Because it’s owned by Canada’s largest media company, and now Canada’s largest radio broadcaster, it’s hard to argue that TSN Radio 690 is a mom and pop shop.
And yet, just about everything about this station screams “underdog.” It has the lowest ratings of the five commercial English-language stations in Montreal. It puts out a lot of original programming on a small budget. And twice in the past year and a half, it has faced annihilation because its parent company made it clear that it valued each of the three Astral stations more than it did this one.
This underdog feeling was certainly present Thursday night at Hurley’s Irish Pub, as Mitch Melnick and other personalities from the station invited fans to help them celebrate the recent CRTC decision that not only allows it to maintain its format but guarantees it for at least seven years.
There are still changes to come. Melnick pointed out that the plan is to eventually move the station from its current home on Greene Ave. in Westmount to the Astral Media radio (now Bell Media radio) building at Papineau Ave. and René-Lévesque Blvd. There’s also the looming threat of layoffs as the consolidation of resources creates redundancy in staff. (The hammer has already fallen at Bell Media stations elsewhere in the country.) But, while it may not have been a raucous affair, there were a lot of thank-yous given out on this night.
It’s not just me who’s been talking to English-language broadcasters in Montreal. Italian community magazine Panoram Italia has been profiling members of its community who have jobs in the media in Montreal. The magazine’s December/January issue is devoted to it, with CBC’s Sabrina Marandola and CJAD/CTV’s Laura Casella on the cover.
Going through the list, you can see how prolific they are here. Morning show hosts, weather presenters, journalists. Good thing they come in peace (and pizza).
- Sabrina Marandola (CBC) and Laura Casella (CJAD/CTV)
- Natasha Gargiulo and Freeway Frank Depalo (Virgin Radio) (Gargiulo was also profiled in 2011)
- Cousin Vinny Barrucco (The Beat)
- Frank Cavallaro (CBC)
- Rick Campanelli (Global’s ET Canada)
- Terry DiMonte (CHOM)
- Tony Marinaro (TSN 690)
- Mose Persico (CTV)
- Davide Gentile (Radio-Canada)
- Franco Nuovo (Radio-Canada)
- Marianna Simeone