Tag Archives: PJ Stock

CHOM drops PJ Stock, Merv Williams from morning show

It's just Chantal and Bad Pete now

Apparently unhappy at being the only anglo music radio station to not make major changes to its morning show, CHOM has decided to drop PJ Stock, the former hockey player and Hockey Night in Canada analyst who joined the station a little over a year ago.

Also being scrubbed from CHOM’s website is Merv Williams, a supporting cast member on the morning show, but one whose presence had been felt more and more. Williams also contributed to CJAD’s Trivia Show, and that too has come to an end. (Unlike CHOM, which seems to be pretending like he never existed, the Trivia Show made it a point to note Williams’s departure on air, as you can hear from this clip (MP3).)

The reasons for the move aren’t known. Williams politely declined to comment, Stock couldn’t be reached for comment, and Program Director Daniel Tremblay hasn’t responded to an email sent over the weekend (I’ll update this if he does, but I’m not holding my breath).

UPDATE (March 15): The decision to can Stock hasn’t exactly caused a lot of commotion. No newspaper articles, no Facebook protest campaigns. The fact that Stock would join the crew only after 7pm, and often not at all because of commitments to Hockey Night in Canada and others, meant he was more of a part-timer on the morning crew than anything else. A lot of people, of course, just didn’t like the guy, and thought he was a poor choice for a radio host (the man he replaced, Ted Bird, isn’t among them – Bird suggested Stock be invited to be part of the show even before he resigned from it).

But the disappearance of Williams is being felt, despite not being a marquee name. Aside from the on-air tribute on the Trivia Show above, Williams also got a public shout-out from Bird on Twitter and Facebook, the latter prompting dozens of comments.

PJ’s first days at CHOM

From left: Chantal Desjardins, Pete Marier and PJ Stock, the morning crew at CHOM

There are a lot of people on the Internet who don’t like PJ Stock. The former NHL player (who had twice as many penalty minutes as games played) has jumped into media in his retirement, as an analyst with Hockey Night in Canada and until recently a show host at the Team 990. He has been criticized for everything from being clueless about hockey to having a tenuous grasp of the rules of English grammar (not that I agree with these criticisms).

On Wednesday, two days after his contract expired at the Team 990, Stock officially joined the morning team at CHOM-FM, effectively replacing the departing Ted Bird.

It’s odd that PJ is considered a full member of the team because he’s only present half the time. The deal is he comes in from 7 to 9 Mondays to Thursdays (Desjardins and Marier do the full show from 5:30 to 9 Mondays to Fridays). And even when he’s present, it’s mostly Marier doing the talking. Desjardins reads the news and Stock reads sports (Abe Hefter is still reading sports news while Stock isn’t present).

Aside from the peanut-gallery comments that are common throughout the show, Stock’s actual talk time is about 10 minutes a day. This includes “Stock Options” (the latest bad pun on his name), a sports commentary segment at 7:20am. (Day 1, Stock criticized the Canadiens for being overhyped – hardly a unique idea. On Day 2, he criticized the media for not being more hostile to Tiger Woods’s wife for allegedly attacking him with a golf club – something even Marier wasn’t comfortable endorsing.)

Rather than try to summarize it all, I’ll let you listen to compilations of his sports reports and banter from his first two days:

Day 2 includes his first major blooper, when he couldn’t figure out how to turn on his microphone.

Stock the jock

It’s clear from his first days on CHOM that Stock is the sports guy. If you don’t like sports, and you don’t like how much time is spent on the radio talking about sports and the Canadiens in particular (there are people who listen to CHOM who don’t like sports, believe it or not), then you’re not going to like PJ Stock.

Hell, even if you’re a die-hard Canadiens fan, you might not like Stock. He calls it “Pete Marier’s favourite team” and doesn’t seem to share his city’s blind support for the bleu-blanc-rouge.

Otherwise, Stock is comfortable on the radio. He’s not awkward, he doesn’t slur his speech or say “umm” a lot. He’s not a radio professional by any means but he fits in well.

I don’t know how long this weird schedule can last though. It’s understandable that Stock wouldn’t want to get up at 4am the morning after a Habs game, and that travel to and from Toronto might make him unavailable on Fridays, but this just highlights the fact that to Stock, Hockey Night in Canada comes first and his job at CHOM comes second.

I have a feeling that, eventually, he’s going to have to choose between the two.

PJ Stock joins CHOM morning show

PJ Stock

James Mennie has the story for The Gazette that P.J. Stock, formerly of the Team 990 and best known as a Hockey Night in Canada analyst, is going to be a morning man at CHOM.

Kind of.

The first news about Stock going to CHOM came from Pat Hickey back in December, when Stock left The Team 990 because of what was apparently more work and travel than he could handle (he left his regular TV segment on the CBMT newscast for the same reason). Back then, the idea was to do a five-minute phone-in once a day.

But the departure of Ted Bird changed that. So instead, Stock tells Mennie, he’ll be on for two hours a day (7am to 9am) Monday to Thursday.

The irony is that Bird was instrumental in getting Stock onto CHOM in the first place, convincing both sides that it was a good idea. Obviously, it wasn’t supposed to be as a replacement.

Still, Bird was gracious in an email to me about Stock joining his former morning team:

To his credit, PJ called me this past weekend to make sure that I was through at CHOM and that he wasn’t undermining me in any way.  He’s a class act and a decent and funny guy, and he’ll do well as long as they let him be himself and don’t try to recreate him as something he’s not, which is what programmers who’ve never sat in the chair and don’t understand or appreciate the craft have a habit of doing.

The big question is what CHOM is going to do with Stock. Is he going to talk about hockey or music? I’ve heard a couple of people complain that CHOM already talks too much about the game, and this certainly won’t change that. Will he join in the usual cliché morning show banter? Will it be “Chantal, Bad Pete and PJ”? Or will he be more of a supporting cast member and less of a star?

What is clear is that if Stock has two hours four mornings a week to sit in a studio on Fort St. while rock music is playing, then he would have had more than enough time for hockey analysis at CKGM 990 on Greene Ave. So it’s not just a question of having too much work.

I couldn’t reach Stock for comment, so you’ll just have to fill in the blanks there with your imagination.

Mennie says Stock’s first shift will be Feb. 1. Stock repeated that on the CHOM morning show the next day, but Pete Marier kept saying Feb. 2. Feb. 1, notably, is the day after Stock’s contract at CKGM expires. UPDATE: Astral’s press release, which I assume to be a definitive word on the subject, says Stock begins Feb. 3.

UPDATE: Listen to Stock’s phone-in on Thursday’s CHOM morning show (MP3). Stock will take over the CHOM “sports department”, which sounds like it will still be Chantal and Bad Pete but that Stock will do the morning sports news currently being done by CJAD’s Abe Hefter.

PJ Stock too cool for Montreal

PJ Stock

P.J. Stock, a former journeyman NHL player turned hockey analyst, has come to the realization over the past few months that he was stretching himself a little too thin. His main gig at Hockey Night in Canada involved a lot of travelling between Toronto and Montreal on weekends.

Though he contributed regularly for CBMT’s evening newscast, he cut that weeks ago (CBC says it’s looking for a replacement). Last week, he said goodbye to an afternoon radio show on the Team 990. He’ll be replaced there by Randy Tieman of CFCF.

Stock says he wants to spend more time with his family. And admiring himself in the mirror.