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As Barrie’s 101.1 Rebrands, Radio Industry Feels Pressure To Stay Relevant

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Barrie Advance
By Jenni Dunning

There is no magic formula for keeping a radio station on the air, but one thing is certain – local is best.

With B101 in Barrie rebranding itself Big FM and ditching dance music to create the area’s third rock station, radio industry experts say maintaining a hyper-local focus is key to long-term success.

“In this kind of economy … every market has a huge battle going on,” said Jim Carr, broadcasting radio professor at Seneca College, adding radio stations “absolutely” feel pressure to stay relevant any way possible.

“The actual market is only one size. When you have other places people can listen and get their information from, (you have) to convince them to listen to radio. It needs to be local.”

While some behind-the-scenes work can happen anywhere — for example, most of the operations for Corus Entertainment, which owns Big FM, are in Toronto — local coverage is what distinguishes stations from satellite radio and apps such as Google Play and Spotify.

“As long as radio programmers maintain the local side of things, they’re going to be OK,” Carr said.

Despite the Big FM rebranding, the station is not changing its focus on the community, said Lars Wunsche, general manager of southwestern Ontario for Corus Radio.

“We do put a lot of time and effort into making sure we are staying relevant,” he said, adding the company has not felt much pressure to change because of the popularity of satellite radio.

“It’s much more prominent in the states. It’s a very different game in Canada. People still love the fact that radio is local,” he said.

Prior to Big FM, the station was B101 for eight years and it was Energy before then.

Wunsche said the latest change was due to an overlap with Corus’ other local station, Fresh Radio, which used to be known as CHAY FM.

“It offers our community and listeners more of a variety. How do we really maximize the opportunity (to) get the sound and music they like?” he said. “We are predominantly hit radio, along with classic rock. It’s a nice mix of both.”

With the change, Big FM has a new morning show: Big Mornings with Kris Bawden and Susan Meredith, from 5:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Former B101 host Dave Blezard is also hosting the Fresh afternoon show from 3 to 7 p.m.

Former newscaster Wendy King and part-timer George Bryson lost their jobs in the transition.

There is no doubt the overall radio industry has noticed the stagnation of profits, Carr said.

Across Canada, it has not seen much of an increase in revenue annually in the past several years, so consolidating formats or changing music styles may be “the only way they’re going to make money,” he said.

Revenues for English-language FM radio stations across the country decreased by 0.3 per cent in 2015 from 2014 – $1.040 from $1.043 billion, according to Statistics Canada.

Radio stations in Ontario and the Prairies also made up 63 per cent of the total 2015 revenues generated in the industry, but advertising revenue was down in Ontario by 0.6 per cent.

It is perhaps unsurprising Ontario takes a large chunk of radio revenues and Simcoe County has its share of stations.

Paul Larche, president of Larche Communications Inc., said there is a lot of competition in the region.

“This radio market has been saturated for some time, especially with the several GTA-based stations that can be picked up. That being said, we have been able to carve out a great and loyal audience by providing them with what they want.

Our business has been increasing yearly for several years,” he said.

“Radio must be hyper-local. We must work hard at reflecting the communities we serve and providing them with timely and relevant news and information as it happens. That is our unique selling proposition.”

One example of how the company does this is its annual Radio for Cardiology campaign, which has raised $1.3 million for Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre.

“(It) keeps us relevant because we are helping each other out at the local level. It’s what satellite radio and music streaming services cannot do.”

A study released last month from the Music Business Association and data analysis from Lots of Online People (LOOP), an organization that measures analytics, found fewer millennials, particularly those aged 15 to 19, spend much less time listening to radio than older age groups. Instead, they use on-demand music streaming apps, such as Spotify, 51 per cent of the time and smartphones 41 per cent of the time.

The study adds regular AM/FM radio accounts for 35 per cent of the general population’s listening, but young millennials use radios just 12 per cent of the time.

For some radio stations, this has meant a decrease in local news and an increase in music programming – a decision Larche calls a mistake.

“Although national and international news are available instantly on your phone or computer, it’s not the same for local news and community information,” he said. “This is radio’s best value proposition. This requires us to maintain and grow our news departments – not cut them back.”

Larche said radio stations can change with technology, such as being incorporated into new “digital dashboards” in cars, but he argued brands are successful when they stay the same.

“Usually, the longer on-air with a brand, the larger and more loyal your audience becomes. Although your music may evolve as the audience grows, the brand remains the same,” he said, citing Rock 95’s 27-year history and KICX 106’s more than 20-year history.

“Usually, a change means what you were doing wasn’t working. It takes years to develop a significant audience, unless you are offering something totally unique that is not available anywhere else.”

Jenni Dunning is the regional reporter for Metroland Simcoe County. You can reach her at jdunning@simcoe.com . Follow her on Twitter and follow Simcoe.com on Facebook

Riding The Wave – Career In Radio Broadcasting

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By FPJ Bureau The FREEPRESS Journal

If you think you can enthrall an unknown and unseen audience with just the audio element, consider a career in radio broadcasting.

Sector overview

It has existed since before the television and internet and witnessed several lax phases as a medium, but still stands strong. The humble radio continues to hook on thousands of people each day, day in and day out.

Whether people blast the songs on their world class system in their cars or just clue in with their headphones via their mobiles, they are likely to find a radio station which is going to entertain them on their commute.

Listeners often feel that it is the sheer choice of stations and genres of music that draws them towards the radio, coupled with that element of surprise – which song will they play next. Often, listeners have their own particular favourite shows, which they try to tune into regularly.

This just provides the industry the impetus to grow further. Today, as a mass medium, radio reaches the most interior pockets of the country with a distinct advantage – one does not have to be literate to listen to the radio.

Broadcasters use these details to the utmost advantage to create audience-specific shows. Today, there are more than 250 FM stations spanning in almost 90 cities across the country. It is the sign of growing markets and Jon creation.

According to those working in the industry, the ease of access the radio makes it a popular medium. Others also mention that unlike TV listeners do not need to devote special time to the radio, that can listen while performing other tasks. Plus, with no additional cost needed in terms of purchasing a special device or even paying to listen, the radio is popular.

With so many channels and stations operating almost 24/7, there is definitely a need for trained personnel in this industry for its diverse job descriptions.

To get there

Today, there are several courses that students and aspirants can pursue to enter this field and be trained in the work. With the evolving world, the education services have evolved as well. That’s why, perhaps even if a few years ago an aspirant could have done well without specific training in field, but today it makes sense to pursue a course.

Specialised courses are available for those interested, with different electives and focus, so that aspirants can make an informed choice. These include courses in radio production, broadcast media and script writing, among others. The eligibility is not very strict in terms of educational qualifications, but the version personality traits and qualities that are needed.

Institutes in Mumbai offering courses in radio production and broadcasting include

Xavier’s Institute of Communication offers a Certificate Course in Radio Jockeying
Radio City School of Broadcasting offers a Certificate Course in Radio Jockey and Radio Production
The Mumbai Centre of the Indira Gandhi National Open University offers a Postgraduate Diploma in Radio Programme Production (PGDRPP)
Livewires Institute offers courses in Radio Jockeying and Script Writing
School of Broadcasting & Communication offers a Certificate in Professional Voicing & Radio Jockey
Mumbai Film Academy offers courses in Voicing and Anchoring
AAT College offers a BSc in Audio and Music Production at its Mumbai centre

Students are advised to check the eligibilities for the different courses. For some courses, it might by passing the class 12 examinations and others might needed graduation.

Students also need to be aware that jobs in radio production may not be regular 9 to 5 kinds of jobs. Students need to be ready to work in shifts and at hours, since that is one of the basic demands.

A student says

Rohini Shroff, Pursuing her course

I hadn’t decided from the beginning that I would take up this course. After my graduation mass media, I signed up for it. I have learnt so many new things that I have learnt a short span, and I’m still learning. It is an eye opener, as in reality, the operations are so different from what one would really imagine. The working of a studio is an essential element that provides for a lot of practical training for students.

Most of our teachers come from real world radio backgrounds, and are either working in the industry or have experience in the field.

We learn how to ideate, plan and run audio programme production. Students learn to understand various radio formats and also learn the best fitting format for a particular type of speed l show.

We also learn to recognise the kind of research that goes in – for understanding what to present in the structure a show as well as think of what kinds shows to plan for what segments, keeping in mind the time frame.

As far as the skills for this profession are concerned, the first and foremost I’d to start thinking terms of audio, that is, creating the impact only with sounds and words, no visuals. Aspirants also need to be patient and have a knack to work in a team.
Market and remuneration

There is a vast market with diverse roles radio production. Students often know the most popular one – which is being a radio jockey. But there are other production jobs, as well as jobs in back end research, in addition to marketing and sales.

Profiles directly related to broadcasting include the producer, production and support staff and the jockeys.

During the process, a major role is played by the broadcast assistant, providing for the needs anyone related to the show. This person makes sure that everything is in order for a particular show at the designated time.

A radio station might have more than one production assistant and they ensure the smooth airing of any programme.

The presenters of the shows are the radio jockeys who are usually popular with the listeners. Each jockey has a unique way of talking and usually develops a personal style in hosting the shows. This is essential since radio is an audio medium and the faces of the jockeys are not visible. Their identity is usually set by their style of presenting. To listeners it may seem that jockeys make the essential decisions, but that’s not actually the case. It is the producers who oversee the entire process, and look into defining the programming, looking into the script and the other content.

There are other functions to be taken care of, and these are done by station directors and mangers, including looking into personnel management.

Since there are so many roles and designations, the remuneration differs in roles and among employers. A fresh graduate can start anywhere between Rs. 25,000 and Rs. 35,000 per month, depending on the work profile, talent, expertise and knowledge.

An aspirant asks

Ayush Saraf, BCom student

At the time of deciding my study path, I two drawbacks, and that’s why I took up BCom. I wasn’t really sure what I wanted do in future, and also my marks were average. But now that I have read about the field of radio, I’m really fascinated by the production part of it. I have two difficulties. First is that I am not very fluent in English, and the second is that I don’t want to work another city. How much of a problem would these issues pose?

A professional answers: first, you should know that if your confidence levels are linked your head to your fluency in English, it will pose a problem in any profession you take up, since it’ll be in your head. I suggest you try and improve your language skills, so you would be more confident. As far as radio production is concerned, there are stations operating in Hindi, so you could try for one of those.

I guess many students, like you, want to work in Mumbai and are averse to moving to another city. In this field is it possible to stay within Mumbai and work. I should however, mention, that often promotions in terms of higher designations and more responsibilities come often with transfers, when expansions take place in other cities and towns. I think you can take a call when you come to that phase of your life.

The Stuph File Program – Episode #0366

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Welcome to the latest edition of the Stuph File Program.

For a program list of the items included and all their accompanying links in this one hour show, you can find the information on my website in the Stuph File Program section, or just follow this link to #0366.



To download the podcast, right click here and select “Save Link As”

Featured in this episode:


  • Michael Adams, author, In Praise of Profanity
  • Pete Geiger, publisher & editor, The Canadian Farmers’ Almanac
  • Ross Connelly, owner & publisher, The Hardwick Gazette

Click logo for iTunes podcast subscription If you have any comments or suggestions, or items for the mailbag, feel free to click on the “Comments”

Canadian Radio News: McBride Communications Tofino & Ucluelet

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TuffSIMULCAST ENDS ON B.C.’s LONG BEACH

McBride Communications has dropped the LONG BEACH RADIO simulcast on CHMZ 90.1 Tofino and CIMM 99.5 Ucluelet replacing it with local programming on both stations.
CHMZ is now TUFF CITY RADIO 90.1 and CIMM is now UKEE RADIO 99.5. After listening to the streams this afternoon It appears that Long Beach Radio’s Eclectic Rock format has now been shelved in favour of a Hot AC/Variety approach on both stations. .

TUFF CITY RADIO 90.1 WEBSITE:

www.tuffcityradio.rocks/

UKEE RADIO 99.5 FACEBOOK PAGE:

www.facebook.com/UkeeRadio/home

The changes apparently occurred several months ago, but we just learned about them now.

Update: Kevin and Sonia PEAK Vancouver

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It’s been a whirlwind 24 hours for radio personalities Kevin Lim and Sonia Sidhu, who went from hosting one of the most well-known morning shows in Vancouver to being unsure of their next move.

On Tuesday, the duo announced that it was their last day at The PEAK and the station will be “moving in a new direction.”

Their morning show was also syndicated in Kelowna through Q103.1.

KelownaNow talked to Sidhu Wednesday afternoon.

She said they haven’t decided what their next business move is, although they are open to opportunities.

“We’ll always be best friends,” Sidhu said, of her and Lim, who have been by each other’s sides for over a decade. “We’re just going to take a bit of time to spend time with our family and friends.”

Lim is married and the father of a one-year-old son, who’ll he’ll get the chance to take to the park more often.

Sidhu also has her own upside.

“I’m sleeping in tomorrow and I’m not getting up at 3 a.m.,” she said, laughing. “It’s going to be fricking great.”

When it comes to the Jim Pattison Group who let the pair go, Sidhu said they have no hard feelings and wouldn’t give any further details on the split.

Sidhu said she’s hoping their fans will stick by them. They have over 7,000 Facebook followers and about 5,000 each on Twitter. Since they announced the news on Facebook, hundreds of people have been reaching out on social media to give them well wishes.

“I’m just like…wow…people really care,” said Sidhu. “Every single one of those messages makes me feel so grateful.”

“We’re going to be OK. As much as it’s cliche, everything happens for a reason.”

Lim and Sidhu are hosting a Facebook Live chat on Friday at 2 p.m., and listeners are invited to ask them questions.

Why Does AM-FM Radio Play The Same Songs Over And Over? – The Media Show

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By Cory Doctorow

You turn on the radio, and they’re playing the same Lady Gaga or Drake song yet again. Why don’t they play anything GOOD? you ask yourself. How does a song become a popular hit? Why don’t they play any local bands? How am I supposed to get my band or music promoted to radio audiences?!

Gus the hacker puppeteer writes, “Many of us hoped the Internet would disrupt the music industry along with all other media industries, giving more power — and more pay — to musicians and songwriters. And yet, somehow the amount musicians get paid each time their songs stream is a tiny fraction of a cent.”

“The anti-corporate messages of punk and hip-hop feel as relevant today as in the 70s, 80s, and 90s. The corporate monoculture in AM/FM radio is obvious, even if people can’t explain what’s going on: when we did a search for “why does radio,” autocomplete finished the sentence “play the same songs over and over?” Clearly people are wondering what the heck is up with the radio. But who can give the world the inside scoop on how the music industry works?

“Portia Sabin — president of the venerable punk label Kill Rock Stars, and former board member of the American Association of Independent Music — graciously agreed to be interviewed by our punk puppet Weena about how radio program directors and record label guys team up to ensure that their songs get played in heavy rotation. She explains how payola and advertising money combine to ensure radio stations play songs engineered to keep listeners tuning in. Portia gave us so much great information that we turned it into not one, but three episodes, plus an animated infographic on media monopoly. So stick around for the full playlist! And share it with anyone you know who may be teaching a unit on media literacy.”

Exclusive: Radio On Its Deathbed? Elvis Duran Speaks Out!

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By Matthew V. Libassi FOXBusiness

“Elvis Duran and the Morning Show” host and National Radio Hall of Famer, Elvis Duran speaks out on the future of radio and adapting to the digital age.

The history of radio dates back to the early 1800s. Wireless telegraphy pioneers like David Edward Hughes, Heinrich Rudolf Hertz and Nikola Tesla fought to understand the unseen forces of radio waves. However, it was Guglielmo Marconi who in 1895 built the first crude radio and in 1901 broadcasted the very first transatlantic signal.

August 20, National Radio Day, celebrates the achievements and birth of modern day mass media.

Now over 120 years later the age of radio is being reborn once again. And who better to reflect on radio’s past and look ahead to the future than America’s favorite DJ and National Radio Hall of Famer, host of ‘Elvis Duran and the Morning Show,’ Elvis Duran.

Over three decades in radio, Duran has seen the industry change first hand.

“Thirty years ago I had no idea radio was going to turn into this digital monster it is now just becoming” Duran told FOXBusiness.com in an exclusive interview.

“Radio in my beginning days was going into a room for four hours, playing a bunch of music and screaming about the artists… radio now has come out of the radio on to the net and on to video and on stages, it’s a multiplatform thing. It’s nothing I expected ever to see“ says Duran.

Broadcasting out of Z100 in NY since 1996, the ‘Elvis Duran and the Morning Show’ is the number one nationally syndicated radio morning show. Getting the attention of more than 10 million listeners across 80 plus markets, exposure across digital platforms and social media, Duran and his team continue to push the medium’s boundaries.

“We use it all… Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) hit on and then Twitter (NYSE:TWTR). We have evolved with whatever is hot. Right now it’s all about snapchat; we are waiting with whatever is next. We are going to be on it. We have to be, because that’s where our listeners are going” says Duran.

Owned by iHeartMedia (OTCMKTS:IHRT) the demand to change with the digital times is cutthroat. Competitors like Spotify, Pandora and Apple Music (NASDAQ:AAPL) show the shift of listener habits.

iHeartRadio (their web streaming service and app) allows access to thousands of live radio stations nationwide, custom artist stations with a catalog of 24 million songs and over 800,000 artists, according to iHeart.

“You can’t stop technology, nor can you control it. The only winning strategy is to embrace it — and embrace it as early as you can,” iHeart Media CEO Bob Pittman said at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show.

As a whole, the radio industry is losing financial bandwidth. iHeartMedia is the world’s largest radio company, with 861 stations and a digital streaming service and is at major risk of defaulting on $3 billion in loans. Cumulus (NASDAQ:CMLS), their biggest competitor is also facing $2.5 billion in debt, reports Billboard.

Both iHeartMedia and Cumulus did not respond to requests for comment.

Despite the economics, radio even centuries later is still a source of information and entertainment. With new devices, new demand and shorter attention spans, is there a key to succeeding in this still changing medium?

“Traditional radio is not going to die, it’s going to evolve … we are seeing the shift. It’s working in our favor … keep listening. We are always evolving. Evolve with us” Duran adds.

You can listen to ‘Elvis Duran and the Morning Show’ on Z100 weekedays starting at 6am ET or stream it on the web and on demand with iHeartRadio. And be sure to watch Duran’s full exclusive interview above.

Matt Cundill: Exclusive Interview With John Mielke Owner Of Milkman Unlimited

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Oh what the heck. Lets do it. Never thought AC would bring on the Milkman to our pages.

Airchecker has been reporting the news for over 15 years now. We created the Airchecker to go head to head with the Milkman. AC took the direction of getting the inside of the radio news.

That was then this is now. Today we won’t share the story but who knows what the future has in store. If you work in radio you will know all about the Milkman.

A fantastic inside look at the early days of the Milky vision. Airchecker thoroughly enjoyed the interview.

Matt Cundill speaks with broadcaster John Mielke, owner of Milkman Unlimited.

Canadian Radio News:102.7 THE PEAK IN VANCOUVER FLIPS TO MODERN ROCK

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peakvancouver2102.7 THE PEAK IN VANCOUVER FLIPS TO MODERN ROCK

The Triple A format on Jim Pattison’s CKPK 102.7 “THE PEAK” in Vancouver has morphed into full blown Modern Rock. This comes as no surprise as the station has slowly been de-emphasizing its Triple A focus over the past year. In the Spring 2016 PPM’s CKPK came in 12th place in the market with a 3.2 share overall.

102.7 THE PEAK WEBSITE:
www.thepeak.fm/

At Airchecker we love audio. ShOTGUN ID’s Vancouver’s Modern Rock 102.7 The Peak.

 

The PEAK Vancouver Releases Kevin Lim & Sonia Sidhu

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PeakVancouverThis is a difficult update to write but we’ve always prided ourselves in being honest with you. Today we learned that the station is moving into a new direction and this was our last day on 102.7 The PEAK (and Q103.1).

Despite the unexpected loss, today we feel grateful. Grateful to have had this opportunity and for you, our radio family. We want you to know just how much your support has meant to us, whether you’ve been with us for many years, or recently discovered us. We know you have many choices, and the fact that you took time out of your day to spend some of it with us means the world.

A special thank you to the talented group of people we’ve been fortunate to call co-workers and friends. It’s been a pleasure.

We’ve worked very hard building this show and while it may no longer fit the new direction of the station, we look forward to seeing what’s next. We’ll be sure to keep you updated here on this Facebook page. For now, we’ll be enjoying some time to sleep in with an alarm time that doesn’t start with a “3”.

Love,

-Kevin and Sonia

Canadian Radio News: CHRF/CFMB Montréal And CHSV-FM Hudson/Saint-Lazare – Acquisition Of Assets

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CHRF and CFMB Montréal and CHSV-FM Hudson/Saint-Lazare – Acquisition of assets (corporate reorganization)

The Commission approves the application by Evanov Radio Group Inc. (ERG) for authority to acquire, as a part of a corporate reorganization of Evanov Communications Inc. (ECI), the assets of CHRF Montréal and CHSV-FM Hudson/Saint-Lazare from Dufferin Communication Inc. (Dufferin), as well as the assets of CFMB Montréal from CFMB Limited. Upon surrender of the current licences issued to Dufferin and CFMB Limited for the undertakings, the Commission will issue new licences to ERG. The terms and conditions of licence for the undertakings are set out in the appendices to this decision. The Commission received a joint intervention supporting the application.

Read the full decision at: www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2016/2016-323.htm

CJAD 800: Dave Fisher Retires

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Dave Fisher wrapped his final broadcast on Sunday morning to applause from a live audience, transitioning gracefully from a family favourite to a radio legend.
“Legacy! I’m not old enough to have a legacy don’t be silly!” said Dave, at the tender age of 65.

Gazette Columnist and longtime colleague Bill Brownstien said at his retirement party that Dave was known as a whip-smart everyman, ‘that warmed our hearts like a cup of coffee’.

“I think he gives people a sense of tradition, that they’re part of something,” he said. “He relaxes people and makes you think that in the worst kind of crisis you’ve got a familiar voice that you can fall back on.”

Fisher makes his exit after 32 illustrious years hosting weekend mornings, and hordes of loyal listeners and colleagues gathered in the Bell Media studio on Rene Levesque and Papineau to wish him farewell.

“It’s a staple in our house, every Sunday morning to listen to Dan and Dave and to try and stump them,” said Rohinton Ghandhi affectionately. “We’re going to miss the twit – no, the wit!”

Other listeners in the audience describe him as “a class act” and “like part of the family”.

High praise also comes from his wife Ardy Fisher. “I think he has a very special sense of humour, and he’s a smart guy,” she said. “He doesn’t talk just for the sake of talk.”

Though she is looking forward to having a late Friday night dinner for once, or sleeping in on a Saturday.

“He’s very devoted all these years to his work… over the years I’ve had to make a lot of sacrifices socially because of this job,” said Ardy. “I think he puts a lot into it and that’s why he’s well liked and he has a special personality I must say.”

“I loved it all,” said Dave Fisher on his way out on Sunday. “Because I had the cooperation and confidence of management, I could do whatever I wanted. I had a ball, and I was very lucky that way.”

He apologized in advance to all the listeners and well wishers who sent him cards, gifts, and emails, he said he would have to be responding from his death bed to get back to everyone.

“It’s the listeners that make the difference at our radio station,” he said. “And it’s still my radio station.”

Dave Fisher’s likeness has been hung on the CJAD 800 Wall of Fame, and he passed his mic to the new weekend morning man Ken Connors at the end of the broadcast.

 

Dawg Ottawa Making Moves New Format On The Way

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From the famous Airchecker Twitter feed.

 

 

Ottawa’s New Country 94 Shuffles The Deck

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Blair Crawford, Ottawa Citizen

Ottawa’s New Country 94 has shuffled its morning show and laid off two DJs in the latest shakeup of the city’s radio landscape.

DJs Ryan Lindsay and PJ Ste Marie were let go Monday to be replaced by Sophie Moroz and Matt Di Paola on the 5:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. shift. Moroz rejoins the New Country 94 team after a six-month stint at sister station Majic 100. Di Paola moves to the morning from the station’s afternoon time slot, swapping duties with former morning DJ Mary Anne Ivison.

In an emailed statement, Bell Media’s Matthew Garrow said, “We feel strongly that these changes will resonate with our listeners as we continue to deliver on our commitment to provide the very best of New Country to the Ottawa region.

“As a result of these changes we can confirm that Ryan Lindsay and PJ Ste Marie are no longer with the station. We thank both of them for their contributions and extend our best wishes as they move on to pursue new opportunities.”

Despite the shakeup, the station remains committed to the “new country” format, said Garrow, Bell Media’s director of news, local stations, sports, Discovery Network and community investment.

Lindsay was the first on-air personality signed by the station when it switched to the country format in 2014. He declined to comment when reached by Postmedia, but thanked fans in a Facebook post.

“Sad to leave my Fam at 94, but life goes on. Appreciate all the opportunity given to me, and the bonds I built with so many. Anyone need a good balloon twister?”

bcrawford@postmedia.com

Twitter.com/getBAC

Editor’s Note: This story was updated to clarify that only one of the laid off DJs, Ryan Lindsay, was a morning host.

Matt Cundill Blog: Happy New Year! Summer is Over!

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The unofficial start to our new year is actually the Monday after Labour Day. Kids head back to school, and families go back to their over-scheduled routines. That’s great news for radio stations who market and target to those key demographics who are stuck in the car trying to get from volleyball to hockey tryouts in the middle of rush hour traffic. Routines are important to families and on air radio talent; right down the quarter-hour.

It’s also the beginning of a brand new radio fiscal year. If you stick around radio long enough, you will see the patterns that revolve around budgets and budgeting. If it looks like there are a wave of cuts every May – you’re right. That’s when budgets get set for the next fiscal year and companies part with the talent they won’t be investing in any longer. Then there is August. That’s when final budget adjustments are made and companies make the rest of their changes. Think I am making it up? As I type this, Country 94 in Ottawa is making a bunch of changes, leaving Airchecker scrambling for the body count. I will leave others to speculate if a tenth Virgin will (re)emerge in our nation’s capital.

As for my quip that summer is over, you can already feel the night time air dropping down to sleep friendly temperatures. I think I hear geese. All sure signs that you have two weeks to get your fall promotional campaign wrapped up, t’s crossed, i’s dotted, and try to steal one last three or four day weekend at the lake before the fall ratings period starts. Right about the time you fix that cocktail or pour that cold beer, another station in the market will flip to a format similar to yours and it’ll be game on!

Happy New Year!