Thursday July 31 2008 – 6:20pm Eastern

The FAN 590 announced earlier today that “The Coach” Jack Armstrong and former NHL coach and GM, Doug MacLean, will take over the afternoon airwaves as of August 18.

Today was Chuck Swirsky’s last show on the FAN and a decision had to be made RE: the Swirsk’s replacement. 

FAN program director and VP, Nelson Millman, opted to take the 1:00pm-4:00pm slot and split it in two.  Thus, as of the 18th, Armstrong and MacLean will hit the air from 2:00pm-4:00pm … while sports director Doug Farraway will host a magazine-style show from 1:00pm-2:00pm every day.

I don’t know MacLean very well at all … but look forward to welcoming him to the FAN team.  However, as many of you know, I’m very close with Jack and I’m thrilled that this opportunity has come along for him.  From his passion for the Yankees and baseball in general … to his love of all sports as a season ticket holder for the Buffalo Sabres, Buffalo Bills, and Toronto FC … Armstrong will bring more than just basketball to his afternoon show.  Of course, there’ll be plenty of ball though … so Raptors’ fans are sure to get their fix!

I’ve had a lot of people ask me – and email me – if I was interested in the afternoon slot.  To be honest, at first … I was interested in hosting or co-hosting the show … but the more I thought about it … the more I realized it made more sense to focus my time and attention to the Raptors radio broadcasts, Hoops, and my coverage of the Toronto Raptors off-day practices, etc.

I’d rather commit 100% to the Raptors then risk giving less than that to two separate jobs.  I bet Swirsky would be the first one to admit that calling 82 games (plus playoffs) … including all of the travel … plus hosting a daily radio show can be very taxing on the body and mind!  It should be a lot easier on Jack given that he won’t be traveling for all 82 … and he doesn’t have to worry about running around for practices and press conferences either!  His situation is totally different.

I’m looking forward to year 4 as the Raptors radio analyst … alongside my friend and broadcast partner, Paul Jones.

All that said, I’m speaking from the standpoint of what “I” may have wanted … not the FAN overall.  The FAN made a big splash with two ‘big names’ in the industry with Armstrong and MacLean.

I’m sure I’ll still be hosting on the FAN quite a bit … filling in regularly on the Bullpen and on “Game Plan” (Armstrong and MacLean’s new show) throughout the season … and even more-so during the summer and off-season.

And in my spare time … I … like many of you … will sit back and enjoy listening to Jack’s new journey.

E. Smith

7 Responses to “Jack Attack on the FAN”
  1. 1.

    Well I guess this answered my question about Jack from the other day. This is fantastic news. I saw this posted on a fan board and was like no way.

    - James Borbath
  2. 2.

    I couldn’t say anything at the time but I knew this news was going to come out before the weekend. So there ya go. Congrats to Jack

    - E. Smith
  3. 3.

    Cool, now all the fan has to do is ditch the lame all-night espn and get someone in there overnight. Seriously anymore Brett farvra (something about marry) or ncaa football and im going to start listening to the crazys on 640 when im working at night.

    - Rob Hough
  4. 4.

    That is cool Eric I understand, He is still sticking with Hoops though right? I mean he is now an employee of the Fan 590.

    - James Borbath
  5. 5.

    To my knowledge, yes

    - E. Smith
  6. 6.

    Erik: As bad as thought as I thought Swirsky was, you aren’t much better. I was quite happy to hear that he was leaving. You’ll never get a regular everyday timeslot on the Fan. For one thing, you don’t seem to have much interest in hockey and I’ve heard you admit that on the Fan before, and really, you just don’t have what it takes. It’s quite obvious that basketball is your thing, and that’s fine, but you better hope the Fan never loses the Rapters rights.

    - Jon
  7. 7.

    Jon –

    The name is actually “Eric”. And it’s Raptors.

    Funny, you’re assuming I want an every day timeslot on the Fan. I’m the radio analyst for the Raptors; host of the pre, half, and post game show; host of “Hoops”; full-time basketball blogger; and full time Raptors reporter for the FAN as well. And I host two shows on Raptors TV. So my plate is quite full.

    And, no, I’ve never said I don’t like hockey. And I’ve just done an hour of baseball … and plan on doing an hour of football next.

    So, whether you like me or not … is fine. But get your facts straight next time.

    Thanks

    - E. Smith
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