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January 19, 2023 4:16 pm  #1

Jay Nelson On Prepping For CHUM & Dave Marsden On Why He Left CHUM-FM

Came across these really amazing articles, the first from 1972 when Jay Nelson practically owned the Top 40 market doing mornings on CHUM-AM, and then valued SOWNY member David Marsden from 1976, on - among other things - why he really left CHUM-FM and his future plans.

And then there's the latter's observation about radio in those days. (How prescient it was.)

"Radio, by its own clever manipulation of formats had locked itself into a funnel of exasperation...Without change the entire increase will explode and people will go to all other forms of home entertainment (TV excluded.)"

There was no Internet and no streaming then, barely even VCRs. Talk about a guy who saw the future! But what I really want to know from Mr. Marsden is - did that movie and that TV show you talked about ever get made?

Two fascinating blasts from the past.


January 19, 2023 6:41 pm  #2

Re: Jay Nelson On Prepping For CHUM & Dave Marsden On Why He Left CHUM-FM

Thanks for the big smile. 

Truth be told - I have absolutely no memory of that interview.

Movie - damn I don't know what that could have been about. TV Show - many years later I did do pilot1 CBC net. No relation to anything that may have been in my thoughts way back when that interview seems to have happened. We did that show out of Vancouver.

However - the real reason I left CHUM-FM was the introduction of Playlists. A couple of years later CFNY came along and the group of us built something very special. It went from The Little Yellow House to the top of the tower. And - no playlists



January 19, 2023 6:48 pm  #3

Re: Jay Nelson On Prepping For CHUM & Dave Marsden On Why He Left CHUM-FM

Thanks for the real reason you departed - it took 47 years, but we finally know!

     Thread Starter

January 20, 2023 11:59 am  #4

Re: Jay Nelson On Prepping For CHUM & Dave Marsden On Why He Left CHUM-FM

Marsden and CFNY. Canadian icons. Two unique stories that won't be repeated in our life time, perhaps ever again. I wish you good health and long life David. 


January 20, 2023 5:49 pm  #5

Re: Jay Nelson On Prepping For CHUM & Dave Marsden On Why He Left CHUM-FM

I have an article on the website that I saved from The Globe shortly after DM left CHUM FM and I have copied below. The article was written by Robert Marin and I think he exaggerates a bit when he says that CHUM FM was becoming very similar to CHUM AM. No doubt that things had gone downhill but not exactly Top 40 either.

In fact I have an air check from this time and I think it has an ad produced by DM's company. Listen at 5:35 on the the first clip below and you will hear the commercial. Also listen just before that to Pete Griffin describe the set he just played not exactly top 40.

Also on the second link below at 10:50 you will here the Rockin Rebels ( recently discussed in the other DM thread) as used for the outro of the Sock Hop program by John Donabie on CHUM FM in 1973.

CHUM FM May 1975

Sock Hop CHUM FM 1973

Hip David Marsden Leaving CHUM-FMBy Robert Martin

David Marsden, CHUM FM’s 6 to 10 PM disc jockey and one of Toronto’s more original radio personalities, has left the station to devote time to his production business.Marsden runs Lip Service Studio Productions Ltd, a company that makes radio commercials. He is also developing a syndicated radio show which he hopes to market coast to coast.His on-air personality was that of the weird but hip music freak who talked in an intimate hush as though he was whispering in the listener’s ear. The music he played matched that personality – weird, hip and usually on the avant-garde fringes of rock.That style has made him the odd man out lately at CHUM FM, where progressive music has all but been eliminated from the station’s programming. In the past few months the station has replaced obscure and experimental music chosen by the disk jockeys with a comparatively tight play list heavily loaded with current hits and golden oldies. CHUM FM now  sounds like it’s sister station CHUM AM, except it has fewer commercials.Marsden said he didn’t leave the station because  his creative freedom had been limited. He described it as a very amicable separation.  I can’t have negative thoughts ( about CHUM FM) because they’re attempting to muster a larger portion of the . audience. It’ll probably work but I don’t agree with it.The departure was not spur of the moment. He had been thinking about it for three or four months. The new Canadian Radio-Television Commission’s regulations were a factor. The new regulations permit FM stations to use up to 25 % of their programming in syndicated formats.


Last edited by Fitz (January 20, 2023 7:29 pm)

Cool Airchecks and More:

January 21, 2023 11:40 am  #6

Re: Jay Nelson On Prepping For CHUM & Dave Marsden On Why He Left CHUM-FM

It’ll probably work but I don’t agree with it.

New SOWNY slogan just dropped!