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SOWNY » BBC Under Fire For Posting "Non-Whites" Only Job Ad » Yesterday 2:06 pm

RadioActive
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Not meaning to stir the pot or anything, but I find this story fascinating. I guess things really have come full circle. 

Radio 1 becomes latest BBC station to BAN white job applicants

SOWNY » It’s Not Just Bell - Rogers Accused Of Outrageous Sales Tactics » Yesterday 1:11 pm

RadioActive
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You may remember a few months ago when the CBC posted a huge story alleging Bell was forcing the workers at its call centres to use high pressure tactics to sell customers services they don’t need. Among the more egregious examples cited was the case of a 90-year-old blind woman who was talked into purchasing an Internet package, despite the fact she could never use it.
 
Well, now the Corp. is at it again and imagine your surprise - it’s not just Bell that appears to be making what could be termed less than honourable pitches to its subscribers. In an eye-opening article published this week, it’s Rogers turn in the spotlight. And it doesn’t make them look any better.
 
Sources who work at Ted’s Big Red Machine say there is so much pressure for call centre workers to sell customers anything and everything that many are having near nervous breakdowns.

From the article: “[One employee] admits when he is "desperate" to earn sales points, he signs up seniors for internet service, and then tells them a technician is going to come to their house "to install a modem for their TV" — modems are required for internet, not TV.
 
"We're giving internet service to customers who actually do not have a computer," he says…"It feels really bad," he says. "But you have all this pressure on you. All your managers are around you, telling you to sell, sell, sell."
 
Another worker, Jessica Robinson, recently quit in disgust. She outlines the kinds of things she was made to do. “When I had my interview ... they actually asked me 'If an elderly lady calls in to cancel her sports package on her TV because her husband just died, are you going to convince her to keep it and add more?'" says Robinson.”
 
For its part, Rogers denies all the c

SOWNY » Radio listeners happily back "Under The Influence" » Yesterday 7:52 am

RadioActive
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It's "Touchdowns And Fumbles," the 11:30 AM segment on RB that airs every Friday. I like stuff that deals with the media, and both shows do.

SOWNY » Radio listeners happily back "Under The Influence" » Thu Jan 18 9:39 pm

RadioActive
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Agreed. I only have one or two appointment radio shows in a week and this is one of them. And if you miss an episode, they're available online here.

SOWNY » One Of The Most Dreaded Words In TV News Returns » Thu Jan 18 8:43 pm

RadioActive
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When is a person officially deemed “elderly?” The question came back up again on Thursday, after reporter Janice Golding was doing a stand-up at the scene of a fatal accident on CTV’s Toronto noon news.
 
Twice during her piece, Golding referred to the 73-year-old victim as “elderly.” Now in case you think this is another example of modern day political correctness gone mad, you should know that this discussion has been going on for years, even in the pre-social media days. The phones in the TV newsroom where I worked used to ring off the hook if someone called a person of a certain age “elderly.” And the bar for that apparently dreaded word kept moving.
 
“I’m only 69,”I remember one caller ranting in my ear. “And I don’t consider myself ‘elderly!’ Yet that woman on TV called a 70-year-old man that and I think you should apologize!” There were more just like him who phoned in that day, and it was a gripe we would hear for years, especially when the reporter uttering the apparently taboo word was fairly young.
 
So what’s the age threshold for terming someone “elderly,” especially when so many believe that 70 is the new 50? Is it OK at 75? 80? Surely someone at age 90 wouldn’t object. But there are a lot of sensitive ears out there and in this day and age, it seems everybody is just waiting for a reason to be offended.
 
My advice has always been to avoid the word altogether. But it appears some reporters just can’t follow that rule. Even if they’re “senior” correspondents.

SOWNY » Alex Pierson, Lior Samfiru & An AM 640 Wednesday Nightmare » Thu Jan 18 5:50 pm

RadioActive
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John D wrote:

I still don't know how to make a quote; but your comments on Earl are so true.  One night he asked me to be a guest on his sports show.  That was weird; as I was not born with the sports gene.  He said he had a special guest who wanted to talk to me.  OK..The show begins and Earl sets it all up.  "Now let's go to Penetanguishene , Ontario and here's John's Mother."  Now there RA I did turn white!  He went on to interview my Mom about me.  He had a hell of a sense of humour and was a brilliant writer.  I was proud of my Mom; as she and Earl had some fun that night.  I guess I did too. 

That was one of the hallmarks of his shtick. He did the same thing to none other than Don Cherry. This was long, long before he became a staple on Hockey Night In Canada. He sat Cherry down, talked hockey for a bit and then started asking him questions about his childhood. I remember him saying, "Were you ever spanked as a child?"

Cherry instantly got suspicious. "What's this leading up to?" he asked.

McRae's answer was classic. "Well, if you won't answer then we'll just have to ask your mother. Mrs. Cherry, are you there?" McRae was great at tracking down obscure people and you could almost hear Cherry turn bright red as his mom suddenly came on the air and began saying, "No, he was a good boy." And it went on from there. 

It was the first and probably the only time I've ever heard Cherry rendered almost speechless.

McRae was one of a kind and I'm sorry he never got a chance to do more local non-sports radio. 

SOWNY » Why Antenna Users Will Have To Rescan To Get Buffalo’s Channel 4 » Thu Jan 18 4:33 pm

RadioActive
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Channel 26 only comes in sporadically at the castle here in northern North York. But it's one of the oddest HD stations I've ever seen. It's the only one I've heard of that has its HD signal on subcarrier 26.2, instead of the main channel. Never been sure why they did that. If the repack means some of the main network Buffalo affiliates come in better OTA in Toronto as a result of the change, I'm all for it. 

Just wish there was a better timeline on this thing.    

SOWNY » Alex Pierson, Lior Samfiru & An AM 640 Wednesday Nightmare » Thu Jan 18 4:21 pm

RadioActive
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John D wrote:

RadioActive?  I actually don't remember the incident.  That's not to say it didn't happen.  I do seriously congratulate you on remembering this. 

However RA, since there was only Earl and myself in the studio; at that time of the evening, I don't believe there was anyone there who could say I turned white; except maybe the late Earl.  As Bob Hope would say, "Thanks for the memories." 

I actually heard it happen that day and I'll never forget it. But as for you turning white, that was a story told to me by someone that worked at the station at the time. I was taking their word for it, although perhaps they were exaggerating. But I know for a fact it happened. The day after he was suspended, a good part of Open Line Sports Tonight was dedicated to whether Earl should have been given such a punishment.

As far as CJCL goes, it was an experiment in talk radio way, way ahead of its time. Robert Holiday (or as Earl called him "Robert The Station Vacation") was always a few years too soon with a lot of his ideas. I'm not sure that a talk/music hybrid would work today, but it was one of the first major talkers before this market was ready to accept that format. Nowadays, it would have fit right in. 

And one last thing. Earl McRae was an amazing man, a radio natural, and though he made his bones in sports during a lot of his years in journalism, I would give a lot to have heard him deal with regular everyday issues. Given how wonderfully weird that show was (remember when his Talbot the Talking Computer "exploded" on air after supposedly malfunctioning all program long? The sound effects of pieces that were still "falling" extended right into the Blue Jays game intro) it had the makings of a cult classic. We'll never know, of course, but I wish I could have heard him try it. 

[Edit: By the way, in case you've never seen it, here's a piece from Leslie Sole on that version of CJCL called [url=http://www.dynamixp.com/pdf/Opinion%202004-05_Sole-_

SOWNY » Alex Pierson, Lior Samfiru & An AM 640 Wednesday Nightmare » Thu Jan 18 12:17 am

RadioActive
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mic'em wrote:

I also was tuned in , stuck in traffic on 403. Very painful to listen to  but yet I couldn't hit a preset. It was fascinating in a bizarre way to see how long it would go on for. When the show finally did kick in, it was obviously a repeat of a previous show. My guess is the technical glitch was not a quick fix or Lior and John just said ef it and went home. I didn't realize until tonight that Lior does the show off site. I also sympathize with the board op who must have been in full panic mode. The gal doing the 8 pm news really sounded rattled as well. But, it will not phase me from tuning in tomorrow.

It's interesting how these things are like a car wreck, especially to radio people. You want to look away, but somehow you just can't until it's over with. I once  'listened' to 7 minutes of static after a station went off the air in mid-sentence, just to see how long it would go on.

In my very first job in radio, I met the most unflappable engineer I've ever seen. He was fixing something in the control room, when the record that was playing on air (yes, we used records back then) suddenly slowed down and stopped, leaving dead air.

"Dave," I said in a panic. "What the hell just happened?"

He said, "This," and proceeded to plug the turntable he'd accidentally disconnected back in. It started with a huge 'wow' but we were back in business.

SOWNY » Alex Pierson, Lior Samfiru & An AM 640 Wednesday Nightmare » Wed Jan 17 8:07 pm

RadioActive
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I couldn’t quite believe what I heard on AM 640 Wednesday night. But I was squirming in sympathy with whoever was behind the board.
 
It started after Alex Pierson gave her opening commentary at 7 PM. Everything went fine until she had to introduce “The Employment Hour.” She welcomed her audience to “Lior Fiorino.” And then, about 30 seconds later, she said “Fiorino” again.
 
I say this with no intent to make fun of anyone but I seriously wonder if Alex has some sort of leaning disability. Because I’ve heard her mangle names – often the same names, despite being corrected just seconds earlier – over and over and over. Enough so that she makes Jim Richards, who suffers from dyslexia, look good.
 
When she was on CFRB, she simply could not pronounce Jerry Agar’s last name properly. She continually called him Ugh-ar, instead of the correct Ay-gar. And as far as I know, she never got it right in all the time she was there.
 
And it’s not just names. I’ve also heard her call a “bagel” a “bag-ell.” Every time that word comes up, it’s the same mispronunciation. And now Fiorino, which isn’t even close to Samfiru. And those are just three examples of dozens I’ve heard since her show began.
 
I’m not sure how you cure this kind of affliction, if indeed she suffers from it. But it’s certainly an unfortunate problem for a newsperson who interviews a lot of people to have. Despite all that, I actually like her show and I wish her success. Just maybe have the guest introduce themselves. 
 
Still, the “Fiorino” thing was just a prelude to what came next. After John Scholes began his intro to the Employment Hour, there was at least two minutes of dead air, in which you could hear someone typing on a computer – and nothing else.
 
After what seemed like an eternity, Samfiru’s voice came on saying, “I can’t hear anything.” There was more silence, followed by Lior sighing and in a disgusted way intoning something like,

SOWNY » Whatever Happened To Canadian TV Call Letters? » Wed Jan 17 7:56 pm

RadioActive
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Retaw wrote:

Re: bugs

Just be happy watermarking shows with hashtags was a very shortlived thing.

I don't know. I still see them on shows like "This Is Us." And they usually get put up at a key emotional point in the broadcast, as if someone in the publicity department decided this is the highlight. It always bugs (there's that word again!) me and I wish they'd stop it.

SOWNY » Whatever Happened To Canadian TV Call Letters? » Wed Jan 17 5:46 pm

RadioActive
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AMFM wrote:

This may not be a part of this thread; but it gives me an opportunity to gripe about the Channel logo in the lower right hand side of the screen.  The bigger the HD TV the bigger the logo.  It's not even all the way over to the right side.  It's a couple of inches above and to the left of the side of the screen.  Eventually you stop paying attention to it; but it sure is distracting at times.  Why can't it come on screen for a few seconds then just bloody disappear.  Annoying.  You notice the Channel LOGO is never on screen when there is a commercial.  Oh No.  Can't have that.

They're called "bugs" (how appropriate) and you will be hard pressed to find a single channel that doesn't use them (well, except maybe for Turner Classic Movies.) I first saw them go into widespread use a number of years ago, when they started during local newscasts, presumably to help those with the old ratings diaries have no trouble identifying who they were watching. (I remember my old news director calling "where's my bug?" at the top of his lungs in the control room when they first went into effect.)

From there, these insidious video insects spread to the entire daypart. And with an exploding channel universe, they're not likely to disappear anytime soon.

Far worse, though, are those increasingly common moving ad ribbons that appear during a show, extending advertising right into the middle of your favourite show. CTV is especially annoying, but a lot of the U.S. networks have started using them to promote upcoming shows. (If I see one more Olympics mountain or Jimmy Fallon visual at the bottom of my screen on NBC, I may throw something at the TV.)

Yesterday, I was watching a show on the CW and right after a four minute commercial break came a 15 sec. banner for "Cellino & Barnes," the lawyers whose two owners are actually suing each other. It aired during the show and I found it extremely irritating. But get used to it. As stations lose viewers (possib

SOWNY » Whatever Happened To Canadian TV Call Letters? » Wed Jan 17 3:40 pm

RadioActive
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All that is certainly true. But I was wondering if there ever was a CRTC rule that mandated at least one legal ID during a broadcast day and if so, when that stopped. If there's a specific regulation, it doesn't matter what a station wants for its branding - it was required to do it. 

I think there may be a reg that forces radio stations here to use their calls at least once an hour. Certainly outlets like NewsTalk 1010, GNR 640 (which I still think should stand for "Guns 'N Roses 640!") and AM 740 all do it, despite using other methods to do what we once euphemistically called "breaking the station." 

And then there was that odd rule in the U.S. that forced radio stations there to announce once a day (usually at midnight) what the studio-to-transmitter link was. That one I could never quite figure out.

SOWNY » Whatever Happened To Canadian TV Call Letters? » Wed Jan 17 1:01 pm

RadioActive
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This won’t be the most important question you’ll be asked today – or this month or year, or ever for that matter - but whatever happened to Canadian TV station call letters? If I’m not mistaken (and I often am) there used to be a regulation that required over-the-air television outlets in this country to ID themselves at the top of the hour - or at least once a day - by their call letters.
 
Yet, I can’t recall the last time I heard anyone refer to “CFTO” or “CBLT.” I’m not sure Global ever went by the name “CIII” (or their old moniker of "CKGN") or TVO mention they began life as “CICA.” And forget about the OMNIs. Only City TV (which is as much a branding issue as anything else) and CHCH regularly give out their call letters or have them on a mic flash.
 
I realize times have changed and the dial positions (remember “Channel 9, Cable 8?”) are often different on various satellite and cable systems, but the call letters remain the same. Isn’t there any federal law that requires these stations to publicly identify themselves at least once in 24 hours? If not, when and why did that change? 

SOWNY » WKRP In Cincinnati's Creator Signs Off For Good » Tue Jan 16 10:08 pm

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If you ever watched WKRP, you may remember the name Hugh Wilson featured in the credits on every episode. He created the now legendary radio sitcom, including the character of Dr. Johnny Fever.

The prolific writer and director died over the weekend.

Wilson worked in radio and based the show on his experiences and the people he'd met over the years. In this terrific overview, he relates how and who inspired Fever, Herb Tarlek, Arthur "Big Guy" Carlson and more, as well as the story behind the infamous "As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly" episode.

Wilson was also behind a host of movies, including the original Police Academy. He was 74.
 
Hugh Wilson, Creator of 'WKRP in Cincinnati' and Director of 'Police Academy,' Dies at 74

SOWNY » Man Behind One Of The 60’s Most Unusual Hits Dies At 74 » Tue Jan 16 5:54 pm

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I share this here only because one of the most unusual hitmakers of the 60s has died.
 
Edwin Hawkins, the front man on a group known as the Edwin Hawkins Singers, succumbed to pancreatic cancer. But his one big – and very unlikely hit – certainly survives him.
 
The group, which recorded only religious records, would almost certainly have never made it onto the Top 40 charts. Yet their classic, “Oh Happy Day” – which was recorded in his church on a cheap two-track tape recorder – became a sensation in 1969 when a disc jockey on a San Francisco radio station decided to play it. (That was back in the days when DJs could do that kind of thing.)
 
The song, which features an amazing vocal by a woman named Dorothy Morrison, was never supposed to be released, yet went on to become perhaps the most successful crossover gospel hit in music history, reaching #4 on Billboard. It was also featured in the Whoopi Goldberg movie "Sister Act."
 
My favourite memory of the song happened one weekend on the NBC network show “Monitor,” which for some reason on that day was being hosted by none other than Don Imus. As the lyrics came on about “when Jesus washed my sins away,” Imus turned on his mic and asked across the country, “What the hell are we playing?”
 
Hawkins was 74.

Edwin Hawkins, Known for the Hit ‘Oh Happy Day,’ Is Dead at 74

SOWNY » A Strange 24 Hours For NewsTalk 1010 » Tue Jan 16 5:28 pm

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What a strange 24 hours for the normally reliable Newstalk 1010.
 
It started on Monday, when afternoon drive host Ryan Doyle tore a strip off the rest of the media for falling for the fake hijab attack story, all the while indicating he believed it wasn’t true right from the start and too many reporters and politicians jumped the gun without waiting for a full investigation to take place.  
 
He was, of course, correct in that assessment. But less than 24 hours later, the sock was quite literally on the other mic. At the launch of Tuesday’s “Rush,” Doyle went off on another crusade, reporting the story about the baby found in an alley at a plaza. He indicated there must be a place where pregnant women can leave an unwanted child and issued all kinds of speculation about what happened.
 
Well, surprise, surprise! It was another fake story, with police revealing the mother of the newborn made the whole story up. But this time the self-righteous Ryan fell into the exact same trap he was so smug about with other stations and reporters the day before. And when the facts – which he insisted others should have waited for on the hijab story - were revealed an hour later, we heard not a peep about how he jumped on the story too early.
 
Can you spell hypocritical? I knew you could.
 
But it didn’t end there. For two days, there have been significant mistakes in their “Money Watch” segment, prepared by Bell Media’s own BNN. On Monday, I remember being surprised when they reported the Dow Jones being up at the close by some 200 points. What’s the big deal? The Dow was closed for Martin Luther King Day in the U.S. and so were their stock markets. So it couldn’t have closed either up or down.
 
Then on Tuesday after the 5 PM news, what I believe was the same announcer told us the TSX had closed up by 70 something points. Except it actually went down by that much, not up.
 
Normally CFRB is pretty reliable. But so far, this has been a very bad week

SOWNY » Corus' AM 640 Adding New All Night Radio Talk Show From B.C. » Mon Jan 15 8:08 pm

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When Matt Gurney visited Toronto Mike earlier this month, he talked about a new show that would take the place of the now departed Coast-to-Coast AM. And now we know what it is - "The Shift With Drex" will originate from CKNW in Vancouver and air on AM 640 (and CHML) from 1 -5 AM as a national program that will follow Charles Adler. 

Drex aka Justin Wilcomes is well known out west but is a definite newcomer here. He's an Australian who made his home in Canada several years ago, after getting his start in radio Down Under. That in itself will add a new kind of voice to the airwaves. 

I have no idea if it will be a good show or not, but I have to give Corus credit for one thing - despite less than wonderful ratings for their Toronto talk station, they now have a Monday-Friday line-up that is all Canadian and all original, without any rerolls. Not even CFRB can make that statement. 

The new show debuts Jan. 22.

New late-night national talk show ‘The Shift with Drex’ coming to Corus Radio

https://shawglobalnews.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/ckwnomny_the-shift.png?w=720&h=480&crop=1

  

SOWNY » Niagara Falls-Area FM Stations Get A New Owner – And Big Promises » Mon Jan 15 1:27 pm

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Looking for a new gig? There may be some opportunities at the only radio stations left in Niagara Falls and Ft. Erie, Ontario. On Monday, the CRTC approved an ownership change for CFLZ-FM and CJED-FM in those cities, transferring control of the licences from Vista Radio to Byrnes Communications.
 
The latter company owns CIHR in Woodstock and made a host of promises in order to secure the transfer.

Among them:

“...improve the music library, train personnel, hire new personnel and improve the infrastructure.
 
The applicant stated that it may purchase a new transmitter to cover the authorized contours fully.
 
In addition, as the only radio operator who would have a local presence in Niagara Falls and Fort Erie, Byrnes stated that it would develop local programming specifically targeted to these communities, similar to what it has done in Woodstock.”
 
“…The Commission considers that the transaction will help preserve the diversity of voices in the market.”
 
How exactly having one owner improves the diversity of voices in the market is an open question but both stations have been struggling financially for a while and this may well be the only way to save them.

CRTC Decision

SOWNY » WSPQ 1330 Springville NY (Buffalo area) off air Jan. 1, 2018 » Sun Jan 14 4:01 pm

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As I’m sure Dale Patterson could tell you, that lousy frequency at 1400 holds a significant position in Buffalo radio history. It was once known as WBNY, and it became the first Top 40 station in the city’s history. And what it lacked in power (1,000 day, 250 night) it made up for in personalities and innovation. Names like Danny Neavereth, Kevin O’Connell and yes, even Casey Kasem once worked there.
 
At the time it was owned by The Old Scotsman, Gordon McLendon, generally acknowledged as a Top 40 format pioneer. And a lot of its talent was poached by WKBW when that 50K blowtorch came on the scene.
 
Yes, it was WYSL later on in the 60s and despite its terrible signal, it gave other Buffalo stations a run for their money.
 
It’s now WWWS, an all soul/R&B oldies station, a shadow of its former self. But those who were there or listened in the glory years have good memories of what Johnny Lightning once called that “frequently frequented frequency.”
 
As for the 1250 station, it’s now CJYE, an all Christian format out of Oakville. (How Oakville ever managed to convince the CRTC it deserved a station is beyond me, but when it was CHWO for decades, it certainly served that audience and never tried to pretend it was a Toronto station, like a certain FM broadcaster I could name at 103.5).

CHWO went on to take over the CBC’s 740 frequency, before Moses Znaimer moved in to make it the New AM 740 we know it as now. (By the way, is it still considered “New” the way Moses’ the “New VR” was for what seemed like forever?)

SOWNY » "Someone clicked the wrong thing." » Sun Jan 14 9:51 am

RadioActive
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By sheer coincidence, my brother happens to be in Hawaii this week for a conference. He's a pretty stoic person and in an email he sent me, he said only that he didn't believe the text and that he didn't panic, calling it only an "interesting morning" and something he'll remember "after our holiday."

As it turns out, he was right but I'm not so sure I would have been as calm. (Knowing me, I probably would have posted something to SOWNY about radio & TV coverage as my last words...)

He didn't say where he was when it happened or what, if anything, he and his wife did during the non-emergency. I expect those details when he gets home next week.   

SOWNY » Veteran ABC Sportscaster Keith Jackson Is Gone » Sat Jan 13 8:08 pm

RadioActive
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Whoa Nellie! He was in the business for 50 years and became a legend calling everything from U.S. College Football and Major League Baseball to the Olympics. How famous was Keith Jackson? Forget about all his on air work. He inspired a character seen occasionally on The Simpsons, an over-the-top sportscaster who tries to inject excitement into the most boring games possible. Now that's true fame!

He was 89. 

Legendary sportscaster Keith Jackson dies at 89

SOWNY » McDonald’s Canada forced to pull radio ad » Fri Jan 12 4:43 pm

RadioActive
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The 15 second spot told people to visit their restaurant, instead of going to a museum - sparking the usual expected outrage.

Guess some people weren't Lovin' It.

McDonald’s Canada pulls radio ad encouraging people to buy fast food instead of visiting museums 

SOWNY » What exactly is "topics worthy of discussion"? » Fri Jan 12 10:34 am

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From David Farrell's fyimusicnews.ca's Media Beat column:

Corus Entertainment took a drubbing for its Q1 numbers that failed to match investor expectations. While ad revenues for TV and radio were down in the period ended Nov. 30, segment profits remained relatively robust. Consolidated revenues for the quarter were $457.4M, a 2% decrease over Q1 2017’s $468M in the prior year. On a consolidated basis, merchandising, distribution and other revenues increased 4%, subscriber revenues were flat, while advertising revenues were down 3%. Revenues declined in Television and Radio by 2% and 1%, respectively, in the first quarter compared to the prior year.

Consolidated segment profit for the first quarter of fiscal 2018 was $177.9M, a decrease of 7% from $192M last year. Segment profit margin for the first quarter of fiscal 2018 was 39%, down from 41% in the prior year.

SOWNY » "Shithole Countries" on CNN » Fri Jan 12 9:07 am

RadioActive
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cGrant wrote:

Reminds me of all the times the legendary John Michael (CKTB) would say "wretched country". But with his English accent, it sounded like Rat Shit. RIP

Funny, I was just thinking of that this morning. He was great. He also used to say "You can say 'ass' and you can 'hole.' You just can't say them together."

Speaking of which and getting back to the broadcasting aspect (and away from the polarizing politics) of this story, I notice that most newscasters are using "s-hole" to refer to the word. Of course, "s-hole" sounds like another formerly taboo word, so I'm not sure they're any farther ahead! 

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