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Vancouver: CBC Announces New Radio Hosts

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Sandra Thomas / Vancouver Courier

The wait is over for fans of CBC Radio One.

It was announced on CBC this morning, Dec. 11, that Stephen Quinn, host of On the Coast, will replace Rick Cluff, longtime host of The Early Edition, Jan. 2.

Both shows focus on current affairs. The Early Edition is a morning show for listeners to start their day and includes everything from breaking news and traffic to local stories and interviews.

On the Coast features news highlights from the day, stories from Metro Vancouver neighbourhoods and community spotlights.

Taking over the afternoon spot from Quinn is Gloria Macarenko, who has been at the helm of CBC Radio One‘s noon show B.C. Almanac and TV host of Our Vancouver. A search is underway for a new host for B.C. Almanac.

CBC’s version of show-host musical chairs came after Cluff announced Dec. 4, he’ll be retiring Dec. 22. On that same day, listeners will be invited to share their memories of Cluff and many of those comments will air during the annual holiday request show.

CBC
Rick Cluff is leaving The Early Edition Dec. 22, making room for Stephen Quinn to take over the morning show. Photo Dan Toulgoet

Quinn joined CBC in 2000 and spent eight years as the national broadcaster’s civic affairs reporter, a post that spearheaded his passion for municipal politics, before joining CBC Radio One as host of On the Coast. A multiple Radio Television Digital News Association award winner, Quinn is known for his strong interview style and skill in prompting answers from notable subjects while delving into important issues. He is also creator of the popular Quinn’s Quiz segment.

“Hosting The Early Edition is my dream job,” Quinn said in an announcement Monday. “It’s Metro Vancouver’s radio show of record. It starts the conversation, sets the agenda and fuels the debate throughout the day. I hope to continue doing what the show is known for, excellent journalism, holding decision-makers to account, telling stories that come from all corners and all communities of the Lower Mainland, shining a light on our vibrant arts scene, and having some fun.”

Quinn added his heart has always been in local news and current affairs.

“No one does that better than The Early Edition and I’m so proud to be part of the team.”

Macarenko previously hosted CBC Vancouver News for many years and won multiple awards for her journalism, including a Jack Webster Award for Best News Reporting.

“I’m thrilled to host On the Coast come January, as I’ve had several opportunities to work with the afternoon team and I think it’s a great fit,” Macarenko said in the release. “I’ve been fortunate to interview British Columbians about important news stories and current events over the years, on television and on radio, and I look forward to exploring those hyper-local stories with our On the Coast listeners.”

Meanwhile, Cluff is looking forward to retirement after 41 years with the CBC. He started with The Morning Edition in 1997.

The Stuph File Program – Episode #0435 The Meshach & Malik Christmas Special

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Welcome to the latest edition of the Stuph File Program. A very special Christmas event. A Christmas show unlike any you’ve heard before!

For a program list of the songs included 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 #0435.



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

Featured in this episode:

  • The Meschach & Malik Christmas Special. Probably the most irreverent children’s show you’ve ever heard! It features the kind of holiday tunes that make kids laugh, and probably some adults cringe, and it’s hosted by a nine year old and a five year old! Destined to become a holiday perennial. Feel free to download it and play it over and over for years to come!


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.

That’s the Stuph – the way I see it.

Norway Becomes First Country To End Support For FM Radio In National Broadcasts

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By   www.digitaltrends.com

Norway has officially become the first country to cease the use of FM radio for its national broadcasts, The Guardian reports. The switch, when began in January, was done in order to provide better sound quality and reduce the costs associated with radio broadcasts. Officials have said that the DAB (digital audio broadcasting) system costs about an eigth as much as traditional FM broadcasts.

Norway introduced its first digital radio station in 1995, and has 31 national radio stations on the DAB. The technology, as a whole, is popular in Europe, with at least 40 other countries (such as the U.K.) making use of the technology to some extent.

Despite the benefits of moving to DAB, the switch has been met with some criticism due to technical problems and complaints that there isn’t enough DAB coverage across the country. Consumers have also raised concerns about the cost of buying new receivers, which usually run between $120 and $235. Digitalradio Norge, a part of Norway’s public and commercial radio, noted that only 49 percent of commuters are able to listen to DAB in their cars.

An oft-cited study also noted that the number of Norwegians who listen to the radio on a daily basis has declined by about 10 percent within a year. The national public broadcaster NRK has seen an even steeper decline, with its audiences falling by about 21 percent.

B.C. Interior First Nation Create A Community Radio Station

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By

Stories broadcast in the Tsilhqot’in language will begin hitting the airwaves Friday, Dec. 15 with the launch of a new radio station serving First Nation communities.

Some of the stories will be in English too, said Bella Alphonse, a translator and transcriber for the Tsilhqot’in National Government (TNG).

Hers is one of the voices people will hear on the new station, which is being developed by the TNG.

“One of our first stories will be about Sasquatches,” Alphonse told the Tribune minutes after she finished recording a broadcast. “It was told back in the 1800s to someone named Livingston Farrand who collected stories from the Tsilhqot’in.”

The reason for focusing on Sasquatches, said TNG communications manager Graham Gillies, is because there have been some sights and sounds in Tl’etinqox recently that have everybody talking.

“We think it will be a great tie-in and awesome start for a radio program,” Gillies said.

Crystal Rain Harry, who is a member of Xat’sull First Nation, is working as a Northern Development Initiative Trust intern at the TNG and is helping with the radio project.

“One of the community members got really scared and decided to record what he was hearing from inside his house and he’s not the only one that’s been saying they’ve been hearing a loud yelling kind of noise,” Harry said of the Sasquatch story.

“Even if you are a believer or not in Sasquatches, everyone’s interested in them.”

This week Gillies, Harry and Alphonse have been training with Rob Hopkins, aka “RadioRob,” a broadcaster at CFET Radio in Tagish, Yukon.

Through his 35-year radio career, Hopkins has also developed Open Broadcaster ­a software that can run radio stations through a web interface.

“The audience and these guys can run their network of radio stations from any web browser,” he said, noting he has customers all over Canada and the high Arctic using the software.

“We also had Bill Polonsky here to show them how the server software works to schedule and make community play lists,” Hopkins said. “He’s the manager of CJUC, the community radio station in Whitehorse.”

Gillies said the TNG were inspired to follow the example of the Nuxalk who launched a radio station in Bella Coola about four years ago that has been successful, especially with inspiring pride among people of all ages.

Read More: 91.1 FM Bella Coola Nuxalk Radio

“They have live shows and they have pre-recorded stuff as well as syndicated programs from around Canada of other Indigenous programs and podcasts,” Gillies added. “At the beginning ours will be mostly pre-recorded content.” Gillies said the nice thing is that if someone wants to record an audio file from wherever they are, they can transfer it onto a USB stick and the team can upload it for radio.

A test broadcast was done at Redstone this week to make sure everything was working while the TNG waited to receive final approval from Industry Canada, which they now have.

“We did a drive around the community and the radio transmission hit to a 10-kilometre radius,” Gillies said.

People tuning into listen will use regular FM radios, but there will also be some web streaming, Hopkins said.

While Tsilhqot’in Community Radio is the temporary name of the new 104.5 FM station, there will be a contest in the near future to name it, Harry said.

Tolko Industries Ltd. donated five desktop computers for the project that can be used by the communities, and the TNG is providing the funding for training in the communities, Gillies said.

Radio is Not Free: There’s a Cost of Listening

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Virtually everything comes with a price and a value. That’s what drives every transaction, and the economy. Yet since consumers don’t pay cash for radio, it’s easy for broadcasters to assume that it’s free. It’s not. Radio has a cost of listening.

Starbucks charges $4 for a cup of coffee. Their cost of materials is far less. There’s a lot of profit in that cup of Joe. But the value delivered to customers is worth more than the the ingredients. Otherwise, why would you keep paying for it?

The Starbucks brand is wrapped in their environment. That includes the stores in which they serve coffee. The convenience of being on nearly every corner. Their commitment to serving the community. The principles on which their brand is built. All of these things represent value that cause coffee drinkers to happily pay several times more than they would at 7-11.

An iPhone is valued by the Apple customer, though competing brands offer smartphones with similar features at a lower cost. Apple prospers because they deliver an experience to their customer. Their market share grows even though their products are relatively expensive devices with high margins.

These examples are easy to understand. Commerce takes place when the perceived value of a product or service is equal to or greater than the cost.

But what does that have to do with radio? Plenty. And it’s a good thing.

Is The Cost Of Listening Driving Away Audience?

Radio is a different business model. Money doesn’t change hands when a listening occasion takes place. But the price/value relationship still applies. Each listener makes entertainment choices for specific reasons. It could be to hear their favorite song, find out what’s happening in town, win a contest, get a laugh or simply find station to match their mood.

Your ability to deliver an experience that meets the desire is what your show is worth. The greater the value, the more the customer (listener) will put up with.

But there’s a price. Listeners pay for your “product” with time. The longer it takes to realize value, the greater the cost of listening.

Too many commercials (and poorly produced commercials) add to the cost of listening. The same goes for directionless, pointless talk. A contest comes on that’s too hard to play or they think they can’t win? It drives up the cost. After awhile, it gets expensive to listen.

Your topics are unfocused or confusing. A song (or three) I don’t like. Information that’s unimportant or irrelevant. Unfamiliar or uninspiring  personalities. Another 7 minute stop set. I’m not sure I want to pay the price of staying tuned in.

There are dozens of distractions that increase the cost of listening to your radio. And there are more and more choices to shop elsewhere.

When the cost becomes too great, listeners leave. They may punch the button to find another radio show or turn to satellite radio or their personal device. They may turn on Spotify or Apple Music, or go to a podcast.

Some escape to YouTube, interact with social media, play a video game, turn on a movie or any number of other entertainment options. Your competition isn’t just other radio stations, you know.

Keeping The Cost Of Listening Affordable

In a research project with Strategic Solutions Research, we explored what causes tune out. That’s another way of identifying what adds to the cost of listening.

Those six things are:

Not Getting Attention Quickly

Content That Has No Context

Slow Pacing

Not Enough Payoffs

Confusion

They Just Don’t Care.

Each of the six are detailed here.

You can reduce the cost of listening by providing more value. There are two solutions:

Lower Your Prices

Identify what you’re doing that is running off customers, and stop doing it. This is the first choice of many programmers. We add commercial-free blocks of music, stack stop sets into quarter hours with lower listening levels and tighten the personalities to reduce all that “talk”.

The lower your prices approach can be effective, to an extent. Objectively evaluate every detail of your station or show as if you were a listener. Now get rid of all unnecessary clutter. You’ll be shocked at how much you can clean up.

You won’t be able to remove all of these things, of course. Commercials are with us for awhile. But the more streamlined the station, the better your listener experience. Therefore, you make your station more affordable. It’s a better value proposition.

Increase Value

The other way to deliver a better experience is by increasing the benefits of the experience. With your list of most important brand qualities in mind, what can you add to make you memorable, unique and irreplaceable?

How can you deliver this experience on the air in every break and extend that value as a meaningful part of your audience’s lives on multiple platforms? Does what you offer match what they pay to tune in-and stay tuned in-to your show? To your station?

Chances are, those things revolve around your personality that can’t be duplicated.

Great personalities can charge more for their entertainment because it’s worth it.

Conclusion

When we deliver more value than is expected, radio becomes a bargain. How are you connecting to the audience emotionally to deliver an experience greater than the ingredients of your product?

The Stuph File Program – Episode #0434

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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 #0434.

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

Featured in this episode:

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.

4 Ways To Turn Up The Volume On Your Personality

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by Tracy Johnson

Several personalities I work with are focused on being more prolific on the air by dressing up existing breaks this way. Many times, their topics are fine. Their ideas are solid. The execution is good. But the overall effect is flat. You’ll get attention when you command it.

It’s not enough to have a great story to tell. You have to tell the story well! In fact, I’d rather have a great storyteller than a great story.

One way to become proficient is to learn to turn up the volume. That gives you a much better chance of being heard.

4 Ways to Turn up The Volume

When preparing to perform, think through each segment from the listener’s perspective. How will they hear what you’re about to present? What are they doing at the time? What will be meaningful to them? And how will you compel that audience in a way that they can’t help but pay attention and lean in to what you’re saying? It’s usually subtle ways you say it.

Here are five ways to improve your chances of being heard

4 Ways to Turn Up The Volume on Your Personality

5 Ways Radio Air Talent Can Build Better Brands

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We all have our buddies from college, and radio friends often hold an even higher place in our minds and hearts.  If you love the radio business, memories of the people you first met when those fires were being ignited are even more vivid.  My radio teeth were cut at Michigan State University back in the ’70s.

The TV-Radio Department as it was known back then was a hotbed of excitement and enthusiasm.  It was a fun major, and a space where like-minded radio wannabes could hang out and learn the craft.  There was a similar vibe going on at the Michigan State Network – a carrier-current web of dormitory affiliates with a central hub was the place where hundreds of fledging stars figured out radio together while entertaining thousands of MSU students.

Some of the best and brightest came out of that exciting ecosphere, and one of the most talented and smart was Scott Westerman.  The moment you met him, you knew he “got it.”  Like many of us, he got his start in radio, but then made the leap to the cable TV business.  Scott pioneered interactive content and Internet access for that industry.  He launched an international radio network, and still grabs his headphones as a contributor to “MSU Today” on WJR/Detroit, as well as co-hosting “The Mark Hollis Show” (

MSU’s Athletic Director). 

 

 

 

 

Scott also curates Keener13.com and the Kenner Facebook page – the radio station he grew up with that he lovingly honors today.

By day, he serves as Associate Vice President for Alumni Relations at Michigan State.  There’s no harder working, stronger supporter of the Green and White, radio, and people.  Scott is one of those rare people who connects people and ideas – because that’s his passion. 

In today’s “Guest List,” we get the benefit of Scott Westerman’s brains and knowledge as he writes a great primer for today’s on-air talent.  Take good notes.  There’s a lot here about how the next transformation of the radio industry may be less about tech and more about the person behind the mic.  – FJ

5 Ways Radio Air Talent Can Build Better Brands

YouTube to Launch New Subscription Music Streaming Service Next Year

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The service is reportedly aiming for a March launch, but has some hurdles to clear first.

YouTube has plans to release a third paid music service next spring, Billboard  has confirmed with sources familiar with the matter.

The new service, reported earlier by Bloomberg, is planned to arrive in March and is currently being referred to internally as Remix. It would include on-demand streaming and incorporate video clips and other elements from YouTube.

If YouTube hopes to hit that March launch date, it will need to lock in deals with labels. While Warner Music Group extended its licensing deal with the platform over the summer (which presumably included this new service in its terms), Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group are still in renegotiation.

YouTube’s ad-generated payouts have been a source of scorn in the music industry, with many complaining the website undermines gains made by streaming services’ paid subscription models that have been essential in recent revenue growth.

Meanwhile, Google’s own attempts at creating successful subscription services have struggled to take off in the past years. Those have included the audio-only Google Play that launched in 2011 and YouTube Music Key in 2014, which became YouTube Red in 2015, allowing users to watch videos without advertisements and stream audio in the background on mobile devices. Those two services were combined earlier this year under the direction of music exec Lyor Cohen, who joined YouTube last fall as the company’s global head of music, and count about 5 million paying subscribers combined, sources tell Billboard. It is unclear whether this new project will be a rebranded version of those combined services, or an entirely new entity altogether.

Read More.

CANADIAN RADIO NEWS RECAP For NOVEMBER 2017

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A summary of CRTC decisions and on air changes affecting the Canadian radio landscape.
 
RADIO ACTIVITYFORMAT CHANGES
AB CAMROSE 98.1 CFCW From Classic Hits (CAM FM) to Country NEW COUNTRY 98.1
NU IQALUIT 99.9 CKIQ From Hot AC-CHR (ICE FM) to Mainstream Rock RAVEN ROCK.
ON TORONTO 93.5 CFXJ From Rhythmic AC to Rhythmic CHR. Remains 93.5 THE MOVE.

NEW STATIONS LAUNCHED
ON WINDSOR 90.5 CJAH Commercial. 2,477 watts (10,000 watts Max. ERP). Christian. United Christian Broadcasters. UCB 90.5 (testing-launches December 2nd).

NEW HD STATIONS LAUNCHED
ON AJAX 95.9 CJKX-HD1 power n/a. Country. KX96. Simulcasts CJKX 95.9 Ajax.
ON AJAX 95.9 CJKX-HD2 power n/a. Smooth Jazz. WAVE FM. Simulcasts CHKX-HD2 94.7 Hamilton.
ON AJAX 95.9 CJKX-HD3 power n/a. Oldies. Simulcasts CKDO 1580 Oshawa.

CALL LETTER DATA
BC KELOWNA 103.9 CJUI Becomes CKOO
NB McADAM 95.5 CBAX Will become CBZF-1 when flip from 600 occurs
NS CHAPEL ISLAND 93.7 new Will become CIYR
QC GATINEAU 1350 new Will become CHFO

BRANDINGS
ON HAMILTON 900 CHML From AM 900 to GLOBAL NEWS RADIO
ON LONDON 980 CFPL From AM 980 to GLOBAL NEWS RADIO

OFF THE AIR
AB FALHER 95.7 CKRP 1,300 watt French Community station went dark on November 21st. Financial problems, signal issues, and a lack of volunteers led to the closure. Includes 1,230 watt CKRP-1 102.9 Nampa and 24 watt CKRP-2 90.3 Peace River.
ON STRATFORD 1240 CJCS 3 month authorized simulcast period for flip to 107.1 FM has expired.

CRTC & ISEDC DECISIONS

NEW STATIONS GRANTED
NS CHAPEL ISLAND 93.7 Aboriginal. 45 watts. Variety. Potlotek Communications Society.
QC GATINEAU 1350 Community. 1,000 watts (days) / 180 watts (nights). Variety. French. Radio Communautaire Francophone et Francophile de l’Outaouais .

AM TO FM CONVERSIONS GRANTED
BC NAKUSP 91.3 CBUM Move from 900. Will operate with 50 watts.
MB WINNIPEG 92.7 CKJS Move from 810. Will operate with 19,700 watts (35,000 watts Max. ERP).
NB McADAM 95.5 CBAX Move from 600. Will operate with 50 watts.

TECHNICAL CHANGES GRANTED
AB LETHBRIDGE 88.3 CKXU Increase power from 125 to 2,900 watts. Raise antenna height. Relocate transmitter. Change radiation pattern from directional to
non-directional.
BC VANCOUVER 97.7 CBUF Decrease power from 46,000 to 29,000 watts (100,000 to 95,800 watts Max. ERP). Raise antenna height.
NS DIGBY 104.7 CBAF-7 Decrease power from 980 to 450 watts. Raise antenna height.
ON OWEN SOUND 97.1 CBL-4 Decrease power from 17,500 to 7,939 watts (17,500 to 20,220 watts Max. ERP). Lower antenna height.
ON OWEN SOUND 98.7 CBCB Decrease power from 100,000 to 39,174 watts. Lower antenna height. Change radiation pattern from non-directional to directional.
ON SAVANT LAKE 104.9 CBQL Increase power from 78 to 135 watts. Lower antenna height. Relocate transmitter.
QC FERMONT 103.1 CFMF Increase power from 9 to 32 watts (20 to 50 watts Max. ERP). Lower antenna height. Relocate transmitter.

MUST RELOCATE TO NEW FREQUENCY
MB WINNIPEG 92.9 CKYZ 50 watt unprotected South Asian station must find new frequency due to AM to FM conversion approval of CKJS to 92.7.

STATUS CHANGES GRANTED
QC VAL-DES-LACS 106.5 CHVL Upgrade status from developmental community station to regular low power community station.

EXTENSIONS GRANTED
ON AURORA 101.5 CHRA The Voice of Aurora Community Radio has until March 24, 2019 to get this 50 watt Community station on the air.
ON MISSISSAUGA 960 CKNT Elliot Kerr has until July 31, 2018 to get this 2,000 watt News-Talk station on the air. This is the 4th and final extension to be granted.

CRTC APPLICATIONS

PROPOSED AM TO FM CONVERSIONS
NL SAINT ANTHONY 600 CBNA Move to 100.3 with 4,500 watts.
ON EAR FALLS 690 CBOI Move to 95.5 with 50 watts.

PROPOSED TECHNICAL CHANGES
ON GERALDTON 89.1 CBLG Decrease power from 5,950 to 3,492 watts (5,950 to 25,123 watts Max. ERP). Raise antenna height. Change radiation pattern from non-directional to directional.
ON GERALDTON 93.7 CBON-22 Decrease power from 2,500 to 1,408 watts (2,500 to 9,216 watts Max. ERP). Raise antenna height. Change radiation pattern from non-directional to directional.

PROPOSED OWNERSHIP CHANGES
NS NEW GLASGOW 94.1 CKEC From Hector Broadcasting to Newcap.
NS PICTOU 97.9 CKEZ From Hector Broadcasting to Newcap.

After the monthly recap for November was posted ISEDC released the latest updated data base. It appears as if they did a lot of house cleaning as many stations have been deleted. I am guessing that some of these have actually been off the air for quite awhile.

Thanks to Andy Reid for going through the database with a fine-toothed comb and passing all this information on. Here are Andy’s findings.

NEW STATIONS ON THE AIR
BC GREENVILLE 96.1 CFNR-4 Commercial. 8 watts. Aboriginal-Classic Rock. Simulcasts CFNR 92.1 Terrace
BC HARTLEY BAY 96.1 CFNR-5 Commercial. 8 watts. Aboriginal-Classic Rock. Simulcasts CFNR 92.1 Terrace

CALL LETTER DATA
BC VANCOUVER 106.3 CKUR-cp Will become CJNY.

TECHNICAL CHANGES GRANTED
PE CHARLOTTETOWN 88.1 CBAF-15 Decrease power from 33,500 to 30,300 watts (94,200 to 88,000 watts Max. ERP).
QC VICTORIAVILLE 88.1 CKIE Increase power from 17 to 48 watts.

STATIONS DELETED
AB ZAMA LAKE 89.9 VF2093 10 watt Aboriginal repeater of CFWE-4 98.5 Spruce Grove.
BC PORT ALICE 1170 CBUX 40 watt CBC Radio One repeater of CBCV 90.5 Victoria flipped to 90.3. Calls now CBCV-2.
BC WINFIELD 91.9 VF2200 25 watt CBC Radio One private community repeater of CBTK 88.9 Kelowna.
MB SKOWNAN 98.7 CHWN 50 watt Aboriginal-Community station.
MB WEST HAWK LAKE 103.7 CHWH 22 watt Tourist Information station.
NB SAINT STEPHEN 96.5 CIRU 50 watt Tourist Information station.
NB TOBIQUE 104.5 CFNT 50 watt Aboriginal-Community station.
NL DAVIS INLET 100.9 VF2095 43 watt CBC Radio One private community repeater of CBN 640 St. John’s.
NS AMHERST 90.1 CFNS 20 watt Tourist Information station.
NT LUTSELK’E 101.9 VF2026 8 watt Aboriginal repeater of CKLB 101.9 Yellowknife.
NT LUTSELK’E 105.1 VF2278 8 watt CBC Radio One private community repeater of CFYK 98.9 Yellowknife.
NT TSIIGEHTCHIC 101.9 VF2008 8 watt Aboriginal repeater of CKLB 101.9 Yellowknife.
NT TSIIGEHTCHIC 106.1 VF2145 8 watt CBC Radio One private community repeater of CHAK 860 Inuvik.
ON BROCKVILLE 94.5 CIIB 50 watt Tourist Information station.
ON CORNWALL 107.7 CIRG 50 watt Tourist Information station.
ON COUCHICHING 92.3 CKWO 50 watt Aboriginal-Community station.
ON KINGSTON 106.3 CIRJ 50 watt Tourist Information station.
ON MUSSELWHITE MINE 102.3 VF7044 10 watt repeater of unknown station.
ON PEAWANUCK 89.9 CKWN 10 watt Aboriginal repeater of CKWT 89.9 Sioux Lookout.
ON SORRELL LAKE 99.1 CKFW 5 watt Tourist Information station.
QC COOKSHIRE 88.1 CILA 1 watt House of Worship station.
QC KUUJJUAQ 97.3 CKUJ 2,927 watt Aboriginal-Community station.
QC KUUJJUAQ 98.3 VF2321 10 watt repeater of CHOZ 94.7 St. John’s, NL.
SK DILLON 92.7 CKBR 8 watt repeater of CJLR 89.9 La Ronge.
SK ISLAND LAKE 105.3 VF2449 50 watt repeater of CJLR 89.9 La Ronge
SK LA RONGE 92.9 VF2001 9 watt repeater of CIRK 97.3 Edmonton, AB.
SK LOON LAKE 93.5 VF2411 46 watt repeater of CJLR 89.9 La Ronge
SK MARCELIN 104.3 CICN 30 watt Aboriginal-Community station.
SK ONION LAKE 97.7 VF2295 48 watt Aboriginal-Community station.
SK STOCKHOLM 104.1 CFZY 10 watt repeater of CHOZ 94.7 St. John’s, NL.
SK STURGEON LAKE 96.1 CKCP 47 watt Aboriginal-Community station.
SK WOLLASTON LAKE 91.9 VF2040 1 watt Aboriginal-Community station.

Send tips to sysdan@gmail.com

How Ten Rogers Stations Flipped To Gord FM Tragically Hip

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Source FYI Music

The following is a personal story shared by Canadian broadcast veteran and current Rogers Media Rock Radio Director Danny Kingsbury on his blog – All The Web’s A Stage. And All The Men And Women Merely Players – on October 21. The post is republished with permission.

As a radio programmer, I go through periods of confidence and insecurity. This week, I had lots of the former and a bit of the latter.

We all knew it was coming, but still the news was difficult to hear. I read my breaking news alert at 8:36 am Wednesday morning,  “Gord Downie has died”.

Behind the scenes, we had been preparing for his passing for months and months. I work with a great team of passionate and caring and talented broadcasters who take their roles and responsibilities seriously and gosh, did I mention they are talented. They have balanced the morbid nature of planning for someone’s death with the audience expectations when it arrives. Where will our listeners turn at a time when they need comfort and have their feelings validated with like-mindedness?

Our team, our company, really came through. There was so much material prepared for Gord’s memorial and celebration of life that I wondered if we could use it all. I’ll add that everything that was prepared and produced was a labour of love, done by fans for the fans.

As much as we were ready, it wasn’t until that morning that we decided to re-brand all 10 of our Rock stations to GORD FM and play Tragically Hip songs 24/7 until Sunday at midnight. Unheard of. It wasn’t meant to be a “stunt” or a “gimmick”, but rather a way to show listeners how much Gord meant to us and his fans.

Break the rules.

Programmers play safe sometimes and for good reasons. There are proven and successful programming rules that we should never forget, but we can’t operate with blinders or be too afraid to colour outside the lines. Many PDs are influenced by their station’s Facebook wall, and they let negative comments affect their judgement. For example, D-bag2389 might write that he thinks “this is a stupid idea, overkill, the band sucks, and so does your station, thanks for telling me, I now know not to listen”.

Radio gets them all, and one post leads to another and the next thing you know, there’s invariably a huge fight going on. Usually progressively degrading in intellectual and thoughtful content. It’s exhausting. It’s the world.

We get far more compliments, kudos and positive thoughts than complaints and I love to be able to get instant feedback on our stations. Listeners want that outlet.

We also need to manage our halls. If you are a programmer (leader) and do not believe something will work, your team surely won’t either. In that case, better that you pass then move ahead uncommitted.

It was a great time to be in radio on Wednesday. That was the easy part. Many stations played 24/7 Hip.

But Thursday, it was all over….and that’s what stuck with me when making this call. I honestly didn’t think it was fair to Gord, the band, the team that did all this work in advance or the audience to let this event just fall prey to the news cycle churn.

Thursday, we knew we were doing the right thing. Great reaction, incredible engagement and lots of warmth.

I admit that on Friday morning I was listening to CHEZ early, like 5:40 am early, and for just a moment I wondered if becoming GORD FM for four days was the right call.

It wasn’t the trolls that crept into the thinking, in fact there were surprisingly few negatives. I mean really, what can you not like about paying homage to Gord Downie?

It was just my gut saying, “Hey, aren’t you supposed to be playing Led Zeppelin at this time, and isn’t Doc and Woody supposed to be teasing Bonehead of the week, and snake stories?” Why yes, that’s right, they usually do.  But not today I thought. We’re doing something brave but genuine and thoughtful for our audience. They want us to play Tragically Hip music and tell stories of the band and have listener’s stories and memories on air.

It’s our gift and obligation at the same time.

I have never played the same band on-air for what will turn out to be 111 hours straight. In fact, I can’t remember any station doing that unless it was a format change stunt.

But it was more than just playing the music……the on-air talent made it really special. Some announcers think they are becoming less important or relevant……they certainly are not, they are more important than ever. Everyone can play the same music. That’s easy. But the difference from good to great is the personality behind the mic. Being in the cockpit of the station behind the board, directing the content as it comes in isn’t easy. Answering phones, recording caller’s stories, finding clips, relaying personal anecdotes and having a genuine love and respect for the audience and our craft. I can hear it when it’s there. And when it’s not.

Thanks to all of our announcers who made this special. And thanks to all our team who did the right thing.

For me, The Tragically Hip is a special band, and I’m really grateful to have been a fan since before they were huge Canadian stars. I have a couple of stories about the band but full disclosure, I can’t honestly remember for certain if the first story is even about them. The story is true for sure, and my memory has always told me it was the Tragically Hip, and this is far from the first time I’ve told this story, so I’m sticking with it until proven otherwise.

Story 1

So, in 1986? I was at CITI FM in Winnipeg. Often, we would record live Rock shows at a nightclub. Back in the days of regulation, if a station recorded a Canadian band playing live, it counted as foreground programming. One week, the band booked was The Tragically Hip. They were to play for 3 or 4 nights (Wed-Sat) at this club, and we would record the Thursday show. Only lesser known and up and coming bands ever were considered for this club but it was live music, and it was cool. I remember getting a call from the Hip’s manager on Thursday morning (I’m pretty sure it must have been Jake Gold), and he asked if I knew the club owner and could I put in a good word for his band. I asked why? He said because they were fired last night. I had to ask why, again? He said the crowd was throwing pennies at the stage and Gord responded by, shall we say, returning expectorate. The owners didn’t like it and boom, gone. The story goes that Gord thought it was awesome. I wasn’t able to change the mind of the owners.

Story 2

A few years later, I was at CFNY in Toronto, and we hosted the CASBY Awards. It would have been Fall of 1989. The awards show was at RPM Club. Packed house, Rock crowd, and crazy. We had several of the nominees at the event, and that night The Tragically Hip were there, as Group of the Year I think. When I saw the PA stacks, I thought, wow, are we at Maple Leaf Gardens? This is crazy. When the moment came, the emcee yells, ‘The Tragically Hip” ……. boom, that was and still holds the record for the loudest show I’ve ever witnessed. Buns were shaking off the side plates, and liquid in glasses reacted as if an earthquake had hit. I credit the band for contributing to my left ear hearing deterioration. Loud was good, but even the best sound systems were a lot noisier than they are today and it was like a Concorde taking off. It was a complete wall of sound. Pretty great though. And thank goodness for much better fidelity in PA systems these days.

Story 3

My other Tragically Hip memory came after we signed Y95 on the air in 1991, we played Fully Completely like we were a Top 40 station. It was released in October 1992. Honestly, we played the crap out of it. One day my phone rings, “Danny?” “Yes, sir.” “It’s Jake Gold……. just want to say thanks for playing the hell out of the new record…the band appreciates it”.

That was cool. I might have even asked him, ‘do you remember that night in Winnipeg”? I don’t think I did and don’t think he would recall anyhow. Oh well…maybe it wasn’t them, but I’m still sticking to that story.

Thanks, Gord. As he said numerous times to everyone in his incredible movie Long Time Running,

“I love you”.

Canadian Radio Ratings Fall 2017 David Bray Bray & Partners Communications

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Via Broadcast Dialogue

By David Bray

It is time to see whose number is up (or down) with the release of the latest radio ratings. The new PPM release from Numeris completes the thirteen-week period covering August 28th to November 26th, 2017. Let’s take a look the five PPM markets.

Toronto: Bragging rights at the top of the ratings heap go to CHFI-FM once again with a 12.4% share of hours tuned for A12+ (up from 11.3% last time out). CHFI-FM takes the #1 spot with the women 25-54 delivering a 15.6% share (up from 13.3%) followed by CHUM-FM with a 13.4% share (down from 17.0%).  In a strange twist, CHFI-FM holds the #1 spot for males 25-54, posting an 12.0% share (up from 11.2 % in the last 13 week book) followed by BOOM-FM at 8.9% and Q107 with 8.5%. In an even more unusual twist, CHFI-FM leads the way for M18-34 with a 17.1% share (up from 14.8%). For F18-34, CHFI-FM tops the list posting an 18.5%.

Vancouver: CBC Radio One grabs the #1 spot for A12+ with an 15.1% share of hours tuned (up from 13.6% ). Taking the top spot for F25-54 was QM-FM, posting a 15.4% share (up from 14.6% last time out). FOX grabs the lead for M25-54 listeners, delivering a 11.1% share (up from 10.1%) followed by the Rock101 at 10.1% (up from 9.5%)  The FOX is out in front for M18-34 with a 15.0% share of hrs. tuned (up from 14.6%). When it comes to Females 18-34, Z95.3 takes top spot with 17.1 % share.

Edmonton: 102.3 NOW Radio rules the roost for A12+ posting a 9.7% share of hours tuned (down from 10.9%). NOW! Radio takes top spot for F25-54, delivering a 14.1% share (down from 16.9%). NOW also tops the list for M25-54 with an 11.9% share (down from 13.0%). For M18-34, Sonic leads the way posting an 18.3% (up from 15.3%). For F18-34 Sonic delivered a 16.8%.

Calgary: Country 105 leads the way for A12+ with an 8.5% (down from 10.6%).  Country105 is popular with the women, taking #1 spot for F25-54 delivering a 10.4% share (down from 12.0%). For M25-54, CJAY92 is #1 with a 10.0% (up from 8.5%). CJAY92 takes top spot for M18-34 delivering a 17.5% (up from 14.8%). Country105 is #1 for F18-34 posting a 15.8% share (up from 14.8%)

Montreal (Total):  CHMP 98.5FM is #1 for A12+ with a 15.9% share (up from 13.5%).  CFGL-FM is tops with the women, taking #1 spot for F25-54 delivering a 16.4% share (up from 13.1%). For M25-54, CHMP 98.5FM is on top at 15.7% share (up from 14.3%) followed closely by CHOM-FM at 14.4%.  Virgin Radio is #1 for M18-34 with a 14.8%. The Beat 92.5 is #1 for F18-34 with a 15.1% (down from 18.9%).

Toronto

% Share of Hours Tuned | (Mon.-Sun, 5a-1a)

Station A12+
PPM
Aug. 28-
Nov. 26
A12+
PPM
May 29-
Aug. 27
W25-54
PPM
Aug. 28-
Nov. 26
W25-54
PPM
May 29-
Aug. 27
M25-54
PPM
Aug. 28-
Nov. 26
M25-54
PPM
May 29-
Aug. 27
CBC Radio Two 2.1 1.5 1.9 .9 2.9 1.5
CBC Radio One 10.1 8.7 6.4 5.1 7.1 5.6
AM 640 Toronto 1.6 1.3 1.0 .3 1.7 1.2
Classical 96.3 FM 6.4 5.2 2.6 1.7 2.7 1.8
102.1 The Edge 2.9 2.9 3.6 3.8 6.2 5.7
News Talk 1010 7.6 7.3 4.3 3.9 4.0 5.2
680 News 6.9 6.9 5.8 5.7 8.3 8.5
 93.5 The Move 1.5 1.5 2.1 2.5 1.3 1.7
AM 740/96.7 FM  4.1 4.2 1.1 1.0 1.3 1.9
Boom 97.3 7.6 8.4 10.4 10.0 8.9 10.5
98.1 CHFI-FM 12.4 11.3 15.6 13.3 12.0 11.2
TSN 1050 .5 .3 .4 .1 1.0 .7
104.5 CHUM-FM 6.5 8.3 13.4 17.0 4.6 5.5
Z103.5 2.6 2.8 3.0 3.1 4.2 4.1
Q107 6.2 6.7 3.4 4.3 8.5 10.6
KX  94.7 1.0 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.1 1.2
Sportsnet 590 The FAN 2.1 2.9 1.1 1.8 4.1 4.7
Jazz FM 91 1.5 1.4 1.3 1.8 .4 .3
Jewel 88.5 1.1 1.2 .7 .9 .2 .3
Virgin Radio 99.9 4.9 5.7 5.3 6.9 5.0 6.0
KISS 92.5 3.8 3.5 7.6 5.9 4.2 3.4
G98.7 1.2 1.5 1.5 1.7 1.1 .9
Indie 88.1 1.0 1.2 1.2 1.4 2.0 1.6

 

 Vancouver

% Share of Hours Tuned | (Mon.-Sun, 5a-1a)

Station A12+
PPM
Aug. 28-
Nov. 26
A12+
PPM
May 29-
Aug. 27
W25-54
PPM
Aug. 28-
Nov. 26
W25-54
PPM
May 29-
Aug. 27
M25-54
PPM
Aug. 28-
Nov. 26
M25-54
PPM
May 29-
Aug. 27
CBC Radio One 15.1 13.6 5.2 4.2 9.0 7.6
CBC Radio Two 3.4 3.2 1.5 1.7 1.8 3.1
94.5 Virgin Radio 7.5 7.7 12.7 11.4 8.3 10.4
Rock 101 8.0 7.7 9.2 8.6 10.1 9.5
99.3 The Fox 4.7 5.3 4.7 7.5 11.1 10.1
Team 1410 .3 .3 .1 0.0 .3 .2
KISS Radio 104.9 3.0 4.1 6.3 6.5 3.0 4.4
LG104.3 5.0 4.4 4.2 5.7 5.1 4.4
AM 730 Traffic 1.2 1.3 .8 1.1 1.3 1.5
103.5 QM FM 11.2 10.0 15.4 14.6 6.9 5.9
CISL 650 1.3 2.4 1.5 1.9 1.2 .3
93.7 JR FM 5.9 5.6 7.9 7.3 4.3 4.7
96.9 Jack FM 4.1 4.9 3.8 4.8 7.5 8.4
CKNW 10.2 10.0 1.9 2.5 8.7 7.9
102.7 The Peak 3.8 3.1 6.4 4.5 4.6 4.9
The Team 1040 1.8 2.1 .4 .4 2.2 3.3
News 1130 5.3 4.5 3.5 3.1 6.1 6.0
Z 95.3 4.8 4.7 11.9 11.5 4.5 3.9
Praise 106.5 1.8 1.7 1.4 1.3 3.0 2.9

 

 Edmonton

% Share of Hours Tuned | (Mon.-Sun, 5a-1a)

Station A12+
PPM
Aug. 28-
Nov. 26
A12+
PPM
May 29-
Aug. 27
W25-54
PPM
Aug. 28-
Nov. 26
W25-54
PPM
May 29-
Aug. 27
M25-54
PPM
Aug. 28-
Nov. 26
M25-54
PPM
May 29-
Aug. 27
CBC Radio One 6.8 5.2 4.3 3.7 5.5 3.1
CBC Radio Two .7 .7 .8 .6 .2 .1
CFBR-FM The Bear 6.8 7.6 5.2 4.7 10.8 11.5
CFCW 5.2 5.4 1.5 2.2 2.2 2.1
 104.9 Virgin Radio 2.7 3.0 3.5 3.9 2.5 2.7
TSN 1260 2.1 2.1 .3 .4 3.9 3.8
KISS 91.7 4.9 4.5 8.5 5.9 2.8 3.4
Sonic 102.9 7.9 7.2 12.6 11.6 11.1 9.8
630 CHED 9.2 8.6 2.8 2.9 10.7 10.0
iNews880 1.4 1.0 .1 .1 .4 .4
K97 4.9 4.8 4.7 3.8 7.2 7.1
CISN Country 7.2 9.6 8.1 11.7 4.5 8.0
UP 99.3 5.1 5.4 6.3 5.5 5.5 5.9
HOT 107 2.4 3.3 2.8 4.1 3.2 4.1
95.7 CRUZ FM 4.6 3.3 5.9 3.8 6.6 4.9
92.5 Fresh-FM 4.0 3.8 7.7 6.6 3.4 3.2
102.3 NOW! Radio 9.7 10.9 14.1 16.9 11.9 13.0
96.3 Capital FM 9.1 6.9 5.4 6.2 2.8 2.7
CKUA-FM 2.3 2.0 .9 1.5 1.0 1.0

  

Calgary

% Share of Hours Tuned | (Mon.-Sun, 5a-1a)

Station A12+
PPM
Aug. 28-
Nov. 26
A12+
PPM
May 29-
Aug. 27
W25-54
PPM
Aug. 28-
Nov. 26
W25-54
PPM
May 29-
Aug. 27
M25-54
PPM
Aug. 28-
Nov. 26
M25-54
PPM
May 29-
Aug. 27
CBC Radio One 8.1 7.6 3.6 4.5 3.1 3.8
CBC Radio Two 2.3 2.7 1.5 2.0 2.2 2.7
Sportsnet Fan 960 3.0 2.6 .4 .5 4.9 4.5
X92.9 5.3 5.5 4.4 4.3 8.9 10.6
CFFR 660 News 5.2 4.9 2.0 1.9 4.9 5.0
Q107 5.8 5.9 3.8 4.1 9.6 7.1
XL103FM 8.3 8.9 6.6 7.8 8.4 9.5
KISS 95.9 3.5 4.0 7.3 7.0 3.0 2.8
News Talk 770 8.2 7.6 2.4 2.4 2.0 2.5
98.5 Virgin Radio 4.5 4.3 7.8 6.9 4.7 4.2
Soft Rock  97.7 4.6 5.6 6.5 7.9 4.1 4.9
96.9 Jack-FM 4.9 5.2 7.3 6.7 4.6 7.3
CJAY 92 5.6 6.2 4.2 6.1 10.0 8.5
KOOL 101.5 3.6 4.0 6.5 5.8 4.1 3.6
90.3 AMP Radio 3.5 4.4 5.5 7.0 3.7 4.7
Funny AM1060 .8 .6 .7 .6 1.2 1.0
Country 105 8.5 10.6 10.4 12.0 5.9 8.3
Wild 95.3 1.5 1.7 2.4 2.3 1.3 1.8

 

Montreal (Total)

% Share of Hours Tuned | (Mon.-Sun, 5a-1a)

Station A12+
PPM
Aug. 28-
Nov. 26
A12+
PPM
May 29-
Aug. 27
W25-54
PPM
Aug. 28-
Nov. 26
W25-54
PPM
May 29-
Aug. 27
M25-54
PPM
Aug. 28-
Nov. 26
M25-54
PPM
May 29-
Aug. 27
CBF FM: 95,1 Première Chaîne 10.4 9.4 6.9 6.4 7.2 5.9
CBFXFM: Ici Musique 100,7 1.9 1.9 1.5 1.7 1.0 1.3
CBC Radio Two .7 .6 .4 .5 1.3 1.0
CBC Radio One 2.1 2.0 1.1 .9 1.2 1.1
CFGLFM: 105.7 Rythme FM 11.1 11.1 16.4 13.1 7.5 6.6
CHMPFM: 98.5 FM 15.9 13.5 10.9 8.7 15.7 14.3
CHOM 97.7 FM 7.3 7.0 5.6 5.0 14.4 12.1
CITEF3: 107,3 Rouge fm 6.1 7.0 9.2 10.4 4.7 6.7
CJAD 800 6.5 6.2 4.8 4.5 2.9 2.7
Virgin Radio 96 7.1 8.3 9.1 10.4 8.3 10.3
CJPXFM: Radio Classique 99,5 2.2 2.6 .9 .7 .8 1.5
CKAC: Radio circulation 730 .2 .2 .2 .2 .2 .3
CKBEFM: The Beat 92,5 9.2 10.3 12.2 14.7 10.7 10.8
TSN 690 1.0 .8 .4 .5 2.0 1.4
CKLXFM: 91,9 Sport 2.1 1.7 .9 .9 3.3 3.0
CKMFFM: NRJ Montréal 94.3 4.5 4.7 6.3 5.8 7.1 6.9
96.9 CKOI 6.6 8.4 9.0 11.7 8.6 10.7
AM980 .4 .5 .1 0.0 .2 .2
CIBL 101.5 .1 .1 0.0 0.0 .2 .1

 

David Bray is President of Bray & Partners Communications.
(416) 431-5792 | davidbray@brayandpartners.com | www.brayandpartners.com

Toronto: CHFI Dominates The Airwaves Ins Toronto

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– Rogers Media’s 98.1 CHFI dominates the airwaves as Toronto’s most-listened-to radio station in key demographics –

– CHFI’s Darren & Mo take the top spot as Toronto’s #1 morning radio show for A24-54 –

– Combined, Rogers-owned radio stations reach 5.4 million people in Toronto, 97 per cent of the Toronto market1 –

TORONTO, Dec. 7, 2017 /CNW/ – Rogers Media has much to celebrate this holiday season as 98.1 CHFI continues its reign as Toronto’s #1 radio station according to yesterday’s PPM quarterly survey (August 28 to November 26, 2017) released by Numeris2. CHFI captured a 13.8 per cent share with A25-54, pacing 4.2 share points ahead of the nearest competitor. Also, CHFI’s flagship morning show, Darren & Mo claimed the top spot among A18-34, A18-49, and A25-543.

Complementing CHFI, Rogers Media radio stations 680 NEWS and KiSS 92.5 also garnered terrific results with key audiences.

“We know that Toronto listeners can get their music, news, talk and sports on a wide variety of radio choices, so the news from Numeris is truly a testament to the dedication from our team to deliver fresh and engaging content every day – drawing our audiences back to us again and again,” said Julie Adam, SVP, Rogers Radio. “We also pride ourselves on the deep connection our hosts have with listeners, as relatable friends in the car, at home, and on-the-go.”

Torontonians are continuing to turn to 680 NEWS as their trusted source for news, weather and traffic, with yesterday’s Numeris announcement confirming that 680 NEWS is the #1 all-news station in the market among A25-544.

Also, sister station KiSS 92.5 is a hit with key audiences as the #1 Top 40 station for A25-54 and F25-54, as well as the #4 station overall for F25-545.

Finally, for sports fans in Toronto, Sportsnet 590 The FAN continues to lead as the most listened-to all sports radio station in Canada6.

In addition to listening to Rogers Radio stations on-air, online and through the Radioplayer Canada app, audiences can now connect with 680 NEWS, 98.1 CHFI, KiSS 92.5, Sportsnet 590 The FAN and Radioplayer Canada live through an Amazon Echo device.

1Source: Numeris / Toronto CTRL / Aug 28Nov 26, 2017 / A12+ / Cume(000) / Mo-Su 5a-1a
2Source: Numeris / Toronto CTRL / Aug 28Nov 26, 2017 / Shr%[based on Toronto Stations] / Mo-Su 5a-1a
3Darren & Mo Source: Numeris / Toronto CTRL / Aug 28Nov 26, 2017 / Shr%[based on Toronto Stations] / Mo-Fr 5a-9a
4Source: Numeris / Toronto CTRL / Aug 28Nov 26, 2017 / AvWkCume / Mo-Su 5a-1a
5Source: Numeris / Toronto CTRL / Aug 28Nov 26, 2017 / Shr%[based on Toronto Stations] / Mo-Su 5a-1a
6Source: Numeris / Total Meter CTRL / Aug 28Nov 26, 2017 / AvWkCume / Mo-Su 5a-1a

Social Media Links
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About Rogers
Rogers is a leading diversified Canadian communications and media company that’s working to deliver a great experience to our customers every day. We are Canada’s largest provider of wireless communications services and one of Canada’s leading providers of cable television, high-speed Internet, information technology, and telephony services to consumers and businesses. Through Rogers Media, we are engaged in radio and television broadcasting, sports, televised and online shopping, magazines, and digital media. Our shares are publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: RCI.A and RCI.B) and on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: RCI).

SOURCE Rogers Media

Vancouver: Passing Of Neil O’Brien Draws His Radio Friends Together

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A legacy of friendship, good humour, wrestling and a love for pizza is what friends of Neil O’Brien are talking about this week.

The sudden passing of the well-loved News 1130 traffic reporter is pulling together a wide array of local radio and TV talent, all in the hope of helping out his family.

O’Brien, 47 and a native of Vancouver, died on Tuesday.

Local TV and radio personality Kuljeet Kaila is spearheading a GoFundMe drive, with proceeds going to support his mother with funeral and other costs.

“We started at News 1130 at the same time, almost 20 years ago,” she said Thursday.

Kaila said O’Brien appears to have died of a heart attack but that’s yet to be confirmed. She also said she understood he’d been fired from the station earlier on Tuesday.

O’Brien had been suffering from complications due to diabetes for years, she said, but had been working all the while, even lately as he was dealing with kidney disease.

He’d show up to work at the radio station every day, and then go for dialysis at night at St. Paul’s Hospital.

“I guess he didn’t tell people much,” his longtime friend Darren Grieve said. “He just showed up to work every day.”

“It’s a big shock.”

Grieve, known to listeners as Danger, said he and O’Brien first got to know each other watching professional wrestling in the 1990s.

“We both worked at night (Grieve at KISS-FM, O’Brien at 1130) and he realized that I watched wrestling from time to time. I realized he watched it all the time, so I always had questions, especially about the guys I watched growing up in the ’80s,” Grieve recalled.

“He knew everything about it from top to bottom.”

The pair would watch Monday Night Raw after they got off work.

“One of the nicest guys you’d ever meet,” Grieve said of his friend. “Intelligent, kind, just a funny guy, but one who just would fly under the radar if you didn’t get to know him.”

Kaila said whatever money is raised will help O’Brien’s mom — he has no other family — with whatever costs she incurs from his funeral or otherwise.

“He was really, really especially close with his mom,” Grieve said. “As far as I’m concerned, if there’s anything we can do for her, we’ll do it.”

“It would be the thing he would most want to be sure of as he passed from this earth, that his mom was taken care of.”

One of O’Brien’s first jobs in radio was working on Sex, Lies and Audiotape, the very popular late-night call-in show on Z95.3 during the 1990s, hosted by clinical counsellor Rhona Raskin.

“He was hilarious, he was so funny,” Raskin said she quickly discovered about O’Brien, who initially worked as a runner for the show.

“He had a really wry sense of humour,” said Raskin, who quickly put him on air, calling him “Bitter Neil.”

“But he really wasn’t that bitter.

“I just cried my eyes out when he first left our show.”

Raskin said there were lots of stories about O’Brien, but one stands out.

“He and his mom, their Christmas tradition was to go to the Old Spaghetti Factory. One year, they changed the meatballs. He wasn’t happy. He went all the way to head office to complain, so they told him how to order the old ones.

“Then one year they changed the dishes, and Neil wasn’t happy, so they found the old dishes. They saved the old dishes just for him, so when he and his mom went back, they’d bring them out.”

Raskin said she and a few others realized how ill he was, even as he tried to keep it from them.

“We all knew he was sick, and you couldn’t miss it,” she said. “But he always brushed it off.”

At the same time, she said, “he was pretty realistic, he was in end-stage kidney failure. There was nothing they could do, and he knew it.

“But he didn’t want people to think of him as ‘that guy with the medical problem.’”

Still, Raskin said she and his other close friends are feeling some regret.

“We all wish we had scooped him more often, or called him more often,” she said.

pjohnston@postmedia.com

twitter.com/risingaction

Neil O’Brien Memorial Fundraiser

Our dear friend and long time Vancouver broadcaster passed away this week. He was a trusted voice in reporting traffic. Please help raise much needed funds for his mother and help her with the of funeral and more. Anything helps – don’t be shy and you can donate anonymously if you wish. Any questions please text 778-846-6460

Make a donation www.gofundme.com/4tn1wm8

Cartt: Rogers Radio Rrebrands Calgary’s Kiss To 95.9 CHFM

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CALGARY – Rogers Media has re-branded radio station Kiss 95.9 to 95.9 CHFM (looking much like ratings leader CHFI Toronto…).

There’s not change to the format or the personalities on air, however.

“For more than 50 years, Calgarians have welcomed us into their daily lives, and as this amazing city grows, we too must evolve in order to better serve our audiences,” said Gayle Zarbatany, program director. “Now with a refreshed look and feel, we’re excited to continue this journey with our listeners.”

The station also went all-Christmas last week, too, and it will start the New Year with some familiarity when popular morning show host Billie Jo Ross returns from mat leave on Monday, Jan. 8 to Mornings with Mookie, Billie Jo and Lori, airing each weekday from 5:30 a.m. – 9 a.m. Sasha Spencer, Erin Wilde, and Sue Deyell will round out weekday programming, with Michelle Yi taking listeners through the weekend.