I was flipping through stations and thought I'd stumbled upon 590's Hockey at Noon, or NHL at Noon, or whatever it's called - with Kypreos and that ass Maclean, or McLean or however he spells it. I wasn't paying much attention, but became aware that the program was FAR better than usual - without two braggardly jocks trying to "out tough" one another over the airwaves.
There's nothing, absolutley nothing, entertaining about listening to Kypreos and Maclean pretend they're macho men, making locker-room jokes to one another, pretending one had a "better" career than the other.
let's face, they're both in broadcasting for a reason.
But Watter's his experience with the Leafs was legendary - and from that moment on, I knew he was something special. He was ugly, but his personality was FAR superior, and attitude was far less "assholish" on the airwaves. He didn't pretend to be buddy-buddy with his guests, and was as respectful as could be - even if he did have an aging sense of what was politically correct to say over the airwaves.
Frankly, I've been listening to CDs in the car lately (I don't get FM stations on my car ride, except for one country station, which doesn't entertain me) so if they're not talking about anything I like on 640, and 590 has switched to tennis, swimming, football, CFL, boxing, or even National League baseball - I'm switching channels.
That's what was great about Watters - he didn't really care for any of those things, he tried his damnedest to find hockey stuff to talk about - whether it was mid-July, mid-August or mid-September.
Bill Watters’s show falls victim to AM 640’s format change
Globe and Mail
One of the worst-kept secrets in sports radio finally came true this week with the cancellation of The Bill Watters Show on AM640 in Toronto. Watters’s three-hour afternoon slot is going to be filed by talk-show host Arlene Bynon, as AM 640 fully adopts the news talk format.And Jim Ralph was doing an outstanding job as the side-kick, or host, or whatever - right up there with Bill Hayes Sr.
It marks the end of seven years with Watters hosting a sports show on the station. Watters will continue to appear on the station on Leafs Breakfast, after the team’s games and he will also joining the pregame show for the coming season.
“A majority of our listeners have wanted a drive show that is more consistent with the other day-parts - where we have seen substantial growth - and we've heard them,” AM 640 senior program director Gord Harris told Usual Suspects in an e-mail. “The Leafs, however, are still a key part of our programming, and we'll be discussing Leaf-related issues, and breaking Leaf-related stories as they happen on all shows - as warranted.
Watters tells Usual Suspects that he’s naturally disappointed, but “I move on. I’m under employment of Corus Radio till my contract runs out. I understood what my employers were doing. We did best we could. When you’ve done it as long as I had, with no professional training, it becomes a part of you. Part of my success was that I was myself. I have no regrets with that.”
Watters had previously been a major hockey agent and assistant general manager of the Maple Leafs before going to AM 640 when it obtained the radio rights to the team. He hosted the two-hour Leafs Lunch (which peaked as high as 7.5 in the ratings) before taking on his old broadcast partner Bob McCown of Sportsnet Radio The Fan 590 in the highly competitive afternoon drive slot.
While Watters made a few inroads, it was not enough to convince Corus to stay the course for the final year of the contract with the Maple Leafs.
“It’s a juggernaut at the FAN,” says Watters. “And we tried to snip away at Bob’s numbers. Some fans just won’t turn the dial. Turn on FAN you have a rating of at least 3 and then Bob builds on that. Every listener you get has to leave Bob, and he gives no reason to leave him. They have to beat themselves.”
Which begs the question of where the rights will go next if Corus (as expected) decides to get out of the action after this contract. The team did Corus few favours, not getting into the playoffs since the 2004-'05 lockout. But it’s expected that the feud between TSN Radio and The Fan 590 will drive the payments higher. The only question for the Leafs is do they make the sale now or wait until spring and hope that the club is getting a playoff spot? Interesting gamble.
Too bad - looking forward to his pre-game show!..... in October.