A Long, Heartfelt, Passionate Email from a Former 102.1 The Edge Listener

EmailI don't know Stephen from Kitchener, but he just sent me a long but heartfelt and passionate email about his disdain for corporate radio and his disappointment in 102.1 The Edge.

It seems he did some Googling and came across my Edge 102 ~ CFNY category page. I think he read all 130 entries there.

Here are Stephen's thoughts. It's a fascinating read if you have 30 minutes.

Hi Mike,

Going to be somewhat of a long e-mail here. Name's Stephen, 24, from Kitchener. I've listened to radio for years, and while I would like to call myself a long time listener of The Edge, I really can't back that up. Sad to say my good musical tastes grew too late and by the time I started tuning in to CFNY, around 2003, its glory years were long past. Although one thing I can mention through reading your various articles and reading the Wikipedia page on the station – is that there are many generations of fans that "abandoned" the station every couple years to changes, etc. Everyone has a time when CFNY meant something to them, and then hated where it went, and gave up on it. However I feel I have come of the heels of the final "nail in the coffin" pertaining to CFNY's hey-days. I'm the generation that grew up with Bundell, Dye, and Bookie. I can never really call myself a big fan or listener of the station, because most of the time when I was 18/19 I listened to then new (in my area) DaveFM (which I have now grown to hate) and other stations. In recent years I've switched more to my own personal collection through an mp3 player. What radio used to have was a sense of community; everyone listening to a song at the same time around an entire city, and enjoying it. That is now lost on the iPod generation. It's good and bad in its own right. It was creepy last time I was in Toronto, I was stopped at a light and casually looking out my window to see an epidemic – almost every person that walked by on the sidewalk had earbuds. All tuned out in their own world with their own personal music tastes and playlists. This will be the death of radio in coming years, and I say that's fine with me.

Anyway, every year I usually check out The Edge's Top countdown for the year (in this case the Top 200 Songs of the Decade), and for whatever reason Martin Streek's death popped into my head again. I went to see if their memorial page was still up on the station's website, and it was. At least they didn't erase him that fast this time. I first heard of his death on the Dean Bundell show, and was pretty shocked. Of course as soon as I heard he was let go, I put two and two together quickly, although that will forever be up for debate (as to why he did it). I was too young to really experience anything relating to him (never really listened to his live shows), and also never lived in Toronto, but I did notice right away a different voice on the radio on Thursdays nights, and no 4:20 thought when Barry was supposed to be on. It would be wrong for me to say I listened to Streek a great deal, but today I really realized than damn, we lost a great personality.

So yesterday, I got largely derailed from other projects and spent a good six hours going through video clips, Wikipedia entries, news articles, and a lot of blog entries covering the subject. I originally found your Streek bits when he died, but today I found there was a lot more written about him and the Edge in general, so I got to reading. I found out a lot more today about him, the station, and also browsed other articles about the death of MuchMusic and TheNewMusic program (you know how one link always leads to another!), a show I vaguely remember being aired by MuchMoreMusic. I know I'm only 24, but my love for retro music started very early, moreover for Canadian artists that outside of Canada, are virtually unknown anywhere else. It really ticks me off more people don't know more about our music, because in this internet era bands get picked up on fast. Back in the 80s, this wasn't possible for bands like Rough Trade or Pukka Orchestra or Chalk Circle or Martha & The Muffins.

I read somewhere in the comments in one article that radio DJ's are never supposed to air the stations dirty laundry when it comes to the letting go of other DJ's. Like they are helpless, and can't say anything on the phone or in passing conversation to anyone. What tripe. There has been many times when I have suddenly discovered a morning show or people gone missing, and suddenly it's like they never existed! No one talks about it, no one replies, why can't radio just be honest? Talk about the departures. The Edge did celebrate Streek, but there was no reference that they fired him, and the casual radio listener would never know that. It really ticks me off because they kissed his ass on air, but did they actually defend him when they found out he got canned? Or did the other staff just brush it off as "business" not caring he was the last link to the old days? It's a farce, because if you as a DJ gain a fanbase in your area, people want to know what happened to you if you left. I say good luck in trying to keep peoples mouths shut now, in the age of Twitter and Facebook. I loved the juicy article on Barry Taylor's MySpace page (I miss him too). Man if there is one thing I hate, its how corporate radio has become. It's all about the mighty buck. I could rant on and on about this, but its true. I may have not even been alive when radio was actually "radio" and formats were free and it was about "the music", but I do know for sure there was such a time – when DJ's had a lot more say and stations weren't so geared to play "what was popular" or "run more ads" just to make some revenue. I don't know where my mails are, but I appreciate Alan Cross for being the only person at CFNY at the time to actually reply to my e-mails. He was Program Director back then, and I even bitched at him when the 102.1 The Edge's website got a major revamp and looked like every other radio site out there! It was days before I discovered pretty much every station around K-W, etc, is owned by the same damn company, Chorus, and it makes me sick because there is no individuality anymore. All stations have the same working and looking website, and I noticed each station boasted the same "back in two minutes" branding with their ads (which got so annoying after a while I just wish the DJ would stfu about it). It was enough to make me sick. Where do you run and hide when every station is controlled by the same higher power? If I ever do find those e-mails I'll forward them to you, as you seem to be the guy interested in such stuff.

I noticed the change when Winters came in. Oh man, you know how annoying it is when I drive to work, listen at work, drive home, drive to the mall, drive to bowling, etc, and I hear the same damn song all the time in one day! I remember days in a row where I would here the exact same promo featuring like five songs in three second segments (one of which would be the song they play next), and I always bet right what song that would play next. I grew to hate MGMT's "Kids" this way (they still overplay it!). I hated "Civil Twilight", and that new City & Color song, and several Linkin Park and Foo Fighter songs. I liked "Check My Brain" from Alice In Chains until they killed it. They completely left the first single, "A Looking In View" in the dust (7 mins long), and the third single is having a hard time because they keep playing "Check My Brain". Don't get me wrong, I like some new stuff and listen to The Edge in hopes of hearing something new I'll like (like the new 30 Seconds To Mars "Kings And Queens"), but at its peak, "Sex On Fire" from Kings Of Leon was being played more than seven times a day, and I e-mailed the Edge on it. I've mailed them several times about their playlists, never got a reply. When they made it "the 90s nooner", I thought this was a chance for them to play really "out there" stuff we hardly ever here – its almost the same damn songs I hear every two weeks! Much like the "oldschool lunch" on 91.5 The Beat, they repeat the same rap, r&b and disco tunes. Playlists are too skimpy these days (all stations), with older songs always being erased. And if your song wasn't a big "chart" topper it when it was big, chances are you'll never hear it again on radio (save for some exceptions). When I look at the old year end music lists from the 90s, some of the stuff you never heard anymore on The Edge! 1980's stuff these days on The Edge? Forgetaboutit. (Last time they played old stuff was when they did a Top something Canadian countdown). There was a time when that stuff was new and "the now", but now you hear some of that really old stuff on variety stations and such, deemed for much older audiences. A song like "High School Confidential" or "Echo Beach" or "Nova Heart" has a greater meaning and value being played on The Edge…when you hear it on some retro mix station with "softer" or more "mainstream" hits, it doesn't make the song even sound as edgy as it used to, compared to the rest of that other station's playlist. It loses its meaning. I hope you know what I mean. Some of The Edge's classic playlist is considered "retro 80s oldschool" for parties and such, not "ground breaking" and "new" like it was. And even now, those retro stations like DaveFM (who changed their format to all rock now, like we need another 35-55 demo rock station in these parts), don't even play a lot of 70s/80s Canadian songs anymore (because they aren't "rock")! There was an entire period from 2003 till 2008 when a lot of older Canadian stuff still got airplay (on a lot of stations not just DaveFM), and now I find the dates on some of my Canadian mp3's to be from a time when radio played (and I discovered) a lot of good music, because when I look at these files names, I realize NO station ANYWHERE is playing this stuff anymore. Its long forgotten, save for Youtube.

I laughed when I read Barry got in shit for "talking too much about music". Are you serious? It's a radio station! And of course I was appalled to see "Top 40 with Grunge" mentioned. As if The Edge only ever played stuff past 1990…well now I guess that is true…as they almost never play stuff from the 1980s. By 2010 standards the 80s are as ancient as the 70s, leaving the 90s and early 00s to nostalgia over. The same thing happened to 91.5 The Beat here. It started off as a real R&B rap station, but after that "didn't work", they went to Top 40 shit. I really wonder who is to blame. The corporate companies, or the brain dead young kids these days that really don't know shit about GOOD music. I'm so glad I strayed from the "pack" at an early age…then again, I still think pop music from my day was better then the auto-tune no talent hacks of today. The Edge has lost its identity, and the current company is succeeding in making it another mindless station that will please "casual" fans of radio. It is conforming to "the system" it once rebelled against. I wtf'ed when I first heard AC/DC and Guns N Roses for the first time earlier last year. Seriously? Old rock and hair metal? This isn't 107.9. And even IF The Edge plays a lot of Canadian talent, its overshadowed by mega popular bands like Green Day, Linkin Park, and Foo Fighters. We will hear these bands forever until the day we die, lets hear something else! I keep finding old CFNY CD's from the 90s at Value Village, I wonder if I should have picked them up now! So I can learn more about what the station was back then.

When Fearless Fred came in and I saw Bookie get bumped to late nights, and considering how long Bookie has been there, I would not be surprised if he was handed an envelop too. Such a cold way of doing it, too. Like for Streek – 25 years, no goodbye party, just "fuck you", you're on your own. I can't stand Fearless Fred's voice. He sounds scatterbrained, cocky, childish and I agree with people calling him the poster boy for the literal and figurative death of quality radio. I had a good laugh that you and I shared the exact same mind on who he sounded like – the stoner/slacker character Jude from 6Teen. I sometimes forget its Fred and think it's that character's voice actor. Fred himself does not have a good voice for radio. Some are made for this profession, others are not. I cringe listening to him, but I have no other good radio anywhere else, save for Conestoga College 88.3, but for a year now their reception has been garbage even in local areas and I don't know why. To quote someone in the comments, "Terrestrial radio in North America (and maybe elsewhere too) has for decades been on a path to commercialization, homogenization, calcification, whatever descriptor you like." That is so terribly depressing. Radio once meant so much to one generation, and now it just means "sell-sell-sell" more products. 102.1 The Edge really needs a spin-off station for its older fans. I believe something of that nature would do well considering the large CFNY fanbase.

Mr. Taylor says that he and Mr. Streek made it clear around the office and on the air that they were not happy with the decreasing diversity of the music they were being asked to play. It was a long way from the mid-eighties, when, under Mr. Marsden, listeners were promised $1,002 if they noticed the same song being played more than once in 24 hours. The official limit now is 7 times in 24 hours.

Wow, compared to how it is now, this seems so unreal. Back in the days before online listings too!

From what I've gathered on Streek, he was very passionate about his work and I'm sure thought he would spend all of his days at The Edge. I could not believe he got a tattoo of them on his glute. Some people may deny the fact his taking his own life was solely related to his job, but damnit, I believe a good portion of it was. Could you imagine, during a worldwide recession, at a job you had for 25 years where you thought you had job security and were "up in the totem pole", you get let go just like that? Not even a heartfelt goodbye, just gone. Erased from the website and memory and kicked in the ass. "We got what we wanted out of you for 25 years, now you don't fit the bill for the current times, see ya!" *door slam*. I bet he file horrible, like no one even cared or acknowledged his years of service, a job he had right out of high school. Suddenly at 45 you are left without an income.

"You're the only person who ever interviewed me for a job," he said. "I don't know how to interview for a job."

Poor guy. And he was still active, even up to the point of his "demo". I wish I knew what went on in his head in those two months. As you stated, "his state of mind had him convinced he'd be better off dead. At the end of the day, this is the shittiest fact of all." Too true.

In closing, I'd like to mention after reading all of what I read, I have a real dislike for Ross Winters. And I was actually surprised he replied back to me in July when I ranted a long e-mail to him about Steeks death. I went on to say I was pissed they let go two great DJ's, and straight out said he took his own life because he got canned, and asked if he meant anything to "you people". I told him you should feel ashamed, and honestly said with the downfall of terrestrial radio, I only listened to the Edge for its morning show. It is true, after getting fed up with local stations and this station, since April 2009 the shop I work in has switched over to my iPod, and its a lot more satisfying making a playlist for the shop putting on songs people want to hear (uncut and uncensored too). I stated I wouldn't listen anymore after Streeks suicide, but I admit I still do, but hardly as much as I used to. I stated the quality of the station had been going down for years, and went worst when Cross left. I also mentioned he was getting rid of DJ's because they were too old and said I bet Bookie is next, but I could be wrong on that one. I said I may have considered a career in radio but after seeing the bullshit The Edge became, I'd reconsider. It's all about turning a profit, not about the music, etc. And after these events, seeing your station as a cold, heartless place that does not give two shits about their important employees. What he said:

Hi Steve, thanks for your email, you make a lot of comments on things that you really don't know about, and unfortunately I can't comment on everything. This is a very tough week at the edge. You can bet that the edge cares deeply about its people.

I don't know how much of that he made up, or how much is heartfelt, after reading everything I have read. Keep up the great work on your blog!


If you have something you want to get off your chest, send it to me at mike (at) torontomike.com and with your permission I'll post it on your behalf... assuming it's from the heart. Thanks, Stephen, for sharing.

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Comments (20 - click here to join in!)


This exact letter has been written repeatedly for 30 years. (Hi OJ Boy!)

Then the writers get a job, boy/girlfriend, real problems to think about.

The station keeps making money.

January 4, 2010 @ 4:01 PM

Jay of Toronto Fence

I too was a long time listener of 102.1, but when a station boasts they play new alternative and are still playing 'Black Hole Sun' more than a decade after it was considered 'new alternative' I new it was time to call it quits. Not sure if Stephen will read these comments, but if he wants new music that isn't about the almighty dollar he needs to tune into CBC Radio3 (http://radio3.cbc.ca/) I was introduced to it about 2 years ago and haven't looked back since.

January 4, 2010 @ 4:07 PM


Great letter. Too bad no-one is listening.

January 4, 2010 @ 4:44 PM

jason | getyouroj.com

Stephen, if you still listen, you're a hypocrite.

Rewind: I don't write The Edge. I don't care about The Edge. I don't even want it to change, seeing as I will never again listen. They've got blood on their hands. Further, there's too much better shit out there to listen to for me to care about The Edge.

I cared about CFNY, I don't care about The Edge.

I think what's sadder than the state of that station are the people who still think they can rewind... no pun intended.

I'm not a soccer dad that listens to FM in his car, this isn't 1980-something or 1990-something... which is the last time The Edge was half decent.

Give it up.

Do something more productive than worry about how Ross Winters is a sack of shit.

January 4, 2010 @ 6:11 PM

Buffalo Boy Mike

I honestly haven't tuned into 102.1 since .....July...I would at least tune in for Retro Sunday nights but honestly it has no personality, the chippy they got to do it in Streeks place is not even interesting to listen to, doesn't know a fraction of the information about the music she is playing at the live to air and just isn't fun.
It sounds like the hired some 21 year old girl out of college and said here look cute and don't talk much between sets on the air and keep playing 80's music all night until 2 AM.
Radio is faceless....its not daring, CFNY used to be daring, they did what no other station did in radio even back then,they played stuff NO ONE would play, Who else played Pukka Orchrestra....no one did. Who else played Streetbands Toast? NO ONE ELSE
CFNY had and could still have a market for playing stuff no one else has...What I really miss is the New Rock Search, if forced the station to introduce new rock bands, think about all the bands that wound up on those CD's...I have a few of them...Why can't a station keep playing tunes from its inception? they don't have to put them on high repetition and I get the fact they have to play newer music,thats the stations MO, but they have to recognize the past, they have to acknowledge the history this station has and the fact that they are looked at as the former gold standard for alternative radio in North America and possibly the world.
Alan Cross came to Niagara Falls, New York to Media Play years ago, probably 1998 or earlier to promote the Alternative Music Almanac, and he had the idea back then to do a new station for old school CFNY...a CFNY 2 type of station. Im still waiting.
While everyone seems to be blowing their wad up there over BOOM, no offense but I saw their playlist today and its EZ Rock with an emphasis on the lighter old school CFNY I saw Air Supply on the play list....tell me that was a mistake? Steve Perry You should have been gone? seriously? no offense but ditch Air Supply..if you have to do Steve Perry stick to hard edged Journey, but not his solo stuff, that is EZ Rock...not what Im tuning into BOOM for...
There needs to be a station that has some personality, even BOOM has no personality, sure youll hear 80s but Ill bet Come on Eileen will be played every day....Depeche Mode? Youll be lucky to get past I Just Can't Get Enough and People Are PEople, You are not going to hear anything else by the Cure except for Friday Im In Love and Just Like Heaven.....Im sorry but thats not good enough, thats Jack FM here in Buffalo...its coorporate radios attempt to please us, but its not doing it....Elvis Costello's Radio Radio has never meant more today. Ill listen to Mae and I was impressed because she played Head over Heels by Tears for Fears, thats a deeper cut than I thought youd get, then again as far as Tears for Fears go, they are on the tame side of CFNY...Id be impressed if she played Mother's Talk or Mad World
Im sticking to Radio Nigel, they come closest to anyhting CFNY, and don't get me wrong I don't want to hear all old school, I want to hear a nice balance and an attempt to not settle for generic alt rock crap....CFNY never played metallica back in the day,they dug and dug and instead played bands like Catherine Wheel, Belly, Sinead O'Connor, Ashley MacIssac, Sarah McLachlan, BNL, .....its not even close...Ill tune into BOOM for Howard and Mae, but im not listening to 102 ever again until I get the go ahead from someone who is informed or has found the real alternative to what we have.

January 4, 2010 @ 6:23 PM


A friend of mine works at CBC TV & radio (on weekends) & radio is dying with younger people. They listen to their IPODS constantly. It's only the older folk (over 30) who listen to radio & too many stations trying to find right format.
TOO many stations playing the same crap.

January 4, 2010 @ 7:32 PM

Jim Huinink

Hey Stepehn,

I live in KW and 88.3 is the Conestoga College station that is quite 'Edgy' and is not owned by Corus. I have gone through lots of periods of hate for radio and even for rock music but you can't give up! Goodness keeps springing up anew!

January 4, 2010 @ 9:09 PM


I officially retract anything good I've ever said about 97.7. I just listened to them play a butchered version of Jesus of Suburbia. It had to be 3 minutes long, and sounded like it was hacked apart by the intern with a copy of MS Sound Recorder.

Then to top it off, they announced what their top 2 songs of "the decade" were. Paralyzer (maybe in the top 100, but come on-- I can even think of other Finger Eleven songs that should be rated higher!)

Then, while I wondered if I should be taking them off the pre-sets, they put the nail in their coffin. Their other top 2 song of the decade-- of the fucking decade-- How You Remind Me by (name censored for your protection).

In a decade that saw (multiple) releases from the Foo Fighters, Tool, Queens of the Stone Age, Audioslave, Pearl Jam, Nirvana(!!!), Green Day, Radiohead, The White Stripes, System of a Down, Disturbed, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Muse, Incubus, A Perfect Circle, USS, The Mars Volta, Von Bondies, The Tragically Hip, Fuel, Tea Party, The Headstones, The Offspring, The New Pornographers, and countless, countless others...

... of all those, they seriously call a song that is exactly the fucking same as every other one of their songs ever made (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvujgcbaCF8)

So, this 88.3 you speak of... next time I'm in the car, I'm checking my reception.

January 4, 2010 @ 11:00 PM

Buffalo Boy Mike

I get in an 88.3 as well, its call Mikes Ipod featuring over 8000 songs, podcasts and sound bits including humble and fred, pete and geets, david marsden, martin streek and mae pauts sound bytes, its like CFNY but not...I set it to play and it plays without repeats...unless of course i want to repeat.
I have playlists with ALL request breakfast tunes its awesome actually.
Why do i even bother with radio?

January 5, 2010 @ 12:04 AM

Pauly Walnuts

Good e-mail, thanks Stephen.

January 5, 2010 @ 9:27 AM


Nice email.

Music on the radio is pretty much dead for me.

I listen to The Fan, CBC and podcasts. I second checking out Radio 3 - and also check out the Seattle based station KEXP (kexp.org I think). You can listen to the live stream or podcasts. I'm too young to remember the old CFNY days, but I think KEXP may be similar.

January 5, 2010 @ 8:24 PM


I've been lurking on this blog since the Tuesday in July I came home from work and went looking onlne to find the scoop. ("Did Streek ditch his bike or what?" Needless to say I was shocked and horrified when I found out.) At torontomike.com I found community and some comfort in others who felt as I did and apparently still do. Not only do I not listen to 102.1, nor will I ever again, I am appalled by my friends who also knew Streek and continue to tune in and support Corus stations. 88.3 is the best bet in my neck of the woods, as well...as long as it's not windy.

January 6, 2010 @ 10:07 PM

Stephen from Kitchener

Heh, not all 130 entries, Mike, perhaps 25 of them – paying special attention to other people’s comments to gather opinions. Quick note about Streek’s suicide I didn’t include: I know there are some out there who do not feel sorry for him, and that firings happen all the time at jobs where you held a position for a long time and had “security”. People would “give tough love” to you to just brush it off, man up, move on, and that “everyone goes through a rough patch once in a while”. Don’t get me wrong these people are entitled to that opinion, but you have to understand that for some people, the pain and stress of having something happen like that can be just too much to endure. It’s not my call to assume if Martin suffered from a metal illness such as depression or being bi-polar, but if he did in fact suffer from something like that, you must understand his state of mind was altered in a form none of us can grasp. Yes, he had options everywhere to turn around and do something else as he was very talented, but in his mind he just couldn’t handle the sudden cards he was dealt.

Jay of Toronto Fence – I thought CBC’s radio stations were all classical music! I don’t know how I missed out on Radio3 for so long. I will look into it.

Jason – Unlike some people here, I do like The Edge’s morning show. So I only listen to that. But if I forget the iPod at home or don’t have time to load it, I’d still go with The Edge. Now that I was told about Radio3, I will give that a spin. And true, I really shouldn’t care anymore, because it’s a lost cause. However I felt the need to rant to uphold the memory of what CFNY used to stand for.

Buffalo Boy Mike – I did not know Alan Cross had such an idea for a “CFNY 2”. I wonder what ever became of it.

Jim Hunink – I do like 88.3, I first discovered them after I heard them playing Matthew Good solo singles The Edge wasn’t touching, around 2006. But for some reason, even locally, their station has had a bad case of “crackle” in the background for a year and I don’t know why. I can’t find a place to contact them and it’s hard to listen with the background noise sometimes.

January 7, 2010 @ 8:01 AM

Jay Fence

@Stephen from Kitchener - Honestly I thought the same thing too:
CBC = classical music and talk radio.
The only time I would ever listen to CBC was when I was in the car with my grandparents.
But Radio3 is an amazing station/site for all Canadian Indie music.
Radio2 is also pretty good.
And Radio1 is your talk radio/classical stuff.

January 27, 2010 @ 2:02 PM


I'm a radio host, and have been for about 6 years. I know that's not enough to consider myself 'in the know' but I felt compelled to write anyway, so here I go.

Streek's passing is terribly sad, he was an amazing host and although I didn't know him I've heard he was an even better person. The truth is all stations have to adapt, change, and turnover. It is a business, and success is measured by #'s. I once worked for a little rock station that kicked some serious ass. So much so advertisers seemed intimidated by how loud it was. They flipped us to country, and are making way more money now with a 3rd the listeners. It's sad, but the other option was to close shop, because we simply weren't paying the bills. The Edge has done a terrific job of not having to resort to that sort of action, by staying popular and new. The voices of the station are one of the few things that can be changed in order to evolve, that's why they let these people go. I'm 27 on a station that is targeted at 18-29 year olds. There's a few people that can pull off relating to a demographic once they're beyond it, but most simply cannot. I know by the time I'm 32-35 I'll have to start looking at a new audience to speak to, or the same audience who aged with me. I used to listen to Pantera for instance, and my favorite host was Howard Stern. I was 18. I now prefer listening to Ben Harper, and my favorite host is a guy out of Edmonton named Garner Andrews who challenged thought rather than laughing at vagina fart noises. (I believe Garner was once the imaging voice of CFNY). My point is things change. Streek could have found a station that he better suited, and with his experience and massive amount of musical knowledge he would have kicked some serious ass doing it. It's a shame he never gave that a go.

I too would probably listen to the Edge more if they still had their massive playlist, but we are few and far between. They are playing what the majority of people in their target demo want to hear. They do research. They're not just guesstimating that our society is a little mainstream and blah, they know we are. Like you pointed out Stephen everyone has the technology to pick their own music, what terrestrial radio needs to do is give the majority what they want, the majority of the time, so radio doesn't; like you also pointed out "die".

I'd also like to say, the fact you pissed on Fearless Fred, really took away from your letter's credibility in my opinion. He's an incredibly talented host, who Toronto is very lucky to have. I'm going to go listen to him now actually. And maybe read his blog.


February 25, 2010 @ 3:13 PM

Stephen from Kitchener

Roy, how exactly did me "pissing" on Fred take away from my letter? I'm just stating my opinion, and while I know not everyone is against him, alot aren't exactly for him, either. He has shoes to fill that he never will. I have given him a chance many times, and I still can't stand him. His banter is so childish, his phone calls are so perfectly set-up to follow before a short promo, or sound effect, that I wonder how much is actually live; it just seems so fake to me. I don't like his voice, I still think he's a bore to listen to. You support him, that's fine, but that does not take away from my letter and the important points to ponder that are within it.

March 22, 2010 @ 3:00 PM


88.3 Is about as good as it gets in the KW/Guelph area for radio. They play their share of the same crap everybody else does don't get me wrong, but mixed in are a lot of tunes that come on and make me go "hey, when was the last time I heard that?" There's also a lot less repetition, and there are plenty of specialty programs to suit a lot of different tastes. It's worth checking out if you're still wanting to keep up with new music but don't need to hear the same 10 pieces of it 13 times a day.

Oh, and Fred is freaking awful. One of the worst broadcasting voices I can ever remember hearing. I think I'd rather listen to 4 hours a day of the boom goes the dynamite guy than 5 minutes of Fearless goddamn Fred.

June 22, 2010 @ 2:44 PM


Hello Mike,

I've read Stephens thoughts on the state of radio, specifically the edge. Nice job.

Stephen, if you were twice your age I think your letter would've been even more heartfelt as you would undoubtedly have so many more condolences to offer for the death of truly outstanding radio.

I'm 52 now and grew up ears glued to 102.1 24/7. There simply was nothing else. I too, like many others miss the good old days and the eclectic personalities that worked at CFNY. Did you know they used to have classical and jazz hours on a regular basis? CFNY even had the courage once to allow me to spin some of my own records with Ivar Hamilton live to air. I just phoned in one day someone actually answered) and asked, they said sure come on down.

I don't think ranting about it will bring it back in any shape or form. Though it may make you feel better to vent, there are numerous better choices for your ears than the Edge.

If you feel the need to catch up on the past, research some of these fine people at this link if you haven't already.


These are most in my mind when I reflect: Reiner Schwartz, Jim Reid, James Scott, Dave Marsden, Brad Mcnally and probably the most enduring was Dani Elwell and her Alternative Bedtime Hour - simply amazing music.

Oddly, as CFNY was peaking, I was introduced to Brave New Waves on CBC with most outstanding Patti Schmidt. It has unfortunately met an untimely, poorly decided death. Laurie Brown does an excellent job with The Signal which I guess replaced BNW.

Unfortunately business is business.

September 4, 2010 @ 7:00 PM


Dani Elwell is on Toronto's jazz Station: Jazz Fm 91 (91.1) Saturday and Sunday Mornings. Though I don't especially care for the music, I love listening to HER.

December 14, 2010 @ 5:25 PM


OMG I freaking love you Stephen for writing this I just got pissed off at Cours entertainment again for they're disgusting slaughter of PR in TV/online entertainment. It re-opened my they "Killed Martin Wonds", and once again I started thinking about writing to them about all my edge disappointments. But this is a blissful script of many things I was always too young to say, but reflected on as an adult who is disappointed in the corporate run world now. Just reading it feels condoling enough that I don't feel I need to keep harboring that grief anymore. I'm 23 years old now, and thanks to Cours I never got to experience the awesomeness of Martin's live DJ-ing I loved to listen to late at night doing my high school homework. Biggest disappointment in adulthood. I can't even listen to 102.1, I Hate Dean for mocking a mentally disabled teen on air constantly, and also for cruelly scrutinizing his intern. I was born with a rare genetic disease accompanied by developmental disorder, it was a seriously low blow. Listening to people get bullied on the radio made me so depressed/angry it was disgusting, and slightly emotionally scarring since the radio was supposed to make me happy, not hurt me. The more Cours changed it the more disgusting and ingenue Dean became. He went from a comedian to an F-ing monster. I learned so many cool things about music from Barry he was so awesome. Stuff was deep it had soul, and inspiration. All the old and random songs I looked up after I heard, incredibly expanded the list of my fav artists. Listening to and learning about music helped a lot with my learning disabilities since it inspired me and focused me more. My life has always been difficult thanks to EDS, but once upon a time in my teen years I had an amazing form of entertainment to distract me from all that. It was music and it was radio. RIP now 102.1 radio that once existed in my heart.

June 21, 2013 @ 12:31 AM

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