Me during the broadcast of "Much On Demand" outside in front of the Muchmusic building in Toronto, ON on September 25, 2003.

Monday, November 28, 2022

A Yabba-Dabba-Doozie Of A Story: Pebbles & Bamm-Bamm Broadcast Scheduling, Canadian Cable, And CBS Affiliate Delaying Tactics

I'm going to do something in this post that I do all the time on social media, but not much here in The Beau Zone: Reminiscing about the 1970s. Specifically, reminiscing about Saturday morning cartoons, Sunday morning cartoons, Winnipeg starting to receive U.S. network affiliates via cable, and the Flintstones spinoffs Pebbles & Bamm-Bamm, where those two kids are teenagers, and the following year's Flintstone Comedy Hour.

And even more specifically, this will describe how I never got to see the opening theme song to Pebbles & Bamm-Bamm until a Saturday AFTERNOON in the mid-'70s.

Okay, here we go:

So I had known about the Pebbles & Bamm-Bamm show on CBS on Saturday mornings during the 1971-1972 TV season. I knew the shows that were on through those two-page ads the networks used to take out in the middle of comic books. But I couldn't see them. I'm in Canada. We didn't get CBS, NBC, or ABC in Canada.

(Well, we sort of got ABC shows. We could get a station out of Pembina, North Dakota, right across the border, called KCND, using rabbit ears antennas we placed on our TV set. KCND was mostly an independent station that sold ads in the Winnipeg market. But they did accept some limited ABC programming. On Saturday mornings, they broadcast whatever shows ABC aired at 8:00 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. CST and on Sunday mornings, they aired Make A Wish at 10:30 a.m., and they delayed the shows ABC aired Saturdays at 7:00 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. and aired one of those Sundays at 11:00 a.m. and one at 4:30 p.m. The purpose of the 4:30 p.m. one was because KCND aired two movies before that, and if the movies ran overtime, they could join the cartoon show in progress. This must have been before broadcasters teamed with movie producers to somehow make movies and commercials fit into prescribed time slots. Now, all of this has NOTHING to do with the subject at hand - until we get into a CBS affiliate delaying cartoons later on in this - so that's why I've put it in brackets. Just to show that we did get a few ABC network cartoons through KCND before the fall of 1972.) 

Then came the fall of 1972, when I assume Winnipeg was given access to North Dakota affiliates to CBS, NBC, and ABC, that we could now get on cable. At least that's when our apartment block started getting cable. It was mid-September, so we missed just two or three weeks of the new Saturday morning cartoon schedule.

During the 1972 season, CBS aired The Flintstone Comedy Hour at 10:00 a.m. The first half-hour was new short Flintstones cartoons and Bedrock Rockers (Pebbles & Bamm-Bamm's band) music videos. The second half-hour was a half-hour long Pebbles & Bamm-Bamm cartoon, which I figured was the previous season's Pebbles & Bamm-Bamm show incorporated into the Flintstone Comedy Hour. Pebbles' voice was different in these cartoons - hey, it was the voice of Sally Struthers from All In The Family! (she had to quit being Pebbles' voice after she got All In The Family) - and the animation was better, closer to the animation of the last couple of years of the original Flintstones series.

During this season, CBC in Canada even replaced their long-running Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour at 5:00 p.m. with the Flintstone Comedy Hour for a while. 

The following year, in September 1973, The Flintstone Comedy Hour became the Flintstone Comedy Show, as it became the first half-hour of the show only, in reruns, as the second half, the Pebbles & Bamm-Bamm Show cartoons, had been retired. It was common on all networks that if a show ran for a second season, which would be reruns, it would be retired after that. 

So that year ran its' course, and beginning in September 1974, that whole spin-off conglomerate was forgotten.

But wait.....much later on, it came back!

Okay, now, first we have to discuss CBS and their Sunday morning cartoon lineup to give you some background here.

CBS and ABC in those days used to have short Sunday morning cartoon lineups in addition to their all-morning Saturday cartoon lineup. In CBS' case, they only aired two shows at 8:00 a.m. CST for one hour. In Winnipeg. though, we never had that. Our CBS affiliate, KXJB in Valley City, ND, at first didn't air the CBS Sunday morning cartoon lineup in favor of religious programming (something many affiliates did). But later on, in the mid-'70s, they did start to delay that one hour of cartoon shows to the following Saturday at 1:00 p.m., after CBS' Saturday cartoon lineup, including the CBS Children's Film Festival at 12 noon, was over. "Delaying" is TV lingo meaning the exact same thing as when you set your VCR or PVR to record a show and you watch it later with the commercials intact. All of CBS' commercials stayed intact. It sure blew my mind away as a kid, to have gone through a whole week of school and winter weather, then to watch on TV shows and their commercials that originally aired on CBS the previous Sunday, BEFORE that entire work week occurred! As well as the entire morning of Saturday cartoon shows that just finished. 

At one point, the two shows were My Favorite Martians at 1:00 p.m. and Bailey's Comets at 1:30 p.m. This still has been the only time in my life I have ever seen these shows. But then, Bailey's Comets was taken away and replaced by.....Pebbles & Bamm-Bamm!

And I finally, after all these years, got to see the opening credits to the Pebbles & Bamm-Bamm show! What year was this? 1976? On a Saturday afternoon at 1:30 p.m.!

If any decision-makers at KXJB in the mid-'70s are reading this, if they're not already dead, thank you very much for deciding to air that CBS Sunday morning cartoon lineup, even if it was delayed by six days!

And there's a perspective on cartoon shows you could only read from a Canadian living close to the border with our unique access to American channels and networks.

And yes, I do now have the entire Pebbles & Bamm-Bamm series on DVD and can watch the opening credits and the episodes any time I please. But when will the Flintstone Comedy Hour (or actually, Flintstone Comedy Show) come out on DVD?

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Ballroom Blitz? Boxing Day Blitz? No, More Like Blocking Blitz: DJ Blitz Is Blocking Everyone!

(Note: This new paragraph in brackets was written in July 2020. Guess what? DJ Blitz has unblocked me on Twitter. But it could only be because I replied to someone on Twitter who replied to one of his tweets, and that guy replied back. So Blitz could see his side of the conversation but not mine. I still don't know if Blitz even knows of this blog entry. I didn't tell anyone about it after I posted it. I didn't talk about it on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere. I was curious to see how long it took before someone discovered it. Anyway, Blitz is not yet unblocking me on Facebook, only Twitter. And if I did a version of this paragraph to him, telling him I will continue to keep this blog entry up until he also unblocks me on Facebook, he might say, "What blog entry?" and ultimately I have dug myself in deeper. So instead, I'm not going to look a gift horse in the mouth and I'm not going to say a word to Blitz, instead I'm just doing this new paragraph to tell him and everybody here that the blog entry stays until he unblocks me on Facebook too, and that's the end of that. He probably, after unblocking me on Twitter, read the conversation me and that guy were doing, the time passed, and he just forgot to block me again. Who knows? And what is my perspective to responding to his tweets? Will that draw attention to me, causing him to block me again? It's too early to say, because with COVID, Blitz hasn't been tweeting much lately, and the tweets he has done I haven't wanted to respond to. But you'll know if he reblocks me when I remove this paragraph.)

As a former DIY-type media host myself, as the host and producer of my own TV show on cable access TV here in Winnipeg called Hard Rock Heroes, I've always admired someone like DJ Blitz. Here's a guy who has created such a buzz for himself as a DJ through social media that he has parlayed himself into being a bonafide Winnipeg celebrity, one who attracts massive crowds whenever he does special DJ dates at Cowboys and other places he is not a DJ regular at, and one who can now even become a weekend announcer at Virgin Radio. (I wonder how Twitter and Facebook would have affected Hard Rock Heroes if the internet had been around back then. My show aired just before the dawn of the internet, from 1990 to 1993.)

So I followed him on Twitter and Facebook. It's cool that, since for various reasons I can no longer be the toast of the town with my show or any kind of replacement, I can now at least live vicariously through Blitz' media circus. He followed me back on Twitter, and liked many of my joking and/or smartass comments, and replies to his comments. Everything was good, until.....

One afternoon, he blocked me on Twitter. And I'm certainly not the only one.

Over the course of the next several months to a year, here are my attempts to get to the bottom of this: I tried contacting him all of the different ways you could at that time to ask him why, or if it was a mistake. He had his phone number on his Facebook page at that time. I called him and he answered and he blurted out he thought it was a mistake, but that he had to go and he hung up. He then proceeded to NOT unblock me. Every time I tried calling him after that - once every week or two - it would go to voice mail at first, so I'd leave messages that Blitz never responded to, then the voice mail would be filled up for many weeks, then finally I got a generic message that said the person at this number was unavailable and to leave a message. I did that only once, because at that point Blitz could have gotten rid of that number and it could have belonged to someone else by that point. Meanwhile, I would be sending him Facebook messages and Facebook would tell me that they were read, but Blitz ignored those as well. All my voice mail and Facebook messages, as well as emails I sent him, too, were all polite and gave him the benefit of the doubt and treated the situation like he had just been too busy to unblock me if, as he told me, it was a mistake, and so my messages would act as just friendly reminders.

I also thanked him for not blocking me on Facebook, and so a small part of me thought maybe what I just wrote was true, because if Blitz had something against me, he would have blocked me on Facebook, too, as I had been making comments on his posts there. But then, the day came: He posted a video of him and some girl lip-syncing the song Promiscuous by Nelly Furtado and Timberland, and I did a comment praising him for that video and how great it was, and how I would have loved to do stuff like that to promote my show back in the day, but that was before the internet, so at least now I can live vicariously through him. And after I posted that reply, he blocked me on Facebook. I can still see his page, but only if I punch it up. I cannot follow him, which means his posts won't show up in my timeline, and I cannot like his posts or comment on them or message him. I can only share his posts. And I did share his Promiscuous post, if you look at my Facebook page.

Is this the way someone who aspires to be a top on-air personality at a Winnipeg radio station conducts himself? By showing though his behavior that he isn't brave enough to talk to me on the phone or send me a computer message that tells me as a common courtesy WHY he is doing this? If he's going to have a career dealing with the public, then he needs to be man enough to be able to tell any member of the public what he needs to tell them.

Now, as I said before, I am not the only one he is doing this to. I recall Blitz tweeting a screenshot without an accompanying comment that showed he was blocking over 4000 people on Twitter. On another day, he told someone on Twitter he couldn't remember the last time he had blocked someone. Then, on another day, he told someone he had to block a few people. Ummm, make up your mind, dude.

Do a search on Twitter on the following: DJ Blitz blocked (not as a phrase), and look at all the tweets from people who have discovered DJ Blitz has blocked them and have no idea why! I did that and below this blog are six screen grabs of a few of those many victims. Later on, after I had captured and cropped those screen grabs in preparation for this blog, I noticed he is also blocking writer Shelley Cook and comedian Jules Rowan, and they have no idea why, either.

I suspect that with all the stuff Blitz does involving high school students and the very young adults that hang out at Cowboys, that he only wants to deal with people of that age group. Ages 15 to, say, 20 or a bit older. People older than that are thought by the people in that age group to be "creepy." Maybe DJ Blitz thinks they're creepy, too. So he curates his followers by ruthlessly blocking everyone who is not in that age group. Well, if that is his mindset, as I suggested above, he's got a lot to learn as he gets older himself and moves up in the broadcasting world. Wouldn't it be rad if he has to interview someone live on air on Virgin one day, and in the conversation, that person randomly asks, "So, Blitz, how come you're blocking me?" Maybe he'll cowardly cut them off and move on to something else, the same way he got rid of me on the phone. And if the guest is live in the studio, well, then.....

If I am wrong in my theory about age groups, then why would he want to alienate all those people by blocking them on Twitter and being so disingenuous and vague on that subject? Why is he basically ghosting all those people and myself on the subject of why he is blocking them on Twitter and/or Facebook? Why is he pissing everybody off?

Wouldn't it be nice if things just got back to normal here, with him unblocking me and everyone else on Twitter and Facebook, and letting all of us be a fan of his? That's my only goal here. Positive feelings all around. No negative feelings.

Besides, doesn't he realize that blocking someone means that that person can still tag him in a tweet - if it's me tweeting, I just have to type out his whole handle, it won't auto-fill - and that it could turn out to be something earth-shattering he would want to see (whether it's positive or negative), but he can't because he's blocking me! Everyone else in the world can see that tweet except for him! And no one else reading that tweet would even know he's blocking me! Maybe they'll respond to both me and him. He'll see that response, but he'll wonder what they're talking about because he can't see the original tweet because it's by me, someone who he's blocking! This is why I don't block anyone: I don't want anyone tagging me in a tweet I can't see because I'm blocking them!

You can still view a person's Twitter page with their original tweets when you're being blocked by not logging in. You need to login to view their "Tweets & Replies," though, meaning any tweet that starts off by tagging someone, which Twitter considers a "reply." I can still see the "Tweets & Replies" of Blitz and anyone else who is blocking me with a couple of secret accounts I have that don't have my name on them. I choose not to reply on those accounts. but I may reply to anyone who is replying to Blitz after I login to my real account, making me a part of the conversation. That Blitz can't see! That'll fix his wagon.

So if this blog can accomplish something and give Blitz a change of heart and makes him see the error of his ways and the bigger picture here, inducing him to unblock everyone, then I'll remove it. If not, I guess this will have to stand as a testament that some people just ain't what they seem. Don't judge a book by its' cover, people. Be careful who you choose to be your heroes. And always keep your eyes open for a con job from a con man. Hopefully, in the years to come, as he gets older and more into the general public mainstream, Blitz's actions will come back to haunt him and he will answer for his actions. Not from me, but from all those other people he has harmed along the way by blocking them. As Justin Timberlake sang, "What goes around comes all the way back around." Take heed, Blitz. Be the bigger man. Be an adult.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Winnipeg's Media Personalities: Shiny Happy People.....Well, Except For Jen Zoratti

Why, Jen, Why?

I try to be a happy person and to do positive, fun, and positive-snarky tweets on Twitter. The only negative tweets I do are to some organization or policy that I feel has wronged my way of life in some form.

But a certain media person has made it extremely difficult to keep a smile on my face lately.

Since Twitter began, the biggest thing I have learned about posting on Twitter is it amplifies people's personalities to such a degree that the differences between people become more stark and palpable.

I enjoy following media people and sending them snappy/funny/snarky comments about the things they've written or said on TV or radio. Sometimes I give them a perspective they have forgotten about. Sometimes I add a joke to what they've said.

What do my comments get me? They get me likes and even follows from the happy, positive, upbeat personalities at places like CTV Morning Live and Energy 106. It's such a joy to watch and listen to those people.

And at the other end of the spectrum.......there is Winnipeg Free Press reporter Jen Zoratti.

The same types of comments I send everybody else have apparently caused Jen to block me on Twitter. I discovered this one day by accident. So I emailed her to ask why she was blocking me. Was it a specific tweet I wrote, and, if so, how did she see it? She wasn't following me, so my tweets wouldn't have been in her timeline. Did someone she was following like or retweet one of my tweets, or was she searching for a hashtag? You would think someone would show the proper common courtesy to answer the question of "why" when that person comes a'calling. But instead, Jen's reply to me asking her why she was blocking me on Twitter was, "Yes, I am blocking you on Twitter. No, it is not a mistake. Please stop contacting me."

What a stark contrast between this apparently sour, unpleasant person as compared to the wonderful, happy media personalities I mention above. But I follow media personalities who interest me, and Jen's Free Press stories interest me. I could speculate here on things I think she might take exception to on my Twitter feed as opposed to Winnipeg's other media personalities, but that would be useless because I would be assuming things about her that may not be true.

And that's it, re: her response. No indication of why. I DID contact her again to remind her she didn't tell me why, and she did not respond. I then contacted Winnipeg Free Press editor Paul Samyn, and he told me he would talk to Jen, but that he wouldn't force her to unblock anybody. I told him I wasn't necessarily looking to be unblocked, but to find out why Jen was blocking me. After a few weeks, I emailed him back to say, "How's this coming along?" No response. I emailed him again. No response. I sent the thread to Free Press co-owner Bob Cox. No response. I sent it again a few weeks later. No response.

Then I said to all three of them that I would do a Facebook post whenever I got around to it, with a meme of Jen that said something she would not like. Why would I do something like that? To make the crime fit the punishment. In other words, I would now be giving Jen a reason to block me on Twitter. We could have now said that she is blocking me on Twitter because I did that meme of her.

Alas, Facebook removed the post because it violated their terms of service. That post is essentially what you are reading now, with a few changes. But keep reading.

Then I received a letter from the Winnipeg Free Press' legal counsel informing me they had reported my post to Facebook. So that's how Facebook found it. Even if they didn't remove it, the lawyers demanded that I do it.

The issue isn't what you are reading now. It's what I had said in the meme.

After I replied to the lawyer who sent me the letter and she responded, I believe I have taken out any parts of what you are reading now that would constitute harassment or defamation. Oh, but I am leaving in the facts, and I am posting this here on The Beau Zone, as my original idea had been to repost the original Facebook post here before I discovered the lawyer's letter to me via email. So what's left, after deleting any illegal harassment or defamation sections from my post, are simply freedom of speech issues, which are not illegal.

I want everyone to know what kind of person Jen Zoratti apparently is!

And these are the facts. So YOU decide what kind of person she is based on these facts.

Jen is under no obligation to tell me why she blocked me on Twitter, of course, but, now, regarding that, let's get back to my email exchange with these people from seven paragraphs ago. So then Paul Samyn finally breaks his silence and says, "My previous note to you on this matter made clear that Jen is under no obligation to respond to your demands." No, Paul, you NEVER said that to me. I do apologize for not thinking of the phrase "common courtesy" that I used earlier in this Beau Zone post when describing to you my problem, though. No, she is not under any obligation, but c'mon - if you asked me what 2 plus 2 equals, I am not obligated to answer that question, either, but it's a simple question and answer, so most people would just answer the question if asked it. People don't randomly block other people on Twitter for no reason. She HAD to have a reason to block me. And Jen and Paul don't seem to understand that the way to make me GO AWAY is to simply answer the question! WHY did Jen block me on Twitter? Just tell me, and I will delete this post and go away.

To everyone reading this: do a search of both @JenZoratti and @beauhajavitch on Twitter. Do you see anything there that would cause Jen to block me? She is even answering my tweets in some cases in the past. Once, I used a funny phrase jokingly warning her that someone "would go all North Korea on her" and she responded saying she didn't know what that meant, and I responded back saying I had been planning on doing a tweet about something to her, and before my internet session I heard someone say "go all North Korea on you" on TV and thought it was funny and would work in that tweet. I say that here because that exchange did not cause her to block me. The last time her name came up automatically, re: autofill (signifying someone is not blocking you) when tweeting was when I did a tweet about her story about Earl's letting people park their cars there overnight and what the snowplow operators would think of that. After that, I didn't have a reason to tweet her for a while, and sometimes I look at my Twitter list and say, "I haven't seen that person in my timeline in a while," and check them out. That was the case with Jen, and that's how I found out she was blocking me.

And that's that. When Jen tells me WHY she is blocking me on Twitter, this post will be deleted. But it sure looks like this post will stay here forever.

P.S. Since there might be people on Twitter who don't go on The Beau Zone, and aren't reading this, those people - and you - might notice I continue to tweet "to" Jen (regarding stories she's written), which Twitter still allows, it's just that I have to completely type her handle - no autofill - because the general public doesn't know she is blocking me. Only you, reading this, know. (And I do plan to do a Facebook post that is only a link to this post, and hopefully that is okay with the faceless Facebook's bots, if that's what any future trouble I could have with Facebook is all about.) It's usually at the same time I am tweeting others, increasing the chances of those others replying or retweeting, meaning everyone out there is seeing those tweets EXCEPT Jen. I figure if she's going to block me, she should pay the price. Everyone will see my tweets "to her" EXCEPT her. Serves her right. And everyone reading this will see those tweets if you do a Twitter search on both our handles, or any relevant hashtags, as well. (My original email to Jen asking her why was written Sept. 4, 2017.)

I sure hate wasting time on negative issues like this. I want everyone including me to be positive, think positive, and go through the day with smiles on our faces and love in our hearts. But some things or people won't let us do that. That's a fact we just have to learn to live with, I guess.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Follow-Up To Last Blog

I haven't blogged in almost two years. Wow.

And that's due to both the contents of my last blog below and what resulted from it. So I'll cover that now.

After my wholesaler job ended in February 2016, I couldn't get hired anywhere for a new day job, including our competitors. Part of that I'm sure had to do with the fact everything is online now, and I have difficulty with that because my internet is dialup. I can't afford high-speed. I do all my high-speed stuff either at the public library's computers, or at a coffee shop or library using their free WiFi with my laptop. All of my Hard Rock Heroes videos were uploaded in this manner; actually, most were uploaded at the Osborne Cyber Cafe before that place closed and became The Toad's new Whiskey Bar. Additionally, my area of expertise is extremely narrow; I'm proficient in the more office functions of a warehouse, like paperwork and buying/ordering. Not the warehouse functions of a warehouse, like using the forklift. As well, I am most certainly NOT going to make a different resume for every job I apply to: That is cruel and inhumane punishment. So the Osborne Village Resource Centre and their advice can sincerely go fuck themselves. I want every potential employer to know ALL of the skills I have and EVERYTHING I have done in the past on my resume so they have no opportunity to misjudge who I am or what I can do. I want to open up that street mailbox and pour a wheelbarrow of 75 photocopied resumes with everything on them into it, with someone who recieved one of those 75 applications hiring me, THAT'S the ideal scenerio. Sending to a simple email address is fine, too. And I would suggest that anyone who would tear up and not even look at a resume that is longer than 3 pages is someone who is not considering the fact some of us are 55 years old and have had many years in their lives to do a whole lot of things. I wrote up 17-page Call For Orders on sale prices on the entire Jamieson vitamin line to be sent to our stores at the same time I was doing interview legwork for Hard Rock Heroes. And I want employers to know that. And that, specifically, was never even in my resume, that at one time was 17 pages long! I did shorten it to three pages, but if I added my new job to it (next paragraph), it would be longer than that again.

So when a merchandiser job I applied to called me for an interview and offered me the job, I was too afraid to turn it down, even though the job is to work overnight on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, with only Tuesday and Wednesday as my days off (my weekend) 52 weeks a year, with no long weekends. I had lost all of my Fridays and Saturdays, and there would be no such thing anymore as Christmas, New Year's Eve, Thanksgiving, Canada Day, etc., unless they fell on a Tuesday or Wednesday. Not only did I fall into a deep depression, I certainly had no time to blog anymore. I had to figure out when I was going to do everyday aspects of my life now with no long weekends to catch up on anything.

And certainly no broadcasting jobs came my way, although I received a few compliments for my Hard Rock Heroes work, including a nice one from CTV News Director Karen Mitchell. I thanked her on Twitter for her kind words.

After I had been at my new job for a year and qualified for holidays, I was able to negotiate those two weeks as only Thursday/Friday/Saturday holidays, where I would still work my "solo" shifts without my co-worker on Sunday/Monday, and take off four Saturdays instead. So it became not so bad in 2017, and the weather was absolutely excellent for almost all of my time off. It felt so exciting on that first day, Saturday, June 17, to see my first Saturday with all those people in the Exchange District around all the clubs for the first time in a year and a half! Much different from the barren depressing Wednesdays where everything's closed and no one's driving around except me and the cab drivers. Things were better in the summer for clubs on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, though. Thanks to The Pint and LaRoca and The Cavern for being there on Tuesdays and Wednesdays!

I will always be interested in broadcasting, though, so if anyone reading this in that industry is interested in me, you can still feel free to contact me and maybe we can make a deal. My contact info is in my last blog post below.

So maybe now, in the future, I can get back to doing blogs on regular things, not myself. Hopefully. We'll see.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Would you like to hire me?

So I'm losing my wholesaler day job after February 5.

I will be looking for a suitable replacement day job, including at our main competitor, but as far as this blog is concerned, I will also be re-stepping up my efforts to take my old TV show I used to produce and host, Hard Rock Heroes, to the next level, whatever that means. As an entertainment reporter? TV stations don't have that anymore. Maybe you can think of something that for someone in media I can be an asset to.

After Hard Rock Heroes ended, I had gotten busy at my day job with different hours, then the internet started and I eventually created the Hard Rock Heroes website. Then I found myself with enough time around 2002 to send resumes and tapes of my show to all the TV stations and a few radio stations. In that material I also talked of my interest in scheduling, and TV stations' scheduling/traffic deptartments. Then You Tube started, and I started uploading Hard Rock Heroes videos to You Tube. Then, instead of sending VHSs or DVDs in the mail, I started e-mailing links to all my You Tube videos.

But I haven't done that in a while, so now I have a reason to start that all over again. I might not get hired anywhere, but I have nothing to lose. I wonder if people are more aware of me now due not only to all of the above, but due to my Twitter presence, as well.

So if anyone in Winnipeg broadcasting is reading this and is interested in me, please drop me a line at

Check out my Hard Rock Heroes videos at, click on "Video" for video. Or to go directly there:

Check out my Linkedin page at

For examples of a more journalistic style of writing, check out my band write-ups at my Zoo Archives page, all about the Osborne Village Inn's Zoo & Ozzy's bars at - this includes my editing of bands' bios to correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling mistakes, in case you see a band's bio you recognize (copy and paste is the best thing about computers).

For my radio voiceovers I did with daCapo, check out that page as part of my Hard Rock Heroes site at

And my Twitter page is at

If I get a day job, will I remove this blog entry? Good question. Not sure about that yet.

Thanks for your time, and I hope you've enjoyed The Beau Zone so far.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Winnipeg's Downtown Snackeries: After The MTS Centre Lovin', Can We Still Be In Love With You?

Winnipeg mayor Brian Bowman's recent spat with Mark Chipman makes me think of something else Bowman could hold against him, if he wishes. If he even knows about it. If there is an agreement in place.

I'd rather do a letter to the editor on this to both of Winnipeg's newspapers but I don't know for sure if there really is an agreement in place or not here. I think I saw this being reported in years past, but buried deep in stories about other aspects of True North building the MTS Centre and bringing the Jets back to town, and with only a few quick words before changing the subject.

I speak of the believed-to-be agreement between the city of Winnipeg and True North to do everything in its' power to make sure any nearby convenience stores, donut shops, and fast-food outlets are NOT open after MTS Centre events are over. And that no more of these are built, either.

There are several Tim Horton's and Subway outlets near the MTS Centre. They're all closed at night. Only one real fast-food restaurant, McDonald's in Cityplace. Also closed at night. And most McDonald's stores are open 24 hours, too. The Cityplace store could stay open until 4:00 a.m. to service Shark Club customers (both the nightclub and casino), too. But, no. I think the closest places within walking distance are Robin's Donuts at York & Garry, Mac's Convenience Store at Carlton & Cumberland, and Jumbo Pizza on Balmoral near Sargent. If you consider any of those within walking distance.

The Bargain Shop right outside the MTS Centre just closed. That would have been an ideal location for a convenience store. If you want to hang out outside the MTS Centre afterward in the dead of summer checking out the girls, go in the store and buy yourself a bag of chips. Or a chocolate bar. Or a slurpee. You don't want a full restaurant meal, just something small. As it turned out, the store became a Dollar Tree. Is it open at night? No.

Mark Chipman wants us all to buy the overpriced food at MTS Centre or nothing. So I believed he brokered some klind of backroom deal with the city when the MTS Centre first opened to make sure nothing was open close to the building after their events.

But that was in 2004, even before the Winnipeg Jets came back. Or now, the Moose. The MTS Centre is well established now. It's time to rescind this outdated agreement and allow the Tim Horton's and Subways and McDonald's and Starbucks near the building to be open after their events, and to allow new fast-food, donut, and convenience stores to open. Ironically, there is a Tim Hortons right inside the MTS Centre, and that, too, is closed after the events are over. But if you think that's to clear out the building, well, they are still selling that night's performing rock band's overpriced t-shirts after the events.

That's what, along with people living downtown, will really spark a street scene of people on the streets downtown. Not just traditional restaurants and nightclubs.

So there's a story idea for all you Winnipeg newspaper guys (and I know you love reading this blog), if in fact there is such an agreement. If there isn't, then it's those places I named that all suck for not being open after the events. (And the Subway on Notre Dame beside Solid Gold could grab the bar crowd, too.)

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Bell Media Part 2: They had 91 layoffs and you might be one

Whenever I've tried to brainstorm ideas of what to blog about next, this Bell Media thing keeps coming back to me.

Because when I wrote my Bell Media/MuchMusic blog entry last time, even with all I brought up in it, that was still before they.....wait for it.....laid off 91 employees, mostly at Much, M3, and MTV Canada.

So now, I guess I have to do a followup.

Talk about being dumbfounded.

Something is clearly wrong with this company.

Isn't Bell Media supposedly the biggest private broadcaster in Canada? And they can't financially run these channels adequately? (Without telling us why not, as I reiterate my last blog's theme.)

In addition to all my observations and complaints last blog about what Bell Media has done to Much (formerly MuchMusic, I hate to say but must), those 91 layoffs mean that almost all the on-air personalities known as VJs that were on Much (most of which Bell Media had moved to other channels after they got rid of Much's flagship show New.Music.Live and replaced the MuchMusic Environment with the studio for CTV's The Social) are now gone, except for Tyrone Edwards and Chloe Wilde, who are still on E! Canada, and Liz Trinnear, now the sole VJ on Much. Much, M3, and MTV Canada now run on skeleton crews, and Much now has only one produced show, the Much Countdown, hosted by Liz. Liz still interviews music stars in the Bell Media building (after they're finished with ETalk, I'm sure), but those interviews run online, and now as insets during the videos on the Much Countdown (a good idea, but I'll come back to this). The rest of the schedule consists of morning videos (that extend into the afternoon and even the evening on some days), the fratboy comedies, and back-to-back Simpsons and South Park reruns. Also back-to-back Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air reruns which, after seemingly forever, they aren't even dropping in favor of another rerun show. This past Christmas season, if you remember all the hour-long review shows the former MuchMusic used to do, like Hisses, Disses, and Kisses, well, Much still did two or three of those, but they were around two minutes long and ran during the commercials on Much and online. Hey, at least they're trying, but, as I said in the brackets, I'll come back to that subject. And Tanya Kim was laid off from ETalk.

How can Bell Media, all of a sudden, decide they can't afford to keep these channels going in a proper manner? Something fishy is going on here, and it's more than just Bell Media taking the MuchMusic Environment away from them and giving that studio space to The Social. And, yeah, that is exactly what happened, as I finally got confirmation on that from, of all people, Jess Allen, on The Social itself, when they were promoting the 30 Years Of Much half-hour special (only half an hour?; more on that later) and they were showing clips of all the music stars that came to the building to play songs in the MuchMusic Environment and, in between songs, answered fan questions and walked up to Much's huge Queen Street storefront window where Much regularly took the glass out so the fans outside could be a part of the show, and signed autographs from those fans and answered their questions, and Jess says, "And that all took place in this very room!" Bless you, Jess. I wonder if she wasn't supposed to say that, because I wonder if Bell Media didn't want anyone pointing out that those days are actually over now, and that there won't be any more stars coming to Much to play and promote any more. I wonder if the MMVAs are no more now, as well.

Whatever Bell Media's financial problems are, clearly, what they are doing now is this: They are simply holding onto these channels for as long as they can so that the competition doesn't acquire them. Because if anyone out there thinks they can do a better job at running them (and I'm hearing rumblings that Ed The Sock might be getting involved in a new music video channel - no, really) and they think Bell Media has lost interest and will sell to them, guess again. If Bell Media sells to them, that will make the buyer a Bell Media competitor. Bell Media doesn't want that. And Bell Media can probably still charge top advertising rates for portions of these channels' programming, because the actual shows themselves - from Pretty Little Liars to Reign to Broad City to Workaholics - are fine shows and attract audiences. If the audience wants to watch these shows, they'll watch them on whatever channel they're on. That's a different issue than the issue of them being on the wrong channel, that I discussed in my last blog. I'm sure Bell Media does advertising package deals that involve these channels plus CTV and CTV Two, too.

Yet what defies logic in Bell Media's stance is how they think they can get away with next to no CanCon (Canadian content) on these channels as per their conditions of license with the CRTC for these channels. When does their renewal hearing come up? When it does, they will undoubtebly be hauled onto the carpet by the CRTC. I don't know how much produced CanCon content they are supposed to provide vs. purchased CanCon, but on MTV Canada, there is zero produced content now, and next to nothing for purchased CanCon. When MTV Canada were at the Masonic Temple building on Yonge Street, they did lots of produced content: MTV Live (I saw a taping), MTV Aftershow, 5 Gays 1 Girl, MTV News. When they moved into the main CTV building at 299 Queen Street West, MTV Live turned into Showtown, but that, and everything else, is now gone. I thought the reason for that content in the first place was to fulfill Bell Media's CRTC license requirements. As said, Much has one produced show, the Countdown, and a few between-commercials Liz Trinnear segments, and that's it. M3, for whatever reason, mostly carries on, as they didn't have too much produced content to begin with, so Gabby Henderson replaces the departed Matt Wells, and they mostly just carry on. So it appears the CRTC will either force Bell Media to live up to their conditions of license at a "show cause" hearing, or take the channels away from Bell Media themselves. Why would Bell Media open themselves up to that? If Bell Media was going to do what they did, instead of laying off 91 people, why not lay off only 75 and keep some more produced content on these channels (especially MTV Canada) to secure their licences? It doesn't make sense.

Now, to be fair, the remaining staff Bell Media has at Much does at least appear to be making lemonade out of lemons. These blogs I have been writing have nothing to do with them; they're just doing their jobs, and they appear to be doing them quite well. After I tweeted to Much, "You don't even have the resources to take those great Liz Trinnear interviews and edit them into a half-hour show?" they.....well, they didn't do that, but they at least run parts of them now in inset interviews on the Much Countdown during the videos. I told them that's a good idea, because on a countdown show, the videos can get repetitive, so those inset interviews relieve any boredom that might set in. They have done some interesting things with the blocks of videos that still remain in the New.Music.Live time slot: Brought back the Spotlight (one artist's videos) one night a week, made another night new videos called "Brand New Shit," made another night videos curated (chosen) by a famous artist, and made Thursday a Throwback Thursday night. All of which are still just videos with no host, no nothing, just the videos, but it's better than just regular videoflow. Because if the morning videoflow (and even that was retitled "Playlist") is too early for people to catch up on videos, you can always tape it while you sleep or work. I've done that. And at least Much did do those two-minute Holiday Wrap "shows" with Liz I brought up above. They could have done nothing. (Because I don't think two-minute segments fulfills license requirements.)

Then there's the curious show they did called "30 Years Of Much." For the last several years, Much has driven away screaming from its' past, because their most recent audience had been teenage girls screaming over The Jonas Brothers and One Direction, and Much didn't want to drive them away by suggesting their parents watched Much in the '80s and '90s in the form of referring to/airing their past all the time. But Bell Media bigwigs canned Much from airing anything that audience was interested in, as I covered last blog, except early morning videoflow, so I suppose the creative people (person?) still left at Much thought they had nothing to lose by mining their past and putting those segments together to create 30 Years Of Much. That show might have even been a way for the people still left at Much to shove the middle finger in Bell Media's face, as if to say, "See how much BETTER things were when Much did all this stuff, mostly when Moses ran the place?" So I looked forward to it, and wondered if it would be an hour or two hours. But it turned out to be only HALF AN HOUR?!?!? Of course: Much doesn't have the resources to make it more than half an hour. I'll bet Winnipeg's Shaw TV Community Channel has more resources today than Much does.

Oh, and CTV President Kevin Crull says people are watching music videos online now. The big problem with that argument is that when people are in control of what they want to watch, they won't punch up videos or artists that they don't know. How would they know about them? Killing new artists is killing the lifeblood of the industry. Today, I STILL come into contact with new artists and current artists' new videos for the first time ("Oh, that artist has a new video? I didn't know that!") by watching the early-morning videos on Much, maybe on tape later as I'm sleeping when they're on. Because Much is controlling what I see and is surprising me and introducing me to things. Someone online, like me, can't do that for himself. Someone has to do it for him.

Throughout my youth and early adulthood, I never found anything I wanted to be. Maybe I'm smart enough for university, but there was never anything taught there that I gave a shit about. I just looked at a job as a needed way to finance my personal life, to give me the money I needed to buy records by Kiss and Cheap Trick and Van Halen and Streetheart and to discuss the intellectual ramifications of those records at drunken house parties. I never found my calling, until I discovered MTV U.S. and then MuchMusic. To this day, all I ever wanted to be was a VJ on Muchmusic. And, while I never made that goal a reality, partly because of my age, I did accomplish the next best thing: I created my own TV show, Hard Rock Heroes, and became a VJ on that show. I mentioned my age; I turned 30 in 1992, right in the middle of the Hard Rock Heroes period.

So to see all of this crap go down with Bell Media and Much and MTV Canada and M3 is not only disheartening, it is cruel, it is heartache, it is inhumane, and it is barbaric. To think that VJs on camera talking about music and artists and throwing to videos all day is something that became too expensive to provide is both head-scratching and pain-inducing. People are passionate about their businesses. Well, this is MY business. And I want to see it survive and thrive, not get kicked in the head like a home invader does to a dog like Bell Media has done.

Hopefully, this story isn't over yet. Hopefully in the coming days the CRTC will investigate why Canada's biggest private broadcaster can't make these channels work. Hopefully someone will come forth and start-up a new music video service with VJs, whether it's on one of the Bell Media channels, if the CRTC takes them away from Bell, or a new channel. Hopefully someone will fix this. Someone MUST fix this! And hopefully whatever the public has been watching on the internet is just a supplement to TV viewing and hasn't really been enough to drive audiences away from channels like Much, unlike what some in the media might think. Audiences of all ages must be educated (re-educated?) to believe, know, and understand, that the music-video/VJ format is not an outdated concept or a fad; that it is as standard a television format as the late-night talk show format is, and that is is simply Bell Media that is trying to kill it. They must become hungry enough (are they already?) that when someone brings it back fully, it will be flocked to and embraced.

If those things don't happen, both the music industry (especially the Canadian artists), music culture, and yes, even pop culture, will ultimately suffer for it.

Bell Media, is that what you want?