Wednesday, 6 February 2013

The Decline And Fall Of 94.9 The Rock

Well, it's over. My love affair with the Oshawa (Ontario) radio station The Rock (, after a really bad year, has finally come to an end.

When i first discovered them, four (?) years ago, i thought that they were the best radio station i had heard since the glory days of CFNY (The Spirit Of Radio) back in the 80's.  They were innovative (the very first day i listened they played some Cheech & Chong, and how often do you hear them on commercial radio?), they played music i hadn't heard in ages but also played cutting-edge stuff. They were the first place i ever heard The Arkells, Seether, and Big Wreck, for example.

I listened mostly in the mornings -- the Craig (Robertson) & Rita (MacInally) show, and they were hilarious, obviously having heaps of fun and it was great.  But there were other deejays i liked, too: Rockin' Rod and Vanessa Murphy were both friendly voices, i enjoyed their shows immensely, mostly because of their personalities.

But, at the beginning of 2012 Vanessa went on maternity leave and then something else happened: Rockin' Rod was let go. I have no idea why -- i thought he was one of their most popular jocks. (He now works at -- it's what i call music for dentists' offices: safe and inoffensive. I rarely listen.)

Then Rita disappeared. No idea what happened to her. I saw a couple of her posts on Twitter in which she said things like, oh, well that's the radio biz, but i have no idea where she is now.

It gets worse. At one time, one of their slogans was, "I haven't heard that song since...." -- suggestive of the fact that they played a lot of fairly obscure music.  It changed. The new slogan should have been, "I haven't heard that song since ... two hours ago."  The playlist shrank drastically.

I fled. I started listening to a lot of different stations, including from Auckland New Zealand, from California -- both great stations but neither one very good for local news and weather.  I even listened (for a while) to a Stratford station: and they play some decent music but the on-air personalities are complete yawns.

And, slowly, i went back to The Rock.

Craig Robertson had a new morning show host, Wendy Boomer, and she was great! The music wasn't as varied as it once had been, but i decided to stick with them. I downloaded their app to my smartphone and all was okay.  Not great, but okay.

My contentment was short-lived. Craig quit on Dec. 21st, to pursue his dream of a career as a musician. Good on you, Craig, my friend, i wish you well.

Vanessa Murphy returned but left after a week. I only was able to listen to her once, and i believe that she now works here: -- more music for dentists' offices. And then Wendy Boomer quit, to return to her home town of Kingston, where she's now at

This morning, i listened to The Rock's new morning show -- and it'll probably be the last time i ever do.  The new guys, Craig Venn & Mike Luck, are humourless and the music is just the same ole stuff they were playing the last time i listened.

So, my routine has become: first thing in the morning. A great classic rock station, they really do play a load of great music that i haven't heard in yonks, but as they're from St Louis, Missouri, they're no good for local news and weather. So i switch to  OK, Kingston is nearly 400 kilometres east of me, but it's closer than St Louis!

But, i write sadly, it's the end of an era. Bye, bye, The Rock. I have removed their app from my fondleslab (but added K-SHE's!)

And here's my recent playlist:

Ten Years After - Essential
Kansas - Song For America
Wishbone Ash -- Live At The Glasgow Apollo
Rival Sons -- Head Down
The Pasadena Roof Orchestra -- A Talking Picture
Quintessence - Dive Deep
Van der Graaf Generator - Vital


Vanessa Murphy said...

Hey Spriggsblog,

Thanks for your comments, I do hope you give my new home another try. I love it there. Keep in touch.

Vanessa Murphy

Freg said...

Thanks, Vanessa, i miss listening to you, i'll give boom 973 another try. I listen to your former colleague Rockin' Rod occasionally and it's great to hear your voices but the music -- most of it's okay, but some of it just doesn't thrill me.

I'll keep in touch, for sure

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

You know Dave Marsden is on 94.9 The Rock from 7pm to 12 pm Saturdays and Sundays.:-)

Freg said...

Glad to know that David is still there. Everyone else that i liked is gone, and i'm so old i remember him when he was Dave Mickie.. But i usually only ever listen to the radio in the mornings.

Anonymous said...

Craig and Rita were terrible