Let's Be Doing It
It's A Content Deal
January 15, 2013 @ 16:23
And I won't give any more excuses.
Put it this way, I'll write when I can, but given the events of the past couple of weeks, I really don't know how much time I'm going to have on my hands.
Of course I'm referring to the content deal that Humble and I signed with Astral Media last week, a deal that takes effect on Monday, January 21st when our podcast will be available on terrestrial radio.
And that really is the point of this posting, to explain exactly what we're doing and why. We've received a ton of feedback from people since Friday who are under the impression that we're dumping the podcast to go back on regular radio.
That's not the case. It's flattering that so many people are concerned, and love the podcast so much that they're actually pissed off at us, but here's the real deal.
HumbleandFredRadio.com is going nowhere. It continues to be our top priority and absolutely nothing will change that.
Humble and I will continue to arrive at our studios every day at 9:30 and we'll continue to record the podcast at 10:30 and we'll continue to upload it "uncut" every day at noon.
That will not change. What will change is what we do after we upload the podcast.
We will prepare a terrestrial friendly edition of the show and deliver it to an FTP site where it will be downloaded by three Astral Radio stations in London, Hamilton and Toronto.
In London it will air on Funny 1410 at 10pm. In Hamilton it will air on Funny 820 at 10pm. In Toronto it will air on Newstalk 1010 at midnight.
In addition, all three stations will air weekend "best of" editions will means Humble and Fred Radio will be available on terrestrial radio seven days a week.
Not only that, but Astral Radio plans to expand the syndication network in the coming months and our deal allows us to offer the show to anyone we want in markets where there is not conflict with Astral.
Our plan is to be coast to coast on terrestrial radio was soon as we can.
Needless to say, there are a lot of questions that come this, so I'll try to answer a few.
Because this expands our brand and makes it much more attractive to our current and potential advertisers.
A year ago, never did we dream that the podcast would be as well received as it has, but the concept is still foreign to many.
By offering a sponsor the uncut podcast plus a terrestrial element it increases their reach and allows them feel more comfortable with the entire package.
We expect to double our partners over the next few weeks, based solely on the Astral Deal, which is great news for fans of the podcast because it guarantees its survival.
Unfortunately, we had to move on from Rogers but it was an amicable break because of the professionalism of Vice President of Programming Julie Adam.
Still under contract to Rogers, we were approached by Astral and they offered a deal that was totally in tune with what our originally plans were, to expand and syndicate.
Rogers had right of first refusal and Julie had the Astral offer to respond to for the better part of week, but in the end Rogers simply didn't have the vehicles available to offer us what Astral did.
Vehicles being radio stations that were a good fit with the product we were producing.
How does this differ from doing the morning show at Rogers K-Rock in Kingston?
When we agreed to do the morning show in Kingston, it too was done with an eye towards syndication - but syndicating a live morning show is a lot different than syndicating a recorded comedy show and we quickly found out the logistics were somewhat complicated.
Rogers was reluctant to go forward with more stations and we weren't interested in doing a morning show on one station so it was decided to end the Kingston experiment.
Doing four or five minute breaks around seven or eight songs an hour no longer interests us. It's not what we want to do unless its on several stations at once with a lot more money involved.
Absolutely not, after discontinuing in Kingston we continued to appear weekly on the Fan and we continued to supply the podcast to Rogers digital platforms.
Yes, part of our agreement is to be available for live appearances on Astral Radio stations, most notably Newstalk 1010. Astral plans to install an ISDN line into our Etobicoke studio so we'll be available to take part in other shows and features.
Do we work for Astral?
Is there anything else in the works for Humble and Fred Radio?
Are we happy?
Many said it couldn't be done, but we're making a living and we can now lay claim to the first Canadian podcast to become a radio show.
Am I ever going to tell the story of why Mike Stafford fired me as his best man?
Enough Of The Menzoid
December 22, 2012 @ 09:46
I've stated on this blog many times over the years that I'm a Canadian Conservative, and reason I always like to put Canadian in front of Conservative is because it differentiates me from what being solely Conservative is perceived as in the eyes of too many.
Let me put it this way. Again. If I lived in the United States I would be a Democrat. No doubt about it. The Conservative movement in the States is way outside of my box and on many fronts I find it disturbing.
And part of that reason is the whack jobs that promote Conservatism through the media. Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glen Beck, Mark Levin and Neil Boortz are all examples of people who give Conservatism a bad name.
These are bad people. They put self interest ahead of their country. They are willing to say anything to forward their brand, even if it means hurting people along the way.
To me, Conservatism in Canada means rational. You look at an issue and attempt to judge it from a rational standpoint. You do this one issue at a time, and you try to refrain from the hysteria that can be found in any issue.
For the most part this has been the case with the Conservative media in Canada, but its slowing changing, and its changing because of some Canadian whack jobs who are trying to become Conservative superstars in a country that really isn't comfortable with it.
And some of them are rank amateurs. Like David Menzies.
You probably don't know who David Menzies is, so in a way I'm feeding his over-blown ego by writing this, but after reading a judgment by the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council this week, I can't help but go forward with it.
Menzies is a free-lance writer, who to his credit, has somehow emerged as a Conservative spokesman. Unfortunately, not a Canadian Conservative, but a Conservative, just like all those blowhards in the States I mentioned.
But with Menzies it's worse. He's an amateur, he's shallow and his delivery is creepy. He's is hurting Conservatism in Canada.
He's been a regular guest on the John Oakley Show for the past few years, probably the most aggravating regular guest on the Charles Adler Show and the last I heard, he was given the morning slot at the horrifically amateur Sun TV.
When I hear Menzies on the Adler Show, and Adler refers to him as "The Menzoid", I don't just push the button on my car radio, I punch it.
And Adler has to stop referring to his show as cutting edge - it's about as cutting edge has my mother's couch. Mike Stafford and Jim Richards are cutting edge.
I don't like what Menzies has to say, I don't like the way he says it, I don't like the way he sounds and to be quite honest, I don't like the way he looks when he's saying it.
He is so trying to be what I hate about American Conservatism that it comes off as disturbing.
The flaccid Canadian Broadcast Standards Council ruled this week, that during an appearance on Rob Ford's radio show, Menzies stepped over the line when talking about George Smitherman. You can read it here. It's pathetic.
I defend the guys right to say whatever he wants, but this is just stupid - and not very rational.
As you know, I'm not a big fan of George Smitherman and I don't think the treatment Rob Ford has received has been fair, but on the way to defending these positions, the last thing I want to do, or be, is a David Menzies and I hope his kind don't flourish in this country.
Like the vast majority of Canadians, I don't spend a lot of time with Sun TV because I think they've put together the most undesirable collection of so-called broadcasters in the country. As a matter of fact, I think whoever found this collection deserves some weirdo award for scraping them together.
Ezra Levant, Brian Lilly and now Menzies. All creepy. Sorry, but that's the best word I can come up with.
Creepy, and from my perspective dangerous. Dangerous because they're giving Canadian Conservatism a bad name.
December 22, 2012 @ 08:23
Today on Humble and Fred Radio - When broadcasting giant Bill Carroll wanted to speak to the people of Canada about his expanding empire, who did he call? Humble and Fred. Bill called to explain how he's going to do two shows on the same day in two different markets.
It's The American Way
December 15, 2012 @ 09:46
I hate guns; I can't stand to be around them. They make me nervous and I'd love every gun on earth to be gathered up, melted down and turned into something useful.
I'm totally in favour of strict gun control and I shake my head at those who argue against it because they like to hunt. Shooting an animal in the head, any animal has never been my idea of a good time.
I think anyone who can put a deer in their crosshairs and pull the trigger shouldn't be arguing against stricter gun control, they should be arguing for better health care, like psychological analysis.
Which leads me to my point.
Yesterday's tragedy in Connecticut had very little to with gun control and very much to do with a nutball. There are nutballs all over the world but there seems to be a higher concentration violent nutballs in the United States.
It's a by-product of their culture. Their violent, ignorant and politically polarized culture. I truly believe nutballs of equal nuttiness would react in much different ways north and south of the border.
I think the Canadian nutball would be less inclined to go for a gun, not because they aren't as readily available, which they are, but because they've grown up in a different culture.
The American has grown up in a much more violent society with a completely different attitude towards guns than a Canadian. For an American, reaching for a gun is more of an option.
I know what you're thinking. I'm actually arguing for more gun control. But I said that off the top, I'm in favour. I just don't think it would make much of a difference in a situation like we had yesterday, because the culture is never going to change in the States and there will always be guns available - regardless of their legality.
To me, it's like trying to get rid of mosquitos. You can spray for a while, but they'll always be there.
Guns are in their blood, guns are part of who Americans are, and no matter how big the lobby against guns becomes, the lobby for guns will always be there pushing back and pointing to their constitution.
Idiots like Ted Nugent and Rush Limbaugh will fire up the right and inspire the imbeciles within the NRA and it will be decades before anything will change, and even if it does change, all it takes is one new government to reverse everything, which has happened in the past.
Less guns on the street in the United States is a pipe dream because there are already enough illegal and un-registered guns to supply those who want them for years and years to come.
Hard drugs are illegal in the United States, but they're still there for anyone who wants them. Just like drugs, make guns completely illegal but it won't stop a nutball from getting one.
How successful has the so-called war on drugs been?
Adam Lanza used his mother's guns yesterday, but if this master plan was in his head, I don't think the ready availability would have necessarily stopped him, it would have made him go to other sources - of which there are plenty.
To think that stricter gun laws would have prevented what happened yesterday is terribly simplistic and naïve. It's much deeper than that in the United States but unfortunately that country doesn't have the moral integrity to deal with it.
The culture is too ingrained and the polarization of the two sides is so deep that a consensus is completely out of reach.
Do I have a solution? No, and the reason for that is maybe there is no solution. The situation in the United States is so far gone that the best solution might be concentrating more on mental health than gun control - because as much as some hate to hear this, it still takes a finger to pull a trigger.
Unfortunately, psychological assessment often comes too late.
December 15, 2012 @ 07:35
Today on Humble and Fred Radio - Gord Stellick talks about his days as the youngest General Manager in NHL history, a film maker talks about super volcanoes and Humble's weird phobia. Listen Now
What Do Humble And Fred Think
December 8, 2012 @ 14:01
After news broke that one of the nurses involved in the Australian radio prank had apparently taken her life, our phone began to ring off the hook.
Global TV, CHCH-TV, City-tv and CBC all requested interviews, they wanted to know our take on what happened and how it might affect radio going forward.
That was cool and everything, but the first thing that crossed our minds was, we don't work in traditional radio any more, why would they want our opinion?
But the answer to that question is what makes it so bitter-sweet.
When a story broke about radio, we were top of mind for a lot of media outlets in Toronto and what that means is that Humble and Fred Radio has come a long way in establishing itself as a legitimate player in the market.
I can hear the usual suspects laughing and snickering as they read this, but go ahead, you can't argue with the facts.
In each and every case, as the request were made, we asked "why us?" And in every case the answer was the same.
"We love what you guys are doing and given your history in Toronto, we'd like to know what you think."
OK, no problem. Howard and I stayed at the studio (we built) for an extra two hours yesterday as the TV trucks continuously pulled up in front of the building and they interviewed us in front of the equipment (we bought).
It really was exhilarating.
And if you're thinking it's sick to feed off the misfortune of someone else, save it.
The point of all the interviews was prank calls on the radio and where do you draw the line and whom do you think is responsible.
This may sound harsh, but the only person really responsible is the poor unfortunate woman who took her own life.
If this prank call could push her over the edge, then I'm afraid she was a lot closer to the edge than anyone can appreciate. There has to be history there and this was all about timing. If it wasn't this, I'm sure it would have been something else.
It was a harmless radio prank done with no malice or intention to hurt. It was a call that I'm sure the disc jockey's involved never dreamed would go as far as it did, and up until the suicide even the Royal family joked about it.
Kate doesn't have a cancer, she doesn't have a tumour and she isn't suffering from any other horrible disease that would make a call of this nature become distasteful.
She had morning sickness and the call was for fun. Unfortunately the fun turned to tragedy but two aren't really connected and although I'm sure the disc jockey's feel horrible, they should not feel guilty or responsible.
To me, the best thing to come out of the story is this. This morning the radio station management came out in defense of their jocks, saying it was unfortunate but they should not be held responsible and they will not be fired.
The radio industry may be flooded with a load of two faced management weasels, but not entirely.
( to see all the neat shit we did yesterday, go here )
What A Week
December 7, 2012 @ 19:36
'Welcome back. I know I've said this before, but this time I mean it. With the lousy weather having settled in, and for the moment Humble and I not doing a terrestrial radio show, I have more time on my hands.. so.. I'm going to get back to it.. I'm going to post at least one thing a day.'
Well that didn't last too long. I guess you are busy.
Fair enough Gary, I said one thing and then I did another. But I really do have an excuse.
Last Sunday, just as I was about to sit down and write, we got a call from my son in law Josh that my daughter Melanie had gone into labour. Needless to say, we jumped in the car and headed for the hospital where were waited anxiously for the next seven hours.
Then, about 8:30 eastern time, Sunday, December 5th all of our lives changed. Melanie gave birth to a beautiful seven pound, 14 ounce baby boy.
John Richard Arnold. John, because Melanie and Josh like the name, and Richard after my father who Melanie adored.
Excuse me for excusing myself Gary, but his arrival has taken up most of the week and it pushed blogging to the background again.
As much as I appreciate your concern, I can't really give a shit.
As I've said many times before, the blog is free so I don't really owe anyone anything. I appreciate that its widely read, but it's something that can easily get knocked down my priority list.
But all that aside, let me describe what a wonderful week it's been.
Baby John was expected on Monday the 3rd, so he was actually a day early, however from what we had been told about first pregnancies, we assumed he might arrive later than sooner.
But he had different plans and by Sunday night we were all rejoicing in the typical things. He had five fingers and five toes, his heart beat was strong and his breathing was perfect.
A healthy baby boy was now part of our world.
From as far back as I can remember, Melanie has always loved kids and she always looked forward to the day she would become a mother. It was so much fun to watch her and Josh prepare for the big day and when it arrived it was something I'll never forget.
Delyse and I, along with my son Danny and his girlfriend Sophia sat in the waiting room for a couple of hours wondering what the hell was going on.
It was nerve wracking.
Then the moment arrived that we were all waiting for, Josh came around the corner and said, "would you like to meet your grandson?"
That's all it took. My emotions ran wild and I tried to hold back the tears until I at least saw the kid.
And what a sight that was.
To walk in the room and to see our grandson lying on his mother's chest, just minutes after he was born was almost too much to comprehend.
Something like, "hello little guy."
It really was surreal. From the moment we found out Melanie was pregnant I kept wondering what that first moment would be like, and so did Delyse.
Well let me tell you, it was every bit as great as I thought it would be. To look at the child of your child with assurance that everything is OK and he's healthy and he's strong is like nothing I've ever felt before.
And since then, it's only gotten better. Every night this week we've been at Melanie's house. Delyse has actually stayed there.
We've all just stood around staring at John, taking it all in and falling more and more in love with him as each minute passes.
It's hard to believe how seven measly pounds of humanity can represent so much, change so many lives and cause so much reflection and love.
Delsye and I don't know how we're going to handle it. Because John is a newborn we can be at the house every night and pitch in, we have an excuse, but that's not going to last forever and eventually we're going to have to go a day or two without seeing him.
We've got to remember he's not our son, he's our grandson and he won't be living with us. He'll be with his mom and dad, and oh what a lucky kid he is from that standpoint.
Melanie can't help but kiss him constantly and the look of pride on Josh's face is something not easily described.
These are two good people who I'm sure will raise a good child.
Last night as I held him I kept thinking about the first time he sits up, the first time he recognizes me, the first time he says Papa, the first time he walks and the first time he catches a ball.
And then I caught myself, because I've got to watch myself. I can't get too far ahead of myself because I remember how quickly my own kids grew up.
I'm going to step back, take a breath and enjoy every minute along the way. Not be in a hurry for anything because it all moves so quickly on its own.
This feeling of love is powerful. John's arrival has made me reassess everything this week.
I love Melanie more for what's she's been through, I love Josh more for what he's helped accomplish, I love Delyse more because she gave me Melanie and I love my son Danny more because he too is part of the whole wonderful package.
When I look at John I see an extension of a family I'm very proud of. He's our own flesh and blood.
It's been a great week, and I'm sure it will be the beginning of a great life.
The life of John Richard Arnold.
Skunk Or Weasel?
November 29, 2012 @ 16:47
I know I said I'd back off the Rob Ford story, but it's extremely difficult when you're dealing with some of the despicable people attached to the story.
If it's any consolation, this posting isn't so much about Rob Ford as it is Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale. I figure Dale spends a lot of his day scrutinizing Rob Ford's job, so lets look at the job Daniel Dale does.
This morning when I was doing my usual rounds of the media I came across the latest article by Dale and immediately thought - what would it be like if you had to make your living this way?
Well to be honest, I'd refuse to make my living that way. I'd have too much pride and self esteem to cash pay cheques from hours and hours of creeping another human being in order to find some dirt on him.
Don't get me wrong, if Rob Ford was a child molester, a thief or some other genuine enemy of society I wouldn't have any problem lurking around his back yard or following him every where he went.
But Daniel Dale is a different breed.
I've thought about this many times over the past few months. What's it like when he goes to work and his assignment editor gives him that day's assignment.
"Go to Rob Ford's house without giving him the heads up and sneak around his property and see what you can get."
How do you accept such an assignment?
Or what about today? How do you sit down in front of your computer and pound out all this bullshit when you know none of it is really out of the norm. That if you hounded and creeped just about anyone else on council you'd probably come up with the same shit.
How do you write it when you have no idea how many hours beyond the "regular" hours the Mayor puts it? How do you write it without comparing it to the previous Mayor or other members of council?
You do it because you're special. Your special like a goon on a hockey team is special. Not every will do the job because they have a certain degree off of class, intelligence or as a previously stated, self-esteem.
There are some people who will do anything regardless of how despicable it is. No ethics.
When I look back over the articles that Dale has written I really wonder about the guy. At some point wasn't there a line to be drawn? At some point didn't he think this was a little over the top, underhanded or slimy?
Does it not bother him that his professional reason for being is to hunt down another human being and get as much as you can to humiliate the hell out of him?
I'm sorry but I couldn't do it. Again, this is a Mayor who coaches a football team and who has a pretty good track record of getting things done since he took office, this isn't some fugitive who raped your grandmother.
And you know what? I'm quite confident when I say I wouldn't do it because I lost my last job on principle. My boss lied and bullshitted to the point where I couldn't take it any more and I called him on it.
Sure, I ended up without a job but I feel better for it today and I can hold my head up.
And that's why I often wonder about Daniel Dale. When he's a room full of decent people, what does he say? What does he do?
This may seem a little harsh, but appreciate what Daniel Dale has done to the Mayor and then tell me he too doesn't deserve to be put under the microscope for a little of his own medicine.
And it's not like Daniel Dale has to continue. He could quit and deal with the consequences in so many other ways.
If he needed a place to live he could ask Olivia Chow to school him on how to take advantage of public housing programs.
He might want to talk to George Smitherman about arranging deals that cost the taxpayers big coin but somehow work to your own personal benefit. (nudge nudge wink wink)
Maybe Daniel would like to become a politician himself. He could ask Dalton McGuinty how in hell you blow a billion dollars of tax payer money, but take very little heat over it because there was more focus on the Mayor of Toronto using the wrong letter-head.
Oh wait; Daniel knows the answer to that question. It's because media hacks like him choose the news with their liberal lefty editors. Why attack the likes of McGuinty and Smitherman over a paltry two billion dollars when you have a big juicy conflict of interest steak in front of you.
Believe me, writing this essay isn't the most enjoyable thing I've done recently because unlike Daniel Dale, the crew he works for and several other heartless bastards, I don't like attacking someone unless its really warranted.
But I'm sorry, I've read to many thing written by Daniel Dale over the past few months that have left me thinking........
What a prick.
November 29, 2012 @ 13:47
Today on Humble and Fred Radio - Liam Titcomb performs live in studio. Humble gives the history of the colour of pink, Intern John gets a job and Kelly thinks Ikea furniture is cheap.
Advice From A Gay Man
November 28, 2012 @ 22:29
Yesterday, after posting another Rob Ford comment on my facebook page, I received this message from an old friend of the Humble and Fred Show when were on the Edge.
"oh Freddy.. think about something else for a while, your wonderful family and friends etc etc, peace and karma Bro!"
The message was from Dave Longhurst, who was known as "Dave the Gay Guy" on our show back in the 90's. One of the many characters I might add.
We had a gay person; an Asian person and we had Psychic Nicki on the show.
But I digress.
I mention the note from Dave because the more I thought about it, the more I considered it and finally came to the conclusion he's right.
But I can't help it, I tend to get overly passionate about some subjects and this was one of them.
As I've tried to explain, the Rob Ford story didn't bother me because of all the procedural stuff which had to be followed, what bothered me was how unfair it was.
It bothers me more from a humanitarian standpoint - this was a witch-hunt, obviously a successful witch-hunt - but also a slimy and calculated plan that ultimately gave three creepolas exactly what they wanted.
It leaves me wondering how so called justice can seem so unjust.
But fuck all that, Dave's right, it's time to think of something else. Nothing I can say or do will change the minds of all those people who were actually happy when a man lost his job on Monday and that an elected official was toppled from power over a minor technicality.
How can you fight people like that? They're a different breed altogether. The type I'd never want to associate with because I'd be so tempted to slap them in the mouth.
I know one thing for sure; they'd never be allowed to sit at my Tiki Bar.
But back to Dave and his advice to focus on other things like friends and family.
He's right, I should do that and I will do that. There's going to be a lull before the next phase of the Ford story so there's no use fretting about it.
With Christmas fast approaching I will definitely focus on friends. I have a large collection of fantastic friends and I plan to see many of them over the holidays and whether there's Scotch involved or not, I'll make sure we don't talk politics.
Instead we'll talk about stuff like boats and motors and football and chicks we can't have.
And then there's family and a coming event that will push all other subjects into the background.
As I sit here, my sweet daughter Melanie is just five days away from her due date of making me a grandfather. I'm super pumped about it and I plan to play a significant role in my grandson's life.
I'll make sure he never reads the Star, he stays away from left-wing activist punks and he never hires Clayton Ruby to be his lawyer.