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Tue Oct 3 11:40 am  #1

With So Many Ex-RBers There, Why Doesn’t AM 640 Have Better Ratings?

It occurred to me yesterday while listening to an AM 640 interview with psychologist Dr. Oren Amatay on the Las Vegas shootings just how many people who used to work at or appear on CFRB have surfaced at the Corus station in the last few years.
John Oakley and Mike Stafford are the two most prominent ex-1010 alums, but there are a lot more. Peter Shurman, who’s on the panels and occasionally fills in for absent hosts, was a regular at ’RB for a time. And the oft-fired former CFRB host Charles Adler was on 640 with a syndicated show a few years ago.
Then there are the guest experts like Adrienne Batra and former city councillor Chris Stockwell, who regularly appeared on 1010 until they were poached by or drifted over to 640. Not to mention Jack Berkovits, but I did, anyway. (I think Michael Coren was a regular as well for a bit, but he now seems to be back on CFRB – again! And if memory serves, our illustrious leader, Iain Grant served his time at 640 as well before escaping to the other AM talker.)
Even some of the Bell station’s behind-the-scenes types weren’t immune, with former Jerry Agar producer Jason Chapman now at Corus Quay along with producer Tony Tedesco.
There may also be a few newsroom people who have come and gone over the years as well.
So when I heard Amatay introduced as the station’s “psychology expert” on Monday, I realized another longtime ’RB guest seemed to have suddenly moved up the dial.
All of which leads me to wonder: with so many former CFRB folks at 640 (at least nine at my count and there could well be more), why in the world have their ratings always stayed around 2.1?


Tue Oct 3 3:31 pm  #2

Re: With So Many Ex-RBers There, Why Doesn’t AM 640 Have Better Ratings?

RadioActive wrote:

    why in the world have their ratings always stayed around 2.1?

Could it be a "tax dodge" as reported here yesterday about 820 not-so-funny CHAM?    Does Bill Morneau know?


Tue Oct 3 4:32 pm  #3

Re: With So Many Ex-RBers There, Why Doesn’t AM 640 Have Better Ratings?

Don't forgot my boy Jack Berkovits. 


Tue Oct 3 4:55 pm  #4

Re: With So Many Ex-RBers There, Why Doesn’t AM 640 Have Better Ratings?

I believe, simply, is that RB was first to the post. First talker in the market.  Look at The Fan and TSN 1050 ratings battle: The Fan, being first to the post, clobbers 1050 in the digits.

Ironically, Mike Stafford calls RB "the old folks home" - yet, it could be perceived that RB is the "now" station and 640 is where hosts go after they're fired or retiring.

I've written about 640's penchant for letting their bored bunnies, janitors and washroom attendants constantly interrupt the host many times before. Well, considering RB rarely allows that and is the ratings leader, perhaps 640 should take note.

Also, RB is arguably a  full-time talk station, whereas 640 airs the psychotic machinations of paranoia crap from 7p-6a! (Yes, RB has similiar kitty litter programming at midnight, but it's only for two hours.)  And the weekends?! While RB keeps the paid shilling "infotainment" down to a minimum and is quite subtle about it, 640 essentially becomes the Cable 10 of low-rent shilled crap.

640 is trying too hard to compete with RB. They have traffic every :20 minutes (well, anywhere from :16-:24 due to the bored bunnies waxing stupidity and amusing themselves).

I will pass an extremely rare compliment to 640: Stafford is King. He is the ONLY host on there that really doesn't need those twinkies constantly blabbering on.  Whereas, Kelly would be totally lost without her himbo helping her out loud.

As mentioned here many times, Corus is probably using this wicked step-sister of an also-ran station for capital loss claims. Why else would they have such a moribund obtuse morning show? Pity. Canada's largest market and we get this Algonquin Park deep-woods forgotten steaming and overflowing outhouse of a station?


Tue Oct 3 8:43 pm  #5

Re: With So Many Ex-RBers There, Why Doesn’t AM 640 Have Better Ratings?

Former producer of John Tory Lyndsey Vanstone ended up at 640 too. Although for a short time, as she left before the big schedule change.

And yes, Stafford is the king (miss his trivia segments on 1010)


Wed Oct 4 2:18 am  #6

Re: With So Many Ex-RBers There, Why Doesn’t AM 640 Have Better Ratings?

I agree about being first to the post is vital...butt CFRB is firmly positioned in the minds of listeners as a news talk station, it has been in our conciousness for years, with a rich history of producing great broadcasters and celebrities, like Wally Crouter, Betty Kennedy, Gordon Sinclair, I even think Pierre Berton was on back in the day, as a guest if not even a host as a commentator...

What AM640 fails to do is to launch an effective enough marketing campaign to bring listeners over.

The other thing I feel 640 fails miserably at is positioning. I don't know what they stand for or what makes them different than RB, there is nothing there that stands out, or that separates it from CFRB. They need something a bit more compelling that grabs me the listener to want to go over and tune in.

Sure, don't get me wrong, I like Mike Stafford, but Peter Shurman? Really? It's old, it's stale (with all due respect to the man and his career)...but there is nothing unique, different or compelling about 640, that is going to make me want to listen in!

I find it boring radio, that lacks much edge, and it does little to stand out and be different. To me it is about positioning ...if you think about it your own go to information stations are probably 680 News, CFRB, CBC1 and then AM640...

They need a makeover and a reason for listeners to tune in...they cannot be a "me-too" station.

Truthfully, they had something when it was Talk Radio for guys...since then they swim in a sea of blandness and dull uninspiring radio!


Last edited by Muffaraw Joe (Wed Oct 4 6:55 am)

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