that of the Fan 590 in Toronto or ESPN Radio in Seattle.
2. Bring back the Kurtenblog
Actually, this one is happening tomorrow. Jason Brough and Mike Halford won’t be calling their show the Kurtenblog anymore (the new name is ‘Hockey Talk’) and they’re getting a new time slot. Instead of non-Canuck game weeknights, they will be on from 3-7pm on Saturdays. It’ll be interesting to see how they fare with a four hour time slot instead of the two hour slot they had last year.
The two members of the Kurtenblog had the best show on the Team when they left the radio station last September. How the radio station allowed these two talents to leave is beyond me. They likely got a better money offer from NBC’s Pro Hockey Talk to blog, but the Team certainly ought to have the resources to offer decent money to them.
3. Bring back Pratt
The most hated man in Vancouver sports radio hasn’t been heard of since this summer when the Team decided not to renew his contract. I’m the first one to admit that Pratt was terrible in the last year before he was dispatched from the station, but I think he would be a motivated host should he get another chance. Pratt got lazy and complacent, and was a shadow of his former self when he was let go. He’s entertaining and edgy when he’s at his best, but he’s just tired and predictable when he’s at his worst. He relied far too much on lame bits such as ‘5 barking questions’ and went back to the well far too often on non-sports related topics such as the Vancouver bike lanes.
Bring back Pratt and throw him in the afternoon show with someone who will rile him up and give him an argument and you’ll have an entertaining show.
4. Two Host System
Part of Dave Pratt’s problem before he was let go was that he was often left to host the show by himself. Sure, the show was called ‘Pratt and Taylor’, but Don Taylor’s Sportsnet commitments kept him being able to be on the afternoon show for the full four hours. That problem still exists with B-Mac and Taylor in the afternoon show and with Sekeres and Price in the midday show. Two hosts are better than one, and the station should try to do all it can to find a way to have at least two hosts on at the same time.
5. Take Chances
I remember before the Team 1040 got the broadcast rights to the Vancouver Canucks. They weren’t as polished as they are now, but they weren’t afraid to take chances, to criticize. Personal feuds like the one Dave Pratt had with former general manager Brian Burke were highly entertaining, and would never happen today. I don’t think hosts are told to explicitly tow the company line, but I think there are some unwritten rules. The Canucks are the golden goose, and the radio station needs them more than the Canucks needs the station. Look no further than the dismissal of Tom Larscheid before last season.
Taking chances also means thinking outside of the box. That means getting more variety in terms of their guests and trying new things on air. They thought outside of the box when they gave the Kurtenblog a chance on the radio, and that paid off. They also thought outside of the box when they brought in the unheralded Dave Tomlinson as an analyst on the Blake Price Show.
And there you have it, that’s how to fix the Team 1040. I could be wrong (I’m not wrong) but it would seem to me that the more fresh you are, the more entertaining you’ll likely be and the more listeners you’ll get. Team 1040 execs: you’re welcome.