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I Would Have Aired Them

April 20, 2007 @ 09:13

Yesterday I received several e-mails and several responses on the site asking me what I would have done about the Cho tapes.

Would I have aired them? Here's my answer.

When push came to shove, against my better judgment I probably would have aired them.

As much as we all like to think we're above such things, and that we're not compelled by the ramblings of a cold blooded mass murderer, I think most of us are.

I make this decision based on how I reacted on Wednesday afternoon when I first heard that NBC had acquired Cho's promotional package. I made sure I was in front of my TV at 6:30.

And I guess it comes down to a censorship thing. Who am I to decide what other people can see or hear? This material was no illegal, so why not throw it out there for the viewers or listeners to do with it what they want.

Having said that, back in 1980 when I first became sports director of CFNY I was put in a situation that was the same, but different. It was of a much lesser magnitude.

Canada had just decided to follow the United States boycott of the Moscow Olympics and our athletes were told that despite all their training, all their blood, sweat and commitment, they would be staying home.

I made a decision as sports director not to report any results from Moscow. I thought if our athletes can't go, and most of the free world is staying away, the least I can do is not antagonize them by reporting results.

I figured if our athletes made that sacrifice then the rest of us should follow and ignore the games.

Needless to say, not everyone agreed. There was a large and intimidating woman who worked in the CFNY news room at the time and she thought I was out of my mind.

So after I ignored the Olympics in my sportscasts during the morning run, she came on the air at ten o'clock and made a point of giving the results on the ass end of her newscasts.

It pissed me off but the news director didn't have the balls to do anything about it and I wasn't about to lock horns with Fran because she would have kicked the shit out of me.

The point being, you make a call and you stick with it. That's the quandary that everyone found themselves in yesterday with the Cho material.

Category: Radio

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Bill And Jane On Cho

April 19, 2007 @ 08:47

I caught a few moments of the Bill Carroll show this morning and he hit the nail on the head. Giving Cho Sueng-Hui all this attention will only encourage the next guy.

I was thinking that yesterday while I made sure I tuned into NBC Nightly News at 6:30.

Cho was getting exactly what he wanted when he put his little media package together. He was hoping that after his death he'd become infamous through video and the media's competitive thirst for content.

Meanwhile, as the sweet and wonderful Jane Brown pointed out, as a journalist you feel an obligation to give your listeners the complete story.

It's a tough call and a fine line, but at this point there really should be a collective agreement by media outlets to temper their coverage.

Cho actually referred to Columbine on his video which proves turning these things into huge media events will only perpetuate them.

Category: Radio

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John And Stephanie On Cho

April 19, 2007 @ 08:47

Meanwhile, there was some compelling radio taking place over at am 640.

It wasn't so much the story as it was the battle. I detected a battle between the morning show and the news department.

News director Stephanie Smyth made the decision not to air any audio of Cho's recorded message, while John Oakley obviously disagreed and ran segments.

Oakley makes a great point when he notes how the print media gets a free right through this. They print everything including transcripts, yet nobody seems to question it.

There's something about actually hearing the guy that changes the rules.

There is no right or wrong here. When you're in charge of a show or newscast you have to make a call and I'm not wimping out here, I can honestly see both sides.

Category: Radio

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The Man Can Write

April 19, 2007 @ 08:40

For some more amusing reading, check out Stafford's Irish Stew from yesterday.
This man has a way with words.

Category: Radio

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Argos Fan 590

April 18, 2007 @ 09:26

It was announced last week that Argo radio broadcasts would be heard on the FAN 590 this year.

As far as I'm concerned the average fan really doesn't care where they have to turn the dial to hear a game, they just care about the quality once they get there, and with that in mind the move to the Fan is welcome.

From what I understand when it comes to the Argos, the radio station doesn't buy the rights, the Argos buy the time. They buy the three hour block on the station and then hire their own crew.

This is the way it was for the past couple of years on am 640, and the presentation suffered because of who the Argos decided would do the play by play.

His name was Jaime Stein, and I'm sure he's a nice young fella, but he sure as hell wasn't a play by play man, and paired with brilliant colour man Peter Martin, he sounded even worse.

How he got the job always mystified me, but if you work in the radio business long enough you're subjected to a lot of "mystification" over the years.

Anyway, I'm happy to report the situation has been corrected.

How ever the deal got done between the Argos and the Fan doesn't matter. All that does matter is that Mike Hogan has been returned as the play-by-play man.

The Fan has held Argo rights in previous years and Hogan did the play by play, and always did a competent straight forward job. He knows the sport, but more importantly he's a seasoned broadcaster.

Paired with the incomparable Martin, the Argos will once again have what they need, a solid radio presentation.

Category: Radio | Sports

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April 17, 2007 @ 09:47

If the Virginia Tech massacre had taken place exactly one week earlier, do you think Don Imus would have been fired?

It's all timing.

Last week was a slow news week in the United States so the Imus story became much bigger than it deserved to be.

How much play do you think the Imus controversey would get this week? How much attention would Sharpton and Jackson get compared to a legitimate news story like the Virginia Tech massacre.

You know the answer. Change the timing of either incident by one week and Don Imus would still be working at CBS and MSNBC.

Category: Radio

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Our Boy Bingo

April 16, 2007 @ 09:03

Today is a big day for our boy Bingo. At 10:39 he officially became part of Toronto's newest radio station.

It's Proud-FM, Canada's first commercially licensed radio station to target the gay and lesbian community.

Bingo Bob is the producer of the mornings show which features Ken Kostick and the delectable Mary Jo Eustace. Ken is gay, but Mary Joe isn't.

Although I'm sure most guys who've met Mary Jo, including myself, would readily welcome the news that she's at least bi-sexual, or willing to experiment with such things. She's a darlin', baby come on, let's be doing it!

Anyway, back to Bob. He became a Humble and Fred intern back in 1996 I do believe and then became our actual morning show producer when we made the move to MOJO in 2001. He then followed the Humble and Fred Show up to Yonge and St. Clair where we all eventually met our demise.

When Bob was fired it bothered me quite bit. Bob wasn't equipped with the safety net that Humble and I were, so watching him flap in the wind for a few months was rather unsettling.

He was young and newly married with a mortgage and the radio business although wonderful on the inside, can be rather cold and nasty when you're on the outside.

I kept in touch with Bob throughout his job search and to be honest, when he told about a few job pursuits outside of the radio business I was happy for him. Sometimes you have to be pushed into big career decisions and I thought that maybe that would be the case for Bob.

Although he loved radio, maybe this would be the opportunity for him to break away and find something that would allow him to exercise his creativity, but something with more long term stability.

Well it looks like Bob may have hit upon the right place at the right time. Proud FM is a radio station that's building from the ground up and it's a great environment for someone with Bob's knowledge to find himself in.

At an established station young creative people don't always get the opportunity to spread their wings and branch out. At a brand new station, there's always so much work to be done that it's got to be spread around and with it comes opportunity.

And that's the way it's been for our boy Bingo. Heading up to this morning's launch of Proud FM, Bingo has got to apply himself in many areas and quickly learn a lot of things.

It's the very beginning of a new radio station and a new beginning for Bingo Bob, and I'm sure he's gonna be just fine.

Category: Radio

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April 13, 2007 @ 09:00

Indian Shores, FLA - I don't know what to say other than I'm totally disgusted. The safe response would be to say "yea, he should have been fired." But I have a tough time with this.

This was a witch hunt that gained speed at meteoric proportions and today Don Imus's career is over.

There are a lot of people with big fat smiles on their faces today, but I truly believe that inside they aren't so happy. They're sad. Sad human beings.

Don Imus should not have said what he said. But you can bet your ass, right now, as I press finger to key, there are thousands of black comics and musicians who are making a mockery of this.

The best defence through all of this would have been for the black community to ignore it completely and defer to Imus as nothing more than a crackpot - while insisting nothing the grumpy old prick says can affect their lives.

Category: Radio

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Shit Storm

April 11, 2007 @ 09:14

Indian Shores, FLA - Yesterday while passing time while it rained, I got to appreciate the shit storm that's developed around the Don Imus situation.

I really don't know who to blame. Al Sharpton for making a mountain out of a molehill while making excuses for the double standard in America, or the networks perpetuating this thing to create programming.

I'm very reluctant to blame Imus because he's not responsible for what this has become.

He said something that he probably shouldn't have, but when called on it, he readily apologized and took the appropriate measures to make things better.

But when it comes to racism and those who like to use it as a platform, that isn't enough.

Sharpton and his ilk are like a dog on a steak bone when it comes to this stuff; to the point where you wonder who really is the racist. Al Sharpton seems to be the intolerant one here.

Not only that, but the double standard is fascinating. When asked why black people continuously use the "N" word, and why the words "hoe" and "nappy" are so popular in rap and hip hop music, Sharpton stammers and stutters and claims he's "workin' on it."

This morning when I woke up I laid in bed and spun the radio dial and I hit upon a station called 98.7 Wild. I was listening a something called the "Orlando and the Freak Show" and they were doing a bit called "Characters"

They would give the contestant the name of a TV character and they'd have to identify the show they were from.

At one point a woman got stumped by "Mrs, Roper", and Orlando became so mystified that the contestant could be so stupid, he stopped down and said. "This is crazy everybody, we got to stop down right now for a hoe break."

It really didn't make a lot of sense because Orlando isn't very good at what he does, but I know what he was getting at. This was a shot at what he perceived as the woman's stupidity.

But that's OK because Orlando is a black guy.

Category: Radio | Television

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Living At The Edge

April 6, 2007 @ 08:12

One of the things I enjoy most about this website is the contributions I get from all areas, but it's especially satisfying when I get a contribution from a former co-worker.

Like this one. The audio you are about to hear is Jason Barr in a studio at the Edge, he's recording a commercial when something falls out of his ass. A few moments later you'll hear a door swing open, and that's Dean Blundell who walks into it full force.

I really do love stuff like this. Have a listen.

Category: Radio

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