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Signal For Sale?

January 12, 2012 @ 08:09

There could be a very interesting development in Toronto radio over the next few months that could not only see the demise of am 640 as we know it, but also an escalation in the sports radio wars.

Even if Bell Media and Rogers hadn't bought MLSE, it's no secret that Corus Radio wanted out of the hockey business. It never turned into the revenue generator they thought it would, and what money it did make was not enough to off-set the cost of running other day parts on the station.

When am 640 was MOJO, it made sense to have hockey. A guy's station with guy talk married to hockey play-by-play and hockey talk. Back then the station actually had an identity, something it has sadly lacked since somebody came up with the brilliant idea to drop the guy theme and adopt a mish-mash of something-or-other.

Since then, the station has done virtually nothing forcing Corus Radio to pour huge amounts of money down a bottomless pit.

But that could all change in imminently. Sources tell me that Bell Media has inquired about purchasing the 640 frequency from Corus Entertainment and using it for TSN Radio, currently occupying the shitty 1050 signal.

This could be a lucrative way out for Corus. Rather than continuously feeding a dead dog, or switching to an all-traffic format (which has been discussed). they can grab a few million off Bell and then use the am 640 studios as a production studio or maybe even a studio for where the business is really going, an internet station with super low overhead.

Give the room to Mike Stafford and let him go wild!

Bell is committed to a sports format and it makes a lot of sense now that they've grabbed a piece of MLSE. They'll have content they don't have to pay for, but it's hard to sell that content when 1050 on your dial virtually disappears in many parts after sun down.

It's a technical thing. For reasons that are beyond my explanation the lower you go on the am band the better the signal and the ones up the dial go all fuckin' weird at night.

In this case, 640 is beyond huge. When we were doing the MOJO thing we'd get calls from places like North Bay. 640 would instantly put TSN Radio on an even playing field with The Fan when it comes to reach.

It makes sense on so many levels. Even if Corus wanted to renew their hockey contract, they couldn't because the guys who now own the team own their own radio stations. The content on their own properties is worth way more than they'd ever get from Corus.

But more than anything else, it represents an attractive option for Corus. Over the past couple of years I've heard inklings about a desire to literally flip the switch "off" at 640. Unless you have niche programming like all sports or all news and are prepared to throw lots of money at it long term, am signals are useless.

Unless of course you have one that somebody else wants.

Hello TSN 640?

Category: Radio | Sports

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Bobcat Digs What We're Doin'

October 20, 2011 @ 08:03

Thanks to Bob McCown for inviting Humble and I into his studio yesterday to talk about the launch and future of Humble and Fred Radio.

Have a listen.

Category: Radio

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Comments We Like - Vinay Menon

October 14, 2011 @ 11:18

Humble and Fred, the pod couple.

Category: Radio

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Today With Craig And Matt

September 15, 2011 @ 08:15

My affect on listeners, bucket lists and the Playboy Mansion.

Category: Radio


Please "Like" It

September 12, 2011 @ 16:07

It's amazing. With facebook and twitter and all other forms of social networking its almost over-whelming how there's a consistent cry from the masses about wanting something different from radio.

I've received literally hundreds of e-mails and messages over the past two or three years from people who are looking for something more scoped and designed to their specific tastes.

Well listen here, the product can be created but "you" need to support it. We now have the simple technology and delivery systems to make it work from the production side but people need to commit on the receiving side.

Spread the word; faithfully download to create some viable numbers for advertising. In the case of Humble and Fred Radio, the service will be free, but you'll also have the choice to support it financially.

How would you like to buy a Humble and Fred share? An actual certificate delivered to your computer that gives you special privileges. Like weekends at my trailer or golf lessons from Humble.

Essentially, put your ears, and money if you wish, where your mouth is.

These are the things "you" are going to have to do if you really want something different in Toronto and Canada.

First a radio show, and then maybe a radio station - a station that doesn't need millions of listeners to be viable. Only a few thousand (several thousand actually) - but we guarantee, it will be a kick-ass radio station that will never ever have a serious "Hollywood entertainment report."

Instead, we'll mock the shit out of it all - with absolutely no restrictions - hear that, no restrictions!

And we promise not to make you sit through a bunch of songs you don't like, just to hear a song you do like. You can program your own music, I'm sure you already are, Humble and Fred Radio will look after the talk side.

Delivery systems are changing at a meteoric pace and we're on the verge of being able to receive on-line content anywhere, any time. Soon car radios will have the ability to stream and you'll be able to listen to exactly what you want when you want.

It's all pretty exciting, and all very doable. But we must work together. Humble and Fred Radio doesn't have a big radio conglomerate behind it, so we've got to do it the new way, the fun way, the viral way.

Now, without sounding any more like a politician lets me leave you with this. Like any venture a business plan must be developed, a financial forecast must be considered and proper execution is a must and that's what we're doing right now. If this is going to be done, it's got to be done right.

I would ask that on your own particular facebook and twitter networks that you ask you're your friends to support Humble and Fred Radio.

And this includes any former Humble and Fred or "Spirit of Radio" listeners who have done well over the past two decades and are looking to "support the arts."

Florching is an art.

I mean it, the work starts now. Please spread the word, it's vital in reaching the next step.

Please book mark and then go to our facebook page and "like" it.

Get goin!.

Thank you, and good day. More details will be released daily.

Category: Radio

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Comments We Like - Bob Lefsetz

September 12, 2011 @ 08:13

"Can the present style of radio survive? Will people listen to hackneyed delivery of songs they don't want to hear when music has become an on demand item?
Got that?
Music radio is in its death throes. It's going to collapse overnight. It's just a matter of when."

Radio's next

Humble and Fred Radio

Category: Radio

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Today With Craig And Matt

September 7, 2011 @ 08:44

Chicken and pork on the barbeque, football and Sydney.

Category: Radio


Today With Craig And Matt

August 31, 2011 @ 08:50

Layton funeral, Lloyd Robertson and Chicago.

Category: Radio


A Day With The Mott's

August 19, 2011 @ 15:30

What a wonderful day. Humble and I spent a good portion of the day in the rolling hills of Erin to visit Paul and Carol Mott .

Since the getting the heave-ho from 2 St Clair West a couple of years ago, the Mott's have embarked on a project that has piqued the interested of Humble and Fred Inc.

The Mott's have started their own on-line show that has given them unbelievable freedom and piece of mind.

No commute downtown, no restrictions on what they talk about and no listening to wiener Program Directors of which I used to be.

The Mott's have enhanced their enterprise by cutting deals with a series of small and community owned stations including 88.1 in Erin where we travelled this morning.

Paul and Carol are doing just fine thank you. Running your show takes a lot more time and effort, but everything they do is for them and as it builds they'll be able to add staff to their empire. Just like any other business.

Running an on-line show ain't the pipe dream it used to be. A lot has happened in the past couple of years and it's only going to escalate in the next couple of years. Delivery systems have changed dramatically and people are moving away from traditional forms of media in droves.

To steal a line from Alan Cross, for the most part terrestrial music radio has become nothing more than "unprogrammable I-pods." If you want content, you have to go to the net and if you want the type of content that Humble and I want to do, you'll definitely have to go to the net.

Yes, it was a lovely visit with the Mott's and their sweet daughter Jessica who acts as their producer. We learned a lot about running your own show - the good, the bad and the ugly.

But hey, as Carol says, "if you're in a position to give it a shot, then by fuck, give it a shot." (actually she didn't say the fuck part - I just added that for spice.)

After watching and guesting on their show, Paul, Carol and Jessica invited us back to their ranch for sandwiches, nachos and beer. (Howard didn't have a beer, and very few nachos cause he's trying to look like a 26 year old.)

They have ten acres, half a dozen horses and a beautiful view no matter where you look.

Paul talked about cutting grass, and Carol talked about shoveling horse shit.

One of there horses is whacked out. He's addicted to inhaling whatever he smells on a fence post. It's so bad they had to a put a muzzle cage over his snout. Apparently, if they didn't he could kill himself by in inhaling too heavily.

Lord Jesus, I tell ya. If he was mine I'd take that muzzle off and dig a big hole - or get Paul to dig it. Apparently he's good at that kind of stuff.

Another highlight during the tour was offered by Howard. At one point he said "a lot of people don't like the smell of barns and the smell of horse crap. I do. I find it sort of comforting.."

Then he got in the corral and sniffed a post. Carol quickly muzzled him.

It was a fine day, a fun day, an informative day.

Thank you Mott's

If you'd like to hear the Humble and Fred segment from today, go here and download the August 19th show. We barge in about half way through, but listen to the whole goddamn show.

It's great, because it's the Mott's

Category: Radio

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A Visit With Maie?

August 17, 2011 @ 16:15

Category: Radio

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