Thursday, February 9, 2017

Toronto Radio: Dean Blundell OUT At Sportsnet 590 AM

Dean Blundell
Dean Blundell, who attempted to morph from shock jock to morning sports-radio host on Toronto CJCL 590 AM The Fan, never delivered the ratings bump in the target audience of men aged 25 to 54 or with younger listeners. His show was cancelled “effective immediately,” according to a news release from Sportsnet, which is owned by Rogers Media.
station Sportsnet

Replacing him on Feb. 27 will be a trio of broadcasters, including veteran Greg Brady, the man who was pushed out of The Fan’s morning show in March, 2015, to make way for Blundell. Brady will co-host the show with Montreal broadcaster Elliott Price and Hugh Burrill, another former Sportsnet broadcaster, according to The Globe&Mail.

“I’m beyond thrilled,” said Brady, 45, whose severance pay from his previous run at The Fan, which ended a year ago, was about to run out. “I live and breathe [sports], so it’s been hard to be away from it.”

Greg Brady
Price has an extensive résumé, serving as the play-by-play voice of the Montreal Expos from 1991 to 2004 and as co-host of TSN’s morning radio show in Montreal for 10 years – until he was fired in 2015 as part of Bell Media’s job cuts.

Burrill’s most recent post was as a television reporter for Sportsnet, until he, too, was caught in layoffs in March, 2016.

CJCL 590 AM (50 Kw DA-2)
Officially, Blundell’s contract, which expires soon, was not renewed by mutual agreement. Dave Cadeau, The Fan’s program director, said the decision was not made because of unhappiness with Blundell, whose sophomoric brand of humour made him a controversial figure for years. Cadeau said the station simply wanted to return the show to an all-sports format.

“I’d say Dean’s show was successful from a ratings standpoint,” Cadeau said. “This was about changing the tone of the show.”

Blundell tweeted that the move was “mutual and in both our best interest to not renew.”

Cadeau said Blundell is the only person from the morning show who is leaving the station. Ryan Fabro will continue as the producer of the new show but will have a lesser on-air role. Sidekick George Rusic will be reassigned at The Fan. And staying with the show is popular traffic reporter Halina Balka.

This is the fifth major change to the station’s morning show in less than seven years, despite the fact The Fan has always ruled the sports-radio ratings – even though Bell Media launched rival station TSN 1050 Toronto in April, 2011. TSN 1050 has never seriously threatened The Fan in the morning ratings, but Rogers is always searching for a way to increase its dominance with the only demographic sports-radio advertisers care about: men 25-54.

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