After a year on the CJFM (aka Virgin Radio 96) morning show, Patrick Charles, aka Sir Patrick, is being shuffled into an off-air job at Astral Media.
As seems to be the usual procedure in this town, when a host is removed from a show there's no announcement or long goodbye. The name of the show is simply changed - it's now just "The Breakfast Show with Cat and Lisa" - and the offending host's image scrubbed from the website.
Charles made the announcement himself to his Twitter followers on Saturday night (his new Twitter handle being itself scrubbed of links to Virgin Radio). "The company has new plans for me," he said, indicating that this wasn't his decision.
Sources who support Charles tell me this is the outcome of a personal conflict between Charles and co-host Lisa Player. Because Player is the more senior co-host, it's Charles who gets the boot. (I've asked Player for comment, and will update this post with any response.)
But Charles isn't leaving Astral Media. He says he'll be doing "new stuff for the company" - he'll be working in an off-air capacity, continuing to do his parodies for CJFM and CHOM. He will also have a regular segment on CJAD, joining morning host Andrew Carter at 8:20am weekdays starting April 19. And he appears semi-regularly as a pop culture columnist on CFCF newscasts.
It's expected Charles will return to the air in a more permanent capacity soon, possibly at CJAD.
UPDATE (April 12): On the first show as Cat and Lisa, a pathetic 35-second announcement (MP3) about Charles's departure suggests that this decision was somehow his and that he's welcome to be a guest "sporadically":
Spencer: By the way, as you probably have mentioned, or probably have noticed by now if you've been listening this morning, it's now Cat and Lisa. Sir Patrick is still with us in the building and with all three of our radio stations now. He will be doing other work behind the scenes and he'll be welcome to join us on the air here and there sporadically.
Player: That's right, when he gets a chance. When he has time.
Spencer: But the show now is Cat and Lisa, but it's nothing that he has been asked to leave or let go or anything like that –
Player: No no no.
Spencer: He's still working with us and all three of our stations in a different capacity.
Player: Yeah, we're trying to use him even more.
Spencer: There you go.
The announcement aired only once during the three-and-a-half-hour show, at about 7:37am.
Compare this to the multiple announcements throughout the morning totalling almost 17 minutes given on sister station CHOM-FM when Ted Bird left in January. Is Charles less important to CJFM than Bird was to CHOM, or did they want to sweep this under the rug and hope people wouldn't notice?