TSN Radio to become TSEN with an emphasis on sports and entertainment (April Fool’s But a Good Idea) | Cohen Confidential With Mike Cohen

Big changes are coming to TSN 690, Montreal’s all-sports radio station which debuted on May 7, 2001 as TEAM 990.

The station will now become TSEN 690, as in The Sports & Entertainment Network. Owned by Bell Media, the move will result in some games of musical chairs with sister stations CJAD, Virgin Radio and CHOM FM.

“We believe this represents an excellent formula to marry entertainment and sports,” said Bell Media President Wade Oosterman.

Wade Oosterman

Wade Oosterman

Oosterman pointed to veteran drive home show host Mitch Melnick, whose show has always featured a regular mix of sports and entertainment.

The morning show will now be co-hosted by Shaun Starr and Sarah Deshaies. Starr has been with TSN 690/TEAM 990 since day one. Deshaies is  the current producer of the Andrew Carter morning  show whose regular entertainment updates have been a favorite among listeners. Conor McKenna will move over to CJAD and the Carter show to do a dedicated twice hourly sportscast, weather and produce and be part of Elias Makos’ Big Five panel at 9 am weekdays. John Moore, who joins Carter weekdays, will now do his entertainment report for TSEN.

Joey Elias TSEN

Joey Elias

Campbell vs. Gallo, from 10 am to 2 pm, will be redubbed Joey and Mitch with standup comic Joey Elias teaming up with Mitch Gallo. Elias has become a regular fill-in announcer on the station for the past year. As part of this agreement, his “Everyday Joe” feature from Global TV will move to CTV Montreal News.

Sean Campbell will be promoted to the full-time play by play announcer for the Montreal Canadiens. That in addition to his roles fulfilling the same duties for the Montreal Alouettes and the Laval Rocket. Gallo will backup him up on the latter, in the event of a conflict.

As for Melnick in the Afternoon, the trio of Mitch Melnick, Jon Still and Andee Bennett will remain intact. “Melnick’s format was our template for the new model of TSEN,” noted Oosterman.

Evening programs will feature live sports broadcasts and syndicated entertainment programs from IHeart Radio. The same will go for weekends, with much more of an emphasis on entertainment.

Bell has already cancelled its all-sports format on radio stations in Vancouver, Winnipeg and Hamilton.

Oosterman notes that the Vancouver and Winnipeg channels converted to a “funny format, which has already proven highly successful in markets like Hamilton and Calgary with its stand-up comedy content.

“While these are relatively modest changes to our overall radio business (we have more than 100 stations in 58 markets across the country), they align with our strategy of focusing on serving the largest possible audiences with the content they want the most while leveraging the efficiencies of our broader organization,” Oosterman said.

“The adjustments we’re making to some of our radio stations this week offer a good example of Bell Media’s readiness to change when it’s right for the business, especially when our costs are too high to justify or we simply have a better model to serve a given marketplace,” he said.

What do you think of this format change? Do think this is for real or an April Fool’s joke?

A good idea perhaps – but yes I confirm this is an April Fool’s joke!

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