For those of you who listen to the radio on the way to and from the office, as I do, you may have noticed that on the afternoon drive, Bill Watters no longer graces the airwaves for AM640. Instead, the Arlene Bynon show has taken over that time slot.
So I immediately suspected that I would need to find a new AM talk radio station to listen to while sitting in traffic. Turns out I was wrong, and I still get my Wilbur, but in a different time slot.
I find it kind of funny how some things come full circle in the oddest ways. Growing up, my father loved listening to 98.1 CHFI and I detested that station due to the “oldies”, the monotone dj’s and, well, because he liked it. One of the DJ’s that particularly annoyed me was Arlene. She never interested me and I found her delivery to be quite bland – better suited for older folks, like my parents. So how ironic is it that with Bill Watters gone from the afternoon drive slot, that Arlene has taken over that slot. I have to be honest, I was not sure I could do it, but I did. I listened to a couple shows and I have to say Arlene’s style and approach (and her right-wing leanings) are not that bad at all. I have listened more to her segment than the Fan590, which is saying a lot. In actual fact, I’m really enjoying her shows. Shhh. It’s saying I’m old.
I liked Watters for his insight and for saying things without really saying them. Often he would comment on a player or an agent that he had dealt with or had heard about and was very clear in his opinions of them. Case in point, Ilya Kovalchuk. Not sure what happened there but I recall many a conversation with Watters calling Kovalchuk selfish. There was a definite dislike. Watters was removed from the station the last week of July, 2011, probably beacuse AM640 felt they needed more than sports to be discussed in that timeslot and apparently did not feel that non-sports fans could take Wilbur or Jimmy Ralph seriously so the move was made.
It took me a while to appreciate Watters whom I liked from TV and before that from being the GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs. I always listened to the Bobcat, Bob McCown instead on the FAN590. I found that McCown was never afraid to ask the tough questions but more recently with his co-hosts, or panel, including Damian Cox, Dale Tallon and John Shannon, they seem to have mellowed a bit. If my memory serves me correctly, McCown had strong opinions about certain sports and very little insight into others, but more than qualified to talk about them as a business, than a sport. I liked when something was stirring in his bonnet, like when he got upset with former Florida Panthers and Columbus Blue Jackets GM’s Doug MacLean for joining with Jim Balsilie. That was a great feud. It was good radio.
I think nowadays both McCown and Watters were forced to speak about all sports and delve into other topics to appeal to the masses – maybe because of the Team1050, TSN sports radio – but they’re not there yet. I’ve listened a few times and there is not much worth listening to yet… In that afternoon time slot, the Dan Patrick show is on – it’s an ESPN show and it never talks about anything Canadian / Toronto, so it’s a giant waste of airspace. When I’ve tuned in since then, it sounds like a bunch of guys chatting about stuff and it’s difficult to follow and not enjoyable to listen to.
I had hoped Watters would turn up on the FAN, so he can assist in any time slot and have his voice heard. Heck, with the vacancy made by the release of Andrew Krystal, you never know. While I do like listening to Doug Faraway quite a bit, I’m overwhelmed at having to listen to Roger Lajoie or Gord Stellick. I’ve been listening to them since the FAN first aired. I go that far back… Yes, I’m old.
So where did Andrew Krystal go this time? Last I heard, AK was on the 12-3 show or something thereabouts then he was moved to CP24 to get an on-air reporter and now, I don’t even know. I found it hard to follow him as he has a penchance for talking over guests and trying to crack jokes and he was difficult to listen to. So when I was in my car heading to the bank the other day, I noticed he was no longer on the radio, so I Googled it upon my return and found out he left (fired) the FAN590 at some point in late June. Oops. I won’t miss him… His style stressed me out.
So with all these changes what do you listen to? Do you listen to AM radio?
I do like the morning drive on AM640 for the right-wing talk and for The John Oakley Show and the Happy Capitalist himself, Lou Schizas. I’m hit my saturation point for Lorne Honickman from his City Pulse days, but I also like Greg Brady a lot on the FAN590, so I’ll flip back to hear him talk. Brady and I are the same age, born in 1971 and as such we share common interests growing up. Oddly enough, right now, his twitter image is a Toronto Blizzard logo, while my lunch bag is a Toronto Blizzard bag that I got at a game growing up. Needless to say, I get him.
Coming home in traffic used to always be the Bobcat. I used to flip over to Wilbur if it was a slow day, but now I find it’s AM640, or I’m listening to the Jason Ellis show on XM Radio.
So… Talk to me!