Radio


Canada's First Rogers Batteryless

radioWhile we're on the subject of Toronto radio station call letters that meant something, I just learnt CFRB stands for Canada's First Rogers Batteryless. Those call letters date back to 1927, but all that history doesn't mean much in 2009. Astral Media will now promote the station as Newstalk 1010, leaving CFRB off the marquee.

The station recently let go 12 people, and this week they unveiled a new lineup. Bill Carroll is out as morning man, being replaced by John Moore. In the afternoon drive slot, John Tory is taking the mic.

Admittedly, I don't listen to CFRB Newstalk 1010, so I'm likely not their target audience, but I can't imagine there's a mass populous yearning to hear John Tory on their drive home. Jim Richards, a host I know to be pretty damn funny, would make more sense.

As for branding, I think they should go back to their historical roots. Canada's First Rogers Batteryless!

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Fan 590 20/20 Sport Update Intro Music Changed

fan 590The Fan 590 has sports updates every twenty minutes. They've had this for as long as there's been a Fan 590. As a Toronto sports fan, I know I can count on these twenty/twenty sports updates.

All week, the twenty/twenty sports updates have sounded different. The intro music, music they've used for as long as I can remember, has changed. Although I've probably heard the new intro music a half dozen times now, it's not at all memorable. Like Pavlov's dogs, I knew to prick up my ears when I heard the old intro music. It's playing in my head right now. Da-da-da-da-da-DAAAA-da-da-da-DA!

I wonder why they changed it? Is anyone at Rogers reading this who can get it changed back?

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Portable People Meter (PPM) Technology Comes to Toronto Radio

radioToronto radio is about to get a reality check. We're about to get a clearer, more accurate look at who's listening to what stations and how often.

9000 people across Canada are, as of today, wearing PPM devices. Here's what these PPM devices do, according to the BBM Canada press release.

The PPM is leading edge technology that allows BBM to follow television viewers no matter where they watch television, and record radio listening to one minute accuracy almost anywhere the listener is, in real time. The television system it replaces is wired to BBM panelist's television sets. The PPM is about the size of a pager and automatically detects inaudible codes that broadcasters embed in the audio portion of their programming using encoders provided by BBM. At the end of each day, the survey participants place the meters into docking stations that recharge the devices and send the collected codes via modem, to BBM for tabulation.

The old honour system radio diary system is dead. You can no longer listen to EZ-Rock and claim you were tuned into CBC Radio. On a daily basis, true data is being collected from these 9000 peeps. The truth will soon be known.

I'm guessing some Toronto stations are in for a shock. Some are not as popular as they think they are, while others have far more listeners than previously suspected.

Any guesses out there as to what this new PPM technology will teach us about Toronto radio?

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New Personalities Wanted at CFRB

radioI don't listen to CFRB 1010. I recently visited CFRB and sat in on Jim Richards' show, a guy I actually find to be quite funny, but I can't say I ever listen to the Astral station.

Today, Astral let go 12 people at CFRB. Among those let go are on air personalities, including Paul and Carol Mott, Michael Coren and Jacqui Delaney, news staffers, including newscaster Kris McCusker, and producers.

Paul and Carol Mott, a husband and wife radio team known as The Motts, are the only personalities on that list I had ever listened to. Many years ago I used to listen to them on CFRB. It seems like they've been there forever.

CFRB is in the market for new personalities. Know any willing to work in radio?

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Fearless Fred Talks About Toronto Mike

edge102I first heard of Fearless Fred when I broke the firing from CFNY / Edge 102 of Martin Streek and Barry Taylor. I was informed by my trustworthy tipster that Fearless Fred had been hired from Edmonton and would debut sometime in August.

About ten days ago, I wrote that Fearless Fred was on his way, and confirmed that Bookie was being bumped so Fearless Fred could take over the drive home slot. I understand that he premiered yesterday.

I just learned from a commenter that Fearless Fred spoke about this site and our discussions about Streek's dismissal and the recruitment of FF. It's an interview with Fred Kennedy on a comedy blog entitled From the Back of the Room.

Fred Kennedy is not Martin Streek – nor will he try to be – a fact that’s a sore point among Toronto radio devotees who view him as the poster boy for the literal and figurative death of quality radio.

“There’s some radio site called Toronto Mike or Mike in Toronto or something. It’s a prototypical website that’s full of people who’ve either been fired or are just starting out and are already jaded. Basically no matter what happens in the radio business they’re the people who will always say it’s for the worst. Joe Blow gets fired and it’s the worst thing that has ever happened in radio EVER! Even though when he was on air the week before they trashed him without remorse. All that typical nonsense.”

Fred, this isn't a radio site, but I do write about radio when it interests me. It's full of something, but not radio rejects. Hell, I'm the only author, and I've never worked in radio. I wasn't happy that Streek got fired, I sincerely was a long-time fan, but there was no trashing of Streek the week prior.

As puzzling as your description of this site is, it's your final statement in the interview that has me most puzzled.

“Let these people run their mouths. I work at the fucking Edge,” he says, “the best rock station in the country.”

I believe what you mean by that statement is that you work at the only non-classic rock station in Canada's largest city. At one time, it was the best, but that was a long, long time ago.

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CFNY's Catch Us If You Can Contest and No Repeat Workdays

radioIn the Globe's Ballad of Martin Streek, Program Director Ross Winters claimed CFNY's limit for song repetition was now 7 times in 24 hours. I actually believe that limit to be much higher. In January, during one 12-hour random spot check, a song had already been played 6 times.

CFNY used to be known for its wide playlist and rarely playing the same track in the same day. In fact, I've got the old station promos to prove it.

Here's their "Catch Us If You Can" contest that promises $102 to anyone who catches CFNY playing the same song twice in one day.

Here's a promo for CFNY's No-Repeat Workday. Dan Duran will tell you that you could win $5000 if you catch them playing any song twice between 9 and 5.

Things are rather different at 102.1 these days. I repeat, things are rather different at 102.1 these days.

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My Call From Strombo

phoneLast night, I wrote about George Stroumboulopoulos' "new, independent FM". Earlier today, I had a direct message from Strombo on Twitter. He wanted a phone number he could reach me at.

I gave him my Blackberry number and went about my afternoon, which primarily consisted of picking up my son and taking him to his soccer match. On my way home, I heard Tom Cheek ordering Joe Carter to "touch 'em all". I had a phone call.

"Mike, it's George Stroumboulopoulos."

George had called to discuss his independent FM, but we ended up talking about a great deal more. We chatted about our mutual admiration for Humble and Fred, what CFNY meant to him, his love of radio, Martin Streek, and other things I won't write about here. He came across as a genuinely sweet guy and the convo was effortless.

With regards to The Strombo Show, he told me he pulled it from the Corus lineup. He said his schedule was too hectic so he pulled the plug.

As for independent FM, he emphasized that it's just a kernel of an idea at this point, and it's not yet a podcast, satellite or terrestrial radio show. Strombo is passionate about radio and definitely wants to continue his show, but he's not yet sure about the format or where it will happen. It is important to him, however, that he's able to play what he wants.

There's clearly a spirit to George's independent FM that sounds familiar. He promised to let me know when it's more than just an idea and I promised to promote it best I can.

I dig it when personalities I know from radio and/or television actually turn out to be good people. Thanks for the call, George.

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Pete and Geets Audio From the Spirit of Radio

radioDavid Haydu a.k.a. Geets Romo and Pete Griffin were the Pete and Geets morning show on CFNY from 1982-1987. I must confess, I was a little young for Pete and Geets, preferring to listen to Tom Rivers and the Rivers Air Force on CFTR, but I've heard great things about Pete and Geets.

Because I now have the Spirit Reunion CD, I have a tonne of great audio to share with fans of the old CFNY. Let's start with a clip from the Pete and Geets show.

It's a great bit about the old CFNY "One of the world's two great radio stations" promo. Have a listen.

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A New, Independent FM for Strombo

RadioStrombo has dropped a clue as to the future of his radio show now that he's parting ways with Corus. He just posted a teaser on his blog.

strombo

George Stroumboulopoulos is talking about "a new, independent FM". That's the change coming this fall, referenced in his Facebook message on The Strombo Show page.

Hi, Hope your summer is going well... The Strombo Show will be on vacation for the remainder of the summer, with some changes in the works for the fall. But, don't go too far because some really cool things are coming down the pipe. I'll update you as soon as I can :) Thanks, as always. George

Does anyone have a guess as to what this new, independent FM will be? Is it web streaming? A new satellite radio show? A CBC radio show? A podcast?

Discuss "A New, Independent FM for Strombo" (7 comments so far)


Fearless Fred On His Way to Edge 102

radioBack in May, when CFNY / Edge 102 showed Martin Streek and Barry Taylor the door, I reported that Fearless Fred from The Bear in Edmonton had been hired as a replacement.

The Twittersphere has exploded the past 24 hours with news Fearless Fred has aired his last show on The Bear and is now on his way to the centre of the universe.

fearless fred

I kid, of course. About the explosion of Fearless Fred chatter in the Twittersphere, not about him leaving his Edmonton gig for a spot at CFNY / Edge 102. Three tweets does not a trending topic make.

There's still no official announcement from CFNY / Edge 102 that Fearless Fred is on his way or where he'll appear in the lineup. My hunch is they'll move Bookie and put Fearless Fred in the afternoon drive spot. Fearless Fred is far more Dean Blundell Show-ish than Bookie and more in line with the kind of radio Program Director Ross Winters seems to crave for this Corus-owned station.

How many final nails in the coffin does one station get?

Discuss "Fearless Fred On His Way to Edge 102" (66 comments so far)


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