Tag Archives: Nat Lauzon

Nat Lauzon on her ears, her job, her love of dogs and random other stuff

Nat Lauzon in The Beat’s studio

In the decade or so I’ve been writing about local media, I’ve met most of the people in local TV and radio, at least in passing. But until December, Nat Lauzon wasn’t one of those people. She has worked weekends since 2011, so that has a lot to do with it. In fact, the only photo I had of her was this one taken of her while she was on the Virgin float at the St. Patrick’s Parade in 2011.

Nat Lauzon in 2011.

Nevertheless, I’ve wanted to write about her for a bit, because of the ironic situation she faces, being a person who deals with audio for a living but is losing her hearing.

It didn’t take long to convince my newspaper that this was a good story, and the result is this article that appears in Thursday’s paper. It focuses almost exclusively on an area in Lauzon’s head that’s smaller than a grape (or, well, two grapes since there’s one on each side), but since I had the chance to sit down with her, we talked about a bunch of other stuff, too.

Continue reading

Nat Lauzon back on the air with The Beat

Nat Lauzon, the former daytime DJ at Mix 96/Virgin Radio until she left to join what was then called the Q, began her first shift as the weekend afternoon host Saturday on CKBE, 92.5 The Beat.

The first day of one of Montreal’s biggest (and yet perhaps most underrated) radio personalities was remarkably low-key. Her first words on air, just after noon, sounded like thisAnother few words at 12:37pm, but otherwise it was all about the music, following The Beat’s 10-in-a-row-to-start-each-hour thing.

Off air, she announced the new job this morning on her Twitter account and her Facebook page, and got a congratulatory tweet from fellow-Virgin-to-Beat-turncoat Cat Spencer, along with a bunch of messages from fans (some only finding out now that she’s switching stations).

Part of the low-keyness was necessary, Beat General Manager Mark Dickie said this week, because Lauzon’s contractual obligations to Astral expired only at midnight, exactly three months after her last day at Virgin (that’s why she’s only starting now when the “new station” launched more than a month ago). So the station couldn’t put her on air or do much to advertise her before today. Even the web page for her show isn’t done yet.

Dickie promised he won’t let her go unnoticed though, and said a marketing campaign featuring Lauzon will begin on Monday. Combined with the one-woman Lauzon marketing machine that is her mother, we expect people will be seeing that adorable face around over the next little while.

As previously reported, Lauzon left Virgin on good terms, mainly because she wanted to devote more time to her other passions, her freelance voice-over work and her Montreal Dog Blog. Dickie jumped at the chance to hire Lauzon when he learned of her desire for a part-time job, and though he said he’s spending far more on her than he planned to for a weekend DJ, he has absolutely no regrets about doing so.

Let her talk

UPDATE: I listened to Lauzon’s first show as I did errands on Saturday afternoon (why oh why did I choose then to do grocery shopping?), and I was struck with one thought: Why am I not hearing her talk?

I know there’s a difference between talk and music radio. And I know there’s a lot less talking during the day than during morning shows when you need to throw in news, weather, traffic and contests. But Lauzon’s on-air bits were short and infrequent. Maybe a minute and a half each hour.

I’m hardly one to complain that there’s too much music. But why spend money hiring someone like Lauzon for such little on-air exposure? I just don’t get it. (Now I do, see below.)

I’m reminded of the experiment that this same station did with Terry DiMonte in 2008, not long after he moved to Calgary. DiMonte went to work for a Corus station, Q107, and since Corus also owned Q92 at the time, they figured they’d make use of his following in this city and give him a noon-hour show here that he’d do from there.

It made sense, but it was stopped after less than a year for the simple reason that Q92 was paying DiMonte a lot of money to talk for just six minutes a day. His connection to the Montreal audience is important, but if you’re going to hire him, have him actually work instead of just sitting around during non-stop music marathons.

Lauzon has far too much talent for the amount of airtime she has, if that first show is any indication. Hopefully The Beat can find a formula for it that allows Montrealers to hear her voice and appreciate her quirky sense of humour without making it feel like talk radio. Even just a few seconds between every couple of songs can go a long way toward making the audience feel like they’re listening to the music with someone.

UPDATE (Oct. 17): Lauzon responds to me thusly about her talk time: “[It] was my choice to keep it simple. Getting used to new software/equipment and I really wanted to just keep ‘er on the rails and keep it simple while I get my bearings. Things will widen up over time (that’s what she said).”

That’s good to hear. We need more time for crude jokes like that on weekend afternoons.

Dickie confirms Lauzon will get more airtime, saying we should expect to hear her voice on The Beat as much every hour as we heard her on CJFM.

I personally think there could have been a stronger first impression, maybe a better introduction on her first show, but having a soft launch instead of a hard one isn’t going to discourage people from listening to her.

Lauzon has posted on her blog about her new job, and is asking listeners to take pictures of themselves next to billboards of her that are going up, and email those pictures to her.

Nat Lauzon hosts Feel Good Weekends from noon to 5pm Saturdays and Sundays on CKBE 92.5FM The Beat.

Nat Lauzon jumps to the Q

Nat Lauzon is too cool for weekdays

It won’t get the same attention as Terry DiMonte, but another veteran Montreal radio personality is on the move. Nat Lauzon, who has been at CJFM since 1999 (though it seems like forever) is moving to CFQR to take over a weekend gig there.

She’ll be doing the noon to 5 p.m. shift starting in October. She remains at Virgin Radio until then, where she does the weekday late morning show that is No. 1 in its timeslot with a 38% commercial market share, far ahead of its competitors.

So why leave a No. 1 weekday show at the No. 1 station to do a weekend shift?

Lauzon says she’s heading in “a new direction” and wants to focus on her other two passions – her freelance voice-over work and her Montreal Dog Blog (she’s got a thing for the puppies).

As for why this new schedule requires switching stations, well, she won’t comment. So let’s speculate irresponsibly. I’m thinking she just can’t bear to be at a station that doesn’t have Cat Spencer.

Meanwhile, Astral has posted her former job, weekdays 9am to 1pm. Minimum three years experience.

UPDATE (July 25): Virgin has hired Andrea Collins of 99.9 BOB FM in Winnipeg (a Bell Media station), to replace Lauzon in the 9am to 1pm slot. She starts Aug. 15.

Lauzon has written a blog post about her departure, in which she states that “my departure is all on good terms”.

NDG Monitor is back

The NDG Monitor, which peeved a lot of residents when owner Transcontinental changed its name to the West End Chronicle in 2001 (and thereby turning it into the West Island Chronicle’s little brother), is being reborn as The Monitor, serving the same west end community of NDG, Cote-St-Luc, Hampstead, Montreal West and neighbouring areas.

Editor Toula Foscolos says the current staff will remain, including their entire reporting staff (all one of him), and all their columnists (both of them). The huge editorial staff will even be enhanced with the addition of Nat Lauzon, who will have a bi-weekly column.

The paper has also moved to a new domain: themonitor.ca.