102.1 the Edge/Toronto is Doing Just Fine, Thank You

Yeah, the station got winged and lost its way for a while, but things are much, MUCH better. Check out this article from FYI Music News.

The Edge is doing quite nicely,  thank you very much—and having Indie 88.1 in the Toronto radio market helps to shine a light on a music segment that could use some promotion in the city.

That’s a takeaway from chatting with Dave Farough, General Manager of 102.1 the edge, along with Q107 and AM640. Defensive or offensive about having competition in the market he is not. “We need more champions for local heroes and Canadian acts in general,” he says enthusiastically over the phone from Corus Entertainment’s connected waterfront complex in the city.

His enthusiasm is infectious, as his concerns are real.

“We know we can never get back to the share of market the Edge had in 2004,” he says candidly. “The world has changed over the last ten years. Now we are competing with the Rdios, YouTubes of this world—and we know as much as 30-percent of our audience is listening on smartphones, which the PPM audience measurement service is having a challenge tracking. In fact, they have a hard time tracking younger demos period. And it’s not unique to us. It’s the same for all radio stations”

Farough is a team cheerleader for Canada’s radio community and doesn’t like to detract from what others are doing, even if he is daily in a rough-and-tumble fight to win his own war.

He speaks highly of Doug Bingley, owner of Indie 88, and admits it’s a tough-go being an alternative music station in a market where pop rules.

The heritage FM, once dubbed ‘the Spirit of Radio’ has long championed the next ‘wave’ of musical stars, but as trends evolve it’s sometimes a bumpy road. “Indie, Alt-call it what you will, the format has to be flexible,” Alan Cross chimes in over the phone.

If anyone has an ear to the ground, Cross is it. He looks back at the trends: “In the ’90s it was big guitars and grunge, but the format has evolved with the music. We’re trending back to the ’80s. Pop has, again, become more melodic, lush productions without dominant guitars are what people are listening to (and purchasing) these days.

“The format has to be elastic. Flexible. And we are attentive to these trends and I think we are evolving easily with the times.”


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Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

3 thoughts on “102.1 the Edge/Toronto is Doing Just Fine, Thank You

  • February 13, 2015 at 8:59 am

    I understand that it’s not 2004 anymore and the music landscape has changed but I still feel like the music programming could improve. It seems like the edge is stuck on this “Play the album singles that were hits in the 90’s OVER AND OVER and mix it up with some new age kinda pop rock….. Just bring back “The Edge” a little bit. We’ve heard RHCP “Otherside” enough times, we get it. Also Foo Fighters. WE KNOW. Remember when “The Headstones” were considered an “Edge Artist”. I’m pretty sure nobody that works at the edge have even heard of Headstones. (They released two albums in the past two years if you were looking for some Canadian content that isnt 3 days grace). I think things have improved within the past couple months keep up the great work!

  • February 13, 2015 at 10:20 am

    I’m a 42 year old woman, originally from Buffalo, NY. I grew up listening to 102.1 and miss listening to it now that I live in Indiana. I tune in whenever I am home but I normally don’t listen to FM radio at all. I can tell you where my disposable income is going when it comes to music – satellite radio. The quality of the sound alone is worth the monthly subscription but I also appreciate the lack of commercials and the variety of programming options. My primary station is AltNation (SiriusXM 36) but I also tune in to SiriusXMU, The Loft, The Spectrum, the Canadian channels, and even the pop channels or the 40s channel once in a while. The variety is truly amazing and completely superior to FM radio. So, the FM markets may think they are in competition with each other and streaming, but they don’t have anything on satellite radio. The pop channels I listen to are LA and NY based FM channels – I would listen to The Edge in a heartbeat if it was available on SiriusXM.


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