Tag Archives: Natasha-Aimée-Hall

CFQR announcement a whole lot of nothing

Q92 logo

It was billed as a big announcement. Huge. Multiple full-page ads in the paper, lots of announcements on the radio. Everything was going to change at Montreal’s Q92 at 8:45am this morning.

And nothing did. Which makes me kind of cranky because I’m not used to waking up before noon and I’m low on sleep for nothing.

But with parent company Corus Entertainment seeing a 30% drop in profits from its radio division (pdf), it’s clear some management types decided major changes were in order.

Here’s what is changing:

  • The name and logo. They’ve added the indefinite article “the” before the Q. This gives them a new, edgy and unique name (if you don’t count that station in Victoria)
  • The website. From Q92fm.com to 925theq.com, which seems more complicated to me, but I’m not an online marketing expert.
  • The on-air talent. Despite some rumours, the morning team remains the same, but some of the afternoon and weekend people are leaving. Details below.
  • The programming (maybe).They’re promising “more music” as if it’s somehow possible to cram more songs into an hour and still have advertising, traffic and weather. They also say they’ll have more variety, but having listened for a few hours I haven’t heard a single song that screams variety to me.
  • The jingles. Still in the same style, but with a new annoying catchphrase.

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Natasha the angel of death

Natasha Aimée Hall: Note the evil eyes, which I totally didn't just Photoshop in there

Natasha Aimée Hall: Note the evil eyes, which I totally didn't just Photoshop in there

If you run a media company in Montreal, you should probably keep your eye out for Natasha Aimée Hall, alias Natasha Hall. Hire her, and you’re in danger of bankruptcy.

In December, she was hired at 940 News as the winner of its Talk Show Idol contest. Six months later, the station was losing so much money that it had to switch formats and shut down its news division.

It wasn’t long before she got a new job, joining CTV Montreal’s weekend show Entertainment Spotlight. But a few months later, that show too is being cancelled.

Now, she’s been hired at Q92 as a Sunday evening show host.

We’ll see how long it is before Q92 goes under and she seeks out another victim…

Natasha has a new job

Natasha Aimée Hall, who won 940 News’s Talk Show Idol and was hosting a show on Sundays until the station as a whole went under, is now working for CTV, co-hosting its Entertainment Spotlight program with perennial Mirror Tackiest Personality winner Mosé Persico.

I’ll let her explain the rest:

I shot my first show last Thursday and it will air this Sunday, June 29 at 6:30. Here’s hoping I didn’t do anything really weird on camera! I can only hope because shooting was a total blur. Doing it all again this Friday.

I’ll be doing jazz fest blogging again for the Gazoo (can’t believe that starts on Thursday!) and I’m still waiting to find out what the future holds for me at Corus Quebec.

Natasha blogged the Jazz Fest as a freelancer for the Gazette last year.

940 News announces new lineup

Via MediainMontreal, 940 News has announced some significant changes to its weekly schedule in the new year, the most significant of which will see Aphrodite Salas split with Dennis Trudeau and move to an early afternoon slot. The full schedule is already online.

  • Aphrodite SalasAphrodite Salas moves from the morning show to early afternoon, going solo for The Aphrodite Salas Show, weekdays 12:30pm-2pm starting Jan. 7. The show will have “roundtables on important issues, great regular contributors and celebrity profiles.” The show mainly replaces Dave Ramsey’s afternoon slot (see below).
  • Dennis TrudeauDennis Trudeau goes solo for The Dennis Trudeau Show, which will end a half-hour earlier at 9:30am, starting Jan. 3 (the weekend edition clip show will still air 7am-10am Saturdays). He’ll have a “supporting cast” of Michael Dean (news), Shaun McMahon (sports) and regular contributors including:
    • Lou Schizas (Business News Network has-been) at 6:21 and 8:21 weekdays
    • Dr. Mitch Shulman (emergency room physician) at 6:51 weekdays
    • Guy Thibodeau (does anyone else report on ski conditions in this town?) at 7:25 and 8:55 weekdays
    • Jacques Demers (hockey has-been) at 7:35 weekdays
    • Jean Lapierre (federal Liberal has-been) at 7:41 Tuesdays
    • John Gomery (judicial has-been) at 7:41 Fridays
    • Brian Burko (advertising has-been now doing movie reviews) at 7:51 Tuesdays and Fridays
    • Orla Johannes (“Entertainment Reporter” — look at her website to see which “talents” she thinks are important) at 7:51 Mon-Wed-Fri
  • Joe Cannon‘s show shifts a half-hour earlier, from 9:30am-12:30pm weekdays starting Jan. 3.
  • The Dave Ramsey Show (syndicated) loses its 1pm-2pm weekday shot to Salas. It will continue to air 8pm-10pm weekdays.
  • Chick Chat, an American syndicated talk show about women’s issues, gets dropped from the lineup where it aired 10pm-midnight weekdays. It will be replaced with American syndicated talk show Coast to Coast with George Noory, which will add two hours to the beginning of its overnight timeslot.
  • Orla Johannes starts “Table Talk with Orla”, which will air noon-1pm on Saturdays, replacing alternative medicine show “Wellness within with Gigi Cohen.” Her “Saturday Night Soul” program is unchanged.
  • The syndicated Dr. Art Hister health show, 1pm-2pm Saturdays, replaces “VIP Business.”
  • Former city councillor Jeremy Searle hosts “Searle’s Montreal,” bringing his YouTube-ial outspokenness on municipal issues to a much more public forum, Saturdays 5pm-6pm. He replaces “Get Connected with Mike Agerbo,” a syndicated technology program.
  • Natasha wins!Natasha Hall launches her new Talk Show Idol-winning program (generically called “What’s Up Montreal”) on Jan. 6. It will air Sundays, noon-1pm, and “focus on unique events and personalities in this city.”
  • Zack Spencer of Global TV’s boring driving show hosts a syndicated driving issues show, 1pm-2pm Sundays.

940 popularity contest surprisingly produces talent

Natasha wins!Though there’s no press release to link to, Natasha Aimée Hall, who some of you will recognize as a fellow Gazette freelancer, has won the 940 News Talk Show Idol contest.

Aside from her unbeatable Stratford-based charm, credit for the win goes to her Facebook fan base, who stuffed ballots more than a 12-year-old girl stuffs her bra. She beat out 23 other finalists for the win.

Now Hall will get her own show on 940 News, and dozens of Montrealers will be able to hear her voice on a weekly basis.

Congrats, Natasha.

Newspapers still need to learn how to use blogs

The Gazette today launched a Jazz Festival blog called “Offbeat” (better than “beatoff” I guess) written by saxophonist Adam Kinner and freelance writer Natasha Aimée Hall.

The blog reads like a diary, which got me thinking about mainstream media outlets and their use of these curious creatures they still don’t quite understand. Some blogs make sense, like The Gazette’s wildly successful and very high-quality Habs Inside/Out blog, which gives the paper’s experienced hockey writers a place where they can share late-breaking behind-the-scenes rumours and other news directly with a niche audience.

Others, however, read more like personal blogs which catalog the hourly events of its authors but doesn’t provide anything interesting to anyone outside the immediate family of the blogger.

It’s not the fault of the bloggers, most of whom (including Hall) are very talented writers. The problem is a lack of direction from the media outlets that create them. They give them this platform, tell them to “go and blog” and don’t give them much else to work with. The bloggers are left with nothing else to write about than their own personal stories, as mundane as they may be.

Blogs by beat writers is one thing. It’s pretty clear what the blog is going to be about. But for anything beyond that, the media have to answer the question “what information would I go to this blog to learn?”

If the answer is “what someone did for a couple of weeks”, then I think it needs some rethinking.