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SOWNY » SOWNY Founder Comes “Close But No Cigar” » Yesterday 9:47 pm

Thanks RA. We have a book launch next Saturday at the Falcon Brewery in Ajax. The proprietor - a former publisher himself - is offering a free beer for every book we sell:

SOWNY » Why doesn't Toronto media do a better job of covering "the media" » September 13, 2019 8:27 pm

I've always wondered why Toronto newspapers do such a poor job of covering radio. Lots of people listen to the radio, and I bet they'd like to know the stories behind the folks behind the mic.

SOWNY » WGR-AM Soaring In Key Buffalo Radio Demos » September 12, 2019 10:07 pm

Haven't listened to WGR since the days of Stan Roberts, Larry Anderson and Frank Benny:


SOWNY » What Was Spending 9/11 In A Newsroom Like? » September 11, 2019 11:39 am

I was on holidays that week and like many got the news on TV. Originally I had planned to go to New York that week to visit my brother. My itinerary had me going to the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11. But I didn't go.

SOWNY » Summer Ratings » September 10, 2019 8:17 pm

RadioAaron wrote:

Not widely used for anything, but interesting for trending to some degree.


CHUM 104.5 -- 11.1
Radio One -- 10.4
Boom 97.3 -- 9.1
CHFI -- 8.9
Q107 -- 75
Virgin 999 -- 6.2
Kiss 92.5 -- 6.0
680 News -- 4.9
102.1 The Edge -- 4.0
Z103.5 -- 3.6
CBC Music -- 3.0
Indie88 -- 2.8
FAN 590 -- 2.1
Classical 96.3 -- 2.0
NewsTalk 1010 - 1.9
Flow 93.5 -- 1.9
ICI Musique -- 1.4
Energy 95.3 -- 1.3
JazzFM91 -- 1.2
Jewel 88.5 -- 0.8
GNR640 -- 0.7
TSN 1050 -- 0.6
G98.7 -- 0.6
AM740 -- 0.4
Elmnt 106.5 - 0.0

Never seen a station at 0.0 before. How can a station have zero listeners?

SOWNY » After 43 years, Roger Christian is out at Buffalo's Star 102.5 » September 8, 2019 5:20 am

Roger Christian mentions that he was "walked out of the building" after his last shift. Really? After a stellar career of 43 years? But that's the way it's done in the corporate world. I'm hoping he lands at WECK. Or he can just retire (apparently he has a thriving DJ service) and enjoy his beef on weck.


SOWNY » After 43 years, Roger Christian is out at Buffalo's Star 102.5 » September 7, 2019 8:32 am

Radiowiz wrote:

Unless the intent is to hire a younger sounding vt, they should have kept Roger around and gotten him to do several stations on VT...

I'm guessing they wanted someone who sounded younger and would work cheap.

If he wants to continue, there's always WECK.

SOWNY » After 43 years, Roger Christian is out at Buffalo's Star 102.5 » September 6, 2019 7:21 pm

Christian had one of the longest runs I can recall for a radio personality in the Buffalo market at one station. Ramblin' Lou Schriver spent 45 years at one station - WXRL - from 1970 to 2015 as owner and program host. Clint Buehlman was at WBEN-AM for 35 years (1943-1977), one of only four people to do the morning show at the station named after the Buffalo Evening News in the 20th century*. I'm sure others will come to me as I think about it some more.

*The others were Jack Parr, Jeff Kaye and Bill Lacy.

SOWNY » 1997 Sept 2nd Howard lands in town! » September 2, 2019 6:24 pm

splunge wrote:

never a stern fan, i listened to a few shows and quickly grew tired of how juvenile it all was. the final nail in the coffin was 10 minute ad breaks..  the Rev & Joe over on CHTZ were far superior.

The last time I listened to Howard Stern was the day after John Denver died. They were making fun of his death! I never listened to him again.

SOWNY » The Good Old Days » August 29, 2019 5:16 pm

RadioActive wrote:

It’s probably true that everyone remembers their era as better than those who came before. 
However, it’s no exaggeration to say things were a lot less corporate in the 60s, 70s and 80s, before Bell, Rogers and Corus owned almost everything and imbued a sort-of cookie cutter mentality to all their radio properties.
Competition had a way of making everyone better. CHUM would go after CFTR hammer and tongs. CFTR would respond the same way. The result – both would improve because neither one wanted to give the other an advantage.
I often think of the great radio rivalries in Buffalo, when WGR, WBEN and WKBW (all on AM) would do anything to grab a share of the audience from the other. The result was incredibly entertaining radio from all of them, and now that they’re almost all owned by the same company, that drive to be the best is gone.
I remember working for one of the biggest rock stations in the city in the early 80s. While there were certainly boundaries, we were allowed - indeed, encouraged - to be creative and try different things - and this was in the newsroom! The very talented jocks got to be as imaginative as they wanted for the most part, without being either censored or censured, getting in trouble or being subjected to a wave of Twitter trolling for no real offence.
While some creativity is still around, listening to the radio isn’t the same entertaining experience it used to be. There’s too much formatting, branding, and worrying about never offending anyone. Originality and creativity have become dirty words. I learned very early on there is simply no way not to offend someone, no matter how innocuous the so-called “sin” might be.

Saying "good morning" is now offensive, because a listener may not be having a "good" one and somewhere in the world, it's not morning, so you're lying to the audience. It gets that stupid sometimes. 
We probably got away with stuff you could never do today, all (mostly)

SOWNY » What Was The First Real Radio Station? Detroit Outlet Claims The Title » August 21, 2019 4:55 pm

mace wrote:

I looked at Dale Patterson's 2017 post of the June 1965 full page CFRB new studio location ad in the Star. Of the 24 personalities pictured, only 5 I did not recognize. At that time, my parent's kitchen radio had only two knobs. CFRB and off.

Here it is:

How many of these people are still with us, I wonder. I believe Bill McVean still is. They were quite a station, the very definition of "full service."


SOWNY » Instant Replay: Not So Famous Flops - The TV Shows You Never Saw » August 18, 2019 2:02 am

Here's a show that despite critical acclaim only lasted one season. I loved it. Anyone remember this program which starred Bruce Greenwood? It was called "Nowhere Man."

SOWNY » Crying Wolf » August 17, 2019 3:25 pm

Lee Marshall wrote:

laffin wrote:

Watching the NBC News last evening almost every single item was labelled "BREAKING NEWS", and there were several.  They even branded a week-old news story as Breaking News.  As a retired ND I would suggest that an event should be considered Breaking News when it's occurring just prior to going on-air, not days or even weeks later.  I would also suggest that even three or four hours after the original report, that it's not a Breaking News story as NT1010 often states.  

When the intro Breaking News is unnecessarily repeated, the impact loses its purpose with no effect on the listener.            

100%.  CNN does that too.  Ticks me off every time.  THAT and teasing an upcoming segment and then not running it for 15-20-30 minutes.  2 ways that their news cred takes a direct boot to the nuts.  Then there's 'fox' 'news'.  0 credibility.  Bunch of morons for hosts.  They cloud the picture with pure, unadulterated BULL SHIT...(liquified bull shit)...and all news outlets suffer the hit.


The fact is, it DOES get your attention. If I'm in an establishment and CP24 comes on, I'll definitely look when the red breaking news graohic comes on. Often the story is not of interest to me and I curse myself for getting fooled again. But it's human nature to look, like a car wreck.

SOWNY » Crying Wolf » August 16, 2019 6:44 pm

RadioActive wrote:

Four more "Breaking News-es" that weren't, to lead off NBC Nightly News Friday - including one that happened during the morning rush in New York City! The Peter Fonda obit was actually Breaking and was marked as so. It was the first actual Breaking News worthy of the name that aired in the entire week. 

It's definitely a pattern and in the end, I don't think it will help them in the ratings or in the credibility department.

Credibility? There\s no crediblilty in network news anymore. And the worst part - nobody cares! Cronkite, Brinkley, Chancellor et al are spinning so hard in their graves they may resurface.

SOWNY » Crying Wolf » August 16, 2019 1:27 pm

When I worked overnights at CP, AP would send news alerts throughout the wee hours. Say at 3 a.m. AP would move something like "Earthquake hits southern Italy- no injuries or damage reported." Yet 680 News would run this non-story hours later as a "this just in" in morning drive as though it just happened - and never mention it again. Bad news judgment but it got the listeners attention. It's like they were saving these AP news alerts, then spreading them throughout morning drive for shock value.

SOWNY » Instant Replay: CP24, The Early Years » August 11, 2019 6:08 pm

Another great historical post RA! You see CP24 in practically every establishment so it's nice to know the history of it.

SOWNY » Instant Replay: CP24, The Early Years » August 11, 2019 11:03 am

The Canadian Press had the contract to write the headlines for a few years.

SOWNY » Longest On-Air Career? » August 8, 2019 8:06 pm

Les Horton was at CKOC for 51 years (1921-1973), but doesn't even approach Jack Hagerman.

Just a few more months and Hagerman would have jocked in his ninth decade.

Here's a nice article on Mr. Hagerman, who used the name John Worthington on the air.

SOWNY » An interesting view on "Cancon" rules being applied to streaming audio » August 7, 2019 11:20 am

I take pride in adding plenty of Canadian content to "Oh Wow: The Songs Radio Forgot" - audiences in other countries seem to dig our music as do Canadians. However, I don't believe the government should be setting quotas for online streams as they do with terrestrial radio. Just play it on merit, keeping in mind there's plenty of merit in Canadian music.

One online rule I've never understood is the ban on playing the same artist twice. I'm sure a lot of online streams ignore it, but technically you're supposed to observe it to stay in compliance with the rule (my server sets up its metrics so this doesn't happen). But why do they have this rule? Why are you not to supposed to play the same artist twice in row? Anyone know?


SOWNY » Perhaps The Dumbest Radio Idea Of The Year » August 5, 2019 12:04 pm

There are a couple of songs they could play, and still stay silent.

John Cage's 4'33

Anniversary of World War III - West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band (Tim Thomas actually played this on CHUM-FM in 1968).


SOWNY » Instant Replay: Your “Guide” To Saturday Morning TV » August 4, 2019 6:54 pm

Interesting that the earlier station listings included the address and the phone number!

How were there two channel 10's in Rochester at the same time (1960 listing)? Here's the explanation:">http://​

SOWNY » Liberals spending on media advertising like drunken sailors » August 1, 2019 8:24 am

That headline is an insult to drunken sailors everywhere. At least drunken sailors spend their own money.

SOWNY » GNR 640 - Morning Show » July 29, 2019 3:13 pm

Did Stafford address the issue this morning on his show, or was it not mentioned?

SOWNY » Fan 590 Jays Talk Host Comes Out As Gay – Why Is This A Big Deal? » July 26, 2019 1:45 pm

I look forward to the day when "coming out" is not news. Have we not evolved past this? A person's sexuality is their own business and no one should be judgmental on it. Still, it is brave for Mr. MacArthur to "come out" in a world where some people remain unenlightened on this matter. Bravo, Mr. MacArthur!

SOWNY » -30- » July 23, 2019 8:36 am

RadioActive wrote:

Dale Patterson wrote:

When I was at BN, an urgent story - double-spaced - was called a "95." But that designation hasn't been used in years.

And if I recall, when a story didn't go through or there was a problem with it after it had already been sent, there would be a line that read, "Bust It," to indicate it was going to have to be refed and it shouldn't be used. 

Back in the pre-digital days, "Bust it" was also used to stop a story from running so an urgent story could be filed. Going WAY back (before my time), they had "regional breaks" where local bureaus would have 15 minutes an hour or so to file stories. The rest of the hour was reserved for national and international stories. I believe urgent regional stories could also be filed outside of the regional breaks, but they had to inform main desk first.

SOWNY » -30- » July 22, 2019 8:47 pm

When I was at BN, an urgent story - double-spaced - was called a "95." But that designation hasn't been used in years.

SOWNY » Is This The Strangest Song Ever To Make The CHUM Chart? » July 17, 2019 2:43 pm

Radiowiz wrote:

Dale Patterson wrote:

To be sure, that rule carried AM for a long time. I think it disappeared about 10 years ago.

The 49% non hit rule was eliminated around the time 92.5 CISS FM first switched from Country music to all hit music.

We're both right. The non-hit rule was relaxed considerably in 1997 and eliminated completely in 2009. Here's an interesting history of it.

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