New Sportsnet audio slate shifts focus to on-demand content

Sportsnet has unveiled a new slate of multi-platform audio content that shifts the network’s focus to on-demand audio rather than the traditional radio lineup on its flagship Toronto station, Sportsnet 590 The FAN (CJCL-AM).

Starting Oct. 4, the network says “flexibility is the name of the game” with shows to move timeslots and increase or decrease frequency to reflect the news of the day. Some shows will also offer on-demand only episodes via podcast platforms like Spotify or Apple Podcasts, and Sportsnet.ca and the Sportsnet App.

“This is a fan-inspired approach to programming that will focus on team-centric content, recognizing that audiences are most interested in listening to shows that talk about their favourite teams and players,” said Dan Toman, Director of Audio Programming, Sportsnet, in a release. “Our new slate of programming is more podcast-friendly and personality driven as we continue our efforts to build a community of sports fans.”

Sportsnet’s new and returning audio shows include: 
  
The FAN Morning Show with JD, Blake and Ailish   Weekdays
Sportsnet 590 The FAN’s new morning show features Sportsnet host JD Bunkis joined by two newcomers to the network – former Raptors beat reporter for The Athletic Blake Murphy and former Yahoo! Sports digital host Ailish Forfar. The morning show will air live Monday to Friday from 6 – 10 a.m. ET and be available on-demand.  

Blair & Barker  | MLB Season

Jeff Blair and Kevin Barker talk all things Blue Jays on Sportsnet’s flagship MLB show. During baseball season, Blair & Barker will air Monday to Friday from 5 – 7 p.m. ET on Sportsnet 590 The FAN and be available on-demand. 
 
Jays Talk  Blue Jays Season
Sportsnet 590 The FAN’s popular Blue Jays postgame show will expand this fall and next spring to include daytime episodes hosted by Ben Ennis from 10 – noon ET, in addition to the post-game edition which will now be hosted by Blair and Barker.   

Real Kyper and Bourne  NHL Season

Former Toronto Maple Leaf Nick Kypreos returns to Sportsnet, teaming up with hockey analyst Justin Bourne to bring fans the preeminent Leafs talk show. During the hockey season, Real Kyper and Bourne will air live on Sportsnet 590 The FAN, Monday to Friday from 3-5 p.m. ET, and be available on-demand. 
  
The Jeff Marek Show   | NHL Season
Sportsnet insider Jeff Marek is joined by a rotating cast of contributors during this new national NHL show airing daily across the Sportsnet Radio Network and available on-demand.The Jeff Marek Show will be live Monday to Friday from noon – 2 p.m. ET in Toronto, 9 – 11 a.m. PT in Vancouver and 10 a.m. – noon MT in Calgary during the hockey season.  
 
The Raptors Show with Will Lou NBA Season
Sportsnet 590 The FAN’s new Raptors-dedicated program features former Yahoo! Sports podcaster and blogger Will Lou, who will also host Raptors postgame shows. Lou is joined by writer and NBA personality Alex Wong, who will produce The Raptors Show and host an episode weekly. The Raptors Show will air live Monday to Friday from 2 – 3 p.m. ET and be available on-demand during the basketball season. 
 
The FAN Drive Time  |  NHL & NBA Seasons
Sportsnet’s new afternoon drive show will feature former Good Show host Ben Ennis and journalist Stephen Brunt. During hockey and basketball season, The FAN Drive Time will air Monday to Friday from 5 – 7 p.m. ET and be available on-demand. 

Leafs Nation Post-Game  | NHL Season
Leafs Nation returns with hosts Brent Gunning and Gord Stellick providing pre- and post-game NHL coverage on Sportsnet 590 The FAN.

Scott MacArthur

One of the familiar names absent from the new lineup is Scott MacArthur, who had been hosting MLB show, The Lead Off, since Sept. 2019, as well as Jays Talk host and producer Josh Goldberg, and Rob Wong, who’d been with the network for 13 years. Layoffs at Sportsnet 650 (CISL-AM) Vancouver included Scott Rintoul, who’d been co-hosting a four-hour mid-morning show with Karen Surman (who has been off on medical leave) that also aired in Calgary. The Jeff Marek Show will now air in that time slot in both markets, in addition to Toronto.

Other casualties include Adam Forsythe, a sports anchor and host on both Sportsnet 650 and News 1130 (CKWX-AM). He’d been with Rogers Sports & Media since 2010. Alex Seixeiro has also indicated he’ll no longer be heard on Sportsnet The Fan 590 as it moves away from sports updates, but will continue to be heard on 680 News (CFTR-AM). The restructuring also hit management with Jason Rozon, Assistant Program Director at The Fan, and Kelly Kirch, who has been PD at Sportsnet 960 (CFAC-AM) Calgary since 2002, also parting ways with the company.

“We are incredibly excited to start this new chapter of audio programming at Sportsnet,” said Toman. “However, in making these changes, we are saying goodbye to some incredibly talented and valued colleagues. We would like to thank those individuals for their unwavering passion and the dedication they have shown to entertaining our listeners day in and day out, especially through the challenges of the pandemic over the past year and a half.” 


Subscribe Now – Free!

Broadcast Dialogue has been required reading in the Canadian broadcast media for 25 years. When you subscribe, you join a community of connected professionals from media and broadcast related sectors from across the country.

The Weekly Briefing from Broadcast Dialogue is delivered exclusively to subscribers by email every Thursday. It’s your link to critical industry news, timely people moves, and excellent career advancement opportunities.

Let’s get started right now.

* indicates required