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Carroll On Soccer

July 20, 2007 @ 09:34

It was a great segment of radio this morning between 8:30 and nine on the Bill Carroll Show.

Kudos to Bill for having enough balls to attack the game of soccer and going as far as to claim they should bulldoze BMO Field.

It case you didn't hear, there was a major incident at BMO field last night, during and after the World Cup under 20 game between Chile and Argentina.

It started on the field with the Chileans complaining about bad referring, and then escalated after the game as the Chileans boarded their bus.

Police had to escort the officiating team off the field, and then after leaving their dressing room the Chilean players actually engaged the police to the point where a taser gun had to be used.

The segment on Carroll's show was riveting. Absolutely amazing to hear soccer fans call in and blame the police for the behaviour of the fans and players.

Fans attempted to run onto the field, but it was the police who were criticized for trying to prevent it. And after the game, when police decided it might be best to make sure the Chileans got right on the bus and didn't mingle with the crowd, they were criticized for that.

Some callers to the Carroll show insisted on excusing the behaviour of the fans and players based on the officiating and that's even more ridiculous.

Bottom line - as Carroll says soccer and hooliganism go together and we really don't need it in Toronto. We have other sports where for the most part, the vast majority of the time, fans acts like normal people.

This was a horrible incident, but already the behaviour of fans has been called into question for regular season games involving Toronto FC - there's something weird about this sport and what goes on around it.

"I hate soccer" said Carroll.

Right on Bill.

Category: Radio | Sports

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July 17, 2007 @ 11:28

I was pokin' around yesterday and I saw the latest results of the BBM - I think they call this one 2007-2 or something like that.

Over the years I've been amazed at how CHUM-FM can fluctuate so much. In this book they went up two share points - other years we've seen them drop two share points.

For the record, based on share, CHUM-FM is the most popular radio station in Toronto, even though; probably like me, you don't know anyone who listens to it.

It's hard to believe that so many people can like and then dislike the station in such short periods of time. It's a farce really.

I don't have the time or energy to get into it, but for those of you who don't know what BBM stands for, it means Bureau of Broadcast Measurement. It's an archaic and inaccurate way of measuring radio audience in Canada.

A household gets a ballot or diary for every member of the family and during a given week they have to write down what radio station they listened to in quarter hour segments. (I'm not kidding)

Apparently, in the coming months BBM will be introducing something called people meters where a select few will agree to wear meters that will record all radio stations that they come into contact with during a day.

It too will have some flaws, but it will definitely be better than the current system, and will probably provide some surprises. There a few stations in Toronto that probably don't have the audience they get credit for, they get numbers based on heritage and the fact that "mom" probably fills out ballots for dad and the kids.

I have a wide range of friends - both in age and income and they honestly can't believe it when I tell them CHUM-FM and CHFI lead the pack in Toronto radio ratings.

It always comes back to the same thing. Most of the people I know between the ages of 35 of 50 desperately want a radio station but there isn't one out there for them and the general consensus is usually this - they'd love "a CFNY for their age group".

However, I've been hearing this for years and nobody seems to want to do it so I guess the bean counters and programming wizards have decided it's not viable.

A mature CFNY would get in the way of Rob Thomas, Maroon Five, James Blunt, Gwen Sefani and profound talk about what was on TV last night. And oh yea, it might put a consultant out of work.

Too bad.

Category: Radio

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Sweet Maie

July 16, 2007 @ 09:21

My wife phoned me last night to tell me that Maie Pauts had left me a phone message.

Sweet Maie said she was just calling to catch up because we hadn't talked for a while and if I wanted to call her back, call later in the day this week because she'd be filling in for Marilyn Dennis on the CHUM-FM morning show.

So of course I got up this morning in the trailer and pointed my Starchoice Satellite towards Toronto so I could hear "my darlin" do her thing - and it was a pleasure.

Everybody loves Maie Pauts and its not tough to realize why. That sweet ingratiating voice you hear on the air is what you get when you're with this woman face to face in any situation.

Maie is one of those old "CFNY" family members. Before the days of convergence and corporate squeeze in radio we had a pretty special thing going on at CFNY - we were a small group who really cared about each other.

A lot of us got married or had kids during those years and together we lived through the struggles that CFNY experienced as it grew to be what it is today - and Maie Pauts was one of those people.

"You don't know what you've got till it's gone" is one of those old sayings that's got a lot of play in my head since I was tossed from the business. When you miss something you tend to really miss the small things, the subtle things and one of the things I miss is the daily cross-over at 9:30.

The Humble and Fred Show would end, and the Maie Pauts would begin but Maie would always come into the studio a few minutes early and it was fun to catch up and goof around and trade "kid" stories.

I've worked with a lot of people throughout the years buy Maie Pauts is near the top of my "special" list.

Maie Pauts is good people.

Category: Friends | Radio

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More Hockey Passion

July 12, 2007 @ 08:56

Jason Barr of the Edge morning show is writing a book and he needs your help.

Jason has two boys and he's heavily involved in minor hockey on both the parenting and coaching levels.

Over the past few years he's been witness to some unbelievable situations involving hockey mons and dads that would make your head spin, and now he'd like to put it all in a book.

But he wants more stories and he'd love you to contribute. For more information, go here.

Category: Friends | Radio | Sports

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Peter Gross Checks In

July 11, 2007 @ 09:39

Way back in January I made this posting about Peter Gross who had just been named morning sportscaster on 680 News.

Peter responded some time ago, but for some reason I didn't see his posting until last night.


"At a high school reunion, I was told of your kind comments on this blog. Being a man of no small ego, I had to read for myself and since your words were a few months old, I had to scroll through many other submissions to get to the stuff that pertained to me.

I find it all wonderful stuff. Your long term involvement with the media gives you a perspective that few have and it's fascinating to get your angle on this business. It's incredible ( yet sadly, somewhat typical) that a guy like you does not have a mainstream position on air somewhere - what is it about this industry that eats people up and spits them out?

I am so thrilled to be back with 680news and Rogers. My latest tenure with CITY-TV (2000-2004) informed me just what a great company Rogers Broadcasting is (and feel free to read between the lines!).

680News has some terrific people, many of whom I see you are referring to. I really enjoy the concept that I come to work each morning and the only thing that really matters is the work and there are so many great individuals - Paul Cook, Lisa Brandt, Rudy Blair, Scott Metcalfe, John Hinnen, Anne Lavrih, Mike Eppel - who are supportive, creative and explicitly clear about the overall objective.

Which is to make great radio.

Fred - good luck to you and I will be 'subscribing' to your blog on a regular basis."

Category: Endorsements | Radio

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Public Transit Stinks

July 10, 2007 @ 09:25

I was listening to the Oakley Show this morning and he was talking about public transit and people's refusal to use it because of body odour.

On hot days they pack people in like sardines and the result isn't very pretty. Some people don't have the best personal hygiene and when they get on a packed bus or subway they start to ferment.

It reminds me of when I was a teenager taking the bus up Birchmount Rd. every morning to Stephen Leacock Collegiate.

Going to school wasn't bad, it was coming home. It was alright if I caught the bus precisely at 3:30, but if I missed that bus and got the next one it meant I would catch the crowd from the Laura Secord plant just below Ellesmere.

The mixture of B.O. and chocolate was unbearable. A lot of them were woman and in the summer they wore dresses that exposed their armpits and they had as much or more hair than most vaginas used to.

Droplets of sweat would hang and drop from their underarms and the only thing that would cut the stench of that was the thick smell of chocolate that also clung to their bodies.

What a wonderful day it was in 1974 when I paid for 25 dollars for a 1965 Dodge Van.

Category: Radio | Stuff

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I Enjoyed the Lunch

June 26, 2007 @ 09:14

Thanks again to the crew at 640 and Leafs Lunch.

I had the privilege of co-hosting with Jeff Marek again yesterday and it was a very enjoyable afternoon.

Marek's a pro which makes anyone's job a little easier, and it didn't hurt that I was on the show following the NHL Entry Draft and the Leafs big trade.

There was a lot to talk about and thanks to producer Jeff Domet/Punch/Chicken Shwarma, we even had new Leaf Mark Bell on the show.

And thanks to technical producer James Edgar who always makes me feel welcome by reminding me of several ridiculous things I did and said during the MOJO days.

It's a bittersweet thing for me. I love doing the show, but when I leave the building a feel bummed out that I'm not really in the business any more.

Hopefully that will change in the coming months.

Category: Radio

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Won't You Join Us For Lunch

June 25, 2007 @ 07:59

I've been given the honour of co-hosting "Leafs Lunch" will Jeff Marek again today. It should be a show jam packed with juicy goodness.

We have the NHL draft to talk about and the latest developments in the Nashville Predators saga. (see next posting)

I love today. I love getting up, getting in my truck, driving to a radio station and barking into a microphone.

Please listen if you can.

Leafs Lunch, noon to two and repeated from seven to nine. am 640 Toronto Radio.

Let's be doing it!

Category: Radio

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More Lunch

June 22, 2007 @ 09:33

I'm happy to report I'll be back on the radio Monday. I've been invited to co-host Leafs Lunch with Jeff Marek for a second time.

I absolutely loved it the first time a couple of weeks ago.

You forget how much you enjoy walking into a radio station, seeing old friends, and then actually sitting behind a microphone and doing your thing.

It was extra special at am 640 because the chair I sat in was the actual position I sat in for the Humble and Fred Show on MOJO.

When Marek introduced me and I uttered my first words (I forget what they were) I felt this amazing sense of exhilaration fed by not being on the air for close to two years.

Monday. Noon to 2pm. Leafs Lunch with Jeff Marek on am 640.

We'll talk about the NHL draft and a whole pile of other stuff.

Category: Radio

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Leafs Lunch

June 12, 2007 @ 09:37

Thanks to Jeff Marek, Jeff Domet, James Edgar and the rest of the crew at am 640 yesterday.

I got to sit in for the entire two hours of Leafs Lunch and it was a blast. The only drawback is that two hours felt like 20 minutes. It was over too fast.

From the moment I walked into the station it was a great experience. I got to see a whole whack of wonderful people I used to work with, and it was fun to go back into the old "MOJO" studio and sit in the same position.

It was great to talk to Darren Dreger and Scott Morrison, and really neat taking calls from a pile of passionate hockey fans.

And thanks to all the people who e-mailed me through, which had its highest traffic day in its history on Monday.

Loving yoose all. Each and every one of yas.

This morning I received this thoughtful note from Jeff Marek.

Yo Fred,

"Wow, outstanding job yesterday. Seriously, it was a real trip being on the air with you. Never in my wildest did I think I would ever get the chance to co-host a show with you. A major highlight for me in my career."


Category: Radio

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