CJAD fires Barry Morgan, hires Leslie Roberts in daytime shuffle

Barry Morgan

Barry Morgan (and soon posters of him as well) are no longer with the company.

The headline on CJAD’s website is that Tommy Schnurmacher is moving to afternoons and reducing his schedule to an hour a day.

But the real story, not mentioned at all in that article, is that Barry Morgan, who hosted noon to 3pm weekdays, has been let go. His name and photo disappeared from the station’s website over the weekend, and Ken Connors has been moved to his time slot this week to fill in.

UPDATE (Nov. 23): CJAD announced this morning its new daytime lineup:

  • 9am-12pm: Leslie Roberts
  • 12pm-1pm: The Gang of Four with Tommy Schnurmacher
  • 1pm-3pm: Natasha Hall

Roberts resigned from the anchor chair at Global Toronto last year after a Toronto Star investigation found that he owned a PR firm and his clients were appearing on his show without any disclosure. CJAD’s story about Roberts’s hiring makes no mention of this, but it does note that Roberts’s father and grandfather all worked for CJAD.

CJAD program director Chris Bury tells the Gazette’s Bill Brownstein that Roberts has served his time outside the industry:

“That happened nearly two years ago and he was out of the industry for a spell, but he has moved on, and we’re moving on. We’re turning the page. There is absolutely zero reason to be concerned about that issue going forward. Leslie has been so transparent about it all, so above board, in order to have a clean slate going forward.”

Asked whether Roberts still has ties to BuzzPR, Bury said he “no longer has a stake in any PR company. And, as with anyone on the station, we insist that any potential conflict of interests be declared and we manage them proactively.”

Hall was hired by CJAD from The Beat just last month to co-host the 8pm show, renamed The Night Side. Her first job in radio was at 940 AM (940 News) after winning a contest.

Jon Pole, who hosted The Night Side Mondays and Tuesdays, will take over Hall’s shifts the rest of the week, at least for now, Bury said. “We don’t have anything finalized but I’m a huge fan of his creativity and drive.”

Schnurmacher’s hour-long show is being billed as a way for him to reduce his schedule so he can focus on other projects. He’ll be bringing his Gang of Four with him to his new time.

Station management had no comment about Morgan’s departure and Morgan himself could not be reached for comment. But Bury told Brownstein that “I wish him the very best. The industry is constantly evolving, and sometimes that means making hard choices.”

Morgan has been at CJAD for decades, as a sports reporter and eventually upgraded to evening and then afternoon host. Schnurmacher just marked 20 years at the station, most of it in that 9am to noon time slot.

UPDATE (Nov. 26): Brownstein interviews the new daytime lineup, starting with Roberts, who says he takes “I accept full responsibility” for his mistake at Global.

150 thoughts on “CJAD fires Barry Morgan, hires Leslie Roberts in daytime shuffle

  1. Chane

    What a shocking, unpleasant surprise! Aaron was smart to take his vacation this week.(lol)
    The listeners deserve an explanation as to why these changes are taking place.
    CJAD does not respect their audience.
    Why let Barry go but keep Trudi? She really needs to go! Natasha Hall is plain boring.
    They will surely lose listeners, deservedly so. The station is slowly becoming a relic!

    Reply
    1. Ernie

      This is what happens when the station is taken over by the giant conglomerate like Bell Media / iheart BS….its become like every other station in every other market….yes boring and will lose listeners…. as for Trudi….totally agree what on earth is she still doing there….how many times have you heard her butcher the English language, god awful…

      Reply
      1. Cesco

        She’s probably there due to being good friends with Andrew Carter. If so now you know why the english language gets butchered ;)
        To be fair though, she has proven t be a good journalist and, if memory serves, she and Shuy Lee are the “doyennes” of the newsroom.

        Reply
    2. Rosalyn Brown

      I loved Barry Morgan’s show, I found him funny, very entertaining and amusing. I loved listening to him at that time slot, also whenever he replaced the regulars. What is up with CJAD?. They seem to have no respect for their listeners. They make such drastic changes so regularly. Enough now. I am seriously thinking of switching to another station. CANNOT TAKE THEM ANYMORE.

      Reply
  2. Jimbo

    I’ll miss Barry as well. Hopefully, he’ll show up with Ted Bird and Tasso over at The Jewel 106.7 FM in St-Lazare. That would be awesome :)

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      I’ll miss Barry as well. Hopefully, he’ll show up with Ted Bird and Tasso over at The Jewel 106.7 FM in St-Lazare. That would be awesome :)

      They probably wouldn’t have the budget for that unless they get rid of someone.

      Reply
  3. Anonymous

    While Roberts claims he’s a Quebecer at heart and that’s the reason why he has returned, the reality is that he has nowhere else to go in the broadcasting industry. He left us long ago along with the likes of Gord Martineau for the bigger TO market and had expected to stay there for good, had he not been caught double-dipping by bringing his side-job clients onto the evening news show he anchored & the national morning show he co-hosted at Global, the ultimate faux pas in journalism, akin to the fake news we’re hearing about lately. Everyone’s entitled to a second chance, as evidenced by the reinvention of Evan Solomon’s career after a conflict of interest with the CBC. Question is, how would grand-dad Lesley Roberts Sr., in one of his editorials in the day, have commented on such an indiscretion by one of their own back then, not kindly I think…..Peter

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      Was thinking the same thing about Leslie,. I remember reading about the conflict of interest Everyone is entitled to a 2nd chance. I am really over CJAD. Chris Bury should move on.

      Reply
  4. frank radtke

    I have to agree about a former writers post about redundancy but then again we are not all at liberty to listen for many hours at any day or time.I sure hope Tommy is happy with his new hours.I will miss him and can only hope that his replacement will keep up the good fight for what is good and right.
    As for the morning man I don’t get some of you people!
    What do you expect?I think Andrew is great!
    And what about Barry? It must be a most difficult time slot to cover.I wish you all well and hope that friggen Bell remembers there are still some Englais in Montreal..

    Frank

    Reply
    1. Anonymous 2

      Andrew is borrringggggg, he is totally disinterested in his guests so misses opportunities
      to go into even some depth, unless it is about money then his ears perk up, his contributors carry show, he does not hesitate to correct his team members pronunciation, mistakes but he has repeated
      memory holes, and his attempts at humour fall flat. Trudy should go but likely protected by Andrew, have common roots. Last time he was criticized by listeners
      his son emailed this site to defend his father saying we can go elsewhere but not that
      many choices in Montreal re english radio + family members are biased! I think Barry is decent
      fellow but much of programming at cjad was getting stale and change will be fo the better!

      Reply
      1. Michel

        I agree that Andrew Carter is far from being a great interviewer and I too have no time for people who criticize others while making similar or worse mistakes. And speaking of mistakes, when is Andrew Brennan going to be dealt with. He gets flustered at the slightest mistake and can barely regroup most of the time. I’m sure his low salary is the only reason he’s still around. Maybe he should just stick to working the board.

        Reply
  5. Anonymous

    I’m one of those listeners who enjoyed Tommy Schnurmacher. He wasn’t perfect but he was entertaining. I will give Leslie Roberts a chance but something tells me CJAD is on its way out of my radio. As for Natasha Hall, I l have no idea who she is, except that the evening hosts on CJAD are excruciating. I can’t listen to any of them.

    Reply
    1. Mick

      She’s a shrill Hillary loving feminist who thinks sexy Halloween costumes should be banned. Oh joy. Barry Morgan’s replacement everybody! If this is CJAD s idea of great afternoon programming they can go to hell.I give her six months…

      Reply
  6. Andrew

    I heard Leslie Roberts on CJAD a while back. In the short time I listened, he was extremely boring. I chalked it up to filling in for a few days and trying not to ruffle any feathers, very vanilla-like. I have been an avid listener for many years, and the past few years were the only times I didn’t switch stations during the day. I’ll tune in at lunch and then at 3 pm only.

    I truly wonder what was the genesis for the lineup change. In theory, no salaries have been shaved, as Morgan’s gets replaced by Roberts, Hall stays the same, and I can’t see Tommy taking a pay cut.

    Time will tell……..

    Reply
    1. Mick

      Yes vanilla is a bit of a problem at Cjad. Tommy and Aaron are virtually the only ones with wit and insight. Carter is like listening to Ed McMahon on steroids. He can usually be heard chuckling away at God knows what. I guess with Tommy down to an hour Aaron is the flagship now.

      Reply
      1. GH

        Agree 100%….Carter has to be worst interviewer on Radio….he sometimes sounds completely bored…if not for John Moore, Michael Farber,and the other contributors,
        I would not listen to the morning show. His humour is very childish.

        Reply
      2. Mg

        I could not agree more with Mick’s post.
        The AM spot before Tommy is very often cringe worthy, more than bland at best. I do not want to be overly negative so, I would say Mr Carter might be more suited for short but serious segments of radio time. Jokes /quips/comments etc that are not funny, ill timed, laughed at and only understood by him are just to much to suffer through in the morning.
        Gord you are missed

        Reply
  7. Mike

    Did Tommy request this change or was he pushed out as well? Replacing Tommy with Leslie Roberts who was a mediocre news anchor at best seems delusional to me. Barry Morgan great radio voice, he should be broadcasting habs or impact games. Hopefully he lands something in the near future. Sounds to me like the advertising dollars are drying up and with iHeartRadio I don’t need to listen to local talent anymore, I can listen to my choice who ever I deem best in that time slot. The Montreal market better loosen up and get a little more edge or they will all be unemployed shortly. Bell should start by unloading that boring and drab mutsumi Takahashi what a snooze fest she is, free up a few dollars for individuals with personality. Just saying, get with the times. Merv

    Reply
  8. GH

    When all these changes have settled in, I hope someone will take a close look at the Morning Show and Andrew Carter…….it’s time for a change there as well!

    Reply
    1. Andy Froncioni

      Oh, come on… you have to work with it a bit.

      Yes, Andrew Carter has to be *the* worst interviewer on the planet. The number of times he’s straightened out a guest and created those pregnant WTF pauses is staggering. The cringe factor alone is great entertainment. It’s just a chance for all of us to enjoy how much of a train wreck he can make of things.

      I don’t think you’re looking at Andrew Carter’s ineptitude from a glass-half-full perspective. ;-)

      Reply
  9. Gerry

    I LOVED listening to the Barry Morgan show. Why the hell did they get rid of him?? This is like CTV getting rid of Canada AM….crazy! So now I’ll find another radio station to listen to in the afternoon. Funny, as Barry wasn’t around for a few days, I thought they were giving him the morning show which would’ve been great. Shame on you CJAD!!

    Reply
  10. Anonymous

    Barry Morgan is getting screwed. I think there was pressure to put a woman on daytime. Hey, I love women but I have heard Natasha at night and very boring. Too bad there is only one English talk radio station here unlike years ago when we had three or four. Good luck to Barry who I enjoyed. CJAD should seriously think about who is running this ship as if another station ever opens up, They will regret a lot of there recent actions.

    Reply
      1. Anonymous

        I don’t understand how people don’t get bored listening to people’s opinions on issues all day on CJAD when there are often informative and interesting broadcasts on RADIO ONE. I listened to Barry Morgan sometimes cause he’s a great guy but….. JE

        Reply
  11. dilbert

    …and there you go, I win the prize.

    When Natasha Hall was hired, I mentioned that I felt the night slot was just a warm up for a daytime slot, and I quote “For Natasha Hall, I hope that this is just a small warm up gig before she gets moved into a more useful daytime period. The CJAD lunch time ratings aren’t as good as they could be, and perhaps changing it up with a younger female voice might make a difference. “. Sure enough, she’s in there in plenty of time for the spring ratings.

    For Tommy, the “best” of his show was the gang of four (mostly because he couldn’t entirely dominate). It would seem to be a good match as the anglo version of Benoit Dutrizac, who absolutely dominates Montreal radio at lunch time. For Bell / CJAD, it’s also a very good way to slowly phase Tommy out, as they could shove him out the door and replace him while maintaining the gang of four concept in the future if the ratings don’t come up.

    Leslie Roberts, well.. not sure if he has the personality to really pull it off on the radio. He was much better as the slightly vapid talking head on TV news, where the look and the sound are perhaps even more important than the fact that everything is scripted to the second with no need to think on your feet. It will be interesting to see if he can improve over Tommy’s dismal morning ratings.

    Now if CJAD really wants to fix things, move Aaron to mornings and toss Andrew Carter out the door. That would be an improvement!

    Reply
  12. nutriessencebella

    was not to crazy about Natasha when she replaced. Her comment about giving an old iphone to her young child was ridiculous

    Reply
  13. mildred johnson

    what a shame to fire Barry Morgan, his show was great sincere and light one could enjoy a wee laugh in this changing world, he will be so very missed, CJAD will not be the same after this changes, have listened for years,

    Reply
  14. Meir Weiss

    in defense of Andrew carter. the whole fluffy infantile jokes is what the progman ordered. when I hear carter on the gang of 4 I hear the same greatness as aaron. in the aft.

    he carter HAS what it takes if he is PERMITTED to…………TO drop the fluffy infantile crap

    Reply
  15. Norman Bates

    Want to hear what REAL talk radio sounds like? Try live streaming Bahamas Guardian Radio 96.9 FM.

    I listened with amazement as that station covered the aftermath of October’s Hurricane Matthew not only with deservedly critical, editorial commentary but gave extended time to callers’ venting their opinions as to how the crisis was mishandled by the authorities.

    Their announcers are amazing and a joy to listen to.

    This is the type of format that has been severely missed up here for far too long.

    Reply
  16. Byron Jack

    I think hiring Roberts is a Hail Mary pass and will, at best, cause a temp blip in numbers. AM radio shrinking as ad dollars move to other platforms. Older people will still listen during mornings, daytime but I doubt there’s much of a market once 6pm rolls around.

    As with the market for The Gazette, the Anglo pool is shrinking by attrition…I’d lobby to allow bilingual radio status so at least they could hope to steal listeners from Franco stations.

    As to the actual talent, good riddance to TS..he was just a populist with simple suggestions to difficult problems. Not sure bringing in someone who has been away for so long to address local issues will pay off. Barry’s show was dull, but prob because of the forced format that only allows for surface discussion of any issue.

    I would have liked to have seen TS’s slot given to Trudie Mason. I don’t agree with her much but her approach to a topic is rarely hyperbolic and at least followed a logical progression.

    Aaron remains the best part of CJAD…I still have it as my wake up station but only because it makes me get up as turn it off asap.

    Reply
  17. Anonymous

    I agree Barry Morgan was great. I don’t know what they were thinking.
    I will give Natasha a chance to prove herself before passing judgement. As for the rest to me Aaron Rand is solid gold and the only flagship left.

    Reply
  18. Mario D.

    Somehow sad though that nobody ever listens to…the listeners. Over 100 comments on that topic . We may have different views on who should be on the air but still everyone wants to have his opinion count.

    And i suppose that they are wondering why people are turning and tuning away…

    Reply
  19. Anonymous

    I will be listening to paul arcand on 98.5 from now on. Besides aron there is nothing worth listening too Boring! Anne

    Reply
  20. Stuart Eiley

    Barry will be missed. He has an awesome radio voice. and he handles his job very professionally. Good luck Barry… I’ll be searching for you.

    Reply
  21. Media Man

    Do you think these changes are in preparation for the eventual competition against TTP and AM600 which, if we are to believe won’t be beholden to any conglomerate or corporate interest or meddling.
    Surely it’s not because of any misguided hopes of massive increases in their ratings?

    Reply
  22. Roger H.

    Echoing Stuart Eiley’s comment. You are now losing an ORIGINAL Cjad listener. Will occasionally listen to Aaron Rand and go to 730 station for traffic and weather.

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      I agree that leaving Barry’s audience guessing all week is not very respectful. I understand not wanting to put someone on-air live when they’ve been fired but they could give the host a chance to record a segment to say goodbye to the listeners. If the corporate overlords and their minions (re. Chris Bury) don’t like the segment, they can always opt to not broadcast it.

      Reply
      1. dilbert

        It’s pretty much always the same thing in radio, changes that aren’t “retirement” are generally sudden and without any explanation. When someone is kicked out the door, it’s not like Hell’s Kitchen where they record an exit interview. It’s BOOM, big boot on the ass and out the door with ya.

        In order to keep things quiet, you can bet that Barry is still technically on the payroll or otherwise serving out a contractual obligation, which is why you won’t hear much of anything out of him for a little while. With few viable destination for an anglo talk radio / sports guy in the Montreal marketplace, it’s really unlikely he will turn up anywhere local any time soon (unless TTP get off their asses…)

        Reply
  23. Anonymous

    I think Leslie Roberts will be great in this time slot. Tommy was away so often, I wondered if he had another job. The change now will be very welcome.
    Barry Morgan will be missed and I hope he will find a job soon. He does have a great radio voice.
    I don’t know Natasha very well. How come anyone in that time slot never lasts very long…. 3-5 years seems to be the Max
    Anyway, it should be fun listening

    Reply
  24. Mabel Derming

    I am really disgusted with the new CJAD lineup. Barry Morgan is the absolute best and professional broadcaster in the business. Shame on you CJAD for letting him go. Natasha Hall has nothing to offer, Andrew Carter is very childish, Leslie Roberts is desperate, and Trudi is very loud. It was disrespectful for the listeners and Barry to be sent off that quickly. Do not be surprised at the upcoming ratings – we also miss Dave Fisher dearly.

    Reply
  25. Rich

    I think I will be a faithful listener regardless of the changes, but quite frankly I find these schedule transitions appalling. One of my favourite shows was Dan Delmar at Night, because he spoke well for my generation. When they replaced him with with Barry Morgan, I stopped listening in the evenings, and I think many others did as well since Barry later was moved to the afternoon slot. What I found really strange was that Tommy was calling in during Aaron’s show around 5pm for a few minutes about current events. Poor Tommy wakes up @ 530am and then 12 hours later has to call in to work?!?? I am so sure that wasn’t his idea. So, I guess when he brought it up to his bosses, they changed and shrank his slot.
    All this being said, I still think Leslie did a good job this morning, but Tommy is the star. I don’t know if anyone remembers Dan Spector, but, for me, he was the up and comer, and I really was looking forward to him having a regular spot. I think there was a quarrel between him and Aaron. Listening to her now, I think Natasha is doing a great job, and I think I will listen to her more often. (But for that time slot, my favourite was always Kevin and Trudi).

    Reply
    1. Ella-Max

      Excuse me while I laugh LOL…Dan Delmar? He is a best infected with Globalist Rabies and a total leftist bore. You can tell he’s the type of Globalist who loves to tax others to pay for his champagne dreams on everyone’s beer wages. He’s about as intelligent as Justin Trudeau…you know the Castro lover?

      Reply
  26. Andy

    Leslie’s was ok but his voice is so vanilla, kinda boring to listen to. no character at all. And he needs to be more in control not just one of the voices there, but controlling the action so to speak.

    Reply
  27. Arvin Ewing

    Being shown the door after decades of service must be painful, and we wish Morgan well, whenever his career takes him next.

    CJAD early pm time seems to be stuck in trivial, irrelevant content in a world on fire with plenty of interesting issues. Without full time reporters, investigative journalists, only announcers reading press releases, or uninformed pundits oscillate left/right between issues, with occasional informative guest interviews with academics and activists.

    Shnurmacher is the most entertaining whiner Ive ever enjoyed, Rand is a great broadcaster with subtle sarcasm who throws in a little trivia with issues that matter. Van der Heyden, the evening NBA and entrepreneurs interviews (not the investment infomercials) are informative, but in the end it is just another Bell profit center, the execs don’t give a shit that English media beyond blogging is nearly extinct.

    Reply
  28. tina

    i have been listening cjad for many years and i do not do like these changes . Barry Morgan was wonderful great a real loss . I hope aaron does not leave becuase this will be the end of cjad i will not be listening to cjad as faithfully as before.

    Reply
  29. Andrew Lyon

    After reading all these posts, I did something I don’t think I’ve done in a while, I thought of why I tuned into CJAD. What shows are on my “must listen” list. I can think of one, Live at Five, along with its counterpart on weekends the rest is sadly worthless. I admit I have hope for Tommy’s Gang of Four, but the rest I can skip.

    The Trivia Show can’t give away their prizes sometimes.
    Dan Laxer has been bounced around all the time slots, and he can’t do his job which is to gain an audience.
    Andrew Carter, these cheap impressions of politicians is fit for Jr. High School radio, not CJAD.
    The Alien Nutbar from Midnight to 5 AM who spends more time giving out his call numbers than providing content.

    The traffic department needs a NONE * number (Not all of us pay for that feature), and to hook into Google. Seen accidents on the 640 that go unreported on CJAD, but are reported on Google Maps.

    I actually drive for a living, and when I’d rather listen to silence over CJAD, it speaks volumes of the poor quality of content they are providing. If I am tuning out, then how many others are also.

    I know and you know we could give this entire story with posts to Chris Bury, he’d shrug his shoulders and say so what. I remember when occasionally CJAD management went on air, and spoke with the listeners directly. Does anyone see Chris Bury doing that?

    Reply
  30. Norman Bates

    Disappointed, yes, but we shouldn’t be surprised at the changes. Besides, everyone should know by now that a career in broadcasting is rarely a “job for life”. Announcers and DJs come and go for various reasons–voluntarily or not–due to deaths, retirement, ownership/management changes, format revisions, etc., This is a fact of life. If this weren’t the case, we’d still be listening to “Make Believe Ballroom Time” and watching “Tabloid” and “Country Calendar” on TV. Stale, outdated programming becomes obvious and listeners eventually tune out.

    Likewise, CBC Television’s “Dragons Den” has had its fair share of changes as well. Some of the previous “dragons” were too dull or abrasive and clearly didn’t get along with each other. Even presenter Dianne Buckner has now been relegated to only a voice-over.

    By contrast–for better or worse–British media has tended to maintain longer-running series and staff. Would this work in Canada? I doubt it, since sponsors rule.

    Reply
  31. Kate

    cjad is like the garment trade (insert sound of swinging door). Shnurmacher aside, nauseating to listen to with the current afternoon lineup… switching to FM 88.5

    Reply
  32. Norman Bates

    Listening to CJAD’s new noon Gang of Four, as expected Tommy Schnurmacher dominates the “discussion” rudely butts in, and shamelessly cuts off everyone else–even reprimanding them for their opinions when they don’t agree with him.

    So, if Tommy says it, then he’s right and everyone else is wrong–is that CJAD’s new format?

    Meanwhile, inexplicably his guests continue to fawn and laugh at his “jokes” regardless.

    Can this state of affairs last very long before Tommy gets dumped?

    Looks like it’s all downhill from here.

    Reply
    1. Mg

      I do not agree with some of Tommy’s takes, but it is his show,. that he must moderate between commercials, traffic, news and 4 other people + text opinions. YES the guy has an opinion like it or not and he defends it with vigor, if not over done it makes for a lively debate. The gang of 4 is not usually a snore fest, that’s a good thing.

      Reply

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