Bob McCown signing off as host of Sportsnet’s Prime Time Sports

Bob McCown

Bob McCown will sign off for the last time as host of Prime Time Sports on Sportsnet 590 The FAN (CJCL-AM) Toronto and its television simulcast Sportsnet 360 on Friday. 

Rogers says at McCown’s request, there will be no fanfare or tributes during his final shows.

McCown, 67, was the original host of Prime Time Sports when the show launched in 1989. 

He got his start in radio in 1974 in sales at the station, launched by legendary play-by-play man Foster Hewitt and originally under the CKFH-AM call sign. McCown made his on-air debut in 1975, hosting a nightly sports talk show. 

In a 2014 documentary produced for Prime Time Sports’ 25th anniversary, McCown takes credit for creating what he terms the “a-hole talk show host” creating a character that was “obnoxious, opinionated, arrogant, loud-mouthed, larger than life…”

“I created this guy…and almost instantly the phones started to light up. So instead of being a Leaf fan, which I was, I just ripped the hell out of them and the more outrageous I became, the more the phones rang,” said McCown.

McCown left for Global TV to host Sportsline in 1981. Prime Time Sports launched shortly after his return to the now Telemedia-owned CJCL in 1988. McCown’s voice was the first heard on the station when it adopted an all-sports format in 1992. He briefly moved into the morning slot on The Fan 1430 in 1993 while Dan Shulman took over Prime Time Sports. McCown was fired from mornings in 1995, but re-hired a month later in the Prime Time seat after Shulman got a job offer to become the TV play-by-play announcer for the Toronto Blue Jays. 

“Bob is an icon in this business and a legend of our format. He built sports talk radio in Canada, and we are lucky to have had him on the mic and in the hallways over the last three decades. Bob will be missed but his legacy will remain with us for years to come,” said Dave Cadeau, Program Director, Sportsnet 590 The FAN and National Format Director for Sports, Rogers Radio, in a release.

“Bob McCown invented sports talk radio in Canada, period. When a big sports story was breaking, when the home team was winning a championship or falling apart, everyone tuned in to Prime Time Sports to find out what Bob was saying.  He’s an original.  There will never be another one quite like him,” said Stephen Brunt, co-host of Prime Time Sports.

Rogers says details of a new afternoon drive show will be announced in the Fall. A rotating roster of hosts and special guests will carry Prime Time Sports through the summer. 

McCown, who owns his own media production company Fadoo Productions, alluded in a tweet Thursday that he may not be hanging up his headphones for good, saying “nobody can shut me up when I still have things to say. Stay tuned. ‘I’ll be back.'”

 


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