[News] R.I.P. FLOW 93.5 (2001-2011)

Making sense of it all..

Wednesday, February 2nd 2011 | 3:52pm

I sit in front of the computer in a white t-shirt and my pajama pants from the previous night. It’s been the first time in a very long time that I haven’t jumped out of bed at 6:30am (or shortly thereafter) and I guess it’s with due cause. Yesterday (Tuesday, February 1st 2011) was the first day of CHUM ownership for “The New FLOW 93.5″ and to many of us the announcements made today (albeit via Twitter) were not surprising, but still extremely saddening.

Allow me to rewind a little bit to Spring 2010 when I was sitting in one of my Radio Broadcasting classes at Humber College and I heard the news that “Flow had been sold to Chum”, like many others the news took me by surprise. I’m glad I was in the “loop” and was privileged to hear this information as many are just finding out about the sale. The news wasn’t made public back then and I’m not even sure if there is much online currently that explains it either. The first thing that popped into my head back then was: “What does that mean for the station? Will it change formats?” As you probably noticed, “The New FLOW 93.5″ has been “New” for the last 3-4 years and there is a reason for that, it changed formats.. Somewhat. Flow started off 100% urban in 2001 but around 2006-07 it made a change to “Rhythmic CHR”, which basically means “Top 40 with an urban twist”

So, calling the station “The New FLOW” wasn’t a weak marketing tactic, it was a true and literal reflection of what was going on at the station. I’m so glad I can finally explain this clearly and with purpose, I’ve been frustrated watching people tweet & talk about how the station isn’t “New”. It was quite annoying.

Fast forward to present day: Although no formal press releases were given out, it seems pretty official (by Tweets from the hosts) that the following shows have been cancelled by CHUM on The New FLOW 93.5:

- Riddim Track (Spex)

- Soca Therapy (Dr. Jay, Marxman & Nurse Karen)

- OTA Live (Boogeyman, Ty Harper & Rez Digital)

- Real Frequency (P-Plus, Arcee & Muziklee Insane)

- Trauma Unit (Jus Red & J-Wyze)

The above are essentially the heart & soul of urban music programming in Toronto and Canada in general, these shows were the most professional and brought our music out to the biggest audience. Can I say that I’m surprised? Not really. Am I saddened? Deeply. Forget what you might’ve heard about “ratings” as well, because “Riddim Track” and “Soca Therapy” owned Sunday night radio from 6pm-12am in all formats & stations. The change had little to nothing to do with ratings in my opinion, it is pretty evident that CHUM has chosen to go in a different direction with not only the music on the station, but the audience they intend to reach.

It’s been said that Melanie, Jenni, Scott Boogie, Miss Ange, Peter Kash & Starting From Scratch are the only on-air members of Flow 93.5 (before the CHUM takeover) that will be continuing on with the station. You will notice that the website has a different design, the “On-Air” shows section has been updated and it is no longer “The New FLOW”, but “FLOW 93.5: Hip Hop, Dance and R&B”

In addition to Flow losing their strongest “urban” programming, college station 88.1FM CKLN was recently stripped of it’s broadcasting license and will remain on the air for only a week or so longer. Saying “It’s been a rough week for radio in Toronto” would be a front-runner for understatement of the year.

What now?

For those who don’t know, radio hasn’t taken the biggest hit because of the Internet and the sudden shift in technology. In fact, radio has remained quite consistent over the past decade or so, it’s been print (newspapers & magazines) and then Television that have felt the biggest impact due to the Internet. Is it crazy to say that the radio has been most affected in recent years because of.. the radio? It seems that way, doesn’t it?

My heart goes out to the people (both on-air and off) who have lost their jobs because of the recent changes at Flow and the shut down at CKLN. Radio/Broadcasting has always been a cut-throat + fickle business and it will continue to be. I will keep you in my thoughts & prayers, but I know you will continue to pursue your dreams and work hard to achieve all of your goals. I wish you nothing but the best and I can assure you that I think there will be a place for every hardworking & talented individual who is truly dedicated to their craft.

As for me, I fought back tears on Monday, January 31st 2011 (the day before the takeover) as I said my final goodbyes at The New FLOW 93.5 and closed another chapter of my life. My internship was scheduled to end 3 weeks prior to that date, but I wanted to be there until the final day of FLOW’s original ownership (Milestone Radio Inc.) It was an incredible experience being the last intern at the first (and only) major urban radio station in Canada and to work side-by-side on a daily basis with some of the most talented DJs and On-Air personalities the country has to offer. 5 months flew by and I learned a great deal from many industry experts, the experience & knowledge gained will not be forgotten.

No matter who or what you are, there will always be doubters, “haters”, & naysayers. I’m sure you’ve heard people bash Flow over the last decade for a number of reasons, but the truth is the majority of those people don’t understand business, the business of radio and/or how the industry works. After all, a radio station is a company that needs to make money the same way a restaurant or convenience store does. You can’t just play a certain type of music because a small group of the population wants to hear it. You can’t make everyone happy. I’m not trying to defend anyone or disprove anyone’s opinion, I just hope that I can help people to understand that a multi-million dollar business is exactly that.. A multi-million dollar business. It’s not an easy thing to run and until you have the experience of running one successfully yourself, I would suggest holding off on judging the ones with the money, dedication and heart to do so.

But hey, what do I know?

I want to close off by saying that I wish the best to everyone from The New FLOW 93.5, regardless if you are staying on with CHUM or continuing on to pursue other endeavours. Being at the station for the past 5 months has given me the luxury of strengthening some relationships and building others.

Good luck to CHUM in whatever they choose to do and I’m definitely interested in seeing what will become of Flow.

Thank you to all the On-Air personalities, DJs, office staff, street team, interns and supporters of Flow during the past decade. It took many years and many applications to the CRTC to get the license approved and it did not come without many countless hours and extreme dedication to a specific vision + goal.

Nothing lasts forever. Let’s be glad for the experience and continue to do what we love, we know nothing is guaranteed.

Thank You for the memories and great music!

FLOW 93.5 2001-2011

~ by Big Philly on February 2, 2011.

48 Responses to “[News] R.I.P. FLOW 93.5 (2001-2011)”

  1. Sad. Just sad.

  2. “After all, a radio station is a company that needs to make money the same way a restaurant or convenience store does. You can’t just play a certain type of music because a small group of the population wants to hear it.”

    Um… A commercial FM radio station, unlike a convenience store, transmits songs and specific shows to the masses, and those songs and shows in this case were helping to keep certain cultural artforms and expressions alive for the listening public. If a Greek restaurant began serving Cantonese food, its customers would be understandably confused, disillusioned, and even angry.

    Moreover, when Milestone (finally) got their license, it was made very clear that the proposed radio station was an “urban” one which would focus on playing genres like hip hop, R&B, soul, and Caribbean (soca/reggae) music. Why was this important? Because other local commercial stations weren’t serving the portion of the public who wanted to hear these genres. Torontonians who wanted to hear hip hop and R&B on the radio used to have to try and catch a Buffalo, NY frequency, WBLK 93.7 — and unless I’m mistaken, those who wanted to hear Caribbean music on the air were just out of luck.

    I used to be very proud of Milestone Radio; I’m right with you in wishing the best to everyone in the FLOW family, particularly those who have just lost their jobs; and I’m definitely not writing to “bash” anyone or anything, but I think institutions which are involved in the dissemination of culture — even pop culture — need to be upheld to higher standards than those which focus solely on the Almighty Dollar.

    • Miss Dolabaille,

      Thanks for the partial explanation of what an FM station does, but the comparison of a “Radio Station” to a “Convenience store” was made to illustrate that it is a business and it’s existence (or lack thereof) depends solely on it’s profitability. The function or purpose of the business is irrelevant to the point I’m trying to make, I want people to see that commercial radio stations are a business and they make decisions based on fundamental business principles.

      To address your “Greek restaurant” analogy, if the “Greek restaurant” isn’t working then it makes sense to change it up. Yes, the customers who embraced the “Greek restaurant” would be confused, disillusioned and even angry, but most will understand that it was a business decision, not something done to hurt/offend people or abandon culture.

      I understand why FLOW got it’s license and the void they filled in the Toronto market, but once again thank you for the information.

      I’m still proud of what Milestone Radio Inc. has accomplished and the awareness they have brought to urban music in Toronto, Canada and across the globe. Everyone is entitled to their opinion(s) and I don’t think they’re right or wrong, but I personally don’t judge people’s business decisions when they have their best interests in mind.

      – Philly

  3. Nothing less than a corporate coup of culture in Canada.

  4. Great read. Still sad, but hey, a 1.7 marketshare won’t really cut it. Flow is 18th of 22 radio stations serving Toronto. Not sure how they “owned” Sundays, but nonetheless people need to understand where Flow stands in the big picture. The “new” Flow actually grew the marketshare from a 1.2. What sucks is we can’t even get BLK back cuz the 93.5 is too close and strong. The radio audience has been declining since 1999 – down over 2 hours per week (average listener). People need to stop acting like this is some type of racial offensive and understand it’s about making money – just like it was for Milestone when they sold to CHUM. They didn’t have to sell if it was really about serving the community. The reality is Toronto is worse off now than in 1990 – at least back then we had CKLN and BLK. We just lost a jump off for local talent.

  5. What a great tribute to what was once a a great station! Under the guidance of the great Mr. Denham Jolly with the input from music industry legend, Mr. Wayne Williams, Flow was the answer for Canada’s hip hop community — specifically the Greater Toronto Area.

    Many friends of mine lost their jobs today and were genuinely SHOCKED! CTV had been very reassuring in their takeover. The staff was NOT expecting the slaughter that awaited them at 1 pm today.

    36 out of just over 50 people were summarily fired effective IMMEDIATELY. The same people that had been working tirelessly during weekends to move the company to its new “home”.

    Well, the FLOW home is empty. It’s just a group of offices and a studio now and will be filled with a bunch of strangers as only 4 of the on air personalities retained their positions.

    This is a huge loss to the hip hop and rhythm & blues & reggae/soca/calypso/etc. community.

    We, the fans of these genres, have already been struggling to hear a wide spectrum of “black music” meaning music that reflects the wide spectrum of the black culture, as The New Flow changed more and more from a hip hop format to a pop format as the CTV takeover came closer.

    This will not mark the end of Hip Hop in Canada, because our artists are stronger than that, but it does land us on a slippery slope to censorship.

    Ask yourself how many local radio stations you can listen to hip hop music. Exactly. Not many. Even College radio is being hijacked.

    Hip Hop may be today’s target, but alternative rock could be next.

    The point is, Canada’s media outlets are being controlled by very few large conglomerates that care more about advertising revenue than objective news reporting and exposing us to new music and television.

    We should ALL be worried. We are getting fewer points of view from the media that informs our choices. They are even controlling the music we can hear and are doing their best to regulate the WORLD WIDE WEB!

    This isn’t merely a black issue or a hip hop issue, it is an issue of GOVERNMENT and BIG BUSINESS controlling our airwaves and what we and our children can hear or watch!

    Scary shit people!!

    • You raised a lot of good points and I haven’t taken the time to sit down + think of all the urban media outlets we’ve lost in the past few years, but I know there has been a few for sure. Your comment made me think about things on a wider scale and I really appreciate that..

      – Philly

    • I 100% agree with #notowhitewashing, its very sad and scary to say the least! I really am hoping that Toronto will find another outlet to be able to bring to its listeners new and upcoming “Urban Music”. Almost every station I turn to is playing the same top 40, now including FLOW. I can turn to 103.5, 99.9, 104.5, 92.5 & then 93.5 and I’m almost GUARANTEED to hear the same song that I heard 5 minutes ago on one of the aforementioned stations. Its really quite sad. Its a total wake up call that these major corporate companies are trying to take over everything. We lost 88.9, 88.1 and now some of the best shows on 93.5. It just goes to show what this world is about. Its definitely NOT what the public wants. “OTA Live” was one of my favorite shows! Giving artists an opportunity to showcase there talent. I know that one day all these great DJ’s will be back on the air and/or hopefully a new station will come in and really give hip-hop music a chance. Toronto is one of the most popular Cities in North America. Almost every major city in America has a strictly Hip-Hop station. Why does Canada always have to portray itself to look so country. Its 2011, lets act like it. Times are changing and so are we…. I don’t know about you, but Ive turned to Satellite radio, Ive wiped my hands clean of Canadian Radio! Bring me something new and fresh, and Ill be back. I know a TON of Canadian Hip-Hop artists who agree & have chosen the same route as I have. I’m sick of hearing Lady-gaga & Rhianna and all these other “bubble-gum” artists on every station. I love a variety of music, I do. But that’s what I turn to the other stations for. Does Tricky Moreira still have his Friday Night late night show or has he been let loose to? LOL, wow! They can say its about the $$ and that they weren’t making enough to pay the bills, but I don’t believe that. The station has been diverse enough in the past 4 years to be able to pay those shows to be on the air. Yes many of those DJ’s, play at diffenent venues on the weekend and such, but come whos going to go out every week to the club to listen. I myself am going to school for radio broadcasting, I have a family, as well as I manage a restaurant. In the evenings or on weekends we used to implement certain FLOW radio shows in the Lounge & it worked VERY well. It just doesnt fit into my schedule to be out and about in the clubs on the weekends every month (however, I would LOVE to be). I’m assuming allot of people are in the same situation as well! … Perhaps, I’m a little bitter in regards to this whole situation… on another note I’m happy to see that RAPCITY has hired T-Rexx, I know hes put in allot of work in the Urban Music scene! I’m very proud to see that the position was given to someone deserving! I like the new direction that the show has gone in as well! Yey to that! Boooo to FLOW! :)

  6. Thanks for the explanation as to why the decision makers at flow have decided to get rid of certain DJ and keep others. As a listener of Flow, I cannot understand why they would keep Melanie and get rid of Spex. I understand that this is not a racial thing but it’s hard to believe that more listeners tune into her show as oppose to Spex.

    • Thanks for the comment Zeta!

      I can’t explain why certain people were kept on the station while many others were let go, but I can definitely assume that the people who remain with FLOW fit the mold and the direction CHUM/CTV wants to take the station.

      I don’t think it’s racially motivated at all because it’s quite a diverse group of people that remain at the station (on & off air)

      Spex has promised big things in the near future and I believe him.. Let’s see what he has up his sleeve!

  7. Well said Big Philly I too am waiting to see what is on the 1st page of the new chapter at FLOW – I will miss you Spexx

  8. I have to say that the timing to cut programs such as Soca therapy and Riddim track is just horrible. Black History Month Just started!
    Silencing the sounds of a people in Toronto during a month to celebrate black culture and history seems very counter intuitive.

    • Paul,

      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I totally agree, it’s unfortunate that all the firings/changes took place during Black History Month, but it was most likely a coincidence as the actual sale took place in 2010. Also, many non-Black employees lost their job as well, so I just look at it as an unfortunate situation which was driven by business.

      The shows cancelled with surely be missed, but almost all of the DJs have podcasts and play various club events during the week so there is definitely opportunity to hear them still. They might be off the air for the time being, but nobody can silence the sound!

      Thanks,

      Philly

  9. Well said. Thank you for sharing this. Sadly but truly, radio is indeed a huge multi-million dollar business and it is the sponsors and advertisers that speak more than the music and listenership aspect. Although its shocking news, business is business. I have been a listener (and not even from Toronto) since they flicked the switch on in 2001.

    • Thanks for the comment!

      I’m sure the FLOW family will definitely be pleased and appreciative of your dedication to the station, especially since you aren’t even from Toronto. It goes to show that much of the programming on the station was great and it broke down barriers, from race to age to cultural to geographical.

      Take care,

      Philly

  10. Hey Philly: Very well written

    I’m VERY saddened by what happened at FLOW, and as a soon-to-be former programmer at CKLN, I can honestly say it’s been devastating to watch these stations disappear and feel powerless. Despite what people have said about FLOW being too commercial, etc. that’s what paid the bills and allowed shows like Real Frequency, OTA Live, Soca Therapy and Riddim Track the freedom to do what they did. You need an above ground to have an underground.

    FLOW is also the ONLY commercial station in the city that believed in me enough to allow ME to drop guest DJ sets in the Midday Mix and on Real Frequency more than a few times, and the DJs there have always been really supportive of me. So for that I’m most definitely grateful.

    Right now is a crucial time in hip hop/urban music history for Toronto, so I sincerely hope that we can use this energy to come up with some other options to ensure that our industry has a future.

    PEACE…

    • Mel Boogie,

      Thank you so much for visiting the blog and for your comment. It’s a tough time for Toronto as we lose our only commercial urban station and a university station that has been a staple in the city for years. As much as I am sad to see the changes made at FLOW, I also feel for all the people (like yourself) who are feeling the same emotions over at CKLN. I’m hoping to make it over to Mixtape Massacre tomorrow afternoon to see the last show live, what a legendary time slot. 1-4pm Saturday on 88.1 Wow! It just brings back so many memories.

      Anyway, all the best and I’m sure we’ll bump into each other sooner than later.

      Philly

  11. Thanks Philly for the explanation. Really saddened to hear of the recent changes and jobs losses for some amazing dj’s. I loved tuning into listened to Soca Therapy and Riddem Tracks. It all kinda went downhill for me when JJ left.
    Best of luck to everyone in the future.

    • Thanks for the comment!

      Yea, losing all of those shows is a tough pill to swallow especially since “Riddim Track” and “Soca Therapy” were so groundbreaking + important to developing Reggae & Soca, respectively.

      Thanks for the well wishes and take care!

      Philly

  12. Big Philly,

    1st off, thank you for the explination, your opinion of what transpired with the transitions at Flow 93.5.
    I was deeply sadden to hear that the changes had resulted in such a revampment of the whole infinstructure. I first heard as I drove into work Thursday morning to immediately notice that the vibe was not the same.
    I can clearly understand, and even had a sad inner thought that the change was due to marketing, to attract different audiences.
    Yes, I too have heard over recent months that Flow was under the CHUM embrella and with this, thought that a shift may be in the works but didn’t believe it to be this intense.

    Now, correct me if I am wrong. I did a quick search before writing to see that CHUM has a FM based radio station, but like a business, they noticed that Flow was probably not achieving it’s full potential like say CHUM-FM, which is fine. Look to increase your radio audience.
    My thought is, if say CHUM-FM has a successful audience with a Top 40 clientile and is missing a bit of the urban audience, due to not having shows such as Riddem Tracks/Soca Therapy/ OTL (love hearing the Bio’s) as such on thier roosters, why think this move to release such shows, then bring in shows like it’s sister staion(now I am not stating that it is known if they are, but this is my opionion, which I would explain shortly) and think that only due to having the name FLOW, would you be keeping that same audience base?
    If a percentage of people were not going to CHUM, and came to FLOW, I don’t think that CHUM’s new numbers will grow but stay about the same. again, only my opionion.
    If someone from the CHUM organization happens to read this, please understand, to gain back the audience that you have unfortunately lost due to changes, could have been saved.

    Could have been allowed a chance to get use to the new format instead of feeling that “what’s the diffences to CHUM-FM now?” and go nowhere.
    Before I go too far off, my point and suggestion to hear your thought Philly, is, would it be a safe direction to make the changes..fine, but to say speak to the shows at a separate time, explain that this is the new path and collabarate to keep the shows and see if it can be improved, to please the CHUM/Flow board that if this audience is what you are missing, making a duplicate station is not going to bring them in.

    Flow has the ability to still do great things, nothing is in stone for it’s future and we don’t know the plans that are about to come out.
    I too pray for those who has been affected by this chapter and only what everyone to know that where one door closes, another and greater door shall be opened before you.

    Anyways, I apologize for running off and only wanted to voice my concerns, and hear from you with your point of view.
    Regards,

  13. I am really disappointed and will no longer be listening to FLOW…

    • Deborah,

      I know that many faithful FLOW listeners are deeply saddened by the change in programming & on-air personalities and share your sentiments. It’s going to be interesting to see what changes will be made once the station is running at 100% again with new shows & personalities in place.

      In the meantime, be sure to check out great community stations like CHRY 105.5 and CIUT 89.5 as they both have great Urban & Caribbean shows numerous times per week.

      Thanks for the comment

      Philly

      • Yea for sure. I really only tuned in to Flow on weekends — i’m already into commnity radio — CHRY is pretty under rated — the mixed aren’t always on point but they vibe in there with the personalities. For anyone who not feeling those stations then yea….dust off the mp3s yes! lol

  14. The ctv flow is horrible and I’m so sad about it, never knew how much I would miss it. No longer have a reason to listen to radio anymore, time to dust off the mp3 player.

    • Martin,

      The changes at FLOW are hard to deal with for many and the urban programming/personalities will definitely be missed.

      Don’t give up on radio just yet, there are still a bunch of great Hip Hop, R&B, Reggae + Soca shows on community stations like CHRY 105.5 & CIUT 89.5

      Thanks for stopping by

      Philly

  15. I am now currently shopping for a new radio station to listen to, any suggestions?

    Due to the immense changes at FLOW, the chemistry and the vibe has taken a complete turn. The radio hosts no longer showcase their personalities, rather they repeatedly tell me that I am listening to FLOW 93.5 (thanks I didn’t realize that, I completly forgot). The mix shows are a tease and limited to 30 minutes (rather than an hour), the light hearted banters between radio hosts no longer exist, and I can no longer look forward to “wine from 6-9″ on Sunday nights.

    Most upsetting, was the fact that there was no recognition for Bob Marley’s birthday (this past Sunday), one would expect to hear a tribute to a legend on such a self proclaimed “urban” radio station. I suppose not.

    Personally, I have been listening to FLOW 93.5 Tornoto’s Hip Hop and R&B since it began back in 01′, and I was hooked ever since. However due to this rapid change and fast decline, FLOW has now successfully transformed into every other mainstream radio station within Toronto. Congratulations you are now apart of the conglomerate of top 40 and the token rap songs.

    The least I can say is thanks for the decade, and good luck to all those pursuing other endeavers. Hope to hear only the best from those who parted ways with FLOW….

    …mwahhh :)

    • xoxoxo,

      I would suggest checking out community stations like CHRY 105.5 & CIUT 89.5, they both still have great urban shows and almost all of the FLOW DJs started on one of these stations (or CKLN 88.1)

      FLOW 93.5 (under CHUM ownership) is still in it’s infancy stages and they are not running at 100% yet in terms of personalities & shows. We will all get a better idea of how the station will sound in the coming weeks I believe.

      I think it’s awesome that February 6th is “Bob Marley Day” in Toronto (as well as his birthday worldwide) and I wish there was an urban station at the time to pay homage to one of the most important artists of our lifetime. I know many DJs released tribute mixes and played his songs (on community stations as mentioned above)

      I know the DJs, personalities, employees & former owners would be delighted to hear that you were a faithful listener since the stations inception in 2001.

      Thanks for the comment and take care

      Philly

  16. Easy for one to SAY as you were an IN-TURN and gonna get the boot anyways. But what about the people WHO LOST their Source of income not to mention the many Listeners who devoted to listening to the REALIST thing in Toronto left, That REAL FREQUENCY!? lol do we just sit back and allow companies to crap all over the game to make another BUCK!? Come on PEOPLES time to Revolt and Revolutionize STAND THE BUCK UP! Toronto’s Fallin off without a Parachute and this move just clipped the parachute!

    To all the REAL FREQ Host, all you rocked and helped lots get through Mondays,”A FREQ NIGHT NEVER THE WEEK NIGHT” AHA! listening to that REAL – hand picked REAL Your show will be missed and if you Ever do something else let your fans know We will Subscribe and Support.

    Much Love and Respect

  17. im glad flow is off the air we have a alot of talent hear in toronto and flow refuses to promo more canadian talent . in Atlanta they promo there local artist on the big radio station all the time . toronto is weak an we dont support are own thats the big problem and thats why ppl dont care about flow . toronto needs something better than flow . REAL TALK HOMIE !!

    • DJ Batz,

      Thanks for the comment.

      FLOW was the only station bringing local artists (like Rich Kidd, JD Era, Shad etc) to commercial radio and to a mainstream audience. This station is also the first to break Drake, Kardi & k-Os into the mainstream. We have a ton of talent in Toronto, but unfortunately not everyone is going to make it onto commercial radio and not everyone is going to get to shine at the same time.

      Atlanta does supports local artists, but there is an even greater number of artists who don’t get played. There are many differences between Atlanta’s (urban) scene and Toronto’s, one of those major differences is that urban music is big business in ATL. That means there is funding, community support (strong listenership) and a demand for the music from a large portion of the population. Toronto does not have the same community support (listeners) and demand (for urban), so commercial radio stations (like FLOW) are forced to play more music that is in demand (ie. Top 40)

      I’m with you, I believe there should be more support for good music, especially if it’s Canadian, but not everything is fit & ready for commercial radio. There are so many options (like podcasts, music sites, blogs, iTunes, etc) to get music out, we can’t rely on commercial radio for exposure all the time.

      With CKLN losing it’s license and potentially being off-air in the next month or so, Toronto Urban music is taking a bit hit.

      It’s hard to deal with, but you have to keep working hard and pushing forward.

      Good luck and all the best..

      Philly

  18. “…the majority of those people don’t understand business…”

    ?????

    You’re a moron. The grievances were legitimate. “Those” people were behind Mr. Jolly since the mid-80’s. I love the way young wannabe urban (urban? what the hell does that mean anyway) music lovers like yourself sweep things under the rug when it doesn’t directly impact you.

    • Rod,

      I was waiting for someone to get offended and start name calling. I love the Internet tough talk!

      My blog post was neutral and I had nothing but good things to say about the employees of FLOW 93.5 (my former co-workers) and CHUM/CTV. So, I’m not sure if you read all of it or just skimmed through and got mad at certain sections.

      You’re right, everyone’s feelings (ie. grievances) were legitimate and they certainly still are. Please see “I’m not trying to defend anyone or disprove anyone’s opinion..”

      I’m slightly confused about this, though: You called me a “young wannabe urban music lover” and then you say the sale & loss of the city’s ONLY urban station “doesn’t directly impact” me.

      If I’m a “young wannabe urban music lover” (who was also the Intern at this station for the last 5 months) wouldn’t it directly impact me?

      That’s a rhetorical question, btw.

      I also find it funny that you generalize me as “urban” but in the same sentence you question the meaning of “urban”.

      The loss of the programming & many of the personalities on FLOW 93.5 (& license loss of CKLN 88.1) is a huge deal for the City of Toronto and surrounding communities.

      Now, we must each decide:

      Am I going to be the one who continues to support urban music through positive action, awareness and advocacy?

      OR

      Am I going to be the guy who calls people names on their blog?

      Take care Rod!

      Philly

    • PS. When I said “the majority of those people don’t understand business…” the people I was referring to are the “doubters, “haters”, & naysayers..” and the people who “bashed FLOW over the past decade”. Please re-read and comprehend.

  19. good! i hope all those cock suckers are in line at the welfare office. many less inflated ego’s to deal with. good riddence

    • Lahey,

      I’m sorry you feel that way, but I doubt any one from FLOW 93.5 will be in need of that kind of assistance. Having worked there for the 5 months leading up to the CHUM takeover, I can honestly say that nobody at the station showed me any signs of an “inflated ego”.

      It’s really sad to see people wishing bad luck to others..

      Philly

  20. just amazing, no warning, me and my friends for the past couple of sundays waiting for drjay, no warning. tired of this, i will not listen to flow again, wblk, here i come.

  21. I used to listen to the station when it was in Burlington. Those were the days when ‘black music’ was only played on a Sunday night. Wayne williams and others would rock the turn tables back then. The move to Toronto and an urban format was welcomed and the vibe was felt far and wide. Then came another change and the slow intergration of mainstream or top 40 music. It’s sad that all that is gone and there is a huge void and a loss of a voice in the music field. WBLK will again grow in populariuty espesially because west of Mississauga we in the Hamilton area were unable to get Flow. I too will start listening to BLK again because it’s the only station that I can now associate with. Hopefully the on-air personalities who lost their jobs will resurface somewhere else soon. RIP flow.

  22. No warning…. that’s the worse part of it all…

    JJ you suck !!!

    Does anyone know if Divo is on air ?

  23. Thanks Big Philly on speaking on a topic that has not gone unnoticed by many people of the great city of Toronto. Growing up, I looked forward to hearing those short blocks of “urban” music on 105.5, 89.5 and especially Ron Nelson on 88.1. With hip hop, rnb and sometimes reggae music holding dominance in many U.S. markets, it was frustrating for many artists and DJs to get out there without a mainstream station like Flow up until ’01. They opened many doors, and closed even more on people that didn’t fit the format as more and more advertisers signed on. People who focus strictly on economics + revenue streams are just the type of decision makers working at CTVGlobemedia. I have watched as CTV quickly dismantled CityTV in a similar fashion, reprogramming just to gain a larger audience and regurgitating existing shows. I hate to seem like a huge pessimist, but I doubt there is any turning back at this point. They have brought back some morning personalities who I never listen to anyhow, and the great hip hop, dancehall and soca shows are out shaking in the cold February wind. My thoughts are that CBC should step up and create a BBC1Xtra…where the public broadcasting company in the UK has the ear of the country by offering different formats from news to commentary to Celtic bag pipes. For the time being, I will continue to listen to 680 at work and press the Sirius button in my car if I feel like listening to non-repetitive unfiltered machine pushed music.

  24. Hey Big Philly,

    What can we do as consumers and dedicated urban radio listeners. I feel as though my days have not been the same since I have been unable to hear the great sounds that Spex poured through our radios every Sunday night! I feel as though we cannot just sit and allow this control over the urban community, we get profiled and downed at every chance and expense of those who fail to take the time to get to know and understand our cultures. I thought this was Canada the land of freedom and once again I have been wrong! When Spex was on the radio we all felt as though we finally made it. Scarbrough Made it and now it’s gone! and too bout we don’t even have CKLN anymore? I am personally one of those who donated to the CKLN movement to keep that radio station alive! as did many others in the community! But on a real.. What do we do?? I think it’s time for the urban community to take a stand and finally band together for the greater of this cause as this is really an Issue! Instead of us hating and fighting against one another this can be an opportunity for us to band together and make a real change in a positive way! No hard feelings to FLOW regardless! they were going to do what they felt they had to even if it was in the most cowardly way..But at the same time I hope they know they will be loosing many Urban listeners due to the way they have decided to present themselves as a business. Shot outs to SPEX da original BOSS and all the other personalities that have touched he urban community, hold your headz high.. They can only keep us down if we let them! Time is of the Essence and bigger & better things are to come to those who are BLESSED! & to you Big Philly cause no matter what you are keeping us posted on the real deal in the life of Business in the T-Dot! They laugh with us but are threatened as they don’t try to understand in the end! Peace, Love & Respect!!!! Jae Millionz

  25. http://www.petitiononline.com/d3r2jay/petition.html

    we must support Dr. Jay and Spexx, sign the petition to bring them back to flow 93.5 fm, let your voices be heard.

  26. Why did CHUM have to take over FLOW 93.5? It used to be good, but now it is not as good as it used to be! So I am asking you to get CHUM away from your station, and move back to your original spot!
    I liked the mix-show DJ’s, OTA Live, The Real Frequency, Dr. Jay Spex, Big Tigger, and more! I hate CHUM for taking over The New Flow! So I want to sign a pension to bring it back.

  27. We must support Dr. Jay Spex, OTA Live, Real Frequency, mix show DJs, and the rest of the staff who used to be on this station! I remember the original FLOW, where it started off by playing hip hop, reggae, and R&B. Then they made a top 40 with an urban twist. Thanks, Flow for playing Viva La Vida, and all the other songs. Thanks Dr. Spex for bringing me into soca, and I heard: Spex is de boss!!!!! I can listen to 105.5 (although it is unclear), 89.5, and 106.5 FM (where they play the older hip hop songs). J Wyze and Jus Red used to be on this station, and we must support them too. This is why I want to sign a petition, and let my voice be heard! Big Tigger was a part of this as well, so we must support him too!

  28. HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEY BROOOO!!!!!!!! <3

  29. [...] In its first year of operation, G has already attracted some top-tier talent. Their list of mix-show DJs includes award winning club DJ Baba Kahn and former Flow talents like reggae jock Spex and soca DJ Dr. Jay, both of whom had their shows cancelled by Flow in spite of high ratings. [...]

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