I’m a little late coming into this news. During my commute each morning this week, I heard Stu Jeffries’ sweet voice and assumed that Humble & Colleen were on vacation again. I love Stu Jeffries. My problem is that his show is on in the evenings and it’s really an inconvenient time to listen to the radio what with all the trips to the gym, my son’s extracurricular, my favourite television shows. For me, it’s nice to get a chance to listen to Stu for a bit longer.
This morning, while sitting in the pool gallery at my son’s swimming lessons, checking my Facebook news feed, Colleen’s most recent status read:
wow. I am overwhelmed. Thank-you so much for all your kind comments. It means the world to me. Truly.
I suddenly got this sick feeling that it had happened again. After some quick Facebook investigation, I realized it was true. Humble & Colleen had been let go from Boom 97.3.
For the most part, the station had become like many others in Southern Ontario – a place where my generation could get nostalgic for the music we danced to (or wished we’d danced to) at high school dances. Since its inception a little over a year ago, it had seemed to become somewhat repetitive, music-wise, but each morning, I looked forward to The Humble Report and Colleen’s entertainment news.
Many remember Humble as half of Edge 102.1’s famed morning show, Humble & Fred. From 1989 to 2001, Humble, Fred, Danger Boy (Jason Barr – also a recent casualty of radio station restructuring) and occasional guests like Scary Bald Headed Pete (Pete Cugno) dominated the morning commute. In 2001, Humble & Fred left the Edge to work at sister station, Mojo 640. Following this, they moved to Mix 99.9 where Fred was subsequently let go, followed shortly after by Humble.
Fan backlash was great – just as it is now for the firing of Humble & Colleen, but it’s nothing new. Ask Erin Davis.
The Edge has had a particularly intense restructuring lately. In 2009, Martin Streek was let go suddenly along with Barry Taylor. Martin was the only remaining hold-back from the ‘Spirit of Radio’ days of CFNY. Three months later, he took his own life for reasons that are still unclear. Last year, Jason Barr was let go from the famed Dean Blundell Show where he was one third of Toronto’s most popular morning show.
Comments and postings on Facebook illustrate an angered fan base from each of these incidences, but in many cases, low ratings were cited. I guess it makes me want to ask these fans ‘are you really out there listening? If you are, why are the ratings so low?’
Humble Howard’s recent Facebook status update states:
Just another thanks to all my Facebook friends and pals for the overwhelming support and well wishes. All of it is very much appreciated and has made this a great week and highlight for me. Now let’s all get back to making fun of shit!!!!
I think the fans are taking it much harder than he is. The web (2.0) is filled with threats to stop listening to Boom 97.3 and claims that we’re all removing the station from our social networks, yet the number of fans of the station’s Facebook page has not decreased. In fact, it’s increased.
I’m certain that both Howard and Colleen will do just fine. Both have bounced back from this very situation in the past. Perhaps Colleen will reunite with Stu. Perhaps Howard will reunite with Fred. No matter what happens, if Howard’s looking to ‘get back to making fun of shit’, I think we can all just stop worrying about him. I’m sure we can find them both at other stations in short order. We all know that fans of radio morning shows are much more interested in the hosts than the music, so it really doesn’t matter what station. When the time comes, I’ll certainly try out Howard’s new show. Most of my adult life has been spent listening to him each weekday morning.
As for Stu, if his morning radio spot is permanent (as permanent as anything is in radio these days), then fabulous. I look forward to seeing what sort of morning show we can expect and, of course, his incredible, almost encyclopedic knowledge of an era of music that my friends and I had all of our best times to.