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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Howard Berger Fired By Sportsnet Fan 590

radioIf you're my age, and you grew up listening to The Fan 590, try to remember a time before Howard Berger. Love him or hate him, and the disdain for this man in the Twittersphere is intense, you knew him and you listened to his Leafs reports.

Toronto Sports Media is reporting he's been relieved of his duties at Sportsnet Fan 590.


This YouTubery is aptly titled "Ron Wilson Destroys Howard Berger".

And no, there's no truth to the rumour that Colin Campbell has been hired by The Fan 590 as Berger's replacement.

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Pete Griffin From Pete and Geets, Dead at 81

In MemoriumPete Griffin was 81. He and David Haydu formed the comedy duo Pete & Geets, hosting a morning-drive radio show on CHUM-FM in the early 1970s that was later revived between 1982-1987 on CFNY.

Here's some great audio of Pete and Geets, originally shared here.

I once interviewed my buddy Freddie P about the Pete and Geets show, and asked him what it was like to be a part of it all. Here's what he told me:

Pete and Geets were fantastic. They were Canada's pioneer FM morning show, and here's what I mean by that. In the early days of CHUM-FM they changed the way morning radio was done.

Less music, more talk, irreverent instead of corny and they didn't yell at you like the am morning shows did. When they came to CFNY in 1980, it got even better.

I often find it amusing how much credit Howard Stern gets for bringing a different style of morning show to radio, but his "style" was being established by Pete and Geets before Stern was even out of college. But without the tits and ass.

And of course, Pete and Geets never got the credit they deserved, mainly because they never had huge ratings. But as we've learned over the years, ratings doesn't mean quality.

The current ratings system is a joke and has robbed Toronto of a lot of good radio over the years.

It sounds like I missed something special. Glove tap to @mondoville for letting me know about this loss and helping me verify his age.

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Darrin Pfeiffer Fired From 102.1 The Edge (And LoriAnn, too!)

radioMammas don't let your babies grow up to be radio DJs. In radio, you're hired to be fired. And you don't get to say goodbye.

This entry started on Twitter. Mike Gamble let me know about LoriAnn and Darrin Pfeiffer's dismissals, and LoriAnn herself chimed in.


I first learned LoriAnn was fired from 102.1 The Edge in a comment on this blog on February 11th. In an email exchange with LoriAnn tonight I confirmed she was fired on February 10, told by Edge management "we're going in a different direction and unfortunately it affects your employment".

That's literally all she was told. She's not 100% sure what happened with Darrin Pfeiffer.

I believe they told him that they'd keep him on staff for emergency fill in and situations where they had nobody else... and after a few months re evaluated that and asked him what he wanted and he said let me go. Thats just hearsay tho.

The one good thing about being fired from radio is that you can't take it personally. All the greats have been canned once or twice during their career. It's a rite of passage.

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Humble and Colleen Fired from Boom 97.3

radioThis all seems awfully familiar...

In July 2006, I noticed traffic to this site from folks searching 'humble howard fired'. That prompted me to write "Humble Howard, Are You Okay?".

It turns out, he was fired from Mix 99.9 that day, and I unfortunately broke the story. Humble and I became great friends after that, and we remain good friends to this day.

It's happening again. There are visits to this blog from people searching 'humble and colleen fired'. Here's one example:


The first thing I do when I see such an indicator is visit the radio's website. It's usually a dead giveaway. When a radio personality is turfed, they try to erase him or her (in this case both) from the official radio site. I shot over to to hopefully find Humble and Colleen's smiling faces. Sadly, they were noticeably absent from the hosts page.


It's unconfirmed at this point, but once again, we have a lot of smoke here for there to be no fire. Humble, Colleen, are you guys okay? I've confirmed it. Astral has fired Humble and Colleen. Here's hoping they land on their feet.

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Fan 590 Should Be Wary of TSN Radio

radioWe first discussed TSN Radio 1050 back in February, and now it's here. I've been listening off and on the past few days, and I think The FAN 590 should be worried. TSN Radio sounds like a force to be reckoned with.

I really like the Mike Richards show in the morning. It sounds superior to the Brady and Lang show, in my opinion, and I also liked what I heard from Bryan Hayes and Steve Kouleas. I have concerns about the syndicated content, from Dan Patrick, but what I heard today was pretty compelling.

The problem with syndicating American shows will arise when a Toronto team returns to the playoffs. If the Leafs were in the first round right now, the appetite for Leafs coverage would be insatiable. Dan Patrick will be off talking about the NBA and NFL labour issues and the TSN Radio audience will just want to hear about the lines Wilson worked in practice and the game tonight. Radio works best when it's local.

Having said that, TSN Radio isn't The TEAM. They'll leverage their television advantage and present a real challenge to The FAN's offerings. Except for Prime Time Sports, which I suspect won't be damaged by the arrival of James Cybulski and Company, it's going to be awfully interesting.

Have you folks listened to TSN Radio yet? What did you think? Is The FAN in trouble?

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Finding Good Alt-Rock Radio

radioNow that we're drowning in sports radio in this city, with TSN Radio competing head-to-head with Sportsnet Radio, let's figure out our alt-rock problem.

Many of us used to get our alt-rock fix from 102.1 The Edge, but today that won't always do the trick. Digger wants to hear from you as to what your favourite alt-rock stations are, online, terrestrial, satellite or other.

April 9, 2011 / 10:36

@ Irvine: A big thank you for recommending Vancouver's The Peak. I think they're already on my "A list" for streaming online (kind of the equivalent of earning a button on the car radio).

When I am at a computer, which is pretty much all day at the office, I refuse to listen to local radio, as there is so much out there - it just needs to be discovered.

Hey Mike, how about making this sort of thing a topic for one weekend? It seems to be that there are a lot of alt-rock fans here. We could post links and a short comment on our favourite alt-rock stations that we stream online.

What great alt-rock station have you discovered?

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Hammerhead Alert! Stormin' Norm Rumack Returns to Radio

radioHammerhead alert! Hammerhead alert!

I just got this email from

A follow-up to an old thread of yours I just came across on google - – guess who is now back at Fan 590 hosting the midnight-5am shift on the weekends :-)

He started this past weekend and is back full time in that shift…

Hammerhead alert!

It seems Adam is only partially right. Yes, Norm Rumack is back on the radio, but not The FAN 590. He's hosting Norm At Night which is airing on theScore radio, which you'll find on Sirius channel 98, as well as The Norm Rumack Show on The FAN 590.

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