William Houston of the Globe and Mail reports that the all-sports format radio stations across the country are hurting financially along with their U.S. counterparts and the local Team 1200 is no exception.
Though a representative from the CTV owned station wouldn't return Houston's calls, it's believed that advertising revenue is down across the board. It certainly won't help that the Senators won't be making the playoffs.
Houston also floats the idea that many of the same on-air personalities in all the markets have grown wearisome to the listening public.
"There is a sense among some that the on-air talent has become stale. One journalist, upon returning to Toronto after several years, said, "I couldn't believe that [several personalities] were still on the air, sounding the same, saying the same things, filling the same slots."
That quote pertains to the Toronto market but how do you local Ottawa listeners feel about the Team 1200's on-air personalities?
You won't get much hockey talk out of the TGOR guys in the morning but we all know that morning shows are a different animal. The format calls for more comedy than real sports talk and the guys do a decent job of acting "wacky" or whatever it is they do. They're all likable, sometimes funny and the hours pass quickly. Plus they get Pierre McGuire on every morning. Like him or hate him, it's worth the listen.
After TGOR is done, you get the Over The Edge show with Glenn Kulka and Lee Versage. If you're a regular reader of this blog, you probably know how I feel about this show. Their knowledge and grasp of the NHL is summed up in their daily exhortations for the players to "work harder" and that's about all the real analysis you will get.
They are rabidly negative towards the players and the organization to the point that I wouldn't at all be surprised if the Senators re-think their affiliation with the Team 1200 if Kulka and Versage don't stop making the players seem like callous scumbags to the buying public year after year. Yet the show remains popular and it's a forum for angry fans to call in and rip those "rich and spoiled" hockey players. For all I know, it's probably the most successful time slot the station has.
The afternoon show is probably the best on the station, with Steve Lloyd and Jason York. Both can talk hockey in depth and generally have a positive and original take on events. Yorkie has really evolved into a good radio guy after an uneven start and his experience as a player (and a good one at that) brings a whole new depth to the show. Lloyd is no slouch either as he hosts the pre-game shows and gives and takes with the best in business, such as Bob McKenzie.
I'd be interested to hear what you think is the best the Team 1200 has to offer. For all the complaints, it's a luxury to have an all-sports (and in Ottawa that inevitably means all-hockey) radio station.
Does anyone remember if the station was called something else when it first started (in 1998 I think)? I have the feeling it was but I can't find any info on it.
(The article by William Houston was also his last with the Globe and Mail. I've been an avid reader of Houston's for a while now and it's sad to see him go. Remember, it was often Houston who brought up Senators fans concerns about the Toronto Maple Leaf bias at Hockey Night in Canada when many print writers wouldn't touch it with any seriousness. )
Now that the Senators have done the right thing and brought back the beloved Sens theme to the pre-game festivities at the Palladium (can we bring that name back too??), I mentioned a couple of posts back that the next goal would be to convince them to bring back the original white jersey's with the original 2-D logo.
Well, there's some folks over at the 6th Sens who were way ahead of me. They've started a Facebook page similar to the one that called for the theme song to come back but this time the goal is to bring back the original threads and logo. I don't see a petition there but hopefully someone gets that going as well.
I fully support this idea and it would be inspiring to see a big movement to convince Roy Mlakar and company that we want more tradition from this club and not the next wave of gimmicky cartoons and angular striped socks that make no sense.
I was walking down the canal today and saw an older gentleman wearing a red Habs sweater proudly, and boy, did it look nice. Whenever I see an older guy wearing a current Senators sweater, it looks strange to me, as if it doesn't look right on an older person. It's too faddish and looks more like a bed sheet than an NHL jersey.
How about this Roy? Keep the red sweater with the kiddy 3-D logo but bring back the original white jersey and go with that for a few years. The current white sweater is merely a pale imitation of the red one anyways and at least the Senators wore the classic logo when they went to the Cup final.
As with the theme song, the organization will listen if you bother them enough.
Chris Neil is out with a serious cut on his leg and now some are wondering if that's the last we see of Neiler before Bryan Murray trades him at the deadline.
I'm going to keep saying this: Murray would be nuts not to sign Chris Neil to a contract extension.
This guy is heart and soul and nobody on the team can do his job. If you think that Jarkko Ruutu and Cody Bass can fill in for Neil, you're nuts. Bass doesn't fight as often as people think he does and he's not very good at it. He's not even a sure fire NHLer at this point and will be on the bubble his whole career. Ruutu is more effective as a pest and he sometimes needs a player like Neil to clean up his mess.
Neil can also play and get you over 10 goals on any given year. Combined with his hitting and fighting skills, that's something that only a few players can provide in the entire NHL.
I sense a lot of people just want change for change's sake but it would be a major mistake to lose Neil just because familiarity breeds contempt from the fans.
Neil is a very important piece of this team and he actually wants to stay here. It's a no brainer Bryan.
Get it done.