The More Independent Voices, the Better

When Mike Richards dropped by in late February, he detailed his new, independent project. It's called The Raw Mike Richards Show, and he records daily with David Bastl. It's very similar to his old show on TSN 1050, only he's his own boss. If you liked Mike Richards on TSN, you'll like The Raw Mike Richards Show.

Mike Richards is not everyone's cup of tea. Some dislike his characters and/or find the humour too frat boyish. And that's the beauty of this new project, free to all who wish to subscribe or watch live. You don't have to listen!

Even if you choose to not listen, you should be glad this show exists. The more independent voices recording original content, the better. Mike's doing this on his own and I hope he succeeds.

If Mike succeeds, others will follow suit. You may not like Mike's schtick, but you may love the next journalist or host who decides to go on his or her own as the industry shrinks.

If you don't like it, don't listen, but be glad it exists.

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Rob J

Some criticized Richards for over-promising during his most recent appearance on TM but I found the opposite to be true. Bragging that he would appeal to a world-wide audience yet using Doug Gilmour as the only example was the under-sell of the year. Unless he gets Lebron, Messi, Serena Williams, Federer, or Ichiro, who outside of Toronto would be even mildly interested, regardless of his schtick?

May 2, 2017 @ 12:57 PM


He's already had short phone conversations with (the fake) Peyton Manning and Bob Cole, who called him an A-hole. I'm hoping to hear from Darren Dutchyshen, Evil Jerry Howarth, Evil Pinball Clemons, Obie (Bob O'Billovich), and maybe a commentary from Dick Spyte. The last one might be a bit of a stretch since it could be about 20 years he last did that on radio. BTW, the real Dick Smyth recently posted a video on his YouTube channel on his 83rd birthday.

May 4, 2017 @ 3:17 PM

Rob J

Can't believe a worldwide audience isn't held spellbound by this programming. He's probably a god in Kuala Lampur.

Of all the 1000s of podcasts out there, it's hard to explain why TM used this one as an example of why the medium's so great.

May 4, 2017 @ 6:27 PM

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@Rob J

That's not my point at all. I'm not lauding this podcast as an example of how great the medium is.

I'm saying, if you don't like it, don't listen, but be glad it exists. I think it's important independent podcasts like this exist because the next guy or gal to go it alone and create an independent podcast might be right up your alley.

May 4, 2017 @ 6:59 PM

Rob J

I agree, but if there are too many lousy ones done by big names, the momentum of the podcast genre will subside, which would be a tremendous shame.

The first podcast to explode was 'The Ricky Gervais Show' (circa 2005), which was exactly what millions of comedy fans craved and devoured, even when it cost a couple bucks to buy. If it had flopped with such a big name, the medium would've taken a big hit. What no-namer would've tried where Ricky failed?

'The Columbo Podcast' guys said flat out that if they had no positive feedback after 10 episodes, they'd have called the thing off.
The small guys will only attract sponsors and listeners if the hyped trailblazers put forth a listenable product, as you do week after week.

Disclosure: I'm no expert on any of this, just a huge fan of the podcast medium.

May 4, 2017 @ 7:27 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Rob J

Aye, but I'd argue fans of Mike Richards's show on TSN radio will love his podcast. I take it you don't like it, but I'd bet a fortune you didn't like his TSN radio show, either.

May 4, 2017 @ 7:42 PM

Rob J

You would win that bet! (But if he appeared for a hat-trick appearance on TM, I'd definitely listen)

May 4, 2017 @ 8:33 PM


As Mark Hebscher pointed out when he was there, when the owners of the radio stations are the owners of the teams, anything fun gets thrown out the window, and they have all the excitement of a Ken Dryden speech that drones on and on and on. How dare anyone laugh at anything in sports? Bob McCown is probably the last one left who will be allowed to get away with it. It's no wonder almost no one is listening to them anymore.
BTW, I see Hebscher is also on YouTube with a "No Fun Intended podcast".

May 5, 2017 @ 3:46 PM


"The More Independent Voices, the Better" is so true.

Every week I'm turned onto something new, different, interesting, and the pods that I used to listen to religiously have now fallen to the wayside, as I've found that the others cover the same content much better, or more to my liking.

Now these guys aren't independents, but,....
Jeff Wood's podcasts are first rate. James Duthie's Rubber Boots podcast is not what I expected from James Duthie, hence why I listen. Bob Ryan's Boston podcast is also not something I expected from Bob Ryan, again, I'll keep listening. Bob McKenzie's, Bobcast, is just typical Bob, so I take a pass,

The MSM cast-offs had their shot and couldn't deliver hence why they have been cut loose from their radio gigs. So I'm less inclined to listen to their podcasts.

The independents that cover the Jays, the Leafs, TFC, all do good jobs, cover a lot of ground and make listening interesting - some are better than others, and the new ones just raise the bar.

And a big part of the "charm" of Toronto Mike is the diversity of the guests, and their connection to Toronto - so something for everyone.

May 5, 2017 @ 6:14 PM


Uh -- "The MSM cast-offs had their shot and couldn't deliver hence why they have been cut loose from their radio gigs."
Get real. They got "cut loose" because the old AM/FM radio stations are losing listeners, advertisers, and money, and have to get rid of more highly paid and better-known personalities and replace them boring, cheaper nobodies.

May 5, 2017 @ 6:31 PM

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