Edge 102 ~ CFNY


Josie Dye Murders O Canada

Josie Dye Murders O CanadaBC just left this comment on my The Weather entry.

I cant be leave you haven't posted this yet Mike. Its Josie Dye trying to sing O'Canada at the Toronto Rock game the other night. How is she still at the Edge again? LOL

It seems the Toronto Rock played the Buffalo Bandits in National Lacrosse League action on Friday night, and Edge 102's Josie Dye was there to sing O Canada. Here she is, absolutely destroying our national anthem.

Yikes.

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Fearless Fred Really, Really Hates Me

radioI just listened to today's episode of Humble and Fred Radio. At about the 30 minute mark, between some typically hilarious banter and a great performance by 54-40, guest Fearless Fred from Edge 102 goes off on me. You have to hear this 5:27 of audio to believe it.

Listen to Fearless Fred Go Off On Toronto Mike

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As I was listening to Fearless Fred, I really felt for him. He's clearly emotional and carrying a great deal of hate for this site and me. Of course, as with any interview, a great deal of context is missing. Before you decide to join Fearless Fred in hating me, please hear me out...

In May of 2009, Edge 102 fired a couple of very popular deejays. Of course I wrote about it, Martin Streek was fired after working at CFNY forever. I don't have to tell you what happened a couple of months later. Martin Streek hanged himself.

That was tragic, and in no way did I ever suggest Fearless Fred had anything to do with Martin Streek's suicide, but he was hired when Streek and Barry Taylor were fired, so I wrote about it.

I just re-read that entry, unedited since I first published it on August 8, 2009. I didn't write anything negative about him at all. I just broke the news he was coming from Edmonton and speculated as to where he'd be dropped in the lineup. That's it until I read something he wrote about me on a comedy blog. He went off on this blog because of some negative comments posted by readers. Fearless Fred, it seems, attributes the opinions expressed in the comments to me.

I only wrote about Fearless Fred one other time. I admitted I don't know shit about radio, because I didn't dig Fred's schtick and thought Barry Taylor had the same schtick, only funnier. I expressed my opinion, something I'm apt to do on this site. There were no personal attacks, and no lines crossed.

And that's my final point to Fearless Fred. I've never, ever written a single word about your wife or family. I never cross that line. I spoke about you as a radio host, a public figure, and merely commented on the situation at your radio station and your abilities as an on-air talent.

Fearless Fred really, really hates me, and that's a shame. I think Humble's right... I think we'd hit it off and like each other. It's just too bad Fred can't decipher between my words and actions and the opinions and actions of my readers.

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Radio Hits: Barry Taylor, Girl Talk and RHCP on The Edge

radioYou lucky bastards are getting three for one here. That's right, three radio hits in one entry.

See what I did there? I called them "hits" because "hits" are played on the radio. I could have called them "thoughts" or "points", but that wouldn't have been nearly as clever. Let's get to these hits, shall we?

1. Barry Taylor Returns to GTA Radio
I heard former CFNY / Edge 102 deejay Barry Taylor on Y108 this afternoon. He's got a weekend afternoon gig there, working Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 6pm. Barry Taylor is a hero of sorts, because he called Edge 102 out on the mat and taught me that I really don't know shit about radio. It's good to hear his voice on the radio again.

2. Girl Talk Has Changed the Way I Hear Songs
Earlier this morning, while in the shower, I heard Nirvana's Lithium on Edge 102. Listening to Lithium, only one of my favourite songs of all-time, I heard Salt-N-Pepa's Push It in my head. Apparently I've listened to a lot of Girl Talk the past few years and I can't hear a song he sampled without hearing the rest of his mash-up. Same thing happened when I saw Heart this past summer.

3. Edge 102 Should Re-brand Themselves RHCP Radio
Almost every time I tune in 102.1 they're playing a Red Hot Chili Peppers song. It happened again this afternoon when I heard Give It Away. Seriously, they play a lot of RHCP and I'm betting RHCP gets more coverage than any other band right now.

That is all. Continue enjoying your weekend.

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Dean Blundell Contemplates Quitting 102.1

twitterDean Blundell's been tweeting today that he's thinking about packing it in soon. In fact, those are his exact words.

dbs0

In that tweet, he says "Thinking of packing it in soon". When someone replied with a "say it ain't so", he replied with a clarifying "I think its so sir".

dbs1

What has Dean Blundell tweeting about quitting the Dean Blundell Show on 102.1 The Edge? "Gotta grow dude. Noone knows how much time we have and its silly to not use it properly."

dbs2

If Blundell does in fact step down from his morning show duties at the Edge, I hope he does something similar to what he used to do with Eye Weekly. His columns are no longer online, but if you click over to that entry I wrote, you'll see I copied and pasted a couple of the better ones in the comments.

But the question remains: much a-tweet about nothing or is the DBS winding down?

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Adam vs. Alexisonfire: Social Payola at Edge 102?

radioOn Saturday morning, I was listening to Edge 102 in the car. Despite what you may think having read the odd rant about 102.1 in this space, it's still my favourite music station. There's really no alternative in the GTA for a guy who wants to hear the latest Foo Fighters single alongside a Hey Rosetta! track or an Arcade Fire song.

So I'm listening, and Adam is about to play a double shot, two songs in a row from the same artist... and Alexisonfire's "Boiled Frogs" begins to play. Edge 102 plays the crap out of Alexisonfire, and with their recent announcement that they're breaking up after ten years, hearing "Boiled Frogs" was completely unexceptional. What caught my attention was what happened next.

Adam ordered the song stopped. They cut the tune after only a few seconds and Adam said something like this... this is a paraphrase from memory, but I believe I'm nailing the sentiment.

Let's not play that. We're not playing Alexisonfire anymore. Apparently, some of the guys had some things to say about us despite the fact we've been big supporters of theirs over the years. Let's play something by a band that actually likes us. This is Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker, friends of the station.

I've searched Google and Twitter trying to find a quote from an Alexisonfire band member that would have prompted this act by Adam, but I've come up empty. I did find this Tweet from Adam, however, in which he proclaims "Done with Alexisonfire... #pricks".

adam

This got me thinking... if a station refuses to play a band that says negative things about the station, and instead plays a band that says nice things about the station, isn't that a form of social Payola? Instead of taking money to play an artist's songs, Edge 102 is taking endorsements and positive social currency.

The whole practice smells... What do you guys think about a station refusing to play a band's music because of something a band member said about the station?

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Alan Cross Fired from Edge 102

radioThis one comes as no surprise. Alan Cross is no longer employed by Corus Radio. Alan Cross is best known for his long-running weekly rock documentary series The Ongoing History of New Music on 102.1 The Edge.

Alan Cross was there a very long time, starting at CFNY in 1986. It's highly likely he'll continue to create content for Corus, although in a freelance capacity.

Back when Alan Cross was program directory at 102.1, we exchanged several emails that I posted here. Edge 102 avoided Eminem like the plague, and then suddenly played him ad nausea. Here's what Alan Cross said about that. Then, there's that time Good Charlotte headlined Edgefest. That was fun.

Alan's last day was June 30. It's the end of an era, folks, but it's no surprise. Maybe he should apply for this gig.

Fun fact: Alan Cross is married to former CFNY news gal Mary Ellen Beninger!

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Remember Peter Griffin on June 23

candleMy friend Freddie P wants me to pass on some information regarding Peter Griffin who passed away last month.

Everyone is welcome to gather at the Charlotte Room on Thursday night to celebrate his extraordinary life. Even if you just knew the man through his work on Toronto radio, you're welcome to reminisce and raise a glass to Pete.

It all takes place Thursday night at 7:00pm at The Charlotte Room, 19 Charlotte St.

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Wanna Be Program Director at 102.1 The Edge?

radioCorus Radio Toronto has an exciting and very rare opportunity available for a Program Director (at 102.1 The Edge), reporting to the General Manager and to the Vice President, Brands and Programming for Corus Radio.  The successful candidate will have major market programming experience, be a solid talent coach, compelling content developer, innovative marketer and strategic thinker who is sales friendly. 

RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Recruit, develop and coach talent
  • Create and execute programming and market strategies
  • Brand responsibility: On-Air, On-Line, On-site
  • Working with sales on revenue generation
  • Direction of on-air product in keeping with the overall objectives of the division
  • Develop annual business plans and execute budget planning and follow through
  • Accountability for operational matters relating to programming

REQUIRED SKILLS AND QUALIFICATIONS: 

  • Knowledge of the competitive Toronto Radio Market
  • Solid leadership skills
  • Excellent communication, organizational and interpersonal skills
  • Demonstrated marketing experience with a proven track record as a Program Director
  • Research literate
  • Solid understanding of Multi-platform options and social networking
  • Intimate knowledge of CRTC and CBSC regulations
  • Solid work ethic with an ability to implement detailed strategic operating plans
  • An ability to work with divisional personnel to implement broad strategic initiatives
  • Excellent time management skills
  • Outgoing, energetic FUN attitude
  • Demonstrated sales experience
  • Knowledge and appreciation of sales and revenue development and the need to collaborate with sales department to achieve financial targets
  • Ability to handle multiple tasks and work well under pressure within a rapidly changing environment
  • A positive, friendly manner and customer service approach that will enable the successful candidate to deal with challenging situations with empathy and sincerity 
  • Proven track record in working with a team of experienced radio personnel
  • PPM, RTS, Selector knowledge essential to drive opportunities for listener growth

If you're interested in the gig, leave a comment below.

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Cool Steve on CFNY / Edge 102

radioIt's time for another Edge 102 rant from Cool Steve. Hold on to your hats, kids, this is another good one.

Hello again, Mike.

I visit the CFNY section of your blog now and again, so I just found out about the latest firings. I thought both personalities were decent and I certainly didn’t dislike them. I still can’t stand Fred though, and Josie has morphed into a shallow air-head. Only Adam and Bookie remain that I enjoy.

Since it was before my time, I gotta ask – this Pete guy from Pete and Geets who passed away at 81. Hasn’t CFNY always been youth orientated? Because he would have been in his 50s during his time at the station and, at least to me, he sounds out of place. Or maybe radio didn’t care about older age in a younger market back then, I dunno. I mean no disrespect to him; I am just surprised at his age.

I have to say that I don’t give 102.1 The Edge the time of day anymore, and when I do listen to the radio, it’s mostly stuck on 88.3 CJIQ which is ten years old now, or Boom 97.3 but its signal struggles in Kitchener. I drove to London a few weeks ago and 88.3 held out for as long as possible, and the playlist mix is night and day better than The Edge. My only gripe with them is that they have no playlist on their website, so when the DJ doesn’t give me the name of a song I don’t know, I can’t check back on it.

One of my favorite groups/artists is Matthew Good, and I always gave The Edge the smallest bit of points when it came to playing his solo singles as he got older. They spun the singles from his greatest hits collection in 2005, the ones from 2007’sHospital Music and 2009’s Vancouver. I decided to scroll back in their playlist three weeks to see if they were spinning “In Place Of Lesser Men” off Good’s recent album Lights of Endangered Species, as I heard it on the college station already back in April. I’m a bit shocked, but the song is no where to be found. They have no problem playing the same three/four songs from 1997-1999 era Matthew Good Band, but zero new Matthew Good. Why? Same label, Universal, released it and his last two albums. Is it because Good is turning 40 at the end of this month? He played the Casbys only two years ago. Perhaps an unfair comparison due to the levels of success – but Dave Grohl and his Foo Fighters are all hovering around the same age, and we hear their newest songs repeated several times a day. We still hear the new Beastie Boys as well – all in their mid 40s.

Radio is a fickle thing. As an artist as you get older, a station will only play your greatest hits from a certain period. Even if they play your newest songs over the next five years, they will still go back to the older stuff from when you were really big when your newest singles have died down. It makes you wonder when the oldest, ‘newest’ singles an artist released will ever get played again. Maybe they never will be. 102.1 The Edge has spun every one of Matthew Good’s solo singles since 2003’sAvalanche. After those songs have run their course, you only hear old Matthew Good Band tunes. And even then, they ignore the singles from the band’s first 1995 album and their last 2001 album because both didn’t do as well as 1997’s Underdogsor 1999’s Beautiful Midnight.

I know I’m only mentioning one artist/group above, but I’m sure the same applies for several. You may never hear “newer” 2000-2008 Oasis on The Edge again, but you can bet your ass they will still play the shit out of anything from the 1994-1997 period of the band. They spun the singles from the Gorillaz’s 2001 and 2005 releases but completely ignored 2010’s PlasticBeach. I didn’t even know they released a new album, The Fall, until a few days ago. The Edge also loved to play Sloan’s newest singles. Their newest song “Unkind” is a catchy tune, it’s all over college radio. Its no where on The Edge, only the band’s 90s tunes – did the band suddenly get too old and uncool? I wonder if Our Lady Peace’s upcoming release will get any air time?

At the end of day, I really shouldn’t care anymore. Terrestrial radio sucks the big one these days. No one is going to listen to lifeless and annoying DJs who talk over half the song, repetitive play lists, choppy radio edits, and ads everywhere in between.  I only need it for weather, news and traffic reports these days. It ticks me off when good artists are ignored just because they are getting older. It’s almost like radio sabotages them and doesn’t want them to succeed anymore.

If you want more, his rants are buried within my rants right here.

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Neil Young on 102.1 The Edge

radioHey kids, ever heard of Neil Young? Here's a little thing I wrote for the guy a few years back. Or, you can browse all 346 entries* on this entry about the living legend, if you prefer.

You never hear Neil Young on 102.1 The Edge. Sure, they played City and Colour's cover of Cowgirl in the Sand, and Bono joining Pearl Jam for Rockin' in the Free World (fun fact: Ed Vedder chose Bono over me that night!), but I've never actually heard Neil.

Wait a minute... did Neil get any airplay during his Pearl Jam years, when he released Mirror Ball? Maybe Downtown? I don't think so...

Neil Young's getting plenty of airplay on 102.1 The Edge these days. Redlight King's Old Man samples Neil's Old Man and 102.1 is currently playing it every hour on the hour. Luckily, it's good.

Neil Young on 102.1 The Edge... better late than never.

* actual number probably lower

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