August 17th, 2014
Around christmas time last year I got a short e-mail from Ian Koenigsfest, the Program Director of CKNW, or as Corus calls them “Brand Managers”. The e-mail asked me how I’d feel about filling in for Mike Eckford while he went away to wash his hair or whatever Eckford does with his piles of money. I instantly had a smile on my face. It had worked!
After months of pestering Ian and his predecessor Tom Plasteras to get on air at CKNW. It had finally come full circle. I had started worming my way in over there by offering my services to comment on all things entertainment and pop culture.
So, for the two weeks around the christmas break I got to host full talk shows for nine nights on CKNW. Show number one was horrendous. It was like watching a grown man get kicked in the balls by a horse in slow motion. I hadn’t done anything like this in a long time, so it took a while for me to find my legs ( it was hard to get up after the horse kicked me) But what I did do is just be myself, a 35 year old sarcastic rule hating smart ass.
My opinion of talk hosts as it currently stands has never been a secret, they tend to all be rich white guys talking about rich white guy issues with other rich white guys along with a lot of content that doesn’t even relate to me.
What we’re seeing right now is a generational shift to younger hosts with different ideas about content and the way it engages audiences, and the way it’s delivered. It happened back in the 80′s, and it’s happening again now. I have the utmost respect for these guys and always will… Especially the way high paying radio gigs turn them into ravenous Bon Vivants. But, change is as good. Change is healthy. Change in radio is always inevitable, One day I’ll be expected to piss off into the sunset as well… Mexico baby! White sandy beaches & blue drinks!
There will always be naysayers who will tell you that putting on younger hosts isn’t the way to re-birth talk radio, because young people don’t listen to talk radio anymore, well I’m telling you that’s complete Horse shit. They may not necessarily listen to AM radio, so our job is now to get them to consume it in different ways, online, in bite size pieces, and even more interactive than ever before.
Back in 1995 I got my first paying radio job doing national overnights at the ABC’s youth station Triple J from their Sydney studios. I was in grade 11 still and learning a lot everyday. One thing I did most days was listen to the late Stan Zemanek on 2UE Evenings, then Tony Delroy on 702 ABC late nights. Both of these guys where polar opposites when it came to talk radio, but I adored both of them. I wanted to be like them, but I was too busy being 16 playing Nirvana and Soundgarden records on the radio and smoking way to much pot and partaking in copious amounts of underage drinking. So talk radio was fun to listen to, but I had never imagined I could ever one day do it.
I am looking forward to the challenges that lay ahead. I’m excited, hopeful & very nervous all at the same time. I will work hard at delivering great radio & content everyday. I will try to ask the tough questions, I have no political or religious leanings to speak of so the book is wide open, I just expect honesty and a fair go for the common man. If I don’t know about something educate me, correct me, I’m still learning. I will ask the questions you want answered. I have a very low tolerance for bullshit, But let’s make sure to have some fun along the way, because not everything has to be serious. Bum.
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