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July 5, 2020 12:01 am  #1


Strange Radio Bedfellows

What a weird world podcasting has created. Alan Cross was a recent guest on Humble & Fred's online effort this week. The show also airs a Best Of on CFRB Saturday nights. And so it came too pass that the inevitable happened. This weekend, there was Alan Cross, employed by rival Corus, doing a long guest segment on The Best Of H&F, airing on the Bell Media flagship.

And just to add insult to injury, he'd talked at great length about CFNY and the documentary on the station he plans to make.

Yes, it was an off time slot (11:30 at night) but I'm not sure the brass at Bell would appreciate one of its arch rivals that competes against them getting so much airtime plugging the competition. It would be like CFTR doing a promo for John Moore's show.

Definitely an odd moment in local radio and the kind of thing you don't hear very often.

 

July 5, 2020 1:22 am  #2


Re: Strange Radio Bedfellows

I remember shortly after Matt Hayes was hired at K-Lite FM he appeared on the Scott & Lori show on Y95. He was introduced as "CHCH weatherman Matt Hayes". obviously not "K-Lite-FM morning man Matt Hayes". In another interesting twist, Matt actually did some weekend shifts at Y shortly after they started in 1991.


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July 5, 2020 2:15 am  #3


Re: Strange Radio Bedfellows

RadioActive wrote:

It would be like CFTR doing a promo for John Moore's show.

No.
Stick with the idea of CFRB listeners switching to a music station and maybe not coming back.
Nothing to do with getting people to switch between competing news (related) stations. 
The CFNY format is too different from CFRB.

One could still argue that it's getting listeners to tune into CFNY instead of CHUM or Virgin radio, but I HIGHLY doubt the true CFRB listener is going to suddenly up and go check out 102.1 FM Toronto  (& potentially not return...)


 


RadioWiz & RadioQuiz are NOT the same person. 
RadioWiz & THE Wiz are NOT the same person.
 
 

July 5, 2020 7:47 am  #4


Re: Strange Radio Bedfellows

I think you may have inadvertently missed my point. Or maybe I just didn't make it that well. There is a time honoured tradition that you never mention the competition on your station, regardless of format. It's probably silly because who thinks CFRB is the only radio outlet in Toronto? Still, Corus received at least 15 minutes of free publicity on a competitor's airwaves.

There's no way Bell would have allowed that in normal circumstances and Cross would never be a guest on any of its shows. But because they aired a podcast where those rules don't apply, it happened. Just an odd coincidence, I suppose, but someone decided to include that segment in the Best Of compilation, and given they knew it was airing on Bell Media stations, it was a surprising choice.

     Thread Starter
 

July 5, 2020 1:06 pm  #5


Re: Strange Radio Bedfellows

This is not 1979.
The days of every station being competition for every station on the dial are pretty much over.
Some stations will continue to compete, yes, but specializing is specializing. 
If Bell owned INDY 88  I would much better understand your point, but even then, it's just a bunch of CFRB listeners. Not likely anyone who would care to check out CFNY anyway. (& just sort of forget to come back)

*To strengthen my point further, I'd be more alarmed if Alan Cross had a regular talk show on AM 640.

Last edited by Radiowiz (July 5, 2020 1:35 pm)


RadioWiz & RadioQuiz are NOT the same person. 
RadioWiz & THE Wiz are NOT the same person.
 
 

July 5, 2020 1:24 pm  #6


Re: Strange Radio Bedfellows

And you look at etalk on CTV. They often do a bit on a new CBC even occasionally Global production. etalk over the years has done a fair bit on Schitt's Creek, and this is more or less a promo for a CBC show.  But the thinking is, if you are going to do a entertainment show, it would be pretty self serving if you only covered your networks offerings and ignored what was going on across town.

No doubt etalk highlights CTV and Bell programming a lot more than the competition, but they do cover newsworthy items from their rivals as well.  Same with ET Canada, they have featured CTV and CBC shows from time to time.  And you get special programming like the JUNO Awards and MMVA Awards that the entertainment shows from the competition can't ignore.

CBC needs an entertainment program.  They are really lacking when TIFF is on and even their coverage of the JUNO Awards (not the COVID JUNO's) is pretty poor. You can tell they don' t have a proper entertainment department to cover showbiz.  And Toronto is a showbiz town..

 

July 5, 2020 3:42 pm  #7


Re: Strange Radio Bedfellows

I booked Alan on Humble and Fred last week! That same day he appeared on Toronto Mike'd and was great as usual.

FWIW, when I book guests on Humble and Fred, I never spend a moment thinking about who they work for or which media conglomerate they're affiliated with. I treat Humble and Fred Pirate Radio as if it's an independent podcast because, at its core, that's exactly what it is.

The "best of" material is put together by a chap named Phil Hong and I suspect nobody at Bell Media listens it it before it airs.

 

July 5, 2020 3:57 pm  #8


Re: Strange Radio Bedfellows

I figured that was the explanation. Not that Cross wasn't interesting. I was just surprised to hear it where I did. In fact, I wish there were more people talking about radio on the radio than there is.

On the subject of plugging a competitor's station, way back in the mid-70s, when WNBC New York was a place that always did everything and anything to surprise listeners, I tuned in to their afternoon drive show one winter night when the sun went down early and the signal was coming in here. 

The late, great Bob Vernon (aka Vernon With A "V") was on the air opposite Dan Ingram, and everything was normal until suddenly, out of nowhere, they came out of a spot break and listeners heard the famous "Dan Ingram!" jingle, followed by one of the PAMS 77/WABC singing IDs.

There was a very brief one-second pause, after which Vernon came on and in an impossibly deep announcer voice, intoned, "Dan Ingram is not here. Nor do we know where you can find him. Thank you."

And into a song. 

It was so startling and so funny, that I laughed out loud and I still remember it more than 40 years later. I just wish I had it on tape. 

What a great station that was, still my all time favourite. You never knew what you were going to hear - not even the competition's jingles. 

     Thread Starter
 

July 5, 2020 11:42 pm  #9


Re: Strange Radio Bedfellows

RadioActive wrote:

On the subject of plugging a competitor's station... 

Let's not forget the early 90's when AM 640 and 680 CFTR were playing very similar music, competing for the same audience. 
The AM 640 version of a hit monster (aka the HOGmobile) parked right outside the 680 CFTR broadcast building!
A radio announcer on AM 640 announced to their listeners that Tom Rivers is LEAVING CFTR!

At that time, Tom Rivers wasn't going anywhere. I have no idea what motivated AM 640 to give such a silly free plug to the competition, but they did just that! 

(To me it was like, be sure to tune into CFTR to hear Tom Rivers while you still can! NOT "He's coming to work for us..." in any way...)

 


RadioWiz & RadioQuiz are NOT the same person. 
RadioWiz & THE Wiz are NOT the same person.
 
 

July 6, 2020 2:09 am  #10


Re: Strange Radio Bedfellows

Years ago, I was listening to WKBW and they were carrying an ad for a business called "WGR Electronics" or something. Of course WGR was a competing station. I remember the WKBW announcer saying "it's too bad we keep mentioning the competition."


"Life without echo is really no life at all." - Dan Ingram
 

July 6, 2020 7:34 am  #11


Re: Strange Radio Bedfellows

And then there was that infamous moment when CFTR was fighting the "I Listen To CHUM" contest by giving away a prize if you answered your phone "Hello." You can probably guess what happened.

Bob MacAdorey was on the air, dialed some digits chosen at random and a woman picked up the phone. "I listen to CHUM!" were the first words out of her mouth. An audibly squirming MacAdorey paused, then said "I'm sorry to hear that ma'am, because this is Bob MacAdorey calling from CFTR and we were going to give you $25 just for answering your phone with hello."

At which point, the woman starts laughing and Mac adds "Serves you right!"

Her response: "You have to admit it's a little funny."

To which he ends the embarrassing call by saying, "Yeah, it's a little funny. Where am I working next week?"

I never did understand why the station insisted on doing those things live to air in those days, inviting disaster every time they did it. Stuff like that actually happened a few times, with Steve Young having to correct a lady who thought he was from CKEY, and Doc Holiday being told by an irate woman that she was tired of crank phone calls and not to "call here anymore."

I'm told that one was replayed at that year's station Christmas party.

     Thread Starter
 

July 8, 2020 8:01 am  #12


Re: Strange Radio Bedfellows

RadioActive wrote:

It would be like CFTR doing a promo for John Moore's show.

It turns out this sarcastic prediction was a lot more accurate than I thought. I just got the station wrong. This appeared on Tuesday on the 680 News website:

680 News: Ismaila Alfa to host CBC Radio's 'Metro Morning' beginning Aug. 24

I suspect this was something done by a computer, that may have a pass through for most Canadian Press material. If not, it's incredibly stupid. Why would you put up an article touting your competitor's new morning show, when both shows deal heavily with news and are directly opposite each other in the most important time slot in radio? My guess is that it wasn't intentional and it wouldn't surprise me if it was taken off their site sooner than later.  

     Thread Starter
 

July 8, 2020 4:37 pm  #13


Re: Strange Radio Bedfellows

RadioActive wrote:

RadioActive wrote:

It would be like CFTR doing a promo for John Moore's show.

It turns out this sarcastic prediction was a lot more accurate than I thought. I just got the station wrong. This appeared on Tuesday on the 680 News website:

680 News: Ismaila Alfa to host CBC Radio's 'Metro Morning' beginning Aug. 24

I suspect this was something done by a computer, that may have a pass through for most Canadian Press material. If not, it's incredibly stupid. Why would you put up an article touting your competitor's new morning show, when both shows deal heavily with news and are directly opposite each other in the most important time slot in radio? My guess is that it wasn't intentional and it wouldn't surprise me if it was taken off their site sooner than later.  

Yes, now you should have a very good example.
However, Rogers...ever since snatching up hockey rights has been treating CBC less and less like competition...why? That's anyone's guess!


RadioWiz & RadioQuiz are NOT the same person. 
RadioWiz & THE Wiz are NOT the same person.
 
 

July 8, 2020 5:28 pm  #14


Re: Strange Radio Bedfellows

680 news still has the story on Alfa as the new Metro Morning host on their website, so it isn't a mistake.They also have stories on Matt Galloway and Anna Maria Tremonti archived as well.

Rogers uses CBC studios and crews for Hockey Night in Canada broadcasts and CBC does partner with Sportsnet (and TSN) for Olympic coverage. 

Always thought it was kind of neat how both Sportsnet and TSN pick up CBC's feed for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympics. And of course all Olympic coverage is split between CBC, Sportsnet and TSN.  So Radiowiz is right that Rogers doesn't really consider CBC as head to head competition. And in radio with no commercials, CBC doesn't impact 680 news advertising revenue.

 

July 8, 2020 7:23 pm  #15


Re: Strange Radio Bedfellows

paterson1 wrote:

Rogers doesn't really consider CBC as head to head competition. And in radio with no commercials, CBC doesn't impact 680 news advertising revenue.

The one thing I've learned over the years is that everybody is your competition, regardless of where they're from. As for not competing for commercials, remember that if they're listening to Metro Morning, they're NOT listening to 680 - so fewer will hear their spots. 

I guess I'm just old school but plugging any competitor seems like a foolish idea to me. I don't recall hearing the CBC ever talking about 680 News at any point in the last 20 years. Nor is there any reason to.  

     Thread Starter
 

July 8, 2020 8:28 pm  #16


Re: Strange Radio Bedfellows

RadioActive wrote:

paterson1 wrote:

Rogers doesn't really consider CBC as head to head competition. And in radio with no commercials, CBC doesn't impact 680 news advertising revenue.

The one thing I've learned over the years is that everybody is your competition, regardless of where they're from. As for not competing for commercials, remember that if they're listening to Metro Morning, they're NOT listening to 680 - so fewer will hear their spots. 

I guess I'm just old school but plugging any competitor seems like a foolish idea to me. I don't recall hearing the CBC ever talking about 680 News at any point in the last 20 years. Nor is there any reason to.  

That's exactly right. Less ears for 680. 
 


RadioWiz & RadioQuiz are NOT the same person. 
RadioWiz & THE Wiz are NOT the same person.
 
 

July 8, 2020 9:58 pm  #17


Re: Strange Radio Bedfellows

You both are right, but for whatever reason there seems to be more acknowledgement of the competition occasionally.  CBC TV does advertise on 680 news and I do recall seeing a lot of ads for CHFI on CBC Toronto, however this could be contra. Could it be that CBC Metro morning listeners and 680 News listeners are somewhat similar and flip between stations?

I remember years ago there was an aircheck of Jim Van Horn on CHUM going from a slow song into another mellow cut on a Saturday night.

He said something like "well, this song will kill it for any parties that have us on right now.....I am starting to wonder if I have Bill Deegan's records".....Bill Deegan being the host that was on at the same time on CFRB.   I thought that was pretty funny, but you had to know a bit about radio to get the joke.

 

 

July 9, 2020 1:32 am  #18


Re: Strange Radio Bedfellows

RadioActive wrote:

And then there was that infamous moment when CFTR was fighting the "I Listen To CHUM" contest by giving away a prize if you answered your phone "Hello." You can probably guess what happened.

Bob MacAdorey was on the air, dialed some digits chosen at random and a woman picked up the phone. "I listen to CHUM!" were the first words out of her mouth. An audibly squirming MacAdorey paused, then said "I'm sorry to hear that ma'am, because this is Bob MacAdorey calling from CFTR and we were going to give you $25 just for answering your phone with hello."

At which point, the woman starts laughing and Mac adds "Serves you right!"

Her response: "You have to admit it's a little funny."

To which he ends the embarrassing call by saying, "Yeah, it's a little funny. Where am I working next week?"

I never did understand why the station insisted on doing those things live to air in those days, inviting disaster every time they did it. Stuff like that actually happened a few times, with Steve Young having to correct a lady who thought he was from CKEY, and Doc Holiday being told by an irate woman that she was tired of crank phone calls and not to "call here anymore."

I'm told that one was replayed at that year's station Christmas party.

Here's the audio on that...

http://rockradioscrapbook.ca/cftr-contest-72.mp3
 


"Life without echo is really no life at all." - Dan Ingram
 

July 9, 2020 9:35 am  #19


Re: Strange Radio Bedfellows

Thanks Dale. It was a year's supply of groceries, not $25 that Mac was giving away. I'd forgotten that but it was a very long time ago. Considering the prices in supermarkets today, that makes it even worse! Great to hear it again. 

And I love the fact Doc Holiday knew he was in trouble the moment the woman screamed "WHAT????" into her phone. The only question was could he get out of it. The answer, unfortunately for him, was no. 

     Thread Starter