Radio


My Appearance on Team 990 - Pissing Off Habs Fans

RadioI appeared on Montreal's only English sports radio station tonight, The Team 990. The show is called Game Points and they had me on following their discussion about my blog last week.

It's not easy being cocky when your team hasn't played a playoff game in five years but I think I pulled it off. Have a listen and tell me what you think.

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Rick Hodge Interview - Why He Left CHUM, the Sunday Funnies and More

MicrophoneI recently worked with Rick Hodge. Rick and I had a rocky start to our relationship, but as is often the case, the guy you most want to stab in the eye quickly becomes a solid bud.

Rick Hodge is no longer on the air, having been booted from the radio by Astral, but he's now writing very interesting prose on his blog. All bias aside, it's a very interesting perspective and he occasionally tells some pretty cool Toronto radio stories over there. I strongly urge you to check it out.

Here's an interview I conducted with Toronto radio legend Rick Hodge earlier today.

Q: I can't tell you how many Sunday nights I spent listening to you host the Sunday Night Funnies on CHUM-FM. How did that program come to be? Are you aware of how awesome it was?
A: I inherited the Sunday Funnies after the original host left. It was kind of make shift at the time so I thought it would be a good idea to get it organized. Because of content and language a lot of the material couldn't be used and it would take the producer hours to find all the edits. So I catalogued the entire library. Then I made a point of going to the big record stores downtown and bought up anything new I found. I remember coming across Jeff Foxworthy for the first time. I bought him, loved him and played him. After a couple of weeks I got a call from Sam the Record Man. The guy said "what the hell are you doing?" They were getting a non stop stream of people coming into the store asking for Jeff Foxworthy or that southern guy I heard on the Funnies. I also made runs to Buffalo about every 3 months because they had material that wasn't available in Canada. Don Ferguson from the Air Farce told me I had the largest comedy collection he had ever seen.

One thing I took pride in was promoting as much Canadian talent as I could. The 2 comics I got to know the best were Gerry D who cut a name for himself on "Last Comic Standing" in the US and Frank Spadone. I just happened to pick up Frank's cd one day and started playing it. I used it on the Funnies and he called to ask if he could do a ticket giveaway on the morning show. He did and the venue, which was only half sold, sold out. And he did it on Super Bowl Sunday.

The program director at the time wanted me to start cutting back on the older comics. He wanted the young comics I told him the problem with the young comics is that most of them live and die with "F" bomb. If he'd allow me let that word go in their bits it would open things up for all sorts of new material. He did and we only got one complaint.

To answer the question, no I never did realize how awesome it was.

Q: I used to catch you on television hosting Rinkside, a weekly AHL highlight show. How did you score that gig?
A: Actually they came to me. It was just after I won a sportscaster of the year award. I'm not a television guy so thank God it was pre-taped. The most fun I had was with the co-hosts. Brian Kilrea of the Ottawa 67's did regular bits one year and he was a hoot. Brad Smith (Motor City Smitty) was fun to work with. We discovered Jim Ralph when he was a goaltender with the Newmarket Saints. I knew from the start he had a career in sports casting. I also got to know Gord Stellick. Truly one of the nicest people I have ever met and another former non broadcaster who's done very well on hard work and talent as a talk show host.

Q: "Roger, Rick & Marilyn" was my mom's favourite radio show. The CHUM-FM morning show was tops in this city. Why did you leave?
A: Roger Rick and Marilyn was, and remains, the highlight of my broadcasting career. I was honoured to be asked to be part of Roger Ashby's induction into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. So, why did I leave? The station was evolving. My commentaries had been dropped, the Funnies were dropped and finally the sports casts in the morning were dropped. I disagreed at the time but in an industry that had become specialized I understand why they did what they did. I wanted to get back to doing sports and commentaries and I wanted to get involved with talk radio. There's more to the decision but basically when I was presented with the opportunity, I took it.

Q: Astral never seemed to know what to do with you once they landed you. You were on the EZ-Rock morning show, while running down the hall to be on CFRB. Then, without giving you a fair shot, they kicked you off the air. What the hell went wrong?
A: Good question.

Q: Do you have any resentment towards Astral?
A: No. Sometimes you forget it's a business and the people running that business will do what they feel is best for the company. I understand that. That doesn't mean it doesn't sting when it happens but at least you understand.

Q: What's next for Rick Hodge?
A: Well, I have to check the kitty litter, I have to fill out my NCAA brackets for the pool, Pardon the Interruption is on in about an hour (best show on TV), then I'll read some of the new book I just picked up. Lord I've got cabin fever. Actually I want to stay in radio. It's the old Joni Mitchell line "you don't know what you've got 'till it's gone." Getting up at some ridiculous hour never really bothered me. I love the early, early mornings and the drive to work at 2:30 am with virtually no traffic on the road. Where I'll end up I don't know and who knows, I may not end up anywhere.

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Audio of Team 990 in Montreal Discussing My Blog

RadioGame Points with Matthew Ross is a sports radio show that airs on The Team 990 in Montreal. Minutes ago they spent an entire segment discussing my Subbanator Habs Fans Find New Way to Offend entry from Friday afternoon.

I wasn't just listening, I was recording the web stream with Audacity so I could share all 11:30 with you. Here's Metric Julie talking about Toronto Mike on Game Points.

I'm glad they laughed off this Leafs conspiracy angle that's gaining steam. This topic runs a little deeper than your run of the mill team rivalry.

Great job, Metric Julie!

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The 1050 CHUM Morning Show in 1987

RadioYouTube user Retrontario frequently uploads fantastic retro-Toronto-centric gems. These clips never fail to bring back a ton of memories for me, so I feature them from time to time.

My mom lights up when she talks about 1050 CHUM. Her "Top 40" 1050 CHUM ended on June 6, 1986, and that 1050 CHUM, if you excuse a brief run as an all-sports station, ended on March 25, 2009.

This clip is of the morning show crew a year after leaving Top 40 for "Favourites of Yesterday and Today". Here we see Gerry Forbes, Brian Henderson, Mary Garofalo, Mike Cleaver and Robbie Evans doing their thing.

On a related note, I frequently get emails asking if I know where Brian Henderson can now be found. Does anyone know what Brian Henderson is up to these days?

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Rick Hodge's Blog is Now Live

notepadFans of Rick Hodge will be happy to learn he's now blogging at http://www.thehodgeblog.com/.

I let the cat out of the bag a little prematurely, but we're now live. Those who follow blogs via RSS will want to subscribe to http://www.thehodgeblog.com/atom.xml.

In his second entry, he took a stab at yours truly.

First off I want to thank Mike Boon for helping me get this together. Mike and I didn't get off to a good start. He got me pretty good on his Toronto Mike Blog a while back just after I left Astral Media. Here's what happened. I had set up a comedy bit by Jimmy Fallon about 80's music. What I wanted to do was set up Colleen Rusholme who was starting an 80's show on EZ Rock the following weekend. I was new to all of this and what I didn't know was that all cuts had to be limited to 30 seconds. For the bit to work it had to run 90 seconds.

When the producer cut it at 30 the entire piece just died. I asked what the story was and when I was told I yelled that that was B-S and walked out of the studio. Honestly in my time at Astral that was the only time I lost my temper. Mike just happened to be there when it happened. I have to thank Humble Howard, Ian Grant and Bill Carroll for coming to my defence. I understand why Mike felt and wrote what he did and I don't blame him. I've been called a lot of things during my career but never a Diva. Compared to some folks I've worked with over the years I'm still in pre-school when it comes to meltdowns.

For hosting the Sunday Night Funnies and Rinkside with Gord Stellick, I'm giving Hodgie a free pass.

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Herb Tarlek with Don Daynard and Erin Davis on CHFI

RadioYouTube user Retrontario frequently uploads fantastic retro-Toronto-centric gems. These clips never fail to bring back a ton of memories for me, so I feature them from time to time.

As a kid, I loved WKRP. I think that's how I first fell in love with radio. One of the many great characters on WKRP was Herb Tarlek, the plaid suit wearing advertising account executive who couldn't score a big account or with Jennifer Marlowe.

Back in 1997, the character Herb Tarlek was resurrected for a television ad campaign promoting the CHFI morning show with Don Daynard and Erin Davis.


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Andy Barrie Announces Retirement From CBC

radioYou've got to love Andy Barrie. He's been hosting Toronto's CBC Radio One program Metro Morning since 1995 and is one of the finest broadcasters working in this city. His Metro Morning has always been a favourite of mine.

This morning, on his 65th birthday, he announced that he's retiring and that his last show will take place the morning of March 1. After 15 years he deserves a chance to sleep in past 4am.

In 2008, I wrote about Andy's leave of absense. He was caring for his wife Mary, who passed away last February.

Good for Andy, stepping down while still at the top of his game.

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Punkorama Cancelled on Edge 102.1

radioI remember listening to Punkorama on Edge 102.1 back in the day when it was hosted by George Stroumboulopoulos. The hard aggressive sounds of Punkorama will no longer be heard each Tuesday night on CFNY as the last episode of Punkorama aired two nights ago.

punkorama

Here's the playlist from the last show.

FACE TO FACE – It’s Not Over
NOFX – Don’t Call Me White
CARPENTER – You Can’t Keep A Good Man Down
TITUS ANDRONICUS – Titus Andronicus
HUSKER DU – New Day Rising
FLATLINERS – Filthy Habits
…TRAIL OF DEAD – Days Of Being Wild
IGGY POP & THE STOOGES – I Wanna Be Your Dog
EVERY TIME I DIE – Imitation Is The Sincerest Form Of Battery
RANCID – The Wars End
DILLINGER FOUR – A Floater Left With Pleasure In The Executive Washroom
SNUFF – All Over Now
SOCIAL DISTORTION – I Was Wrong
THE RIOT BEFORE – We Are Wild Stallions
GASLIGHT ANTHEM – Angry Johnny And The Radio
THE REPLACEMENTS - Unsatisfied

RIP Punkorama

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Randy Moller Goal Calls

radioWhen the Leafs play on CBC, Joe Bowen calls the game for radio. When Joe Bowen is calling the game for television, Dennis Beyak fills in. Both call fine games. That's how we roll in Leafsville.

Florida Panthers games are called by a cat named Randy Moller. After each goal, he drops a pop culture nugget that has to be heard to be appreciated. Randy Moller, I love you.

[via Metafilter]

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boom 97.3 Playlist Analyzed

radioAs promised, EZ Rock is now Boom 97.3, playing "Toronto's Greatest Hits". Humble and Colleen are still doing mornings, Maie Pauts takes it from there and KJ still takes you home.

Yes, that ad does start with the song that's absolutely everywhere, the same song they played right after flipping formats. Here are the first twenty songs played on the new boom 97.3.

Play Time Artist Name Track Name
Sat 10:24AM THE B-52S LOVE SHACK
Sat 10:20AM BRYAN ADAMS LONELY NIGHTS
Sat 10:15AM THE BEE GEES STAYIN' ALIVE
Sat 10:12AM JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS I LOVE ROCK AND ROLL
Sat 10:08AM SPIRIT OF THE WEST HOME FOR A REST
Sat 10:04AM MAX WEBSTER LET GO THE LINE
Sat 10:01AM FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD RELAX
Sat 09:56AM THE POLICE MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE
Sat 09:50AM THE NEVILLE BROTHERS BIRD ON A WIRE
Sat 09:46AM BOSTON MORE THAN A FEELING
Sat 09:42AM MEN AT WORK DOWN UNDER
Sat 09:38AM BARENAKED LADIES LOVERS IN A DANGEROUS TIME
Sat 09:35AM MARTHA AND THE MUFFINS ECHO BEACH
Sat 09:31AM BLONDIE HEART OF GLASS
Sat 09:27AM MICHAEL JACKSON THE WAY YOU MAKE ME FEEL
Sat 09:24AM THE CLASH SHOULD I STAY OR SHOULD
Sat 09:19AM QUEEN SOMEBODY TO LOVE
Sat 09:15AM THE PARACHUTE CLUB RISE UP
Sat 09:11AM THE STRAY CATS ROCK THIS TOWN
Sat 09:07AM CHIC LE FREAK
Sat 09:03AM JOURNEY DON'T STOP BELIEVIN'

It's really a great improvement over the playlist for the old EZ Rock. Sure, I could do without that Neville Brothers tune but we got Martha and the Muffins, the Clash, Max Webster, Spirit of the West and they just played the B-52s. It's definitely classic hits with a strong focus on the 80s and a little 70s and 90s on the side.

Sample boom 97.3 for yourself at http://cjez.player.myastralmediaradio.com/ and let me know what you think of the new format in the comments. It might not be exactly what we're looking for, but it's a great improvement.

boom

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