Of CFNY and Other Stories

radioI get letters. This one is from Chris who had something to get off his chest about CFNY a.k.a. Edge 102.


It's about 3:20am on a Monday night and a case of insomnia, largely fueled by the internet, had me surfing around the net looking up information to confirm what a friend told me, that Jason Barr was no longer with 102.1.

That leads me to your site - and pages and pages of critique on the state of 102.1... and I have to say that it's really refreshing to read something that reminds me I'm not crazy to feel, nor am I the only person out there, who feels totally ripped off by the direction that station has taken.

I'm 34. I've listened to CFNY since I was 12 and first got a stereo system that could pick up a signal from where I lived in the boonies. I know I just caught the last end of the dying gasps of that station and I can't help but feel bad for the young kids growing up today who will get yet another dose of corporate, top-40s music; instead of new, exciting, unheard of artists.

I had been traveling for a few years, and I come back to the death of Martin Streek, the loss of the few funny and interesting radio personalities, rap and hip-hop on 102.1, and the virtual takeover of the station by a bunch of middle-aged frat boys who have nothing more to offer than trite, juvenile, potty-humour.

It's a sad realization indeed to come to the conclusion that a former staple doesn't even warrant being programmed into the radio dial of a new car.

Thanks for taking the time to write about this - and not just write about it but recognizing the importance of the station - or what it used to be - in terms of it's impact on Toronto, and the surrounding area. Thousands people heard something new, got a taste for local musical flavour, and got to know people who truly cared about music. It truly mattered. I can remember vividly where I was when Martin Streek introduced Burning Inside by Ministry on a late night weekend show years and years ago. That was my introduction to industrial. I'm sure hundreds of people have similar memories.

It's too bad that's apparently gone for good.

Looking for the next best station,


By the way, Chris... Jason Barr is half of the new Biggs and Barr team on HTZ 97.7. Has anyone heard the show yet? What did you think?

If anyone wants to do what Chris did and peruse my CFNY / Edge 102 ramblings, they're all waiting for you at https://www.torontomike.com/cfny_edge_102/.

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Comments (24 - click here to join in!)


I am able to pick up Biggs and Barr on my drive in.

I am undecided on them right now. I like their banter but it lacks focus, however, I haven't been able to hear a lot. The music selection really prevents me from listening the whole time.
Much like Humble's show, I can't get by the music. Van Halen? No thanks.

But I like Jason's radio personality. It seems genuine.

On the 102.1 side, I still haven't listened since August. I don't miss it.

January 25, 2011 @ 10:10 AM

Pete McPhedran

I switched to Q107 about 5 month's ago. Just couldn't stand Blundell anymore and never could stand Todd. If they took one of several irritating things out of the show, maybe I could take it, but constant juvenile antics, misogyny and Dean's constant need for attention is just too much. At least when Jason was there, there was a single voice of sanity, reason and humour.

Q107 in the morning is OK, I am never offended by the on-air personalities and the music is OK. I like some 70's stuff, Led Zeppelin, Doors, Beatles. Could do without Bob Seager, Bruce Springstein and a few others.

Now that Biggs and Barr have landed at 97.7 I listen to them in the morning and jump around the dial the rest of the day. I agree with McNulty, they seem to be finding their groove, I think they will and for that alone, I'll keep tuning in. The music again, is OK.

I believe the Spirit of Radio is dead in Toronto. Maybe it's out there somewhere else, but not here. I am very pleased to have been able to experience it from the late '80's until it's death when Dean took to the airwaves.


January 25, 2011 @ 12:15 PM

Calender Cal

The Spirit of Radio has been dead since 1985 in Toronto. That's 26 years. It's a long time. Move on.

January 25, 2011 @ 6:30 PM

Ryan G

I agree with both Pete and McNulty, but I suspect we all sound like those annoying two old guys in the TD commercials who sound like they need their diapers changed.

It's a recurring post here - people complaining about the good ol days of cfny, but i'm guessing that the 22 year old listening to...well..whatever is on that station now, will sound like us in ten or fifteen years, looking back at when they could hear seven hundred chilli pepper songs a day, thirteen spins of linkin park an hour and, worst of the worst...guns n roses.

I've posted about this before. Just move on. The station's not going to change for a bunch of ageing whiners seeing the station through rose coloured glasses (because, there was some bad music back then too - just check some of those old charts and playlists)

and, just for fun, just off the top of my head, here's a sample set of music that i'd love to hear on a "new" spirit of radio station, that incorporates great newer music with some classics, and features some deeper cuts of well known alt.bands too..in no particular order!

james - sometimes
bloc party - banquet
temper trap - sweet disposition
the smiths - bigmouth strikes again
siouxsie and the banshees -kiss them for me
iggy pop - the passenger
sisters of mercy - lucretia, my reflection
omd - electricity
muse - uprising
smashing pumpkins - disarm
new order - ceremony
radiohead - fake plastic trees

January 25, 2011 @ 6:40 PM


What do you mean you can do without Bob Seger? How could anyone not like Bob Seger. He is so good. He and John Mellencamp are two of the best rock singers around. I don't listen to the Edge or CFNY or whatever. Go Habs.

January 25, 2011 @ 7:23 PM


Great Set Ryan, Love the Iggy Pop and OMD, and The Smiths and Sisters of Mercy. Could do without the Radiohead though. I think I'd follow your set up with:

The Nails- 88 Lines About 44 Women

Tones on Tail- Go!

For Canadiana:
The Government- "Somebody gave me a flat tire."

Streetband- Toast

January 25, 2011 @ 7:58 PM


OMD play The Phoenix March 5. First tour with original line-up in 23 years. If you've never seen them, don't say you didn't know they were coming.

New album is really solid.

January 25, 2011 @ 8:07 PM


Let me get this out of the way first.
I hate Blundell. I always have. I (briefly) switched to MOJO640 when Humble and Fred moved there. Now I am 1 Q107 guy.
But, remember that Blundell likely has little (to possibly no) input on the music they play. And for what it is worth, there was an embarrasement of riches when it came to music for Humble and Fred to play in the late 80's to mid 90's. Nirvana, Pumpkins, Pearl Jam, the Hip, all the great Canadian bands that came through at that time (IME, Matt Good, Inbreds, 13 engines, Tea Party....) and much more.
What needs to happen more than a Blundell firing is a new WAVE of rock/punk/alternative music to happen.
Just don't cross your fingers on that anytime soon.
I just keep waiting for the edge to change formats...'Welcome to CFNY, Toronto Top 40 radio, up next, Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber'.

January 25, 2011 @ 8:13 PM


I think the edge and Q107 are going to become one mega classic rock 90's alternative station. The signs are evident. ACDC and GnR have made it to the edges playlist. Q now plays pearl jam and REM. They are going to turf the q morning show and stay with Blundell. Deringer will find a spot on the afternoon drive. Andy will still do Sundays and most of the talentless hacks on CFNYs roster will be canned

CORUS owns both stations and the playlists are converging

January 25, 2011 @ 9:26 PM


(37+4)+((62-3)+2)+(50-7) = 145 sez there IS "a new WAVE of rock/punk /alternative music"* happening. And those numbers are just from the smaller 'indie' subgenres of retro mixable music acts I gave a mention of within 2010. This revival of new music has been happening throughout since 2004.
*Quoting from Rob at 20:13.

January 25, 2011 @ 10:36 PM


I used to listen to 102.1 regularly. I know it's hey day was well before, but I think it was a decent station even into the late 90s/very early 2000s.

Now I don't bother listening. I go to The Fan for sports talk, CBC for news, and my Ipod for music. I also enjoy the retro sometimes on 97.3..

January 26, 2011 @ 2:50 AM


@Rob...there is a ton of great music. The problem is radio and the safe play lists. It is really about someone taking a chance and I don't think that will happen. Everything is a template now.

January 26, 2011 @ 6:48 AM

JB Waterdown

@ Tim,
Derringer isn’t going anywhere soon.
He just signed a new long term contract for his morning show.

January 26, 2011 @ 1:44 PM


@ Rob - There's a LOT of great 'new rock/alternative' music that CFNY could incorporate into their playlist - give BBC 6 or NME a spin from their websites.

The problem is, they won't.

January 26, 2011 @ 2:28 PM


@ Sheryl, Sammi and CQ (even though CQ I have NO CLUE what your math equation is supposed to prove...)

I totally agree that there is tons of great new music that 102 COULD be playing. But they aren't. What I am suggesting is that there needs to be a MAJOR swing in the pendulum of popular music. Look at Itunes. Look at the consistent top sellers...Gaga, Bieber, Katy Perry. Pop music is your number one genre in music right now. Look at the AMA, the Grammys, and even the Junos (If Bieber or Drake dont win best artist, I'll eat my hat...although I give Arcade Fire an outside shot).
I am certainly not suggesting that there isnt some awesome new 'new rock' music. But the pendulum needs to swing towards these acts before 102 changes ANYTHING in their play list.

January 26, 2011 @ 7:37 PM


@Rob...and what we are trying to say is that it will never change. Everyone plays it really safe now. The pendulum will never swing in radio. They all stink.

January 26, 2011 @ 9:11 PM

Buffalo Boy Mike

Radio has become coorporate unfortunately, if they dont make money they wont air it.
too much competition not to go with what sells and unfortunately for 102 its what they are currently doing that sells, Radio personalities are nothing more than vessels now to carry out the format of the coorporate money machine, and if they dont like what they are told to do they end up like Martin, Jason and for a time Humble and Fred, its unfortunate, because all of them are great radio personalities and we all listened because they helped bring the music to you with a personal flavor that no other station offered....I still think there is room for a classic modern rock station to satisfy the cravings of those who were fans of that era and even to explore new music that would fit that mold.

January 27, 2011 @ 12:13 AM


NO CLUE. lol. The numbers I rambled were the totals from my last three music list blog entries - if anyone ever clicked over. My Jan. 16th entry was 37 numbered, unique artist, songs plus 4 other mainstream'ers I mentioned afterward, etc.
Like Sting needing to feature a song with Jaguar in 2000, it is not surprising that Ford Canada is using Jonsi's Do Go (number 4 from the latest list) right now in heavy rotation.

January 27, 2011 @ 10:58 AM


Any of you radio listeners tuned into 106.5 in Toronto lately,
It's an odd play list. It's stuff you will love and hate at the same time. I think this is the source?:

January 27, 2011 @ 5:42 PM


Perhaps the biggest problem with (most) radio is that it is a dying entity.
There used to be a time that you found new music there. Now, you find it at My Space, Facebook, Chat sites, Itunes etc...oh...and those are ALL computer based sources.
The death of the traditional radio station is probably closer than we care to think.

January 27, 2011 @ 7:17 PM


The young kids of today have greater access to music than we did. We had a few radio station like CFNY. They have the Internet. Cry me a river.

The death of "radio" will be when internet in the car is as easy to get as a cell phone..

January 29, 2011 @ 5:10 AM


@ Anonymous, 106.5 is precisely that: Stuff You Will (Instead of Love) let's say like, but there's plenty of stuff (CHFI-like stuff) that you will HATE.

January 29, 2011 @ 10:05 PM


CFNY is long gone.

Try CIUT 89.5 for a throwback to the old days.

July 17, 2011 @ 11:19 PM


Dave Marsden was my hero

December 27, 2011 @ 9:17 PM

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