Paul (Tasso) Zakaib, Patrick Charles to do afternoon show on Mike FM

Paul Zakaib (aka Tasso Patsikakis, left) and Patrick Charles (photo: Mike FM)

While I was busy yesterday at CRTC hearings for AM frequencies, Mike FM was announcing its new afternoon show stars, and give them points for scoring recognizable names. Paul Zakaib, the Tasso of Aaron and Tasso, will join Patrick Henry Charles (formerly of both CFQR 92.5 and CJFM 95.9) as the afternoon drive hosts starting next Monday.

Tasso, as we all know, was unceremoniously dumped from Q92’s morning show in August 2009 along with co-host Suzanne Desautels, leaving Aaron Rand in an uncomfortable position for almost two years until he finally left in May. Tasso has barely been heard from since (a notable exception being a guest appearance on Rand’s show to say goodbye).

Charles worked for seven years at Q92 until he jumped to CJFM and then was dumped from its morning show into a lower-profile job until he left completely last month. He also contributes a pop culture segment weekly on CFCF’s noon newscast. He’s known mostly for his musical parodies, and even created one for this announcement.

As The Gazette notes, Tasso’s timeslot will put him in a competing position with his long-time partner Aaron Rand, who is now doing afternoons at CJAD.

I asked Rand about this. He’s not taking the bait that this is some epic war. He writes:

Above all I’m happy for Paul, and glad to see he’s going to go back to work. I know it hasn’t been easy for the past couple of years.

As for being “pitted” against each other, I’m not sure what the format there is going to be, but I’ll go out on a limb and guess it’s not news/talk.

Now, you might be wondering: What the hell is Mike FM?

It’s a legitimate question to ask. The station, CKDG-FM 105.1, launched in 2004 after being on cable radio for decades. It is technically licensed as a multilingual station, and is limited to only having 35% of its broadcast hours in English or French. Still, it brands itself as an English station with English morning and afternoon programs, with Greek taking up most of the rest of the schedule. (I guess that makes a name like Tasso Patsikakis a good fit here.)

It has an average effective radiated power of 141 watts, which is tiny when you compare it to, say, The Beat’s 41,400 watts. It also broadcasts from a lower height on Mount Royal, from the Bell tower on Remembrance Road (the same one used by CFCF television’s temporary digital transmitter).

Current (inner circle) and proposed (outer circle) contours of CKDG-FM (Images from REC Networks maps)

The station has applied to the CRTC to improve its signal. The antenna would remain at the same place, but the station would change frequency from 105.1 to 106.7, the one formerly used by Aboriginal Voices Radio. It would also increase its power from 141 watts to 407 watts. This would put inside its contours areas like the West Island, east end and north and south shores, but would still be far from commercial rivals and very difficult to capture with cheap portable radios.

Even though the deadline for comments was more than a year ago, the CRTC hasn’t yet made a decision. One complication is that 106.7 is being used by pirate radio station KKIC in Kahnawake. That station has been given an actual broadcast license for 89.9FM, but hasn’t switched frequencies yet.

Paul Zakaib and Patrick Henry Charles begin on CKDG-FM 105.1 on Monday, Oct. 24. Their show runs weekdays from 3 to 6 p.m. A Facebook page is already setup. The station streams live via mikefm.ca.

25 thoughts on “Paul (Tasso) Zakaib, Patrick Charles to do afternoon show on Mike FM

  1. Jimmy Zoubris

    All I can say is “Welcome to Park Avenue”……radio needs more characters like Patrick and Paul!!!!!!

    Reply
  2. ATSC

    I remember reading a CRTC decision that allowed CKDG-FM to move from 105.1 to 106.7 with an increase in power. But, I can’t seem to locate it now at the CRTC site.

    I guess when KKIC ends it’s pirate(?) activities on 106.7 fm and moves to it’s licensed (CKKI-FM) place on the FM band at 89.9 fm will that allow CKDG to move to 106.7 fm.

    It’s funny that a guy who seems to have spent the greater part of his on air career doing his greek persona Tasso ends up on a station built and run by people with greek ancestry. I wonder if he’ll change that persona or just add more fuel to it.

    People with cheap radios (meaning radios with crappy internal am/fm antennas built into them) will probably have problems picking up the station. You really need a radio with a fm antenna entry in the back of the unit. This will allow you to connect a low cost dipole fm antenna to it. This will greatly improve all your fm reception. Even an old pair of rabbit ears TV antenna will do the job. And make sure your antenna is in a room with a window preferably looking out towards the transmitter site on Mount Royal.

    The same rules apply for AM reception. It’s always best to buy a radio with a a entry points to connect a AM antenna and a FM antenna. Good radios usually come with those antennas.

    Reply
  3. Rob Stewart

    We could not be more thrilled to enhance our already
    ascending place in a marketplace filled with a non-competitive
    group of stations playing the same old, same old…..
    I counted seven stations yesterday playing the BEP`s…
    Dare to be different and these guys most certainly will…

    welcome to ave du parc

    Reply
  4. Sheldon

    These are two good guys in the business in this city who I hoped might have found a higher profile home than this. This operation has a horrible and well documented reputation of not paying members of their staff, to the point where legal action has been taken against them in the past. These two guys have been around long enough to have the good sense to sign iron-clad contracts with the station to prevent the same thing happening to them.
    As Ted Bird said, break a leg and I wish you them the best

    Reply
    1. Rob Stewart

      ask about a thousand ex ASTRAL, ex CORUS, ex COGECO, ex CTV,etc., etc, etc,

      who are still crawling out of BIG MEDIA body bags and trying to carve their

      way in this stock price consumed media drek (sp?), who the REAL bad guys are ??

      move on and enjoy the difference

      Reply
    2. Heidi Nagy

      SHELDON…. SHELDON….. SHELDON……

      What are we going to do with you Sheldon. This is a fabulous addition to already a wonderful multi-cultural radio station. Sheldon, I know who you are. You were one of the people who were at the Save Park Avenue Party, who ate that beautiful cake and coffee along with the Calamari we ordered. You never even chipped in.

      By the way thanks for the romantic poem, you sent over to me on a napkin. I still have it, next party I’ll show it to your wife.

      You MESHUGENEH, You SNOOK!!

      MAZEL TOV FOR CKDG 105.1 FM TASSO & PATRICK!!!

      Reply
      1. Sheldon

        What the hell is this all about? I don’t know you; I don’t know what the Save Park Avenue Party is. You obviously have me mixed up with someone else.

        Reply
  5. AlexH

    Seeing these guys having to work at a 100 watt station is depressing. Great names, guys (and gals) that people would tune in to listen to, and they are pretty much written off and parked. What do we get instead? Nat Lauzon on the weekends getting paid to talk about 5 minutes in 4 hours. That is a level of unproductiveness that makes a Montreal blue collar worker jealous!

    Reply
  6. Fassero

    Except I don’t think a blue collar worker would ever accept the kind of pay cuts these guys are taking to stay on transmitters of any kind. I bet Tasso….Charles….Rand…..probably took 50-60 percent paycuts in their new roles. Probably even more (and they probably look for, or have, more side work than ever trying to barely keep up the livings they had.) Tell bleus to happily come back at 60% hairshirts and you’d probably need tanks and weaponry to handle what would ensue :)

    Anyway, best of luck to them all.

    Reply
  7. Sheldon

    I think it needs to be said that the “Rob Stewart” posting comments here is listed on the CKDG Mike FM webpage as their Sales Director.

    Reply
    1. Rob Stewart

      And proud of it…..my viewpoint comes from 23 years of market experience
      as a Sales Exec for CHUM group/Standard Radio/Astral….wkere do you
      find your relevant perspective??

      Reply
      1. Gazoo

        Good luck to the station. Could not stand either one of them at their previous stations.
        This will not lead me over to the “dark” side of radio.

        Thank goodness there is still Sports radio.

        Reply
  8. Jordan

    Someone should alert the CRTC and Industry Canada concerning the moving from 105.1 FM to 106.7FM because this will forever block the 106.5 FM frequency from covering the Montreal market. Currently Astral media owns the 106.5 FM (CFEI-FM BOOM), THIS FREQUENCY CAN AND SHOULD BE ALLOCATED FOR THE MONTREAL MARKET INSTEAD OF 30,000 PEOPLE IN ST HYACINTHE, THIS COULD HELP BALANCE SOME COMPETITION IN MONTREAL AND END THE ASTRAL COGECO DUOPOLY. INDUSTRY CANADA SHOULD STUDY THIS FILE AND REASSIGN ASTRAL A NEW FREQUENCY FOR ST HYACINTHE AND MAKE A CALL FOR APPLICATIONS FOR A NEW COMMERCIAL FM STATION.

    Reply
  9. Philip

    I was wondering what happened to Patrick Charles?. Ironically, he left right before Aaron’s debut on CJAD. He was on with Dan Delmar on his last show on weeknights and then gone. There was no mention of it on this website or anywhere. I wonder what happened.

    Also if I might ask, what ever happened to Egbert Gaye? I listened to the Gang of four and it’s Tommy and Trudy with either Kim, Anne Lagace Dowson and Rick Moffatt. What happened to Egbert? Are things ok with him and Tommy , (and what about the Single ladies???))

    I believe that the goings on behind thescenes at our radio stations are just like the wrestling companies. When one wrestler gets fired from the WWE , there is always rumours of them going to TNA. It’s the same on radio with Corus and Astral. lol

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      I was wondering what happened to Patrick Charles?. Ironically, he left right before Aaron’s debut on CJAD. He was on with Dan Delmar on his last show on weeknights and then gone. There was no mention of it on this website or anywhere. I wonder what happened.

      In short, he left Astral after having been relegated to a low-profile position there that he felt wasn’t giving him enough airtime or exposure, something that the new Mike FM job will do, provided people listen to it.

      I believe that the goings on behind thescenes at our radio stations are just like the wrestling companies. When one wrestler gets fired from the WWE , there is always rumours of them going to TNA. It’s the same on radio with Corus and Astral. lol

      It’s called competition. And even though Corus is now Cogeco, that won’t change.

      Reply
  10. ATSC

    Did anybody listen to their 1st day on air?
    The radio I have at work can’t pick up CKDG-FM. Even with a Dipole FM Antenna. Thick building walls I guess! And the streaming on their site wanted to change some configuration on the Mac. So, I opted out. Didn’t listen.
    Was it any good?

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      Did anybody listen to their 1st day on air?

      I did. And I’ll have clips to share once I compile them. The two had good chemistry (which makes sense since they worked together for years at Q92), but whether that’s enough to make up for the technical and financial limitations of the station is hard to say.

      Reply
  11. Gazoo

    Realize this has nothing to do with the topic, but what has happened to Charmen Yarnelle? She has not been on AD for several weeks now.
    Another behind the scenes move?!

    Reply
  12. Claude Kardoux

    When I first heard that patrick and taso were joining Mike FM, I couldn’t believe my ears because the station while it is very good for what it tries to get across, the english music variety on it is absolutely hideous, they should really fire the music directors there because while Mike FM can be labeled a “retro” station, at the same time the music it plays make it very cheap and extremely outdated. Now that I said that, I heard the first episode and have been trying to catch pat & taso and have to agree they work very well together. I just find it hard to believe big time broadcasters will swoop that low and go work at this boring “retro” station.
    I wish both of them Good Luck and hopefully they will have a say and change the music format while they are on, perhaps even fire the music director at mike, that move alone can push Mike FM on a bigger platform….just my opinion from a plain listener…do something with that pathetic lame music program, really day in day out its horrible and outdated by 25 years or so…..no joke.

    Reply
  13. sauber

    I have them on every afternoon. Funny as always and the music is great. No other station is going to play Joy Division and Eddie Grant (and back to back). With proper exposure they could really have something here.

    Reply
  14. English Songs

    I wish both of them Good Luck and hopefully they will have a say and change the music format while they are on, perhaps even fire the music director at mike, that move alone can push Mike FM on a bigger platform….just my opinion from a plain listener…do something with that pathetic lame music program, really day in day out its horrible and outdated by 25 years.

    Reply
  15. Pingback: Patrick Charles leaves Mike FM – Fagstein

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