Excellent. This is exactly what satellite radio needed.
It's no secret that satellite radio has struggled in Canada since it's inception last year, but XM radio went a long way in remedying that yesterday.
They announced that Mike Bullard has been hired to launch the first original morning show on Canadian satellite radio. It begins October 26th.
A brilliant move. There's no time to waste, so XM couldn't piddle around with experienced radio personalities - no they went right to the front of the line and hired a well known Canadian TV personality with virtually no radio experience.
But that's OK. In Canada TV means everything. Hell, if Mike can do TV there's no question he can do radio. Who can argue with that?
After all, given the success and loyal following of his smash-hit TV show, how can he miss on radio? He may have been off the air for the past couple of years, but that won't matter either. Without a doubt, the millions of Canadians who tuned into his TV show nightly will rush right out and by XM receivers.
Think about it. Think of all those Canadian 20-somethings who thought it was so cool to watch the Bullard show. They'd go to college and university the next day and talk about what Bullard said. Hell, there's been a void since he's been away.
But now, thanks to a brilliant move by XM radio - the type of move that really is exclusive to Canada, we all have the Miker back.
As the XM press release said on Wednesday. "American shock jocks beware."
Spinning the radio dial on Tuesday, it seems the topic of the day was Cassie Campbell.
In case you didn't see or hear the hockey game on Saturday night, Cassie was a last minute replacement for Harry Neale on Hockey Night in Canada.
Cassie has had some casual work as a colour person on TSN women's hockey telecasts, but her experience is well short of what you'd think HNIC would demand.
But Harry was snowed-in in Buffalo and somebody within the CBC brain trust came up with the idea of using Cassie. After all, she was going to be in the building anyway doing some rink side reporting.
Cassie filled in and did a credible job under the circumstances - but the issue on a few talk shows yesterday was the post game reaction. Right off the bat she got some rave reviews, but once the dust settled it became the opinion of many that the positive reaction was more because she was a woman, and not because she did a good job.
In fact she was actually weak, and this led to another issue. Why would CBC put her in that position? Why would they take someone with her experience and throw her onto the ultimate Canadian stage.
I didn't see the game on Saturday night because I was at the game. But I look at it this way. First of all, who cares about her experience, it was only a hockey game for cryin' out loud and it was an experiment. Big deal.
However, I will say this. In a twisted example of gender inequity, I can confidently say a man with Cassie's experience would never have even been considered as a fill-in. Not for a second. Cassie got the break simply because she's a she. End of story.
My first radio job out of college was at CKFH in Toronto in 1978. I desperately wanted to work at â€˜FH because at the time it was Toronto's sports station.
They carried Blue Jays, but had just lost the Maple Leaf rights to upstart FM news station CKO. But to me, what really made CKFH Toronto's sports station was "Talking Of Sports." It was Bob McCowns first all sports talk show.
It was weekday afternoons between 4:30 and 6:00, and I thought it was the greatest thing ever. It was exactly what I wanted to do.
Needless to say once I got within the walls of the radio station I immediately volunteered my time to McCown. At first I just screened calls, but eventually I actually got to push the bottons and turn the knobs - and I got to be close to Bob. It was a fabulous learning experience.
Unfortunately, I couldn't stay at CKFH. I wanted to work on-air and management at the station didn't think I was ready for that, so it was actually at McCown's urging that I got out of there. He told me I had to go to a smaller market and be on the air every day, that's the only way I'd break through.
So that's what I did. I put together a resume and part of that resume was a letter of recommendation from Bob McCown. Let me tell you, at the time it was it was most valuable piece of paper I owned, and it without a doubt was the reason I was hired to do sports at CHIC in Brampton in 1979.
Anyway, yesterday I was going through some old papers and guess what I stumbled upon ?
I'd like to send a message to Stephanie Smyth of 640 Toronto and offer her a little advice.
Those of you who don't work in the radio biz probably aren't aware of this but there's a website out there that deals with radio.
It's one of those forums where you can offer your comments about the radio business, and for the most part it can be helpful and interesting.
However, there's a group of nasty little fellows who frequent the board. They're radio wannabes, who for whatever reason never got to live their dream, but somehow along the way they became experts.
Their method of getting attention is by baiting people within the business with uninformed and shockingly mindless postings.
Yesterday there was such a posting on the board taking a shot at Stephanie Smyth and am 640. It was unfair and stupid but unfortunately Stephanie replied to it.
And that's why I'd like to send this message to Stephanie. You should never respond to these guys. The minute you respond to them you legitimize them, and believe me, the group I'm talking about does not deserve to be legitimized.
They don't matter.
Listen, we all deserve criticism at some time. And for the most part I think most of us who've worked in radio have become rather thick-skinned.
We often "give it" so we have to learn to "take it." But when you take it, you immediately have to assess it and consider where it's coming from and decide whether it's worthy of a response.
Stephanie, believe me, your time could have been much better spent yesterday - you have nothing to prove to these guys.
And finally Stephanie, I know we've never met, but I'm sure you've gotten to know me through "the board'.
I'm the unemployed has-been-never-was farting redneck who will never work in the business again because I'm no longer attractive to the general managers I used to blow in the washroom.
We left Ottawa yesterday. But before we left I visited a museum while Delyse did some shopping.
It wasn't the Museum of Civilization or the War Museum or the Art Museum - it was a "radio museum" located out in Napean.
I spent a couple of hours with Peter Griffin. Peter Griffin is Pete of the old Pete and Geets Show. He's a great man with a wealth of stories about Toronto radio.
He was the original morning man at CHUM-FM after it went rock and it was shortly after that when he teamed up with Geets.
In 1980 they made the jump to CFNY. It was actually a re-union. Pete came from CHUM-FM while Geets came from Q-107.
They stayed at NY till 1987 and then Pete headed for Ottawa where he worked part time in radio until he retired a few years ago.
I can't begin to re-hash all the stories that Pete told me yesterday, and it really wouldn't do them any justice. You have to hear them from Pete with his fabulous story telling ability and his infectious laugh.
Here's a man who worked all over North America. If I'm not mistaken he told he worked at 21 radio stations in his first three years. He enjoyed moving around, and that's a good thing because he pretty well had to. Back then you could be fired for anything with no re-course what so ever.
Pete and I sat in a Montana's for over two hours and it was probably the best two hours I've spent in a long time.
I thoroughly enjoyed the seven years I did sports on the Pete and Geets show and in retrospect it provides nothing but warm and wonderful memories.
I know lots of CFNY fans from the 80s frequent this site and I'm glad to report that Pete is alive and kickin' and still laughin' in Ottawa.
I sat down to watch the Blue Jays home-opener last night. I think its only the second one I haven't attended since 1977.
That's one thing about working in the radio business, you never have to buy tickets. Now that I've become a "writer" based in the north end of Brampton. (sounds better than unemployed) I don't get free tickets to anything but estate auctions at the Hansa House in Norval.
Anyway... back to my point. I sat down to watch the game and was all pumped up until they introduced Shirley Cheek, who would throw out the first pitch. Shirley is the wife of Tom Cheek, the longtime voice of the Blue Jays who passed away last fall after battling brain cancer.
My heart sunk. I, like most Jays fans, loved Tom Cheek. Nothing against Jerry Howarth, I like him too. But Tom was the original guy, and his voice became part of summer in Toronto.
That friendly, almost folksy voice wafting from radios across the land. From the car next to you at a traffic light. From your neighbours back yard. From the fishin' boat anchored in the Kawartha Lakes
It put you in a comfort zone. The sound of Toms voice meant spring, warm weather, doing stuff outside. It also meant a lot of success. His calls during the pennant and World Series years are legendary, especially the now infamous "touch em all Joe".
We didn't get to hear Tom last year because he was ill. But he was still alive, and as long as someone is alive, we're conditioned to think that there's a chance they'll survive and maybe recover.
But seeing Shirley last night, really made it hit home. Tom Cheek is gone. And that makes me sad.