CKNW reveals new host line up

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CKNW reveals new host line up

CKNW News Talk 980 has revealed its new host line up which comes into effect on September 2nd.  The new structure has been designed to “enable the station to talk and listen to a new and more diverse audience.”

The shuffle up begins in the morning with Jon McComb hosting from 5:30 am to 10 am weekdays:  With more than 30 years experience on CKNW,  McComb brings his unique perspective to morning radio for the first time. This award winning journalist will set the tone for CKNW’s new vision.

McComb will then hand off to the 2013 Webster Award Commentator of the Year, Simi Sara from 10 am to 2 pm weekdays: Sara’s passion for storytelling and openness to listen to differing opinions is what will define her role in the CKNW line up.

Following Simi Sara will be Mike Eckford—2 pm to 6 pm weekdays:  With more than 10 years T.V. experience on Urban Rush, Eckford will be a daily adventure, as he injects his strongly opinioned stance to the afternoon.

And, a new voice from down under, Justin ‘Drex’ Wilcomes bring some edge to CKNW—6 pm to 10 pm weekdays: ‘Drex’ is not afraid to push boundaries. With a previous broadcaster he challenged the Premier and lost his job, but was quickly picked up by Corus. One of Vancouver’s most active social media personalities, Drex will continue his irreverence on CKNW.

Even with a new line up and new personalities in place, CKNW is holding onto familiar shows and voices. “Coast to Coast” with George Noory is the #1 listened to overnight show in North America and will continue to air in its regular spot—10 pm to 5 am.

And finally, “Reality Check” with Bruce Allen.—daily:  Allen will offer up his unabashed, unique opinions and agree with him or not, he will force you to take a stand.

“This is definitely a new chapter in the history of this great radio station,” says Ian Koenigsfest, Brand Director AM Programming at Corus Radio Vancouver. “Our station has long had the most outspoken, engaging host in Canada. This new lineup carries on with that tradition.”

In August, CKNW lost two giants of the industry when Philip Till and Bill Good retired facilitating this need for change.


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  1. Replacing Bill Good was going to be a difficult, if not impossible task. He is engaging, articulate and challenges his guests with both sides of an issue.

    While I do listen to the other hosts I thought the station might go a little further and try and find a better alternative than rejigging the current line-up.

    I always appreciate CKNW’s topical insight into the more important issues of the day but I will at the very least be tuning in less often than always.

  2. Kudos to CKNW for its new line up. It’s announcement speaks to the station’s commitment for change. The recent retirements provided an opportunity for a new focus and the station has taken the first step.

    In this technological age no business can afford to stand still. Whether CKNW will succeed cannot be based on an initial reaction. Let’s give the station every opportunity to roll out its new broadcasting model-subsequent ratings will tell all.

  3. I have been a listener of CKNW for 27 years and loved the morning drive to work listening to Philip Till. I was so sad to hear that he was retiring. However, I am thrilled to hear that Jon McComb will be taking over the morning spot. He and Philip used to have the afternoon show and it made my day to listen to them. Congratulation Jon – I hope you are not thinking of retiring soon.

    Mike Smyth and Michael Campbell should still have a spot somewhere on CKNW.

    I will continue to be a morning and afternoon listener of CKNW.

  4. I love Simi. I think she’s fair and willing to see all sides of an issue. She’s not like some others who seem to only care about their own view and damn others who don’t share it. I will listen to her show and probably Jon’s too.

  5. I like the new line up. Jon McComb is great; Simi Sara is not my favourite but I work days and do not really listen to her; I will unfortunately miss most of Mike Eckford (due to that working thing) and will enjoy Drex in the evening. Just bring back Mark Madryga’s banter and CKNW will be my favourite station again!

  6. Great moves. I was never crazy about Till (although he did have some good editorials, but sometimes leaned to the arrogant side) and always looked forward to McComb on the World Today. It’s great that I can now hear Jon driving to work and not at the end of the day. Won’t have much time to listen to Simi or Mike, but they’re both good. Looking forward to more of Drex, too. Coast is Coast is stellar!

  7. manipulating the comments to make you sound popular is bush. and that is way your station will fail.and believe me we will let the audience know of your amature ways.

    • @John : NW does not have to manipulate comments – the listening audience decides hands down EVERY YEAR that they are the #1 radio station in Vancouver. Sounds like a long way from failure to me. I have listened to them for many, many years. You’re free to listen to any other station you like – you can vote with the turn of your radio dial or logging in to a different website. Hope you enjoy the other stations who you feel aren’t as ‘amateur’.

    • 20 minutes ago, 5 postings critical of the programing changes have all been removed so here is a suggestion. If you cut your PR salaries and move them to talk show hosts, you might entice Bill Good to return.

    • CKNW, hands down, is one of the best AM radio stations on air waves. The personalities employed are stellar, informative and down right professional. Each presenter invokes and encourages listener participation in a fair way, and that is a mark of a totally successful approach.

      CKNW will not fail you can bet on it. Is there another station, on AM or FM that can come anywhere close; I can not find one. I am a huge fan of CKNW that provides up to date news both live and on the internet web, and who instantly gives their presenters immediate ability to flexibility to react to that instant news.

      CKNW is a sterling example of a media outlet that has learned how to adapt and extend abilities in face of the current media technological changes.

  8. Changing hosts is not going to bring you back to “Top Dog” status. Commercial radio is fine but nw takes it to the extreme. Ball park figure on how many commercials and minutes of advertisements between 5:am and 5:pm is ???

    • He probably doesn’t want a full-time radio job. He already works four the Province. Also the station is moving away from politics according to Globe and Mail story: “Other changes coming to the broadcaster, formerly a ratings leader in the province but now trying to regain traction, will include fewer on-air calls from listeners, fewer guests and more use of social media to draw in and push out material to audiences, Mr. Koenigsfest said.” “Mr. Koenigsfest also said “party politics and getting into the machinery of politics is not a big sell for our audience,” so the station will cut back on its coverage of politics.”

      • I think this is very sad and wrong. Listening to the likes of Norman Spectre was extremely dry and boring . . . however, for the most part, commentary on the political scene was always great, IMHO.

  9. Not a fan of this line-up. I was hoping that either Jon McComb or Mike Symth would have just replaced Bill Good.
    As far as less politics on NW, there is very little on it now. Except for Jon or Mike no one ask any tough questions of our leaders!!
    Is Christy happy now, so she might come on now to take some questions, like what is your favorite colour or tv show??
    Really sad to see how NW has fallen.

  10. I LOVE Michael Smyth who, with personality plus, always gets to the nitty-gritty of any story. He is able to rake people over the coals without being rude or condescending and is always entertaining. Very disappointed he didn’t get one of the prime-time spots, though perhaps he will continue to be a fill-in guy. Jon McComb will be good, Simi is ‘ok’ . . . sounding more professional now, especially in comparison to the “amateur hour” we’ve all been subjected to the past couple of weeks in Philip Till’s former time slot. Don’t like Eckford. May be entertained by Drex . . . like him on the weekends.

    • The Un-Shift is coming to an end. Too bad it’s host isn’t coming to an end as well. No wonder he doesn’t take calls. People would be telling him his facts are usually wrong. His show is mainly repeats of his program, repeats of other programs and hacking between the hopeless host, producer and technical guy. Would have liked to see Shane Woodford as well as Sean Leslie moved to weekdays.

  11. Simi is very good, I think she has a place on day-time radio and will go a long way as a talk show host. She is obviously very bright and talented but after saying that I believe there remains resistance in having a younger talk show host on prime time radio no matter how good. I too believe it is important to have a more mature person who has the wisdom to know what to get excited about and how to handle the public in general. Honestly, I don’t think you will attract the same audience. When Bill Good took a stance it meant something, people talked about it they took it seriously, he could make people in high places wiggle. Talk show radio will go on but not in the same way nor with the same punch. I don’t think this will the last line up change on CKNW.