Flow 93.5 shows the door to most of it’s Canadian hip-hop/urban staff [Article/News]
Toronto, ON – Teknique The Kingpin from Kingpin Radio has spoken out on the recent changes at Flow93.5 – dubbed as his “Conspiracy Theory.” For those that don’t know, on February 2nd Flow93.5 let go of most of it’s urban/hip-hop staff and programming including HipHopCanada affiliates OTA Live and The Real Frequency. They also got rid of well known DJs and hosts Devo Brown, Dr. Jay, Spex, J-Wyze, and Jus Red to name a few. The change will mark the end of HipHopCanada and OTA Live’s Megacity Countdown (at least in terms of how it has been operating prior to Flow’s changes) and overall it is a serious blow to Canadian hip-hop’s support system. Click the jump below to read Teknique’s piece on Flow’s recent movmenets. Keep in the mind the views and opinions expressed in the piece are his and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of HipHopCanada and/or it’s affiliates. The article has been left in it’s original formatting and presentation.
“DISCLAIMER: I write this article with NO bias, I only tell the truth. I know and respect alot of the talent that works or worked for this radio station, therefore I would never intentionally offend!
On February 2, 2011 shockwaves were sent through the urban industry and the radio listening community when Toronto’s urban formatted radio station FLOW 93.5FM “let go” more than half of their current staff. This goes from on-air talent to production staff. So why? WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED???
Follow me now… Follow me closely as I reveal the “conspiracy theory” (go watch the movie with Mel Gibson & Julia Roberts).
As you know… A very big decision like this does not happen overnight! Sh*t, it doesn’t even happen with less than a month of hardcore contemplation. Therefore, this was a well thought out plan without the knowledge of those it would effect. Let me say this… At the end of the day BUSINESS IS BUSINESS! And in the immortal words of the veteran hip-hop group EPMD, “Business Never Personal”. I say that to say this, FLOW 93.5 was SOLD! That’s right, sold… Sold to the veteran radio conglomerate CHUM FM via CTV Globemedia for $27 million. Now if you know anything, you know that CHUM has “never” dealt in the urban genre of radio! So what does this mean for the station???
“It’s kind of hard to say, ‘What’s urban?’ and ‘What’s rhythmic?’ and ‘What’s hip-hop? Dance? What’s crossover?’” said CHUM Radio president Chris Gordon, who will oversee operations. “All I can tell you is that we’re committed to being a very rhythmic radio station.” (Star) <== C’MON SON!!! REALLY???
You remember when I said earlier to follow me? Get ready to keep up…
Anybody who knows TEK, knows I don’t speak about ANYTHING unless I got every side to compile the truth. I don’t take on hearsay… I speak directly to the sources for REAL information! I protect those people so I will never reveal the several people I talked to first hand to assist in me writing a more detailed portrait of the truth. Now, how did we get to this point? People you got to see the signs! When you see NEW people entering an already “productive” business model in multiples and the former positions being rearranged, it’s a “tell tale” sign.
This is when I move fast! Ready???
If you’re an avid listener of FLOW as I am, you’ll notice in the past month or more (see my 3rd paragraph) alot changed! Devo Brown moved from the coveted, highly rated afternoon drive slot to the morning show, “The Mel & D Show”. This move made room for JENI to move from the “warm-up” midday slot to the afternoon drive slot. ***PLEASE NOTE: radio stations usually put their BEST talent or the ones that they have the most support for into this afternoon drive slot as it’s when “most” people listen.***
If you’ll also notice, FLOW hired or headhunted, whatever you wanna call it, a radio announcer named PETER KASH from rival radio station Z103.5FM and put him in the morning show with the recently transplanted Devo Brown and that slots veteran Melanie (another “recruit” from Z103.5FM). Now this was only temporary because just weeks later PETER KASH was moved to the midday slot, well at least to “cover” for a while because if you view FLOW’s website right now you’ll notice he has now taken on the night slot from 8pm! And have you heard a newer female voice on FLOW lately??? Yeah, that’s Miss Ange who now is the host of the midday slot within the past few weeks. We’ll get back to her in a minute…
Confused??? But you see the movement right???
Well what does all this movement do? Well it sets up all the executives at FLOW with a very comfortable cushion so that you get used to these changes and these new on-air personalites so that when they “cut” the ones that you were used to before, the blow is less noticeable or felt because you’ve now got used to these “new” people.
In a nutshell, FLOW pulled what many businesses do when there’s been an aquisition… The old “bait and switch” aka the “Conspiracy Theory”. FLOW released Devo Brown, Dr. Jay, Spex, J-Wyze, Jus Red, Rez, Ty Harper, Arcee, M.I. and more. The very popular hip-hop radio shows The Real Frequency and one of my favs, OTA Live, are now defunct. All mixshow DJs, sales staff, production staff, and promotion staff have also gotten the “axe”. However they kept Program Director, Wayne Williams and musical director Justin Dumont AKA DJ Deuce! I hope these 2 can at least fight for some kind of urban existence at the station. As for those fired, these people put blood, sweat and tears into this station only to be abruptly stopped from sharing their talent on the airwaves, via this radio station.
My respect and compassion goes out to all of those that were let go! I feel your pain, I’ve been there.
Now let’s talk the future… I’m makin’ predictions right now! If I’m right in the next couple of months, you all owe me a 3 piece chicken dinner at Popeyes!!! The name FLOW will be changed! I think it will be to either BOUNCE, HOT or THE BEAT 93.5FM. I also predict that the station will move from where they are currently across from the Eaton Centre on Yonge St. to the CHUM buildings on Queen St. I predict they will continue to “woo” talent from other Canadian radio stations (ie. Miss Ange who came from a radio station in Alberta which oddly shares one of my “predicted” names for the new station, hmmmmmm). I can tell you right now, that the format will change to Top 40 with a few urban mixshows. Meaning, don’t be surprised when you hear artists like Pink, Justin Bieber, Kesha, Bruno Mars etc. on regular rotation.
Moral of the story… The entertainment business is just that, a BUSINESS!!! It’s also a very ever changing and fickle business. Your position can be swept from under you in a moment. Build your brand, expand your empire! Nothing in showbiz lasts forever.
Will I ever listen to FLOW or whatever it will be called again??? Of course! Why? Cause I love music. And I also have people I like, that will stay on the station like JENI and Starting From Scratch. Will they gain more listenership because of the change, maybe… But will they loose the support of the urban community and hard working independent artists??? You figure it out… ***FYI, this now leaves the whole country of Canada WITHOUT even one urban formatted commercial radio station!*** And with the way they are getting rid of the community stations (ie. CIUT, CKLN, etc.), where the FAAACK ARE WE GONNA HEAR HIP-HOP and R&B??? Time to make that call to Sirius or XM Satelite radio to sign up sonnnnnn… Or even online radio stations like my own www.KingpinRadio.net (lol, shameless plug). REAL TALK!
I’m TEKNIQUE The Kingpin, and I can only be real! I will never apologize for that. Easy… ”