Alan Cross Returns to CFNY 102.1 the Edge

Alan Cross Returns to Toronto's 102.1 the EdgeAlan Cross is returning to 102.1 the Edge where he's spent the bulk of his radio career. You can hear him chat with me about his career in radio in episode 66 of my podcast.

We haven't been told yet what his role will be on 102.1, but we're promised details in the fall. Alan Cross was let go as Program Director of the station in 2008 and completely fired from the station in 2011.

I've been hearing his voice everywhere lately, as he narrates the videos at the Science of Rock exhibit at Ontario Science Centre and he voiced the Bob McCown propaganda film that aired last night on Sportsnet.

His return to CFNY follows the return of Scot Turner and his Spirit of Radio Sundays and a re-embracing of 102.1's musical roots. This is a good thing.


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James

Good news indeed. The station has been a disaster since he left. What does this do for his contributor/advisory role at Indie88?

July 17, 2014 @ 3:50 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@James

I don't know, I'd guess he has to end his guidance counsellor days at 88.1.

July 17, 2014 @ 3:54 PM

Radio Truther

The entire radio division of the company has been a disaster.

Corus is heavily invested in rock radio and the national advertisers for that audience are gone.

Alan's name is an easy way to get them to try and get the agencies to pay attention before the inevitable end. But always a possibility CFNY will end up in different hands at that point.

July 17, 2014 @ 4:07 PM

Jason C

Hey Mike, I recorded Pantload last night but have not watched it yet. Was it at all interesting or was it basically a big ad for Prime Time Sports?

July 17, 2014 @ 4:08 PM

Brodster

Interesting stuff at the Edge, as a position was also posted this afternoon for a Midday host. (10am-2pm shift)....

July 17, 2014 @ 4:09 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Jason C

Make no mistake, it's a big ad for Bob McCown. His company produced the damn thing, and it's really flattering. At one point he was being praised for helping us heal from 9/11.

Having said that, I enjoying reliving the history of a show I actually listen to. Bobcat fans will enjoy it, even if it is clearly a propaganda film.

July 17, 2014 @ 4:10 PM

JP

Put Alan back in afternoon drive. Used to love him there.

July 17, 2014 @ 4:15 PM

Gump

Yes, I remember Alan Cross on afternoons.
I'm pretty sure he announced both Cobain's suicide attempt in Italy as well as his death on his afternoon shift.

July 17, 2014 @ 6:06 PM

Stephen

Changes at Indie88? I saw LoriAnn is going over to The Rock.

July 17, 2014 @ 6:12 PM

Rick C in Oakville

Enjoyed Alan co hosting on 1010, he has a voice we all kind of grew up with. The Edge is out of my demographic now, but good on Alan and best of luck.

July 17, 2014 @ 7:14 PM

Will in Oshawa

Looks like a lot of big changes happening- I noticed Don Mitchell has disappeared (don't know if he left or was let go) and big boss Dave Farough has taken over as Brand Director from Blair Bartrem. Now there's that midday spot open and Alan's coming back; it looks like the station's going through a total re-branding.

July 17, 2014 @ 8:02 PM

markosaar

@Rick C,

The Edge's best bet might be to pander to your demographic now!

July 17, 2014 @ 8:53 PM

Handsome Rob

The music of our youth is now today's classic rock.

July 18, 2014 @ 12:03 AM

Oscar

Who would be surprised if you end up seeing Blundell at 88.1?

I think indie 88 has been more challenging than they originally imagined.

As long as alan keeps doing geeks and beats, I'll be happy!

Radio will eventually be sports and talk only. Why bother listening to music on the radio?

July 18, 2014 @ 8:02 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

I just confirmed with Alan two things:

1. The Ongoing History of New Music is definitely coming back to 102.1
2. His days at 88.1 are indeed coming to an end

July 18, 2014 @ 8:21 AM


Mike in Guelph

I think a bunch of changes are coming to Indie 88 soon. Bookie announced that he is becoming the midday host starting July 21.
Not sure what this means for the rest of the staff...but I have a feeling we will hear soon.

I hope Alan is returning to do more than just the Ongoing History of New Music.

July 18, 2014 @ 9:50 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Mike in Guelph

I noticed they're now calling Carlin a "swing host". I believe he was the midday host at 88.1. Bookie will take that over now I guess.

LoriAnn, as mentioned, is leaving 88.1 for Oshawa.

Meanwhile, on CFNY, they're looking for a midday guy. They just brought back Carlos Benevides. I don't know if Carlos is moving on or doing something else at the station.

July 18, 2014 @ 9:57 AM

@OldSouthKyle

I welcome this news. I've long been a big Alan Cross fan, I attribute my current and long lasting tastes in music to hours spent listening to OHNM.

As for Indie88, I felt they launched well, started out strong, but feel it has become very watered down lately, especially during the morning and afternoon drives. I realize that they have to make money and appeal to the masses, but i though the whole premise of the station was to play unheard, new, and local stuff to real music fans? It seems like I hear the same stuff over and over, and it has become very predictable. It almost feels like the Edge did a year ago, before Indie88 showed up and forced them to change. Interesting. The morning show seems a little too scripted, but I think Raina does a great job.

One other observation I have for Indie 88 is that they seem to be locally engaged and present online etc, everywhere except for the radio! Where are the local bands, talent, guests, etc?!

I am sure Alan will be successful at the Edge again, and that Indie 88 will survive without him, but I am interested to see what changes are afoot at both stations.

July 18, 2014 @ 10:12 AM

Lorne

Though I have to admit, half of it feels like insincere demographic keyword hunting on behalf of the station's management. Like, they've heard a few things that people like, and figure "let's do that"-- not understanding why they like it or what made it successful.

The other half feels like Corus is making a concerted effort to destroy 88.1 with temporary measures. "Okay, for now we'll let them have some stupid music on Sundays, and we'll steal away that Allen Crothers guy or whatever. Pretend to be the cool kid again. Once 88.1 goes under, we can go back to top-40 with grunge with no competition".

Or maybe they actually care about making a good radio station that people want to listen to instead of what advertisers want... hahahaha, couldn't finish typing that.

July 18, 2014 @ 10:45 AM

Douglas

Alan back on the air. I'm fine with that, at 88.1 or 102.1. Good for Alan, good for listeners. I suspect that Alan will have at least some kind of input on music and programming at 102.1, instead of just being a voice. Corus will have more resources (read: $$$) for Alan to do a solid job with OHNM. Perhaps Bookie takes on a greater role at Indie, not just being the new mid-day host. I won't miss LoriAnn, only because her voice is, to me, like long fingers being dragged across a chalkboard. Even though 94.9 The Rock is my "local" (they're in the 'shwa; I live in Ajax, have my business office in Whitby), they're a station of last resort for listening - unless David Marsden is on the air.

OldSouthKyle - Agree with your comments about local bands, content, promotions, etc. All that Indie had to do was take a good look at and listen to what Vancouver and Calgary's "The Peak" stations do. They do what Alan Cross presses all stations to do, make themselves relevant to and engaged with their market, not just be something to listen to.

Regardless of what is happening and what may come down the pipe, competition is better than none. We should get better radio with both Indie and The Edge as alternatives (yes, pun intended).

July 18, 2014 @ 12:10 PM

Corrado

Mike; Do you think 102.1 The Edge is more interested in bringing him back in order to keep him away from Indie 88. Alan Cross seems to have helped Indie 88 make big inroads in attracting Edge listeners.

July 18, 2014 @ 12:46 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Corrado

It seems the Edge is trying to rebrand itself post-Blundell. It's becoming more about the music and "spirit of radio".

I think Alan Cross has done a great job with his brand and Corus wants his brand associated with 102.1 and not 88.1.

July 18, 2014 @ 1:20 PM

Anonymous

@Mike. Spirit of Radio Sunday has become appointment listening for me. Bringing back Skot Turner and Alan Cross shows they are serious about becoming more about the music and "spirit of radio". However, more than rebranding post Blundell, I am not sure any of this would have happened had it not been for the competition they have had since Indie 88 came on the scene (and improved signal on the way).

July 18, 2014 @ 2:14 PM

Corrado

@Mike, Anonymous post above was from me. Not sure what happened.

July 18, 2014 @ 2:16 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Corrado

Fun Fact: Skot is now Scot.

By the way, Carlos Benevides is leaving 102.1 for a morning gig in Kitchener / Waterloo, hence the midday opening.

July 18, 2014 @ 2:39 PM

Ryan

Do you know if Carlos is returning to 91.5 The Beat or a different station? They still haven't filled his seat on their morning show, so it wouldn't be a huge surprise if he came back.

July 18, 2014 @ 4:09 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Ryan

I believe he's going back to where he came from. He was happier there.

July 18, 2014 @ 4:11 PM

Radio Truther

Indie 88 website shows Carlin as the 7 to midnight guy. The station had no live voices weekday evenings before.

That small town morning show should be next to go. Gotta question "guidance councillor" Alan Cross' judgment if he thought they could cut it in a major market.

July 18, 2014 @ 6:51 PM

Radio Truther

"Who would be surprised if you end up seeing Blundell at 88.1?"

Will he work for $40,000 a year?

July 18, 2014 @ 6:53 PM

@OldSouthKyle

@Radio Truther, I would be surprised to see Blundell on Indie 88. A guy like him, you would need to add another zero to that salary you suggested!

July 18, 2014 @ 6:57 PM

Jacob

@Radio Truther: Indie 88's morning show puts me right back to sleep.

They need to bring in someone with personality. But someone with wit, who doesn't cater to 12 year olds.


For comparison, 102 was smart in bringing in Dominik Diamond, and for a while the show was entertaining and had a lot of potential... but it quickly degraded into non-stop juvenile sexual innuendo.

July 18, 2014 @ 7:30 PM

Radio Truther

Dominik has said he has a commitment to build the show up for a year. So give him till winter?

Then they'll call H+F in...

July 18, 2014 @ 7:47 PM

Anon&on

Wow, lots of people anointing Alan Cross.
He has done exceptionally well with his brand (just read this thread).
He has an iron in many fires.
Not everything he does is a success.
He didn't build 88, he didn't build 102.
I'm curious to see/hear if the sound of 88 changes at all. In Mike's podcast, he did say he his influence as 'guidance counsellor' is considerable.

I think it would be hilarious if 102 hired him to do an expanded Snap Crackle Pop, and establish a new vinyl archive for the station.

I appreciate his brand success and stature, but I am not sure I agree with philosophies on radio (vs listener).

July 18, 2014 @ 8:11 PM

Corey

So why isn't the "Spirit of Radio " show on Sunday considered the equivalent of Q's "Psychedelic Psunday"? Just nostalgia radio. People craving the oldies from their younger days.

July 18, 2014 @ 8:21 PM

Jacob

@Corey: Who's saying it isn't considered that?

But anyway, the funny thing is a lot of the music played on Spirit of Radio Sunday seems to fit in alongside today's indie and alternative seamlessly. Hopefully we're starting to move beyond pigeonholing music by decade, and grouping it more by what it sounds like or works well with.

July 18, 2014 @ 9:32 PM

Yawn

Just because Mike knows radio people doesn't make him an expert. If you think Alan Cross will save 102.1 you forget he was in charge during the Nickelback era. He is a good writer & researcher but he is a lousy radio programmer. Get over him already.

July 18, 2014 @ 9:33 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Yawn

When did I say Alan Cross will save 102.1?

I'm just happy to have the Ongoing History of New Music back.

July 18, 2014 @ 9:43 PM

Sammi

He has a lot of cleaning up to do, in my opinion. Start with the dreadful morning show. I liked Diamond on Q107...but I think morning show is not for him. Josie should go back to midday and Fearless Fred and whoever his co-host is, needs to be revamped. It is juvenile.

The music needs serious attention too. Every station in the city seems to be programmed the same way. They need to do something to standout. Indie and CFNY are practically the same station now.

July 19, 2014 @ 10:07 AM

CQ

I won't hate-on here. However I hate how both 102 - for many years and 88 have sounded.
I've wanted to hear currently released lighter pop music from the likes of Ringo Starr and/or the Spoons, Men Without Hats, Blondie, UB40, Duran Duran, etc. Plus a variety of younger, unknown, lighter 80s-like music. With the kind of music-focused mature chatter being delivered by Turner, but with song IDs announced before and after.

July 19, 2014 @ 11:00 AM

JimmyHat

Just a tiny step in the right direction after Corus killed Martin Streek.

July 20, 2014 @ 1:50 PM

Radio Truther

Greg Beharrell is off to afternoons at The Fox in Vancouver, replacing Jeff O'Neil, who was fired along with Neil Morrison.

Greg and Carlos gone elsewhere and Don Mitchell fired, plus Dave Farough moving back in, adds up to a lot of changes in just three months. But bad ratings and no advertisers will do that.

July 20, 2014 @ 5:58 PM

JennB

Sorry if this has already been mentioned but I heard Kim Clarke Champniss hosting Spirit of Radio this afternoon on CFNY - what a throw back! He's apparently going to be on again next Sunday doing an interview with Skinny Puppy. This is getting good!

July 20, 2014 @ 8:19 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@JennB

I heard KCC filling in for the vacationing Scot Turner as well. It seems to me 102.1 is going full throttle with a re-branding that returns the station to its roots. It's pretty awesome to my 40-year old ears!

July 20, 2014 @ 8:21 PM

Jason from Sudbury

@Radio Truther: I thought it was Todd Hancock that got fired at the Fox? Could be wrong though. And Greg Beharrell can go to Vancouver. He always annoyed me.

I kinda wonder if Neil Morrison/Brother Bill might come back to the Edge now.

July 20, 2014 @ 8:52 PM

Radio Truther

My mistake, it was Todd, not Jeff.

Would the company rehire Bro Bill a month after dumping him after 25 years? Desperate times...

July 20, 2014 @ 9:33 PM

Phillly-Bob

@ JimmyHat - Martin Streak killed himself....to say anything else if foolish.

July 21, 2014 @ 9:22 AM

jj

Another change worth noting is that Raina Douris is no longer listed as Music Director at Indie. She's simply 'Announcer." Mike religa from Kiss is now Assitant PD and Music Director.

July 22, 2014 @ 2:33 PM

TheCapn

Everything new is old again! I am happy to hear Beharrell is moving on, Dominik is one of the most naturally funny guys I've ever heard onair, but Beharrell was a total wet blanket, Eeyore-esque you could say. They could just stick with Dominik and Josie and I'd be happy

July 22, 2014 @ 3:51 PM

Radio Truther

More eighties alterna-pop hits showing up on 88.1 to liven things up (until you realize they're only playing about 12 different ones.)

Mike, when are you having PD Adam on your podcast?

July 23, 2014 @ 9:42 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Radio Truther

I need an intern.

I've got a short list of people who want to come on the podcast but haven't firmed up the day and time. Adam Thompson is on that list. I'll write him today.

July 23, 2014 @ 9:44 AM

Ian

I'll echo some of the comments above. I loved Indie 88 at first, but now it is starting to sound just like 102.1. I would love 102.1 to go back to their roots and include new stuff. Could you imagine if you heard something like Grapes of Wrath, Skydiggers, old Bowie, Mumford & Sons, Arcade Fire, Skinny Puppy, Ministry, 54-40,etc all within the same hour? Wow!

July 23, 2014 @ 10:11 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

I just chatted with Adam Thompson. He confesses he's extremely busy and would like to do the podcast in the fall.

July 23, 2014 @ 10:51 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Alan and Michael opened this week’s G&B episode with the backstory of Alan’s departure from ’NY and why he lost The Ongoing History of New Music, his return and what it means for OHNM and the big changes coming to the station.

The episode link is: 
http://www.geeksandbeats.com/2014/07/s02e67/

July 23, 2014 @ 5:04 PM

Nick

@ Mike - dead link

July 23, 2014 @ 9:45 PM


Anon&on

I'm super amused by all the 30-40's who seem to want a classic alt station.
I think you'll get your wish soon somewhere (or everywhere), as classic rock dies.
Be careful what you wish for.

July 24, 2014 @ 7:49 PM

DannyD

You're all missing out. Humble and Fred. Todd Shapiro Show on SiriusXM should be the only radio station you need. Borderline brilliant. I am Fred's daughter.

July 25, 2014 @ 12:58 AM

Jason from Sudbury

Ya know, the more I think about it, I wonder if Alan Cross going back to the Edge has been in the works for a while now. Cause when he was on the podcast he made a reference about the Ongoing History possibly returning and there were negociations going on, and I forget what else now I would have to go back and listen again. But anyway that's why I think it's been in the works for a while.

July 27, 2014 @ 10:45 AM

markosaar

@Jason,

I'm not going to go back and verify, but I feel like Alan made remarks about SOMETHING happening, but it also seemed to include Hainsworth/Beats & Geeks. This arrangement seems to be a separate thing.

July 27, 2014 @ 1:39 PM

Manny

How people haven't figured out that CFNY's decline started about a year ago when Todd Shapiro was let go with no real explanation. Karma? Todd Shapiro and his team at the ToddShapiroShow.com on SiriusXM should be the new morning show on the Edge if they ever expect to get some ratings back with an older generation while still relating to a younger audience as well. It's a shame that regular fans aren't running Radio stations.

July 30, 2014 @ 1:34 AM

Terry

Long time Edge102 listener. Bring back Brother Bill!

August 23, 2014 @ 11:27 PM

Rob

What happened to Dominck? Seems to have vanished.

August 30, 2014 @ 9:39 PM

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