Spirit of Radio Sunday on 102.1 the Edge Cancelled

Launched last February, Spirit of Radio Sunday on 102.1 the Edge, hosted by Scot Turner, was mighty popular in my circle. Scot and I spoke a great deal about the concept in episode 102 of my podcast. Essentially, the show was an homage to the legacy of CFNY, playing "the artists that defined the alternative rock format".

I'm referring to Spirit of Radio Sunday in the past tense because the program has been cancelled. Today's show is the very last one. Personally, I'm disappointed, as I thoroughly enjoyed the program and will miss hearing those great songs CFNY played in the 80s. As I type this, they're playing Endgames' "First , Last For Everything".

srs

I'm told this is part of some new changes at 102.1 that take effect tomorrow. Stay tuned...

Update: I just got off the phone with Scot Turner. Here's what I've learned:

  • Spirit of Radio Sunday was the most listened to program on 102.1 (according to the most recent Fall 2014 radio ratings), but did not perform as well with the 18-34 year old demo.
  • 102.1 is primarily concerned with this 18-34 demo and market research suggests they should focus on this demo. Spirit of Radio Sunday was cancelled so they can target 18-34 year olds 24/7.
  • This re-focus on the 18-34 demo puts an end to any rumours about David Marsden returning to 102.1. Marsden himself fanned these flames in episode 106 of my podcast.
  • Scot Turner loved putting the show together, especially the passionate reaction from fans, but respects this business decision and is happy to have his Sundays back.

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Comments (117 - click here to join in!)

DUTCH

Listening to Alan as I type to bad so sad!

February 1, 2015 @ 4:50 PM

Lorne

Alan Cross, diplomatic as always. (paraphrase) "There's certain evolutions happening that we have no control over". Translation: Corus wants to continue to give zero shits or efforts, pump out the exact same "top 40 w/Grunge" that's on the other 6.75 days of the week, and pay one less on-air personality.

Though, continuing to do the exact same thing without change isn't evolution. It's kinda the exact opposite of it. :|

Personally, I hope they play more Pearl Jam, interspersed with a souless robot-minion DJ reading off a script to tell me about a "hillarious" Facebook post they read that day. Because I just can't get enough of that shit.

#ipod

February 1, 2015 @ 4:52 PM

DUTCH

Love will tear us apart

February 1, 2015 @ 4:53 PM

Chris

switched to satellite radio years ago...first wave channel 33 on Sirius XM is basically 80s era CFNY. 24/7, commercial free...

February 1, 2015 @ 4:54 PM

Anon&on

What the bleep is going on over there?
Not a big fan of throwback radio in general, but unless they are going with 'new music discovery Sundays' I can't see anything better.
Wait....
Marsden Sundays?
Marsden syndicates his online show?

February 1, 2015 @ 4:55 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

To be preserved for posterity, the last x songs played by Scot Turner on Spirit of Radio Sunday, in reverse-chronological order.

Sinead O'Connor - The Last Day of Our Acquaintance
Joy Division - Love Will Tear Us Apart
102.1 Band - Working On The Radio
Blue Peter - Radio Silence
Elvis Costello - Radio Radio
The Clash - London Calling
Endgames - First, Last For Everything
Morrissey - Everyday Is Like Sunday

February 1, 2015 @ 4:55 PM

Lorne

I was listening to those songs, and going "huh, that's neat. That's way different from what they normally play-- unique, not over spun. I really like how they're playing something different."

Kinda ironic they were only being played as a "well, we're fucked, bye" setlist.

February 1, 2015 @ 4:58 PM

Andrew

Game. Over.
I'm done with radio, that or Indie is going to have to try real hard to convince me.
Why is it so hard? Why?? (shakes tiny fist!!)

cheers,
Andrew

February 1, 2015 @ 4:59 PM

Liz

Another disappointment.

@Lorne

I like your translation.

I just knew Scot would play Last Day of Our Acquaintance. It's burned into my head given all of the endings I've been through. Loved hearing Scot - he's done a spectacular job.

Fuck Corus.

February 1, 2015 @ 5:26 PM

Andrew

Great... 18-34 year olds.
Andrew

February 1, 2015 @ 5:43 PM

Sharon

I'm 34 and am a big fan of Spirit of Radio Sundays, so..they should listen to someone who is technically still in that demographic and keep it on the air.

February 1, 2015 @ 5:50 PM

@OldSouthKyle

Unreal. Just when I started listening to this station again, they can a great show. They need to face the fact that 18-34 yr old are mostly not radio listeners and never will be. I guess it's back to more lame Josie Top 20 reruns and more Imagine Dragons. Yeeesh.

February 1, 2015 @ 6:00 PM

McNulty

Mother-fucking-fucker.

The only radio show I looked forward to listening to every Sunday. And I did listen every Sunday.

Sigh.

February 1, 2015 @ 6:23 PM

Anon&on

As I said with Marsden- to hear the solutions for radio, and then to hear radio running as fast as they can in the opposite direction ...
Music radio is gong to be mediocre until someone not indoctrinated in radio comes along and blows it open again.

February 1, 2015 @ 6:24 PM

dennis

In a city the size of Toronto, it's quite possible to put together a radio station that plays good music - look at Jazz FM. You'd think someone would have the acumen to do the same for people of my generation (I'm in my early 50's) but it looks like they want to do it on the internet instead (Cross and Marsden), I don't understand why...surely people my age are at the top of disposable income for companies that want to advertise.

February 1, 2015 @ 6:27 PM

Lorne

@Anon%on: won't ever happen. Entry cost has been set too high to enter. The only ones who can afford a station are those entities run by sociopaths (aka: big money managers). They don't run a station to play good music. They run it because it costs $x, and if you do A,B,C, you get $x++. Once they figure out exactly what A,B,C are to maximize $x++, you don't do anything else. Regardless of morality, popularity, or ethics. You buy a station. You play top 40s because music execs pay you to, and advertisers pay you to. You get $x++. End of story.

As long as radio is run by sociopaths whose sole goal is to make $x++, you will never, ever, EVER hear anything but what's on the airs now.

February 1, 2015 @ 6:28 PM

Irvine

Well obviously if you're chasing a 18-34 demo it makes no sense to have a show dedicated to 35-65 year old listeners. But, one has to ask why no heads have rolled at CFNY for all the bad decisions being made. Announcers get toasted after 2 bad books, management continues the rolling train wreck for much longer. Look at all the changes with the announcers.

If the Indie 88 management is reading this, the writing is clear for you guys. Get a library of 70's and 80's music and add it to the playlist. I'm quite sure there are lots of people out there who wouldn't mind hearing new and old alternative music in the mix. If CFNY gets it's act together it will vaporize Indie 88.

I suppose the biggest mystery of Toronto radio is why no station has pursued the "Spirit of Radio" audience. The ratings are proof it just might work.

February 1, 2015 @ 6:45 PM

@OldSouthKyle

Why not move Spirit of Radio Sunday to Q107 then? That is the station with the 35-65 demographic target, no?

February 1, 2015 @ 6:56 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@OldSouthKyle

I'm no Program Director, but I'd say the Spirit of Radio sound isn't enough of a match for the Q107 rock sound. It's too new wavy / indie / alternative.

102.1 was the place for Spirit of Radio Sunday, but it seems they're going all-in pursing the 18-34 crowd. The 18-34 year old demo is literally all they care about now.

February 1, 2015 @ 7:03 PM

Carrie

hmmm...another one? Hard enough to stomach the format changes recently with Q107, now this too?? My 18 year old is just as upset. He and his friends don't like today's alternative or today's rock preferring a mix of classic and 80's alternative. No winning. Guess we are stuck with the cookie-cutter crap someone deems "good music". Satellite radio here I come.

February 1, 2015 @ 8:03 PM

Oliver

They HAD to have known they weren't going to attract the 18-34 market with SRS, so what were their objectives?

It's ironic that SRS turned out to be their most listened to show.

SRS pulled me back to The Edge for six hours; Cross would compel me to power through Josie's Blue Box Top 20 to catch his hour long show, and usually, I'd stay tuned for the rest of the evening for whatever Edge threw on for the rest of the night.

For me, a good DJ will keep me tuned in, and Scot is top notch.

Guess I'll see if Bookie is still doing his Sunday evenings at Indie 88.

You screwed the pooch, edge. Again!

/rant off.

February 1, 2015 @ 8:04 PM

Jenny

Just my 2 cents. I am well out of the target age and do not live in Toronto, but I have 2 sons---both in their target market. One lives here and one lives in Toronto and NEITHER one listens to "regular" radio. We do have satellite radio (Yay for classic rock!! :)) but both primarily listen to ipods.
I am in the middle of a night-school course that has marketing aspects to it, and from what I am leaning, this just seems like a total blunder.

February 1, 2015 @ 8:29 PM

Irvine

Q107 already has Psychedelic Sunday.

If CFNY wants to pursue the 18-34 crowd with the "alternative rock" format, I wish them good luck. Commercial "alternative" rock radio is on life support. Even major players like 107,7 The Endz (Seattle), Live 105 (San Fran) and KROQ (LA) don't really inspire in the ratings.

What music are they going to play? Are they going to burn out bands from 20 years ago (Pearl Jam, Nirvana, etc). Or they could do a 102.7 The Peak Vancouver type format of Indie Pop hits because let's be real here, most of the "indie" music that's popular today is pop accessible. That's why CHR played Cool Kids before Alt Rock. It's also likely the reason Tegan and Sara recreated themselves as a harmonic indie pop band.

People need to accept the reality "Alternative Rock Radio" in 2015 is the new "Classic Rock Radio". The format didn't regenerate itself and it's best days are behind it. Long time gone and it ain't coming back again. I'm 45, I been listening to "alternative" music since I bought my first punk tape in 1979. If I was stranded on a desert island and forced to choose between "alt rock" and "Top 40" I'd take the Top 40 station. At least the Top 40 station is interesting (sans the Katy Perry shit). Alt rock = as burned out as any Tragically Hip song. And if you're offended by that comment then you're still living in 1995.

February 1, 2015 @ 8:31 PM

Shemp

How many more failures are they going to let Dave Farrow oversee?

February 1, 2015 @ 8:37 PM

dale

I really can't comment on radio today as the only station I listen to is 680 news & the odd time for sports at the Fan or TSN. Richards on TSN is terrible & for Blundell on 590 - good luck, as another Andrew Krystal mistake.

FM radio is dying a slow death & Q107 is spinning with its song selections & will be flushed away soon if they continue their present format as I listen sometimes as background music at work ONLY.

February 1, 2015 @ 8:47 PM

Javed Jafri

There's a format in the US called Triple A. Adult Album Alternative which is really the last remnant of the old progressive free form radio stations. The best triple A stations are not limited to just music from the 80's or "alternative" rock. There's great music from every decade in rock that is no longer heard on classic or alt. rock stations.

WXRT in Chicago and KINK FM in Portland Ore. are two examples of such stations in major markets that have been successful for well over two decades. These are commercial stations. One of the best that I have heard is WEHM FM from Long Island Ny. Their playlist includes titles from the 60's such as the Left Banke's Pretty Ballerina, an experimental Beach Boys track from the 70's called Feel Flows, lots of indie bands like Wilco, Fleet Foxes, Grizzly Bear and blues and Jazz rock etc, deep cut classic rock and a lot more.

Here in Toronto Indie 88.1 hardly even touches the more recent indie bands that I have cited and I think if they tried true triple A format it could work given time and the right music director. CBC radio two does play triple A during the drive blocks but they too are mostly constrained to a playlist that plays very little music from the 60's and 70's.

February 1, 2015 @ 8:49 PM

Rick C in Oakville

Sad to see this end. Actually timed it to when I was doing my Sunday Stuff around the house, or when I had some running around to do, to catch it in the car. Scott did an excellent job programming this, kudos to him for putting it together

February 1, 2015 @ 9:06 PM

Lorne

The #SpiritOfRadio twitter feed is really sad to read, in retrospect.

~3pm: Yay, Spirit of Radio!
~4pm: The playlist is unusually awesome today. I love it!
4:45pm and on: WHAT THE FUCK FUCK YOU EDGE! You did ONE GOOD THING! Off to listen to [insert any number of Edge competitors here-- BBC, Sirius, ipods, etc]

February 1, 2015 @ 9:24 PM

Douglas

I can't really say that I am surprised with Corus' decision. No matter how you slice it, the decision is challenging either way. Corus wants 18-34 numbers. The numbers they need have the letter S with a vertical slash through it. We know that, overall, listenership of radio is shifting and that the younger demographic listens far less than even a decade ago. Unless you can be a lower to lowest cost provider in that demographic, you're not likely to be more profitable at it. Corus will also have to face the fact that being modern rock, or "alternative", by definition means you're unlikely to be a top station in the market (see one of Irvine's comments above). Irvine's other comment to Indie88's management team is useful. Even with their increased signal, Indie's signal simply does not have the reach of just about every other non-community station in southern Ontario. Somehow, you have to compensate for that. So far, I have not seen/heard any effort to do that. I listen to pretty much nothing but Alt Nation and First Wave when I rent a car. I know that my next car will have satellite radio, and I will pay for a SiriusXM subscription. Until then, whenever I am at a computer and can stream music, I will continue to refuse to listen to anything local. There is decent radio out there, folks, just not much, if any (anymore) in the largest market in Canada, which would be number five or six in all of North America. That is sad.

February 1, 2015 @ 9:26 PM

RS

THIS is the final nail in the coffin for The Edge - they're spitting on their legacy. It was their most listened to show and they still cancelled it because it "didn't fit the target demo"? That's insulting. They're spinning their tails, chasing a demo that doesn't listen to terrestrial radio for that format anymore. That demo has moved online and is streaming on Songza, Sirius, Pandora, Spotify etc.

If Indie 88 is smart they'll capitalize on this - the ratings prove that people in Toronto want to hear this music.

February 1, 2015 @ 10:28 PM

Lorne

Just out of curiosity: several commentors so far have mentioned that Spirit of Radio Sundays was the Edge's "most listened to" show. Were there ratings to that effect?

February 1, 2015 @ 10:31 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Lorne

I updated the original entry above after I chatted with Scot Turner. I'll bet you missed the update. Scroll up and catch up. :)

Scot told me this fact. He says more people (over the age of 2) listened to Spirit of Radio Sunday than any other show on 102.1, according to the fall 2014 ratings book.

But, when you broke it down by demo, there weren't enough listeners in the 18-34 demo. So when the decision was made to more aggressively target 18-34 and essentially stop caring about the over 34 crowd, the decision was made to drop Spirit of Radio Sunday from the line-up.

February 1, 2015 @ 10:35 PM

Lorne

@Mike: Didn't see the update, thanks. Yeah, it actually being a top show makes this move even stupider than I could ever imagine. Wow.

February 1, 2015 @ 10:45 PM

elvis

I love this so much. So so much. Suck it old people.

February 1, 2015 @ 11:00 PM

JD

Towards the end of the show Scot mentioned putting the show on the internet in the future ? Any news on that?

Tomorrow morning the radio in the car will no longer have 102.1 as a preset. Better to have quiet then the 18-34 "approved" 102.1 programming.

February 1, 2015 @ 11:03 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@JD

Scot's not putting together the show for the internet.

I hear there will be a "web page", but what does that mean? They can't podcast with the songs, they won't be streaming any SRS music...

If you have any expectations for the Spirit of Radio Sunday web page, I'd lower 'em.

February 1, 2015 @ 11:07 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@elvis

The over-34 set (like you and me) have money, too.... and feelings.

February 1, 2015 @ 11:08 PM

Irvine

@Douglas: Been a few years since I had Sirius, but I thought Alt Nation was a great station. It was tightly programmed & the programmers found new music. They created their own programming. I recall a song "Night Timing" which I never heard elsewhere.

As for Indie, Indie needs to stop trying to be "CFNY JR". Indie needs to take a very close look at what G98.7 has did. G is 445 watts and beat Flow 93.5 in the last book (2+). They play the entire generations of urban music. So you'll hear The OJay's and Rihanna in a set. They focus on music & not a demo. Indie focuses on a demo acting like it's some 100KW blowtorch. It's not. It should focus on music & find loyal music fans who want a format that isn't so narrow.

BTW, the change because "they did not have enough listeners in the demo" is likely corporate bullshit. What, you didn't know that? That's like opening a burger shack in a town full of vegans and then acting surprised it didn't work. Management failed.

February 1, 2015 @ 11:12 PM

Randy

This still sux. I get it tho. There is no school on Sundays.
Run the show during the week when the kiddies are all in class anyway.
Grab the attention of those listening at work.

February 1, 2015 @ 11:27 PM

Jason from Sudbury

Other than the Ongoing History or the odd 5 to 10 minutes here and there I don't really listen to the Edge. See I like Pearl Jam, Nirvana, and the Foo Fighters, it's the other top 40 crap they play. I wonder what changes they're making tomorrow.
As for Spirit Of Radio, I didn't listen to it cause personally I'm not a fan of the music. But having said that I understand why people loved the show especially those who grew up in the Spirit Of Radio era. The fact that it was the most listened show on the station obviously says something.
I can't say I'm really surprised with the Edge pulling the plug on it though. The Edge and Corus usually tend to screw up a good thing.

February 2, 2015 @ 12:51 AM

Jason Patterson

One thing is for sure, nothing needs to be reserved for prosperity. Can't say I heard any of it other than David being on, because obviously (by now) I don't listen to THAT station, nor am I surprised that this BS lasted more than 5 mins. Corus is not interested.

February 2, 2015 @ 6:03 AM

Rod

Like Marsden, Spirit Sundays stuck out like a sore thumb against the regular programming. Not that I totally agree with the decision, but I am going to suggest that the next GM and PD at Corus will enjoy the country format.

February 2, 2015 @ 6:36 AM

markosaar

Damn, and I missed it yesterday. Didn't even get a chance to see the playlist.

I'm "18-34" for what it's worth, and Spirit of Radio Sunday was the only reason I had to turn the radio on.

February 2, 2015 @ 7:06 AM

Gary

Just a few weeks ago Scot was talking about how they are expanding the playlist for Spirit of Radio Sunday. So now they want to target a demo that hardly listens to radio anymore. I don't get this. Great in the ratings and it seemed that more people were listening.

Some head scratching decisions by PD's lately....from The Fan to this.

February 2, 2015 @ 7:19 AM

MrLube

People are happy and people are upset. That's how it always goes in the radio world when changes are made. The fact is that if you go to a Mr. Lube expecting to get an oil change on a Sunday, only to find out that they don't do oil changes on a Sunday, you're going to be upset. My guess is they want to deliver a reliable consistent product 24/7. Who can blame them? It's what should be done. If you're not in the demo, then you won't understand.

February 2, 2015 @ 7:25 AM

Sammi

@MrLube

You couldn't be more wrong. Radio should challenge and offer diversity. To offer the same repetitive programming 24/7 just sentences it to a slow death which is what is happening to radio now. People are so afraid to do anything that deviates from such a small and narrow line. Keeping everything the same just makes everything boring and uninspiring. If the ratings were bad, I would understand....but they weren't and it appeared to be growing.

A horrible decision. Spirit of Radio Sunday actually brought me back to listen to radio a bit more again. It's back to satellite and downloads.

February 2, 2015 @ 8:41 AM

Handsome Rob

LOL. What a disaster, and a huge missed opportunity for the Edge.
Not that they'd care but here's my history with the Edge, a listener now outside their key demo:

Teens-Twenties - exclusively listened to their station.
DBS era - moved away from the station, followed H&F
H&F off air - tried listening, couldn't stand DBS, found something else on the radio, still in my presets.
+35 years - removed from preset
Read about SRS - added back to presets (drives home from the cottage were awesome!!!)
DBS cancelled - would listen in the am between flipping stations
Today - removed again from presets

February 2, 2015 @ 9:20 AM

Irvine

Given the ratings of this show, I suppose it's proof that the "word on the street" that 102.1 might be wise to at least respect it's storied history. If I was a shareholder I'd be asking questions. Why are you focusing on an audience already served in Toronto? You'll share your biggest "indie/alt" songs with pop radio so what else are you going to play? How is it that the management team hasn't been axed for their long list of mistakes?

And I'll include the hiring of Alan Cross in the above. This is no slam against Alan Cross as I consider him one of Canada's better radio/music talents. But how does a guy from MY generation build something for a 20 year old? It's akin to me imaging I could go develop games because I have computer programming skills. Most game programmers are half my age. Again, these are decisions made by the "old boy" radio network. This is the same network that never admits it's mistakes. It's the same network that has not nurtured young people so the "young stars" in radio can be counted on one hand. This is the same network which felt that websites, streaming & text added no value or interactivity. Somewhere, deep on an old hard drive, I have an email from a 102.1 MD who said they felt no need to stream the station as it would add no value. Nope, NO one would listen online. Kids ONLY listen online except in their cars (if they drive one). Shit, I was driving last week listening to a show called "The Daly Download". Wow, 2007 or what? Who downloads music in 2015? Is your site best viewed in Netscape Navigator?

I want you to imagine a raging river during a flood. In the middle of a river is a floating chest filled with personal possessiona & there is a guy hanging on to that chest tightly. When you fly the rescue chopper overhead and you ask "Are you OK", he looks up and says "Yeah, everything is fine". That is modern radio.

February 2, 2015 @ 9:21 AM

KM

This is truly disheartening, such a balanced and well-programmed show now is no more... I digress...

More importantly, does Cheryl still get her Superbowl money?!

February 2, 2015 @ 9:40 AM

Jacob

I'll miss Spirit of Radio Sundays. It was the closest we'll get to the old Sunday night broadcasts with Martin Streek.

But I didn't know it was 102's top-rated show. Maybe some other station can pick up Scott Turner and the format to compete with Boom 97.3's insipid "Super Happy Office Worker Fun Time" schlock.

February 2, 2015 @ 10:01 AM

Hector

How can a top rated show be cancelled?? This make no sense. Is there more to this story?? This is the show that brought me back to listen to CFNY.

I was hoping Indie 88 would be more than they are. They should jump in and do a retro Sunday.

February 2, 2015 @ 10:44 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Let's say a station makes a decision to target 18-34 year olds and sell advertising based on their success in this demo.

Once that decision is made, it only makes sense for all programming to target this demo. If a large part of your Sunday includes a show skewing older than this, it doesn't fit and doesn't generate you more revenue. In fact, it would be costing you revenue as you've already decided to sell advertising based on your 18-34 numbers.

I'm not saying I agree with the decision to only care about 18-34, I'm just saying once you accept that premise, it makes sense why a show like this would be cancelled. It might be the most popular show, but they're only looking at the 18-34 demo now, and based on that it's not popular enough.

February 2, 2015 @ 10:59 AM

Lindsey Jacobs

This made me LOVE Sundays! Only time I turned the dial to 102.1 through the week. Will miss you Scot! Back to Radio Sanctuary. Just like old 80s 102.1 but 24/7... http://www.sanctuaryradio.com the retro alternative/new wave is excellent.

February 2, 2015 @ 11:03 AM

Mike in Brantford

Used to listen to CFNY in the 70s and 80s. Started to listen again when Martin Streek did the velvet underground every Sunday. They canned Martin and the show. Lost a listener. Then I accidently discovered the new show with Scot every Sunday. I was elated. Listened every Sunday. Show cancelled. Lost me again. What a shame. CFNY is the ONLY station that plays all the stuff I used to listen to. I have Sirius but it is American. They never play Blue Peter or Strange Advance etc, all Canadian Bands. Very disappointed. Sure I am not alone on this one. Can you believe they would cancel their best listened to show????? Unbelievable!!!!!!!

CFNY, my condolences, may you rest in peace.

February 2, 2015 @ 11:32 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

I will be writing more about this later this week, but David Marsden would like you to know https://www.nythespirit.com/ exists.

February 2, 2015 @ 11:35 AM

Javed Jafri

I posted an early to mid 80's CFNY montage on my web site last week. and wonder if someone assist me in finding more info about a song that's on the latest montage. I remember the song well as it got lots of airplay on NY but I don't remember the artist. The tracks starts at 11:59 on the on the air check and it’s called File and Forget and it sounds like James Scott says it is by Carol Fialkin. I have searched the net and cannot find any info about the artist. Sounds European and somewhat Kraftwerk-like. Can someone confirm the name of the artist. I seem to recall a video for it as well and am really surprised that the net turns up nada about the song or artist.

BTW James Baby Scott sounds kind of Ed Sullivanish on the brief snippet.

Air check is here:

http://www.lettheuniverseanswer.com/

February 2, 2015 @ 12:43 PM

Jason from Sudbury

@Toronto Mike:
"I'm told this is part of some new changes at 102.1 that take effect tomorrow. Stay tuned..."
So what's the new changes at 102.1?

February 2, 2015 @ 1:34 PM

Hector

It almost sounds like they are blaming the decline of their audience on the success of Spirit Radio Sunday because it attracts a different demo and dilutes the rest of the week. Just my twisted way of thinking.

Still sucks. RIP CFNY.

February 2, 2015 @ 2:21 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Jason from Sudbury

Subtle branding tweaks... the new tagline launched today. It's now "Modern Music" and the word "Alternative" is gonzo.

It's all designed for the 18-34 demo.

February 2, 2015 @ 3:22 PM

Jacob

Take note: "Modern Music", not "Modern Rock"

February 2, 2015 @ 4:28 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Jacob

Right... the kids do love their pop.

February 2, 2015 @ 4:32 PM

Javed Jafri

Mystery solved about File and Forget and an ex CFNY stalwart finally solved it. Karel Fialka is the artist's correct name and the track and LP it's from is currently out of print and that's why Google, You Tube and even Shazam turned up nothing ( and I had the wrong spelling).

February 2, 2015 @ 4:37 PM

Jacob

@Mike

Genres are far too blurred and intertwined these days for a proper definition of rock, and then there's the indie umbrella that evolved from rock, new wave, disco, electronica, and pop that can only very loosely be defined as rock.

Unless you're gonna go full-on rawk, that is. That plays well in Hamilton, but not so well here.

February 2, 2015 @ 4:42 PM

Oliver

@Toronto Mike

Didn't they tweak their brand a year ago shortly after the DBS fiasco?

I concur with others. With the demise of SRS, it's hard to see what Alan Cross brings to the table for the 18-34 market. The Ongoing History show looks even more out of place.

February 2, 2015 @ 5:40 PM

Andrew

I was working at CFNY at the time when it went to "Modern Rock." It was a dark and scary place at that time. I wish I still had copies of The Thursday Thirty from one week to the other.

I'm afraid....

Cheers,
Andrew

February 2, 2015 @ 5:42 PM

Andy

Between losing Marsden Sat & Sun, and now Scot, the radio is a bleak place.

I can't figure out how Toronto does not have and Adult Alternative station. Guess I'm back to Slacker and their Adult Alternative. I just miss the warmth that Dave & Scot added to music.

February 2, 2015 @ 6:05 PM

Lorne

Dean Blundell joins Fan590: 59 comments. This thread: 65 comments (so far).

Just noting.

February 2, 2015 @ 6:05 PM

Jacob

@Lorne

This is about 102.1's never-ending existential crisis.

@Andrew

I was so happy when they ejected butt-rock from their playlist, in reaction to Indie 88.

February 2, 2015 @ 7:09 PM

Andrew

@ Jacob

Well, I'll be curious now to see what their playlists will be like. I'm not sure what direction they are going. I'm not sure what Indie is going to do now. Everything will be sorted out before the big fall book ratings period, but I'm completely baffled.

@ Andy

I agree. I can't figure out how a triple A format isn't in this market. It boggles the mind really.

Cheers,
Andrew

February 2, 2015 @ 7:55 PM

Jacob

@Andrew

As far as I can tell, Indie 88 has carved themselves out quite a little niche. (I love them... aside from the morning show.) The question is if that niche pays the bills.

102 is a much bigger budget station, on the other hand. Will they compete with Indie 88, or double-down on rock? (I'm guessing they're going the indie route.) Indie listeners alienated by 102's mediocrity are unlikely to go back to 102.


But as an aside, I've honestly been impressed by Indie 88's promotion of Toronto artists recently. Brave Shores, for example, would not have gotten airplay anywhere else.

February 2, 2015 @ 11:38 PM

@OldSouthKyle

Curious as to what happened tonight on 102.1. I tuned in online at 11 to listen to the rerun on OHNM, the Alan Cross logo and program name were on top of the page stating 11-12, yet the show never started. They played a lot of the typical crap as of late until about 11:30, and now its back to the Wade MacNeil from 6-12 logo. Did Alan Cross and his show get canned again!?!? I tweeted at them a few times and no reply. Interesting possibly, or maybe a tech blip?

February 2, 2015 @ 11:52 PM

Jason from Sudbury

Yeah, was also wondering the same thing.

February 3, 2015 @ 7:13 AM

Anonymous

This station is on thin ice. Love him or hate him. Blundell brought ratings, and of they want that 18-30 demographic back. They need to hire Dean back. Or Todd Shapiro, who has calmed down, but still has that charm. Failure to do either move will result in this station losing its brand altogether and going a different route. I think before December this year corus will decode to pull the plug. Too bad, get comfortable with indie88 guys.

February 3, 2015 @ 8:44 AM

Dwayne Bereziuk

The 18-34 demo aren't even out of bed by the time SRS is half over. My four kids are in the 25-30 demo, they don't listen to radio.

February 3, 2015 @ 10:47 AM

CQ

SRS canned? No surprise.
a) few potential listeners would have tuned into an '78-87 brand afternoon only to put up with mixed-in 90s stuff for a third of its time. I cringed every time I heard 'NY Sundays playing The Hip's New Orleans is Sinking. Three hours of 78-87 and three separate hours of 1989-05 would have been better.
b) oldtime listeners were once considered 'smart'. SRS's often repeated shortlist with 3 or 4 novelty songs played as 'dumb'.
c) no one ever outshines 'The Cross'. Guess whose program(s) is getting expanded/restored scheduling throughout the week at the Edge? Virtually the exact same setup as six years ago.

February 3, 2015 @ 12:12 PM

Greg

When/if HD radio ever takes off in Canada, it could be the solution to create a 'spirit of radio' type station. HD radio signals can be split into separate feeds (just like the U.S. over the air TV channels are doing.) KROQ in Los Angeles (which has a format similar to the Edge) has their main channel playing current music, and their sub-channel playing the 'Roq of the 80's'.

February 3, 2015 @ 12:12 PM

CQ

@dennis Feb1st, 18:27
JazzFM is porridge slop if it's compared to the former CJRT 91.1 station.

February 3, 2015 @ 12:14 PM

Andrew

@ Jacob

I'm glad to hear that... I hope Indie 88 see's this as an opportunity and really go for it. :)

Cheers,
Andrew

February 3, 2015 @ 12:16 PM

CQ

@Greg 12:12pm
HD radio will never happen in Canada! Same owners and executives as TV with Cdn. Cable/Sat./Internet; zero broadcasting subchannels attached and half of local Buffalo channels are never mentioned nor listed by any media group in Toronto area.

February 3, 2015 @ 12:31 PM

Jacob

@CQ

JazzFM, which gets played at work a few days a week, makes me actively hate jazz.

Which is awful, because I have a few wonderful jazz tunes on my iPhone.

February 3, 2015 @ 1:14 PM

dennis

Jeez, I didn't know...I just assumed they played good stuff, I only listen to jazz records and not that often to tell the truth - what's wrong with Jazz FM in your opinion? My point though is the audience must be relatively small yet they still make a go of it over the airways so why can't Toronto have more variety?

February 3, 2015 @ 2:21 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

The Ongoing History of New Music airs Sunday at 7pm and Monday to Thursday at midnight.

They bumped it down an hour. It used to air at 11pm. That banner was just out of date.

February 3, 2015 @ 5:15 PM

Anon&on

If you're looking for something new in Toronto radio, check out Intersections on TRP. Great Toronto indie and music discovery show with an old school 'live in Toronto' type vibe. Wed at 7 on TRP.
Each week the host features songs from bands playing in TO that week (Not bands playing the acc and major venues, bands playing small clubs and alternate venues). Past shows are archived and available to stream on mixcloud. This is the stuff 88 should have been doing more of.
TRP has some interesting shows, broadcasting from Bloor village somewhere. I try to catch Minced Meat and 120 Minutes On Wax. Toronto Radio Project wearetrp.com

February 3, 2015 @ 7:43 PM

Irvine

@Dennis

Jazz FM is non - profit & takes donations & I believe they can sell 4 minutes of commercials per hour. They don't burn down the house in the ratings but have a solid, core audience which supports them. Their app is apparently very popular. I think it's a great station when I'm in the mood & I listen in iTunes on my TV.

February 4, 2015 @ 9:20 AM

Ryan in Hamilton

I never listened to this show and am in their target demographic (33). I would actually turn off the radio if I accidentally tuned it in while driving if the radio was on. I don't understand the appeal. But, I rarely listen to the radio any more. When I do, it's 97.7, 107.9, or 103.3 with the odd sprinkling of CBC Radio 1, The Fan 590 or the like. I haven't listened to the Edge in years - right around the time that Martin Streek and Uncle B were let go.

February 4, 2015 @ 5:53 PM

Miguel from Toronah

They should bring back Dominik Diamond and Greg Beharrel, those guys were funny.
Dommy and Greggy for reals!

February 5, 2015 @ 6:22 PM

Bill

Will the Edge ever learn a lesson. Like many on here I tuned back into the Edge because of SRS and Scot Turner show. 18-34 demo, really, they don't listen to FM radio. How many more listeners are they really gonna attract, aside from creatin controversy and then havin to clear the air once again. A serious dropping of the ball, if I hear the Imagine Dragons again I think I'm gonna puke. If Indie 88 was smart they'd jump on this, as they were onto something when they first came out but they've changed too& not much for the better. Scot, you'll be missed man!

February 8, 2015 @ 1:08 AM

Tetsab

I wound up on this post since I was trying to figure out if anything ever came of this "online only" version claim that was made at the end of last week's show and based on the comments here it's not looking promising. :)

That said, I really don't need another online only experience. I get along really well with Pop -> New Wave at http://music.cbc.ca/ if I want to listen to this style of music and Luminaries -> The Signal if I want to listen to actually interesting "Modern Music" (plus a couple of more obscure alternative online stations if I want to listen to stuff that never makes it to radio... right now I'm actually trying Sanctuary Radio another commenter referenced but I think music.cbc.ca is stronger on the New Wave side and EBM I'm only really interested in on a dancefloor a couple of times a year).

Nope, I regret that this is no longer around 'cause it was not Online Only. I loved that I could turn it on at 11 in my house or in a car and leave it on 'till 5 and I've done that pretty close to every Sunday since it started. It has the rare double honour of being both the only radio show I'd do that for in over a decade (even suffering last week through horrible pizza ads for the 'super bowl' in every single ad slot its last week) and the only radio program I'd ever mentioned in some form of social media: https://ello.co/tetsab/post/2Nne4lbWDnqQ195MLV1Gfw

But I turned 35 two days before it was cancelled so, ah well. ;)

February 8, 2015 @ 11:40 AM

Jim

Tuned in this weekend only to be horrified to learn the show is no longer. Well, as a former huge listener back in the 80's I have no reason to ever listen to this station again. What a serious drag.

February 8, 2015 @ 12:24 PM

Kev from mississauga

Very dissapointed with the decision to cancel SRS. It was the only reason that I turned my radio on every Sunday. I can listen to that same crap all week if I wished to. Looks like indie 88 is getting more of my time. Trying to snag a demographic today is near impossible because they'll switch to something new once they're ADHD kicks in.

February 8, 2015 @ 12:26 PM

Rick C in Oakville

Always tried to do my Sunday "chores" around the house with Scot keeping me entertained. Missing it dearly as I have my head in my freezer, scraping off the ice. Bummer

February 8, 2015 @ 12:53 PM

Rick W

Very sad day for the Edge.
Scott , you are a class act as was the SRS. Listened every Sunday.
I agree with many that posted the 18-34 demo is more into their digital mp formats, online and satellite.
Are they even up in the morning to listen to this on a Sunday?
To the program director and the like that were a part of this decision....
A hockey coach of a team some of us have turned away from was removed to make things better... LOL
Perhaps we should bring back SRS and can the Program Director instead?

February 8, 2015 @ 1:27 PM

Gerry in Mississauga

Dumb dumb. After listening to CFNY for 30 years this is it. I may not be the target but my kids are and they grew up listening to the same stuff I did and they're pissed too.

February 8, 2015 @ 1:32 PM

Javed Jafri

There was a time when community action and write in campaigns and such actually saved CFNY. David Marsden discussed that on Mike's Podcast and there's actual audio of DM starting the campaign. Sadly I don't think such a campaign has any chance of success in today's radio environment but ratings and demos etc talk and lets see what happens with the next round.

February 8, 2015 @ 1:51 PM

Anonymous

No more spirit of radio sunday :(

February 8, 2015 @ 1:54 PM

DJM

Did they think 11 months ago that age group were going to tune in in droves? There are no doubt those in that age group interested in what their parents / much older brothers and sisters listened to when they were growing up but it's rather naive to think a show geared towards those in their early 40's to early 60's would realize a huge following among another generation. I had an issue with the time frame Scot was using as it expanded to 1992. 1987 was truly the last solid year for The Spirit and the initial shows were not going very deep considering how much quality music was released during the true Spirit Of Radio days 1978 - 1987 that still sounds fresh and not dated. I hadn't looked to see what was being programmed in recent months but doubt much changed as far as going deep. It's too bad an Adult Alternative format isn't available here in Toronto on terrestrial radio as I'm sure it could succeed with a target audience of 35 to 64.

Listen here to get a true Spirit Of Radio fix >>>> http://www.flashbackalternatives.com

February 8, 2015 @ 2:02 PM

Javed Jafri

The playlist on the last show was excellent but.............

February 8, 2015 @ 2:20 PM

drew stevens

I have been a listener in Peterborough (90 minutes northeast T.O. ) since the summer of 1986 ! Through the "Modern Rock" and "Edge" years, great events like $ 1.02 concert series and Kingswood Summer Concert Series.
Since the summer Martin Streek left r.i.p. I, like many others, simply gave up as the music became so repetative and the endless banter of wacky DJ's and barrage of commercials for BEERS, BARS, CONDO'S AND CARS was beyond nausiating.
Luckily enough for people in this area we can tune into Loyalist College in Belleville and have great alt-rock and indie all week and for over the past 10 years Throw-back Sunday's from 2pm to 6pm where we get to hear a lot of the great tunes SORS also played. The station is for students but also a diverse selection of genre's have select blocks each weeknight.
Since David Marsden left the Oshawa radio staton 94.9 the Rock it is really hard to find great new alt-rock-whatever you want to call it music for playing on the home stereo or in the vehicle. Radio just seems so bleak now without Marsden and Scott Turner SORS What is a 50 - something (who still likes to crank it up and scream at the top of his lungs and dance around like a stupid teenager) to do now that there is no nostalgia available on the week-ends. My cassette recordings of both the above shows will be valued to a higher extent now that the Peterborough area has no viable radio signals ( INDY 88.1 comes in sporadically and only during good weather ).
I really don't want to get Sirius as I listen to it in my brother's vehicle and Alt Nation and First Wave are okay but lack the Canadian content and never get to hear Skinny Puppy or other freaky stuff the edge and Marsden played.
MUCH MUSIC killed the wedge video show a few years back and it was really great entertainment and heard music no one else would ever play.

I'm pretty sure i'm done with cfny now and hope the sunday nite show with alan cross will be a beacon of hope will try it tonight and hopefully will wear a hole in the carpet in the living room !!!

February 8, 2015 @ 4:38 PM

Ray

Whoever made this decision doesn't understand that we already have endless sources of audio due to online streaming, and yet many of us chose SRS as appointment listening each week. How many radio stations these days have a show with that kind of following? How many online streams have it? Cancelling the show outright is just wrong for that reason alone.

February 9, 2015 @ 1:05 PM

Nick N

Still fuming over this tragedy. SRS was a breath of fresh air, and now its gone too soon.

While the show wasn't perfect (too much Rough Trade for petesake, and Scot's delivery may have been a bit dry), it was the music that made the show amazing. The playlist over the past couple of weeks was rounding into top form and they were finally nailing the diverse range of sounds from that era. No knock on Scot, but I'm assuming this had influence from Allan Cross. (...either way it was all good!)

I know I"m stating the obvious, but the Edge has lost its edge! The Edge has an identity crisis. It doesn't know what it wants to be, and doesn't know how to reach its target audience.

The modern music they are trying to promote will not bring in listeners because; a) it's modern folk music, b) isn't commercially 'cool' to the youngsters, c) will not hold their attention span, and d) isn't derived from online (YouTube, iTunes) sources. ...in other words, its not sh*t they can dance to!

As stated numerous times above, the 18-34 demographic rarely listens to the radio these days, and the ones that do are looking for the dance/pop/hip-hop flavour of the month instant-gratification stuff. Hence why top-40 radio stations always seem to rate higher.

In regards to and in support of continuing Spirit of Radio Sundays: How can Q107 still air Psychodelic Sunday all these years??? Isnt' their demographic over 60 now? ...Hypocritical Chorus Radio.

Please change your mind. Bring back the music.

February 9, 2015 @ 3:55 PM

Garry

Q107 (also owned by corus) recently changed its moniker and playlist to modernize its sound (and appeal to the 18-34 crowd.) How is it that they continue to feature psyadelic psundays every Sunday which plays 60's and 70's music that appeals to the boomer crowd. If spirit of radio Sundays is not relevant to 102's target audience I can't see how psyadelic Sundays is relevant to Q107's target audience.

February 10, 2015 @ 10:44 PM

Shirley

Really sad to see Spirit of Radio Sundays has been cancelled. I always listened to it at the gym & it became part of my Sunday routine. It was a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon & reminded me of the live to air broadcasts at Whiskey Saigon with the late great Martin Streek.
I will miss it dearly but as Tears For fears Say "nothing ever lasts forever"
It's a real shame

February 11, 2015 @ 2:01 PM

Shanaz

Was extremely disappointed to find out Spirit of Radio Sundays was cancelled. I looked forward to listening to this every week, not just for the music but for the anecdotes from the 80s music scene in Toronto as well. Very sad to see this go....

February 11, 2015 @ 8:39 PM

drew stevens

91X out of Belleville has been doing "Throwback Sunday" for over ten years. SUNDAYS from 2 to 6 pm. Great show that you can get on FM dial at 91.3 or 91X.com Very similar music as to what the spirit of radio did but with less annoying commercials for beer, bars, condo's and cars. It's been the Loyalist College radio station for almost 30 years. Great programming of alternative, indy and leading edge music that you're able to crank to eleven on old-fashioned fm receiver amplifiers that let your neighbors know you have great taste !!!

Toronto area people may have to put a good antenna up on the east side of their house / apartment / condo to get a good stereo signal ( I bought a good flying saucer style antenna and even get INDY 88 in Peterborough although that station seems to be a twin of the edge 102.1 with little throwback songs and too many commercials )

February 13, 2015 @ 9:43 AM

Jeff

The only show on the radio that I actually made an effort to tune in to. Scot did a fantastic job.

Attention Corus: I'm 47 and at this age I have a lot more disposable income to spend on your advertisers products then I did when I was in my 20s. This constant executive decision making that impacts the programs I love is pushing me to satellite where the BBM numbers won't reach me.

Humble and Fred - wait up! I'm coming over.

February 15, 2015 @ 1:11 PM

Sam

I was puzzled last Sunday when I turned on my radio and didn't hear any retro, but rather the usual playlist that gets airtime the rest of the week. I am within the 18-34 demographic that The Edge is supposedly targeting, but I have to say I'm really disappointed that they've taken this direction with the Spirit of Radio; I loved hearing retro tunes and it was nice to have some variety.

To the powers that be at 102.1, please take notice of your listeners' opinions, and take market research with a grain of salt, as it isn't representative of what everyone wants.

February 15, 2015 @ 4:00 PM

Lucio

I never watched tv in the 80's, it was always cfny 102.1 the spirit of radio. I still have glow in the dark cfny t-shirts and car sun visor decal. When I found spirit of radio Sunday I was so happy and listened every week, and now I'm pissed it's gone. To cfny, you shouldn't forget your roots and where you came from. This reminds me of the early 90's when cfny went to top 40 pop format, what a disaster. It's back to online radio for me.

February 16, 2015 @ 5:03 PM

Uniquenamehere

SRS had me exicted about listening again. Fuck you, Corus! I've had enough of your bullshit.

Good luck with those rubes, Fred and Mel.

February 17, 2015 @ 2:13 PM

Anonymous

88.1. Only good station out there.....

February 23, 2015 @ 1:07 PM

Trev

Don't understand why they couldn't pull a Q107 type move, and keep it as a retro only on Sunday (see: Psychedelic Sunday). Their target demographic is probably sleeping/hungover/too poor for advertising on Sunday. Meanwhile those with the disposable income are up and at 'em ...

Maybe they'll learn...

February 27, 2015 @ 10:30 PM

Adam

Almost one year ago this month, I stumbled on to this new show called Spirit of the Radio for the first time. This show instantly brought me back to my highschool years. It was so great to listen to music I had not heard for such a long time. Radio was good again! As weeks went by I found myself planning my Sundays from 11 to 5pm around the show!
It does seem to be true, that good things don't last forever. I am really sad to hear that the show has been cancelled. It's too bad because the Edge had something good here. I don't think that the demographic age group that the radio station is trying to go after will be that faithful to a radio station. There is nothing wrong with having various age groups listen to a radio station, especially if it's a small time slot on the weekend.
The Edge is making a big mistake. They are where they are today, because of where they came from!

March 1, 2015 @ 10:06 PM

Adi

I too would plan my Sundays around Scott and SORS...I've been lost without it. I was proud of Toronto's contribution to the alt scene...SORS was artfully crafted intelligent radio that I actually listened to....not just backround noise. My kid never asked me to Change the radio stn before... Now I throw in CDs. I hated DB morning show...I did like Todd though. Toronto used to be proud of being different than the US...TIFF has become a success because people realized that TO is smart and knows what is great in film. We used to be able to say that about music...not anymore. Stop trying to make TO like the US....there's a reason our talent goes down there and makes it big....We're unique and we appreciate how our history makes us better.

March 14, 2015 @ 9:54 AM

Scott

I'm glad it's gone. Good riddance.

March 14, 2015 @ 3:27 PM

fornleg

"Hey guys I have great idea! Let's reformulate Coke. We'll call it New Coke. What's to lose?"

Other than our credibility and a fan base decades in the making, I mean.

March 18, 2015 @ 11:45 PM

Jason

Why does Indie 88 have such a good reputation? It plays the same fun sounding indie-pop songs that the Edge plays.

It's too bad CIUT 89.5 Ryerson doesn't play more "college rock" or indie/alternative. Toronto doesn't really have a good college or university station, which surprises me.

April 12, 2015 @ 11:56 AM

Jason

I gave up on Toronto rock stations a long time ago. I find 103.3 the edge in Buffalo a great station and they play the hard rock that Toronto stations don't anymore. I used to listen to 102.1 when they did live to air and played bands like Tool, System of a Down and Korn. Now its all about the Happy Indie Rock as I call it.

June 22, 2015 @ 10:15 AM

Conan

Switched to CIUT 89.5 more than 20 years ago. Too bad they gave up the ghost; no pun. A jolly good ghost with Pixie dust and maybe add some Nothings Shocking to the dolts at Corus.

March 28, 2016 @ 6:40 AM

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