James Mennie has the story for The Gazette that P.J. Stock, formerly of the Team 990 and best known as a Hockey Night in Canada analyst, is going to be a morning man at CHOM.
The first news about Stock going to CHOM came from Pat Hickey back in December, when Stock left The Team 990 because of what was apparently more work and travel than he could handle (he left his regular TV segment on the CBMT newscast for the same reason). Back then, the idea was to do a five-minute phone-in once a day.
But the departure of Ted Bird changed that. So instead, Stock tells Mennie, he'll be on for two hours a day (7am to 9am) Monday to Thursday.
The irony is that Bird was instrumental in getting Stock onto CHOM in the first place, convincing both sides that it was a good idea. Obviously, it wasn't supposed to be as a replacement.
Still, Bird was gracious in an email to me about Stock joining his former morning team:
To his credit, PJ called me this past weekend to make sure that I was through at CHOM and that he wasn't undermining me in any way. He's a class act and a decent and funny guy, and he'll do well as long as they let him be himself and don't try to recreate him as something he's not, which is what programmers who've never sat in the chair and don't understand or appreciate the craft have a habit of doing.
The big question is what CHOM is going to do with Stock. Is he going to talk about hockey or music? I've heard a couple of people complain that CHOM already talks too much about the game, and this certainly won't change that. Will he join in the usual cliché morning show banter? Will it be "Chantal, Bad Pete and PJ"? Or will he be more of a supporting cast member and less of a star?
What is clear is that if Stock has two hours four mornings a week to sit in a studio on Fort St. while rock music is playing, then he would have had more than enough time for hockey analysis at CKGM 990 on Greene Ave. So it's not just a question of having too much work.
I couldn't reach Stock for comment, so you'll just have to fill in the blanks there with your imagination.
Mennie says Stock's first shift will be Feb. 1. Stock repeated that on the CHOM morning show the next day, but Pete Marier kept saying Feb. 2. Feb. 1, notably, is the day after Stock's contract at CKGM expires. UPDATE: Astral's press release, which I assume to be a definitive word on the subject, says Stock begins Feb. 3.
UPDATE: Listen to Stock's phone-in on Thursday's CHOM morning show (MP3). Stock will take over the CHOM "sports department", which sounds like it will still be Chantal and Bad Pete but that Stock will do the morning sports news currently being done by CJAD's Abe Hefter.