Tag Archives: Ted Bird

The Jewel 106.7 Hudson launches Monday … live from Hawkesbury

The Jewel 106.7

Five years after the initial CRTC application for a new radio station serving Montreal’s western off-island community, two and a half years after it was given a licence, and four months after it started testing, CHSV-FM The Jewel 106.7 finally comes to life Monday morning with regular programming.

The lineup

As previously announced, Ted Bird is the big star being brought on to host the morning show, 5:30-10am weekdays. Joining him is Tanya Armstrong, a Montrealer who’s not as well known but who has been around Montreal radio many years. Her CV on LinkedIn lists experience with WebSports Media, the people behind the Montreal Hockey Talk show. Previously she worked as an intern on CHOM and did production on what was then Team 990. She’ll be handling news and traffic on the show.

Producing their show is Kris Leblanc, who will also be hosting on weekends. He’s worked previously at Mix 96, CJAD, 940 News and K103.

The afternoon drive show, from 3 to 7pm, will be hosted by Bob Coley, a voice-over artist who lives in Hudson and previously worked at CHOM and CKTS 900 AM in Sherbrooke. He’ll be joined by Sylvia Asche Bullard doing news and traffic. Bullard worked at CJMQ in Sherbrooke, the English-language Townships community station, as well as for the Canadian Traffic Network and The Jewel in Ottawa.

Leblanc, Coley and “another announcer still to be determined” will host weekend shows. The rest of the schedule will be syndicated, including middays (10am-3pm is John Tesh) and evenings (The Jewel’s The Lounge, 7-11pm).

Ted Silver, program director for The Jewel stations in Hudson and eastern Ontario, says there may still be “some surprise announcements” concerning programming.

The location

Even though they’ve been working on this station for half a decade, owner Evanov Radio hasn’t found it a home in Hudson yet, so for the time being it’ll be broadcasting out of the office of its sister station The Jewel 107.7 in Hawkesbury, Ont., 40 kilometres away. (Which I note is less than the distance between Hudson and downtown Montreal.)

I’ll be tagging along on Day 1, and will have more details in the coming days here and in the Montreal Gazette’s off-island section.

The Jewel in Hudson hires Ted Bird as morning show host

Ted Bird

Ted Bird

Three months after it began on-air testing, The Jewel 106.7 (CHSV-FM) in Hudson/St-Lazare is getting ready for a launch in early March and has hired its morning man: Ted Bird.

I have some details in this story in the Montreal Gazette’s Off-Island section.

With the hire, Bird gains his fifth employer and fifth station in five years. He left CHOM in 2010 over “creative differences” with management and months later landed at community station K103 in Kahnawake. In 2012, he left K103 and joined what was then TSN 990. In the fall of 2013, after the Bell/Astral merger put his old CHOM bosses in charge of TSN, he was let go, and joined KIC Country 89.9 in Kahnawake. His last shift at that station was on Friday.

Bird also freelances as a sports commentator. He had a regular segment on CTV Montreal, and recently started doing the same thing for City’s Sportsnet Central Montreal.

Evanov Radio, which owns The Jewel, confirms that it has hired Bird as the morning show host.

“We have also hired a sales team which consists of three representatives to start and are looking to add our sales manager shortly,” says Evanov vice-president Carmela Laurignano.

There’s no word yet on other talent, but we’ll know that in the coming weeks. I’ve heard of a few names familiar to Montreal radio listeners that have tried out.

The Jewel is licensed to serve Hudson and St-Lazare, and its signal also covers Vaudreuil, Rigaud, Oka, Île Perrot and the western part of the West Island. Its programming will be mainly easy-listening music, but will have news and information specific for the Hudson/St-Lazare community (its application promised four hours and 22 minutes a week of news, of which half would be local to that community). Evanov told the CRTC in applying for the licence to the station that this community of should be considered a separate market from Montreal. (According to the CRTC’s measure, Hudson and St-Lazare alone have about 22,000 anglophone residents.)

Ted Bird, Java Jacobs to take over morning show at KIC 89.9 in Kahnawake

It wasn’t exactly kept super-secret, but after a “‘big tease’ social media campaign,” Ted Bird has confirmed he will be returning to the airwaves, reuniting with buddy Java Jacobs as the morning men for KIC Country 89.9 in Kahnawake, from 6am to 9am starting Jan. 6.

KIC (CKKI-FM) launched as KKIC Radio in 2011 after operating as a pirate (or perhaps just licence-challenged) station. Since then it has had a revolving door of morning personalities, including Brian Moon, Sheldon Harvey and most recently Chris Reiser, who have volunteered their time in exchange for a share of any advertising they could drum up. (Bird says he and Jacobs will be paid for their work at this station, though.)

Bird and Jacobs worked together as the morning team (with Paul Graif) at Kahnawake community station K103 from 2010 to 2012, when Bird left to join TSN Radio. He was let go from that job in September. Jacobs stayed on until last month, when he was let go and replaced by Lance Delisle.

Bird and Jacobs have been hinting about the new job for a while now, with Bird rediscovering country music to prepare for his new job. It’ll be his first stint at a commercial music station since he left CHOM.

Unlike K103, KIC Country is a private station focused on country music. It has a low-power signal and very few resources, so much of its schedule is music with no DJ. They’ll need to help turn things around dramatically for this station if they’re going to turn this into long-term or even medium-term career moves.

UPDATE (Jan. 8): Here’s 10 minutes of excerpts from their first show on Monday morning:

Axe falls at Bell Media: TSN 690’s Ted Bird, CJAD’s Ric Peterson, Chantal Desjardins and Claude Beaulieu fired

Ric Peterson, who hosted early afternoons, is out at CJAD.

Ric Peterson, who hosted early afternoons, is out at CJAD.

A month after Chris Bury was named program director at TSN 690, in addition to the same role at CJAD, some veteran broadcasters are losing their jobs: Morning man Ted Bird has been fired from TSN 690, and mid-day hosts Ric Peterson and Suzanne Desautels have had their faces scrubbed from CJAD’s website.

My Gazette story on the changes is posted here.

“I wasn’t given a reason, only told that my services were being terminated. That’s all I can say for the record,” Bird writes me in an email. His Twitter account has disappeared as well, but he says he’ll be back “after the trolls finish their feeding frenzy.”

Desautels, who four years ago was let go from the Q92 morning show, sparking outrage from listeners, addressed her job change indirectly on Twitter Wednesday morning:

She then clarified:

She told me she will continue doing the weather for Andrew Carter’s morning show, and is taking over the Saturday morning travel show as well. That move means Sharman Yarnell is off that show and the station. “And this couldn’t have happened at a better time for me,” she tells me. “I am pursuing my travel writing career, as well as my new PR company A.C.E. (Arts, Culture & Entertainment) with Tracey Hill. This does not mean I won’t be back on radio, though!”

After a day of radio silence, Peterson posted this to his Facebook page on Thursday morning:

After more than 30 years of broadcasting in Montreal I thought my first day off the air would be one without much talking on my part. I was mistaken. I am very touched by the many phone calls and moved by the texts, emails, comments as well as the posts to my social pages. Your kind words are very much appreciated. It pleases me to know how many lives I’ve touched, thank you for listening. Some wise soul once said, “man maintains his balance, poise, and sense of security only as he is moving forward” I am looking forward to sharing my future adventures with you all.

Barry Morgan, who’s filling in for everyone these days, it seems, hosted the noon to 3pm show Wednesday on CJAD.

The cuts and changes also mean CJAD sports reporter Chantal Desjardins is out of a job. She made light of the news on Twitter and Facebook:

Bell confirmed with me this afternoon that CJAD reporter Claude Beaulieu has also been terminated. Spokesperson Olivier Racette wouldn’t confirm how many jobs have been cut.

I’ve also heard from multiple sources that assistant CJAD program director Teri-Lee Walters is gone. But because she’s not on-air staff, Bell did not confirm that name. An email sent to her at work prompted an automated response saying it had been forwarded to Bury.

Bury wasn’t allowed to comment directly about the changes. All comment from the employer was filtered through Racette. Here is what he wrote to me in an email:

We are consolidating our Montréal-based radio stations in one location at 1717 René-Lévesque [E.] this week to improve operating efficiencies. We have made reductions in a number of positions that would have become redundant as a result of the move.

Additionally, the move provided the opportunity to make some programming changes, which will see the departure of TSN Radio 690’s Ted Bird and CJAD 800’s Ric Peterson, Sharman Yarnell, Chantal Desjardins and Claude Beaulieu. They are all highly-respected figures in Montreal radio and we thank them for their contribution to the success of both TSN Radio 690 and CJAD.

TSN’s move from its Greene Ave. office to the one at the corner of Papineau Ave. housing the former Astral stations took place Thursday morning at 10am. Shaun Starr and Elliott Price were the last people to broadcast from 1310 Greene.

UPDATE (Sept. 12): Word has come out that TSN has cancelled The Franchise, the weekend morning show. Host Nick Murdocco says the show will continue, broadcast 8-10am weekends on MontrealHockeyTalk.com.

His co-host, Gary Whittaker, had this to say on Facebook:

Had a great 4 year run at TSN Radio working the weekend mornings, which has now officially come to an end. I want to thank everyone for their support since we started at CJLO. Definitely not over for The Franchise…sometimes you need to be pushed out of the nest in order to fly, and this is exactly what we plan on doing…taking off to bigger and better opportunities for us to make a full time career out of it.

Racette confirmed the news, saying “the TSN Radio 690 [weekend] morning show is headed in a new direction. Details will be announced at a later date.”

UPDATE (Sept. 30): Producer Sheldon Fried is also reportedly among those let go.

TSN 690 personalities thank their fans for saving the station

Because it’s owned by Canada’s largest media company, and now Canada’s largest radio broadcaster, it’s hard to argue that TSN Radio 690 is a mom and pop shop.

And yet, just about everything about this station screams “underdog.” It has the lowest ratings of the five commercial English-language stations in Montreal. It puts out a lot of original programming on a small budget. And twice in the past year and a half, it has faced annihilation because its parent company made it clear that it valued each of the three Astral stations more than it did this one.

This underdog feeling was certainly present Thursday night at Hurley’s Irish Pub, as Mitch Melnick and other personalities from the station invited fans to help them celebrate the recent CRTC decision that not only allows it to maintain its format but guarantees it for at least seven years.

There are still changes to come. Melnick pointed out that the plan is to eventually move the station from its current home on Greene Ave. in Westmount to the Astral Media radio (now Bell Media radio) building at Papineau Ave. and René-Lévesque Blvd. There’s also the looming threat of layoffs as the consolidation of resources creates redundancy in staff. (The hammer has already fallen at Bell Media stations elsewhere in the country.) But, while it may not have been a raucous affair, there were a lot of thank-yous given out on this night.

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Ted Bird joins TSN 990

After a six-day weekend, Ted Bird will be back on the job Friday. He just signed a two-year contract with Bell Media to join the morning show on CKGM (TSN Radio 990) with Elliott Price and Shaun Starr.

Bird, who left K103 last week after two years there, had been in discussions with 990 since not long after he left CHOM in 2010. With the contract at K103 not being renewed, those talks accelerated and were finalized over the past week. The contract was signed Monday.

No comment yet from Price or Starr or station manager Wayne Bews. I’ll update if I hear from them.

CKGM is a good fit for Bird, who is very sports-minded and produced daily sports commentary for CHOM and K103, as well as weekly sports commentaries for a little while at CFCF. He still contributes weekly to CTV News Channel.

The morning show at CKGM certainly has room for Bird. It has been down to two hosts from three since Denis Casavant left.

Bird has long been critical of commercial radio since he left CHOM, saying they are taking the art of broadcasting out of the hands of artists. While CKGM does have a small-station underdog feel to it sometimes, it’s owned by corporate giant Bell Media. When I asked him last week about returning to commercial radio, he resigned himself to the fact that he didn’t have much choice if he wanted to earn a living to support his family.

“I can’t become a doctor,” he said. “Apparently, you need a licence for that.”

The announcement

UPDATE (May 16): In what was referred to sarcastically as “the best-kept secret in Montreal radio in decades”, the move was officially announced on the air at 8:05am on Wednesday. You can listen to audio of it – and a chat with Bird – here, starting at the five-minute mark (MP3).

Bill Brownstein writes about Bird’s new home, and speaks with his wife and his new boss, in a story that will appear in Thursday’s Gazette. The story reveals that Bird was making close to $250,000 at CHOM and about one-fifth of that at CKRK. Bird was also interviewed on CTV Montreal’s noon newscast on Wednesday.

A press release has been issued by TSN/Bell Media, a story is posted at TSN.ca and Shaun Starr posted on Twitter that the station was “lucky to have” Bird on board.

Ted Bird leaves K103

Updated May 11 with audio from his last show.

Ted Bird announced Monday morning that this is his last week at CKRK (K103) in Kahnawake.

Bird told listeners the decision to leave was a mutual one between him and station management: “It was mutually agreed that it’s time to move on.”

That’s true. But it might be more accurate to say that Bird is leaving because K103 simply can’t afford to keep him any longer.

Bird joined K103 as its new morning show host in April 2010, a few months after his sudden departure from CHOM. It was for a year, then renewed for a second. Throughout that time, radio watchers have been wondering how long the perennially cash-strapped 250-watt station could keep paying a commercial radio veteran to be part of its morning show.

He hinted at that on air. “My first choice would be to stay, but the realities are it’s not going to happen,” he said.

Since Terry DiMonte announced he was returning to CHOM from Calgary, people have been wondering about the possibility of a Terry and Ted reunion. Bird put inevitable rumours to rest right away by saying this move was not a precursor to a Terry and Ted reunion. He said only that he has “a couple of possibilities over in the city” as far as his next move.

You can listen to Bird’s announcement here (MP3, 5:08)

Despite making it clear he wasn’t going back to CHOM, some fans (Tom Messner!) are fantasizing about a Terry and Ted reunion. While Bird doesn’t reject that as a possibility in the future, the truth is that CHOM or Astral simply hasn’t contacted him since he left. There’s been no attempt to rebuild the bridge that was so thoroughly scorched by Bird when he left, even though the station is under new management, which says there’s no personal animosity.

Bird made it very clear on air and when I talked to him later that he enjoyed his time at K103. “This has by far been the most fun I’ve ever had in radio,” he said. “It’s two years I wouldn’t trade for anything.”

And it showed. With cohosts Java Jacobs, Paul Graif and more recently Matty Pots, the chemistry was very strong. Bird and Jacobs especially worked well with each other, and you could tell that when they burst out laughing in studio it wasn’t because they were forcing themselves to.

Similarly, the station’s management seemed to be pleased with what he has done. Joe Delaronde, who was the chair of its board of directors and is now one of its programming consultants, said Bird “has done everything he was supposed to do and more” for the station, was a team player, made appearances at community events and helped bring up the level of professionalism at the station, providing good training for young Kahnawake community members who worked there.

Bird’s arrival was supposed to help bring in new audiences and hence new advertising. Delaronde said it succeeded on both counts. He said they did a survey of 250 people by stopping them in the street (CKRK doesn’t subscribe to BBM monitoring so it can’t really calculate its reach outside Kahnawake), and found only 0.9% of respondents said they never listened to the station. On the advertising front, Delaronde said revenues went up 1000%.

“The vast majority of people were very happy,” Delaronde said. Happy enough, apparently, that a Facebook group quickly started with comments from people demanding that the mutual decision be reconsidered and that Bird stay at K103.

Not everyone in Kahnawake was happy when Bird came around. Some complained that the station was seeking someone from outside to run things, spending money on a commercial radio guy when it could have been better spent on training and employing Mohawk talent. Many of those opinions were posted on a Facebook group along with others that supported Bird. Bird acknowledged those negative opinions about his arrival in a column for KahnawakeNews.com. Those voices, though, seemed to be in the minority compared to those who thought Bird was a way of increasing the profile of the station and, by extension, the community.

Delaronde downplayed opposition to Bird, blaming it on people who will complain about anything. He said the station has never lost its identity as a community station.

Graif, who you might recognize because he used to work at Global and occasionally fills in on the sports desk at CFCF, said Bird’s departure was “a big loss” to the station. “I’ve never had this kind of chemistry before. It made getting up at these ungodly hours easy.”

So what’s next?

For Bird, the next move is in motion, but nothing is set in stone yet. There are strong rumours about a deal to join CKGM’s morning show, but Bird would not comment on them and CKGM station manager Wayne Bews didn’t return a phone message seeking comment. The move would make sense, since the morning show has been down to two hosts since Denis Casavant left to devote more time to his work at RDS.

For K103, the show goes on with Jacobs, Graif and Pots. Delaronde mused about maybe adding a female voice to the morning show, but there have been no decisions made yet.

You can read more about Bird’s departure in this story in The Gazette, written by yours truly. There’s also a story at KahnawakeNews.com.

Bird says goodbye

UPDATE (May 11): Bird did his last show Friday morning. You can listen to Bird’s farewell message here (MP3, 1.1MB, 4:59)

Meanwhile, Delaronde writes a post for Radio in Montreal giving some context to the decision to part ways. He explains that Bird’s salary was paid at least in part by “private sponsors” who, it seems, were not willing to keep their funding going past the end of the second year.

The new Ted Bird

Ted Bird's new haircut, from K103Radio.com

K103 thought to bring a video camera as Ted Bird got a mohawk shaved into his head during his first show.

He said during the show that he had decided not to shave his head because he wanted to be embraced by the community rather than do some silly stunt thinking it would impress everyone.

It was all an act, though, part of the publicity stunt for the station that is betting quite a bit on Bird’s personal popularity to bring listeners and advertisers. They insisted he get his haircut, and he obliged.

Bird will be appearing with his new haircut on his Bird’s Eye View segment on CFCF tonight at 6, where I assume he will explain why he looks like he does. Bird the chicken wussed out and wore a Habs cap during his Bird’s Eye View segment on CFCF, though he did explain at the end, and included footage of the shaving.

Bird has a post about his haircut on his blog. There’s also a short story about Bird and the new show at KahnawakeNews.com. Other than that (and this post), not much bite from the media.

Radio watcher Sheldon Harvey has some thoughts on the debut at Radio in Montreal. Noah Sidel also weighs in.

Oh, and K103 Operations Director Chuck Barnett sent in this pic of Bird at his new roost:

Ted Bird struts his stuff at K103 (photo by Chuck Barnett)

UPDATE (April 21): Bird has also started writing a column for Iorì:wase (aka the Eastern Door, aka KahnawakeNews.com) about his experience working in the community.

UPDATE (April 22): I’ve gone through my recording of their first show, and compiled this 15-minute excerpt of banter between the hosts. It includes Bird’s first words on air at 5:30am, a conversation over the phone with Terry DiMonte, the new Revisionist History, and a couple of promos.

Ted Java and Paul – April 19, 2010 (MP3)

Ted Bird joins K103 morning show

Ted Bird

It’s gratifying that I was able to say what a lot of people in radio want to say but can’t, even if it meant dynamiting every professional bridge in my wake.
Well, not every bridge. There’s still the Mercier.

Ted Bird, on his blog

Even he admits it was the worst kept secret ever: Ted Bird, who left CHOM-FM over “creative differences” in January, will be one of the co-hosts of the morning show at CKRK 103.7 FM in Kahnawake, starting April 19.

This will be in addition to his weekly segment on CFCF television, as well as those blogs he isn’t being paid to maintain.

Mike Cohen broke the news on his blog based on “reliable sources” about a day before what should have been a Gazette exclusive Monday morning, followed by an official announcement from the station.

After getting the news from a “reliable source” of my own, I got Bird to confirm the news under the condition that I hold off publishing it until the first editions of the Gazette were published at midnight. Basem Boshra’s article on Ted Bird headlines Monday’s Arts & Life section. There’s a similar piece at KahnawakeNews.com with a photo of the three new hosts.

What the hell is K103?

The 250-Watt station on the south shore isn’t exactly burning up the ratings. In fact, most Montrealers probably haven’t even heard of it. But it was the only one that could offer Bird what he needed: a radio job in (or rather near) his city that could offer him a salary and complete creative freedom, he tells me via email:

I’m really excited.  K103 is about the only place left on the dial where the announcers are left to their own creative devices, and that’s hugely appealing to me.  Also, because of who it is and where it is, there’s a pirate radio element to it.  The main differences are that instead of pirates, it’s Mohawks, and if it doesn’t work out I won’t have to walk the plank, although they may tie me to an anthill and smear me in honey.

Paul Graif

Bird won’t be alone on the morning show. Joining him will be Paul Graif, the former local TV sportscaster who rejoined the station in February, and James “Java” Jacobs, a CKRK veteran who, you know, actually lives in Kahnawake.

“The worst that will happen is I’ll have a shitload of fun doing the kind of radio you’ll be hard-pressed to find anywhere else,” Bird says. “I defy you to name me another morning show with a West Island WASP, a Kahnawake Mohawk and a Hampstead Jew.”

The show will run 5:30am to 10am, which is a slot Bird is used to. Fans of his regular segments Bird Droppings (sports commentary) and Revisionist History (just making shit up about the past) will be pleased to know that he’s planning to bring them with him to his new gig, at least as long as Astral Media doesn’t sue.

One-year deal

Bird says he’s committed to the station for at least a year, and while the salary is nowhere near what he got at CHOM, the ability to keep his integrity and freedom is more important than the money. He’s hoping that bringing a big name to the station might also give it an increased audience, which might bring in sponsors. A big “if”.

“It’s definitely not a between-radio-jobs job,” Bird says, “because the only way I would ever go back to mainstream commercial radio is on my own terms, and there’s not much chance of that happening, considering the fine job I’ve done of dynamiting professional bridges in my wake – a circumstance with which I’m totally at peace.”

Oh, and one more thing: Bird said the day he joins CKRK is the day he shaves his hair into a mohawk. So he’s doing exactly that (as a publicity stunt, mind you).

So when you see him on TV on April 19 with a half-shaved head, now you’ll know why.

Bird blasts CHOM PD

Meanwhile, Bird has opened up on why he left CHOM in January. Saying his contractual obligations to the station expired on April 1, Bird posted on his blog that:

Within the past five to ten years, CHOM and most of the rest of the country’s radio stations have been acquired by corporations who jettisoned the majority of the creative people in favor of bean counters beholden only to shareholders. The impact was swift, enormous and predictable. By the time I left CHOM, it was about as much fun as working at the Soviet Ministry of Agriculture.

Though he points to a trend happening at radio stations across the country, Bird takes particular aim at Daniel Tremblay, CHOM’s program director:

He barely paid lip service to the insights and opinions of staff members who’ve been on the front lines of English radio in this town for decades. That spoke volumes to me, and I could not in good conscience continue to work for someone who was making decisions in a vacuum that were running a treasured Montreal institution into the ground.

Bird also says CHOM offered him a lesser job – at reduced salary – after he quit. Says Bird: “He was – or at least appeared to be – genuinely surprised that I took offense at being thrown a bone on the assumption that I was desperate and could be lured back on the cheap.”

As the featured guest on Mitch Melnick’s web show Melnick Underground, Bird also let lose on CHOM and Tremblay and the state of modern commercial radio. Melnick can relate, as he also values his creative freedom and has found one of the few jobs left in commercial radio that lets him do what he wants.

I’ve been invited by Tremblay to meet with him to discuss what’s going on at CHOM. Once that happens I’ll try to get his side of this story.

UPDATE (April 12): Bird himself discusses the new job, as well as the elephant in the room of a white guy working for a Mohawk radio station. A Facebook group has been setup welcoming Bird to the community.

A more critical Facebook group has also been setup, with some saying Bird’s hiring is directly tied to budget cuts at the station and other people losing their jobs. Bird comments on the group, saying he doesn’t recall saying anything derogatory about the community.

Ted Bird joins CFCF as weekly sports commentator

Ted Bird

Ted Bird, who left CHOM in January and has been looking for another job since, has picked up a new gig as a weekly sports commentator at CFCF, the station announced today.

Bird, who since leaving the station has started up a personal blog, a Twitter account and a blog for The Gazette, will be offering his take on the world of sports during the Monday newscast at 6pm and 11:30pm (or, more accurately, during Sports Night at 11:45, head honcho Jed Kahane confirms), starting the day after the closing ceremony of the Olympics (March 1).

Stories at CTV and The Gazette.

Here’s the release:

For Immediate Release – Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Bird Lands at CTV

Montreal radio personality jumps from morning drive to supper-hour screen:

CTV is pleased to announce that veteran Montreal morning man Ted Bird is returning to the airwaves as part of the city’s #1 English language Sports team.

Every Monday on CTV News at 6pm & 11:30pm, Ted will weigh in with his ‘Bird’s Eye View’ on the world of sports.

“I’m flattered by CTV’s confidence in me and excited about broadening my broadcast horizons into the television milieu”, said Bird. “I’m especially grateful for the opportunity to reconnect with everyone who’s taken the time to say they miss hearing my voice.  Sadly, you now get the face as well”.

“Ted’s quick wit and solid sports analysis have earned him a loyal following with Montrealers”, said Jed Kahane, CTV’s Director of News and Public Affairs. “We’re delighted to be able to get him back on the air with this weekly commentary”.

“Bird’s Eye View” will begin airing on CTV on Monday, March 1st.

UPDATE: Bird tells me this opportunity came through a lunch he had with CFCF veteran Cindy Sherwin, whom he worked with at CJFM way back when. (Let this be a lesson folks: Networking is what gets you jobs.) That led to discussions with Kahane, who decided to bring Bird on.

Bird also recognizes that having a spot on the most-watched anglo newscast in Montreal will give him a lot more exposure than a blog on the Gazette website, and he laments on that blog that he’ll start to be recognized by his face as much as his voice.

UPDATE (Feb. 24): CFCF is running 30-second ads promoting the new segment with Bird walking through Central Station.

Ted Bird joins Gazette as a blogger

Speaking of unemployed people in local media, Ted Bird (you know, the guy who left CHOM at the beginning of the year) is now blogging for The Gazette.

Bird wouldn’t say how much (if anything) he’s being paid for the gig, but he’s “happy with the exposure and the chance to establish myself in print.”

He’s continuing to blog on his own as well. So those who miss his opinions won’t be left wanting.

PJ Stock joins CHOM morning show

PJ Stock

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.

Kind of.

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.

Bird’s blogging

Ted Bird (if I have to explain who he is you clearly haven’t been reading this blog) has begun blogging in addition to his Twitter activity.

The blog is essentially an extension of his popular “Bird Droppings” radio thing, and features comments on stuff, particularly sports.

The baby Hitler front and centre on the blog’s homepage should give you an idea of how little self-censorship is involved here.

I must say, though, it’s just not the same without the voice…

Gazette West Island columnist Huntley Addie also talks about Bird this week.

To Ted Bird: “You were perfect”

When Ted Bird asked people to put his personal email out to the world in the wake of his seemingly sudden resignation from CHOM (his CHOM email address was shut down even before his departure was announced), he was hoping a few people might send him a note and say they would miss him. Turns out a lot of people did exactly that, and even he was surprised by the deluge of emails he got from fans.

One of those emails struck him particularly hard, and he suggested I share it here:

Every morning, Mr. Bird, I wake up at 5:30 so I can catch the very start of CHOM’s Morning Show. I don’t think I’ve had a worse morning than I did yesterday. When I heard the announcement of your resignation, I was extremely saddened. I truly believe that you are the reason that I have been a loyal CHOM listener for so many years.

I read the article about you in the Gazette this morning, and I find it almost comical that you said that the station is targeting a more youthful audience and that you aren’t getting younger. Coming from this 19-year-old, I can tell you that to me you were perfect. I laughed heartily every morning on the way to work. Between telling the city about what you did on your summer vacation, or Revisionist History, I had a hell of a good time. But there have also been times where I have been quite touched by your broadcasts. I was lucky enough to meet the side of Ernie Butler that was not only the humorist, but the loving, doting father as well the genuinely kind man. After he passed away, I made a point to listen to what you had to say, and just to hear you speaking so fondly of him brought me to tears.

I actually met you once just over a year ago as I was working as a cashier at Chapters, and I said “Hi” and although I spoke to you for all of 90 seconds, you were so pleasant. There you were; out with your son for the day, and I had to interrupt with my star-struck awe. But you were really nice about it. It makes a radio listener’s experience much more enjoyable when the host is actually as awesome face-to-face as well as on the air. I have an insurmountable amount of respect for you.

SO, I guess there isn’t much left to say except “Good Luck!” I wish you all the best on your future endeavors. I listened to you throughout my childhood, adolescence, and I hope I can say my adult life as well. Unbeknownst to you, you have taught me so much. Your presence in this city as a radio host has had a substantial and eternal impact upon me. And for that I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

All the Best,

Catherine Londei

Bird’s response:

Hi Catherine,

I don’t know how many hundreds of e-mails I’ve received in the last two days, and as much as I’ve been touched by all of them, your’s is the only one that made me cry. And as you know, there’s no crying in radio, goddam it.

I remember very well the day I met you at Chapter’s, and trust me – I was as gratified that you recognized me as you were that I made time for you, however briefly. On the celebrity food chain, local radio personality ranks somewhere between circus clown and fuzzy mascot (think about it – more people have heard of Youppi than have heard of me), and we get just enough public recognition that it’s flattering without being intrusive. But no matter what the level of celebrity, it’s a two way street and even the biggest stars in the world owe it to themselves and their fans to make sure that their connection with the audience is emotionally genuine.

In any event, thanks a pantload for bringing me to tears for the first time since Bucky F#*&ing Dent’s home run helped the Yankees beat the Red Sox in a one-game playoff in 1978 – my first year in radio and 12 years before you were born. Way to bridge the generation gap.

All the best,

Ted Bird

Bird is busy writing individual responses to everyone who has written to him. He can be reached at tesburp@live.ca, and he’s now also cracking jokes on Twitter, to reinforce the image that he now has no life.