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Fri Sep 8 10:07 am  #1

CKTB Host Puts “Sonny From Richmond Hill” In His Place

What a delightful moment on talk radio it was Friday, when CKTB mid-morning host Tom McConnell took a call from the relentless “Sonny from Richmond Hill.” a guy well known as a talk show regular who tries to get on every show on every station, regardless of the topic, and turn it into a rant against Islamophobia, how evil Conervwtives are, why the western world is doomed and how every white person is an obvious racist. 
Sure enough, at about 10:45 AM, he got on the air on 610 – the only station in the area that will accept his calls anymore – and immediately launched into a complaint about being kept on hold for too long when he called in the previous day. When they finally went to him, he hung up on them on air.
McConnell not so politely informed him that the show isn’t there at his disposal, that they have other callers and other topics, and that he has to wait his turn like everybody else until they get to him – if they ever do. He further intimated that talk shows aren't a democracy but a "show" and that it's not always the caller who dialed in first that gets taken but the one who can best contribute to the dialogue that gets priority. 
Sonny’s idiotic though perhaps predictable response was something about the ignorance of call screeners and how the process should either be automated (how would that work exactly?) or else – and get this – the given phone number should go directly on air without ever going through a producer first.
McConnell finally hung up on him, but not before thanking him for his call, and telling him that the next time he dialed them up, he would make sure he waits on hold for at least 20 minutes! Priceless.
I’m curious how those out there who’ve done this in their careers deal with regular callers who jam phone lines claiming to have an opinion on everything and wanting to get on day after day after day. Annoying but part of the job. 


Fri Sep 8 11:49 am  #2

Re: CKTB Host Puts “Sonny From Richmond Hill” In His Place

Regular callers can be a real pain, but they can also occasionally help prime the pump when things are slow. But they should be used sparingly.
That said, I can remember one regular caller who turned into a major part of one talk show, thanks to the ingenuity of the host. It was a long time ago, in the early 80s, when the late, great Earl McRae was fronting “Open Line Sports” on CJCL, still a music-talk mix at 1430.
Some old geezer named “Jack” kept calling into the show and mouthing off on Toronto sports teams, although he didn’t have a lot of knowledge about any of them. One day, McRae suddenly decided on the spur of the moment on air to “reveal” that Jack – who had a gruff, hard-edged voice - was actually a prisoner spending time in the Don Jail for an offence that was never specified.
Of course, he wasn’t, but that started it. Every time he called in, Earl would refer to his jail time, asking how the meals were, did he get along with the other inmates, etc. It quickly became a feature of the show, and escalated and got more elaborate so that every time Jack called in, there would be the sounds of cell doors opening, prison chains rattling and more. One time, the sound effects included a woman screaming in terror as he came on the phone. And when they hung up on him, the call would always end with a cell door slamming shut.
It was hilarious, and I still remember it. That, I suppose, is one way to turn a regular nuisance into a regular feature that you actually looked forward to hearing. But it took a talent like McRae, who was very quick on his feet, to make it happen. 

     Thread Starter

Fri Sep 8 5:25 pm  #3

Re: CKTB Host Puts “Sonny From Richmond Hill” In His Place

Sonny from Richmond Hill is, and always has been, a jerk, but given a choice between his predictable outrage and 'Terry from Port Perry's pomposity, I might actually have to go with Mr. Islam.  Fortunately, just about nobody ever allows Terry anywhere near the airwaves anymore.


Fri Sep 8 5:58 pm  #4

Re: CKTB Host Puts “Sonny From Richmond Hill” In His Place

Whatever happened to "Don from Brampton"?


Fri Sep 8 11:27 pm  #5

Re: CKTB Host Puts “Sonny From Richmond Hill” In His Place

Some regulars are nice to hear, but certainly not every hour.

On the Stafford show, Ed (formerly from Innisfil) is always brief, to the point, and makes a contribution to the topic.

I always got a kick out of "Deb from Fargo".  Wish she'd call more than once in a blue moon.