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Matt Cundill: Episode 41: Eric Samuels Goes from Astounding Radio to Astonishing Act


Eric Samuels hired me to do evenings at 100.3 the Bear in Edmonton in 1994. Although Eric would move on to Vancouver a few years later, the two years I worked under him set the tone for how I would broadcast and program radio for years to follow. The best way I could describe his approach is that it is okay to broadcast outside the lines of the unwritten rules of radio. (And by that, I don’t mean vulgarity or profanity – those are the written rules of radio)

A few months ago, Eric reached out to me and asked about doing a series about life after radio. That theme comes up often on this podcast with Todd Hancock, John “Milkman” Milke, Humble & Fred and others. (All of who are actually doing radio; just not for radio stations) The Sound Off Podcast is an audio record of radio stories told by the people who were there. In last week’s episode, TJ Connors spoke of his dad Scruff and his return to 97.7 HTZ-FM in Saint Catherines; those two elements return again and serve as a continuation of sorts. Eric was program director from the station’s inception through to 1992, then he and Scruff and a cast of characters went to Edmonton and started 100.3 The Bear.

In the years that ensued, we spoke about being at the forefront of ratings success at Z95 in Vancouver and becoming the head of programming for Standard Radio nationally – and knowing when it was time to step away.

This week’s episode is brought to you by NLogic – get your free trial of LENS here – go.nlogic.ca/l/130651/2017-02-02/khtd2

Also take our audience survey here – survey.podtrac.com/start-survey.as…tz&ver=standard

People mentioned on the podcast and the Episodes they appeared in:

Jeff Woods – 2
Marty Forbes – 16
Terry Evans – 22
J.J. Johnston – 39
TJ Connors / Scruff Connors – 40

Talent Coaching Tips from Kristi Yamaguchi


If you’re an air personality, you need a coach. If you’re a programmer, you should become a great coach. But most stations don’t teach you how. Here are some talent coaching tips from an unlikely source: Kristi Yamaguchi.

If you’ve taken figure skating lessons at any level, you know how much commitment it takes to compete, let alone rise to the top of the sport. There’s no substitute for long hours and repetition to master the craft.

Champion figure skater Krsisti Yamaguchi was gifted, of course. But she didn’t become an Olympic Hall of Fame athlete on her natural talent alone. She had help.

Kristi Yamaguchi’s Talent Coach

She credits her coach with unlocking the talent and driving her success:

[my coach] was great because she knew how to read me, and if i started to get frustrated, she knew how to turn it around or back off.

Yamaguchi goes on to say:

I learned first-hand that there’s no shortcuts. My coaches inspired me to strive for excellence every day. It’s pure and simple hard work.


Who Needs a Coach?

Everyone needs a coach. That goes for Howard Stern. It’s true for actors, singers, athletes and executives.

Who else needs a coach?

Anyone who need to be inspired. LeBron James. Ashton Kutcher. Ryan Seacrest. Bruce Springsteen.

Those who seek growth. Little Leaguers. Tom Hanks.

Winners. Stephen Colbert. Jimmy Kimmel. Andrew Luck.

Those who will become successful. You.

Work Hard, Play Hard

A coach can help with perspective. Like Yamaguchi’s coach, a good talent coach will keep you on a path to success, but know when to relax.

Learning is hard work, physically and mentally. When dogs get tired, they stop learning. They stop paying attention and need a break. Trainers call it Puppy Play Time. Programmers should do the same for talent.

One of the eight skills a talent coach needs is the ability to adapt to the talent’s individual characteristics. Watch for fatigue. Know the signs of losing attention. Focus on their attitudes. Know when they need to be encouraged. Know when they get bored. And when they need to be pushed.

When you have their attention, use it as a learning moment. And be prepared, because those moments may not come at the time you have a meeting scheduled.


Sometimes you work and work, with no apparent progress. Then they get it. And it seems so easy.


Two Radio Case Studies

I had this happen with a personality that was trying to learn the concept of Ize-ing content to be more relevant and likable. He just couldn’t get it. Then, the light came on, and his storytelling ability came through in new, vivid ways.

The breakthrough happened when we stopped talking theory and worked on applying the concepts directly to his breaks.

Another talent had a bad case of ImeWeUs, and it took six weeks of daily critique to overcome. But once he got it, it was fixed.


It would be more convenient if personalities grew on our timetable, but that’s not reality.

To bring out their best, follow the example of Kristi Yamaguchi’s coach: Know when to push forward and when to back off. You’ll find yourself much farther ahead.

Get More On Coaching Talent and Developing On-Air Superstars

Webinar on Demand: Coaching Talent: Treat Them Like Dogs. Watch Now

The Stuph File Program – Episode #0397


Welcome to the latest edition of the Stuph File Program.

For a program list of the items included and all their accompanying links in this one hour show, you can find the information on my website in the Stuph File Program section, or just follow this link to #0397.

To download the podcast, right click here and select “Save Link As”

Featured in this episode:

  • Kate McCallum & Adam Doolittle, FullTimeCanada.ca
  • Natalie Davis, Program Director, GDPR Revolution 99
  • Stuart Nulman, Book Banter

Click logo for iTunes podcast subscription If you have any comments or suggestions, or items for the mailbag, feel free to click on the “Comments” link below to add your thoughts.

Around The Dial: Broadcast News Today


FYI MUSIC – By David Farrell

News about media and the regulatory environment both inside and beyond Canada’s borders.

Bell Tops Radio Awards

Bell Media Radio eclipses nomination counts among all competing radio groups with 46 in this year’s Canadian Music and Broadcast Week Industry Awards that takes place Thursday, April 20 in Toronto.

Also, as previously announced, CHUM FM’s Marilyn Denis will be inducted to the Allan Waters Broadcast Lifetime Achievement Award at the CMBIAs, honouring a career that spans more than four decades as a radio and television personality. She is the first female broadcaster to receive this prestigious award. The awards will be handed out Thursday, April 20 in Toronto.

Bell Media, the nation’s top-ranked radio broadcaster, holds 105 radio licenses in 54 markets across Canada, including Virgin Radio, Canada’s #1 ranked contemporary hit radio network, along with top brands TSN, ÉNERGIE, CHUM FM, Rouge fm, and QMFM.

Bell Lands 4 WW Summit Noms

Bell Media Radio is recognized with four Industry Award nominations at the All Access World Wide Music Summit in Hollywood, May 3-5.

Bell Media Radio is in contention for Best International Radio Group; a pair of nominations in the category of International Music Director for CHUM FM’s Lisa Grossi and 99.9 Virgin Radio’s Dames Nellas; and Programming VP David Corey competes in the Best in the International Program Director/Controller category.

“These nominations underscore that Bell Media Radio represents the very best and most respected teams among peers in this very competitive industry,” said David Corey, VP, Programming, Bell Media Radio. “Congratulations to the entire Bell Media Radio team for being recognized across a diverse range of nominations, celebrating individual and collective excellence both on-air and behind the scenes. I’m blown away by the energy and talent that our Bell Media Radio teams bring to the airwaves each and every day, and proud of our role in elevating the entire industry, year after year.”

Remembering Gary Miles

Gary (Lawrence) Miles, the former CEO of Rogers Radio, died on March 14 at the age of 78. Various friends, peers and competitors including Pat Bohn, Chuck McCoy, Geoff Poulton and Elmer Hilderbrand contributed to a eulogy published by Broadcast Dialogue on Thursday.

Happy birthday Bob FM

When CFWM (99.9 Bob FM) Winnipeg launched the first Adult Hits format 15 years ago this month, the radio dial was a very different place.

These days, Classic Hits, Classic Rock, and Mainstream AC are all crowding around the ’80s as well–and even the all-’80s format is resurfacing. Stations like Bob- and Jack-FM seem diluted. But even if playing the “’80s, ’90s, and … whatever” has lost its shock value, there are still significant Adult Hits success stories. Sean Ross takes a fresh listen to the station that started it all in the ‘Peg, as well as format pioneer Howard Kroeger’s current version of Bob FM.

In 2000, Howard Kroeger, a former programming executive at CHUM, came up with the idea of Bob FM that focused on classic rock tracks mixed with a grab bag of current Hot AC tracks.

iHeartRadio logs 100M registered users

America’s largest radio conglomerate, and one of the biggest players in the streaming music game, has announced reaching a milestone 100M registered users for its app which launched in Nov. 2015. It’s an impressive number to be sure, but the company has declined to say how many active monthly listeners or premium-pay customers it has.

The broadcast giant officially entered the on-demand streaming race with the launch of two new products in December: iHeartRadio All Access and Plus that carry monthly fees of $4.99 and $9.99. The radio chain claims 250M monthly listeners in 150 markets through 858 owned radio stations in the US.

Vice loses legal battle on source confidentiality

An RCMP investigation has triggered a court ruling forcing a reporter to hand over electronic exchanges with an accused terrorist. Vice Media president Ryan Archibald says he intends to seek leave to appeal the decision at the Supreme Court of Canada.

Google’s ‘hate’ video crisis could become a $1B problem

AT&T, Verizon, pharma giant GSK and the Enterprise car-rental company all said Wednesday they were pulling their ads from a variety of Google platforms including the YouTube video-sharing site until they are satisfied their brands aren’t popping up next to internet garbage.

Marketing groups applaud US Senate vote letting ISPs sell private consumer data

Democratic Senator Ed Markey was among the dissenters, saying that the GOP “just made it easier for American’s sensitive information about their health, finances and families to be used, shared and sold to the highest bidder without their permission.”


Reginald Anthony Sellner, a Kitchener native who worked in radio at CKCR and joined CKCO very shortly after the TV station went on the air in 1954, died Monday, March 20, at U Gates in Waterloo at the age of 84. With the exception of a brief stint with the Ministry of Amateur Sport in Ottawa in the early ‘60s, he spent his television career with CKCO, hosting talk and cooking shows and the Canadian Bandstand teen dance party before becoming Promotion Manager for CKCO-TV, CFCA-FM and CKKW-AM until his retirement in 1995.

The Tyranny Of The Target Audience


TALKERS | March 22, 2017

By Bill McMahon
The Authentic Personality

EAGLE, Idaho — I cringe every time I hear a well-meaning PD or GM instruct a personality to focus everything they create and present on “our target audience.” It often goes something like this:

“Our target audience is a woman 25-44. I want everything you create or put on the radio to appeal to her. Figure out what she cares about. Find out what she’s talking about. Imagine what she’s thinking about. Find out what she likes to do. Everything on your show should be about her. Just to remind you, I’ve put a big picture of her on the control room wall so you’ll see her every time you open the mic.”

These instructions are debilitating and dehumanizing. Without saying it, they strongly imply that the life the radio personality is living has little in common with the “target audience” and doesn’t really matter when it comes to creating stuff to put on the radio. The effect is corrosive. When radio personalities are constantly told, subtly or directly, to look outside themselves for ideas for their shows, they suffer a loss of self-awareness and self-esteem. Their individuality and even their humanity are diminished. They gravitate to safe stereotypes about the “target audience.” They rely on trending topics on social media and syndicated prep services. They begin doing a show to please their bosses and not themselves. They end up doing a show that excites almost no one, including themselves. It’s not distinctive. It’s not personal. It’s not intimate. It’s not memorable. It’s not important. The lack of energy, enthusiasm, and passion is palpable. And sadly, the show sounds just like every other morning radio show. For example, when was the last time you heard a morning radio show with a female “target audience” that didn’t have a woman reporting celebrity news and gossip each day. The exact same celebrity news and gossip heard up and down the radio dial and widely available on Facebook and other social media. You know, the ever present trending topics.

The tyranny of the “target audience” instruction has created countless victims within the radio business. It’s also caused many really talented and interesting personalities to flee traditional AM and FM radio for places like the world of podcasting that allow more creative freedom and encourage innovation and experimentation. I’ve talked to many of the victims over the years. Regrettably, what they all seem to have in common is a loss of their individuality and personal identity. When I ask them what kind of show they want to do, they always tell me, “I can do whatever kind of show you want me to do.” They often ask me, “What is your target audience?” If I give them an answer, no matter what it is, they nearly always tell me, “I can do a show for that audience.”

There are other big problems with the “target audience” instructions. They assume every woman or man is living their life as part of a homogenous demographic group. Like every woman 25-44 has the exact same life with the same interests, wants and needs. They also assume that it’s possible to predict, with some certainty, what every man or woman wants to hear on the radio because they belong to a demographic group. That’s a myth. If it were true, every song would be a hit, every movie a blockbuster, every book a bestseller, and every radio show would be killing it in PPM.

So why not forget the mythical “target audience” and instead encourage personalities to focus their creative efforts on the one thing they all have in common with their listeners? Male or female, no matter our age, we all share the same set of emotions. Joy and sadness. Love and hate. Doubt and fear. Emotion is the universal human connector. The surest way for a radio personality to create the most distinctive, appealing, and relevant content and attract the largest and most loyal audience possible is to pay attention to what rings their emotional bell in every event and circumstance of their lives. What makes them laugh, cry, or marvel. What generates a sense of wonder and awe. What causes them to think or feel differently or completely change their mood. What inspires them. What gets them truly excited and arouses their curiosity. This is the source of great content because it springs from what we all have in common. Not our age, sex or demographic group, but our humanity, our human emotions.

Don’t let the tyranny of the “target audience” claim another victim, produce another bland and disposable radio show, or chase another talented artist from AM and FM radio.

Bill McMahon, CEO of The Authentic Personality, is a longtime talk radio station and talent consultant who has played a role in the development of the careers of many leading hosts over the past three decades. He can be phoned at 208-887-5670 or emailed at Bill@AuthenticPersonality.biz.

Matt Cundiull: TJ Connors Elected To The White House Of Rock


TJ Connors has come full circle. The station he grew up around is now his afternoon home. His father, the legendary Scruff Connors, was the morning man at 97.7 HTZ-FM in St. Catherines during the height of rock radio’s mass appeal phase in the early 90′s. A quarter century later, the Connors name is back on HTZ-FM.

I hired TJ to do mornings at Power in 2012, and had a chance to work with him as a consultant to his Country 103 station in Kamloops, where he was morning man and program director. We spoke about the advantages and disadvantages of following his dad on a station he helped make famous, and what makes HTZ-FM so legendary in the Niagara region.

SPONSORED BY PROMOSUITE: www.promosuite.com/soundoff

Also on the show, Edison research released their annual “Infinite Dial” update. Jason Barrett of Barrett Sports Media was kind enough to lend me 9 minutes of his take on the podcast portion of the report. All of which I agree with. (You know those boring informericals and bad radio shows used to fill weekend slots on sports radio and news/talk? Substitute with Podcasts and reap the ratings reward!)

Subscribe to the Barrett Sports Media Podcast here – sportsradiopd.com/category/about-s…s-radio-podcast/

Take the Podtrac survey here - survey.podtrac.com/start-survey.as…tz&ver=standard

The Stuph File Program – Episode #0396


Welcome to the latest edition of the Stuph File Program.

For a program list of the items included and all their accompanying links in this one hour show, you can find the information on my website in the Stuph File Program section, or just follow this link to #0396.

To download the podcast, right click here and select “Save Link As”

Featured in this episode:

  • Robert J. Sawyer, author, Quantum Night
  • Dr. John Huber, Chairman, Mainstream Mental Health — When to see a therapist
  • Pete Trabucco, theme park expert, Star Wars Land

Click logo for iTunes podcast subscription If you have any comments or suggestions, or items for the mailbag, feel free to click on the “Comments” link below to add your thoughts.

CFAM Celebrates 60 Years! (VIDEO)


CFAM hit the air waves at 8:01 p.m. on March 13, 1957. The radio station, operating at 1,000 watts and located at 1290 on the AM dial, was housed in a small studio in Altona – a community of 1,800 people at the time.

The idea for a radio station in Southern Manitoba was conceived by A.J. Thiessen, an entrepreneur from Rosenfeld.

“It was a very momentous evening – something that people had looked forward to for quite a while,” reflected CEO Elmer Hildebrand, who at the time of the launch, worked as a commercial copywriter at the station. “It was a cold winter day…(and) it was an amazing evening and from my recollection it’s sort of like yesterday, I can remember it well.”
CFAM hit the air waves at 8:01 p.m. on March 13, 1957. The radio station, operating at 1,000 watts and located at 1290 on the AM dial, was housed in a small studio in Altona – a community of 1,800 people at the time.

The idea for a radio station in Southern Manitoba was conceived by A.J. Thiessen, an entrepreneur from Rosenfeld.

“It was a very momentous evening – something that people had looked forward to for quite a while,” reflected CEO Elmer Hildebrand, who at the time of the launch, worked as a commercial copywriter at the station. “It was a cold winter day…(and) it was an amazing evening and from my recollection it’s sort of like yesterday, I can remember it well.”
Read On.

Andy Walsh Signs Off After 65-Year Radio Career


The number you have reached is not in service.”

There’s no mistaking the voice if you’ve happened to misdial a telephone number. It literally booms across the phone line with a blend of authority and warmth.

And it belongs to Richmond (Seafair) resident Andy Walsh, who, on Feb. 13, retired from a 65-year-long career in radio.

Walsh, 85, launched his career in 1951 in Cornwall, Ontario and later worked in his hometown of Montreal for 15 years before moving to Vancouver in the early 1970s, joining CHQM. He moved over to News 1130 when it switched to an all-news format in the 1990s. And he signed off from there at the end of a mid-morning newscast last month with a characteristic, humble goodbye.

“I think it was the best day of my life at the radio station,” he said, “in the sense that I was up for it and everything went so meticulously well. And yet, I’ve enjoyed every day in broadcasting.”

And there have been many since he decided to give radio a try as a youngster working at an advertising agency in Montreal that was populated by a host of former broadcasters who, when they heard his velvet tones, encouraged him to send an audition tape around to see if he could get some interest.

Radio also beckoned Walsh as he followed his beloved Montreal Canadiens with the play-by-play call of Doug Smith.

“Back in the ‘40s, way before TV, I would listen to Doug doing the play-by-play and realized that radio was something I would like to try,” he said.

So, Walsh put together a tape and the response was almost immediate when a radio station in Cornwall, called him back.

“It was almost like, ‘When can you start?’” Walsh said. “I didn’t think about how quickly it happened, to be honest. But I wanted to do something in radio and I guess it worked because I was hired.”

The only problem was that he came with a family name – Woloshen that was deemed hard for the average listener to digest.

“It wasn’t good to the ear of the guy I was working with, who asked me how to spell it,” said Walsh. “And he told me listeners would have trouble with it and it would have to change.”

So, since then he’s gone professionally by the surname Walsh.

“That’s what it’s been on air,” he said.

Along the way in his career Walsh has lent his voice to a number of other things than radio, such as the Telus “not in service number clip.” One was being the announcer at the appearance of Pope John Paul II at B.C. Place Stadium in 1984.

“They asked me to emcee his arrival with thousands of people there. The event just filled me with wonderful feelings.”

He was also present when Mother Theresa made a visit in 1988.

“I saw her coming down the aisle in this darkened place with thousands people watching. She was this tiny little figure who I had just introduced. And she was illuminated by this single spotlight. It was quite a sight,” said Walsh, who also used to be a regular scripture reader during masses at St, Joseph the Worker Catholic Church on Williams Road.

“I’m still getting called to do some things. In fact, I have to do an event at St. Joe’s in a month or two,” he said. “People ask you to do all kinds of things and you do them, if you can.”

Walsh said he plans on remaining active in his retirement, using a small, home studio set up to record his voice.

“It’s a computer with a nice microphone, so it’s pretty convenient,” he said, adding he still hears his voice on some commercials aired on CHEK TV in Victoria where one of his sons work as a producer.

“There’s work out there in a number of places, so I could probably stay pretty busy.”

But after six and a half decades behind the mic, he welcomes the rest, but quickly admitted he already misses the routine.

“No question, I loved what I did. That’s why I stayed so long in the business,” he said. “Plus, there was really nothing else I wanted to do.

“It’s been a fun ride.”

© 2017 Richmond New

Secret To Managing Talent: Treat Them Like Dogs

Treat Them Like Dogs Main Image copy

Here’s some unexpected advice for programmers and managers: You should treat talent like dogs.

Thats sounds strange coming from a radio talent coach, but hold on. Dogs are our best friends. They’re friendly, loyal and always there for you. We love our dogs, and we should love our radio talent.

However, if you’ve ever raised a puppy, you know how frustrating it can be. You also learn that it’s fun and when they “get it,” you have a loyal friend for life!

It’s the same when coaching air personalities. These adorable and talented creatures will drive you crazy, wear you out, and test your patience. Success depends on how you understand them, learn to inspire and motivate them and reward them!

But most of all, you have to enjoy the process!

They Respond to Praise

They want to make you happy. They really do. It’s up to you to teach them what makes you happy, then reinforce it with praise. Psychological studies prove that it takes nine positive reinforcements to offset a single criticism. When they do something positive, tell them, and reward them.

Trainers carry a pocket full of dog treats to get a puppy to do what they want. Be generous with perks, benefits and treat them like a STAR when they behave properly!

They Learn at Their Own Pace

It doesn’t happen at the pace we want, or think it should. And it doesn’t match how other talent grows.

The best approach is to focus on teaching (or correcting) one thing at a time, then move on to the next thing. It’s your responsibility as their coach to constantly teach, helping them grow.

Puppies (and talent) love to learn. It inspires them, motivates them and challenges them. When they aren’t, they get bored. When they get bored, they stop paying attention. Then, bad things follow!


Get More Tips & Resources on Coaching Air Talent>>>


They Demand Time and Patience

Puppies learn through repetition. Repetition takes time. Time takes patience. Talent requires the same commitment and discipline. They don’t just “get it” in a meeting and start performing differently tomorrow.

Keep It Simple For Best Results

Puppies don’t understand complex commands or detailed instructions. They respond to simple words like “Sit” or “Down.” You’ll have better, faster results with talent by using simple words and concepts that are easy to apply to their show.

Don’t get bogged down in details or philosophies. Explain why it’s important, and how it will work for them!

There Will Be Mistakes 

And when there are, you have to clean up after them. Ignoring it will cause it to happen again and again. Puppies and talent require constant attention and monitoring.

If you don’t address it, bad behavior will continue, and it will be your fault, not theirs. Make sure they know that the behavior is unacceptable, deal with it quickly, then move on.

Establish Boundaries

Indulge a puppy and you spoil them, which leads to begging and an unhealthy sense of entitlement. A dog “serves at your pleasure.”

Treat them kindly and fairly, but with clearly established expectations and boundaries. You don’t want a morning show host jumping into a guest’s lap at the dinner table!

You Can’t Train Stupid Dogs

Some dogs are smarter than others. They’re capable of performing more tricks. They should have higher expectations. It’s the same with talent.

Learn their capabilities and realize that all personalities have limits.

It could be that your talent is just not right “breed” for your needs. Don’t try to turn them into something they’re not.

You CAN Teach Old Dogs Tricks

But it’s more difficult. The radio industry is full of personalities living in the past. They’re executing ideas that worked in the 80s but are outdated, ineffective and just worn out.

They can be retrained, but it is much more time consuming and challenging than working with a puppy.

Leash Until Learned

Trainers keep dogs on a leash until they’re trained to respond to voice command. It’s for the puppy’s safety! In radio, it’s much easier to loosen the leash gradually. If you let them run free, don’t be upset if they run away and don’t come back.

As talent grows, grant more freedom, control and independence.


Free Webinar: Treat Them Like Dogs: March 28: Sign up Now>>>


They Love Car Rides

Have you seen a dog with their head out the window of a car? They love it. Same with air talent, and someday they may give you a ride in their new sports car they buy with their ratings bonus!


When a dog is properly trained, they are loyal for life. It’s the same with air personalities. As a talent coach and consultant, much of my responsibility is training the trainers to get the most out of their personalities.

If you’d like to discuss how this can benefit your station, show or company, please contact me.


The Airchecker Radio Journey Series – Tom Mcgouran



For as long as he can remember, Tom wanted to be on the radio. To pursue that end, Tom attended Seneca College in Toronto for Radio and Television Arts. Of course, he didn’t spend much time in class, but camped in the college radio station, getting on the air as often as possible.

Near the end of the two-year course, he sent out roughly 150 tapes across Canada and ended up with a gig at a new classical music station, CFMX-FM in Cobourg, Ont, having lied about knowing anything at all about classical music! After begging for a chance, he ended up doing the midday show at their sister station, CHUC, a few months later.

Tom continued to send out tapes, and eventually landed at CFMC-FM, a rock station in Saskatoon. Rock radio! Where he’d always wanted to be! After a couple of years there on afternoon drive, he got the call from Q94 to come to Winnipeg. This was short-lived, as he was soon hired to do middays at the new 97 Kiss FM, where it really all began.

I knew I wanted to be a radio personality from the time I was little tyke growing up in Toronto, listening to the radio during breakfast before school, that my Mom had tuned to


I can remember thinking ‘yeah that’s what I want to do’! And so the journey began.

After attending Seneca College for what was called Radio and Television Arts at the time, and spending countless hours on the campus radio station, I sent out about 200

Audition tapes(mini reel to reel format back then-circa

1979). I remember receiving about 25 ‘thank you’ letters,and one job interview!

It began at CFMX in Cobourg, Ontario. A brand new ‘Classical’ music station! I didn’t know anything about Classical music, but I didn’t care. They gave me a chance to sit behind a microphone and I grabbed it!

That led to picking up shifts on CHUC their AM sister and I was on my way. The journey would take me to Saskatoon next at Stereo 103(now C-95) It was an independent Rock station! I had arrived at the format I’d work in for pretty much the rest of the journey! I really found my ‘voice’ in Saskatoon and had a blast doing the afternoon drive show for 2 years. Winnipeg beckoned next where I was fortunate enough to grab a midday shift at 97.5 Kiss-FM(now Power 97). The station had just flipped format from Country.

It took sometime to develop but eventually became the number one Rock station in Winnipeg. It was here I got hooked up with my first great morning show partner, Larry Updike. Larry and I enjoyed a great run of many years, beers, laughs and success.

We were eventually lured over to 92 Citi-FM where we also rocked for many years.

After an ill-fated move to CFMI Rock 101 in Vancouver in 1994(8 months, one book, fired ha ha!!), Larry and I ended up returning to Winnipeg at different stations. I returned to 92 Citi-FM and was then joined by my second great morning partner, Joe Aiello. Once again we were lucky enough to be successful for what was to become an almost 20 year run.

As we’re all aware of in our business, eventually everything comes to an end. In Sept of 2012, I was given the familiar manila envelope and shown the door. I had a non-compete for 18 months, so had some time to catch up on some early morning sleep for the first time in many years. I assumed I’d land somewhere fairly quickly after that, but I would find out I was dead wrong!

What followed was a really tough 3 years of trying to get back ‘In’!! I wasn’t done! I wasn’t prepared to move on! I loved every minute of every show I had the pleasure of doing, and wanted to continue doing it! And like most of us claim(and it’s true for me!) I had no other skills ha ha!!

This part of the journey was the most difficult, frustrating and humbling experience of my career.

Luckily it didn’t end there! Almost 4 years to the day I was let go at 92Citi-FM, I was given a chance to return to what I love doing at 94.3 The Drive, Winnipeg’s Greatest Hits! I have to say, I’m having the time of my life co-hosting the Tom and Kerri Morning Show at an awesome company(Pattison), with a fantastic group of people. I was

lucky enough to be offered a multi year contract and have found my new home!

I’ll include a couple of current breaks so you can hear what we’re up to every morning now in Winnipeg at The Drive. I hope you enjoy it! And, of course you can always check us out anytime at 943thedrive.ca!

I can’t conclude this story without noting the many ncredible mentors who have shaped my career.They include Peter Grant, Ross Winters, Ford Gardner and Gayle Zarbatany! I can’t imagine anyone being as lucky as I have been to have had the opportunity to have these incredible people supporting and teaching me over the course of my career! Each of these relationships started with a mutual ‘passion’ for producing great radio and developed into some of the greatest professional and personal relationships of my life.

Well there’s the Journey….so far!!
My Radio Journey- Tom McGouran.



The Stuph File Program – Episode #0395


Welcome to the latest edition of the Stuph File Program.

For a program list of the items included and all their accompanying links in this one hour show, you can find the information on my website in the Stuph File Program section, or just follow this link to #0395.

To download the podcast, right click here and select “Save Link As”

Featured in this episode:

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The Future Of Smart Radios


CFJC Today

KAMLOOPS — I imagine that the future of radio will combine traditional FM with the technology of smart phones.

I’m not talking about the distant future: the FM broadcast protocols already exist and most cell phones already have an FM radio chip, although you’d never know it. Chris Burns wonders why. In his article for SlashGear.com and he explains how you can find out if your phone has the chip:

“A whole bunch of smartphones out on the market today have FM radio capabilities – but their owners don’t know it. There’s no real good reason for this lack of knowledge save the lack of advertising on the part of phone makers. . . Today we’re listing the whole lot of phone devices that can run FM Radio right out the box.”

I first heard about the FM chip in cell phones last year on CBC Radio’s Spark. Barry Rooke explained how useful they could be. They could be used where no cell service exists and in an emergency when cell towers are down as in the wildfires of Fort McMurray in 2015.

Rooke is the executive director of the National Campus and Community Radio Association and he’s formed a consortium of broadcasters, including CBC, and radio listeners who would like to see the FM radio chip activated.

It doesn’t even have to be a smartphone to receive FM. A friend bought a simple cell phone in Mexico with the FM chip activated for $22 dollars, and that included free calls for eight days — no contract (it galls me how much more Canadians pay for cell phones, but that’s another column). You can hardly buy an FM radio alone for that amount.

The innovation that I imagine would be the use of graphics in smartphones. Some of the FM audio spectrum would be partitioned off for text and lo-res graphics. The text could include lyrics of the song being played and a picture of the artist, news, weather, sports, traffic, stock reports. In poor countries where the phone is more common than radios, it could include voting information, crop and commodity reports. Text and graphics could be saved for future reference.

The graphics would be stacked on the original signal with a subcarrier much in the way that left and right channels are now carried on regular FM as described in Wikipedia. The protocol already exists for car radios and would need to be adjusted for smartphones.

The best system would be a digital overhaul of the FM modulation signal. But that won’t happen because radio stations must be received by regular receivers as well as the new smart radios.

Broadcasters would never transmit a signal that can only be received by relatively few. That’s what happened when stereo radio was introduced. The new stereo signal had to be received by old mono radios as well as the new until the new technology was adopted.

The push for smart radios won’t come from cell phone service providers –they would prefer that you pay for data. It must come from broadcasters and listeners.

Rock Ramblings: The Way Canadians Listen To Radio Is About To Change Forever


By Medicine Hat News

Radio as a medium has changed very little since Marconi invented it in 1895 (or more accurately stole the technology from Tesla but I digress). Its transmission method has somehow survived all this time. Think about how the way we’ve consumed music has changed over that same period — vinyl, reel-to-reel, 8-track, cassette tapes, laser disk, mini disk, CD, mp3, YouTube and back to vinyl.

To what can we attribute FM’s longevity? It’s not that the technology was just so state-of-the-art right from the outset that nothing has been able to surpass it. There just hasn’t been another transmission method that all providers could agree on. This is not a unique problem in the broadcast world. Several types of “AM stereo” technology was developed but quickly scrapped because providers couldn’t agree on which type to make “standard.” Quad-stereo recording technology was abandoned for the same reason.

When the majority of Canadians found their way onto the internet 10 or 15 years ago, radio was there waiting with streaming technology but audio dropouts, poor sound quality and bandwidth issues were the price of admission for early adopters. Over time that changed with the advent of radio-player apps. While these apps solved many of the challenges, they failed to offer the selection and convenience of switching station to station the way any good, old-fashioned FM radio could. Until now.

Last week, the Radio Player Canada App launched; a collaboration of broadcast companies from across the country, offering 400 plus radio stations, all from one free app. Before this starts sounding like an infomercial, I will say that I doubt this technology will catch on completely until it’s available directly from your car’s dashboard the way FM currently is. That said, agreeing on the channel through which conventional radio will be delivered going forward is a big step towards radio’s inevitable transition from FM to digital streaming.

Radio will never “die” but it’s destined to change. There will always be an appetite for local news, weather and entertainment. If there’s a tornado brewing miles from the city, most would sooner hear about that than listen to Howard Stern interview a stripper for the 10,000th time. And that’s not to say that the satellite radio platform is without its place either. But the reality is, that radio, in its current incarnation, continues to reach 93 per cent Canadians every week. It’s free, always within reach and range and reception issues have just become a thing of the past. So slip into a bathroom stall at work with your phone, download the Radio Player Canada App for free and be a part of this exciting new broadcast frontier.

Layne Mitchell is on your radio at 105.3 ROCK (and your Radioplayer Canada app) 11am-3 pm weekdays.

Rogers Sportsnet Radio Coming To Vancouver


Moving to a new radio station is a little like moving to a new house.

Apart from all the daunting labour involved, moving your family brings angst and uncertainty. A new neighbourhood means a new school for the kids, maybe a new doctor and babysitter, a different piano teacher or pastor.

Sure, it’s exciting if the house is bigger and newer. But few people enjoy moving. That’s why you find the right house and neighbourhood and just stay.

After 11 years, the Vancouver Canucks are changing radio homes, leaving TSN 1040 for a yet-to-be-named station owned by Rogers Media. This is a huge move — a game-changer with the potential to alter the radio landscape in Vancouver.

That’s what happened 11 years ago when 1040 took the Canucks’ radio rights away from CKNW, a local heritage-brand station that had partnered the National Hockey League team for three decades.

That decision affected people and their careers, and so will this one.

“I went through this exact same thing in 2006,” longtime Canuck play-by-play broadcaster John Shorthouse said Thursday morning as the Canucks prepared to play the New York Islanders. “I was in Nashville getting ready for a game and I got three phone calls all in a span of 15 minutes, from CKNW, from 1040 and from the Canucks.

“I remember how disconcerting and mind-blowing that news was. Am I going to keep my job? What about the great people I work with? So I know what people are going through now at 1040.”

Less than a month after losing Canuck rights in 2006, CKNW announced layoffs.

Back then, the radio rights were decided in boardrooms in Toronto by smaller media empires — CHUM Limited and Corus Entertainment — whose top executives may or may not have had a clue about the impact in Vancouver and British Columbia the hockey team’s rights carried.

Snaring Canuck rights validated 1040, which started in 2001 and was later bought by Bell Media.

TSN is owned by Bell, which is in ferocious competition with Rogers to rule Canadian broadcasting and the mobile phone market.

Canuck chief operating officer Jeff Stipec is aware how his new five-year deal with Rogers Sportsnet, which swooped in late to win the rights after months of negotiations between the hockey club and TSN, will affect not only the media market but many people who work in it.

“It was a funny day in the halls here,” Stipec said Thursday afternoon. “We’re excited to strengthen this partnership with Sportsnet, but there’s no confetti, no champagne. These TSN guys have been awesome with us. We’re going to have that chance to celebrate with Sportsnet down the road when they kind of get their station in order. I look forward to that time, but it has been pretty subdued in some respects today.”

Stipec said the rights wouldn’t have changed had the Canucks not had such a strong relationship with Rogers.

Rogers owns naming rights on the Canucks’ arena, reportedly for $60 million over 10 years, and pays the hockey team about $20-$25 million annually for television rights. Amid this financial scale, radio rights are a comparative drip in the revenue stream for the Canucks.

The radio rights themselves have gone down in value.

TSN 1040’s expiring agreement was worth about $3.5 million annually to the Canucks, but the new deal with Rogers is believed to be worth only about $2 million per season. The contract, however, is for five years, which is longer than TSN had offered.

“There are so many things,” Stipec said of the Canucks’ multi-faceted partnership with Rogers. “This is the one piece in the broadcast platform that wasn’t in Rogers’ portfolio and it made sense on a lot of levels to extend that.”

“We’re thrilled,” Rogers Sportsnet president Scott Moore told Postmedia. “It’s been a terrific partnership with the Canucks over the last 20 years and it was a natural to expand the relationship. We’re now in the enviable position of having the most important sports content in the market on both television and radio.”

But Rogers does not yet have a radio station to broadcast the Canucks.

It owns News 1130 AM, but isn’t likely to mess with a profitable station that leads the Metro Vancouver market in news and traffic.

Rogers’ local FM properties are KISS 104.9 and JACK 96.9 — both music stations.

It seems to make little sense to acquire Canuck radio rights, monopolizing the team’s broadcasts, without an all-sports station like 1040 to drive listeners.

Moore said no decision has been made on where and how Canuck games will be presented on radio next season but didn’t rule out the possibility of Sportsnet developing its own all-sports station. If that happens, can TSN 1040 survive without the Canucks as an anchor?

Seattle station KJR tops its sports radio market without holding any major local broadcast rights. But no one entity dominates the Seattle sports scene the way the Canucks do in Vancouver.

“It’s a little early for us to talk about that,” Moore said of an all-sports Rogers station. “But we certainly will build a great deal of content around the Canucks. We plan on expanding our online capabilities in Vancouver. Having just acquired the rights, we’re still in the process of putting together the right strategy.”

TSN 1040 mid-day host Matt Sekeres assured listeners the station will continue to cover the Canucks, and praised the owners who brought all-sports radio to Vancouver.

“It has changed my life,” he said. “It has changed a number of our lives and it has given Vancouver and B.C. at-large a sports radio campfire … to gather around.”

But soon there will be a new fire burning, and no one knows how hot it will grow.