It has been a bit of a wild summer on the sports radio scene in Vancouver. There are a whole bunch of moving parts and I will try to outline as many as I can:
Dan Russell leaving CKNW
This is Dan Russell’s final week hosting Sportstalk on CKNW. It was announced months ago that Russell would be gone from CKNW, so this isn’t new news. What is new is that he revealed at the beginning of his show this evening that it will not be the last of Sportstalk . Sources tell me (I have sources, cool!) that he will be moving his show to CISL 650. I know what you’re thinking, an oldies station is probably a good place for this dinosaur. While I disagree with many of his opinions and he comes off as a snarky old man that has lost touch with reality, I can’t deny that he is entertaining. I will often listen to him over what the Team 1040 offers up during the 9-midnight time slot.
Russell spent a great deal of time at the beginning of tonight’s show slamming CKNW, not exactly taking the high road. It doesn’t sound like the execs at CKNW didn’t handle it with a lot of class either though, if we are to believe Russell.
Interestingly enough, Russell took a few minutes to once again slam the Team 1040 (not by name of course), calling them house radio. Calling the Team “house radio” is fair to an extent (they are the rights holder and Tom Larscheid was let go because of pressure from Canucks management). But if everyone at the Team 1040 are nothing more than a bunch of house radio homers, what does that make Russell? He was “house radio” for 20+ years when CKNW had the broadcasting rights to the Canucks. It’s also worth noting that Russell is very fond of players and management from 80s and 90s, but doesn’t seem so fond of recent members of the Canucks organization (despite the fact that we are witnessing the best stretch of Canucks hockey we have ever seen).
Pratt and Bro Jake to co-host the new Team 1040 morning show
Speaking of dinosaurs, David Pratt is moving back to the Team 1040 and will be co-hosting with former Rock 101 classic rock DJ Brother Jake Edwards. Bringing Pratt back to the Team was a no brainer in my opinion, he’s simply entertaining. Bringing Bro Jake on to talk sports though? Stupidity.
To my knowledge, Bro Jake knows very little about sports and will likely be providing a whole lot of fluff. Team 1040 management must thinking that Bro Jake will be able to bring in a bunch of his fans from his Rock 101 days. The worry is if the Team alienates their core audience in the process.
Botch, Chappy and Debron gone
In my opinion the Team 1040 had 2 very good shows going for them, their morning show with Scott Rintoul, Jason Botchford, Paul Chapman and Paul Debron, as well as their afternoon show with Matt Sekeres and Blake Price. Botchford left the station a couple of months ago to focus more on his family and his job with the Province, while Chapman and Debron were let go by the station. Scott Rintoul will be hosting a new evening show.
Botch was the best thing the Team had going for it, losing him is a big loss, but there was probably nothing they could do about it. Losing Chapman in favour of Brother Jake is puzzling and dumping Paul Debron (who they could have moved to any other show) is a head scratcher.
It will be interesting to see how Scott Rintoul does with his new show. He is a good straight man, but I think he needs a co-host with a bit of personality.
The rest of Team 1040
I’m completely puzzled as to what the head honchos at 1040 are thinking lately. Some of the best personalities the station has ever had have left in the last two years: Tom Larscheid, Jason Botchford and the Kurtenbloggers (Mike Halford and Jason Brough). Their morning show was never better, but is now in shambles. The BMac and Taylor show is stale and clearly in need of a shakeup, but it appears that it will be status quo.
Thank goodness they are leaving Matt Sekeres alone (knock on wood), or else there would be very little left.