Humble & Fred will return to the terrestrial morning show airwaves on Monday for the first time since 2005.
For the past eight years, the infamous Toronto morning show duo have been successfully producing a podcast version of their show. Starting Sept. 17, that podcast will be aired on Funny 820 (CHAM-AM) Hamilton, the Bell Media-owned comedy station.
While they’ll broadcast live between 7 and 9 a.m., the show will stay true to the Humble & Fred podcast format.
“What we don’t want to do is a traditional radio show,” Fred Patterson told Broadcast Dialogue. “We’ll be live on-air at 820, but nothing changes from the podcast. We’re going to do a different type of show than typical morning radio…it’s basically Humble & Fred without music.”
Patterson said in sound, it will be closest to the morning show the two hosted in the early 2000s for MOJO 640 “Talk Radio for Guys” (CFMJ-AM) Toronto.
“It’s basically that. It’s two guys talking about life. We’ll be sentimental and talk about our families and talk about being middle-aged guys,” said Patterson.
They’ll be two five minute breaks per hour where the Hamilton station will insert local traffic and weather.
Other than guest segments, the last time Patterson, now 62, and “Humble” Howard Glassman, 58, co-hosted terrestrial morning radio together was in 2005 at Mix 99.9 (CKFM-FM) Toronto after Standard Broadcasting lured them away from Corus Entertainment where the show started on 102.1 The Edge (CFNY-FM) in 1989. It continued its run until 2001, before Corus management moved it over to MOJO where it ran until 2003.
Despite a big promotional push, listeners didn’t follow the duo over to more conventional hit radio station Mix 99.9, and with ratings flagging, Patterson was eventually released. Glassman continued hosting with Judy Croon, but the show was nixed from the schedule within the year.
Humble & Fred started dabbling in podcasting around 2006 and resurrected their daily show online in Oct. 2011. Initially recording in rented studio space, two years ago they bought a studio in Toronto’s West End, which Glassman now lives above.
NewsTalk 1010 (CFRB-AM) Toronto has aired a best of the Humble & Fred podcast off and on, currently running on weekend evenings, in addition to periodic runs on Funny 820, Funny 1410 (CKSL-AM) London and NewsTalk 610 (CKTB-AM) St. Catharines. The duo also hosted a two-hour morning show on SiriusXM’s Canada Laughs satellite radio channel for the last five years, up until this past May.
Patterson said they’re happy to have the opportunity to get back on-air in Southern Ontario, but are no longer interested in working within the limitations of traditional radio.
“It’s just a different beast. With the podcasts, there’s no pressure to change topics, it’s long form,” said Patterson. “The convenience of it is amazing. That’s what people seem to love about it, and it’s personal…you can pick your favourite topics.”
The Humble & Fred podcast averages between 12,000 and 15,000 downloads per day. Based on the duo’s name recognition, they haven’t had trouble attracting sponsors, who will continue to be part of the show with four live, personalized commercial reads per hour.
Patterson believes in the era of on-demand music streaming, podcasting is an indicator of the future sound of terrestrial radio.
“All I know is more and more everyday, the demographic, the age of the podcast listener is getting older and older. It was a young man’s term a few years ago, but it’s just amazing now…everybody seems to have their favourite podcast,” said Patterson.
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