Thursday, September 3, 2009

It Was A Fun Ride While It Lasted

Well, it’s been just about a month since that dark day in early August when the radio show I had done for 20 years came to an end. It was a great ride. It’s also been since that time that I haven’t written any blog pieces, updated my Facebook status or tweeted. It’s been a self imposed communications blackout on my part.

The downside of such a blackout is that people start speculating as to what has happened to me. Have I turned into a hermit like Howard Hughes? Well in a nutshell, the answer is no. I have not been collecting my fingernail and toenail clippings or urine, I don’t wear Kleenex boxes as slippers and I have not started to collect an unusually high number of cats (and if you’ve read past blog posts you know the latter would never happen!)

It’s amazing that with today’s technology people seem to have less and less actual personal contact yet appear to be more connected with each other from a distance. I have no idea who my neighbours are and I couldn’t pick them out of a line up if my life depended on it, but people who are essentially total strangers are starting to hypothesize that I must be lying under a heap of vintage newspapers with mail piling up outside my door just because my Facebook hasn’t been updated over the last little while (I’m surprised some people didn’t start checking hospitals and morgues). Both my website and my blog had the highest traffic on them that they have ever had and again, that’s without me writing one word or changing a single pixel in a month!

Truth be told, there are two reasons as to why I haven’t been online for awhile. The “day of the long knives” was the first Wednesday of the month and the end of the week was supposed to be the beginning of my vacation. Little did I know that my employers wanted my vacation to start earlier and last a lot longer! So I decided that since I had a couple of weeks scheduled off that I would treat the time just the way I had initially planned and do nothing that had anything to do with, or involving work (or due to the current situation, looking for work).

The second reason was for me, due to some surprising turn of events. As mentioned, I have been inundated with emails, social network messages and phone calls in the last month and it’s been nearly impossible to respond to all of them (especially with the aforementioned self imposed exile already in place). The reaction to the article in the Montreal Gazette concerning my termination was overwhelming. As someone who was always more concerned about the show itself, as opposed to my own personal image, frankly the attention, while gratifying, is somewhat embarrassing.

And now that a month has passed, I still don’t have any answers to the questions that many have attempted to ask. What am I going to do in the future? I don’t know. Am I going to do another radio show? I don’t know. How do you get the Caramilk in the Caramilk bar? I don’t know.

What I do know is that I’m not going to rush into anything. I’m going to take some more time to continue to play online poker, watch daytime soaps and contemplate the future (I know, I know, there are some people out there who think this is worse than collecting your own urine!)

I know that I will still continue to search for the kind of stories that I used to share on the air regularly and write about here on occasion, so the blog will continue in one way or another (and I’m open to suggestions from you fine readers out there as to what the future could possibly bring, both online and elsewhere).

On another note, besides lamenting the demise of the radio show, many listeners expressed outrage at the sudden ending of the broadcast. While I do not agree with the termination itself, I do have to defend the station concerning the speed in which it was handled (oh, how I loathe to have to do this because after all, “boss” spelled backwards is “double-S-O-B”) .

People who do live radio do not and should not get a chance to say goodbye. With 50,000 watts of raw power on two radio stations beaming across all of eastern Canada, into three Border States and beyond, no broadcast outlet in their right mind would give a talk show host who is about to be shown the door a chance to vent their spleen. That would be tantamount to being let go from a major corporation in a major metropolitan area and right after they escort you to the curb of their shiny high rise at high noon, they hand you a bull horn.

As I said in the newspaper article (the link to which you can find above) broadcasters are like professional sports coaches – they are hired to be fired. And firing is all they can do. They can’t kill you. About the only thing I’ve been surprised about, as this whole situation unfolded, is just how other people who are in the business seemed to be . . . surprised! You’d think after seeing this type of thing happen time and time again, they’d realize, it’s just radio!

That’s the Stuph – the way I see it.

58 comments:

  1. Well said. I can't wait to see you back doing what you do best.

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  2. I miss you on the radio! Late night radio is just not the same without you

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  3. Very well put, you are a class act, I look forward to more Stuph.

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  4. Awe Pah, the trade off in Montreal verses the real world...if we were a quirky US town, you'd be a corospondent or a Jeannie Moos type moment on a multitude of stations and your show would be forever sought out ..Your range of extended family far exceeded Seinfeld ( by the way Jason Alexander plays on "my" Poker Stars site ).
    Well for it's worth, us "holders of tissues, will boo hoo the loss of one of a kind . Stations feel The nite folk want those that appear to jump out of the babble mould of pretention.
    Is that what we're reduced to CJAD ?? Answer us, It's just a matter of scruples ...

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  5. Very classy and diplomatic. Overnights just blow without your presence. As you said, 'tis the nature of the biz, nothing much you can do about it.

    I just hope you're on the radio soon- can't afford to buy the stuff from those overnight infomercials for much longer! LOL

    Cheers!

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  6. Nice article. The humor is a nice touch and without over doing it you explained the situation well enough for people to get it.

    What is surprising is the fact that in the face of backlash against Astral and CJAD that there has been no response by them. Goes to show that your classier than they are.

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  7. Seems like Astral Media Radio is cleaning house all over... You are very good at what you do, and I believe you will land on your feet.. you have a lot of Talent.

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  8. Hey there. Hi there Ho there...really miss you bro!

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  9. The top of the chocolate bar comes down a production line upside-down, so that six little pockets appear as depressions. Into each goes a frozen block of caramel. The top is then coated with a thin layer of chocolate and the final assembly and packaging takes place. And very quickly the caramel has melted and...

    Now you know. An executive at Rowntree's told me that in 1969 shortly after I first came to Toronto. I've known the secret for 40 years and you're only the 3rd or 4th person I've ever told. Now it's your turn not to tell anyone else.



    Ralph Lucas
    Publisher
    Northernstars.ca - http://www.northernstars.ca

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  10. "One day I just noticed you were gone and kept thinking this must be the new way to torture us when he's on vacation. I missed the press and I am EXTREMELY sorry to read the news. I really enjoyed your show.

    You were my bonus for insomnia...a way to transition between day & night...one of the few good reasons to turn on the radio.

    Thanks for your loyalty & for the laughs.

    Best of luck!"

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  11. Wow, that sucks! You really got into a fine groove with that show. Time to find a new ride and make it even better than the last one!

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  12. Hi there,
    Got a chance to talk to Mike Bendixen. What a schmo! He actually was arguing with me that PAH never took phone calls from listeners. He was also quite a rude person. I understand that a station would not want a fired person to vent on air but to leave their audience hanging, wondering what's going on is not very respectful. Take care Peter and I hope we will hear from you on the radio soon.

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  13. Hello there... what a great article... the soaps will definitely keep you grounded, lol... look forward to hearing about your next adventure.

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  14. I'm having terrible "STUPH File" withdrawal!!

    Astral made a huge mistake in taking your show off the air! It proves that they don't know their own market and what is so unique to Mtl! Miss you and hope to listen to you again soon!

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  15. Wow that really sucks! You offered one of the best platforms for my radio tour. Why do the good ones always have to get it?

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  16. You are an irreplaceable force/voice in radio Peter!

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  17. "And firing is all they can do. They can’t kill you." Priceless bud!

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  18. Keep the faith Peter it's only a matter of time before you are back on the air with another network or even back on CJAD in the near future. In the mean time maybe you should think of becoming Mayor of Montreal just think about Mayor Peter Anthony Holder has a sweet sound doesn't it! ;)

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  19. It's funny how CJAD prides itself on "bringing you the latest news first" yet goes and replace PAH with re-runs. One night while I was listening to Tommy, it was mentioned that Ted Kennedy died and I was like "again?... oh wait, ya, re-run, right..." They don't even edit the shows right to at least not make it obvious. Listening to Peter really was like a soft pillow...over your head. Come back Peter!!!

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  20. I really hope we hear you in radio again. You are greatly missed...

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  21. Peter - you never cease to impress me. Glad to see your blog again

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  22. I have the greatest confidence that even better opportunities will arise, i just hope that they're where we,in this market can see and/or hear them.

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  23. Peter, you are a real gentleman. If CJAD had any brains, they would have moved you to the daytime, and you would have ended up with a large audience. (Even though I know that you liked the night spot.) You don't know how frustrating the repeats are. I now listen to books on tape at night. CJAD has become too boring.

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  24. I was sooo sorry to hear that CJAD canceled the show and let go many hosts. I have always stated, you are one of the BEST interviewers in the industry. Who knows this may open doors to even bigger opportunities.

    Please keep me posted where you 'land'.

    Warm Wishes,

    Karen
    KBC MEDIA
    NJ/NYC:

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  25. Hi Peter Anthony: I am sure you will be the gentleman and class act that you have always been - no matter what you choose to do. Don't rush into anything and enjoy your "new adventure" .....I know don't you hate when people call it an adventure. Take Care ! Debbie Crawley-Ruzza

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  26. Hey Peter, you need to get another gig at some point. The real world is way to cruel! Enjoy your time off, but I'm sure something else will come up

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  27. Very sorry to hear that, Peter.
    It's clearly Montreal/Toronto radio's loss.
    I always enjoyed appearing on your show and appreciate your support of my books.
    I'm sure there is another great opportunity for you just around the corner!
    Scott

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  28. Can't believe that your show was canceled. You had a really well put together program, and with Coast To Coast AM in a slump, it might've been your turn to pick up ratings. What were they thinking?

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  29. Peter- A good radio person will get another gig...you'll be on the air soon. I listen to you from Connecticut...even in this area that has 30 million people within three hours of me (and many many stations)...you and your cohorts at CJAD presented a radio station that is rare in today's world...entertaining AND local. I listened to you over Joey Reynolds....think of it that way, and he's no slouch."

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  30. Peter-I can relate-my 23 year ride at a major television studio ended a couple of years ago but I felt fortunate to have lasted that long. It was a true pleasure being a guest on your show. I really enjoyed it! Best of luck.

    Andy Teach
    Author
    From Graduation to Corporation: The Practical Guide to Climbing the Corporate Ladder One Rung at a Time

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  31. We miss your late night antics! I'm one of the angry people who sent an angry email to CJAD. I'm not impressed and don't listen to CJAD at night anymore. No one wants to hear the best of Tommy. Ugh. Oh well, good luck to you!

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  32. Patricia McGurty WilsonSeptember 3, 2009 at 9:24 PM

    You are so level headed and sorely missed. CJAD is now really toast without the butter...I have tried to listen to the station from time to time and it is sooo boring. I only listen to the news and traffic and switch to 940....can't hack the droning that some of them go on and on.....Like I said before with our lack of English talk radio they are ... doing something wrong! I didn't like when they seemed to give the rush to callers. Now it's just dead. Not even entertaining. It seemed a while back it felt like family....what's next Paul Reid's Christmas Show?

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  33. Hey Peter, Hope you're Tickety-Boo!! Life is not the same without you.
    It's almost criminal what "they've" done to that station. I really think the ship is sinking and it won't be too long before it goes under - or hopefully sold to someone who knows what Montrealers want and NEED in English radio. Miss you, Good Luck. Keep us informed.

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  34. Read your blog. Glad that you are doing okay, Hope you find another job on the radio soon. I miss you.

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  35. Sigh....What are we going to listen to at night without PAH? You the the best thing to happen to overnight/evening radio in Montreal. Come back soon to any frequency...I'll tune in.

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  36. Guess radio etiquette is the same in Canada as in the good ole USA - at least from my first-hand knowledge of NYC,LA and Wash D.C. radio - you've stated it well - but I warn and predict that the radio bug will hit you again - if you bite it will be radio's gain!

    Keep blogging.

    Meanwhile enjoy life as the next chapter unfolds for you.

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  37. Well said Peter. I will be reading your blogs until I can hear you again. Miss you. Best wishes.

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  38. See the time I am posting? Still here in withdrawl. My ears have the DTs and it ain't pretty! Miss you so very much, Peter. Please try to Blog whenever you can. Or you could always do Stuph File Podcasts! :)

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  39. Peter,

    You do not need CJAD's or any other mass media channel to record and publish a talk-radio show. It is called, "Podcasting" and you can do it for free, and your audience can reach well beyond Montreal and the the out-lying areas.

    No reason not to. What's the worst thing that can happen? Suddenly you'll have a global audience and all of the great content that you create can be findable, searchable and listenable (I think that's a word) forever... unlike radio where what you say is forever lost in the ether the moment it comes out of your mouth.

    If I were you, I would keep the show going online. People can listen in live, download it via iTunes, stream it and more.

    The best part is that you can record it when you want, do a show for as long as you want and... say what you want ;)

    Call me if you would like to discuss :)

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  40. Why didn't I know this at all? OMG. Well, what the future might bring? HELLO?! COME TO EUROPE haha! Finally, you have time to get away from that poker screen (you really do collect urine don't you) and board an Air Transit this way. Amsterdam is calling your name, PA! Ha!

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  41. Peter:

    Great blog entry, and you responded to this difficult time in your unique inimitable way. Take a little time for some rest and reflection and enjoy a little bit. But if you end up watching TV evangelists and eating Cheetos (like Ron White once described),or even worse, start reading Ali MacGraw's book and liking it, then I will begin to worry.

    All the best and keep in touch.

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  42. Can you maybe record a few hours of programming every night and mail it to me?

    Thanks :)

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  43. Looking forward to your upcoming blogs and crossing my fingers that your next adventure will be as classy as you are.

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  44. Still remember back in 1989 as I lay awake almost all night recovering from my accident listening to your shows. CJAD 's loss will be someone else's gain.

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  45. Peter, Be positive. Better things to come. There is a reason for everything. We all have our seasons. Look ahead, not over your shoulder, to see what is ahead for you.

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  46. You were a constant. Miss your show Peter. I hope you come back to another radio station that knows the good stock when they hear it

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  47. I listened to you from day 1 Peter....now I'm stuck listening to crap at night. Let's hope you get a gig on 940 perhaps? God Bless and thanks for the great ride...you're too talented to not have work in radio.

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  48. CJAD lost a listener for the things they have done. I'm there for news....and that's it.

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  49. I miss your show very much. Whatever it is that you choose to do, you will be successful. You are very gifted.

    I love the Boss spelled backwards reference -- how true, how true.

    Do you watch One Life To Live? What about that corrupt mayor, eh?

    Cats are evil.

    Cheers,
    Clacker

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  50. Us Night Owls will miss your show, your voice,your humor etc. but I'm sure you will surface on the airways again in the near future. Best of luck finding your next "MIKE"

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  51. Peter, you lost a very special former listener today... http://rowie-randomcrap.blogspot.com/

    Now I miss you AND him... :(

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  52. You are truly being missed.

    I personally have not turned on the radio at night because I would have nightmares if I heard Tommy's voice before going to bed.

    I think a podcast would be great

    charles

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  53. Nights are not the same.....now I sleep from 12 until 4. Waiting to hear your voice somewhere and I hope it will be soon. I'm missing out on a lot of "stuph".

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  54. Insomnia just isn't fun anymore since you're gone. I even miss your little song, "Let's all go to the lobby...".

    New Year's Eve at home won't be the same anymore neither.

    I really hope that you end up back on either TV or on the radio again doing what you do best!

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  55. Dearest Peter,

    CJAD will not be the same without you. Like many others, I was surprised and saddened to hear the news. I know from personal experience that the nice guy your listeners have come to know and love over the last 20 years is the real deal. I will never forget how you shared your platform with me when I was looking for a media job by letting me be your roving reporter. For this, I will always be grateful. We also co-hosted many community events and fundraisers together where you generously volunteered your time.

    Furthermore, I am also one of your many fans, as is my mom, who became an even bigger fan when you let her tell her ice storm, fish story on air. I was at the station that evening and remember how you struggled to keep your composure as mom -relishing the limelight- described in great comedic detail how she valiantly fought to save some well marinated, fried fish in a makeshift balcony freezer from a crazed and determined Lachine alley cat who ultimately emerged the victor.

    Something tells me that we haven’t seen or heard the last of Peter Anthony Holder yet because true media pros like you are a hardy and resilient breed. Plus, you’re a man of many talents who has worn many hats over the years including announcer, voice over artist and TV reporter. We are all watching with excitement to see which hat you put on next.

    The best is yet to come!

    Warm wishes,

    Janice and her Mom

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  56. Hi Peter,
    I just want to say how disappointed and shocked I was when I heard that you were no longer on late night radio. I am 34 years old right now and followed your shows since I was in high school so I sort of grew up with your program. I really hope you stay in the radio industry. You were very pleasant to listen to and very entertaining as well. My evenings are so quiet right now...it will take a while getting used to the silence. :-(
    -a fan

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