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".


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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Humble and Fred's Perfect Storm - A Radio Revolution?

radioIf you've been here before, you might know I'm personal friends with both Humble Howard and Fred Patterson of the old Humble and Fred radio program. Before I ever met the guys, however, I was a fan of their morning show on CFNY / Edge 102. They made me laugh throughout the 90s. Damn, I miss the 90s...

Let's see... Humble was on Boom doing a morning show with Colleen Rusholme until May when he was fired. Here's a few of his thoughts upon being fired again. He's okay...

Fred was the Program Director for the Corus stations in Peterborough. Then, last month, he was fired. He shared the whole story with me via phone yesterday. He too, will be okay...

That means both Humble and Fred are currently being paid to not work. They're both a little bitter, too... a little pissed off... and they both want to work as Humble and Fred.


It's a perfect storm of sorts. There is a plan for Humble and Fred, a future for the duo. No, I'm not about to announce they're the new morning show for < insert station here >, but they are on the brink of what I believe is a radio revolution.

Are you ready for Humble and Fred Radio?

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AM640 Stuff (Of Watters, Stafford, Bynon & Leafs)

radioI read on TSM that the Bill Watters show on AM640 has been shelved and Arlene Bynon will now host the 4pm drive home slot.

I've listened to Arlene Bynon a few times, but never again. She's boring. AM640 has missed an opportunity here to right a wrong by returning Mike Stafford to 4pm. Mike Stafford, IMHO, is the best talk radio host working in Toronto today.

And AM640, while I'm calling you out, not everything is Leafs news. My appetite for Leafs news is as big as anybody's, but this is stretching it.


Go Leafs go!

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Billie From Mad Dog and Billie Fired From Virgin Radio

radioSpeaking of Toronto morning radio hosts getting fired from Astral-owned stations, my buddy Marc tells me Billie from Mad Dog and Billie has been fired from Virgin Radio.

According to a source, Billie - whose real name is Amanda Dunn - was canned from the station today after five years. She and Mad Dog (whose real name is Jay Doudelet) previously worked together for three years on 98.1 CHFI following a stint at KISS 92.5.

Dunn's termination comes on the heels of the end of her marriage to Peter Luciano, a business lawyer with Toronto firm McCarthy Tetrault and former member of Canadian boy band VIP. The couple are parents to a two-year-old daughter.

It's a strange coincidence that we learn about Billie's dismissal today. Back in 2006, it was Mad Dog and Billie who replaced Humble Howard when he was canned from Mix 999. Earlier today, Humble Howard broke his silence and wrote about being fired a second time, this time from Boom 97.3.

Billie won't likely be resurfacing at Boom, as Stu Jeffries has that morning gig. Yes, the very same Stu Jeffries who was canned from his gig with Colleen Rusholme at EZ Rock and replaced by... Humble Howard.

See how Toronto radio works?

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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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Andrew Krystal Fired From The FAN 590

radioThe very fine Toronto Sports Media is reporting that Andrew Krystal has been fired from Sportsnet’s the Fan 590.

The Andrew Krystal experiment at Sportsnet’s the Fan 590 has ended less than a year after it started. “Andrew is moving on to pursue other opportunities within Rogers and we wish him the very best” said Program Director Don Kollins. “A job posting will go up tomorrow for Andrew’s replacement” added Kollins. Although he didn’t say, I expect a summer of the Rog and co to fill in.

You may recall Andrew Krystal was the morning guy on the Fan 590 until he lost that gig in February to Greg Brady and Jim Lang.

Speaking of Brady and Lang, what do you guys think about their morning show? Also, are you as underwhelmed by Mike Richards on TSN 1050 as I am? Which of the two do you prefer?

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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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FAN 590 vs. TSN 1050 Radio: Who's Winning the Ratings War?

radioWe recently discussed 1050 TSN Radio as a potential threat to The FAN 590. The PPM ratings recently came out, and it's safe to say TSN 1050 has their work cut out for them.

Here's how they match up in their targeted Males 25-54 demo.

The FAN 590: 5.8% Share of Hours Tuned
TSN 1050: 0.6% Share of Hours Tuned

That prompted this Bob McCown tweet.


As bad as that 0.6% looks, it sure beats the 0.1% that their CP24 pulled down in the preceding ratings period.

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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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