1976 CFUN Memorabilia

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1976 CFUN Memorabilia

Postby jon » Mon Apr 03, 2017 11:48 am

Steve Ellis sent me these for display here. I'm sure that he'll have more details to share as a response to this post.

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Re: 1976 CFUN Memorabilia

Postby Steve Ellis » Mon Apr 03, 2017 1:07 pm

There was a lot reminiscing at the recent GTG, which I gather is mostly the theme of the event and it dawned on me during a discussion with John Tanner that I had a special and unique piece of memorabilia from CFUN circa 1976. Its surprising how the group discussion causes so many faded memories to come flooding back into the consciousness. Once the CKVN call letters were changed back to CFUN and Chuck McCoy launched the new format, CFUN hit No.1 in our market demographic. To commemorate the event, staff was presented with a little gift to mark the occasion. I did a little digging around in boxes I haven't seen in a few decades and managed to discover my old CFUN ring. If I call it “my precious” it will make me feel a little like Gollum from Lord of the Rings, except I doubt it has any magical powers. The last time I saw Tom Lucas a few years ago, I think he was still wearing his. I forward a picture of “my precious", which should be in some memorabilia museum because I think it’s a bit too ugly to wear on fat old fingers. Fred Latremouille declared at the ring presentation to all in earshot that he would have rather had the cash than the gold.

I was on air for all of my time at CFUN as a news announcer hired by News Director David Palmer in late 75 (I think) and let go by Jon Belmont who was News Director for a very short time in early 77. Jon actually physically left CFUN before I did, which was just upon arrival of new News Director JJ Richards. I vaguely recall that I spent the majority of my stay as the night news guy for “The Luker” or “Brother Boom Boom Benson”; however, I also did a news swing shift for a while and ended up working with most of the DJ’s of the time.

https://airchexx.com/2010/01/18/tom-luc ... h-23-1977/ I’m the news guy at 7:16 on this air check that Tom Lucas sent to me a while back. God, it was awful to hear all the excitement stop while the poor news guy read something relatively boring with all that heavy reverb. Its a bit like riding in the back of a pickup truck and having the driver slam on the brakes and you jettison out of the pick up box, over the cab and land on the road naked. News sure felt like we were a necessary evil for a Top 40 radio station that was only meeting their CRTC compliance requirements.

Hope to get to see a few old familiar faces at another GTG very soon.
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Re: 1976 CFUN Memorabilia

Postby Neumann Sennheiser » Mon Apr 03, 2017 6:57 pm

Saddens me some to see that ring again as mine was stolen not long after I received it. The last time I saw Tom Lucas he was indeed still wearing his CFUN ring but I believe at some point he had a jeweler remove the No 1 lettering to give it a cleaner look. I'd admit, it did look better.
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Re: 1976 CFUN Memorabilia

Postby Tom Jeffries » Tue Apr 04, 2017 3:31 pm

I missed the ring - because I was toiling for CFRA,in Ottawa, at the time, and then, on to CFTR - and came back to CFUN, in 1978.

McCoy built a powerhouse. GREAT PEOPLE was the secret.
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Re: 1976 CFUN Memorabilia

Postby kal » Tue Apr 04, 2017 7:05 pm

I'm an outsider here. It was terrific to see some of those CFUN news department names.

Back in 1983, some may remember that a Korean airliner, KAL007, was shot down by the Soviets, over the eastern island of Sakhalin. It was late in the evening, Vancouver time, when word emerged that a flight was missing, possibly near Soviet airspace.

Having grown up with shortwave radios, I decided to see if I could learn something about the missing flight. However, I had just moved and didn't have an antenna. So I attached my shortwave radio to the cablevision outlet. That was enough to bring in the booming signal of Radio Moscow.

I listened intermittently through the night and then at about 5 am the broadcast turned ominous. The announcer (in those days Radio Moscow had broadcasts throughout the day and night in English). The reader referred to intruders and to militaristic actions by foreign aircraft.

I decided to phone CKNW with a possible news tip that this missing plane may have been the subject of foul play. I was met with bemusement and a no-thanks. So, I phoned CFUN. I believe it was David Palmer I encountered. He simply said, "hold on, I am putting you on air."

And so began two days of media interest. Shortly after, presumably having heard the CFUN segment, the Vancouver Sun and CBC-2 phoned. I was on several times with CFUN, and during the noon hour, was on with Bill Good on the CBC TV news. I took down my small reel-to-reel tape recorder with some of the Moscow material on it.

Later that afternoon came word from official sources that indeed the plane had been shot down.

And around 5 pm I received a phone call from the Canadian military, from a fellow at the big listening post in Aldergrove, asking how he too might pick up Radio Moscow!

At the end of the year I received a phone call from JJ Richards telling me that I was the winner of $1000 for the news tip of the year. It was at that point, meeting Richards and others there (I recall seeing Annis Stukus reading the sports segment while I was there) that the mental image I had of a big newsroom was shattered.
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Re: 1976 CFUN Memorabilia

Postby Tom Jeffries » Tue Apr 04, 2017 7:37 pm

Our CFUN studios were, a dump.

We didn't care.

It was clean, small, cluttered.

Kitsilano.

1973.
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Re: 1976 CFUN Memorabilia

Postby Steve Ellis » Tue Apr 04, 2017 10:21 pm

Yes, it was a crappy, cozy and cluttered news room. Our trusty engineer Franz managed to keep everything functional most of the time, even though some equipment may have been delivered on the back of dinosaurs. Not that I'm saying the news room was an afterthought. I recall a a constant smoky haze in the room, which may have been a cause for bad electrical connections. A cigarette seemed to be burning in every ashtray, especially when more than one of us was in the room. Many embraced the nicotine addiction and everything reeked of smoke and coffee. Always bit dingy and a constant buzz to meet deadlines. Ripping and rewriting copy from the constantly ticking teletype boxes. Tossing in panic phone calls to somewhat reluctant spokespeople to try and get them on the record and tape with comments for a story. Dicing and splicing tape from the reel to reel to carts to create audio clips for the next news spot. Who can forget messing with those greasy old manual typewriters with ink ribbons and big 3 carbon copy spools of paper on the back of the carriages. Always a surprise to find them all in working order at the same time. This was pre-computer and pre-digital. Struggling to meet the mandates and deadlines to write fresh news copy and never read the same copy twice...well, almost never. It was a sin to repeat anything and all copy had to be rewritten and punched up to make it fresh and appealing to our younger audience, even if it was a little moldy or off beat. Always fun working with a great staff of on air personalities. Too many stories from our night crews, not that any of them should be recalled or repeated, except to those who were there. C-FUN, B-FUN, WUZ-FUN. Yup...I guess they were some of best times of my life. Ok...it was 41 years ago, so I conveniently haven't recalled any of the crappy stuff because it's not fun to talk about and a bit irrelevant now. I'll just let the good times continue to roll while I can still recall and enjoy them.
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Re: 1976 CFUN Memorabilia

Postby Steve Ellis » Wed Apr 05, 2017 9:23 am

Tom's memories of the CFUN Newsroom sent me cruising around the Radiowest Board. To illustrate comments about our cozy home from the past, I located a few previously posted pictures.

It's interesting to compare the two sets of pictures, especially the before digital and the after digital with computers. Same room, different equipment.

Black and White pictures before digital?
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=13738#p12823368

A mix of colour that are a little older and and a few newer.
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=11099&start=15#p12812862

Colour pictures after digital?
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=13546#p12822947
Last edited by Steve Ellis on Wed Apr 05, 2017 9:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1976 CFUN Memorabilia

Postby Neumann Sennheiser » Wed Apr 05, 2017 9:29 am

My 1974 "foot-in-the-door" to CFUN was the 3 "r"s: ripping-rewriting-reading newscasts from midnight to six AM and then two hours in the bull-pen writing fresh copy for the morning show casts, clicking and clacking on those fondly remembered old manual machines and developing an impressively quick and efficient two-finger typing style that I still use to this day, even at this moment in fact, but never creating run-on sentences like this one.
Those last two hours of my day were always full of excitement and high energy, usually leaving me too pumped with adrenalin to sleep.
You know, when you work until 8AM, having beer for breakfast is more reality than any Kris Kristofferson song.
I later when on to jockey discs at CFUN but I assure you that I wouldn't have traded that newsroom experience for an extra day of playing the Bay City Rollers.

Regarding those old CFUN studios, everything Tom Jeffries recalled is true; pretty much it was a dump, but the controls were friendly and felt right to the touch (anyone who ran different boards in many different stations will understand) and everything worked...usually. I think it was Jim Hault who once, when his board operator pressed a start-button followed by silence, quipped on-air: "World War 2 vintage equipment. Great for firing torpedoes but not much else".
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Re: 1976 CFUN Memorabilia

Postby Mike Cleaver » Wed Apr 05, 2017 10:26 am

Steve's memories of CFUN brought back one of the unhappy moments of my life which led to me leaving CHUM for the first time.
When I learned the company was buying CKVN and going back to the CFUN calls, I told management I wanted to go there as News Director.
I was promised the job, voiced the CFUN Launch broadcast and then was told I was too valuable in Toronto to be sent out west.
They decided to send Jon Belmont, a good friend but I knew he wouldn't be there long, he already had a deal back stateside in the works.
I was pissed, broke my agreement with CHUM and Dick Smyth, another good friend, wrote a full page single spaced memo about how I "would never work for CHUM again."
I guess that was a pretty tumultuous period for the CFUN news staff.
JJ Richards, another good friend, tried twice to hire me for the News Department at CFUN after he became News Director, even flying me out from Toronto to check things out but it wasn't to be.
Head office still had the big bucks and I decided to stay.
I ended up working at CHUM Toronto over 3 decades, the 70s, 80s and 90s and at CHUM Ottawa into the 2000's.
I was heard on CFUN doing the CHUM National Newscast but never got to work there.
I always wish I'd had the chance because it was such a great sounding station and I still have many friends who actually did work there.
And thanks Neumann for those vintage CFUN car stickers you passed on to me.
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Re: 1976 CFUN Memorabilia

Postby Mike Cleaver » Wed Apr 05, 2017 10:38 am

Does anyone else have a list of stations at which they "almost" worked?
When I was a youngster at CKOV in Kelowna, I was offered a job at a station in Townsville, Australia.
Being too young and living at home, I was too scared to accept the deal, a two year contract, housing provided and airfare back and forth to Canada.
A few months later, I was offered a job at KIMN in Denver.
Again, too frightened to leave the life I knew, still being in my teens.
While I was at CJOC radio and tv in Lethbridge, I was offered a job at CKLW, Windsor.
They'd recently hired Jim Jackson, with whom I'd worked at CJOC.
They tried again when I was working at CKXL, just leaving to work at CHUM.
I turned that down as I was then running the CJOC tv news department and anchoring the 6pm news at 21.
When I went to CHUM the first time, my former ND at CKXL, Dale O'Hara tried to hire me to work at CKY radio and tv, Winnipeg.
I arrived there in a raging blizzard and pretty much turned around and went back to Toronto.
There were lots of other offers and it turns out, it usually was the competition trying to get me out of Toronto.
The offers were tempting but there was no better company to work for than CHUM under Mr. Waters.
But I often wonder what my career path might have been had I made other choices?
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Re: 1976 CFUN Memorabilia

Postby Neumann Sennheiser » Wed Apr 05, 2017 11:24 am

CKLW or KIMN, either of those in their best days would have been amazing.
While in my third winter at CFRW in Winnipeg, J-Bob Wood, visiting from Toronto, came by the studio while I was on-air.
Ostensibly, just a friendly "hello, how are things going" drop in, he posed a question to me before leaving: "Hey, for your next step, where do you think you'd like to be? Someplace like CHUM in Toronto or back in Vancouver"?
The question was fully loaded.
I honestly replied that I was and always would be a western boy and to get back to CFUN would be what I'd most desire.
There's my one big regret for I got exactly what I wished for (which wasn't bad) but I'm certain I turned down a very big opportunity.
I wish I'd been more ambitious, more confident of my abilities and talent and less scared.
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Re: 1976 CFUN Memorabilia

Postby Tom Jeffries » Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:17 pm

NS - don't beat yourself up.

I wound up at CFTR, before I found Toronto was not 'home', and I jumped at the chance to go back to CFUN.

TO was fine. Trust me - you had NOTHING to be nervous about. CFUN turned out to be a great place, right?
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Re: 1976 CFUN Memorabilia

Postby Steve Ellis » Wed Apr 05, 2017 1:06 pm

I had a few "almosts".
I had rather vague offers. In the early days at CKOK there were inquiries from CKOV, CHIQ and later in my career at CFUN from CKLW (Buzz the Big 8) and CFTO, as well as an even sketchier offer from a news director in Chicago (can't remember the call letters) and whom I called a week later to confirm details of the offer to only discovered that he no longer worked at the station. I talked with many guys who had attempted the transition to eastern radio, but their advice and experiences told me you can alway take and Easterner and transplant them out west, but it was almost impossible to take a West Coaster and put them in the "Big Smoke" back east and have them stay any length of time. We western boys would have needed custom built wind fairings to deal with what we heard was the high speed rat race, cutthroat market and even more brutal corporate politics. We were pretty friendly here in Cali North and I recall even having a grudge match baseball game at 2nd Beach between CKLG and CFUN. I was a little wet around the ears and a little nervous about leaving comfortable surroundings, so I never pursued my fame and fortune. My experience with Jon Belmont at CFUN caused my "star" to tarnish a bit and I was dismissed for an apparently good reason, for which I was never told. On my way out, I had conversation with Warren Barker about a news role at CKNW, but when I learned that the starting position would be as a beat reporter, I just couldn't envision being happy attending those highly exciting news worthy events such as School Board meeting, Regional District meetings, City Council meetings and whatever else got tossed to the new guy. I had a belly full of those assignments at CKOK, CFJC and CHNL and wasn't up for winning another T-Shirt to add to my closet full of them. I was also second guessing my overall career choice after a few CFUN beat assignments covering murder/hostage incidents where I was shot at sniper style. I got some serious grass stains on my white Adidas tennis coat while two police officers and me dropped to the grass and crawled to safety after a bullet ricochetted off the building next to where we were observing tactical squad dealing with a random shooter in a Kits apartment building. I experienced the joy of reporting live in a cloud of tear gas during the final assault at a murder/hostage taking on 4th Ave where I and two police offers dodged yet again another ricocheting bullet off the wall were were leaning against, mistakenly believing we were well out of the shooters view . And who could forget being imbedded with a crew of reporters and Princess Pats Light Infantry outside the BC pen for a couple of weeks and being frisked during our numerous encounters on the way in and out of the gymnasium to interview armed prisoners. It was about that point in my career when I evaluated that my rate of pay didn't justify the risk of injury or death for the excitement of driving the 4 door Ford Maverick news cruiser. So it was, insurance sales was therefore deemed to be much more safe and stable.
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