Welcome to JJ-365 Salutes. Over 2018, we pay tribute daily to one of “The Good Ones.” Today we are off to the west coast of Canada and shining the light on Robin LaRose.
I first met Robin when I rolled into Vancouver’s CFOX as the Program Director. I was getting to know everybody on staff, and Robin was one of the last I got to meet. He did weekend on-air shifts and worked on production at night which is why it took a bit of time to meet him. After I heard him I thought Wow, this guy sounds fantastic Why is he not in a bigger role? He had such a cool sound, relaxed, knowledgeable, tight, and a very good storyteller. I finally got to meet him and I said “why are you not doing more than weekends on-air?” He said, “well you know that’s the job I have and that’s the job they wanna keep me doing”. I asked him about his aspirations? He said “I’d like to do a regular on-air shift. I like Production, but on-air is my thing”. In a defeated kind of way, he’d been passed by a number of times.
Skip forward a bit when Darrell Hebert left the FOX to do morning’s at CHRX, a little upstart AM Classic Rock station, which I must say gave us a little bit of a run. I asked Robin if he had any interest in the vacant 10-2 shift, which included handling the legendary Electric Lunch. He seemed surprised, gave a big smile, said he was up for it and went to kick ass to this day.
When I got to know Robin, I found out he had actually grown up in Winchester Ontario, right around the corner from Smiths Falls, which was where my family lived until 1970. His parents owned and operated the only Drug Store in town. Robin and I are pretty much the same age with him being slightly older haha. As a young lad he was a hockey goaltender for Winchester and I was a little ripper of a center for Smith Falls. Those two teams played a lot of hockey games against each other. While we can’t remember playing each other we knew we would have had to have. I used to tease him that every time we played Winchester I would score 2 or three goals to which he would say something kind of like Bon Voyage.
When Robin turned 30, Ross Winters myself and a few others took him down the street from Richards and Nelson for dinner at the Italian restaurant that was there at the time. We were having dinner, laughing it up and drinking good red wine. When Robin left the table for a moment, while talking amongst ourselves, we realized we had forgot to get him a birthday present. So, knowing he is a bit of an artist with an appreciated for art, when he came back to the table we presented him with a beautiful painting. Buggers that we were, we didn’t tell him that we had just taken it off the wall of the restaurant. He was very appreciative and thought it was a cool present, and unbeknown to me, took the painting home. I hate it when a gag backfires, but we deserved it. The next day I got a call from the ticked owner of the restaurant, wondering if we might know what happened to a particular painting. I spilled my guts, apologized profusely. I then told Robin, and said we had to give the painting back. His response was really? And again, said something kind of like Bon Voyage.
Then there was the time we sent Robin up to Nanaimo B.C. to participate in the free naked bungie jumping day. There were hundreds lined up. He jumped live on air and it was great radio. He likes to tell the story of the world famous CFOX mascot jumping that day. Down went the FOX, and on the way back up his head flew off. A slow-motion moment with the torso going one way and the head off in a different direction. The guys had to get into a boat and travel down the waterway to retrieve it.
After leaving CFOX to go over to ROCK 101 one of the first things I wanted to do was hire Robin. There was a bit of time where I couldn’t really talk to anybody over there, but as that window closed I got ahold of Robin. We talked, and he was a little hesitant at first but then saw a pretty major opportunity there. So, over came Robin to ROCK 101 as midday announcer and assistant Program Director/Music Director (which by the way was a position I had promoted him to at the FOX) and the rest is history.
Robin has interviewed heaps of musicians over the years including some of the biggest ones. He continues to hold fantastic ratings, not only in Vancouver but in a few other Corus markets in Canada including Q107 in Calgary Alberta. He is a great music guy, terrific jock, and a very calm cool and collected and fun cat. His success was and is a big part of the success of the stations he has and continues to touch.
Congrats Robin Robin LaRose the legend, on being part of “The Good Ones”. Who is the subject of our next JJ-365 Salutes? Stay tuned!
Jim JJ Johnston is CEO, President and Chief Talent Coach for JJIMS INC.
J.J.’s bio, courtesy of VancouverBroadcasters.com
J.J. Johnston – Board operator CKLC Kingston ON 1974-75; midday host CJET Smiths Falls ON 1975; morning hostCKOB Renfrew ON 1975-76; nights CFCH North Bay ON 1976-77; evenings CFGO Ottawa and part time CKLW Windsor ON 1977-79; swing CFTR Toronto 1979-81; p.m. drive/mornings/ssistant PD CITI-FM Winnipeg/Jet’s hockey broadcaster at CKY Winnipeg 1981-86; PD CHAM Hamilton ON 1986-88; national PD Moffat Communications/PDCFOX-FM/CKLG Vancouver 1988-93; national rock PD WIC Communications/CFMI-FM Vancouver 1993-94; VP programming Standard Radio/CKFM-FM Toronto 1994-2000; GM Corus Radio cluster Toronto 2000-05; GM Corus Radio (CFMI-FM/CFOX-FM/CHMJ/CKNW) Vancouver 2005-10; regional GM then contract consultant Corus Radio East – Barrie/Collingwood/Peterborough/Kingston/Cornwall ON 2013-current; President/CEO, JJ international Media and Management Solutions Ontario 2013-current; Interim GM CJPE-FM Prince Edward County ON 2013-current. LinkedIn profile