There has been a lot of movement in recent days on Montreal radio.
First and foremost, Aaron Rand (below right) announced that he will be leaving his job as morning show host on the Q 92.5 FM at the end of April. After 26 years with the station, this move caught a lot of people by surprise. A year and a half ago his friends and co-hosts Paul "Tasso" Zakaib and Suzanne Desautels were fired and Rand was told his show needed less talk and more music. He adhered to the edict set forth by program director Brian DePoe and even attended a station boot camp. The Q introduced a new, hip morning crew. Aaron changed his style and the ratings blossomed. I do not think we have seen the last of him. Aaron is made for television. Years ago he and Tasso taped a demo late night talkshow for CFCF TV. It never reached the small screen. Perhaps Global TV Montreal would consider him for the new morning show they intend to launch in 2012.
DePoe, by the way, quietly left the Q in December for an opportunity with CHUM Radio in Ottawa. He has been replaced by Leo D'Estrella, a former Rand producer. Rand is under contract to the Q until August 31.
No sooner had Aaron made his announcement, Astral Radio confirmed that Cat Spencer would be leaving Virgin Radio as their morning show host to join the Q - but not for several months. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out. Will Cat bring Lisa Player (left) with him? Will Murray Sherriffs stick around now that his sidekick Aaron is leaving? Will Aaron switch places with Cat? Program and Brand Director Mark Bergman has his work cut out for him. He is already in the midst of seeking a replacement for Heather B, the afternoom show host who left a few weeks ago for a gig in Cleveland. I know that CBC weather guy Frank Cavallaro would probably love a chance to get back into radio. Cousin Vinny Barrucco is doing a great job on the drive home. Is he ready for a premature promotion? My personal favorite is Patrick Charles, who was part of the Cat and Lisa team initially, but is now more of a background contributor. Cat's contract also goes until August 31. Will Virgin really want a lameduck host sticking around the airwaves. Radio insiders suggest that they will find a replacment sooner than later and have Cat sit home until he can legally join the Q on September 1.
Over at CBC Radio One, talented female sportscaster Sonali Karnick (below right) is leaving Daybreak. She got offered a chance to work at CBC in Toronto. In probably one of the sharpest moves CBC has made in recent years, Karnick's replacement is Andie Bennett. Andie (below left) has impressed everyone who has followed her career these last six years on THE TEAM 990 and the Melnick in the Afternoon Show. Her bubbly personality is infectious and has a real strong knowledge of sports, especially hockey. Andie also happens to be a very attractive young lady, so look for her to get some face time on the CBC TV News. I see a TV network career opportunity for her one day.