Radio


Strombo Tribute to Streek? Or Physiological Illusion?

radioHeres what I know to be true. I know CFNY / Edge 102.1 did not air The Strombo Show on Sunday. I know the other Corus radio stations who carry Strombo's show did air it as usual.

What I don't know, and I've tried to find out but failed, is whether The Strombo Show aired this past Sunday was live. I can't say whether it was a rerun or a new episode. It's quite possible George Stroumboulopoulos is on vacation, or simply taking a break after losing a good friend.

I received the email below from someone with similar questions. This person has permitted me to post the email, so long as I keep him or her anonymous.

Hi, Mike,

Thanks for the sincere blogs over the last week. It's been helpful to visit an authentic forum.

I know from your post Sun. night that you didn't catch the strombo show, but have you heard anything about it since? I'm Brantford way and listened on fm96, where it aired at 5pm as usual.

Although I missed the beginning of the show, it seemed to me that George gave tribute via the playlist. There were some obscure tracks, some party tunes, some rebellion as usual. Not a lot of chitchat. The lyrics of the last set were striking to me and included a deathcab song (soul meets body), ac newman (prophets [which I heard at the time as "profits", given the current climate]), bedouin (walls fall down), and stones gimme shelter ended the show. He made a point of telling us to listen to the backup singer singing of rape and murder, and rather than playing through the whole song, ended the show directly after the backup singer blew out her voice singing "Murder" with such passion. That was the last word. Cut to commercial.

The statement seemed subtle and strong; he didn't give enough rope to hang himself with but if you knew what to listen for, the message was loud and clear.

So I wondered if I was reading too much into that (and was that even Strombo DJing? and was it a repeat show?) and waited for some kind of discussion online. Have you heard anymore about it? Do you have an opinion? I'd be interested in your thoughts.

Thanks,
**name removed**

PS - While I'm seeking opinions: this memorial at the Pheonix on Saturday - will Corus profit from that? Isn't it still a live-to-air cfny DJ'ed event? I'd love to go but have no intention of feeding the beast.

Very interesting... unless Sunday's show was a rerun. Or are me and **name removed** reading entirely too much into the fact CFNY didn't air the first Strombo Show after Martin Streek's death?

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1:02 of Club 102 Live From The Phoenix w/ Martin Streek

Club 102Last night, after our ball game, the Mikes and I got talking about the Phoenix. The Phoenix, for you out-of-towners, is a club at 410 Sherbourne Street that I used to frequent in the mid-90s. I was there for the moshing anthems but you never knew who you'd bump into.

We were talking about the Phoenix Concert Theatre because we were talking about Club 102, a live-to-air event heard on 102.1 every Saturday night for as long as I can remember. Club 102 was hosted by Chris Sheppard, and when Shep left, Martin Streek took over.

Club 102 was fun, because it was great tune after great tune. Streek was the perfect host, full of energy and passion with a fantastic voice. There's a Facebook group in memory of Streek, and that's where I found an hour and two minutes of Club 102 recorded live from the Phoenix and hosted by Martin Streek. It was shared by Trevor Castle.

I'm embedding the audio below, but I'm not sure how much time we'll have before my free bandwidth allotment gets blown out. I recommend downloading the MP3 by clicking here.

The doors of the Phoenix.... are... now... OPEN!

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Where's Strombo? Did He Quit Corus?

questionmarkI'm plugging myself back in after a long weekend of kayaking, BBQing, chilling with the family and playing beach volleyball under sunny skies. My radio is tuned into Edge 102.1 for The Strombo Show, one of Corus' best radio shows. I've always liked George Stroumboulopoulos.

This is the first airing of The Strombo Show since Martin Streek died. It's no secret Stroumboulopoulos and Streek were tight. I saw them together as recently as last year's CASBY Awards and Strombo was swooning in the presence of Streek, a man he clearly admired. Then, there's this quote from Strombo, which has resurfaced since Streek's death.

Martin Streek (and David Bookman) are so important to this city, what they do for music ... Streek when he’s on the radio... quality wins. They believe in music. They are the snipers waiting by the window keeping everyone on their game. Because their music knowledge is impeccable, their passion is unrivalled and they’re not afraid to tell you. They understand how important a record can be to your life.

I've got CFNY on the radio, trying to listen to Strombo to hear what he'd say about Martin, but I'm not hearing The Strombo Show. I'm hearing a guy named Jeff Leake playing the typical music 102.1 plays these days, and there's no mention of George Stroumboulopoulos or The Strombo Show. The "S" word hasn't been uttered once.

Did Strombo quit Corus? Does anyone know where his radio show has gone?

Update: I'm told The Strombo Show was on Corus tonight, just not Edge 102.1. edge.ca is promoting the show as airing from 2pm - 5pm, a change I've obviously missed! It was always 5pm - 8pm.

Apparently there's nothing to see here, move along....

Update 2: When I wondered aloud if The Strombo Show aired here at 2pm, a Strombo fan who would like to remain anonymous replied and said "not today they didn't ... this afternoon Todd had some sort of bikini thing goin' on ... they didn't broadcast in T.O today "

The plot thickens...

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Local Newspapers Drop Ball With Martin Streek Death Coverage

Toronto NewspaperI've been blogging here since 2002 with almost 10,000 entries under my belt. During that time, I've broken a few stories, usually local radio hirings and firings. Last night, I broke a story here that still has me dazed.

The comments in my entry about Martin Streek's death, from dozens of people who knew him and loved him, confirm what I always suspected. Martin was a genuine good guy who loved what he did and treated everyone he encountered with class, good humour and respect. So many Torontonians felt a connection with Martin, and the 148 comments (and counting) prove he struck a chord with this city in a personal way few media personalities can equal.

The mainstream media coverage of Martin Streek's death, especially from our local newspapers, was abysmal. Martin deserved so much better for what he gave this city. I'm going to address the coverage from the Toronto Sun, National Post, Toronto Star and Globe & Mail.

Toronto Sun

Toronto Sun

Get used to this picture of Martin. It was his Facebook profile picture, and the same one I used last night. You'll be seeing a lot of it in this local MSM analysis.

I'm leading with the Sun's coverage because their factual errors really hit home with me. "The news broke on an Internet message board post by David Marden". When I clicked through, I did find a comment by Marsden on someone else's post, but the post was published over an hour after my entry about Streek's death. Clearly, a little Googling is too much fact checking to expect from the Sun.

The remainder of the article could have been written by anyone with a web browser.

National Post 1

Eye Weekly

There's that picture again. You have to admit, it's a great shot. I don't think Martin would mind one bit if the media failed to find another.

This first entry from the National Post really infuriates me with their ignorance. "One blogger named Marsden (luvradio) posted the following today." Are you kidding me, National Post? Calling Marsden "one blogger" is inexcusable. David Marsden was the driving force behind CFNY in the 1980s and a local radio legend. How does the Post not recognize that?

National Post 2

National Post

Again, the National Post's coverage of Martin Streek's suicide could have been thrown together by any teen with wifi. It's his final Facebook status message, a mini-bio, and that picture we all know and love.

The National Post did, however, give me credit as a source alongside the CBC, which is almost enough for me to forgive their inabilty to scratch beneath the surface. A popular local DJ who was on the air for over two decades before his inexplicable firing at the hands of Corus Entertainment kills himself at the age of 45 and we're once again fed lazy jounalism from one of our many dailies.

Toronto Star

Star

I'm most disappointed in the Toronto Star for their coverage of this tragic event. The Toronto Star is my paper, the one I read daily and the one I've been reading daily ever since I discovered Blue Jays box scores and For Better of For Worse comics in the early 80s.

The Toronto Star should be ashamed for this reprint of the Canadian Press release. Couldn't the Star find a reporter to dig around, give us some insight, try and give this appearingly senseless act some context? The Canadian Press coverage is a paint-by-numbers statement that Streek lived, worked at 102.1, was fired and died. For shame.

Globe & Mail

Globe and Mail

I saved the Globe & Mail's article for last, because it's so offensive I couldn't get past the headline. It was very late in the day when I took this screen cap, and they were still misspelling Martin's name. It reminds me of that old axiom there's no such thing as bad publicity so long as they spell your name right. Poor Martin didn't get that honour.

Toronto is a huge city with a glut of media stationed here and many, many passionate citizens who are deeply feeling this loss. The service we've received from our newspapers is truly disgusting, especially when contrasted with the coverage given to a memorial service held in Los Angeles this afternoon.

We deserve so much better.

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Martin Streek Dead

Martin Streek DiesI'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.

streek

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Stormin' Norm Rumack Axed at Fan 590

radioNorm Rumack has been with THE FAN since its inception in September 1992, but you won't hear him on THE FAN 590 any longer. Stormin' Norm Rumack has been fired as Rogers-owned stations axed four ad reps, Rumack and an unidentified behind-the-scenes employee.

Back in the 90s, when I listened to quite a bit more of THE FAN, Norm was known for:

  • An unapologetic, unfazed appreciation for "God's Team", the Toronto Maple Leafs
  • A belief Wendel Clark was the greatest player in the history of the game
  • An absolute hate-on for the Muder City Dead Things
  • A HammerHead Alert he would sound if you disagreed with any of the above

It was fun late-night radio back in the day. I haven't heard him in years, but you don't soon forget a guy who tells you Wendel Clark is better than Mario Lemieux and believes every syllable.

The late-night vampire shall haunt us no longer. Hammerhead Alert! Hammerhead Alert!

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Radio Contest Winners Tell Their Stories

radioI got an interesting email from Race Coach the other day. He had a couple of neat stories as to how he won prizes from CFNY / Edge 102. Here's his email.

I was thinking it might be interesting to blog about prizes people have won at CFNY, err The Edge. I don't bother trying to win prizes from the radio any more, but there was a time ....

1) I was washing my car out on the front lawn, listening to CFNY. The Live Earl Jive was on, and he just mentioned something between songs: "If you see a CFNY cruiser with a wind surfer on top, stop and ask how to win it". I didn't pay much attention. But, later that day, I was heading to work at Ontario Place, along Lakeshore Blvd, and saw the cruiser parked in a gas station. I pulled a U-ee and rolled down my window. "How do you win that think?", I said. "You just did", was the reply. That was the start of my windsurfing career.

2) The next one is a little vague. I remember going to a sporting event, in a box that was sponsored by CFNY. I imagine I must have won something, just to get there. Then, during the event, they drew names. The winners got to go to Winnipeg for a CFL game with Humble and Fred. Low and behold, I won (along with a bunch of other people). So, on a frigid, grey weekend a bunch of us flew to Winnipeg, sat outside on aluminum seats, froze out nuts off and watched a bad game of football. It was AWESOME! Humble and Fred were great hosts, and made the event particularly fun.

I've never won a radio contest, but I've never called in to win, which may explain my futility. I did win Jays tickets and an invitation to 680 CFTR's Pizza Pizza pre-game party, but that wasn't through the radio. That's a neat story you can read here.

I'm interested to know who out there has won anything interesting from a radio contest and how it all went down. Share in the comments!

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Edge 102 Bands / Artists Played in the Past 7 Hours

musicIt seems the most popular entries around these parts lately have been about Toronto radio. It started when Martin Streek and Barry Taylor were fired at Edge 102, continued when I wrote about the problem with Jack FM and culminated in the birth of Kiss 92 where Jack once broadcast. All three entries seemed to bring out the commenters.

I've mentioned I actually liked the music mix at Jack. I also really like the music mix at Edge 102. I listened to a lot of Edge 102 today, in the shower, in the car running a few errands and even on the ol' home stereo. I was digging the playlist, pleased with just about every tune I heard during this Double Shot weekend.

For the heck of it, here are the artists played on 102.1 the Edge between noon and 7pm today. Beside each band / artist, I'm putting a YES to indicate I really like the choice, a NO to indicate I really don't like the selection and an OK if I can take them or leave them.

SILVERSUN PICKUPS YES
ALEXISONFIRE OK
NINE INCH NAILS YES
BILLY TALENT YES
RADIOHEAD YES
PEARL JAM YES
FRANZ FERDINAND YES
LINKIN PARK YES
KINGS OF LEON YES
FOO FIGHTERS YES
METRIC YES
RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS YES
EMINEM YES
GREEN DAY YES
NIRVANA YES
MGMT YES
SILVERSUN PICKUPS YES
SUBLIME YES
BILLY TALENT YES
COLDPLAY YES
SLOAN YES
STONE TEMPLE PILOTS YES
GREEN DAY YES
FRANZ FERDINAND YES
WEEZER YES
LINKIN PARK YES
KILLERS YES
THE TRAGICALLY HIP YES
GREEN DAY YES
RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS YES
COLDPLAY YES
FOO FIGHTERS YES
EAGLES OF DEATH METAL YES
OUR LADY PEACE YES
YEAH YEAH YEAHS YES
BEASTIE BOYS YES
BILLY TALENT YES
WEEZER YES
CITY AND COLOUR YES
FRANZ FERDINAND YES
PEARL JAM YES
METRIC YES
RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS YES
NIRVANA YES
NICKELBACK NO

I gave a YES to a resounding 95.5% of the bands I heard. Only 2% of the bands got a NO. That's pretty awesome, so what's the problem? The problem, according to this 7 hour snapshot, is repetition.

Only 30 of these bands are unique, or 66.7%. In fact, Billy Talent, Franz Ferdinand and Red Hot Chili Peppers each appeared in three different sets during this seven hour span. Considering every band is played back-to-back during Double Shot weekend, that's six songs from each band, which seems highly unnecessary.

102.1 the Edge is playing songs I want to hear, they're just repeating themselves more often than I'd like. But considering the current state of radio in this city, I'm just glad they haven't gone country... yet.

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CBC Hourly Newscast MP3 Download - Perpetually Updated

CBCWhen it comes to getting my news, I turn to the CBC first. It's straight up, solid information, and it doesn't appear tainted by glitz, glamour or bias. I like CBC Newsworld for my television news and CBC Radio One for my radio news.

A tremendous resource when it comes to news and current affairs in this country is the vast assortment of CBC Podcasts available online. One gem, which you might not know about but will thank me for pointing it out, is the CBC Radio Hourly newscast that's always current and always available at the same url. This is awfully convenient. Download it, or listen to the < 5 minute broadcast at http://podcast.cbc.ca/mp3/hourlynews.mp3.

If you're looking for Toronto info, Metro Morning with Andy Barrie makes several segments available for download at http://www.cbc.ca/toronto/features/podcast/.

You're welcome.

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Kiss 92.5 All Hits Radio Born From Ashes of Jack FM

RadioLess than a week ago, I wrote about the problem with 92.5 Jack FM. The ratings were abysmal, and I predicted there would be a format change by Labour Day. Jack didn't make it a week into June.

Jack FM is now KISS 92.5 FM, being billed by Rogers as "the only ALL HITS radio station in the city of Toronto".

Available on-air at 92.5 FM in Toronto and online at kiss925.ca, the station kicked off its broadcast Friday at 3 o'clock with a promise to play 10,000 songs in a row with no commercial interruption, featuring artists like Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Black Eyed Peas, Kanye West, Nickelback, Katy Perry, T.I., Justin Timberlake, Kardinal Offishall, Britney Spears, Ne-Yo, Kelly Clarkson and Rihanna among others. The launch was simulcast on Rogers All-News outlet, 680News.

KISS92.5 will engage its listeners both on the air and online by taking advantage of all the possibilities that present themselves in the new digital world. As the station evolves, the audience will be "plugged in" through instant messaging, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and several other social networking sites as well as wirelessly via texting.

On-air talent for KISS92.5 will be announced in the coming weeks, along with details on concerts and events that will feature today's biggest hit makers.

If Kiss sounds familiar, it should. Before Jack, 92.5 was known as KISS FM, playing top 40 hits before delving into more hip hop and R&B in the early 2000s.

Kiss is back, playing all hits once more. And I've just lost my shower radio station that provided me with uninterrupted rock from 7:30 to 7:48 each morning.

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