CKNW Dumps Koenigsfest – Sean Leslie Quits

Ian Koenigsfest




Word just out of the Black Tower is brand manager/program director Ian Koenigsfest was escorted out of the building this morning. He has been with CKNW since 1991, and replaced Tom Plasteras as Brand Manager in 2013. Koenigsfest is the current president of RTNDA Canada, the Radio and TV News Directors Association.



Sean Leslie


Also we understand Sean Leslie has quit which just so happened to be a coincidence. Reliable sources tell us Sean has decided to leave the media and pursue other ventures…


Larry Gifford



Larry Gifford an American broadcaster has been consulting CKNW for over a year will either fill the shoes of Koenigsfest held on a Full or Interim basis. Gifford was instrumental in KIRO‘s transition in Seattle/Tacoma.




Related Puget Sound Radio story with Larry Gifford talking with Ian Koenigsfest

Talk Digital Networks Jim Goddard of The Goddard Report talks with former CKNW morning man Bryan ‘Frosty’ Forst  HERE





  1. Is there a format change in the works from the Corus heads? Job posting for a Research Analyst… so taking IK out – is just cleaning out the house??

    Good bye IK — lots of folks will be celebrating 🙂

  2. This is long overdue and many will be rejoicing. From hosts, to producers, to sports and news reporters, the talent loss this past year has been staggering.

  3. I have heard that corus wants to rebrand their talk stations with a focus on younger listeners and use more social media. Word is there will be a lot more shows that are broadcast on several stations. A cross country show like the corus talks shows before

  4. Corus may want to focus on younger listeners; however not many younger people actually listen to the radio! And they certainly are not plugged into NW on their smart phones.
    I know many wealthy 65+ though who are in their homes, gardens, cars with the radio going 24/7, (now set to CBC) and a keen interest in news and current affairs, and lots of money to spend. Not to mention those of us in younger demographics who also still care about news and listen to the radio.

  5. I.K. out, just like that, but looks to be replaced by an American who has been consulting for CKNW over the last year, to which has been the time of CKNW’s big changes (not looking much to the better either) and decline. Could CKNW be jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire now?

    As to Sean Leslie, surprised, I was just listening to him filling in for Jon McComb this morning and all seemed well. Huh, go figure? I wonder if Jon will come back from his vacation? I guess if not he and Till can meet up all day long at Till’s place sipping favourite beverages and having Till’s butler (lol) tend to their needs.

    The train wreak at CKNW and looks to be all other Corus stations is TRAGIC!!! I’ve not seen a business lose focus and control of its once lofty place so bad, so quick. With an American coming on board (surely a Canadian of suitable talent could have been found) by the looks of it, CKNW will probably fill in as much US sindicated programming that the CRTC will allow governing CANCON rules and the train wreak will only be bigger and harder for CKNW and Corus as a whole.

    SAD TIME for the once GREAT, NW98. ;-(

  6. The Koenigsfest firing I can understand, but the loss of not just BC Legislative reporter Sean Leslie and an excellent fill in talk show host is gone. That is a shame. The reality is Sean was probably offered full time at NW but he lives in Victoria, has a wife, a government employee who probably makes more money than him, so why would he want to move to Vancouver and leave paradise. The same applies to Mike Smyth who also lives in Victoria and has no desire to live in Vancouver. Mike could have had mid mornings on NW long ago. Maybe there is truth to the saying money and fame isn’t everything, especially when you live in BC’s capital city.

  7. With Roundhouse radio set to come on-line this fall and the continued slide of CKNW listeners, the release of Ian Koenigsfest was a given. Interesting that the initial report was that I.K. was escorted out of the building. I suspect the parting was not a happy one. I would love to hear a “Goddard Report” interview on this matter. I suspect however, the separation agreement probably included a gag order. We live in interesting times…

  8. For countless broadcasters across the Lower Mainland who had the misfortune of working under his reign, the only tears being shed over the news of IK’s removal are tears of joy.

  9. Shock and awe. While its almost all speculation , IK seemed to be in charge and if the current slop that NW puts on air was his doing then he got what he deserved. I have an uneasy feeling that his leaving isnt going to make NW wake up to the fact that talk radio ( not twitter not facebook not listner line) appeals to an older demographic. Sean leslie is a huge loss. He was one of the “old school” voices that us older listeners were used to.
    they are going to need to really scape the bottom to fill in the am slot and we can only hope that Seans weekend show doesnt become more canned crap.

  10. If these folks at CORUS think they can snag younger listeners by gearing up Social Media, or hiring younger hosts – I think they’re delusional.
    Younger listeners have no use for AM Radio and most have probably never heard or listened to CKNW.
    The folks at CORUS are losing their pants and I would not be surprised if we start seeing CORUS unloading assets, if they can.
    Sean Leslie is probably relieved to be out of the Black Tower.
    Ian won’t get another radio gig.
    Tom Plasteras was a big success as PD for many years and he can’t get a gig – so what are IK’s choices?

  11. On the other hand if IK was forced by cheapskate ownership to run the station into the ground then he got a raw deal. Moreover if all of the poor decisions wernt IK ideas but cost cutting measures forced on him and then on the listeners I fear what is yet to come. Sadly like I said all we ever can do is speculate as for whatever reason nobody seems to want to explain whats going on.

  12. Bang on 13. Anyone who thinks things will improve at CKNW because IK is gone is in for a big disappointment.

    These “titles” of Brand director or News director are just that, titles. They don’t have an actual say in any of the decision making. They’re there to placate the staff until the next round of pink slips. Like when Rob Ford was in the middle if his breakdown and held the title of mayor but council had stripped him of all powers. If you’re a manager, outside of Toronto, working for Corus you’re nothing more than an overpaid talking mouth piece.

  13. Wonder what is going on. Just before the 4am news this morning there was a very short tag line that said “a new sound is coming to CKNW”. Wonder what that means? If it’s more of the same, or maybe with more american programming like Coast to Coast or the Ted radio hours, that won’t save the dying dog. Maybe this Larry Gifford guy referred to above is the one pushing all the crap they have on air now. What on earth does an American guy know about what the local listeners want. But then when did Corus ever listen to what people want. Goodbye Ian K. You really are no loss.

  14. What a mess. Perhaps the denial of the FM permit was a small factor here. AM radio is a dead end for younger listeners. A lot of smartphones have FM receivers built in but you won’t find an AM receiver. As for streaming … it’s very frustrating …. the streams come and go, particularly via TuneIn Radio. I’m sorry to see anyone lose a job. In this case we had a very valuable property essentially driven into the ground by people who didn’t seem to have a handle on their single most important asset, their listeners. I’m particularly sorry to see a good political reporter, Sean Leslie, step away from the microphone.

  15. Memo to Corus: Forget the American. Hire Red Robinson to bring back “personality” to CKNW radio. Sit back and watch the ratings move…..up.

  16. One more CORUS note: My sources tell me that CORUS has closed the entire 21st floor of the Black Tower.

    The place must cost a fortune, just as CKNW sinks. CORUS is losing a MILLION BUCKS A DAY….according to their last Quarterly Statement.
    That can’t keep on for much longer. They cut 2% of the entire Company, in the last quarter to try and make the numbers and they still fell short.
    Not happy times for this group.
    The worst part is – it’s the Staff that get it in the neck.
    (*And as the shares drop – so do the stakeholders).

  17. As a former colleague I will miss Sean Leslie’s voice on the radio.
    As for IK, enough has been said above.
    If IK was following orders from Toronto then he got a bum deal. If he was following directions/suggestions from Larry Gifford then he got what he deserved. Mr. Gifford’s track record is nothing to be proud of and to bring him to Vancouver to replace IK would not be a smart move. It would make more sense to bring back Tom Plasteras. He knows the stations history, he knows the city and he knows some of the remaining staff. Problem is, it will be a tough sell to get him to come back. Fingers crossed.

  18. Not much remains of the distinctive ‘NW voice. Sean Leslie will be resurfacing as a senior public affairs officer with the BC government. With IK having left the building one can only speculate about some of the hires under his watch. At least one of those, Lynda Steele, has yet to utter a word over 980.

  19. Yes Ken–just wondering if Lynda Steele is having second thoughts about jumping on board this sinking ship. Or maybe the gangplank will be pulled away and she won’t even get to start on air.

  20. The beginning of the end was when they stopped reporting news objectively and became government supporters (read Liberals here). When people tune in a “news” station it’s because they want to find out what’s happening in an honest, unbiased way. They don’t want a spin put on stories to support one political view or another. If one party or the other does something that’s not right, or should be criticized, we want to be confident that our news stations will cover it objectively. Everybody knew that Bill Good and Pamela Martin were Liberal cheerleaders. Of course, as wealthy, successful ( although through connections) people who hung out with the celebrities at Whistler during the Olympics, they couldn’t be expected to identify with the left-wing. True journalists like Rafe Mair and Jack Webster were also really ethical. They hated liars and being manipulated, so they wouldn’t let their personal ideologies interfere with their profession, and would take a politician to task regardless of which side they were on.

    It was common knowledge that Sean Leslie’s wife worked for Christy Clark. There was a time when that should have disqualified him to work in a “news” station. Did you think he was going to publicly criticize Clark no matter what she did? When you hear that news reporters go on to become media consultants for, or employees of, political parties (which has happened a number of times in B.C.) you tend to look back on the stories they covered and wonder how unbiased they were in their coverage. Surely we aren’t so devoid of prospective journalists in 2015 that we can’t find people who look at it as a profession rather than a stepping stone to make professional connections!

  21. They should have replaced Bill good with Sean Leslie, ditch Simi Sara and McComb. Cut the canned stuff like Coast to coast and Ted talks, it’s crap that you can get elsewhere.
    “Angry old man” radio with a right of centre bias was what their base used to be and you can update that- instead they tried to be hip and guess what, it was the content they tuned in for.
    There used to be “can’t miss” segments like ” cutting edge of ledge” and the like, not so much now. With Leslie gone I find one less reason to tune in and I listened most of the day to stay informed- I cannot believe how far this Ship has sunk.
    I hear Charles Adler is moving to Vancouver and I bet he shows up on CKNW. More syndicated stuff but better than the canned stuff on currently.

  22. ‘NW was running some sort of promo this morning for an upcoming change but unfortunately I didn’t catch exactly what it was.

    Here’s a suggestion for anyone in charge left at the black tower Corus offices. Get Rick Forchuk back with a segment that isn’t buried early on a Sunday morning. He’s surely the best movie critic in the business locally and he’s an expert on new media: Netflix, CraveTV etc. There’s no shortage of new media tech to talk about. I’m sure he could cover cord-cutting but that would be hitting a little too close to home for the Shaw masters of Corus.

  23. Sean, Jill Bennet and MCampbell are the last reasons I listen to ‘NW. Will really miss Sean – he is one of the few top teir radio personalities left….

  24. As one of the NW staffers who took a bullet a few years back, it sure was s%^&ty at the time.

    In retrospect, it was the best damn thing that happened to me, and likely a few others.

    It’s time to load the shotgun and put “Top Dog” Yeller out of his misery! And IK, unemployment looks particularly good on you. It should have happened YEARS AGO.

  25. I have followed the changes at CKNW with little interest lately but this is about time. That place has turned into a joke. I think that what needs to happen is a couple shows like the corus talks series needs to happen across the talk stations. After that they need to focus on the FM stations. Find a direction and stick with it. A lot of the music stations are a mess. The Fresh stations especially. Some lean towards one style of music with younger hipper sounding dj’s and the others call themselves fresh and sound more like CHFI with older sounding on air staff. Then you have on air staff broadcasting in 2 or 3 different markets. I think they need to take the rock stations and either lean towards a new and old rock hybrid like htz-fm in St Catherines or newer rock and alternative like 102.1 The Edge. Then they need to tweak the Fresh stations and make them consistent to the brand. I hate saying the stations should keep cutting but they should bring in announcers that fit the format. Like in Ottawa for example they have brought in great on air staff at Jump radio and they have Rock DJs at Dave FM and what is left at Q107 in Toronto or Y108.

    I know this is a thread about CKNW but Corus is losing money hand over fist across the country. Changes are needed everywhere and it sucks that Sean Leslie decided to leave but he is leaving on his own and not shown the door. Now is the time to freshen up the sound of CKNW and the other talkers across the network. Do something that makes a difference and while they are at it sell am730 or use that for all the syndicated shows. Coast to Coast and the new Art Bell show, as well as Ted Talks and many others. Then take CKNW and use it for a couple coast to coast talk shows some local shows and some rebroadcasts of other major market talk shows from other stations they have. Just anything to get listeners back to the trainwreck especially with Roundhouse radio launching in a few weeks.
    But my whole rambling point is this: If Corus doesn’t get there shit together on CKNW, CFOX, Big, Fresh, 640 Toronto, and many other stations there won’t be a Corus for much longer. Clearly we have seen in the last 12 or so years the evolution of a BOB/Jack format that has been somewhat successful in certain markets. In Ottawa they own Boom 99.7 and it does fairly well. Especially considering they flipped a station in Cornwall to the Boom format. Also there is the continuing climb of new country stations and even stations like Indie 88 in Toronto has made Edge make some changes to the playlist just to compete. I can’t see how Corus cannot make changes that can help improve the ratings on the slumping stations.

    Sorry for the long rant but I am sure most people think it anyways. Corus is in a lot of trouble yet they own most of the radio stations I listen to depending where in Canada I am or what I feel like listening to online. The only problem is I used to listen to most stations for the personalities, Now I listen for the station and the history behind it.

  26. Corus in conjunction with or by manipulation of I.K. over especially the last year or two been a race to producing radio on the cheap. By going on the cheap will for a short while keep profits going but soon the cheapness and lack of quality and depth will begin to overcome falling profits and then lost listeners.

    Too much frivoless banter between the rather green hosts and their producers on air often talking about stuff that is really products of tabloid journalism. Too much pulling up and reading probably well screened Twitter and Facebook post by those who care to add such comments. IT’S TALK RADIO FOLKS! not radio to read Twitter or Facebook blather. I’m not saying to never read Twitter and Facebook posts but how abut open the damn lines. Callers add a perspective that may be different than what often become monologues by talk show hosts. Callers come in all shapes and sizes so to speak. They can add colour to topics at hand with the hosts, and this can even be more casual and light topics. I don’t expect NW to be HARD NEWS and HARD TALK all the time.

    You know talk radio can learn a bit from better podcasts on line. The best podcasts have at minimum TWO personalities who work well together and they are able to discuss topics that their podcast deal with. If I may, for one, the NO AGENDA SHOW with Adam Curry and John C. Devorak. They talk and hash out current affairs topics (being American, mostly US centric but entertaining at that) and bounce off each other well. This has their listeners wanting to LISTEN to them. There are other podcasts from news, to sports, to technology, to social media that are similar. Often these also do round tables with panels of informed guests to hash out topics of the day.

    CKNW has lost focus because it’s run ON THE CHEAP now and with too many greenhorns. Newbies to radio broadcasting and talk radio in the past got their start not at the top as CKNW once was but out in the proverbial sticks. They learned and developed to become good producers, good engineers, good journalists, good news readers and good talk show hosts then moved up to the bigger stations. BCIT grads either interning at CKNW or working for what may be beer money is NOT a good fit for a radio station that was once the TOP DOG.

    Ditching sports, ditching bidding on NHL, CFL, and now MLS is a big mistake in creating a growing demographic. Sports from Dan Russell Sportstalk to broadcasting games to having engaging sports news readers such as Neil McCrae was brings in young listeners and mixes them with older. The young listeners may stay on to listen to other programmes as I did back in the day of CKNW and its then competitor CJOR were in the early to mid 80’s. It was Canucks and Lions games that had me stay on CKNW to develop a following for talk radio hosts and their programmes. And Dan Russell Sporstalk was originally on CJOR600 as such I listened to him to then give their other talk programmes a listen too.

    I.K. going as I said earlier may not stop the apparent rot at CKNW. Sadly I now have little faith. I believe their remaining hosts are all on their own job/career protective guard. I know Simi Sara is back in school learning something other than radio broadcasting I figure. I remain to see if Jon McComb does comb back I believe on Monday as I think his three week vacation ends.

    Having the very well respected Terry Bell add his two cents here is also quite interesting.

  27. Gifford, I believe, was responsible for the ascendency of “Drex” to the AM side.
    A move that didn’t make sense at the time, and still doesn’t. Juvenile tabloid crap from a station that labels itself as a serious “news” outlet.
    (Remember, this is the guy who asked Christy Clark the “MILF” question a few years ago. Whatever you think of the Premier – and I don’t particularly like her – this isn’t “journalism in any sense of the word.)
    And if that’s the way this Gifford guy thinks, this is a a sand and inevitable continuation of the slide into the fiscal and ratings abyss.

  28. Willy you said what I was thinking… so many good people, have been laid off/fired or left on their own are cheering today… no one really likes to be happy about someone being fired/laid off.. but in this case IK had this coming — karma baby!!

    I don’t think IK being gone is going to change NW… that’s up to the idiots at Corus to figure out..

  29. Note to anyone now running a radio station in this city:
    All the talent one needs to run the best radio that Vancouver has ever heard can be found gathering for lunch once every six months at the White Spot on West Georgia Street…

  30. Wow! Some great comments above. Lately I have been referring to ‘NW as “Re-run Radio”. Listen for two hours in the morning and you have the programming not only for the rest of the day, but often the rest of the week and weekend as well.

    IK’s departure is long overdue and I found Frosty’s comment about him on the Goddard Report most telling if one didn’t already know the guy was as warm as a tax collector who moonlighted as a funeral director.

    I suspect Sean may find himself writing positive-sounding, uplifting fluff pieces for the our lovely premier. I like Sean, but his Bill Bland approach to radio was less than inspiring.

  31. For those that have not listened to Jim Goddard interviewing Frosty Forst, you really need to. Very insightful comments on Frosty’s part. One point that was made was that radio has to be LOCAL to be relevant. This idea that you can have canned crap from the out of country or from other parts of the country is just plain wrong. If this guy they apparently are bringing in to run the show doesn’t get that one very important fact through his head before he starts, he’l l be just as bad as IK – or worse. Someone said he is responsible for the evening guy. That tells you all you need to know. If that’s his idea of programming, what’s left of the ship will sink too. Remember ‘NW was a (top) dog – not a cat. They don’t have 9 lives!

  32. How many TV shows / radio companies does Simi Sara have to run into the ground before someone clues in that she’s horrific?

    Seriously – Every single place she’s gone has collapsed.

    BT Breakfast – GONG!
    CFUN radio – GONG!
    News slots on CKNW – GONG!

    Right from J school to CBC to TV

    She sounds like someone is pinching her nose.

    Look – here’s the deal with CKNW


    It’s full of young super-feminist women – BORING!
    I’m sorry but women on radio DOESN’T WORK!

    Pinch noses – Simi – PUKE!
    Ian told me he hired her because “they wanted a woman for that slot”
    HELLO!! If you don’t hire based on talent well… you get what you deserve.
    “I want tits and a vagina.”
    Well you got “Brutal ratings” because she sounds awful, is not interesting, is a joke.
    She never did a damned thing in life – YOU PUT HER ON THE MAIN TIME SLOT !

    Mike Smyth – SPEECH IMPEDIMENT !!
    omfg – how does that cross someone’s mind that someone that can’t say OKAY should be on the effing radio?

    Are you high?

    CKNW is the equivalent to a magazine with an editor that can’t spell and a photographer that can’t focus.

    It’s awful awful awful radio.

    Rule 1 – SOUND GOOD
    Rule 2 – Political Correctness KILLS – get the women off the air
    Rule 3 – Hire local talk local
    Rule 4 – Talk about issues that matter to British Columbians NOT ALBERTANS !!

    Sound good.
    I mean it’s pretty effing simple.

  33. The American guy is just there to clean up after all the changes he will be gone with no severance required when his contract is up or maybe sooner. The thought of getting younger ages to tune in is drug induced thinking. Most kids nowadays dont know what AM is.

    As much as many wont like to hear this the economics of talk radio doesn’t support a full day of live hosts. Corus needs to cherry pick the best hosts they have across their network and have these hosts run shows across the country (if anything it will be better radio than the garbage they have on now) with the only exception being live local morning shows 6-9 am. This will serve two purposes: stop the bleeding and make some money by reducing expenses and probably improving content on many stations. Local content would suffer but current listeners will probably tune in regardless. Look at the CBC they were pioneers in featuring the same show across the country.

  34. Well David, as someone who was early in hiring women for newsrooms I have to disagree with your broad stroke while agreeing Simi certainly leaves a lot to be desired. Certainly her grammar is problematic. But then, just the other day I heard the newsroom twice sound the “s” in Grosvener, use ‘were’ for “we’re”and repeatedly use the popular redundancy “returned back”. So it is a cultural problem at ‘NW more than a gender issue. Seems from your vitriol you just don’t like women much at all. There are a plentitude of excellent women broadcasters.

  35. PSR heard from Sean Leslie a few minutes ago in response to a pm sent to him. Here’s what he had to say

    Hi Michael!

    I’m sure you have the details by now, but yep, I resigned yesterday. But I’m still at NW for one more week, until Jon McComb returns. Will miss radio and the Press Gallery in particular-but after 25 years, time for something new. Cheers!

    Sean Leslie

  36. As to female hosts on air. Male, female, it’s important that they develop a radio voice and a good inflection of speech. It’s probably easier for males to develop a radio voice but it’s not impossible for females though. I will say over the years I found some good listening voices of females here in our radio market. Cicelia Walters on CBC Radio had a good female radio voice and inflection. Vikki Gabereau as well and Fanny Keefer when on NW way back in the day ( 1990’s) had a motherly sounding voice which to me felt reassuring. I felt Jennifer Mather/Burke when on NW about 8-10 years ago had developed a good female radio voice and came across intelligent.

    That said even males need to develop a good radio voice and inflection. Oddly enough, back in the day when all too many folks smoked, the males who smoked developed the best radio voices. No, no, no, I don’t suggest guys taking up smoking again, but smokers voices led to good sounding male radio voices.

    But a big problem in radio speech today is IMO crappy grammar. Look I was no English scholar in school but as an avid reader and listener to talk radio I have been able to find speech and grammar mistakes on air all too often and IT CAN DRIVE ME NUTS AT TIMES! lol. I feel sorry for English teachers/scholars who probably notice this even better than me. I mean are these people in radio today, on air as hosts, as news readers and producer not college grads? How do you get to such a point and speak English often so poorly today?

    Radio talk hosts, news readers and producers back in the day spoke English more properly and often eloquently. The sound of one’s voice is so important on radio and it’s a sound based medium, unlike t.v. where visuals also matter and often more than the sound of speech and grammar.

  37. Terry Schintz was assistant brand manager for the past year or so. Wonder if he was given that position with the hopes he could talk sense into IK. Was IK given notice he needed to shape up or he would be out? It will be interesting to know if Terry is still assistant brand manager. I’m sorry to see Sean Leslie go. I feel like sending a sympathy card to all those that have worked under IK.

  38. Mark, you took what could have been interesting commentary and sank it by saying women shouldn’t be on the air. Ridiculous. Now back to our 98. Those of us who have watched the steady decline of CKNW over the past two decades, spurred on by a pile-up of bad decisions at the top, have been mystified as to why Ian K. has been spared repercussions until now. Tom Plasteras may have been in charge most of that time but Ian was right by his side the whole way in a decision making capacity. To take the broadcasting jewel that was launched and nurtured by the Griffiths and run it into the ground this way is shameful. He was clearly over his head and I would feel sorry for him but he didn’t operate in the best interests of his company and people – he was looking after his job security and did what he needed to keep that. His vision was myopic and directed at himself.

    As other posters have said, the demise of radio has been threatened before and it has found a way to survive and thrive. The changes that are taking a swipe at radio have been coming for two decades. A true leader would have seen that and planned accordingly. There has been no evidence of visionary leadership for years at CKNW, only reactivity. To save CKNW there needs to be a leader who is truly invested in making great radio for their audience. A person of passion, integrity, and intelligence who lives and breathes broadcasting. Someone strong enough to fight for the legacy of the station long enough until the money follows and all the stakeholders can be happy.

  39. Sure you can have the most incredible air staff. Hold on though, if the signal sucks as it does it doesn’t really matter what the past four dozen comments might suggest.

  40. Okay…

    I’ll go through the basics

    What is radio?

    It’s a campfire. A place to tell stories.
    Who sits around a campfire and talks about the day’s hunt?
    Tells stories?

    Jack Webster – a man.
    Rafe Mair – a man.

    We came. We sat by the fire. We listened.

    Bill Good – a woman. His daddy got him a job. He had nice hair. Never did a thing in his life.
    Good was followed by the mistake Mathers; then Clark; then Sara.

    Ratings? Steadily declined. Right into the toilet.

    It wasn’t interesting.

    I’m sorry ladies – but you don’t hunt.
    You don’t.

    In order to sit by the campfire and lead the discussion – you have to be accepted by the tribe.
    You have to be accepted as a hunter. A warrior. A leader.

    Lynda Steele – beauty queen, married a cop, got a job on TV (OH GOODY GOODY!!)
    Speech impediment (side of her mouth won’t open – probable misdiagnosed stroke).

    Simi Sara – same story — J School; CBC TV because she’s non-white and female — BAM — I’ve got breasts give me a job!

    Never did anything in life.

    Now could Christy Clark come back and be accepted as a hunter?
    Probably. But she won’t be working for $40,000/year. And even AS A FORMER PREMIER she won’t truly be accepted because she’s a woman.



    Oh really?

    CKST. 2% audience share.
    Small potatoes?
    Take a listen to the advertising there.
    The demo – 18-45 males.
    Mercedes, Ford, Chrysler – you name it.

    What does CKNW have? A funeral parlor.

    Seriously – they’re brought to you by the grim reaper.

    Males 18-45 — the demographic you want — not happening with feminists reading the news and two old women who did diddly squat in their lives trying to lead the hunt discussion around the campfire.


    Grammar? Grammar shammar.

    Leaders. Hunters. Warriors.

    Howard Stern – $25 million US/year.
    Rush Limbaugh – $20 million US/year.

    The most successful program on CKNW is Coast-to-Coast radio – why?
    It’s lead by a hunter/warrior.

    He’s done something in life other than READ A TELEPROMPTER !!

    Koenigfest was Australian.
    He was political correct – please GOD don’t sue me.

    Well how can you lead anyone without starting a war?


    By the way – the “news directors of canada award” that Simi Sara won for talking about being East Indian was awarded by her boss, Ian Koenigsfart.

    “It was really hard being born East Indian. And my mom died. Boo hoo hoo. Boo hoo hoo.”

    Oh Jesus wept.

    Does that sound like a hunter/warrior?

    It was really hard. Let’s have a Pity Party.
    I’m wearing panties.
    Let’s cry together.

    BYE !!

  41. I believe I.K. is from South Africa.

    David J. you certainly have an opinion, props to you for speaking it even if you may get flamed here for such.

    I myself am not against females on radio as I said Cicelia Walters to me was quite engaging on CBC radio. Fanny Keefer too and lets not forget the late Barbara Frum on CBC radio and later t.v. news. But I also did enjoy Jennifer Mather/Burke too. But so be it you obviously have a stronger set of ideals. I do agree the flaming feminists in society have a not so good agenda in media and need to be pushed back. They do not represent women’s rights but their simple minded belligerence.

    I agree though that CKNW has lost focus on what should be its strongest and number one demographic, males 18-45 or really more like 25-5,5 then next adding females in the 25-55 range. Without sports CKNW will not get much of the under 25 age group, male or female. It does not matter how much it peddles TWITTER and FACEBOOK blather as a part of its ideals.

  42. I think the morale at Corus in Vancouver is very poor. Every visit that I make to the Tower I dread it, nobody is around and maybe its because there is what 40% less staff than there were back in the 1990s for example. And who would want to work there. Its even harder finding somebody at Corus who can help you if you phone them. They seem to have lost more than staff, they have lost their focus. Does anybody know when Jon McCombs contract expires? I used to like and listen to him, but sorry to say, I am tired of listening to the tired. How can ratings improve when all you do is cut staff, programs, and content.

  43. I agree with many previous comments from some illustrious names
    Frosty surprised have no comment at my time of writing Your thoughts would be appreciated
    one indicator of the Corus problems with NW are the very poor quality Commercials that are repeated over and over until I turn off the volume
    Slick sleazy get rich quick stock market house flipping ,dubious financial miracle gains
    Simi endlessly getting out of Her time share contracts her book club yawn!
    James Carter Please no more Choir !!
    Good quality radio programming attracts good Advertisers
    Sack the present so called “Ad sales Reps” so I can leave my volume

  44. Sorry ,cut Myself off mid type
    You may ask why do I still listen to NW ? I belong to the 65 plus age group that grew up with NW greats : Webster,Bannerman Mair and so many quality Hosts
    they were well versed in both local and world affairs which sadly many Hosts today lack
    Present Hosts with exceptions Sean, Mike and Jon {.before He seemed to loose confidence with much “erring ,ums and Aaring” off script in recent past months!!}
    They constantly repeat the same topics with young naïve producers who have a limited view of the real world
    there is a World outside Vancouver Corus that can be easily and cheaply accessed by internet these days
    NW should be acquired by a responsible older “Radio Man” and reborn into a Station that would appeal to My age group who as a previous writer noted are the only People who stiil enjoy AM radio and we have some cash to spend!!
    Forget the younger group they will never tune in to “old fashioned radio”!!
    crossed fingers for the future ,should be interesting!

  45. Mike,

    As to your they should sack the ad sales reps. I don’t think they have any now. I think CKNW just has ONE person (probably a BCIT itern) waiting for the phone to ring for a wannabe advertiser to sign up. Of course in business such an ideal will lead to one’s own businesses death. Add the fact they really have no real promotional dept. anymore, which by having such IS GOOD FOR BUSINESS!

    But I do agree the commercials they run are for the most part so bad and nauseatingly repetitive. Of course they only have what 6 advertisers left today. So an endless loop audio tape is all they need. But again much of the remaining advertisers that CKNW has are more akin to snake oil peddlers, with their various get rich schemes and never ending go into debt credit lenders adverts. But of course if CKNW is trying to attract and keep only moist millenials the only access to money these people have is CHA CHING CREDIT CARDS AND OTHER FORMS OF CREDIT!

    Digging a bigger and bigger credit hole in your future to appease often needless and for many endless wants today will not make you a very good sales customer tomorrow. Not good for commercial radio as a result.

  46. Wow…David — are you going to barred from sharing your views? Or will you be allowed to continue to share your sexist/racist comment?
    You think female on air hosts are what brought CKNW down?? You are an idiot!
    And why such hate for Simi Sara from a majority of posters??
    Guess all the old white men in radio don’t like anyone else in their domain??
    Jeeze guys WAKE UP!! Your stereotype attitudes are sooo old school!! This is 2015!! Where bashing people is not pc…but maybe you are all stuck in the 1950’s??

  47. True the ads are of the lowest possible quality. Spence Diamonds and those hill billies selling cars have had one positive effect though. I wouldn’t buy a damn thing from either one of them. And that idjit who says the reason we have funerals is because someone lived. Right. Cremate me and keep me away from that bugger’s boat. Further, I have heard staff announcers repeatedly say jewlery. I mean, they are getting as bad as CFAX.

  48. The follow up to the CKNW tweeted ad contains a grammatical error:

    Absolutely gorgeous houses here @ Larson Rd & W 20th St in North Van by Symphony Homes Ltd and were live on location!

  49. The opening paragraph at the top of this thread contains a commonly-repeated error. The association of which IK is president is not the RTNDA but rather the RTDNA. The distinction is significant.

  50. @Wholly crap

    You wrote: “…all the old white men…”.

    Isn’t that a sexist/ racist comment, in and of itself?

    Cheers /

  51. Ian K. was always very pleasant and easy to work with.
    After Tom Plasteras got the shiv – he was handed a lit grenade, and it finally went off.

    I wish him the best.

  52. IK was probably given guidelines from HO and then it was up to him to do magic with what he was handed. In fairness to Corus if you have the right people running stations they will be able to be successful while maintaining the guidelines. If they are incompetent they will take the guidelines and make one bonehead move after another which of course means they should not be in their position.

  53. More signs the end is near. Morning newscaster on ‘NW pronounced Jewellry as joolery. ABC news-caster pronounces “fraudulent” as “froidulent”. Doesn’t know difference between fraud and Freud I guess. Possible BC high school graduate?

  54. At the risk of being repetative it seems that many posters nailed the IK situation. After just listening to Goddards piece with Frosty it seems that those that blame corus for the NW slide to oblivion are also on the mark. Once roundhouse comes online it wont need to much strength to dismantle the remaims of the dead dog. Once upon a time it was the golden age of radio. Today its the golden age of cost cutting.

  55. Talker, I listen to more stations than ‘NW. The “froidulent” mis-pro was on a US station. Lots of Canadians work in US Radio and so it could well have been a victim of socialist teachings. Cheers.

  56. Well, Sean will work with the BC LIberals as does his wife, perhaps she got him his new job in Social development, LOL

    It to way to long to get rid of IK, Now he can searh for his perfect veggy burger

  57. Classy sign-off by Sean Leslie at the end of his last slot on ‘NW today. Mentioned a lot of people in his extended thank you.

  58. Here’s some interesting deja vu material from a Google+ post made by the new brand manager back on February 12 of this year.

    Radio Stuff Episode 89 from Vancouver, B.C.! CKNW, NewsTalk 980 is updating it’s heritage radio station for 2015. We go inside the heavy lifting and the changing of hearts and minds with Brand Manager Ian Koenigsfest. Plus, afternoon host Michael Eckford had a false memory thurst upon him ala ‪#‎BrianWilliams‬, which explains his empathy for the newsroom. Plus, as a former TV guy, Eckford opens up about what the transition to radio has been like. 

    There’s a 30 minute Soundcloud track with the post.

  59. The only thing “interesting” Ken about this Google post and interview at least in the 12 minutes that I bothered to listen was the bit about the Indian lunch. What restaurant was it? What did they order? And did they leave more than a 15 per cent tip?

    If I were Ian I would call one of the political parties tomorrow because he would make the perfect politician. Plenty of words fall out of his mouth without really saying anything. Also he delivered his bs in a way that makes him sound like he actually believes what he is spewing.

  60. Mr. Gifford will have to pull a few rabbits out of his hat to get that station straightened out, but if past moves are any indication…well.

    He can start with the newsroom—get some experienced people who can actually write and read! How about some variation of KHJ or CKLW and the 20-20 contemporary news format—hugely entertaining and may bring in the younger audience NW wants. I’m thinking Marshall, Marion, McCubbin, Bazoonis—guys who actually LIVED the format. These guys are heavy hitters and if nothing else, may revitalize what can only be considered a staid, old-guys format.

    AS for the talk shows—how about hosts who actually have an informed opinion. Otherwise, it’s just low-hanging fruit that CFUN tried and died. Example: tell me your worst driving story. Ain’t gonna do it, now, or ever.

    Keep the producers and news people off those talk shows. Any context they give to a story should already have been prepared by the host. Otherwise, it’s just a muddle of voices with very little, if anything, to add. The experienced hosts, those who have lived a life, full of colourful experiences, and who can re-tell those experiences in relation to the stories of the day, are the ones, historically, who have been at the top of the heap.

    Unfortunately, the hosts they have now consider a Friday night on Granville, or a new ride at the PNE, as something interesting to a wider audience. Ain’t gonna win it for you.

  61. Well if NW is trying to cut costs then they should air the Alex Jones show between 9-12 in the morning. This show would be #1 in the market place within a couple of months and the young people would really listen as they would be shocked to how badly they are being screwed over (ex. debt) by our leaders…. Real News & Information = High Ratings!

  62. NW should reverse ALL the changes to talk shows they made a year ago but it would involve hiring another host. I enjoy most of the hosts they currently have but not the fact they spend most of the show talking to news people, producers, etc. I would like them to go back to talking politics, doing interviews, etc. like they used to do. Jon, Simi and Drex are excellent interviewers. Lynda is an unknown to me at this time. I really enjoy Drex and particularly enjoyed him when he filled in for Sean Leslie on weekends as he wasn’t spending half the show talking to producers. It would also be nice to have guests available so listeners can call in with questions/comments. I agree with gq about the newsroom. It amazes me how anyone could reach the age they are and not have a clue how to pronounce common words. NW used to only hire people that had gained experience elsewhere. Now they mainly hire straight out of BCIT that get their experience at NW before soon moving on. It will be interesting to see if they find someone to fill Sean Leslie’s weekend show. They are advertising for a ‘Bureau Chief’ to cover news on southern Vancouver Island but the ad doesn’t mention also doing the weekend talk show. They sure need someone better than Shane Foxman on weekends. The first change I would make is to bring Roy Green back to the 11-2 slot and move the current garbage in that time slot to after Roy Green. It would mean we could have our radio on from the start of Jill Bennett at 6 until the end of Roy Green at 2 and then turn it off until the next day. All weekend programming from 5pm until 6am is dreadful. All the programmes from 5-10 at night also needs to go. If I was interested in a product they were flogging I would go out of my way to get it elsewhere. Mr. Gifford really has his work cut out to return NW to being ‘Top Dog’.

  63. One common thread that keeps poping up. The use of eveyone on the 21st floor to talk to the host on air. This is like sitting in a grammar school lunch room and listening to ltlle children gossip. Ms Gares was hard to listen to because of her valley girl voice. All the rest is hopeless. The big 5 where the news guy wastes 15 minutes at the begining of every show is a joke. Heres an idea. Have the host allow the news guy to list the big 5 with a minimum amount of opinion. Now have the host talk to the people that made the big 5 news worthy. Real live people that are NOT nw employees. Jill Bennet and Sean Leslie manage to put shows on without blather from staff.

  64. I guess they never learn, first stupid move was to follow the same format the dead CFUN .

    We want good news reports, and talk about things that matter – we are hungry for good talk and things to think about.

    Forget angry women
    Politically correctness
    Fad agenda pushing
    Fillers like TED radio – what the hell is this crap
    Never hire a host with a whiney voice – goes both for males and females
    Don’t hire downtown Vancouver hosts that live in basements, ride a bike or bus

  65. I guess they never learn, first wrong move was to follow the same format of the dead CFUN .

    We want good news reports, and talk about things that matter – we are hungry for good talk and things to think about.

    Politically correctness
    Fad agenda pushing
    Fillers like TED radio – what is this stuff
    Never hire a host with a whiney voice or nothing to say

  66. All The Emails Are Correct…………………………The Radio Station Is A Loser / No Credibility With Current Line Up / Corus Is Going To Use The Continued Demise Of NW As A Write Off.
    For Those That Don’t Know Or Remember…………..The Call Letters “CKNW” Identify NW As New Westminster…………..Where The Radio Station Originated And Made It’s Radio Empire 60 + Years Ago With The Griffiths Leading The Way.
    The Man Responsible For The Start Of The Fall Of The Radio Empire Was Rod Gunn And His desire To Move CKNW From New Westminster To Downtown Vancouver…………….A Bad Financial Decision From The Start Till His Departure And Still Continued Today With Corus.
    Never Mind The Personalities That CKNW Has Lost Or Canned……………….The lost Advertising Revenues / Credibility Is The Final Nail In The Coffin.
    The Only Two People Worth Listening Too Are Michael Campbell And Bruce Allen……………Rock On And Don’t Try And Fix What Is Not Broken On Your Show / Commentary!

    Every Dog Has it’s Day……………..Unfortunately CKNW…………..Your Self Infected

  67. Judging by the news readers on NW, it doesn’t seem like any of them have much interest in news. I would have thought that would have been a motivating factor before they studied at BCIT. Most of them don’t appear as though they ever listen to newscasts as they can’t pronounce names of people that often get mentioned in the news. I can understand stumbling on foreign names that are not regularly in the news but not local people that are often in the news. A prime example of this was on the 4 am news on Saturday morning, Sept. 12th when Judy Villeneuve’s name was pronounced Vill-eh-nu-wave. Another good example of this was last year. I believe it was one of those that left (when there was a mass exodus from Nw to News 1130). Laura Baziuk was introduced as “our own Laura Ba-zee-uk” instead of pronouncing it Bazook as Laura does herself. Basically anybody that reads the news starting in the evening or on the weekend should be shown the door as they are all dreadful. In addition to the stuttering and stammering they ALL do, most of them do not have a “voice for radio” as Rick Forchuk used to say. Some of them aren’t so bad when they are reporting a story but have very irritating voices when reading the news.

  68. Re: Pal’s post: you get what you pay for in News readers. Even the ‘experienced’ readers at ‘NW sound like they’re just reading lines…every story read the same…no emotion, zero creative writing. Heck, I’m more entertained on my News apps. I don’t need to ‘hear’ amateur hour and have turned ‘NW off completely.

  69. Agree with you gq. Bring back Terry Bell! I have noticed many time that the ‘facts’ the overnight newbies report are entirely different than I read online at The Vancouver Sun. As soon as Gord MacDonald comes on at 4am the ‘facts’ agree with the newspaper.

  70. I have to mute CKNW now during the news breaks at night. It’s horrible listening to the newsreaders they have now. I don’t understand how you can screw up such basic wording.

  71. News readers . NW has hired some fella with a proper English accent. Jeremy is the name. Terry Bell and Tom Mark obviously had enough seniority to command decent pay with a fair bit of benefits and holidays. Bean counting is more important to Shaw/Corus than anything else. To those of us that have complained about the inhouse banter NW has listened to our complaints and told us to go —- ourselves. To those of us that enjoyed the live call-in format NW has given us the listner line. That way they don’t have to have a host on air with a functioning brain. Someone that can think on their feet and hold their own with a caller that might cause some interest. If you do call the listener line your comment is now screened and if it doesn’t fit the mold or if its not what the host likes it is cheap to hire a call screener / producer to scrap it.
    It’s sad to watch (listen) to the demise of this radio station. Like watching someone you care about die with a terminal disease. You hope for a miracle and they recover, but you also want to see the suffering come to an end.

  72. Re: 13…Jeremy Lye is actually an Australian from the same area as Drex. I believe he is a good reporter but I sometimes have trouble understanding him because of his accent, although I don’t have the same problem with Drex. I often have more trouble understanding people with an accent than most people do so it is likely others won’t have the same problem. I would suggest that people bombard Larry Gifford (la***********@co******.com) with emails about changes we would like to see. It might not accomplish anything but it’s worth a try.

  73. Last week a 90 year old drove off the Mill Bay Ferry, his name was John barton. Does anyone know if he was the same John Barton who had a long career in radio? He was at one time with CJOR.

  74. So Larry Gifford, Ive been listening to Jill Bennets show this am. An absolute pleasure. No idiotic banter between her and her production crew. Two thumbs up. A perfect ten. It doesnt get any better. Can you see where Im going with this?

  75. Pals, I sent gifford an email awaiting his reply. If any PSR readers want another forum to follow and bring up NWs pathetic performance go to Keeping it Real . A blog by Harvey Oberfeld. It is very interesting and much like PSR it is followed by many in the buisness. Frosty Forst shows up on Keeping it Real quite often.

  76. I agree with your post 13, but Jill Bennett is too early for me so I rarely listen to her but I really enjoy her when I’m awake early enough. The weekend show in the afternoon is also banter free which is really nice. I enjoy Sam Ferris as the weekend host, but I sure don’t like Shane Foxman. Hopefully the ad that is currently running for the position attracts someone good. I hope all talk shows revert to the way they used to be when there was no banter, hard hitting interviews and the only repeats of other hosts programs was when it was a very important story instead of being a time filler like it is now. I have been very impressed by interviews Drex has done recently with the likes of Finn Donnelly and Gwen Point of FVACFSS. He asks very pointed questions that the guests won’t answer but I certainly don’t like all the banter on his show. I always enjoyed Drex as a fill in host for Sean Leslie before he had his own show as it was banter free.. I used to like the interviews Simi Sari and Jon McComb did before they changed the format.

  77. To 13 from Pals: Thanks for letting me know you emailed Larry Gifford. I have been planning to for quite awhile but never got around to it due to computer issues and time restraints. I finally sent him a ‘book’ tonight. Hopefully others follow suit and that it will show results.

    (I have changed my name to Cosmo because when I press ‘post comment’ it does nothing. If I try posting it again it tells me it looks like a duplicate message.)

  78. Below is about half of the email replyI received from Larry Gifford. It is a much better reply than IK’s “Your feedback is well thought out and appreciated.” the only time I emailed him. Here’s hoping things improve with Larry at the helm.

    Many of the things you point out are spot on and are already in my cross hairs. I do appreciate hearing from passionate listeners like you and I find it extremely valuable as we continue to evolve. It is apparent to me that you care deeply for the CKNW brand and have an expectation for quality and content we aren’t meeting on a regular basis. Thank you for speaking up. We certainly have room to improve.

    I will save your email as reference as we continue to evolve weekends, show content and presentation and make new hires in the news room.

    Thank you for being concerned and offering your insights and observations. It is more valuable than you know.


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