There ain’t no cure for the summertime blues? 

Good day from Delta Ontario. We are starting our 7 day stay at a lovely cottage on Lower Beverly Lake. We’ve already seen turtles and Blue Herons and Blue Jays and hummingbirds. I think it’s going to be a nice week. It’s hard to think about summer being more than half over already. For some of us, it’s been too rainy, others, too hot and for BC, the wildfires have been a nightmare. I love this time of year regardless of the weather.  Anywhere between 20 and 30 Celsius. I’m good. And I’ve been using 50 SPF. 

A few things to catch up on this week.

Doug Anderson


The news that Doug Anderson had passed away on July 24 was very difficult to hear. His normally big and warm and generous heart failed. Cardiac arrest I believe they call it. Damn.

For decades, Doug was part of the CKBY family. Well before Rogers took over. I met him in 1999 when I moved to Ottawa. Having worked with many radio veterans, I immediately connected with Doug. We could relate to a lot in the business. He knew his stuff. Even though his decades of history was with CKBY, he only worked on CIWW (then Oldies 1310) and CJET (Country 92 & Jack 92.3) during my time with him, everyone you spoke with, knew of his legacy at the Country station.

Doug was easy to know. He was a friendly, well mannered man. He had great instincts and a great sense of humour. He mentored many young broadcasters and managed many great talents. He was able to roll with the changes in a publicly traded company.

He didn’t worry about things out of his control. All he did was rely on his experience, ability and knowledge to get by. He never let things get him emotionally out of sorts. One of my best memories of Doug was when he asked me if I’d voice track Oldies 1310 during some vacations. Honestly, I was thrilled. It did not hurt the ego that a guy like Doug thought I would be a good fit on one of his stations. He would always let me know that he thought I sounded great and that he appreciated me doing the shifts. I always thanked him for the chance. I was happy for Doug when he retired in 2012. And was thrilled that he did some travelling to the Far East. If Doug had a plan for retirement, I think it was to be a caterer. He was great cook and would often bring goodies to the station. He’d go on to make a little money with his skill too.

I believe he would have turned 65 last weekend. Far too young.

Godspeed old chum. Condolences to Lenore and Ryan.

Super Bowl Commercials.

I mentioned last week that I would comment on this complicated and misunderstood Super Bowl controversy. Although, I’m convinced it’s only a handful of us that even know or care about it. For those on the outside, the story is as follows.

The CRTC made a decision over 2 years ago to disallow the simultaneous substitution of the commercials in the Super Bowl broadcast beginning in 2017. That means, Canadians would  now be allowed to see all those “commercials” that appear in the American feed. If they chose to. Viewers now had a choice of watching on CTV (seeing Canadian commercials) or on FOX, (seeing American commercials) That was bad for CTV because they no longer had exclusivity.

Some consider the Super Bowl commercials a cultural phenomena, even larger than the game itself. I think the hype has been well crafted over the years. A typically successful American marketing scheme. 

So, and I really don’t know why this ruling happened, (in its decision, a claim of “viewer feedback” was used, but it was pretty insignificant feedback). No more SIM Sub for Super Bowl. Wow. It was a strange and surprising ruling. I wonder if politics had a play?  There was no love lost between the Chairman of the CRTC and BELL. I’m not sure.

At any rate. It was bad news for BELL. The regulator gave them over 2 year’s notice but obviously the NFL did not give them any break on the rights fee, meaning CTV still had to pay for it. (or fulfill their contract obligation).

That sucks if you are BELL. I get that and for the record, I don’t think it was a fair decision by the CRTC.

So what happened in 2017?

Well, the ratings were down on CTV by 39%. That’s significant.

But the combined overall ratings were actually up for the game if you average the last 5 Super Bowls…..and you have to do that to be fair. They vary dramatically year to year.

2012-2016 Average Audience has been approx. 7,345,000 (it’s been as low as 6,476,000 and as high as 8,261,000)

Average total audience for 2017 game was 7,866,000. The problem is there were a lot of Canadians who watched the FOX feed. But more watched CTV. 

On CTV + CTV Two and TSN  it was 4,472,000
On the FOX (U.S.) stations it was 3,394,000


Interesting math…..if the audience is down 39% then the revenue is would be down by the same amount. CTV is saying they made $28,000,000.00 off the Superbowl in previous years?????? I’d call BS on that.

I’m emphasizing again that I think it was a bad deal for Bell to lose the simsub but their response to the decision last week (after year one) has been “Trump-onion”! My word. Bell released a study that claimed the CRTC ruling hurts the Canadian economy, allows the door to be open to cross border shopping AND could affect our culture??? All these crazy reasons why the decision is bad. They claimed that Canadians seeing American ads about pharmaceutical companies and financial institutions could have a negative impact on our psychological state of mind. Oh my god. I get that it’s had a negative impact on CTV’s bottom line. But don’t give us this bull that the decision’s consequences are more than they are. They even used the old “money lost would have gone into developing more Canadian programming”. That’s a stretch. 

Look, I’d do the same thing if I was in their shoes, in terms of a building a campaign to overturn the decision. But a few of us know when we are witnessing a grasping of straws. As I said at the top, no one really cares much about this and there is a new CRTC Chair so they will probably go back and make a business case for it. I just don’t like the spreading of misinformation. 

Did you know…..

  • A few Air Transat flights were diverted to Ottawa a few weeks ago due to weather conditions preventing them from landing in Montreal. Ok. But, I cannot imagine (after a 7 hour flight from Europe) being trapped on a plane in 30 degree heat for another 6 hours while they figured it out. Unacceptable. A passenger called 911. He isn’t being charged. No shit? Claustrophobia much? Brutal. Good to know the transportation safety board is holding hearings to see who was at fault. 
  • Sorry to hear of the passing of Bryan Murray from colon cancer. He fought for 3 years. I respected him as a hockey executive and I am sure he was a good man. Condolences to his family. 
  • Usain Bolt lost his last and only 100 metre dash last week. Wow. Would have been interesting if Andre Degrase would have been competing. Cheers to Usain. Incredible athlete and ridiculous career.
  • The Trump White House seems disorganized. Thanks Captain Obvious. But they’ve done a good job this week diverting attention from the Russian investigation of election tampering. Threatening to destroy the world will do that. 
  • I love summer. But also looking forward to the fall.
  • Pretty proud of my son Brady who takes over the Program Director reigns in Kitchener for legendary station CHYM. He will also cohost mornings. They are looking for a house as we speak. 

Have a great weekend.  Thanks for reading.

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