Radio and Podcast News In Brief – Rogers, Leclerc, Corus

Radio News

Dave Wheeler

Rogers Media has filed its statement of defence in response to the $1.4 million lawsuit filed by former 92 CITI FM Winnipeg morning man Dave Wheeler, who was fired in July over on-air comments about the transgender community. Rogers maintains that Wheeler lost his job after repeated warnings, including a one-day suspension in 2016 for his part in two videos embodying racist and sexist stereotypes, and a 2017 incident in which he allegedly “attacked” a colleague. Rogers denies Wheeler’s assertion that he was encouraged to be controversial on-air with the statement of defence saying “He was entitled to be goofy, loud, raucous and rumbustious but not to be editorially ‘controversial.’” Wheeler and his legal counsel have filed a response that argues “at all times leading up to his termination, he received positive feedback, praise, and general support from Rogers.”

Leclerc Communication is asking the CRTC for approval to buy French-language commercial sations CHOI-FM and CKLX-FM Montreal from RNC Media for $19 million, but wants to drop the sports talk format of 91,9 Sports (CKLX-FM) and flip the station to the existing pop music format heard on its WKND station in Quebec City. The applications will be considered at a hearing in Quebec City on Feb. 20.

Jerry Howarth

Sports Media Canada has honoured longtime Toronto Blue Jays play-by-play announcer Jerry Howarth with a Career Achievement Award. Howarth started his career in 1974 calling games for the Tacoma Twins of the Pacific Coast League. He joined the Blue Jays in 1981, broadcasting more than 7,500 ball games over 36 years. He retired this past Feburary due to health problems that were affecting his voice. Howarth was honoured by the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 2012 with the Jack Graney Award for lifetime contributions to baseball in Canada.

John Ashbridge

The Vancouver Canucks paid tribute to late P.A. announcer John Ashbridge during its Hockey Fights Cancer event Monday night. Ashbridge, who was also a longtime anchor at CKNW-AM Vancouver, passed away in June at the age of 71. Watch the tribute here.

Corus Radio stations have been making the flip to Christmas music. 92.5 The ‘CHUCK! (CKNG-FM) Edmonton, 103.1 Fresh Radio (CFHK-FM) London and Fresh Radio (CKWS-FM) Kingston got into the holiday spirit last Friday (Nov. 16). 93.1 Fresh Radio (CHAY-FM) Barrie will flip Thursday, Nov. 22; and Peggy @ 99.1 (CFPG-FM) Winnipeg on Friday, Nov. 23.

840 CFCW Camrose/Edmonton recently held the first ever Calves for Cancer fundraiser in support of Alberta’s Cross Cancer Institute. The original goal was to get 50 calves donated and when they went to market, 100 per cent of the proceeds would go to the Cross in celebration of the institute’s 50th anniversary. In the end, 74 calves were donated and over $168,000 was raised.

CrossTalk, from the desktop studio of Humber College professor Paul Cross, has marked its 10th episode. Part commentary, part media analysis, CrossTalk explores issues around radio and mass media coverage. It airs on 96.9 FM Radio Humber, online at radio.humber.ca or you can listen via the RadioPlayer Canada app.

On this week’s episode of Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast, we talk with a group of Humber College students who conducted research this past summer, under the direction of radio veteran Alan Cross, on the listening habits of millennials and what the future of radio targeted to that age demographic might look like. Steph Byles, Jeff Pastor and Nicole Swanson had the opportunity to present “Millennial Radio” at the recent Ontario Association of Broadcasters conference, during the Future of Content panel.


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