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.”