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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 >

Matt Cundiull: TJ Connors Elected To The White House Of Rock


TJ Connors has come full circle. The station he grew up around is now his afternoon home. His father, the legendary Scruff Connors, was the morning man at 97.7 HTZ-FM in St. Catherines during the height of rock radio’s mass appeal phase in the early 90′s. A quarter century later, the Connors name is back on HTZ-FM.

I hired TJ to do mornings at Power in 2012, and had a chance to work with him as a consultant to his Country 103 station in Kamloops, where he was morning man and program director. We spoke about the advantages and disadvantages of following his dad on a station he helped make famous, and what makes HTZ-FM so legendary in the Niagara region.

SPONSORED BY PROMOSUITE: www.promosuite.com/soundoff

Also on the show, Edison research released their annual “Infinite Dial” update. Jason Barrett of Barrett Sports Media was kind enough to lend me 9 minutes of his take on the podcast portion of the report. All of which I agree with. (You know those boring informericals and bad radio shows used to fill weekend slots on sports radio and news/talk? Substitute with Podcasts and reap the ratings reward!)

Subscribe to the Barrett Sports Media Podcast here – sportsradiopd.com/category/about-s…s-radio-podcast/

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The Tyranny Of The Target Audience


TALKERS | March 22, 2017

By Bill McMahon
The Authentic Personality

EAGLE, Idaho — I cringe every time I hear a well-meaning PD or GM instruct a personality to focus everything they create and present on “our target audience.” It often goes something like this:

“Our target audience is a woman 25-44. I want everything you create or put on the radio to appeal to her. Figure out what she cares about. Find out what she’s talking about. Imagine what she’s thinking about. Find out what she likes to do. Everything on your show should be about her. Just to remind you, I’ve put a big picture of her on the control room wall so you’ll see her every time you open the mic.”

These instructions are debilitating and dehumanizing. Without saying it, they strongly imply that the life the radio personality is living has little in common with the “target audience” and doesn’t really matter when it comes to creating stuff to put on the radio. The effect is corrosive. When radio personalities are constantly told, subtly or directly, to look outside themselves for ideas for their shows, they suffer a loss of self-awareness and self-esteem. Their individuality and even their humanity are diminished. They gravitate to safe stereotypes about the “target audience.” They rely on trending topics on social media and syndicated prep services. They begin doing a show to please their bosses and not themselves. They end up doing a show that excites almost no one, including themselves. It’s not distinctive. It’s not personal. It’s not intimate. It’s not memorable. It’s not important. The lack of energy, enthusiasm, and passion is palpable. And sadly, the show sounds just like every other morning radio show. For example, when was the last time you heard a morning radio show with a female “target audience” that didn’t have a woman reporting celebrity news and gossip each day. The exact same celebrity news and gossip heard up and down the radio dial and widely available on Facebook and other social media. You know, the ever present trending topics.

The tyranny of the “target audience” instruction has created countless victims within the radio business. It’s also caused many really talented and interesting personalities to flee traditional AM and FM radio for places like the world of podcasting that allow more creative freedom and encourage innovation and experimentation. I’ve talked to many of the victims over the years. Regrettably, what they all seem to have in common is a loss of their individuality and personal identity. When I ask them what kind of show they want to do, they always tell me, “I can do whatever kind of show you want me to do.” They often ask me, “What is your target audience?” If I give them an answer, no matter what it is, they nearly always tell me, “I can do a show for that audience.”

There are other big problems with the “target audience” instructions. They assume every woman or man is living their life as part of a homogenous demographic group. Like every woman 25-44 has the exact same life with the same interests, wants and needs. They also assume that it’s possible to predict, with some certainty, what every man or woman wants to hear on the radio because they belong to a demographic group. That’s a myth. If it were true, every song would be a hit, every movie a blockbuster, every book a bestseller, and every radio show would be killing it in PPM.

So why not forget the mythical “target audience” and instead encourage personalities to focus their creative efforts on the one thing they all have in common with their listeners? Male or female, no matter our age, we all share the same set of emotions. Joy and sadness. Love and hate. Doubt and fear. Emotion is the universal human connector. The surest way for a radio personality to create the most distinctive, appealing, and relevant content and attract the largest and most loyal audience possible is to pay attention to what rings their emotional bell in every event and circumstance of their lives. What makes them laugh, cry, or marvel. What generates a sense of wonder and awe. What causes them to think or feel differently or completely change their mood. What inspires them. What gets them truly excited and arouses their curiosity. This is the source of great content because it springs from what we all have in common. Not our age, sex or demographic group, but our humanity, our human emotions.

Don’t let the tyranny of the “target audience” claim another victim, produce another bland and disposable radio show, or chase another talented artist from AM and FM radio.

Bill McMahon, CEO of The Authentic Personality, is a longtime talk radio station and talent consultant who has played a role in the development of the careers of many leading hosts over the past three decades. He can be phoned at 208-887-5670 or emailed at Bill@AuthenticPersonality.biz.

The Stuph File Program – Episode #0396


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 #0396.

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

Featured in this episode:

  • Robert J. Sawyer, author, Quantum Night
  • Dr. John Huber, Chairman, Mainstream Mental Health — When to see a therapist
  • Pete Trabucco, theme park expert, Star Wars Land

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” link below to add your thoughts.

CFAM Celebrates 60 Years! (VIDEO)


CFAM hit the air waves at 8:01 p.m. on March 13, 1957. The radio station, operating at 1,000 watts and located at 1290 on the AM dial, was housed in a small studio in Altona – a community of 1,800 people at the time.

The idea for a radio station in Southern Manitoba was conceived by A.J. Thiessen, an entrepreneur from Rosenfeld.

“It was a very momentous evening – something that people had looked forward to for quite a while,” reflected CEO Elmer Hildebrand, who at the time of the launch, worked as a commercial copywriter at the station. “It was a cold winter day…(and) it was an amazing evening and from my recollection it’s sort of like yesterday, I can remember it well.”
CFAM hit the air waves at 8:01 p.m. on March 13, 1957. The radio station, operating at 1,000 watts and located at 1290 on the AM dial, was housed in a small studio in Altona – a community of 1,800 people at the time.

The idea for a radio station in Southern Manitoba was conceived by A.J. Thiessen, an entrepreneur from Rosenfeld.

“It was a very momentous evening – something that people had looked forward to for quite a while,” reflected CEO Elmer Hildebrand, who at the time of the launch, worked as a commercial copywriter at the station. “It was a cold winter day…(and) it was an amazing evening and from my recollection it’s sort of like yesterday, I can remember it well.”
Read On.

Andy Walsh Signs Off After 65-Year Radio Career


The number you have reached is not in service.”

There’s no mistaking the voice if you’ve happened to misdial a telephone number. It literally booms across the phone line with a blend of authority and warmth.

And it belongs to Richmond (Seafair) resident Andy Walsh, who, on Feb. 13, retired from a 65-year-long career in radio.

Walsh, 85, launched his career in 1951 in Cornwall, Ontario and later worked in his hometown of Montreal for 15 years before moving to Vancouver in the early 1970s, joining CHQM. He moved over to News 1130 when it switched to an all-news format in the 1990s. And he signed off from there at the end of a mid-morning newscast last month with a characteristic, humble goodbye.

“I think it was the best day of my life at the radio station,” he said, “in the sense that I was up for it and everything went so meticulously well. And yet, I’ve enjoyed every day in broadcasting.”

And there have been many since he decided to give radio a try as a youngster working at an advertising agency in Montreal that was populated by a host of former broadcasters who, when they heard his velvet tones, encouraged him to send an audition tape around to see if he could get some interest.

Radio also beckoned Walsh as he followed his beloved Montreal Canadiens with the play-by-play call of Doug Smith.

“Back in the ‘40s, way before TV, I would listen to Doug doing the play-by-play and realized that radio was something I would like to try,” he said.

So, Walsh put together a tape and the response was almost immediate when a radio station in Cornwall, called him back.

“It was almost like, ‘When can you start?’” Walsh said. “I didn’t think about how quickly it happened, to be honest. But I wanted to do something in radio and I guess it worked because I was hired.”

The only problem was that he came with a family name – Woloshen that was deemed hard for the average listener to digest.

“It wasn’t good to the ear of the guy I was working with, who asked me how to spell it,” said Walsh. “And he told me listeners would have trouble with it and it would have to change.”

So, since then he’s gone professionally by the surname Walsh.

“That’s what it’s been on air,” he said.

Along the way in his career Walsh has lent his voice to a number of other things than radio, such as the Telus “not in service number clip.” One was being the announcer at the appearance of Pope John Paul II at B.C. Place Stadium in 1984.

“They asked me to emcee his arrival with thousands of people there. The event just filled me with wonderful feelings.”

He was also present when Mother Theresa made a visit in 1988.

“I saw her coming down the aisle in this darkened place with thousands people watching. She was this tiny little figure who I had just introduced. And she was illuminated by this single spotlight. It was quite a sight,” said Walsh, who also used to be a regular scripture reader during masses at St, Joseph the Worker Catholic Church on Williams Road.

“I’m still getting called to do some things. In fact, I have to do an event at St. Joe’s in a month or two,” he said. “People ask you to do all kinds of things and you do them, if you can.”

Walsh said he plans on remaining active in his retirement, using a small, home studio set up to record his voice.

“It’s a computer with a nice microphone, so it’s pretty convenient,” he said, adding he still hears his voice on some commercials aired on CHEK TV in Victoria where one of his sons work as a producer.

“There’s work out there in a number of places, so I could probably stay pretty busy.”

But after six and a half decades behind the mic, he welcomes the rest, but quickly admitted he already misses the routine.

“No question, I loved what I did. That’s why I stayed so long in the business,” he said. “Plus, there was really nothing else I wanted to do.

“It’s been a fun ride.”

© 2017 Richmond New

Secret To Managing Talent: Treat Them Like Dogs

Treat Them Like Dogs Main Image copy

Here’s some unexpected advice for programmers and managers: You should treat talent like dogs.

Thats sounds strange coming from a radio talent coach, but hold on. Dogs are our best friends. They’re friendly, loyal and always there for you. We love our dogs, and we should love our radio talent.

However, if you’ve ever raised a puppy, you know how frustrating it can be. You also learn that it’s fun and when they “get it,” you have a loyal friend for life!

It’s the same when coaching air personalities. These adorable and talented creatures will drive you crazy, wear you out, and test your patience. Success depends on how you understand them, learn to inspire and motivate them and reward them!

But most of all, you have to enjoy the process!

They Respond to Praise

They want to make you happy. They really do. It’s up to you to teach them what makes you happy, then reinforce it with praise. Psychological studies prove that it takes nine positive reinforcements to offset a single criticism. When they do something positive, tell them, and reward them.

Trainers carry a pocket full of dog treats to get a puppy to do what they want. Be generous with perks, benefits and treat them like a STAR when they behave properly!

They Learn at Their Own Pace

It doesn’t happen at the pace we want, or think it should. And it doesn’t match how other talent grows.

The best approach is to focus on teaching (or correcting) one thing at a time, then move on to the next thing. It’s your responsibility as their coach to constantly teach, helping them grow.

Puppies (and talent) love to learn. It inspires them, motivates them and challenges them. When they aren’t, they get bored. When they get bored, they stop paying attention. Then, bad things follow!


Get More Tips & Resources on Coaching Air Talent>>>


They Demand Time and Patience

Puppies learn through repetition. Repetition takes time. Time takes patience. Talent requires the same commitment and discipline. They don’t just “get it” in a meeting and start performing differently tomorrow.

Keep It Simple For Best Results

Puppies don’t understand complex commands or detailed instructions. They respond to simple words like “Sit” or “Down.” You’ll have better, faster results with talent by using simple words and concepts that are easy to apply to their show.

Don’t get bogged down in details or philosophies. Explain why it’s important, and how it will work for them!

There Will Be Mistakes 

And when there are, you have to clean up after them. Ignoring it will cause it to happen again and again. Puppies and talent require constant attention and monitoring.

If you don’t address it, bad behavior will continue, and it will be your fault, not theirs. Make sure they know that the behavior is unacceptable, deal with it quickly, then move on.

Establish Boundaries

Indulge a puppy and you spoil them, which leads to begging and an unhealthy sense of entitlement. A dog “serves at your pleasure.”

Treat them kindly and fairly, but with clearly established expectations and boundaries. You don’t want a morning show host jumping into a guest’s lap at the dinner table!

You Can’t Train Stupid Dogs

Some dogs are smarter than others. They’re capable of performing more tricks. They should have higher expectations. It’s the same with talent.

Learn their capabilities and realize that all personalities have limits.

It could be that your talent is just not right “breed” for your needs. Don’t try to turn them into something they’re not.

You CAN Teach Old Dogs Tricks

But it’s more difficult. The radio industry is full of personalities living in the past. They’re executing ideas that worked in the 80s but are outdated, ineffective and just worn out.

They can be retrained, but it is much more time consuming and challenging than working with a puppy.

Leash Until Learned

Trainers keep dogs on a leash until they’re trained to respond to voice command. It’s for the puppy’s safety! In radio, it’s much easier to loosen the leash gradually. If you let them run free, don’t be upset if they run away and don’t come back.

As talent grows, grant more freedom, control and independence.


Free Webinar: Treat Them Like Dogs: March 28: Sign up Now>>>


They Love Car Rides

Have you seen a dog with their head out the window of a car? They love it. Same with air talent, and someday they may give you a ride in their new sports car they buy with their ratings bonus!


When a dog is properly trained, they are loyal for life. It’s the same with air personalities. As a talent coach and consultant, much of my responsibility is training the trainers to get the most out of their personalities.

If you’d like to discuss how this can benefit your station, show or company, please contact me.


The Airchecker Radio Journey Series – Tom Mcgouran



For as long as he can remember, Tom wanted to be on the radio. To pursue that end, Tom attended Seneca College in Toronto for Radio and Television Arts. Of course, he didn’t spend much time in class, but camped in the college radio station, getting on the air as often as possible.

Near the end of the two-year course, he sent out roughly 150 tapes across Canada and ended up with a gig at a new classical music station, CFMX-FM in Cobourg, Ont, having lied about knowing anything at all about classical music! After begging for a chance, he ended up doing the midday show at their sister station, CHUC, a few months later.

Tom continued to send out tapes, and eventually landed at CFMC-FM, a rock station in Saskatoon. Rock radio! Where he’d always wanted to be! After a couple of years there on afternoon drive, he got the call from Q94 to come to Winnipeg. This was short-lived, as he was soon hired to do middays at the new 97 Kiss FM, where it really all began.

I knew I wanted to be a radio personality from the time I was little tyke growing up in Toronto, listening to the radio during breakfast before school, that my Mom had tuned to


I can remember thinking ‘yeah that’s what I want to do’! And so the journey began.

After attending Seneca College for what was called Radio and Television Arts at the time, and spending countless hours on the campus radio station, I sent out about 200

Audition tapes(mini reel to reel format back then-circa

1979). I remember receiving about 25 ‘thank you’ letters,and one job interview!

It began at CFMX in Cobourg, Ontario. A brand new ‘Classical’ music station! I didn’t know anything about Classical music, but I didn’t care. They gave me a chance to sit behind a microphone and I grabbed it!

That led to picking up shifts on CHUC their AM sister and I was on my way. The journey would take me to Saskatoon next at Stereo 103(now C-95) It was an independent Rock station! I had arrived at the format I’d work in for pretty much the rest of the journey! I really found my ‘voice’ in Saskatoon and had a blast doing the afternoon drive show for 2 years. Winnipeg beckoned next where I was fortunate enough to grab a midday shift at 97.5 Kiss-FM(now Power 97). The station had just flipped format from Country.

It took sometime to develop but eventually became the number one Rock station in Winnipeg. It was here I got hooked up with my first great morning show partner, Larry Updike. Larry and I enjoyed a great run of many years, beers, laughs and success.

We were eventually lured over to 92 Citi-FM where we also rocked for many years.

After an ill-fated move to CFMI Rock 101 in Vancouver in 1994(8 months, one book, fired ha ha!!), Larry and I ended up returning to Winnipeg at different stations. I returned to 92 Citi-FM and was then joined by my second great morning partner, Joe Aiello. Once again we were lucky enough to be successful for what was to become an almost 20 year run.

As we’re all aware of in our business, eventually everything comes to an end. In Sept of 2012, I was given the familiar manila envelope and shown the door. I had a non-compete for 18 months, so had some time to catch up on some early morning sleep for the first time in many years. I assumed I’d land somewhere fairly quickly after that, but I would find out I was dead wrong!

What followed was a really tough 3 years of trying to get back ‘In’!! I wasn’t done! I wasn’t prepared to move on! I loved every minute of every show I had the pleasure of doing, and wanted to continue doing it! And like most of us claim(and it’s true for me!) I had no other skills ha ha!!

This part of the journey was the most difficult, frustrating and humbling experience of my career.

Luckily it didn’t end there! Almost 4 years to the day I was let go at 92Citi-FM, I was given a chance to return to what I love doing at 94.3 The Drive, Winnipeg’s Greatest Hits! I have to say, I’m having the time of my life co-hosting the Tom and Kerri Morning Show at an awesome company(Pattison), with a fantastic group of people. I was

lucky enough to be offered a multi year contract and have found my new home!

I’ll include a couple of current breaks so you can hear what we’re up to every morning now in Winnipeg at The Drive. I hope you enjoy it! And, of course you can always check us out anytime at 943thedrive.ca!

I can’t conclude this story without noting the many ncredible mentors who have shaped my career.They include Peter Grant, Ross Winters, Ford Gardner and Gayle Zarbatany! I can’t imagine anyone being as lucky as I have been to have had the opportunity to have these incredible people supporting and teaching me over the course of my career! Each of these relationships started with a mutual ‘passion’ for producing great radio and developed into some of the greatest professional and personal relationships of my life.

Well there’s the Journey….so far!!
My Radio Journey- Tom McGouran.



The Stuph File Program – Episode #0395


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 #0395.

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

Featured in this episode:

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” link below to add your thoughts.

The Future Of Smart Radios


CFJC Today

KAMLOOPS — I imagine that the future of radio will combine traditional FM with the technology of smart phones.

I’m not talking about the distant future: the FM broadcast protocols already exist and most cell phones already have an FM radio chip, although you’d never know it. Chris Burns wonders why. In his article for SlashGear.com and he explains how you can find out if your phone has the chip:

“A whole bunch of smartphones out on the market today have FM radio capabilities – but their owners don’t know it. There’s no real good reason for this lack of knowledge save the lack of advertising on the part of phone makers. . . Today we’re listing the whole lot of phone devices that can run FM Radio right out the box.”

I first heard about the FM chip in cell phones last year on CBC Radio’s Spark. Barry Rooke explained how useful they could be. They could be used where no cell service exists and in an emergency when cell towers are down as in the wildfires of Fort McMurray in 2015.

Rooke is the executive director of the National Campus and Community Radio Association and he’s formed a consortium of broadcasters, including CBC, and radio listeners who would like to see the FM radio chip activated.

It doesn’t even have to be a smartphone to receive FM. A friend bought a simple cell phone in Mexico with the FM chip activated for $22 dollars, and that included free calls for eight days — no contract (it galls me how much more Canadians pay for cell phones, but that’s another column). You can hardly buy an FM radio alone for that amount.

The innovation that I imagine would be the use of graphics in smartphones. Some of the FM audio spectrum would be partitioned off for text and lo-res graphics. The text could include lyrics of the song being played and a picture of the artist, news, weather, sports, traffic, stock reports. In poor countries where the phone is more common than radios, it could include voting information, crop and commodity reports. Text and graphics could be saved for future reference.

The graphics would be stacked on the original signal with a subcarrier much in the way that left and right channels are now carried on regular FM as described in Wikipedia. The protocol already exists for car radios and would need to be adjusted for smartphones.

The best system would be a digital overhaul of the FM modulation signal. But that won’t happen because radio stations must be received by regular receivers as well as the new smart radios.

Broadcasters would never transmit a signal that can only be received by relatively few. That’s what happened when stereo radio was introduced. The new stereo signal had to be received by old mono radios as well as the new until the new technology was adopted.

The push for smart radios won’t come from cell phone service providers –they would prefer that you pay for data. It must come from broadcasters and listeners.

Rock Ramblings: The Way Canadians Listen To Radio Is About To Change Forever


By Medicine Hat News

Radio as a medium has changed very little since Marconi invented it in 1895 (or more accurately stole the technology from Tesla but I digress). Its transmission method has somehow survived all this time. Think about how the way we’ve consumed music has changed over that same period — vinyl, reel-to-reel, 8-track, cassette tapes, laser disk, mini disk, CD, mp3, YouTube and back to vinyl.

To what can we attribute FM’s longevity? It’s not that the technology was just so state-of-the-art right from the outset that nothing has been able to surpass it. There just hasn’t been another transmission method that all providers could agree on. This is not a unique problem in the broadcast world. Several types of “AM stereo” technology was developed but quickly scrapped because providers couldn’t agree on which type to make “standard.” Quad-stereo recording technology was abandoned for the same reason.

When the majority of Canadians found their way onto the internet 10 or 15 years ago, radio was there waiting with streaming technology but audio dropouts, poor sound quality and bandwidth issues were the price of admission for early adopters. Over time that changed with the advent of radio-player apps. While these apps solved many of the challenges, they failed to offer the selection and convenience of switching station to station the way any good, old-fashioned FM radio could. Until now.

Last week, the Radio Player Canada App launched; a collaboration of broadcast companies from across the country, offering 400 plus radio stations, all from one free app. Before this starts sounding like an infomercial, I will say that I doubt this technology will catch on completely until it’s available directly from your car’s dashboard the way FM currently is. That said, agreeing on the channel through which conventional radio will be delivered going forward is a big step towards radio’s inevitable transition from FM to digital streaming.

Radio will never “die” but it’s destined to change. There will always be an appetite for local news, weather and entertainment. If there’s a tornado brewing miles from the city, most would sooner hear about that than listen to Howard Stern interview a stripper for the 10,000th time. And that’s not to say that the satellite radio platform is without its place either. But the reality is, that radio, in its current incarnation, continues to reach 93 per cent Canadians every week. It’s free, always within reach and range and reception issues have just become a thing of the past. So slip into a bathroom stall at work with your phone, download the Radio Player Canada App for free and be a part of this exciting new broadcast frontier.

Layne Mitchell is on your radio at 105.3 ROCK (and your Radioplayer Canada app) 11am-3 pm weekdays.

Rogers Sportsnet Radio Coming To Vancouver


Moving to a new radio station is a little like moving to a new house.

Apart from all the daunting labour involved, moving your family brings angst and uncertainty. A new neighbourhood means a new school for the kids, maybe a new doctor and babysitter, a different piano teacher or pastor.

Sure, it’s exciting if the house is bigger and newer. But few people enjoy moving. That’s why you find the right house and neighbourhood and just stay.

After 11 years, the Vancouver Canucks are changing radio homes, leaving TSN 1040 for a yet-to-be-named station owned by Rogers Media. This is a huge move — a game-changer with the potential to alter the radio landscape in Vancouver.

That’s what happened 11 years ago when 1040 took the Canucks’ radio rights away from CKNW, a local heritage-brand station that had partnered the National Hockey League team for three decades.

That decision affected people and their careers, and so will this one.

“I went through this exact same thing in 2006,” longtime Canuck play-by-play broadcaster John Shorthouse said Thursday morning as the Canucks prepared to play the New York Islanders. “I was in Nashville getting ready for a game and I got three phone calls all in a span of 15 minutes, from CKNW, from 1040 and from the Canucks.

“I remember how disconcerting and mind-blowing that news was. Am I going to keep my job? What about the great people I work with? So I know what people are going through now at 1040.”

Less than a month after losing Canuck rights in 2006, CKNW announced layoffs.

Back then, the radio rights were decided in boardrooms in Toronto by smaller media empires — CHUM Limited and Corus Entertainment — whose top executives may or may not have had a clue about the impact in Vancouver and British Columbia the hockey team’s rights carried.

Snaring Canuck rights validated 1040, which started in 2001 and was later bought by Bell Media.

TSN is owned by Bell, which is in ferocious competition with Rogers to rule Canadian broadcasting and the mobile phone market.

Canuck chief operating officer Jeff Stipec is aware how his new five-year deal with Rogers Sportsnet, which swooped in late to win the rights after months of negotiations between the hockey club and TSN, will affect not only the media market but many people who work in it.

“It was a funny day in the halls here,” Stipec said Thursday afternoon. “We’re excited to strengthen this partnership with Sportsnet, but there’s no confetti, no champagne. These TSN guys have been awesome with us. We’re going to have that chance to celebrate with Sportsnet down the road when they kind of get their station in order. I look forward to that time, but it has been pretty subdued in some respects today.”

Stipec said the rights wouldn’t have changed had the Canucks not had such a strong relationship with Rogers.

Rogers owns naming rights on the Canucks’ arena, reportedly for $60 million over 10 years, and pays the hockey team about $20-$25 million annually for television rights. Amid this financial scale, radio rights are a comparative drip in the revenue stream for the Canucks.

The radio rights themselves have gone down in value.

TSN 1040’s expiring agreement was worth about $3.5 million annually to the Canucks, but the new deal with Rogers is believed to be worth only about $2 million per season. The contract, however, is for five years, which is longer than TSN had offered.

“There are so many things,” Stipec said of the Canucks’ multi-faceted partnership with Rogers. “This is the one piece in the broadcast platform that wasn’t in Rogers’ portfolio and it made sense on a lot of levels to extend that.”

“We’re thrilled,” Rogers Sportsnet president Scott Moore told Postmedia. “It’s been a terrific partnership with the Canucks over the last 20 years and it was a natural to expand the relationship. We’re now in the enviable position of having the most important sports content in the market on both television and radio.”

But Rogers does not yet have a radio station to broadcast the Canucks.

It owns News 1130 AM, but isn’t likely to mess with a profitable station that leads the Metro Vancouver market in news and traffic.

Rogers’ local FM properties are KISS 104.9 and JACK 96.9 — both music stations.

It seems to make little sense to acquire Canuck radio rights, monopolizing the team’s broadcasts, without an all-sports station like 1040 to drive listeners.

Moore said no decision has been made on where and how Canuck games will be presented on radio next season but didn’t rule out the possibility of Sportsnet developing its own all-sports station. If that happens, can TSN 1040 survive without the Canucks as an anchor?

Seattle station KJR tops its sports radio market without holding any major local broadcast rights. But no one entity dominates the Seattle sports scene the way the Canucks do in Vancouver.

“It’s a little early for us to talk about that,” Moore said of an all-sports Rogers station. “But we certainly will build a great deal of content around the Canucks. We plan on expanding our online capabilities in Vancouver. Having just acquired the rights, we’re still in the process of putting together the right strategy.”

TSN 1040 mid-day host Matt Sekeres assured listeners the station will continue to cover the Canucks, and praised the owners who brought all-sports radio to Vancouver.

“It has changed my life,” he said. “It has changed a number of our lives and it has given Vancouver and B.C. at-large a sports radio campfire … to gather around.”

But soon there will be a new fire burning, and no one knows how hot it will grow.



3 Top Tips On Becoming A Radio Presenter


Becoming a radio presenter takes a lot of hard work and determination. Three radio personalities shared their advice with us on how to build successful radio careers in South Africa.

By Darren Gilbert
Start small and build up your radio career by working hard

According to Frankie du Toit, co-presenter of The 947 Breakfast Club, the toughest thing about getting into radio is getting into a radio station.

With that in mind, its best to start at a community or campus station. Or anywhere else that will give you some form of radio experience.

“It’s usually on a volunteer basis so don’t expect to make the big bucks but go and ask them if they need any help at all,” say Du Toit. “If there’s a gap in marketing, do it. If they need someone to make the coffee, do it. Get your foot in the door and start soaking up every bit of knowledge you can.”

Once you have your foot in the door, you can start twisting the station manager’s arm to get a shot at the graveyard shift and work your way up.

And work hard, adds Du Toit. “When I say ‘work hard’, I mean work harder than anyone else. Be willing to do every stand-in show, every event and anything you can, inside, and outside of the station.”
Focus on what makes you different as a radio presenter

Making it into radio as a presenter is one thing. However, you will not have much of a career if you can’t differentiate yourself from everyone else on radio.

So believes OFM’s general manager, Nick Efstathiou. “Trying to imitate a presenter from your favourite radio station is a death sentence and is career limiting,” he says.

Rather develop your own “radio self” that will set you apart from any presenter you may feel is in direct competition to you.

“Anyone can be a radio DJ but not all can be radio hosts and presenters,” he adds. “The more you know about the industry and how best to execute a great radio show, the better you are conditioned to be part of the industry and easier it will be for you.”

Du Toit agrees with Efstathiou, saying, “Your life is different from every other person on the planet. Share it with the listeners. Presenters that can take the average day events and turn them into compelling radio always win.”
Be passionate about all things music and making a difference

It sounds like an obvious tip, but if you want to get into radio, you need to have a passion for music. However, for Suga, host of Drive326 on Heart FM, there is more to music than just knowing what people want to listen to and playing it for them.

“Music has the power to change people’s realities, so be respectful of the power of the music and strive to deliver it in that way,” she says. “When words fail, music speaks.”

That’s not where it ends for Suga. She also believes in the need for radio presenters to have a desire to have a positive impact on the world. It’s a responsibility that goes with the power of the microphone, she says.

“It’s important to remember to use this instrument to create debate, change, celebrate people and things, create awareness about issues affecting lives and above everything, change mindsets, patterns and behaviour.”

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Heart FM recently changed the way they present the news on radio. Read more about the change in our article, Heart FM News pioneers the future of radio news broadcasting.

Streaming Helps The Radio Star


If Netflix is using user-generated data to confidently launch successful programs like House of Cards, then it’s fair to say it’s been borrowing a page from the digital music industry’s playbook.

Music streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music and Deezer have long been collating data from users to create everything from curated playlists to algorithms that can predict when a song is about to become a hit.

“There are literally billions and billions of data points,” says Paul Smernicki, who was the head of digital music for the UK division of Universal Music for the last 17 years.

Data like how long someone listens to a song, where they are, what else they’re doing and other statistics are all recorded for every single listen on every single track, he says.

This amounts to a staggering amount of data, Paul says, adding that it’s fair to say the big streaming services are “as much data platforms as they are music platforms.”
Read On.

Over the years, artists have generally come to terms with the way they are paid through streaming services, he says, noting that they also still receive royalties from the record companies that hold the rights to their music.

And as record company executives become younger and more used to the idea of streaming, the friction between the recording labels and streaming services has become less and less. “They’re digital natives,” he says

Lessons in Personality Radio From Wile E. Coyote


Generations of young people grew up with Looney Tunes. One of the highlights of the popular animated shorts was the Roadrunner cartoon. If you’re not familiar with Chuck Jones’ stories, you’re missing out. It’s great entertainment and radio personalities can learn a lot from Wile E. Coyote.

The Coyote pursued the Roadrunner, but always fell short of caputring his prey in a disastrous way.

Jones’ cartoons followed very specific story rules that guided each episode. The rules provided structure and consistency whie building personality traits for the characters.

The Roadrunner gets top billing, but the star of the show is Wile E. Coyote. He’s everyone’s favorite loser.

Wile E. Coyote Character Definition

Here are the 11 rules, with some commentary on how it applies to radio:



1. The Roadrunner cannot harm the Coyote except by going “Beep, Beep.”

The Roadrunner didn’t beat up on the Coyote. It just happened. But the constant taunting of “beep beep” annoyed the Coyote. It was maddening and motivating.

The Coyote had a deeper character profile, but the Roadrunner complemented it with an arrogance that brought more out of the Coyote.

The pair were well-matched, and they stayed in their personality roles. That’s key on any multi-personality show. Knowing who you are creates appealing moments when each personality stays in their lane.



2. No outside force can harm the Coyote — only his own ineptitude or the failure of Acme products.

Trains and trucks were the exception from time to time. Sometimes the Coyote painted a tunnel on a rock, hoping for Road Runner to smash into it. Of course, the bird goes through unscathed. The Coyote follows and a train comes through from the other side. Hilarious!

The Coyote’s failure make him a relatable, sympathetic character. The fact that he comes back for more over and over without losing enthusiasm is an admirable trait to aspire to. It’s an aspirational value for the audience.

The fact that he fails every single time makes him a “lovable loser” that we an identify with on some level. And, it makes us feel a little better about our own shortcomings.

Like the Coyote, personalities that are confident enough to be vulnerable become likable. It’s much more charming than the arrogance of perfect character that never loses.



3. The Coyote could stop anytime — if he were not a fanatic.

When watching this cartoon as a kid, I always wondered why he didn’t go after another target, like a rabbit. Anything that wasn’t as fast or smart! Of course, that wouldn’t make the story as interesting, would it?

And of course, he would come back again with another great plan that he was certain would work next time. The Coyote never stopped because he couldn’t. He was fanatical, obsessed with achieving his goal.

This led to a certain amount of predictability. You knew that the story would end with the Coyote getting injured in impossibly violent ways. This built anticipation and expectation.

That acts as a benchmark for the cartoon’s content. You didn’t know what was going to happen, but you knew how it would turn out. The Coyote would fail, and the Roadrunner would race off with a smug look on his face.
Benchmarks are not features. Get details here



4. No dialogue ever, except “meep, meep” and yowling in pain.

There was no talk in Roadrunner cartoons-ever. There were sound effects and the Roadrunner’s famous sound. Yet the cartoons were heavy on character definition. They showcased character traits through the stories they told.

The brilliance of the cartoon writing is that it was through pictures and sound effects. The imagery told the story. One of the characters held up an occasional sign as a prop or punchline. But Jones insisted on telling the story clearly and simply.

The format required that each scene have a focus to move the story forward. Everything that happened on the screen was critical to make the story come alive.

We should learn to tell stories the same way. Clearly, with no detours. In an audio-only world, we don’t have pictures to help tell the story, so our words must be descriptive and precise.


5. The Roadrunner must stay on the road — for no other reason than that he’s a roadrunner.

This simple rule for the Roadrunner is a good example of having a defined character role.

Again, knowing who you are and what you’re for will keep you in your lane. This is one of the principle in our webinar Be an Audience Magnet.

Identify the role you play on the show that will allow your character to come alive in exciting ways. Know your boundaries. What fits your personality and what is off-limits?

This simple rule for the Road Runner is a good example of having a defined character role.


6. All action must be confined to the natural environment of the two characters — the southwest American desert.

This is a key tool to increase familiarity in the setting. This familiarity is important. It’s like the bar in Cheers or Jerry’s apartment in Seinfeld. Familiar backgrounds allow your attention to focus on the story.

The same is true in audio creation. A comfortable, familiar environment for new, fresh and exciting content is important. The structure of how you create stories allows the audience to focus on what’s most important.

So is the production value used in the sound of your station. Do you have a defined sound that frames your personality?


7. All tools, weapons, or mechanical conveniences must be obtained from the Acme Corporation.

This is another example of benchmarking in the show. As soon as you saw Wile E. Coyote getting a box from Acme Corporation, you knew something was about to blow up in his face (literally).

What benchmarks do you have on your show, those elements that become part of the storyline?


8. Whenever possible, make gravity the Coyote’s greatest enemy.

Another recurring theme, and an effective tool. Use universal truths to relate to your audience.



9. The Coyote is always more humiliated than harmed by his failures.

That humiliation is endearing. It causes us to care, especially when the Roadrunner watches the Coyote fall off a cliff, smiling. And waving.

His self-analysis and constant failure makes him that character we cheer for. There’s a warmth in the struggle!



10. The audience’s sympathy must remain with the Coyote.

It’s interesting that the “hero” in the story is the aggressor in real life. The Coyote is the loser, while the Roadrunner, a victim in real life, is the villain. This juxtaposition of characters provides a unique perspective.

Other classic cartoons do this as well. Remember Tom & Jerry, where the mouse always outsmarts the cat? Surprise! Chuck Jones created that one, too!

The same is true on personality radio shows. Many times, the most memorable and most loved character isn’t the one that has their name on the show. It’s the personality that listener identify with. Winning shows understand this and use it to their advantage.


11. The Coyote is not allowed to catch or eat the Roadrunner.

This is my favorite rule in the storyline. There’s never an end to the story. It’s about the struggle. The entertainment value is in the process, not the outcome.

If the Coyote catches the Roadrunner, the story is over. It’s like when two actors finally hook up in a sitcom. The show is over because they’ve left nothing for the audience to hope for. No possibilities. It’s now fact.

According to Screen Rant:

When Jones was creating Wile E. Coyote in 1948, he found inspiration in the writings of Mark Twain, best known for The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. In 1872’s Roughing It, Twain describes the coyote as “long, slim, sick and sorry-looking skeleton.” He says the coyote is “… a living, breathing allegory of Want. He is always hungry. He is always poor, out of luck, and friendless.”

Many shows think they have to have finish the story. You don’t. You do need an ending, a payoff, but it doesn’t need to result in a conclusion. Entertainment is in pursuit of the solution, not the solution itself.

Other Lessons From Wile E. Coyote & Roadrunner

A couple of other things regarding the cartoon stand out.


Chuck Jones’ genius is evident in how he cross-promoted and recycled the Coyote.

Beginning in 1953, he borrowed the character in a series of episodes of Sam Sheepdog vs. Ralph Wolf. Ralph The Wolf is a dead ringer for Wile E. Coyote.

And, the Coyote was a recurring character in Bugs Bunny episodes. It’s a great lesson in expanding your brand by playing and recycling your hits.

Also, look at the photos and cartoons in this article. Notice the color schemes? It’s full of yellows, oranges and reds. There’s a style that subtly adds to the brand. This consistency may not be obvious but not matters.


Developing your own show rules of presentation is a valuable exercise. It’s an advanced step in building a 5-Star Personality Brand.

What are the rules of conduct in creating stories that showcase character traits in your personality profile? And how are you executing them? Share them by email tracy@tjohnsonmediagroup.com.

Power Of The Jingle


You hum along, you call out a phrase or two, you tap along to the beat, and before you know it you find yourself singing out loud about soda, or a taco dinner or a carpet installation service. Jingles are sneaky. They slide into your ears and then into your mind and when you are standing in the aisle deciding which brand you are going to buy, a few recalled musical notes can remind you to reach for something that’s mmmm, mmmm, good.

“Mmm, mmm good”, is of course, the signature musical phrase of Campbell’s Soup. The heyday of the jingle was the 20th Century, when radio first took over living rooms and then moved into our cars. Advertising Age celebrated the jingle in its Advertising Century package, listing the top 10 advertising songs, which include McDonald’s “You Deserve a Break Today,” the U.S. Army’s “Be All That You Can Be,” and Oscar Meyer’s “I Wish I Was an Oscar Meyer Weiner.” The jingle fell out of favor for a while there, but with brands now creating their own content and feeding their own brand platforms, audio content is a great asset to have. And thanks to the ubiquity of mobile devices and their ear buds, more people are listening to audio content at their desks, while exercising, cleaning house, in their cars or while shopping than ever before.

Gayle Troberman, exec VP-chief marketing officer of iHeartMedia, for one, believes the time is right to revive the jingle for the digital age.

“People don’t realize the scale of radio reach today,” she said. “Just in broadcast radio alone, we reach 270 million consumers a month. That makes us bigger than Facebook or Google. And when I think about what radio is great at, it’s a daily habit with your favorite personality, driving to and from work with your favorite show on, hanging out with and having conversations with people you know and trust. It’s an ongoing relationship.”

A jingle really lives well on radio, believes Jingle Punks President & CCO Jared Gustadt. “That’s where the jingle came from. The jingle interrupts entertainment in a pleasant way to say ‘look at this and please pay attention to this product.’ In a world of pre-roll ads and consumers opting out of commercials, the jingle is making a comeback,” he said. “From ‘I’d like to buy the world a Coke’ to mattress warehouse ads, the jingle has the power to grab people’s attention in a cluttered market place.”

“Short messages and high frequency is a powerful way to get a brand to be top of mind and puts you in a consideration set,” Ms. Troberman said. “Jingles can be a crazy effective way to get into consumers’ heads with a message that this brand is this, and delivers this benefit. A brand can get into a consideration set because of simple reminders served at high frequency.”

iHeartMedia has a long working relationship with Bacardi, and last year the idea came up to use music to deliver its message. The brief turned out to be dead simple, get more people to drink Bacardi when they were out with friends. The team came up with a little riff that was just, ‘Drink Bacardi Tonight.’ The result was a 54% lift in purchase intent during the first wave of the campaign, and that lift continued throughout the year. “It shows the power of a great jingle, it gives a feel and a little tropical vibe and a little energy and it lands the one simple message benefit about that brand. When run with enough frequency, it works to put Bacardi into the consideration set,” Ms. Troberman said.

“Radio is really powerful for bringing a brand to front of people’s minds,” said Heidi Arkinstall VP of Global Brand Equity, Logitech. Logitech, she says, has “high prompted awareness,” meaning that if the brand is named, a consumer usually recognize it. “Radio can move a brand from the ‘back of the tongue to tip’.”

Read On.