Will You Be Tuning In?

So the wait is over, Kollins got past strike 3 and picked door number 4. Krystal is now the guy. the entire process, irrelevant now, it’s all up to us the listeners. One would have to think that management wasn’t happy with the performance of the departed- why else make change so the bar has been set. The nice thing about that business is that there are ratings and they are numerical. So while Beeston’s ‘a good accountant can make chicken salad out of chicken shit works in some cases, here, the numbers don’t lie. How they are spun is a different story. The good news is that there are historical numbers and there will be new ones. Either the new guys beat the old ones or they don’t. Reputations and careers will be based, solely upon that. As one wise media veteran in this town said to me over the weekend, (Keith) Pelley is the new boss, he won’t put up with “losing”.

To his credit, Kollins said the same thing to me this morning. The easy work is done. Putting names on a board is simple. Now the hard work begins. Kollins has put ass on the line with these moves. It’s up to the audience whether or not he is right or wrong. Only time will tell.

Here’s my 2 cents, again. There are lots of good places to get your news fix on the morning drive. There are good news personalities on 640, 680 and 1010. I think, and I could be wrong, that people who tune into the Fan, aren’t looking for the latest information on the Toronto Mayoral election. I don’t think people tuning into the Fan want to hear about the G20 unless it pertains to the Toronto Sports teams. So, the question is what type of show will Krystal deliver. I don’t think this is going to be jock radio. I think it will be more current events with the occasional sports talk. Nothing wrong with it, I am just not sure that is what those tuning into the Fan want. Krystal told me the first time we spoke, that he is a big leaf fan. You can hear that in him. However, there is a difference between a big fan and someone who knows all the x’s and o’s. The question is, and I don’t have the answer for you, does it matter? Does the audience care?

I’ve said in this space a million times that the best interview Bill Watters ever does is when he doesn’t know the person or the subject on the other end of his phone. Watters asks questions that I, the fan want to know. Watters isn’t listenable to me when he is chumming up to everyone about their favorite watering holes. Andrew Krystal asks different questions than Gord Stellick would ask. One is not better, they are just different. It is the fan, the audience that will decide if this works or not.

My biggest personal issue is that radio in Toronto has nothing to do with Toronto anymore. Radio in this city is all about those who live outside the city. The vast majority of my peers is in the car from 830-915ish. We all have kids who go to local schools and we are usually driving them around. So we may catch a bit of the morning show, but in reality we get a lot of commercials and a lot news.

To me, someone who actually lives in Toronto, the morning show would start at 6 or 7 and go to 10. I am not a commuter. If you don’t think this is the case, listen to a traffic report in this city on the radio- take your choice of stations it really doesn’t matter they are all the same. At least 75% if not more of the traffic report is about roads coming into or going out of the city. As someone who drives on the main streets of the city, Avenue road, Bathurst, Mt. Pleasant etc. you rarely hear about in city traffic unless there is something really exceptional.

So, I am not the target audience. I will miss 90% of Krystal in the mornings. I will also miss 90% of Mccown at night. The Fan appears to be taking the true Torontonian out of the equation. Those of us who live and work in the city are the forgotten ones. So I will continue to rely on all of you who email me regular with the comments, clips and quotes.

I leave you with this poll. The Fan has a new morning show, will you be tuning in?

About the Author