Radio


Amber Gero Shares Frustration Over "Rampant Racism and Sexism" at Newstalk 1010

Reporter Amber Gero was let go by Newstalk 1010 last summer. She, along with morning anchor Evelyn Macko and Queen’s Park reporter Katie Franzios, were dismissed due to what Bell Media calls "synergies".

Gero had spent 14 years at Newstalk 1010, and now she's letting loose on Twitter about what she calls "rampant racism and sexism" in radio.

She even took a shot at Bell's Let's Talk initiative. Bell owns Newstalk 1010.

Is Toronto radio too white and too male dominated? Does it fairly represent the city?

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Alternative Radio Fans Rise Against CFNY Switch

With the passing of Don Berns earlier this week, it seems like an appropriate time to jump in the time machine back to 1989 when CFNY 102.1 had changed its progressive and alternative new music format to something more mainstream. How mainstream? Think Janet Jackson and Bryan Adams.

CFNY fans rebelled, as you'll read in these old clipping from newspapers and magazines at the time. The passion and loyalty is an awesome sight to behold.

I received these clippings from a reader of this blog named Frank who got them from Larry Bates, who is often cited and/or quoted in these pieces.

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Larry was ready to go again in '92, but it was a false alarm.

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Jay "Maddog" Michaels Fired

I'm very sorry to learn Jay "Maddog" Michaels has been let go from Virgin Radio 99.9 FM. He had been there since August 2006. Former partner Bilie Holiday was let go back in 2011.

If you haven't yet heard Maddog on episode 92 of my podcast, give it a listen. He was extremely candid and refreshing and it was a pleasure having him on.

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Don Berns Dead

Don Berns He was the longtime Toronto radio personality best known for his seven years at CFNY from 1985 to 1992 and his many years as Dr. Trance, Godfather of the Toronto rave scene.

I was hoping to have Don Berns on my podcast, and when he came in, I was going to play him this vintage CFNY clip.


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Bring Back the Spirit of Radio Part 2???

This little relic from Toronto's radio history was sent to me by Frank. It was circulated back in '92 when there were rumours CFNY was returning to top 40, as it did briefly in the late 80s.

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These types of campaigns remind me of David Marsden's original call to arms which I played for him in episode 106 of my podcast. It literally brought him to tears.

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I Am What I Play

I didn't know I Am What I Play existed until David Marsden told me about it in episode 106. It's a documentary about rock radio DJ's featuring Meg Griffin, Charles Laquidara, Pat O'Day and our very own David Marsden, best known as the driving force behind CFNY in the 1980s.

From the 1960s to the 1980s, the rock radio DJ played an unprecedented creative role in the rock music world. I Am What I Play profiles four DJs in major markets during this period: their programming, their politics, and their deep connections with musicians and fans in the heyday of rock radio. Where are they now — and how did they reinvent themselves as the medium changed?

Watch this trailer and tell me you're not interested in seeing more. I can't wait to see this doc!

By the way, when Scot Turner's Spirit of Radio Sunday was cancelled by 102.1 the Edge a couple of weeks ago, I heard from many people looking for music from that era. You might want to check out NYtheSpirit.com.

NYTheSpirit.com showcases the distinctive quality of all the amazing music we remember. We deliver an audio stream we hope, will permit you to dream, to imagine the world as we know it and to see things differently through music.

It's only $5.99/month.

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The Strombo Show Is Great Radio

A whole bunch of Spirit of Radio Sunday fans only learned their favourite show on 102.1 was cancelled when they tuned in yesterday and couldn't find it. Checking this site's referral log, the sequence of events typically went like this for an SRS listener:

  1. tunes in 102.1 expecting to hear Scot Turner
  2. doesn't hear Scot Turner, instead hears regular 102.1 programming
  3. Googles 'what happened to Spirit of Radio Sunday' or something to that effect
  4. ends up here learning Spirit of Radio was cancelled

This news comes on the heels of David Marsden's The Marsden Theatre getting cancelled by Oshawa's The Rock in December. Both Scot Turner's Spirit of Radio show and David Marsden's The Marsden Theatre aired on Sundays, which made it the very best day of the week for radio in the GTA. But what now?

I recommend The Strombo Show. The Strombo Show airs on Sundays from 8-11 on CBC Radio 2. That's 94.1 in Toronto, if you're unsure. As George Stroumboulopoulos explained in episode 103 of my podcast, he records the 3 hours show in his home studio and plays whatever he wants, "if it's good". The show is "keeping the spirit of radio alive by delivering the best records in the best order. It's a show for music lovers by music lovers, ranging over three hours of commercial-free music to honour both old and new."

Here's what aired last night while I was watching the Raptors beat the Spurs. It's just good music of any age and genre played by a guy who cares. That, in my opinion, makes for very good radio.

Great radio on Sundays is alive and well on CBC Radio 2. Give it a listen.

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Spirit of Radio Sunday on 102.1 the Edge Cancelled

Launched last February, Spirit of Radio Sunday on 102.1 the Edge, hosted by Scot Turner, was mighty popular in my circle. Scot and I spoke a great deal about the concept in episode 102 of my podcast. Essentially, the show was an homage to the legacy of CFNY, playing "the artists that defined the alternative rock format".

I'm referring to Spirit of Radio Sunday in the past tense because the program has been cancelled. Today's show is the very last one. Personally, I'm disappointed, as I thoroughly enjoyed the program and will miss hearing those great songs CFNY played in the 80s. As I type this, they're playing Endgames' "First , Last For Everything".

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I'm told this is part of some new changes at 102.1 that take effect tomorrow. Stay tuned...

Update: I just got off the phone with Scot Turner. Here's what I've learned:

  • Spirit of Radio Sunday was the most listened to program on 102.1 (according to the most recent Fall 2014 radio ratings), but did not perform as well with the 18-34 year old demo.
  • 102.1 is primarily concerned with this 18-34 demo and market research suggests they should focus on this demo. Spirit of Radio Sunday was cancelled so they can target 18-34 year olds 24/7.
  • This re-focus on the 18-34 demo puts an end to any rumours about David Marsden returning to 102.1. Marsden himself fanned these flames in episode 106 of my podcast.
  • Scot Turner loved putting the show together, especially the passionate reaction from fans, but respects this business decision and is happy to have his Sundays back.

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Do You Want to Work at The Fan 590?

On the heels of hiring Dean Blundell as their new morning man, The Fan 590 is looking for a few more good men or women

Well, at least two. There are at least two job openings at The Fan 590 for on-air positions.

MORNING SPORTSCASTER

Job posting

Sportsnet 590 The FAN has a very rare full time opening and is seeking a Sportscaster for their Morning Show program. Reporting into the Program Director, the talented individual will play a strong role as part of a three-person sports talk show, plus deliver time-sensitive, entertaining sportscasts 3 times per hour.  If you Live, Eat and Breath everything sports, we want to meet you.

Dean Blundell & Co. already includes current morning show co-host Andrew Walker, but Rogers is looking for a third person to work with Blundell and Walker. If that's you, you should apply.

AFTERNOON CO-HOST

Job posting

Sportsnet 590 The FAN has a very rare and exciting full time opening and is seeking a Co-Host for their 1-4p afternoon show. Reporting into the Program Director, the talented individual will offer strong opinions on the world of sports and be an entertaining on-air and social media presence.  If you Live, Eat and Breath everything sports, we want to meet you.

Greg Brady has been moved from mornings to afternoons, and now they're looking for someone to co-host with him. I actually hope Andrew Walker applies for this job.

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Dean Blundell New Fan 590 Morning Man

A tip of the hat to TSM for some solid sleuth work today. It seems Dean Blundell is returning to mornings on Toronto radio, becoming the new morning man at The Fan 590.

Greg Brady (hear him on episode 76 of my podcast) will move to 1-4pm as Tim and Sid leave radio for a television-only show.

It seems Andrew Walker (hear him on episode 87 of my podcast) will remain on the morning show, but it won't be called Blundell and Walker. Make no mistake about it, this is Dean Blundell's morning show. It will be called "Dean Blundell & Co."

Blundell's longtime morning show on Edge 102 ended a little over a year ago. It was well covered here. Check out these links for a recap:

Based on TSM's tip, I touched base from some people in the know, and it seems like this is happening. I expect it to be confirmed this afternoon.

What do you think of these changes? Will you listen to Dean Blundell on The Fan 590?

Update: All of the above has been confirmed.

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