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February 9, 2021 5:55 pm  #31


Re: TSN 1150 Hamilton is no more

Peter the K wrote:

leafs67 wrote:

So sad. So very sad. Would anyone recommend my, about to be university student age, to go into broadcasting?I Is it "safer" to be behind the mic/camera or behind the scenes. He really wants to go into broadcasting, but it seems like an unsound choice "during these times"

Behind the camera isn't much safer.  Broadcast tech isn't what it used to be.

I'm not sure about other stations, but the CKCO -- errm -- CTV Kitchener news often show some nice bumpers in and out of commercial breaks featuring the newsdesk framed by a couple of cameras.  The first thing you'll notice is that there is nobody behind them -- they are robotically controlled.  No need for a cameraperson.  Almost all reporters, even some at the CBC, do their own camerawork.

Then there's the broadcast tech itself.  It's more I.T. than anything else.

It's also, in the grand scheme of things, a relatively small industry.  There's a reason why the most successful broadcasting programs in the 70s and 80s kept their intake relatively small.  Now it seems as long as you have pulse, you're in.

I have a nephew who years ago became a drywaller and he's quite good at it.  The money he's making these days makes my head spin.
 

Robotic cameras aren't a new thing for local news. However, as mentioned in another thread, CKCO News is done out of a control room at CTV in Toronto (Agincourt). Cameras and footage is fed from Kitchener to Toronto.

 

February 9, 2021 6:05 pm  #32


Re: TSN 1150 Hamilton is no more

I've heard NBC Nightly News cameras are all robotic. At least they were back in 1987 when The New York Times published this story. 

NBC News To Use Robot Cameras

 

February 9, 2021 6:08 pm  #33


Re: TSN 1150 Hamilton is no more

paterson1 wrote:

Wonder how safe TSN 1050 is.   BNN Bloomberg radio coming to Canada's financial capital?  How about Funny 1050?  So sad... 

How about TSN 690 Montreal and TSN 1200 Ottawa? How safe are they? It appears those two AM radio stations were unaffected by the change, including TSN 1050 Toronto. 
 

 

February 9, 2021 6:39 pm  #34


Re: TSN 1150 Hamilton is no more

RadioActive wrote:

I've heard NBC Nightly News cameras are all robotic. At least they were back in 1987 when The New York Times published this story. 

NBC News To Use Robot Cameras

Global in Toronto has had robotic cameras since the mid-90s. I remember they had a story about it when they were first introduced.

Global BC, and I assume other Global stations using virtual sets, use robotic cameras, though I believe they are controlled from the same building in CHAN's case. Not the case for some other stations.

Last edited by MJ Vancouver (February 9, 2021 6:39 pm)

 

February 9, 2021 6:42 pm  #35


Re: TSN 1150 Hamilton is no more

Can't wait to hear what BNN Bloomberg Radio airs on say, Christmas Eve, when businesses have been closed down for days. It's one of the problems with an all biz-format. There are days when the world goes to sleep and you still have to fill the airtime within the format. 

 

February 9, 2021 6:46 pm  #36


Re: TSN 1150 Hamilton is no more

A little surprising that TSN 1040 was dropped in Vancouver.  Last rating it had a 2.6% share, way ahead of competitor Sportsnet 650 with 0.4%.  Bell's other AM station BNN Bloomberg had a 0.6% share radio. Vancouver even has an all traffic station, 50,000 watts AM 730 owned by Corus.  They have live hosts, jingles and morning and afternoon drive shows with Global News updates.  The station clocked in with an 0.7 rating back in December.  Vancouver seems to have a better variety of radio stations than Toronto.  I listened to the station for about half an hour this afternoon, and it's a lot better and different than I thought it would be. 
https://globalnews.ca/radio/am730/?gref=am730     

Last edited by paterson1 (February 9, 2021 6:49 pm)

 

February 9, 2021 6:56 pm  #37


Re: TSN 1150 Hamilton is no more

RadioActive wrote:

Can't wait to hear what BNN Bloomberg Radio airs on say, Christmas Eve, when businesses have been closed down for days. It's one of the problems with an all biz-format. There are days when the world goes to sleep and you still have to fill the airtime within the format. 

The station's not meant to be listened to, man. It's meant to keep a dull roar emanating from the transmitter, therefore keeping the license intact on the off-chance a technological or regulatory change gives it some actual value.
 


 
 

February 9, 2021 7:10 pm  #38


Re: TSN 1150 Hamilton is no more

It's "funny" to me that they indicate changing the two other TSN stations to comedy "which has proven successful." Not really. Funny 820 in Hamilton is damn in the bottom of all the stations in the area. It is a good alternative from music, but not really a ratings success.

And to the person who asked about your kid going to school for broadcasting - it's gonna be tough. I really think they should stop teaching traditional media, and focus on new media - podcasts, youtube, etc. You'll have to brand yourself, and it will be tough to break though and get paid to do what you love. This coming from me, who went to school for journalism over a decade ago, and found nothing. Only one person who was in my class has an on-air job in traditional news (it's CTV, so maybe not the best example, based on Bell cutting). Some other former classmates work behind the scenes. And a few now work in new digital outlets, but mostly behind the scenes and not reporting.

That's my issue with podcasts, I can't sell myself. I went to journalism school to tell stories, and not be the centre of attention. Every few years I tell myself to start doing a show, in some format online, but I still haven't.

 

February 9, 2021 8:57 pm  #39


Re: TSN 1150 Hamilton is no more

I assume that CKOC will have (or already has) more watts than actual listeners?

 

February 9, 2021 9:37 pm  #40


Re: TSN 1150 Hamilton is no more

I suspected the staff had no idea what was coming. And sadly, I seemed to have been proven correct. According to TorontoSportsMedia.com:

"This decision was not announced to staff prior to the shut down, and...employees were told they had 30 minutes to remove their personal belongings from the premises."

Fired in the middle of a shift. Other non-radio people finding out before the employees. (See Tweets below) That's just horrendous. 

According to the Vancouver Province, this bloodless coup was also blood curdling. 

“It’s important for you to understand in terms of what your separation package looks like, and all of the details that are included with it,” said [Bell Canada’s western regional general manager James] Hewson, before announcing that staff had 30 minutes to collect personal items before corporate security implemented a “shutdown process.

“I would do so as fast as possible.”

(You can also hear the on-air announcement on TSN1040 in the linked article above.)

What a wonderful company, one that fires people by robocall and gives others who've been there for 20 years half an hour to get everything and get the f*** out. Oh, and don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Class act, that Bell. 

Look, every radio company has the right to make changes and sadly let people go. It's probably happened to most of us here. But to do it in such a faceless, inhuman and disgusting way tells you everything you need to know about this horrible corporation.

I said it before but it bears repeating: Shame on Bell. You deserve nothing but derision, not for what you did but for the way it was handled. Absolutely shameful and as classless as they come.  

Bell abruptly cuts entire TSN Radio stations in Vancouver, Winnipeg, and Hamilton, with many employees finding out on Twitter

https://i.ibb.co/h1LFCSq/Clipboard01.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/fvDWK3G/2.jpg

 

February 9, 2021 10:21 pm  #41


Re: TSN 1150 Hamilton is no more

I know that on air people think that they should be allowed to say good bye or leave with a farewell to the audience, but media doesn't work that way.  When you get the notice with a layoff or cutback, you are done.  You've been fired. The same if you are in creative, traffic, or other departments.   If you are retiring that is a different story.  Even if the company is pushing you out, then you usually get a chance to say good bye or the company makes a thing about you leaving if you have been around for a long time. 

The newspaper business is the same.  I was working on a newspaper ad when called into the office to be informed I was let go along with 12 others.  After a talk with my boss, I went back to my desk to finish laying out the newspaper ad for tomorrow's paper that was about half done.  He told me the ad wasn't my worry anymore.  I was encouraged to gather my things and go.  I was out the door in about 45 minutes.  

Others in my family who were all employed in other fields couldn't believe how brutal it was.  I just said that's the way media is.  When you are let go, it is right away.  You rarely have notice of the of the cutbacks coming next month or later in the year  It is when you are told, and that's it. Good bye. 

I haven't heard any complaints of severance or money issues yet, so we can only assume the packages were reasonable.  Howard Levitt maybe had a hand with some of this, at least here in Toronto??

 

February 9, 2021 10:32 pm  #42


Re: TSN 1150 Hamilton is no more

I think we it's understood that radio staff often get an abrupt 'goodbye,' but the examples posted by RA above are atrocious -- and unnecessary. Finding out via Twitter...disgusting.

I'm the first to understand and defend certain restructuring; I'd do it too in many cases if it were my job, but the way it's been carried out in the last two weeks makes me ashamed of the industry.

I guess I'm lucky -- I got a Bell "thanks but no thanks" years ago, but it was done respectfully; I even toured around the building letting people know and saying goodbye.

Last edited by RadioAaron (February 9, 2021 10:32 pm)


 
 

February 9, 2021 10:34 pm  #43


Re: TSN 1150 Hamilton is no more

Brad wrote:

It's "funny" to me that they indicate changing the two other TSN stations to comedy "which has proven successful." Not really. Funny 820 in Hamilton is damn in the bottom of all the stations in the area. It is a good alternative from music, but not really a ratings success.

Oddly you need to think less like OLD media people and more how Bell looks at the world.

Successful to Bell is based on Profits vs Cost.   Yes... higher ratings.. more you can charge etc. etc.. but Bell looks at a station like Funny as:

1.   no staff and using already employed staff to operate 
2.  Limited fees to pay for rights/copyrights etc.
3.  once the power bills are paid... everything else is profit.
4. oddly clients to want to advertise on this unique format.     
5. knowing AM radio is approaching end of life, this does keeps costs and profits at a reasonable level. 
6. the demos are wide. 

Bell could care less about ratings on AM, as long as they can make a profit...  and outside Funny 1410 London , most make enough to say they make money. 
 

Last edited by radiokid (February 9, 2021 10:34 pm)

 

February 9, 2021 10:34 pm  #44


Re: TSN 1150 Hamilton is no more

paterson1 wrote:

After a talk with my boss, I went back to my desk...I was encouraged to gather my things and go.  I was out the door in about 45 minutes.

Yes and you've pinpointed exactly the difference. You used a key phrase: "After a talk with my boss..."

They had the decency to at least tell you to your face that your time was up. Not by a robocall recording. Not by a conference call, as happened in B.C. Not by an ad in the classifieds of your paper. A human being actually talked to you and explained that you were done. What a concept!

It is, in the end, the very least that could be done. Bell didn't do it, instead taking the coward's way out. These are people with families and lives, in the middle of a job-sucking COVID outbreak no less. They deserved at least that much respect.   

And THAT'S what incenses me so much about what happened. People lose their jobs in media all the time. But at least you can tell them to their face.

What's next? A singing telegram?

"Your work was inspired,
But now you're fired,
Now please don't pout,
Just get the fuck out, La La La La La!"


Oh wait, That might cost 10 cents. Forget it. Bell would never spend the money.

Gimme a break. 

 

February 9, 2021 10:38 pm  #45


Re: TSN 1150 Hamilton is no more

Does anyone remember the last day of a mid-day host on Talk640 back in the day, who I guess found in the middle of a shift that it would be his last and he was expected to finish his shift?

If I remember correctly, his topic for that last hour was about whether left-handed people should be executed or something to that effect.  It was hilarious.  I'm not sure some people got it.  I had no idea when I was listening but I thought to myself: "This must be his last day day" and sure enough, he wasn't heard from on that station from the rest of the day forward.

I deliberately didn't mention this person's name because I believe he still lurks on the board but I'm sure enough time has gone that he could tell at least some of the story.
 

 

February 9, 2021 11:08 pm  #46


Re: TSN 1150 Hamilton is no more

RadioActive wrote:

paterson1 wrote:

After a talk with my boss, I went back to my desk...I was encouraged to gather my things and go.  I was out the door in about 45 minutes.

Yes and you've pinpointed exactly the difference. You used a key phrase: "After a talk with my boss..."

They had the decency to at least tell you to your face that your time was up. Not by a robocall recording. Not by a conference call, as happened in B.C. Not by an ad in the classifieds of your paper. A human being actually talked to you and explained that you were done. What a concept!

It is, in the end, the very least that could be done. Bell didn't do it, instead taking the coward's way out. These are people with families and lives, in the middle of a job-sucking COVID outbreak no less. They deserved at least that much respect.   

And THAT'S what incenses me so much about what happened. People lose their jobs in media all the time. But at least you can tell them to their face.

What's next? A singing telegram?

"Your work was inspired,
But now you're fired,
Now please don't pout,
Just get the fuck out, La La La La La!"


Oh wait, That might cost 10 cents. Forget it. Bell would never spend the money.

Gimme a break. 

RA, please calm down.  You have been ranting about this for days now.  Get a grip,  and yes we know how much you hate Bell, Rogers, CBC, and a bunch of other stuff etc. etc...   By the way, I was working for a much much smaller company than Bell, so that might explain my talking to the boss, who was also being let go.   And none of us had any inkling this was coming...Don't you have more important things in your life to worry about??

 

February 10, 2021 12:39 am  #47


Re: TSN 1150 Hamilton is no more

Wow, for such a sensible guy, I can't believe you think the way Bell handled this was in any way OK. It clearly wasn't and I'll wager more people feel the way I do about this than your calm acceptance of professional broadcasters being treated like garbage. I hope you never experience another mass purge, but if you do, that your company - regardless of size - treats you like a human being. As they did at the newspaper.

Sorry, but for a corporation that openly boasts about mental health, this was a PR disaster. And totally unnecessary. I've seen lots of these radio format changes. They unfortunately happen. But I can honestly say I've never seen one handled more irresponsibly or cavalierly than this one. This really irritated me. These workers deserved better. And Bell deserves to be called out for at the very least not having the guts to do it in person. Sad to imagine you think being fired by robocalls is acceptable.

 

February 10, 2021 8:31 am  #48


Re: TSN 1150 Hamilton is no more

this morning's print Globe 'n Mail @ pg. B11:

 . . . memo from Wade Oosterman, who took over the top job at Bell Media at the beginning of the year, first appeared on an online message board, the Southern Ontario/WNY Radio-TV Forum.     

 

February 10, 2021 9:14 am  #49


Re: TSN 1150 Hamilton is no more

I wasn't aware they knew we even existed! Thanks go to poster Ida Spencer for putting it up. 

For some reason, this article isn't behind their paywall. You can read it (for now) here

 

February 10, 2021 10:45 am  #50


Re: TSN 1150 Hamilton is no more

RadioActive wrote:

Wow, for such a sensible guy, I can't believe you think the way Bell handled this was in any way OK. It clearly wasn't and I'll wager more people feel the way I do about this than your calm acceptance of professional broadcasters being treated like garbage. I hope you never experience another mass purge, but if you do, that your company - regardless of size - treats you like a human being. As they did at the newspaper.

Sorry, but for a corporation that openly boasts about mental health, this was a PR disaster. And totally unnecessary. I've seen lots of these radio format changes. They unfortunately happen. But I can honestly say I've never seen one handled more irresponsibly or cavalierly than this one. This really irritated me. These workers deserved better. And Bell deserves to be called out for at the very least not having the guts to do it in person. Sad to imagine you think being fired by robocalls is acceptable.

I never said anything about it being OK the way that Bell handled the cutbacks. What I said was in media when you are let go, it's done, you are finished. Usually you are out the door within an hour of getting notice.   And the fact that if you are fired and on air, you don't get to say so long and thanks to your audience. 

Then you seemed to overreact to my comment and started on about singing telegrams and other things unrelated to anything I talked about.  So that's why I said to get a grip.  And please don't tell me I missed the point of your comment.  I didn't.

However, I did make the point that maybe it is time to move on.  You have been railing about this for over a week now, pouring gas on the flames, and frankly you seem more upset about the cutbacks than many of those who were actually let go.  I have been surprised by many of the emails posted on various sites from the fired Bell employees.  So far they have handled the situation with grace and professionalism, judging by their remarks. Much of the bitterness and hysteria has been from here on this site and not from those that were actually fired.   

A few even claimed they understand why it happened.   Were they treated poorly by Bell how they were let go?  Absolutely judging by what we know.  Have they been treated fairly with severance or whatever packages were offered?  Again we don't know because we were not part of it.  That should be the real concern right now.  So far we haven't heard.   Strangely their union UNIFOR and Jerry Dias have been very quiet over the past week. Possibly the packages were fair since the union hasn't so far commented, but maybe that battle is yet to come.

 

February 10, 2021 10:57 am  #51


Re: TSN 1150 Hamilton is no more

As you noted, my problem isn't the format change or that so many were fired. (Although I wasn't happy about it.) It was the callous way it was done. Where was Bell's HR department when people were being dumped by a phone recording? That's the main complaint. They shouldn't be allowed to get away with it. The fired staffers are pros and classy, and they have shown it in their online reaction. 

You can't say the same for the people who wielded the guillotine and then tried to sneak off into the night. 

And yes, perhaps I am harping on it a lot. But I've been in the position those 200+ people have been in at some points in my less than storied broadcast career (although I've never worked for Bell, so there's nothing personal) and they deserved some dignity. Most of them didn't get it.

I know you think it's an overreaction and this is likely my last post about it, but they can't be called out on it enough so they perhaps think twice the next time. And trust me, it's Bell, so there will definitely be a next time. The way it was handled was wrong and the smug and disingenuous spin in the Oosterman memo (or as I now call him "Ouster-Man") is infuriating.

 

February 10, 2021 11:16 am  #52


Re: TSN 1150 Hamilton is no more

paterson1 wrote:

Strangely their union UNIFOR and Jerry Dias have been very quiet over the past week. Possibly the packages were fair since the union hasn't so far commented, but maybe that battle is yet to come.

Actually, according to an article in the Toronto Star, Unifor has had a lot to say about what happened. It's rare I agree with Dias, but his people are right in this case.

"A senior official at the Unifor union blasted the company for cutting the jobs after taking money from the federal government’s COVID-related Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy program.

“This is happening at a time when Bell’s earnings are rising, it has just increased its dividend, and has collected millions of dollars in subsidies meant to protect jobs. This was all about eliminating jobs,” said Katha Fortier, media and health care assistant to Unifor president Jerry Dias."


And

"Unifor’s Fortier said letting on-air staff go with almost no notice was unfair to them as well as the communities they served. “These are people who’ve worked at these stations for years, and suddenly they’re being let go without even being able to say goodbye to their listeners,” said Fortier."

That last comment is a bit naive about how radio works, but I understand the anger.

Cuts keep coming at Bell Media as it eliminates three sports radio stations
 

 

February 11, 2021 3:12 am  #53


Re: TSN 1150 Hamilton is no more

There is a gentleman who has an interesting blog site http://www.engineeringradio.us/blog/
I find his site quite interesting from a radio technical point as well as his opinion which in my opinion is usually well considered. Here is his take on comedy radio, for what it's worth.

"Worse than sports radio, 24/7 comedy is the absolute death knell.  This is like saying; we are out of ideas and we do not care."

http://www.engineeringradio.us/blog/2016/08/%d0%bf%d1%80%d0%be%d1%89%d0%b0%d1%82%d1%8c%d1%81%d1%8f/
 

Last edited by darcyh (February 11, 2021 3:13 am)

 

February 11, 2021 9:23 am  #54


Re: TSN 1150 Hamilton is no more

Sometimes I want news.
Sometimes I want music.
Sometimes I want talk;  sometimes fluff, other times serious, sometimes conversation, other times opinion.
Sometimes I want sports.
Sometimes I want comedy.

All are legit.  All have their place.

You couldn't pay me to listen to Hip Hop or Rap but that doesn't mean it's not legit.  It's just not my cup of tea.

At present Funny 820/1060 happens to be my preferred late night listening.

But then, what do I know. I'm not a radio professional, I'm just a listener.

 

February 11, 2021 9:56 am  #55


Re: TSN 1150 Hamilton is no more

I like Funny 820 in small doses. It's a great tune in when there's nothing else on and I'm out walking the dog looking for something to listen to. I'm glad it's there, although I only listen occasionally. But the more formats and choice in a market, the better IMHO. Did we really need to be able to get 6 all sports stations in this area? (The Fan 590, TSN 1050, the late TSN 1150, WGR, WWKB and WHLD all from Buffalo?) That seems to be way too many for a general listening area. 

 

February 11, 2021 11:08 am  #56


Re: TSN 1150 Hamilton is no more

I listen to podcasts.

 

February 11, 2021 2:31 pm  #57


Re: TSN 1150 Hamilton is no more

This apparently does not affect Canada's BNN Bloomberg, but given what's happened in the last few days, the irony can't be lost on anyone:

Bloomberg News Lays Off Staffers Including Longtime Editors

 

February 12, 2021 12:11 am  #58


Re: TSN 1150 Hamilton is no more

Watching a Canucks game on Sportsnet Pacific, Dan Murphy (the colour commentator) just ripped into Bell in the most polite way possible, talking about the “ruthless” shutdown of TSN 1040 in Vancouver.

Respect.

 

February 12, 2021 5:29 pm  #59


Re: TSN 1150 Hamilton is no more

Thanks Peter The K, kids will be kids, but I feel like broadcasting is very different than when we grew up.  17 year old kids do not want to hear advice from parents, but at least I can show him the news about Bell.  Heck, I still put two spaces after a period. 


Peter the K wrote:

leafs67 wrote:

So sad. So very sad. Would anyone recommend my, about to be university student age, to go into broadcasting?I Is it "safer" to be behind the mic/camera or behind the scenes. He really wants to go into broadcasting, but it seems like an unsound choice "during these times"

Behind the camera isn't much safer.  Broadcast tech isn't what it used to be.

I'm not sure about other stations, but the CKCO -- errm -- CTV Kitchener news often show some nice bumpers in and out of commercial breaks featuring the newsdesk framed by a couple of cameras.  The first thing you'll notice is that there is nobody behind them -- they are robotically controlled.  No need for a cameraperson.  Almost all reporters, even some at the CBC, do their own camerawork.

Then there's the broadcast tech itself.  It's more I.T. than anything else.

It's also, in the grand scheme of things, a relatively small industry.  There's a reason why the most successful broadcasting programs in the 70s and 80s kept their intake relatively small.  Now it seems as long as you have pulse, you're in.

I have a nephew who years ago became a drywaller and he's quite good at it.  The money he's making these days makes my head spin.
 

 


You ever worry that no one is listening?
 

February 13, 2021 8:53 pm  #60


Re: TSN 1150 Hamilton is no more

I listened to BNN Bloomberg 1150 Saturday for about half an hour. It's not fair to base a review on that short a time, but I will say the station was playing a show about Law and Business - and every story was about the U.S. Supreme Court. Clearly, it was from Bloomberg Radio in the States and being run here as filler. 

I have no objection to American content, but I certainly hope they actually plan to do something about what's going on north of the border. Or why bother?