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Mourning Mojo

April 19, 2010 @ 13:12

I got an e-mails today from two of my good old buddies in the radio business. Both Phil Evans and Darren Wasylyk reminded me that today marks the ninth anniversary of the launch of MOJO Radio.

Phil was Promotions Director at the Edge during the Humble and Fred days, while Wasylyk is still Promotions and Marketing manager for Q-107 and what is now am 640.

It brings back bitter sweet memories for me. I hated to leave the Edge after 22 years, but the MOJO project seemed like so much fun and the timing was perfect, so Humble and I wanted to give it a shot.

Unfortunately, the original five year MOJO project quickly became a two year project and one thing led to another and the next thing you know, Humble and Fred are at the MIX.

But such is radio.

I remember getting into a few heated battles with people back when MOJO was launched, especially those who never bothered to give it a chance.

There was many a "dweeb" who thought the format was misogynist and dumb, but nothing could have been farther from the truth. All you had to do was look at the MOJO lineup. It included Ripken, John Derringer, Mike Stafford and Scruff Connors, four of the most intelligent and creative broadcasters in the country.

As for the misogynistic tag, that was hilarious. I was always impressed with our women listeners because they "got it". They understood what we were doing and without fail they were smart.

Often we'd say that on the air. "MOJO Radio, talk radio for guys.... and cool chicks."

It was a bloody good radio station, and with some tweaking and time I'm convinced it could have served a viable audience in Toronto. It was more than all sports and it was more than talk radio for geezers.

It was brief, but looking back, it might have been my two most enjoyable years in radio and ironically they came on the heels of definately my two worst years in radio.

But everything happens for a reason.... apparently.

Category: Radio

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70 Responses to "Mourning Mojo"

April 19, 2010 / 15:07

Hey Freddie I have my H&F stock here and I am wondering were I send it to cash it out . I am sure its matured I have had it in my draw almost 8 years
please advise

April 19, 2010 / 15:34

Mojo was great, Fred. I think it should have been given a much better shot as well.

It was a much better idea than whatever format 640 considers itself now. It just seems like they've gone "OK lets be half CFRB and half The Fan".

The guy talk radio was a much better concept, in my opinion.

April 19, 2010 / 18:20

As it turns out, I've been listening to am640 since the first day of MOJO. That's where I discovered the great Mike Stafford and have stayed with him and his show through the various iterations. I remember Johnny B and the Ripkin! show (remember exclamation mark at the end?) and laughed a lot with them driving north on many a Friday morning. The uptight broads driving the 500 series BMW's, the very ones who take themselves way too seriously, were the the beginning of Mike's now famed 'soccer moms'archetype.

I too think the big brains behind MOJO's creation bailed too quickly - you're right, Freddie. They just didn't give it the chance it needed to resonate.

I laugh because something is funny and over the years, there's been a lot of funny.

April 20, 2010 / 07:48

I miss Mojo in the morning and Stafford while driving home. It was my "go to" station for a good two years.

It is such a shell of a good station now. Stafford is on while I work and I never get to listen. When he takes over the morning show, I always seems to miss it.

I wish the city had a good talk radio station to listen to. I don't like Moore in the Morning and the afternoon radio isn't much better.

Tory talks way too much about the damn TTC and minute things about the city of Toronto and avoids the more entertaining items.


April 20, 2010 / 10:26

miss it..was good fun radio
April 21, 2010 / 08:17

9 years already. Time does fly.

Father Time
April 21, 2010 / 19:18

It was actually an April 23rd, 2001 debut but who cares.

Best station ever...even if the program director spent most of his time with a cigarette downstairs and the hockey team that eventually killed it for family values reasons had a history of protecting pedophiles.

What are you gonna do?

Buffalo Boy Mike
April 21, 2010 / 21:00

Freddie, Loved Mojo when you guys made the switch, it fit you and Howard perfectly to do talk radio and why they broke up that format ill never know, it was a great lineup and fun to listen to throughout the day, it wasn't just for guys either, it was for anyone who wanted a little edgier talk radio. I still have my Stock Certificate from the show I was Stock holder #140, have the letter you and Howard sent to me and The Mojo "There are no Chicks in Jail" don't drink and drive bumper sticker framed.

April 21, 2010 / 23:52

Still miss that station!!

That format was the perfect conduit for some of Humble and Fred's funniest stuff ever. I can still remember laughing in my car during my commute to work. Too bad the plug was pulled so fast, they really had something there if they would have only stuck with it. Typically though, anything half decent in radio never seems to last long. I do still catch Stafford and listen to Oakley once in a while but for the most part radio has turned me off a long time ago and I've just tuned out. There's nothing remotely funny for a morning show and the tunes leave a lot to be desired on anything out there right now. Dave Marsden is a great source for new bands that you'd never hear ipod is now what makes my commute to work bearable....

April 22, 2010 / 21:53

Loved MOJO, worked on the road during its entire time on air and called in many times. Where is Ripkin and Johnny B now? Ripkin was pure talent. Johnny B, not so much.

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