Back in July, I wrote about some folks being let go by Astral-owned Virgin Radio. I don't personally listen to 999 Virgin Radio, but I learnt that Jimmy T, Chris Biggs, Taylor Kaye and Lydia Stratus were let go.
Some guy named Mike (not me) chimed in with a comment.
Jimmy t got fired because he was fixing all the contests so his friends can win...Trust me i know
Jimmy T responded with a very interesting comment of his own.
@Mike, or should I call you 'Nick'?
I got fired for fixing contests LOL?! News to me. I was fired because I refused to bend over and take it in the ass when new management was brought in and screwed the entire vision of what Virgin Radio was supposed to be, up.
Fact is, it's an PD and APD with no idea of what works and what doesn't work in this market. No offense to Adam, but he's not ready yet. In 2-3 years, yes, but right now, no. I was slaughtering him in the ratings at night for his entire run at Kiss 92, so to replace the number one guy with the number 5 guy and think you're going to win, is just plain stupid thinking. The ratings have proven this since my last book at Virgin and his first book alone at night with Virgin. Love me or hate me, the numbers don't lie. He's losing already. He needs guidance, he needs structure, and he's not getting it there.
For the record, my ratings at night were number one in the city, so it had little to do with return on an investment. I made them shit tons of money with my numbers, as did Taylor, Biggs and Lydia. Our numbers were the highest the station had to offer and I assure you I was getting paid a fraction of the Breakfast Show salary. If you wanna cut, cut where you AREN'T making revenue, not your 3 best sources of it.
I could name off about 34 other reasons why that place is falling apart, and I assure you, it IS falling apart. Company morale has been at an all time low I'm told, even now. Ratings are dropping as well. Not a good sign.
I'm back on air starting Monday at Z1035, Mon-Fri 7pm-10pm, then Monaco is on after me. See? Smart companies can HIRE people without having to FIRE people to make changes. "Corporate" should have a look into how that happens and adopt some brains.
In closing, thanks to those who were wondering where I was, to those that didn't care, well, here's to hoping I can make you care in the future. And to "Mike" who clearly has no idea what he's talking about, stay out of the conversation and let the big boys and girls handle these issues.
Very interesting insight!
This past weekend, CFNY / Edge 102 aired what they deem to be the top 200 songs from the 1990s.
They did the same thing last year. This year's top 200 is below.
- Red Hot Chili Peppers · Under The Bridge
- Nirvana · All Apologies
- House of Pain · Jump Around
- Nirvana · Smells Like Teen Spirit!
- The Tragically Hip · New Orleans is Sinking
- Pearl Jam · Jeremy
- Oasis · Wonderwall
- Nirvana · Come As You Are
- Radiohead · Creep
- Red Hot Chili Peppers · Give it Away
- Our Lady Peace · Is Anybody Home?
- Nirvana · In Bloom
- Beastie Boys · Sabotage
- Green Day · Time of Your Life (Good Riddance)
- Cypress Hill · Insane in the Brain/Loco En El Coco
- Nine Inch Nails · Closer
- Nirvana · Dumb
- The Smashing Pumpkins · 1979
- Red Hot Chili Peppers · Californication
- Stone Temple Pilots · Plush
- Oasis · Champagne Supernova
- Tool · Sober
- The Tragically Hip · At the Hundredth Meridian
- Nirvana · Heart-Shaped Box
- Pearl Jam · Alive
- The Offspring · Self-Esteem
- Our Lady Peace · Naveed
- The Smashing Pumpkins · Bullet With Butterfly Wings
- Red Hot Chili Peppers · Scar Tissue
- The Tragically Hip · Ahead by a Century
- Pearl Jam · Better Man
- Beastie Boys · Intergalactic
- Nirvana · Lithium
- Soundgarden · Black Hole Sun
- Radiohead · Karma Police
- Beck · Loser
- Red Hot Chili Peppers · Soul to Squeeze
- Weezer · Say it Ain't So
- Oasis · Don't Look Back in Anger
- Our Lady Peace · Superman's Dead
- Nirvana · The Man Who Sold the World
- Rage Against the Machine · Killing In The Name
- The Tragically Hip · Bobcaygeon
- Blur · Song 2
- Green Day · When I Come Around
- Stone Temple Pilots · Interstate Love Song
- Metallica · The Unforgiven
- Nirvana · Rape Me
- Finger Eleven · Above
- The Chemical Brothers · Block Rockin' Beats
- Blind Melon · No Rain
- Stone Temple Pilots · Creep
- Nirvana · Polly
- The Tragically Hip · Poets
- Oasis · (Whats the Story) Morning Glory?
- Big Wreck · That Song
- Rage Against the Machine · Testify
- The Matthew Good Band · Hello Time Bomb
- The Smashing Pumpkins · Today
- Tool · Stinkfist
- Green Day · Brain Stew
- Pearl Jam · Black
- The Tragically Hip · Courage
- Weezer · Buddy Holly
- Our Lady Peace · Clumsy
- Nirvana · On A Plain
- Sloan · The Good in Everyone
- Metallica · Nothing Else Matters
- The Tragically Hip · Fifty Mission Cap
- Rage Against the Machine · Guerilla Radio
- Our Lady Peace · One Man Army
- Pearl Jam · Even Flow
- The Tragically Hip · Little Bones
- The Smashing Pumpkins · Disarm
- Sloan · Everything You've Done Wrong
- The Verve · Bittersweet Symphony
- Green Day · Basket Case
- The Matthew Good Band · Apparitions
- Sublime · Santeria
- Bush · Machinehead
- The Tragically Hip · Locked In the Trunk of a Car
- Green Day · She
- Stone Temple Pilots · Big Empty
- Treble Charger · Red
- Pearl Jam · Daughter
- Our Lady Peace · Starseed
- Alice in Chains · Man in the Box
- R.E.M. · Losing My Religion
- The Offspring · Come Out and Play (Keep 'Em Separated)
- Foo Fighters · Learn to Fly
- Stone Temple Pilots · Vasoline
- Radiohead · High and Dry
- Big Wreck · The Oaf (My Luck is Wasted)
- Foo Fighters · My Hero
- I Mother Earth · Used to Be Alright
- Soundgarden · Spoonman
- Tool · Forty Six & Two
- The Tragically Hip · Looking for a Place to Happen
- Sublime · What I Got
- Rage Against the Machine · Bulls on Parade
- Sloan · Money City Maniacs
- Pearl Jam · Yellow Ledbetter
- Econoline Crush · All that You Are
- Bush · Comedown
- Temple of the Dog · Hunger Strike
- Sloan · Coax Me
- The Offspring · Gotta Get Away
- Metallica · Until it Sleeps
- The Matthew Good Band · Load Me Up
- U2 · Mysterious Ways
- Nine Inch Nails · Hurt
- The Tragically Hip · Fully Completely
- The Smashing Pumpkins · Cherub Rock
- Metallica · Enter Sandman
- Red Hot Chili Peppers · Suck My Kiss
- Green Day · Hitchin' A Ride
- The Matthew Good Band · Indestructible
- Soundgarden · Fell on Black Days
- The Offspring · The Kids Aren't Alright
- Big Wreck · Blown Wide Open
- Foo Fighters · Monkey Wrench
- The Smashing Pumpkins · Thirty-Three
- Sloan · Losing California
- Green Day · Longview
- I Mother Earth · One More Astronaut
- Depeche Mode · Enjoy the Silence
- The Tragically Hip · Twist My Arm
- No Doubt · Just a Girl
- Sloan · Underwhelmed
- Red Hot Chili Peppers · Around the World
- Econoline Crush · You Don't Know What It's Like
- Foo Fighters · Everlong
- The Smashing Pumpkins · Zero
- Odds · Heterosexual Man
- The Matthew Good Band · Everything is Automatic
- Alice in Chains · Rooster
- Bush · Glycerine
- Econoline Crush · Sparkle and Shine
- Pearl Jam · Last Kiss
- Odds · It Falls Apart
- Rage Against the Machine · Sleep Now in the Fire
- The Tragically Hip · 700 ft. Ceiling
- The Smashing Pumpkins · Tonight Tonight
- Odds · Eat My Brain
- Soundgarden · Burden In My Hand
- The Tea Party · Temptation
- The Offspring · Gone Away
- The Tragically Hip · Fireworks
- Foo Fighters · Big Me
- The Matthew Good Band · Strange Days
- The Chemical Brothers · Let Forever Be
- 54.40 · Ocean Pearl
- Silverchair · Tomorrow
- The Tragically Hip · Nautical Disaster
- Pearl Jam · Dissident
- Big Sugar · Diggin' a Hole
- Stone Temple Pilots · Trippin' on a Hole in a Paper Heart
- Moist · Silver
- Hole · Doll Parts
- Big Sugar · Turn the Lights On
- Weezer · Undone (The Sweater Song)
- The Tragically Hip · So Hard Done By
- Sublime · Smoke Two Joints
- 54.40 · Love You All
- Depeche Mode · Personal Jesus
- The Tragically Hip · Wheat Kings
- Radiohead · Just
- The Age of Electric · Remote Control
- Stone Temple Pilots · Sex Type Thing
- Nirvana · Breed
- Nickelback · Leader of Men
- 54.40 · Nice to Luv You
- Soundgarden · Outshined
- Alice in Chains · No Excuses
- I Mother Earth · So Gently We Go
- Red Hot Chili Peppers · Breaking the Girl
- The Tea Party · The Messenger
- Filter · Hey Man Nice Shot
- Nickelback · Old Enough
- Alice in Chains · Heaven Beside You
- Killjoys · Today I Hate Everyone
- Green Day · Welcome to Paradise
- The Tragically Hip · Gift Shop
- Alice in Chains · Would?
- Nickelback · Breathe
- Tool · Prison Sex
- Sloan · People of the Sky
- Stone Temple Pilots · Big Bang Baby
- Moist · Push
- Jane's Addiction · Been Caught Stealing
- Sloan · All Used Up
- Fatboy Slim · Praise You
- I Mother Earth · Not Quite Sonic
- Nine Inch Nails · Down in It
- Pure · Anna is a Speed Freak
- Weezer · El Scorcho
- Bif Naked · Spaceman
- Stone Temple Pilots · Lady Picture Show
- Edwin · Trippin'
- Sublime · Wrong Way
Ryan B. wrote me the following email on the subject of CFNY / Edge 102 and their Top 200 Songs Of The 90's.
I've been reading your blog on and off over the years, especially as a source of news about CFNY. After turning on the radio this weekend and hearing "Inane in the Brain" by Cypress Hill come in as #16 on the top 200 songs of the 90's, when I don't ever recall hearing it on CFNY back then, I had to check for the final list and see how offended I'd be :) I'll confess that I'm shocked that Smells Like Teen Spirit was not #1 but was in fact #4 behind RHCP's Under the Bridge, Nirvana's All Apologies (If anything, I would have guessed Come As You Are), and, wait, I'm sorry, does this say "House of Pain - Jump Around" at number 3?
Anyway, if you're interested, I put together a spreadsheet comparing this list to the "Top 1002 of All Time" posted at The Spirit of Radio - http://www.spiritofradio.ca/Top1002.asp. 41 songs were on this weekend's list that didn't appear back in 1999, including #3 Jump Around. A couple of them were borderline, as the album may have come out in late 1999, but the single wasn't officially released until 2000. Then there's #191, All Used Up by Sloan, which came out in umm, 2005? I'm not even sure why I try or care. It's just one of the 12 presets I hop between when driving. Anyways, if you're interested, feel free to use the data for a post on your blog, otherwise, you can just shake your head like I am.
Thanks for the blog,
It really was a meteoric rise for House of Pain's "Jump Around", which was 90th one year ago, and now sits at #3. And yes, it's a song CFNY wouldn't touch when it was released.
Things certainly are different over there...
It's been a week since Jason Barr was let go from Edge 102. Jason was 1/3 of The Dean Blundell Show, a very popular Toronto morning radio show, especially amongst teens and those in their 20s.
This trio has been together since they took over for Humble and Fred on 102.1 back in 2001. Humble and Fred, you may recall, left for Mojo 640 and their "Talk Radio for Guys" format. Before The Dean Blundell Show, Jason Barr was Danger Boy on Humble and Fred, a part of that show since the mid 90s. That's a long time he was on Edge 102 in the mornings.
It's been a week since he was fired, and I'm surprised at the complete lack of coverage. I haven't found a word about it in the MSM. It's on a few message boards and blogs, but surprisingly few. It's possible nobody knows about it, but isn't the MSM supposed to break such news to the masses? Hell, I had the story a week ago. Is it deemed such an insignificant event it's completely unworthy of coverage?
My entry about Jason being fired is getting some traffic from people Googling for more information, but not a heck of a lot. Perhaps the average CFNY listener won't have a clue things are different until after Labour Day.
Here's the results from Google when you search for Jason Barr Fired. The highlighted results are from me, whether I'm hosting them or not.
Edge 102 (or CFNY if you're an old guy like me) has removed all traces of Jason Barr from their website.
Also, The Dean Blundell Show is now being promoted as a duo: Dean Blundell and Todd Shapiro. Jason Barr isn't part of the team, despite being a holdover from the Humble and Fred show (Danger Boy, anyone?) and a founding member of DBS on Edge 102.
I liked Jason, not just because he was a holdover from my Humble and Fred Show, but because he hooked me up with CASBY and Edgefest tickets.
I honestly don't know if he was fired, but it wouldn't surprise me. You can visit my Edge 102 ~ CFNY category page to relive the rapid decline of this once stellar station.
Jason, I hope you've landed on your feet. Let us know how you're doing when you get a chance. An uninterrupted decade doing mornings in Toronto is no small feat.
Update: I've confirmed it with a credible source. Jason Barr was indeed let go by Corus earlier today.
I've been playing around with Songza, which lets you program your own internet radio station.
Click on over to http://songza.com/listen/toronto-mike and give it a listen. I'll be adding new songs soon.
Yesterday, in my entry about the one year anniversary of Martin Streek's passing, I shared all five hours of David Marsden's tribute to Martin. In the comments of that entry, someone asked if I had the three hours of Edge 102's tribute to Martin that aired on July 19, 2009.
I did have those MP3s, and now I'm pleased to share them with you.
Here's the entry I wrote immediately after listening to this tribute on CFNY / The Edge 102.1.
One year ago today, I wrote the toughest entry I've ever had to write. It was about Martin Streek.
I'm not sure how to write this one, so I'm just going to tell you what I know.
As a long time fan of CFNY / Edge 102, I was sad to learn recently that Martin Streek had been fired after over 20 years of service. As of this writing, that entry had 88 comments from others who wanted to wish Martin well. Soon enough, Martin Streek himself chimed in to say thanks.
Thank to those of you who made comments, both good and bad...either way, it's proof that you listened and/or cared about the scene I/we were part of...
Earlier today, Martin Streek updated his Facebook status message with words that sound so ominous now. This, it turns out, is Martin's farewell to the world.
So...I guess that's it...thanks everyone...I'm sorry to those I should be sorry to, I love you to those that I love, and I will see you all again soon (not too soon though)... Let the stories begin.
My entry about Martin Streek leaving CFNY / Edge102 is #1 when you Google his name, and Steve did just that an hour ago.
I just heard that Martin has passed away... very sad to hear.... (I was a cfny staffer back in the 80s and just heard this from Earl J.)
At first, I thought it was a cruel joke. Martin Streek seemed so vibrant, so full of life. But after chatting with Steve, and seeing the Facebook status message, I'm afraid it's true.
Martin Streek has taken his own life.
Martin's death hit me hard. I know I wasn't alone, because I heard from hundreds and hundreds of Martin's friends and fans over the weeks that followed. This black cloud eventually took the form of an entry I wrote entitled "Thoughts on 102.1 Tribute to Martin Streek, Shitty Facts, Closure Sought."
As insinuated in this excellent Globe and Mail piece by Bert Archer (in which I'm quoted), Martin's death also acted as a tragic final nail in the coffin of what was "the spirit of radio". CFNY / Edge 102 was my go-to station for as long as I can remember, but I hardly listened this past year. Martin epitomized passion for music, was a rare link to the David Marsden era, and literally had the spirit of radio logo tattooed on his ass. When he was let go six weeks prior to his suicide, it marked more than the loss of an energetic, knowledgeable and beloved local deejay. It marked the end of an era.
I've put all my Martin Streek entries in a new Martin Streek Remembered category, so if you want to read more I've made it easy for you. At the end of this entry, I'm posting all five hours of David Marsden's excellent tribute to Martin that aired on 94.9 The Rock out of Oshawa.
We lost Martin one year ago today, but we'll never forget him. His spirit lives on.
» Martin Streek Tribute with David Marsden PART 1
» Martin Streek Tribute with David Marsden PART 2
» Martin Streek Tribute with David Marsden PART 3
» Martin Streek Tribute with David Marsden PART 4
» Martin Streek Tribute with David Marsden PART 5
I don't listen to Virgin Radio 999 FM, but I hear they've recently purged most of their on-air talent. It's an Astral-owned company, so this isn't particularly surprising. Astral's been doing a lot of this lately, I just hope my buddy Humble is safe.
Joining Jimmy T, Chris Biggs and Taylor Kaye in the unemployment line is Lydia Stratus. The 999 Virgin Radio show listing is now primarily made up of imported syndicated shows, by Ryan Seacrest, Perez Hilton and Akon. The only actual local personalities left are the morning duo of Mad Dog and Billie, a lady named Kella and a gentleman named Adam Wylde.
Chatter at the SOWNY forum suggests these latest firings have little to do with ratings and everything to do with a salary dump. Someone there named ahl puts it like this:
It was explained to me by a person in a position to know that it's all about share holders getting a return on their investment. If they can't get it with improved ratings and higher sales then the next option is to cut expenses and the easiest target is salaries. With a few exceptions "spend to make" is gone from the corporate vocabulary replaced with "slash to make".
It sounds like Astral and Rogers employ similar radio management methodologies. Virgin Radio listeners, were Chris Biggs, Taylor Kaye, Jimmy T and Lydia Stratus good hosts? Does their absence have you considering another radio station?
Discuss "Lydia Stratus Fired, Along With Virgin's Jimmy T, Chris Biggs and Taylor Kaye" (40 comments so far)
Well, that happened fast. Last Tuesday, I wrote that big changes at the FAN 590 were imminent. On Wednesday, we were tossing around ideas for the new FAN 590 morning show. By Thursday, just about everybody outside of Prime Time was gone.
According to sources, the departed include morning co-hosts Don Landry and Gord Stellick, mid-morning host Mike Hogan and news announcer Rick Ralph. In addition, Jack Armstrong’s mid-afternoon show has been killed, though Armstrong and co-host Eric Smith may remain on staff.
Rogers Sportsnet’s Daren Millard, host of the noon hockey show, has been replaced by Greg Brady. Millard will likely return to a full-time job at Sportsnet.
That's right, even Gord Stellick got the boot. Stellick seemed like such a staple at the FAN, I didn't think he'd ever be let go.
The FAN 590 will hang on to their all-sports format, I'm sure. But if they ever decided to think outside that format, they may want to step into the 590 time machine and turn to gold.
Mike Richards, from the FAN in Calgary.
Mike Richards hosts The Mike Richards Show on The Fan 960 in Calgary, and I understand it's the most listened to sports radio morning show in the country. I remember Mike Richards from his days at The FAN 590 and he was one funny mofo. It would make sense for him to get the call back to the big leagues to take over for Don Landry and Gord Stellick here in Toronto.
If you're unfamiliar with Mike Richards, here's his Fan 960 bio.
After 20 years in the business, I realize that I'm not going to change. There will be no personal growth; no new found maturity; no insights into life of any depth….nothing. I'm ok with this. Mike Richards in the Morning is a culmination of working at many radio stations, CKBB, 1050 CHUM, CKFM (MIX) 99.9, FAN 590, Y-95, KISS- FM Toronto, The TEAM Radio Network and figuring out…..I wasn't doing my kind of radio at any of these stations. The FAN 960 represents what I want to do and how I want to do it.
It sounds different than other radio show because it's host has a strange, if not varied background. Born in Stouffville, Ontario, I played hockey at a high enough level that one of my summer coaches was Mike Keenan and my goalie coach was Jacques Martin. Through an ignorance about junior hockey, I basically threw my hockey away. About this time I started performing at Yuk Yuks in downtown Toronto as a stand up/impressionist. I was 18.
In athletics, I've been to the Ontario Provincial Finals in 4 different sports and an MVP in 2 of them. I've played the drums since I was 13 and still believe I'm Neil Peart. Currently, my greatest and most rewarding time is spent on the football field as a coach at St. Mary's High School.
We'll see if Romy's right about this one.
Update: I'm reading that Greg Brady has resigned from AM 640 and rumours are rampant that he's the guy who will take over mornings at The FAN 590. I'm hoping Greg Brady gets another time slot on The FAN and Mike Richards is still brought over for mornings. Remember, only Bob McCown is safe.
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