Dean Blundell Improves, but Below Rogers's Expectations

Demographics are everything to a station. Performances in a targeted demo determine a station's revenue generation potential. Dave Shoalts writes in today's Globe and Mail about Dean Blundell's rating improvement in The Fan's targeted demo of men aged 18-34. I have it on good authority that The Fan is actually targeting men aged 25-54, a subtle but significant difference.

Looking at that M25-54 demo, Blundell & Co. rose to 6.4 in April. That's great when compared to the competition on TSN Radio 1050, but not-so-great when compared to how Brady and Walker fared in that same time slot last April. In April 2014, Brady and Walker got a 9.8. Blundell lost a 3.4 share and Rogers executives expected the opposite.

Let's talk about TSN Radio 1050 for a moment... That station has had terrible ratings for over four years, and Mike Richards slipped to 1.1 last month. How long does Bell prop this station up?

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I don't understand the need for two talk radio stations about sports. One seems like more than enough. And once the hockey playoffs are over the summer programing and topics must be difficult to make interesting.

Years ago (when baseball was still close to my heart) I drove around Toronto for an entire summer for my job. I listened to the Fan almost all day. After a few weeks I found myself going crazy listening to the same topics about the Leafs prospects in the fall, a few CFL stories and baseball. It just wasn't enough to keep me interested. I avoid the format completely now. Listening to a bunch of guys pontificate about sports isn't compelling radio.

While Dean's numbers are down, I wonder if it is related to the lack of compelling discussions available to them. What is there to talk about? The Jays are mediocre. The Leafs are done. The Raptors are done. CFL is a few months away. NFL is even further. The Rock and TFC aren't a huge draw.

Dean may be turning people off but I think the sports in the city are a huge factor too,

May 8, 2015 @ 8:58 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


You wrote "The Jays are mediocre. The Leafs are done. The Raptors are done. CFL is
a few months away. NFL is even further. The Rock and TFC aren't a huge

Sounds like last year!

May 8, 2015 @ 9:02 AM


I said this before ..... TSN radio should take advantage of the FAN's curious programming moves and bring in someone new for the morning show. Hogan and Landry is one option.

May 8, 2015 @ 9:16 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

A couple more points:

1. I don't understand why Shoalts writes about all adults aged 25-54 when The Fan only cares about men in that age range. Why not just talk about M25-54?

2. Demos... most radio listeners don't even consider a targeted demo, but as a guy who talks to many radio people on his podcast, demos are everything. Roz Weston was over last week, and he said he didn't care if guys tuned in. He's paid when women tune in. Scot Turner was very honest about Spirit of Radio Sundays being the most listened to show on 102.1, but it was an older audience. 102.1 wants young people.

3. Bell will likely prop up 1050 as part of their TV war with Rogers. In other words, they need to be there, even if nobody is listening. For a while. 1050 just aired the audio from CP24 and almost nobody listened, so this is actually an improvement. Of course, that cost nothing to produce and I don't think Mike Richards works for free.

May 8, 2015 @ 9:18 AM


Hard to think Rogers really believed he would bring much of an increase in ratings

I bet they signed Blundell just to keep him from TSN. No need to let them make any splash and get up off the mat.

May 8, 2015 @ 9:19 AM


You mean victor newman, bob cole, peyton manning and roberto luongo impressions dont draw ratings? Both shows are terrible but my goodness, TSN is unbearable.

May 8, 2015 @ 11:30 AM


My trainer doesn't listen to TSN radio, thank goodness. He still listens to Dean Blundell on his drive into Toronto, but turns him off quite a bit. He's tired of him and says sports is not his thing.

May 8, 2015 @ 11:34 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

The saving grace for Blundell and his supporters at Rogers might be that TSN's Mike Richards isn't really competition. And since 590 is far more listened to overall, people simply go there in a draw.

May 8, 2015 @ 11:38 AM


I'm surprised TSN has stuck it out this long with Richards. Richards would be a good sidekick to a well informed host (eg Brady) but on his own, he's tough to listen to for more than a few minutes.

May 8, 2015 @ 12:01 PM


1050 will stay a sports station even if it loses money. It's all part of a bigger "package" which can be sold nationally, etc. And while it probably doesn't make money, it wouldn't otherwise. There is no other format that is viable.

May 8, 2015 @ 12:01 PM


Why not just revive 1050 CHUM, the greatest hits package?

May 8, 2015 @ 12:11 PM

4x4 Time

I have no idea how the radio business works, but just curious -
Do announcers get bonuses if they increase share. I assume stations can charge more for advertising if their ratings increase?
How long do stations typically give announcers to increase share?

May 8, 2015 @ 1:58 PM


@ 4x4

Most tend to get a base salary and then bonuses based on ratings, etc. The ad rates are set based on the ratings and the higher the ratings means more ears listening which translate to bigger dollars.

To your last part - it depends. Some station managers and PD's have longer set goals than others. As long as they are seeing increases and not large decreases, usually means they are happy. The ratings system for Canadian radio suck.


May 8, 2015 @ 2:50 PM


Dean Blundell's style of radio is a big turn off for me. While Mike Richards is no roaring hell he does have some interesting segments throughout his program. The best on TSN are Macko and Cozz, both are informative, funny and don't take themselves too seriously.

May 8, 2015 @ 3:02 PM

Jason from Sudbury

Another strike against TSN is 1050's weak signal.

May 8, 2015 @ 3:46 PM

4X4 Time

Thanks Andrew..

May 8, 2015 @ 4:02 PM


I am the only one here I guess that prefers Mike Richards. And I started listening was for a few reason.

1) Couldn't stand listening to Greg Brady.
2) The hockey insiders that show up on air like Darren Dregger make me tune it.
3) The impersonations that Richards does makes me laugh.
4) Dan Shulman
5) Al Marvez
6) Still can't stand Greg Brady.
7) Victor Newman

To each their own I guess but if Richards were to be heaved Macco and Coz have a great show and could do the job. Just as long as Gareth Wheeler and Jeremy Taggert are kept off the air, I am okay with it.

May 8, 2015 @ 8:07 PM

Old Man Sedgewick

That Mike Richards is no Al Boliska, and Dean Blundell is no Phil MacKellar.

May 8, 2015 @ 11:08 PM


I'm actually enjoying listening to Blundell. I never used to be a fan of his, but I'm actually finding him quite personable.

@Hector - totally agree with you on Hogan and Landry. They were always my favourite. Questions is, would they want to do it again.

May 9, 2015 @ 10:40 AM


There is only one sports guy & that is "yes guy" Jim Tatti. Him & the O-dog are the best.

May 9, 2015 @ 4:14 PM


Disagree. I enjoy Richards and I know many others who do, too.

May 9, 2015 @ 5:12 PM


I enjoy Richards' show as well. I used to flip between he and Brady/Walker in the mornings, but since Blundell took over I listen exclusively to Richards with a splash of Derringer in the Morning.

May 15, 2015 @ 4:36 PM

Jimmy B

Sports fans are not the type of fans Dean draws... Dean is such an intelligent broadcaster, who tells a great story or finds great stories, that it is lost in the "just the stats" style broadcasting of the sports fan world! Always wished I had a trailer or basement radio station, that was allowed to push the envelope... that was where Dean did such an amazing job!!!

July 8, 2015 @ 11:46 AM


Where's Mike Richards. TSN says taking time of for personal reasons???????????

July 8, 2015 @ 6:42 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


Mike Richards said it was health related. I don't believe he disclosed the specifics.

July 9, 2015 @ 9:08 AM

Kevin J

Any word on Bob Mackowycz? He hasn't been on TSN radio for awhile too.

July 16, 2015 @ 6:36 PM

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