Tag Archives: Peter Anthony Holder

Global Montreal begins outsourcing weekend newscasts tonight

A plan to have local newscasts on Global Montreal anchored out of Toronto begins tonight, Shaw Media has confirmed.

The change means that we won’t see usual weekend anchor Peter Anthony Holder on the air tonight, but the company says the timing isn’t related to recent controversy surrounding him.


Holder was criticized by Bloc Québécois candidate Catherine Fournier for retweeting this tweet last week, and replying that he agreed and thought it was funny. That led to several news stories about it, and Holder deleted his tweets and apologized.

Shaw Media wouldn’t comment on Holder, and Holder himself did not respond to a request for comment (both he and the station have ignored or refused requests for comment since the beginning), but the rumour is that Holder won’t be returning to the station in any role, even as occasional fill-in anchor or reporter.

Despite being the main weekend news anchor, Holder was technically considered a freelancer, which means the company doesn’t have to justify firing him.

The outsourced newscasts, in which a Toronto anchor does local news for all markets except Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary, will be hosted by Kris Reyes, who had been part of the national Morning Show at 9am weekdays.

Shaw Media reiterates that this change is meant to “allow for more local news gathering in the field” and it’s an “innovative way to deliver quality programming with more local news to viewers.”

We’ll see.

The 11pm weeknight newscast is also being similarly outsourced (insourced? Whatever.) But that starts in early September. The original plan had been a one-hour newscast, but after Global picked up the rights to the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, that was shortened to 35 minutes to allow for simulcasting with CBS.


Noon newscast to start Aug. 27, hosted by Jamie Orchard

Another previously announced change, the addition of a half-hour noon newscast, has a start date. Global News at noon starts Aug. 27, and Jamie Orchard, who does the 6pm newscast (soon to become the 5:30pm newscast) will be the anchor.

Eventually, anyway. She’s on vacation for the first two weeks of the show, so Elysia Bryan-Baynes and Camille Ross will share anchor duties for those weeks. (After that, Bryan-Baynes returns to 11pm for just two nights. Her last late newscast is Sept. 4.)

New hires

  • Kelly Greig, the former Sportsnet Central Montreal reporter recently hired as a videojournalist at Global, is joining the morning show. She starts on Monday. A news reporter is something the morning show really needs, especially since the launch of Breakfast Television on City, which has had a live in-the-field reporter since the beginning.
  • Brian Daly, a former CTV Montreal staffer who joined QMI Agency and the Sun News Network until that went belly-up, has been hired as the new lineup editor, and will help in the production of the noon newscast. He started Aug. 4.


“A credible delivery system”

It’s never not awkward selling yourself. It feels so vain, so self-important. And at times it can feel like you’re kidding yourself, giving yourself too much credit for minor accomplishments.

I take the humble route. When people praise me and my blog, I pretend they’re exaggerating. (But deep down we all know this is the greatest blog to have ever graced the Internet. Right?)

Anyway, I stumbled upon a YouTube channel in which some local radio people are selling themselves like they’re on an awkward video dating service. I don’t want to make them feel too embarrassed about it, but it’s too funny not to post:

Sharman Yarnell

Peter Anthony Holder

Andrew Peplowski (see him in action selling a USB drive)

The videos were done by KEMEdia, a West Island video production house run by Mike Reid, who judging from the website is trapped in the late 1990s.

(Note to KEMEdia: If you’re selling people as voice-over talent and yourself as a video production house, maybe don’t have their pitch videos done in the echo chamber of doom.)

Podcast Plan B: The Stuph File with Peter Anthony Holder

Podcast Plan B is a blog series about four Montreal radio personalities that have begun independent podcasts over the past few months. It’s an expansion of a Gazette article I wrote on the topic, explained here.

  • Name: Peter Anthony Holder
  • Radio job: Former host of Holder Tonight on CJAD 800AM in Montreal, simulcast on CFRB 1010AM in Toronto
  • Podcast: The Stuph File
  • Podcast URLhttp://www.thestuphfile.com
  • Length: About 56 minutes
  • Format: MP3
  • Frequency: Weekly (airs and is released online on Mondays)
  • Subject: Interviews, segments with regular guests, and strange news stories (“anything but politics,” he explains)

Peter Anthony Holder

You could call Peter Anthony Holder a pioneer. That is, if he’s successful.

On Aug. 5, Holder got the news, along with many others, that he was being let go from CJAD Radio. The overnight show Holder Tonight, which he hosted since 1990, had aired its last show the night before, and he didn’t even know it at the time. He had to cancel the coming night’s guest and go home.

As fans expressed outrage at CJAD’s decision to let him go in whatever medium they could find to do so, Holder kept quiet. He had planned to go on vacation anyway, he explained on his blog a month later, so he just went ahead and did that, contemplating what he would do now.

He also defended CJAD’s decision to fire people without giving them a chance to say goodbye to their listeners:

People who do live radio do not and should not get a chance to say goodbye. With 50,000 watts of raw power on two radio stations beaming across all of eastern Canada, into three Border States and beyond, no broadcast outlet in their right mind would give a talk show host who is about to be shown the door a chance to vent their spleen. That would be tantamount to being let go from a major corporation in a major metropolitan area and right after they escort you to the curb of their shiny high rise at high noon, they hand you a bull horn.

It seems incredible that someone who has had the same job for two decades – and in radio for most of his adult life (you can see his complete resume on his website) – would be so understanding about his own termination, but Holder points out that, in commercial radio, you’re hired to be fired. The station looked at numbers being pumped out by these new electronic devices that people wear, and they were telling managers that Holder’s show wasn’t attracting enough to make him profitable anymore.

As you can imagine, Holder disagreed with that assessment. He knew there was a business model that could make the show work. But now it was up to him to figure it out.

Besides, he kept reading those strange news stories, and he needed an outlet to talk about them.

“The best part of my job was finding a bunch of weird and wacky people,” Holder said. “After leaving CJAD, it was ‘Oh, I have no reason to call somebody.'”

Holder said the idea of a podcast had been swimming around the back of his head for a while. “CJAD at any time can take away my airtime. They really can’t take away my show. I said that at a time when there wasn’t an outlet.”

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Podcast Plan B: Montreal radio personalities try going solo

It’s been a while since my byline was in the paper (as my mom keeps reminding me). My day … err, night job as a copy editor keeps me busy enough, so I haven’t had any need or much time to indulge in freelance writing. But I knew at some point a story would cross my desk RSS reader that was too interesting not to write.

It started with Peter Anthony Holder, who was fired from his job as overnight host at CJAD in August, a job he had for 20 years. A month later, partly at the suggestion of local marketing guru Mitch Joel, Holder began a weekly podcast talking about the same stuff as he did on his radio show.

Then, in October, other podcasts came on the local radar. Mitch Melnick (CKGM The Team 990) began Melnick Underground. Kelly Alexander (CJFM Virgin Radio 96) started up The Kelly Alexander Show, and David Tyler (formerly of CFQR the Q 92.5) began David Tyler Unleashed. All this in a month.

The formats were different, lengths were different, and circumstances were different (two were by fired radio personalities, but two are still on the air). One thing they all had in common was that they’re being independently produced. Astral Media, Corus Entertainment, CTVglobemedia, they have nothing to do with the financing or production of these shows. And the hosts are happy with that, because it offers them something they can’t get on local commercial radio: full editorial independence.

In Monday’s Your Business section today, I write a short piece (well, it’s long by newspaper article standards, but way shorter than I had material to write for) about three of these entrepreneurs and their podcasts, none of which is at the point where it’s making any serious money yet. It’s illustrated with a Dave Sidaway photo of Kelly Alexander in her home studio. (It was also posted to VancouverSun.com)

Because I had so much material (I spent an hour each on the phone with Holder and Tyler, an hour in person with Melnick, and had an email exchange with Alexander), I’m complementing the article with a series on this blog, one a day for the next four days.

In this series:

Peter Anthony Holder starts podcast

Peter Anthony Holder is a clairvoyant, predicting in 1987 that these new cellular telephones would be all the rage, though suggesting that using them doesn’t increase the risks of accidents because people drive slower when they’re using them.

A little more than a month after he was unceremoniously canned as the overnight host on CJAD radio, Peter Anthony Holder has struck out on his own, starting a weekly podcast that can be downloaded from his website.

The inaugural edition, released Tuesday, runs just under an hour and features weird news, emails from listeners, and interviews. Familiar fare for those who listened to him.

The podcast was the idea of Mitch Joel, the new media marketing guy. He published a blog post suggesting that Holder and other former radio hosts start their own podcasts to keep their names (and voices) out there. (I was a bit skeptical about that advice, which sounds a lot like people should just work for free when they’re fired from their paid jobs.) Holder took Joel up on the idea and Joel became the first guest on Holder’s podcast.

You can listen to the first podcast here (MP3). Unfortunately, there’s no podcast feed setup yet (Holder’s website long predates content management systems and is flat HTML), but hopefully he’ll set one up soon so people can subscribe.

Holder went dark when news of his dismissal broke, giving terse responses to questions and refusing to comment further. Eventually he opened up to The Gazette’s Kathryn Greenaway and published a post on his blog about it, saying that he had vacation planned and was going to take it easy for a while before deciding on his next move.

(via Radio in Montreal)

CJAD cancels three shows, fires eight

If you notice some of your favourite shows have suddenly disappeared from CJAD’s schedule, it’s because they’ve been cancelled.

Montreal’s news/talk station has canned four of its shows:

In all, The Gazette reports, eight on-air personalities are leaving the station:

  • Peter Anthony Holder, overnight host
  • Laurie MacDonald, Laurie & Olga host
  • Olga Gazdovic, Laurie & Olga host
  • Kevin Holden, Kevin & Trudie host
  • Al Gravelle, Solid Gold Saturdays host
  • Jake Lawrence, Solid Gold Sunday Nights host
  • Kathryn Coulombe, news anchor
  • Rod Dewar, editorialist

Trudie Mason will remain with the station, expanding her morning news role.

Holder was the latest to get the news… yesterday. He received so little notice that he had to cancel a booked guest. Holder confirmed he’s been fired but wouldn’t comment further (UPDATE: See below). Laurie MacDonald told The Gazette they were told to give in their pass keys as soon as they were told they were fired.

As for what’s taking their places:

  • Dan Laxer will be taking the Kevin and Trudie spot from 2-4 weekdays
  • Laxer’s weekday evening slot is taken over by a syndicated show, The Ryan Doyle Show, from CFRB
  • Ray Scott takes over Solid Gold Sundays from Jake Lawrence
  • Former CBC host Anne Lagacé-Dowson takes over (on an interim basis) the spot left by Laurie & Olga at 1-4 Saturdays
  • Saturday evenings will have “weekend” versions of weekday shows

Bendixen says other announcements will be forthcoming “in the next couple weeks.” Operations Manager Bob Harris told The Gazette that negotiations are ongoing.

Sports reporter Rob Martier has also left CJAD to move back to Chicago, though that move was for personal reasons and is unrelated to the shakeup.

More coverage:

UPDATE (Aug. 11): Holder talks to The Gazette’s Kathryn Greenaway, saying “they can only fire you, they can’t kill you.” Holder’s fans are making themselves heard loud and clear, starting up a Facebook group, Facebook cause and commenting en masse on his Facebook wall. The Gazette piece resulted in lots of feedback from readers.

And The Mirror points us to “Why CJAD sucks“, published exactly 10 years ago this week.

Meanwhile, Kim Fraser, who survived the cuts, responds to criticism of her on the Radio in Montreal group.