February 2017 Archives

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Open Mike

Welcome to this week's Open Mike. I'm Mike and I'll be your master of ceremonies for the day.

Feel free to use this space to vent, rant, share a story and/or ask a question of the hivemind.

Open Mike on Toronto Mike

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Today's Media Changes...

In my very basement you learned about Mike Richards' new independent venture and Greg Brady's return to mornings on The Fan 590, but there was other news today.

At 102.1 the Edge, my station throughout the 90s, they shuffled the deck. The new morning show is going to be called Edge Mornings with Melani & Adam. That's Melani Mariani and Adam Ricard, in case you didn't know. You can learn everything you wanted to know about Adam but were afraid to ask right here.

Fearless Fred, my old buddy, moves to 2pm-6pm where he will be followed by grizzled veteran Alan Cross. You can hear Alan take a phone call during episode 66 of Toronto Mike'd.

Oh, and they changed their logo. At this moment, this is their logo.

logos_radio_toronto_edge

On Monday, this will be their logo.

new edge logo

The big sports media news today is that FS1 cancelled Fox Sports Live and will not renew the contracts of Jay Onrait and Dan O’Toole when they’re up in March. Will Jay and Dan come home to TSN?

What do you think of the 102.1 the Edge changes? Would you like to see Jay and Dan return to Canada's airwaves?

jayanddan

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 220: Greg Brady

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 220In this 220th episode, Mike chats with The Fan 590 morning show host Greg Brady about being bumped from mornings for Dean Blundell, losing his job and coming all the way back with Elliott Price and Hugh Burrill. This episode is exactly 1:29:44.

You can listen to this episode in a variety of ways:

Greg Brady and Me

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Preserving the Blockbuster Quick Drop

I regularly walk past a building that was once a Blockbuster video store. Most recently it was a dollar store and is now being converted into a gym, but I know it was once a Blockbuster because it still has a Quick Drop slot.

20170222_172045

With it currently being gutted and remodelled as a gym, my fear is they'll get rid of the Quick Drop slot. It's far too young to be considered historical, so every day I walk by to see if it survived the day.

Today I saw they had built a new wooden box on the inside, a sure sign the Quick Drop slot is here to stay.

20170222_172036

Phew!

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 219: Mike Richards

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 219In this 219th episode, Mike chats with sports broadcaster Mike Richards about what happened at TSN Radio 1050 and what exactly Raw Mike Richards will be. This episode is exactly 1:16:32.

You can listen to this episode in a variety of ways:

Mike Richards and Me

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George "The Animal" Steele, Dead at 79

George George "The Animal" Steele was 79. He was a popular wrestler in the WWF who would act like a wild man in the ring, tearing up the turnbuckle with his teeth and using the stuffing as a weapon as well as sticking out his green tongue.

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Open Mike

Welcome to this week's Open Mike. I'm Mike and I'll be your master of ceremonies for the day.

Feel free to use this space to vent, rant, share a story and/or ask a question of the hivemind.

Open Mike on Toronto Mike

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 218: Craig "Lobster Boy" Venn

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 218In this 218th episode, Mike chats with Craig Venn about his years at CFNY, being Lobster Boy on the John Derringer show and hosting the morning show at 94.9 The Rock. This episode is exactly 1:36:12.

You can listen to this episode in a variety of ways:

Craig Venn and Me

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Stuart McLean, Dead at 68

Stuart McLeanStuart McLean was 68. He was the host of CBC Radio's The Vinyl Café and an award-winning humorist. How many times did I stumble upon one of Stuart's Dave and Morley stories? Often enough to develop a pretty good Stuart McLean impression, a cadence I'd often mimic when sharing my own stories.

stuart

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 217: Maureen Holloway

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 217In this 217th episode, Mike chats with CHFI morning show host Maureen Holloway about her years at 99.9, working with John Derringer at Q107 and taking over for Erin Davis on 98.1. This episode is exactly 1:06:56.

You can listen to this episode in a variety of ways:

Maureen Holloway and Me

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Maple Leafs Forever

The Maple Leafs Forever is brilliant. Now that Tim Thompson has updated the montage to include Auston and the kids, it's even better.

If you're interested in long form discussions about this Leafs montage, I spoke with both Tim Thompson and singer Ron Hawkins about it in great detail.

Ron Hawkins

Tim Thompson

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Raptors Trade Terrence Ross and a First for Serge Ibaka

Terrence Ross was infuriating, but I have such a soft spot for the guy. When my buddy was battling cancer, I managed to score two sweet seats from Ford Canada to see the Raptors take on the Clippers. My buddy was a huge Raptors fan and I wanted to help boost his spirits.

Alas, my friend wasn't feeling up to attending the game, but when I tried to return the tickets to Ford, they suggested I take my daughter. So that's exactly what I did. That night, Terrence Ross went off for 51 points, tying the franchise mark set by Vince Carter in 2000. As luck would have it, I was at that game, too!

When you take your daughter to a game and a member of your team scores 51, you adopt the guy as yours. Every time Ross threw down a big dunk, and the man could dunk, we'd exchange knowing glances.

Now T-Ross and a first round pick has been shipped to Orlando for power forward Serge Ibaka. Masai Ujiri's wanted Ibaka for a while now, and for good reason. Ibaka fills a need the Raps have and inconsistent Ross was a small price to pay.

Good luck, Terrence. We'll always have that 51.

My poor daughter now thinks all basketball games are this exciting #raptors

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Jennifer Valentyne joins Derringer in the Morning on Q107

Jennifer Valentyne worked at City TV almost her entire working life until they let her go last April Fool's Day. Rogers Media's loss was Corus Entertainment's gain and she quickly caught on as host of The Bachelorette Canada’s live After Show on the W network. Throw in a few Global morning show appearances and she was a versatile cog in the Corus wheel.

She'll now be co-hosting Q107's Derringer in the Morning with John Derringer. This announcement, of course, came on Valentine's Day. That's either cute or corny, depending on your disposition.

What do you think of this addition to the Q morning show?

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Oscar Category Fraud

Every year I tell myself the Oscars are nothing more than an irrelevant circle jerk, but every year I try and see every film nominated for best picture and end up watching the Academy Awards regardless. It's harmless silly fun, afterall.

I watched Fences last night and was blown away by the performance by Viola Davis. At one point I told my wife I'd boycott the Oscars if she didn't win for best actress. Then, following the movie, I went online and learned she's not even nominated for best actress. She submitted herself for best supporting actress.

viola

This is a strategic ploy to guarantee Viola Davis an Oscar. Many refer to it as "category fraud". That's an accurate term for it, in my opinion.

Why the actress herself gets to pick her category is rather puzzling. Viola Davis's part in Fences is most definitely not a supporting one, and she actually won for best actress at the Tony's for the exact same role. There ought to be some metric by which supporting actress is measured, such as % of spoken dialogue in a movie or % of time on screen. The decision should not lie with the actress actor or studio.

Again, in the realm of things, this means very little, but it does taint the deserved award somewhat. Its akin to stretching a double into a single in order to hit for the cycle.

kelly

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Open Mike

Welcome to this week's Open Mike. I'm Mike and I'll be your master of ceremonies for the day.

Feel free to use this space to vent, rant, share a story and/or ask a question of the hivemind.

Open Mike on Toronto Mike

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 216: Kevin Shea

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 216In this 216th episode, Mike chats with Kevin Shea about his years working with "Weird Al" Yankovic and Motley Crue, selling Smells Like Teen Spirit to radio and the legend of Bill Barilko in glorious blue and white detail. This episode is exactly 1:18:17.

You can listen to this episode in a variety of ways:

Kevin Shea and Me

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Dean Blundell Out at The Fan 590, Greg Brady Back In

The Dean Blundell era at The Fan 590 is over after two years. Starting February 27, Greg Brady is back doing mornings at his old station. You may recall he and Andrew Walker were bumped from mornings to afternoons to make room for Blundell. Brady was subsequently let go in February.

Joining Brady is Elliott Price and Hugh Burrill. Burrill was caught up in Rogers Media cuts last March. Price was most recently at CFMB in Montreal.

Here's episode 76 of Toronto Mike'd with Greg Brady, if you missed it the first time.

I will share my thoughts on this change, but I must preface it by making two things very, very clear. Firstly, I have no personal issue with Dean Blundell. In fact, I invited him over to record an episode of Toronto Mike'd because I thought it was only fair to hear his side of things after recording episodes with Todd Shapiro, Jason Barr, Blind Derek Welsman, Billie Holiday and Dani Stover. Dean politely declined the invitation.

Furthermore, I haven't actually heard Dean Blundell's morning show on 590. I've received plenty of feedback, and read a great deal about it, but without a commute I don't listen to any morning radio except some Metro Morning in the shower.

I can tell you I thought this move was curious from the start. It seemed The Fan 590 wanted a slice of Blundell's big 102.1 ratings, but they sold it as a kinder, gentler Blundell. The likelihood his 102.1 listeners would follow him to an AM all-sports station where he was "reprogrammed" was slim.

I knew they'd give him a long look, however, and wouldn't make any quick decisions to cancel the show. Two years sounds about right. This decision was likely made in the spring when he was under a 7 share and the Raptors made the conference final, the Blue, Jays were defending AL East champs and the Leafs won the draft lottery.

As for Greg Brady, we've become rather friendly since he visited my home in 2014. I've called him for advice when I was cycling in the Ride to Conquer Cancer and we've kept in touch. As often happens when I record with guests, I've come to quite like the guy and I'm glad he's getting another shot. In essence, like Rogers did with Ron MacLean, a wrong has been righted. Brady never should have lost the morning show to Blundell in the first place.

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Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign

A decision should be announced today with regards to the fate of the beloved Honest Ed's sign. Honest Ed's is no more with the 1.8-hectare location on Bloor and Bathurst Streets soon to be repurposed. Demolition is scheduled for May.

I once wrote it's not the buildings we love, it's the signs. The iconic CHUM sign was saved, the Sam the Record Man sign was saved and now there are many wanting to save the Honest Ed's sign.

I can see both sides of this argument. On the one hand, the sign only dates back to the 1980s, so it's not really that old. And it is just a giant cheesy sign for a private discount store. I know that's sacrilegious, but it's true.

Snowing. Walking by Honest Eds

But then again, it's the Honest Ed's sign, an iconic sign closely identified with this city. Why destroy it if it could be preserved somewhere for fellow nostalgists to gawk and smile?

Does the sign turn to rubble with the building or should it be saved?

Update:

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Amazing Run of Championships

I watched yesterday's Super Bowl in its entirety and it eerily reflected the recent US presidential election. It appeared as if the good guys would win easy until a historical reversal awarded the crown to the other guys. At one point in the third quarter I considered bailing on the game because I didn't think there was a chance of New England coming back.

I'm glad I stuck with it, because it was the greatest Super Bowl comeback ever and the first time the game went to overtime. I still can't believe what I saw. What a game!

It got me thinking of how amazing championship games have been lately. With the exception of the Stanley Cup final, won by Pittsburgh in six games, it's been one epic game after another.

2016 MLS Cup
Admittedly, I was only watching because TFC was in the final, but it couldn't have been closer. Seattle won in penalty kicks.

2016 Grey Cup
It was the only CFL game I watched in 2016 and it was a dandy. Again, decided in overtime, with a thrilling comeback by Calgary who ended up losing to Ottawa.

2016 World Series
One for the ages, with the Cubs coming back from a 3-1 game deficit to win game seven in extra innings. I'm still blown away by this game seven.

2016 NBA Championship
Another one for the ages, with LeBron James carrying the Cavs to victory late in game seven. The Cavs were down 3 games to 1 to the Warriors before the magic happened. I'm still blown away by this game seven.

If you're keeping score, we have epic conclusions to the last Super Bowl, Grey Cup, World Series and NBA Championship. Even if you have no horses in these races, it's been a constant reminder of why sports fans love sports.

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Following Homer's Lead

I've written extensively about how much I loved The Simpsons. I've probably seen every episode from the first six seasons 20-30 times each by now. I watched them when they first aired, on VHS, in syndication, on DVD, streamed from the web, with my kids and by myself.

This weekend, the kids and I revisited season five. That's a tremendous season, possibly the best of all. It includes Homer Goes to College, which includes this shot of Homer's cinder block bookshelf.

homer

I first watched Homer Goes to College on ‎October 14, 1993. A couple of years later, when I was living off campus at Charles Street and Yonge, I followed Homer's lead and built a similar bookshelf. Below is a photo of the only photo I have of this bookcase that served me well in university.

bookshelf

I've still got that Pulp Fiction poster hanging in my basement.

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Open Mike

Welcome to this week's Open Mike. I'm Mike and I'll be your master of ceremonies for the day.

Feel free to use this space to vent, rant, share a story and/or ask a question of the hivemind.

Open Mike on Toronto Mike

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 215: Bob Callahan

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 215In this 215th episode, Mike chats with Jradio deejay Bob Callahan about his years on 680 CFTR and Mix 99.9 and.... well... every Toronto station you can name and why he left it all to become a detective with the Toronto Police Service. This episode is exactly 1:05:12.

You can listen to this episode in a variety of ways:

Bob Callahan and me

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I've Never Seen Top Gun

Is there a pop culture marker you completely missed? For example, are you in your 40s but have never seen Star Wars?

Against all odds, I have somehow never seen Top Gun. I'm willing to bet very few movie-watching guys in this country who are my age can make the same claim. It wasn't intentional, it just ended up this way.

Top Gun was released in May 1986 when I was 11 years old. At 11, I may have been slightly too young to catch the movie in theatres. How I never caught it on VHS is rather puzzling. I rented a lot of movies in the late 80s.

topgun

Then there comes a point where you avoid the movie on television, because if you're going to see Top Gun, you don't want any editing or ads. But for one reason or another, you're never compelling to seek it out. I've never had that moment where I thought "I need to see Top Gun so I understand all the references that have been flying about for thirty years".

My buddy Elvis drops a Top Gun reference as part of his daily lexicon. I know it's from Top Gun, but I sure don't know Top Gun.

Is there a pop culture phenomenon that somehow eluded you? And at this point, are you afraid to admit it?

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