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August 15, 2022 10:58 am  #1

Do Any Toronto Radio Stations Still Do "Checks From The Ex?"

When I was a kid, the highlight of the CNE to me wasn't the rides, the games or the food - it was going to see the wagon where "CHUM Checks From The Ex", which I think was near the Princes' Gates. (Not Princess, as the ad below states!) This was a pretty big deal, because the jocks - who were as big an attraction then as some of the artists they played - were also doing their thing from inside a portable studio. (Not to mention Mike Cooper setting that then-record for Ferris wheel riding.)

It couldn't have been a lot of fun for them for those three weeks or so to have people gawking at you and tapping on the glass, but the publicity was something you really couldn't buy. I know CKEY in its rock days also had a big presence there. 

Other radio stations had more sedate appearances at the Ex, either sponsoring some attraction or having a booth in one of the buildings. If memory serves (and it may not) I think CHFI even did a few live shows from the grounds at one time. 

My how times change. Other than maybe having a reporter covering the fair from opening to close - and watch for a lot of TV weather being done from the grounds, because the background visuals are so compelling, producers can't resist - I can't think of any radio station that bothers anymore. It's possible AM 740 was there before COVID closed things for two years, but I can't think of another station that's had much of a presence for a while. (Although I'm more than willing to be proven wrong.)

So I'll be curious to see if any of the locals turn up beyond signage at this year's CNE. It's expensive and with radio on the downturn and kids and teens more into streaming, it may not make much financial sense (or cents!) to bother. But it's still a shame. I haven't been to the Ex in decades and won't be going this year. But nothing stands out to me like when those radio stations made their presence felt at the annual near Fall fair.

(Pic and photo courtesy CHUM Tribute Site)

(Pic courtesy the Doug Thompson Collection)


August 15, 2022 11:23 am  #2

Re: Do Any Toronto Radio Stations Still Do "Checks From The Ex?"

Today FM should be there. It makes good sense for the newest station to somehow be present.
680 news has always been there, also CHFI. 
Kiss 92 sponsored one of the attractions 3 (or so) years ago, pre pandemic.

I think Rogers will be at the CNE, if they also got the deal for space to promote their smart phone and Ignite TV services. A bulk deal to be present at the CNE for more than just one reason. 

Hmmm...Boom 97.3 used to sponsor the Dog show, but I don't recall anything more than a sign advertising the show in recent years. No personalities present.
The late great EZ Rock had KJ broadcast Live from inside the food building, but that was MANY years ago.

I'm expecting that, Lite FM will be at the CNE some place to heavily promote that they are no longer Jewel FM.
Evanov only had Z 103 @ the CNE for 5 or so days in 2019 (the last one before the Pandemic) and not the whole duration of the will be interesting to see what they choose to do this year.


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


August 15, 2022 12:03 pm  #3

Re: Do Any Toronto Radio Stations Still Do "Checks From The Ex?"

Correct me if I'm mistaken (as usual) but my read of Radio Active's post was that he misses the all-day, all-evening onsite productions.     

Not the occasional 30-second sound bite from a dog show or the Poor Food Bldg.



August 15, 2022 12:57 pm  #4

Re: Do Any Toronto Radio Stations Still Do "Checks From The Ex?"

They don't necessarily have to broadcast all day from there, but it was nice when they at least had a presence beyond checking in with a single reporter looking for feature stories. I think those days of the wagons, though, are long over. 

     Thread Starter

August 15, 2022 1:29 pm  #5

Re: Do Any Toronto Radio Stations Still Do "Checks From The Ex?"

 recall when several radio stations used to carry a feature with Gordon Sinclair called "Footloose at the EX"

Last edited by turkeytop (August 15, 2022 1:29 pm)

You don't have to be a good sport to be a mad one.

August 15, 2022 6:44 pm  #6

Re: Do Any Toronto Radio Stations Still Do "Checks From The Ex?"

Many years ago, CBLT was doing their supper hour newscast from the CNE. At that time, Bill Lawrence was the chief weather guy for the station. Before his segment, he explained to the gathered visitors how the green screen worked. Several decades later, when I took the NBC studio tour in Los Angeles, part of the tour included a visit to the KNBC news set. The tour guide asked for a volunteer to do the weather. I gave it a shot. The guide started by asking to point out LA on the map. My finger was up by Vancouver. The guide moved the map up to reach my finger. It is not as easy as it looks on tv.


August 18, 2022 1:31 pm  #7

Re: Do Any Toronto Radio Stations Still Do "Checks From The Ex?"

One more sleep