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October 16, 2020 9:01 am  #1


Jon Pole Says MyFM Wants More Stations As Firm Blows Its Own Horn

I guess this proves the old media adage that if you don't give yourself attention, no one else will. Which may explain a "news" item on one of the MyFM station website pages, in which station president Jon Pole congratulates the company and its staffers for appearing on the annual "Growth List" for 11 years in a row. 

It's rare to hear Pole in his MyFM role. He's often talked about being a "business owner" on his Bell radio talk shows, but he never actually says what kind of business he runs. Curious that he had to go to a different company to do that talk show. Although they're music formats, you'd think with so many stations, he could put his own network together if he really wanted to. 

10-years on the growth list for local radio station My Broadcasting Corporation   

 

October 16, 2020 9:24 am  #2


Re: Jon Pole Says MyFM Wants More Stations As Firm Blows Its Own Horn

It's a neat business model: Starting radio stations mostly in markets that otherwise couldn't sustain one by centralizing and keeping costs low. I mean, lots of companies are moving in that direction, but his *started* that way, and it works. The stations on an individual basis have very few people at them, but they end up sounding local through newscasts, weather reports, community listings, and even commercial breaks.

I'm sure the talk-show is just a fun add-on for him; there's no way to wedge that into the business.


 
 

October 16, 2020 10:02 am  #3


Re: Jon Pole Says MyFM Wants More Stations As Firm Blows Its Own Horn

I actually admire Jon Pole. He learned the lesson Moses Znaimer was so fond of stressing - local, local, local. In the end, that works better than trying to cover too much ground for too many. The message and branding was effective.

When there was an international or national story, I'd head to CTV or the CBC. But when there was a local yarn brewing, my TV newscast of choice was always City, if only because I knew they'd have it and possibly assign several reporters to it. 

I'll never forget the collapse of the Uptown Theatre at Bloor & Yonge in 2003. They did a great job covering that story, back when they still controlled CP24. The constant updates and live coverage as they searched for survivors and tried to mount a rescue sticks with me to this day. 

Sadly, they're only a shadow of their former selves under Rogers, which has made the place more corporate and as a result, a lot less interesting. I hardly ever watch them now.  

Local works if it's done right. MyFM sounds like it's doing just that.    

     Thread Starter
 

October 16, 2020 11:14 am  #4


Re: Jon Pole Says MyFM Wants More Stations As Firm Blows Its Own Horn

RadioActive wrote:

Local works if it's done right. MyFM sounds like it's doing just that.    

Yup, and NO American network mornings lol
 

 

October 16, 2020 3:56 pm  #5


Re: Jon Pole Says MyFM Wants More Stations As Firm Blows Its Own Horn

Radiowiz wrote:

RadioActive wrote:

Local works if it's done right. MyFM sounds like it's doing just that.    

Yup, and NO American network mornings lol
 

No American mornings on MY FM but perhaps on that sports turned alt rock in Peterborough? 

 

October 16, 2020 4:34 pm  #6


Re: Jon Pole Says MyFM Wants More Stations As Firm Blows Its Own Horn

rawkgurl wrote:

Radiowiz wrote:

RadioActive wrote:

Local works if it's done right. MyFM sounds like it's doing just that.    

Yup, and NO American network mornings lol
 

No American mornings on MY FM but perhaps on that sports turned alt rock in Peterborough? 

Yes; they're running the Woody Show.


 
 

October 17, 2020 9:48 pm  #7


Re: Jon Pole Says MyFM Wants More Stations As Firm Blows Its Own Horn

I can receive three "My FM" stations; St Thomas, Strathroy and Exeter. They almost always have the same content with time blocks for local commercials, weather, news etc. I assume that's the successful formula to keep costs low. They tend to run fairly low power and cover towns that arguably could not support a full service operation. I do not ever recall hearing a live voice; even the news is canned. Never a time or temperature check.

Hats off to them for making it work.

 

October 17, 2020 10:04 pm  #8


Re: Jon Pole Says MyFM Wants More Stations As Firm Blows Its Own Horn

darcyh wrote:

I can receive three "My FM" stations; St Thomas, Strathroy and Exeter. They almost always have the same content with time blocks for local commercials, weather, news etc. I assume that's the successful formula to keep costs low. They tend to run fairly low power and cover towns that arguably could not support a full service operation. I do not ever recall hearing a live voice; even the news is canned. Never a time or temperature check.

Hats off to them for making it work.

Corus tried that with the Big FM's and Q at one point, all same music, but with their slight differences My FM style.
I guess it wasn't working for them. No complaints from me!
It does surprise me though because if the music is the same on many different stations you really only need one music director instead of hiring several...

 

October 17, 2020 10:17 pm  #9


Re: Jon Pole Says MyFM Wants More Stations As Firm Blows Its Own Horn

Indeed, sensible. Listeners in Exeter by and large won't know or care if Strathroy sounds the same. In fact, listening from one's car, and assuming they know to tune in , they might appreciate listening to what sounds like their own local, recognizing and likely not caring too much that ads may differ and that forecasts and local news will be local. Weather in Strathroy won't be too far off what it is in Exeter or in St. Thomas - in fact aside from hyper-local snowsqualls it will be pretty much the same. They haven't killed local radio by networking, rather they have the potential to maximize efficiencies, much like buying in bulk. When I worked at small chain of weekly papers in sw ON (Paris and Norwich, with other papers in Tillsonburg and Ayr etc), there was some attempt at duplication, and we could have done more. The trick is  knowing where to be unique, and making sure the staffers that are local establish a true local presence and character. You cover your town or regional councils and school boards, you give space to local organizations and causes, your people participate in or are present at local events, etc... you sponsor the fall fair, you help your community through Covid in a very local way, etc... but the music is networked, national news is networked (BN). You should even share regional news and deploy reporters strategically as appropriate. You have templates for contests, sales, promotions, etc. Really, it's no-brainer stuff...

 

October 18, 2020 10:42 pm  #10


Re: Jon Pole Says MyFM Wants More Stations As Firm Blows Its Own Horn

darcyh wrote:

I can receive three "My FM" stations; St Thomas, Strathroy and Exeter. They almost always have the same content with time blocks for local commercials, weather, news etc. I assume that's the successful formula to keep costs low. They tend to run fairly low power and cover towns that arguably could not support a full service operation. I do not ever recall hearing a live voice; even the news is canned. Never a time or temperature check.

Hats off to them for making it work.

Thank you.
I only know them as a listener and I find listening to these stations a real slog.  There's nothing but out of market voice tracks, especially on weekends. The music of their AC stations is bland with a lifeless voice doing extros on every song, and you won't even find any mention of the music on the websites.  It's like the music is an afterthought.  The top hour ID in one market had the emphasis on the wrong syllable of the town name for weeks after it launched according to a friend who was really excited to have a local station but switched back to the out of market stations they had listened to previously.  It keeps making a "growth list" despite adding roughly two employees each time they open a station and they just laid people off.  I don't understand the love affair other media seem to have with this company.  In any market with a competitor I find that the competitor does a better job of giving the listener some entertainment value.  My FM is the audio equivalent of eating Shredded Wheat with skim milk. 

Last edited by Prod Guy (October 18, 2020 10:43 pm)

 

October 19, 2020 1:16 am  #11


Re: Jon Pole Says MyFM Wants More Stations As Firm Blows Its Own Horn

Prod Guy wrote:

My FM is the audio equivalent of eating Shredded Wheat with skim milk. 

Are you actually saying that a better milk choice is needed? Or  to simply add sugar to the bowl?