Norm Rumack has been with THE FAN since its inception in September 1992, but you won't hear him on THE FAN 590 any longer. Stormin' Norm Rumack has been fired as Rogers-owned stations axed four ad reps, Rumack and an unidentified behind-the-scenes employee.
Back in the 90s, when I listened to quite a bit more of THE FAN, Norm was known for:
- An unapologetic, unfazed appreciation for "God's Team", the Toronto Maple Leafs
- A belief Wendel Clark was the greatest player in the history of the game
- An absolute hate-on for the Muder City Dead Things
- A HammerHead Alert he would sound if you disagreed with any of the above
It was fun late-night radio back in the day. I haven't heard him in years, but you don't soon forget a guy who tells you Wendel Clark is better than Mario Lemieux and believes every syllable.
The late-night vampire shall haunt us no longer. Hammerhead Alert! Hammerhead Alert!
Less than a week ago, I wrote about the problem with 92.5 Jack FM. The ratings were abysmal, and I predicted there would be a format change by Labour Day. Jack didn't make it a week into June.
Jack FM is now KISS 92.5 FM, being billed by Rogers as "the only ALL HITS radio station in the city of Toronto".
Available on-air at 92.5 FM in Toronto and online at kiss925.ca, the station kicked off its broadcast Friday at 3 o'clock with a promise to play 10,000 songs in a row with no commercial interruption, featuring artists like Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Black Eyed Peas, Kanye West, Nickelback, Katy Perry, T.I., Justin Timberlake, Kardinal Offishall, Britney Spears, Ne-Yo, Kelly Clarkson and Rihanna among others. The launch was simulcast on Rogers All-News outlet, 680News.
KISS92.5 will engage its listeners both on the air and online by taking advantage of all the possibilities that present themselves in the new digital world. As the station evolves, the audience will be "plugged in" through instant messaging, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and several other social networking sites as well as wirelessly via texting.
On-air talent for KISS92.5 will be announced in the coming weeks, along with details on concerts and events that will feature today's biggest hit makers.
If Kiss sounds familiar, it should. Before Jack, 92.5 was known as KISS FM, playing top 40 hits before delving into more hip hop and R&B in the early 2000s.
Kiss is back, playing all hits once more. And I've just lost my shower radio station that provided me with uninterrupted rock from 7:30 to 7:48 each morning.
I listened to CFNY (Edge 102) throughout the 90s. It was my favourite radio station, not just for the tunes but for the personalities. I can't remember a time at 102 before Martin Streek.
Martin Streek always seemed to be there, hosting the Thursday 30 and live-to-air broadcasts from various Toronto clubs. Now I've learnt from @scroll on Twitter that he's been fired.
The first thing I did when I heard the news was visit his profile page on EDGE.ca. It's been removed. Here's the cached version from Google.
I then shot over to the Wikipedia write-up about Streek, and there's no word there on the firing. Here's what I did find:
Martin Streek is another of the three remaining personalities from the "Spirit of Radio" era. He currently hosts the Thursday 30, a four hour long show that counts down the top 30 songs of the past week (collected via record sales and listener voting), as well as introduces new music (a segment called the "Groundbreakers"), and flashes back to a previous year's countdown, as Streek recalls the top five songs of that week in a certain previous year.
Streek also hosts two live-to-air broadcasts from nightclubs: Saturday nights at the Phoenix and Sunday nights at Velvet Underground, both in downtown Toronto. Both shows run from 9:00 PM until 2:00 AM, and are broadcast without interruption (i.e., commercial-free), except for live ads imploring people to visit the club, after about 10:00 p.m.. Martin is also a huge fan of Nine Inch Nails, Tool, Depeche Mode and The Clash.
Martin has been voted DJ of the year a few times in Now Magazine's year-end public ballot.
Just recently he had to have his appendix removed surgically; he has recovered and is doing well.
Martin Streek, if you're out there, let us know where you're at. You've been a familiar voice over Toronto airwaves for about 20 years and you'll be missed.
Update: I see another name missing from the personalities line-up. Barry Taylor is also missing and his page at Edge.ca has been removed. Can someone shed some light on the disappearance of Barry Taylor and lifelong CFNYer Martin Streek?
When Harold Hosein was fired from City-TV back in 2006, I wrote about it. Today, there's a new comment on that entry from a chap named Ian.
Harold Hosein is no longer with 680 news....I found out today...02/04/09
It seems 680 News didn't renew Harold Hosein's contract, meaning Toronto is without the meteorologist on the air for the first time in twenty years. 680 still has the bio he wrote online, so I'll paste it here for posterity.
I was born and educated to the high school level in the sunny tropical islands of Trinidad and Tobago, West Indies. My interest in meteorology and aviation began in high school, where excellent teachers motivated me.
A few of us started a radio station at school, which led to broadcasting careers for several of us in radio and television.
After migrating to Canada in 1967, I joined Environment Canada and trained in meteorology. I spent 21 years with Environment Canada, mostly at the Toronto weather office at Pearson International Airport, and worked extensively with commercial airline crews, commercial interests and the media from 1968 to 1989, when I left for a new career in television from 1989 to 2006.
During that time I did part-time radio work with CHML in Hamilton and CFRB in Toronto. I became staff meteorologist at CJCL from 1987 to 1991, then staff meteorologist at CFRB from 1993 to 1999. I moved to 680News in November 1999.
I have operated my own weather forecasting consultancy since 1987 and have served the Blue Jays, the Rogers Centre, the Canadian Open golf series, the Canadian Tennis Championships at York University, the city of Toronto snow operations, and many others, including foreign newspapers, another local television station and clients in the U.S. and England.
I am my greatest competition, trying to achieve 100 per cent at all times, knowing fully well that it is impossible.
I love motor racing, soccer, cricket, gardening, fishing, building and landscaping. I compose music and lyrics in the calypso style, and my calypso moniker is 'Hurricane Harold.'
The most difficult thing for me is doing nothing. I operate a charity called Recycle Your Bicycle, sending unwanted bicycles and other useful items from Canada to Cuba. You may learn more about it by visiting www.recycleyourbicycle.com and www.haroldhosein.com.
It's a rough time for many an industry, including the media. Who's next?
Have you heard Dave Devall is retiring? He's one of North America's longest serving meteorologists and he'll officially retire as CTV Toronto's Weather Specialist on April 3, 2009.
I never got my news from CTV. I suppose we all have our favourite television news stops, and mine has changed over the years, but it's never been CTV. Still, I knew who Dave Devall was. When you know a weatherman you never actually watched, you know he's a fixture of the Toronto media scene.
Here's Dave Devall, then and now...
At Queen and John Streets, you'll now find Moses Znaimer Way. The CITY-TV founder has been honoured by city hall with a street sign bearing his name.
I find it ironic that they're resurrecting a sign to honour Moses while Rogers dismantles every stitch of ingenuity he brought to CITY-TV. Earlier this month, CTVglobemedia announced cuts that included the demise of The NewMusic, a show that was a legend for its part in launching new bands and the careers of a score of TV hosts and presenters. That's right Toronto music fans, The NewMusic is dead.
It's no longer Moses Znaimer's way.
I've made my way to Yonge and St. Clair. I'm sitting beside Humble, watching the action. I actually couldn't tap into this highly encrypted EZ Rock WiFi, but Humble has given me access to his PC. What a sweetie...
5:54 - They just played Johnny Nash. Apparently that happens a lot. By the way, before I forget... I heard Kid Rock on EZ Rock this morning. No foolin'...
The room is smaller than I expected. Heather and Andy are on one side of the desk and I'm on the side with Colleen, Kim and Humble. Humble is showing me the sheets of paper he has that tell him the name of the songs with the seconds before the lyrics kick in and lots of other neat info, like the year it was released, the length, etc.
6:02 - I've asked everyone the first question of the morning. I asked them what time their alarms go off in the morning. I can tell you mine went off at 4:40 and I'm exhausted. Kim's alarm goes off at 3:50, she hits the snooze button once or twice, than it goes off again at 4. Colleen's goes off at 3:45 and Humble's at 3:30. Andy, the producer, gets up at 3. He also just showed me a sweet pic of him and Kid Rock at the Kool Haus.
6:14 - 6am is a big deal around here. That's when Starbucks opens. I sure sounded like a dolt asking Heather for a double-double.
6:18 - There's definitely a little prep action while the tunes play. They discuss who will start, they divvy up the tasks and then it all goes down live. It's not too scripted, except for the "3 things to make your life better" bit they're doing right now. That's pre-written and printed on paper before them. Coffee's here!
6:24 - Colleen Rusholme just told me I look like Chris O'Donnell.
6:30 - This screen Andy has is pretty cool. The ads are queued up with a countdown clock, the songs are above also queued up, he gives the "talent" a head's up when there's one minute left then they watch the clock tick down the last ten seconds. There's a red light right above my head that tells me when to shut up.
6:33 - Colleen does the world's worst Don Cherry impersonation. Rick Hodge just walked in. Hey Ma, I just shook hands with Hodgy! They're all going debate the new CBC anthem thing. In all honesty, I haven't been following this contest as I'm still bitter about the CBC losing the rights to the anthem we all know and love. Rick hasn't heard these tunes either, so we're both getting our first listen in minutes. First, Soft Cell.
6:37 - I'm hearing these potential anthems and all I'm thinking is that they should have gone with The Hip's "Lonely End of the Rink".
6:44 - I just had a nice chat with Colleen. She's really sweet. I asked her about adjustments she had to make going from a two person show to a four person show. She was honest with me, telling me that it was tough at first. With four personalities in the room, there was lots of talk during breaks about who would pipe in when, but now that they've been together as a team for a couple of months, they're much better at anticipating who speaks when. In other words, practise makes perfect.
6:53 - I have seen the future. Coming up, Amy Sky, Train and Madonna.
6:55 - Colleen and Kim do like to sing some of these tunes. They love this Amy Sky song, "Love Pain and the Whole Damn Thing". They actually sound really good together. They're singing right now.
7:01 - Until right now, these folks hadn't seen anything I've written. Andy and Colleen just visited torontomike.com on their respective computers and they were excited to read the four comments. So comment, they're reading what you write.
I've asked everybody if they nap in the afternoons. They all do. Humble tells me that back in the Humble & Fred days he didn't nap, but he went to bed at 9. Now he stays up later to hang with his kids, and he naps every afternoon. They're prepping for the Brent Butt thing right now.
7:07 - If you haven't heard, it's going to be a sunny and warm weekend. I've been here for 90 minutes and I've heard that now about 132 times.
7:09 - Finally, Humble has told EZ Rock's listeners that this is happening. He also thrust the microphone in my face and I went on the air. I'm no Venus Flytrap... Welcome EZ Rock listeners. Enjoy your stay at torontomike.com and check out the archives to catch up on the past 6 years.
7:16 - I just asked Kim and Colleen about their most embarrassing on-air moments. Kim's happened recently when she was interviewing Jeanne Beker. She mentioned to Jeanne that she loved performing "Jerk" on stage with her at a Magna event. Jeanne had absolutely no recollection of this event.
Colleen was interviewing Jane Seymour and mentioned to Jane that she loved her in Queenie. Jane politely told Colleen that she wasn't in Queenie. Colleen replied with "yes you were!".
Humble blew up a $175,000 client. I'm going to get the details on that one later...
7:23 - They're prepping right now about who's saying what and when with regards to the "what do you have to have at Thanksgiving dinner" question. The Longos guy was just in the studio and I wanted to ask him if turkeys can fly.
7:28 - I asked Kim and Colleen about the post-show ritual. At 9 they leave our airwaves, but when does their work day end? After each show, they record promos for the next days show. Then, they prep for the next days show. Their typical day ends at any time between 10:30 and 1:00.
7:33 - Ok, you had to be here for that big slice of funny we just shared. What do you have in your sauce? The raw footage, edited before aired, was hilarious.
7:36 - Rick Hodge is back. Hear that, mom! I just asked him who is his favourite interview was. He said it's Bill "Spaceman" Lee and Weird Al Yankovic.
Humble says it's Kevin Smith, but he also loved interviewing John Cusack and John Hurt.
Colleen loved interviewing Bill Cosby and Roseanne Cash. I'd like to interview one of Cosby's sweaters.
7:41 - Driving here this morning, I heard John Tesh on EZ Rock. When I got here, I tried to hunt him down. That guy must blow outta here seconds after his show ends at 5:30!
7:45 - I just snapped some pictures I'll post later today. I had Colleen take a picture of me with Hodgy. And yes, I'll still be posting a Leafs update the morning after each game... I've just been a little busy this morning.
7:53 - I'm starting to get comfy here... I'm thinking EZ Mornings with Humble, Kim, Colleen, Rick and Toronto Mike has a nice ring to it.
I just asked Humble about what adjustments he's had to make going from a two-man booth to a four-person booth. He tells me the hardest adjustment he's had to make is getting used to working with three attractive young women.
7:57 - I just found out that Colleen and I are the same age. She and Howard both change their sleeping patterns on the weekends, and no, they don't sleep together. Colleen will sleep until 10am if possible on a Saturday or Sunday. Humble gets up between 6 and 7.
8:04 - Tesh alert! Tesh alert!
8:10 - Kim just sang a little 12 Years Old for us - that's a great tune I remember from MuchMusic back in the day. We're talking live to John Tesh right now. Humble promises to remind the EZ Rock listeners that this is happening, so stay tuned for another Toronto Mike promo.
8:14 - I've once again seen the future, and it's full of Olivia Newton-John, John Travolta, Bryan Adams, Leona Lewis and John Mayer.
8:17 - I've been hanging here, watching the action for almost three hours now, and it's a lot of fun. Everyone is sweet, they are truly having a blast, and it all just sort of comes together. As a guy who fell in love with radio watching WKRP, this is like that without the turntable and tape where walls would be if there were walls. This is just too much fun to be work.
8:20 - I've asked everyone one of the questions asked in the comments. I asked what they would change about their jobs, other than the salary. Unanimously, everyone would change the hours. In other words, hosting the morning show is awesome except for the fact it happens to take place in the morning.
8:25 - They just gave away a trip to Sea World. They actually tape the call with the winner and then play it from the tape about a minute later. I'm guessing that's in case the winner swears. Actually, Howard tells me it's to shorten it so it fits with the song and everything. Humble's Shamu impersonation is a big hit in this room.
8:29 - Humble promises the Toronto Mike promo is happening next. Colleen just did this neat gambling thing that's hard to explain. She gauged my luck with this finger trick. Yeah, you have to see it to know what I'm talking about.
Rick is back. He walks over from the CFRB broadcast room down the hall and now he's going to talk about the Jimmy Fallon "every song from the 80s can be sung to MC Hammer's U Can't Touch This". I actually posted that song on this blog earlier in the week when sharing the literal version of A-Ha's "Take On Me".
8:37 - The girls are singing along to Crowded House. I saw that this song was highlighted on Howard's song cheat sheet. It turns out the highlighting was to tell him this is the song of the day. It's a great song.
8:43 - I just dropped some Maestro Fresh Wes on these guys. Seriously, I hit 'em up with some "Let Your Backbone Slide".
I just got my 2nd promo of the show and my 2nd on-air shot. This time, I actually felt more comfortable. I'd consider a career in radio, except for the weak-ass voice and face for television and, in all honesty, I can't afford the pay cut.
8:56 - We've wrapped up here... it's been fun and the show flew by. It felt like 20 minutes...
I'll chime in with some final thoughts later, right now I'm getting booted off this PC!
11:17 - After the show I joined Humble, Kim and Colleen in another studio where they recorded promos for Tuesdays show. I also got a pic with Colleen and met Jessica Baker and Jim Richards. Jim actually recognized me from when we met almost two years ago which was pretty cool.
Feel free to ask any questions in the comments and I'll answer them there.
It personally delights me to tell you Humble Howard Glassman has returned to morning radio in Toronto, hosting a show on EZ Rock 97.3. Humble will be joined by Colleen Rusholme and Kim Stockwood and his first day back on the air will be August 11.
Before I became a friend of Humble Howard, I was a fan. The Humble and Fred show was my morning show throughout the 90s. I awoke to his voice on CFNY 102.1 through most of my high school years and all of my university years. I didn't follow him over to Mix 99.9, but I did write an entry about that which would lead to a great friendship.
Humble Howard, Are You Okay?, written a little over two years ago, currently has 397 comments wondering where Humble had gone and letting him know that he's missed. Humble wrote me in response to that entry and asked me to call him. We hit if off and next thing I knew I was flying his plane, hanging out with his family and having them over to dinner.
As it turns out, Humble is better than okay. We're all lucky to have him back on the air. Congrats, Howard. This heterosexual male is adding EZ Rock as a station preset in his car and that, in itself, is a miracle.
Rogers Cable has told Ed the Sock creator Steven Kerzner that his last show on CITY-TV will air August 31. Ed the Sock joins Amber Mac, Silverman Helps and Speakers Corner in the Rogers CITY-TV graveyard.
My brothers and I used to watch Ed the Sock on Cable 10 before CITY-TV picked up the broadcast rights. At the time, it was co-hosted by Harland Williams and we thought he was pretty damn funny. A couple of hosts later, on CITY-TV, my good friend Humble Howard Glassman co-hosted with Ed.
In an interview I did with Humble Howard a couple of years ago I asked him about working with Ed the Sock. Here's what he had to say about Ed.
Q: I hear things didn't end well with you and the sock on Ed's Night Party? Care to dish the deets?
A: I don't want to say anything about ED or the midget that has his hand up his ass that hasn't already been said by just about everyone that's met him.
Karma can sometimes be a bitch.
Citytv has axed Speakers Corner, the long-running program featuring clips from the automated video booth at the intersection of Queen Street West and John Street.
I remember when they opened that Speakers Corner booth in the late 80s and it was a big deal. The show was fun viewin' as local celebrities were born, including the Barenaked Ladies who sang "Be My Yoko Ono" when only CFNY was playing it. I too have a Speakers Corner story...
In 1992 I was taking dramatic arts as a bird course OAC in order to jack up the average. One of the skits I wrote for that class was the funeral of Socrates, and I had a eulogy for the man that opened with "Socrates was a good man...". It was a good eulogy and I went down to Speakers Corner to deliver it for the camera. It only cost a loonie and I was sure I'd make the weekly broadcast. Unfortunately, I don't think I did.
Things seem to be changing at Citytv now that Rogers is running the show. We said goodbye to Amber Mac, Silverman Helps and now Speakers Corner.
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