Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 421: Sports Media Roundtable

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 421In this 421st episode, Mike chats with Mark Hebscher, Brian Gerstein and Milon Talsania about the current state of sports media in Canada. This episode is exactly 2:29:40.

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Sports media roundtable

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Comments (26 - click here to join in!)

Rob J

What are the bona fides of the last two people re: sports media?

January 11, 2019 @ 3:37 PM

Brian Gerstein (Raptors Devotee)

Both passionate, avid sports media followers and sponsors Rob J, which I think worked well with Mike mainly moderating, Hebsy the in-the-know expert, and Milon and I pitching in with a fans perspective.

January 11, 2019 @ 3:59 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Rob J

It's weird that you'd make that so public. Most cherry pickers just do so and move on.

January 11, 2019 @ 4:09 PM

Urooj Islam

Hell yeah, excited to listen.

I am a big Brian Gerstein mark, I just hope the Property in the 6 jingle plays every time he speaks.

January 11, 2019 @ 4:21 PM

Brian Gerstein (Raptors Devotee)

Thanks Urooj, Mike played it this time, so all good!

January 11, 2019 @ 4:29 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Everyone had their theme song played...

January 11, 2019 @ 4:31 PM

Rob J

I asked a legitimate question, got an answer, and responded to Brian. Besides, elvis’ whole schtick is proudly stating which episodes he doesn’t listen to. This is (I think) the first time I’ve done so, but apologies if I broke an unwritten rule.

January 11, 2019 @ 4:51 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Rob J

Just a weird move, because:

a) Nobody said this episode featured 3 sports media personalities. We're just chatting about Canada's sports media for 2.5 hours and I can't think of bigger fans than Milon and Brian. It was actually a killer mix of perspectives.

b) Brian and Milon don't need to read that you're skipping this episode because you're not satisfied with their sports media credentials. To be honest, it's kind of a dick move.

January 11, 2019 @ 5:04 PM

Rob J

So you're not accepting my apology?

January 11, 2019 @ 5:18 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Rob J

Sure, I accept it.

January 11, 2019 @ 6:30 PM

Urooj Islam

This turned out really well, in my opinion, I hope you guys do this every few months and maybe discuss the latest developments in the Toronto sports media. Our local sports media needs its own version of the 12:36 style media dissection episodes on Toronto Mike'd because it is such a comprehensive entity.

The dynamic with two fans who grew up with old media but have adapted to new media, a guy who has made a career in new media and understands it in and out and one of the best sports broadcasters our country has produced, worked great.

January 12, 2019 @ 3:19 AM

Jackie D

This was such a great and insightful podcast. I really enjoyed the chemistry between Milan, Brian and Hebsy. Please have these guests on again!

January 13, 2019 @ 7:26 PM

Jason from Sudbury

Great podcast. Did not feel like 2.5 hours. That really flew by.

January 14, 2019 @ 3:53 AM

Brian Gerstein (Raptors Devotee)

Thanks Jackie D and Jason from Sudbury, really appreciate that you enjoyed it. I am already in discussions with Mike on the best way to make the next one even better, with more research and preparation to make it even more timely updating the sports media landscape in the interim. We are targeting 6 months from now, which is a great time to do it, with the Stanley Cup Finals just ending and the NBA Finals underway or just completed. Chance that both the Raptors/Leafs will be involved, so the coverage of them from local, national, U.S., and even International perspectives will be fascinating, not to mention future HOF'er Vlad Jr. having enough games under his belt to look at how he is being covered.

January 14, 2019 @ 11:38 AM


Thank You everyone for the kinds words. Greatly appreciated. Mike, Brian, Hebsy and I couldn't believe how quickly the time went as well.

January 14, 2019 @ 6:46 PM


Anyone know what happened to The Scott MacArthur Show on 1050? He hasn't been on all week & he's been removed from the website.

January 17, 2019 @ 1:13 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


Scott MacArthur left 1050 for a job hosting JaysTalk on 590, I believe.

January 17, 2019 @ 3:36 PM


Wish I had a cozy cuppa of Camomille by my side as I listened to this one, 'cause I really felt
quite insignificant and small due to all the collective machismo and testosterone on display (no joke!!).
The discussion near the end about sports gambling was really quite interesting to me as both my
father and (paternal) grandfather were both big participants in this area, especially in the field
of horse racing, but I never had the itch, cash or skill to follow in their heady footsteps. Considering
my already hand-to-mouth lifestyle, I suppose that's at least one thing I can be grateful about!!

January 19, 2019 @ 10:27 AM


I loved this episode. Lots of real talk and passionate debate with varied perspectives. Disagree with Hebsy about Adnan Virk getting chances because of diversity, though, Virk is incredibly talented and entertaining and it has nothing to do with his diverse background in my opinion.

One thing I wish you had maybe discussed was how Tim and Sid were a unique young voice on their radio show who have basically been reduced to shills for upcoming programming on their TV show. It's one of the biggest tragedies in Canadian sports media in my opinion.

January 26, 2019 @ 5:29 PM


Just chiming in that I'm another non-sports fan that still listens to Hebsy on Sports.. so there's two of us out there! ;)
Just working my way through this episode!

January 28, 2019 @ 5:28 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


Bless you!

January 29, 2019 @ 8:28 AM


Really enjoy these media roundtables. I didn't know if the first one was a one-off and was happy to see another one done.

One topic that'd be interesting to hear discussed on the next sports media roundtable, or on any pod with a sports media guest, is how objectivity requirements are viewed in the current landscape.

I feel the old axiom that you need to totally separate fandom and media coverage/journalism has been getting increasingly less relevant, and that may not be a bad thing. Rather than have total neutrality, I think sports media media personalities wearing their fandom makes for more compelling content. Of course, it depends on the specific job you have. For example, Overdrive is extremely popular and part of the reason why is Hayes and O'Dog are unabashed Leafs fans. When Gibbons was pushed out, his goodbye led to an outpouring of love from the media that likely never be replicated for any other coach/manager. Jim Hughson is commonly derided for clearly disliking the Leafs, and I've listened to enough of his PxP to be convinced that this is indeed the case. Of course, there's a large difference between sports radio hosts, MSM writers, and national PxP broadcasters, and the three jobs require different levels of objectivity.

Would be interesting to hear from those in the industry how they view the differences in objectivity requirements for different roles in sports media, and if the movement towards less neutrality is a good or bad thing for the industry.

February 5, 2019 @ 7:02 PM

Urooj Islam

In the wake of Adnan Virk's firing from ESPN, it was very disappointing to hear Hebsy basically call him a token hire or attributing his success to his skin colour/background in this episode.

He's actually the furthest thing from that when I think of token hires as he's one of the best hosts/presenters Canada has produced over the last few decades. He was way more than a sports desk token mouthpiece which is usually your typical role for hot chicks and minorities in sports media.

February 8, 2019 @ 4:41 PM


@Urooj Islam
We need to start a write-in campaign (if you're willing, that is!) and somehow find a way for you
to participate in an upcoming installment of this series. You have a lot of great insights in this
regard and it would be most enjoyable to hear you elaborate on them at a greater length.

February 8, 2019 @ 4:50 PM


Sorry, not sure who that bsmtndwllr impostor above thinks he is. Well, me, actually!! Once
again you can chalk my latest inadvertent error up to yet another case of premature evacuation,
comment style!!

February 8, 2019 @ 4:53 PM

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