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Matt Cundill Blog: Tales From the Conclave In Minneapolis



Thursday and Friday of last week, many fine broadcasters from across North America, gathered at the 2016 Conclave Learning Conference in Minneapolis to learn. I had my choices of conferences to go to this year and chose the Conclave because it provides incredible access to sit down face-to-face with everyone. Representitives from everyone from Cumulus, iHeartRadio, and Hubbard to Jacobs Media, AllAccess.com, Benztown and Neilsen; talent, imaging, social media, operations managers and owners. Those who know me undertand that I love to share and teach; those who really know me know l love to learn.

Lori Lewis, the chair of Conclave 41 said in her opening note: “We all need friends, colleagues and mentors to grow. Success is not a solo process.”

While speaking to Joel Denver of AllAccess.com – Art Vuolo started filming us and I thought – “Holy shit! That’s Art Vuolo!” Twenty-five years ago I used to order and share his video tapes of other disc jockeys and loved what I saw. It made me want to do better on the air. I got to thank him and tell him that his videos are a big reason what I am here today.

While on the subject of video; it continues to be an amazing outlet for personalities to showcase their personality. Greg Cypin was showcased in the “Video: Consumption Has Exploded” session, hosted by vocieover and creative genius Drake Donovan. Greg makes video’s to extend his brand:

Another Great Video showcased was by Chris Cruise. Here’s 9 Things Not to Say to a Radio DJ:

Other Highlights from the Conclave 41:

* Sarah Smerz told me about her brand extension with a video blog called “Toilet Talk”. Fun, simple, quirky, highlights her personality and works in any format. (She is the midday personality at WFMB 104.5FM in Springfield, Illinois)

* Great to meet Jennifer Williams, Director of Interactive Marketing at Greater Media in Detroit who mentored many social media and content managers. Jennifer understands how to make interactive work for radio stations. Unfortunately, there were many stations where staff do no have 100 percent buy-in from air talent and/or sales people on the interactive strategy. Stations where one person is doing all the social media activity is actually disfunctional and a recipe for disaster. (Call me – I can can have everyone buying in)

* When Rico Garcia of Results Radio in Northern, California asked: (and I’ll paraphrase) With most stations carrying syndicated and voice tracked programming, what were radio companies doing to grow talent? No solid answer came out but Ginny Morris from Hubbard Broadcasting did acknowledge that “we could all do better in this area.” I regret not getting a few moments with Ginny Morris at the mentor session to ask her about her company’s recent partnership with Podcast One, and also the insight on this station – which is the future – As the need for music radio dwindles.

* I enjoyed getting a few minutes with Mike McVay from Cumulus. Here is an innovative idea he told us about regarding developing talent. His company is using the dead space on their online streams to 3-5 minute talent segments. These could come from podcasts or post-show content or serve as audition space for up and coming talent. ESPN has been repurposing its content in that space for years, but dipping into podcast for this audio is exciting. (Note: American stations cannot run their commercial blocks on their streams because of rights issues; Canada does not have this issue)

* Podcasting remains a curiosity for radio. The session hosted by Perry Michael Simon of AllAccess.com and Fred Jacob’s Tech Survey 12  both had many questions and many answers. Quick note for the organizers that I would love to see any session where data is unveiled, scheduled as an earlier session, so it can be referred to in later sessions at the conference. Perry’s All Access column about the conference is here.

* The Imaging Session with Katie Green, Justin Case from Benztown, and John Cruz is one that needs to be repeated next year. The need for imaging is more important than ever to separate your station, not only from other stations, but to solidify it as a brand. (I know that seems rather obvious, but if it is so obvious everyone would be spending more in this area Stop getting all figity… you know I am right)

* Paige Nienaber’s “Marketing with No Budget” rattled off more than 75 ideas in less than an hour.

Finally, a congratulations to Lori Lewis and the Conclave board for putting the shine back on this event. The tireless hours of work did not go unnoticed by your colleagues and as a result – many broadcasters are waking up on a Saturday morning, richer for those who shared their knowledge and mentorship.

Anthony Carvalho: What Happened To Rhythm 104.7? Winnipeg



rhythm 104.7 Winnipeg

rhythm 104.7 Winnipeg

Rhythm 104.7 switched over to Now Country 104.7 and judging by the amount this question popped into my inbox I have a little explaining to do.

Let me start by saying, in case we haven’t spoken recently, I quit my job at Rhythm 104.7 back in May. Quitting was a very tough decision and I consider it hardest one I’ve had to make thus far. I told myself I wouldn’t post anything until I could take the emotion out of it. When that moment came, I was over the whole ordeal and thought no one cared to read what I had to say about it. If you’re this far, I was wrong.

I began at Rhythm as an intern back when it was Streetz and they were plotting the rebrand to Rhythm. I noticed some frustrating elements even then but when I was presented with the opportunity to work there full-time as my first job out of school, I jumped at it. I am a hip hop nerd at heart and I thought that I could help shape the station into something special because of my love for the culture.

In my time with Rhythm I wrestled back and forth with whether or not our city can really sustain an Urban station. When I see the success of club nights like Grippin Grain I feel like maybe we could. Then a great show like Nas comes to Winnipeg for the first time and we can’t fill an arena. Factor in the fact that radio is a dying format with an archaic rating system and I really do wonder.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the radio rating system. A few thousand random members of our city’s population are sent an envelope with a “diary” and a $5 bill and they have to write in this diary when and what station they listen to and send it back. (The $5 is their payment for participating) They then extrapolate those few responses for the rest of our city. There is no way of telling how many people tune into your station in a day. They do not track internet streams and the system has been the same for years. Like I said archaic.

No offense, but even if our fans were selected to do the diary, I doubt it would get completed. I mean lets be honest, Would you do it?

In a conversation I had before I left I said “Rhythm is THE only urban radio station in Canada! And I know what you may say, well if it’s the only station then maybe this format doesn’t work in Canada. To that I say, Flava 107.9 failed because they didn’t follow through on their requirements as a “teaching station,” Flow in Toronto flipped over after being hit with a fine. Rap music is pop music right now and its biggest star is Canadian! So if an urban station can’t succeed in Canada it’s not because there’s not a market for it, it’s because of poor planning and management.”

MJ and I had a lot of freedom with that station and I think we were able to create something that could’ve been a successful station in any market but without a clear direction and the support from our city in the ratings, this was not meant to be. I saw the writing on the wall and I was tired of giving a 120% when there were people in the building who did not, so I quit.

With a growing family to take care of I quit my full-time job with no other job in place.

I stress that because to me that paints the level of frustration perfectly and if you know me you know that I don’t give up on something I believe in very easily.

I honestly have no ill will towards any of the staff there and I would never blame any one person. It was an amazing lesson in growth and the two-years I spent there doing any and everything I could is an education worth far more than money could buy.

I was blessed to have worked with some amazing staff along the way. I never planned to be on-air and kind of took the role reluctantly but with the guidance and tips of Paul Raubliaskis, Miss Melissa, Rick Baverstock, Brian Cook and most importantly MJ. I grew to love that portion of my day. I liked the idea of making someone laugh or sharing a little tidbit of knowledge and for that Rhythm is something I will always cherish.

We had something great in this city and I think we only realize it now that it is gone. It’s one less outlet for our local artists to push their craft but it’s not the only outlet.

If you’re a local artist or even just a fan that is looking for a fix of great music on the radio please check out and support the local community radio stations like CKUW and UMFM. Both stations have great urban programming and they’re always looking for new shows. It’s where I got my start and who knows maybe it’s where I’ll return one day.







Corus Radio Rock 101 CFOX Vancouver Studios


Via G.S. Broadcast Tech. Click pic to for full screen.

Rock 101 Vancouver Studio

Rock 101 Vancouver Studio

CFOX Vancouver Studio

CFOX Vancouver Studio




This time in Abbotsford where according to the latest Industry Canada database Ravinder Singh Pannu has been licensed a 50 watt station on 89.9 (VF2691) and a 34 watt station on 107.9 (VF2690). Both have bypassed standard CRTC procedures.

Mr. Pannu currently operates low powered GURBANI FM 91.5 (VF2688) and MY FM 106.9 (VF2689) in Surrey. Both stations have exceptional coverage considering their low power status. It is unclear if the new Abbotsford facilities will simulcast the existing Surrey stations or will establish local programming.

Your Gig: Medium Market Country Station | Drive And Co-host Positions


FYI Industry Profile: Chuck McCoy Canadian Broadcast Veteran


By Kerry Doole FYI Music News

When Canadian broadcasting veteran Chuck McCoy takes to the stage to be inducted into the Ontario Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame at their annual convention on Nov. 10, it won’t be the first such walk he has taken. In 2008, he was inducted into the Canadian Music and Broadcasting Industry Hall of Fame, receiving the Allan Waters Broadcast Lifetime Achievement Award.

He doesn’t take such honours for granted, telling FYI yesterday that “they are all very special. The longer you’re in the business, the more special they become I think. I am very honoured and humbled by the selection of the OAB. I spent a good half of my career in Ontario, so it does mean something to me. My on-air career was primarily in Ontario.”

Calling in from his vacation home in Phoenix, Arizona, the affable McCoy took us for a stroll down memory lane. Given that he is still very active in the broadcasting business some 52 years on, that’s a lot of ground to cover.

McCoy’s career is a success story with few equals in the Canadian radio business. From his beginnings as an on-air personality in Winnipeg in 1965, McCoy went on to excel in the roles of program director, broadcast consultant, and two lengthy stints as a senior executive at Moffat Communications and then Rogers Broadcasting.

In December 2012, McCoy stepped down from his position as a VP/GM with Rogers to become an independent media/broadcast consultant, as President of Chuck McCoy International Media services.

Born in Kingston, Ontario (“my father was stationed there during World War 11”), he was raised in Winnipeg. The radio bug bit him hard at a very early age there. “I‘ve tried to think back to the first time I thought ‘I want to be on that machine,’” he says. “I honestly think I was about five. I listened to the radio a lot and went to many live radio broadcasts.

“Here’s a story I’ve told a lot. When I was in third grade, there was a supermarket opening at the end of my street. I grabbed my lunch at home and ran up there. They were broadcatsing live from a glass trailer. I stood there and watched, not concerned about getting back to school. They asked if I wanted to come in and look around the studio, which I did. I said ‘this is what I’m going to do when I’m older than eight. I’m going to be on the radio.’

“They said ‘would you like to read a commercial?’ I did it for Smith’s Premium Franks, and then ran off to school thinking I’d got away with something. But back then there were only about four radio stations in Winnipeg, and the chance of my mother or one of her friends not hearing me on the air was slim. I got into a bit of trouble for that.”

Shortly after, when his parents asked the age-old ‘what do you want to be?’ question, McCoy had the answer. “I said ‘I want to be a DJ when I grow up,’ and they replied ‘ ‘I don’t think you can have both.’ I decided to be a DJ and not grow up for the rest of my life!”

The young McCoy took early steps to ensure this could happen. “For all my very young years I made a concerted effort to learn. At 11 and 12 I’d go down to CKY and watch live broadcasts. I started going to university but the desire to be on the radio was so strong. I got an aircheck tape together and sent it out to radio stations all over the place, but nobody answered.”

He eventually scored a job operating at CKY FM, until a ‘happy accident ‘ over at CKY AM gave him a big break. “CKY in those days was a huge AM station, like a big US station. They had a fire in their transmitter that meant someone had to come in at night while they were repairing it, and maybe be on the air for an hour. I went in and asked for a chance to do that. I did rather expand on my abilities to the station PD- ‘oh sure I can do that, and that. Put me in there.’

“I was good enough to survive and I did that all summer long. In the fall when it was fixed they offered me the all night job, so I ended up on that shift.”

McCoy then had on-air stints at CJME in Regina, CJRN in Niagara, and CHLO AM in St. Thomas, ON. “J Robert Wood was the program director at CHLO and Paul Ski was afternoon drive. It was a fabulous station, and it was beating all the stations in London. Wood had worked with me when I was 19 at CKY in Winnipeg and I admired him greatly.”

McCoy learned well in 18 months at CHLO (1966-67), and then the bright lights of Toronto lured him. “I had a chance to go to CKFH. At that time it was really making a successful run at CHUM, so I thought I’ll change my goal of working at CHUM and I’ll go there. I was there about a year, then the very smart broadcasters at CHUM realized they needed to change. They brought in some good consulting and brought in J Robert Wood. I thought ‘I’m in the wrong place now.’ I think I called a few times then they called me and I went over. Jack Armstrong was on the air then, and I think he was involved in me getting there.”

That switch came in 1968, and began what McCoy terms “a most remarkable career there.Nine years on the air at the top station in Canada, with the top management of people like J Robert Wood, Fred Sherratt and Allan Waters.”

McCoy would then change roles within radio. “At some point I decided that as good as I always thought I was on the air, maybe I wasn’t going to be morning show calibre talent. That is the big shift , the one with the big future. Being honest with myself I didn’t think that was in the cards. At that time too most of the on-air people were Americans. Roger Ashby and I were Canadians. Roger did the all night show and I did 9 to midnight.”

Programming then lured McCoy. “I liked the scientific side of radio – how do you program stations to do better than the other stations? So I got involved in the music department and with programming, and my on-air role lessened.”

Opportunity knocked when CHUM bought a Vancouver station, CFUN (previously CKVN). “The company showed great faith in me by hiring me as their first program director there,” recalls McCoy. “I went there and in the space of two years we went from the bottom of the heap to No. 1 in the market. We had some great talent and some great assistance from CHUM, who gave us whatever we needed to compete in the market. That was a great time and it taught me a lot more about competitive radio and how you become a winner not a loser.”

McCoy left CFUN in late 1977, running his own consulting business for a few year,s and then Moffat Broadcasting came calling, offering him a position as National PD for their stations. “They were all in Western Canada – Moose Jaw, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Calgary and Vancouver. I took the job and again had a terrific career for seven years [1979-86]. They were a great company to work for.”

During this period, McCoy became more involved in some of the Canadian industry associations. He was a member of the Board of BBM and the BBM Radio Executive Committee and was a founding director for FACTOR in 1981. He would later serve as Chairman of the Radio Starmaker Board from 2005-2010.

In 1986, McCoy returned to independent radio consulting, partnering with Pat Bohn. In 1989 he made another move, to Rogers Broadcasting, where he would occupy a few different positions for the next 24 years.

“Rogers was the biggest client for our consulting firm, with their stations CHFI and CFTR,” he recalls. “Rogers then bought a bunch of stations from Selkirk and Moffat, including two in Vancouver. I was living there at the time and had a growing family, so I thought this was a good time to get off the road and settle down in one market.”

McCoy took over as the VP/GM of Rogers’ Vancouver radio cluster, occupying that position from 1989 to 1999, and helping take CKKS-FM to top spot in the market for a number of years.

In 1999, Rogers promoted him to VP of programming for all their Toronto stations, including CHFI, CFTR, 680 News, THE FAN and CISS-FM. McCoy was involved in switching the latter’s format from country to Top 40 as KiSS 92.5.

“CHFI and 680 news were the two stations with the biggest audience and the most revenue in all of Canada,” notes McCoy. “It was a great opportunity and I got to work with great radio people like Tony Viner, Gary Miles, Sandy Sanderson, and Julie Adam, who is still there. I guess that was the highlight of my career.”

In 2010, McCoy was elevated to vice president and regional manager for all of Toronto, plus stations in Kitchener and London. He stayed in that position until late 2012, when he stepped away from Rogers and returned to media and broadcast consulting.

A key to McCoy’s success as a programmer and general manager was his ability to listen to others. He cites an interview he heard with hit songwriter Diane Warren as crucial in this. “She said radio station owners should make all their PDs women or, if not, that all the male PDs should spend a lot of time listening to the women in their lives.”

That advice paid off in 1998, he recalls. “I was with Rogers and working on a format change in Winnipeg with another company, Craig Broadcasting. The idea was to change a station to a CHR station. I knew CHR fairly well and had a good idea of how the music would be. My daughters were 17 and 15 at the time, They said ‘dad, you don’t understand. There’s a new rhythmic movement that is sweeping music now.’ They showed me a Seattle station they listened to for this. Back then, it was just beginning, with people like Will Smith and Britney Spears. I started listening to it and realized this is something. So I went to the female PD in Winnipeg and said I think we should change the station to a more rhythmic format. The look in her eyes and her exclamation of ‘right on Chuck’ was all I needed. It became the top station in the market and still is.

“Then when I went to Toronto and we bought the country station, to turn it into CHR, I said ‘look at Time magazine. Lauryn Hill is on the cover. This music is relevant and we should lean in that direction.’ Julie Adam took note and so we put KiSS on as a rhythmic CHR station.”

From his adult son, McCoy was alerted to the podcasting phenomemon back in 2006, and he has followed that closely. In fact, he reported eloquently on a recent podcasting conference for FYI.

He also always listened closely to those working under him in radio. “You have to meet with the people working for you and go home that night thinking ‘I learned something today.’ Otherwise I think you become someone who lives in the past. I have seen that in some of my colleagues. They’ll go ‘well, radio is not what it used to be.’ I say ‘thank god.’”

McCoy is expected about the changes and developments in radio and streamed audio. “Things are changing dramatically. I never would have thought that streamed audio would be such a new and exciting medium, but now streamed audio has taken over from streamed video, excluding Netflix. They are calling it the second golden age of audio.

“I am and have been in radio for 52 years but I’m really in the audio business. People ask about satellite radio, internet radio and podcasting. I say it is all audio, it is all part of the mix. Those up to speed in audio today are those who take advantage of what is out there now.”

When we ask the inevitable question about whether McCoy ever missed being on-air, he replies candidly. “I don’t regret for one minute the decision I made to move into programming and management, but I never forget the days of being on the air. Don’t let anybody fool you. If they’ve been on the air at a good station in a big market they’ll have to be honest and say that despite all the accolades and fame the real kick in radio is being on the air.”

Through his radio career, Chuck McCoy has worked at stations with a wide range of music formats, so we asked what he listens to at home. A very diverse list, he notes. “My Spotify playlist has Georgia Satellites, Louis Prima, Buck Owens and Dwight Yoakam, but also FloRida. I just watched a Sinatra special and I’m thrilled I saw him in his heyday. Elvis too. I recently saw Tony Bennett and Keith Urban.”

He offers a surprising confession though. “From the age of five I only ever wanted to play music on the radio, but until I was nearly 40 and had a child who wanted to listen to music I never bought a record. I never had a record player. I’m a music fan and I go to concerts, but I was about being on the radio.”

Growing up in Winnipeg in the early to mid ‘60s meant McCoy was exposed to that city’s thriving scene. “There were so many great bands,” he recalls. “I went to school with Neil Young. He’d come down to our community club and ask if he could play for us, for free.”

“My very first day on the radio at CKY I knew I should give some music news. I started on air the week that Burton Cummings left his group The Deverons to join The Guess Who, so I could pass on that news. I later thanked him for that. When I was inducted into the Canadian Music and Broadcasting Industry Hall of Fame in 2008, Randy Bachman came and sang there.”

Another well-deserved induction now awaits a genuine Hall of Famer.


The Reinvention Of Radio: How Spotify, Beats 1, Red Bull Changed The Airwaves


By Eamonn Forde The Guardian

The music and technology industries worship the sparkle of the new. If something is described as “new” or “the new [insert name of existing format or platform here]”, there is the conveyance of a commendable sense of modernity; a feeling of momentum propelling us all forward. New is good. New is utopian. New also, sadly, takes a long time to make its presence felt or make a difference.

Alongside this is the idea of the “answer to”, which always presumes that a question has been asked when more often than not it hasn’t. Android is “the answer to iOS”, Twitter is “the answer to Facebook” and Snapchat is “the answer to Twitter”. It’s a longstanding Silicon Valley trick that is repeatedly used to raise seed funding and Series A investment; present your new product as the thing that solves a nonexistent problem inherent in something else, using that something else as a form of shorthand to define your own product against. Hence nonsense like “[name of new company] is the Uber of Pinterest” sloshing around countless investment PowerPoints.

Inevitably, then, the arrival of both Spotify’s two new shows – AM/PM (wherein an artist talks you through their morning and evening playlists) and Secret Genius (individuals who have shaped huge hits but may not be household names) – and the relaunch of Red Bull Music Academy’s RBMA Radio (now streaming 24/7 from six continents) have both been described by others as their “answer” to Beats 1, Apple’s online radio brand.

Spotify got the comparison as Apple Music has managed to get to 15 million subscribers in a year (it’s taken Spotify eight years to get to 30 million) and finally faces a genuine challenger snapping at its heels so it has to do something about it. RBMA Radio got it because its radio-style programming runs around the clock and is global in its foundations and outlook.

That would all be fine except all the rumours surrounding Beats 1’s audience suggest that even Apple, the most successful corporation in the world and one of the most powerful brands in music, is still struggling to make Beats 1 work at any meaningful scale. Even with huge and credible names like Elton John, St Vincent, Drake, Stormzy and Mike D of the Beastie Boys fronting shows on Beats 1, it hasn’t quite nailed that elusive music technology goal – traction.

Rob Fitzpatrick of Spotify’s Original Content team says of AM/PM, “It’s not a reaction to anything. I am looking for ways to make interesting, original content. Putting people together with music and telling stories around that. It’s a hosted show. [Sarcastically] No one has invented that idea in the last 100 years! You could just as easily draw parallels between it and Murray the K if you wanted.”

Many Ameri, co-founder of Red Bull Music Academy, says what they are now doing is, if anything, a reaction to a macro shift in audience consumption and expectations rather than looking like the slayer of “old” radio. “Looking at where music is at now, everything is available at your fingertips,” he says. “Everything you want to find, you will find on the internet. We were wondering where you could find the music you didn’t know you were looking for. We wanted RBMA Radio to become that trusted source where you can go to in order to find music that is new to you but not necessarily brand new.”

What RBMA Radio, AM/PM and Secret Genius all have in common with traditional radio, however, is a focus on the personal to deliver the contextual. In an age of impersonal playlists, streaming music services need to learn the tricks of what makes radio attractive without actually trying to photocopy a radio station. Here a human voice, rather than a snappy playlist title, tells you not only what you are listening to but also why you are listening to it.

Beats 1, of course, lured Zane Lowe away from BBC Radio 1 to front the station at launch while George Ergoutodis, formerly head of music at Radio 1, is now working at Spotify in the UK. That inevitably fuels the idea that these companies are “the new radio”, but that’s the wrong way to look at them. They are taking some of the tricks and expertise of radio and applying them in new contexts. It’s a bit like saying iPhones are the new Ordnance Survey maps; yes, that is one part of what they do, but not the totality.
“That’s because they are people who really know about music and who really know about connecting with audiences,” says Fitzpatrick on the migration of radio executives into the streaming world. “I am just a washed-up old hack [he was a music journalist] and there is no part of me that thinks I am taking on radio. I just want to make programmes with interesting people telling you interesting things.”

Ameri also agrees that digital music needs a human voice to guide the listener through the tens of millions of tracks that are available to everyone instantly. “There is real beauty in being able to follow a story arc and have the person who created the music explain why they are doing it and putting it together as a show,” he suggests. “We have five different people who are anchors on the radio. Each of them has a weekly show and a different angle to look at music. One is interested in new electronic music, one is looking more at bass music, another person is more into noise and so on.”

In the US, Pandora and SiriusXM can arguably lay the claim to being “the new radio”, in part because the US has not had the idea of national radio in the way most European countries have had since the early 1900s. But even that is only capturing a whisper of what is happening and how streaming is driving the music industry and the music audience forward. Streaming can learn from radio, but it shouldn’t automatically follow that streaming has to be neo-radio.

“Is streaming the new radio?” is, frankly, the wrong question to be asking here as it collapses under the presumption that radio is the final word and everything else must exist in its shadow forever, adhering totally to its archetypes and mores. “Does streaming even want to be the new radio?” is probably a more realistic question. And the answer to that is, emphatically, no. Not if it wants to have a future of its own.

Ottawa: DAWG-FM Licence Renewal Owners Torres Free To Adopt A New Format

101.9 DAWG FM

101.9 DAWG FM

By David Farrel www.fyimusicnews

A column about Canadian broadcasting, media and the regulatory environment.

When the Torres brothers, Frank and Ed, won a licence to play commercial blues, at Ottawa station DAWG-FM, in 2008, there were plenty of critics who harped on about the fact the format could never work. This week the nay-sayers were proven right. The CRTC has let the DAWG out from its previously tethered format restrictions and the brothers are now free to do battle in a market saturated with as many 35 stations available to the OGA population of approximately 1.2m.

The CRTC has renewed the licence renewal for Torres Media-owned DAWG FM Ottawa (CIDG-FM) from Sept. 2016 through Aug. 31, 2023.

As part of its renewal, the regulator has approved the request to delete the current 20% requirement to broadcast Canadian jazz and blues. In the decision, the Commission advised that “the competitive nature of the Ottawa/Gatineau radio market and the fact that CIDG-FM is a stand-alone music station operating under a blues/blues rock format present certain challenges for the service.”

Continuing: “However, since CIDG-FM is licensed as a mainstream radio station and does not operate under a specialty format, Torres is free to adopt a format for the station that is different from its current format and that may be more lucrative. Relieving CIDG-FM from the requirement to broadcast special interest music and thus allowing it to broadcast higher levels of popular music would provide the station with the flexibility it needs to increase its audience share, making it able to compete more efficiently with other stations in the market.”

A request to reduce the levels of Canadian popular music during the broadcast week between 6am and 6pm, from 40-35%, was denied. View Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2016-270 here.

Rewind 2014: HD Radio Future In Canada


By Steve Faguy April 14th, 2014.

BASED ON THE DOZENS of submissions from radio companies and other groups to the CRTC, the answer is a resounding… maybe.

Whether to bring the proprietary digital broadcasting format which has been deployed in most major markets Stateside to Canada was just one of many questions the CRTC put to the public about changes to radio policy. The questions were raised on Oct. 30, and the deadline for replies to comments was last Tuesday.

In general, broadcasters and interest groups supported the idea Canadian stations should be allowed to experiment with HD Radio, but most were against the idea that there should be any kind of mandatory conversion, similar to what was done for conventional television in 2011. HD Radio (it’s just digital broadcasting, but was named HD Radio in the U.S. for marketing purposes) is being considered by the CRTC as a new option for bringing AM and FM radio into the digital age. It’s hoped that HD Radio (created by Columbia, MD firm Ibiquity and the agreed-upon de facto standard south of the border) will succeed where previous ideas failed. For example, L-Band Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) was tried here but fell flat for numerous reasons, not the least of which consumers would have had to buy new radios, no one attempted to market it to the masses and our closest neighbours went to HD Radio instead of DAB, which is the European standard..

In addition to providing better-quality sound, HD Radio allows for multiple audio channels within the same frequency, as well as additional data such as song titles, album art, and traffic, weather and gas station price information. For example, a classic rock station could multiplex its signal so that it can have a station for music from each of the 1960s, ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, plus a news and traffic feed.

But the Canadian Association of Broadcasters, which presented comments on behalf of its members, was very critical of HD Radio’s practicality, pointing to its high cost to implement (in the tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars) and the increased potential for interference with adjacent stations. IBiquity also weighed in, saying the price of installing its technology (which includes paying a licence fee to the company) may be expensive but “does not involve the multimillion dollar investments that were part of the digital television transition.” It notes that more than 2,200 stations in the U.S. are using HD Radio.

The Consumer Electronics Marketers of Canada reports that 15% of all radio receivers in this country (except those installed in cars) are compatible with HD Radio technology, and that number is increasing. IBiquity has signed numerous deals with carmakers to get the technology installed at construction.

Numeris Ratings For Hamilton Radio | Where Did The Radio Listeners Go?


By Joey Coleman The Public Record

Numeris Ratings for Hamilton Radio Show TSN 1150 Tanking, Other Stations Down Too.

The latest Numeris Spring 2016 radio ratings are now public and Hamilton’s eight measured radio stations are experiencing small declines in listenership – with two exceptions. Year-over-year CKOC is seeing its ratings in a freefall, and CHML saw a 0.1% increase in market share.

The TSN 1150 Ratings Freefall

On Labour Day 2015, Bell Media ended the oldies format on its 1150AM CKOC station and replaced it was an all-sports format TSN Radio 1150.

Thus far, judging by average ratings, the experiment is a failure. However, average ratings may not be Bell’s strategy.

In the Spring 2015 ratings, playing oldies, CKOC held a 2.9% market share reaching an average of 37,400 people in the region each week. The Spring 2016 Numeris ratings shows CKOC in the gutter with a measly 0.3% of the market, reaching only 5,900 people each week.

This could be fine if Bell’s strategy is based solely around premium ad sales during Ticats football games. However, 5,900 average listeners is less of a mass medium than the average tweet by a decently followed Hamiltonian – and tweets don’t have the cost of the overhead of a radio station.

Losing 32,000 listeners is no small number in today’s radio market.

Where Did The Radio Listeners Go?

With a 2.6% drop in market share for CKOC, where did the listeners go? Year over year, all stations dropped in share expect CHML which held basically steady with a 0.1% increase.

Funny 820 continued to decline, and is now at 0.7% market share – an average of 20,000 listeners per week. It’s only because of the collapse of CKOC listenership that it is no longer the lowest rated in market.

CKLH 102.9 K-Lite FM dropped from 10.6% to 9.7% market share, a loss of 9,800 average listeners to 101,500 average per week. Other stations are dropping a percentage point or more as well.

This begs the question, are Hamilton’s listeners turning off their radios or tuning into Toronto stations more often? The Finances of Hamilton Stations

While listenership decreased year-over-year, the latest CRTC figures show Hamilton’s radio stations increased their revenue and profits last year bringing in $17,877,257 in 2015 for a pre-tax profit of $4,337,338.

Mike Ross On Edmonton Radio | Don’t Take Free Radio For Granted



By Mike Ross Gig City

Don’t take free radio for granted.

It remains an easy connection to an exciting world of music and culture outside your own. You might even imagine the person speaking on the radio is your only friend in the world, that he or she is talking directly to YOU, selecting good songs they think you might like to hear. It’s a wonderful dream.

It may come as a shock to learn that DJs on most commercial radio stations don’t program their own music, and in some cases aren’t live or even in the same town. The playlist is usually handed down from on high, the results of marketing meetings where program directors have become “brand managers.”

Still, the illusion of the personal connection can persist on a good radio station – which may be why video didn’t kill the radio star after all.

The latest results from an intensive study of Edmonton radio are in! The data (1,100 listening hours in 18 months) revealed that while things could be better, on the whole they’re OK. On the whole. Our large and unwieldy number of competing FM stations seem to have settled into a complicated yet stable orbit, with lots of overlap and some personality shining through. No one’s been fired recently. No major format changes are in the wind. I could be wrong.

So many stations creates a flipper’s paradise. Here’s a fun car game: “Find Any Good Song.” If you fail, you have to randomly listen to CBC talk until you figure out what the topic is, and then try again.

Offering the most consistently interesting variety of “good songs” in the flipping derby is Sonic 102.9 FM, which plays a mix representing the “alternative” side of popular music: new rock, classic grunge, neo-folk and even smatterings of cross-over hip hop. Sometimes it isn’t immediately clear if you’re listening to Sonic or the Bounce 91.7; they’re owned (and presumably programmed) by the same company.

No one plays enough heavy metal in such a metal town. Sonic occasionally airs some Rage Against the Machine or System of a Down, not so new, but so rarely that it stands out like a sore thumb against the station’s usual “modern light rock” style.

Best bet for hard rock is the Bear 100.3 – and it could be better. Their playlist often overlaps with the classic rock of K-97, the second best bet for rock ‘n’ roll radio as long as you like it old. Among good traits, there are signs of laziness in the programming of both stations. Did Led Zeppelin have other songs than Stairway to Heaven? Is Jimi Hendrix is known for more than Foxy Lady? You wouldn’t think so some days – and you’ll hear Ballroom Blitz at least once a day.

The habits of the flipping listener have become important. In random flips to Sonic and the Bear, there always seems to be a commercial playing – which just prompts another flip. Hot 107 also comes up near the top of the list of best music – because they toy with the usual top-40 formula, and also because there ALWAYS seems to be a song playing. Not necessarily a good song, but more than average. There’s the modern radio conundrum: The tipping point between too many commercials and not enough. Too many and you lose people. Not enough and you go broke.

Hot 107 is one of three officially branded top-40 pop stations in town, along with the Bounce and Virgin 104.9. The hit parade is a strange world all its own, a place where the pinnacle of the music world’s artistry and marketing in almost every genre come together to build great songs that represent a golden age of pop music as an art form – which we then get completely sick of after hearing it 100 times in two weeks. Part of the Fun Car Game is catching one song playing on two, sometimes three stations at the same time. A rare recent quadruple has been awarded for Renegades by the X-Ambassadors, and Stressed Out by Twenty One Pilots.
Every weekday all three top-40 stations run what is known as the “5 O’Clock Shit Mix,” where remixers skilled in the art of moving faders demonstrate tin ears by ruining popular songs, some already too bad to be ruined. Flip away!

Sadly, the new flavours of top-40 disappear as quickly as they arrive, sometimes taking the artists with them – one-hit wonders before they even get going, the songs remembered, maybe, the artists forgotten. This is where stations like Capital 96.3 FM and UP! 99.3 step in: Havens for one hit wonders. Listen for Renegades and Stressed Out to be added to their playlists about 10 years from now.

Special mention must be made of 102.3 NOW! Radio – the No. 1 station in Edmonton almost for as long as it’s been around. Pumped by massive billboard campaigns, they seem to thrive by poaching the formats of other stations, and are often found in instances of stations playing the same hit at the same time. Heedless of stylistic continuity, they pluck the most popular or requested songs from all formats for a result that goes down like a dog’s breakfast of an insane person’s mixtape: Foo Fighters next to Pink nestled betwixt Guns N’ Roses and Meghan Trainor and Drake, with Nickelback and Ballroom Blitz not far away.

In short, listening to NOW! is like flipping between 13 different radio stations. It’s diabolical.

As nice as it is to detect a singular human intelligence with some educated musical taste from one’s radio friend, it’s not all about the music. Among much vacuous patter are some excellent talkers in Edmonton radio. Sonic’s Garner Andrews is the best of all – a soothing Letterman-like presence in the morning, usually accompanied by trademark mental patient background music. Medication time!

Other talkers worth noting are Yukon Jack and his Big Yap, along with the deceptively smart Ryder in the Morning show on Hot 107.

Mornings are when listeners expect the best talk, but other personalities have marked their slots. K-97’s Melissa Wright cannot be touched as Edmonton’s affable yet outspoken Queen of Classic Rock Radio during the mid-day, while you can hear a promising new voice on the scene in Lauren Hunter, who does evenings on Sonic. She has attitude.

Doing the afternoon drive on the Bear is Scott McCord with his “Funhouse.” Like Terry Evans and Bill Cowen on K-97 mornings, McCord knows his town very well, and speaks as if he is indeed addressing a close friend – no worries as an occasional “shit” or “fuck” slip in there. But far too much of this guy talk is about sports. Sports talk belongs on sports radio! Back in the day when K-97 was the only FM music game in town, the announcers talked mainly about rock ‘n’ roll. What ever happened to that? Alan Cross does a good rock talk show on Sonic called The Ongoing History of New Music – though he’s neither live nor in the same town.

Finally, sad news about The Champ. You remember The Champ? A bit started by Canadian comedy duo Maclean and Maclean and adopted by syndicated radio, The Champ is a punch-drunk boxer who misinterprets everything people say as an insult, or a pass at his wife – and then he “loses it.” Dumb, but funny. Unfortunately, he’s sold out to the MAN – as the spokesman for the Canadian Brewhouse. It’s not funny anymore.

If this isn’t a poignant metaphor for the state of modern free radio in Canada, I don’t know what is. Of course it is possible to read too much into these things.

www.gigcity.ca Gig City is your home for the latest news about Edmonton music and live events.

The Stuph File Program – Episode #0361


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 #0361.

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

Featured in this episode:

  • Steve Kettmann, co-founder, The Wellstone Center in the Redwoods
  • Andrew Fazekas, science writer — Juno mission to Jupiter
  • Ron Schaumburg, creator, TrumpIt! The Art of the Deal Card Game

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.

The Power Of Radio Live & Local Is Becoming More and More Important


By Hassahn Liggin RadioFacts

Kathryn C. Boxill, the Radio Sales Research Manager, wrote an exquisite piece on the power of radio being part of the solution during tough times or crisis situations. You have to read in its entirety to absorb the true essence of the message she wanted to convey Check it out below or HERE.

One thing that remains true to this day is the power Radio can have when present and engaged in what is occurring in and around our communities. With the recent tragic events taking place across our country, whether human or weather-related, the people need to hear from their local officials, police chiefs, community leaders, RADIO PERSONALITIES, etc. Listeners also need to hear from those directly affected so their stories can be heard and understood. This open dialogue, when done with respect, integrity, and compassion, can lead to a better understanding. It can also hopefully lead to what one can do as a concerned community resident. That can range from how can I help those in need, how can we hold those accountable, where am I going to get clean water, how can I get help for my displaced family, to how can I keep my children/family safe.

Oftentimes listeners may not know where to turn for help or solutions. This is where Radio can play a profound role in terms of on-the-spot programming greatly benefiting the communities they serve. It is your duty to do so. It is the Radio personalities’ duties to do so. And, yes, it does require people who are about the people. It does require those who are not afraid of the “what ifs” if they get too entrenched in the controversial issues we find ourselves in. Sure, Radio is here to entertain. But, let’s be clear that Radio is also here to inform, educate, and LEAD. You may have some listeners who will tune out. You may have community leaders attempt to silence you. However, to be silent while continuing to just play music or the gossipy segments would be a total disservice to the people who you want to tune in day in and day out.

I give kudos and acknowledge Radio One for taking a stand and publically informing all that they want to be a part of the solution in terms of the recent shootings. However, with words, consistency, and perseverance are required far beyond today, tomorrow, next month, next year, or five years from now. www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/radio-one-media-statement-there-must-be-a-better-way-300296174.html

I remember years ago the first syndicated show I was really exposed to was Tom Joyner. At first it was new and interesting, but then at some point I wanted to hear about what was going on in the Washington, DC metro area in terms of news and pop culture. So now I find myself listening more to the NPR stations in my area. Yes, syndicated shows add great value to radio and the stations that they broadcast on. But what they don’t offer is that local voice. Someone who is actually in tune to what is going on in Your Town USA. This morning I was listening to Steve Harvey on WHUR-FM in Washington, DC as he interviewed the Deputy Chief Police from Dallas. I must say that interview was extremely enlightening and informative. Steve admitted it himself. But, I also want to hear about what the DC and Prince George’s County, MD hired officials have to say and what initiatives they have going on to help combat whatever is happening in our communities. And, that’s difficult when many stations’ morning and afternoon drives (usually the most listened-to time periods) are loaded with syndicated shows. The solution there is perhaps, during each of those shows, to have a 15-30 minute local breakaway segment. However, owners may be too afraid to do so because they may feel that it is all about the ratings and not the actual people. I see someone already sweating bullets at the thought of allocating 30 minutes of their show.

One valuable benefit I am hearing more and more, especially from our newer clients, is their desire to be known as the “Live & Local” Radio station/group in their perspective markets. And, I get it. It’s getting back to basics. This can, in fact, be a very attractive selling point to influence advertisers as to why their station is important to reaching their target consumers. When a station has a local structure, it means brands can focus on key marketing segments in that area. “Radio continues to be perceived as central to people’s lives, especially when contrasted with the precipitous decline by other traditional media” (Nielsen Audio/Edison “Infinite Dial”). And, more important it means our communities can have more exposure to those topics and issues that matter most to them.

Community Involvement Builds Brand Loyalty

As I mentioned previously, listeners want to hear (beyond the jokes) from their local radio personalities. When a station and personality are devoted to their LOCAL community, there is an opportunity to get to know and hold accountable the community’s businesses, leaders, municipalities, dignitaries, and culture (e.g., local sports teams). They can support and advocate in order to be an instrumental resource for economic and commercial growth, as well as other important issues on the table. Radio stations and local personalities, along with, for example, a local automobile dealership sponsor, can participate in outreach programs/events, local charities or local chapters of bigger charities by having these radio personalities and sponsored business leaders take an active stand. This goes such a long way in getting listeners involved, engaged and knowing they matter. And here, not only the radio station wins but also the sponsored advertiser, showing that they are involved in public service.

Having a Relationship with Personalities Is Still Important

Based on a survey of Women 15-54, it was found that listeners still find personalities to be an important factor in why they choose to listen to a particular station. For example, nearly eight out of ten of them listen longer to radio stations because of their favorite personality. It is a known fact that when listeners feel an emotional connection with their preferred radio station, also known as First Preference listeners, they are actively involved with their favorite station, they participate in the station’s events and promotions, and they support the businesses that advertise on their station. A local on-air environment offers several components that are important to listeners. When listeners trust, feel comfortable, and are familiar with their station’s personalities, they become more active listeners, and loyal listeners create the environment for advertisers’ messages to be actually heard and heard frequently. When listeners see themselves as “friends” with their favorite DJs and consider them to have celebrity status, when the personalities, for example, take part in remotes or live reads, it has the potential to bring credibility, believability, and an invitation to buy an advertiser’s products or services. And, you enable yourself to better service your clients by designing and executing marketing strategies that engage consumers, enhance market visibility, and improve market share. You see how this all works? Again, it creates a win-win for all.

Source: USC, Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, PSI Study released June 2012, Woodley, P. and Movius, L. People With a Favorite Radio Personality in Los Angeles; *Alan Burns “Here She Comes” 2012; Online Survey of 2,010 Women 15-54 in May 2012

Capitalizing on Your Gem with Customized Solutions
With so many other options for listeners to hear their old favorites, or to discover new musical/information options, Radio must continue to be the mass medium delivering relevant content to passionate, loyal, and craving-for-information listeners. And, one way to do that is to make sure your station is in tune with what is important to listeners in your local community and keeping them engaged. And, who better to do that than the live and local radio personalities? Take advantage of what these amazing people have to offer to your station, the listeners, and, ultimately, the advertisers by creating their niche and exposing them. So get to work because your community needs you.

-Kathryn C. Boxill, Radio Sales Research Manager

Niagara Station 101.1 Gets New Name, Format

Radio personalities Joe Moniz (left) and Chris Barnatt ushered in Day 1 of Juice FM in Niagara Falls Friday. The station at 101.1 FM replaces 2day FM. PHOTO: John Law / Niagara Falls Review

Radio personalities Joe Moniz (left) and Chris Barnatt ushered in Day 1 of Juice FM in Niagara Falls Friday. The station at 101.1 FM replaces 2day FM. PHOTO: John Law / Niagara Falls Review

By John Law, Niagara Falls Review

Niagara’s airwaves are changing again.

Less than three years after FM101.1 rebranded itself as 2day FM, owners Vista Radio switched things up again Friday morning. The signal is now known as Juice FM, blending current hits with past pop and rock classics.

“The music library is a lot larger now,” says general manager Wendy Gray. “On a format like this, it’s bigger, it’s rounder.”

The switch went live at 6:13 a.m., leaving 105.1 FM – also owned by Vista – as the city’s lone 2day FM station. The two stations shared the title while operating on two different frequencies.

FM 101.1 has been though several format changes through the years, from rock to alternative to Top 40.

You’ll now hear a a mix of all of them, says Gray. During a ten minute stretch Friday afternoon, the playlist included Tone Loc, Aerosmith and Drake.

It’s a station to relive some memories, Gray adds. “We’re not going to be breaking new songs here.”

The station caters to Fort Erie and the Greater Niagara Region, with a signal that stretches well beyond Buffalo.

Coinciding with the change, 2day FM’s morning man Chris Barnatt become the new morning voice at 101.1 FM. The 11-year veteran of Niagara radio relishes being “the guy who breaks down what’s going on.”

Doing the afternoon shift will be Niagara newcomer Joe Moniz, who recently arrived from Calgary.

Program director Al Campagnola says it’s a “researched and figured playlist” the station will offer.

“It’s everything. It’s stuff that’s two months old, but there’s also ’80s, ’90s, Millennium. You couldn’t do this the way Top 40 was four years ago. It was very urban, very rappy and stuff. But listening to this (station), that new song from whoever doesn’t sound weird going into a song from 30 years ago.”

Book: New Book Examines Radio Personalities’ Influence


OSWEGO — David Crider, a SUNY Oswego communication studies faculty member, explores in a new book how radio announcers develop their on-air personalities, helping the nearly century-old medium endure even in the rapidly evolving live-stream and on-demand audio scene.

“Performing Personality: On-Air Radio Identities in a Changing Media Landscape” rests on a foundation of theoretical research Crider conducted for his 2013 doctoral dissertation in media and communication at Temple University.

Yet his richly detailed on-the-job observations and interviews of a diverse sampling of radio talent opens the unique culture of on-air personalities to non-academic audiences.

“The research really came out of all the questions I had when I was working in radio,” said Crider, who spent about 10 years in production and on-air positions at stations in Syracuse, in Hagerstown, Maryland and back in Central New York upon returning for a master’s degree at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications.

Crider, who now teaches radio production and other mass media courses at SUNY Oswego and an online course at Temple, examines the construction of on-air personalities and the communities they create.

He draws support for his painstakingly assembled case from the likes of talk radio megastars Rush Limbaugh and Howard Stern, Syracuse and Philadelphia DJs, sports entertainers and more.

Inspiring the author’s own love of the medium and his early career path were radio personalities such as Bill Baker in Syracuse and Don Geronimo and Mike O’Meara of the nationally syndicated Don and Mike Show.

“It was always the people who, when I listened to them, I thought, ‘They must be having so much fun, that’s what I want to do,’” said Crider, who so wanted to be on the air that he once turned down a production job at CBS Radio in New York City to work at a station in the nation’s No. 168 market, Hagerstown.

‘Unspoken blueprint’

Crider writes of deregulation, consolidation, downsizing and corporate missteps among traditional stations in the industry, but expresses optimism that on-air personalities will help this enduring modern media survive and thrive into the digital future.

The key, he said, is relatability.

“I think the book’s big takeaway (for the average reader) is this: Your favorite announcer, that person who related best to you, who was the reason you listened to radio, is someone who was following an unspoken blueprint,” Crider said. “He or she learned to put a certain version of themselves out there for your consumption and enjoyment.”

“Performing Personality,” a 204-page volume from Lexington Books, builds on the platform of sociologist Erving Goffman’s theories on the dramatic presentation of the self in everyday human interactions.

In radio, the drama is built not only by the performer, but also by active listening on the part of audience members — what other researchers have called “imagined communities” in “the theater of the mind.”

The bottom line is what Crider calls “the commercial imperative” — the show must meet audience and revenue targets, now and in the future.

As he writes in the book’s introduction, “The growing success of podcasts such as ‘Serial’ and ‘WTF with Marc Maron’ is built around the ability of relatable announcers to tell compelling stories. As multimedia storytelling takes on greater importance, it will be incumbent upon announcers — from startup podcasters to broadcast veterans — to be able to create that meaningful connection with listeners across as many platforms as possible.