Four more today! So far, 12 this week have been let go by JP Broadcast Group!

New Memo……


September 21, 2017

To: Okanagan Team Members

Subject: Restructuring & Staff Changes

I’m writing today to share details of a restructuring plan for the Kelowna operation. The plan includes several staff reductions. Earlier today I met – or spoke – with the affected individuals one on one. Now, I’m sharing details with all of you…

Today we ended our employment relationship with Dan McFarlane and Julie Hill, effective immediately. We also served notice of our intention to end our relationship with Russell Byth on October 21, 2017 and Drew Ferreira, effective December 21, 2017.

Each of these individuals have made a significant contribution to our success. In the case of Dan and Julie they have also given many, many years of dedicated service to our business. Let me be clear: this decision has absolutely nothing to do with the quality of their work.

On behalf of the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group, I want to thank them for their service to our team and to our company and wish for them a better tomorrow. Why the reductions? Why now? As you know, our division has struggled financially for many years.

The Kelowna stations have found the operating environment extremely challenging. Thus, we have not hit our financial targets. As difficult as these decisions were, the reality is we can no longer continue to operate without regard to the difficulties we face. What does this mean? Going forward our program directors will play a leading role on promotions and Jasmin will be doing an on-air shift.

The Vernon news team will be providing news content for the Power morning show and the Digital/Promotions team in Vernon will be looking after the Kelowna station websites too. As you can see, the Vernon team will be ‘giving back’ even more, just as Kelowna supports Vernon with production, among other things. Going forward I see this as ‘a three-station cluster, operating out of two offices’ – together, as a team. Thank you – all of you – in advance for stepping up and helping out.

Finally, let me end this note by saying no further staff reductions are planned now. I believe these changes – combined with a strict approach to everyday costs – and the encouraging efforts of our sales team will allow us to stabilize our business and begin the march forward together, toward a stronger tomorrow. If you have questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to seek me out.



Original Post…

PSR was alerted earlier this morning about an internal shakeup within the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group in Administration and Traffic involving 8 employees.

Puget Sound Radio contacted Rod Schween, President of the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group in Kamloops, and he kindly responded with the following..

Yes, the information is unfortunately correct. We have made the extremely tough decision to part company with 8 individuals from our Administrative and Traffic teams from across the company. Our needs have changed in these departments and the restructuring is needed to reallocate resources into other areas of our business.

As I explained to our teams, this is not a cost saving measure on our part. Rather it is a strategy that will enable us to continue making the personnel investments we have already undertaken and are continuing to do in other areas of our company.

Rod Schween| President

Jim Pattison Broadcast Group | t 250.372.3322 |

[email protected]




Published on September 22, 2017 at 10:50 am by Michael Easton


September 19, 2017 - 10:30 pm

Barry T

Full marks to Rod for trying to sugar coat a turd. With that second paragraph Rod has a definite future as a politician.

September 20, 2017 - 10:45 am

AB Radio Guy

Ha Barry T. You beat me to the punch. Nice “spin”. Seems like Pattison is becoming more corporate and like the other “big guys” in how they operate. Guess going from primarily a small market company to running stations in Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, etc. changes things.

September 20, 2017 - 12:21 pm

Ian Jessop

this is not a cost saving measure on our part. Rather it is a strategy that will enable us to continue making the personnel investments we have already undertaken and are continuing to do in other areas of our company.” George Orwell would be proud of this double speak comment.

Of course it’s a cost saving measure.

September 21, 2017 - 7:28 pm

Brian Cornborough

So who are they and where?

September 22, 2017 - 12:16 pm


4more let go in Kelowna today!

September 22, 2017 - 5:42 pm

News watcher

Sorry to see Russ Byth in this situation. Terrific radio voice. Wonderful business reporter in those years with News 1130.

September 22, 2017 - 9:36 pm


Wow…this is crazy…Julie was one of the best in her position, organized, had great ideas and worked hard. Dan, Drew and Russ were great too. This station’s mistake was flipping from country to Hot AC…Why another HOT AC station when at the time there was Sun FM and Juice?? Should’ve just stuck with country …To the person that approved the flip…you’re a moron. That’s why you’re in the position you’re in.

September 23, 2017 - 2:10 pm

Jeff W

“As you can see, the Vernon team will be ‘giving back’ even more…”

…but receiving the same paycheck, I’m guessing.

Days like this, I’m so happy to officially be out of the biz and doing things on my own terms.

September 24, 2017 - 10:29 am

Now Former Radio Host

I just don’t get Pattison in Kelowna. Q103 is always at the bottom of the ratings. In his email, Karl says “we have found the operating environment extremely challenging. Thus, we have not hit our financial targets. As difficult as these decisions were, the reality is we can no longer continue to operate without regard to the difficulties we face.”

No kidding. A 2-share radio station is pretty hard to sell advertising on! Maybe instead of firing people to improve the bottom line they should do some hard work like change the format and create something that they could actually make money doing. Kelowna is about the only market I can think of that doesn’t have a “real” Classic Hits station. The Juice does it a little but really it’s more of a Jack FM with old and new music. Thinking a format like LG104 Vancouver, XL Calgary, Capital FM Edmonton, The Drive Prince George, CJOC Lethbridge and the list goes on. Ratings on most of these stations are great and Kelowna has no such station but a bunch (like Sun, Q103, EZ Rock, Juice) all playing the same bloody music.

I know it’s easier to fire a bunch of people and blame the market but only if you don’t want to do the work to actually improve your situation. A little hard work and innovation would likely result in a far better result and no need to resort to cost cutting.

September 24, 2017 - 10:54 am

Barry T

@Now….Good points! Also perhaps the managers suck at what they are doing? Maybe they helped create this situation with all of their bad moves and programming choices? Of course it’s the working stiffs who take the bullet almost everytime.

Didn’t Pattison have some fabled system at his car dealerships where last man on the sales list got the boot at the end of the month? Maybe he should implement the same thing at his radio stations but this time aim the guns towards the “leaders”. In sports the Head Coach gets shown the door after very poor performances. Maybe new leadership is in order.

September 24, 2017 - 12:57 pm

AB Radio Guy

Ha so true. They had the country format and gave that up to be the third or fourth station in the market playing the same music. Never really seen anything like it where there’s just no diversity in what you hear on the radio in KTOWN. Do something different and you’ll almost certainly get a bigger audience that you have being the 3rd or 4th choice for the Top 40 listener.

Curious to see what the Castanet people do with the Juice once they own it. Maybe all talk and news?

September 25, 2017 - 3:33 pm


Maybe if the radio broadcasting community would stop with all its “Trump bashing” and “Phake News” they would not be losing so many listeners……

Just saying……

September 25, 2017 - 7:48 pm


lazy radio richard. no thinking required.

September 26, 2017 - 9:16 am

Barry T

Absolutely! Once again someone nails it. Exactly why these music stations are doing so poorly, partisan politics.

September 27, 2017 - 7:37 am

AB Radio Guy

So on top of these firings, you have the PD/Midday host leaving, the Morning Host and Evening Host. It’s the absolute perfect time to flip formats and start fresh!

Look at what Newcap has done with LG104.3 in Vancouver and XL103 in Calgary which were both bottom feeders before flipping to Classic Hits. Use heritage call letters, play familiar old music, target the demo who still listen to radio and these stations are now Top 5.

NO ONE is serving this audience in Kelowna. Just recreate OV63 (can you say OV103) and ride the nostalgia wave! Seems so bloody simple.

September 27, 2017 - 9:10 pm


This restructuring announcement came the same day that the Vernon Pattison Station, CKIZ-FM, celebrated its 70th Anniversary.
(You can find more here: I’m surprised Puget Sound Radio didn’t acknowledge this milestone )

I worked for CKIZ FM (then 940 CJIB) during the Patrick Nicol era, and found the team to be the hardest-working, most passionate, and sometimes the most outright radio-obsessed people in the province! This station has survived in a small market for seven decades, despite changes in ownership, economies, management, formats, musical tastes, and competing entertainment technologies.
At their very core, they are staunchly local-first to their loyal listeners, clients and community. Unfortunately, they are also part of the Pattison Okanagan Group, along with the struggling Kelowna stations. It’s like being handcuffed to a drowning man.
The tragedy is that CKIZ Vernon has endured seven decades of external pressure, only to be decimated from the inside by Pattison’s miscalculations in this market.
Vernon should not have to “give back more”. They were there before Pattison…maybe Pattison should give them the resources they need for another 70 successful years.

October 2, 2017 - 1:30 pm

Bernie Merkl

Dirtman is the absolute best in his field and may I dare say he more than pays for himself through the promotions that generate revenue. Very often these things are very short sighted by station management. Sad Day. If any management types read these threads….. Dirtman is a promotional goldmine….hire him.

October 3, 2017 - 7:10 am


It seems that the traffic girl on JRFM, Nicole Savage isn’t with the station anymore. Or at least not doing traffic, as Graham Gordon announced yesterday that it was his first day with the morning crew.

October 12, 2017 - 11:45 am

Sanden McNally

Couldn’t agree more with Bernie. Dirtman lives and breathes radio like no one I met in the business. He should have been the guy to shut off the lights and lock the doors. Sad day for radio in Kelowna.

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