Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 299: Matt Gurney

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 299In this 299th episode, Mike chats with Global News Radio 640 Toronto morning show co-host Matt Gurney about his years at the National Post, working with Supriya Dwivedi at 640, recent changes at the station and millennials. Matt also ranks the Star Wars movies and discusses his favourite song of all-time. This episode is exactly 2:18:22.

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Matt Gurney and me

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 298: Elliott Price

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 298In this 298th episode, Mike chats with Fan 590 morning show co-host Elliott Price about calling Expos games, working in Montreal sports radio, rolling his own and getting the call to move to Toronto. This episode is exactly 2:00:18.

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97.7 HTZ FM's Paulie Morris Let Go By Bell Media

You may have heard that Bell Media is making cuts across the country. Today, they let some people go in St. Catharines, including long time 97.7 HTZ FM host and music director Paulie Morris.

If you've ever listened to 97.7 HTZ FM, you've heard Paulie Morris. He helped build that station back in 1986, and except for a few years in the mid-90s, he's been there ever since.


The St. Catharines Standard secured this quote from Bell Media.

“The reductions in St. Catharines were part of a restructuring of local radio and TV at Bell Media stations across the country. I’m not going to get into the specific numbers, but I can say that like other Canadian broadcasters, we are confronting rapid change in the media marketplace including new broadcast technologies and viewing options and fast-growing international competition,” said Bell Media spokesperson Matthew Garrow. “As the media marketplace evolves, local radio and TV stations are facing significant declines in advertising, their only source of revenue. We need to reorganize and reduce costs to manage the impact. At the same time, we do not expect any changes in local programming.”

Paulie Morris's daughter is Newstalk 1010 reporter Siobhan Morris who appeared on my podcast back in 2014 and recently returned to kick out the jams.

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The Fan 590 Turns 25: Alumni Who Have Appeared on Toronto Mike'd

The Fan is 25 years old today. The first all-sports radio station in the country, it was a big deal when 1430 flipped. We had a World Series champion baseball team and an exciting Stanley Cup contender.

Many hosts and former hosts of The Fan 1430 / 590 have visited me to appear on my podcast. Here's a list for those interested in the history of the station. I suggest starting with Nelson Millman.

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Toronto Radio Ratings: Sizing up the Battles

I used to enjoy looking at Toronto's radio ratings. Then, I got fed up with the entire process. Who is carrying these PPM devices? Stations target a specific demographic, but regular folk like me can't access these figures. With so little data available, and so much skepticism, I just stopped looking.

Having said all that, I thought it might be fun to look at some Toronto radio competitors to see who's winning the PPM battle in Toronto. Keep in mind, I only have the numbers for all adults 12 and over, but since we're looking at stations chasing the same (or similar) demo, it should give us an idea as to who's winning.

These share percentages are for February 27, 2017 - May 28, 2017 and are courtesy of Numeris.

The sports radio battle

The Fan 590 - 3.2%
TSN Radio 1050 - 0.8%

The new rock battle

102.1 the Edge - 2.3%
Indie88 - 1.4%

The older guy battle

boom 97.3 - 8.9%
Q107 - 5.7%

The younger peeps pop station battle

99-9 Virgin Radio - 5.6%
Kiss 92.5 - 3.4%

The older peeps pop station battle

CHFI - 11.4%
CHUM-FM - 8.7%

The talk station battle

Newstalk 1010 - 6.7%
AM 640 - 1.7%

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Q107's Birth was 40 Years Ago Today

Q107 is 40 years old today. The station signed on with Deodato's "Also sprach Zarathustra" back on May 22, 1977 and the first song played was "Hard Rock Town" by Murray McLauchlan. The first voice you heard belonged to John Rode.

A tweet by @arc185 led me to this page that has a soundcheck of Q107's debut, but I didn't like the dead air at the beginning, so I edited the audio and am pleased to share it with you here.

Just before grunge broke in the early 90s (thereby keeping me tuned to CFNY 102.1 constantly to hear as much Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden as possible), I would try not to miss Q107's Top Ten at Ten. That's where I discovered Guns N' Roses and The Tragically Hip, after all.

Happy 40th to the Mighty Q!


Q107 personalities who have appeared on Toronto Mike'd:

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Mike Stafford and Lou Schizas Discuss Toronto Mike'd on 640 Toronto

Yesterday at 9:55am, Lou Schizas's Happy Capitalism segment aired on The Stafford Show with Mike Stafford on AM640 Toronto. Both Lou and Mike have been on Toronto Mike'd, and they talked about my podcast for two and a half minutes.

Here's the audio evidence.

Here's a transcript of the conversation.

Lou: You were mentioning the Toronto Mike'd podcast...
Mike: Yeah, you were down in his basement yesterday?
Lou: Have you been there?
Mike: Yeah, a couple of years ago.
Lou: Did you hit your head?
Mike: Me? All five foot seven of me, no.
Lou: The reason I went to do the podcast with Mike was I was number one curious about the means of production. And you know, for very little money he's out there producing his own interview series and that sort of thing and the sound quality is pretty good.
Mike: It's excellent, and he's had yourself and Ron MacLean in there. He has a few gets he still wants to get but you're right, his setup is... my god, we spend as media companies a fortune to achieve the same kind of sound and distribution.
Lou: Well, the distribution I think is different in that you can't tune him in, you have to download the product. Now I think there's probably some of the stuff I'm not really aware of that can get it on your smartphone as it's happening, but I don't know if that's the case. I know from myself the way I use radio, it's usually in the car, right? And if it's not available in the car, or I don't have the technology to get it in the car, it's less useful for me, but I thought it was pretty interesting from a technology aquisition point of view.
Mike: Did you get a six pack of the Great Lakes?
Lou: Yeah...
Mike: Nice
Lou: Yeah, of course...
Mike: I didn't (laughter)
Lou: Was that because he didn't have the sponsorship at that time?
Mike: Yeah, I guess
Lou: (laughter)
Mike: It was a good time. It was good to listen to. I'm going to listen to the rest when I get home.
Lou: Ok, well any pointers, send them my way. Back with you tomorrow. Happy Capitalism.

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How's Josie Doing on Indie88?

When Josie Dye said goodbye on 102.1 the Edge, so began one of the worst kept secrets in Toronto media. Josie Dye was leaving CFNY to host the morning show on rival station Indie88.

Her show debuted last Monday. This neat little video promoted her new show with Matt and Carlin.

Josie had seemingly been on 102.1 forever. We talked about her long career there in episode 132 of Toronto Mike'd. I'm naturally curious how her new show sounds as I've been unable to sample any morning radio.

How's Josie doing on Indie88?

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The White Men of The Fan 590

During my conversation with Bubba O'Neil, the chat turned to race in Canadian sports media. He told me the best advice he'd received was from John Saunders who told him he'd have to work ten times as hard to make it, because he was a black man.

Blacks may be underrepresented in Canadian sports media, but a recent promotional picture from Rogers to promote their sports radio hosts on The Fan 590 have me wondering about that station in particular. Here's the image if you haven't seen it yet.


For those wondering if Bob McCown and Stephen Brunt really did sit together for the photo, the answer is yes. All nine gathered and collected around a table for the photo shoot.

The "countless opinions" belong to nine white men. When you review their surnames, the lack of diversity becomes even more jarring.

  • Brady
  • Price
  • Burrill
  • Cox
  • McCown
  • Brunt
  • Blair
  • Walker
  • Ennis

Herb Powell: You! What are your roots?
Exec: Well I guess you could say they extend to when the Anglos met the Saxons.
Herb Powell: In other words when white met bread.

Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?, The Simpsons

I have more questions here than answers. Without a doubt, this roster of sports talk radio talent is not representative of the world's most diverse city, but is it representative of sports radio listeners?

If one argues they are representative of sports radio listeners, is that a reflection of the fact all opinions are from a while male perspective? Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

And finally, does this matter? Should sports talk radio in Toronto feature a more diverse roster of talent? Does anyone care?

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 223: Barry Davis

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 223In this 223rd episode, Mike chats with Barry Davis about his years at The Fan, his time at Sportsnet covering the Blue Jays, why he's no longer there and his Tom Petty tribute band, We Ain't Petty. This episode is exactly 56:28.

You can listen to this episode in a variety of ways:

Barry Davis and Me

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