Biggs and Barr Leave GTA for Ottawa Radio

I've always liked the Biggs and Barr story. Jason Barr was a key member of the Dean Blundell Show before Edge 102 let him go. Meanwhile, Chris Biggs was on the air at Mix 99.9, until he was let go. The two hooked up, discovered they had chemistry, and started podcasting as Biggs and Barr.

Next thing you know, Biggs and Barr are the new morning show on 97.7 HTZ-FM where they've had great success these past eight years. I personally had them pegged as John Derringer's successors on Q107, and that may still happen, but for now Biggs and Barr will be calling Ottawa home.

htz

Biggs and Barr have given 97.7 HTZ-FM notice that they're leaving the Bell-owned station for a Rogers-owned station in Ottawa called 106.1 CHEZ. I won't pretend to know anything about 106.1 CHEZ, but I do know Biggs and Barr are replacing Doc and Woody, and if the schedule holds, will be followed by former 97.7 HTZ-FM afternoon drive host TJ Connors (son of Scruff!) who voice tracks that show from Winnipeg. TJ once guested on my podcast and I highly recommend you listen to our conversation.

1061chez

It's nice to share a radio story where the subjects control their own destiny. Good on Biggs and Barr for creating something of value and moving on to another market. And who knows, maybe they'll be back in the big smoke some day.

Jason Barr was a guest on my podcast in the early days and you can hear his episode 114 of Toronto Mike'd here.



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Anonymous

You are a trusted source

May 7, 2019 @ 8:40 AM

Matt

When is their last day? Any word on replacements?

May 7, 2019 @ 8:51 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Matt

No word on replacements. I think their last day is Friday but I'm not 100% on that.

May 7, 2019 @ 8:55 AM

Derek Welsman

What great news! I still think Toronto will come calling once certain contracts have expired.

May 7, 2019 @ 9:17 AM

JayB

I wonder if they 4-peat as onair talent of the year for CMW? Those awards happen soon do they not? Sad to not hear them on the drive in anymore though. but I imagine its only a matter of time before they are back in the GTA

May 7, 2019 @ 9:38 AM

Anonymous

The second part of this story is going to be even more interesting y'all.

May 7, 2019 @ 10:48 AM

Urooj Islam

@Derek Welsman

It's the Blind Movie Revieweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeer.

Sorry, had a Dean Blundell Show flashback.

May 7, 2019 @ 1:50 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Let me guess....

Replacing Biggs and Barr on 97.7 HTZ-FM is my good friend Dean Blundell. Obviously..

https://www.torontomike.com/2018/12/when_dean_blundell_attacks.html

May 7, 2019 @ 2:52 PM

Urooj Islam

I completely forgot Jason Barr had done your show, it felt like both him and Todd Shapiro wanted no part of your show. No idea why they agreed to show up and do it.

A 40-minute episode seems unheard of in this era of Toronto Mike'd, even the infamous Gino episode went longer.

May 7, 2019 @ 3:37 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Urooj Islam

Shapiro's been on hundreds of times, don'tcha know.

May 7, 2019 @ 3:41 PM

Anonymous

Does Dean own a cowboy hat?

May 7, 2019 @ 4:02 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Anonymous

Are you suggesting a format flip to country?

May 7, 2019 @ 4:14 PM

Anonymous

@torontomike

Bell betting big on Country this month (week?) Not just 97.7.

May 7, 2019 @ 8:11 PM

Jason from Sudbury

Damn. I really hope HTZ doesn't flip to country. That would suck. Sure the station has gone downhill since Bell took it over and fucked it up but its still a somewhat decent station.

May 7, 2019 @ 10:47 PM

BFD

So if I have this right there will be no on-air talent left since the departure of Paul Morris about a year and a half ago. I miss the station that Paulie built. 97.7 is still my number one preset but I listen to it a fair bit less than I used to. I don't dislike Biggs and Barr, but I think I might have been growing tired of them. Poodlefuzz was my favourite bit...I can't remember the last time I heard that. What I liked about the 97.7 morning show prior to B&B was hearing Bensson say something hilarious and then hear a great rock song. If I listen to HTZ-FM in the morning I might only hear one song on my way to work...which seems to be how most morning shows work. More talk, less rock. Best of luck to the guys in Ottawa. Jon "Gonzo" Mark also went out there after multiple stints at 97.7, I miss hearing that dude too.

May 7, 2019 @ 11:45 PM

Slick Willy

Craig Venn is the heir apparent to the Derringer throne, he's already been there and is killing on 949

May 8, 2019 @ 8:34 AM

Mississauga Rob

Oh... is there still radio in the GTA?... I listen to SXM, terrestrial radio is awful.

May 8, 2019 @ 8:36 AM

Douglas

@Mississauga Rob
I really enjoy, and get my money's worth on my SXM subscription. I don't miss the commercials, but as strange as it may sound, the majority of SXM talent have little to no personality and are not able to inject much, if anything, into the programming to make it more interesting than just the music. Then again, just the music is what most SXM listeners want.

Good on Biggs & Barr. They'll be making more money on CHEZ, but in my heart, I wish they had landed at Live 88-5, which is my go-to Ottawa station as soon as I reach the Kingston area on the 401.

May 8, 2019 @ 10:40 AM

James Edgar

I'm in a 97.7 free zone on my commute which is not saying i wouldn't listen , i would for sure but it's all static 400M from home to work. And so is 94.9. when i can listen to either station I'm finding them to be my favourite local music stations.

As they are not available for commuting I haven't listened to B&B much at all. But i did like some that i have heard. Good luck to them.

May 8, 2019 @ 1:32 PM

Frank Violo

Any word on if Pasty Jamie goes as well? Will he take over the morning? Maybe Fearless Fred can move back to the mornings. The worst years were when Fred and B&B were on at the same time. Could only listen to one.
It will suck to lose B&B, but that is me being selfish. If they get more money or a better life in Ottawa good for them and their families.

May 8, 2019 @ 3:10 PM

Radio fan

The Ottawa station is called CHEZ 106. It's pronounced "shay 106," using the French word "chez." It's been on the air since 1977 and it considered one of the top English classic rock stations in Canada. No one in the radio biz calls it "106.1 CHEZ." It's been shay 106 for decades.

May 8, 2019 @ 3:10 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Radio fan

You would know better than me what regular people call the station, but the station calls itself 106.1 CHEZ. I literally copied and pasted that from their official site.

May 8, 2019 @ 5:15 PM

Jason from Sudbury

Ah, Mike you fucked up again. This time you got the frequency wrong. Look out.

In Sudbury, the rock station used to be Q92, but it rebranded as 927 Rock about a year ago. We all still call it Q92 though. So I do get what Radio Fan is saying about Chez in Ottawa.

Speaking of Ottawa radio...I really dig Rebel 101.7. My buddy who lives in Ottawa turned me on to it.

May 8, 2019 @ 5:47 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Jason from Sudbury

I don't know what you're talking about. :)

May 8, 2019 @ 6:58 PM

Jason from Sudbury

@Mike: Of course you don't! :)

May 8, 2019 @ 7:22 PM

Matt Dinstone

On the radio they are talking about stuff they are doing next week, so I don't think tomorrow can be their last day. You've never been wrong before, but how certain are you that this is true?

May 9, 2019 @ 2:10 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Matt Dinstone

This will be one of those times where it looks like I'm wrong until it's clear I'm right. :)

I don't know when their last day will be, but I've got multiple sources telling me they've given HTZ notice and they're off to Ottawa.

May 9, 2019 @ 4:24 PM

Really

Listened to Jason Barr interview.

Iron Mike was not sick when BnB took over the morning show at 97.7

Iron Mike did not find his drive from the US every day "taxing"

In fact, after he got sick 2 years after BnB joined 97.7, Iron Mike drove to work after having chemotherapy. Someone who battles cancer didn't find a commute "taxing".

Perhaps Jason Barr should stop with his self serving lies that he is known for.

May 9, 2019 @ 9:37 PM

Brian

I have insider sources that have given me 2 stories to work on. The first has been brewing for several months and looks to be starting to gain more traction now. That is replacements for Doc and Woody at CHEZ. They have wanted a younger morning show and they have wanted a newer sound overall on the station. Biggs and Barr fit that as well as middays with TJ Connors (broadcasting from CITI Winnipeg). The other story I have been following is Bell wants to create a country super station network. 98.9 The Drive in Kingston and HTZ FM are both rumored to be flipping. Sources have told me that the flips are coming before fall. 98.9 the drive already has no on air staff. At HTZ you would see a couple pop up on 89x or other stations. Word is Corus is looking to scoop up talent as well for y108 and Dave FM. Sounds like Dean Blundell will be eventual successor to 94.9 rock mornings and the current show will possibly be an eventual replacement for Derringer at Q107.

May 10, 2019 @ 7:45 PM

Jason from Sudbury

Q107 needs to go back to the hardrock/pure rock format already. We need a station that plays some of the heavier stuff.

If CHEZ wants a newer sound, I'm wondering if they're gonna play more newer music as opposed to mostly classic rock. Was looking at the playlist yesterday and yeah it sucks.

May 10, 2019 @ 8:25 PM

YVR Guy

The fact that Doc & Woody are still on the CHEZ website had me scratching my head. The latest rumor has them moving to Vancouver, The assumption is that they will be the new morning show at Jack FM, so, I guess since they are moving to another Rogers station (as opposed to being fired) that's why they haven't been removed from the site.

May 11, 2019 @ 1:58 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

According to another Ottawa station, Doc & Woody are "retiring".

May 11, 2019 @ 8:19 PM

Michael Foot

This can't be true....

May 12, 2019 @ 6:07 PM

Michael Foot

Also Craig Venn and lucky on 94.9 is unlistenable. I don't listen to their station at all as they just copy all other shows with contests and format. The fake laughs also remind me of roz and mocha. True Oshawa radio!

May 12, 2019 @ 6:10 PM

H.o.E.

In other regional radio station news, apparently Welland stations Giant-FM and Country 98 are being sold.
StCatharinesStandard.ca
I don't know anything about them, since I only saw the headline today when I thought to look if there was any news regarding the opening of the new larger Fallsview entertainment venue (I didn't see anything).

May 13, 2019 @ 4:52 PM

Cowboy Curtis

HTZ is going country? Yee haw!

May 14, 2019 @ 7:02 PM

CSIII

Doc and Woody's retirement is official, so that's step 1....
HTZ shifting to country would be a travesty and an unfortunate indicator of the state of rock music.

May 18, 2019 @ 3:03 PM

kman

Wow! I've been checking out CHEZ and I'm groovin' to their Psychedelic PSunday Morning Show: Hendrix, Yardbirds, Beatles, Byrds, Kinks, Steely Dan, Jackson Browne, Moody Blues (and not the usual hits either).

May 19, 2019 @ 11:48 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

The Doc and Woody retirement announcement gives us a clue as to when we can expect Biggs and Barr to leave HTZ. Looks like the end of June...

May 19, 2019 @ 5:56 PM

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