Friday 16 November 2012

Applebaum is one smart politician

Michael Applebaum (Joel Goldenberg photo).

When the first Jewish mayor in the history of Montreal decides to call it a career, he might consider teaching a course in politics. A week ago one had to wonder what his future was when the Union Montreal Party chose Richard Deschamps to   as their party’s candidate to succeed  GĂ©rald Tremblay, who resigned two weeks ago amid a corruption scandal which has rocked the province. 

Applebaum wanted the job. Instead of giving up he cleverly resigned as president  of the Executive Committee, quit the party, brought nine  other members with him and secured support from opposition councilors. He promptly squeeked by with a 31-29 victory (three ballots were spoiled ) and will serve as mayor for the next year.
At a time when we have a minority PQ government on office pushing the French language card, how refreshing is it to have our first anglo mayor in more than a century. He was supported, no less, by Vision Montreal leader Louise Harel, herself a hard line former PQ MNA and cabinet minister.
Applebaum says he will not run for the big job next year. Let's wait  a few months for he might change his mind.
I also see this as the perfect opening for the ultimate star candidate, Denis Coderre. The Liberal MP for Bourassa says he will decide in April whether he will run for mayor. Given the fact Applebaum appears to have the magic touch, Coderre  might be well advised to consider making a deal with him and together they can form a new party –Coalition Mtl has a good ring to it.

Sunday 11 November 2012

Which personalities will sign on with new AM 600 English radio?

Well, the last few weeks have been filled with great news regarding English radio in Montreal. First, the CRTC rejected Bell Media's purchase of Astral Radio. That meant TSN Radio 690 stays alive, instead of being transformed into  RDS Radio.

Now the CRTC has made another decision which benefits us, granting a license to Paul Tietolman and his TTP Media team to launch a new English station on the AM 600 dial. That means my good friend Steve Kowch is on his way back here to oversee the exciting hiring process, with an on air launch set for next spring.
Steve Kowch

I have know Paul Tietolman most of my life and I am happy that an introduction I made between him and Kowch helped push this project forward.

"In the past six months I have received about 50 really good applications from men and women who are broadcast university grads, out of work broadcasters, producers, operators, reporters and from the competition who want to work at the new English radio station," Kowch shared with me from his current home in Toronto. "Many are from Montreal's diverse cultural communities. 
"There is also a lot of talent available in Montreal's diverse cultural communities who want to work in radio. TTP Media told the CRTC hearings it believes in diversity. Our on air sound will reflect that promise. I already have some excellent candidates."
Kowch says he will spend a lot of time in the next few months talking to Montrealers to not only find out what they want to hear on the radio, but to also reach out to Montreal's many English institutions, including school boards, merchants, businesses, advertisers, social services, volunteer groups and area politicians "to see how we can help them get closer to the community they serve. This is not about running PSA's. This is about covering their activities and sharing their stories in our newscasts."
Montrealers, Kowch says,  can start the process by sending me an email at with ideas of what they want to hear on their new AM 600 radio station. "Running a radio station is more than just sitting in the corner office," he says. "It's getting out there meeting and speaking to listeners. I will be available to do just that in the New Year."
Kowch says that the  latest corruption inquiry is proof that Montreal needs more investigative reporting "and we will hire journalists who have a track record doing just that. Montreal is Canada's second largest city and it deserves live local news coverage 24/7. It is something we promised the CRTC and we will deliver local top of hour newscasts 24/7. Breaking news is just as important on weekends and overnight as it is 9-5 Monday to Friday. I look forward to the challenge and returning home to do the job."

Peter Anthony Holder
So, thinking out loud  I would love to see Peter Anthony Holder and Sol Boxenbaum back on the late night shifts. Would Aaron Rand be tempted by an offer to become the new station's morning man, bringing CJAD colleague Chantal Desjardins along? What about former CJAD personality Kevin Holden. Is he ready for a comeback? In terms of sports, Jess Rusnak from TSN Radio is a star in the making - schooled under the watchful eye of Mitch Melnick.  Suburban editor Beryl Wajsman  would be a logical choice to host his own hotline show, directly from The Suburban newsroom and young Dan Delmar would be a good choice as well. Unquestionably we will see seasoned veteran Jim Connell involved. I miss hearing his golden pipes on the air. Patrick Charles is a free agent, having left Mike FM. The  man once known as "Sir Patrick" was oustanding on the old Q92 and with Virgin Radio. Funny and talented, I am sure Kowch can find a role for him

It will be fun to watch all of the speculation.