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.