Canadian Media

Adam Ricard and Melani Mariani Gone From 102.1 the Edge, Fearless Fred Moves to Q107

There was a time when the firing of the Edge morning show would be a "stop the presses" moment around these parts. Since the cancellation of The Dean Blundell Show, the only constant at 102.1 the Edge in the mornings has been change. Fearless Fred was there for a while, Rick the Temp was there, Josie Dye was there, and most recently, Adam Ricard and Melani Mariani were there.

Corus will announce a new 102.1 the Edge morning show soon, as Adam and Mel have been let go. I've never had the pleasure of meeting Melani, but Adam was kind enough to visit me for an episode of Toronto Mike'd, and we noted that he was the longest-serving DJ still on the air at that station. Alan Cross doesn't count because he left and came back.

You can hear my chat with Adam here:

Does anyone want to guess who will be their next morning show? I'm guessing Adam Wylde because that's my go-to guess for all Toronto morning radio shows targeting younger listeners with a vacancy.

Meanwhile, Fearless Fred is moving from 102.1 the Edge to Q107. His first shift on Q is 2pm on August 13. And Weekend host Wade MacNeil has also been let go. This is a rather aggressive refresh at 102.1.

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Sportsnet Personalities Banned From Homestand Sports Events

Earlier this week, I had Cam Gordon from Twitter Canada in my basement and we were talking about a recent PItch Talks event that ended early when Kelly Gruber soured the room. Cam was there, and we got to talking about these events from Homestand Sports. In addition to Pitch Talks there's Puck Talks and Hoop Talks. Here's a trailer from Homestand Sports.

In that trailer, you'll see many Sportsnet personalities. I saw Stephen Brunt, Sid Seixeiro, John Shannon and Elliotte Friedman. In the recent event with the Kelly Gruber controversy, there was an appearance by Dan Shulman and Kevin Barker. Sportsnet personalities are all over these events.

Yesterday, Homestand Sports gave notice that Sportsnet personalities will no longer be permitted to appear at their events. Here's that update.

To the entire Homestand Sports family:

We have recently learned that we will no longer have Sportsnet personalities appearing on our shows. It has been a real pleasure working with all of these talented people.

Though this does not disrupt our programming, it has inspired thoughts about what Homestand is about. From the beginning, our events have been focused on sports fans and making them a priority. We realized that fans want to be more involved in conversations around their favourite sports, teams, and players. Thus, the Talks were born. Our events have created a way for fans to connect with sports media personnel, industry professionals, as well as past and present athletes. We love hearing stories about those who travel from far distances to attend these events, how they heard about it, who they came with; and we love seeing the fans interact with each other.

In addition to the above, we see our events as an alternative to traditional sports media. Currently, most major sports channels and shows are owned and operated by sizable corporations, some of which are not companies with sports as a sole focus. Fans deserve a variety of media to choose from in order to get the full picture and be exposed to different views and opinions. We look forward to continuing to serve fans in this way as we develop our live shows and other content.

We absolutely loved having Sportsnet personalities on our shows for many reasons. One of the main reasons is our feeling that combining talent from Sportsnet with talent from other media outlets created a diverse experience for fans. Though we will continue to create this environment, we do consider this a loss for sports fans.

We would like to sincerely thank the team of Sportsnet talent who have shared their insights at our live events over the years. The memories that have been created will never be forgotten by us or the fans.

The Talks series will continue as usual, and the Sportsnet team will always be welcome. Stay tuned for exciting new programming coming THIS FALL!

Kevin Kennedy
Founder, Homestand Sports

I've found this development particularly interesting, because in many ways, these talks are cut from the same cloth as my podcast. The first line in the trailer above comes from Mike Zeisberger (note to self: invite Mike on Toronto Mike'd) and his words could apply to Toronto Mike'd. He says "you come to this and it is pretty much as informal as being in somebody's basement talking about the sport we all love".

The beauty of Toronto Mike'd is that it's 100% independent. In any given week there could be a guest from Sportsnet, TSN, CBC, Corus, the Toronto Star, the Toronto Sun or an independent. From Sportsnet I've enjoyed brilliant conversations with Ron MacLean, Stephen Brunt, Dan Shulman, Arash Madani, Elliotte Friedman, Tara Slone, Damien Cox, Hazel Mae, Eric Smith, Brad Fay, Chris Johnston, Caroline Cameron, Jeff Marek, Andrew Walker, Carly Agro, Faizal Khamisa, Mike Wilner, Greg Brady, Elliott Price, Steve Dangle, Hugh Burrill... you get the idea. Of course, I didn't sell tickets for people to hear these discussions, and maybe that's the kicker.

I don't know for certain why Rogers decided to prevent their talent from appearing at these events, but I would hypothesize that they're going to launch their own such events and Homestand Sports would be deemed the competition. Again, just an educated guess on my part, but that makes the most sense.

We'll see what the future holds. I'm keeping my good eye on this one...

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Kevin Frankish is Leaving Breakfast Television

Kevin Frankish, longtime co-host of City TV's Breakfast Television, announced this morning that Friday will be his last day on the program. Here's his announcement...

Kevin hasn't yet disclosed why he's leaving a job he so clearly loves, nor whether it was his choice. Kevin's career at City TV started in 1991 and he visited me last year to talk about that and so much more. I urge you to listen to this episode of Toronto Mike'd with Kevin Frankish, one of my all-time favourite guests.

Coincidentally, longtime CP24 Breakfast host Steve Anthony left the competition only two months ago. I will keep this entry updated with all the information I learn about this seemingly sudden departure of a Toronto morning television fixture.

And Kevin, I think it's time to schedule your second visit...

Kevin Frankish and Me

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John Scholes Says Goodbye to Q107 After 19 Years

Al Joynes is gone, Andy Frost is leaving, and now John Scholes has left Q107. His last shift was Friday afternoon. He was there for 19 years.

As you'll hear below, John bows out to Queen's The Show Must Go On.

Although John will no longer be on Q107, it sounds like he'll still be doing some work for Corus on GNR640 and Global. Clearly, more changes are coming at Q. Stay tuned...

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Andy Frost is Leaving Q107

Last week, when I learned Al Joynes had been let go by Corus, I also heard Andy Frost was presented with a similar folder. Andy, however, was given something rather rare in radio. He would be allowed to say goodbye to the Q107 listenership on-air.


I decided not to write about Andy leaving the station, but earlier today, during episode 321 of Toronto Mike'd, Al Joynes let the cat out of the bag. Andy Frost is leaving Q107.

If you'd like to hear Andy and me discuss his lengthy career at Q107, I urge you to listen to episode 291. Andy first arrived at Q107 in the mid-80s and is now best known as host of Psychedelic Psunday.

Andy Frost and me

Andy's been a fixture on this city's airwaves for over three decades. Without a doubt, he'll be missed.

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Steve Anthony is Leaving CP24 Breakfast

Steve Anthony has announced he is leaving CP24 Breakfast to "do other things" and that his last day will be March 29.

Steve Anthony was just at my home two weeks ago for another great convo and left no hint he was about to leave. He did take great pride in talking about the success of CP24 Breakfast and that it was the most watched morning show in the city, beating his old show Breakfast Television on City. In fact, if you watch the clip below, you'll hear him extrapolate that it's actually the most watched morning show in the country.

I've been visited by Steve twice, and thoroughly enjoyed both conversations. In fact, he's one of my all-time favourite Toronto Mike'd guests.

Catch these episodes here:

Here's what Steve has shared on Facebook.

Well? That's almost done. This morning I announced that, after 9 years as a host on CP24 Breakfast, and 25 of almost 40 years waking up at around 3am to be a 'broadcaster', I am stepping away from being on TV and radio. Tanya Humphrey-Anthony and I have been working towards this for a while. We have a bunch of businesses and projects that we have nurturing, and are no ready to devote much more time into.

So that's the story. I can't say you won't SEE me around. But I can't say where or when if you do.

Here's video of Steve's announcement.

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Gregg Zaun Fired by Rogers Sportsnet

Gregg Zaun will no longer be a part of Blue Jays telecasts. He was fired today. Rick Brace, President of Rogers Media, sent the following email to employees this afternoon.

This week, we received complaints from multiple employees at Sportsnet regarding inappropriate behaviour and comments by Gregg Zaun in the workplace. After investigating the matter, we decided to terminate his contract, effective immediately.

This type of behaviour completely contradicts our standards and our core values. We must all be held to the same standard - regardless of our position, our contributions or our status.

We believe in a professional workplace where all employees feel comfortable and respected. We believe in a culture where our employees share their feedback or our status.

We are grateful to the employees who spoke wth us and we will take every measure to protect their privacy.

If you have concerns related to inappropriate behaviour of any kind, I encourage you to talk to your manager, HR business partner, or phone our anonymous hotline.

Thank you for your ongoing support and commitment.


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36 Local Newspapers Shut Down After Massive Postmedia-Torstar Trade

I can't remember anything like this happening in the past... there was a massive local newspaper trade today between Postmedia and Torstar. 41 papers were involved and 36 of them will be shut down. That means hundreds of people (300+) were dismissed today, as a result.

Here's a list of newspapers being shut down by their new owner:

  1. 24 Hours Toronto
  2. 24 Hours Vancouver
  3. Barrie Examiner
  4. Bradford Times
  5. Collingwood Enterprise Bulletin
  6. Fort Erie Times
  7. Innisfil Examiner
  8. Inport News (Port Colborne)
  9. Niagara Advance
  10. Northumberland Today
  11. Orillia Packet & Times
  12. Pelham News
  13. Thorold Niagara News
  14. Belleville News
  15. Brant News
  16. Central Hastings News
  17. Frontenac Gazette
  18. Kanata Kourier-Standard
  19. Kingston Heritage
  20. Meaford Express
  21. Metro Ottawa
  22. Metro Winnipeg
  23. Nepean/Barrhaven News
  24. Norfolk News
  25. Orleans News
  26. Ottawa East News
  27. Ottawa South News
  28. Ottawa West News
  29. Our London
  30. Quinte West News
  31. St. Lawrence News
  32. St. Mary’s Journal-Argus (and the St. Mary’s Weekender)
  33. St. Thomas/Elgin Weekly News
  34. Stittsville News
  35. Stratford City Gazette
  36. West Carleton Review

Here are the papers that were swapped but will remain open:

  1. Exeter Times-Advocate (and the Exeter Weekender)
  2. St. Catharines Standard
  3. Niagara Falls Review
  4. Welland Tribune
  5. Peterborough Examiner

These lists were cobbled together based on press releases and tweets from trustworthy sources like Jaren Kerr. If I got anything wrong, please let me know and I'll update the lists.

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List of GTA On-Air Talent Laid Off This Month

As Bell Media continues to make cuts across this country, I thought I would put together a list of GTA on-air talent who have been advised their services are no longer required.

I've already written about Joe Tilley and Lance Brown at CTV Toronto, and Paulie Morris at 97.7 HTZ FM, but here's the full list of names familiar to Torontonians. Several of these people have a history at their respective stations going back to the 70s and 80s.

  • Joe Tilley - CTV Toronto
  • Lance Brown - CTV Toronto
  • Paul Morris - 97.7 HTZ FM
  • Brittany Anastacio - 97.7 HTZ FM
  • Michael Kane - BNN
  • Amber Payie - CP24 / CHUM
  • Bob Summers - CP24 / CHUM
  • Jeff Howatt - CHUM FM / Newstalk 1010

Many behind-the-scenes people have also been let go, but I'll only maintain this list of on-air people as I learn more names.

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Lance Brown and Joe Tilley Laid Off as Bell Media Job Cuts Continue

Lance Brown and Joe Tilley have delivered sports updates for CFTO News, now CTV Toronto News, since the mid-80s. Lance started in 1985 and Joe in 1984. If my math is right, that's over thirty years for each of them.

Bell Media has cut over 50 jobs across Canada, including Lance Brown and Joe Tilley. Earlier today, Paulie Morris was let go by 97.7 HTZ FM. CTV Toronto News will now save money by utilizing TSN resources for their sports updates when local sports go off the air on December 27.



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