A list of Montreal broadcasters cut from other stations that CFQR 600 could hire

One of the consequences of a new independent English-language commercial AM station taking half a decade to launch is that it’s been brought up so many times when people get laid off or otherwise cut from other radio and TV stations.

Favourite radio personality loses their show on CJAD or The Beat? That new AM station should hire them and we’ll listen to them there instead!

TTP Media has already indicated that their on-air personalities will include names familiar to Montreal audiences. And since there haven’t been any unexplained high-profile departures from the major stations in the past month, we can assume that some of these names will probably come from the list of those who have been removed from jobs elsewhere and haven’t found better ones elsewhere.

To give you an idea of how many people we’re talking about, I made a list of the on-air personalities who have been cut (laid off, fired, constructively dismissed or otherwise left) from commercial radio and television here in the past decade or so. Some have found part-time or fill-in work, some are working in a different industry (and may or may not be willing to come back) and some may have simply decided to retire.

I’ve excluded managers (Wayne Bews, Mark Dickie, Mary-Jo Barr) and other off-air people, people who have full-time broadcasting jobs elsewhere (AJ Reynolds, Ted Bird, Tasso, Al Gravelle, David Tyler), those who left jobs at campus and community stations (Java Jacobs, Lance Delisle), and the many young interns and temporary workers who simply ran out of contracts.

The list is almost certainly missing some names, so feel free to add others in the comments.

Here’s what I got off the top of my head, in alphabetical order:

  • Tanya Armstrong, cut from The Jewel
  • Heather Backman, cut from CHOM (currently filling in at The Beat)
  • Sarah Bartok, cut from The Beat (currently filling in at Toronto’s 93.5 The Move)
  • Claude Beaulieu, cut from CJAD
  • Paul Beauregard, cut from CHOM
  • Sol Boxenbaum, cut from CJAD
  • Tom Buddo, cut from Virgin Radio
  • Patrick Charles, cut from Virgin Radio
  • Sean Coleman, cut from CTV Montreal (currently part-time at TSN 690)
  • Jim Connell, cut from AM 940/Global Montreal (currently working with TTP Media)
  • Andre Corbeil, cut from CTV Montreal
  • Brandon Craddock, cut from CHOM
  • Richard Dagenais, cut from Global Montreal/MAtv
  • Mike Dall, cut from Virgin Radio
  • Suzanne Desautels, cut from CJAD
  • Chantal Desjardins, cut from CHOM, CJAD and Sportsnet
  • Alexandre Despatie, cut from City Montreal
  • Olga Gazdovic, cut from CJAD
  • Abe Hefter, cut from TSN 690 (currently at University of Hartford)
  • Kevin Holden, cut from CJAD
  • Peter Anthony Holder, cut from CJAD
  • Dave Kaufman, left CJAD (moved to UK but has since moved back and is filling in)
  • Patrick Lejtenyi, cut from CJAD
  • Laurie Macdonald, cut from CJAD (currently in real estate)
  • Ronny Mack (Ron Mackinnon), cut from CHOM
  • Pete Marier, cut from CHOM and Ottawa’s Boom 99.7
  • Barry Morgan, cut from CJAD
  • Ric Peterson, cut from CJAD
  • Claude Rajotte, cut from MusiquePlus (currently working as a DJ)
  • Jessica Rusnak, left TSN 690 (currently filling in at CBC)
  • Murray Sherriffs, cut from Virgin, The Beat and Ottawa’s Boom 99.7
  • PJ Stock, cut from Sportsnet
  • Randy Tieman, cut from CTV Montreal
  • Dennis Trudeau, cut from AM 940
  • Wilder Weir, cut from City Montreal
  • Brian Wilde, cut from CTV Montreal
  • Sharman Yarnell, cut from CJAD

33 thoughts on “A list of Montreal broadcasters cut from other stations that CFQR 600 could hire

  1. Brett

    I’d definitely tune in if any of them get hired. They do have a fan base in Montreal. Would be better to use? them then hire people who never worked in market.

  2. Sheldon

    An amazing list of talent (well, some of them!) when you put them all together like this. A couple of people I would approach, particularly given that CFQR is supposed to be a news/talk format, would be former CBC’ers Dave Bronstetter and Dave Rosen. Not sure that either of the Daves want to get back into broadcasting, but it wouldn’t hurt to ask. I would throw Yvan Huneault and Nancy Wood on to that list as well.

  3. David Pinto

    How about posting a list of all The Gazette staff who have taken early retirement, left, moved on, retired, quit to join the circus, etc.

    1. Fagstein Post author

      How about posting a list of all The Gazette staff who have taken early retirement, left, moved on, retired, quit to join the circus, etc.

      When someone starts up a new daily English newspaper in Montreal I might consider it. But yeah, that’s a long list.

  4. Lance Campeau

    Lots of attractive,marketable choices here. As a former board op for CIQC 600, I would be hitting the play button on the “Kirk VS Spook” Vulcan death match soundtrack right… about…. now…

  5. Anonymous

    Depending on the sound this station is looking for, they have a helluva a list to choose from. I wonder if AM stations (in this case just barely out of the gate) want more talk less music because they can’t hope to match the FM sound.

  6. Steve

    Everyone working at MAtv English this current year, is no longer employed by them(Richard Dagenais, Tina Tenneriello(she already left MAtv before being hired now by City Montreal))? Is all MAtv programming(French & English) now put on hold or cancelled?

    Was Dennis Trudeau cut or did he retire without being pushed out from CBC TV Montreal?

  7. Ryan Fisher

    Bell and Bell Media are making a ton of money, yet they are firing 1000’s of employees. Time for a change in top management. And since they are not the only game in town, listeners should tune in to other radio station and television stations for both news, music and talk shows.

    1. Fagstein Post author

      Bell and Bell Media are making a ton of money, yet they are firing 1000’s of employees. Time for a change in top management.

      Why? If they’re making a ton of money, shareholders generally like that.

  8. Media Man

    Well, definitely an interesting list, but only probably 8 or 9 here that I’d seriously consider hiring, talking to, and/or making an offer.

    Seeing this will be a news /talk station, there’s several right away that I won’t name that you can leave out as they’re really music people.

    There’s maybe half a dozen here that I would consider as “rejects” and wouldn’t even take a first look… A few others possibly down the road I’d consider depending on the type of news/talk programming.

    But I’ll give you my instant list that would give the station instant credibility and quickly steal listeners permanently enough to Chris Bury at CJAD quiver in his boots..

    Keep in mind you want this station to be different and an independent alternative and not a carbon copy of the other guy.

    So in terms of on-air hosts, Barry Morgan and Ric Peterson are the ones that pop out and Peter Holder possibly, but not sure he’d fit in but always liked him overnights.

    The news anchor /reporters that flash out here to me are Richard Dagenais and Murray Sherriffs, who might have tame down a notch, and the big catch here would be Claude Beaulieu, make him senior reporter, and CFQR 600 would outscoop 800 by a country mile as they’ve lost their belly to break out scoops.

    The sports names are interesting. If the station has full sportscasts in their plans and perhaps a sports call-in /talk show in the plans, then names here are worth looking into.
    The first two would be Abe Hefter and Randy Tieman and would probably go for easy shifts. Brian Wilde and Sean Coleman are pluses but do they want to leave the TSN Radio shifts now in the hopes of getting back to TSN channel itself.

    So this is my take but yes you leave out people we don’t know about like the daily and weekly print people, and bloggers and off the air freelance types, that I know about but won’t name here that would bring instant listeners and fresh new interesting and informative takes on Montreal radio.

    1. dilbert

      I had the same thoughts….

      Many of the people listed are “jocks”, the 1 minute voice between music and not someone experienced in having a longer conversation. News Talk radio requires a whole lot more stamina, and a whole lot more in depth understanding of topics. Light and breezy 1 minute spots are not in the same league.

      So all those ex-chom, ex-beat, ex-virgin jocks are likely not good for the job. 1 or another might be able to cross over and change to do the job, but it’s not what they are known for or experienced in doing.

      What 600 could do is to work hard to make their news and sports people be “top of the line” and go from there. With all bell stations relying on a single set of players for all radio and mostly all TV in both areas, they are weak and subject to attack. Having better news and better sports coverage could go a long way to making this station a good alternate choice to all of the Bell-a-like stations.

      600 could also do itself a favor and avoid anyone associated with the “Anglo Angst” attitude. So some of the names on the list aren’t really good choices. Anyone who has been associated in any way with Tommy Schnurmacher is pretty much a no.

      I really do think that with some good choices and a couple of “names” that pull, this station could quickly move to take 5 to 10 points in the market in a couple of years.

      1. Fagstein Post author

        Many of the people listed are “jocks”, the 1 minute voice between music and not someone experienced in having a longer conversation.

        Plenty of people have made the transition from music to talk, including Aaron Rand and Terry DiMonte. It’s a different style of broadcasting, to be sure, but it’s not two different universes. I’m sure many others could similarly make such a shift.

        1. dilbert

          They may be able to and they may not. Terry perhaps had the easiest of it because he was already a chatty morning man who just needed to focus a bit more. I think Aaron Rand sort of fell in the same category, much more chatty than average.

          The best reason to go with people who are not talk radio people is that you are likely to get a little bit of a younger group. You can also avoid those who have established themselves as bitter, angry, or suffering from Anglo Angst. That’s CJAD’s formula, and something to avoid at all costs.

          I think the most interesting “problem” for TTP is that they have had Jim Connell attached to their boat for a very long time. It would hard for them not to give him a prime job (like News Director) even if he doesn’t turn out to be the absolute best available. I do think there are a couple of names on the list that could easily take that position and run with it, especially if TTP is going to give enough resources to makes the news and sports departments actually matter.

          1. Media Man

            Maybe so for Jim Connell as News Director, but the goal of this new station would be to quickly establish itself and quickly make headlines, get a few scoops, and make CJAD and Bell quiver.

            But the guy who would really do that has to be Steve Kowch, like the guy ran AD and CFRB, so he knows their strengths and weaknesses.

        2. Gazoo28

          While DiMonte dabbled at the CJAD 800 morning show for a brief period of time, he wound up back on the FM dial. I can not recall if it was his doing or the station’s. In any event, Rand certainly has made the transition.

          1. Neil K.

            When CHOM was folded into the Standard radio family in 2002, the decision was made to repatriate Terry to CHOM and put Andrew Carter in AM drive at CJAD.

        3. Neil K.

          Don’t forget Ken Connors and Ric Peterson, who was a jock on Mix96 or its predecessor before transitioning to talk.

      2. Media Man

        Yes definitely, no Anglo Angst here. Sure one can represent the Anglo community but without being confrontational.
        The Angst thing maybe more prevalent in the older ages in general, which is similar to the more senior ” pur laine “French Canadian population, with all due respect, who still dreaming of having their own country.

    2. Curious

      “So in terms of on-air hosts, Barry Morgan and Ric Peterson are the ones that pop out…”

      Anyone who thinks Barry Morgan would be a good idea for this new station is either completely unaware of why he was fired, or simply fooling themselves.

      The best thing this new station could do would be to hire younger on air talent and avoid voices like Morgan and Peterson like the plague. We want a new and interesting station, not the CJAD retirement home.

      1. Steve

        Yep! That would be my comment EXACTLY. I don’t want this new Montreal news/talk radio station, to hire much of their staff, from rejects of the other Montreal radio/television stations. Ric Peterson is not even in Montreal anymore(he quickly moved to Ontario).

      2. Media Man

        Interesting your comments about Barry Morgan. Several of us we seemingly led to believe that it was a budget decision, as they surely didn’t better themselves with Natasha Hall as the replacement and her mousey voice. Sorry.
        Care to enlighten us with the real reason.
        I certainly agree 100 % we don’t want a CJAD copy, but I was making the point of needing NAMES in your weekday core at least, and yes younger or new voices who might have new or different program ideas that are not currently present on the airwaves.

        There’s lots of former people from the weekly newspaper scene and profile blogger types that would fit right in and probably also have a fan base on social media to bring people over for at least weeknight and weekend programming

    3. Dorothy

      Will this new station be just another outlet for ridiculing/bashing Donald Trump, while Justin Trudeau gets teen magazine idol coverage?
      Enough said.

  9. Neil K.

    Ken actually crossed over twice: from his start in music radio to hosting the morning show at 940 News, then back to music at Q92 (and its offshoots) and now doing talk again at ‘AD.

    1. dilbert

      Ken Conners has always been one of those unique jocks that, even in a “music” setting was generally talkative and added information and such to the flow. He wasn’t just a backcaller and ad cart loader (yes, I am dating myself a bit here). His ability to go back and forth between the two is a bit like Terry DiMonte, he’s always been a talker so talk radio isn’t a stretch.

      Some other music jocks might find it a little harder to just talk endlessly for hours at a time and be knowledgeable enough to keep people listening.

  10. Ian G. Ilagan

    CITE-FM (107,3 Rouge fm) of Bell Media lost Stéphane Richard, Marie-Élaine Proulx, Julie Du Page, Isabelle Racicot, Marie-Claude Barrette, Karine Champagne, Brigitte Lafleur, Alex Perron, Maxime Landry, Joël Legendre, Patrick Groulx, Alain Dumas, Marina Orsini & Isabelle Lacasse for those with no radio station.

  11. Asa

    Can’t we have a radio station that is a mix of music,news and talk.There is not one station I care to listen to, CJAD can be an absolute bore.Barry Morgan would be a nice fit, a very well rounded broadcaster.As far as going younger, that’s what CJAD has done and outside of James Foster there are very few who would’ve been hired in the old days.

    1. Ron Hillman

      I think that Dilbert and his supporters should look into finding a cure for their shared case of Stockholm Syndrome.

  12. Tony Dee

    So now that we are mid-January 2018, is there an ETA as to when this station will actually start broadcasting actual shows instead of the music? I am starting to think that CFQR AM will never really see the light of day. Any updates?

    1. Fagstein Post author

      So now that we are mid-January 2018, is there an ETA as to when this station will actually start broadcasting actual shows instead of the music?


      1. Tim Lightman

        Today is July 12, 2019.

        Isn’t it the rule that a business can only lose money for three years until the tax people consider it a hobby you can’t write off?


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