Humble Sans Fred

RadioI've written about Humble & Fred before. For over a decade the Humble and Fred Show, mornings on CFNY Edge 102, was the radio program to which I awoke. I stopped listening when they moved to the short-lived Mojo 640 and haven't heard a peep out of them since they moved to Mix 99.9 a couple of years ago.

Having said that, I was sad to learn today that Fred Patterson has been fired. Mediocre ratings led to this move and now the Humble Howard Morning Show is sans Fred.

It's been years since I've heard them, but I'll miss The Humble and Fred Show. Geeks that groove.

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Here what was said on September 6 2005 in a Toronto Star article. Writen by Vinay Menon

" "Howard humbled, Fred fired
Anemic ratings split MIX morning team"

Call it the end of an era.
The Humble and Fred Show, a durable fixture in Toronto radio for 16 years, is no more. Fred Patterson, co-host for the MIX 99.9 morning team, was quietly fired two weeks ago.
"I can live with it," says Patterson. "No hard feelings. I'll just have to find something else to do."
Patterson and co-conspirator Howard Glassman first joined forces in 1989 on CFNY (now The Edge). In 2001, the pair moved to MOJO, when the "talk radio for guys" station launched.
In 2003, they were signed to a 5-year contract at the MIX. For whatever reason - and nobody has a good one - the show never drew a large audience.
In the most recent ratings book, it ranked a dismal 13th. Given these disappointing numbers, management brought in consultants as various options were considered.
But, desperate to shake up the program, they relieved Patterson of his duties.
"That's the sad thing for me - the end of The Humble and Fred Show," he says, still trying to make sense of his first termination in 26 years. "Working with Howard for all those years was a fabulous experience. It just seems weird to not be getting up to go to work in the morning. Because if it was up to me, that's what I'd be doing."
Glassman remains with the MIX, leading a rechristened Humble Howard Morning Show.
"We had a great relationship, on the air and off the air," says Glassman, of his run with Patterson. "And we did some great radio that nobody ever heard."
This, you see, is a story about perception and reality. With an iconic status and legions of followers, many fans wrongly assumed The Humble and Fred Show was a top-rated program.
In truth, it was struggling for years. Between the fall of 1995 to the spring of 1997, Humble and Fred were No.1 in the 18-34 demographic. Then Howard Stern stormed into the market and the Canadian jokesters never recovered.
For Glassman, last month's forced separation was painful, awkward and sad. But not entirely unexpected.
"I was shocked and I was stunned but I wasn't surprised," he says. "We hadn't been doing well for some time and they were searching for answers for some time. I was pretty convinced we were both going to get fired, sooner or later, if things didn't improve."
At other stations, the lads had a reasonable excuse for weak numbers - they were working inside niche formats. The Edge played modern music, not something everybody wants first thing in the morning. MOJO, by contrast, played no music.
So expectations were decidedly high when Humble and Fred came to the MIX.
"I looked at this as a huge opportunity to finally be on a more level playing ground and it just didn't materialize," says Glassman. "I don't know. It's just weird."
What do fans make of this? Last week, Glassman gave out his personal cellphone number on the air. He's been deluged with calls.
Some listeners say they will not listen to a show without Patterson.
Others say the show must go on and they like what Glassman is doing.
Most callers, however, just want to satisfy their curiosity and pledge continued support.
"The passion they have for the show is unbelievable," says Glassman, who was a solo morning man at the MIX in 1991, after a brief split from Patterson and CFNY.
"I have a pretty personal relationship with these people. I've been reminded of that a lot in recent weeks. But they also feel like kids in a divorce, in a strange way.
"Other than Roger, Rick and Marilyn (the venerable morning team at CHUM FM), Fred and I have been together in this market for a long time. Even though we haven't done very well, the people who like us, they love us. So it's hard for them."
For Patterson, the future is unclear. But his sense of humour endures. I ask what he plans to do next.
"I was thinking about becoming an astronaut or a nuclear physicist or a psychologist," he says.
"One of those."

July 26, 2017 @ 10:18 PM

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