Toronto Talk Radio Follies

Toronto talk radio station’s new management style raises eyebrows, and listeners’ hackles 

In the Toronto talk radio market the 2 major players were 640 and 1010. 640 with John Oakley, and their Leaf’s lineup, was the traditional front runner (John Oakley owns mornings in Toronto). 1010 was making steady in roads into their audience.
One of 1010’s most popular hosts was late night ‘conspiracy show’ host Richard Syrett. He did a show that many listeners considered vastly superior to Coast To Coast AM. As a matter of fact most of CTC’s audience would listen to Syrett, before switching over to 640 and George Noory. That’s what makes Syrett’s recent sacking so astonishing.
Syrett was unceremoniously dumped from his 10 PM 4 hour spot a week or so ago. His many fans were outraged. So much so that 1010 had to lock down comments on their facebook groups – though they gave a shifty sounding story about it being due to an unrelated troll problem. They offered no real explanation as to why RS left, except ‘best of luck and happy landings‘. Now this has casual observers of the TO radio scene shaking their heads. Syrett was a star performer and arguably their most listened to host. In fact it reached the point where some of his audience would call into to other 1010 programs. John Moore for one didn’t welcome the tinfoil hat perspective. So you have to wonder whether some kind of internal staff friction – politics lead to Syrett’s dismissal.
Now Moore is a strong personality on CFRB. He also has some pretty strong connections in ent journalism. However audience response is kind of mixed. Moore can come off as a know it all, and occasionally (by ‘occasionally’ I mean occasionally during each program) likes to slam down the phone on difficult callers, while continuing to rant on at them. “There, you don’t have an answer for that you stupid prick! That’s because my finger is on the cut off button!” Histrionics and hang ups are the traditional talk radio hot line drama. Besides it worked well for John Cleese in Fawlty Towers. Still that divides the audience into love em or hate em
Now I’m not accusing anyone in particular of having an ax to grind with Syrett. However it wouldn’t completely surprise me if some kind of office clique had formed among employees, one which might not have been supportive of a star player’s continued employment. Still that’s no excuse for a boned headed move on the part of upper management. For instance if 1010 rival 640 decided to pick Syrett up, then they would corner the market from 10 PM, though CTC, right on till after Oakley. NBC created a programing hegemony on less guaranteed audience than that! With their Bill Waters’ Leaf’s Line Up they would basically have 3/4ths of the news talk listeners. That would leave Jim Richards, the Bald Guys, and to some extent John Moore to carry 1010 AM. Bill Carroll is an excellent morning man, but honestly  -who’s gonna listen to him when Oakley’s on??
If I were in 640 upper management I know what I’d be thinking right now – get Syrett on the phone! The question is WTF is 1010 thinking. Sacking Syrett makes it look as if 1010 is now being managed by the Maple Leafs! One can only wonder what their next master stroke of executive decision making might be – a big fat raise for The Mott’s??

CONTACT: Patrick Whyte

Conspiracy Culture

Administrator of Fans of The Richard Syrett Show (Facebook)

1696 Queen Street West

416.916.1696 patrick @ conspiracyculture.com

CONTACT

NewsTalk 1010

CFRB Program Director

Steve Kowch

416.924.5711

steve.kowch@cfrb.com

ASTRAL MEDIA

Alain Bergeron

Vice-President, Brand Management and Corporate Communications

Astral Media inc.

2100 blvd. Sainte-Catherine West 10th

Floor Montréal (Québec)

H3H 2T3 Tel.: (514) 939-5000


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