Joey Elias pulls the plug on his CJAD Comedy Show

Joey Elias, left, and Noel Butler. Elias is the professional comedian.

Late nights on CJAD will never be the same. After more than 10 years hosting the late-night Comedy Show, Joey Elias has stepped away from the microphone.

On Friday, Elias promised a big announcement. And it was big: that show would be his last. The 11pm hour weekdays has been replaced by a simulcast of CTV National News and CTV Montreal’s 11:30pm local news. It’s unclear if this is a temporary or permanent thing. CJAD Program Director Chris Bury did not respond to a request for comment.

Though rumours quickly spread that Elias was cut as a cost-saving measure, especially as it came around the same time as other Bell Media cuts. But Elias says it was his call.

“After receiving offers — plural — to stay on, it was I that chose to opt out,” Elias tells me. “It was an incredibly tough choice to make, and I want to stress this: Management treated me with the utmost respect. I made my choice because I realized that right now at this very point in my life, I have neglected my responsibilities as a son, sibling, family member and friend — so (I) felt start now before it’s too late.”

He says he’s in good health and could be back some day. “The door for a return has been kept open and I hope to do so one day.”

Meanwhile, CJAD has also lost the Chris Robinson Travel Show, which aired on Saturdays. A Facebook post by the show says it’s on “sabbatical” and will be off the air for “a while”.

30 thoughts on “Joey Elias pulls the plug on his CJAD Comedy Show

  1. Bram Eisenthal

    Good on the Chris Robinson Show. I suggested a travel show to them that would involve writers on air talking about where they had been but CJAD decided to make money instead…

  2. Bram Eisenthal

    Anyhow one reason less to CJAD. Since they booted Sol, Coast to Coast is the only reason left…

  3. susan

    Will miss Joey and I definitely believe due to cutbacks. He really connected to his listeners. Now he is gone from the airwaves, also the Travel Show, Last man standing for me Aaron Rand. If he goes no more talk radio for me.

  4. Mediaman

    Well the Bell Media saga or circus seems to be getting more interesting and intriguing by the days and weeks..
    Like no direction, too many chiefs in Toronto, in other words ,bigger as usual is not better.

    So not cost cutting ,or the Travel thing is a sabbatical, but are there any artistic differences at play perhaps anywhere?

    As several of us have been saying, CJAD has lost its belly, its fire ..their weekend shows are boring for the most part, syndicated national programs .
    They really don’t break news anymore ,remember the bulldogs like Sydney Margles ,Claude Beaulieu, etc .

    So Where is AM600 when you need them ??

  5. Anonymous

    There are a lot of “quiet” cuts happening across Bell Media coast to coast.

    InnerSpace & Daily Planet announcement was a smoke screen.

    Several senior people lost their jobs who work under in house productions aka Bell Studios,the division that produces etalk, Marilyn, The Social and Your Morning. Now fears of bumping casting a cloud of uncertainty about our futures.

    Not a fun time.

  6. Keith Rowe

    Joey has always been a true professional & using his diplomacy, I read between the lines that this is just another cheesy Bell Media move to save on the bottom line…Too much of a coincidence that his show suddenly ending & Chris Robinson Travel Show on sabbatical- I DONT BELIEVE in coincidence….Bell Media doesn’t give a crap about what the listeners want it’s all about “the suits” in Toronto controlling Montreal radio…Hopefully Joey in his wisdom can do a podcast- lot more room to spread his wings & Joey if you’re reading this- PODCAST is where the future is!! Good Luck My Friend….???

  7. Michel

    This whole idea of simulcasting TV shows is insane. It might pass for “Question Period” but the whole idea of television was so you could see moving pictures along with the audio. Neither the CTV National or local news are produced with the idea that the viewer (note I said viewer and not listener) will not get to see what is happening on screen. I want to be entertained late night not force fed more news.This is just another in a string of bad Bell Media programming decisions.

    1. Fagstein Post author

      Neither the CTV National or local news are produced with the idea that the viewer (note I said viewer and not listener) will not get to see what is happening on screen.

      Broadcasters that do this (Global does it as well with Global News Radio) say they are taking radio audiences into account when creating TV stories (they already have to account for people with visual impairments). Whether in practice TV news works on the radio will be up to the audience to decide.

  8. dilbert

    I have total respect for Joey, who has dealt with personal demons and issues over the years and always come back strong.

    That said, I think he is avoiding telling all the truth here, or to say that not all of the cards are being shown.

    The simulcast isn’t something taken off the top of their heads. Clearly this is something Bell has been planning and aiming for. It falls directly into Joey’s normal time slot, which means that any part of the discussion with Joey was about a new time slot. If this was Joey’s random choice, they likely would have run “best of” shows for a while or found someone else to host short term. Clearly Bell wanted the time slot.

    What that means is the offers (plural) were much more likely to be “after midnight” or “Saturday night only” or something of similar nature. I don’t think they would want to play the often bleeped version of some of these comedy clips too early, and the show at 10PM (doctor laurie) plays to the target audience a little better perhaps than comedy.

    That CJAD’s “I heart” website is already updated to show the news sort of says a lot. They were ready for it.

    The door is open for return likely in one of the two scenarios I outlined: Weekends or after midnight instead of “best of CJAD” that fills the hour before Ghost to Ghost comes on.

    Trend continues: More “content re purposing” and more people out the door. Good luck to Joey, get back on stage and work on that material, enjoy your family time and friends time, and move on with strength!

    1. Fagstein Post author

      That CJAD’s “I heart” website is already updated to show the news sort of says a lot. They were ready for it.

      Of course they were ready for it. Elias didn’t just decide Friday to quit. And CJAD needs to keep its schedule updated because the website uses that information to display what’s currently on the air. It can’t be too lazy about updating that stuff.

  9. Brett

    Loved his show. Would tune in when ever I got the chance. I too wonder if the CTV national and Montreal news is temporary?

  10. Carol Turkington

    Very sad that Joey has left. I always looked forward to his 11pm show and now the only option is the news???? Terrible service and CJAD will probably lose more ratings. We need some laughter in our lives and all we get is talk,talk, talk!

  11. Lance Evoy

    Absolutely loved Joey and the show. Make it work for both management and Joey so we have him back on the air. He has brought laughter and joy that is so needed.
    Lance Evoy

    1. Fox

      I agree. It smells funny. He would always tell us at night that he would love to go an extra hour with us. And all of a sudden gone? I loved his honesty and openness, his knowledge of the comedy community and of the various TV sitcoms. Some of us go to sleep with comedy on the radio (to forget our rough working days) and don’t need the shock value of nightly news before going to bed. Shame on you Bell.

      1. Fagstein Post author

        He would always tell us at night that he would love to go an extra hour with us. And all of a sudden gone?

        One can like a show and enjoy doing it and still decide it’s time to move on to other things. He didn’t leave because he hated it, he left because it was taking up too much of his time.

  12. Ken

    I am disappointed but not surprised. Mother Bell controls and decides for us. One more reason that we left Bell. Good luck Joey. Hope you find a new home that values your contribution.m

  13. Anonymous

    Thank you Joey for all the laughs! We will miss your wonderful creative show. You won’t need luck in your future endeavours. You are a gift and shame on Bell Media.

  14. Paul Bigras

    I never found him funny. And his little show on CJAD was getting filthier and filthier. Do comediand ever grow up? If Joey Elias is an indication then the answer is no.

  15. Judi

    Why would I listen to CTV when I could watch it ? Stupid move. Been a listener since I’m 6 months old, obviously not much to listen to anymore….sad.

  16. Anonymous

    I miss the Comedy show and Joey It was part of my end if day ritual. Don’t need the news to bring me down. I would watch it if I wanted that!! Loved the comedy show because it was a happy way to end the day while listening to the radio. Won’t be turning on CJAD at night anymore. Too bad

  17. Anonymous

    You’ll be missed, Joey! Listened as often as I could – typically several times a week, usually on the long drive home from a gig. I will not be listening to CJAD in that time slot anymore. Boooo…


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