TSN 690 gives midday show to Campbell and Gallo after Marinaro resigns

TSN 690 is shuffling its lineup after two high-profile and somewhat mysterious departures of midday hosts.

In February, the station was forced to let go of Chris Nilan after the former Canadiens player refused to get vaccinated against COVID-19, in violation of a Bell Media policy. Then on May 27, Tony Marinaro resigned from his job as host of The Montreal Forum, later saying it was to focus his attention on a new sports podcast.

To fill both those holes, TSN has taken two hard-working veteran supporting characters — Sean Campbell and Mitch Gallo — and put them in the spotlight as a duo. The show, called Campbell vs. Gallo, debuts Monday, June 20. It will run from 10am to 2pm, with Mitch Melnick’s afternoon show shifted an hour earlier to run 2-6.

The new hosts promise the Habs Lunch feature will remain with the new show.

Why did Marinaro leave?

In a 43-minute episode of his Sick Podcast, Marinaro gave some context for his decision to leave, saying he didn’t tell anyone until after his final show was broadcast, ending with playing Frank Sinatra’s My Way. He then informed his bosses he was out.

Marinaro says he will be contributing to Jean-Charles Lajoie’s show on TVA Sports and it’s been reported he will also contribute to 91.9 Sports in the fall, where Lajoie also has a show.

Despite spending almost an hour going over his career, Marinaro’s video leaves a lot of questions unanswered, and he has said he’s limited in what he can say. He broke down in tears a few times, making it clear the decision to leave TSN wasn’t easy.

The rumoured explanation, which happens to fit the facts, is that Bell Media or local TSN 690 management was unhappy about his podcast, which started in December 2020, and gave him an ultimatum. Marinaro said he stuck with the podcast to fulfill a promise to creator Sammy Cavallaro. He mentioned that his TSN show was doing well in the ratings and it was his decision to leave.

Nilan, meanwhile, also has his own sports podcast. The Raw Knuckles Podcast debuted in April.

One thought on “TSN 690 gives midday show to Campbell and Gallo after Marinaro resigns

  1. Zebb

    Marinaro seems like a decent guy, but I didn’t care for his show. Too many hot takes, too much schtick and a little too self important. If he was putting too much energy into the podcast, I can see why Bell wasn’t pleased.

    It will be interesting to see how he and Nilan fare. Keeping up a podcast through the monetization phase isn’t easy. Many quietly fade away.

    Hopefully Marinaro is finished featuring Mike Ribeiro as a special guest. He’s pure sleaze and I’m not sure why anyone would want to associate with him or provide him with a platform.

    I like the change for Melnick. The show needs a refresh. Gallo knows sports but Mitch is best with someone with a broader perspective. I’ve always though the loss of Rod a few years ago was a blow to the vibe of the show. Looking forward to the new lineup.

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