How Michael Landsberg blazed a trail for Jewish broadcasters—and quietly struggled along the way

Michael Landsberg, left, in conversation with The CJN's sports podcasters, the Menschwarmers, at the Leah Posluns Theatre on Sept. 12, 2023. (Michael Fraiman photo)

This is the first in a series of live conversations hosted by The CJN and the Prosserman JCC. To learn more and get tickets, visit

In many ways, Michael Landsberg filled a position in Canadian broadcasting that had never even existed before. A founding face of TSN since 1984, Landsberg anchored SportsDesk, recapping everything in sports with highlights and commentary. He moved on to host the debate and interview show Off the Record with Michael Landsberg, which ran from 1997 to 2015, making it one of the longest-running talk shows in Canadian history.

Along the way, however, he struggled with deep-seated anxiety, depression and emetophobia—a fear of vomiting. Compounding all of this has been his Jewish upbringing, family values and a not-so-coincidental public perception of arrogance, all which he describes in this special live episode of Menschwarmers, The CJN’s podcast about Jews and sports, recorded at the Prosserman JCC in Toronto on Sept. 12, 2023.


Menschwarmers is hosted by James Hirsh and Gabe Pulver, and produced and edited by Michael Fraiman. Our intro music is by Coby Lipovitch, and our outro music is “Organ Grinder Swing” by chēēZ π. This show is a member of The CJN Podcast Network. Follow the Menschwarmers on Twitter @menschwarmers or TikTok @menschwarmers. Support the show by subscribing to this podcast or donating to The CJN.