By Morgan Campbell and Raju Mudhar
Toronto sports radio is undergoing a line change.
Dean Blundell’s show has been cancelled. Again.
On Wednesday, Rogers Sportsnet announced a morning show makeover at its flagship radio station, Sportsnet 590 The FAN, with the controversial Blundell replaced by The Brady & Price Show — featuring hosts Greg Brady, Elliott Price and Hugh Burrill — in the 5:30 to 9 a.m. time slot starting Feb. 27. Blundell is gone immediately, though. There will be fill-in hosts until the new team takes the air.
Sportsnet executives are framing the shakeup as a return to the station’s roots.
“When you look across our station, we are sports experts wall-to-wall and the morning show had a different approach. It was more of a laid-back show when it came to sports talk,” the station’s program director, Dave Cadeau, said in an interview. “Dean has an engaging personality and was an excellent broadcaster who has a passion for sports, but his level of sports expertise wasn’t up to the same level as the rest of our cast.”
For years, Blundell was a morning radio stalwart at 102.1 The Edge, an alternative rock station. Often labelled a shock jock, Blundell survived several controversies which he chalked up to poor attempts at humour. One in particular — involving a sex assault case where one of his producers was on the jury — resulted in him losing that job in January, 2014. After a year of cooling his heels and trying his hand at podcasting, he was hired by Sportsnet Radio.
He told the Star at the time that doing sports radio was a dream come true.
“One of the things that I wasn’t allowed to do in the old format was sports. Apparently the fastest thing you can do to turn off an alternative rock format is to talk sports, and I love sports,” said Blundell.