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September 18, 2022 5:48 pm  #1


Jack FM changes?

Out in Vancouver and possibly Calgary, there was some apparent stunting on Jack. They were running liners saying "I want Jack back." Today I have been listening and there seems to be a push more toward a rock sound and the liners seem to be a female voice, not Greg Beharell who had been doing all the voice work for the last few years. I assume this is because Christian Hall is the national brand director for Jack. It will be interesting to see if this is all that changes at Jack or if there will be others. For many years the one in Vancouver was a top-rated station in the market and since about 2010 or 2011 the station has slowly declined in ratings. In the spring book last year the ratings were a 5 and had dropped to a 4.4 before raising up to a 5.5 most recently. These numbers are definetly low for the station compared to the Larry & Willy days of the format and I think bringing Christian to the brand was meant to give the station credibility and to make the necessary changes to boost ratings. I know before Jack in Toronto flipped back to Kiss, that station had a rock format, trying to take on Q and Edge, and I wonder if the Jack brand in general will lean more that way, considering Christian's success with X92.9 and creating the Cruz branded stations in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Also when he took over the Jack brand he quickly brought in Marc and Millions from X92.9 to host afternoons in Calgary and also now at Sonic Vancouver as well, and Alex Carr came over from X, to Jack Calgary as midday host and now also does middays at Sonic Vancouver. This could be a situation where bringing in the more rock based on air staff could help slide the direction of the station to a rock leaning sound. Maybe we will see it in London soon, and also could we possibly see Jack return to southern Ontario? Maybe not on the 2 Toronto FM's Rogers owns but some other stations they have throughout Ontario. It will be interesting to see what happens in the next while
 

 

September 18, 2022 11:14 pm  #2


Re: Jack FM changes?

I hope not.  I'm sick of the name, the ID's, the logo and the music.  Let it die.  People are over it.
Boom does the format better than any other station because every song is hand picked.   If you don't do it that way you can end up with weird transitions or too many songs that sound too similar in row.  Other than that station, or Dave in Kitchener before about 2008, the format hasn't been done very well. 

 

September 19, 2022 8:00 am  #3


Re: Jack FM changes?

When Jack went rock in Toronto, trying to compete with Q107 it was a complete failure. At that time the station was a 2 share and then a 1.8. It was not only a ratings failure but was also an awful radio station to listen to. At that point, they fired the PD and switched to KISS. I don't imagine they would want to repeat the same catastrophic mistake.

Jack Vancouver has been on the air since Boxing Day 2002, at one point they were #1 with like a 12 share. The format was designed to appeal to 40 year olds, those people are 60 now so maybe the format needs to be tweaked to appeal to the 40 year olds of today. It's also worth noting that the station is pretty far from what the original concept was. Looking at some of the numbers from the US where they stuck to the original concept it seems that the format is still very viable if done correctly.

 

September 19, 2022 11:10 am  #4


Re: Jack FM changes?

UnSub wrote:

When Jack went rock in Toronto, trying to compete with Q107 it was a complete failure. At that time the station was a 2 share and then a 1.8. It was not only a ratings failure but was also an awful radio station to listen to. At that point, they fired the PD and switched to KISS. I don't imagine they would want to repeat the same catastrophic mistake.

Jack Vancouver has been on the air since Boxing Day 2002, at one point they were #1 with like a 12 share. The format was designed to appeal to 40 year olds, those people are 60 now so maybe the format needs to be tweaked to appeal to the 40 year olds of today. It's also worth noting that the station is pretty far from what the original concept was. Looking at some of the numbers from the US where they stuck to the original concept it seems that the format is still very viable if done correctly.

Jack FM in Toronto continued to be viewed as "we play what we want" and not trusted to be a rock station.
A name change would have drawn better attention.
I tuned out because myself and many others thought they were just playing what they want and just might throw some rap music at us...because they want to play what they want.

Why listen to something that plays what it wants when you can tune into a REAL rock station that ONLY plays rock music?


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

 
 

September 19, 2022 11:37 am  #5


Re: Jack FM changes?

Radiowiz wrote:

UnSub wrote:

When Jack went rock in Toronto, trying to compete with Q107 it was a complete failure. At that time the station was a 2 share and then a 1.8. It was not only a ratings failure but was also an awful radio station to listen to. At that point, they fired the PD and switched to KISS. I don't imagine they would want to repeat the same catastrophic mistake.

Jack Vancouver has been on the air since Boxing Day 2002, at one point they were #1 with like a 12 share. The format was designed to appeal to 40 year olds, those people are 60 now so maybe the format needs to be tweaked to appeal to the 40 year olds of today. It's also worth noting that the station is pretty far from what the original concept was. Looking at some of the numbers from the US where they stuck to the original concept it seems that the format is still very viable if done correctly.

Jack FM in Toronto continued to be viewed as "we play what we want" and not trusted to be a rock station.
A name change would have drawn better attention.
I tuned out because myself and many others thought they were just playing what they want and just might throw some rap music at us...because they want to play what they want.

Why listen to something that plays what it wants when you can tune into a REAL rock station that ONLY plays rock music?

Yes, a name change would have been a good idea, but even then it wouldn't have worked. There was also a PD who was completely out of his depth, so as long as he was running that station it would have zero chance of succeeding regardless of what the name was.
 

 

September 19, 2022 12:38 pm  #6


Re: Jack FM changes?

When Jack FM was in Toronto, they also usually had no announcer, and almost never live.  They did some poor attempts at voice tracking.  I remember hearing the same announcer breaks over different music from about 8 hours earlier.  Their music really wasn't much different than BOOM, but the execution was poor.
No personalities, no ratings.  

Jack stations in Western Canada have faired better.  Jack FM in Regina is often number one, and  both Calgary and Vancouver have had a long run.  In London Ontario Jack is usually in the middle of the pack in a 10/11 station market. 

 

September 19, 2022 1:58 pm  #7


Re: Jack FM changes?

paterson1 wrote:

I remember hearing the same announcer breaks over different music from about 8 hours earlier. 

This may have been because the PD during the rock era did both AM drive and PM drive so maybe he recycled his breaks from the morning show on the afternoon show, the station was a trainwreck at that point. I recall them using the slogan "Toronto's Best Rock Variety."
 

 

September 19, 2022 2:16 pm  #8


Re: Jack FM changes?

UnSub wrote:

paterson1 wrote:

I remember hearing the same announcer breaks over different music from about 8 hours earlier. 

This may have been because the PD during the rock era did both AM drive and PM drive so maybe he recycled his breaks from the morning show on the afternoon show, the station was a trainwreck at that point. I recall them using the slogan "Toronto's Best Rock Variety."
 

I remember that. Their playlist was pretty much Q107 by that point.


PJ


ClassicHitsOnline.com...The place where all the cool tunes hang out!
 

September 19, 2022 5:48 pm  #9


Re: Jack FM changes?

With Christian Hall running the jack brand I would think it might lean more rock. As it is I have heard a lot more rock on jack Vancouver mixed in with other stuff. What I would like is more on air staff. Make the shows more interesting and allow the hosts more flexibility to play different songs.
If they were to go to a rock based format then a name change would be needed. Right now let’s just see what happens in Vancouver and other stations and hope it’s a step in the right direction

     Thread Starter
 

September 19, 2022 7:23 pm  #10


Re: Jack FM changes?

brian451 wrote:

With Christian Hall running the jack brand I would think it might lean more rock. As it is I have heard a lot more rock on jack Vancouver mixed in with other stuff. What I would like is more on air staff. Make the shows more interesting and allow the hosts more flexibility to play different songs.
If they were to go to a rock based format then a name change would be needed. Right now let’s just see what happens in Vancouver and other stations and hope it’s a step in the right direction

JACK Vancouver's having its best ratings in years.

Don't pigeon-hole a PD because he's mostly known for one format. They're not going to go more rock-based with SONiC across the hall.

The morning guy seems have been given a lot of leeway to let his personality and politics come out. This is a good thing.

Having said that, JACK Los Angeles is one of the most enduring JACK stations in North America, and has been essentially jockless its entire existence, and JACK Vancouver only has a morning show

Last edited by RadioAaron (September 19, 2022 7:27 pm)


 
 

September 19, 2022 9:44 pm  #11


Re: Jack FM changes?

I was one of the last people to turn out the lights of Jack FM when it flipped back to KISS 92 in June 2009. I can honestly tell you it was a relief, as my experience at the station was not what I’d hoped it would be. Here are some personal thoughts on the last few years.
 
I came to JACK in the fall of 2007 after having spent 6.5 years at Q107 as a senior writer and the voice of Club Q. It’s been the one and only time in my career where I did something for the money, but in taking on the role of afternoon show producer, I got a pretty significant pay bump from what I was making at Q. There was also the chance to write the JACK Nation Countdown on CityTV, which lasted a season and was an interesting experience.
 
Unfortunately, I thought producing JACK afternoon drive would mean booking cool guests and helping steer the show. That wasn’t really the case, I discovered. Instead, Jeff Brown, who was PD and show-host alongside Carly Klassen, was looking more for a third banana, which I definitely wasn’t. That’s not a slam on Jeff at all; he was a good man and a fun jock; we just had different ideas as to what I’d be good at. The hosts weren’t really interested in doing interviews – I think I booked one for the show the whole time I was there. I never ever wanted to be an on-air personality. I liked writing and doing things behind the scenes.
 
For those of you wondering, believe me when I say the idea of changing the name of the station was often discussed, and many of us hoped that would be the case since the JACK brand was done in Toronto. Had that opportunity been given, we would have lasted a bit longer and “maybe” even gotten some decent traction. It was always going to be an uphill battle with Q, the behemoth that it was, regardless. “Toronto’s Rock Variety” was such a horrible tagline; nobody talks like that. It sounded so lame; I don’t think any of the JACK staff was onboard. I do seem to recall at one point we tried out “Toronto’s Rock Station” because when Q eventually started using it, I recall thinking we did it first.
 
I would say that the whole JACK as rock station went downhill when the decision was made to have Jeff and Carly do mornings live and then pre-record afternoon drive. That was painful. Personally, I never ever wanted to do mornings, and it was awful getting up so early to do the show. By that time, the two hosts were not getting along and were barely speaking when the mics weren’t turned on; it was like watching your parents get divorced. Meanwhile, Jeff Brown, who was and I would imagine still is one of the hardest working guys I’ve ever met, was burning the candle as PD and host and commuting in from Peterborough. One of the best decisions he made during this time, though, was having our imagining producer Glenn Knight become the voice of the station. Glenn was super talented, and I believe he’s at Jazz FM now. Samantha Stevens was our-mid day host, and Sam was just fantastic.
 
The morning show, though. Terrible. Painful to be a part of and painful to be getting up at that ungodly hour. To Jeff’s credit and kindness, since we weren’t booking guests, and I was just doing occasional bits of inane banter, he changed my role at the station, and I started coming in later; I was writing more web content (the stuff I was and I think I am good at), creating “tweets” for this new thing called Twitter, cutting up clips to run through the day, and eventually programming music.
 
None of it mattered; the ratings always stunk, though. In those last few months, it wasn’t fun or good radio. Mostly.
 
If you’re still reading, I’ll tell you this one story that sums up the entire experience for me. It was a Friday, and we were likely in the 7 am hour. I was on air with Jeff and Carly, and I mentioned how I really had the urge to hear “Mr Roboto.” Jeff didn’t like the song, but we got into a natural bit where we told the listeners to give us a call and tell us if they wanted to hear the song. I always wanted us to give out the # and encourage people to call, but it rarely happened. On this occasion, the phones lit up, and people were calling to say yay or nay to hearing “Mr Roboto.” THIS was fun, it was good and engaging radio, and it was one of the few times I felt proud of what we were all doing, that this was what made radio great.
 
I don’t remember what the final tally was, but we decided that the song would win. I was in my little studio that looked into the main control room and had the volume turned up as Dennis DeYoung was singing. Q never played “Mr Roboto," we had done a great bit, and the song was a hit you couldn’t hear anywhere else…and then, at probably around the song’s 1:30 mark, Jeff stopped the song, said something along the lines of “forget this, let’s play some real music” and went into an AC/DC song.
 
WTF. I just stared out the window into the studio and, laugh at me if you want; I had tears in my eyes. What had been a fun, organic piece of radio that listeners actually responded to…flushed down the toilet.
 
A few hours later, the book came out, and we had the worst ratings we’d had since I got there. I’m not Nostradamus, but I wasn’t surprised, I don’t think anyone was, and I recall saying, “what did we expect?”
 
One week later, the morning show co-hosts were let go, and the station became KISS 92. They kept me on for a week as the head of digital made a play to get me into his department. During that time, I sat in my little studio, writing splitters for KISS 92, and listening to that damn Pitbull song “I Know You Want Me” ad nauseam since it seemed KISS 92’s playlist was maybe seven songs (strangely, none of them were “Mr Roboto”). Finally, a week and a half later, Sandy Sanderson came by my studio and handed me my letter. As I said, I had some relief, even with a mortgage to pay. I liked Sandy, he was a nice guy, and I said, “Can I ask you one question?”, to which he said of course. I asked him why didn’t we ever change the name of the station. He answered that it was always believed that the JACK brand still had some value.
 
That’s my memory of those last few years at JACK FM. Perhaps my former colleagues have a different kind of truth (RIP EVH), or perhaps all our memories line up. Thanks for reading; this was actually cathartic to put down all these thoughts after all these years, and as a longtime lurker and very rare poster, I thought folks on here would appreciate this journey through the past.
 
Anyway, I’m going to go throw on some Styx. 

Last edited by Andy Burns (September 19, 2022 10:20 pm)

 

September 19, 2022 10:04 pm  #12


Re: Jack FM changes?

Wow. Great to hear the inside story from someone who was there. Thanks for posting it.

And as far as a cathartic experience is concerned, I believe SOWNY therapy is covered by OHIP!

 

September 20, 2022 1:07 am  #13


Re: Jack FM changes?

paterson1 wrote:

When Jack FM was in Toronto, they also usually had no announcer, and almost never live.  They did some poor attempts at voice tracking.  I remember hearing the same announcer breaks over different music from about 8 hours earlier.  Their music really wasn't much different than BOOM, but the execution was poor.
No personalities, no ratings.  

Jack stations in Western Canada have faired better.  Jack FM in Regina is often number one, and  both Calgary and Vancouver have had a long run.  In London Ontario Jack is usually in the middle of the pack in a 10/11 station market. 

It's worth noting the Jack in Regina is a Rawlco station, not a Rogers one.  That could explain the success.