Sports

Longtime sports radio voice Bob McCown leaving Sportsnet's Prime Time show

Longtime sports talk radio host Bob McCown will leave his position as host of Prime Time Sports on Friday, Sportsnet said in a release.

Host denies that he is retiring but acknowledges departure

Bob McCown, centre, has been host of his sports talk radio show since 1989. (Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

Longtime sports talk radio host Bob McCown will leave his position as host of Prime Time Sports on Friday, Sportsnet said in a release.

McCown has hosted the show, which airs on Sportsnet 590 The Fan AM in Toronto and nationally on television on Sportsnet 360, since its inception in 1989.

"Bob is an icon in this business and a legend of our format," program director Dave Cadeau said in a statement. "He built sports talk radio in Canada, and we are lucky to have had him on the mic and in the hallways over the last three decades. Bob will be missed but his legacy will remain with us for years to come."

Details on McCown's future plans were not released. Prime Time Sports also airs on stations across the country on the Sportsnet Radio Network.

McCown was not quoted in the release. He tweeted speculation concerning his retirement is "100% inaccurate" before acknowledging that he was leaving Rogers.

It wasn't clear if McCown, who agreed to a multi-year contract extension in December 2017, resigned or was let go. A Sportsnet spokesman said there were "no specifics to share" beyond what was in the news release.

McCown did not address his pending departure at the start of his show with co-host Richard Deitsch on Thursday afternoon and Sportsnet said McCown has requested no fanfares or tributes during his final shows.

A rotating roster of hosts would fill in over the summer and a new afternoon drive show lineup will be announced in the fall, Sportsnet said.

A native of Columbus, Ohio, McCown began his radio career in 1975. He served as a public-address announcer for the Toronto Blue Jays' inaugural season in 1977 and was a television host on "Sportsline," a formative late-night sports highlights show.