Team 1260: a good one gone

Robin Brownlee
July 27 2009 08:31PM

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Guys who've been around the media game as long as Bryn Griffiths see moves like what transpired today coming -- Griffiths was fired by Astral Media -- but that doesn't make it easy to swallow.

Griffiths, sports director at TEAM 1260 since the first minute the station hit the airwaves back in June of 2002, is taking his walking papers in stride, but I'd expect nothing less. That doesn't mean I like it.

I can't help but feel that Griffiths, who helped grow TEAM 1260 under boss Marty Forbes and served as co-host of More On Sports with Jake Daniels until Daniels was let go this spring, deserved better.

Whether you laughed at his morning shtick with Daniels or thought it was remarkably lame -- hardcore sports types voted for the latter -- it's never a good day when another veteran sports guy loses his job. Been there. Done that. It's no fun.

SAW IT COMING

"This is probably the most prepared I've ever been for a dismissal," Griffiths said. "There were little things that started to happen over the last year or so... Jake's dismissal, I didn't want to be a part of.

"When you work with somebody closely, that has to be done by higher-ups, not by you or else you've got blood on your hands."

With long-time co-host Daniels gassed by Astral Media in the wake of disappointing numbers in recent ratings periods, what unfolded today at a west end restaurant was of no great shock to Griffiths. Radio, like the newspaper biz, is a numbers game. If they don't add up...

"I was never involved in the process of finding a guy to replace Jake," Griffiths said. "I wasn't consulted, which is a good indicator of the fact you're out of the loop. I'd pretty much figured it out for the most part."

Word is, TEAM 1260 has hired a young broadcaster out of Fort McMurray and will add another voice out to take over the morning slot to complement the rest of its programming.

While some people will say "good riddance" over Griffiths' firing, just as they did with Daniels, he deserves better than that.

THE FIRST FLOOR

As a guy with input as sports director but never the final word or control of the budget, Griffiths deserves credit for trying to make TEAM 1260 a viable alternative to 630 CHED, which is never easy to do when taking on a rights holder with the keys to the big games in town, the Oilers and the Eskimos.

It was Griffiths who pushed to bring in Bob Stauffer in the days when nobody outside of family and friends knew who he was. Griffiths and Stauffer hatched Total Hockey in 2002, which morphed into Total sports and produced the best numbers TEAM 1260 has ever had. Stauffer got his shot because Griffiths was willing to roll the dice on him.

"Anytime somebody in the business gets let go you feel for them," Stauffer said. "I don't think the average sports fan realizes all the challenges Bryn was facing in his role.

"On a personal level, Bryn certainly was a major supporter of mine and I'm indebted to him for providing me with the opportunity he did."

Stauffer, of course, made Griffiths look pretty smart before he left to join 630 CHED as analyst to play-by-play man Rod Phillips.

"Bryn and Marty Forbes were my biggest boosters," Stauffer said. "Bryn helped get my career to the next level. For that, I'll be forever grateful."

-- Listen to Robin Brownlee every Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m. on Just A Game with Jason Gregor on Team 1260.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#1 Trent
July 27 2009, 09:46PM
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I respect what Bryn has done for sports in Edmonton via TEAM1260. I wish him well.

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#2 Hat Pughes
July 28 2009, 08:04AM
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Phil wrote:

Jake Daniels was absolute garbage. Dumb, didn’t know much about sports, wasn’t even a legit hardcore fan, was an all around embarrassment..

Huh!!!! You obviously didnt listen or know why Bryn and Jake were a team.

And Im not gonna explain all the details now. Bryn and Jake as a team were exceptional .... one of those situations where the sum is greater than the parts. One was the hardcore sports media guy and the other just an average Joe like all of us on the Nation.

When Jake got his walking papers I was a little bummed out and felt that the AJ/Bryn show was kinda boring cause they are the same personality types. But alas it proved to be only transitional as the news of the day proves.

Bryn did have a tough gig as the morning on-air guy and the director.

And from a personal view the schtick routines that Bryn and Jake did were often the best part...(hated the replay from Gregor the day before btw> I have listened to Richards from the FAN960 a significant amount and he is solid and has lots of gimmicky goofy stuff on his show. Dont know about the rest of your but I get enough serious world stuff during my day at work so a recap of the previous days scores is redundant cause Ive already heard it and Im more interested in the lighter side of sports which is what mornings are all about. Think about the non-sports talk shows...they dont bring the serious political or controversial topics on-line in the morning...its mid day or primetime.

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#3 Smokin' Ray
July 27 2009, 08:49PM
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What is this world coming to? Who's going to tell me I'm nuts on the way to work now?

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#4 White Ninja
July 27 2009, 08:49PM
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Goodbye Bryn, I for one will miss you.

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#5 DanMan
July 27 2009, 08:52PM
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It is really sad to see this happen.

I'm a TEAM 1260 daily listener. I've been a fan of the station since i first stumbled upon it by accident around NFL draft time in 2003, while I was under the influence of a certain plant that grows in the dirt. I liked the morning show, TS, JAG, Rome, and the ESPN shows.

It was more than disappointing when ESPN radio was replaced by FOX during the fill-in time in between the local shows. I'm really starting to wonder what is happening to this station.

I didn't like it when Jake Daniels was replaed. AJJ has been okay so far, whenever a new voice comes over the airwaves, it takes a while to warm up to them.

I'm really suprised Bryn was let go. Does this mean AJ stays and they run a 3-headed morning team? I don't want to say i wont listen anymore, but it's going to be tough to do for a while.

It's one thing if Bryn left for greener pastures like Stauffer, but this is really sad news.

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#6 Deans
July 27 2009, 09:04PM
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Before the Team 1260 I hated sports talk radio. I truly don't understand why The Team hasnt taken a bigger chunk out of the 630 CHED audience. Even great broadcasters like Stauffer cant save CHED progamming from coming off as stale. I just want Bryn to know that the 'failure' in the ratings had nothing to do with having an inferior product. To be honest, I have no idea why people prefer to listen to Tencer/Hullsey over Stauffer/Greggor or why more people flock to the CHED postgame show. Thanks for the great entertainment Bryn.

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#7 Reagan
July 27 2009, 09:06PM
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AJ is temp by the sounds of it. Sorry AJ, you need to brush up on your Edmonton history a bit. I find he comes off a bit to harsh, and not informed enough to sound off. Well, well see how bad the numbers crash when the new guy hits the waves. LOL :) They always do, when you start something new. I just wish Astral would fire that moron Paul Brown. He is aweful. Yukon, and Julian make that show work.

Hey Robin,

You should have put your name in for the back up guy for the morning show.

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#8 Reagan
July 27 2009, 09:07PM
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AJ is temp by the sounds of it. Sorry AJ, you need to brush up on your Edmonton history a bit. I find he comes off a bit to harsh, and not informed enough to sound off. Well, well see how bad the numbers crash when the new guy hits the waves. LOL :) They always do, when you start something new. I just wish Astral would fire that moron Paul Brown. He is awful. Yukon, and Julian make that show work.

Hey Robin,

You should have put your name in for the back up guy for the morning show.

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#9 homie
July 27 2009, 09:11PM
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I've certainly never been a big fan of the morning show but that was more Jake than Brynn. Brynn had a really tough job off-air and I don't envy that.

Getting a station up and running to battle CHED is reason enough to say thanks and all the best in the future.

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#10 Deans
July 27 2009, 09:13PM
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Lets really be honest, Edmonton's local radio stations suck. Thank god for Satellite Radio, JAG and Team's postgame snow

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#11 DanMan
July 27 2009, 09:17PM
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I'm still loyal to 1260 because of Gregor and Cory Graham's 9-midnight show.

They take a lot of calls, which to me is far and away the best part of sports talk radio. Guys like Robin, and Ryan Rishaug have more freedom than the guys who guest on the rights holders.

I really liked Stauffer's show, but Gregor doesn't cover very much university and college sports, and that only leaves more time to talk Oilers and Eskimos which are far and away 1-2 in town. We can read the papers for Uni/College news, in my opinion it doesn't belong on the airwaves unless listeners want to call and talk about it.

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#12 lowetide
July 27 2009, 09:39PM
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All the best to a class act, and good on you for writing this Robin.

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#13 willy fisterbotom
July 27 2009, 09:44PM
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imo a sports morning show will probably never work in this city because like myself people watch their highlights b4 bed or in the morning and listen 2 the news for traffic updates on the way 2 work.

having said that bryn had a pretty good show without jake and ill miss it.

good luck in your future endevours bryn.

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#14 DynamiteKid
July 27 2009, 09:54PM
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Any word on who the replacement(s) will be? I'm guessing AJ for a bit?

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#15 Robin Brownlee
July 27 2009, 10:10PM
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Trent wrote:

I respect what Bryn has done for sports in Edmonton via TEAM1260. I wish him well.

Well said. Every station, no matter how high or low the ratings, has challenges to carve out a niche: budgets, growing pains, the brutal economy over the past year. I wrote an item a few months back that I want to see TEAM 1260 succeed because it's nice to see competition for 630 CHED, even if it's not a really fair fight right now. I still feel that way, but I'm not so sure losing an exprienced guy like Bryn is going to make the roster or the competition stronger.

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#16 Merryj99
July 27 2009, 10:17PM
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I have not listened to the Morning show since school finished, but I will miss listening to Bryn in the mornings while driving the kids to school in the fall. I hope his replacement is good, because otherwise I have no idea what I will listen to for that hour in the morning from 8-9.

Good Luck to Bryn, I hope he lands another job soon, he deserves it!

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#17 leftwinger9
July 27 2009, 10:23PM
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Good luck Bryn! I didn't always like the puns, but he always had the guts to play devils advocate.

I hope the tall foreheads at Astral don't expect the TEAM to overtake CHUD in the ratings book. They would have to pony-up and become the rights-holders for both the Eskimos and Oilers to even have a chance. All sports talk radio simple caters to too small an audience (although more local programming would help, THIS MEANS YOU BROWNLEE!)

I can't believe Griffiths got fired before Tencer!

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#18 MrOiler
July 27 2009, 10:27PM
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Being in Calgary, I didn't listen alot but I hate to see anyone kicked to the curb.

But, as they say: "it's hard to keep a good man down".

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#19 RobFormerlyInALab
July 27 2009, 10:29PM
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I feel for Bryn... sounds like how my day unfolded, minus the restaurant.

All the best to him in his efforts to find a great new job and coworkers.

Good thing I no longer have a morning commute with the radio on,... I'll miss his bad jokes.

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#20 West SideMike
July 27 2009, 10:48PM
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Wow. That is really sad. I hope he finds something else soon. A talent like him should be back on the airwaves somewhere soon.

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#21 Zamboni Driver
July 27 2009, 10:48PM
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I don't feel positive vibes for the future of the Team. For some reason the blue hairs (and there are increasingly more blue hairs) keep listening to the insanity that is Hall, Rutherford, etc....lord knows why.

I would think its days are numbered...Fox Sports is horrible (though they should try to get Dan Patrick instead of Jim Rome's repetitive foolishness), whoever the moron traffic guy they got (do they actually pay this guy?)

Combine that with no rights to anything...amateurish technical work (how many times on the weekend is there dead air....two shows overlapping at the same time?)...'high quality' sponsors like the racist awning ads..I'm afraid the experiment might be nearly over.

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#22 Zamboni Driver
July 27 2009, 10:51PM
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Hastening to add...

Good luck to you Bryn, you had a frickin' tough job, and did it damn well.

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#23 bingofuel
July 27 2009, 10:53PM
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@ RobFormerlyInALab:

Shit, Rob, sorry to hear about your bad news. Damn, things aren't great in the OilersNation, are they?

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#24 RossCreek
July 27 2009, 10:58PM
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Shout out to Rob. Shout out to Bryn. I can see it now... Katz decides to get into the radio biz. Oilers rights, Oil Kings rights, Bryn, Bob, Robin, Tencer, Gregor... The Team 1260 is a sinking ship.

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#25 West Coast Oil
July 27 2009, 11:03PM
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So as Bryn is now a free agent how long before Oilersnation makes a bid to get him on board?

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#26 David S
July 27 2009, 11:24PM
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Too bad. Sounds like Bryn was the victim of cost-cutting 101. Jack the experienced, expensive guy for a new young guy at half the price. Been there, hated that. The day a company jettisons good talent for a cheaper junior means that company is not too far off from bankruptcy 101. That or they have no respect for talent at all and think some punk is going to be able to carry on with no noticeable production quality loss.

~Yeah. Good luck with that.~

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#27 David S
July 27 2009, 11:26PM
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Reagan wrote:

Hey Robin, You should have put your name in for the back up guy for the morning show.

Are you kidding? He's Robin f**king Brownlee!

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#28 Robin Brownlee
July 27 2009, 11:31PM
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David S wrote:

Reagan wrote: Hey Robin, You should have put your name in for the back up guy for the morning show. Are you kidding? He’s Robin f**king Brownlee!

Yes, and Robin F*cking Brownlee is busy changing Sam's diapers about the time the morning show starts. My radio delivery is questionable enough without that gagging sound I make in the mix.

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#29 Reagan
July 27 2009, 11:34PM
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Purely for laughs! :) I was wondering when someone was going to point that comment out...

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#30 Wanye Gretz
July 28 2009, 12:07AM
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I am also sorry to hear about Bryn. He had a tough job in a tough market. When you aren't the rights holder you are at an immediate disadvantage but I think he did a commendable job. I am sure that he will land on his feet somewhere new.

@ RobFormerlyInALab:

You hang in there too Rob. That's brutal.

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#31 oilerzz
July 28 2009, 12:46AM
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Best of Luck Bryn

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#32 Phil
July 28 2009, 03:17AM
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Jake Daniels was absolute garbage. Dumb, didn't know much about sports, wasn't even a legit hardcore fan, was an all around embarrassment.

Bryn was as solid as they come. I don't think there are many radio listening community who will agree or approve of his firing. Two totally different people and on air personalities.

Gonna miss Bryn, was the only reason I listened to the morning show. Very knowledgeable guy, and also a very good person. Peace to you Bryn and wish you nothing but the best on your travels.

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#33 Phil
July 28 2009, 03:18AM
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*many in the radio listening community

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#34 Dan
July 28 2009, 06:12AM
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Hey Robin, this may sound really rude, but what do you do for a living now a days to pay the bills, since you're not interested in a radio job or anything?

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#35 Donovan
July 28 2009, 06:13AM
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He may not be the worlds most versatile or die hard sports personality but he was a good guy, always responded to my emails (probably two dozen or so in the first 3 years banging the monkey for an online stream of the radio station) and posted on HF giving us as updates and info from the Team. And yes, he did bring in Stauffer which was great during 1260s hayday. Its too bad the station has slumped lately and hasn't had better personalities to take over some shows, or a bigger budget to hire new guys.

Thanks Bryn, good luck with future ventures.

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#36 freeze
July 28 2009, 06:37AM
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Best of luck to you Bryn. He hasnt sounded like his heart was in it for the last couple of weeks. I thought he did some great coverage leading up to Indy. He damn near had me giving a crap about that race.

Astral better have a decent plan in place. If the person making these decisions is the same one running the ad dept., the station is screwed.

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#37 Robin Brownlee
July 28 2009, 07:16AM
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Dan wrote:

Hey Robin, this may sound really rude, but what do you do for a living now a days to pay the bills, since you’re not interested in a radio job or anything?

Who said I'm not interested in doing radio? Unless I get run, too, I'm happy doing Thursdays with Jason G. I write for Canadian Press and ON and cover the Oilers and Esks for Edmonton Metro.

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#38 Hi-Ball Hodson
July 28 2009, 07:57AM
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Wow!

But I can't say I'm surprised. I thought that Bryn would leave on his own though, after his demotion. All the best Brynster.

I'd say that this is the beginning of the end...but that seems to have been when Marty Forbes left. I, for one, need more personality from the hosts if I'm going to listen on a regular basis. Jake wasn't perfect but it was something I could listen to everyday. Bryn understood this and could play the part when needed.

I hope you all like 'Quinn the Eskimo' and 'Ferry Cross the Mersey'....because it won't be long until those songs are heard every hour on 1260, like they used to be.

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#39 Kung Pow
July 28 2009, 07:58AM
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It's a sad day... I've always wondered how a station like 630 CHED could hang on to any share of the sports market, especially back in the hay day when Stauffer was still on the TEAM. I'm sure it's due to 630 CHED being the rights holders. I've always been a big TEAM honk and tried to spread the word. I'll still listen every day in the office, and I hope this change will bring some positive change and bring in some great sports personalities to edmonton.

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#40 Bob Cob
July 28 2009, 08:45AM
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Hat Pughes wrote:

I have listened to Richards from the FAN960 a significant amount and he is solid and has lots of gimmicky goofy stuff on his show

Richads isn't funny!!! I live in Calgary, unfortunately, and I never listen to the Fan 960. I understand the Edmonton jokes and am fine with that its all part of the rivalry between the 2 cities, but the guy isn't funny. I guess he appeals to all the big headed, mouth breathers in Calgary. I, on the other hand, would take Bryn and Jake anyday of the week over that hack. I mean Jake's joke was funnier than anything Richards did, and I hope both land on there feet.

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#41 patty
July 28 2009, 08:53AM
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Jake was absolutely awful on the morning show. I don't know how it lasted so long with him. He was dynamite on Drivetime with Matt Mauler, but the Calgary-hating every-man thing just didn't connect with the hardcore hockey fan audience. How many times can you blindly demand that the Oilers pay Scotty Bowman $10 million to coach? Even Bob McKenzie was getting tired of it.

Bryn was great and obviously didn't have a lot to work with, and it's too bad to see him go. I'm sure he'll be fine, but mornings just won't be the same for a while.

I can't see the team ever dropping Rome. It's the highest rated sports show in the US, and they'd be stupid to drop it.

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#42 Zamboni Driver
July 28 2009, 09:09AM
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Bob Cob wrote:

Hat Pughes wrote: I mean Jake’s joke was funnier than anything Richards did, and I hope both land on there feet.

Uhmmm. No...'Jake's Joke' was from a joke book (or submitted by people who swiped them from a joke book). We call that the (rest his soul) Wes Montgomery school of funny.

Jake was what he was - and a bad decision by Bryn at the time - but Jake's joke was that time I switched the station to catch the business report on CBC. At the same time, playing clips from old SNL after Jake left, was MUCH better.

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#43 jeff
July 28 2009, 09:12AM
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Just out of curiosity who is the Team 1260's biggest competition? Either you listen to sports or you listen to the news on 630 ched.

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#44 Fish
July 28 2009, 09:15AM
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Robin, I agree, I think that you should throw your hat in the ring for the morning show. You are a super knowledgeable sports guy and offer insights that most of these guys can't. I would love it if you were on the air more. I also think that Ryan Rishaug is a pretty interesting guy to listen to, he just seems to "get it".

As for AJJ, I honestly can't even listen to that guy. He is an absolute malcontent.

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#45 Robin Brownlee
July 28 2009, 09:17AM
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jeff wrote:

Just out of curiosity who is the Team 1260’s biggest competition? Either you listen to sports or you listen to the news on 630 ched.

CHED has the hammer with rights on the Oilers and Esks and Inside Sports with Tencer is particularly strong in the evenings.

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#46 Fish
July 28 2009, 09:20AM
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Bob Cob wrote:

Richads isn’t funny!!! I live in Calgary, unfortunately, and I never listen to the Fan 960. I understand the Edmonton jokes and am fine with that its all part of the rivalry between the 2 cities, but the guy isn’t funny. I guess he appeals to all the big headed, mouth breathers in Calgary. I, on the other hand, would take Bryn and Jake anyday of the week over that hack. I mean Jake’s joke was funnier than anything Richards did, and I hope both land on there feet.

Couldnt agree more. I drive to Calgary for business quite often and am amazed at how unfunny Richards is. You are exactly right, he caters to the mouthbreathing cretins.

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#47 jeff
July 28 2009, 09:20AM
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@ Robin Brownlee: So it was the evening shows that were losing the ratings?

I can't stand CHED the guys are too much of homers and have no opinions. At least on the TEAM 1260 I get to hear opinions and not just of one or two hosts, everyday there is another co-host.

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#48 Robin Brownlee
July 28 2009, 09:22AM
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Fish wrote:

Robin, I agree, I think that you should throw your hat in the ring for the morning show. You are a super knowledgeable sports guy and offer insights that most of these guys can’t. I would love it if you were on the air more. I also think that Ryan Rishaug is a pretty interesting guy to listen to, he just seems to “get it”. As for AJJ, I honestly can’t even listen to that guy. He is an absolute malcontent.

There is no "ring" to throw my hat into. My understanding is the hires have already been made for the morning show. Guys like Rishaug and I are on because hosts like Gregor and Stauffer see value in having experienced people bringing what they know to their shows. I'm not a radio guy, I'm a sportswriter so I'm not nearly as polished as a trained broadcaster. At the same time, I think it's clear that experienced print guys have something to offer on the air despite the odd "ums and ahs" that come with the delivery.

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#49 Death Metal Nightmare
July 28 2009, 09:28AM
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Deans wrote:

Lets really be honest, Edmonton’s local radio stations suck. Thank god for Satellite Radio, JAG and Team’s postgame snow

youre crazy. move to another "small market" city and youll find out fast how much better the Team is for letting people have actual dialog with the listeners. around my parts, you get about 5-10 seconds maximum before youre cutoff and the Talking Heads start to entertain themselves while youre cut off. the Team is REALLY generous with their callers and it makes the content during hockey season or busy days way better than a huge percentage of sports talk outlets relative to what their main market is.

you want to talk football in Wisconsin? get ready to make a 5-10 second complaint before youre cut off completely and never get to respond to what the proto-Fascist Ass Jockey has to say stroking his mic/ego/dong.

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#50 Doug
July 28 2009, 09:28AM
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I liked Jake and I liked Bryn and I'm not happy to see either one get let go but I would like to throw my hat in the ring as one of the fans who appreciates the lighter side of sports and enjoys hearing radio hosts who can bring that to the table.

Certainly it's good to discuss the issues and (god forbid we ever stop) the hockey team but i like the shows like Jim Rome and the FOX/Espn programming (remember the old days of The Herd and Dan Patrick, siiiiigggh) because they have an entertainment edge to them. I think that's what 1260 doesn't have enough of.

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