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The Day That Was A Week

March 14, 2009 @ 12:41

I spent the day at Canadian Music Week yesterday, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

For those of you who don't know what Canadian Music Week is, go here and then come back and read this, or go there after you're done with this.

Figure it out!

Anyway, I sat in on three panels yesterday. The first one dealt with PPM's or portable people meters, a new and long overdue form of audience measurement.

Instead of using the archaic and flawed system of BBM ballots hundreds of people in the major markets across Canada will be equipped with PPM's that will record and tabulate data from every radio station they come in contact with during a day.

No longer will ratings be based on re-call, which was a hopelessly flawed system; it will now be based on real time exposure to radio signals.

Before, if you came into contact with a radio station you didn't like, say the station at work, you probably wouldn't give it credit during your recall on a physical BBM ballot.

Under the new system, that station will get credit so it's expected to provide some big surprises when the first results are revealed this fall.

Montreal was the first test centre for PPM's, it started last September, and there have been some shocking results.

Stations that have depended on heritage and long time personalities and allowed their product to slide because of it, have received a rude awakening.

Another panel I went to dealt with music scheduling and automation. I won't bore you with the details although I must say, there is some wild new shit out there and I felt obligated as a Program Director to learn about it.

The last panel of the day was host by a woman named Valerie Geller. She's a consultant out of New York City who wrote a book called "Creating Powerful Radio.'

She's a fascinating woman who offers some simple yet productive answers on how to get, keep and grow an audience.

Here book is a must for any announcer who wants to work at his or her show.

Yes, the panels were great and I walked out of the Royal York Hotel a little more knowledgeable, but the best part of the day was catching up with some old radio colleagues.

People like Maie Pauts who was there with her beautiful daughter Lauren.

Jim McCourtie who worked at production at the Edge before moving on to Program FM 96 in London.

Dave Farrough who was my Program Director at the Edge for a brief time before moving on to General Manager for the Corus cluster in London.

Good guy JJ Johnston who was my GM at the Edge when I took that fateful step and put my life into the hands of Gary Slaight.

And speaking of Gary Slaight, I saw him across the room yesterday. Have you ever seen a middle aged billionaire in black high top sneakers? The cheap kind?

I also saw Bob Harris who engineered the Humble and Fred move to the Mix before going to Montreal to manage the Standard /Astral stations there.

I saw Blair Bartrum who was my PD at the Mix before his brilliant move to Q-107.

I saw former CFNY colleague Scot Turner who's now the PD of the Corus cluster in Kitchener, and Wayne Webster who is music director of the old Mix, or the new Virgin or whatever the hell they're calling it.

I saw sweet Michelle Williams who's the Promotions Manager at the Astral stations in St. Catherines - A young woman who deserves a ring from former Humble and Fred co-producer Andy Wilson.

I also saw and sat with Bonnie Hislop who's the Assistant PD at Newstalk 610 in St. Kitts.

I saw the sensational Brian Rodney, Music Director at Q-107 and a guy who's been extremely helpful to me in Peterborough.

I met Brad Gibb who's the Program Director at the Corus cluster in Kingston and I had turkey panini's with my best buddy Darren Wasylyk who's Promotions and Marketing Director at Q-107.

I also saw somebody who I consider a long a dear friend, and somebody who my heart aches for.

Liz Janik was at CFNY when I started there way back in 1979 and we went through a lot together, including a few ownership changes and ownership changes.

Liz now runs her own company called Janik Media, despite being legally blind. She contracted a degenerative eye disease a few years ago and it has slowly taken its toll.

But she has a positive attitude and has stayed in the trenches while leaving her mark on the industry.

She's a darlin'.

Category: Radio

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24 Responses to "The Day That Was A Week"

Ivar Hamilton
March 14, 2009 / 16:10

I was there yesterday too Fred. Sorry I missed you. I went to totally different panels namely the Indie label one and had meetings with colleagues from the U.S. and UK.
We'll catch up at the trailer this summer!


March 14, 2009 / 21:05

Liz Janik is an awesome person! BIG FAN

March 16, 2009 / 11:02

I never met, but I remember here from CFNY - oh the memories keep flooding back Freddie. Hopefully, we will hear from Liz on this blog one day.

March 16, 2009 / 23:21

Hi Freddie! Valerie Geller sent me the link to your blog...thank you for your kind words! You made me blush. LOL It was great to see you at CMW. I am glad you are back in radio again full time. Hi to the rest of the gang too!
Cheers! Liz

Andy Wilson
March 17, 2009 / 23:16

I knew I had something I had to get to. Thanks for the reminder. I'm in so much trouble! Can't wait to see ya on the 2nd of May

Valerie Geller
March 19, 2009 / 14:07

Dear Freddie,
Thank you so much for your kind words and for coming to the NEVER LOSE A LISTENER session last week at CMW! Your page popped up on google and you "made my day..." (BTW: I sent the link to Blair Bartrem and Liz Jankik, they'll both appreciate your kind words... again, many thanks... all the best to you, and of course, CREATE POWERFUL RADIO!
Valerie Geller
Author: Creating Powerful Radio

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