Changes Coming at TEAM1040

Cam Davie
September 09 2011 11:16AM


The crew at the TEAM1040 has changed, starting with the guy on the right.
(Photo by Morten Rand-Hendriksen vis Flickr)

Reports began filtering down yesterday that the Team1040 and long-time on-air host David Pratt permanently broke off contract negotiations, meaning Pratt is effectively gone from the Vancouver radio station.

With the station stalwart gone, Team1040 will certainly be in a position to shake up or rotate its on-air line-up.

As a rotation of hosts passed through their airwaves this summer, one thing became clear - a shake-up is long overdue.

First, if the rumours are true about the negotiations between Team1040 and Pratt, then I applaud the station for walking away. It's been rumoured that Pratt was asking for close to 500K per year on a new contract. Sure, the station drew good ratings - better than any other sports format station in any other major Canadian city. However, the station has no competition in its format in Vancouver and their flagship team just went on a long run to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final. Those are both recipes for great ratings. Couple that with horrendous traffic day after day in rush hour (so people are stuck in their cars, listening to the radio) and you have a ratings bonanza. This says nothing about the quality of the programming on the station or particular shows.

Over the past year, Pratt became increasingly bent on cramming his politics down his listeners' throats. When the Stanley Cup riot hit, Pratt again used it to hop on his soapbox and stay there. I don't care what side of the political fence you're on, a steady diet of acerbic banter on bike lanes and city hall has absolutely nothing to do with the Canucks, Lions or Whitecaps. It just doesn't. Pratt's Rant overtook the entire time slot and was became less and less about actual sports. The Team1040 is a sports radio station, after all. I, for one, tuned out permanently from 2-6. And did so vocally. I know many of my Twitter fraternity did likewise. I don't know if it was enough to make an impact on the station's decision to keep Mr. Pratt signed. I suspect it was nothing more than a mere whisper in the station's ear.

Let's not forget though. From an on-air perspective, Dave Pratt MADE that station. For many years, he was a reason to tune in. Famously and constantly battling with Brian Burke (and an infamous conversation with Burke's wife and former TV host Jennifer), a talent for pressing matters with difficult guests and asking tough questions and challenging answers when he didn't like what was said. These were all hallmarks of what made Pratt great for Vancouver sports radio. When Dave Pratt was on, he was ON and it was great listening. Unfortunately it's been a while since he was 'on', and he chose instead to beat his political drum, while he grew increasingly sloppy and lazy with his sports reporting and knowledge. He was complacent with sports and ever ardent about his political views on the city. As listeners tuned out, he drew up his own fate.

It won't simply be enough for Mr. TEAM to slot in a replacement host for Dave Pratt. His was a big, bombastic personality that could command the airwaves when firing on all cylinders. But the station now has an opportunity to revamp its lineup and bring in some new, fresh blood. I'm no radio expert. I'm no expert in ratings or how to garner ratings in this market.

I like listening to sports talk radio. I like sports radio hosts who can discuss sports in a knowledgeable and entertaining manner. The introduction of Jason Botchford, Matt Sekeres and Paul Chapman has been great. They all bring a sports acumen coupled with a reporter's zeal and a edgy, biting side to their interviewing. I like Barry MacDonald's often nostalgic view of the sports world and his rapport with almost every one with whom he talks. I like Blake Price a lot. He is opinionated, knowledgeable and plugged in and he's not afraid getting into heated debates.

Here are a few suggestions I have for possible on-air personalities:

  • The Kurtenbloggers. I would love to see Halford and Brough get a permanent spot on the airwaves. They're entertaining, they're irreverant, they're knowledgeable and they have plenty of resources at their disposal. And if they're busy, the TEAM should give our friends as Pass It To Bulis a call. And if Harrison and Daniel are too righteous and pedantic to take on the a baseless job of being sports talk radio hosts, then the Team can phone Canucks Army.
    **note - We at CanucksArmy do not actually believe that the guys at Pass It to Bulis to be pious pricks. In fact, they're the best.**
  • Ex-NHLers. Ray Ferraro has unfortunately moved on to a prime spot with the TSN panel, replacing Pierre McGuire as their #1 analyst. Ferraro was great radio. Knowledgeable and prickly with an insider's view of what it means to be an athlete. Could they convince Jeremy Roenick to move to Vancouver? Lots of meals at the Keg! Or maybe Mr. Team can convince Paul Bissonnette to retire and join full-time. Ok, I kid. Biznasty's got a good thing going. But you get the idea.
  • Women. The demographics of the TEAM's listeners has broadened. Let's get some ladies on the radio, talking sports! There are plenty of female sports reporters and sports anchors, yet a frightening absence of women in sports radio. It's time for that to change.

TEAM1040 does not have long to get everything set. The NHL regular season starts in 4 weeks and the roster of on-air hosts will need to be set in short order. The TEAM has a great stable of talent already. It's just a matter of getting the right talent in the right spot.

So long as the Moj is nowhere near my airwaves.

 

What do YOU think? Who should The TEAM 1040 consider for on-air talent? Tell us here!

 

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Cam was born in Greater Vancouver, raised in Greater Vancouver, and lives in Greater Vancouver. So, yes, he's from Vancouver. He attended his first Vancouver Canucks game on Dec 26th, 1980 and has bled orange/black/red/blue+green ever since. You can reach him on Twitter @tinfoiltuque or on e-mail at tinfoiltuque(at)gmail(dot)com.
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#1 Cam Charron
September 09 2011, 11:46AM
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There is a noon-time slot open for the Canucks Army podcast. You forgot to include that in your suggestions, Tuque.

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#2 Con
September 09 2011, 11:46AM
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The kurtenbloggers are great.... There definitely needs a bit of humor at 1040

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#3 Yankee Canuck
September 09 2011, 11:51AM
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I pretty much stopped listening to the TEAM because Pratt pissed me off so much. The morning shows were decent for awhile. I haven't checked in there in a long time, but I plan on it just to hear Botch in the mornings now.

Another possibility is Ian Walker from the Sun. Radio is a tough gig to nail down, but he and Botch are two of the best guys on the ground IMO.

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#6 Thomas Drance
September 09 2011, 12:00PM
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The time is ripe to send the team1040 a mixtape of me giggling through a CA podcast. NEW BLOOD!

But seriously - have you ever spoken to Harrison Mooney? Dudes voice is like rich mahogany. They should definitely give him a shot.

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#7 Yankee Canuck
September 09 2011, 12:14PM
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@Thomas Drance

I'm pro any blogger getting in there, PITB would be cool. As long as they invite bloggers to play in their big, comfy sandbox. We'll even put pants on for the occasion.

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#8 Thomas Drance
September 09 2011, 12:24PM
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Hold up, you're considering a truce on the Smylosphere-wide war against Pants? I dissent good sir, I dissent! #downwithPants

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#9 Cam Charron
September 09 2011, 12:31PM
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Yankee Canuck wrote:

I'm pro any blogger getting in there, PITB would be cool. As long as they invite bloggers to play in their big, comfy sandbox. We'll even put pants on for the occasion.

Speak for yourself.

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#10 Yankee Canuck
September 09 2011, 12:42PM
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@Thomas Drance

"I'm out there Jerry and loving every minute of it."

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#11 SocialAssassin2
September 09 2011, 12:43PM
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Shane Foxman seems like the obvious replacement.

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#12 Patrick Johnston
September 09 2011, 04:33PM
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Like Cam, I haven't listened much to the 2-6 slot, but do enjoy some of the other talent. It might be as simple as sliding someone in from within, but I think I'd prefer to have someone from outside the market, pair him with Taylor and let the debates fly.

Sekeres, Botchford and Chapman all bring something to the table that many of the other hosts don't - training in clear with your words. Unlike radio hosts, who sometimes have to fill the air with babble, the print guys have to be willing to be spare with their words. As a result, they come across as people who think before they speak, an immensely powerful trait. That being said, they are good in the roles they have, I'd say leave them where they are.

The KBs strike me the same way - I don't know what their background is, but it is clear that they do massive amounts of prep. Their style of joke-telling requires a broad knowledge base and some fore-thought as to what's funny. Keep them late night, they provide a different take on the day's stories.

This is a drivetime show. You have listeners tuning in for anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour. It needs to hold their attention, but it can't be too elaborate, as the listener isn't fully engaged to the broadcast. Taylor's memory is famous, giving him the ability to shift quickly, no matter where the conversation takes him. His conversational style lends itself well to an assignment that either goes rather shallow on many topics or very deep on one specific topic. Should he be re-paired with a foil similar to Pratt? Or would that just be derivative?

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#13 martyn smith
September 10 2011, 04:35PM
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I'd love to have the Moje back in the afternoon time slot.

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#14 jayne1980
September 11 2011, 09:05AM
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It will be interesting to see who they put in tomorrow afternoon and how the audience responds. I hope that Don stays; hes sort of a calming influence on who ever is in the hosts chair.

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#15 Paul
September 14 2011, 05:57PM
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I think it sucks that Pratt is gone, I loved his political rants against Vancouvers Mayor and I thought he and Donnie Taylor were magic. Its not the same now on the ride home from work. I dont listen anymore while driving home from work. Back to FM.

Good luck Dave wherever you are, oh ya, Get rid of Jeff Patterson while your at it, his voice makes me wanna where earplugs. I feel sorry For Donnie Taylor.

adios muchuchos..

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#16 Paul
September 14 2011, 05:57PM
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I think it sucks that Pratt is gone, I loved his political rants against Vancouvers Mayor and I thought he and Donnie Taylor were magic. Its not the same now on the ride home from work. I dont listen anymore while driving home from work. Back to FM.

Good luck Dave wherever you are, oh ya, Get rid of Jeff Patterson while your at it, his voice makes me wanna where earplugs. I feel sorry For Donnie Taylor.

adios muchuchos..

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