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January 25, 2021 11:33 am  #1


CFRB P.D. Credits On-Air Staffer For Sounding Early COVID Alarm

There have been a ton of stories on the radio Monday noting this is the anniversary of the very first COVID case being detected in Toronto. It was a patient who had just come back from Wuhan, China.
 
On CFRB’s second Roundtable this morning, I thought it was interesting to hear P.D. Mike Bendixen give extensive credit to early morning host/morning show producer Robert Turner for sounding the alarm on the pre-pandemic, at a time when everyone was being told we had nothing to worry about.
 
Bendixen said Turner kept coming to him day after day, warning him to put a plan in place to allow hosts to broadcast from home – just in case. He related how Turner bugged him constantly about getting remote equipment set up and figuring out a way to keep the station running if worse came to worst - as it inevitably did. And he did it before anyone else realized what was coming.    
 
I’m rarely up at 5 AM to hear Turner’s show, but he does a very good job behind the scenes on Moore in the Morning. I’m not sure how he knew what lay ahead, but his advice helped CFRB become one of the first stations in the city to be up and running remotely, so it’s nice that his boss gave him the on-air credit.

 

January 25, 2021 7:11 pm  #2


Re: CFRB P.D. Credits On-Air Staffer For Sounding Early COVID Alarm

Bendixen thought it would be a dandy idea to give the Brothers Ford their own radio show, if there was any uncertainty as to his level of judgement.

 

January 25, 2021 9:47 pm  #3


Re: CFRB P.D. Credits On-Air Staffer For Sounding Early COVID Alarm

Chrisphen wrote:

Bendixen thought it would be a dandy idea to give the Brothers Ford their own radio show, if there was any uncertainty as to his level of judgement.

I assume the ratings would've been half decent at the time, no?
Quite the topical pairing to have on-air back in the day..

 

January 25, 2021 10:20 pm  #4


Re: CFRB P.D. Credits On-Air Staffer For Sounding Early COVID Alarm

I enjoyed listening to the brothers Ford when they had the show on CFRB.  

 

January 25, 2021 10:32 pm  #5


Re: CFRB P.D. Credits On-Air Staffer For Sounding Early COVID Alarm

Say what you want about the brothers, Bendixen put them on at a wasteland time in radio (Sunday afternoon) and generated publicity for every show, thanks to one being mayor and the other being a councillor.

You may not have liked them, but it was a savvy programming decision that guaranteed 'RB free exposure on other media every week.  

     Thread Starter
 

January 26, 2021 3:24 pm  #6


Re: CFRB P.D. Credits On-Air Staffer For Sounding Early COVID Alarm

RadioActive wrote:

There have been a ton of stories on the radio Monday noting this is the anniversary of the very first COVID case being detected in Toronto. It was a patient who had just come back from Wuhan, China.
 
On CFRB’s second Roundtable this morning, I thought it was interesting to hear P.D. Mike Bendixen give extensive credit to early morning host/morning show producer Robert Turner for sounding the alarm on the pre-pandemic, at a time when everyone was being told we had nothing to worry about.
 
Bendixen said Turner kept coming to him day after day, warning him to put a plan in place to allow hosts to broadcast from home – just in case. He related how Turner bugged him constantly about getting remote equipment set up and figuring out a way to keep the station running if worse came to worst - as it inevitably did. And he did it before anyone else realized what was coming.    
 
I’m rarely up at 5 AM to hear Turner’s show, but he does a very good job behind the scenes on Moore in the Morning. I’m not sure how he knew what lay ahead, but his advice helped CFRB become one of the first stations in the city to be up and running remotely, so it’s nice that his boss gave him the on-air credit.

I happened to be in the US for a few days in late January 2020, and I remember on January 24 driving outside Buffalo and flipping around the radio dial. The NPR outlet (WBFO) had wall-to-wall coverage of Trump's first impeachment, but over on WBEN they were completely ignoring the impeachment - instead the host was talking about the new virus in China and the lockdown imposed in Wuhan the day before - I forget the host's name but he was local to Buffalo. He spoke for a good half hour about the virus, how it had been already found in a couple of people returning to the United States, and how Wuhan was entirely locked down and how this could be a threat to the US during 2020. WBEN may be a conservative outfit, but this host knew what was coming and was not afraid to sound the alarm.

The US media's attention sharply turned two days later to another major story - the death of Kobe Bryant in a helicopter crash. Driving outside Cleveland on the 26th all the stations across the dial were talking about Kobe, and that's what was on all the TVs in a restraurant I stopped at.

Last edited by MJ Vancouver (January 26, 2021 3:27 pm)