Canadian Media


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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Toronto Radio Ratings

Toronto Radio RatingsI love listening to the radio. Back in July I wrote about my six favourite stations at the time and how I've always enjoyed the radio.

The Bureau of Broadcast Measurement has just released the Toronto radio ratings for Spring 2004. Here they are in order along with their share of the market. Also, because I know you care, I'm including my opinion of each station.

CHUM-FM 8.5 - Here at number one we have my mom's favourite radio station. Need I say more? If you like middle of the road safe pop music, you'll like this station. The first thing I do when I step into my Mom's car is dive for that radio dial. CHUM-FM is brutal.

97.3 EZ Rock 7.8 - The music on EZ Rock makes the music on CHUM-FM sound like Motorhead. EZ Rock appeals to boring chicks by playing Celine Dion three times an hour. It doesn't get any worse than Toronto's second most popular station. Judging from the top two, Toronto loves crap. Please don't hold this fact against me.

CBC Radio One 7.2 - For a brief period of time, I was a CBC Radio One listener. Depending on the topic, it can be rather interesting and refreshing. I don't listen very much anymore, but every once in a while I catch an interesting subject and enjoy myself immensely.

CHFI 6.9 - Along with the top two stations in this market, CHFI plays it safe by playing ultra safe and boring pop music. A little Sting here, a splash of Phil Collins there and a dose of Shania Twain to stir things up a little...but only her ballads. Her rockin' stuff is way too hard for CHFI.

Q107 6.5 - For most of my life I was a big fan of this station. I love rock on the radio and Q107 used to be a great rock station. The top ten at ten is where I'd go for the latest Guns N' Roses tune or Steve Earle's "Copperhead Road". Now, they're Classic Rock and I haven't been in a classic rock mood for many months. As a result, I've probably heard six minutes of The Mighty Q all year.

CFRB Newstalk 1010 6.3 - Conservative minded people love the chat on this talk radio station. I don't. If you're a close minded person who hates immigrants and homosexuals and thinks we should lock up jaywalkers and throw away the key, this station is for you. No Dubya bashers allowed, but Paul Martin haters are welcomed with open arms.

Classical 96.3 5.3 - Perfect for any dentist's waiting room. Otherwise, avoid unless about to fall asleep.

AM 740 5.0 - I couldn't tell you a thing about this station. I'm surprised they got a 5 share.

102.1 The Edge 4.7 - This is the station I listen to 80% of the time. It's the station I hear in the shower and throughout the day. They play the music I want to hear and I love them for it. Without this station and their format I'd listen to a great deal less radio. I've been listening to CFNY for over fifteen years now and I don't plan to stop...unless they go country or start playing Good Charlotte.

680 News 4.2 - I must admit, if I'm stuck in traffic or need a weather report, I scoot over to 680 News for a few minutes. In and out.

Mix 99.9 4.1 - How the mighty have fallen. I don't think the Mix people will be happy with a 4.1. These guys want to be with the big boys like CHUM and EZ Rock but instead they're stuck between an all-news station and some station I've never heard of. Poor Humble and Fred...

Z103.5 3.5 - I've never heard of this station. I suspect they're dance and have a weak signal because I don't pick up much between CFNY and CHUM-FM.

Flow 93.5 3.3 - I tried to like this station because I enjoy a good rap and hip-hop tune now and then, but I rarely hear rap or hip-hop on this urban station. It's mainly R&B when I cruise on over and I'm not a fan. Flow should play more Public Enemy and less Usher.

Jack 92.5 3.2 - I'm glad the ratings are low for Jack. "Playing what we want", they say. Playing crap like the other middle of the road stations is what they should have said. I don't have time for more Rod Stewart and Dixie Chicks.

Fan 590 2.2 - The Bob McCown show during the afternoons entertains me. If something extremely interesting is going on the world of sports, I'll give the Fan a slice of my radio day. Their 20/20 sports updates are convenient for a sports buff like myself.

CBC Radio Two 1.9 - I've never heard this station but I think it's mainly classical snooze stuff.

1050 chum 1.8 - I don't listen to 1050 because I don't have any interest in hearing oldies on the radio. The Everly Brothers are fine, but there's about twenty other stations I'd rather hear.

Country 95.3 1.8 - The country music you'll hear here sucks.

Mojo Radio 1.7 - Mojo airs Leafs games, but listening to their biased commentary on my team is painful. These guys drive me to the Fan for my sports discussion and news. Mike Stafford in the afternoon is a fairly smart show, but the rest is just stupid. Brain dead radio for guys who don't want to think.

Jazz FM 91 1.6 - Jazz bores me.

Foxy 88.5 1.2 - I think this is another oldies station. One is one too many.

Other 11.2 - A few of my favourite stations would be filed under this "other" category. I enjoy 97.7 out of St. Catherines, 108 out of Hamilton and 92.9 out of Buffalo. 92.9 is a particular favourite of mine because they broadcast The Howard Stern Show, a favourite of mine for the past seven years.

There you have it, my thoughts on Toronto's radio scene. Most of it I dislike, but I'm a big fan of 102.1 The Edge and a sometimes listener of 97.7, 108, 92.9 and the Fan 590. Once in a blue moon I hear Mojo Radio, CBC Radio One and 680 News.

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Internet Killed the TV Talkback Star

TV TalkbackThe Internet has ruined "TV Talkback". "TV Talkback" is a feature that appears in the Star Week television listings that come with the Saturday Star here in Toronto. Growing up with the Toronto Star, "TV Talkback" was a great place to go every Saturday morning to learn where you recognized that face from or what the name of that old show was. The format was question and answer with a television expert supplying the answers to various tv-related questions. Who played so and so or what's the name of that short-lived sitcom starring Mr. X were typical questions. It took a real expert to answer them back in the 80s and early 90s.

Now, an average Joe like myself is a television expert. The answers to any question of this nature are at my fingertips. If I want to see an actor's entire portfolio, no problem. If I want to see the entire cast of Dallas, I only need a few seconds. Is that actress dead or alive? I'll have the answer in a jiffy. With the Internet, there are no longer those questions you have to wait months and months to learn the answer to. Bar bets and the like can be settled with a visit to the Internet Movie Database or a quick Google search.

Yes, "TV Talkback" is a victim of the information superhighway. It's as relevant today as the Yellow Pages collecting dust in the closet or those unused stamps from '98. We're all experts now.

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