My take on the changes at Corus
What is happening at Corus?
It seems there is a bit of a domino effect happening right now across Corus. It started earlier this year when, as a company it was decided to let go of a bunch of on air talent across Ontario. Veteran broadcasters such as Andy Frost, Al Joynes and John Scholes were let go from Q107 in Toronto and then in Hamilton Ben McVie was let go from Y108 mornings. Other notable positions that were dumped were middays and evenings at Y108 about a week before Ben was let go. Afternoons at 91.5 the Beat were cut. Lots of people lost jobs.
This leads me to the domino effect I mentioned at the beginning. Thursday August the 2, Fearless Fred ended his last show at 102.1 The Edge, just hours after morning show hosts Melani Mariani and Adam Ricard, as well as weekend host Wade MacNeil. Fred wasn’t let go, he took over the afternoon show on Q107, where John Scholes had been hosting until he was let go. Weekend host Kolter had been filling in on the afternoon show until Fred took over. That left significant holes at The Edge. Well on a temporary basis we had Kid Craig filling in on afternoons, and Ian Lynch on the morning show. Well now they are together on Mornings. Middays is still Carly, and then on afternoons is a unique and temporary afternoon show. Meredith who is the afternoon drive cohost on CFOX Vancouver and who works out of the Vancouver studios is live on afternoons on The Edge with local Toronto based cohost Tom. Tom also hosts evenings from 8-10 after the Alan Cross radio program and the Greg Beharrel show.
Earlier this week as reported here we learned that the new permanent morning show starting in January are a brother and sister duo, who are both based in Vancouver. Ruby Carr is currently the morning show cohost at Z95.3 and has been there since the relaunch of the station. Brother, Alex works at CFOX, owned by Corus. He currently holds the midday show there. Both will be leaving Vancouver in December to move back to Toronto. They both grew up there and will be hosting mornings in the largest market in Canada. It should make for a great on air dynamic.
But again this leads to another domino effect. The current morning show at Edge is temporary as we know. So what happens in January? Well it looks like Meredith is only temporary at the Edge. It appears that Tom will be on evenings. Doing the 8-12 shift. Middays will still be held by Carly but the current morning show of Kid Craig and Ian Lynch will be the new afternoon drive show. Meredith will still be doing middays at FM96 London and Power 97 Winnipeg. Carly will continue to do weekends at FM96 and Power 97 but it is assumed that she will take over the midday show at CFOX. Meredith used to occupy that role and it would be a good assumption that she would go back to middays but the on air chemistry between her and Jeremy Baker has been really good. Both Meredith and Jeremy Baker are the most loved on air staff on CFOX. The reason they were put together on afternoons was also to see how they would do together as it is widely believed that if or when Jeff O’Neill moves on from his morning show that Meredith and Jeremy would take over the morning show slot.
There is a lot of talk in Toronto about the future of certain radio stations that Corus owns. The Fresh branding has not worked as well as they had hoped in some markets such as Edmonton and Winnipeg. Both have had format changes in the last couple years, and currently the Hamilton and London stations have minimal on air staff. Word is both are going to change name and slightly tweak formats in the next couple of months.
In Toronto Corus has Q107, Kitchener has 107.5 Dave Rocks, and Hamilton has Y108 (107.9). All 3 stations play a version of the rock format. There had been rumours in the past at making a rock superstation across the three frequencies and possibly linking Country 104 in that as well so that anyone driving from London to Toronto would have one station to listen to. Lately that talk has been more about trying to take those three rock stations and distance themselves from each other. Very little overlap in rock formats across all the stations. Corus as a company painted a very bleak picture earlier this year but I believe that they will rebound. They will make the right changes even if it is a domino effect all across the country. Hopefully they won’t let go of more Canadian on air talent to be replaced by American syndicated shows such as Brooke and Jubal, who replaced very popular hosts Jesse and Jenna on Jump mornings in Ottawa. I know with the cost cutting measures that radio looks at I understand, but don’t like, when a host is on multiple stations in different markets. It is happening a lot more especially with Corus right now but as long as the jobs stay Canadian and they still try to have as much local one air staff as possible. I just miss the good old days of having live on air staff 24/7.
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