First the GM’s, Now Harvard Slashes Air Staff (UPDATED)

Harvard Broadcasting continued to slash staff today, with the economic devastation resulting from COVID 19 getting the blame.

General managers at Edmonton, Regina, Saskatoon, Red Deer and Fort McMurray were first to go last week, along with Red Deer PD Sara Parker and Regina PD Darren Robson.

While Andy Ross is no longer GM in Saskatoon he has agreed stay on as PD of 96.3 CRUZ FM, and will add PD duties for the two Harvard stations in Regina.

Today the company canned another ton of people, announcers included, according to inside sources. We’re told that Red Deer’s Kraze let go the morning show cohosts and middays, while sister station X chopped the full morning show. The office manager and promo director were also terminated.

92.1 in Regina let go both of its morning show hosts, while 104.9 has its afternoon hosts Brock And Dalby headed to Winnipeg in August, on 92.1 CITI, replaced with Travis Stewart from the Fort McMurray morning show, who will also be Music Director.

As of June 24th we have been advised that CKRM AM 620 in Regina has lost longtime morning show host Jamie Lewis as well as Nevin Chamney from the air staff, and all mention of them has been removed from the station’s website.

PS .. In our original story we referenced a 25% salary chop instituted by Harvard at the beginning of the COVID crisis. Now we’ve been told that money is being repaid by the company. That must be very welcome.

Published on June 24, 2020 at 11:25 am by mikedup

Comments

June 23, 2020 - 1:52 pm

larry fine

Ugly a mess as it may be in Red Deer–simulcasting the “big” shows is not entirely a bad idea. Stingray’s “big” show comes out of Red Deer to many smaller markets. On the one hand–jobs have been lost and “jobs” are indeed, people. OUCH. On the other hand, other people’s other jobs have become better. When Stingray added multiple markets to its Red Deer country morning show’s roster, that show just became a LOT more valuable. As will the Calgary/Edmonton shows.

Some people lost jobs, some people now have bigger jobs. A wise man once said to me “There are always good jobs for good people”. He fired me about 6 months later. Thing is, before my first EI cheque hit the mailbox I’d landed a FAR better gig in a FAR better market.

To those who lost jobs–there are always good jobs for good people. There’s something out there
that’ll widen your grin and fatten your wallet. COVID ain’t your fault. The drive that got you where you are will get you above and beyond.


June 24, 2020 - 5:50 am

Jordan Patzwald

92.1 in Regina let go both of its morning show hosts.
620 CKRM let go of Jamie Lewis, long time morning show host.
104.9 has its afternoon hosts going to Winnipeg, replacing with just one guy,


June 24, 2020 - 11:48 am

BMCQ

Larry

I really hope that many many people read your post, very impressive .

I also hope they pay special attention to the last paragraph of that post, it is very inspirational .


June 24, 2020 - 7:12 pm

Marianna Jaromi

Mr. Fine,

Well said, ditto that

Stay safe


June 25, 2020 - 8:01 am

Magda

Mr Fine, I must respectfully disagree. It’s a nice sentiment, but there won’t BE any on-air jobs for good people! Especially for those just starting out. All of the shifts we cut our teeth on are being slowly filled with out of market shows. Where will the newbies start??? Sure, someone’s job got better…but how can you possibly get to that spot where you have a syndicated show if you have no where to start??


June 25, 2020 - 12:44 pm

larry fine

No one said there would be on air jobs for on air people. Good jobs for good people. The better job for me happened to be my first off-air programming job. With a corner office. The better job for the first person I fired was a production job that led to a recording industry career. Another fire-ee got himself a network TV show.

Out of market shows, syndication and simple “juke boxing” of stations are the way the industry is right now. That too will change eventually as radio in Canada is now in to its second century.

Remember when air shifts were 3 hours long–because it was physically and mentally exhausting to pick, cue, play and re-file 45 2/12 minute….45s ? I recall hiring a kid to wind tape in to carts for us when we made that big step and extended shifts to 4 hours. And hiring a station’s first ever Promotions Director–by firing the no longer needed all-night announcer when we picked up a syndicated show. (Hosted by very clever people who saw THAT wave coming and cashed in)

People who crap on the industry every time it changes do it no good. Imagine the uproar when Amos ‘n Andy or The Shadow were cancelled and replaced by…whatever it was. Old radio plays ran their life span, RADIO lived on. Radio used to use lottery numbers and weather forecasts as a big part of its programming. I worked for one GSM who actually “sold” time checks. Yes……say the time, read the sponsor’s script.

Disagree. And be bitter and paranoid. Or look at an industry that continues to grow. How many newspapers have vanished in the last 10 years ? How many new radio stations have opened in the last 10 years ?

Where will newbies get their start ? People need to stop thinking of a small market station as some kind of school. It is a small local business (even if it’s owned by a large company, the staff and management are local) Where do NHL hockey players get their start ? And how hard do they work to reach the NHL ? How many radio newbies work that hard ? Go watch a Junior A practice some day. Sit down with a Junior B coach and talk about motivation, work ethic and skill. Ask how many players are from away–at 17, living with a billet family–for the opportunity to better their game.

Then listen to a radio newbie whine because she has to work on her birthday.

Good jobs, for good people. The hard work that got you the job you just lost, will get you the next job–which will be better. What we do, is highly specialized. We make it seem like were circus monkeys goofing off–but we play a HUGE part of the daily lives of the communities we serve. And there are few places to do what we do. For instance–Saskatoon. 10 radio stations give or take, and 20 morning hosts, give or take. Know how many denstists there are in Saskatoon ? Lawyers? Carpenters ? Real Estate Agents ? Car Dealers ? 300,000 people. 20 of whom host morning shows.

Rare and specialized jobs, gained by motivation, work ethic and skill.


June 25, 2020 - 8:50 pm

Paula

Aaahhhh, yes. Cue the old white man ranting about how well he knows the industry. Note the way he uses a young female as his negative example, but a male(hockey player to boot!) as his positive, hard working example. Surprise, surprise.


June 25, 2020 - 9:27 pm

Bob

You have to feel for all these people having their careers pulled from underneath them. Had it happen to me as well 2 years ago. My message to those impacted: You’ll be okay. In fact, I suspect you’ll love what is ahead of you. It has certainly proven that way for me. Wouldn’t change a thing today. All the best, and chin up.


June 26, 2020 - 6:58 am

Broadcast Babe

Mr. Fine is absolutely correct. During the course of my career, first in medium, then in major markets across North America, the issues I’ve observed are many and not unlike other industries. Good people gone to increase the bottom line, satisfy owners and shareholders, while attempting to instill a sense of loyalty. As I read Mr. Fine’s posts, the take away is that we should never define ourselves by our occupation or career trajectory. And, most important, always have Plan B ready to go. Until then, just enjoy the ride.


June 28, 2020 - 9:18 am

Ken Mckim

Curious about Harvard’s property in Yorkton Sask. CJGX and FOX FM. Any word on cutbacks or firings?


July 9, 2020 - 8:44 am

Not A Team Player

Not surprised. Harvard was a mess when I worked there, things haven’t changed. There is no advancement in this company. Those that were let go will have better opportunities, hopefully outside of the business.


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