Welcome to Airchecker
A Social Networking Site For Radio

Welcome to the all new Airchecker experience. A social networking site for radio. We are powered by the people of radio and those who have a great passion to have conversations about radio. As the voice of the Canadian radio industry since 2009. Airchecker has gained a loyal army of followers who say we are the best source for radio. 1000s of radio lovers power your radio news each week via Airchecker. read more >

Paul Kaye’s New Blog On Airchecker “Ask The Coach”



Airchecker proud to announce Paul Kaye, is joining the Airchecker team with a new weekly blog called “Ask The Coach” We invite radio talent from around the world to ask questions on performance. Airchecker continues to be the go to source for radio pros.

Paul started his career in his home country of England where he spent a decade in programming before moving to Canada to work for Newcap in 2012. Paul’s first stop was in Calgary with XL103 and 90.3 AMP Radio and despite burning money and chopping songs in half he was still moved to Vancouver to work with Z95-3, LG104-3 and CISL 650. Paul now holds the role of National Director – Talent Director working with on air talent and programmers across Newcap’s portfolio to enhance performance. Paul also writes a regular column about improving performance for All Access in the USA.

Paul is National Format Director (CHR) and National Talent Coach for Rogers based in Toronto.

Paul’s media and content creation experience spans multiple countries, numerous formats and various distribution platforms. In the UK he led brand and content strategies for nearly a decade, was recognized as one of the industry’s ’30 Under 30′ and held a senior leadership role before relocating to Canada.

In 2012, Paul joined Canada’s Newcap Radio, programming stations in Calgary and Vancouver. In 2014, Paul was promoted to the corporate content team as National Director/Talent Development tasked with improving performance across all content teams, overseeing syndication and leading talent acquisition.

Paul is a certified organizational coach, was somehow named International PD of the year in 2016 (WWRS), and writes a weekly column about performance for All Access in the US.

Welcome aboard Paul Kaye. We look forward to your new ideas and insights that will contribute greatly to the radio community. Take it away coach.

ASK THE COACH: What Makes Great Talent… Err… Great?


As the cursor blinks on my laptop screen, I feel privileged that you have invited me to share my thoughts, opinions and insights with you in this new blog.  I will be honest and say straight away that I don’t know if my thoughts are right.  We work in a business that lives somewhere between science and art – in one of those great grey areas of life.  That’s what makes radio so special - the fact there is no one right way to create it.  I’ve become comfortable with my opinions being unpopular or even wrong as I am a lover of learning and welcome the opportunity to be taught by you through this blog.  Our aim was to create a virtual place where talent – on air, producers, programmers and whoever else – could ask questions about improving performance and get a response.  I truly believe the more questions we ask the better our chance of success.  You can tweet questions to @Airchecker or @mrpkaye using the #AskTheCoach or email in confidence to kaye.paul@mail.com.

Let’s get started!  As this is the first blog I wanted to reflect on talent and one of the questions I am most often asked; “How do you spot talent that has the potential to be great?”

Great talent makes the difference. It’s undeniable. Great talent gives your brand a point of difference. They get you noticed and talked about. They create desire and excitement. Through their content they motivate audiences to find them — and then keep coming back. Great talent is still — and always will be — your secret weapon.

I won’t argue that the music — on a music station — has to be right for you to have a chance of competing, but we all know it can be copied. Instantly. You will never be able to truly win without the best talent in between the music. Look at your own budget and the proof is right there in black and white; the music director isn’t paid anywhere near what you’re paying the morning show, right? I’m not making this comparison to undervalue the very strategic and artistic skills of music directors, but our budgets alone prove the point; you simply can’t win without having great talent!

I acknowledge you could still be number one without having great talent, but I’d suggest in those instances you’re competing with other mediocre radio stations. Winning in today’s world can be defined as creating unique content that an audience is so highly addicted to that they must keep coming back. It doesn’t matter to the consumer whether that content is on their radio dial, on the internet, TV or mobile app. Today you’re competing against every other content creator and distribution platform there is. For radio to continue to have relevance in the future we need great talent who create addictive content for our brands.

How do you spot talent that has the potential to be great? It’s a question I get asked a lot; and the answers are plentiful; however these characteristics top the list…

They have belief. They have an ego. An ego that compels them to believe unquestionably in themselves. They never doubt their ability to succeed. They have self confidence in abundance. They don’t go looking for an audience, they believe what they have to say is so compelling that an audience will find them.

They are on a mission. They are driven to create content for a purpose. A purpose beyond “wanting to make people laugh.” They have something meaningful to share with the world. They don’t do this for the fame, they do it because they believe what they have to say will make a difference to people.

They are self-aware and share themselves. They intimately understand themselves and how they view and respond to the world around them. They know their passions, their prejudices, their flaws, strengths and vulnerabilities. They embrace there uniqueness and use it to define themselves. Every piece of content they create says something about them.

They are fearless. They have something to say so they say it. Being secure with themselves — their good and their bad traits — means that the judgement of others doesn’t scare them from taking a stance. They share their thoughts with unrivalled honesty. They are candid. They understand that authenticity leads to credibility. They don’t want everyone to like them, they know that never leads to success.

They create content they care about first. They only create content they are truly passionate about sharing. They aren’t interested in faking their views on a subject just because their audience might care. They want to create something that has meaning to them. They have to feel the content. They know to make something compelling they must first connect to it. They are their own source of inspiration.

They are predictably unpredictable. Great talent is both comfortable and surprising to their audience. You have absolute clarity on what you are going to get from the talent — you know them and their perspective — you just don’t know where their next installment will take you. It is this unique mix of familiarity and spontaneity that makes them compelling; “I have to know what they will do/say next.”

Do you notice that these traits aren’t exclusive to radio talent? Great talent isn’t exclusive to traditional broadcast media. The internet is full of blogs that people regularly visit because the author displays these traits. There are YouTube videos being shared because their creators demonstrate these characteristics.

Great talent use these unique characteristics to build tribes of like-minded individuals. It doesn’t matter what platform they choose to distribute their content on. The radio industry has many great talents, but we need to be more willing to find, develop and reward those who demonstrate they have what it takes to stand out. We need to embrace the difference that great talent can bring to our brands. Now, with the rise of technology, it is easier than ever for great talent to share their content so, we – the radio industry – are desperately in need of more courageous leaders willing to take some risks on talent. Next time you spot someone who shows these characteristics, bring them onto your team, nurture them, grow them and reward them. It will be a win-win situation for you both!

Have a question you’d like answered?  Then ask the coach. You can tweet questions to @Airchecker or @mrpkaye using the #AskTheCoach or email in confidence to kaye.paul@mail.com.

Radio Listeners Mourn Passing Of Live 88.5 DJ Katfish Morgan


Norman Provencher, Ottawa Citizen

Michel Maisonneuve knew before most folks that his kid brother would be using his wits and voice to make a living.

“He was a blabbermouth, even as a kid,” Maisonneuve laughs, recalling breakfasts in the family home when the kid who would adopt the radio moniker “Katfish Morgan”, would regale the table with non-stop chatter.

“I’d complain to my mother ‘Can’t you stop him’? but she’d just roll her eyes.”

Ottawa radio listeners and musicians paid tribute Saturday to André Maisonneuve, better know as the popular longtime Live 88.5 DJ “Katfish Morgan,” who died Friday after being diagnosed with cancer six months ago.

Maisonneuve, was an original staffer when Live 88.5 adopted a new rock format in 2005, with an emphasis on alternative rock playlists.

He was born in Quebec, but the family moved to Thunder Bay and he attended Confederation College, graduating from their communications program before embarking on his radio career.

When he arrived at Live 88.5 FM, he already boasted a a 25-year résumé in the broadcast industry, working at a number of stations in cities including Montreal, Halifax, London, Calgary and Toronto and having hosting a syndicated Top-20 rock-countdown show.

Imre Rohonczy, a long-time friend of Maisonneuve, sad he was always impressed by the DJs “big heart and his sense of loyalty.”

The men were part of a loose group of pals that would meet at the Prescott Tavern on Friday nights for wide-ranging discussions that were never repeated.

“I can’t call him André, I always knew him as Fish or Fishy,” Rohonczy joked. “But we talked about everything and anything and I knew whatever we talked about would stay between us. You’d never hear it repeated.”

Rohonczy was also impressed by Maisonneuve’ve many charitable endeavours, on projects ranging from the Robbie Burns Society to the Children’s Wish Foundation.

“There were so many, he was really really involved in the community.”

Like many broadcasters, André Maisonneuve was a fan of all types of music, but family members remember that no gathering was complete without his personal rendition of the Tragically Hip’s song Bobcaygeon.

“In a profession where personalities change with the flick of the microphone ‘on-air’ light, Katfish was one of the few ‘real people’ on the radio,” veteran radio personality and programmer Jim Hurcomb wrote in a Facebook message.

“His honesty, intelligence and sense of humour will be greatly missed … This guy was a great broadcaster!”

Morgan had not been on the air for some time. The station tweeted in May that he was “taking some well earned time off.”

Michel Maisonneuve said there would be no formal funeral service for his brother and the family would likely wait until the new year when André’s son, a 23-year-old member of the armed forces, returns from deployment in Ukraine. André also has a daughter, 21, who is a student in Ottawa. The family asked their names not be given.

Interview with the LiVE 88.5 Startup Crew

LiVE 88.5 Startup crew — Katfish Morgan, Dave Schellenberg and Amal Waha



Tom Power Previews The New q On CBC


Tom Power sits down with guest host Candy Palmater to put you, dear listeners, at ease. The two East Coasters shoot the breeze and yak on about what the q crew and Tom have been preparing for the new show — including a couple of format changes and some exciting guests.

Tom Power sits down with fellow East Coaster Candy Palmater to dish on the new q. (Bria John/CBC) Click to listen

WEB EXTRA | Don’t know what to expect on Monday? No worries, take a deep breath and read this: 5 things to know about the new q

Tom Power sits down with fellow East Coaster Candy Palmater to dish on the new q. (Bria John/CBC) Click to listen.

Montreal: Radio Personality Cat Spencer Guest Hosts Global News Morning In Montreal



Radio host Cat Spencer joined Global News Morning in Montreal as a guest host with anchor Laura Casella and weather specialist Kim Sullivan.

Spencer has been working in radio for 31 years and 20 of those years have been in Montreal.

Here are a few things you may not know about Global News Morning guest host Cat Spencer:

Favourite part about working in radio?

You get to play music and entertain Montreal. I really got in to it when I was young because I liked music. It’s a pretty fun job, being part of the city and part of the community.

When you’re not on air what are you doing?

I’m a big time hockey dad. I have a 10-year-old son and I love hanging out with hockey moms and dads, going to practice and going to games.

What’s it like being on air talking to people?

They teach you in radio you’re only speaking to one person at a time. There might be 10,000 people listening so you’re only speaking to one person 10,000 times. I just try and put myself in the mindset of the person driving home after a hard day’s work.

What are some of your best moments on air?

When Montrealers come up to you and acknowledge that they’ve listened to you on the radio for a long time.

Also, meeting a lot of artists and celebrities is always a perk of the job. Over the years I’ve collected a huge amount of autographs and pictures.

What goes on behind the scenes at a radio station?

I don’t think people realize there’s a lot of preparation before going on air. It’s not all ad lib, off the top of our heads. Our goal is to make it sound like it’s casual conversation.

Little something about you that people wouldn’t know that’s interesting?

I played the drums in a Ukrainian wedding band when I was a teenager.


Waves Of Cyber Attacks Hit Netflix, Spotify, Twitter



SAN FRANCISCO — Two successive waves of online attacks blocked multiple major websites Friday, at times making it impossible for users on the East Coast to access Twitter, Spotify, Netflix, Amazon, Tumblr and Reddit.

The first attacks appear to have begun around 7:10 am Friday, then resolved towards 9:30 am, but then a fresh wave began.

The cause was a large-scale distributed denial of service attack (DDoS) against Internet performance company Dyn that blocked user access to many popular sites standstill.

Dyn reported the sites going down at around 11:10 a.m. UTC, or roughly 7:10 a.m. ET, posting on its website that it “began monitoring and mitigating a DDoS attack against our Dyn Managed DNS infrastructure.”

In an update posted at 8:45 a.m. ET, the company confirmed the attack, noting that “this attack is mainly impacting US East and is impacting Managed DNS customers in this region. Our Engineers are continuing to work on mitigating this issue.”

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the Department of Homeland Security was “monitoring the situation” but that “at this point I don’t have any information about who may be responsible for this malicious activity.”

Amazon, whose web service AWS hosts many of the web’s popular destinations including Netflix, also reported East Coast issues around the same time. In an update posted at 9:36 a.m. ET it said that it had “been resolved and the service is operating normally.”

Read the rest of the story



Canadian Radio News 


After deciphering today’s complicated CRTC decisions regarding the three low power license exempt Tourist Information and House of Worship stations in Surrey, B.C. it appears that CITY FM 89.3 (VF2686) has been ordered off the air. SUR SAGAR RADIO 91.5 (VF2688) and MY FM 106.9 (VF2689) will be allowed to remain on the air but must revert back to being Tourist Information and House of Worship facilities.


4 Coaching Tips to Help Air Talent Bring Personal Stories To The Air


A priority for air personality should be an intense focus to create unique, original content from their personal lives and observations. The problem is most talent doesn’t have the experience, training or expertise to pull it off well. That’s where program directors can make a huge impact by helping them tell better personal stories without being self-absorbed. In this article, I’ll share four coaching tips to help your personalities succeed in this area.

You’ve heard great radio shows that build their show around telling personal stories from the life of the cast. This is unique content that nobody else can do. It’s the concept of “living my life on the air”. And it’s highly compelling when done right.

And you’ve also heard shows that are completely self-absorbed. They sound as if all they do is talk about themselves. Sometimes they come off this way even when they’re not talking about themselves at all.

Here are four ways to coach personalities to tell personal stories without it becoming a self-indulgent love-fest.


Coaching Tip #1: Point of View

One of the most common talent mistakes is immediately coming on too strong with their perspective, usually communicated with a heavy dose of IMEWEUS. Simply adjusting the words they use in the entry point can make a huge difference.

Instead of representing a point of view with I, Me, We Or Us, start with a specific statement that represents character, cutting to the emotional essence of the content.

For example…here’s a self-indulgent statement from an air talent talking about the story of the new gene that was discovered as a result of donations from the Ice Bucket Challenge:

I think you’re going to feel great about this next story…especially if you were part of the ice-bucket challenge. I took the challenge, and man let me tell you….it was intense, but now I’m glad I did it….

Notice how the perspective is internal? It’s all about us.

A simple adjustment can make this much better, just by finding a stronger entry point:

The ice-bucket challenge was a nightmare. You probably did it, too. You know that first moment when the water hits you is a shock…But anticipation was the worst part. Now, it’s all worthwhile. This frames the story about the breakthrough solution that came from the money raised in the ice-bucket challenge.

Not only is this more listener-centric, it’s more powerful for the personality. It relates the experience in a much more personal, direct way, even without using the word “I”.

Work with personalities to find ways to adjust the language in the entry point. With a little creativity and time, it’s easy!


Coaching Tip #2: Orientation

Another tactic is to use the term “you” to represent a personal opinion. “You” is the most powerful word on the radio. It’s personal, and, when used properly, creates an intimacy that allows each listener to see themselves in the word picture being created.

Like this actual break from Sarah Taylor on Spirit 105.3 in Seattle:

You’re driving down the street and see those ridiculous 13-year old boys wearing shorts to school on a day like this, and you just know there’s a mom somewhere saying, “come on, Jason…just put on some long pants. It’s 14 degrees out there”.

This clearly reveals your character and personality but through a listener-focused entry point. This causes moms to see themselves in a weather forecast disguised as a short story. They start nodding their head, responding to your personality while thinking it’s all about them. But it’s not.  It’s all about you…you’re relating to them in a very likable way!


Coaching Tip #3: External Hooks

You’ll notice a common theme in making personal stories more relatable. Most of it is about entry points. Entry points are hooks, and the best time for a personal story comes immediately after the hook is in. Those hooks must be external hooks, not internal ones.

The entry point sets a tone for the entire break, framing a personal story to be relatable-or not.

A simple shift in language changes the perception of a break. Imagine if you were out to dinner with friends, and one started talking about how stressed her son is because of all the homework he’s being assigned….and then goes into detail about English, history, how many hours, etc. it’s unrelatable to you. It’s all about them, and you tune out.

But what if they started with a comment like this:

We’re losing so much family time because the school is piling on way too much homework.

You can respond to that. Once the hook is in and the topic is established, your personal story becomes a shared experience inside the frame.


Coaching Tip #4:  Use Questions

If you have a personality that’s struggling with relating personal stories, helping them get into the story by asking questions is the easiest tactic to get into topics quickly without being self-indulgent.

For example:

What’s the best part about the kids going back to school? Admit it, you miss them, but you kinda love it that they’re out of the house, right?

What’s your greatest fear? Other than the obvious, like dying, or spiders?

Asking questions is easy, and your personal story can immediately follow. However, be careful not to fall into the trap of relying exclusively on this tactic. It’s a great way to improve but can become mundane and predictable if every break starts that way.

Also work hard on crafting a responsive question, carefully avoiding a Yes/No question. Questions that are answered with a “yes” or “no”  are dead ends. They don’t lead to conversations.



It’s much easier to issue a directive like, “Nobody cares about your life. Just talk about the listener”. While that may be technically true, it limits the impact great air talent can have on the listening experience, and on your station.

Instead, work on techniques of coaching talent to frame personal stories and observations through the listener experience. When they bring unique content to your station through those experiences, the result is entertainment that can be matched anywhere.

Radio: What Do AM Stations Have To Lose But Go Back To Music Formats?


By Richard Wagon

am radio

As a longtime cheerleader of AM radio, much as I hate to say it, AM is dead.

It’s not even on life support here in Los Angeles any more, it’s dead.

In the most recent monthly ratings released in mid-September by Nielsen, only nine AM stations made the list out of 41 stations total, accounting for 10.1 percent of the listening audience. The highest-rated AM station, KNX (1070 AM), earned a 2.9 percent share of the audience aged 6 and over; KNX and KFI (640 AM) account for over half of the listenership of the entire AM band with a total of 5.5.

By comparison, the top-two FM stations, KOST (103.5 FM) and KIIS-FM (102.7) earned a combined 10.5 share, meaning that two FM stations beat out the entire AM band’s ratings. That’s sad.

Obviously current programming is not attracting an audience. Not young, not old. Not at all.

Reliance on political talk, infomercials and sports just doesn’t cut it when it comes to attracting listeners. For AM to become relevant — suggesting it should “stay” relevant would mean it “is” relevant, and it most certainly is not — it needs to reinvent itself once more. Or perhaps, more accurately, look to formats that would attract an audience if they were offered.

Industry observers and insiders don’t like to admit this, since the sorry state of radio in general and AM radio in particular is their fault, but many of the stations that lack ratings once did. At least they did when they played music, such as 570, 690, 930, 1110, 1150, 1190 and 1580. All had good, or at least acceptable ratings, until they lost focus and either programmed canned junk or dropped music altogether. Even KFI, the second-highest-rated AM station in town, had similar and often higher ratings as a Top-40 station than it does now.

My opinion is that AM can still compete as long as stations offer a format that either can’t be found elsewhere or is just done better. What formats? Glad you asked.

The following are just a few that could help revitalize America’s first broadcast band.

Heavy metal: Pure Rock KNAC (now KBUA, 105.5 FM) proved not only that there is a substantial audience for metal, but that they are among the most dedicated (read: rabid) listeners anywhere. And our area has numerous talented up-and-coming metal or related bands that could use the airplay; indeed, such bands as Odyssey Dawn, Divine Intervention, Soulera and reggae/punk band LAW all play to packed venues throughout the South Bay, Long Beach and Hollywood. Play these and classic metal and you’d bring listeners to the AM band who never even knew there even was an AM band.

Fifties oldies: A format that can’t be found anywhere. Once a mainstay of oldies stations — some purists feel that the ’50s are the only real oldies — the format done right can attract an audience spanning generations. Art Laboe has known that for years.

Sixties oldies: Another format that does not exist here. Much of the material that was played on stations such as KHJ (930 AM) from 1965-1970 hasn’t ridden the airwaves since then. You’d be surprised how many old airchecks feature songs you may not remember; give them a place and you again will find listeners.

Seventies oldies: See a trend here? Since KRTH (101.1 FM) and KOLA (99.9 FM) abandoned most music prior to 1980, there is a huge void waiting to be filled. And numerous programmers and DJs willing to play those hits. Get a station that plays the best of all the rock decades with a focus on Doo-Wop and the East Los Angeles music scene (think War, El Chicano, Tierra, and more) that propelled the original KRLA (now KDIS, 1110 AM) to the top of the oldies list years ago, and I guarantee a winner.

Rap: Real rap, such as heard when played by such DJs as JJ Johnson on the original late, great KDAY (now KBLA, 1580 AM). Most rap on the radio now is whitewashed; KDAY was real. Bring it back.

Big band: MIA since the old KGRB (now KALI, 900 AM) left the air 20 years ago. Yes it skews old, but not as old as you might think. Besides, old is better than nothing. And believe it or not, “seasoned citizens” listen to ads and buy things.

Adult Top 40: Music that appeals to the over-25 crowd but consists of current bands seasoned with oldies and classic rock. With a high-energy, fun but uncluttered presentation that rivals that of the best Top-40 stations of the past. Think KHJ, Ten-Q or KFI all grown up.

Would these stations dominate? No. But they would be a force to be reckoned with and would accomplish two things: bring new and old listeners back to a band that programmers long ago abandoned and keep the FMs an their toes in much the same way that early FM formats made AM stronger, for a while at least. Besides, as with early FM when AM dominated, today’s AM stations truly have nothing to lose.

Then perhaps some of the AM stations in Los Angeles would have something to show for themselves.

Richard Wagoner is a San Pedro freelance columnist covering radio in Southern California. Send him email at rwagoner@cox.net.

Calgary: CJAY 92′s Gerry Forbes Renews Contract For Another Two Years


By: Mathew Silver MetroNews  

Gerry Forbes just couldn’t do it.

He was expected to retire last week on his 60th birthday, but decided to renew his contract with CJAY 92 for another two years.  That means that listeners will hear from the de facto mayor of Calgary for at least a little while longer.

As the star of The Gerry Forbes Show, which airs weekday mornings, he has leveraged his considerable celebrity to give back to the community since arriving on the airwaves in the early 90s.  Oddly enough, his on-air irreverence both belies and fuels his philanthropic efforts.

“I’ve got a really sick mind,” said Gerry unabashedly, in reference to his proclivity for thinking up outrageous stunts.
He recently said that his all-time favourite radio gag was giving a baby a Metallica tattoo.  The tattoo was fake, but that didn’t stop child services from arriving at the CJAY 92 studio to try and take the child away.

This is the same guy that helped to raise about $27,000 in funds for the family of two-year-old Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette and her father Terry Blanchette, who were tragically murdered in 2015.

Listeners came out in droves when Forbes announced that the Eagles would be having a concert in the CJAY 92 parking lot.  They weren’t.  And apparently the band wasn’t pleased to find out about the stunt.

Yet it’s the Gerry Forbes Secret Wish charity that gives nominated families the resources to navigate tough times.  Along with the CJAY 92 Kid’s Fund, he’s helped pay for playgrounds, school busses, and medical bills.

“Some guys will do things to promote themselves.  I’ve seen him crying like a baby handing over a cheque,” said his brother, Marty Forbes.

Marty said that philanthropy was learned early in the Forbes family.  Their father, Jerry Forbes, who ran 630 CHED radio in Edmonton, taught his kids that the power of radio was twofold – they had a responsibility to give back to the community.

It was in those formative years that that Marty noticed Gerry’s aptitude for entertaining an audience.

“I think our favourite memory is that we used to have these massive Christmas parties.  Gerry used to sneak the Drambuie and liqueurs, throw a couple back and entertain,” said Marty.

Gerry got his start in radio early, cutting tapes and sending them to his father to critique.  Then, after stints in Kamloops, Hamilton, and Toronto, he landed at the The Bear in Edmonton, where he was allowed to bring his ideas to life.

Now entering the twilight of his career, Forbes looks back with no regrets.  He said he owes his success to taking chances when nobody else would, and giving back is the most important thing you can do along the way.


Global News Hour At 6 To Simulcast On CKNW Vancouver



 Starting Nov. 7, CKNW listeners will be able to hear Chris Gailus, Sophie Lui, Kristi Gordon and Squire Barnes every weeknight at 6 p.m. on the radio.

Corus Entertainment, the parent company of both powerhouse brands, says this collaboration to provide the hour-long, contextual wrap-up of the day’s news and events will appeal to radio listeners and is a natural next step in the evolution of Corus’ combined assets.

“Simulcasting News Hour at 6 on CKNW will help us grow audiences on both our TV and radio platforms,” said Kenton Boston, VP, Global News & Corus Radio, Western Canada. “Whether you’re on the road, at your desk, at home or on-the-go, accessing the best in news and storytelling has never been easier.”

Tune in to Global BC’s News Hour at 6 PST on Nov. 7 on CKNW AM 980, on theCKNW AM 980 app, on Global, on Apple Music, Apple Carplay or 101.1 FM HD2.

Matt Cundill: Five Years Of Humble & Fred


By Matt Cundill

The Sound Off Podcast is committed to helping broadcasters find their way through the digital revolution. It costs on average $150 per episode. (Equipment, production, audio storage) Your sponsorship goes a long way to creating the podcast you download. If you are becoming a better broadcaster or podcaster as a result, or simply enjoying the show, consider sponsoring for as little as $5.00 to ensure we have great storytellers in the future.

 Donate today to the The Sound Off Podcast   An anniversary for Humble & Fred. Five years ago they rolled the dice and took a chance that their radio brand still had cache. It was a great gamble. Their radio brand is alive and well and flourishing on Sirius XM weekdays from 7-9am Eastern, and in the podcast world daily. They have the downloads, business model and clients to prove it. They are also generous in lending their studio space to radio people who want to further their craft. If you are considering making the jump into the podcasting or online radio space, grab a pen and take notes on the online and podcast part of their journey. Also I speak with Danielle Doiron who became the first female to broadcast a professional baseball game in Canada.

To advertise on This podcast cast – send an e-mail to soundoff@mattcundill.com and we will send you a rate card.

Matt Cundill Media Inc.

Radio Solutions and Voiceovers for the Digital Age. Focus on content, content creation, imaging and optimizing your product to the targeted audience. Special attention given to getting the most from talent and showing all your employees the true benefits of social media to them and your brand. Strategic Consulting including business plans & marketing strategy development.  When we work together, we focus on the tangible parts of your company to get your P1 audience listening longer, and convert P2′s to P1′s. Emphasis on removing the clutter that is preventing your business from going to the next level. cundill

Australia Opinion: Why You Probably Hate Every Radio Station At The Moment



It doesn’t matter which radio station you listen to, the music is all the same.Source:News Corp Australia.

Commercial music DJs have to play songs which, statistically, will be enjoyed by the widest possible audience. That’s what they get paid to do. It just so happens that, because of the internet, those statistics are generating terribly tedious tunes.

Hit and Nova can usually be found playing the exact same Justin Bieber song at the exact same time, and down the “indie” end of the FM band, Triple J are either playing something bland (a 16-year-old girl warbling like Sarah Blasko, who hasn’t bothered to write a chorus) or extremely annoying (Death Metal at lunchtime? Really?).

Why can’t any of these radio stations consistently play good, new music?

My Dad, like many of his fellow Baby Boomers, reckons “it didn’t used to be this way”, and that radio has gotten worse because my generation “just doesn’t have any artistic talent”.

He’s wrong. Good songwriting didn’t spontaneously leave planet earth just after John Lennon died.

I’ve worked in radio stations and in music journalism, and have seen first-hand how difficult it has become to figure out what music people want to listen to. Fifteen years ago, if you were programming top 40 music, you pretty much just had to check the record sales. People wanted to listen to the music they were willing to buy.

But today, only people too old for the internet buy CDs. If we still used physical sales as an indication for “hit” songs, we’d have nothing but Michael Bublé and Anthony Callea on the wireless.

 Now, charts are determined by streaming sites like Spotify and Apple Music. This is a massive problem for programming new music on the radio. Music streaming charts don’t show what new music people are excited about. Instead, they show what music is being played most often.

The charts have moved away from “what people are buying” towards “what people are listening to”. This is terrible for pop music, because it means the most successful songs today aren’t the ones people are excited about, but the ones featured on corporate playlists for gyms, supermarkets, clothing stores, bars, offices and coffee shops.

These playlists don’t change for months at a time, and put the same bland, inoffensive songs on the charts again and again.

In the old system, a song might be number one this week, and off the charts the next. There was heaps of variation, and totally unheard of artists could break onto the charts if they had a great tune. On the streaming charts, however, you get only around one new song into the top 40 each week. Sale-driven pop charts were dynamic and fresh. Streaming-driven charts are old and stale.

Only a decade ago, bands like The White Stripes or The Arctic Monkeys could get onto commercial radio and win huge audiences. That doesn’t happen anymore.

New, worthwhile alternative acts find it harder than ever to break into the mainstream and, as a result, hit radio is more boring than ever.

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Joel North Blog: How Are You Treating Your Customers?


By Joel North East Coast Radio Creative

How are you treating your customers? Not the listeners, the clients. Both are equally important to a radio station, but this is about the ones who provide the cash that keeps a station running.

Recently, a client had a spot declined by a station he was seeking to advertise with.

The station had identified a couple of issues:

  • The spot was 31 seconds long, so they were going to bill as a 60
  • The spot was in stereo, rather than mono, and they would charge a fee to convert

The first is a legitimate concern. However, upon inspection, I noticed the spot was actually 30.4 seconds long.

The second was a little more bizarre. Although it seems absurd to me that anyone is working with a software that cannot ingest a stereo file, I will give them the benefit of the doubt. There are many unique situations and setups with different requirements.

It takes less than five seconds to convert a file from stereo to mono. It takes about the same time to reduce an audio file from 30.4 seconds to 30 if indeed the extra .4 seconds is an issue. Is any of this worth losing business over?

Understandably, all stations are different. It’s possible their production department is stretched and doesn’t have time. The problem here is attitude and how it’s seen by the customer.

My philosophy, as should be the case for any business, is to do anything within reason to get a client on the air. Sometimes even beyond reason. Perhaps I am too generous, but acting in a way which causes lost business certainly doesn’t seem ideal, either.

Needless to say, the client decided not to advertise with this particular station.

In my experience, most stations have sales, production and traffic staff who are extremely friendly, helpful, and accommodating. Clearly, this particular station has work to do. It never hurts to step back, take a look at some operations and policies, and consider how clients perceive them.




Joel is a voice talent and audio producer at East Coast Radio Creative.

Radio Stations Are Starting To Test Live Video Streaming With Ads



WABC in New York is looking for new revenue from video ads

It seems like every content producer across the media landscape is trying his or her hand at live video streaming. Even those with faces for radio. 

WABC Radio in New York has begun testing streaming of some live broadcasts of three of its weekday shows. The station is planning to stream these shows on a daily basis by the end of this month. It is also planning to start running, and in some cases even producing, video ads for local marketers, hoping to unlock a new revenue stream.

It’s not unheard of for big radio shows to be simulcast on TV–think ESPN Radio’s “Mike and Mike” or WFAN’s Mike Francesa, whose show in the past aired on sports cable networks Yes Network and FS1. And radio stations have long streamed audio on the web.

The medium has been relatively quiet when it comes to live video streaming online, with some exceptions. WMMS in Cleveland has been streaming the show “Rover’s Morning Glory” for roughly four years, for example.

WABC’s tests involve three shows: “The Bernie and Sid Show,” which airs weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon, “Curtis and Kuby,” which airs each weekday from noon to 3:00 p.m., as well as “The Drive at Five,” which airs at 5 p.m. The live streams will feature most of these shows’ content, excluding the station’s live news breaks.

“This is a good opportunity for us to rebrand the station a bit,” said Chris Rudzki, director of digital sales and operations at Cumulus Media, which owns WABC. “It lets us dip our toe in the waters and see what’s out there.”

Interestingly, WABC isn’t focusing on the much-hyped FacebookLive, but instead plans to stream the shows on its own site. Outside of potential product placement deals, or driving people to a station’s ad-supported website, Facebook Live is “tough to monetize,” Mr. Rudzki added. “And the algorithm changes every time you do something.”

Facebook is testing some “mid-roll” video ads during live video streams.

WABC has tapped the technology company Livestream to deliver the live content to the web and help the station insert video ads. Some of the new video ads will be produced by the station, while others will be sold by video ad networks, Mr. Rudzki said. The station hasn’t signed on any advertisers yet.

According to Livestream Chief Executive Jesse Hertzberg, his firm has seen a recent uptick in interest from radio stations looking to capitalize on the growth of live video. The company, which has focused on helping sports organizations and even businesses stream live content, is currently working with over a dozen radio stations and is in discussions with several others.

Unlike other forms of media, which have rapidly embraced distributing content through social media and mobile outlets, “Radio is literally trapped in a box,” Mr. Hertzberg said. “This helps them get out.”

Mr. Hertzberg said that the hype surrounding Facebook Live hasn’t necessarily driven this interest, but “it helped accelerate it.”

For its part, WMMS has also experimented with Facebook Live for “Rover’s Morning Glory,” which is syndicated in eight markets across the U.S., but has found more traction on its own station’s site, said Shane “Rover” French, the show’s host. Fans now spend 20 million minutes a month streaming the show, which airs for four and a half hours each weekday.

In the web video era, “people are just not going to consume this content audio only,” Mr. French said. “And for us a new revenue stream has opened up.”

Write to Mike Shields at mike.shields@wsj.com

By MIKE SHIELDS www.wsj.com