Kolter Bouchard was on the list to be on this podcast last summer. He had an interesting tale to tell about going from Dawson Creek to Dubai, and his program director Blair Bartrem was excited to get this talent on the air a Q107. Fast forward a few months and Corus renovates their airwaves and Kolter is now co-hosting the afternoon drive show on Edge 102 with Meredith Geddes. The story of how that show came to fruition is as every bit compelling as his journey from Dawson Creek to Dubai with his wife Dominque.
It is also difficult to discuss Dubai without bringing up the late Tim Klassen who worked at Channel 4 in Dubai and became a fixture there. That favourite song of his was Joe Walsh's "The Confessor.
Drex became Canadian famous just before Christmas in 2012 when he asked then Premier Christy Clark on behalf of a listener if she was more MILF or Cougar. And with that started radio's era of internet outrage. That was not the first time Drex had been fired. He has a cool back story from his days on air in Australia, and hopscotched the British Columbia coast and interior before making his way to CFOX and then CKNW and the Corus Radio Network.
One of things I love about Drex is his versatility from Rock to Talk to whatever format. He identifies it as radio and connection. He also takes chances, and admits when he is wrong. You can connect with his show's podcast here if staying up late is not your thing.
This episode is titled after Buzz's podcast called Healthy Paranoia.
We spoke about his past in radio working at legendary stations like doing weekends at WNEW and programming legendary WZLX. From there we dove into radio's future, podcast strategy, why Beasley Media Group got involved with e-Sports, and defining innovation overall. His role at Beasley began evolving back in 2016 when Greater Media was sold to Beasley. If you are wondering where radio is going - this is a good listen. Also take the time to subscribe to his podcast which features conversations about leadership, innovation and change in fields that are associated with radio. There's also a 5 part interview with historian Doris Kerns Goodwin that I thoroughly enjoyed, and was played out in the type of room I imagined; surrounded by cozy chairs and a lot of books.
Buzz touched on a few podcast initiatives at the company including Twisted Philly and Wrestling Inside the Ropes. You can connect to both shows by clicking on the links. I also brought up Checkpoint Radio is a part of the e-Sports initiative I referenced.
Sean Dilworth is half the man he used to be. Figuratively only. In whole, he is stronger, smarter and more confident than ever. He made a life decision to get physically stronger, which led to a number of other changes in his life. Then he came out and told his audience about it last September. In this moment, I knew I wanted to have him tell the longer version of this story on the podcast.
I hired Sean back in 2012 and he was every bit as eager, with a smile that's infectious and lights up a room. Back then he was heavier and a lot less confident. He was spending most of his energy hiding his anxiety for tasks that aren't easy for everyone; like bringing a band on stage for example. If I ran into Sean on the street - I probably wouldn't recognize him. He isn't afraid to keep the old pictures of himself on his social media accounts. In fact, he doesn't consider himself overtly millennial. And we even put him to a test.
It's no coincidence that this episode was released during the same week that Canada's biggest media company, Bell Media is having Let's Talk Day. It's the planet's biggest Mental Health media campaign.
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Troy McCallum had it all figured out. He listened to the episode with Gruff Gushnowski and knew that doing the podcast in the car would be a fitting place to talk radio. After all, he spends up to 3 hours a day in the car listening to the radio on the way to work as program director at Boom 97.3 in Toronto. Troy and I spent about half of his commute home talking about his early days in radio, his affinity for the Classic Hits format, programming said format, and discussing two trips he took last year. One to Philadelphia where he had his first breath of podcast air at Podcast Movement 18, and a trip to New York where he got to meet the legendary Broadway Bill Lee at WCBS-FM.
There's so much to learn about Troy and the roots of his creativity which stem from performance, to acting and then directing, to the collaborations of some Boom 97.3 mainstays like 97.3 Seconds and Behind the Vinyl. He also writes a lot of imaging, and has a good relationship with station voice Joe Cipriano, a must for any successful radio station.
Lianne Laing knew there was a moment when she would have to make the jump. After many years battling a 3:40am wake call to fulfill a role in television secondary to her original passion sports, change was inevitable. In November 2017, she left on her own accord and launched her website Lianne Laing - complete with a weekly podcast and You Tube Channel.
Her guests are all leaders in the field of medicine, health, sports, nutrition and science. Lianne herself was a varsity athlete at the University of Massachusetts, and maintains a very active lifestyle today. She started her career at CHRO in Ottawa and shifted from sports to morning show host. I asked her about her first year as CEO of her own company and what lies ahead for 2019. She is most excited about her Lianne and Friends Awaken A Better You Cruise coming up October 20, 2019 which will feature an all-star line up of wellness leaders sailing up the Danube.
If you are into health, fitness and stories with remarkable people, subscribe to her social media through her website.
My New Year's resolution is to call more people and speak to them, rather than pretend I know what's going on in their lives because I follow them on Facebook or Instagram. Natasha was my first victim. After 12 years, I spoke with her about her ascension to morning radio in Montreal, her stint working for Entertainment Tonight Canada, her experiences as a mom, and coping with life's unexpected changes. Natasha also spoke about Debbie Travis who has a new book called Design Your Next Chapter.
We also swapped a few wine suggestions which can be found here:
JJ "Jim" Johnston did something rather extraordinary last year. He committed to writing a blog everyday saluting someone in the radio or music industry. In an era where the social media stratosphere is predominantly negative, The project started on January 1 with Bruce Barker, wound its way through Victoria Day weekend with a tribute to yours truly, and then concluded on December 31 with David Marsden. These posts were shared across all social media platforms including Facebook. When you think about it, it's a great idea so that can be shared and re-shared by everyone going forward.
JJ is continuing his work with his company JJ-IMS, which has now reached its way into radio in Australia, and extended beyond radio into management groups and talent in other media.
This episode should have you considering your blog strategy for 2019. I marvel at people like Fred Jacobs who commit to writing 5 days a week, and JJ who wrote everyday for a year.
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They say three times makes it a tradition. Terry Dimonte loves Christmas and radio, so every year we have him on the show to talk about those two things... and more. We talked about our love of one of North America's most renowned restaurants Joe Beef, and his annual visit from the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau. Terry mentions that his photographer Adam Scotti is a good Twitter follow. We also touch on he enjoys CBS Sunday morning, and still getting a hard copy of the newspaper. Terry also talked about the changes in his life with his new girlfriend Jessica, and we look forward to CHOM's 50th birthday this fall.
I also served up one of the questions from this FYI Music News article I was featured in and we spent our remaining minutes talking about the lack of talent on the air these days. We believe it has hit some form of critical mass and believe radio companies are changing their approach.
You'll hear the voice of Jacob Stoller at the tail end of this show; his podcast is called "Leafs on Deck" and it focuses on the Toronto Marlies.
Merry Christmas to all!
Ted Bird has been a Montreal radio mainstay since 1984. I'd say longer but I don't remember his fist tour in 1979 and he didn't have fond memories of that era which was complicated given the politics at the time. From his times working with Terry Dimonte at CHOM, Mix 96 and CJAD, to working off the island in the Mohawk community and now Jewel 106.7 in Hudson, Quebec.
I worked with Ted a couple of times, including from 2002 to 2006 at CHOM where his passion for reporting, writing and broadcasting taught me to stand your ground while having all your i's dotted and t's crossed. Yes this will be as biographical as it is two radio people catching up as we touched on subjects like his support of the military troops, the legalization of cannabis, the Habs, Expos, NY Giants, and concussions in football.
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