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.

48 thoughts on “Ted Bird joins TSN 990

  1. Allen

    Good for you Ted. I tried to listen to Java, Paul and Matty today but it is just no the same. I will be listening on Friday.

  2. mh

    Congrats Ted. Sometimes you just gotta bite the bullet. Its your first responsibility to support your family. Montreal is a small market for English broadcasters and you’ve almost run out of racetrack. Don’t put aside good principles.

  3. Ian

    Good news for the station and congrats to Ted Bird. BTW, the morning is already 3 man show. The third man is Eric Thomas.

    1. Fagstein Post author

      the morning is already 3 man show. The third man is Eric Thomas.

      Note that I’m referring specifically to the hosts, the people whose names appear in the program’s name. There are of course other people (producers, reporters, etc.) who form part of the morning teams in addition to those hosts.

  4. Vahan

    Ted Bird is not a doctor? Well don’t I feel foolish now and a little self-consiously awkward. I left a message on your service Ted, please cancel my appointment for Thursday.

  5. john

    I Think This Is A Great Move….He’ll Fit In Like A Glove. Great Knowledge Of Most Sports…Etc…Good Luck Ted…………………….John

  6. Sheldon

    When Casavant was there with Price and Starr, they said they determined the billing of the three hosts alphabetically, not by seniority, popularity, etc. We’ll see if that holds true. If it does it should be “Bird, Price and Starr”

    1. Gazoo

      At the end of the day, does it really matter how they bill it? As long as the on air product is stand up they could call themselves the three amigos for whoever really cares.

  7. Frank The Tank

    Ted bird is washed up… Him going to tsn990? yea great… another washed up old school know it all, another recycled name in montreal radio… the spinning door effect in montreal radio is pathetic

    1. josh

      I agree. Ted is a great guy but why not give someone else a chance. I still say he’ll end up with the other overpaid morning man DiMonte. Montreal radio sucks. We need new blood in our city.

      1. Michael D

        Well, as I’ve been saying for a while now and the new blood argument.. TTP’s arrival in the city soon will be good based on what they’ve promised, there will be new or forgotten names…

        On the musical side, since there really is not much choice on FM, a rock station and two others competing for exactly the samelisteners, which is about the same on the French side, with CKOI and CKMF, the domnant place..it is time for a Montreal-based internet radio station.

        sure, there are lots of internet radio outlets out there, but not-Montreal-based…I say it’s time for one run by local folks.

        1. Fagstein Post author

          TTP’s arrival in the city soon will be good based on what they’ve promised, there will be new or forgotten names…

          Yes, but they still don’t have a license for an English-language station.

          it is time for a Montreal-based internet radio station. sure, there are lots of internet radio outlets out there, but not-Montreal-based…I say it’s time for one run by local folks.

          Local Internet stations exist. The fact you don’t know about them suggest they have not been successful.

          1. Michael D

            You’re right, if there are local internet stations that I don’t know them as there is no promotion, no ads, possibly run out of somebody’s basement…

            BUT, I am hearing of someone that’s gonna go full steam with the major commercial players..it will be run like a regular station but without the restrictions of the CRTC…there will be contests as well……got wind of the general format as well…and if I were the majors, I would sit up and take notice…it won’t be nonstop music, which I can get listening to my music on my smartphone right now.. but more intelligent talk in between, you know personality, whihc is sorely lacking in this town…not just somebody pre-determined tracks programmed by some suit in TO or a consultant in NYC …

            there is some major private money behind this one.. they already have a name for it too…Let’s face it, after AM, came FM, and now it will be internet radio…it hasn’t caught on, yes because really the only way was on your computer.

            But now with smartphones and tablets, and some vehicles in the USA being euipped modems, well you know what’s next….

            So Bring on big time internet radio…..Montreal are you ready!!!

          2. Michael D

            @ Gazoo..Sorry can’t do that, but what I can say, is certainly during the day, it will be mainstream, it has to be, but not just the same 5 tracks by the Stones or Fab Four,etc….It would be all over the place, e.g. one could be hearing Papa was a Rolling Stone by the Tempting Temptations, then next could be the current track by the Gold Keys, then something by the Eagles that you haven’t heard of before, then Hot Stuff by Donna summer,etc,etc…..I mean they’re talking all over the place as in real variety….

            think you get the picture..evenings and weekends, more feature oriented, an hour here or an hour there for this and that……That’s all you get..

            In other words, “We play what we wanna play” Which the majors can’t do right now…

          3. Gazoo

            got the picture re format. Question should have been, when is this suppose to start, with whom and where on the net?

          4. Michael D

            @Gazoo: ” got the picture re format. Question should have been, when is this suppose to start, with whom and where on the net? ”

            Sorry, can’t really get into that.. Where on the net..nice try..lol, that would be like telling you the name of a newspaper..

            With Whom? Sorry can’t say that. but I do hear a major personality could involved in major shift as well…and many new names that should currently be on Montreal radio right now instead of the current recycling that’s been going on,

            but I can see it now, people listening to radio in their offices during work will be easily able to do the same thing with an internet station on their laptops, or, of course, people taking their tablets out to lunch in the park and plugging in thier headphones, something which people are doing now anyways with their digital music players,etc…

            Or in those funky boutiques that music playing in the foreground or background, well all the owner will have to do is plug his or her tablet to a pair of powered speakers…or whatever soun system they use…

            so stay tuned…CHOM is probably aware of this internet radio thing, as recently they sent out a survey to their newsletter subsribers, and internet radio questions were really front and centre, from what internet stations one listens to, and when,, and other assorted questions..

  8. Sheldon

    I’m not sure what the big deal is but apparently Ted Bird was in the building on Greene Avenue this morning during the morning show. At one point Elliott Price said something like “hey I know that guy” as Bird must have walked by within eyesight. However, according to Price and Starr, they could not mention Bird’s name on-air yet. Starr said something like “the worst kept secret in the radio business”, to which Price replied that when he gets the OK from the boss then he will talk about it, most likely tomorrow. Not sure if this was some sort of contractual wrangling, or that TSN 990 has some big hoop-la announcement planned for tomorrow, even know Steve sprung the news to us on Monday. Funny stuff.

    1. Fagstein Post author

      An announcement is planned for 8am Wednesday. I don’t imagine there’s any legal reason to hold off until then. They just want to make a big deal of the announcement. But because everyone already knows at the station, word has already spread.

  9. dave

    Is there really any need for 3 talking heads on any radio/tv show? (except of course NHL and NFL shows where it is the more the merrier) Just the dynamics is horrible, never mind the personalities involved. Only time it works is at budget time when you can axe one and say to the suits…hey, look at all the money I just saved us…

    1. Fagstein Post author

      I don’t get it, weren’t they supposed to move to 690 by now?

      There’s no set deadline, but it’s expected to happen before the fall. It was guessed that they would wait until after the hockey season was over to make the switch.

    1. Sheldon

      Bird was on Melnick’s show after the 4 pm update today. Eric Thomas’ name was brought up and it was said by Mitch that “there will be plenty of things for Eric to do”.

        1. Fagstein Post author

          Mr. Melnick calls the shots at the station.

          What makes you think this? He’s clearly the big star there, but that doesn’t mean he’s running things (or that he even wants to).

          1. dave

            anybody who goes anywhere has to go thru him first and be one of his underlings. Hey, this PJ, Joey, cathy bobby character sure is good…we should have an expanded role for them at the station, without paying them of course. Then when they do move somewhere to pay the bills I can make snide remarks about them

          2. Gazoo

            He’s been there since day 1. Would not be surprised in anyway if he did not have a BIG say on what goes on for on air staff.

          3. Eric

            You must kiss the ring……then things happen. Not insinuating anything malicious, just that good things happen to those he likes.

            It’s weird but Team 990 seems to be a gonzo radio station, nothing seems professional.

            Also I really hate the musical interludes during Melnick’s time slot.

            Anyway I hardly listen except for McGuire take on things.

        2. DrPleaser

          I think Melnick is also some kind of manager there? He does seem to have a lot of influence there.

          When did he make snide remarks?

  10. Bird sucks

    @ted bird
    It’s cause I told you how full of sh*t you are and the truth bothered you so you toke the cowardly way out and blocked me.

    1. Fagstein Post author

      It’s cause I told you how full of sh*t you are and the truth bothered you so you toke the cowardly way out and blocked me.

      Why do you care? I mean, if you don’t like the guy, why do you bother writing stuff to him and why do you care that he’s now not reading it?

  11. Captain Obvious

    $250k a year on CHOM for that nonsense?

    Jesus H Christ, no wonder radio in this city is in the shitter.

    1. Scotty

      Yep. Remember that next time these guys do one of those Marathon of Hope shows for the Children’s. They’re getting paid many times more than the nurses and other caregivers (and even more than the average doctors) who actually save lives and contribute something worthwhile. Maybe they instead of begging those of us who actually work a 40-hour+ week to shell out our hard-earned cash, they could throw in some of their grossly overinflated salaries.

      And what do they get the big bucks for? Rehashing stale old Don Scarey routines, airing family dysfunctionality on air, laughing so hard at reach others’ jokes they overload the broadcast transmitters, reading a sportscast every now and then, and basically acting like adolescents.

      Oh right, they’re “artists.”

  12. Eric

    mmmm, I dislike Elliott Price a lot, in fact he’s the reason I do not listen to that show anymore. He’s such a prima donna that nobody can say anything that upsets him.

    As for Bird, if he can keep Price in his place (good luck) then I will listen. So I’ll give it a try in about a week or so after they get into a groove and not the love fest it will be in the beginning.

    I guess Bird got the blessing of Sir Melnick ;o)

    I hope that people who bitch over the Videotron empire will also bitch about the Bell Media Complex.

  13. William

    Ted will fit in perfectly at 990.

    Being a history buff, it will be good to have someone who is so fully informed on the Habs history of cups.

    You know, since they won’t be winning another for……………..ever.


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