Getting to Say Goodbye in Radio
Last week I was chatting with Chris Zelkovich about Toronto's sports radio stations. I asked him to imagine what might happen if Bob McCown left 590 for the same timeslot on 1050. In this scenario, do you think Bob McCown would be permitted to say goodbye to his 590 audience during his last appearance on Prime Time Sports?
I've noticed a trend lately where radio stations are allowing their talent to say goodbye, even when they've quit for a job at a competitor station. This just happened Friday when Corus-owned Q107 allowed Maureen Holloway to say goodbye to her listeners, even though Maureen has left Q to replace Erin Davis on Rogers-owned CHFI.
It's not just Corus extending such a courtesy. Central Ontario Broadcasting's Indie88 let morning show host Raina Douris say goodbye as she left to host mornings on CBC Radio 2. That was very decent of them. And Bell let Darren B. Lamb say goodbye on CHUM-FM when he left to replace Mike Cooper on CHFI. Sure, there was a long pause between those two gigs, but it was still a kind gesture.
In all of these instances, the radio personality resigned. When the personality is fired, there are still no goodbyes. Jason Barr didn't get to say goodbye, Todd Shapiro didn't get to say goodbye, Jeff Woods didn't get to say goodbye and Maddog didn't get to say goodbye. I suspect the station doesn't want to deal with the inevitable blowback when one's favourite radio host is canned. The exception here is when they let someone go and spin it as a retirement. Christine Bentley suffered such a fate at Bell-owned CTV.
I've had radio veterans tell me the worst part of getting fired is being unable to say goodbye. Imagine a future where this isn't the case and every employee is treated with kindness and decency. I like to think we're getting there.
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